ACCross The Web, Oct. 1st

In 2006, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden famously gaffed when he blamed “eBay and e-mail and all that junk” for having to fire his son Jeff. Uh, Papa Bowden, that mysterious and magical series of tubes that allows for things like email and gigabytes of free music is called the Internet. And before you ask, those miniature folks playing football behind the pretty piece of glass that looks so real is called HDTV. Bowden’s out-of-touch rant about the Internet makes sense for a guy who began coaching when the telegraph was bleeding edge tech. But fast-forward to the present, and it’s frightening to see the attitude permeate throughout some athletic departments.

More than a few coaches and athletic directors believe the web is a gathering place for the lunatic fringe who live in mom’s basement. If they would step outside the luxury box and fancy booster gatherings, the suits in charge would realize they have it all wrong. These people you consider mouth-breathers with a keyboard and internet access are in large part shaping the perception of your school. Why has NC State been cast as a group of unsatisfied crazies who always want to fire coaches? Point your browser to PackPride or StateFansNation and watch the self-hate flow. Oh sure, every message board is riddled with sketchy characters who claim to be insiders who actually know nothing at all. However, the raw emotion of sports can bring even the most successful and smartest people down to a level where they feel compelled to write under a fake alias such as “DannyFordLoveChild43” and rattle off a paragraph about Willy Korn being the savior of Clemson football. The seemingly normal worker bee in the cubicle next to you who has a hot wife and two ovely kids could also be the guy who wears a tin-foil hat and is convinced the ACC instructs basketball officials favor Duke.

Behold the mind altering powers of the “eBays.”

The dirty little secret is that fans have always acted this way over sports. The quaint days of writing a letter to the editor in the hopes your missive against the current coach would be published are long gone and replaced with the instant reaction of a live blog. The old school media members won’t agree with me, but I’m all for more fan snark and vitriol over the web. Because ESPN and others started deifying coaches over the years, somebody has to knock these guys off their pedestal. It’s the American way.

What The Blog?

Scouring the blogosphere so you don’t have to…

Al Groh Coachbook Page. Let’s be honest, the schtick has grown tired over the years. However, this spoof of social networking site Facebook has breathed new life into the genre. Al’s page includes messages from Lane Kiffin and David Cutcliffe, and he recently joined the group “ACC Coaches Who Have Lost To Duke Since 2004.”

Duke is a top 10 football team. At least according to Ken Massey. His computer rankings are based on win-loss outcomes relative to schedule difficulty and count for 1/6th of the non-human portion of the BCS formula. At 3-1, the Blue Devils are better than Texas, Penn State and USC. Has Massey run a spyware remover? I’ve got a feeling David Cutcliffe loaded a nasty worm in his last email to Massey.

TigerNet Plays Fantasy AD. Mickey Plyler wants to unite a “divided Tiger nation.” No, this has nothing to do with the failing economy or the upcoming election. Plyler wants to give Tommy Bowden his walking papers in the middle of the season and elevate Dabo Swinney as the interim head coach. Oh, and let’s make Scarlett Johansson the new defensive coordinator.

Hey Bobby, Don’t Forget The Sunscreen. If Clemson fans and Florida State fans had their way, the ACC would be all out of Bowdens at the end of the season. In this rant on Tomahawk Nation that begs Bowden to “leave our program,” the man who made the Seminoles a national power “stalks the sidelines like an Alzheimer’s patient and appears befuddled about what is going on out on that field.”

Volleyball stinks. Fire Lee Fowler! The boys at StateFansNation are so hell bent on firing AD Lee Fowler, they keep track of women’s volleyball. The team just ended a losing streak that dates back to 2005, and have an overall record of 4-143 under Fowler’s watch. Only in Raleigh, kids.

Breaking Up His Hard To Do. Boston College fans will tell you they’re over Tom O’Brien. That’s why we still get long-winded retrospectives on the “O’Brien Years.” Eagle In Atlanta breaks down how this game is important to Jags, while Tom O’Brien simply doesn’t care. Just remember Eagles Super Fans, y’all are having fun now!

Wake fan realizes it could be worse. Old Gold And Blog comes to the sobering realization that things might suck after a loss to Navy, but at least he doesn’t pull for Clemson. Indeed, Tiger fans sure do like dropping F-bombs these days.

James Davis must watch MSNBC. The Clemson running back was asked who he was going to vote for. He replied, “Obama…Really, I didn’t even know who he was going against, but that’s the only one I hear about.” Could have been worse, he could have endorsed Tina Fey thinking she was actually Sarah Palin.

Messageboard Moment of Zen

“I really wanted the kid to succeed until he sat behind the Duke bench against us last year and stood and cheered for Duke. I cant remember if he was wearing a Duke shirt(I dont believe he was) and I understand having a brother playing major college basketball but you must be a complete moron if you’re truly expecting to be the starting QB at UNC and openly pull against us versus Duke.” — InsideCarolina user “DeanKenan” on embracing QB Mike Paulus.

Proof positive that North Carolina will always be a basketball school, and a sentiment we’ve heard on the local airwaves from callers who wanted to see Cam Sexton step up in place of injured starting quarterback TJ Yates. When your brother is the point guard everyone loves to hate at Duke, it’s going to be a rough crowd if things don’t go smoothly. After throwing two interceptions against Virginia Tech and getting yanked in favor of Sexton in a win over Miami, you could say flops run in the Paulus family.

It’s Gone Viral

North Carolina DB Melvin Williams loses his head. Butch Davis, taking advantage of the new injury report rules, claimed that Williams had an “upper body injury.”

How’d This Get Through The Spam Filter?

You just said duke only wins might be unc and state. But carolina just beat Miami. Joe quit drinking the kool aid. BUT DUKE WILL BEAT STATE. — Walter, an 850 The Buzz listener.

It’s the hot topic on Tobacco Road: Will Duke win enough games to make a bowl game? In a word, no. But there was a chorus of “wait a sec, Joe!” on Monday from Duke football fans…yes, Duke football fans…who think they can do enough to get six wins. I entertained the idea, threw out some best-case scenarios and I apparently upset Walter when I floated the idea of the Blue Devils beating North Carolina. Relax, tough guy…I was just playing along with all the insane Dookies, so chill.

Duke has two other home games against Miami and North Carolina, and they’ll be on the road against Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Maybe if the Yellow Jackets make a ton of mistakes like they did in their loss to the Hokies. Maybe if Miami suddenly forgets how to play defense like they did against North Carolina. Maybe you’ll notice a trend here. Duke has been fun to watch, but the bowl talk is insane at this point.