Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everybody!

ACC Thursday Night Basketball

Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney
VIRGINIA TECH 76, St. Bonaventure (Bonnies, 2,000 students, Allegany, NY) 68 (OT) – Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies with 19 points, while Jeff Allen added 18 points and nine rebounds and Erick Green scored 15 points and tied a career-high with five steals. In his three games as a starter this season, Green has 10 assists and no turnovers. Andrew Nicholson led four Bonnies in double figures with 21 points.


Delaney moved past former teammate A.D. Vassallo into fifth place in career scoring at Virginia Tech in the victory.

MIAMI 69, Akron (Zips, 24,601 students, Akron, OH) 61 – Reggie Johnson scored a season-high 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead Miami past Akron 69-61 on Thursday in the final round of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.


The Canes (10-3) went 4-0 in the Classic, including a 3-0 mark in Las Vegas this week.

Malcolm Grant added 17 points for Miami, highlighted by an 11-of-12 effort from the free throw line, while Durand Scott added 12 points and a season-high nine rebounds

Butler (Bulldogs, 4,512 students, Indianapolis, IN) 67, FLORIDA STATE 64 – Matt Howard scored 19 points and Shelvin Mack added 17, all in the second half, to lift Butler past Florida State in a semifinal game of the Diamond Head Classic on Thursday night. The Bulldogs (8-4) won their fourth in a row and advanced to Saturday’s tournament championship game against Washington State. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Seminoles (10-3).

Pictures of the Day


SANTA’S SURF’S UP. A surfer dressed in a Santa costume surfs at Kuta beach on the Indoensian resort island of Bali on December 24, 2010.
DUMBO CLAUS? An elephant dressed in a Santa Claus costume performs by standing on its hind legs before giving out gifts to students to mark the Christmas season at a school in Ayutthaya province on December 24, 2010. The event was held as part of a campaign to promote Christmas in Thailand.
SANTA ON ICE. A man dressed as Santa Claus skates the Columbus Blue Jackets' team flag around the ice prior to the start of the game against the Vancouver Canucks on December 23, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

SUNNY SANTA. A sandsculptor prepares a Santa Claus sandcastle at Durban's North Beach on December 23, 2010.
SHOT SANTA? A Palestinian vendor dressed as Santa Claus decorates the entrance to his shop with an inflatable Santa Claus doll near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem's old city on December 22, 2010 ahead of Christmas celebrations.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday ACC Hoops

Bill Murray dances with the Charleston mascot*
MIAMI 73, Rice 67

CLEMSON 66, College Of Charleston 59

N.C. STATE 72, Delaware State 70

BOSTON COLLEGE 84, Bucknell 80

MARYLAND 89, NJIT 50

Seattle 59, VIRGINIA 53

Siena 62, GEORGIA TECH 57

To read more, click here.

*No, we don't know why the King of Caddyshack was clogging with the Charleston Cougar, but he was...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday ACC Hoops

NORTH CAROLINA 85, William & Mary (Tribe, 5,850 students, Williamsburg, VA) 60 – Dexter Dexter Strickland scored a career-high 19 points, and North Carolina had five players reach double figures in a rout of William & Mary.

Tyler Zeller and Leslie McDonald added 14 points apiece for the Tar Heels (8-4), who bounced back from a final-seconds loss to Texas by putting the Tribe away with two notable first-half runs.

Harrison Barnes scored 13 points and fellow freshman Reggie Bullock added 11 for North Carolina, which shot nearly 44 percent and took advantage of some awful early shooting by the Tribe.

Kyle Gaillard scored a career-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting for William & Mary (4-7).

MIAMI 69, Oral Roberts (Golden Eagles, 3,200 students, Tulsa, OK) 56 – Malcolm Grant scored 15 points to lead Miami to victory victory over Oral Roberts at the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.

The Hurricanes (8-3) also had Reggie Johnson with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Durand Scott with 14 points and Garrius Adams with 10.

Dominique Morrison led the Golden Eagles (4-7) with 20 points, while Damen Bell-Holter had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Presbyterian (Blue Hose, students, Clinton, SC) 66, WAKE FOREST 64 – Khalid Mutakabbir’s reverse layup with 8.5 seconds left gave Presbyterian a 66-64 victory over Wake Forest on Tuesday night.

The Blue Hose then held on when Wake Forest’s C.J. Harris missed a jumper in the lane at the buzzer.

It was Presbyterian’s first win in nine tries against ACC opponents. Al’Lonzo Coleman led Presbyterian (6-6) with 20 points. Mutakabbir scored 14, Pierre Miller scored 11 and Walt Allen scored 10.

Co-ach K USA Co-Coach Of The Year

Duke head coach Mike Krzyqty2ski and Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma were each named the 2010 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year on Monday.

Krzyzbnv5ski received the award for the fourth time in the past five years after leading the U.S. to the 2010 FIBA World Championship. He also received the honor in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He is the first four-time recipient of the award.

"Any time a coach is recognized for representing his or her country, it is a tremendous honor," Krzyzlkj7ski said. "USA Basketball enjoyed a terrific summer, and we were proud to do our part at the World Championship. In all of my years in coaching, there's nothing I've enjoyed more than being a part of the USA Basketball program. So, receiving this award for a fourth time is very special to me."

The gold medal in the 2010 World Championships was the first for the USA since 1994. Krzyzsdc6ski has served as the head coach of the U.S. National Team since 2006 and also led them to a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Just One More Reason To Love The Fridge

A few years ago, we put a link here at T.A.H. to Dan Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog. Yeah, that’s right it’s bog, not blog. Dan used to be a beat writer but now he does this great blog about D.C. Sports…kind of obvious, we know, but good stuff just the same.

The only year Steinberg was a beat writer he covered the Terps and spent a good deal of time with Friedgen.

Before he left the beat scene, Steinberg scheduled a one-on-one session with the Fridge.

Says Steinberg: At the end, I shut off my recorder, and we talked a little bit about my frustrations with beat-writing, and his frustrations with the media. Since he knew I was leaving the beat, we both were able to be pretty honest about the whole interaction. Finally, he asked what I was doing next, and I told him I was starting a blog.

"You know, Dan," Friedgen said, "I don't even know what a Bog is."

Viola! D.C. Sports Bog had its name.

To read the rest of Dan’s reflection, click here.

Dear Mr. Snyder

Dan Snyder
OK, Mr. S, this is it for 2010. Good news is we aren’t gonna rant and rave about the 5-9 Redskins, or editorialize on how Coach Kim Jong Ill-ahan has handled the McNabb situation (OK, maybe a little later on), but we will focus on the FUTURE. We say this because no matter what George Allen said, and certainly no matter what George Allen Jr. ever said, the future is NOT now.

(If you don’t believe us, check out this Redskins’ drinking game by clicking here. It's fun and funny. Painful, but funny.)

Instead let’s talk a little about how the past might impact the future. Let’s also talk about T.A.H. Worldwide Media LLC’s maiden voyage into the publishing world with the editor/publisher’s still-unwritten sure-to-be future best seller “The Untimely Death of Conventional Wisdom” and how that has most recently negatively-impacted of our favorite men in burgundy and gold.

You know all about conventional wisdom. We use it every day and it is generally defined as “ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field.” Frankly, without it a lot of things would be pretty chaotic.

Dan Snyder
Unfortunately, we now live in a world that seems to be lethal to a substantial portion of the population of conventional wisdom. The primary culprit of this epidemic of unpredictability is information – information provided by the Internet. Sometimes right and sometimes wrong. But it isn’t just the information that has changed our world, it’s the combination of all the information and what the gathering and processing of that glut of bytes has done to the brains of we humans just a few million years from swinging in trees and crapping on ourselves.

As a result of living in a massively- truncated information-saturated fast paced word our society, our culture, our economy and our technology have all changed so much and so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Don’t believe us? Then read this article in yesterday’s N.Y. Times about young people abandoning email because it’s too slow and cumbersome. (Seriously!) Conventional wisdom is losing the race as so many new and faster ideas, solutions, products and people go sprinting by us.

Subsequently, with all of this info (and the changes it creates daily) and our desire to process and utilize all this information, we constantly endeavor to make the perfect decision. In that process, we now often miss – perhaps distracted by the input of even more additional information (relevant or otherwise) flooding our synapses from one technological source or another – the key piece of information that matters most. All the variables that enter into each decision lead to a negative result we call “outsmarting ourselves.”

Donovan McNabb
For example, Donavon McNabb was a Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback for eleven years in Philadelphia and led the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. On top of that he’s a first class guy and a damn good soup salesman. Then one day the only coach he ever had in the pros, some big lug named Andy Reid, decides he can no longer EFFECTIVELY play quarterback in the NFL. He is so confident in his decision that he decides to defy CONVENTIONAL WISDOM and trade him to a division rival while banking his team’s season on a not-so-household name (the unproven Kevin Kolb.)

ERRRRR-ERRRRR-ERRRRR-ERRRRR…(If you have an iPhone set the ring tone to “All Hands On Deck.” It’s perfect, isn’t it?)

But here’s where it gets DICEY. You, GM Bruce Allen (Yep, same family) and Coach Kim Jong Ill-ahan utilized the MOST ACCEPTED form of conventional wisdom used in sports (and maybe in life) – you judged McNabb based on his past performance, what he HAD accomplished. That makes perfect sense, but in the NFL maybe is doesn’t. Maybe the judgment criteria needs to defy conventional wisdom which says “if he did it this year, he can do it next year,” and be replaced with “if he did it this year, and we give him a big pile of money, recent experience tells us he won’t be nearly as good next year.”

Hello, new CONVENTIONAL WISDOM.

Randall Cunningham
One could prattle on about McNabb’s accomplishments for thousands of words but it can be condensed down to this: He is the Eagles' all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. That would be ALL-TIME as in FOREVER. The roster he sits atop includes some Hall of Famers and a bunch of good QB’s the likes of Van Brocklin, Jurgensen, Jaworski and Cunningham.

So utilizing the old CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, you, Allen (who by all accounts is a top-notch personnel guy) and Coach Shanny (who according to sources close to the Denver Broncos we won’t name here [J. Pieja] has always wanted McNabb running his offense) review his stellar resume, his age (he turned 34 in November) and his physical condition and decide he’s THE guy.

Here’s the point, and you better sit down for this. We aren’t bustin’ on you and Skins’ brain trust, we are simply saying it’s a brave new world out there created by huge salaries and big free agent signings. It works in baseball, but in the violent, massively accelerated world of professional football maybe conventional wisdom NO LONGER applies to personnel decision like it once did.

Andy "The Genius" Reid
That said, there remain certain truisms so entrenched they should not be ignored. Such as NOBODY trades their franchise player to a division RIVAL if he can still play at an All-Pro level. Write that one on the black board. DO NOT erase it. EVER. It’s true.

But, evidently, the traditional way of evaluating non-rookie talent is clearly much more COMPLICATED than it once was. NFL players are amazing athletes and they compete at such a high level that there is a very fine lines between great, really good, competent and no longer competent. Some NFL players are like spring fed creeks, they slowly dry up over the course of a hot summer career. Others are more simply, and rather shockingly, like a light switch – on, then off. One year they have it, the next year they don’t.

Obviously, there are other relevant factors. Using McNabb as our lab rat, you have to take into account the offensive line, the running game, the receivers and, believe it or not, the defense.

Albert Haynesworth
When it comes to veteran players like McNabb (and dare we bring up the “A” word? Albert Hayensworth), years of habits have to be factor as well. Hayensworth clearly has the habit of being a moron and an “it’s-everybody-else’s-fault” prima donna.

McNabb apparently has other HABITS (besides being a good teammate and consummate pro) that didn’t seem to work well within the confines of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. We won’t get into the whole “make the personnel fit the system or tailor the system to the personnel” argument. But Donovan didn’t fit well, and Rex Grossman proved that last Sunday.

But, with all of that said, with the INFO you had about McNabb’s first eleven years, it seems LOGICAL that he would be competent for two or three MORE. Well…No. Now there are folks out there that say he will leave Washington and go somewhere else and be resurrected. Maybe he will, or maybe his physical skills have dwindled and his habits are so ingrained that he may not be able to be a productive NFL QB no matter the system. Only time will tell.

Jeff George
But McNabb and Haynesworth both prove that the big-dollar high-profile free agent or trade is rapidly becoming an unacceptable risk in the NFL. Careers are short, the game is violent and the line between here and gone is impossibly SMALL.

At some point, and were guessing it’s when the check clears, something goes off in the high salaried player’s mind and a little voice says “you’ve made it, you’re rich, enjoy the ride.” Makes sense doesn’t it? There are only so many guys like Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning who either want to run through a wall for the FUN of it or who just want to be good for the sake of being good.

Give any smuck on the street an obcene amount of money for doing his or her job and we wager they coast…Human nature: It is what it is. Of course, these guys are highly competitive and highly motivated – that’s part of the equation that makes them great. But they are also human and something – perhaps, even something subconscious – is causing them to ease back. Net result: LESS productivity.

In the case of McNabb, guys reach a certain point where they cross the razor-thin line from effective to ineffective for whatever COMBINATION of reasons. Somebody tell us why McNabb, who has insisted he’s 100% healthy, hasn’t used one of his best resources – his wheels – as a weapon since October? Is that a physical or a MENTAL thing? Who knows?

Mike Shanahan
Anyway, do we agree that it’s difficult to judge talent and make decisions based on the OLD conventional wisdom which utilized past performance as the primary criteria? Hope so.

So while some areas of conventional wisdom are DEADER than a mackerel, other areas of conventional wisdom seem to HOLD true. For example, perhaps you really do have to build a team and not buy one. Perhaps you do need a dictatorial coach (all kidding aside about Shanny, they do have a bit of hard ass up there in New England who insults folks right and left and then points to his Super Bowl trophies and Tom Brady) and a good general manager.

Finally, all the constant media input has DISTORTED some very important conventional wisdom. The media, and subsequently the fans are obsessed with the skill players – the quarterbacks, the running backs, the receivers on offense and the linebackers and defensive backs on defense. Those guys are the primary newsmakers. Now, the media may say it’s the other way around, and the fans are obsessed and the media is simply giving them what they want. Either way, we’ve lost our FOCUS on what Ol’ Coach Joe knew to be true: It’s a game about LINEMAN.

Dexter Manley
Coach Shanny knows this. You have to be able to RUN the ball and PROTECT your quarterback. Um, Mr. Haslett, you have to also be able to STOP the other guy’s run and RUSH the other guy’s QB.

Alas, armed with that knowledge (and for a while, even armed with the coach who won three Super Bowls riding that train), the Redskins continue to “team build” like an eight-year-old boy with ADHD: “Heeeeyyyy, BRIGHT shiny object, bright SHINY object…ooooh, there’s another one: bright shiny OBJECT.” Spend, spend, spend, bright shiny object. Sound familiar?

So, this off season ignore the bright shiny soup salesmen of the world and focus on those great big galoots with mud on their unis. Get comfy with the concept of rebuilding by BUILDING a team, not buying one. Like your house, start with the foundation. (Note we mentioned your house and didn’t make an analogy utilizing trees and the REMOVAL of same.)

Timmy Smith
Think back to the glory days of Joe Gibbs and remember he did it with guys named Rypien, Jacoby, Grimm, Bostic, May, Mann and Manley. Yeah he had Riggins, Monk and Theisman, but remember is was a rookie named Timmy Smith that set the Super Bowl rushing record of over 200 yards. We not saying just ANYBODY could have done it, but you could have gone for a buck and a quarter behind those HOGS!

We know all those names are familiar to you, and you know which one was a journeyman, which ones were HALL OF FAMERS and which ones were All Pros.

Now go defy the CONVENTIONAL WISDOM that is the Washington Redskins and start collecting LINEMAN and let Coach Shanny and the boys run and pass. If Reid calls you to point out how well the whole Michael Vick thing has worked out and he wants to talk about a trade for Kevin Kolb, DON’T take the call!

Every Redskin defender last Sunday in Dallas
Oh, yeah, and get a few guys that can TACKLE while you’re out shopping.

Merry Christmas

Sincerely,
Your Loyal Fan

Hokies Plagiarizes Wahoo Celebratory Move


There is some good stuff out there on the World Wide Web including Bryane Rogers’s weblog.

Bryane hips us to this: Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall was just a sophomore in high school in the fall of 1998. Clearly he was watching when fellow 757-er Ahmad Hawkins beat Anthony Midget for a 47-yard game-winning touchdown on November 28th of that year. Hawkins’ TD grab from Aaron Brooks with 2 minutes remaining would be enough to beat Hall’s future school in Blacksburg, capping a furious second-half comeback that started from a 29-7 intermission deficit.

After scoring, Hawkins slid to his knees and outstretched both arms. He soaked in the feeling of victory at Lane Stadium, creating one of the most indelible images in Virginia football history-

Twelve years later, Hall is still using the celebratory move he took from the one-time arena-leaguer Hawkins, who played on both sides of the ball at Virginia…

Relative of T.A.H. Sometimes Contributor Honored By Inside Lacrosse

Just last week, we quoted dedicated T.A.H. reader and occasional contributor T. Blaser of Hacks v. Hicks fame. The long-time Terps fan and now Clemson loyalist (two sons) was a rugby star when he was young and who now manages his “sissy fade” effectively around the links to the frequent financial demise of his opponents.

Somehow or another in a miracle of significant upgrade, the Mighty Blaze managed to court, engage and eventually wed K. Bryant of the Baltimore money managers and Eastern Shore real estate mogul Bryants. (When is there gonna be another hurricane so we can go back to Royal Oak and relive those golden memories about “the boys from Wheaton?”) There are several other Bryant children all of which we have met at various times but we make no pretense about being able to sort one out from the other in the light of day.

That said, Rustin Bryant, a freshman at Maryland and the nephew of K. Bryant Blaser, has been honored by being named first team on Inside Lacrosse magazines 2011 All-Name Team. (Actually, the crack, and recently "unfired" T.A.H. Research Department has revealed that Rustin is the son of K. Bryant Blaser’s brother Ric.)

So when Inside Lacrosse published the fourth Face-off Yearbook All-Name Team there was young Master Bryant on the FIRST TEAM along with Braxton Deaver Fr., Midfield, Duke and third teamers Tucker Virtue Sr., Attack, Duke and Steele Stanwick Jr., Attack, Virginia. The All-Name team is exactly what you think – a list of guys with names that sound like they would be lacrosse players.

With no disrespect to any of the fine young men on the top squad, we must ask how is Steele Stanwick, Jr. not first team?

Of course, IL points out that “it’s all in good fun, and we’re just playing around with a funny, tired lacrosse stereotype. Please take no offense at inclusion on this team. Wear it like a badge of honor…on your Vineyard Vines blazer.”

There are a variety of variations on the theme as well as an All-Name team for the women and an All-Celebrity version as well.

To read more, click here.

Understanding Ralph Friedgen

So, it goes like this. We publish a lot crap. We know that. It’s part of the deal.

This is not crap. This is good stuff. You should read it.

Kevin Van Valkenburg is a writer and blogger for a variety of publications including the Baltimore Sun. Simply put, he’s a good one. As far as we know he’s not a vampire as his name implies) from some lost kingdom in Easter Europe, but we could be wrong…

He was born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and graduated from the University of Montana in 2000 with an undergraduate degree in journalism. He was hired by the Baltimore Sun, and spent his first six months covering crime in Howard County while working on the city desk on Saturday nights.

Eventually, he transferred into the sports department, where he dabbled in a little of everything, including prep sports, Navy football, Maryland football and basketball, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In 2004, after a story he wrote appeared in the Best American Sports Writing anthology, he became a general assignment feature writer for The Sun, a position he’s held since. He has been honored four times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, three times for project reporting and once for feature writing.

From 2005 through 2008, Van Valkenburg covered Michael Phelps during quest to win eight gold medals in a single Olympics.

One day many-a-year-ago, Van Valkenburg went on a road trip with Ralph Friedgen. Here is that story.

It’s well worth reading. Enjoy.

(Editor's Note: Thanks to Fear and Loathing in Jokesville and all the Boys From Wheaton for the tip.)

Picture of the Day

89. Coach Geno Auriemma of Connecticut and his team pose for a picture after defeating Florida State on December 21, 2010 in Hartford, Connecticut. Connecticut set a record with 89 straight wins without a defeat. Connecticut set a record with 89 straight wins without a defeat. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday Night ACC Hoops

Singler
#1 DUKE 98, Elon (Phoenix, students, Elon, NC) 72 -- Kyle Singler scored 24 points to help Duke beat Elon on Monday night, moving coach Mike Krzyzhl4wski into a tie for second place on the all-time wins list.

Nolan Smith added 22 points as the Blue Devils (11-0) gave their Hall of Fame coach his 879th win in 36 seasons at Duke and Army. Krzyzmbv9ski is now tied with Dean Smith, who spent 36 seasons at rival North Carolina before retiring in 1997, as the second-winningest coach Division I history.

Krzyzptr3ski can pass Smith by beating North Carolina-Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum on Dec. 29. That would leave only Bobby Knight ahead of him, as Knight passed Smith with 902 wins before retiring almost three years ago.

Andre Dawkins scored 17 off the bench for the Blue Devils who took control with a 14-0 first-half run but couldn't put away the Phoenix (4-7) until the final 6 minutes.

VIRGINIA 50, Norfolk State (Spartans, 5,400 students, Norfolk, VA) 49 – Speaking of ugly…

Sene
Assane Sene tipped in a missed free throw with 4.8 seconds to play Monday night and Virginia overcame a brutal performance to beat Norfolk State.

The Wahoos (8-3) won their fifth straight, and second in a row with injured scoring and rebounding leader Mike Scott, but badly missed him against the upset-minded Spartans.

Norfolk State (1-8) lost its seventh straight but barely. The tip-in by Sene was just his sixth field goal of the season, and came in a game in which the Cavaliers were outrebounded 43-36. Sene had 12 to lead all rebounders.

Mustapha Farrakhan led Virginia with 18 points; Rob Hampton had 17 for the Spartans.

The Hoos shot 35% from the field, 31% from behind the arc and 50% from the free throw line. Oh, and they were outrebounded 42-36. Practice today is gonna suck.

ACC Players of the Week

Clemson’s Jerai Grant has been named the ACC Player of the Week, while Virginia’s K.T. Harrell was selected the ACC Rookie of the Week following their outstanding performances this past week.

Grant averaged 17.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots and made 12-of-15 from the floor (.800) as the Tigers won twice. The Bowie, Md., senior had 15 points and six rebounds in a 61-40 win over Savannah State and a career-high 19 points, to go along with 13 rebounds, in Sunday’s 71-61 win over visiting UNCG.

In Virginia’s only game this past week, Harrell scored a career-high 20 and had four rebounds in the Cavs’ 63-48 victory over Oregon on Dec. 17. The Montgomery, Ala., freshman was 8-of-12 from the field, and 4-6 from the free throw line. He also had one assist and one turnover in 35 minutes of action.

Virginia Tech Helmet of the Day

For all the flak we give the University of Nike (Oregon) about constantly changing for the worse a genrally good looking uni, we must note that the kings of maroon and orange have also developed a penchant for the alternate uniform (not coincidentally, VT is also a Nike-sponsored team).

The Hokies have gone with their traditional maroon helmets , white helmets (throwbacks?) at the ACC Championship, and some really choice matte black helmets against Boise State (even if the rest of the special Pro Combat uniform was a little ridiculous).

Now, the Hokies are adding a fourth helmet to their season's total: an orange one, presumably in honor of the Orange Bowl.

According to Hokiesports.com, “The look was selected by the Virginia Tech team captains and it’s believed to be the first time in the history of Virginia Tech football that orange helmets will be worn.

The captains were presented with numerous uniform combinations, but settled on the orange helmets with maroon facemasks. The players will be in their white jerseys to go along with their new lids.”

Yes, Hokiesports.com used the word “lids.” Good on ‘em.

Quote of the Day

“What’s happened this year when you think of guys that have winning records and now they’re not going to be the coach of their team next year -- I think of West Virginia, Pittsburgh; I think about Miami, about Maryland -- and knowing how hard it is to win ... I think a perfect example is Texas. They play for the national championship last year. They’ve got good players. They’ve got good coaches and they just got on a bad run and it’s hard to win. I think people think, ‘Hey, let’s just change the coach and everything’s going to be alright.’ But usually it goes deeper than that. I know what’s real and I know Ralph’s a heckuva football coach and I thought he did a heckuva job and deserves better than he got.” – Frank Beamer on Ralph Friedgen’s firing by Maryland.

Maybe Beamer should hire his old buddy down at Virginia Tech?

Gobble Country talks about just such a scenario: "Friedgen and Beamer were on the same coaching staffs in the 70s at Maryland and The Citadel. When Beamer got his first head coaching job at Murray State in 1981, he hired Friedgen to be his offensive coordinator. Their friendship has been well documented since the Hokies and Terps started squaring off frequently when Tech joined the ACC in 2004.

The main reason Friedgen would be a good addition to the Tech staff is that he's an excellent offensive coach. Everywhere he's gone he's had offensive success and his offenses are usually balanced and resemble what Tech already runs.

The problem is what position Friedgen would take. While a lot of fans will instantly say, "Fire Stinespring," which is the Pavlovian response that Hokie fans tend to blurt out in these situations, that's not going to happen. If Stinespring was going to get a pink slip from Beamer, it would have happened long ago…"

To read more, click here.

Three Reasons Mike Leach Should Be The Terps’ Next Coach

Heather Dinich, the ACC guru over at ESPN’s college football blogsphere has three reasons former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach should replace Ralph Friedgen.

Interestingly, none of them involve the woodshed. Proverbial or otherwise.

To read more, click here.

ACC Football Links

Via ESPN's ACC blog.

*One degree just isn't enough for some Georgia Tech players.

*The Washington Post is reporting Mike Leach will be at the top of Maryland's list of potential candidates for a new head coach.

*Miami interim coach Jeff Stoutland has one of the biggest decisions of his career to make.

*NC State's defense is hoping for a better performance in the Champs Sports Bowl than it had in the season finale against Maryland. It will definitely need it.

*FSU is looking for 10 wins for the first time since 2003. It probably feels longer than that for some Seminoles fans.

*It's been a "very difficult" season for Miami quarterback Jacory Harris. Ya don't say.

*A.J. Highsmith, formerly a backup quarterback, is now getting used to his new role at cornerback.

Josh Nesbit
*Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is unlikely to play in the team's bowl game.

*If BC offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo stays healthy, he'll get a gold star for his perfect attendance.

*You probably already know about Al Golden's three hires, but did you know Seantrel Henderson and Leonard Hankerson both have the flu?

*Andrew Carter takes a look at some of the Florida State freshmen who could have an impact in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

*Miami running back Damien Berry said he's more concerned about a win than he is reaching the 1,000-yard mark.

*Meet the Odd Couple: Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp.

*The Roanoke Times honored Tyrod Taylor and Jayron Hosley.

Picture of the Day

COLD. DEFINITLEY COLD. Quarterback Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the Vikings game against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium on December 20, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Favre got knocked out early and the Bears won going away. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sources: Terps To Fire Fridge After Bowl Game

Accordoing to Steve Yanda at the Washington Post, Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen will be fired following the Dec. 29 Military Bowl after retirement discussions between the 63-year-old coach's representative and university officials went nowhere, according to a source close to Friedgen.

Friedgen's contract will be terminated effective Jan. 1. Maryland is in the process of forming a search committee to find Friedgen's successor, according to a university source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Athletic Director Kevin Anderson was only briefly involved in the buyout discussions, the source close to Friedgen said. Anderson handed off talks to university legal counsel Susan Bayly after a discussion with Friedgen's attorney did not go well, according to the source.

Because he would not agreed to retire, the remainder of Friedgen's contract -- worth roughly $2 million -- will be paid in full.

According to the source, discussions between Friedgen's representative and the school focused more on a desire by the school for Friedgen to step down. However, Friedgen was unwilling to do so, given that he maintains a desire to coach, the source said.

Maryland offered many things in an attempt to entice Friedgen to retire, such as putting his name up on the Ring of Honor at Byrd Stadium, the source said, but such offers were insufficient.

Buyout talks ended for good around 10 a.m. Monday morning after Bayly asked one final time whether Friedgen had changed his mind. The answer: No.

Anderson has called a press conference for 3 p.m. today, at which point he'll discuss where the Maryland football program goes from here.

Sunday ACC Hoops

#3 Zavier Anderson
CLEMSON 71, UNC Greensboro 61 (Spartans, 14,644 students, Greensboro, NC) – Winless UNC Greensboro stormed back to twice cut the lead to two points before the Clemson Tigers regained control for a 71-61 victory Sunday.

Andre Young scored 22 points, including a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch, and handed out five assists for the Tigers (7-4), who pulled away with a late 15-2 run. Jerai Grant added 19 points, 13 rebounds and five of the Tigers' nine blocks.

Korey Van Dussen hit 7 of 10 shots, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, to lead the Spartans (0-10) with 20 points. Trevis Simpson added 16 as UNC Greensboro fell by double digits for the ninth time.

BOSTON COLLEGE 93, Bryant (Bulldogs, 5,289 students, Smithfield, RI) 77 – Five players scored in double figures and the entire unit hit 13 three-pointers while committing just five turnovers as Boston College defeated Bryant.

BC shot a blistering 57.6 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent from three-point range. The Eagles shot 64.3 percent from the floor in the opening half.

Seniors Biko Paris and Josh Southern each scored 18 points, junior Reggie Jackson netted 16 points, senior Corey Raji recorded 15 points and senior Joe Trapani tallied 11 points. Trapani also totaled a team-high eight rebounds and a team-leading three steals.

#12 Ryan Harrow
Arizona (Wildcats, 29,719 students, Tucson, AZ) 72, N.C. STATE 62 – On a cold evening for N.C. State, Arizona scored 10 unanswered points midway through the second half and closed out a victory over the Wolfpack at the RBC Center.

After trailing throughout the game, the Wolfpack closed the gap to 52-50 when sophomore Scott Wood made back-to-back 3-point shots, the second coming with 9:59 remaining in the game.

But the Wildcats took the momentum back with a jumper, a couple of alley oops, a pair of free throws and a follow shot by Kyle Fogg to build its biggest lead of the game at 62-50 with 6:58 to play.

The Wolfpack mounted a rally, led by sophomore Richard Howell and freshman Ryan Harrow, but never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

Wood finished the game with a team-high 16 points, while Howell added 12. But the cold-shooting Wolfpack made just 21 of 66 shots (31.8 percent) for the night.

Pictures of the Day

RAIN. Leverkusen's goalkeeper Fabian Giefer jumps for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Freiburg in the central German city of Leverkusen on December 19, 2010. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Patrik Stollarz/AFP PHOTO)
NO SNOW. Lazio's midfielder Stefano Mauri (C) vies with Udinese's Swiss midfielder Inler Gokhan during their Serie A football match in Rome's Olympic Stadium on December 19,2010. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP PHOTO)
SNOW. Leverkusen's Spanish defender Gonzalo Castro and Freiburg's French midfielder Yacine Abdessadki vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Freiburg in the central German city of Leverkusen on December 19, 2010. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Patrik Stollarz/AFP PHOTO)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meet The New Christmas Grinch: Maryland A.D. Kevin Anderson

As an early Christmas present, the University of Maryland has asked their coach of ten years and the reigning ACC Coach of the Year, Ralph Friedge to retire or be terminated via a $2 million buyout of the final year on his contract. All just one week before the annual celebration of the birth of baby Jesus.

Nice, Maryland, NICE!

The decision brings to an end Fridge's run at his alma mater where he recorded 31 victories in his first three years, bringing Maryland football to national prominence while taking his squad to seven bowl games. Sources close to the situation say the Terps are worried that if the Fridge coaches next year in a “lame duck” scenario recruiting will suffer for two years as both Friedgen and all his assistants plan their departures.

If the Fridge refuses to retire, the school would have to pay him about $2 million to buy out the remaining year on his contract. Friedgen has not made a decision on whether to accept the buyout offer, one individual close to Friedgen said, and no deadline has been established for Friedgen to make a decision.

When Friedgen's departure is announced, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will immediately emerge as the clear front-runner to replace Friedgen. There is mutual interest between Leach and Maryland, according to three people, two of whom are close to Maryland and one of whom is close to Leach. Leach is best known for his abrasive personality, wide-open offense and, most recently, for locking a player in a shed before being forced out of Lubbock..

Leach is said to be interested in the job. He has a strong relationship with Kevin Plank, a former Maryland football player who sits on the school's board of trustees and whose apparel company, Under Armour, is the outfitter for the school's athletic teams.

Sources say Maryland has asked Friedgen to coach in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on Dec. 29.

Anderson addressed the Maryland football team at a team meeting Friday night and several Terps asked the athletic director who is their head coach and Anderson responded that he did not know at that moment.

Saturday ACC Basketball

#22 Texas 78, (Longhorns, 38,168 students, Austin, TX) NORTH CAROLINA 76 – Freshman Cory Joseph hit a turnaround jumper over Dexter Strickland with 1.4 seconds left to help No. 22 Texas beat North Carolina on Saturday.
Joseph had a season-high 21 points for the Longhorns (9-2), while Jordan Hamilton had a team-high 24 points as Texas trailed for most of the second half before rallying in the final 3 minutes to edge out the Tar Heels (7-4) playing in front of an instate crowd.

Strickland matched his career-high with 18 points for North Carolina. Freshman Harrison Barnes added 16 points, including the tying 3 with 12.7 seconds left that set up Joseph's winner.

UCF (Knights, 47,580 students, Orlando, FL) 84, MIAMI 78 – Unbeaten Central Florida gave up 17 consecutive points in the first half before Keith Clanton led a rally that helped the Knights beat Miami on Saturday in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

The Knights trailed 43-31 late in the first half, their largest deficit this season. Clanton scored all but one of his 14 points after halftime, and Marcus Jordan scored 23 before leaving the game due to injury with 84 seconds left.

GEORGIA TECH 67, Richmond (Spiders, 4,250 students, Richmond, VA) 54 – Iman Shumpert scored a game-high 21 points, and Georgia Tech used a smothering defense and a hot second half to capture a win over Richmond Saturday in the Battle At Atlantis.

Shumpert carried Tech on his back for the first 20 minutes, scoring 18 of his points on six field goals and four free throws as the Yellow Jackets carried a 25-24 lead into the break. The Spiders, who came into the game hitting 51.2 percent of their shots, seventh-best in the nation, made just 33.3 percent in the first half and 39.2 percent for the game.

Xavier (Musketeers, 4,000 students, Cincinnati, OH) 83, WAKE FOREST 75 – Point guard Terrell "Tu" Holloway had a triple-double and center Kenny Frease scored a career-high 22 points on Saturday night, leading Xavier to a victory over Wake Forest as part of the Skip Prosser Classic.

Wake Forest (6-5) hosted the initial game of the series honoring the coach, winning in double overtime last season. For the rematch, the Demon Deacons tried to end the nation's second-longest home-court winning streak.

VIRGINIA TECH 88, Mississippi State (Bulldogs, 19,644 students, Starkville, MS) 57 – Virginia Tech jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and never looked back in defeating Mississippi State in the second game of the Battle at Atlantis in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas on Saturday night.

MSU scored the game’s first two points for its only lead of the contest. Tech’s lead swelled to as many as 33 points in the second half. The Bulldogs cut Tech’s lead to 49-34 with 18:35 remaining in the game, but Tech pushed the lead back out to 20 points with 13:55 remaining on a lay-up by Jeff Allen and Tech’s lead never again fell below 20 points.

FLORIDA STATE 74, Loyola Marymount (Lions, 5,746 students, Los Angeles, CA) 63 – Florida State traveled to Los Angeles to face LMU for the first time in program history and came away with a victory in front of 3,193 at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday night.

Chris Singleton led the Seminoles (9-2) with 15 points while Deividas Dulkys added11 points and seven rebounds. Drew Viney led all scorers with 16 points and nine rebounds for the Lions (6-6). Larry Davis added 13.

The Case For Rex Grossman

Mr. Irrelevant makes a good case for benching McNabb and playing Rex Grossman.

To read it, click here.

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