The posts keep on coming today but that's because so many entries make themselves. James from Yet Another NC State Blog is hosting this week's Roundtable where we discuss Clemson vs. South Carolina, The Institute vs. the university [sic] and bar-b-q. Head on over to YANCSB to check out more responses later in the week!
1) The ACC scheduling gods really did their best this year to ensure a
true "rivalry" week to conclude the season. Here in North Carolina,
the two large state schools (N.C. State and Carolina) and the two
smaller private schools (Duke and Wake) face off against one another.
Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Virginia and Virginia
Tech all face off against in-state foes. Even the Boston College/
Maryland game has a twinge of regional flavor to it, pitting the two
northern-most schools of the ACC against one another. On paper, is
this the best rivalry week lineup in recent memory?
Well, I guess since a few years back. Typically, UVA-VT, GT-Georgie, CU-USC, and FSU-UF are on Thanksgiving weekend so nothing special there. If you consider the North Carolina games actual football games, then I guess this is the best lineup of ACC games on Thanksgiving weekend in a while.
2) Clemson and Georgia Tech will face one another in the ACC title
game. Do you think both teams facing out-of-conference rivals the week
prior will help or hurt either team's performance in the big game,
depending on the outcomes of these rivalry games?
If we were only considering BCS championship games, the numbers don't really indicate much. Teams that lost their regular season finale are 6-8 all time in conference title games since the first SEC title game in 1992. Teams that lost the conference title game are 25-9 coming into the title game while teams that won the title game are 26-7-1 in their last regular season contest. I'm not jinxing GT or CU by any means because 18 out of 34 BCS conference title games were played by teams that both won their last regular season games. One game, the 1993 SEC title was played between two season finale losers - UF and Bammer.
To answer the question, yes, if either lose their finale, they'll lose the championship game. We're basing this thought on GT's demoralization in 2006 after a terrible loss to the dogs and eventual loss to the Demon Deacons (that, and Pat Nix). Clemson and GT don't deserve to play such pathetic SEC teams to finish the season but alas they are. If either gets upset, it'll be a pretty big blow to the ACC and the respective school's psyche going into the ACCCG.
3) It's the tail end of the season and you know what that means:
Coaching Carousel Time! I'm a firm believer in giving a coach five
years to prove his worth before even considering a change...at least I
*was*, until I saw how quickly Paul Johnson and Brian Kelly turned
their respective programs into top-10 squads. With an ever-increasing
desire from fanbases to WIN NOW, is five years still "industry
standard," or can coaches legitimately be expected to show marked
improvement in four years or less before finding a pink slip in their
inbox? How bad would a situation have to be to fairly jettison a head
coach before year five?
We gave Chan six years to show some marked improvement. He got some helluva good recruits but couldn't achieve the GT fanbase's collective goals: beat Georgie and win the ACC every once in a while. All in all, he is remembered for 6 failures against Georgie and big time flops against quality ACC teams. When he had time to scheme, he was a great coach. In games where there was no external motivation, his teams played like crap (ala Duke and UNC games).
It's all relative. Some coaches need time to rebuild programs like Wannstedt at Pitt while others can build instantly because of their unique offenses and the personnel they inherited (Paul Johnson).
4) Certainly the four-letter network likes to pimp the big rivalries--
Ohio State Vs. Michigan, Texas Vs. Oklahoma, etc.--but I think the ACC
has quite a few solid rivalries that never get the coverage they
deserve. Where do you think your school's rivalry rates in terms of
passion, prestige and what's at stake each season? What steps--beyond
the obvious "win more"--could be taken to improve the visibility of
your team's rivalry matchup every year?
Texas vs. Oklahoma and Ohio State vs. Michigan are "made for TV" rivalries that are created for tv ratings. See our earlier post in regards to that. georgie vs. Georgia Tech is "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate!" We work and socialize with these people every day. It makes a person's blood boil when we lose, and they stay on 'simmer' all year. Our rivalry goes back to the 1890's where, in the first game, georgie fans threw rocks at our players because we won. Also, georgie refused to wear yellow as a school color because it represented "cowardly-ness." So naturally, Tech wore yellow as an insult to the mutts and promptly beat them.
5) Few rivalries in the South have as much tradition, passion and
generated as much heated discussion as a good ol' fashioned barbecue
debate. Here in North Carolina it's Eastern versus Lexington style,
and a good many shouting matches have arisen between folks east of
I-95 and those godless heathens that put ketchup and brown sugar in
their "dip." No doubt similar verbal wars have been waged on behalf of
your favorite barbecue, as well, so the question is this: In an all-
out, Armageddon-type scenario where the righteous are separated from
the unholy on the basis of what type of barbecue they bring to the
judgment table, what style of barbecue are you bringing and who--among
the purveyors of this style of 'cue in your state--will you select to
be your Champion?
Winfield wants a mustard base and Dane licks his chops when he hears "Mrs. Griffin's Barbecue sauce". Bird is a communist and doesn't like pork so he doesn't understand.