Mike, the biggest BC sports news of the weekend is Sunday's game with Duke. BC is coming off two tough losses against Wake Forest and Clemson. Although they are coming off a loss to North Carolina, the Blue Devils are once again one of the top teams in the ACC and look like a terrible match up for BC. Can BC snap their ACC losing streak and their losing streak to the Dukies?
Mike: Duke is the basketball equivalent to Miami football in a way, acting as BC kryptonite. Both have been good throughout the years, but BC just can't seem to beat them (until recently with Mr. Ryan) no matter if it's an up year for us and down year for them. Since 2001, BC is 0-6 vs. Duke, losing by 10, 2, 2, 8, 14, and 10 most recently. While ALL BC sports teams have the ability to play up or down to the level of their competition--and often do so--the Blue Devils are just too well coached and the talent delta is too great.
BC uses a packed house to energize the young team to get out to an early lead, finishing up by seven at the break. Then they follow the blueprint of the Clemson and Wake Forest games and fall apart in the 2nd half. Duke by 10 in the end. Keys to the game and final score prediction from you, Bill?
Bill: In my opinion the key will be how BC stops or slows Henderson from penetrating. If BC can keep him from cutting to the basket for easy points and rebounds, they may be able to pull off the upset. But like you, I am getting a vibe that BC will go up at half and lose by 10ish as Duke reasserts itself in the second half.
Bill: Mike, now take off your analyst hat and put your fan hat back on: which Dukie -- past or present -- makes your skin crawl and your blood boil?
Mike: You mean other than this guy?
But seriously, is this a dream SAT question? There is no wrong answer! While many say JJ Reddick, he was more good than annoying. Laettner was off-the-charts annoying, but he was pretty darn good in the clutch, plus he cut out the hearts of Kentucky Wildcat basketball fans which earns him kudos in my book. I'm going to have to go with Bobby Hurley, who in his entire career at Duke felt he was fouled 1,340,551 times...and himself only once or twice.
On an important side note, Duke is also home to my favorite basketball nickname of recent memory..."Five-Head", aka Sheldon Williams, aka "Admiral Ackbar".
Bill, moving back to football for a second...what are your thoughts on the most recent coaching departure, Yano to LSU? I know BC was giving him the "here's your hat what's your hurry" routine trying to replace Yano due to the poor special teams he was charged with coaching, but does it surprise you that he went to a traditional powerhouse that seems pretty darn happy to have him?
Bill: It doesn't surprise me a bit actually. Yano had a decent rep before BC and only improved his status to outsiders while at BC. First there was Purvis' breakout last year. Yano can brush off Purvis' rough '08 to others by pointing the finger at Crane/Davis. He can also claim good special teams (punt blocks, Ayers last year, etc.) and point the woes on not having a kicker. But in my opinion, where he really benefited from his time at BC is the perception that BC coaches have great eyes for talent and can uncover diamonds in the rough. I am sure LSU fans are thinking that Yano at LSU -- where he would be unencumbered by BC's admission standards and recruit a different style of athlete is a match made in heaven. Regardless of how Yano does, I am glad he's got a job. The coaching biz is a game of musical chairs and there will be plenty of guys without jobs this season.
Mike, some members of the BC community are up in arms about crucifixes in the classroom. I don't get the fuss because the last time I checked BC was still a Catholic university. Just because it is hanging on the wall doesn't mean the faculty member is endorsing any religion or a student is obligated to believe. It is just a holy symbol at a private religious institution.
Mike: I have two words for this issue: Private School. If it's a state-run school supported by tax dollars, it's a different story. You're likely not to hear complaints about Morehouse College giving too much attention to African-Americans or Brigham Young University spending too much time promoting Mormon beliefs, so I think this is comical. It's a private school and they can do whatever they darn well please. Don't like it? Don't go there. Problem solved.
Lastly Bill, many BC'ers of late have wondered about the Samsonesque power of Coach Frank Spaziani's mustache (hereafter "Spazche™"). While I'm biased, I think it's pretty cool and certainly very powerful. If the Jeff "Creepy Guy" Kent Molestache was a "1" and Rollie Finger's 'stache a "10", where does the Spazche score in your book?
Bill: I am not one to judge when it comes to facial hair. My ginger complexion makes any facial growth look like Teen Wolf. But Spaz is doing pretty well for himself. Using your scale I would give him a 7. He's in the '80s Tom Selleck neighborhood. Not bad company.
That is all for now. The regulars are back next week. Congrats to Jeff and his soon to be Mrs. She's a Clemson fan so it will be a mixed marriage. Great move getting hitched on Valentine's Day. That shows that BC guys are always thinking ahead.