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   Welcome to TSLMail #100 - Friday, October 10, 2003    
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Those Pesky Online Columns
by Will Stewart,

I was reminded Thursday night of Doug Doughty's infamous 1999 Notebook Plus column, in which he wrote on June 18 of that year: "I have heard independently from two semi-reliable sources that Miami will be introduced as a 10th ACC member on July 18."

Doughty's statement was almost a throwaway thought, tacked onto the end of a column that appears exclusively online, and not in the Roanoke Times' mainstream newspaper. But it touched off a firestorm, and though expansion didn't happen that year, it finally did, four years later.

Thursday night, in his online column, VT Insider, Tech beat writer Randy King, while not touching on a subject with the impact of ACC expansion, did hit a sour note on a topic near and dear to VT football fans' hearts: the football schedule.

King wrote:

Although I absolutely can't see it happening, I've heard from two sources close to the situation that Tech is trying to move next year's scheduled Sept. 4 date at LSU to the 2007 season. Such a move not only would lighten the strength-of-schedule load in the Hokies' first season in the ACC, but it would also give them a chance to pick up a much-desired seventh home game for next season.

If the LSU game is moved back who could be a possible replacement that would be willing to come to Blacksburg on such short notice? Better sit down, folks. I'm hearing Division I-AA Western Carolina.

Like I said, don't take that to the bank. Certainly, I wouldn't cancel any travel arrangements that may have already been made. Simply put, I heard it and I had to spill, that's all.

None of the media followed up on the story in Friday's newspapers, but you can fully expect it to be covered in Saturday's preview articles for the Syracuse game ... and covered in the pre-game radio show ... and the post-game radio show ... and Monday night's Hokie Hotline radio show. Meanwhile, the TSL message boards will be discussing it non-stop.

Time will tell if the rumor is true. Weaver said on Monday night's Hokie Hotline show that VT needed 7 home games in 2004 to meet its budget, according to TSL's Hokie Hotline Notes.

I keep going back to a statement made by Weaver in an August Richmond Times-Dispatch story (no longer online), when Auburn backed out of a scheduled 2010/11 home-and-home series with VT. "They canceled on us," Weaver said. "They've been told they have to have seven home games each year."

My first thought was that pretty soon, every BCS school would be working on a seven-home-games-a-year budget and schedule. While revenue is skyrocketing at VT and other BCS schools, so are expenses, and I wondered if the days of six-game home schedules with competitive home-and-home out of conference arrangements were about to go the way of the dodo.

The implications are obvious. VT is about to enter the ACC, with an eight-game conference schedule, four games home, and four games away. If you want to schedule seven home games, then your only option is to schedule home games with no return trips against patsies, 1-AA opponents, and crazy schools like Marshall that will go on the road and play anybody without asking for a home game in return.

I fully expect the BCS schools to head that way sooner, not later. How long, I thought, before VT goes that way?

We should know very soon if there's any truth to the rumor, but VT insiders have ominously said on the TSL message boards that where there's smoke, there's fire.

Related link: Future schedules page.

Vote for Jessica in Athlon's Spirit Contest!

A Hokie cheerleader needs your help in an online poll. Athlon Sports is having an online Sports Sideline Spirit Contest, and it's a simple concept: you vote online for your favorite cheerleader, out of a group of six. VT cheerleader Jessica Clem is involved in the latest round of voting, which is round 2.

As of the time I'm writing this, Jessica trails a Nebraska cheerleader by over 500 votes, 15,361 to 14,826. I don't usually get involved in these silly online polls, but for some reason, the thought of just getting ... out-voted ... annoys me.

So help Jessica out with a vote, Hokie fans! And unlike most online polls, you're not restricted to just one vote -- you can vote every day. So, as the old joke goes, vote early and often!

Click here to vault Jessica into first place!

Miscellaneous Items of Interest

Our friends at the ACC Area Sports Journal continue to do good work. This week, they're offering a Virginia Tech-related article for free, so check out a Bryan Randall feature called Randall's Reversal Total and Complete. They also put up an informative recruiting profile on new VT basketball commitment Marquie Cooke.

Having a problem access TSL's pay message boards? Thanks to a nice little bug introduced in the latest version of IE, many of you are getting a blank screen when trying to access TSL's subscriber message boards. To work around it, first log out, and then log back into the TSL Pass Home page. That should clear it up.

In case you didn't notice, this issue is issue #100 of TSLMail! Issue #1 came out on Friday, September 28, 2001, and featured an interview with recruit Cary Wade, who was on the verge of committing to VT at the time. For a blast from the past, click here to see issue #1.

This Week in Recruiting

by Chris Horne

Here are updates in recruiting from the last week. To access these links, and for updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.

Cooke Commits
The big news of the week is Virginia Tech’s newest basketball commitment – Nansemond River point guard Marquie Cooke. Cooke, who is one of the top point guards in the country, committed to the Hokies during a Wednesday press conference. He is a huge get for Coach Greenberg and company.

Top Target: Emmanuel Dunbar
Virginia Tech has landed an official visit date with Emmanuel Dunbar, DL from Deerfield Beach (FL). Dunbar will visit VT on 01/26/04. He has also scheduled a December 6th visit to Oklahoma and may set up a visit soon to Boston College. Dunbar wants to make all five visits before deciding.

Grant Leads Tough Herndon Defense
6-2 ½, 232 pound inside linebacker Kevin Grant is the heart of the Herndon (VA) defense that has allowed only 10 points per game. Virginia, Wake Forest, Maryland, and NC State are some of the schools that have called since the first of September. He is also interested in hearing from Virginia Tech, who has only sent letters to this point.

Young Hoping for More Attention
Virginia Tech is one of the schools Winslow Township (NJ) defensive lineman Chris Young would like to hear from. The Hokies have not contacted him since the start of September. He has offers from Rutgers, Iowa, Towson, and Hofstra.

Holland Thinking About Visits
Virginia Tech is still the heavy favorite for Northside (Roanoke, VA) defensive end Brandon Holland, who hopes to take official visits to UVA, West Virginia (OV set for December 6th), Clemson, Virginia Tech, and either Maryland or Tennessee.

Steffy Sets VT Visit
Jordan Steffy will take an official visit to Virginia Tech on November 22nd. He will visit Purdue this weekend, Clemson on November 8th, and Maryland on December 5th. Steffy will announce his decision on December 9th during a press conference.

Transfer Working Out for Ferrine
St Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ) cornerback Leo Ferrine claims offers from Virginia, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Penn State, Pitt, and Boston College. He does not claim any favorites to this point, but would like to visit Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame. Virginia Tech has not offered, but Ferrine plans on sending them his senior tape for evaluation.

Jeremy Zuttah Off to Dominating Start
6-4, 285 pound OL Jeremy Zuttah (JP Stevens HS in NJ) is still considering Virginia Tech for an official visit. Zuttah has been playing well this year, wracking up 36 pancake blocks in just four games.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Beerman's Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 10/9/03, 11:20 pm
This Week: The Cuse.  Simply an overload of Orange.  I'd say we should roll them but recent history suggests otherwise.  Nonetheless, this could be a HUGE weekend in college football.  If things break right we could be some VERY happy Hokies on Monday morning.  So rest your voices kiddies, this one counts double.
in Voice of the Fan

Game Preview: #4 Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse
by Jeff Ouellet, 10/9/03, 2:50 pm
In 2002, four teams, all conference rivals, defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies, frustrating hopes for a truly memorable season. This season, after playing five teams that simply didn’t have the talent to compete, the 5-0 and fourth-ranked Hokies embark upon a crucial four game stretch where they play each of the teams that bested them last year. The cupcake portion of VT’s schedule ends this Saturday.
in Football

2003 Rutgers Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 10/8/03, 2:50 pm
Nothing fancy or unfamiliar about this one. The Hokies love a road trip to Rutgers, and they did what they have done up there since 1995: whip the Knights like a high school team. This game followed the pattern established in 1999 and continued in 2001 at Rutgers Stadium. Behind dominating play from the Tech QB, the Hokies shot out to an early lead against a bumbling Rutgers team, then brought it home.
in TSL Pass

Hammer Time
by Jim Alderson, 10/8/03, 12:10 pm
The New Jersey radio guy nailed it. I was attempting to put the entire state of New Jersey into my rear view mirror and get out of that place and end what was one of the more miserable Virginia Tech football trips in my history or anybody else’s. I had grown weary of listening to the constant coughs, sniffles and general moans of discomfort from my companions, due to a bronchitis that short-circuited the trip and has left me with the unwanted souvenir of a hacking cough that I cannot seem to shake.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for October 6, 2003
by Wayne Clevenger, 10/7/03, 11:55 pm
Bill Roth opened the show as usual by making several announcements. After his great performance against Rutgers Saturday, Bryan Randall was voted the Big East Offensive Player of the Week. After beating Rutgers 48-22, VT remained ranked 4th in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Wide Right: Second String Commentators
by Jeff Cockey, 10/6/03, 11:30 pm
It is well known, at least to me, that most commentators are essentially worthless when it comes to actual football commentary, but if we’re talking about what Bill Simmons likes to call "unintentional comedy," then they’re the cock-of-the-walk, baby.
in TSL Pass

Small Pleasures: Rutgers
by Kevin Cuddihy, 10/6/03, 9:40 am
Welcome back to this week's Small Pleasures for this past Saturday's game against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University. If you're just joining us, Small Pleasures aims to look past the big plays in each Hokie game and celebrate the smaller plays, the minor things that contribute to victory. Lots of stuff to cover so let's get right to it.
in Voice of the Fan

Hokies Slap Rutgers Silly One Last Time, 48-22
by Will Stewart,, 10/4/03, 5:15 pm
Piscataway, NJ - The Hokies got 250 yards passing and four touchdowns from Bryan Randall, cruising to a 48-22 win over Rutgers in their last meeting in Big East play. It is Virginia Tech's eleventh straight victory over the Scarlet Knights.
in Football

Big East Farewell Tour, Part 1 of 7: Rutgers
by VTHokieTom, 10/3/03, 9:20 pm
Rutgers University, home of one of the worst Tech nightmares in the history of Tech football. October 31, 1992: Hokies leading 42-21 at one point, and holding a 5 point lead with under a minute to go and Rutgers 70-80 yards away from the win. Two long passes later, Rutgers wins 50-49.
in Voice of the Fan

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