Another game, another win. And, another defensive casualty. And, as an added bonus, more Li’l E antics.
Tech endured its seemingly season-long slow start against Fredo, actually trailing at the half. Then, as has become their habit, seemed to gain interest in playing in the Second Half and rolled to the win. Well, they should. Tech was clearly a better team than Fredo. Spaziani [AKA Uncle Leo] looks to have done a remarkable demolition job on what had been built years ago by TO’B.
When O’Brien escaped the Corleone Compound years ago, running away to NC State, he warned that Fredo’s southward migration was going to make recruiting his old New Jersey haunts somewhat more difficult. That seems to be happening. While the ACC has been taking a ‘Bring the mountain to Mohamed’ approach in providing Fredo with a few northeastern playmates, that is down the road a bit.
Even in its post-intermission pasting of Fredo, Tech managed to suffer yet another defensive loss to injury. Bud’s casualty list is starting to make that endured by Lord Cardigan’s brigade at Balaclava seem light in comparison. The Chinese didn’t lose this many people storming the beaches at Normandy, or whatever.
While it still seems inevitable that the large ‘Out for the season’ grouping of defensive starters will bite Tech at some point during the season [Oh, Atlanta], it hasn’t yet. Next up is the trip to Duke. Many Hokies claim that it only takes half a team to beat the usually-hapless Devils and now Tech will have the chance to prove it, at least on defense.
Coach Cut’s team has been improving, although a bit more slowly than some Devils would prefer. Those Loon Devils actually griping about Cut must be quite young if they can’t remember some of the truly woeful teams that have played something akin to football on Methodist Flats over the years. Maybe that’s what you get when most of your students come from New Jersey, although, let’s face it, Jersey kids should know a thing or two about bad college football.
Cut has improved them dramatically, evidenced by the fact that the losses are closer, even if the age-old problem of beating I-AA teams endures, and Duke does occasionally win a few games. It’s not every ACC team that has beaten the Hoos three straight times [raise your hands, Canes and GT], just most, and Duke falls into the larger group.
This year’s game will be back in Wallace Wade Stadium, which will continue to hold the title of the ACC’s worst football venue until Syracuse brings its dome to the league. Tech playing in Wade means, of course, that there should be a ton of Hokies on hand. Obviously Coach K didn’t check with Duke’s bean counters about how much cash Tech fans dump into the coffers for football tickets that generally triple in price for this game before he started braying about North-South divisions. Although, I suppose getting to his parking spot at Cameron is easier without all of the Tech fans clogging traffic.
Taking large numbers of fans to road games will not be a problem the Cousins will be facing much longer. The latest Escape from the Li’l E will involve moving the Hills to the Plains. Cousin Ollie seems to have fulfilled his vow to ‘keep WVU relevant’ in college athletics. That is, if you define ‘relevancy’ as having your closest conference rival half a continent away. Well, after having all the closer conferences, the ACC, SEC and Big Teen all respond to Cousin Ollie’s membership entreaties with an emphatic ‘Hell No,’ the Cousins are grateful that the Big ? Conference, in the midst of its own getaway plan, isn’t quite so picky about its membership, or pays any attention to geography. The Baylor-Cousins rivalry promises to be a classic.
Meanwhile, back in the Even Littler E, crackerjack commish John Marinatto, fresh off of his impassioned ‘All is Well’ speech, responded to this latest defection with, ‘Darn, another one?’ The guy who makes Dan Beebe seem a strong, forceful conference boss quickly sprang into action. Discovering that he was running out of CUSA teams to invite [all the while ignoring Terry Holland jumping up and down exclaiming, ‘Pick Me, Pick Me’], Marinatto unveiled Plan Y, in which the Li’l E would invite the Coast Guard Academy and convince Alaska-Anchorage to start a football team with the exciting prospect of a Directional Florida- Hyphenated Alaska televised Li’l E Game of the Week, certain to be a ratings blockbuster. Or, if all else failed, de-temple Temple.
Things just get better and better for the Li’l E. On the one hand, you have UConn and its prez, Ditsy Sue, telling Notre Dame that football independence sucks and wouldn’t they really, REALLY, like to join the Huskies in the ACC. This even as Jim Calhoun claims he loves the Biggie E, Syracuse and Jim Boeheim was just conference dead weight, anyway, and he looked forward to what will be the fantastic UConn-UCF series.
Then, there are the Dear Old RUTSgers Knights of Scarlett [DORKS]. The Li’l E’s Last Man Standing of the original eight that were once called the Big East Football Conference, the good old DORKS swirl alone in the drain whining that nobody pays a bit of attention to that huge New York media market. It is all great fun.
In the meantime, the first team to escape the old BE, Tech, heads just down the road to Duke this weekend. Since Durham is less than an hour from my house [unlike, say, Motown to Waco], I will sure enjoy it.
Update: In the latest twist to this year’s Conference Expansion Season, reports have the move by the Cousins to the Big ? on hold. Well, there was the question of whether the Big ? would come to its senses.