CFB Week 3: Notre Dame joins the ACC (mostly), Hoos facing a big test

The Hokies travel to Pittsburgh while the Hoos head to Atlanta, plus I’ve got your Saturday watching schedule all figured out.

Did you hear the news? Notre Dame joined the ACC in all sports…except football (of course they did). At least they agreed to play five ACC football games each season.1 The Fighting Irish already have long term rivalries with Pitt and Boston College, so we’re looking at adding three additional ACC games each year. I’ll tell you this much, I will travel to South Bend for the first VT vs. ND game, don’t you doubt me. With any luck, this is just a step down the path to full football membership and the end of Notre Dame’s stupid independence.2

This week, the award for Most Surprising Game You Weren’t Watching While You Instead Watched the Mizzou Game goes to Louisiana-Monroe vs. Arkansas. On the backs of several super gutsy calls, the War Hawks beat the eighth-ranked Razorbacks in dramatic overtime fashion. Arkansas plummeted out of the rankings, taking the largest fall since Michigan lost to Appalachian State. You owe it to yourself to watch these highlights:

Here’s a couple notables from this past weekend that you may have missed:

  • Miami’s backness ended abruptly when Kansas State crushed them to the tune of 52-13.
  • Upset: Oregon State over #13 Wisconsin, 10-7. With Ohio State and Penn State’s postseason ban I thought the Badgers had an easy road to (at least) the Rose Bowl. Maybe not.
  • Tulane senior free safety Devon Walker’s neck was broken in a helmet-to-helmet collision on the last play of the first half against Tulsa. Tulane is not releasing details on his injuries, but Walker’s has had surgery and remains in the hospital. Scary stuff. How long until we see someone die on the football field?

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#13 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

Saturday, September 15th, 12:00 PM; ESPNU

Someone tell me, why do we play Monday night games? Oh, is it because the ACC is contractually obligated to play a game every Labor Day? Yes, yes it is.

The lack of time to prepare for the Austin Peay Governors certainly showed as the Hokies begrudgingly won in a truly sloppy affair. And it wouldn’t be Virginia Tech football if I wasn’t worried about the offense, would it? Throughout the first half the Hokies’ offensive line was unable to get any push against one of the worst teams that exists. This does not bode well. But, I had a wonderful time taking my son to his very first Hokie football game!

This week the Hokies travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers. I hate Pittsburgh. How many times have I seen an inferior Pitt team take it to the Hokies? One trillion? At least? Pitt currently sits at 0-2 after losses to Youngstown State and Cincinnati, but don’t write them off. They’ve got talent on offense (keep an eye on RB Ray Graham who had 103 yards in the loss to Cincy) and a history of punching Tech in the mouth, plus they’ve had nine days to prepare.

Virginia at Georgia Tech

Saturday, September 15th, 3:30 PM; ESPN U

The Wahoos picked up a much needed win against Penn State last week–the ACC will take any out-of-conference win we can get. UVA squeaked by, 17-16, as PSU kicker Sam Ficken missed four field goals and had an extra point blocked. Yikes! Tough day for that kid, someone needs to call the sports psychologist, stat. While Ficken did everything in his power to gift the game to UVA, the Cavs struggled to take advantage and turned the ball over four times. Also yikes.

OK Mike London, it’s time to see what your squad is made of. This week the Cavaliers travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets aren’t Richmond, they aren’t a depleted Penn State, and, really, they’re an arm tackle away from 2-0 and an easy path to the ACC Championship Game. I know it’s only been two games but GT’s currently ranked #27 in total offense (#5 in rushing) and #24 in total defense. You can’t beat this team with a -4 turnover margin.

P.S. Don’t look now, but Hoo QB Michael Rocco is quietly putting together some pretty good stats: #45 in passing efficiency and #28 in total offense.

Games worth watching

12:00 PM, ESPNU, Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh — Go Hokies!

12:21 PM, ESPN3, Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn — Can the War Hawks upset two straight SEC teams? This game’s a must win for Auburn as they’re already 0-2 with LSU, Georgia, and Alabama left on the schedule.

1:30 PM, ESPN3, Virginia at Georgia Tech — Go Wahoos!

3:30 PM, CBS, #1 Alabama at Arkansas –Don’t believe what the pollsters tell you: Arkansas is better than “unranked.” If ever there were a reason for a team to get amped and make a statement, it’s after an OT loss to a team with a hyphen in their name.

7:30 PM, FOX, #2 USC at #21 Stanford — West Coast in primetime! It’s the team with a great quarterback vs. the team who had a great quarterback last year!

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  1. Notre Dame has averaged 3.1 games per season against the newly-expanded ACC over the last ten years. 
  2. I’m still pissed about the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, when, instead of the Hokies, the “Notre Dame” rule pit a two-loss Fighting Irish team against Oregon State. Notre Dame lost 41-9. 
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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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