Top Ten Stories of the Decade, #6-#10

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The
2000s were a remarkable decade of change, to put it mildly. ACC expansion, and
Virginia Tech’s inclusion in that expansion, was one of the biggest stories not
just of Virginia Tech athletics, but college athletics as a whole. Hokie
football thrived and grew throughout the decade, along with athletic department
revenue and facilities, not to mention the cost of being a Hokie fan. Men’s
basketball at Tech hit rock bottom and then came back to life, while non-revenue
sports changed their name (to Olympic sports) and notched unprecedented levels
of success. All in all, it was an incredible ten years, sometimes gut-wrenching
but filled to the brim with growth and triumph.

In preparing this story, our focus quickly turned from “stories”
surrounding individual events to “storylines” that threaded throughout
the decade. As we unveil our top ten stories (storylines) of the decade, we
think you’ll agree that everything listed here was newsworthy over time, not
just once.

This is a long article, so we split it in two. Since there’s so much
material, let’s get started right away, counting them down from the
“least” important storyline (#10) to the most important (#1).

But first, a list of nominations that didn’t make our top ten. In the
interests of space, we won’t expound on why these nominees didn’t make the list.
In no particular order:

  • Changes in bowl game preparation following the 2007 Orange Bowl
  • Improved football team discipline and reduced off-field incidents in the
    second half of the decade
  • Wrestling coach Tom Brands’ brief tenure at Tech and his departure for
    Iowa
  • The New York Yankees visiting Blacksburg
  • Quarterback controversies (Noel/Randall, Randall/Vick, Glennon/Taylor)
  • The end of VT vs. WVU in athletics
  • Bonnie Henrickson’s departure and the decline of the women’s basketball
    program from Sweet 16 to losing records
  • Hokies Respect/fan behavior
  • The pre-game walks for the 2003 and 2005 Miami games

Some other event-specific nominations were folded into our top-ten list,

...