A Bad Weekend Ends Well

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Well, that trip to Charlotte certainly didn’t go as expected. Watching that one, you’d think it was Virginia Tech that was struggling in November while Clemson was blowing teams out. College football is a funny sport to figure out sometimes. Fortunately, the weekend was salvaged by a somewhat unexpected invitation to the Sugar Bowl on Sunday. Finally, the Hokies are going back to New Orleans.

Give the Tigers Their Due

Before we talk about the Hokies, let’s take a minute to give Clemson credit. Virginia Tech is a very good football team, as usual. They have won 11 games this season, and were Coastal Division Champs. In their two losses to the Tigers in 2011, they’ve been outscored 61-13. That’s complete domination on the part of Clemson.

I didn’t feel like the Hokies played particularly well back on October 1, considering they were a relatively healthy team at that point. They sure didn’t play well in the ACC Championship Game, but much of that was due to the Tigers. They had a good game plan, their players were fired up, and they played a really good football game.

You’ve got to give credit to Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff. What happened to Virginia Tech on Saturday night had happened to Clemson in three of their last four games. The Tigers had been flattened by Georgia Tech, NC State and South Carolina, and were lucky to get past Wake Forest. Mentally, that team was on the ropes, Tajh Boyd was playing poorly, yet somehow their coaching staff managed to get things turned around in the right direction in one short week.

Tip your hat to them, just as you’d want the opponent to tip their hats to Virginia Tech if the situations were reversed. The Tigers earned it.

The Elimination Game

The shock of getting blown out by Clemson was taken away with the news that the Hokies had been selected as an at-large team to face the Michigan Wolverines in the Sugar Bowl. Say what? That’s a nice consolation prize, to say the least.

Virginia Tech finished #11 in the BCS standings, and their opponent in the Sugar Bowl will be #13 Michigan, who was also an at-large team. With automatic bids going to LSU, Alabama, West Virginia, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Oregon, the BCS needed three at-large teams to fill out the BCS.

They had Houston, who was all set to go undefeated, until the Cougars were destroyed by Southern Miss on Saturday. Let’s tip our caps to Southern Miss, while we’re on the subject of cap tipping. The Hokies wouldn’t