It’s Alive!: the narrative survives.

Yes, with all the lead changes, Boise State and Virginia Tech put on an entertaining show for us last night, but is there much doubt that Alabama would wipe the floor with either team?

The Broncos offense lived up to its billing last night, but I wasn’t very impressed with the defense, which basically turned out to be a fundamentally sound, less than elite-skilled bunch that gambled all night long.  A competent offensive coordinator with a few good weapons would have picked them apart.

Fortunately for Boise State, Virginia Tech doesn’t have one.  In fact, I was totally underwhelmed by the Hokies’ coaching staff as a whole.  Virginia Tech is turning into the LSU of the ACC – a team that hopes to get by on tossing the better bunch of athletes out on the field.  It almost worked last night because Tyrod Taylor was far and away the best player on the field.  (By the way, Georgia fans, speaking of LSU – have any regrets now about Bud Foster and John Chavis allegedly turning down Mark Richt?)

One myth that needs to be discarded is one that Brent Musburger kept pushing all night long, that both teams boast exceptional special teams play.  The night was full of gaffes by each side’s kicking teams.  The idea that Boise State could win a national championship with a field goal kicker who has a problem kicking from one of the hash marks is fairly amusing when you think about it.  And somehow I don’t think “Beamerball” includes letting punt blockers come in untouched.  Or at least it didn’t use to.

Speaking of Musburger, he was his usual unctuous self, referring to Kellen Moore on a first name basis throughout the game.  Herbstreit was almost as bad, with a style that’s devolved into the broadcast equivalent of typing in all caps on a college football bulletin board.

And while I’m tossing brickbats around, let’s not forget Nike.  Or forgive Nike.  I have a theory that Nike is on a sinister mission to outfit every program in America with jerseys more hideous than Oregon’s.  There’s no other explanation for what was on display last night.

Anyway, back to what will obviously be the big story to spin from last night, the start of Boise State’s march to this season’s BCS title game.  No doubt we’ll get hammered as the game approaches with the significance of the Broncos’ match with Oregon State in a couple of weeks, as that’ll be the last serious opponent they see this regular season, but the real story will be Virginia Tech’s.  Because if last night’s as good as the Hokies are, they’re bound to lose at least twice more as the season plays out.  And the more they lose, the less the computers will like last night’s win.  Combine that with a strength of schedule that will steadily decline as Boise State winds its way through the WAC and you’ll be watching a team destined to sink in the BCS standings.

The odds are good there will be at least a couple of BCS-conference schools that outlast the Broncos in the race to the title game.  Nothing would make the WWL happier.  I’m so pleased for them.

I will say, though, that this totally rocked:


Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

81 responses to “It’s Alive!: the narrative survives.

  1. Dawgfan17

    Forget beating Bama, I don’t think either of those teams would have touched Arkansas, UGA, or USCe the way they played last night. UGA’s special teams alone would have given us a 14-17 point advantage the way they were both playing.

  2. Irishdawg

    I’m liking our black helmets from last year more and more after seeing some of the stuff Nike is putting out this year.

    • rbubp

      Man, I have to agree with both these first two comments. The uniforms each team wore looked like bizarre retro-future 1940s-styling with digitalia-infused numbers. Truly horrifying.

      But what is even more horrifying is VT’s continuing attempt to play this thing called “offense.” Watching their high-school offense sputter and heave in desperate hope of a lucky big play–throughout the whole game– is truly cringe-inducing and made me nearly turn the whole thing off several times.

      The last three minutes told the story of who these teams are, have been, and will be until they have different coaches: BSU wastes no time methodically moving down the field and scores with ease, almost with too much time left, picking at VT’s substitutions with precision. They take about a minute to score. VT then gets a whole minute and manages to heave a bomb, get sacked, throw yet another mistimed incomplete pass, and heave another bomb.

      Between the unis and the VT offense, we have a lot to be thankful for, imo. We could have to be fans of THAT.

    • HamDawg11

      Shame on you!

  3. Brandon

    Musberger nearly made me barf last night on a regular basis. Especially when he was raving about the “courage” it took Boise State to play in the game. Give me a break, I can’t wait for that guy to retire.

    • RusDawg

      Seriously. That courage remark made me want to fly to DC to punch him in the face.

      Or Montana.

      Musberger lives in Montana. Wonder if he has ever heard of UGA?

    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      Ah. I thought maybe you were playing the BM Drinking Game.

      You know who makes me sick? Pretty Boy Herbie. How did THAT guy get to be our nation’s foremost CFB source? (Not saying I think he is, but that he actually is despite it all).

    • DavetheDawg

      Courage is travelling to Baton Rouge on a Saturday night…especially when LSU is good.

      Musberger is the Willard Scott of CFB announcing. Strike that. Mike Patrick is a close 2nd.

  4. HVL Dawg

    The uniforms made them look like the 2 worst dressed Arena Football League teams.

    • MT

      Sounds like I’m in the distinct minority, but I kinda liked VT’s uniforms, less the computer chip Photoshop effects on the numbers

      • Macallanlover

        True, especially when you compare what VT wore to their usual uniform. Last night was a huge improvement for them, they needed to break from tradition. On the other hand Boise’s uni was a step back for them. Neither compares to what Oregon has done, or even Florida’s Nike experiments. Just hope UGA stays far away from that hideous black helmet and black pants.

        • Phocion

          I kind of liked the BSU helmets. The rest I could have done without. As for VT, there simply is no way to make the Hokies look good.

          • Macallanlover

            You may be right about that, just meant the previous effort is God-awful so this look wins by default. It was a little too “Arena looking” for me but still an upgrade.

  5. Irishdawg

    Brandon, I hate hearing “courage” thrown out so casually regarding athletes anyway, and Brent got really promiscuous with it last night. I hate hearing athletes referred to as “warriors”, too. We’ve got real warriors with real courage, and they’re not playing sports on TV.

  6. DawgnAub (formerly GumpDawg, moved)

    Musberger needs to retire…and there were several times I think Herbie was thinking this as well. It’s almost like he enjoys saying certain words that only emphasize his ignorance, like “courage” and “iso”. He really thought they blew the punt return dead because of the penalty and “there’s no reason to run another 40 or 50 yards if its going to be called back anyways”…what! what if he fumbled, would that matter?! Are you kidding me! The returner stepped out of bounds!!! He reminded me of the 90+ year old driver whose family needs to take his driver’s license away and protect the rest of us from his incompetance.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      How many times did Musburger say “jumped the” (route, play, receiver, runner, etc.) last night? It’s like he just discovered the phrase and used it inappropriately most of the times he said it.

  7. Turd Ferguson

    Excellent post, Senator. And thank you for finally putting into words what I’ve been thinking (but unable to articulate) about Virginia Tech:

    “Virginia Tech is turning into the LSU of the ACC – a team that hopes to get by on tossing the better bunch of athletes out on the field.”


  8. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Just kidding here, but…

    …anyone else entertain the idea that the Big Integer refs were trying to make it easy on Ohio State in Glendale?

  9. Jace Walden

    It’s a trap!

  10. Bulldog Bry

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…………wait a minute.

    I promise all my Hokie neighbors that I will pull for their team once a year against the Nerds (twice this year – so much for last night). You’re telling me I now have to pull for the Nerds to beat the Hokies?

    I’m not sure I have it in me.

  11. Biggus Rickus

    Va. Tech put on a clinic in losing to an inferior opponent. Make horrible mistakes early to spot them a lead, then, after you’ve clawed your way into the lead, get conservative late in the game with a chance to run out the clock. Oh yeah, then go into a soft zone on the game-losing defensive series.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    As for worst dressed, that would be yer Musburger who dresses like an escapee from a retirement home.

    He is, and always has been, the worst announcer in the history of television.

    How he keeps surfacing at big games is one of the mysteries of the modern era.

    He calls all quarterbacks by their first names. QB is the only position he is sure of.

    • Dog in Fla

      While Muffin is a frontrunner for most likely to escape from a retirement home and being the worst announcer, he still has some stiff competition including himself…

      Muffin on rythem: “As he pulled out, did not have control.” — Brent Musberger, after the UNC QB fumbled a handoff to the running back. (via Tom Green, PA)

      Bob leaving his field of expertise, geographic rivalries, tries to dabble in arithmetic: “They are going to go for two, because that makes it an 11 point game, which is a touchdown, a 2-point conversion, and a field goal so if they make it they get it to a potential two score game.” — Bob Davie debating [with himself] if Hawaii should go for two in a 49-36 game that USC leads with 3:52 left. (via Brady Green)

      Craig on triage not inside a storage closet: “Take him to the shower and see if he has a rasberry on his knee.” — Craig James (via Dazzle)

      • Based on what I heard this past weekend, we need to keep an ear out for Herm Edwards. He doesn’t say much, but it’s all useless.

        • rbubp

          Oh, Herm is one of those lucky geniuses. You know, the type who say such ambiguous and inscrutable things that it’s impossible to tell if they are serious or not…then half the world decides they are a sage on a mountaintop while the other half surmises the lack of clothes.

  13. AthensHomerDawg

    I’m gonna be in the minority here. I thought Boise State came out disciplined and executed well. Their offense moved the ball when it had to. Their D did what it had to do to win. I hear ya when you say they couldn’t hang with number one Alabama. I watched that number one Alabama struggle with a Tennessee team that wasn’t ranked, to win in the final seconds by 2 points via a lucky blocked fg. Alabama beat an unranked Auburn by 5 points. Impressive? Just win baby! Cause that’s what matters!
    Smurfs travel a couple of time zones and play the number 10 team and win in a night game in the heat and humidity. Impressive? Just win baby! Cause that’s what matters.
    I’m gonna cut them a little slack. Its early,maybe they’ll get better. No they don’t play in the meat grinder called the SEC. Neither does USC, Ohio State, or Texas for that matter.

    • If you consider 78 degrees with 48% humidity to have an impact on college kids, then I guess that bolsters your argument.

      Overall good points, but I don’t think the weather really matters unless we’re taking cues from the Mark Richt department of excuse making.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Point taken…. why were all those kids cramping up? Especially Dbacks?

      • The Realist

        When Musburger and Herbie were talking about the heat and the humidity, I almost fell in the floor laughing when they showed the temp and it was 78 with 48% humidity. That’s a pleasant fall day in the South.

    • NRBQ

      Count me as unimpressed.

      VTech started 7 newcomers on defense, and got paltry yards from their tailback.

      Seeing their offensive stats after 3 quarters, I thought Taylor should have thrown or kept on every subsequent play.

  14. Scorpio Jones, III

    Here’s a much more important question:

    Can Mettenberger come back to UGA after he serves his time in Kansas?

    • Why is that important, exactly?

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Surely you jest.

        • Puffdawg

          No, really, why is that important. I’m curious too…

          • Dog in Fla

            Shirley, according to Kelin, Zach got an offer from Les:

            “Ending speculation about at least one of his future options, former Georgia QB Zach Mettnberger confirmed exclusively for that last night, LSU Head Coach Les Miles called him with an offer for a full ride to LSU…and Miles made a point to tell Zach that he’s going to need a quarterback for the 2011 season. Zach is keeping his options open, but I’m glad to see him on the upswing.”


          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Mettenberger is a great prospect.

            Is he better than what we have? As long as both Murray and Mason stay healthy, maybe not.

            As long as he keeps his ah nose clean he would be another arrow in the quiver if he came back to Athens after serving his sentence in the penal camps.

            Does anybody actually know if he is an untouchable in Athens?

            • Puffdawg

              I am still not following.

            • HVL Dawg

              “Untouchable”? He was thrown off the team, not suspended, by the head coach.

              Of course if Huston Nutt or Les Miles comes to Athens….

            • The Realist

              With Murray, Mason, Gray as the emergency 3rd option & Lemay coming in January, there is no reason to take Mett back. Georgia is pretty set at quarterback for the foreseeable future.

        • I’d like to hear why you want that as well.

          It looks like we have two solid QBs. We don’t need an idiot like Mett screwing things up. Last thing we need are more arrests from problem kids.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Hey Muck, I do not think Mett should come back to Athens, either. But cut the kid some slack. Sometimes young guys screw up, particularly when girls and alcohol are involved. I wish him well as long as he’s not on a team we play–and if he is then sack the hell out of him.

  15. Scorpio Jones, III

    And props to AthensHomerDawg….I agree, I thought Boise looked….composed.

    They are a vastly better team than another media darling team I could name….How Are Ye?

    Their high school uniforms also do a good job of hiding their actual size.

    Smart Football has a pertinent analysis of the Boise offense’s “non schematic” scheme…by the way.

  16. BMan

    On the heat and humidity topic…Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could swear at the beginning of the game, they showed the temp to be 69 degrees and the humidity to be 18 percent and commented that it wasn’t bad so Boise St. was catching a break.

    Then, as the Hokies came back in the game, Musberger started in with “you have to wonder how the travel and humidity will take a toll on the Broncos.” I felt like they were building up an excuse in case Boise State lost.

    I will say that I was more impressed than I care to admit with Boise State, but still know that they would not fare well amid all the body punching that comes with the SEC. I’d like to think Bama would pimp-smack them, and I may be left hoping that if the Broncos make it to the BCS title game, that’s exactly what happens. Perhaps a 45-17 beatdown for the MNC would take care of all this bull.

  17. ugafan

    My brotherinlaw is fighting in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. He won’t be coming home until next June at the earliest. He left a wife and 3 boys at home to risk his life for 350 million Americans he’s never met. He wears a real combat uniform, not a Nike knockoff. He has courage.

    Last night was just kids playing a game.

    • HamDawg11

      Thank you for that. And thank your bro-in-law for serving. My brother just got back in June, and from what he says, it ain’t pretty over there.

  18. Macallanlover

    I admit I wanted Boise to win just to jumble up the BCS controversy because the BCS system is such an inadequate solution for determining anyone’s right to call themseleves NC. Not saying Boise would win a playoff, but they have adequate credentials to get a shot if they continue to beat everyone they face, and they have for some time, including some pretty talented teams.

    No, I don’t think they could survive the rigors of an SEC schedule and go unbeaten for 2-3 years. But neither could a USC, Ohio State, Texas, etc., who does almost the exact same thing year after year. Sure they would win a few conferenc titles in the SEC, but EVERY year? They get 10-11 wins every year just by dressing out… different than Boise the past several years. But Boise has been winning the big games they play!

    Yes, the average team in the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, and PAC 10 are better than the WAC lineup, but Boise often has 1-2 quality wins a year which is all many of those conference champions play most years before laying an egg when facing teams of equal talent. I don’t know why fans view Ohio State’s march through the Big 10 annually any differently. Boise doesn’t deserve to be ridiculed because their conference is weak. They attempt to find quality OOC competition, which is more than I can say for many other rated teams.

    This game simply shows there needs to be “reasonable” inclusion in a limited playoff system, and voters cannot accomplish that with just two teams. Congrats to Boise, Coach Peterson, and their fans (among the most pleasant to ever visit Sanford). You aren’t likely the best team in the country, but you can hang with those who are afforded an easier path.

    • PNWDawg

      I couldn’t have said that any better. It seems like no one wants to give them any credit. And I thought they did a really good job of shutting down Ryan Williams.

    • The key is “limited playoff”. If every other major sport in American history has shown us anything, it’s that there will be no limited playoff with the inevitable expansion.

      • Macallanlover

        I agree Audit, the key is putting an irrevocable ceiling on the maximum number of participants. I fully support maintaining the integrity of the regular season. Since everyone seems to have that as a concern, the inevitability of expansion can be adressed up front with all signatories signing/pledging it cannot go beyond a number (8 is the sweet spot for me) or they will withdraw from the agreement.

        The pure logistics seem to limit it to that number anyway, but I understand there will be pressures down the line. Not very hopeful I will live to see it, but believe it is worth fighting for (although one does get bruised badly here for that effort.)

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The “plus one” game is the answer if done right. Then the season itself has at least some of the elements of a playoff. The problem is when the BCS ignores what happens during the season. Also, the BCS loves to promote its favorites. That’s how we keep getting a weak-assed team out of the Big-10+2 (i.e. Ohio State) in the final game. The BCS artificially weighs certain conferences (the PAC 10+2 is one also) too highly and under values the truly hard conferences (the SEC primarily).

          • When’s the last time the BCS only had one SEC participant?

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I was talking about the BCSNC Game itself. That’s the only thing that really matters. Besides, the perfect scenario was available in 2007 for the best 2 teams to play in the BCSNC Game (UGA vs. LSU–after all they finished the bowl season 1 and 2 in the polls). I do not see why 2 teams from the same conference cannot play in the Big Game. Kirk Herbstreit was all for it when the 2 teams were Michigan and Ohio State.

          • Macallanlover

            Mayor, the “plus one” is an improvement on the current BCS system, like the current BCS system wasan improvement over the old bowl alliance system which often prohibited compelling match-ups. The problem is you leave out representatives entire conferences who have decent cases for being included. With just a simple addition, and minimal changes in the timeframe, bowl system, or regular season, you can include all who have a legitimate gripe. This gives you a “real NC. (Six BCS conference champs, one play-in winner of the two highest rated conference champs not in the Big 6, and one wildcard.)

            A plus one does not account for a once beaten SEC champ, an undefeated ACC champ (say FSU), an unbeaten Big Ten champ (Iowa or OSU), a once beaten Big 12 Champ (Texas or Nebraska), the PAC 10 champ (Oregon or USC), an unbeaten Big East (WVA), and the winner of both an unbeaten TCU and/or BSU.

            All of this, plus a wildcard of the highest rated team not included above, can be accommodated with four games played in mid-December with the survivors then playing your “plus one” on Jan 1 and mid January. No one would have a legit complaint, and the season is over at virtually the same time. It is a matter of inclusion. Why stop when you are so close to a solution? Why go further when you have included everyone with any case to be there?

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Actually I favored the 8 team playoff system similar to the one you describe but changed my mind after hearing cogent arguments from many on this blog. The correct way for the “plus one” game to work is for the #1 team to play the #4 team in the Sugar Bowl and the #3 team to play the #2 team in the Fiesta Bowl (or whichever bowl game gets those games that year–rotating among the biggest traditional bowls). Then the winners play in the BCSNC Game a week later. Surely the Champion team would be 1 of the 4 highest rated teams. This would preserve the bowl system as we know it but still give credibility to the process.

              • Macallanlover

                It is better, but someone always has a legit gripe when you don’t include their conference’s champ. I agree with them. How can anyone be a NC and not gone through the SEC? Answer, you can’t. Right or wrong, other major conferences feel the same way. That’s why it takes more than 4 to do the “total job”.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  I agree with your premise but feel that an 8 team playoff simply will not get adopted. Rather than accept the status quo I favor the “plus one” game as a means of at least getting the top 4 teams in a tournament format. Is that the most desirable method of picking a national champion? Probably not. But it is better than what we have now and it is doable. We cannot let “the perfect be the enemy of the good” as Voltaire would say.

                  • Macallanlover

                    Nor should we settle for a half-assed solution when a better one is available for the same price. If you are going to fix something, do it right, or you have to do it again.

  19. good game – as was TCU game.
    Ultimately, as much of a BCS killer that this could’ve been – nothing is set yet.

    Would Boise survive in the SEC? hells naw (they may beat Georgia in a bowl game, but does anyone see Boise coming out on top facing Georgia, LSU, Florida, Alabama every week?)

    The thing is, it isn’t the BCS – it is the coaches poll…….why the hell are coaches voting Boise as a better team over ____(B12, B10, SEC teams)?

    An undefeated Boise isn’t guaranteed and even if they do play it out and make the NC game, well…….good on them I guess (though it really doesn’t quantifiably make a statement that they ARE better than 1 or 2 loss SEC teams)

    • I’ll be interested in seeing how BSU fares against Oregon State, if only to compare it with TCU’s win.

      • Macallanlover

        That will be an interesting comparison. Not saying there are many other challenges for BSU but the game against Utah State also becomes another comparison since they pushed OU to the hilt in Norman, and let’s not forget Hawaii torched Junior and Senior’s defense with a third string QB. Perhaps just one game flashes, but I wouldn’t bet Boise doesn’t have their one “off week” every team suffers somewhere along the way. Those other WAC teams can’t be feeling too good about getting dissed on every radio/TV show for 6 months. Boise has a target on their back too.

  20. Excellent write-up Senator. I may not even watch the replay now. I missed the game, but…
    Boise State Proved Me Wrong

  21. west coast native

    As stated earlier, turn off the sound. 99 percent of you know enough about football to figure out what is going on without ESPN field of &^%(*^.
    Totally in the minority here, but love the uniforms
    especially the Oregon Ducks ones. Like to see what
    they come out with every year.
    Also, glad to see BSU win, as they have come a long
    way since the mid 1990’s. Being the step child in
    the long fight of Idaho politics did not help them.
    Then as a west coast native I do not live and breathe SEC football, although raised as a UGA fan.
    If BSU were in the SEC, PAC 12, or anyother major
    conference they would do well-better recruiting and good coaching. They would love to be in the Pac group but do not fit “academically”
    Let the screamers continue with the anti-BSU.

  22. Irishdawg

    “Just hope UGA stays far away from that hideous black helmet and black pants.”

    I may get flamed for this, but I saw them up close in the bookstore Saturday, and they’re really not that bad. They looked awful on TV, but a few tweaks and they could look really good.

  23. Irishdawg

    Senator, everything looked bad that day. It was a patina of craptasticness.

  24. Mr. Georgia Football Returns

    Speaking of the uniforms last night………….the Virginia Tech shoes were like something off of the Wizard of OZ.

  25. diving duck

    “Herbstreit was almost as bad, with a style that’s devolved into the broadcast equivalent of typing in all caps on a college football bulletin board.”

    Good line.