Friday, April 27, 2012

ACC In The NFL Draft

KUECHLY (Brian Spurlock/US Presswire)
Over the past six years, the ACC has had more players selected on the first round of the NFL Draft (37) and more total players selected (214) than any other conference with the exception of the SEC which had 46 first round choices and 237 overall selections. The next closest conference to the ACC is the Big Ten with 31 first-round and 191 overall selections and the Big 12 with 31 first-round and 182 overall picks, respectively.

Last night, three ACC players were chosen in the NFL’s first round:

  9 Carolina Panthers - Luke Kuechly LB BOSTON COLLEGE

16 NY Jets - Quinton Coples DE NORTH CAROLINA

32 NY Giants - David Wilson RB VIRGINIA TECH

Dear Mr. Snyder

(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Dear Mr. Snyder:

Out of the mouths of babes comes great wisdom.

This morning on the way to school, an erudite then-year-old realized ESPN radio was discussing the NFL draft.  First, he wanted to know why the Redskins didn’t draft Peyton Manning.  Once he understood the difference between free agents and college players available via the NFL draft, he said the following.

“Robert Griffin III better be good or he’s gonna get fired.  The Redskins don’t need any more bad players.”

Amen, brother.

Then he asked who else they drafted and the answer was “hopefully offensive linement, but they may not have any picks left until 2014…”

Seriously, who can keep track?

Go Skins!

Sincerely,
Your Loyal Fan

Quote Of The Day

TEBOW AND SLIVE (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
''I've always tried not to use the dreaded P word, but now we're all using it. So what the heck.''

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive who has been leading the charge for a college football playoff for the past four years after the news broke that college football is on the verge of implementing a playoff  to include two semifinals and a title game.

''I'm very stunned,'' said former Alabama running back and Cleveland Browns draft pick Trent Richardson, who won two BCS championship games with the Crimson Tide.

According to the AP, there's still plenty left to figure out, though. First of all, where and when to play the games and how the bowls fit in. After that, Slive and his cohorts have to come up with a way to select the four teams. The new postseason format would go into effect for the 2014 season.
As for the 14-year-old BCS, it's on life support. Any chance that it survives past the next two seasons? ''I hope not,'' Slive said.

''This is a seismic change for college football,'' BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said after the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director wrapped up three days of meetings in south Florida.

Hancock said the commissioners will present a ''small number'' of options for a four-team playoff to their leagues over the next month or so at conference meetings. He estimated that between two and seven configurations are being considered.

It'll be up to each conference to determine which plan it likes best. The commissioners will get back together in June and try to come up with a final version, and eventually the university presidents will have to sign off on it. Hancock has said they'd like a new format ready for presidential approval by July 4.

And he warned that if no agreement is reached, the fallback could be sticking with an overhauled version of the old system, which aims for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 championship game.

The powers that be seem to agree on the timetable, but where to play the games are a subject of heated debate…

Slive among others have made it clear that they are not a fan of playing semifinals on campus, a plan the Big Ten has presented and the Pac-12 supports.

''I'm a big proponent of it,'' Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. ''That was the choice we made in our conference with our championship game. Collegiate atmosphere. Guaranteed sellout. We've said all along preserving the regular season is important. What better way to emphasize the importance of the regular season then having a chance to earn a home game? It's a proven NFL model.''

Slive prefers playing the games at neutral sites, the way the NCAA basketball tournament does.
That leads to the question: How do the bowls fit in?

The national championship game has shifted between the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Rose bowl sites during the 14 years the BCS has been in existence. First, the bowl itself was the championship game. Then the BCS moved to a five-game model in which the championship was played after the bowls but at one of those four stadiums.

The commissioners are considering allowing the bowls to be involved, but not necessarily calling the three playoff games ''bowls.''

The Fiesta Bowl would be fine not hosting a bowl in certain years, if it can host a playoff game. On the other hand, the Rose Bowl would prefer to just be the Rose Bowl, sticking with its traditional matchup of Big Ten champion vs. Pac-12 champion on New Year's Day. But those league champions will often be heading to the playoffs in a new format.

The commissioners won't even get into how they pick the teams until after they have presented a format to the presidential oversight committee.

''The whole topic of selection and who would get in is something that we've really parked for now,'' Scott said. ''We realize that's going to require a whole lot more debate and study.''

Among those debates: Slive prefers the four top-ranked teams regardless of conferences in the playoffs. Scott likes the idea of taking the top four conference champions as a way of moving away from the subjectivity of polls that dominate the current BCS standings.

Much to be decided, but at least everybody is speaking the same language.

''Yes,'' Scott said, ''we've agreed to use the P word.''

Pictures Of The Day

Robert Griffin III from Baylor holds up a jersey as he stands after Griffin was selected #2 overall by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples poses for photographs with loved ones after being selected as the 16th pick overall by the New York Jets in the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall, Thursday, April 26, 2012, in New York. (Jason Decrow/AP)
Jeremy Evans of Utah goes up for a dunk against J.J. Hickson (R) (N.C. State) and Kurt Thomas during a game at Solutions Arena in Salt Lake.  The Jazz won 96-94.  (Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions (by way of Georgia Tech) and 2013 EA Sports Madden Football cover player announces the Lions pick during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City
 Evidently…a picture really is worth 1,000 words.  (Al Belo/Getty Images)
Andrew Luck (R) from Stanford holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Luck was selected #1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things That Make You Go...

Hmmm....
ALABAMA SPRING FOOTBALL GAME
NORTH CAROLINA SPRING FOOTBALL GAME

Quote Of The Day, Part 2

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
“I don’t want to talk about [the rivalry] too much because I don’t want to legitimize their program.”

New UNC head coach Larry Fedora referring to football rival N.C. State during remarks Wednesday night in Charlotte at a Rams Club Tar Heel Tour stop.

Yike.

Quote Of The Day

''When I saw the puck there, I just took a whack at it...”
WARD (Mitchell Layton/Raleigh News & Observer)
Washington Capital Joel Ward on his overtime, game seven series winning goal last night against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Ward scored at 2:57 of overtime to lead the Capitals to a 2-1 victory over Boston and give Washington a spot in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

New BCS System Likely, Rose Bowl Remains A Hurdle

In spite of BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock’s constant assertions that the B.C.S. is perfect as it is and everybody loves it...

Well...no.

Now, the AP says: The 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director met Wednesday for about eight hours to discuss overhauling how a champion is determined and possibly implementing a four-team playoff. It was the fourth such gathering this year. They reconvene Thursday and BCS executive director Bill Hancock said they all agreed it's time to start crossing items off the list.

''I think that's what everyone wants to do. Get down to two, maybe three,'' he said. ''I think we're making good progress on that. I think we're going to make it.''

One thing is clear: ''The status quo is off the table,'' Hancock said. Though he cautiously added they have not ruled out making over the current system that guarantees only a No. 1 vs. No. 2championship game.
But all signs point toward that being unlikely, and that by the 2014 season the BCS as fans have known it will be gone.

''I would say there is an expectation that there will be significant change,'' Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.

Delany and his fellow commissioners arrived in south Florida with four options to discuss, but much of the focus has been on a four-team playoff with two national semifinals and a title game.

That model comes with many variables, such as where the games will be played, how the teams will be picked and how the bowls fit in - if they do at all. The role of the bowls represents a potential obstacle. Specifically, the Rose Bowl.

On Tuesday, bowl executives from the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Rose met with the conference commissioners to give their input and answer some questions about how their games could work in a new postseason system.

An option being discussed could force those traditional bowls to give up holding their games in years in which they host a semifinal or championship game. That could mean a year without a Rose Bowl, which has been played every year since 1916 - most of those games matching the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12.

New Hoops’ Coach At Wake Forest

(Randolph Childress/Twitter)
AP: Former Wake Forest star Randolph Childress is the Demon Deacons' new director of player development.

Coach Jeff Bzdelik said Wednesday that Childress earned a full-time job on his staff after spending nearly a year as an assistant to athletic director Ron Wellman.

Bzdelik says Childress ''exemplifies our vision of winning championships without compromising our values.''

Childress made a Wake Forest-record 329 3-pointers from 1990-95, was the MVP of the 1995 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and ranks second in school history with 2,208 career points.

He was drafted by Detroit in 1995 and played a total of two seasons with the Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers. His jersey No. 22 was retired by the school.

Childress calls his new job ''a dream come true."

Dear Mr. Anderson:

(Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
The Nats are 10 games over .500 after defeating San Diego 7-2 last night.  That means they could play .500 ball for the next two months and probably still be in first place in the National League East when the All Star break rolls around.

The Cubs are 6-13 and headed for another season of disappointment.

Sorry, dude.

Pictures Of The Day

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds his head in his hands after missing a penalty during the penalty shoot out at the end of the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match Real Madrid against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 25, 2012. (Dani Pozodani/AFP/Getty Images)
Runners sprint down the hills towards the finish in The Investec Specialist Bank Handicap Stakes at Epsom racecourse on April 25, 2012 in Epsom, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Andrew Luck of Standford is projected to be the top pick in the NFL draft that gets underway tonight at 8pm. (EPSN Photo)
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates the win against the defending champion Boston Bruins.  Caps won 2-1 in overtime to win the series and advance in the NHL playoffs.  (Michael J. Clarke/Sports Illustrated)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Look Familiar?

(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Yesterday, we featured this photo at the top of our “Pictures Of The Day” post and today it’s the lead photo on Sports Illustrated’s Google app "Snapshot."  For the record, this is not the first time this has happened.  We aren’t sayin’ they’re related, we’re just sayin’...


It’s an awesome photo, so we thought we would show it again.

Things That Make You Go...

(PacificCoastNews.com)
Hmmm...

This has nothing to do with ACC sports, but when we look at hundreds of photos from around the world, we see some we simply feel compelled to share.

This beauty comes from the TIME’s 100 Most Influential People In The World Gala at Jazz at the Lincoln Center in NYC.

And the winner is...

Not Ralph Nader.

But, you gotta love the look.

If you don’t know who consumer advocate and six-time presidential candidate is, click here. 

Pictures Of The Day

Lazio's midfielder Antonio Candreva kicks and scores in spite of Novara's goal keeper Alberto Fontana during the Italian Serie A football match Novara against Lazio on April 25, 2012, at Novara stadium. (Oliver Morin/AFP Photo)
Danny Espinosa of the Washington Nationals throws over Chris Denorfia of the San Diego Padres as he tries to turn a double play during the third inning of a baseball game Petco Park on April 24, 2012 in San Diego, California. The Nats are 13-4 and in first place in the NL East.  For the record, the Cubs are 6-12 and in fifth place in the NL Central.  (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Bill Tupou of the Warriors scores his teams first try during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park on April 25, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba celebrates after beating Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match Barcelona against Chelsea at the Cam Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 24, 2012.  (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP Photo)
Kentucky Derby hopeful Virginia-bred Bodemeister, under exercise rider Peter Hutton, tunes up on the track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
In this May 7, 2011, file photo, John Velazquez gives a thumbs-up after riding Animal Kingdom to victory at the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Velazquez can add Hall of Famer to a resume that includes wins in thoroughbred racing's biggest events and two years as the nation's top rider. Velazquez was elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame on Monday (along with Ghostzapper and trainers Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler), April 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
LAX sandwich.  William McBride of Gilman is sandwiched between Alex Hardwick and Conor Dalton of Loyola Blakefield during their high school game in Towson, Maryland. (Ryan Lasek/Sports Illustrated)
Andy Greene #6 of the New Jersey Devils warms up against the Florida Panthers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 24, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Screen Shot Of The Day

Evidently, Virginia Tech announced the press conference that would eventually announce the firing of then head basketball coach Seth Greenberg some 90 minutes before informing Greenberg of his fate…

To read more from The Dagger, click here

Virginia Tech Fires Greenberg

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
After nine years in Blacksburg, Seth Greenberg was fired as the men's basketball coach at Virginia Tech on Monday, a decision athletic director Jim Weaver said he and basketball administrator Tom Gabbard arrived at last week as they assessed the state of the program.

The discussion came after a second assistant coach in two weeks, and sixth in four years, announced he was leaving Greenberg's staff, this time to take an assistant's job at ACC rival Clemson. Associate head coach James Johnson, a five-year member of Greenberg's staff, was offered a salary matching the one he was to receive at Clemson, but still declined to remain a Hokie.

Last week, Rob Ehsan left to become an assistant at Alabama-Birmingham, and was accompanied by director of basketball operations Jeff Wulbrun, who got an assistant's position at UAB, leaving only John Richardson and Greenberg on the Tech staff.

Within three hours of Tech's announcement about Greenberg, Old Dominion announced it had hired Richardson, who spent five years on Blaine Taylor's staff before going to Blacksburg.

TOM GABBARD and JIM WEAVER (Daniel Lin/Roanoke Times)
According to various reports, other factors such as Weaver’s perception of the way Greenberg and his staff fit into the family atmosphere VT tries to promote for all programs also weighed into the decision.

''Mr. Gabbard and I decided last week that one year from now, in 2013, we were not going to extend (Greenberg's) contract at all, nor would we extend the contract the year after that, and because we have three vacancies now on our staff, it made all the sense in the world to us to move forward and change that direction of our program and hire a new staff that is going to be here,'' he said.

The Hokies went 170-123 on Greenberg’s watch. They were 16-17 last season, just 4-12 in the ACC, and missed postseason play for the first time in six years. Greenberg, who had four years left on his contract, led Virginia Tech to the NCAA tournament just once in nine seasons where the Hokies won their first round game.

The buyout of Greenberg's contract was reportedly $1.2 million.

Maryland Wins Fourth Straight ACC Women’s LAX Title

(Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer)
From TheACC.com: Maryland’s Terrapins earned a 14-10 victory over North Carolina on Monday night to become the first team to win four-straight ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship titles. They did it with precise stick-handling, accurate passing and artful dodging that prevented the Tar Heels from threatening a late comeback on a 45-degree evening at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium.

If the Terps’ Karri Ellen Johnson hadn’t scored the last of her four goals with 18 seconds left, her team would have likely run out the final 5:41 against a talented, athletic team that was desperate to regain possession.

“If you have the ball, the other team doesn’t,” Terrapins coach Cathy Reese said. “I know that sounds really complicated.”

ILLANA SANZA (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer)
For Maryland, nothing about this whole story was really that self-evident. For the first time since 2007, the Terps actually lost two regular-season conference games, including a 14-11 verdict at UNC on April 7. 


That result required them to win three games in four days in this event. Furthermore, they’d need to do it with as many as five freshmen on the defensive end.


Katie Schwarzmann delivered four goals of her own and Alex Aust contributed four more assists to expand on her championship record and establish the career standard. She has 13 feeds in her three ACC Championship games – all in 2012.

To read more, click here.

For a full photo gallery at the Raleigh News & Observer, click here

Two Cassells, No Waiting

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)
Soon there will be two basketball Cassells in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Monday, Sam Cassell Jr. signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Maryland.
Cassell is the son of former NBA guard Sam Cassell (Florida State), who is now an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards.

Cassell played this season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.

He chose Maryland over the University of South Florida, Villanova and Florida State. Cassell says he picked Maryland because ''it's close to home so all my family and friends can see me play.''

Cassell averaged over 16 points a game for Notre Dame Prep this season. He had a 28-point game against Brewster Academy in the national prep tournament and scored 12 points in the Capital Classic all-star game to help the U.S. All-Stars to a 105-93 win.


Pictures Of The Day

A surfer jumps off a wave at sunset at Bronte Beach on April 24, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Infielder Aaron Hill #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws over the sliding John Mayberry of the Philadelphia Phillies to complete a double play during the ninth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 23, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies 9-5. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kevin Kobasa and Jeremy Anderson (R), employees of the Seven Springs Golf Resort snowboard off the 7th tee as close to a foot of snow pounded high-lying areas April 23, 2012 in Somerset, Pennsylvania. A storm beginning in the Northeastern section of the country pushed west covering Spring blooms. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images North America)
Mark Kotsay #14 of the San Diego Padres poses with a group of wounded Marines as part of Military Opening Day before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park on April 22, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America)
Ding Junhui of China plays a shot during his first round match of the World Championship Snooker tournament against Ryan Day of Wales at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, north-west England on April 24, 2012.  (Paul Ellis/AFP Photo)
North Carolina’s Kaitlyn Messinger left and Kara Cannizzaro chase Maryland’s Erin Collins during the ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship game won by the Terps 14-10.  (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT/Zuma)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Duke Wins ACC LAX Championship

(GoDuke.com)
Duke rallied from a 4-2 halftime deficit to defeat North Carolina 12-9 and win the 2012 ACC Men's Lacrosse Championship on a cold and rainy afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. It was Duke's seventh ACC title in the tournament era and its fourth conference title in the past six years.

"I'm very humbled that we had the opportunity to play in this game, and then we have an opportunity to win a championship game," said Duke coach John Danowski. "Winning an ACC championship is a big deal. While the lacrosse world will say that, hey it's only four teams, but our conference is so competitive that it is a big deal to be crowned a champion. Also with the physicality of these two games, you have to play so hard to win. It just goes to the team that fights the hardest to win. I'm very proud of this group at the end of the day."

To read more, click here

Pictures Of The Day

Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals makes a save against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Caps lost in OT.  (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Juan Pierre #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies is caught leading off first base byYonder Alonso #23 of the San Diego Padres in the first inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on April 22, 2012 in San Diego, California. Pierre was out on the play. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Chris Paul (Wake Forest) of the Los Angeles Clippers is fouled as he drives to the basket byEric Gordon #10 of the New Orleans Hornets during a 107-98 Clipper win at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Alyssa Lampe (red) wrestles Clarissa Chun (blue) in the 48 kg freestyle weight class during the finals of the US Wrestling Olympic Trials at Carver Hawkeye Arena on April 22, 2012 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring the game-tying goal against the Boston Bruins during Game 6.  The Bruins won in OT and tied the series 3-3.  (Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated)
Jesse Kruse, of Great Falls, Montana, dressed up as Kermit the Frog for the bronc ride in the Red Bluff Round-Up.  (Matt Cohen/Zumapress.com)
Two participants in the Itzehoe Dachshund Race in Itzehoe, Germany.  The dogs compete for the “Golden Sausage of Itzehoe” during the traditional annual event. (Carsten Rehder/EPA)

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