ACC Ref Not Confident in VaTech vs. Michigan

Submitted by jonvalk on December 30th, 2011 at 11:30 PM

So, apparently, ESPN asked officials from the different conferences to give an analysis on the teams playing in the BCS games.  You can find the article here (disclaimer: Insider needed). It was refreshingly candid (assuming due to anonymity) and the ACC official was very blunt in his assessment of how Michigan stacks up against VaTech.

''Clearly, they struggle with dynamic quarterbacks. Clemson exposed that twice. If Michigan lets Robinson do his thing, it could mean big problems very early. And what else did Clemson teach us? If you stretch a lead, Tech isn't the kind of team that can come back. They need to keep it close and let Wilson do his thing. I don't see that happening."

Heck of an endorsement for the Wolverines coming from a guy who's seen this Hokie team often.  I can't wait for Tuesday!


Go Blue!



December 31st, 2011 at 8:35 AM ^

I feel that it's simply having spent many years watching Michigan teams that should win handily come ill-prepared, play tight, play without condifence, play down to their opponent (not that VT has "down" to play to), and so on. That kind of history makes pessimists out of many of us. Plus, my wife claims that Michigan fans have some kind of genetic predisposition to take on a slough of despond attitude, so it must be a nature and nurture double whammy. 

Makes it hard to emotionally experience what we say: "We're Michigan," and all that.


December 31st, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

is our 15-21 record in bowls since January 1970. Many of those losses have been to teams ranked lower than we were at the time. Virtually all of our losses have been to teams that the large majority of UM fans were confident we'd beat like a drum, so I'm not going to take anything said by an ACC official as anything other than a trap, to get the Wolverines relaxed and off their game.


December 31st, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

Sometimes, teams just come to play. They have something to prove.  This was the case when UM played Iowa earlier this year, and, to a certain extent, MSU as well.

I would not be surprised to see Virginia Tech come out of the gate with a ton of energy and emotion.  They'll be pissed off that everyone has been saying they don't belong in the Sugar Bowl and they'll be out to prove them wrong.  It sounds cliche but in a sport that relies so heavily on momentum, it's been proven that a team with a chip on its shoulder can provide a togher than expected matchup.

Fortunately, a few mistakes can deflate an emotional team very quickly.  I'm optimistic, but we'll see what happens.  Either way, from someone who had doubts of Hoke in the beginning, it's been a great season and I'm excited to see the finale.



December 31st, 2011 at 3:10 PM ^

"I feel that it's simply having spent many years watching Michigan teams that should win handily come ill-prepared, play tight, play without condifence, play down to their opponent (not that VT has "down" to play to), and so on."

Lloyd Carr isn't the coach anymore. It's OK.

SF Wolverine

December 30th, 2011 at 11:58 PM ^

by making bowl games contests that we expect to win.  Be very nice to see a focused team show up, play loose and confident, and get a convincing win.  Like Carr ended against Urban Liar's former squad. 


December 31st, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

But I think we win by 3 TDS. Call me a homer or say I am wearing Maize and Blue colored glasses but I really believe the seniors want to make a statement in their last game especially after the last 3 years they had to go through.


December 31st, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

This seems like an appropriate time to haul out the Big Ten's '70s Rose Bowl record: 1-9

Poor Bo (especially in the early '70s, when he had arguably the most talented teams in the modern UMich era) -- when equally talented teams put what seemed like thirteen guys "in the box" he didn't have an answer. Just kept trying to "establish the run" ...

And, yeah, look at Moeller's bowl record! History has not treated him well enough.


December 31st, 2011 at 3:43 PM ^

Bo, it should be noted, went 0-7 in bowls during the 1970s and 5-5 in bowls during the 1980s.    So since 1980 we're 15-14 in bowls, which is respectable given that we've often been the de facto road team.  The 1970s losing streak drags our statistics down.  


December 31st, 2011 at 6:12 AM ^

It's easier  to stretch a lead when your QB can bend normal space around him as he  runs.

Actually, I am in the same boat as others here - the adult in me says that this one could be fought down to the last possession or so, but it should be pretty entertaining regardless to watch our "resurgent" (ESPN's word in the promo) Wolverines take on what seems like a potentially dangerous Hokies team. I rather enjoyed reading analysis from someone who actually doesn't write for ESPN. 

I won't be in NOLA, but I will be wearing my beads on the sofa all the same. 


December 31st, 2011 at 7:43 AM ^

I don't think any humility or concern comes generically from age and macro experience as much as the micro experience of our past bowl performances and our recent woes that have only really come together in the last few game weeks.  We went through games where Denard was missing 25-30 yd passes by 10 yds, didn't have Toussant at the present level yet and really had no idea what kind of defense we had.  Having said that, I agree with Razor93 that not only the seniors, but all non-freshman that have experienced any part of the prior 3 years want to make a statement - especially the defense.  So, with all due humility and the past considered, I look at where this team is at RIGHT NOW and I think we have a strong chance to win and could win convincingly.   


December 31st, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

It's nice to get some respect even if it's from a ref.  But I agree with the rest of you. The college football GODS rarely show mercy on us in bowl games.  And we haven't won a bowl game comfortably since 1994. 

Part of me likes our chances but a bigger part is worried about VaTech's motivation after a whole month of hearing that they don't deserve to be in this bowl. 


December 31st, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

My non-fuzzy mind felt just a tad bit of relief when Adam Finley kicked the field goal to put us up by 8 with a couple minutes remaining but that's still a one possession game.  And Florida started driving only to be helped out more when Victor Hobson was called for a late hit out of bounds.  That put the Gators at the 27 with a little over a minute to go.

Thankfully, Ron Zook called for that end around throw which was picked off but this was by no means a comfortable win. 


December 31st, 2011 at 1:11 PM ^

Yeah, I went back and re-watched it this morning.  It honestly felt a little like the Capital One Bowl in 2008 after the 2nd quarter.  Back and forth, back and forth.  We KILLED them with screens in the fashion I'd forgotten we could do until this past year when Borges called it to perfection with Vincent Smith.  I think that game propelled Chris Perry into his beast-mode of a season in 2003.


December 31st, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

As someone who watches the ACC on the regular it gives me negative confidence that one of the refs thinks Michigan is a prohibitive favorite.  They're good for at least two facepalms and/or objects hurled at the TV per game.