There are 89 days left before the start of the Hokie football season. That is 89 days of waiting impatiently, absorbing every snippet of related news, and (re)watching countless hours of highlight videos. With this idle time of anticipation comes another equally prominent side effect in that of speculation. For anyone with eyeballs the speculation that has reared its ugly head the last few years has manifested in the form of conference realignment. Last year it seemed the Big XII was grabbing at straws, only to now become a “power conference” with its crosshairs set on a member(s) of the ACC; the same ACC that partook in its own gutting of the Big East to obtain both Syracuse and Pitt. TV deals, BCS playoff structures, money, power struggles, conference identity, etc. may all play into the how’s and why’s of these deals. Nonetheless, in the end, that is really for the talking heads to figure out. It is surprising then, to see so many fans nowadays so engrossed in the process. Whole social media campaigns have ignited in support for or against going to one conference or another. Where once there were simply testaments to the Hokie football team. Now lay sentiments toward the #VT4SEC hashtags and the more satirically derived #goacc.
Have we then, as fans, started to care less about what team we root for and more about who we’re affiliated with? This isn’t to say we shouldn’t care at all or even stop from intelligibly weighing the pros and cons regarding our future in whatever conference we may end up. Nonetheless, since the inaugural days in the Big East in ’91 to our joining of the ACC in ’04 one thing has, until now, seemed to remain constant; our love of all things Hokie. Unlike those in other conferences, we only have and I believe will, only chant our team’s name at football games. When in a heated debate about the greatness of our program we don’t have to hide behind how many of our conference brethren have trophies or titles. Even though we are so aptly reminded of how empty our own glass case is save for a placard awaiting its replacement, we know, that our first National Title will be ours alone.
So again, as fun as it may be to play the game of “what if” and “what facility should go where”, don’t stray too far from the actual game played 89 days from now when OUR team takes the field with the hopes of another great season.