As you know, Virginia Tech was picked to finish second in the Coastal Division earlier this morning by the media. Today we’ll take a deeper look and see where they were picked in the past, and how that compared to where they actually finished.
Here are the results from the media voting (for the full article, click here).
As expected, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech dominated the voting in the Coastal Division. That means nothing however, as the Yellow Jackets were picked fifth in the Coastal Division last year and went on to win it.
The following table shows how Virginia Tech was picked in the Coastal Division in the preseason in past years, and how they finished.
2014 was the first time Tech was ever picked to finish below second in the ACC Coastal. The Hokies were very consistent in their finishes as well, and on many occasions the media pegged them exactly where they ended up finishing.
I think Tech has a good shot to win the Coastal this year, but one thing is stopping me from picking them. If you look back up at that table, you’ll see that the Hokies have never finished higher than they were projected. They’ve either finished exactly the same, or lower. If that trend continues, they’ll probably finish second or third in the Coastal Division this season. Granted, they were picked first for many seasons and you can’t do better than first, but every time they were predicted second or third, they generally finished where they were predicted, or lower.
Still, I think the Hokies have some things working in their favor in 2015. Let’s assume that the division comes down to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Several things benefit VT in this scenario:
1: Virginia Tech does not play Florida State or Clemson. Georgia Tech must play both. That could potentially be huge.
2: VT has a very experienced defense that has seen this GT offense before. Last year, the Hokies were breaking in a number of defensive players in the front seven who had never played much or at all against GT, such as Deon Clarke, Chase Williams, Ken Ekanem, Derek DiNardo and a few others. This year, almost all of Tech’s defensive front has played at least one game against the Yellow Jackets, not to mention defensive backs Kendall Fuller, Chuck Clark, Brandon Facyson and Donovan Riley.
3: Despite Michael Brewer’s three interceptions, Georgia Tech still did not beat Virginia Tech until the very last play of the game. Let’s assume Brewer only throws one interception, or even zero interceptions this year … in that case, VT’s chances will obviously greatly increase.
Virginia Tech has more overall talent than Georgia Tech. Future NFL Drafts will tell us that. However, the Yellow Jacket offense is the great equalizer. Still, when you combine VT’s talent advantage with their scheduling advantage, there’s really no reason why the Hokies shouldn’t be a strong contender in the Coastal Division this year.