Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Monday, January 3, 2011
Stage is set for Hokies

By Heather Dinich

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- You know the numbers -- they're not good.

Virginia Tech's 1-26 record against top 5 teams in the Associated Press poll, the ACC's 2-10 record in BCS bowl games and the league's losing record in bowl games since 2005 have all been repeated ad nauseum.

Virginia Tech has a chance to make everyone forget about all of that for a while with an upset of No. 4 Stanford in Monday night's Discover Orange Bowl. Coach Frank Beamer said on Sunday that this year's team is good enough to win. Problem for the Hokies is that Stanford is good enough, too. Both teams have been focused this week and have spoken repeatedly about how 12 wins sounds better than 11 wins. Players from both programs have said they're "not done yet."

The rest of the ACC has set the stage for Virginia Tech with a 4-3 bowl record, including wins by Florida State, Maryland, NC State and North Carolina. With the exception of the Seminoles' win over SEC East champ South Carolina (which was without injured star Marcus Lattimore), none of those wins will do much to enhance the ACC's reputation, nor would a Boston College win over Nevada.

A win over Stanford would.

"Well, you're playing a top-5 football team that deserves to be there," Beamer said. "They're the highest-ranked one-loss team in the country. You watch that Oregon game, and they're very, very close. Had everything worked out after that, had they beat Oregon, they'd be playing for a national championship.

"And then I think our record at Virginia Tech, and not all of them are under me, but we're 1-for-27, and quite a few of them are, when we've played a top-5 football team. So I think for us we've been playing, we've [played] for a national championship, but I think as you go along, to state that you're one of the top programs in the country, you've got to get your share of wins against a top-5 team, and this is a real for-real top-5 team. That's why I think it's very important."

It's equally as important for the conference.