Monthly Archives: January 2007

I got nuthin’

No new material. Instead: links.

Still no word from Tressel’s World. Diagnosis: malt liquor, quaaludes, cave.

Brian is furious, and there’s smashed Oreos and upended calipers to prove it. I don’t know per se that Brian is an Oreo kinda guy, but I get a kick imagining him reading an article about Michigan’s twelfth opponent and, just as he’s twisting off one half of a cookie, he spots the blurb about how “[The Wolverines] need eight home games in order to pay the bills”.

Both Black Shoe Diaries and There Is No Name On My Jersey have odes to Tony Hunt. I didn’t need to read them to feel better about my choice of Hunt as the first running back recipient of a Creedy, but occasionally it’s nice to put aside hatred and witness an un-affiliated fan’s unabashed love for another man and the way that man carries his ball.

Part one of Orson’s recruiting two-headed monster. Part two will undoubtedly include a Konami video game reference. Also by Orson: tattoos, and why you shouldn’t get them. That’s actually not what the thing is really about but after seeing yet another goddamned tribal tattoo and koi tattoo on the same person that’s what I’m stressing to the world. Stop it. Please. For the children.

We the college football fanatics of the world are now unfortunately well versed in trying to gather legal advice and knowledge – piecemeal and from sources that very often contradict each other – simply because our beloved rosters have been put in cuffs more times than we’d like to think about. Then there’s Cal fans. Yeah, Marshawn Lynch is dealing with the aftermath of extralegal affairs right now (could any man who does this commit evil? I’d like to think not), but I’m talking about Cal fans having to dig up lawyerish speak and rationale in confronting their latest problem: trees.

Yost likes tanks.

You really should read SMQ’s interviews with Arrelious Benn and Colt Brennan. Also: President Carpenter’s speech.

Provo Pride is conducting what has got to be one of the most impressive features I’ve ever seen: a player by player retrospective of every single BYU recruiting class of the past decade. ’96 and ’97 are already done, and 1998 is now being served. Revel in the admirable and scary obsessiveness. Just don’t count on Provo Pride making it all the way to 2006 before signing day, as originally advertised.

Conquest Chronicle takes a look at the latest iteration of Bushgate and concludes that everything is still status quo: nobody makes a move for the fence until the spotlight cycles through! Alright, maybe that’s not what they concluded but that’s my advice.

If there’s one thing I’m not tired of, it’s Auburn’s claim to the 2004 championship. Let me cue up a Dodge Ram commercial and grab me some McDonald’s because I’m lovin’ it! Bada-dah-DAH-dah.

loserwithsocks one ups the Emory and Henry. Florida hate still nearing Chernobyl levels, but might taper off soon to mere Three Mile. (Beat.) Nah.

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Nutt’s plan to “surge” into Mustain household with 20,000 Razorback fans met with skepticism, Senate opposition

SPRINGDALE, AR – New polls are showing an abysmal 13 percent approval rating for University of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt’s latest plan to “surge” 20,000 Razorback supporters into the home of former quarterback Mitch Mustain in an effort to keep the embattled Springdale household from succumbing to sectarian pressures.

Nutt, center, explains the principles behind his “surge” plan.

After former Springdale High head coach Gus Malzahn was fired from his position as Arkansas offensive coordinator, Mustain asked to be released from his scholarship with the Razorbacks. The entire state was thrown into turmoil and, though school officials strongly oppose the use of the term, civil war now seems inevitable.

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Filed under Fake news, Recruiting, SEC, USC

Seasonal Haiku: Post-bowl, pre-NLOI Day

I’m not the first to do a college football related haiku. There have been many, many others. I’m just the worst.

*****

It’s easy as pie
Ma Teresa would leave, too
I’m gonna get paid
-Adrian Peterson

Barely beat Wofford
And Augusta still no-go
Time for new visor?
-Steve Spurrier

Hot damn, beat ‘SC
It’s contract extension time
Cue seven more L’s
-Karl Dorrell

Good season, Satan
Planning almost completed
Last thing: Jade Monkey
-Myles Brand

RoJo to Gainesville?
The ledge is cold but soothing
Go Big Blue swan dive!
-My Michigan friend

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Filed under Big Ten, Big XII, NCAA, Pac-10, Seasonal Haiku, SEC, USC

Barry Sanders switches commitment from NFL Hall of Fame to Meyer-led Florida

GAINESVILLE, FL – Florida head coach Urban Meyer notched another victory Saturday when legendary running back Barry Sanders decided to switch his commitment from the NFL Hall of Fame to the defending national champion Gators, marking the eighth time this season a recruit has chosen Florida after a previous agreement with another institution.

sanders

Sanders, center, accepting the MVP award at the Army All-American game in San Antonio, TX. At the time Sanders was firmly committed to the NFL Hall of Fame.

“Coach [Meyer] convinced me the University of Florida is the right place for me. I mean no disrespect to the Hall of Fame, the city of Canton, the state of Ohio or anyone else, but I had to do what was right for me. I couldn’t sleep for a week straight, but when I made my decision I felt completely at ease with myself. I talked to my family and they said that I needed to do what was best for me,” Sanders said in a press conference aired on CSTV. The 38 year old member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team couldn’t suppress a smile when he put on an orange and blue Florida hat.

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Filed under Fake news, Notre Dame, Recruiting, SEC, USC

Sources say Carroll interviewing to be first guy in line to punch Reggie Bush’s stepfather in face

LOS ANGELES, CA – According to several sources USC head coach Pete Carroll interviewed yesterday for the first spot in a line that would ultimately lead to punching LaMarr Griffin in the face. Griffin – the stepfather of former Southern California and current New Orleans star tailback Reggie Bush – is in the middle of an ongoing investigation about receiving improper benefits during the 2004 and 2005 seasons while Bush was a key member of the Trojans’ run to two consecutive BCS title games. According to a close associate of Carroll, the Griffin-punching position is “exactly what Pete wants, the kind of situation he’s been very enthusiastic about from day one.”

Carroll, above, is 65-12 in six seasons with the Trojans.

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Filed under Fake news, NCAA, The Media, USC

Reggie Bush, stepfather invoke Fifth Amendment on sandwich bread choice

SAN DIEGO, CA – Current New Orlean Saints and former USC tailback Reggie Bush and his stepfather LaMar Griffin declined to answer a San Diego area Quiznos employee’s repeated inquiries about their choice in bread for the two’s recently ordered chicken carbonara sandwich combos.

After other customers began to grow angry with the prolonged silence, Bush’s attorney David Cornwall eventually settled on rosemary parmesan, but stressed that “nothing should be read into [his] client’s choice of deliciously flavored artisan bread”.

LaMar Griffin, right, silently indicates a preference for a panini-style sandwich during a September 2006 visit to a Los Angeles restaurant.

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Filed under Fake news, NCAA, USC

Ask Mike Bellotti: New Year’s Resolutions

By Mike Bellotti

Mike,

I’m a thirty-one year old female legal secretary. I’ve had weight problems all my life, but last year I finally followed through with my New Year’s Resolution to diet and drop some pounds. I went from a size seven to a size five. The problem now is that I just don’t feel like my old self; sure, I’m thinner, but my energy is gone and I really don’t enjoy watching every single thing I eat. I want to keep this weight but I don’t want another year of miserable calorie counting. Is surgery the right answer?

Sincerely,
Missing All those Doughnuts

We all wish we looked better, MAD. The problem for you isn’t so much the dieting, it’s your self-image. I get letters like this all the time and I tell them all the same thing: forget about the diets, the surgery, the carbs and the counting and just go out and get the shiniest new uniform you can find. I like bright yellow myself, but anything neon will work. Think in diametrically opposed color schemes: orange and blue, red and green, etc. Remember to accessorize. Nike has a new pair of football cleats coming out called the Nike VELOCITY ’07. We’ll get them in a hunter green and goldenrod combination, which would do wonders for you if you’re into the grey business suit look most legal secretaries sport. VELOCITY ’07s will give you height and really set off a skirt.

Mike,

I swore off smoking in January. I’ve been a lifelong smoker but my kids finally convinced me to do it after one of their best friends’ dad died of lung cancer last year. I love my family and I’m normally a pretty strong willed guy, but I smoked three days ago and it felt so good and bad at the same time. I’m afraid I’m going to let my kids down. What can I do?

Sincerely,
Still Moping Outside Greensborough

Quitting cigarettes isn’t easy, SMOG. Why do you think the tobacco companies are still turning profits? There’s no simple trick to doing it, except to wear a moustache. I had one and as soon as I shaved it off I got back on heroin after fourteen years off the smack. If you love your kids, SMOG, you’ll grow a ‘stache. And soon.

Mike,

So it’s the Colts and the Bears. Who do you have winning the Super Bowl? Just to make this New Year’s themed, my resolution was to stop gambling.

Thanks,
Looking For A Tip

Peyton Manning finally got over the conference championship hump. Look for him to have a big game on sport’s biggest stage. I also love that marauding Bears defense, especially the front seven. If I had to pick a team, though, I’d say neither. Their uniforms are too plain. A horseshoe and a big “C”? What’s that? That’s simplicity, and that’s never a formula for success. Look for the Bengals to take it all.

Mike,

I’m coming off an ugly divorce. It took three years to settle everything and I’m still bitter about the way it turned out. My best friends all want me to move on and I agreed, so I promised myself I would start dating. Unfortunately I’ve been “off the market” for so long I don’t know how to go about the whole process anymore. I’ve been on one date so far. It was the worst night of my life: the woman was incredibly boring, but I found myself pretending to be interested. She wasn’t even that pretty. I’m not a supermodel or anything but I think I deserve someone pretty good. How do I find that person, and, more importantly, what do I do on the first couple of dates to not screw everything up? I’m a charming guy with a good job and a lot of positives in my life; I just don’t know how to get that across during a dinner and a movie.

Thanks,
Super Hesitant in Yonkers

SHY, have you given any thought to different colors for your home and away helmets? If not, do so. There’s nothing sexier or more sophisticated. Not even Axe.

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Filed under Ask Mike Bellotti, Pac-10

SOS: Save Our Shitty-Home-Opener

That SOS can also stand for Strength of Schedule which, under Pete Carroll, has maintained a fairly steady balance between solid (2004) to BCS Death March (2002). SOS is no longer an official part of the BCS formula but it still figures into several of the computer components, and if you don’t have it in a close year it’ll force you to accept the world’s worst consolation prize. In Carroll’s six years the Trojans have played the following out of conference (OOC) games, with season end rankings listed:

2001
San Jose State, unranked
Kansas State, unranked
at Notre Dame, unranked
Utah (Las Vegas Bowl), unranked

2002
Auburn, 14th
at Colorado, 20th, Big XII North Division Champions
at Kansas State, 7th
Notre Dame, 17th
Iowa (Orange Bowl), 8th, Big Ten C0-Champions

2003
at Auburn, unranked
BYU, unranked
Hawai’i, unranked
at Notre Dame, unranked
Michigan (Rose Bowl), 6th, Big Ten Champions

2004
Virginia Tech (BCA Classic at FedEx Field, Maryland), 10th, ACC Champions
Colorado State, unranked
at BYU, unranked
Notre Dame, unranked
Oklahoma (Orange Bowl), 3rd, Big XII Champions

2005
at Hawai’i, unranked
Arkansas, unranked
at Notre Dame, 9th
Fresno State, unranked
Texas (Rose Bowl), 1st, BCS Champions

2006
at Arkansas, 15th, SEC West Division Champions
Nebraska, unranked, Big XII North Division Champions
Notre Dame, 17th
Michigan (Rose Bowl), 8th

If you’re counting, that’s a total of 7 non-BCS teams and 15 BCS teams scheduled in six years, with a 5-1 ratio of BCS-to-non-BCS in bowl games. That’s also 12 home games, 9 away games and one game at a neutral site (2004′s BCA Classic in Maryland). In 2006 the NCAA officially moved to a 12 game regular season; the Pac-10 went from an 8 game schedule to a true round robin with each team playing all nine conference opponents.

And now:

2007
Idaho
at Nebraska
at Notre Dame

Nebraska should be ranked in the twenties with the loss of Zach Taylor offset by former ASU quarterback Sam Keller. Notre Dame should be unranked. And Idaho? Idaho is a holdover from the period when Nick Holt, former linebackers coach and current defensive coordinator for USC, was the Vandals’ head coach. Idaho is filler material. Idaho is Idaho.

And now:

ESPN is brokering an arrangement in which the [Hawai'i] Warriors might open the season Sept. 1 at Southern California. In order for that to occur, USC would have to get out of its scheduled game against Idaho that day.

It’s from The Honolulu Advertiser, and it’s a blurb at the end of an article about a game between Washington and Hawai’i. As in the Hawai’i team featuring Brennan Colt. As in the guy who declared for the draft on the last day possible, then waited 72 hours to undeclare at the last possible minute. As in the guy who threw for 326 touchdowns in one season, 208 of those against Arizona State in the Hawai’i Bowl. As in the guy who’ll be an early season Heisman dark horse behind Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton, Henne/Hart, Brian Brohm, Desean Jackson and (YES) John David Booty.

I say early season Heisman candidate because I am confident that Hawai’i would lose at the Coliseum on Sept. 1 if the game should happen, derailing Colt’s no doubt cute campaign as the kid-who-could-(throw-for-a-bajillion-TDs-against-you). The Warriors return pretty much all of the wide receivers who helped Colt become Division I-A’s single season touchdown leader (58 TDs in 14 games), and the same applies to the offensive line. (Not really: they lose two starters, but as a program heavily stocked in Pacific-Islanders I think we can rightly assume the Warriors will find a few large men to replace the departed.) Offensively, the biggest loss in my opinion is 5’9″ 240 lbs. “wide receiver” Nate Ilaoa, who looked like a svelte bowling ball every time he had the rock. I was a big fan of Ilaoa and his amusing status as a WR.

I am confident USC would beat Hawai’i because the Warriors were 93rd in total defense last season, 105th in pass defense. I’m not trying to pull those numbers out of my ass just to support my homerism. Hawai’i’s schedule was a big meh: it featured such offensive heavyweights as Alabama (65th in total offense), UNLV (84th), Utah State (114th) and, of course, Idaho (94th). It also featured the curious (New Mexico St. at 2nd in the nation in passing with 399 yards/game), the surprising (San Jose St. with 175 rushing yards a game, good for 20th in the nation and a good toss up as to why the Spartans came closer than any other team to beating Boise State) and the miraculous (the aforementioned Broncos of the Smurf Turf).

Numbers are nice, but I’ve seen Hawai’i play twice. In person. They’re losing their best defensive player (safety Leonard Peters, he of Troy Polamalu-ish hair style) and they’re notoriously undisciplined on the defensive side of the ball. In 2005 they held the ball pretty much the entire first quarter against USC and the Trojans scored 63 anyway. Yes, that was with Bush and Leinart and White and Jarrett. But with 2007′s defense I’ll take my chances against any one-dimensional team.

I may be exaggerating my confidence in USC beating Hawai’i. When you can throw for five touchdowns in one half like Colt did to the Sun Devils you should believe you’ll win any game. And the Warriors would be a wee bit excited to play USC, whom they’ve never beaten in six tries, in the Coliseum in front of a national audience – and since ESPN is pushing for it, it’ll be a national audience. Throw in the fact that the Warriors really would have a legit shot of being the first team in six years to beat USC at home and you’ll have a formula for good football watching. For the love of all that is good in this world please don’t make me watch Southern California-Idaho. Please.

And for any (hypothetical) Vandal fans, I’m not mocking you. I’m just stating the truth. This would be mocking you.

However, despite my taking the time to write the above the chances of this deal happening appear to be somewhat slim. Hawai’i-USC has been in the works for a long time now. Both Idaho and USC have been trying to get out of their “game” ever since Holt left Moscow to coach in Los Angeles, but the Trojans have had a hard time convincing teams to give them a single home game. The schedule is full until at least the next decade with Syracuse being added to the 2008 and 2010 seasons, thanks to former Trojan and current Orangemen athletic director Daryl Gross. (Don’t go by the official schedules at the USC athletic website; they haven’t been updated because the deal is a handshake one so far. I’d still say it’s a 90% chancer.) The Trojans don’t have much room to negotiate a true home-and-home and are looking for a one year thing at the Coliseum to balance out six games on the road in 2007. Under NCAA rules Hawai’i can schedule up to five non-conference games a season. The only thing I’ve found is a brief blurb here:

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier said they [remaining non-conference games] will be Division I, and is leaning toward home games after Brennan announced Wednesday he will return for his senior season rather than go pro.

C’mon! First rule of athletic directors at mid-majors hoping to push a Heisman candidate: clever is nice, schedule is nicer. Sure, you can try putting together a DVD and sending free copies to all the voters. You could even erect a 100-ft. billboard in downtown New York – but then you’d be Joey Harrington, and no one wants that. Not even Joey Harrington. Heisman voters are stupid, archaic beings who belong to a silly group that hands out an overrated trophy… but they also pay attention to the schedule a candidate plays. If Frazier is worried Colt’s campaign needs a boost by adding home games, he’d do better by the former Mater Dei High quarterback if he asked himself what kind of boost Colt would get by beating the pre-season top ranked Trojans in Los Angeles. In a race featuring at least three or four candidates with better chances than him, a good game against USC is Colt’s best hope for a ticket to New York. Will any of that change what appears to be a foregone slaughter of (yawn) Idaho in the Coliseum? Probably not. Am I gonna get anything out of a couple thousand words advocating USC putting a Heisman candidate on the schedule in a season in which the Trojans have a good shot at the national championship? Probably not.

Boo.

This doesn’t really belong at the end of the post, but 2004 Auburn Tigers? I liked you. I really did. Still: HA-ha.

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Filed under ACC, BCS, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, NCAA, Notre Dame, Pac-10, SEC, The Media, USC, WAC

Bowden fires eBay

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The online auction service eBay was fired yesterday by Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, who cited a difference in philosophy as the main reason for the surprise termination.

Said Bowden: “We saw things a little bit differently, me an’ eBay. I’m more of an old school guy, and he wanted to do things I wasn’t comfortable with. And if there’s one doggone thing I’ve learned in thirty years of coachin’ it’s that you gotta steer with your own gut. I did that, and that’s why eBay’s got his papers.”

Bowden, above, angrily gestures for eBay’s immediate dadgum exit.

The announcement was unexpected given that eBay is a web-based auction house catering to millions of customers with a user-offered selection of collectibles, antiques, electronics, furniture and other miscellaneous items and services. The $4.55 billion earning company is also the owner of Skype and PayPal, two of the internet’s hottest properties. Though sports memorabilia are sold through eBay – many of them college football based and some of them probably having to do with the Seminoles – there wasn’t a direct connection between the NASDAQ traded internet company and Florida State until Bowden’s scathing critique of the treatment of his son and former FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden, who resigned on Nov. 14.

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Filed under ACC, Fake news, The Media

Recruitingasm ’07: Faked it.

I tried to tell former USC offensive line recruit and current Florida commit James Wilson that communication was the foundation to any strong relationship. I really did. He shrugged it off as if my point was so obvious it didn’t even need exposition, assured me his word was as strong as oak and then proceeded to flatten my poor heart by switching to the Gators today.

Yesterday. Whatever. Point is: boo.

Wilson is a road grader and a consensus five star linemen with both Scout and Rivals. He’s also from Florida. It’s tough to lure a kid away from his momma (sources say mother Wilson wanted him close to home, and who could blame her?) and the hometown champs, but it’s even tougher when that kid is 6’5″, 305 lbs. of snarling man-sled. Because then he can beat you senseless if you tell him he’s doing the wrong thing, and what was that about strong as oak?

Apparently the cracks started appearing when Wilson was in San Antonio for the Army All-American game, where by all accounts he had a great week of practicing and playing. The place was littered with USC recruits so I know he was surrounded by sensible people. Mayhaps he might have witnessed something unsavory there that unsettled him a bit? Though I’ve no idea why Notre Dame’s crude display of knobbery would have weakened Wilson’s resolve to head west, I will take this time to nonetheless blame the Irish for all my misery.

I can’t really be all that mad at Wilson. During their contemporaneous playing days at Nease High, he blocked for fellow man-sled Tim Tebow, the quarterback/hammer set to lead Florida to wherever the hell Florida’s going. Tebow’s dad’s his pastor, apparently. And that whole want-to-be-close-to-the-family thing, I guess that’s okay. But it still stings lemony-fresh.

This marks the umpteenth time in two years that USC has struck out on sun eclipsing offensive linemen from out of state: Andre Smith (Alabama), Stephen Schilling (Washington), Sam Young (Florida), Anthony Davis (New Jersey), etc. Every single one of these kids, with the slight exception of Young, looked like very good bets to head to Los Angeles. Every single one of them left me clenching my spleen in agony.

It appears the Trojans are aiming for a home run (yes, I hate that metaphor too but I’m feeling lazy and bitter right now) whenever they venture out of state for the big uglies, and in the process they may have lost focus on some in-state gems. Case in point: Matt Summers-Gavin, who many thought would be a sure thing in cardinal and gold after fine showings during the recruiting camp circuit.

Is this going to mean that USC won’t claim its fifth consecutive recruiting title? No, the Trojans’ll do that. But the EA Sports NCAA Football fanatic in me wants them all, and anything less means my childish need for pure and utter domination goes unsated.

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Filed under Notre Dame, Recruiting, SEC, USC