Well Hokie fans, it has happened. We were all instructed to prepare for it. The Virginia Tech football team has been left out of the USA Today pre-season Coaches' Poll for the first time since 2004. The ACC did, however, place two teams in the poll: Clemson at No. 8 and Florida State at No. 12.
While pre-season rankings mean little in terms of a team's success on the field that year, it does limit a team's ability to pass teams which were ranked higher in the standings originally, particularly if a team was not voted into the poll or did not receive any votes. Fortunately, the Hokies received 65 votes from the 62-member panel, ranking fifth among teams receiving votes (or No. 30 in the poll). Other ACC teams receiving votes were Miami (101 votes, ranked No. 27 in the poll) and North Carolina, which received 19 votes.
Of course, the last time that the Hokies were unranked to begin a season, they won 10 games, the ACC, played in a BCS bowl and started an eight-year streak of 10+-win seasons. So could this season be a repeat of that year, particularly as the Hokies start the season in a neutral site game against a pre-season No. 1 team just like they did in 2004? Why not?
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