Gee, what a fun season this is turning into.
Aside from that altogether miserable performance by Tech last Saturday night in an altogether miserable Lane Stadium, this is becoming, for me, any way, not the best of times.
The best thing that can be said about the woeful results against Clemson is the less said about it, the better. A Tech team that often looked, during its cotton soft September line-up of cream puffs, like one that was seriously-overrated, as Tech usually is, sure proved it. Finally playing a decent opponent, Tech proceeded to stink up Lane. In a display of offensive ineptitude not seen around Blacksburg in a while, Logan Thomas looked not so much like the Cam Newton clone so brashly and rashly forecast back in August, but the inexperienced sophomore first-year starter than he is. He may indeed turn into the outstanding QB so widely predicted, but it may take a while.
While the offense is giving a solid imitation of past Tech offenses, the lousy performance turned in so far by the not-so-special-anymore Special Teams also stands out. Over the years, we have watch as the Pride and Joy went from exceptional, to very good, to good, to very pedestrian, to today’s very bad. It has been quite the regression. But, the good news, as the Roanoke Times recently informed us, is that the Special Teams coach is shooting more televised commercials than ever before. Frank vows that he will get right to work fixing the Unspecial Teams just as soon as he deposits the check for shilling gutters.
As for me, the bad cold acquired as a result of late Friday night carousing before the Arkansas State game, which manifest itself shortly after awakening early Saturday morning when we discovered that we had been in no condition to remember to close the windows of the RV, ain’t getting much better. Perhaps there is a reason why few treatments for a bad cold seem to recommend a regimen of spending a day standing out in a biting wind, then an evening shivering in a cold, windy and rainy Lane Stadium. Crushing defeat doesn’t seem to relieve the symptoms quite as well as generous applications of Robitussin, Coricidin, Alka-Seltzer Plus and Wild Turkey 101.
But, like the Tech team now picking up the pieces and attempting to reverse its habit of quickly turning one loss into two, I will soldier on. There is another game on the horizon and I have no plans to let a little coughing, sneezing, sore throat and a nose running like David Wilson stand in the way. After all, the Canes are coming to town.
Has there ever been less hype attached to the annual meeting of Tech and the Canes? Over the years and in two leagues, this has been The Game that often decided division and conference championships and major bowl bids. The two teams entering with a combined ACC record of 0-2 does take just a bit of the usual luster off of the contest. That the loser of this one will be 0-2 and essentially out of the ACC’s Coastal race almost before it begins tends to add just a bit of pressure to the game, at least for Tech.
The Canes, of course, are no strangers to Backless Backness. Every year, ESPN takes an August recess from its conference mixing and matching to loudly proclaim that the Canes are indeed Back this year, by cracky. Usually, however, it takes longer than the first game for the Backlessness to emerge. Nobody much seems to still be marveling at how many NCAA rules the Canes have violated, the most since the last time they violated that many. Nobody much seems to be crowing anymore about how Back they are, either.
As they often do, the Canes will be bringing a new head coach into Lane. New Al does have some prior experience at losing to Frank, acquired during his days as an assistant to algroh. This will be his first crack at Tech’s legendary coach and product pitch man as the big guy, however. He will be overseeing better recruited talent than he ever did at Hooville. While the winner of the ACC’s Violations Cup will be determined next week in Kenan, New Al will have a large stage this Saturday to demonstrate that he indeed has the best team other people’s money can buy. Tech will need a much better overall team effort than was on display against Clemson.
As is generally the case this time of year, this weekend brings another game and another tailgate. Despite this annoying cold that is dragging into yet another week, I plan on being there, both in the RV fields and the stadium. The early weather forecast does look promising, the best of the year. But, this is Blacksburg weather we are talking about; it rarely behaves as forecast. But, bring it on. Hopefully, another week of cough and cold won’t turn into another week of cough, loss and cold.