Friday Q&A: December 17, 2010

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In today’s Friday Q&A, we talk a little football and basketball. Ticket sales for the Orange Bowl are moving slowly, and we discuss that and other football related items. Also, what is the basketball team’s best lineup right now?

1) Do you see Orange Bowl attendance and ticket sales becoming a perennial issue if VT stays at this pace of winning the ACC? Do we need to shake up our tie-ins, or maybe go free agent in the BCS process?

To steal a line from Seth Greenberg, it’s all about who you play, where you play and when you play. The Hokies are playing a Stanford team that is 66-74 over the last 12 years, with just three previous bowl appearances in that span (all losses). They are playing them in the Orange Bowl, which is about as far south in the continental United States as you can get, and they are playing them on Monday night, January 3.

Stanford is 11-1, and the highest ranked one-loss football team in the country. They have future #1 pick Andrew Luck at quarterback, and former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh as their head coach. Despite all of that, Stanford is most known for their academics. This is like playing Kansas again, except they have a #1 draft pick and are one of the best schools in the country. People know who Stanford is, and though there is plenty of respect for this specific football team, we all know what is going to happen to them after Luck and Harbaugh leave.

School also starts back up that week, and if you work in the school system, or have children, it might be very difficult to make the trip to the Orange Bowl. If the game were on Saturday night, January 1, then no problem. But alas, it is not.

One other major factor, for me at least, is opposing fans. Stanford only gets about 40,000 people to attend their home games. How many are they going to get to travel all the way across the country, and of those that do travel, how many really know how to act like college football fans? When the Hokies have played teams like Auburn, Georgia, LSU, USC, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Tennessee in road or neutral site games, the opposing fanbase has helped make the experience a blast. It’s fun going out and meeting hardcore fans of the opposition, and I’m just not sure Stanford is going to bring that to the table.

Because of where the stadium is located, the Orange Bowl experience is a little different for Tech fans as well. Veterans of the Sugar Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl, Hokies are used to doing a lot of pre-gaming