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   Welcome to TSLMail #288 - Friday, July 20, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Preseason Rankings Favor the Hokies in the ACC
by Chris Coleman,

Get ready for a season of big expectations. Virginia Tech will be predicted by nearly everyone in the preseason to win the ACC and head to a BCS game in early January. In fact, the voting probably won't be all that close if you judge by the preseason rankings that have already been released.

Here is a list of six preseason rankings, and the average rankings of the 25 teams included.

Average Preseason Rankings
School Athlon CBS Lindys Phil Steele SI




1 1 1 1 1 1 1.00


3 4 2 2 2 10 3.83

West Virginia

5 3 4 4 4 3 3.83


8 2 3 5 6 2 4.33


2 8 5 6 8 7 6.00


7 10 10 3 9 5 7.33


4 6 6 16 10 4 7.67


6 5 11 14 3 8 7.83

Virginia Tech

9 12 8 9 7 6 8.50


13 7 9 7 5 11 8.67

Ohio State

12 18 13 15 11 14 13.83


11 16 12 26 20 9 15.67


10 17 16 26 12 13 15.67


16 20 17 11 19 16 16.50


20 14 7 25 17 21 17.33


26 15 14 26 13 12 17.67

Penn State

17 26 26 10 14 17 18.33


15 9 22 21 22 23 18.67


25 13 15 23 21 19 19.33


21 11 23 26 16 20 19.50

Texas A&M

23 23 18 20 26 15 20.83


18 26 25 22 18 18 21.17


19 26 19 12 26 26 21.33

Florida State

26 24 21 8 26 26 21.83

South Carolina

26 21 26 13 24 26 22.67

The SI (Sports Illustrated) rankings were done by Stewart Mandel, while Mark Schlabach did the ESPN rankings.

Only two ACC teams made the list: Virginia Tech and Florida State. The Hokies were included in the top 25 in all six rankings, with their lowest ranking coming in at #12. Florida State is a very distant second place. The Seminoles are ranked in just three of the six rankings listed in the table above.

Every other BCS conference has more teams in the table above than the ACC. The SEC leads the way with seven, while Big Ten and Big 12 each have four. The Big East and Pac-10 have three teams apiece. The ACC has just two, and one of those teams barely snuck its way in.

Beside Virginia Tech, and Florida State to a certain extent, the ACC isn't getting much preseason love. Only four other ACC teams were included in any of the rankings above. Here is a list of those schools, and where they rank.

Other ACC Schools in Preseason Rankings
School Athlon CBS Lindys Phil Steele SI ESPN

Wake Forest

NR NR 20 NR NR 24

Boston College


Georgia Tech




Despite winning the ACC and making it to the Orange Bowl last season, Wake Forest only made the Top 25 in two of the six rankings. Although the Demon Deacons do return a lot of major players from last year's team, particularly on offense, it will be tough for them to repeat their feat of 2006. They are very much in the mix for a solid ACC bowl game, but another ACC Championship isn't likely.

Boston College nearly won the Atlantic Division last season, and they return a lot of starters this year. However, there are question marks surrounding the Eagles, as usual. They have a new head coach in Jeff Jagodzinski, and their offensive coordinator is former ECU head coach Steve Logan. Considering their 10 wins a year ago, and their 16 returning starters, BC probably should be in the preseason top 25. The coaching changes are apparently scaring some poll-makers away from BC.

Georgia Tech is ranked 14th by Athlon and not ranked at all by any of the other five services. They were good a year ago, and this year they return seven starters on offense and eight on defense. However, they did lose Calvin Johnson to the NFL Draft, and many believe they will suffer a dropoff because of his loss. They do return the top offensive line in the ACC, the conference's leading rusher in Tashard Choice, and Reggie Ball is no longer the quarterback (yes, that's probably an improvement).

The Yellow Jackets are tough to get a read on this year. If quarterback Taylor Bennett outperforms the Reggie Ball of 2006, which shouldn't be difficult, Georgia Tech could be hard to handle.

Miami has a new coach in 2007, with former defensive coordinator Randy Shannon replacing fired head coach Larry Coker. The Hurricanes will be talented as usual, but their success will depend on the improvement of quarterback Kyle Wright (or Kirby Freeman) and the offensive line. Sound familiar? Miami's defense will be excellent, headlined by defensive end Calais Campbell.

Although the Hokies aren't being hailed as national championship contenders by many people, it's clear they are the favorite to win the ACC by most analysts. The ACC is holding their Football Kickoff media operation starting this weekend, and the ACC media will make their choices soon, as well. We'll see if the Hokies can live up to the hype and overcome their tough schedule. Check out TSL next week, when we begin our 2007 football previews. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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  • Feature Articles
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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Camp Report: Gwynn Park Prospects Perform Well

July 20, 2007
Three Gwynn Park (Brandywine, MD) prospects - rising senior RB/DB Jerel Coles (5-10, 180 pounds), rising senior WR/DB Ronald Hobby (5-10, 175) and rising junior OL/DL Raynard Randolph (6-3, 290) - camped at Virginia Tech last Saturday. All three turned in terrific performances according to Gwynn Park head coach Danny Hayes.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 7/18/07
July 19, 2007's Chris Coleman appeared on The Len Martez Show on ESPN Radio 1430 AM in Blacksburg yesterday. Chris and Len talked about Michael Vick's indictment, the status of point guard Nigel Munson (he's transferring), and Virginia Tech's football camps and their role in recruiting. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.8 MB, 11:57).

Rose Discusses Commitment
July 19, 2007
Amherst (VA) star ATH Peter Rose took about a month-and-a-half to make his decision after announcing that his two finalists were Virginia and Virginia Tech. On Monday, he finally made a decision, verbally committing to the Hokies over the in-state rival 'Hoos. The 6-1, 180-pound prospect discussed his decision making process and how he ultimately came to choose Virginia Tech.

Hokies' Roster Stocked With In-State Talent
July 18, 2007
Virginia Tech has become known for their ability to land a lot of in-state players. Frank Beamer has built a program around recruiting kids from the Commonwealth of Virginia. A look at the current Hokie roster, particularly the starting lineups, points out just how extensive Tech's in-state ties are.

The Latest on Marcus Davis
July 18, 2007
6-5, 215-pound Marcus Davis, a star out ATH of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, has only made visits to Virginia Tech and Virginia these past few months. He has mainly been focused on lifting weights with his teammates, preparing for his upcoming senior season. Davis took time to discuss his recruitment, which has not changed too much recently.

Camp Report: Becton Lands Offer
July 18, 2007
New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.) OL/DL Nick Becton's first year of high school football was last season as a junior, when he says a friend "convinced me to come out and play." He is happy he made that decision, as the 6-6, 290-pound prospect now holds offers from Alabama, East Carolina, Maryland, N.C. State, South Carolina and, after this past weekend, Virginia Tech.

Camp Report: Stephens Enjoys First Visit to VT
July 17, 2007
6-1, 240-pound Allen Stephens attended Virginia Tech's camp last Saturday, important considering it was his first experience in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech and West Virginia are Stephens' top two schools, but does one have the edge following this past weekend's experience?

Virginia Tech Lands Talented DE
July 17, 2007
Virginia Tech has secured another in-state recruit as Isaiah Hamlette, a 6-3, 250-pound defensive end recruit out of Brooke Point High School (Stafford, VA), has pledged to Virginia Tech. Hamlette told the Virginia Tech coaches of his decision this morning, committing to Tech over offers from Virginia and Wake Forest.

Camp Report: Massie Reflects on Experience
July 16, 2007
Bobby Massie is one of the most physically impressive prospects in the state of Virginia's 2008 class, and Virginia Tech is in very serious contention to land him. The Hokies are in a recruiting battle with Clemson and Georgia, but helped themselves on Saturday with the 6-7, 330-pound OL/DL out of Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA).

Camp Report: Hopkins Finished with Summer Visits
July 16, 2007
Antoine Hopkins did make Virginia Tech's July 14th camp and, just as he did at UVa's camp last month, he performed well. The 6-2, 265-pound Highland Springs (VA) defensive lineman, who is now up to three Division 1A scholarship offers, discussed his most recent camp experience as well as where his recruiting process will go from here.

Taylor, Morgan Shine in All-Star Game
July 16, 2007
Two blue-chip Virginia Tech signees led the East squad to a relatively easy 27-7 victory in the 36th annual Virginia High School Coaches Association (VHSCA) All-Star game. Heralded quarterback Tyrod Taylor of Hampton HS concluded his high school career on his home field with a stellar performance, completing 9 of 15 passes for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns in addition to 34 yards rushing on 3 scrambles.
Plus: Detailed reports on all VT recruits involved in the game.

Rose Makes His Call, Chooses Hokies
July 16, 2007
Amherst (VA) ATH Peter Rose narrowed his list of schools to two - Virginia Tech and Virginia - early last month. After a month of thinking it over, the 6-1, 180-pound standout has finally reached a decision...he will attend Virginia Tech over offers from Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Marshall and Navy.

Fayetteville DB Picks Virginia Tech
July 16, 2007
Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.) DB Lorenzo Williams, one of the top performers at Virginia Tech's camp on Saturday, told TSL yesterday that he felt a good "vibe" from his experience in Blacksburg. That feeling turned into very good news this morning for the Tech coaches, who landed a verbal commitment from the 6-2, 198-pound standout.

Camp Report: Boyce Considering Early Decision
July 15, 2007
Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA) star Xavier Boyce favored Northern Illinois prior to visiting Blacksburg for Virginia Tech's second one-day summer camp yesterday. The 6-4, 200-pound safety prospect enjoyed his trip to Virginia Tech, but was it enough for the Hokies to grab the top spot?

Dorenzo Hudson Qualifies; He and Cousin J.T. Thompson Ready to Go This Fall
July 13, 2007
Yesterday, the news came out that basketball recruit J.T. Thompson was successful in his bid to arrive at Virginia Tech one year earlier than previously planned, in 2007. There's more good news: 2007 recruit Dorenzo Hudson qualified and will also enroll this fall. The two players, who are cousins, spoke with TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne about their efforts to get ready, and their thoughts on their upcoming Tech careers.
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