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   Welcome to TSLMail #235 - Friday, July 14, 2006    
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   Tech Sports News

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Virginia Tech Football's TV History

by Chris Coleman,

In 2005, all 13 Virginia Tech football games were televised, the first time that has happened since 2000 and just the second time in school history. The Hokies have appeared often on the major college football networks since the beginning of the Beamer Bowl Era.

A look at the Virginia Tech Football Television History link on provides an interesting read, and it shows just how far Virginia Tech has come with regards to being on television.

Virginia Tech Football Television Appearances, Number per Year
Season(s) Appearances National Season(s) Appearances National
1950-59 1 0 1996 9 5
1960-69 3 2 1997 7 5
1970-79 2 0 1998 8 6
1980-89 27 3 1999 10 9
1990 2 1 2000 13 7
1991 3 0 2001 11 6
1992 4 0 2002 12 9
1993 6 1 2003 11 8
1994 6 2 2004 11 7
1995 7 2 2005 13 11
Notes: Appearances on WTBS and USA Network in the 1980s were
not classified as national; a 1994 appearance on WTBS was classified
as national.

Virginia Tech played in their first televised game on Oct. 10, 1959. The Hokies hosted Florida State that day, and WSLS broadcast the game, a 7-6 Seminole victory. Tech wasn't on TV again until 1966, when they played FSU again. The game was in Blacksburg again, but this time it was carried by ABC and the Hokies came out on top 23-21.

Tech also made the Liberty Bowl in 1966 and 1968, and both of those games were televised nationally by ABC. However it would be another decade (1978) before Tech would be on TV again, and it would not be until the mid-1990s that they would appear regularly.

Virginia Tech Football
Television Appearances
by Network
Network Appearances
ESPN2 17
ABC 24
CBS 14
Mizlou 2
Creative Sports Network 2
Jefferson Pilot 8
SportsChannel America 2
Big East Network 25
Pirate Network 1
Sunshine Network 2
Syndicated/ERT 5

As you can see, the Hokies have appeared on the ESPN networks more than any other network throughout the history of the program. But that hasn't always been the case. Tech's Independence Bowl loss to Air Force in 1984 was broadcast by the Mizlou Network and ESPN, but the first time ESPN chose Tech for a regular season game did not come until the Virginia game in 1990.

Despite the success of that game (a soldout crowd and a 38-13 victory for Tech), ESPN did not carry the Hokies again until the 1993 Independence Bowl victory over Indiana, and game that would have been carried by ESPN whether or not Tech was involved.

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ESPN picked up the VT-WVU game in 1994 and scheduled it for a Thursday night. The Hokies won big, and ESPN has televised at least one Tech game every year since then. ESPN2 came into the picture in 1996 when they televised two Tech games against East Carolina and West Virginia.

The first time ESPN carried more than one Tech game in a season was 1997. ESPN picked up Tech games against Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia. The Hokies also played Miami on ESPN2 that year. Since then, the Hokies have been a regular on the ESPN networks. They even played their first game on ESPNU this past year against Ohio, a 45-0 victory.

Joining the Big East helped Tech's television marketability greatly. Besides playing in 25 games televised by The Big East Network during their stint in the conference, the Hokies also much more likely to land games on ABC, and later CBS.

Because of the Big East's TV deal with ABC, the Hokies were televised twice on that network in 1994, and two more times in 1995. All four games were regional broadcasts. The 1995 Sugar Bowl was also televised by ABC.

In 1996, the Big East began a new TV deal with CBS. The Hokies played Syracuse and Miami in regional games on CBS that year, while the UVA game was nationally televised. The Orange Bowl against Nebraska was also broadcast nationally by CBS.

Despite the Big East's deal with CBS, the Hokies only got one regional broadcast in 1997, and none in 1998. CBS fulfilled most of their obligations to the Big East by broadcasting games such as Notre Dame vs. Pitt or Syracuse vs. Michigan rather than actual Big East games.

In 1999, Tech played nationally televised games on CBS against West Virginia and Boston College. The Michael Vick effect got them a split national game on CBS in 2000, a regional game against Pitt, and a national game against Miami. After the 2000 season, the Big East moved back to ABC.

ABC immediately made efforts to capitalize on the growing Virginia Tech-Miami rivalry. They scheduled the 2001 and 2002 games to be the last game of the season on national television, expecting both teams to be national title contenders. It didn't quite turn out that way. The 2001 game was a classic that Tech fans will always remember, despite the fact that Miami won 26-24. But the Hokies weren't quite the team people thought they would be for those seasons, and that lessened the intrigue for two straight years.

Four Virginia Tech games in 2006 have already been scheduled for television. The Boston College and Clemson games will both be Thursday night ESPN telecasts. ESPN will also carry the UNC game at noon. The Duke game will be carried by Lincoln Financial Sports/Raycom, which replaces Jefferson Pilot Sports.

Related Link:
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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Tech Senior Camp a Big Success

July 14, 2006
Needless to say, Virginia Tech's football staff must feel pretty happy about how last weekend's senior camp played out. Headlined by Hampton quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the amount of talent in attendance was outstanding. The Virginia Tech coaches have already received verbal commitments from four of these skilled players and are looking for more.

Top OT Nunn Updates Recruitment
July 14, 2006
6-5 ½, 267-pound offensive tackle recruit Kyle Nunn picked up an offer from Virginia Tech last Sunday, just a day after his top performance at Tech's senior camp. The Sumter (S.C.) standout is now up to two official scholarship offers (with N.C. State being the other) and hopes to add more in the coming days.

Battle Excited to be a Hokie
July 13, 2006
It didn't take long for Kwamaine Battle to commit to Virginia Tech. The 6-1, 260-pound defensive line recruit, fresh off a good performance at Tech's senior camp, committed to head coach Frank Beamer before heading home from the event. The Southern Nash (Bailey, N.C.) standout is excited to be a Hokie.

Camp Offer: Sanford DE Miguel Chavis
July 12, 2006
For Miguel Chavis, summer football camps have simply served as another chance for him to play football. “I just love the game of football,” Chavis said. “There is nothing better than playing football.” But it has also been successful, as he recently earned a scholarship from Virginia Tech as a result of his camp performance last weekend. The 6-5, 258-pound Sanford (Fayetteville, N.C.) standout defensive line prospect now has three official scholarship offers, with UNC and Wake Forest being the others.

Alvarez Narrowing List
July 11, 2006
According to Hylton head coach Lou Sorrentino, offensive line prospect Will Alvarez has been in the process of narrowing down his list of schools in recent weeks. Will's latest experience to help with this process was a trip to Virginia Tech last Saturday for its Senior Camp.

The Most Athletic Players: Defense
July 11, 2006
In the second part of our series on the top athletes on Virginia Tech's football team, we'll take a look at the defense. Bud Foster puts together one of the best units in the nation year in and year out, and they are well-known for their ability to get from sideline to sideline. Hokie defenses are fast and athletic.

Jackson Rising in the Ranks
July 11, 2006
Jamar Jackson's spectacular off-season continued this past weekend, when he earned a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech. It was the latest of major D-1A offers for the Varina standout, who enjoyed a very successful May Evaluation period.

NC RB to Announce on Saturday
July 11, 2006
5-11, 205-pound running back/defensive back prospect Josh Oglesby has set a date for a decision. It will be this Saturday, when he announces a commitment to one of three schools – N.C. State, Virginia Tech or Wake Forest. The Garner (N.C.) standout is ready and anxious for the day to arrive.

Tech Offers Varina Duo
July 10, 2006
Virginia Tech offered a pair of Varina Blue Devils after the senior camp on Saturday. This brings the total number of 2007 class Varina kids offered by the Hokies to three, with the three - Jamar Jackson, Davon Morgan and Bud Tribbey – all being recruited to play on the defensive side of the ball.

Coale Lands First Offer
July 10, 2006
6-0, 195-pound Episcopal (VA) standout Danny Coale attended camps at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech in recent weeks and, this past weekend, came away with his first official scholarship offer. Coale, a standout wide receiver, caught 27 passes for 780 yards and 14 touchdowns last season as a junior.

Top PA TE Becomes 7th Commitment
July 10, 2006
Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills, PA) tight end/defensive end Chris Drager was aiming for an August decision. But, after participating in Virginia Tech's camp on Saturday, he decided now was the time for a decision. And, last night, the 6-4, 235-pound standout became the seventh player to commit to the Hokies for the 2007 recruiting class.

Dorman High School Star Verbals to Hokies
July 9, 2006
Andrew Lanier, a 6-5, 235-pound tight end/defensive end standout out of Dorman High School (Roebuck, S.C.), verbally committed to Virginia Tech according to Dorman head coach Dave Gutshall. Lanier is the third player from yesterday's camp to commit to the Hokies.

NC DL Chooses Hokies
July 8, 2006
Kwamaine Battle, a 6-1, 260-pound defensive line prospect out of Southern Nash High School in Bailey, North Carolina, verbally committed to Virginia Tech earlier today according to Souther Nash head coach Brian Foster.

Speedy WR Commits to Tech
July 8, 2006
Virginia Tech has landed one of the fastest players in the state of Virginia. Following today's senior camp, head coach Frank Beamer offered this standout wide receiver and received a verbal commitment a short time later.

The Most Athletic Players: Offense
July 7, 2006
Virginia Tech is one of the nation's most athletic teams. It seems that every season Frank Beamer or one of the other Tech coaches is describing the team as "the fastest we've ever had." The Hokies are loaded with athletes at all positions, some more than others. So who is the most athletic player at each position? Some of the answers may surprise you, especially at the quarterback position.

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