Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So It's Come to This: Cavaliers +7 (not a typo) @ Duke

[Jump to Callbacks]

UVA Law Blog was all set to write an epic post about a matter that will surely interest everyone who loves America in our post-Foxfields-stupor: the Washington Redskins heading to down to Dallas to take on the Cowboys for the penultimate time at Texas stadium. With the Skins at +11.5 last time I checked, the upset would be a colossal one. Last time (at Texas stadium, we mean), the difference seemed to be the lack of Sean Taylor, who was recovering from injuries and would never play again. This time, it's another star defensive player - Jason Taylor - whose going to be on the bench, so that should give Dallas the edge. Still, if the rest of the Redskins defense - especially the secondary - stay healthy, it's a game that Washington can win.

Sadly, something else caught our eye. We're usually scoping Sports.com early Monday morning, looking for a weekly license to print money, so we're not sure how we missed this until a friend alerted us about it: UVA is favored to *lose* by seven points at Duke. O RLY? Just how far have the Cavaliers - who were 9-3 last year - fell from grace? (Or, as a loyal reader asks, how TTT is UVA Football this season - adding that "third tier" may be generous):

- In "real" games - that is, games against division I-A ("BCS") opponents, UVA has been outscored 97-17. When one includes a cupcake, it jumps to an impressive 97-33.

-UVA was able to eek by a win over perennial piedmont powerhouse the University of Richmond. In related news, U of R Law Sutdents also looked on to UVA Law's OGI with envy.

-UVA is 119th in Div-1-A play in total yards and 117th in rushing yards. The Cavaliers are also an impressive 118th in total points scored. There are 119 Div-1-A teams. Duke is at least 50 spots ahead in all of these categories.

-UVA's starting quarterback for the year, Peter Lalich (above), was dismissed from the team for "violating the terms of his probation" by drinking alcohol. He was on probation from an earlier offense that invovled . . . drinking alcohol. Isn't violating the terms of a probation agreement technically "cheating" and therefore a violation of the honor code, since you sign a thingy saying you won't do something and then do it? Kind of like "I swear I have not recevied any outside help on this exam?" So why isn't the honor committee taking off after Peter Lalich? Or, they could go after a lying charge. Said Lalich outside JPJ, "I have not smoked or done any drugs while on my probation.” Ooops. It's "any lying, cheating, or stealing," champ. Point: The honor code is basically (sadly) a joke. All this after the previous UVA quarterback, Jameel Sewell, decided he was "too cool for school" and simply DID NOT ENROLL in classes for entire semester. Again, classy. This is why we take Ivy League football over the ACC any day. This would never happen at a school like Cornell - who edged arch-rival Bucknell last weekend, 21-20. No players were kicked off the team in the victory, and, incidentally all are enrolled in classes. All will make progress toward their degree and virtually all will graduate - far more than can be said for Al Groh's program. Hopefully Lalich can focus on academics, since his football career appears to be over.

- The replacement, Marc Verica, went 20/32 against Big EasTTT powerhouse Conneticuit, and threw an interception. While this is not terrible, it's not great since a lot of the positive numbers came after Conneticuit had basically decided that it was not worth continuing to pull the appendages off the disable daddy-long-legs that was the Cavaliers.

- Duke has historically been really bad.

- But, UVA had a lot of trouble beating Duke at their home opener last year, and in the end, eeked out a sloppy win.

- But, again, Duke this year has shown some promise. The Blue Devils beat semi-respactable Navy and kept even-more-respectable-Northwestern to within four points. Duke's QB Lewis has 5 touchdowns and 700+yards, and the Blue Devils are 2-1. They also convincingly beat James Madison University, so pummeling people from the Commonwealth should be second nature.

-Thomas Jefferson's University ironically does not allow free speech at its stadium; the Blue Devils presumably do.

-UVA is coached by Al Groh, who . . . well, if you know, you know. Because of the previous point, fans are powerless to voice their dissatisfaction with Groh, who takes in $1.7 million dollars annually while the rest of the University is strapped for cash and raising tuition across the board. UVA Law Blog calls shenanigans on that.

How did we get here? We're talking about a team that was one game away from playing for the ACC championship last year to . . . this. We think the Hoos have a solid shot on Saturday, but it's hard to see anyone getting excited about watching the Cavaliers grind it out with Duke in any place other than JPJ.

NB: One commenter notes,

Actually, there have been many UVA football players dismissed from the team for cheating and other honor violations over the years. Sewell was probably one of them. Under FERPA, though, the school can't release that information, so you wouldn't actually know that it happened.

Fair enough, fair enough. But what about all the players who just show up for four (or five, or six years?) of workouts and fall Saturdays and have no intention to make any progress toward their degree or graduate?

Related Coverage:
UVA v. Duke Preview [ESPN]
Guys at My High School Used to Get Blown Out by Pac-10 Teams All the Time, It Was No Big Deal


Anonymous said...

Actually, there have been many UVA football players dismissed from the team for cheating and other honor violations over the years. Sewell was probably one of them. Under FERPA, though, the school can't release that information, so you wouldn't actually know that it happened.

Rule 12 (f) said...

Ah, alright. I'll put that up on the main post . . .

But what about the football players who make no progress toward their degree and have no intention of graduating?

Anonymous said...

Psst it's "Foxfield" not Foxfields - by 2L you should know this. Also, what is up with the creepy KFC advertisement on the ticket? Colonel Sanders looks like Big Brother.