Virginia Tech enters the Orange Bowl tomorrow looking for its first BCS win. The Hokies also are looking to snap a two-game bowl losing streak and four losses in their last five bowl trips.
Representing the ACC brings no glory when talking about BCS games. The conference hasn't won a BCS game since Florida State beat none other than the Hokies (then in the Big East) in the national championship game following the 1999 season when Mike Vick was behind center.
So it can be said that Virginia Tech is facing a must-win situation tomorrow in sunny Florida.
Must win for several reasons; here are a few from a fan's standpoint:
1. Fans are getting tired of traveling to bowl games only to see the team consider them a 'reward' and under-perform. This can be evident by the lack of ticket sales Virginia Tech has seen for the bowl game. Granted, many fans are finding tickets elsewhere, and will still be at the game, but it also shows that fans are aggravated with the way recent bowls have went.
2. The ACC needs to get some respect back from the other conferences and the media. All season long everyone bashed the ACC, while ACC fans and writers claimed the league had a lot of parity, and that was why all the teams were beating each other. Six games into a 10-game bowl season and the ACC is 3-3. From here on out, the ACC has got to win, and finish with a good record. The BCS game is the absolute important one to win though. ACC fans cannot continue to say their teams deserve an automatic bid to the BCS when they've lost nine out of 10 so far.
3. Frank Beamer has lost a lot of support in the Hokie Nation. Not that I'm saying people want Beamer fired (some have said that, but they're crazy), but fans are tired of the same old thing. Beamer seems content on winning ACC Championships and going to the Orange Bowl every season. Fans want more! They always want more, but with the talent the Hokies are recruiting, there is no reason they should not be competing for more than just Orange Bowl victories.
The problem for the Hokies—and ACC—is that a win against a Big East team will not get them the respect they claim they deserve, but it will get things going in the right direction.
The Big East and ACC are the only two BCS conferences that have yet to put an At-Large team into the BCS bowls. That's just pitiful. Eleven seasons and never has either conference had two teams good enough to be considered for the BCS.
Back to the no-win situation: if the Hokies win down in Miami everyone will say they were supposed to. Cincinnati is a team that is playing in its first BCS game and should be the nervous ones, right?
While Cincinnati is listed as the favorite in the game, the more nationally-known and regular top-25 team Hokies should take care of business.
So if they win, they were supposed to; if they lose they were supposed to.
Either way the Hokies will leave south Florida proving someone right!