The Falcons and Patriots Have a Date Set on February 5th (Super Bowl LI)

Let’s face it: we all overrated the Green Bay Packers, especially after they narrowly defeated the Dallas Cowboys after blowing an 18-point lead. We saw Aaron Rodgers do Aaron Rodgers things, and we all ooh’ed and ahh’ed.

Well, I had the Falcons beating the Packers, but not the way they did it. Atlanta slapped Green Bay around so badly that they are forcing ’em to relocate to another city before the Raiders do. In all seriousness, Atlanta jumped out of the gates, Mason Crosby missed a field goal (which prompted one of my friends that’s a Cowboys fan to text me with an expected and very appropriate, “Oh now you fucking miss one, Mason Crosby”) and the Packers made mistakes. That Ripkowski (kickass last name) fullback the Packers had fumbled, and Atlanta hardly let their foot off the gas.

We should have saw this coming. Atlanta is so fast; the Packers were hobbled and hurt coming into the game. Let’s also face the fact that the Packers aren’t very good. Aaron Rodgers is the makeup to the Packers’ acne. I still believe that Matt Ryan is the unequivocal MVP of the NFL this year, given the fact that the Falcons’ 2016 campaign is the 8th ranked offense of all-time, but take Rodgers away from the Packers and they are the Cleveland Browns of the NFC North.

The Patriots dominated the Steelers from start to finish. I’ve said it for years about Mike Tomlin being the most overrated head coach in the league. I’m sure he’s a great person, and well, he’s also a good “rah-rah” coach, but he inherited the Steelers after they were built up by Bill Cowher, and he was lucky to win Super Bowl XLIII against the Cardinals (he better thank Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes for a lifetime). He rode the coattails of the players Cowher brought in. Also, the fact that he has Roethlisberger — who’s probably the best quarterback in the AFC North outside of a temperamental Joe Flacco — and they’ve lost the division to the Cincinnati Bengals two of the last three years, underperforming with a high powered offense. From the Steel Curtain to the aluminum trash bag.

“So, Troy, you are saying that Tomlin is overrated just because he lost the AFC title game to the best organization in football?”

No, I’m saying he’s overrated because the Steelers have underperformed over the last five years with Tomlin. Besides, Tomlin is on the upper echelons of “coaches that Belichick consistently owns” list. Tomlin is a rah-rah guy, so the media loves him, but hey, just like Terry Bradshaw said, I reckon he’s more of a glorified cheerleader in a coach’s outfit rather than a head coach.

My early predictions for the Super Bowl? The Patriots will stifle the Falcons’ offense. The Falcons will score and get things going, but the Patriots will control the tempo of the game and not make mistakes like the Packers did. A lot of people refuse to believe in momentum in football, but think if the Packers would have hit that field goal to make the game 7-3 in the Falcons game, or if Ripkowski didn’t fumble. Momentum is absolutely real; these pro football players are still human. They have emotions and confidence issues at times. The script can be flipped and the tide can change.

I do hope the Falcons win, however. I heavily followed the Falcons when they drafted Michael Vick out of Virginia Tech in 2001. When they weren’t facing the Rams (or Dolphins), I rooted for them. One of my great friends/de facto brothers is a Falcons fan. Matt Ryan is the real deal; I watched him pick apart a menacing Virginia Tech defense when VT led Ryan’s Boston College Eagles 10-0 with a few minutes left in the game. Ryan tossed two touchdowns in 2 minutes and 11 seconds to stun the Hokies in Blacksburg. He’s the real deal. I can’t repeat that enough.

I’m hoping for a great game. The conference title games were stinkers!

Hokie Heartbreak

I’d like to preface this by saying that I didn’t watch the entire football game between Virginia Tech and Ohio State last night. Unfortunately, I was busy tending to more important things in connection to today, so I missed out.

I’m used to the Hokies letting fans down. The apex of Hokie Heartbreak happened in 2007, when they led Boston College 10-0 at Lane Stadium and Matt f’n Ryan led Boston College back in the 4th quarter with four minutes remaining en route to a 14-10 victory.

2007 marked an insane college football year. All the top teams were dropping games, at the time. At the time, Virginia Tech was ranked as the #8 team in America while Boston College was #2. Had they finished off BC, according to 20-20 hindsight, the Hokies would’ve been in the national title game that year. Instead, the Hokies lost, won out the rest of their games of the regular season, exacted revenge on Boston College by smoking them in the ACC title game, and then they shit the bed against Kansas in a bowl game. It’s hard to believe all of that was eight years ago.

In 2010, the other pinnacle of Hokie Heartbreak, the Hokies opened up the season by playing Boise State, and well, I don’t want to talk about it. The Hokies lost 33-30.

Last year, the Hokies beat Ohio State 35-21. I was ecstatic. The Hokies had started off the season 2-0! They were going to light the world on fire and contend in the ACC! … Yeah, that was until the following week, when VT lost to East Carolina, and a week after that they lost to Georgia Tech. They finished the season at a disappointing 6-6 record.

Last night, they rematched the Ohio State Buckeyes. Now, I figured the Hokies would lose, but they looked pretty decent at halftime. It was 17-14 Va Tech after Ohio State was leading 14-0! Well, the Buckeyes scored quickly in the second half, and when the Hokies were setting up a potential scoring drive, quarterback Michael Brewer broke his collarbone and the rest was history. The Hokies lost all their momentum and the defense, to use a term I mentioned earlier, shit the bed.

Ohio State’s offense, when it eventually gets going and is fine tuned, is going to be amazing, barring injuries. They routed the Hokies in the second half, ensuing in a 42-24 victory.

Hokie Heartbreak Part Trois.

ESPN Needs to Stop Its ACC/Virginia Tech Coverage

ESPN keeps labelling the upcoming East Carolina/Virginia Tech game this weekend a “trap game”.

Bullshit.

How can a team you’ve played and fought — tooth and nails — almost annually for the past 20 years represent the opponent in a “trap game”?

The Hokies know what to expect; these games, for them, are always tough. Home or away, it doesn’t matter. ECU is a constant formidable foe.

I reckon Bud Foster will shock everybody with his defensive scheme again. I think he’ll rush three and drop eight into coverage, with little or no blitzing. Remember, the ECU quarterback gets rid of the ball quickly. Bud will allow some short completions with the idea of stopping the receiver with a short gain. Good tackling will be at a premium. Even with only three rushing, Dadi Nicolas might apply some pressure on occasion.

I hope the Hokies will establish the run early and often in this one — Marshawn Williams’ 2.5 ypc should augment.

Virginia Tech Dominated #8 Ohio State Last Night

I struggled to write a more compelling title, so fuck it, I settled with the straightforward message of what happened.

Holly Rowe was reporting from the sidelines in Columbus, Ohio at “The Shoe” for the Ohio State/Virginia Tech game last night, and she said that the 107,000 people in the crowd was the largest crowd in the history of Ohio State football.

And the Buckeyes fell 35-21, losing their home opener for the first time since 1978.

But I’m a Virginia Tech Hokies guy, through and through, and I don’t give a shit about the Buckeyes’ plight. I’m overjoyed and naturally take pride in the fact that the Hokies walked into the Buckeyes’ home, in front of LeBron James and Orlando Pace, and sacked freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett seven times.

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Before I continue, I will give Ohio State some props (why not?): Barrett played well, and I reckon he has a bright future. He threw some passes that were on the money that I rarely saw from Braxton Miller. Ohio State’s defense is pretty formidable. Their offensive line was vulnerable late, which allowed Bud Foster’s defensive cronies to go in on Barrett like sharks after blood (I love shitty cliches).

But I’m so goddamn proud of the Hokies.

I guess I never truly appreciated past quarterbacks like Bryan Randall and Tyrod Taylor until the Logan Thomas regime. I never was a fan of Thomas — he was an emotionless tight end playing an uninspiring, insipid quarterback. I have no idea how he’s on an NFL roster. Not a ‘detractor’ — just a realist.

Now at the helm for Virginia Tech is Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer.

Vanilla Vick!

And despite his three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) last night, he has already proved himself to be the antithesis of Logan Thomas — he’s passionate, uber competitive and harbors a healthy dose of toughness and heart.

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Oh, and he has a specific skill that involves putting the ball on the money to receivers. Last night, he did things Logan Thomas only could’ve dreamed of: on 3rd and long, on the Hokies’ own 5, he converted. Another touch-loft pass in a different drive to the fullback showed off more of his precision.

I’ve had a bitter taste in my mouth over the years, from losses to LSU, Alabama and, in 2010, Boise fucking State, so last night felt like a long time coming.

Now if only my favorite worthless pro football franchise could, y’know, piece together a winning season for the first time since 2003.

The Virginia Tech Hokies Walked Into Miami and Dominated the Hurricanes Last Night

No words need to be emitted!

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There was also a professional basketball team that walked into Miami last night, too, and beat that particular city’s professional basketball team at the buzzer. The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat thanks to a Jeff Green buzzer beating 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds on the clock in regulation. That’s three wins in a row for the Celtics!

Tennessee and Virginia Tech will Play at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016

This has been a long time coming. The Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies will finally play a football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee after years of (ad nauseum) speculation as to whether or not they’d get this deal signed.

Here’s a hype video for the event (you know an event like this is going to be huge when it’s not even taking place until two years, ten months, sixteen days and seven hours from now):

By the way, you’ve gotta love people getting all hurt over the man voicing the hype trailer stating that Virginia Tech is an ACC powerhouse. It’s true — they are. Since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have a conference record of 62-17. That’s a 78 percent win rate with four ACC titles. The next highest team is Florida State at 49-28, a 64 percent win rate with two ACC titles. Virginia Tech has never lost to four other ACC teams (five if you count this past week’s game versus newcomer Pittsburgh). No other school has more than two undefeated records versus conference opponents. If Virginia Tech is not an ACC powerhouse, then who, and based on what?

The people saying that Virginia Tech isn’t an ACC powerhouse are either young and ignorant or just plain ignorant.

Janoris Jenkins is a Beast and Who is Northern Illinois?

Tell me, is there a defensive rookie in the NFL that’s playing better than Janoris Jenkins? Call me biased (and I am), but his play all season warrants a look as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Three touchdowns in two weeks, being the reason your team has beaten Arizona and San Francisco? A defensive back doing this? Give me some reasons as to why he shouldn’t be the defensive rookie of the year.

Why is Northern Illinois in a BCS bowl game? Where’s Georgia and Texas A&M? Just another remnant of the BCS that turns me off and away from college football. I hardly watch the regular season nowadays because of the overload of blowouts and uninteresting games. When the playoff system is implemented, the regular season will be even more unappealing. Just my two cents. Obviously I care about Virginia Tech, but I can’t take the program seriously until the coaching staff realizes that the offense has been outdated for the last eight years. I’m not as big on Frank Beamer these days as others.