Clemson Picked to Win ACC, Deshaun Watson Voted as Player of the Year

Justin Ferguson@@JFergusonBRCFB National AnalystJuly 21, 2015

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (center)
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (center)RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

Florida State has won the last three ACC titles, but the media members who cover the conference are picking Clemson to end that streak.

The ACC released the league's 2015 preseason poll results Tuesday morning as part of the ACC Kickoff event in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

Clemson led the ballot with 84 of the media's 158 picks for the winner of the ACC championship. Florida State and Georgia Tech followed Clemson for the overall title and four other schools received championship votes.

Preseason ACC Championship Voting
TeamNumber of Votes
Clemson84
Florida State41
Georgia Tech20
Virginia Tech7
North Carolina3
Miami2
NC State1
TheACC.com

The Tigers are coming off a 10-3 campaign in 2014 in which they finished second in the Atlantic Division. Last year, Florida State went undefeated in ACC play for the second straight season and fell to Oregon in the semifinals of the first College Football Playoff.

Clemson won the preseason media poll in 2013 but finished 7-1 in ACC play with a lone loss to Florida State.

And while the SEC media failed to put its overall champion as the winner of its own division, their ACC brethren got it right by picking Clemson (84 first-place votes) to edge Florida State (41) in the Atlantic Division poll. Louisville received one vote to win the Atlantic.

Georgia Tech led the way with 96 first-place votes in the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech came in second with 44 votes, while four other teams grabbed division-title nods from media members.

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Preseason ACC Atlantic Division Voting
TeamFirst-Place VotesTotal Points
Clemson1011,032
Florida State56992
Louisville1746
NC State0673
Boston College0473
Syracuse0291
Wake Forest0217
TheACC.com
Preseason ACC Coastal Division Voting
TeamFirst-Place VotesTotal Points
Georgia Tech96991
Virginia Tech44841
Miami7632
Duke4615
North Carolina4590
Pittsburgh3535
Virginia0220
TheACC.com

Clemson also topped the vote for the ACC's Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw for 1,466 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions in eight games last season, edged Pittsburgh running back James Conner for the preseason award.

Preseason ACC Player of the Year Voting
PlayerVotes
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson69
Pittsburgh RB James Conner46
Georgia Tech QB Justin Thomas13
Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey7
Miami QB Brad Kaaya7
North Carolina QB Marquise Williams6
Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller6
Pittsburgh WR Tyler Boyd3
NC State QB Jacoby Brissett1
TheACC.com

After winning the starting quarterback job following Clemson's overtime loss to Florida State, Watson threw for 435 yards and six touchdowns in his first career start against North Carolina.

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
Clemson QB Deshaun WatsonBob Leverone/Associated Press

Several injuries, including a torn ACL, limited his playing time for the remainder of the 2014 campaign.

Watson and preseason favorite Clemson will take on defending champion Florida State on Nov. 7.

The winner of the annual matchup between the Tigers and Seminoles has gone on to win the Atlantic Division and play in the ACC Championship Game each of the last six seasons.

Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR. 

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