Let’s just say that things have not gone as planned for the Virginia Tech football team through the first three weeks of the 2023 season. After opening the season with a win over Old Dominion, the Hokies have lost three straight to a pair of Big Ten teams in Purdue and Rutgers, as well as Sun Belt Conference foe Marshall. At 1-3, things feel like they are going to spiral out of control quickly.
There have been plenty of reasons for the early struggles this season in the non-conference games, however, ACC play begins this week when the Pittsburgh Panthers come to Lane Stadium on Saturday night. If the Hokies are going to begin conference play on a positive note, they are going to need more than “Enter Sandman” and the home crowd to will them to victory.
As ACC play begins, the latest FPI Rankings were released by ESPN, and well, let’s say that it’s not what the fanbase wants to see entering the final weekend of September.
Virginia Tech ranks 85th in the latest FPI Rankings
The FPI per ESPN, is “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.” The performance of second-year coach Brent Pry’s team over the final eight games does not have a pretty outlook and is ranked 85th.
Last season Virginia Tech went 1-6 in ACC play and quite frankly, it’s hard to envision them improving much more than one win in 2023. Pittsburgh enters the game with questions at quarterback as Boston College transfer Phil Jerkovec has been less than stellar through four weeks. After that, the Hokies head to Florida to play Florida State, the best team right now in the conference and one that is likely headed to the College Football Playoffs.
Wake Forest comes to Blacksburg, followed by Syracuse for a Thursday night game on Oct. 26. The Orangemen are undefeated through the first month of the season and get a struggling Clemson team at home this weekend. After that, the Hokies have back-to-back road games at Louisville and Boston College. Last season, BC was the only conference win for Virginia Tech, but this season, the Eagles have struggled through the first four weeks, and playing in Boston in November is not going to be easy weather-wise.
The final two games of the season are North Carolina State at home and Virginia on the road. As you can see, there is no guaranteed win on the schedule and the closest thing could very well be Virginia. That’s not a given. It’s not a promising outlook over the final two months and how things go could very well depend on whether or not changes are coming in Blacksburg.