Pitt picked to finish fifth in ACC Coastal Division

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Pitt coach Paul Chryst generally isn't the type of person who tends to worry about things outside of his control.

So when the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll came out Monday, with the league's media members picking the Panthers for a fifth-place finish in the Coastal Division, Chryst was predictably unmoved.

"The good thing is none of it matters," he said. "Period."

In their first year in the ACC, the Panthers were picked behind Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia Tech in their division. They were only voted ahead of Virginia and Duke by the 120 media members who voted at ACC media days.

Clemson was the runaway favorite to win the league, as the Tigers were picked as champion on 95 ballots. Florida State finished second with just 15.

The most common championship game prediction was Clemson over Miami, which appeared on 55 ballots.

The Hurricanes received 65 first-place votes to win the Coastal Division, finishing ahead of the Hokies, who had 27.

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd also ran away with the preseason player of the year voting, garnering 105 first place votes. Miami running back Duke Johnson finished second with just four.

"It's so not even worth having a conversation about," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "I know it's fun for people to make predictions, but all that stuff, all the preseason stuff, as I told my team, is based on past performance. Come November, that's when it's based on reality and based on present performance. That's when it means something to me."

Likeness lawsuit

Maryland coach Randy Edsall caused waves Monday when he said he was surprised more players weren't joining the ongoing lawsuit led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA.

Edsall said that if he were a player he would "most definitely" join the fight to earn compensation for having his likeness used in video games.

"Kids are committed to institutions, not the NCAA, and the NCAA is using their likeness to make money, and that money's not going back to these kids," Edsall said.

Chryst admitted that he didn't know the particulars of the lawsuit, and noted that he would caution any of his players to do their homework before signing on. He did not, though, say he was explicitly opposed to it.

"You'd want to make sure they know what they're doing, and it's for the right reasons," he said

Coaching compliments

North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren said he was looking forward to coaching with former Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable in his first season as the Wolfpack head coach.

Huxtable left the Panthers in December to take the same job with the Wolfpack. Doeren said he pursued him after recommendations from fellow former Wisconsin assistants Charlie Partridge and Chris Ash, both now at Arkansas with former Badgers head coach Bret Bielema.

Doeren said he loved Huxtable's fiery demeanor, one of the reasons he didn't quite mesh with Chryst's coaching staff at Pitt.

"If you don't coach with passion, you can't coach for me," Doeren said.

TV windfall

A team spokesman confirmed that Pitt would receive its full share of the ACC's television revenue in its first year in the conference. The value is estimated at around $20 million, a huge increase from the roughly $4 million the Panthers received last year from the Big East.

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Sam Werner: swerner@post-gazette.com and Twitter @SWernerPG First Published July 22, 2013 1:15 PM


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