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Football Saturday

Another week, another set of games. The past one was a Saturday that saw Virginia Tech continue its surge, both Wake and Maryland discovering that they could not lose their way into the Atlantic Division championship and a couple more coaches making solid strides towards larger sales of slips colored pink. And one of the lame ibis coaches even managed to accomplish what often has eluded the Great NFL Legend, a successful Senior Day at the Smithsonian.

There was no Senior Day celebration at Wake Forest . The cheers from those wearing black at jammed Groves Stadium cheered lustily as their heroes playing their last home game were introduced. That was about the extent of the cheering, at least for the home team. Three plays into the game, Tech had the winning points on the board.

Most of the ensuing noise came from that end of the stadium containing the thousands of maroon-clad Hokies. A good bit of the racket was made on behalf of Tech’s much-maligned offense, which demonstrated that the only things necessary for an air attack was necessity out of an injury to Brandon Ore and the slow and smallish Wake secondary. It made for a nice combination.

As usual, the Tech defense was the star of the game. They shut down Wake’s vaunted misdirection, creating film footage that Chan Gailey will no doubt keep close at hand, just in case, although this week he would seem to have bigger things and games on his mind. Few teams not having all-world Calvin Johnson at wide receiver are going to beat Tech through the air and complicated recruiting and transfer rules prevented Wake from employing Johnson, who was busy not breaking a sweat against Duke.

A bit of the luster of Wake’s magical season was tarnished Saturday night, but only a bit. Atlantic Division representation in Jax is still available for the Deacs. They will need to beat Maryland this weekend and the Terps did not exactly display championship form in getting blasted by Fredo.

Wake might have used lack of motivation as an excuse Saturday night, although Jim Grobe steadfastly refused. One will have to wonder how much gusto Maryland will display Saturday if Fredo makes its case for the Atlantic title Thanksgiving night [the tiebreaker thing]. That will be against the Canes in what is sure to be a raucous Orange Bowl.

Ah, yes, Larry Coker. Football coaches don’t often get fired by means of summary execution, but that just might be the fate of Uncle Fester. I’m sure he had much time to contemplate such things as well as a team quitting on him as he hitchhiked from Hooville back home, at least for another week or so, to Coral Gables . Standing at an on-ramp along I-95 somewhere in South Carolina he might have even had time to contemplate his replacement at Miami . Everybody else seems to be doing just that.

It certainly would have been interesting to observe Paul Dee after those published reports of the Dwarf Dyke of Miami talking with Barry Alvarez about taking over as both football coach and AD for the Canes. Dee ’s snout coming out of the trough and his exclaiming “What?” would have been something to see.

A losing Dwarf Dyke is an angry diminutive practitioner of alternative sexuality and that is what is likely storming around South Florida these days. The Canes, picked to win the ACC’s Coastal Division, are now 5-6 and are faced with a must-win against Fredo to even make it to Boise . Yikes!

While the idea of mighty Miami playing a bowl game on the frigid blue tundra cracks up this correspondent, there are the Hoos to consider. The Canes didn’t seem to last Saturday afternoon or, considering their probable bowl destination had they won, maybe they did.

algroh had attached the slogan ‘Back to Boise ’ to this year’s Hoo team; the dream is still alive at least for another week. All the Great NFL Legend has to do is beat Tech in Lane, a place where algroh’s previous success does not exceed none whatsoever, just slightly worse than how much he has achieved against Tech in the Smithsonian. Things might be made a bit easier due to the likely absence of injured Tech back Ore, although boygroh still has to figure out how to score on Bud’s defense, a task akin to a French general figuring out how to hold back the German army.

It can be assumed that the Hoos are likely still a bit ticked over the shellacking they absorbed from Tech last year in front of the home lovers of Zima. They will come into Lane ready to play. Tech will need every bit of the emotion and high level of play they have so far demonstrated against Clemson and Wake to keep the Hoos from celebrating another season on the ski slopes of Idaho .

While the Hoos still cling to their Boise dream, there is another ACC coach who is occupying a chair much hotter than the current air temperature in Boise . Egads, Chuckie!

In a game the embattled, underachieving State coach REALLY needed to win, not only did the Pack not do it, they managed to badly stink up Kenan in losing. That certainly put the Wolfpack Club folks laying out the big bucks in a festive state of mind heading into the holiday season. Geez, Chuckie, if you can’t beat the fired coach, who can you beat?

All that is left between the bad loss to the fired Big John and the hilarity of another Lee Fowler coaching search is Skippy and ECU, who managed to back out of a CUSA division title at Rice. Beating ECU might save the Carter-Finley turf and goal posts, but maybe not Chuckie. After all the long green that has been spent on State football at Chuckie’s behest, the Pack fans have a right to expect a little better than 3-8 and continued losses to bad Carolina teams.

As for Big John Bunting, he got to exit Kenan for the last time with his head held high as a winner. While his time spent as Carolina football coach was largely an unsuccessful one, at least he can say he owned Chuckie. That should earn him a soft spot in quite a few Tar Heel hearts. Butch might confound all by actually building a winner in Blue Heaven, but, saving the unlikeliest of ACC championship meetings, he sure won’t beat State any more the next three years than has Big John the past three.

As hard as it is to believe, this Thanksgiving week will be the last of the regular season. Well, there are other things to be thankful for, even if football season is drawing to a close. The crack staff of one here at the A-Line wishes all a very happy Thanksgiving and remember, it’s Hoo Week.

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