State-Carolina is coming up this weekend and we’ve got some interesting perspective of the game here.
I composed some ‘Bytes’ during this past weekend’s games but didn’t want to run this on Monday because VaWolf had already taken a great look around the ACC. So, I waited until today to wrap up this past weekend’s NC State win and other college football musings while simultaneously looking ahead a little.
* Did you know that through this past weekend the NC State Wolfpack has played the 7th toughest schedule in the country as ranked by Sagarin. The Wolfpack is currently ranked #56 and Carolina clocks in at #67. For the record, the 6-4 ECU Pirates are ranked #62 and have played the 62nd toughest schedule in the country. Man, wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of schedule to help you get bowl eligible!
* Speaking of the State-Carolina game this weekend – you couldn’t help but love the comments the ESPNU announcers made shortly after Roy Williams was honored on the field in the first half of the Maryland-Carolina game this past weekend. The announcers commented that they couldn’t tell who was being cheered more loudly, Roy Williams or the football team. A local newspaper (I think the Charlotte Observer) then took the Tarheel fans to task for the early exodus from the football game of about 15,000 fans who wanted to get to the Dean Dome for the Tarheels exhibition basketball game. Ah yes. Good old “Carolina Football”! Take a look at this entry for more on this topic.
* In case you were living under a rock the last few days ‘Miami still controlled their own destiny in the ACC’s Coastal division’ until they lost too the Wolfpack on Saturday. Uggggh. Puhlease. Has anyone watched this team this year? Who in their right mind truly thought the Canes have/had the ability to run the table the rest of the way?
* The half empty Orange Bowl was relatively quiet most of Saturday, with the roar of “Wolf / Pack” from NC State’s crowd resonating on television as loud as any Miami cheer of the afternoon. I know that high school kids are attracted to the allure of the “The U” and the party culture of Miami; but, I hope that our coaches and players will find ways to hammer home the message of our 60,000 fans attending EVERY game while on the recruiting trail. (Related article of interest on the topic)
* A lot has (rightfully) been made of the improvement of NC State offensive line‘s since the bye-week. The of focus that attention has fallen on the stellar play that true freshman Jake Vergilio provided since being being inserted into the starting line-up. Allow me to also remind you that Jerrrail McCuller has also been starting the last three games after losing his starting spot for off-the-field issues in the pre-season.
* The Wolfpack’s recent win streak that clearly is attributed to the improved offensive line only serves to re-inforce what most fans already felt they knew over the last couple of years — there has been (and still is) enough talent in this program to put a solid product on the field if only our previous coaches would have made the offensive line more of priority as opposed to recruiting dozens and dozens of ‘athletes’ that all look the same and can only play defensive back or wide receiver.
* ESPNU did a horrible job of television production for State’s visit to Miami. I know that it is only ESPNU…but, the difference in the preparation of the announcers from the State-UVA game and yesterday was striking. State provides television with a lot of ‘storylines’ on which to focus and ESPNU missed every one. There was little or nothing regarding TOB’s historical struggles vs Miami; State’s recent hot streak coming out of the bye-week; the number of Miami-area players on NC State’s roster; State’s turnover and penalty issues; or especially the Wolfpack’s inexplicable rash of injuries this season. Some of these issues were at least fleetingly mentioned during the broadcast, but were not featured in any way.
* As the game evolved, the production generally ignored the struggles of Kirby Freeman; Miami’s prodigious rushing effort; NC State’s lack of turnovers as compared to recent years. It was like there was nothing to discuss other than the most recent play on the field.
* ESPNU also deserves criticism for assigning former Miami Head Coach,Larry Coker, to the provide the color commentary for the game. Coker was reasonable, but was also being boring as all hell. He did very good job on controversial plays, but a few of his comments were so bad that threads popped-up on message boards during the broadcast in response to some of the things that he was saying. In the first quarter, Coker flat-out stated, “NC State is not better than Miami.”. His entire perspective during the broadcast was (understandably) all about Miami, but carried with it a presumption that the Hurricanes were surely going to win the game.
* Boston College loses a big game in November! Sound familiar? I guess everything in the world may not be TOB‘s fault. “Jags” Could you imagine the egg on the BC fans face if the Eagles lose another one in the November in Death Valley?
* Don’t know if you heard Brent Musburger on Saturday night, but the veteran announcer commented on how Boston College’s #2 ranked Eagles warranted local newspaper in the Boston Globe on page 8. (See my previous comments on kids who go to play for programs with such little support when given options to play for other programs)
* Don’t look now…but, both Clemson and Wake Forest ‘control their own destiny’ in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. As ‘mediocre’ as the conference has been in 2007, some key games of interest remain on the schedule in November.
* Congratulations Navy and Coach Paul Johnson. Notre Dame is 1-8. Awesome. Wasn’t this one of the years that NC State was previously scheduled to play Notre Dame before the Irish backed out?
* Alabama is a clear #2 in the SEC West and everyone is making a huge deal of LSU’s win over the Tide on Saturday. Even if Nick Saban wasn’t coaching Bama I could understand this. But, how many people remember/realize that Florida State defeated Alabama earlier this year in Jacksonville? Point is that the ACC may not be the top conference in the country, but there is too much discounting of important wins by some of our conference’s teams.
* As much as I would LOVE to see another southern team (LSU) dominate Ohio State in the BCS National Championship game, I think that an LSU vs Oregon match-up would be a much better game. Unfortunately, the Tigers still have quite a guantlet of a schedule to run through before bowl bids come out.