2009 Monday Thoughts: Duke

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It’s Monday, and parts of Hokie Nation are filled with angst over a
less-than-stellar performance against Duke. Not me. There are areas of concern
on VT’s team (what’s up with that defense?), but Saturday’s game featured a
dominating performance by Tech’s quarterback and wide receivers, a welcome
sight. The college football landscape is littered with broken dreams already
(hello, Houston), and the Hokies did the most important thing: they won.

For those of you still keeping an eye on the national championship race,
Sunday morning’s polls were a surprising revelation. The Hokies entered the
weekend ranked #6 in both polls, and after a narrower-than-expected win over
Duke, a fall in the polls was entirely possible. Everyone in front of the Hokies
won, and right behind Tech, #7 USC hammered Cal on the road, 30-3. I was
expecting the Trojans to leapfrog Tech and bump the Hokies to #7.

Lo and behold, Tech moved up to #5 in both polls, jumping over Boise State in
the process and holding off USC. I figured the pollsters would take steps at
some point to send a clear message to Boise State that there’s no way the
Broncos were headed to the national championship game, but I didn’t expect that
process to start so early.

Elsewhere, the Miami Hurricanes’ win over Oklahoma must have done Tech some
good. Miami jumped all the way to #11, and I figure the Hokies’ win over Miami
looks more impressive now. What if the ‘Canes run the table the rest of the way
and end up 11-1? Tech’s victory looks very impressive in that scenario.

As an aside, the ACC has its best chance ever for two BCS bids, as long as VT
stays ahead of Miami. A non-Miami ACC champ could go to the BCS, along with a
one-loss ‘Canes team. I (ahem) made it apparent on the message board last might
that I haven’t analyzed the BCS team availability and selection process very
thoroughly, but at the very least, this year presents a chance for the ACC to
finish with two highly-ranked teams, if VT and Miami can win out against
favorable schedules the rest of the way.

Exactly one month after Alabama downed the Hokies in Atlanta, Virginia Tech
is ranked two spots higher than they were pre-Tide. The Harris Poll, which is in
the BCS formula in lieu of the AP Poll, has VT at #6, still behind BSU. Tech has
just one commandment, for both the ACC championship and