World, Hakeem Nicks. Hakeem Nicks, World.

Yes, the loss hurts in many ways that UNC’s other close losses have hurt this season, but this one was probably the least painful. It was as exciting game as one could ask for. Both teams played their hearts out and played (mostly) high quality football for most of the game. While making some mistakes, the Heels were excellent for much of the game and were as impressive in defeat as one can reasonably expect. Pat White, perhaps the greatest player in Mountaineer football history, had a outstanding day and win to cap off his illustrious college career. It was the best game of the pre-BCS slate, and the best case scenario for the Car Care Bowl organizers.

And Hakeem Nicks…oh, Hakeem Nicks:

The vidoes and statistics speak for themselves: 8 catches, 217 yards, 3 touchdowns. Nicks now holds every major school receiving record. It’s probable that this is the last we’ve seen of the greatest wide receiver in school history, as Nicks is an NFL talent right now and has nothing left to prove in college. UNC should be fine with a talented, if inexperienced, wide receiver trio of Greg Little, Kenton Thornton and Dwight Jones in 2009. If Hakeem comes back for his senior year, however, I may end up knocking myself out from the excitement.

Anyway, this post is a big Thank You and Congratulations for Hakeem Nicks and all the joy he has brought me and Tar Heel fans everywhere, from the Rutgers game on Saturday all the way up to Saturday’s remarkable performance.

Car Care Bowl Live Blog

North Carolina. West Virginia. In the battle for who will win the game named after a company who once had George Foreman as a spokesperson. Winner will be 9-4 and feel awesome. Loser will be 8-5 and feel…not so awesome.

Most importantly, this is our first bowl game in 4 years and the end to our best season since 2001. And what better way to celebrate our exit from the doldrums than to face a team coached by the modern-day Carl Torbush. FEEL THE ELECTRICITY!

So get pumped, click on the blue stuff below at about 12:45, and let’s get this thing started.

Click Here

The Nightmare After Christmas

Programming note: You damn right we’re live-blogging the Car Care Bowl. Stop by on Saturday afternoon for that. In leiu of bowl analysis, I will provide you with a fake story. If you’ve read this blog before, it’s probably what you would have preferred anyway. Enjoy.

December 27, 9:45 am. West Virginia coach Bill Stewart addresses his team at breakfast before they leave for Bank of America Stadium.

Bill Stewart: And one more thing before we head onto that field, men. We may not have accomplished what we wanted to this year, but dammit if we didn’t give our full effort!

Pat White: (is pumped)

Noel Devine: (plays Wii in the back corner)

Bill Stewart: Now, we’ve got a good opponent today in North Carolina. They’re going to be fierce today. But they won’t be as intense as us, and I know why.

Noel Devine: (reaches level 5 on whatever the hell he’s playing)

Bill Stewart: Because this game…is about honor. Guys like Pat have spent the last four years playing their hearts out and representing this university better than I possibly could. When this game is over, could you really look at our seniors in the face, after their final game in uniform, knowing that you gave anything less than your very best?

Everyone: (silence, nodding)

Bill Stewart: Of course not. This game is about them, the seniors. Let them end their time here on a high note. Now let’s go out there and have some fun!

Team: WHOOOOOOOO (rushes out of hotel conference room)

Noel Devine: (takes attention off Wii) Where’ed everybody go, coach?

Bill Stewart: Darn it.

————–

Later, in the coaches “bus”…

Bill Stewart: Gosh, Ed. These boys are gonna win today. I can feel it.

Ed Pastilong, WVU AD: Yeah, yeah.

Bill Stewart: By the way, I like your idea of putting the coaches and players on seperate buses to the team can collect their thoughts ‘fore the game.

Ed: Thank you, Bill.

Bill Stewart: I have just one, question, though.

Ed: Go ahead.

Bill Stewart: Why are we in an unmarked black van?

Ed: Umm…we’re saving gas?

Bill Stewart: Works for me.

Ed: Good.

Bill Stewart: Hey, the bus is going that way.

Ed: I know, I know. But we’re going THIS way.

Bill Stewart: Why?

Ed: Because the coaches and players arrive at different parts of the stadium.

Bill Stewart: But they’re headed away from Charlotte.

Ed: They probably just decided to get a pregame snack.

Bill Stewart: Oh.

Bill Stewart: Say, aren’t those the Tar Heels?

Ed: Yep.

Bill Stewart: So are we goin’ to say hi?

Ed: Yep.

Bill Stewart: That was a pretty ominous yep.

Ed: Where’d you learn a word like “ominous”?

Bill Stewart: I work at a university. Heck if I know what it means, though.

Ed: Oh. Anyway, your old coach Dick Crum is here to greet you.

Bill Stewart: Oh hey! I’ll go out and meet him!

Ed: Yeah. You do that.

Butch Davis: (talking to Everett Withers): and whatever you do, fix the prevent–

Ed: Hey Coach Davis! Can yhou come over here for a second!

Butch: No way! I don’t trust you, shady guy driving that unmarked van.

Ed: (Holds cartoonishly huge sack of money)

Butch: You’ve just earned my trust. (walks up to van)

Four burly arms come out of the van and grab coach Davis

Butch: What the fu–(is dragged into van)

Ed: GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO

The van speeds off to the interstate, never to be seen again.

Dick Baddour: (noticing the ruckus) What just happened?

BillStewart: Aw, well shucks, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Baddour. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like you’ve got a coaching vacancy.

Dick Baddour: WHAT?!?

Bill Stewart: Yeah, they just drove off with Mr. Davis and, well, I was wondering if you were interested in giving me the job.

John Blake: THE HELL YOU ARE I’M A STONE COLD FREAK AND I GOT DIBS ON HIS DAMN SEAT FOOL

BIll Stewart: Now, that’s not very nice.

John Blake: WHATCHA GON DO BOUT IT FOOL

Random NC State fan passing by: IN YOUR FACE 41-10 41-10 41-10 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (does that stupid wolf thing with his hands)

Dick Baddour: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Dick Baddour: (wakes up, panting heavily) Oh…oh my God. Thank the Lord. Just a bad dream.

(phone rings)

Dick Baddour: Hello?

Hi, this is Jay Jacobs. It looks like Chizik’s gonna get run out of town after goin’ 4-8 next season, and in 2009 it’s pretty much down to your guy or Muschamp to save my job. Just though you should know. (hangs up)

Can’t ANYONE let this program win 8-9 games a year in peace?

Ginyard warming up vs. Evansville

I’m at the Evansville game right now. Marcus Ginyard is in game shoes and shorts (but not warmup jacket) shooting with the rest of the team. He came onto the court before anyone else, apparently to test how close to 100% he was. Whether or not he’s going to play is still uncertain, but I would not be the least bit surprised if he did.

Just thought y’all should know.

HeelTube: The Last Time UNC and West Virginia Met…

…it was the 1997 Gator Bowl. Dre’ Bly took only one year to become one of the great corners in UNC history. His freshman season was bonkers, and he continued his stellar play that year with two of his 13 interceptions against the Mountaineers. Oscar Davenport also had a good game, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another. Carolina eventually won the game 20-13, capping their best season in more than a decade. 2008 has been easily the Heels’ best season since 1997, and in the Car Care Bowl they face none other than the Mountaineers. Freaky.

Much more posting about UNC’s bowl opponent will come in the next two weeks.

(Belated) Final Regular Season Blogpoll

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a family member who used to work for the University of Texas in some capacity. Having said that, Oklahoma is playing as well as, if not better than, anyone in the nation right now, and they have a better out of conference schedule than Texas or Florida. But if a poller believes that a playoff system, fundamentally based on head-to-head matchups, is viable, then that poller must respect Texas’ victory over Oklahoma and hold it against the Sooners when ranking them. That is not to say that the Sooners are not worthy; they are. But 45-35 is still the reason why I placed Texas ahead of Oklahoma in my ballot.

In the ACC, the three teams with nine wins are in the top 25, including both of the ACC Championship participants. Barely.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas 1
2 Oklahoma 1
3 Florida 1
4 Alabama 3
5 Texas Tech
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State
8 Utah 2
9 Boise State
10 Ohio State 1
11 Cincinnati 1
12 Oklahoma State 2
13 Georgia Tech
14 TCU 2
15 Virginia Tech 9
16 Michigan State 2
17 Brigham Young 3
18 Oregon 3
19 Pittsburgh 7
20 Mississippi 2
21 Northwestern
22 Iowa 1
23 Oregon State 3
24 Boston College 5
25 Buffalo 1

Dropped Out: Missouri (#14), Ball State (#17), Rice (#25).

UNC vs. Michigan State Live Blog

I’ll be over at Storming The Floor to cover tonight’s game, which may of may not be Tyler-free (much to Michigan State’s apparent disappointment). See you there at 9pm.

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