Most of my life I've lived where two or more states are in the same area. But in Valdosta, there are times I'm still trying to figure out whether I live in Georgia or Florida. Mostly Georgia wins out.

Not Sunday, as it tends to happen during the fall. The only FOX-TV affiliate on the Mediacom cable system is based in Tallahassee and looked upon as a Florida station.

Now I admit I don't know what happened last week because I was doing the tourist thing all day Sunday. But this Sunday I was home, and got to catch a half of Tampa Bay-Carolina before I came to work instead of a whole Atlanta-Washington game.

It wasn't Fox's doubleheader Sunday, so it could only show one game. The Falcons were on Fox stations across Georgia, including the Albany station. And as much as I like the old movie WarGames (that Matthew Broderick is one lucky guy), it was no substitute for the Falcons.

It may not have mattered when the Falcons were going through bad times. Despite Sunday's loss and Mike Vick's injury, these aren't bad times in Atlanta.

Shouldn't we have an option to be able to watch the Falcons in the comfort of our home, other than buying a satellite dish? It's not like I want to watch Randall Godfrey and the Seattle Seahawks every week -- that would be dish-buying time.

Not happy? Call Mediacom.


Here's a lesson on not jumping on the bandwagon too quick.

I remember being at home one Saturday afternoon about a year ago. Ohio State was on TV, and a young freshman runner was having the game of his life.

The sideline reporter was talking with Buckeye great Archie Griffin, winner of two Heismans in the mid-1970s.

They were singing the praises of the back, and wondering how many Heismans the young back could win.

The answer will probably be -- none. The back was Maurice Clarett, and while he helped the Buckeyes win a national title, he's no longer a member in good standing of the team.

He's suspended for the year, and may either end up at another school or challenging the NFL's rules to try to be a part of the 2004 draft.

Did Clarett need to be an overnight sensation? No. Here's hoping he's not a one-hit wonder.


The impression I've been getting recently is that the worst team in one NCAA division is supposed to be better than the best team in a lower division.

Teams aren't divided into divisions based on their on-field performance, but by their school's (and fans') financial commitment to the program.

For starters, Division I-A schools have more scholarship commitments than Division I-AA schools, and I-AA schools have more scholarship commitments than Division II schools.

Heed this warning: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

Division I-AA's Florida Atlantic has split two games with Division I-A schools, taking both to the game's last play (the Owls lost 33-29 at Central Florida Saturday night, getting one shot at the end zone at game's end).

But FAU was blasted by Division II Valdosta State, 45-17, the weekend earlier. Maybe the Owls should just continue playing road games?

The Blazers don't have an exclusive right on taking a larger-division school to the woodshed. After going 1-for-4 against Division I-AA schools to open the season, Gulf South teams won all four games against I-AA schools this weekend.

This includes North Alabama beating former Gulf South member Jacksonville State, now a I-AA school, and Henderson State's home win over ex-VSU coach Hal Mumme's new Southeastern Louisiana team.

By the way, Mumme's Lions play at Division I-A's Troy State Saturday (7 p.m. ET kickoff).


Greg McIlvain is the sports editor for The Valdosta Daily Times.

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