Today we play a game of Good Cop/Bad Cop, discussing this weekend's game against Virginia, the ACC bowl picture and the ACC's newest uniforms.
Suspect #1 - BC's Unfamiliarity with Virginia Giving The Cavs A Leg Up
Brian as Good Cop: It’s hard to believe that Virginia has played Connecticut, Pittsburgh, East Carolina and Wyoming more than they’ve played BC since we joined the league in 2005. Even though the Eagles have had two weeks to prepare for this game, there are certain intangibles that come with playing somewhere for the very first time. Only Spaziani knows what the atmosphere of Scott Stadium truly is, and he can’t necessarily convey this to the team. So yes, I think there’s something to the "mystery of playing in Charlottesville" theory that may give Virginia an advantage this weekend. Will the Scott Stadium atmosphere be intimidating, or has the wine and cheese crowd already given up on the season? Even though the Cavs are 0-2 at home in the ACC this season, there’s got to be some sort of home field advantage associated with Scott Stadium. How else can you explain Georgia Tech’s 0-for-8 losing streak in Charlottesville from 1992-2007? Over that span, there were many years that Georgia Tech was a much better team than Virginia, yet the Jackets couldn’t get it done on the road. Only this year Georgia Tech was finally able to snap that 19 year losing streak at Virginia. Add to this the Eagles road woes so far this season and I think BC’s unfamiliarity with UVA and playing in Charlottesville will definitely be a factor this weekend.
Jeff as Bad Cop: I don't get this. How would unfamiliarity give Virginia an advantage over BC? Why wouldn't it be just as likely to give BC an advantage? Some stadiums are tough to play in on the road but Virginia never makes that list of ACC schools as far as I recall. Also, UVA isn't exactly packing the stadium this season either. No one is very excited about football in Charlottesville with good reason. With BC coming to town on Saturday, I would guess that they will have one of their smallest crowds for a conference game of the season. When it comes to familiarity, the quarterback is the most important part of whether or not you feel you know a team or your team knows the other. It's the defense predicting the offense's plays and moves that is most important. This season no one is familiar with Shinskie and he is not familiar with anyone else either. Therefore no advantage for Virginia.
Suspect #2 - Emerald Bowl as the destination of the Eagles this postseason
Jeff as Good Cop: There are six potential bowl destinations for the Eagles this season: the Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Music City Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Emerald Bowl. For the Eagles to make any one of those multiple things have to happen.
Orange - Clemson loses a game and BC finishes the season 4-0 (including the ACC Championship Game)
Gator - Miami (Fla.) gets an at-large BCS bowl berth while Clemson and Georgia Tech go to the Orange and Peach Bowls. BC finishes 6-2 in the ACC while Virginia Tech drops two games to finish 4-4. By the "BC rule," the Gator Bowl is forced to pick BC.
Champs - Miami gets a BCS at-large, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Virginia Tech go to the Orange, Peach and Gator Bowls. BC finishes 6-2 so they can't fall below this bowl.
Music City - BC loses the ACC Championship Game or finishes 6-2 in conference. Therefore they cannot fall any lower than this bowl.
Meineke Car Care - BC finishes 5-3, 4-4 or 3-5 but only 6 ACC teams are bowl eligible or 7 teams are bowl eligible and Miami gets a BCS at-large
Emerald - BC finishes 5-3, 4-4 or 3-5 in conference and 7 teams from the ACC are bowl eligible and no team gets a BCS at-large bid.
Sounds like the Emerald Bowl is the most likely of those scenarios.
Brian as Bad Cop: I don't get it Jeff. You are ever the BC optimist but have BC in the Emerald Bowl as the most likely scenario with a record of 5-3, 4-4 or 3-5? I have the Eagles at 3-0 or 2-1 as a worst case scenario. You are correct in saying that Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami and Clemson are all going to a better bowl than BC. You are also correct in mentioning the "BC Rule" but didn't mention the most likely scenario that will invoke said rule. After those top four teams, what teams are jumping BC in the bowl pecking order? At 6-2, neither the winner of Wake Forest/Florida State or North Carolina could be selected before BC as both would be two wins behind the Eagles. North Carolina only needs to win 1 of their remaining 3 games to become bowl-eligible, but they will only be favored in one of their final three games (at NC State). Even if UNC knocks off BC, they could very well lose to both Miami and NC State, which would also make them ineligible to jump BC in the bowl order. It's also possible that Wake Forest defeats Florida State this weekend but loses to Duke in their season finale and doesn't go bowling. In that case, neither Wake or Florida State would go bowling and there would only be 6 eligible ACC bowl teams. There are plenty of scenarios where the "BC rule" may have to be invoked or teams we are expecting to make a bowl (Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina) don't get to 6 (or 7) wins. As a result, at this point, I've got to say the most likely destination for BC will be either the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Music City Bowl. Not that these bowls will be happy to have us, but we'll force their hand and other ACC programs will help out the Eagles.
Suspect #3 -Two ACC programs in BCS bowls
Brian as Bad Cop: I will play the bad cop on this one. Chances are slim-to-none that a second ACC program could sneak into the BCS bowls at this point. The only programs that have a shot are one loss Georgia Tech and two loss Miami. For Georgia Tech, it is looking like its Orange Bowl or bust. If Georgia Tech loses to Duke or Georgia, a third loss would eliminate them from BCS bowl contention. If Georgia Tech finishes the regular season at 11-1, but loses the ACC Championship Game, they still won’t get into the BCS as the ACC runner-up. History shows that the BCS looks none too favorably on championship game runners up when it comes to bowl selection (the lone and consistent exception being the SEC Championship Game runner-up). A lot of things would have to break the Hurricanes way for Miami to get back into the BCS picture. As it stands now, you are looking at a Texas vs. Florida/Alabama BCS National Title Game. Both the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl will get first pick of BCS replacement teams, and the Sugar will likely go with the SEC runner-up while the Fiesta will go with a two-loss USC or even a two-loss Iowa team (assuming Ohio State goes onto be the Big Ten champ). Oklahoma State and Penn State are also lurking out there with two losses. Add in TCU and Boise State (one of the two will end up being an automatic qualifier) and you are out of spots for Miami. The only shot the Hurricanes have is if two of these three programs lose again: USC, Ohio State, Penn State.
Jeff as Good Cop: The chances that Miami gets an at-large berth in the BCS is as good as it has been for the ACC in a long time. Miami obviously needs to win out and preferably in convincing fashion to get into the top ten again and be a more attractive pick for the selection committees. Miami also could use some help in the form of a Boise State and a USC loss. We know that the SEC will get two teams into the BCS but beyond that conference, there are no guarantees whatsoever for any other conferences. It is unlikely that the Big 12 with have a second team ranked high enough to be considered and the BCS will be looking to the Big Ten, Pac 10, ACC and Boise State to fill the remaining 3 spots after the five conference champions, a second SEC team and TCU take the first seven spots. I like Miami's chances to win out and to get a little help from some other teams in the next few weeks.
Suspect #4 - New ACC Football Uniforms (Maryland, Virginia Tech, Florida State)
Jeff as Good Cop: Well let's first be very clear that Maryland's new camo uniforms are for one-time use for this Saturday to help raise some money for our troops and is tied in with Veteran's Day which is today. I have no problem with that and think it's a great effort. Virginia Tech and Florida State are two of the ten schools debuting new Nike uniforms between now and the end of the season. The new uniforms are lighter and should give some extra protection to the players. Not to mention they look pretty cool. What's not to like?
Brian as Bad Cop: I have no problem with Under Armour raising money for the Wounded Warrior project, but I do object to the use of camouflage on college football team uniforms. College football is just a game and should in no way be compared to war or the armed services. There have been plenty of dumb, moronic statements comparing the two and in any situation, comments like this are unfounded. I think Under Armour could have done something else with the uniforms that would honor troops without using camouflage.
As for the Nike Pro Combat uniforms, I think I saw a gradient on Virginia Tech's uniforms which is meant to represent the "speed" of past Hokie greats. Lame. I think the uniforms are OK except for the seizure-inducing gradients but then they go and ruin the uniforms with white helmets. They should have stuck with the normal maroon helmets. Also the slogan for the Nike Virginia Tech uniforms is "Good Guys Wear White." Oh really? Good guys wear white, yet Virginia Tech is playing Maryland who's wearing red and camo and raising money for the Wounded Warrior project. I think Nike might have missed the mark on Virginia Tech's slogan there considering Maryland is wearing red. The Florida State Pro Combat uniforms are a little more tolerable, but they went and screwed with the helmet and colored it black. Maybe Nike should have checked the Florida State media guide and researched the Seminoles track record when they wear black anything. Still, it's only Maryland and FSU should get the victory.