The age-old axiom that a sports team is either rebuilding or reloading might not fit the pair of Commonwealth football entries in the ACC. Neither team is exactly what they appear to be–at first glance.
The Cavaliers of Mike London were 2-10 a year ago and clearly look like a rebuilding project. Not-exactly. Virginia lost five games by 13 or less points, and they return a ton of talent with much needed experience. The Cavs return 17 starters and 55 letterman at last count, and a big turnaround year might not be as far-fetched as people think.
Meanwhile the Hokies of Coach Frank Beamer finished 8-5 after a Sun Bowl loss to UCLA. But the typical reload in Blacksburg might be a little more complicated than it appears. Departing Quarterback Logan Thomas had his hand in upwards of 70 percent of Virginia Tech’s offensive output a year ago. And they remain unsettled as to his replacement. Coach Beamer explains that he knows how important the position is and they are working every day to find the next guy.
The ACC Media Poll chose Florida State over Miami in the title game this year. Virginia Tech was picked 3rd in the Coastal, while the Cavs were picked to finish last. Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State was the overwhelming pick for preseason player of the year with 99 votes.