Our Rivals: A Current Introspection

Merriam-Webster defines the word rival as:

a : one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess
b : one striving for competitive advantage

Specific to college football, rivals, and rivalries are constantly evolving, growing and shrinking in terms of importance and relevance. What makes an opponent a rival, and what makes a rivalry intense? I think in most cases it goes without saying that teams who play annually, and are in close proximity stand a better chance of developing a rivalry. There are plenty of other qualifiers, both general and distinct, but above all, in my opinion rivals give as good as they take, and the most bitter rivalries develop when the stakes are the highest.

Who are our rivals and how do they rank in terms of current relevance, all-time relevance, loatheability, and must win?

Hokie Tracks are trying to Follow David Wilson but are Blinded by his Bling

The mainstream media has used the following outline to guide their thesis, or supporting argument for any piece on Virginia Tech football this offseason.

  1. Write an article about the Hokies.
  2. Compare Logan Thomas to Cam Newton.
  3. ????
  4. PROFIT!!!

If Thomas does do something magical like guide us to a national championship, I agree with Furrer4Heisman, he'd be more like our own Tee Martin.

Roc Carmichael's career may be on hold at the moment, but his journey leading to being drafted by 127th overall by the Texans is respectable. Through Roc, Rick Maese gives us a glimpse through the keyhole into what it takes to become a professional athlete.

National Title Talk, Year 13

We are at the point in the year where students are graduating from college, as I did over 4 years ago, and going out into the real world. Of course these kids are now aspiring to do big things in life as no one wants to just be merely average. In that way I would like to segue to Virginia Tech football in which average has risen to winning the ACC and attainable greatness for the program is now the national title.

Commencement

...and with that, I'd like to introduce our next commencement speaker, our "Dean of Defense" Bud Foster.

/applause
//Foster walks up to the podium
///more applause

Good evening.

/taps microphone, feedback
//adjusts microphone

I'm prouder than a peacock to be here this evening to speak to you all. It'll be short and sweet. Your college careers are over, and your lives as professionals are about to begin. It's a little bit easier out there today, beyond these nurturing and comforting walls of Hokie Stone, but make no mistake the real world can get after you. Shake the molasses out of your britches, put that degree to work, take it one step at a time, don't over commit, and you'll beat the bear.

Congratulations to you, the class of two thousand and eleven!

/applause

Hokie Tracks are Following Mr. College Football

As I mentioned last week I hope Hokie Tracks catches everyone up on relevant Virginia Tech, ACC and college football news, as well as puts forth discussion points to engage you and spark conversation below.

Tony Barnhart asked and answered his Top 10: Burning questions about the ACC. I answered his questions too. I stole this idea from Bud.

1: Is this the year Florida State wins another ACC championship and gets back into the discussion for the national title?

Media darling Florida State is certainly the preseason favorite to win the ACC. As it stands now they have the deepest, most talented roster in the Atlantic. However, they travel to Clemson after hosting Oklahoma, and have to head north in November to face Boston College on a Thursday night. I think they lose one of those two ACC games, and they'll be a slight home dog to the Sooners. Splitting against Clemson / BC will be enough to get them Charlotte, but they're still a year away from national championship contention.

2: Will Georgia Tech's defense make significant strides in year two under Al Groh?

COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE


via: @Nik_A_Bando | "...AND SEND A KID TO CAMP."**

DRINK A 1/5 BOTTLE OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE TO CLEAR YOUR INSIDES OUT, AIN'T NO MORE STRAINING AFTER THIS BLEND OF CHILIS, HERBS AND SOY GOES DOWN;

IT KILLS ANTS;

APPLY A NICKLE-SIZED AMOUNT OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE TO BLEMISHES, CUTS, SCRAPES, BRUISES, BLOODY NOSES, BROKEN BONES, CHAPPED LIPS OR LIGAMENT TEARS TO SPEED UP THE HEALING PROCESS;

BRING OUT THAT DEEP, RICH, ORIGINAL FEEL FROM YOUR HARD FURNITURE WITH COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE;

GOT A TOUGH STAIN ON YOUR FAVORITE SUIT? DAB A LITTLE BIT OF COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE ON YOUR LINENS, HOLD WITH WATER, THEN DAB A LITTLE MORE TO CLEAN LIKE NEW;

COACH BEAMER'S FAVORITE SAUCE CAN LUBE UP THAT SQUEAKY BIKE WHEEL;

IT'LL BOND ANYTHING!;

Some thoughts on the VT Spring Game from a Central Region High School Coach

I had the opportunity to talk to my friend who coaches in the Central Region tonight and he passed along some thoughts (all very positive) about the VT Spring Game. He attended with a couple of his players and here are some highlights of what he said:

- The VT Staff did an outstanding job organizing this event. In the past, recruits had, for the most part been on their own, but not this time.

Hokie Tracks are Following Eight Man Fronts

I hope this will become a semi-regular feature summarizing relevant Virginia Tech, ACC and college football news as it piles up. It will most certainly be a day late, and dollar short, but hopefully it will serve as discussion starter. If I missed anything feel free to email them to me or post links in the comments.

EDSBS dug up a handout of Bud Foster's Attack Defense from the 76th AFCA Convention in 1999. We no longer exclusively use true eight man fronts, and haven't for a long time, but it's still a very worthwhile read because many of the philosophies and theories such as the Whip / Rover positions, attacking style of play, and multiple coverages remain the same. Oh, and there are diagrams, so many pretty diagrams.

Concussions: Watch Out for the imPACT

Editor's Note: Moved to the front page because, well, yeah, read the thing and tell me you don't come away impressed.

By: Max Esterhuizen

You are enduring the elements at a football game: the cold, the rain, and the high winds. None of it matters when you are watching your favorite team play a vicious match. Suddenly, there is a bone-rattling hit on the other teams player. You start cheering because of the ferocity of the hit. The other player doesn’t get up. Concern fills the stands. The player gets up with help, but appears confused and woozy. He just suffered a moderate concussion, which is a growing problem in today’s athletics.

Occurrence and Symptoms

Proud to be an American


Move over Ricky Stanzi.

Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who?

The CIA asked itself again and again who might be living behind those walls. Each time, they concluded it was almost certainly bin Laden.

The full story of how it went down comes via Yahoo!, no doubt you already have, but if you haven't read the entire thing.

124. The Offseason Begins.

♫ The Hokiebird makes it his biz to make sure all the cheerleaders swoon. ♫


via @vtnews: The 1962 edition of the Hokiebird.

The real offseason began immediately after the conclusion of the Maroon-White game two Saturdays ago. Sure, there was no Hokie football going on between the end of the Orange Bowl and start of spring practice, but it was a manageable break, one that's often appreciated by my body, but never welcomed by my heart. It's almost summer, and soon we'll all pass the time by doing summery things: grilling, yard work, vacationing, going to the beach, etc... If any of you are like me you'll take the beautiful weather and fun in the sun a little bit for granted because you'll still be looking ahead to the upcoming season.

Ryan Williams Drafted by the Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals selected Ryan Williams with the 6th pick of the second round (38th overall).

I'm going to miss RMFW dragging corpses into the end zone.

Currently, the Cardinals already have two proven NFL backs on their roster, Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. However, they struggled mightily to run the ball and finished last in total rushing in 2010 (1,388 yards). The Cardinals are obviously looking to improve their running game, so look for Williams to get a shot to earn a significant amount of carries.

I'll be drafting him for my fantasy team.

Congratulations Ru, Lil' Sweetness, Ryan Mother Fucking Williams and 1/2 of the 100 Proof Backfield!

Film Study: Maroon-White Game

I promised more detailed analysis after I watched the tape of the Maroon-White Game. I deliver thoughts in varying lengths and in no particular order.

Mike O'Cain's passing game showed its teeth. There were a lot of three-step drops paired with aggressive routes that pushed the field vertically. If LT3 can make the reads quick enough, which he did against a base defense, we can really start using our off-the-blocks speed at receiver to our advantagee. On the 55-yard Maroon scoring drive set up by Jayron Hosley's return, Maroon called 4 straight passes (Logan took off and ran up a soft middle for 6-ish yards on one) until Logan pumped and threw to Marcus Davis for six.


Four Verts: Randall Dunn makes the reception and Boykin is not pictured, but was indeed running down the field.

There were screens too. Screens, those plays we used to run a ton of, then stopped calling altogether. Hopefully we'll use them with moderation, when appropriate.

Logan Thomas Hype-O-Meter [4/26/2011]


HokiESQ did all the work here.

This needed to be updated. The hairs on my neck are still standing up after Logan's 37-yard scamper and everyone in Blacksburg is swooning. A single Logan pump fake makes everyone feel good inside.

Just remember, the '11 offensive line production chart is a negative correlation to the LT3 Hype-O-Meter.

Observations from the Spring Game

In returning to Blacksburg for the first time since the ECU game last year, one question kept coming to mind: Why the hell do I not come back more often? I made the bookstore rounds, watched the sun go down at the pylons, visited the April 16th memorial, ran into Macho Harris walking downtown, got my picture with Bruce Smith, demolished a Kabuki dinner in Christiansburg, and got to see some sloppy, but promising, spring football.

Maroon 27 - White 0 - Atmosphere Amazing

The stands in Lane Stadium were painted orange and maroon Saturday afternoon. In the spring those two colors are foreign there, almost always reversed for the fall, but as usual Hokie Nation came out in droves to support their team. From what my eyes saw, the only Hokie not wearing generous amounts of maroon and orange was Frank Beamer.

The Frankinator wore a black suit with a delicately checkered orange shirt on a day sunny enough to burn unprotected skin, and hot enough to make a cold beer taste that much better. As per his style, he smiled, shook hands, and observed the game more than he coached it. On Saturday he chose to be the CEO of Beamer Co., tucked away in the back of the boardroom, to not only oversee the first steps towards defending our ACC Championship, but maybe to relax and appreciate what he's built over the last 24 years. He didn't break a sweat.

J.C. Coleman VERBALS?

Rumor in Blacksburg is that Oscar Smith H.S. running back J.C. Coleman verballed to the Hokies today before the spring game. Just five weeks ago he was a strong UVA lean.

Protected tweet by incoming freshman Dewayne Alford let the info drop and Kyle Tucker let was quick to put it out after here.

Incoming #Hokies freshman Dwayne Alford tweeting that Oscar Smith High RB J.C. Coleman committed to VT on visit today. Big news.

Though J.C. has scat back size at 5'7" 170 lbs he runs with balance, vision and more power than one would expect. Last season he rushed for 1,402 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Springapalooza Tailgate Companion

Click the thumb to make it grow, then print it off to be enjoyed by everyone while consuming bourbon at your tailgate. It's best viewed in color.

*I wanted to include the actual game rosters, but I'll be DT by the time they are released tomorrow.

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