May I remind you corn dogs that Harvey Updyke is still free, still crazy and still lives in southern Louisiana.
These six college football stories from around the country are scary good. BOO!
The South Carolina-Clemson rivalry has always been one that has brought out the worst in the coaches.
Thanks to injuries, Auburn will be going with its third different starting quarterback this season. Gene Chizik said Tuesday that freshman Jonathan Wallace will make his first start of the season.
The BMOC surveys Kansas State and coach Bill Snyder, the Heisman race and more.
As Kansas State has started the season 8-0 and is ranked third nationally, there have been very few injury obstacles through which the Wildcats needed to navigate. Unfortunately, that appears to have come to an end.
"We really respect the way they play football," Tide center says.
Since arriving at Tennessee, Sunseri took personnel that had been recruited and developed for a 4-3 alignment and tried to shoe-horn players into his preferred 3-4 scheme. It simply hasn't translated. Tennessee currently ranks dead last in the SEC in total defense at 453.4 yards per game.
"We aren't going to sit here and defend anything we're doing because statistically we can't," Dooley said. "… The question is, what's the problem and how do we fix it?"
Dooley could start by adjusting what the Vols are doing on offense. When your defense is struggling this badly, why not shorten the game? The longer your offense is on the field, the less your defense is exposed. With that in mind, Dooley should abandon the no-huddle offense. He should run the ball more to take time off the clock.
Whatever you think of USA Today sports analyst Danny Sheridan, he has never shied away from offering his opinion and typically, his opinion is based on knowledge he gains from a variety of sources. No one succeeds in the business that Sheridan works in without having contacts in key organizations. If you don’t have inside information, you have no edge.
Last night at the Tuscaloosa Quarterback Club dinner, Sheridan spoke at length about a number of topics regarding the state of college football today. One of those topics was the seemingly endless entanglement between the NCAA and Auburn University.
I spoke with someone who attended that meeting and who spent some time with Sheridan during and after the event. Here are some of the things Sheridan didn’t tell reporters who also attended. I am paraphrasing here so please don’t quote this verbatim. While not an exact transcript, the paragraphs below capture the gist of what Sheridan said and believes, based on his contacts.
Sheridan's NCAA contacts tell him that a Letter of Inquiry and formal investigation are imminent. The preliminary phase has ended and recruiting irregularities may have occurred that warrant a full Enforcement investigation.
Both Sheridan and the NCAA understand that two unnamed assistants have been removed from off-campus recruiting activities, but they are still allowed to contact recruits via telephone and electronically.
Sheridan would not say which specific recruits, coaches or parts of the country were at the heart of the matters in question.
He said there is a high likelihood that Auburn University “cleans house,” meaning that everyone associated with Auburn football—from the athletic director all the way to “special advisers” to the program—will be dismissed.
Sheridan also said that NCAA President Mark Emmert has been on a warpath against what he believes are programs that calculate risk-reward ratios in deciding how closely to follow NCAA rules, and that Auburn University (among others) should be fearful of the new attitude in Indianapolis.
He believes that Bobby Petrino is the heavy favorite to replace Gene Chizik should the program go through with dismissing Gene Chizik and his staff. Petrino has made his “mea culpa” tour and expects to be coaching again in 2013. Petrino likes the Auburn opportunity because he believes, should he be hired there and the NCAA launches an investigation, he will have a 2-3 year period at a minimum as a “grace period.” This will allow the program to work through any investigation and address any sanctions that may result.
FWIW, this blog does not deal in rumors (other than what you see in the SEC Rumor Central page in the top level menu). The main blog deals only in information that can be verified by trusted sources. When I say I know someone who was there and spoke with Sheridan, please rest assured that I do, and he did.
That said, a lot of what appears above has been speculated on talk radio and internet message boards for much of the last few weeks. I don’t know and won’t judge the veracity of Sheridan’s sources, but I would hope he’s more resourceful than scouring message boards and dropping in on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network.
Extra Point: This is not the first time Auburn assistants have been pulled off of the recruiting trail in an effort to placate the NCAA. In 2010, numerous secondary violations occurred in connection with the Tiger Prowl and Big Cat Weekend affairs. As a result of those violations, Auburn agreed to restrict its staff from having any off-campus contact with at least one of the recruits in question from November 2011 through January 2012.
Auburn promptly broke that agreement when one of the recruits in question told reporters that he had an in-home visit from Auburn coaches during the so-called “restricted period.” To my knowledge, that matter was never resolved and could be part of the current probe.
To policy wonks, this is a step in the right direction. To NCAA skeptics, no amount of change will ever be accepted as improvement in a broken system.
The Division I Board of Directors today adopted an overhauled enforcement structure that creates additional levels of infractions, hastens the investigation process and ratchets up penalties for the most egregious violations.
The Board’s action culminates a year-long effort from a 13-member group of presidents, athletics directors, commissioners and others assigned after participants at a presidential retreat in August 2011 called for a more stringent and efficient enforcement structure to uphold the integrity of the collegiate model of athletics.
“We have sought all along to remove the ‘risk-reward’ analysis that has tempted people – often because of the financial pressures to win at all costs – to break the rules in the hopes that either they won’t be caught or that the consequences won’t be very harsh if they do get caught,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “The new system the Board adopted today is the result of a lot of hard work and membership input devoted to protecting the collegiate model.”
A few of the highlights:
A speedier enforcement process. This has been tried before and resulted in nothing more than a rearranging of milestones along an interminable and most times, indeterminate schedule. Investigations took too long before the first overhaul and took too long afterwards. There are reasons why they take so long, but dragging out probes for more than a year is harmful to everyone involved.
A penalty structure that is intended to be more consistent and, as the NCAA puts it, “that aligns more predictably with the severity of the violations.” This is as close as they’ve ever come to the “mandatory minimums” policy that I have long advocated.
More risk for coaches who break the rules. This is a positive step, but if you’re still punishing schools, student-athletes and fans for the actions of coaches who are fired and/or are long gone by the time the violations are discovered, you’re still doing it wrong. The fines and other punishments should fall on the violators, not the bystanders.
“Emphasizes a culture among head coaches, the compliance community, institutional leadership and conferences to assume a shared responsibility for upholding the values of intercollegiate athletics.” I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean. Such bureaucratic gobbledy-gook sounds good to those who write it, but most people recognize BS when they see it.
Overall, the NCAA probably did step forward with this. Does it represent a paradigm shift in how the league enforces its rules? Probably not. Will it reduce the number of major violations cases going forward? Time will tell, but the new structure also creates more tiers of violations (it also calls them “breaches of conduct” now). Instead of major and minor infractions, there are incidental, minor, significant and severe. Cases once considered major will likely fall into the minor tier, most of the really bad cases will be deemed significant and every now and then, we’ll have a $180,000 case that’s ruled “severe.”
We will still have coaches and bad actors weigh the risks vs the rewards of cheating. Maybe fewer see the RRR no longer beneficial and take the foot off the gas. Maybe not. We’ll see.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the East Coast last night, knocking out power to millions, killing 17 people and destroying homes and businesses in one of the country’s most populous regions.
Here on the Gulf Coast, we’re familiar with the sense of shock and numbness that comes in the immediate aftermath of a major storm event, so we really do feel for you guys and we hope you bounce back quickly.
Getting back to a normal routine will take time, but one of the most comforting ways of doing so is getting your mind off the damage and on something much more enjoyable.
Dr. Saturday’s run-down of explains which college football teams are most likely to be affected by the storm’s impacts. While there aren’t yet indications of games being postponed, several teams will have practices and game prep disrupted, including UConn, Navy, Maryland and West Virginia. WVU was subjected to horrific blizzard conditions during the storm and may take a while to dig out.
If it’s at all possible—if roads are safe to drive on and facilities are safe to hold thousands of fans looking for a change of mood and spirit—the games should be played Saturday. Safety of players, families and fans is paramount, of course. But showing resiliency in the face of adversity is an American trait, and a competitive spirit even when the odds are against you is one of the things that makes college football great.
And what could be more therapeutic than a nice slate of football games this weekend? If it’s safe and feasible to do so, play on!
Nothing like a cool, refreshing six pack of college football stories to take your mind off of storms and ghouls and energy vampires and whatnot.
Pulled two assistant coaches off of the recruiting trail in an effort to placate the league.
Coach Chris Petersen's Broncos are quietly piling up victories with a team that underwent a major reconstruction.
It was a different story through seven games a year ago.
Indiana beat Illinois to snap a very, very long losing streak in the Big Ten and against FBS competition.
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke is looking for a strong finish after the school's football team got off to a disappointing start.
Injuries have forced Phillips to play 26 freshmen against one of the nation's toughest schedules. That hasn't stopped Wildcats fans from expressing their frustration: Calling for his dismissal on radio talk shows and not showing up for games - attendance has fallen off at 67,942-seat Commonwealth Stadium.
Players say they still support Phillips and will try to finish the season with three wins to help the embattled coach.
''He's still here, he's still our coach, we're still playing for him and I'm going to play hard for him,'' junior right tackle Kevin Mitchell said.
''We don't actually say anything to him (about his situation), but we come out and we practice hard. We're keeping it going, we just continue as a team. We're all pushing each other hard. Practicing hard shows him that we still care, that we still believe and that we're not giving up.''
I was going to write “Trent Richardson finally wins over his biggest critic,” but a more accurate descriptor of Jim Brown’s comments regarding the Browns’ rookie RB has open skepticism. That appears to have changed following Richardson’s performance on the field.
The former great Browns running back met with the current Browns starter. They posed for photographs, exchanged telephone numbers and shared stories of battle wounds. Brown declared the future is bright for his Browns, particularly with the no-longer ordinary Richardson leading the way.
"That's my partner, man," Brown said. "He's done everything I thought he should do. He never took anything I said the wrong way. He's interested in his family. He's interested in this team. And he's willing to make sacrifices because really, he's hurt more than you think he is right now."
Richardson ran for a career-high 122 yards on 24 carries with a rib cartilage injury that makes it painful to move. Brown said he's never had an identical injury, but he remembers how any pain in his midsection made it particularly difficult to move, even more painful to be tackled. Brown was impressed with not only Richardson's resilience against the Chargers, but the exceptional ability he has shown in his first eight NFL games.
I hate to use a religious analogy, but everyone who saw Richardson carve up SEC defenses in his three seasons at Alabama knew Brown was just another Doubting Thomas who had to put his finger in the wounds of the savior before he truly believed.
Jim Brown has never been at a loss for words. When reporters ask him questions, he gives answers. Sometimes those answers have made sense and rung true. But at other times he’s left people shaking their heads and wondering if he suffers dain bramage.
At least for now, Brown is a believer in Trent Richardson. Just like we’ve always been,
Via the New York times, of course this could happen. Undefeated teams have been left out before.
At this point in the season, though, Palm said he could not recall a major undefeated team leapfrogging another major undefeated team. Not in the B.C.S. era, anyway.
He pointed to Auburn in 2004. That season, Southern California and Oklahoma finished 1-2 in the polls, same as they finished the regular season. The Trojans ultimately beat the Sooners to win a championship, much to the chagrin of Auburn, which also finished the year undefeated. That was the only time Palm could recall a season that ended with two major undefeated teams since the birth of the B.C.S.
“That sort of jumping doesn’t occur,” Palm said. “No matter how bad Auburn fans wanted it. Anyway, if this wasn’t Notre Dame, we wouldn’t even be discussing it. If this was Ohio State, or U.S.C., we wouldn’t be talking about it.”
My bet is that there won’t be four BCS automatic qualifiers without a blemish on the record. Alabama has its epic showdown Saturday night with LSU in Baton Rouge. Kansas State has dangerous games ahead vs. Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor. Notre Dame still has USC, as does Oregon. Oregon is a good shot to have to face USC a second time in the Pac-12 championship game. The keys seem to be whether a one-deep but otherwise talented and well-coached Trojans team can stay healthy enough to win one of those games and whether Alabama can survive Death Valley.
The teams with the best defenses are the ones most likely to survive unscathed. Notre Dame has a real one. Alabama has the best one in the country. Kansas State and Oregon also field good defenses but please don’t kid yourself—neither one of these is even on the same level as Alabama, Florida or LSU.
With rare exception, the BCS selection system for the Championship Game has done a good job of picking the top two teams in the country, regardless of record. It will probably do so again. While I don’t see it likely that two teams get left in the cold, it could still happen.
Showdown week in college football. Does it get any better than this? Check out these six college football stories from around the country.
Southern California's Marqise Lee turned in one of college football's best offensive performances in years this weekend. Too bad his team lost.
Scott Torgerson tweeted earlier this month that he wished Howard, who played for Ohio State's chief rival Michigan, would get fired or die so Torgerson could again watch ESPN's College GameDay.
Marcus Lattimore thought the big injury was behind him.
T Is it possible to spend more than nine months preparing for one football game? It seems like it this week as No. 1-ranked Alabama gets closer to its Saturday showdown at No. 5 LSU.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said freshman Jonathan Wallace is "in strong consideration" to start at quarterback against lowly New Mexico State.
“Game by game we’re slowly establishing our identity,” senior safety Robert Lester said. “I don’t think we’ve established it completely yet. These next couple games we can do so.”
He said the defense always starts hoping to take away the other team’s running game. Mississippi State’s LaDarius Perkins came into the game leading the SEC in rushing, averaging just over 103 yards per game. Perkins finished with 38 yards on 15 carries. It was the first game all season he hadn’t scored a rushing touchdown.
“Any team we play, if you can make them one-dimensional, you’ve pretty much got them where you want them,” Lester said. “Whenever they start putting the ball in the air, you’ve got a chance to get a turnover and make game-changing plays.”
Another Saturday in the books. Enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.
Are the Irish for real? It's been the question of the season. But after its 30-13 victory over No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 5 Notre Dame is now a bona-fide BCS contender, says Stewart Mandel.
There was no redemption in the Rock for Arkansas on Saturday. Instead, players got just another dose of disappointment. Rather than avenging an earlier loss at War Memorial Stadium, the Razorbacks were just frustrated by an Ole Miss field goal sailing through the uprights as time expired in the Rebels' 30-27 win.
Things went south quickly against Nebraska Saturday night when Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson left in the first half with an elbow injury.
Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace was the lone bright spot for the Tigers during their 63-21 loss to Texas A&M. Wallace played full-time in the second half and threw the first two touchdown passes of his career.
Bishop Sankey ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns, Travis Coons kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:20 left and Washington took advantage of four interceptions from Oregon State's Sean Mannion in a 20-17 upset.
But once the lights went on at Bryant-Denny Stadium, all talk of Mississippi State’s schedule went out the window, replaced with mouth-agape awe at just how effective a machine Nick Saban has built in Tuscaloosa. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was again nearly flawless, the defense forced turnovers at crucial moments and snuffed a State drive in the end zone, blocked a field goal and generally kept the Bulldogs out of striking distance until Saban emptied the bench on the Bulldogs’ final drive, which allowed Mississippi State to finally score.
Beginning at about the midpoint of the second quarter, however, most of the talk in the stadium was beginning to turn toward LSU and Texas A&M, a pair of teams expected to give Alabama stern tests over the next two weeks. Alabama will need to be on its toes next week to generate points against the Tiger defense and stop a resurgent running game, while against Texas A&M, the defense will face its biggest challenge of the year in the form of a talented young quarterback and a veteran wide receiver corps.
If Alabama can get through those two games unscathed, then simply take care of business against Western Carolina and Auburn, it sets up a meeting with the Jekyll/Hyde Georgia Bulldogs and then, ultimately, the best team of the three mentioned above. Alabama has the future in its own hands, and only Alabama can let it slip away now.
Happy Gameday, y’all. And remember that the whole drinking before noon thing is void once those coals are lit.
John Wallace kicked a 30-yard field goal in overtime to lift No. 16 Louisville to a 34-31 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night after an attempt to ice the redshirt kicker went horribly wrong for the Bearcats.
Fifht-ranked Notre Dame will go into its biggest game of the season without one of its biggest playmakers, as George Atkinson III did not make the trip to Norman, Okla., for Saturday night's contest against No. 8 Oklahoma.
Scattered among the framed degrees and photos, the countless leather-bound books and keepsakes from around the word, Brady Deaton's office in Jesse Hall houses a few reminders that the Missouri chancellor's job isn't all about academia.
Jalen Whitlow's migraines begin with blurred vision. Then the headache starts.
Eleven unbeaten teams are left in the Football Bowl Subdivision. One is Ohio State, but because the Buckeyes are ineligible for a Bowl Championship Series game, let's consider them pigskina non grata.
Whether either could succeed in the other's era is a different question.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Bryant would be successful today," Dunnavant said. "Some things he would do differently. One of his strengths was his ability to adapt to the changing times. After all, his approach was dramatically different in the 1940s than it was in the 1970s. But beyond tactics and strategy, somehow he knew how to look into a kid's eyes, relate to him and motivate him. That's leadership, and it's as powerful today as it was 50 years ago.
"If Saban were transported to the '50s, he would be a different sort of coach in some ways facing a whole set of challenges he doesn't face today. But I think he would have been very successful in that age because of his work ethic and his commitment to excellence, which are timeless."
I think most people know I'm here for the long haul," Saban said. "I'm not looking for another challenge. I've done that too much.
"When I was at LSU, I was ready to settle in except for one thing: Would I ever go to the NFL? Well, I did that and learned about myself and feel fortunate that I got back to a good place where you had a chance to win, and that was here. So regardless of what anybody else says, I'm not looking for another challenge.
According to Google Analytics and traffic monitoring statistics, one of the most frequent search phrases leading visitors to this site is “Saban to Texas.” Another common phrase is “Saban to Cleveland.”
Alas, that click generation is probably going to end, now.
Gameday eve! Gameday eve! Relax and enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.
Tyrann Mathieu and three other former LSU football players have been arrested on drug-related charges, a Baton Rouge-based television station reported Thursday on its web site.
Sam Accursio doesn't ask for much, but he knows how he wants to be remembered when he leaves UAB.
Ooooooooklahoma, look which team's now whipping down the plain.
Dan Mullen is in the midst of his best start as the fourth-year head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. To make it a historic season, though, he'll have to take his team to the next level.
The annual Florida-Georgia tilt in Jacksonville and a Notre Dame visit to Oklahoma highlight the weekend's big games.
Arkansas is now out of the doghouse. It’s important for a variety of reasons, including Long’s search for a new football coach.
Long is able to tell candidates that the school is clear of the NCAA. That, he said, is a selling point.
Long also must weigh candidates’ history with compliance. A candidate with a history of or the perceived history of NCAA trouble might not immediately be ruled out, but Long said he is very interested in a coach’s track record.
“We’ve established that this is the type of place you’ll come if you want to play by the rules,” Long said. “That’s our expectation here.”
Found Nemo. Ate him. Washed him down with these six college football stories from around the country.
[ed note: Don’t know what happened to this yesterday, but better late than never, right?]
Jeff Long's ideal Arkansas football coach is currently working in college or at the pro level. Long appeared on Sports Talk With Bo Mattingly and confirmed he was interested in currently employed candidates.
Given the success Kansas State is having (again) under Bill Snyder (again), it’s good to spend a little time thinking about how the 73-year old wonder does it.
When Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller first was hurt in Saturday's game against Purdue, he didn't know what to think.
With Idaho’s Robb Akey the first head coaching casualty of the college football season, it’s time to consider which men are forced to re-learn their kids’ names in January and which athletic directors need their jobs done for them.
There are 14 schools currently in the national championship discussion. Using Jerry Palm's weekly rankings, Dennis Dodd weighs the contenders' remaining opponents to determine who have the likeliest shot at a title.
"Winning," Muschamp said, cutting off the question. He wasn't being mean. That's what he wants. Nothing more really needs to be said, but that would have made for a lousy Longhorn Network show.
Like his former boss, Nick Saban, Muschamp can squeeze in a joke that belies his ultra-serious image. But so far, Muschamp has avoided the moralizing Saban sprinkles into his press conferences. Monday, Muschamp was asked a question about whether he'll address the BCS standings with his team weekly or if last week's acknowledgement was a one-time thing. "When there is obvious possible distraction for your football team, you can stick your head in the sand and pretend everything's OK, or you can address it with them, and that's what I choose to do," Muschamp said. "So I address it with them, and I say 'If we need to talk about it, let's talk about it.' We'll all agree that we don't need to."
The surest way to get Muschamp talking at length is to ask a football question, because that's what Muschamp cares about. After the LSU win, Associated Press reporter Mark Long asked why the Gators had so much success with a heavy package that included seven offensive linemen. "We were changing some blocking surfaces," Muschamp said. "We were giving them a four-man surface and running back to the two-man surface a lot, so as a defensive coach, you've got to overload the four-man side. Then we were gapping everything back against some of their pressures that they were trying to run in the game. They were getting into what we call a Bear look, and they were covered down inside. And we gapped everything back and pulled." Long laughed and asked for the answer in English, and Muschamp obliged.
There has been quite a stir created by mega-troll birther Donald Trump’s announcement that he had a major announcement.
Well, here’s the big announcement:
He makes him an offer he can’t refuse?
This is not the kind of noise most people were expecting. People thought this would have something to do with some sort of scandal from Obama’s past.
You can’t go all day if you don’t start early. So here’s your first six college football stories from around the country.
The Missouri athletics department is tightening employee use of school-issued credit cards after an audit found a series of improper purchases, including bills for more than $7,600 from a Las Vegas strip club.
This video is from the Bryant Museum, and it’s worth watching. It was shot Nov. 12, 1966, when Alabama beat South Carolina 24-0 to improve to 8-0. You’ll see a good bit of Bear Bryant … before he wore a houndstooth hat.
Expected to miss at least a month if not longer due to injury, Michael Campanaro could be back on the field in time for Wake Forest’s next game. Maybe.
There's some bad blood on Georgia's defense -- and not just because the 12th-ranked Bulldogs have been a disappointment on that side of the line.
Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, pay fines and undergo random drug and alcohol tests.
Following Saturday’s 17-13 loss to Vanderbilt, which dropped Auburn to 0-5 in the SEC for the first time since 1980 and to 1-6 overall for the first time since 1952, Chizik said he takes accountability for the team’s poor performances and repeated mistakes. The embattled fourth-year coach said he still enjoys his job and remains steadfast in trying to lead the program forward.
“I’m the leader of the program. I’m the leader of Auburn football. That’s my job,” said Chizik, who is 31-16 at Auburn and 36-35 as a head coach. “My job’s not easy sometimes ... but I love my job and I love being a part of Auburn. And it’s all my responsibility. Have there been difficult times? Of course there have. Have there been some great times? Absolutely, too.
“We don’t look at the past and the woe is me. You’ve got to take it one day at a time, and you’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Remember the curious case of Darius Paige’s transfer to Foley High School? It had calmed down, but it looks like it’s heating up again, according to a story in the Pensacola News-Journal. But in a twist that should come as a disappointment to Alabama rivals’ fans, it’s a look-see into the activities of an LSU booster rather than an Alabama coach accused of orchestrating a shady move:
The Escambia County School District launched an investigation into possible Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) violations by Schellang and Washington High dean and athletic director Troy Faucheaux. That investigation now is complete.
According to documents obtained by the News Journal through the Florida Public Records Act, both Schellang and Faucheaux were issued official letters of reprimand. Both educators continue in their current roles and neither was suspended by the district.
The investigation was launched after Brad Lowery, who is identified in documents as Bud Lowery, contacted the Escambia County School District alleging Faucheaux violated FERPA while posting on the website secrant.com, using the alias “tigerbait65.”
NCAA rules don’t prevent a coach from a member institution recommending that a student transfer to a particular school for the purposes of attaining academic eligibility. In fact, in both the spirit and the letter of the NCAA by-laws and constitution, Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt should be seen as having done Paige a favor.
Had he stayed at his Pensacola high school, it’s unlikely that Paige would have made the grades necessary to enroll at a Division I institution. Because of the academic calendar and structure at his new school, all he has to do is keep his nose to the grindstone.
As long as Pruitt didn’t violate any other NCAA rules in the process of urging the transfer—and there’s no evidence that he did—Alabama did things right.
It’s the LSU fan and the young man’s former high school coach who are under scrutiny and if the NCAA wants to, it could rule “tigerbait65” as a “representative of the athletic interests” of LSU. If they find evidence that he was trying to steer Paige to LSU, look out.
Most people—including a sizable majority of my fellow Alabama fans—believe that Bobby Petrino will somehow redeem himself and soon get another opportunity to coach a major college football team. His offensive schemes are too good and he’s been a winner everywhere he’s been at the college level. Guys with credentials like his are just too hard to overlook. Yes, Petrino the man is a character risk but Petrino the coach may make some program willing to take a shot.
With coaching hotseats warming in Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee, there has been a natural rise in the chatter level over Petrino’s chances of returning to the SEC. Arkansas will also likely replace their interim coach, but that door is permanently closed.
The chatter coming from fans of two of the potential candidates (you can probably guess which two) seem to believe that Alabama will somehow pull strings at the SEC office and keep their program from hiring Petrino.
It’s some serious tinfoil hat stuff.
Like most conspiracy theories, this whole notion falls apart when cast in the light of logic and truth.
Petrino was the head coach at Arkansas. That is the only SEC program in a state of about 3.0 million. It is by far the most powerful major college athletics program in that state, in much the same way that LSU dominates Louisiana, and there is no professional football in the state, much like the state Alabama. In Arkansas, UA is king.
That means they get the most donations, they’ve built the best facilities and get the best recruits. They have a long football tradition and have thrived in the SEC.
Yet in four years in Fayetteville, despite all of those resources, recruits and facilities, he went 0-4 against Alabama. His total record with the Razorbacks was 34–17 and 17–15 in the SEC.
In 2008, he lost 49-14 against Alabama at home. It was 35-7 in 2009. In 2010 he lost a close one 24-20. It was back to the blowout 38-14 in 2011. His combined score in those four tries; 146-55. We’ll take 37-14 every year.
Kentucky is a basketball school that keeps football around until November. If they hire Petrino, they’ll be a threat to Tennessee, South Carolina and Mizzou, but never an SEC East contender.
Tennessee is in a state not known for a strong recruiting base and facing some financial issues in the short term. But if they hired Petrino and somehow cobbled the money up to hire a staff, expect the same results that you saw at Arkansas, with annual losses to more physical teams.
Auburn has the disadvantage of being the second SEC program in a state with about 4.0 million. Alabama gets most of the fan following, with surveys perennially showing that football fans in the state holler ROLL TIDE by about a two-to-one margin. If Petrino couldn’t win consistently against powerhouses as the only dog in the state of Arkansas, what makes anyone believe he could do so at a school that’s in the shadow of Tuscaloosa?
Petrino may be a heck of a coach. He may get his life in order and get back on the field. But don’t count on anything other than a “bring it on, y’all” from the Bama Nation. We don’t care where he goes.
Remember this line from June 2008, right after Barack Obama had secured the Democrat nomination for President over Hillary Clinton? It was a line that made the left giddy. It made independents and moderates gasp and conservatives giggle.
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
As it turns out, it really wasn’t. It also wasn’t the moment where we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; or when we secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.
The economy is still a moribund mess. The promised level of 5% unemployment seems laughable. Obamacare is slowly revealing itself as the monster deficit creator that conservatives knew it would be and the world sees the United States as a idle power. We are four years closer to a nuclear Iran and the middle east is a raging inferno. Secured? Clearly not.
But what is strangely missing from this campaign is a subject that, to my memory, hasn’t even been explored in any of the four Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. What about the environment? What about climate change and rising sea levels?
Obama has been AWOL on this subject since at least 2009, and the disastrous management of the Gulf Oil Spill all but sealed the deal. This is no environmental president, and if he wanted to hammer Mitt Romney on how those polluting Republicans would poison the planet, he’d have done it in a major fashion in the first debate.
From Malor’s first link:
Remember those long-ago days when Obama wanted a greenhouse "cap and trade" program? Remember when it died in the Democratic-controlled Senate without his support? Can you name what year it was the last time Obama attended a UN climate change conference? (Hint: it came before a famous "shellacking" in the polls).
You don't have to take my word for it that Obama has failed to match his rhetoric to his deeds. Former Vice President Al Gore himself famously called out Obama for failing to take action on the climate, saying "“He has simply not made the case for action. He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.”
After the failed Copenhagen climate change conference, Friends of the Earth said, "Obama has deeply disappointed not only those listening to his speech at the UN talks, he has disappointed the whole world." The spokesman for the World Development Movement criticized, ""he president said he came to act, but showed little evidence of doing so." And the World Wildlife Fund said Obama had let the world down by failing to push Congress for climate change legislation."
The stunning lack of progress on all fronts has the left quite dismayed and is probably a big reason why polls show such a huge enthusiasm gap between the left and the right in the 2012 cycle. It’s also probably a big reason why independents are swinging to Romney in almost every swing state. But the curious omission of environmental policy from any serious discussion has vocal members of the hard left livid.
With exactly two weeks left until Election Day, it’s nearly impossible for Obama to try to pivot (again) to this topic. If he does so, expect the GOP to pounce on it as another reason why Obama also doesn’t want to talk much about the economy, jobs or the middle east and why he’s much happier talking about investing in Chinese oil companies and explaining how aircraft carriers and submarines work.
Here’s that megalomaniacal speech from four years ago:
The greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with these six college football stories from around the country.
The star receiver burned Saban during his freshman year at Michigan State when he said "it would be like taking candy from a baby" when he faced Michigan.
The first firing of the college football season came Sunday. Idaho let go of Robb Akey in a move that was not unexpected.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has issued one-game suspensions to North Carolina freshman linebacker Shakeel Rashad for colliding with a Duke player during a substitution, and three officials from the Duke-UNC and Florida State-Miami games.
Recent outcomes within the Sun Belt Conference have Arkansas State still with a shot at a Sun Belt Championship. But poor special teams, especially in the punting game, must be improved, Coach Gus Malzahn said.
Wyoming coach Dave Christensen has been suspended one week and fined $50,000 for his actions following an Oct. 13 loss to Air Force. Last week, the Mountain West Conference reprimanded Christensen for his postgame conduct, saying it violated the league's sportsmanship rules. Christensen has apologized.
When Muschamp was hired to replace Urban Meyer, one of the assistants he kept from Meyer’s staff was special-teams coordinator D.J. Durkin, who spent three years at Stanford prior to coming to UF in 2010.
It’s usually easy to find Durkin on the sideline during a game. He is likely running up and down the sideline waving his arms when the Gators’ special-teams units are on the field.
“He is very knowledgeable, number 1,’’ Muschamp said Monday. “He got really good experience as a young coach having the opportunity to be the special-teams coordinator for Jim Harbaugh out at Stanford. He’s got a lot of experience. He is very passionate about it, he really enjoys it. He does a great job of motivating the players.
“We’re a very vested group in special teams as far as our staff is concerned. What you emphasize is important and we spend a lot of time on it.”
Texas coach Mack Brown once welcomed the Longhorn Network. Now he sounds as though it's become a headache and a window for opposing coaches to get an unfair peek into his program.
"I didn't ask for it,'' Brown said Monday, noting he's worried that the six hours a week he spends taping three television shows and the network's access to the first 30 minutes of daily practice may tip opposing coaches to player injuries, tendencies and schemes.
Brown said he and Baylor coach Art Briles discussed it before Texas (5-2) beat Baylor 56-50 on Saturday.
"It's in Waco. Baylor sees every practice,'' Brown said. "We're a little overexposed.''
LHN was the proximate cause of Texas A&M and Missouri’s flight to the Southeastern Conference last fall. It was also a sore spot for Nebraska, who left the Big 12 for the Big 10. Texas refused to share any revenues from the LHN deal with ESPN and former conference commissioner Dan Beebe ultimately lost his job for the appearance of bending knees towards Austin.
So, it’s Ok to point and laugh at Texas and Mack Brown, college football’s biggest bunch of whiners. The fact that opponents may be using LHN’s coverage of Texas practices to plan for games against the Longhorns is ironic, funny and fitting.
We start another exciting work week with six cold, clear and refreshing college football stories from around the country.
A dominating performance in a blowout win that pushed Collin Klein to the forefront of the Heisman discussion has also earned the Kansas State quarterback a prestigious national honor.
And just like that, the second week of the BCS Standings changes everything, starting with the BCS National Championship Game itself.
Running back Kenjon Barner is at the heart of an award-worthy Oregon team, and Geno Smith will have to play nearly perfect for West Virginia to overcome his last two games and remain in contention for the Heisman Trophy.
That distinctive smell came wafting through the hallway outside of the Alabama locker room. It smells like … victory.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik remains confident in his coaching staff despite a 1-6 start to the season - the worst for the program since 1952 - but said everyone is subject to evaluation after the season.
Now, this is the point in the column where I remind you that it certainly doesn't hurt to have an effective quarterback. In fact, it's likely the difference between a good team and a great team. Case in point: No. 1 Alabama (7-0).
Obviously, the first thing people think of when discussing Nick Saban's team is its stifling defense. And indeed, after holding Tennessee to 282 total yards in Saturday's 44-13 victory, the Crimson Tide remain No. 1 nationally in total defense (195.6 yards per game) and scoring defense (8.3 points per game). Alabama is also closely associated with its powerful rushing attack, which ground out 233 yards against the Vols.
But guess what? The Tide now boast the nation's most efficient passer as well. AJ McCarron, who went a scorching 17-of-22 for 306 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee, is completing 68.8 percent of his throws for 1,476 yards, 16 touchdowns and, through seven games now, still no interceptions.
How sweet the flavor of the victory cigar. How sweet the aroma of six cold, fresh and crisp college football stories from around the country.
The latest renewal of the storied "Third Saturday in October" rivalry was marked by an explosive night by the Alabama offense.
The Tigers' defensive coordinator says his players are becoming smarter, getting better in the defense.
Duke becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 after knocking off rival UNC.
Oregon State's defense helped out when quarterback Cody Vaz struggled in the rain, and the No. 8 Beavers remained undefeated with a 21-7 victory over Utah on Saturday night.
EJ Manuel threw for 229 yards, Devonta Freeman ran for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and No. 12 Florida State overcame a shaky start to beat Miami 33-20 on Saturday night.
Don't get the wrong idea: Notre Dame has a solid team, with a stellar defense and a chance to someday again become a major player.
It is only muddling the message to mention Notre Dame has history on its side. The Irish are 8-1 all time against Oklahoma and have never lost in Norman (Oklahoma's lone series triumph was at Notre Dame in 1956).
The Third Saturday in October. Coals lit, meat marinating, beer cold, six college football stories from around the country.
On Saturday, November 29th 2008 the rivalry between the University of Alabama and Tennessee Volunteers came to an end. It was the day Phillip Fulmer patrolled the sidelines in Neyland Stadium for the final time, ending a long career in Knoxville.
California tight end Richard Rodgers never heard of The Play for most of his childhood, even though he was raised by one of its masterminds.
BYU worked this week getting ready to face both Notre Dame quarterbacks Everett Golson and Tommy Rees on Saturday.
Alec Lemon had eight catches for 166 yards to help set up three touchdowns and caught an 11-yard scoring pass, as Syracuse beat Connecticut 40-10 on Friday night to spoil Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni's return.
Bill Snyder, now in his 21st season as the head coach at Kansas State, has passed on his knowledge of football to his son Sean, who is the associate head coach and director of football operations.
Practicing against 360-pound All-American Terrence Cody in 2008-09 and 320-pound Jesse Williams the past two years in practice has helped, Jones said.
“I know will be a challenge,” Jones said. “I’ve really been impressed with his hands and quickness. He’s a little more than just like a space heater. He’s a good player, plays with good quickness. I’m going to have to bring my ‘A’ game, but I’ve been working hard and preparing for it.”
Jones was asked if keeping McCarron from getting hit is an increased priority.
"Oh, I think AJ's knee is fine, first of all, so not really," Jones said. "Certainly any time we want to protect AJ, and we've done an all right job of keeping him clean, even though he complains any time he gets hit. You know how quarterbacks are.
"I say it all the time. Nasty, attitude, get after it. Do something crazy," Ainge said. "The first time AJ McCarron drops back, tell one of your boys you've got fifteen on this one. He's got a sore knee, go step on it.”
"If we try to play straight up with these guys and just run our stuff and they run their stuff, and we're just going to try to play with them, I don't think we're going to beat these guys. We're going to have to do something out of the norm. Whether it's from an attitude standpoint, a gameplan standpoint, or bending the rules a little bit. We're going to have to do something that makes them say 'Woah, this isn't how teams play us. Why aren't these guys scared? Everyone's supposed to be afraid of us.”
It’s Gameday Eve! It’s Gameday Eve! Where’d I put that six pack? Oh… Here it is. Six college football stories from around the country.
For as long as football is played, there will be coaches who try to talk up a bad opponent to make sure their team doesn't overlook them.
For the second year in a row, UGA’s Mark Richt made a big impression by crooning to Tray Matthews, a 4-star safety who is committed to the Bulldogs.
A Tennessee fan robbed a Walmart to help pay off his gambling debt after the Volunteers lost to Mississippi State.
Kenjon Barner ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns, Marcus Mariota added 135 yards, and No. 2 Oregon manhandled Arizona State in a 43-21 victory Thursday night.
Alabama’s closest call in its unbeaten, untied 1966 season came on a rainy day in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide survived with an 11-10 win, but needed a comeback to secure the victory.
Kansas State never has won a national championship, but Snyder came close in 1998, finishing the regular season with a 11-0 record before falling to Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship in double-overtime. The Wildcats were No. 1 at the time, and a victory would have sent them to the national title game.
That season came in the middle of what is known locally as the "decade of dominance" from 1993-2002, when the Wildcats played in 10 consecutive bowl games and won fewer than nine games in a season only once.
As good as Snyder was in building Kansas State football – Sports Illustrated once dubbed K-State "Futility U" – it could be argued he is even better in his second act. Honored as coach of the year three times by the Big Eight and three times by the Big 12, Snyder makes any list of best active coaches who haven't won a national title. What if Snyder were to do it this season? With a throwback quarterback in Heisman Trophy candidate Collin Klein? When no one saw it coming?