Wednesday, October 27, 2004


by Where's The Ice

*** Georgia Tech ***

This weekend, the Hokies take on the Yellow Jackets, a.k.a the Rambling Wreck, on Thursday Night Football this week, so set the dial to ESPN, get out the chips and dip, and pump up the volume.

Generally, other ACC teams don't quiver at the thought of Georgia Tech, but Virginia Tech can't afford to take them too lightly. Instead of getting to watch this game on TSF Chief Editor's newly acquired High Definition TV or at a Hokie friendly atmosphere bar, I'll get to watch it in Charleston, SC surrounded by USC (the other one) Gamecock fans, and believe it or not, they wear hats that read, "Go Cocks!"

Here are a few Hokie stats and things for which the Rambling Wreck will prepare. Their coaching staff well understand the formidable Hokie defense, ranked seventh in the country overall and fifth in scoring.

They won't take Bryan Randall lightly either. They know he can pass, he can run, and he doesn't make many mistakes. Randall will make his thirty-second straight start this game, a new school record, so the Yellow Jackets can't count on mistakes due to inexperience.

As for Ga. Tech's assets: they have a strong defense themselves, one that has only allowed one touchdown in their past two games.

Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson will lead their defense which is ranked sixteenth overall in the nation. Wilkinson ranks third in the ACC with ten tackles per game including seven sacks. Count on him to be going after Randall.

On offense, PJ Danies has become the ACC's leading rusher. Calvin Johnson, a freshman, ranks third in the ACC receiving yards per game and third in receptions per game. He's earned Rookie of the Week twice this season.

So what do the Hokies need to do Thursday night? They need to shut down the Yellow Jacket stars.

On defense, I have every bit of confidence that the Hokies can achieve this. I expect some defensive and special teams scoring.

Where the Yellow Jackets have their best chance lies in the Hokies offense. Although strong, Georgia Tech will look for vulnerabilities in the Hokie offense, probably in attempts to take advance of Virginia Tech's inexperienced freshmen wide receivers. They also have pleanty of footage to study of Tech's Mike Imoh for habits and patterns.

Georgia Tech's head coach Chan Gailey said of Imoh, "I think they have started to settle on him a little bit more. Any time time you start to settle on somebody, then you can figure out what he does best and work some schemes into the offense to let him do what he does best."

*** Hokie Wish List ***

I only find it natural to play a few scenarios in my mind where the Hokies climb the BSC standings. This season, the Hokies have risen to a national ranking with the hope and belief that they can rise yet further, with a little help of course.

So what would it take for the Hokies to earn a good bowl bid this season outside of the games they play? Here, I lay out my top ten -- somewhat realistic -- wish list games that would help the Hokies, and in turn the most significant games Hokie fans should watch.

Wish #1: Miami over Virginia and Miami over Wake Forest: Simply put, the better the top team in the ACC does, the better Virgina Tech looks because the Hokies play Miami the last game of the year. Either a win or a well-played loss would strengthen the Hokies' chance at a bowl bid if Miami walks into this game undefeated.

Virginia slipped against Florida State. They definitely don't want to slip again. They will come out strong against Miami.

Wake Forest's record does not resemble the talent of this team. Their losses, even against highly ranked teams, came within one possession of a win. They definitely have the potential, but not necessarily the odds, to overcome Miami, especially at home.

Wish #2: Pitt Panthers (Nov 25) or BC edge (Nov 13) out of WVU. Since the Hokies are ex-Big East members, I want the former in-conference rivals to do well, but not when they have a ranking a few spots above the Hokies.

Wish #3: Purdue loses to Northwestern (Oct 30), Iowa (Nov 6), or Ohio State (Nov 13).

Wish #4: Mississippi over LSU (Nov 20)

Wish #5: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State (Oct 30)

Wish #6: California over Arizona State (Oct 30)

Wish #7: Texas A&M over Texas (Nov 26) and Texas A&M loses to Oklahoma (Nov 6)

Wish #8: Mississippi over LSU (Nov 20)

Wish #9: Northwestern over Michigan (Nov 13)

Wish #10: Georgia loses to Florida (Nov 6) and Auburn (Nov 13)

*** Other BCS News ***

The current contracts with the major television networks will come up for renewal at the end of this season for the BCS. The BCS wants to add a fifth championship game to the already existing games: Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Rose Bowl.

Note that ABC has already renewed the contract for the Rose Bowl. That game has a contract separate from the others. This fifth game would include teams from conferences not currently in the BCS and begin in the 2005 season.

ABC has the current contract for all these bowl games, but has not sought to renew aggressively enough to close a deal in exclusive negotiations that will soon end. CBS, NBC and FOX have arranged to meet with BCS officials.

Barry Frank of IMG said, "I think...the fifth game is acting as a deterrent rather than an added value."

In response, George Bodenheimer, President of ESPN and ABC Sports, has said that ABC still has interest.

Zook'ed ON YOU

by EhhTee

Nine weeks of football are behind us. Eight weeks are on tap.

The BCS is under attack... again.

Ron Zook is out as coach at Florida. Is Steve Spurrier on tap to come back?

Utah is on fire.

Virginia Tech is ranked. If two plays/calls went the other way the Hokies would be undefeated. If two other plays/calls went the other way the Hokies would be 3-4.

Ohio State, Florida, and LSU has slipped into nothingness. Auburn and Wisconsin are surprising many.

This year is a little more than half finished and one thing hasn't changed: college football is full of controversy, drama, and surprises.


The University of Florida has slipped off of the polls as its football squad continues to struggle under the direction of Ron Zook. Its glory days under Steve Spurrier are remembered well and fans are calling for his return ala the return of Joe Gibbs to the Washington Redskins. The nail in Ron Zook's coffin was last weekend's loss to then 1-5 Mississippi State. To Zook's credit, Steve Spurrier could not beat the Bulldogs in Starkville either. He was 0-2 at Mississippi State.


The state of Florida is the focus of yet another controversy (Presidential elections aside). In
week one of the BCS ranking, Miami came out the number two team. Despite being number two in both the human polls, Oklahoma started at number three in the BCS poll. This week, the teams swapped to match the human polls, but the damage was done and the BCS critics are out in force.

Some day, we'll have a system that everyone can agree upon. And some day, we'll all die. Which will come first? Well, I'm betting on the latter.


The University of Miami looked invincible on Saturday as they demolished the NC State Wolfpack. This same team that dominated the Hokies on defense, looked poor against the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes might very well have been fueled by the four hurricanes to make landfall in other parts of that state.

Hokie Two Step...

The Hokies, currently fourth in the ACC, are at a crossroads. As Mad Jay puts it, they're staring down the path toward the ACC Championship. Much stands in their way. There is several other paths that they can take. It is very likely they will end up taking one of these paths.

All of these paths begin in Altanta. Tomorrow, the Hokies can take a giant leap down a path to a great season. They could also, take a path towards what has become all too familiar. A late season slide into mediocracy.


With early elections going strong, Florida already has nine lawsuits pending trial on the election. Will this country ever get it right?


by Mad Jay

This week the Virginia Tech football team faces a great challenge - stare down a path that realistically leads to the ACC championship and take the first step. The initial obstacle to overcome is the Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech, Thursday night in Atlanta, Georgia.

In preparation for this game, I have reviewed countless hours of game film and interviews. This has led me to conclude that Georgia Tech is going to try something defensively that nobody could possibly predict, except me...........and maybe every other football fan of either Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech; every alumni of both schools; the concession-stand employees at the game on Thursday; Ralph Nader; and Tommy (the deaf, dumb and blind kid that The Who wrote a rock opera about). So by nobody, I guess I just meant Brian Stinespring. Anyway, this writer is predicting that Georgia Tech is going to blitz the holy-milk-and-cookies out of the Hokies.

For Virginia Tech to win this game they will need to stop three things - the blitz, the blitz and the blitz. The Yellow Jackets are going to come with the defensive rush on 1st down and 10, 3rd down and long, in the red zone, at midfield and maybe even if Bryan Randall is taking a knee at the end of the first half. If I were the coaching staff I would expect to be gang-rushed by all three starting Yellow Jacket linebackers and the strong safety as I arrived at the stadium getting off the team bus.

Until Virginia Tech defeats a blitzing defense, as properly demonstrated by Miami on Saturday against the NC State Wolfpack, teams are going to haunt Bryan Randall in the backfield. The defense of the Hokies can get the job done assuming that they cover this freshman phenom at wide receiver, Calvin Johnson. The special teams are back to playing the way I expect Hokie special teams to play.

So if Virginia Tech wants to finish the season strong it all starts with being able to handle the blitz in a raucous stadium in downtown Atlanta. As an eternal optimist, I raise my drink in hopes that the blitz is picked up and Virginia Tech returns to Blacksburg victorious! But if the Hokies lose this game by failing to pick up the blitz, you'd better buckle your seatbelts before reading next week's installment.

Go Hokies!


by EhhTee

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