1. Alright fellas, this is your turn to apologize to the Boston College Eagles who went to Hell and back and have now arrived as the 3rd team for the ACC (and only team in the Atlantic) to be bowl eligible. You know you were snickering in the preseason. Also, give a high five to Mark Herzlich for finishing his last treatment of chemo.
Herzlich, considered yourself high-fived.
Actually, I wasn't laughing that much at BC - these guys always seem to roll out solid seasons no matter who's on the team...it's kind of scary. I also thought NCSt was getting a bit too much love. Unfortunately, I thought Maryland was getting too little, so my predictions are basically just crappy guesses.
Anyway, I didn't think BC would be bowl eligible this quickly or be this good, so, to BC Interruption: Sorry.
2. An Orange Bowl victory over a Boise/ TCU or an Orange Bowl victory over a Penn State/ Cincy team - which means more for the conference? Is there even a difference?
A win over Penn State or Cincy does so much more. I'm of the belief that TCU and Boise State are great teams, and beating them might actually be more of a challenge than beating Cincinnati or Penn State, but much less good comes from that in terms of national perception. Beat TCU and Boise, and the critics will simply say they haven't played any really good teams (or played them too early in the season) and didn't belong in a BCS game. They can't, or at least won't, say that about another BCS opponent.
3. Enough with the CJ Spillers, the Christian Ponders, and the Jacory Harrises. We wanna talk defense. Who is the defensive POTY thus far in the ACC?
The defensive player of the year is always a controversial award, in my opinion, because it's tough to compare the contributions of a defensive end to the contributions of a linebacker to the contributions of a cornerback - they're measured in different ways, different stats are more important, and sometimes the best of them won't have much of a direct impact at all. That's not quite true for the offensive side: yardage and TDs tend to be the most important, and while the number of them can change depending on the position, there are well established standards as to what's good, what's outstanding, and so forth, that don't really exist defensively.
All that said, I'm going with Derrick Morgan. I can't really justify why, but that's my feeling. His stats are impressive, and whenever I watch GT, I always hear his name called a ton, even moreso than DeAndre McDaniel for Clemson, who was my second choice.
4. Recently, Bird compared the Atlantic to the Big 12 North.Is this a fair comparison? The Coastal is currently 8-2 against the Atlantic. There are still 8 interdivision games left. Can the Atlantic redeem itself this season?
Looking at the remaining eight games, I can't say I feel confident. Best case, the Atlantic goes 4-4, and that's a bit of a stretch to me. It's clear the Atlantic is miles worse than the Coastal this year, but they still don't come close to the B12N. The difference is astronomical: in the South, there's a legit four teams that could end up ranked, one of whom is a national title contender. In the North, there's...well, there's Kansas State, leading the conference at 5-4 and got destroyed by the 4th place team in the other conference.
The Atlantic isn't that bad yet: Clemson had a good win over Miami, and BC's been solid. We're not great, but we aren't that pathetic.
5. Tailgating is essential to all things football. In Atlanta, the tailgating game of choice is cornhole. What is your game of choice to pass the time?
Call me old-fashioned, but I don't play too many games when I tailgate. When I do, it's normally the time-tested tradition of throwing the pigskin around in the parking lot, usually hitting anywhere between three and seven cars in about 12 minutes (hey, I'm eating a hotdog at the same time, and the cars are moving!).
6. Let's cut to the chase. There are two kinds of people: sheep and sharks. Sharks are winners and they don't look back 'cause they don't have necks. Necks are for sheep. Is your team full of sharks or is your team full of sheep?
Sheep. There was a story, I don't know if it's true or not, that after the Duke loss - one of the worst losses in the Ralph Friedgen era and the marker that that era is finally coming to its end - all the guys were on the bus ride back and somebody cracked a joke, causing the entire team to start laughing. Friedgen stands up at the front of the bus and shouts "What's so funny?", throwing in a few expletives in for good measure. After a three second awkward silence, the bus erupts in laughter.
Yeah, we're sheep.
7. Create a cocktail in the spirit of your school and explain it to us. Non-edible ingredients are allowed and encouraged.
I'm not really a cocktail guy, but if I was, there'd have to be Old Bay in it - this is Maryland after all, dammit.
Basically, just take a strong liquor - we're watching this team play football, remember - throw some Old Bay in there, a healthy dose of argument and inability to get shit done. Hey, you said non-edible, you never said it had to be tangible.