…. To paraphrase the poet Virgil (aka Rome’s BobLee!) today “we sing of Football and the Men”... of The ACC. Like Virgil’s hero, Aeneas, twelve men will lead their warriors through twelve weekly adventures with life and death ever in the hands of the mischievious gods (“those crooked refs” and “the damn media”) Swagger says what you can expect in the mythical world of ACC Football 2006 ….. and yes, we took four semesters of Latin in UNC’s once proud “General College”.
NOTE: Remember BobLee’s primary rule … The success of any college football team is ultimately determined by it’s 3rd string Offensive Line. Down the stretch in November, inevitable injuries will have 2-4 of August’s 3rd teamers getting major playing time. Three deep depth separates true BCS “contendahs” from September wannabees.
“… ACC es partes tres” … like Caesar’s Gaul
Little Johnny $wofford’s $40,000,000 New ACC,
is still divided into three distinct parts.
- The Loaded … Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech
- The Unloaded … Duke
- Everybody Else (EE) … Everybody Else
Do not look for these categories to change in your lifetime UNLESS a “Loaded” gets hit with a major “Bad Boy”, or recruiting, scandal that decimates the coaching staff or administration. “Changing of the guard” with Head Coach retirements might do it. An “Everybody Else” (EE) could catch lightning in a bottle with a truly exceptional player or two, but that will be a rare aberration.
Survival Strategy for an ACC EE Head Coach is
Schedule at least 3 OOC Ws … and
Beat your most hated rival (Every Year!)
NOTE: Chuck figured out one of these … John figured out the other. Creating mayhem in both camps. “Mutual mayhem” is not necessarily a bad thing among neighbors.
The good news for Ticket Managers at Wake, UNC, NCSU, GaTech, Maryland, BC, Clemson, and UVa is that each of the EEs is capable of upsetting “a Loaded” on any given Saturday or occasional Thursday night. The good news for “the Loadeds” is that it won’t happen too often, but it might.
The bad news for those same EEs’ fans is that each one of those EEs can beat “your team” on any given Saturday or occasional Thursday night. The difference between 3-9 and 7-5 could be a referee’s blink or a few oblate spheroid bounces.
The best news for most teams is that Duke is on their schedule (except NC State and Clemson). Duke plays seven home games this Fall but only the Carolina game on November 25 will attract enough bladders to overflow the most pathetic stadium plumbing in college football. Duke should worry less about 20 year old boys drinking and playing loud music and more about people paying $30 for a game ticket and having to stand ankle deep in other people’s pee to pee themselves.
President Richard “our faculty squirrels are much more important than our students” Broadhead should be on duty with a mop and a bucket. Make yourself useful you spineless dink. If Duke comes within 15 points of anyone other than Richmond, Ted gets my vote for COY.
Clemson is the EE most likely to finish fourth. Tommy does not have quite the academic hurdles that continue to hamstring the rest of the EEs (except Maryland). Unfortunately for Tommy he does have “the first half of the season” when he never seems to do very well. Tommy doesn’t get it in gear until the first “effigy hanging” and “Bring Back Danny” sign of the season which usually occurs around mid October … then he kicks butt the rest of the way.
Boston College will be “good” but without “Mathias” they have absolutely no one that anyone south of Delaware has ever heard of or cares about. They will remain the 12th team in the ACC whenever you start listing teams. The standard phrase is “oh yeah, … and Boston College”. That “forgotten ACC member” status will exist for at least ten more years or until BC is eventually replaced in the ACC by Saint Paul’s College.
Maryland started out like gangbusters under Ralph Friedgen but that was too long ago to matter any more. Ralph was “portly” when they were winning 10 every year. Ralph is stuck in “Fat” now and the best he can hope for is “fat” this year. Ralph’s neighbor Rich Rodriquez in Morgantown is cleaning up in recruiting leaving Ralph with the really really dumb and pathologically criminal leftovers.
GaTech still has the only coach named Chan in Division 1-A. He will win a few, lose a few, and never make anyone forget Bobby Dodd, Pepper Rogers or Bill Lewis. Aha, you had already forgotten Bill Lewis hadn’t you? Chan and Smilin’ Jon Tenuta will beat one of the “Loadeds” and lose to at least three of the “EEs” and to Georgia. Next year there will be one less coach named Chan in Division 1-A.
Wake Forest will win three games (that’s Duke plus two others). They will win all three of those games in September which is good because by mid-October they are usually so injury-riddled they are suiting up managers, clarinet players and Muggsy Bogues’ lawn jockey. They will not lose to Miami (they don’t play them) or Virginia (who they might have beaten if they did play them). Jim Grobe will be heralded as “the best under four wins coach in America”. At season end Jim Grobe will be named Head Coach of the USA Men’s Football Team for the Beijing Olympics.
Virginia’s Algroh, the Great NFL Legend, lost most of his staff not directly related to him and most of his incoming recruits who guessed wrong a lot on SATs. Whoever promised Al that “we’ll get around that academic thingie” was just kidding him. Mr Jefferson liked George Welsh because they were the same age. Mr Jefferson thinks Algroh looks dopey in that sweatshirt. IF UNC breaks the Hooville Jinx on October 19 which is, at worse, a toss-up, this season could be really scary for Al.
Meanwhile at Fork Union, “the future of Wahoo Football” is learning the alphabet and how to use blunt-nosed scissors.
Now for the two programs most of you care about …
Carolina and State
Neither NCSU nor UNC can afford to lose on Nov 18th
BUT one of them will …. and be
I cannot explain it, I have this quirky feeling that State will lose to AppState in the season opener. I’m not saying that to be mean. For all my Wuff pals, I hope I’m wrong and I likely am, so if it happens … blame BobLee.
Chuck enters this year with new end zone seats and a “Missouri” fan base …. “Show us” you can coach Chuck. He ditched the Oakleys and the red shoes now he needs to instill some discipline on the field and develop an O-line that can open holes for his fine running backs.
This year will be a first for NC State Football since 1967 … there will NOT be an A.E. Finley Fieldhouse roof to kick extra points on to. Was it Harold “Buddo” Deters or Gerald Warren that kicked the first ball on that roof? Taking away the AE Finley roof AND F-Bomb Alley in the same year … risky Lee, mighty risky.
State’s schedule is in its favor. Not, as CaroLoonies love to overemphasize, because of the OOC part, but because 5 of the first 6 games are in “the friendly confines of Carter-Finley”. The O-line will not be hampered by loud crowd noise (or by Derek Morris!).
If State is 3-3 on October 15, regardless of how you do the math, then the torches and pitchforks will be seen in abundance. Four of the last six games are away. Hattiesburg MS in mid September will be a pivotal game. Discounting the “nitwits”, Chuck has to regain the confidence of the mainstream of WuffNation. Shutting out South Florida in Charlotte with Mario, Manny, and McCargo doesn’t count a bit come this September.
Check Nov 18 and Nov 25 and remember MO’C’s “final days”. Yikes!
Chuck enters this season with:
- An average QB under a lot of pressure.
- An O-line that HAS to be better than adequate.
- A depleted rebuilt defense
- A great stable of running backs … including Andre Brown, perhaps the most academically gifted running back in ACC history.
NC State will win between 4 and 8 games … most likely 5 or 6. If one of those 5 or 6 Ws is NOT on November 18, the Brickyard will be burnin’ and WuffLoon heads explodin’.
What about “Burly John” and “The Sleeping Giant of College Football”? I hope Burly John goes 12-0 and notches #13 in the Orange Bowl on New Years. There, that keeps my alumni status active for another year.
If Carolina is 3-3 on Oct 15, the rank and file will be copasetic, not happy, just copasetic. Again, “nitwits” are never included in any polling data. Losses to VaTech, Clemson (there) and Miami (there) are not hanging offenses. Mix in a loss to either Rutgers, Furman (PLEASE GOD NO NO NO!), or South Florida and the Dickie-haters will be picking out a hanging tree in Polk Place with two strong branches … make that three … one for The Meez too.
If Burly John is 4-2 on October 15 at least 6 aforementioned “nitwits” will be asking daddy, or Nurse Ratchet, for $$$ to buy BCS tickets. Follow that with a jinx-buster in Hooville on Thursday night and you will hear at least one loonie screaming “THE SLEEPING GIANT AWAKENS”.
The “stretch run” will be from Oct 19 to Nov 18. Win any three of those five (so long as one of the three is on Nov 18) and it could be a 7-8 W campaign. Don’t and it won’t.
96.9% of UNC fans could not pick out Fresno California on a map if all the cities in California starting with an “F” were highlighted … but “from Fresno” comes the “Two Messiahs Not Named Marvin” destined to lead UNC to the BCS Promised Land sure enuff.
Note to Frank Cignetti … on the first offensive snap vs Rutgers, send four receivers “long” and whoever is your QB put 60 yards of air under the ball. That one bold statement will win you the full support of 72% of the Kenan faithful and will last until MAYBE … the second offensive snap vs Rutgers. Incidentally, the remaining 28% of the Kenan faithful will still be tailgating and have no clue what you do … or who you are for that matter. They are still cussing Steve Marshall and Dave Huxtable.
BobLee PREDICTS … Carolina will win “one more game” than State will, INCLUDING November 18. How do I know? I channeled Jim Knight and he told me it was “taken care of” and not to worry. Jim oughta know…. right?
So who will win the ACC? Whichever team between FSU, Miami, and VaTech has fewer “skilled position players” either killed in drive-by shootings or arrested for doing the shooting. Larry Coker’s recent “crackdown” on any ‘Cane having more firepower in his dorm room than a SEAL team was noted as a sign of weakness in Tallahassee and Blacksburg where no such “student-athlete” limitations are being imposed. Both the Hokies and the Noles must replace multi-felonious perps in Marcus Vick and AJ Nicholson. History says “they will”.
I plan on seeing, in person, ten of Carolina’s twelve games, possibly eleven. I will enjoy every one of them unless it rains really hard. I can handle cold … I don’t like “raining really hard”. If Carolina wins all, most, some, none I will still enjoy myself. Young men balancing the burden of “big time” college football AND academics do not need the additional burden of “making BobLee Swagger happy”.
Walker, Texas Ranger …
What was “Trivette” before he became a Ranger?
BobLee Sez … Never never never wave at a video camera unless you are auditioning for a role in Nerds 4.
BobLee will be at Statesville Rotary on Thursday – August 31 and DARES you to come hear and see him. Noon @ Statesville Country Club. Want BobLee to speak to your club? … e-mail him and ask him. No Politics (really!) and No Profanity (except a Damn and one “sumbitch”).
BobLee’s unabashed support for Erskine Bowles as UNC Prez is being echoed by “those right wing fanatics” at the John Locke Society. … The positive reaction to our column on “Bring Back UNC’s General College” was AWESOME. And your reaction was passed along to “you know who”. If BobLee is successful in bringing back Zigga Zoomba AND General College, do ya think “they” might rename Old East to Swagger Hall?
Mikey Nifong is demanding DNA samples from anyone who purchases season tickets for Duke Football under the premise that they might also be foolish enough to have actually considered having sex with Ho #1 (aka “Precious”). AD Joe Alleva has given Mikey the names of all seven of the season ticket holders but not access to their E-harmony profiles. Kim The Embezzler, thinks she knows four of the seven, but she’s not prepared to say so in court … for less than $20 and a bag of Fritos.
Adam Lucas has a nice article on Burly John and Academics in the current Tar Heel Monthly.
Want to e-mail BobLee?