UNC in Preseason AP Top 25

August 22, 2009

The Tar Heel football team is the lone Tobacco Road school to appear in the Preseason AP Top 25 poll released earlier today.  The Tar Heels are among four ACC schools to receive a spot in the rankings.  Virginia Tech (No. 7), Georgia Tech (No. 15) and Florida State (No. 18) will each create road blocks for the Tobacco Road teams on the way to Tampa at the end of the season.

Among the schools receiving votes is NC State.  With several tough ACC opponents on the schedule, the Wolfpack will have ample opportunities to crack the rankings.

Check back soon for previews of the opening games for each Tobacco Road team.


Keeping the Winning Ways Coming

August 19, 2009

After going to a bowl game for the third consecutive season for the first time in school history, the Demon Deacons are set to be a force in the ACC again.  Riley Skinner is back at quarterback to lead Wake to what could be a continuation of the program’s recent success.

Skinner had a strong 2008 season, however he rarely got help from the players around him when it came to crunch time.  With some help skinner should be able to provide enough offense to keep the Demon Deacons in the ACC Atlantic race.

The schedule is of medium difficulty with two doormat BCS schools coming to Winston-Salem to start the year.  Baylor and Stanford pose great threats to Wake, however both teams have dangerous athletes and plenty of time to prepare.  once the ACC schedule starts the Deacs will have to travel to Atlanta later in the campaign to face Georgia Tech, but will miss facing preseason Top-25 teams North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

At the end of the season Wake will be fighting to get out of the middle of the ACC pack that includes eight or nine teams that could take the title.  Prediction is that Wake will handle its non-conference schedule with the only possible hiccup coming with a midseason trip to Navy.  So after splitting their ACC schedule the Demon Deacons will finish 7-5 and go bowling for a fourth straight year.

The Tar Heels are on the Rise

August 19, 2009

A perennial powerhouse in basketball, North Carolina is now a force in ACC football.  With another top recruiting class and a more than manageable schedule, the Tar Heels will have a say in which team will represent the Coastal division in the ACC title game.

After an eight win season in 2008, UNC (preseason No. 20) will return 15 starters in 2009.  Where the Tar Heels return the most experience is in the front seven on defense.  Six returning starters up front will give UNC a formidable defense for any team on the schedule to navigate.

The Tar Heel offense will go as far as the injury prone legs of quarterback T.J. Yates can carry them. After missing five games last year with an ankle injury, Yates will have to become comfortable with a new group of receivers, which may be difficult since the offensive line returns only two starters and is lacking depth.

The schedule sets up nicely with two FBS schools and a Connecticut program that is in transition.  East Carolina will visit Chapel Hill after playing a 2008 season saw the Pirates become the country’s early season darling.  UNC should be able to get through its non-conference schedule without a blemish.  Two possible stumbling blocks will come when the ACC season opens with a trip to Georgia Tech and a meeting a few weeks later in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech.

UNC should manage to match last seasons win total without a problem.  Prediction is a 9-3 finish, just missing the ACC title game.  If targets emerge for Yates to throw to the Tar Heels could very well find themselves in Tampa

Coach Butch Davis has brought a sense of pride back into the Tar Heel football program and while UNC may always be a basketball institution, if Davis continues to recruit the way he has since arriving in Chapel Hill there will be no problem making a name for the football team as well.

Will the Blue Devils ever be important?

August 18, 2009

Another college football season is upon us and the question on nobody’s mind is how are the Blue Devils gonna do this season.  After years of low expectations and lower results, Duke will once again take the field in a conference that will see many teams fighting for their chance to go to Tampa in December.

Four wins was a stellar improvement for a team who had not seen that much success since the 1994 season.  David Cutcliffe will look to make his second year as progressive as his first, however a tough conference schedule and a third week date at Kansas will make the getting to the postseason a highly unrealistic task.

Thaddeus Lewis will give the Blue Devils an experienced quarterback having started 34 games in his career.  Lewis will need recievers to step up to replace the production of Eron Riley, the Blue Devils’ biggest loss from last years team.

There will be no bowl for Duke this year.  Even with the two FBS schools and Army, the Blue devils will be hard pressed to make it back to last years 4-8 mark.  the prediction will be three wins for the Blue Devils all coming in the preseason and a gauntlet of ACC teams with no easy wins awaits the boys in Durham.

T-Minus 3 Weeks to Kickoff

August 17, 2009

With the Wolfpack set to start the college football season on September 3rd at home against Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks.  Quarterback Russell Wilson will drop back behind an experienced offensive line with a solid ground game to help NC State to improve on what wasa  tale of two seasons in 2008.

After dropping to 2-4 the boys in Raleigh rallied to win four straight to earn a postseaon berth where they fell to Rutgers in the Papajohns.com Bowl.  Wilson’s progression showed as the season progressed, making few mistakes and taking games over with his mobility.  He will need to be efficient this year if the Wolfpack expect to be back in the bowl picture in a conference that is certain to be filled with parody.

With two FBS schools on the schedule after the opener with the Gamecocks, another 2-4 start is not likely.  Look for the Wolfpack to improve by one game this season and finish at 7-5.  They will lose a tough one at some point but will look to steal one of their late season matchups as the schedule gets tougher further down the road.

Tobacco Road Sports

August 17, 2009

This is the place for all things North Carolina college athletics.  With four universities sporting a tradition of excellence in the ACC, there is little doubt that this is a hotbed of athletic greatness.  with daily updates on Wake Forest, Duke, UNC and NC State, there is always plenty to celebrate with friends and trash talk enemies.