There’s Lots to Play for in the Orange Bowl

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This isn’t exactly the most hyped-up Orange Bowl ever. Hardly anyone I know
is going, the matchup isn’t sexy for the TV guys, and ESPN seems to think the
only BCS game being played is the Rose Bowl. Nonetheless, it’s important. Here
are six reasons why it’s important, in no particular order.

Just Win 10, Baby

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Virginia Tech, Texas, and USC are the only
teams to win ten games for the last four seasons — five, if the Hokies knock
off the Bearcats tomorrow night. Is that just regular season wins, or total
wins, including the bowl games? I don’t know. I don’t really care.

I do know that Frank Beamer likes to divert attention to that stat every time
someone tells him his offensive coordinator can’t coach his way out of a paper
bag. I wrote a column in early September, when the Jason in Arlington brouhaha
broke out, called the Ten-Win
Tightrope
, in which I opined that Frank was stepping out on a ledge by
defending his 100th-ranked offense by leaning on ten-win seasons and ACC
Championships.

Frank, his staff and his players have overcome a tremendous amount of
adversity, challenges and youth to notch their third ACC championship in five
years, a remarkable feat. The Hokies are on the verge of posting a fifth
straight ten win season. That’s part of what this game is all about: reaching
double figures yet again.

Breaking the BCS Drought

The 1995 Sugar Bowl win over Texas is dusty and has serious cobwebs hanging
on it. It remains VT’s only BCS Bowl win to date, and it’s so old that it was an
Alliance Bowl win, not a BCS Bowl win. That’s right: Tech’s glory in the big
ones predates the BCS itself.

Since then, the Hokies have lost four straight BCS Bowls, to Nebraska (’96
Orange), FSU (’99 Sugar), Auburn (’04 Sugar), and Kansas (’07

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