My friend Brian over at Streaking the Lawn noted that the Richmond Times-Dispatch has an article out today about how Jim Weaver wants teams to have 10 ACC games and 2 out of conference games, one of which must be against a BCS opponent.
I think this is a bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea.
For full disclosure, as many of you know, I'm primarily a Wahoo, but I tend to buck most of my colleagues and root for Hokie sports every chance I get that our two teams aren't playing each other. I get giddy feelings when I see VT crush UNC every year, for instance; I love to read over the Tar Heel fans' lamentations and prognostications about how they're really a better team than VT, there's no way VT will beat them this year, etc, and then watch them get crushed.
The reasons for my Hokie support are many fold; I grew up in Southwest. There's a picture of my father and I cradling my newborn daughter, each clad in Virginia Tech apparel. I have close family friends whose son is an active member of the VT football team, and has scored points this season. I have a lot of respect for what Frank Beamer has done for the football program, and for Frank Beamer personally- when I worked in Pediatric Intensive Care at the University of Virginia, we had a kid who was a rabid VT fan, resisted most efforts for us to make him a UVA fan, and Frank Beamer met this kid and signed footballs for him personally- I got to see in detail how much of a difference it made in this kid's short life.
Anyway, enough with the soap opera bullshit. This plan is wretched, because it plays into the exact mindset that breed contempt for the Virginia Tech program nationally. You go onto an SEC blog or message board like this one, and watch them sneer at this idea. "Oh! They want a cupcake schedule to glean as many easy wins from teams they're familiar with, so they can try to get their joke of a team into a bowl game that's worthwhile! See what happens when Tech plays a team that matters?"
Like it or not, ACC football isn't SEC football. Sorry, we don't gear our schools to the sole purpose of playing football, guys. We generally (*coughUNC/GT/Miamicough*) avoid engaging in ethical or moral wrongdoings to try and win games. So the average football skill of an ACC team isn't that of an SEC team. And Virginia Tech is familiar with the ACC, with the teams that play in it- they've been doing it, and doing it damn well, consistently for the last decade. But the only way to break out of the box, so to speak, is to take risks and schedule demanding games, high risk, high yield.
Heck, in the glory days of UVA football, we took on Texas, Michigan, and Georgia- all road games, and all in those teams' heyday! But guess what? We also lost a bunch of those games. But at least we took that shot! We didn't back down. So we remember, even though it was a loss, playing in front of 100,000 fans in Ann Arbor and losing by a single point on the last play of the game. That's worth more, in my opinion, than blowing out Little Sisters of the Poor U any day of the week. Next year, I'm going to Fort Worth to watch UVA play against TCU. Will we win? Heh, I'd love to think so- but we're going there in any case. We're taking it to them.
I think Virginia Tech needs to get back out there and do that again. If there's three or four out of conference games, schedule them against Wisconsin, Alabama, Stanford, TCU. Make a statement. Yeah, Tech will probably lose a couple of those- heck, they might lose them all. But then Tech can say, "Look. We made a stand- you can't deny it. And we're going to keep coming back until we win." Because I think Tech CAN win those games, and I think it will lead to more success in the future.
My two cents.
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