July 24, 2006
The Atlantic Coast Conference held its annual Football Kickoff Sunday and Monday in Jacksonville and the Seminoles were voted to win the Atlantic Division in a poll of the league’s media. FSU received 373 votes and was followed by Clemson (322), Boston College (269), Maryland (163), NC State (124) and Wake Forest (116). Miami was the leading vote-getter in the Coastal Division with 374. Virginia Tech (316), Georgia Tech (279), Virginia (166), North Carolina (165) and Duke (65) followed the Hurricanes.
“It does surprise me that we were picked to win the division by that much,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “They (Clemson) beat us pretty good last year up there. He (Tommy Bowden) has most of his kids back and we lost a few.”
The Seminoles won the first-ever ACC Championship game last year in Jacksonville against Virginia Tech. Florida State has totaled 12 conference titles since joining the league in 1992 (14 years).
“The two teams that come back here to Jacksonville to play for the ACC Championship in December will be the two teams that play the best defensively,” said Bowden.
Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson was the ACC preseason player of the year with 50 votes. Miami‘s Kyle Wright (5 votes), FSU’s Drew Weatherford (4), Clemson’s James Davis (4), FSU’s Lorenzo Booker (1) and Clemson’s Gaines Adams (1) received the other 15 votes.
Booker and linebacker Buster Davis met with the ACC media members at the Sawgrass Marriott in Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. The two seniors discussed the 2006 season with the electronic and print media. Coach Bowden arrived Sunday evening and went through the media circuit on Monday.
“Our goal again this year is to win a national championship,” said Davis. “We have eight home games so that should be a big advantage for us. We know the league is going to be tough and we play Miami and Clemson at the start of the season so we’ll see where we stand. We lost some starters but we have a lot of young guys on both sides of the ball that got some great experience last year and are ready to play a big role this season.”