The ACC - Week One
The first weekend of the season is now behind us. Lots of cupcakes have been beaten and a few marquee games have been contested.
Contrary to Doug Roberson (and Colin Cowherd), I don’t think the ACC embarassed itself this past weekend.
The conference as a whole collected nine decisive wins from Wake, Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, BC, Clemson, NCSU, Virginia, and Duke.
The tenth victory was secured when a Maryland squad that lost ten games last season managed to beat a Ricky Dobbs led Navy team that won ten games last season. If you’ve been paying attention to college football the last few years, Navy has become VERY relevant since our own Paul Johnson rebuilt the program in Annapolis.
Most of the media pundits (Cowherd included) will focus on the fact that UNC lost to LSU and Virginia Tech lost to Boise State.
Lets look at those games a little more closely.
The Tarheels took LSU to the wire, despite the fact that they were missing more than a dozen players from their two deep rotation. It can be argued that UNC got jobbed there at the end with an apparent no-call on a pass interference in the end zone.
And then we have the Hokies who faced off against a Boise State team that was ranked higher than them. This was a game they entered as the underdog. The Broncos returned something like 20 of 22 starters from their undefeated team last season…including Kellen Moore, who may be a Heisman candidate by the end of the year.
The Hokies put a defense on the field with seven new starters and very nearly defeated the Broncos. It could be argued that the loss of that game lies on the coaching staff as Frank Beamer and his offense were unable to run off enough clock while they held the lead to ultimately keep Kellen Moore from pulling out the winning drive. (The Hokies ran a toss play out of bounds and threw deep on third and eight…both efforts which stopped the clock and left Moore with two minutes with which to become the hero…)
As bad as that may seem…the SEC had a slightly rougher opening weekend.
Florida looked horrendous against Miami Ohio and only managed 212 yards of total offense in a lackluster win, Vandy lost to Northwestern, and the biggest upset of the year occurred as Ole Miss gave up their lunch money to Jacksonville State in a 49-48 double overtime thriller. I believe I’ve already mentioned LSU’s near bumble against a heavily depleted UNC.
Credit to Boise…they won the big game once again.
But has anyone else noticed that every time Boise plays a “big game” its in a situation where they have plenty of time to get ready and prepare? Its always the first game of the season where they have all summer to get ready or its the bowl game where they have the entire month of December to prepare.
How do you think Boise would fare if they had to play a string of tough games in the fifth, sixth, and seventh weeks?
How do you think Boise would fare if they had to play Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami down the stretch like the Jackets will have to do?
So now the Jackets head to Lawrence, Kansas and Memorial Stadium to face the Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks, under first year coach Turner Gill, just lost to North Dakota State 6-3.
That’s right…North Dakota State…the Bison…a team who went 3-8 last season in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Ultimately turnovers, penalties, and poor field position cost Kansas the ball game as they only allowed North Dakota 168 yards of total offense and held them to 2-13 on third down conversions.
Following the loss, the Kansas athletic director abruptly retired.
So now the Yellow Jackets will walk into a complete circus of an atmosphere with no idea what to expect.
Will the Jayhawks rally like a cornered animal or will they roll over and play dead?
Will it really matter?
Go Jackets! Beat Kansas!