1st Quarter - Who is the second best
high school team in the east?
Answer: Jack Britt High School
Rose has established their reign as the
best high school team east of Wake County. After watching 11 teams
through the Hardee’s
High School Game of the Week, the Rampants have the best squad bar none.
But who is the second best team? The New Bern Bears
would undoubtedly claim their right to the throne beside Rose. The
Bears have beaten Rose the last two seasons, but are fighting for
The Bears had a season opening 39-20 loss to Mount Tabor. The Spartans
are currently No. 2 in the state
touting Virginia commitment O.C. Wardlow. Since the Mount Tabor game,
New Bern has pierced through five consecutive blowouts.
Aside from New
Bern, only a
couple of teams can find a compelling argument. Jack Britt can make a
case. Fresh off a trip to the 4-A state championship game, the
Buccaneers are undefeated. Richard Bailey’s team is ranked No. 5 in the
Unlike New Bern, Jack Britt has had to earn each victory. The
Bucs inched out a 3 point win over visiting E.E. Smith. Provided the
Bucs continue to stay undefeated, they have a test in the last game of
the season. Former ECU head coach, Ed Emory will lead Richmond Co. into
Fayetteville for the last game of the regular season.
The area’s best 3-A teams are matched-up this week
in Rocky Mount. The Gryphons take on Raymond Cobb’s undefeated
Edgecombe squad. Even
Mount is 5-1,
they played the Rampants to a 35-20 loss. Something they consider a
2nd Quarter - Who is
the front runner for the Heisman?
depends on how one determines their Heisman pick. Is it the best player
in college football or the most valuable player of
a team? Yes, Matt Leinart won the esteemed trophy last season. But that
doesn’t mean he’s a lock again in 2005. Remember Jason White?
Leinart isn’t Jason White. He actually has two knees
and a rocket for an arm. Actually, Leinart has rockets in every
position of USC’s offense. He has the best running tandem in Reggie
Bush and Lendale White. He has five star recruits in wideouts Steve
Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.
Vince Young’s offensive talent pool isn’t exactly a
barren wasteland. Texas’s offense is predicated on Young’s athleticism.
His athletic ability helps make Texas two-dimensional. He sliced up
State’s defense and hasn’t looked back.
Young has 780 yards passing and 310 on the ground.
He’s thrown for seven touchdowns and run for two. Texas hasn’t gotten
to the teeth of their schedule
yet. Outside of the Buckeyes, the Longhorns have rolled over opponents.
The Red River Shootout this weekend should provide a stage for the
Reggie Bush is another frontrunner. The USC running
back is so dynamic out of the backfield running or receiving. Bush’s
problem is that he may not be the best running back on his team. Bush
had 158 yards against Arizona State last week, but Lendale White had
Other players to consider are DeAngelo Williams of Memphis, Laurence
Maroney of Minnesota, Derek Hagan of Arizona State, Marcus Vick of
Virginia Tech, Brady Quinn of
Notre Dame and D.J. Shockley of Georgia.
3rd Quarter - Who
will win the NFC South?
NFC West used to be one of the hardest
divisions in football. Every division ebbed and flowed, but the Saints,
Rams, Falcons, 49ers and Panthers were some of the league’s best teams.
All good things come to an end as realignment formed the NFC South.
Again, it remains one of the premier divisions. This
year’s reemergence of the Buccaneers makes the playoff picture even
foggier. The division champion will be decided on Week 17. But who will
be the winner?
Again, it’s the Atlanta Falcons. When motivated, the
Falcons have the best team in the division. Michael Vick is the most
dynamic quarterback in the league. Atlanta takes on New England this
week at their most vulnerable state. The
lowly N.Y. Jets follow the Patriots on the Falcons’ schedule.
The Buccaneers don’t have enough power offensively
to inch out the division. Carnell Williams and Michael Pittman have
been a lethal force on the ground. But the Bucs lack depth at wide
receiver. Brian Griese is not the quarterback of the future and will
falter down the stretch.
The Panthers have a solid squad, but not a great
one. Carolina needs a second wide receiver to step up outside
of Steve Smith. They are also missing Colin Branch, the starting free
safety hurt in the preseason. Stephen Davis lacks the speed he had in
The Saints have the most talented offense in the league. The erratic
Aaron Brooks can’t seem motivate his team every week. They play like
gangbusters one week and try to mirror the 49ers the next.
The Falcons have experience. They have heady play
from their quarterback, something the other teams can’t boast. If Vick
gets hurt, the team will plummet again. See 2003. But if Vick stays
healthy, the Falcons will host their first playoff game.
4th Quarter - Who will
the blame for N.C. State’s loss on Thursday?
one, N.C. State wins
N.C. State will pack it in Carter-Finley for a national TV
match-up against Georgia Teach again on Thursday. This one will be
different from the Wolfpack’s two home losses. N.C. State has had too
time to prepare and superior talent.
The Wolfpack are coming off a bye week. The Chest
has been taking the brunt of the criticism for N.C. State’s early
blunders. He has built expectations,
but has yet to be able to live up to them. Thursday, he will beat his
Chest in front of the home fans.
Georgia Tech got walloped 51-7 by Virginia Tech.
Their mental makeup is fragile. Reggie Ball is recuperating from viral
meningitis. Most importantly, the Yellow Jackets are on the road.
N.C. State simply has too much talent to continually
concede games. If offensive coordinator Marc Trestman will go against
his short passing game and switch to a power running attack, Toney
Baker could have a coming out party. The Ragsdale native will be thrust
onto the national scene after a three touchdown performance.
If Chan Gailey could steal the game on the road, a
4-1 Georgia Tech gets Duke at home. It’s not going to happen tonight.
The Wolfpack have too much riding on it. So does the Chest. If for some
reason Georgia Tech pulls it out, run Chest run.
Overtime - What will be
the score for
the ECU vs. Rice game?
ECU 34, RICE 20
Just cuz. Don’t be shocked to see Rice move the ball against ECU’s
defense especially early. The team that scores first will win.