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Hokie Football Second in Big East in 2002 Attendance
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
After winning the average home attendance title in the Big East in 2001, the Hokies fell to second place this past season, behind the Miami Hurricanes. 2002 marked the fourth year in a row that either Miami or Virginia Tech has won the title.
In the last four years (1999-2002), Miami and VT have alternated winning the average attendance title.
When the Hokies won the title in 2001, Miami was all the way back at 4th, with just 47,162 fans per game -- in a year in which they won the national championship. Pitt (48,915) and WVU (48,323) edged out Miami that year.
The recent pattern is for the Canes to win the attendance title in even-numbered years where Florida State plays at Miami, and for the Hokies to win it in the alternating odd-numbered years.
It will be interesting to see if the Hokies, who should again average over 60,000 fans next year, will be able to wrest the title back from Miami in 2003 and hold off possible challenges from Pitt and WVU. The Canes host Florida, ECU, WVU, Temple, Tennessee, Syracuse, and Rutgers. VT hosts UCF, JMU, Texas A&M, UConn, Syracuse, Miami, and Boston College.
The Canes will probably draw no more than 40,000 fans for Temple and Rutgers -- they averaged 35,000 for those two teams in 2001 -- and will probably sell out to the tune of 75,000-80,000 fans for Tennessee and Florida. How well they draw against ECU, WVU, and Syracuse will determine if they can knock the Hokies off in average attendance.
Hey, I figure while the Hokies are shooting for the title on the field, they can shoot for it in the stands, too ...
Calculating the Hokie Women's Chances of Making the Big Dance
The Virginia Tech women's basketball team has taken some hits lately, losing three straight games after building a 17-5 (8-3) record. That puts the women at 17-8 (8-6) overall, which has "NCAA bubble" written all over it.
Will the women make the tourney? A look at last year gives us a clue.
Last year, the Tech women finished horribly. They started out 15-2, then went 3-8 in their last 11 games (including a first-round BE tournament loss). They finished at #35 in the all-important RPI ratings, but because of the poor finish, they did not make the Tournament and had the distinction of being the team with the highest RPI rating to miss out on the NCAA's. They were one of only two teams in the top 44 of the RPI that didn't get to go.
How does this year compare to last year? Here's a quick chart
That chart makes things look good. Tech's finish this year is much stronger, their RPI rating is higher, and they -- to this point -- have no "bad losses" outside the RPI top 100.
The women have two more regular season games, against WVU (RPI 120) and St. John's (RPI 148). The Hokies will take a hit on their strength of schedule, and that alone will drop their rating, win or lose. But if they win both games, they'll be 19-8 (versus 18-10 last year), with a 6-4 finish (versus 3-8 last year) and no losses outside the RPI top 100.
If they then go on to the Big East tournament and win a game, they'll be 20-8, and you can punch their ticket to the NCAA's. If they lose that first-round Big East game, it'll be anyone's guess, because they'll suddenly look a lot like last year's team, from a numbers standpoint.
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