Steele: Hokies are Most Experienced in ACC

Phil Steele released a new experience chart Saturday at the Orlando Sentinel's College Gridiron 365 blog. His new rankings look at seniors returning, percentage of returning lettermen, returning starters on the offensive line, percentage of total yards returning and percentage of tackles returning.

I then devised a formula that factors all 5 into the total points equation and then turned the point total into a number from 100 to 0. A 100 would be a team with 25 seniors (NCAA scholarship limit) in the two deep and every yard and tackle returning but 120+ career starts. A 0 would be a team with no experience and 0 seniors in the two deep. Just as in years past the first number is where each team ranks in the NCAA.

Below are the 12 ACC teams and were they stacked up in Steele's rankings:

Phil Steele's Experience Rankings
ACC NCAA School Points
1 21 Virginia Tech 69.8
2 27 Georgia Tech 68.7
3 31 Wake Forest 67.8
4 59 Florida State
62.3
5 61 North Carolina 61.8
6 63 Boston College 61.4
7 64 NC State 61.0
8 74 Miami 59.0
9 86 Clemson 56.1
10 94 Virginia 54.4
11 107 Duke 50.2
12 114 Maryland 47.9

The two-time defending ACC champion also has the most experience according to Steele's formula. The Hokies have 11 seniors on their two deep, three returning starters on the offensive line and have almost all of their total yards back from last year. The yards made a big difference in moving up from Steele's original rankings, which had VT at No. 10 in the ACC and No. 103 in D1. However, those rankings looked solely at seniority on the 2-deep depth chart.

It's amazing that the teams that I considered strongest at the end of last year (VT, GT and FSU) are in the top four of Steele's rankings. If any of those three teams can fill the key holes they have, they could be really special teams.

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