Tuesday, October 16, 2007

About Last Saturday (and Thursday)...

The Seminoles may be the one team in the nation that could legitimately have gone 12-0 or 4-8 this year. This is a team that is - with the new offensive coaching staff - so close to greatness while at the same time straddling the border of sub-.500ville. One only needs to watch Xavier Lee to know that he is an exponential upgrade over Drew Weatherford, but that upgrade is severely diminished by working behind perhaps the single-worst offensive line in college football. No exaggeration...the single worst. The Noles were thisclose to taking a 21-7 lead late in the 3rd quarter at Wake, but a stumble by Greg Carr in the endzone turned a jumpball TD into an endzone INT and everything changed after that. That's not to diminsh the Wake Forest effort on Thursday night...they played like garbage for the first half but managed to stay within 7 and then went in for the kill after one too many mistakes by FSU. If Wake played BC today instead of in week one, I'd be plunking cash down on the Deacs.

Jon Tenuta owns Patrick Nix. That's about all that can be gleaned from the Yellow Jackets' second-straight win over Miami in the Orange Bowl (and their third straight victory overall in the series). Tech still has serious problems at QB, and it's a credit to their offensive line that they could open up enough holes to allow 264 yards on the ground when the Canes knew full well that QB Taylor Bennett was a threat to do nothing but throw panicky incompletions. Things get a little darker for Miami as they now head to Tallahassee for their annual showdown with archrival Florida State...and the Noles have had two extra days to prepare for the Hurricanes.

You can't just say, "Yeah, but that was against Duke". Ask Northwestern, Navy, Virginia, and Wake Forest about what it's like to suit up against the Blue Devils this year. Sean Glennon relieved injured QB Tyrod Taylor and managed to have the best game of his Hokie career (16-for-21, 258 yards, 2 TDs) to lead Virginia Tech to a rout of Duke, despite a seemingly incurable anemic rushing attack and porous OL. The Blue Devils appear to have peaked, and even if they drop their remaining five contests (@FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech, @Notre Dame, @UNC), they'll be the best 1-11 team ever...which may be the lamest praise ever offered in recorded sports history.

**Paranoia alert**....if this had been Virginia Tech travelling to Ole Miss, only to see the Hokies scrape past the Rebels by six points, national pundits aplenty would be messing their pants over how powerful the SEC is, in that one of their bottom-feeders could nearly knock off an ACC power. On the flipside - and in reality - #6 South Carolina nearly kakked away a game to a 2-5 UNC squad and we hear....crickets. The Tar Heels outgained the Gamecocks by 116 yards and we hear....is there an echo in here? What we can gather from this game is that Butch Davis appears to have been a fantastic hire for UNC, and that there are way too many college football pundits and experts that are either too lazy or too biased to even consider or mention that the ACC is stacking up fairly well against other conferences this season, despite the horrific start.

You may now consider me sold on the Cavaliers. In this absurd football season, that Wyoming loss may as well have been six years ago instead of just six weeks ago. Without the services of leading rusher Cedric Peerman last Saturday, Virginia nonetheless found enough offense to claw past previously unbeaten UConn and finally get ranked in at least one national poll. **Paranoia alert**...if the Cavs were in the SEC, they would have been ranked - by special poll - at halftime of the Pitt game. Anyway, the Hoos' six game winning streak is now something like the third longest in the nation, and with four of their six wins being decided by 5 points or less, something is gelling in Charlottesville. We'll see how firm this gelatinous UVA season really is over their last five games (@Maryland, NC State, Wake, @Miami, Va Tech).

In a show of just how gonzo this season is, the Eagles now need to justify how they only beat the Fighting Irish by 2 TDs in South Bend. Allow me, BC fans. The Eagles played far from their best game yet still managed to double-up Notre Dame in total yards and gave the Irish a touchdown on one of the ten or so bad passes Matt Ryan has tossed all year. And Boston College managed to stifle the Irish running game to 27 total yards, while giving up 222 yards passing only because Notre Dame chucked the ball almost exclusively in the second half, as they were losing by 3 TDs for most of the game. **Paranoia alert**...has an undefeated rookie head coach ever gotten less publicity than Jeff Jagodzinski at BC this year? Wanna bet that ESPN and CBS would be devoting large segments of GameDay and Scoreboard Updates to him if he was 7-0 at, say, Arkansas? Yeah, me too.


Tar Heel Fan said...

Very valid points on the manner in which the ACC is largely ignored by the media. I was read Dan Shanoff on Deadspin who went as far as to say BC should be eliminated from BCS title consideration because they play in the ACC. Since when did we get relegated to Conference USA level?

Great blog, BTW. I added you to my blogroll on Tar Heel Fan.

Marcus said...

Thanks Tar Heel Fan...there's no question the ACC has an uphill climb in terms of perception, and the disastrous first two weekends this year (Okla 51-Miami 13, LSU 48-VT 7, Nebraska 20-Wake 17, UCF 25-NCSt 23, Wyoming 23-UVA 3, etc) is all that most folks remember of the ACC in non-conference games. The league has recovered splendidly since, which I will point out in my bi-weekly "Out of Conference Report" post tomorrow.

mobius said...

Man that Wake loss hurt more than any in recent memory. We were dominating both lines of scrimmage and were clearly the better team through three quarters but couldn't seal the deal. And thus, a very promising season was rendered relatively meaningless. AAaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggghhh!

btw, Dan Shanoff is a Gator who hates FSU, Bobby Bowden, and the ACC in general. Take anything he says with a metric ton of salt.

Marcus said...

Good to see you again mobius!

We were lucky to have beaten Colorado and Bama with the joke of an OL we have, along with no running game. And as always, our defense has at least one annual penalty-fest/fatigue-induced 2nd-half cave in, and that's what happened at Wake. Plus, it was a Thursday night. Plus plus, Wake's a pretty damn good team.

Comments like Shanoff's "BC should be eliminated from BCS title consideration because they play in the ACC" are just moronic and unworthy of a response. No amount of facts would change his mind. He likes his alternate-universe just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Dude, if you really watch Taylor Bennet, you'll see that it's not him who's struggling. It's the wide recievers. I'd say 90% of his balls thrown were completely catchable. It's sad that a QB has to take the heat for that. Go back and watch the clemson game, the maryland game and the miami game and see what I mean.

Marcus said...

I watched the Notre Dame, BC and Clemson games and was thoroughly unimpressed with Bennett. My "panicky incompletions" remark had more to do with the BC game than the others. I agree that the WRs are mediocre as well.

I can't speak for how he looked against Clemson, Virginia, Maryland or Miami.