Bowling for Relevancy
The Hokies are going bowling for the first time in the Pry era. The Military Bowl in Annapolis will be the setting for the Hokies return to the postseason, and Tulane will be the opponent. There are some fans who look at the Tier 2 bowl selection and the group of five opposition and wonder why should the Hokies be excited for the matchup on December 27th. More “seasoned” Tech fans grew accustomed to the postseason being a regular occurrence and some of lower tier bowls VT played in did not draw many fans to show up in support. In addition, some Hokie players opted out of participating in the game itself and the importance and perceived value of the postseason dwindled.
This is a young football team. The Hokies have some veteran leadership, but overall, the roster is very young and hungry to show off for the entire country on this stage. At the time of this article, outside of the few portal entrants, no one has announced that they are sitting out so the full squad SHOULD be healthy and dressed for the game. This is great learning experience for the younger guys on the roster and a new experience for many of the older players on the roster and the teams appears to be galvanized in their mission to beat Tulane.
In the midst of the Hokies rebuild, the importance of bowl season cannot be understated. All stakeholders within the Hokies program: players, coaches, students and alumni should be relishing this opportunity to participate in the postseason, regardless of location and opponent. There are multiple reasons why this opportunity is important for the future success of the entire football program and why all Hokies should be excited for the opportunity.
Extra Practice Time:
Teams who participate in bowls get fifteen extra practices to prepare for the bowl game. While the Allen Iversons’ of the world might look at practice as extraneous and sometimes not necessary, these extra reps can provide invaluable experience for the entire roster. It can allow Tyler Bowen and staff to add more wrinkles to the offense that has seen exponential growth this year. Younger players can get snaps in practice and extra coaching to speed up their development. Older players can get more detailed attention from the staff in each rep that time constraints can prohibit during normal game week preparation. The staff can treat this like an extra spring practice and that alone could be worth the trip.
Being selected for a bowl game means players, coaches, and the athletic department benefit financially. Players get gifts from the bowl, and an opportunity to show off their name, image, and likeness on a national stage. Coaches receive a bonus for making the bowl game. More importantly, by making a bowl, Tech adds more money to the ACC bowl revenue pool which increases the share that the Hokies receive. More money means more resources for facility improvement, recruiting, and continuing to grow the football staff. Getting to this bowl also encourages alumni to contribute more to the Hokie Club, The Hokie Way, and Triumph to grow the program.
It’s A Showcase:
The Hokies get an opportunity to show-off on national television. Yes, the game is in the middle of the week at 2:00pm eastern (not an Ideal timeslot), but it is an opportunity to get thousands of eyes on the Hokies. Students, alumni, and fans can rally around this event, and potential recruits can see our product on the field. It’s an opportunity for the coaching staff and everyone involved to put their best foot forward live on ESPN and show the college football world that Virginia Tech is back on the map. A bowl win potentially puts the team in the national conversation moving into the offseason and preseason polls for next year.
So Get Fired Up:
This is one of the most important moments in the recent history of Virginia Tech football. A strong performance in this bowl game against a very talented Tulane team can show fans, recruits and outsiders that Coach Pry’s vision for the future of the program is working. It gives the team a launching pad for the 2024 season and beyond. This game requires every Hokie fan to get pumped up for this game and throw their support behind the team and staff as they prepare for this postseason showdown in Annapolis!