Inside the Numbers: Where the mags have UVA Football in the ACC in 2019

uva footballAthlon and Street and Smith’s have UVA Football winning the ACC Coastal Division and in their national Top 25 for 2019.

This is the result of my research from a visit to the local Books-A-Million. Google wasn’t my friend in this pursuit. Unlike last week’s review of Way Too Early Top 25s for college basketball for 2019, I couldn’t find much at all for the 2019 college football season.

The only other finding via my Google search was that SB Nation has Virginia third in the Coastal.

I bought one other preseason mag, Lindy’s, which also has the ‘Hoos third in the Coastal.

The thinking is it’s going to be a three-team race, with UVA, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Those who bleed orange and blue look at those prospects and have to feel pretty good.

Miami has a new coach, Manny Diaz, who took over for the beleaguered Mark Richt, in a move that felt like Richt was forced out, though technically he just retired.

UM has a new coach and will most likely have a new starting quarterback, and the usual expectations that come with the load of top recruiting classes that haven’t been paying off dating back to the Al Golden era.

Virginia Tech, for its part, took a major step back in 2018, suffering the program’s first losing season since 1992 in Justin Fuente’s third season.

Virginia is moving in the opposite direction, improving from two wins in Bronco Mendenhall’s first season to six in 2017 and then eight and a 28-0 win over South Carolina in the Belk Bowl in Year 3.

The ‘Hoos have the Coastal’s top returning quarterback, Bryce Perkins, who put up more than 3,600 yards in total offense and accounted for 34 touchdowns in 2018, and the bulk of arguably the division’s best defense from a year ago.

The only thing Virginia doesn’t have is the name recognition that Miami and Virginia Tech have.

Well, that, and a win over Virginia Tech since the advent of the social-media era.

The Cavaliers do get Tech in Charlottesville on Black Friday, which could be for the Coastal’s spot in the ACC Championship Game a week later.

Assuming, that is, that the Hokies live up to their side of the bargain there.

Story by Chris Graham

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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