FBS Mission Statement:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As was noted in my 2010 season preview, VT plays seven home games this coming year, which is no doubt a huge plus for the Hokies. What's interesting, however, is that if the schedules as they appear on hokiesports.com hold up (never a given), the Hokies will have seven games at Lane Stadium from 2013-2016.
Jim Weaver, pure...scheduling...genius!!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Leave it to the ACC brass and Jim Weaver.
The 2010 schedule is out, and I'm not going to repost it here. (If you don't already have it memorized, you're no friend of FBS.) And all in all, I personally feel better about this schedule than I felt about the past three. It's not perfect (more on that later), but I think it sets up well and plays mostly to the Hokies' strengths.
Seven home games. I mean...really? How the hell did we manage that?
The defending ACC champs served up on a silver platter. If you had asked me my dream scenario for our matchup against GT in '10, my answer would have been quick and confident: Thursday night game in Blacksburg after a bye week. Thank you, football gods.
October. One away game at perpetually struggling NC State, then home games against a LeFevour-less Central Michigan, Wake, and Duke.
Away games. With only four of them on the schedule, how hard do you think John Swofford and his cronies had to work to have them fall in two sets of back-to-back weeks? Or that two of them came in the last three games of the season?
November. Defending ACC champs to open the month, then on the road against suddenly decent UNC and schizophrenic Miami, before rounding out the season at Lane Stadium against new-look UVA. (On a side-note, does anyone else find it humorously appropriate that the Cavaliers now have a coach named London? No? Just me? Okay.)
Boise State. For the third time in seven seasons the Hokies will open with a neutral-site game against a (probably) top-5 opponent. Let's be honest, the Broncos will be hands down the most talented opponent on the schedule next season, just as Bama was the stiffest test in '09 and USC in '04. VT is 0-2 when opening the season with this formula. So why does Jim Weaver keep bashing his head against this particular brick wall? Oh, yeah, I forgot, the 'Skins gave Weaver 2.35 million reasons.
But this move is risky on so many levels. For one thing, while our offense comes back essentially intact except for some questions on the left side of a suddenly and surprisingly deep offensive line, there are gaping caverns to fill on defense. Worild's (understandable) decision to leave early - thereby avoiding having any potential NFL lockout in 2011 stand in the way of getting a contract - officially stepped up Bud Foster's DEFCON level by one. We also have to deal with the loss of the top-secret laboratory-constructed defensive weapon known as the "Cody Grimm Project."
It would have been nice to give Bud four weeks to get his troops in line, as was originally planned. (Well, not originally planned. Originally the plan was to play on Labor Day, but then that fell through because Boise State was worried about their game against Toledo five days later. The game was tentatively set for October 2, then moved back to Labor Day once ESPN ponied up enough of a purse to make BSU not give a shit about the quick turnaround. Confused? Me too.) As it stands, we'll find out what the 2010 model of the Lunch Pail Defense is made of right off the bat.
And the rare Monday game also give VT its own quick turnaround to worry about, as the Hokies, too, have a game to play five days later. Thankfully for VT, it's against the weakest opponent on the schedule, 1-AA James Madison University.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
If we can get past the first game (and haven't we heard that song before?), the season sets up nicely. Get the Broncos out of the way and it's pretty smooth sailing. After a week 2 tuneup against JMU, East Carolina comes to Lane Stadium
sans Skip Holtz, who will be a thorn in VT's side no longer at South Florida.
The first two true away games are against two teams the Hokies decimated in '09, though it should be mentioned that Boston College now has ubermensch Mark "Tougher that Ewing's Sarcoma...and God" Herzlich back along with 2009 ACC defensive rookie of the year Luke Kuechly. If Herzlich is really back to full strength and speed, BC will have the best linebacking corps in the ACC.
After the Hokies' first set of back-to-back away games the team cruises into October, which as mentioned above looks very, very promising. This could be the stretch during which the Hokies really find their stride, and they'll need it come November.
The eleventh month is a case of pick your poison, as the Hokies will have to run the gauntlet of their three toughest conference games in three straight weeks, the last two as away games. It's a tall order. But let's be honest: if given the option in 2009 to play Georgia Tech and UNC in November - knowing what we know now - who in their right mind wouldn't have taken it? It looks daunting on paper to have GT, UNC, and Miami in three straight weeks, but if the recent trend continues the Hokies should be firing on all cylinders by that point.
No, not our key losses. I'll disect that particular animal later on. I'm talking about our opponents' collective key losses, and there are a lot of them:
Boise State lost their defensive coordinator.
East Carolina lost their head coach.
Central Michigan lost one of the best starting quarterbacks in the game.
Georgia Tech lost...just about everyone except Josh Nesbitt.
And those are the ones I just came up with off the top of my head.
Not to say that each or any of those losses will be completely crippling to the given team, but a consistent theme coming from the other sideline all throughout 2010 will be uncertaintly, about one aspect of the game or another. VT, meanwhile, returns every starter from every skill position on offense and the best defensive coordinator in the game.
Just something to think about.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
However, if you're a Bronze or Silver Hokie like me and my friends whom I split the 'skin season tickets with - you just jumped up the line in front of all those Gold and Diamond Hokies for tickets to Fedex.
We **beat UNC** last night. Stayed perfect at home this season. Even though UNC is down this year, it's still a sweet hoops victory. Nice work Hokies. I'd like to know who this new guy is, #5. He looks like Hudson, the commentators call him Hudson - but this guy can shoot. Who are you and what have you done with Dorenzo Hudson?
I kid. But we all know Delaney is going to get his. And for that matter Allen is going to get his when he's not acting the fool. We're winning games this year we might not have won previously with play from the likes of Hudson, and JT Thompson. Good work gents.