Posted tagged ‘ACC’

Referees Give #1 Florida Gators a 23-20 Win

October 17, 2009

UPDATE: Virginia Tech knocked off by Georgia Tech! Check out my BCS predictions here.

UPDATE 2: Good story on the BS that is the BCS.

Arkansas played well.

Florida played awful.

The referees were the worst. *A close second goes to the two missed kicks by the Arkansas kicker who could have won the game for them*

I’m not a Razorbacks fan, or a Gators fan, just a college football fan. This was embarrassing to watch. Usually, you see one or two bad calls in a game. But in this game, there was bad call after bad call including two on a 4th quarter drive that got Florida back in the game and eventually the win with a 29 yard field goal with only 9 seconds left to play.

Nice attempt at the hook and lateral on the kickoff, though, by Arkansas.

So Florida hangs on. Texas hangs on. Alabama and Virginia Tech still to play. Who’s number one?

I’m not going to downplay how good the SEC is. They are the best conference in all of college football. But they ONLY PLAY EACH OTHER.

Most of the teams play patsy schedules, outside of their own conference. I saw during the game today that the announcers were talking about the BCS Championship game and how if all the teams end up with one or even two losses, that an SEC team should automatically play a Big 12 team. Honestly, that would probably be a GREAT game. But it should not be automatic because the teams play in the Big 12 and SEC.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: WE NEED A PLAYOFF! That’s all I can say. Whether it be an 8 or 16 team playoff. It’s necessary. Look at a couple years ago when Boise State upset Oklahoma. Last year when Utah routed Alabama. Just because teams play in conferences that are considered “weaker” than others, they get no respect. I would love to see the teams play it out on the field, and not amongst voters and computers.

Just my opinion. What’s yours?

Syracuse Upsets UConn in 6 OT

March 13, 2009

I can safely say that last night, i saw one of the greatest games in NCAA Basketball history. The Big East Tournament showdown between Syracuse and UConn is no doubt an instant classic that people will be talking about for years to come!

March Madness may “officially” kick off next Sunday on “Selection Sunday” (although, I’ve always believed that March Madness begins with the Conference Tournaments), but it was Madness in New York last night, that’s for sure!

It’s hard to imagine that Syracuse won the game, after not holding a single lead in any of the first 5 OT. Yet, the Orangmen were able to come out and start the sixth OT with an 8-0 run that sealed a victory.

I was speechless last night, and, for the most part, I’m still speechless this morning. Did anyone else watch? What are your thoughts?

From USA Today:

The tumult of March goes on this weekend, and there is too much happening to stop and savor a single college basketball game. But this one, we must.

A classic — a true classic, not one just to fill a slot on ESPN — deserves special notice, before it is placed to stay in the inner sanctum of great games.

They played for 3 hours and 46 minutes and six overtimes in the last quarterfinal of the Big East tournament, neither Connecticut nor Syracuse willing to give, as Thursday turned to Friday in Madison Square Garden. But at 1:22 a.m., Syracuse finally won 127-117, mostly because somebody eventually had to.

“I’ve got no words to describe it,” Orange coach Jim Boeheim would later say. “I can’t imagine being involved in a better basketball game.

“I’m more proud of this team tonight than any team I’ve ever coached. We had nothing (left).”

By 1:22 a.m., who did?

Sheer numbers only say so much, but we can begin there.

There were 209 shots taken — 26 of them blocked.

And 93 free throws put up.

Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn scored 34 points, but that wasn’t the remarkable part. He played 67 minutes. “I can’t feel my legs right now,” he said afterward.

The game was tied 22 times. Syracuse never led in any of the first five overtimes.

Eight players fouled out, four on each team.

What that meant is that in the sixth overtime, Syracuse had to turn to a walk-on guard named Justin Thomas, who had played 18 minutes all year. When he grabbed a rebound, it was his first of the season.

By the sixth overtime, the Orange had to call on 6-4 Harris for the center jump. All the big guys were gone. It was the only jump ball Syracuse won all night.

The game ran so long, when Boeheim tried to recall one of the strategic moves, he finally had to admit, “I forget when that was.”

The irony? The whole issue was a millisecond from being settled in regulation. That would have been on a nice, routine buzzer-beating jump shot by Eric Devendorf, which appeared to give Syracuse a 73-71 win. The celebration went on long enough for Devendorf to leap onto the press table and lead the fans in a chant.

Kay Yow Dies of Breast Cancer at 66

January 25, 2009

Kay Yow, North Carolina States’ Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach, who won more than 700 games, has lost her decades-long fight against breast cancer, dying at the age of 66.

From the Associated Press:

Ms. Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died yesterday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital after being admitted last week, said Annabelle Myers, university spokeswoman.

“I think she understood that keeping going was inspirational to other people who were in the same boat,” Dr. Mark Graham, Ms. Yow’s longtime oncologist, said yesterday.

Ms. Yow won more than 700 games in a career filled with milestones. She coached the US Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids, and reached the Final Four in 1998.

She also was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002, and the school dedicated “Kay Yow Court” in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.

But for many fans, Ms. Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments.

She served on the board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and a friend and colleague, former N.C. State men’s coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.

“Kay taught us all to live life with passion and to never give up,” said fellow board member George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. He said the network would remain committed to a research fund established in Ms. Yow’s name.

“She’s a driving force for what’s going on today in the battle against cancer,” ESPN commentator and former Notre Dame men’s coach Digger Phelps said.

At Duke, one of N.C. State’s closest ACC rivals, there was a moment of silence to honor Ms. Yow before the men’s basketball game yesterday.

Boston College Upsets No. 1 North Carolina

January 5, 2009

After watching quite a few North Carolina games this season, I thought that they might have a chance at an undefeated season. I guess I was wrong. I’ll still pick them in my NCAA brackets come March, though :)

From the Associated Press:

Tyrese Rice came through with another big game against North Carolina, one that ended all the talk of a perfect season for the top-ranked Tar Heels.

Rice scored 25 points and Rakim Sanders added 22 to help Boston College stun North Carolina 85-78 on Sunday, likely ending the Tar Heels’ run atop the early season polls with a surprisingly one-sided road victory.

Reggie Jackson had 17 points — including seven in the decisive second-half run — for the Eagles (13-2, 1-0), who led by six points at halftime and pushed the lead to as many as 15 before holding off a frantic rally in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. It started with Rice, who scored 46 points in last year’s late-season meeting and was again a matchup problem at the point for North Carolina (13-1, 0-1) all game. But the Eagles had a lot more, namely a physical defense and an unwavering focus that kept them from getting too caught up in the moment as they inched closer to an upset that few could have imagined.

This was, after all, a team picked in the preseason to finish 11th in the 12-team ACC. And the Tar Heels were the unanimous No. 1 team in the national poll with five starters back from a Final Four squad that won a school-record 36 games, a team that heard questions as recently as Friday on whether it could go unbeaten this year.

So much for all of that.

North Carolina had been every bit as dominant as predicted so far, winning its first 13 games by an average of 26 points and breaking a school record for most consecutive double-digit wins set by the 1993 NCAA championship team. Its closest game was 15 points, its smallest halftime lead was eight and it hadn’t trailed in a game later than the 7:08 mark of the first half.

The Tar Heels sounded eager to see how they would handle a tougher game. Most expected that would come with a trip to unbeaten and sixth-ranked Wake Forest next weekend. Instead, North Carolina finds itself at the bottom of the conference standings to start its run for a third straight league title.

“We never sat in the locker room and said, ’Let’s go straight undefeated,”’ said Tyler Hansbrough, who had 21 points to lead North Carolina. “That was more people outside the locker room talking about that. Now you can put that to rest and bring us back down to reality, and we can all focus on what we need to do better instead of all this hype.”

Low Tide in New Orleans…Utah Stuns Alabama

January 2, 2009

Well, at least I had the 31 right! (I picked Utah to defeat Alabama 31-27).

The Utah Utes will finish the season as the nation’s only undefeated team. Utah stunned Alabama early and often tonight, winning the Sugar Bowl 31-17 to cap off a perfect 13-0 season.

From ESPN:

Utah is the best of the BCS busters.

Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 6 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.

With the victory, Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls. The Utes beat Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl under coach Urban Meyer, going for his second BCS national title with Florida when his Gators play Oklahoma on Thursday in Miami.

Johnson’s pinpoint passing led Utah to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and the Utes refused to wilt when Alabama pulled to 21-17 early in the second half.

Utah’s defense was equally impressive, intercepting John Parker Wilson twice and sacking him eight times, with the seventh sack forcing a fumble that sent crimson-clad Alabama fans streaming for the exits with just more than five minutes to go.

After surging to No. 1 in the rankings with a 12-0 regular season, Alabama closed the season with two consecutive losses, the first against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Alabama could have used suspended All-America left tackle Andre Smith, but even he might not have been enough to stop a Utah defense that played with speed, ferocity and discipline.

The Utes’ front seven was significantly outweighed by Alabama’s offensive line, but refused to give ground to the Tide’s normally powerful running game that averaged 196.5 yards per game coming into the Sugar Bowl. Glen Coffee was held to 36 yards on 13 carries, while Mark Ingram rushed eight times for only 26 yards.

The Utes’ array of stunts and blitzes appeared to upset Wilson’s rhythm. He overthrew a couple of open receivers downfield and finished 18-of-30 for 177 yards and a touchdown

Utah didn’t seem very interested in running the ball, and who could blame them the way Johnson adeptly spread the ball around to seven receivers? He hit Freddie Brown 12 times for 125 yards.

From the Associated Press:

Utah is the best of the BCS busters. Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 7 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.

With the victory, Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls.

Johnson’s pinpoint passing led Utah to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and the Utes refused to wilt when Alabama pulled to 21-17 early in the second half.

Utah’s defense was equally impressive, intercepting John Parker Wilson twice and sacking him eight times, with the seventh sack forcing a fumble that sent crimson-clad Alabama fans streaming for the exits with just more than five minutes to go.

After surging to No. 1 in the rankings with a 12-0 regular season, Alabama closed the season with two consecutive losses, the first against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

USC Topples Penn State in Rose Bowl

January 2, 2009

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, USC dominated on defense and the No. 5 Trojans beat up No. 6 Penn State 38-24 yesterday in the Rose Bowl.

After this performance, the Pac 10 is now 5-0 in bowl games this year. I’d have to say that they had the best postseason of any conference!

From the Associated Press:

Penn State coach Joe Paterno watched from the press box, where he’s been for most of the season because of hip problems. He couldn’t have liked what he saw— at one point in the first half, the TV camera caught him shaking his head as USC (12-1) rolled to a 31-7 lead.

But even before the game, the 82-year-old coach said several times he thought USC was at least as good as any team in the country, perhaps better.

It doesn’t matter.

Out of the BCS championship mix, the Trojans can only wonder what might have been had they not lost at Oregon State 27-21 on Sept. 25.

What was thought to be a weak Pac-10 hurt the Trojans’ chances to reach the national championship game in Miami—where Florida and Oklahoma will play next week. But the Pac-10 finished the postseason 5-0.

“With all due respect, those are two great programs, I don’t think anybody can beat the Trojans,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “I just think we can beat anyone we played. That’s happened a lot to us late in the season. This is a terrific finishing program. There are so many things we can do. We’re just hard to beat right now.

“I just wish we could keep playing. Unfortunately, we don’t get to. Maybe someday there will be a chance, but not now.”

And not soon, either. There’s no playoff in sight for major college football.

USC scored four touchdowns and a field goal on five consecutive first-half possessions for a 24-point halftime lead against a team that allowed only 12.4 points per game during the regular season.

With the No. 1 defense in the nation, there was no way the Trojans would blow that kind of lead.

The Nittany Lions (11-2) scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable, yet fell far short of their 40.2-point average.

Paterno, who has won 383 games, including 23 bowls—both records—thought the Trojans were every bit as good as advertised. USC won 10 straight after losing to Oregon State, outscoring the opposition 380-80.

Vanderbilt Defeats Boston College

January 1, 2009

Vanderbilt won a bowl game for the first time in 53 years when Bryant Hahnfeldt kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 left to beat Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl.

From the Associated Press:

Vanderbilt hadn’t even played in a bowl since 1982 and the win gave the Commodores (7-6) their first winning season since then, too.

Boston College (9-5) snapped the nation’s longest bowl winning streak after eight straight games in its 10th consecutive bowl appearance. The Eagles also missed a chance at finishing with at least 10 wins for a third straight season.

The Eagles got the ball twice after Hahnfeldt’s third field goal, but had to punt the first time, then Myron Lewis picked off Dominique Davis with 1:36 left.

Oregon State Knocks Off Pittsburgh 3-0

January 1, 2009

The Pac Ten domination continues! First Arizona, then Cal, Oregon and now Oregon State. Make that 4 wins and 0 losses for the Pac Ten.

In the lowest-scoring major bowl game in a half-century, No. 24 Oregon State shut down No. 18 Pittsburgh 3-0 in the Sun Bowl on Justin Kahut’s 44-yard field goal late in the first half Wednesday.

From the Associated Press:

The defensive struggle included 20 punts and nine sacks. Pitt kicker Connor Lee tried a 58-yard field goal in the closing minutes but the ball, helped by a steady wind, dropped just short of the crossbar.

Not since Air Force and TCU played to 0-0 standoff in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1959, had a bowl produced so few points.

The Beavers (9-4) improved to 5-0 in bowls since coach Mike Riley began his second stint as their coach in 2003. Pitt (9-4) managed just 178 total yards.

It was the lowest-scoring Sun Bowl since a scoreless tie in 1940 between Catholic and Arizona State.

Pitt, making its first bowl appearance since the 2004 season and the first under coach Dave Wanndstedt, led the Big East in scoring this season, averaging 29.3 points per game.

But there was no sign of offense this time, not with standout tailback LeSean McCoy held to 85 yards rushing. Quarterback Bill Stull was 7-for-24 for 52 yards with one interception.

The Beavers played without their spectacular brothers, tailback Jacquizz Rodgers and receiver James Rodgers, both out with shoulder injuries.

Reserve tailback Jeremy Francis had 76 yards rushing and Lyle Moevao was 21-for-42 for 193 yards passing with two interceptions. The Beavers finished with 273 total yards and rebounded from 65-38 loss to rival Oregon that denied them a Rose Bowl berth.

The Panthers finally got a spark early in the fourth quarter when T.J. Porter returned a punt 36 yards to Oregon State’s 42.

But three plays later, the big return was wasted because Oregon State’s Victor Butler, who had four sacks, stripped Stull and recovered the fumble.

Oregon State led 3-0 after Kahut connected on his field goal with 2:18 remaining before halftime. He later missed a 37-yard attempt midway through the third period.

The Beavers came up empty on the best touchdown opportunity by either team. Officials ruled tight end John Reese was out of bounds on an apparent 9-yard TD reception 10 seconds before the break.

The call was upheld after a replay review, and on the next play, Pitt linebacker Scott McKillop—the Big East defensive player of the year— intercepted Moevao’s pass in the end zone.

Ball State…What Are You Thinking?

December 5, 2008

Yes, you are currently 12-0, one of just a few undefeated teams left in college football. You are having a great season. So, why in the world would you turn down the opportunity to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl? Yes, the game will be played on Boise State’s home field, the so called “Smurf Turf”, but you are missing out on a GREAT opportunity! Not just for your school, but for all of College Football!

Jason King had a great posting on Yahoo! Sports discussing this very topic. I’ve posted some of it below. Does anybody have any thoughts on this decision by Ball State?

From Yahoo! Sports:

A few days after Ball State finished the regular season with a 12-0 record, folks around the Mid-American Conference began referring to the Cardinals as one of the best teams in league history.

Hogwash.

Elite programs don’t cower in corners when faced with a challenge, which is exactly what Ball State did Wednesday when it declined an invitation to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The game would’ve been one of most intriguing matchups of the postseason. Both 12-0, the Broncos and Cardinals are the only two undefeated teams in college football that won’t be playing in a BCS Bowl.

Yes, the Humanitarian Bowl is played on the Broncos’ home field in Boise, but that shouldn’t matter. The stadium would’ve been packed, television ratings would’ve been huge. Win or lose, the Cardinals would’ve received a level of exposure their program has never known.

Unfortunately, though, the game will never happen.

The Cardinals were too scared.

In some ways it wasn’t difficult to understand Ball State’s position. Coach Brady Hoke had plenty of legitimate reasons for wanting to steer clear of the Humanitarian Bowl.

With the economy in such turmoil, Hoke realizes that many Ball State fans would not make the 1,900-mile trek from Indiana to see the Cardinals play Boise State, which is just two years removed from its upset of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Even more daunting was that the Broncos are 35-3 in three seasons under Chris Peterson. Over the last 10 years they tout the best winning percentage in all of college football.

Simply playing Boise State is tough enough. Doing so on its home turf would’ve been an even taller task.

Still, the challenge – the opportunity – is one that most up-and-coming programs would welcome. Pat Hill’s “any-time-any-place” approach helped Fresno State earn a reputation as one of top non-BCS programs in college football. Even in their down years, the Bulldogs are admired for being fearless. People respect them.

Right now, not too many people respect Ball State.

Yes, the Cardinals are 12-0, and it’s true Ball State has one of the top three or four quarterbacks in college football in Nate Davis. But take a look at its schedule.

The Cardinals’ 12 opponents are a collective 54-88. Only three of them finished with a winning record. Ask any Ball State diehard, and they’ll tell you the team’s marquee victory came against in-state rival Indiana, which went 3-9.

The bottom line is that people still want to see if Ball State is for real. All season long, fans and notable alums have complained that media-types and voters haven’t given the Cardinals their due, but it’s tough to shower too much praise upon a program that displays such cowardice the one time they have a chance to face a quality opponent.

In trying to save face by avoiding a potential butt-kicking in Boise, Ball State actually made itself look worse. Humanitarian Bowl executive director Kevin McDonald called the situation “unfortunate for college football.”

Unfortunate? Try embarrassing. Not just for Ball State, but for the Mid-American Conference, too.

MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst should’ve done everything in his power to convince Ball State to accept the H-Bowl’s invitation. His failure to do so makes his league look small-time in comparison to non-BCS conferences such as Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West.


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