Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State chosen ACC preseason favorite

EJ Manuel, left, and FSU had BCS bowl expectations heading into 2011 but settled for the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame.

Associated Press

EJ Manuel, left, and FSU had BCS bowl expectations heading into 2011 but settled for the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — EJ Manuel spent 37 minutes one day this week sitting in a dimly-lit ballroom at the Grandover Resort, speaking to writers at this year's ACC Kickoff. In that time period, he was asked the same question, posed eight different times and in eight ways.

He knows because he counted.

"That was about to be No. 9," he said, chuckling with a reporter who joked about asking yet another similar question.

At the two-day preseason conference event, there was but one on-field, game-related topic writers from across the conference discussed most: Is Florida State for real this year?

"This has to be the year," Manuel said. "It's my last year."

The fifth-year senior quarterback believes the Seminoles in 2012 will finally live up to the preseason hype.

"As far as (a) personal goal, that will be to help us as seniors leave a legacy at Florida State," Manuel said. "We can say we helped bring back a national championship. We helped put Florida State back where it used to be in the 1990s and early 2000s."

Monday, a day after Manuel made those statements, the same media members picked FSU to win its first title since 2005. The Seminoles headed the preseason ballot the second straight year.

Of 95 media members who voted, 72 put Florida State on top in the Atlantic Division. Defending champion Clemson was second and had 17 first-place votes followed by North Carolina State (five), Wake Forest, Boston College and Maryland.

Virginia Tech was again chosen to win the Coastal by 83 voters; Georgia Tech had 10 first-place votes. North Carolina (two) was third, followed by Virginia, Miami and Duke.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney wasn't reading too far into the news.

"I don't make anything of it," Swinney said. "… It's kind of the same-old, same-old for us. Y'all don't ever pick us to win (the ACC's Atlantic Division)."

Last season there was talk that the Seminoles were a BCS bowl contender and coach Jimbo Fisher wanted his group to embrace the expectations that surrounded it. But FSU scuffled through untimely injuries and had four losses by a combined 21 points, sliding down to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

"You still have to embrace them. You still have to live in them," Fisher said of expectations. "But what you have to do is you can't dwell on them."

Florida State chosen ACC preseason favorite 07/23/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 23, 2012 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and ... whom else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  2. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  3. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.
  4. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?

    Bucs

    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?

    Bucs

    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]