Team preview: Virginia Tech

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 117 Division I-A teams. To subscribe to Insider, click here. To order a copy of the 384-page book, visit


Be careful what you wish for.

Located in the heart of ACC country since the formation of that league 51 years ago, Virginia Tech fans, administrators and athletes often dreamed of what it might be like to become part of the conference that included so many regional rivals. Tech had been left on the outside looking in when the ACC formed out of the old Southern Conference of which the then Fightin' Gobblers were a member.

It wasn't until 1991, when the Big East Conference came calling, that Tech finally had a fitting stage for its football program, often called a "sleeping giant" or a "diamond in the rough." And boy, did the Hokies put on a show. By 1993, they had begun a string of 11 straight bowl appearances that's still alive heading into this season. By 1995, they were conference champions and by 1999, Virginia Tech was playing Florida State for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl.

Certainly no football program in the Big East benefited as much from that affiliation as Virginia Tech. The Hokies found themselves bigger than ever in large Northeastern media markets and that translated into a consistent recruiting pipeline that has made Tech a fixture in the national polls in recent years.