Category Archives: 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

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

Jeff Tedford, World’s Greatest Lover: Scouting the bar

By Jeff Tedford

Some people say that scouting bars is not a science, that you can’t quantify the quality, the measurables, the intangibles of the women at your local watering hole – and that even if you do “quantify” those very things, the numbers and data you’ve produced aren’t the whole story. Some people say that scouting bars is overrated.

Those people will never average 37.3 digits per weekend like I did in 2004. In Berkeley.

Listen up: scouting the bar isn’t a science, but neither is it voodoo. This is the world’s cruelest arena we’re talking about. I’m not here to give you guarantees or infallible formulas. Those things don’t exist in this environment. You’ve got to show up every day with your lunchpail and your time card or you’ll never get anywhere. There’s a million other guys out there who want your job, and they’ve got wingmen just like you do. I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be easy, because it won’t.

But I will tell you this: if you take the time to scout the bar, you’re enabling success for you and your team on Saturdays. Fridays and Thursdays, too.

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Erickson excited about new job, Monster.com membership

TEMPE, AZ – Recently hired Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson is excited about his new job, and he isn’t afraid to show it.

“We have a first class football environment here at ASU,” Erickson gushed during a Thursday press conference.

“Great facilities, a passionate fanbase, membership in a first rate athletic conference [Pacific-10] and a commitment to excellence from the administration all the way down to the student trainers. I couldn’t be in a better position.”

Erickson is also excited about his new account with Monster.com, the online resume and employment database. Erickson’s 20 year old nephew, Mike, signed him up for the service last week.

“Monster.com will allow me to find a better position,” Erickson enthused.

Erickson, above, was “overwhelmed” with Monster.com’s features, particularly the resume builder

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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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Filed under ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, C-USA, Notre Dame, Pac-10, The Creedies

Shetland ponies proclaim Maurice Drew the messiah

Jacksonville, Florida – Former UCLA tailback and kick returner and current Jacksonville Jaguar draft pick Maurice Drew was proclaimed as the messiah by the International Brotherhood of Shetland Ponies yesterday morning.

Drew running the ball against Oklahoma.

A Shetland pony, grazing somewhere in Sweden.

The announcement – held in the barnyard home of the IBSP’s council of elders in Kirkland, the administrative capital of Scotland’s Orkney Islands – comes four thousand years after the coming of the “Stumpy One” was first prophesied. Some experts argue that a miscalculation was made during the carbon dating of the Short and Squat Scrolls, the primary source of Shetland pony mysticism and scholarship. They maintain that the origins of the ancient prophecy can be traced as far back as 8,000 BCE when the Orkney Islands were still joined to Scandinavia, allowing the ponies there to migrate to their present location.

“The scientific community is divided as to the authenticity of that four thousand year old age, but it’s hard to dwell on an issue like that with this news. Whether you subscribe to their beliefs or not, it has to give you a chill just thinking about it. They’ve been waiting thousands of years without even once claiming a prophet. Not even a saint. And now they finally pick a guy? Even the scientist in me is saying, ‘Maybe they’re on to something here,'” University of Edinburgh professor and head of the Royal School of Veterinary Medicine Gordon Graham said.

“Just watching [the Shetland ponies] celebrate has been a joy for those of us who’ve worked with them. They’ve been through so much, through a long history of trial and patience. I say good on them! Plus, my American friends tell me [Drew] is a spunky player with a lot of heart. The Jaguars got a good deal in the second round, apparently.”

Both Shetland ponies and Drew have been the butt of jokes for their diminutive stature, yet they’ve been used as one of the primary animal workforces in Europe and miscellaneous yardage producers at UCLA, respectively.

Though the long, sad history of Shetland ponies stretches back thousands of years most historians agree that their peak period of suffering began in the mid-19th century when child labor laws were passed which prohibited minors from working in coal mines in both England and the United States. Since that day hundreds of thousands of “pit ponies” have spent the entirety of their lives working in the dangerous mines of interior Britain and the Virginias.

College football experts agree that Drew’s troubles first began when he commited to UCLA in 2003. The highly recruited multi-purpose player prepped at Concord De La Salle – a program with the longest winning streak at any level of football – and yet chose to become a Bruin despite the lack of tradition and a commitment to winning found at his former high school. In three years as a Bruin the 5’7″ tailback put up impressive numbers; however, all of this was overshadowed by neighboring Southern California and its Heisman winning tailback Reggie Bush. USC and Bush became the premier faces of college football, reducing the impressiveness of Drew’s accomplishments and going so far as to cause some to label the UCLA tailback with the moniker of “a poor man’s Reggie Bush”.

“Clearly they’ve both had a rough time of things: laboring in coal mines, putting up 20 touchdowns in one year and not even making a dent in the minds of anyone outside of Westwood, stuff like that. It’s good to see them finally together, working for each other. The Shetland ponies need Maurice, true, but I think somewhere deep down inside Maurice needs the Shetland ponies,” UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell said.

“Still, it would’ve been nice to have had him back for his senior year. We can’t defend worth a crap, but with Drew in the game we sure knew how to randomly pull victories out of our ass. I can’t blame him, though: when a long oppressed group proclaims you as their messiah, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.”

Though the Short and Squat Scrolls have been studied for hundreds of years, few details have been gleaned concerning what would happen after the messiah was proclaimed. Non stop speculation has been swirling through the academic communities of Europe and North America, and even in east Asia Shetland pony strongholds like Tibet and northern China.

“We don’t really know what’s supposed to happen now. Some parts of the Scrolls hint at the messiah going up into the hills and coming back down after a fortnight with a method for making Shetland ponies taller. Or for making everyone else shorter. It’s all very ambiguous,” Graham said.

Drew, who was the fifth tailback selected in this year’s NFL draft, chose to address issues outside of his being chosen as the messiah of Shetland ponies.

“It just frustrates me sometimes because people tell me I can’t do it because I am short and that is why people think I can’t play at the next level. I played against the same talent everyone else did, and put [up] the same or better numbers,” Drew said.

“I should’ve been drafted ahead of Bush, period. And I think [UCLA] had the better team. You put us against the [New England] Patriots, and I’m still going to think we’ve got a chance to win,” Drew said.

“One well known property of messiah complexes is a complete inability to produce realistic assessments. This may explain Drew’s thinking concerning the UCLA Bruins beating the New England Patriots, but that’s a bit of a stretch. He said that way back in the off-season of 2005 and as far as I can tell he wasn’t proclaimed as a messiah until yesterday,” Cornell psychology professor Angela Gruenwald said.

“I mean, come on. I don’t know that much about football but there’s no way he was being ‘disrespected’ or anything. He’ll fill a special teams role for someone like [San Diego Charger tailback] Darren Sproles but he got drafted around where he should’ve been. Plus, what the fuck is that about UCLA beating the Patriots? When you give up fifty-two points to Arizona you’re probably not going to beat a team that’s won the Super Bowl three times since the start of this decade. Not even USC could’ve beat a pro team. A team that lost 66-19 to the Trojans sure as hell ain’t beating the Pats.”

“Good for him about the whole Shetland pony thing, though. We were all thinking it, so it’s nice to finally have it out in the open.”

*****

Note: two of Drew’s quotes are actual, real quotes. Have fun figuring out which ones! Once you do you’ll be sure to laugh.

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Dorrell destroys Carroll’s One Ring; Third Age of USC ends as last of the Trojans sail to Catalina

Los Angeles, Calif. – In a stunning development in the War of Los Angeles, UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell succeeded in a secret mission to infiltrate the University of Southern California’s campus and throw USC head football coach and Dark Lord Pete Carroll’s One Ring into the fires from whence it came: a furnace in the basement of Heritage Hall.

Heritage Hall.

“The eagles! The eagles are coming!” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said when asked about the news.

The War of Los Angeles – which began in 1929 and has continued unabated, with only a few periods of relative peace, up until the modern day – was going badly for UCLA after a period of apparent Bruin dominance stretching from 1991-1998. Since then, various sources have learned that this eight year anomaly was due to Carroll gathering his strength in his fortresses at Foxborough, Massachusetts and East Rutherford, located deep in the dark heart of the Mirkwood Forest.

In early 2001, Carroll sent his lieutenants – the Witch-King of BYU and Ed Orgeron, lord of the mountain trolls – across the Leaguer of La Cienega to retake large portions of the city. Though surprised by the ferocity of the onslaught, UCLA was able to stand its ground in the early months of the siege and retain a tactical stalemate in the recruiting battles.

Norm Chow, Witch-King of BYU.

That same year Carroll returned from the East, having rebuilt the stronghold of Heritage Hall and marshaled his forces. Though he met with fierce resistance, leading the Trojans to a 6-6 record in his first year, USC trounced UCLA 27-0 in their first meeting with the Dark Lord Carroll at the helm.

Several days after that slaughter, prolific college football announcer and official historian of Rivendell Keith Jackson wrote, “The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Big Ten, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings because they refused to move away from the cold, which was very, very, very cold. The freeze your nuts off kind of cold. Seven to the Big Twelve, great huskers of corn and sooners of… soon. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the SEC, who, above all else, desire power and a cupcake out of conference schedule. Then something about the ACC and the Big East, blah blah blah yadda yadda.”

“But they were, all of them, deceived, for another Ring was made. In the land of California, in the fires of Heritage Hall, the Dark Lord Carroll forged in secret a master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to blitz from all angles. One Ring to rule them all. Whoa Nellie.”

Since then, the war-mongering Trojans tore through the countrysides of college football, marauding their way to an 11-2 record and a BCS victory over Iowa in 2002, a 12-1 record and an Associated Press national championship in 2003 and a 13-0 record and a consensus national championship in 2004, as well as sacking such cities as Auburn, Tempe, Eugene, Seattle, Norman, Ann Arbor and Minas Ithil, now called by men Minas Morgul.

The tide was turned, however, when the Texas Longhorns – led by Vince Young, the captain of the Burnt Orange Host – defeated the Trojans at the Battle of the Arroyo Seco on January 4, 2006. The key moment of the struggle came when USC running back Reggie Bush – the chosen instrument of the Dark Lord Carroll’s wrath – inexplicably chose to lateral the One Ring to, of all people, walk-on wide receiver Brad Walker. Walker, like the millions of people watching the telecast live and the tens of thousands present for the climactic battle, was completely surprised and thus fumbled the Ring away.

A reenactment of Bush’s lateral.

On the ensuing possession Young stumbled upon the One Ring and, his powers amplified by the unspeakably powerful artifact, began hurdling Trojan defenders and tossing aside anyone wearing a cardinal and gold jersey. The Longhorns won 41-38, derailing Carroll’s plans to “cover all the lands with a second darkness,” according to Jackson.

In the aftermath of Texas’ victory celebration, head coach Mack Brown and Young argued over what should be done with the One Ring. According to witnesses, the two could not come to any agreement over a course of action.

“It is a gift. A gift to the foes of Southern California. Why not use this Ring? Long has my daddy, Bob Stoops of Oklahoma, kept the forces of USC at bay… mainly by sacrificing himself to the tune of 55-19 to their howling hordes. By the blood of his people are our lands kept safe. Give Texas the weapon of the Enemy. Let us use it against him!” Brown reportedly pleaded to his quarterback.

“But coach, it’s shiny! I wanna use it for an earring,” Young retorted.

Young – known far and wide for both his colossal strength and legendary lack of cunning – was stymied by the One Ring’s perfectly circular and inviolate form. Putting it aside for a moment to consult his trusted librum of learned sages and venerated wisdom, the Texas quarterback lost track of the Ring before giving up and deciding to declare for the NFL draft a mere three seconds later.

The Illuminated Breakfastnomicon of Numenor, Young’s favorite reference work.

The series of events which transpired to place the One Ring into the hands of the unlikeliest and blandest of heroes have yet to be explained, but it is irrefutable that Dorrell came across the artifact sometime during his January convalescence while recovering from the 66-19 rout UCLA suffered at the hands of Carroll’s forces more than a month earlier.

According to several sources, Dorrell considered hiding the Ring or throwing it into the Pacific Ocean. The Dark Lord Carroll’s success in recruiting – culminating in yet another number one ranked class of five star marauders and a large group of four star pillagers – as well as reports that he was bending all his dark will in pursuit of his lost Ring persuaded Dorrell and a deeply concerned Pacific 10 council of elders and pussy-willows that drastic measures were required.

A hastily assembled plan was conceived: Dorrell and dimunitive UCLA tailback Maurice Drew would traverse the dangerous paths of the Interstate-10 East, the foreboding slopes of the Misty Mountains and the dreaded Parking Lot of Doom that is the Harbor Freeway until they came to the lands of USC and the fires beneath Heritage Hall. There they were to cast the Ring into the gorge of flame which birthed it.

Reports, however, indicate that Dorrell hesitated upon the lip of the raging cauldron of lava. The fourth year head coach then turned to Drew and said “The Ring is mine!”, claiming the artifact as his own.

A struggle ensued with Drew – by then also under the hypnotic effect of the object of ineffable evil – assaulting Dorrell for control of the Ring. Drew apparently bit off several of Dorrell’s fingers and successfully gained control of the artifact. During his celebration the tailback stepped too close to the white hot lip of the Heritage Hall furnace and fell in, taking the One Ring with him.

According to Dorrell, Drew’s last words were, “I still should’ve been drafted ahead of Reggie Bussshhh!”

The destruction of the Ring was immediately followed by a week which saw an investigation into the housing arrangements of Bush’s family, as well as quarterback Matt Leinart and wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett, an accusation of sexual assault against quarterback Mark Sanchez, the stocks of multiple USC prospects dropping in the annual NFL draft, and the fall of Heritage Hall into a Heisman strewn pit of rubble and ash.

A mass exodus of the last Trojans left in the wake of that ruinous week has begun. A record number of power and sail boats, as well as numerous yachts and several cruise ships, have taken leave from Marina del Rey, Santa Barbara and San Diego harbors en route to Catalina Island, where the Trojans hope to fortify their last bastion of strength with a Fourth of July ceremony involving the Trojan Marching Band and many, many margaritas.

Most scholars agree that the Third Age of USC Football has now ended with the destruction of Dark Lord Carroll’s One Ring.

The First Age came to a close with the retirement of Howard Jones in 1940 and the dissolution of his terrifying Thundering Herds. The Second Age saw its end when the successful Tampa Bay Gambit was employed in defeating USC head coach John McKay.

John McKay, moments before being fooled by the legendary Tampa Bay Gambit.

The Dark Lord Carroll, when reached for comment, had this to say: “Hot dang, Karl fell for it? [The rest of USC’s coaching staff is] going to laugh their asses off. I got that ring out of a Cracker Jack box and had a graduate assistant plant it in his garden. Then we set up some fireworks over by Heritage Hall and got some of the [Trojan Marching Band] drummers to make a whole lot of noise. I guess no one knows I got my Ring back when I distracted Vince Young with a bit of tinfoil right after the end of the game. I’m real jacked up about it.”

“Don’t tell him, though, okay? Karl seemed real excited and it’d be a shame to disappoint him this soon before the new season starts and I get to plunder Westwood again.”

[With apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien, Mel Brooks and Peter and Keith Jackson.]

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Bruins harness Dorrellian geometry, turn corner 134th time

Bruins harness Dorrellian geometry, turn corner 134th time
UCLA football, math grad students flying high; Rose Bowl filled to capacity*

*Dorrellian capacity allows for all percentages to approach one hundred

Westwood, Calif. – The twenty-fifth ranked UCLA Bruins are off to their first 3-0 start since the 2001-02 season, but thanks to third year head coach Karl Dorrell those numbers aren’t meant to be taken at face value.

Dorrell, the former Bruin wide receiver, was under the microscope after two years of mediocrity at his alma mater. The normally stoic coach was jubilant, however, at the press conference held on UCLA’s campus yesterday as he announced a breakthrough for the highly obscure fields of obstructional mathematics and UCLA football success.

“Today marks a great day in the history of this great university and its even greater football program. We have always had the tradition and the winning ways; poor refereeing and the peculiarities of the Rose Bowl’s localized gravity well have both contributed to our recent failures. But that day is over. Today, Dorrellian geometry enters the world,” Dorrell said.

According to athletic director Dan Guerrero, “Dorrellian geometry is to Euclidean geometry what sliced bread was to maggot infested ship’s tack. It so totally blows Euclid out of the water.”

In the revolutionary new model of how the physical world works, there are no such things as actual numbers. Indeed, the closer one approaches an actual number the more likely it is to turn into a ten win season. Spatial terminology, our concept of the world in regards to our understanding of physics, the winning percentage of Bruin football over the past century – all of these will have to be revisited.

“We are confident that, given the new parameters of this universal world view, UCLA athletics will be known for more than just John Wooden and the fantastic free pizza served at half time in the Rose Bowl parking lots. This is a big fat paradigm shift, suckers, and I’m talking to you [University of Southern California head coach and current owner of UCLA’s soul] Pete Carroll,” the ecstatic Dorrell shouted.

Carroll, who could not be reached for comment, has led neighboring USC to back-to-back national championships and is on track for an unprecedented “three-peat”. Some have speculated that laboring in the Trojans’ collective shadow has led both UCLA’s administration and fan base to new levels of desperation.

Guerrero disagreed about such sentiments.

“Sure, there were some that suggested maybe we pour some money into hiring a better coach or something instead of investing in theoretical mathematics. Of course those things were said. But what wasn’t said was, ‘Why don’t you guys bend the laws of nature and reality to make this program a success?’ And really, that’s what they should have been saying,” Guerrero said.

If Dorrellian geometry works as described, the 134th corner the Bruin program has just turned will not in fact lead directly back to its initial origin at x=abject and y=failure. Instead, the Bruins will somehow come full sixth dimensional circle, which the late Richard Feynman – one on America’s foremost scientific minds until his death in 1988 – once described as “totally b-tchin’ when you’re doing your taxes.”

This process lends credibility to Westwood’s collective hope that this season’s 3-0 start will bear no resemblance to previous beginning of the year successes the Bruins have experienced under the current coaching staff. Last season, Dorrell’s second, UCLA began 4-1 only to finish 6-6 with a loss to Wyoming, that program’s first bowl win in 38 years. In his rookie year as head coach the Bruins started off 5-2 only to begin a five game slide which included a 47-22 loss to archrival USC.

UCLA fans, despite the precedent of strong starts leading to disastrous finishes, maintained their unfounded optimism for months prior to Dorrell’s announcement. With this new evidence backing their claims some are starting to listen.

“Look, I know they played San Diego State, Rice and Oklahoma which have like two wins between them all, but that Feynman guy was smart as heck. If he says UCLA is great, that’s good enough for me,” Harris Poll voter, reality television and former pro-wrestling star Hogan said.

“So what if they beat a 1-2 Aztec team and a 1-2 Rice team? Does that lower their accomplishments? Did my beating Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase in Wrestlemania IV by using a chair lower that achievement? No and no,” noted the bandana wearing Hulkster.

When informed that the Bruins actually defeated a winless San Diego State and Rice team, in addition to a reeling Oklahoma squad who lost to TCU at home and needed a fourth quarter surge to defeat Tulsa in Norman, Hogan could only say, “I don’t know which one I’m more surprised at: that UCLA fans could be optimistic about wins over teams like these or that Oklahoma actual has a ‘W’.”

UCLA, which first began playing football in 1919, had been averaging 1.56 “turn arounds” a year until the recent breakthrough. Last Saturday’s win over the Sooners in Pasadena has sent Bruin faithful into a frenzy. The few experts who claim to actually understand Dorrellian geometry calculate that, at the going rate of transformation of the quantum landscape, Los Angeles will reach ninety percent “Bruin football town” status – otherwise known as Plaschke-Simers acute dementia – in approximately sixteen days.

“But you Trojans better get out before then,” Dorrell noted with glee, “because sixteen might as well be six or six-tenths thanks to me. I can’t wait to start applying this stuff to our national championship banners [sic].” Dorrell was presumably referring to UCLA’s sole football national championship in 1954 shared with Ohio State University.

When asked his opinion about the implications of recent events on his life and future, highly touted former Thousand Oaks and current UCLA freshman quarterback Ben Olson said , “So… I’m not starting yet?”

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