Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
When Mississippi State baseball left Omaha with a College World Series championship just a couple of weeks back, they exited an exclusive club that didn’t have a lot of perks.
That club? Power 5 schools that have never won a team national championship — in any sport.
The two that now remain? Kansas State, and of course, Virginia Tech. Hokie fans constantly get silenced in Twitter arguments with ACC foes and schools across the country about their empty national championship trophy case in the Merryman Center.
“This area is reserved for the national championship trophy. Go Hokies!”
Yes, Virginia Tech fans have all painfully seen it scrolling through the timeline whenever a jab is taken by an opposing fan base in retaliation for the Hokie nation’s trolling of a big-time win over their respective team.
Sure, 165-pound Virginia Tech wrestler Mekhi Lewis recently took home an individual national title at his weight in the 2019 NCAA Championships. But when will Virginia Tech actually win its first team national championship?
That’s a question a lot of fans have on their minds.
The Hokies have a lot of “pretty good” programs throughout the athletic department. But which ones could actually go all the way?
There aren’t a lot of obvious ones. But there are four that stand out that could have an outside shot to make a run at a national championship in the near future.
In a 4-part series, we break those down, and tell you which program has the best chance to fill that empty trophy case in Blacksburg.
4. Men’s Soccer
Virginia Tech men’s soccer sometimes feels like a successful program that is just forgotten about among the fan base. Veteran head coach Mike Brizendine however, has done a very nice job rebuilding Virginia Tech into one of the most successful programs at the school.
When the now 14th-year head coach took over back in 2009, Virginia Tech soccer wasn’t too far removed from its College Cup appearance in 2007. But they would endure some hardships over the next couple of seasons. The Hokies failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in Brizendine’s first seven seasons at the helm.
Since the 2016 season though, Virginia Tech has made five straight postseason appearances. Three of those ended in the Sweet 16. One ended in the Elite Eight.
The personnel the Hokies have had is good enough to contend with anyone in the country.
Former midfielder Daniel Pereira just went first overall to Austin FC in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Pereira elected to forgo the spring portion of the 2020-21 season after becoming the program’s first ever top draft pick.
Kristo Strickler also went in the late first round in this past year’s SuperDraft, but stuck around for the Hokies’ Sweet 16 run before turning pro.
The men’s soccer program isn’t exactly a national powerhouse, but Brizendine’s team returns a multitude of starters in 2021.
Look out for the Hokies to continue to make some noise over at Thompson Field.