The Virginia Tech Hokies will take to the field in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3 in their second-most important game in school history.
Frank Beamer's team will take on the explosive Michigan Wolverines, led by perennial Heisman contender Denard Robinson.
Some may wonder what the Hokies' biggest game in history is.
That contest also took place in the Sugar Bowl and was the only National Championship appearance for Virginia Tech in school history.
The Hokies were led by the electrifying Michael Vick, who single-handedly put Virginia Tech on the national scene for the first time.
On defense, Tech was anchored by defensive end Corey Moore, who struck fear into the hearts of offensive tackles who opposed him.
Being just 11 at the time, I was unaware and uninterested in the intricacies of coaching strategies heading into the championship game. All I knew was that Florida State was the powerhouse of college football and my Hokies were the clear-cut underdog.
Our only chance was superman himself—or Vick.
Unfortunately, Tech fell behind 28-7 seemingly in the blink of an eye due to the amazing playmaking of Seminole wide receiver Peter Warrick.
Maybe it was my youthful optimism, or perhaps it was just the Blacksburg belief in Vick.
Whatever it was, I never thought the Hokies were out of it—I was right.
Virginia Tech went on to score 22 unanswered points to take a 29-28 lead after a touchdown run by André Kendrick. The Hokies looked well on their way to a shocking upset of the mammoth Florida State Seminoles.
To my chagrin, the talent disparity reared its head in the late stages as Florida State put up 18 straight points to pull ahead 46-29. The Seminoles, led by quarterback Chris Weinke and Peter Warrick, were simply too much for the overmatched Hokies.
However, the 2000 Sugar Bowl served the purpose of announcing Tech's arrival as a viable contender in BCS football. Despite the expert's predictions that Florida State would dominate, the Hokies held their ground and made a statement.
No one is happy to see Virginia Tech in the 2012 Sugar Bowl versus Michigan. Pundits suggest Michigan will run the Hokies right out of the Superdome.
Just like 2000.
Frank Beamer is required to play the highlights of that game prior to Tuesday's kickoff. Watching Vick run around future NFL defenders would pump up any team. It is sure to inspire the Hokies and may just bring back the "Beamer Ball" style Tech fans have come to love.
Many college football fans will be boycotting the 2012 Sugar Bowl based on Tech's invitation alone. As a Virginia Tech fan, I am not apologizing and neither should Tech.
Time to prove your worth again, Hokies.
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