Tuesday, November 3

ACC Basketball Teams as Car Companies: Teams 7-12

Here is the rest of my teams as car companies review/revision for the remainder of the alphabet.

Miami- Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi is all over the place. They make decent cars that few people buy because they charge too much. They are the sole provider of rear projection- old school- large screen TVs. They are all of these things and simultaneously none of them. They are a conglomerate of independents working as a unit under the tri-diamond umbrella of the name. They operate much the same way under The U at times. This year they don't have the steady scoring and leadership of Jack McClinton. They will, instead, be lead by James Dews. Miami seems to still be selling the brand of 1990s football that brought Miami into the national media spotlight. They play decent basketball, have some decent players, but can't break through. It might be difficult this year as well; they were picked to finish 10th by the ACC Media writers.

North Carolina State University- Jaguar.
Jaguar, I think, was once a luxury car brand. They have a proud heritage that extends back to 1922. But last year, they were sold by Ford to Tata Motor Company, an Indian company. They have retained some of their essential British-ness, but little else other than the name still exists. NC State has long played the step-child to UNC in basketball, and really most other things as well. And while they haven't sold themselves to the enemy, that might have to be an option soon. The fan base seems to have a chip on their shoulder, but the players, at least under Sidney Lowe, lack this conviction. The athletic department hired Sidney Lowe in an attempt to bring NCSU back to its Valvano glory days and their national championship. That has not happened. It will not until NC State atones for its Sendek sins and admits it was wrong. The athletic department and even the fanbase is too stubborn to do that.

University of North Carolina- BMW.
BMW is the more sensible German car choice, at least when compared to a Mercedes. Their prices are much more reasonable and their cars have been consistently reliable, less a few hiccups - see the BMW redesign controversy-along the way. UNC is the same- think the Doherty era. This year, however, UNC will be reloading after their national championship run, but are still picked by the ACC media to finish first (tied with Duke) in the ACC. What UNC lost is more than most teams will ever have and what they have now is more than most as well. While UNC loses Hansborough, Lawson, Ellington, and Green, they have Thompson, Ginyard, Davis, Zeller and then the freshmen: Henson, McDonald, and the Wear twins, plus wild card Larry Drew II. It looks like another successful season in Chapel Hill.

Virginia- Dodge.
Ok Dodge, you need to stop making everything except trucks. I mean it. Everything else you make is sub-par- not in a good, golfing way. You have a niche; exploit it, carve it out, get comfortable. Virginia, I suggest you do the same. Find someone/something which you value, be it character, talent, or whatever and stick to it. The Cavaliers need to find an identity- fast. And though last year's ACC ROY Sylven Landesberg is returning with a new coach, Tony Bennet, who loves the glacially-paced offensive attack. And while it might not sell in the ACC just yet, at least UVA is looking. Hopefully they find the focus and identity they have been looking for since, oh, I don't know, Ralph Sampson.

Virginia Tech- Jeep.
Jeep is sort of in a class all its own. When they have tried to adapt to the times with smaller, less powerful vehicles, they have often failed. When they have stuck to what they do well, they have been successful. Much is the same with Virginia Tech. Seth Greenberg has found a strong guard in Malcolm Delaney and a powerful forward with Jeff Allen. With the departure of AD Vassallo, and little else in between Delaney and Allen, if someone else doesn't step up to fill the rest of the slots, VT could be on the outside looking in in March.

Wake Forest- Volkswagen.
I guess Volkswagen, why not? VW's have been around, they are associated with hippies and tie-dye, Wake Forest has that lame black and yellow tie-dye logo, ergo, VW. Beyond that, Volkswagen has tried to position itself as the people's car/wagon/whatever, but then put out the $90,000 Phaeton. Which one is it? The sleek VW that wants to be the Mac of the car world or their bubbly heritage driven by middle-aged women? Wake Forest, to me, is in much the same place with their identity. While they have a much stronger product than NCSU, as far as the "big four," German cars or NC-ACC teams, are concerned, they are usually a distant third, or sometimes fourth. Wake has had some strong years, but have also had some flame-outs. This year, the Deacons could be ready for a breakout with the return of Al-Farouq Aminu and Ish Smith. Additionally, they bring in a strong recruiting class lead by Ari Stewart. With this nucleus and Chas MacFarland, they could have what it takes to make a run in the Sweet 16.

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