Reflecting on the ACC Championship Game

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Virginia Tech and their fans went down to the Queen City expecting a
coronation as ACC champions, but on the way to the ceremony, they were dragged
into an alley and beaten up instead. Less than 24 hours later, the Sugar Bowl
came along, picked us up and dusted us off, and invited us to a party with
Michigan. What a weekend full of surprises.

We always think we know what’s going to happen in college football, don’t we?
And then the rug gets pulled out from under us. No way does Iowa State beat
Oklahoma State … and then they do. No way does Virginia go 8-4 this season …
and then they do. Florida State’s going to win the ACC this year, right? Wrong.
Joe Paterno is a deity who would never do anything wrong. Except he’s not. The
Hokies are smoking hot and Clemson’s fading. Big win for Virginia Tech, right?

Virginia Tech would never get an at-large bid to a BCS Bowl with a ranking of
#11. Then they did.

“What If?” Happens

I just looked up the preseason
media picks for ACC football
, and our article contains this
little snippet:

“… two more [voters] picked Clemson over the Hokies [in the ACC
Championship Game].”

So back in July, two guys out of 71 got it right.

But it wasn’t about what people thought back in July. This game was about the
fading Clemson Tigers, losers of three (nearly four) of their last four games,
looking lost and confused, ready to face a Virginia Tech team that was picking
up steam as it approached the finish line.

Everybody picked the Hokies, even Clemson fans. A critical mass of
prognosticators forecast a Hokie win, and Clemson fans in Charlotte all said,
“You’re going to kill us.” Clemson blogs blasted the Tigers for being
soft and fading again. I pegged it at 35-17, which is a huge margin of victory
for me to pick in a game like this, and