Beamer and the Hokies lost two games to Clemson last season, that would normally be enough to keep the Hokies out of a BCS bowl considering one of those losses was in the ACC Championship game, but thanks to LSU and Alabama facing each other for a second time, the Sugar Bowl had a spot open and chose to invite the Hokies. VT lost the game 23 – 20 in overtime.
This season the Hokies will be looking to be one game better than Clemson, but will have to contend with Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles, who are projected to win the ACC outright.
Luckily for Beamer, his starting quarterback, Junior Logan Thomas, is back and looking to carry the Hokies. Losing running back David Wilson to the NFL will hurt, but Thomas is a pretty good runner himself, rushing for 469 yards and 11 TDs last season. Thomas’ main targets, Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin are both gone too and the Hokies offensive line is pretty depleted, so if they are to have any success, it all rides on Thomas.
On the other side of the ball, Bud Foster has so many starters coming back that the only defense that may be able to contend with the Hokies in the ACC is Florida State.
Why Virginia Tech should be ranked higher:
With only Clemson and Florida State appearing to be their only competition within the conference, and neither in their division (Coastal), the Hokies should be able to reach the ACC Championship game and play for a chance at a BCS bowl once again.
Why Virginia Tech shouldn’t be ranked higher:
Their offensive line has one returning starter. That’s a scary thought for any quarterback and could destroy the Hokies’ chances at playing in a BCS bowl game again.
Returning Starters: 3 Offense / 9 Defense
Best games: at Clemson, at Miami (FL), Florida State
2011 Total Offense: 35th
2011 Total Defense: 10th <- probably be higher than this in 2012
2011 Turnover margin: 35th
Championship odds: 30:1
Projected record: 10 – 2
13. Virginia Tech, 14. TCU, 15. Arkansas, 16. Kansas State, 17. Texas, 18. Nebraska, 19. Ohio State, 20. South Carolina, 21. Stanford, 22. Oklahoma State, 23. Boise State, 24. Cincinnati, 25. Notre Dame