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Would a loss to Boise State cripple Virginia Tech's season?

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster was talking about his concerns with the Hokies' second-team defense following last Saturday’s final preseason scrimmage when he said something that may be getting lost in the shuffle amid all the excitement of the Boise State phenomenon coming east to take on Virginia Tech.

“I know there’s a lot of hype on this first game, but it’s not gonna make or break our season,” Foster said.

Foster is right to a certain extent. One loss, especially in the first game of the year, does not render an entire season moot. Since Frank Beamer became head coach in 1987, the Hokies are 16-7 in season openers. If we only include seasons since Beamer’s 17-year consecutive bowl streak began in 1993, that record jumps to 13-4.

In all but one of those four seasons that began with a loss, Virginia Tech has gone on to win a conference championship and qualify for a BCS bowl game.

In 1995, the Hokies lost their opener to Boston College, 20-14, but rebounded to win the Big East regular season and eventually defeated Texas in the Sugar Bowl to finish the year 10-2 (yes, I realize there was no BCS in 1995 but for this exercise, it's safe to assume the 1995 Sugar Bowl was an elite bowl game).

In 2004, Virginia Tech lost to No. 1 USC at FedEx Field, 24-13, but lost just once more the rest of the regular season and won its first ACC title before falling to unbeaten Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.

Two years ago, an upstart East Carolina squad upset then-No. 17 Virginia Tech, 27-22. But the Hokies again found their bearings in time to win the ACC title, and went on to defeat Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl.

Since 1993, the only time Virginia Tech hasn’t qualified for a BCS bowl after losing its opener was last year, when the Hokies won the Chick-Fil-A Bowl after losing 34-24 to eventual national champion Alabama to start the season.

“When you play a highly ranked team, if you should lose, then you’re not necessarily out of the big picture,” said Beamer, who has an 0-4 record against ranked opponents in season-opening games. “You depend on someone else now, but you’re not necessarily out of it.”

By Mark Giannotto  |  September 1, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

The season wouldn't be crippled, but it wouldn't be as good.

I'd like to see Virginia Tech win this one.

Posted by: postfan1 | September 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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