Weekend Rooting Guide
by Huntsville Hokie, 10/20/00

Well, I’m sure that most of you reading this have already perused Beerman's Picks, but this takes a bit of a different tack. Weekend Rooting Guide is a list of teams for whom Hokies should be cheering. Choices are made due to effect on our rankings, SOS calculations, conference strength, and other BCS implications. Keep in mind, I’m just saying who to root for, not necessarily who will win. Rankings are taken from the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

TOP 25

These are pretty straightforward to pick. Usually, the best pick is the underdog, unless there is a combination of SOS, Heisman, or conference implications. Since we’re #2, the BCS stuff should straighten itself out by itself if the underdogs win.

Baylor (2-4) @ (#1) Nebraska (6-0)
I really want to see Nebraska as our foe in the Orange Bowl, as I think we match up well with them, but as this game is an SOS wash, and they’re ranked ahead of us, we must wish them to lose. Not much chance, as they’re only playing the Bears instead of Da Bearsss. Still…
Root: Baylor

(#2) Virginia Tech (6-0) @ Syracuse (3-3)
No commentary needed here.
Root: Go Hokies!

(#3) Clemson (7-0) @ North Carolina (3-3)

As if Clemson being undefeated wasn’t enough, the Tarheels appear twice on our opponents’ schedules, thus granting an SOS boost if North Carolina (however unlikely) should win. Sorry, Atlee, but this might be a good time to…
Root: North Carolina

(#5) Miami (4-1) @ Temple (4-3)
While this game is an SOS wash for us, we would be much better served by beating a 1-loss Miami team than a 2-loss Miami team. Granted, the Owls could make a huge (and believe it, it would be HUGE) step towards bowl eligibility, but a Temple win would just be too damaging in the eyes of the voters come Nov. 5th.
Root: Miami

Virginia (4-2) @ (#6) Florida State (6-1)
Last week (in my message board post) I was relieved not to have to root for the Wahoos. It still hurts, but their opponent makes it a lot (well, not a lot, but somewhat…) easier to bear. The Seminoles, despite their loss to Miami, seem to be cruising—no doubt aided by some serious RUTS over Duke. Look for another monster game out of them, but wish for the opposite, as a Virginia win would help not only in SOS, but also in the eyes of the voters come Nov. 26th.
Root: Aarrgh…can’t…say…it….the Wahoos

Texas Tech (5-2) @ (#8) Kansas State (6-1)
Oh, man! I’m seeing some serious RUTS here, even more than F$U over Duke. The Wildcats are coming off a disappointing loss to Oklahoma, so they probably want to put up some style points Saturday. Texas Tech, on the other hand, just got demolished by Nebraska. However, maybe Tech learned enough last weekend to hold off K-State. (you think?)
Root: Red Raiders

California (2-4) @ (#9) Washington (5-1)
California jumped up and bit the Bruins on the behind in 3OT last week. Do they have the muscle to upset the Huskies? You might think that I’d wish so, but a Washington win helps our SOS, makes Miami look good, and heck, UDub is a cool name. But Marques Tuiasosopo is still lurking on the fringes of the Heisman race…
Root: Washington, with a bad game from Tui

(#10) Texas Christian (5-0) @ Tulsa (3-4)
The Horned Frogs have probably the best shot at going undefeated this year. This is why we must root against them. Not only that, a bad game by Heisman candidate LaDainian Tomlinson would give Vick a little breathing room.
Root: Tulsa

(#20) Arizona (5-1) @ (#11) Oregon (5-1)
In this battle between the two Pac-10 leaders, both 3-0 in-conference, the winner is in the driver’s seat for the Pac-10 race (whatever that’s worth). Oregon has looked like the much stronger team, though, and Autzen stadium has been very good to them in recent years. Since Oregon has already bypassed conference heavies Washington and UCLA, and Arizona still has them on the schedule (actually, they play them the next two weekends), it’s much more likely that Arizona will lose again.
Root: Arizona

(#13) Georgia (5-1) @ Kentucky (2-5)
This one’s easy to pick. Since it’s an SOS wash (as have been the previous 2 picks), and Georgia has a potential Heisman candidate in Quincy Carter (naaah, he’s out of it), and Kentucky…uhh… "creates a vacuum", go with the underdog.
Root: Kentucky

(#14) Mississippi State (4-1) @ LSU (4-3)
Despite what you might have heard about Alabama, Mississippi State, IMHO, is in the driver’s seat in the SEC West. Let’s hope they lose now, so I don’t have to pull for Alabama when they visit Starkville in 3 weeks.
Root: LSU

Michigan State (3-3) @ (#16) Michigan (5-2)
I hate Michigan, especially when they are ranked.
Root: Michigan…errr…State

(#17) Purdue (5-2) @ Wisconsin (4-3)
Not only do I root against ranked teams, I also root against other Heisman candidates. Makes it easier for Michael to win if the rest of the field falls back. Wish for a bad day (at least 3 INTs) from Drew Brees, and it’ll be much easier to…
Root: Wisconsin

(#18) Oregon State (5-1) @ (#24) UCLA (4-2)
2 losses….2 losses….everybody but the Hokies must have 2 losses….
Root: UCLA

(#19) South Carolina (6-1) @ Vanderbilt (2-5)
Really? Nobody in the Big East has Vandy on the schedule? Oh, well, root for ‘em anyways.
Root: The Commodores, while listening to the Commodores (well, maybe not the music…)

Missouri (2-4) @ (#21) Texas (4-2)
Another yawner, because there are no SOS implications, no Heisman implications, and no MNC implications here. Oh, well, then let’s….
Root: Mizzou

(#22) Notre Dame (4-2) @ West Virginia (4-2)
Even though Notre Dame appears thrice on Hokie opponents’ schedules, West Virginia has much more of an SOS effect, since they’re on OUR schedule (which is 2/3 of the equation), and appear six more times on Hokie opponents’ schedules. PLUS, a Big East team winning an OOC game is good, PLUS, it looks better in the eyes of the voters if the team we just shellacked beats Notre Dame, PLUS, a Notre Dame loss lessens their chance of stealing a Big East bowl away, PLUS…aww heck, that’s enough reasons.
Root: West Virginia

(#23) Minnesota (5-2) @ Indiana (2-4)
Another SOS wash, so root for the underdog.
Root: What the @#$% is a Hoosier?


These picks are pretty straightforward as well, as the Hokie opponent usually has a larger SOS effect, but not always.

UConn (2-4) @ Akron (4-3)
Tricky pick, here. UConn appears twice on Hokie opponents’ schedules (Akron and BC), but Akron appears on OUR schedule, which is weighted twice as much, and on UCF’s schedule as well. That gives Akron a 3-2 advantage in SOS effect. Plus, Akron winning looks good for us in the voters’ eyes, a much more subjective criterion, but important as well.
Root: Akron

ECU (4-2) @ Louisville (5-1)
No doubt about this one. ECU appears on our schedule, as well as Syracuse’s and WVU’s. Louisville plays only ECU of the Hokie opponents. 4-1 SOS effect for ECU.
Root: ECU

LA-Monroe (1-6) @ Central Florida (4-3)
Same as above. UCF—Hokie and Zip opponent. LA-Monroe—only plays UCF.
Root: Central Florida

Rutgers (2-4) @ Navy (0-6)
Navy’s winless record is hurting Tech’s SOS, since they appear 3 times on Hokie opponents’ schedules (Rutgers, BC, and Temple). We’d like them to get a win, but not at the expense of a Big East opponent. Let ‘em beat Toledo, Tulane, Wake, or Army…
Root: Rut(s)gers

Boston College (4-2) @ Pittsburgh (4-1)
These are the games that are tough to call. Do you want the underdog to win, possible to get more bowl bids? Or do you want the favorite to win, to get them ranked higher. From a strict SOS standpoint, this game is a wash. But I would tend to go with the favorite, to get Pittsburgh ranked higher, to help us in the eyes of the voters.
Root: Pittsburg(h)

OTHER GAMES (In order of SOS importance)
These are the games where the biggest factor is how many times they appear on Hokie opponents’ schedules. Any other implications, such as Heisman candidates, National Ranking, or other such "strength" categories would’ve most likely been addressed in the first two sections. Therefore, the non-boldfaced numbers in parenthesis (they will look like 3-2 or something like that) are the SOS effect of the two teams.

Wake Forest (0-6) @ Maryland (2-4) – (1-3) Jordan’s out of the Heisman race. Go Terps.

Ball State (1-4) @ Buffalo (1-5) – (0-3) Root for 2nd win for lowly Buffalo (tetonka)

Eastern Michigan (1-5) @ Bowling Green (1-5) – (2-3) Root for the Falcons (that’s Bowling Green, by the way…)

N. Illinois (3-2) @ Western Michigan (5-1) – (2-0) Root for Northern Illinois

Kent State (1-5) @ Marshall (2-3) – (2-1) Must be Marshall’s Homecoming. Root for the visitors.

Tulane (3-3) @ Army (0-6) – (1-2) C’mon, Cadets, just win #1!

La. Tech (2-5) @ Auburn (5-2) – (2-0) Don’t tell my friends I’m rooting against Auburn

San Diego State (1-5) @ BYU (3-4) – (0-2) BYU, though they won’t make a bowl.

Duke (0-6) @ Georgia Tech (4-2) – (2-2) SOS wash. Go Jackets!

Central Michigan (1-5) @ Ohio (3-3) – (1-1) Since it’s an SOS wash, and no other factors involved, why not root Ohio, so they look better when we play them in a few years. ;^)

Miami,OH (3-3) @ Cincinnati (3-4) – (1-1) Root Cincy, makes Syracuse look better, hehehe

Houston (2-4) @ Memphis (4-3) – (1-1) SOS wash, so root for the better team here.

Middle Tenn St (3-3) @ UAB (4-2) – (0-1) UAB in a bowl? Root for it to happen.

Alabama (3-3) @ Tennessee (2-3) – (1-0) I like UT at 2-3. They’d look better at 2-4.

Idaho (3-4) @ Utah State (2-4) – (1-0) You da ho? No. Idaho!

Illinois (4-2) @ Penn State (2-5) – (0-1) Nittany Lions up, Kurt Kittner down

Well, that about does it for this edition of Weekend Rooting Guide. I’ll post the results on the message board on Monday or so.

BTW, for those of you (if anyone at all) who are wondering where the weekend update (This Weekend on the HCMB) that I was doing went, well, it got to be too much work when the message board started cycling through about 25 pages once football weekends came around. The Rooting Guide is a bit easier, so if you want me to, I’ll keep it up.



HC Voice of the Fan Archives

HC Home