Idaho: The Florida of the North

Don’t let its short brown hair and cute glasses fool you; Idaho is a landlocked menace.

Go Hokies!How does it feel to go 3-0 against Florida teams, Virginia?

For only the second time ever, Virginia and Virginia Tech’s college football programs are undefeated against teams from Florida, and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s not that I have a personal problem with the state of Florida specifically. It’s a beautiful, not-too-swamplike state with stunning displays of nature’s incredible ability to grow fruit, storm, and fill in bikinis. But after a run where Virginia Tech was 0-12 against Florida State (going back to 1976) and Virginia was 3-22 against any team from Florida or in any bowl game played in Florida against a non-Florida team (going back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth), I was almost ready to strap on some shoulder pads and go tackle a palm tree.

Fortunately for the palm trees, the state turned things around beautifully in 2007 over the course of three straight weeks:

November 10, 2007: Virginia Tech beat Florida State 40-21 in Blacksburg with a strong effort from the defense, to which I believe my loud yelling from row QQQ contributed significantly.

November 10, 2007 (a few hours later): The University of Virginia beat Miami of Florida 48-0 in the Orange Bowl with a strong effort from pretty much nobody wearing a Miami uniform, giving them their first win in the entire state since football was invented.

November 17, 2007: VPI&SU beat Miami of Florida by the narrow margin of 44-14, a game that I did not watch because I was busy in Lexington trying to enjoy the Military Classic of the South, VMI against Citadel.

November 24, 2007: Virginia Tech beats Virginia 33-21 in Charlottesville in an entertaining game that was competitive well into the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Florida was beating Florida State 45-12 in a game that held little entertainment value other than watching FSU’s Geno Hayes learn the hard way to keep his mouth shut before he calls out an opposing quarterback ever again.

With such a total and utter domination of the Florida teams on the Virginia team schedule in 2007, it’s time for us to turn our attention to a new opponent: Idaho.

The Idaho Menace

Yes, Idaho. Virginia and Virginia Tech, collectively, have zero wins against a team from Idaho, all time. In fact, between the two, they also have zero wins in the state of Idaho.

The only contact either team has had with a football squad from or in the state of Idaho was in 2004, when Virginia lost 34-37 to Fresno State in the MPC Computers bowl.

But consider the following alarming facts:

  • Over the past five years, the two Division 1A football squads from the Gem State have won a total of 69 football games: a number that just isn’t good for America.
  • Virginia seems to have the advantage, with 86 wins by their D1A football programs. But Idaho leads the nation with 53 wins per million residents, to Virginia’s 12.
  • The state fish of Idaho is the cutthroat trout, an animal I, for one, do not trust in the slightest.
  • Even worse, Idaho leads the nation again averaging 0.31 wins over the past five years per billion US dollars in state GDP. Virginia has only 0.05 wins per US$B, placing us at only 29th nationally.
  • Boise State, a team from Idaho, played in the most entertaining football game ever played: the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.

Potatoes are deliciousIdaho is over six times more efficient at getting top-level college football wins than Virginia, and they delight the nation with their lovable football antics.

In order to build on our state’s success against teams from Florida, I am hereby proposing the following emergency measures to combat the upside-down Florida of the Northwest:

  1. Move to a worse conference. I recommend the Sun Belt. Duke is great for 2 Virginia wins per year, but if we have to compete with the WAC, we’ve got to lower expectations significantly.
  2. Get more Division 1AA teams up to 1A in the Old Dominion. If we have to band Hampton, Norfolk State, and W&M together to create an ultra-diverse super-university serving the greater 757 area to achieve the necessary undergraduate enrollement size, let’s do it.
  3. Don’t give Al Groh another coach of the year award until he gets 10 wins before the bowl game.
  4. Get VCU a football program. VCU is currently the third largest Division 1 school in the country that has never sponsored football. The undefeated streak must end soon.

Dominating the state of Florida in 2007 just isn’t enough, Virginia. As long as Idaho kind of looks like an upside down Florida, we must not rest until we can compete with them on a level playing field.

A level, green playing field.

Illustration by Robert Ullman.
Photo by Avlxyz.

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Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan knows that there is no problem an Excel spreadsheet, a sweet tea, and a pass to the tight end won’t solve.

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