Category Archives: Big East

Navy 48, Pittsburgh 45 (2OT): a (smallish) photo essay

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Filed under Big East, Independents, One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

NSA, CIA: “West Virginia may have the forward pass”

LANGLEY, VA – A leaked memo detailing a joint National Security Agency-Central Intelligence Agency operation indicated that the West Virginia Mountaineers “may have the forward pass”.

Neither the NSA nor the CIA would comment on the matter, citing policy to not address sensitive issues currently unfolding.

President Bush was also unwilling to answer questions on the Mountaineers and the possibility of their having weapons of mass yardage. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow did not immediately deny or affirm the veracity of the memo and its claims, but he did say that caution was necessary.

“At this point, [caution] would be advisable,” said Snow. “We’ve all seen satellite photos of their practices, so we know they’re already experimenting with forward pitches and playbook enrichment. The international community, NATO and the Big East all know this. Right now the ball is in West Virginia’s hands. Let’s just hope they don’t know how to throw it yet.”

A West Virginia Mountaineer, above, attempts to split the atomic structure of the pass-run barrier. Satellite photos indicate that the experiment ultimately resulted in a run.

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Filed under Big East, Big XII, Fake news

Seasonal Haiku: Spring doldrums

Unseasoned, but strong
My armor knows but one kink:
Good hair gel’s pricey.

-Jimmy Clausen

Time returns, wounds heal…
Hah! Next year, your kick returns?
Filed in triplicate.

-Myles Brand

Even four three five
Won’t help you with chloroform
I shall come at night.

-Chan Gailey

QBs turn diamond
Underneath my pressured gaze
Know a good ice guy?

-Dennis Erickson

I bring discipline
Honor, pride and success, too
Plus, army fatigues.

-Randy Shannon

Hail, Persephone!
Thy feet herald our spring game
P.S., I may run.

-Pat White

Late frost burns the bloom
Would a fool not let Springdale
Go fuck its damn self?

-Houston Nutt*

*if you can recognize the haiku this is based on, Mitch Mustain will transfer to your school

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Filed under ACC, Big East, Notre Dame, Pac-10, Seasonal Haiku, SEC

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

Hey Jenny Slater knows who’s who when the revolution comes

Doug’s been keeping tabs, and with five immaculately devastaing posts he says to the college football world: “You know who you are.” You may not agree with the entirety of his list of the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football (f’rinstance, Colin Cowherd ought to be classified as more loathsome than #35, and I don’t really care about the inclusion of the nearly autistic Georgia “fanatic” BuLLdawg at #39) (also, I just linked to the top ten so click around a bit for the rest), but you have to admire the thoroughness of this compilation. It feels right, mainly because while reading it you threw up a little bit. In your mouth.

Acid… reflux… incapacitating us…

I’m a fan of Doug. He writes with the proper mixture of frustration, outrage, glee, malice, what-the-fuck-was-that, joy and utter confusion that is the birth right of every college football fan. (See #8 on his list.) As I mentioned already, Doug is one of those up for a 2006 College Football Blogger Award. Three, actually.

Did I say I’m a fan of Doug? Doug can go to Hell, that primadonna.

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Filed under ACC, BCS, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, C-USA, MAC, MWC, NCAA, Notre Dame, Pac-10, Recruiting, SBC, SEC, The Media, USC, WAC

The First Annual Creedies

There are a number of All-American lists out there. They usually put the people with the best stats and highest name recognition on these lists. For offensive linemen, they use the latter. These lists are recognized and recorded by the schools involved. This is not one of those.

My favorite character from the American version of The Office is Creed. It’s not even close, frankly. I like Michael and Dwight and Kevin but Creed is Creed. Unfortunately, no one else seems to agree with me. Everyone’s enamoured with Jim’s eyebrows and his new love interest and blah blah blah. While it’s true that the absolute funniest peak of the show was dinkin’ flicka, I live for Creed moments. More relevantly, I believe Creed is fully under appreciated. Thus, this is a list of those players I have seen with my own eyes who are not getting enough recognition for their fine contributions. And, like Creed, it’s possible these players are “not offended by homosexuality. In the [90s they] made love to many, many women – often outdoors in the mud and the rain – and it’s possible that a man slipped in. There’d be no way of knowing….”

Creed knows all. Except Pam. Who the hell is Pam?

One note: every single one of my defensive picks either play for the Trojans or have played against them. This is inevitable; I tend to pay attention to defensive players mainly when they’re directly opposed to USC. Offensive players are easier to spot due to highlights and mind boggling stats. This is reflected in the fact that four of my offensive picks have never suited up against USC. I have seen every single one of these players or units in action this season.

The First Annual Creedies

Derek Landri, senior DT, Notre Dame – Way to start this list off with a bang: pick a blah player from the nation’s most overrated team whose chief sin is fielding a non-existant defense that didn’t even look good against the Daytona Beach Coast Guard Night School. I would agree with you on every facet – Tom Zibkowski is not a good safety the way I am not a good safety (though he does have a terrific knack for getting a hold of the ball and putting it into the endzone), Victor Abiamiri likes to apply his lips to the testicles of the offspring of donkeys, etc. – except that I think Landri is just amazing. I hesitate to use that buzz word applied to mid-rounders who inevitably die off at the next level but were the darlings of their college fanbases, but Landri really does have a non-stop motor. I’ve never gone so far as to obtain and then break down game tape, but I’m fairly certain Landri grades out at a very high percentage rate in terms of positive plays. I don’t really remember him getting blown off the ball against ‘SC – a common experience for even the most highly touted defensive tackles – and I do recall cussing, with the regularity and color of a syphilitic sailor, his ability to maintain his gap and even get into the backfield once in a while. More than that I always got a distinct sense that I’d like to have Landri on my team, which seems like a good barometer for these kinds of list. He’s a player I’ve always liked, and I’ve enjoyed USC kicking his team’s ass over and over again, and neither of those two are mutually exclusive. Continue reading

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