Ah know what y'all be pond'rin. Is 'is here blog gon' be nothin' but inacceret dialeck from naw til eternitah? 'Fraid so, young feller! As ye may know, I cain't go nowhere without first offendin' the locals! Here's a pic-cher 'a one of my newest bestest frends:
Woooo-eeeee! That boy ken pick like the devil hisself! We wuz out yesterdee, takin' ourselves a stroll to the five'n'dime, when that ole sky done clouded over sumpin' fierce, and hell if it didn't come a gully washer fore we'se could even-
(Annoyed southern person slaps me in the face, hard.)
Thank you, and I apologize. But it's true, I'm here in Carrboro at a nice kitchen table staring out a pine tree. The sheer amount of space I have in this apartment, for less money, is just knocking my socks off. We've been unpacking and taking care of preliminary business, but now we have the internet, things are settling down, and I'm ready to get back to a regular blog schedule. I would advise readers to expect a morning post with a 20-30% chance of afternoon post each day, at least for the near future. I slept in a little today, but from now on the posts will be up by 10am like usual.
Today, I'm going to steal content from a message board. I've told some of you that I'll be getting into UNC football this year, so last week I posted a thread on a Tar Heel football board to try to educate myself about the program. The people were very nice and thorough, and occasionally funny, in their responses. So what I'm going to do is post my questions, along with all the answers to that particular question, one after the other, below. I've left the responses exactly as written.
UNC Football Primer for the New and Ignorant
Question 1: I've gathered that the biggest football rival is State. Would this change if Duke's team continues to improve and earns bowl berths over the next couple years? Or is football a different beast than basketball?
-doubtful....football is different than basketball, and I don't see dook being competitive enough to be our main football rival
-20 years ago, the biggest football rival was dook...not State, but something about winning 22 out of 23 kind of changes that. I would love to start a similar streak over State and develop our big rivalry with VT, GT or Miami.
-It's spelled dook, and it's still fun to beat them.
-"The Oldest Rivalry in the South" is UNC-UVA. UVA really should be more of a rivalry because of similarities as "public ivy" universities and culture. They are the only fanbase in the ACC more snobby than us.
Dookies are intolerable. I'm 38 and have met two Dookies that I like.
-NC State is our biggest football rival & I don't see it changing in the near future.
-What they said state is our more traditional rival in football and it's staying that way.
-State (Hands Down)
-You hate NC State with a passion, that is a blood oath. Beating NC State is a must win this season considering we have gone 0-3 over the past three seasons.
-First, the spelling you're looking for is "Dook", not "Duke". Second of all, I think if they continue to improve that the rivalry will take a step up. Every game over the last 5 years has been closely contested despite the talent level of both teams, and Dook is DEFINITELY not a guaranteed win anymore with Coach Cutcliffe at the helm. They will be a tough out, but even more so as their talent level improves.
-In answer to your question about dook football, I just have this...
This happened two summers ago. The dook lawyers THEMSELVES ARGUED THAT ANYBODY could replace them on the schedule...AND THE JUDGE AGREED WITH THEM! Trust, when you finish the season at 5-7, and that's considered a monumental leap forward in your program, you're not going to be ANYBODY'S rival.
-Concerning rivalries, for different reasons at different times, one could say dook, State or UVA. When I was a kid, dook was the big rival in all sports, period. When dook decided to de facto drop football, State filled the vacuum. UVA has history with us, and I knew old-timers back in the day that said they were THE rival, the Southern Public Ivy League contender.
On a lesser level, there's bad blood between us and Wake, ECU and SCar. We view them as pests, and there is more than a little jealousy and hatred coming our way. Historically, we have OWNED all three of those programs.
-Rivalries are created over many years of intense competition. Our rival in all sports is the dookies. We don't sing, "Go to H___, State." Its "Go to H___, Dook." We revel in beating them in FB, BB, Baskets, and every other sanctioned and nonsanctioned event. Including bar room fighting in either town after a Saturday night binge. A true Heel can't stand anything about them, will absolutely not allow their children to attend that cesspool, and loathes everything about the rat faced cry baby that works in the cracker box they call a gym.
The liberty bell each year goes to the winner of the Carolina/Dook FB game.
The red haired little brother in rawleigh is not a factor. period.
Question 2: How would you rate Butch Davis on a scale of 1-10?
-That's tough. To be objective, he's not a 10, but neither was Mack Brown. He is up there though. I'd say he's an 8
-8....love the direction of the program, but would like to see us break into double digit wins and beat the teams we SHOULD beat (state and UVa)
-8 is a good grade.
-8. There is very little he has NOT done for this program, and his progress in just a few short years has been truly remarkable. The program is in an entire different place, and it's night and day when you compare it with the program under the previous head coach John Bunting. The only thing that would have made this higher is if the Heels had won a bowl game and/or been in the ACCCG, but for three full seasons going into a fourth there's very little to complain about.
Question 3: What is Davis' greatest strength as a coach?
-recruiting and building dominant defenses
-Having an eye for talent and not just on the recruiting trail. Folks who are in management know that you have to delegate and you can't be successful if you don't completely surround yourself with good people. In football this not only means players and coaches, but the entire football staff down to the secretary. Butch also does an excellect job of motivating the team to do things that haven't been done recently (beating VT/Miami, going bowling, etc.) . Honestly, three years ago, UNC had been 0 for the last 25 in games outside the state of NC. Now, we routinely accomplish this and everyone seems to ignore that it's quite a big deal to win on the road (UConn, Miami, Blacksburg, Rutgers). We've got huge road games this year out of NC (LSU, Miami, FSU, Rutgers, UVa) and the players not only know that we CAN win, but believe in earnest that we will. This is a HUGE difference between now and the Bunting era.
-recruiting and player development
-Talent evaluation for sure.
-Definitely recruting, prolly motivator too.
-Recruiting and Selling this great university to players
-BD finally has excitement over UNC Football for the first time in many years.
-Coach Davis' greatest strength is his ability to quickly build a program through recruiting. Bringing elite talent to Chapel Hill has reached a whole new level with Davis at the helm.
Question 4: What is his biggest weakness?
-I would say his unwillingness to deviate from a conservative offensive gameplan
-Loyalty? Would it really surprise anyone if our offense is in the 90's again this year and no one gets reprimanded for it? Butch loves "his people" and he sticks with "his people." Sometimes you have to admit a mistake was made and change the course. Honorable mention: Butch fails to appreciate the value of local rivalries and doesn't infuse the kind of energy needed to win those game to the players.
-clock management, too conservative at times
-Can't beat State
-he might be TOO loyal in the case of our offensive coordinator/etc. I also think he tends to be too conservative with a lead.
-Tendency to have letdown's or lose games that should be won, downplaying the mooU game.
-Telling SHoop and Yates to take a hike! (and beating State)
-I would rank BD near the top, great recruiter and motivator, but has had a cloud hanging over him throughout his career that he isnt a "game day" coach. I think he has done just fine at UNC. He defers most game day decisions to the coordinators.
-Coach Davis has never been known to be the best strategist, and I think this is his greatest weakness. Oftentimes adjustments - mainly on offense - are not made in a timely manner, and teams are able to exploit deficiencies in the Tar Heel game plan all day.
Question 5: The Carolina program has come a long way in the past two years, and the 8-5 records in '08 and '09 were the best in a long time. Do you see them continuing to rise? How many wins is it realistic to expect this year?
-I think the absolute minimum this year is 9 wins, but most expect a breakout year (double digit wins)
-I think they can rise to 9-10 regular season wins a year, but honestly no one in the ACC is really surpassing that average. No one has gone undefeated in the ACC in 9 years (FSU in 2001 I believe), so even if we ascend to being the best program in the ACC (which is probably not objective), going undefeated or even 7-1 is still difficult. With OOC schedules including some tough opponents and lots of rumors of more tough opponents, going 12-0 in a season would really take a LOT of luck.
-yes, though this yeat could yield anywhere from 7-11 wins.
-I'm hoping for 9 wins this year...the Coastal Division is tough, however.
-If we don't get at least 9 inmost ppls eyes it will be a dissapointment, so 9 and up.
-I don't think there is any question that this program will continue to improve as long as Coach Davis is in Chapel Hill. The momentum created through recruiting, the new additions to the stadium, and hopefully a great season this year will all contribute to this program continuing its upward trend. I think the safe bet for wins this year is 9; it's not too conservative, but it's not completely unrealistic either. Losses will likely come against Florida State, Miami, and either Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech.
Okay, that's enough reading for one day. I'll put questions 6-10 up tomorrow. They include content about UNC football history, the school's fanbase and tailgating culture, and predictions for the season. See you then.