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Breathing Room Whimsy 12/09/09

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

After attending 12 Virginia Tech football games in the last 13 weeks, it was an interesting change of pace and actually a bit relaxing to take a break. Well, sort of. The Saturday spent not attending a game in person was spent watching a bunch of them on the tube. Time not spent on the road listening to an ex-Russian griping about what he considered an insufficient rate of speed and the low quality of these columns enabled me to scour the Net reading about, what else, college football.

Virginia LondonThis collection of whimsical BS begins with a look at the always-amusing activities in Hooville. With algroh finally having run out of games to lose and banished from the Grounds, Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, I sure seem to be hiring a lot of coaches’ Littlepage officially finalized what had been decided several weeks ago, the coronation of Mike London as new Head Football Hoo. London quickly demonstrated that no Lawn grass was going to grow under his feet, immediately heading to Florida to win a hotly-contested recruiting battle with traditional power Tulane for a quarterback. He is off to a rousing start.

London vowed that just as soon as he got through scanning the commitment lists of the rest of CUSA for players he would attack the ‘757’ with a vengeance, since, after all, he is a Tidewater guy. We seem to have heard this before, back when algroh brought London back from 40 algroh-years in the NFL and charged him with recruiting the area. The results of that were seen in the Smithsonian a couple of weeks ago.

While the state media applauded the genius of Littlepage in hiring a staff member of the guy who wrecked the football program and Hoo eyes turned to the efforts of Craig’s most-recent hire, Tony Bennett, to clean up the mess left behind by the hire before that, Fallback Dave, Tech prepares for a bowl game. Oh, Atlanta, again.

It seems Atlanta can’t get enough of Virginia Tech. The campaign to bring back the Hokies was no doubt led by that city’s seafood restaurants, experiencing great success in their anti-recessionary legal_sea_foodsprogram of having me drop a hundred bucks every time I walk through their doors. Place the orders for extra lobsters now, guys. Considering that I live in a small town where the government’s prime mission seems to be cornering the market on places where food can be eaten with one’s fingers, trips to metro areas containing actual restaurants are always welcomed.

As was on display in another bowl, where Gator Bowl lawyers proved to be sharper than ACC ones and were successful in circumventing the league’s Fredo Rule which is proving quite effective in costing the conference decent bowl slots, bowls are about selling tickets, hotel rooms and restaurant meals. The Chicken Bowl determined that much more seafood could be sold by matching Virginia Tech and Tennessee, the Greatest Rivalry That Is Never Played, rather than local option Clemson and Georgia. Both Hokies and Vols seem to be taking a real shine to the prospect of meeting on a football field for the first time since Peyton Manning was a freshman.

Ticket sales are also brisk in Jacksonville, where Nole fans are snapping them up for the opportunity to see Bobby wandering the sideline for the last time. This follows the astounding discovery in Tallahassee that there was indeed somebody around who had enough authority to shove Bowden out the door, albeit quite bobby-bowden-240-101708sloppily. The guy who put FSU football on the map deserved better treatment, but Bobby steadfastly refused to gracefully retire. So, instead of a last season of accumulating rocking chairs from around the ACC, he gets a last game, as do Mickey, Chuckie and all of the rest of the long-time Bowden aides who are quickly being algrohed by Jimbo. The Shinkansen moves people between Tokyo and Osaka at far slower rates of speed than that achieved by Jimbo in cleaning all vestiges of Bowden from that staff.

The process that determined that Bobby would have a last game against his former team the Cousins was amusing in itself, providing much illumination as to why the ACC is finding itselfvacuum in increasingly-deeper football whimsical BS [the ex-Russian uses the full pronunciation, which, of course, is unsuitable for an American family Web site]. As Little Johnny knocks on network doors like a vacuum cleaner salesman trying to find somebody, anybody, who will agree to televise ACC football after next year, and has about the same amount of success, he did find time to attempt to dictate to the Gator which conference team it would take. It is not surprising that the ACC is replacing lost bowls like the Gator with the travel-friendly Sun [hello, Fredo].

Bowls are in the business of promoting their area’s hospitality industry and leagues like the ACC, sorely lacking in schools with large numbers of bowl travelers, is finding that its attempts to enforce the Fredo Rule is not a positive development. First the league’s football television cash gets shifted to the SEC, then the better bowls abandon ship. Just how is expansion working out, Little Johnny? Well, fine for Virginia Tech, at least until the television-induced budget reductions hit. You had best beat an SEC team while you still can, Frank.

6a00d83451c3cb69e2010536f880a7970b-800wiThe rest of the league’s bowl slots were mostly filled with an eye  on geography. The Canes are close to home in Orlando; well, it won’t be the first time the Champs Bowl was played to an empty stadium and the Canes are certainly accustomed to it.  Carolina makes its second straight trip to Charlotte, this time against Pitt, which means there will be even more seats for Tar Heels, provided the basketball team isn’t playing. Fredo was again chosen last, shipped across the country to play a football game against USC in a baseball stadium. So much for the Fredo Rule.

Clemson got shafted. The ACC should be able to do better by its runner-up than the fifth choice in Nashville, but Atlanta wanted Tech and Jax desired Bobby’s farewell game. The big prize went to Georgia Tech in the Orange, which means Iowa will sell tons of tickets.

Two ACC bowl slots are going unfilled by conference teams, due mainly to Wake Forest’s Fourth Quarter meltdown against the Canes and Duke winning just enough games to knock other teams from bowl eligibility. With Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen getting the algroh Vote of Confidence of ‘It’s too expensive to fire you this year, so we will fire you after the next one,’ bowl eligibility for the Terps seems a blimp on the distant horizon.

With still a fair amount of time on our hands before again traveling the now-familiar paths of I-85 south, Tech fans continue to enjoy [?] the respite from football. For me, that will Sandra-Bullock-Blind_linvolve this weekend seeing the quasi-football movie ‘The Blind Side.’ I do enjoy Sandra Bullock in most anything; that the movie has football elements is a bonus. Then comes the game for the truly hard-core, the Stagg Bowl in Roanoke. Then, before you know it, we will again be setting sail for another whimsical trip to Atlanta. The life of an Internet BS artist is a tough one.

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