Shortly after Alabama wrapped up its decimation of LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, preseason polls for 2012 started popping up around the Internet. If preseason polls in August are worthless, the ones that come out in January are even more so.
What these polls and the ones that will come out again following spring practice do give us is a glimpse at how Virginia Tech is being perceived nation-wide, as well as a check on how closely they're paying attention to who we're actually losing and retaining.
After the jump, a look at five way too early preseason polls that pretty much have the Hokies pegged the same.
I like Louisville, I think Virginia Tech should always be in the Top 25, I think Kevin Sumlin has more to work with in College Station than we probably think, and Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech should certainly be considered here (No. 25) as well.
Tailback David Wilson will head to the NFL, but the Hokies always seem to have someone ready to plug into the backfield. More interesting is the passing game, which could blossom with Logan Thomas throwing to Marcus Davis (6-foot-4, 228), D.J. Coles (6-3, 224) and Dyrell Roberts (6-2, 196). Virginia Tech also brings back its entire front seven on defense, but because the Hokies play in the ACC, I refuse to get too excited until they prove they can win outside the league.
Virginia Tech will have to rebuild its offense to do it again in 2012. Quarterback Logan Thomas will be back for his second season as a starter, but the Hokies won't have record-setting tailback David Wilson, who is leaving for the NFL draft as a junior. They're also losing four starting offensive linemen and top receivers Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale. The good news is that as many as nine starters might be back on defense -- if junior cornerback Jayron Hosley comes back.
Last year, Virginia Tech limited eight opponents to 17 points or less and the Hokies return virtually everyone from that unit, including DEs James Gayle and J.R. Collins, LBs Tariq Edwards and Jack Tyler and CB Kyle Fuller. The Hokies also get back LBs Bruce Taylor and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow and DT Antoine Hopkins, who missed all or part of last season because of injuries. RB David Wilson's departure is a blow, but QB Logan Thomas continues to get better.
QB Logan Thomas will be the only returnee of note on offense, meaning coaches will need to do yeoman work in spring drills developing depth at tailback and wide receiver. But there will be no such concerns on defense, which could be the best in the ACC next fall. A talented front seven means it's going to be hard for foes to run on the Hokies. The secondary will have two new starters, but it still should be an OK unit.
Unranked by my own network. What a world.
The narrative that has emerged after David Wilson's decision to go to the NFL is that the national writers believe the Hokies' defense is good enough to keep them in the Top 25, but enough has been lost on offense that there will be some hiccups thanks to a more rugged schedule. I can buy that.