College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Monday, January 5, 2003
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
'Great night for purple and
CyberEast of New Bern
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Some East Carolina fans who made the trek to New Orleans had a partisan
rooting interest as college football’s grand finale came Sunday night in the
Superdome with LSU’s defense holding off Oklahoma for a 21-14 victory and a
share of the national championship.
Kirk Doll, assistant head coach and linebackers coach of the
Tigers, played on the defensive front for East Carolina in 1971 and 1972.
Doll, who was a candidate for ECU’s head coaching vacancy in
December 2002, got some of his former Pirates teammates tickets to the Sugar
Bowl. The LSU defensive unit — which led the nation for fewest points
allowed — rattled the Sooners repeatedly on a great night for purple and
What I remember about Doll in the process of the ECU coaching
search was that he was extremely gracious even when his alma mater passed
Doll was an assistant head coach at Notre Dame with Bob Davie
and has 11 bowl rings, according to a former ECU teammate, Billy Tart.
Oklahoma quarterback Jason White proved once again that the
Heisman Trophy doesn’t go to the best player in college football at all but
usually to a quarterback on one of the nation’s best — and most publicized —
teams. If White is the Heisman recipient, the N.C. State people were right
to push Philip Rivers. White doesn’t throw accurately or with a lot of zip
and his pocket awareness was poor on a final decisive sack by the Tigers.
The Sooners inexplicably didn’t go to their best offensive weapon, running
back Kejuan Jones, late in the game.
The luster of the Bowl Championship Series’ showcase event
had been dulled of course with computer glitches that denied Southern
California an opportunity to play for the BCS version of the national
championship despite being rated No. 1 in both the writers and coaches
The Trojans expect to get a final No. 1 ranking in the
Associated Press poll today.
The powers that be in college football will continue to tweak
their system and pocket hundreds of millions of dollars while ignoring
common sense and public demand for a playoff system. College presidents make
the excuse of potential missed class time in seeking to preserve the rewards
of the current system.
The system will probably undergo a degree of change for 2004
and next season will be one of transition in a number of aspects. The formal
shift in the landscape of conference affiliation will begin to take place
next season with Miami and Virginia Tech moving to the ACC.
That means tougher league competition for ACC teams in the
At home, ECU looks to improve from a disappointing 1-11
season in John Thompson’s first season as head coach. There were some
semi-alarming departures at the close of ECU’s 2003 season from some of the
more experienced coaches on staff, but Thompson has indicated that
replacements are at hand to fill those positions and they appear to be good
hires. Still to be defined is the strength coach situation for football, an
important factor with offseason workouts at hand.
ECU needs better play at quarterback next season and a more
productive offensive system. An impact recruiting class is a priority. The
searches for a chancellor and athletics director when completed will give
the university and its sports programs a better sense of direction.
In coming days, we will sum up the now-completed college football season
with Bonesville.net's final 2003 State Line Power Rankings and the naming of
our annual All-Carolinas Team as well as our Carolinas Coach of the Year and
Player of the Year.
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02/23/2007 12:44:49 AM