Joe Jackson, a psychologist in the Charlottesville, Va., area, led a stress-management seminar for the Virginia coaches last spring and another for Cavaliers players over the summer. Virginia's second-half collapse at Georgia Tech is just the sort of lapse of concentration that has plagued the Cavaliers in the 1990s and that Jackson had hoped to help prevent.
"Worry is about the future or the past," Jackson says. "You're not living in the moment. Let go of what happened and get back in die game." Earlier in the season, Jackson's teachings seemed to work. " Maryland zipped down the field on us at the beginning of the game," said defensive coordinator Rick Lantz last week. "I started to get upset. Then I said, 'Everybody take a deep breath.' I think the guys thought, 'Maybe the old fart is buying into it.' I told them, 'Let's not worry about what already happened.' " The Cavaliers won 31-19.
Jackson acknowledges that the nature of football doesn't lend itself to meditation. "You're in a very aggressive sport," he says, "and what you're trying to teach in yoga and meditation is calm. I tell them it's all right to be calm. In any peak experience, you shut down the noise."
Virginia head coach George Welsh, as old school as Jackson is New Age, sounded a Zen-like note after the loss to the Yellow Jackets. "When you make a bad play, you have to put it behind you," he said. "Then you play the next one. You do the same for the next week. You just have to put this game behind you."
Jackson could be working with the Cavaliers again as early as this week.
Bowl Championship Series
The Badgers Are Looking Rosy
Based on the results at the halfway point, here's how the Bowl Championship Series might look: Fiesta—Ohio State versus UCLA; Rose—Notre Dame versus Wisconsin; Sugar—Kansas State versus Tennessee; Orange-Florida State versus Syracuse.
As things stand now, after the Fiesta Bowl matchup is set, die Rose would have the first two picks among remaining teams because it would lose both its so-called home teams, the Big Ten champion Buckeyes and the Pac-10 champion Bruins. Sorry, Kansas State and Oregon: The people in Pasadena would take the Badgers and their ticket-crazed fans to play the Irish.
He Took Two For the Team
Among the top 10 worst celebrations in modern sports history, you must now include that of Andrew Gallucci, 19, one of Alabama's student trainers. When Crimson Tide kicker Ryan Pflugner made a game-winning field goal in overtime against Ole Miss on Oct 10, Gallucci went bonkers. He screamed, he whooped, he leaped over the team bench. He cleared it, but somehow his feet got a little too far apart. When his 5'11", 240-pound body hit the ground, his knees gave way. He ripped the anterior cruciate ligaments in both of them. "They teach us," says Gallucci, "that when a player tells you he heard a pop, you know he's torn his ACL And I knew."