Numbers Crunch No. 1: Virginia Tech Having an Undefeated Regular Season

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Numbers Crunch No. 1: Virginia Tech Having an Undefeated Regular Season
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The excitement in Blacksburg is mounting as the 2009 college football season for the Hokies kicks off in 10 days. The much anticipated matchup with Alabama in Atlanta and the returning starters from a second-straight ACC Championship team has people wondering: Can the Hokies go undefeated and vie for a shot at the BCS Championship Game?

The number crunching has begun. To start with, each game will be given a percentage of what chance Virginia Tech has of winning the game based on preseason predictions, locations, rankings, and personal feeling.

Multiplying the percentages will then give the chance of a 13-0 undefeated regular season (assuming Virginia Tech is undefeated going into each game).

 

1. Alabama (Atlanta)

Alabama is ranked two spots higher in each of the two polls. Personally, this is an even game with Virginia Tech's team focus being on the Crimson Tide. The neutral site gives the edge to no one.

% of a VT win: 45%

 

2. Marshall (Blacksburg)

The last time the Hokies lost a home opener was 1995. Marshall has seen better days, and the Hokie faithful would be out in droves with a win versus Alabama.

% of a VT win: 95%

 

3. Nebraska (Blacksburg)

This was the must-see game of 2009 for Hokie fans before the 'Bama game was announced. Teams usually struggle if they have not visited Lane Stadium in a while...this is Nebraska's first visit ever. Contending for the Big 12 North is not as much of a statement as contending for the Big 12 South.

% of a VT win: 75%

 

4. Miami (Blacksburg)

Each team has a brutal opening slate of games. The frame of mind of Miami will be tough to decide based on their record coming in. They are supposedly a year a way from "being back," though, they took care of the Hokies in southern Florida last year. Will Tech be emotionally drained coming into this game 3-0?

% of a VT win: 70%

 

5. Duke (Durham)

This is a home game for Duke—which means absolutely nothing. Duke is improving and has one of the top ACC quarterbacks. Now, if the other 21 starters were as good...

% of a VT win: 95%

 

6. Boston College (Blacksburg)

With a new coach, an injured All-American, and huge questions at quarterback, this Eagles team coming into Blacksburg will not be as strong as Eagles' teams of the past. Virginia Tech will be focused due to the past four matchups in the last two seasons.

% of a VT win: 80%

 

7. Georgia Tech (Atlanta)

After Alabama, this is the biggest hurdle of the season. This game could replace the one in Tampa as the ACC Championship Game. Bud Foster handled this offense last year, though he caught them early in the season. Two undefeated teams could be meeting in this match-up.

% of a VT win: 50%

 

8. North Carolina (Blacksburg)

With a Thursday night game in Lane Stadium with no Boston College in sight, Virginia Tech will be primed to get win number eight. Will the atmosphere be too much for the Tarheels, or will Butch Davis have this team ready to contend for the ACC crown?

% of a VT win: 70%

 

9. East Carolina (Greenville)

After being at home for Thursday night, the Hokies take to the road for the next Thursday night matchup. East Carolina shocked the Hokies last year after winning off a punt block return for a touchdown. This is not the same young Hokie team ECU faced last season.

The Pirate fans, though, will give it all they can to help their team win.

% of a VT win: 75%

 

10. Maryland (College Park)

Maryland is the most unpredictable team in the ACC. Last year proved that with a loss to Middle Tennessee St. and a win against California. Maryland sold this game out, though those tickets could have possibly been swiped up by Hokie fans in the NoVA area. By prediction, Maryland is a middle-of-the-pack team in the Atlantic division.

% of a VT win: 80%

 

11. NC State (Blacksburg)

This team visits Lane for the first time in five years. The last time, though, was a Wolfpack victory after a missed FG by Tech as time expired. NC State is a possible sleeper. However, the Hokie fans will definitely "welcome" the Pack...different season, different teams.

% of a VT win: 75%

 

12. Virginia (Charlottesville)

This is a home game for Virginia (see Duke explanation). The Hokies got a glimpse of the new offense last season. If this was next year, the Cavs would have a much better shot after almost two years into a new offensive system. One-out-of-ten for Virginia becomes one-out-of-11.

% of a VT win: 85%

 

13. ACC Championship (Tampa)

Florida State looks like the front runner for the Atlantic division. Virginia Tech always seems to have their hands full when facing the Seminoles. Whoever represents the Atlantic will want that invite from the Orange Bowl committee.

% of a VT win: 55%

 

After those 13 battles, the chances of Virginia Tech going undefeated this year is...1.26%. Basically, this would give Tech an 80-1 chance of having a zero in the loss column come mid-December. 

This should get Virginia Tech into the BCS Championship Game, though the chances of them going undefeated and missing it are about the same as Tech having one loss and making it. Multiplying the 1.26 percent by a 40 percent chance of winning the Championship Game results in a 0.5% chance of being champions...or a 200-1 shot.

These odds are not as good as what Vegas will give you. However, all of this talk is pointless if Virginia Tech does not leave Atlanta in September with a win (or October). Tech must go at this as win game one, then worry about games two-13.

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