Changing of the Guard
by Josh Spence

What in the world is going on in college football this year?  The Pirates are leading their division of Conference USA, the ACC title game right now would feature Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and Rutgers is a potential national title contender?  Are you kidding me?  We hear all the time about the growing parity in college football, but are we to expect this to be the norm?  Or is it just an anomaly?  Either way, this has to be one of the weirdest seasons on record in college football. 

Just look at the ACC.  Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Maryland are the top three teams.  Miami and Florida State, the teams predicted to win their respective divisions and play one another for the league championship at season’s end, are a combined 5-9 in league play.

But don’t even get me started about the coach’s predictions.  The coaches in Conference USA, you know, the ones that picked UCF to bring up the bottom in last year’s pre-season poll, only to see the Golden Knights win the East division and play in the leagues championship game, well they’re at it again.  The Pirates are of course leading the East, after being picked to finish sixth out of six by the astute prognosticators.  Marshall was picked fourth and currently sits third and would have been number one, had they beaten the Pirates.  How about in the West division?  Again the team picked last is making some noise.  Rice sits a game and a half out of the lead in 2nd after knocking off predicted league champ Tulsa. 

I won’t be too hard on the coaches though, it is pretty tough to pick games these days, and I’m sure they’re all worried about their own teams more than who to pick first and last. 

There are three Big East teams in the BCS top ten, compared to zero for the ACC.  Heck, there are more Big East teams in the top ten than the SEC, but we could talk all day about this worthless system that decides who plays for the national title.  How can anyone support a system that basically penalizes teams for playing in the best conference in college football? 

It’s been a crazy season indeed, especially for Pirate fans.  ECU has set new records for attendance this season.  After 41,372 (5th largest) watched ECU beat Marshall last Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ECU set a record for the most people to watch ECU play at home in a season, 223,006.  37,168, the average number of fans to attend each home game this season, is also a record.  (both of these numbers are for 6 home games played at Dowdy-Ficklen). 

Congratulations to the entire ECU staff, Skip Holtz, and the Pirates for a great turnaround.  ECU supporters once again have something to be proud of and they are showing it.  Good luck to the Pirates the rest of the way. 

Josh Spence