At this point in the season we review each major conference team-by-team and ask what's how the campaign's faring thus far. We're also doing the ACC.
1. Virginia Tech. If the ACC were ancient Greece, Virginia Tech would be its Athens: a proud, functional state led by a charismatic enlightened leader which, from time to time, gets the plague, suffers damaging military defeats, and has long, punchless stretches on offense. This year's model varies slightly from the usual grappler/asphyxiator model Frank Beamer likes to trot out each year. The variations: an actual number one running back of productive nature in Ryan Williams, who takes back some of the yards given up on the other side by a rush defense that by Bud Foster's standards has spent as much time on her back as female British tourist on holiday.
The rogering has been harmless to this point, though. Tyrod Taylor has graduated from status as "ditzy, ADD-stricken scrambler of no effect" to "ditzy, sometimes fatally efficient ADD-stricken scrambler of note." Nebraska fans, look away, and the rest of you enjoy the fan screaming "Get rid of the ball you stupid piece of shi--" just at Taylor unleashes the winning throw.
VT is second in the ACC in passing efficiency thanks to the forceful run game and low red-zone percentages being put up by the defense, which is why they're lagging in total d, being (relatively) generous with yardage and stingy with points.
All you need to know about the ACC may be encapsulated in this factoid: The number one team for passing efficiency is Georgia Tech, meaning the conference remains a series of toddler offenses on tricycles jousting with with long plastic straws until someone gets poked in the eye and goes home.
The good news is that their only loss came to the number one team on our ballot, and they're number one in the league in punting average. Frank Beamer only cares about one of these when he goes home to relax by firing up the bellows, putting on his smithing gear, and cranking out his favorite Christmas gift, a pound of freshly hammered and cooled coat rack hooks. It's not the loss to Alabama, and we both know it.
(BTW: it sucks being friends with a blacksmith of limited skills. You think you're going to get a honed katana or some shit like that, but noooooo, it's all nails, fishhooks, and coat rack hooks for you. Um, we mean "Thanks for the eight pounds of crooked nails, Uncle Roy." )
2. Miami. It's nice having the U kind of back, much like the world is cooler with actual live wolves and alligators thriving in the wild, as long as they don't run into your yard snatching children and jumping on your trampoline. They listen to Spongebob! They beat the hell out of Georgia Tech! They have the official endorsement of a squarepanted animated mogul!
The most colorful team in a league of blandishments certainly deserves a welcome back to the land of the living, and a customary lap dance/drink combo of their choice. (It will be thick Tisha over there, for sure, and the drink will be a mojito. ) Jacory Harris has been a revelation, and for the most part an icy, unflappable signal-caller and fashion icon all in one convenient, well-barbered package.