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Thursday, August 29, 2013
If you believe Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, Alabama is not only good enough to repeat as national champion, the Crimson Tide can reach the Super Bowl.
It doesn’t sound as if Beamer would pick against the Tide, either.
If Alabama has a weakness, he said, “I haven’t found it. They’ve got it all. In every, every part of their game, they’re extremely good.”
Perhaps the Hokies should hope Alabama’s buses get caught in a massive traffic jam outside the Georgia Dome on Saturday so the team misses the first quarter of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Even then, if Beamer is to be believed, the Crimson Tide are so good that the Hokies might not be able to build an insurmountable lead.
“We know the challenge,” he said of playing Alabama, not creating a massive traffic jam around the Georgia Dome.
Beamer wouldn’t mind opening the season against Alabama-Birmingham, Alabama State or Alabama A&M. Instead, he’s got the Alabama team no one outside of Auburn relishes playing.
But he agreed to schedule the contest.
“It’s time to play, get a starting point and see where we are as a team,” Beamer said. “We’ll learn a lot Saturday.”
Will Beamer and the Hokies learn Alabama is overrated? That’s possible. Preseason polls are based on speculation, not facts.
Will he learn the Hokies offense, with true freshman Jonathan McLaughlin at left tackle, a suspect running game and inexperienced receivers, is better than anyone expected?
That’s possible, especially if quarterback Logan Thomas plays well.
“There are pluses and minuses,” Beamer said. “You’ll get a very accurate assessment of your team. It’s not often you get to play the No. 1 team in the country. We have a lot to play for.
“But this is such a tough team to beat. We have to play mistake free.”
Alabama is good. But not every player on the roster, or even in the starting lineup, is an All-America candidate. It’s not as if the Tide are rolling in with the momentum of a 10-game winning streak.
Alabama hasn’t played since beating Notre Dame in the BCS title game in January.
“I don’t think you’ll see many people, if any, picking us,” Beamer said. “But we’ve got some good players, too. Don’t get me wrong about that.”
Do the Hokies have enough good players? The answer could be “Yes, but …”
The Hokies might not be Alabama-good until later in the season.
In the second game of 2007, Beamer took his team to LSU and lost 48-7. The Hokies closed with an 11-3 record and the ACC championship.
How you start matters a little. How you finish matters more.
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