Tajh Boyd will bring senior leadership and experience to the Clemson Tigers in 2013. He’ll also bring expectations.
A poll revealed at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, North Carolina showed just how much the media thinks of Boyd and the Tigers this fall. Of the 120 ballots case, 95 of them picked Clemson to win the ACC Championship. Florida State was second with 15 votes.
Not only is the team predicted to do well, but Boyd is as well. The vote for ACC Player of the Year was equally as lopsided, with Boyd garnering 105 of the 120 votes. It comes as no surprise, as Boyd won the same award as a junior in 2012.
Miami‘s Duke Johnson was in second place … 101 votes behind him. Virginia Tech‘s Logan Thomas and Clemson’s Sammy Watkins tied for third with three votes each, while North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner rounded out the top five with two votes.
When Boyd announced that he was returning for his senior year in January, Clemson immediately became the front-runner in the ACC. 2012 winner Florida State faces some questions on defense both in terms of personnel and coaching. Former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has moved on, and new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has never been in that role at the collegiate level. With those issues in mind (and Boyd’s return), the media resoundingly picked the veteran Tigers over the Noles as the favorites to win it all in 2013.
Interestingly, the Miami Hurricanes were picked as the favorites to win the Coastal Division. With 19 of 22 starters returning, it’s easy to see why they received 65 of the 120 first place votes.
However, the story of the day was the expectations now facing Clemson. Boyd came back to improve himself as a player, but ultimately, to win the ACC and perhaps contend for a national championship.
The media clearly thinks the Tigers have a chance to do so in 2013. We’ll see if that’s how it plays out.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.