Okay, football season is over. Time for many sports fans to turn their attention to college basketball. Let me take a minute and catch you up on ACC hoops.
One thing you need to know is that it is February and neither Duke or North Carolina rest atop the conference standings. That is rare in itself. In fact, neither are in second place either.
A glance at the ACC standings will show you that Virginia (13-1) is at the top and Clemson (9-3) is second. In fact, as I write this, Virginia is number one in the nation. Duke already has four ACC losses (8-4) while North Carolina has five (9-5).
North Carolina gained back some respect last week by pinning a 82-78 defeat on Duke. The Heels also had a nice seven-point win at North Carolina State. North Carolina committed just two turnovers the entire game against Duke. And there was a Kenny Williams sighting. Williams connected on six 3-pointers, as many as he made in the previous seven games combined. Luke Maye, with his 33 points and 17 rebounds, was the story against the Wolfpack. Maybe the defending national champs are peaking at the right time.
Clemson is clearly the surprise of the year. The Tigers are 20-4 overall and are coming off a blowout 78-42 victory over Pittsburgh. Clemson has been consistent all season and will have a chance to solidify their hold on the second spot as they meet Duke this week. Remember, the Tigers were picked in the preseason poll to finish 13th.
Let me wrap this up with a little Hokie talk. Virginia Tech upset Virginia at Virginia last week and have won five of their last six. The Hokies likely played their way into the NCAA Tourney.
I like Virginia to win the regular season title. But it’s hard to pick against Duke in a tournament setting. Either way, the ACC Tournament this year will be exciting because the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels have returned to the pack this season.
Manziel Apology Tour
Johnny Manziel is on tour again. We have seen the troubled quarterback on tour before. The apologies. The ‘I will stop drinking’ statements. The ‘I will put football first’ statements. Historically, the tours are followed with another news story of Manziel partying that often leads to police involvement. This is why the former Heisman Trophy winner is not playing professional football anywhere.
Manziel’s latest effort for sympathy came this week on Good Morning America of all places. This time, he admitted that he has been dealing with bipolar disorder. He quickly followed that by saying he wants back in the NFL.
I would think Manziel has a long way to go before he gets a chance to compete for a backup role. This guy, according to a police report, is only two years removed from striking his ex-girlfriend repeatedly, forced her into a car with him and threatened to kill them both. Manziel did not talk of being bipolar then.
The Cleveland Browns and the NFL attempted to help and support Manziel back in 2016. He repeatedly turned his back on them both. This is why teams will likely not want or give him the opportunity to rejoin the league. In my eyes, Manziel disrespected the game and he should not take a roster spot from someone who respects their teammates and the game.
Manziel had his chance, and showed he wasn’t right for the job. Now if he can remain sober and follow through on his plan of not self-medicating with alcohol, maybe he can become a spokesman for the NFL on the hazards of substance abuse and not addressing mental health issues. But his quarterbacking days are over. Time to move on.
Image: Johnny Manziel