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One Quarter in the Books

You blink your eyes a few times and it gets away. That is certainly the way it seems this 2007 football season. You turn your back and fully one quarter of it is gone. You have to keep your eyes on it every minute.

Barely past the middle of September, three of the year’s twelve regular season games are history. The played games have enabled us to get a handle on things unless it does not. The early returns are still mixed.

At Virginia Tech, the season kicked off with the usual sky-high expectations. Perhaps we should have known things had become a bit overblown when it was Tech itself engaged in a large part of the weauxfing. The Weauxf Gods certainly had the last laugh in Louisiana.

Exit Sean Glennon, enter Tyrod Taylor. Tech’s latest wunderkind QB started for the first time last Saturday against Ohio and showed glimpses of what all of the excitement is about. The heretofore impotent Tech offense was actually able to stick it in a few times, no doubt to the chagrin of the Athletic Director, who considered it a poor display of Hokie Respect to beat a team by twenty-one. As is often the case with jimmy’s pronouncements, a lot of fans thought otherwise.

Tyrod has one more gimme game this weekend to cram in a red-shirt year’s worth of development before things toughen up a bit with the onset of ACC play. Well, maybe a gimme game. I suspect teams and coaches are now taking games against the Fill our Coffers Subdivision teams just a tad more seriously. If not, a glance into the night sky over Boone, NC, where the Appy State- Michigan score remains shining bright, the light powered by AA batteries [tell a joke in my presence, TJ, and it gets stolen].

Then again, maybe things won’t toughen up when conference play begins. That certainly was not the case in Hooville, where moving to conference competition was the difference between bad OOC losses and actually winning a couple of games.

The Hoos are 2-0 in ACC play and are remarkably in first place in the Coastal Division. After all of these years, algroh finally kept a promise, if only for at least two weeks. The Great NFL Legend is very likely on the phone to Little Johnny advocating home and home games this year with divisional rivals. After all, that’s how they do it in the NFL.

It might be just a bit premature to be painting ‘ACC Champions’ on the Beta Bridge. The two ACC wins were against Duke and Carolina and were in football, not basketball. The caliber of opponent will be a bit more challenging down the road, beginning this weekend. Maybe Hoo AD Craig ‘My God, Tubby, he’s winning’ Littlepage should wait a few more weeks before finishing up the latest raise and contract extension.

Over in the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill, while the first week of the season found Butch using his fax machine not to receive bonuses but to send out the JMU score to every NFL General Manager on the planet and no doubt also to Michigan [‘Hey, I can beat a I-AA team’] and even LSU [‘keep me in mind when Bo’s boy Les goes home’], the results of the last two weeks were enough to give even Caroloon YouTubers pause. It’s not every coach that can manage losses to East Carolina and the Hoos back-to-back. It’s going to take a while for Butch to bring the Heels Back to the glory days of Big John Bunting.

Enthusiasm was high in Atlanta following Georgia Tech’s opening RUTS of Notre Dame. Two things have conspired since to temper it a bit, they being the continued play of Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. When your signature win is over a team that hasn’t managed an offensive touchdown in twelve quarters and their thirty-point loss to you is now considered their close game, maybe those high opinions were just a bit inflated. The Jackets’ loss to Fredo would seem to indicate that was the case.

Fredo has established himself as the early class of the league, causing folks in Jacksonville to decide that maybe Tampa is the place for the ACC football championship after all. If the Eagles keep this up, this year’s crowd at Dolphins Stadium for the Orange Bowl will be a preview of things to come when the Canes take up residence.

As for the Canes, while they did manage the rare double of both beating Florida International and getting through the game without a brawl, that loss to Oklahoma demonstrated that perhaps getting rid of Uncle Fester didn’t solve all problems.

In the Atlantic Division, while Fredo has jumped out to a quick 3-0 record in ACC play, things are still a bit murky for the rest of the contestants. NC State looks to be the worst of the crowd, again, as Captain Tom will require a little time to deal with Chuckie’s mess. Clemson, like Fredo, is 3-0, but history teaches us that the Tommy Bowden Death Watch is never too far away. At Maryland, Ralph Friedgen still hasn’t recreated that 2001 championship odyssey and won’t win the Li’l E this year, the ‘When all else fails, schedule a service academy’ scheduling ploy worked for Wake Forest and Bobby Bowden has run out of sons to fire. Unless Fredo runs away and hides, the Atlantic should be the more competitive division.

Then there is Duke. It was a sad commentary on the state of ACC football that salvaging a little OOC conference pride was left to the woeful Blue Devils. Surprisingly enough, however, the Devils were up to the task. Duke astonished everyone, including themselves, by actually winning a football game. Duke now boasts a one-game winning streak, their longest since 2005. On the flip side, the promo of ‘See who we manage to lose to next’ should provide quite a boost to ratings of the Big Ten Network.

As we move into the second half of the first month of the season, the good news is that there are still at least nine games left to play. The bad news? Well, maybe the LSU loss still stings a bit. But, there is still a lot of football left to be played and like most football seasons, this one is loads of fun.

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