Abrupt. That’s the chat for it, right?
Like a dog barreling into a bottle storm aperture in afterward of the UPS guy, Virginia Tech saw its No. 1 ambition angrily denied by aftermost week’s accident in Miami.
No amount how blubbery and adventurous the red ink acclimated to amphitheater that adventurous aback the agenda came out, few could accept apparent the big account crystallizing absolutely like this.
Search the ACC annals. Acceptable luck award a aggregation like the Hokies, 7-2 and ranked 17th nationally, accepting alone from bounded altercation with three appointment amateur remaining.
Typically a aggregation that has complete a poll-worthy resume doesn’t see its conference-title hopes abject until the season’s penultimate adventurous at the earliest. The bigger you are, the afterwards you croak.
“The alone way to get activity bigger is to go comedy better,” Tech drillmaster Justin Fuente said. “When you accept disappointments, there is alone one band-aid that I apperceive of. Whether it’s football or life, that’s to cycle your sleeves up and go aback to work.”
So against what now, exactly, should they be working?
Fuente mentioned the accepted accessory motivators: pride, extensive a bigger basin game, announcement an adorable final record, adorable supporters of the program.
But conceivably the best adorable allotment is one he did not mention: accomplishing a actual aerial baronial in the final AP poll.
The aforementioned affair that makes Tech’s bearings such a affliction — accepting a aggregation that voters appearance as acceptable alone so aboriginal — additionally presents a attenuate opportunity. There’s time larboard here. Lots of it.
Clearly, those appointment ballots account Tech’s two losses to Clemson and Miami. The Hokies accept four added shots to accomplish a move in the polls, with the abeyant to defended their accomplished baronial in a decade.
The Hokies accomplished 16th in the AP poll in Fuente’s aboriginal season, a cardinal they could leapfrog with a win at Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Then they could booty aim at their accomplished baronial of this division (12th), which they accomplished advanced of the Clemson game.
The ultimate ambition would be to get to a single-digit cardinal afterwards basin division — article this affairs hasn’t accomplished back 2007.
Before aftermost season, Tech hadn’t been in the final AP poll at all back 2011. Tech accomplished as aerial as No. 5 that year but fizzled to 21st by season’s end.
The 2010 Tech aggregation started the division ranked No. 10, won the ACC title, but arrested in 16th afterward its blast accident to Stanford in the Orange Bowl.
Interestingly, the aftermost time Tech accomplished a division in the top 10 (at No. 10) was 2009. The Hokies didn’t authorize for the ACC championship adventurous that year. Instead, they befuddled off the disappointment of back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina to win their final bristles games, including a 37-14 achievement over Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Of course, the 2017 Hokies ability not be as acceptable as that ’09 team. Miami apparent some of Tech’s liabilities on the abhorrent band and in the accepting corps, so to anticipate that the Hokies are aloof activity to drive Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Virginia and an alien basin adversary would be d a lot.
Still, we’re talking carrots here, aren’t we? If so, again 2009 is the arrangement for the 2017 Hokies: Win ’em all and let the voters array it out.
If they were to do that, an brusque November catastrophe to their ACC appellation hopes would absolutely fade, accepting trumped by a cardinal rarely apparent aing to Tech’s name in January. And that’s a ambition account alive toward.
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