Hokie Nation's Attitude About To Be Tweaked?

Scott GlesnerCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

BLACKSBURG - OCTOBER 25:  Fans of the Virginia Tech Hokies show their support during the game against the Boston College Eagles at Lane Stadium on October 25, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Fans of Virginia Tech football are awaiting this upcoming season with high hopes. The excitement is brewing in Blacksburg with a top-10 ranking and one of the toughest schedules in the history of the school.  No longer the hunter, the Hokies have become the hunted.

For years, Virginia Tech has played the role of underdog, the little college that could.  Over that time, Coach Frank Beamer has used this to fuel his athletes on to big victories and impressive seasons.  However, when the tables have turned, the Hokies have occasionally imploded and been overwhelmed on the big stage.

These events have left a lot of Hokie fans wanting to keep the role of underdog. The thought of being the conference favorite leaves a sour taste in their mouth. They know how their team reacts when placed with high expectations.  They want the media to overlook them so they can correct them after the season is over.

Those same fans, though, want that national championship placed inside the trophy holder that has already been built.  In fact, they want numerous titles.  However, along with that comes the fact that the Hokies would have to be top dog, become hated by the jealous opposing fans, and lose the national (media) love that they once held.

Virginia Tech became a top-10 program over the last decade-in-a-half with players that fit that underdog role.  Players that were overlooked by stronger programs seem to have come to Tech and thrived.  In fact, a few have walked on at Blacksburg and become a household Hokie name.

Beamer was able to inspire those athletes to show those other schools what they missed out on.  With keeping most of the recruits from Virginia, Coach Beamer has incorporated a family-type of atmosphere amongst the players. 

The trouble would begin, however, once the top-rated athletes started looking Tech's way. It became more about personal attitudes than helping the team win games.  Once these athletes would show, the expectations increased, the higher the fall became when the team would start to lose.

Over time, the coaching staff has appeared to manage their success with recruiting with success on the field.  They have found their faults and have corrected them over the past 15 seasons...which brings us to 2009.

Hokie Nation is trying to play the role of underdog again on a national championship-basis.  The search for bulletin-board material increases as the opening game against top-five ranked Alabama comes closer.  Virginia Tech could be on the cusp of becoming like the Trojans, the Longhorns, the Sooners, the Gators...the usual favorites.  Hokie Nation wants this.

If their dreams do take place, and Virginia Tech manages to keep the zero in the loss column for the next 14 games, Virginia Tech will get that trophy.  With it, though, they will lose something that it used over and over...the underdog attitude. No longer will the Hokies be overlooked.

Hokie Nation, it is time...time to grasp the role of leader, the hunted, the high expectations.  It is not time to shy away and hope that VT will surprise someone.  VT had its introduction against Texas in '95, a reminder against Syracuse in '99, and a sign of things to come in early '00.  The conference championships  have been coming...yet one trophy case remains empty.

The end of an era is coming, but the beginning of a new, exciting era at Virginia Tech could possibly be in front of everyone.  Underdog no more, the Nation must grasp the realities of being the favorite.  Could 2009 change the eras?  Win Game one, and we will talk afterwards...


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