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   Welcome to TSLMail #89 - Friday, July 25, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

Big East Media Predictions
by Will Stewart,

This week, the Big East media picked the Hokies to finish third in the league in 2003. That breaks a string of four straight second-place predictions for Virginia Tech, from 1999-2002.

A couple of years ago, we ran an "Inside the Numbers" article in TSL Pass, which was called TSL Extra at the time, about the accuracy -- or perhaps lack thereof -- of the annual BE media predictions.

At the time, we found that VT was historically the most underrated team by the BE media, by a rather large margin. The media had picked VT to finish, on the average, just over third in the league -- 3.13, to be exact.

The Hokies had finished, on the average, exactly second in the league, meaning that they had been underrated by an average of 1.13 spots. Pitt was the second-most underrated team, by an average of 0.38 spots per year.

The most overrated team? The Miami Hurricanes, who were overrated by an average of 0.63 spots per year. The Canes were overrated primarily because they were picked to finish first almost every year, and they had not lived up to that expectation most years. At the time of the 2001 article, the Canes had been picked first six times, but had only finished that high three times.

BC was also traditionally overrated by 0.63 spots, tying the Canes.

Since that article, two more Big East seasons have come and gone. The Hurricanes, the most overrated team, have been picked first twice and have brought home the trophy twice. VT, the most underrated team, has been picked second twice and has finished third and fourth, so they're not as underrated as they used to be, when you throw the last two years into the calculations.

Here are VT's updated numbers, through 2002, for preseason pick and final finish.

VT: BE Media Picks vs. Final Finish in Standings





































Note: "Preseason" rankings are from Big East media rankings that are taken at Big East Media Day each year. "Finish" rankings are where the Hokies finish in the standings each year.

Tech's average preseason prediction has fallen from 3.13 to 2.90, and their average finish has risen from 2.00 to 2.30, cutting their "underrated" factor from 1.13 to just 0.60.

Coming soon, we'll crunch the numbers for all of the Big East teams and rerun the analysis again in TSL Pass. For a rundown of this year's media predictions, click here.

This Week in Recruiting
by Chris Horne

A few new names have surfaced for the Hokies in the form of Liberty Christian (Lynchburg, VA) defensive tackle prospect Rashad Jennings and Matawan (NJ) defensive tackle Carl Howard. Jennings, who is the younger brother of former VT tight end Bryan Jennings, plays linebacker and tailback for Liberty – impressive considering his 6-2, 265 pound size. He has run a 4.65 forty and has received an offer from Virginia Tech.

Howard, a 6-6, 290 pound DT, is very fast for his size as well. He runs a 4.8 in the 40 yard dash. He has received 12 scholarship offers, including one from Virginia Tech. Check out Howard’s thoughts on ACC expansion and which schools he is thinking about visiting on his TSL Pass update today.

A decision could come shortly on Carl Grimes, the outstanding RB/WR prospect from St. Martin Deporres HS in Detroit, Michigan. I hope to have an update on him over the next few days. He likes Virginia Tech, Michigan State, and Florida State right now, with offers from all.

DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) wide receiver Derrick McPhearson has been offered by Virginia Tech as well. McPhearson, who stars in baseball and football, has a favorite but wants to take official visits before deciding.

Virginia Tech is continuing to make inroads at HD Woodson HS in Washington, DC. The Hokies are close to offering cornerback Theodore Miller, who lists VT as his leader. Miller’s teammate, William Walls, also likes the Hokies a lot and expects an offer soon. Miller and his defensive coordinator, Wayne Johnson, had very complimentary things to say about VT wide receivers coach Tony Ball, who recruits Woodson. HD Woodson produced Hokie signee Roland Minor.

Also be sure to check out articles on Deerfield Beach (FL) quarterback Brent Schaeffer and Robinson (Fairfax, VA) linebacker/defensive end Olu Hall. Schaeffer is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, while Hall will visit Purdue for a summer camp. Hall lists no favorites at this point.

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

VT, the Commissioner's Trophy, and the Directors' Cup
by Kevin Cuddihy, 7/25/03, 10:20 am
With Virginia Tech's entry into the ACC, much has been made of the Hokies' paltry standing in the Directors' Cup (formerly the Sears Cup), especially as it compares to their ACC brethren. As I'm sure many of you have seen written, the Hokies finished 112th in this year's Directors' Cup, while the lowest ACC team, Georgia Tech, was an impressive 52nd.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Picked to Finish Third in Big East
by Will Stewart,, 7/24/03, 12:30 am
At Big East Media Day Wednesday at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, the Big East media picked the Hokies 3rd in the Big East, behind #1 Miami and #2 Pittsburgh.
in News and Notes

Big East Media Day Today
by Will Stewart,, 7/23/03, 12:30 am
Coverage of the 2003 VT football season officially kicks off today, as the Big East media descend upon the Meadowlands in New Jersey for the annual Big East Media Day ... the last one for the Big East as we currently know it.
in News and Notes

Football Economics 101
by Lee Cannon, 7/22/03, 9:50 am
Bill Finley of the New York Times stated the obvious when he wrote in a June 28th article that it was money that drove ACC expansion. Despite the claims of the ACC’s marketing representative, Dean Bonham, that expansion was not driven by economics, Finley observed that it was about "football—and football money."
in Voice of the Fan

Diamonds and RUTs
by Jim Alderson, 7/21/03, 3:30 pm
I don’t imagine the music of Joan Baez is often used as inspiration for a sports column. That was the case, however, as my favorite classic rock station played her ‘Diamonds and Rust’ as I read discussions as to whether the series between Virginia Tech and West Virginia should and would continue.
in TSL Pass

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