Bronco wants UVA to beat Tech: And the problem is?

uva acc kickoff bronco mendenhallIt is, for some reason, seeming to be a bit much for some in the UVA football fan base that coach Bronco Mendenhall wants to beat Virginia Tech.

I mean, I get it. Don’t want to tip off the Hokies that we’re thinking about maybe trying to score more points than they do in that game on Black Friday.

And, yes, there are 11 other games, 12 if we go to a bowl, 13 if we go to the ACC Championship Game first, 14 if we make the playoffs and then the national-title game.

Yeah, as if, I know.


I’m going to state what I thought would be the obvious. Bronco ain’t just thinkin’ about beatin’ Tech in November when he says he wants to beat Tech.

It’s not just that somebody got to him after his first Tech game, the one that he and the coaching staff obviously didn’t take seriously, and now he realizes, er, we need to beat Tech sometime before Congress outlaws football for being too dangerous.

No. When Bronco says, we need to beat Tech, what he’s saying is, if we can beat Tech, that means we’ve reached a milestone in our program, of being able to beat a rival program that is, hate to admit it, but they’re pretty damn good.

Justin Fuente won 10 and 9 games in his first two seasons, and is recruiting like gangbusters. Frank Beamer’s last couple of seasons were so-so, but he had the Hokies winning 10 or more games every year for damn ever there for a while.

For Bronco to use Tech as a measuring stick is pretty smart, if you ask me.

I use this personal analogy way too much, but I’m a distance runner, not a good one, but I try to win every time I enter a race, and what I do in a race is, I see the folks ahead of me, and I try to keep up with them, and have enough left at the end to pass them.

Sometimes, that happens. I’ve got a couple of medals on my shelf that came from late-race sprints to the line.

Even if I don’t catch the folks ahead of me, I’m better for trying.

Virginia Tech is going to compete again this year for the Coastal Division title. I have them as my favorite this year.

I don’t see the 2018 UVA team beating them in Blacksburg on Black Friday, but you know what? We’re in the race, and if they’re ahead of us, we track them, and let’s see if we can keep pace, and maybe catch them at the end.

If Bronco can get the UVA football program to a point where it can beat Tech, if not every year, at least regularly enough, then what that means is, UVA football is at a place where it should be a 9- or 10-win-a-year team.

Right? Shouldn’t it work that way?

I’m not sure I understand the controversy in the fan base. I mean, this is what Tech did, honestly, when it hired Beamer back in the 1980s, after UVA had George Welsh get the ‘Hoos over the hump. Tech used UVA as the measuring stick, and after losing eight of the 12 games from 1987-1998, yeah, you know already, they’ve won 18 of the last 19, and 14 in a row, and in the process, become a national power.

Time to turn the tables.

Column by Chris Graham

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