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2009 schedule analysis: Virginia Tech

2/17/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

VIRGINIA TECH

Nonconference schedule
Combined 2008 record: 34-19
FCS teams: 0
BCS teams: 2
Bowl teams: 3

Sept. 5 Alabama (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
Sept. 12 Marshall
Sept. 19 Nebraska
Nov. 5 at East Carolina

Analysis: The Hokies are the only program in the ACC that's not playing an FCS opponent, and yet they're still favored to win it all. Again. First, though, they've got to get through September. Alabama will have a new quarterback, but standout receiver Julio Jones can make almost any signal caller look good. The Crimson Tide will have to win with defense while the new offensive line comes together. The Huskers will need a quarterback to replace quarterback Joe Ganz, but should still be a contender for the Big 12 North. And we all know how ECU gives ACC teams fits. This time it will be a Thursday night game. Marshall finished 4-8, but not before losing to ECU in overtime, 19-16. The February prediction is a 3-1 record against this schedule.

ACC schedule

Sept. 26 Miami
Oct. 3 at Duke
Oct. 10 Boston College
Oct. 17 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 24 OPEN
Oct. 29 North Carolina
Nov. 5 at East Carolina
Nov. 14 at Maryland
Nov. 21 NC State
Nov. 28 at Virginia

Analysis: Facing Miami and North Carolina at home is big, (especially on a Thursday night in Lane Stadium) and so is not having to play Florida State. But three Coastal Division games are on the road, and watch out for Duke (seriously). The Blue Devils came dangerously close to beating the Hokies with their backup quarterback in Blacksburg last season. Even though Virginia Tech has held the edge recently in the Commonwealth Cup, you never know how a rivalry game will unfold. Overall, this schedule is conducive to Virginia Tech three-peating as ACC champs, but it is extremely unforgiving for a team trying to win a national championship.