Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Michael Vick Back With Nike

In a rather surprising development, Nike has once again signed an endorsement deal with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. The move comes two years after Nike severed ties with Vick amidst his legal troubles revolving around his bankrolling a dog fighting ring.

Vick has come full circle following his incarceration. After finally setting foot on an NFL field in a regular season game last weekend, Vick now once again has an endorsement deal according to Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents Vick.

Say what you will about my favorite athlete (and undoubtedly one of the dumbest), but Vick is slowly but surely earning back all he lost. On a side note, I expect more from him next weekend than 0-2 passing and one carry for 7 yards.

Just like the old days eh? That's not in the playbook, but it should be.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Week 4 Recap

What a disastrous weekend from a picking perspective. 2-5 last week. Apparently the whole "don't think" strategy didn't work. That puts the season record at 13-15. Truly awful. Granted, Texas Tech lost by a point last week and I reeeeally wanted to pick South Florida over Florida State, but you don't get points for almost.

Iowa over Penn State should have been a given though, that was the most embarrassing pick. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is now 7-2 against Joe Paterno and Penn State is clearly not very good.

Also, how bad did Ole Miss look against South Carolina? Jevan Snead can actually play well though you wouldn't believe it after watching that game. For being the best conference in football, the SEC sure does play some stinkers like this 16-10 war of attrition.

I'll attempt to use my head a little more this week, we'll see how that goes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Where Da Song of The Day At?

On my drive in to work this morning I was reminded of an old YouTube craze called "Leprechaun in Mobile, AL" that is the basis for today's song of the day.

93X (93.7 FM) in Minneapolis is without a doubt my favorite source for music in the Twin Cities. During the morning hours they, like every other radio station, mix in their version of a talk show aptly named the "Half-@ssed Morning Show."

A frequent listener of the show apparently emailed the following video to the guys at the station, who proceeded to devote about 5 minutes of air time debating if the 'leprechaun story' was real or not.

Without a doubt, the million dollar question is whether or not the sketch was drawn by a professional artist or kindergartner using Etch-A-Sketch? You be the judge.

The 93X fellas also shared their awe that people in 2009 would make this a news-worthy story (ironic, I know).

I hate to burst their bubble but I can't believe they had never seen this video before. It was originally posted in 2006 and remains a cult classic to this day.

In the technological landscape we live in, where home videos can become overnight pop culture sensations, it is difficult for stories to carry public interest with such longevity but "da leprechaun" was certainly up to the challenge.

A fan site dedicated to the story illustrates just how much pull "da leprechaun" still has.

Without any further adieu I present to you a rap song dedicated to this truly epic story.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

College Football Quick Picks: Week 4

We need a desperately huge week here to turn things around. I'm thinking too much I fear. My brain's been getting in the way (which has hardly ever been the case). No thinking this time. Shoot straight from the gut.

No. 4 Ole Miss @ South Carolina

USC-east is till trying to find themselves. Archie Manning...err..Jevan Snead will win this one.

Ole Miss Wins

Fresno State @ No. 14 Cincinnati

Fresno has a pretty good club, good enough to push Boise to the brink. Gotta go with the 'Nati at home though.

Cincinnati Wins

No. 6 California @ Oregon

Oregon will wear their rare uniforms featuring just Nike swoosh's on their helmets (kidding) but it won't be enough.

California Wins

No. 15 TCU @ Clemson

Clemson wants to pretend they're a good team at 2-1, but they aren't. TCU goes 2-0 against ACC opponents on the year and moves into a tie for first place in the Coastal Division.

TCU Wins

Iowa @ No. 5 Penn State

Should be close because all teams in the Big Ten are pretty much the same.

Penn State Wins

No. 24 Washington @ Stanford

This one has let down written all over it. Good thing USC taught Washington how to act after a big win.

Washington Wins

Texas Tech @ No. 17 Houston

There will be nearly 1,000 yards of total offense, 80+ points and countless pirate references form Mike Leach. Should be a good watch.

Texas Tech Wins

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Straight Talk From 'Da U'

It's Wednesday which means Miami players have already been running their mouths talking trash for Saturday's huge match up between No. 9 miami and No. 11 Virginia Tech.

"(Beamer ball) don’t mean nothing to me I don’t even know what it is. They are good in special teams, I can say that. If that is what they call Beamer Ball then they are good in special teams, but last year we beat them in special teams and every year we have played them we beat them in special teams, so I guess it is coach Shannon Ball.”

-Randy Phillips, CB, Miami

Ahem. Never mind that the Hokies currently rank 18th in punt returns and 11th in kickoff returns.

True freshman Jayron Hosley currently sits at 7th in the nation in punt returns averaging 21 yards per return with one touchdown. Meanwhile sophomore Dyrell Roberts ranks second nationally in kickoffs averaging 48 yards a touch with one touchdown and a second near miss.

Keep running your mouths Hurricanes and buy into your own hype. That noise you hear is the sound of Miami's collective heads swelling.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Brian vs. Justin - Week 3 CFB Predictions Tracker, Superman Edition

Justin was right: it was a funny week. Although my beloved Irish got the win and further distanced myself from Justin in the W-L column Michael Floyd is likely out for the year with a broken collarbone.

I'm not sure why but someone forgot to tell Mark Dantonio that Floyd was out in the second half. Tate should have been doubled on for the rest of the game with the other half to the Dynamic Duo out, but thankfully that was not the case as Tate caught the game-winning touchdown. He then proceeded to Superman the Michigan State Spartans band. See for yourself:

Not sure how Armando Allen received an excessive celebration penalty last week in Ann Arbor while "shushing" the Wolverine crowd and Tate got away with this one. Perhaps because it was the coolest touchdown celebration in the history of football?

I would have gladly swapped the penalty in favor of this weekend because MSU has a history of late game meltdowns while Michigan does not. Our defense still might have collapsed in both games but maybe we would be 3-0 now instead of 2-1... I degress. C'est la vie.

With the ND victory this week I moved further ahead of Justin in the competition, sitting at 5-1 and a differential of 19 points while my associate is at 4-2 and a differential of 29 points.

There won't be much more movement until the middle of October with potential swing games of ND vs. USC and VT vs. GT.

I'll be surprised if either Justin or myself can keep the point differential below 50 points for the season. So far I am trending to a closer finish to that mark than Justin but we're only three games deep so there will be ample opportunities to climb up and down that ladder.

Week 3 Recap

Ugh. 3-5 was my total for this weekend's games. I told you something didn't feel right. I mean things were screwy all over the place. Notre Dame won but lost their best receiver Michael Floyd for the season. Elsewhere, Virginia Tech had less than 50 yards of total offense in the second half, then managed an 88-yard "drive" to beat Nebraska (Video below...thank you Danny Coale!).

I managed to get fooled into thinking Georgia Tech didn't suck. I love how after Miami thumped a lethargic group of Yellow Jackets, suddenly the "swagger" is back and "the U" jumped 11 spots in the media bowl. Give me a break. The football media has really been getting on my nerves this season, but more on that as the week progresses.

My overall season record now stands at a miserable 11-10. On the bright side, UVA still sucks. Thanks as always coach Groh!

This is really the only part of the Tech game you needed to watch. Absolutely one of the most exciting plays in Lane Stadium history. Here's the link as it will likely cut the video off. Pretty outstanding HD quality.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mediocrity: It Groh's On You

So I had to post this after seeing it just now. This is a great UVA "highlight" video from their opening losses to TCU and William & Mary (Go Tribe!). As my good friend Eric pointed out, after four years at Virginia Tech and this being his first semester at William & Mary Law School, his school has still never lost to UVA in football.

Thanks so much Al Groh. You're the best.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

College Football Quick Picks: Week 3

I've got a strange feeling about this weekend. Things are too quiet. I sense turmoil brewing, probably because No. 19 Nebraska at No. 13 Virginia Tech will only be viewed by about 16% of the country. We aren't getting the weekend's only top 25 match up here in New York, so we had to order ESPN GamePlan. Bastards. Something's afoot though, we'll see if it's reflected in my picks.

No. 14 Georgia Tech @ No. 20 Miami

Georgia Tech ran for a crazy amount of yards on the 'Canes last season, and I don't really see any reason why they can't repeat that. Miami is much improved, but I'm not putting too much stock in their Labor Day win over Florida State, because FSU sucks (more on that later). Look for the option to run wild in Miami, no doubt the least important "home field advantage" in sports. Miami fans are terrible and often fail to show up. I've seen it first hand.

Georgia Tech Wins

East Carolina @ No. 24 North Carolina

I thought UNC would be much improved this season, but after what I saw from them in their 12-10 win over UConn, I'm not sold. I had the Pirates in an upset over WVU which didn't pan out, but I've got a better feeling this time around.

East Carolina Wins

Louisville @ Kentucky

I don't think either of these teams are particularly good despite being 1-0. But of course it's a rivalry game so it should be close and hard-fought. Kentucky shut out a Miami (OH) team that has yet to score on offense this season and Louisville only beat Indiana State by 20 points.

Kentucky Wins

Virginia @ Southern Miss

I feel like this one is kind of cheating, but it's too tempting to pass up and I wanted an excuse to post that video. Virginia is just awful. I'm not just saying this as a Hokie. Watching part of the UVA-TCU debacle showed me that the 'Hoos just don't have much going in their favor. The spread offense appears to be a disaster and the only real question in Charlottesville is does Al Groh get fired now or at the end of the season?

Southern Miss Wins

Arizona @ Iowa

Iowa has had their share of adversity early in the season, losing running backs to injury and nearly losing their opener to FCS opponent Northern Iowa. Ricky Stanzi is a good quarterback though and he gives the Hawkeyes a chance. Arizona has posted some good early season stats and beat a good Central Michigan team in the opener.

Arizona Wins

Florida State @ No. 7 BYU

Florida State couldn't stop Miami if they wanted to on Labor Day, and they struggled to stop Jacksonville State in their last outing. FSU just isn't very good at all and now there are reports trickling out of Tallahassee saying there is unrest among the players, with some negative feelings directed at the coaching staff. The 'Noles are going to get embarrassed in this one, at home no less.

BYU Wins

Navy @ Pittsburgh

It's no secret to frequent readers that I like Navy and their offense. Pitt looked good against Buffalo, but I'm not sure how they'll defend the tricky offense of the Midshipmen.

Navy Wins

Northwestern @ Syracuse

This is it folks. This is the week that Syracuse breaks into the win column. The Orange probably should have won their opener, and didn't fare too badly last week against Penn State in Happy Valley. I think Greg Paulus will have a break out game and 'Cuse will scratch one out against the Wildcats.

Syracuse Wins

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Song Of The Day - Stone Temple Pilots

Today's song of the day is from the Stone Temple Pilots, an often defunct but resurrected band that dates back nearly two decades ago.

"Interstate Love Song" is off of their second album, Purple, and to this day it remains one of their biggest hits. In fact, the song set a then record atop the Billboard Charts in the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks category as it stuck claim to the number one spot for 15 consecutive weeks.

Lead singer Scott Weiland claims the lyrics for the song were written about his troubles with his then girlfriend and heroin. After completion of the album, Weiland checked himself into a detox clinic in the first of several attempts to kick his ugly habit.

Say what you will about rock and roll and drugs but there's no denying the fact that many great musicians depended on the very substance(s) that ruined their lives. Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix come to mind but the list goes on...

While I don't condone his drug use I have nothing but positive things to say about his collegiate football affiliation. Check out part 1 and part 2 of his interview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette from May 2009 as he talks about his affinity for Notre Dame.

Weiland is quite openly a 'huge' ND fan and helped illustrate that fact while tailgating two weekends ago in South Bend. Instead of using his hands to catch a ball he decided he'd give his face a try. The football won.

As for the Stone Temple Pilots, they are reunited once again and back on tour. Rumor has it that they are due out for an album sometime within the next year.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Song Of The Day- Jay-Z

We've been so wrapped up in the college football season that it's been quite some time since we've had a song of the day.

I'm certainly not a rap aficionado by any means, in fact I largely dismiss most of it as childish and immature...or just plain bad. Jay-Z is different though to me. Some of his themes are similar to a lot of other rappers but as he so wisely put it in "99 Problems", "...Rap critics they say, 'he's money, cash, hoes' I'm from the 'hood stupid what type of facts are those?".

There's a maturity in Jay's records now. You can tell he's been through the whole process and has an incredibly unique perspective on how everything works. I guess that's what happens when you go from drug dealer, to rapper, to mogul of a global empire.

Jay-Z's most recent album, The Blueprint 3 is absolutely worth a listen. There are some tracks that don't live up to the meat of the album, but the best stuff is really, really good.

"Run This Town" has one of the catchiest hooks I can think of thanks to Rihanna who has a truly infectious voice (I even consider that "Umbrella" song a guilty pleasure). It's funny because I thought this was a great song the first few listens but I didn't really like the rapper at the end...turns out it's Kanye West.

My favorite track is without a doubt, "Empire State Of Mind" featuring Alicia Keys. The hook is even better than on "Run This Town" (partly because it's actual words not just a melody). Keys has a great voice and it really kicks here. This song also features my favorite line on the album:

"Hail Mary to the city you're a Virgin,
and Jesus can’t save you life starts when the church ends,
came here for school, graduated to the high life,
ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
the city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien

The video I've included is "D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)" which I think we can all agree would be a good thing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Brian vs. Justin - Week 2 CFB Predictions Tracker

Perfection is no longer an option for myself or Justin as the Michigan Wolverines pulled out the surprising upset against Notre Dame. With the ND loss, I moved to a 3-1 season record with a combined point differential of +34 points while Justin has a 2-2 season record with a combined point differential of +25 points.

Next week will add more separation between Justin and I as he has MSU favored to beat the Irish while I have the Irish over the Spartans. There honestly won't be many opportunities for movement the rest of the year as Justin and I have very similar forecasts for each program.

I will do my part next weekend as I will be in South Bend hopefully willing the Irish to a victory and two-game lead over Justin. Time will tell...

Quick Picks Recap: Week 2

One fewer game picked, one less loss. Not a bad week with a 4-2 record. Leave it to Tennessee and West Virginia to screw up a perfect week. With all the craziness going on in college football yesterday, I consider this a highly successful week. There were some real classic games, and just tons of excitement. Reason 1,321 why college football is superior to the NFL in all ways aside from the overall talent pool.

Some late game heroics by USC and Wake Forest helped push my season record to 8-5. We need to get some separation from .500 though in the coming weeks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

College Football Quick Picks: Week 2

After a satisfactory opening weekend, I hope to improve on my winning record. I probably will since two of my picks are "stone-cold locks". The irony of course being that there's no such thing in college football.

Clemson @ No. 15 Georgia Tech

I really don't think Clemson has much of anything to fear this season. Georgia Tech on the other hand is a force to be reckoned with. Jonathan Dwyer is the truth. Granted, I'm not sure they deserve all the hype they've gotten as far as winning the ACC is concerned, but time will tell on that one. With the Hokies losing week 1 the hype machine is only going to rev up more.

Georgia Tech Wins

Stanford @ Wake Forest

Wake lost a tough opener by three to Baylor and Brian and I have both been drinking Jim Harbaugh's special mix of Kool-Aid and think the Cardinal have a chance to be quite good this season. But, Stanford has to travel just a little further than Baylor did to get to Winston-Salem. That and Riley Skinner make the difference.

Wake Forest Wins

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo

This is a tough one. It's by far the big home game of the year for Bulls fans, but Pitt is a game bunch. Buffalo will be without their all-time leading rusher James Starks who is now out for the year after injuring his shoulder. Buffalo needed to run the football to take the pressure of the passing game. Not good.

Pittsburgh Wins

East Carolina @ West Virginia

Both teams struggled in their openers against teams thought to be "lesser" opponents. ECU having a tough time with Appalachian State is much more respectable than Liberty giving WVU trouble at home though. Patrick Pinkney is the difference here to make it two straight wins over West-by-God-Virginia. It may be a long season for the Mountaineers.

East Carolina Wins

UCLA @ Tennessee

I don't know much at all about these two teams. All I know is Lane Kiffin coaches the Vols. While he may be crazy, I think he may just be crazy like a fox. UCLA also had to go across the country while the fire unrest still is very much an issue back home.

Tennessee Wins

No. 3 USC @ No. 8 Ohio State

Ah yes, the big one on the banks of the Olentangy. Sadly, this won't live up to the hype. If there's one thing I know, it's that Big Ten teams A: aren't very good and B: are much much slower than Pac-10 teams. This one might be interesting for a while, but if Navy (a very solid team no doubt) can almost win in "The Horseshoe", I'm pretty certain USC can.

USC Wins

Ok there you go for week 2. Go out there and enjoy yourselves and we'll meet back here for picks next week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Brian vs. Justin - Week 1 CFB Predictions Tracker

Forgive me for not posting this sooner but I actually just spent the past five minutes figuring out how to create, publish, and embed a Google Docs Spreadsheet onto the blog.

At the beginning of each new week I will send out an updated post with this spreadsheet embedded in it.

The spreadsheet houses our pre-season predictions and actual weekly results. If you would like to see more statistics tracked within the spreadsheet itself just leave a comment and I will consider adding more information.

For the tens of you who read the blog you probably already knew I was at the ND vs. Nevada game this past weekend. As a home opener I was very pleased with the performance of the team and can only hope Jimmy Clausen continues his hot streak (more touchdowns than incompletions in his past two games).

Tough loss for the Hokies this past weekend yet I am still optimistic about their prospects of finishing the season strongly. After all, I did predict an opening game loss.

Week 1 Recap - Justin was 1-1 with a total point differential of +1 while I was 2-0 with a total point differential of -7.

If you have trouble or feedback with respect to the ease of use of the spreadsheet below please leave a comment to this post.

College Football Weekend Recap

Well, my picks weren't quite as successful as I might have hoped, but I was almost spot on. My record ended at 4-3 with the losses coming by a combined 19 points (14 by Oklahoma over UGA). Not bad considering I didn't expect Sam Bradford to blow up his throwing shoulder or for Georgia to march down the field for 7 points on their opening drive in Stillwater and then score just a field goal the rest of the game.

Brian is 2-0 and I'm 1-1 in our combined Virginia Tech/Notre Dame season predictions. We both had ND over Nevada (which was a laugher of a game I barely watched) and I had the Hokies over Alabama which turned out to be a great game but of course the Hokies fell short.

In unrelated but awesome news, William & Mary defeated Virginia in Charlottesville 26-14 Saturday. The Cavaliers turned the ball over 7 times while debuting their new spread offense. I almost picked this upset not because I thought it would happen, but because I knew it would be hilarious. Turns out I was only half right.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fire Bryan Stinespring

I admit that this is like beating a very, very dead horse, but in order for the Virginia Tech football program to reach the levels Frank Beamer and the fan base desire Bryan Stinespring must be relieved of his offensive coordinator duties. It was painfully obvious during the Hokies' hard-fought 34-24 loss to No. 5 Alabama Saturday night that Stinespring has made absolutely no progress as a coordinator.

Tech ran the ball effectively but Stinespring only called traditional rushing plays sporadically. The coaching staff raved about true freshman tailback David Wilson before the game, but he only touched the football once on a 3-yard pass reception. Stiney continued to call standard option plays (which failed to work every time) and insisted on calling deep passing plays that failed to materialize.

The Hokies mustered just 155 yards of total offense. Sure they were matched up against a terrific defense, but so were the Crimson Tide and they managed 498 yards.

I'm convinced Stinespring is the worst, most unqualified coordinator in the country and as a result I'm adding a link to another blog called appropriately, Fire Bryan Stinespring.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

College Football Week 1 Quick Picks

If you want to make money gambling on college football, this is perhaps not your top resource. These are literally my quick picks. I'm shooting from the hip and trusting my gut. I'm picking a number of games each week at the last minute that I find to be interesting match ups. Here's the first set. Thank goodness for college football.

No. 16 Oregon @ No. 13 Boise State

Don't adjust you television set for this one. Oregon's awesome/terrible uniform combo's on the blue turf of Boise State are sure to provide retinal damage. This is a tough environment and Oregon has a new coach.

Boise State Wins

Minnesota @ Syracuse

Greg Paulus makes his football debut for the Orange against a very game Minnesota ball club. There is reason to be mildly optimistic for Syracuse this season, but only mildly. They'll win more games than in recent seasons thanks to Mike Krzyzewski.

Minnesota Wins

No. 13 Georgia @ No. 9 Oklahoma State

The Cowboys are the trendy pick to win the Big 12 and make some national championship noise. Meanwhile, no one is talking about Georgia, presumably because they have to replace no.1 NFL draft pick Matthew Stafford. Joe Cox is no slouch though.

Georgia Wins

No. 20 BYU @ No. 3 Oklahoma

The Sooners will be without star tight end Jermaine Gresham who suffered cartilage damage in his knee. BYU and quarterback Max Hall are a tough opener for OU, but the overall talent discrepancy will prove noticeable in this one.

I failed to initially point out that this game is being played in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Oklahoma Wins

Maryland @ No. 12 California

This is a more interesting game than you might think. Cal has everyone talking Heisman for running back Jahvid Best, but Maryland is a tricky opponent. Home field is nice though when it's 3,000 miles away.

California Wins

Then we look at two Labor Day match ups.

I'm taking Florida State over Miami and the 'Nati over Rutgers (That's the Bearcats from Ohio).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An Outsider's Perspective on the 2009 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Team

Head Coach Frank Beamer, along with the rest of Hokie Nation, knows very well that his defense and special teams are the spark of the Virginia Tech's football program. Not since the days of Michael Vick have the Hokies' offensive units struck fear in the eyes of opposing defenders.

To be fair, they have had their share of talented athletes on offense (Eddie Royal, Marcus Vick, Kevin Jones, Josh Morgan, Ernest Wilford and Andre Davis come to mind). In spite of all this talent, though, the Hokies have had a difficult time moving the ball and putting up points over the past several years.

In fact, over the past three years the Hokies have not finished ranked any higher than 99th in Total Offense.

Offensive Coordinator Brian Stinespring has taken a lot of heat from the Hokie faithful but Beamer still stands behind his man, for now.

I think you look at your football team and you do what you need to do to win. I think offensively we've done that. There are kind of some unselfish coaches involved there, too. Sometimes you've got to do what your talent says you can do and play to your strength. I'm pleased that we're one of three teams that's won 10 games each of the last five years. You think about that, and offensively, I think we've gotten behind in a couple of positions, and I think we're really getting caught up now and I feel better about it.

Any optimistic thoughts regarding an offensive uptick were muffled by the loss of RS So. Darren Evans for the season after he tore his ACL two weeks ago in practice.

Evans emerged as a star last year for the Hokies running game, setting numerous freshman rushing records and earning the MVP award for his performance in last year's Orange Bowl.

Without his presence the Hokies are still equipped with a stable of skilled running backs including RS Fr. Ryan Williams (a former Notre Dame recruit), Fr. David Wilson, and RS So. Josh Oglesby. All-world athlete Jr. QB Tyrod Taylor is always a threat, too.

Keeping all of these facts in mind please follow me as I take you through my outlook on how the Hokies will fare in each of their games for the 2009 season.

1. Virginia Tech vs. Alabama @ Atlanta, GA, 8p EST on ABC, September 5

No cupcake opener for the Hokies this year (I actually commend the Hokies for playing strong out-of-conference games unlike other top teams) as they take on Nick Saban's Crimson Tide in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Given the loss of Evans the 'Bama defense will apply pressure early and often on Tyrod Taylor. In order to play competitively one of the youngsters at RB will need to have a breakout performance. That's an unlikely scenario, though. Both teams have solid defense but the Crimson Tide have the more dangerous of the two offenses. The Tide will be breaking in a new quarterback under center this season in Jr. Greg McElroy, but Julio Jones is an absolute stud who can make any QB look good. Jones will have a 2 TD performance to help "Roll Tide" past the Hokies.

Final Score: Alabama 21, Virginia Tech 17

2. Virginia Tech vs. Marshall, 1:30p EST on ESPN360, September 12

An unsettled offense that did not impress in week 1 will take out the disappointment of an opening loss on the Thundering Herd. VT and Marshall have met twice this decade, with the Hokies lighting up the scoreboards for at least 40 points in each matchup. They will light it up again in this one, but fall a few points shy of this decade's benchmark.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 35, Marshall 13

3. Virginia Tech vs. Nebraska, 3:30p EST on ABC, September 19

If not for having home field advantage this would probably be the second hardest game on the schedule for VT. Last season the Hokies emerged victoriously from the matchup against the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, NE by a final score of 35-30. Looking back, it's hard to imagine VT putting up (relatively) so many points in one game.

This year's matchup won't be as high-scoring as last year - at least not for the Cornhuskers. The Hokies let Bo Pelini's Nebraska team back into the game late last year but I don't think lightning will strike twice. The home crowd is enough to push VT over the edge in this one.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 27, Nebraska 20

4. Virginia Tech vs. Miami, time TBA, September 26

After a 41-14 trouncing in 2007 the Hurricanes rebounded with a 16-14 win last season in Miami Gardens, FL. The Hurricanes received a scare last week as their leading rusher the past two seasons and the ACC's 6th leading rusher last year, Graig Cooper, went down on August 17 during practice. Head Coach Randy Shannon said the injury was minor, though, and Cooper will be ready to go for their week 1 clash against the Seminoles.

Not much has changed for either teams since last season, although the Hokies did lose one of their best players to the NFL in Safety Macho Harris. Similar to week three, though, home field advantage will be the game changer in this one.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 20, Miami 17

5. Virginia Tech at Duke, time TBA, October 3

Duke has always played the Hokies with everything they've got in the tank, but that isn't saying much. Unless the entire Hokies team gets wiped out by the swine flu in the week leading up to this bout there's no way the Blue Devils stand a chance. Speaking of swine flu, I hope the Duke players are recovering.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 30, Duke 3

6. Virginia Tech vs. Boston College, time TBA, October 10

Last time the Boston College and Virginia Tech met at Lane Stadium the Eagles pulled off an improbable come from behind victory led by current Atlanta Falcons starter Matt Ryan. Without Ryan at the helm, though, this game should not be too close. BC will be breaking in a brand new starter at quarterback and lost all-world linebacker Mark Herzlich to a bout with cancer (good luck in your recovery, Mark). New head coach Frank Spaziani has been to Lane Stadium before but never as the head haunch-o.

Tyrod Taylor will run and throw all over the Eagles' defense in this one.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 24, Boston College 9

7. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, time TBA, October 17

Paul Johnson is in his second year as head coach of the Yellow Jackets and looks to improve upon their 9-4 finish a year ago, including a 20-17 in Blacksburg. 18 starters are back from that same squad and they appear poised to enact revenge with home crowd support. I've been to Bobby Dodd Stadium before, though, and I must say it was the least bit intimidating. The true question in this game is whether or not the Hokies can slow down the Yellow Jackets' running game. Paul Johnson teams are used to rushing for two bills (a feat they accomplished in last year's bout). Can their combination of almost zero passing game with an electric running game outpace a mediocre Tech passing game with an above average running game? Barely.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 27, Georgia Tech 19

8. Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina, 7:30p EST on ESPN, October 29

No more waiting until November for the first Thursday night game in Blacksburg this year. Coming off of a bye week this has all of the makings for a Hokies letdown. Maybe if Hakeem Nicks was still wearing a Tar Heels uniform or if it weren't a Thursday night game (VT is 14-3 all-time on such games at home) I would pick the "upset" here. Don't get me wrong - UNC has the ability to win this game. But QB T.J. Yates will be throwing to a new core of receivers and has never taken a snap under the lights in Blacksburg,

Final Score: Virginia Tech 28, North Carolina 21

9. Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina, 7:30p EST on ESPN, November 5

Last year I was probably one of the few people outside Greenville, NC who thought the Pirates belonged on the same field as the Hokies. Skip Holtz has been working wonders but wonderboy will meet young nastyman in Tech Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster, whose defensive unit is hungry to show the nation it can do better than the 3 TDs it allowed from the Pirates' offense last year.

Beamer's crew won't look beyond the Pirates as they did this season. Even on special teams the Hokies surrendered a TD. As uncharacteristic as that was history will not repeat itself this year. Taylor will not be as green at the QB position and the entire team is eager to to get their revenge.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 26, East Carolina 15

10. Virginia Tech at Maryland, time TBA, November 14

It's not that the Terrapins won't be competitive this year. Ralph Friedgen's teams have typically played very well at times. But their propensity to play well certain nights and follow up with subpar performances other nights is their achilles heel and defining characteristic of the program. Sure, Maryland will win a few games this year they aren't supposed to but this is not one of those games.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 27, Maryland 16

11. Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina State, time TBA, November 21

Tom O'Brien is in his second year as commander of the Wolfpack. Year 1 got off to an extremely rough start (2-6) before upset wins over Wake Forest and UNC helped propel them into the postseason with a 6-7 final record. Not a bad start for the new guy after the previous two years saw the Wolfpack at home during bowl season.

Without Jr. LB Nate Irving (off-season car accident) will be no small task. What does losing your team's best player mean? A shoe-in loss at the hands (or feet) of a Hokies team that will run circles around State's defense all day.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 35, NC State 17

12. Virginia Tech at Virginia, time TBA, November 28

Wohoo for Wahoos! In the final game of the regular season the Virginia Cavaliers will finally have the opportunity end a 5-year winless draught against the Hokies. In order for the 'Hoos to have a shot in this one they will have to improve upon an offense that finished last year with the following rankings: 115th (out of 119) in scoring, 108th in rushing offense, and 110 in total offense. Head Coach Al Groh brought in new assistant coaches almost across the board and installed the spread offense during spring ball in an effort to right last season's woes. He better hope his players learn and execute quickly because there are fewer seats hotter in college football than his. Hokies pull out a close one in Charlottesville with their eyes set on the ACC Championship Game.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 24, Virginia 20

13. Virginia Tech vs. Florida State, 8pm EST on ESPN, December 5

If anyone but the Florida State Seminoles meets the Hokies in the ACC Championship game it will be because their entire team was arrested (in case you hadn't heard, the 'Noles of old are back).

Seriously though, the Hokies and Seminoles have two of the most difficult schedules in all of college football this year. Making it to the ACC Championship game will be testaments in their own rights for these two programs. However, despite the grueling regular season both schools are primed to earn a BCS bid (given the ACC's automatic berth to the conference champion).

Virginia Tech and Florida State squared off last year in Tallahassee, FL with the 'Noles emerging 30-20 victors. More interesting, though, Bobby Bowden's teams have owned the Hokies in championship games dating back to 1999 when Michael Vick still played for Tech.

History will not repeat itself in this game as long as the Hokies aren't forced to insert their third-string quarterback. Bowden sings Beamer's praises - a possible prelude to his press conference speech for the 2009 ACC Championship game. The Hokies defense will help real in Florida State's quarterback Christian Ponder. At least one special teams TD will be scored by Tech in this game.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 22, Florida State 17

Will the winner of the ACC Championship Game earn a bid to the national championship game? Perhaps. In the case of Tech, they will likely come into this matchup with only one loss from very early in the season. Assuming other teams trip up elsewhere a bid in the national title game is not out of the question. If the Seminoles make it to this game undefeated or with just one loss including a win at the Swamp their national title presence would certainly be justified.

I don't think either of those scenarios are possible but that's why they play the games.

Good luck to VT this season.


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