Written by EDSBS's Spencer Hall.
It's not Appalachian State/ Michigan, but it does share a border with that hallowed territory of great upsets. Virginia Tech was ranked 13th, and has been one of the top ten in college football in terms of program performance over the past fifteen years, and today they lost to a very good number eleven team ---a very good, very well-coached, and very intense and lucky James Madison Dukes team that plays in the Football Championship Series, née D-1AA.
Gentlemen, you beat an FBS team on their own turf. Today you get the fight song.
Virginia Tech helped our shortest Founding Father's namesakes a-plenty in their upset. They donated three turnovers to the Dukes, including a deathknell late fumble that allowed James Madison to cut whole hunks of the clock out before a late punt ended in the final disaster for the Hokies: a roughing the kicker penalty for a JMU first down. A few victory formations later, and the Dukes were trampling the VT logo in celebration.
Is it a bigger upset than App State over Michigan?
Probably not, since Michigan was a perennial top five team with a vast history of beating patsies at home at the time. (Things have changed in that department of late.) Virginia Tech has played close games against nominally inferior competition before, and have a fraction of Michigan's long tradition of winning. App State committed regicide in their coup against Michigan; James Madison's assassinated not a king today, but someone of a lofty but slightly lesser rank. You know, someone like....a Duke.
It's impressive, but it's a hair or two shy of eclipsing what remains the greatest upset of our time. In related news, you might think this severely dents Boise State's transitive victory chain, but you'd be wrong. All Boise has to do now to win the respect of the national media by beating Oregon State by an easy seventy or eighty points, or winning by forfeit after they score fifty in the first quarter. Do that, beat every WAC opponent by seven TDs, and bangarang! Right back in there, Broncos!