UVa lost to Duke for the third year in a row. This is my reaction.
My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the not so obvious movers, shakers and frozen.
- By my eye test LSU might have the best defense in the country. Over the last few weeks their offense has gone from suspect, to serviceable. There is also something to be said for Les Miles getting the big call right every, single, time. I think they're the best one loss team in the country and it's close but I think they're better than Boise State.
- For right now, I'm just whacking Arizona on the knuckles. Stanford blew their doors off, but they still only have two losses and have beaten some good teams. With that said, if they lose to USC they could drop out of the poll altogether.
- Oklahoma - Phil Steele needs to work in "bitchassness" into his set of power rankings for next year so he can give a better preseason prediction.
- Utah - I haven't been impressed with them all year and I think they've only looked flashy against the bottom feeders. So here we are.
I'll be submitting my final ballot on Wednesday, so if you have any suggestions leave them below before then.
My initial thought after Thursday night's game was that we severely regressed. After re-watching the game I've come to the conclusion that my seat high up in the south end zone and a morning, afternoon and evening of tailgating clouded my judgement.
Let me be cliché for a moment–that game was a heavyweight grudge match and Georgia Tech took the opening rounds. On their first two drives the 'Reck took the ball and bullied us down the field for 138 yards and two touchdowns. I knew Georgia Tech would get their yards, but we had to make them earn them. Their first drive was methodical, but we gave up the big play, again, the second time around.
A few guys were responsible for that gaping hole, but Kyle Fuller (who played most of the day at whip) got his jock turned around by Joshua Nesbitt mashing down on the L2 button.
Down 14-0 I thought our prospects for winning were bleak. The defense was struggling, the offensive line was playing mediocre, and Al Groh was proving that he was indeed a Bill Parcells' disciple. But then we began battling back.
Your sights and sounds of Blacksburg or wherever Hokie Nation is headed.
On Wednesday I made my way down to Blacksburg to party, visit with friends, cause general havoc, and watch us defeat Georgia Tech. Co-piloting the trip was my blogging brother from another mother F4H. The night started off with delicious cheeseburgers, onion rings, french fries and Yuengling at Mike's Grill. It then saw us hit ever bar on Main Street, including rails at TOTs and a pitstop at Big Al's to meet up with @vttrapp.
Somewhere in that blur is me holding a rail.
It concluded with a rainy walk up Main Street to B-Dubs for chicken wings and Long Island Iced Teas, where I infamously dropped mine.
I feel something special every time I take that right off of 460 onto Southgate. It was fitting that The Boss' Glory Days was the music to my personal montage of my ride on campus. The maroon "VT" sprayed on the road is a welcome mat back to the best place in the world. Off in the distance Lane Stadium is neatly tucked away behind the perfectly manicured "VT" shrubbery. That view is intoxicating to this Hokie. I feel "back" and I always question why I left in the first place. It's a simple answer though, life must go on, and people must move on.
However, the truth is I am back for one reason, and I know y'all are too. We want to see our Hokies take Paul Johnson's Bees, bend them over their knees, and spank the arrogance out of them.
Both groups of fans want this game. I know that's hard to believe considering 9 out of 10 Georgia Tech fans use a football game as a study hall, but for every 9 there's one 1 passionate bee. And I won't be satisfied until we squash them and flick 'em back to Atlanta.
Based on talent, I think VT is the better team, as does Vegas.
However the difference isn't that great and there are hidden X's and O's that look to favor the Ramblin' Wreck a bit. Virginia Tech likes to use a double tight end set vs Al Groh's 3-4 defense. Those two tight ends help form a seven man offensive line, that spreads Groh's 3-4 wide. That's a hat on a hat with Groh's deep safeties too far off the line to help in the run game. This year the Hokies are lacking a second tight end, will this allow GT to have a man run free?
Defensively, we know Bud has spent A LOT of time trying to figure out how to slow down the Flexbone (it's not a spread) option. Unfortunately Bud's best unit this season is a 3-3-5 that features 2 iffy linebackers. He has stated in not so many words to expect to see multiple looks and fronts, but I am pretty sure it's going to take four good, full time defensive lineman and three gap controlling linebackers no mater which way he designs it. Simultaneous play like that would be a first for the season.
I do expect Bud to disrespect the pass playing a safety over the top and manning up the wide outs.
GT's offensive line has underwhelmed this season, much like VT's defensive line.
Welcome everyone, it's Week 10 of the Six Pick and I only have one game on my mind, VT vesus GiT. I'm not alone, 99% of you reading this are with me and I suspect the pregame tension is building with you as well. As a fan, you want every game, but some have that little extra to it, the ones where you want the win so bad you can taste it. That's Hokies-Yellow Jackets. It's Tuesday night and already my anxiety levels are skyrocketing. I fully expect to be bouncing off the walls by Wednesday morning. I sure hope my new workplace is OK with me wanting to square up and knock the piss out the next person who walks in my office wearing any navy or gold. Note to self, drinking coffee this week was a bad idea.
This week's Six Pick is going to be a bit different. It's GiT week and every other game is going to get short changed, I make no apologies for this. In this column, it's the game of the week and my personal Hokie Game of the Year and it will be discussed last. But first, a 'lil teaser of what I expect to see on Thursday.
To the other games...
When I launched the site earlier in March I had no idea what type of response to expect from it. I just knew I loved the Hokies and I wanted to create a place where myself and others could discuss the team rationally, toss around some numbers and have fun. The positive feedback was more than I expected. As the site continues to grow I want to enable more community features and make them easier to use. Up until now, you've been able to comment and start discussions in the forum. Now you can blog. Under your user menu on the left sidebar just click "Blog Entry" underneath "Create content" and, boom, you have the power to publish. This is the first in a series of changes coming your way.
If you have any suggestions or feedback on ways we can improve or features you would like to see please let us know.
With all of that said, thank you for your support, welcome to The Key Play 2.0, and Go Hokies!
This week we're doing something new around here. I've exchanged questions and answers pertaining to Thursday night's game with our friend Bird of the Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat. Here are Bird's answers to my questions. Be gentle to him. I hope you find his answers to be as fun and informative as I did. Everyone say thank you Bird.
1. Last year the Perfect Option averaged 422.1 yards per game and 33.8 points per game compared to 402.1 yards per game and 29.5 points per game this season. Why has the offense taken a step back?
The biggest downgrade at any individual position from 2009 to 2010 was at wide receiver. We lost an NFL first round receiver and replaced him with young or untested receivers. Stephen Hill has had a tough season particularly in the recent historical comparisons department.
Nesbitt doesn't deliver an easy-to-catch ball and his receivers appear to have gloves made of concrete. Simply put, the passing game is doing us in. We can't stretch the field vertically. Defensive backs can play the pitch rather than having to worry about a deep bomb.
My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.
- I swapped Boise State with TCU because I believe TCU has been more dominate relative to the competition they've each played. I really hate having to judge a team by how the teams they've played have performed. Can we just get a playoff already?
- LSU moves up even though they were on a bye week. Their defense has been spectacular, and I probably overacted too much after they lost to Auburn. On a neutral field, I'd favor them against any team I've ranked below them.
- Nebraska thumped Mizzou and each rise and fall, too much, respectively.
- Sparty takes an extra-large drop after being pummeled by Iowa, they've looked terrible 7 of their 8 last quarters of football.
- Florida State lost a game that in every alternative reality they win, but they lost so they drop.
I'll be submitting my final ballot on Wednesday, so if you have any suggestions get them in before then.