Don’t Sleep on These Teams

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Virginia Tech’s got a cake schedule for 2006, right? It’s a bunch of lousy out of
conference matchups and lame ACC teams. That road trip to Miami is a Herculean
task, but other than that, the Hokies should mow through the other 11 matchups
with ease, right? Wrong. We’ll take a look at a small handful of
“trap” games that you might think the Hokies will win without any
problem, but in reality, they’re games that Tech could easily lose.

Virginia Tech has won a ton of games since 2004. 21, to be exact. The Hokies
have lost just five games over that same stretch, and for the most part, the
losses have come to a murderer’s row of high-profile programs: USC, Auburn,
Miami, and Florida State. Some of college football’s most storied programs have
accounted for four of those five losses.

The other loss came to NC State early in the 2004 season. That’s the only
game Tech has lost in the last couple of seasons to a lower-profile opponent,
and though it stung, it’s only one game out of the last 26.

Point being, Tech fans have probably forgotten — or more accurately, erased
from memory — some of the humbling losses from 2001-2003: Syracuse and
Pittsburgh in 2001;
Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and WVU in 2002;
West Virginia, Pitt, Boston College, Virginia, and California in 2003.

After a couple of strong years like the Hokies had in 2004 and 2005, there’s
a tendency to dismiss everyone on the schedule that doesn’t have national
championships or conference championships in their recent past. Names like Miami
and Florida State stand out, but maybe you don’t worry about some of the names
that fly under the radar: Wake Forest, UNC, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Southern
Mississippi, and the like.

Don’t be cocky, though, and don’t be dismissive. We’ve picked out a group of
teams that you shouldn’t sleep on, either as a player, coach, or fan. Here’s our
take on the punching bags that might hit back this year.