Can Virginia Tech upset the Buckeyes again? That's the question fans are asking ourselves as Labor Day Monday approaches and believe me it isn't just VT fans wondering this as CBS writer Dennis Dodd is wondering the same thing in his article posted on the 1st of September. Yes, the Buckeyes have revenge on their minds due to the single blemish on their record last year, but it makes me scratch my head when national writers or causal fans just don't realize the wealth of talent the Hokies bring back for this 2015 season; however as I write this I know the single factor holding VT back from meeting their full potential is coaching and by coaching I mean Scot Loeffler the Offensive Coordinator.
There isn't a shadow of doubt I have in the Bud Foster led defense entering Monday nights match-up and understand he will be employing a near mirror image of the 46 front employed last season, but the offensive game plan heading into this game is a complete mystery because with Loeffler at the helm there is never really a rhyme or reason to his play calls during the course of a game. Despite his obvious flaws as a coordinator, how will this game impact the Hokies season moving forward, win or loss? For starters, if the Hokies lose this game you can flush the dream of sneaking into the four team playoffs down the drain as VT's strength of schedule would not be strong enough to recover over the course of the season. So as a fan you have to ask yourself, entering this season are your delusional hopes to sneak into the playoffs or compete for an ACC title which we haven't done since 2010 or simply be competitive and NOT go into overtime with a putrid Wake Forest football team? Still can't get this image out of my mind from last year.
A loss to the defending national champions isn't the worst thing in the world as Vegas has clearly shown that bettors are heavily favoring the Buckeyes as we inch closer to the game as the spread has increased from -11 to currently -14.5. (On a side note, if your a Hokie fan with some change on the side you take the 14 points being given to you that way win or lose, you're rooting HARD all game long). So say the Buckeyes pull out the victory in Lane stadium in a close one winning by the score of 27-17, what does this mean for the rest of the season? First stage of a big loss is depression, but the second stage is a pick-me-up game against a 1AA opponent in Furman. Don't be shocked if this game is utterly sloppy and not worth watching because to come off the high of the Labor Day Monday game will be tough for not only the players but the coaching staff as well to prepare the team to move forward into the season.
Losing a tough one to the Buckeyes still leaves the ACC title open, but I can already see a potential rough patch when the Hokies enter ACC play and it happens to be the first three games in ACC action which is hosting Pittsburgh at home, short week and play the NC State Wolfpack on a Friday night, THEN travel the very next week to play at rival Miami Hurricanes. For you SEC fans out there, no it isn't exactly a gauntlet of games but considering the Hokies record in the ACC the past several seasons this stretch of games will be the ultimate deciding factor as to which direction the VT football program is heading for years to come. Sounds heavy to say that, but it's true when you factor that next seasons team loses a TON of talent from this 2015 roster.
No one wants to see Beamer's end come anytime soon, but reality tells us that when you get to avoid Louisville, Clemson, AND Florida State in conference play in the same year there really isn't any excuse to justify not competing for an ACC title this season despite the GT Yellow Jackets having a dangerous offense that no one in the country wants to face-off against. At the end of the day, if VT loses to Ohio State we as fans will have to adjust our blinders a notch. Ditch the national title run dream you might have had after drinking one too many cups of VT koolaid, but sit back and enjoy because the season has many twists and turns it can take which could possibly result in the Hokies competing for another ACC title as long as they bounce back appropriately and stay focused each and every week.