Can We Stop Pretending the UVA – Va. Tech Game Is a Rivalry?

Photo Courtesy: UserB
Photo Courtesy: UserB

This afternoon, the Virginia Tech Hokies cruised to an easy 52-10 dominating victory against their instate rival, the University of Virginia.

Today’s game extended Virginia Tech’s winning streak to 13 consecutive games and gave the Hokies a 17-1 edge over the Cavaliers in games dating back to 1999.

Since November 1995, Virginia Tech has outscored the team from Charlottesville by a total score of 652 – 346 and now leads the series 56–37–5.

Indeed the Commonwealth Cup has become a permanent fixture in Blacksburg, leading this writer to ask the following question: “When are we finally going to stop kidding ourselves and cease pretending like this is even a real rivalry game?”

Though it may no longer be acceptable to quote Thomas Jefferson on the campus of UVA, perhaps the folks in central Virginia need to dust off this quote from their university’s founder, “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”

If an individual is going to get honest about this series, then they’ll have no choice but be confronted with several harsh realities.

First of all, Virginia Tech isn’t dominating the series, UVA is just plain terrible.

If the Hokies were vying for a national championship each season then we might be able to look past the Cavaliers’ struggle in recent years against the Hokies, but let’s be honest — it isn’t that Virginia Tech has been that great over the past decade – nope, the blowout in this series has to do with the fact that the University of Virginia is just plain pathetic on the gridiron.

In order for this game to be a real rivalry, there must be an actual competition and unfortunately, this series hasn’t been remotely competitive since before President Bill Clinton was undergoing impeachment proceedings.

Therefore, we must get honest – if a series hasn’t been close for four presidential administrations, can it really be considered a rivalry?

Perhaps it’s time that we should stop pretending like there are only two college football teams in Virginia.

In 2010, Virginia Tech defeated the Cavaliers by a score of 37-10, hence, they were permitted to retain the Commonwealth Cup for another year.

This is all well and good, except for the fact that the Hokies lost to Harrisonburg, Virginia’s James Madison University on September 11, 2010.

Though the following logic is often flawed, it remains true when describing the 2010 football season: UVA < Virginia Tech < James Madison = James Madison deserved the Commonwealth Cup.  Yet, JMU received nothing.  Nothing other than the satisfaction of defeating the team that was awarded the Commonwealth Cup.

Fast forward to this year: In the opening game of the season, Lynchburg, Virginia’s Liberty University (an FCS team) actually led the Hokies for a while, before falling by a score of 13-36…  UVA never led today’s game against Va Tech and lost by a far worse margin.

On the same day Liberty led Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia lost to the Richmond Spiders out of the FCS.

Richmond went on to lose to James Madison and William & Mary this season.

So back to the whole honesty thing — today, the entire Commonwealth gathered to watch the Virginia Tech Hokies compete against a team that lost to an FCS Virginia team that lost to William & Mary and James Madison… And yet we pretended like the two top schools of Virginia were on the field.

It’s time for the Commonwealth of Virginia to recognize that when it comes to football, UVA isn’t even worthy of being on the field with Virginia Tech, let alone compete for a trophy that claims to be awarded to the top school in the Commonwealth.

Perhaps it’s time to develop a system to open the Commonwealth Cup up to all the schools in Virginia… At least by doing so, this “rivalry” might actually get interesting.

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  1. For pete’s sake you put way too much thought into this. It’s a rilvery, plain and simple, irrespective of how good or bad either team is. No need to adjust the whole system.

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