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Wild Bill’s Weekly Sports Roundup

by Bill Turner

Well, after a short break, the column returns for what I shall call my Fourth of July special. I’m sure this one will evoke more than its share of spectacular fireworks.

An avid reader questioned me Saturday at The Roanoker as to why I haven’t chimed in on Virginia Tech football yet. Quite frankly, I didn’t realize there was anything outlandish to chime in about. Boy, did I miss the mark on that assumption.

Last week the national championship drums in the Hokie Nation started beating like the climatic scene of a Tarzan movie.

Totally unbelievable. I would have thought after last year’s debacle, Hokie fans would give quarterback Logan Thomas a chance to get his feet on the ground before the unsettling pressure they deliver to a QB who has only taken 80 snaps.

Make no mistake about it, Thomas is the real deal with a lot of potential. While at Brookville, Thomas was one of the most well-spoken athletes I ever interviewed.

But, for heaven’s sake you orange and maroon, give the guy a chance to succeed.

So, here’s my take on the season, right or wrong, with the door open for anyone to disagree.

Will Tech be the national champions?

No way. The schedule is ridiculously simple. The ACC is, at best, mediocre in football. If it weren’t for the BCS guarantee, you could make a good argument that a third place SEC team may rank above the top ACC team once the BCS selections arrive. This all gives foundation to formulating a playoff system that would eliminate the back-door-Bettys.

Can Tech run the table and go 12-0?

Absolutely. Their ACC road schedule is a pushover and their four non-conference games absurdly easy. Taking a look at the above, for a BCS major conference team, those two categories may well be the easiest in the nation. The catch here is that Tech won’t get style points for blasting Arkansas State or Wake.

With week after week facing these opponents,  can Tech really climb the Top-25 ladder to the elite top five?

Good question. I have my doubts. This has been played out before in Blacksburg, so it’s unclear how much push Tech gets beating Wake while SEC, Big-10 and Big-12 teams beat each other senseless week after week in quality matchups.

Is Tech worried about any particular non-conference opponent?

Yes, Marshall. The Hokies must travel to the Joan, where Marshall had West Virginia in the bag last year before letting a win get away. Sure sign Tech is worried–they offered Marshall $2 million to move the game to FedEx Field in Landover,Maryland. Marshall AD Mike Hamrick told Tech to forget it. The Herd and their fans, win or lose, are chomping at the bit to get the Hokies in Huntington where the Hokey Pokey will get nothing but laughs.

Will Tech beat UVa again in 2011?

Probably. The Hoos have a long way to go to get things in order. Don’t expect miracles.

Does the game with Alabama, proposed for 2013, make sense?

For sure. If Tech wants to be among the recognized elite, it needs to tangle with the same. Playing the directional Michigans or Arkansas State doesn’t get that done. The real test comes down the road when the Hokies battle Ohio State and Wisconsin in home-and-home series.

Is Tech still smarting from the loss to JMU last year?

They’ve gotten over it, but nobody will forget it. JMU has made the win pay off. The Dukes announced this week they will play West Virginia next year at FedEx.

Who do you want to see excel for Tech this season?

Logan Thomas, for sure. Give him time and he may well provide some huge surprises. From the local area, watch Cave Spring’s Michael Cole. Cole will bring a lot of class to the VT program and one guy who I can count on for a fist thump after any game. Now, you can see, I’m in the Hokie huddle–just without the drum.

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