UVA voted the preseason favorite to win Coastal

GREENSBORO, N.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For the first time since the ACC switched to its current two-division format in 2005, Virginia football has been picked to win the Coastal.

UVA received 82 first-place votes in the league's annual preseason media poll released Monday morning, putting the Cavaliers slightly in front of Miami (55 first-place votes) on top of the Coastal Division. Virginia is the only program in the seven-team Coastal to win the division and advance to the ACC championship game.

UVA beat Miami by 11 points for the top spot in the Coastal Division in the preseason poll. Virginia Tech was picked third in the division, followed by defending Coastal champion Pitt, then Duke, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

All seven teams received at least one first-place vote in the poll, marking the first time that has happened in either division since the 2005 split.

UVA's previous high mark in the preseason poll in the two-division era is at No. 3 in the Coastal in 2005, the first season after the league added Boston College and split its teams. Those 82 first-place votes are by far the most the program has ever received in the preseason poll in the two-division era. The Cavaliers had received a total of two first-place votes in the Coastal, the previous 14 years combined -- one each in 2005 and 2008.

UVA had been picked to finish last in the Coastal in each of the previous five preseason polls. The Wahoos went 4-4 in ACC play last year to finish the regular season tied for third in the division -- and 8-5 overall, capped by a 28-0 win against South Carolina in December's Belk Bowl for the program's first postseason bowl victory since 2005.

Reigning NCAA and ACC champion Clemson was voted the overwhelming league favorite in the preseason poll, receiving 171 of 173 votes to win the Atlantic Division and 170 of 173 votes to win the conference. Syracuse received two votes to win the ACC title. UVA received the final vote.

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