Virginia Tech appears ready for another crack at Alabama.
As the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot's Kyle Tucker reports, the Hokies have all but made it official that they'll open what would be quarterback Logan Thomas' senior season with the Crimson Tide:
Tech athletic director Jim Weaver confirmed Friday that he is in negotiations for a potential rematch between the Hokies and Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff to start the 2013 season, which would be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
The move would continue Frank Beamer's philosophy of not backing down from the national spotlight when it comes to these games. Tech has always been willing to go up against the nation's best regardless of the opponent or the location. But how much has that really helped the Hokies?
As Tucker points out, Tech hasn't had a good track record in these made-for-TV games (they've lost all of them) and with the exception of two wins against Nebraska, have not been very good against their non-conference schedule for the better part of a decade.
What these games do is keep the Hokies in the national conversation during the off-season and thrusts them into the spotlight when the season begins. But whenever they lose these games, they're off the national radar for the rest of the season.
I'd rather the Hokies schedule more winnable games at the beginning of the season that keeps them in the national discussion later into the season. The last time anyone really cared about Virginia Tech entering November was 2005 when Tech started the season 8-0.
I have a lot of respect for Beamer and the administration for their bold scheduling philosophy, but at this point I'd rather be relevant in November than in June through September.
The Hokies have tried this strategy and it's failed so far. If Norm Wood of the Newport News Daily Press' recent blog post is any indication, it will probably fail again in 2013. On paper, the Tide will likely have a much stronger team going into that match-up with the Hokies unless Tech's increased recruiting efforts bears fruit well ahead of schedule.
The Hokies made their 2011 schedule knowing they would have to break in a new quarterback. The result is one that should keep Tech undefeated through September (though it's no guarantee) and give its young players time to mature and get used to the speed of D1 football. But more often than not, they'll play a very lose-able game early, according to the Daily Press' David Teel.
Future schedules include Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. That's great for season ticket holders, but bad for a team that doesn't have a good history in marquee games. Is there a happy medium the Hokies can find? Can they keep ticket buyers happy and still give themselves a chance to be in the hunt for a national title late in the year?
I'd like to see them limit themselves to at most one BCS-conference non-conference opponent per year. It would keep them from completely losing their reputation of quality scheduling and give them something they can manage as long as they stay away from these made-for-TV games.
Tech's goal should be to play teams like Alabama in January, not on Labor Day weekend.
For the Alabama Crimson Tide point of view, go to Roll Bama Roll.