New Orange Bowl Deal Taking Shape

Reports are coming out that the new ACC / Orange Bowl deal, which will take effect at the same time college football moves to the new 4-team playoff, is being finalized. In addition to the previously announced ACC representative, the reported opponent pool will consist of either Notre Dame, a B1G, or SEC team.

It is likely that the Orange Bowl will be able to select a solid opponent for the ACC from this pool of teams, but will not get it’s choice until the National Semi-final, Champions Bowl, and Rose Bowl have made their selections.  This effectively eliminates the chances of the Orange Bowl getting the SEC or B1G champs, but will be able to get the runners-up from one of those conferences so long as they don’t both place a team in the National Semi-final.  The other option would of course be Notre Dame, but there would have to be provisions that they qualify for the game with a certain number of wins.  Additionally, there could be some finagling if the Irish had played the ACC champ during the regular season to prevent a rematch.

The net result of this arrangement, if reports hold true, is that the ACC gets the best deal it could have hoped for in light of the formation of the Champions Bowl and the new playoff format.  Additionally, it effectively locks out the Big East from the Orange Bowl and leaves the conference without an agreement with a major bowl partner, relegating it to mid-major status.  However, recent reports indicate that the new postseason format could be increased to eight bowls, which leaves a glimmer of hope for the Big East to grab a piece of the postseason pie.

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

Not So Merry Land

ACC Coach of the year!
ACC Coach of the year!

On Sunday The University of Maryland learned they will play East Carolina in the Military Bowl in Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium. It seems the Terps had hopes for a better bowl game against a better opponent with better weather. You know, like somewhere warm, with amusement parks, maybe some good music, some sun and oh yeah, a football game. Uhh, yeah, not so much Ralphie. Besides, you’ll shoot your eye out.

Quotes coming out of Maryland range from “It is what it is” to “We’ve got to make the best of it”,” We’re disappointed in the process” and “We’re disappointed in the way things were determined.

Wow, violin anyone? This just in Maryland, it’s the bowl season. Until a playoff can be achieved it’s all about curious matchups based on ticket sales, TV ratings and all kinds of other crap that don’t involve actual on-field accomplishment

But I can understand where Maryland is coming from. After the Terps (8-4) beat N.C. State in the regular season finale, a fourth-place finish should have meant the fourth ACC Bowl pick or close to it. Yet the Military Bowl is the seventh pick. So in a nut shell the Champs, Sun and Music City Bowls all passed on the Terps. I also understand the University of Maryland and their fans have nobody to blame but themselves. Be better fans, period. As mentioned, Bowl representatives care about one thing; the ability for your fans to travel and spend money. And seeing is that Maryland’s season ticket sales are around 22,000 and the home attendance by all accounts are less than impressive you can understand why they got the thumbs down from the “upper-echelon” Bowls. The economy also plays a big role. Many bowl games are more prone to select schools that are regional attractions. Just ask UNC.

By contrast when ECU accepted the invite, Pirate fans were pleased just to be playing in a bowl game and thrilled to play an ACC team. The only thing some Pirate fans are begrudging is RFK Stadium. Like some, when I learned ECU was playing in D.C. I thought it would be at the new FedEx Field Stadium. Then I came to realize it’s at RFK which is basically a dump, so I’m told. Nevertheless it’s a good bowl for a 6-6 4th place C-USA team. I guess this means the Pirates will once again have the psychological advantage over an ACC foe.

TSB’s Monday Fodder

First, TSB says Congrats to Virginia Tech! Your 2010 ACC Football Champions! After a hiccup and a throw up the Hokies accumulated 11 straight victories, culminating in Tyrod Taylor’s four-touchdown performance Saturday night in a 44-33 win over No. 20 Florida State for its third Atlantic Coast Conference title in four years.

In other college football news, NC based schools got some pretty good bowl games.  NC State is going to the Champ Sports Bowl where they’ll play West Virginia, the #1 team in the Big East. Tennessee may have backed out of the series with UNC but they’re not backing out of  the Music City Bowl where this Border-Battle will be the first since 1961. And the Pirates will invade an 8-4 Maryland team in their back yard for the Military Bowl.

Continue reading TSB’s Monday Fodder

Pirates Headed To D.C.

ECU  officially accepts invitation to the Military Bowl.

ECU will be taking their offense to Washington D.C. for the Military Bowl on December 29th at RFK Stadium.  This will mark East Carolina’s 5th consecutive bowl game.

East Carolina will possibly face Boston College

The Pirates (6-6) will take on a yet to be determined opponent from the ACC. Projections range from Boston College (7-5), Clemson (6-6), Georgia Tech (6-6) or Maryland (8-4).

Georgia Tech fails to protect the shield

As if things couldn’t get any worse for ACC football, the Big 10’s #2 team beat the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl 24-14 on Tuesday night.

Iowa did what a lot of teams try to do against Georgia Tech – stack 8 in the box and dare Josh Nesbitt to win the game.  Nesbitt was a paltry 2-9 for only 13 yards, and the vaunted Tech rushing attack mustered only 140 yards.  The Jackets could never get anything going on offense and only managed one offensive touchdown the entire game.

The game turned in the 3rd quarter when the Jackets received the opening kickoff and finally put together a solid drive that ate up over 7 minutes.  But on 4th and 5 from the Iowa 24, Paul Johnson elected to kick a field goal.  The kick was wide right, and Iowa answered with a field goal for a crucial six-point swing.  Still, Tech came right back with their best drive of the night and finally punched the ball in the end zone to make it 17-14 early in the 4th.

Things got a little bizarre in the final period as Nesbitt attempted a pass on 1st down at the Tech 11, only to be intercepted.  With solid field position and a chance to add to the lead, Iowa inexplicably tried a fake field goal which was snuffed out.  On Tech’s next offensive play, Jonathan Dwyer tried to juke out of a busted play and lost 11 yards, narrowly avoiding a safety in the process.  Iowa then ground out a 63-yard touchdown drive to put the game away.

The Fox announcers noted what many football observers have often said: the triple option is fairly easy to shut down when you have time to prepare for it.  Three of the last four teams to beat GT had an extra week to prepare for the Jackets, just as North Carolina did last season when the Heels locked down Dwyer and Nesbitt for a relatively easy win.  I don’t know what is so special about the extra time, but Iowa had nearly a month and completely crushed the Tech offensive attack.

With the loss, the ACC finishes 3-4 in this year’s bowls, but more important falls to 1-9 in BCS games since 2000.  No word if the ACC will lose their automatic BCS bid to Boise State…

The Obligatory “Boise St. Sad Cowbell Girl” Video

A lesson in the power and dangers of an instant media age. During halftime of the scintillating (read: disappointedly boring) Fiesta Bowl, we got an abundance footage of the Boise St. band performing on the field which included this young lady rapping the cowbell. Her facial expression made this instant internet comedy gold as she was immediately dubbed “sad cowbell girl.”  The still shot went viral within about six minutes and naturally the photochops followed. Someone even set up a Facebook group in her…um… honor?

Well, this morning it has been revealed she is actually blind which explains why she did not react to the Fox camera being shoved in her face.  It also means everyone who made jokes at her expense will be spending eternity in hell or something. This just proves that Lee Fowler is correct. The internet is a wasteland of lawlessness and crass jokes from which nothing of value can be redeemed(rolls eyes.)

Anyway, I think the real culprit here is Fox and their almost rehab worthy addiction to shots of college bands and people in the crowd. For some reason producers at Fox thinks time between plays should be spent showing members of the bands and random fans from each school.  It happens so much it is beyond annoying, especially since they often end up showing people with goofy looks on their face.  Which is to say that it was only a matter of time before some Fox producer’s band fetish ruined someone’s life.

As for this screeshot(via Deadspin) I have no words but feel free to giggle like a sophomore in high school over the fairly obvious dirty joke.


Your bowl weekend-in-review

The new year got off to a rousing start as most of the traditional New Year’s Day and day-after bowls provided some excitement as well as some clunkers, paving the way for the ridiculous one-game-per-night lead-in for Thursday’s BCS title game.

Here is a quick recap of the weekend’s bowls:

Continue reading Your bowl weekend-in-review

Arrgghh You Serious!?

 Give me short from 45 and give and me left upright from 39
Give me short from 45 and give and me the left upright from 39

“Give me liberty or give me death”. The East Carolina Pirates got death, three times. If I went on an alcohol and steamed oyster binge over the weekend, passed out, missed the Liberty Bowl and looked at nothing but the Team Stat Comparison I would say ECU outplayed Arkansas and won the game. Only part of that is true. I did see the game and while the stats do favor the Pirates, ECU somehow managed to lose the game, twice, and that was just in regulation.

ECU played about as well has they could have against an SEC power like Arkansas. The Defense was especially stout holding one of the best offenses in the SEC to 283 total yards. ECU’s D also held Arkansas to zero 3rd down conversions in 13 attempts making the Razorbacks the second major college team this season to win without converting a third down.

Now why we’re at it let’s go down the stat list, offense included and see where the Pirates prevailed; 1st downs, check. Total yards, check. Passing, check. Rushing, check. Penalties, check. 3rd down conversions, check. Time of Possession, check. That leads us to TURNOVERS and they are a killer. I thought going into this game it would be ECU who would need the turnovers and intangible play to win but it ended up being the Razorbacks who would capitalize on Pirate blunders for their plunder. Patrick Pinkney through a pair of interceptions in the 3rd quarter, one I dubbed a “Pickney six” which allowed Arkansas back into the game. But it wasn’t the turnovers that ultimately sank the Pirates; it was two go ahead game winning missed field goals late in the fourth and another in OT that ECU could not overcome. For the Pirates the booted football in those attempts was liberty and the wind was tyranny. For Arkansas, the opposite; a 37-yard field goal with the wind in overtime gave the Razorbacks the 20-17 victory and the Liberty Bell was theirs.

Be that as it may,  the “meaningless” bowl games are behind us and once again we should all fight so that the real tyranny that is the Bowl Championship Series finally blow away once so we shall have playoff liberty for all.

New Year’s Day Bowl Guide

Happy New Year everyone. Traditionally today is one full of fabulous college football, sort of like the first two days of the NCAA Tournament with so many games to choose from.  Except money and the BCS ruined that so all the great bowls are spread out over a week. That means there will only be five actual bowl games today and five more on Saturday. The Fiesta Bowl on Monday, the Orange Bowl on Tuesday and the BCS Championship on Thursday. Yeah it sucks because when you get Thursday it is really difficult to care anymore.  Anyway, I am not sure what New Year’s Day traditions you have but I will be taking down Christmas decorations and making chili. Here are your games.

Continue reading New Year’s Day Bowl Guide