Image Courtesy of Planet Blacksburg
For those of you all that are regular readers of the crap that ESPN puts out (like me) or the great Hokie blog “The North Endzone,” you read that Kirk Herbstreit decided to do all but leave Virginia Tech out of his annual Herbie Awards. The Herbie Awards are an arbitrary list that Herbstreit has designed and filled out each year for the past few seasons, usually highlighting the best players at each position, picks for each division and conferences as well as a few superlatives. Anyone that knows Herbstreit knows his undying love for the Big 10(11) and the SEC, so it’s no surprise that this year was littered with guys from those two conferences. However, he managed to pick Georgia Tech as the Coastal Champion as well as eventual ACC Champion. That’s not even my big gripe. His “Best Student Section” award had one team not in either of his two favorite conferences (and I’m including ND in the Big 10…they fit): Oregon. Vomit.
What’s more is that that Dinich, our favorite ACC “blogger” gave her big, fat stamp of approval for Herbstreit’s thoughts yesterday:
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit unveiled his annual Herbie Awards, and he shunned the preseason Virginia Tech hype by picking Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division and the ACC title.
You can't go wrong with that pick, especially since the Hokies lost Darren Evans for the season, and Georgia Tech returns just about all of its skill position players from a year ago. Still, the one thing that separates those two programs for me is up front, and until we see how the Jackets fare in that regard on both sides of the ball, Virginia Tech has the edge there. I've got no problem, though, saying Georgia Tech can beat Virginia Tech and win the ACC title this year. In case anyone forgot, they were co-champs of the Coastal last year.
Smart move?! What?!!!?!?! How does picking against the reigning two-time ACC Champs constitute a smart move? Oh, besides the fact that the Jackets are replacing THEIR LINES, they’ve got every shot to beat the Hokies. Of course. I’m sorry but they HAVE to stop claiming a share of any sort of championship from last season. If the tiebreaker did not involve directly losing to the Hokies, maybe they would have an argument, but they lost head-to-head, and that was it. The Hokies tied them for the Coastal in 2006 but lost the tiebreaker head-to-head, but you didn’t hear one person claim that we were ACC champs or even co-champs. That’s an absurd thing to argue. That season, the Jackets only won on the back of Calvin Johnson, who was a once-in-a-generation talent. Without him, they had no prayer of winning that game. Last season’s matchup was the closest its’ been in a while, but I don’t think it indicated that the Jackets were the better team since they still lost.
Of course she also has commented that the Hokies had the advantage of playing at home last year, which GT fans loved to point out in the comments. However, since entering the league the Hokies have played in Atlanta two times (winning both) and in Blacksburg three times (going 2-1). The schedule is regular again with the Hokies travelling to Atlanta this season. Since they’ve already won there twice, I’m pretty sure it’s not unthinkable that they can do it again.
To talk about the Hokies as if they have to prove something against Georgia Tech is crap. The Hokies have won the conference three times in five seasons while GT has only played for one title and lost. Despite ESPN’s opinion, Georgia Tech does not have superior talent or personnel. People love to harp on Tech losing Darren Evans in the preseason (like it will be their ultimate downfall), but no one talks about how significant Georgia Tech’s losses were in the offseason. Georgia Tech’s philosophy emphasizes strength in the trenches along with a bit of deception, so losing their two starting tackles and 75% of their defensive line will not help their case in winning a game against a physical team like the Hokies.
I would love ESPN to just take a look at some of the crap that their employees put out in the preseason, just so we don’t have to hear, “oh, we shouldn’t have slept on the Hokies” at the end of the year. ESPN analysts always justify passing over Tech, and when they’re proven wrong at the end of the year, they jump on the Beamerball bandwagon like they were there all along. It’s a freaking joke.