Around the Big East
by Matthew McKinley, 10/3/02

"Open Date". Man, I cringe when I see those two words on my calendar. Sure, it may mean that I can sleep in, catch up on some books, or do some work around the apartment, but it’s Fall, and there’s NO HOKIE FOOTBALL ON! ARRRRRGH!

So I get to veg out on the couch, watching other teams play……and my Hokie Football Jones just gnaws at me and gnaws at me and gnaws at me. Do I have problems? Am I crazy? Probably, but it could be much worse……….I could’ve gone to RUT[S]gers.

Here we go, dude…..

Big East Standings


Conf. W/L

Overall W/L







Virginia Tech



West Virginia






Boston College









Last Weekend’s Games

(#4) Virginia Tech 30, Western Michigan 0

Another Hokie opponent tries to crowd the box to stop the run, and another Hokie opponent goes down to Bryan Randall’s arm. Randall led a two-minute drill in the 2nd quarter that resulted in a Lee Suggs TD off the shuffle pass, and a fumble return for a touchdown by Markogiannakis broke the Knights’ backs. You know, maybe one of these days people will realize that the Hokies are not quite as one-dimensional as people think.

Let’s see now, how about a recap of Coach Darnell’s pre-game quotes:

  • "We'll have between 30,000 and 40,000 in the stands Saturday. Virginia Tech will play four or five games after they play us where they won't draw that many fans." Uh, yeah. What was attendance now? 27,218? We’ll more than double that in all 5 remaining home games, and BC and Syracuse will outdraw that easily.
  • "…the atmosphere will be just as raucous and noisy as it is in a lot of other places…I hope the crowd is quiet when we’re on offense and loud when we’re on defense." From what I heard, the crowd was quiet on offense and quiet on defense, too.
  • "Don’t mess with the MAC." Mmmm-hmmm.
  • "Virginia Tech is a team capable of playing for the National Championship." I won’t argue with you there, chief.

Boston College 43, Central Michigan 0

BC records its first shutout since October 1995 as the Eagles roll over another directional Michigan team, more than doubling their opponents total yards, 525-242. Do you think CMU’s coach said, "Don’t mess with the MAC?" Probably not. Scary stat for the Eagles: the Chippewas (huh?) rushed for 154 yards, led by Robbie Mixon’s 98 yards. Should make things interesting next Thursday.

Cincinnati 35, Temple 22

The Bearcats, who narrowly lost to Ohio State last week (2 dropped TD passes in the final minute) came from behind to beat Temple, who was leading 22-21 with about 10 minutes to play. Of course, allowing a 99 yard TD drive in the 4th quarter doesn’t help a team momentum-wise. I consulted my Ouija board on what Temple should do to turn the season around, and it only came back with three characters: "1-A-A". I wonder what that means?

West Virginia 37, East Carolina 17

Congrats to Avon Cobourne who became the Big East’s all-time leading rusher this weekend, running for 260 yards and 2 TDs. An even more amazing stat: the ‘Eers ran for a total of 536 yards against the Pirates, causing UVA fans to say, "Nobody passes on East Carolina!"

Pittsburgh 37, Toledo 19

Pitt(sburgh) QB Rod Rutherford struggled through the first quarter and a half, but pulled it around in time to take a 21-6 lead into the break, amassing 316 yards and 3 TDs through the air, adding another TD on the ground. Pitt(sburgh) improved their record to 19-0 all-time against the MAC. "Don’t mess with the MAC!"

(#10) Tennessee 35, Rutgers 14

This game was a lot closer than the final score looked. RUT[S]gers had a 14-7 lead at halftime, which would’ve been 21-7 if they hadn’t run out of time on the Tennessee 1-yard line at the half (there were also two VERY questionable calls by the officials). But Tennessee broke it open in the 3rd, scoring 14 points, and scored 14 more in the 4th. Interesting stat, first downs: RUT[S]gers 19, Tennessee 18.

(#24) Auburn 37, Syracuse 34, 2OT

Syracuse led by 7 at the beginning of the 4th, but they couldn’t stop Auburn from tying up the game in regulation, and they couldn’t stop Auburn RB Cadillac Williams all day, allowing him 202 yards on the ground. After taking a 17-3 lead into halftime, Syracuse couldn’t gain a first down for the next 19 minutes, causing starting QB RJ Anderson to be pulled in favor of senior Troy Nunes. Nunes played like a man possessed (trust me, VT fans, you've never seen him like this). It was too late, though, as Auburn regained 14 points in the 2nd half, and scored the winning TD in triple overtime. Syracuse falls to 0-3 against Division 1A competition. When is it they play Temple and RUT[S]gers again?

This Weekend’s Games

Pittsburgh (4-1) @ Syracuse (1-3), Saturday @ 12:00pm

Please, Pitt(sburgh), repeat this: "We’re playing Virginia Tech. We’re playing Virginia Tech. We’re playing Virginia Tech." As much as I’d like to see Syracuse turn it around, Pitt(sburgh) is doing too well for me to wish a loss this ugly on them.

Maryland (3-2) @ West Virginia (3-1), Saturday @ 12:00pm

This should be interesting. Maryland has a pretty good run defense, and West Virginia boasts the conference’s best back. But WVU’s wins have come at the expense of UT-Chattanooga, Cincy, and ECU, so who really knows how good they are.

Connecticut (2-3) @ (#1) Miami (4-0), Saturday @ 7:00pm


Games to Watch from the Parking Lot

Another weekend, another Saturday without a Hokie game, so I can give you the full lineup of games to watch. Some interesting games this weekend, but just wait for next weekend -- there are some doozies in the 3:30 time slot.

Clemson (3-1) @ (#11) Florida State (4-1), Thursday @ 7:30pm, ESPN

Is it just me, or is it surprising that this is the fourth Bowden Bowl? It seems like last year that Clemson missed that kick to win it in the first Bowden Bowl. Oh, well. Interesting fact: Florida State cancelled classes for Thursday and Friday for this game, expecting 80,000 fans to show up during the day on Thursday. "Uhh, we were thinking about doing a Fall Break anyways. Yeah, that’s the ticket." Dr. Steger, are you listening? Starting a tailgate at 5pm just doesn’t work.

Oklahoma State (2-2) @ (#2) Texas (4-0), Saturday @ 12:30pm, Fox SportsNet

Yes, there are a few interesting games on during this time slot, but I just have a feeling about OSU. Plus, it would be interesting to see Texas play, just to see what we may be up against in the BCS bowl. To heck with Florida/Mississippi, this is the game to watch at this time slot.

(#6) Georgia (4-0) @ Alabama (4-1), Saturday @ 3:30pm, CBS

Alabama has been on a tear this season, losing narrowly to Oklahoma and dominating everyone else. Georgia is supposed to be the 1980 team reborn. Who comes out on top? Watch this one to find out. It should be fun.

(#20) Southern Cal (3-1) @ (#17) Washington State (4-1), Saturday @ 7:00pm, TBS

Two ranked teams are always fun to watch. This one goes up against Arkansas/Tennessee on ESPN (7:45), but it gets the nod from me because Arkansas couldn’t beat Bama last weekend. =^/

And if you’re up this late….

(#7) Oregon (4-0) @ Arizona (3-1), Saturday @ 10:15pm, Fox SportsNet

Arizona is unranked because they squeaked by Utah on a bad call, and lost to Wisconsin (overrated, IMnsHO), but I liked seeing undefeated teams go down, and you have to watch the game to see it happen. (Duh!) This is my Insomniac Special for the week.


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