- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
HARRIS: Can D.C. area give non-Redskins football the old college try?
As has been noted a couple of million times before, this area has changed quite a bit over the years. I grew up here, then left for college in 1974 and didn’t return to stay until 2011. Yeah, things have changed.
In the 2 1/2 years since I’ve returned, I have managed to figure out a lot of things about the “new” D.C. I’ve picked up some tricks about Metro (and learned, harshly, not to call it the subway). I know new ways to get to Nationals Park and Verizon Center. I’ve found many new restaurants. I can get to a dozen or so dog parks.
Yep, you can take the “Richmonder” tag off me and call me a D.C. guy again.
One thing I haven’t figured out? College football. Where does it fit in these parts? Does it fit? There doesn’t seem to be much of a buzz, but maybe I just haven’t picked up on it yet.
Maryland opened its season Saturday with an easy victory over Florida International and the Terps announced a crowd of 36,321 for a stadium that seats 54,000. Sure, Maryland has been down lately — coach Randy Edsall has a 7-18 record one game into his third season — but a program with any buzz at all fills its stadium for a season opener regardless of recent history or quality of opponent. Or at least gets a little closer to filling the joint.
It would seem, given the size of the alumni bases, that Virginia and Virginia Tech would have very big followings around here and they probably do. To do proper research for this topic, I may have to seek out a few local establishments that cater to those groups. Surely there are some Wahoo-specific and Hokie-specific bars in town? Looks like I have a project on my hands.
The feeling might be different if those three programs were as strong as they’ve been in the not so distant past.
There are those seven Maryland wins over two-plus seasons. The Terps went to bowl games seven times in 10 seasons under Ralph Friedgen.
Virginia underwent a staff shakeup after last season and Cavaliers coach Mike London (who won a national championship at the Football Championship Subdivision level at Richmond) is showing up on a lot of “hot seat” lists. He’s been 4-8 in two of his three full seasons with an 8-5 campaign in the middle.
The Cavaliers managed to beat Brigham Young in a storm-delayed opener on Saturday and face Oregon this week. Virginia plays seven of its first nine at home (and one of the other two at Maryland). Another 4-8 showing probably puts London out of a job.
Virginia Tech has easily been the best of the three lately. It hasn’t lost to Virginia since 2003. The Hokies have won all four games against Maryland since 2004. Maryland hasn’t scored more 13 points in any of them, Tech hasn’t scored less than 23.
The Hokies have been to a bowl game every season since 1993.
But there are signs of slippage at Tech, which had a staff shakeup of its own after last season. The Hokies’ 7-6 record was their worst since going 2-8-1 in 1992. It ended a streak of eight seasons with at least 10 victories. Watching the 2013 opener wasn’t very encouraging. Granted, the opponent was national champion shoo-in Alabama but the Hokies did not look good in a 35-10 loss. Every time I looked up, Alabama was returning something for a touchdown. It scored on a punt return, a kickoff return and an interception return. Alabama only gained 206 yards and scored 35 points.
Tech will likely smoke Western Carolina in its home opener Saturday. But does the Hokies’ bowl streak stay intact? As they showed last year, it doesn’t take much to get to a bowl anymore. A .500 record will do it as many of the bowls are now rewards for mediocrity.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Wizards have moved to head of D.C.'s class
- HARRIS: Bad luck or bigger omen, early returns for Nationals are troubling
- HARRIS: Masters has plenty of appeal in Tiger's absence
- HARRIS: Throwing it all away: What to do with Ryan Zimmerman?
- HARRIS: Fans get an early taste of replay's impact on baseball
Latest Blog Entries
- Gio Gonzalez living a dream by throwing bullpen sessions to ex-Yankee Jorge Posada
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.