Late Hits: ECU punched on, off the field

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 28, 2012 

Navy East Carolina Football

East Carolina's Vintavious Cooper (21) evades a Navy defender during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Greenville, N.C. Navy won 56-28. (AP Photo/The Daily Reflector, Rob Taylor)

ROB TAYLOR — AP

Up

UNC: Three letters will suffice: G-I-O.

Notre Dame: Brian Kelly’s team is legit. That much is clear after Saturday’s 30-13 pasting of Oklahoma on the road.

Notre Dame’s just four wins away from playing for the national title for the first time since 1988.

Only foreseeable problem for the Irish: the Curse of Mike Tranghese (Oh, it’s real, just ask Miami.)

Down

USC: Even Joe Buck thinks Lane Kiffin should have paid his dues. Kiffin, who’s still only 37, got one plum coaching job after another and no one bothered to look at anything other than his last name.

After Saturday’s loss at Arizona, the Trojans, the preseason No. 1 team in the country, have already dropped two Pac-12 games, and they haven’t faced Oregon yet.

Georgia Tech: It’s just one disaster after another for the Yellow Jackets (3-5) this season. Coach Paul Johnson already fired his defensive coordinator, and the offensive coordinator might be next after BYU held the Jackets’ offense without a touchdown in a 41-17 whitewash in Atlanta.

Two-minute drill

• Navy handled East Carolina 56-28 in Greenville on Saturday, and that wasn’t even ECU’s biggest loss of the week.

The NCAA, in its infinite wisdom, decided to schedule an appeal for Central Florida’s one-year bowl ban in January, you know, after the season. So now, UCF – which was up until last week ineligible for the Conference USA title game – will be allowed to play for the conference title while the appeal is under consideration.

The Pirates, 4-1 in the CUSA East, could still finish ahead of the Knights (4-0 in CUSA play), but when it rains it pours for Ruffin McNeill.

• I wonder what Bobby Petrino thinks when he sees Kansas State at 8-0 and in the middle of the national conversation?

Petrino’s last game at Arkansas was a 29-16 win over the same Wildcats in the Cotton Bowl in January.

Then the motorcycle crash happened, Jessica Dorrell happened, Petrino lost his job and the Hogs are slogging through a 3-5 season.

• Hang in there, Florida State fans, the next time you go to Doak Campbell Stadium, the Gators will be waiting. An announced crowd of 71,467 (the place holds 82,300) showed up for Saturday’s 48-7 rout of Coastal Division-leading Duke.

Thus concludes easily the worst five-game home stretch in college football history: Murray State, Savannah State, Wake Forest, Boston College and Duke.

At least FSU got Clemson at home and the Gators on Nov. 24.

•  For the second straight week, a Mid-American Conference team beat a ranked Big East team. Kent State ended Rutgers’ 7-0 start with a 35-23 win in Piscataway, N.J.

Toledo knocked off Cincinnati last week. A reminder of what’s wrong with college football: The Big East champion has a guaranteed spot (until 2014 anyway) in a BCS bowl, while the MAC champion’s reward is a trip to Detroit in December.

Double-reminder: The ACC is 3-4 against the Big East this season.

Giglio: 919-829-8938; jgiglio@newsobserver.com

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