Friday, August 24, 2012

Clemson Named Top Game Day Experience

(U.S. Presswire)
For starters, everybody knows the beer is colder in South Carolina than anywhere else.

No one knows why.

It just is.

That said, according to Fox Sports South, Clemson is the winner of the best football game day experience in the ACC.  Followed by Florida State and Virginia Tech...

To read the story, click here.

R.I.P. Lance Armstrong 1971 - 2012

Well…he’s not really dead, but he might as well be.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday it was banning cyclist Lance Armstrong for life and stripping him of his record seven wins in the Course De Tricheurs (Race of Cheaters) or the Tour de France, as some naïve folks like to call it.

In a news release, USADA said Armstrong’s decision not to take the charges against him to arbitration triggers the lifetime ban and forfeiture of his Tour victories from 1999 to 2005.

Armstrong announced Thursday night that he'll stop fighting the charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong is still proclaiming his innocence.

In June, USADA announced it had assembled 10 former Armstrong teammates who were willing to testify that Armstrong cheated, and it had also found tests results that were “fully consistent” with blood doping.

Armstrong, who retired from professional cycling in February 2010, responded by suing the agency, hoping to block the case from going forward.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks threw out Armstrong’s case but noted that USADA’s “conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives.”

Nice mess.


R.I.P. Steve Van Buren 1920 - 2012

Steve Van Buren, the square-jawed Hall of Fame running back who led the Philadelphia Eagles to NFL titles in 1948 and 1949, has died of pneumonia. He was 91.

The former LSU star, nicknamed "Wham-Bam" for his quick and punishing running style, joined the Eagles in 1944 as a first-round pick. He led the NFL in rushing four times and finished his eight-year career with 5,860 yards rushing and 77 TDs.

The five-time All-Pro player was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994, and was the first Eagles player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Van Buren was born in La Ceiba, Honduras. His parents died when he was 10, and he moved to New Orleans to live with his grandparents. He failed to make his high school football team as a sophomore, but played well enough as a senior to earn a scholarship at LSU.

With the Tigers, Van Buren was used primarily as a blocking back until his senior season, when he led the nation in scoring with 98 points and rushed for 847 yards.

Things That Make You Go…

LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE! (Family photo)

Last week, the principal at Wilson Elementary in Oklahoma City asked 5-year-old Cooper Barton to turn his University of Michigan t-shirt inside-out.

The boy's mother says her son was told he was only allowed to wear an Oklahoma or Oklahoma State shirt to Kindergarten class.

In fact, the dress code for Oklahoma City Public Schools states that only Oklahoma college apparel is allowed. Clothes from all out-of-state schools are against current policy.

"They should really worry about academics. It wasn't offensive. He's five," says Cooper's mother Shannon Barton.

"We don't want to villain-ize the principal or the school because the school is fantastic, but the rule in itself is absurd," Chris Barton said.

The dress code was created in 2005 with the help of an anti-gang task force and is currently under review, according to the Associated Press. The policy stemmed from concerns that national gangs used sports gear to represent local gangs.

The story of what had happened to Cooper caught fire among Michigan fans, prompting University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon to call the Barton family on Wednesday to invite them to a game at Ann Arbor’s stadium, popularly dubbed the “Big House.” Brandon offered to have Cooper introduced to the cheering masses as they face the University of Massachusetts on Sept. 15.

At a press conference Wednesday, Brandon presented a t-shirt for Cooper that even when turned inside out, still sports the Michigan logo.

As noted above, the original rule was reportedly aimed at curtailing gang activity in Oklahoma schools, but we all really know it was to keep some Okie renegades from wearing Longhorn gear to class…

Wolfpack’s Purvis Heads To Class, But Not To Practice

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, N.C. State freshman Rodney Purvis can take classes, but he can’t play basketball, not yet, according to the NCAA.

The NCAA cleared the McDonald’s All-American from Raleigh Tuesday to go to class, but his eligibility for the upcoming basketball season remains in question.

Purvis confirmed the NCAA’s decision on his Twitter account. He will be on scholarship for the academic year, according to N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried, but there’s still a possibility Purvis will have to sit out the 2012-13 season.

“Starting classes today is most important to me,” Purvis wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday. “The basketball will work itself out.”

Tuesday’s news was the first break for Purvis, who had been in academic limbo since Aug. 4, when the NCAA ruled he could not travel with N.C. State to Spain.

Purvis’ high school, Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh, is under an “extended review” by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

To read more, click here

Ex-UNC Coach Defends Julius Peppers

While most who bleed Tar Heel Blue aren’t big fans of Matt Doherty who managed to break a few seemingly unbreakable records (and not in a good way) during his tenure in Chapel Hill, they must love their old ex-player and coach dusting it up with the kids from Raleigh

From The Dagger:  Apparently tired of the gratuitous shots rival fans have taken at former North Carolina two-sport star Julius Peppers after the accidental release of his transcript last week, ex-Tar Heels player and coach Matt Doherty has fired back.

Doherty, who coached Peppers during the 2000-01 season, called the NFL defensive end "one of the smartest players I ever coached" on Twitter and noted that "doing poorly in school doesn't mean you are dumb." Then when an NC State supporter said that just meant Doherty had coached a lot of dumb players, the former North Carolina coach responded with some rivalry smack talk of his own.

Some will probably say it's unbecoming of a former head coach to stoop to bantering with rival fans, but personally I found it hilarious. It's refreshing to see an ex-player and head coach care deeply about his school and have a sense of humor about defending it.

At the same time, Doherty's comments about Peppers are a bit more disconcerting. It's great that he is taking the time to defend a former player whose academic woes have been wrongfully made public, but the message Doherty is sending is not one colleges will likely embrace.

Doherty implies that it's fine Peppers dropped out because believe he did it "to get into a business called the NFL." Fair enough, no argument here. But that's not the right message for the vast majority of players who don't have Peppers' talent and need a college diploma to fall back on in case football or basketball does not work out.

Mmmm, Snausages…ACC Football Links

(Mark Crammer/OrangeAndWhite)
Heather Dinich/ESPN

Clemson's defensive tackles are trying to grow up quickly.

Georgia Tech quarterback/A-Back Synjyn Days is expected to lineup somewhereagainst Virginia Tech.

Former UNC coach Butch Davis has 30 days to hand over his cell phone bills.

BC receiver Bobby Swigert played well in his first scrimmage of the summer.

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree is still about "five yards short of the total package."

Virginia Tech running back Trey Edmunds isn't getting much of an answer from the staff about a redshirt decision.

Miami's coaching staff fared well this summer. The defensive line? Not so much.

Despite a 2-26 record, Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley knew he wasn't done coaching yet.

UVa recruiting is hot right now.

FSU's offensive line has gone from a weakness to a strength.

Two juniors hold the keys to Boston College's offensive success this season.

The Clemson depth chart is rounding into form as the Tigers begin preparations for Auburn.

Blair Holliday has taken his first steps since his jet ski accident. Duke checks in with running back Josh Snead.

The Cameron Erving "Reconstruction Project" is nearly complete at Florida State.

Georgia Tech is looking to tighten up on defense. Center Jay Finch is known as "The Anchorman."
Maryland goes bowling!

Kendal Thompkins is poised for a big season at Miami.

North Carolina offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper has seen it all.

NC State is still deciding on its running back rotation. Athlon Sports says David Amerson is the best defensive back in the nation. Good choice.

Virginia's final scrimmage reveals further separation at key positions.

Picture Of The Day

T.A.H. Worldwide Media LLC moved its headquarters some four minutes out of town in June. Moving and renovations have interrupted consistent publishing, but things are getting back to normal now.  (T.A.H. Photo)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Countdown To The Shutdown

(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on August 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Nats keep rolling along, defeating their NL rival for the second straight night.

Last night's win was Strasburg's 15th and was accompanied by 10 strikeouts. Strasburg has now pitched 145 pitches of his estimated 160 for the season.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ACC Football Links

(Ethan Hyman/News & Observer)
By Andrea Adelson |

BC needs to rely on a trio of running backs, but two of them are hurt.

Practice makes perfect for Clemson receiver Charone Peake. The Tigers offer the best game-day experience in the ACC, writes Andrew Jones. provides a season outlook for Duke quarterback Sean Renfree.

Florida State defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel appears set to receive a medical redshirt this season because of an ankle injury.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says the Jackets had an "unacceptable" practice Monday.

Devin Burns is settling in at a new position for Maryland -- third-string quarterback.

(Ethan Hyman/News & Observer)
Jorge Milian of The Palm Beach Post breaks down the winners and losers on the new Miami depth chart.

North Carolina sixth-year senior Devon Ramsey gives football another try.

N.C. State has started preparing for its opponents.

Virginia's Tidewater connections are paying off.

Virginia Tech is preparing to focus on Georgia Tech.

Wake Forest's punting job is in the air.

ACC Lands Two On “Cheesiest” List

North Carolina and Virginia Tech find their way on to the Cheetos rankings behind the Harvard of the South (Mary Baldwin)…Seriously, we couldn’t make this up if we tried!

Cheetos Brand Celebrates College Sports With Inaugural Top-25 Cheesiest Mascots Rankings

By Frito-Lay North America

PLANO, Texas, Aug. 20, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Among the excitement and debate that comes with preseason rankings for college football, mascots have traditionally stood as the unsung heroes that will ultimately be responsible for driving school spirit among fans through landslide victories and crushing defeats.

With clipboard, stopwatch and a bag of Cheetos snacks in hand, Chester Cheetah, the iconic spokescat for the most playful snack in the world and a leading brand from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, today announced his official rankings of the Cheesiest College Mascots.

Giving college sports fans and mascot enthusiasts nationwide a cheesier set of rankings to follow, the mischievous Cheetos spokescat has assembled this exclusive ranking to celebrate his quirky counterparts at universities and colleges around the country.

Drawing from an admittedly unscientific analysis of college mascots nationwide, rankings are based on "cheese factor" and all-around silliness. Topping the inaugural ranking is the Fighting Pickle, the official mascot of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Impressively, this top honor goes to a university without an actual athletics program, demonstrating that mascot mastery can happen anywhere.

Throughout the rankings, it comes clear that institutions of higher learning in the east dominate with regard to cheesy mascots, claiming 15 of the top-25 spots. Vegetables and fruits establish a powerful presence on the list with three top-10 rankings, proving once and for all that produce are players.

Not surprising, animals claimed multiple spots, however, what becomes particularly intriguing is that all mascots representing the animal kingdom are unexpected warriors, ranging from the squirrels (Mary Baldwin College) to hens (University of Delaware) to burrowing clams (The Evergreen State College). 

Finally, special accolades go to four mascots, representing colleges without collegiate football programs (Centenary College, Mary Baldwin College, Trinity Christian College and University of North Carolina School of the Arts).






Things That Make You Go…

(Scott Sharpe/News & Observer)


Julius Peppers has donated $250,000 to UNC…

Here is the story from the Raleigh News & Observer:

By Andrew Carter
CHAPEL HILL -- Julius Peppers donated $250,000 to a University of North Carolina scholarship fund that supports African-American students, the school announced Monday.

The donation came almost one week after the posting of his transcript on a UNC website became a national story. The transcript showed that Peppers, who played football at North Carolina from 1999 through 2001, was barely academically eligible throughout his time there.

In a statement he released Saturday, Peppers described the past week as “upsetting and challenging” and said “I’m terribly disappointed” that his academic record became public. He said he was “thinking of ways that I can use my experience and resources to help” students.

His $250,000 donation will go into the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship fund, which supports African-American students at North Carolina. He made a $100,000 donation to the same fund in 2009.

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
“After considering the ways that I might be able to help young college students, I decided to continue my support of the Light on the Hill scholarship,” Peppers said in a statement the university released Monday. “I would like to endorse this particular fund and encourage other former UNC students who have found success to reach back and assist the efforts of current and future Tar Heels.”

Peppers, an African and Afro-American Studies major, left school after the 2001 football season. He never graduated, and his transcript revealed that his grades in AFAM courses helped him retain eligibility to play football. He also played two seasons on the basketball team, and helped the Tar Heels to the 2000 Final Four.

Richard Williams, the chair of the Light on the Hill Society board, praised Peppers.

“This gift is indicative of the kind of man Julius Peppers has become,” Williams said in a statement. “I am very proud that he credits his experiences at Chapel Hill for helping to shape him. He has really thought deeply about his life, opportunities taken, opportunities lost, his legacy.

“With this generous gift he wants to help young people make good decisions during their college years.”

R.I.P. Phyllis Diller 1917 - 2012

Phyllis Diller, the housewife turned humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle, died Monday morning in her Los Angeles home at age 95.

"She was a true pioneer," Fred Wostbrock said. "The first female stand-up comedian. She paved the way for everybody. She paved the way for Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler. Phyllis was the first of the first. The first female to play Vegas ... she was on Broadway, she made movies. She did it all."

Her longtime manager, Milton Suchin, told The Associated Press, "She died peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Only Eleven Days Until ACC Football*

*If you want to call it that…Elon? Murray State? Liberty? Really?

Three ACC Football Teams In AP Top 25 (For Now)

There are three ACC teams ranked in the Associated Press pre-season top 25 poll released this weekend:

No. 7 Florida State
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
No. 14 Clemson

No. 16 Virginia Tech

North Carolina, Georgia Tech and N.C. State also received votes.

Wisconsin Utilizing Another ACC Transfer

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Like last year when former N.C. State QB Russell Wilson took over, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has again handed the keys to his offense to an ACC transfer.

Former quarterback Danny O'Brien, who was benched by Randy Edsall last year in the Georgia Tech game, has been named Wisconsin's starting quarterback.

O’Brien made 17 starts the past two seasons for the Terps and passed for 4,086 yards with 29 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He graduated from Maryland in May and became eligible immediately at Wisconsin.

O'Brien beat out senior Curt Phillips and redshirt freshman Joel Stave for the starting job.

Peppers Confirms Transcript, Denies Any Fraud

(Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)
AP -- Former North Carolina football star Julius Peppers confirmed it was his academic transcript that was posted on the university's website and insists there was "no academic fraud" with it.

The Chicago Bears' defensive end released a statement through his agent Saturday, nearly a week after a link to the transcript surfaced.

"This week has been an upsetting and challenging week for me, as one of my most private academic documents appeared on the university's website for public examination," Peppers said. "I'm terribly disappointed in the fact that my privacy has been violated, as well as frustrated with whoever negligently and carelessly committed such a flagrant error."

The school never confirmed the authenticity of the transcript, which lists Peppers' name at the top, but has said it is investigating how the document wound up on the website. School officials removed the link and have said they can't discuss confidential student information covered by federal privacy laws.

The link showed Peppers received some of his highest grades in classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM). A school investigation has since found fraud and poor oversight in 54 AFAM classes between summer 2007 and summer 2011, with football players making up more than a third of the enrollments and student-athletes making up 58 percent of the overall enrollments in those suspect classes.

F1 Video Of The Day

Formula 1™ legend David Coulthard and pro-golfer Jake Shepherd set a new world record - farthest golf shot caught in a moving car - with the help of the Mercedes--Benz SLS AMG Roadster.

The car caught the ball 301 yards from the tee.

ACC Football Links

ACC Football is fast approaching...first game is August 31: N.C. State vs. Tennessee in the Chic-fil-A Gay Marriage Bowl.

Here are some ESPN ACC Blog links from Heather Dinich:

The Tar Heels are ready to move on, regardless of their postseason ban.

Duke -- yes, Duke -- is trying to bring some swagger to the ACC. Love the black helmets. Good start.

Clemson's offensive line will be tested early. This isn't the first time Clemson's young offensive line could be exposed in the Georgia Dome.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said the Jackets made "a lot of mistakes" in their latest scrimmage.

BC receiver Alex Amidon is hoping the Eagles can stretch the field this year.

Maryland quarterback Perry Hills played in his first scrimmage as the Terps' starter.

FSU's game-day experience checks in at No. 2 on Andrew Jones' list.

Wake Forest, as usual, will likely redshirt most of its recruiting class.

There are fans, and then there are super fans.

Miami lost a lot from last year's depth chart -- but not its top scorer.

N.C. State is making the most out of its junior college transfers.

Can Bryn Renner be mobile enough to be the quarterback Larry Fedora needs? He will certainly try.

Moving on is a lot easier said than done in Chapel Hill.

Virginia Tech's Corey Marshall is ready to make an impact on the defensive line.

Here is some insight on what to expect from the Blue Devils this season.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is giving his players a break.

It's around this time that a lot of players tend to hit the wall. Not this Miami fullback.

Georgia Tech's wide receivers have a few surprises in store.

Athlon Sports had ACC coaches talk anonymously about their league opponents.

Perry Hills' high school coach says the new Maryland starter is the "whole package."

UNC running back Giovani Bernard is going to get his chances in Larry Fedora's offense.

Virginia's offensive line is trying to maintain its high standards.

Wake Forest noseguard Nikita Whitlock makes every snap count at practice.

Pictures Of The Day

Andrew Taylor of the U.S. competes in the Red Bull Joyride qualifying during Crankworx 2012 mountain bike competition in Whistler, British Columbia August 17, 2012. (Reuters/Andy Clark)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) makes a one handed catch in the San Diego Chargers end zone but steps out of bounds, during their pre-season NFL football game in San Diego, California August 18, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake)
Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on August 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. It was his 16th win, tying him for the major league lead and setting a Nationals’ team record.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
A view from atop the press box of the nearly $60 million Allen High School’s  Eagle Stadium, located in Allen, Texas. Yes, we said “high school.”  (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor/AP Photo)

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