Nonconference opponents and 2010 records:
Appalachian State (10-3)
At East Carolina (6-7)
Arkansas State (4-8)
At Marshall (5-7)
At Wake Forest
Gut-check game: Nov. 17 vs. North Carolina. This game could determine the Coastal Division winner, and it will be the second straight Thursday night game for the Hokies, who are on the road against Georgia Tech the previous week. Virginia Tech likely will have been on cruise control to this point in the season, but can’t afford to sleep on the Tar Heels.
Trap game: Nov. 26 at Virginia. That’s right, you heard me. Mike London and his team didn’t like the way last season ended, and they haven’t forgotten how it felt. The Hoos will have home field advantage and nothing to lose.
Snoozer: The entire nonconference schedule. Wake me up on Oct. 1.
Good luck with that: Back-to-back Thursday night games against Coastal Division opponents Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
Upset watch: Since Virginia Tech is likely to be favored in all of its games this year, let’s flip it, and look at which team is most likely to upset the Hokies. An unranked Georgia Tech team, still trying to become bowl eligible, will have home field advantage on the Thursday night stage. Expect Paul Johnson to have his team ready. It’s happened before.
Analysis: This is arguably the most favorable schedule in the conference, and has to be one of the easiest in the country. While expectations have been tempered for the Hokies, who will usher in a new starting quarterback, this schedule is conducive to another championship run. Expect Virginia Tech to continue its streak of 10-win seasons.
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