I've been a bit negligent in checking out the soccer team recently, but it's been mostly bad bad bad news. The team is 0-2-1 in the last three, with the lone tie coming against Longwood. It's not so much the tie that's bad, it's that now we are playing games without either one of our wunderkind freshmen. Tony Tchani got hurt against Longwood and missed the Duke game, a 1-0 loss. It's encouraging that we more or less beat Duke on the stat sheet, but failing to beat them on the scoreboard can be basically chalked up to no Tchani. Jimmy Simpson tries valiantly, but the present and future of this program are Agorsor and Tchani, who are down to one healthy knee each. Next on the schedule are three home games, and we wrap up the season with the two teams currently leading the ACC: Maryland and Wake Forest. It'd be nice to come away with some points from those two matchups, but unless we miraculously earn the first seed in the ACC tournament, there's very little difference between any of the teams we'd draw in the quarterfinals. I don't want to lose to Murlin in any capacity at all, whether it's football soccer or mock trials, but if Tchani is marginal, clearly the wise thing to do is hold him out til he's absolutely healthy or the quarterfinals, whichever comes first.
OK! Time now to shift from Yannick Reyering's first team to his second. And I'm not the only one who thinks it's time for a look at the Virginia football team. Ms. Heather at ESPN has Virginia this and Virginia that in various posts. Her conversion, to paraphrase, is complete:
Virginia's ascension from bottom to top is complete. The Cavaliers answered the one question still hanging out there: Can they win on the road? Not only did they manage that, but they did it against one of the better teams in the ACC, and they did it on Georgia Tech's homecoming. It's time for Al Groh to start to get some serious ACC Coach of the Year consideration. And it's time for everyone to stop grouping Maryland's loss to Virginia in the same sentence as the Terps' loss to Middle Tennessee.Mark Schlabach is a believer too.
Meanwhile, we've entered that shadowland where you don't get a mythical little number from 1 to 25 next to your name in boxscores, but some people think you deserve one and so you get to look at the rankings and count past 25 to get your pretend mythical number. These range from 27th to 36th (that'd be the coaches' poll); the draft Blogpoll has us 30th, and the nice thing is about the Blogpoll, you can see exactly who ranked you where. The numbers happen to be: two 25th-place votes, five 24ths, one each of 21st, 20th, and 19th, and one vote, amazingly enough, for 15th place. The intrepid blog sticking their neck out for us (and probably sticking it straight into the Wack Ballot Watchdog section of the breakdown) is The Auburner. The Auburner features a picture of an anthropomorphic, sword-wielding, sunglasses-clad tiger, astride a similarly bespectacled eagle, which is carrying off a bewildered but rather placid elephant. If you understand this, you are either a college football fan, or lying.
None of this should be construed as complaining that we don't have the little mythical ranking number; my own ballot doesn't even include us, and I am honestly not sure when it will. Ranking by resume (as the bloggers do) as opposed to the Shiny Object Method (as the media tends to do) means I'm not allowed to excise Duke and UConn from my memory. We shall see.
Quick newsy notes:
- Groh is hoping to get Antonio Appleby and Nick Jenkins back for Miami. Hoping is not the same as expecting, though. But I'm not that worried. Nate Collins did a bang-up job against Georgia Tech. They were never able to run up the gut. All their big run plays were to the outside.
- Congrats to Will Barker, the ACC OL of the week. This sentence from the release struck me as odd, though:
"He finished with the second-highest grade among the linemen while being matched up against Georgia Tech’s standout ends Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan."
What about the guy who graded highest? (It was probably Monroe.) And admittedly, if I were a GT fan, I'd probably be spluttering with rage at hearing the guy who should have been called for a hold on a critical touchdown was just named lineman of the week.
- What about our jocular little rivals down in Blacksburg? They're not feeling that way with the possibility that both Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor may be out for next week's Meteor Game with Maryland and Cory Holt may have to step in.
Recruiting! Whee! Yes, the 21st member of the class is WR Tim Smith, from the same Chesapeake powerhouse that is sending us Perry Jones. Smith is one that I've felt for a while would end up a 'Hoo (keeping in mind the usual disclaimer that when it comes to recruiting, I know shit for a fact.) He had a couple other finalists but one dropped him and he barely mentioned the other. The recruiting board is duly updated, as is the depth chart by class. Besides Smith, the only other change is to bump lineman Brennan Williams up to Good from Fair. Williams cut his list ($) by removing Duke and Michigan from the process. He's now considering only UVA, UNC, BC, and Wake. There are four schools in the running here, but I feel pretty good about this one too - let's just say I feel like we have better than a 25% chance.
As always, next up is the high schools....
DOMINIQUE WALLACE: Took a little bit of a break as Chancellor played a weak King George team. Carried 11 times for 87 yards and a touchdown in a 49-0 win.
ROSS METHENY: Sat out Sherando's 46-7 win over Brentsville recuperating his tweaked knee; this probably had much to do with Brentsville being 1-6 going into the game.
THE OSCAR SMITH GUYS: Perry Jones and Tim Smith each had a pair of touchdowns as OS blew out yet another hapless opponent.
ALEX OWAH: Back in action with 125 yards and 2 TDs as Harrisonburg beats Turner Ashby 32-7. I have been remiss here, as Owah's first game back was last week, with 190 yards and another couple of touchdowns.
As always, the last item of the day is a spin around the ACC to recap the action from the most familiar point of view: the blogs.
Miami slogged through a 16-10 win over Wake Forest; Old Gold & Blog is too busy counting giant new phat stax of cash to notice much. No, seriously, congrats to Zach, another blogger jumping from the unwashed ranks to the big-time, but damn: we are once again sans a regular Wake Forest blog.
UNC thumped the bejeezus out of Boston College 45-24, a faith-restoring game for Tareye or Buckheel? who is already playing out UNC-in-Tampa scenarios. Meanwhile BC Interruption points out that the Eagles still control their destiny in the Atlantic, which is bizarre and perfectly normal in today's ACC.
Duke beat Vanderbilt 10-7 in what is normally a cripplefight but actually involved two teams fighting for bowl eligibility.
Bad Maryland locked Good Maryland in the port-a-potty this week and then survived an upset bid by NC State, winning 27-24. Turtle Waxing has this bit of irony: "Besides the holding penalties, which were too many and at the worst times, the line did a great job."
Virginia Tech played their first of two Meteor Games (in which I watch hoping for 2008 TC-3 to target the 50-yard line) and lost to FSU, 30-20. Gobbler Country is mad about that punt on 4th and 10 with two minutes to go. Frankly, he has every right to be. Frank Beamer was aiming to get a fumble on the return. This is either a stunning, inexcusable lack of faith in the offense, or even more inexcusable hubris about his special teams reputation. Either way, it's piss-poor coaching.