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Inside the Numbers: Inside UVA being tabbed ACC Coastal Division favorite

uva footballThe headlines have it right. UVA is the preseason favorite in the ACC Coastal Division for the first time ever.

Something struck me as odd in the numbers, though.

Virginia received 82 of the 173 first-place votes, but only finished 11 points ahead of Miami, which received 55 first-place votes.

Which got me to doing some math.

The points are assigned on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, seven points for a first-place vote, six for a second, etc.

You look over at the voting for the Atlantic Division, and Clemson got 171 of the 173 votes, and had 1,209 points.

Dive down into that, and you can easily figure that the two voters who had Syracuse winning the Atlantic then also voted Clemson second.

Virginia, now, in the Coastal. The 82 first-place votes account for 574 of the 1,003 points for the ‘Hoos.

That leaves 429 points on the other 91 ballots. For an average of 4.71 points per ballot.

You get five points for a third-place ballot vote, so the average vote, thus, was slightly less than a third-place vote.

To Miami, then. The ‘Canes had 55 first-place votes, which accounts for 385 of the 992 overall points.

That leaves 607 points for the other 118 ballots. For an average of 5.14 points.

Looking at Virginia Tech, which got 20 first-place votes, for 140 of the 827 points that the Hokies received, we get 4.49 points-per-ballot for those other ballots.

Pitt’s received eight first-place votes; its 165 non-first-place ballots averaged 3.85 points. Duke received six first-place votes; its 167 non-first-places averaged 3.14 points.

North Carolina and Georgia Tech each received a single first-place vote, from media members who are helplessly out of touch with any reality.

UNC’s other ballots averaged 2.65 points; Georgia Tech’s 1.71.

When you look at the teams in the bottom four, you see that their votes largely fell in line with where they finished overall. Pitt being picked fourth, for instance, should yield an average point total around four, and Duke, at fifth, should get three.

Those other ballots for Virginia averaging somewhere between third and fourth, that’s interesting.

There are a lot of fourth-place and below votes out there among those 91, is what I’m suggesting.

Hey, I’m looking for something to be pissed about here, I admit that. I am still shocked that the media vote has Virginia first. My read of the room last week at the ACC Kickoff had me thinking it possible for the first time all spring, but then the math here kind of jumped out at me.

I think it confirms my feelings from the spring, that there’s still plenty of disrespect of Virginia football in the ACC media.

Even on a day when UVA football fans have something to celebrate for the first time in many, many preseasons.

Column by Chris Graham