Friday, October 26, 2007

ALMOST…

It sucks to be on the losing end of an Instant Classic (see: 2007 NCAA Tournament, UNC v. Georgetown), but unfortunately it is what it is. Or as our esteemed barrister said so eloquently at some point last night “you are where you were.”

And the Hokies were so very close.

For 57 minutes and 49 seconds Virginia Tech’s Lunch Pail defense dominated #2 Boston College and Heisman candidate QB Matt Ryan. The Hokies and their beleaguered offensive line and rushing game did enough to win the game. The weather was classic, the crowd in Lane Stadium at full howl (as always!), and there were even close plays to debate. There were seven fumbles, but only one turnover…

It really came down to one play – BC’s onside kick. The ball bounced off the Hokies normally sure handed Josh Morgan and took a wicked bounce right back toward the oncoming BC kick coverage team. Ryan made a spectacular play on the winning TD with 11 seconds to play.

BC 14, VT 10.

With full kudos to another classic, STRIPES: And then depression set in…

SATURDAY'S GAMES

NORTH CAROLINA @ WAKE FOREST (-7), 12:00 PM, Winston-Salem, N.C., TV: R/LF (XM 190) – It would be a great hoops game.

CLEMSON (-3) @ MARYLAND, 3:30 PM, College Park, Md., TV: ABC (XM 191) – A little surprised by the line…

VIRGINIA (-3)@ NC STATE, 4:30 PM, Raleigh, N.C., TV: ESPNU (XM 192) A lot surprised by the line…Is Philip Rivers back in Raleigh?


DUKE @ FLORIDA STATE (-18.5), 8:00 PM, Tallahassee, Fla., TV: ESPNU (XM 190) – Ah, Duke. An angry group of lions get some corn fed Christians…

THE SIREN SONG OF THE SEC

Contrary to a CBSSports.com blog report, first-year North Carolina football coach Butch Davis does not have an exit clause in his contract that would allow him to leave penalty-free for Arkansas. He expressed no interest when asked Tuesday about possibly returning to his alma mater if there is a coaching change there.

"The unfortunate thing is," he said of the report, "I did play there, my father lives there, and I've got a lot of friends there. ... But I am thrilled to be here, and I believe the program here, we've spent a great year, this first year, building stuff. And there's so many positive things going on with this program, I'm excited about the future of our program."


So would he leave for Arkansas? "I just told you, I'm thrilled to be at North Carolina," he said.

Davis signed a seven-year contract worth about $1.86 million annually in November 2006.

TRANSLATION: Davis will hold a press conference before the final game of this season to announce that he is still “thrilled to be at North Carolina,” all the while denying any and all rumors about an exit from Chapel Hill. Sometime around Thanksgiving, he will become the new head coach at Arkansas. During the inevitable press conference announcing his hiring, Davis will say he is “thrilled to be in Fayettville.”

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSIVE BACK--Mikell Simpson, Virginia, Running Back, 6-1, 197, So, Harrisburg, Pa. In his first major action of his career, Simpson exploded for 271 all-purpose yards against Maryland. Simpson picked up two touchdowns and 119 yards rushing on just 16 carries and caught 13 passes for 152 yards.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN--Thomas Austin, Clemson, Center, 6-3, 315, So., Camden, S.C. Against Central Michigan on Saturday, Austin played 69 snaps, grading out at 84 percent and leading the Tigers offense to 656 yards and 70 points.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN--Chris Long, Virginia, Defensive End, 6-4, 284, Sr., Ivy, Va. In the win at Maryland, Long had 10 tackles, including five for loss and two sacks. He also brokeup two Maryland passes and recorded a safety as the Cavalier defense held the Terps to 233 total yards on offense. With the two sacks on Saturday, Long now leads the ACC with 10 for the year.

DEFENSIVE BACK--Colin McCarthy, Miami, Outside Linebacker, 6-3, 223, So., Clearwater, Fla. McCarthy racked up 10 tackles on Saturday as the Hurricanes pulled out a tough win at Florida State.

SPECIALIST--Gary Cismesia, Florida State, Placekicker, 5-11, 205, Sr., Parrish, Fla.
In a tough loss to the Hurricanes, Cismesia came up big for the Seminoles, nailing five field goals and two PATs to keep the game close to the very end. With the five field goals, Cismesia tied his own career-high and the Florida State single-game record. He is now 13-for-16 this year, and is the league's second-leading scorer in 2007.

ROOKIE--Josh Adams, Wake Forest, Running Back, 6-0, 180, RS-Fr., Cary, N.C.
At Navy on Saturday, Adams rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries as the Demon Deacons picked up their fifth-straight victory. Adams has now posted back-to-back 100 yard rushing performances to push his season total to 495 yards on the ground, a new school record for rushing yards by a redshirt freshman. With an average of 82.5 yards per game, he now places fifth in the ACC in rushing.

WEREWOLVES OF RALEIGH

Here is the latest cartoon from Grey Blackwell. You may have to register on the News & Observer site, but it’s well worth the few minutes it will take. Stick with it to the end, even the credits are funny.

http://videos.newsobserver.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=1534915

PICTURE OF THE DAY

IT ALL GOT OFF TO SUCH A GOOD START...The mascot of the Virginia Tech Hokies leads the team onto the field at Lane Stadium to face the Boston College Eagles last night.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

TOO MUCH COMPETITION...A pair of hockey fans are surrounded by empty seats in the first period of the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks in Boston. The game time overlapped with Game 2 of the baseball World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies also being played in Boston.

At least that's the NHL's excuse.

The Bruins won their game 3-1.

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

WHO THE HECK IS Kemmons Wilson Jr.? Seem here throwing out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 2 of the 2007 World Series...

Kemmons? Wilson? Jr.? Anybody?

Didn’t think so…


FYI, his dad (now deceased) Kemmons Wilson founded the Holiday Inn hotel chain…Klemmons was a successful entrepreneur and business man before he opened the first HI in Memphis in 1952. A fateful Wilson family vacation to Washington, D.C. in 1951 changed the way that the rest of the world vacationed. Wilson was outraged at the audacity of the practices of most hotels. The basic hotel rate was about eight dollars per night. However, most hotels charged an additional two dollars per child. This additional charge would send the price of one night stay for the Wilson family to $18 a night, which was astronomical for most middle class families at the time. So, he made the decision to create his own hotel chain, and to offer families a safe, clean and affordable place to stay, setting the standard for the future of the hotel industry.

We have absolutley no idea why the younger Kemmons was tossing out the first pitch…

(Sidebar – or what some might call a Shameless Plug: On your next vacation why not stay at a Holiday Inn? We hear the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Warrenton, VA is quite nice…great owners, unbelievable marketing director!)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BEAMER MUM ON STARTING QB

Frank ain’t talking…as far as we know.

We can’t find any written word on the internet regarding who might be the starting QB when the Hokies tee it up tonight against Boston College. Of course, BC has had to prepare for two very different kinds of QBs, and we predict that, depending on game circumstances, Beamer will use both.

The Hokies remain a three point favorite according to the boys in Vegas.

(Point spread provided for informational purposes only.)

WELL, WHO HAVE THEY PLAYED?

The talk around Hokie Nation leading up to tonight’s game has centered around who undefeated and ranked #2 Boston College has played so far this season? Fact is, sans LSU or any other major power, their schedules have been similar. While Tech got chewed up and spit out down in Baton Rouge, the Eagles have already defeated Wake Forest, NCSU and Georgia Tech.

In terms of cupcakes, BC has trampled UMass, Bowling Green and Army, while the Hokies have picked on Ohio, William and Mary and Duke. Duke may be a conference win, but they are still un cup de cake. BC knocked off Notre Dame in South Bend which in any other year would be news worthy. Balancing that off, the Hokies survived ECU, but the Pirates have since lost home games to Southern Mississippi and NC State.

So all and all, we rank their schedule strength dead even save for VTech vs. LSU…However, the NCAA disagrees – ranking the Hokies 15th and the Eagles 25th. That must be the LSU factor. We don’t give the Hokies any Brownie points for the Tiger loss since it was so lopsided. The Hokies win over Clemson at Death Valley is as good as BC’s wins over Wake and Georgia Tech…now we’re splitting hairs.

Looks like these two teams are very evenly matched and it will come down to two things for the Hokies: 1) can the Virginia Tech offensive line get a ground game going against the #1 ranked rushing defense in the country and give either Taylor or Glennon time to throw? BC gives up 46.4 yards rushing PER GAME, and 1.82 yards per carry. The Eagles have given up a scant 4 rushing touchdowns in 7 games. Throw in 18 interceptions so far this year, and their D is quite formidable; and 2) can the Beamer Ball Machine that wiped out Clemson get going early and often.

Should be a great game. Lord knows, the Hokies love Thursday nights!

TODAY IN BUILDING NEWS...

Evidently a passel of legal woes hasn’t stopped former Hokie Michael Vick from shopping for new digs in South Beach. It seems as the disgraced, dog-fighting, former NFL icon has i-conned himself right into Philippe Starck’s famous high rise -- the Icon South Beach. A Miami neighbor says: "[Vick] has bought [an] apartment. Since his indictment he hasn't visited, but his brother Marcus, who was released by the Miami Dolphins and has charges of statutory rape pending, has no problem partying it up with the ladies in his brother's pad."

The Vick siblings have plenty of other sports stars with which to PAR-TAY. Evidently, Miami Heat star Duane Wade lives at the Icon, and Shaquille O'Neal, recently separated from his wife, visits a friend there frequently. In addition, Tara Reid's ex, Wayne Boiche (huh? WTF is he?), just bought a penthouse for $7.5 million.

“Hey, dudes, I bought the crib in South Beach for a reason,” said Vick the Elder. “It’s South Florida, the place is full of f*#% heads, so who’s gonna notice me?”

He might be right…

PICTURE OF THE DAY

TEQUILA? Is this what those Bean Towners mean by a wicked pissa? How much do you have to drink to make your entry into Fenway Park for the opening game of the Series look like this?

We think the sign says:

"Welcome to Fenway Park Where S#@& Is All Blurry."

(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THE WORLD SERIES is underway, and thank the good Lord that Budweiser is in the house and prominently displayed! The Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox stand at attention as the National Anthem is played before Game One of the 2007 Major League Baseball World Series at Fenway Park.

Nice socks mowed into the infield grass...

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

EVIDENTLY, this Beckett guy is good. Especially so in the playoffs. He struck out the first three batters he faced, making him the the first pitcher to do so since Juan Guzman in 1993.

Beckett also lowered his career postseason ERA to 1.73, placing him third behind Mariano Rivera (0.77 ERA) and Christy Mathewson (1.15 ERA) among pitchers who have thrown at least 70 postseason innings.

Got to love those Sox fans -- they don't know which Ks up!






(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

13 TO 1...Matt Holliday #5 of the Colorado Rockies looks bummed, and well he should after striking out in last night's game. After winning 21 of 22 games, the Rockies were shelled by the Red Sox in the World Series opener.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Boston College vs. Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. BC is currently #2 in the BCS poll, while the Hokies are #8. Beamer’s boys are currently a 3.5 point favorite. Those Hokies, they're gamblers...

BCS Standings:
1. Ohio State, 2. BOSTON COLLEGE, 3. LSU, 4. Arizona State, 5. Oregon, 6. Oklahoma, 7. West Virginia, 8. VIRGINIA TECH, 9. Kansas, 1. South Florida, 11. Florida, 12. USC, 13. Missouri, 14. Kentucky, 15. VIRGINIA, 16. South Carolina,
17. Hawaii, 18. Georgia, 19. Texas and 20. Michigan

So the ACC was supposed to be weak this year? Here’s where we stand midway thorough one of the wackiest college pigskin seasons we can remember.

The SEC has 5 teams in the BCS top 20. No surprises there. The PAC 10 has 3, The Big East has 2, Big 12 has 4 (Missouri? Kansas?) and the Big 10 has 2 – one of which is Michigan which lost its first two games.

The ACC has 3…nothing to be embarrassed about…

WEED: IT'S AGAINST THE RULES

North Carolina suspended cornerback Jermaine Strong and offensive tackle Andre Barbour on Monday for violating team and university rules.

"It's disappointing to have to take this action," coach Butch Davis said in a statement. "Both players had a tremendous opportunity to help this football team."

Barbour, a sophomore, faces a Tuesday court appearance in Orange County on a misdemeanor charge of possession of up to one-half of an ounce of marijuana, according to the North Carolina Court System's Web site.

No details were available on the reason for Strong's suspension.

"They're indefinitely suspended, and at some particular time in the future, we'll revisit each of those individuals," Davis said at his weekly news conference.

COULDN'T STAND THE WEATHER...

...FORD...but, now they can.

Thank you, Stevie Ray.

Reeling, and we do mean REELING, from a come-from-behind loss to arch rival and bitter enemy, the University of Miami, Florida State has announced they will replace junior Xavier Lee with junior Chris Rix XCVIID (known in most circles as Drew Weatherford).

The change comes a nearly a month after Weatherford was benched and just in time for a homecoming game against Duke. This marks Weatherford's third chance at nailing down the starting job.

"We tried to analyzed this dad gum thing. The best doggone game Lee has had was against those dad blame rascals from Alabama when he came in off the darn bench," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We feel like we are just better off going with #11 --what's that kid's name? Besides, dadgummit, we don't know what the heck else to do."

Super Seminole John Clark could not be reached for comment and is rumored to still be in his house screaming about the outcome of the Miami game.


Monday, October 22, 2007

HALLOWEEN = BASKETBALL

According to reports on the Internet (we would have no other way of knowing) the NHL season of ice hockey (whatever that is) is underway. In addition, the World Series is about to start so that means it's almost Halloween. So...you know what that means? Yup, it's almost college basketball season...

ACC BASKETBALL PICKS: North Carolina was a unanimous selection as the preseason No. 1 in the ACC by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. The poll, as released Sunday at the ACC's media day:
TEAMPOINTS
1. North Carolina (64) 768
2. Duke653
3. N.C. State641
4. Clemson514
5. Virginia492
6. Maryland447
7. Georgia Tech389
8. Boston College332
9. Florida State284
10. Virginia Tech162
11. Wake Forest157
12. Miami153

PRESEASON FIRST TEAM ALL-ACC
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina, Sean Singletary, Virginia , Tyrese Rice, Boston College , Brandon Costner, N.C. State and Ty Lawson, North Carolina

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR (VOTES)
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina (60)
Sean Singletary, Virginia (4)

PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (VOTES)
Kyle Singler, Duke (36), J.J. Hickson, N.C. State (15) and Nolan Smith, Duke (5)

Seems the writers are putting a lot faith in Duke's under-achieving upper classmen and their newcomers.

We like NCSU in the #2 spot...but, strangely enough, they forgot to ask us...



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

MIAMI 37, FLORIDA STATE 29
It was the biggest pass of Miami quarterback
Kirby Freeman's life and he never saw it.
There he was, unable to breathe, Florida State linebacker Dekoda Watson standing over him. Freeman's left hand shook uncontrollably. He tried to get up, not once, but twice, only to roll on his back both times, still not sure of where his pass landed. The silence should have told him the story.


Dedrick Epps caught the ball for the go-ahead touchdown, sending 82,000-plus fans at Doak Campbell Stadium into instant depression, and the Miami Hurricanes skipped out 75 seconds later with a 37-29 win over archrival Florida State. It was Miami's first fourth-quarter comeback since the 2004 season. And it was engineered by a quarterback who was a dismal 1-for-8 with two interceptions before pulling off a most improbable victory.

That noise that sounds like screaming? It is screaming, and it’s coming from John Clark’s house…

VIRGINIA 18, MARYLAND 17
Reserve running back
Mikell Simpson capped an amazing all-around performance by scoring the winning touchdown with 16 seconds left, and the Cavaliers beat Maryland 18-17 Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.
Simpson scored on a 1-yard plunge to finish a frantic 90-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes. That gave the Cavaliers (7-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) yet another harrowing win this season -- five of their seven victories have come by five points or fewer.

We thought this game would reveal who was for real...It didn't.

GEORGIA TECH 34, ARMY 10
Georgia Tech put together an impressive second half without
Tashard Choice to beat Army on Saturday. Now the big question: Will the Yellow Jackets have to prove again they can win without Choice, their star tailback and the ACC's leading rusher? Rashaun Grant ran for 119 yards and a touchdown after Choice sustained a knee injury, and Georgia Tech beat the Black Knights 34-10. Army led the game briefly 14 -10, but the go ahead touchdown was called back by a penalty...

CLEMSON 70, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 14
Cullen Harper matched a school record with five touchdown passes and Clemson rolled to its highest point total in 26 years in a 70-14 rout of Central Michigan on Saturday. The total yards and points were the most for Clemson since collecting 756 yards in an 82-24 win over Wake Forest in its national title season of 1981. (Ouch…)

WAKE FOREST 44, NAVY 24

Three turnovers by Navy and a big day for
Riley Skinner and Kenneth Moore enabled Wake Forest to win its fifth straight game. Skinner threw 15 passes to Moore for 181 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Demon Deacons beat the Midshipmen 44-24 on Saturday.

N.C. STATE 34, EAST CAROLINA 20
Daniel Evans threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns while North Carolina State built a 21-point first-half lead before holding on to beat East Carolina 34-20 on Saturday night.

Still, it wasn't easy. The Wolfpack nearly blew a 21-0 lead amid a familiar array of miscues before getting Eugene's fourth-quarter score to finally get some breathing room.
TAH's apologies to the Wolfpack for saying the Pirates would kick their butts. We were wrong.

BC, VIRGINIA TECH and UNC were idle, but BC used the off weekend to move up to #2 in the BCS poll after previous #2 USF lost to Rutgers on Thursday night.

THE RIDDLE WATCH

Scott Riddle passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns while the Elon defense held the Wofford offense scoreless in the second half, propelling No. 24 Elon to a 24-13 Southern Conference football victory over No. 6 Wofford Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium.

Prior to the victory, the Phoenix (5-2 overall, 3-1 SoCon) had never beaten an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision top-10 team in 20 attempts. Including last week's 36-33 double-overtime triumph over then-No. 21 Georgia Southern, Elon has now defeated back-to-back FCS top-25 opponents for the first time ever.

All Riddle did was go 41 for 51 for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns.

For the year, he is 218 of 322 for a 67.7% completion percentage. He has thrown for 2,247 yards and 20 touchdowns (Tom Brady has thrown 23 in the same number of games) with just 7 interceptions.

...and he looks a little bit like Zach Gilford who plays Matt Saracen on NBC's Friday Night Lights. Gilford's character, oddly enough, is the quaterback for the Dillon Panthers.

There was a nice article about him in the Spartansburg Herald-Journal:
http://www.goupstate.com/article/20071019/NEWS/710190315/1001/SPORTS02

WHO DOESN'T LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE?

...and who is crazier than our main man and litigation machine Jonathan Lee Riches? You remember Jonathan? He sued Mike Vick for selling his dogs on E-bay, and for being in cahoots with Middle Eastern terrorists. Evidently, he also sued Bill Belichick for putting a spy camera in Donovan McNabb's soup. (Really...who could make that up?)


Now he's after Perez Hilton, Isiah Thomas, and George Steinbrenner.

His latest complaint has nothing to do with alleged copyright infringement, defamation, or leaked Britney Spears songs. Instead, Perez Hilton (real name: Mario Lavandeira) is the latest public figure to be sued by kooky Jonathan Lee Riches...

According to Riches, he carried on a years-long sexual relationship with Hilton and once bought the blogger a $23,000 diamond ring (which he presented to Hilton at a Holiday Inn in Cheyenne, Wyoming). Riches, jailed in South Carolina on federal fraud charges, claims that he pulled his swindles to pay for gifts and travel for him and Hilton. As with all of his previous lawsuits, Riches' complaint against the blogger is filled with amusing pop culture references and scores of bizarre claims. Riches is seeking the closure of Hilton's popular web site, which he claims is invading his privacy and putting his life in danger...

Here's some pearls from some of his other endeavors:

“I have known Defendant Steinbrenner since 1988 when I was a 12 year old boy. I met Steinbrenner at St. Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia, PA in back of the Alter. We exchanged telephone Numbers. Steinbrenner would send me candy bags with blow pops and tootsie rolls and gay comic books. Steinbrenner told me to call him "Daddy Steinbrenner" and not to tell anyone.”

...and...

“I've known Isiah Thomas since 1993 when he played basketball for the Detroit Pistons. I lived near Coatesville Pennsylvania where current NBA guard for the Detroit Pistons Richard "rip" Hamilton" is from. We all used to play basketball pickup games at CASH Highschool on Rt. 30. This is where I had my first encounter sexually with Isiah Thomas around October 1995. After a pickup game, Isiah Thomas took me in back of some porta potties and began French Kissing me. He pulled out $1,000 dollars and told me not to tell my mother and he will continue to send me money in return of him sending me love letters.”

Someone get this guy a blog...please. Steinbrenner told him to call him daddy! Oh, man, he's killin' us...
Gay comic books? Make it stop...

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SEPERATED AT BIRTH? Coach Fridge and Kansas head coach Mark Mangino? Yeah, he's a big one, but we are still backing Coach Friedgin in the NCAA Cupcake Eating Championship.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

WHOA! We take it back. Bet the house on the Kansas guy. Now that we have the full view of Coach Mangino, were betting him to unseat that Japanese hot dog eating dude. No cupcake in the world is safe.

Wow, the man is gigantic!

Rick Majerus, wait at the bar!

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT AROUND HERE where it was close to 90 degrees just a week ago, but in some places it's already acting like winter. Brigham Young running back Fui Vakapuna (1) faces off against Eastern Washington defensive back Kyle Wilkins (19) as he is grabbed by the leg by Eastern Washington lineman Josh Jacobson during a snowy fourth quarter.

BYU beat Eastern Washington 42-7.




(AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

THE SEC is having another great football year. LSU's last second (and we do mean last second!) TD pass to beat Auburn was an instant classic, and the battle of the two basketball schools -- Kentucky and Florida -- wasn't too shabby either. Here, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, center, is brought down by members of the Kentucky defense. Florida won 45-37.


(AP Photo/James Crisp)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

HEY LOOK, it's the crazy Nebraska guy we featured a few weeks ago...Nebraska's Marlon Lucky (5) carries the ball against Texas A&M in the first half, with teammate Matt Slauson (70) on the field after losing his helmet.

Didn't help. Texas A&M beat Nebraska, 36-14, but he remains a bad lookin' dude.
(AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 6

GOTTA LOVE...those Notre Dame alternative green unis. However, in spite of a harrowing plane ride that included one of those turbulence induced plummets, USC handed the Fighting Irish their you-know-what.

But, the green unis look good!

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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