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   Welcome to TSLMail #199 - Friday, October 28, 2005    
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Gunning for Championships
by Chris Coleman,

With the Virginia Tech victory over Boston College on Thursday night, the Hokies have virtually guaranteed that the ACC Championship will be won by Florida State, Miami or VT.

Boston College was the only team with a realistic chance to defeat Florida State in the Atlantic Division. With their loss last night, the Eagles are now one game behind the Seminoles, with FSU possessing the head-to-head victory. Unless Florida State loses two more ACC games (they have Maryland and NC State at home, then Clemson on the road), they are going to the ACC Championship Game on December 3.

The ACC Coastal Division is a two horse race between Miami and Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes have one ACC loss on the season as a result of their loss to Florida State in their first game of the season. If they defeat the Hokies on November 5, both teams will have one ACC loss, with the Hurricanes holding the head-to-head advantage.

If Virginia Tech defeats Miami next weekend, the Hokies will clinch a trip to Jacksonville to take on the winner of the Atlantic Division for the ACC Championship. A win over the ‘Canes would put VT at 6-0 in the conference, and Miami would suffer their second ACC loss. In that scenario, the Hokies could then lose to UVA and UNC and still go to the ACC Championship game because they beat Miami in their head-to-head matchup.

Like Miami, North Carolina also stands at 2-1 in ACC play. However, that is not expected to last. UNC travels to Miami this weekend, and must play at Virginia Tech in the Hokies’ last game of the season.

ACC web site football home page

Tech's National Championship Chances

With the Hokies still trailing Texas and USC in the BCS Standings, let’s take a look at the remaining schedule for the Longhorns and the Trojans. Let’s start with Texas, who is currently ranked first in the BCS.

Texas Longhorns' Remaining Schedule
Date Team (BCS rank*) Record
Oct. 29 at Oklahoma State 3-4
Nov. 5 at Baylor 4-3
Nov. 12 Kansas 3-4
Nov. 25 at Texas A&M 5-2
Dec. 3 Big 12 Championship TBD
* Applicable only if team is ranked in the
BCS top 25.

As you can see, the only realistic possibility for a Texas loss in the regular season comes on November 25 when the Longhorns visit College Station to take on Texas A&M. The Aggies have a good record, but after being blown out by Colorado recently, you wonder if they will be able to hang with Texas. But it is a rivalry game and Texas is going on the road, so you never know what could happen.

Oklahoma State has fallen off the face of the earth since Les Miles left for LSU, going winless in Big 12 play this year. Baylor is much improved and took Oklahoma to double overtime on the road, but they still do not have the talent to run with the Longhorns. There is no way in the world that Kansas will knock off Texas in Austin on Senior Day, so we are looking at November 25 as the only game the ‘Horns might lose.

In the Big 12 Championship Game, the Longhorns will play against either Colorado (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), Missouri (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), or Nebraska (5-2, 2-2 Big 12). The Longhorns have already defeated Colorado 42-17 and Missouri 52-21.

USC has a tougher road to the Rose Bowl than Texas. While they do play four of their last five games at home, they face four teams with winning records. Here is how their schedule sets up:

USC Trojans' Remaining Schedule
Date Team (BCS rank) Record
Oct. 29 Washington State 3-4
Nov. 5 Stanford 4-2
Nov. 12 at California (23) 6-2
Nov. 19 Fresno State 5-1
Dec. 3 UCLA (6) 7-0

The Trojans should easily blow out Washington State on Homecoming Saturday, but they must then face four teams with winning records. Stanford, with former Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris as the head man, has wins against Arizona and Arizona State, but they also lost at home to UC-Davis. When Harris was at Pittsburgh, they always seemed to lose to teams they shouldn’t (USF) and then beat highly ranked teams (VT). Perhaps he can pull off the same feat as head coach of Stanford, but it isn’t likely this year.

USC’s best chance to lose will come in their final three games against Cal, Fresno State and UCLA, all in-state rivals to the Trojans. Fresno State isn’t a BCS Conference team, but they are very good. The Trojans must play them in between two big rivalry games against Cal and UCLA.

The Hokies have only three games remaining.

Virginia Tech's Remaining Schedule
Date Team (BCS rank) Record
Nov. 5 Miami (7) 5-1
Nov. 19 at UVA 4-3
Nov. 26 UNC 3-3
Dec. 3 ACC Championship TBD

That’s not bad, especially Miami, and the Hokies would then likely follow up with FSU in the ACC Championship game. But it still looks as if someone else is going to have to lose if the Hokies want to go to Pasadena.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week
Bond Having Another Terrific Year
October 28, 2005
LaMarcus Bond is showing why he is one of the most coveted athletes out of the state of North Carolina in the 2006 class. The 5-9, 175-pound star has 22 touchdowns in nine games for Hertford County (Ahoskie, N.C.), scoring in five different ways.

Hokies Dominate Boston College, Win 30-10
October 28, 2005
Blacksburg, VA -- Quarterback Marcus Vick carried third-ranked Virginia Tech to a relatively easy 30-10 victory over #14 Boston College Thursday night in Lane Stadium. In a game that many thought Tech would struggle to control the line of scrimmage, the Hokies dominated the Eagles up front on both sides of the ball to move to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the ACC. With the victory, Virginia Tech remains atop the ACC Coastal Division standings.

Commitment Update: Scioto OL Clark Crum
October 27, 2005
6-7, 275-pound offensive tackle prospect Clark Crum is enjoying his senior season, in large part because he has already made his collegiate decision and doesn’t have the pressures of recruiting weighing heavily on his mind. Another reason is that Scioto (Dublin, OH) is 6-3 and has the chance to make the playoffs with a win this week.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
October 27, 2005
A Thursday night game in Blacksburg means a sure win, right? As Lee Corso, in the booth, will surely say, “Not so fast my friend…” Looking at Boston College’s offensive statistics, you have to be impressed with the consistency – an average of 25 first downs a game with a low of 22 (against Brigham Young); at least 133 yards rushing in every game, except against Wake Forest in the rain (84 yards); at least 221 yards passing (against Clemson) in every game. Offensively, Boston College will definitely be the best team that Tech has played thus far.
more Recruiting Report from "Tech Beat With Mike Harris"
October 27, 2005
Chris Horne and Mike Harris cover a variety of recruiting subjects, including recruiting pipelines to Tech -- do they exist? -- a wrapup of the preseason top 30, and comments on Brent Vinson, Brandon Minor, and Jarrell Miller (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.9 MB, 19:32)

Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
October 26, 2005
Boston College ventures into Lane Stadium for a Thursday night contest as the highest ranked opponent (#11 in the ESPN/Coaches poll, #13 in the AP poll, and #14 in the BCS) to face the Hokies so far this year. The last time the Eagles visited Blacksburg, BC walked away with a 34-27 upset victory, so Virginia Tech will have some retribution in mind for this year’s game.

FUMA Star Lists 6
October 26, 2005
According to Fork Union head coach John Shuman, wide receiver dynamo Jacoby Ford narrowed his list of schools last night. Ford, a 5-9, 170-pound prospect with blazing speed, has seen his recruitment take off over the past few months.

Wright Lands New Offer
October 26, 2005
Phoebus (Hampton, VA) star Matt Wright has enjoyed a successful past few weeks. First, he picks up another scholarship offer and then he helped the Phantoms topple Hampton 12-6 in what is one of the best if not the best rivalries in the state of Virginia. Which is the latest school to come in with an offer for the 6-2, 215-pound linebacker prospect?

Thacker to Visit VT
October 26, 2005
Doug “Budd” Thacker, a 6-2 ½, 250-pound defensive lineman/offensive guard out of Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida, will make an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech today and tomorrow. The name may sound familiar to Hokie fans, as Thacker’s father, who is also named Doug, played for Virginia Tech in the 1970s.

Keys to the Game: Boston College
October 26, 2005
Relieved after a tough road victory over an inspired Maryland team, the Hokies return to the friendly confines of Lane Stadium for a Thursday night showdown against the 14th ranked (in the BCS) Boston College Eagles. BC is coming off a bye week and they are hoping the extra preparation time will give them an advantage over the Hokies, who are playing their second consecutive Thursday night game. Both teams are expecting a tough, physical, hard-nosed football game – just like they both like it.

Game Preview: #3 Virginia Tech vs. #14 Boston College
October 25, 2005
With only one victory over a current Top 25 team this season, #3 Virginia Tech will have a chance to change that statistic, as well as gain some valuable points in the BCS, when #14 Boston College comes to town for a Thursday night game on ESPN. Many Tech fans are undoubtedly looking forward to the November 5 matchup with Miami, but don’t forget about BC. This is probably their best team since the Glenn Foley era.

Williams Drawing Heavy Interest at Hargrave
October 25, 2005
Heading into this season, probably the most notable running backs on Hargrave Military Academy’s post-grad squad were Alabama commitment Mike Ford and Maryland commitment Morgan Green. Now, look out for Keiland Williams.

Photo Gallery: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
October 25, 2005
ESPN Thursday night broadcasts make great theatre, and this game was no exception, from the opening fireworks to the wild third quarter that saw the Hokie defense fight off Maryland's efforts to take advantage of three Marcus Vick interceptions. We bring you a photo gallery of a big road win for the Hokies, who went to 7-0 on the season and kept their championship hopes alive.

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/24/05
October 25, 2005
Monday night's Hokie Hotline featured Jim Weaver, Bud Foster, and Frank Beamer. Weaver answered questions abou parking for the Boston College game, as well as the men's basketball team. Foster talked about the outstanding play of the Tech linebackers, and Beamer discussed a Boston College team that he believes is the best team Tech has faced this season.

Virginia Tech-Miami to Kick Off at 7:45
October 24, 2005
All speculation about the game time of the Virginia Tech-Miami game on November 5 was ended Monday afternoon when announced that the game would be televised by ESPN and ESPNHD in a primetime setting at 7:45. If the Hokies defeat Boston College on Thursday night and Miami beats North Carolina Saturday, the VT/Miami game will likely decide the winner of the ACC Coastal Division.
Also: Hokies Still #3 in the BCS; Humes Will Return for Boston College; Men’s Basketball Team Picked Eighth in the ACC; Notes on TSL Site Operation.

Whitmore Favoring Two?
October 24, 2005
For the second straight year, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) head coach Richard Morgan boasts one of the top recruits in the country. And for the second straight year it looks like the decision will come closer to Signing Day, with Virginia Tech being one of the top teams in contention.

Maryland Game Analysis: Mistake-Prone Hokies Pull Away
October 24, 2005
Did you laugh when I said there would come a game where VT wouldn't be at their best, and that game might come against Maryland last Thursday? Did you scoff and puff up your chest and shout, "What's everybody so worried about? Hokies will win by six touchdowns!" on the message board? Did you really think that a college football team, comprised of emotional testosterone-pumped 18 to 23 year olds, could continue to operate with machine-like precision, as the Hokies had done in their first six games?

Hokies Overcome Mistakes, Beat Maryland 28-9
October 21, 2005
College Park, MD -- Virginia Tech kept its undefeated record and national championship hopes alive by defeating the Maryland Terrapins 28-9 in a Thursday night game that was not as close as the score indicated. The Hokies played a sloppy game, turning the ball over four times and committing seven penalties for 71 yards. Despite their play, Tech was able to leave College Park with a relatively easy victory to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in ACC play.

FUMA Report: WR Todd Nolen
October 20, 2005
One of Virginia Tech’s most highly rated recruits in the 2005 class made his decision several days after Signing Day. The recruit was Todd Nolen, a 6-3, 172-pound star wide receiver for Hampton High School (VA). Nolen did not qualify academically and decided to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy’s post-graduate program. We caught up with Fork Union post-grad head coach John Shuman for an update on the 4-star prospect who helped Hampton to the state playoffs last season.

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