The Blue Collar Breakdown: Virginia Tech vs. Bowling Green

The Bowling Green State University Falcons are traveling down to Blacksburg and will take on the Hokies in Lane Stadium on Saturday at noon.  The game will be televised by ESPNU, and you can believe that BGSU Head Coach Dave Clawson will have his guys ready to go.  The Hokies will expect their best shot.  Clawson is a very good coach, and even though Bowling Green is 1-2 on the season, they are a well prepared football team who gave Florida all they could handle on opening weekend in The Swamp.  Bowling Green also lost to a pretty good Toledo team that is expected to compete for a MAC Championship this year.  Their only win on the season came against an Idaho team against whom they were favored.  Unlike VT last week at Pitt, the Falcons took care of business against a team they were expected to defeat.

It’s hard to make a prediction about this upcoming game and feel confident.  On paper, this is a game the Hokies should win fairly comfortably.  Undoubtedly, the Hokies will have a large talent advantage.  A quick check of Rivals’ recruiting database shows that from 2008-2011, BGSU has signed the 116th, 109th, 106th, and 105thranked recruiting classes in the country, respectively.  Remember that these rankings are out of a total of 120 teams.  Folks – I went back and I checked those rankings again just to make sure they were right because most people expect The Falcons to make a bowl game this year.  How they can play Florida that close with that level of talent gap is amazing to me.

Bowling Green State University is located in Ohio and there are plenty of good high school football players in that state.  Of course, there is also a LOT of competition for players as well, so that could explain why BGSU has such a hard time attracting talent.  Over that same time period, the Hokies were ranked 18th, 23rd, 23rd and 33rd.  According to Rivals, the Hokies have much better overall talent than The Falcons.  99% of the time, when teams have this kind of talent disparity, the team with more talent wins.

The Hokies coaching staff is also widely known for their ability to develop talent and successfully and find the right players that fit their culture and system.  In other words, they don’t just recruit the top talent in Virginia; they also are selective with their offers and do a good job of finding kids that fit their schemes.  So, not only do the Hokies have more raw talent than BGSU, but you could make a credible argument that the staff does a better job of developing the talent they have.