Friday, December 02, 2016

Things We Know About ACC Football, 2016 Edition

  1. The ACC is, despite some overheated statements made when it looked like Louisville was A Thing, not the best football conference in the country. It's not even second. It was fun to dream for a while, but, no. 
  2. North Carolina is the new Clemson. Every time they snuck up to the edge of the national stage, they promptly horked up a hairball. (Yes, I compared losing to Duke and NC State to a wad of stinky nastiness from the nameless abyssal depths of your cat's digestive tract. Deal with it.) If this keeps up, we'll have to stop calling it Clemsoning and start calling it Tarheeling. 
  3. Boston College is bowl eligible. Just going to let that sit there for a minute.
  4. By and large, nobody in this conference can string together three decent defensive performances in a row. See also: Pitt 76, Syracuse 61.
  5. Speaking of Syracuse, they're actually showing signs of life, as Virginia Tech found out. If Cuse and BC get their act even partially together, life suddenly gets a lot harder for all the middle-tier teams in the conference who were counting on those two gimme wins to pad their way to 8-4 every year.  Kudos to Dino Babers for making Syracuse sneak up on being relevant again.
  6. Speaking of Virginia Tech, it appears that an offense has been sighted on campus. It is frightened and skittish and prone to freeze when startled in hopes of avoiding predators, but it's there. Combine that with the standard tenacious Hokie D, and things might get very interesting. 
  7. Miami is as Mark Richt a team as ever Richted a Mark. They will beat almost everyone they're supposed to, lose to everyone they're supposed to, win somewhere between 8 and 10 games, and go to a good, not great bowl with talent that should have landed them someplace much better than the Popeyes Bahama Bowl or whatever.
  8. Funny how no one in ACC country tried to claim Notre Dame as a virtual conference member this year, isn't it.
  9. It was fun while it lasted, Louisville, especially when you put the beatdown on Florida State. But rivalry game or no rivalry game, you don't lose to Kentucky at football and expect people to take you seriously. You're talking about a program whose highlights are Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen. You're not even allowed to think about the playoff for another two years now.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

On College Sports Polls

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time sitting in traffic, listening to local sports talk radio types A)rage against the artificial discussion points that are college football polls B)rage that the ACC didn't have enough representation in those polls, and C)arguing that the B1G N Where N Does Not Equal Ten got too much representation because the playoff committee wanted to rig things in favor of Ohio State.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Theory of Why the ACC Keeps Tripping Over Itself

A theory:

Back in the day, Big East football could always be counted on for one thing: tripping all over themselves whenever the spotlight got turned on them. Pitt was generally the worst offender, but there certainly was enough blame to spread around - West Virginia pulled it off, and Virginia Tech, and even UConn when it accidentally wandered onto the big stage.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

"Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again." - Red Smith
Chicago and Cleveland just murdered fiction all over again. A magnificent end to a magnificent series. Nobody "choked". Nobody blew it. This was two teams going at it for all they were worth, with two managers trying every trick in the book (some more successful than others - what the hell was that bunt, Joe?) to squeeze the absolute utmost out of their teams. 

Thanks, guys, for letting us squeeze just a little bit more out of the season.

And please, Cubs fans - take a good look at Red Sox Nation. Don't be that. Just...don't.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Weekly ACC Roundup: Week 8 - Don't Let the Doeren Hit You On The Way Out

The Dave Doreen era came to an end last Saturday at NC State.

Maybe he's not gone now, but to paraphrase Bogie, they will fire him soon and for the rest of his life. Because his team lost to a legendarily bad Boston College Squad, and then in the post-game he threw them under the bus with a display of passive-aggressive coach speak for the ages. Losing to a bad team is one thing; blaming the kids while loudly proclaiming you're not blaming the kids is another, far worse one. If he hadn't lost the locker room before - and all signs suggested he had - this will surely push things past the breaking point. I don't think anything will happen until after the season, because NC State likes to toss around nickels like manhole covers, but a change is going to come.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Roger Goodell Is a Small, Awful Man

It has been a year of small men in big roles working from skyscrapers in New York.

In politics, we've got Donald Trump, a tantrum-throwing bully whose immediate response to the slightest perceived insult is a blustering threat matched with a schoolyard insult. And in sports, we've got helmet-haired vacuity Roger Goodell, the gloriously compensated commissioner of the NFL and king of self-sabotaging, awful inconsistency. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why NFL Ratings Are Down

I've got the secret. Are you ready for it?

It's not weird start times of games from London. It's not Colin Kaepernick, no matter what your cranky uncle might say. It's not any of the million and one convoluted reasons people are coming up with to avoid the simple truth.
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