And yet, from 2000 to 2011, VT ranked 9th in players drafted into the NFL with 52 including 4 first roudners. In that same time frame, Clemson had just 29 with 4 first rounders, and Pitt also had 29. Seems to me that VT has had pretty good talent, and with better talent, beat most of the teams with lesser talent in that time frame which included the likes of Clemson. It is simply your cognitive bias that others have more talent than VT, and VT gets by on grit and maximum effort. That *may* have been true at one time, but VT is a top 25 recruiting school, and with its player development prowess, fields much more talent than you perceive, not elite, but very good to excellent. So please stop with that VT doesn't have enough talent to compete. VT is not elite, but certainly middle of the pack in that next tier in terms of both talent and performance.
But the assertion that Pitt was "mediocre" especially in comparison to VT is a very faulty foundation to build on. Most teams do have wide swings in performance. VT has less and in my opinion that is because we play at a higher percentage of our max so much of the time, we expect it and it doesn't look like as close to our max as it is.
It is true that both Pitt and Clemson had us as their #1 target and just like UNC, when teams with nearly as much or more talent have you as their #1 target, you aren't going to win them all. Again our team has done a remarkable job of going against that dynamic and winning. So much so that a cadre of fans don't realize what wins against teams like UNC, Miami and Nebraska really are.
Both the Clemson and Pitt teams you speak of were "wide swing" teams. Heck one year (maybe 97 or something like that) Pitt was picked to be way better than VT (and they were a way better team) but they sucked early only to play like their preseason predictions vs us. That was the game Pitt comments that we just quit.
Yet some think that game was more a failing of VT than Pitt actually being what they should have been all year long. That is a wrong foundation.
Those who think anything less than winning the ACC is a failure are building their expectations on a faulty premis. Any year we win or are in the championship game is a year that VT the team has exceeded the individual sum of the players and coaches.
On that real premis losing to Clemson was not a VT failure, it was a team that should have won more that just didn't.
There is no such thing as a inferior collection of ready talent that owns a string of wins over VT.
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