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ACC Roundup - Harrell No Longer Louisville Captain, But Why?

A weird wrench tossed in the works

Montrezl Harrell is no longer captain at Louisville, but Rick Pitino says it's no big deal.
Montrezl Harrell is no longer captain at Louisville, but Rick Pitino says it's no big deal.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Wow, check this out: it's not clear whether this is voluntary or forced - we'd guess voluntary - but Louisville's Montrezl Harrell is no longer a captain. Rick Pitino says it doesn't matter, but how can it not? That's such a weird move for an important player. Stay tuned on that one.

Here's a puzzle: Syracuse, by common agreement, and this includes Jim Boeheim, is off its usual standard this year. The Orangemen have lost to a terrible Michigan team, barely beat Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech and lost to Clemson.

Wednesday's ACC Action
Teams Times TV
UNC @ Wake Forest 7:00 ESPN2
Schools Conf W-L Conf PCT W-L PCT
Virginia 5-0 1.00 17-0 1.00
Notre Dame 5-1 .833 17-2 .895
Syracuse 5-1 .833 14-5 .737
North Carolina 4-1 .800 14-4 .778
Duke 4-2 .667 16-2 .889
NC State 4-2 .667 13-6 .684
Louisville 3-2 .600 15-3 .833
Pitt 3-3 .500 13-7 .650
Miami 2-2 .500 12-5 .706
Clemson 2-4 .333 10-9 .526
Florida State 2-4 .333 10-9 .526
Wake Forest 1-4 .200 9-9 .500
Virginia Tech 0-4 .000 8-9 .471
Boston College 0-5 .000 8-9 .471
Georgia Tech 0-5 .000 9-8 .529
Tuesday's Results
Syracuse 69 Boston College 61

The 'Cuse is also down two big men.

So how can this team be 5-1 in the ACC?

Easy: the unbalanced schedule.

So far, Syracuse has played both Techs, FSU, Clemson and BC - and two of the wins were one point wins.

Compare that to Georgia Tech. The Yellowjackets opened with Notre Dame, Syracuse, Wake, Notre Dame (again), Pitt and get Virginia next.

Not surprisingly, Tech is 0-5. Playing Notre Dame twice within four games doesn't seem fair - nor does getting UNC twice in the last four games of the regular season.

Syracuse has nothing close to that.

In fact, Syracuse won't even see a ranked conference opponent until the end of January (UNC on the 26th).

Obviously you can't predict how things will go or who will (or won't) be ranked. But this is just stupid.

Look at State for another example.

The Pack has seen Wake Forest and Pitt at home, then a road trip to #2 Virginia, then played then #2 Duke, before heading over to Chapel Hill to play then #15 UNC.

There has to be a way to do this better, and this is it: stack the home-and-homes at the end and play all the one-off games up front. You'll get the rematches at the end, instead of at random points in the season.

With the one-off games, home court has to switch every year and it's impossible to know if, say, State would be ranked next winter. So you do the shedules as fairly as possible.

Still, 5-1 is a gift Syracuse hasn't really earned.

Even with payback on the mind after last year's loss to BC sent the 25-0 Orange to 25-1, Syracuse struggled to put away an 8-9 team: BC was within six with a minute left.

BC is a vastly improved team which is unfortunately in a vastly improved conference: the Eagles have lost five out of seven.

How do you define chutzpah? Here's one handy technique: just a day after confirming the hire of Gene Chizik as Defensive Coordinator, with all the accusations of cheating from his time at Auburn,  UNC tells the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that "Carolina accepts full responsibility for the wrongdoing, has apologized repeatedly and forthrightly to the impacted students and alumni, and will continue to monitor previous reforms and institute additional measures, wherever needed, to ensure and enhance academic integrity. While Carolina continues to take these issues very seriously and without offering excuses, it is also critical to make it clear that the Wainstein investigation, like prior investigations, found no evidence of any academic improprieties occurring since the summer of 2011, and no evidence that these academic improprieties extended beyond courses in one department in the College of Arts and Sciences."

Not to make too fine a point here, but UNC has consistently sought to minimize the extent of the damage rather than to face up to it, which is why it has had to "apologize repeatedly." It's not like it's been an unfortunate accident or something.

And while it may be true that it stopped in 2011, saying that it was limited to "one department" is like saying that Bernie Madoff only stole from investors. What the hell does that mean?

It may have stopped in 2011, but the athletic department used AFAM for 18 years - that we know of.

And of course the university essentially lied to SACS, which is why SACS came back alluding to the potential for severe punishment.

Larry Fedora has a point - Chizik can make an argument that he's innocent until proven guilty, even though the NCAA is by design incapable of doing that.

But you can't say that UNC hasn't been proven guilty. Why should anything it says be taken on face value after what's gone on over there?