The Virginia Tech Hokies have seen many people talk about them as an under-the-radar, sleeper contender to make a push for the College Football Playoff. Prominent analysts Phil Steele and Stewart Mandel are among the many that see the Hokies as a sleeper to make the College Football Playoff.
Much of this is due to the fact that the Hokies are returning 16 starters not including the fact that Brandon Facyson and Luther Maddy will also be back. The Hokies’ defense projects to compete for the best in all of college football while the Virginia Tech offense has seemed to make a lot of improvements throughout the spring.
Now, the USA Today Coaches Poll has released their preseason rankings, and the Hokies just missed out on the top 25.
Virginia Tech was ranked 29th by the USA Today Coaches Poll, receiving 70 total points. The Hokies were the fourth and final team that was within 100 points of the last team to make the preseason top 25, Tennessee.
Virginia Tech also is fourth-highest among ACC teams behind Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech who are all in the top 25. Among those ACC schools, Florida State was ranked the highest at eighth followed by Clemson at 12, and Georgia Tech at 17.
Georgia Tech is the only ACC opponent that was ranked while the Ohio State Buckeyes were unsurprisingly ranked number 1 with 62 of 64 first-place votes. Miami and Duke are the next two highest-ranked opponents with the Hurricanes ranked 37th, and the Blue Devils ranked 40th.
The Hokies should not drop much in the polls if they lose to Ohio State, but a win would likely put them in the top 15 despite the fact that DE Joey Bosa, RB/WR Jalin Marshall, RB Dontre Wilson, and WR Corey Smith are all suspended for the Buckeyes.
No one should be surprised if the Hokies are in the top 25 by October with the schedule they have, and the talent on the roster even if the Hokies lose to Ohio State.