Saturday, December 6, 2008

DOWN GOES DAVID LETTERMAN

Four fumbles, two of which were returned for touchdowns, doomed previously unbeaten No. 12 Ball State in the MAC Championship game. The Cardinals lost to Buffalo 42-24.

The Bulls' defense forced four fumbles (five total turnovers) and converted them into 28 points.


Bummer.





(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

BEAMER: CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES ALL AROUND

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

TAMPA, Fla. -- Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer agreed that all of the BCS conferences should play a conference title game, or they shouldn't be played at all.

"Yes, I think for the national championship, you know, everybody needs to be on the same playing field," Beamer said. "And I know when were in the Big East and didn't play one of these games, that was the easiest way to make it to the national championship. If you go undefeated, beat the people in your league, and then get your out of conference games, you are probably going to be, if you are undefeated, you are probably going to be in the national championship game.

"I would like to see that. I don't know all of the ins and out about that. I think you have to have a level playing field. When you get to this game, at best you got a 50/50 shot of winning. Most of them are going to be pretty even, two good football teams. So, you know, I think it will help if everybody had one, yes."

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

UNC'S QUINN WINS PICCOLO AWARD

From the ACC today:

North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn won the 2008 Brian Piccolo Award, which has been given annually since 1972 in memory of the late Brian Piccolo to the "most courageous" football player in the ACC.

Piccolo was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1965 and played for the Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was stricken with cancer. His courageous fight against that disease was an inspiration to the Bears and the entire football community.

Quinn, in his senior year in high school, was diagnosed with a brain tumor after collapsing in his family bathroom. A CT scan revealed a tumor that was blocking his spinal cavity. Fortunately, the tumor was determined to be benign. Quinn then underwent a five-hour emergency surgery that included having a shunt placed in his brain to relieve fluid buildup.

He entered UNC this fall as a true freshman and finished third in ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year voting after starting 11 of 12 games at defensive end. He has made 32 tackles, including 20 primary hits, 6.5 tackles for losses, two quarterback sacks and three hurries. He has forced two fumbles and has one pass breakup.

(AP Photo by Gerry Broome)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DA(L)Y

LOOKIN' FIT AND TRIM AS EVER. John Daly of the USA walks past a kangaroo during day two of the Australian PGA Championship at the Hyatt Regency Resort on December 5, 2008 at Coolum Beach, Australia.



(Photos by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 2

BROTHERS IN ARMS. In this image provided by the US Navy sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer spell out "Go Navy Beat Army!" on the flight deck to cheer on the midshipmen in the upcoming 109th Army-Navy college football game.

In this file photo taken Oct. 25, 2008, Army football players and brother Ted Bentler (99) and Fritz Bentler (98) talk during a time out during an NCAA college game against Louisiana Tech in West Point, N.Y. Ted Bentler was drawn to West Point in part because Army defensive coordinator John Mumford had made a visit to the family home to recruit Ted's younger brother, Fritz, while Ted was a redshirt sophomore at Iowa.

The Hawkeyes had courted Ted before he was old enough to drive and he had jumped at the chance to stay at home in the Midwest to play a sport he was passionate about. But when Fritz accepted his appointment to West Point in January 2006, the brothers began talking, adn they still are.


Friday, December 5, 2008

CAPITAL MINUS ONE FIELD AT BYRD STADIUM

This gem is from Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Blog and we are compelled to bring it to you in its entirety:

It's Lindsay Applebaum, filling in as a guest bogger again. Yes, I'm still here. Your beloved Steinberg will be back soon, I promise. Until then, I will continue to torture you with my lack of cheese references and quirky Jim Zorn stories.

The economy is crumbling faster than the Redskins' playoff hopes these days, and it's taking down all the little guys. First, it was my favorite sushi place near work.

Now, it's good old Chevy Chase Bank, which happens to be the place where I deposit and then immediately withdraw my paycheck every two weeks. It's probably your bank, too. Well, it's Capital One's bank now, because they're buying it for $250 million.

Goodbye, little blue check card. Goodbye, long lines, strange hours and out-of-town cashiers giggling and asking, "Your bank is owned by Chevy Chase, the actor?" (Yes, smarty pants. Chevy Chase, the actor. Because when I think of National Lampoon's Vacation and Caddyshack, by God, I think of secure banking and overdraft protection.)

Also, maybe most importantly, depending on how much corporate sponsorship means to you, goodbye to Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium.

Remember when the bank purchased naming rights to the field -- yep, just the field -- at Maryand's Byrd Stadium for $20 million in 2006? Sort of a waste of money, no? Because it's still Byrd Stadium. You call it Byrd Stadium, The Post calls it Byrd Stadium -- it's BYRD STADIUM, except on the highway, where all signs point to Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium.

You know how NOT big of a deal this is, that Maryland's football stadium's field's sponsor just got bought out and as a result the name of the grass might be altered in some way? I can't find anything about it on the Internet. Anywhere.

Regardless, where do we go from here? The lame, and likely answer? Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Or really, as Post writer John Kelly astutely points out, it should really be called "Capital Zero" or "Capital Minus One" Field. My vote goes to "Damn the Man" Field at Byrd Stadium.

NEWS FLASH: AS OF 6AM EST NOBODY IN THE ACC HAS ACCIDENTALLY SHOT THEMSELVES

Another day, another record broken.

We didn’t bring this up yesterday based on the “piling on” clause in the subsection of the “How Much Is Too Much” rule in Chapter 13 of the Don’t Be An Complete A&%Hole Handbook.

However, in the light of a new day and a week removed from any self-inflicted wounds that will go unmentioned here, we feel compelled to note that while Michael Vick did attend an ACC school, Plaxico Burress went to Michigan State.

Why he isn’t playing for the Bengals is perplexing.

GOD BLESS THE GENERAL PUBLIC

Of course, there is a down side to TAH’s burgeoning growth.

Yes, it is read by people. People we don’t know. Some people we don’t want to know, and some that we do. It is read by nice people and mean people. By smart people and dumb people. You know, all sorts of people.

Every now and then one of these people makes a comment so PROFOUNDLY RIDICULOUS that as soon as we stop laughing we feel compelled to share it with you, our loyal readers.

To the picture above posted way back on March 27, 2007 as part of the ever—popular PICTURE OF THE DAY SERIES, we received the following comment yesterday:

Photoshop—Anonymous.

Really?

Did you have to visit Snopes.com to figure that out?

That is pure genius.

Nice, Anonymous, NICE!

(The picture at right is authentic, and not enhanced in anyway. It's a trained shark named I8Willie.)

PLENTY OF GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE

Evidently, the tickets to the Dr. Pepper Bowl aren’t exactly flying off the shelf.

Boston College and Virginia Tech have both been allocated 10,000 tickets, and as of yesterday the Hokies had snapped up 3,000 and the Eagles just under 2,000.

According to our sources in Vegas, BC opened as a one—point favorite, but heavy play from Hokie Nation has evened things up. Now, it’s “pike ‘em.”

The forecast for tomorrow's game is partly cloudy with a high temp of 70 degrees.

SO MUCH FOR MARYLAND AND NAVY SNARKING or DEBBIE YOW HAS HER OWN PRIVATE IDAHO

According to the Baltimore Sun, the student athletes at Maryland will have to take their exams while the Midshipmen mix it up with Wake Forest in a rematch of their Sept 27 game in Winston-Salem. Navy upset the Deacs in that one 24—17.

The Big Cheese for the EagleBank Bowl said that a rematch of Navy and Wake Forest is a "strong possibility." After conversations with Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, Steve Beck said that he is confident that the no-rematch stipulation will be waived by the Midshipmen.

Gladchuk said in Annapolis Wednesday that circumstances that left the Dec. 20 game at RFK Stadium in Washington without many options from the Atlantic Coast Conference paved the way for Navy to face Wake Forest for the second time this season.

The EagleBank Bowl gets the ninth bowl-eligible team from the ACC. Since it appears that Miami (7-5) is headed for the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, and North Carolina State (6-6) has to look for an at-large bid because it is technically the 10th bowl-eligible team, Wake Forest (7-5) might be the only choice.

So what the hell is Maryland thinking? They could play in their own backyard in front of a sellout or near-sellout crowd against a natural geographic rival, but instead they are most likely headed of to Boise (the garden spot of the universe, so we are told) to play Nevada on the blue carpet in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Oh, the humanitarians!

That’s two TAH strikes against Terps’ A.D. Debbie Yow. First she not-so-secretly wants to jettison Gary Williams, and now she’s waved off a local bowl so her faithful can shuffle off to Idaho.

(AP Photo by Steve Helber and Getty Images)

DWYER NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

According to the league office: Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer was named both the ACC’s player of the year and its top offensive player Wednesday after a regular season in which he led the league in rushing as the featured back in Johnson's spread-option offense. Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich was the ACC's defensive player of the year.

Dwyer collected 30 of 67 votes for the overall honor, with Florida State defensive end Everette Brown finishing with nine votes and North Carolina State redshirt freshman quarterback Russell Wilson receiving eight. Dwyer also had 42 votes for the offensive award to outdistance Wilson (11), while North Carolina receiver Hakeem Nicks and Clemson multipurpose threat C.J. Spiller each receiving six votes.

Herzlich had 20 votes to 16 for Brown in voting for the defensive award. Duke linebacker Michael Tauiliili had 12 votes and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry had seven.

But the runaway choice for top honors was Dwyer, who ran out of the B-back position - the spot in Johnson's scheme most similar to a fullback - for 100 yards in nine of 12 games this season while helping the Yellow Jackets to a 9-3 record, a 4-3 mark in league play and a share of the Coastal Division title with Virginia Tech.
(Getty Images)

NCAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus and a football playoff.

Nice exacta.

When JMU takes the field in the quarterfinals of the D1AA Football Championship Division, their opponent will be a familiar one.
The Dukes will take on Villanova for the 17th time and the second time this season. JMU defeated Nova back in October on a last—second Hail Mary 23-9. JMU leads the series 9-7 and has a 4-3 lead in games at JMU.

Evidently, all week a photograph has circulated around James Madison's football offices and locker room showing a group of JM players exiting the field at Villanova while a pack of Wildcats fans make obscene gestures and yell at them. Well, Nova is in Philadelphia, so what do you expect. Hell, they boo Santa Claus remember?

Not that Dukes’ fans are all peaches and cream. JMU officials are adding extra security after complaints from visiting Wofford fans after last week’s first—round playoff game at Bridgeforth Stadium.

The winner of the JMU-Villanova game will advance to meet the winner of the Weber State at Montana game. As the top seed in the playoff field, JMU would host a third-round if it advances during second-round play.

This weekend’s FCS playoff games include the following:

Noon: Richmond (10-3) at Appalachian State (11-2)
2 p.m.: Weber State (10-3) at Montana (12-1)
3:30 p.m.: Villanova (10-2) at JMU (11-1)
7 p.m.: New Hampshire (10-2) at Northern Iowa (11-2)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I hope we've added something to the ACC. I know the ACC has been great for us. Hopefully we've made it a better conference. I was proud of our conference on [Saturday]. Clemson won a nonconference game, Georgia Tech won a nonconference game. And we've had some big wins out of conference. We're proud to be a part of the ACC." – Frank Beamer.

WHOS SAYS WE SUCK AT FOOTBALL?

ESPN.com's Heather Dinich points out some relevant ACC firsts:

For the first time in ACC history...

The league has 10 bowl-eligible teams. No conference has ever placed 10 teams in bowl games. It's only the third time in college football history that a conference has had that many teams bowl eligible.

The ACC had eight teams with seven or more wins during the regular season. The conference has had eight teams with seven or more wins before, but only after postseason games were included.

The ACC had its best nonconference record. The league finished 37-11 against nonconference opponents, a .771 winning percentage. That's the best in ACC history for winning percentage and total victories.

The ACC was 15-8 against BCS opponents and Notre Dame.
(Getty Images)

YOU SKEEN, I SKEEN, WE ALL SCREAM FOR...

...Jamie Skeen. Oops. Not so fast.

Wake Forest forward Jamie Skeen will not return for the spring semester after he was declared ineligible for the fall semester for violating the school's academic policy.

School officials said Wednesday night before the Demon Deacons' game against Indiana that Skeen decided not to appeal for reinstatement to the university.

Coach Dino Gaudio called Skeen "one of the most coachable, respectful kids I have been associated with" and said he was disappointed to learn of Skeen's decision.

Skeen averaged 5.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 29 games last season.
(Getty Images)

BEING BARRY BONDS JUST GOT A LITTLE LESS COMPLICATED...

...but it still must suck.

According to the AP: Federal prosecutors dropped four counts of lying to a grand jury against Barry Bonds, leaving him to face trial next year on 10 counts of making false statements plus an additional obstruction of justice charge.

Bonds faces the same potential sentence range—probation to roughly two years in prison—if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin March 2.

Thursday’s indictment, the third against the home-run king, came in response to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston’s decision last week ordering prosecutors to again rewrite the technically faulty indictment.

Bonds was originally charged in November 2007 with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. After a motion by his lawyers to dismiss the case, Illston ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment because multiple alleged lies were lumped into single charges.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SOMEWHERE, THERE ARE SOME VERY PROUD PARENTS. These Florida State fans aren't shy about their bodies, or their team allegiance or body paint.

Not to mention the whole TWILIGHT vampire movie vibe thing they've got goin' on...


(Photo by Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NOT EXACTLY A GAMECOCK, but close enough.

It wasn't an entirely lost season for Clemson fans, as they at least got to see their Tigers beat in—state rival South Carolina and they got to wear bad wigs and paint themselves orange.

(AP Photo by Mary Ann Chastain)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 3


FOOTBALL RECRUITING ACROSS THE POND. Do any of these chaps have any NCAA eligibility left? No. 4? He’s big. Really big. (Oddly, the Barbarians don't have a roster on thier web page, so we don't know No. 4's name...)

Here, George Gregan of The Barbarians passes the ball against his former team during the 1908 - 2008 London Olympic Centenary match between The Barbarians and Australia at Wembley Stadium on December 3, 2008 in London, England.

Left, Lote Tuqiri of Australia is tackled by Ollie Smith (l) and Jean De Villiers (r) of The Barbarians while a bunch of other guys get ready to pile on.


The Barbarians—classic name for ruggers.

Nice, Barbarians, NICE!


(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 4

WHERE'S PLAXICO? Dick Vitale gets all friendly with the Michigan State fans and shortly thereafter the Tar Heels demolish them. Any questions?


Perhaps the Spartans should stick to football.
Gotta admit, the unis are stylish.

(AP Photos)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TAH HOUSEKEEPING

OK, here are a few things of note.

1) REVENUE – As in TAH doesn’t get any if you don’t click on the ad bars. So start clicking. It’s Xmas, go crazy, buy something. It just takes a second. Help a brother out…

2) JIMMY V FOUNDATION CHALLENGE – TAH made a donation in honor of a family member fighting cancer, and we challenge you to do the same. https://www.jimmyv.org/support-us/donate-now.html

3) 100,000 CELEBRATION – Tonight at Molly’s.

4) POLLS – As most of you know, there is more than one poll for each sport. Since the AP provides a good deal of the photos and game recaps used on TAH, we use the AP poll for basketball. We also rely heavily on ESPN so don’t be surprised if we switch at some point…

5) CONTACT INFO – As in NO, we don’t’ have any for Doris Feldman fictitiously from the U.

10-0

For the tenth straight year the ACC has won ESPN’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge. This time it was close as victories last night by ranked teams North Carolina and Wake Forest proved the difference in the 6-5 final tally.

No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 96, No. 13 Michigan State (Spartans, 46,045 students, East Lansing, MI) 61—What’s frightening about North Carolina (8-0) is that even when they don’t’ look like they’re routing a ranked opponent, that is exactly what they are doing. In the process of dismantling the Spartans (4-2), another double/double by Tyler Hansbrough seemed to be a seamless component of a methodical onslaught.

The reigning Player of the Year scored the first basket of both halves finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds. A number of Spartans, like countless previous opponents, thought Hansbrough’s head-high shot delivery was easy to block. This common miscalculation sent Hansbrough to the line frequently yet again where he made all 13 of his free throws. We explained this phenomenon last season in detail in the post “Fouling Tyler Hansbrough.

Oddly enough, there were actually people who doubted whether Hansbrough would play in this game. What were they thinking? As teammate Ty Lawson suggested Hansbrough would play in a big game on a broken ankle (never mind one with a lingering sprain).

Lawson added 17 points and eight assists in another turnover-free 28 minutes for the Heels, while Raymar Morgan led the Spartans with 21 points.

While final score looks like the demolition that it was, the Heels performance was deceptively ordinary. Early on, they appeared to be suffering a bit of jet lag from the relatively short trip from Chapel Hill to Detroit, walking the ball up the court while reverting to a bad habit of last year—relying on jump shots in their half-court offense instead of their strength in the paint.

A few turnovers by the Spartans and two straight threes off the bench from Danny Green seemed to reignite the jet engines, and the Heels were off and running to a 14 point halftime lead.

Coach Roy Williams isn’t shy about utilizing Carolina’s considerable depth, but last night he allowed his starting five to take control of the game in the latter stages of the first half with an 11-3 Tar Heel run that ultimately determined the outcome of the game.

After intermission, it appeared that Ol’ Roy effectively reminded his squad that the key to their Formula 1 offense is good defense. The Heels held Michigan State to just six points in the first ten minutes of Act 2 while the Spartan’s shot 20 percent from the field for the entire second half. Part of that stat was UNC’s defense and the other part of it, no doubt, is the Tar Heel’s not-so-secret weapon—fatigue.

No. 15 WAKE FOREST 83, Indiana (Hoosiers, 38,990 students, Bloomington, IN) 58—Keep an eye on the young Demon Deacons as they look to solidify the number three spot in the ACC behind UNC and Duke. The young and talented Wake team had an easy go of the Hoosiers (4-3). Sophomore James Johnson led the Deacons (7-0) with 21 points, and junior L.D. Williams netted 16.

Penn State (Nittany Lions, 44,112 students, State College, PA) 85, GEORGIA TECH 83 —Stanley Pringle scored 22 points and the Nittany Lions (7-1) survived a bad night from the charity stripe. Gani Lawal's tremendous effort scoring 34 points for the Jackets (4-1) went for naught.

MARYLAND 75, Michigan (Wolverines, 41,042 students, Ann Arbor, MI) 70—Greivis Vasquez had 23 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and six assists to lead the Terps over Michigan. Eric Hayes added 13 for Maryland (5-2) while Manny Harris led Michigan (5-2) with 15 points.

Northwestern (Wildcats,18,028 students, Chicago, IL) 73, FLORIDA STATE 59—Craig Moore scored 20 points and Kevin Coble added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for Northwestern (5-1) as they dealt Florida State (7-1) their first loss of the season. Toney Douglas led the Noles with 21 points.

(Photos by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images and Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

TAH GOOD CAUSE OF THE MONTH: JIMMY V WEEK

The second annual Jimmy V Week – a week-long initiative featuring special content across ESPN platforms and programs to drive awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research -- will begin Wednesday, Dec. 3 and conclude Tuesday, Dec. 9. The inaugural Jimmy V Week raised more than $700,000 in net proceeds for cancer research.

"Jimmy V Week is a shining example of sports and teamwork whose results go beyond any game. I'm proud of our employees and fans joining together for this great cause," said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports.

To make a donation: https://www.jimmyv.org/support-us/donate-now.html

We did.

NOT GONNA HAPPEN FOR UNC v. DUKE

Those granola crunchers out in the PAC 10 are conducting another anti-football love fest and this time it’s all about fashion. Can you imagine Coach K and Ol’ Roy agreeing to give up a timeout so both schools could wear their home unis? Well, that’s exactly what Pete Carroll and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel are up to…

Now what kind of so-called rivalry is that? You think the Buckeyes are givin' the Maze and Blue a time out? Or Alabama is handing over a tactical advantage to Auburn?

Hmmm...N0, NO, hell NO!

But, wait.

It Seems as Carroll is willing to concede two Trojan timeouts during the USC v. UCLA renewal on Saturday so his squad can wear their home jersey even though they are designated the visiting game for this tilt in the Rose Bowl. Of course, the NCAA has a rule that requires visiting teams to wear white, and the infraction could cost USC two timeouts —one per half.

The last time the Trojans and the Bruins both wore home jerseys -- the Trojans in red, the Bruins in blue and gold -- was in 1982, when the schools shared the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"I just thought it was a really cool tradition," Carroll said.

As for losing timeouts? "I don't care about it right now," Carroll said. "I think it's the fun thing to do, and I think the fans will appreciate it over time."

"It's exciting," UCLA coach Neuheisel said. "I think wearing the home jerseys is a great tradition."

Ultimately, Neuheisel agreed to forego one first half time out as well, and the deal was done.

The PAC-10 also announced that it intends to again request the Football Rules Committee at its next meeting to eliminate the portion that says one team must wear white and simply have the rule state that the teams must wear jerseys of contrasting colors.

(Editor's Note: Hey, that actually makes sense!)

(Photos by AP Photos by Chris Carlson and Jeff Lewis)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SOMEWHERE UNDER THE RAINBOW. Charles Street ridden by Donal Fahy (#13) jumps a hurdle on his way to winning the Prendaw Handicap Hurdle Race at Fontwell Races on November 7, 2008 in Arundel, England.

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

HEY, AREN’T YOU GUYS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYING TENNIS OR SOMETHING? Laureus Members, Boris Becker of Germany and Mika Hakkinen of Finland racing during Laureus MotorV8 event at the Dayton Race Track, Milton Keynes on December 3, 2008 in Milton Keynes,

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HONEY, I’VE LOST MY HEAD. Evan Turner #21 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets a breakaway dunk while taking on the Miami Hurricanes at BankUnited Center on December 2, 2008 in Coral Gables, Florida. Ohio State defeated Miami 73-68.

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images North America)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE: ROUND 2

BEFORE: Big Ten 1, ACC 0

No. 4 DUKE 76, No. 9 Purdue (Boilermakers, 40,090 students, West Lafayette, IN) 60 - Kyle Singler had 20 points and 12 rebounds while Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer added 20 points for the Blue Devils (8-0). Robbie Hummel had 15 points and eight for the Boilermakers (5-2) who were outrebounded by Duke 49-29.

BOSTON COLLEGE 57, Iowa (Hawkeyes, 30,309 students, Iowa City, IA) 55 - Iowa's Andrew Brommer missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 0.4 seconds remaining to allow the Eagles to escape. Senior Tyrese Rice led BC with a game-high 15 points.

CLEMSON 76, Illinois (Fighting Illini, 42,326 students, Champaign, IL) 74 - Demontez Stitt scored 18 points and Trevor Booker had 16 to lead Clemson (8-0) to their fifth straight win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Tigers trailed at the half, 40-32, but forced 17 second-half turnovers with their full court press.

Ohio State (Buckeyes, 52,568 students, Columbus, OH) 73, No. 21MIAMI 68 - Ohio State (4-0) erased a 14-point second-half deficit on the back of Ohio school boy all-time leading scorer Jon Diebler (20 points). Miami (4-2) stalwart Jack McClinton (No. 33) decided to take a swipe at a Buckeye and was tossed from the game. He was four-for-four from behind the arc in just eight minutes when his brain mysteriously checked out.

Minnesota (Golden Gophers, 50,402 students, Minneapolis, MN) 66, VIRGINIA 56 - Freshman Colton Iverson had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Minnesota (7-0) while young Wahoo (3-3) star Sylven Landesberg managed just 10 on a woeful 1-for-11 shooting night. His mates weren’t much better, shooting 31 percent from the field for the game.

AFTER: ACC 3, Big Ten 3.

(Photos by AP Photos/Michael Conroy and Doug Benc/Getty Images)


YOU KNOW YOU’RE GETTING OLD…

...when Ralph Sampson and Michael Jordan’s kids are playing college basketball.

Ralph Sampson, III is five inches shorter than his famous father at a mere 6’11’’ and chose not to be the second coming at his dad’s C’ville alma mater. Sampson plays for Tubby Smith at the University of Minnesota. The freshmen from Duluth, GA is averaging 6 points and 4 rebounds in just under 16 minutes per game this season. Last night Sampson had one rebound, one assist and two blocked shots in 17 minutes.

According the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sampson is unfazed by his hoop pedigree. According to Ralph3, last night’s home matchup in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against dad’s Virginia Cavaliers was "just another game."

While Sampson’s parents have groomed his individuality, he’s got support in the famous family club at Minnesota. Gophers assistant coach Saul Smith played for his father, head coach Tubby Smith, at Kentucky. Graduate manager Ryan Saunders is the son of former Gophers guard and Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders. Junior Lawrence Westbrook is the first cousin of Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Brian Westbrook.

Jeff Jordan, Air Jordan’s eldest, is a sophomore at Illinois. A walk-on from Loyola Academy, Jordan doesn’t see too much playing time averaging just one point and one assist in 10 minutes per game this season. Last night, Jordan had two turnovers and no points in five minutes against Clemson.

UNMUDDYING THE WATERS

We originally wrote earlier this week that UNC-Asheville center Kenny George was not playing due to a partial amputation of his right foot as a result of an infection. We noted that George returned from the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in Las Vegas with the staph infection that was ultimately responsible his medical complications.

TAH was contacted by Roger Newell (the son of the late famous coach) who told us that George played one day and then "sat out with a leg problem he told my dad (before he passed away) had been bothering him for awhile." Pete Newell then told George to be sure to check with his team doctors immediately after returning to North Carolina.

According to the younger Newell, George stayed with a friend in Las Vegas and not with other campers at Camp hotel the entire time he was in Las Vegas. In addition Newell said there were no other players that suffered any injuries or staph infections at the camp.

TAH did not mean to infer that George had suffered the injury at Newell’s camp, but merely used the event to establish a timeline.

Pete Newell's record speaks for itself. He coached for 15 years at the University of San Francisco, Michigan State University and the University of California, Berkeley, compiling an overall record of 234 wins and 123 losses. He led the Cal Bears to the 1959 NCAA men's basketball championship, and a year later coached the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 1960 Summer Olympics. After his coaching career ended, he ran the world-famous instructional basketball camp.

Players who have attended Newell’s camp include Shaquille O'Neal, Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwan, Scottie Pippen, Bernard King, James Worthy, Sean Elliott, Jermaine O'Neal, Tayshaun Prince, Kenyon Martin, Shawn Marion, Shawn Kemp, Antawn Jamison, A.C. Green, Horace Grant, Tyson Chandler, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and Kwame Brown among others.

In retrospect, Kwame should have gone a couple of times, but even Coach Pete couldn't make 'em all good…

Newell died November 17, 2008 at the age of 93.

(AP Photo by Dino Vournas)

REASON NO. 813 WHY THE ACC IS BETTER THAN THE BIG TEN

For starters, the distaff side of the ACC doesn’t have sex in the men’s bathroom with a man they have never met.

Well, at least if they do, they don’t get busted by the cops. Not so recently for one unfortunate Iowa Hawkeye.

Believe it or not, Lois Feldman, 38 and a mother of three, was busted in Minneapolis for having sex in a restroom during the Iowa v. Minnesota football game. The bustee (no pun intended) said she’d had so much wine before kickoff that she doesn’t remember walking into the restroom, the man she had sex with in a stall, or when the police opened the door.

“I don’t know what happened,” Lois Feldman said. “But I don’t deny that it did happen because obviously there are police reports.”

Feldman, who describes herself as a light drinker, drank wine at the home of family friends before the football game and she remembers her host constantly refilling her glass.

Feldman said her husband Kelly later told her he’d tried to talk her out of the game because she was intoxicated. She said he faults himself for not going with her when she left her seat to use the restroom before halftime. (Brilliant strategy there, dude.)

She said she remembers sitting in the stands one moment and the next “being slammed around by a cop and screaming.”

“Apparently I was panicked and very uncooperative,” she said.

As we say at TAH, evidently

(Lois Feldman photo courtesy of www.inquisitr.com, Donna Feldman photo courtesy of Google/TAH Worldwide Photoshop)

THE ALL-ACC FOOTBALL TEAM

We aren’t ones to dwell on things like who is and who isn’t All-ACC, we’ll leave that to an expert like Caulton Tudor at the Raleigh News & Observer. As always, Tudor has good insight about life in the ACC.
His story includes both his opinions about the team and a complete list of the second teams and honorable mentions not listed here.

The 2008 Associated Press All-ACC Football Teams as voted on by 67 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. A first-team vote was worth two points and second team vote one. An asterisk denotes unanimous selection. Votes received are in parentheses.

OFFENSE First team
QB--Russell Wilson, N.C. State (106)
RB--Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (134)*
RB--Da'Rel Scott, Maryland (76)
WR--Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (130)
WR--D.J. Boldin, Wake Forest (76)
TE--John Phillips, Virginia (88)
OT--Eugene Monroe, Virginia (117)
OT--Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech (107)
OG--Rodney Hudson, Florida State (99)
OG--Cliff Ramsey, Boston College (78)
C--Edwin Williams, Maryland (62)

DEFENSE First team
DE--Everette Brown, Florida State (131)
DE--Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech (99)
DT--B.J. Raji, Boston College (103)
DT--Vance Walker, Georgia Tech (62)
LB--Mark Herzlich, Boston College (118)
LB--Michael Tauiliili, Duke (110)
LB--Aaron Curry, Wake Forest (106)
CB--Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest (134)*
CB--Victor Harris, Virginia Tech (125)
S--Trimane Goddard, North Carolina (105)
S--Michael Hamlin, Clemson (89)

SPECIAL TEAMS First team
K--Graham Gano, Florida State (127)
P--Travis Baltz, Maryland (105)
Specialist--C.J. Spiller, Clemson (66)

(Photos Matt Gentry/Roanoke Times, Zeke Smith/CarolinaBlue and Getty Images)

TERPS v. MIDSHIPMEN RIVALRY A BIT CHIPPY

The ACC now has nine bowl tie-ins and ten bowl eligible teams. Word on the street is that will leave N.C. State shopping since sources in the league office claim Clemson’s 6-5 versus bowl—eligibility—determining—teams is better than the Wolfpacks’ 6-6 record against same. But we digress…

There has been some talk that Maryland might play Navy in the new EagleBank Bowl debuting December 20 at good old RFK Stadium. Of course, the match up would make perfect sense for two geographic rivals with fan bases a short drive from D.C.’s historic stadium.
For some reason, and perhaps its because the Terps think a new bowl game is beneath a program of their stature (and girth), Maryland has not embraced the idea and claimed it would not be able to play in the game because it’s the last day of exams. (Editor’s Note: Seriously, do football players take exams five days before Christmas and/or during the height of bowl season? Really?)

Navy AD Chet Gladchuk responsed: “We have exams that week, too, but we're going to show up," Gladchuk said. "Everybody has an excuse why they can't do this or can't do that. We're finding a way to accommodate the bowl's situation."

Ralph’s response is rumored to have been: “Pass the Twinkies, damn it.”

JOHNSON, SMITH EARN POST SEASON HONORS

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson was named the ACC coach of the year Tuesday following a regular season in which his players managed to figure out his modified option offense. In doing so, the Ramblin’ Wreck shared the league lead in wins, remained in contention for the ACC title longer than aybody expected and defeated instate rival South Carolina in the season finale.

Johnson received 46 of a possible 67 votes from members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Boston College's Jeff Jagodzinski was second with 12 votes, followed by Duke's David Cutcliffe (4). Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and North Carolina's Butch Davis had two votes apiece, and North Carolina State's Tom O'Brien had one vote.

If TAH had a vote, we would have cast a split vote – half for the Wolfpack’s O’Brien and the other half for Dabo Swinney. Both men brought moribund teams back from the dead for late season winning streaks.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, one day after becoming the first freshman quarterback picked to the all-conference team, Russell Wilson was named the ACC rookie of the year after leading the Wolfpack to four straight wins to end the regular season.

The redshirt freshman earned 62 of 67 votes from members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, easily outdistancing Virginia Tech tailback Darren Evans and Miami linebacker Sean Spence.
Wilson has thrown for 1,769 passing yards, second to NFL quarterback Philip Rivers in school history by a freshman. He also leads the league in touchdown passes and in passing efficiency, and has run for four touchdowns for the Wolfpack (6-6, 4-4 ACC).

But perhaps most impressively, Wilson has thrown only one interception all year. In his last eight starts, Wilson has thrown 16 touchdowns with no interceptions and has a national-best 226 straight passes without a pick, a school record.

(Photos by Getty Images/Daylife.com)

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