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ACC football notebook

Clemson beats out FSU as preseason ACC football champion

GREENSBORO, Ga. — It wouldn't be the ACC if a Bowden-coached team weren't the preseason favorite.

But it's not Florida State's Bobby Bowden whose team the media expect to win the Atlantic Division and head to Tampa for the league championship game Dec. 6.

Tommy Bowden's Clemson team is supposed to win the league for the first time since 1991, beating projected Coastal champ Virginia Tech.

"I'd say based on last year and who we have coming back, plus the media loves skill guys, you can see why," Tommy Bowden said of his stars — quarterback Cullen Harper, running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller and receivers Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham.

The Tigers received 59 of 65 first-place votes and 383 total points, followed by Wake Forest (five, 304), FSU (one, 265), Boston College (154), Maryland (147) and N.C. State (112). In the Coastal, Virginia Tech had 58 first-place votes (383 points), followed by North Carolina (four, 288), Miami (one, 253), Georgia Tech (one, 195), Virginia (one, 161) and Duke (85).

Historical Bowden note: Since FSU joined the ACC in 1992, the Seminoles have been the preseason choice to win the league, or at least its division, every year until now.

"I don't think I've dethroned my father; he's got 300 more wins than I've got," the son said. (Actually, it's only 286 more wins; 373 to 87.)

Said Papa Bowden: "I'll be happier if he wins every game but one. Not against us. Nah, it's good. If I can't be there, I'd just as soon he be next."

Early Gauge: After North Carolina opens against McNeese State, the Tar Heels play at Rutgers, Virginia Tech, at Miami, Connecticut and Notre Dame. "It won't take long to find out if we're any good or not," said second-year coach Butch Davis, a fan of early season challenges.

New policy: The league's coaches agreed upon a new "minimum standard guideline" for the release of player-injury information a la the NFL. Each Monday, the school will release if any players are out for the season or are scheduled for surgery. No other questions/announcements will be made until within 90 minutes of the end of Thursday's practice (for a Saturday game or Tuesday for a Thursday game), when the players' status will be definitely will play, probable, questionable, doubtful or out.

"This is just a minimum-standard guideline," ACC associate commissioner Mike Finn said. "There's nothing to enforce it."

Clemson beats out FSU as preseason ACC football champion 07/21/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 21, 2008 9:34pm]
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