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University of Miami head coach Mark Richt makes the 'U' sign. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

Canes Favored To Win ACC Coastal

This should be is going to be the year, Canes fans.

According to the 167 media members polled this past week – including this voting journalist – 2017 is going to be the year that the University of Miami football teams wins the ACC Coastal Division title, the ACC announced Monday.

Yep, this is the year that the Hurricanes do the one thing that they haven’t been able to do since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference back in 2004. Miami has never won an ACC title either, but we are going to take it one step at a time.

In order to win an ACC title, one must first qualify for the ACC title game.

UM received 103 first-place votes in Coastal voting, totaling 1,065 points. Virginia Tech, 2016’s Coastal Division champion, finished second in the voting with 40 first-place votes (932 points) and Georgia Tech was third with nine first-place votes and 708 points.

Being named the favorite to win the Coastal is just the latest stoke of the coals for Miami’s preseason hype train.

Multiple players have been named to preseason award watch lists – including Monday’s announcement of senior Braxton Berrios’ addition to the 2017 Paul Hornung Award watch list – junior running back Mark Walton remains a dark horse pick to become a Heisman Trophy candidate, and many outlets are predicting that Miami’s defense will be one of the top units in the country this coming season.

UM head coach and resident “quarterback whisperer” Mark Richt main job will be to name a starting signal caller and build a scheme that puts N’Kosi Perry that quarterback in the best position to succeed.

Canes fans won’t like to hear that the media picked Florida State to win the Atlantic Division crown in 2017. The Seminoles received the highest number of first-place votes (121) and racked up 1,108 total points.

Defending National Champion Clemson finished second in the Atlantic voting with 37 first-place votes and 1,007 points while Louisville received nine first-place votes and totaled 843 points.

Miami will face off against FSU on September 16th at Doak Campbell Stadium and – if things go according to the poll – the two could be on a collision course to square off once again on December 2nd in Charlotte, N.C. at the 2017 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship game.

However, Florida State was picked as the favorite to win the ACC title with 117 votes. Clemson was second with 35 votes, Louisville was third with seven votes, while the Hurricanes and the Hokies were tied for fourth with three votes.

Jackson Voted As ACC POY

The ACC also announced Monday that 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and Louisville junior quarterback Lamar Jackson was voted to repeat as the ACC’s Player of the Year.

Jackson, a Boynton Beach High School alum, won the conference’s highest honor after he averaged 393.4 yards per game of total offense and accounted for 51 touchdowns – both ACC single-season records.

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois finished second in the Player of the Year voting with 23 votes.

In a bit of surprising twist, two University of Miami players made the final tally – but neither was named Mark Walton.

Sophomore linebacker Shaquille Quarterman and sophomore wide receiver Ahmmon Richards each received one vote for Player of the Year honors – tied for seventh with Duke quarterback Daniel Jones – while Walton apparently did not receive a single vote.

About J.T. Wilcox

J.T. Wilcox is an award-winning sports journalist that has worked in South Florida for more than a decade. He authors "The Bald Predictions" Blog and "The Baldcast" Podcast. J.T. Wilcox joined the Football Hotbed staff in 2017.

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