Monday, September 21, 2009

Late Hits

North Carolina: The Tar Heels are 3-0 for the first time since 1997. Ah, 1997, that was a good year. Mack Brown was in Chapel Hill, Florida State ruled the ACC, and Riley Skinner was just a freshman.

Southern California: There are only so many things in life you can still count on -- Brett Favre unretiring, Kanye West acting the fool and USC losing a road game to an unranked Pac-10 team.

Fair or not, like the previous conference pitfalls, Saturday's 16-13 loss at Washington will keep the Trojans out of the national title game no matter how good they look in December or how many NFL players they pump out in April.

Miami: Who's happier with The U's unbeaten start and first appearance in the top 10 since 2005: the proud Miami alums in the NFL, formerly embattled coach Randy Shannon or ACC commissioner John Swofford?

That five-year-old lottery ticket just might come home yet for Johnny Swoosh. Amazing what can happen when you have the right quarterback.

Mountain West: Sen. Orrin Hatch can focus on actual politics after the lost weekend by his home-state schools, Utah and Brigham Young.

The Utes had their 16-game winning streak ended by Oregon, a Pac-10 team which opened the season with an embarrassing knockout punch (and a loss to Boise State), while BYU got trounced by Florida State, 54-28. Fifty-four points to an ACC team? On second thought, the Mountain West Conference really does need Congressional intervention.

Is there something in the water?

Every team has health issues, but the concentration of injuries in the Triangle is abnormal.

N.C. State went into Saturday's game without starters at running back, guard, tackle, safety -- not to mention their best defensive player, who is out for the season -- and then lost a receiver and a cornerback in Saturday's win over Gardner-Webb.

Duke caught a beating from Kansas without its best defensive player and a promising young receiver.

UNC handled ECU without its starting center or tight end.

Plus, all three schools have been hit by the swine flu, Duke the hardest. Makes you wonder if it's a coincidence or if the basketball gods really don't like football.

Coachspeak-to-English translation

"If BYU saw that game, they'll say, 'FSU, y'all ain't no good.' "

-- Bobby Bowden on how the Noles rebounded from a 19-9 escape against Jacksonville State last week to beat BYU, 54-28, on Saturday.

Translation: Playing possum works every time. "Y'all think I've won all them games by accident? Hush, Jimbo."

-- J.P. Giglio