The loss to Boise State all but ended the quest to make the national
championship game. The loss to JMU ended it for good and knocked the Hokies from
the rankings. The road wins over BC and NC State got Tech off to a good start in
the ACC, and the win over Central Michigan finished the non-conference
portion of the schedule. Now the Hokies have six straight ACC games coming up,
four of them at home, and one goal in mind: win the Coastal Division and make
the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
I have waited sooooo long for this: an ACCCG just 163 miles away from my home
in Radford (I MapQuested it), an easy two and a half hour drive down I-81 and
I-77 to Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium. One of my dreams since the Hokies
received an ACC invitation in 2003 was to see Tech play an ACC Championship Game
before a rocking, packed house.
I attended the 2005 ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville, when the Hokies
lost to Florida State 27-22. The house wasn’t packed (attendance was listed at
72,749 but there were plenty of empty seats), and the only rocking was being
done by the partisan FSU crowd as they turned a 3-3 half time score into a 27-3
whipping after three quarters. Don’t let that final score fool you: FSU rained
down on Tech in the third quarter, and the fourth quarter was just a long, drawn
out victory lap for the Noles.
That was a long drive home.
It was also my fourth trip to Jacksonville in 11 years to attend Hokie
football games, and I told myself I wasn’t going back there again. When the
Hokies beat BC in 2007, I wasn’t there, and when the ACCCG moved to Tampa for
2008 and 2009, that definitely precluded me traveling to it. The time and the
budget simply weren’t there.
Now the game is in Charlotte, where it should have been all along. And
there’s a good chance that the league is going to wind up with a good matchup
that will fill up the stadium (capacity 73,778) the night of December 4th.
Here are the ACC Standings, heading into this weekend:
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