Weekend Rooting Guide
by Huntsville Hokie, 11/24/00

Well, at last we have come down to the game weekend of the Hokies’ most favorite whipping-boy. But there’s still a lot of other games to root for, some of which affect our bowl situation. All the conference champions—or players in the championship games, for those conferences that have them—have been decided. But we still have work to do.

Game capsules include overall records, conference records and, since this is the final week of the regular season and a holiday weekend, the date/time of the game. All rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll, and most information has come from Beerman's Picks, Jerry Palm's Unofficial BCS site, and Leonard's Losers. Enjoy!

TOP 25

(#1) Oklahoma (10-0, 7-0) @ Oklahoma State (3-7, 1-6)
Saturday, 25 November @ 3:30 pm EST
Most of the talking heads have stated that if Oklahoma were to lose another game, that it would be the Big XII Championship Game to Kansas State, and that would cause 2 BCS teams to come out of the Big XII. Uhh, not so fast, my friend! If Oklahoma were to lose this game, they would still go to the Game next weekend against Kansas State—they would be tied with Texas in the conference standings at one loss, but they win the head-to-head tiebreaker. Also, this would put Miami into the Orange Bowl, which would free up at least one bowl possibility due to the fact that there wouldn’t be a rematch with Miami. People may debate this, but with Miami out of the Fiesta or the Sugar, that gives two BCS bowls that we could possibly go to. Also, a loss here would not necessarily put Kansas State into the BCS, which helps us. This is a rivalry game for them [back to reality now] but it’s a pipe dream. There’s no way that the Cowboys can win this one. But that doesn’t mean we have to root against them…
Root: Oklahoma State

Boston College (6-4, 3-3) @ (#2) Miami (9-1, 6-0)
Saturday, 25 November @ 3:30 pm EST
Again, we find ourselves rooting for Miami to win big. The scenario described above works only if Miami makes its’ way to the Orange Bowl, and to do that, they must win. But even without an Oklahoma loss, Jerry Palm (at his BCS site, link at top) says that Miami still has a shot to get into the MNC game against Oklahoma, and outlines what must be done. Most importantly, though, is a big win against Boston College. Actually, I sort of feel sorry for the Eagles, as they have to travel to Miami to play a team that knows it has to put up some serious RUTS.
Root: Miami to win BIG

Virginia (6-4, 5-3) @ (#5) Virginia Tech (9-1, 6-1)
Saturday, 25 November @ 7:30 pm EST
RUTS ‘em hard, RUTS ‘em early, and RUTS ‘em often.
Root: Go Hokies!

Colorado (3-7, 3-4) @ (#8) Nebraska (8-2, 5-2)
Friday, 24 November @ 12:00pm EST
Word is from the TSLMB (thanks to Gaelic Hokie, I believe) that the Fiesta Bowl still has Nebraska in consideration, as they travel very well and buy lots of tickets and hotel rooms and drinks and meals etc. Well, so do we. I’m pretty sure that Nebraska wouldn’t get a bid over us, but I’m not 100% confident that I can read the Fiesta Bowl committee’s minds. Therefore, a repeat of last year would be nice, with the exception that Colorado makes that last second field goal with the game tied.
Root: Colorado

(#10) Notre Dame (8-2) @ USC (5-6, 2-6)
Saturday, 25 November @ 3:30 pm EST
Yes, I know all you Notre Dame haters out there (of which I am one) would love to see the Hokies kick the [fecal matter] out of the Domers in the Fiesta, and so would I, but the staff here at the Weekend Rooting Guide make our picks based on what would give us the best probability of getting into the BCS. Notre Dame losing would do just that. In addition, in combination with a Hokie win Saturday, a loss by N[bc]D would guarantee us at least the Gator Bowl, should we be passed up by the BCS. Look at it this way. A win by USC gives us no, zero, not even the most infinitesimal chance of going to the Insight.crap…errr…Insight.com bowl. And that makes me happy.
Root: the Condoms (Trojans)

(#22) Texas A&M (7-3, 5-2) @ (#13) Texas (8-2, 6-1)
Friday, 24 November @ 3:30 pm EST
The staff came up with two reasons to pick this one: (1) We hope that the tie-breaker in the Big XII (see Oklahoma game above) is head-to-head, but were to lazy to research it, so a Texas loss would guarantee Oklahoma in the Big XII title game. (2) The Aggies are cool because they have a Corps of Cadets and so do we (although theirs is much larger). Those two reasons are good enough for us.
Root: Texas A&M

(#15) Texas Christian (9-1, 6-1) @ Southern Methodist (3-8, 2-5)
Friday, 24 November @ 8:30 pm EST
Another meaningless game for the Hokies, but it is a Top-25 battle (if you could call this game a battle) so we include it in the WRG. LaDainian Tomlinson needs, if I remember correctly, 16 yards for 2000 on the year, around 300 yards for 2nd on the career rushing yards list, and something like 650 for 1st place. I’m not sure about that last one, but I wouldn’t bet against him on the first two. But we don’t like favorites here.
Root: SMU

(#18) Georgia (7-3, 5-3) @ (#19) Georgia Tech (8-2, 6-2)
Saturday, 25 November @ 12:00 pm EST
There’s no doubt in my mind who to root for in this game, and it should be the same for Hokie fans. I’ve been to the last three installments of this game and Georgia Tech has won the last two. (Should’ve been the last three, that was a BS interference call on a GT interception that would’ve sealed the game.) As far as the Hokies are concerned, GT shows up twice on our opponents’ schedules, so it’s an SOS boost for us, which could be the deciding factor between us and Oregon State. I think our sister school will roll again, as Georgia’s QB Quincy Carter is out for the game.
Root: Georgia Tech

(#23) Mississippi State (7-3, 4-3) @ Mississippi (6-4, 3-4)
Thursday, 23 November @ 8:00 pm EST
You gotta love this and last weekend, because they’re filled with games like these. They call this one the Egg Bowl, for reasons unknown to me, probably because the winner doesn’t get pelted with rotten eggs by their team. Anyhow, this game is an SOS wash for us, so pick ‘em here. The WRG staff has decided to pick Ole’ Miss because, well, Ole’ Miss sounds cool.
Root: Ole’ Miss

(#24) Tennessee (7-3, 4-3) @ Vanderbilt (3-7, 1-6)
Saturday, 25 November @ 3:30 pm EST
I had to ask a Tennessee alum in my office if this was really a rivalry, and he said, "Naaw, not really. Memphis is more of a rival since they beat us a few years back." Well, Vandy hasn’t won this game since 1982. Why the heck is this game played on rivalry weekend anyways? One of the great mysteries of college football.
Root: Vanderbilt


West Virginia (6-4, 3-3) @ Pittsburgh (6-4, 3-3)
Friday, 24 November @ 2:30 pm EST
In this version of the annual "Backyard Brawl" between the Mountaineers and the Panthers, both teams have identical overall and conference records, and the winner would have the inside track to play Clemson in the Gator Bowl (if we get a BCS bid), with Syracuse right along behind them with an identical conference record and one more loss OOC. I think Pitt would match up better against the Tigers.
Root: Pitt

Rutgers (3-7, 0-6) @ Syracuse (5-5, 3-3)
Saturday, 25 November @ 12:00 pm EST
Syracuse needs this game to be bowl eligible. They’ll get it for two reasons: revenge, and it’s in the Dome.
Root: Syracuse

East Carolina (6-4, 4-2) @ Southern Mississippi (7-3, 4-2)
Friday, 24 November @ 1:30 pm EST
East Carolina could finish 2nd place in Conference USA with a win here, but that would put them in the same place they were last year—the Mobile Alabama bowl (yeeee-ha!) against TCU—which might cause the bowl organizers to pick Cincinatti, who would tie them for 2nd place but they did not play each other. Cincy in a bowl? Please!
Root: East Carolina


Remember, the non-boldfaced numbers in parenthesis are the number of times that the two teams appear on Hokie opponents’ schedules.

Navy (0-10) @ Army (1-9) – (3-2) Gee, I’m sure the Pentagon is thrilled about this one. But a win against Army—in one of the greatest college rivalries—would make Navy’s season a success.
Root: Navy (but not just because my Dad was Navy ;^)

Bowling Green (2-8) @ Toledo (9-1) – (3-0) This is an easy game to root for, but not as easy to win.
Root: Bowling Green

Brigham Young (5-6) @ Utah (4-6) – (2-0) What a great home finisher for LaVell Edwards, a win at home and a stadium named for you. Now let’s see if he can finish his career with a win in this Mormon vs. Mormon classic.
Root: BYU

Wake Forest (2-8) @ North Carolina State (6-4) – (1-1) This game is an SOS wash for us, and doesn’t affect the Hokies in any way. But if State finishes 7-4, instead of 6-5, they may take a bowl away from the 6-5 Cavaliers, thus ending their 7-win mediocrity streak. Hey, we’ve picked teams to root for on flimsier excuses.
Root: NC State

Well, not a lot of games this weekend, but the ones that are scheduled are some good ones. We’re in the final stretch, and the bowls will (almost) be ironed out after this weekend, except for two key games, one in the SEC and one in the Big XII. And with the holiday, we get to enjoy two great days of college football. Almost heaven.



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