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   Welcome to TSLMail #154 - Friday, December 10, 2004    
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   Tech Sports News

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What the ACC Might Look Like Without VT and Miami
by Will Stewart,

When I was a kid, one of my favorite comic books was a series by Marvel Comics called "What If?" Each issue they would ask a different question, like "What if Spider-man joined the Fantastic Four?" or "What if the world knew Daredevil was blind?" and then write a "giant-sized" comic based on that premise.

So I got to thinking, "What if Miami and VT weren't in the ACC football conference this year?" What would the standings look like?

First, let's take a look at this year's standings -- I'll forgive you if you get lost and stare at the Hokies in first place for a while. (Take all the time you need.)

2004 ACC Standings
School ACC Overall Bowl Game
Virginia Tech 7-1 10-2 Sugar Bowl
Florida State 6-2 8-3 Gator Bowl
Miami 5-3 8-3 Peach Bowl
Virginia 5-3 8-3 MPC Computers Bowl
North Carolina 5-3 6-5 Continental Tire Bowl
Georgia Tech 4-4 6-5 Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson 4-4 6-5 --
Maryland 3-5 5-6 --
NC State 3-5 5-6 --
Wake Forest 1-7 4-7 --
Duke 1-7 2-9 --

Now, what if the Hokies and Canes weren't in the ACC? What would the standings look like?

If you take Miami and VT out of the mix and look at the ACC as a 9-team conference by subtracting out games involving those two teams, you don't wind up with a full conference schedule or regular-season schedule for anyone in the league. So you have to project the outcomes of games unplayed, always a risky proposition.

Still, it's an interesting exercise, and if you do it, what you're probably really doing is looking at what the conference standings may have been late in the season, with 1 or 2 games left to go for everyone in the conference. Then you fill in the blanks.

2004 ACC Standings
(Without Miami and VT)
School ACC Overall Didn't Play

Projection *

FSU 6-1 8-2 GT 7-1 (9-2), BCS Bowl
Virginia 5-1 8-1 Wake, NCSU 7-1 (10-1), Gator Bowl
UNC 4-2 5-4 Clemson, MD 6-2 (7-4), Peach Bowl
GT 4-2 6-3 FSU, Wake 5-3 (7-4), Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson 3-4 5-5 UNC 4-4 (5-6)
Maryland 3-4 5-5 UNC 3-5 (5-6)
NC State 2-4 4-5 UVa, Duke 3-5 (5-6)
Wake 1-5 4-5 UVa, GT 1-7 (4-7)
Duke 1-6 2-8 NCSU 1-7 (2-9)
* Projections:
FSU beats GT
UVa beats Wake, NCSU
UNC beats Clemson, MD
GT beats Wake
NCSU beats Duke

If the projections shown in the table panned out as written -- UNC beating Clemson and GT beating Wake are the shakiest, in my opinion -- then the ACC would only have four teams qualifying for six bowls, leaving the Continental Tire and MPC Computer Bowls with no ACC team.

Figuring out who among FSU and UVa would go to the BCS bowl is also iffy, because UVa might actually win the ACC's bid to a BCS bowl, despite losing to FSU. The ACC's two-team tiebreaker essentially says that if Team A (FSU) beats Team B (UVa), then FSU gets the BCS bid, unless UVa's BCS ranking is five places higher than FSU's. There are other provisions, as you can see here in an excerpt from the ACC's web site for tiebreaking procedures:

Two Way Tie (between Teams A & B)

1. Team A defeats Team B and is ranked higher - Team A earns the BCS bid.

2. Team A defeats Team B and is ranked lower, but in the Top 10 - Team A earns bid (*except if Team B is ranked #1 or #2 in the BCS standings, then Team B earns the BCS bid).

3. Team A defeats Team B and is ranked lower, but is ranked five or fewer positions below Team B - Team A earns the BCS bid.

4. Team A defeats Team B and is ranked lower, and more than five positions below Team B - Team B earns the BCS bid.

It can make your brain hurt to try to figure out -- given that FSU had beaten UVa -- how the BCS rankings of those two teams would have come out. Virginia would have suffered no other losses, but FSU was beaten by Florida late in the season, and that may have made the Noles wind up too low in the BCS, and UVa might have gone to the BCS bowl, instead. I like Virginia's odds, because the Cavaliers finished 18th in the BCS this season, just two spots behind #16 FSU. If you subtract out two losses for UVa and one loss for FSU, the Cavaliers might have caught the Seminoles.

Without Miami and VT in the conference, FSU and Virginia were clearly the class of the ACC. FSU stumbled against Maryland, but without Miami and VT, there's no way that UNC, GT, Maryland et al could have challenged FSU and UVa. It would have been a two-horse race. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Tech Talk Tuesday Archive for 12/7/04 (Streaming Audio)
by, 12/9/04, 1:10 pm
Tech Talk Tuesday goes over the Miami game and talks with VT QB coach Kevin Rogers about the development of Bryan Randall.
in TSL Pass

Sugar Sweet
by Jim Alderson, 12/9/04, 11:00 am
2004 ACC Football Champions. Taste it. Balance it on your tongue and savor the delightful flavor. Roll it around and experience the full-bodied essence. Sit back and let the palate enjoy the richness. It tastes pretty good, doesnít it? As sweet as Sugar.
in TSL Pass

Bryan Randall Wins Dudley Award
by Chris James,, 12/9/04, 12:10 am
The honors continued to roll in Wednesday night for Virginia Tech senior quarterback Bryan Randall. Two days after collecting an $18,000 post graduate scholarship and a day after being named 1st Team All-ACC by several sources, Randall was named the Dudley Award winner, which is given annually to the top football player in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
in News and Notes

Red Storm Takes Down Hokies, 75-65
by Stefan Adams,, 12/8/04, 11:45 pm
Queens, New York - The Virginia Tech menís basketball team needed to rebound from a surprising loss against Virginia Military Institute last week. Ironically, rebound is exactly what Tech failed to do against St. Johnís in their 75-65 loss. The Red Storm outrebounded the Hokies 48-31 and created many second chance points for themselves, which proved to be the difference in the game. With the loss, their second straight, Tech drops to 4-2 this season.
in Men's Basketball

Revisiting the Keys: Miami
by Raleigh Hokie, 12/8/04, 11:30 am
Refusing to be intimidated by the Orange Bowl and Hurricane rhetoric, the Hokies went into Miami, tightened their chin straps, and came away as sole champions of the ACC. A national television audience watched as the Hokies dictated play behind a dominating defense and an opportunistic offense. It was classic physical Virginia Tech football, giving the Hokies their seventh win in the last ten games against the Canes. Miami walked off their home field thoroughly confused by what had just happened. Their high powered offense had been shut down and had it not been for turnovers and a blocked punt, they would have been shutout as well. The Canes defense had one of their better games of the season, but two time consuming drives and one very big play were enough to get them beat.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/6/04
by Phil Noftsinger, 12/7/04, 10:50 am
Tonightís broadcast was live from Beamerís Restaurant in Christiansburg, VA. The guests included Hokies RB Coach Billy Hite and QB Coach Kevin Rogers. Head Coach Frank Beamer and Athletic Director Jim Weaver were in New York City with Bryan Randall, where he will receive an $18,000 post graduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation. Coach Beamer had a pre-recorded message to send out to the listeners tonight, and Coach Rogers claimed that he has "never in his 31 years of coaching seen a place where there is such a great love affair between the fans and their team and the team and their fans. It really is terrific."
in Hotline Notes

Hokies, Tigers Set for the Sugar Bowl
by Chris James,, 12/7/04, 12:05 am
After their most satisfying season since 1999, the Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Virginia Tech Hokies will spend their New Yearís in New Orleans and will hook up with the undefeated and 3rd ranked Auburn Tigers on January 3rd. Hokie fans certainly have had their share of experiences in the Big Easy, as this will be Techís third trip there since 1995.
in News and Notes

Miami Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 12/6/04, 4:20 pm
The wins over WVU, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Virginia were nice, but this win against Miami will be remembered as the signature win of the 2004 season Ė for the regular season, anyway Ė and for good reason. Not only was it a road win over a top 10 team to clinch the conference championship, but it was also a win that embodied the essence of the season: strong defense, opportunistic offense, and clutch play down the stretch. If anything, this win was the strongest example of those three traits, which have combined to send Virginia Tech to its third Sugar Bowl in ten seasons and its fourth major bowl during that same time frame.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Drop Shocker to VMI, 72-68
by Will Stewart,, 12/5/04, 3:00 pm
Lexington, VA -- On a day when their football counterparts won the ACC football championship, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team suffered an embarrassing loss to VMI, falling by 4 to the Keydets on the road. VMI led by one at half time, extended the lead to as many as nine points in the second half, and held on down the stretch for the win.
in Men's Basketball

Virginia Tech 16, Miami 10
Hokie Defense Shuts Down Canes, Locks Up Sugar Bowl Trip

by Will Stewart,, 12/4/04, 6:30 pm
Miami, FL ó Crack open the champagne and grab the beads, the Virginia Tech Hokies are ACC champs and are headed to New Orleans! Eddie Royal took a crossing pattern 39 yards to the house with 11:29 to go for a 16-10 Hokie lead, and the defense made it stand up, batting down three straight Brock Berlin passes in the last minute to seal the win. The victory is VT's eighth in a row and their first in the Orange Bowl since 1998, and with it Virginia Tech wins first place in the ACC and a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
in Football

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