A look at Georgia Tech’s competition in the Coastal Division:
In his second season at Miami after he was fired at Georgia, Hurricanes coach Mark Richt is in charge of the Coastal Division’s preseason favorite. As always, Miami is loaded, with difference makers at running back (Mark Walton), wide receiver (Ahmmon Richards) and linebacker (Shaquille Quarterman).
Virginia Tech is like Miami, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Pitt in that the Hokies will have to replace their quarterback, Jerod Evans. But Virginia Tech, last year’s Coastal winner, will have a strong back seven on defense, as usual, and a star in wide receiver in Cam Phillips.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe is hopeful after the Blue Devils’ four-year bowl streak ended in an injury-wracked season. Pitt has to replace All-American running back James Conner, dynamic offensive coordinator Matt Canada and 12 starters total.
North Carolina lost virtually all of its offensive playmakers from last season and could have a tough time bouncing back. After a 1-7 league record in coach Bronco Mendenhall’s first season, Virginia may be a year away.
Georgia Tech has a shot at the top, but the Yellow Jackets likely will have to overcome Miami and Richt, both of whom have tormented them in recent years.