2022 ACC Football Preseason Predictions: Virginia Tech Picked Fifth In Coastal

The 2022 ACC football preseason poll was released on Tuesday afternoon, and Virginia Tech was picked to finish fifth in the Coastal Division. Miami is the media’s pick to win that division, while Clemson is the favorite to win the Atlantic and the ACC Championship for the fifth year in a row.

2022 ACC Football Preseason Media Predictions
Clemson and Miami are the divisional favorites in the ACC this year. (The ACC)

Fifth marks the lowest the Hokies have been picked in the division since joining the ACC in 2004. The previous low was fourth in 2016, the first year of Justin Fuente’s tenure. Tech won the Coastal and finished 10-4 that season.

Miami received 98 of the 164 votes to win the Coastal Division. The Hurricanes finished second in 2021 at 7-5 (5-3 ACC) under Manny Diaz, who was replaced by Mario Cristobal. It’s the sixth time Miami has been picked to win the Coastal since joining the league in 2004, the first since 2018 when Pitt won it. The Hokies and Hurricanes will meet in Lane Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Virginia Tech finished 6-7 (4-4 ACC) in 2021, a season that came to an end in the Pinstripe Bowl against Maryland. Brent Pry was hired as the program’s head coach in December. In his first year, the Hokies travel to Pitt (38 votes to win Coastal), North Carolina and Duke. Miami (98), Virginia (6) and Georgia Tech (1) all visit Blacksburg. In the final year before the ACC switches to the 3-5-5 model, Tech’s cross-division opponents are NC State (second in Atlantic, 44 votes) and Boston College (sixth, 1).

2021 ACC Football Preseason Notes

The number of ballots cast by the media in Charlotte at the 2022 ACC Football Kickoff was 164. That’s 17 more than the 147 cast in 2021. The media picked Clemson to win the ACC with 103 votes, while NC State (38), Miami (8), Wake Forest (4), Pitt (3), Virginia (3), Florida State (2), North Carolina (2) and Boston College (1) all received votes.

The media incorrectly picked both division champions last year (Wake Forest, Pitt) but correctly picked them the two prior seasons. It’s been ten years since the Hokies were last picked to win the Coastal Division in 2012.

In the last four years, the media has correctly picked the Coastal Division champion twice: Miami (2017) and Virginia (2019). That ACC Championship Game in 2017 is the Hurricanes’ lone appearance since joining the conference in 2004.

For all preseason media predictions dating back to 2005, click here.

ACC Football Preseason Coastal Division Predictions and Eventual Champions

YearPreseason PickChampion (Preseason Pick)
2005VTVT (1st)
2006MiamiGeorgia Tech (3rd)
2007VTVT (1st)
2008VTVT (1st)
2009VTGeorgia Tech (2nd)
2010VTVT (1st)
2011VTVT (1st)
2012VTGeorgia Tech (2nd)
2013MiamiDuke (7th)
2014MiamiGeorgia Tech (5th)
2015Georgia TechUNC (5th)
2016UNCVT (4th)
2017MiamiMiami (1st)
2018MiamiPittsburgh (5th)
2019VirginiaVirginia (1st)
2021North CarolinaPittsburgh (4th)

For the full press release from the ACC, click here.

2022 All-ACC Preseason Team

For the first time since 2019, Virginia Tech did not land anyone on the All-ACC Preseason Team. The Hokies were one of three schools to not be represented, joining Duke and Georgia Tech. 

Eight First Team All-ACC nominees from 2021 made the All-ACC Preseason Team: Sean Tucker (RB, Syracuse), Josh Downs (WR, North Carolina), A.T. Perry (WR, Wake Forest), Caleb Chandler (OG, Louisville), Calijah Kancey (DT, Pitt), Drake Thomas (LB, NC State), Jammie Robinson (S, Florida State) and Tanner Ingle (S, NC State). 

The complete team, with total votes in parenthesis:

QB: Devin Leary, NC State (56)
RB: Sean Tucker, Syracuse (125)
RB: Will Shipley, Clemson (112)
WR: Josh Downs, North Carolina (128)
WR: A.T. Perry, Wake Forest (111)
WR: Zay Flowers, Boston College (104)
TE: Will Mallory, Miami (69)
AP: Keytaon Thompson, Virginia (70)
OT: Jordan McFadden, Clemson (127)
OT: Zion Nelson, Miami (82)
OG: Caleb Chandler, Louisville (104)
OG: Christian Mahogany, Boston College (67)
C: Grant Gibson, NC State (90)
DE: Myles Murphy, Clemson (120)
DE: Habakkuk Baldonado, Pitt (54)
DT: Bryan Bresee, Clemson (116)
DT: Calijah Kancey, Pitt (62)
LB: Drake Thomas, NC State (92)
LB: Trenton Simpson, Clemson (82)
LB: Payton Wilson, NC State (60)
CB: Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville (70)
CB: Josh DeBerry, Boston College (65)
S: Jammie Robinson, Florida State (93)
S: Tanner Ingle, NC State (63)
PK: B.T. Potter, Clemson (99)
P: Lou Hedley, Miami (101)
SP: Josh Downs, North Carolina (57)

2022 ACC Preseason Player of the Year

A redshirt junior quarterback from Sicklerville, N.J., NC State’s Devin Leary received 40 of the 164 votes (24.3%) from the media for the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year. He narrowly beat out Wake Forest quarterback Sam Howell, who picked up 30 votes. Last year, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell received 114 of the media’s 147 votes (77.6%).

Leary was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2021 after setting a new single-season school record with 35 touchdown passes, breaking the record set by Philip Rivers (34 in 2003). He was third in the ACC in passing efficiency with a 157.1 mark and threw for 3,433 yards. Leary completed 65.7% of his passes along the way to helping the Wolfpack win 9-3 record (6-2 ACC).

1. Devin Leary, QB, NC State (40)
2. Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest (30)
3. Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (21)
4. Bryan Breese, DT, Clemson (14)
4-t. Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia (14)
6-t. Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville (12)
6-t. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina (12)
8. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse (11)
9. Myles Murphy, DT, Clemson (5)
10. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson (3)
11. Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State (2)

David Cunningham’s ACC Preseason Ballot

Here’s how I voted on behalf of Tech Sideline for the ACC’s preseason poll:

Order of Finish:


  1. NC State (ACC Champion)
  2. Clemson
  3. Wake Forest
  4. Boston College
  5. Louisville
  6. Florida State
  7. Syracuse


  1. Pitt
  2. Miami
  3. North Carolina
  4. Virginia Tech
  5. Virginia
  6. Georgia Tech
  7. Duke

Preseason Team:

QB: Devin Leary, NC State
RB: Sean Tucker, Syracuse
RB: Patrick Garwo, Florida State
WR: Josh Downs, North Carolina
WR: Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia
WR: Zay Flowers, Boston College
TE: Will Mallory, Miami
AP: Keytaon Thompson, Virginia
OT: Jordan McFadden, Clemson
OT: Carter Warren, Pitt
OG: Caleb Chandler, Louisville
OG: DJ Scaife, Miami
C: Will Putnam, Clemson

DE: Habakkuk Baldonado, Pitt
DE: Myles Murphy, Clemson
DT: Calijah Kancey, Pitt
DT: Tyler Davis, Clemson
LB: Drake Thomas, NC State
LB: Mikel Jones, Syracuse
LB: Nick Jackson, Virginia
CB: Josh DeBerry, Boston College
CB: Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville
S: Jammie Robinson, Florida State
S: Tanner Ingle, NC State

PK: B.T. Potter, Clemson
P: Peter Moore, Virginia Tech
SP: Jaylen Stinson, Duke

Player of the Year:

Devin Leary, QB, NC State

13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Clemson didn’t even make the ACC championship last season. Pitt and WF played and Pitt won 45-21. So Clemson has not won the Atlantic five years in a row, or the ACC championship. The streak was broken last season. Good, I am glad that someone else rose to the top in 2021. Hokies play for the championship this season is my prediction. The wildcard is our head coach and his amazing staff. Clemson lost both their offensive and defensive coordinators and they will not be easy to replace and perform at a high level. They had both of them last season and they lost more games last year than they have since the Hokies used to drub them at our place and their place. Go Hokies!

    1. I believe Chris was saying that it’s the 5th year in a row that Clemson was the pre-season pick to win the ACC.

  2. FSU and VT picked 5th respectively. Time to put the chip on the shoulder and earn back the respect.

  3. So regardless of the results this season, VT will go down as the all time leader in Coastal Division championships…ever. Thank you CFB!

  4. LMAO at the Hoos rating… they lost basically the entire offensive line including the tackle/ wide receiver which is bound to hurt… plus they boast Americas worst defense… someone is smoking crack.. Brandon Armstrong will be running for his life on every down…

  5. UVA’s defense must have gotten them the ranking. LMAO
    Predictions are fun to keep and look back on at the end of the season. So many magazines get them so wrong.
    Tech does better when they are the underdog in predictions so that means we will have a great season. If Tech comes together quickly, they could beat any team in the Costal. Miami isn’t a powerhouse or anyone else.
    Lots of positions to fill for teams above us.
    It’s another year where any costal team could win it again.
    Please compare this prediction at the end of the year to 2022 Costal Champs Virginia Tech!
    Graham G-Men on the team now too.
    My prediction
    Go Hokies!
    Go G-Men to Hokies!

  6. They are picking as VT is a great unknown. 1) New coach 2) who’s the QB 3) who is the RB 4) who are the WRs, TE and OLine kind of known. 5) who’s on the DLine 6) other than Dax who is at LB 7) who is at safety & Corner (some is known, some is a guess).
    Items 1, 2, 4 are the biggest that the pompous prognosticators will point out with a partial on the others. Therefore they predict we won’t do well, regardless that most of the time we’ve proved them wrong.
    So the team needs to get on the same page and rip every team a new A** orifice. Then the Pompous Prognosticators will say, OH we knew they’d be good and here is why, get the tape.
    GO HOKIES!!!

    1. Everyone seems to love Tony Elliott….Even in our lowest of low, VT keeps beating hoova and uncheat. And the media keeps picking them ahead of us. I guess eventually they’ll get it right, but good grief….

      1. I agree – not sure what everyone is enamored with TE. We’ll see what he can do without all his 5 stars.

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