Friday, November 18, 2005


VOLUME 006 ISSUE 012 (2005.11.18)

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Game Preview - vs. Virginia
Rants & Raves - The Bitter Taste
ACC Standings

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Game Preview - vs. Virginia
by "Mad" Jay

Normally in the Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry they say to throw out
the records. There have been games the Hokies should have lost but
won, and games they should have won and lost. And when I say "should
have won" I don't mean the Hokies had a better record so they should
have won. I mean they've had control of the game and then lost it and
vice versa.

But this year's game must be the biggest coin toss in the history of
coin tosses. There are so many conflicting stats, match-ups and
psychological advantages that it is impossible for me to get a read on
this game. In other words it is as 50/50 as it gets. Let's look at
some of this conflicting information. Maybe my Calm and Beloved Reader
can make more sense of it than I.

Match-up wise, the Hokies just destroy the Hoos. The Hokie strengths
of Marcus Vick and the receivers go up against Virginia's terrible
secondary. The Hokie defensive line and linebackers are going up
against a downright awful offensive line (except for D'Brickashaw
Ferguson who is amazing but just getting back to full strength and
likely pretty rusty). I also expect Virginia Tech RB Branden Ore to
get some very meaningful carries and that is great news for Hokie fans
as the Cavalier's star LB Ahmad Brooks is trying to shake off the
injury bug. The Cavaliers do have a very exciting player in QB Margues
Hagans but Tech's speed on the edge should be able to contain him.
Everywhere I look with regard to individual match-ups points heavily
toward the

The team stats are split down the middle. Virginia plays possessed at
home. Their offense puts up more yards than the Hokies, but their
defense is giving up more yards. Their scoring offense and scoring
defense at home is almost exactly that of Tech's offense and defense.
Virginia has very good special teams play although the Hokies have
blocked several kicks in past years. Basically the stats, just because
Virginia is at home, fall out about even.

Psychology-wise the Cavaliers have a huge advantage. They are at home,
where they've won 21 of their past 23 games. They are making a late
season push for a big bowl game and they still have one more game
against Miami after this one that they want to build towards. They
also have a chance to take their biggest rival down another rung and
do some MAJOR damage to what has the potential to be a huge recruiting
year for the Hokies. This is the highest ranked Hokie team (#7) to
ever come into Scott Stadium. Meanwhile Virginia Tech is coming off of
a devastating loss where they lost the dream of a national
championship and were knocked out of the driver's seat to defend their
ACC Championship. Thank goodness they had a bye week to work on
getting refocused, but even that week may not have been enough. All
the buzz seems to be coming from Virginia's side in the build-up to
this game.

So as you can see, the breakdown is a 50/50 split. Hell, the past 18
meetings between these two teams have been split 9-9. There is just no
way for me to see how this one will shake-out.

What I CAN tell you is that it will depend on the play early-on in the
game of team leaders like Darryl Tapp, Marcus Vick, Cedric Humes and
Jimmy Williams. If these leaders can play inspired football and show
the young players that this team can help break the national viewpoint
that the Hokies fold at the end of the season, then the game could be
a blow-out in the Hokies' favor. But if the team can't overcome the
mental hurdle of that loss to the Hurricanes, well fans, it could be
ugly. Hokie fans, the Hokie players and the rest of the country are
really going to learn a great deal about the Virginia Tech football
program this Saturday. If you have any insight as to how the game will
turn-out, please, chime in and let us know.

In the meantime, GO HOKIES!!!!!!


Rants & Raves - The Sour Taste
by Brian "Where's the Ice?"

"Mad" Jay's account and review of last week's loss really should have
hit home for most Hokie fans. They certainly did for me. The statement
that Marcus Vick and the Hokies just plain had a bad day holds quite a
bit of truth to it.

But it does confirm the thing that we at TSF have feared most of this
season. Virginia Tech historically has not played well the part of
hunted. Teams like USC really show that they have something special by
doing what they do. Very few programs can achieve that level of
success with that level of consistency. The Hokie football program, as
potent a force as it has displayed, hasn't reached the ranks of
multiple showings for a national championship.

And as newcomers to consistent members of the top ten in rankings
season after season, Virginia Tech still has to learn about the sour
taste of defeat when the smell of victory fills the air from just
around the corner. Losses like this make a program better, and while
the national title game and most likely the conference championship
now fall outside of a self-controlled Hokie destiny, Hokie fans and
players must regroup and remember games still lie on the path ahead to
win. (On a related side note I believe had the Hokies gone undefeated,
they would have passed Texas in the rankings with a stronger strength
of schedule).

But let's not get ourselves too hooked on the gloom and doom. Virginia
Tech has one loss. Over this season and last they've far
passed proving that they will not serve as a doormat to the ACC. Miami
could still lose to Georgia Tech or Virginia possibly propelling the
Hokies back into first place for the Coastal Division. We, as Hokie
fans, can still watch our team finish a strong season and even make an
at-large appearance in a BCS bowl.

Moving onto my ranting, I really want to know why Jimmy Williams said
what he said. His comment served the Hokies in no way, shape, or form
and it didn't carry the Bryan Randall level of class to which I had
become accustomed from last season. He only revealed a chip on the
burning fire of Miami Hurricane football players.

But I wouldn't live up to my normal self if I didn't bash the ACC to
some extent, and given the current circumstances from the Hokie Fan
perspective, now makes for a perfect opportunity. If the ACC title
game happened today, Miami (5-1/8-1) would square off against Florida
State (5-3/7-3), not the Hokies (5-1/8-1). The so called Big Least of
the late 90's and early 00's has produced three of the top four teams
of today's ACC. And I'll happily recant or modify that statement with
a large helping of humble pie if Georgia Tech beats Miami.

But this leads to issue of fairness; shouldn't we want that? So
really, why do we need divisions? Do we need them just so that the ACC
can act like the SEC or the Big 12? Why not take first and second
place and let them duke it out for a win. Or better yet, get rid of
the conference championships all together to make room for a BCS
tournament instead of a series of games where the media strongly
influences and almost chooses who plays who.

All in all, the Hokies have tasted defeat, but this season still has
all the potential to end with a voracious appetite for victory.


ACC Standings

Florida State 5-3 7-3
Boston College 4-3 7-3
Clemson 4-4 6-4
Maryland 3-3 5-4
Wake Forest 3-5 4-7
NC State 2-5 4-5

Miami 5-1 8-1
Virginia Tech 5-1 8-1
Georgia Tech 4-3 6-3
Virginia 3-3 6-3
North Carolina 3-3 4-5
Duke 0-7 1-9



This week, we decided to show you our individual rankings rather than
the usual unified poll. The TSF poll will return next week.

Where's the Ice? Mad Jay BCS
1 USC 1 USC 1. USC
2 Texas 2 Texas 2. Texas
3 Notre Dame 3 Penn State 3. Alabama
4 Miami 4 Miami 4. Miami
5 Penn State 5 LSU 5. Penn State
6 Virginia Tech 6 Notre Dame 6. Virginia Tech
7 UCLA 7 Auburn 7. LSU
8 Oregon 8 Virginia Tech 8. Ohio State
9 Alabama 9 West Virginia 9. Georgia
10 LSU 10 Ohio State 10. Oregon
11 West Virginia 11 UCLA 11. Notre Dame
12 Fresno State 12 TCU 12. Texas Tech
13 Auburn 13 Oregon 13. Florida
14 Georgia 14 Alabama 14. West Virginia
15 Texas Tech 15 Fresno State 15. UCLA
16 Ohio State 16 Georgia 16. Wisconsin
17 Florida State 17 Louisville 17. TCU
18 Wisconsin 18 Minnesota 18. Colorado
19 Boston College 19 South Carolina 19. Florida State
20 Minnesota 20 Michigan 20. Auburn
21 Georgia Tech 21 Boston College 21. Michigan
22 Michigan 22 UTEP 22. Fresno State
23 South Florida 23 Florida 23. Georgia Tech
24 Louisville 24 Florida State 24. Minnesota
25 Florida 25 Texas Tech 25. Louisville


"Mad" Jason Oakley
Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi
Brian "Where's The Ice?" Wrenn


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