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   Welcome to TSLMail #311 - Friday, December 28, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News


ACC in Big Need of a BCS Bowl Boost
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Virginia Tech plays Kansas in the Orange Bowl on January 3. The Hokies need this win to become the first team in school history to win 12 games in a season, and to assure themselves of a Top 5 finish in the final polls. It would be a big win for the program. A BCS Bowl win always tastes sweet.

However, as much as a BCS win would mean to VT, the Hokies also need to do it for the ACC. Tech's new conference home, which is a perfect fit, has not won a BCS game since 1999 when Florida State defeated the Hokies in the Sugar Bowl for the National Championship. (Miami beat FSU in 2003 Sugar Bowl, but Miami was in the Big East at the time).

ACC BCS Bowls
Year Bowl Teams Result
1998 Fiesta Bowl Florida State vs. Tennessee 23-16 UT
1999 Sugar Bowl Florida State vs. Virginia Tech 46-29 FSU
2000 Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Oklahoma 13-2 OU
2001 Orange Bowl Maryland vs. Florida 56-23 UF
2002 Sugar Bowl Florida State vs. Georgia 26-13 UGA
2003 Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Miami 16-14 UM
2004 Sugar Bowl Virginia Tech vs. Auburn 16-13 Auburn
2005 Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Penn State 26-23 PSU
2006 Orange Bowl Wake Forest vs. Louisville 24-13 Louisville


The one ACC win is highlighted. The first year of the BCS was 1998. With FSU's win over Virginia Tech being the only BCS bowl win, that means the ACC has never won a BCS bowl over a team that is not currently in the ACC. They've had their chances against Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Auburn, Penn State and Louisville, and the ACC has failed each time.

Let's compare the results of the ACC to the other conferences.

Conference Records in BCS Bowls
Conference Wins Losses
ACC 1 8
Big 12 5 7
Big East 5 4
Big Ten 8 7
MWC 1 0
Pac-10 7 4
SEC 9 4
WAC 1 0
Independents 0 3


That's laughable, if you aren't partial to the ACC. The Mountain West and WAC have won as many BCS games as the ACC, and they've each just had one try. Only the Independents have a worse record in BCS games, going 0-3. Of course, by Independents I mean Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish haven't fared well recently when matched up against the nation's elite.

Florida State was still a top-notch program when the BCS was introduced before the 1998 season. The Seminoles played for the National Championship in the first three years of the BCS before going steadily into decline.



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In the ACC's first BCS Bowl, Florida State lost to a Tennessee team in the Fiesta Bowl for the National Championship. The Volunteers caught a few very lucky breaks in the regular season to make it to the Fiesta Bowl, and knocked off the Seminoles 23-16. FSU was led by inexperienced QB Marcus Outzen, who was starting his third game because of an injury to Chris Weinke. Led by Weinke the following season, that same Seminole team knocked off Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl to claim the National Championship.

The Seminoles returned to the National Title game for the third straight year in 2000, where they lost to Oklahoma 13-2 in one of the most boring National Championships you'll ever see. FSU got the Sooners in their own home state at the Orange Bowl, but couldn't get it done.

Someone other than Florida State actually managed to win the conference in 2001. This time it was the surprising Maryland Terrapins, who went 10-1 and made it to the Orange Bowl. However, their one loss during the regular season was a 52-31 rout at the hands of Florida State, and the same thing happened to the Terps against Florida in the Orange Bowl. The Gators won 56-23.

Florida State won the ACC again in 2002, despite fielding a team that only went 9-3 during the regular season. Their reward was the Sugar Bowl, where they lost to Georgia 26-13. They were back in the Orange bowl in 2003, but lost to Miami 16-14. Miami was concluding their last season in the Big East at the time.

The ACC expanded for the 2004 season, and Virginia Tech won the first conference championship of the bigger, better ACC. Tech went to the Sugar Bowl, where they faced an undefeated Auburn team that many thought should be playing for the National Championship. The Hokies came close, but fell 16-13.

In 2005, a 7-5 Florida State team upset 10-1 Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game to earn a BCS berth. The Seminoles went to the Orange Bowl, where they lost to Penn State 26-23 in a great game. Upstart Wake Forest won the conference in 2006, but lost to Louisville 24-13 in the Orange Bowl.

As you can see, the ACC hasn't had much success in BCS bowls. Wonder why the ACC doesn't get any respect nationally? Scroll back up and look at the tables. Every other BCS conference has won at least five BCS bowls, even the Big East. But the ACC? Just one. One. That's as many as Boise State and Utah have won.

Hopefully the Hokies can get it done this year. Not only for themselves, but for a conference that is struggling big time on the big stage of postseason football.

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Ore Suspended for One Quarter of Orange Bowl

December 28, 2007
The Roanoke Times has reported that Virginia Tech tailback Branden Ore has been suspended for the first quarter of next week's Orange Bowl for showing up late to practice. Ore reportedly showed up 45 minutes late to last Friday's practice, and running backs coach Billy Hite recommended a one quarter suspension to Frank Beamer.
Also: Hokies Leave for Miami; TSL Pre-Game Content Editorial Schedule
more

Checking in with Isaiah Hamlette
December 28, 2007
Brooke Point (Stafford, VA) star Isaiah Hamlette turned in a terrific senior season, performing well on both sides of the ball in helping his team to a 9-2 overall record and a district championship title. Hamlette earned first-team all-Northwest region honors at defensive end and second-team all-region honors at offensive tackle, turning in the best season of his high school football career.
more

Class of '09 Profile: Harrisonburg RB Alex Owah
December 27, 2007
Harrisonburg (VA) running back Alex Owah is one of the top in-state prospects in the 2009 recruiting class. A 3-year starter for head coach Tim Sarver, the 5-11, 170-pound Owah turned in a fine 2007 performance, rushing for 1,854 yards and 25 touchdowns in 13 games. He flashed speed, toughness and outstanding running ability in leading a young Harrisonburg squad to a 9-4 overall record and an appearance in the Division 4, Region 3 playoffs.
more

Q&A with Lyndell Gibson
December 26, 2007
Two-time Beach district Defensive Player of the Year, 5-11, 220-pound Salem (Virginia Beach, VA) linebacker Lyndell Gibson has certainly gained the respect of opposing coaches in his high school career. Gibson, who will take his talents on to Virginia Tech, discusses his high school career and looks ahead to his future as a member of the Hokies in this "Q&A."
more

TechSideline.com's Postseason Top 30
December 24, 2007
Here is the final 2008 class edition of TechSideline.com's Top 30. There has been some movement in the Top 30, including a few significant movers in the Top 10. Every prospect in the Top 30 has at least two Division 1A scholarship offers, and most have made their respective verbal commitments.
more

Buzzer Beater Downs Hokies at Wake Forest
December 23, 2007
Ishmael Smith’s buzzer beater gave Wake Forest a dramatic 77-75 victory over Virginia Tech on Sunday night in Winston-Salem. Smith’s shot was the end of a 10-0 run over the final 1:17 of the game. Despite holding an eight-point lead so late in the game, the young Hokies couldn’t quite close the deal. Wake Forest improved to 8-3 overall and 1-0 in the ACC with the win, while Tech dropped to 6-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
more

Football Recruiting: Turning the Corner
December 21, 2007
I'm not one of those guys who believes that Frank Beamer and staff do "more with less". That used to be the case, but not anymore, in my opinion. Instead, I believe the coaching staff currently assembled at Virginia Tech is one of the most underrated groups of talent evaluators in the country, and their recruiting is hitting an all-time high this year.
more

Class of '09: State Champion Stone Bridge
December 21, 2007
The Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) varsity football squad captured the Group AAA, Division 5 state championship this season, defeating Potomac 38-0 in the championship game. Head coach Mickey Thompson certainly has his program on the right track and, with a good group of juniors returning to lead the way, the team should be strong once again next season.
more

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
December 21, 2007
Virginia Tech's young basketball players will get their first look at an ACC team on Sunday when they travel to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest. The Hokies have beaten Wake Forest three times in a row, including a December matchup in Cassell Coliseum last season. Unfortunately this game is on the road, where the Hokies have struggled defensively so far this season.
more
 
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