Virginia Tech is the No. 17 team in the country according to the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, released earlier Thursday afternoon. The Hokies received 524 votes from coaches around the country to receive their ranking.
While coaches from other programs thought the team is deserving of a Top 25 ranking, Virginia Tech’s own Justin Fuente didn’t have the team on his ballot.
Fuente, speaking at a preseason press conference on Thursday, said he left the Hokies out of the Top 25 because he believes they have to earn their way in.
That sentiment was echoed by tight end Chris Cunningham, who said he wants the team to “earn it the hard way.”
Fuente also stated his belief that the first polls shouldn't be conducted until week 4 of the season so that teams can be properly evaluated based on their body of work to that point.
The Hokies started the 2017 season ranked No. 22 in the preseason Coaches Poll, but dropped three spots throughout the year to finish No. 25 in the poll’s final rankings.
Coming off a 9-4 season, many expect quarterback Josh Jackson to improve on his impressive freshman campaign. The offseason has not been kind to the Hokies, though, as multiple members of the defense have left due to graduation, the NFL Draft, injury and disciplinary reasons.
Virginia Tech opens up the 2018 season with a Labor Day matchup at Florida State. The Seminoles start the season ranked No. 19 in the Coaches Poll after finishing last season unranked. With a young team and a new head coach in Willie Taggart, the Seminoles are expected to improve on their uncharacteristic 2017 season.
The matchup on September 3rd will be the first between the two programs since 2012. FSU won that game 28-22 in Blacksburg.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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