Wednesday, February 11, 2009

VT 2009 vs. Clemson 2008

I'm late on this because everyone's favorite Mouseketeer is no longer in my RSS reader. Maybe she should be for the entertainment value. Seems she posted a Hokie-heavy mailbag Tuesday in which she compares the Hokies to last year's Clemson team and insults a Hokie fan who insulted her.

Basically, here's what I can gather from her reaction to Mark Schlabach ranking Tech No. 5 and the previously mentioned mailbag:

1. Annette is pretty embarrassed she was so high on the Tigers (even though they had no offensive line) and they proved her wrong.
2. Annette doesn't want to make that same mistake again with the Hokies.
3. Even though the Hokies do return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, Annette thinks they will fail because the expectations will be too much for them to take.
4. Annette's take on the 2009 Hokies is they aren't nearly as good as the best teams in the country or that much better than other top ACC teams, but because they're the Hokies they're going to win nine or 10 games anyway.

Does that about sum it up?

Look, the Hokies aren't going to win the national title next year. But they aren't going to fall on their faces like Clemson did, either. The main reason is because Clemson was coached by this guy:

That, and the Hokies didn't lose four offensive linemen after last season. If we can find a center, we'll be fine. Annette seems to think that Tyrod WILL get injured at some point next season and we'll be doomed. But could Greg Boone and JuJu Clayton be that much worse than Sean Glennon was for the latter portions of his career? I think either are perfectly capable of handing the ball off to Darren Evans and Ryan Williams and letting the defense do its thing.

Our lesson here is two-fold: Don't get caught up in the hype when a team hasn't proved itself and don't think history will automatically repeat itself because the same hype is surrounding another team. It's way to early to be comparing the 2009 Hokies to the 2008 Tigers.


ebj said...

heather went to indiana, all she knows about college football is failure and negativity.

she is also probably still angry at the Hokies beatdown of IU in the 93 Weedeater Bowl.

MadJay said...

There are two key difference between the '09 Hokies and '08 TIgers.

1) You already correctly pointed out that Tommy Bowden was the coach of the tigers and the Hokies have Frank Beamer. Two completely different styles and psychologies.

2) Really a function of #1, but team toughness is the biggest difference, both mental and physical. There are 18 kids coming back from a VT team that won the ACC title and the Orange Bowl with games on the road against Nebraska and a 14 point comeback on the road against UNC. They've been in the battles and emerged victorious and they are going to play a physical football game every time they suit up. It is the trademark of the program under Beamer, whereas Clemson was never known for it's mental or physical toughness under Bowden.

Of course it is certainly possible that the Hokies will still be highly ranked pre-season and lose several games they should win because they think too highly of themselves and get away from this blue-collar, hard-nosed mentality. However, that would certainly be out of character and right now a 10-2 regular season or better looks very manageable.