- What can I say about the Jackets huge win Saturday in Blacksburg? I mean, it was just an absolute thing of beauty. I didn’t think I’d ever see us play better than we did in the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter against Troy, but the first ten minutes of Saturday’s game were as good as it gets. Then, when Va. Tech pulled back within 8 points near the end of the first half, we mounted an impressive drive to put three points up before halftime. That drive was not only crucial because it stymied the Hokies’ momentum, but it was representative of a major change in philosophy for the Chan Gailey led Jackets. Normally, in situations like that, we would have sat on the ball, hoped the clock ran out, and went into the half trying to find a way to cling to a one possession lead. But, not Saturday. On Saturday, we actually played to win. And, guess what? The more we played to win, the more good things kept happening. We caused fumbles, we capitalized on mistakes, and we kept scoring. It’s an amazing concept. And, it provides a tremendous example of why I was ready to choke Gailey after so many of our disappointments in the past five years, including the season opener to Notre Dame. If we had only kept the foot on the gas in those games, like we did on Saturday, we could have logged some very important victories over the past five years.
Well, the past is the past, so it’s time to take stock of the present. First, there is no doubt we should be 5-0 right now. But we are not, so we have to frame our goals based on where we are. And, where we are is poised to win the ACC Coastal Division. With a win on the road at Blacksburg, and with Miami looking more like Duke every week, nothing short of an appearance in the ACC Championship Game is acceptable at this point. No questions asked. Not to mention, with what we keep seeing coming from the UGA offense, it seems pretty clear that Georgia Tech is the best football team in the state of Georgia right now. For this to be a successful season, however, that must continue through the last weekend in November. So, there you have it Coach Gailey. Success is a funny thing. The more you win, the higher the bar gets. So, Coach Gailey, that bar now stands at an ACC Coastal division championship and a win over UGA. Now, you need to go clear it. Any thing less is unacceptable.
- Aside from the Jackets’ stunner in Blacksburg, the chalk seemed to hold on Saturday. Probably the most impressive performance of the day was Ohio State. Many people, myself included, thought the time was right for the Hawkeyes to sneak around the chicken coupe and steal one. Troy Smith and the Buckeyes, however, weren’t having any of it. This one coupled with their earlier win at Texas leaves little doubt that they are truly deserving of their #1 ranking and the prohibitive favorite to win the national title. Other than Michigan in the last week of the season, there just isn’t anybody left on their schedule that should give them any problems.
- Did USC really almost lose at Washington State? I still can’t get my arms around that concept.
- The Falcons looked like a well oiled machine on Sunday. The way Vick is running and throwing, the way Norwood explodes through the hole, and the way the defense seems to make huge play after huge play, and the way Deion Sanders seems to have inhabited DeAngelo Hall’s body, leaves very little not to love. With the exception of the charitable contribution last Monday night in New Orleans, the Falcons have looked close to perfect in the first month of the season.
- Just when you thought my preseason prediction of the Redskins winning the Super Bowl was laughable, they went out and hooked Mark Brunell up to the juvenation machine. He’s thrown for nearly 600 yards and 4 touchdowns with only 1 pick in the past two weeks, and he led the Skins to a riveting OT win against a high quality Jags team on Sunday. Things have turned around nicely for the Skins. Now, if they can navigate themselves to their bye week at 4-3 (their next three games are @ the Giants, at home against Tennessee, and @ Indy), things loosen up after the bye, and the Skins should be in good shape to get to at least 10 wins and make the playoffs. Once they get in the playoffs, they have the benefit of the greatest NFL coach of our lifetime on their sidelines, so I like their chances to make me look good.
- I’m officially off the 49er’s bandwagon. I thought you should know.
- The Pats are amazing. Just when you think it’s safe to write them off, they go on the road and beat the crap out of one of the best teams in football. I guess the lesson is that we can never count out Belichick and Brady.
- I thought you would all be excited to know that “The Bachelor: Rome” starts tonight. I hope you are as excited as I am.
- Finally, don’t forget to send me your questions for this week’s WAD press conference. There are a lot of tough questions to be asked and answered this week.