Week 5 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary. This week's poll is especially messy.

  • Clemson - Beat back-to-back-to-back ranked teams and you're deserving of a top 5 ranking.
  • Nebraska - This informative EDSBS the Magazine article sums things up quite nicely.
  • Illinois - The fighting Zookers are 5-0, which really is an accomplishment in itself. Who knows how good they really are though. Their next test comes in two weeks against Ohio State.
  • Kansas State - Bill Snyder's head in a jar is doing one hell of a job coaching this year.
  • South Carolina - Garcia! Slam that beer.
  • Arizona State - Quietly making noise in the Pac-12. I like a team that's battle tested and can bounce back from a loss.
  • Virginia Tech - There's no offensive identity, and the special teams are a disaster. Bud Foster's tenacious defense is the only thing of merit, and the only reason why they're in this poll.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

The Key Play: Week 5

An Unpopular Opinion

Editor's Note: This. --Joe

I did my best to ensure that I wasn't only observing locally. I was seated in the east-side of North endzone. Immediately around me the following held true, and to the best of my ability, looking around further I saw more and more of the same.

Which of the following behaviors best describe fans in the North Endzone:
1. Cheering for the team on most defensive plays
2. Muttering about poor decision-making and playing
3. Staring blankly at the field
4. Complaining that they were too sober
5. Worrying about running out of airplane bottles

If you answered everything except #1, you would be correct.

Clemson Preview

Who: #11/10 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0, 0-0 ACC) @ #13/15 Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC)

Time: 6:05 PM

TV Coverage: ESPN2 (Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham, Quint Kessenich)

Venue: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA (66,233 – Grass)

Series History: Clemson leads 17-12-1

  • Last Meeting (2007): Virginia Tech 41, Clemson 23
  • Virginia Tech has won five straight games over Clemson dating back to 1998
  • During those five games, the Hokies have won by an average score of 35-12
  • Clemson has not won in Blacksburg since 1989
  • When ranked higher, the Hokies are a perfect 3-0 against the Tigers

Injury Report

Their Last Dance: Clemson

For college football teams last impressions are the ones that matter most. These are notes, observations and food for thought on our opponents' last game.

Clemson headed into an ACC Atlantic Division showdown with Florida State last weekend. The Tigers beat the Noles handily in Death Valley 35-30, a game they only trailed one time, 0-3. It wasn't my intention to, but I paid much more attention to the Clemson offense and its personnel. It was a fun offense to watch, although if it gets humming on Saturday, it will be better described by me as aggravating.

-- Only a few plays had quarterback Tajh Boyd lined up underneath the center, the rest were out of the shotgun or pistol. There were a lot of moving parts, motion before the snap and play fakes afterwards. To keep a fast tempo, and to meet their goal of 80+ snaps a game, Clemson called plays at the line of scrimmage.

A modern wing look, we'll see that formation a lot on Saturday night.

Q&A with Chili formerly of Block-C

Chili is the co-creator of the now-defunct Danny Ford Is God and Block-C blogs and continues to pine about blogging though he himself chose to end his own site. He is a Clemson grad, architect, and stand-up comedian living in Shanghai. For insight into the brittle psyche of a Clemson fan, and good laughs follow him at @DannyFordIsGod.

1. With only a third of the season over Tajh Boyd already has 15 touchdowns under his belt. He's got a big arm, is extremely accurate and can carry the ball on both designed and improvised plays. OK, I am done doling out praise. What are some of the things Boyd does bad, or are there some situations where he has the ball in his hands and you're on the edge of your seat?

Boyd is still young and relatively inexperienced. Last week Boyd had a bonehead play where as he was falling to the ground well behind the LOS, instead of taking the down for a big loss of yards he sort of half flicked the ball up in the air like an errant booger only to have it gobbled up for a pick-six by an FSU defensive lineman.

He still occasionally floats the ball out there to double coverage or in situations where he shouldn't. I always thought he had great promise as a QB, and still does, but we should also remember that Clemson's young receivers, especially Sammy Watkins, are pretty disgusting and could make any QB look better.

You mentioned Boyd's scrambling ability and, while he's more mobile than some of our past QBs, he still has a ways to go to make that a really viable part of the offense. Also, my man needs to learn to slide. He prefers to sort of flop to the ground and take a big pop from a d-lineman. No. Stop. Bad Tajh.

2. Two years ago Clemson won the ACC Atlantic, last season the Tigers finished 6-7. This year, at 4-0, the Clemson has already knocked off the defending national champions and the ACC favorites. What are some reasons for the turnaround and who are some of the lesser known, let's label them roll players, who have stepped up.

1st Quarter 2nd Guesses: Marshall game

I didn't get a chance to watch the game live this week, so I am probably prejudiced by some of the frustrating reports about the erratic performance of the Hokies this week. After a quick review of the first quarter, I walked away with the following impressions: 1) The defensive line and middle backers are a strength of this team. 2) Logan Thomas has some weaknesses, but the coaching staff is giving him much more responsibility than they gave Tyrod Taylor or Bryan Randall as a first year starter. 3) The offensive line has played better than you think they have, but they still play too high to drive people off the ball.

Six Pick: Week Five

My favorite month of the year. By the time October is over, the leaves will have gone from green to yellow, red and orange. The temperatures will have cooled, the humidity evaporated and many of college football pretenders disappeared. As we are now a third of the way through the regular season and each team's flaws are apparent. Improve your flaws, expose theirs, that's the game, especially for the final three games on this week's 6 Pick.

It's time. The training wheels left on our new quarterback during September are coming off. It's big boy football and it's time to find out how good this edition of the Hokies are. Having seen and doubted Clemson the last two weeks, we know this isn't your typical Clemson team. They are resilient and explosive on offense. They will test Bud Foster's improved defense. The defense likely can't win it alone, even with 66k yelling behind them. The running game needs to turn it up a notch and Logan Thomas has to be decisive and accurate when his number is called. Let's not put the cart before the horse, before this game there is a celebration of football and competition. I intend to drink lots of good beer, eat lots of animal flesh and partake in communion at the Clubhouse. So party up fellow Hokies, Saturday is when the fun really starts.

Grillin' With Wolf: Cedar Planked Shrimp and Grits

Clemson University is located on the western tip of South Carolina in Clemson. The university was founded in 1889 as an agricultural military academy. Clemson didn't become a civilian co-ed university until 1955. Horace Grant, Brian Dawkins, Jim Speros, Strum Thurmond, and Lee Brice all attended Clemson, though their most cherished alum is probably Robert H. Brooks (yeah the guy who founded Hooters).

Clemson fans are big in spending $2 bills at away games.

It's the same as it was 30 years ago, said George Bennett, the founder of the $2 bill tradition.
Mr. Bennett said he began the $2 bill strategy when Georgia Tech decided to stop its series of games against Clemson. Clemson fans wanted to show Atlanta businessmen how big an economic mistake that would be.

So if someone painted Clemson Orange hands you a tiger paw stamped $2 bill this week let him/her know that the 70's are over and everyone uses debit cards now.

This week we are going to have a little southern dish that really has nothing to do with the west side of South Carolina, but you never need a really good reason to eat cedar planked shrimp and grits.


Marshall Roll Call

Is it me or was Saturday's game extremely boring? I watched it twice and I wanted to take a nap both times.

The defense is fun to watch, however. Especially the front seven.

I noticed some second teamers come in towards the end of the game, but I didn't really have anything to say about them, so I kept them off this week's roll call.

1. Antone Exum - Mr. Exum is pretty lucky he didn't get smoked for a touchdown when he was playing near the line of scrimmage about five minutes into the game. Tajh Boyd doesn't overthrow that ball next week. He needs to get the mistakes cleaned up pretty much right now. But, he deserves some props for the interception and return. (and the nice break up on Marshall's last offensive play).

2. Josh Oglesby - Can we talk about how important he's been this year? He runs with authority and has been extremely effective in the red zone.

3. Logan Thomas - He didn't have a bad day, but he didn't have a great day. I thought his accuracy was better on intermediate routes. His deep ball touch worries me, because ACC defensive backs are going to make more plays on under thrown passes. I also get nervous when he throws the out-route. I am not sure we should be calling that right now. Lastly, we saw yet again what he can do with the ball in his hands on his touchdown run -- let's get him moving around a little more (not a lot more).

Making the World a Better Place, One Convenience Store at a Time

I was driving down 95 through VA and stopped to get gas somewhere near Fredericksburg.  I ran inside to grab some essentials for the rest of the trip ahead: red bull, beef jerky, gatorade, gum (all four road trip food groups.)

I saw a rack full of random gas station quality sports schwag so I went to check it out.  I'm  a sucker for spending $5.95 on a piece of VT paraphenelia I will never use again. 

Most of the stuff on the rack was VT and UVa stuff.  Here's what it looked like when I walked up...

I fixed it...

You're welcome world.

-Hokie Stone

Week 4 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary.

  • LSU - Three wins away from home against top 25 teams, worthy of everyone's number one spot.
  • Clemson - I said last week that Tajh Boyd "looked like the best quarterback in the ACC", let me clarify that. Tajh Boyd is the best QB in the ACC. As a freshman, Sammy Watkins is already a top playmaker in the ACC. Clemson is playing with a lot of confidence right now.
  • Georgia Tech - They could, should, probably be lower, because the defense has holes, but POINTS AND YARDS, POINTS AND YARDS.
  • Big Ten teams we don't know enough about - Michigan and Illinois are both 4-0, both have impressive non-conference wins, Notre Dame, San Diego State and Arizona State, respectively, but both have yet to play a Big Ten team. Conference play will tell us what we need to know about these two teams.
  • Florida State - I'm not impressed. I think Trickett is an upgrade throwing the ball —336 yards 3 touchdowns against Clemson— but the Noles miss Manuel's legs. They rushed for 27 yards against Oklahoma, and 29 against Clemson. Stoops' defense looked capable of carrying them, but then they gave up 455 yards.
  • Texas A&M - I can't get past them blowing a 20-3 halftime lead at home.


Will never get tired of this. Original source is via, who else, @VTPhreak4evr

Up 20-3 with 8:19 left in the first half Tech could have pulled away. Instead we spun our wheels. We moved the ball 247 yards and only scored 10 points the rest of the way. Fumbles, interceptions, bad execution, and some bland play calls stopped us dead in our tracks. The win was never in question, but regardless of the outcome, leaving points on the field is a sour taste in the mouth.

--The defense held Marshall to 6 rushing yards!


--Armpunt aside, I thought Logan had a pretty tight game. He's getting better as a quarterback. He checked down when the deep ball wasn't there, and looked beyond the first receiver to his second and third options. He wasn't just throwing heat today. There was touch on those screens and passes into the flats.


--Gayle or Collins, take your pick. They each had a pair of sacks, Gayle had 7 tackles and Collins had 5. The defensive line played at high level.

Marshall Live Blog

The live blog will get underway at 3:15. For anyone that needs it, VTPhreak4evr has the game streaming live. Before kickoff checkout this week's mascot mock, it's the best yet, Kevin's preview and the view from the opposing sideline. The console is after the jump. If you're about bold flavors and putting yourself out there, then leave your predictions in the comments below. Go Hokies!

Marshall Preview

Who: #11/13 Virginia Tech Hokies (3-0, 0-0 ACC) @ Marshall Thundering Herd (1-2, 1-0 Conference USA)

Time: 3:33 PM

TV Coverage: CBS Sports Network (Dave Ryan, Rich Rodriguez, Kaylee Hartung)

Venue: Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV (38,019 – Field Turf)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 8-2

  • Last Meeting (2009): Virginia Tech 52, Marshall 10
  • This is Virginia Tech’s first trip to Huntington in 71 years. The Hokies are 0-2 all-time at Marshall
  • This will be the fourth meeting between the schools since 2002. Tech has won all three by an average score of 47-15, scoring at least 41 points each game.

Injury Report

  • WR Jarrett Boykin – Out (Hamstring)
  • OL David Wang – Out (Foot)
  • DE J.R. Collins – Probable (Ankle)

The Opponent: Marshall limps into this matchup coming off a 44-7 loss to Ohio last weekend. The Thundering Herd currently sits at 1-2 on the season, with their lone win being an upset of Southern Miss at home two weeks ago. Head coach Doc Holliday is in his second season with the program. Holliday went 5-7 his first year with Marshall and has a long coaching history, with stops at Florida, NC State, and West Virginia.

Six Pick: Week Four

Oktoberfest is in full swing and so is the 2011 college football season. After a sluggish first, the last two have been shit hot. This week has the look to continue that streak, if not surpass the previous fortnight. I want everyone to pause for a second. In the middle of all these games and conference realignment, take a breath and relax. Let's stop and enjoy the sights, the sounds before we look up and it's late October. We all go hard for these glorious 4 months. Take a second, bask in it, because before you know it, it's those long 8 months following 18-year-olds, Fulmer Cup updates and bogus forty times again.