Thursday, August 31, 2006

College Football!

On TV! Finally!

The Anagrammed NC State Football Preview

A tip of the cap goes to the Humbug Journal for providing inspiration. See if you can decipher who's who...

With the preseason all but over and game week upon us, the coaches must say Adios Merry Sleep. They are hoping to be aided by a different kind of Entry Talk.

A Macho Tuck remains defiant, though gone are the flashy shoes, shades, and, according to the latest depth chart, the Absurd Ivy Coat.

The strength of the offense is its running game, so a hard-nosed and simplified style will be utilized in 2006. Now, Bland Does make sense. I do not like that Darned Style, but the team does what it must. The Contuse Arms return, and so too do the Brawn Drone and Bakery Note. The team will rely on Dark Bellman Carl and Only Thin Hal to catch the ball and do so consistently. With a bit of luck and the services of a Rare Holy Sir, it is hoped that the offensive line's performance will be solid and not warrant cries of "Oh, Curt Circus!" More than a Meagre Sneer has been directed at the line this offseason.

A Dig Gave Rise to some position changes, and now several players find themselves in different places. It is a Legit Custom.

Along the defensive line, much rests on he who Demoralises Prey. Will the Town Tilt Lighter, inspired by the showing of the new players? We hope for but Paltry Woe, though the chances of that always seem small.

Java Sid anchors the secondary, hoping to prove he's no Heartland Hag. This unit should act as A Level Inn for the defense, but watch out for that Damn Guano Jar.

Although new tailgating restrictions will implore the masses to Help Rue Rum, and although the team may not be very good, Wolfpack fans will not be discouraged. We'll go out of curiosity if nothing else, a Red Veil Luring. Should 2006 begin with promise and eventually fall apart, we will react without surprise. "As usual," we'll say, "they were But Jerkin Us around."

[All player names taken from the depth chart.]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You just better watch it.

The On Notice Board is making its way around the CFB blogosphere, so hey, I'm in.

NCSU professor Michael Adams is finally off notice.

See also: this video.

Mountaineers Hurtin' At Left Tackle

Freshman forced to start at left tackle on Saturday.

Appalachian State's starting lineup for Saturday's season-opener against N.C. State will include one freshman - offensive lineman Mario Acitelli of Charlotte.

Acitelli (6-2, 255) will start at left tackle in place of injured Kyle Knox, a senior.

Knox (6-3, 270) had surgery last Thursday to repair ligament damage to his left ankle. Knox said he could return as early as the Mountaineers' second game, Sept. 9 against James Madison.

Only 6-2, 255? Among the players currently listed as starters on NC State's defensive line, Ray Brooks is the lightest, and he checks in at 285 pounds. Fortunately for Acitelli, he has four returning starters around him.

Wolfpack Adds USF To Future OOC Schedule

Bulls come to Raleigh in 2008.

USF and North Carolina State, two teams that met in last season’s Meineke Car Care Bowl, have agreed to a home and home series. USF will travel to Raleigh to meet the Wolfpack, September 27, 2008, and the Bulls host NC State, September 13, 2014.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Someone check to see what CJ Spiller is driving.

A story in today's News and Observer (by way of the New York Times) details the close relationship between Clemson and BMW.

At Clemson's urging, BMW, in large part, created the curriculum for an automotive graduate engineering school. The company also drew up profiles of its ideal students; it gave Clemson, a state-supported university, a list of professors to interview, and even had approval rights over the school's architectural look.

The cross-promotional potential of this setup reminds of a Simpsons episode.

Skinner: Look around, Lisa. That grant money could do a lot of
Chalmers: Don't you think those youngsters deserve a regulation
[the scene switches to Milhouse and Nelson playing
tetherball, only the ball is really a cinderblock, and
what it's tethered to is less of a pole and more of a
thin, crooked piece of metal. Nelson hits the 'ball',
which swings around and hits Milhouse in the face,
breaking his glasses]
Skinner: We can buy real periodic tables instead of these
promotional ones from Oscar Meyer.
Krabappel: Who can tell me the atomic weight of bolognium?
Martin: Ooh ... delicious?
Krabappel: Correct. I would also accept snacktacular.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Items: Clemson Players Discuss Toughest Venues; Kenan Stadium Strangely Absent

-- Clemson players were asked to talk about the easiest and toughest places to play in the ACC.

“Duke, it’s pretty much like a practice. You’ve got 15,000 fans out there. It’s not that difficult if you’ve got your guys out there cheering you on.”

— Reggie Merriweather, running back

The game is pretty much like practice, too. Zing!

“N.C. State is a tough place to play in. It’s not that big, but some places just have a nice atmosphere, and they do up there. Their fans get a little rowdy and a little tough, especially when they get things going. “

— C.J. Gaddis, cornerback


“Doak Campbell at Florida State, that’s pretty intimidating. They’re pretty crazy down there. You see that Indian on the horse coming out in the middle of the field and throwing that thing down, their fans go crazy.

N.C. State can be pretty intimidating, too. Their fans get into it, and every time they get a first down, they start hollering, “A Wolfpack first down!” One corner of Maryland’s stadium is pretty intimidating because it’s where all their students sit.”

— Thomas Hunter, tight end

-- As the race for the Fulmer Cup nears an end, NC State remains absent from the standings. Which is to say, no Wolfpack players have had run-ins with the law this offseason. Both Duke and UNC managed to score a few points.

-- Injuries for the App game have been released. We could be without both our starting center and our most experienced wide receiver.

Based on the depth chart, Geron James would move up to second string at the X Receiver spot behind John Dunlap. Leroy Harris would probably shift back to center, with Kalani Heppe (assuming he's healthy) sliding in as the new starting left guard.

-- Carter-Finley is expected to be "fully functional" for the opener. If I get there and they've forgotten to erect the temporary bleachers, man am I gonna be chapped.

I am taking the following to mean they aren't going to blast us with the scoreboard soundsystem (but that's likely just wishful thinking):

[T]he school commissioned an acoustical study of the stadium, so that the state-of-the-art sound system can be reconfigured to suit every “nook and cranny” of the stadium, Brincefield said.

“The sound survey we did before was done before the Murphy Center was build and before Vaughn Towers was built,” Brincefield said. “We have added some speakers and adjusted the angles so that everyone in the stadium should get virtually the same sound levels.”

There were speakers added that will reach patrons in the 300-level seats of the north end zone, since most of the existing sound system goes right over the top of that area of the stadium, Brincefield said.

-- Ooh! Ooh! Let's have an internet feud!

We're still in nothing-special territory, here. Player thinks schedule is tough. Player takes a dig at the neighbors.

And then the Wolfpack blogs go nuts. They're seriously arguing over the internet about a joke involving a school of the blind.

Wolfpack? This is why your not a serious rival. Suck it up, schedule whoever you'd like and help your team win the damn game. UNC fans have been making these jokes for years. (We also enjoy making agricultural insults and claiming intellectual superiority, if you're interested.)

I'll leave it to the parties involved. I can only encourage a petty war of words, preferably one spanning several weeks.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

This Can Only Be A Good Thing


N.C. State running backs Andre Brown and Toney Baker have a friendly weekly wager that has nothing to do with who gets the most yards or touchdowns.

Brown and Baker will be splitting carries and sharing time in the backfield this fall. Brown said that during practice, 60 percent to 70 percent of N.C. State's plays are run with Brown and Baker together in a "split backs" formation.

That means whoever isn't carrying the ball will have to block for his fellow sophomore Parade All-American. Thus the wager -- whoever flattens more opponents with "pancake blocks" over the course of each game gets taken out to dinner that week by the other back.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Brian Clark Still Hoping To Stick In Denver

BC is workin' hard but finds himself way down the depth chart.

Each day after practice, Brian Clark sheds his gear, recruits an equipment manager and sets up the pitching machine.

No matter how much work he receives in practice, the undrafted rookie catches 100 balls before he allows himself to come off the field. He catches them low, high, turning around, one-handed, whatever he can think of.

“You never know what’s going to happen in a game,” Clark said. “You may have to make a big catch in a strange way.”

Clark’s big catch hasn’t come so far this preseason, and there’s a chance it won’t with two games left. But the free agent out of North Carolina State has made enough of an impact in training camp to make it tough for the Broncos to cut him next month.

“When they brought him in, we didn’t expect him to look as good as he does,” Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey said. “But he looks great.”

The numbers aren’t on Clark’s side. Of the Broncos nine receivers, he is only listed ahead of Charlie Adams, whom Denver traded to the Cowboys last week in a deal that was voided after Adams failed a physical.

So, chances are, even with Ashley Lelie gone and fourth-round pick Brandon Marshall fighting a knee injury, Clark’s best hope will be to make the practice squad.

A Look At The Post-Spring And Late-August Depth Charts

NC State released its post-spring depth chart back in May, and an updated depth chart was made available today. I've posted both depth charts below.

Post-Spring Depth Chart -- Offense
Position1st String2nd String3rd String
QBMarcus Stone (Jr.*)Daniel Evans (So.*)Mike Greco (Fr.*)
RBAndre Brown (So.)Toney Baker (So.)Jamelle Eugene (Fr.*)
FB Octavius Darby (So.*)John Kane (So.)Pat Bedics (Jr.*)
XWRLamart Barrett (Sr.)Geron James (Fr.*)n/a
ZWRJohn Dunlap (Jr.)Darrell Blackman (Jr.)Koyal George (So.)
TEAnthony Hill (Jr.)Octavius Darby (So.*)Jacob King (So.*)
LTJames Newby (Sr.*)Julian Williams (Fr.*)Matthew White (So.*)
LGKalani Heppe (Jr.*)Yomi Ojo (Jr.*)Garrett Kline (Jr.*)
CLeroy Harris (Sr.*)Luke Lathan (Jr.*)Andy Barbee (Fr.*)
RGCurtis Crouch (So.)Meares Green (So.*)Julian Williams (Fr.*)
RTJon Holt (Sr.*)Jeraill McCuller (Fr.*)Merci Falaise(Sr.*)

Late August Depth Chart -- Offense
Position1st String2nd String3rd String
QBMarcus Stone (Jr.*)Daniel Evans (So.*)Justin Burke (Fr.)
RBAndre Brown (So.)Jamelle Eugene (Fr.*)Toney Baker (So.)
FB Toney Baker (So.)John Kane (So.)Pat Bedics (Jr.*)
XWRJohn Dunlap (Jr.)Lamart Barrett (Sr.)Geron James (Fr.*)
ZWRDarrell Blackman (Jr.)Donald Bowens (Fr.)n/a
TEAnthony Hill (Jr.)Matt Kushner (Fr.*)n/a
LTJames Newby (Sr.*)Julian Williams (Fr.*)Merci Falaise(Sr.*)
LGLeroy Harris (Sr.*)Kalani Heppe (Jr.*)Yomi Ojo (Jr.*)
CLuke Lathan (Jr.*)Andy Barbee (Fr.*)Leroy Harris (Sr.*)
RGCurtis Crouch (So.)Meares Green (So.*)Andrew Redfern (So.*)
RTJon Holt (Sr.*)Meares Green (So.*)Jeraill McCuller (Fr.*)

-- The most notable change to the depth chart is at fullback: gone is Octavius Darby, in is Toney Baker. This gets Baker and Brown on the field together more, which is delicious, and it (probably) gives Jamelle Eugene more carries.

-- Surprisingly, Lamart Barrett lost his starting job to John Dunlap. Barrett is the most experienced receiver we have, so he should still have a big impact this season. I think he could be our best receiver.

-- There is some shuffling along the offensive line, with Leroy Harris taking his All-ACC talents from center to left guard. I worry about having Lathan at center, but I think it's a good idea to move Harris back to his strongest position.

-- The offense may suck again in 2006, but it could potentially be quite good in 2007--assuming we're getting above-average QB play by then. Take a look at the skill positions and count the seniors. There's only one.

Post-Spring Depth Chart -- Defense
Position1st String2nd String3rd String
LDEWillie Young (Fr.*)Martrel Brown (Jr.*)Quentin Brown (Fr.*)
LDTDeMario Pressley (Jr.)Teddy Larsen (Fr.*)Alan-Michael Cash (Fr.*)
RDT Tank Tyler (Sr.)John Bedics (So.*)n/a
RDELittleton Wright (Jr.*)John Amanchukwu (Sr.*)n/a
WLBReggie Davis (Sr.)Ray Michel (Fr.*)Guerlin Dervil (Jr.*)
MLBPat Lowery (Sr.*)James Martin (Jr.*)Avery Vogt (Fr.*)
SLBLeRue Rumph (Jr.*)James Martin (Jr.*)Ernest Jones (Jr.*)
RoverGarland Heath (Sr.)DaJuan Morgan (So.*)Vance Proctor (Jr.)
RCBJimmie Sutton (Jr.*)Phillip Holloman (Jr.*)Wesley Wilson (So.)
FSMiguel Scott (Jr.)JC Neal (So.)Scott Bradsher (So.)
LCBAJ Davis (Sr.*)Levin Neal (So.)Jeremy Gray (So.*)

Late-August Depth Chart -- Defense
Position1st String2nd String3rd String
LDERay Brooks (So.*)Audi Augustin (Fr.)Littleton Wright (Jr.*)
LDTTank Tyler (Sr.)Teddy Larsen (Fr.*)John Bedics (So.*)
RDT DeMario Pressley (Jr.)Alan-Michael Cash (Fr.*)Gerard Miller (So.*)
RDEMartrel Brown (Jr.*)Willie Young (Fr.*)John Amanchukwu (Sr.*)
WLBReggie Davis (Sr.)Ray Michel (Fr.*)John Ware (Fr.)
MLBPat Lowery (Sr.*)Avery Vogt (Fr.*)Nate Irving (Fr.*)
SLBJames Martin (Jr.*)LeRue Rumph (Jr.*)Cedric Hickman (Fr.)
RoverGarland Heath (Sr.)Miguel Scott (Jr.)Javon Walker (Fr.)
RCBJimmie Sutton (Jr.*)Phillip Holloman (Jr.*)Jeremy Gray (So.*)
FSDaJuan Morgan (So.*)JC Neal (So.)Scott Bradsher (So.)
LCBAJ Davis (Sr.*)Levin Neal (So.)Robbie Leonard (So.*)

-- I feel a lot better about the new starting front four than I did about the post-spring front four. All four second-stringers are freshmen, and that's a little scary.

-- DaJuan Morgan has moved from rover to safety, supplanting Miguel Scott. The coaches have a nice problem at rover: finding time for both Heath and Scott.

-- Reggie Davis is holding onto that starting weakside LB spot. Nothing but freshmen behind him, so let's hope he can handle the job.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Basketball Commitment?

A little earlier today, Pack Pride was reporting that Rashad Green, the younger brother of UNC's Danny Green, committed to NC State. That story has been removed, however, as this apparently isn't a done deal. I'm not sure what is going on, but it appears the hold up comes from the NC State side.

Indications are that Green intends to go to prep school this fall, so that would make him a part of the Wolfpack's 2007 class.

I was doing some googling and found this assessment of Green on a St. John's message board (warning: huge run-on sentence forthcoming)...

he will go prep he is a 2 (handle needs work) or an undersized 3 no way a 1 , great athlete , better athlete than danny but not as good a ball player, his basketball iq is fair needs to let the game come to him he tries to play 150 miles an hour instead of 100 miles an hour, not afraid to take the big shot, needs to work on his right hand but is a great defender his shot has improved now has 3 point range and will be a good D1 player and a nice kid.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What's all this then?

I had planned on getting into the comments made by Chuck Amato during his Monday press conference, but instead I'll just second BJD's assessment.

Someone needs to get Amato some new ammuntion, because this "look at how much better than the other local schools we've been" stuff grows tiresome. Great, Chuck, you're smarter than the Three Stooges. Congratulations.

I listened to the audio to see (1) how what he actually said differs from the transcript and (2) whether or not he really sounded mad.

At one point, Amato asks, "Am I on the hot seat?" A media member responds, "No, but people ask us that."

Two things:

1.) Which people, and for the love of god, why?
2.) Hey, look, a media member admitted that Amato is not on the hot seat.

As for Amato's tone of voice...he didn't sound all that upset to me, but it's not always easy to tell. There is no question he was defensive, though. The length of his response illustrates that fact.

When he was asked how much longer he thought he'd be coaching, he said:

I love it. What am I going to do? I don't play golf. The things I do I can't tell you. Why? I just got here.

Let the speculation about Amato's too-hot-for-the-media hobbies begin! Actually, I think the implication is pretty obvious, and to that I say: ew.

Some other things:

-- The Orlando Sentinel tells us about a local high school football player named Yourhighness Morgan.

"There is not really too much meaning [behind the name]; it's just kind of different," said Yourhighness, who is in his second season with the Raiders' varsity. "My mom came up with the name, and it was because she wanted me to have a different name than all the other kids in the neighborhood."

She succeeded.

There isn't another Yourhighness on the block.

He also has a younger brother, Handsome Morgan, 15, and an older brother, Jacqueece Morgan, 19, is a South Sumter graduate. An older cousin is named Prince Morgan, 17, and another cousin is Gorgeous Morgan, 14.

And Fabulous Morgan, 23, recently came out of the closet (fn. 1).

Jacqueece totally got the shaft.

-- Don't cry for Nebraska over the Harrison Beck deal. The Cornhuskers may be getting Sam Keller.

-- This is fun.


1.) Fabulous Morgan is fictitious. As far as I know...

Monday, August 21, 2006

BlogPoll Roundtable #1

It's time for the first official BlogPoll Roundtable of the season.

1. What's the biggest ripoff in this preseason poll? Either pick a team that's offensively over or underrated, or you can rag on a particular voter's bad pick (hey, we're all adults here, we can handle it).

West Virginia is not a top five team, and I'm not sure it is a top ten team either. Fifty-one of 59 voters ranked the Mountaineers in the top fifteen; I was one of the eight who didn't.

2. What shold a preseason poll measure? Specifically, should it be a predictor of end-of-season standing (meaning that a team's schedule should be taken into account when determining a ranking), or should it merely be a barometer of talent/hype/expectations?

The philosophy of the BlogPoll is...

At all times it should be an approximate ranking who would beat who on a neutral field this year.

...and I agree with that completely. I try to stick to that reasoning throughout the season. And I think when you rank teams based on who-beats-who, you at least indirectly consider all of those other factors (schedule and what have you), anyway.

3. What is your biggest stretch in your preseason ballot? That is to say, which team has the best chance of making you look like an idiot for overrating them?

I've got Southern Cal at #1, and I'm definitely taking a leap of faith there. The Trojans could end up right back in the national title hunt, or buried somewhere in the tier of teams with a few losses.

4. What do you see as the biggest flaw in the polling system (both wire service and blogpolling)? Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced? If you say the latter, enlighten us with your new plan.

A lot of pollsters don't vote using the "barometer of talent" line of thinking, or don't take the rankings seriously enough, or haven't seen enough teams to make reasonable evaluations, or are biased towards schools in their region, and on, and on. But I don't have a serious problem with the current system, despite all that.

5. You're Scott Bakula, and you have the opportunity to "Quantum Leap" back in time and change any single moment in your team's history. It can be a play on the field, a hiring decision, or your school's founders deciding to build the campus in Northern Indiana, of all godforsaken places. What do you do?

So many choices here. I could go back and convince Dick Sheridan not to leave. After I showed him what our record against UNC would be over the next seven years, he'd have no choice but to stick around.

I could go back to 1998 and have Oscar Davenport (I'm pretty sure it was Davenport) throw an INT in overtime instead of the game-winning touchdown.

Or as TA McLendon in 2004, I could plow five yards into the endzone on the final play of the game. Reverse that touchdown, jerks. [mutters, kicks rock]

In the end, though, I think I'd have to go back to the Florida State game in 2003. Playing as Brian Clark, I wouldn't fumble the ball near midfield on NC State's last drive of regulation. Without the turnover, NC State marches down the field and kicks the game-winning field goal. With that win in hand, maybe NC State goes on to win the ACC title...

Heath Shuler Might Actually Get Elected

Heath Shuler...winning?

Sensing a possible upset of Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor, Democrats are marshaling their resources to help Democratic challenger Heath Shuler.

Former Gov. Jim Hunt has campaigned for Shuler, and former Sen. John Edwards plans to do so this week. Former Ambassador Jeanette Hyde is planning a fundraiser for Shuler at her Raleigh home Sept. 11. That event is sponsored by Democratic members of the Council of State.

A new poll shows Shuler, a former University of Tennessee quarterback, leading Taylor 48 percent to 43 percent. The survey was was taken by OnPoint Polling and Research, a Raleigh firm formed this year by pollster Dean Debnam and Democratic political consultants Mike Davis, Tim McKay and Bob Havely. The automated telephone survey of 731 likely 11th District voters was conducted Aug. 14 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Heath Shuler, seen here throwing a touchdown for the people.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Reserving judgment, but...

Scrimmage number two:

Through the air, quarterback Marcus Stone connected on 8-of-18 passes for 121 yards and two interceptions, although one of the picks came after the ball that went in and out of the hands of his intended receiver.

“Marcus moved the team and he really played smart,” said Amato. “He has good control of the team and the team has a lot of faith in him.”

That makes Stone 17-38 (44.7%) in two scrimmages.

Defense performs poorly on Friday:

While the majority of N.C. State players trudged off the practice field Friday, members of the defensive unit stuck around to run more sprints.

That’s the price they paid for porous play in goal line situations, which left coach Chuck Amato more than mildly upset.

“They got their brains beat in on the goal line; they got their brains beat in on the goal line,” bellowed Amato, a trace of venom in his voice. “We can’t do that. If you don’t play it, you’re gonna get beat.”

Amato was displeased with the pass rush and coverage as well.

“We are not rushing hard enough; we are not covering hard enough,” he continued. “We we can’t cover ‘em and we can’t rush ‘em. That’s not a very good combination.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Items

-- Our national hoops nightmare begins against Wofford on November 10th.

My first-glance gut prediction: 15-13 (6-10). N-I-T! N-I-T!

-- I answered a few questions about Wolfpack football for Bill at Eagle in Atlanta. Have a look.

-- Well, how about that... has added a blog. It appears that Tim Peeler is going to be the primary contributor. Hopefully they'll work on the layout, but hey, it's a start.

I also hope this is a sign that the new is going to be a much better Says Peeler in his introductory post:

Among the new features that are incorporated into the new site is a greater emphasis on NC State traditions and history. We have a lot of stuff to add, but it will be done gradually, as we pick the minds of those who have been around Wolfpack athletics and NC State for decades, like Senior Associate Athletics Director Emeritus Frank Weedon, like football coach Chuck Amato and basketball coach Sidney Lowe. Who better to ask about those things than the people who experienced them?

Sounds great to me. I've always been disappointed by the lack of historical information on the official site (this is a problem at most schools' sites, not just ours). For instance, I can find a lot more useful info about NC State football at CFB Data Warehouse than I can at the athletics website, and that shouldn't be the case.

-- Congratulations to Cullen Jones, who is finally being properly compensated for his awesomeness.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vertigo Free With Purchase Of Tickets

As you may or may not know, I graduated from NC State in 2005. Since I don't have a lot of disposable income to burn on season tickets, I decided to take the cheapest route possible: I bought season tickets without getting Lifetime Rights. The area of the stadium they allot for these tickets is, shall we say, not the best.

The tickets came in the mail today, and I've discovered that I'm not really in the north endzone. More on top of it, really. And kinda to the side.

There are seven sections of temporary bleachers which you can see at the top of the seating chart; that's where I'll be--section 325. And no, I'm not renaming the blog. Section Three Hundred and Twenty-Five doesn't have quite the same ring.

This brings up a few questions:

1.) Binoculars or telescope?

2.) Will I fear for my life on a particularly gusty afternoon?

3.) Will the scoreboard sound system have me deaf by October? (I'll be unable to sleep on Saturday nights, Chuck Amato commericals ringing in my ears. "Hi, fans! When my Corvette needs an oil change, I take it to the good people at Jiffy Lube ... Jiffy Lube ... Jiffy Lube ... Jiffy Lube ... echo ... echo ..." )

4.) Do you now think less of me? I mean, if I can't donate at the "Spirit" level, what kind of fan am I? No "Strength," no "Courage," not even "Spirit"?

5.) I'm in row M. There's no row N, is there? I knew it.

The BlogPoll Is Here

The preseason BlogPoll was officially released today, with the Buckeyes checking in at #1. Last year's preseason BlogPoll had USC as a near-unanimous #1; there's a lot more disagreement this time around. I'm just glad I'm not the only one who voted the Trojans #1 in 2006.

There aren't too many big discrepancies between the BlogPoll and the Coaches' Poll, though Oklahoma (5th coaches, 16th BlogPoll) and Iowa (17th, 12th) are a couple of exceptions. The bloggers like Auburn a little more than the coaches, while the coaches are more bullish on Notre Dame than the bloggers.

The BlogPoll voter list and individual ballots are available here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Wee Bit Early

I saw this at Pack Pride and it cracked me up:

Am I an idiot? I'm in a 19 team league where QBs get 6 pts per TD and 1 pt per 20 passing yards and -1 pt for ints. I had the #5 overall pick and I traded down for the #12 pick and I get his 3rd round pick he gets my 5th round pick. I'm taking Rivers with the #12 overall pick. Am I an idiot?

Drafting Philip Rivers as your starting QB is a bad enough idea. Taking him in the first round of your 19-team league draft is fantasy football suicide. Not even Peyton Manning is defensible at #12. I recently took Rivers in the 13th round (pick #148) of one of my 12-team drafts. VBD is your friend.

Couple other things:

-- Here's the Charlotte Observer's Q&A with Chuck Amato. Not much to see there.

-- Ken Pomeroy is back with a post discussing how the loss of a high usage player will affect Pittsburgh. This was interesting to me because NC State faced a similar problem prior to last season. The Wolfpack managed to maintain a good offense in Julius Hodge's absense because Hodge's possessions were spread so evenly that no one person was forced to take on a workload he couldn't handle.

Preseason BlogPoll Ballot

The BlogPoll is back for another year. My initial ballot is below.

1Southern Cal 25
2Ohio State 24
3Auburn 23
4Louisiana State 22
5Texas 21
6Notre Dame 20
7Cal 19
8Michigan 18
9Florida State 17
10Iowa 16
11Louisville 15
12Florida 14
13Oklahoma 13
14Georgia 12
15Clemson 11
16Miami (Florida) 10
17West Virginia 9
18Nebraska 8
19Virginia Tech 7
20Tennessee 6
21Oregon 5
22Penn State 4
23Arizona State 3
24Arkansas 2
25Boston College 1

Dropped Out:N/A


-- It's safe to say that I respect Pete Carroll's recruiting. USC returns a total of ten starters--just four on offense. I expect those four--Steve Smith, Dwayne Jarrett, and two All-American caliber OL--to make the offense a potent one despite the inexperience being plugged in around them.

-- I was down on FSU prior to last season because they were replacing a lot of starters. They'll have a lot of new faces again this season, but I've learned my lesson. The Noles have the skill position talent to take a large leap in offensive production, Jeff Bowden be damned. Greg Carr is a monster.

-- Clemson looks great to me on paper. Lots of starters back, including the entire offensive line and one of the best placekickers in the nation. The Tigers didn't make a lot of mistakes last season (they were among the least penalized teams in the nation and had an excellent turnover margin), and if they can carry at least some of that into 2006, they'll put themselves on solid footing for a breakout year.

-- West Virginia is one of those teams that's gonna have to prove it to me.

-- Can Arizona State figure out how to stop anybody? They have the scoring points thing down.

-- BC's Matt Ryan is probably the best quarterback in the ACC, though the Eagles lost all of their starting receivers from a year ago. LV Whitworth and Andre Callender combined for 1500+ rushing yards in 2005, and they both return.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Items: Justin Burke Gets A Head Start

-- Justin Burke hasn't even started the fall semester of his freshman year and already he's a quarter of the way to his college degree:

The freshman quarterback came into N.C. State with a reputation as a bit of a brainiac, and he did not disappoint.

He discussed how he had become "immersed" in picking up the "vernacular" of the Wolfpack offense.

Burke also revealed he's essentially a sophomore academically.

How so? He took 12 hours of classes at N.C. State over the summer -- macroeconomics anyone? -- and brought in 18 hours of AP credit.

As for a major, Burke also has got that figured out. He's going to study accounting.

"I enjoy it," Burke said. "I'm boring like that."


"I just tell him to speak in laymen's terms when he's talking to me," N.C. State quarterback Marcus Stone joked.

I would have killed for that much AP credit. Dang.

-- As you have probably heard, Jamelle McMillan has decided to play Herb Ball. ASU's 2007 class is looking mighty good.

-- Cullen Jones is working hard in the hopes of making the 2008 US Olympic team.

-- From the Charlotte Observer's Q&A with John Bunting:

You mention the momentum of the Carolina program. I'm thinking back to two seasons ago, all the talk was about what that season meant to coach Bunting. You went to the bowl game (in 2004 in Charlotte), just missed last year, and I'm not hearing that as much. Why do you think that is?

There's a lot of confidence in what we've been doing. You've got to be fairly steady in this. I've never panicked. We've won some big ball games, so I think people know we can win some big games. Say what you want about Mack (Brown), but Mack never beat Florida State. Mack never beat Miami. We need consistency in our program, and the way you do that is to have some stability and some continuity.

Yeah, Mack never could get over the hump against Miami. Probably because his Carolina teams never played Miami. It could be that what Bunting meant by "Mack never beat Miami" was "I've never beaten Miami-Ohio," as that is in fact true.

-- Don't miss this tremendous opportunity to see Barry Melrose speak at the RBC Center. The topic will be proper mullet care.

-- ACCBoards' fantasy football league had its annual draft over the weekend. My roster (it's a 12-team league):

QB: Drew Bledsoe (8), Aaron Brooks (11)
RB: Larry Johnson (1), Jamal Lewis (4), Chester Taylor (6), Frank Gore (9), Kevan Barlow (17), Michael Bennett (16)
WR: Randy Moss (2), Marvin Harrison (3), Derrick Mason (7), Laveranues Coles (10), Eric Moulds (12)
TE: Jeremy Shockey (5), Jermaine Wiggins (13)
K: Josh Reed (14)
D: Miami (15)

Short of a crippling outbreak of Bubonic plague, this team should cruise to the title. Famous last words, I know.

-- The rest of JP Giglio's preseason AP poll ballot is revealed. He's got some surprises in the top five. Ohio State isn't number one--or even number two.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Scrimmage Report From

Notes from on yesterday's scrimmage... (emphasis below is mine)

The running of Baker and Brown was complimented by the throwing of quarterback Marcus Stone, who connected on 9-of-20 passes for 103 yards. Stone threw touchdown passes of nine yards to tight end Anthony Hill and 30 yards to receiver Darrell Blackman.

"I felt like I did pretty good, not great," Stone said. "I had too many what we call missed layups. When I’ve got an open receiver, I’ve got to put the ball on him. Then again I did make some good throws out there as well. I felt like the passing game looked more promising."

I know it's just the first scrimmage and all that, but I was hoping for some immediate signs of improvement. Stone has got to figure out how to complete over 50% of his least Jay Davis could do that.

Friday, August 11, 2006

It's (Nearly) Official: Harrison Beck Transfers To NC State

From Pack Pride:

Pack Pride has learned that quarterback Harrison Beck is transferring from Nebraska to NC State.

According to sources close to NC State, Beck is in Raleigh today going through the admission's process. After receiving a release from Nebraska, his acceptance into State is considered to be a formality.

The N&O's Chip Alexander:

Harrison Beck, who recently left the Nebraska Cornhuskers, should soon be joining the Pack, it was learned Friday. Beck was due on the NCSU campus Friday afternoon, sources close to the situation said.

Beck was a highly rated recruit out of Clearwater, Fla., and played at Countryside High for John Davis, the father of former Wolfpack quarterback Jay Davis. One recruiting service had Beck rated the nation’s No. 3 pro-style quarterback as a high school senior in 2004.

See also:

EDSBS followed the Beck saga at Nebraska.

StateFans Nation post on Beck. Updates to be forthcoming, I'm sure.

Beck's old profile. Offers from FSU, Florida, and Michigan. Not too shabby.

Meet The New Blue...Same As The Old Blue

This article about team slogans is a few days old, but I just want to point it out here, so when I make fun of a certain school's catch phrase all season, you'll know what the hell I'm talkin' about.

At North Carolina, the Tar Heels want a different hue in their blue after finishing 5-6 last season. So senior linebacker Larry Edwards suggested "New Blue" and the other seniors voted to make it official.

"It's the new Carolina, not the original Carolina that we used to be, where people would talk about we were slack or we didn't work hard," running back Ronnie McGill said. "With New Blue, everybody's on the same page; we work out all the time, try to stay positive and don't let people think that we're a pushover."

That's the 2006 UNC football team motto/inspirational slogan: New Blue.

I should add that NC State's 2006 motto is so lame that Duke is also using it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Bill Walton gets rejected.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wednesday Items: Pressley Could See Time At DE

-- DeMario Pressley at DE? Let's hope that doesn't become necessary.

N.C. State coach Chuck Amato said the Wolfack's shortage of experience and talent at defensive end could require tackle DeMario Pressley to spend some time at end.

The Wolfpack has nobody that played one snap at end last season, and only sophomore Raymond Brooks, who was ineligible a year ago, has played the position in college. Amato believes the group has potential, but it's obvious he's not comfortable with the situation.

"There's athleticism," Amato said after Tuesday's practice. "There's a lot of inexperience and a lot of youth. Youth and ambition have to take over."

Also in that article: Ted Roof rearranges some deck chairs.

-- Marcus Hudson is playing well in Niners camp so far, and he's back at corner.

"I think eventually he will be a safety, but he has shown me that he might be able to play corner for a while, and I would hate for him to miss that opportunity because it not only will help him but it will help us," Nolan said Monday. "I shouldn't compare him to someone like Ronnie Lott or Dennis Smith, who played cornerback before going to safety. Those are top of the line guys, but still, that doesn't mean that somebody else can't do it."

-- JP Giglio has begun to reveal his pre-season AP poll ballot at ACC Now.

#25 Tennessee
#24 Michigan State
#23 Oregon
#22 BYU
#21 Miami (FL)

On the Vols, JP says:

There’s a tendency to pick teams too high and inevitably, they disappoint (see Tennessee, Iowa, Michigan in 2005). The next season, there’s some serious overcorrection. The tendency is to pick them too low, or not at all, and suddenly, they turn out to be the team you expected, just a year too late.

If you can follow that reasoning, that’s how the Vols make their appearance in the Top 25.

I agree with his point, but I would consider Tennessee at 25 an overcorrection. I think the Vols will be better than that. Should be interesting to see where they land in the first BlogPoll.

-- Dave Glenn posted more comments from Chuck Amato.

-- Four guns and a bulletproof vest?! Doubleyoo tee eff.

Let's Not Go Overboard

From the What Not To Call Your Newspaper file: the Lenoir News-Topic says App State can hang with the Wolfpack (hat tip: What's Happening).

While North Carolinians gear up for what should be an exciting season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the most important game between two North Carolina teams is inching closer.

I'm not talking about the North Carolina vs. N.C. State annual matchup, which I've come to dub the Battle of Mediocrity.

The most important and relevant college football game between two North Carolina schools this year happens opening weekend when Appalachian State University struts its stuff into Raleigh to challenge the Pack.

Most important and relevant intrastate game for ASU, maybe. Not for us.

The article goes on to justify ASU's chances by citing precedent: the Mountaineers' wins over Wake Forest back in the day. If they really think this NC State team is in any way comparable to Jim Caldwell's anemic Wake teams, they're in for a bit of a surprise.

There's also mention of ASU's decent showing against LSU last year (the Tigers won 24-0). On the flip side, I can point out that ASU
had plenty of trouble with Eastern Kentucky last season, and I think everyone remembers what NC State did to EKU.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Good lord, Marcus...

Over a phone bill?

Former North Carolina State University basketball player Marcus Melvin was arrested Monday and charged with trying to strangle his girlfriend, authorities said.

Between this and Francisco Liriano going to the DL (my fantasy baseball team is ruined! Ruined, I tell you!), it's been a bad news day. Hopefully the charges against Melvin prove erroneous.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Items: Spin The Wheel Of Bomar

-- The Orlando Sentinel writes about the royalties schools receive from EA Sports' NCAA 2007:

Florida State, for example, received approximately $130,000 in royalties from last year's game. Florida received $112,000. The Austin American Statesman reported recently that national-champion Texas earned $110,000. That money is given to universities for the use of their school colors, logos, uniforms and for the depiction of their stadiums, which are displayed in detail in the game.

UCF received about $13,000 in royalties from the '06 game.


At the schools that receive the greatest share of royalties, NCAA Football is proving as profitable as any non-apparel item. At FSU, for example, the '06 game resulted in four times the royalties of the second-place non-apparel item.

-- I'm having a hard time picturing this:

Former N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers finished off practice on a goal-line play by turning his back to the line of scrimmage and lobbing the ball over his head to All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates in the end zone.

"We'd probably only use that for two-point conversions," coach Marty Schottenheimer joked.

Hey, what could go wrong?

-- New Syracuse uniforms (scroll down) are apparently blue with orange stripes, but the blue looks purple to me. Makes the team look like an alternate-universe Clemson.

-- Hat tip to Deadspin for linking to
this thread. Texas fans are not missing the opportunity given to them by Rhett Bomar.

ACC Now's Preview Of NC State

I've been meaning to link this preview from the N&O's ACC blog in case anyone missed it.

Think about those three first-round picks this way — McCargo missed five games and Williams and Manny Lawson both pulled a Mike Mamula at the NFL Combine and blew up their draft stock.

At times, Williams and Lawson were great but take a closer at Williams’ 14.5 sacks — eight came in two games. He was Julius Peppers against Maryland and Southern Miss (four sacks in each game) but not for the other 10 games.

JP Giglio says Chuck Amato did his best coaching in 2005, so, naturally, JP is taken to task in the comments for his "attacks on Amato."

Sometimes I think the entire fanbase needs to lighten up.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

If only that were true...

Indians/Tigers recap:

The Tigers agreed to terms with their 2006 first-round draft choice, LHP Andrew Miller, on a four-year deal. He pitched at North Carolina State and will be among the team's call-ups in September.

By the way, thanks for nothin', Cleveland.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So Long, Tents

Construction on the joint softball/soccer project finally began this week, which means the soccer programs are close to having the upgraded facilities they've needed for years.

If you've ever been to Method Road Soccer Stadium, you know that it is somewhat lacking in basic amenities. Prior to arriving on campus as an undergrad, I'd heard the stadium was awful, but I was still a little shocked when I went to a game for the first time. Method Road is not so much a stadium as it is a collection of loosely-congregated aluminum bleachers. There are no lights. In lieu of a permanent locker/training facility, there are two tents--one for each team. I don't doubt that schools with legitimate facilities--with, you know, doors, climate control, a permanent foundation, things of that nature--loathed coming to Raleigh. Didn't affect their game, though (dang it).

Somehow they managed to get this out of George Tarantini for the press release (linked above):

"Method Road has been a great home for Wolfpack soccer for over 20 years."

Added Tarantini, "we finally have the tools to compete with area high schools, and that's big for us."

The new facility (warning: pdf file) cannot be completed soon enough.

Cotchery Continues To Impress

Cotchery aiming for breakthrough:

Jerricho Cotchery has started one game and caught 25 passes in the NFL.

Those numbers could explode this season as the Jets' third-year wide receiver is having what he has called the best training camp of his career. The battle among those who catch footballs is talked about half as much but is twice as intriguing as the one among those who throw them.

If Cotchery can sustain his strong first week, he might just land at the top of the depth chart when the season begins in September.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


It turns out that knocking over a large pole can be quite easy:

A tower of stadium lights standing outside the left-field fence at Doak Field fell into the parking lot Saturday after a 10-year-old boy reportedly unscrewed an already-loose bolt at the base of a pole.

No one was injured, and no cars were damaged.

According to Sgt. Jon Barnwell of Campus Police, one of the screws connecting the pole to its foundation was missing and another screw was loose enough for a 10-year-old boy to unscrew. He added there will be no criminal charges brought on the juvenile.

If they weren't quintuple-checking the screws on the light poles, what exactly were they doing while the Doak Field renovations lagged well past the scheduled completion date?

"You sayin' we're not working?"


On an unrelated note: Four tiny tidbits on the ACC from Deadspin. The site chose one picture to accompany that post, to sort of represent the conference and all that it embodies, and that picture is ... a shot of Boston College fans.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday Items: Philip Is Ready To Go In SD

-- Here's a good article from the Denver Post on Philip Rivers:

"The thing is, people outside don't see us in the locker room," Rivers said. "They don't see us in the meetings. They don't see us in the offseason throwing. All they see are Sunday afternoons out there on the field. I haven't been out there, so to them it feels like, 'Oh, this is a brand-new guy coming into the game.' It doesn't feel that way to me because, as a quarterback, you have to be one of the leaders on the team.

"I took pride in it, put a lot of time into it. That's the thing about the past couple of years. I felt like I was a leader even as a backup. I had to take a little back-seat role, but I was able to lay the foundation so that if I ever did get the opportunity, this is how it was going to go. Guys knew my personality. They knew what type of guy I was. It wasn't going to be, 'OK, who are you again?"'

It's easy to see why Rivers already has a lot of support from his teammates.

-- Players want the world to know the real Amato:

Some observers describe the seventh-year coach as disingenuous, and that his demeanor and look - from large bracelets, flashy watches and the Corvettes he drives - for an almost-60-year-old man make him an easy target for disenchanted fans and an overzealous media.

[AJ] Davis said his coach is just comfortable in his own skin. But that's only one small feature of a man most people know precious little about.

For a change, this is positive press for Amato. AJ Davis paints a rosy picture.

-- There will be plenty of ASU fans in Raleigh on September 2nd, as the Mountaineers have sold-out their ticket allotment. It's like they think they can win the game or something.

-- Brian, esteemed founder of the BlogPoll and one of the best college sports bloggers on these here Internets, played in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker this week, and survived day one only to bust out in painful fashion:

[Annie] Duke had had that reminder only moments earlier, when a young Michigan player, Brian Cook, crashed from Duke's table. Cook, who had earlier admitted to being "a little intimidated" by Duke when his own smallish starting stack grew large enough to allow for more creative play, lost his last $25,000 when his pocket aces were cracked by another player who called his pre-flop raise with 10-7, then put Cook all-in after a K-7-7 flop. This came only moments after Cook had lost a sizeable hand with pocket kings in a similar manner.

As Cook rushed off in frustration after his two-out ace failed to appear, the other players discussed his back-to-back, tough-luck hands. And as Duke offered, in the wake of Cook's departure, "He did nothing wrong."

Ugh. As angry as I sometimes get when I'm bad-beated out of a small stakes online tournament, I can't imagine how much worse it must feel at the WSOP.

By the way, if you're interested in reading more about the tournament, the PokerStars Blog is doing a fabulous job covering the event.

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Skip to the six-minute mark to cut to the chase. But you don't want to do that.