It's Basketball Season! FSU Preview

With college football coming to an uninspiring end, it’s time to switch gears and focus on college basketball. For those that haven’t been keeping tabs on this season, you’re not alone. The Hokies are priming themselves for another run to the bubble and have a big game tonight against Florida State. Here’s a preview:

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (11-4, 0-1) vs Florida State Seminoles (9-6, 0-1)

When: Tuesday, January 10 @ 7:00 p.m.

TV: ESPNU (Carter Blackburn and Jay Williams)

Where: Cassell Coliseum (9,847), Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: Florida State comes to the Cassell as desperate, if not more so, than the Hokies after just one conference game. The ‘Noles were dumptrucked by 20 in their conference opener at Clemson on Saturday and have lost 3 of their last 4 overall. This is a big game for FSU as they host North Carolina (in addition to ESPN’s College Gameday) this Saturday, which could make them 0-3 in conference if they can’t win Blacksburg.

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Two-thousand-eleven was the second full season we covered, and it was our biggest yet.

Wake Forest Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 0-0) @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (9-5, 0-0)

When: Saturday, January 7 @ 12:00 p.m.

TV: ACC Network (Mike Hogewood and Dan Bonner)

Where: Joel Coliseum (14,665), Winston-Salem, NC

The Opponent: The Hokies enter conference play as winners of six straight after a gritty 67-61 win at Oklahoma State last Saturday, snapping the Pokes’ 37-game non-conference home winning streak in the process. Tech has been playing really good basketball and has had contributions from a lot of different guys.

Dorenzo Hudson scored his 1,000th point against Oklahoma State and led the team with 18 points. He’s one of six players that has led the team in scoring in the first 14 games this year. Interestingly enough, the Hokies have held the lead at halftime in every one of their games this year.

A good opening to ACC play is critical for Tech. After Wake, the Hokies host a scuffling Florida State team on Tuesday and then have an extremely winnable road game at Boston College next weekend. Starting strong is emphasized even more by what lies afterwards (UNC, @UVA, BYU, @UMD, Duke) in a span of 15 days.

David Wilson will leave Virginia Tech, Declares for NFL Draft

David Wilson plays football on Sundays. The Hokies running back announced minutes ago he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Wilson is rated as the 22nd overall player and 2nd running back available in the 2012 draft according to ESPN Scouts Inc.

Wilson rushed for 1,709 yards in 2011. That campaign broke Tech's single-season rushing record previously held by Ryan Williams (1,655 '09).

One or more inexperienced players: Tony Gregory (who had surgery on his left ACL yesterday), Michael Holmes, or incoming 2012 freshman J.C. Coleman, Chris Mangus or Drew Harris will try to succeed Wilson at running back this fall.

Best of luck in the NFL DW4. We'll miss your play on the field, and charisma off it, a lot.

Clayton, Hamlette, Prince, and Tucker Will Not Return in 2012

The Frankinator released a bunch of updates on his website today regarding the future of the program.

Ju-Ju Clayton, Isaiah Hamlette, Courtney Prince and Dwight Tucker will not return to the program in 2012. Prince has one more season of eligibility and will transfer to Eastern Kentucky. Hamlette is looking to play at a I-AA school. Both have already graduated. Neither Clayton and Tucker will continue their football careers, both will graduate in May.

J.C. Coleman and Dewayne Alford will enroll in classes for the spring semester. Two other players are expected to join them. (Expect one of them to be Robert Lockhart.)

The 2012 Maroon-White Game is April 21st at 4:00 pm.

The Hokies could sign as many as 28 players in the upcoming 2012 class.

Winter Workouts begin on January 17th when the players return and run through March 12th.

Georgia transfer Brent Benedict will be a redshirt sophomore in 2012.

A projected first-team offensive line was listed as: Nick Becton, David Wang, Andrew Miller, Brent Benedict and Michael Via. Vinston Painter, Laurence Gibson Mark Shuman and Nick Acree are expected to battle for playing time as well.

These last two updates are included verbatim, read between the lines at your own risk.

A Game of Inches: Reviewing a Heartbreaking Sugar Bowl Loss

I woke up this morning with teeth gritted, brain throbbing, and my heart aching. The Hokies played their collective asses off last night, and for the outcome to be what it was just makes you sick to your stomach for those kids. The defensive line, perhaps for the first time since the injury to Antoine Hopkins, completely dominated the line of scrimmage. The Hokie secondary (after a couple of hickups early) was a ballhawking unit. The linebackers did all that was asked to make Denard Robinson look like a freshman without a clue. Logan Thomas and his receivers had an outstanding game.

That Team Made Me Proud.

"DAH-NY COALE! DAH-NY COALE! DAH-NY COALE!" All the Hokies chanting, high-fiving and hugging me thought he made the catch. I didn't. Not because it din't look like a catch, it did, I saw it on replay. It looked good. It looked like a game winning catch. One of those big catches that's featured on SportsCenter and bootlegged onto YouTube. Everyone's sharing that video the next morning in the office. Your coworkers are huddled behind you ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing watching it while they sip their morning's coffee. I knew it seemed too good to be true.

That team made me proud.

No we didn't win. I'm sure a lot of y'all are pissed about some play calls. I am. More carries for Logan. More carries for Logan. More carries for Logan. More carries for Logan, especially on short yardage situations. But this wasn't the Orange Bowl last year. We didn't get our balls beat in. We didn't get throttled. We didn't get out-coached. We didn't get out-played. No one punched us in the throat... And that's why it hurts.

I have an ache in my chest right now too painful for words to describe. We came sooooooooo close, but failed. That's a strong word, but it's accurate--we failed. We came to play. We came to fucking play this game.

Live Blog: Michigan

It starts at 8:00 PM east coast time. Box and BCO are running the show so play nice and go Hokies!

Sugar Bowl Primer: Photo Edition

Y'ALL. I'm still somewhat reeling from New Years Eve on Bourbon Street. Laughs help in the recovry, or so I'm told. 

I was having a hard time developing a dislike for Michigan fans. All of them that I had previously met seem like real, down to earth people. Fans I've interacted with are well knowledgable and passionate. They're smart, reasonable people. And then I saw some hipster douche go up to two elderly Tech fans in the hotel lobby, and obnoxiously real "GO BLUE" in their faces. TIME TO UNLEASH THE HATERADE. 

I dunno about y'all, but it's really annoying how the meda keeps harping on how Tech hasn't played any quality opponents.

Film Study: Michigan Preview

Thanks to kind Internet souls like mgodisney I was able to efficiently watch five Michigan games yesterday (Ohio State, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State and Notre Dame). The Wolverines improved each week during the season. That's coach speak, but it's true. In their final two games against Nebraska and Ohio State, Michigan was a complete team with a lot of confidence capable of moving the ball and playing good enough defense.

I know we're playing Michigan, but let's talk about Iowa real quick, more specifically Iowa-Michigan. Watch this, or as much as you can tolerate, or for as long as it takes you to realize there's a high probability '08 Stinepring is calling the plays for the Hawkeyes.

BCS Six Pick

If the season has to end, it might as well walk away on Bourbon Street. From December 31st to January 10th Nawlins is the place to be. If I were living the dream, I'd spend New Year's Eve on B-Street, enjoy the Sugar Bowl two nights later and stay for the BCS national championship. The level of drunkenness for a near fortnight would surely land me in AA upon my return home. A small price to pay. Unfortunately, I can not go to the Big Easy this time around. I was there in 2000 and 2005. It was a damn good time. For those of you going, ball out for those of us who can't. A few words of advice for the newbies, keep your head on a swivel and not just for the sight of exposed boobs. If out of the corner of your eye you notice a 6'3" woman in lingerie, it's not a woman. Also look down from time to time. Walking through a pile of NOPD horse shit on Bourbon Street isn't going to help get you any positive attention from the opposite sex.

Monday, January 2nd

The Rose Bowl 10 Wisconsin vs 5 Oregon -6 5:00 pm ESPN

Hokie Tracks are antsy for the Sugar Bowl

It's the defense stupid. That's the main reason for Michigan's turnaround in 2011. You can see the trend quickly in chart form courtesy of /r/cfb. If you'd prefer long-ish form Andy Bitter has you covered.

Oft-criticized defensive coordinator Greg Robinson had never run the 3-3-5 scheme former coach Rich Rodriguez preferred and was forced to work with many of the assistants Rodriguez brought with him in 2009-10. The Wolverines' defense, which had always been stout under ex-coach Lloyd Carr, dropped from 24th nationally in Carr's final season to 82nd, 67th and 110th in Rodriguez's three years.

Enter Mattison, who used to coach at Michigan, Notre Dame and, most recently, the NFL's Baltimore Ravens from 2008-10.

A proponent of the 4-3 defense, Mattison's scheme better suited Michigan's personnel, with defensive lineman Mike Martin (54 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3 sacks) and Ryan Van Bergen (41 tackles, 12 TFls, 5 sacks) starring up front.

Sugar Bowl Game Notes

I combed through the game notes from so you wouldn't have to. (But if you do, leave any interesting observations in the comments.)

Tech won 11 games in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2010. A win in the Sugar Bowl would be the program's first 12 win season ever. The seniors would be 43-12 over the last four years, a new record for wins by a senior class.

Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, holds the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback with 11. Logan Thomas sits at 10. In case you're wondering, Michael Vick sped into the endzone 17 times in his career. Nine scores in '99 eight in 2000.

I wonder if Chase Williams is just staying at his parents house?

David Wilson (1,627) needs 29 yards to break Ryan Williams' Tech single-season rushing yard record (1,655). With a stellar game, Logan Thomas has a chance to set Tech's single-season total offense record. Tyrod Taylor put up 3,402 yards in 2010, Logan has 3,215 yards this season.

Tech is 1-0 against B1G Ten.

Blake DeChristopher (125) and Greg Nosal (111) have over 100 knockdown blocks in 2011. That's an average of more than 9 and 8 per game respectively. Miller, Brooks and Lanier have 57, 56 and 36 knockdowns a piece.