One of these days I have a dream that people will finally understand that who wins a football game does not show or prove who is "better".
Football, and all sports, is about individual and small unit matchups. Virginia Tech was a terrible set of matchups for us. Their exact strengths almost perfectly aligned with our current weaknesses. Their coaches then did a better job than our coaches in ensuring the right personnel were in the right places to take advantage of those matchups.
Thats all it was. Virginia Tech is not "better" than Ohio State. We have more talent top to bottom. But Virginia Tech owned us. It's all about matchups.
thats why the transitive property- so and so beat this guy and we beat so and so therefore we would beat this guy- doesn't work. What so and so did against this guy was because of the matchups in that game, which have nothing at all to do with the matchups if we then play this guy.
East Carolina is not "better" than us. We would, in my opinion, beat them. We would also, if we played them again, likely lose to Virginia Tech again. It's about matchups.
There are of course reasons the teams that matches up better might no always win- turnovers, penalties, injuries, and lack of execution on the day in question.