Rivalries, Losses and Turning Points

Virginia Tech has only lost to Virginia six times in the last 28 years, but each time it's signaled the start of something bigger.

There's a funny thing about lopsided rivalries, especially in college sports. The passion between a pair of schools rarely ever wanes. Texas A&M hasn't played Texas in almost a decade but can barely speak their name. Oklahoma State has plenty of hate for Oklahoma, like their blood boils with piss and vinegar, even though they've beaten the Sooners just 18 times since 1904.

As cliche as it sounds, the records don't matter because pride's on the line (and that fuel burns white hot). Yet there's a certain irony that comes with a one-sided rivalry, especially if you're the aggressor. No matter how many times you win — no matter if you're a player, coach or fan — you will always remember the losses more vividly than the wins.

Virginia Tech has owned the Commonwealth Clash for the last 30 years, famously racking up 15 straight wins over Virginia from 2004 to 2018. It's been a breathtaking display of dominance linking generations of Hokies together over their love of watching their program squash the Wahoos.

But if we're being honest, most of the wins blend together. Sure, you can remember the one for being legendary:

And the one that was an absolutely unthinkable tire fire:

And you may have one or two that you remember for personal reasons. For instance, I will always remember the time Logan Thomas killed a man and got away with it:

But unless something latches onto your brain, some of the games stick together like pages of a wet book — without looking it up I dare you to correctly tell me what happened in 2012, '13, '14 and '15. You can't, I'm pretty sure it's impossible. You could even convince me that they're all a single Mike London-length fever dream, happening simultaneously in an alternate universe. I couldn't prove you wrong.

But the losses... Oh, those we remember. And they're far more interesting to talk about, because each one comes at an inflection point in the history of the program.

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