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Florida State is ACC favorite

PINEHURST, N.C. — Florida State will be the team to beat in the ACC this season, according to media members polled at this week's ACC kickoff. The results were announced by the conference Monday afternoon.

In a preseason vote, reporters attending the event picked the Seminoles to win this year's conference championship. They last won the conference title in 2005.

FSU took 50 of the 71 votes cast for champion. Sixty-five media members also believed the Seminoles would win the Atlantic Division race.

"I'd vote for them, too," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.

Seminoles QB EJ Manuel finished second in the player of the year voting, taking home 14 first-place votes, behind Boston College RB Montel Harris' 26.

UNC's Davis never considered stepping down: North Carolina coach Butch Davis said he has never thought of quitting amid an NCAA investigation into his program, adding that he takes responsibility "fully and completely" for the events that created a year of turmoil in Chapel Hill.

Speaking at the ACC's preseason media day, Davis said it has been "reassuring" to have the support of athletics director Dick Baddour and chancellor Holden Thorp as the NCAA investigated improper benefits and academic misconduct within the program. It was his first extensive comments since the NCAA outlined numerous potentially major violations in its notice of allegations sent to the school last month.

Davis was not linked personally to any allegations, though he said the burden falls on him as head coach.

"Anything we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again, that's part of my responsibility," Davis said. "I regret greatly that these things have transpired and these things have happened. I don't take them lightly. "

In all, 14 players missed at least one game and seven were forced to sit out all last year. The NCAA also alleged that former associate head coach John Blake worked to steer players to late NFL agent Gary Wichard, though Blake's attorneys have denied there was such an arrangement.

According to the notice of allegations, Blake received more than $31,000 in financial transfers from Wichard from 2007-09, though Blake's attorneys have described the transactions as loans from one friend to another during financial trouble. Davis said he hasn't spoken with Blake since his resignation in September and had previously said he was "sorry" he trusted Blake.

Former 'canes star to retire, report says: Former University of Miami superstar RB Edgerrin James is retiring from the NFL after 11 years in the league, Fort Myers' News-Press reported.

James, who turns 33 on Aug. 1, who ran for the second-most yards in Hurricanes history, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during his seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2005).

He left the Colts in 2006 to play for the Arizona Cardinals. His final NFL action came in 2009, when he played seven games for the Seattle Seahawks.

Florida State is ACC favorite 07/25/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 25, 2011 11:49pm]

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