CBS Sports recently released its annual list of ranking college football’s top coaches, focusing on the ACC. As you’d expect, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney tops the list and is ranked No. 3 overall in all of college football.
The ACC is in a unique position in 2022 with four new head coaches, including Pry. There is Mario Cristobal (Miami), Tony Elliott (Virginia) and Mike Elko (Duke). CBS ranked Cristobal No. 3, behind only Swinney and Dave Clawson (Wake Forest).
Of the other new coaches, Elliott (No. 12) and Elko (No. 13) are both ranked ahead of Pry, who comes in at dead last.
Here’s what CBS said about Pry:
This is a coach ranking and not a prediction of 2022 success, clearly, because Pry and the Hokies are more likely to be in a bowl game than several of the coaches mentioned above at the end of the season. But our voters have always been biased against a lack of success, and on paper, the jump from co-defensive coordinator to Power Five head coach is notable. Among the many reasons Pry got the job were his roots in Virginia, recruiting acumen in the Commonwealth and ability to activate the state in a way that provides benefits for the program. I think Virginia Tech finishes the season with six wins, giving Pry a boost in these rankings while at least one other ACC job changes over before 2023.
Outside of Cristobal landing in Miami, Pry was the best fit of the last coaching cycle. If anyone outside of Virginia Tech has paid attention to him since he arrived in December, he’s an absolute perfect cultural fit. And yes, while that doesn’t win games, he’s doing the small things that Justin Fuente couldn’t — and wouldn’t — do to ingratiate himself to Hokie faithful. Will that pay off in the long run? Maybe, maybe not, but he gets it. He spent several years at a perennial top-10 program under a top-10 coach who can flat-out recruit, and he knows what it takes.
So, while Pry is ranked dead last among all ACC coaches, let’s take a second to remember how everyone ranked Fuente as a top-five ACC coach before he ever coached a game in Blacksburg.
Brent Pry fits Virginia Tech, and Hokie fans are happy to have him. Now, he needs to win. If he wins, he will receive recognition.