Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Heisman

Just a quick note before we begin work on the Sugar Bowl preview regarding last night's Heisman presentation. I have belittled the Heisman on this blog quite often, because there have been countless times that the award hasn't gone to the most outstanding player (hell just the past two years it's gone to a player who should have been ineligible in Cam Newton and a RB on the national title team instead of the best defensive tackle that's played college football in 15 years). It's only fair that I give credit when the award finally goes to the right player.

This year, in a chain of events that even I find unbelievable, the Heisman committee made the right choice and awarded the Heisman to Robert Griffin III. If you watched him play at all this year, you would agree. The number of big throws he made in big games, in leading traditional doormat Baylor to their best record in ages, all while playing with essentially a non-existent defense (they were #114 in the nation), deserved to be recognized. There was a point in time 3-4 games into the season when the guy had more touchdowns than INCOMPLETIONS.

And though I think Andrew Luck is going to make a better NFL QB and he can wipe away his tears with $100 bills in April, RGIII was the most outstanding player in college football this year and I wish him the best whether he stays in school for his senior year to try and win it again or comes out in the draft in April.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Shots Fired On Campus; Policeman Shot, One more victim

Please visit for latest information.

Update - 13:47 -
If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the tip line at: 540-231-6411.

Update - 13:55 -
Officer and second person shot and died. During a routine traffic stop in the Cassell Coliseum parking lot, a police officer has been shot by suspect. Suspect took off on foot in the direction of the Cage. Suspect is at large and is potentially armed and dangerous. Shelter in place. Stay indoors.

Update - 14:16 -
No news from campus at this time. Roughly two hours into the incident. Andy Bitter was in the middle of his live chat at the time the incident occurred. Andy Bitter

Reaction by Virginia Tech administration was immediate and swift. Alarms signalling the lockdown were blaring across campus within minutes of the initial incident. Students and faculty were immediately alerted via text, twitter, and the web.

This is an ongoing matter as students prepare for finals which are scheduled to start tomorrow.
Multiple jurisdictions of officers are on site. Virginia State Police has taken over investigation. Police are sweeping building by building. Reports indicated Squires Student Center has been cleared.
Montgomery County Public Schools are also on lockdown. Parents being informed that schools will not be let out on time this afternoon.
Multiple reports of additional shootings are unfounded. Right now, only known shootings are the original two.
A Wahoo just brought up a good point. Unless you are directly affected, try to stay off of so that those that are can get access to the site for information that they need.
Finals for Friday Dec. 9th postponed.
Update - 15:12 -
Virginia Tech spokesperson Mark Owczarski reports that status of suspect is unknown. Information about second victim is still unknown.
Update - 15:56 -
Montgomery County Schools are being dismissed. Expect school buses to arrive home 60 to 90 minutes late.

High schools and middle schools will be dismissed first. Followed by elementary schools. Parents can pick up children in an orderly manner at the schools.
Update - 16:27 -
Press conference starting shortly. Unconfirmed report coming from NBC-Washington that the gunman is the second body found in the Cage.

Virginia Tech Police confirm that a weapon was found near the second body.
From Virginia Tech on Facebook: "Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities."
Update - 16:39 -
Confirmed from LEO, suspect is the second victim. Suspect is also suspected of an armed robbery and carjacking in Radford, VA.

Live stream of press conference.
Police not releasing name of slain officer nor information regarding the second victim found in the Cage due to on going investigation.
Suspect was not in the vehicle that was stopped by the officer. According to VA State Police, the suspect "walked up to the officer."
VT ALERT was used 6 times, including within 7-8 minutes of the initial 9-1-1 call.
The press conference is winding down. Campus appears to be safe. Blacksburg Transit has resumed service.

I'm going to sign off for now. I will see what more I can find out and update you as I can. The official word is that campus is now safe and the case is still under investigation and details are not being released as of yet.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

TSF - Final Regular Season

Well, we seem to agree. OSU got snubbed.

Clemson Aftermath - The Review

Now that I've had a few days to take in the highs and lows of the weekend, I feel I'm ready to say my piece about the Clemson game. As MadJay pointed out, we can look back on this game and clearly see that one play defined the entire feel of the game. From that moment on, my entire gut kept saying the Hokies were done for.

The Logan Thomas fumble as it would be, was what it was. However, the thing I keyed on most was his reaction to the play on the sideline. He was frustrated and that frustration carried on to the field not only through Thomas, but others such as David Wilson and Jarrett Boykin and much of the offensive front.

Monday, December 05, 2011

BCS gives up all pretense and drops the "C"

Bear with me my Calm and Beloved Reader, I have a lot to get off my chest here. This weekend took a heavy toll on me. It started with the Hokie loss in the ACC Title game where they didn't play well and got whooped in front of the entire country in primetime. It followed with a Dallas Cowboy loss on Sunday and then a young Hokie basketball team played their worst half of basketball of the season in a 2nd half collapse while hosting Kansas State, and lost that game as well. I've said it before, but it only gets more true - I am getting too old for this sh...tuff.

3 Key Plays - VT vs. Clemson

There were a lot of big plays in this game. Some critical penalties and missed penalties (the pass interference call on Jarrett Boykin was EXACTLY the same type of play that the refs flagged as pass interference on a Clemson defensive back later in the game and in both cases there was no pass interference by either player on the play), a blocked punt that was called roughing the punter, missed horse collar, missed late hit, etc. The Tigers also executed some fantastic plays on offense that were big-time well-run plays. But after watching the game an excruciating second time, I honestly feel deep in my heart this game was won and lost on one play. I'll explain afterwards, since many of you will disagree.

1) 12:03 left in the 1st quarter and the Hokies took over for their first series. First play from scrimmage after all the hype and hubbub and what happens? For the 2nd time this season, a Logan Thomas fumble on the first Hokie offensive play. And the Tigers recovered and went on to score.

There are several reasons I boil the game down to this play. The Tigers came into the ACC Championship game with very low confidence. The Hokies were riding high on a 7 game win streak looking to avenge their only loss. The Tigers got the ball first....and proceeded to get stopped short of midfield. They punted and the Hokies took over. A good first drive for even a FG would have planted the only seeds of doubt the Hokies needed. Hell, even a few first downs and a punt wouldn't have given Clemson the spark it needed to get out of the 4 game funk they had been in.

And what play was it that the fumble occurred on? A read-option. Playcaller Mike O'Cain proceeded to avoid that read-option play like the plague, only using it twice more the entire first half. The read-option was a critical cog in the Hokie offensive machine in the latter part of the season and a bad result on that first play kept them away from it.

As the first half ended 10-10 I really felt like the game was lost when I was watching it the first time. Because Clemson had all they needed to know - they were in the game. As I said in the preview, that confidence was the only thing lacking because they certainly had all the weapons. If you've ever played competitive sports you understand the critical importance of psychology. It affects one's ability to focus and to execute. Good plays feed on themselves and so do bad plays. In fact a sign of great coaching is the ability to convince a team to forget the last play and move on to the next one.

Against Clemson during the regular season, early game mistakes convinced Clemson they belonged in the game, in that type of hostile environment in Lane Stadium. They played with confidence and they had (and have) a ton of great weapons. The result was 23-3. In the ACC title game, this early mistake by the Hokies jolted the Tigers out of their slump and while I'll concede that if the game had been refereed fairly and Jayron Hosley hadn't gotten injured, who knows what would have happened, I will still conclude that if the Hokies had NOT turned that ball over but instead had gone on a good drive, the Hokies would have been ACC champs.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Game Preview - ACC Championship 2011

Life has a funny way of turning out some times. In 2007, I watched in the pouring rain as the the Hokies lost one of the most heartbreaking games I can remember, 14-10 to Boston College. We didn't know it at the time but it ended up keeping the Hokies out of the national title game that year. However, in the postgame locker room, team leader Macho Harris gathered the team around him and said "This is a minor setback for a major comeback". That line - from a Dirty South record by Lil' Keke - was on Macho's iPod at the time and he had listened to it before the game. He turned that line into a mantra for the team and they responded, winning the rest of their games and going to the ACC title game where they faced Boston College. They capped the season by defeating the Eagles in the rematch and Harris' prophetic words came true as the Hokies won the ACC title.

Earlier this year, after the Hokies devastating defeat to the Clemson Tigers in Lane Stadium, they were knocked out of national title contention again. Very painful, life-shortening type of stuff for old men like me. But this time in the postgame locker room, despite the fact that individual players were very emotional, they didn't have the team gathered around them. David Wilson raged and Logan Thomas tried to accept responsibility for the loss. But it wasn't a player who rallied the team, rather it was Coach Beamer who put the team on its current mission. I have never heard Beamer say anything like this to his players but he told them "I promise you, if you will stick together, don't blame this guy, or blame that guy but stick together and I promise you, go write it down, we will get another chance to play them in the ACC Championship game."