Of course you know, I’ve been a Wake Forest football fan forever. So, like my black and gold brethren, I couldn’t have been prouder or more jubilant when my Deacs went up to College Park and smacked the Terrapins around to win the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Drink that and in and swirl it around a bit. Wake Forest. ACC football champions. Quite a rare and unexpected flavor, is it not?
With Boston College’s loss to Miami on Friday, Wake and Maryland knew that the winner of their game would take the division and play Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game. So in a huge game on the road against a worth opponent, Wake Forest did it again. They led Maryland for virtually the whole game. I’m running out of words to describe what the Deacons have been doing this year. “Incredible” just doesn’t do it justice.
A few random football thoughts before we forget this season ever happened …
This weekend, the ACC had a chance to redeem itself. Three games against big rivals from the SEC. Three games, and the ACC went ofer. Lost to each and every one of those eponymous southeastern state schools, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. I should have known.
After this past weekend’s game, if any ACC voter casts a coach of the year ballot for anyone other than Jim Grobe, their rights should be revoked immediately. And they should then be roundly beaten and forced to watch a video of John Bunting’s greatest press conferences.
I was thisclose to getting my UNC-over-NC State and then Duke-over-UNC prediction right. So damn close. Those two teams were so damn bad, but Duke just barely outbadded the Heels. Nothing shows the fear of victory like having a game-tying extra point blocked. On the other hand, the Heels deserved to lose just for the late interception. There should be some sort of scoring rule that says that if you throw in an interception in the last three minutes of a game when you’re up by one TD or less, the defense just automatically gets two points. Better yet, subtract two points from the offending team.
So Ted Roof is coming back for another action-packed season, but what about his (very) special teams coach? Against the Tar Heels, not exactly the USC Trojans, mind you, Duke gave up two returns for touchdowns, had two extra points blocked and had a third return for a TD called back on a holding call. Good lord, you have to try to be that bad, don’t you?
They may not be playing in the conference championship, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Virginia Tech is the best team in the ACC. No question.
In 12 Virginia football games this year, four, or one third, involved shutouts. Twice the Cavaliers shut out their opponent (UNC and Duke) and twice the Cavs were blanked (Virginia Tech and Florida State). In two other games, UVA’s opponent did not score until the final few minutes (NC State and Miami). So in half of their games, one team either did not or barely scored! Those facts probably won’t be in UVA’s season ticket marketing push next year.
The All-ACC second team QB position should be left blank. After BC’s Matt Ryan, not one quarterback had a good year. Not one. A few guys did pretty well considering what they were asked to do, but is that really worthy of all-league selection? There are many reasons why the ACC sucked this year, and poor QB play is right at the top of the list.
The University of Alabama is nuts if it doesn’t put in a phone call to Jim Grobe. Miami too. I’m not sure Grobe would or should want either job, but they won’t find a better coach to fix their problems. If he can win with Wake Forest talent, think of what he could do with the studs in Tuscaloosa or Coral Gables.