Fall is a Great Time of Year for Sports in the Triangle. Sort of.

Posted on 09/13/10 No Comments
NC State Coach Tom O'Brien grabbed the only win of Triangle-area ACC teams

Coach Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack grabbed the ACCs only Triangle-area win

The neighborhood pools are closing, new backpacks and enthusiasm are in style at the corner bus stops and there is even a hint of burnt orange smoldering in the trees that line the street medians. That’s right, it’s fall. And in the Triangle area of North Carolina, with fall comes college football. And lots of it.

Our area is essentially the heart of the Atlantic Coast Conference and yes, we’re well aware that primarily, it’s a basketball conference, a fact that the entire nation once again arrived at after last weekend’s collective performance. In pictures, one could summarize the weekend’s results thusly.

While Miami managed to stumble into the end zone a few times against the Big Ten’s Ohio State, it was largely a one-sided affair on behalf of the Buckeyes. Florida State—highly over-rated to begin with—was basically used as a cleat-cleaner by Oklahoma. The Jimbo Fisher era isn’t an era yet. Bobby Bowden loves it.

Along I-40, UNC-Chapel Hill was on a bye preparing for Georgia Tech, which lost to Kansas, another basketball school, which lost last week to a I-AA team. Ouch. Paul Johnson may need another option. In addition to practicing to defend the Yellow Jacket’s nap-inducing option running attack, UNC is deep into the film room studying “Jersey Shore” episodes in an effort to learn how to better conduct themselves when off the field.

NC State, however,  managed a win over the University of Central Florida because of (and we swear we are not making this up) its defense! Seriously. While not a nationally relevant win by any stretch, it helped alleviate, at least momentarily, the perpetual state of paranoia that pervades the Pack populous. Hey State fans, maybe, just maybe, a couple weeks will go by without unfounded discussion of why you need a new coach.

On the flip side, anything but defense was played in the Wake Forest-Duke game. If you want to argue some D was played, you are best served to posit that it was done so by Duke on behalf of Wake, as the Blue Devils insisted on turning over the ball every time it had a chance to gain control of the game. Minus the 16 or so turnovers, Duke looked like the better team. But reality is always found on the scoreboard. Nice win for Wake.

Now, the absolute worst performance of the weekend in the ACC falls without question on the shoulders of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Hokies, who clearly hate pre-season expectations and we’re held up as a signature win for Boise State’s hopes of becoming “the other woman” in the ESPN and BCS love affair, were put to the chopping block by James Madison University. Yes: James. Madison. University. Oh, and lest we forget to douse some vinegar on the Hokies’ decapitation: it was played at home! Enter Sandman, indeed.

So, as we said, fall is here and it’s a terrific time of year for sports in the Triangle. But not as good as winter. At least we have tailgating.

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