This Graphic Accurately Portrays Yesterday’s Disaster

Once again, from FRTS. Congratulations to Tech, but damn. I’ll discuss in more detail later, but that was the second most disappointing performance I’ve seen from the Heels since Butch Davis arrived. (This, of course, being numero uno.)

On a completely unrelated note, a yellow-and-black, winged version of The Tick (seen here holding T.J. Yates and Shaun Draughn) wouldn’t be a bad Tech mascot. But how would they work in the stinger?

Considering We’re Only Hours From The Georgia Tech Game…

…we should probably preview Georgia Tech.

beesThis is Georgia Tech at 11:59 EDT today.

Let’s get this out of the way. Both offenses are probably going to lose the battle at the line of scrimmage. Georgia Tech’s offensive line is too small compared to Carolina’s DTs, and the Heels O-line is so banged up that Shaun Draughn will have Derrick Morgan nightmares tonight. Morgan would probably have found his way into the backfield no matter what, but you get my point.

It’s not going to be pretty unless either team can develop the passing game. Tech, of course, will be focusing on this for most of the game after being torched by Kyle Parker and Jacory Harris in their last two matchups.  UNC clearly has the air advantage, especially after Erik Highsmith has been an absolute revelation at wide receiver. Coming into Spring practice, he the #6 WR option at best; now he’s on pace to put up Hakeem Nicks numbers. When Georgia Tech has the ball, if Josh Nesbitt isn’t throwing it to Dermaryius Thomas, he’s not throwing it. I’m not kidding; the rest of the team has caught exactly three passes from him all season.

Not all hope is lost for the offensive lines. Both lines know their weaknesses, and intend to diminish them somewhat. UNC is going to use a lot of play action and waggle passes, and while the Tech line is smaller than others, they are more nimble by the nature of the offense Tech runs. How well they are able to hold their ground at the point of attack will be the difference in this game.

And therein lies Tech’s biggest problem. The point of the option offense is to have as many points of attack available as possible, so that the defense has to account for them all and eventually a seam opens up. UNC has some of the fastest linebackers in the country in Bruce Carter, Zach Brown and LORD QUANTAVIUS, and they’ll have been coached to stay at home no matter what.

I don’t have much confidence in UNC’s offense today. Paul Johnson is really going to have his team fired up, and playing well on the road is always tough. I think, however, that the Heels defense will give the offense just enough room for error to leave Atlanta with the victory.

beesonfireThis is Georgia Tech at 3:15 EDT today.

Prediction: UNC 17, Georgia Tech 12.

For more about the Yellow Jackets, check out the excellent Tech blog From The Rumble Seat.

ACC Roundtable: Swagger Edition

This week’s ACC Roundtable comes courtesy of Clemson blog Block-C. I promise not to pollute into Lake Hartwell.

1) Does this weekends OOC performance for the ACC negate that first weekend’s total bed s—ing performance? Why or why not?

Well, the bed still stinks, but now it stinks of Clorox and Febreze, thanks to Florida State’s dismantling of BYU. The mess is being cleaned up and no one is going to get sick, but it’s still pretty apparent something bad happened not too long ago. Maryland blanking on its home-and-home with Middle Tennessee State didn’t help matters, but we’ve adjusted our mental expectations of the Terps, Cavs, Eagles, and Blue Devils. For any of them to get to a bowl, at this point, would be a small miracle.

2) Continuing the weekly theme of predicting the conference outcome, who’ll play in the ACC CG?

Honestly, I have no idea. Miami certainly bolstered their position with their win against Georgia Tech, and they’re on the inside track to Tampa if they win in Blacksburg this Saturday. UNC-GT is a must win for the Jackets; if they lose, I don’t see how they can recover and win the Coastal. Simply too much would need to go in their favor after that. If both Techs win, the entire division is thrust into chaos.

As for the Atlantic, only Florida State has done anything positive of note. The jury’s out until at least next week.

3) Is Miami a legit top ten team? Why or why not?

At the moment, absolutely. They had one of the toughest first two games of anyone in the country, and they’ve passed those tests with flying colors. Jacory Harris, under OC Mark Whipple, is developing into the best QB in the conference. There are still two big tests in the next two weeks, but if the Hurricanes can beat Virginia Tech and Oklahoma to start the season 4-0, the talk will be about a national title, not a conference title.

Of course, I would love nothing more than for UNC to burst their bubble when the Canes come to Chapel Hill.

4) If you had to declare an ACC MVP right now, who’s your top guy?

Robert Marve. One day, in 2012, we will look back at the conference’s recent past, and we will think to ourselves, “there may not be a person who has done more for a team by leaving than this man.” At the very least, it would be a toss-up between him and Bryan Stinespring.

Enjoy Purdue. And thanks for that last-minute interception that one time in Miami last season. We appreciate it.

5) Women, whiskey, and travelin’ is all I understand. What three things do you understand, blogger friends?

1. I understand that UNC’s defense is well equipped to defend Georgia Tech’s option offense on Saturday.

2. I understand, conversely, that UNC’s thin offensive line may get annihilated by one Derrick Morgan.

3. I understand that–UPDATE: wait, you meant about life? Okay, then. Life’s too short not to be happy, vegetarianism is for quitters, and when you boil it down, we’re hootin’ and hollerin’ about kids running around in numbered superhero costumes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you.

UNC’s Win Over East Carolina, Explained By This Painting

I never saw this game make Saturday night’s college football highlights, so for those of you don’t know what happened in this game, I have a solution: PICTURE TIME!


In Order:

Fig. A: Skip Holtz, Presented here as Blackbeard. As one can clearly see, he has brought a cutlass to a pistol fight.

Fig. B: Butch Davis, presented here as Robert Maynard, the naval officer credited for killing Blackbeard.

Fig. C: LORD QUANTAVIUS STURDIVANT, presented here as one of Maynard’s men, strangling the life out of another helpless offense.

Fig. D: Erik Highsmith and Jheranie Boyd, presented here as a shadowy hand with a gun pointed at Blackbeard. They combined for 7 catches, 172 yards and two touchdowns, including Boyd’s monster 59 yard touchdown in the first half. You didn’t see that coming, did you?

Fig. E: Ron Cherry, presented here as a pirate about to slash Blackbeard’s throat with that terrible roughing the passer call.

Final tally: UNC 31, ECU 17. Rejoice, for the privateers will never more terrorize our fellow gentlemen at Charleston Harbor.

ACC Roundtable Week 1: Break Up The FCS!

After this week, the ACC has a lot to answer for. Providing the aforementioned lot this week is cgb of Virginia Tech blog College Game Balls.

1. *Ding Dong* The pizza man is here, did your team deliver what you expected in their opener, why or why not?

Yes. Given that UNC’s expectations are high and Citadel is considered very very not good even by FCS standards, we about exactly met expectations. We didn’t disappoint and we didn’t wow. We learned that the Heels plan to rely heavily on the running game this season, and that the receivers are going to need some time to get in rhythm. It was satisfying, but there weren’t any tremendous revelations.

2. The ACC was downright pathetic in week one. Which display of  ineptitude shocked you the most? Going forward is there hope for the conference?

I have two most shocking. The first is the NC State debacle. The Wolfpack are supposed to have, statistically speaking, the best quarterback in the entire conference. And yet his team couldn’t muster 100 yards of offense at home against a middling SEC team until the 4th quarter. That surprised me immensely.

The bigger shocker was Virginia’s top to bottom horrendous performance against William & Mary. Duke’s loss to Richmond was less shocking, if only slightly so, because the Spiders are the defending FCS champions and Duke is, well, Duke. Virginia didn’t just lose this game. They were an untalented, uncoordinated, lost team on the field for 60 minutes that an FCS team with two 7-win seasons in the last decade dominated from start to finish. That doesn’t happen without Chernobyl levels of bad football. Unless the Cavs turn this into a 7-5 season or better, Groh is toast.

3. After the show they put on Monday night, Atlantic bloggers is FSU the team to beat and what about Miami Coastalites?

Before this game I didn’t consider Miami to be a real threat. I believed that, despite all the talent the Canes had at their disposal, they were going to continue their inability to play to their talent level. The development of Jacory Harris has completely changed the ceiling this team has.  I had Miami pegged as a solid fourth this preseason. After watching the offense finally click against Florida State, I am really looking forward to when they visit Chapel Hill on November 14th. Only the bottom two spots in the Coastal are secure (Virginia and Duke); anyone who tells you exactly how the top four will finish is lying.

4. You’ve been granted one curse, other than your opponent pick one team you would like to see lose in week 2.

Florida. Because it would be really, really funny to see them lose to Troy.

Blogpoll Preseason Rountable: In Which I Go Goldfinger on Your Hineys

College Football starts today, so we’ll (briefly) take a look at the national picture in this week Blogpoll Rountable. Hosting the Preseason Week festivities is Georgia blog Hey Jenny Slater.

1. Without naming names, a few teams seem to have popped up frequently on everyone’s “overrated” lists in the preseason, so let’s forget about them for the moment and concentrate on a different group: sleepers. Which currently unheralded team are you currently putting at least a few of your chips behind in the hopes that you’ll be able to say “totally called that” once they’ve accomplished big things by the end of the season?

Cincinnati. I know they’re the defending conference champs, but the program is still extremely obscure, and the Big East being shut out from the polls makes anyone from the conference “unheralded”. Their offense is relatively intact, more so than West Virginia, Rutgers or UConn. Also, take a look at their schedule. If the Bearcats can win in Corvallis on September 19th, 10-2 or even 11-1 isn’t out of the question.

2. In a similar vein, pick a sleeper player on your team whom nobody’s talking about right now and tell us why we will be talking about them by December.

I could say wide receiver Dwight Jones or running back Jamal Womble, but I will go with Grant Shallock. Yes, punter Grant Shallock. He is 6-7, 225 pounds, can boot a football into the upper deck and could beat Matt Bosher in a deathmatch. And Matt Bosher is the world’s toughest kicker.  Shallock is my darkhorse pick for the Ray Guy Award, if there’s such a thing as darkhorse for the Ray Guy Award.

3. Florida is about as big a consensus favorite as we’ve seen in recent years, but remember, USC got 62 out of 65 first-place votes in the AP’s 2007 preseason poll and still managed to lose to Stanford. Given how difficult it is to go undefeated period these days, where do you think the Gators are most likely to stumble in the regular season?

I oh so badly want to say the repeat’s not going to happen. The odds against a team being the best at their level, in any sport besides European club soccer, are mind-bogglingly high. The mere nature of amateur athletics makes it even less likely. Even the unstoppable 2005 USC and 2002 Miami teams were denied in the final seconds of their season. And yet, I look at their schedule, look at who returns to the team, and I can’t possibly justify not putting them at #1. There are only three possible roadblocks: Baton Rouge on October 10th, the SEC Chapionship and the BCS bowl. They could falter, but I have to see it to believe it.

4. Which regular-season game not involving your team or conference are you most looking forward to this year?

The Red River Shootout. I could hand a carnie at the Texas State Fair literally anything that somewhat resembled food (say, Hakarl) and they will bread and deep fry it for me. For chrissakes, they found a way to fry butter! It’s more than a rivalry game, it’s a culinary event that combines the best of Mexico and Scotland. (Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be an inaccurate description of Texas itself.) Who can pass that up?

Oh, and there’s that whole “national title implications” thing.

5. In honor of Georgia’s opening-weekend opponent and their most prolific booster, let’s say you somehow come into T. Boone Pickens money and can buy anything you want for your program — facilities upgrades, an airplane for recruiting, buy out the contract of that coach you hate, you name it. Where does your first check go?

A distant Colombian relative finds El Dorado directly underneath his house. He sells the mining rights for billions of dollars. Somehow, a percentage of this fortune makes its way into my bank account. I use part of that money to buy a 1,000 acre compound in Cashiers, North Carolina. I invite every referee in the ACC to my compound to “discuss what games to affect this season”, promising payment at the end of the meeting. Sensing absolutely nothing unusual (I’m looking at YOU, Ron Cherry), they oblige. I proceed to trap them all in the compound and lure each referee into an unnecessarily complex, yet thoroughly satisfying, Bond-style death.

I watch from a room with 20 TV screens and eat fried ostrich with beautiful bikini-clad women as everything unfolds. I pay Wolf Blitzer to report that they died invading a tiny Caribbean nation or something. I pay John Swofford to bring in Mongolian Wrestling refs who, in addition to wearing festive outfits and being the coolest old guys on the planet, allow teams like Wake Forest to score 80 points per game.

It’s morning in the ACC.

Tar Heel Mania + Norman Einsteins = Marvin Austin Jokes

As I type this we are less than 48 hours away from the start of college football. After a long trek through the desert, the oasis is nigh. The Norman Einsteins have assembled quite a satirical college football preview this week, and I was given the opportunity to provide a look into the future, through the eyes of defensive tackle/enigma/possible alien Marvin Austin during the Virginia Tech game. Go down toward the bottom of the page to view my part, but really read the whole thing. It’s just a giant bundle of awesome. Not unlike Mr. Austin himself.