The big finish and bowl win a year ago failed to sway voters in Georgia Tech’s behalf Monday.
The Yellow Jackets went 9-4, including winning their final four games, and beat Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl. But when the numbers were counted at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina, Georgia Tech was picked to finish third in the Coastal Division.
“I was really proud of them and the way they finished the season,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “In the last half of the year, I thought we had a really good football team, and we’re looking forward to building on that and getting started this year.”
Johnson’s team received nine first-place votes and landed behind Miami and Virginia Tech in the predictions. Miami, in its second year under head coach Mark Richt, got 103 first-place votes and Virginia Tech, in its second season under head coach Justin Fuente, received 40 first-place votes.
Georgia Tech is followed in the prediction by Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia. Virginia was the only team that failed to receive a first-place vote.
The poll isn’t the most accurate barometer. Last season, North Carolina was picked to win the Coastal Division and Georgia Tech was picked to finish sixth.
In the Atlantic Division, Florida State was picked to displace Clemson as the division champion. The Seminoles received 121 first-place ballots, with the defending national champion Tigers getting 37.
Following those two were Louisville, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Boston College.
Florida State was picked to win the ACC championship with 118 of the 167 votes. Georgia Tech did not receive a vote to win it all.
Georgia Tech opens the season Sept. 4 against Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. At the recent SEC Media Days, the Vols were picked to finish third in the SEC East behind Georgia and Florida.
“We’ve got a tremendous schedule again,” Johnson said. “I think I saw where somebody had ranked our schedule as the seventh-toughest in the country, but we’ve had a good offseason, a good spring practice and we’re looking forward to getting started.”