A thought struck me as I looked over the BCS rankings yesterday: there are
four ACC teams ranked in the BCS, and none of them goes by the name
“Virginia Tech.” The Hokies are struggling on offense, are giving up
big plays on defense and special teams, and are on the verge of starting a QB
who has never been able to crack the two-deep. Yet I feel good about the
remainder of the season. Am I just whistling past the graveyard?
The website UsingEnglish.com tells me “If someone is whistling past the
graveyard, they are trying to remain cheerful in difficult circumstances.”
If ever there were difficult circumstances, these are. VT’s shortcomings have
manifested themselves multiple times this season, leading to three losses in
eight games, with three wins coming by narrow margins over Georgia Tech, UNC and
It has been a solid season for a team that suffered great losses to
graduation and faced a strong early season road schedule. It could have been
even better. The Hokies are just a few plays away from 7-1, and a few more plays
away from 8-0. Conversely, if a few plays go the other way, Tech could be as bad
as 2-6, with victories over just Furman and Western Kentucky.
2008 has been a struggle. But like many of you, when I look over the
remaining schedule, with three games at home (Maryland, Duke, Virginia) and one
on the road (Miami), I like Tech’s chances to finish up 4-0 and head to Tampa
for the ACC Championship Game.
What am I, nuts?
How can an offense that is ranked #112 in NCAA Division 1-A lose its top two
QBs, insert Cory Holt, and hope to score anything against anybody?
You have to score points to win, and if Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor don’t
miraculously heal quickly (which, I’ll grant you, young men in their 20s have
been known to do), VT is going to struggle to score points, to put it mildly.
The Hokie defense and special teams aren’t up to par with years past. They’re
sputtering, too, and giving up game-killing plays.
So where does the 4-0 sunshine come from? Natural optimism, I guess.
The reason I’m asking all these questions is that I
remember 2003. VT started out #10 in the nation, won their first six games,
and rose to #3 in the country. (These days,
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