Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer sounds the same reminder every year when the Hokies lose a game that knocks them out of the national championship picture: We still have the ACC championship to chase.
Most years, the Hokies are not only contenders, but the favorites.
This year, Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) has struggled offensively and defensively at times, and with a rigorous slate of all Atlantic Coast Conference games the rest of the way, the Hokies' hope for a sixth divisional title in eight years is tenuous at best.
Beamer's team plays at improving North Carolina (3-2, 0-1) on Saturday in Chapel Hill. N.C. It's the start of a gauntlet that eventually includes meetings with No. 3 Florida State, No. 15 Clemson and Miami.