Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Meineke Bowl: Davis re-tires, fast

The oddsmakers may say West Virginia is a 1 1/2-point favorite over North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday but history -- and lug nuts -- came down on the Tar Heels' side on Tuesday.

During the annual trip to Lowe's Motor Speedway for both teams, North Carolina coach Butch Davis squared off against West Virginia's Bill Stewart in a tire-changing competition.

By their own admission, neither is particularly familiar with rapid-fire tire changing and air wrenches but, then again, the competition isn't all that serious either. It comes between ride-along sessions for players and coaches on both sides and after a buffett lunch of barbecue, baked beans and cole slaw.

When it came to tire changing, Davis won the "five off, five on" race with a time of 17.12 seconds, exactly .12 faster than Stewart in what may have been the most competitive coaching challenge in the history of lug nuts.

What does it mean?

It means history is on the Tar Heels' side because four of the previous six winners of the tire-changing competition have led their teams to victory in the bowl game.

-- Ron Green Jr.