Saturday, January 5, 2008
ACC Goes Down
For the second time in as many tries Kansas defeated an ACC opponent on the road today when they played Al Skinner's bunch in Chestnut Hill. This game went far better than their first one (@ GT) and it was clear that they have learned from their mistakes and how/when to put an opponent away. For the most part they always play hard and they usually play well, but today (especially after the altercation) they played angry. And that is what will take them where they want to go. I guess someone else agrees. On another note, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that any time Arthur and Jackson combine for 47 points and 16 rebounds the Jayhawks will be just fine.
Speaking of predictions,I guess I was right about that game they call the Orange Bowl (and quite a few others), as Kansas defeated yet another ACC team, the champion in fact, Virginia Tech.And really, the game couldn't have played out much more predictably. OK, so you can't predict a pick six and a punt return TD, but as a whole it rarely left the script.
However, I do think Virginia Tech out-thought themselves and things could have been even tougher on the Jayhawks had they not. After re-watching the game, it really looked like early on they wanted to try and prove that they could break their tendencies - letting Taylor throw and running/play-action with Glennon. And even once Ore entered the game, they were usually able to run it pretty well, but they kept insisting on going down the field and a couple of blown calls aside, it just wasn't going to work. (Speaking of the telecast, why the shit is Fox so obsessed with the band? I'm thinking Joe Buck is behind this somehow...)
As for the Hawks, well, they were brilliant. Obviously the defense was great and aside from some questionable play-calling, particularly in the horrid third quarter, the offense was equally great against an incredible VT defense. Offensively, as predicted, if Reesing took care of the ball and kept the defense spread out, 23 points would be doable and sufficient. (And obviously by reaching the 1 yard line on 2 separate occasions, plenty more could have been scored as well.) As for the defensive predictions, well I said I didn't see the VT offense taking it to the house 3 times - and they didn't. Of course, they did return a punt with the help of an ignored block in the back, but the offense only scored twice. And lastly, I said Kyle Tucker had to have a good game - he went ahead and had a great one instead. For the record, I was extremely wrong in thinking there wouldn't be any game changing plays on special teams.
The game really turned out to be a microcosm of the season with everyone doing their part. Aqib Talib deservedly earned MVP honors with his pick 6 and subsequent mind fuck on the VT quarterbacks,but it truly was as balanced an effort as can be made. Offensively, Reesing was great, McAnderson was solid, every receiver contributed, and the line protected pretty well. Defensively, Rivera was everywhere, Mortensen and Holt were sound, the ends got a good rush, McClinton had a push and the secondary came up with three picks all from different guys. And it all added up to a victory and complete justification for arguably the best season in the nation...
I'm not saying they deserve to be national champions or that they are the best team, but can you really argue anyone had a better season? Unless aOSU beats LSU, I don't think so, because the only other 1 loss team will be Hawai'i and well, we all saw how much that held up against a real opponent. As for the 2 loss teams, your best arguments would be LSU & Methzou. LSU will have beaten the most legitimate teams, but they also have a home loss to a team that Methzou completely humiliated in Dallas along with a loss to a Kentucky team that could barely handle half of a mediocre FSU team. Methzou is a better argument because of November 24th, but the fact remains that they were handled in Norman and destroyed in San Antonio by a great, but 3 loss OU team. And don't give me UGA or USC because "they're hot" ... USC has been anointed as so by dominating ASU and Illinois - are you kidding me? I could give you at least 6-8 other teams that would do so as well. Georgia has definitely earned their stripes, but they were still demolished by an average Tennessee team and beaten at home by a team that didn't even make one of 32 bowls. Back to KU, their only loss is a one possession defeat to a top 5 team on a neutral field, and their best win comes over a top 5 team. If aOSU loses, LSU will have done plenty to justify their national championship, but they still will have not had a better overall season than the Jayhawks.
As mentioned in my Festivus post, the Kansas football and basketball teams ended up a combined 45-4 in 2007! Can it get any better? Well, thus far in 2008, they are 2-0 with an Orange Bowl Championship. Here's to adding another trophy to the case on April 7 in San Antonio... Hot Toddy! Thanks for everything, Obie.