If you are a loyal reader of gobblercountry.com, you know I'm a bit of a Phil Steele fanboy. I eagerly anticipate his preview every summer. It means college football is on the way, and it gives us a great look at some expectations for the upcoming season. Last year, Steele was pretty high on the Hokies, and this year he considers them a contender for the Coastal title. If you have never checked out his book, (I hate calling it a magazine), I HIGHLY suggest you do. His website philsteele.com is a great source for all things college football.
It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! Got our @philsteele042 in hand! pic.twitter.com/xguKnP6bZv— Gobbler Country (@gobblercountry) June 22, 2016
Some of the Virginia Tech highlights from this year's issue include:
Individual Unit Rankings
Running backs #40
Offensive Line #46
Defensive Line #28
Defensive Backs #12
Special Teams #47
The defensive backfield has garnered some love with Steele at number 12. If they can stay healthy, the secondary could be huge for us this season. He does have the rushing attack slated to be the #15 most improved in the country, which is awesome. Overall, as a team, the Hokies were ranked 6th in the A.C.C., trailing Miami and North Carolina in the Coastal. In his "Power Poll Top 128" he has the Hokies ranked at #39. That is pretty consistent with what most preseason publications have them listed.
Steele doesn' have a ton of respect for the A.C.C. as a whole, placing it 4th out of the Power 5. He does have the conference ranked ahead of the Big10, which should cause some hand-wringing in the midwest. Steele projects us to play Utah in the Sun Bowl. The Hokies last played in that bowl in 2013. The Hokies got trounced by U.C.L.A. in that affair, 42-12. This time of year, it's always fun to predict the future. The season can't come soon enough!