ACC Football: Week 2 Previews

Boston College (0-1, 0-1) vs. Maine (0-0)

One of Maine’s numerous live black bear mascots (used until 1966).

Random mascot facts: Maine’s first mascot was…an elephant. And it was “borrowed” from a clothing store in Bangor, Maine (per Maine’s official website; additional research suggests it was actually stolen). In 1914, an animal collector loaned the football team a black bear cub. Since the cub made the crowd go “bananas” when it stood on its head, the nickname stuck. It’s all fun and games until that cub grows up and eats everyone. But fortunately, the last live bear was used in 1966 (Cindy Bananas).

Prediction: Boston College, 44-20. Maine will open their 2012 season this weekend, and the Black Bears were 21st in the FCS preseason poll. The Black Bears went 9-4 last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. Boston College showed an explosive offense last week, which was a surprise after last season’s struggles. But the Eagle defense sorely missed last year’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly as they let Miami move the ball at will.

Clemson (1-0) vs. Ball State (1-0)

Nightmare fuel.

Random mascot facts: Ball State used to be known as the “Hooserions”. There was a contest to change the name and a Ball State professor, who liked the St. Louis Cardinals, won. The rest is history. He’s known as Charlie Cardinal, and at least half the pictures that came up in a Google image search were him with attractive young ladies or sitting down, relaxing. Mascot life.

Prediction: Clemson, 59-17. Clemson really needed that 26-19 opening win over Auburn for a lot of reasons. The defense showed up and the offense did what it had to without star wideout Sammy Watkins, who was suspended for the first two games. The Tigers will still be fine without him this week. Ball State beat Eastern Michigan 37-26 last weekend, and while the Cardinals have been a scrappy bunch in recent years, they likely won’t even scare Clemson.

Florida State (1-0) vs. Savannah State (0-1)

Another tiger mascot. Sigh.

Random mascot facts: Savannah State uses a tiger as its mascot, as do seemingly 572,000 other schools. Not many exciting facts about their mascot history, but their colors are burnt orange and reflex blue. For some reason, printers really hate reflex blue.

Prediction: Florida State, 73-3. Those poor Tigers. At least they’ve likely subsidized their entire athletic department in the last two weeks with a trip to Oklahoma State (and an 84-0 beatdown) preceding this one. OSU was favored by (and covered) a 67.5-point spread, making Savannah State the biggest underdog ever. Not anymore, though: this week, Florida State is favored by 70.5 points. Yikes.

Georgia Tech (0-1, 0-1) vs. Presbyterian (1-0)

What? It’s a blue hose!

Fine.

Random mascot facts: The Blue Hose mascot (Blue Hoe?) is a dream for this mascot aficionado. The nickname has been around since the early 1900’s, when sportswriters started calling Presbyterian athletes the “Blue Stockings” because of their blue socks. In headlines, they shortened “stockings” to “hose”. In 1954, Presbyterian officially shortened it to “Blue Hose” because – per former PR man Ben Hay Hammett – they were “under the assumption that it sounded somewhat fiercer to carry onto the field of athletic battle.” Can’t make this stuff up.

Prediction: Georgia Tech, 65-13. Georgia Tech acquitted itself well in a Monday night loss in Blacksburg. But this week, they’ll have a much easier time. You know, because Presbyterian didn’t have over a week to prepare. (Narrative alert.) Why I would somehow think Presbyterian could score a touchdown on Georgia Tech when Virginia Tech made it seem nearly impossible, I don’t know. But that’s just ACC football. But Presbyterian did beat Brevard 45-10 last weekend. So that happened.

Maryland (1-0) at Temple (1-0)

Sometimes, you just need a funny picture of an owl.

Random mascot facts: Temple briefly had a live owl mascot named “Owliver” that was donated to them by the University of Missouri in 1931. They had to donate it to the Philadelphia Zoo, and it did in 1947 supposedly from “injuries from another owl”.

Prediction: Temple, 33-13. Had Maryland blown out William and Mary and/or Temple had struggled with Villanova, maybe I’d feel better about the Terrapins coming into this game. Alas, neither happened: Temple pounded Villanova 41-10 and Maryland very narrowly escaped William and Mary, 7-6. This is going to be a very long year for Maryland.

Miami (1-0, 1-0) at No. 21/20 Kansas State (1-0)

Straight from the files of “Bad Mascot Ideas.”

Random mascot facts: There are bad ideas in mascot history. And then there is Kansas State’s adventure with EcoKat, a human/cat hybrid that was invented to help spread the green message. But it was so unpopular in social media forums that it went away. One of the rare times Twitter can actually cause change.

Prediction: Kansas State, 41-24. Miami had a nice win at Boston College last weekend, but the Wildcats pounded Missouri State 51-9 at home and frankly, they are the superior team. The Canes are young and will get better as the season goes, but it’s too much to ask for them to beat an experienced, top-25 team on the road right now.

Virginia (1-0) vs. Penn State (0-1)

The Nittany Lion in 1922 (yes, it’s a person in a lion suit, in case there was any confusion).

Random mascot facts: Penn State’s mascot, a Nittany Lion, was essentially invented when Penn State was playing Princeton in football in 1904. Joe Mason, a player on the football team, were shown a statue of the Princeton Tiger. On the spot, he came up with a made-up animal that could overpower that tiger – a Nittany Lion.

Prediction: Virginia, 27-13. This game hardly seemed like a sure thing for the Cavaliers until last week, when Penn State lost 24-13 for the first time in a home opener to a non-BCS team since 1967. To Ohio. The Bobcats are no cupcake, but it’s Penn State. The Nittany Lions didn’t score in the second half, and they actually led 14-3 at the half. Virginia’s offense, which put up 545 total yards last weekend, should be able to do more than enough to outscore a putrid Penn State offense.

Virginia Tech (1-0, 1-0) vs. Austin Peay (0-1)

Seriously. It’s our cheer.

Random mascot facts: Even though Austin Peay was named for a governor of Tennessee, the athletic teams were known as the Normalities or Warriors until 1937 when the Governors was adopted, “probably was a tribute to Governor Austin Peay”. Uh, right.

(Oh, and click here for this awesomeness from Virginia Tech blog The Key Play. You’re welcome.)

Prediction: Virginia Tech, 48-7. Austin Peay lost 49-10 at Western Kentucky last weekend. And Virginia Tech’s offense should be much better this week than it was against a surprisingly stout Georgia Tech defense. The Virginia Tech offense desperately needs to get in sync, and quickly, though. Wide receiver D.J. Coles tore his ACL and is out for the season, but Corey Fuller and Demetri Knowles both stepped up and made plays down the stretch.

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