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11/03/2006 12:10:00 PM

The Best Home-Field Traditions

Oakland Arena
The SEC has requested that South Carolina limit the use of the Gamecock Crow, but will the team listen?
Photo by AP
In an attempt to "level the playing field," the SEC has told South Carolina that it must limit its famous rooster crows to certain non-essential moments during games (timeouts, after scores, before and after games, during halftime). In other words, the school can no longer play the crows when it's a disadvantage to the other team (third downs, two-minute drill, etc.). This isn't the first time the SEC has tried to tone down a school tradition. The same thing happened at Mississippi State, where the conference told the school to reduce the ringing of the cowbells (though we think the request has been ignored since the bells still clang and clatter throughout the game). At Auburn, there is significantly less music played during the game than five years ago.

While the SEC's squashing of these school traditions is, to put it mildly, pretty lame, there are plenty of noises and traditions that are still intact. At Penn State, for instance, there seems to be a lion's roar that blasts through the arena after every big play. Even at Texas A&M, the constant swaying of the crowd makes it feel like the whole stadium is moving.

Today, we want to know who has the best home field "tradition." Although the SEC is trying to crack down on it, our favorite is still Mississippi State's cowbells. What is yours?

11/01/2006 11:53:00 AM

Who has the Nation's Top Backcourt?

Oakland Arena
Mario Chalmers is part of SI.com's No. 1 backcourt in the nation. Do you agree?
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
As October gives way to November, SIOC is ready to talk hoops. In the coming weeks, we'll look at the best teams, coaches, conferences, shooters, rebounders and just about anything else we can think of. Today, we'll focus on backcourts. SI.com has ranked the top 10 from across the nation:

10. Virginia (Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds)
9. Southern Illinois (Jamaal Tatum, Tony Young, Bryan Mullins)
8. Creighton (Nate Funk, Josh Dotzler, Nick Porter)
7. Hofstra (Loren Stokes, Antoine Agudio, Carlos Rivera)
6. Memphis (Antonio Anderson, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Willie Kemp, Andre Allen, Jeremy Hunt)
5. Arizona (Mustafa Shakur, Jawan McClellan, Marcus Williams, Nic Wise)
4. Marquette (Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, Wes Matthews)
3. UCLA (Arron Afflalo, Josh Shipp, Darren Collison)
2. North Carolina (Tywon Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Bobby Frasor, Marcus Ginyard, Wes Miller)
1. Kansas (Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins)

We call this feature The Vent for a reason. Let’s hear your complaints about our list
10/30/2006 12:07:00 PM

Who's your Coach of the Year?

Oakland Arena
Indiana's Terry Hoeppner is among SIOC's choices for Coach of the Year. Who's on your list?
Photo by AP
SIOC has spent plenty of time ragging on the John L. Smiths and Larry Cokers of the world, but today we’re going to salute under-the-radar coaches who have done a solid job this year. Our top two choices are:

Terry Hoeppner, Indiana: Chances are that NCAA Coach of the Year honors will go to Jim Tressell and Lloyd Carr, who have both done a marvelous job with the nation's top two teams. But did anyone think Indiana -- I repeat ... Indiana -- would be a force in the Big Ten? The 5-4 Hoosiers need one victory to qualify for a bowl game. Did we mention that Hoeppner missed time early in the season for additional surgery on a brain tumor that he was diagnosed with at the end of last season?

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland: The 400-pound Refrigerator has led the Terrapins to a 6-2 record in the ACC – and a higher division ranking than heavyweights Florida State, Miami, N.C. State and Clemson. Furthermore, we like the way Friedgen isn't afraid to call out his assistants, as he did to special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski on Saturday for choosing to play into the wind in the fourth quarter against Florida State instead of dealing with it in the third. "The wind died down in the third quarter and like someone turned a switch on in the fourth quarter, it went up pretty high," Friedgen told the Baltimore Sun after the game. "I told Ray [yesterday that] he made the wrong decision, and that's my prerogative as a head coach."

Who do you think deserves praise for a coaching job well done?

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