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Insider

Which Top 10 teams are poised to blow out the competition?

The college football season kicked off last Thursday night, with Colorado State and Virginia ushering in the 2002 campaign. However, an ugly subset of the college football schedule, the blowout season, began in earnest on Sunday, when Arkansas State traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia, to battle Virginia Tech. The Hokies' 63-7 shellacking of the Indians should have come as a surprise to no one. After all, Virginia Tech was ranked 16th in both major preseason polls, while the Indians went 2-9 last year, 2-4 in the Sun Belt — arguably the least-talented conference in Division I-A football. Virginia Tech's first four touchdowns came via punt return, rush, interception return and pass, and the lead was 56-0 by halftime.

Another reason that the Hokies' big victory should not have come as a surprise is the fact that they have made a habit of these types of games. Sunday's victory was Virginia Tech's eighth victory by more than 35 points (a benchmark set here to define a blowout) in the last three-plus years. For the sake of comparison, below is the number of games decided by more than 35 points since the start of the 1999 season involving teams currently ranked in the AP Top 10. You'll see that Virginia Tech, currently ranked 16th, is right up there with the biggest dominators.