Jun 5 2012

Regional Champs!

If you know me or have followed this blog long enough you know I was on the NC State baseball team during my time at State. More specifically I was a walk on catcher on the 2000 and 2001 teams, which unfortunately were two of the worst seasons in Elliott Avent’s 16 year tenure at State. In 2001 we did make a run to the Championship Game of the ACC Tournament. The night before the game I stayed up visualizing winning that game and piling up on the field in celebration over and over, something I had long dreamed of doing in my baseball playing days.

Sadly I never got to fulfill that dream as Wake beat us 17-4, a game that still burns at me, but last night I was a very proud alum as I watched the 2012 Pack Baseball team celebrate (photo by Travis Long/N&O) their stunning comeback to beat Vandy and win the Raleigh Regional. Now on to Gainesville where #1 national seed Florida is the last obstacle in our way to Omaha and the College World Series. Congrats Pack Nine!!! Keep it going!!!

Sep 23 2010

Rocky Top

Rocky Top you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ole Rocky Top, Wooooooo
Rocky Top, Tennessee.

I have to say Rocky Top is a pretty cool song that can definitely get stuck in your head.  Like when you take a trip to a Tennessee Vols football game which me and a few buddies did this past Saturday.  There was no NC State football game, since we played on Thursday night, so this sounded like a great idea.  We had a Florida grad with us so he was going to root on the Gators, but I was going to watch some SEC football, check out Neyland Stadium, and experience Tennessee football & it’s traditions.

I had been to Tennessee several times before, but never for a football game.  Neyland Stadium is a wonderful setting to watch college football.  It sits right on the banks of the Tennessee River where the Vol Navy gathers on gamedays.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to experience the Vol Navy firsthand, but it is one of the coolest things in college football so I might have to work on a return trip so I can be an honorary member for a day.  Neyland is the 3rd largest college football stadium in the country behind Michigan Stadium (109,901) and Beaver Stadium (107,282) with a listed capacity of 102,459.  Saturday 102,455 people were there to watch the Vols enter the stadium by running through the T.  It’s nuances like this that makes college football the great sport that it is.

Running Through the T

With the stadium right in the middle of campus, the tailgating was scattered.  We met up and tailgated with some family.  They weren’t my family, but they became my family for the day.  We were in a quaint, friendly parking deck about a block off Cumberland Ave.  When we first arrived I wasn’t thrilled about tailgating in a deck, but being out of the sun was extremely nice on this scorching hot day so it worked out perfectly.  We had several TVs right around us that were showing all the games going on so we had plenty to watch.  We also had plenty to eat with a great spread that included sausage balls, spinach dip, brownies, pepperoni rolls, and maybe the best beef brisket I’ve ever eaten.  It was so tender and the sauce was absolute money.  I’m still hoping to get that recipe so I can add it to my Carter-Finley tailgating rotation.

There were a lot of extra curricular activities going on around the tailgate too so it was far from being a dull day.  We had a Knoxville policeman bring over some applie pie moonshine (no lie).  The same policeman even roughed me up and put me in some orange handcuffs.  Of course, it was all just for fun.  I also got a chance to hear some interesting stories from a retired Secret Service agent and see a lady pull down her pants and show her underwear which read “Hey You, Call Me.”  I’m pretty sure the message wasn’t for me because I never got her number.  She was the retired Secret Service agent’s wife anyway so probably best to leave that alone or risk disappearing off the face of the earth or something.  All in all it was a very fun, interesting day.

Don’t worry, this has not turned into a Tennessee Vols football blog.  I’ll be back talking NC State football tomorrow.  We do play Tennessee in Atlanta for the 2012 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic so in addition to a fun trip I was trying to do some recon work.  Not really, but that sounded good.  Maybe I’ll try to do this once a year.  I’d love to visit LSU, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, Texas A&M, USC, Penn State, Oregon, Nebraska, and Auburn so we’ll see.

Sep 18 2010

Week 3 Picks

It’s time for DFCF the Greek’s week 3 college football picks. I’m still struggling with a 1-5 record, but last week I was 1-2 so that’s at least an improvement over week one so I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this. Let’s get to ‘em.

ECU (+20.5) at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech has struggled and ECU has been impressive so this looks like a trap line, but I’m gonna play it anyway.

Baylor (+21) at TCU

This is another line that looks too good to be true, but I have faith that Baylor QB Robert Griffin III will keep the Bears close enough all by himself.

Florida (-13.5) at Tennessee

DFCF will be in attendance at this game and sitting in the Gators section so I want to give myself something to pull for.

Season Record: 1-5

My leans are struggling too, but here’s a few anyway: Notre Dame (+3.5), Kansas State (-3.5), Texas Tech (+3), Auburn (-7), Georgia Tech (+3). Good luck!

Sep 3 2010

Week 1 Picks

I’m staggering around the office today with a little college football hangover.  How glorious!  The season has finally begun.  Well it’s Friday and that means time for my new feature … DFCF the Greek.  Let me get the disclaimer out of the way.  Gambling is illegal so this is for entertainment purposes only. *wink*wink*  I’m not responsible if you lose (or win) money so if you choose to follow these picks you do so at your own risk.  Let’s get to the picks.

Oregon State vs TCU (-13.5) at Cowboys Stadium

This smells like a trap line to me.  Vegas put out a high number to get the public to pound the Oregon State side and so far that’s exactly what has happened (68% on the Beavers).  Oregon State does have the dynamic Rodgers brothers, but they’re also breaking in a new QB that I think will struggle against this stout TCU Defense.  I do worry a little about a backdoor cover, but I think the Frogs want to prove they are BCS worthy.

Colorado at Colorado State (+11.5)

I love taking home dogs in general, but especially in rivalry games.  This series has actually been very good recently.  It’s been full of close, competitive games and the underdog is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings.  The Buffaloes are a great team to play as a dog, but laying points with them is not a smart move.

Miami (OH) at Florida (-36.5)

I absolutely hate laying that many points, but this just seems like easy money.  Miami (OH) is a very bad team that only won one game last year.  Florida may have lost All-Everything Tim Tebow, but his replacement John Brantley is pretty good.  Urban Meyer will keep his foot on the gas pedal to boost Brantley’s stats and confidence going forward.

That’s my top 3 picks and here are my 5 strongest leans:  Missouri (-12), Purdue (+11), Oklahoma (-33.5), Cincinnati (+2), Virginia Tech (+1.5).  Good luck!

Aug 18 2010

Road Trippin’

Last year I attended every State football game for the first time ever (missed one game in both 2002 and 2003 and two games in 2004). It was fairly easy with 8 home games and only 4 road games. Since I missed the 2008 Papajohns.com Bowl my consecutive games attended streak is currently at 12. I’m no Dewey Corn (yet), but it’s still fun to be there every week living and dying with the Pack and good Lord willing I’ll be there for all 12 (13?) again this year. It will be a lot tougher to pull off with 6 road games and 2 of the 6 home games being on Thursday nights, but I’m still young with no kids so I can do stuff like this. Not that it’s going to change when I do have kids, I just thought that sounded good.  On top of that is that fact that I don’t get to see Mrs. DFCF too much since she’s busy doing that whole Doctor thing so I need something to keep me occupied.

Heck I’m even adding in trips to Knoxville, Tennessee on September 18 to watch the Vols-Gators, to Boone on October 30 to see App St.-Furman, and then my shortest trip of the season to Bank of America Stadium here in Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game. There’s even been some talk with some of my buddies here in Charlotte about a trip to Morgantown, West Virginia but I have my doubts that one will happen. If it does happen it would have to be October 23 vs. Syracuse for it to fit in my schedule. Regardless it’s going to be a busy fall for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And speaking of road trips that brings me to the final thing I have planned for the website this season.

It’s going to be called “Road Trippin’ w/ DFCF.” Of course I’ll have stories like in the past, but with my spiffy new iPhone 4 I plan to add some video too. That is if I can edit it down to a PG-13 level. Mama DFCF is one of my loyal readers so I don’t want to embarrass her too much more than I already do. I’m also going to hit up and review some of the local food staples at each school so if you have suggestions let me know. This next idea came up while thinking about some of my past road trip experiences and the vast majority seemed to always involve me and my buddies getting into it with UNC fans no matter where we were. No kidding, those pathetic bandwagon fans are everywhere. So my goal this year is to find somebody at all of our away games wearing UNC gear and get their picture.

So I may be crazy trying to do all that stuff so I may have to skip a few here and there, but this last one I’m giving myself no choice. Last year I went to all the away games with no tickets because my brother could hook me up and leave me tickets at the gate. This year I’m going to all the away games with no tickets again only now I don’t have my brother to rely on so I’ll have to scalp, barter, sell my body … whatever it takes to get tickets. I’ve done my fair share of scalping in the past so I’m not worried about not getting tickets for a game. Let’s face it we are not Texas, Ohio State, USC, etc. so there will be plenty of tickets to be had. Heck I could have got 100 free tickets to the game at FSU last year as there were people every where that couldn’t give away their tickets. And scalping is a heck of a rush so it should be fun. I’m going to make this into a game to see where I can get the best tickets for the cheapest price. If nothing else it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Mar 17 2010

The DFCF Plan

March Madness starts tomorrow and all I can think about is why can’t we have this same excitement about college football?  Well it’s because … the BCS = Epic Fail.  I’m not really down with all the internet lingo, but I think that’s how the kids are saying it these days.  Actually I think it’s way more cool to say … the BCS “pwns” the NCAA.  That one still seems really lame to me and, for all you normal people out there, that is not a typo (although it started out that way and became its own word).  Anyway, I digress.  The point is the BCS system is a sucky way to determine the national champion.

The opinions of how to change it are like … uhm, let’s go with belly buttons … everybody’s got one.  You have the BCS plus-one format, another tier-based BCS plus-one, a 12-team playoff, a 16-team playoff called the Wetzel Plan (similar to Joe Rozsa’s plan), a 24-team playoff, and on and on and on.  Even our country’s fearless leader has an 8-team playoff in mind even though he hasn’t really given us any details about it.  Shocking, I know!

So now it comes to me.  I’m not a college football expert by any means, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  That was not funny at all and I’m not even getting paid for that plug.  Oh well, moving on.  I’ve read most of the proposals out there and I’ve thought about this a lot “dating back” (ding … inside joke) to 2002 when NC State was ranked 10th in the AP poll and 9th in the BCS standings.  Not that I think NC State can ever realistically win a national championship, but under the current BCS system we will never even get that chance.  I did a presentation on this very topic in my Public Speaking class back in 2002 during the week leading up to the Georgia Tech game.  Sorry!  Don’t blame me!

Because the BCS is so skewed towards the big name programs, even if NC State had remained unbeaten in 2002 we would not have played for the national championship.  Looking at some of those big programs; Ohio State, Texas, Southern Cal, LSU, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, and Florida State have all appeared in multiple BCS title games and comprise 20 of the 24 total spots in the twelve year history of the game.  That would be like skipping the whole March Madness Tournament and making the Final Four consist of some grouping of Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan St., UCLA, and UConn every year.  Blasphemy, I say!

Ok, I’ve rambled on enough already so … drum roll please!  I humbly present the DFCF Plan:

  • Conference Alignment – All the big six (a.k.a. BCS) conferences should expand to at least 12 teams.  I don’t know or ultimately care who the Big Ten, Pac-10, or Big East would want, although it seems like we could be finding out soon what the Big Ten and Pac-10 have in mind.  Both have begun exploring their expansion opportunities.  I do have my dream conference alignments, but that’s for another post … maybe later this week.
  • Schedule – The regular season schedule should be cut back to 11 games consisting of 8 conference and 3 non conference games with no games against D1AA teams allowed (with this plan the terms FBS and FCS would thankfully become obsolete).  I’m pretty sure that huge cheer you just heard was coming from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Other than that, who’s really going to miss Florida vs. Charleston Southern or Alabama vs. UT-Chattanooga (both actual matchups from this past season)?  I would, however, be fine with one preseason exhibition game against a D1AA team that didn’t count towards records or player eligibility ala the NFL.  Just a thought.
  • Conference Championships – Let me be the first to say that I hate conference divisions.  It seems like more times than not the best two (or even three) teams are from the same division so the conference divisions should be scraped.  The conference schedules should have two common opponents and rotate the other six games with the best two teams meeting in the conference championship game period.
  • Non Big Six Conferences – I haven’t forgot about you guys.  The best two teams from all the non big six conferences should meet in a pseudo “Little Guys” Championship game.
  • Playoff Bracket – The playoff should consist of eight teams: the six conference champs, the little guys champ, and one at large team that cannot be a championship game loser.  How about a game between the next best “big boys” team and the next best “little guys” team.  What, no convoluted formula or biased committee to determine that last spot?  Actually deciding it on the field?  What nerve I have!  Okay, I guess you would need a formula or committee to determine playoff seeding, but as long as the champ is decided on the field I don’t think seeding matters that much.
  • Playoff Schedule – The conference championship games would remain where they are now … the first weekend of December.  The following weekend would be an off weekend.  Then the playoffs would begin with the first round being played on the third weekend of December and the second round on the fourth weekend.  Then the championship would take place a week and half later in the same Thursday night prime time spot that the BCS championship game has held for the past few years.  All playoff games would be played at neutral sites … preferably a rotation between the current Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowl venues.
  • Bowls – For this plan to really work some of the bowls would have to be kept, just not all of them.  Let’s say 12-14 bowls were kept and all played on or right around New Year’s Day.  It would keep the New Year’s Day bowl tradition going, reward the teams that had very good seasons, give us some exciting football to watch, and fill in the break between the semifinals and the championship game.

I’m sure my plan isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn close, right?  All I did was try to make it exciting and fair for everybody.  I’m pretty sure that I at least accomplished that.  I might have missed addressing a few of the common reasons we hear for not having a playoff, but I didn’t miss these …  This plan does keep importance on the regular season and it does include the non big six conference teams.  It also does not lengthen the schedule too much (one extra game for the championship game participants than under the current system).  Most importantly, it will determine a true champion.

Feel free to comment on how awesome this plan is or ways you would tweak it.

Feb 3 2010

Wishing Upon Some Stars

Well 2010 National Signing Day has come and gone.  It was a pretty routine day around the Murphy Center.  No surprises, good or bad.  My take: there are a few guys that really impress me, but overall it’s a lot of average.  I will admit it’s a little crazy ranking the classes 7 months before these guys ever play their first game, but if you think the rankings don’t matter then you’re a little naive.

There’s a bunch of different recruiting services that release rankings, so I averaged the rankings from Rivals, Scout, and ESPN to come up with a consensus ranking.  Let’s look at the consensus Top 10 classes in order:  Florida, Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC (sorry Cock fans … this is the real USC), LSU, UCLA, Florida State, and Penn State.  That list reads like a Who’s Who of college football programs.  It includes the last seven national champions and eight of them show up in the top 14 on the Top 25 College Programs of the Decade list put together by my buddies over at Frumpzilla (one of my college roomies and half my fantasy football league keep that site running so show them some love).  It’s a lot easier to win when you have the best players so let’s all just agree that the rankings do matter.

Speaking of rankings let’s get back to the Wolfpack’s class.  The recruiting gurus have it as the 6th or 7th best class … in the ACC.  I guess that is better than where we’ve finished in the actual league standings during the TOB era.  I just expect better than that, especially with our passionate fan base and the best facilities in the ACC (per ESPN).  We did get a few guys that I’m really excited about (shown in the picture below) including one BIG time pickup, literally.

The six guys I'm most excited about.

The jewel of the class is OL Rob Crisp (6’7″ 299lb.) out of Raleigh.  He was rated one of the best players, regardless of position, in the country and should man the LT spot for the next four years.  Two others that have me excited are DB’s David Amerson and Dontae Johnson.  Hopefully they can step in immediately next year and help solve the massive problems we had in the secondary this past year.  The final three I can’t wait to see in the Red and White are WR’s Tony Creecy and Bryan Underwood, and RB Mustafa Greene.  You can never have too many speedy playmakers and I think these three will fit that mold for the Pack.  I’m sure there will be a really good player or two come out of the rest of the class, but these are the six that have me looking to the future with hope and anticipation.

To these six and all the other new Wolfpackers (click here for bios) … welcome to the family!  You made the best decision of your life (I’m not biased at all).  To TOB, take a day to do your honey do’s, then start working on next year’s class.  GO PACK!