A Look Back: The 2000 Pitt Game

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The 2000 Pitt game was a big one for Virginia Tech, and they were also doing
some scoreboard watching as well. The Hokies were squarely in the National
Championship race when a very strong 5-1 Panther team came to Blacksburg in
hopes of shutting down Michael Vick and the powerful Tech offense.

Pitt’s one loss had come to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome 24-17, and they had
also shut out Penn State 12-0. This was an up and coming program, and
considering it would have been easy for Tech to look forward to their next
matchup against Miami, the Panthers were a very dangerous opponent.

What we remember about the game is Carter Warley’s field goal with 16 seconds
left and Dave Meyer’s final-drive heroics, but the most exciting thing about
this game was the buildup. A year after playing for the National Championship,
Tech was undefeated and ranked #2 in the polls. However, their weak schedule put
them at #3 in the BCS.

If the Hokies took out Pitt at home, they would move up to #2. #1 Nebraska
played #2 Oklahoma that same day (October 28) at noon. Just before kickoff,
everyone found out that Oklahoma ran off 31 straight points to whip Nebraska
31-14. If Tech beat Pitt, and then defeated Miami on the road, that would set up
a National Championship matchup with the Sooners.

Miami was #4 in the BCS and still held National Championship hopes as well.
With Nebraska’s loss, they would likely move up to #3 in the BCS, setting up a
#2 vs. #3 matchup the very next week in Coral Gables. If the Hokies beat
Pitt.

Other contenders included Florida State (#5 in the BCS), Florida (#6) and
Clemson (#7).

That’s right: On October 28, 2000, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State and
Clemson made up four of the top seven teams in the BCS. NC State also checked in
at #22. Those top four teams had a combined record of 27-2, with Tech and
Clemson still unbeaten. The ACC was awesome! Except the league was several years
away from expansion, so it wasn’t quite so awesome.

I think Florida State is heading in the right direction. Miami can be good,
with the right coach. Hopefully Clemson will read Hiring Coaches for Dummies
when they decide to get rid of Dabo. The ACC could be a really good league if
all of those schools were good, along with the Hokies of course.

One final pre-game note. CBS studio analyst

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