That seems counterintuitive, since Taylor has started 28 games over the last three seasons. But consider that in those starts, he's faced a deficit of more than a possession just five times.
Sure, he led a comeback from down 17-3 against North Carolina in 2008 (going 5-for-8 for 53 yards in three scoring drives in the second half; the Hokie rally included a 30-yard touchdown drive preceded by a fumble recovery and a 45-yard field goal set up by a Tar Heel personal foul).
There were also four setups with a deficit of at least two possessions --- Boston College and Miami in 2008, Alabama and Georgia Tech last year --- that didn't work out so well.
A third-place finish in the Directors' Cup is all well and good, but until Craig Littlepage can find a way to get success from his football and men’s basketball programs, there’s not a whole lot to brag about in Charlottesville.
That's the closing paragraph of a brutally blunt take down of Jefferson's 3rd place Director's Cup finish. It's a must read.
In sixty days (Yes! Only sixty more days. OK, excitement contained.) Virginia Tech will kickoff its season against Boise State in The Clash in the Capital. Some Hokies will say that it's a make or break game for the 2010 season. Others will argue that the outcomes of Georgia Tech, at North Carolina and at Miami will define the season. And some will go home happy if we just beat UVa. So let's break it down.
The Hoos, and only the Hoos matter.
These Hokies are fine with going 1-11 as long as the one win is against UVa. Other wins are just gravy poured on top of the Commonwealth Cup. Mmm Gravy. This has always been a minority opinion and now that we've beaten UVa 10 of the last 11 years it is almost non-existent. By my best guess, this thinking was popular back in day when beating UVa was really the only thing we were capable of doing.
If you subscribe to this theory, consider this, UVa is now beating UVa. Also, it never gets old.
6-6, 8-4, 7-5 it really doesn't matter to these guys. Why? Because they're going on VAY-CAY-TION! There's only a few things to do in Southwest Virginia during December: drink, watch football and be cold. So why not drink, watch live football AND take in some local cuisine and attractions all while being warm. They justify the on the field performance by the logic of, "we've won at least as many as we've lost."
Since 2004 we've won at least ten games year, the only other team to do so is Texas. You've heard this all before, but the gist of it is overlooked. The streak exemplifies our consistent excellence at winning each season. However, it has become something of a consolation prize, like in '05 and '06 when we seemed capable of something more.
On my way to Blacksburg for the spring game he was in front of me on I-66. I tailed him, and by tailed I mean ass-to-ass, for 20 miles and could never get close enough to get a shot. Huge props to @Barron18.
It's not a question, but a definitive statement.
And while we are at it let's pile on. UVa scheduled a home and home in 2013-14 with, drum roll please, UTSA.
Corey Marshall made it official moments ago on Washington Post Live, announcing he's committing to the Hokies. He chose us over Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Michigan. Marshall joins his Dinwiddie teammate Chris Hall who committed to Tech yesterday.
Do not resist the inevitable quarterbacks, for your soul is his. via http://dinwiddiefootball.com
Dinwiddie County (Virginia) quarterback Chris Hall is fifth player to commit to the Hokies. Hall will grey shirt and will play tight end. He's lean at 225 pounds, but has a big frame, 6'4" to build on upon. Just think of Greg Boone, who was 6'3" 258 lbs when he first got to Blacksburg. His highlights below are all of him behind center, but it's still worth the watch. Surely the level of competition has something to do with it, but he's showing off his athleticism by consistently outrunning opposing defenses. At he 2:10 mark he fakes the QB blast and throws a jump pass for a touchdown. Wild Turkey anyone?
Well, that's another huge get this week for the Hokies (and we're hearing there could be another later today). Adeboye Aromire is an imposing physical corner, with speedy 4.47 40, that could play elsewhere in the secondary if need be. Aromire was Ricardo Young’s former teammate at H.D. Woodson High School out The District and selected Tech over Maryland and UNC. Check out VTF for a more in depth breakdown.
Now understand that a workout at Tech’s football complex is not like an afternoon at your local gym. There are no TVs in the corner, and no smoothie bar in the lobby. In fact, the sign on the door says "No cell phones and no iPods allowed." This is a work place. Every minute counts and every lift is charted, and there is a method and system that’s evolved over the years. It’s high intensity, all under Gentry’s eye.
But the atmosphere is still enjoyable and fun for the players. They see the progress their teammates are making and help each other through the most challenging and difficult lifts. Good chemistry all the way around.
And then there is the music.
Soon to be senior wide receiver / defensive back / linebacker Christian Reeves of Eagles Landing Christian Academy in Georgia gave his commitment to Torrian Gray today. He caught 26 balls for 584 yards (22 YPC) and 4 scores his junior year.
Last night the Northern Virginia Hokie Club organized the first ever Bud Foster's "Chalk Talk". Coach Foster sat down and spoke candidly with host Chris Colston (who's 2010 Hokie Football Annual goes on sale July 1st [buy it]) for over an hour on a wide variety of football topics. I was in attendance and did my best to summarize the more important points. The format of the conversation was question and answer, first asked by Chris and then by the audience. Below are my notes.
Hypothetically Speaking, VT and the SEC...
- It's nothing more than a rumor.
- The ACC is a great league.
- The Big XII disintegrating would be bad for college football.
- We've had great success in the ACC, which surprised a lot of people.
Meeting with Iowa's Coaches
- Discussed philosophies with Iowa's defensive coaches on how to stop Paul Johnson's Spread Option.
- Took loss to GT personally.
- The most difficult part in preparing for GT is having the scout offense simulate their option at game speed.
- Ends – Chris Drager and Steven Friday have solidified the starting spots. Drager had big games last year against Maryland and Tennessee. Friday could be 2010's Cody Grimm. The backups are all young, but can run and are as big as we've ever had.
- Tackles – John Graves is the leader of the defense, the "bell cow". He exhibits trust, loyalty and accountability. Kwamaine Battle is penciled in as the other starter and has a high motor. Antoine Hopkins has the potential to push Battle for snaps, but he needs to consistently play hard. Bud's concerned about the depth behind them. Isiah Hamlete and Joe Jones were both moved from end to tackle to bolster depth. Jones reminds Bud of former Hokie Barry Boker. Dwight Tucker along with incoming freshman Nick Acree and Derrick Hopkins will all be in the mix to earn PT. Acree and Hopkins are physically ahead of the game. Describing Acree, "He pretty."
- Whip – Committee of Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Alonzo Tweedy and Lorenzo Williams will share time. Right now Winslow would play 40-45/60 snaps. Tweedy is a special teams demon. He runs like a "scalded dog", just not always in the right direction.
- Mike – It will be a close call whether or not Barquell Rivers has recovered from his torn quadriceps tendon by the start of camp. He worked hard to get lean. Bud's never had a kid as big as Bruce Taylor playing the Mike and he has the feet plus awareness too. He has a great, not good spring. He could also play backer. Quillie Odom had his best spring ever.
- Backer – Lyndell Gibson reminds Bud of Vince Hall. He's got the vision, "heavy shoulder", IQ and has matured. Chase Williams has the potential to be a special football player. He's tough with a high IQ, suffered a setback with a knee injury in high school playoffs. Tariq Edwards could eventually move to end.
- Secondary – Eddie Whitley is the first string free safety right. Don't be surprised if he turns out to be better than Kam. Rashad Carmichael and Jayron Hosley are the starting corners. Hosley is that next dynamic guy corner. Chris Hill is the 3rd corner. More than any other position, Bud has to trust the player to play corner, because a missed tackle or assignment means the game. Antone Exum had a great spring, but needs to be more consistent. However, he could just be a "gamer".
- Youth is an issue now, but based on work ethic Bud's encouraged for the future.
Shake That Bear
via @T_Highsmith who has most certainly won the week.
An unusual visitor causes quite a scene in Blacksburg tonight.
Blacksburg police tell us a bear was wandering around on *University City Boulevard* by the University Mall.
The Game and Inland Fisheries Department was called to help.
Police say the bear has since ran off.
No one was hurt.
Expansion. Up until last Thursday afternoon (6/3/10) it's been nine parts speculation and one part vague. The lone fact was dropped back in December when Big Ten Baron Jim Delany announced his conference would be studying expansion over a 12-18 month period. At first, most pundits thought Big Ten expansion was just a play at Notre Dame and a lucrative championship game, but soon realized the Big Ten could swell to 14 or 16 teams. When asked, the other conference commissioners confidently said they would be ready to respond, but there were no official details. Then the game changed. Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com broke the news that the Pac-10 would offer Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado membership. In the four days since: the Pac-10 has placed their expansion plans on the table, Baylor ousted Colorado from Pac-10 consideration, the Big 12 has given Nebraska and Mizzou an ultimatum, the Big Ten has pushed up its timetable, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott says he's been given authority to "advance" [the] expansion process and the SEC will formally discuss expansion. It's all but inevitable now, it's just a matter of how hard the dominoes fall.
Let's concentrate on the last item, SEC expansion, as I believe it will most directly effect Virginia Tech and the ACC if it happens. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Miami are most identified as likely ACC targets for the SEC. Popular opinion is because they're the most SEC-like schools, with historic ties to the conference, are tradition rich and are committed to winning football games above all else.
With that said, the ACC has two options.
- Be proactive, preserve the current 12 teams, and offer conference membership to some combination of Uconn, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, etc...
- Do nothing and fill the holes of the (potentially) departing teams with some combination of Uconn, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, etc...
If I had to bet my life one of the above, it would surely be on choice two.
F4H put it perfectly, John Swofford is spineless and the Tobacco Road power brokers are old, short-sighted and stupid. I'll also add, they want to do all they can to keep the ACC from further branching away from its basketball and academic roots. The ACC brass' complacency with the status quo and lack of aggression worries me.
If the second scenario happens the ACC would be watered down, we're talking dollar cocktail weak. In the land of 16 team super conferences the ACC would be the new Big East. None of the potential replacements come close to supplanting the departing teams.
What about Virginia Tech?
Ryan Williams and Darren Evans shouldn't be referred to as Crash and Burn, Mount Rushmore or anything else non bourbon powered. They're nicknamed The 100 Proof Backfield. It's treason against the State of Hokie Nation to call them anything else.
Blasting Through Lane Stadium and the Rest of the ACC this Fall
Or that's what we're calling it at least. Feel free to leave comments, or way too early predictions in the comments. Have a good Memorial Day Weekend Everyone.
Diddy says Press Play:
If the video doesn't load: view it here.
For starters, maybe it's because I'm a logically thinking engineer, but there's only one best and worst case scenario for any ACC school.
Phil Steele's complete list of his Preseason All-ACC selections hit our inbox this morning. Ten Hokies are among the 112 total Atlantic Coast Conference players chosen (you can view the entire list at Phil's Blog). Ryan Williams leads the way as our only first team selection and is joined by:
- Tyrod Taylor - 2nd Team
- Jarrett Boykin - 2nd Team
- Blake DeChristopher - 2nd Team
- Darren Evans - 3rd Team
- Beau Warren - 3rd Team
- Rashad Carmichael - 2nd Team
- Dyrell Roberts - 2nd Team
- John Graves - 4th Team
- Barquell Rivers - 4th Team
The only shocker, to me, was Danny Coale not being on at least the 4th team.
In order to better compare us to the rest of the conference I did some number crunching. Below (and after the jump) you'll see I weighted each teams' offensive, defensive and special teams units. My formula was simple, 4 points for a first team selection, 3 for a second, 2 for a third and a single point for a fourth. Therefore, the weighted total is out of a possible 120 points. My intent was to identify which are the more talented teams in the conference. However there are two flaws in the logic. It doesn't weight position importance. For example, it assumes a first team guard is "more important" than a second team quarterback. Second a first team player isn't necessarily going to be four times better than fourth team player. Therefore, I don't think the analysis is complete enough to conclude that team one > team two > team three, and so on. However, I do believe it is a good indicator of general overall ranking, that is to say the teams at the top are better than the teams at the bottom.
|School||First Team||Second Team||Third Team||Fourth Team||Total||Weighted Total|