O'Brien continues arguing against facing UNC in regular season finale
Posted August 10, 2009
Updated August 11, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — Last month, Tom O'Brien said he did not like how N.C. State is scheduled to play North Carolina in the 2009 regular season finale.
The Wolfpack coach wanted to make one thing clear at his team's preseason media day. He doesn't want to face any team from the ACC Coastal Division in that final game.
"I said [the same thing] a year ago before we played Miami," O'Brien said. "Of course, nobody listened then. But when you say it [this year], because it's North Carolina, everybody listens and thinks it's something else."
In O'Brien's mind, a potential rematch with Carolina one week later in the ACC championship game in Tampa is bad for the rivalry and the ACC.
"No other conference that plays a conference championship game ever does that," he said. "I think if we're going to have a football league and be a major player, you can't be playing games like that when you might have to play each other the next week ... We're going to play Carolina the last game of the year. Now, if we're both going to play in Tampa, what's the most important game? That game out there [in Carter-Finley Stadium], what does that mean?"
O'Brien points to the Big 12 and how that conference has created excitement with late-season games within the division. In 2007, Missouri beat Kansas to win the Big 12 North in the regular season finale when both teams entered with both conference and national title hopes. The same scenario happened again last year in the Big 12 South when Oklahoma and Texas Tech squared off in the last regular season game.
"If they want us to play Carolina at the end [of the regular season], change divisions," O'Brien said. "Let's get in their division and play them."
When asked if his arguments will make a difference, O'Brien replied, "I don't know. I'm just a football coach."