The wonders of the ACC vault

March 2, 2011

Until recently, my favorite vault was the one you’ll see roughly 20 seconds into this immortal video clip:

Life IS like a hurricane in Duckburg!

That all changed when I discovered The ACC Vault. Launched last December, the Vault is a repository for highlights and full-length conference games dating back to the early 1980s. It’s also home to some of my favorite childhood sports memories.

The Vault isn’t perfect. There are some odd gaps in it; for instance, it includes no Duke- Carolina games after 2001, and the spelling in some of the highlight descriptions is pretty poor.

There’s no end to the joys you’ll find in the ACC Vault. Here are five that should bring back some memories. Read the rest of this entry »

The importance of a good application letter

March 1, 2011

Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert (center) beat out several other candidates, including former N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato, to become the Charlotte 49ers' first football coach.

The Charlotte 49ers announced today that Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert will be the school’s first football coach when the team debuts in 2013.

Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose admitted that she’d never even heard of Lambert before getting his application letter three weeks ago. Rose said:

“I read his letter of application and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, who is this guy?’ It was not your cookie cutter letter. No, it talked about growing up on a farm in Kansas, work ethic and what he would do as coach. So I started making phone calls.”

This is an important lesson for you soon-to-be college graduates out there: A good cover letter is crucial when applying for any job.
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Steve Lavin and N.C. State’s (possible) coaching search

March 1, 2011

Steve Lavin passed on a chance to coach N.C. State after Herb Sendek left in 2006.

With the ACC regular season coming to an end, N.C. State fans — including the IoT crew later this week — are debating the future of the basketball team, specifically whether Sidney Lowe should be fired and who should replace him if he goes. While some Wolfpack fans are already making their wish list of possible Lowe replacements, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin may have set the expectations for a possible coaching search on Monday.

In an interview on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (start at the 1:59 mark), Lavin, who’s leading maybe the hottest team in the country right now, was asked whether he worried he’d ever get another chance to coach after being fired by UCLA in 2003. During his response, Lavin said this:

“I had an opportunity to go to N.C. State in April of 2006. While I was flattered and came very close to taking the job, at the end, I didn’t feel it was the right fit. And to be totally honest, I was still regenerating, kind of healing so to speak, in terms of having been fired. I think sometimes coaches make mistakes by just coming back too quickly, and you have to make sure it’s the right fit and the right time so, when you do return, you’re at the point where you can really give the energy, the vitality, the commitment it takes to be successful … .”

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Whatever CJ Leslie was suspended for …

February 17, 2011

… we know it wasn’t chivalry. At least, if this poem (uncovered by Deadspin) is an indication.

N.C. State’s greatest quarterback*

February 16, 2011

Russell Wilson's place in N.C. State history is loftier than you think.

If you’re still reading this, you’re at least slightly open to a little heresy. And suggesting that anyone other than Philip Rivers is N.C. State’s all-time best quarterback qualifies.

When he graduated in 2003, Rivers held nearly every N.C. State and Atlantic Coast Conference passing record. He is the all-time conference leader in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. He’s second in quarterback rating and adjusted yards per passing attempt, according to Listing Rivers’ NCSU records would take up more space than the Internet allows.

Russell Wilson built a more humble legacy. It appears that he’ll leave N.C. State sharing the conference and school single-season records for touchdown responsibility, with 37 last year. He’s sharing that record with, of course, Rivers. Wilson also holds the school records for single-game completions (38 against Boston College in 2010), single-season pass attempts (527 in 2010) and single-season total plays (670 in 2010).

Rivers has a far deeper statistical footprint. But before you dismiss the idea that Wilson was in the same league, consider Quarterback A and Quarterback B: Read the rest of this entry »

Live Blogging: Duke at N.C. State

January 20, 2010

We’re baaaaaaaaack!

After taking a bit of a hiatus, Jimmy and I are wading into the world of Instead of Texting again. We figured there was no better way to get things going than by live blogging tonight’s Duke-N.C. State game, which features our alma mater and the team Jimmy grew up rooting for.

Fortunately for Jimmy, he’ll be checking out the game live on TV in North Carolina. And through the magic of the Interweb, I’ll be following the action sort-of-live on ESPN360. So check in with us beginning around 9 p.m. for our quick-hit thoughts on the game.

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Do you know your enemy?

November 27, 2009

When I was a freshman at N.C. State, I quickly learned that I needed to know four words in the fight song above all others. I could be forgiven for not knowing the rest as long as I shouted “Go to Hell, Carolina!” at the top of my lungs. (The actual words to the song are “Come over the hill, Caroline,” but really, what fun is that?)

For Wolfpack fans, it’s crystal clear that North Carolina is their rival. But Sports Illustrated has a survey out that shows every fan base in the ACC doesn’t have the same clarity, at least when it comes to figuring out who’s their main in-conference rival.

The SI survey covered every I-A conference in the country. Andy Staples wrote a summary of its results, including this description of how it came about:

In October, we asked college football fans of all stripes to tell us about themselves. We received 33,144 responses to questions such as “What is your favorite team?” and “How closely do you follow recruiting?” We received responses from fans of all 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and everyone’s answers counted the same — whether they came from Ohio State fans (the most, with 2,004 responses) or Florida Atlantic fans (the fewest, with four responses).

That last sentence tells me this wasn’t the most scientific survey, but that doesn’t make the data for the ACC any less interesting. Here’s how fans from each school answered the question “What is your biggest conference rival?”:

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