Fourth and Long

Published 11:58 am Friday, October 5, 2012

Before I head into this week’s ACC College Football Preview, I have to take a moment to discuss baseball. Any sports columnist worth his or her salt would be amiss if they didn’t mention the Triple Crown achieved by Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

There has been a lot of chatter amongst those who love to debate on whether Cabrera, despite his amazing season, has actually done enough to win the AL MVP over Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout. While the debate is a valid one I won’t get into it here… at least not yet.

Cabrera’s .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs were enough to earn the former Carolina Mudcat the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. The fact that even with the steroid era no player has achieved this elusive feat in 45 years is a clear indication of just how difficult it is to achieve.

What Cabrera has done this season is nothing short of incredible and even if he doesn’t win the AL MVP he has certainly earned himself a spot in Cooperstown, New York.

Moving on to college football this Saturday is chock full of interesting matchups.

Starting at Noon, Boston College travels to Army looking to improve on their 1-3 record. The Eagles schedule from here on is as tough as any in the conference so a win at West Point is crucial if they hope to build any confidence going forward.

North Carolina hosts Virginia Tech for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff in this week’s who knows game of the week. The normally consistent Hokies have been anything but this season and are coming off a loss to Cincinnati. The Tar Heels have demolished their last two opponents in East Carolina and Idaho, but put forth a subpar effort in a loss to Wake Forrest and didn’t even show up against Louisville until the second half. This game might be ugly and this game may be amazing. Your guess is as good as mine.

Virginia takes on Duke in Durham at 3 p.m. The Blue Devils are looking like a solid football team and are far removed from the guaranteed win they used to be. The Cavaliers have lost three straight and appear to be ready to start a new quarterback this week. Assuming Duke quarterback Sean Renfree can play (he hurt his elbow last week against the Deacs), I expect Duke to continue their winning ways against Wahoo squad with more questions than answers.

Clemson hosts Georgia Tech and Maryland hosts Wake Forest. Both games kick off at 3:30 p.m. and if I have to tell you which will be better to watch then I don’t know if you should stop reading the sports section or read a lot more of it. Both the Tigers and the Yellow Jackets have potent offenses and their matchup should prove to be an exciting one to watch assuming defense isn’t really “your thing”.

In what I think may be the most compelling matchup of the day, Miami heads to South Bend to take on Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m.

The Hurricanes have shown glimpses of brilliance this season and have, at times, also displayed their youth. The Fighting Irish have proven very tough to score on allowing on average just over eight points per game. If Miami plays against Notre Dame like they did the last two weeks against Georgia Tech and NC State then this game may prove to be the best football you will see all weekend, Saturday or Sunday.

The last game of the weekend kicks off at 8 p.m. as Florida State heads to Raleigh to trounce, I mean take on, NC State. The Seminoles defense is stout and the Wolfpack offense is riddled with injuries.

Truth is this game could get real ugly, real quick. I would just continue to watch Miami and Notre Dame if I were you unless you turn the NC State-Florida State matchup into a drinking game. Take a shot every time Mike Glennon gets sacked, but don’t blame me if you can’t stand up at the end of the night.


David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publications. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at