For the first time in school history, Wake Forest's football team will be ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams entering the 2008 season.
In the USA Today Coaches Poll released today, the Demon Deacons are ranked 23rd headed into their season-opener against Baylor on Aug. 28 in Waco, Texas.
Clemson (9) and Virginia Tech (15) are the other two ACC teams ranked in the top 25. The coaches tabbed Georgia as the No. 1 team in the country.
The Deacs sit between No. 22 Penn State and No. 24 Michigan. Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe acknowledged the ranking but said it “certainly doesn’t guarantee a good season.” “I think it’s rewarding for us in that people respect our football program,” he said in a statement.
“But at the same time, it’s a bit scary because we have a really tough schedule. ... From our perspective, it’s nice to be ranked in the preseason but it would be nicer to be ranked highly at the end of the season.”
Last season, Wake Forest finished 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the ACC. The Deacs reached the Maineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte and defeated Connecticut 24-10.
They have been selected by media members to finish second in the ACC’s Atlantic Division behind Clemson. Wake Forest’s preseason ranking comes as the program’s earliest selection by either of the two major polls in school history.
Previously, the Deacs were ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll and 21st in the USA Today Coaches Poll on Sept. 7 2003.