BCS Shake-Up: The 2009 McGintey Very Dangerous People Slingshot Award Nominees

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIIJuly 20, 2009


The McGintey Very Dangerous People Award is the statuette of a slingshot (reference: David and Goliath) given to the non-BCS team that does the best at making life miserable for a BCS team.

The award is named for Jimmy McGintey, the head coach played by actor Gene Hackman in the motion picture The Replacements. You may recall—the players strike was ending at midnight, the replacements had no tomorrow, and were playing a team of professional stars who all crossed the picket line. Jimmy proclaimed that his replacements were therefore “very dangerous people!”

Of course, you know how the film ended.

The best non-BCS teams are chosen based on the key matchups which are a disadvantage to the BCS team. For example, the 2008 winner, Cal Poly of San Luis Obispo, brought its speed to Madison and took a slower Wisconsin down to the wire.

The nominees for the 2009 McGintey Very Dangerous People Slingshot are:

  • Florida Atlantic of the Sun Belt Conference, with its double chance at Nebraska in Lincoln (September 5) and South Carolina in Columbia (September 19)—two matchups here: a) wily veteran FAU head man Howard Schnellenberger versus any coach, including Steve Spurrier, and b) experience and speed in the FAU defensive backfield against new quarterbacks and wideouts with both the Huskers and the Gamecocks.
  • Elon of the FCS Southern Conference driving fifty miles west to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest (September 19)—the Phoenix brings back twenty starters; the Demon Deacons twelve. Of that dozen, Wake Forest returns four offensive linemen and a full backfield.  Elon fans, however, will travel well to watch their charges match speed for speed, especially at wideout versus d-backs. Look for lots of points, as Elon must outscore Wake Forest to make it a long afternoon for the Deaks.
  • Marshall of Conference USA hopping on the bus for the four hour trip up I-79 to Morgantown to face West Virginia (October 17)—This is the rivalry between the state’s only FBS schools.  The Herd has never beaten the Mountaineers on the gridiron. This year, however, Marshall has their best chance to steal one. The Thundering Herd’s defensive line is outstanding while West Virginia’s o-line leaves much to be desired. Marshall is also strong on the corners, allowing the safeties to blitz as well as setting up the possibility for coverage sacks. A low score will be in MU’s favor.
  • Richmond of the FCS Colonial League traveling to Durham to face Duke (September 5)—This ain’t basketball. The Spiders will give the Blue Devils arachnophobia with their winning tradition and their sixteen returning starters. Duke has some experience on both sides of the ball, but they will have a difficult time handling Richmond’s passing attack. Also, Duke is used to losing. That affects a team late in the fourth as the Devils will be spent after chasing the Spiders’ wideouts all day.

The winner will be announced on Sunday, October 18. Good luck to all.