Everyone knows what he has or will have accomplished as NC State's quarterback when his college career finally ends. Here is just a very small sampling:
- An NCAA-record 50 straight starts
- Second all-time in NCAA passing yards (With
over 12,700, he'll finish his career second behind Ty Detmer)
- 90 career touchdown passes (seventh in NCAA
- Two straight wins over Florida State (and a
2-2 record against the Noles)
- A 3-1 record vs. UNC
- And perhaps his most memorable moment, last
season's 28-6 whipping of Notre Dame in the Gator
Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden, a man who has seen
his share of remarkable signal-callers in his time,
stated that Rivers is a better quarterback than Dan
Marino or Danny Wuerffel. NC State Coach Chuck Amato
calls Rivers the best player ever to don the Red &
White, and he's probably right. Rivers is perhaps the
most beloved football player in NC State's history,
surpassing the likes of Torry Holt and Roman Gabriel
along the way. In fact, Rivers is probably more on par
in NCSU athletics lore with basketball legend David Thompson - a player that even opposing fans will rave
about having watched for years to come.
The love that Wolfpack fans feel for Rivers is due to
a myriad of reasons, and not solely based on his
on-the-field accomplishments. Fans love his unashamed
deep Southern accent. They love that he's a family guy
who married his high school sweetheart. They love that
he's a family guy who puts his football "family" above
himself and enjoys being just one of the guys. Fans
feel that, despite that fact that he grew up in
Alabama, Philip Rivers is one of them; he could just
have easily "growed up" in Goldsboro, Rocky Mount,
Clemmons, Flat Rock or anywhere else in North Carolina. To Pack fans, Rivers isn't Rivers - he's
Despite having better numbers than basically ever
other "leading" Heisman candidate out there, Rivers'
chance at college football's top award probably went
out the window (unfairly) after the Pack's overtime
loss at Ohio State on September 13. But that in no way
diminishes what Rivers has meant to NC State football
and NC State University. Pack fans know how great he
has been. If he's not the best player in ACC history,
he's got to be among the top three or four - and
that's without winning an ACC title, a Heisman Trophy
and by earning just one league Player of the Year
award (which is sure to be his this time around).
On Saturday, Rivers and the rest of the State seniors
will make one last appearance at Carter-Finley
Stadium. If the world were fair, Rivers would pass for
400 yards and a handful of touchdowns, while running
for another as the Pack rolls to victory. But, as we
have seen throughout the Rivers Era, sometimes life
isn't fair; instead of a final game against a patsy,
Rivers will face a determined and talented Maryland
Terrapins team in his last regular-season college
football game. A loss would not be unheard of, though
a win plus one final outstanding performance could
land "Philip" in New York for the Heisman
presentation. He at least deserves the trip.
While NC State hasn't exactly produced a multitude of
Heisman-caliber players in the past, you'd be
hard-pressed to find a group of fans that wants one of
their own to win the award more than State fans do
this year. And that's not because they want Philip
Rivers to have a jinxed and cursed NFL career, but
because they genuinely want something great to happen
to a genuinely great person and player. To Pack fans,
no one is more deserving of the sport's top honor.
It seems that very few know exactly what the criteria
is for Heisman voting. Regardless, if it's for the
best individual player in college football or the
player who is most important to his team, Philip's
impact should not be overlooked. But it will be, and
when it's all said and done, No. 17 will just say
"shucks," smile and then call to congratulate the
winner. Then he'll probably get back to playing with
'Now' ACC Standings
1. Florida State: ACC = 'Always Chopped Conference'.
2. NC State: Once again, the Wolfpack comes up just
short - literally - to a national power.
3. Maryland: Terps have their eyes on Jacksonville -
but must first go through Raleigh.
4. Clemson: Tigers don't look like the same team that
was thumped by Wake Forest just a couple of weeks ago.
5 (tie). Georgia Tech and Virginia: Though schizoid,
Tech has been a nice surprise this season, while UVa
must be the most disappointing team in the ACC.
7. Wake Forest: Jim Grobe had Coach of the Year
honors locked up just a few weeks ago. But then again,
Wake seemingly had a bowl bid locked up too.
8 (tie). Duke and North Carolina: Saturday, Kenan
Stadium, Chapel Hill: for all the marbles.
'Later' ACC Standings
1. Florida State
3 (tie). NC State and Virginia Tech
7 (tie). Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia
10. Wake Forest
11 (tie). Duke and North Carolina
This Week's Predictions:
Duke at North Carolina: Duke has two major things
going for it which could result in a win over the
hated Tar Heels: Motivation (the players want Interim
Coach Ted Roof to get the full-time gig) and Revenge
(Duke hasn't defeated UNC in a dozen years). More
importantly, the Devils may actually have the better
team. But then again, that's like saying Moe was the
more annoying Stooge.
Duke 17, North Carolina 10
Georgia Tech at Virginia: Georgia Tech should have
more motivation to win, but Charlottesville is a
difficult place to get a road 'W.'
Virginia 27, Georgia Tech 21
Clemson at South Carolina: On one side, you have
perhaps the best college football fans in the nation.
Gamecocks fans repeatedly fill Williams-Bryce Stadium
- even though the Fightin' Chickens are rarely that
good. On the other side ... well, let's just say that
many Clemson boosters may get their wish, and Tommy Bowden may be gone after this season - despite a win
over Florida State and an upper-echelon finish in the
ACC and a fifth straight bowl trip.
Clemson 38, South Carolina 27
Maryland at NC State: This one was many folks'
preseason ACC Game of the Year. And it may be, but it
will be tough to top Florida State's win over NC State
last Saturday. Philip Rivers has never beaten
Maryland, and Ralph Friedgen (as UM's coach) has never
lost to NC State. Nothing lasts forever.
NC State 44, Maryland 38
Miami 28, Rutgers 14
Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 10
Prognostication Record This Year (as far as
picking the correct winner goes): 50-18
Here's to You, 'Philip'
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