As I watched the first half of the Texas/Oklahoma State game tonight, I found myself watching intently and pondering what could have been. Who of us hasn’t over the last few years? What could have been? Or maybe would could still be!!! Many say this is a pipe dream at best, but is it really? Should we find ourselves in the market for a new coach sometime soon, is the prodigal NC son ready to return home?
Most of you know the connection between NC and Barnes. And then there’s infamous standoff with Dean at mid-court during a Clemson/UNC game which enamored Coach Barnes to most of us for eternity. Here’s a guy who is not intimidated by the Carolina “mystique”, he’s from NC and why again is he not our basketball coach?
So why might he leave Texas to come to Raleigh? Curious I just spent took a whirl over at the UT Rivals site. On the front, home page of the site there are literally NO basketball articles or major entries. Not one. It’s entirely football related (spring practice, recruiting, etc) and there’s one baseball entry. Here UT finds itself ranked in the Top 25 (although sitting at the disappointing position of 21 considering early season rankings – oh Lord may we one day have such “problems”), squarely looking at an NCAA Tournament bid in the face (again Lord, please?), and there is not a single entry on the front page of their primary fan site about basketball.
So let’s take the leap to the basketball main page. The top story is a complete slam at Barnes… a portion of which is entitled “The Blame Game” and starts something like: “the Texas meltdown can be blamed squarely on Barnes who hasn’t motivated his team… blah…blah…blah.” In the paragraph prior to that the author admits that Barnes ALWAYS has his team playing hard and rebounding well which keeps the team in almost every game. Again… why is it Lord can we not have such “problems?” You really should take a moment to read this. And they call our fans out of control…
Hell the Rivals site even has a baseball story on the BASKETBALL PAGE!!! While this, hopefully, is just an editor’s error, the irony is not lost me. The next most recent story is a blurb about Texas’ 40-point drubbing of conference foe Nebraska. This story was posted on Valentine’s Day. There’s no love in it much for Barnes, however. If you want to read some quotes from a frustrated coach after a win… read Barnes’ quotes here. He’s clearly perturbed at the heat being placed on him. There’s also an awful lot of talk about rifts within the program. You won’t be sorry for taking a moment to do so. I think if you do, you’ll see some hope for NC State sprinkled in there.
The second half of the Texas/Oklahoma State game has started. I’m going to turn my attention back to game and watch this thing unfold. Another loss could mean Meltdown City in Austin. Please share your thoughts and anything you find on this topic as it’s become very, very, very interesting with Texas admittedly under-achieving this year. Undoubtedly the Longhorn fans and Texas media has already turned on Barnes MUCH quicker than anything that’s ever happened around here.
Quite simply, the guy would be looked at as nothing short of a savior here… a golden god of sorts. There’s good reason to think given a few potential changes that are likely to occur soon along with some influence from some friends of the University, that Barnes could find his way to Raleigh some day. If it’s going to happen, I hope it’s sooner rather than later.