Weekend Rooting Guide
by Matthew McKinley, 10/5/01

Well, there’s not much that can top last weekend’s Top 25 matchups, but a #3 vs. a #5 helps. Oklahoma vs. Texas is the highlight of the weekend, which should be starting right after the final gun sounds on Tech’s demolishing of West Virginia. College football at its’ finest, people. Enjoy.

Each week, I’ll be looking at the USA Today/ESPN Top 25, VT’s Opponents, and VT’s Opponents’ Opponents. For each game, I’ll look at four reasons to root for a team, and the combinations of those reasons will determine for whom Hokie Fans should root. The categories for rooting interest are Gut Feeling (your instinctual urges on the game, from cool mascots to downright hatred), Conference Implications (anything that makes the Big East look good, or other conferences look bad), Postseason Implications (anything that affects where VT goes bowling), and Strength of Schedule (the game’s effect on VT’s BCS Strength of Schedule calculations, or in case of a tie, the higher rated team from Kenneth Massey’s VT Connectivity Page).

Top 25

Troy State (1-2) @ (#1) Miami (3-0) – 12pm

Well, at least Troy State is an improvement over McNeese State…or is it? Miami better RUTS the heck out of TSU, because Florida is hot on their heels in the polls.
GF – UM, CI – UM, PI – UM, SOS – UM
Root: Tropical Depress…errr…Hurricanes

(#2) Florida (4-0) @ (#20) Louisiana State (2-1) – 3:30pm

Nobody passes on LSU in Death Valley…or is that nobody runs on Richmond at Charlottesville? Heck, I forget.
GF – LSU, CI – LSU, PI – LSU, SOS – wash (edge: UF)
Root: Bayou Bengals (Hoo, boy, dey wundermus, I gaa-ron-tee!)

(#3) Oklahoma (4-0) @ (#5) Texas (4-0) – 3:30pm

Now this is the game I want to see after the Hokies win. We move up regardless of the outcome, but I think we’re better off rooting for Texas because they always tank a game to teams like Stanford or San Jose State. Besides, they don’t play K-State or Nebraska.
GF – OU, CI – wash, PI – UT, SOS –wash (edge: OU)
Root: Hook ‘em Horns!

Iowa State (3-0) @ (#4) Nebraska (5-0) – 7pm

Iowa State ain’t that good, peeps. Really.
GF – ISU, CI – ISU, PI – ISU, SOS – wash (edge: NU)
Root: Cyclones (heck, just root for all the weather-related teams)

(#6) Virginia Tech (4-0) @ West Virginia (2-2) – 12pm

Root: LET’S GO! HOKIES! LET’S GO! HOKIES! (‘nuff said)

Georgia (2-1) @ (#7) Tennessee (3-0) – 12pm

Georgia is another one of those teams I hate to root for (y’all should know about my Georgia Tech roots by now), but Tennessee scares me being that close in the polls.
GF – wash, CI – UGA, PI – UGA, SOS – UT
Root: Hunker Down, Hairy Dawgs! (they really say that, honest)

(#8) Oregon (4-0) @ Arizona (3-1) – 10:15pm

Looks like a great game to stay up and watch. Or is that a great game to stay up and watch in order to fall asleep more quickly? I think it’s the former. Ducks vs. Desert Swarm? Gut Feeling is a wash.
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – UA, SOS – wash (edge: OU)
Root: You tell that Wildcat to keep it above 50, okay? (5 brownie points to guess)

Southern California (1-3) @ (#10 ) Washington (3-0) – 3:30pm

I sure wish I could go to So Cal and meet a Sure Thing that looks like Nicolette Sheridan. Whoo! I think it’s best that we root for UDub until Miami beats them (which they will).
GF – UDub, CI – USC, PI – UDub, SOS – UDub
Root: Charlie Steiner’s other favorite team, the Huskies

Kentucky (1-3) @ (#12) South Carolina (4-0) – 1pm

Lou Holtz is doing a pretty darn good job at USC. It seems like all the recruits in South Carolina want to be a Cock. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
GF – USC, CI – UK, PI – UK, SOS – wash (edge: USC)
Root: You tell that Wildcat to keep it above 50, okay? (déjà vu?)

Colorado (3-1) @ (#13) Kansas State (2-1) – 12:30pm

They were the first team to get ambushed by Fresno State, heh heh heh. Think they can get it up for KSU? Let’s hope so.
GF – KSU, CI – CU, PI – CU, SOS – wash (edge: CU)
Root: Buffalos (Tetonka)

(#15) Michigan (3-1) @ Penn State (0-3) – 3:30pm

Man, this is a tough one to call for the Gut Feeling category. I might have to call this one a wash, but wouldn’t it just be great to see Penn State go 0-11? Yeah, I thought you’d see it my way.
Root: lightning strikes (yeah, I Mi-chickened out on this one)

(#16) Northwestern (3-0) @ Ohio State (2-1) – 7:45pm

Is Northwestern considered a media darling this year, considering they had that status 5 or 6 years ago? I haven’t seen Charlton Heston lowering any streams for them this year.
GF – NU, CI – OSU, PI – OSU, SOS – wash (edge: NU)
Root: Deeeeez Nuts! (a buckeye is a nut, isn’t it?)

(#17) Georgia Tech (3-1) @ Duke (0-¥ ) – 1pm

OK, so they’re not 0-for-infinity, but I got a strange sense of humor, remember? Anyways, since GT lost last week, we can root for them to win the rest, right?
GF – GT, CI – DU, PI – GT, SOS – GT
Root: the Fuzzy Bees

Utah State (0-4) @ (#18) BYU (4-0) – 9pm

Bring ‘em Young is still undefeated? It won’t last. Might as well happen here.
Root: Utah State Aggies (I had to look it up again…forgot from last week)

Iowa (3-0) @ (#19) Purdue (3-0) – 12:10pm

Gee, two undefeated teams. Hmmm…who to root for? Well, it ain’t gonna be Purdon’t.
GF – UI, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – wash (edge: PU slightly)
Root: Hawkeye (my favorite M*A*S*H character)

Baylor (2-1) @ (#22) Texas A&M (4-0) – 2pm

Those of you who, like me, were in the Corps of Cadets, probably find it hard to root against the Aggies. I don’t break tradition here. Well, maybe. Let’s see how the categories shake out.
GF – aTm, CI – BU, PI – BU, SOS – wash (edge: aTm)
Root: Da Bears! (Oh, well, sorry Aggies.)

(#23) Toledo (4-0) @ Ohio (0-3) – 6pm

Toledo is on a roll, and they don’t have any tough games left, except for WMU and Navy (yeah, right). SOS says go with Toledo, but I don’t like either zero in the two teams’ records.
GF – OU, CI – OU, PI – OU, SOS – UT
Root: B-b-b-bobcats!

Virginia (3-1) @ (#25) Maryland (4-0) – 12pm

Ha, ha, Virginia has a noon game too! (Man, I hate noon games! And Virginia, too!)
GF – UM UM UM, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – UVA
Root: Dem Terrible Terrible Terrapins (Hi, neighbor!)

VT Opponents

Eastern Michigan (1-3) @ Connecticut (1-3) – 1pm

A battle of the powerhouses here, folks. If one of ‘em wasn’t on our schedule, folks…..
GF – UC, CI – UC, PI – UC, SOS – UC
Root: the other Huskies team

Akron (2-2) @ Western Michigan (2-2) – 6pm

I think that WMU is ready to take out their frustrations from the past few games. It ain’t gonna be pretty folks. (I think I’d like to see that one.)
GF – WMU, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – WMU
Root: Knights of the Not-So-Round Ball

Syracuse (3-2) @ Rutgers (1-3) – 12pm

Maybe it’s just me, but I keep having flashbacks of some Christians vs. Lions games from the past. RUT[S]gers lives up to their name in this one.
GF – RU, CI – SU, PI – wash, SOS – wash
Root: For those about to die, we do not [root for] you.

Alabama-Birmingham (2-2) @ Central Florida (1-3) – 6pm

I’d really like to see UCF do well. They’d be a welcome addition to the ACC along with Tech and Miami.
GF – UCF, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – UCF
Root: Golden Knights of the Not-So- Round Ball

Temple (1-2) @ Boston College (3-1) – 3:30pm

To heck with Temple. They suck.
GF – BC, CI – BC, PI – wash, SOS – TU
Root: the Eagle sharpens its’ claws (great editorial cartoon)

Pittsburgh (1-2) @ Notre Dame (0-3) – 2:30pm

Could this be any more of a no-brainer? Well, yeah, it could. VT vs. ND.
GF – UP, CI – UP, PI – wash, SOS – UP
Root: for Bryant to get up off his butt and do something ;^)

VT Opponents’ Opponents

The numbers in parenthesis at the end of the game listing are the numbers of times that each team shows up on VT’s Opponents’ schedules, as well as the start times for the games. Division 1-AA teams are italicized, just to show you how many of them there are that our opponents’ opponents’ are playing. Wins don’t count for us in these games, but losses DO count against us.

Air Force (2-1) @ Navy (0-3) – (0-3, 12pm): You and the Navy, full speed ahead!

Buffalo (1-3) @ Miami, OH (2-2) – (2-1, 2pm): Tetonka

South Florida (2-2) @ Utah (3-1) – (2-0, 8pm): Da……Bulls Da Bulls Da Bulls!

Kent State (1-3) @ Bowling Green (3-1) – (1-2, 2pm): Root for the Falcons (not of the Vick variety, but root for them too while you’re at it)

Marshall (2-1) @ Northern Illinois (2-2) – (0-1, 2:05pm): Good Lord, another Huskies team to root for! What does that make, four? ;^)

Tulane (1-4) @ Cincinnati (1-2) – (1-1, 7pm): Tulane. Great party school.

Houston (0-3) @ Army (0-3) – (0-1, 1pm): Talk about Clash of the Titans. Too bad it’s on the same time as the Hokies. Go Army.

East Carolina (2-2) @ North Carolina (2-3) – (1-1, 3:30pm): SOS wash. Good. Go Pirates!

North Carolina State (2-1) @ Wake Forest (2-2) – (1-1, 6:30pm): Slight SOS edge to NC State. That’s fine with me.

Indiana (0-3) @ Wisconsin (3-2) – (0-1, 12:10pm): Hoosiers? Badgers? Go with the Badgers.

LA-Lafayette (1-3) @ Arizona State (2-1) – (1-0, 10pm): Hyphenated LA

Texas-El Paso (2-2) @ Alabama (2-2) – (0-1, 3pm): Darn, I knew I’d have to root for Bama sometime this year. Might as well be now.

Weber State (1-3) @ Arkansas (1-3) – (0-1, 7pm): SOOOOOEEEEE, PIG!

Mississippi State (1-2) @ Auburn (3-1) – (0-1, 7pm): War Damn Eagle!

Idaho (0-4) @ Middle Tennessee State (4-0) – (0-1, 7pm): I guess a steady diet of Sun Belt teams will get you to 4-0.

North Texas (0-4) @ LA-Monroe (0-4) – (0-1, 7pm): Another hyphenated LA. *sigh*

Montana State (2-2) @ Eastern Washington (2-1) – (0-1, 9:05pm): Having problems sleeping? Watch this one.

Illinois State (0-4) @ Southern Illinois (0-3) – (1-0, 2:30pm): No Larry Bird? Well, root for ‘em anyways.

The Citadel (1-2) @ East Tennessee State (1-3) – (0-1, 7pm): How did Citadel ever get a win? Let’s hope they stay at 1.

Richmond (0-3) @ Maine (2-1) – (1-0, 7pm): You know, it’s pretty funny that the closest Richmond has gotten to a win this year is against UVA. We still have to root for them, even against Torrian Gray’s team. Go Spiders.

Well, that’s it for this weeks’ edition, campers. Tune in next week for the Homecoming Edition of the Weekend Rooting Guide. (I won’t spoil the surprise of what the special theme means – I haven’t figured it out yet.)

-- Matthew McKinley (Freddyburg Hokie)


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