Friday, November 2, 2012

Stop the Excuses: VT vs Miami Reaction

Last night I posed the question, “What really is the problem with this year’s VT football team?” I wasn't sure where do go with it.  Is it the Offensive Scheme? Offensive Play Calling? Execution? Head Coach? After sleeping on it, my theory is that the program has been infiltrated by a non-creative stagnant leadership.  We have lost our edge as a program.  We are weak across the board, from the Athletic Director to long snapper (I miss Collin Carroll).  Here is my proof.  Check out these road and neutral site turnover stats from (the site only goes back to 2007, so that’s how far I went back):

VT Road/Neutral Turnover Ratio vs National Average

I know these numbers might seem like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but here is a quick explanation so stay with me.  Over the past 5 years, the Hokies have been better than average on the road or on neutral fields when it comes to turnover margin.  Even more, every year that they have finished with a top 15% margin (greater than 1 standard deviation from the mean), they have won the ACC.  This year, the Hokies are on the verge of finishing the season in the bottom 3% of all FBS college football.  They are currently #121 of 124 teams, and this is 2 years away from leading all teams in this category in 2010.  And you can’t even come close to saying the teams we played this year are anywhere near as good as the teams we played away from home in 2010.  Here is the comparison:

2010: #3 Boise State, Boston College,#23 NC State, North Carolina, #21 Miami, #20 Florida State, #5 Stanford

2012: Pittsburg, Cincinnati, North Carolina, #14 Clemson, Miami

So what is the difference? How can we go from kicking butt on the road, to falling so flat? We had won 12 straight true road games from 2009 through the Pitt game this year!

Like I said above, my premise is that the program has lost its edge.  And I believe whole heartedly that this is caused by faulty leadership.  True leadership creates a team culture where mistakes are limited and people are held accountable for their mistakes.  A leader also steps up their game in hostile environments and clutch situations.  We have NONE of this! Where has it gone?  

I have never heard more excuses for mistakes in my life.  Someone (anyone!) please stand up and say, “this was my fault, I take responsibility.”  Then, lead this team forward.  STOP THE EXCUSES! Has Beamer stopped leading well, what is Bud doing? We all know O'Cainspring can't cut it.  Is it the players? Did Tyrod, Willson, Willams and Randle make up for the faults of the coaching staff over the past 5 years?  I sure think so... 

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Most Likely": Week 5

Here is my weekly “Most Likely” weekend preview of my top 15 teams. 

Anyone looking for picks, I have decided to call it quits on those posts for a while.  I will start back-up next week with a new format (yet to be determined).   

I do just want to take a second and brag on the fact that I did call the Oklahoma loss last week.  Check the post here

Let’s get to it!

Get upset: (9) TEXAS – I am not at all sold yet on the new look Longhorns.  They have had some good showings this year against Ole Miss and New Mexico.  However, that’s Ole Miss and New Mexico, not the most quality of opponents.  Plus this game is at night in Stillwater, against a Cowboys team with something to prove.  This game is ripe for an upset.

Pull the starters in the 2nd quarter:  (2) OREGON – The Ducks looked like the best team in the nation last week with their route of a quality Arizona squad.  I see them continuing that trend this week against Washington State who hasn't held an opponent to less than 20 points all season.  Look for Oregon to outscore that number is the first quarter.  

Look worse than their ranking: (13) CLEMSON – Over the past few years, Clemson has been a team that has been able to get-up for big games, but has struggled to maintain that high after (See Auburn in 2009 and GT in 2010).  I see this being another one of those occasions.  They pull out the win, but struggle to get things going early.  Also, their best player Sammy Watkins is out for the game with an illness. 

Look better than their ranking: (5) WEST VIRGINIA – The mountaineers come to play in their first BIG 12 game.  Plus, this game is in Morgantown.  This game might not be the biggest of blowouts, but WVU will look good in the win over a pretty good Baylor team.   

Climb into the top 15: TCU – With the Stanford loss already, we know that there will be movement within the rankings next week and by default TCU looks to be primed to jump in.  However, I’m not yet sold on this team and don’t by any means think they are the 3rd best team in the BIG 12.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Power Rankings: Week 4

The Dallas Hokie Power Rankings - Week 4

1)     Alabama (4-0) (Prev. 1)
2)     Oregon (4-0) (2)
3)     Georgia (4-0) (4)
4)     Florida State (4-0) (6)
5)     West Virginia (3-0) (5)
6)     Louisiana State (4-0) (3)
7)     South Carolina (4-0) (9)
8)     Kansas State (4-0) (10)
9)     Texas (3-0) (13)
10)   Ohio State (4-0) (11)
11)   Stanford (4-0) (14)
12)   Southern California (3-1) (15) 
13)   Clemson (3-1) (8)
14)   Florida (4-0) (NR)
15)   Notre Dame (4-0) (NR)

Dropped From Rankings: Michigan (12), Oklahoma (7)

On the verge (in no particular order) - TCU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Louisville

As we get into the heart of the season, it looks like there are 8 teams that have pulled away from the pack.  It will be interesting to see how they continue to fare as the season goes on. 

LSU dropped out of the top 5 this week as they struggled at Auburn.  Also, Florida State jumped West Virginia after beating Clemson.  There were also some minor switching spaces further down as Texas jumped Ohio State. 

Florida and Notre Dame both made their first appearance in the poll at 14th and 15th.  

Clemson is the third team to remain in the rankings after losing (Michigan vs Alabama and USC @ Stanford).  

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Most Likely": Week 4 Preview

Here is my weekly “Most Likely” weekend preview, where I ask 5 questions of my top 15 teams.  As a review here are the dallashokie Power Rankings: Week 3.

Also, my picks against the spread went up earlier today.  Check them out here.  

Note: Preface each statement with “The team most likely to…”

Get upset (must be a 10+ point line): (7) OKLAHOMA – Kansas State, with a year under their belt of actually being a good team, brings it this week.  Plus, they will be out for revenge after the shellacking they took last year to the Sooners.  And hey, I get some major brownie points from mrs. dallas hokie every time I speak ill of those land thieves.  And look, its her two favorite people (kinda). You gotta love that '93 Holiday Bowl Jacket.  Go Pokes!  

Pull the starters in the 2nd quarter:  (1) ALABAMA – This is an easy one.  After the beat down they put on Arkansas last week, I don’t see anything different happening this week. 

Look worse than their ranking: (4) GEORGIA – Georgia being here is more of a testament to how well I think Vanderbilt plays in this game.  I am still really high on the Bulldogs, but from what I’ve seen they haven’t had the shut-down defense that blows teams out.  Georgia still wins, but struggles more than expected in the process. Note: I would have chosen Notre Dame here, but I was already down on them earlier this week by not putting them in the DH Top 15. 

Look better than their ranking: (6) FLORIDA STATE – I am starting to think that FSU might actually have the team that people have been projecting for the past 3 years.  FSU shows the world on Saturday night that they are here to play and wins big over Clemson

Climb into the top 15: FLORIDA – The gators are here for the second straight week after getting jumped by Texas.  They are right on the verge and should move in this week with a win and a loss in front of them.

Also check out some of my favorite Hokie blogs here:

Picks: Week 4

We are a quarter of the way through the season, and I still haven’t been able to manage a winning week.  My picks straight up have been pretty good, but for some reason I can’t seem to hit it right on many games against the spread.  Going into this week I am at a whopping 33% (4-8) and hoping for something better.  Here are nine picks for you this week, with the usual star by my favorites.  

You should probably just assume the opposite of all these...

Arizona State +21.5 over Oregon – Oregon has been known to let teams back into games late.  Look for ASU to bring this one within a few scores. 

FSU -14 over Clemson – FSU’s defense looks incredible and they are playing a team that struggled with a bad Auburn club.  Look for FSU to go up big early.

Kansas State +15.5 over Oklahoma – I think K-State remembers the beat down they got last year from OU and comes out seeking revenge.  The sooners win a close one at home.

*Michigan +6 over Notre Dame – Here I go picking Michigan again, but I really think that Michigan is better than people think.  Plus, I am not sold on ND.  Michigan wins on a big day from Denard.   Here is a little reminder for how great this game was last year.  Also, listen to some great announcing from the BTN.  Dude says "G. O. N. N. Gone!" and " Liters of Fun!"

*Georgia Tech -14 over Miami – GT throttled UVA last week at home and is playing a much worse Miami team this week.  Miami just doesn’t have the talent any more to compete. 

*UTEP +18 over Wisconsin – Wisconsin has struggled to score all season and are starting a freshman at QB this week for the first time.  They are averaging less than 18 points per game!  Much less beating people by that much.  Plus UTEP showed us in week 1 that they can play with anyone.  Wisconsin wins, but not by 18.

*UVA +18 over TCU – TCU had a rough go of it with Kansas last week and I think UVA bounces back.  TCU wins a close one in Fort Worth. 

Penn State -7.5 over Temple – I think that Penn State finally got their act together last week against Navy.  They show up to play in Happy Valley and win big.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Power Rankings: Week 3

The Dallas Hokie Power Rankings - Week 3

1)     Alabama (Prev. 1)
2)     Oregon (3)
3)     LSU (4)
4)     Georgia (5)
5)     West Virginia (6)
6)     Florida State (7)
7)     Oklahoma (8)
8)     Clemson (9)
9)     South Carolina (10)
10)   Kansas State (13)
11)   Ohio State (14)
12)   Michigan (15)
13)   Texas (NR)
14)   Stanford (NR)
15)   USC (2) 

Dropped From Rankings: Virginia Tech (12), Michigan State (11)

On the verge (in no particular order) - TCU, Notre Dame, Florida

Three teams in the top 15 lost this week, with USC, Virginia Tech and Michigan State all falling to lower ranked teams.  VT and MSU both dropped out of the rankings and USC fell all the way to 15 right behind Stanford.  Texas also jumped in this week with their big win over Ole Miss.   The rest of top 10 remained in the same order, with every team but Alabama moving up a spot.  Alabama is clearly the #1 team in the nation after their performance this week and the loss by USC.  The top 10 is really starting to pull away from the pack, with every team winning big this week.  As the season moves on, look to see which of these teams fall and which can survive and move on. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Most Likely": Week 3

Here is Version 2 of my weekly “Most Likely” weekend preview, where I ask 5 questions of my top 15 teams.  As a review here are the dallas hokie PowerRankings: Week 2.

Note: Preface each statement with “The team most likely to…”

Get upset (must be a 10+ point line): ALABAMA– Remember, this is the big upset category and that is what it would be if Arkansas one this game.  But just remember a few things, Arkansas was a top 10 team coming into this game and they are playing at home.  Alabama might actually overlook Arkansas this week and give them a chance. 

Pull the starters in the 2nd quarter:  OREGON - This was actually a tough choice this week, with so many top teams playing some pretty easy games.  However, I chose Oregon because they are one of the most explosive teams in the NCAA and are playing a FCS team travelling across 3 time zones.   

Look worse than their ranking: FLORIDA STATE – Look for FSU to come out rocky in their first game against decent competition.  Plus, this is an ACC game, and you can usually count on those games to be closer than expected.  Plus Wake is coming off of an impressive and unexpected win against UNC and has beaten FSU 4 out of the last 6.  FSU wins but looks sloppy in the process.

Look better than their ranking: USC – I know they are currently ranked #2 (and have been all season in my book), but I think that this week they put pressure on Alabama for that #1 spot and get a few additional votes.  I think Alabama is in a no-win situation this week in that they are playing a pretty tough team that no one is expecting to be very good. 

Climb into the top 15: FLORIDA – I have the gators winning at Tennessee this week and think they jump a few spots with the win.