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Weekly Whatup 3/31
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Never, in my 10 years of filling out a bracket, have I had a year as absolutely pathetic as this one. I’m done, finished, caput – not a single team left in the Final Four. I went o-fer.

            It’s a bit embarrassing - Chad Bishop, the Sports Editor, the beacon of sports knowledge for all who chose to step into the light – now a laughing stock for a shameful last-place finish in the Herald office pool. Ten fellow Heraldians can now legally usurp my position in the newsroom and there’s nothing I can do about it. For shame!

            Even the future Mrs. B. dominated in this year’s Bishop Bracket Battle. She didn’t even enjoy a single tournament game on the tube. Instead, she’ll enjoy a day at the spa, compliments of moi.

            So where do we go from here? I’m going to go ahead and pick the Final Four, but if I were you, I’d skim ahead to the more believable parts of this column.

            Since it would make sense for UNC and UCONN to advance to the title game, we’ll chalk ‘em in and give UNC the title – which was the smart pick all along.

            After a mediocre 8-5 week, now 161-120 for the year.


Regional watch

            I won’t be a Positive Patsy when it comes to Georgia Southern baseball. I know the majority of readers are complacent with the performance of the hometown team as long as they win here and there, hit some home runs and give everyone a fun day at the ball park.

            But for the real fans of college baseball it’s time to take a serious look at the Eagles’ post-season aspirations.

            They – whoever they are – say that the magic number for wins in a college baseball season is 40. Georgia Southern is now 18-7 after a 2-3 week. With 29 games left, GSU has to go 22-7 the rest of the way to get to that 40-win mark by the end of the regular season. With an RPI of 82 (fifth best in conference) and a strength of schedule at 196 (last in the SoCon), 40 wins may not even be enough for GSU.

            Those numbers can improve, however, starting today against North Florida, continuing into the weekend against first-place College of Charleston, going up to Georgia Tech next week and finishing up at home with Western Carolina next weekend. Talk about a make-or-break stretch to your season.

            We should have a definitive grasp of the Diamond Eagles on April 12. Let’s hope that grasp hasn’t slipped away.



            Defense has been the name of the game for Georgia Southern during spring football. You can never tell if that’s a good thing or bad thing for a football team. Sure, the defense theoretically knows what’s coming each and every play, but shouldn’t the offense be able to recognize it’s playing the same defense every day?

            All I know is that spring practice is usually just a vehicle to give the fans something to fret about. Heck, when was the last time the Eagles’ starting QB coming out of the spring was anywhere to be found in October. What happens in the spring – stays in the spring.

            But as I do every year, I’ll predict the winner of Saturday’s glorified scrimmage. Blue beats white with whatever wacky scoring system they use, someone have a little too much “fun in the sun” and declares this is the year for No. 7 and everyone goes home happy.



            It’s one of the great sporting events of our community – the Plankenhorn Invitational.

            This Saturday at 10 a.m. Southeast Bulloch will host the 6th annual track and field meet at SEB and 14 teams are tentatively scheduled to participate – including defending champ Statesboro.

            I’m not usually a guy that preaches the sappy nature of sports - it’s doesn’t matter who wins and who losses, and such and such. The Plankenhorn, though, is a different kind of beast: so many athletes, so many fans, such great weather and it’s all to honor a great athlete.

            If you’ve never been to the Plankenhorn, I suggest you go just once. It’s a spectacle you won’t forget.


One last bit

            Is there any question the Braves don’t go 162-0 this year. A Cy Young for Derek Lowe? A Batting Title for Chipper? An MVP for Brian McCann? A resurgent Jeff Francouer starting in right field at the All-Star game? Opponents hear, “Escobar to Johnson to Kotchman” in their nightmares? Schafer wins Rookie of the Year?

            The dream season starts on Sunday night with a crushing defeat of the Phillies.