Saturday, November 21, 2009

Futile Superfan Sports Round-Up

Here’s my usual lone football pick of the week:

Washington @ Dallas (-11)
It’s Dallas week! If you can’t get excited about Redskins-Cowboys, well, then . . . okay, so much for this enthusiastic stuff. Those of you who don’t think that after last week’s inspired win Washington’s going to lay a huge egg in Big D haven’t been paying attention.

There was a nice story about how after Dan Snyder rescinded his ban on signs mocking him, a group of fans prepared to stage an organized protest during last Sunday’s game cancelled it in the name of good will. What wasn’t mentioned there (but was by the SportsBog) was what Rob and I saw in the seats opposite ours in the third quarter. A group of 20-some people unfurled an enormous banner that said “WORST OWNER EVER” and turned it to face the owner’s box. One win, fun to attend though it was, does not heal this ailing organization.
Cowboys 27, Redskins 10.

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For the uninformed, there’s something of a big showdown in the Capital of the South today. Your Fighting Wrens of William & Mary take on the Spiders of the University of Richmond in a rivalry whose trophy has recently been renamed because . . . well, no explanation is needed, really:

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The winner of this year's matchup between the University of Richmond and the College of William & Mary will be taking home the Capital Cup.
The two schools are part of the South's oldest college football rivalry, having played each other 118 times.

The new trophy will be awarded for the first time after the Nov. 21 game at the University of Richmond Stadium. It replaces the I-64 Trophy.

The rivalry began with the Spiders winning 15-0 on Nov. 19, 1898. The Tribe holds a 59-54-5 lead. Both schools say the new Capital Cup reflects the historical significance of the cities of Williamsburg and Richmond as the last two capitals of Virginia.

In addition to bragging rights and a nifty Capital Cup, this year’s winner will go home with more cash & prizes: the likelihood of a pair of home playoff games. (Y’know, assuming they win in the first round.) Yes, people, it’s football playoffs time again . . . for some divisions. With a respectable loss, the Tribe may still get a home game next Saturday (11/22). With a victory, however . . . well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Fueling the fire will be the sting the Spiders feel after losing a men’s basketball contest to a meager CAA opponent two nights ago. Yes, the Wren hoopsters knocked off the too-good-for-the-CAA Richmond, 78-71. This will undoubtedly add . . . almost nothing. I just wanted to mention it.

Go Tribe.

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In other southeastern Virginia college football news, the Monarchs of Old Dominion University wrap up their brilliant inaugural football season at VMI today. ODU, at 8-2, already has more wins than any other start-up program in I-AA history. But today’s a bit of a tester. Although they have played FCS opponents in all but two games, those opponents have been on the softer side of the division by most accounts.

Don’t misunderstand; what Old Dominion has accomplished thus far not only has been highly impressive and fun to follow, it also bodes well for the future success of the program. This can, should, and probably will be a top I-AA program within a decade. The groundswell of financial and community support, the student body size, the geographic location, and . . . ahem, the lack of overly stringent admissions for athletes like some schools founded in 1693 should all factor into a winning future. Add in the benefits of such a great first season during the recruiting process, and things are looking up in Big Blue-ville.

Today’s game in Lexington will simply be an indicator of how much of a fast-track ODU football really is on. W&M handles VMI season in and season out without breaking too much of a sweat. There have been some scares along the way, but not too many. Meanwhile, the conference ODU will join in 2011, the Colonial Athletic Association, has quickly become the elite of I-AA. As of this writing, CAA teams comprise three of the top five spots in FCS rankings; they also hold the #11 and #25 slots. Two unranked schools, JMU and UMass, could take down plenty of worthy non-conference opponents. It’ll be a tough row to hoe for the DU of O, but today should give us a glimpse of how they measure up in the short term.


Dan said...

okay mark - your turn.

TJ said...

God dammit. Pick a post. I need to discuss this gay soccer thing.

Mark said...

Whit...I hate to do this to you but my picks post is going up soon too (I know this is a shock since I've been posting CFB picks post every Saturday for the last 2 months).

I'm about done with it so I'll set it to go up around 11:30...jerk.

And TJ, we don't say "gay" around here.

TJ said...

That's right. We discussed that on the podcast last night.

TJ said...

Hey dude, nice header.

Dan said...

i can't believe the capital cup is finally here. i'm giddy as a schoolgirl right now.

you guys should tivo the WWII HD on History's gee oh oh dee good.

TJ said...

Ties are stupid. Mark, that was a waste of my time.

Wait, that tiny jockey leprechaun guy is on...this makes up for it.

TJ said...

I would just like to say I appreciate Dan knowing and respecting the G:TB editorial calendar.

Mark said...

So the Pac-10 is better than the SEC because of depth? Okay, but what about the top of each conference...Arizona and Oregon vs. Bama and Florida? Hmmm.

Mark said...

I've been taping WWII in HD but have yet to watch any of it. Its supposed to be great and, as a former History major, I am very much looking forward to it.

CFB picks post (and more) up at 11:46.