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   Welcome to TSLMail #237 - Friday, July 28, 2006    
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ACC Games You Can Go See When Tech's Not Playing

by Will Stewart,

With the advent of the 12-game schedule in 13 weeks, college football teams only get one bye week, instead of the usual two. (Which doesn't make this hardworking site GM happy -- believe me, I needed those two bye weeks! -- but hey, it's not about me, so I won't waste your time.) With all the travel to VT games (eight home games this year) and even some road games (Wake Forest and UNC are close), there isn't much opportunity to go see any other ACC games. Nonetheless, if you're an ACC football addict, this TSLMail is for you.

ACC membership has, of course, brought many changes in the mindset of the typical Hokie fan. One of those subtle, unanticipated changes is that Tech fans in the mid-Atlantic can now easily travel to see conference games that don't involve the Hokies. In the Big East, this wasn't true, because other conference games were played in far away locales such as Piscataway, Syracuse, Boston, and Miami. Morgantown, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia were somewhat close to major Hokie alumni and fan centers, but traveling to other stadiums when Tech wasn't playing was not part of the culture. Who wanted to go see Rutgers and Temple? Not me.

In the ACC, there are many football stadiums that are close to major Tech fan concentrations in Virginia and North Carolina, and arguably Maryland. Large percentages of the Hokie fan base can easily drive to games in Charlottesville, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, Clemson, and even Atlanta.

Which brings to mind the question: If you're a Hokie fan who wants to check out some other ACC action, what are your best, most interesting bets this fall?

Tech plays on every Saturday this fall but three: October 7, 14, and 28. And the Hokies play on two Thursday nights: October 12 and 26. That means that there are three Saturdays and ten Thursdays open for going to see another ACC game. Here are the ones to consider -- we'll even include games played in Boston, Miami, Tallahassee, and College Park, for those of you close to those locations:

ACC Games on Days the Hokies Don't Play
Date Best Bets Other ACC Games
Mon, Sep. 4th -- FSU @ Miami
Thurs., Sep. 14th -- Maryland @ WVU
Thurs., Sep. 21st -- Virginia @ GT
Thurs., Oct. 5th FSU @ NC State --
Sat., Oct. 7th Clemson @ Wake Forest
Virginia @ ECU
Maryland @ GT
UNC @ Miami
Duke @ Alabama
Sat., Oct. 14th Maryland @ Virginia
Wake Forest @ NC State
FSU @ Duke
FIU @ Miami
Thurs., Oct. 19th UNC @ Virginia --
Sat., Oct. 28th NC State @ Virginia
FSU @ Maryland
Miami @ GT
Vanderbilt @ Duke
Buffalo @ BC
Wake Forest @ UNC
Thurs., Nov. 23rd -- BC @ Miami

My logic in separating the games out was this: in "Best Bets" I listed the more interesting games that would be easy for most Tech fans in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and maybe even Maryland to travel to by car. For the most part, the destinations of Tallahassee, Miami, Boston and even College Park were ruled out (the exceptions is FSU @ Maryland on Saturday, October 28th. If you're in NOVA or Maryland, that might be a good one to go see).

Virginia Tech Collapsible Trashcan/CoolerThe "Other ACC Games" column is where I listed games that aren't as interesting, or are harder for most Hokie fans to reach. Figuring Hokie fans don't want to travel to Morgantown on a Thursday night, for example, I listed that in the "Other ACC Games" column. Atlanta on a Thursday is hard for a lot of Tech fans to make, and that's why the Virginia @ GT game wound up in the "Other Games" column (though that's a GREAT game for Atlanta Hokies to go see).

So take a look and see if there's any games on that list you want to check out. I know I do. One game I would really like to see is UNC @ Virginia on Thursday, Oct. 19th. Sadly, that day is my tenth wedding anniversary.

Sadly? Sadly? Did I say that out loud? I meant, "There's no way I would go to a game on my tenth wedding anniversary!"

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

Brooks Commits to the Hokies

July 28, 2006
Jaymes Brooks, a top offensive line recruit who is rated the #11 prospect in the state by, verbally committed to Virginia Tech this afternoon during a press conference at his school. The Denbigh (Newport News, VA) star, who kept Tech's amazing run of commitments going, also had offers from Florida and Tennessee, among others.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Defensive Line
July 28, 2006
One of the great strengths of the 2005 Virginia Tech Hokies was the outstanding play of the defensive line, led by seniors Darryl Tapp and Jonathan Lewis. Tech lost both of those players, as well as Tim Sandidge, to the NFL. There will naturally be some dropoff up front for the Hokies, but how much?

4-Star DB Now Open
July 28, 2006
4-star defensive back prospect Chris Culliver, who boasts scholarship offers from schools including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia Tech, among others, recently de-committed from N.C. State and has opened up his recruitment.

Latif Considering Early Decision
July 27, 2006
6-3, 285-pound Manchester (Midlothian, VA) offensive line prospect Khalil Latif has six schools at the top of his list, Manchester head coach Tom Hall says. And while there is no timetable for a commitment, a decision could come a lot sooner than expected.

Morgan Chooses Hokies!
July 26, 2006
Virginia Techís amazing commitment run in July continued today, when 6-0, 188-pound Varina star Davon Morgan announced his decision to attend Virginia Tech over offers from Michigan and Tennessee. Morgan announced his choice during a 5:00 p.m. press conference in Midlothian (VA).

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Clemson
July 26, 2006
This has the potential to be the best Clemson team in recent memory. They return playmakers at nearly every position on offense and defense, and up front they should be the most physical of all of Tommy Bowden's Clemson teams. But can they avoid the bad loss? It seems like every year, Clemson loses a game to a Duke or a Wake Forest, but then goes on a run at the end of the season that provides great hope for the following season. Will things stay the same this year?

Hokies Add Another Talented Lineman
July 25, 2006
Virginia Tech has added a second talented lineman to the fold today. Earlier, the Hokies landed a commitment from TE/OT Greg Nosal and, just now, TSL has learned that the staff has added a defensive lineman to the mix as well.

Hokies Still on Recruiting Roll
July 25, 2006
Kellam High School (Virginia Beach, VA) star tight end Greg Nosal made his decision today and informed the media at a late afternoon gathering at his high school. Where did the 6-7, 255-pound recruit commit? Virginia Tech. Nosal is the latest in a landslide of July commitments for the Hokie program.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Special Teams
July 25, 2006
As a Tech fan, it's almost embarrassing to hear season after season. Whenever the Hokies play on TV, which is pretty much every week, the television announcers gush over Frank Beamer's special teams, giving BeamerBall glowing praise and saying the Hokies have the best special teams in the country. But do they?

ACC Media Make Their Football Picks
July 25, 2006
The ACC media released their preseason predictions on Monday afternoon, and in no surprise, Florida State and Miami are expected to meet in the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville on December 2. Virginia Tech was picked to finish second in the Coastal Division.
Also: ACC Bowl Announcement Expected Today.

Central Virginia Star to Announce Wednesday
July 24, 2006
Another talented in-state prospect is set to announce his decision this Wednesday. The decision is down to three schools - Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Kellam Star Set to Make Decision
July 24, 2006
Kellam (Virginia Beach, VA) tight end/offensive tackle prospect Greg Nosal will make his verbal commitment tomorrow, head coach Chris DeWitt informed this afternoon. The 6-7, 255-pound prospect is deciding among offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia and Connecticut, among others.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Boston College
July 24, 2006
Ask yourself this: When was the last time Boston College wasn't good? Tom O'Brien has done an excellent job overall, and the Eagles have won at least seven games every year since 1999. They have won eight games or more every year for the past five seasons. They have been to a bowl game every year since 1999, and they have gone 6-1 in those bowls.

TSL Launching Preseason 2006 Football Coverage
July 24, 2006
Beginning later this afternoon, will begin its preseason coverage of the 2006 football season. Football practice begins on August 4, less than two weeks away, and the ACC is in the middle of their preseason media conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The preseason avalanche of coverage has begun.

RB Evans Reflects on Decision
July 24, 2006
Darren Evans almost decided against making the trip to Blacksburg for Virginia Tech senior camp earlier this month. He ultimately decided to make the trip and, as they say, the rest is history. Warren Centralís (Indianapolis, IN) standout running back is now a part of Virginia Techís 2007 recruiting class and is happy about it.

Photo Gallery: Tyrod Taylor's Commitment
July 24, 2006
Tyrod Taylor committed to Virginia Tech Friday night in Hampton -- maybe you heard about this -- and TSL's Chris Coleman was on hand. CC returned with photos of the event, so take a look at the scene in Hampton Friday night.

Top Target Barnes Hoping to Make Visits
July 24, 2006
Richland Northeast (Columbia, S.C.) star WR/S Mark Barnes certainly wants to begin the process of narrowing his list of schools, but making unofficial visits has come to be more difficult than expecteds. Barnes remains hopeful of making at least a few trips before the beginning of his senior season.

Taylor to Lure Other Top Recruits to Blacksburg?
July 21, 2006
Hampton High School quarterback Tyrod Taylor became Virginia Techís 12th verbal commitment on Friday evening when he chose the Hokies over his other finalist, the Florida Gators. Weíve all seen Taylorís name linked to wide receiver prospects Jay Smith, Mark Barnes, and even Arrelious Benn. But what running back is Taylor trying to lure to Blacksburg? Find out inside.

Tyrod Taylor Commits to the Hokies
July 21, 2006
Tyrod Taylor committed to Virginia Tech as expected Friday night in a crowded press conference at Crabber's Restaurant in Hampton. The announcement was carried live on WAVY-TV 10 in Hampton Roads, and the feed was also picked up on WSLS-TV in Roanoke. Taylor was surrounded by family and friends as he made his announcement.
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