Friday, January 2, 2009

Virginia Tech Breaks the ACC BCS Bowl Curse

 The ACC hadn't been able to win a BCS football game since one I personally attended back at the end of the 1999 season in early January of 2000: the national championship game at the Sugar Bowl.  Unfortunately, for that one, I happened to be cheering for the Big East...

My alma mater Hokies have made it to the BCS (and its immediate predecessors in the "Bowl Coalition" and "Bowl Alliance") bowls several times, starting with the magical 1995 season and its perfect ending in the 28-10 win over highly-favored Texas.  But from then on out, it was a loss to Nebraska (Orange), to Florida State for the national title (Sugar), a heart-breaker to undefeated Auburn (Sugar), and a depressing loss to Kansas (Orange).  I'll only pause a moment to grumble bitterly about the Fiesta we should have played in ('00-'01), when 11-1, #5 VT got snubbed so we could see #6 Oregon State whallop the lame domers of Notre Dame, 41-3.

But enough history.  The facts are that neither the ACC nor Virginia Tech had been particularly good in the "big game" stage of the BCS.  And having sent seven defensive starters to the NFL along with pretty much the entire receiving corps and backfield gone as well, things didn't exactly look great this year, either--just getting to the Orange Bowl was something of a miracle for Tech in '08.

Until now.  The Hokies just won the ACC's first BCS bowl in nine years, defeating the Big East's Cincinnatti Bearcats 20-7 in a game Tech pretty much dominated outside of the very first possession.

The first day of 2009 did start off on the right foot, I guess!

Some fans (myself included, somewhat) will grouse that it was "just" Cincy--heck, probably most of the rest of college football will say that.  But the truth is that the Bearcats had won 11 games, and the Hokies were an incredibly young team with much to overcome just to reach the Orange Bowl.  Personally, a win is a win; you have to start somewhere!  (Fans last year grumbled about Kansas until we lost that game; they wanted a piece of someone "better.")  The fact of the matter, too, is that the BCS will pair the ACC and the Big East against each other every single year until we as the ACC prove we deserve better--and this is that first step.

Congratulations, Hokies!

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