It’s the classic battle of the ACC - Virginia Cavaliers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies. Fans of the rivalry know it as the Commonwealth Cup. The game is of bragging rights, and more importantly, recruiting in the state of Virginia
A Look at the Classic ACC Rivalry in Virginia
Let’s think back to two years ago when the two starting quarterbacks, Tech’s Logan Thomas and Virginia’s Michael Rocco, were from the same hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia. And again, we see it with brothers Ronde (1994-1996) and Tiki Barber (1993-1996). They played high school ball in Roanoke, only 45 minutes from Blacksburg, and when they moved on to play college ball with Virginia, they were a pain in the ass for the Hokies for four years. Ronde went on to be a three-time All-ACC selection at cornerback, and both went on to have fantastic careers in the NFL.
Needless to say, recruiting from inside the state of Virginia is effective for either team, and with these two universities being only 2 hours and 15 minutes apart from each other, a game like Friday’s could be what it takes for the cream of the crop freshman of 2015 to swing to one side or the other. This game could be the difference between a so-so season in 2015 and a title game season in 2015.
These ACC schools have been playing annual rivalry games since 1970, and no matter what conference these guys are in, they always find a way to face each other. The Hokies have played Virginia as a part of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Southern Conference, the Big East, as an independent, and finally, they’re most recent, the ACC.
Since the Commonwealth Trophy came to be in 1996, the Hokies have been the dominant champion winning 15 of the 18 games. Virginia Tech has not lost to Virginia since they joined the ACC in 2004. There’s only one reason VT has been such a dominant force in the rivalry for so many years. His name rings adoration in Blacksburg and cursed in Charlottesville: Frank Beamer.
Coach Beamer was hired by his alma mater, Virginia Tech, in 1986, and has been a legacy of the rivalry from the moment he stepped on the field. UVA has only beaten the Hokies nine times out of 28 meetings that Coach Beamer has been apart of. We salute the man who brought the Hokies a win on Thanksgiving in 1990 when the Cavaliers were currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Of course, we also can’t forget the 2007 game when VT took the win during the Tyrod Taylor freshman year extravaganza. Virginia was expected to win with a rockin’ roster. UVA’s best player that year, Chris Long, was drafted into the NFL first-round in 2008. That didn’t intimidate the Hokies. When they go toe-to-toe with the Cavaliers, they’re ready. VT took the game that year 33-21.
Virginia Tech shows no mercy on their rivalry school. The Cavaliers haven’t been able to pull off a win since 2003. To put that into perspective for you, Youtube was invented after their most recent win against the Hokies. Yikes.
Win or lose in this matchup, we are guaranteed a vicious attempt from both sides from start to finish in this one.