The ACC revealed the results of its preseason media poll on Monday, and Pitt was picked to finish fourth in the ACC Coastal. All told, the Panthers earned 576 points as well as one first-place vote. The poll took into account the opinions of 147 members of the media.
North Carolina was picked to win the Coastal, with 979 points and 109 first-place votes. Also ahead of Pitt were Miami and Virginia Tech. Miami was picked to finish second, and Virginia Tech was predicted to finish third. Rounding out the division were Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke at fifth, sixth and seventh in the division.
Over in the Atlantic, Clemson was picked to finish first, with 1,028 points and 146 first-place votes. NC State came in second with 804 points and one first-place vote. And picked to finish third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh were Boston College, Florida State, Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse. Clemson is also the media’s predicted ACC champion, while division rival Syracuse finished dead-last in the ACC in points, with 202 and zero first-place votes.
One strange aspect of the Coastal ranking is that Virginia Tech was picked to finish ahead of Pitt despite the Hokies’ failure to do so in two of the last three years. In addition, Virginia Tech failed to post a winning record in each of those seasons, while Pitt has not had a losing campaign since 2017. The Panthers also won a Coastal title in 2018. But despite Virginia Tech’s struggles and a decent run for Pitt, the only time media members ever picked Pitt to top Virginia Tech in the poll was in 2016.
With that said, the media views the Coastal as the less predictable of the ACC divisions by far, as six of the seven teams received first-place votes, with Duke being the only one left out. Given that, the preseason rankings for the Coastal can be taken with a grain of salt. But one aspect of the ACC that seems etched in stone at this point is that Clemson can be expected to dominate. The only question is who will face them for the ACC title.