1. Virginia Tech begins with Alabama on its mind: Virginia Tech finished 10-4 last season, won another ACC championship, and beat Cincinnati, a slight favorite, in the Orange Bowl. With 15 starters from that team coming back, the Hokies are getting some early love as a potential dark horse for the national championship. Spring practice begins today in Blacksburg (ed. note: Wednesday) and coach Frank Beamer knows that he won’t have to wait long to find out if he’s got a contender. That’s because the Hokies open the 2009 season in Atlanta against Alabama, which will be in everybody’s preseason Top 10. “When you play a big game early—and we’ve done that in the past—it focuses you team better in the spring and in the summer,” Beamer told me when the Sept. 5 game at the Georgia Dome was put together. “You can’t ease into your season. You’ve pretty much got to hit the ground running.” One of the top priorities of the spring is to find a backup to QB Tyrod Taylor, who has a history of getting banged up.
The last time Virginia Tech opened with a game this big was 2004 when the Hokies played Southern Cal and lost 24-13 in Landover, Md. The Trojans went on to win the national championship.
SEC fans, your rebuttal?:
Saint Nick: "The only people that will “hit the ground running” are Richardson and Ingram!!!! Bama wins VERY comfortable!!!!"
Otto: "No VT just another ACC team with alot of preseason hype sorta like Clemson…..oops"
Saint Nick: "Bama’s QB situation will be addition by subtraction. McLeroy has been in this offense for three years. Bama won’t have to depend on the RB’s as they did last year, they will have a much improved passing attack. Last year all Bama fans heard were JPW will be the weak link, and that Bama can’t match up against Clemson’s skill positions. Clemson had 0 yds rushing and no Offensive touchdowns. This year is just more of the same, New ACC team, same hype, same result!!!RTR!!!!"
Otto: "VT has played SEC teams before and more time than not comes up short. VT is a best of the rest team playing in a 2nd tier football conf. Maybe the MWC should take the ACC’s automatic BCS bid."
gatorsam: "Does anyone really care what happens in the A.almost C.college C.conference, or if you perfer: A. association C. Community C. Colleges"
Huh?: "If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times. Virginia Tech is one of the most overrated football programs in D-1. Look folks, they win alot of games because they’ve played in the crappy Big East and ACC. Out of conference they’ve done about jack diddly squat. Their bowl record is atrocious. Their record against top 25 out of conference teams is atrocious. They just aren’t that great. Good, but never great. Nevertheless, they always find themselves in the preseason top 10 and they’re always a “dark hourse national title contender” every year. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. OVERRATED.
With that said, I don’t think Bama will be anything special this year. VT might actually do the unthinkable and beat a ranked SEC team. Has that ever happened? I doubt it has."
I think "gatorsam's" comment was my favorite. The irony of an SEC fan calling ACC schools community colleges is just fantastic. Fortunately, there are people out there like commenter "Bo Williams":
Gatorsam, why are you so venomous? Were you not accepted into UNC, Duke, WF, or UVA? With a degree from Gainesville, you can always be a lifeguard
- Annette thinks Tyrod is the best household name in the ACC. (ESPN)
- The back-up QB situation is a huge question for Tech this spring. (Roanoke Times)
Atlantic Coast Conference
- The response out of Hooville to the Bennett hire is similar to Auburn's response to the Chizik hire. (From Old Virginia)
- Dane wouldn't mind being Cooper Taylor's father in law. (The Legacy x4)
- FSU's defense is having trouble with non-traditional offenses. (Tomahawk Nation)
- Who's the better Tournament coach, Izzo or Roy? (Carolina March)
Stuff Only I Care About
- College football nerds can rejoice in this look at zone run blocking. (Rocky Top Talk)
- Ohio Stadium's "drunk drivers" are finding new ways to get there. (ESSBS)
- More commenting stupidity. (Holly)
- Rob Ray's Mind? Blown. (Willful Caboose)
- Miller could be the difference... in finishing 9th instead of 10th. (Die by the Blade)
- That's a pretty stacked lineup if you ask me. (Extra Bases)