Sunday, August 31, 2008

Alright already, the ACC stinks, we get it.

All the talking heads have been saying the ACC is down for a couple of years now and hasn't lived up to the hype with the addition of Miami, VaTech and BC. Many of us had some reasonable ability to fight back and lay claim to some level of respect. Nobody really thought we were as good as the SEC, but surely we could claim one of the 3 or 4 best conferences.

Well, most of those arguments started disappearing last year with our poor non-conference showing, starting with VaTech's woodshed beating by LSU. Well, another BCS loss later and we find ourselves winding down week 1 of college football, and where are we now? To say the ACC laid an egg would be making it sound soooo much better than reality. The reality is that we laid a cruddy, smelly, giant DoDo egg.

Let's review the carnage, shall we?

  • NCST loses in a primetime Thursday night match-up against USC-east, in a battle between two teams that didn't look like they belonged on a football field. In the battle of pitiful play, NCST managed to take home the trophy for embarrassment, by losing 34-0. Oh, it was only 3-0 at the half, so maybe most of the country fell asleep before watching the wheels fall off. Doubt it. The Pack were certainly the underdog and they were on the road, but they just plain stunk
  • Saturday afternoon, Virginia Tech managed to lose to East Carolina, albiet on the road. Truthfully, it wasn't a stretch to pick the Pirates. Let's see, VaTech lost every single skill player on their team as well as Macho Harris, who basically plays every position on the team and returns punts and kick-offs in his spare time. Oh this one was close, but it was reverse-Beamer-ball that did them in, with a blocked punt for a TD in the final 2 minutes for a 27-22 loss.
  • Then for a nice 3:30 game, USC-west decided to bring in their NFL franchise and whoop up on the Virginia Cavaliers to the tune of 52-7. Hey, they kept it close for all of about 30 seconds. That's worth something, right?
  • For the coup-de-gras, the ACC's shining star, the Clemson Tigers, made NCST's DoDo egg look downright pedestrian. Tommy Bowden managed to pull one of the most lackluster, unenergetic performances out of one of his most skilled teams since he arrived. The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to a dominant 34-10 victory in what was nothing short of an overwhelming show of force by Nick Saban. Strength on strenth, and Tigers turned to pussycats when all was said and done. One side note, this was not an upset. Losses in week 1 are not an upset in my book unless you're playing a IAA school. There are no real rankings. There is no proof of anything to base who's better than who. Clearly Alabama was a better team, period. No upset. Is Tommy Bowden the new Chan Gailey? Or maybe he's the original Gailey since he's been there 10 years.
Now, along with these showcase pride-killers, there were also some too-close-for-comfort games that were ACC victories, but not close enough for bragging rights.

  • Maryland slipped by powerhouse Delaware by the score of 14-7.
  • Butch Davis's media friendly Tarheels scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to slip by might McNeese State 35-27.
There were only 5 ACC victories in week 1, and truthfully, only 1 can be help up as "significant" and nationally relavent.

  • Wake Forest went on the road and pummelled a Baylor team 41-13, for the only ACC win against another BCS opponent, albeit a bottom-feeder from the Big12.
  • Boston College showed their defense dominance by trouncing Kent St 21-0, a MAC bottom-feeder.
  • Miami did what they needed to do against by knocking off Charleston Southern 52-7. Of course Miami fans are under the delusional impression now that they're "back". Right. Let's give a few weeks, shall we?
  • Duke knocked off James Madison 31-7. Hey, it's Duke, so you can't take any win for granted.
  • Finally, Georgia Tech handled their business in Paul Johnson's debut, beating Jax St, 41-14.
So there you have it. A wasteland my friends. If someone tells you the ACC is the worst BCS conference right now, don't fight it. You don't have much ammo. Just accept it, and live to fight another day. It's only week one and plently of battles lay ahead.

Here are a few other interesting notes from the weekend:

  • Taylor Bennett helped his LaTech team defeat Mississippi State, for possibly that's school's biggest victory ever. Tator didn't have gaudy stats (something like 13-40), but his team won and he was running the show. Nice work
  • Georgia Tech transfer Steven Threet got some playing time in Michigan's opening day loss to Utah. He had a nice 30+ yard TD pass, but couldn't convert the 2 pt attempt.
  • Jonathan Garner is now the 2nd / 3rd string QB at Marshall, in case you didn't know.
  • Durant Brooks won the Redskins punting job. Their 3-year starting punter, Derrick Frost, was cut, and he wasn't happy, spouting off that he was never given a fair chance to win the job. Of course he had the job for 3 years and was very inconsistent. Eventually that's going to catch up to you.
  • Gary Guyton made the Patriots roster (which is a stunner!)
  • Eric Henderson was cut from Cincy
  • Wrotto made the Seahawks
  • D.Robertson cut by Dallas, although Tashard made the squad.
  • Mike Cox made the Chiefs and is likely to be the starting fullback
  • P.Wheeler made the Colts
  • All 3 Giants are still active - Wilkinson, Butler, Matthews
  • Chris Reis made the Saints
  • In case you are curious about the Jackets passing efficiency in game 1, it was 128.9 using the standard NCAA formula. If you applied the NFL formula, it would have been 84. Here's a link showing those calculations using 8/15, 135 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • The BC game will be on Raycom although it's not clear if it will be regionally broadcast in the south.