Posts Tagged ‘ACC’

Wonder why SEC on top? Look at other conference finals (with video)

SEC's Mike Slive: "Yes, I am king. Are there any questions?" (AP photo)

Can you hear SEC commissioner Mike Slive? "Yes, I am king. Are there any questions?" (AP photo)

While it’s easy to understand why any fan of a conference not named the SEC grows tired of hearing and reading about the SEC, the evolution of this year’s conference championship match-ups screams why the landscape is so lopsided.

This came home Monday when Miami announced that the football program was going to self-impose a bowl ban (hoping to beat the NCAA to the punch) and therefore would not accept a bid to the ACC championship game. This allowed Georgia Tech to back through the door as Coastal Division “champions.” The Jackets will face Florida State for the ACC title.

This isn’t meant to pick on Georgia Tech. It’s not the Jackets’ fault they have been given this opportunity, despite a relatively crummy season. But if you want to know why the SEC commands the attention it does, just look at how the ACC and other conference championship games compare.

Here are the …

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Predictions: Jackets, Dogs, Falcons and lust triangles

chalk

In a bizarre turn of affairs — which should not be confused with anything that might be going on in a broom closet at the Pentagon with a CIA director, his smokin’ but psychotic biographer, a general (not that general, the other general), a Florida socialite, Snooki, Ashley Dupre, Donna Rice, Camila Parker (Duchess of Cornwall), Kim Kardashian (Duchess of … never mind), the UnReal Housewives With UnReal Enhancements of Atlanta, Anne Boleyn, King Charles VII, Bacchus (Greek god of Debauchery), probably a few Kennedys, Marilyn (duh), Fabio, the Thomas Crown Affair, An Affair to Remember, Family Affair (never trusted Mr. French) Glenn Close and that poor bunny rabbit, and, sorry, there’s just no room in here for Tiger Woods — Georgia Tech may play in a BCS game.

Just planning the weddings. (Art work via says-it.com/churchsigns.)

I'm just a hopeless romantic. (Art work via says-it.com)

(If you need to take a breath, re-read, digest, grab a snack, that’s OK. I’ll wait here. Still waiting. OK…)

Back to Georgia Tech-Duke, which isn’t nearly as …

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College hoops kings provide rare thrills for Atlanta

Keith Appling celebrates with teammates after sinking a late shot for Michigan State. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Keith Appling celebrates with teammates after hitting late shot for Michigan State. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Kansas, Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky. It was sort of like a Final Four, given the teams and the coaches and the blur of McDonalds and Parade All-Americans who for some reason chose not to attend Georgia or Georgia Tech.

Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Kansas. (Sounds great in any order, doesn’t it?) It was sort of like a Final Four, except without the deciding third game and the fact that it’s November, not April, and that probably not enough people in Atlanta were really paying attention.

Despite the marquee value of the teams, coaches and players, this “Champions Classic” didn’t create significant buzz on the Atlanta sports landscape in the past few days, smothered by all things Bulldogs, Falcons and … well, did you see that David Ross signed with the Red Sox?

What’s it going to take for college basketball to be picked up on local radar?

“It would …

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LIVE: Georgia goes for SEC East clincher against Auburn

Georgia hopes to have something to celebrate on this field when the game ends.

Georgia hopes to have something to celebrate on Auburn's field after tonight's game.

AUBURN, Ala. — Hello, and welcome to something you probably didn’t expect five weeks ago when Georgia got body-slammed at South Carolina: A potential SEC East Division-clinching game against Auburn.

Every trend and statistic says the Bulldogs should win this game. Easily. But if they needed any reminder that anything can happen on a college football Saturday, just check the Florida game.

I stopped at an Auburn tailgating spot to watch a few minutes of Florida’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette, and the Gators were trailing 20-13 with just under four minutes left. I figured, worst-case scenario, Florida ties it and I’ll watch overtime in the press box, so I walked away. But as I walked into the box, the Gators were kicking an extra point following a blocked punt and return for the go-ahead touchdown.

So much for that monumental upset. Nonetheless, it should serve as a monumental warning for the …

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Predictions: Smelly, incompetent, soft Bullldogs win again

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According to legend, and also Wikipedia, my two favorite sources when I have other things to do, the expression, “Eureka!” dates to the Greek scholar Archimedes, who noticed that when he stepped into a bathtub the water level rose and he exclaimed, “Eureka!” because, I dunno, “Wow,” just didn’t sound scholarly. Archimedes then continued this research into volume by seeing what would happen if he sat in a hot tub with five co-eds from Palermo State, but that didn’t work out so good, he lost his grant and now can be found teaching sociology at junior college in Poughkeepsie.

So last week, Georgia punched Florida in the mouth, and I’m certain I heard Mark Richt exclaim, “Eureka! No more Mr. Nice Guy!” See, because I’m sure the Bulldogs played tough because they were angry at being called “soft” by teammate Shawn Williams.

So coddling days are over. This week Richt called in appropriate inspirational speakers to address his players:

"Bring me the broomstick of Nick Saban!"

"Bring me the broomstick of Nick Saban!"

Oz: …

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Radakovich’s exit shows disparity between Tech, Georgia

The financial issues that Dan Radakovich dealt with at Tech won't be an issue at Clemson. (AP photo)

The financial issues that Dan Radakovich dealt with at Tech won't be an issue at Clemson. (AP photo)

It’s almost always about money. There may be other factors in changing jobs: Going back home, returning to an alma mater, or, as Dan Radakovich said Tuesday, having the desire to “get into a collegiate environment. I hadn’t had the opportunity to be in a pure college town.”

A nice sentiment. But primarily it’s still about the money, either what one can make or one can spend.

When Radakovich resigned from the athletic director’s job at Georgia Tech for the same position at Clemson, it said as much about his former employer than his new one. Radakovich won’t have to sell a ticket or plead with donors at Clemson, which is what he had to do at Tech. The pressure for victories and the chase for dollars is greater than ever in college athletes – too great, actually, but that’s a topic for another column – and right now Tech just isn’t all that …

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Georgia Tech stops the bleeding but assumes nothing

It was a much easier day for T.J. Barnes and the Georgia Tech defense. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

It was a much easier day for T.J. Barnes and the Georgia Tech defense. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

The last time Boston College came to Atlanta in 2007, Matt Ryan threw for over 400 yards, Georgia Tech lost and dropped six of its next 10 and Chan Gailey lost his job.

Boston College’s latest season visit to Georgia Tech intersected with a firing again. It was only the defensive coordinator (Al Groh), not the head coach, who lost his job this time. Groh didn’t even make it through October. But if something had gone haywire Saturday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wouldn’t have had anybody left to point a finger at. Serious questions that would’ve seemed implausible after Johnson’s first two seasons would’ve been asked.

Was his program spinning out of control?

Were players, who had followed Johnson’s lead for an ACC championship and 20 wins over 2008 and 2009, now not listening to him?

Was the talent really that bad?

The panic is on hold for now. Georgia Tech crushed …

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Quick hits: Tech defense better, Vad Lee impressive

Redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee finishes off his 24-yard touchdown run. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee finishes off his 24-yard touchdown run. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

I’ll be back with a column on Georgia Tech’s 37-17 victory over Boston College shortly. Until then, here are my three “Quick Hits” on the game:

1. POST-GROH PROGRESS REPORT: OK. Don’t get too excited. Boston College entered the game ranked 79th nationally in total offense and 84th in scoring. And it looked the part.  But the Jackets appeared far less confused for most of four quarters after allowing 42, 49 and 47 points in the previous three games (all losses), which led to Al Groh’s firing. Boston College was held to a lone field goal in its first eight possessions before scoring two second-half touchdowns. So, alas, Tech had some movement in the right direction.

2. VAD LEE MAKES HIS CASE: If redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee wasn’t ready for significant playing time before, he certainly seems to be now. Tech might even have itself a little quarterback controversy. On …

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LIVE: It’s desperation time for Georgia Tech (and defense)

Paul Johnson's team needs to go 4-2 just to get bowl eligible.

Paul Johnson's team needs to scramble in second half of season just to become bowl eligible.

Of all the directions anybody could have expected Georgia Tech would go under coach Paul Johnson, this wasn’t one of them: He is getting involved in the defense.

Johnson fired his second defensive coordinator in 4½ seasons when he canned Al Groh after a 47-31 loss at Clemson two weeks ago. Athletic director Dan Radakovich gave Johnson a vote of confidence following the Groh firing, but Johnson obviously feels some pressure (internally and externally) to turn around the Jackets. They’ve lost three straight since a 56-20 win over Virginia (allowing 138 points in those three games) and have fallen to 1-3 in the ACC.

There is still a chance to salvage something out of this season. The remaining conference games (Boston College today, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke) certainly all are winnable, and BYU next week isn’t overpowering. Georgia is the most difficult game left on the schedule. …

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Weekend Predictions: Bulldogs, Jackets rise from dead

chalk8

Before getting to this week’s expected resurrection, I felt the need to do some research on raising the dead. See, a year ago, Georgia lost its first two games of the season and was declared kaputski, only to win its next 10 games, thereby saving the season, the head coach and all hope for those who embrace the idea of bringing a corpse back to life, particularly in an election year. (”How much for that Lincoln or FDR on the top shelf? Can I at least get a discount on Andrew Jackson with a Kroger Plus Card?)

So here we are again, with the Bulldogs having flat-lined in South Carolina. This prompted some research on what it would take to raise the dead. (Street term: black magic, potions or campaign speeches). This is what I found on SpellsOfMagic.com. (Back off. I’m a journalist.):

This is a job for Dr. Frankstein (pronounced: franken-STEEN).

It's a job for Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced: franken-SHTEEN).

This spell will raise the dead and make them immortal . Don’t use this spell no matter what resion[sic]. There is consequences. …

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