Friday, September 19, 2008

what next?

Now that we don't have Peter Lalich to kick around any more, now what? First, we can always try and squeeze more out of the story, it's been such a joy to follow as it is. Jeff White has the most useful "GONE" article of the myriad "GONE" articles floating around out there - take from it what you will. We also get to hear a little bit o' something from Lalich's attorney, which is interesting. It does seem to place the responsibility for the decision to part ways with Lalich a little more at Craig Littlepage's feet. Which is what Littlepage said in the first place, but you never know.

There is also a little soccer fluff in today's CDP. I am wholly unconvinced that two assists in five games for Jonathan Villanueva justifes the "back on course yay!" headline, but I dunno, maybe he's playing just some stifling defense. But as the team has given up more than two goals a game, I suspect not.

Anyway, as I said.....what next? By this I mean, what on earth happens with the whole sort of general mish-mash going on at the quarterback position? There are six of them on the roster, but only three of them are scholarship guys, and all but two are freshmen. This is not ideal.

For now, we'll drop the three walk-ons (Warner Blunt, Brendan Lane, and Kyle McCartin) from the discussion. Nobody knows anything about them, and if they show up in the two-deep at any point this year then we're in deep trouble. Uh, more so than usual.

The old plan was this: Lalich plays this year and in 2010, and in 2009 we have some form of two-headed monster at quarterback when Jameel Sewell comes back for a last hurrah, hopefully like Schaub/Spinner only way better. Verica provides capable clipboard stand duty and actual ball-flinging in a pinch. Ross Metheny and Riko Smalls (who can hopefully redshirt this year) are in the running for the 2011 job.

As far as 2011 is concerned, nothing's changed. But now Verica is pressed into duty for this year and the next two, and your backup is Scott Deke, who probably didn't do anything against UConn to unseat Verica. (Though, if the team is eliminated from bowl-eligibility, Groh may elect to give the guy a courtesy start. A going-away gift for a guy who's given five years to the program and whose decision to return for a final year is now clearly very helpful to the team.) The major thing, though, is that unless there is some phenom of a recruit coming this year or next, the Metheny/Smalls intrigue starts next year in a very public forum instead of behind the scenes. In 2011, Smalls will be a senior or a redshirt junior and Metheny will be a year behind, but one of them will be third on the depth chart next year, and in 2010 they'll be battling for the backup spot. That's even assuming Sewell does indeed rejoin the team next year, and that Verica doesn't involve himself in any shenanigans.

So. Today is usually the day for the game preview, but there's no game to preview. Getting your starting quarterback kicked off the team means you lose the bye week, so there's only one thing left to look at, which is the rest of the conference. Here's the slate:

NC State vs. East Carolina, 12:00
- There's some real honest-to-God hatred here. There will be more after ECU comes into Carter-Finley and stomps the Pack.
Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi State, 12:00
- Hey, maybe the ACC can finally get a win over the SEC that doesn't manage to once again embarrass the conference.
Maryland vs. Eastern Michigan, 1:00
Clemson vs. South Carolina State, 1:00
- It's still cupcake season.
Boston College vs. Central Florida, 1:00
- The G-Knights gave USF a hard time; be on another-ugly-ACC-loss watch.
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina, 3:30
- Time to see if the Heels are for reals.
Miami @ Texas A&M, 3:30
- Five years ago when this was probably scheduled, it was a colossal matchup.
Wake Forest @ Florida State, 7:00
- FSU still thin due to academic-shenanigans suspensions, but this time they have to play an actual walking, talking football team.

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