Here comes ACC football

Posted on 08/29/13 No Comments

Sure it’s August, but college football is here, so let’s just call it fall. 

If we were to survey residents of the Triangle on their Top 5 reasons for living here, the odds are well in our favor that college sports would make almost everyone’s list. And after a long summer of beach visits, family vacations, reunions and outdoor concerts, it’s time to tailgate.

The season, for us anyway, kicks off tonight when local school UNC-Chapel Hill takes on an age-old rival in South Carolina, in their place. The game is on ESPN and more than a majority of Triangle TVs will be firmly positioned on the game.

This is the second season for Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora, who introduced us to the region’s first up-tempo offense. His first season was a good one, despite being marred by NCAA sanctions. But he’s done an admirable job of moving the school passed the previous regime’s missteps. Game-wise, expect South Carolina to give the Heels all they can handle. But an “upset” is not out of the question.

Perhaps a more riveting local storyline will be the tale of the tape for NC State and their new coach, Dave Doeren. Like Fedora, Doeren plans a no-huddle-centric O and has aspirations of a tough, sound defense, which is where his coaching experience emanates. No one really knows what to expect from the Wolfpack other than something different from previous coach Tom O’Brien’s more traditional, pro-style offense.

Duke is hoping to get itself into another bowl game after doing so last season for the first time in … well, quite a while. Dave Cutcliffe is by all means a superb football coach with strong SEC ties. While he may not be able to pull in a robust stable of SEC talent to Durham every year, he has managed to import a little. And in the ACC, that may be all it takes.

Perhaps more important than the outcome of this season for each of these teams is what happens before each of their home games. Yes, we mean tailgating.

The first couple of weeks pose some weather challenges as the humidity lingers into mid-September. However, it won’t be long until the cool drafts float into the central part of the state, mixing the smell of BBQ with the spirit of autumn. That’s what it’s all about.

Good luck this season to all the local squads. All we ask is that you at least give us something to look forward to each week.

Other than the tailgate menu.


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