ESPN radio and TV personality Colin Cowherd, co-host of SportsNation, rubbed a little bit of salt in Virginia Tech’s wounds Tuesday afternoon by saying that the Hokies aren’t a premier program by pointing out they are 1-26 against teams rated in the top five.
He also gave his thoughts on Georgia Tech’s offense, its potential in the NFL, and the state of the ACC.
“Nothing against the ACC, but FSU and Miami have eroded. North Carolina is loaded but depleted,” Cowherd said. “They don’t have the one program like an Alabama, Florida, Texas or USC, the go-to program in the big games.
“Virginia Tech is probably the worst program in the big games.”
Cowherd’s comments came a day after a young Hokies squad was beaten by No. 3 Boise State, 33-30, on Monday in Landover, Md. In another closely watched game, a No. 18 North Carolina squad, missing more than a dozen starters, was beaten by No. 21 LSU, 30-24, in the Georgia Dome.
“Virginia Tech will beat up the dogs, but they never play well in big games,” Cowherd said. “I don’t think they’d win the Big 10 this year. I said before the season that I thought Virginia Tech was the most overrated good team in the nation.”
The concern for fans of the ACC is that the Hokies are the presumed favorite to win the conference.
The ACC has a few more chances to improve its image, starting on Saturday when FSU (1-0) travels to Oklahoma (1-0), Miami (1-0) goes to Ohio State (1-0) and Virginia (1-0) goes to USC (1-0), though no one’s pinning their hopes on the ACC looking good in that one.
Georgia Tech can help by beating up on Kansas, should that opportunity occur.
Switching topics to the Yellow Jackets, Cowherd described Paul Johnson’s offense as “fun” and “clever” and, in what would probably make Johnson a little aggravated, “goofy.”
“Georgia Tech is an interesting program,” he said. “Clever, unconventional, maybe you have to be in the SEC territory.”
I asked him if the option offense would work in the NFL if there were no salary cap, eliminating the financial concern of risking multi-million dollar quarterbacks to hits from linebackers and safeties.
“No, because I think the NFL is so fast and so violent,” he said. “Tim Tebow was banged up all the time in the SEC. He plays one game in the NFL and gets hurt. You’re asking too much.
“When nobody else plays it [the option], it’s a little bit like the wildcat in the NFL. It’s clever, it’s goofy , it’s different.
“It’s just assignment football. Catch a team on a short week, it’s really a bear…In the NFL you can practice all week.
“But I don’t want my quarterback running the football in the NFL, it’s problematic.”
Cowherd’s radio show, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” can be heard from 10-noon on 680AM.
“I love being on in Atlanta, it’s always been a good affiliate,” he said.
More thoughts from Cowherd:
On who will play for the national championship:
“Boise State and Ohio State. They both have one tough road game, Boise State’s won theirs. Ohio State will be favored to win theirs.
“Florida will be a really exceptional football team. They’ve recruited so many good athletes. How many years have they had No. 1, 2, or 3 recruiting class?
“The SEC is good this year, I don’t think it’s great. Other than [Arkansas QB Ryan] mallet, I don’t think there’s a great quarterback in the conference. Workable schedule by SEC standards. Ton of young talent in the program. But they won a national championship with a young roster.
On the difference between Virginia Tech and Boise State:
“I think Virginia Tech hs better talent than Boise State, but their QB isn’t as good. Boise State has won a lot of games in a lot of years. This is their first great team because their quarterback is great.
On the future:
“I think a lot of the really good powerhouse teams are a year away. I think USC is going to be very good. I think people are underselling them.
“I think you are going to have these Boise States with a bunch of seniors.
“Big Ten will have a very good year. Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio state all have a lot of seniors. The Big Ten is pretty close to being with the SEC.”
“I think LSU and Auburn are good, but I don’t see either of those schools scoring a lot of points. LSU and Auburn have better talent, but Iowa and Wisconsin have better quarterbacks.