The Virginia Tech Hokies are expected to have a big season this fall with as many 10 starters returning on the defensive side of the ball and eight on offense.
Unfortunately for Virginia Tech fans, that isn’t enough for 247Sports to call the Hokies the favorite in the Coastal Division.
The Hokies finished second behind North Carolina in 247Sports’ “Media Days” where a panel of beat writers covering all Power Five Schools picked the predicted order of finish in each of the Power Five conferences.
While Clemson received all 14 first-place votes in the Atlantic, things were much closer in the Coastal as UNC picked up six first-place votes and the Hokies were right behind them with five. Miami picked up two first-place votes and Pitt had the lone remaining first-place vote.
The predicted order of finish was UNC, Virginia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Duke and Georgia Tech.
Here’s why 247Sports said UNC is the team to beat.
“A great quarterback can make a team elite. Sam Howell is back after a record-setting freshman season at North Carolina, and with the Air Raid in tow (and a veteran head coach like Mack Brown returning), the Tar Heels are the pick to win the Coastal Division.”
Howell is a terrific quarterback. Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker happens to be pretty good, too. And the Hokies do have more talent returning than the Tar Heels, so an argument could be made for either school as the favorite in the Coastal.
One of the biggest questions facing Virginia Tech is how Justin Hamilton replaces Bud Foster as defensive coordinator? He certainly has plenty of talent at his disposal for a first-time coordinator.
North Carolina has become quite the rival for Virginia Tech since the Hokies entered the ACC back in 2004. Tech has dominated the series, going 13-3 over the last 16 years and hold a 24-12-6 lead in the all-time series.
UNC and Virginia Tech will certainly be battling for the ACC Coastal supremacy in 2020, however, you can’t count out Miami and new quarterback D’Eriq King.
One thing is certain, the Coastal should be another close and competitive race this fall.