GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Florida State, which has not won an ACC title since 2005, was the consensus choice by the media to win the Atlantic Division and defeat Virginia Tech in the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship on Dec. 1 in Charlotte, N.C.
The Seminoles were also chosen by the media last July to win the 2011 title, which was actually won by Clemson. The Tigers went on to defeat 2011 Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech in the ACC title game, but were then trounced by West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl.
As for the Miami Hurricanes, they are still seeking their first ACC title since joining the league in 2004. Last year the Canes were chosen in the preseason to finish second behind Virginia Tech in the Coastal. They finished fifth.
On Monday, UM was predicted to finish fifth in the Coastal, ahead of only Duke. The school predicted to finish behind the Hokies and ahead of UM: Geogia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia.
The schools slated by the media to finish behind FSU in the Atlantic: Clemson, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College and Maryland.
Clemson sophomore wide receiver Sammy Watkins (Fort Myers), who set ACC single-season freshman records for receptions (82), reception yardage (1,219) and receiving touchdowns (12), was chosen as ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
Last year, Boston College coach Frank Spaziani, who unsuccessfully tried recruiting UM coach Al Golden to Virginia in the 1980s, said after Golden signed a four-year UM extension the day he ended the season with a loss to the Eagles: “Al’s a great person. I love him dearly — and I wish him the best, except when we’re playing them.”
On Monday, Spaziani said he looks forward to meeting Golden to begin the new season Sept. 1, this time at BC.
“Miami has their own issues, their own problems,” Spaziani said. “But here’s one problem they don’t have — they have good athletes, very good athletes. It’ll be a tough challenge.”
Miami Northwestern High School defensive back Artie Burns, a 6-1, 183-pound senior, committed to Miami. Burns is rated by ESPN as the 69th-best overall prospect in the country. He had the fastest 110-meter hurdles time in the nation last year (13.35) and the second-fastest 300-meter hurdles time (36.06).
“I’m not allowed to comment [on specific names], but we just got what we think is one of the best players in South Florida,” Golden said. “At the end of the day anybody will tell you, you can have all the facilities in the world, but if you don’t have a culture where kids feel loved and respected and like they’re being developed on and off the field on a daily basis, that’s going to resonate with the recruits.”
Canes want Burnett
In non ACC Football Kickoff news, Carol City High assistant basketball coach Dennis Alexander said UM informed him Monday that it has changed its mind and wants high-scoring combo guard DeAndre Burnett to enroll at UM in August instead of going to prep school for a year. “DeAndre is excited,” Alexander said. “It’s 95 percent set that he’s going to UM” this fall.
Burnett, who averaged 36.2 points and was third in the nation in scoring at one point, would fill the slot vacated by UM’s decision to part ways with New York guard Melvin Johnson, who was cut loose for academic reasons.
Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.