More trouble for the Tar Heels

By Chad Upton | Jul 29, 2011

If you believe what is coming out of Chapel Hill right now, you believe that coach Butch Davis was fired from his job as head coach because of a “culmination of negative events that left the University of North Carolina with a black eye”. Something about the timing, though, just doesn’t make sense.  
After North Carolina lost 14 players and 80 plus games to players suspended (or hurt), you would think that a year passing would have solved everything.  
That wasn’t the case.  Just nine days before the opening of football practice in preparation of the 2011 season, the Heels have lost their head man.  Why now? Why at the worst time of year for such action?  
Though the university says otherwise, I believe that there is some new information out there somewhere that UNC doesn’t want you to know about and now is the time to “cover your rear.”
I won’t begin to speculate now what that might be but I’ll bet we all know sooner than later what is really going on.  This was going to be the second year in a row that I picked UNC to be the surprise team in the ACC…now I’m not so sure. Once again things look muddy for the Tar Heels.  
Let’s hope that this is the end to an all too familiar story for so many college programs these days.

Is Georgia Southern the Real SoCon Favorite?
Is this the year that Appalachian State falls from a top of the Southern Conference Standings?  How about Georgia Southern taking the top spot?  Appalachian State will return five starters on offense while seven starters are back on defense.  
For GSU, the Eagles bring back almost all of their offense and defense.  Last season, Southern posted a 10 and five record, made it to the NCAA semi finals, and won five conference games.  
This year, GSU welcomes back a 1,000 yard rusher in Robert Brown and a 500-yard man in slot back J.J. Wilcox.  All of this makes Georgia Southern sound like a difficult task for the rest of the league’s defenses especially when you consider the brand of smash mouth, run first football they play.  
It will be a tough task for Appalachian State but my early call is for the Mountaineers to play well, and win, against the Eagles in Boone.  Stay tuned.  
I’ll continue to look forward to covering the Appalachian State beat again this season.

Grades of the Week
A - for the Carolina Panthers: The Panthers agreed this week to terms to keep running back DeAngelo Williams. That comes fewer than 24 hours after the Panthers announced they had an agreement with defensive end Charles Johnson, who reportedly can earn up to $72 million.  
One more fact; the Panthers also have agreed to terms with former Kansas City defensive tackle Ron Edwards on a deal that’s worth $8.25 million.  Maybe Jerry Richardson was truthful when he said the team would be active in free agency this year.
Incomplete: Atlanta Falcons: A few days in and no real news on the defending NFC South champs in terms of free agency.
F for umpire Jerry Meals: After a 19-inning marathon game, MLB umpire Jerry Meal called Atlanta Braves runner Julio Lugo safe after he was clearly tagged out by several feet on Wednesday morning…yes Wednesday morning.  
Perhaps the worst call ever even if it was at two o’clock in the dang morning.
Must have been “Bed time for Bonzo.”

Plug of the Week
Join Chuck and me Aug. 13, at 7 a.m.  for the WPTL Preseason Football Show.  You can stop by the Jukebox Junction in Bethel or listen live on WPTL AM 920 or live on the web at  
Chuck and I will preview the 2011 NFL, college, and high school season.  
We look forward to our second season of the show and hope you can join us!

The Upton Poll
This week’s next five in my preseason poll.  Remember, this is where I think teams will finish the college football season along with their bowl game.
No. 20: Southern Mississippi: Best team in Conference USA.  They also play a powder puff schedule if there is such a thing.  Liberty Bowl.
No. 19: Oklahoma State: A surprise team last year, they won’t sneak up on anyone this year.  Games against Alabama, Texas, and Texas AM will really give the ‘Boys a fit. Alamo Bowl.
No 18: Texas:  It was just yesterday that this was a National Championship Contender.  17 thrown interceptions last year really hurt this team. They will get better play from their skill people in 2011. Cotton Bowl.
No. 17: USC: Still paying for the Reggie Bush mess.  Still, this team is confident on offense though they have nothing but pride to play for again. Bowl Ineligible.
No. 16 Stanford: Team will have to weather the storm of losing their head coach.  Last year’s wins (12) will be difficult to match. Alamo Bowl.