Thursday, December 5th, 1996

Postseason Honors Pour In

The Big East postseason honors are raining down on the Hokies.

For the second year in a row, Hokie coach Frank Beamer was named Big East Coach of the Year. This year was probably a better coaching job than last year, as the Hokies had to overcome a slew of defensive injuries, various suspensions, and the well-publicized off the field incidents. In the face of such adversity, 10-1 is a remarkable record.

Druck was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year, along with Syracuse QB Donovan McNabb.

First Team All-Big East: Billy Conaty, Bryan Jennings, Ken Oxendine, Shayne Graham, and Cornell Brown.

Second Team All-Big East: Jay Hagood, T.J. Washington, Myron Newsome, Brandon Semones, Antonio Banks, and Torrian Gray.

I scribbled all this down while I was watching the TV sports last night, and I missed whether or not Druck made first team over McNabb, but I think he did, since he wasn't named second team.

Beamer out of the Running for Alabama Job

Here's the biggest non-story you'll hear all year. Frank Beamer is officially out of the running for the vacant Alabama coaching job. The Tide has called a press conference for Monday and is expected to announce that they will promote an assistant to the head coaching job.

Beamer never actually talked to 'Bama, and he stated emphatically that he's happy where he is. My opinion? He'd have to be insane to leave the safety, security, and decent contract he's got at Virginia Tech for the pressure-cooker of SEC football. He has absolutely no ties to Alabama, and if he went there and did anything less than 10 wins his first year, they'd hang him from a tree.

So you can go back to breathing now, Hokies. Frank's not going anywhere.

At this point in his career, I wouldn't look for Beamer to go to another college team. Based on things I've heard in the last two years, the only way Frank Beamer would leave Virginia Tech is if the NFL came calling. So until that San Fransisco head coaching job opens up, we're probably safe for a while.

VT - Florida a Near Lock

Dave Braine was quoted in the paper Wednesday as saying that Tech's opponent in the Orange Bowl will probably be Florida, regardless of whether or not the Gators win the SEC championship game this weekend. The idea is that if Florida loses the SEC championship, then Alabama will get the invitation to the Fiesta Bowl to play Penn State, while Florida will still go to the Orange.

I don't know about you, but I'm already making my Orange Bowl travel plans.

In anticipation of the matchup, I've put links to the Orange Bowl web site and some Florida Gators web sites near the top of the page, in between my "Welcome to Hokie Central" verbage and "The Latest News and Notes."

You're Welcome.

Tiki the Hokie?

This is pretty funny. Tiki Barber won the Dudley award, which is awarded annually to the top collegiate football player in the state. That's not funny in itself, but last night, I saw a story on the TV news, and here's what's inscribed on the trophy:

1996 - Tiki Barber - VPI

Now that's funny. Time to send the trophy back to the shop...

Shayne Graham's Status Still Uncertain

That headline pretty much says it all. Shayne Graham had an MRI on Wednesday for his ailing back, and the MRI uncharacteristically revealed nothing. The doctors are going to try a bone scan next, and at this point, Graham's status for the bowl game is still uncertain. The doctors aren't treating him yet, because as any smart Hokie knows, you have to make a diagnosis before you can treat the problem.

Graham says the problem has troubled him off and on since high school (which isn't saying much, because six months ago Graham was still in high school). If the frosh, affectionately dubbed “Opie” by the Hokie fans, can’t play in the bowl game, Jimmy Kibble will take over the place-kicking duties. Kibble’s leg is almost as strong as Graham’s, and with a month to practice, Tech shouldn’t see much of a drop-off if Graham is unable to play.

NCAA Stats

I checked out the USA Today's NCAA stats and got the following for you:

Individual Stats:

  • Ox is 34th in rushing yards per game with 98, and 20th in scoring at 8.67 points per game.
  • Druck is now 13th in passing efficiency after being in the 30’s just a few short weeks ago. He is also 34th in total offense at 206 yards per game.
  • Shawn Scales is 48th in the country in punt returns, averaging 9.4 yards per return.

Team Stats:

  • Offense: Tech is 19th in rushing yards per game at 227, 28th in total offense at 217, and 24th in scoring at 31.7 points per game.
  • Defense: 18th in rushing (112 per game), 16th in pass efficiency (thanks to Virginia for boosting that stat), 25th in total defense, and in the most important stat, the Hokies are 9th in scoring defense at 15.3 points per game.
  • Surprisingly, despite Jimmy Kibble’s resurgence, Tech is still putrid in net punting at #102. Ole Cannon Leg must be outkicking the coverage.

Sagarin's Computer Needs Help

I've made fun of Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings before, and I'm not about to stop now. Check out the latest top 20 in his rankings:

Rank  Team                          Score     W   L   T   Sched

   1  Nebraska             A      = 105.11   10   1   0   78.88    2  Florida St.          A      = 103.26   11   0   0   75.86    3  Ohio St.             A      = 100.47   10   1   0   77.20    4  Florida              A      = 100.35   10   1   0   73.62    5  Arizona St.          A      =  99.77   11   0   0   73.42    6  North Carolina       A      =  94.55    9   2   0   75.23    7  Washington           A      =  92.67    9   2   0   77.80    8  Colorado             A      =  92.01    9   2   0   79.18    9  Penn St.             A      =  91.24   10   2   0   75.52   10  Notre Dame           A      =  91.12    8   3   0   75.69   11  Kansas St.           A      =  89.87    9   2   0   75.67   12  Tennessee            A      =  89.54    9   2   0   71.56   13  Syracuse             A      =  89.48    8   3   0   73.52   14  Virginia Tech        A      =  89.09   10   1   0   70.50   15  Michigan             A      =  88.76    8   3   0   79.28   16  Brigham Young        A      =  87.48   12   1   0   64.67   17  Virginia             A      =  85.31    7   4   0   74.85   18  Miami-Florida        A      =  85.00    8   3   0   73.05   19  Iowa                 A      =  84.98    8   3   0   77.31   20  Texas                A      =  84.75    7   4   0   73.68

And you thought the AP writers were partial to Notre Dame? With losses to Southern Cal (computer #25) and Air Force (#41), plus an additional loss to Ohio State, how can they be ranked 10th?

Also, it’s very hard to figure out how a four-loss UVa team can be ranked #17, when two of their losses are to #40 Clemson and #52 Georgia Tech.

One last note: if the NCAA went by Sagarin’s computer rankings only, the Syracuse Orangemen would be Alliance-Bowl bound, not the Hokies.


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