Throughout the season I’ve heard numerous games called “the most important game in BC history.” All the talk seemed to lack perspective and diminished BC’s long and storied past. Now as we prepare for Saturday, we might actually be witnessing the most important game in BC history. Never before has the team had a chance to win a championship on the field. Also, winning the ACC would be the culmination of four decades worth of effort begun under Father Monan and Bill Flynn to take BC athletics to the next level. This is THE game.
Theme that won’t be discussed on television. There will be plenty of talk about the ACC-Big East dynamic and BC potentially taking the “next step” by winning the ACC. I don’t think you’ll hear much discussion of Virginia Tech’s rise and how conference affiliation dramatically changed that entire program. Prior to joining the Big East in 1990, they were a nice program with a steady but not spectacular history. They lacked identity and their schedule was a hodgepodge of random ACC schools, second-tier southern programs like Memphis and Tulane and a random service academy thrown in. It all changed when the Big East came calling. The Hokies -- more than any other Big East program -- bought into everything and sold it like hell to their recruits and fans. Thursday Night Games – “anytime, anywhere.” Carquest Bowls – “we’ll show up and make some noise. Miami speed – “we’ll be faster.” When the opportunity came to upgrade again to the ACC, they fought like tooth and nail for inclusion. And with the move have upgraded their moribund basketball program. There are many things I dislike about VT but I respect that they changed the culture of their program and their fans. BC should remember that as we try to figure out what went right and wrong this bowl season.
Three Simple Keys
1. Protect Ryan. The Hokies only sent four last time and they had Ryan off balance all night. This time around we need to be ready for anything. The offensive line must build on their solid performance against Miami and control the line of scrimmage.
2. Contain Taylor in the red zone. He burned Virginia with some timely runs when drives had stalled. Because we haven’t faced a running QB of his caliber this season, I have no idea who will be responsible for spying Taylor, but whoever gets the call needs to have a great game and keep Taylor from turning broken plays into TDs.
3. Avoid penalties. We were whistled nine times for 83 yards in Blacksburg. The situation should be a little better at a neutral field, but we still need to play smart. Those calls handed VT its two scores.
-- The underdog has won both ACC Championship Games
-- Virginia Tech is 2-4 in games played in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
-- Jags is 3-0 as an underdog
The current line is BC+4.5
What would be a pleasant surprise? A mistake free game. Since our trip to Blacksburg we’ve had at least one or two cringe-inducing plays per game. Style points do not matter, but I think all of our cardiologists would recommend a game without a turnover or some stupid penalties.
What would be a letdown? Losing (obviously). There is still hope we could land in the Peach Bowl, but we’re likely to bounce down the ladder to a bowl none of us care about.
What would be a shocker? VT blowing us out. I know they are looking for revenge and are playing great football yada yada yada...I just don’t see us going down without a fight. Even in our worst game (Maryland) we were onside kicking at the end.
Like the last VT game, I have a very positive feeling about this one. No hard data. No great insight. Just a good vibe. (How's that for analysis?) I think the setting will make a positive difference for BC and we’ll control the game.
Final score: BC 28, VT 17