Monday, September 8, 2008

Tyrod Carries Hokies, Rankings Suck and Cardiac Carolina

Tyrod Taylor heard the familiar chant of his name from the crowd this past Saturday when the Hokies squared off against the Furman Paladins. The chant started last year when Sean Glennon was booed off the field by the hometeam.

Saturday, it was indeed Taylor (and the defense) who carried Virginia Tech to a 24-7 win over Furman. The first half, where Taylor shared quarterback duties, rotating snap after snap with Glennon, was atrocious. In a game where any FBS, BCS conference school should dominate an FCS school, the Hokies were held to a 3-0 lead at the half. However, once Coach Frank Beamer realized what the crowd had realized from the beginning, Taylor seemed to have more time on the field in the second half, but the stats won't show how crucial his performance was. That's because after Taylor ran it down to the 10-yard line, Beamer put Glennon in the game. It would take Glennon until the third down on 3rd-and-6 to finally lob the pass into the end zone for a TD that would of course go on Glennon's stats, not Taylor's, who did all of the work getting the ball there.

The game ball, though should go to Stephan Virgil, who intercepted a Furman pass that set VT up for its game-sealing TD drive. Glennon would complete only 38 percent of his passes, compared to Taylor's 80 percent. (Yet they are still sharing quarterback duties?) Taylor also led the team in rushing, with 112 yards, compared to Glennon's negative one yard. (Yeah, Beamer is letting them share the QB spot.)

The overall thing to take away from the Furman game is that it's going to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions for VT fans this season. The Hokies started slow against a team they should have demolished, and the coaches are still making questionable decisions on going on fourth down when they should kick field goals (score would've been padded a little more had they not taken the same risk they did against ECU without learning their lesson, obviously) and letting Glennon play way too much time at QB. The Georgia Tech game at home this weekend will be the true test of what the season holds for VT because a loss to GT could strongly jeopardize any shot at the ACC title and the Orange Bowl.


The AP poll is highly ridiculous. When the BCS rankings (the ones that determine who plays for the national championship and the major bowls) come out later in the season, it will be even more ridiculous. The rankings for college football do absolutely nothing for the sport, nor are they good indicators of how to pick the best teams.

Just think about how Ohio State has been embarrassed year after year in the national championship game — that should be enough proof in itself. But, if you need anymore, just look at East Carolina University. This school started the season unranked (probably because of the voters' obvious bias against any non-BCS conference school). However, they beat #17, Virginia Tech, in the first week of the season. Now, VT held its own until the very end and lost by a small margin in the last few seconds of the game. Yet, West Virginia University was ranked #8 going into this past weekend's matchup with ECU. The Mountaineers got trounced, battered and skewered by the Pirates of ECU and couldn't even find the end zone. So, the team ranked nine spots ahead of VT doesn't play as well as VT against the same opponent. Yeah, something is wrong there. Finally, this week, ECU moved up to a #14 ranking (now proving that their VT win wasn't a fluke to the voters I guess). WVU fell to #25. Ouch.

The point of all this is, to bring up the most clich├ęd topic in college football debates, is that the BCS rankings need done away with (and every other ranking for that matter), and that we absolutely, positively must institute a playoff system in college football. I realize all the money issues and such associated with these issues, but I think the bowl barons will cooperate in a heartbeat if they think they're going to lose some dough. All it will take is for the BCS conferences' coaches and other leaders to simply say, "No, we won't go (with a BCS-ranking system, that is)."


The final football roundup from this past weekend needs to mention the Carolina Panthers and their mighty quarterback Jake Delhomme. When the Panthers got behind after leading for most of the game, Delhomme led an 11-play, 68-yard drive to the red zone. With two seconds left on the clock for one final play, Delhomme's leadership was heroic, to say the least. He called a sandlot-type play, five vertical routes, and he just looked find someone open in the end zone. After narrowly escaping the sack, pump-faking and then releasing the football, ol' Jake found Dante Rosario in the end zone for a 26-24 Panthers victory over the San Diego Chargers. Well done, boys.

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