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.
These are pretty straightforward to pick. Usually, the best pick is the underdog, unless there is a combination of
SOS, Heisman, or BCS implications. Since we’re #2, the BCS stuff should straighten itself out by itself if the
(#1) Oklahoma (7-0) @ Baylor (2-6)
Well, this is an easy choice, even though this is an SOS wash. A loss by the Sooners would put the Hokies into 1st
place with a win @ Miami. Still, it’s Baylor…
Root: Da Bearsss!
(#2) Virginia Tech (8-0) @ (#3) Miami (6-1)
Just the game the Hokies have been waiting for. Unfortunately, it’s without Vick. Doesn’t matter, Dave’s gonna
have the game of his life (including a TD pass to Vick at flanker).
Root: Go Hokies!
(#10) Clemson (8-1) @ (#4) Florida State (8-1)
Of course Clemson, with their loss to Georgia Tech (way to go, Jackets!) last week, worries me less than Florida State.
Even though F$U has an SOS advantage to them (they appear on two opp schedules as opposed to Clemson’s one), we would
be better off with the Seminoles losing, as they are edging dangerously close to us in the BCS ratings. Of course, if
F$U does lose (and have two losses) then we can root for them against 1-loss Florida at home in two weeks.
Vanderbilt (2-6) @ (#5) Florida (7-1)
Just in case the above doesn’t work out, we’re still going to root against Florida here. Besides, they shouldn’t
have won in Knoxville. BS call.
Root: Vanderbilt Commodores
Kansas (4-4) @ (#6) Nebraska (7-1)
While I would love to see a rematch with Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, this column (despite what you might think) is not
about my wants and desires, but about what would be beneficial for the Hokies. And Nebraska gaining on us and possibly
passing us in the BCS does not fit the above scenario.
Arizona (5-3) @ (#7) Washington (7-1)
Tough choice here. Do we go the SOS route and pick the Huskies? Or do we go the anti-top-10 route and pick the Wildcats.
Hmmm. If we win, then both ideas carry about the same weight. If we lose, however, then SOS doesn’t matter and we need
the Huskies to lose. So (not saying that we’ll lose, but…)
(#8) Oregon (7-1) @ Washington State (3-5)
I like Oregon, but unlike the above scenario, there are no reasons to root for Oregon. Apologies to HCMB poster ‘threeputt’,
but let’s hope the Ducks’ MNC hopes end right here.
Root: Washington State
(#9) Texas Christian (7-0) @ San Jose State (6-3)
Alright, we need to nip this [crap] in the bud right here. If TCU can win out and move into the top-6 of the BCS
ratings, they get an automatic BCS bowl slot, possible taking the Hokies out of the Fiesta Bowl if we lose to Miami.
Their schedule is incredibly weak, with Fresno St., UTEP, and SMU after this game, so if they win here, their only
chance to lose is possibly UTEP.
Root: San Jose State
Loserville (6-2) @ (#11) Southern Miss (6-1)
This will be an interesting pick. It’s an SOS wash, because each school appears on our opp schedules exactly once.
Also, Southern Miss is ranked and almost all Hokies hate Loserville. Too bad, because my recommendation is to…
(#12) Michigan (6-2) @ (#23) Northwestern (6-2)
SOS wash, both identical records, hmmm…whom to root for? Neither is in danger of overtaking the Hokies, so we’ll go
with just pure dislike.
(#14) Oregon State (7-1) @ California (3-5)
This is an easy one. Another Top-25 SOS wash. A loss by Oregon State would make it easier for Oregon, who I like, to get
to the Rose Bowl.
Iowa State (6-2) @ (#15) Kansas State (7-2)
This would seem to be a straight-forward pick, but we need Kansas State to be strong to beat Nebraska next weekend. On
the other hand, another Big XII loss for the Wildcats would mean a win against Nebraska would still not get them to the
Big XII Championship game.
Root: Iowa State
(#18) Miss. State (5-2) @ Kentucky (2-6)
MSU is in the driver’s seat for the SEC West title, but then again so are Auburn and Alabama (yes, Alabama can win out
and go to the SEC Championship game). Kentucky is looking like they were when Bill Curry had some guy named Couch
sitting on the bench. Since this is an SOS wash for us, we’re going to do the usual thing and…
Michigan State (4-4) @ (#19) Ohio State (6-2)
No SOS implications to be found here. Pssst! Don’t tell my ex-girlfriend that I’m rooting against her beloved
Root: Michigan State
(#20) Texas (6-2) @ Texas Tech (6-3)
I think I’ve been to this game way back when I was a little kid. At least I remember the nested ‘TT’ in red at the
50 yard line of the Red Raiders’ stadium. Still, since there are no SOS implications in this game, I would love to see
the continued tailspin of a program that’s had five straight top-5 recruiting classes.
Root: Texas Tech (Go Red Raiders!)
Brigham Young (4-6) @ (#21) Colorado State (7-1)
There are two reasons why I’m rooting against my cousin Steve’s alma mater. Brigham Young appears twice on our opp
schedules, and Colorado State only has 1 loss. Sorry, Steve.
Root: Brigham Young
(#25) Texas A&M (6-2) @ Oklahoma State (2-5)
This is an interesting question. Despite an SOS wash, do we root against the ranked team lkjust because they are ranked?
Or do we root for them so they have some momentum coming off a win against Kansas State and going into a game against
(#1) Oklahoma? I think we need to go with the momentum here, as beating Oklahoma next week is more important than a 25th
ranked team losing.
Root: Texas A&M
HOKIE OPPONENT GAMES
These picks are pretty straightforward as well, as the Hokie opponent usually has a larger SOS effect, but not
Temple (4-4) @ Boston College (5-3)
Interesting conference game, I think that Temple can win this one, but since they have Syracuse and Pitt
afterward, it’s doubtful that they can be bowl eligible.
Root: Boston College
Syracuse (3-4) @ West Virginia (4-3)
It might be better for the computers that Syracuse wins, since they took us to the wire, but West Virginia has a better
shot of getting bowl eligible with a win. Syracuse has @Temple, Miami, and Rutgers remaining, while West Virginia has
@Rutgers, East Carolina, and @Pittsburgh. Both could be bowl eligible with a Syracuse win here if the ‘Eers can beat
ECU, and I think it’s better that we have two 6-5 teams instead of one 7-4 team.
North Carolina (3-5) @ Pittsburgh (5-2)
This one’s for you, Atlee.
Central Florida (6-3) @ Louisiana Tech (2-7)
Yes, La. Tech is on an opponents’ schedule, but a Hokie opponent far outweighs that.
Root: Central Florida
Good thing Virginia’s idle, because my friend recently informed me that he’d root for AIDS or Ebola before he’d
root for Virginia. (Yes, Doug, I’m talking about you.)
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.
North Carolina State (5-2) @ Maryland (4-4) – (1-3) For SOS purposes alone…
Kent State (1-8) @ Buffalo (1-7) – (2-3) Toss up whether this or Duke/Wake will be a more exciting game.
Marshall (4-4) @ Bowling Green (2-6) – (1-3) I don’t think BGU has a chance, but…
Root: Bowling Green
Toledo (7-1) @ Northern Illinois (5-3) – (0-2) Fresh off a 73-10 butt-whooping of Buffalo…
Root: Northern Illinois
Middle Tenn. State (3-5) @ Connecticut (3-5) – (0-2) You’re not doing so hot at showing you’re worthy of
being in a BCS conference.
Air Force (5-3) @ Army (1-6) – (0-2) Can home field keep the Cadets from being strafed?
Central Michigan (1-7) @ Eastern Michigan (1-7) – (1-2) Another yawner.
Root: Eastern Michigan (wouldn’t it be funny if they were the Emu’s?)
Duke (0-8) @ Wake Forest (0-7) – (2-1) It’s a shame they don’t allow ties.
Ohio (5-3) @ Miami Ohio (4-4) – (1-1) Heck, let’s root for both Miami’s to lose!
Houston (3-5) @ Tulane (3-5) – (1-1) Pick ‘em. (My ex-gf hated Houston, so I’m gonna…)
UAB (6-2) @ Cincinnati (4-4) – (1-1) Another wash, but UAB is bowl eligible.
Tennessee (4-3) @ Memphis (4-4) – (0-1) I think that UT was Kevin Jones’ "School X"
LA-Lafayette (0-8) @ LA-Monroe (1-7) – (0-1) What’s up with all the yawners this week?
Alabama (3-5) @ LSU (5-3) – (1-0) Now this is an interesting game. SOS says to root for Alabama, but I’ve got
a better reason. If they win out, they will go to the SEC Championship game, with a record of 6-5. If they could decline
that game, they would be normally bowl eligible. But they can’t. So if they lose that game, they are no longer bowl
eligible at 6-6. That would be just the funniest thing to me, the loser of the SEC Championship game is not bowl
eligible. (Of course, I wouldn’t root for them against Auburn, but it’s still funny.)
Idaho (3-5) @ North Texas (2-6) – (1-0) I commented enough above for two games.
Iowa (1-8) @ Penn State (4-5) – (0-1) KJ ain’t going there. Trust me.
Root: Penn State
Well, that just about wraps up the Weekend Rooting Guide. I’ll come back with the results on the Message Board
For those of you going to the game, take care and good luck. GOOOO HOKIES!