Earlier this week I received an email from a West Virginia alum who had played in the Pride of West Virginia Band. She was rather upset that their band would not be allowed on the M&T Bank Stadium Field during Saturday’s game with Maryland. Now…there’s many shades of gray in our world. There’s home, away and neutral…and then there’s home with an asterisk. Alabama fans for years played “home” games an hour away at Legion Field in Birmingham. Maryland uses Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium in that occasional capacity…so in effect Saturday’s game even though it’s not on campus remains a home game with the University of Maryland providing a similar seating section available to traveling members of the visiting band that they do at Byrd. It’s not classless…as many angry Mountaineer fans have pointed out…it’s just policy.

Alma Mater Update– the Orange wrap up non-conference play by hosting Tulane. The Green Wave are typical of the opponent SU would look beyond in years past only to be stung with an L…but this is the Scott Shafer Era. We’re talking a sophomore sensation at quarterback. We’re dreaming higher than the Pinstripe Bowl. We’re talking Sign of the Whale offering buffalo and Dinosaur bbq sauce on the wings. We’re talking October 15th is less than a month away.

Maryland plays West Virginia– the Terps haven’t beaten the Mountaineers since the 2004 Gator Bowl. Many years they’ve met their non-conference neighbors and have been undone by speed and scheme…as well as a coach who resembles Matthew McConaughey. This year WVa boasts a flashy freshman QB in Ford Childress…and an early schedule filled with uneven play (almost losing to William & Mary will do that to you). Adding into the equation that the Terp secondary is somewhat nicked up (Dexter McDougle done for the year after notching 2 INTs against UConn)… this could be another track meet. But nobody’s found the right answers for the questions CJ Brown poses…and the inability to get their band on the field at halftime will seal the deal. Terps triumph, 34-30.

Virginia entertains VMI– it figures the Cavaliers would need a bye week to recover from being run over by the Oregon… the Ducks hung 59 on Tennessee last weekend and look to steamroll through their schedule until being held to 14 points in an unexplainable loss to Stanford. UVa plays a Keydet team that has struggled in the early season…so this appears to be another chance for David Watford to grow into his role as the starter. Tailgate footnote: Kippy and Buffy are breaking out the Chrysalis Vineyards Albariño…the ultra-premium white varietal of Spain. A rich, exotic dry wine bursting with bright aromas and bracing flavors of citrus, almonds, apricots, and peaches. Perfect compliment to swiss on a Ritz cracker. Or a 41-13 Cavalier rout.

Virginia Tech hosts Marshall– the Hokies after escaping East Carolina have their hands full with a Thundering Herd offense averaging 46 points a game. But Rakeem Cato will learn that Miami (Ohio), Gardner-Webb and Ohio are a far cry from the ACC’s leading defense. Logan Thomas needs to extend the field better (they’re averaging exactly 11 yards per completion) to give his running game a little more breathing room (Trey Edmunds yards per carry has gone from 6.6 to 4.5 to 2.0). The kicking game needs to make extra points and field goals. And the turkey legs need 5 more minutes in the marinade. Hokies give their fans heartburn en route to a 27-19 win.

Georgetown loses to Brown, Towson tops NC Central, James Madison beats Rhode Island, Richmond rips Liberty, Old Dominion edges the Citadel.

Last Week: 9-1…thanks Hoyas for ruining what would have been a second straight perfect week.

Overall: 14-3…Shining in Show Me Month!