2008 Preseason Expectations: Coastal or Bust

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Right now it seems like the dog days of summer, but in less than two months
Virginia Tech will be opening practice for the 2008 football season. There’s
still a lot of time between now and then, but it will be here before you know
it. It’s never too early to start talking about football, so let’s go ahead and
start now.

Like any good college football addict would do, I stopped by the bookstore on
Monday afternoon to see if they had any season preview magazines in stock. They
had two, Lindy’s and Athlon, and they had just one copy of each on the shelf. I
guess I’m not the only one looking forward to the season.

I immediately flipped to the ACC pages, and as expected, both have Virginia
Tech at the top of the Coastal Division standings. That seems to be the common
theme. The Hokies are the clear favorite of everybody to win the Coastal
Division and return to the ACC Championship Game, despite losing eight guys to
the NFL Draft, plus players like Vince Hall, D.J. Parker, Barry Booker and Josh
Hyman, who are all in NFL camps as free agents.

Oh what a difference ten years (or thereabouts) makes. Back in the 1990s,
Miami was picked to win the Big East every year, no matter how they did the
previous year or how many guys they had coming back. The Hokies were generally
picked anywhere from second to fifth, no matter what.

Miami had that reputation from the 80s and early 90s, and they certainly had
plenty of talent. Virginia Tech is getting some of that same respect now from
the media. When in doubt, pick the team with history and stability on its side.

Of course, that’s not the only force driving the Hokies to be picked #1 in
the Coastal Division. The rest of the division doesn’t appear to offer up much
competition, on paper at least.

Both magazines did positional rankings for each team. Here is how they look
for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech’s Preseason
ACC Position Rankings