News With Commentary by HC Staff

Monday, October 8, 2000
by Will Stewart, HokieCentral.com

Hokies Ranked #2 in Coaches Poll

Following their victory over Temple and Florida State's loss to Miami on Saturday, the Hokies moved up to #2 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, but they are still ranked #3 in the AP Poll, having been jumped by Kansas State.

Nebraska is #1 in both polls, and the #2 slot is basically a dead heat between the Hokies and the K-State Wildcats. In the ESPN/USA Today Poll, Tech has 1370 points to Kansas State's 1358, and in the AP Poll, K-State has Tech outscored 1640 to 1627.

Of course, the rankings that really matter are the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, and those don't come out until Monday, October 23rd. Fortunately, there are people out there that have gotten ahold of the BCS's complicated formula and can replicate the rankings, thus providing an early, unofficial look at the BCS rankings.

One such set of unofficial rankings appears at CollegeBCS.com, and it shows the Hokies squarely in second place in the "BCS" Rankings. At this point in time, not even halfway into the season, that doesn't really count for much, especially when you consider that playtime is over for the Hokies, and the grueling stretch of their schedule begins this Thursday, with a visit from WVU.

From here on out, over the next four games, Tech will play WVU, @ Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and @ Miami. That is the meat (and the balance) of Tech's Big East schedule, and by the time it is over, we'll know whether or not the Hokies are going to win the Big East outright again this year (with a 7-0 Big East record), or if they're going to need some help along the way.

If the Hokies can run the table over the next four games, a BCS bowl will be guaranteed, and the only question will be whether the bowl game will be the national championship game. Make it through November non-conference games against Central Florida and Virginia, and the answer is yes, because if Tech goes undefeated this year, there will likely be no drama as to whether or not the Hokies will finish in the top 2 of the BCS poll.

It's considered taboo by many to discuss going undefeated and playing for the national championship with six games left to go, but the simple fact is, when your team is ranked in the top 3 and two of the other teams in the Top 3 have to play each other later in the year (as Nebraska and Kansas State do), the national championship game is a reasonable goal, and something to start thinking about.

But admittedly, there is much water that must flow under the bridge first. Once upon a time, Hokie fans worried that the Georgia Tech-Akron-ECU stretch in the beginning of the year would quickly put an end to Tech's hopes for going undefeated, but now that October has dawned, the beginning of the season pales in comparison to the slate of four straight tough conference games that the Hokies now face.

Strap yourself in. The next four weeks are going to be intense.


HC Tailgate in Limbo

At this point, there are still no plans for a HokieCentral.com tailgate this year. The tailgate will not be this Thursday, as some of you are thinking. The next (and only) likely candidate for the tailgate is the Pittsburgh game on October 28th. If CBS picks that game up and schedules it for a 3:30 kickoff, then the tailgate is on, and I'll let you know the details later. We won't know about CBS's decision until 12 days before the game (Oct. 16th) at the latest.

If CBS does not pick up the Pitt game, then it will probably get picked up by ESPN2 for a noon or 6 pm start. If it's a 6 pm kickoff, the tailgate is on, but if itís a noon kickoff, then we'll have to let it slide for this season, and just try again next year.

Many of you are thinking that the UVa game is an option as well, but I think that game is too late in the year (November 25th) to risk having it on a day that might turn out to be very cold. Not to mention that many of you will be entertaining UVa friends and family that day, and an HC tailgate is probably less appropriate for that game than any other home game.

So it's Pitt or nothing this year. Sorry, folks -- blame it on the steady diet of noon starts (three so far) and a Thursday night game swallowing up the first four games of the year (as for the GT game, that was my fault -- I didn' t get around to setting it up early enough).

          

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