2007 Monday Thoughts: Florida State

I’m a little behind the eight ball on this one. I love DVR, but I
brain-cramped on this one and accidentally recorded ESPN instead of ABC. The
ESPN description said, “Florida State at Virginia Tech …” so I set
that sucker up to record, without thinking.

The rest of the description was “… or Illinois at Ohio State.” I
got a great recording of the Illini and the Buckeyes, because I should have
recorded ABC, not ESPN. Big Ten football bores me, so I won’t be watching

Double that up with “Hokie Replay” being delayed until 11:35 p.m.
Sunday night, and I had no access to a recording of the game for “Monday

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Sometimes you have to step back from
breaking down games and analyzing the flow, and instead take a 10,000-foot view
of things. Sure, I’ll probably take a little bit of an analytical approach to
this game, mainly by looking at the box score, going on memory, and having
viewed the highlights
posted by Warrenton Hokie
on YouTube, but let’s stop and take a look at
where we are right now.

First of all, as football fans, these are the moments we live for. I’m not
really talking about the victory over Florida State, although that was pretty
fun. This game had a lot of good moments, probably the best being the instant
Christian Ponder tossed the ball into Chris Ellis’s hands, and #49, who’s having
one hell of a year, stumbled five yards into the end zone to break open a
can of whoop-ass that had been sitting on the shelf since 1975.

As fun as that was, the moments we live for are right now. I say that whether
you’re reading this Monday afternoon, Monday night, or some time Tuesday. You’re
a Hokie fan, and your team is in the middle of it. It’s not May, June, or July,
those awful months where there’s no news and the season seems a million miles
away. It’s November, the last month of college football’s regular season, and a
ton of other teams have fallen by the wayside. Not the Hokies.

Starting this Saturday, four ACC teams will play three games to determine the
ACC championship. Boston College (losers of two games in a row, and a gnat’s
eyelash away from being losers of three in a row) visits Clemson this Saturday
to determine the Atlantic Division championship; the next week, the Hokies and
Hoos clash to settle the Coastal Division championship; and December 1st, the
winners meet up in Jacksonville for the championship and a trip to the Orange

This is good stuff. Don’t get so caught up in injuries and stats and
quarterback controversies that you forget to enjoy the moment.

Thought #2: There are times in the last two seasons where Virginia Tech
football has looked like it was on shaky ground. The debacle in Beantown last
season, the collapse in the Georgia Dome, the humiliation in Baton Rouge in
September … those three games, plus the abysmal stats of the Hokie offense the
last two years, have made it look at times like the wheels are about to fly off
the Hokie bus.

But … 18-5. That’s the current record over the last couple of seasons, and
I like Tech’s chances to push it to 19-5, 20-5, and beyond. As much as we wring
our hands with worry at times, the record is the record, and there are a lot
worse out there, like, say, Notre Dame (1-9) or Miami (5-5, 2-4 in the ACC).
Style points have been hard to come by for the Hokies in the last couple of
seasons, but conference championships aren’t settled with style points, and in
the final tally, the wins keep coming.

The only thing better than November in college football is being a conference
championship contender in November.

That puts things in a little context, which brings us to this game.

What a relief to get the FSU monkey off Frank Beamer’s back. Not just Frank
Beamer’s back, but the back of every Hokie fan and player who suffered through
the last 12 losses to the Seminoles, dating back to 1975. Five losses in
particular galled me:

  • 1990, when the Hokies led #2 Florida State 21-3 in Tallahassee before
    caving late and losing 39-28.
  • 1991, when a should-have-been-Hokie-home game was moved to Orlando for
    money, and the Hokies outplayed #1 FSU for the second year in a row but lost
  • 1999, the national championship game. During the break between the third
    and fourth quarters, I was convinced the Hokies were about to be national