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   Welcome to TSLMail #326- Friday, April 18, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

The ACC's Out-of-Conference Schedule
by Chris Coleman,

There has been some talk recently about the best and the worst schedules throughout college football, so we thought we would add to it. Since we know all of the schedules in the ACC, we'll take a look around the conference and rank the out-of-conference schedules.

There's no standard ranking procedure. I just looked at the schedule and decided if I liked it or not. Here are the rankings, and then the explanations.

Ranking the ACC OOC Schedules
Rank Team







NC State


Georgia Tech


Virginia Tech


Wake Forest


North Carolina






Florida State


Boston College

Boston College plays Kent State in Cleveland, and UCF, Rhode Island and Notre Dame at home. First of all, why would you travel to Cleveland to play Kent State? Is that some sort of made-for-ESPNU game? Secondly, Rhode Island is a really bad 1-AA team. UCF is a big yawner for people in Boston. Notre Dame is a big name, but still, I find this schedule to be quite lame.

Florida State plays Florida as usual, and also hosts Colorado. They play two 1-AA teams in Western Carolina and Chattanooga. I'll give them credit for playing all of them at home. Florida is a big one, but FSU fans are used to playing them.

Duke hosts James Madison to start the year. They also have home games against Northwestern and Navy, and then travel to Vanderbilt. Things could be a lot worse. It's not impossible for them to start 3-0 with three home games. They beat Northwestern on the road last year, and nearly defeated Navy. Don't get me wrong, it's not a very exciting schedule, but it could potentially be good for the Blue Devils.

Maryland gets props for hosting the Cal Bears in College Park. And then they get those props taken away for traveling to Middle Tennessee State. If you are going to play a team like that, at least play them at home and make some money and let your fans see you play. Last year UVA traveled to Middle Tennessee, and this year it's the Terps. What's wrong with people? Maryland also hosts Delaware and Eastern Michigan.

North Carolina will play 1-AA McNeese State at home. They'll then travel to Rutgers, host South Florida, and host Notre Dame. That's not a bad schedule. A cupcake, two teams who went bowling last year, and playing Notre Dame at home is something fresh for their fans. Wouldn't you like to get the Irish in Lane Stadium? Yeah, me too.

Wake Forest's schedule isn't bad at all. They play Baylor on the road, and their other OOC games are at home. Like Duke, they'll host Navy. They'll also get Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in Winston-Salem. I don't care which teams they are...Wake Forest is getting two SEC teams at home in the same year. It can be done. I'd love to play a home-and-home with Ole Miss, that's for sure.

Virginia Tech has a neutral site game with East Carolina in Charlotte to start the season, and then hosts 1-AA Furman. Their other home game will be against Western Kentucky, a recent addition to the 1-A ranks. The Hokies will also travel to Nebraska. This is the second year in a row that Tech fans get a great road trip. The home schedule is a yawner this year, but the road schedule certainly is not.

Georgia Tech does play two 1-AA teams in Jacksonville State and Gardner-Webb. However, they also play two SEC teams in Mississippi State and Georgia. I'm not a fan of playing two 1-AA teams at all (GT probably isn't either, but finding opponents is tough these days). However, if I could play the other two games against SEC opponents, I'd take it.

NC State will get great exposure by starting the college football season at South Carolina on a Thursday night. That's a great regional game. The Wolfpack will also host East Carolina and South Florida, two bowl teams from last year. They'll play their cupcake game against William & Mary.

Gotta give Virginia credit. They are hosting Southern Cal on August 30, the opening weekend of the season. They are traveling to UConn, but remember that the Huskies are in a BCS conference now and they went to a bowl last year. The Hoos also host East Carolina. Their one cupcake is Richmond. Getting one of the top two or three programs at home gives the Hoos a lot of points in my book.

Miami has home games against Charleston Southern and UCF. They travel to Florida and Texas A&M. As a fan, I'd love trips to Gainesville and College Station in the same year, so I'm ranking this schedule highly. However, in reality Miami just needs to win some games, and traveling to face teams like that isn't a way to do it.

So how can playing two 1-AA teams get Clemson at #1 on my list? Because they are playing Alabama in the Georgia Dome in a neutral site game to start the season (just 125 miles from Clemson), and hosting South Carolina to end the season. That's like the Hokies hosting West Virginia in Lane Stadium and playing Tennessee in Charlotte, in the same season. That's awesome for rabid fan bases such as Clemson's and Tech's. 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
2008 Spring Football Game Preview
April 18, 2008
Virginia Tech's spring football game will take place in Lane Stadium on Saturday at 2pm. There will be a lot of new faces on both sides of the ball. To get you ready for the game, we offer you this 2008 spring game primer, including a link to a roster card for both teams.

For Tommy Edwards, Things Come Full Circle
April 17, 2008
The events of April 16th, 2007 touched many people. Lives were changed and altered in a multitude of ways, from the victims to the survivors to the first responders to the university community. For former Virginia Tech running back Tommy Edwards, the aftermath of the tragedy was a call to action, to return to a place he had left years ago, to try to make a difference.

TSL Audio: Chris Coleman, ESPN Radio, 4/16/08
April 17, 2008
After nearly a month off, Chris Coleman and George Hunsicker returned to the air waves yesterday, and they talked football, football, football. Chris and George reviewed the injury situation at VT, talked about some position battles, and previewed Saturday's Spring Game (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.4 MB, 10:08).

Taylor Expected to Play Saturday
April 17, 2008
Recent news reports indicate that Tyrod Taylor's injury is not as bad as originally feared, and he will probably play in the Spring Game. Taylor returned to practice early this week and has been moving well, and the VT coaches are expected to let him see live action in Saturday's 2 p.m. contest.
Also: Tincher Sets ACC Victories Record; TSL Spring Game Tailgate Update

Football or Basketball for Logan Thomas?
April 17, 2008
Brookville (Lynchburg, VA) athlete Logan Thomas still seems a long way from being able to make a college choice, but he has made at least one important decision in his recruiting process. The 6-6, 220-pound junior has decided which sport he wants to play in college.

Spring Football Update: Hokies Ready for Spring Game
April 16, 2008
Virginia Tech has completed another week of spring practice. There are just two practices remaining, including Saturday's spring game. A lot of things have happened since our last update, so let's get right to it.

Virginia Tech Reflecting on April 16th With "A Day of Remembrance"
April 16, 2008
On the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech, the university is honoring those lost with "A Day of Remembrance." TSL commemorates the day with a special black background (type CTRL-Refresh to see it), and a black ribbon graphic on the home page, linking to the web site VT has set up for the day ( Please click the black ribbon graphic on the far right border of TSL's home page to take you to the Day of Remembrance web site, where there are profiles of all 32 victims, as well as a complete schedule of events. (end of story)

Exum Talks Recruiting
April 16, 2008
Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) standout athlete Antone Exum has taken unofficial visits to five of the seven schools that have offered. This week, he plans to add another to that list as he plans to head to Blacksburg to visit Virginia Tech. The 6-0, 210-pound junior should be in Blacksburg either Friday or Saturday.

Butler's Hawatha Bell a Top Target
April 15, 2008
A two-way standout for Butler High School's (Matthews, N.C.) varsity football team, Hawatha Bell's future on the college level lies at the linebacker position. The 6-1, 230-pound Bell possesses excellent athleticism and speed, as he claims to run a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. Division 1A college coaches have noticed, as nine Division 1A programs have offered the talented junior.

Hokies to Host Wisconsin in 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge
April 15, 2008
The matchups for the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge have been set. Virginia Tech will host Wisconsin on Monday, December 1 in the first game of the event. It is the only game of the challenge scheduled for December 1. The rest of the games are on December 2 and December 3.

TSL Spring Tailgate RSVP
April 15, 2008
Please register for the 2008 Spring Game Tailgate, cohosted by TSL and The Colosseum, A Luxury Sports Condominium. Registration doesn't cost anything, doesn't put you on an email list, and doesn't make attendance mandatory. (It just helps us get an idea of how many people are coming!)

Windle Talks Visits, New Offer
April 15, 2008
6-3, 220-pound Charlotte Catholic (Charlotte, N.C.) standout linebacker/tight end Tucker Windle continued his recent run of recruiting success on Sunday, picking up his sixth Division 1A scholarship offer. But first, Windle visited the University of Virginia and had a terrific experience in Charlottesville from Thursday to Sunday morning.

Newsome Considering Decision Date
April 14, 2008
Western Branch (Chesapeake, VA) quarterback Kevin Newsome has received scholarship offers from top Division 1A programs throughout the country. As college coaches jockey for position, the 6-3, 205-pound signal caller has been making unofficial visits and also considering when a college decision could come. Right now, he does have a tentative date in mind.

Injury Bug Bites Tech's Backfield
April 14, 2008
The Virginia Tech football team has suffered several injuries in the last week, all of which have come in the offensive backfield. The top two tailbacks on the depth chart, Kenny Lewis and Jahre Cheeseman, are out for the rest of the spring. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, in a battle with Sean Glennon, may also miss the remainder of the spring.
Also: Weaver and Johnson compete at The Masters, Tincher ties ACC Wins Record.

Scrimmage Report: Defensive Line Steps Up, Dillard Makes Plays
April 12, 2008
Virginia Tech held a full scrimmage in Lane Stadium on Saturday, and as usual, there is good news and bad news coming out of the scrimmage. The offensive backfield suffered another injury, but on the bright side, the starting defensive line looks like they could be coming together.

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