Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tar Heels are alive

Despite my lack of CFB knowledge, it didn't escape my attention that the final seedings for the inaugural CFB play offs were announced this week.  Judging by the reaction on social media and various news websites, it wasn't a wholly popular verdict by the selection committee.  I guess that's inevitable given the subjectivity of the system.  Personally, I'm still not 100% comfortable with a committee choosing who competes for a title, however it is an upgrade on the previous system and it does mean there will be a clear champion.

Anyway, after 3 weeks looking at the Big 12, I'm now moving on to the next CFB Conference - the Atlantic Coast Conference. This conference consists of 14 teams and unlike the one division Big 12, the ACC is split into 2 divisions of 7. And that pretty much ends my knowledge of the ACC! 

First up, let's look at the nicknames.  You probably know the drill by now.  Each side marked out of ten, lowest score eliminated...

Boston Eagles - Well, I can't eliminate a college with such a glorious nickname can I?  This is akin to a bye into the next round.  10/10

Clemson Tigers - It's somewhat surprising that no NFL side has never used this moniker.  We've got Lions, Panthers and Jaguars, but no Tigers.  Of course, there is a type of Tiger in the NFL, but nobody has used the entire species.  I really like this, it's an intimidating animal, it sounds great and they can enter the field to Survivor! 8/10

Duke Blue Devils - Man Utd are the Red Devils so I guess there is a precedent for this. It's not great, the intimidation of being a devil is somewhat offset by the blue, Still, it's not offensive. 5/10

Not the most intimidating O Line!
Florida State Seminoles - Seminoles are native Americans originally from Florida.  I like names that have a nod to history and it's certainly an original name.  7/10

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - Dear Lord, where to start.  For a start, I'm pretty sure they don't play in jackets.  Secondly, yellow is the least eliminating colour in the world and finally, it sounds like they work in a holiday camp! 2/10

Louisville Cardinals - This appears to be a popular name for US sports franchises.  It's OK I guess.  Not much more to say. 5/10

Miami Hurricanes - I used to love the Hurricanes, it was a cartoon about a soccer team full of different racial stereotypes.  They'd travel the world to play teams of identical racial stereotypes. They'd invariably get kidnapped or have to solve a crime pre match.  It was excellent entertainment. 7/10

North Carolina Tar Heels - Another trip to Wikipedia!  Tar Heel is a term used to describe people from North Carolina.  Something to do with the Pine Forests in the state being used to create tar and turps.  It's not actually very interesting and it's a pretty shite name for a sports team.  But I guess they get an iota of credit for the historical reference. 3/10

North Carolina Wolfpack - Good solid name.  Intimidating, aggressive and indicates a togetherness.  Another name that wouldn't look out of place in the NFL. 8/10

Pittsburgh Panthers - Finally some alliteration. Another NFL crossover name, and again it works OK.  Roils off the tongue very nicely.  7/10

Syracuse Orange - Err, they play in orange so I guess there is a bit of logic here.  The problem is that it's just not intimidating and carries zero impact.  However, I am intrigued to see what their mascot looks like! 3/10

Virginia Cavaliers - Nice. An historical nod, and to the English Civil War no less. Would be a decent name for a UK based NFL franchise should that ever materialise. 7/10

Virginia Tech Hokies - Amazingly, this name was actually an entry in a contest to find a suffix for the college in 1896!  It's essentially a synonym for hooray.  It actually sounds a bit rubbish as a team name but it's a neat story. 4/10

Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Wowsers, this is appalling. I'm sure there's an episode of Scooby Doo where a small town is terrorised by the Demon Deacon!  However, there is one insurmountable reason why I'm not eliminating this college...I can't wait to find out what the Demon Deacon mascot looks like! 2/10

This was a tough call, but in the end the shear lameness of the Yellow Jackets couldn't be beat.  At least Wake Forest have made a stab at sounding aggressive (admittedly, it's a terrible effort), but Yellow Jackets is just an abomination.  SO it's goodbye to Georgia Tech and I can't wait to take a look at some of these mascots...