Weekend Rooting Guide
by Huntsville Hokie, 11/16/00

This is a very important weekend for the Hokies, as some important conference races clear up this weekend. We need to root hard this off-weekend.

Game capsules include overall records, conference records and remaining games—unless a teams season is complete, in which the remaining games won’t be listed, duh!. All rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and the CollegeBCS.com web site, and most information has come from Beerman's Picks and Leonard's Losers. Enjoy!

TOP 25

Texas Tech (7-4, 3-4) @ (#1) Oklahoma (9-0, 6-0)
Oklahoma -- @ Oklahoma State
Well, after that heartbreaker in College Station last week, the Sooners have clinched a spot in the Big XII Championship game representing the South Division. Good, because if they lose this one, they still will probably win the Big XII, but will give Miami the #1 spot and a guaranteed spot in the Orange Bowl if they win out. And Miami in the OB is good for us, as it helps us get a BCS bid; we don’t have to worry about being left out due to a possible rematch.
Root: Texas Tech

(#2) Miami (8-1, 6-0) @ Syracuse (5-4, 3-2)
Miami – vs. Boston College
Syracuse – vs. Rutgers
Two reasons to root for Miami here. Miami winning out gives them a good shot at being in the Orange Bowl (especially if the above upset occurs) and Syracuse does not need this win to become bowl eligible, as there is no way in hell that Rutgers will beat them in the dome.
Root: Miami to win big, by lots of points

(#4) Florida (9-1, 7-1) @ (#3) Florida State (10-1, 8-0)
This is the marquee game of the weekend, but isn’t it almost every year about this time? The winner of this game will be at least #3 in the polls, but while Florida State is ahead of Miami in the computer polls, Florida is behind them.
Root: Florida, but to win UUUUUGLY!

(#5) Washington (9-1, 6-1) @ Washington State (4-6, 2-5)
(#6) Oregon (9-1, 7-0) @ (#8) Oregon State (9-1, 6-1)
I put these two together, because the staff here at Weekend Rooting Guide feel that the choice of teams to root for in one game depends upon the outcome of the other. The Civil War, the annual brawl between the Ducks and the Beavers (two fine nicknames, IMnsHO), starts at 3:30 EST, while the clash for the Apple Trophy (or whatever they give out for this one) between the Huskies and the Cougars, begins at 6:30 EST. The complicated Pac-10 race comes down to this. If Oregon wins, go to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon loses and Washington wins, Washington goes. If both Oregon and Washington lose, then Oregon State goes. Where we come in is the issue of a 2nd BCS team from the Pac-10. If Oregon wins, then we want Washington to lose, so as not to garner an at-large bid, even though it is a possibility at 9-2.. If Oregon loses, then we want Washington to win so that they get the Rose Bowl, since a 10-1 Oregon State team probably won’t go to the BCS. So…
Root: Oregon State

If successful, Root: Washington, if not, Root: Washington State

(#9) Kansas State (9-2, 5-2) @ Missouri (3-7, 2-5)
This game is a simple speed-bump for Kansas State to reach the Big XII Championship Game representing the North Division. However, I’m not too sure about a 2-loss Nebraska and BCS opportunities. So, we’re going to give Nebraska another chance to lose. How? If Kansas State loses here, the ‘Huskers are in the Big XII Championship.
Root: Mizzou

(#11) Notre Dame (7-2) @ Rutgers (3-6, 0-6)
Notre Dame -- @ Southern California
Rutgers -- @ Syracuse
A 9-2 Notre Dame has an excellent shot at taking the Hokies’ rightful at-large bid away from them. I’m not sure that it’s automatic, because there is some verbiage in the BCS clause about non-BCS teams in the Top-6, but whether it’s automatic or not, the talking heads say that a 9-2 Notre Dame is in. Here’s a good opportunity for our cellar-dwellar to show that they can play some big-time football. (It’s OK if they can’t. We have a backup plan in Southern Cal.)
Root: Rutgers

(#18) Michigan (7-3, 5-2) @ (#12) Ohio State (8-2, 5-2)
Purdue is in the driver’s seat in this conference, so both these teams need help to get to the Rose Bowl (Ohio State needs a Purdue loss, and Michigan needs Purdue and Northwestern losses). Doesn’t matter to us, as neither of these teams will get an at-large bid. But just in case…
Root: Michigan (man, I hate saying that!)

Arkansas (4-5, 1-5) @ (#13) Mississippi State (7-2, 4-2)
Arkansas – vs. Louisiana State
Miss. State -- @ Mississippi
Miss. State is in the driver’s seat for the SEC West crown, but they are the only team to beat Florida this year, and we do not need a team that has beaten Florida in the SEC Championship game against them.
Root: Arkansas

South Carolina (7-3, 5-3) @ (#14) Clemson (8-2, 6-2)
Clemson was the first team from a major conference to accept a bowl bid this year, and it ain’t a BCS bowl. Clemson is Gator bound, which is where we’ll be if we don’t get a BCS bowl either. Now that they’re out of our way for that, I’d rather we played a 9-2 Clemson than an 8-3 Clemson.
Root: Clemson

UTEP (8-2, 6-0) @ (#16) Texas Christian (8-1, 4-1)
TCU -- @ Southern Methodist
In two weeks, TCU could go from angling for a BCS bowl, to no bowl, as they will not win their conference without a victory here. Funny.
Root: UTEP

Indiana (3-7, 2-5) @ (#17) Purdue (7-3, 5-2)
Purdue wins here, and they’re in the Rose Bowl. Good, because if they lose, then Michigan’s got a shot. But we rarely root for the favorite here….
Root: Indiana

(#19) Auburn (8-2, 5-2) @ Alabama (3-7, 3-4)
No way in hell can any Hokie root for Alabama this week.
Root: Auburn

(#20) Southern Mississippi (7-2, 4-1) @ Cincinnati (6-4, 4-2)
Southern Miss. – vs. East Carolina
About time we got to an SOS battle. Cincinnati played Syracuse this year (and beat ‘em too), so we want them to do well to help our SOS.
Root: Cincinnati

Mississippi (6-3, 3-3) @ (#21) Georgia (6-3, 4-3)
Ole Miss –- @ Miss. State
Georgia – vs. Georgia Tech
This is an absolutely meaningless battle as far as the Hokies are concerned. So you know what to do….root for the underdog!
Root: Mississippi

(#22) Georgia Tech (7-2, 5-2) @ Maryland (5-5, 3-4)
Georgia Tech -- @ Georgia
I realize that Maryland has a 3-2 advantage over GT on Hokie SOS impact, but wouldn’t it be great if they came this close and didn’t go to a bowl?
Root: Georgia Tech

Illinois (5-5, 2-5) @ (#24) Northwestern (7-3, 4-3)
Sorry, boys in purple, I don’t care if you’re 7-3, you lost to TCU.
Root: Illinois

Kentucky (2-8, 0-7) @ (#25) Tennessee (6-3, 3-3)
Tennessee -- @ Vanderbilt
I think we know how most Hokies feel about this game. Though it’s an SOS wash….
Root: Kentucky


Akron (5-5, 4-3) @ Kent State (1-9, 1-6)
Well, with this game, Akron could get bowl eligible, if there was a bowl for them to be had. (Maybe with 50-some odd bowls this year the can.)
Root: Akron

East Carolina (5-4, 3-3) @ West Virginia (6-3, 3-3)
ECU -- @ Southern Miss.
WVU -- @ Pitt(sburgh)
WVU is already bowl-eligible, but a 7-4 record for them would be a nice sendoff for Nehlen.
Root: West Virginia

Pittsburgh (5-4, 2-3) @ Temple (4-6, 1-5)
Pitt – vs. West Virginia
A win here and against WVU could leave them both with 7-4 records. Temple is already bowl-ineligible, so we’ll root for them next year.
Root: Pitt

North Carolina State (6-3, 3,3) @ Virginia (5-4, 3-4)
NC State -- @ Wake Forest
UVA -- @ Virginia Tech
Sorry, VTHT93, your "root for AIDS before rooting for Virginia" creed doesn’t work here. Why? It’d be better if we were the ones to bread their 7-win streak, plus the embarrassment of an empty-stadium at their bowl shellacking would provide for more smack on LeButterKnife. Besides, it’s an SOS boost.
Root: Virginia


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.

Miami, OH (5-5) @ Buffalo (2-8) – (1-3) Buffalo’s had a great year.
Root: Tetonka

Wake Forest (1-8) @ Navy (0-9) – (1-3) Yawn. This is the best shot for Navy to get a win.
Root: Navy

Bowling Green (2-8) @ Toledo (9-1) – (3-0) No doubt about this one, SOS wise.
Root: Bowling Green

Connecticut (3-7) @ Ball State (4-6) – (3-0) UConn’s ESPN page has already gone over to basketball. No surprise there.
Root: UConn

Central Michigan (2-8) @ Northern Illinois (5-5) – (1-2) Again, two of the longest names on my list. Of course this spills over to the next line.
Root: Northern Illinois

Alabama-Birmingham (6-4) @ Army (1-8) – (1-2) UAB is quietly having a good year, having beaten LSU. Army needs another dadgum win. Let’s see if they can prepare for battle.
Root: Army

Eastern Michigan (3-7) @ Western Michigan (8-2) – (2-0) Yes, we play WMU next year, but both Temple and UCF played EMU this year.
Root: Eastern Michigan

Louisiana Tech (3-8) @ Hawaii (2-7) – (2-0) What a good idea! Schedule Hawaii this year, not last!
Root: La. Tech

New Mexico (5-6) @ Brigham Young (4-6) – (0-2)
Root: Bring ‘em Young

North Carolina (5-5) @ Duke (0-10) – (2-2) An SOS wash here, but I don’t like the way the coaching rumors are going at UNC. Sorry, Atlee, I’m gonna…
Root: UNC

Wofford (6-4) @ Louisiana-Monroe (1-9) – (0-1) Hey, I had a student that plays for Wofford now! (Sorry, La-M, you’re just not that important to the WRG.)
Root: Y’all can root for La-Monroe, but I’m rooting for Wofford

Idaho (5-5) @ Boise State (8-2) – (1-0) You da ho!
Root: Idaho

Marshall (6-4) @ Ohio (6-4) – (1-1) An SOS wash of two 6-4 team. Since this is the 30th anniversary of the plane crash…
Root: Marshall

Memphis (4-6) @ Tulane (5-5) – (1-1) Another SOS wash. Since the guy next to me at the bar when I was writing this went to Memphis…
Root: Memphis

Loserville (8-2) @ Houston (3-7) – (1-1) No comment.
Root: Houston, just because

Michigan State (5-5) @ Penn State (4-7) – (0-1) It’s academic, since Paterno ain’t getting his seventh win this year, and can’t even tie the Bear.
Root: Penn State

Well, that’s about it, campers! This is an important weekend, especially in the Pac-10 front, so we’ve got a lot of rooting work ahead of us. If anybody asks for them, I’ll post results on Monday. (I don’t think anybody missed them this week.)

Go Hokies! Good luck against Open Date.



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