Friday, January 30, 2015

It’s not how; it’s how many in golf and football wins

NEW FLASH: With the release of the 2015 football schedule, NC State coach Dave Doeren will probably say the Wolfpack was screwed once again by the Atlantic Coast Conference commission John Swofford, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate? Remember, State beat the Tar Heels, 35-7 last year in Kenan Stadium, so payback is hell, greater than before. Doeren’s complaint, of course, will be justified. Here’s the deal: After four non-conference patsies, two home and two on the road, the Wolfpack hosts Louisville (Sat, Oct 3) and then has a quick turn-around, playing at Virginia Tech (Fri, Oct 9). After that, State has an open date. Virginia Tech plays at home October 3, a distinct advantage for the Hokies. John, will it never end?
Unfortunately, the old golf idiom that says, “it’s not how but how many” can also be applied to football. To explain to the non-golfer (if you are one, you’re missing out on a real joy in life), a birdie is a birdie, one under par, and it doesn’t matter if you smack a drive down the middle, hit your approach onto the green and make a short putt for birdie; or if you hit your drive fat, sending it 150 yards off the tee, then advance the ball into a green-side bunker and then hole out for a three on the par four. Both are the same score achieved differently.

In 1973, NC State’s football team was 9-3 for the season, winning six Atlantic Coast Conference games in the seven-team league, , and, in non-conference games, defeating South Carolina and East Carolina at home, and losing on the road at Nebraska, Georgia and Penn State. The ninth win came in the Liberty Bowl against a strong Kansas team.

In 2014, NC State was 8-5 overall. Two of the wins were against Wake Forest and Syracuse, two 1-7 conference teams (3-9 overall) that in a combine standing of all 14 ACC teams would finish dead last. A third ACC win was against North Carolina which was 4-4 overall (tied for sixth) and 6-7 overall. The five additional wins were against Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, South Florida, Presbyterian and Central Florida, not exactly the caliber of the five non-conference teams the Wolfpack played in 1973.

Athletics Director Debbie Yow admits to scheduling “wins” to help her selection as football coach, Dave Doeren, win games in his early years at State. But that continues in future years as noted yesterday with a line-up of who’s who among non-Major 5 conference teams. Though the schedule is sprinkled with Notre Dame (forced on the Wolfpack by the ACC: 2016, 2017, 2023, 2025), East Carolina (forced on the Wolfpack by the General Assembly: 2016, 2019, 2022), West Virginia (forced on the Wolfpack by the ACC’s desire for conference members to schedule teams from the Major 5 leagues: 2018, 2019), and Mississippi State (same reason as WVa: 2020, 2021), the schedule will always have easy games which not only should be winnable but also should be won. Maybe it just doesn’t matter who you play as long as you make birdie.
-------------------- word of the day
indemnify (verb) [in-dem-nuh-fahy]: to compensate for damage or loss sustained

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