After Virginia Tech (1-0) knocked off West Virginia in a renewed rivalry that gave audiences everything they could ask for, the Hokies move to #18 in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll. The Hokies jumped 4 spots in the Coaches and 3 spots in the AP.
While the tendency is probably to put too much weight on the rankings in the first few weeks, this does raise a couple of interesting points. First, the Hokies are one of five teams from the ACC to be ranked in the AP Top 25.
Even at number 18, the Hokies are still only the fifth highest ranked team in the ACC. They rank behind Clemson (3), Florida State (10), Miami (16), and Louisville (17). However, only one of those teams ranked above Virginia Tech comes from the Coastal Division.
The ACC, especially the Coastal division, looked rather underwhelming this weekend. Pitt needed overtime to beat Youngstown State and UNC fell to Cal at home. Louisville trailed Purdue for much of the game, while Florida State was dominated by Alabama.
Miami picked up a win, but Bethune-Cookman was hardly a resume builder. Outside of the Hokies, the most impressive team in the Coastal division was probably Georgia Tech. Unfortunately, they fell in a 2OT heartbreaker to Tennessee on Monday night.
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Despite the loss, first year starting QB TaQuon Marshall was impressive for the Jackets. 249 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns are impressive numbers for a running back, and Marshall put that up as a QB. The Yellow Jackets could be a sleeper team to watch this season.
The second storyline to watch is the matchup between Clemson and Virginia Tech in Week 5. If the Hokies can win against Delaware, East Carolina, and Old Dominion (all games in which they will be relatively large favorites), they will be undefeated when they face off against the Tigers.
At 4-0 with a quality win against West Virginia, I say the Hokies would be around #15 in the AP Poll. Of course, none of that is a guarantee.
Clemson has a bit of a tougher road. It consists of Auburn at home, Louisville on the road, and then Boston College at home. I still expect them to be at least 7 point favorites in all of those games. If they can go 3-0 in that stretch, they certainly won’t fall below #3 or #4 in the AP Poll.
That would set the stage for a Top-15 matchup in Blacksburg. According to FanSided.com, the only other matchup between Top-25 teams that week currently would be Georgia vs. Tennessee. They even go as far as to predict that ESPN’s College GameDay will come to Blacksburg in Week 5.
Right now, though, the Hokies need to make sure they don’t get ahead of themselves, unlike I did when writing this article. No one wants to see another collapse like the Hokies had after beating Ohio State in 2014.
The next task ahead is the Delaware Blue Hens, and as Coach Fuente likes to say, “Let’s go 1-0 this week.”