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Bailey's Take on Conference USA
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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 30, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

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The Only Game in Town?

©2001 Bonesville.net

Consider it just bad luck that tonight's East Carolina-Texas Christian showdown is NOT the only game in town.

After all, that was the whole idea behind playing on a Tuesday. The game would be nationally televised in some form by ESPN, giving the league exposure on a slow sports night.

But tonight is a HUGE sports night nationally.

ESPN recently held a poll, to decide which was bigger, Michael Jordan’s return in the Big Apple, or Game 3 of the World Series.

Somehow, the ECU-TCU game didn’t make the poll.

Baseball lost a week of its season after the terrorist attacks in our country. That pushed the World Series back one-week.

Michael Jordan was an executive in the Wizard’s front office when Conference USA made the move to Tuesdays with a couple of games.

Now, the scene is set for a great sports night.

Here is my game plan. The Pirates go on the main screen. I still don’t have my big screen television, so the 27” RCA will have to do for now.

The World Series will go on the 5” portable that usually sits on the computer in the other room.

As for Jordan, I’d like to see the introduction, a hoop or two, and then I’ll wait for the highlights.

Let’s just hope the Pirates give the highlight folks a play or two to show nationally.

Maybe Not as Much of a Win-Win as I Thought

Sometimes when you write an opinionated column you know you are going to catch some heat from somewhere.

Other times, though, you think you’re on the same page with everybody else, so you are writing to the bandwagon.

Sometimes you’re just wrong.

I really thought that ESPN’s decision to move the ECU-Southern Miss game time to 11 a.m. solved a lot of problems.

The high school coaches were happy, the high school athletic association was happy, and I believe even Coach Steve Logan was pleased.

But several readers showed me a different side of the 11 a.m. decision.

One reader said he would have to miss a Pirate game for the first time in 20 years, because he won’t be able to get back after the holiday. He had plans to get back to Greenville late in the afternoon on that Friday. Now, he’ll miss the game.

Another reader said that he and his friends had non-refundable plane tickets, destination Greenville. With the change, they are now set to touch down just about the same time the Southern Miss charter takes off after the game.

One other reader asked if I thought the Malls were planning on closing, to help with the area high schools' attendance. Obviously, he didn’t understand just how important the gate is to high school athletics. That comment would come under the “apples vs. oranges” argument on the subject.

The bottom line is that Conference USA and East Carolina should stand firm on the issue of playing on Friday nights.

And I sincerely hope that this “win-win” deal becomes just that for everybody else.

Changing of the Guard?

We will soon find out how Greenville and Eastern North Carolina react to “big-time” basketball outside of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

An interesting thing happened on my Monday radio show. I had just as many calls about basketball as I did about football. This on the night before a very important East Carolina football game!

I am an admitted big ACC basketball fan. I grew up that way. I also grew up a fan of all of college basketball and I am among those who are thrilled that ECU is set to open play in Conference USA.

Here is one example of just how far basketball has already come. Back in 1993, on the Tuesday after East Carolina won its only Colonial Athletic Association championship, I had a Pirate assistant coach on my radio show.

We got two calls during the hour, one about basketball and the other about a Pirate football recruit.

Basketball fared better last night, and it wasn’t even supposed to be a topic of conversation.

ECU vs. TCU

This Mobile-Alabama Bowl rematch should be a great football game. The Pirates go in as a 2 1/2 point favorite.

If Leonard Henry continues to run the football like he’s been running it, then the Pirates will win. Even though it’s not Coach Steve Logan’s favorite thing to do, the Pirates could dominate the line, and the time of possession.

TCU has great athletes, but they have a couple of very disappointing losses.

Will this be the TCU team that played Nebraska tough?

Or, will this be the TCU team that lost to Northwestern State and Tulane?

Get ready, because Tuesday night football is here. It’s not quite a Saturday afternoon of tailgating, but this time it will have to do.

Brian Bailey's C-USA Power Rankings [103001]

1. Louisville…The Cards pass another big test with win over Cincinnati. Pirates/Cards could be a title tilt.

2. East Carolina…The Pirates can’t afford a stumble against TCU.

3. Southern Miss.…Golden Eagles still have as much talent as anyone in the league, and beyond.

4. Cincinnati…. Bearcats also stand in Pirates way next week.

5. UAB…. Blazers picked up big win at Memphis to keep bowl hopes alive.

6. TCU.… Horned Frogs need win over ECU to keep their title hopes alive.

7. Memphis.… Tigers may never recover from Pirate pounding this year.

8. Army.… Todd Berry and Company have a pair of league wins.

9. Tulane…. Green Wave hopes for better luck against another service academy in a couple of weeks.

10. Houston…. Cougars still on track to run the table. First ever Conference USA champs have fallen on hard times.

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Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:19:44 AM
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