2006 ACC Football Preseason Predictions: Hokies Picked Second in the Coastal

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The ACC media released their preseason predictions on Monday afternoon, and
in no surprise, Florida State and Miami are expected to meet in the ACC
Championship Game in Jacksonville on December 2. Virginia Tech was picked to
finish second in the Coastal Division.

A total of six teams – Florida State, Clemson, Boston College, Miami,
Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech – received first place votes in their
respective divisions in the ACC. The Hokies got 10 first place votes in the
Coastal Division.

2006
ACC Preseason Football Poll
Atlantic
Division
Coastal
Division

Team (1st Place)

Points

Team (1st Place)

Points

Florida State (49)
373
Miami (52)
374

Clemson (13)
322
Virginia Tech (10)
316

Boston College (3)
269
Georgia Tech (3)
279

Maryland
163
Virginia
166

NC State
124
North Carolina
165

Wake Forest
116
Duke
65

A couple of things stand out in that poll. After one season of the Hokies being
predicted to win the Coastal Division (2005), things are back to normal, as the
Miami Hurricanes ran away with the voting this season. The Hokies are a distant
second place, and Georgia Tech managed to nab three first place votes to finish
third.

The race between fourth and fifth place in the Coastal Division was a close
one between Virginia and UNC, with the Cavaliers winning out by one point. If it
comes to their regular season meeting on October 19, Virginia has the advantage
because the game will be played on a Thursday night in Charlottesville.

It’s very surprising that Boston College got three first place votes in the
Atlantic Division. The Eagles lack the athletes to compete with teams like
Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech, and they lost their two best athletes,
Mathias Kiwanuka and Will Blackmon, from their 2005 team. The Eagles will be
solid, as usual, but the three first place votes is somewhat surprising.

The Clemson Tigers are the sexy pick to knock off the Florida State Seminoles
in the Atlantic Division, but in the mind of the media, that isn’t likely to
happen. Like the Hokies in the Coastal Division, the Tigers are a distant second
in the Atlantic.

ACC Bowl Announcement Expected Today

The ACC is expected to announce their new bowl order sometime today. ESPN.com
produced an article yesterday that gave the expected order that the bowls would
pick teams, and a Greensboro News Record article updated the bowl payouts. Here
is a look at each bowl game, in the order that they are expected to choose.

ACC
Bowl Order and Payouts

Bowl

Payout

Last Season

BCS
$17 million + $17 million

Peach
$2.825 million 2.3 million

Gator
? $1.6 million

Champs Sports
$2.125 million $750,000

Gaylord Hotels Music City
$1.5 million $800,000

Meineke Car Care
$1.0 million $750,000

Emerald
$750,000 $750,000

MPC Computers
$750,000 $750,000

Every bowl game affiliated with the ACC will increase its payout this year,
except for the Emerald Bowl and MPC Computers Bowl. Six of the eight ACC bowl
games will have payouts of at least $1 million per team. The Gator Bowl is
expected to increase its payout as well, but it has not announced an amount as
of yet.

Even if the Gator Bowl’s payout were to hold at $1.6 million, the total
payout for the ACC would approach $28 million. At this point it is not clear how
much BCS payouts will increase, but it is expected to be slightly more than the
$17 million of last season. The ACC has a chance to earn over $28 million in
bowl revenue this year.

The locations of the ACC bowl games are ideal. Assuming that the Hokies don’t
slip down to the Emerald Bowl or MPC Computers Bowl, which is unlikely, Tech
fans can look forward to a good bowl trip each year. Any of the BCS bowl games
would be ideal, but Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando, Nashville and Charlotte
would all serve as good locations for the Hokies to play in a bowl as well.

There are other expected bowl announcements coming from the ACC, according to
ESPN.com. The first will state that the loser of the ACC Championship can’t
fall any lower in the bowl order than the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Also, a
bowl game can bypass a team for another team with a lesser record only if one
game separates the two teams in the ACC standings.

Had that last rule been in place last year, NC State and Virginia, who both
finished 3-5 in ACC play, could not have been selected for the Meineke Car Care
Bowl or the Music City Bowl ahead of Georgia Tech and Boston College, who both
finished 5-3 in the conference.

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