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Tech Games Getting Tougher to Pick
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #403, October 16, 2009
Picking games isn't easy, but we try to do it every week in our game previews, and Phil Martin adds his prediction to the end of his Keys/Matchups articles as well. Obviously it's pretty easy to have a good record picking Virginia Tech games. All you have to do is pick Tech to win, and you'll be right more times than not.
All three of us have been picking games since 2005, and while we're right most of the time, we've certainly missed our fair share. We've combined to miss 39 times since the 2005 season. Here's a quick look at all our misses. (Note that Will Stewart wasn't available to make his picks for either game against BC in 2008, and Phil Martin could not do a Keys/Matchups article for Nebraska in 2008, as well as several other smaller games from 2005-09, because of a lack of game film).
Everything was even in 2005. The Hokies went 11-2, and all three of us picked the Hokies to beat Miami and Florida State, which turned out to be Tech's only losses of the season.
Each of us missed two more games in 2006. Will and I correctly picked Tech's home loss to Georgia Tech early in the season, while Phil Martin had the Hokies winning that game. Later, Will and I picked the Hokies to beat BC and lose to Clemson, and things turned out the exact opposite. Phil pulled back even in the loss column by correctly predicting the Hokies to upset Clemson.
I missed two more games in 2007, picking Tech to beat BC on Thursday night (darn you Matt Ryan, darn you) and Kansas in the Orange Bowl. However, the Hokies dropped both those games. Will and Phil also missed the BC game and the Kansas game. They also both picked Clemson to beat the Hokies, and then will picked FSU to beat Tech as well (he was joking, but it still goes in the record books as a loss for Will).
I was leading Will by two games heading into 2008, and I was also ahead of Phil by one game. Then I missed six of Tech's 14 games that year, while Will missed just four and Phil only three. That season put Phil back in the lead, with Will and I tied.
Phil has extended his lead in 2009. All three of us were incorrect in our pick of Virginia Tech over Alabama, but Phil got the VT-Miami game correct.
If you think that it's gotten harder to pick Tech games over the past couple of years, you're correct. Nine of my 14 losses date back to the final game of the 2007 season against Kansas. Seven of Will's 14 losses date back to the Kansas game, and five of Phil's 11 losses have come since that game.
That's a lot of losses in basically 1.5 seasons of football (1 game in 2007, all of 2008, and half of 2009). I've personally missed nine of Tech's last 21 games, after missing just five times in the previous 29 games! I knew I hadn't been as accurate recently, but I didn't know it was that bad.
Things should be easier in the second half of the season. The Hokies have more talent than everybody they face, so they should win the remainder of their games unless the injury bug creeps up. We'll check back again after the season and compare records.
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