Gameday Links

September 19, 2009

A few links to get you ready for today’s games:

That’s what she said…about watching sports on television

September 18, 2009 is committed to encouraging communication across gender lines. To wit, we’ll occasionally bring perspectives from female writers in a feature we (and Michael Scott) like to call “That’s What She Said.”

It’s a Thursday night. On one television channel, Georgia Tech and Clemson are playing football. On another, Ne-Ne and Kim are fighting over who’s more dishonest (aw, snap!).

Across the country, men and women sharing televisions face these elements of a classic conflict. All too often, channel disputes lead to fights, which lead to separate TVs, which lead to separate bedrooms.

We don’t have to live this way. Here are 11 suggestions to keep your lady and your linebackers in harmony:

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Live Blogging: Georgia Tech at Miami

September 17, 2009

Through the majesty magic of the Internet, Jeremy and I are recreating our college roommate experience tonight. We’re watching the Georgia Tech-Miami game. Only we’re hundreds of miles apart.

I can almost smell Corriher’s dirty dishes, Jeremy. What about you?
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Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 3

September 17, 2009

It’s a reasonably big week in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as we have the first interconference matchup of ranked teams. Georgia Tech travels to Coral Gables tonight to face Miami in a matchup of Coastal Division medium-heavies. The winner takes over the division lead, at least until Virginia Tech starts playing conference games.

Elsewhere in the ACC is a marquee basketball matchup between Duke and Kansas. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils and Jayhawks will be playing football. Virginia Tech welcomes Nebraska in another matchup of ranked teams. And East Carolina, the early leader in the North Carolina state championship race, plays at UNC

In the two-team Instead of Texting picks league, I’ve taken a commanding one-game lead on cellar-dweller Jeremy Ashton. We’ll see if I can put him away this week.

Jimmy’s Picks
Jeremy’s Picks
Georgia Tech at Miami Miami Georgia Tech
Duke at Kansas Kansas Kansas
East Carolina
at North Carolina
East Carolina East Carolina
Boston College at Clemson Clemson Clemson
Nebraska at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Middle Tennessee
at Maryland
Maryland Maryland
at Southern Mississippi
Southern Miss Southern Miss
at N.C. State
N.C. State N.C. State
Elon at Wake Forest Wake Wake
Florida State
at Brigham Young

IoT’s ACC Power Rankings: Week 2

September 16, 2009

ACC teams went 8-1 in nonconference games last week, and we got another exciting in-conference matchup for the second week in a row. That doesn’t mean there’s any more clarity in the conference pecking order.

At this point, we’re reasonably comfortable with the top four (all Coastal Division teams) and the bottom three (the rest of the Coastal and Maryland). The middle five (a.k.a. – the Atlantic Division) is much more muddled. Each team in that group has some good selling points and some obvious flaws.

We should start to get a much clearer picture this week. Three teams are playing ranked nonconference opponents, a fourth draws a wannabe BCS-buster at home, and another nationally televised Thursday night game could go a long way toward deciding one of the division races.

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Repent, Rashad McCants!

September 15, 2009
Former UNC/Wake Forest/Michigan basketball player shows off the education he got from those fine institutions.

Former UNC/Wake Forest/Michigan basketball player Makhtar N'Diaye shows off the education he got from those fine institutions.

I know that neither Rashad McCants nor Makhtar N’Diaye is particularly relevant (a.) during football season or (b.) in 2009. But I couldn’t help feeling giddy when I read this exchange between McCants and News & Observer blogger Robbi Pickeral:

Q: What does it mean to you that Makhtar Ndiaye, Shammond Williams and several other former UNC players reached out to you over alumni weekend?

A: It means that they actually care about my progression as a player and a person, and that they feel that I’ve been wrongly treated. And to hear that from another perspective is amazing; it’s amazing to feel appreciated, that guys [four] years later are saying, ‘Man, you’re so good – how are you not on a team right now? It’s unfair to you, it’s unfair to us as fans of yours to not see you playing right now.’ So that alone, to me, is just breathtaking?

Suppose you were a professional athlete. And suppose someone asked you to imagine the clearest sign possible that your career (or life) was headed in the wrong direction. Could you come up with a better answer than, “Makhtar N’Diaye led an intervention for me”?

That’s the same Makhtar N’Diaye who once drew a five-second inbound call while waving at a friend in the stands. In an NBA D-League game.

The same Makhtar N’Diaye who accused a University of Utah player of calling him the n-word in a 1998 Final Four game. Then recanted several days later, forcing UNC’s chancellor to write letters of apology to half the state of Utah.

You’re on a bad path, Rashad.

Getting expansion right

September 14, 2009

Would Bill Stewart's Mountaineers be the logical replacement for Boston College if the Eagles left the ACC? (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

Would Bill Stewart's Mountaineers be the logical replacement for Boston College if the Eagles left the ACC? (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

This past summer, there was a rash of speculation over Boston College’s possible exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Whispers among Big East officials led to a series of stories positing that Boston College could leave the ACC and crawl back home to its former conference. The N&O’s Caulton Tudor gave a nice rundown of the (admittedly tepid) case for BC to walk.

Caulton also gave us nice fodder for a little thought experiment. In the unlikely event that BC does leave, who should replace them?

One stipulation, before we begin: we’re only addressing revenue sports here. We love non-revs as much as anyone, but they’ll never drive conference affiliation decisions.

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Week 2 Roundup: Bounce-back week

September 13, 2009
Clemson held reigning ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer to 66 yards rushing, but Georgia Tech still came out on top 30-27.  (Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox)

Clemson held reigning ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer to 66 yards rushing, but Georgia Tech came out on top 30-27. (Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox)

The second weekend of the season wasn’t always pretty for the ACC — in fact, it often wasn’t — but the end result was much better than a week ago.

ACC teams went 8-1 against nonconference competition on Saturday, a significant improvement over last weekend’s 4-6 showing. Virginia Tech, N.C. State and Boston College easily took care of business. Duke — yes, Duke — scored a 35-19 win on the road against Army.

Still, the line between 8-1 and 4-5 was thin:

  • North Carolina needed a safety on a holding call in the end zone with 1:32 left to beat Connecticut.
  • Wake Forest got a quarterback sneak with 2 seconds left to complete a 14-point comeback against Stanford.
  • Maryland went to overtime to beat I-AA James Madison at home.
  • Florida State survived another I-AA team, Jacksonville State, by scoring two touchdowns in the last 35 seconds of a 19-9 home win.

What should have been the only real nonconference test for an ACC team was Virginia’s home game against No. 16 TCU. The Cavaliers lost 30-14. Next week should reveal a lot more about the quality of the conference.

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IoT’s ACC Power Rankings: Week 1

September 10, 2009

How do you figure out where everyone stands in a conference in which the teams are split between two divisions and they don’t all play each other? You call your friend and debate with him until you come up with a list you can both agree on.

Jimmy and I will put together a weekly snapshot of how every team ranks in the ACC based on what we see on the field. Call it the Instead of Texting Power Rankings.

The first week of the season gave some good insight into a few teams, but we’re still making a best guess on others that played the typical early season pushovers.

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Instead of Texting Pick’em: Week 2

September 10, 2009

Unlike the ACC against nonconference opponents, we each cracked .500 with our first week of picks. Like most of the teams in the conference, though, we’ve still got plenty of room for improvement.

Jimmy has an early one-game lead thanks to his correct call on the big Alabama-Virginia Tech matchup. I’m hoping to catch up by relying on a simple principle: always pick against Duke.

Here are our Week 2 picks:

Jimmy’s Picks
Jeremy’s Picks
Clemson at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Duke at Army Duke Army
North Carolina
at Connecticut
North Carolina North Carolina
Stanford at Wake Forest Stanford Wake Forest
Marshall at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Kent State
at Boston College
Boston College Boston College
TCU at Virginia TCU TCU
Jacksonville State
at Florida State
Florida State Florida State
Murray State at N.C. State N.C. State N.C. State