Week 15 BlogPoll Ballot

There's not a lot of movement in this week's poll. I'm still too hungover to move.

  • Auburn tops the charts because I believe Oregon and Auburn have won football games the same way this season: overwhelming offense, just enough defense. I bumped Auburn up because they have a better body of work. The Tigers have defeated four teams in this poll to the Duck's one.
  • I am not going to overly penalize the losers of the conference championship games. Florida State, South Carolina and Nebraska were considered second best before their games, and in each case that assertion held true afterwards.
  • We'll know a lot more after bowl season.

My final ballot is due Wednesday and if you see anything crazy let me know below.

Stanford, Statistically Speaking

In the first of many previews of Stanford I take a look at some key statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com.

Stanford ranks first nationally in 3rd down conversions (57.76%), which makes their 24.8 first downs per game (9th) a little less surprising. Conversely, Virginia Tech is holding opponents to 34.95% 3rd down conversions (21st) and 17.3 total first downs (T-20th). Stanford also converts 73.33% of 4th downs (T-9th).

Stanford controls the clock. The Cardinal leads the nation in time of possession holding the ball an average 35:07.58 a game.

Stanford scores an average of 40.3 points per game (8th). They gain an average of 466.8 yards per game (14th). Stanford’s butter in the red zone putting up points in 88.41% of their trips (17th: 47 TDs, 14 FGs).

Stanford is third overall in turnover margin (1.17). Virginia Tech leads the nation in turnover margin (1.38).

UVA Recap: Bad First Half Sends Hokies to Third Straight Defeat

Someone get Tyrod Taylor to talk to the mens basketball team because something needs to change. The Hokies lost their third straight game Sunday evening, falling to rival Virginia 57-54. Once ranked in the top 25, Tech now finds itself at 4-4 after eight games and 0-1 in ACC play. Not exactly what Hokie fans pictured with the amount of talent on the court. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Maybe this team can take a cue from the Hokie football team, who after losing two games within a week to start the season, one to a ranked team and one to an in-state school, ripped off 11 straight wins and an ACC Championship. The basketball squad has repeated the football program's stumble, blowing a late lead to the ranked team and coming out flat against the in-state school, leading to an eventual loss. The seniors on the football team took charge after the two losses and made sure they wouldn't go out on a sour note. Now it's time for the basketball seniors to step up and play like they were expected to.

While sitting stunned in my seat in the student section during the first half Sunday, I questioned whether or not anybody aside from Malcolm Delaney actually cared. It looked as if the other four players on the court were sleepwalking, while Delaney was making up for a horrendous game against Purdue on Wednesday. Delaney finished with 26, nearly half of Tech's 54 points.


The Hokies will play the Stanford Cardinal on January 3rd. They better be ready to defend Tyrod Tyler*. Now we all need to figure out how to mock a tree.

*great job Lou Holtz

GIFTORY: 44-33

And that's number four.

I'm still decompressing from the win and the bourbon I drank last night, but that was a fantastic game. Even with backup quarterback E.J. Manuel starting over Christian Ponder the 'Noles gave us a fight, and they really really pushed us. But every time they punched, we swung back harder and stronger like I thought we would. It's taken time but the offense has turned into an unstoppable force that seems to put up points every time they have the ball. G-W, who I have criticized the hell out of, was responsible for getting the ball rolling with a pick six. He bested that with this quote that had me laughing for a solid 5 minutes this morning.

Virginia Tech-Florida State

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it's Championship Saturday and this is your open thread for tonight's festivities.

For those of you who need wakeup music.

The BCO is on the ground in Charlotte and emailed in his thoughts for the game:

X's and O's matter, as does talent and execution, but to me this game is about the moment. This game is heavy, not unlike the Boise game where the team shrunk from the spotlight, made mental mistakes and played too hyped. You want the team to be confident and excited but not so jacked where they lose sense of responsibilities and don't play within themselves and the structure of the gameplan. I feel confident knowing they respond well when punched in the mouth, but this game is a different bird. This is the most important game in terms of leadership for Tyrod and Graves.

I Don't Fear the Spear

I became a temporary Terrapins fan when I found out Florida State would advance to the ACC Championship Game if NC State lost to Maryland. Yes, I felt dirty supporting those bozos, but I wanted us to play the 'Noles. When it came to fruition I popped off my Grandma's couch, swigged a mouthful of Maker's, pumped my fist, let out a hardy, "Woo!", then showered. For me it's not about redemption of championships lost five and ten years ago, and I do realize that of the two, the Wolfpack would provide the least amount of resistance on route to the Orange Bowl.

I think these Hokies are good. In fact, right now, as of December 3rd I think this team is unstoppable. Actions speak louder than words, so I want this team to be challenged and pushed, not merrily skip to the trophy. The Wolfpack already gave us a run for our money; I'm certain we'd run them out of the stadium in a second go around. I want and got the only marquee matchup available; bring on the 'Noles.

Six Pick: Week Fourteen

We made it, the regular season is just about over and concludes with championship week (be sure to explain the feeling to a Hoo sometime). There is no reason to be sad because the season is over, instead be happy for our Hokies rebounding and making it to another ACC Championship game. Be excited that Beamer now has a chance to beat F$U in a meaningful game. Believe and trust that he'll get it done. Party it up in the Queen City, find a tailgate that has a TV and watch some $EC football in prep for our big game. Finally, be loud, proud and take no crap from any 'Noles fan inside the BoA Stadium, IT'S OUR HOUSE this week!

It's an abbreviated Six Pick after over-consuming last week. I watched part, or all, of ten of the twelve games I previewed last week. By midnight on Saturday I was in a college football induced coma that put turkey day to shame. This week I am cutting the fat, no shitty Big East or Pac 10 games that will go unwatched by everyone except their respective fans and Matt Zemek. This week, it's a Four Pick, one of those $10-$15 four packs where the alcohol by volume is north of 10%. Each beer/game will get after you and be damn enjoyable too.

Purdue Recap: Another Lost Opportunity for Tech

The Hokies failed to capitalize on their final significant non-conference opportunity for a quality win, falling to the Purdue Boilermakers 58-55 in overtime. The loss set Tech back to 4-3 on the season with rival UVA coming to town on Sunday.

Malcolm Delaney just simply didn’t show up, going 2-of-18 from the field in what could be his worst game in his four years at VT. Delaney finished with just 9 points, missed a fadeaway shot at end of regulation, and turned the ball over on Tech’s final possession of overtime, cementing the Purdue victory.

Tech was once again hampered by poor free throw shooting in clutch situations. Leading 50-49 with 21 seconds remaining in regulation, Terrell Bell only made 1-of-2 free throws and Purdue’s JuJuan Johnson took advantage, nailing a hook shot with 8.8 seconds remaining to tie the contest. In overtime, Dorenzo Hudson made just 1-of-2 free throws to give Tech a one-point lead, which was quickly erased when Johnson made a 15-foot shot to give the Boilermakers a 56-55 lead they would not relinquish. The Hokies finished 15-of-21 (71.4%) from the charity stripe.

Hudson also continued his season long struggle, making just 2-of-5 shots and finishing with 5 points. Seth Greenberg even went as far as to putting Erick Green in down the stretch in regulation instead of the slumping Hudson. The fact that Delaney and Hudson combined for just 14 points and the Hokies had a chance to win was astounding.

Tyrod Taylor is the ACC Player of the Year

"First off, I have to thank the Lord for blessing me with the ability to play football," Taylor said. "I also have to thank my parents, my family, the coaches, my teammates and all of the Virginia Tech fans. It's an honor to be recognized as the ACC's Player of the Year and to see all of my hard work pay off.

"I'm more proud, though, of how this team responded from an 0-2 start, but now we have finish things off Saturday in Charlotte against a tough Florida State team."

He didn't throw or run for the most yards or touchdowns, but he did kick the most ass. Our sincere congratulations to Laser Eyes!

via http://www.hokiesports.com/football/recaps/20101201aaa.html

Q&A with ScalpEm.com

Our friend Bill (NoleCC) of ScalpEm.com has taken time away from his busy baking schedule to answer some questions about Saturday's game. He knows his FSU football and we suggest following him on Twitter @ScalpEmOfficial. You can read my answers to his questions here.

1. If you were in charge of developing the game plan to beat Florida State what would your main areas of focus be?

My main point would be, "Be Flexible." UNC aired it out and hammered the Noles defense. N.C. State ran like mad. Oklahoma did whatever they felt like. I'd try some thing against the FSU defense in the 1st quarter, see what works and attack the weakest link of that particular day.

On the flip side, if I'm holding off the offense, I'd want to test out Christian Ponder's arm on long throws. That means take away the middle and see if his elbow can handle the outs and deep balls. Plus, the Noles are down to 1 totally healthy running back in Chris Thompson. Take away the pass well enough and VT should be able to stop FSU's running game with the DL and an LB or two.

Purdue Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2, 1-0 home) vs #18/22 Purdue Boilermakers (5-1, 0-0 road)

When: Wednesday, December 1 @ 7:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN (as part of ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia

The Opponent: Purdue limps into Cassell following an 11-point loss to Richmond Saturday in Chicago. The Boilermakers were once thought of as a National Championship contender, but things derailed on the very first day of practice. Preseason Second Team All-American Robbie Hummel tore the same ACL he did at the end of last year and was lost for the season. That alone dropped Purdue to #8 in the Coaches Poll, before their loss to the Spiders on a neutral court sent the Boilermakers all the way down to #18.

That being said, Purdue is still a solid squad. They return a dynamic duo in guard E'Twaun Moore (6-4, 190 lbs) and forward JaJuan Johnson (6-10, 216 lbs). Moore anchors the backcourt and is the team's leading scorer at 20.8 points per game. The senior leads Purdue in steals per game (1.5) and field goal percentage (48.9%), while ranking second on the team in rebounds (6.7) and assists (2.7). The Boilers primarily use a small three-guard lineup featuring Moore at the "3" position.

Week 14 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump and it is a mess. I tried to pour gravy on top to make it taste better, but I couldn't find the right plugin, damn you Chrome!

  • Boise State - Do you remember the scene from Casino when Robert De Niro catches the two guys signaling cards and brings them to the basement of the Tangiers? Boise State is an excellent team that ran into the hammer AND buzzsaw.
  • Are Nevada and Virginia Tech too high?
  • Is Alabama too low?
  • I would have been content stopping my ballot at 21 teams.

My final ballot is due Wednesday and I need your help, obviously.

Chief Osceola and Renegade

The mascot mock is playing for the ACC Championship this weekend.

Let's put Chief Osceola and Renegade back in the cupboard, nail it shut with railroad spikes, soak it in gasoline, light it on fire, and send the remains through a wood chipper.

The cutouts are here (1, 2, 3).

Bring on the 'Noles

Hate week is turning into hate month. In a rematch of the 2005 ACC Championship Game the Hokies will play Florida State next Saturday night in Charlotte. Florida State advanced after thumping Florida and getting help from Maryland defeating NC State. It's another chance to beat a ranked team. Florida State under Bobby Bowden made it a habit of owning Beamer, but this is a different team. The team would be best served to ignore the past and focus on just the team infront of us, and I have every confidence that they will. Meanwhile, for us fans, feel free talk about and hate on FSU below. I want this one bad, and I know you do too. Let's Go!

Lafonte Thourogood Commits

Ocean Lakes' senior Lafonte Thourogood gave his commitment to Virginia Tech today. Since spring practice Thourogood has long thought to be leaning towards the Hokies and has been a top target at quarterback.

Lafonte was recruited by most schools, including: Stanford, Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and a late offer by Florida to play either quarterback or wide receiver. He'll get the opportunity in Blacksburg to show what he can do under center. He's a true dual-threat. His full highlights are below.


Billy Hite doesn't want to hear your excuses Hoos.

We completely dominated UVa. We held the Hoos to 291 total yards. Our running game was unstoppable: 201 yards and 4 scores among Wilson, Evans, Williams and Tyrod.

Kyle Fuller went hammin'. As well as Jayron has played this season, I have been more impressed with Fuller in the secondary because he's a true freshman and appears to be the real deal. He's played whip, corner and nickel and hasn't disappointed. He's got the brains and the open field tackling skills. He finished with ten tackles and two pass breakups.

DRAGERBOMB'D. We got a lot pressure with the front four: Chris Drager, Derrick Hopkins, Dwight Tucker and J.R. Collins all had sacks. On a somewhat related note Mike London must have taught left tackle Morgan Moses his letters and numbers.

We got stops when they matted the most on third and fourth downs, and inside the red zone. UVa only converted 1 of 12 third downs and 0 of 3 fourth downs.

Congratulations to Tyrod Taylor for becoming the Hokies all-time career passing leader with 6,356 yards (and counting), and to the seniors for going 4-0 against UVA. It's not time to get too mushy yet.