Before launching into this past weekend's escapades in College Football Carolina Style, a couple of addendums to last week.
1 - If you think going to Knoxville to play Tennessee isn't difficult, even when the Vols are having an off year, then you've definitely been smoking some illegal weed. With 110 thousand (or is it a million) screaming psycho hillbillies and yacht owners packed into the biggest football stadium in the South, even when UT is having a dud of a season concentration is a problem. But you've got to hand it to Darth Visor (aka Steve Spurrier), he had his a-game going comedy wise, not to mention doing a fine job of keeping his team's eye on the prize. The best line of the week was delivered by Spurrier to UT coach Phil Fulmer: According to the Ol' Ball Coach, "I told Phil, 'I could come in here and kick his ass with Duke!'" Which he did in '89. Did it numerous times with the Gators. Did it last Saturday with the Gamecocks. It ain't braggin' if you can back it up!
2 - Looks like North Carolina's loss at Miami the previous week wasn't really 'bad' after all. Yes, not a good thing to blow a 16-7 halftime lead, but understandable against the 'Canes. And an 18 point loss in Miami doesn't look so bad compared to what Miami did to then #3 ranked Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Saturday. It was never closer than 0-0. Final score a 27-7 spanking by the Hurricanes -- vaulted them from 6th to 3rd in the AP poll this week.
As for this past Saturday, another road win for OBC (Ol' Ball Coach) on the road (although against a not-so-good Arkansas team that's been struggling this year). South Carolina's now bowl eligible with that 6th win (2 more games to go), so no telling what the final tally will be yet. Just don't bet against 'em.
And don't bet against an improbable run by North Carolina's Tar Heels. For the second time in three weeks the 'Heels played a ranked opponent at home. First time they beat #23 Virginia 7-5. Last Saturday they managed another 2-point win over #19 Boston College. It really wasn't that close: 16-7 until BC scored with less than a minute left. We'll take it though. Next up, Maryland at Chapel Hill. The current "most crucial game in John Bunting's career". Win it and move to 5-4 with 2 games to go -- and one win away from bowl-eligible in a season the experts said would find Carolina lucky to win 2 or 3 games. Go 'Heels!!!!!
Then came Sunday. The Carolina Panthers wax Tampa Bay 34-14, a magnificent completion of a great weekend for "Carolina Football" -- three different ways!
It should also be said I was most pleased to see that old friend and former teammate Rod Broadway got two big presents on Saturday: his North Carolina Central Eagles won the CIAA title with a come-from-behind win over Bowie State, and in the process set a new school record, the first ever 10 win season at NCCU. Way to go, "Funky"! He's a great guy, a terrific coach, and a wonderful representative for his school.