We are slowly but surely closing in on the beginning of the 2012 collegiate football season. In just over three months, football fans around the country will make a pilgrimage to their favorites school's stadium or maybe just to their favorite chair. Fans of the Virginia Tech Hokies will be no different.
Every game during the season counts in college football, but every school and every fan has a select few games on the schedule that they circle. Those are the important games, the rivalry games and the games that can move your team significantly in the rankings.
There are five of these games for the Hokies this season. The following list will identify them and give you a short preview of each.
The annual Hokies versus Hurricanes game is one that both fanbases look forward to every season. The two schools have been bitter rivals since their days in the Big East. Most people simply assumed that Miami would be the better program when the two schools joined the ACC, but the record says otherwise.
The Hokies have owned the Hurricanes (as well as the ACC) since joining in 2004. This game will have a lot to live up to following last year’s offensive battle in Blacksburg. In that game, Logan Thomas ran for a touchdown in the final minute of play to give the Hokies the win. Thomas made a difference in the passing game as well, completing 23-of-25 passes.
Both of these teams are replacing a lot of key pieces on offense, so it is doubtful that this will be a repeat of last year. It will probably a lower scoring game, but exciting nonetheless.
Hokie fans are always excited for the battle for the Commonwealth Cup. Cavalier fans don’t always have the same enthusiasm. Virginia hasn’t beaten Virginia Tech since the Hokies joined the ACC. The Cavaliers had their best chance in a while last season but the Hokies marched into Charlottesville and shut out the Wahoos.
Virginia is replacing a lot of seniors from last year’s group, so it is hard to predict a different outcome this season. The Hokies should continue their dominance of the Cavaliers in 2012.
The Hokies lost three games in 2011, and two of them came at the hands of the Tigers. The Hokies want revenge. Both of these groups are replacing contributors on offense, but both teams should be hitting their stride by the eighth game of the season.
Virginia Tech has all the motivation to win down in Death Valley, but if the Hokies can’t do more offensively this year, then the game will have the same outcome. All the pressure is on Frank Beamer’s squad this year to do what they couldn’t in 2011.
There are a few reasons that this is such a huge game for both the Yellow Jackets and the Hokies. The Jackets are arguably the Hokies' biggest rivals in the ACC. The “Techmo Bowl” has determined the winner of the Coastal division every year since the ACC moved to the division format.
The second reason that fans are so excited about this game is because it is the season opener. The Hokies want to start the season off on the right foot, and you have to like their odds. Georgia Tech has a poor record when an opponent has over a week to prepare for them. Bud Foster has three months. The Hokies offense probably won’t look great in Week 1, but this appears to be one of the best defenses Foster has ever had.
This game is the best the ACC has to offer in 2012. These two programs are considered the class of the ACC, but they rarely meet on the field. Fans are excited for this one, not only because of the opponent, but also because it is a Thursday night game in Lane Stadium.
The “orange effect” will be shown to a national audience on ESPN. Thursday night football is one of Virginia Tech’s proudest traditions, and the stage will be even bigger with Florida State in the building. The Hokies have never had much luck with the Seminoles, but the last time these two played in Lane Stadium Virginia Tech walked away the victor.