One reason I’ve never been big on December regular season games in college football is because the season sets up as a three act play:  “Show Me Month” is followed by “Moving Month” and then “Closing Month”.  With September in our rear-view mirror I liken the non-conference portion of the season to the pre-credits sequence of the Bond movies:  audiences get their first taste of a new effort in a way that may have nothing (Octopussy) or everything (From Russia With Love) to do with the upcoming plot… and there’s often a classic Bondian aside (from “SHOCKING” to “This never happened to the other fella”).  After one month, the area teams definitely don’t have a “Goldfinger” in their midst– but it’s likely they won’t have a “Moonraker” either.

Alma Mater Update– I’m thinking “The Man With the Golden Gun”:  fresh off a disappointing finish… instead of a reversal of fortunes it’s more of the same (poor execution, bad script) and even the stunts/trick plays can’t save a mediocre leading man (Roger Moore, Ryan Nassib).  After a week off the Orange face Pitt Friday in the team’s final Big East opener.  Perhaps it’s an accounting error, but there are three unbeatens (Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers) looming in conference play.  And still no 44 wing salute at Sign of the Whale.

Maryland– I’m feeling “For Your Eyes Only”:  bouncing back from an embarrassing effort by going back to basics.  The Terps in their 2-2 start have been hot, cold and lukewarm in the same game and even the same quarter this fall.  There are winnable games ahead  in ACC play with an optimistic ceiling of 7-5 and a pessimistic floor of 2-10.

Virginia– I’m thinking “The World is Not Enough”:  early excitement of a third effort wanes as major issues (Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist named Christmas Jones) derail what could have been something really good (upsetting Penn State).  A 44-38 loss to Louisiana Tech was made possible by a disastrous third quarter where they were outscored 21-0.  Cavalier Congrats– a season high 625 yards!  The dual threat of Perry Jones (82 yards rushing and a TD pass).  Cavalier Concerns–  Three interceptions.  Sixteen penalties. A defense that’s been overrun the last three weeks (42ppg) and allowed a momentum changing 14 play 73 yard drive to open the second half.  Next Up:  Saturday at Duke.

Virginia Tech– I’m seeing “Diamonds Are Forever”:  the return of a star (Logan Thomas/Sean Connery) and an exciting start can’t mask what is a so-so film/team… despite the special teams/effects.  The team’s 27-24 loss to Cincinnati wraps up a disappointing show me month.  Hokie Highlights– second half drives of 62, 76 and 93 yards when they needed to move the chains… a run defense that held the Bearcats to 3.2 yards a carry… and  no missed field goals or extra points.  Hokie Humblings–   how about a sluggish start that saw the team go three and out or worse on their first five possessions?  Or an underwhelming finish that saw Cincinnati drive 85 yards on 9 plays in 1:36 for the winning touchdown?  Three turnovers and 4-13 on third down didn’t help.  Next Up– Saturday at North Carolina.