Panthers place third in ACC Coastal Division preseason poll

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Panthers place third in ACC Coastal Division preseason poll

Expectations are much higher for Pitt in Pat Narduzzi's second year as head coach.  Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Expectations are much higher for Pitt in Pat Narduzzi's second year as head coach. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Expectations are much higher for Pitt in Pat Narduzzi's second year as head coach. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Expectations are much higher for Pitt in Pat Narduzzi's second year as head coach. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

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One year after being picked to finish second-to-last in the ACC Coastal Division, the Pitt football team placed third in this year’s preseason poll at the 2016 ACC Football Kickoff media days in Charlotte.

In Pat Narduzzi’s first year as head coach in 2015, the Panthers placed sixth out of the seven Coastal Division teams in the preseason poll –– only to finish the regular season with a record of 8-4 (6-2 ACC) and in second place in the division.

This year, the media won’t be blindsided by a similar result.

In voting from 191 media members at last week’s ACC Football Kickoff, Pitt received 14 first-place votes and 859 total voting points, rating only behind defending division champion North Carolina, with 1,238 voting points, and Miami, with 1,108.

Last year, the Panthers received only three first-place votes and 535 total voting points while being picked to finish in sixth place, ahead of only Virginia.

Trailing Pitt in fourth place in this year’s preseason poll is Virginia Tech, with three first-place votes and 697 voting points. Duke received two first-place votes and 597 voting points, just edging out Georgia Tech’s 588 voting points for fifth place. Virginia finished last in the preseason poll for the third consecutive year with 261 voting points.

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