Dabo Wins Bobby Dodd Award

Wow.  Dabo Swinney was just named the Bobby Dodd Coach of the YearHeather Dinich has a good piece up at ESPN bringing to light some of Swinney’s accomplishments this year.  When you look at these together, it helps explain why he was the unanimous winner of the natty in coaching.

  • Clemson’s first 10 win season in 21 years (1988 under Danny Ford, who is the last Clemson coach to win the Bobby Dodd in 1981 when Clemson went 12 – 0 and won the mythical natty.
  • First ACC title in 20 years (1991 under Ken Hatfield)

Clemson, which has been basically all hype, no substance the past two decades is due for a comeupance.  If they can beat west Virginia in the Orange Bowl they should practically feel the boost in recruiting.  Clemson becoming a force again would be perfect timing for the ACC, and great for college football in general.  Congrats to Coach Swinney, now go get a W in your meaningless football game, the ACC needs some wins.

Stories of the Year

So what sports stories, events, games, scandals and other happenings stick out in your mind from 2011? There are plenty of things to choose from, here are some  of the headliners from the Big 3, the ACC, and outside the ACC.  That is the thing with sports and being a sports fan, there is always something happening…

Continue reading Stories of the Year

Ranking the FBS

I know that most who frequent this space have long moved on to basketball, but I saw an interesting post over on Pre-Snap Read ranking all 120 FBS schools so far this season.  With only a handful of games yet to play, this is probably as close as it’ll get to a final assessment of the programs.

This is interesting, mostly because I can’t imagine taking the time to independently rank all 120 FBS programs (what’s the point?), but also because it gives an nice broad view of ACC & local FBS teams… I’ve extracted their rankings below:

5. Virginia Tech (11-1, 7-1)
21. Clemson (9-3, 6-2)
24. Florida State (8-4, 5-3)
29. Virginia (8-4, 5-3)
30. Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3)
48. Wake Forest (6-6, 5-3)
49. N.C. State (7-5, 4-4)
53. Miami (Fla.) (6-6, 3-5)
56. North Carolina (7-5, 3-5)
84. East Carolina (5-7, 4-4)
89. Boston College (4-8, 3-5)
101. Duke (3-9, 1-7)
104. Maryland (2-10, 1-7)

A few questions, if I may?

Is Wake really the best team in the state in 2011? (zomg, state champs?!)

Is Duke really not the worst team in the ACC in 2011?

Is the Big East really going to dig down to the 84th best team in 2011 to bolster their membership? (can you say, bye-bye BCS AQ status?)

Assessment:

The ACC isn’t very good at football.  But the good news is they’re not as bad as they seem, just about a half dozen OOC wins away from stepping up their national perception.  The rest of the good news is that most of the conference is trending up or treading water, so it might be on the cusp of legitimacy… right before Pitt & Syracuse come in to drag it down again, le sigh.

It Could Happen…but probably wont

After that wild college football weekend, the BCS Top 5.

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Arkansas
  4. Oklahoma State
  5. Virginia Tech

Earlier this season I thought Clemson would be the ACC’s hope for a shot at the BCS Championship game. Two road losses later, including a complete beatdown from NC State, all of that is out the window. There will not be an at-large BCS bowl bid for the ACC once again.  So with only once BCS team in the mix, what will happen?

The only national title hope for the ACC now is Virginia Tech, and it would take another BCS meltdown weekend for that to happen…

LSU, would have to lose to Arkansas on Friday. Then the Razorbacks (who have a weaker strength of schedule than Boise State) would have to lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship.

Alabama, who might not even win their own division, would have to lose at Auburn. It could happen. Iron Bowl. War Eagle.

Oklahoma State would have to lose to Oklahoma in the Bedlam game in two weeks. Again, it could happen.

Also in the way, the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers beat FSU in Tallahassee to set up a showdown for the ACC Coastal division. So we could be stuck with have a Clemson vs Virginia ACC Championship Game.  Plenty of scenarios and what ifs, how do you think it will finally turn out?

Also, Miami has decided to turn down a bowl bid.

 

 

NC State Continues To Own UNC-CH

The NC State Wolfpack defeated the UNC-CH Tarheels by a score of 13 – 0 at Carter Finley Stadium on Saturday.  The score does not depict how badly the Tarheels were over-matched by their neighbors in West Raleigh, however.  This was the first time that the Pack has shutout the Heels since 1960.

The best stat I have seen from this game is that with something like five minutes to go in the second, State had more points (10) than the Heels had total yards (9).  State basically ran the clock out the entire second half, and in doing so won its fifth straight time against their non-rivals.  The flagship could only muster three total rushing yards the entire game, to go along with a paltry 162 passing yards.  The Pack’s offense did not fare that much better, throwing for only 164 yards and gaining just 290 total yards.

It was a defensive fare to say the least, and it will be interesting to watch these two squads finish out the season.  NC State still needs two more wins to become bowl eligible, while UNC-CH has already achieved that status.  While I previously said that State does not deserve to go to a bowl game, it looks likely that they could make it to one with just BC, Clemson and Maryland standing in the way.

The bad news for Wolfpack fans is that there is no love lost between BC and State, nor is there between the Pack and the Turtles.  Oh, and Clemson is pretty damned good too.  So if State does indeed win two of their last three, I will have no issues with them going to a bowl game, or with Tom O’Brien keeping his job.  If they do not make a bowl game, however, that 5 – 0 record against the USS-Tarheels will not be enough to save him.

Another great thing about this game, from a Wolfpack perspective, is that now even redshirt Seniors at UNC-CH have no idea what it feels like to beat NC State in football.

Box score is here.

TOB Adds Some Jet Fuel

Well that did not take long.  NC State’s Tom O’Brien fired back at Everett Withers after practice today:

As far as the flagship, here was a guy (Withers) who was on a football staff that ends up in Indianapolis.” He went on to say, “You have an agent on staff, you are paying players & you have academic fraud. That’s a triple play.

More on the academics:

At our school, number one, all classes have a syllabus. Our guys go to school, they are not given grades, and they graduate.

It should be noted that real graduation rates for the TOB era at NC State are not available, as he is in his 5th year at the school.

Quotes taken from WRAL Sports Fan, which also has the audio of both the Withers and TOB rants.

Withers Throws A Log On the Fire

Everett “Freaking” Withers.  Someone better check his medications, because something is not right when less than a week removed from having your AD in front of the NCAA defending your program’s infractions that involve academics, you probably should not be spouting off about your rival’s academics.  Just saying.

Withers was on with our man Joe Ovies at 99theFan and said this:

When you have as many schools in this state as we have, and the recruiting base gets watered down a bit, I think the kids in this state need to know the flagship school in this state,” Withers said.

“They need to know it academically. If you look at our graduation rates, as opposed to our opponent’s this week, graduation rates for athletics, for football, you’ll see a difference. … If you look at the educational environment here, I think you’ll see a difference.

Slow down, big guy.  It might not be the best idea to give a team that was brutally embarrassed last weekend more bulletin board material heading into what is already their most circled date on the calendar.  Withers went on to question why NC State would be more motivated to play them than they are to play anyone else.  Hey, Coach, look inside your own mouth and you will see some reasons for that extra motivation.
I am not here to defend NC State’s academics, but last time I checked they did not have tutors writing papers for players, or players blatantly copy and pasting off the Googles and the Internets and passing it off as their own work.  Need I even mention that NC State is not the University that had its own “honor court” miss this in their “review”?  If I am a UNC-CH coach, I am not mentioning academics right now.  Period.

Is Clemson the ACC’s only hope?

Coming into the college football season, Florida State and/or Virginia Tech were going to put the ACC back on the football map. The Seminoles were a top 5 team, and there was even talk of maybe the ACC could somehow get two teams in the BCS this year (if the stars all aligned correctly)….

Well, five weeks in and there is one team carrying the ACC banner into the BCS and maybe even an outside shot at the BCS Championship game (again, see: stars, alignment) and that team is Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers!

Clemson is undefeated and the only ACC team in the top 10. They are number 8 in both polls. They seem to have the makeup of a championship team.  The Tigers have three straight wins over top 25 teams, defending champs Auburn, Florida State, and then they went to Blacksburg and beat the Hokies.  They have a chance to run the table with two games left against teams currently ranked in the top 25.  The big “showdown” will be on October 29 when they travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech.  The two teams could meet again in the ACC Championship game, which means they would have to beat them twice to get to the BCS.

Three of their last four games are on the road, finishing with South Carolina.

So it wont be easy. Clemson is the hot team of the moment, but it always seems like they are the hot team early on and then they go lay an egg against someone like…Boston College, who they happen to play on Saturday. The best thing for the ACC might be for Clemson to run the table, and then see what happens.

Use The Force.

FOOTBALL!

Its time to matriculate the ball down the field.

College football officially kicks off on Thursday with the higly anticipated match up of Murray State vs. Louisville.  Two ACC teams also start the season on Thursday, Georgia Tech hosts Western Carolina and Wake Forest plays Syracuse…

Continue reading FOOTBALL!