CFA Bowl a Key Launching Point for 2007

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was pondering the significance of Tech’s upcoming date with Georgia at the
Chick-fil-A Bowl, and one thing struck me: whether Tech wins or loses the game
will greatly affect their preseason ranking heading into 2007. Win, and VT will
probably be a top 10 preseason team. Lose, and they will be at least 5-10 spots
lower. And where you start affects where you can finish.

Before I go on, I’m not real big on hype, expectations, and national
championship aspirations. A lot of it has to do with the business I’m in and my
philosophy on how to enjoy the game. I feel that if fans set their expectations
or hopes on a national championship, they’re going spend the large majority of
their time — probably all of it — feeling disappointed. As the GM of a web
site with active message boards, I don’t like pumping the fans up, only to have
them be let down, then have to deal with the residue. I’ve been down that road a
few times (2003 and 2005, anyone?) and I don’t like it.

I’m into conference championships, though. That’s what I want for the Hokies
every year. As an aside, that’s what makes this season a little tough to take; I
think VT is the best team in the ACC right now, but they were out of the ACC
race pretty early, which sucked the drama out of an otherwise enjoyable 10-2

Enough table-setting. VT’s going to have a good chance to win the ACC next
year. That’s a fact, and how the Hokies do in next week’s Chick-fil-A Bowl won’t
impact their ability to compete for and win the 2007 ACC championship, because
that gets settled on the field.

But if you’re the kind of person who likes to see high rankings for the
Hokies and likes to see Tech in the hunt for the national championship, then the
CFA Bowl outcome is critical to launching the Hokies’ 2007 campaign in the polls
and BCS rankings. A bowl win is the perfect launching pad for a team the
following season.

VT experienced this in 1998-1999, when a fringe top 25 Hokie