Saturday, August 1, 2009

ACC FOOTBALL SEASON FINALE DEBATE

N.C. State Coach Tom O’Brien said earlier this week that he doesn’t like playing natural rival North Carolina in the season finale as it creates a chance that the same teams would meet again the following Saturday in the ACC championship game. The Tar Heels and Duke used to conclude the UNC regular season and this is the first season they end with the Wolfpack.

Thus a debate got underway in the Raleigh News & Observer. A reader from Cary, Jim Pomeranz agrees with O’Brien advocating that all ACC football teams be scheduled to play divisional opponents on the final week of the regular season.

The N&O/Charlotte Observer’s Ken Tysiac has a different approach saying: For most of its four-year existence, the ACC championship game has suffered from low attendance and apathy. In part, that's because fans often don't know until one week before the game whether their team will be playing in it.

If all ACC teams scheduled nonconference opponents for the final week of the regular season, it would guarantee fans a two-week window to make their plans to get to the championship game. That could give the game a much-needed boost.

It also would allow the traditional ACC vs. SEC games (Clemson vs. South Carolina, Georgia Tech vs. Georgia and Florida State vs. Florida) to stay in their popular spots at the end of the regular season.

Hmmm…

To read the entire article, click here.

HANSBROUGH INJURES SHIN, OUT TWO MONTHS

Tyler Hansbrough could miss up to two months with a right shin injury, but the Indiana Pacers believe their first-round draft pick will be healthy enough for the start of the season.

The Pacers did not provide details of the injury Friday other than to say the 6-foot-9 forward is expected to miss six to eight weeks ahead of the season. The NBA regular season begins Oct. 27.

Indiana said Hansbrough hurt the shin last season, his final year at North Carolina.

The Pacers took Hansbrough at No. 13 overall in last month's draft and signed him to a three-year contract.
Hansbrough led the Tar Heels to the national championship last season and finished his career as the ACC's career scoring leader.

FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST

Thank God, Florida State has a receiver free at last!

A prosecutor has dropped a felony charge against a Seminole wide receiver Richard Goodman who was accused of hurling a chair at a woman during a brawl in the school's student union and charged with aggravated battery.

Goodman was charged six months after the fight when another fight participant accused him of throwing the chair and seriously injuring a female student.

Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs filed a court document Thursday saying witnesses named at least four other people as the chair-thrower. Fuchs says no one identified Goodman.

Goodman was among five players suspended for a game last season for the fight with members of a fraternity. Goodman was suspended from the team after his May arrest until the charge was resolved. He was reinstated to the team following the dropping of the charge.

Hey, NCAA are you paying attention? The authorities made a mistake and arrested the wrong guy. Then a higher authority figured it out and let him go? Capiche?

Coach Bobby “Dadgummit” Bowden had this to say about the whole messy affair: “Doggone it, I tell my boys to wear a dadgum Joe Paterno mask when they go out lookin’ for dadbern trouble!”

HEATHER’S FRIDAY LUNCHTIME LINKS

A day late, but the dish is still hot…

*Former Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson signed a four-year deal with Cincinnati. He's just one of three players the Jackets will be missing up front this year. He's not the only former ACC superstar who just got richer.

*Former Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey signed a contract with the Raiders that will guarantee him at least $23.5 million. I need to learn how to catch the football better. (Don’t we all?)

*Is the ACC getting offensive? You bet.

*Jerry Ratcliffe says there are a few reasons for Virginia to be optimistic about this season.

*Miami senior cornerback Chavez Grant has the pedigree, but he wants to create his own legacy.
*Duke running back Requan Boyette could give the Blue Devils' running game the boost coach David Cutcliffe is looking for.

*The Demon Deacons picked up an offensive tackle this week.

*There's an injury trend at Maryland that doesn't bode well for this season if "stabilizer" Chris Turner becomes the latest in a long line of quarterbacks to get hurt.

DALY ANNOUNCES ANOTHER REALITY SHOW, PROMPTLY SHOOTS 88 AT BUICK OPEN

Big John Daly has a yet another reality show…and he says it’s going to be boring. Then he went out and shot an 88 in the second round of the Buick Open while Tiger (No Reality Show) Woods was shooting 63. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, yes?

Daly said earlier in the week an upcoming reality show on the Golf Channel, featuring him, will provide a glimpse of his new-and-improved boring life.

“I’m more laid back,” he said in an interview with The AP between puffs of a cigarette in the parking lot of Warwick Hills, the site of this week’s PGA tournament. “It won’t have the hustle and bustle as the last show.”

The Golf Channel had a 13-part series “The Daly Planet” in 2006, showcasing his wild life.

The first of at least eight episodes of the yet-to-be-named reality show will air in early 2010.
“I think ‘Out of the Rough’ is the perfect title,” Daly said.

The popular player said he’s focusing on his golf career, which has been marked by the highs of winning the British Open and PGA Championship and lows created by problems outside the ropes.

Daly has been to alcohol rehab twice, has been married three times and wrote an autobiography that was as much about drinking, sex and gambling as it was about his golf. Other than that, his life has been pretty routine.

“I haven’t had a drink in a while,” Daly said.

Somewhere, Anna Nicole Smith is laughing.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

ALMOST. This picture wasn’t quite worthy of its own “Things That Make You Go…Hmmm,” but it was darn close.

Cricket fans, wearing pirates hats, take shelter while rain delays and canceled the start of the third day of the third Ashes cricket test between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England on August 1, 2009.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

INFARED PICTURE OF THE DAY

IS THAT YOU, ANSEL? Jim Furyk tees off on the 17th hole during round two of the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club on July 31, 2009 in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Friday, July 31, 2009

DEAR MR. SNYDER

Don't even THINK about it.

The person holding the sign in the adjacent photo is an ESCAPED mental patient.

Sincerely,

Your Loyal Fan

T.A.H. TO STRIKE IT RICH ON E-BAY

And just like that, there it was…Staring at us from the rack with the handwritten sign that said “CLEARANCE BIN” in Rankins True Value Hardware in Warrenton, VA.

T.A.H. is a fan of True Value hardware stores as they maintain a bit of “character.” Rankins is owned by a couple fellas T.A.H. went to high school with so when Wal-Mart and Home Depot came to town, we made a conscious effort to support the locals even if things did cost a little bit more.

So there we were in Rankins buying some extra knee, thigh and hip pads for FYF Colt Toly Hansbrough (can’t get those at Wal-Mart or Home Depot for the record), and there it was… It was right on the top shelf (where it should have been) elevated above the out-of-date baseball gloves, bats, soccer shin guards and lacrosse helmets. (Which begs the question, do you want your kid to play lacrosse in a helmet that you got from the clearance bin, but we digress.)

Right there on the top shelf smiling at us was none other than Michael Vick. There was a time when Vick merchandise was a big seller. In fact, when the dog fighting story first broke, we happened to be shopping for a practice jersey for multi-sport superstar and future University of North Carolina All-American Toly Hansbrough, when we first saw the Vick jerseys – a whole rack of them. We wondered then if the market for these items would collapse and it did.

But this one leftover Super Soft Felt Inflated Sponge Cover “Foam-posite” football and #7 Youth Football Practice Jersey remained behind miraculously surviving 23 months in jail and a luke warm NFL reinstatement!

Eureka! A bloody gold mine! (No pun intended).

Feel free to leave your "bid" and your contact info as a comment to this post.

CLASSIC FACE OFF

The winners of two legs of horseracing Triple Crown will face off this weekend when Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra and Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird face of the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational Gr.I at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Rachel Alexandra (pictured) has been training at Saratoga while Summer Bird has been getting prepared at the New Jersey track that will host the race. Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird continues to go down his own unique path. Starting out in Canada and then winning the Kentucky Derby by way of New Mexico, he now is headed to “almost Heaven.” He will also run this weekend facing five opponents in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby Gr.II at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort.

Fourth place Belmont finisher Virginia-bred Charitable Man is running at Saratoga in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Gr.II on Saturday as well.

SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS?

We don’t usually stoop to such lows just to sell newspapers, but we couldn’t let this one pass. T.A.H. Pop Culture Editor hipped us to the “The CAPTION THIS Contest For July 30th!” from the web site D Listed.

When we stopped laughing, we felt compelled to share it even if it slightly tarnishes T.A.H.’s squeaky clean image…

Here are some samples of the captions left by D Listed readers:

*All growned-up Maddie Briann Aldridge is unsettled when she visits Aunt Britney's
New girl group "Boobs, Sweat and Spears"
*Tara Reid was devasted she had to miss out on the family reunion but happy Aunt Peg and everyone kept it light this year.
*Reason 12,963,821 the south should have won
*The long awaited loop hole to no shoes, no shirts, no service.
*Finalists for the 'Whores of July' contest.
*L to R: Sees no evil, Hears no evil, Speaks no evil, Has no fun
*In an emotional reunion, Snap, Crackle and Pop finally met their estranged sister, Dignity.
*How come the girl on the far right isn't wearing a headband?
*Finally! A picture of all the girls Tucker Max actually did sleep with!
*Middle-aged Mutant Ninja Whores.

And T.A.H.’s favorite: WTF Holly?! We said no shirts!

And we’d like to add: The real inspiration for the Lyle Lovett song “I Don’t Know” which includes in the chorus:

I'm just a poor boy,

I like to have fun.
I know a pretty girl when i see one.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

TOO COOL FOR POOL. This underwater image shows Hungary's Daniel Gyurta competing during the men's 200m breaststroke qualifications on July 30, 2009 at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome. A

(Photo by Francois Xavier Marit/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

TOUGH GUYS. Nassiriyah team player Assad Radi (L) readies to pass the ball as he is blocked by Kirkuk team player Abbas Mohammed during their match at the Shaab indoor arena in central Baghdad, on July 30, 2009. Eight teams from across Iraq came to play in the national disabled basketball finals in Baghdad.

(Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

LOOK WHO’S BACK. Michele Wie was near the top of the leaderboard halfway through the opening round of the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course on Thursday, July 30, 2009. She ended up shooting 73 for the day (+2).

(Photo credit should read Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TELEVISION POSTPONES CAROLINA V. CAROLINA

Evidently ESPN, would like the Universities of North Carolina and South Carolina to set aside part two of their home-and-home series (the Gamecocks won in Chapel Hill in 2007) to make way for an UNC v. LSU opener in the Georgia Dome next year…

Ouch. While Butch Davis’ Tar Heels are steadily improving who can forget the whoopin’ the Tigers put on the Hokies in a season opener a few years back…

Jump forward to yesterday when South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman said USC will allow North Carolina out of its 2010 game in Columbia, but only if the Tar Heels agree to make up the game in the "very near future" and a suitable replacement is found for next year's schedule.

ESPN officials contacted Hyman several months ago to see if he would be amenable to letting North Carolina out of the second game to set up the UNC v. LSU season opener.


In exchange, ESPN told Hyman it would televise the Gamecocks' 2010 opener on Thursday night as the first game of the season against a team the network would line up. Hyman would not identify possible opponents but said ESPN has a stake in making it an attractive TV match up. (Show the Gamecocks the money!!!)

Hyman said he was willing to work with ESPN, which is beginning the first year of its unprecedented 15-year deal with the Southeastern Conference worth $2.25 billion. (Ditto.)

Under the terms of the contract, UNC would owe USC a $750,000 buyout if it does not schedule a makeup game. (Talk about win/win for the Cocks.)

The Tar Heels lead the series 34-17-4.

SHOCKING NEWS: NCAA SAYS IT DOESN’T HAVE TO COMPLY WITH FLORIDA LAW

Well, of course not, they’re the NCAA and the mighty suits from Kansas do whatever idiotic thing they want to do. Don’t believe us? OK, how about – BCS? Told you so.

Next.

According to the AP, the NCAA on Monday said it cannot be forced to release documents in Florida State University's appeal of academic cheating penalties because the papers are not covered by the state's public records law.

The NCAA asked Circuit Judge John C. Cooper to dismiss a lawsuit filed by The Associated Press and other news organizations seeking the records under Florida's sunshine law.

The documents concern Florida State's appeal of a plan to remove wins from the individual records of all coaches and athletes in several sports even though many, including football coach Bobby Bowden, had no roles in the cheating scandal.

Cooper will hear the NCAA's motion and others on Aug. 5 and agreed to delay the final two-day hearing until Aug. 20-21.

The NCAA sought the delay because two of its key witnesses - both executives of the organization - will be unavailable on the original dates as they'll be attending NCAA meetings on those days. (Are those meetings in some fabulous vacation destination?)

In the motion to dismiss, NCAA lawyer Thom Rumberger argues the documents are not public records and that the NCAA is neither a custodian of records, public body nor agency covered by the law.

Rumberger also contends the records are not public because the university, although a state institution, does not use public money to pay its NCAA dues or membership fees. (That’s what the T.A.H. attorney’s would call a reach!)

The news organizations sued last month for access to records that include the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions' response to Florida State's appeal of penalties for cheating by 61 athletes in several sports. They received improper help from staffers who gave them answers to an online music test or typed papers for them.

The suit accuses the NCAA, Florida State, school officials and a law firm working for the university of participating in "a scheme created to avoid public access."

FSU has a suit of its own in the works, but that one primarily asserts that the NCAA is bunch of you-know-whats.

ACC CRIME REPORT: FSU (AGAIN)

FSU has had some in- and off-season issues with its wide receivers. Looks like they might get one of them back.

FSU receiver Bert Reed is expected to enter a pretrial diversion program, according to Brian Landman of the St. Petersburg Times.

This seems like good news for Reed and Seminole Nation. Reed will have to perform some community service, and pay some fines in order for his misdemeanor battery charge to be dropped. The more receivers FSU can get back on the field, the better, and with Reed in the clear for the Miami game, it will be one less thing Coach Dadgummit has to worry about.

Reed has the most experience of the returning wide outs, but he needs to improve his off-the-field decision making.

THANKS, HEATHER: ACC LUNCHTIME LINKS

*Bobby Bowden thinks that it's only a matter of time before Frank Beamer gets the job done.

*BC's biggest strength this year? The band, the cheerleaders, and of course, the team itself.

*No secrets at Virginia this year -- the Cavaliers are entering summer camp with Vic Hall as their No. 1.

*Unlike the past few seasons, there's no question Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is the quarterback this year, and how he performs will be critical to the Terps' success.

*Mark Bradley of the AJC says Jonathan Dwyer will finish in the top five in the Heisman voting -- ahead of C.J. Spiller.

*This year has the potential to be different for the "Triangle teams," even if the predictions don't reflect it.

THE MARRIAGE MADE IN FROZEN HELL

As we like to say here at T.A.H. – Evidently…

Evidently, the marriage between the groom Brett Favre (l) and the bride Brad Childress (r) and the Minnesota Vikings wasn’t exactly made in heaven…

Favre called Vikings coach Brad Childress on Tuesday to tell him he was staying retired and would not be joining the Vikings for training camp.

Now the Vikings are left to pick up the pieces after their summer-long courtship of the future Hall of Fame quarterback ended with a phone call just two days before players are required to report to training camp in Mankato.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Favre told ESPN. “I didn’t feel like physically I could play at a level that was acceptable. I would like to thank everyone, including the Packers, Jets and Vikings—but, most importantly, the fans.”

Set to turn 40 in October, Favre told Childress that he didn’t think his body could withstand a 19th season in the NFL.

Since purple #4 jersey’s emblazoned with “FAVRE” on the back have been flying off the shelves in the Land o’ Lakes, it’s safe to say a few Viking’s fans feel a bit jilted. For example, how about this headline over at the popular sports’ blog Kissing Susie Kobler: DID I SAY F–K YOU, BRETT FAVRE? WELL, F–K YOU WITH A CHAINSAW, FAVRE!

Yikes.

SARATOGA OPENS TODAY

When the starting gate opens today for the first race at the famous Saratoga Race Course, the grand dame of American horseracing will launch its 141st season.

Over the course of its 36-day meet, with live racing daily except Tuesdays, Saratoga Race will offer $25 million in purses – tops in the nation – and 34 graded stakes, highlighted by the 140th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers on Aug. 29.

Both Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird have the “Mid-Summer Derby” penciled in on their schedules, but Preakness heroine Rachel Alexandra could be eyeing a rematch with the boys in the 1¼-mile race if she doesn’t go in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama the previous week.

The stakes calendar has been rearranged from last year so there is at least one Grade 1 race every Saturday, beginning with the Aug. 1, $500,000 Diana for fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the turf.

“The driving force behind Saratoga’s success is the incredibly high level of racing on an everyday basis,” said NYRA President and Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Hayward. “It’s the premier meet in the United States, run in a beautiful setting in a beautiful area. Racing fans across the country have come to expect the Saratoga meet to be the best in the country.”

And, it is.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

BATTING PRACTICE. We didn’t realize that cricket had batting practice. Evidently…they do. Here, England cricket captain Andrew Strauss cuts at a ball during training indoors at Edgbaston in Birmingham, on July 29, 2009. England is preparing to play Australia in the third Ashes Test starting Thursday July 30, 2009.

(Photo by William West/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

UNI UPDATE. It’s been awhile since we opined on hideous soccer unis. Here are two good ones. The Tottenham Hotspur is understated and very classy, while West Ham’s sport a cancer fund message which works for us as well.

Here, Alan Hutton of Tottenham (l) is challenged by Mark Noble of West Ham United (r) during their football match in the English Premier League Asia Trophy tournament at the Worker's Stadium in Beijing on July 29, 2009.

(Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

UFO LANDS IN THE CARRIBEAN. Well…no.

Hungary's Laszlo Cseh competes during the men's 200m individual medley qualifications on July 29, 2009 at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome.


(Photo by Christopohe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WHY GOBBLER COUNTRY IS THE GREATEST BLOG OF ALL TIME

Straight up, they ought to call it "Genius Country" 'cause they know good blog when they see it.

Gobbler Country continues to be very complimentary of T.A.H. - anytime somebody reviews your work and uses "New York Times" in a sentence that doesn't include the words "you" or "suck," it's a good day in blogdom.

When we e-mailed Gobbler Country and questioned their designation of T.A.H. as the "blog of record for the ACC," here's what we got back.

From: Gobbler Country
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: Today's ACC Headlines

There's a difference between an official site (theacc.com) and the blog of record. That title was a play off of what they used to (and some still call) the New York Times. It was referred to as the "paper of record" because it used to be solely news stories from the previous day.

If you read your site every day, you're going to have a good idea of what's going on in the ACC world. You can't just rely on press releases from the league. That doesn't give you news. But the links and reviews from your site does give readers the best sense of what's happening in the ACC.

Keep up the good work.

Well, now that's high praise in the T.A.H. book. Thanks, guys, we appreciate the kind words and keep spreadin' that T.A.H. gospel all around the ACC!

However, let's give credit where credit is due. T.A.H. wouldn't be as good as it is with out the ACC Now blog at the Raleigh News & Observer or Heather Dinich's ACC Football blog over at ESPN. Props to both for being great sources of ACC info. Of course, tips from the homies, loyal readers and angry anonymous people also helps!

HAS GOBBLER NATION GONE COMPLETELY CRAZY?

Google Alert sent us a message earlier today noting the Gobbler Country had called T.A.H. the “blog of record for the ACC.” Now, we’re prejudiced obviously, but that seemed like high praise for lil’ ol’ T.A.H. Then it went on to say “it doesn’t provide much commentary” and that’s when we know there was a mistake somewhere.

We contacted Gobbler Country and pointed out the error, but we thought our loyal readers (especially CC Nation) would enjoy this while it lasts…

Who Will Carry the Banner for the ACC in the Blogosphere?


ACC Football Report shut its doors on Friday. Marcus' absense will be felt among those who eat, sleep and breathe ACC oblong. His departure deprives ACC football of one of it's strongest proponents (and harshest critics) from the last three seasons. Combined with the closure of ACC Nation last season, we are bereft of a strong conference-wide independent blog.

Without Marcus, the ACC has to find a new voice in the blogosphere. There are a few options, but only one that can provide the same kind of coverage Marcus did. We need someone who can cover all 12 schools in a blog that's available to everyone and independent of mainstream media.
Here on SB Nation, Team Speed Kills covers SEC football and The Rivalry, Esq., covers Big Ten football. There isn't an ACC-wide independent blog, mainly because not many exist.

Today's ACC Headlines is the blog of record for the ACC. However, it doesn't provide much commentary. It's a great place to go if you want a quick run-down of what's going on in the conference. But it doesn't really comment on the issues the ACC is facing.

To read the full post, click here.

COACH DADGUMMIT: ACC'S BALANCE HAS A COST

BY KEN TYSIAC - Staff Writer – Raleigh News & Observer.

GREENSBORO -- Leave it to the oldest coach in the room, Florida State's Bobby Bowden, to get to the heart of the ACC's image problem.

At the conference's football media kickoff Monday, Bowden told a room full of reporters that the ACC needs somebody to rise to the top.

The ACC hasn't had a national champion since Florida State in 1999. No ACC team has played in a national championship game since Florida State lost to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2000 season.

"If you talk about the ACC the last few years, you've seen balance," Bowden said. "You ain't going to win a national championship with balance."

To read the rest of the story, click here.

MEDIA PICKS HOKIES, NOLES TO LEAD THE WAY

Virginia Tech, winner of three ACC championships in its first five seasons of membership, was the overwhelming pick to claim a fourth in voting conducted by media at the ACC Football Kickoff at Grandover Resort on Sunday. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, is buoyed by the return of running back Jonathan Dwyer. The 2008 ACC Player of the Year bested Clemson's C.J. Spiller in preseason voting for the 2009 honor.

The Kickoff attracted a record number of attendees and voters. The electorate of 87 media representatives surpassed the standard of 83 set two years earlier.

Virginia Tech, which has won two of the first four ACC championship games, has been picked to defeat Atlantic Division representative Florida State in the fifth installment, set for Dec. 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

The Hokies received 78 first-place votes and 512 points in divisional balloting. Georgia Tech claimed the other nine first-place votes and 415 points for second. North Carolina (350) and Miami (282) followed the top two and placed ahead of Virginia (148) and Duke (120).

Voting was more balanced in the Atlantic, in which four of six teams got first-place votes. FSU won with 56 first-place citations and 479 points. Runner-up Clemson (387 points) was the choice for first by 14 electors.

In predicting the championship game's outcome, 69 of the 87 (79.1 percent) voters went with the Hokies. The percentage figure is in line with previous preseason surveys. Clemson (78.5) and Virginia Tech (83.1) were equally popular in the previous two years.

Dwyer, whose 107 rushing yards per game led the league in 2008, is the first ACC Player of the Year to seek a repeat of the honor since Florida State's Charlie Ward in 1993. Dwyer received 39 votes in the 2009 preseason balloting. That was enough to edge Clemson's C.J. Spiller, who needs 921 all-purpose yards to become the ACC's career record-holder in that department. Spiller, who garnered 28 votes, is the subject of a life-sized poster that leads the school's Heisman campaign on his behalf.

2009 ACC Football Kickoff Preseason Media Balloting
ATLANTIC DIVISION
1. Florida State (56) 479
2. Clemson (14) 387
3. NC State (10) 364
4. Wake Forest (7) 295
5. Maryland 157
6. Boston College 145


COASTAL DIVISION
1. Virginia Tech (78) 512
2. Georgia Tech (9) 415
3. North Carolina 350
4. Miami 282
5. Virginia 148
6. Duke 120

WOLFPACK’S RUSSELL WILSON – GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

The good news for N.C. State fans is that their quarterback Russell Wilson appears to be the best int eh ACC. He was Rookie of the Year his freshman season, and he finished third in the pre-season ACC Player of the Year voting.

Bad news is he may not be around too long.

Wilson, a first-team All-ACC selection as a redshirt freshman last season, is on an accelerated academic schedule that has him on track for graduation in the spring of 2010. He also is a baseball prospect who's eligible for the 2010 MLB draft.

Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said family health issues – Wilson's father suffered a stroke about a year ago – could factor into his decision.

"If baseball is the way he has to go to help his family or it's best for him, then certainly we'll support him in that," O'Brien said.

"We'd love to have him, but as I told you, he came in with a plan. He's going to graduate in three years. He's got the baseball side and the football side, and he likes whatever he’s doing that minute."

With Wilson's future uncertain beyond this season, O'Brien plans to play highly touted redshirt freshman backup Mike Glennon for a series in the first half in each game.

LIKE PARROTHEADS, MIAMI’S SHANNON LIKES LAND SHARK

According to ESPN’s Heather Dinich who attended the ACC Kickoff this past Sunday and Monday, Miami coach Randy Shannon has developed a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the country, but recently, he's gotten some help.

Moving into Land Shark Stadium has been a vast improvement over what he had to flaunt at the old Orange Bowl.

"When they tore down the Orange Bowl, somebody hit it with a sledgehammer and a whole side fell down," Shannon said. "That's how bad it was."

While the pro stadium might not be the best college football atmosphere in the ACC, it's certainly an impressive venue and a little more stable than their former home.

The deal Jimmy Buffett made to sponsor the stadium is short-term and does not extend through the Miami Dolphins seasons. Whether or not the deal is in place for Miami’s collegiate slate next year is unknown to T.A.H.

MOST FAMOUS/INFAMOUS HOKIE BACK IN NFL (SORT OF)

The door is ajar for Michael Vick to return to the NFL. Only Vick, and any team willing to sign him, can open it fully.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Vick on Monday, with conditions. Free after serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, Vick could participate in regular-season games as early as October.

Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games—if he can find a team. A number of clubs have already said they are not interested.

Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League,” Vick said in a statement released by his agent, Joel Segal. “I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given."

“As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward,” he said.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

BENCHED. Clemson's Dabo Swinney, Maryland's Ralph Friedgen and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson take a break on the bench during the ACC Kickoff, July 26 and 27 in Greensboro, NC.

(Photo by TheAcc.com)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DIVE, DIVE, DIVE. France's Coralie Balmy competes during the women's 200m freestyle qualifications on July 28, 2009 at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome.

(Photo by Francois-Xavier Marit/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

PERFECT TIMING. Mike Napoli #44 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits the third of three back-to-back home runs in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium on July 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

HOKIES TO PLAY BRONCOS AT FED EX IN 2010

Looking to ever expand their position in the eyes of the BCS, the Virginia Tech Hokies will take on the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos and Hokies will play Oct. 2 at FedEx Field, in the Washington suburb of Landover, Md. Denver will get a payout of $1.25 million to play the Hokies, one of the most successful college football programs in the last decade. The game will be an “unofficial” pre-season game for the Broncos.


Virginia Tech is 100-30 record over the last 10 years, but Vegas odds makers have made the Broncos a 27 point favorite. Should Kyle Orton be unable to play, the boys in Vegas say the line would move to Denver -35...

Say what?

Oh…the Boise State Broncos.

Oops, our bad.

Hokies v. Boise State, Oct. 2, 2010, FedEx Field.

FSU TAKING NCAA TO COURT

The battle between Florida State and the NCAA will now enter a courtroom, as FSU announced Friday it is taking legal action to force the NCAA to release the public records associated with FSU's ongoing appeal.

The case is pending in Leon County Circuit Court and is set for a hearing on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6.

Here is the official release from FSU:

The Florida State University announced today that it is taking legal action to have the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) comply with the public records laws of the state of Florida.

Several news media organizations have sued both the NCAA and The Florida State University to compel the release of public records associated with the university's appeal of an NCAA ruling. Today, the university filed a "cross-claim" in Leon County (Fla.) Circuit Court, essentially against the NCAA. The university also seeks compensation from the NCAA for legal fees and other costs it has incurred because of the NCAA's refusal to release the documents in question.

At issue is the NCAA Committee on Infractions' recent correspondence with Florida State, which is appealing certain sanctions handed down in an academic misconduct investigation involving university student-athletes. The NCAA -- a membership organization that regulates intercollegiate athletics throughout the United States -- posted documents on a secure, custodial, "read-only" Web site that prohibits downloading or printing. That has made it technically impossible for Florida State to provide the document to the public in compliance with Florida law.

"The university has consistently complied with the Public Records Act to the degree that it is able to do so," said Betty Steffens, the university's general counsel. "We do not have custody or control of the documents in question."

DINICH’S ESPN ACC BLOG LUNCHTIME LINKS

July 24, 2009 12:30 PM - Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

*Media days begin on Sunday for the ACC, and Bobby Bowden is sure to get plenty of questions regarding his future at FSU. One thing is for sure -- the university has no plans of paying Jimbo Fisher $5 million.

*NC State's Nate Irving is out indefinitely, and that's no big surprise considering the severity of his car accident. Whether or not he comes back is entirely in the hands of his doctors.
Mark Bradley tackles the most pressing questions facing Georgia Tech this fall and makes a favorable prediction for the Jackets' record.

*There's a common thread to Maryland's "good but not great" theme under coach Ralph Friedgen and it starts up front, on the defensive line.

*Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage is one of many athletic directors feeling the effects of the economy.

*Miami's ground game is in need of some life. Can "Coop and J.J." be the answers? Miami coach Randy Shannon is certainly ready for a 1,000-yard rusher.

And we will add this one.

*Duke transfer Stephen Curry was part of the U19 team that just won the World Championship down in New Zealand. He says he’s anxious to play for the Blue Devils.

PICTURE OF THE DA(L)Y

JOKER PANTS. John Daly waits to hit on the ninth fairway during round two of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club on July 25, 2009 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

GOOD DECISION: Acknowledging that the majority of the United States doesn’t get soccer and doesn’t care about soccer (and never will), former Polish President and Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa (r), UEFA President Michel Platini (c) and the president of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), Grzegorz Lato (l), decide to cancel the six zillion games of the 2012 European Championships and just give each other little blue flags with gold fringe.

Blame the economy.

(Photo by Adam Warzawa/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

YAWNING? WRETCHING? YELLING? WHAT? Romanian Raluca Olaru reacts during the final of the WTA Tennis Tournament against Germany's Andrea Petkovic in Bad Gastein on July 26, 2009. Petkovic claimed her first WTA title here with a convincing straight sets win over Olaru.

(Photo by Schaadfoto/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

MARCO POLO? No, that would be Canada-China Polo. Close. Canada's Constantin Kubada vies for the ball during the water-polo quarterfinal qualification match Canada Vs China on July 26, 2009 at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome. Canada won 9-5.

(Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

OUR FAVORITE CRAZY GUY – CASEY STONER. Casey Stoner of Australia leaves his pit for morning warm up prior to the afternoon's British Grand Prix at Donington Park, in Leicestershire, central England, on July 25, 2009.

(Photo by Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

UNUSUAL ANGLE. Paula Creamer of USA plays her tee shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Evian Masters at the Evian Masters Golf Club on July 25, 2009 in Evian-les-Bains, France.

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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