Clemson vs. Virginia Tech: Why Tigers Need Big Win to Climb Back into BCS Debate
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The Clemson Tigers had high expectations heading into this season, starting out the season ranked 14th in the coaches' poll. Of all teams in the ACC, they had the best chance to play in the BCS title game.
All they have done to backup the hype this season is go 5-1 in their first six games with their only loss coming to No. 4 Florida State on the road. Going into Week 5, they have lived up to the hype as Tajh Boyd has led the Tigers into BCS contention.
However, their schedule has been a little weak this season.
Virginia Tech will prove to be one of their toughest matchups of the year—aside from South Carolina later this season and Florida State a few weeks ago. Quarterback Logan Thomas, while his season has been shaky, is a dynamic player who can beat a team with his arm and legs. Clemson will have their hands full trying to stop him.
Currently ranked 19th in the BCS rankings, Clemson needs to beat some of their main in-conference rivals in order to crack the Top 10 later this season. While their loss to Florida state surely won't eliminate them (the BCS formula favors losses to highly ranked teams) from contention, a loss to Virginia Tech will be almost insurmountable. Wins against Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland and NC State will surely not be enough to overcome two losses and still make the Top 10.
Beating South Carolina in their final game would surely earn them BCS respect, however they cannot count on a win against one of the strongest teams in the SEC and in the country.
Last season, Virginia Tech overcame two losses to the Tigers (one in the regular season and one in the ACC championship game) to still play in the Sugar Bowl. This can be a definite trap game for Clemson as Virginia Tech will be out for revenge against a team that prevented them from winning the conference last season. It will surely be a tough game, but Clemson needs to be focused and take down a determined Hokies squad in order to have any hope of a BCS bowl bid after the season.
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