Wake Forest has been picked to finish sixth of seven teams in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, according to preseason poll results released by the league Monday morning.
Wake Forest received 462 points in media voting, finishing ahead of only Louisville (253) in the Atlantic. Boston College was fifth with 588 points.
The Deacons are coming off a 7-6 season — their third straight winning season — and a victory in the Birmingham Bowl. Wake Forest is hunting a fourth-straight bowl berth, which would mark the first time in program history for such a stretch.
Clemson was picked as the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Division and the league, receiving 171 of 173 votes to win the division and 170 votes of 173 to win the league. Syracuse, which was second in the Atlantic, received two votes to win the ACC championship and Virginia, the Coastal Division favorite, received the other ACC championship vote.
Florida State was picked to finish third in the Atlantic and N.C. State fourth.
Virginia was tabbed as the preseason favorite for the Coastal Division, with 82 first-place votes. Despite holding a significant edge over second-place Miami in first-place votes (55), Virginia’s 1,003 point total was only slightly ahead of the Hurricanes’ 992.
Every team in the Coastal received at least one first-place vote, with single votes going to North Carolina — 2-9 last season with Mack Brown returning as coach — and Georgia Tech, which has new coach Geoff Collins moving the Yellow Jackets away from the triple-option to a spread offense.
Wake Forest finished 3-5 in the ACC last season, tied with Florida State for fifth place in the Atlantic — the Deacons lost to the Seminoles in the regular season. In 2017, the Deacons were 4-4 in the ACC and tied for third in the Atlantic, holding head-to-head tiebreakers over the other two 4-4 teams in the division (Boston College and Louisville).
Wake Forest has not had a winning record in ACC play since 2011, when the Deacons were 5-3 — and finished 6-7 overall after a loss to Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl.