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Throughout the spring and summer, we're going to do something fun that will prepare you for VT's entry into the ACC in 2004. We're going to run down the series history with each future ACC football opponent, review some of the big games, and generally bring you up to date on Virginia Tech's rivalry in football with each ACC school.
The Hokies have a rich history with the ACC, having played all of the current ACC members at least 10 times in football, and most of them 20 or 30 times or more.
The Hokies have played Georgia Tech just once in football, Duke 11 times, and every other ACC school 27 times or more.
As you can see, prior to losing to Virginia last fall, the Hokies were exactly .500 against ACC competition.
Just for fun, here's how I rate the series between the Hokies and current ACC schools, from my favorite to least favorite. This is based on the past, my own personal opinions of the teams under consideration, and future potential for rivalries in the ACC.
ACC Rivalries, from Personal Favorite to Least Favorite
1. Virginia (85 games, 43-37-5). No question here. The in-state rival. The Mack-daddy of all VT-ACC rivalries, past, present, and future.
2. N.C. State (44 games, 23-17-4). Second-most played ACC opponent, after Virginia. A clean, well-played, competitive series in the 80's and early 90's, before it was discontinued. Provided one of the best VT football memories ever, the 1986 Peach Bowl, Tech's first-ever bowl victory. Of all the ACC opponents, this is the one I look forward to renewing the rivalry with the most.
3. Florida State (31 games, 10-20-1). Too lopsided in recent years to be a source of satisfaction for Hokie fans, this rivalry is nonetheless one of Virginia Tech's best and has provided some memorable moments (which we'll recap in a later TSLMail), crowned by the 1999 national championship game.
4. Clemson (28 games, 10-17-1). Once the unwinnable game for the Hokies, this series has evened out in recent years, with VT winning the last three games and four out of the last seven, after many frustrating years -- 31, to be exact, in which VT lost 9 straight times to Clemson.
5. Maryland (30 games, 13-17-0). This has historically been a so-so series, though the last game, in 1993, featured a juicy on-field brawl. Going forward, I think this rivalry, at the fan level, is going to be nasty. And Ralph Friedgen's offense is going to give the Hokies fits. And the border recruiting wars are going to be fierce, too. There's not a lot of remarkable history here, but there's a lot of potential.
6. UNC (27 games, 12-9-6). Lots of history here, but it's old history, and contentious. In 1977, the Hokies nabbed UNC's coach, Bill Dooley. Then, in 1983, the Tarheels refused a matchup with VT in the Peach Bowl, causing the Peach to knuckle under, pick a different opponent for UNC, and leave the 9-2 Hokies home bowl-less (that one still makes many Hokies' blood boil). Then, in 1997, a powerful UNC team slaughtered the Hokies 42-3 in the Gator Bowl. That was the first meeting since 1946 between the two teams, because basically, UNC didn't want to play Tech. Lots of potential for nastiness here.
7. Georgia Tech (1 game, 0-1-0). Why VT and GT haven't played more over the years is a mystery. They're not that far away from each other. This one shapes up to be a gentleman's rivalry between two similar institutions. The GT fans I've encountered are friendly, clever types who won't cause trouble on message boards or in person, and the team doesn't inspire any enmity or spite, though that 1990 loss to eventual national champion GT did sting.
8. Wake Forest (32 games, 20-11-1). Shrug. Not much going on here in the way of a rivalry. The two teams played a lot in the 70's and 80's (every year from 1975-1984) and had some competitive matchups, but the series wasn't particularly fierce and has been dormant for 20 years now. They've got a cute little Junior Lane Stadium, though (think Lane back in the mid-70's, before the East side was expanded).
9. Duke (11 games, 4-7-0). This hasn't been a very interesting series in the past
-- with the exception of a stirring comeback from a 21-0 half time deficit to a 22-21 Hokie win back in 1982 -- and
probably won't be in the future. Duke saves its best games for Virginia, and that probably won't change. The last time
these two teams played, in 1984, Tech won 27-0. Bruce Smith had two sacks, Duke only spent four plays on Tech's side of
the field, and the Blue Devils had (-4) yards rushing and 72 yards passing. Duke's 68 yards of offense was a Tech
defensive record until UAB only got 65 yards in 1997. (UAB later broke that record, too, gaining just 63 yards in
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Spring Football 2004 Preview: The Offense
Rookie Diary #6: A Solid Pro Day
Penn State Run Ousts Hokies, 61-48
Torrid Hokies Blast Iowa, 89-76
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