GREENSBORO, Ga. -- While the changing of the Bowden guard earned the day's top billing, the story in the ACC's Coastal Division was which team would finish behind reigning champ Virginia Tech.
North Carolina cemented its status as a trendy preseason pick by being voted to finish second in the division in coach Butch Davis' second season.
Miami was voted third, followed by Georgia Tech, Virginia and Duke.
The Tar Heels went 4-8 last season, 3-5 in the league, and have not been picked above fifth in the division the three previous years. Yet the team's potential -- UNC's depth chart is loaded with underclassmen who were touted recruits -- apparently struck a chord.
"My question is, how many of the people who voted did they give sobriety tests to?" Davis kidded.
Virginia Tech faces vacancies at tailback, receiver and linebacker, but the Hokies have won the division or conference title in three of their four years in the conference.
"I'm surprised because we've got some coaching to do," coach Frank Beamer said. "But it's great respect for the program, and I appreciate that."
• INJURY REPORTS: The ACC has decided to issue injury reports twice a week this season in order to control disclosure of injury information.
Coaches who hold practices open to the media complained to league officials about the release of injury info and then having to answer repeated questions about them throughout a week.
So the conference will list injured players as out, probable, questionable or doubtful, but will not reveal the nature of an injury.
Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said he is indifferent to the change because the Tigers hold closed practices and he directs most injury questions to the school's sports information director.
No other Division I conference releases injury reports.
• NINE LIVES: At last year's ACC Football Kickoff, Bowden pointed to this season for when the Tigers would probably end a run of playing between 8-10 first-year freshmen.
But Bowden said Monday that as many as nine could avoid redshirts this season: running backs Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington; a receiver (likely Marquan Jones); tackle Antoine McClain; defensive end Da'Quan Bowers; two linebackers, Stanley Hunter and probably Jonathan Willard; a safety and perhaps punter Dawson Zimmerman.
• EXTRA POINTS: Clemson does not play the top three vote-getters in the Coastal Division. ... The league decided to delay announcing the preseason player of the year until the All-ACC team is released Wednesday. Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper is among the favorites for the honor.
• QUOTABLES: Davis believes UNC's biggest need next month is finding a change-of-pace backup for 6-foot-3, 215-pound sophomore running back Greg Little, who tallied 247 yards in last year's final two games. "We were so stupid, it took until the 10th game to figure out our best running back was playing wide receiver," Davis said. "He looks the part. He looks like Marcus Allen." ... Beamer, 61, on whether he plans to stretch his career a la Florida State's Bobby Bowden or Penn State's Joe Paterno: "It all gets to your ability to win," Beamer said. "Dean Smith said when you get ready to start and you're not excited, it's that time. I think that's kind of the truth."