Hokie Tracks Played Super Smash Bros. Melee over their Summers

Mike Goforth updated BeamerBall.com on injuries. ACL Bros Michael Via, Tony Gregory and Antoine Hopkins are fully cleared for participation. That's fantastic news. D.J. Coles (PCL) is "coming along slowly", but he started jogging and Goforth said, "I have my fingers crossed that we can have him ready to go by the time camp opens." If Coles isn't ready by camp, then it's concerning. We're already extremely thin at receiver, and Coles may be the best we have. Tariq Edwards is jogging, and his rehab is on schedule to be ready by the start of the season. G-W is running and, "pretty much beating everybody at his position." Competition at Whip this summer is going to be the best it's been in three years. Bruce Taylor is rehabbing his right foot at home in Myrtle Beach. Goforth said, "I think Bruce is doing fine." And, "Something tells me that when it matters he'll be ready to go." Is that a vote of confidence?

Preseason practice starts August 7th in Blacksburg.

Oh Hello Again Sue Estroff

A little over a month ago an internal investigation revealed evidence of academic fraud (unauthorized grade changes, no-show professors, forged certification documents) in UNC's Department of African and Afro-American Studies. However, the findings of that report didn't suggest that only student athletes were the beneficiaries of the cheating.

The report, released Friday, evolved from the athletic and academic scandal that engulfed UNC's football team, but it said there is no evidence that student-athletes received more favorable treatment than students who were not athletes. It also said that no student received a grade without doing course work. The report has been shared with the NCAA, which could not be reached for immediate comment.

That may no longer be the case. The following was published by NewsObserver.com Friday.

A summer class at UNC-Chapel Hill that lacked any instruction was enrolled exclusively with football players – and it landed on the school calendar just days before the semester started, university records show.

Good Job, Good Effort Hokie Tracks

89 days until Hokies football. So more teasing. This time big hits featuring Eddie Whitley foaming at the mouth. Who doles out Tech's biggest hit this year? The smart money is on Exum, but LT3 is going to have a lot of chances to lower his shoulder. Vinston Painter tilling Worsham Field with defensive ends' heels ten yards at a time won't produce a boom, but it'll make me feel all warm inside.

As long as it is reasonably close to Lane/practice field/football office, it probably doesn't matter where the new practice facility goes as long as the Frankinator can hold a 60 minute practice punting indoors when it's lightning out. Also, TIL Tech had a roller hockey rink on campus.

Montrezl Harrell committed to Louisville. Best of luck to him.

Welcome: Hampton (2014) RB Marshawn Williams commits to the Hokies

Sophomore (2014) running back from Hampton Marshawn Williams gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech this evening. He was in attendance for Tech's June 3rd camp and came away impressed.

"I loved it," said Marshawn. "I met all the coaches and the campus was great. I love the school."

He's a two-way player for Hampton coach Mike Smith, but the Hokies recruited him as a running back.

"I think size, speed, intensity," said Smith, who compared Williams to fast, powerful running backs of the past like Marcus Dupree and Ricky Williams. "He's a tremendous looking kid for a sophomore. ... He's quite a specimen.

"Tremendous kid. Great character. Great study habits. A real team person. You just couldn't give him enough accolades."

The Hokies were his first offer in February. Asked who else the running back considered, Smith laughed, before responding, "No one. That's been his dream. He just loved Virginia Tech.

The ACC Football-Mad Men Mashup

The Mad Men Season 5 finale is Sunday and we're still (glances at watch) WAY too far away from the beginning of football season. So, to help pass some of that time and welcome the finale, enjoy this half-baked, fragment-heavy ACC football-Mad Men mashup.

Virginia Tech:  Don Draper

Easily the most consistently successful character in the bunch. Emerged from obscurity. Underlying the attention and attractive exterior, nagging flaws. Despite regular success, can never quite get what they desire most.

Florida State: Pete Campbell

Obstacles to Overcome in the SEC

So Clay Travis says that Tech fans have "SEC fever", something that I didn't think needed an article written about it...I mean it's not like it's a secret.

I want to move to the SEC more than Ralph Friedgen wants a new plate of waffles (and/or Randy Edsall to crash and burn during his Maryland tenure). I want to move to the SEC more than Florida State wants to leave the ACC (okay, probably not).

You get my point.

Regardless of that, I really think that we need to, as fans, embrace what could potentially be around the corner. Now I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer, or hit the brakes on the collective enthusiasm of starting in a new conference, but a move of this size is going to bring repercussions, whether we like it/expect it or not.

So what might we see? Here are some things that I expect to see with a move Southeast:

Hokie Tracks Don't Want to Share Bowl Revenues Equally

An uneven split of bowl (and NCAA tournament) revenues would be a fair compromise among the "football" and "basketball" ACC schools. Teel crunched the numbers and the top three earners since 2004 are: 1) Virginia Tech $83.4M 2) Clemson $33.7M 3) FSU $29.3M. I think it's bad business to chop up the television dollars, but post-season money is fair game. Each team gets a percentage of their payout, the rest goes into a pot to split. It's an incentive to get better at football and basketball too.

Blue-chip corner Kendall Fuller Tweeted his top four schools.

Hokie Tracks Aren't Talking about the Hokies

97 more days...

So yeah, that was kind of a tease.

Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich confirmed the ACC is trying to develop a bowl game similar to the one recently announced by the SEC–Big 12. It's a move that might be too little to late because the options are extremely limited. The ACC Champion playing Notre Dame every year might draw the most ratings and generate the most buzz, but could it consistently be the best annual matchup, and how long before it becomes stale? The Big East could offer up Louisville and Boise State. Woo? Playing the next best SEC, Big 12 or even Big Ten team after their playoff and respective bowl participants may be the best option in terms of allure and money. However, scheduling a game against sloppy seconds (or thirds) would be another public relations hit for the ACC. Isn't the little kids table fun.

This is the last thing I'll write about Heather Dinich

I no longer read Heather Dinich's blog with any regularity. I don't find her writing to be insightful or analytical. She breaks no news. In no way do her words better my understanding of the game of football. The user commentary on each post is usually a flame war set off by subject matter written to troll for page views. Sometimes her name is attached to the byline of useful posts, but that information is either regurgitated from elsewhere on ESPN.com, part of a release, or quotes from an interview or media session. Anything relevant to Virginia Tech football or the ACC I can get, and get it better, from hundreds of other places on the Internet. Unfortunately Dinich is unavoidable. She stands on ESPN's pulpit and has a hand delivered national audience.

Here's how I usually succumb to reading one of her posts.

/checks Twitter
//lots of unhappy Hokies retweeting @ESPN_ACC
///clicks link

No one has ever tweeted, emailed or Gchated me a link to a post of hers that they endorse. Nope, the only time she pops up on my radar is when she blogs something outrageous. And I bet this holds true across the board for the rest of the fans in the ACC.

99 Days til Kickoff and the #VT4SEC Argument

Hey, y'all! Only ninety-nine days till the 2012 season kicks off! In reality, that means really only a little more than two months until camp opens, and it actually starts to FEEL like football season. Y'know, it'll be nice to see players in pads again, running through drills. This off-season has been so quiet, amiright?

Late Night Expansion Updates

College football's high stakes game of chicken continues. To keep everyone up to date. BearsTruth.com (part of the 247Sports network) reported FSU and Clemson will let the ACC know they're looking around.

Sources out of South Carolina and Florida have indicated the deals have been agreed upon for Clemson and Florida State to notify the ACC of their intent to explore other conferences. Then the two universities will need to submit an application to the Big 12. Big 12 presidents will need to approve the applications and welcome the two newest members.

Then the dominos fall.

They also report Virginia Tech is among Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pitt, and Notre Dame as, "looking at the two seats to 14 to match the SEC in conference size."

Then there's this quote (full audio here) from ESPN's Chris Low on the Paul Finebaum radio show.

Can Virginia Tech be a part of college football's future in the ACC?

Last Friday the SEC and Big 12 announced a new bowl partnership.

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced a five-year agreement for their football champions to meet in a postseason bowl game following the 2014 season.

The champions of the two conferences will be in the matchup unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship. Should that occur, another deserving team from the conference(s) would be selected for the game.

On the surface it looks innocent enough. It's highly unlikely that both the SEC and Big 12 champions will be left out any realistic four-team playoff model. So it's a potential blockbuster bowl who's best matchups will probably only be played on Xboxes and PS3s. However, what's more important is that the Big 12 and SEC are holding hands, and kissing on each other in public. Not only that, but this is their game that's going to fetch free market value. It's innovative, and sexy. Until now, those were types of PDA reserved only for the Pac-12 and B1G (Rose Bowl). Now all four of these conferences have a postseason contingency plan if any of their champions are left out of the playoff, as well as the most attractive non-playoff pairings.

Scheduling Notes

Virginia Tech announced the Austin Peay game will kickoff at 1:30 PM, and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

/sarcastic enthusiasm

Although the extra hour and a half of tailgating is a positive.

As of now we know three other start times and networks in addition to Austin Peay: 9/3 Georgia Tech 8:00 ESPN, 11/1 at Miami 7:30 PM ESPN, and 11/8 Florida State 7:30 ESPN. If I had to guess, at Pitt, Cincinnati, at Clemson and Virginia all stand a good chance to be on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, while the rest of the games will either be local on the ACC Network or ESPN3. If both Tech and Clemson are undefeated, that's an 8:00 Gameday game if I've ever seen one.

The rest of the ACC's early season TV schedule is here. Note that there are two Chick-fil-A kickoff games this year: NC State-Tennessee and Clemson-Auburn. ESPN sat the former at the kid's table (ESPNU). I think we can all laugh at that.

Moving forward.

Report: UNC-Wilmington Guard Adam Smith Transfers To Virginia Tech

The report is from the notoriously reliable CBSSports.com senior basketball writer Jeff Goodman.

According to Brian Mull, who covers UNC-Wilmington for the StarNews, Smith ended up at Tech because of his connection with new assistant coach Mark Byington. Byington recruited Smith while at the College of Charleston.

As a freshman, Smith performed well against ACC competition.

Smith played great in both games the Seahawks played against ACC opponents this past season. Against the Maryland Terrapins on Nov. 13, Smith scored 23 points and shot five-for-nine from three-point range against the Terrapins. Against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Dec. 21, Smith scored 32 points on seven-of-twelve shooting from beyond the three-point line.

The Big 12 is Interested in Hokie Tracks

I never thought I'd enjoy a soap opera, but Florida State is quite entertaining. Today, former FSU linebacker and trustee (right now that's the more important part), Derrick Brooks said the Big 12 approached FSU, and not the other way around Here's the audio from the Tim Brando show. So a former trustee has confirmed there is actual interest from the Big 12, while a BOT member thinks it's in FSU's best interest to listen to what the Big 12 has to say, meanwhile the president has reaffirmed FSU's commitment to the ACC. Not everyone at FSU is on the same page, or so it seems.

2013 Recruiting: Wyatt Teller

Wyatt Teller has played defensive end, offensive tackle, linebacker, and H-Back for Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. Both Rivals and 247 rate him a 4-star recruit, and both Virginia Tech and Virginia want to sign him, and they're the favorites.

"Not many people can scratch their kneecap without bending over." — Liberty football coach Sean Finnerty (via http://www.fauquiernow.com)

After watching his film, it was no surprise that he holds 14 I-A offers including: Tech, UVa, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, South Carolina and Clemson. On his highlights he's relentlessly aggressive, physically superior in size and speed to everyone he lines up against. Liberty coach Sean Finnerty was gracious enough to talk to me about his stud player.

How is his play when he becomes engaged with blockers, is he able to separate well, move down the line and maintain good position?

What's Eating at FSU?

Instead of flaming out like a lot of message board prognostications, the Florida State and the Big 12 conversation is starting to boil up. Money, of course, is at the core of Noles' discontent with the ACC, while the Big 12 is eyeing a huge payday. Let's start here, Florida State's athletic department is cash-strapped.

The Florida State University athletic department may be forced to cut as much as $2.4 million in expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year in part because of what athletic director Randy Spetman called lagging ticket sales in football.

Meanwhile, FSU is surrounded by (recruiting against, trying to be more relevant than) SEC schools that are swimming in the cash like Scrooge McDuck.

Even though the ACC's new deal with ESPN will bring FSU up to about $17 million annually in TV revenue, that's still $3 million less than the Big 12. Not only that, but some estimate the recently expanded SEC's new deal could earn each conference school as much as $25 million per year. Translation: Over the span of the ACC's 15-year contract, FSU will earn $120 million less than the Gators.

Hokie Softball Makes NCAA Tournament, Heads to Knoxville

For the first time since a College World Series appearance in 2008, Virginia Tech softball is headed back to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies will be part of the Knoxville regional and play UAB in the first round on Friday at 3:30pm. Host Tennessee, ranked 7th nationally, and Miami University (OH) make up the other half of the double-elimination regional.

Tech (40-19, 12-8 ACC) is coming off an impressive run to the ACC Championship, where they knocked off Maryland and top seed North Carolina before falling to Georgia Tech in the Championship game. The Hokies were one of five ACC teams selected on Sunday, joining Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State, and Maryland.

This season has been tremendous for the Hokies, who were picked 6th in the conference before the season but exceeded all expectations, finishing tied for third with Georgia Tech. Tech reached 40 wins for the seventh time in the program's 17-year history and this will be the Hokies' fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly enough, for the fourth time in those five trips, the Hokies will start their journey in Knoxville. Tech's magical run to the College World Series behind Angela Tincher in 2008 started in Knoxville.