NC State steps into the ACC spotlight today, first at noon with the
announcement of Chuck
Amato as their new football coach. Formerly of FSU, of course, where
he is fresh off a national championship. Thus continues the Florida takeover of
ACC schools, as obviously FSU, but now Duke, Clemson, and NC State boast former
Florida or FSU coaches. If Torbush had been fired, then there was a Bowden
available for UNC. FSU has gone through the ACC like Patton through France, but
NC State football ain't exactly the 3rd Army. He could do a great job
there, and it would be cool if he did, but FSU is a football lover's paradise.
It'll be tough to replicate that at State. Eddie Landreth has an article on
football, which is precisely on target - what sense does it make to import
football ringers when our own football generally sucks - and when the 9 schools
here already make a King's Ransom? He rips George Welsh for his statement
this summer that the ACC should, in essence, kill the golden goose of basketball
because football keeps laying eggs, and suggests that maybe George should win a
few on his own. Sounds fair to us, and we say keep it comin' Eddie. Great
In the other big news of the day, State hosts Maryland in what could be
a breakthrough game for the Pack - or the Terps. Here's
the spin from Terptown, aka Maryland. This is the first ACC game for State
in the new barn, and there is a big tradition to uphold. We'll see how the
Pack folk do, but our suspicion is the crowd will hold up their end of the
deal. Also, you may remember last year there were reports that Williams
left the floor and flipped the bird at the students, saying "f**k you!
That's five straight! F**k you!" We got that in e-mail from a reader at the
game, and there was a mention of it in the N&O also. So State fans may
be a bit fired up. They better hope the team is, too.
It's a big game, and whoever wins is going to go a long ways towards
establishing themselves this season. State is counting
on defense. They are especially targeting Steve Blake, but Drew
Nicholas might surprise them.
Of course, Maryland AD Debbie Yow is likely celebrating the 20 million clams
she just raised after selling
the naming rights to Maryland's new arena to Comcast. Since Duke is
generally believed to have the greatest homecourt arena, and certainly the most
publicized, anyone ever wonder what the naming rights to Cameron would go for?
Like if they named it something like the IBM Cameron Indoor Arena? Or the
Mercedes Cameron Indoor Stadium? Then they could market the floor as maybe the
Coca-Cola floor at Cameron.
That's just nonsensical meandering. We're not suggesting nor endorsing it.
But when that kind of money floats around, people are going to consider such
things, even if only in fleeting thoughts.
In the undercard tonight, UNC takes on Clemson. The game actually starts at
8, but the marquee matchup is clearly State-Maryland. Clemson continues,
and will likely extend, one of the most bizarre streaks in college basketball
history, going 0-forever in Chapel Hill. Charlie Brown never kicked the football
in 50 years. Clemson has never in Chapel Hill in all that time. Carolina
fans must look at their calendar and just pencil this one in every year.
Gut's right though, it is an anomaly. For 36 of those 45 years, Dean Smith
was in charge, and the only chance Clemson had was when he first got there, and
of course then hoops was a joke at Clemson. At some point they'll win. But if
it's this year, we fear for Gut's safety, because UNC fans will want his
Lang is concerned that the Heels are playing soft, or that people think they
are, and if he has to whack Brendan Haywood in the back of the head to fire him
up, then so be it. Haywood has gotten a lot of press this year. Here's an
mentions DBR and our Haywood Watch. It's weird to read about yourself on other sites. We have had fun with this, and
we hope to have fun with everything we do, but we also do try to be reasonably fair, and lately, as noted, Haywood is on a tear.
Folks in Clemson don't typically despair over basketball, least of all when
football is notching back up, so while other ACC coaches are starting to worry
about bids (and jobs), Clemson is mostly discussing spring football and Chad
Elliott, and so the streak
isn't as big a concern there as it is on Tobacco Road. Clemson is struggling
through a ton of injuries, so don't hold your breath tonight.
Meanwhile, in Winston, little Davey Odom
is working up a big head of steam over his team's play. We don't say that
disparagingly, but the fact is he is a little guy and people used to call him
little Davey. Well little Davey has a huge willpower and he's applying it
now to his team, so don't be surprised if Wake comes out playing next time like
a cat with a bad hangover, snarling and scrapping at whoever is close
And in Atlanta, Tech
came close against Kentucky, just like they came close against Stanford. Not
close enough, but close enough to get our attention and, we suspect, the
attention of ACC coaches as well.