July 25, 2011
PINEHURST, N.C. – On the 20th Anniversary of Florida State joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Seminoles have been picked to win the ACC Championship for the 15th time. The league’s media are predicting a rematch of last year’s ACC Dr. Pepper Championship game as Virginia Tech and FSU were tabbed to win the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions, respectively. Only this time the media is picking a different outcome.
The last time the Seminoles were picked to win the conference crown was 2005. That year FSU did just that winning the league’s first-ever ACC Championship game in Jacksonville, FL. For the first 14 years Florida State was in the ACC, the Seminoles were picked to win the conference title each and every one of those seasons. Twelve times during that span FSU either won or shared the conference title. The only exceptions were in 2001 and 2004. The last time Florida State was the conference’s preseason favorite was also the last time the Seminoles won the title in 2005.
It was almost a sweep for the Seminoles on the preseason awards front as redshirt junior quarterback EJ Manuel was tabbed second in the preseason ACC Player of the Year voting. Manuel finished behind Boston College’s Montel Harris who is 1,003 yards away from setting a new career rushing record in the ACC. Manuel is entering his first year as a full time starter but the media obviously had seen enough of the Virginia Beach, VA native in an MVP performance in the 2009 Gator Bowl and leading FSU to a win over South Carolina in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl to vote him second.
Only four Seminoles have ever won ACC Player of the Year honors. Charlie Ward was named the league’s top player in 1992 and 1993, Danny Kanell in 1995, Andre Wadsworth in 1997 and Chris Weinke in 2000. Weinke and Ward won Heisman Trophies as well. Seven of the last 12 ACC Players of the Year have been signal callers.
Tickets for the 2011 Florida State football season are available now. Three-game packs including the much anticipated tilt with Oklahoma are going fast. To purchase Florida State football tickets, please visit Seminoles.com.