Sunday, October 20, 2002
We've secretly taken the Virginia Tech special teams unit and replaced it with Folger's Crystals...let's see if they notice!
Seriously, I'd like to know where our formerly outstanding STU has been these past few games. It used to be that we expected a blocked kick every game, very short returns by our opponents, and a decent field goal percentage. We haven't blocked a kick recently, we gave up a touchdown on a return against Boston College, and we've missed quite a few field goals. The Folger's Crystals comment could also apply to our secondary. I mean, once the ball has been caught, they're outstanding. Personally, though, I'd prefer if the opposing receivers were covered more closely and they didn't get the ball in the first place. I understand that there are limits to what college players can do, but really.
However, those woes shouldn't detract us from the fact that #3-ranked Virginia Tech advanced to 7-0 after beating lowly Rutgers 35-14 at Homecoming. We dominated, and Rutgers ended up with negative rushing yardage as compared to our 300+ yards (including both Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones racking up over 100 yards apiece). Brian Randall is getting more comfortable as a passer, and his first thought when threatened doesn't seem to be to run the ball himself anymore. The defensive line and linebackers are almost literally a wall, and we could probably compare the running game of our opponents to homosexuals sentenced to death by Sharia.
In other football news, Notre Dame beat Air Force, which, while most Hokies would love for Notre Dame to lose, helps in the long run since Air Force didn't really have any other opponents that might prevent them from going undefeated. Notre Dame still has a fair amount of work ahead of them, and so things should be okay. Oregon lost to Arizona State at home, and are thus also out of the ranks of the unbeatens. The Unbeatens currently consist of Miami, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, and NC State. Bowling Green, though also undefeated, faces a creampuff schedule, and thus has no shot at the national championship. Again, a breakdown:
-Miami: While it has defeated quality teams from Florida, Boston College, and FSU, it still faces Tennessee, Pitt, and Tech. They probably have the talent to win all these games, but the slightest complacency could destroy them. Furthermore, WVU has an excellent running game, while Miami's run defense this year is fairly poor. With the 'Eers playing at home, they stand a small chance at an upset.
-Oklahoma: 'Bama, Texas, and Iowa State were quality wins, but Colorado and the underestimated-Aggies both pose considerable threats. Nonetheless, an undefeated season by them wouldn't really hurt our chances, though a few losses would certainly help.
-Virginia Tech: We've beaten Marshall, LSU, Texas A&M, and Boston College so far, but Pitt's tough run defense might be a challenge to our star running backs, and Miami's always a challenge. WVU and UVA also could pull off an upset, though it's not likely. We've passed the worst of our schedule, and so long as we don't get complacent, we should have a good shot at Tempe.
-Ohio State: Washington State and Wisconsin were tough, but I wouldn't want to face Penn State or Michigan if I were a Buckeye. Being the host for those games helps, but I'd personally be surprised if they can survive both onslaughts.
-Georgia: 'Bama and Tennessee we both big (if awfully close) victories, but Ole Miss and Florida will be tough to beat back-to-back. Kentucky, Auburn, and Georgia Tech are also sleepers, and Jawjah is going to have to keep it's head to win all five.
-Notre Dame: Yes, we know. They've beaten Maryland, Michigan, Pitt, and Air Force. Knute Rockne, Rudy, etc. Blah blah blah. Travelling down to FSU will probably not result in an unbeaten squad of Fighting Irish (Drunken Irish, quite possibly), and USC seems ready to do its part when it hosts ND as well. Boston College, while travelling to South Bend, is also a Catholic school, and thus we may see a veritable Reformation if all goes
-NC State: Yes, UNC was probably a quality win, but I think only beating Duke by two points probably negates it. I'd like to see them explain their undefeated status when the play Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, UVA, amd FSU (mostly on the road, too).
Fiesta Bowl Prediction: Big East #1 vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Pipe Dream: #1 Virginia Tech vs. #2 Miami