The busiest seven days in the history of the Superdome kick off tonight as the Hokies of Virginia Tech battle the resurgent Michigan Wolverines. Al Dannity previews this unlikely BCS pairing.
Are you supposed to be here? That’s the question most neutral observers have been asking of Virginia Tech ever since the Hokies got selected for the Sugar Bowl. Seemingly more deserving at-large candidates such as Kansas State and Boise State were overlooked despite Virginia Tech’s crushing loss in the ACC title game. The call, which seemed to be more about ticket sales than wins, did not go down well outside of Blacksburg. That public derision could however serve Frank Beamer’s program well. After losing to Clemson, Virginia Tech’s players had little reason to care about this game. Now they have the best motivation of all; they feel disrespected. The Hokies want to prove their doubters wrong and show that they belong in the BCS.
Rest will help Shoelace Brady Hoke would have settled for 8-4 and a trip to the Outback Bowl. The Capital One bowl was a particularly lofty target at the start of the season. Never in the dark days of RichRod could Michigan fans have dreamt of a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Now they could finish the year with a BCS bowl win.
Most programs would curse the lengthy layoff between the end of the regular season and this game. The Wolverines will have been thrilled to get such a break. Denard ‘Shoelace’ Robinson is a phenomenal talent but one that takes more than his share of licks. This year the Wolverines took a different approach with their quarterback Michigan kept Robinson on a leash for large parts of the season but gave him opportunities to explode against Ohio State and Nebraska. When it really matters, Shoelace is still the first, second, and third option for the Wolverines.
The verdict This game won’t have the fireworks of yesterday’s two BCS bowls but NCAA Football betting fans should still expect an epic battle. The chess match between Denard Robinson and the Virginia Tech defense will decide the day. For much of tonight’s match-up I like the Hokies to keep Shoelace tied up. Just like his showing against Notre Dame, I like Denard Robinson to eventually create some big plays. In a closely fought contest, I like Michigan to win the Sugar Bowl.
Follow Sports Interaction on Twitter.