Stanford may be the big favorites but Virginia Tech have the talent to make the Orange Bowl one of the games of the season.
Same old Hokies, same dangerous Hokies Since joining the ACC Virginia Tech have followed a fairly constant level of performance. They are always just weak enough to fall out of the national championship discussion but much stronger than they get credit for. This year’s Hokies are no exception. An 0-2 start to the year, with losses to Boise State and James Madison, saw dark clouds gather over Blacksburg but then Virginia Tech went and reeled off 11 straight wins to win the ACC and book a date in the Orange Bowl. Since those opening defeats, they really have done nothing wrong. The passing game is ordinary but the Hokies have the #18 running game in the country, the #19 scoring offense, and the #16 defense. Tyrod Taylor‘s passing improved as the season wore on while Darren Evans is proving effective on limited carries at running back. In short this is a good team which will hang with anyone in the country.
Cardinal continue resurgence Stanford’s coach may be the primary target for bigger programs but right now he’s solely focussed on bringing the Cardinal to victory in a BCS bowl. Jim Harbaugh has turned Stanford from a laughing stock into a national power. The Cardinal rank #30 in passing, #17 in rushing, #8 in scoring offense, and #11 in defense. There may not be a more balanced team in all of College Football right now.
Stanford’s sole defeat came at the hands of Oregon, who play in the BCS title game. That was the one game where Andrew Luck’s arm simply wasn’t enough to bring the Cardinal to the next level. They may have missed their best shot at winning a national title, especially with Luck likely headed to the NFL, but they can still finish this memorable season on a high.
The verdict The Orange Bowl hasn’t been must-see TV for a few years but this season’s match-up should change that. While the BCS National Championship Game is the match-up everyone expects to be the best game of the post-season, this game has a chance to rival it for drama. Both these teams are hungry and talented, a perfect recipe for a game. Frank Beamer broke the ACC’s poor run in the BCS two seasons ago and will be eager to bring the Hokies a memorable 12-win season. I like Stanford to make the most of this opportunity however and win the Orange Bowl. In what could be an epic for the ages, bet on the Stanford Cardinal to win as -3.0 favorites with Sports Interaction.