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   Welcome to TSLMail #258 - Friday, December 22, 2006    
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   Tech Sports News

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TSL is proud to have Kroger® as a sponsor. Kroger® has been sponsoring Hokie athletics for years and has become a permanent fixture in VT athletics (whenever someone says, "You know what Coach Beamer says" on the message boards, someone else ALWAYS responds with, "Get your tailgate supplies at Kroger®!")

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Hokies Early RPI in Very Good Shape

by Chris Coleman,

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team was expected to contend for a spot in the NCAA tournament this season, and Seth Greenberg built an out-of-conference schedule that would help bolster his team's RPI in hopes of making the Big Dance. Right now, Tech's RPI is looking strong.

For this week's TSLMail, we used information from It's not an exact replica of the NCAA's RPI formula, but it's close. Right now the Hokies check in at #34 in the RPI, with a strength of schedule (SOS) rank of #19. Let's calculate how Virginia Tech has achieved such a high ranking this early in the season, when in most years the Hokies are hanging just outside the top 100 at this point, give or take a few spots.

When calculating a record for the RPI, it's not about total number of wins and losses. Wins and losses are calculated differently for home games, road games and neutral site games. Home wins count as 0.6 wins, while home losses count as 1.4 losses. Road wins are 1.4 wins, but a loss on the road is just 0.6 losses. A neutral court win is one win, while a loss is one loss. Also note that Tech's victory over West Florida doesn't count, because West Florida is a Division II team, so the 8-3 Hokies are judged on their 7-3 record against Division I competition.

Tech has won five home games this year. Each of those wins counts as 0.6 wins in the eyes of the RPI. That's a total of three wins from Tech home games. The Hokies have two wins on neutral courts, one against Montana and last night's win over Seton Hall. That's two more RPI wins, giving Tech "five" wins.

All three of Virginia Tech's losses have come in neutral site games. The Hokies lost to Western Michigan, Southern Illinois and George Washington on neutral courts, so the Hokies are 5-3 overall in the eyes of the RPI.

Tech's record has come against one of the ACC's tougher schedules thus far.

VT's Opponents
Team Place Result Record RPI
Coppin State Home 94-43 W 2-8 208
Western Michigan Neutral 71-68 L 4-7 102
Montana Neutral 77-56 W 4-6 219
Southern Illinois Neutral 69-64 L 7-2 22
Iowa Home 69-65 W 6-6 146
George Washington Neutral 63-62 L 7-2 87
Old Dominion Home 72-55 W 8-3 61
Appalachian State Home 69-37 W 7-3 16
Wake Forest Home 63-60 W 6-4 82
Seton Hall Neutral 80-61 W 5-2 170

Let's take a look at a few interesting notes from some of the teams that the Hokies have played so far.

  • Western Michigan is 4-7, but it isn't a bad 4-7. They have played the 8th toughest schedule in the country so far. They beat Virginia Tech, #45 San Diego State, and lost to Indiana by just eight on the road.
  • Old Dominion has looked pretty good so far, and that could turn out to be a big win for the Hokies. Their only losses were to Tech, #85 Marist and #6 Clemson. ODU nearly beat the Tigers, losing by just four points. They have also defeated #67 Georgetown on the road, as well as #42 UAB.
  • Appalachian State is #16 in the RPI, and they are currently the highest-rated opponent that the Hokies have played this year. They lost to Wake Forest by 10, and this week they really elevated their play with an 80-69 win over UVA, a 75-64 win over UCF, and an 87-79 overtime win over Vanderbilt to win the San Juan Shootout. Appalachian State has provided more of a boost to Tech's RPI than any other team on the schedule.

Although the Hokies have a good RPI rating nationally, they are still in the bottom half of the ACC. Here is how the ACC stacks up through all of last night's games.

ACC RPI Ratings
Duke 2 2
Clemson 6 94
North Carolina 10 39
Maryland 11 16
Florida State 19 65
Boston College 31 33
Georgia Tech 33 27
Virginia Tech 34 19
Wake Forest 82 84
Virginia 128 140
NC State 148 197
Miami 199 216

The ACC is once again a deep and balanced conference. They currently rank as the top conference in the nation in the RPI. Once conference play starts for the Hokies, their strength of schedule won't be going down any. They'll need every advantage they can get in March. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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

Hokies Crush Seton Hall in Madison Square Garden

December 22, 2006
Virginia Tech looked like the team everyone was expecting in the preseason on Thursday night in an 80-61 rout of Seton Hall in the Aeropostale Classic in Madison Square Garden. The Hokies used a big second half run to turn the game into a blowout and improve their record to 8-3, with a 1-0 mark in ACC play. The Pirates drop to 6-2.

Frank Loria, Jr, on his Father and the Movie "We Are Marshall"
December 21, 2006
Surely most of the "older" Hokies know the story of my father, Frank Loria. He was a two time All American Safety in the 1960's and VT's first consensus All American. He also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All American status. People often tell me they admired my dad not only for how well he played on the football field, but more so for how he carried himself off it. Even though he may have been a BMOC, he certainly did not act like it. I like to think that he represented everything good about college football. Number 10 was special. With the movie "We are Marshall" coming out, I am hoping that "younger" Hokies will learn about Frank Loria and may even want to wear #10 Jerseys someday. That would be a great tribute to a great Hokie.

Is Drager Solid to VT?
December 21, 2006
There has been talk of Chris Drager, the 6-4, 230-pound tight end/defensive end recruit out of Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson City, PA), perhaps setting an official visit to Pitt in the month of January. caught up with Drager, who discussed the latest in his recruitment.

Mosley Weighing Options
December 21, 2006
It has almost been two weeks since Corey Mosley made an official visit to the University of Virginia. The 5-9, 190-pound Henrico (Richmond, VA) standout athlete still has not made a decision between making a commitment to UVa or making a second official visit, which would be to Virginia Tech on the weekend of January 20th. Is he close to do so?

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Seton Hall
December 20, 2006
Virginia Tech travels to New York City to take on the Seton Hall Pirates in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. This is an important game for the Hokies, who are looking to continue their three-game winning streak. If Tech can pull out a victory over the Pirates, it would do a lot for the Hokies' RPI rating, which is a respectable 56.

2008 Class: VT, UVa Offer Goochland's D.J. Coles
December 20, 2006
It didn’t take Virginia and Virginia Tech long to extend written scholarship offers to Goochland (VA) junior talent D.J. Coles. Both programs offered the 6-3, 198-pound running back on September 1st, the first day 1A coaches could offer juniors. Both programs sent multiple coaches to Goochland High this fall.

Salem notes: Okoli's Stock on the Rise
December 20, 2006
Relatively new on Virginia Tech’s offer list is 6-5, 275-pound Salem (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive lineman Chima Okoli. Okoli, a physical specimen who earned first-team all-Beach district and first-team all-Tidewater honors for his senior season performance, has some other options as well.

Virginia Tech Eyeing Connolly
December 19, 2006
Virginia Tech already has one commitment from Cardinal Mooney High School (Sarasota, FL) in linebacker Hunter Ovens. The staff is working on getting another in 6-2, 241-pound defensive end Michael Connolly. Connolly does not yet hold an offer from the Hokies for next year, but he has been offered an opportunity.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/18/06
December 19, 2006
Monday night's show featured head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg (for about 45 minutes), athletic director Jim Weaver (for 15 minutes), and head football coach Frank Beamer.

Bourbonstreet's Bowl Outlook, Part 1
December 19, 2006
Bowl season is upon us! College football's bowl games kick off tonight with the it's-a-mouthful "San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl" between Northern Illinois and TCU. There are seven bowl games between now and Christmas Day, and Bstreet brings us his thoughts on each bowl ... complete with snazzy bowl logos.

Barden Finishes HS Career in Style; Ready for VT
December 19, 2006
Brandon Barden finished his high school career out in outstanding fashion, winning back-to-back Class A state championships. The 6-5, 220-pound Virginia Tech recruit, a passer, runner and receiver for Lincoln County (Lincolnton, GA), is now all set to move on to the next level as he enrolls in Virginia Tech next month.

Ike Whitaker, Three Others Won't Travel to Atlanta
December 18, 2006
According to a press release on, four Virginia Tech football players will miss the Chick-fil-A Bowl with Georgia on December 30. Ike Whitaker, Jahre Cheeseman, Antonio North and Jared Develli will not participate.

Roberts Sets Visit to VT
December 18, 2006
Desmond Roberts was a hot commodity earlier on in the recruiting process, that is until he made a verbal commitment to N.C. State in late August. Roberts is once again a hot commodity, as he has decided to take a closer look at other programs – three others, to be exact – before he signs a letter of intent. He maintains his commitment to N.C. State, but he is certainly open.

Oglesby Will Officially be a Hokie Soon
December 18, 2006
This will be the final week of high school for Josh Oglesby, who plans to be a Virginia Tech student athlete next month. Despite rumors that he may give UNC, his childhood favorite, a closer look, the 5-11, 205-pound Garner (N.C.) running back appears content with his decision and looks forward to being a Hokie.

Hokies Beat Wake 63-60, Pick Up Big ACC Win
December 17, 2006
Virginia Tech overcame a four point halftime deficit to defeat Wake Forest 63-60 on Sunday in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies were sloppy at times, but got better as the game went on to win their ACC opener for the first time in school history. Tech improves to 7-3 overall and now stand 1-0 in ACC play. Wake Forest falls to 5-4 and 0-1 in the ACC.

Varina Duo Heading Out of State
December 15, 2006
Today, during a 1:45 p.m. press conference at Varina High School , Varina (VA) standouts Jamar Jackson and Bud Tribbey announced their college intentions. Virginia Tech was in the final two for both prospects, with Florida State being the other finalist for Jackson and Syracuse being the other finalist for Tribbey. How did the Hokies fare this afternoon?

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest
December 15, 2006
Virginia Tech will attempt to get off to a good start in ACC play when they host Wake Forest Sunday evening in Cassell Coliseum. This will be a critical game for the Hokies, who have not won an ACC opener in their two previous seasons in the conference. It would also be a major confidence boost heading into Thursday's game with Seton Hall in Madison Square Garden.
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