Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:57 am
 

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 3/21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Monday, our weekly Recruiting Review recaps the past week's top headlines from our sister blog, Bryan Fischer's Eye on Recruiting . Enjoy:
  • Weekend before last, a BadgerSports 7-on-7 event on the campus of USF brought out of some of the top athletes in Florida; Eye on Recruiting has your rundown of the standouts . Shifty, explosive running back Alton "Pig" Brown was the headliner, and looks poised to continue the recent run of highly-ranked all-purpose backs out of central Florida. Highlights of the event are available here .
  • Not even the pull of in-state Texas could keep Denton defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. from following in his father's footsteps by committing to Florida State. Edwards' father, Mario Sr., starred at cornerback for Bobby Bowden's Seminoles in the 1990s.
  • Is the class of 2011 finally, officially put to bed now? Maybe, after Palmdale (Calif.) defensive end Steve Dillon at long last signed his letter-of-intent with USC. Dillon became the 31st member of Lane Kiffin's supersized '11 class.
  • Part of this morning's roundup of recruiting news included the news that Jadeveon Clowney is "on track" to qualify ... but that his academics are shaky enough that it's far from a done deal just yet. South Carolina fans shouldn't get off of their pins and needles just yet.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did.
Posted on: March 14, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Brandon Willis is officially a Tar Heel, again

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Brandon Willis was originally a member of North Carolina's 2010 recruiting class, but only after originally committing to Tennessee and changing his mind when Lane Kiffin left for USC. After losing his mother while still in high school, Willis' father lost his job and found a new one in southern California. Not wanting to be separated from his father after losing his mother, Willis announced last August that he was leaving North Carolina to transfer to UCLA.

Then, seven days ago, Willis announced he was leaving UCLA. This time his grandmother is ailing, and once again Brandon is on the move. While it's been rumored for a week now, North Carolina made it official with a release on Monday saying that Willis was returning to Chapel Hill.

“Brandon lost his mother in high school and is very close with his grandmother, who lives in Burlington and is battling health issues,” head coach Butch Davis said in a statement. “He and his father wanted to move back to the East coast to be with her.  There were no hard feelings when Brandon originally left and when he inquired about the possibility of returning, we welcomed him back.”

Of course, since Willis transferred last season, he had to sit out the entire 2010 season. Now that he's transferring again, he may have to sit out a second straight year. North Carolina will submit a waiver to the NCAA asking to grant Willis immediate eligibility, and given the nature of his latest transfer, there's a chance that the NCAA will allow it.
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 6:21 pm
 

2011 ACC regular season schedule released

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ACC lost their chance at one of their last big recruits of 2011 when Jadeveon Clowney left Clemson hanging at the altar on Monday morning.  Perhaps a reason to sweat that matchup with the Tigers a little bit less.  Go ahead and start projecting your favorite team's win count, because the 2011 regualar season schedules were released today.

OBSERVATIONS

- As recently as last week, there was buzz about Florida State and Miami opening their seasons with a primetime showdown on Labor Day in Tallahassee.  We mentioned some of the scheduling complications, and one of those reasons likely kept the game from making the final slate.  Instead new coach Randy Edsall and the Maryland Terrapins will host Miami on Labor Day evening, facing a Miami team also in their first year under new head coach Al Golden.  The two relocated coaches will provide a decent storyline for the national media, and it will provide the stage for Maryland to make a statement in 2011.

- Many people believe that Ralph Friedgen left the pieces for a bright future under Randy Edsall, and the Terps will have a chance to prove their worth in the first month of the season.  Maryland does not have to leave College Park until October 8, and there will be several opportunities for big wins in that first month.  In addition to the home opener against Miami on Labor Day, West Virginia and a Steve Addazio-led Temple squad should both be good tests for the new look squad.  I think Maryland is a team to keep an eye on in 2011, but we'll know for sure by the end of the September.  

- Dabo Swinney pulled several big wins for Clemson on the recruiting trail in early 2011, but the Tigers may find wins more difficult near the start of their regular season schedule.  After hosting Troy and Wofford, Clemson faces Auburn (defending National Champion), Florida State (defending ACC runner-up), and travels to Virginia Tech (defending ACC champion) with no break between games.  Swinney has some fresh faces on staff and one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, but with that schedule the new talent may not be able to prevent a 2-3 start for Clemson.   


PREMATURE PREDICTION

- If Florida State can upset Oklahoma and beat Clemson in Death Valley, they will be in the national title hunt on November 1.  The Seminoles have already been slated by many as a Preseason Top 10 team already, and knocking off the Sooners will be a fast way to jump up a few spots.  After Clemson (and an open date), Florida State will face Wake Forest, Duke, then host Maryland and N.C. State.  Under Jimbo Fisher's leadership, the Seminoles could start 8-0.  But Oklahoma should be very tough to beat in the coming season, and there are very few free road wins in the ACC.  But if Florida State can pull off both wins, they should be a national contender as the season winds down.

Click here to see the .PDF from the Atlantic Coast Conference



Posted on: February 13, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Mark Emmert talks NCAA transparency, Cam Newton

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Mark Emmert is only four months into his tenure as the NCAA President, but he's already had quite a bit on his plate in that short amount of time. Between the dealings between agents and players at places like North Carolina, the Cam Newton investigation, and the suspension of several Ohio State players, there have been a lot of rulings by the NCAA during his tenure and a lot of confusion about those rulings.

So with that in mind, Emmert met with a group of AP sports editors at IUPUI on Saturday night. There Emmert stressed that transparency is critical to the future of the NCAA, and that he hopes the NCAA and media can work together in the future. He also shared plans for holding a mock hearing in which the media would be allowed to participate and ask questions.

Of course, no discussion between the media and Emmert about transparency could finish without Emmert being asked about the Cam Newton case

"We try hard to get it right every time," Emmert said. "Getting it right is often in the eye of the beholder. The cases we saw this fall were highly controversial and highly debatable. I understand that, and some of them were even enormously frustrating to me.

"I said very loud and clear that I think it's absolutely a fundamentally wrong for a father to try to sell the services of his son or daughter to the highest bidder, to a university. We ought never to allow that to happen, but yet, having not anticipated that, we didn't have any rule or structure that said it was a violation of any of our rules. I found that grossly inappropriate that didn't have a structure in which we could say, 'No, you can't do that.'

"There was no evidence that money had changed hands and there was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with it. We would up making a decision that felt to many people morally objectionable, but that fit the facts and the circumstances.

"We find ourselves making those kinds of judgment calls often."

Newton, of course, was suspended for a day but never missed any games and Auburn went on to win the national championship with him at quarterback. Looking at it now, though, it's still hard to believe that the NCAA didn't have any rules in place for a parent selling their child to the highest bidder. Considering all the shady dealings that have taken place with player recruitment in the past, it's hard to imagine that nobody ever saw this type of thing coming.
Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:31 pm
 

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I suppose we could call it the Music City Rule. When Tennessee and North Carolina played in the Music City Bowl, the Tar Heels spiked the ball with one second left on the clock to set up a game-tying field goal. The problem was that the Tar Heels had too many men on the field and were penalized for their transgression.

Though there are plenty of Tennessee fans who don't feel the Heels were penalized enough, as North Carolina would then tie the game and go on to win in double-overtime. Well, here's some news that may come as solace for those Vols fans who were twice vandalized by too many men on the field and too much time on the clock this season. The NCAA is considering adding a 10-second run off rule.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended that penalties which occur in the last minute of both halves, and stops the game clock, inlude a 10-second runoff of the clock -- just like the NFL does it.
The opponent would have the option to take the penalty yardage with the 10-second rundown, take the penalty without the rundown to preserve the time remaining, or decline both the rundown and the penalty yardage. The clock would restart when the ball is marked ready for play.
"The idea is to prevent a team from gaining an advantage by committing a foul to stop the clock," Rogers Redding, secretary-rules editor of the committee, said in an NCAA news release announcing the proposals.
There are other rule changes in the offing as well. The NCAA is looking to make blocking below the waist illegal unless you're on the line of scrimmage within seven yards of the center -- read: linemen -- or a receiver or running back in certain situations. It'll also now be illegal to line up three defensive players shoulder-to-shoulder over one offensive lineman on placekicks.

The intentional grounding rule may also be amended. Where as it currently sits, a play was deemed intentional grounding if the quarterback's "pass" to his receiver wasn't reasonably catchable. It seems that will be changed to the receiver just needs to be in the "area." What exactly the "area" is, I don't know.

Also, while it isn't a rule change, the NCAA also plans on monitoring the number of helmets that come off during play next season in an effort to see if any changes will need to be made in the future.
Posted on: February 9, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2011 3:11 pm
 

UNC loses another D-line coach

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's something for you to ponder: which job has a shorter shelf life these days? Being Georgia's mascot, or coaching the defensive line at North Carolina? It seems like each gig is trying to one-up its counterpart. North Carolina makes the latest move with today's news that Brian Baker is leaving North Carolina to take a position with the Dallas Cowboys.

Baker just became the the defensive line coach in Chapel Hill four weeks ago, and he's the third person to have the job since the beginning of the 2010 season. Call it the Curse of John Blake if you like, because he was the man who had held on to the job before his dealings with agent Gary Wichard brought so many headaches to the Tar Heels earlier this season.

Charlie Coiner was the coach between both Baker and Blake.

As for why Baker is leaving, though he was hired four weeks ago, apparently he never signed a contract with the school. Then the Cowboys came along and made him an offer that included a "huge difference" in salaries, and he couldn't turn it down. Baker also said that his dream is still to be a college head coach some day, but he believes that going to Dallas will only help him achieve that dream.

Then there's the money, too. That doesn't hurt either.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 12:15 pm
 

UNC's Blue arrested for DWI

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that National Signing Day has passed, we can all get back to College Players Getting In Trouble With The Law Season. Today we turn our attention to North Carolina sophomore running back A.J. Blue, who was arrested on Sunday morning. Blue was charged with driving while impaired, driving with an open container of alcohol and failure to maintain lane control.

As we all know, with any running back, lane control is vital to success. Pick the wrong lane and a 15-yard gain can become a 2-yard loss.

According to police, Blue's blood alcohol level was found to be 0.12. His court date is set for March 7.

Blue did let the team know of his arrest, and team spokesman Kevin Best said that any discipline will be handled internally. Blue played in six games for the Tar Heels in 2009, but missed the rest of the season after tearing his MCL, PCL and ACL.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 10:56 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Bowl Edition)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Florida State is an early favorite for 2011
- After dropping back-to-back games to North Carolina State and at home to North Carolina, Florida State looked like they had not completely shaken the consistency issues that have plagued the Seminoles in the last couple of seasons. In order to have a shot at the ACC title, Florida State would need to win out the final month of their ACC schedule. Not only did first-year coach Jimbo Fisher get his team to the ACC Championship Game, but they put up an impressive performance against Virginia Tech then followed it with a convincing win over South Carolina, the champions of the SEC East.

If one of the chief concerns for the Seminoles in 2011 is replacing Christian Ponder, then fans should feel very confident in their chances with E.J. Manuel at the helm. Manuel filled in for Ponder on three different occasions near the end of the season, culminating with his Chick Fil-A Bowl performance that helped seal the 26-17 win for Florida State. Additionally, all three of Florida State's top rushers (who combined collected 1,863 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns) are all returning next season. Florida State not only looks like an early ACC favorite, but perhaps a national favorite as well heading into the 2011 season.

2. If Russell Wilson is done, he went out in style - Russell Wilson was assumed to be as good as gone by many at the conclusion of the 2010 season. The junior quarterback has already been drafted by the Colorado Rockies, is engaged, and would be able to graduate in May if he chooses to do so. But after N.C. State's 23-7 victory over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl, Wilson hinted that he may have interest in playing football professionally as well.

"I want to be a starting quarterback in the NFL one day, and I want to be a starting second baseman in Major League Baseball one day," Wilson said to reporters after the game. "No matter what, I work my butt off every day to try to be the best and that's my mindset."

The January 15 deadline to declare for the NFL draft has come and gone, and if Wilson decides he wants to rejoin the Wolfpack after participating with the Rockies in Spring Training he will still have that option. Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker did the same thing heading into the 2010 season with the Tigers. However, if Wilson decides to join the Rockies and start cashing in on his baseball career, he will wrapped up his college football career with a nearly flawless 275 yard, 2 touchdown, 0 interception performance that earned him Champs Sports Bowl MVP honors.

3. Virginia Tech can't shake the big game curse - The Hokies have been incredibly dominant in the ACC since joining the conference in 2004, but they have struggled to match that superiority with big-time wins on the national level. Virginia Tech has won the conference title four times in the last seven years, and appeared in four of the six ACC Championship Games. But against teams ranked in the top 5 nationally, the Hokies are 1-27 all-time and 1-19 during Frank Beamer's tenure in Blacksburg. Many figured that the Orange Bowl would be a chance for the Hokies to shake the stigma of failing to perform against top teams, and at halftime it looked like they might have a chance to pull the upset.

But in the second half Andrew Luck picked apart Bud Foster's defense while Stanford held Tyrod Taylor and the Virginia Tech offense scoreless while the Cardinal ran away with the 40-12 victory. However, it is important that Hokies fans don't dwell on the failures against the top 5 heading into 2011. With the kind of turnover Virginia Tech is expecting on both sides of the ball, defending their conference title will be a difficult task on its own.

4. ACC Coastal dropped the ball - This is more of a season-long lesson, but the ACC Coastal continued to be the less impressive division through the end of the bowl season. In the preseason polls, there five ACC teams in the Top 25, with four highest ranked teams (Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina) all coming from the Coastal Division. Not only did the balance of power appear to shift towards the Atlantic Division during the season, the bowl records from the postseason also indicate that the Atlantic may be the superior division.

Coastal teams went 1-3 during the postseason, with only North Carolina squeaking out their double overtime win over Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. The Atlantic, on the other hand, saw Florida State, Maryland, and N.C. State all pick up impressive victories in their bowl games. With the talent that Florida State and Maryland are bringing back, it would be surprising to see the media side with a new division heading into the 2011 season.

5. Ralph Friedgen left Randy Edsall a winning squad - Friedgen had an emotion al final game as Maryland's head coach, as his team bludgeoned ECU 51-20 in the Military Bowl. The players dedicated the beatdown to their head coach on his way out, capping off an impressive finish to the season that saw the Terps climb one game away from an ACC Championship Game appearance. But the time has come and gone for Ralph Friedgen fans to be upset with his dismissal from Maryland. Former Connecticut coach Randy Edsall has been hired, and the Terps are moving forward. What Friedgen did leave was a young and talented Maryland squad that will be a real threat in 2010. Edsall was a safe hire for athletic director Kevin Anderson, and the former Huskies head coach brought in some firepower with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

The last couple seasons have not been pleasant for Crowton, catching the blame from LSU fans for an offense that ranked near the bottom of the SEC in 2009 and 2010. But he saw his most successful season in his first year with Matt Flynn under center, and Terps fans will hope that a talented quarterback like ACC Freshman of the Year Danny O'Brien will recreate that success of the 2007 LSU offense under Crowton's direction.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com