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.
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
|Year||Preseason Pick||Champion (Preseason Pick)|
|2006||Miami||Georgia Tech (3rd)|
|2009||VT||Georgia Tech (2nd)|
|2012||VT||Georgia Tech (2nd)|
|2014||Miami||Georgia Tech (5th)|
|2015||Georgia Tech||UNC (5th)|
|2021||North Carolina||Pittsburgh (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:
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).
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:
- NC State (ACC Champion)
- Wake Forest
- Boston College
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Virginia Tech
- Georgia Tech
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