"I think for the perception to get better, you're going to have to have stronger teams in the front, have somebody up there in the top five or six. Until that happens, the perception is not going to be as good."
Wake Forest's Jim Grobe is one of those who believes it's a parity issue, not a talent issue.
"I've always said that anybody can beat anybody, but Clemson and Florida State are the two teams that are leading the pack," Grobe said. "The rest of us are just good football teams that play good football teams every week. Just look at our schedule. We're playing pretty good teams week in and week out. It's one of those deals where anybody can beat anybody, and that's typically happening."
Virginia Tech has appeared in bowls 19 straight seasons, the nation's third-longest streak, followed by Georgia Tech's string of 15. Each team is 4-5 and must win two of its last three games to extend its season.
Virginia Tech's streak of bowl seasons began in 1993. Only Florida State (30) and Florida (21) have longer active streaks.
The Hokies play No. 8 Florida State on Thursday night before closing their regular season against Boston College and Virginia.
Georgia Tech has games remaining against three teams with winning records, including Saturday's game at North Carolina (6-3). The Yellow Jackets play Duke (6-4) next week and are at No. 5 Georgia to close their regular season.
The Yellow Jackets need a win against the Tar Heels to bolster their shaky bowl hopes.
"It's been a topic," Johnson said. "It's been one of the goals for the season, to go to a bowl game and win a bowl game. That's one of the goals the team set, so it's an important game in that matter as well."