Category Archives: Virginia Tech

OFFSEASON CONTENT: What’s on Your CFB Stadium Bucket List?


As anyone who reads this site will likely know, Georgia and Notre Dame have played exactly once over the span of 100+ years of each institution fielding a football team. On this site and the DudeYouPodcast, I have many times encouraged Georgia fans to make the trip this September if you have the means.

Having been in 2006, Notre Dame is by no means the rowdiest place to watch a football game. Matter of fact, it feels quaint, almost as if the history makes it more of a church atmosphere than a fall Saturday to which we’re accustomed. (Notre Dame joke #1) It’s almost like they’re living among the ghosts of their past successes. Even so, its worth a trip to see Touchdown Jesus, and to see (Notre Dame joke #2) where Rudy was CLEARLY offsides. God, I hate the movie Rudy.

It got me thinking, “what stadium experiences do I need to have while I’m young enough to fully participate?”, and…I need to apply for a Southwest credit card. I’m also hoping we can crowdsource a list from you the reader, so comment with your top 10 and I’ll use my Excel skillz and figure out where the DudeYouNation intends to go.

First, where I’ve been (P5 only), ranked with hopes of not being clouded by any biases. I apologize for it being ACC-heavy:

  1. Clemson- everything about their gameday experience is just right. I’m growing tired of them being #1 at EVERYTHING these days.
  2. Georgia- been to too many good 3:30’s and night games to ignore how awesome Athens on a Saturday is. Behind Clemson due to a few too many sleepy games, and less ample tailgating.
  3. Virginia Tech- Enter Sandman is as awesome at noon as it is on a Thursday night.
  4. Auburn- Clemson without a lake (and my only experience is an Iron Bowl, so probably overrated).
  5. Notre Dame- like I said above, cool setting.
  6. South Carolina- Columbia is the seventh circle of hell, both in the town sense and the literal “I’m gonna die from heatstroke” sense. But fairground tailgating is always fun, and Space Odyssey is cool until your undefeated Georgia team is down 3 touchdowns in the first quarter.
  7. Alabama- probably low, but it has the NFL feel both in atmosphere, and drunk, grumbling fans complaining about a four touchdown lead.
  8. North Carolina- fun for a big game, dead otherwise. A 3:30 game in October, though, is about as pleasant an afternoon as you can ask for.
  9. N.C. State- has the fairgrounds tailgate that makes South Carolina fun, and they let you out of the stadium at halftime to…re-up.
  10. Virginia- has the UNC/Notre Dame quaintness to it.
  11. Wake Forest- really not that bad! It has the one-level grandstand that puts you more or less on top of the action, and tailgating is both easy to find, parking-wise, and largely unregulated.
  12. Georgia Tech- Bobby Dodd has rebuilt its reputation on soccer games.
  13. Duke- I’ve been to high school stadiums with more people, more atmosphere, and better restrooms.

So, what’s left? A whole hell of a lot.

  • LSU: Death Valley at night may well end up having to be part of a dangerous bachelor party, some day.
  • Oregon: apparently Autzen Stadium’s pretzel-like design keeps noise in. I’m not an architect, but I’m here for that.
  • Texas: DKR is no longer (anywhere close to) the biggest destination in the state any more, but I’d rather tailgate in Austin than do whatever weird stuff they do before games in College Station. Come at me, Aggies.
  • Colorado: If you’ve never been to Boulder, you won’t understand why this is on the list. If you have, Rocky Mountain backdrop for college football. Rice-Eccles at Utah gets a shoutout here too, but I don’t really want to go to Utah.
  • Ohio State: Taking the Horseshoe as my obligatory B1G destination because, somehow, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are less objectionable than Michigan and Penn State right now. I mean…

Horseshoe

  • Ole Miss: The Grove, which should somehow become more fun given the fact that the Black Bears will NOT be winning football games for awhile.
  • UCLA/USC: Lumping them into one doesn’t seem quite right, but then again it does. Stadiums with a TON of history, beautiful LA backdrop, etc. etc.
  • Wisconsin: I’m here for the drunkest fanbase in college football and “Jump Around” in the fourth quarter.
  • Florida: Yup. The Swamp looks fun on TV due to its asymmetrical layout. Sometimes ya just gotta slum it.
  • Arizona State: More off-the-beaten-path Pac-12ness, but this one has a backstory: I hiked the mountain overlooking Sun Devil Stadium, and it was pretty cool. Tempe is INSANE. This would be fun, especially if they were any good.

That’s my list (in no particular order). For this to work, I need yours. Comment or tweet @Chad_Floyd the top 10 you want to go to, and the top 5 you’ve already seen. I’ll tally up the winners for a follow-up for next week.

Fixing College Football, Part I of ?: Doing Away With Divisions


Divisions in Power 5 conferences are stupid. There, I said it.

At a time where revenues are such that all away games, with few exceptions, call for chartered flights, I don’t buy the monetary concern. When preserving the ‘sanctity’ of a Georgia/Kentucky or Mississippi State/LSU rivalry, I don’t care. And following another season similar to the last few, where:

  • The SEC East is a complete dumpster fire, where 5 West teams could have easily won it.
  • Clemson and Florida State carry the crown for the ACC and play in the same division.
  • Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State (and Michigan State, until 2016) play in the same division because of geography, and THAT’S A BETTER SYSTEM THAN THE ONE THEY HAD IN PLACE!

I’m adapting from a model Bill Connelly posited on SBNation this summer, because its a fascinating thought exercise, and it makes too much sense. In it:

  • The Pac-12, with divisions and a 9-game schedule, is fine for now.
  • The Big XII, jumbled mess as it is, has a round-robin (and a conference championship game starting next year, because SPORTS).

For the three fourteen-team conferences, division play doesn’t work. Unless you look forward to Georgia’s FIRST trip to conference rival Texas A&M during the end of Trump’s second term. Or your next trip to the Grove in 2029.

I’m not down for that. I’m not down for watching the Missouris and Floridas of the world get PASTED in the SEC Championship. I (Bill C first) want the following: keep an eight-game schedule, with three annual rivals and a rotation through the other 10 teams on a semiannual basis. Meaning, instead of going Mark Richt’s whole tenure before playing an SEC West opponent twice, you play a home-and-home with everyone every four years.

I’ll workshop this for all 42 teams involved below, but an example of what this would look like for Georgia:

Primary rivals: Auburn, Florida, South Carolina

Year 1: Alabama, at Kentucky, Ole Miss, at Missouri, Vanderbilt
Year 2: at Arkansas, LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee, at Texas A&M

Done in four-year cycles, one could even adapt years 3 and 4 from the first two to account for random shifts in competitive balance. Perhaps pair off each team for their non-rivals, so Kentucky doesn’t draw Alabama and Auburn, Mizzou doesn’t draw Georgia and Florida, etc.

This is the best I could come up with from a “PRESERVE OUR RIVALRIES!” perspective (and this may match Connelly verbatim, but I’m not checking):

Team Rival Rival Rival
Alabama Auburn Tennessee Ole Miss
Arkansas Mizzou Texas A&M LSU
Auburn Alabama Georgia Miss State
Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina
Georgia Florida Auburn South Carolina
Kentucky Missouri Vanderbilt South Carolina
LSU Texas A&M Miss State Arkansas
Mississippi Miss State Vanderbilt Alabama
Mississippi State Ole Miss LSU Auburn
Missouri Arkansas Kentucky Texas A&M
South Carolina Georgia Florida Kentucky
Tennessee Vanderbilt Florida Alabama
Texas A&M LSU Arkansas Mizzou
Vanderbilt Tennessee Kentucky Ole Miss

Some thoughts: South Carolina and Kentucky were SUPER hard to place. Kentucky gets, from a historical perspective, the easiest three games of anyone. Off the top of my head, there are no major rivalries that go unprotected, with the exception of Alabama/LSU (a more recent one, anyway).

The biggest misses? Tennessee/Kentucky, as Kentucky gets screwed out of the one game they get really worked up about. Bama/LSU, obviously.

I’d give myself a 10/10 for this. A&M, Arkansas, Mizzou, and LSU all preserve their regional rivalries. South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida all keep many of theirs. Vanderbilt/Ole Miss in the Khaki Bowl is still an annual event. Bama maintains history with Tennessee and Ole Miss, in addition to (obviously) Auburn.

If you don’t care about the ACC, you can stop reading now. Tried to draw it up there as well, but it is MUCH harder with the four North Carolina schools and the ‘old vs. new’ mentality that persists behind the scenes:

Team Rival Rival Rival
Boston College Syracuse Pitt Clemson
Clemson Georgia Tech N.C. State BC
Duke North Carolina Wake Forest Louisville
Florida State Miami Wake Forest N.C. State
Georgia Tech Clemson Miami Virginia
Louisville Pitt Virginia Tech Duke
Miami Florida St. Georgia Tech Syracuse
North Carolina Duke N.C. State Virginia
N.C. State North Carolina Clemson Florida State
Pitt Louisville BC Syracuse
Syracuse BC Miami Pitt
Virginia Virginia Tech North Carolina Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech Virginia Louisville Wake Forest
Wake Forest Duke Florida State Virginia Tech

This was friggin’ impossible. So many games that don’t make sense, especially for the Florida schools and the Northern schools, who would indubitably want games in the fertile Florida recruiting grounds.

Competitive balance, as it stands now, is a problem. N.C. State gets hosed, while UNC, Virginia Tech, and Pitt get relatively easy runs. I thought I’d be able to place Miami with more than one old Big East rival, but no dice.

For the B1G, I quit because I don’t care. But they need it worse than anyone else.

What do you think? Should we do away with divisions in order to make the conference feel like a conference again? Did I blow it on any rivalries?

 

 

 

Today’s Bowls: What’s Watchable, as Crunk Factor is Retired


My mother complained that her generation may not know what crunk factor is. Mom, it was a made-up term to describe the likelihood one of these otherwise-boring games goes haywire. 

Also, drawing these up for 20 games at a time seemed unwieldy and irrelevant. Writing about the Idaho Potato Bowl 11 days before it took place was the wake-up call there.

What’s happening in bowl action today, December 29th? Three moderately compelling games!

Birmingham Bowl, South Florida vs. South Carolina, 2pm: A month ago, this game was SO much more fun. Willie Taggart had USF playing well and running the #1 offense in the country…but he bolted for Oregon. Quinton Flowers is still a joy to watch, and hopefully we don’t get the dreaded ‘coach left letdown.’

South Carolina inexplicably made a bowl with a coach who once failed to do that at FLORIDA. I’m kinda cheering for a Cocks win so they can be crushed under the darkhorse SEC East contender expectations that will surely follow from winning a meaningless bowl game in Birmingham.

CRUNK FACTOR/Watchability Index: 5/10… I’m feeling generous this morning, and its SEC vs. fun AAC. I can dig it.

Belk Bowl, #22 Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas, 5:30: First things first: its the bowl game named after a regional department store. Second, I was making customary Christmas exchanges in one of the Charlotte-area Belks yesterday, and ran into some Virginia Tech players on their bowl gift ‘shopping spree’. That bowl gift ranked in the mid-30’s on most lists, because it was the whole bowl gift.

Anyway, this game has weird fun written all over it. Rawleigh Williams (did not know it was RAWleigh until checking his stats) had an insane November for Arkansas. Jerod Evans is the ACC’s 5th-best QB, and that makes him the nation’s 10th-best QB. Bret Bieliema is a delight, and Justin Fuente exceeded expectations in year 1.

This game means nothing, as all do, but is worth excessive hype for the ACC Coastal if Virginia Tech piggybacks Miami’s impressive win. CRUNK FACTOR/Watchability Index: 6.5/10, something goofy will happen. Guaranteed.

Alamo Bowl: #12 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Colorado, 9: FINALLY our first ranked matchup of bowl season, after 26 other games will likely have finished. And who isn’t a sucker for Big XII exes grudge-matching each other? Texas A&M/K-State was fun.

Colorado, dubbed by many ‘America’s team’, is suffering the fate of blowing expectations out of the water. They lost all-world DC Jim Leavitt to Oregon, QB Sefo Liufau is hobbled and may not play. On the other hand, this team lost three games: at Michigan, USC, Washington. Most teams are going 0-3 in those, and most aren’t winning the other 10.

Oklahoma State has Mason Rudolph (good), Mike Gundy’s mullet (exceptional), and announced the return of Rudolph and leading wideout James Washington for 2017.

CRUNK/Watchability: 8.5/10. Evenly-matched, latenight, and high quality. We’ll drink every time someone mentions their loss to Central Michigan not being a loss, and we’ll enjoy this one.

The Playoff Race Is Interesting and Fun Right Now, So Let’s Talk About It


Saturday was a historic day in college football, as two of last week’s playoff teams lost to unranked opponents, and another lost to a left-for-dead-and-revived USC.

We got so much chaos, that…things should hardly change from where we were a week ago. Clemson, Michigan, and Washington’s losses don’t actually HELP the two reasonable teams we could’ve slotted into the playoffs in their stead, because they’re no closer to division championships.

If anything, the race only got more interesting because there’s a lot less room for error. Let’s handicap teams with a shot by conference:

SEC: Alabama.

That’s it. They’ve clinched the West, everyone else has a loss, and they’re unequivocally the best team in college football. Even if you’re dumb enough to think Auburn and Florida can BOTH beat them, that’s too bad because they’re still probably in and coming for your cookies.

ACC: Clemson and Louisville.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

You could’ve come up with a scenario whereby North Carolina and Virginia Tech both had outside shots. North Carolina lost to Duke, and Virginia Tech lost to Georgia Tech. Despite my best efforts in pumping up the ACC Coastal on this website and my Twitter account, the Coastal done Coastal’d.

While the Coastal was doing Coastal things, Clemson reverted back to Clemsoning. Failing to run out the clock needing just a yard on third and fourth down, the Tigers allowed Pitt to drive the field and kick a walkoff field goal, losing 43-42 at home.

And it doesn’t really matter, unless you think Wake Forest is beating Clemson this week. They still hold the tiebreaker over Louisville. Assuming Clemson takes care of Wake, South Carolina, and probably still Virginia Tech (ugh), they’re solidly in.

Louisville is an interesting case study without precedent, as the first two CFP’s were fairly clean with deserving conference champs. Saturday broke perfectly for them, as an 11-1 Louisville probably gets in if Michigan can keep the B1G fairly clean (thus eliminating Ohio State and Wisconsin in the process), and Washington drops one more (suddenly feasible).

So, the ACC still stands as the league with the best case to get two in the playoff for the first time, like we all saw coming three years ago. Clemson is basically 2014 Florida State and will lose the semifinal. Louisville is fascinating.

B1G: Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State

This is where things get wonky, because Barry Alvarez has too much influence. In order of simplicity, this is how these teams make it:

  • Michigan wins out, thus eliminating Ohio State (2 losses), Penn State (head-to-head), and Wisconsin (title game).
  • Wisconsin wins out, and gets in with two close losses to Michigan and Ohio State.
  • Penn State wins out and Ohio State beats Michigan, giving us by FAR the weakest CFP team in its short history. This is a team that got DRUG by Michigan and lost to Pitt (playoff team-killer Pitt, apparently). They hold the tiebreaker over OSU, and the B1G will have a representative.
  • Ohio State beats Michigan, Rutgers or Michigan State beats Penn State (lolyeahright).

I said above that the ACC has a clear path to two teams. The B1G may have a better case. Ohio State is likely #2 in this week’s rankings, so they’ll already have a leg up on Louisville. Win out, don’t participate in a silly 13th game, and set up a Saban/Urban rematch in the 1/4 game.

Pac-12: Washington, Washington State (?), Colorado (?)

Washington’s hold is now tenuous, but a bump from a win over a smoking hot Wazzu and a Pac-12 Championship probably puts them back in the 4 spot. Based on what I saw the other night, I wouldn’t give them even odds to get through the next three weeks alive.

Washington State and Colorado are fascinating. Wazzu lost to Eastern Washington and Boise early on, but has swept the Pac-12. An 11-2 Wazzu is probably Rose Bowl-bound, so they’d need all of the 1-loss non-champs to lose. Same goes for Colorado…but Colorado has super-quality losses to Michigan and USC.

No, Washington State and Colorado don’t have a shot unless we’re looking at UT-Chattanooga starting Alabama on a three-game losing streak and eliminating the SEC. Or Virginia Tech winning the ACC while Louisville drops one to Houston or Kentucky.

XII: West Virginia, Oklahoma

Thank God we don’t have to talk about Baylor anymore (this is a week late, but even more so now).

WVU and Oklahoma conveniently play this Saturday– assuming WVU wins out, their case really is pretty compelling. 11-1, the all-important “scheduling intent” with wins over Mizzou and BYU– there would have to be some committee mental gymnastics taking place, but a 1-loss WVU SHOULD be in over a 2-loss Washington, and probably a one-loss Ohio State or Louisville…right?

Probably not.

But maybe.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, lost to Houston and Ohio State, so their ‘scheduling intent’ game is SKRONG. A 9-0 finish would push them over a 2-loss Washington, I suppose.

I think both would need help from the B1G’s #2 and Louisville, but they’re not dead yet.

My Playoff Ranking Guess, Because I Love Being Wrong

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Louisville
  4. Michigan
  5. Clemson
  6. Washington
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Penn State
  9. Oklahoma
  10. West Virginia
  11. Colorado
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. USC (highest 3-loss team)
  14. Auburn
  15. LSU
  16. Utah
  17. Florida State
  18. Washington State
  19. Nebraska
  20. Western Michigan
  21. Texas A&M (somehow)
  22. Florida
  23. Boise State
  24. San Diego State
  25. Virginia Tech

QUICK WEEK 6 PREVIEW


We don’t know if these games will happen, we won’t know when these kick times (or locations) are accurate, and I’m missing them all for a wedding anyway! 

This has happened since I pulled up the ole WordPress to post this:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Word to the wise: don’t believe any scheduling tweets til Brett McMurphy or someone posts them, although UGA Special Teams has never let us down before…

What should you be watching for this weekend?

Definitely Watch This

Image result for charlie strong golden hat

  • Texas vs. #20 Oklahoma, noon, FS1: BRING BACK THE GOLDEN HAT! This should be a 55-45 game, so naturally it’ll be a low-scoring and weird affair at the Texas Fairgrounds.
  • LSU at #18 Florida, noon, ESPN: COACH O……nope.  (see above)
  • #9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M, 3:30, CBS: Step 1: listen to the DudeYouPodcast. Step 2: build up the Tennessee hate. Step 3: GIGEM
  • #25 Virginia Tech at #17 UNC, 3:30, ABC/ESPN2: Va Tech is still very sneaky good, UNC has Mitch Trubisky and no defense, and this game will be played in a monsoon (as of now).
  • #5 Washington at Oregon, 7:30, FOX: Oregon has won 11 straight in the series, and has a chance to end the Pac-12’s CFP hopes before the weather gets consistently below 80 degrees. And, Washington is good.
  • #23 Florida State at #10 Miami, 8, ABC: Big game Mark Richt. We’ll see. This is your appointment watch of the day– either as a self-hating Georgia fan or a curious Georgia fan.

Maybe Keep an Eye On It

  • #3 Clemson at Boston College (Friday), 7:30, ESPN: If Deshaun Watson keeps turning it over, this could get…weird?
  • Indiana at #2 Ohio State, 3:30, ESPN: Indiana, as #teamchaos, beat Michigan State on a “leaping” penalty last week. They had a reasonable shot at both OSU and Michigan last year. Ohio State hasn’t been challenged. Just sayin’, keep an eye on it.
  • #1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas, 7, ESPN: Am I the only one who thinks Arkansas is WAY overrated? Here’s hoping not!
  • Georgia at South Carolina, 7:30, SECN: May or may not be played as of the time of this posting, but a monsoon bowl guarantees a 7-2 win on a botched shotgun snap for somebody.

Other things of note

#21 Colorado visits USC in a weird game of “is Colorado legit/is USC shit”–played on the impossible-to-get Pac-12 network.

Purdue and Illinois both lost to Western Michigan (do NOT watch this), and  Vanderbilt and Kentucky play the SEC’s version of that exact game at 4 on SECN (do NOT watch this either).

#6 Houston has a tough task at Navy if you get CBSSN.

Your late-night #PACtion special? A good one, as Washington State travels to #15 Stanford in a game of COMPLETELY 180-degree contrasting styles.

%d bloggers like this: