Believe it or not, there was a time long ago when fans did not judge Virginia Tech football by the length of its bowl streak, the odds of it winning a championship, or where it was ranked in the top 25.
These were the days before cell phones, the internet…heck, even before disco and Star Wars movies. They were the golden days of the 70s, where you judged a season not on the entire year, but on certain special moments. Ones where you walked back to the dorm or your car and thought “that was nice.” Ones that were feel-good moments, even proud-to-be-a-Hokie moments. They made you feel positive about the program, and were the reasons you came back the next week to watch the team play again.
Saturday’s win over Virginia was such a badly needed moment. The team technically qualifies for a bowl, but it’s not anything that leads to anything else. It’s just one more opportunity to see a group of young men who have been through fire and rain this season, starting with a win over a supposedly top 10 team in North Carolina, then nose diving into the cruel reality of a season that was so bad, they couldn’t even wait until the end of the 12-game schedule to fire the head coach.
The experience has not only been tough for the players, but there are a lot of people I know who have gone from being fanatical about the program for decades to morphing into a certain “I’m not sure I really care” attitude. They’ve been spoiled by not only the winning, the bowls and the top 25 rankings of the past, they’ve particularly become accustomed to seeing Virginia Tech teams that no matter who the opponent was, were competitive enough to always have a chance.
That hasn’t been the case the last couple of years in certain games, and for the first time in a while, I think many of us were somewhat realistic to the distinct possibility the Hokies were going to get hammered in Charlottesville Saturday. The Cavaliers had a high-powered offense, the Hokie defense struggled against Miami, and at times the play calling has looked more like the Virginia Tech of 1921 instead of 2021, exhibiting tendencies more in tune with the single wing.