Thursday, September 28, 2006


Another solid performance, but the weeks keep coming.

Maine at Boston College
The Eagles are not happy campers, and who can blame them? Their frustration will mean the complete annihilation against a school I didn't know had a football team. Sure BC has struggled a bit out of conference but they can easily handle their Northeastern "rival".


Liberty at Wake Forest
Oh my, don't look now but the Demon Deacons are 4-0 and yes about to go 5-0 when the Liberty Flames are quickly extinguished. It will be very interesting to see if WF can finally win some of those close ACC games, they're only one game from being bowl eligible if they win this game.

PREDICTION: WF 28 Liberty 0

Houston at Miami
The Cougars??? Miami figured out the way to get heat off of Larry Coker was to schedule teams like Houston after being humiliated by Louisville's backup QB and RB. Miami will win, probably not the prettiest game...but hey, there is always VT.

PREDICTION: Miami 35 Houston 3

Louisiana Tech at Clemson
....You know, I'm just going to go to the prediction.

PREDICTION: Clemson 48 LT 7

Virginia at Duke
It's sad but this might just be the game of the week for the ACC, outside of the Tech bowl that is. Two teams with no offense but decent defenses square off. It could go to triple overtime 3-3. People claim Sewell improved as the game went on but I maintain the Jackets just stopped playing. Still, it pains me too much to pick Duke over us so....I won't.


Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
These two teams look good, but who really knows. The Hokies haven't played even an average team yet and the Jackets did look good against ND, but do not have the best track record against VT. Last year's 51-7 blowout was bad, the year before they folded faster than a lawnchair in the 4th quarter at home to lose as well. Calvin Johnson is a great athlete but Reggie Ball will determine this game, not to mention the playcalling of Chan Gailey. The home crowd is a huge advantage for the's just gonna be a great game.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pick'em Again

So good week last week, let's see if I can keep things up.

UVA vs. GT
Oh how ugly this will be. All I have to say is...Calvin Johnson. His height and leap are too much. Add to it that Jameel Sewell is starting his first game ever and things get even sadder. Virginia better get ready for the ACC cellar.


UNC v. Clemson
The Tigers may not be all that they're billed up to be but...they're still better than UNC. Death Valley is intimidating for any time, especially one that could barely beat Furman, a Divison I-AA school. Clemson should roll along.

PREDICTION: Clemson 41 UNC 10

Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Oh Hokies, one day you will challenge yourselves...but not anytime soon. The Bearcats will be just another victim as the Hokies gain more and more confidence for their GT match up. Sorry to say it, but that game will determine the Coastal Winner.


Rice vs. FSU
The ACC never fails to give me guaranteed wins. FSU struggled against Troy, lost to Clemson, but I think the buck stops here with Rice. They still can win their division people, so let's not write them off just yet.


Wake Forest vs. Mississippi
Oh how the Rebels must miss the days of Eli. The SEC school has fallen to the depths of their conference, a place Wake Forest knows well. Still the Demon Deacons are always talented but a bit unlucky. Maybe with the ACC down, this is their year to get some quality here.

PREDICTION: WF 21 Ole Miss 17

Florida International v. Maryland
Of all the terrible ACC out of conference schedules, Maryland has the worst. William and Mary, Middle Tennessee State and now this! Ok so you played West Virginia but that's a rivalry game you're almost required by law to play. The Fridge wants his bowl game clearly and with a win like this, he might have the record...just not the stats.


Boston College vs. NC State
So the Wolfpack are on the ropes, and I'm supposed to believe it's time for some last ditch stand against a much better BC. Not so fast my friend, as Lee Corso would say. BC is your Atlantic Division winner and they will not be intimidated by anyone, especially a team as mediocre as the Wolfpack.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Coaching Carousel

Virginia football is on a ride...and everyone is ready to get off.

Last Saturday saw three men try to step up to line and give Virginia that much needed offensive boost. The result was not pretty. Kevin McCabe had the most success, but then again he also had the most failure. His two interceptions led to 14 Western Michigan points and essentially won them the game. Now to be fair Virginia's offense looked pathetic without McCabe and going 13 for 16 is pretty good, especially with no offensive line.

Christian Olsen got more boos than Bob Saget did when he came to Charlottesville. He proved his mediocrity early and often. A few series not only did not go anywhere but completely shot any confidence he may have had left in his battered psyche.

Then the halftime show was not the band, it was who was going to play next. I must say Jameel Sewell was not my guess but clearly I must not be Al Groh. Sewell came in and showed some mobility. His throws were far from picture-perfect but he did complete his first four in a row. Considering he probably never played with the first string, any production would have been impressive. Still the offense did little to nothing, ruining a red zone opportunity which could have at least taken the game to overtime.

Well the carousel has stopped for now and Sewell has been picked to start for GT, a view that shows Al Groh has completely moved on to next season. While I think McCabe is still the better option, it'll be interesting to see how long Sewell gets to stay in there. At this point Al needs to decide and stick with it. Pretend he is Bush and be stubborn.

Otherwise, Coach Groh may be taking a ride of his own....straight out of Charlottesville.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

ACC Pick'em Week 3

Well like I say...better late than never.

Maryland at West Virginia
Now the Morgantowners are already lighting up furniture in preparation of an undefeated season (especially after Michael Bush's injury for Louisville). The Fridge has been on the hot seat and has missed the bowl season two years running. The season has been so boring so far I'd love to pick Maryland but their out of conference schedule has been so pasty-filled they will not be ready to handle the physical Mountaineers. Still, it'll be closer than you might think.


Wake Forest at UConn
So Wake Forest looks amazing against Syracuse and then barely beats Duke??? Wake Forest is always one of those highly underrated teams that is one or two plays from beating everyone. UConn is an equally dangerous team but WF has just a little more experience at these kind of close games so I have to give the advantage to the Demon Deacons.


The Eagles will win this easily if they're still not hung over after beating Clemson off a botched extra point (sound familiar). Maybe I still remember Virginia's debilitating loss in 2000 to the Cougars or maybe it's because BC can't get any love but....I believe.


Troy at Georgia Tech
The Trojans clearly want to see what it would be like to be in the ACC. Last week they almost dethroned the Seminoles in Tallahassee so it would be foolish to COMPLETELY write them off. Still GT looks like the best ACC team so far this season. Troy's secondary looks solid though and if they made Weatherford turn it over you can be sure that Reggie Ball could be in trouble. I think GT simply has way too much talent and that will push them to a comfortable but far from easy victory. Still they are the Jackets, so I wouldn't be shocked if these numbers get reversed.


Western Michigan vs. Virginia
Oh me, oh my. Virginia has looked bad, very bad. Western Michigan is not great but they will be a very tough test for the Cavaliers. If McCabe starts and Virginia could get an early lead maybe they can win comfortably. However a third bad start and Virginia will need nothing short of luck to win, their offense just can't play from behind. This game has almost reached coin-flip status so here it goes.


Miami at Louisville
They may have lost their Heisman RB but the Cards have looked unstoppable, the Hurricanes can't even get it going. Now this may be foolish but I think this actually pretty clear. Miami may have the name but college football is ready for a changing of the guard and the Big East really needs this to prove they deserve that BCS bid. Watch out ACC, it could be a long year.

PREDICTION: UL 42 Miami 31

NC State at Southern Miss
Wow Chuck Amato, is it hot in here? A home loss to Akron was bad but now you're on the road against an even better team. Southern Miss could easily and I mean easily win this game. However, after bashing the ACC with Louisville/Miami I'll give the Wolfpack some credit. If they have any pride they will come out with their heart on their sleeves and fight like their season depends on it...because it does.


Furman at North Carolina
Okay so John Bunting and UNC are not good, but they're not nearly Furman bad. Did the ACC have a collective meeting and decide no one would play meaningful out of conference games?


Clemson at FSU
Okay so here we go. Clemson is reeling after a double overtime loss, FSU is embarassed after almost losing to Troy. The Bowden Bowl has been pretty overhyped until Tommy finally won last year. I think the running game might finally get double digits this week for FSU, but it's going to be tough. Clemson will have to be efficient, if they avoid turnovers they win. If they don't FSU will have just enough offense.

PREDICTION: Clemson 32 FSU 28

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where did the ACC go?

So this just in....Chuck Amato's on the hot seat.

The chair the Wolfpack head coach has been subtlely warming for years, but Saturday's home loss to Akron just took it to around fricasee level. Need we even mention Herb Sendek....I think not.

Then there's Florida State. The school that could not be defeated in the ACC almost lost at home as well, to the Troy Trojans.

You know, contrary to popular belief Troy is in Alabama, not for thought.

What is a lot harder to locate however is where did the power conference once known as the ACC go?

In the marquee match between Miami and FSU, fans were given three channels of boring, ugly football. The Seminoles can't run on Troy and Miami well....Saturday's win aside, Larry Coker's hot seat is about 2 degrees cooler than Amato's.

We need not even mention Virginia, they're so down that the fans chipped in and bought an offensive line.

Clemson's victory over FAMU was one of the worst 54-6 victories in recorded history. Way too many penalties, 4 turnovers and all the jitters of a team with high preseason expectations. They did have a great battle with BC, but the Eagles games against Central Michigan went down to the final minutes.

The fact is, Virginia Tech, a team with its worst roster in probably five years is poised to dominate the ACC again. No team really instills ACC pride and leaves Virginia wondering why they couldn't have 2004's team this time around.

My silver lining however is gold and black. The Jackets of Georgia Tech may just reinstill pride in us all. Notre Dame got a lot of blame for their narrow victory over GT, but maybe that's not because the Irish are overrated (gasp) but that the Jackets are underrated.

Calvin Johnson gives GT a chance to win each and every game, enough said. Their season will once again be dependent upon QB Reggie Ball, or more accurately the precision of one said gun-slinger.

I may not be a huge Jacket fan, but with one point wins over Wyoming dancing in my head, it looks like adopting a team for the year is not without question.

If only the ACC had more than two options.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cavs Escape Cowboys 13-12

The Saturday showdown between the Cavaliers and the Cowboys was thrilling. It had twists and it had turns. It may not have been a tragedy for the 60,000 Wahoos in attendance, but it sure seemed like a horror film.

Once again, Virginia did not look good. Virginia's offense continues to look myopic at best. Well...that is until Kevin McCabe came in to replace senior captain Christian Olsen.

Before we start pulling out tissues for the fifth year senior, let's keep in mind after three quarters Virginia had 95 yards of offense. That's not just pathetic it's inexcusable. How can Virginia expect to even get a first down in the ACC when their offense plays so poorly.

Well McCabe's 8-13 for 85 yards was very nice to see. His two long bombs changed the game. The first went to Fontel Mines who was dragged down for pass interference hours before the ball showed up. That play gave Virginia a key first down and would have cut down on the drama if not for the left goal post that Chris Gould's field goal attempt would nail moments later. The second was a perfect strike to wide receiver Kevin Ogletree which gave UVA it's first touchdown in six quarters.

Now I try to stay on the fence about Coach Groh, but if McCabe is not under center this upcoming weekend against the Western Michigan Broncos he needs to be taken out to the wood shed. McCabe deserves the chance, and Virginia fans need hope.

Hope was something the Orange Crush defense gave yesterday. After another poor start, they rallied behind the home crowd and made some actual tackles. Their speed is still sorely lacking but if they can continue to be physical, Virginia can still upset a few teams down the road.

The offensive struggles really begin with the line. Can NO ONE block? Watching the running backs is like watching a rabbit when it's hunting season. Four Elmer Fudds barrel through are "supposed" line and Peerman or Snelling are left to be pummeled. IF Virginia could find a line then this team could start earning some respect, until's one point victories over Wyoming.

However fans, despite the problems that are sorely evident, I say rejoice. After all, with the current state of our beloved Wahoos, we should cherish each and every win we get.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Welcome Back

It's a new year and that means the sporadic but triumphant return of Random Rants.

Charlottesville, we have a problem.

The Sabre message boards say it, the newspapers dance around it and everyone knows it. Virginia football this year is going to be a dirty phrase. The Cavaliers came in with modest expectations and last night's debacle only helped lower the bar. Now one game does not a whole season make, but several of the questions coming into this year may have been answered....and not the way we wanted them to be.

Christian Olsen is not a total bust. I know many of you just dropped your jaws, I'll give you time to pick them back up. Okay, so he succumb to the pressure of a hostile environment in his first ever start. Tell me how many Virginia quarterbacks haven't.

Go ahead, I'll let you think about that one.

Done? Good, because you couldn't think of one. Schaub was a huge work in progress, and Hagans (despite his amazing feet) was never consistent enough to get us to that famed "next level". However, I must concede way too many times Olsen chose the wrong man in to the wrong coverage. I mean did Tom Santi bribe him or what, he got the ball more times than T.O. or Keyshawn could want. When he did try and go deep it was usually pretty far off the mark. Still I wouldn't be that depressed, if he weren't a senior...he can't be a work in progress because this is his one shot.

I feel bad for Olsen. He left Notre Dame when Willingham was coach with hopes of starting. Instead he sits behind Hagans and watches the Fighting Irish reach national glory once again without him. Now, even though I think he is a solid player, it might be time to sit him down. Not because he doesn't deserve the spot but because if Virginia continues to play at this level then it's time to throw in the towel and sharpen the teeth of Jameel Sewell. Sewell is the future, and has the arm to be a true ACC talent. Olsen, while full of potential, no longer has the eligibility to be the man of the future.

Of course, it is just one game. News Flash but over 50 teams lost yesterday, misery loves company after all. Wyoming should still be a win for us, (if not then we really need to talk) and I know the defense will like to actually show up and prove they can hit a moving target. However, if Virginia simply does not have the talent to make a positive showing then give the fans what they need, progression from the youth. That way, Virginia can be back in the upper tier of the ACC like 2004.

In the end it all goes back to Al Groh. Oh Coach Groh, now you understand the fickleness of college football. He coached at Wake Forest in the early 80s and complied a 26-40 record. That's far worse than the 37-27 he currently holds at Virginia but then, we are better than the Demon Deacons. Groh won't be fired, not this year. The complaints however are becoming more and more familiar, like an Evanesence single.

He's too conservative.

He recruits and then can't make use of the talent.

Underachiever this, underachiever that.

Sweatshirts are not cute.

Now some of this is true, some of its a bit far-fetched. The thing is winning silences critics coach, so before you start saying "we are what we are", keep in mind fans are fans. They never have a long-term memory.

You can't hang on to the glory days with Bill Parcells either.