ACC Releases Preseason Poll, All-Conference Team

USA TODAY Sports

Division I's most ridiculous league released its preseason poll and all-conference team today.

The 2014 iteration of ACC men's lacrosse could be the most ridiculous league ever formed. More powerful than SEC football and more violent than the Kumite from Bloodsport, the ACC will feature six teams this coming spring that all have a legitimate shot at Championship Weekend and a victory lap on Memorial Monday at M&T Bank Stadium. There just isn't anything comparable to what ACC men's lacrosse is going to look like this season, and that uniqueness has created an interesting residue: Nobody, including the league's coaches, have a firm grasp on which teams are going to come out of ACC play with the conference's automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The conference's preseason poll bears this out:

Atlantic Coast Conference newcomer Syracuse has been selected as the preseason favorite in the ACC Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll. The announcement comes in conjunction with Inside Lacrosse’s release of its annual Face-Off Yearbook.

Head coach John Desko’s Orange received 28 points in balloting among the ACC’s six head coaches. Reigning NCAA Champion Duke and defending ACC champion North Carolina each received 27 points and were selected second. Virginia (16), Notre Dame (15) and Maryland (13) were selected to finish fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

* * * * *

Coaches Poll
1. Syracuse (28)
T2. Duke (27)
T2. North Carolina (27)
4. Virginia (16)
5. Notre Dame (15)
6. Maryland (13)

The balloting created two compact tiers: The top tier -- featuring Syracuse, Duke, and North Carolina -- is very tightly bunched and likely mimics what could be the top three -- in a potentially different order -- of the national preseason media and coaches polls; the bottom tier -- featuring Virginia, Notre Dame, and Maryland -- isn't all that far from the upper crust (in terms of polling points), but is just as tight. Either way, mobility between the two presumed tiers is likely as the season plays out.

As for the preseason all-conference team, the coaches went all-in on the legacy ACC programs (Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia each put three players on the preseason list) while throwing shade at the conference's newcomers (Notre Dame put one player on the preseason list while Syracuse, despite earning the top spot in the preseason poll, did not contribute any honorees):

Preseason All-ACC Team

Attack
Mark Cockerton, Sr., Virginia
Joe Sankey, Jr., North Carolina
Jordan Wolf, Sr., Duke

Midfield
Rob Emery, Sr., Virginia
Jim Marlatt, Sr., Notre Dame
Chud Tutton, Jr., North Carolina

Defense
Mike Ehrhardt, Sr., Maryland
Scott McWilliams, Sr., Virginia
Goran Murray, Jr., Maryland

Goalkeeper
Niko Amato, Sr., Maryland

Face-off
Brendan Fowler, Sr., Duke

Longstick Midfield
Luke Duprey, Sr., Duke

Shortstick Midfield
Ryan Creighton, Sr., North Carolina

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