Saturday, January 16, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"He should not be in baseball. He should be banned from baseball more than ever. [McGwire is] a sad excuse for a player in the industry of baseball. Just seeing him in uniform makes me throw up."

-- Jack Clark, former 18-year veteran on Mark McGuire and his steroid “admission.”

TAR HEELS' ZELLER INJURED

North Carolina coach Roy Williams says 7-footer Tyler Zeller will miss four to six weeks because of a stress fracture in his right foot. Not good news for the Tar Heels whose primary big men – Deon Thompson and Ed Davis – both pulled the old disappearing act against Clemson on Wednesday.

The sophomore is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds off the bench for the Tar Heels.

Zeller missed Wednesday's loss at Clemson as a precaution. The next day, a bone scan disclosed the injury after MRIs showed nothing earlier this week.

It is the second straight season Zeller will miss significant time. Last year, he broke his left wrist during an early-season victory against Kentucky. He was out three months, but decided to use a year of eligibility and return to help the Tar Heels win the national championship.

GROH TO GEORGIA TECH TO COACH D

They have defense at Georgia Tech?

Seriously, Georgia Tech has hired former UVA coach Al “Must Go” Groh as its defensive coordinator.

Groh said Friday that he and the school have an agreement in principle, but did not disclose terms of the contract. He plans to sign his new contract after arriving in Atlanta next week.

Groh, fired following the Cavaliers' 3-9 season, replaces Dave Wommack, who was dismissed last week after two seasons under coach Paul Johnson. Groh, 65, has not been an assistant since 1988, when he was the offensive coordinator at South Carolina.

Groh has some work to do as the Yellow Jackets allowed at least 30 points in six games but still finished the season with an 11-3 record while winning their first outright conference title since 1990.

Groh is expected to change the defensive alignment, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Earlier this week, Johnson said he has no qualms about going with three down linemen instead of four.

CUTCLIFF STAYING AT DUKE

Noting that “this job isn’t finished,” David Cutcliff is staying on as head coach of Duke. Not long after Cutcliff’s announcement, the University of Tennessee hired Derek Dooley who was both athletic director and head football coach at Louisiana Tech.

Dooley, the son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, was 17-20 in three seasons with the Bulldogs.

To read more, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

TIGER HUNT? Is Keith Horne of South Africa playing a shot from under a bush on the 14th hole during the second round of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on January 15, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa or is he looking for Tiger Woods?

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DON’T SHOOT. Gilbert Arenas was the target of heckling by fans in Philadelphia, where he last played Jan. 5. Arenas worked out a plea arrangement on felony gun charges yesterday. He will be sentenced later in the month.

(Photo by Matt Slocum/AP Photos)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

JUMP BALL? Marty Veale of London Wasps takes the ball in the line-out during the Amlim Challenge Cup, Round Five match between London Wasps and Roma at Adams Park on January 14, 2010 in High Wycombe, England.

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe)

Friday, January 15, 2010

DUKE'S CUTCLIFF TO REPLACE KIFFIN AT UT?

The Knoxville News-Sentinel and other Rocky Top media outlets are reporting that Duke head football coach David Cutcliff is a prime candidate to replace Lane Kiffin who departed Tennessee for USC.

According to various sources, there appears to be mutual interest and a deal could be struck so sayeth UT athletic director Mike Hamilton .

According to the News Sentinel a new head coach would NOT be hired today.

Having said that, stand by for a late afternoon or evening press conference announcing the new coach.

ACC BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Georgia Tech’s Gani Lawal has been named ACC Player of the Week and Miami’s Durand Scott earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors.

In earning the award for the second time in his career, Lawal scored 21 points in each of Georgia Tech’s two games last week. In Saturday’s 71-67 victory over No. 5 Duke, Lawal had 21 points and nine rebounds and was 8-for-9 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the foul line.

The Norcross, Ga., native scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, went 4-for-4 from the free throw line, and his last field goal gave the Yellow Jackets a 64-60 cushion with 1:01 left. Earlier in the week, Lawal had 21 points with six rebounds in a 73-66 loss at Georgia.

Scott had 10 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal to help Miami win its seventh-straight game and get off to its best start in 50 years with a 67-66 win over Wake Forest on Saturday.

Scott scored eight of his 10 points in the second half – including hitting a pivotal jumper with 4:06 to go to put the Hurricanes back in the lead 63-62.

It was his sixth double-figure scoring effort of the season. The New York freshman ranks seventh in the ACC in assists per game (4.4) and third in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.15:1)

WORLD HEADS OFF TO HELP HAITI

A search and rescue team with the Los Angeles Fire Department arrives at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Huge numbers of people in the capital are lacking food, clean water, shelter and medical care, according to officials in Haiti and Washington.



The first group of Mexican disaster relief personnel, along with sniffer dogs, prepare to depart Mexico City for Haiti.











Spanish firefighter gives water to a rescue dog before leaving for Haiti, at Madrid Barajas International Airport. Firefighters Without Borders, the Red Cross and other aid groups say they are preparing a major disaster relief effort in Haiti.






British search and rescue teams prepare to leave London Gatwick Airport to provide assistance to relief and rescue teams in Haiti. Britain rushed Wednesday to dispatch emergency aid and rescue resources to Haiti after the 7.0 earthquake there.


A man waves the Chinese flag as the first group of 60 Chinese disaster relief personnel board an Air China flight in Beijing. Eight Chinese peacekeepers were buried in building collapses caused by the massive earthquake.

(Photos by Lynne Sladky-AP Photos, Ronaldo Schemidt-AFP/Getty Images, Paul White-AP, Carl De Souza-AFP/Getty Images, Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Just got word that my dad's OK. Keep everybody in your prayers."

-- Olden Polynice, former Wahoo and NBAer who was born in Port-Au-Prince, who learned that this father is OK, but is still awaiting word on aunts, uncles and cousins. Interestingly, his dad was so unsettled by Sept. 11 events that he relocated back to Haiti.

PRE-STEROID MCGUIRE LOOKS AWFULLY NON-STEROIDAL

Evidently....there may have actually have been a Goober All-Star Game…

Here, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly and Matt Nokes pose during the 1987 All-Star Game at Oakland Coliseum.

That Don Mattingly, he could hit, but that’s not a good look.

Nokes has the Jimmy Fallon thing going and we thought that was timely.

THE BEST 'WIENER' STORY EVER TOLD BY JOE BUGEL?

Washington Redskins offensive coach Joe Bugel has retired at less than two months short of turning seventy-years-old. In the pantheon of beloved Redskins from the Joe Gibbs-era, Buges is right up there with Riggo, Art Monk, Darrell Green, Dexter Manley and Gibbs himself.

Often described as “feisty,” Bugel can also certainly be described as a vehement task-masker and, apparently, world-class profane. Buges has coached at/for Western Kentucky, Navy, Iowa State, Ohio State, Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers, Phoenix Cardinals (head coach), Oakland Raiders (head coach), San Diego Chargers and his beloved Redskins (twice).

When asked recently to tell his favorite story by Dan Steinberg over at D.C. Sports Blog, he retold a famous story about Russ Grimm, training camp at Carlisle and a hot dog (or one-quarter of a hot dog, depending on who you ask).

Safe to say, it’s funny. Gross, but funny.

According to Steinberg: Near the end of his post-presser remarks, I asked Bugel whether the creation of the Hogs nickname qualifies as a moment of inspiration. Innocent question. Filthy answer.

"We practiced on Wednesday nights,” said the Buges. “They had a nice little bar in Carlisle, they had chili dogs and stuff like that. So we had [practice] that night and I got in the huddle and it smelled like a brewery. And [Grimm] got a little overheated. And I don't mean to say throw up...but he threw up, and he threw up a hot dog. It hit the grass."

As the media members giggled the way anyone would giggle at the idea of a fully formed hot dog squirting out of an offensive lineman's guts, much of the story became sort of pantomimed more than described. Let me summarize.

Grimm "picked that wiener" off the ground. The ball boys got nauseated, and one said "Mr. Grimm, you can't do that." And Grimm blew on the hot dog, shook it off, and then popped it back in his mouth.

"Can't waste a good dog now," Grimm said.

A few minutes later, I saw Doc Walker, and asked him if this story was true. Walker remembered it being a quarter of a dog, but he confirmed the basic wiener out, wiener in concept.

"Total neanderthal," Walker said.

If you were wondering how the “five second rule” got started or just how far one might take said rule, click here.

PICTURES OF THE DAY

DAKAR AND BACK. (Whever that is?) Apparently, somewhere in Africa and the Dakar Rally is now what once was the Paris-Dakar Rally which began in 1977. In 2008, the Dakar was cancelled after four French citizens were murdered along the proposed route and additional terrorist threats were assessed. The event was moved last year to South America.

Here, Spain's Gerard Farres Guell kicks up sand with his Aprilia during the 4th stage of the Dakar 2010 between Fiambala, Argentina, and Copiapo, Chile on January 5, 2010. Spain's Marc Coma won the stage, France's David Casteu took second place and France's Cyril Despres third.

South African Giniel De Villiers drives his Volkswagen during the 8th stage of the Dakar 2010, between Antofagasta and Copiapo, Chile, on January 10, 2010.

To learn more about the Dakar Rally, click here.

(Photos by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images and Natacha Pisarenko/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

UNLUCKY TIES? UNC coach Roy Williams sported very similar technicolor ties in the two biggest losses of his Tar Heel coaching career: The 83-64 loss at Clemson Wednesday night, left, and the 84-66 loss to Kansas in the Final Four in 2008.

Those concerned Tar Heels who are suggesting that he lose the Technicolor wonders need to have a word with Chapel Hill outfitter Alexander Julian who generally provides Ol’ Roy’s wardrobe. Julian is the same fashion designer that added the argyle to UNC’s basketball uniforms and that fashion statement has resulted in two NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championships in the past decade.

(Photos by Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CAT’S AWAY. While Tiger Woods is away in self-exile, Tennis star Maria Sharapova looks ready to step in and fill his corporate-sponsorship void. (She won't be the last woman to dip into Tiger's wallet.)

A few days ago, Sharapova was modeling Tiffany’s and here she and Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle (l) and TAG Heuer General Manager Philip Richards officially open TAG Heuer's first Melbourne boutique at Collins Street on January 14, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.

(Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

T.A.H. GOOD CAUSE OF THE MONTH: HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF

Look, the place needed tons of help without a 7.0 earthquake and dozens of aftershocks. So give a brother a hand…

If you’d like to help those affected by the Haitian earthquake, you can make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at Redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Donations can also be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013, or online at http://www.redcross.org/.

If you are donating specifically to the Haiti relief effort, please indicate so on your check or when you call, and your donor intent will be honored.

The Red Cross is also receiving money through a third party mobile fundraising effort sponsored by Mobile Accord. Mobile donors can text "Haiti" to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross. These funds will also go to support the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

If you don’t yet fully understand the magnitude of this catastrophe and the human suffering is has caused, and will continue to cause, check out this photo gallery from the Washington Post. Be forewarned, it’s grim.

(Editor’s note: Pat Robertson is a moron and an embarrassment to all men, all religions, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thanks, Pat. And to think, the guy used to own a stable of racehorses…(little known fact). If you are unclear on what a complete moron the good reverend Robertson really is, click here. OK, enough vitriol, maybe he’s just crazy…’cause he sure sounds crazy.)

WAHOOS ALONE IN FIRST PLACE

We know it’s only January 14th, but new UVA coach Tony Bennett must be doing something right.

Could that old JPJA magic be coming back? (Please, please, please say it's so – we have so much good material to use and we’ve missed our JPJA mojo!)

Virginia is the only team in the ACC still undefeated as every other team has both won and lost a game or games. Last night, the Cavs knocked off Georgia Tech at the JPJA 82-75 to take sole possession of first place.

Sylven Landesberg scored 22 points and Virginia used a 16-4 run late in the second half to take command. They also held Georgia Tech to 6-for-17 shooting in the final 9 1/2 minutes after the Yellow Jackets hurt them by making 27 of their first 47 attempts from the field.

The Cavaliers finished 23 for 26 from the free throw line, including making 14 of 15 over the final 8 1/2 minutes, and even turned the lone miss down the stretch into a big boost.

Virginia (10-4, 2-0 ACC) won its sixth straight game, its longest winning streak since it won seven in a row in the 2006-07 season, and opened ACC play 2-0 for the first time since 1994-95 (Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise was a big hit, so it wasn’t last week), when the Cavaliers won their first four conference games.

"It just seems like to me this year everybody's a lot more confident,'' said Mustapha Farrakhan, who finished with 15 points, four assists and three steals. "We're going in there and playing with a lot of confidence out there, relying on one another. It's great.''

To read more, click here.

TIGERS, TURNOVERS TOO MUCH FOR TAR HEELS

North Carolina's team bus got hit by a car in the parking lot prior to Wednesday night's game. When the buzzer sounded a few hours later, the Tar Heels got run over by a truck full of Tigers.

Demontez Stitt (#2) had 20 points, Trevor Booker (#35) scored 21 and the 24th-ranked Tigers (14-3, 2-1 ACC) broke a 10-game losing streak to North Carolina with an overwhelming victory Wednesday night.

Besides their first loss to Clemson since 2004, this was the Tar Heels (12-5, 1-1) most lopsided ACC loss since a 96-56 defeat to Maryland in 2003. The Tigers simply overwhelmed the Heels in the first half scoring on many of UNC’s 16 turnovers and outscoring the Heels from behind the three-point-line 21-0.

Game over.

The two played it almost even 33-32 in the second half, but Clemson’s intensity and toughness was impressive in an early statement win.

North Carolina starters combined for just 12 field goals. Its two leading scorers, Deon Thompson and Ed Davis, managed a combined eight points--more than 20 fewer than they averaged in prior games. Those two were virtually invisible in the first half.

The Tar Heels ended with 26 turnovers, matching the most committed in coach Roy Williams' seven seasons.

"I'm not feeling good about the job I'm doing right now," Williams said.

The Tigers hadn't beaten the Tar Heels in nearly six years, but used a first-half blitz to lead by 23 points and held on against one of their toughest ACC opponents.

Stitt hit Clemson's first two baskets during and Booker had a three-point play to close a 17-6 opening run less than five minutes into the game. Carolina got it down to twelve late in the second-half but missed four shots and point blank range and were then called for basket interference to end their comeback attempt.

Other than turnovers, the stats were fairly even. Shooting percentage, three-point percentage, personal fouls and blocked shots were virtually identical. Clemons committed 12 fewer turnovers, and the Heels had a 38-30 rebounding edge. Clemson won the intangible battle by a mile.

To read more, click here.

DEVILS, HOKIES WIN EASILY

NO. 8 DUKE 79, BOSTON COLLEGE 59 – What happened? This was a one-point game late in the first half and then Duke exploded all over the Eagles.

Nolan Smith scored 24 points to help the Blue Devils pull away in the second half and beat Boston College by twenty on Wednesday night, helping Duke regroup from a weekend loss at Georgia Tech.

Kyle Singler added 15 points for the Blue Devils (14-2, 2-1 ACC), who pushed ahead for good late in the first half and pulled away in the opening minutes after the break. More impressively, they carried their three-point shooting struggles from Atlanta back to Cameron Indoor Stadium and knocked down just one three-pointer yet still won convincingly with defense.

Duke’s inside game also made a major contribution to the win.

To read more, click here.

VIRGINIA TECH 81, NO. 23 MIAMI 66 – The Hokies got off to a fast start in the cozy confines of Cassell Coliseum and never looked back.

Malcolm Delaney had 28 points and nine assists, and Terrell Bell tied a career high with 13 points - all in the first half - as Virginia Tech jumped out to a huge lead and rolled on to an easy victory over No. 23 Miami on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 13-2 overall on the season, 1-1 in the ACC. Tech also knocked off Miami for the fourth straight time.

Virginia Tech sprinted out to an 11-2 lead and then put the game away with a 35-8 run that spanned nearly 13 minutes of the first half.

Bell hit a 3-pointer with 2:43 to go and added a basket with 2:16 remaining to give the Hokies their biggest lead, 48-13. The Hokies shot 62 percent (18 of 29) in the first half, making of their first 9 3-point attempts, and led 50-23 at the break.

To read more, click here.

CONAN OFFERS UP NEW OLYMPIC SPORTS

You may have noticed sandwiched in between natural disasters and ACC basketball that the late-night boys over at NBC are having a bit of spat.

The network execs decided to try Leno at 10:00 pm, and gave the reins of the beloved Tonight Show to Conan. Jimmy Fallon took over Conan’s old spot.

Then the network decided to pull Leno (something about local news ratings falling after his show) and move him back to 11:35, bumping Conan to midnight, and sending Fallon to the hinterland of late-night drunks and insomniacs.

Conan thought this bastardized a prized franchise, and apparently he’s not going down without a fight.

To read his letter addressed to the People of Earth, click here. While he is clearly upset with NBC, he did sign off on a lighter note: Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.

Last night, he had some more fun with the NBC execs, taking another shot with some new Olympic sports.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I woke up this (now, yesterday) morning, called my mom, texted a couple of people. I told them that I had a dream where I had a good game against the Tar Heels, we won by a lot and everybody stormed the court. You know what happened tonight."

-- Demontez Stitt, Clemson Tigers.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

TIGER’S TRAP. Will Graves #13 of the North Carolina Tar Heels drives against Tanner Smith #5 of the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on January 13, 2010 in Clemson, South Carolina.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

SOCCER SUPPORT. A young supporter of Bologna holds up a sign during the Serie A match between Bologna and Cagliari at Stadio Dallara on January 10, 2010 in Bologna, Italy.

Our Italian isn’t great, but we think it says: “Matri: I wouldn’t trade you for a plate of tortellini or even two as you are the power of Bologna, unless for the Pope. I'm out, Thomas” …or something like that.

Or, it could say, "I skipped school today and ate tortellini before going to the Bologna soccer match. Bite me, papa. Ciao, baby. Love, Thomas (your son)."

(Photo by Roberto Serra/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

ZING. Martin Adams of England in action against Dave Chisnall of England during the Final of The World Professional Darts Championship at The Lakeside on January 10, 2010 in Frimley, England.

Adams won.

Must be the jewelry.

(Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images Europe)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EVIDENTLY, THE MEEK SHALL (TEMPORARILY) INHERIT THE EARTH

Men's basketball standings courtesy of http://www.theacc.com/ (unedited).

(Please note that the Wahoos are tied for first.)

TUESDAY NIGHT HOOP

N.C. STATE 88, NO. 25 FLORIDA STATE 81 – It’s early in the year for the full-blown wheelectomy, but not-ranked-for-long Florida State better start looking for the lug wrench after their second straight loss.

Scott Wood (pictured) scored a career-high 31 points to lead North Carolina State to an upset of No. 25 Florida State on Tuesday night, spoiling the ACC home opener for the Noles.

The Wolfpack (12-5, 1-2 ACC) hit 11 of 23 three-pointers with Wood connecting on 7 of 11 attempts from behind the arc. Farnold Degand added 13 points and Julius Mays 12, including 10 straight free throws for the winners.

N.C. State rode an early 16-1 run to take a 23-12 lead as Florida State went 6:33 between field goals. The Wolfpack never trailed afterward, building their largest lead at 48-35 on a Dennis Horner 3-point shot early in the second half.

Chris Singleton scored 15 of his career-high 22 points in the second half to lead Florida State (13-4 1-2) which lost its second league game in three days.

Solomon Alabi and Derwin Kitchen added 15 points each for the Seminoles while Ryan Reid and freshman Michael Snaer had 12 apiece.

To read more, click here.

WAKE FOREST 85, MARYLAND 83 – Ishmail running jumper with 19.8 seconds left in overtime lifted Wake Forest past Maryland on Tuesday night.

Al-Farouq Aminu had 24 points, 13 rebounds and a key defensive play on the Terp's last-gasp inbounds play to lead the Demon Deacons (12-3, 2-1 ACC).

Greivis Vasquez had a season-high 30 points to lead Maryland (10-5, 1-1). The Terrapins went nearly 4 minutes between field goals in the extra session before Jordan Williams' put-back tied it at 83 with 52 seconds left.

Gary “Speed Stick” Williams yelled a lot, but was actually pleased with his squad’s effort short of a couple plays in overtime.

To read more, click here.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

MOVING. Pete Carroll, most recently famous for resurrecting the football fortunes at USC, and Lane Kiffin, most recently famous for being a jerk including snubbing Frank Beamer during the post-game handshake on New Year’s Eve after his Tennessee team had their "vols" (Florida slang for "butts") kicked by the Hokies in the Eat Mor Chikin Bowl, have both taken new jobs.


Carroll is scratching his NFL itch once again, and Kiffin, a former Carroll assistant, is taking over for the Trojans.

Go UCLA.

(Photos by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America and AP Photos)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

TIFFANY AND TENNIS. Maria Sharapova models earrings from Tiffanys that she will wear while playing at the Australian Open, in Melbourne on January 13, 2010. Players are arriving in Melbourne to prepare for the Australian Open to be played January 18-31, 2010.

(Photo by William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NEW WORLD ORDER IN ACC BASKETBALL

Again, call us lazy, but why write a blog post about how the ACC title is up for grabs when a real journalist has already done a great job of same?

Ken Tysiac who writes for the Charlotte Observer and contributes to the ACC Now, points out that when UNC lost to Charleston, and Duke to Georgia Tech, the cosmic order of the ACC changed.

Duke and UNC are no longer the unbeatable titans they’ve been in the recent past while seven ACC teams are on track for the NCAA tournament.

To read more, click here.

LINGERING ACC FOOTBALL LINKS

They just won’t go away…

*Former Virginia coach Al Groh might be joining the Yellow Jackets, but will a trio of juniors announce today they're leaving? Wait, this just in ... they are.

*It's no surprise that Virginia's new defensive coordinator, Jim Reid (r), has had previous ties to the program.

*Two Tricketts in Tallahassee? That should be fun.

*Here are five things to wish for in 2010 if you're an ACC fan, and they're all on the money.

*Clemson plucked a recruit from Florida State. Impressive for the Tigers, uh-oh for the Noles.
Don't feel bad, FSU fans -- Miami lost one to Maryland.

*The bigger problem will be if the Canes can't close this class with a strong finish.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I wish I had never touched steroids. It was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroids era."

-- Mark McGwire said in a statement released through the St. Louis Cardinals.

NO RANKED PAC-10 TEAM SINCE REAGAN WAS PREZ

At some point every season the debate gets going again at the water cooler and over the internet about which NCAA basketball conference is the best.

And, you may recall how each year the advocates of the Pac-10 claim there is an East Coast bias because fans and media folks don’t stay up late enough to watch Arizona State play Washington State?

Well, you probably won’t here that this year.

So while the quibbling begins about the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big 10 and SEC, in all likelihood you won’t hear anything about the Bruins, Trojans, Huskies, Sundevils, Ducks, Beavers or Cardinal.

Why? Simply put, the mighty Pac-10 has struck out…

This week, when Washington dropped out of the Top 25 after being 24th last week, there are no ranked Pac-10 teams. None. This is the first poll since the final one of 1986-87 in which no Pac-10 team is ranked.

Somewhere, Coach Wooden, among others, is not happy.

Interesting to note, that due to late game start times and the famous East Coast bias, the two western-most schools in the poll are No. 17 Gonzaga (12-3) and No. 18 BYU (16-1). Evidently, California is a problem (but you probably already knew that).

(Photo: Oregon State's head coach Craig Robinson during his team’s 64-57 defeat of Oregon on Sunday. Robinson is the older brother of First Lady Michelle Obama, and consequently, the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama. He played college basketball at Princeton and coached Brown University prior to coaching the Beavers.)

ACC BOWL WRAP-UP

ESPN ACC football blog/links guru Heather Dinich did a nice recap of the ACC bowl season. We didn’t see any reason to recreate her endeavor.

Best story: Nothing can top Bobby Bowden’s sendoff against his former team, West Virginia, in the Gator Bowl. There was even a “wide right,” only this time it was in Bowden’s favor. The Seminoles weren’t given much of a chance to stop West Virginia and its star running back, Noel Devine, but FSU’s defense finally clamped down and helped rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel end the careers of Bowden and longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews with a 33-21 win.

Best quote: "We've got Heisman Trophies. We've got national championship trophies. We've got ACC trophies. I've got a box at home, must have 50 rings, must have 50 rings like that. I can't wear but one of them. … When I die, I can't take it with me. There are things in life more important. There are just things more important than that to me. That's why I'm at peace with myself." -- Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden after his final game.

Best coaching job: Frank Beamer. The Hokies had a great game plan, they showed improvement offensively, and played hard in all three phases against Tennessee. Virginia Tech’s win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl gave the program its first consecutive bowl wins, and the Hokies left no doubt who was the better team. Virginia Tech gave a complete, convincing effort against a neighboring SEC program and put the program in position to enter 2010 as a top 10 team. Best stat: Virginia Tech’s defense hasn’t allowed any second-half points in its past five games, with the exception of Maryland’s fumble recovery in the end zone with 11:25 remaining on Nov. 14.

Best senior sendoff: Clemson running back C.J. Spiller went out a winner, breaking more records along the way. Spiller scored a touchdown and had 172 all-purpose yards, leading Clemson to a 21-13 win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. He scored a touchdown for the 14th straight game, setting a school record.

Worst penalty: On fourth-and-2 from the North Carolina 30-yard line, Pitt tried to draw UNC offsides and it worked. Cam Thomas jumped, handing Pitt a first down. The costly mistake helped lead the Panthers to their fourth and final field goal, and a 19-17 win. UNC led 17-16 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Worst excuse: It was cold. So Miami had to wear long sleeves and play in 50-degree weather against Wisconsin. That doesn’t quite explain the 430 yards of total offense the defense allowed the Badgers, or the fact that Jacory Harris was sacked five times.

Worst stat: In two bowl games under coach Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech has been outscored 62-17.

Worst injury/field conditions: Miami running back Graig Cooper, the Canes’ leading rusher, could miss all of next season with a severe right knee injury, thanks in large part to a misstep on the poor field conditions on the Florida Citrus Bowl turf at the Champs Sports Bowl. Cooper was deciding whether or not to leave Miami early for the NFL.

Worst turnover: Boston College had been able to hang with USC for four quarters, and it was a winnable game for the Eagles until quarterback Dave Shinskie threw a costly interception early in the fourth quarter. The Trojans scored two plays later in what would be the final touchdown of the game to win 24-13.

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