TSL Roundtable: Significance of the Virginia Tech-Tennessee Game

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Battle at Bristol

Does the Tennessee game have any special significance to the program?

Upwind of uva: Let me first say I want the VT-Tennessee game to be significant to the program, perhaps in the way the 1993 VT-Pitt game was viewed as significant: maybe not nationally relevant, but as a game that helped move the program forward. That game was inwardly relevant by increasing the confidence of a team that had struggled to close out games the prior season. It was a notable – and given the 63 points we scored, noticeable – step in the right direction.

A Tech victory against the Vols certainly would generate some respect for the program among the media and fans (Hokies and rivals alike), just as political candidates receive a “bounce” in the polls just after the party convention. It might give an indication that Tech is on its way to rebuilding the physicality necessary to compete at the highest levels. It also could — could — help with recruiting by allowing coaches to counter the “VT is in decline” narrative that has been out there for a few years now.

The problem I have with considering this game as pivotal is that context is king. Always. It’s still just one game, and will be judged in the context of the rest of the season. And how both Virginia Tech and Tennessee finish the season invariably affects how a victory would be perceived, at least outside the program. Tennessee squeaked by an inferior opponent in week one, so a loss to Tech would more likely generate talk around the Vols being overrated than it would of Tech being resurgent. That is, unless Tennessee went on to tear up