All’s well that ends well and the Tech- Wake game did. There were interesting goings-on around the rest of the ACC. And, in the competition between this year’s dual fall spectacles of conference realignment season and the actual football one, the former is proving quite funnier.
At Wake, the Tech football team seemed to be suffering from a post-Canes hangover, or perhaps the team and staff had snuck into those thousands of Hokies tailgating between the RV and Triad Hokies lots. It took Tech the entire First Quarter to get their collective heads into the game, but, once they did, it was Deacon-bar-the door, and Wake couldn’t. Almost impressive as the Tech show during the final 3/4 of the game was that outstanding imitation given by Wake fans of Hoo ones. Usually one must travel to Hooville’s Smithsonian to see that kind of Second Half mad dash for the exits. Midway through the Fourth Quarter, it really became apparent how many Hokie fans were at that game. There were plenty.
There were interesting results around the rest of the ACC, despite that inability by Maryland to hold that Tiger late in the game. algroh still can’t win in Hooville *snicker*. And, amid the lofty pines and aluminum brilliance of Kenan, Carolina’s placard coach seemed to realize his chances of removing that ‘Interim’ from his coaching title now rest with a guy named ‘Bubba.’ The Heels played like it.
But, as this year’s MNC hunt gives strong indication of turning into a regular-season play-off between Alabama, LSU and the Oklahoma schools, this year’s extended Conference Realignment Season is also providing great entertainment.
Missouri’s announcement that they would carefully and deliberately ponder all of their conference options and then race like the wind to the SEC seemingly set things back in motion. The ever-fluctuating number of schools in the Big ? Conference seemed trending downward again. That caught the immediate attention of our old friends at Louisville, certainly no strangers to stabbing fellow league members in the back, and Cousin Ollie from the Hills. They immediately petitioned the Li’l E to be allowed to change their votes on raising that league’s exit fees from ‘Yes’ to ‘Adios, Maybe.’ Like exit fees have ever stopped anybody before from abandoning that league at the first glimmer of hope or wink and nod from Little Johnny. If Cousin Ollie gets tuned down by the Big ?, hopefully he will beg the Pac-Many for admission and make it a clean sweep of BCS conferences to deny the Cousins admission.
This brought the predictable strong reaction from Li’l E commish Marinatto of ‘But, but….., we have things all worked out.’ This latest show of league solidarity comes on the heels of that terrific plan to add pretty much every available mid-major but one and set a new record for a mish-mash conference. This from the Li’l E/ Biggie E combo that has turned the creation of screwball leagues into an art form.
That the Li’l E membership might have been pledging survivor solidarity even as they pushed and shoved each other for the exits didn’t seem to escape the keen eye of Navy AD Chet Gladchuck. He noticed that the Li’l E was taking on water faster than the Kaga at Midway, to which the United States Navy had some contribution, and decided to step back and wait and see whether Admiral Nimitz could get that fourth Jap carrier, or anybody would be left in the conference the Middies might be joining. Golly, Chet, a conference of at least somebody from Texas, a few service academies and most every direction and location in Florida sure has BCS written all over it.
As if the latest antics by the Li’l E weren’t providing enough side-splitting humor, we were treated to yet another Fredo Moment. The Corleone Compound’s AD Flipper blabbed to the Boston Globe that 1] BCS kingpin ESPN had dictated the ACC expansion teams of Syracuse and Pitt unless they had not and they hadn’t, because he, Flipper had personally gotten Little Johnny and the ACC presidents to substitute Pitt for that hated UConn as retaliation for all those mean things said about Fredo by most anybody in the Nutmeg state following the ACC’s last raid on what was then still known as the Big [Really, no kidding] East. Fredo’s blubbering of ‘Mike, there was something in it for ME’ immediately popped to mind. Well, Flipper, if BC doesn’t erect that statue of you, Pitt sure will.
Newport News columnist David Teel decided to run Flipper’s comments past jimmy and Craig ‘Tubby, you had your chance’ Littlepage for accuracy. Both told him that nobody in the ACC paid much attention to whatever came from Chestnut Hill, which seemed to be the prevailing opinion conference-wide. For the time being, at least, New England and its monumental college football following remains the exclusive ACC playground of Fredo.
And, finally, through all of the maneuvering and shuffling, there sits East Carolina. Undeterred by five of the BE’s original eight members having escaped or preparing to and a sixth begging anybody in North America to be allowed out and even replacement football members from the last raid struggling to dive overboard like passengers from the Titanic seconds before it went under, the Strawgraspers still want in.
No sooner had Syracuse and Pitt announced plans to run away from the crippled Li’l E than Strawgrasper AD Terry Holland submitted a formal- formal, mind you- application for ECU admittance to whatever was left. While this might appear to be akin to people clamoring for tickets on the Hindenburg even as it burst into flames and crashed into the ground, it ain’t to the Strawgraspers. Holland also demonstrated that when it came to begging to join a dying conference, he and his school have no dignity whatsoever. There are trained elephants in the circus that will draw the line at degrading acts before ECU. The Li’l E might take one look at that application and decide that Colorado Springs was east enough for them, but the Strawgraspers will indeed leave no straw ungrasped. If only enough people tell Marinatto ‘No,’ maybe there will be nobody left to join but ECU. Who knows, maybe the third decade of ECU trying to join will be the charm.
Even with all of the fun and games of this Conference Realignment season, we are still playing football. Fredo is paying a visit to Lane this Saturday. While kickoff is set for 3, it could easily be shoved back to 4 or later if Frank and ‘Uncle Leo’ Spaziani start comparing injury lists during their pre-game mid-field chat. Assuming there are enough healthy bodies left to play the game, football will be on tap. It will be a change of pace from the conference shenanigans.