Saturday, November 14, 2009

WEEK 11: EARLY GAME RESULTS

NO. 21 VIRGINIA TECH 36, MARYLAND 9 – Tyrod Taylor had a big day going 13 for 26 for 268 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Ryan Williams had another 100+ yards game gaining 126 yards from 26 attempts. The Hokies (7-2, 4-2 ACC) outgained the Terps (2-8, 1-5) 487 yards to 235 yards.

Back up Maryland QB Jamarr Robinsin looked like a back-up going 12-32 for 103 yards and no touchdowns. To his credit he didn’t throw any picks.

CLEMSON 43, N.C. STATE 23 – The Wolfpack tried to keep the ball away from His Awesomeness C.J. Spiller by squib kicking. It didn’t work.
In the end, Spiller became the first player in Clemson history to record a touchdown passing, rushing and receiving in the SAME GAME.

Spiller, who broke Derrick Hamilton's single-season school record for all-purpose yards on his 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries. He finished with three receptions for 48 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown catch that blew open the game early in the fourth quarter.

Jamie Harper added a 69-yard touchdown run for the Tigers (7-3, 5-2 ACC) who won their fifth consecutive game. The Tigers will clinch the ACC Atlantic Division if Boston College loses at Virginia later Saturday.

Russell Wilson was 12 of 32 for 183 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack (4-6, 1-5), who allowed at least 30 points for the seventh consecutive game.

NO. 7 GEORGIA TECH 49, DUKE 10 – Duke jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but the Yellow Jackets composed themselves and cranked up their offense to clinch a spot in the Dr. Pepper Bowl (the ACC Championship Game). Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns and QB Josh Nesbitt accounted for three scores.

Orwin Smith returned a kickoff 83 yards to spark the slow-starting Yellow Jackets (10-1, 7-1 ACC). Their offense took over after that, scoring touchdowns on five of the following six possessions, rushing for 306 yards and shutting out the Blue Devils in the final three quarters.

The Blue Devils (5-5, 3-3) had minus-1 yard rushing through three quarters and finished with 25.

Georgia Tech outgained Duke 519-281, won its eighth straight and sewed up the Coastal Division title for the second time in four years.

Thaddeus Lewis was 22 for 35 for 212 yards with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Re'quan Boyette and an interception in garbage time. Duke has lost two straight, and must beat No. 12 Miami and Wake Forest to qualify for its first bowl since 1994.

FLORIDA STATE 42, WAKE FOREST 28 – Jermaine Thomas rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown, E.J. Manuel was effective in his first career start as the Noles kept its bowl hopes alive.

Manuel was 15 of 20 for 220 yards. He threw for a touchdown and ran for another replacing the injured Christian Ponder for the Seminoles (5-5, 3-4 ACC), who will qualify for a bowl for a record 28th straight year with a win next week against Maryland. And, quite frankly, how hard can that really be?

Wake Forest (4-7, 2-5) lost its fifth straight and was eliminated from bowl contention in a sour final home game for Riley Skinner. Looking to become the first quarterback to start in four wins over Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, Skinner struggled.

TOP BASKETBALL RECRUIT IN NATION PICKS UNC

Well…duh. The dude's mom named him after Michael Jordan.

The highest ranked prospect in high school basketball, Harrison Bryce Jordan Barnes is coming to Chapel Hill to play basketball for the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Before he was born, his mother, Shirley, taped many of former Tar Heels great Michael Jordan's games with the Chicago Bulls in case she had a son. When she had one, she included Jordan in his name. Then, during his visit to North Carolina earlier this fall for the school's alumni game, Barnes and his family briefly met Jordan, although NCAA rules only allow a short greeting.

Game over.

In front of an anxious crowd at his high school and a national TV audience on ESPNU Friday afternoon, top-ranked recruit Harrison Barnes walked over to a laptop to connect by video conference to the coach whose school he planned to attend.

After an awkward, 70-second pause while the video link was established, coach Roy Williams and the UNC team appeared on the projection screen at the gym at Ames High School in Iowa.
"Coach, I know you're in practice now, and I've got to get going on signing my letter of intent here," Barnes said. "But I just want to let you know that I'll be joining you next year on the squad. I can't wait to play with all you guys."

Somewhere in Durham, Coach K said “S&%#!!!!!”

*Item in italics may not be true, but in this case it may be.

WEEK 11: ACC FOOTBALL

Saturday, November 14:

CLEMSON (-6.5) @ N.C. STATE, 12:00 PM, TV: RAYCOM (XM 191, Sirius 217)

GEORGIA TECH (-10) @ DUKE, 12:00 PM, TV: ESPN2 (XM 190, Sirius 211)

FLORIDA STATE @ WAKE FOREST (-5), 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 193, Sirius 215)

VIRGINIA TECH (-17) @ MARYLAND, 1:00 PM, TV: ESPN360.com (XM 192, Sirius 212)

MIAMI (-3.5) @ NORTH CAROLINA, 3:30 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN (XM 191)

BOSTON COLLEGE(-5.5) @ VIRGINIA, 3:30 PM, TV: ESPN360.com (XM 190, Sirius 211)

FRIDAY NIGHT HOOPS

NO. 9 DUKE 96, UNC Greensboro (Spartans, 14,787 students, Greensboro, NC) 62 - Kyle Singler scored 20 points, Jon Scheyer added 18 and the Blue Devils shrugged off a pair of key absences (Plumleee injured wrist, Smith two-game suspension) to rout UNC Greensboro.

Singler, the ACC's preseason player of the year, had 14 points in the first half and wound up playing 38 minutes. Scheyer, the only true guard in the starting lineup, logged 37 turnover-free minutes for Duke (1-0).

VIRGINIA 85, Longwood (Lancers, 4,479 students, Farmville, VA) 72 – The Tony Bennett coaching era at Virginia began with a win on Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena. Bennett, the former Washington State coach, was hired in April to replace Dave Leitao.

Virginia, behind 23 points from Sylven Landesberg and 17 from Mustapha Farrakhan, defeated Longwood in both team's season openers. Farrakhan's 17 points tied his career high. Mike Scott recorded his 11th career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sammy Zeglinski added 14 points and Jeff Jones 10 as the Cavaliers put all five of their starters in double figures.

BOSTON COLLEGE 89, Dartmouth (Big Green, 4,147 students, Hanover, NH) 58 – Senior Tyler Roche scored a career-high 30 points to lead Boston College to a season-opening victory over Dartmouth before 4,277 fans in Conte Forum.

Roche, whose previous career high was 17 points, shot 10-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range. He sank 6-of-9 free-throw attempts. The senior from Hooksett, N.H., tallied 15 points in each half.

Sophomore Reggie Jackson scored 16 points, junior Joe Trapani netted 11 points and sophomore Dallas Elmore had 10 points to round out BC's list of double-figure scorers. Jackson and Roche both logged 38 minutes.

NO. 24 CLEMSON 84, Presbyterian (Blue Hose, 1,300 students, Clinton, NC) 41 – Noel Johnson, the Tigers' 6-foot-6 freshman had four of Clemson's 14 3-pointers in their win on Friday night.

While some first-year performers might be nervous in their first game in front of a large crowd - there were nearly 9,200 at Littlejohn Coliseum - Johnson was silky smooth.

WAKE FOREST 76, Oral Roberts (Golden Eagles, 3,200 students, Tulsa, OK) 56 – Wake Wake Forest came out flying in its season-opener at the Joel Coliseum. Al-Farouq Aminu led the Demon Deacons, recording a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

It was a true team effort as four Demon Deacons hit double digits in scoring. Freshman Ari Stewart scored 11 points including two second-half three pointers. L.D. Williams finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards.

Chas McFarland had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Ishmael Smith, Williams, and freshman C. J. Harris each had four assists.

MARYLAND 89, Charleston Southern (Bucaneers, 3,000 students, North Charleston, SC) 51 – Greivis Vasquez got 13 assists on opening night, then passed around the credit for Maryland's season-opening victory.

Landon Milbourne scored 16, and the Terrapins placed four other players in double figures Friday night. Sean Mosley scored 15 and Eric Hayes added 10 for the Terrapins, who never trailed. Freshman forward Jordan Williams was the first freshman forward to start a season opener at Maryland since Joe Smith in 1993. Williams (pictured), undaunted, scored 12 points.

(Duke photos Ted Richardson, Raleigh News & Observer, Williams photo John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post Photo )

COACH K'S WAY OR THE HIGHWAY: ADIOS CHEER SHEETS

In his on-going effort to control all things Duke, head coach Mike Krzchvbw3ski has asked the venerable Cameron Crazies to abandon their traditional "cheer sheets."

Speaking on the Duke campus in Page Auditorium last month, Coach K asked a group of prospective K-Ville residents to return to the more "spontaneous" roots of the Cameron Crazies. Specifically, Krzyzewski asked students to eliminate the cheer sheets distributed before every game in favor of new and different chants for each opponent.

His Krzbplk4wski-ness also announced that he would be encouraging students to create creative signs for the student section this year, and after each game Krzlkj7wski said he would choose his favorite sign, and that student and a friend would be able to sit directly behind the Duke coach during the Blue Devils next home game.

Earplugs will be optional for the lucky winners.

PICTURE OF THE DAY


Nice, Tyler, NICE!

Friday, November 13, 2009

THURSDAY NIGHT HOOPS

N.C. STATE 69, Georgia State (Panthers, 22,587 students, Atlanta, GA) 53

Junior Tracy Smith (#23) had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the NC State men's basketball team to a season-opening 69-53 victory over Georgia State Thursday night at the RBC Center.

Senior Dennis Horner scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half as the Wolfpack held a narrow 32-29 advantage at intermission.

The game remained close through much of the second half and was tied at 37 with a little over 13 minutes to play. But sophomore guard Julius Mays hit a pair of free throws to break the tie and the Wolfpack slowly built its lead to double figures.

BIG DUKE FROSH BREAKS WRIST

Duke knows it needs to get bigger to keep up with the forest of trees over in Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, for the Blue Devils their big lineup just got smaller.

Freshman Mason "Handsome Devil" Plumlee, the athletic, 6-foot-10 center who was on track to possibly start for Coach K, is out indefinitely after suffering a fractured left wrist in practice Wednesday, the school announced.

The injury will not require surgery and will be evaluated weekly by the Duke medical staff.
"We are confident that he will make a full recovery," coach Mike Krzjnml9wski said in a statement.

"Mason is going to be a very good player for us and we look forward to him getting healthy and returning to the court (or I'll run him out of here)."

Plumlee is a McDonald's All-American who averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots in exhibition wins over Pfeiffer and Findlay.

Duke begins the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday against UNC Greensboro.

*item in italics may not be true.

THURSDAY LINKS

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich.

*Georgia Tech linebacker Cedric Griffin has a lot more on his mind than just clinching the Coastal Division this weekend. The women in his life have a little something to do with that.

*Boston College has accomplished a lot of things this year, but winning road games isn't one of them. In retrospect, though, it's played at Clemson, at Virginia Tech and at Notre Dame. Not exactly the friendliest trips.

*Don't be so "hyper-sensitive." Clemson's Andre Branch was just playing football against FSU. ACC and school officials have dismissed anymore eye-gouging theories.

*Virginia's numbers don't lie, and they reflect how the Cavaliers are ranked in the standings -- near the bottom.

*Duke coach David Cutcliffe is a realist. That's why he's throwing the ball a lot more instead of forcing the run. Go with what works.

*DeAndre McDaniel might have been overlooked for the Jim Thorpe Award, but Miami's Brandon Harris was not.

*Virginia Tech running backs coach Billy Hite was reminded this week of the wonderful problem he'll have next year when Darren Evans put his uniform on again.

*Regardless of Maryland quarterback Chris Turner's health on Saturday against Virginia Tech, coach Ralph Friedgen seems prepared to test his depth at quarterback.

*Wake Forest is just trying to stay afloat right now.

LIKE THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TROUBLE AT FSU ALREADY

Evidently, the coaching carousel at Florida State needs one more incoming coach to go along with the "in-waiting" and "in-leaving" coaches already on staff. For all we know, JoePa already has one of these, but now it is very apparent that Coach Dadgummit needs one as well - Assistant Coach In Charge Of Telling The Head Coach The Score.

This transcript is going around between head coach-in-leaving Bobby Bowden and a reporter following Florida State’s loss to Klimpson.

Yike!

Reporter: “In the second half, when it seemed like momentum started to switch, how hard was it to try to reverse that?”
Bowden: “You mean when they got it (momentum)? Well, actually … you know, they had to kick off to us. We had a what? A three-point …? Did we have the lead at the half?”
(Reporter nods).
Bowden: “We had a three-point lead at the half, I think. Then they had to kick off to us. We needed to take it down and win the darn game right there. We didn’t do it. They stopped us. Then we kicked it to them and then they probably scored.”
Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back.”
Bowden: “Huh?”
Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back again.”
Bowden: “Did we get ahead of them again after that?”
Reporter: “Yeah.”
Bowden: “Then we got back ahead, huh? Umm, it was going that way, you know it? I felt very comfortable that if they could score, we could score. That’s the way I felt, you know it? We’ve done it all year. But then we started turning the ball over.”


Unfortunately, we aren’t making this up…

PICTURE OF THE DAY

IT IS WHAT IT IS. Redskins fans had to go all the way to Atlanta to hold up signs noting their season of discontent.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

OUCH. Not only did a Notre Dame assistant coach accuse the fine young men who are the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy of cheating in Navy’s win last weekend, at least one fan has had enough of Coach 3XL Genius.

The last time an unranked Navy team beat a ranked Notre Dame squad was 1936. The last time Navy beat the Fighting Irish twice in a row was 1961 and 1963.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

APPARENTLY THE LACK OF LOVE IS CONTAGIOUS. Notre Dame’s Golden Tate went streaking down the sideline to the end zone. When he ran out of real estate he dove into the band…Problem was it was the Michigan State band. The Spartan faithful decided not to catch Tate, but to simply step out of the way.

"I thought the people were going to catch me, but I forgot that was Michigan State's band...I jumped up and they scattered real quick and there was the ground hitting me hard,” said Tate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THURSDAY NIGHT HOOPS

UNC 89, North Carolina Central 42.

You can't learn too very much from early season mismatches, but there are two things you can take a way from 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels’ victory over the Eagles of N.C. Central:

1) The Tar Heels have lots of size and talent and
2) they are way over-rated at No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

The Heels still come at you in waves with bunches of big, fast, athletic kids (some of which you’ve never heard of, some you have), but at one point early in the second half Ol’ Roy sat down the starting five without so much as a dirty look.

Taking care of the basketball will be an issue for this team, and while they were more careful with said rock last night than in the opener against Isiah’s FIU, North Carolina still has something to work on at practice today.

That said, fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard tied a career best with 17 points during UNC's drubbing of the Eagles on Wednesday night in the 2K Sports Classic. His 7-for-10 output at the Smith Center, following his dozen-point performance in Carolina's season-opener on Sunday, showed that his nagging foot injury is finally healed.

"There's no question I'm more aggressive offensively at seeing openings and taking open shots - versus looking for that extra pass or looking for that extra guy out there," said Ginyard, who also recorded two rebounds, three assists and three steals in 23 minutes. "I think being more aggressive offensively has been a good benefit for me."

NCCU (0-1), under first-year coach LeVelle Moton, kept it close for the first eight minutes, cutting what was once a six-point deficit to as little as 19-17 with 12:25 left in the first half when junior Vincent Davis buried a 3-pointer.

But UNC's freshman John Henson countered with a bucket, beginning a 21-0 onslaught during which Ginyard had a hand - or a swish - during 10 straight points.

FOSTER GOIN' TO GRACELAND?

We have long predicted that if Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster ever left Blacksburg (and we have doubted all along that he ever would as we believe he is one of the highest paid - not to mention happiest - assistant coaches in the ACC), he'd wind up at what is known in basketball parlance as a "mid-Major."

Enter Memphis.

Recently, Foster said he would be interested in the head coaching opening at the University of Memphis, but has not been contacted by anyone from the university and his name has not surfaced in published reports about possible candidates.

“That might be a job I might be interested in,” Foster said Tuesday when asked for his take on the opening, adding later, “I think there’s a lot of things that are attractive about it.”

Asked what would be attractive about the program, Foster said: “It’s a Conference USA job. You look at teams like Cincinnati, you look at teams like Pittsburgh, you look at teams like Louisville – those three have recently had success that are in urban kind of settings. Memphis is in that same kind of setting and in a pretty decent area from a recruiting standpoint, when you start looking at the athletes they have in that area.”

Foster has a connection to the Tigers’ program. Foster and Memphis’s director of football operations, John Flowers, both attended Nokomis High School in Illinois.

Flowers is in his 25th season as a member of Memphis's coaching staff, serving as the director of football operations for five different head coaches. He said the athletic director or the university’s search committee has never asked him for his input on any coaching searches in the past.

“If they want to ask for an endorsement, I can certainly endorse Bud Foster,” Flowers said. “As far as him coming here, I have not talked to Bud.”

Foster’s name has not been mentioned among possible replacements for Tommy West, who was fired Monday after nine seasons as the coach of the Tigers.

ACC FOOTBALL: COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA

ESPN’s ACC football blogger Heather Dinich has a penchant for making good points. In a post yesterday, she points out how some teams have been a bit unlucky in terms of injury. While injuries are an obvious part of the game, a pile up on any given team is problematic.

According to Dinich: Five ACC teams are currently bowl eligible, but it’s unlikely the conference will fill its nine allotted bowl slots this year. A closer look at the conference, though, shows several of these struggling teams aren’t as bad as their records indicate. They’ve just fallen on some tough luck:

*Maryland has played 24 freshmen (10 true, 14 redshirts) this year, the most ever during Friedgen’s tenure. Seven have been on the defensive line. Paul Pinegar and Phil Costa are the only two offensive linemen to start all nine games. Overall, injuries have kept potential starters out of 32 games.

*At UNC, injuries have accounted for 23 missed starts. Three offensive linemen and the starting tight end have missed at least four games each. Six players on the team have had season-ending injuries, and UNC has missed three tailbacks, two fullbacks, two wide receivers, two tight ends, and three offensive linemen because of injuries. Conversely, only a backup safety has been out for the defense. And Tar Heels fans wonder what's wrong with their offense.

*NC State has had six starters on defense miss games, causing the Pack to start eight different lineups in nine games. This team would’ve been capable of more with the ACC’s No. 3 offense. A dozen players have suffered season-ending injuries. A total of 13 starters have missed a total of 39 games due to injuries.


*The Deacs have lost five games each by three points or fewer, including two games in overtime. It’s a school record. John Mackovic’s 1980 Wake Forest squad lost four games by three points or fewer. Wake Forest lost five games by a combined 13 points. This might be the unluckiest team in the country.

HUMP DAY LINKS

Via ESPN and T.A.H.

*For Veterans’ Day, ESPN’s Ivan Maisel wrote a piece about “memorial” college football stadiums that honor veterans. Clemson has one.
*In addition to Maisel’s tribute, the boys/girls at ESPN put together a nice photo essay as well.

*Publishing salaries -- anyone's -- always raises eyebrows and prompts a few questions. Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman found himself defending coach Jim Grobe's salary after the recent USA Today report.

*Clemson's players aren't the only ones who have matured this fall. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier has gotten better at his job, too.

*Florida State backup quarterback E.J. Manuel has been preparing for this moment since he was in high school, but with the Noles in a must-win situation, the pressure is on. Manuel's just trying not to think about it.

*NC State's latest recruit might give some opponents headaches in the next few years.

*Duke showed some signs of a let-down at practice following the loss to North Carolina, but coach David Cutcliffe gave them a history lesson to get them recharged.

*Mark Bradley of the AJC says Georgia Tech would finish fourth overall in the SEC.

*A lot has changed since the last time BC coach Frank Spaziani was on the sideline in Scott Stadium.

*Miami linebacker Sean Spence is expected to miss his third straight game.
The Hurricanes just lured another wide receiver to Coral Gables, and the success of this year's passing game and plentiful options at the position had something to do with it.

(Cutcliffe photo by Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer)

CODY GRIMM: UNDERWEAR MODEL?

Linebacker Cody Grimm (#26) and quarterback Tyrod Taylor were the models for Monday's unveiling of Tech's new Nike uniforms, which the Hokies will wear in Saturday's game at Maryland.

When asked if his runway moves could launch a career for him in the fashion industry, Grimm said: "Yeah. I've been getting calls from Jockey, Hanes, stuff like that. I guess they want me to be an underwear model, but I'm going to have to wait until after the season to get to that, though."

(Photo by Sam Dean/Roanoke Times)

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO…

Hmmm

Last time we saw former New York Giant Lawrence Taylor he was on the sidelines in Chapel Hill cheering on his alma mater during the North Carolina v. Florida State Thursday night football game. Back in Florida, Taylor, who appeared in season 8 of Dancing with the Stars, was arrested on Sunday, for a hit and run accident. Taylor, 50, fled and was later arrested.

Jail records from Miami-Dade County reveal that the 50-year-old retired NFL star was arrested around 10 p.m. on Sunday for "leaving the scene of an accident/property damage." Taylor was charged with leaving the scene of a crash. He was also cited for careless driving.

Sunday night, Taylor was booked at a local police station in the Miami area and charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. He was later released on $500 bond.

According to police records, the crash happened about 6:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 103rd Street. The crash tore off the front right tire on Taylor's 2009 Cadillac Escalade, and he drove about two miles on the axle before pulling off the road.

Being arrested is not something new to Lawrence Taylor. His many years drinking and having a drug abuse problem got Taylor into plenty of trouble, both with the NFL and the law. When Taylor was once asked what he could do that no outside linebacker could, his answer was, "Drink".

However, alcohol was not his biggest substance abuse problem. After admitting to and testing positive for cocaine in 1987, he was suspended from football for 30 days in 1988 after failing a second drug test.

After his second positive test he gave up drugs for five years, but after his retirement he began abusing drugs on a regular basis. He went through drug rehab twice in 1995, only to later be arrested twice over a three-year span for attempting to buy cocaine from undercover cops.

Taylor has cleaned up his life and lived a healthy, clean lifestyle since 1998. He is currently married to his third wife and has credits his love of golf for helping him get past his previous hard-partying ways and drug filled lifestyle. Which, of course, is contrary to how golf affects most people…

Taylor reportedly told investigators on Sunday night that he thought he had hit a guard rail. A sobriety test was not performed and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Taylor was allegedly not intoxicated (contrary to photographic evidence that suggests he was either drunk, stoned to the bejeezus or just up very late the night before.)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WINNER, WINNER, 8.5 million chicken dinners.

Joe Cada poses after winning the 2009 World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Cada defeated Darvin Moon to win $8.5 million.

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

RAPPIN’ RYHMIN’ REBOUNDER. JJ Redick(notes) #7 of the Orlando Magic grabs a rebound against the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic 102-93 on Wednesday night in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.

Redick played almost 20 minutes scoring 10 points.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

EVIDENTLY, Kanye West forgot to show up drunk at the CMA’s thus allowing Taylor Swift to accept the award for Entertainer of the Year from singers Faith Hill (l) and Tim McGraw (c) without interruption at the 43rd Annual CMA Awards at the Sommet Center on November 11, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Nice, Kanye, NICE!

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FREEDOM AIN'T FREE

To all those who have served - Happy Veterans' Day.

Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, November 9, 2009 where 120,833 veterans and their spouses are buried.

WEEK 10: ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSIVE BACK – C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB, Sr., 5-11, 195, Lake Butler, Fla. (Union County) Clemson senior running C.J. Spiller earned his third player of the week nod by rushing for a career-high 165 yards on 22 carries (7.5 yards per rush), hauling in three passes for 67 yards—including a 58-yard touchdown—and totaling 71 yards on three kickoff returns in Clemson’s 40-24 win against Florida State. Overall, Spiller totaled a school-record 312 all-purpose yards.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – Jason Fox, Miami, OT, Sr., 6-7, 314, Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley) Miami senior offensive tackle Jason Fox’s second Offensive Lineman of the Week honor came after he helped anchor an offensive line that made space for a Hurricane offense that piled up season-highs of 515 yards and 268 rushing yards in Miami’s 52-17 win over visiting Virginia. Fox graded out at 98 percent, had five pancake blocks, and did not allow a sack.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Robert Quinn, North Carolina, DE, So., 6-5, 270, Ladson, S.C. (Ft. Dorchester)North Carolina sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn found his way into the Blue Devil backfield for three sacks, another 1.5 tackles for loss, and six quarterback hurries in the Tar Heels’ 19-6 win over Duke. Quinn had seven total tackles, a forced fumble, and a fourth-down pass break-up to lead the North Carolina defense in limiting Duke’s potent passing attack to 113 yards and giving up just 125 yards overall. Quinn is ranked fifth nationally with 15.5 tackles for loss and sixth with 10.0 sacks.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 202, Fairfax, Va. (Oakton)Virginia Tech senior outside linebacker Cody Grimm took his second Defensive Back of the Week honor after helping the Hokie defensive cause with a game-high 12 tackles, including seven solo stops, and a late-game sack in Virginia Tech’s 16-3 win against East Carolina. Additionally, Grimm forced a fumble that he recovered deep in Pirate territory, and broke up a pass as Virginia Tech limited East Carolina’s offense to just 277 yards

SPECIALIST – Torrey Smith, Maryland, WR, So., 6-1, 200, Colonial Beach, Va. (Stafford) Maryland sophomore wide receiver Torrey Smith (#82) was honored as the Specialist of the Week for the second time in 2009 after he returned an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown—his second this season and third of his career—to set the Terrapin record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns. Smith totaled 268 all-purpose yards, a career-high 204 of which came on kickoff returns. With three games to play, Smith already owns the league’s single-season record with 1,113 kickoff return yards, breaking his own record which he set last season (1,089), and currently sits in fourth place all-time in ACC history with 2,202 kickoff return yards.

ROOKIE – Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB, Fr. 5-9, 205, Manassas, Va. (Stonewall Jackson)Virginia Tech freshman running back Ryan Williams earned his sixth Rookie of the Week accolade as he became the first running back in the ACC to eclipse the 1,100-yard mark this season with a season-high 179 rushing yards on 26 carries (6.9 yards per rush) against East Carolina. Williams’ sixth 100-yard rushing performance of 2009 was just the second against the Pirate defense this season. This season, Williams is leading all ACC ball carriers with 1,109 rushing yards.

THE TWELVE DAYS OF ACC BASKETBALL

Ready for some hoop? The ACC’s official website has you covered with Twelve Days of ACC Basketball. Each day starting November 7th and ending this Friday, they review an ACC squad.

Each day, a new team will be highlighted at theACC.com with a video and preseason information available for each. The teams will be unveiled in reverse alphabetical order.
And all but B.C. have been done through today.

PHOTO ESSAY: ALL GREIVIS, ALL THE TIME

The Washington Post has a nice photo essay of star Terp guard Greivis Vasquez. It was shot in Greivis' native Venezuela, and it's particularly pleasant as there is (obviously) no sound track.

Thus, you - loyal reader - will not be burdened with listening to the effusive guard running his yap! You will, however, get plenty of tongue wagging once the regular ACC season get rolling.

Here, family members with Maryland's No. 21 at a party in Caracas. "He has a good chance," former NBA player Oscar Torres says of Vasquez. "But it's not easy ... to play in the NBA because you are Latino and maybe you have 1,000 people in front of you. You have to work hard, very hard."

(Photos by Meridith Kohut-Aurora Select)

REUNION: ALL DUKE, ALL THE TIME

Duke is planning a huge celebration of coach Mike Krzyzhjk3wski's 1,000th game with the Blue Devils and the 70th year of basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Duke Varsity Club will play host to what's being billed as the biggest men's basketball reunion in the history of program on Feb. 12-13. Krzyznmb2ski's 1,000th game at Duke will be the 1 p.m. meeting on Feb. 13 with Maryland at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Over 300 former players, coaches, managers and trainers will be invited back. The weekend will include a reception hosted by Duke athletic director Kevin White and an after-game party with the current Duke coaching staff.

"This will be an exciting weekend and a great way to celebrate the history of Duke basketball," White said in a statement.

We can only hope that former Duke stars like Wojo, J.J. -Z Redick, Shav Randolph and Christian "Shark Hunter" Laettner show for the big party.

TOP RECRUIT TO ANNOUNCE FRIDAY VIA ESPNU

Top-ranked basketball recruit Harrison Barnes who has been hotly pursued by both Duke and North Carolina will announce his school decision Friday on ESPN-U.

Officials at Ames High in Iowa, where Barnes is a student, have issued a news release saying Barnes will announce at 4 p.m. Friday.

A 6-foot-6 forward, Barnes is considering Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma and UCLA along with the Blue Devils and Tar Heels. He is rated the top prospect in the nation by Scout.com.

Barnes also will sign his letter of intent Friday, according to his mother, Shirley Barnes.

The early signing period for college basketball begins Wednesday, and apparently the rich will, indeed, get richer.

R.I.P. F.S.U.

As if Florida State doesn’t have enough problems, now their one real star – QB Christian Ponder – is out for the season with a separated shoulder.

According to a school spokesman, Ponder will need surgery on his throwing shoulder, but offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher expects Ponder will be back in time for spring drills.

Obviously this news is devastating for Seminole Nations as FSU’s chances of reaching a bowl game this year just went directly in the crapper. Ponder was really all FSU had going for it…

FSU has not had a losing season since 1976...

WEDNESDAY ACC BASKETBALL

North Carolina Central (Eagles, 8,500 students, Durham, NC) @ #4 NORTH CAROLINA, 9:00 PM, Chapel Hill, N.C. (2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic) TV: ESPNU

LINKS: DOUBLE DIPPIN’ - MONDAY AND TUESDAY

Via ESPN.

*Has Georgia Tech reached its peak in the BCS standings? Sounds like it.

*On Sunday, NC State's trainer walked in and told Tom O'Brien that for the first time this season, he didn't have a season-ending injury to report. The Pack is looking to break that streak and start another.

*Maryland players are confident backup quarterback Jamarr Robinson can take over for injured starter Chris Turner. It's not confidence Robinson is lacking, it's experience.

*Clemson receiver Xavier Dye has proven he's capable of being a reliable option for the Tigers in recent weeks. It's a good thing he didn't quit.

*Virginia and BC have such limited history that it will be like preparing for a nonconference game this week. There are plenty of ties, though, on the coaching staffs.

*Virginia Tech will unveil its spiffy new Nike uniforms against Maryland on Saturday. But the game isn't televised. And it's in Byrd Stadium. Will anyone be there to see it?

*Making adjustments to injuries is nothing new for the Tar Heels.
NC State's secondary might be struggling on the field, but it hasn't exactly hurt the position in recruiting off it.

*FSU backup quarterback E.J. Manuel isn't the only one at Florida State who needs to pick it up.

*Miami receiver Thearon Collier never knew his father, who was killed before he was born, but it's made Collier and his mother even closer, and she's got plenty of reasons to be proud of him.

*If there is one program an eight-team playoff would help right now, writes the AJC's Mark Bradley, it's Georgia Tech.

*Boston College is well-rested -- and healthier -- after its bye week heading into the game at Virginia.

*Clemson is now ranked, and the Tigers are confident. That's thanks in large part to coach Dabo Swinney's ability to get them to believe.

*Miami has plenty of incentive heading into Saturday's game at North Carolina, starting with the fact the Canes have never won in Chapel Hill. Ever.

*Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is questionable for Saturday's game against Virginia Tech with a knee injury he suffered at NC State.

*The Terps aren't the only ones with quarterback woes. FSU now turns to E.J. Manuel at the expense of injured starter Christian Ponder.

*No Shaun Draughn (#20)? No problem.

*Might Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans make an appearance in the bowl game? Possible, not probable, but what a comeback he's made so far.

*NC State finally had a reason to celebrate. It's been so long they almost forgot how to do it.

*Virginia, on the other hand, didn't get the chance to celebrate -- again. The Cavaliers have now lost 10 of their past 13 games.

DOWN ECONOMY BYPASSES COLLEGE COACHES

USA Today has revealed what college coaches earn and guess what?

They’re well paid!

Urban Myer at Florida makes $4 million while Doug Martin at Kent State makes $190,000.

Here are the current ACC salaries, according to USA Today:

Bobby Bowden: $2,319,375 (base $565,875) - record: 4-5

Paul Johnson: $2,300,000 (base $325,000) - record: 9-1

Jim Grobe: $2,172,127 (base $333,333) - record: 4-6

Frank Beamer: $2,138,000 (base $272,328) - record: 6-3

Al Groh: $2,072,339 (base $291,700) - record: 3-6

Ralph Friedgen: $1,877,095 (base $267,468) - record: 2-7

Butch Davis: $1,702,000 (base $1,702,000) - record: 6-3

Tom O'Brien: $1,200,000 (base $625,000) - record: 4-5

Dabo Swinney: $816,850 (base $250,000) - record: 6-3

The salaries of coaches for private universities is not available to the public.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

GIRL POWER. Jockey Mike Smith rides past fans before winning the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic race on undefeated Zenyatta, owned by Jerome S. Moss, during the Breeders Cup races at the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia on November 7, 2009. The Breeders' Cup features 14 races worth 25.5 million-dollars over two days.

Now the debate is about which of the girls rule the world and should be named Horse of the Year - Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta?

(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

BECAUSE WE CAN. Base jumpers leap from the height of 300 meters off of Malaysia's landmark KL Tower, the 421-meter (1,381-foot) broadcasting tower, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

(Photo by Lai Seng Sin/AP Photos)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NICE HEAD PRO. US golfer Tiger Woods helps a young girl with her golf at a promotional event before the for the Australian Masters tournament -- Woods' first tournament in Australia for 11 years -- in Melbourne on November 11, 2009. Woods, who is reportedly being paid three million US dollars to play in this week's European Tour co-sanctioned event, will attract massive public galleries at the Kingston Heath sandbelt course. All 25,000 tickets for each of the four days of the tournament were sold out early last month.

(Photo by William West /AFP/Getty Images)

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