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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Virginia Tech's struggles vs. top five teams continue in Orange Bowl

By Mark Giannotto

Even if the Virginia Tech football team had managed to pull off an upset over No. 5 Stanford Monday night, its record facing top five opponents would have still been a point of contention. The Hokies were just 1-26 all-time -- and 1-18 during Coach Frank Beamer's tenure -- against top five opponents heading into this latest affair on the national stage.

But now that the dust has settled a bit on the Hokies' 40-12 Orange Bowl loss to the Cardinal, and the Virginia Tech haters come out of the woodwork, the potential for a 2-26 record sure sounds appealing.

Beamer addressed this issue a lot during the build-up to this game, saying Virginia Tech needed to start winning these games against elite opponents to to truly be considered one of the top programs in the country. But once again, the Hokies fell short when the national spotlight came their way -- this time courtesy of a 27-point second-half blitz by quarterback Andrew Luck and Stanford.

After the game, Beamer wasn't asked directly about one of the few blemishes on an otherwise remarkable resume. But he did speak about the burden of representing the ACC as its premier program, and whether he likes being the face of the conference almost every year in these big time bowl games.

"You know, I'm disappointed we didn't pull our end of the deal for the ACC. But again, I don't think it was a bad effort; it was just not as good execution as we need. I don't apologize for the effort we played with. I feel bad for our football team and for our fans and for the ACC that we didn't play better, that we didn't function better."

Now that this streak of falling flat against top five opponents has gone on for so long, there seems to be a growing debate among Virginia Tech fans. Beamer proponents like to emphasize that just about every team in the country has its fair share of losses to top five teams. They're in the top five for a reason, and as Stanford showed Monday, it's because they're really, really good teams. Dissenters say there aren't many coaches in the country that would keep their job long enough to have as many losses as Beamer does against elite opposition.

Whatever side you're on, I think both camps can agree that in almost every big game, Virginia Tech never can seem to take advantage of the opportunities it gets to further ingrain itself in the national consciousness.

But what I think many overlook is just how Virginia Tech, and Beamer, got to this point. The Hokies are now 1-27 all-time against top five opponents, and 1-19 under Beamer, but did you realize 10 of those defeats have come since Virginia Tech's national championship appearance in 2000?

Everyone knows the lone win during this streak came against No. 2 Miami in 2003, but were you aware that the first loss came all the way back in 1948 when the Hokies were beaten by No. 5 Army. How about the fact that just five of those losses have come in Blacksburg, or that the Hokies have been beaten by eight different Miami teams ranked in the top five?

Well, since this is likely going to be a topic of discussion throughout this offseason, I figured we might as well get the whole list out there. So without further adieu, here's how Virginia Tech came to be 1-27 all-time against top five opponents.

Non-Beamer Years

Oct. 30, 1948 -- at No. 5 Army: 49-7 loss
Nov. 18, 1972 -- at No. 2 Alabama: 52-13 loss
Oct. 27, 1973 -- at No. 2 Alabama: 77-6 loss
Oct. 28, 1978 -- at No. 3 Alabama: 35-0 loss
Oct. 27, 1979 -- at No. 1 Alabama: 31-7 loss
Nov. 8, 1980 -- at No. 3 Florida State: 31-7 loss
Oct. 15, 1983 -- at No. 4 West Virginia: 13-0 loss
Oct. 26, 1985 -- at No. 2 Florida: 35-18 loss

Under Beamer

Nov. 14, 1987 -- at No. 3 Miami: 27-13 loss
Sept. 3, 1988 -- at No. 4 Clemson: 40-7 loss
Nov. 12, 1988 -- at No. 5 Florida State: 41-14 loss
Sept. 29, 1990 -- at No. 2 Florida State: 39-28 loss
Oct. 12, 1991 -- vs. No. 1 Florida State (in Orlando): 33-20 loss
Oct. 24, 1992 -- vs. No. 1 Miami: 43-23 loss
Sept. 18, 1993 -- at No. 3 Miami: 21-2 loss
Jan. 4, 2000 -- vs. No. 1 Florida State (in Sugar Bowl/National Championship): 46-29 loss
Nov. 4, 2000 -- at No. 3 Miami: 41-21 loss
Dec. 1, 2001 -- vs. No. 1 Miami: 26-24 loss
Dec. 7, 2002 -- at No. 1 Miami: 56-45 loss
Nov. 1, 2003 -- vs. No. 2 Miami: 31-7 WIN!
Aug. 28, 2004 -- vs. No. 1 USC (at FedEx Field): 24-13 loss
Jan. 3, 2005 -- vs. No. 3 Auburn (in Sugar Bowl): 16-13 loss
Nov. 5, 2005 -- vs. No. 5 Miami: 27-7 loss
Sept. 8, 2007 -- at No. 2 LSU: 48-7 loss
Oct. 25, 2007 -- vs. No. 2 Boston College: 14-10 loss
Sept. 5, 2009 -- vs. No. 5 Alabama (in Atlanta): 34-24 loss
Sept. 6, 2010 -- vs. No. 3 Boise State (at FedEx Field): 33-30 loss
Jan. 3, 2011 -- vs. No. 5 Stanford (in Orange Bowl): 40-12 loss

By Mark Giannotto  | January 4, 2011; 10:29 AM ET
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Next: Jeff Allen is the latest injured Virginia Tech basketball player


we need to stop playing miami and alabama... ;-)

Posted by: 3tripleiii | January 4, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least they're playing top 5 teams.

All they have to do now is start winning those games!

Posted by: postfan1 | January 4, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

1-27 doesn't lie (and I don't give a damn if 26 of those were not under Beamer)... You guys are just...not...that...good. You build up your regular season record playing Little Sisters of the Poor then woof about the bowls you go to and then proceed to show your true orange and maroon colors...What a joke... You are a good, second-tier program...stop trying to convince everyone that you are more than that... Top-tier programs BEAT top-tier programs...period... You can't do that...and until you do...welcome to AAA...and if it wasn't for the idiotic BCS, you'd be playing in the Scott Tissue Butt-wipe bowl...and you know it...

Posted by: RiSKybizness | January 4, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Even worse than Beamer's record is the fact that 15 of those 19 losses were by double digits...poor game-planning and they're clearly out manned in regards to talent. Va Tech will never be a top-tier program under Beamer. Period.

Posted by: ryanlewis4 | January 4, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

In any fair playoff system, Virginia Tech would not have been playing a top five opponent. If fact, they would not be there as well. Remind me, who did they lose to in Week 2?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 4, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If the playoff system is 16 teams based on BCS ranking, Tech's first round opponent would have been Stanford. 1-26 seems to be bad. What's the record against top 10, top 25, non-ranked? What are other schools' records against similar ranking? We need to know that to know how bad 1-26 really is.

Posted by: kimbrunnen1 | January 4, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"What are other schools' records against similar ranking? We need to know that to know how bad 1-26 really is."
Um, only 0-27 is worse, and your or I could achieve that. I think the record speaks for itself. Reverse the situation. How often has VaTech been beaten when it was ranked in the top 5? That may be even more telling.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 4, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Granted, only 0-27 is worse than 1-26. My point wasn't really to claim 1-26 is good, but more that saying Tech is 1-26 would mean more if we had context and was top 5 a meaningful cutoff or just one that was convenient. I'm a numbers guy and would like to see the other breakdowns I mentioned, but don't know where to get the info. I found a site with records against top 10 - but it was for 1973 - 1997. How Tech has done when ranked in the top 5/10/25 would also be interesting. If you know where to get that kind of data, in general, let me know.

Posted by: kimbrunnen1 | January 4, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

It never ceases to catch my attention how smug the VT bloggers for the Post are. Whether it be about a victory or a loss, according to them, no other team can compare to the Hookies. They are "the premire team" that represents the ACC. That is why "the VT haters" come out of the woodwork. And that's why it feels so good to watch the Hookies stumble and fall when they are up against some good talent and coaching. The reason VT stumbles is pretty clear - VT is over-rated and doesn't belong with the best teams.

I never used to be a VT hater. Not until the Post became a VT ass kisser and hired writers to cover VT that lack objectivity -even a little bit. (last year it was Mark Viera)

Last night, it was joy watching VT get thumped. My favorite part of the entertainment during the last part of the 4th quarter when Stanford had the ball (they sure had the ball alot !), and went thru 4 different sets, one after another, and then snapped the ball to get another TD. The camera cut to the VT offensive coordinater who just stood there on the sidelines with a "deer in the headlights" look. PRICELESS !!!!!!!

VT was outplayed, outcoached, out-hustled and outed as a wanna-be. Without Taylor, VT is nothing but an average to good team.

Next year, we'll see how the PREMIER team does w/o Taylor, (and Evans and Williams who may elect to jump to the NFL.) It'll be a pleasure to watch. And cheer !!!
But there shouldn't be a let down from this year. Isn't that right, Giannotto ?

Posted by: JEGman | January 5, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

let the hate flow through you...

Posted by: CDRHoek | January 5, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to next season.

I don't really mind the haters so much -- they look kind of small to me.

I mean, really, who cares?

While I would have liked to see Va Tech put up the better showing they are capable of, I think they need to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and make some adjustments.

I think they need a new offensive coordinator -- It seems to me that they had enough talent, but weren't able to capitalize on it they way they should have been.

It would have been difficult to beat Stanford with defense alone -- nobody did that all season. They way to beat Stanford is to outscore them -- Oregon did that. In order to do that, Taylor needed more time without the constant harassment he got.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 6, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Followup to the other day. I looked at the past 10 years of Tech results - rankings at time of the game, based, I think, on AP rankings. Against top 5 1-10, against the rest of the top 25 22- 6, against unranked 76-18. So, Tech is not a top 5 football school - I think we'd already seen that - but the rest of the guady record is not against Little Sister of the Poor. Also of interest, to me, is that the year Tech beat #2 Miami there were 4 losses to unranked teams, the most during the last 10 years.

Posted by: kimbrunnen1 | January 6, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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