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   Welcome to TSLMail #266 - Friday, February 16, 2007    
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Commonwealth Challenge Update

by Chris Coleman,

The Commonwealth Challenge, presented by Comcast, is in full swing. Virginia Tech and UVA are battling in all sports now that the Hokies are in the ACC, and the rivalry has never been better. After blowing Virginia Tech out 14.5-7.5 last year, 2006-07 is a bit more interesting.

Heading into last night's women's basketball game, Virginia Tech trailed 5.5-4.5. After having defeated UVA in women's basketball earlier in the season in Charlottesville, the Hokies had a great chance to even the standings by beating them in Blacksburg last night. Unfortunately, they didn't get it done. Tech gave up 60 points in the paint and fell 79-76 in Cassell Coliseum.

Virginia Tech and UVA have competed against each other in 11 different events canvassing nine sports so far this year, and the two schools have played each other to a close battle.

Commonwealth Challenge Standings and Results
Date Sport Result Points Awarded
Sept. 15, 2006 Volleyball VT 3, UVA 0 0.5
Sept. 26, 2006 Volleyball UVA 3, VT 1 0.5
Oct. 12, 2006 Women's Soccer UVA 2, VT 1 1
Oct. 20, 2006 Men's Soccer UVA 3, VT 1 1
Oct. 28, 2006 Men's Cross Country UVA 3rd, VT 6th 1
Oct. 28, 2006 Women's Cross Country UVA 3rd, VT 5th 1
Nov. 25, 2006 Football VT 17, UVA 0 2
Jan. 22, 2007 Women's Basketball VT 60, UVA 58 1
Jan. 28, 2007 Wrestling UVA 25, VT 9 1
Feb. 10, 2007 Men's Basketball VT 84, UVA 57 1
Feb. 15, 2007 Women's Basketball UVA 79, VT 76 1
 Current Overall Score UVA 6.5, VT 4.5

The Hokies find themselves trailing by two points and will likely be trailing by three points after the ACC women's swimming and diving championships are decided tomorrow. A point is awarded to whichever school finishes higher in the conference, and right now UVA is third and the Hokies are fifth. UVA has 198 total points, while the Hokies have 141.

Despite the UVA lead in the Commonwealth Challenge, Virginia Tech is still in a better position than they were last year at this time. After 11 points were awarded last season, the Hokies were trailing 8-3, with two of their three points coming from the football victory. Tech's other point came from a 2-1 win in men's soccer.

This year, Tech has been a little more balanced. The Hokies have defeated UVA in volleyball, football, men's basketball and women's basketball. They'll have a chance to pick up another victory over the Hoos in men's basketball on March 1st.

At this point last year, UVA basically had an insurmountable lead. Although Virginia Tech probably won't come back this year, they definitely have a chance to cut into the margin of UVA's victory.

Based on the results of last year's Commonwealth Challenge, let's take a look at how the remainder of this year could play out.

Projected Commonwealth Challenge Finish
Date Sport Winner Points
Feb. 17 Women's Swimming and Diving UVA 1
Feb. 21 Lacrosse UVA 1
Feb. 24 Men's Swimming and Diving UVA 1
Feb. 24 Indoor Track and Field VT 1
Mar. 1 Men's Basketball UVA 1
Mar. 15 Women's Tennis UVA 1
Mar. 28 Men's Tennis UVA 1
Mar. 30-Apr. 1 Baseball UVA 1
Apr. 7-Apr. 8 Softball VT 1
Apr. 21 Outdoor Track and Field VT 1
Apr. 22 Golf VT 1
Projected Totals UVA 13.5, VT 8.5

For the indoor track and field event on Feb. 24, the men's and women's competitions are split up, with the winners earning 0.5 points for their school. The same thing happens in the outdoor track competition in the spring. Last year, Virginia Tech's men's and women's teams beat UVA in the indoor and outdoor portions, earning a full point for each event.

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If things go exactly as they did last year in all of those sports from here on out, UVA will win 13.5 to 8.5. The Hokies will have inched one point closer since last year, the first year of the competition.

Virginia Tech isn't going to beat UVA in an overall sports competition overnight. UVA has the advantage of over 50 years of membership in the ACC, with strong revenue sharing and all-sports emphasis, while the Hokies have spent time in four different conferences since the 1994-95 academic year. Tech needs to continue to recruit better and chip away at that lead, in hopes of one day knocking the Hoos off in all sports. 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

Reamon Jr. Working Towards Offers

February 16, 2007
Gloucester head coach Tommy Reamon has sent his share of talented quarterbacks on to the next level. Talents such as the Vick brothers and Aaron Brooks spring to mind. Now, he is hoping to send his son, Tommy Reamon Jr., on to the next level as well. The younger Reamon, the starting quarterback each of the past two seasons for Gloucester, is working hard towards attaining that accomplishment.

Countdown to Signing Day: Class of 2008 Preview
February 15, 2007
Virginia Tech signed a top rated 2007 class last Wednesday, but, in recruiting, there is hardly time to celebrate. Instead, the Tech staff moves on fully to the rising class of 2008, one in which the staff had a head start thanks to the success of 2007. Let's preview what areas the staff may target the heaviest and what the landscape looks like for the Hokies in 2008.

Around the ACC: February 15th, 2007
February 15, 2007
Two big road wins in the last two days threw the top of the ACC into a dead heat. Virginia Tech's win at the Dean Dome and Duke's victory at Boston College leave the top four teams in the ACC in a virtual lock, with BC holding down first place by virtue of a half-game lead in the win column. This Saturday's big game sees ESPN's College Gameday paying a visit to BC for a matchup between the Eagles and the UNC Tar Heels. Four days later, on Wednesday night, there are five league games, headlined by Boston College traveling to VT. Yes, it's going to be an interesting week in the ACC.

A Look at ACC Recruiting Rankings
February 15, 2007
Virginia Tech recently signed a quality recruiting class that will add a number of talented players to an already impressive roster. The Hokies had some major needs, and for the most part, met them. With four new coaches on the recruiting trail, Tech didn't miss a beat. In fact, they signed their most complete offensive class in years. Here's a look at how the Hokies compare to the rest of the ACC.

VT Offers One of Five Talented Highland Springs Juniors
February 14, 2007
Head coach Scott Burton calls his 2008 class one of the "deepest" classes he has had at Highland Springs High School. Coach Burton boasts as many as five potential Division 1A prospects, including WR Harry Lee Daniel, DL Antoine Hopkins, QB Matthew Hurdle, WR/ATH Deon Miller and TE Rod Wheeler.

Resilient Hokies Pull Off Amazing Win
February 14, 2007
This column isn't going to be very long. I've been writing about Hokie sports for almost eleven years, so I recognize moments when no one, not even the most gifted scribe, can do a game justice. Just remember that on February 13, 2007, Virginia Tech basketball went down to Chapel Hill and knocked off North Carolina at home. Every time I think this team has topped itself, they do it again.

Hokies Win Overtime Thriller in the Dean Dome
February 14, 2007
Exactly one month following their upset of then-#1 UNC in Blacksburg, the Hokies did it again. This time they beat the #4 Tar Heels in the Dean Dome 81-80 in an overtime thriller. Virginia Tech is the first team since the 1995-96 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to win in Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Dean Dome in the same season. They are 3-0 against Duke and UNC this season. The victory takes their overall record to 18-7, and their ACC mark stands at 8-3. UNC drops to 22-4 and 8-3.

New Coaches Perform Well in '07 Class
February 13, 2007
Coaching turnover following the 2005/2006 season did not equate to trouble on the recruiting trail for the Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia Tech's four new coaches - Torrian Gray, Curt Newsome, Mike O'Cain and Kevin Sherman - tallied 10 of the 25 recruits who either enrolled last month or signed last Wednesday. And they helped build a class that is rated #15 in the country by and #24 in the country by

Basketball Game Preview: #25 Virginia Tech at #4 North Carolina
February 13, 2007
Virginia Tech will sail into uncharted waters tonight when they play in North Carolina's Dean Dome for the first time in school history. The #25 Hokies, 15-point underdogs, will try to do the unthinkable -- defeat #4 UNC for the second time this season. That's a tall task, and to do it Tech will have to do the exact same thing they did back on January 13th -- shoot well and take care of the basketball.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/12/07
February 13, 2007
Last night's Hokie Hotline was the Recruiting Wrapup show for 2007. VT recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh was the show's only guest, and he shared information with the audience about Tyrod Taylor, what recruits will be playing where, the overall balance of the class, and why some players went elsewhere (both last year and this year).

Inside the Numbers: The 2007 Recruiting Class
February 12, 2007
A collection of facts and stats about the 2007 football recruiting class, crunching everything from heights, to weights, to stars, to states of origin and to recruiting coaches. Check this data out, as we look at the class from almost every angle imaginable.

Checking in with '08 recruit Shamarr Bowden
February 12, 2007
6-3, 175-pound junior guard Shamarr Bowden, a verbal commitment for Seth Greenberg's 2008 recruiting class, earned all-metro 4A conference honors at Grimsley High School in the 2005/2006 season. That season, he averaged 19.7 points per game while shooting 37-percent from 3-point range. Bowden is playing this year at The Miller School in Albemarle, Virginia, and seems to be having similar success.

Hokies Hit Their Groove Against Suddenly-Vulnerable Hoos
February 10, 2007
For such a long time, Virginia could do no wrong, winning seven ACC games in a row and moving from the bottom quarter of the ACC standings all the way up to first place. But on Saturday in Cassell Coliseum, the Hoos ran into a buzz saw and got smoked by a Hokie team that came to play. If you had told me before the game that (a) Coleman Collins and Zabian Dowdell would score 11 total points; (b) Virginia Tech would win by 27; or (c) both of the above, I never would have picked (c). But it was that kind of day.

Hokie Hoopsters Drill UVA 84-57
February 10, 2007
In a game that many believed could go either way, Virginia Tech jumped out to a big lead and never let up, drilling in-state rival UVA 84-57 in Blacksburg on Saturday. The Hokies snapped a two game losing streak and moved to 17-7 overall, with a 7-3 mark in ACC play. UVA drops to 16-7 overall and 8-3 in conference play.

Psychoanalyzing These Hot and Cold Hokies
February 9, 2007
Some teams in sports are self-starters; they are always ready to play. Magic’s Lakers, Larry’s Celtics, and Michael’s Bulls all come to mind. When you did beat them, which was rare, you beat them knowing full well you had just taken their best shot.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Virginia
February 9, 2007
Virginia Tech has had a week off to brood over their recent losses to NC State and Boston College. This Saturday they'll return home to face their rivals from Charlottesville in the most important game of the Virginia-Virginia Tech basketball series in recent memory. Coming off two losses, and with a road trip to Chapel Hill coming up, this game is as close to a "must-win" game that you'll see in early February.

Q&A: ACC Sports Journal Editor Dave Glenn
February 9, 2007
Dave Glenn, Editor of the ACC Area Sports Journal, discusses the 2007 football recruiting classes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Glenn gives his rankings and discusses the headliners of each program, the surprises and disappointments and more in what seems to be a good but not great recruiting year for the ACC.
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