Maybe it is the revenge of the Football Gods. Perhaps they were so offended by the crassness displayed by Virginia Tech in selling its soul to Nike and allowing its football team to be attired in whatever garish creation the sports conglomerate could come up with that they decided a lesson was necessary. It worked.
Or perhaps the Weauxf Gods had become so very weary of Tech’s constant self-promotion, always blaring that the team was the greatest in the history of the organized sport and then never quite living up to its own advance billing that they determined to apply a dose of humility. Message received.
It can be determined that rock bottom has been reached. A team coached by Frank Beamer had never before lost to a I-AA one, even in his early years when he was tasked with the monumental challenge of cleaning up the Dooley mess. It cannot get any worse simply because there are no teams from the lower division left on the schedule. Tech is 0-1 against teams from the two top divisions of college football. It is likely too late to cancel this Saturday’s game against the Strawgraspers and schedule Emory and Henry. Tech might give the Wasps a game.
In two short weeks, Frank Beamer has gone from the confident guy who traveled around the state smiling, waving and thoroughly enjoying the accolades showered on him by adoring fans at the kick-off dinners to a frazzled and shell-shocked coach soaked not just by Saturday’s rain but by the cold water of reality thrown into his face. The disbelief written so plainly on that famous face as he struggled through his postgame interview with Mike Burnop was shared by the waterlogged fans who trudged from Lane Stadium a mere six days after the Boise disaster. Well, he is one of us. Like Frank’s stunned look , the blown Fourth Quarter lead has become this year’s face of the program.Those new etched lines signify that the second of the blown leads was to a I-AA team. After all of the MNC talk, the confidant assurances that this would finally be THE YEAR, Tech is now 0-2 and is fresh off the most embarrassing loss in school history. The annual August hype now seems pretty quaint. And silly.
The JMU game was this year’s so-called White Out, the second in this year’s ‘Play a game, sell a shirt’ campaign. Herma’s Readers certainly would have learned much imaginative language in the stands. There didn’t seem to be a lot of the white t-shirts visible in the stadium. Tech and Nike sure missed a bet by not offering white ponchos complete with a swoosh and perhaps adorned across the back with a drawing of jimmy grabbing the cash. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to discontinue the attempts at gouging every last nickel out of fans ['You won't want to be the only one not wearing this week's new shirt.' Wanna bet?] and concentrate on such novel football concepts as blocking and tackling. Tech seems woefully deficient at both.
Perhaps this isn’t the end of the world and the golden era of Tech football. Frank and Tech have started 0-2 before and ended the season hoisting the winner’s trophy at the Sugar Bowl. Theoretically, it is still possible to turn things around and win the ACC and spend a week being referred to in Miami as the team that lost to JMU but won the ACC. The league certainly seems that bad.
Every August, the conference coaches gather and claim that the ACC isn’t really as bad as it appears in football. Every September, enough losses have been amassed that attention turns to whether Duke or North Carolina can win the basketball championship. And so it goes. It’s not every BCS league that can conduct an ill-conceived and comical football expansion and end up being regarded as even more of a joke in football than it was before. Good job, Little Johnny.
So far this year, Tech’s very bad JMU loss was merely the most visible part of the iceberg. It took a mere two weeks for the latest cries of Canes’ Backness to be rendered, again, hilarious. The league’s freshest face, Jimbo Fisher, has punctuated all of the accolades heaped upon him by pointing fingers at every portion of the FSU program except himself following the egg laid at Oklahoma. The Best Offense Ever at Georgia Tech once again found OOC defenses not quite as porous as ACC ones. And, at Carolina, Butch ‘Who knew?’ Davis continues to claim no accountability whatsoever for anything that might have gone on, including what looks to be the very definition of the NCAA’s dreaded lack of institutional control. Certainly, paying John Blake a reward for bringing platoons of NCAA investigators into Blue Heaven sure looks like it.
Meanwhile, back in Blacksburg Tech’s highly-compensated coaches attempt to cope with all of their weauxfing having been rendered goofy in Game #1 and the worst loss ever in Game #2. It is quite the job facing them. After having run the uniform color spectrum from black to white in the first two games, they might finally wear this Saturday the true throw-backs, maroon. Some might remember them. It was what Tech wore when they fielded some pretty darn good teams. Unlike what this one has shown so far.