This may not be an upset in some people's eyes, but I can certainly say that Virginia Tech will be the underdog going into the game on Sept. 5.
I personally like that fact, it's just more motivation for the team to come out and play hard. Traditionally, Tech has played better as underdogs.
Frank Beamer just seems to know how to coach a team that is picked to lose. The fact that people are going to think that the Hokies won't have a chance will only make the victory even sweeter.
Why do I think that Virginia Tech will leave Atlanta with a win?
The first reason will be the Bud Foster coached defense. Yes, I know Alabama is in the SEC, but I honestly think that Virginia Tech's defense is as good—or better—than any other defense in the SEC, and I know that Foster is a better defensive coordinator than any in the SEC.
With Jason Worilds coming back healthy for the first time in almost a full season, and only losing four defensive starters (who will mostly be replaced by players with experience), this defense looks to improve over last season, and what better place to start than the beginning.
Next, Alabama is facing great losses on offense.
They are going to have to replace some major parts of their offense on all fronts. Starting up front, they are replacing two first-string offensive lineman, which is not going to be good news for the new QB they will be playing due to the graduation of John Parker-Wilson.
Combine that with the loss of star running back Glenn Coffee, and it might be hard goings for this offense against a top-10 defense.
Now the next question from most people will be if Virginia Tech can put up the points to win the game.
Well, I think they will and that the offense will be vastly improved over last year.
The skill positions players were all young last year (the most experienced being QB Tyrod Taylor as a sophomore). With a year of play and chemistry building practices under their belts, the problems the passing game faced at the beginning of last season will be gone.
As far as running the ball, Darren Evans emerged as a star in the making last year. Add to the lineup Ryan Williams for a change of pace as a shifty homerun threat, and it could be deadly. This may be the emergence of "THE UNTOUCHABLES II".
Add all these things together and I think you get a Virginia Tech victory.
Now I can almost promise you this will be a close game, or at least a very competitive one. This may not be what the experts think, but they should not be surprised to see VT walk out of Atlanta with a W, and walk right into the top-five the following Monday.
What a great start to a season with high hopes this would make.