Tuesday, November 4, 1997

Monday's Hokie Hotline Notes
(by GalaxHokie)

Will @ Hokie Central had the honor of asking the first question from the peanut gallery tonite, and he asked for the latest on the possible scheduling of Nebraska as a VT football opponent in 1998-99..

Weaver said that Nebraska will announce Tuesday a series with California rather than VT. Said he learned the news about 45 minutes before going on the air.

Weaver said the last discussions with Nebraska came about 10 days ago and that it would have been tough logistically to work out a home and home series because of how our home schedule has 4 conference games one year and 3 the next. It never got to the point of VT trying to get out of contracts, etc. to accommodate Nebraska.

The problem is that in 1999, when Nebraska would want a return game, it would have forced VT into 6 road games (4 conference games + UVA all locked in on the road already).

"We can't make things happen for us with just 5 home games...fiscally," Weaver said.

He acknowledged later that Nebraska would have gone a long way toward developing season ticket sales.

Weaver said it is very important for VT fans to understand the reasons for scheduling -- such as the circumstance above with the number of games home or away, and the fact that some scheduling factors go back in time to when we were playing as an independent and we are now only 5-6 years into BE play, some teams wanting 2 for 1 deals, etc.

Interestingly, Weaver was rather emphatic about endorsing the philosophy that where you go is more important than how you get there. "Fans must understand how we must be successful to go the the Alliance."

Weaver said he talked last week with the director of one Alliance bowl and how he confirmed that it doesn't really matter who you play out of conference. What matters is winning the conference and getting total wins. The bowl guy said they don't care about OOC opponents, Weaver said, just that a team has the W's and ranking that they can "sell."

Weaver said VT has been talking with "the Penn States of the world, the Illinoises (is there really such a plural??) of the world, the NC States of the world, the Georgia Techs. In the not -too-distant future, we'll have games (against these types)."

A caller suggested that VT's schedule has hurt it in the polls. Bill Roth seemed to disagree and countered that had Syracuse scheduled Arkansas State and the like, rather than Oklahoma and NC State, they would be highly ranked at this point.

Weaver said "many people" don't think Connecticut will emerge as a Big East football program. He said there is a "major league vote" by the Conn. legislature by Dec. 31 to approve a multi-million dollar new stadium, and there appear to be qualms about it.

He said he'd prefer a 9-team conference (he wasn't referencing UConn pro or con as the 9th team) didn't because it would mean 4 home and 4 away conference games each year and some scheduling stability.

With the proposed change to allow a win over 1-AA opponent to count every so often toward bowl eligibility, Weaver said perhaps Tech should rethink playing VMI, Richmond and the like, rather than distant 1-A teams. He said the state teams will bring people to Lane Stadium and he'd prefer to keep the payoff in state and "help our own people."

A caller asked about the Norfolk newspaper story which implied a "pointed discussion" took place a week ago between Weaver-Torgersen-Tranghese. Weaver said he didn't know how the writer would know whether it was pointed or not unless he had wired a microphone under the table!

Weaver went on to say that they did discuss VT as an all-sports participant in BE. There's nothing to say about that yet, according to Weaver, except that the BE is in the midst of a strategic planning process that will come to a head next summer. At that point, one outcome may be that VT is considered for all sports. (Re previous sentence, I THINK this is what he said. I was interrupted at
that point).

Weaver seemed to be as candid as he could be. We will not see VT in the ACC, he said emphatically. That would have happened long ago if it was going to happen. We do not bring anything to the table re television markets that Virginia and Maryland do not already deliver to the ACC.

"It's a game of making the pie bigger or smaller."

Re the SEC, must wait to see about conference realignments.

Weaver said that, based on what he has been able to glean after one month on the job, the BE football schools are all allies of VT and that the original BE basketball schools were just wary about football and its ramifications a few years ago.

A lot of the reservations have gone by the board, Weaver said. "I think there is more unified thinking than ever before."

The KEY focus for Virginia Tech is to continue its momentum, Weaver said. People should not be worried and preoccupied with the conference issue, he said. The key is momentum, Alliance bowls, A-10 championships, doing things with class, having the right people representing Virginia Tech, etc.

"The more broad-based success we have, the better opportunities we will have in a few years."

"I'm confident that good things will happen. Otherwise, another AD will be here four years from now answering the questions."

Weaver said he has not had time yet to delve into facilities issues. The athletic administration will start reviewing facilities plans in January. Most likely the stadium will get priority, then the coliseum (since it just underwent exterior renovations, new roof). He did not elaborate about what he'd like to see happen stadium-wise.

When asked what has impressed him the most so far, Weaver said it is the people associated with Virginia Tech -- in Blacksburg, Roanoke, Bristol, wherever he has gone. People have been "warm and gracious. I enjoy every day on the job."

Turning to the present football season, Weaver talked about the controlling-our-own-destiny-thing.

He noted how he used to work for Joe Paterno, who always preached that good football seams separate themselves from other teams in November. He cited the fact that Frank Beamer has gone 9-0 in most recent November games. Five of the nine opponents were ranked, Bill Roth added.

Weaver said he really hadn't had time to analyze the BE tie-breaker, that VT should just worry about the business of winning its games.

Frank Beamer was on briefly by phone. He was on the road speaking tonight to the Palmetto Touchdown Club in Charleston, S.C., after attending team meetings in Bburg this afternoon.

He said the team played great last week and that young guys came through. He said the Miami game week is "a special week"

Beamer had predicted the Syracuse win over WVU. He said WVU played such a great, emotional game against VT and that it is tough to sustain that.

Beamer said he doesn't want to think about going 3-0. Just wants to think about htis week's game.

The return of Coach Grimes has helped the coaching staff get back "in sync," Beamer said. He credited Coach Stinespring for filling in with the OL and said he knows a lot, but that it left the OL adjusting to him, and then the tight ends adjusting to the fill-in coach for their position.

Beamer said Sorensen handled himself well against UAB. Said they once thought he would make a great free safety. But he's competitive and good for QB situations. Needs to develop his throwing, and Beamer talked about how Druckenmiller needed similar development and got more accurate through his work in the program.

Miami is back, Beamer said, as evidenced by three straight 300-yard rushing games. Clement is a competitor. Wide receivers, tho young, have ability, good OL. He didn't bring up the Canes defense.

Roth noted that Miami is last in the Big East in sacks. Coach Bustle said that's due to the loss of their two DE to the NFL. He said the Canes secondary is as good as in recent years, good linebackers, big tackles, but DE not as athletic as usual.

No contact practice today. They won't practice on Monday the final four weeks or so of the season because coaches like to keep the emphasis now on the Tu-Weds-Thurs practices, fresh legs, etc. Team had meetings today, which Bustle referred to as "a mental day."

Clark will practice some Tuesday in a blue shirt (no contact??). Steuwe "says he's going to play," Bustle said, and is more likely to be available than Harrison. Harrison will try some running on Tuesday.

VT will try to rotate some formations and personnel groups against Miami, and having just one of the receivers back will help, Bustle said.

Bustle talked about Sorensen's maturity since spring practice and how that pushed him into the #2 QB role. "His greatest asset is his mind. That's why he's the number 2 quarterback." Said Sorensen was cool as he could be on the sidelines Saturday, even after some adverse situations had occured. Sorensen made good decisions, ran the no huddle with no delay penalties, etc. Bustle said Sorensen has Druckenmiller's knack for knowing when to pull the ball down and run with it for the first down.

Caller asked about concern that OL's stances are tipping off plays. Bustle brushed it off by saying "you hear that when things don't go well."

Basically, he said, the philosophy in recent years has not changed: 3-point stance means run or play action, "up stance" means throw or draw.

Bustle acknowledged that he'd like to throw more on first down, but that circumstances with the team this year haven't allowed it.

"Everything has been a struggle for a while," he commented in saying that he wishes they could have played and developed more OL.

They talked about being able to work Summers in on defense for nine plays against UAB. Summers at rover and Prioleau at whip.

Caller asked about using Parker as the tailback. Bustle said they won't do that, but they will feature Parker in their one-back set.

Bustle said he received a letter from a fan suggesting that Oxendine be moved to wide receiver. (Everybody's a coach, right?) It sounded on the broadcast like this was met with snickers.

Roth said he talked to team physician today about trainer Eddie Ferrell. Eddie is doing well and they hope to have him back in a few weeks.

Atlantic 10 basketball media day is Thursday. Tech hosts a Polish team for an exhibition basketball game Friday at 7 p.m. The contest will be on the Tech network, starting at 6:30.

Tentative kickoff for UVa game is 5:35 p.m., Weaver said. ESPN will determine the start time 12 days in advance.

Beamer will be inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame at the annual Hall of Fame banquet Friday night. So it's a big weekend. Frank thanked those responsible for nominating him.

Said Beamer: "I think everybody knows what a place in my heart Virginia Tech has."



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