How high should the Hokies be ranked?


There were plenty of Virginia Tech fans in the chat today who expressed their displeasure with Stanford's jump past the Hokies in the latest BCS standings.

Just how high does Virginia Tech deserve to be ranked right now?

It depends on who you ask.

In a great twist of irony, my buddy C-Low over in the SEC blog actually had Virginia Tech ranked higher than I did this week. Usually when the two of us argue, I'm defending the ACC and he is yapping about hoops season in November. This time, though, Low gave Virginia Tech more credit than I did. Low and ESPN analyst Danny Kanell were the only two voters in ESPN.com's Power Rrankings who had the Hokies as high as No. 3 this week. I asked Low to explain:

"In my mind, it's a toss-up for that No. 3 spot behind LSU and Alabama, and I can see cases made for Oklahoma State, Stanford and Virginia Tech. The Hokies' loss to Clemson back in October looks worse with each Clemson loss, but I also think this is a different Virginia Tech team right now, which we'll all see this weekend in Charlotte. When it's close among three teams, I use the old eye test, and Virginia Tech would beat both Stanford and Oklahoma State right now. That's why I have the Hokies No. 3."

On the other side of the spectrum, my colleague Ivan Maisel had the Hokies at No. 11!

"When Virginia Tech lost to Clemson, 23-3, I dropped the Hokies from seventh to out of my poll. Done. Goodbye. See ya," wrote Maisel. "They hadn't beaten anyone -- although that Arkansas State win looks better than it did in September -- and the first time they played a good team, they got whipped. Since then, the Hokies have won seven straight. But three of those victories are by a total of 10 points over teams (Miami, Duke, North Carolina) with a combined record of 16-20. Virginia Tech hasn't shown the consistency or played the schedule of the 10 teams I ranked above it. Verrrrry nice win at Virginia last week, though."

To me, the truth lies somewhere in between. I had them at No. 5 behind Stanford this week. As I mentioned during the chat, I think Stanford's strength of schedule has been better, and their lone loss is "better" than Virginia Tech's, as Clemson has gone on to lose three of the last four, and Oregon, to me, is still one of the top teams in the country. So is Virginia Tech, regardless of whether it's No. 4 or No. 5.