Happy New Year! The first day of 2009 offers up some intriguing matchups on the gridiron, but given the recent phenomena of spreading out bowl games over an entire month New Year's Day can seem a bit barren to some. Bragging rights for conferences are on the line as well, most notably in a couple of matchups between the Big Ten and SEC along with a traditional showdown in Pasadena. The league/team with the most to lose: Virginia Tech, champions of the ACC.
Rob Carpentier's "Seven Day Stretch" is a whirlwind tour around every corner of college basketball nation:
Seven Day Savior (Team): Clemson
Joey Whelan will be checking in throughout the season with his Top 10 Prospects Report, a look at who is rising, falling, and dominating the game of college basketball:
Top 10 NBA Draft Prospects
1. Blake Griffin - Oklahoma (1)
Editor's Early Preview (12/15):
An early and important ACC battle on Sunday as Miami faces unbeaten Clemson. Despite the Tigers undefeated record, the voters have given them little respect. Rightfully so, as Clemson has a reputation for running off early non-conference home wins before faltering in league play. So long as Jack McClinton doesn't go rogue here and slap anyone in the face, the Hurricanes should get the win.
Wake Forest, Miami and now the Clemson Tigers are slowly beginning to earn this elite respect as well.
Unless you've had absolutely no access to any form of media (TV, radio, internet, newspaper, etc.), you know that yesterday's installment of the BCS standings placed Oklahoma ahead of Texas. With those two being tied along with Texas Tech atop the Big 12 South with 7-1 records that was the determining factor in sending the Sooners to take on Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday. But wait: didn't Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 back on Ocotber 11th? Yes they did, so when you take that into consideration you may wonder what's up with the BCS and the Big 12's tiebreaker system.
The first two weeks of the college basketball season are incredibly important for any team regardless of the size of the program or the team's preseason expectations. For teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, almost every opponent faced thus far is one that is expected to be defeated. While there is not a lot that can be derived from a handful of performances, here are some early impressions of the ACC that are expected to remain true for the entire season.
Gani Lawal has arrived for Georgia Tech