With the end of the regular season quickly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to give you two teams I think will be worth watching heading into both the conference championships and bowl season.
The Hokies are arguably one of the nation’s hottest teams right now. They have won eight straight games after starting 0-2 and quarterback Tyrod Taylor is playing the best football of his career. As long as they win one of their two remaining games, they will be playing in the ACC championship game with an automatic bid to a BCS bowl game at stake. Who would’ve thought the Hokies would be in position to appear in a BCS bowl game after losing their first two games including an embarrassing loss at home at the hands of James Madison? Well judging from how they steamrolled through the early part of their conference schedule, I don’t think head coach Frank Beamer and his team dwelled too much on those first two losses. I still believe that if they would’ve held off Boise State in the first game of the season, they wouldn’t have had a letdown game against James Madison the following week. But the past can’t be undone so the only thing Tech could’ve done was prove to the nation that they are, in fact, for real. They have managed to do just that, and look to continue their dominance when they go on the road to face Miami this Saturday. If the Hokies can win in Miami and take care of business at home against a struggling Virginia team, they will face one of three teams (Maryland, Florida State or NC State) in the ACC championship game, all of which they should be able to beat. The Hokies definitely have something to prove after a porous start to the season and you better believe that if they make it to a BCS bowl game, they will be prepared to take care of business and finish the season the way they should’ve started it.
I mentioned how dangerous I thought the Aggies were back in Week 3 just before they went on a three-game losing streak. Maybe I jinxed them a little, but it’s not like they lost to a bunch of slouches (38-35 at Oklahoma State, 24-17 against Arkansas and 30-9 against Missouri). Since losing those three games, however, they’ve won four straight including a 33-19 whooping of then-ranked No. 8 Oklahoma, ending a seven-game losing streak to the Sooners. They also earned a 42-30 comeback win at Baylor this past Saturday, in which they scored 28 straight points to end the game after being down 30-14 in the second quarter. Maybe the most remarkable thing about their winning streak is that they’ve won the past three games without their senior quarterback, Jerrod Johnson. Johnson was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, but was benched during the Kansas game after not performing the way his coaches had expected him to this season. Junior Ryan Tannehill then took over the starting job and hasn’t looked back since, throwing for 10 touchdowns and 1,134 yards in just three and a half games. But Tannehill knows his Aggies still have their work cut out for them with games against No. 8 Nebraska and Texas remaining. They will surely need to ride the momentum they’ve gained from winning four straight when they face Nebraska this Saturday night. The good thing for the Aggies, though, is they get to play the Cornhuskers at home where it is very difficult for opponents to win. But win or lose, this Aggies team is going to be a tough task for any team that has to face them come bowl season.
Submitted by Steve Giles