Does anyone else sense the magnitude of the F$U game this weekend? Every year when I was in school I watched our Jackets get bounded by the dirtiest program in the ACC (ed. and 2nd dirtiest in the country to Alabama) They even made a movie about it. Damn ESU Timberwolves robbed us! and while we are on the subject, Rudy was indeed offsides.
We even got beat in Joe Hamilton's senior year in 1999. Remember - this effectively ended his Heisman aspirations and the dark horse chatter about Tech being in the national picture. IN the second game of the season no less. It was like being woken up in the middle of a good dream by a screaming toddler. That first long pass to Dez got me believing...and then, at the end of the...I can't go there..We know how that story turned out.
Certainly, there are a couple of UGA heartbreakers I'll always remember. And the Duke loss in '03 of course (Why Chan, why? How could you lose to Duke?) But the loss to the Seminoles in '99 is a lasting memory of what could have been.
News Flash - F$U is still the dirtiest program in the conference. They also have the least academic prestige of any ACC school. Even Clemson can hang their hat on their "2nd tier" engineering program. Even Miami is a more respected school. The U also currently enjoys a cleaner football program than F$U. The current cheating and academic fraud scandal is two years old. It started in 2007 when a few players (or 30) were found ineligible for the Music City Bowl. Egad! How do you have cheating of this magnitude and go to Nashville on New Year's Eve for a day game? It's like marrying an ugly gold digger.
Remember the Coles-Warrick Blowout Sale at Dillard's? Free Shoes! It goes on and on. This has never changed. What has changed is the superpower status this program used to have. Indeed, I'm not sure that the fall of the Soviet Union was as fast and hard as what Free Shoes U is currently experiencing.
like the fall of Communism, only if they were getting back at their parents by making out with other girls.
In 1999 F$U was the national champion. From 2000 to 2005 they went to three Orange Bowls, two Gator Bowls, and a Sugar Bowl pear tree. Since then: 2006 - Emerald Bowl, 2007-Music City Bowl, 2008-Champs Bowl. They've gone from playing Oklahoma, Virginia Poly, and Tennessee on or after New Year's Day, to playing Kentucky, Wisconsin and UCLA in places people don't care about college football.
Look at the actual results of the F$U bowl appearances earlier this decade and you can clearly see that the program has been decline for a long time. They haven't won a game bigger than the Gator Bowl since 1999.
The fact is the old man hasn't had institutional control of discipline or operations for years, if not decades. Everybody knows this, but nobody counted on Jimbo and Mickey letting not just the quality of football deteriorate, but also ruining the brand of Florida State Football. Every high profile football school has a few down years every so often, but we are looking at a possible implosion at Florida State. Fisher may become a relic that never was. I'll make the prediction right now, George O'Leary will have had a longer tenure at Notre Dame than Jimbo Fisher will ever have at F$U.
On to this game. I know that a full pre-game analysis will be forthcoming from other posts on "the Barrel" as I'm now calling it. So I'll keep the commentary at a minimum here. Let's put some YTD stats for these teams out there to chew on for a day or two. Anybody see anything glaring?
Tech has two and a half times the rushing yardage and an associated four more rushing touchdowns. This is expected. In passing, we have a staggering 10 yards per catch advantage. Granted our passing game is a little different than most teams, but we have an almost 4 yards per ATTEMPT advantage as well, and the same number of passing touchdowns. We have a better 3rd down conversion percentage for Pete's sake! That number was horrible coming off the Miami debacle.
Defensively both of these teams are equally bad to mediocre at best, but Tech has the advantage of actually being able to move the ball. Tech has the advantage everywhere except the red zone, but as we have seen in the last couple of games they are improving. Tech is getting better every week at putting together sustained drives: i.e. - the cumulative season stats here don't show rate of improvement, and that rate appears to be accelerating.
Tech won a big one against F$U last year, but under the umbrella of controversy, invalid as the charge may be. This year, Tech has a rare opportunity to put the final nail in a coach's coffin. We last accomplished this feat in 2001 when our beloved jackets won their 3rd straight game against the Athens Rough Riders and sealed Jim Donnan's fate. South Carolina did it to Phil Fulmer last year. To borrow again a Cold War analogy, Reagan may not have put the Soviet's under all by himself, but after 40 years of the Marshall Plan his policies and rhetoric finally knocked it over. Tech needs to seize this moment and do the same thing to the old bastard in Tallahassee.
The word of the day on Saturday, October 10, 2009 is - Retribution. Win Jackets!! Win Big. Do it for Joe, for Dez, For Kelly (Campbell and Rhino), do it for Greg Gathers,
For the entire 1999 squad. I hope you all are watching this Saturday, for we may be the final dagger that permanently disables this program that has for so long epitomized everything that is wrong with College athletics.