Tar Heel March No More!

What with partnerships and blog networks being all the rage, I've hooked up with SportsBlog Nation and their filthy lucre to relaunch as:


Head over there for the full story. Or, stay here and be all indie rock complaining about how much better I was before I sold out. This is the last of the new content here, though. I'll leave you with the greastest piece of wisdom I can impart.

Tar Heel is two words. Really. This bit of wisdom was at one point part of freshman orientation at UNC - I don't know if it still is, but the fact remains. Two words. Capitalized. Duke fans, speaking it in reverence while kneeling facing south with outstrecthed palms in acknowledgement of UNC's athletic superiority in just about everything, is optional, but encouraged.

(And if you never saw the logo for the original site, stop using Internet Explorer. I was always proud of that logo.)

Wherein Excitement Is Found for Sep. 2nd

Stewart Mandel at SI has a quick bit on games to look forward to on the opening week of football season. UNC-Rutgers is not on that list, unsurprisingly. The interesting thing though is the number of Rutgers fans, there and elsewhere - this game has become a real litmus test of how the Scarlet Knights will fare this year. There was similar talk with regards to Utah in 2004 - the path of their season hinged primarily of the results of that game. You sometimes forget how North Carolina is viewed outside of a conference that defaults to lumping them with Duke.

As for September 2nd, I'm looking forward to it as being a game I might actually see on TV, but the true week of college football will be two weeks later with: Clemson at FSU, Miami at Louisville, Florida at Tennessee, LSU at Auburn, Michigan at Notre Dame, Nebraska at Southern Cal, Oklahoma at Oregon and Iowa State at Iowa. UNC, of course, draws Furman.

Duke Football Achieves Hasselhoffian Status

Gawker theorizes exactly how a German tourist ended up in a Duke football T-shirt. Left unexplained? The existence of Duke football T-shirts.

Blog Is the New Half-Assed

Luke Winn's blog has an interview with Matt Doherty about his blog. Unsurprisingly, this is all somewhat Mark Cuban's fault.

I'm still not sure how to react to Doherty's "SMU - The Duke of Dallas" perspective, by the way.

The Perils of Prognostication

Blogging will be light the next couple of days, due to various things in the mix, and the local imaginary holiday. The difference between this and all of my other mysterious absences? I'm mentioning it ahead of time.

But I'll leave you with this. Sports talk radio is difficult - I sure couldn't do it. There's a lot of time to fill with a lot of opinions, and you're going to be wrong some of the time. It's just a matter of luck as to which day an author stops by to jot down what you say for one of the more popular books on basketball in recent years. And the money quote that made the book?

"And North Carolina will be lucky if Tyler Hansbrough develops into a player as productive as Carlos Boozer."

Hansbrough, of course, had almost identical statistics and accolades as a freshman that Boozer achieved as a senior. Luck of the draw, I guess.

(And if you haven't read the book yet, now's a good time before football gets underway.)

Non-Conference Scheduling Thoughts

While I'm on the subject of scheduling in the ACC:

  • The sum total D-IA experience of Boston College's nonconference schedule is 109 years, over half of which is provided by Brigham Young. You're in the ACC now, have some respect with regards to scheduling.

  • Teams to get used to seeing a lot of this year: Notre Dame (facing Georgia Tech and UNC), Western Michigan (Florida State and Virginia), Troy (Florida State and Georgia Tech), Florida International (Maryland and Miami), Southern Mississippi (N.C. State and Virginia Tech), and East Carolina (N.C. State and Virginia). Especially savor the two games against the Fighting Irish - it's a rare week they make it on to television.

  • Big East conference members visiting the ACC: Cincinnati (Virginia Tech, 9/23), Connecticut (Wake Forest, 9/16), Louisville (Miami, 9/16), Pittsburgh (Virginia, 9/2), Rutgers (UNC, 9/2), South Florida (UNC, 10/14), Syracuse (Wake Forest, 9/2), and West Virginia (9/16).

  • SEC teams doing the same: Alabama (Duke, 10/7), Vanderbilt (Duke, 10/28), Ole Miss (Wake Forest, 9/23) and the season-ending rivalry games for South Carolina (Clemson, 11/25), Georgia (Georgia Tech, 11/25), and Florida (FSU, 10/25). Nice to know what it takes to get one of those teams on your schedule without 50+ years of personal animosity, isn't it?

  • No Big Ten, Big Twelve, or Pac-10 teams play ACC squads this year. I'm glad that twelfth game is being used for such marquee matchups.

  • And if you're a Conference USA fan? Try Houston (Miami, 9/30), Rice (Florida State, 9/23), Southern Miss (NCSU, 9/16), and everybody's favorite team to be legisatively mandated to schedule, East Carolina (Virginia, 10/7 and NCSU, 11/25).

  • For the record, the breakdown is 8 Big East games, 6 SEC, and 5 Conference USA, with the remaining 29 divided up amongst the MAC (6), the Sun Belt (6), the Mountain West (2), the WAC (1), four independents and a shameful 9 Division I-AA teams.

  • The three squads that should be applauded for going twelve rounds in the grown-up leagues? Clemson, North Carolina State, and Virginia. Maryland and Miami come the closest to double-dipping, adding Florida International, in its second year in DI-A, to schedules that already have DI-AA teams on them (William & Mary and Florida A&M, respectively).

Nepotism: Still a Bad Idea

Bad news for new Oklahoma State coaches and beleagured coordinators at Florida State. Joel Waldfogel has an article in Slate on a study of how replacing a CEO with their son hurts the value of the company. Since there would never be a large enough sample size to replicate this in collegiate coaching, this might be th best evidence that one's hiring search shouldn't begin and end at Thanksgiving dinner.

Who's Not Playing Who

As I begin to think about making uninformed prognostications about the upcoming football season, I figure it's good to start by looking at the schedule imbalances within the mysteriously enhanced ACC. So for my own reference as much as anything,


North Carolina avoids Boston College, Florida State and Maryland. The latter two have 3 and 4 game winning streaks againts the Heels, respectively, so its a successful break for the Heels, depending on Maryland's squad turns out this year.

Duke also misses out on Maryland, as well as Clemson and North Carolina State. In the end of course, who provides their eight losses isn't that important in Durham, but it's a bit of a disappointment for the Wolfpack and Terrapins.

Georgia Tech doesn't see Boston College, Florida State, or Wake Forest this year. Far and away the best stroke of scheduling luck in the Coastal Division. Tech has never beaten FSU in the ACC, and has yet to face Boston College.

Miami loses out on facing Clemson, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The last two of those are lost wins for a team hemmoraging players and coaches. This won't be an easy season for the Hurricanes, though ducking Clemson helps.

Virginia doesn't face Boston College, Clemson, and Wake Forest, two good teams and one cupcake.

Virginia Tech ducks Florida State, Maryland and North Carolina State, giving them a small leg up on the schedule.


I suppose you can put this together from reading the Coastal Division summary, but to quickly recap:

Boston College doesn't play Georgia Tech, UNC, or Virginia. Unfortunate draw for the Eagles.

Clemson doesn't get Duke, Miami, or Virginia. Also unfortunate, but not to the same extent.

Florida State doesn't face Georgia Tech, UNC, or Virginia Tech. The engineer-free schedule is an advantage, but they'll surely miss seeing Carolina blue.

Maryland doesn't see Duke, UNC, or Virginia Tech. The resulting schedule won't give Friegden much of a chance to recover his past glory.

North Carolina State won't meet Duke, Miami, or Virginia Tech. I'm sure Wolfpack fans will focus solely on missing the Blue Devils, but this is the best schedule in the Atlantic.

And finally, Wake Forest won't line up across from Georgia Tech, Miami, or Virginia, an lucky break for a team that could use a couple more of them.

The winners? North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest. The losers? Boston College, Miami, and Clemson. The latter three have enough talent that the schedule shouldn't be an adversity, but only one of the former group will make much use of their fortunes. As for the Heels, the schedule helps, but as you'll discover I'm typically overly optimistic about the football chances in Kenan to begin with.