Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day y'all! As tradition around here dictates, sack master Bruce Smith accompanies the flag. He's smiling at you, because he's going to eat you.

Imagine this guy in a hot dog eating contest?

Freedom isn't free, so the most appreciative thank you to all the women and men who serve(d) America.

Enjoy eating hot dogs, steaks, cheeseburgers, BBQ, bacon, chili, potato salad, macaroni salad, macaroni and cheese, and whatever else you and your's are preparing until your stomach explodes. Try not to lose any appendages while operating fireworks. Keep it safe on the roads too, don't drink and drive.

It's July, but Here Are a lot of Words About Pitt

This season Virginia Tech will resume playing former Big East foe Pittsburgh. Pitt will be a non-conference road game for Tech in 2012. Moving forward, it's unknown whether Pitt will fulfill the return trip of a home-and-home in 2013, or the Panthers will be ACC members leaving the Hokies likely to head back to Pennsylvania for the second year in a row. As a student I saw the Panthers "upset" the Hokies three straight seasons before Tech joined the ACC. I still can't get over Kevin Jones running wild in 2003 (241 yards, 4 TDs!) only to be bested by Rod Rutherford (and Larry Fitzgerald). I’m anxious for a chance at redemption.

Much like Tech, Pitt's traditionally been a run-first, defensive-minded team, because of which they've historically matched up well against the Hokies. Of the 11 games between the two, 4 have been decided by 7 points or less, and there have only been 3 games decided by 3 or more touchdowns.

The Playoff

The powers that be, conference commissioners and presidents, approved a playoff Tuesday. Finally. Hooray!

Here are my thoughts on the details that are known.

The semifinals will rotate among six bowls. Three games will be played on New Year's Eve, three on New Year's Day. The selection committee will pick all the teams for the six bowls, but because of the bowl tie-ins they will be obligated to take the champions from the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC. The championship will be held the first Monday six or more days after the semis—"Championship Monday". Regarding New Year's Day Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said, "We're gonna take it back for college football". They did, but they've also occupied New Year's Eve. Like many of you, I've juggled watching the Peach Bowl and celebrating the new year. It doesn't work well, especially when Tech loses. Come 2014, New Year's Eve and Day will be a two-day, all-day, football holiday. Step aside family and friends.

Dadi Nicolas Suspended Indefinitely

Andy Bitter reports Dadi Nicolas is, "suspended indefinitely following arrest last week," and, "will remain suspended until charges are dropped or resolved. AD Jim Weaver will make reinstatement decision."

According to the Montgomery County General District Court public records, Nicolas was charged with "PRINCIPLE 2ND DEGREE - GRND LARCENY: >=$200 NOT PERSN" under VA Code § 18.2-95.

§ 18.2-95. Grand larceny defined; how punished.

Any person who (i) commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of $5 or more, (ii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of $200 or more, or (iii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of any firearm, regardless of the firearm's value, shall be guilty of grand larceny, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than twenty years or, in the discretion of the jury or court trying the case without a jury, be confined in jail for a period not exceeding twelve months or fined not more than $2,500, either or both.

Nick Dew and Theron Norman No Longer on the Team

Andy Bitter confirms a bit of chatter that had been making its way around the Interwebs for a little while now.

Dew was a 4-star recruit from Virginia Beach that a lot of Hokies had high hopes for. He played 14 snaps at Whip when Tweedy went out with an ankle injury against Boston College. With both Tweedy and G-W out against Duke, UNC and UVa, Dew played just 15 out of 188 defensive snaps. The coaches opted for more Nickel looks / playing Kyle Fuller at Whip. The writing on the wall was when Dew was listed 4th on the spring depth chart at Whip, behind newcomer Ronny Vandyke. Not only does a player have to be athletic enough to cover the field and make tackle after tackle at Whip, but Bud Foster needs to trust him. It's a bit of thinking man's position, where decisions need to happen instantaneously. It's a hard position to recruit for, and play well.

Theron Norman played just 11 snaps in 2011, and finished buried on the spring depth chart behind Kyshoen Jarrett/Detrick Bonner and Boye Aromire.

A Look Back to the famed Hokie Wide Tackle Six Defense and How It Influenced The Current Hokie Scheme

As some of you may remember, Virginia Tech rose to prominence in the early 90's on the back of elite special teams, a grind-it-out conservative offense, a state of the art weight training program, and most significantly, on the back of a radical defensive approach that took recruits that nobody wanted and turned them loose like the dogs of war on opposing defenses.

Derrick Hopkins Playing Soccer Is Today's Best Picture

OH HAI!

/looks at picture
//SMILES SO HARD

It's mostly because of the look on Skip's face; kid in a candy shop. Also, I'm picturing the girl as Tajh Boyd. Skip haters-gonna-hate-strutting his way towards wrapping her up for a sack.

There's more to it though. Derrick is one of ten students who traveled to the Dominican Republic to study abroad and help lead a youth camp this summer. As best as I can tell after reading through the Ut Prosim: Self-Motivation and Leadership Discovery class blog, the camp hosts about 64 kids and the goal is to use sports as a means to teach health education.

BREAKING: 70 Days Until Kickoff

Tech plays two non-conference BCS opponents outside of Lane Stadium, and draws the two best teams from the Atlantic Division (or maybe the entire ACC). Other than a break at the end of October —which will be spent preparing for back-to-back Thursday night games— the team doesn't have many opportunities to step back for a breath of air. Duke? They always play the Hokies tough (or Tech doesn't take them seriously, either way it's close). Austin Peay? Beating any team on five days rest is a challenge. It's an unforgiving, but manageable schedule. As I look it over, I believe getting out of Death Valley with a "W" will be the toughest challenge. The Tigers are talented, have schemes on both sides of the ball that give Tech fits, and they hold a two-love mental advantage.

Seventy will forever be linked to Clemson. Remember the '12 Orange Bowl. I hate acknowledging West Virginia being successful (y'all know where the Black Diamond Trophy's at), but they showed the Tigers were anything unlike the world-beaters we made the out to be last year. Georgia Tech, NC State, and South Carolina all agree.

Danny Coale is an Animal Champion

This is a talk Danny Coale gave to a group of kids at the Homerun Club.

Watch this from beginning to end (first 8 minutes is Coale's speech, the rest is Q&A). He gives insight into 2010's 0-2 start and ACC Championship finish, the Frankinator, the "Catch", his path going through recruiting process and becoming a I-A football to NFL player, and more. It goes without saying: 1) this kid is a winner, and 2) the Hokies are really going to miss him on the field and in the locker room next year. Whenever his NFL career is over, I hope he finds his way back to Blacksburg as a coach.

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