Editor's Note: This article was written for Canespace by blogger J.W.
It’s not because of their winning record against Miami since 1995.
It’s not due to the fact that we have the indignity of being their only win against a team ranked in the Top 5 at the time of the game. (2003).
It isn’t even how their run of success against us began when they broke our QB’s leg (Ryan Collins 1995), or even how they defeated us in the de facto ACC championship game in 2004, the only time we actually competed for the title. No, hatred for Virginia Tech is more visceral for us.
We hate them mostly because of their attitude about us, prominently displayed when Assistant Coach Charley Wiles told Juwan Blue “You want to go to a program that wins bowl games, a clean program that dominates in the ACC.” To Wiley, Virginia Tech espouses all of these attributes while Miami has none.
For those who don’t remember this gem, Juwan Blue will be a freshman on the 2012 University of Miami football team. He verbally committed to attend Virginia Tech, realized that Miami offered him a better opportunity and was closer to home, and thus chose to sign his letter of intent with UM. Chalk one up for Head Coach Al Golden. Charlie Wiley accused young Mr. Blue of “lying to me,” taking a cue for the All-time Idiot Lou Holtz.
Charley Wiley said what we’ve all known. Virginia Tech is one of several schools that will use whatever negative recruiting tactics they can against UM to pluck talented young players whom they hope we overlook. And they think they are better than us; not on the football field, we would all concede that the most recent Miami teams have lagged far behind Virginia tech, but in the culture of their team.
Virginia Tech recruits against Miami by not just implying, but overtly calling us a dirty team. They hypocritically ignore the facts that for years, Va. Tech has had more players with a criminal record than Miami:
Arrests for Viginia Tech football players have exceeded those at Miami for more than a decade as well. Miami may be the big bad city to anyone in Northwestern Virginia, but Newport News seems to have more than their fair share of characters as well. And we don’t need to name names, it’s not our style.
As for winning bowl games, Tech is 8-11 since 1993. They have lost their past two games, much like Miami did under Shannon (yes, we lost 3 in a row.) But let’s look at games that matter that is national championship games: Miami has won 5. Miami has lost 3, 4 if you want to count the 1994 Orange Bowl. VT has won none. And lost it’s only shot at the title (2000 Sugar Bowl vs. Florida State, 46-29). For a school that touts bowl wins, it’s funny that Virginia Tech’s best season (1999) wouldn’t be considered a special one for Miami. (See 1992 Canes, who finished 12-1 and lost to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl).
VT prides itself on staff stability, and while literally true, how much of this stability is due to loyalty as opposed to lack of opportunity for some of these guys? Tech’s offense hasn’t been noted for its creativity, ever, and when was the last time you heard a VT offensive assistant on any team’s short list for head coach? On Defense, Bud Foster typically has a very good defense, in regular season games. His name is bandied about as a coaching candidate every single off-season. Yet he never gets the offer, while others without the credentials do. (see UNC, Clemson, Maryland for examples).
As for developing talent at Virginia Tech, you don’t see toom any first-round draft picks coming out of the school; David Wilson became the 9th tech player ever selected in the first round in the 2012 NFL draft.
Anyone remember when Miami had 6 in one year? Or 14 years in a row with at least 1 first round pick?
Yet, this is the school that thinks we are unworthy. Yes, they fill their stadium against most opponents, but the school is located in the freaking town of Blacksburg! Blacksburg is 45 minutes from Roanoke, and closer to West Virginia then Washington D.C. They aren’t competing with world-class beaches, four professional sports teams, and a night life like no other in South Beach.
And don’t get me started on game day traditions. The Hokie walk to the stadium is a nice tradition. Jumping around like 5-year olds to a Metallica song stolen from Mariano Rivera isn’t. The Hokie is supposedly some kind of a wild turkey. Wow, a bird most famous for being rejected as the symbol of the United States of America. Too bad they didn’t have a bird brave enough to wait until the last possible minute to evacuate before a Hurricane destroys everything in its path close to Blacksburg.
Miami is not perfect, we have made our share of questionable decisions and will pay the price for the sins of a rogue booster that we may or may not have known more about in the near future.
However, Miami is still a King in College football:
Viginia Tech is not, nor is it on the verge of becoming one. Over the years that Miami has struggled, VThas still not been able to take advantage. Yes, they win conference titles. But national prominence always eludes. Tech's out of conference schedule is an annual joke, and the few elite teams they play typically find a way to win. And then there are the bi-annual choke fests against seemingly undermanned ACC teams. This is not the resume of a team that is better than Miami.
So yes, we hate you, Virginia Tech.
We hate your nickname, we hate your traditions, we hate those hideous uniforms, but mostly we hate your condescension. But now, we have a coach who is on to you, VT. He not only took Juwan Blue away from you, he nearly beat you, despite having no defense, a broken QB, and a roster of disinterested leftovers from the previous regimes.
As Coach Golden himself said, enjoy it while you can, Hokies. Golden beat you on the recruiting path, give him a couple of more years and we’ll see who’s better, and who’s best.