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Halftime 10/12/09

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

The 2009 football season is now half over.  Well, the regular portion of it, anyway. It seems just yesterday that the bag was being packed for Atlanta. For that matter, by the end of the week, it will seem like just yesterday that the bag was being packed for Atlanta because it will have been. More on that in a bit.

aliVirginia Tech has reached the mid-point of both October and its 09 schedule with a fairly-decent 5-1 record and a very high national ranking following the absolute dismantling of Fredo. Was that a hoot or what? It ain’t every game where by halftime the much-maligned offense has racked up 34, the opposition has been held by Tech’s recently-maligned defense to 5 inches per carry and Frank was smiling when interviewed by the television folks on his way to the locker room. While Frank did make his obligatory ‘we have a second half to play’ comments, he wasn’t referring to his starters. They spent the Fourth Quarter and a bit of the Third lounging around the sideline as Frank rummaged around the depth chart drawer searching for somebody, anybody, to keep the RUTS down. If this had gone on much longer, John Ballein would have been sent to the Clubhouse Tailgate to determine remaining eligibility among the chili cook-off contestants.IMG_8614-1

With Saturday’s demonstration that 1] Tech is pretty good, 2] Fredo ain’t and 3] promoting the DC is usually not the brightest move an AD can make, Tech turns into the back stretch of its schedule 3-0 in the ACC. While the Hokie loons keep babbling about a possible appearance in the MNC game, it is probably safe to assume that Frank and the coaching staff will not be spending the week talking about who survives the annual SEC blood bath or who might beat Texas. GT, Paul Johnson’s gimmick offense and the chance to put a stranglehold on the ACC’s Coastal division looms.

After Saturday, Tech’s remaining schedule will consist of of Carolina, Maryland, NC State and the Hoos, along with the meaningless trip to the land of the scrub pine and Strawgrasper [which gets ECU into the Li’l E quicker, a black out or about 75% of the crowd at dowdy Dowdy-Ficklen wearing puffy shirts? I’m sure the loss to SMU impressed the hell out of Providence].  Needless to say, the ACC’s better teams will have been played. Saturday’s multi-Tech game looms very large in the ACC’s scheme of things. With a win, the good-guy Tech would have what would essentially be a 2-game lead over the Canes [ ‘the deity must be a Hokie since it only rained on our side of the field’] and 3 over GT. If Tech loses, it then becomes a 3-way tie among the ACC’s 3 ranked teams. Conference commish Little Johnny would have to dig deep into league football bylaws to find that ‘the Canes are back, darn it’ insertion to allow even more empty seats in Tampa and Little Johnny to make one final stab at a semi-decent new television contract. Yep, this Saturday becomes a football rarity in the New and Improved ACC, a big game.

grohsonOf course, the conference is one Hoo trip to Maryland from having the Big 3 all chasing the Hoos in the Coastal standings. Yep, those Hoos. AD Craig ‘Tubby, Mr. October should have gone into baseball’ Littlepage should have thought of giving algroh the Fallback Dave treatment long ago; either that or figuring out how to play all games during the middle month of the season. The Jefferson’s have responded to the ‘win one for ME’ urgings of the Great NFL Legend in a big way. Following Saturday’s blasting of Indiana, the Hoos are a win over hapless Maryland combined with a Tech loss from leading the division. While it is still way too early to contemplate moving the ACC’s title game from the Bucs’ stadium to the home of the North Tampa Tar Heels, about the only way anybody with that nick will make the ACC’s semi-Big Game this year, the thought that the Hoos and Terps game could be a warm-up for D5 must be heart-warming to Little Johnny.

While the ACC’s Coastal has boiled down to a 3 or 4 or, just maybe 5-team race [nice win in Raleigh, Duke], with only Southern Conference Butch [finally, a league he can win] eliminated, in the Atlantic it seems virtually impossible for anybody not named Florida State to lose their way out of contention. While it certainly looked a lot like longtime Noles DC Mickey Andrews has adopted his boss Bobby Bowden’s stratagem of retiring while still drawing a check, the division’s 0-5 ledger against the charlie_brown_lucy_footballCoastal means that an examination of each team’s remaining schedule might be in order.  Surprisingly enough, Fredo looks to have the easiest road to Tampa. The Pack, Hoos, Heels and Terps is not exactly murderer’s row, even for a team that looked as bad as did Fredo last Saturday. Wake might be leading the Atlantic at the moment, but those back-to-back games against the Canes and GT just might make things a bit tricky down the road.A winning conference record might be all it takes to win the Lousy Atlantic Division this year.

In any event, there is still a ton of football left to be played, even if Friday night’s start of basketball practice means few outside of the state of North Carolina will care. The second half of the season will get under way Saturday. For quite a few Hokies, it will begin the same as did the first, packing for a trip to Atlanta. Hopefully, I will see you there.


  1. Paul — October 12, 2009 #

    Jim –

    You write:

    “A winning conference record might be all it takes to win the Lousy Atlantic Division this year.”

    After reviewing some of the Atlantic Division, it may come down to any team with a pulse will win the LAD this year.



  2. JDanWuff — October 12, 2009 #

    So much for BC being the roadblock for Tech’s annual trip to the League Championship Game. I expected a Hokie win, but the annihilation was a bit of a surprise. Frank seems to not skip many beats from year to year. Not so for the Pack……………….

    Well, Cutcliffe evidently watched the State-Wake game film and saw what we Wuffies had hoped would not be seen. No secondary…………… all. If Archer had any adjustments to make at half time, he must have left them in the trunk of his car. And based on their collective play, the kick off/ punt return team has been designated the Special Ed Team.

    When does bass fishing start?


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