Saturday, January 5, 2008

ACC UNDEFEATED

Last night, no ACC teams played either football or basketball. Subsequently, no ACC team won a game, but, more importantly of late, none lost a game either.

IT’S NOT TO EARLY FOR 2008 REGULAR SEASON FOOTBALL

Alabama will play Clemson at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 30 in the 2008 season opener for both teams, their first meeting in 33 years.

In making the announcement Friday, Atlanta officials said the game is intended to launch a tradition of season openers at the Georgia Dome. The Alabama-Clemson game will be televised on ESPN or ABC and organized by Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Bowl staff.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl matches teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference, and bowl president Gary Stokan said the plan is to select teams from those conferences for future season-opening games at the Georgia Dome, a neutral site.

Auburn beat Clemson 23-20 in overtime in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night.

Clemson will return for its second consecutive game in the Georgia Dome and will play three straight games against teams now in the SEC for the first time since 1925. Clemson closed its regular season by beating South Carolina.

The last time Clemson played Alabama was 1975, and the 56-0 rout was the Crimson Tide's 11th straight win in the series.

"Do you happen to have the score from that last game?" Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said Friday. "It's not a rivalry."

(AP Photo/John Bazemore and AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

BOWLING: IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED














(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)












BEAUTY...



(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


...AND THE BEAST.








Justin Roberts, 12, of Arlington, Va., cheers before the start of the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)














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(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)






Desmond Reed #23 of the USC Trojans flips into the end zone in celebration of his touchdown as defensive back Justin Harrison #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first quarter during the Rose Bowl. The hot dog move cost the Trojans 15yards and earned Reed a tounge lashing.


(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)






(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)















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It's not as weird as it first looks. Aquatic athletes take a moment out of their practice as they stand on a rooftop at a swimming pool adjacent to the football practice field to watch as Southern California quarterback John David Booty, in yellow, runs a pass play during a practice Friday, Dec. 28, 2007, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)













(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)















ARE YOU KIDDIN'? The band sold out too...The Erath High School marching band from Lafayette, Louisiana performs during half-time of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.


(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)









Fans Jacob Thompson, 6, of Columbia, Mo., and Jack Nibert, 9, of Wichita, Kan., root for Missouri.
(Tim Sharp/Associated Press)














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DUDE...


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(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)







Friday, January 4, 2008

(FED EX) ORANGE BOWL

Could of…would of…should of won the game.

The Hokies could have won the game for any number of reasons. They would have won the game if they hadn’t played most of it like they were behind by three touchdowns. They should have won the game if they simply hadn’t panicked in the third quarter down a field goal when Sean Glennon threw an unnecessary, and game breaking, interception.

The Hokies came out slinging as if they thought they couldn’t knock around the Jayhawks' defense the old fashioned way. Dance with who brung ya -- your running game and your special teams. Then wait for the defense to make a big plays which they have consistently done all year. The Hokies did just that in the third quarter, and made it a close game until the ill-fated interception.

The Jayhawks won the game with solid defense and great special teams play…Sound familiar?

The Hokies' coaches had a bad plan, and it was obvious early on when they inserted Ty Taylor after Glennon had made a first down on the opening drive. Taylor went all “deer in the headlights” and took Tech out of scoring position by giving up two sacks in a row. Not long after that, as Tech continued to "buck thier trends" and throw on first down with Taylor in the game, the unfooled Kansas defense took a pick in for a TD.

What? The kid can’t handoff? Ore, or no Ore, run the damn ball. Oh, and young Mr. Morgan, you gotta catch that touchdown pass that hits you in the hands.

Here’s Bob Davie’s take from ESPN.com this a.m. He’s a bit nicer than we are, but he makes the same points.

First off, give credit to Kansas. A lot of people questioned whether KU really deserved to be in the Orange Bowl and the Jayhawks came out and answered that. With that said, I don't think it was a particularly well-played game.

Kansas beat Virginia Tech at its own game. Kansas played great defense by creating interceptions that led to points, and it beat VT in special teams game, blocking a kick and faking a punt where the Hokies were outschemed. Kansas also recovered an onside kick and had great punting. The Jayhawks punter may have been the MVP.

I was a little bit surprised, particularly early in the game, that the Hokies came out and really threw the ball as much as they did. Maybe that was because RB Brandon Ore was suspended for the opening quarter. I'm not a big fan of alternating QBs. Tyrod Taylor has an interception returned for a TD and then VT continues to throw it. The Hokies had a hard time protecting the quarterback.

In the second half, VT really returned to Beamer Ball. The Hokies ran the ball a little better, and they had the reverse on the punt return for a touchdown, but that was just a brief spurt there. I'm surprised they didn't run the football a little bit more. Credit to the VT defense for playing well. Kansas didn't particularly win the game on offense, they won it with defense and special teams.

I think something that this game confirmed to me even more is that is really comes down to the quarterback in college football. Todd Reesing wasn't the reason KU won the game, but he's probably the reason that they had such an outstanding season. And when you look at VT, I don't think the Hokies were ever solidified all season -- or in this game -- at quarterback.

A big win for Kansas. The Jayhawks proved they belonged, but I think Virginia Tech leaves this game kicking itself because the Hokies did not give their best effort tonight. -- Bob Davie

Nice, Bob, NICE!
The TAH Highlight Of The Game goes to "Boundstalica" featuring Danny and Johnny Bounds for their scintillating performance of X-Box Rock Band during halftime! Crappy game aside, that was cool!
(Photos by Marc Serota/Getty Images and Doug Benc/Getty Images)

THURSDAY HOOP

Richmond (Spiders, 2,857 students, Richmond, VA) 52, VIRGINIA TECH 49

Just write it off as a bad night as the football team, the women’s and men’s basketball teams all literally dropped the ball in discouraging losses.

The Hokies turned the ball over 24 times and shot just 38.6 percent in a 52-49 loss to the Richmond Spiders.

How important is hoop in Blacksburg? The Virginia Tech radio network did not carry the game choosing to air an Orange Bowl pregame show on its stations instead. Perhaps they knew something?

Tech (8-6) is now 2-5 in games decided by six or fewer points.

LED ZEPPELIN ANNOUNCES U.S. TOUR

Legendary (but, mind you somewhat unattractive) reunited rock band Led Zeppelin will hold a press conference later today to announce a full U.S. tour schedule to follow up their O2 Arena show in London last month. The tour will make its American debut at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville later this spring.

“I’m truly touched and honored,” said Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, “but, where the bloody hell is Charlottesville?”

In other news, Xavier stomps the ever lovin' BRON-Y-AUR (crap) out of UVa.

Xavier (Musketeers, 4,000 students, Cincinnati, OH) 108, VIRGINIA 70

This morning Sean Singletary may be second guessing his decision last spring to stay in C’ville. The Wahoos could do nothing, and we do mean nothing, to slow down a super hot Xavier team.

The Musketeers put up 61 points IN THE FIRST HALF. Sixty-one -- that’s a big final score total in a regular season Big (L)East game!

Xavier (11-3) opened with their biggest first half in 15 years and finished with a victory that will be a measuring stick. They tied a school record by making 16 3-pointers, and had seven players in double figures for the second straight game. SEVEN. Yike.

Virginia (10-3) switched from man-to-man to zone defense, but couldn't slow an offense that hardly missed. Xavier shot 64 percent from the field – a heady number when you put up 26 treys.

Xavier guard Drew Lavender (24) shoots over Virginia guard Sean Singletary (44) in the first half. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough and Florida State's Toney Douglas were named as Co-ACC Players of the Week, while NC State's J.J. Hickson was tabbed ACC Rookie of the Week.

In earning player of the week honors for the fourth time his season and fifth time in his career – TIME OUT: If Hansbrough was a consensus All-American as a freshmen AND as a sophomore…which means he has played approximately 20 weeks of hoop per year or 40-plus weeks of basketball in two All-America years, how can it be that during that time he was the ACC player of the week ONCE?

Ah, the little mysteries…


Anyway, we digress…Last week, Hansbrough averaged 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as the top-ranked Tar Heels won twice. The Poplar Bluff, Mo., junior had 26 points and eight boards in Thursday's 106-70 win over Nevada and 23 points and 13 rebounds in Sunday's 90-58 victory over Valparaiso.

Douglas scored 22 points, including nine in the second half, to lead Florida State over Georgia Tech, 66-64, Sunday in the conference opener for both teams. The Jonesboro, Ga., junior had two rebounds, two assists and four steals in 39 minutes as the Seminoles won their ACC opener for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

In earning the rookie award for the second time this season, Hickson posted back-to-back "double-doubles" as the Wolfpack extended their winning streak to five in a row with a pair of non-conference wins. The Marietta, Ga., product averaged 23.0 points and 11.5 rebounds and shot .938 from the field (15-of-16) and .813 from the free throw line (13-of-16) in victories over Seton Hall and Western Carolina.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0jQ8g0W7e0&eurl=http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/category/acc-basketball/

(Photos Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, AP Photo/Gregory Smith, AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

WALK ON, RUN OFF

There are walk-ons, and then there are walk-ons.

Kentucky walk-on Dusty Mills got some good ink lately in ESPN The Magazine. The accounting major from Noblesville, Indiana used every ounce of his 5’8” frame to play scrappy defense which impressed the UK coaches who had invited 25 kids to tryout. When Dusty called his dad to tell him he made the team his shocked pop’s response was “Are you sure?”

During a recent Wildcat blowout of Florida International, the Rupp Arena faithful started the “We Want Dusty” chant…a staple of college hoop at its best. Dusty has seen a little time in four games for no points, no rebounds, no steals, no assists and no turnovers.

Meanwhile, down in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels also have a walk-on which prompts the question how does one tryout for, and eventually make, the best team in the country? Easy. It helps to be a 6’4” 210 lbs freshman from nearby Greensboro.
It also helps to be a gifted enough athlete to be the starting tailback on the UNC football squad. Remember Julius Peppers (multiple All-Pro defense end for the Carolina Panthers) and Ronald Curry (wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders) who both went both ways at Carolina?

Little has also played in four basketball games, with four rebounds, five points, two assists and one turnover.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED BOWLER...Who knew?

India's Sachin Tendulkar flips the ball up as he prepares to bowl to an Australian batsman at the Sydney Cricket Ground Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, in Sydney, Australia, on the first day of their second cricket test.

Australia are 376 for 7 at stumps. (But, you knew that...)

(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NOTHING SAYS HAPPY NEW YEAR LIKE SKIS AND GUNS...Count us in!

Oksana Neupokoeva (2nd r) (say it three times really fast) of Russia and other athletes compete in the 4x6 km women's relay event during the Biathlon World Cup 03 January 2008 in Oberhof, eastern Germany. The team from Germany, enjoying an obvious(?) home field advantage, won the competition ahead of the teams from France (2nd) and Russia (3rd).

(Photo by Jens-Ulrich Koch/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

YOU KNOW WE LOVE A BAD UNI...Hey, look, here's two of 'em... Barcelona's Eric Abidal (r) controls the ball during a Spanish league match against Sevilla. The match between Barcelona and Sevilla will be the highlight of the Spanish Cup following the draw for the last 16.

(But, you probably already knew that too.)

Jeez, even the ball is ugly.

Those red and blue socks would make the Cat In The Hat damn proud.

(AFP/File/Lluis Gene)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

WEDNESDAY HOOP

#1 NORTH CAROLINA 90, Kent State (Unlucky Anti-War Protestors, 28,810 students, Kent, OH) 61

The boys at ESPN have the 10-2 Kent State Golden Lancers on their Mid-Majors To Watch list. Subsequently, the suits in Connecticut were hoping for something other than another Tar Heel runaway win. They got half of their wish.

As has become the pattern, Kent State kept it close in the first half before the big blue UNC machine put the pedal down and blasted away in the second half in spite of an injury depleted lineup.

Tyler Hansbrough scored 25 points and Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson both had 17 points for the Tar Heels (14-0), who never trailed during their final nonconference tuneup before ACC play starts Sunday at No. 19 Clemson. The Heels also matched their longest winning streak under coach Roy Williams -- whose 2004-05 team won 14 straight on its way to the school's last national championship.

Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels grabs a rebound. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

BOSTON COLLEGE 81, Longwood (Bongwood, 3,787 students, Farmville, VA) 52

Tyrese “Rice, Rice Baby” Rice scored 24 points and Rakim “I May Be A Chicken, But I Ain’t Scared Of No Colonel” Sanders added 14 to lead Boston College to an 81-52 win over Longwood on Wednesday night.

Corey “Orange Rob” Raji had 11 points and Tyrelle “Whatever Happened to Tony” Blair scored 10 and grabbed six rebounds for the Eagles (10-2).

WAKE FOREST 70, Presbyterian (Blue Hose [not kidding], 1,300 students, Clinton, SC) 58

MIAMI 88, Penn (Quaker Oats, 10,130 students, Philadelphia, PA) 62


Miami guard Jack McClinton, left, drives past a Penn defender during the first half of a college basketball game Wednesday Jan. 2, 2008, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/David Adame)

MARYLAND 75, Savannah State (Whoa Savannah, I Said Whoa Savannah, I Said Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Savannah, Got To Get Back To You(s), 3,169 students, Savannah [oops, thought it was Atlanta, our bad], GA) 48

Balanced scoring and strong defense helped carry the Maryland Terrapins (8-6) to their second straight victory, a 75-48 triumph over Savannah State Wednesday night at Comcast Center.

Maryland's four primary scorers average in double figures and all reached that standard during the course of the lopsided victory. The team's two leading scorers, guard Greivis Vasquez and forward James Gist, matched each other with 13 points and six rebounds apiece.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S MOUNTAINEERS

Underdog West Virginia won the (Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl, and then, to their credit, they immediately hired “interim” head coach Bill Stewart. A class move, and perhaps a season saving one which should salve the wounds of a national championship killing loss to a crappy rival Pitt team, and a lawsuit spiced divorce from previous head coach Rich Rodriguez...or as they call him in Morgantown, Rich Fraudriguez. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Mountaineers quarterback Pat White, who ran for 150 yards and threw for 176 and two touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl victory, began stumping for Stewart on the field after the game.

"He deserves it," White said. "A great man. A great coach. All the players respect him and all the players love him. You couldn't ask for a better man to lead us to victory today."

Fullback Owen Schmitt, who scored on a 57-yard run, called Stewart the "glue" that kept the Mountaineers together during a rocky month.

(Running back Noel Devine #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs for a 65-yard touchdown past Dominique Franks #15 of the Oklahoma Sooners. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Stewart, a New Martinsville, WV native, was head coach at VMI from 1994-96, compiling an 8-25 record. He also had stints as an assistant at Salem College, North Carolina, Marshall, William & Mary, Navy, Arizona State and Air Force. Stewart came to West Virginia as quarterbacks coach in January 2000 after two seasons as offensive coordinator in the Canadian Football League.
According to ALL the media pundits not from West Virginia, the Mountaineers had no shot against Oklahoma. The talking heads had deemed Bob Stoops’ squad as one of the very best in the land on par with Georgia, USC, Ohio State and LSU. Add to the mix the simple fact that no “interim” head coach had yet won a bowl game this go ‘round, and it looked like the boys from Morgantown were headed for disaster.
(Quarterback Patrick White #5 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs for 47-yards past Dominique Franks #15 and a bunch of other Sooners. This happened a lot. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Not so fast.

(Speaking of not so fast, that's not a linebacker returning an interception, that's running back Owen Schmitt on a 57-yard TD rumble. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Nobody told the Mountaineers, and now couches are burning all over the place…

Flame on, brothers!

Well done.





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