Weekend Rooting Guide
by Matthew McKinley, 11/2/01

"Well, so much for a trip to Pasadena," most of you are thinking. Ahhhh, not so, grasshoppah. The Hokies are still in the hunt for the National Championship. "That’s impossible," you say. (Or "That’s un-possible," for you Lounge lizards.) Let me play Grammar Policeman and change that to "improbable". So what’s the difference? Plenty, if your talking about the Weekend Rooting Guide.

Remember, the WRG deals in the highly improbable, and if the Hokies need a lot of improbable help to make it to Pasadena, then we say, "It’s possible!" And we root for it to happen. There are six weeks left in this college football regular season, and if last weekend is any indication, there are many upsets yet to come.

So follow me, young squires, and let me crank up the Infinite Improbability Drive while I tell you just what we need to hope for in order for Virginia Tech’s Yellow Brick Road to end up in Pasadena, CA.

Every week during the football season, 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).

Oh, BTW, welcome to the 80’s (and earlier) music version of the WRG. ;^) 

Top 25

Temple (2-5) @ (#1) Miami (6-0) – 1pm

Didn’t we already have this party? Oh, yeah. It was Rut[s]gers @ Miami.
GF – UM, CI – UM, PI – UM, SOS – TU
Root: Rock you like a Hurricane

(#2) Nebraska (9-0) @ Kansas (2-5) – 7pm

Remember how I was talking about "improbable" earlier? This is one of those "improbabilities". And if it doesn’t happen this weekend, then don’t worry, grasshoppah. We got plenty of time.
GF – KU, CI – KU, PI – KU, SOS – wash (edge: NU)
Root: Carry on my wayward son - Kansas

Vanderbilt (2-5) @ (#3) Florida (6-1) – 12:30pm

Vandy at the Swamp? No chance….errrr….infinitely small chance.
GF – VU, CI – VU, PI – VU, SOS – wash (edge: UF)
Root: Oh! What a feeling! We’ll be dancin’ on the ceiling! (if the Commodores win…oops, that was Lionel Richie solo, wasn’t it?)

Tulsa (1-6) @ (#4) Oklahoma (7-1) – 3pm

Yeah, Oklahoma is due for a letdown after that heartbreaking loss. (chuckle)
GF – TU, CI – TU, PI – TU, SOS – wash (edge: OU)
Root: Rock you like a (Golden) Hurricane

(#5) Texas (7-1) @ Baylor (2-5) – 12:30pm

Isn’t it time for Texas to lose to a horrible team? They do it every year, don’t they?
GF – BU, CI – BU, PI – BU, SOS – wash (edge: UT)
Root: We’re not here to start no trouble, we’re just here to do the Superbowl Shuffle (sung by the Bears, and yes, I’m reaching here)

(#6) Michigan (6-1) @ Michigan State (4-2) – 3:30pm

Now, this is an upset that I can see happening, especially since it’s at Michigan State. Plus, it’s Michicken we’re talking about here!
Root: We didn’t Spartan the fire, it was always burnin’ since the world was turnin’. (And you thought I was reaching on the last pick!)

(#7) Tennessee (5-1) @ Notre Dame (3-4) – 2:30pm

This is a no-brainer, or is it? With Memphis, Kentucky, and Vandy on the schedule for the Vols, we might have to root for ND, as sick as it sounds, to win so a 2-loss UT can beat Florida on 1 Dec. Hmmm…
GF – wash, CI – ND, PI – ND, SOS – ND
Root: Come on Eileen (I think Dexy’s Midnight Runners were Irish.)

Colorado State (4-4) @ (#8) Brigham Young (8-0) – Thursday, 9:45pm

Bring ‘em Young needs a loss. Period. It’s the Rams’ turn to take a shot at beating them.
GF – CSU, CI – CSU, PI – CSU, SOS – wash (edge: BYU)
Root: Ramble on. Now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.

Arizona State (4-3) @ (#9) Oregon (7-1) – 10:15pm

Hey, the Sun Devils were close against UDub last week. But then again, aren’t everybody?
GF – ASU, CI – ASU, PI – ASU, SOS – wash (edge: OU)
Root: (Sun) Devil in a blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, (Sun) Devil with a blue dress on

(#10) Washington (6-1) @ (#13) Stanford (5-1) – 3:30pm

I think it’s time that someone took Stanford down a notch. Washington State did it. Why can’t their cross-state rivals? Besides, UDub will lose to Miami. Book it. ;^)
GF – UDub, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – wash (edge: SU by a hair)
Root: Just drop off the (Hus)-key, Lee, and get yourself free

(#11) UCLA (6-1) @ (#19) Washington State (7-1) – 6:30pm

I tell you, I’m a lot more scared of UCLA than I am of WSU. I don’t think the Cugas will overtake us, even if they win out. (Just to be safe, though, we’ll be rooting against them next week.)
GF – WSU, CI – wash, PI – WSU, SOS – wash (edge: UCLA)
Root: Little ditty, ‘bout Jack and Diane, two American kids growin’ up, in the heartland – John Cougar

(#12) Virginia Tech (6-1) @ Pittsburgh (2-5) – 12pm

This game was over come 3:30pm last Saturday.

(#14) Florida State (5-2) @ (#24) Clemson (5-2) – 3:30pm

I’m pretty partial to Clemson (as I’m sure most Hokie fans are), so maybe we should have FSU get a loss here, so they can beat Florida at the end of the season, hmmm?
GF- CU, CI –wash, PI – CU, SOS – wash (edge: FSU)
Root: (yep, you know it’s coming) The eye of the Tiger!

(#18) Illinois (6-1) @ (#15) Purdue (5-1) – 12:10pm

It looks to me like Illinois has the harder schedule left. Let’s hope Purdue Pur-don’t win.
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – UI, SOS – wash (edge: UI by a hair)
Root: Honey, you can’t hide your Illini. (Sound this one out. Trust me, you’ll get it.)

Troy State @ (#16) Maryland (7-1) – 1pm

The Terps last week: close game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Seminoles score three times to put it away……sounds familiar?
GF – UM, CI – TSU, PI – TSU, SOS – wash (UM by a hair)
Root: You wanna be Spartan somethin’, you got to be Spartan somethin’. You wanna be Spartan somethin’, you got to be Spartan somethin’. Too high to get over. (Yah, yah.) Too low to get under. (Yah, yah.) You’re stuck in the middle. (Yah, yah) And the pain is thunder. (5 brownie points for guessing the artist.)

(#17) Texas A&M (7-1) @ Texas Tech (4-3) –2pm

This one isn’t too much of a stretch. The Red Raiders win here, and aTm is left to beat Texas at the end of the season. Almost too easy.
GF – aTm, CI – TT, PI – TT, SOS – wash (edge: aTm)
Root: I give up. 5 more brownie points to whomever can come up with a song lyric for Red Raiders.

Wofford (3-4) @ (#20) South Carolina (6-2) –1pm

Did I mention that I have a former student that is an All-Conference Offensive Guard for Wofford?
GF – WC, CI – WC, PI – WC, SOS – wash (edge: USC)
Root: If you see me walkin’ by, and the Terriers are in my eyes, look away. Baby, look away.

North Carolina (5-3) @ (#21) Georgia Tech (5-2) – Thursday, 8pm

I think Officer Barbrady from South Park said it best: "Move along, folks, nothing to worry about here." He’s right. But it still would be great if both VT and GT win their conferences and meet in a BCS bowl, if we don’t make the Rose.
GF – GT, CI – wash, PI – GT, SOS – GT
Root: She blinded me with science! (Bah-baw-boop) She blinded me, with science. She hit me with (the Georgia Institute of) Technology.

Missouri (3-4) @ (#25) Colorado (6-2) – 3pm

I’m counting on Colorado to be the spoiler of the conference. Therefore, they need the confidence to continue winning. Let’s go with them here.
GF – UC, CI – MU, PI – UC, SOS – wash (edge: UC)
Root: No money man will be my lover, it’s sweetness that I’m thinkin’ of. We always hang in a Buffalo Stance. We hit the groove every time we dance. So DON’T you get fresh with me!

VT Opponents

UConn (2-5) @ Cincinnati (4-3) – 1pm

Not much to comment on here.
Root: Open your heart to me, baby, I hold the lock and you hold the (Hus)-key.

Western Michigan (4-4) @ Toledo (6-1) – Tuesday, 8pm

Ahhh, college football on Tuesday. And some decent teams to boot. Eeeexcellent, Smithers!
Root: Big city, big city Knights. You keep me runnin’! (Gotta have more Scorpions!)

Rutgers (2-5) @ West Virginia (2-5) – 1pm

This is really a tough one. Should I go with the traditional rivals, or go with Rutgers’ improvement for the future. Hmmm…
GF – WVU, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – RU
Root: West Virginia….Mountain (-eer) mama…..take me home…..country road

Central Florida (4-4) @ Akron (2-6) – 6pm

Gee. Opponent….MAC….opponent….MAC….Shouldn’t they be one and the same?
Root: Take me home to-Knight, I don’t wanna let you go till you see the light.

Wake Forest (3-4) @ Virginia (3-5) – 1pm

Demon Deacon to Wahoo goal for checkmate. Uhhh, OK.
Root: Stalked in the (Wake) Forest, too close to hide. I’ll be upon you by the moonlight side. (Do-do-do-do…do-do-do…do-do-do…do-do-do…do-dodododo.)

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. Wins don’t count for us in these games, but losses DO count against us.

Central Michigan (2-5) @ Ball State (3-4) – (1-2, 1pm): Ball (State) Room Blitz

Eastern Michigan (2-5) @ Northern Illinois (4-4) – (2-1, 3:05pm): Fly like an Eagle (EMU Eagle, that is) into the future.

Ohio (1-6) @ Buffalo (1-7) – (1-2, 1pm): Tetonka. (Sorry, no music line. I just can’t give up that old joke, I’ve used it every week since last year.)

Houston (0-7) @ South Florida (5-3) – (0-2, 7pm): You say that love has got you down well that’s Bull [poop]. (Get uuuuup, and make it work, make it work!)

Miami, OH (6-2) @ Bowling Green (5-2) – (1-2, 4pm): No one should go where Eagles dare. (BGU)

Southern Mississippi (4-2) @ Penn State (2-4) – (0-2, 12:10pm): Ain’t no way to hide your (Nittany) Lion eyes. (We need the SOS boost.)

Arkansas State (2-5) @ Middle Tenn State (6-2) – (0-1, 3pm): Crap! MTSU is the Blue Raiders. 5 more brownie points available here.

Arizona (3-5) @ California (0-7) – (0-1, 3:30pm): It’s been one week since you looked at me. Cocked your head to the side and said I’m angry. – Bear Naked Ladies

Louisville (7-1) @ Tulane (2-7) – (0-1, 3:30pm): Don’t look at me. I don’t want you to see me this (Green) Wave.

LA-Monroe (1-6) @ Idaho (0-8) – (1-0, 9pm): One little two little three little Indians (LA-M) ;^)

Arkansas (4-3) @ Ole Miss (6-1) – (1-0, 7pm): Generals gather in their masses, just like witches at black masses. – War Pigs, Black Sabbath. (This is for you, Doug.)

Marshall (6-1) @ Kent State (4-4) – (0-1, 3pm): Kent State Golden Flashes? I’m not even gonna try. 5 more brownie points.

Army (2-5) @ Air Force (4-3) – (1-0, 2pm): We’re Knights of the Round Table…we eat ham and jam and spam a lot!

Iowa (4-3) @ Wisconsin (4-5) – (0-1, 12:10pm): "Well, if we build this wooden Badger…" "Oh, shut up!" – sorry, couldn’t leave the Monty Python theme

North Carolina State (4-3) @ Duke (0-¥ ) – (1-1, 1pm): Night. I left the city, I dreamt of a Wolf (pack) - A-ha

Eastern Washington (5-2) @ Northern Arizona (6-2) – (1-0, 3:35pm): EWU. Div 1-AA don’t deserve a lyric.

Western Kentucky (6-2) @ Illinois State (1-7) – (0-1, 2:30pm): ISU. Ditto.

Liberty (2-5) @ Western Carolina (5-3) – (1-0, 2pm): Liberty. Ditto. Ditto.

East Tenn State (3-4) @ Charleston Southern (4-4) – (1-0, 2:30pm): ETSU. Also ditto.

Hofstra (7-1) @ Richmond (2-5) – (0-1, 1pm): Richmond. Nobody runs on Richmond!

Well, that about does it for this week, young squires. If you’re reading this far, then obviously you weren’t so disgusted by the cheesiness of some of the music lines that you stopped reading. Kudos to you.

And don’t worry. All will fall into place, and we’ll be in Pasadena, because the Weekend Rooting Guide says so. ;^)

-- Matthew McKinley (Freddyburg Hokie)


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