Friday, February 27, 2009

Help Rename TSL's Blog

I always thought TSL's Blog had a, well, ummmmmm..., overly-long name. However, now you can help rename TSL Blogs: Off the Beaten TSL Path. And like any good name-the-doohickey contest, there's a fabulous prize. You get one free month of TSL Pass if your name is selected.

Click here to contribute your entry. Please note this is a message board post and this link will eventually expire.

So far the leader in the clubhouse has to be "Blogsburg" which is my personal favorite as well. I made my own contributions, but mine were lame. It's a fun endeavor. Some of the other good names I noticed were "Turkey Tracks" and "The Deep Fryer".

Another shot at the Dukies

Virginia Tech (17-10, 7-6) vs. No. 7 Duke (23-5, 9-4)
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009
Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.
3:30 p.m. (ABC)

White Out conditions await the Duke Blue Devils Saturday in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies will host the country's No. 7 team and fans will wear white shirts to raise money for Herma's Readers.

It's the second match-up between the Hokies and Blue Devils this season. Tech traveled to Cameron Indoor Stadium Jan. 4 and was humbled 69-44 on FSN. Tech never had a chance in the first game, as it shot 36.7 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers to seven assists.

No Hokie played particularly well in that first match up. Malcolm Delaney led the team with 12 points, but did not have an assist and committed three turnovers. Cheick Diakite was solid, going 4-for-6 from the field for eight points with five rebounds.

The second half was especially forgettable for Tech, as it managed just 13 points. Tech had trimmed a 13-point Duke lead to eight at half before failing to answer the bell in the second half.

Tech has the momentum after a big road win over a ranked opponent earlier this week at Clemson. Duke is experimenting with a freshman point guard and will be without guard Nolan Smith, who suffered a concussion against Maryland.

In order for the Hokies to pull off another upset, they'll need a big game from Delaney both in points and in running the offense. He has to play at his highest level and make his teammates better. The Hokies aren't going to have a lot of success on the boards against Duke, so a high shooting percentage is crucial. The Hokies were out-rebounded 38-28 last time they played Duke.

The Hokies hope history repeats itself Saturday. In 2005, Tech traveled to Durham early in the year and were beaten by 35 points. The Hokies then stunned Duke 18 days later in Blacksburg.


I'll link to more Duke previews from various Hokie blogs as they are posted.

- Tech Hoops' keys to the game offers A LOT of sexual innuendo.

- The North End Zone deserves a slow clap.

- Bourbonstreet offers his unique perspective on the Duke game.

- C'mon people, CGB is in a hurry.

- Tar Heel Fan thinks the hoops team needs two more wins in the regular season or a run in the ACC tourney to make the field of 65.

- Doug gives props to two of Lynchburg's finest eateries.

- Hokie wrasslers now know where they need to place March 7 to make the NCAA tournament.

- Any chance last night was also Beth Dunkenberger's last home game as Tech's women's coach?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OT: Things I'm Not Giving Up Because of Lent

Because I'm not Catholic, I'm not observing Lent. But, I didn't celebrate Fat Tuesday either, so I'm not a hypocrite. After all, every day in my house is Fat Tuesday.

However, I've heard from a lot of friends, both Catholic and non-Catholic about all the things they're giving up for the next 40 days. Most of it is just complaining. Anyway, here are the things I won't be doing for Lent because I already don't do them. Add your own in the comments.

1. Non-breakfast items at McDonald's

I saw Super Size Me in January 2005 and haven't had a burger or nuggets or anything from McDonald's that isn't served before 10:30 AM. Why didn't I just give up on McDonald's period? Because McGriddles are just that delicious. Get off my back.

2. The NBA

From Bird's retirement until last year's Celtics-Lakers finals, I only watched one NBA game from start to finish. That game turned out to be the Pacers-Pistons brawl. I was in Waco, Texas, to cover an OU-Baylor football game and the only thing to do in Waco was sit with the other writer in our hotel room, drink beer and watch TV. The only thing on was that game. I took as a sign I was correct in not watching the NBA. I tried to watch last year's finals. It was meh.

3. Auto-erotic Asphyxiation

(I decided not to do a Google Image search for this)

Never really saw the upside to this.

4. Sugary Pop

I've drank solely diet soda for a few years now. It started when I kept getting sick from mixing bourbon and regular coke. Once I switched to diet it fixed everything. And drinking diet helped me drop a few lbs.

5. Climbing Everest

It's not because I'm not athletic (even though I'm not athletic). It's because I don't trust sherpas.

Hokies at the 2009 Combine

Yes, I know I'm way late on this. You can add the NFL combine and draft to the list of things I don't really care about but I tolerate because they help me get to Sept. 5. Recruiting is on the same list.

Full results

Macho Harris, CB

40 Time: 4.61
Position Rank: 32/35
Top Performer: 4.46 (Lardarius Webb, Nicholls State)

3-Cone: 6.68
Position Rank: T3/8
Top Performer: 6.59 (Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State)

Shuttle: 3.98
Position Rank: 2/8
Top Performer: 3.96 (Kevin Barnes, Maryland)

Orion Martin, DE

40 Time: 4.88
Position Rank: 11/28
Top Performer: 4.64 (Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond)

Follow Gobbler Country on Twitter

Tweet, tweet.

Links and random thoughts from the abyss that don't qualify for a full-fledged blog post will be tweeted. If you follow the blog on Twitter it will help my self esteem and happy blogger is a better blogger. OK, that's probably a lie. I'm at my best when I'm angry and/or so drunk I think I'm invisible.

Hokies have hope after topping Tigers

Just when I thought the season was over, the Hokies go and do something like this. Tech went on the road and beat Clemson 80-77 last night to snap a three-game losing streak overall, a three-game road losing streak and a four-game losing streak against Clemson. Tech is now back on the bubble with Duke and UNC coming to Blacksburg in the next seven days.

Now I think if the Hokies win two of their next three, they're in the tournament. Wins over both Duke and UNC almost guarantee a spot in the field, according to research by ACC Now's JP Giglio. A win over one of the two at home and a win on the road in Tallahassee to end the year, to me, would also get them in The Tournament. The Hokies would be 9-7 in ACC play, including 4-4 on the road if they did that.

And should the Hokies play their next three games like they did last night, they will be tough to beat. Malcolm Delaney is back to the form he showed at the beginning of ACC play. He scored 26 points, including four 3-pointers.

The Hokies again struggled from the free throw line as a team, but the three players they need to excel at the line, Delaney, AD Vassallo and Hank Thorns, combined to make 14 of 17. The one downside is the Hokies were again out-rebounded by a team that doesn't exactly dwarf them inside. Jeff Allen's five offensive rebounds were key, though.

This is a very inconsistent team that I still don't think is very good. However, they now have hope and momentum going into a very difficult three games to end the regular season.


- Tech Hoops recaps things.

- Tech Sideline thinks Hank Thorns was the hero last night.

- BCO can now start counting down the days until the Duke game.

- North End Zone thinks Clemson defecated in their sleeping quarters.

- VT Fan thinks one more win will be enough.

- Block-C gives us credit for coming out focused.

- The Gnomes are going to start watching American Idol after last night.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Slumping Hokies take on Tigers

Virginia Tech (16-10, 6-6) at Clemson (22-4, 8-4)
Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C.
7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Virginia Tech finishes its regular season ACC slate with four games against the top four teams in the ACC standings: at Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and at Florida State. The first of Tech's run through the gauntlet is tonight against the Tigers.

The Hokies have lost three in a row and five of their last seven. Tech has also lost its last three road games and four of its six road games in ACC play. The Hokies' struggles against Clemson have been well documented as they've dropped four consecutive match ups with the Tigers, including a 86-82 decision at home on Jan. 29.

The Hokies led that game by 15 points just before the under-16 media timeout in the second half before watching the Tigers out-score them 38-19 to end the game.

It's been a long time since Tech's "Big Three" (Malcolm Delaney, AD Vassallo and Jeff Allen) have all clicked at the same time. If the Hokies have any chance of making the NCAA Tournament, all three will need to be on tonight.

If the Hokies lose tonight, it's officially football season. If they win, they have momentum going into back-to-back home games against Duke and UNC.


- ACC Sports Journal says the Hokies aren't quite ready for prime time.

- Tech Hoops has its always in-depth preview of the trip to Littlejohn.

- Tech Sideline points out the Tigers actually shoot better in Blacksburg vs. VT than at home.

- Block-C has its take, calling us "a complete team." They don't watch us very much, do they?

- Coach Beamer supports Mike Vick's effort to return to the NFL.

- Maker's is actually a bourbon, Brian.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Giglio: Keep VT, Boot BC and Miami

JP Giglio of ACC Now wrote another one of those columns that waxes poetic about the salad days of the ACC when all that mattered was basketball and every basketball team played each other twice. It's the same type of column you see about five or six times every ACC basketball season. It's so common there's pretty much a formula for it.

All of them start with getting rid of the three Big East teams that ruined everything and going back to being a nine-team league. Except, in this case, Giglio didn't get the memo. He'd be OK with a 10 team league. The team he'd keep?

Give back the football money, ACC. Seriously, it's not too late.

We all make mistakes. Just admit you made one in expansion and give Boston College and Miami back to the Big East (but keep Virginia Tech, please).

Ten teams is all you need. The only casualty would be the colossal failure that is the ACC Championship Game in football.

The upside? A true football championship, with every team actually playing each other, and the return of the round-robin in basketball.

You like us! You really like us!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Interesting Take on Kevin Newsome

Virginia Tech missed out on quarterback prospect Kevin Newsome, who signed with Penn State. Many Hokie fans were furious that Tech wasn't able to sign Newsome, who had indicated he wanted to come to Blacksburg.

However, there is at least one person who isn't sold on Newsome's quarterbacking skills. ESPN's Tom Luginbill mentions this in his list of schools with top incoming talent that will participate in spring practice.

He lists Penn State and talks specifically about Newsome. Because the column is pay material, I can't give you a direct quote. Basically he said Newsome needs a lot of work if he's going to play quarterback at the college level and that he would be better suited at linebacker or safety.

Newsome's a great talent, but I think Hokie fans may have overreacted over him not picking Virginia Tech. There are few guys who are can't miss guys and at least according to Luginbill, Newsome isn't one of them.

Recruiting as a science is as exact as meteorology. Getting worked up over whether or not an 18 year old chooses your school is futile. For everyone who says he's the next Michael Vick there's at least one person who says he's overrated and will never contribute. Newsome's probably somewhere in the middle.

NIT-picking Hokie Basketball

Considering the depths this program was at prior to Seth Greenberg's arrival in Blacksburg, it seems kind of trite to complain about the Hokies going to the NIT for the second consecutive season this year. But since complaining is kind of my shtick, I'm going to do it anyway.

Tech lost at the buzzer (again) Saturday to FSU, 67-65. It was a typical Virginia Tech game. The Big Three One and Overrated Two were the only three players in double figures, the Hokies failed to answer the bell, then fought back to make it close.

This year's Hokie team has been able to play to the level of its competition more so than any team I can remember. How can the same team that beat the No. 1 team in the country on its home court be taken to the final minute by Georgia Tech and later get curb-stomped by UVa, the two worst teams in the league? How can this team constantly get beat on last-second baskets?

Simply, I don't think this team is as tough as they'd like you to believe. Yeah, they play tough defense and will work hard on the boards, but as far as mental toughness, I just don't see it. Exhibit A would be Jeff Allen's gesture toward the Maryland student section last week.

This Hokie team should be an NCAA team. They have the talent. When you have two guys who are as talented as Allen and AD Vassallo are supposed to be and you combine them with a guy who will probably go down as the best point guard to come through Virginia Tech in Malcolm Delaney, you should be able to win enough games to make The Tournament.

But this team has failed to close the deal. It's lost five of its last seven games and is about to face the top four teams in the league standings, three of which have already beaten them this season.

It's over. Because this team has failed time and again to get quality wins other than the one over Wake, it is doomed to the NIT. An 8-8 ACC record is not going to get this team into the Tournament. If it can win three of the next four games, giving them three quality wins and a 9-7 record, it's possible. But there is no way that's going to happen. But I'm sure all four games will be close. The Hokies are good at doing that.

Praying for Ryan Miller

Speaking of games that both define a team and ruin a season, my Sabres won't be making the playoffs this year. Not having a rooting interest in the playoffs sucks, but at least they get me through June in the battle against college football's offseason.

Goff shots, nothing but goff shots

Brendon de Jonge continued his solid start to the PGA Tour season with a Top 10 finish over the weekend. With de Jonge and Johnson Wagner already succeeding on Tour and Jurrian van der Vaart starting his post-VT career, we may start to see more Hokies at the top of leaderboards in the near future.

VT hockey team wins conferece

The club-level Virginia Tech hockey team won its conference tournament over the weekend. The Hokies beat Duke 5-2 to capture the ACCHL Tournament. The Hokies have won five of their last six games. Tech may or may not be competing in its regional tournament for the right to make nationals. We don't know and I find the final Southeast regional rankings to be a little odd.


- Annette thinks Macho Harris is going to be one of the toughest players to replace in the ACC next season.

- Scalp 'Em has the opponent's view of the FSU win over VT.

- BCO was too busy gambling (OK, it was for charity) to watch Tech's loss.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bricks, Ovie Time and Links

There are some days I wish I lived out East and was able to see the Hokies when they're on regional TV. Then, there are some days I'm glad watching the Hokies isn't an option. Last night definitely fell into the latter category.

Without Cheick Diakite's 4-for-5, the Hokies shot 33 percent last night against the Wahoos in a 75-61 loss at the JPJ. The fact is this just isn't a very good basketball team. Yes, they beat No. 1 Wake Forest. But so did Georgia Tech and NC State. Jeff Allen wouldn't have made a difference last night as Tech continues its death spiral toward the NIT.

For the record, today is day 1,545 of Virginia Tech's continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

Um. Wow.

If you didn't see Ovechkin's goal last night against the Hapless Habs, take a look. The best part of this goal was the pass to himself off the boards. Incredible.

You Should have Seen the Rorschach Test

Dane over at The Legacy x4 decided to play Hokie football word association with me after I had been overserved at a bar. Hilarity ensued.

So You're Saying there's a Chance

CGB finds a link on Rivals that says we're one of six teams with a legit shot at the national title. Am I the only one who thinks the talent level will be down across the board in college football next year? It just seems like there aren't nearly as many great teams going into next season and right now it's a two-horse race between Florida and Texas. Everyone else is very flawed. Maybe I'm just trying to talk myself into thinking Tech has a chance to hoist the crystal next season.


- Bourbonstreet over at TSL Blogs lost a bet on last night's basketball game. Read the comments.

- Will Stewart from TSL helped ACC Sports Journal take our pulse. Most of it was about basketball and recruiting, neither of which I care about right now.

- Annette is ripping off the BC Interruption guys and will give us a Mt. Rushmore for every football team in the ACC.

- Roy Williams wasn't the only one dropping F-bombs last night. BCO has his reaction to the basketball loss.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ACC Best of the Blogs: Scheduling and Hoops

Because it's the off-season, these posts are infrequent and irregular. But, here's what's going on around the ACC. Sadly, the ACC lost a great blogger last week when Jeff from BC Interruption decided to end his own life ... by getting married. Our condolences to Brian.


BC All Access: Boston College Upsets Duke
"The atmosphere in Conte Forum was electric as the Eagles dazzled the sellout crowd. Fans packed the arena early and created a hostile environment throughout the game. The victory brought upon a massive rush of students as they stormed the court in celebration."

BC Interruption: Role Play: BC Hoops, ACC Football Sched and Gaylord Hotels
"Brian as ACC scheduler: Well, we had to wait to see how some of these out of conference games were going to pan out. We wanted to wait until the teams from North Carolina gorge themselves on creampuff opponents in early September. And we also want to take an extra amount of time to ensure teams like Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami (FL) have the most favorable schedule possible. Because those programs sell! Some say we have a football perception problem. What better way to fix that than give those programs the easiest schedule possible in terms of when who plays who and screw the little guys! I'm looking at you, Duke, Wake Forest and Boston College!"

Eagle in Atlanta: First (delayed ) reaction to 2009 schedule
"Considering we already knew the opponents this is a dream slate for Spaz's first year. I think we get nearly every team when and where we want them. We don't deal with any awkward trips or Thursday night games. Seven games are at home. The toughest road game is at Virginia Tech, but we know we can win there (neutral fields with the Hokies are a different story)."


Block-C: 2009 Clemson Football Schedule
"The Tigers will face out of conference foes from Middle Tennessee State, Central Michigan, Coastal Carolina, and Sakerlina. The Tigers will face their regular Thursday embarrassment early this year, traveling to Atlanta on September 10 to face Georgia Tech."


Tomahawk Nation: How can FSU fill their wide receiver void?
"We discussed Jimbo's extensive use of the depth chart throughout the season and despite our concerns (that Ponder and his wideouts couldn't get in rhythm because the reps were spread too thin), it looks like it might be paying off. Many players got significant reps last year, and despite losing three more wideouts than we expected (Carr was a senior), those losses might not be as bad because of the valuable experience gained by the backups."


The Legacy x4: 2009 Yellow Jacket football schedule is out
"I kind of wrinkled my nose at the idea of not playing Clemson closer to mid-season, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. We get a nice warm up game, then hit the ground running by playing people we love to hate and hate to love."


Testudo Times: 2009 Football Schedule Announced
"It's going to be tough to open the season at California. It would have been nice to get a game against James Madison under our belt first, but it will be a good, early test for this team."

Turtle Soup: Franklin to Replace Friedgen (Eventually)
"I think it’s a great move for all the reason’s they discussed above and Franklin seems to have a passion for the University, saying he can’t think of another school that can offer all the things Maryland can offer a student-athlete. Will that be enough to get the blue chip recruits? It hasn’t so far, but with the class we just got and this ‘continuity’ announced today, perhaps we can take that next step."


The 7th Floor: Like a doll's eyes
"Aside from former linebacker Brandon Marti joining Robert Marve in proving that we really, really, reeeeeeeally need to stop recruiting white guys, all of yesterday's news comes from Lovett's presser. Lovett acknowledged the challenge of arriving 12 days before the start of spring ball, but said he's already hit the ground running and "all the kids I have met have exceeded my expectation in terms of how to present themselves." Team MVP Matt Bosher will shatter this illusion later when he uses his entrée fork to eat a salad, and suffers the humiliation of being shown to the door by the footman."

All Canes: What's new at the U
"Kirby Hocutt joined Shannon at the function and it was stated that Miami's athletic department raised upwards of $4.5M last year with the move to Dolphin Stadium. Though the stadium needs more bodies in seats, it's hard to argue with the bottom line. The Canes left the Orange Bowl for money and for a strapped program, it's hard to argue with almost a $5M increase... in a down economy, no less."


Carolina March: UNC 101, Duke 87
"Four straight wins at Cameron. With the turnover in college basketball, there won't be that many players at UNC next season who have played with guys who have lost in Durham. There's no fear there. Thompson and Davis both, 60% free throw shooters that they are buried four from the line in the faces of a screaming crowd. Neither of the freshman seemed lost for long - only Drew when he kept losing his footing on the wet Duke floor - and Thompson was positively gleeful for most of the first half."

Tar Heel Fan: Oh Yeah…The Football Schedule Came Out
"There is also the matter of UNC playing two I-AA teams this season. The 2nd game came about when Butch Davis canceled a home-and-home with Colorado but could not find a suitable I-A opponent willing to come into Chapel Hill. Playing two I-AA teams means only one of those games can count towards bowl eligibility. At least Duke and NCSU are doing the same thing sparing us any trash talk about the schedule."


StateFans Nation: 2009 Football Schedule Released
"End with Carolina, so it looks like the ACC is finally starting to see the marketability of this rivalry rather than the contrived nature of the Carolina-Duke football “rivalry.” Also, since we’re apparently marked for a Thanksgiving Weekend home game every season, then making it the biggest game of the season is the most practical solution to ensure a max-capacity crowd."

Yet Another...: A look at the 2009 football schedule
"What a wonderful, wonderful site to behold: The front offices of the ACC acknowledging that this game -- not the Duke/Carolina matchup for the Victory Bell -- is the state's most significant college football game."


From Old Virginia: The schedule, obviously
"No long stretches of home games or away games - only two each consecutively. The only time we don't have a home game after a road game is early, after the Southern Miss game, which I feel like we should win. All this strikes me as a good thing. As schizoid as we were last year, and for the most part still pretty bad on the road, I think coming home after all the road games is a good way to re-align the psyche if/when we take another dump on somebody's field."


Beer Control Offense: Putting the Beer back in Beer Control Offense
"The dual party ass clowns might actually do something to help out us Beer drinkers ... via helping the brewer's themselves. Not sure how the BCO feels about this since I think 70% of the stimulus bill is horseshit, this looks like it may actually give some relief to breweries. Either way it's beer news."

College Game Balls: CGB Off-Topic: The Types of Drivers I Hate
"She sees you coming from 500 feet away. Plenty of time to turn onto the road you are barreling down. 400 feet. You can see it’s clear both ways yet she isn’t turning. 300 feet. If you want to turn now is the time. 200 feet. She must be extra cautious and is waiting for you to pass. 100 feet. She decides to turn now. You slam on you brakes to avoid an accident and curse."

Tech Sideline:
Can I rant for just a second?
"Schmadtke’s mistake, assuming I’m interpreting his comments correctly (always a dicey assumption), is a common one made by college sportswriters, who also like to write that the difference between a school winning a conference championship and not winning one is the $17 million paid out by the BCS bowls. No, it’s not — BCS money goes to the conferences, not the schools. Get it right!"

VT Fan: I Picked a Bad Game to Watch the Hokies Up Close
"I’ve watched this team all year, and frankly that was the worst I’ve seen the Hokies so far. It wasn’t any one thing, they just didn’t have the enery, focus, or sharpness they’ve had most of the season on Saturday. Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen especially had bad first halfs. In many ways, it was a case of Maryland just coming out more ready to play, fresher, more energetic, and shooting the lights out."


Blogger So Dear: Startling Statistic: Jeff Teague's last six games
"With Ish Smith on the floor, Teague far too often watches Ish and does not look to score. The two are good on the floor at once, but they could be better. In addition to this, it is incredibly hard to keep up the pace that Teague had. He was seeing a huge hoop and finishing a high percentage of his shots."

OT: Baseball spoiler alert

Considering Alex Rodriguez took steroids while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, his "cousin" is probably named "Ivan." Considering how many Rangers from that era have been caught using steroids or outed in the Mitchell Report, I'd almost be willing to bet on it.

Annette is at it again

This time, she thinks we need to watch out for the Dukies in Lane Stadium South Wallace Wade Stadium.

and watch out for Duke (seriously). The Blue Devils came dangerously close to beating the Hokies with their backup quarterback in Blacksburg last season.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if she is trying to get fired from ESPN so she can go back to covering the Terps. The two games she singles out as being difficult are our games against Duke and UVa. That's right, the only two ACC teams that didn't go bowling last year.

We have to play at Georgia Tech and Maryland and those are the only two games she singles out? She loves her some PJ and Fridge, so you'd figure those would be the two games she'd pick us to have trouble with. Nope. We better watch out against Dook and the 'Hoos.

Then again, maybe Annette is sneakier than I thought. She knew we would criticize her love of Georgia Tech and Maryland if she mentioned those two as our toughest games, so she went the other way with it. In the words of Muldoon from Jurassic Park, clever girl.

In other news...

- The N&O's Luke DeCock (snicker) writes that our game with Alabama is the best game involving an ACC team this year.

- Tech Hoops previews tomorrow's game at france. As always, it's a must-read before watching the game.

- The Sabres get another shot at Justin Pogge tonight. We gave him a thorough ass-kicking thanks to porous defense and never-ending odd-man rushes last time around. Hopefully the "Hockey Gods" don't punish us after his defense forsakes him again:

RIP Allen Calloway

Former Hokie basketball player Allen Calloway died Sunday after a long battle with lung cancer. Calloway was only 25 and played for the Hokies from 2002-05. Read below for more on Allen's story.

Roth Report: Hokie Nation loses a special family member
Tech Hoops: Former VT Player Allen Calloway Passes Away at the Age of 25
Tech Sideline: Allen Calloway Passes
Roanoke Times: Former Virginia Tech basketball player Allen Calloway succumbs

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hey Jeff, how many games are you suspended?

HT: Testudo Times

"This many."

Allen will miss the rivalry game against the 'Hoos, who are coming off a big overtime win against Clemson. That's fantastic. They've got momentum and we've lost two consecutive road games. I really wouldn't be surprised if we lost Wednesday.

The good news is UVa doesn't have a remarkable inside presence that will suddenly be able to dominate in the paint with Allen out. The key for the Hokies will be stopping Sylven Landesberg, who's name says "I'm a 7-2 white center from Lithuania," but is in fact a high-scoring slashing guard from NYC.

The Hokies are also facing yet another coach under fire in Dave Laitao. However, unlike the previous coaches under fire the Hokies faced, does not have a championship ring as a player or head coach.

Look for this to be a tough game for the Hokies, even though he was shut down by the 'Hoos in the last meeting, he's still one of Tech's three most important players and will be missed. And because he did something stupid and immature, he's suspended for an important conference road game.

Also, note that this suspension is coming from VT AD extraordinaire Jim Weaver, citing his incredibly stupid "Hokies Respect" campaign. Weaver should just let the league suspend Allen instead of claiming to do it himself to promote his stupid, cartoonish program. Every fan base has its idiots and we don't need laughable cartoons to tell us to settle down or former players telling us to respect others.

To paraphrase Carlin: Fuck Weaver, fuck Hokies Respect ... and fuck everyone now that I think of it. Sometimes in blogging you have to generalize.

Look, Allen screwed up. Does it make us look bad? Yes. Does it make every fan outside of Virginia Tech think all Hokies are like this? No.

Not even the Deadspin commentariate was vile toward Allen. In fact, the only comment that was even about the game came from frequent commenter and Hokie fan "Frank Beamer's Goiter":

Allen was never in the game from the first minute and neither was most of the team, keeping up with Greenberg's style of playing up/down to each opponent's level.

Weaver had no reason to get on his high horse and take down one of our own to try and save face. The league should have handled the Allen situation.

Showcasing Lane Stadium

A friend of mine who's as a big a college football fan as you will find wants to road trip with me to Lane Stadium this year. However, being an Oklahoma grad, he's unwilling to miss an OU home game.

Therefore, we've come up with two choices for his Lane Stadium experience: Sept. 26 against Miami (an OU off week) or Oct. 29 against UNC on a Thursday. Being a veteran of the last three Thursday Night specials at Lane, I know how insane the place is for those games.

However, Miami is Miami. So what do I do? Do I suggest he come to Blacksburg for the guaranteed night game against the Heels and then high-tail it back the next day so he can see OU play K-State? Or do I bring him to Blacksburg on a Saturday when the Hokies play one of their most hated rivals? Right now, I'm leaning toward the Miami game. What are your thoughts?

UPDATE (2:40 pm): Unanimously, the vote is for the Thursday Night game against UNC. Now, the questions is how do I convince him to skip the OU-KSU game on Oct. 31 and go to The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party/Coke Orgy instead?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day from Jeff Allen

No. 0 let the Maryland student section know they were No. 1.

Hat Tip: Testudo Times

Friday, February 13, 2009

OT: Weekend guide for single people

CGB has his own off-topic discussion at his blog.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Or, as us single people call it, "Saturday". I live with two other guys who are in long-term, committed relationships. So, I'm going to have the house to myself tomorrow, which is going to be awesome.

Here's how I plan on getting through the day. Leave your own ideas in the comments. Unless your idea is to watch NBA All-Star Weekend. No one cares.

Morning: Golf

I've played golf each of the last three Valentine's Days. The courses are deserted. While all the slow-playing hacks are off with their wives at some restaurant I can't afford, I'm on the course enjoying one of the few days I can walk without having a bunch of bald, fat, ass holes in carts complaining how slow I am since I'm on foot.

If you're not walking, you're not golfing.

Afternoon: VT at Maryland

This is for those of you on the East Coast only. I'll probably just play another nine holes. The Hokies have had the Terps number as of late and Gary and Grievous are on the verge of a complete meltdown.

Can we make Gary and Grievous live together and then give them their own reality show? I'd watch that. Then again, I DVR "Tool Academy" so I'm probably not the best test audience for whether or not a reality show is good.

Late Afternoon: Hooters

The V-Day crowds are always fun at Hooters. Plus you'll occasionally be assigned a waitress who's single and desperate on Valentine's Day. Or at least one willing to act that way for a fat tip. It doesn't really matter.

Evening: Hockey Night in Canada

Thank you, NHL Network, for giving me this wonderful gift. This week it's Pittsburgh at Toronto and Calgary at Phoenix. The Leafs have given Sid fits this year, particularly on HNIC, so that will be a fun game. Calgary is at least a fun team to watch and has one of the better goalies in the West. Plus, I can only imagine the suit Don Cherry is going to break out for Valentine's Day.

Night: Wild Turkey Rare Breed

This is my Valentine's Day present to myself. Costs just as much as flowers.

Your 2009 Hokie Football Schedule

(click for larger)

If the Hokies are going to keep making barrels in 2009, they're going to have to face three distinct and equally challenging parts of their schedule. Get ready, because I'm going to be running the barrel metaphor into the ground all season long.


Tech's schedule is conveniently divided into three equal parts by the calendar. September is the most convenient travel month with three home games and a neutral-site game. However, Tech will face three of college football's premier programs in Alabama, Nebraska and Miami. Alabama saw a resurgence in 2008 under second-year coach Nick Saban. However, in 2009, Alabama will have a new quarterback, running back and a revamped offensive line. I think the Hokies luck out by facing them to start off the season.

Nebraska is the same slow Nebraska we saw last season. And this year the Huskers will also have a new quarterback and lose their best running back and receiver. Again, I'd rather face them early. Same with Miami, which is still a young team. Later in the year, the Hurricanes will be a force to be reckoned with. But facing the Canes early and at home strongly favors the Hokies, in my opinion.


October sees the Hokies' first two true road games. The month starts with a trip to Lane Stadium South to face the Dukies. A week later, Tech faces a team it hasn't beaten in the regular season since 2005. The BC game won't be on a Thursday night in Blacksburg for the first time in a while. With all that the Eagles lost on defense and with Dominique Davis getting the reigns full time, it will be interesting to see how both teams are playing going into this game.

The month ends with the Hokies facing their two main competitors in the Coastal, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Tech has won its last two trips to Atlanta, but the Jackets and their triple-option played very well at home last year. The schedule of the North Carolina game I feel favors Virginia Tech. The Hokies have a bye week before facing the Tar Heels and catch them on a Thursday night, when Lane is at its fiercest.


The season ends with Tech playing three of its final four on the road. That's the exact opposite situation of last season, when the Hokies had three of four at home to close the season. Conveniently, Tech won its three home games and dropped its one road game in that stretch.

These road games include a Thursday night non-conference game against ECU, Tech's first trip to Maryland since 2005 and the traditional post-Thanksgiving game against UVa. Sandwiched between the Maryland and UVa games is a home game against up-and-coming NC State.


So what's the hardest portion of Tech's schedule? Well, by the end of the season it may very well be November. While on paper, the teams don't seem as challenging as Tech's opponents in September and October, don't discount the fact that three of them are on the road. Dowdy-Ficklen will be a hornets nest for the national TV game and the Hokies aren't used to traveling to College Park. And of course the 'Hoos will be motivated to get the Hokie monkey off their backs.

No matter what, the Hokies are certainly going to have to earn their barrels this year. By the time November runs around, they will have already faced three powerhouse programs, a team that has their number in the regular season and the two teams likely to be their main competition for the division crown.

It will be anything but easy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

CRuhland's 2009 Desktop Schedules

Clark is at it again. Almost as soon as the schedule was released, he also released four good looking desktops for your perusal. Below is my favorite. Click here to go download these from Clark's site.

VT's Schedule Features Brutal September

The Hokies finally have their football schedule, so we can all start making travel plans. I'll have more on it later today.

2009 Virginia Tech Football Schedule
(* - ACC games)
Sept. 5: vs. Alabama (Atlanta)
Sept. 12: Marshall
Sept. 19: Nebraska
Sept. 26: Miami*
Oct. 3: at Duke*
Oct. 10: Boston College*
Oct. 17: at Georgia Tech*
Oct. 24: BYE
Oct. 29: North Carolina* (Th.)
Nov. 5: at East Carolina (Th.)
Nov. 14: at Maryland*
Nov. 21: NC State*
Nov. 28: at Virginia*

What Others Are Saying:

ACC Now: Ken Tysiac assumes we will lose to Alabama.

Tech Sideline: The Hokies may be on the road a lot toward the end of the season, but those games are winnable.

All together now: Awwwwwwwww!

Congratulations all-round!

Congrats to Jeff from BC Interruption for making the decision to ruin his life by getting married this weekend. Awwwwwwwww, they're getting married Valentine's Day weekend. Ain't that sweet?

Congrats to the Hokies for beating the Jackets/Sid Bream Speed/Winfield/Dane/Bird on Wednesday. Is "ass kicking" hyphenated? Just kidding. That was a lot more difficult than it should have been.

Below - Master P celebrates the Hokie Hoops win (NSFW)!

Congrats to the entire ACC, for having something to talk about in the morning. The ACC is (allegedly) announcing its football schedule at 11 AM EST.

Congrats to the Sabres, for sucking in their first game with Vanek on the IR. This is going to be a looooooong three weeks. Good thing Les Canadiens are firmly in the tank.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

VT 2009 vs. Clemson 2008

I'm late on this because everyone's favorite Mouseketeer is no longer in my RSS reader. Maybe she should be for the entertainment value. Seems she posted a Hokie-heavy mailbag Tuesday in which she compares the Hokies to last year's Clemson team and insults a Hokie fan who insulted her.

Basically, here's what I can gather from her reaction to Mark Schlabach ranking Tech No. 5 and the previously mentioned mailbag:

1. Annette is pretty embarrassed she was so high on the Tigers (even though they had no offensive line) and they proved her wrong.
2. Annette doesn't want to make that same mistake again with the Hokies.
3. Even though the Hokies do return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, Annette thinks they will fail because the expectations will be too much for them to take.
4. Annette's take on the 2009 Hokies is they aren't nearly as good as the best teams in the country or that much better than other top ACC teams, but because they're the Hokies they're going to win nine or 10 games anyway.

Does that about sum it up?

Look, the Hokies aren't going to win the national title next year. But they aren't going to fall on their faces like Clemson did, either. The main reason is because Clemson was coached by this guy:

That, and the Hokies didn't lose four offensive linemen after last season. If we can find a center, we'll be fine. Annette seems to think that Tyrod WILL get injured at some point next season and we'll be doomed. But could Greg Boone and JuJu Clayton be that much worse than Sean Glennon was for the latter portions of his career? I think either are perfectly capable of handing the ball off to Darren Evans and Ryan Williams and letting the defense do its thing.

Our lesson here is two-fold: Don't get caught up in the hype when a team hasn't proved itself and don't think history will automatically repeat itself because the same hype is surrounding another team. It's way to early to be comparing the 2009 Hokies to the 2008 Tigers.

As long as we're waiting

Since we have to wait until tomorrow for the schedule to arrive, I figured this blog could use some awesome. So, here's JCVD killing the Penguins mascot in Sudden Death. Enjoy. The Pens face the Sharks tonight in what will be one of the best games of the week. It's Sid, Malkin and Co. hosting the team with the best record in the West. Also, my Sabres face Ottawa tonight before hosting the Sharks on Friday.

As for today, I'll post news if it happens. Tomorrow I'll have a breakdown of the scheudle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Schedule to be Announced Thursday

From the league office:

We know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the release of the 2009 ACC Football Schedule. We are happy to let you know that your wait is nearly over. will unveil the 2009 ACC Football Schedule on Thursday, February 12 at 11 a.m.

Jay Bilas on Expansion

Jay Bilas gave an extensive interview to ACC Sports Journal touching on a variety of topics. One of them was expansion. Jay isn't a fan.
This summer was the five-year anniversary of ACC expansion. From a basketball standpoint, how did you feel about it then, and how do you feel about it now?

I thought it was a mistake when they did it. I still think it’s a mistake. I think the early results have borne that out.

You can make an argument that expansion has hurt ACC basketball. I’m not sure it’s done anything for ACC football, frankly. The Big East has come out the big winner in this. The Big East is the best basketball conference in the country this year, in my opinion, even though the ACC is very strong. I think the Big East has more quality teams top to bottom.

The thing I don’t like about it is, the elimination of the round-robin — playing everybody twice — I think was a big mistake. If money was the deciding factor or football was the deciding factor, then fine. But from a basketball perspective, I don’t think it has helped in any way.

Let's take a look at the records of the expansion teams in ACC basketball conference play before I tackle the really dumb part of Bilas' statement:

2004-05: 15-17 (.469 VT & UM only)
2005-06: 22-26 (.458)
2006-07: 24-24 (.500)
2007-08: 21-27 (.438)
2008-09: 15-13 (.536 through Feb. 9)
TOTAL: 97-107 (.475)

Does the guy have a point that it hasn't helped ACC hoops? Maybe. Looking at the standings since BC joined for the 2005-06 season, there have been two good teams and one craptacular team out of the expansion teams.

Until an expansion team contends for a regular season crown, wins the ACC tournament or makes a run in The Tournament, people like Bilas who pine for the salad days of ACC basketball will be able to make the argument that ACC basketball just isn't the same with the Hokies, 'Canes and Eagles included.

However, I'll disagree that the Big East is currently the best basketball conference. Sure, everything looked good when Notre Dame and Georgetown were highly ranked, but those two schools are solidly in the tank with big losses against UCLA and Duke, respectively, on its resumes.

What I really take issue with is that Bilas said he doesn't think expansion has done anything for ACC football. He doesn't elaborate on that part, probably because he realized just how stupid that statement was. I'm sorry, but which two teams have played each other in the ACC title game the last two years?

The point can be made that basketball isn't as exciting for the blowhards like Bilas who want all the Tobacco Road teams to play each other twice a year, but I don't think the league has been hurt by the three expansion teams. But football without Tech, Miami and BC would be just plain ugly.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Football Schedule Coming Tuesday?

UVa filled its non-conference schedule today by adding Indiana and according to JP Giglio at ACC Now, the full conference slate will be announced manana.

Rumors and such on the message board have Tech's game with ECU getting moved to Thursday, which would mean the Hokies would have four days to prepare for a trip to play the Pirates after playing Nebraska. So, I kind of doubt that will happen. Hopefully we'll find out tomorrow.

Giglio has a good breakdown of the conference schedules in preparation for tomorrow's presumed announcement. He says Tech is one of the teams getting a good break.

Va. Tech: The Hokies avoid FSU, Wake Forest and Clemson and go to Duke, which is basically another home game.

Quit using "Va. Tech"!

Hokies save season against Pack

Virginia Tech's season was in the process of going from slow decline to rapid free-fall for much of Sunday afternoon. The Hokies trailed by 18 points with 13 minutes to play and eight with two minutes left before an improbable (and perhaps referee-assisted) comeback gave them a 91-87 overtime win over NC State.

Tech needed this one. The win stopped a two-game losing streak, a six-game losing streak against State and moved them to 5-3 in conference. With its toughest stretch of conference games quickly approaching, there was a big difference between being 5-3 and 4-4 for the Hokies.

Nothing is going to be easy for this year's team. The Hokies are incapable of blowing anyone out, however they usually play well enough to keep themselves from getting blown out as well. This isn't the last we've seen of the Heartattack Hokies.

Tech is halfway through its ACC slate and has its two toughest remaining tests, Duke and UNC, at home. I think if the Hokies can win one of those two games and go 2-2 in their remaining conference road games, they will be an NCAA team.

Unfortunately for the Hokies, they are still getting minimal production from their supporting cast and are struggling on the boards. However, their free throw shooting has gotten better as Malcolm Delaney and AD Vassallo combined to go 15-for-15 at the line against NC State.

What others are saying...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. At Tech Hoops, Niemo has a thorough breakdown of Sunday's win and where the Hokies need to improve.

We're flawed, but so is everyone else. Beer Control Offense thinks the Hokies can finish 10-6 in conference, but they could also collapse. And he asks for suggestions for the ACC All-Douche Bag Team.

Nuts and bolts, nuts and bolts... StateFans Nation has some gripes with the officiating. Just about all of them are substantiated.

...but back to bashing Sidney Lowe. Caulton Tudor says the Pack have no one to blame but themselves. Am I the only one who thinks Jeff Capel will be in Raleigh next season?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


College Game Balls makes fun of the 'Hoos in a way I wish I had thought of first.

Read read read read.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hosley to Flower at Tech

LOI Day has come and gone. The Hokies pulled in 20 commitments, including one they didn't expect. Cornerback Jayron Hosley signed with the Hokies after committing to South Florida previously. Hosley is from Delray Beach, Fla., and went to the same high school as the legendary (in my mind) Brandon Flowers. Flowers was an All-American corner at Tech and is now with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hosley is the same height and about the same weight Flowers was when Flowers arrived at Virginia Tech in 2004. Here's hoping Hosley turns into the same shut-down hitting machine Flowers was in the three seasons he played for the Hokies.

We have now come to my favorite part of recruiting season: The part where it's over. We can now resume talking about players that will actually have an impact for the team next season and where the Hokies need to improve. Hell, we can also talk about basketball if we're feeling frisky.

The fact is recruiting season gives more fuel to the fire that college sports are corrupt and ruining America's yutes. So, let's move on. Nothing more to see here. Well, other than maybe these links:

Kyle Tucker has returned: KT returns from his grueling schedule of drinking mai tais and sleeping with models on top of piles of money to bring us some LOI Day blogging, including inside info on the Hosley commitment.

Pharaoh, let my recruits go: VHT offensive lineman Morgan Moses is a 'Hoo. This is the part where Hokie fans dismiss Moses for academics and character issues because a recruit they wanted signed with a rival (WTF is wrong with me? I'm being a real ass hole today.).

But we still ruled in-state: Despite the Moses miss, we still pulled in a lot of the best the Commonwealth had to offer according to the TSL guys.

Nubian!: Peak makes Orson's All-Name Team. He's no Euclid Cummings, though.

Rivals Rankings: The recruiting Gods have us No. 23 in the country, No. 4 in the conference. Not too bad.

One down, three to go: Slowly but surely, we're getting healthy for the playoffs, which are a mere three months away.

LOI Day Survival Kit

No surprises so far for the Hokies on signing day. The key names have all faxed in their LOIs. Tech has hauled in a decent crop of players who, with minimal exception, won't see the playing field for another two years, if at all. So we can stop obsessing over them. Unless of course you're bored at work like I am. In which case you can check out these links to pass the time.

Live Video: VTPhreak4evr is nice enough to stream ESPN's round-the-clock coverage of the signing bonanza.

To Catch a Recruiting Predator: You didn't think this many old men could obsess over 18 year-olds without Chris Hansen getting involved, did you?

ESPN Recruiting Guide: At least the esteemed Heather Dinich gave us "best gameday atmosphere" in the ACC. Ticker: OMG! DW faxed in his LOI!

HokieSports Recruit Profiles: See all the stats your favorite recruit posted against inferior competition.

TechSideline Message Board: It's like alcoholics anonymous, but with more booze and less crying (that last part's probably not true).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why I Consider Myself a Hokie, Recruiting and More ESPHeather Stupidity


Monday night I went to the Oklahoma-Tennessee women's basketball game in Oklahoma City to witness Pat Summitt's 1,000th career win. Needless to say, it didn't happen and it was two hours of my life I'll never get back. It was the first women's hoops game I've ever gone to out of my own free will and will be the last for a while.

If you like turnovers, missed free throws and questionable officiating, women's hoops is the sport for you!

As some of you may know, I'm a Hokie fan, but a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. I don't consider myself a Sooner and I rarely go to OU games, even though I live within walking distance of Owen Field. Well, Monday I was reminded why I'm a Hokie.

Despite the fact their women's team just had one of its biggest wins in program history (on ESPN Big Monday, no less) and had just beaten the team that most casual fans associate most with the sport, OU fans could do nothing but bitch and moan while leaving Ford Center after the game.

Why? Because Courtney Paris fouled out, ending her string of 112 consecutive double-doubles. I won't get into why I think Paris is the most overrated player in the history of any college sport. It would waste your time and I would be admitting I pay any attention at all to women's hoops.

However, because the streak ended and because OU fans felt Paris had been hosed by the officials on all five of her fouls and had been fouled every time she missed an open layup (which was a lot on Monday), they booed relentlessly after the game and walking out of the Ford Center, it felt almost as if OU had lost. God, I had OU fans.

That's why I'm a Hokie. I like to believe Virginia Tech fans would have handled the situation a lot better instead of being the unbelievable pricks most Sooner fans are.


Recruiting news

David Glenn on Hokie Recruiting: ACC Sports Journal has a must-read breakdown of how Tech did building its recruiting class, where it went right and where it went wrong. If you're still on the "Fire Stiney" bandwagon, you'll want to ignore the part under the Top Recruiter sub-head, but there's a lot of great information here.

Great class, but...: VT Fan thinks we have another solid recruiting class. But the gorilla in the room is that it's bereft of a quarterback.

Jagodzinski'd: Kudos to Georgia Tech for pulling an offer from a recruit who committed then made an official visit to Auburn. My question is could Virginia Tech get away with doing this? How would our fans react if Beamer made a similar move?

ESPHeather gets deleted from my RSS reader

For her sake, I hope ESPN made her write this crap. This article annoys me mainly because I don't follow recruiting and really don't care.

The level of talent you bring into a program doesn't matter if it doesn't develop or gel (FSU) and you shouldn't get credit as a great recruiter if you take average talent and turn it into a winner (Wake Forest). It's all nonsense. Recruiting only exists to give us something to care about that gets us to Spring Football.

Arguing about who is the best recruiter in the conference is a worthless endeavor.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A basement worth envying

What a horrible weekend in so many ways.

Anyway, here's what my basement will look like should I ever get married. Just imagine Lane Stadium instead of Ohio Stadium.