Category Archives: NC State

OFFSEASON CONTENT: What’s on Your CFB Stadium Bucket List?


As anyone who reads this site will likely know, Georgia and Notre Dame have played exactly once over the span of 100+ years of each institution fielding a football team. On this site and the DudeYouPodcast, I have many times encouraged Georgia fans to make the trip this September if you have the means.

Having been in 2006, Notre Dame is by no means the rowdiest place to watch a football game. Matter of fact, it feels quaint, almost as if the history makes it more of a church atmosphere than a fall Saturday to which we’re accustomed. (Notre Dame joke #1) It’s almost like they’re living among the ghosts of their past successes. Even so, its worth a trip to see Touchdown Jesus, and to see (Notre Dame joke #2) where Rudy was CLEARLY offsides. God, I hate the movie Rudy.

It got me thinking, “what stadium experiences do I need to have while I’m young enough to fully participate?”, and…I need to apply for a Southwest credit card. I’m also hoping we can crowdsource a list from you the reader, so comment with your top 10 and I’ll use my Excel skillz and figure out where the DudeYouNation intends to go.

First, where I’ve been (P5 only), ranked with hopes of not being clouded by any biases. I apologize for it being ACC-heavy:

  1. Clemson- everything about their gameday experience is just right. I’m growing tired of them being #1 at EVERYTHING these days.
  2. Georgia- been to too many good 3:30’s and night games to ignore how awesome Athens on a Saturday is. Behind Clemson due to a few too many sleepy games, and less ample tailgating.
  3. Virginia Tech- Enter Sandman is as awesome at noon as it is on a Thursday night.
  4. Auburn- Clemson without a lake (and my only experience is an Iron Bowl, so probably overrated).
  5. Notre Dame- like I said above, cool setting.
  6. South Carolina- Columbia is the seventh circle of hell, both in the town sense and the literal “I’m gonna die from heatstroke” sense. But fairground tailgating is always fun, and Space Odyssey is cool until your undefeated Georgia team is down 3 touchdowns in the first quarter.
  7. Alabama- probably low, but it has the NFL feel both in atmosphere, and drunk, grumbling fans complaining about a four touchdown lead.
  8. North Carolina- fun for a big game, dead otherwise. A 3:30 game in October, though, is about as pleasant an afternoon as you can ask for.
  9. N.C. State- has the fairgrounds tailgate that makes South Carolina fun, and they let you out of the stadium at halftime to…re-up.
  10. Virginia- has the UNC/Notre Dame quaintness to it.
  11. Wake Forest- really not that bad! It has the one-level grandstand that puts you more or less on top of the action, and tailgating is both easy to find, parking-wise, and largely unregulated.
  12. Georgia Tech- Bobby Dodd has rebuilt its reputation on soccer games.
  13. Duke- I’ve been to high school stadiums with more people, more atmosphere, and better restrooms.

So, what’s left? A whole hell of a lot.

  • LSU: Death Valley at night may well end up having to be part of a dangerous bachelor party, some day.
  • Oregon: apparently Autzen Stadium’s pretzel-like design keeps noise in. I’m not an architect, but I’m here for that.
  • Texas: DKR is no longer (anywhere close to) the biggest destination in the state any more, but I’d rather tailgate in Austin than do whatever weird stuff they do before games in College Station. Come at me, Aggies.
  • Colorado: If you’ve never been to Boulder, you won’t understand why this is on the list. If you have, Rocky Mountain backdrop for college football. Rice-Eccles at Utah gets a shoutout here too, but I don’t really want to go to Utah.
  • Ohio State: Taking the Horseshoe as my obligatory B1G destination because, somehow, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are less objectionable than Michigan and Penn State right now. I mean…

Horseshoe

  • Ole Miss: The Grove, which should somehow become more fun given the fact that the Black Bears will NOT be winning football games for awhile.
  • UCLA/USC: Lumping them into one doesn’t seem quite right, but then again it does. Stadiums with a TON of history, beautiful LA backdrop, etc. etc.
  • Wisconsin: I’m here for the drunkest fanbase in college football and “Jump Around” in the fourth quarter.
  • Florida: Yup. The Swamp looks fun on TV due to its asymmetrical layout. Sometimes ya just gotta slum it.
  • Arizona State: More off-the-beaten-path Pac-12ness, but this one has a backstory: I hiked the mountain overlooking Sun Devil Stadium, and it was pretty cool. Tempe is INSANE. This would be fun, especially if they were any good.

That’s my list (in no particular order). For this to work, I need yours. Comment or tweet @Chad_Floyd the top 10 you want to go to, and the top 5 you’ve already seen. I’ll tally up the winners for a follow-up for next week.

Fixing College Football, Part I of ?: Doing Away With Divisions


Divisions in Power 5 conferences are stupid. There, I said it.

At a time where revenues are such that all away games, with few exceptions, call for chartered flights, I don’t buy the monetary concern. When preserving the ‘sanctity’ of a Georgia/Kentucky or Mississippi State/LSU rivalry, I don’t care. And following another season similar to the last few, where:

  • The SEC East is a complete dumpster fire, where 5 West teams could have easily won it.
  • Clemson and Florida State carry the crown for the ACC and play in the same division.
  • Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State (and Michigan State, until 2016) play in the same division because of geography, and THAT’S A BETTER SYSTEM THAN THE ONE THEY HAD IN PLACE!

I’m adapting from a model Bill Connelly posited on SBNation this summer, because its a fascinating thought exercise, and it makes too much sense. In it:

  • The Pac-12, with divisions and a 9-game schedule, is fine for now.
  • The Big XII, jumbled mess as it is, has a round-robin (and a conference championship game starting next year, because SPORTS).

For the three fourteen-team conferences, division play doesn’t work. Unless you look forward to Georgia’s FIRST trip to conference rival Texas A&M during the end of Trump’s second term. Or your next trip to the Grove in 2029.

I’m not down for that. I’m not down for watching the Missouris and Floridas of the world get PASTED in the SEC Championship. I (Bill C first) want the following: keep an eight-game schedule, with three annual rivals and a rotation through the other 10 teams on a semiannual basis. Meaning, instead of going Mark Richt’s whole tenure before playing an SEC West opponent twice, you play a home-and-home with everyone every four years.

I’ll workshop this for all 42 teams involved below, but an example of what this would look like for Georgia:

Primary rivals: Auburn, Florida, South Carolina

Year 1: Alabama, at Kentucky, Ole Miss, at Missouri, Vanderbilt
Year 2: at Arkansas, LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee, at Texas A&M

Done in four-year cycles, one could even adapt years 3 and 4 from the first two to account for random shifts in competitive balance. Perhaps pair off each team for their non-rivals, so Kentucky doesn’t draw Alabama and Auburn, Mizzou doesn’t draw Georgia and Florida, etc.

This is the best I could come up with from a “PRESERVE OUR RIVALRIES!” perspective (and this may match Connelly verbatim, but I’m not checking):

Team Rival Rival Rival
Alabama Auburn Tennessee Ole Miss
Arkansas Mizzou Texas A&M LSU
Auburn Alabama Georgia Miss State
Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina
Georgia Florida Auburn South Carolina
Kentucky Missouri Vanderbilt South Carolina
LSU Texas A&M Miss State Arkansas
Mississippi Miss State Vanderbilt Alabama
Mississippi State Ole Miss LSU Auburn
Missouri Arkansas Kentucky Texas A&M
South Carolina Georgia Florida Kentucky
Tennessee Vanderbilt Florida Alabama
Texas A&M LSU Arkansas Mizzou
Vanderbilt Tennessee Kentucky Ole Miss

Some thoughts: South Carolina and Kentucky were SUPER hard to place. Kentucky gets, from a historical perspective, the easiest three games of anyone. Off the top of my head, there are no major rivalries that go unprotected, with the exception of Alabama/LSU (a more recent one, anyway).

The biggest misses? Tennessee/Kentucky, as Kentucky gets screwed out of the one game they get really worked up about. Bama/LSU, obviously.

I’d give myself a 10/10 for this. A&M, Arkansas, Mizzou, and LSU all preserve their regional rivalries. South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida all keep many of theirs. Vanderbilt/Ole Miss in the Khaki Bowl is still an annual event. Bama maintains history with Tennessee and Ole Miss, in addition to (obviously) Auburn.

If you don’t care about the ACC, you can stop reading now. Tried to draw it up there as well, but it is MUCH harder with the four North Carolina schools and the ‘old vs. new’ mentality that persists behind the scenes:

Team Rival Rival Rival
Boston College Syracuse Pitt Clemson
Clemson Georgia Tech N.C. State BC
Duke North Carolina Wake Forest Louisville
Florida State Miami Wake Forest N.C. State
Georgia Tech Clemson Miami Virginia
Louisville Pitt Virginia Tech Duke
Miami Florida St. Georgia Tech Syracuse
North Carolina Duke N.C. State Virginia
N.C. State North Carolina Clemson Florida State
Pitt Louisville BC Syracuse
Syracuse BC Miami Pitt
Virginia Virginia Tech North Carolina Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech Virginia Louisville Wake Forest
Wake Forest Duke Florida State Virginia Tech

This was friggin’ impossible. So many games that don’t make sense, especially for the Florida schools and the Northern schools, who would indubitably want games in the fertile Florida recruiting grounds.

Competitive balance, as it stands now, is a problem. N.C. State gets hosed, while UNC, Virginia Tech, and Pitt get relatively easy runs. I thought I’d be able to place Miami with more than one old Big East rival, but no dice.

For the B1G, I quit because I don’t care. But they need it worse than anyone else.

What do you think? Should we do away with divisions in order to make the conference feel like a conference again? Did I blow it on any rivalries?

 

 

 

2016 Bowl Season: What to Watch Based on CRUNK FACTOR


Editor’s note: Had to divide into two posts because 40 bowl games is about 15 too many.

Bowls were announced on Sunday! Here’s something amazing: the 13 bowls before Christmas involve exactly ZERO P5’s. I had to come back and write this blurb, because I noted myself getting carried away with optimism about matchups such as BYU/Wyoming and Memphis/Western Kentucky. As it stands now, Houston/SDSU is the most noteworthy game, and the only two SEC teams involved before December 28 are 5-7 Mississippi State and amazingly 6-6 Vanderbilt.

If you only read this for Georgia content (whoops, this season was too aggravating to write about), here’s my quick look at TCU. Otherwise, VIVA LOS BOWLS!

Saturday, December 17

Bowl season kicks off on a day where you still have a visceral urge to watch football, because Army/Navy was probably disappointing, and you’re reading this website.

New Mexico Bowl: UTSA vs. New Mexico, 2pm: And bowl season starts with a whimper. New Mexico gets a home game, and…ok, whatever. CRUNK RATING: 3/10, because its the first bowl!

Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State, 3:30: Donnell Pumphrey is currently #2 in all time rushing yards in FBS, needing only 109 to pass Ron Dayne for the record. He’ll face a Houston team that, while losing Tom Herman, beat Louisville and Oklahoma, sacked Lamar Jackson 11 times, and will probably hire Lane Kiffin– meaning Lane Kiffin at a bowl game that he doesn’t REALLY care about (google search Lane Kiffin black eye if you need to know why this excites me). There are probably 2-3 G5 teams, tops, better than either of these two. CRUNK RATING: A delicious 8/10.

Cure Bowl: UCF vs. Arkansas State, 5:30: Doesn’t really matter, because you don’t get CBS Sports Network. If you’re a masochist, you’ll risk computer viruses to stream two fast-paced offenses surging right past the over/under. CRUNK RATING: 2/10 because of aforementioned issues.

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Toledo, 5:30: Makes me wish the Cure Bowl was on an ESPN affiliate. CRUNK RATING: 2/10, because everything about this (read: Montgomery, AL) is gross.

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. UL-Lafayette, 9: Two six-win teams from middling conferences doesn’t get you hyped? Well, switch to brown liquor and enjoy A LOT OF POINTS. Cheer for Lafayette to make Georgia’s opponents look better. Did you know they used to play this game at 10am local time? In New Orleans? Some things about this sport (read: most things) don’t make much sense. CRUNK RATING: 4/10.

Monday, December 19

Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Tulsa, 2:30: This is where you either show your dedication to bad college football, or your dedication to your job. Do people actually work the week before Christmas? This bowl is famous for the brawl in its inaugural game, and I will attach video for posterity:

Something about CMU/Tulsa makes me think it’ll be more docile this time around, but we may get clips of the brawl. CRUNK RATING: 2/10.

Tuesday, December 20

Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis vs. Western Kentucky, 7:30pm: HEY! One of the teams from the Miami Beach Brawl, somewhat local adversaries, and ridiculously fun offenses. Jeff Brohm took the Purdue job yesterday, and quickly devolved from ‘offensive genius’ to ‘idiot’ in my brain. This should still be fun. CRUNK RATING: 6/10.

Wednesday, December 21

Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. Wyoming, 9 pm: And just like that, we get the other Miami Brawl team…and, unlike Memphis, they’re still known as the dirtiest in football. Craig Bohl has engineered a crazy turnaround for Wyoming, who is certifiably fun to watch. And…weird mountain folk in sunny Southern California. Sign me up. CRUNK RATING: 7/10

Thursday, December 22

Idaho Potato Bowl: Colorado State vs. Idaho, 7 pm: Idaho is the first team to get relegated from FBS BACK to FCS, which makes this bowl appearance downright amazing. And hey look! Mike Bobo, Georgia’s coach in 2019! CRUNK RATING: 3/10, but probably the most exciting bowl to date for Georgia fans, because some of our fanbase is sad.

Friday, December 23

Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion, 1pm: Still sponsored by Popeyes? Check. Two teams who haven’t played a bowl game in my lifetime (EMU last did so in 1987)? Check. Points? Probably. CRUNK RATING: 4/10

Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Navy, 4:30pm: Two bad defenses, two hella fun offenses (I actually watched the CUSA championship between La Tech and WKU, it was delightful). Navy is what Georgia Tech wishes they were. CRUNK RATING: 6/10

Dollar General Bowl: Troy vs. Ohio, 8pm: Troy famously almost beat Clemson, and coach Neal Brown will be coming to a middling SEC program near you in the next two years (hey, Mississippi schools). MAC teams have no appeal to me, though, so… CRUNK RATING: 1/10

Saturday, December 24

Hawai’i Bowl: Hawai’i vs. Middle Tennessee, 8pm: By my count, this is the third bowl game that gets a ‘home’ team, joining New Mexico and Idaho. Those exotic Mountain West destination bowls, man. Speaking of destination bowls, Middle Tennessee fans got Bahamas last year and Hawai’i this year. That’s good living. You’ll be eggnog and bourbon drunk for this one, which automatically boosts the CRUNK RATING to like, a generous 6/10?

Monday, December 26

HEY, A COUPLE OF P5 TEAMS!

(Sees BC/Maryland matchup)

(Vomits)

St. Pete Bowl: Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State, 11am: Worth noting only because Mississippi State was the 5-7 academic stalwart who got to go bowling this year. Read that again. CRUNK RATING: 3/10

QuickLane Bowl: Maryland vs. Boston College, 2:30pm: KILL IT WITH FIRE! Unless you want to appreciate Vine legend Steve Addazio, which you want to do. All of the dudes.

(Steve Addazio is the new mascot for this website.) CRUNK RATING: 4/10

Independence Bowl: N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt, 5:30pm: Oh, Shreveport. Your casinos are better than one would expect. CRUNK RATING: 5/10, because this is always a weird game. 

Tuesday, December 27

Dallas Bowl: Army vs. North Texas, noon: Hands-down, the worst bowl on this list. Athlon agrees with me. You need a good excuse to watch this one. CRUNK RATING: 0.5/10, unless you were in the army. 

Military Bowl: #24 Temple vs. Wake Forest, 3:30pm: The Clawfense vs. a very good Temple team? Yeah, Temple is going to roll. CRUNK RATING: 3/10 as a nod to our first ranked bowl participant.

Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. Washington State, 7pm: I’m here for Mike Leach stylin’ on a B1G team. CRUNK RATING: 6/10.

Cactus Bowl: Boise State vs. Baylor, 10:15pm: I’m here for Baylor losing their 7th straight game, because they went from really fun national contender to rape cover-uppers in about 9 months. And they still want Art Briles back as coach. Over/under at 3.5 coaches for Baylor, a la Georgia’s bowl game last year. CRUNK RATING: 7/10 because both teams are fun without any aforementioned context.

Summary, part 1:

This is why people say there are too many bowls. 20 games, 1 ranked team, 9 P5 teams. Yuck.

Definitely watch games: Vegas Bowl (San Diego State vs. Houston)

Maybe watch games: Anything above you have a morbid interest in viewing, or family holiday escapes.

Don’t watch games: most of them.

CONFERENCE PREVIEWS: Two Playoff Teams from the ACC? Why not?


This is just stupid enough to work.

This is the ACC’s long con. After an astounding run of mediocre football, the league has two clear powers and a second tier that…isn’t all that bad. The powers (and maybe Louisville) should run roughshod over the rest of the league, as they each get four bye-weeks-that-count-as-conference-wins based on the fact that none of the rest of the second tier resides in the Atlantic.

ACC Atlantic

The ‘Woof’ Demographic

7) Wake Forest. The Deacs have two ACC wins in the past two years. In neither of those wins did they score more than six (6) points. Its baffling, horrific, and wildly entertaining. After back-to-back 3-9 campaigns, the Deacs should be out of “year zero” phase with Dave Clawson, and at least scratching the surface as the ACC’s Vanderbilt. They almost doubled their offensive yards per game from 2014 to 2015, so that’s something!

6) Syracuse. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there are too many instances of a team bereft of talent undergoing a scheme overhaul and improving. They play the rest of the bottom tier on the road, so I should pick them last, but…DINO BABERS! (Jimbo, Dabo, and Dino in one division. What a world.)

5) Boston College. Could secretly not be terrible if Patrick Towles (erstwhile the Kentucky QB) can get them…12 points a game? He’s already a winner in my book.

The Perpetual 6-6

4) N.C. State. Dave Doeren has yet to beat a P5 opponent who finished the season with a winning record. His 18 wins in three years in Raleigh include: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern, Old Dominion (TWICE!), bad USF, Presbyterian, Syracuse and Wake (twice each!), Troy, Eastern Kentucky, and South Alabama. That leaves road wins against a 6-7 2014 UNC or a 4-8 2015 BC as his best wins. SOMETHING TO BE DESIRED!

Two playoff contenders and everyone’s favorite cyclist

3) Louisville. Yes, they’re getting a huge bowl bump because Lamar Jackson looked like Michael Vick in dismantling Texas A&M. But with a stout D, their close losses (Houston and Clemson by a combined 6 points last year), and the ‘Bobby Petrino offense bump’, they could make some noise with an early home date vs. FSU.

2) Clemson. Since I’m allowing my judgment to be based strictly on theories I’ve developed as a college football fan, I give the Atlantic nod to Florida State. Clemson has replaced a TON of its D for two years running now. Like we’ve seen with recent LSU teams, that works for one year. The second is where the depth deteriorates to a level that makes amazing play more unsustainable. Speaking of amazing, though, Deshaun Watson still exists.

1)Florida State. You’ll hear pundits question whether they have a quarterback. My rebuttal: JaMarcus Russell, Christian Ponder, and E.J. Manuel all got PAID playing for Jimbo Fisher. Can you tell me with 100% confidence the Browns wouldn’t trade into the back of the first round to nab Sean Maguire next year? If you can, they have two young guys who should be able to perform with the ENTIRE REST OF THE OFFENSE, Dalvin Cook and the OL included, returning.

Five Games Worth Watchin’

  1. Clemson at Florida State, Oct. 29: Back in 2013, I novelty-liveblogged this game as the resident ACC homer at the site. Now? I think its legit every-season appointment watching, joined only by LSU/Bama. Stanford/Oregon is the only other rivalry I’d put in that echelon over the past 3-5 years.
  2. Florida State at Louisville, Sept 17: Oddly, this was already scheduled. More oddly, it was scheduled as a nooner. UL has the chance to get a surprising leg over the ‘hawg, so to speak, and create some chaos.
  3. Louisville at Clemson, Oct. 1: Following my rationale that the rest of this division doesn’t matter yet?
  4. Clemson at Auburn, Sept. 3: Now?
  5. Florida State vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 5: NOW? Yeah, the college football Monday nighter is a doozy this year.

Players to Know

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Last year was his only healthy year, and…uhh…he was worth 47 TD’s and 4500 yards. That’ll do.

Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: HOT TAKE ALERT! Cook, not Leonard Fournette, Christian McAffrey, or anyone else, is the best RB in college football. He put up 7.4 yards a carry against 9-man boxes with a bum hamstring last year.

Derwin James, S, FSU: (They also have the nation’s best safety.)

Josh Sweat, DE, FSU: The one that got away for Georgia fans, he should be healthy and a terror this year.

Devonte Fields, DE/OLB, Louisville: He was the Big XII Defensive Player of the Year as a true freshman. Sound like a typo? Its not, he transferred from TCU. Last year, he had 10.5 more sacks. It’d be neat to see him win in another conference.

Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaq Wiggins, Louisville: Remember them? #GRANTHAMEXPRESS

Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State: He missed the last month of the season due to injury, and still had good enough numbers to merit a second-team All-ACC appearance. Which is to say, he COULD be in Cook/Wayne Gallman/Elijah Hood territory when healthy. Holy hell, RB in the ACC is stacked.

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100 Days of SEC Dominance: Vanderbilt Won A Bowl Game This Decade


This game is so much fun to me. 

There was nothing memorable about the 2012 Music City Bowl, which pitted Vanderbilt in a relative home game against N.C. State. Well, except Vanderbilt won a bowl game and finished the season in the top 25.

Some more fun:

  • N.C. State’s QB? Mike Glennon, who was the beneficiary of Tom O’Brien forcing Super Bowl champ Russell Wilson out of Raleigh.
  • O’Brien was fired prior to this game, based predominately on the fact above.
  • The winning QB is none other than Bachelor heartthrob Jordan Rodgers, brother of Aaron.
  • James Franklin left for Penn State after this game, and Vanderbilt went back to being Vanderbilt. Franklin’s sparring partner, Todd Grantham, was never the same and left Georgia for Louisville a year later.

Even the bottom (population: 1) of the SEC can beat a slightly-below-average team from another league, and do so fairly handily. On day 2 of the 100 day countdown, we make sure even the serfs get their love.

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