An Important Spring for the Hokies

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The Hokies began Spring Practice yesterday, working out indoors because of
wet weather outside. Though the general consensus is that excitement is down
this Spring among the fan base, there hasn’t been a more important Spring for
Tech football in the last five seasons.

If Only the Orange Bowl had Picked UConn …

Remember back in late November/early December, and fans as always were
speculating on Tech’s bowl fate and who they might be matched up against? It was
pretty obvious that the Hokies were going to play Stanford, UConn or WVU in the
Orange Bowl. After UConn won the Big East, it was down to the Huskies and the
Cardinal, and the Orange Bowl considered both options.

Stanford was the highly-ranked team with the star quarterback, and they would
bring better TV ratings. UConn would bring a lot more fans to a game that always
seems to struggle with ticket sales.

In the end, the Orange Bowl went with the TV ratings and picked Stanford, who
easily handled the Hokies in the second half. Meanwhile, UConn went to the
Fiesta Bowl and lost to Oklahoma 48-20. The Huskies scored a defensive touchdown
and a special teams touchdown, otherwise the margin would have been even worse.

The Hokies finished the season 11-3 and ranked in the top 20. Imagine with me
for a moment that the Orange Bowl had decided to take UConn rather than
Stanford. That would have likely been a blowout victory for Virginia Tech. They
would have finished 12-2, and those 12 wins would have been the most in school
history, and it would have likely meant a top 10 finish as well.

The 2010 Hokies would have been talked about by Frank Beamer and Tech fans
for years to come. They would have been mentioned in the same light as the 1995
team, which also lost its first two games and went on to win 10 in a row,
including a Sugar Bowl win. The 2011 Hokies would start the season on a 12-game
winning streak.

How much better would you feel right now if that had happened? Would you be
more excited about Spring Practice? It doesn’t seem like the fan base is as into
Spring ball as they normally are