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College Sports in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, January 6, 2003

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

SEC transplant Muse backs postseason change

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Football officials like to let the players decide outcomes but in the biggest game of the season — the Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Miami — a penalty for pass interference proved to be the difference between another national title for the Hurricanes and a 31-24 double overtime triumph for the Buckeyes.

The BCS system that produced the classic showdown for the national title apparently has three more years. In the meantime, one president from each of six conferences including the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC will study the issue of postseason play in Division I-A. The committee members will be selected this month and will make a recommendation in 2005.

Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, who coordinated the BCS this year, said several options could be recommended by the committee — a return to the old bowl system which could produce more splits of national championships; maintaining the present system; more adjustments to the present system; or a playoff.

SEC transplant Muse backs change

East Carolina chancellor William Muse was part of a committee that studied the same issue before the BCS evolved.

“I would favor a 16-team playoff,” Muse said. “The BCS came about because the leagues foresaw a playoff coming with the NCAA controlling it and distributing revenue as they do in basketball.”

SEC commissioner Roy Kramer was instrumental in the founding of the BCS when Muse was president at Auburn.

Conference USA receives $1 million annually from the BCS and has used the money to develop ties with five non-BCS bowls. A C-USA team could get a BCS slot in the present system if it was in the top six in the BCS standings.

It will be interesting to see if the playoff concept finally gains acceptance. The Fiesta Bowl provided some great drama on Jan. 3 but couldn’t approach what a month of playoffs even within the existing bowl structure would generate.

ECU football notes

Deon Adams, who earlier committed to the Pirates, has apparently reconsidered and opted for Duke after the Pirates coaching change. ... New ECU coach John Thompson is headed for New Orleans today and the American Football Coaches Association convention. He will likely do some interviews there for staff positions at ECU. ... Thompson and Pirates running backs coach Jerry McManus met with players on Sunday night to get the team on the same page for the start of second semester classes on Tuesday. ... Former ECU standout receiver Larry Shannon, who completed his Pirates eligibility in 1997 and played sparingly due to injuries in the NFL, has expressed interest in joining Thompson’s staff, apparently as a graduate assistant.

Carolinas 2002 football wrap

Here’s the final college football poll for the Division I-A teams in the Carolinas for the 2002 season:


STATE LINE POWER RANKINGS©
  1. N.C. State ... The Wolfpack capped an 11-3 season with a 28-6 Gator Bowl win over Notre Dame.
  2. Wake Forest ... The Deacons finished 7-6 with a 38-17 win over Oregon in the Seattle Bowl.
  3. Clemson ... The Tigers’ trip to the Tangerine Bowl was spoiled with a 55-15 loss to Texas Tech.
  4. South Carolina ... The domino effect of John Thompson’s hire at ECU sent Gamecocks defensive coordinator Charlie Strong to Florida.
  5. East Carolina ... The zenith of a 4-8 season was a win over C-USA co-champion TCU but wasn’t enough for Steve Logan to keep his job.
  6. North Carolina ... The Tar Heels struggled when quarterback Darian Durant was injured and finished 3-9.
  7. Duke ... The Blue Devils felt good about their progress in a 2-10 season and extended the contract of Coach Carl Franks three years.


Chuck Amato
Photo: NCSU

CAROLINAS COACH OF THE YEAR

In three years, N.C. State alumnus Chuck Amato took the Wolfpack to its most wins ever in an 11-3 season in 2002 as the Pack beat Notre Dame 28-6 in the Gator Bowl.

Amato was a linebacker for State’s “White Shoe defense” in 1967 that sparked the Wolfpack to a 9-2 season and a 14-7 win over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. Chuck, also known as “The Chest,” was a longtime assistant at Florida State before coming back to Raleigh after Mike O’Cain was dismissed after the 1999 season. Interestingly, it was a 23-6 loss at ECU that kept O’Cain’s final NCSU team from being bowl eligible and paved the way for Amato’s return.

Amato has used strong recruiting and motivation to raise the level of the Wolfpack program, which has also coincided with significant improvements of NCSU’s football facilities. Amato’s work at State could make him an appealing candidate at Florida State, which is coming off an uncharacteristically-poor 8-5 season.

Bobby Bowden can’t coach forever.
 


Phillip Rivers
Photo: NCSU

CAROLINAS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

One of Amato’s first recruiting projects was to secure a commitment from a quarterback from Alabama named Philip Rivers. State had recruited Rivers prior to its coaching change and Rivers arrived on campus for Amato’s first spring practice after graduating early from high school.

Rivers moved into a starting role as a true freshman and flourished under the guidance of offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Although Chow left after the 2000 season to develop Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer at Southern Cal, Rivers has continued to be State’s offensive leader.

Rivers became the father of a daughter before the 2002 season and his dad coaches at Wakefield High in Raleigh.

As MVP of the Gator Bowl, Rivers was instrumental in State’s most prolific football win ever. His return for his senior year will spur some talk of Heisman Trophy candidacy and the Wolfpack’s non-conference game with Ohio State next season will give State a matchup with implications for its aspirations of a national championship.
 


Carolinas basketball

From football to basketball — and from worst to first for Duke.


STATE LINE HOOPS REPORT©

The Top Ten

  1. Duke ... Freshman guard J.J. Redick led the Blue Devils with a 15.8 scoring average going into an 89-71 win on Sunday night at Clemson. The Blue Devils host Georgetown on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Wake Forest on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
  2. Wake Forest ... Josh Howard scored 21 points and had nine rebounds as the Deacons improved to 9-0 with a 68-62 win at Richmond on Saturday. Wake hosts Elon at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and visits Duke at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
  3. Clemson ... Senior guard Edward Scott is the Tigers’ top scorer with an 18.4 average prior to the Duke game on Sunday, the Tigers first game in renovated Littlejohn Coliseum this season. The Tigers were one of four unbeaten Division I teams before falling to the Blue Devils. Clemson hosts Morris Brown at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  4. East Carolina ... The Pirates got 14 points and nine rebounds from junior forward Erroyl Bing in a 93-47 win over winless Division II UNC Pembroke on Jan. 2. ECU returns to action against Charlotte on at 7 p.m. on Saturday (WITN-7). Point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye may return from an academic suspension for the 49ers game.
  5. North Carolina ... The Tar Heels lost 64-61 in overtime at Miami on Saturday despite leading 58-47. UNC went the last 12:10 without a field goal, and got no call as Jawad Williams was apparently fouled on a 3-point attempt at the OT buzzer. The Heels host Davidson on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and visit Virginia on Saturday at noon.
  6. N.C. State ... The Wolfpack opened ACC play by topping Virginia 75-63 on Sunday evening in Raleigh as Julius Hodge led the way with 21 points. State visits Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  7. Davidson ... The Wildcats improved to 7-3 by topping The Citadel 86-72 on Sunday as Conor Grace’s 23 points paced the Wildcats, who had an early 18-0 run in their Southern Conference opener. Davidson plays at North Carolina on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and hosts Western Carolina at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
  8. UNC Wilmington ... Brett Blizzard scored 16 points and had seven assists as the Seahawks (7-3) routed Hofstra 71-47 on Saturday. UNCW continues its Colonial Athletic Association schedule at home against Old Dominion at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and at Drexel on at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
  9. College of Charleston ... Tom Herrion, brother of ECU coach Bill Herrion, has the Cougars off to a 10-3 start despite a 70-53 loss at Vanderbilt on Thursday. Thomas Mobley, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, leads the Cougars with a 14.3 scoring average. C of C plays at Wofford at 7 p.m. tonight and hosts Chattanooga on Saturday at noon.
  10. South Carolina ... Sophomore forward Carlos Powell had 20 points as the Gamecocks improved to 6-4 with a 66-50 win over The Citadel on Thursday. Powell leads Coach Dave Odom’s second-year USC team with a 16.3 scoring average. USC hosts Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and plays at Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Not-So-Sweet 17

11. Charlotte
12. Appalachian State
13. Coastal Carolina
14. High Point
15. Charleston Southern
16. UNC Greensboro
17. UNC Asheville
18. Winthrop
19. Campbell
20. Wofford
21. Furman
22. South Carolina State
23. Elon
24. The Citadel
25. Western Carolina
26. N.C. A&T
27. Gardner-Webb

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02/23/2007 12:40:17 AM
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