So let's begin. Several of our writers were eager enough to chime in on the subject, so lots of ground to cover here. As always, we look forward to reading your own predictions in the comments below!
Official Question: What Bowl Do You Think The Hokies Will Play In Following The Season?
Justin Cates, Associate Editor Extraordinaire:
When you look at this year's schedule, it's actually not that hard to see a competent team put together a really strong record. Of course, you could have said that last season before Tech lost three of its final five regular season games. Unless Michael Brewer comes in, stays upright from good blocking and lights the conference on fire (in a good way), it's quite likely the Hokies will drop four or five games again this season.
I'll say Tech loses to Ohio State, East Carolina, Boston College and North Carolina. OSU is obvious and a good showing there would be impressive. Tech always plays down to BC and ECU and Carolina may be good for once. Anyway, I'm slotting Tech for a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl where we will all receive free hats care of New Era!
Full disclosure, this is a selfish pick as I live in upstate New York. I would finally be likely to attend a bowl game, though the prospect of sitting in new Yankee Stadium in a swirling, snowy, bitter wind on an afternoon in December isn't actually that enticing. Thank goodness we can go into the casino in center field to warm ourselves. I envision Tech squaring off with Iowa in an old-timey defensive struggle. Kirk Ferentz's defense versus Bud Foster's. In fact the offenses won't even take the field, it will be just defenders playing rugby.
Virginia Tech wins in a squeaker 3-2 and hoists the George M. Steinbrenner trophy, which I assume is made of solid gold.
Editor's Note: Here's what I think of all trophies that might originate in the Bronx:
Honestly any bowl game that is played above the Mason Dixon line should be outlawed, that's no vacation. --Flyers13
Hokie Mark, ACC Guru & Resident Dreamer:
I say VT's OL all report to Fall camp weighing in at 325 to 350 and toting a fully-stocked refrigerator under one arm and a small car under the other. There are rumors of steroids, deer antlers, and "the clear", but no one can prove anything. Tech leads the nation in rushing yards, gaining exactly four yards per carry on every play between the tackles.
The Hokies go undefeated in the regular season (including a demoralizing 35-3 whipping of Ohio State), edge out FSU 49-48 in the ACC CG, then go on to win the first College Football Playoffs with victories over Auburn and Alabama.
Editor's Note: Mark lives in NC, and as I understand it they have some local customs. After reading this I can only envision him making this prediction after having a similar tragedy to the one below befall him. If you have a problem with objectionable language, please be warned, this clip is not for the timid. But nonetheless, appropriate in light of this prediction.
I don't know folks, is Hokie Mark maintaining? --Flyers13
Pat Sawyer, Incoming Hokie, Already Versed In Hokie Pessimism
The Hokie offense struggles to score points consistently, but manage to win several close ball games thanks to the usual dominant defense. Though it currently seems that Michael Brewer will be atop the depth chart at QB, but Leal and Motley won't be far behind if he struggles out of the gate. I believe the QB battle, which Tech hasn't had one in a long time, will continue into the early parts of the season until one quarterback proves they can play well consistently.
Kendall Fuller will make large impacts yet again, as opposing quarterbacks will look to not throw his direction because of the way he picked off or deflected pass after pass last season. The Hokies non-conference games will be a good early test to see where they are at as a team, as they have struggled in recent years to have the offense and defense both play well together early in the season (East Carolina game last year, for example). The first four of five games are at home as well, which should help give the Hokies momentum off the bat.
In the end though, the Hokies have another tough year, finishing 7-5 overall and just 4-4 in the ACC. The Hokies bowl streak continues though, as they play in the Belk Bowl.
Editor's Note: Time for me to figure out what the heck a Belk actually is. And after searching the web, I'm not impressed. Put it this way, the Continental Tire Bowl (2005-2010) had more cachet. Look at this fierce logo, and tell me what it's supposed to inspire.
Back to School shopping? And Charlotte. Just where we want to be in the event of losing the ACC Title Game in Charlotte just weeks before. Charlotte=The New Jacksonville as far as we're concerned.
Rickey the Dragon 3:16, Recruiting Editor
Belk Bowl (ACC 3-6 vs SEC 3-8) Charlotte, NC. We love Charlotte.
I'm guessing we'll play South Carolina, in a long overdue matchup against what feels like an ideal fit for a natural SEC rival outside of Tennessee.
Hokies finish the season 8-5, losing 4 of those games by a combined 10 points due to crucial FG misses and ST's blunders. #RIPBeamerball. VT loses badly to F$U in the ACCCG. Clemson will take the #2 ACC bid (Russell Athletic Bowl). On a bright note, Marshawn Williams and Trey Edmunds will rack up a ton of yards despite leaky line play. The defense will again be stout, keeping the 2014 Hokies afloat and in most games to the end.
Editor's Note: This sounds disturbingly like it fits an adage I coined about our offense back circa 2006: Groundhog Day at the Cheesecake Factory (for our overabundant offensive playbook that nets zero quality "dishes")
Pretty bleak, eh? But this video would not be apt if we weren't able to draw just a few parallels. --Flyers13
James Mitchell, Class of 2014 (Congrats!)
Bowl Prediction: Michael Brewer comes in and wins the starting quarterback job over Mark Leal and Brenden Motley. He proves to be the better signal caller and the right man for the job. But is he enough to get the Hokies to the ACC Championship and the opportunity for a BCS bowl?
Ultimately, Michael Brewer isn't the answer to all of Tech's problems. The supporting cast of the inexperienced offensive line and the sometimes inconsistent wide receivers will prove to be the team's downfall.
One thing that will improve is the running game with freshman running back Marshawn Williams. The running game will improve from last season but ultimately will still not be good enough.
The defense remains strong in the midst of more offensive turmoil and gives the Hokies every opportunity to win games.
Final Prediction: The Hokies go 8-4 in the regular season. 9-3 if they get lucky. The ACC has a down year and Tech makes it to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
So that leaves us to reflect on times like these:
Let's hope it's more of the latter.
Flyers13, Managing Editor, Veteran of the Hokie Bowl Process (Your Own Personal Elgin Baylor)
I'll keep it simple. Ohio State is going to be a loss. We should win the other three games out of conference. Due to the fact that the team is under construction, I will accept one loss in this weak ACC slate which doesn't feature FSU, Clemson, or Louisville. Our Atlantic opponents are BC and Wake Forest, imminently winnable games.
I expect the Hokies to win the Coastal and serve themselves up as sacrificial lambs to this latest version of the FSU juggernaut in the ACC title game. Due to the lack of respect for our slate of wins, having lost the couple games that truly matter on the national circuit, we will be relegated to third best ACC bowl behind FSU and Clemson, which should find us in familiar environs, Atlanta.
We should be that much better than the rest of the Coastal and Louisville who had to replace both coach Charlie Strong and NFL first-round QB Teddy Bridgewater, so being the third most attractive team out of the ACC to bowl match-makers should be enough to keep us on national TV on New Year's Eve. As for opponent, I am feeling LSU, Georgia, or Mizzou.
I am almost hoping that VT falls short of 10 wins though, because we don't need Frank Beamer and Company having the opportunity to trumpet another 10 win season at all his local recruiting gatherings as though it occurred in 1991 when teams played 12 games including bowl game. It's a new era Coach, teams play 14 games. If you go 10-4 now, that's the same as 8-4 20 years ago. And on this there can be no debate!
Hope you enjoyed this latest roundtable. Please let us know what you are expecting out of the team this year in the comments below.