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   Welcome to TSLMail #104 - Friday, November 7, 2003    
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In which of Frank Beamer's 16 seasons have the Hokies blocked the most kicks?
by Will Stewart,

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Some Thoughts on VT/Miami

The most amazing statistic from the Virginia Tech-Miami game did not come on the field, but rather, off it. The news came from an odd place, the Louisville Courier-Journal, but in the linked article, the following paragraph is located down near the bottom:

"The importance of Miami and Virginia Tech was illustrated Saturday, [ESPN's senior vice president for programming strategy Len] DeLuca said, when the Hokies' upset of the Hurricanes became the highest-rated football game on ESPN in six years."

Wow. Six years?  Are you kidding me?

That means that the VT/Miami game drew higher ratings than quite a few killer games involving some of the best teams in college football over the last half-dozen years. Six years would involve a lot of Notre Dame games, SEC clashes, Big Ten meetings, FSU games at the Seminoles' late-90's peak, and even Miami games during their recent strong run (that ended last Saturday).

The VT/Miami game ran opposite Arkansas/Kentucky, an SEC thriller that went 57 overtimes on ESPN2. Arkansas and Kentucky aren't the two biggest draws in the SEC, but that doesn't minimize Tech and Miami's accomplishment, because there are plenty of games that aired on ESPN in the last six years that either went unopposed or aired opposite dog games.

I have maintained since late June/early July that the ACC had no idea what they were lucking into when they voted to admit VT into the conference. For the most part, they did it because they thought they had to in order to make expansion happen, but when the dust settles, they'll find that the goods they were forced to buy wound up being the most valuable thing in their cart when they hit the checkout aisle.

The VT/Miami game was classic college football theatre. If you haven't seen it, the opening of the broadcast, which showed the VT students bouncing in the end zone as "Enter Sandman" played, and the VT players slapping the "Reach for Excellence" Hokie stone as they ran out onto the field, was beautifully filmed and sequenced by ESPN, which knows a thing or two about broadcasting college football. It was enough to send chills down the spine of not just Hokie fans, but any college football fan.

Lane Stadium was in an uproar for three and a half hours, and with the Hokies taking second-ranked Miami to the woodshed -- quarterbacked by the media-friendly Marcus Vick through most of the game -- there were many compelling reasons for college football fans to watch.

In the ACC offices in Greensboro, North Carolina, they're doing cartwheels. The league knew they were getting a great matchup in FSU-Miami, and they made a smart move by scheduling it as a night game on Labor Day 2004 and 2005. That'll draw huge ratings, and the loser will have all season to crawl their way back into the upper reaches of the BCS rankings.

Now the ACC has discovered that they have a valuable commodity in VT-Miami, a game that has turned into one of college football's fiercest and nastiest rivalries over the last ten years. The league now has, in FSU-Miami and VT-Miami, rivalries that are more competitive and bitter than any other rivalries in the conference over the years. UNC and UVa don't like each other, but an annual Tarheel-Cavalier matchup in football doesn't boil the blood and stir the passions, and it doesn't draw the national interest, like FSU-Miami and VT-Miami will.

The league will also discover in time that FSU-VT will be a good rivalry, though it will take a little time to develop. At this point, the FSU-VT series is too lopsided (FSU leads the series 20-10-1 and hasn't lost to Tech since 1975) and too infrequently played to be a good rivalry. Not to mention that they're not scheduled to play in 2004 or 2005. But I think that within ten years, the FSU-VT series will develop into a good, TV-attractive matchup, though VT has to start beating FSU, and some bad blood has to develop.

But the ACC has got to be digging the fact that as their negotiations with ABC and ESPN pick up steam, they can play the VT-Miami card and increase the value of their contract.

The obvious point here is Miami-BC or Miami-Syracuse (had the Orangemen gotten an ACC invitation) would not have been nearly as attractive as VT-Miami, proving once again that it's not the size of the market, but the quality of the football and the passion of the fan bases that leads to high ratings and good games.

Already, the ACC is happy with what it has done by inviting VT, and they haven't even seen Hokie fans filling up their stadiums for VT road games yet. In ten years, the ACC will wonder why it ever considered expanding without the Hokies, and what in the world took them so long to invite them in the first place.

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.

Zuttah Hopes to Narrow List Soon
JP Stevens (Edison, NJ) offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah, who has had an outstanding senior season with 50 pancake blocks in seven games, is considering Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Iowa, NC State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers for his five official visits.

Marque Hall Videos
Check out video on one of the Hokies top defensive tackle prospects, Forest Hills HS (Marshville, NC) star Marque Hall. Hall excels on both offense and defense.

Atmosphere Impresses Bowman
Virginia Tech’s fans were most impressive to Hermitage linebacker Andrew Bowman last weekend. Bowman lists UVA, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee as his favorites, with Purdue and UNC behind those programs.

Leo Ferrine Adds Offer
It appears Virginia Tech is no longer actively recruiting the St. Peters Prep (NJ) cornerback.

Royal Knows Four Visits
Westfield WR Eddie Royal was impressed on his unofficial visit to Virginia Tech last weekend. He will make all five official visits, with four already known…TN, VT, Syracuse, and Marshall. TN (12/13/03) and VT (01/23/04) already have dates set.

Weekend Top Performers
A review of Virginia Tech commitments and targets and how they fared last weekend. Commitment Sean Glennon had an outstanding game, as did running back commit George Bell. Bell rushed for 119 yards on just 12 carries in a 37-12 loss to Richmond County. It was Bell’s second game back after missing most of his junior season and eight games of his senior season to a knee injury.

Robinson's Hall Comments On Visit
Olu Hall enjoyed his visit to VT last weekend. He talks about making his official visits to out of state schools, primarily because he has already seen enough of the in-state programs (VA and VT) to have a feel for how he would fit in. Both in-state programs remain in the hunt.

Hicks Sets Two Visits
Kent Hicks has set up official visits to Maryland for December 5th and Tennessee for December 12th. UVA, VT, TN, MD, and BC are "even" right now.

Four Visits Set for DeMatha Star
Wide Receiver Derrick McPhearson knows he will visit Pitt, Maryland, Florida, and Virginia Tech. Miami and Ohio State are vying for the final spot. Expect Derrick to make all five visits and to take some time after those are completed before announcing his choice. There are no favorites right now.

Sintim Takes In Game
Gar-Field defensive end Clint Sintim took in the VT/Miami game as well, He enjoyed his time, however nothing much has changed in regards to favorite schools. UVA, VT, TN, OSU, and MD are his top five.

Trautwein Shuffles Up List
Phil Trautwein visits BC this weekend and will make an official to Tennessee on December 12th. If he takes his final two visits (already been to Michigan State), Virginia Tech and Virginia are in the running.

Four for Council?
Following an impressive unofficial visit to Virginia Tech for the Miami game, West Charlotte (NC) cornerback Rod Council set up an official visit to Virginia Tech for the weekend of November 22nd. ND, UVA, Mich, and VT are his finalists…expect a decision before Christmas.

Fagan Comments on VT Visit
Virginia Tech remains the leader for Fagan following his visit to Blacksburg last Saturday. He has set up an official visit to UConn and may visit Marshall in addition to Virginia Tech.

Flowers Shining at Hargrave
Hargrave’s Brandon Flowers has earned scholarship offers from Virginia Tech and Tennessee. VT is his current leader.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Beerman's Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 11/7/03, 10:15 am
It's a Pitts-travaganza!  In classic bandwagon fashion, the Boyz from Bristol have elected to make scenic downtown Pittsburgh their home away from home for this weekend.  Time to kick the Panther monkey off our backs and roll all the way to ... um ... somewhere in the top-5!
in Voice of the Fan

VT Recruiting War Room #5: Offense
by Chris Horne, 11/6/03, 11:45 pm
Tech added a huge commitment on October 22nd, when Jack Britt HS (Fayetteville, NC) running back George Bell chose the Hokies over NC State and UNC. Running back was a serious need for the Hokies, and with Bell, they have added immediate depth and talent to the running back position. While it appears Virginia Tech will continue to recruit Antwain Carey and Brandon Ore, the addition of Bell is a big sigh of relief with the prospect of Kevin Jones turning pro after this season.
in TSL Pass

Game Preview: #5 Virginia Tech at #21 Pittsburgh
by Jeff Ouellet, 11/6/03, 10:25 am
After what very well may be the biggest win in the Frank Beamer era, a 31-7 pummeling of the previously unbeaten Miami Hurricanes, the fifth ranked 7-1 Virginia Tech Hokies go on the road to face a loaded and dangerous 6-2 Pittsburgh team. The Panthers had very high expectations coming into the season, as the media picked them ahead of VT and some even anointed them the heir to Miami's spot at the top of the Big East.
in Football

2003 Miami Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 11/5/03, 11:00 am
All day long Saturday, people asked me what I thought was going to happen in the game, and all day long, I repeated this refrain: "VT's going to win. I don't know exactly how, but I think VT's going to win this game."
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for November 3, 2003
by Wayne Clevenger, 11/4/03, 11:35 pm
Bill Roth kicked off the broadcast with the following announcements: DeAngelo Hall has been suspended for the first half of the upcoming Pitt game as a result of his 4th quarter altercation in the Miami game. DeAngelo Hall was named the BE defensive player of the week after his strip, fumble recovery and ensuing touchdown against Miami.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Wide Right: Scribbles
by Jeff Cockey, 11/4/03, 12:45 am
I have spent the last few days in Florida visiting family. I picked a hell of a weekend to do so, and thus I want to share my Sunshine State experiences with you in this edition of Wide Right.
in TSL Pass

Small Pleasures: Miami
by Kevin Cuddihy, 11/3/03, 10:10 am
Hello and welcome back to Small Pleasures after a game that was a BIG pleasure to watch, as the Hokies knocked the "top ten" monkey off of their back, and proceeded to kick it, stomp on it, and then spit on its carcass for good measure. Damn, Sunday night after the game as I write this, and I'm STILL fired up!
in Voice of the Fan

ESPN GameDay at Pittsburgh; Hall Out for First Half of Pitt Game
by Will Stewart,, 11/3/03, 12:15 am
The Pittsburgh athletic department announced Sunday that ESPN's GameDay crew of Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit will broadcast their show from Pittsburgh this coming Saturday. In other news, DeAngelo Hall will have to sit out the first half of the game because of his ejection from the Miami game..
in News and Notes

Hokies Flatten #2 Miami, 31-7
by Will Stewart,, 11/2/03, 3:30 am
Blacksburg, VA - Virginia Tech used two defensive touchdowns to toss a huge monkey off their back, destroying second-ranked Miami 31-7 for their first-ever win over a top 5 team. Galvanized by a raucous crowd of 65,115, the Hokies got a second-quarter score from DeAngelo Hall on a 28-yard fumble return and a third-quarter 51-yard interception return from Eric Green to catapult them to the win.
in Football

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