Thursday, August 28, 2008


For those who prefer to have their worlds revolve around football season, today is a very special day: the season begins--it's the Thursday appetizer before Saturday's meal.

As the Thursday game phenomenon has grown, more and more teams find themselves playing before the weekend gets here, and the Big South is riding that wave this season.

At 7:30 tonight, the Charleston Southern Buccaneers take the field against the Miami Hurricanes. If you're able to access it, you can watch the game unfold on ESPN360. The good news for CSU: "The U" is not expected to be quite as overpowering as in years past, and the 'Canes are also not defending the Orange Bowl turf any more (beginning their time in Dolphin Stadium rather than remaining in the older facility that had long been their realm of intimidation and domination).

Admittedly, there aren't too many folks who give the Bucs a ghost of a chance, but getting match-ups against FBS programs is all part of the Big South's growth (and learning) curve in football. For CSU, that meant last year's trip to Hawaii and next year's game in Florida's Swamp, in addition to facing the Canes. They're not alone: this Saturday, Coastal Carolina will enter Happy Valley for a good look at JoePa and Penn State! Gardner-Webb's trek to Mississippi State a year ago is another example. But hey, don't let yourself get caught in the habit of counting any of these teams out before kickoff--here's hoping all the boys of the Big South leave an impression on their voyages into FBS territory!
CSU is not the only one getting their hits in tonight; Gardner-Webb will face off against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at 8pm.

Elsewhere on the gridiron, in Saturday's action, we have the aforementioned CCU-PSU game (on the Big Ten Network), Colgate at Stony Brook (on The Big South EDGE from, North Greenville at Liberty (The EDGE), and Presbyterian at Wofford...VMI is idle this week.

We reported when the first few team previews were available on they're all can link to them from the Football Media Center page.

Changing gears, let's look at the other sports on the docket...

Volleyball is serving up its first action, and the preseason favorite is Liberty. The coaches' poll also named Shannon Sitzmann of Winthrop (pictured) as the Preseason Player of the Year (for the second straight season).

The men's soccer preseason poll returned Winthrop as a slight favorite over Liberty, edging the Flames by only one point overall. The coaches selected Daniel Revivo (pictured) of the Eagles as the Preseason Player of the Year. Revivo (along with LU's Joshua Boateng) can also be found on the watch list for the Hermann Trophy, awarded at season's end to the nation's top collegiate men's soccer player.

We already mentioned it in SHOUT, but in the interest of equal time, I'll remind you that the women's soccer preseason poll revealed Coastal Carolina as the early favorite and CCU's Ashleigh Gunning as the Preseason Player of the Year.

Well, I gotta sign off for today--enjoy the games...check out the available streaming games on The EDGE--and don't forget to get your Vortex so the Big South will be with you wherever you reside online!

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