Category Archives: NCAA

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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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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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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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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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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“You have 72 hours to give me the Genesis Device,” says Tressel to U.N., NCAA

Columbus, Ohio – Genetically engineered tyrant and Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel issued an ultimatum to the United Nations and the NCAA on Friday morning: give him the Genesis Device within 72 hours, or face his wrath. He also demanded unlimited football scholarships for Ohio State to be installed within a period of three years. The top ranked Buckeyes play the Florida Gators in the BCS title game on Jan. 8.

Tressel with his trademark vest and swarthy Asiatic musk.

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Duke cancels football season in wake of lack of sexual assault scandal

Durham, North Carolina – In response to the absence of serious administrative malfeasance of any kind, as well as a considerable dearth of legal woes including charges of sexual assault, Duke University president Richard Brodhead announced yesterday that the football team’s season would be cancelled.

“Though we stand firmly on the side of our student athletes, the lack of criminal accusations against our football program cannot be ignored. This matter will continue to not be pursued in the courts of law. Duke University, its administration and its athletic program make no assumptions concerning the innocence or guilt of our football players in a hypothetical case, but we have deemed it necessary that their season be cancelled for the sake of unity and healing. This is a unique opportunity for us to seriously broadcast our wants, our needs and our beliefs, and today all three coincide: Duke football must not occur,” Brodhead said.

Over the past several months Duke football has been rocked by an increasing void of scandal, with media coverage seemingly nihil-present at the picturesque Durham campus. Brodhead said that some students have voiced concern about not being constantly confronted by reporters looking for an angle or a slip of the tongue.

“In light of what has not occurred, my associates and I believe that not going through with football season would be beneficial to all but most especially for the student body itself. We are an academic institution first and foremost, and we make this decision with that firmly in mind. It is imperative that the distraction of football be immediately and decisively removed for any kind of resolution,” Brodhead said.

Though some have criticized the Duke president for informing the media before the team itself and its coaches, Brodhead’s move has been lauded from many corners – including the Blue Devils’ head coach himself.

“It takes courage to do what he did in the face of absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever. Decisive action like this is what we need, as a football program, to move forward to a point where we can make a non-negative impact on this campus and its students. I support Richard Brodhead and Duke in their decision, and I only wish they had made it earlier,” Duke head football coach Not Steve Spurrier said.

“Frankly, this is a big relief. I can finally take the time to work on my frisbee golf game. I’m kind of tired of having the score run up on me.”

Duke head coach Not Steve Spurrier contemplates whether he should punt or go for the intentional interception.

Though North Carolina has traditionally been a basketball state, the recent lack of success in football by home teams University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and especially Duke has brought attention to that “other sport”. Word travels fast, and local fans and boosters have been staying away in droves as cumulative North Carolina season ticket sales for football did not increase for the third year in a row.

“This is a tradition poor program, and we have never, ever derived any pleasure or pride from it. For example, as recently as the 2005 season Duke football failed to bring home a national championship, a conference championship or even a congeniality award. Most agree that our streak of non-appearances in the championship game – or any game of import, for that matter – over the last half century or so is one of the most remarkable athletic feats of all time. No one doubts our place in history, but with multiple football players not getting arrested and charged with egregious acts of villainy we have no choice in this non-matter,” Brodhead said.

“Let those who’ve failed to criticize our football program for its maverick tendency towards criminality be warned: this university is prepared to stay the course even if it means the cancellation of all future seasons. Actually, especially if it means the cancellation of all future seasons,” Brodhead added.

Yesterday’s press conference comes on the heels of a string of highly unpublicized non-incidents:

August 18, 2005: Senior defensive end Eli Nichols is not arrested by police on charges of public intoxication and public indecency.

January 1, 2005: Junior quarterback Steve Lattanzio is not arrested by police on suspicion of breaking and entering.

March 3, 2005: Sophomore linebackers Charles Robinson and Alfred Williams both fail to be charged with minors in possession of alcohol, biking while under the influence, public disturbance and possession of marijuana.

September 2, 2005: Junior tailback Tielor Robinson is not forced to put up a bail of $200,000 after a complete lack of sexual assault charges. Robinson and his non-existent accuser eventually do not settle out of court.

February 4, 2006: Senior offensive lineman Garrett Mason does not steal several male sheep from Duke’s agricultural center; he is consequently not fined $800 and ordered to perform community service in addition to the lack of a DUI charge.

March 16, 2006: Sophomore quarterback Marcus Jones is not accused of providing alcohol to minors, and is completely unaware of the charge of statutory rape the state fails to bring against him.

March 28, 2006: Junior linebacker Zach Smith does not steal a woman’s cell phone in a bar, and avoids being chased by two policemen through Durham. Exactly one week later Smith does not expose himself to a group at a women’s dormitory.

May 3, 2006: Senior tailback Aaron Fryer is not engulfed in a brewing scandal involving improper benefits to his family in the form of a $162,000 house in the Durham area. The NCAA later fails to announce that an investigation will be forthcoming, with possible non-sanctions pending on the findings.

June 4, 2006: embattled Duke head coach Not Steve Spurrier is not charged with DUI. His lawyer does not claim that his drink was laced with GHB, a well known date rape drug.

“It’s been a trying couple of decades for our program. When you can’t even hang your hat on being infamous for something maybe that’s just God’s way of sayin, ‘It’s time to pack it in fellas,'” Not Spurrier said.

“Outside of an occasional blip of relevancy, we’ve shouldered on in anonymity year after year. Not winning games is one thing, but when you’re not winning games and operating in legal obscurity and outside of the police blotter there’s something wrong. My gut’s been telling me that for a while now. The last thing this university needs is an unremarkable, unsuccessful football program in the harsh glare where the media spotlight would be if there was anything interesting going on here. I can’t say I’m sad to see our team go, but I can say I’m unbelievably, ecstatically happy.”

Not Spurrier was firm in his reiteration that calmness and rationale were required in this situation, however.

“I’m not going to let my indescribable joy concerning this turn of events blind my view of things. I know full well that a complete lack of sexual assault accusations is no laughing matter. Then again, neither is a crappy football team,” Not Spurrier said.

As of press time it is unclear if Duke will convert the football team’s revoked 85 athletic scholarships into enough money for a new Mike Krzyzewski commercial.

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Tressel gives Carr noogie, wedgie, lunchtime de-pantsing; hall monitor, NCAA silent on issue

Ann Arbor, Michigan – Despite his professed friendship with Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel continues to torment and publicly humiliate his Big Ten rival even after routinely copying from Carr’s homework and “borrowing” soda money.

Carr, 60, and Tressel, 53, have been acquaintances ever since Tressel moved from Youngstown to Columbus, Ohio.

“I showed Jimmy around when he first got there. Sometimes it’s tough when you move to a new place: you don’t know anyone, you have to sit all by yourself at lunch, Michigan State keeps beating you. Stuff like that. He’d come over to the Big House and hang out. He was kinda mean even then, but we were still friends. I was real nice to him. Then he started hanging around the cooler kids and, well…” Carr said.

“Now I sit by myself at lunchtime. It’s not so bad. I bring my Harry Potter books.”

Carr, University of Michigan head football coach and pussy-willow.

According to witnesses, a daily routine has developed between the two coaches. After getting his subsidized meal from lunch lady Edna Kozlowski, Carr quickly heads over to his corner table to quietly consume his main course and draw in his notebook. Once several minutes have passed, Tressel – who normally resides in the center aisle at a table with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz – walks over to where Carr is sitting, usually with a mischievous expression on his face. From here events tend to differ depending on the day of the week, Tressel’s mood and whether or not Carr is playing a game of Magic the Gathering with himself.

“Sometimes [Tressel] will pretend to ‘accidentally’ knock Lloyd’s tray off the table and onto [Carr’s] lap. Sometimes he ‘spills’ milk onto Lloyd. If [Carr] is done with his food and stuff before Jimmy gets there, [Tressel] will punch him in the shoulder a lot, like he’s messing around but it’s obvious he’s not. All the kids in the center aisles will laugh, but I don’t think it’s that funny. I don’t really say nothin’, though,” Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney said. McCarney, who tends to sit by himself relatively close to Carr, is often the butt of jokes and pranks from others but has earned a reputation that deters more serious harassment.

“Let’s just say that Kirk keeps his distance,” McCarney said. “Not like Jimmy. He pantsed Lloyd in the middle of the Big House one time, in front of 100,000 people. His, like, mom was there, y’know? That’s just kind of messed up.”

This behavior, however, is not limited to lunchtime, according to Big Ten officials. Midday noogies, afternoon wedgies, before class swirlies and after school Indian burns have become a regular occurrence, prompting other coaches to form loud, shouting circles around the daily events; some are there to heckle and torment, but others are there out of a hope for a different outcome despite past history.

“Sometimes I wish Lloyd would just stand up to that big bully. It’s not as hard as it looks, so long as you know what you’re doing. I’ve been successful at it sometimes, but only because I learned how to fight weird. I move around in circles and use my elbows and stuff. It’s confusing, but it works,” Northwestern head coach Randy Walker said.

Most are baffled by Carr’s repeated acquiescence to Tressel’s demands, including the offer of completed homework “to study from”, a soda and Gatorade line of credit with little to no compounded interest, and a yearly ritual in which Carr saves up enough allowance for the Big Ten championship, only to let Tressel walk away with it after a session of “convincing”.

Michigan sociology professor Harold Weir noted that Carr’s pattern of compliance and retreat only reinforces Tressel’s behavior.

“It’s a common occurrence. Whenever a weaker entity allows another person in a position of power to get away with anything, it tends to emphasize and even add to the already existing set of conditions that dictate weakness and strength. In this case Lloyd’s refusal to fight back or even make things remotely difficult for Jim sends a clear signal that [Tressel’s] behavior is not only effective, but correct. The notions of dominance and hierarchy are very much a part of the animal kingdom, and humans are still animals when it comes down to it. And, frankly, maybe Lloyd deserves to get picked on. Did you see [last season’s Ohio State-Michigan game, won by the Buckeyes 25-21]? Fucking ridiculous. [Michigan has] the lead with only like four minutes remaining, right? But we can only get two plays with any positive yards before punting? What the fuck is that? Fuck that guy,” Weir said.

“I mean c’mon. Everyone knew Ohio State would march down that field and score. Everyone,” Weir added. “Fuck. God-damned pansy.”

Most agree that Carr and Tressel seem bound to continue their current relationship until the foreseeable future: Michigan and Ohio State host one of college football’s most storied rivalries, and, according to local gossip, Tressel is infatuated with Carr’s older sister, Janey.

“He’s nice to me when we’re alone. We still joke around about all the stuff we used to be into, like X-Men comic books and the base two receiver set and stuff like that. Sometimes he even invites me to his parties, but I haven’t gone to one since [Penn State head coach] Joe [Paterno’s] thing with the shuffleboard and the bingo. It was kinda boring, plus once we got there Jimmy threw punch all over me,” Carr said.

“Maybe the trick is to have Janey come with me to school. Jimmy’s real nice when she’s around. He’s always asking about her, what she likes, how close our rooms are. I wish she hadn’t moved off to another college, because maybe then it wouldn’t be so bad between me and [Tressel].”

Weir, however, disagreed.

“What we have here is a classic case of the socially oppressed doing a disservice to themselves by fantasizing in the extreme. Hopes and dreams are good things, maybe even necessary things, but when thought about and never acted upon they become anchors. Let’s face it, Lloyd here isn’t exactly going to grow up to be a computer mogul or a Super Bowl winning coach who gets to come back to the reunion and shove it in Jim’s face. If he wants to be able to look back at this period in his life, he’s going to have to grow a pair and do something about it,” Weir said.

“This kinda seems like the perfect script set up for a sitcom or something, doesn’t it? Maybe [former Michigan head coach] Bo Schembechler can teach Lloyd how to punch in a very special episode about bullying and standing up for yourself. Then Tressel can kick his ass in a very realistic episode of ‘This Is Happening Right Now, Again.'”

As of press time, Tressel could not be reached for comment.

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Carroll apologizes to Poseidon with burnt offering, three flocks of cattle, Reggie Bush shaped golden idol

Los Angeles, Calif. – Taking his cue from Homer’s Odyssey, University of Southern California head football coach Pete Carroll attempted to appease the legendary anger of Poseidon with an offer of burnt lamb, approximately seventy heads of cattle and an 8 ft. high statue of USC running back Reggie Bush made entirely from gold.

Poseidon.

Carroll’s attempt at mollifying the ancient sea god’s wrath comes on the heels of what many are saying was one of the worst weeks any Division I-A football program has ever seen.

On April 23 Yahoo! Sports and the Miami Herald broke a story concerning the possibility of extra benefits to the family of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. If the allegations prove true, USC could be stripped of a portion of the wins that constitute its 34 game winning streak from 2003-2006. NCAA sanctions also are a possibility. Rumors that junior offensive tackle Winston Justice – who, along with Bush, was among a group of Trojans who elected to skip their senior years in order to declare for the draft – were involved have yet to be substantiated.

Redshirt freshman backup quarterback Mark Sanchez was arrested on April 26 on suspicion of sexual assault. Sanchez, who was expected to contend for the starting position, spent the night in jail and posted a $200,000 bond; his case is still pending.

On April 29 two separate stories broke: Bush, long the prohibitive number one overall pick, could not reach an agreement with the Houston Texans who would opt to sign North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams instead, and the since disproved accusation that running back LenDale White failed a drug test at the Indianapolis Combine.

April 30 – the first day of the NFL Draft – was long expected to be one of the high points of the offseason for the Trojans. Instead they saw the revelation that the living arrangement of Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Matt Leinart and roommate wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett might have violated NCAA bylaws after Leinart’s father moved the two into a new apartment complex due to the constant presence of fans at their old address. Additionally, Bush dropped to the expected number two slot while Leinart fell all the way to the tenth spot after being a top five and even top three projection for the majority of the past year and a half. A draft that could have seen as many as five or even six Trojans in the first round instead saw only two: Justice and White both fell to the second round after concerns about their character allowed them to slip, and the stocks of safety Darnell Bing (fourth) and guard Fred Matua (seventh) plummeted.

“Like Homer’s Odysseus, we have endured a thousand stings and a hundred obstacles in our quest for normalcy, some of them self inflicted but many at the historically fickle hands of the Fates. The cannibalistic Laestrygonians, the gifts of Aeolus, the fierce Ciconians and the subtle allure of both the Lotus-Eaters and the sirens for [Odysseus], the ravages of the NCAA and the foolishness and cupidity of humanity for us. And, much like Odysseus himself, we wished we had thought of offering a rack of roasted lamb to Poseidon ages ago,” Carroll read from a prepared statement.

The sirens of Homer’s epic have been known to offer benefits to both homesick mariners and NCAA athletes – for a price.

“In fact, Odysseus had to land on Circe’s island twice before it was all over and he was allowed to return to Ithaca. I’m really hoping this doesn’t mean LaMar Griffin [Bush’s step-father] has a mansion in the [Hollywood] Hills under ‘lease’ he forgot to mention,” Carroll added. “Sometimes these things just kind of escape you, and two weeks and an NCAA investigation later all you can do is slap your forehead and say, ‘Man! I should’ve sacrificed a couple of flocks of cattle to Poseidon weeks ago.'”

“Just kind of think of it as looking for a pair of glasses that have been perched on your head the entire time or something goofy like that.”

University of Oxford classics professor and Philip X. Andoupolous chair Margaret Addison said that similarities between the Odyssey and USC’s current situation abound, but that there were subtle differences.

“Pete Carroll, like Odysseus, is famous for his cunning and his use of strategem instead of the strength normally associated with ancient Greek heroes and berserker warriors like Ajax and [current Mississippi head coach Ed] Orgeron. In fact, Odysseus stands directly opposed to the figure of Achilles, who so epitomized the highly sought ideal of andreia, or ‘beautiful courage’, but also led his troops to slaughter time and time again with ill-advised forays into blood lust,” Addison said.

“Yet at the same time, where Odysseus helped topple the ‘topless towers of Ilium’ and burnt Troy to the ground Carroll has resurrected the near comatose Trojan program over the last five years with wins, national championships and an aura of seeming invinciblity. And instead of attempting to return home to Ithaca like Homer’s hero, Carroll was clearly eager to leave the area of Ithaca, New York and the entire East Coast after his stint as an NFL head coach.”

Many have pointed out that Odysseus was brought low by his own hubris in refusing to acknowledge or supplicate Poseidon, the father of the cyclops Polyphemus whom the hero killed early on in his voyage home. USC’s recent success and the resultant pride have many noting that it was only a matter of time until the hammer fell, whether wielded by the ancient Greek pantheon or the infernal hand of the NCAA.

Ancient oral history or the most overused pun in collegiate sports headlines?

It is unknown if Carroll’s offer will have any effect on the triton-wielding diety of the tempest-toss’d seas, but the traditional sacrifice of burnt flesh and living animal was deemed not enough by the sixth year head coach. Carroll decided to augment the offering with the statue of Bush, made entirely of ingots of gold melted down from spare championship rings and assembled over a period of two days by a crew of graduate assistants. Ancient dieties have long been known for their weak spots for both roasted goat and shiny, multi-carat golden idols, though whether Poseidon will accept the offering remains to be seen.

Experts note that even after Odysseus’ attempt at placating Poseidon he still had to endure the wrath of Helios the sun god after his men stupidly ate cattle sacred to him, an event eerily similar to the ongoing reprecussions of the Griffins seemingly baffling choice to “eat” their reputations and relationship with USC away despite repeated warnings and advice. Much like Odysseus’ soldiers’ ill-fated foray into early dining, the Griffins were only a year or two away from their chosen destination – in this case, a gigantic mound of money.

Few critics, however, are willing to predict what will happen even if Poseidon is satisfied.

“I am of the opinion that Carroll will eventually succeed in metaphorically returning home and triumphing over adversary,” Addison said. “Much like [Alfred Lord] Tennyson’s Ulysses, I see in him a man whose passion for life and exploration will never allow him full rest – and though he may now appear to be ‘an idle king’ he will inevitably seek to ‘sail beyond the sunset and the baths of all the western stars’ by recruiting a class of twenty Scout and Rivals rated five star players. It seems obvious even to these British eyes that [Carroll] is a man determined ‘to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.'”

“Then again, much like Odysseus, he could opt to shoot everyone who so much as looked at Penelope the wrong way. I would probably expect a mixture of ‘one equal temper of heroic hearts’ and good old fashioned fairly indiscriminate slaying.”

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Myles Brand siezes 6th circle of Hell; now rules NCAA, infernal city of Dis

The Master of Malice

The Master of Malice
Dis the Infernal City, Sixth Circle of Hell – Myles Brand – the ruler of the fifth circle of Hell, the Stygian King, known to many as Gulygon the Terrible, the Tyrant of Man, the Betrayer of Hope and president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – yesterday completed his bid for power by adding the sixth circle of Hell to his already vast holdings.

Brand, Devourer of Souls and former president of Indiana University and the University of Oregon, seized the important city of Dis after a well staged attack on the fortress of despair’s former ruler, Dagon, Lord of Flies. The coup began well before the rise of Hell’s blazing, blood red globe of withering flame, with the NCAA president and Destroyer of Cities leading his chitinous troops through the gates of Dis.

“The unfortunate situation created by [Dagon, Lord of Flies] and his gross negligence concerning one of the greatest institutions of Hell has forced Our hand,” Brand read from a prepared speech at a press conference held at his new blood soaked throne room. “We regret the harsh and swift nature of Our judgment, but after a thorough analysis We can only come to the conclusion that the infernal city of Dis deserves new management.”

Dagon and his elite regiment of half-spider, half-snake soldiers were caught completely unaware of the assault partly due to Brand’s recent insistence that the Lord of Flies observe all of the regular rules and procedures normally used to mediate disputes between demon princes. The Many Eyed One was preoccuppied with filling out form 42A-B in triplicate when the pre-dawn raid struck.

“I was trying to file the damn paperwork with Lucifer [Morningstar, the Adversary and Ruler of all Hell], but [Brand] and his cronies are in charge of that shit. Nice job if you can get it, especially if you’re planning a full trans-planar assaut. It’s not like I wasn’t prepared, it’s just that [Brand] is so fucking good at that shit. He kept saying, ‘No, no, We can’t come to any decision yet. It’s held up in committee. Even We must observe the rules.’”

“Can you believe that? He’s even using the royal ‘we’, like he was the sole ruler of all nine layers of the Pit. If Lucifer only knew what that guy was saying behind his back, I swear to Satan they would let Cerberus gnaw the flesh from his bones. Excuse me, ‘His’ bones,” Dagon said from his place chained above a bubbling cauldron of acid.

Brand’s erratic, sometimes baffling behavior is not without precedent. In 2004, he denied athletic eligibility to University of Colorado wide receiver Jeremy Bloom and University of Southern California wide receiver Mike Williams despite popular sentiment – and plenty of reasonable extenuating circumstancs – to reinstate them. He followed that up by mandating that all torture devices be safety approved by his own hand picked committee of low level demons and an assortment of boot licking ghouls.

“That safety bit, what the hell is up with that?” Hastur the Blighted said. Hastur is a goat headed devil in charge of the fire pits of Asmodeus, and is now entering its sixth millennia as a caretaker of the infamous sources of lava and flame. “Look, I understand that all things, even a place as inherently anarchic and chaotic as Hell, need a measure of order to them. But [Brand] is just ridiculous. We spent two centuries checking every nob, spike and blood caked leather strap on every thing we’ve got here. Because Hell is an infinite place I’m not even sure how we managed to go over every little iron maiden, but we did. And you know what he said? ‘Sorry, not up to par. We’re going to have to order newer models.’”

“Newer models? Have you ever seen a Salvador Dali painting with a rack from the Sharper Image? No, you haven’t. First of all, safety is the exact opposite purpose of these machines. And secondly, that really sucked about Mike Williams and that Bloom guy. Man, [Brand]’s such a dick,” Hastur said.

Brand’s unique case of megalomania blossomed shortly after his seizure of the River Styx over two eons ago. As the main trans-planar tributary of the Pit of Despair, the River Styx was and is a hotly disputed stretch of real estate that runs from the suicide woods all the way to the gates of Dis itself. Since adding the great river to his assets Brand has taken every one of the coins traditionally given to Styx’s boatman, Charon, as fare for the journey across; he also ceased the yearly sacrifice of a hundred unbelievers to the river.

Plutus, the Baron of Avarice and ruler of the fourth circle of Hell, is not surprised by any of Brand’s behavior.

“Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t want my job,” the wolf headed demon prince said. “I fall right down his alley: misers, the greedy and the insatiable. The guy has a classic case of rich man’s forgetfulness. With him it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re poor and you need my help? Oh, so sorry, you gotta do something for me first, and then maybe I’ll consider backstabbing you.’ Did you see that shit, the stuff about him taking away Charon’s benefits? That’s just wrong. Charon’s a good guy, old as dirt; the only thing he’s good for is poling around in that dinghy of his and picking up random fare. Same thing with the river itself; for thousands of years we fed it the faithless and the unbelievers to keep it nice and black and nasty. Then he comes around and decides it’s a ‘misallocation of resources’! All Brand wants to do is make money off any poor sucker he can, so long as he doesn’t have to pay them back.”

Fuck that Brand guy
Plutus, Baron of Avarice, contemplates what a gigantic prick his Unholiness Myles Brand is
Since then he has generated untold amounts of wealth by letting various factions battle over small portions of the River Styx in order to stockpile the karmic energy such control would provide.

“It’s not a system we like, really, but it’s unfortunately all we have right now,” Baphomet the Bloated One said.

“Every year a splinter group or faction of devils or demons or what have you have a particularly good outing versus everyone else, and of course that means they get a shot at the best stretch of the Styx and theoretical control, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. It seems logical that the nastiest, fiercest underworlders should battle it out for the best property, but that’s not how he does it,” the Duke of Sloth and captain of the Agony Brigade gurgled. “He’s got the you-know-who damned New York Times tabulating strength of devilry and a bunch of other nonsense. How can you base it on your strength of devilry? What about the demons? I guess he just assumed they were going to use their “demonry” or something equally absurd. How fucking fair is that screw job? We all know devilry is overrated anyway, because the same group always somehow manages to get first choice of the riverbanks despite their obvious lack of devilry.”

“All we want is a system where the most vile, backstabbing, terrible groups amongst us can vie it out on the battle fields of Gehennon and settle this the way Satan intended it: with pitchforks and lots of acid spittle. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Myles Brand, Master of Malice, that’s who,” Baphomet burbled.

“Plus, what the fuck is so hard about implementing a college football playoff? It’s not like we’re asking a first year physics student whether Hell is exothermic or endothermic,” he added.

By adding the sixth circle to his list of assets, as well as the Infernal City of Dis, Brand has begun to solidify himself as one of the grand dukes of Hell. The Codex of the Damned lists only Asmodeus the Black, Beelzebub the Father of Lies, Skip Bayless and Lucifer as being higher in status than the bat winged, sword of flame wielding NCAA president.

“We are growing concerned with Myles,” Lucifer, Lord of the Pit of Despair, said yesterday from his throne room high atop the infinite peaks of the Pinnacle of Doom. “He is vexing Us mightily. We believe in the purity of pain and the delight of agony, yet the Scaly One [Brand] goes beyond all measure of such things. His desecration of helpless vestal virgins throughout the gray wastes of Limbo was terrible, even for Our standards. And do not even get Us started on the NCAA clearinghouse.”

Lucifer then shuddered.

“We do not know what lies ahead, for his acquisition of the sixth circle and Dis are dire portents indeed. We can only postulate that Hell, the worst place imaginable to the mortal mind, is about to get totally fucked up.”

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