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1) How would you weigh the level of importance for each of the football games this year in terms of most impact to the psyche of fan base and players, recruiting impact, and also the overall success of team? – HokieGreyhound
Chris Coleman: Good question. I would normally put Miami at No. 1, because a win over the Hurricanes would go a long way towards winning the Coastal Division. But you also mentioned recruiting impact and the psyche of the fan base and players as factors, so Miami moves down my list slightly behind a couple of other huge games.
1) Florida State. The Hokies open up on Labor Day night in Tallahassee in front of a national audience. The game will get a lot of hype because it is the first of the Willie Taggart era. Tech generally doesn’t win early season big games like this. Last year’s victory over West Virginia was the exception rather than the rule. A win over the ‘Noles would fire up the fan base and help the team build confidence. It would also mean that the Hokies would likely be undefeated when Notre Dame comes to down on Oct. 6. That would be a monster home game.
2) Notre Dame. Virginia Tech has never hosted Notre Dame before. If the Hokies can come into that game at 5-0, or even 4-1, there would be a lot of hype. Beating a team like the Irish would win a lot of points with the fan base and it would be good for national exposure.
3) Miami. The Canes will be ranked heading into the season and they are the defending Coastal Division champs. They come to Blacksburg on Nov. 17 in a game that could potentially decide the Coastal Division race.
4) North Carolina. The Hokies visit UNC on Oct. 13. They’ve blown out the Tar Heels each of the last two seasons and Justin Fuente puts a huge emphasis on recruiting the state of North Carolina. If you’re like me, I want to hammer these guys and run up the score each and every year.
5) Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have defeated Virginia Tech three of the last four years. If the Hokies want to start making it back to the ACC Championship Game on a regular basis, they have to start beating Georgia Tech consistently.
6) Virginia. If Virginia was a better program, they would rank further up this list. But they don’t recruit against Tech anymore and the game doesn’t mean much in terms of the Coastal Division race (unless the Hokies manage to lose, of course).
7-9) Duke, Pittsburgh and Boston College, in whatever order you want put them in. These are important ACC games that the Hokies don’t want to drop.
10) Old Dominion. I rank this ahead of the East Carolina game because it’s an in-state matchup.
11) East Carolina. I rank this ahead of the William & Mary game because the Pirates are an FBS opponent.
12) William & Mary. The Tribe are an FCS opponent.
That’s my list. However, if the Hokies beat Florida State, it’s possible that the Notre Dame game could jump over Florida state as No. 1 on my list, simply because Tech would likely be undefeated heading into that game....
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