Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Tarheels’

2009 CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Week 4

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 hosted by — as you might imagine — CBS Sports.

Week 4

Through 19 September 2009

First things first…

No, I have not abandoned the Gate.  No, I am not dead.  No, I have not defected and become a Florida Gators fan.  I have, however, had more on my plate the last few weeks than I really could possibly hope to keep up with.  Thus, I have had to make concessions here and there.  Regular posting on the Gate (as well as commenting across the web) has been one of those areas.  Between trials, funerals, and trips from one end of the State of North Carolina to the other, I have simply been trying to keep my head above water.  To both of you out there who regularly read the Gate, my apologies.  To those of you who accidentally stumbled upon Gate 21 while searching the web for a place from which you could purchase Viagra, well, you’re in the wrong place, but I’ll apologize nonetheless.

Moving right along…

There were a few surprises over the past week in the world of college football, some which I simply did not see coming and others which, while not expected can hardly be said to be earth shattering.  Bearing this in mind, here’s is my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot for the week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here’s my preliminary ballot:

My Ballot for the Week
Rank Team Delta
1 Florida
2 Texas 1
3 Penn State 1
4 Alabama 1
5 California 2
6 Mississippi
7 LSU 2
8 Miami (Florida) 2
9 Boise State 1
10 Oklahoma 1
11 Southern Cal 9
12 TCU
13 Ohio State 2
14 Iowa 2
15 Pittsburgh 2
16 UCLA 3
17 Georgia 1
18 Notre Dame 2
19 Virginia Tech 4
20 Kansas 1
21 Oklahoma State 1
22 Nebraska 8
23 Cincinnati 1
24 Florida State NR
25 Michigan NR
Last week’s ballot
Dropped Out: Brigham Young (#13), Utah (#25).

Explanations after the jump…

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2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…


bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

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Back from wherever it is that I have been, including Home Depot

No, I didn’t quit writing, join the circus, get attacked by Somali Pirates, or decide to take up ad hoc piloting of random airplanes falling pilotless from the sky.  I just decided that it was time for a few days off.  This was due to a number of things.  First there was the fact that—after the conclusion of the Final Four—there wasn’t much to talk about last week.  Secondly, I have been working on trying to get a few things done which, hopefully, will improve a few things here at the Gate in anticipation of football season (and I do really hope that this is the case).  Furthermore, my non-blogging life has required that I do things other than fixate upon football season which, according to the tell-tale little widget over on the right sidebar (that’s this way right arrow for those of you who are directionally challenged), is still more than 140 days off.  Finally, there were three big points which put me in bit of a funk, one which I decided to wallow in for a day or so, those points are as follows:

Pretty much sums up my luck...

  1. Florida Gators, National Champions;
  2. North Carolina Tarheels, National Champions; and
  3. Connecticut Huskies, National Champions.

I guess 2008-09 just wasn’t meant to be my year.  So it goes…

Anyway, all of that said, here I am back again with a number of stream of consciousness observations that I wanted to chase down, and now seems as good a time as any…

Who knew that Home Depot was a hotbed of College Football Conflict…

I live in Eastern North Carolina, I am within 20 miles of the University of North Carolina (a/k/a “Tarhead U”), Duke University, and NC State University.  I am anywhere but in the heart of SEC country and quite a distance from anything resembling real football.  The closest team of consequence would probably be the Carolina Panthers, which is not exactly the same thing.  For this reason, I was a bit surprised this weekend at a brief exchange I had in the parking lot of my local purveyor of all things home improvement related:  Home Depot.

Home DepotMy goal was simple: collect 18 bags of mulch for the yard.  My mind was focused on trying to figure out if there was a way to get out of spending the rest of the weekend playing with wood chips and was less than attuned to matters related to football.  I had already dumped 12 bags of the stuff, and thus was less than cognizant of my “yard hat” which has “Tennessee” emblazoned upon it in letters which could be read from across the room … a large room.

Thus, I was a bit taken aback when I stepped out of my truck to a firm and slightly louder than it should have been greeting from a man in a jeep with a huge-ish Gator head on the spare tire cover:

BOOOOOOO!!  Kiffin!

Again, not fully in command of my football fightin’ instincts at the moment, the best response I could muster was a thumbs up in my heckler’s direction, paired with a wink, and a half-perplexed “How ‘bout ‘cha?!

The point of this seemingly inane tale of my trip to the hardware store (ahem, “Home Improvement Warehouse”) is not meant to warn of the pitfalls attending minor maintenance tasks, to assail Home Depot’s loyalties (I know they are based out of Atlanta, but their colors are orange and white, after all), or to provide a convenient excuse for getting out of those “Honey-Do” lists.  It’s far more subtle than that…

Lane Kiffin is in the Gators’ heads.

At least in my semi-unbalanced mind, my harmless little weekend run-in—paired with the profusion of “Tennessee” signs seen in the video posted by HSH—it seems that Kiffin’s little barbs have hit their mark far beyond the confines East Tennessee.  Some of the Gator faithful agree.  Of course, as the Hoopmaster General discovered, the sparring does come at a bit of price in the form of craziness from the less than sane and those with an axe to grind (or a deadline to meet). Still, as John Pennington pointed out the Blackjack General’s messages are not simply confined to sound bites and quips, but are rapidly approaching the point of real tangible substance.

With no disrespect to Coach Fulmer, I’m betting that in April 2008 my assailant says nothing at all.

I like it!

Moving Right Along … to the Orange & White Game

It’s Spring Football Time in Tennessee!

Yes, you can get a small football fix this weekend by attending the Orange & White Game, scheduled to start at 3:00 at Neyland Stadium.  All sorts of information on the game is available over at UT Sports.com.  Tickets are $5.00 and all proceeds will go to benefit UT’s Hodges Library.  Besides, when else can you get to see the Vols play for $5.00?

For those of you planning on attending the game, I would encourage you to consider meeting up with the guys from Rocky Top Talk who will be meeting in front of the hallowed ground of the Real Gate 21 on Saturday, for more information check out the faux-schedule for the meet-up.  Sorry to disappoint everyone, but Joel, Hooper, and Will will not be signing autographs, but many of the 2009 Vols will be, so don’t get too upset.

On a more substantive note, the Spring Outlook / Team Breakdown is now available for download as well PDF Document.  It is full of stats and perspectives on the squad coming into the Orange & White game.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but hope to find somewhere to catch the game on the web.  The Orange & White Game is sponsored by Dish Network, however, apparently it will not be televised anywhere, including Dish Network.

Either way, this is the best chance for Orange Nation to get a glimpse of the new look Vols…

Finally, an amazing story from the non-sports world worth giving a look…

“Are you using the autopilot, or are you flying the airplane?”

• Southwest Florida Int’l Air Traffic Control

Me and the Good Lord’s Hands are flying this one…

• Airplane Passenger, Doug White

Those are not words you like to hear from a pilot trying to guide a plane in for landing, but that is what airplane passenger Doug White had to say during his brush with fate earlier this week.  If you haven’t heard about this story, you really should check out the article posted at CNN.com.  White, along with his family were flying home to Louisiana on a twin engine plane when the pilot unexpectedly died shortly after taking off from Fort Meyers, Florida.  There was no co-pilot on board.  As a result, White—who had flying experience, but only in single engine planes—was forced to land the plane on his own.

Fortunately, with the assistance of Air Traffic controllers, White managed to land the plane safely.

For me, the audio recording of White’s conversation with the tower are particularly compelling.  The FAA released the audio recording earlier today.  It is a little on the long side and has several periods of extended silence (5-10 seconds), but giving it a listen will remind you just how great it is to be alive.  From the tension and relief in White’s voice near the end of the recording, I am pretty sure that he is glad.  Seriously, if you have a few minutes give the full recording a listen.

AUDIO:  N559DW — Emergency Landing at Southwest Florida Int’l Airport (Ft. Myers, FL)  |  FAA.gov

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

That one makes my birthday seem like a blessing…

– So it goes…About Lawvol


Image(s) Courtesy ofUTAD / UT Sports.com •  Home Depot / The Auto Blog ||  Audio Courtesy ofFederal Aviation Administration ||   Statement on Fair Use

Death to the Smurfs (UNC), Go Spartans!!!

I will be the first to acknowledge that both the blogosphere and the internet in general are full of vitriol directed toward various teams.  Any team that has ever enjoyed any success whatsoever has something written about it which drips of the sort of steaming hatred that accompanies sports rivalries great and small.  Most of the time these flaming rants come from fans of teams that are either rivals (or wish they were rivals) of the object of the spewing hatred.

This post is a flaming rant.  It is not, however, aimed at a traditional rival of the Tennessee Volunteers.  Furthermore, while it amounts to little more than a creative rationalization on my part, I feel that I have earned my bitching license on this one since — in addition to being a graduate of the University of Tennessee — I am also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I despise the Tarheels Tarheads

From 1998 until 2001, I attended “trade school” at UNC.  For the record, I got a wonderful education at the UNC School of Law, and have nothing but good things to say about the educational aspects of that institution.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, UNC School of Law is an excellent institution with a fine faculty.  Second, as is the case at most professional and graduate schools, most of the students at UNC School of Law did their undergraduate work elsewhere.

See, I said something nice about UNC…

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2008 CBS Sports BlogPoll Ballot: Week 13

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll hosted by—as you might imagine—CBS Sports.

Week 13

Through 22 November 2008

Well, while my Top 10 remained fairly stable (with the notable exception of the Texas Tech Red Raiders), nearly the entire field in the backend of my ballot from last week managed to lose over the weekend (6 teams from 15-25).  It looks like things are tightening up down the stretch, and we can now begin to see where the teams will land for the bowl season.  Most of my votes should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is my preliminary BlogPoll Top 25 for this week:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1
Alabama
2
Florida 1
3
Oklahoma 1
4
Texas 1
5
Southern Cal 1
6
Missouri 1
7
Utah 2
8
Boise State
9
Ohio State 1
10
Penn State 1
11
Texas Tech 9
12
Ball State
13
Oklahoma State
14
Georgia
15
TCU 4
16
Cincinnati 5
17
Oregon State 5
18
Northwestern 7
19
Oregon 5
20
Boston College 6
21
Michigan State 4
22
Pittsburgh 6
23
Brigham Young 8
24
Florida State 2
25
Mississippi 1

Dropped Out: North Carolina (#18), LSU (#20), Maryland (#23).

Explanations after the jump…

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2008 CBS Sports BlogPoll Ballot: Week 12

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll hosted by—as you might imagine—CBS Sports.

Week 12

Through 15 November 2008

Things are really tightening up as we head into the last few weeks of the 2008 College Football Season. This week is the first week in over a month where the Top-10 managed to keep it together. Thus, most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is my preliminary BlogPoll Top 25 for this week:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1 Alabama
2 Texas Tech
3 Florida 1
4 Oklahoma 1
5 Texas
6 Southern Cal
7 Missouri
8 Boise State
9 Utah
10 Ohio State
11 Penn State 1
12 Ball State 1
13 Oklahoma State 3
14 Georgia
15 Brigham Young
16 Pittsburgh 1
17 Michigan State 1
18 North Carolina 7
19 TCU
20 LSU
21 Cincinnati 2
22 Oregon State 4
23 Maryland 3
24 Oregon 2
25 Northwestern 1

Dropped Out: South Carolina (#21), Florida State (#22), Virginia Tech (#24), Tulsa (#25).

Explanations after the jump…

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2008 CBS Sports BlogPoll Ballot: Week 11

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll hosted by—as you might imagine—CBS Sports.

Week 11

Through 08 November 2008

Things stay interesting this week, but Penn State and Iowa may have helped keep the BCS committee from facing a repeat of last year’s debacle. Thus, here is my preliminary BlogPoll Top 25 for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here’s my ballot:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1
Alabama
2
Texas Tech
3
Oklahoma 1
4
Florida 1
5
Texas 2
6
Southern Cal
7
Missouri 1
8
Boise State 4
9
Utah
10
Ohio State 3
11
North Carolina 6
12
Penn State 9
13
Ball State 2
14
Georgia 4
15
Brigham Young 1
16
Oklahoma State 6
17
Pittsburgh 2
18
Michigan State 4
19
TCU 8
20
LSU 6
21
South Carolina 5
22
Florida State 4
23
Cincinnati 3
24
Virginia Tech 2
25
Tulsa 1

Dropped Out: California (#20), Georgia Tech (#21), Northwestern (#23), Minnesota (#24), Maryland (#25).

Explanations after the jump…

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