Virginia Tech failed to come away with a win on Saturday at East Carolina, but Hokies head coach Frank Beamer had an interesting take on the game. After the loss, dropping the Hokies to 2-2 this season, Beamer said games against teams like East Carolina are nothing more than preseason or exhibition games. Only the games against ACC opponents, apparently, count in the eyes of Beamer.
Now, we can probably give Beamer a mild pass for being upset that his team lost a game. The heat of the moment after a tough loss can leave some to say some things they do not truly mean, and odds are Beamer would express this thought a bit differently any other time. But just as that quote reads after a loss comes across as sour grapes for Beamer.
Beamer’s quote does reveal a truth. Power conference schools scheduling games against teams from the Group of Five or FCS have always generally been perceived as tune-up games. With no college football preseason games like in the NFL, power conference programs scheduling games against conferences like the American Athletic Conference can be viewed as preseason games. Of course, the American is a bad example here. East Carolina now has a victory over an ACC school. So does Houston (Louisville). Temple also has a win over a Big Ten school (Penn State).
Beamer is right though. For Virginia Tech, a national championship season was hardly in the fold for the Hokies, but a shot at an ACC title is not. In a wide-open ACC Coastal just waiting for someone to grab it, Virginia Tech can still come back from two non-conference losses to make some things happen.