Big East Farewell Tour, Part 2 of 7: Syracuse
by VTHokieTom, 10/10/03
Since the start of the Big East round robin football schedule in 1993, Tech and Syracuse are both 5 up and 5 down against each other. The final game in what could be called the "See-Saw Series", (Tech wins, Cuse wins, Tech wins 2, Cuse wins 2), is this Saturday in Lane Stadium. The winner/whiner takes all.
The Hokies have had many fantastic, lopsided wins against Syracuse in Lane Stadium. In 1993, Tech swamped them 45-24. In 1995 and 1997, even Rush Limbaughís own Donavan McNabb had nightmares on Southgate Drive, with crushing defeats of 31-7 and 31-3. Then, during the magical 1999 season, Tech would score the same amount as the two previous games combined and blank the Orangeman, 62 to zip in one of the worst defeats of a Top 25 team in the history of college football. Unfortunately, Tech's streak of dominating home wins came to an end in 2001.
The real drama came when Tech traveled to play in the Carrier Dome at ESPN Classic Field. First, a side note. I have been to the Dome twice and brought home victories both times, 1986 and 2000. I donít know what the problem is. The Dome is an easy place for a win. OK, all kidding aside, the Dome has been Frank Beamerís nightmare as well. In 1994, the 14th ranked Hokies lost 28-20. In 1996, the 18th ranked Hokies were shelled, 52-21. In 1998, the 16th ranked Hokies lost on the last play, 28-26. However, in 2000, Tech reversed the trend. The 2nd ranked Hokies beat the Orangeman, 22-14, thanks to kids named Michael Vick and Troy Nunes.
The really amazing thing about this series is the progression of each program on the national scene. At first, Syracuse was the heavy hitter, the jewel of the Northeast, perennially ranked, bowl game players, and TV darlings. While on the other hand, Virginia Tech was the exact opposite in every category. Now in 2003, Syracuse is the afterthought and Tech is the shining star. While Tech alumni visit BeamerBall.com, Syracuse alumni visit FireCoachP.com. While Tech fans fill up Lane Stadium and travel with their team, Syracuse fans prepare for another long, cold winter in upstate New York and hunker down in front of their fireplaces.
This is the end of it, friends. No more dominating victories. No more heart stopping losses. And no more traveling to the Dome. Yes, Syracuse has had some memorable victories against the Hokies. But the three that count are on the Orange and Maroon side: Michael Vick, 2002 Toyota Gator Bowl, and the ACC invitation.