If everything comes together, Virginia Tech could find itself in the national championship conversation come November.
Best Case: The Hokies come out firing on all cylinders offensively despite replacing four starters on the offensive line and inexperience at running back. They dismantle Georgia Tech in Lane Stadium to open the season in primetime on Labor Day and breeze through the first half of the schedule. The defense is one of defensive coordinator Bud Foster's best and shuts down Clemson on Oct. 20, getting revenge for last year's losses that came by a combined 48 points. Quarterback Logan Thomas receives Heisman consideration, and Virginia Tech is in the national championship conversation in November.
Worst Case: The offense and special teams are not ready, and Georgia Tech stuns the Hokies to open the season. There are growing pains as nagging injuries in the secondary force true freshmen to play prominent roles. Virginia Tech drops its premiere match-ups with both Clemson and Florida State, and North Carolina upsets the Hokies in Chapel Hill. Coach Frank Beamer sees his 10-win streak come to an end with an 8-4 season and a trip to the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Last year's best case: Last year's best case almost played itself out, if not for the losses to Clemson. Thomas was as good as expected at quarterback, and the young defense came on at the end of the year.
Last year's worst case: Given Virginia Tech's schedule in 2011, its floor was pretty high. Oddly, the close calls came at East Carolina and Duke. A loss to either could have constituted as worst case, but the Hokies pulled out wins.
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