Welcome to the latest edition of Bourbon Shots, where this week ECU would stand for East Carolina University and Expanding Conferences Update. First of all, I want to thank all of you who answered the call for writers from earlier this week. We should have some site-related news soon.
The big news this week in college football is the impending move/non-move/lawsuit/fustercluck of Texas A&M to the SEC. A&M and the SEC thought they they had their ducks in a row allowing the Aggies to become the league's 13th member without anything getting in the way. Then this happened:
Will Baylor actually be able to prevent A&M from joining the SEC? My money's on 'no,' though anyone who claims to have any true insight into this situation is peddling fool's gold. Conference expansion has taken so many twists and turns in the last 15 months that I wouldn't surprised by almost any conclusion to the A&M subplot.
What I am fairly sure of is that the end game will result in 16-team mega-conferences. Not this year, probably not next year, maybe not three years from now, but I think eventually it's going to happen. So while the SEC waits on Texas A&M and the Pac-12 negotiates with (if you believe the reports) any combination of OU/OSU/KU/KSU/TT/UT to expand to 16, why are conferences like the ACC and Big East standing around and twiddling their thumbs?
I think the ACC is the right home for Virginia Tech, but I'd like to see it start being proactive instead of reactive. It seems like since adding VT, Miami and BC, the league's other members are hesitant to do anything else to upset the apple cart. Maybe they have good reason to be that way, but if they stand around and wait to see what's going to happen, they run the risk of losing out in college sports' game of Global Thermonuclear War. This league tipped the first domino not too long ago. Why stop now?
It's a pipe dream at this point because everyone's just going to wait and see what the SEC does, but I'd like to see the ACC try to add West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse and Connecticut and go to 16. Then it could divide the conference into true North and South divisions and make everything less confusing. Plus, the four North Carolina schools would be in the same division and could all play each other twice in basketball every year. Then maybe they'd shut up about how much better things were before expansion (Spoiler: They wouldn't shut up).
Of course, that won't happen because Boeheim and Calhoun wouldn't be caught dead in the ACC.
Did I write all of that just so I could post the GIF of the bear? Yes, yes I did. On to the links.
Fans far from ACC country can see Virginia Tech on TV (Mark Berman)
Hokie fans are already reaping the benefits of league's new TV contract. The syndicated ACC Network game is available on TVs outside of the ACC for the first time, including places like Tulsa and Oakland. Next week, Tech will again be on FSN/CSN, again as a result of the new contract.
Beamer's extension is a bargain for the Hokies (Aaron McFarling)
The other thing that happened last Saturday was Frank Beamer signing a contract extension through 2016. That year, Beamer will join the athletics department as an adviser, though that doesn't necessarily mean he'll stop coaching then. Beamer will be 70 when the new contract expires and I, for one, think that this might be his last extension.
Injury Report (Sean Bielawski)
Bielawski has this week's injury report: "Injury report for Saturday's game against East Carolina: Out for season: DT Kwamaine Battle (knee). Probable: LB Telvion Clark (ankle), WR D.J. Coles (shoulder), FS Theron Norman (shoulder) and RT Michael Via (left knee)."
The Week (The A-Line)
Jim is enjoying this week leading up to the ECU game. The Hokies are finally back on the field and he gets to lurk on his favorite message board. He reports on the week that was in the ACC and ECU's IMMINENT move to the Big East.
#11 Virginia Tech @ ECU - The Edge (Hoist The Colours)
Our friend Stephen from Hoist the Colours breaks down the key match-ups in this week's game. He gives the Hokies a big edge in the run game, writes that neither team really has an edge in the passing game. I tend to agree. ECU's only saving grace on D is that it has a fine pair of cornerbacks and we know all about the Hokies' secondary.
World regions inspires students (Collegiate Times)
I've heard a lot about this World Regions class on The Twitter since class resumed at Tech. Here's an in-depth story on the class and why it would be able to fill almost a third of Cassell Coliseum (and beyond if they let that many sign up for it).