The preseason ballot by 191 Media Members at ACC Kickoff has been tabulated. And, their prognostications have the Miami Hurricanes in 2nd in the ACC’s Coastal Division.
On the heels of an 8-4 season that saw Miami go 5-3 in conference, good for a 3rd place finish in the division, the pundits have Mark Richt’s Canes improving by 1 place in the 2016 season.
While many (most?) expect Mark Richt’s Canes to be better than the previous versions, there is still a great amount of uncertainty about what, if any, improvement will be seen in the 2016 season. Some, however, do have high hopes for Miami: they received 50 first place votes from the media members.
The Hurricanes have been, and continue to be, the most talented team in the Coastal Division. With a comparable recruiting history over the last 5 years as Clemson, the only team with a vastly superior collection of talent is Florida State. But, we’ll get to them in October.
With the defending Coastal Division Champion North Carolina Tar Heels leading the way, the Coastal Division is still the most wide open division in all of any P5 conference. Miami has been a middling outfit, down with the likes of Pittsburgh and Duke for many years. But, with a new staff, and new direction, expect the Hurricanes to contend for the top of the Division, and chase their first outright ACC Coastal Championship since joining the conference.
Other Coastal teams who garnered first place votes were Pittsburgh (14), Virginia Tech (3), Duke (2), and Georgia Tech (1). Cellar dweller Virginia was the only Coastal team not to get a 1st place vote.
For player of the year, Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya was tied for 4th with 2 votes. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson is the run-away pick for player of the year, getting 164 of a possible 191 votes.
With this preseason look at the conference, teams and journalists alike will turn their focus to fall camp and the 2016 season. It’s going to be a good one, folks. Stay tuned.