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Fit To A ‘T’

Hooever added the ‘T’ displayed remarkable prescience. Somebody knew what was coming. A jokester had snuck into the Hoo Smithsonian early Saturday morning and adorned the ‘V’ that reposes at mid-field with the letter found so disagreeable by many Hoos, including ones such as algroh and his players. While I have my own ideas as to hoo did it, probably not the Butler this time, Hoo authorities seem to think it was one of those attending Mr. Jefferson’s Academic Village. If this was some sort of hoo-ish attempt at reverse psychology, it didn’t seem to work out so hot.

Tech scored early and often, putting further distance between themselves and the Hoos in what used to be a fairly even rivalry. This makes six Tech wins in the last seven games, four out of the five played since the Great NFL Legend algroh set up shop on the Grounds promising multiple championships since he was indeed a Great NFL Legend and boasting that he would ‘own’ Frank Beamer due to being so much smarter than a mere college coach. Perhaps Hoo AD Craig ‘I had to do something with the money for Tubby’ Littlepage will, when he cuts the first check to algroh from that fat new contract, include a copy of ‘Checkers for Dummies.’

I’m sure all of those Hoos hoo had forsaken their heroes in the middle of the Third Quarter were discussing the necessity of rewarding algroh with a huge long-term contract as they trudged up Alderman Road to no doubt drown their sorrows with a nice Chianti. They had wasted little time heading for the Lawn as Tech came out in the Third Quarter and flat demolished the Hoos. There are rats that have shown greater deliberation before abandoning a sinking ship.

Tech’s easy win took on even greater significance later that evening. Sometime around midnight, I was enjoying a restful slumber in the spare bedroom of my brother’s Roanoke home. My sleep was rudely interrupted when he burst through the door announcing, “Jim, wake up. The Canes have lost.” There was only one thing to do. I leaped from my bed not unlike I once did on the Christmas mornings of my youth. This was indeed a present worth celebrating and we did just that as I got dressed and headed for his liquor cabinet. It became quite a long night.

Thanks to what is fast becoming a Miami tradition, the Canes tanking a late-season important game in the Orange Bowl, Saturday’s Tech-Carolina game has become a very important one. Tech will be playing for a trip to Jacksonville about a month earlier than what had been figured on after the embarrassing Lane loss to the Canes. Well, Larry Coker was the one who said last week that we have to play all of the games. Obviously, Coker knew his own team well.

With the Canes helpfully handing back to Tech control of their own ACC championship destiny, Saturday’s game is a huge one. It would seem that Big John Bunting can indeed coach in a game with ACC championship implications. Just not his own team’s. The Heels prepped for the showdown with Tech by easing by the ACC’s version of a Southern Conference team, Duke. Obviously they were taking great pains to show Tech virtually nothing from the game tape.

Carolina will come to Tech and receive the full Lane experience, as ESPN decided that for the ninth time this season Tech will appear on one of their family of networks. While the Heels will be playing for Boise eligibility and the opportunity to become what looks to be quite a few ACC teams dressed for a bowl but nowhere to go, Tech will be aiming a little higher. It will be yet another Lane Stadium prime time extravaganza. There should be plenty of unused fireworks left over from the Miami game, should they be needed.

Before focusing on the next game, there is just a little bit of commenting [and gloating] left from the Hoo game. From Tech’s standpoint, the players and coaches had been hearing the dreaded ‘C’ word bandied quite a bit during the two weeks since the Miami debacle. Obviously this team is made of sterner stuff than the 03 one.

The only collapsing done last Saturday north of the Orange Bowl was algroh’s windbag containing all of that promised state hegemony. When algroh came to Hooville, turning the McCue Center into the McWeauxf one, there was at least one person paying close attention. That was Frank Beamer.

To say that Frank has met the challenge of the Great NFL Legend is to understate on a par with claiming that the Wehrmacht met the challenge posed by the Maginot Line or the Viet Minh met the challenge of Dien Bien Phu. algroh may indeed one day deliver on all of those promises, but so far he is offering precious little evidence. Once again, while the Hoos celebrate all of those supposedly great recruiting classes signed by algroh each and every February, it is Frank Beamer who in November is notching another win on his belt.

The recruiting ‘experts’ tell us every year that algroh has out-recruited Frank. Those same ‘experts’ never seem to talk about player development or the advantages held by the guys that are recruiting to a system that has been in place for many years. It makes a difference.

While guys named Darryl Tapp, Jonathan Lewis, Jimmy Williams and Cedric Humes were putting exclamation points to their senior seasons by dominating the Hoos in every single facet of the game, those named Kai Parham and Marques Hagans were ending their home careers watching their fans heading pell mell for the exits, in the Third Quarter, no less. Not to mention the spectacle of an out of shape and overweight Ahmad Brooks watching Humes and Brandon Ore race past him. That was quite a bill of goods sold them by the fast-talking algroh.

After five years of promises and what those crack recruiting services always inform us are stellar Hoo classes, the Great NFL Legend took over George’s program and did nothing with it. Unless the Canes do the improbable and tank a second straight game in the Orange Bowl, algroh’s chess mastery will have earned the Hoos a fifth-place Coastal finish, ahead of only woeful Duke. Enjoy that $1.7 extra-large, algroh. From a Tech standpoint, you have earned it.

Around the rest of the ACC, as mentioned, there was a game with an outcome almost as enjoyable as the one in Hooville. Georgia Tech capped what had been a very curious week on the Flats by knocking off the Canes. Things had kicked off when multi-Tech AD Dave Braine made the strange announcement that, well, the Yellow Jackets were never going to amount to anything in football, so what the hell, they might as well keep Chan Gailey around and give him a raise to boot. The sounds of John Heisman and Bobby Dodd spinning in their graves was drowned out by all of those GT fans exclaiming, “Huh?” Braine’s comments sure sounded a lot like a guy who is building a retirement home in Blacksburg.

No sooner had that been digested by the Jacket faithful than, lo and behold, the NCAA slapped GT with a multi-sport probation. Gailey will need a raise in order to deal with those dozen lost football scholarships over the next couple of years. There should be some terrific struggles over the next few years as the Jackets and Hoos vie for fifth place in the Coastal and algroh and Gailey compare raises and contract extensions.

The results Saturday in both Hooville and Miami fit Tech fans to the ‘T’ that was painted on the floor of the Smithsonian. While Hooville’s finest were questioning students, I have my own ideas.

It seems that Friday afternoon a certain silver Airstream RV pulled into Hoo public football parking at the Fontaine Research Center. There was a Hoo employee of that august establishment who reacted to the sight of those Hokies in their strange vehicle not unlike Mrs. Drysdale when the Clampetts pulled in next door or as did Mrs. Jefferson whenever Sally was around. The cries of “Get that thing off MY Grounds” were unheeded and served no purpose but to make angry a certain member of the Clubhouse Tailgate crew. The Hoos should bear in mind that an angry Clota is a vengeful Clota.

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