Our series taking a look at the most important game on the schedule this year for each ACC school continues today with Virginia Tech. For those of you just tuning in, this is a look at which games will reveal the most or have the biggest impact on the 2012 race.
Most important game: Oct. 20 at Clemson
Why it’s important: Because the Hokies couldn’t possibly lose to the same team THREE times in two years ... can they? The Hokies might have been the most difficult team in the ACC to pick a most important game for. It was really a three-way tie between the season opener against Georgia Tech, the road trip to Clemson or the home Thursday night game against Florida State on Nov. 10. Historically, the winner of the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game has gone on to win the Coastal Division. That game should be just as meaningful this year, but the Hokies will have home-field advantage in that game and should be favored. (Plus, never count the Hokies out after a 0-1 start. Or a 0-2 start for that matter. Just look at 2010). They will also have all summer to prepare the defense for Paul Johnson’s spread-option offense. Virginia Tech will have more to prove in Death Valley, where it will face the program that beat the Hokies twice last year, including in the ACC championship game. If Virginia Tech loses that game, the back-to-back Thursday night games against Miami and Florida State will take on a greater sense of urgency. The prediction now is that the Virginia Tech-Florida State game will be a sneak preview of this season's ACC title game. The Hokies have had more trouble with Clemson recently, though, than they have the Noles. This year, the road to Charlotte goes through Death Valley.