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Clemson picked as heavy favorite to win ACC

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Clemson is the overwhelming preseason choice to win the ACC, with Notre Dame picked to finish second, the league announced Friday.

The Tigers received 132 of the media panel’s 134 first-place votes. Notre Dame received the other two. So if the preseason poll bears out, Clemson and Notre Dame would play in the ACC championship game at the end of the season. The ACC did away with divisions for this year only, so the top two teams with the highest conference win percentages will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Dec. 12 or Dec. 19.

Clemson has won five straight ACC titles.

This is the first time Notre Dame has ever appeared in a preseason conference poll, as the Irish are playing an ACC schedule for 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Notre Dame had two players receive All-ACC preseason honors: offensive guard Aaron Banks, and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the choice to win ACC Player of the Year. Two-time ACC Player of the Year Travis Etienne finished second in player of the year voting. Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book earned one vote, along with North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt and Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham Jr.

The Tigers also led the way with five players to make the all-conference preseason team: Lawrence, Etienne, offensive tackle Jackson Carman, defensive tackle Tyler Davis and cornerback Derion Kendrick.

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