Weekend Rooting Guide
by Huntsville Hokie, 11/10/00

Well, due to the loss to Miami, the priorities have changed. The focus now is to get the Hokies into a BCS bowl, either the Fiesta or the Sugar. Consequently, rankings and other Top 25 teams are more important, and the BCS importance is diminished, albeit only slightly (more on that later). Heisman implications have been taken out of the Rooting Guide as well.

There’s a new format this week, including conference records and remaining games. All rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll, and most information has come from Beerman's Picks and Leonard's Losers. Enjoy!

TOP 25

(#1) Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0) @ (#24) Texas A&M (7-2, 5-1)
Oklahoma – vs. Texas Tech, @ Oklahoma State
Texas A&M -- @ Texas
The winner of this game has the edge for winning the Big XII South, but aTm has a tougher row to how afterwards. Our best bet would be a one-loss Oklahoma winning the Big XII, but to do that, they either have to lose to TT or OSU, or they lose to aTm and aTm loses to Texas. The latter is more likely.
Root: Texas A&M

Pittsburgh (5-3, 2-2) @ (#2) Miami (7-1, 4-0)
Pitt – vs. Temple, vs. West Virginia
Miami -- @ Syracuse, vs. Boston College
Miami in the Orange Bowl would help us immensely in getting an at-large bid to the BCS. If Miami isn’t in the Orange Bowl, that would make it harder for the Sugar and the Fiesta to split us up.
Root: Miami

(#3) Florida State (9-1, 7-0) @ Wake Forest (1-7, 1-5)
Florida State – vs. Florida
Wake Forest -- @ Navy, @ North Carolina State
We’ve got the proverbial "snowball’s chance in hell" game here. However, I don’t like the way that F$U has overtaken Miami in the BCS poll.
Root: Snowball

(#25) South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) @ (#4) Florida (8-1, 6-1)
South Carolina -- @ Clemson
Florida -- @ Florida State
The winner of this game goes to the SEC Championship game as the SEC East representative. Basic Concept here: for us to get an at-large bid, we need there to be no at-large teams from the SEC. We’re in luck, however, as SEC expert told me that Florida does not get an at-large bid to the BCS with two losses. (I’m sure he qualifies as an expert. He told me that if Miss. State, Auburn, and LSU win out, then MSU goes to the SEC Championship on the graces of the 7th level tiebreaker, and proceeded to list them all.) Therefore, so that we can free up Florida to win against Florida State in their final game…
Root: Go Cocks Go! (and UF to lose uuuuuugly, just in case)

(#5) Nebraska (8-1, 5-1) @ (#11) Kansas State (8-2, 4-2)
Nebraska – vs. Colorado
Kansas State -- @ Missouri
The winner of this game (with the exception of a K-State win and subsequent loss @ Mizzou) goes to the Big XII Championship game as the Big XII North representative. Nebraska is one of the main at-large competitions for the Hokies, and I think they go with two losses if both losses are to an undefeated and top-ranked Oklahoma. Since we here at the WRG don’t count on upsets to top-ranked teams (though we do root for them), we must not allow Nebraska to get to the Championship game with only one loss.
Root: K-State

UCLA (6-3, 3-3) @ (#6) Washington (8-1, 5-1)
UCLA – vs. Southern California
Washington -- @ Washington State
The Pac-10 race is one of the toughest to call, at least from a rooting standpoint. Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State are all one- or no-loss in the Pac-10, and trying to determine a way to get them a Rose Bowl team with no at-large team right now is difficult at best. I’ve thought of some ways, but I simply can’t determine if a 9-2 Washington gets an at-large bid or not (I don’t think so). Therefore, we choose to defer until next weekend, and just root against all three.
Root: UCLA

California (3-6, 2-4) @ (#7) Oregon (8-1, 6-0)
California – vs. Stanford
Oregon -- @ Oregon State
Same deal here. We defer until next weekend, when the Pac-10 picture is clearer.
Root: California

(#8) Virginia Tech (8-1, 6-1) @ Central Florida (6-3)
Virginia Tech – vs. Virginia
Central Florida – season finished
If anybody can’t figure out who I’m rooting for here, you’re probably a ‘hoo.
Root: Go Hokies! (and beat the 22 point spread, we need it)

(#9) Purdue (7-2, 5-1) @ Michigan State (4-5, 1-5)
Purdue – vs. Indiana
Michigan State -- @ Penn State
This game doesn’t matter, really, as nobody from the Big T1e1n will get an at-large BCS bid. But just to give a headache to Drew Brees (and for reasons Beerman explained rather succinctly)…
Root: Michigan State

(#10) Oregon State (8-1, 5-1) @ Arizona (5-4, 3-3)
Oregon State – vs. Oregon
Arizona – vs. Arizona State
Pac-10 Logjam Part 33-1/3
Root: Arizona

Boston College (6-3, 3-3) @ (#12) Notre Dame (6-2)
Boston College -- @ Miami
Notre Dame -- @ Rutgers, @ Southern California
This is a pivotal game right here. Notre Dame is one of the main competition for an at-large slot in the BCS. They get one automatically if they achieve nine wins, and if Boston College doesn’t take care of business here, then we have to hope the USC can, because it ain’t gonna happen in NJ.
Root: Boston College

(#13) Georgia (6-2, 4-2) @ (#23) Auburn (7-2, 4-2)
Georgia – vs. Mississippi, vs. Georgia Tech
Auburn -- @ Alabama
This game doesn’t really affect the Hokies, but I’ve got a lot of Auburn friends, and I hate the Dawgs. (I can’t stand seeing women down on all fours barking at tailgates.)
Root: Auburn

(#14) Ohio State (7-2, 4-2) @ Illinois (5-4, 2-4)
Ohio State – vs. Michigan
Illinois -- @ Northwestern
How the heck did Illinois get to 5-4? I thought they had some all-world QB in Kittner? Oh well. Let’s hope he finally has a decent Big T1e1n game.
Root: Illini

Alabama (3-6, 3-3) @ (#16) Mississippi State (6-2, 3-2)
Alabama – vs. Auburn
Miss. State – vs. Arkansas, @ Mississippi
Here’s a funny little tidbit. Did you know that Alabama is not eliminated from winning the SEC West? That’s right. The SEC expert (detailed in the Florida pick) told me that Alabama can still go to and win the SEC Championship, and still not make a bowl! Now, that "can still go" is a mathematical "can still go", only meaning that they’re not eliminated, but wouldn’t it be funny?
Root: A-la-BAMA!

Fresno State (5-3, 2-2) @ (#17) Texas Christian (7-1, 3-1)
Fresno State – vs. SMU, @ San Jose State
Texas Christian – vs. UTEP, @ SMU
Oh, well. You gave it your best shot, TCU. TCU has no chance of making a BCS bowl now (if they ever did when they were undefeated). So since they have a cool nickname…
Root: Texas Christian

(#18) Northwestern (7-2, 5-1) @ Iowa (2-8, 2-4)
Northwestern – vs. Illinois
Iowa -- @ Minnesota
Way to go, Penn State, losing to Iowa with Kevin Jones in attendance. How the heck did Iowa win that game, or even against Michigan State for that matter? I like Northwestern, but I would like to see the Big T1e1n embarrassed even more. (And they sure ain’t Scottish, Beerman!) ;^)
Root: Ioway

(#19) Texas (7-2, 5-1) @ Kansas (4-5, 2-4)
Texas – vs. Texas A&M
Kansas -- @ Iowa State
Even without Applewhite, it’s still a long shot. But we here at WRG specialize in longshots…
Root: Kansas

(#20) Colorado State (8-1, 5-0) @ Air Force (6-3, 3-2)
Colorado State – vs. Wyoming
Air Force – vs. San Diego State
I….errr…we at WRG just don’t like those one-loss teams, especially when undefeated in conference. Sorry, Cousin Steve, I just can’t give you my vote.
Root: Air Force

Penn State (4-3, 3-3) @ (#21) Michigan (6-3, 4-2)
Penn State – vs. Michigan State
Michigan -- @ Ohio State
Finally, another SOS battle to peruse. A Penn State win (slightly) helps our SOS, and the slightly-ness of the help it brings does nothing to offset my hatred of Michigan.
Root: Penn State

(#22) Southern Mississippi (6-2, 4-1) @ Alabama Birmingham (6-3, 3-2)
Southern Miss -- @ Cincinnati, vs. East Carolina
UAB -- @ Army
Another SOS battle. Both teams appear on our opponents’ schedules exactly once. And since we here at the WRG really like Top 25 upsets…
Root: UAB Blazers


Syracuse (4-4, 2-2) @ Temple (4-5, 1-4)
Syracuse – vs. Miami, vs. Rutgers
Temple – vs. Pitt
Hmmm…Temple or Syracuse, Syracuse or Temple. I think only the winner of this game has the chance to go undefeated, unless Syracuse loses and then beats Miami, which we don’t want.
Root: Syracuse

West Virginia (4-4, 2-3) @ Rutgers (3-5, 0-5)
West Virginia – vs. ECU, @ Pitt
Rutgers – vs. Notre Dame, @ Syracuse
What, Rut(s)gers hasn’t won a conference game yet? Nor will they.
Root: West Virginia

Buffalo (2-7, 2-4) @ Akron (4-5, 3-3)
Buffalo – vs. Miami (OH)
Akron -- @ Kent
No brainer here. We played Akron, a win for them helps our SOS.
Root: Akron

Houston (3-6, 2-3) @ East Carolina (5-3, 3-2)
Houston – vs. Loserville
ECU -- @ West Virginia, @ Southern Miss.
Wow, ECU has a tough finish to their schedule. If they are to get bowl eligible (not that 6-5 would get them a bowl) they’d better do it now. Of course, 7-4 would be nice with a win over USM.
Root: East Carolina

Virginia (5-3, 4-2) @ Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-2)
Virginia – vs. North Carolina State, @ Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech -- @ Maryland, @ Georgia
Remember in the first paragraph how I said something about the BCS and SOS necessity being slightly diminished for the Hokies. Well, it’s only diminished enough so that I can root for the Jackets over the Wahoos. (Kudos to VTHT93, who said I should root for AIDS before I root for Virginia.) And anyways, by the time I write this, it’s too late.


Back to the standard format here. We really don’t care who Eastern Michigan has remaining on their schedule, do we? Remember, the non-boldfaced numbers in parenthesis are the number of times that the two teams appear on Hokie opponents’ schedules.

Maryland (5-4) @ North Carolina (4-5) – (3-2) Damn you, Carolina! Why did you have to go and bead Pitt?
Root: Maryland

Navy (0-8) @ Tulane (4-5) – (3-1) C’mon, Middies. Win one for John Paul Jones.
Root: Navy

Ohio (5-4) @ Bowling Green (2-7) – (1-3) Do I have to root for BGU?
Root: Bowling Green

Northern Ill. (5-4) @ Eastern Mich. (2-7) – (2-2) The team names were too long to spell out completely. This is a toss-up.
Root: Northern Ill.

Rhode Island (2-7) @ Connecticut (3-6) – (0-2) Finally, a team UConn can beat.
Root: Uconn

Army (1-7) @ Loserville (7-2) – (2-1) What is with the Pentagon this year?
Root: Army

La. Tech (2-8) @ La-Monroe (1-8) – (2-1) **yawn**
Root: La. Tech

Duke (0-fer) @ NC State (5-3) – (2-2) Hmmm. Root for Duke so they can get a win? Or root for State so GT can get to third in the ACC? Sorry, Jackets, I hate Duke. Maybe Virgina will beat State next week.
Root: NC State

Western Mich. (8-1) @ Central Mich. (1-8) – (0-1) Don’t think my telling you who to root for will help here, but we try.
Root: Central Michigan

Miami, Ohio (5-4) @ Marshall (5-4) – (1-1) We still haven’t forgotten 1997.
Root: Marshall

Cincinnati (5-4) @ Memphis (5-4) – (1-1) That’s the first time I’ve typed Cincinnati without the spell-checker zapping me. What a lousy name for a city. Therefore…
Root: Memphis

New Mexico State (3-6) @ Idaho (4-5) – (0-1) NM State, you da ho’s!
Root: Idaho

Well, that’s about it for this week’s edition of the Weekend Rooting Guide. I’m sorry, I forgot to get the results out (if anyone reads them…heck, if anyone even reads this far into the Rooting Guide!). I will get results out on Monday this time.

Go Hokies!



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