Tuesday, October 20

Tuesday Thoughts: The Future Cometh

I went into this past Saturday’s game knowing that the Hokies winning streak may be in jeopardy and for that these past few days have been a little easier on me than most.  As the fanbase recovers and cancels their Orbitz.com trips to Pasadena, the team still knows that there’s more football to play.

Sure the national title hopes are gone, but the ACC Championship hopes are still there.  Georgia Tech owns the tie-breaker but with one slip-up, the Hokies are penciled right back as the Coastal Division Champions.  Right now, that’s the only thing the Hokies can shoot for (editors note: GT has not won in Charlottesville since 1990, they play at UVA this weekend). 

I’m trying to keep this article relatively the same week to week but for some reason I really don’t feel like going back and watching the film on this one.  Watching a game that VT loses on live TV is hard enough, going back and having to watch it again… well it’s not for the feint of heart.

So, this week’s “Tuesday Thoughts” article will mainly be focused on the future including the next five weeks and beyond.

If you’re a Virginia Tech fan, you still have a lot to hope for.  If the Hokies can win out, Coach Frank Beamer will have had six straight season of 10 wins or more.  Pretty impressive seeing that the Hokies have had to depend on a pretty average defense and a young offense the past two seasons. 

If Georgia Tech loses and the Hokies head to Tampa, they could have their first ever 12-win season in program history.  That folks would be pretty big in the grand scheme of things. 

Also, for everybody who likes to look to the future of the program and follow recruiting, you know the Hokies aren’t going to fall from grace anytime soon.  After a horrendous 2006 class in which Tech missed out on about 10 current NFL’ers, including two who had been rumored to have pledged to Virginia Tech at one point, the Hokies have been able to reel in four straight impressive recruiting classes.  Those recruiting efforts are starting to pay off on the field. 

And if you look at next years team, the Hokies will return just five starters on defense next year but the Hokies will return almost their entire offense minus Render, Wang, and our starting tight end Greg Boone.  With a lot softer schedule in 2010, there will be plenty of reasons to be excited going into next year, even if the rest of this season doesn’t pan out like we want it to.

But, those discussions will come in a few months when the Hokies wrap up this 2009 campaign in either December or January.

Right now, Tech needs to focus on their final five games and view anything after those five games as icing on the cake.

As it stands of now, the Hokies do not have a ranked team left in their final five games and right now only two teams have a winning record.   The two toughest games will easily be the two Thursday night games.  While the Hokies should beat UNC at home, the Tar Heels have a good defense that could slow down Tyrod and our offense enough to beat us in a low scoring affair.  If the Hokies can score some points, Tech should roll.

The trip to ECU is going to be a tough one as the Pirate faithful will be looking for a big win this season.  ECU isn’t quite the team it was at the beginning of last season but they are still talented enough with 6th year senior Patrick Pinkney still tossing the ball around down there in Greenville.
 However, since the Hokies national championship hopes have now gone down the drain, this game may not mean a whole lot seeing that Tech probably won’t get picked to be in a BCS game even if they do win out (if GT wins the Coastal). 

The final three games should all be routes, and I do mean routes.  The only one of the final three that concerns me is the UVA game.  The Cavs have played better over the last few weeks and are slowly turning their season around.  If they can find a way to beat Georgia Tech next weekend, this years Coastal title will run through Charlottesville.  This could be Groh’s last shot at beating the Hokies so look for UVA to throw everything they have into winning this game.

Even with the Hokies currently standing at 5-2, not all hope has been lost this season.  There is still a chance for Tech to make it to Tampa and if the Hokies can somehow manage a third straight league crown, then at least one of Tech’s preseason goals will have been reached.

If we only win 10 games this year, it’s not the end of the world.  Just like Macho said after the BC game “a minor setback for a major comeback.”  With our entire offense (including Darren Evans) returning in 2010, why wouldn’t the Hokies be favored to win the ACC with another shot at going to the national championship game. 

As much as the Georgia Tech game hurts, it’s still good to be a Hokie.

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