The A-Line It is what it is, unless it is not
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2008
24
Nov

The Big Chill and Hoo Week

Thawed out yet? That exhilarating display of offensive football in brisk conditions last Saturday night was certainly a wonder to behold. Uh, let’s rephrase that. Brisk? Brisk my [still] numb hindquarters. It was damn cold.

Let’s try this again. That miserable display of offensive ineptitude on the frozen tundra of Lane Stadium last Saturday night sure left everybody happy. Geez, it was cold, almost as hypothermia-inducing as the Tech offense. Just think, it could have been colder.

Imagine how frigid it would have been were it not for the hot air generated in the stands from all of the obscenities yelled every time Tech turned the ball over again, and again, and again, and again, and again. The warm tropical breezes they provided at least negated the worst effects of that famous Blacksburg wind.

As bad as Tech’s offense was, and they were pretty darn bad, as Tyrod continues to demonstrate a remarkable imperviousness to quarterback development, they weren’t the worst on the field. That would belong to Duke.

With his starting quarterback and his leading rusher sidelined by injury, Head Devil David Cutcliffe came up with a gameplan that mostly involved having his QB Zack Asack run into the line in an attempt at keeping the score close, shortening the game and trying to win it late. Bill Dooley lives! There are chilled Tech fans grateful for the half-hour or so Coach Cut whittled off of normal game lengths. The ‘Let’s Get The Heck Out Of This Cold’ strategy was a sound one.

As the feeling returned to our extremities, Hokies could only reflect with a certain awe that Tech could find itself in a conference so bad that even this deeply-flawed team still has a chance to win it. Knock off the Hoos this Saturday and it will be off to Tampa for the Expansion Bowl to determine who will get hammered by a real team in the Orange.

Tech will be playing for the coastal trip that will come from winning, at least the tie-breaker, in the Coastal Division, while the Hoos will have one last chance at fulfilling algroh’s ‘Back to Boise’ vow. While the stakes aren’t exactly comparable to Texas Tech- Oklahoma [at least they were for Texas], it is nice to have something left to shoot for. Imagine how meaningless Tech and the Hoos would be if we were both in the SEC or Big XII instead of the hapless ACC.

As is his habit, Frank began his postgame remarks by thanking the fans for enduring conditions akin to what Admiral Byrd found at the South Pole. You’re welcome, Frank.

As is also seeming to become his habit, Frank continues to seem to be taking cues on how to run his program from algroh. Starting last year with forgetting the value of a quarterback red-shirt to his announcement that virtually the entire program will be off limits this week to the media, Frank seems bound and determined to bring the special qualities of algroh to the Tech campus. What’s next, Frank? Will you be replacing Stiney with Shane or having Mike Gentry run chess tournaments in Merryman?

Frank seems to be a bit miffed in this irksome habit the media has developed this year of growing a spine and actually reporting that Tech has problems with the offense. Who knew?

Frank much prefers a docile and fawning media that writes exactly what John Ballein instructs them to [‘Offensive problems? What offensive problems?’]. They haven’t been playing ball recently [‘We’re coming for you, Tucker’], so Frank will give them all the TSL Treatment. That will show them, by cracky.

While Frank is not famous for his hands-on involvement with his football program [‘Why do you have a staff anyway?’], he must have noticed that the offense has gotten a bit out of whack. I seriously doubt that he is so detached he hasn’t seen, heard or read. The media ain’t making it up.

It also may or may not have occurred to him that the cronyism on the offensive staff these days is working no better than that on the defensive side worked in the early Nineties. Whether he can bring himself to do something abut it remains to be seen. These are, after all, not just his employees but his friends. There doesn’t seem to be anybody around Tech these days in possession of the kind of clout to force Frank to make changes as Dave Braine had in 1992. It is doubtful jimmy could get past Diana Clark.

In any event, no changes are likely to be made or announced until after Signing Day next February, after Stiney and Newsome have collected the latest recruiting haul from NOVA and Tidewater. Has anybody figured out how that can be replaced?

In the meantime, it is Hoo Week. As Frank retreats to his Merryman bunker for game preparation, we will only have algroh to keep us amused. The Great NFL Legend is no doubt thanking his lucky stars for the stock market crash, since it depleted Carl’s portfolio, reducing his net worth considerably and hampering his ability to Write the Check. We were treated to a glum Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, Carl lost a bundle. Why does everything happen to me?’ Littlepage announcing that algroh will continue to stalk the sideline of the Smithsonian until such time as Carl’s financial standing recovers. It could take years. There is always a silver lining, even in this economic environment.

algroh will once again try and figure out how to Beat Frank. That has proven to be quite a challenge. This does appear to be his best shot in a while. Of course, the Great NFL Legend has his own offensive problems that may or may not be dealt with after the season. While announcing that boygroh was sent to bed without his supper, algroh flat refused to answer questions concerning boygroh keeping his allowance.

This could be tough. While Frank would have to deal with an angry Shelley and explaining to Cheryl why that nice young man Bryan is no longer around, algroh would be faced with an unemployed boygroh living in the basement spending his days chatting with the other slackers on the Net, borrowing the car and wheedling Daddy for pocket money. This is why you make the big bucks.

And so we go to Hoo Week. While the long-range forecast does mention rain, the temperatures should be about twenty degrees warmer. Rain would still seem an improvement over last week. Warmer weather should also make the eye candy for tailgate photography sessions a bit sweeter.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody.

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