Coming off Pitt’s first ACC Coastal Division championship in 2018, the Panthers aren’t getting a lot of respect entering the 2019 season.
Pitt was picked to come in fourth place in the Coastal Division in 2019 by members of the ACC media in the conference’s preseason poll, which was released on Monday.
The Panthers received 691 total points and eight first-place votes, well behind the favored Virginia Cavaliers, who had 82 first-place votes and 1,003 points. Miami (992 points) and Virginia Tech (827) also finished ahead of the Panthers.
After Pitt, Duke (566), North Carolina (463) and Georgia Tech (302) rounded out the division. Each team received at least one first-place vote.
Of course, the lack of respect is nothing new for the Panthers. They were picked fifth last year ahead of their division title, when they received 420 points behind Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Duke and did not earn a single first-place vote.
This year’s quest for Coastal Division superiority will get an early start, as Pitt will face Virginia on the season’s opening week. The Panthers will host the Cavaliers at Heinz Field at 7:30 p.m. on August 31.
In the last six years, six different teams have won the Coastal Division. Virginia is the only team in the division that has not won a title since the ACC split into divisions before the 2005 season.
Clemson was again named the overwhelming favorite as the conference champion and to come out of the Atlantic Division. Syracuse received two votes for each, while Virginia received one championship vote.
The Tigers have won the Atlantic Division and the ACC Championship Game for four consecutive years, including a 42-10 win over Pitt in the 2018 ACC Championship Game. Clemson won national championships in 2016 and 2018.
The Coastal Division has not had an ACC Championship Game winner since 2010, when Virginia Tech beat Florida State. The Hokies have won three ACC Championship Games. Georgia Tech won in 2009.