ESPN’s Lee Corso appeared on Mark Packer’s syndicated Primetime radio show this afternoon for a conversation on college football.
Packer was doing a great job pumping Corso for as many comments as could be generated in the allotted timeframe of the interview when Packer brought up the obligatory ‘isn’t Butch Davis great?’ topic. (Please do not read this as criticism of Packer; we are huge Mark Packer fans).
After being asked about Butch Davis, Corso immediately responded by talking about Tom O’Brien and NC State football. It was classic. Corso completely ignored Butch Davis and shrugged off the topic to immediately sharie that he expects the future of football success in this area would be generated by NC State’s Tom O’Brien. Additionally, Corso described how he was responsible for recruiting Tom O’Brien to play football at West Point and is therefore responsible for TOB’s appointment to the Naval Accademy at Annapolis in the late 1960′s. Corso continued to praise Coach O’Brien and was obviously very proud of the personal bond the two men share.
No offense to Coach Davis, but boy it was nice to hear this after witnessing/listening to every pundit in the world ordain UNC-Chapel Hill a cliched “sleeping giant” who will immediately rise to national prominence under the leadership of Butch Davis. I guess Corso understands what most in the football fraternity already know – Butch Davis has to stay in Chapel Hill long enough to build this presumed success, and very few informed people expect that to happen. Additionally, there are some folks out there that remember how Mack Brown built his ‘power’ in Chapel Hill by taking advantage of a weak ACC while feeding on out of conference cupcakes and compiling an atrocious record against ranked teams. (Hence the reason that the Tarheels tried to avoid playing ranked teams at every turn).
Corso’s ESPN colleague, Kirk Herbstreit is following the elder partner with a lot of love for Coach O’Brien and NC State. In his 7th annual “Herbie Awards” released this week, Herbstriet picks NC State as his 2007 sleeper team in the ACC and Tom O’Brien as one of the five new coaches that will have “instant success” in his new job.
In light of all of this current TOB-love, I think that we all need to give old Trev Alberts some attention for saying much of the same back in January!