12/29/05: Thursday Bytes


====> Morning Update from Charlotte
The South Florida Bulls loaded three buses in front of their hotel on Tryon Street this morning and pulled away at 8:15am for a morning workout. Both the Bulls and the Wolfpack will attend the Richard Petty Driving Experience this afternoon. As we suggested yesterday, the Bulls’ afternoon practice was interrupted by a storm in Charlotte. Chip Alexander is also on the ground in Charlotte.

====> 55,000 Fans Expected = Good, NOT Bad
More on the Meineke Bowl here.

Looks like the local media is trying to paint the expected attendance of approximately 55,000 fans as a disappointment. I TOLD YOU this was coming, but it doesn’t make the narrow perspective of the Charlotte Observer less disappointing.

The Meineke/Continental Tire has been blessed with some great attendance in its first three years due to match-ups, proximity, and weather. 55,000 fans for ANY bowl game — let alone one played outside on December 31st in Charlotte — is nothing to regard as disappointing.

I think the local media needs a little perspective before forming uneducated conclusions. Think about this – one of the teams in this bowl has sold less than 5,000 tickets...and yet over 50,000 tickets have been sold. That is nothing in which to be disappointed…that is something for which to be thankful! It would be nice for the Charlotte Observer to do an analysis of attendance at the Meineke compared to similar bowls with similar payouts. It may make everyone a little more appreciative of this year’s sales and support. Heck, the News & Observer already started the work for them today…

The Meineke bowl has thrived in Charlotte while mid-level bowls in more exotic locales struggle to sell tickets. For example, a crowd of just 31,470 watched Clemson beat Colorado on Tuesday at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

====> Alamo Bowl
I was excited/interested in catching last night’s Alamo Bowl and wasn’t disappointed. The game was good from the start; but wild at the end when Michigan threw seven laterals on a crazy last play of the game.

The Alamo Bowl is a great example of a “new” bowl that has really done it right. They’ve got all of the ingredients for success: fun location, climate, centralized downtown for lodging and events, nice facility and a match up of top conferences with many teams famous for traveling.

====> Meineke’s Future
I don’t think that the Meineke/Charlotte has ALL of the ingredients for success like the Alamo Bowl, but I definitely think that the bowl in Charlotte has a great opportunity to continue to grow in prominence and stature. Lorenzo Perez wrote a nice article today in the N&O discussing the Meineke on a higher level.

Of course, the bowl’s model Haines of profiling at least one local/regional team each year has proven successful in the bowl’s first three years. But, you can’t discount the impact of the great weather that the bowl has enjoyed in each of its first three years. I can’t help but think back to the old Peach Bowl that struggled through the early 1980s with a series of cold, rainy, miserable days despite relatively interesting regional match-ups. I think that anywhere north of Atlanta runs a potentially fatal with weather risk if they don’t have a dome.

====> Six Straight to be Applauded
Boston College won their sixth straight bowl game yesterday in Boise. They also beat the spread. The ACC is now 2-0 in bowl games this year.


====> Quiet 10-1
State beat New Hampshire by 19 last night, yet most Wolfpackers would rather discuss Dan Werner and the Glaxo Tournament.

You can’t really blame them.
* State is 10-1 and #60 in the RPI after playing two teams currently rated better than #104 in the RPI.
* 9 of State’s 10 wins have come against teams ranked #104 or worse in the RPI.
* The combined record of the teams that the Wolfpack has beaten is 44-59 (43%).
* Six of State’s ten wins have come against teams ranked worse than #215.

Please tell me that you don’t wonder why people call our season “quiet” thusfar.

Make no mistake about it – the next two weeks will tell us all if the Pack will be playing for seeding in the NCAA Tournament or if we will be playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Let’s all hope for the best to make the season as enjoyable as possible.

====> WNCN Channel 6
Need another reason for wanting names on the back of jerseys? How about local sports announcers who don’t know the players?

On Charlotte’s WNCN Channel 6 last night, the local sportscaster showed highlights from Carolina’s win over UNC-A and nailed every Tarheel player with no problem. When he showed the 5 seconds of State highlights, he called Gavin Grant by the name of “Tony Bethel” before calling State’s 10-1 start “surprising”. Jeez. It would be so nice to…someday…be EXPECTED to be good.

====> Tiger Trouble
I’ve been watching Clemson this year and have been touting the Tigers as a potential surprise in the ACC. But, the Tigers cinderella chances may have been derailed yesterday when the following was announced:

Clemson announced before the game that sophomore forward James Mays was academically ineligible. Mays, Clemson’s leading rebounder, was scoring 9.2 points a game.

====> Kudos Billy Donovan
The University of Florida lost THREE players to the NBA last year. (What a problem to have!?!?) Florida is currently 11-0 and ranked #5 in the country. I think that A LOT of moron fans who were taking shots at Billy Donovan over the last couple of years owe the uber-successful coach some big apologies. Oh, to be nameless, faceless, and have a bullshit screen name on the internet. What a schtick.

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One Response to 12/29/05: Thursday Bytes

  1. TVP 12/29/2005 at 9:36 PM #

    That’s a lot of really good stuff. Nice entry.

    Re: Attendence – I saw some pictures taken at the UNC-BC game last year in the second quarter…lets just say it didn’t look anything like a sellout. Plus I think we’ll do better than 55,000 anyway. State fans stepped up (as usual) despite this being on the whole a somewhat disappointing year. Now we just need to win. After watching GT get blown out in a lackluster performance…a similar result in our game would be disastrous for morale IMO.

    On the other hand, BC came out very fired up and really took it to Boise early. Maybe the insulting comments the Boise mayor and others made had something to do with it.

    It seems to me that emotion and motivation have a huge impact on bowl games, moreso than your typical game.

    James Mays was looking like one of those “Why the hell didn’t we recruit him?” local guys, but now it looks like there was a good reason why.

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