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The ACC Football Preseason All-Conference team has been announced

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UNC is unsurprisingly not represented

NCAA Football: Clemson Spring Game Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, of course, was the ACC Kickoff Day for all media covering the conference, in anticipation of the beginning of football season. (Finally). The event, as usual, was quickly followed by the announcement of the media-voted preseason All-ACC first team, conference player of the year, and projected conference and division standings. Here they are, respectively.

All-ACC Team (votes out of 173 in parentheses)

Offense

WR – Tee Higgins, Clemson (145)
WR – Justyn Ross, Clemson (123)
WR – Tamorrion Terry, Florida State (69)
TE – Brevin Jordan, Miami (66)
AP – Deon Jackson, Duke (47)
OT – Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson (100)
OT – Ben Petrula, Boston College (54)
OG – John Simpson, Clemson (136)
OG – Gage Cervenka, Clemson (45)
C – Sean Pollard, Clemson (75)
QB – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (161)
RB – Travis Etienne, Clemson (144)
RB – A.J. Dillon, Boston College (144)

Defense

DE – Xavier Thomas, Clemson (84)
DE – Alton Robinson, Syracuse (83)
DT – Marvin Wilson, Florida State (105)
DT – Nyles Pinckney, Clemson (49)
LB – Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (118)
LB – Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (109)
LB – Michael Pinckney, Miami (66)
CB – Bryce Hall, Virginia (122)
CB – A.J. Terrell, Clemson (62)
S – Andre Cisco, Syracuse (80)
S – Tanner Muse, Clemson (78)

Special Teams

PK – Andre Szmyt, Syracuse (88)
P – Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (70)
SP – Maurice Ffrench, Pitt (48)

Preseason ACC Player of the Year

  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (127)
  2. RB Travis Etienne, Clemson (24)
  3. RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College (15)
  4. QB Bryce Perkins, Virginia (6)
  5. RB Cam Akers, Florida State (1)

Predicted Standings

Media-predicted ACC Standings

Atlantic Coastal
Atlantic Coastal
Clemson (171) Virginia (82)
Syracuse (2) Miami (55)
Florida State Virginia Tech (20)
NC State Pittsburgh (8)
Boston College Duke (6)
Wake Forest North Carolina (1)
Louisville Georgia Tech (1)

(number in parentheses is the number of first-place votes for that team)

UNC is not represented in the All-ACC team, which actually isn’t as big a snub as it might seem from just that sentence: Only eight out of the ACC’s 14 teams are. Along with UNC, NC State, Louisville, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Coastal 3rd-place predicted Virginia Tech do not have players on the media’s all-conference team. It’s also a function of many of the conference’s best players having been draft-eligible, if not seniors, last year, leaving us with a lot of unknowns, and when there are unknowns, media tends to default to assumed talent and pedigree. Clemson having 12 spots out of 24 non-special teams available speaks to that, as their talent level and recent resume is miles better than anybody else in the conference. UNC has talent, but coming off a two-win season and installing new schemes on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to say this kind of overlooking is unfair, even if players such as Dazz Newsome (WR/AP), Charlie Heck (OT), Myles Dorn (S), and Patrice Rene (CB) have proven that they have that kind of ability. Coaches constantly rave about defensive tackle Aaron Crawford as well.

That plays right into the predicted finish, as well; it’s hard to project a ton of turnaround for a two-win team undergoing a coaching change, even with the radical improvement in key areas that we as UNC fans expect having seen this offseason. That said, every team in the Coastal got at least one vote to win the division and it seems pretty wide open generally, so there’s certainly room to surprise. And if that happens, then expect UNC to shake up the all-conference roster as well. Player of the Year... yeah, that one’s probably locked up. But still, bring on the season!