Off season discussion: What three VT losses would you undo

If you could change three losses in Hokies football history to wins (excluding the 1999 BCS title), which three would they be?

Inspired by (and by inspired by, I really mean plagiarized from) this TSL Tweet.

I decided to pick three games based purely on hindsight - my three in no order:

  • @Miami in 2000 - back to back undefeated regular seasons/title appearances would be super impressive.
  • LSU 2007 - probably gets us back to the natty, might prevent/delay the emergence of the obnoxious 'SEC fan'
  • Stanford 2010 - I know Boise and JMU might have been the obvious choices that year, but I think if we beat Stanford, we get classified as a top 5-10 team who had one really tough game, followed by one flukey loss after a short week. Instead, we got blown out and physically dominated.
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My list is more personal for my time at Tech as an undergrad

  • ECU in 2008 in my first game as a freshman
  • 2010 Boise State
  • 2011 2012 Sugar Bowl (2011 season, even though we didnt lose...) in my last game as a senior

I could list several more that hurt, but these always stick out in my mind

excluding the 1999 BCS title

I'm not acknowledging this, so Peter Warrick, Fuck Matt Ryan, and Boise (I think we don't come out flat against JMU 5 days later and that season is a lot different).

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

I agree if we beat Boise we don't lose to JMU. But if we start 2-0, who knows if we go 10-0 to end the year. I'd love to change those two games but the 2010 team was one of my favorites of all time because of how hard they fought after being 0-2.

This is a good point. From my perspective, they played guilty* the rest of that year, and that's what got them as far as they did.

*lil sis was on campus and said there were a lot of rumors around starters getting hammered the night before JMU.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Even if we did go undefeated, I don't think we were going to make the national championship game that year. Texas started the season at #2 and Bama started it at #5 and both went undefeated.

Sure, but we could still have gone the UCF route and declare ourselves champion.

I think you're thinking of 2009. We lost to Boise and jmu in 2010, which is when Auburn played Oregon for the Natty. If we go 13-0 I think we get in over Auburn as I think we were ranked ahead if them to start. Granted cam won the Heisman that year and #sec so who knows.

I do agree that if we actually started 2-0 I don't think we finish on the 11-0 run that we did though

Virginia Tech School of Architecture Class of 2014
Fan of Hokies, Ravens, NY Giants, Orioles

It was impressive to come back and win 10 straight.

A history professor ended class the Monday after losing to JMU saying "Don't despair about football, remember 1995. History has a way of repeating itself." It was interesting watching that unfold the way it did.

but if I was, it would be '00 Miami. fucking goddamn cocky shitbags in that second 30 for 30. (one of whom, now, is charged with rape).

(doing what I do, and knowing what I know about people who engage in the kinds of behavior that he is accused of, I can't help but wonder if he got away with some shit in Coral Gables)

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

fucking goddamn cocky shitbags

That's a mouthful

You watch the 30 for 30? I stand by what I said.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Amen to that.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Oh I'm not complaining. I agree with you. Just thought it was a mouthful. Didn't say I won't be using fucking goddamn cocky shitbags in the future either.

Tone on the internet is impossible to gauge.

My bad.

Mrs. Lwyr has been yelling at me about particular language choices that I make sometimes, so I'm trying to be more creative.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

I'm going with recency (Fuente Era) because thinking back that far on a Friday is far too much brain work.
2016: Clemson ACCCG
2016: GT
2017: GT
2017: Miami bar makes a good point below, I'll settle with one GT lose and a complete different Coastal dynamic this offseason.

PS Fuck Matt Ryan, Fuck Paul Johnson.

Michigan in Sugar Bowl

Clemson ACCCG

Last year's Miami game

Michigan in Sugar Bowl

We won that game.

I know. I was there. Still, I'd trade one of my wins for that to have been official.

Particularly since they've decided to try and never play us again.

Last year's Miami game

This is a good one... completely changes the dynamic of this offseason, not just for VT, but for the entire coastal division.

Twitter me

Their hype train was locked and loaded.

It would have looked really good for us to have sucked the life force out of Miami that night on national television, in front of J-Lo, and with the turnover chain in their hands instead of around their necks.

And yes, this year's off-season discussion would probably be a little different.

But really, Beamer's last game in Lane. That one sucked.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

This. I was high up in East and thought "the catch" in overtime looked suspect on the jumbotron. Of course the crowd hated it, as did I. Then when I watched it on the internet later I wanted to puke.

How did they review it and still get it wrong?

As I recall they didn't review it.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Game was already running long when it went into overtime. ESPN just wanted to get to the next game.

'00 Miami
'16 Clemson ACCCG
Matt Ryan comeback game

'05 Miami has to be up there. Don't think we lose to FSU in the ACC championship game if we go into it undefeated. I really think that was our best chance at a National Championship outside of the Mike Vick era.

'07 BC and '10 JMU - I would have them wiped from my memory if I could.

15 Straight

'07 BC
'15 UNC
'00 Miami

Honorable mentioned:
'03 and '98 UVA just so the streak would sit at 20 and 23 of the last 25.

You mean DISHONORABLE meantion. FTFY

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Any game where we got embarrassed on the national stage. In no particular order...

LSU, Georgia bowl game, Kansas Bowl Game, Miami last year, Clemson ACC Champ, BC fuck Matt Ryan, Boise State... and of Course being on all the highlight shows for the JMU debacle.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Clemson ACC Champ

in 2016? I wouldn't call that an embarrassment we lost by a touchdown and lost possession like 25 yds from the tying score to a team that went on to shut out anOSU.

I guess I went back to the original question for that pull. I definitely was not embarrassed.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

I thought you were referring to the 2011 ACC Championship game. I know it wasn't the worst but we had climbed back into the mix of things and lost at number 5 to fuggin Clempson.

Losing to Kansas in the Orange Bowl. Losing to UGa, LSU, BAMA or other top tiers are stomachable. (new word). But, Kansas fucking football team? Embarrassing.

US Navy Vet

It was the way we lost to Georgia letting them comeback in the second half, the schwacking that LSU gave us, and I didn't mention Bama for the reason that we played them pretty well and they were friggin good.

Agreed on KU, they were the first embarrassment besides JMU that came to mind.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Yes, we lost to Kansas. No, it wasn't embarrassing. There were 11 other teams that lost to Kansas that year, they were legitimately good. Last week of the regular season, they were #2 and lost to #3 Mizzou by 8.

I get why people are upset, because it was Kansas and Kansas might be the worst P5 team historically (well, maybe not since Rutgers is in the B1G now), and we probably should have won that game, but I could probably list about 15 losses since then that are more embarrassing.

Miami 2000
Miami 2005
FSU 2005

That would guarantee 2 more appearances in the BCS Title Game

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I think '07 BC nets us one as well. We were 10th when we lost to BC, ended 6th in the final BCS poll. A win there might have put us 2nd and with how the formula was calculated I think the computer side of things would have made it harder for the polls to have LSU leapfrog us. The pollsters might have also had a harder time justifying voting LSU ahead of us despite the head-to-head debacle back in September due to 1 loss vs 2.

I'll never be able to prove it, but that's my sentiment on the matter.

Yeah but the 3 I listed are 100% sure things to land us undefeated in the Natty title game. Each of those seasons had us Top 3 at one point, and winning out would have put us through. And 2000 would have been with Mike Vick against what would have been an undefeated Oklahoma squad who managed only 12 points against FSU. We probably would have won that game and captured our first National Championship.

2005... That Miami win would have jumped us over Texas for the Top 5 win, and then it would have been about who could have more style points the rest of the way. A win over FSU in the ACC title game would have gotten us into the Rose Bowl against USC and who knows what would have happened if we were there. As big a name as Texas was, in this hypothetical I don't see the voters holding back an undefeated Vick-led VT who went to back to back natty title games 3 years ago over an upstart Longhorns.

One thing is for sure... If we had 3 undefeated seasons with trips to the National Championship Game in 6 years starting in 1999, we would be the ones still able to hand pick whoever we want in this entire region on the recruiting trail. I'm not sure Clemson would be who they are now, and we'd probably still have a bit of a stranglehold on the ACC.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

THANK YOU! I've said it before, that '05 squad (offensive coaching staff aside) was the closest we've EVER had to a literal, actual, factual professional NFL team. Ever. Period.

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I gotta go with this. If we're going full on butterfly effect, then if we win those games, we probably wouldn't have to be talking about losses like BC, Kansas, or JMU.

Actually we went into the bowl game ranked third. Win the fuck Matt Ryan game and we're the only one loss team behind OSU. We're in.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

This ignores the national narrative going into that last poll. That is, the human voters wouldn't have put us through over a LSU squad that humiliated us in Baton Rouge. The computers had us #1 that last poll and the humans dropped us to something like 5 to make sure we didn't go through. Beating BC, even with them being #2 at the time, would not have pushed us through because of the severity of the beating we took that night. The talking heads were all in on making sure of that. If we played LSU close in a losing effort, sure maybe but 41-7 in a game that didn't even feel that close was always going to haunt us the rest of the way.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Being 12-1 would have put us at worst at #3 in the human polls, and I'd imagine we would have been close to LSU. The only reason so many voters could justify dropping us so far was because there were so many teams all at 11-2, and the computers would have nearly unanimously had us at #1.

I love that we have this conversation like every 6-9 months.

Wholeheartedly agree with your premise. After the stomping in death valley, it didn't matter what else happened, we weren't playing for a natty.

but still. Fuck Matt Ryan.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

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True, but if you pick the LSU game to be the one you change to a win....

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

absolutely. I was responding to Alum's discussion about changing the fuck matt ryan game, and how even if Harper(?) doesn't take the onside kick off his thigh, and we win that thing, but still have the shellacking in death valley on the record, we don't get into the BCS because human voters.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

You know, this discussion always brings to my mind a point that I've never heard discussed. And that is the timing of the LSU game. Remember this was the second game of the 2007 season. The first was the ECU game at home with GameDay and the nation watching. With all of the spectacle and emotions, it wasn't a great game, their minds and hearts weren't in it. And that's understandable.

Now just a week later, they go on the road to a hostile environment to play the biggest game of the year. IMHO they were still emotionally drained and not ready yet for that challenge. Play them later in the year and it's a different game. Our team was better than 7-41, just not that night.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

Or...what if we played LSU in 2004 as originally scheduled, instead of bumping them for USC?

I forget, was LSU good (as in better than us) that year??

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It was supposed to be a close game, but we were the underdog. We would have had to bring our A game to pull off a win, but we barely brought our C game.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

Which one, '07 or the originally scheduled '04 (because that's the one I was inquiring about)? If you're referring to '07, we would've had to bring BETTER than our A game (particularly the offensive coaching staff).

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2004 LSU (in the final year under Saban) ended up 9-2 in the regular season, with losses to #14 Auburn and #3 Georgia. Of course, we would also lose to Auburn (then #3) at the end of the year.

They started the season ranked #4 and ended at #12. We went from unranked to #9.

LSU ended up 2nd in the SEC West (behind Auburn), and would be considered 4th in the SEC overall. We were conference champs in the ACC.

Ok. But how did our '04 stack up to their's in terms of statistical likelihoods of us beating them?

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Then we wouldn't be a able to speculate on how we could have beat USC.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

Play them later in the year and it's a different game. Our team was better than 7-41, just not that night.

Yep. Different game, still a loss. Oh sure, score would've been a little closer. But having Stiney, Newsome & O'Cain cancels out a W.

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Don't know if we'd have beat them, but it could have been a much better game. And THAT may have pushed us ahead of them at the end of the season. That plus a win against B.C. and there's little doubt that we're in.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

I'm not gonna debate that. I'm talking more about the outcome. I agree that the score would've been closer had the game been scheduled later or if there was a rematch in the BCS Natty. The, practically, nondebateable issue is that, in spite of our substantial talent, it was & would not be enough to overcome the ineptness of the offensive coaching staff. The other issue I had was with Beamer's field position strategy. Since the early to mid 2000s, pts have mattered more than field position. To defeat '07 LSU the ENTIRE team (especially offensive coaching staff) would have to have been doing stuff ABOVE their A game level. There's nothing anyone can say that would prove otherwise. Also, it would require LSu playing below their A game level.

Waho's suck
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07 Boston College
10 Boise State
12 Michigan

for no reason other these leave a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

1999 championship game is the obvious answer but since it's excluded, I'll go with 2000 Miami, 2007 BC, and one that I haven't seen anyone else throw out yet.

2004 USC game. Think about if we beat Leinart and Bush. We might not have run the table or even ended up having the season we did, but that win would be the best win in program history given the opponent.

Damn, over an hour late haha. Was thinking these three games while reading through the thread.

2000 Miami - Win this game and we're 11-0, #2 in the nation. A healthy Vick vs. Oklahoma's top-notch defense would certainly have been a treat to see, and I believe the Good Guys would've come out with a victory and a title. Win this one and there's a good chance a lot of other losses mentioned in this thread wouldn't even happen.

2004 USC - While we eventually proved all the haters wrong by winning the ACC in our first season after it was fairly obvious we were brought in as an afterthought, making a statement in game 1, as well as beating a #1 team for the second time in our history (see above), would have been so gratifying. Also, that goddamn PI call...

2007 BC - Yes, the loss to LSU really hurt, and pointed out some glaring flaws in our program. However, that fateful wet Thursday night in Blacksburg haunts me to this day, and with a win there we'd most likely have punched our ticket to the BCS title game, where we would've had a chance to knock off a #1 team (this time aOSU) for the third time in our history.

My take on the USC game is that if Xavier hadn't gotten hurt, we win easily. He had Bush covered like a blanket. Then the PI wouldn't have ever been called...

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

It was offensive pass interference.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yes, I know. What I was meaning was that we would never have been in that situation for it to have happened. The game would have been completely different.

There is nothing in the world like Thursday night in Blacksburg!

'12 Sugar Bowl - Would have helped recruiting.
'08 Orange Bowl - Would have helped recruiting.
'00 Miami - Second crack at 'Natty and possibly a win.

2005 Miami
2007 BC
2010 Boise

Win those three game and I think you are looking at 3 more National Title appearances. I don't think we lose to JMU after beating Boise, but who knows.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

ECU after beating Ohio State in '14? We have always had a crappy loss in us.

I don't think ECU was a fluke - I think that was a match up challenge for the defense, and a decent ECU team. They put up 70 on UNC the following week. UNC was mediocre at best that year, but putting up 70 on a P5 team is always pretty incredible.

JMU on the other hand, was a fluke. We win that game 99 times out of 100.

Twitter me

Let's look at ECU's record that year:

First Wins:

  • FCS North Carolina Central (7-5). Mediocre FCS team.
  • FBS Virginia Tech (7-6). I pretty much have to say mediocre FBS team.
  • FBS UNC (6-7). Crappy FBS team.
  • FBS SMU (1-11). 'Nuff said.
  • FBS SFU (4-8). No comment necessary.
  • FBS Uconn (2-10). Maybe there's a pattern here...
  • FBS Tulane (3-9). It's holding up...
  • FBS Tulsa (2-10). Definitely a pattern.

And losses...

  • FBS USCe (7-6). Mediocre SEC team.
  • FBS Temple (6-6). Mediocre AAC team.
  • FBS Cincinatti (9-4). Good AAC team.

So... ECU beat only one FBS team with a record better than .500: Virginia Tech. That looks like a fluke to me.

Did you watch that game? Our DB's were consistently getting either burned or beat on jump balls by athletic receivers.

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I watched the entire game. It was horrific. They over performed and we underperformed. That doesn't change the reality of their season. They beat a lot of bad teams.

Their loss against South Carolina that year was absolute bullshit. In that and the Temple game they were clearly the better team. Against Temple senior running back Breon Allen fumbled FOUR TIMES. Ecu straight up beat us that year, it was their best team maybe since the time they beat us in 08

2000 Miami
2007 LSU
2011 Clemson (ACCCG) - surprised this one isn't on more lists, seems like where Clemson really turned the corner on the ACC and stopped Clempsoning - also would have prevented the Michigan match-up from ever occurring (which we won, obviously)

I think 2011 Cemson reg season would have kept them out of the ACCCG and would have set them back a few more years while extending Beamer's dominance a little longer

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

gotta be BC '07, although I think the LSU loss that year was more impactful I still think BC was much more realistic and I think we beat OSU if we get into the championship.

Clemson 2011 hurt because I think that was the beginning of the end there. Clemson absolutely exposed us that year, not that we would have gotten in had we won (and Auburn wouldve beaten us like a rented mule that year)

probably the last one would be miami 2005 we just laid a big ole fart that day and that was a really bad black mark on the program IMO

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

No, not a big ol fart, but mammoth shits-kebab.

Waho's suck
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Just reading this thread is making me want to seriously drink & get drunk....

Waho's suck
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Battle at Bristol
Fuck Matt Ryan
2009 vs Alabama

Battle at Bristol

I always forget that there was a football game after that tailgate.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Haha could have fooled me.

I woke up in a tent and was told that football happened. I'm skeptical.

Oh man just three?

Well let's see:
2000 Miami seems a no-brainer
2004 USC-even if we did still drop the NC State game that year, I wonder how far that team goes with a win over the Trojans, plus the FedEx curse never gets off the ground
Either/or with the 2007 regular season losses. LSU because I suspect a lot of sports fans that say we'll never be an "elite" program made up their minds that night, and Fuck Matt Ryan because Fuck Matt Ryan.

Alternatively, I'd say all three losses from 1998. That team was literally three plays away from being undefeated.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

LSU because I suspect a lot of sports fans that say we'll never be an "elite" program made up their minds that night

I thought the same thing - that game was a hit to our long term perception IMO.

Twitter me

I was thinking LSU because maybe we didn't need to burn Tyrod's redshirt and could have had a miraculous 2012 season

it could've happened in any of the games after that one as well, but sure

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

How about Clem, Miami, and GT. We'd be in playoffs, might have helped us with a couple cruits

2003 uva
1998 uva
1997 uva

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

3 decades of dominance I like that.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

2000 Miami - We would have went to, and won, the title game.
1995 BC & Cincy - We wouldn't have jumped either Nebraska or Florida to go to the title game, but after beating Texas, we would have finished 13-0.

Honestly? I don't think we beat '95 Miami OR '95 UVA if we didn't have these two losses to kick the team in he ass.

Miami 2000 - undefeated regular season
Auburn 2004 - Sugar Bowl champ
FSU 2005 - ACC champion

Would've finished ranked in top 5 in each of those seasons.

The Three B's

Boise: still the best game I've ever seen live, but damnit Kellen Moore ripped my heart out.

Bristol: greatest 1st quarter ever followed by the worst 3 quarters of my life. I was so drunk and so, so sad.

BC 07: Jeff Jagodzinski saying Lane Stadium wouldn't be a factor and then dancing on the sideline after the go-ahead...if I had the chance I'd still punch him. I hate that man. Hate him. Fuck Matt Ryan? Nah...fuck Jeff Jagodzinski. I don't even know if that's how it's spelled or not, but that's what's coming up on my phone.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Jagoffzinski. Definitely how you spell it.

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

Fuck Matt Ryan 3 times

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Ah ripping off the bandage again I see /s

But no seriously great topic. A lot of the big ones have already been mentioned (2000 Miami definitely comes to mind), but I'll give my take on my three:

2005 Miami: The day the ESPN hype train left Blacksburg. Seriously, we were nationally beloved from the big waves we made in 1999 all through the early 2000s. 2003's collapse nearly ruined it all, but coming into Bobby Bowden's conference in 2004 and winning it all gave us a ton of credibility back. 2005, imo, was the closest we have been to being truly among the elite, and likely our best team ever top to bottom. That Miami loss just seemed pivotal. It was finally our moment at home to play our way back into the national title game, and we just pissed it away. Still stings to this day thinking of the hype leading up to that big late season matchup.

2007 LSU - Very similar pivotal game IMO to 05 Miami. This game to me was the first time I can remember us being completely outclassed, outgunned, and feeling that our staff was just clueless and shell shocked. This started the awful rise of the SEC hype and kind of was the first big sign of decline in the Beamer era. We came in highly nationally ranked and were just embarrassed in every facet of the game. This is one I definitely would want back.

2012 Sugar Bowl - obviously we really did win this one, but this bowl loss stung. Not only was Michigan a completely beatable opponent, but this was the beginning of the end to the Beamer era looking back in retrospect. It would have been nice to have a major BCS win in the latter Beamer years, and maybe the bottom doesn't completely fall out and he rides off into the sunset sooner with such a big bowl victory. Definitely one that still stings with such a controversial finish.

It would have been nice to have a major BCS win in the latter Beamer years


I know 95 Sugar was technically before the BCS, but we did at least get an Orange Bowl win against Cincy in 09. Think if the 05 Sugar 08 Orange and 2012 Sugar had gone the other way how different the end of Beamer's tenure might have been.

Key word there being "major". I don't consider our Orange Bowl win against Cincy as a "major" BCS win. A BCS win, yes, and so far our only one, when it really seems like we should have a lot more. Though yes, the '95 Sugar Bowl is a major bowl victory, definitely the biggest we've had by far.

And if we had won all 3 of those games, those last few years may have turned out different, but I doubt it would've changed much. If anything, it only would have delayed the inevitable multi-year crap-fest that ultimately convinced Beamer it was time to step down.

You think if we had gone 8-4 or better every year through 2015 that Beamer would've still retired when he did? I feel like he'd still be our coach today, and Fuente probably would've ended up at USCe or similar.

I think had we gotten a few more BCS wins and he gets that 2012 Sugar Bowl, he might be more inclined to step away after a year or two slide. I don't think the last few years of his tenure were sheer delusion that he would lead us back to the national title game, but I think more about getting us back to his 10-win/ACC title/BCS bowl benchmark. With a few more of those under his belt and one recent one in 2012, maybe he feels he can comfortably walk away on top with the program in decent shape. I think he hung on trying to get us back to that level, but it was too little too late at that point.

Devyn Ford

KJ Henry

Josh Sweat

Did I do this right?

There are too many to list, but here are a few that stick out.......

Southern Cal We've beaten most, if not all, of the "big boy" programs that we've played at least once.....Ala, OSU, LSU, Neb, Mia, FSU, etc....but we let that one slip away. Who knows what we may have done with that feather in our cap. They went on to a Natty that year and may have even with a loss to us.

Auburn They talked a lot of smack in NOLA and had zero respect for us......this Sugar Bowl loss may have been the start of the gradual slide. The smackdown of an SEC team may have been just the pill we needed to keep momentum going.

Michigan We should've won this game easily.....obviously we were the better team and outplayed them everywhere except the scoreboard. They weren't a very good team as Michigan teams go and the slide continued.

Certainly, the ECU and JMU upsets stung, but they were upsets, not statement games, and everyone knew it.....they didn't affect our program adversely, imo.

I think those 3 games would be my choices as well

'04 USC
'07 Boston College (Fuck Matt Ryan)
'11 Michigan

Three big time games that we should have won but didn't.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

2008 Ecu
2014 Ecu
2015 Ecu

Te to qb

I'm biased towards anything after 2008 and assuming that winning any individual game had no cumulative impact on the recruiting trail or how we performed after the game.

2010 JMU: Because I hate getting crap about this from people who went to JMU, who use this as evidence that their program is anywhere near at the same level as ours. The negative press from this game was so much worse than any kind of positive press we could gain from winning any kind of Conference Championship or Bowl game.
2015 UNC: Beamer's last home game. Guys played their asses off and still fell short in OT by a questionable call.
2016 Clemson: Winning any ACCCG would be sweet, but after such a long drought this would have been particularly huge.

Runners up: 2009 GT/Bama, 2010 Stanford, 2011 Clemson

2015 UNC: Beamer's last home game. Guys played their asses off and still fell short in OT by a questionable call.

I remember rewinding that like 10 times on the DVR losing my mind that it was never reviewed and ultimately overturned.

First of all, I eliminate any losses from 2012-2015. Those were some rough years, and we were just fighting to be bowl eligible. Anyway...

1. 2005 Miami - Does anyone remember "The Walk" prior to this game? *goose bumps*. You could make the argument that this game was when Tech football was at its true peak. That team was insanely talented, particularly on defense - Adibi, Hall, Chris Ellis, Brandon Flowers, Aaron Rouse, Darryl Tapp, James Anderson, Jimmy Williams, Macho, Roland Minor, DJ Parker, etc. Man, what a squad. #3...I REPEAT...#3 in the country and we fell on our face to "Da U". A win not only could've propelled us past USC or Texas for a chance at the natty, but also would've completely changed our image. How cool would it have been to get a rematch with USCw?

2. 2007 LSU: 2007 was another year that I think we could've competed for a Natty, but Jacob Hester and Matt Flynn had something to say about that. SMH.

3. 2007 Boston College - Matt Ryan. Dancing Jeff Jaguhhhzinski. That cold/wet/pissed off walk back to the tailgate. What a miserable fucking night. This loss was huge in the grand scheme of that season...

2007 Boston College also because there's a pretty strong chance we get a shot at OSU in the natty without that loss. Would have been 11-1 and ACC champs, the only other 1 loss teams in the country were OSU and Kansas (who obviously wasn't going to get to the natty).

2010 Boise State. The atmosphere was awesome. The teams played their heart out. The jerseys were lit. And then those last two minutes. 😫

Any loss to Georgia Tech. Fuck them.

Oh what could of been, the 09 loss to Bama.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

How about 3 plays?:

1) bullish!t offensive PI call in '04 vs USCw. We win that game.

2) the "catch" (Sugar Bowl champs)

3) MV7 fumble in the BCS Championship. We were leading and F$U was tired.

We put the K in Kwality

These are just important to me because I live in Florida and I was at all 3 of these:
2001 Gator vs FSU(I hate that damn song and I was at the '99 Sugar Bowl too).
2005 ACCCG vs FSU (never seen us beat them live)
tie between 2007 Orange vs Kansas and 2010 vs Stanford (terrible ends to great seasons).
In the grand scheme of things however:
2000 Miami
2005 Miami
2011 Clemson

I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them!

Sorry, I can't do just three. Tried. I really fucking tried. There's just too damn many of them.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Would a 12-1 VT that avenged its only loss leapfrog Alabama for the championship game if you reverse the 2011 ACC Championship? Definitely not in the playoff era but with the BCS there might have been a chance. If not we surely would have been just on the outside looking in considering we were already #5 heading into that game.

Loss to Kansas because we shouldn't have a damn loss to Kansas football!
Stanford because that would have been a great statement bowl win
Third has too many: make Michigian sugar bowl win official, Auburn In Sugar Bowl, UGA Seab glennon fumbles loss, Fuck Matt Ryan game, Beamers last game at home, any game against GT

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I wanted to limit my choices to games I was personally in attendance at.

2007 BC. Fuck Matt Ryan. The fact that those three words together are so meaningful and necessary to Hokie fans for an otherwise outstanding guy says it all.

2010 JMU because no other loss should hurt your Hokie pride as much as that one does. Also, wrecking my truck after that game wouldn't have felt like a total kick in the balls while already on the ground.

2015 UNC to give Beamer one final win at home for all of the W's he helped give us over the years.

12 Pitt. It was the point in the Beamer era when we began losing games we should be winning.

Bucky Hodges is always open

I think Alum07 makes the best argument for Miami 2000, and Miami & FSU 2005 leading to two additional direct chances at a national championship. That makes a whole lot of sense even though a lot of these other games have more emotional appeal or affect how VT is perceived by other fans and media.

BUT, I want to add one that I haven't seen mentioned, purely for emotional reasons to have bragging rights over the then reigning national champions that we had beaten the previous year:

2015 Ohio St game in the Burg

Ramifications of this win: Beamer probably doesn't retire and coaches Tech in the Bristol game during his 30th season coaching VT in 2016, and of course, all of the other dominoes fall from there.

Ramifications of this win: Beamer probably doesn't retire and coaches Tech in the Bristol game during his 30th season coaching VT in 2016, and of course, all of the other dominoes fall from there.

Love Beamer as much as the next Hokie, but if he didn't step down after 2015, Fuente might've wound up elsewhere, and we might be sitting in a worse place now. Would've loved to see us beat OSU in 2015, but I'm happy with our current staff and direction of the program.

Twitter me

Exactly correct, Fuente not being hired is the big domino falling. I like where the program is under Fuente also.

I bring up the second OhSU game simply to be 2-0 against a national championship team, and against Meyer. Being the only team to beat the champs - twice in about 15 games - would be pretty cool. As it is, Tech was the only team to beat them over the course of about 25 games until Michigan St beat them late in the 2015 season.

To me this win would be similar to beating USCw, Michigan, Georgia, Boise or (gulp) Kansas! Losing Brewer to me was like the phantom pass interference call in USCw game.

(Original post was edited)

He was definitely retiring no matter the results. He said it himself during the announcement.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009


Having beaten the national champs two years in a row might have made him believe inside that the program was a couple lucky breaks away from ten wins, which is actually true.

And I think Bristol was a long time in the making and something he was really looking forward to coaching, and 30 years as coach sounds and feels better than 29.

And the fan base wouldn't have been as divided after another big win to start the season, that's really what made him retire in my opinion, the fans fighting. He's a classy guy and didn't want to divide Tech.

Of course, he might have retired anyway, but I doubt it.

More than getting a W against OSU in 2015, I would rather have seen the complete game with a healthy Brewer. Even if we still came out with a loss, we at least would know that we had put everything out there. It just sucked watching the rest of that game after he got hurt and knowing that we were done that night.

But I don't think the outcome of that game as a huge domino effect. Based on how we lost the games in the middle of a season, I don't think it would have mattered who was at QB.

Agree with having a healthy Brewer, that injury pretty much ended that game, but if Motley had been better prepared or if they had a different game plan for Motley that might have surprised OhSU, maybe they could have had more energy and scored some points.

Wasn't thinking much about a domino effect regarding additional wins that season, was thinking more of Beamer remaining as coach and Fuente not being hired, etc. BUT maybe with a big OhSU win to start the season the Hokies dig deeper against Pitt, Duke and UNC and win one, two or all three of those games. Voila, ten wins! Everyone is happy! (And I'm not questioning that the players didn't dig deep enough during those games.)

I'm going to try to list 3 games that I haven't seen on this forum yet to keep it interesting. First, I'd like to undo the 2003 Pitt game. Sure, we had lost to WVU two games prior to that while ranked third, but that blowout win over Miami catapulted us back into the top 5, and we were still relevant in the National Championship discussion. That Pitt loss definitely caused the team to mail it in, though. They almost lost to Temple the next week, then proceeded to lose the last 3 games, including one to UVA. Had that Pitt loss not happened, I think that team might have finished with 1 loss in the regular season. They were very talented but didn't handle adversity well.

Second, I would like to undo the 2004 (the year was 2005, but it was the 2004 season) Auburn game. Auburn arguably belonged in the National Championship game against USC rather than Oklahoma, and after USC smacked Oklahoma, it looked like Auburn belonged even more. Everyone expected Auburn to blow us out, but we kept it close the whole way and only lost because of self-inflicted wounds in my opinion. Jesse Allen's drop on fourth down and Brandon Pace's missed field goal come to mind. That would have been a great win for us, and it probably would have made us the second best team in college football at season's end given how much better we played USC than Oklahoma did.

Lastly, I would undo the 2009 Georgia Tech game. We were ranked 4th with a lot of momentum heading into that game. Tyrod was playing well in his first season as the full-time starter, Ryan Williams was an absolute monster, and the defense was starting to figure things out after struggling a lot against the run early in the season. Then Ryan Williams gets the flu, Georgia Tech chop blocks us to death, and the Jackets took the Coastal Division. Not only that, but the team came out with no energy in the following game against UNC and lost against a team that shouldn't have been legally allowed by the NCAA to be on a football field. Watching us beat the shit out of Tennessee in the bowl game was pretty cool, but it would have been even cooler to win the ACC and go to 5 straight BCS bowl games assuming had we beaten GT that season that it would have had no effect on 2010 and 2011.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

That 03 Pitt game was the first Tech game I ever attended. Good god it was frigid in the SEZ.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

I believe you're thinking of the 2002 Pitt game. 2003 was at Heinz Field. I was not at that 2002 game, but it looked freezing on tv.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Hear, hear on the 2009 GT Game. My youngest was 9 at the time, and he was a HUGE Tyrod fan. We were up in Boone at Tweetsie Railroad doing the Ghost Train, and we booked it back to a TV screen as fast as we could to catch the last quarter. Oh, the heartbreak for that kid. He ended up in tears, and his older brothers ribbed him pretty good for crying over a game. I pulled him aside, and told him that he and I would have a "real Hokie fans only trip" next Thursday, as the kids were out of school next Friday, and he and I would watch the Hokies mangle the Tar Heels...

GODDAMMIT! all over again.

Leonard. Duh.

Non-selfish take on 2009 GT - Yes... if the Hokies beat GT, they probably beat UNC and end up 11-1 and then probably get a crack at Tebow in the Sugar Bowl.

Leonard. Duh.

That was back during a time when Boston College regularly competed for the Atlantic Division. Aside from the FSU blunder in 2005, all we really had to do was go to the ACC Championship and it was ours before 2011.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

That Auburn game was soo frustrating. Auburn had tons of NFL talent on that offense, and Bud and company held them to 16. Even with our stagnant offense, we still had a shot to beat them.

If we're talking important games and possible shots at a title:
2005 Miami
2010 Boise
2011 Clemson (Regular Season)

If we're going off of emotion that's still fresh:
2016 Syracuse
2017 Miami
2017 Georgia Tech

To your second list I would put:
2016 'Cuse
2016 Gag. Tech
2017 Gag. Tech
Don't think we were gonna beat Miami last season. Oh, we might have made it a closer game. But we weren't gonna win.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

If I were to make an obscure second list...I have been to three Gameday games. Tech was whipped in all three.

Miami 05: probably the most buzz around campus I've ever seen. Probably the loudest I've ever heard Lane, granted it didn't last long after Enter Sandman. Had the makings of something special, not to even mention the impact it had the rest of the season.

UT/Bristol game: also made my list above.

Clemson last season: closest to the Miami game I've seen...but damnit they are rolling right now.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

On a personal level, 2017 Clemson, 2015 Ohio State, and 2014 Miami - the last three games I've seen in person.

Miami 2005- VT's best overall team ever IMO. More weapons on offense than Mike Vick had, nasty, nasty defense. What could have been

JMU 2010- A hall of fame coach MUST get his team ready to beat a medicore 1AA team at home

Boise 2010- We were better than they were- period.

2000 Miami: win this and we are back in the championship

2011 Clemson and Clemson: win these and we are in the championship, and prevent a godforsaken all SEC title game. And with the way we dominated Michigan that year we were much better than people remember. I'm also open to believing Clemson cheated against us.

Thought about this one for a while.

1. 2000 Miami. With a healthy Vick (rest before bowl game), we have a good shot at Oklahoma, and our first National Championship.

2. 2005 Miami. I think with a potential trip to the National Championship on the line, we take care of business in Jacksonville. Understood that Texas and USC go undefeated, but defeating #5 Miami while being at #3 gives us a shot to get into the Top 2. On top of that, the narrative doesn't change about Virginia Tech, and ESPN keeps promoting us like the golden child.

3. 2007 LSU. This one was an absolute disaster, and is what kept us out of the National Championship that year. We were at #3 even with the loss, but would not have gone higher, due to the pollsters voting us down (correctly, IMnsHO) to ensure that we don't end up ahead of LSU. Change that game to a win, and we're in the BCS National Championship game against a beatable OSU team.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

2007 BC

2010 Boise

These were the most life ruining sports moments of my childhood.


I go back and forth on this, but because I hate Clemson so much I want to say 2016 ACCCG, but that would eliminate the the Belk Bowl comeback which was an incredible moment watching that live with my Dad, and a special moment for our fanbase as a whole.

2007 LSU. This one speaks for itself.

Honorable Mentions:

2009 GT, I think we beat UNC if we win this one. Similar effect to 2010 Boise loss, but GT loss didn't hurt as badly.

2005 Miami, this really fucked us over but I don't think there is any way we get in the way of Texas-USC in a NCG, we would have needed one of them to lose as well.

2013 every fucking loss other than Alabama which I think we were just simply too inept on offense. Fucking Duke game, we held them 180 yards and they didn't convert a 3rd down and we LOST. Maryland game, shoot me. UCLA after knocking out LT.

2007 Kansas

2006 Georgia

2005 Florida State, we just had absolutely no business losing this game. Just a lazy ass performance and we turned it on too late.

I feel bad that I rooted for Boise State in that game before I became a hokie. My bad yall.

Recruit Prosim

2011 ACCCG against Clemson would have seen us avenge our only loss and put us in NC discussion as well as possibly preventing Clemson from becoming a juggernaut.

2012 Sugar Bowl. I live in Michigan and talk shit to my coworkers all the time. Would have been one of our most marquee wins in program history.

2015 OSU. Would have been impressive to have beat them pre and post national championship and would make the win feel a lot more valid.

Recruit Prosim

No one has mentioned the most embarrassing game of all time. The 0-0 tie against Wake. This one may have been just as bad as the JMU game. It did show the state of the program and the need for a change of direction.

If we win some of the other games, then that one probably doesn't happen.

I hope.

I took a nap at halftime and joked with my dad, "I bet when I wake up, it'll still be 0-0." I woke up towards the end of the fourth. It was still 0-0.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

07 BC- Tech would have been 12-1 with a much better chance of making it to the NC and a rematch against LSU
12 Michigan- Danny Coale caught that ball
98- Syracuse. I despise Donovan McNabb.
Pretty much all of the 98 season. I could honestly do that season as my 3 losses. Faltering against Temple never happens, no McNabb miracle against Syracuse, and no Aaron Brooks Uva comeback. Tech lost those 3 games by a combined 10 points.

07 BC- Tech would have been 12-1 with a much better chance of making it to the NC and a rematch against LSU

No matter how you slice the end of the 2007 season, it still wouldn't have been an LSU-VT rematch. You still had OSU at 11-1, who started the final weekend of the season at #3 and climbed up due to Missouri and WVU losing.

We would have gotten in over LSU so yes, there wouldn't have been a rematch at all, but we would have made the NC. They had two losses and we were #1 in the computers with 2 losses anyway. We would have played tOSU if we had been 12-1, not a doubt in my mind. The only reason LSU jumped us is because they beat us and we both had 2 losses.

We would have gotten in over LSU

No we wouldn't have. 41-7 ruined any chance of that, and the human voters made absolutely sure that would be the case. Even if we had beaten BC, the stain of that beatdown in Baton Rouge was still going to haunt us the rest of the way. It was the top primary talking point going into that final poll when the computers ranked us #1, as if the BC game never happened. We had our chance that year to prove ourselves more worthy than LSU, and we got slaughtered.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

If we're 12-1 instead of 11-2, the conversation changes dramatically. Yes, sure, there would be a lot of voters that would put LSU ahead of us, but we would have been at worst #3 in the human polls.

As it was, we were ranked #1 by the computers, #5 by the coaches, and #6 in the Harris. Bump the #5 and #6 up to #3 and that should easily be enough for us to jump LSU for 2nd.

The conversation that year was literally putting VT and LSU up on the screen with the final score of that game. I think it was Herbie on Gameday that went on and on and on about how LSU held us to about 100 total yards of offense that night and how it effectively invalidated our chances at passing the eye test the rest of the year. To the talking heads, it didn't matter if that was our only loss, the loss was so bad it ruined our season before it began. And unfortunately, those talking heads were the ones swaying public opinion on the polls... We were always going to get passed by LSU after the severity of that loss. Always.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

You don't get it. It doesn't matter what the "conversation" is, the computers don't care.

Yes, the voters would have put LSU #2 and us at #3. It doesn't matter, the computers would have more than made up for it.

Here's a look at the final BCS standings from that year:

We need exactly .0692 points to pass LSU. Even if we take a conservative estimate and end up with only the same number of votes in both human polls that the #4 team in each poll had, we would have gained .0668 right off the bat, and that's assuming that LSU doesn't lose a single vote in either poll. Now, on top of that, we were #1 in the computer average, but still had room for improvement. If beating BC would move us up a single spot in any of the three rankings where we weren't already #1 (we were #2 behind LSU in one, and #4 in two others), that would be another .0100 points.

Conclusion: if we had beaten BC in 2007 and finished 12-1, we would have played aOSU for the national championship, regardless of the LSU loss at the start of the season.

You don't get it. It doesn't matter what the "conversation" is, the computers don't care.

The computers already had us #1. Getting us into the Natty Title game that year was all about swaying the humans, which means that yes, the conversation absolutely did matter. In fact, it was the reason we were dropped out.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

The conversation only matters if both teams end with the same record. So yes, same record, both conference champions, and LSU had the head-to-head, LSU should have gone.

But if VT is 12-1 and LSU is 11-2, the head-to-head doesn't matter.

The BCS in 2007 was not ready for the shitstorm that having a 2-loss team in the title game over multiple 1-loss teams would have stirred up. (Kansas was already on the outside looking in with 1 loss because they didn't make their conference title game.)

But if VT is 12-1 and LSU is 11-2, the head-to-head doesn't matter.

Yes it does. LSU kicked our ass in the first game of the season, and there was no way the human voters were going to put VT in the national championship over LSU. IIRC, our position in the final human polls *dropped* despite the win against BC in the ACCCG. That's because the human voters were going by the head-to-head. LSU was seen to be the better team by virtue of the shellacking they gave us (and rightfully so), and the human polls adjusted to make sure LSU got in.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

IIRC, our position in the final human polls *dropped* despite the win against BC in the ACCCG.

Wrong. We moved from #6 to #5 in the AP Poll, passing Mizzou and WVU and getting passed by OU. We moved from #6 to #5 in the Coaches' Poll, passing Mizzou, WVU, and Kansas and getting passed by OU and LSU. We moved from #7 to #6 in the Harris Poll, passing Mizzou, WVU, and Kansas and getting passed by OU and USC.

there was no way the human voters were going to put VT in the national championship over LSU.

Doesn't matter. Even if they put us at #4, still behind Oklahoma (possible but not likely, with the advantage in the loss column and lack of head-to-head to bring us down) and LSU, we'd almost certainly have enough of a boost from the computers to make up for it. All of which I already outlined in my post above, numbers included.

The "drop" in the polls was just from memory, and it looks like that came from a feeling of dropping from where I thought we would be after the win. We were passed up by OU and LSU, so we lost ground on them after a win. I guess that's what I was remembering.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

That's fair. And OU and LSU gaining ground on us would make sense. But knowing how the system worked, even with the voters having us 3rd or 4th (and I don't feel like they could justify having a 12-1 VT in 4th behind an 11-2 Oklahoma, without the head-to-head benefit that LSU got, much less putting us even lower), the computer average would have easily bumped us ahead of LSU.

I know that "41-7" hung over us that entire season, just like "38-0" still hangs over UVA to this day, but if we had won out instead of giving Matty Ice his moment of glory we would have overcome public perception with the help of the computers. Probably the only time in our history where that would be the case.

You know what also ultimtely doesn't matter, the fact that even if by some narrow margin we made it to the BCS title, we would still lose because of Stinespring, Newsome & O'Cain.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows


Exactly, that's where I was going with it. OSU had locked themselves into the #1 spot, so it was a case of everyone else fighting for #2.

Of course, if Tennessee hadn't thrown a 4th quarter pick-6 in the SEC title game, we might have also gotten through.

1. UVA 1998. Was there. Still hurts.
2. Battle of Bristol. It really sucked to fumble the game away to fucking Tennessee on literally the biggest stage ever.
3. Syracuse 1996---we win that game we finish the regular season undefeated.

2004 Auburn
2007 LSU
2010 Boise
tie with
2005 Miami