Stunner: NC St. hands ‘Noles first loss of season

28 Comments

Well, so much for Florida State being back.  Or, at least, all the way back.

In one of the more stunning upsets of the 2012 season, the Seminoles’ — and thus the ACC’s — hopes at a shot at a BcS championship went down in complete and utter flames as North Carolina State shockingly upended the No. 3 team in the country.

The Wolfpack, playing without three starting offensive linemen, trailed 16-0 deep into the fourth quarter, but mounted a comeback that shattered FSU’s dreams of a return to the big-boy stage of college football.  The final dagger for the ‘Noles came late in the quarter, with a Mike Glennon touchdown pass of two yards to Bryan Underwood proving to be the game-winning score.

For FSU, the loss was the latest — and arguably the greatest — hiccup for a football program that hasn’t been relevant nationally for a decade or more.  For the ACC, it saw its lone unbeaten team crash and burn, scorching any hopes it had entertained to be in the postseason title mix as well.

While it’s of little comfort to Seminole Nation, FSU was far from the only highly-ranked program to suffer its first blemish.  In fact, three of the top five teams in the country — No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Georgia as well as the ‘Noles — had its first mark ion the right side of the won/loss ledger.  Additionally, two other previously unbeaten and ranked teams — No. 15 TCU and No. 24 Northwestern — suffered their first loss of the season.

As it stands now, there are 16 undefeated teams at the FBS level, 13 from so-called BcS-level schools.  The SEC has the most remaining with four, while (surprise!) the Big East is next with three.

Given how wild the 2012 season has been just six weeks in, it’s anyone’s guess how many will be left even a week from now let alone at season’s end.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

2 Comments

Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
1 Comment

It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.