Our top story tonight, ACC football is still dead.
(A little old-school Saturday Night Live reference for you there. Anyone under 40, you may not get that line. Get someone to explain it to you.)
It's only 10 days into a college football season where the ACC was supposed to be a major player on the national scene but that ship has pretty much sailed already.
The league began the season with five teams ranked in the pre-season top 25; all five already have a loss and four of them failed their big non-conference tests. Since UNC sat out the weekend on bye, here is a look around the league:
The big news of course is Virginia Tech dropping its home opener to I-AA foe James Madison and looking pretty bad in the process. The Dukes sliced and diced the Hokies' defense, who helped out with bone-headed penalties. The offense was in the giving mood as well with three turnovers. Guess that's what VT gets for wearing white at home after Labor Day.
The big loser in all this, of course, is not an 0-2 VT team, but Boise State, since poll voters who look for a reason to knock down non-BCS schools will de-value Boise's win over the Hokies.
In other national embarrassments, Florida State showed they were not ready for prime time (another SNL reference for you) after being ripped 47-17 by an Oklahoma team that struggled with Utah State the week before. The Christian Ponder for Heisman Express officially de-railed in Norman with an 11 for 28 effort for 113 yards, two INTS on back-to-back throws, and only one pass play over 20 yards. OU, ranked #10, led 44-7 before a garbage time TD and FG for the 'Noles broke the double-digit scoring barrier.
Miami, who is in at least the third year of anxiously awaiting the return of swagger to Coral Gables, got stagger instead from QB Jacory Harris, who offered up four INTs as the Canes put up a respectable fight but fell to #2 Ohio State in Columbus. Miami's kick returning kept it close in the first half and the Canes were driving to start the 3rd quarter when Harris' INT on 3rd-and-goal was returned 80 yards and Terrelle Pryor shut the door from there.
Meanwhile, a backup QB and a true freshman running back spelled doom for Georgia Tech as Kansas, who lost their opener to North Dakota State (yes, North Dakota State), held on to beat the Jackets 27-24. Tech was forced to rely on the arm of Josh Nesbitt, which is not usually a good thing for the Jackets. Of course, as THF tweeted, won't it be lovely for a pissed-off Tech team to roll into Chapel Hill this weekend?
The weekend's best out-of-conference win (and maybe the conference's so far, which speaks volumes), is N.C. State's 28-21 victory at Central Florida. UCF made a game of it late but the Pack forced five turnovers. The Pack is 2-0 for the first time under Tom O'Brien. Mike London, meanwhile, has Virginia playing competitively but two missed field goals and an end-zone INT cost the 'Hoos in a 17-14 loss at Southern California. Boston College, Clemson, and Maryland all feasted on cupcakes this weekend.
The weekend's most entertaining game had to be Duke at Wake Forest, where 102 points were put up and defense was at a premium. The Deacs held on 54-48 in a game so fast-paced in the first half I couldn't walk to the kitchen and back before someone scored.
Like the Duke/Wake tilt this past Saturday, this week's game between Carolina and Georgia Tech will be the only league game on the docket, but again some big out-of-conference games loom as State hosts Cincinnati on Thursday night;[THF: But they are not happy about it. Apparently only having five days prep is too high a price to pay in Tom O'Brien's mind for all that national exposure and free boost to your recruiting. Carry on.] ECU brings its high-scoring circus to Blacksburg as VT tries to avoid an 0-3 start; Maryland travels to West Virginia; FSU hosts another pass-happy team in BYU; Clemson heads down to Auburn; Wake makes the cross-country trip to Stanford, and of course Duke welcomes #1 Alabama. Looks like next Saturday is another glued-to-the-TV-all-afternoon kind of day.