To the untrained eye, it may have appeared to be nothing short of disaster; a national power like Virginia Tech losing to an FCS program like James Madison. It seemed so catastrophic.
You’d never know that looking around the Tech locker room after the game, though. Players sat around, joking with each other, a smile on every face. Certainly not the kind of scene you would expect to see after such a monumental defeat.
Hokies’ head coach Frank Beamer clarified the seemingly inappropriate reaction from his team.
Surely, a misprint you’re thinking, or an example of an irresponsible reporter taking a quote out of context. Beamer did explain his comment, when prompted, but the explanation isn’t quite what some would expect.
“We got word early this week from the higher-ups that, for the good of college football as we know it, we had to lose this game. Most of them won’t admit it, but coaches and fans of every team in the six major conferences are going to be relieved to see this, because we’ve effectively eliminated Boise State from the national title picture.”
The unbelievably candid statement shows that both Beamer and the entire Virginia Tech community, hold an admirable loyalty to the well-being of their sport. A week after losing to Boise State and potentially becoming the marquee victory the Broncos would need to get a bid to the BCS National Championship this season, you might think that the Hokies would prefer to forget about the loss and move on with their own season.
For football coaches, winning is everything, but occasionally as Beamer suggested, you have to have some perspective.
“Look, at the end of the day, we have this terrific BCS system. In the long term, it’s very important that we protect it. Those Boise [expletives] are threatening everything we’ve built here.”
It’s a fair point; and one that may escape the more casual fan. It makes sense that a school like Virginia Tech, which receives protection and plenty of benefits from the current system that rules college football, would be willing to make a short-term sacrifice in order to preserve the status quo.
“Look at it like this. Take away the BCS and what do we have left? Here at Virginia Tech, we’re very proud of the conference championships we’ve won, particularly from when we were in the Big East. Those things were really tough to come by," he chuckled.
"Now, being in the ACC, without the BCS thing attached to the conference, suddenly those trophies aren’t much more impressive than one from the WAC or the Mountain West. Not to mention the recruiting advantage we would lose.”
When asked about how his team will move forward, he suggested that he thinks the Hokies have done enough to salvage the college football season; but, depending on how things shake out, they may decide to throw a few more games.
But Beamer doesn’t seem to mind.
“Don’t worry, I’m not losing any sleep over this.”