Friday, December 13, 2002
Hokies might not want to reschedule BCA Classic
By Jack Arute
Special to BCSfootball.com
Virginia Tech is at a crossroads, and its season hasn't even started.
The 10th-ranked Hokies should have began their 2000 campaign on Sunday night against Georgia Tech in Blacksburg, but Mother Nature decided otherwise. The BCA Classic was "cancelled" due to lightning, lightning so volatile that it fried a car in the Lane Stadium parking lot. Both schools say they will consider rescheduling the game for Championship Saturday in December with the caveat that the game will be played only if it has BCS implications.
Before the BCS existed, it would have been a no-brainer for the Hokies to keep Georgia Tech on their schedule. But with an unranked Yellow Jackets squad and the BCS, the decision is a lot more complex. Remember, Virginia Tech plays in the Big East -- accepted by most as the weaker of the major conferences. There are two games for the Hokies if they wish to go undefeated -- Miami and Syracuse.
Syracuse is on my list because the game is played in the Carrier Dome. (I have always found it amusing that a domed stadium sponsored by an air conditioning company has no AC.) The Hokies will have their hands full up there. As for the Hurricanes, they are smarting from their loss last year (and last night -- that was the game ESPN2 replayed due to the delay).
Because Georgia Tech is unranked, there is some question as to how much Va. Tech could and would benefit from playing the Yellow Jackets at season's end. We saw a similar scenario when a hurricane pushed the UCLA-Miami game to December back in 1998. If you recall, a big-time player in the BCS's inaugural year, UCLA, was upset in that game. If I was the Athletic Director at Virginia Tech, I would certainly delay making a decision about this game for as long as possible. Strength of schedule is very important in the BCS. It affects every element that comprises the rankings formula.
Should Virginia Tech play Georgia Tech? If the decision needed to be made today, the answer would be no. Why chance a loss? It will be harder to beat the Yellow Jackets at season's end than it would Sunday night. But a decision not to play could adversely affect the Hokies if they are one of three undefeated teams at the end of the season because their Big East affiliation won't be helping them.
If there are any chip-heads on the Virginia Tech campus that are looking for a football scholarship, now might be the right time to run the numbers and make some BCS projections to bring to Frank Beamer. You won't even have to be a walk-on to get a full-ride if you are on the money. It'd be Scholarship City, baby.
Jack's Top 10
|Officials huddle under a tent as fans wait out a delay prior to the start of the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech BCA game. The game was postponed and not immediately rescheduled.|
People who are looking for my usual Weekly Top Ten have to wait awhile. How can someone who is dead-set against preseason rankings participate in such an exercise. Rest assured, once we get a few weeks into the schedule, I'll be back with my always-original Top Ten teams in the land.
Jack Arute writes a column every Monday for BCSfootball.com