I'm a Tennessee Vol, first and foremost. That ain't changin'. However, given that I'm spending the next six years of my life as a Ph.D. student at UNC, I figured I ought to expand the list of teams I support to two. After all, I don't have much against y'all. You were beneficiaries of our baffling collapse in 2000 and our inability to put six healthy DBs on the field in 2010, but those certainly weren't the best Vol teams, so there's no lingering malice. Plus, despite sharing a border, we rarely play each other, so there probably won't be too much internal conflict. And Tennessee orange and Carolina blue, in addition to being my two favorite colors for pretty much ever, look awesome together.
With that in mind, I need to learn about this new school I support. I already hate Duke (at least in basketball--in football they're harmless and cute, and Coach Cut is a good dude), so I imagine that's a good start. I don't hate them as much as I hate Kentucky, but I don't imagine a little ill-will towards Big Blue will go over too badly here. What else do I need, as far as rivalries go. Wake Forest? NC State? Do I have reason to legitimately dislike these folks, or is it just fun to watch them try to actually win a rivalry game (like Vandy and Kentucky in football)? I know there's no real series going with Tennessee or USC--are there any other border wars I'm missing? At UT, the border wars (Kentucky in hoops, Alabama in football) are the biggest rivalries we have. But I guess we have more borders than Carolina. What's left? UVA? Non-border wars? Anything else?
Then there's the actual teams. As a grad student, I haven't paid as much attention as I would've liked to college sports as a whole. I see from the front page that Hensen and Zeller are coming back. Presumably I should root for Barnes to come back too. I have no idea who else is even on the basketball team. No idea who's coming back on the football team, or if people even care. Also don't know how serious the NCAA troubles are? Are you expecting the NCAA hammer or relatively minimal penalties that Butch should be able to work himself out of?
I seem to recall the soccer team being good, but everyone I remember playing college in the Southeast did so in South Carolina (Dempsey, R. Clark, Holden, Onyewu). Any UNC grads I should be aware of? By the way, how Furman got Dempsey and Clark at the same time I have no idea.
What am I missing? Tell me what I need to know.
Also, just so we're clear, no matter how much I grow to love UNC, this is and will always remain out of bounds:
Go Vols! Go Heels!