The 2024 college football season is still eight months away. Since Michigan beat Washington in the College Football Playoff Championship Game on Jan. 8, there have been a lot of very early predictions for Top 25 polls and how conferences will shake out. After finishing 7-6 this season following a Military Bowl victory over Tulane, expectations are high and the Virginia Tech fanbase has a lot to look forward to next season under Brent Pry.
With some roster turnover that saw some players leave via the transfer portal and some players come in, the Hokies have an opportunity to be a better team this season than they were in 2023. They finished tied for fourth place in the ACC with Georgia Tech at 5-3, behind Florida State, Louisville, and North Carolina State. Athlon Sports released their way-too-early ACC predictions for 2024 and they have the Hokies rather low.
Athlon Sports picks Virginia Tech to finish sixth
In one of the way-too-early predictions for the 2024 season, Athlon Sports picked Virginia Tech to finish in sixth place next season in the ACC. Ranked ahead of them in order are Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, and Miami. Two of those five teams, Clemson and Miami, are on the Hokies schedule in 2024. Here is what they wrote about Virginia Tech,
"Last year's 7-6 record was a big step forward for coach Brent Pry in Blacksburg. The Hokies won five out of their last seven games to finish the season on a high note and three of the team's losses came by one score. The bulk of the roster is slated to return next year, including quarterback Kyron Drones, running back Bhayshul Tuten, and receiver Ali Jennings. Pry's defense finished third in the ACC in fewest yards per play (5.2) in '23 and brings back standout lineman Antwaun Powell-Ryland (9.5 sacks) next year."- Athlon Sports
Yes, this was certainly a big step in the rebuild under Pry and the big steps took place once ACC play began where they went 5-3. Was the schedule a tough one? No, there was no Miami, Duke, North Carolina, or Clemson on there and they did what they had to do, beat the teams they should have beaten. But as far as next season goes, if Virginia Tech does finish in sixth place, it would feel like a disappointing season, to say the least.
Why would it feel that way? They bring back a lot of their skilled players on offense, and their defense brings back sack leader Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Josh Fuga along the line and got better in the transfer portal with the addition of Aeneas Peebles of Duke, Kelvin Gilliam of Oklahoma, and Kemari Copeland from Western Iowa Community College, one of the top JUCO transfer on the defensive line that was available. Sam Brumfield was brought in from Middle Tennessee State at linebacker and Mansoor Delane and Dorian Strong are returning to lead the secondary. Offensively they should be able to put up points with Drones and his top wide receivers coming back, along with running back Bhayshul Tuten.
Expectations should be high for Virginia Tech when the season begins, but if they do indeed end up finishing sixth in the ACC, that would be a disappointing finish. A top-three or four finish is what a lot of Hokies expect and it’s very doable for them.