The first Coaches' Poll of the 2012 college football season was just released today, and as expected, Virginia is nowhere to be found. But wait. What's that? Keep looking past No. 25 to the "Others receiving votes" category. And then keep looking downwards on that list. Hey there they are! The Virginia Cavliers received nine votes in the preseason tally, which to be honest, is more than what I was expecting.
There are a lot of questions for Virginia, the most important of which is who is going to replace the seven of last season's 11 starters on defense. There are side stories too, such as the drama surrounding Virginia's 18 eligible quarterbacks, including starter Michael Rocco, transfer national championship ring-holder Phillip Sims, and the talented but is-there-still-room-for-him David Watford.
With those questions outstanding, and most people considering this to be a rebuilding year for Virginia, who finished 8-5 last season with a berth to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Hoos received any votes at all.
People may joke, but don't sleep in Louisiana Tech, who earned 10 votes in the preseason Top 25. Fortunately, the ACC's top two teams in the poll, Florida State (7th) and Clemson (14th), are not on Virginia's schedule this year. Based on this preseason poll, TCU (17th) is Virginia's toughest opponent. Others on the list are Virginia Tech (20th), Georgia Tech (received 35 votes) and NC State (received 11 votes).