College football is often about perspective:  Virginia Tech’s trying to recover from an 8-5 season while Virginia dreams of 5 loss campaigns.  The dominion duo have mostly traveled on separate tracks since the Hokies entered the ACC…and 2014 appears to be more of the same.  A regime salvaging season for Mike London is far below the standards of Frank Beamer…as the least suspenseful subplot of the Coastal Division (who wins the Commonwealth Cup Thanksgiving weekend?) plays out (Virginia Tech’s won every matchup since they joined the league in 2003).

Virginia Tech prepares for life after Logan Thomas– although fans in Blacksburg won’t be overly wistful of the three year starter’s era.  After leading the Hokies to an 11-3 mark as a sophomore, the team went 7-6 and 8-5 his final two falls on campus.  This coming after the program posted eight straight double-digit victory seasons.  Expectations aren’t merely to contend for a Coastal Division crown–they’re to win the league.  Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer completed over 70 percent of his passes during his two seasons in Lubbock–albeit in a limited sample (58 career attempts).  Regardless who plays QB, the running game needs to rank higher than 106th in Division I for the Hokies to avoid losing games against Boston College and Duke.

Virginia looks to pick up the pieces of a 2-10 season that began with an upset of BYU that was memorable just as much for the nasty weather that almost derailed the game in Charlottesville.  Sadly, the back-end of the season saw a bad situation get worse as the Cavaliers lost their last six games by an average of 22 points.  Fifteen starters return with a lot of optimism surrounding the Kevin Parks-led running game (the senior gained over 1000 yards last season)…as well as the hope that Greyson Lambert or David Watkins will lead the passing offense out of the stone age (UVa averaged under 10 yards per completion while tossing almost twice as many interceptions as touchdowns).  True freshman wide receiver Doni Dowling’s garnered quite a bit of attention.  Defensively?  Talk to me after the UCLA game August 30th.

Looking at the league– three ACC schools find themselves in the preseason top 25:  defending champ Florida State ranks 1st, Clemson’s 16th and North Carolina rates 23rd in both polls.  In fact, it almost appears as though the Associated Press studied the ESPN preseason rankings.  Sixteen schools are ranked exactly the same and only two schools are more than one spot away from where the other poll has them (#24 Texas in the AP and #24 Missouri in the ESPN are also receiving votes from the other poll).

Disputing the Divisions– if we’re stuck with the Atlantic and Coastal names (much better than Leaders and Legends)…can’t we at least group schools in the same region?  The idea to separate Miami from Florida State because one would block the other from the ACC title game has meant nothing (as Miami has yet to win a division) while making the Hurricanes-Seminoles matchup an odd footnote to the season because it’s not a divisional game.  If Maryland had stayed in the ACC, they’d continue to play Virginia Tech and Pitt (the schools closest to College Park after Virginia) only sporadically over the years.  Why would they want to do that?  Place former Big East schools Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Louisville with Virginia and Wake Forest in one division while keeping the Research Triangle schools (North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest) in the same league with Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Florida State.  Be smart, ACC.

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