Fellow SB Nation blogger Beergut at I Am The 12th Man recently took a look at teams facing high preseason expectations. Specifically he took exception to Athlon's Top 10 rankings of Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech. He decided to bring the hammer down especially hard on the Hokies:
#8 Virginia Tech is the biggest head-scratcher of them all. I realize Virginia Tech is the back-to-back ACC Conference Champion, but with the collection of cream puffs that conference has become, that really isn't saying much. Being ACC Champion in football is akin to being declared the World Champion Pillow Fighter; you don't scare anyone, and people laugh at you instead of taking you seriously. [...] With games against Alabama to open the season, and Nebraska in the third week, with Marshall sandwiched inbetween, a 1-2 start and tumbling right out of the top 25 is expected for this Hokie team. More than any other, this Virginia Tech team is a victim of irrational exuberance, and should see their hype bubble pop early in the 2009 season.
Those are some pretty tough words for someone whose team is ranked No. 66 by Athlon (which may be a little bit of that exuberance he was talking about), hasn't had a 10-win season since 1998 (Tech has had eight since then), went 4-8 with losses to Arkansas State (6-6), Kansas State (5-7) and Baylor (4-8) last season, in my opinion has the worst head coach in college football now that Greg Robinson is a coordinator and whose athletic department is in such financial ruin according to one source that it did away will all charter flights for the upcoming year. That was one helluva run-on sentence.
Try being relevant in college football again before being so harsh on teams for where preseason magazines are ranking them. We can't really control that. We can only control what happens on the field.
And No. 8 isn't that bad. Even I consider people like Schlabach putting us at No. 5 to be putting us way too high. But to dog us because Athlon put us at No. 8 in its preseason magazine is pretty lame. Especially considering the recent credentials of your own team.