Posted on: October 7, 2010 11:12 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
ESPN's Gameday will be in South Carolina this weekend for the Gamecocks' game against Alabama. It's the first time the show has visited Columbia since 2006, which was a visit that didn't go quite well for the show's mascot, Lee Corso. You see, the year prior Corso said that Steve Spurrier wouldn't win a national championship at South Carolina if he coached there for 400 years.
As you would expect, South Carolina fans spent most of their time booing Corso during the show.
Well, it's four years later, and you can be sure that Gamecock fans haven't forgotten, and plan to let Corso hear it again this weekend. Though if they do, they'll be disobeying Spurrier. Through a release from the school, The OV* has asked the fans to give Corso a break.
"I just want to encourage all of our fans and our students to really be a class act this weekend," said Spurrier in the release. "GameDay is here. The whole nation will be watching.
"I think the last time they were here, some of our students or fans were giving Lee Corso some grief. I know he did say that it's almost impossible to win the SEC here, but I guarantee he'd love to see South Carolina win it. He would love to crawl across Williams-Brice Stadium and salute the fans. That's what he said he'd do if we ever win it. He was just trying to mention how difficult it was since we've not really been all that close in our history.
"Lee Corso is a good person and a good man. I guarantee he roots for us most of the time. I hope our fans and students will really show the country that we are a class bunch of people here in Columbia and we'll have a big Saturday."
Gee, I wonder if they'll listen?
*The Original Visor
Posted on: October 6, 2010 4:20 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
As a program, Duke is terrible at football. Currently, historically, inexorably terrible. Duke football had more seasons with two wins or fewer in the last decade (seven such seasons) than they've had bowl game invitations in the nearly 60 years they've been in the ACC (five). They are so, so bad.
In spite of this crushing haplessness, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe told one local radio station recently, "We have a struggling team, but we don't have a struggling program."
Noted sports author (and Duke alum) John Feinstein felt compelled to respond to WRAL in Raleigh:
First of all, leave it to a Duke fan to turn sucking at football into an elitist activity. Bravo, Feinstein. Second, on its face, this seems like a good idea (and how about Northwestern not making the list? Congrats, Wildcats fans!); excepting the rare and fleeting moments of success, these programs typically struggle, and their unusual admissions standards certainly don't help matters.
The only problem is that nobody's going to want to watch that league. Their television ratings would just be "NO." And if they're not going to get good ratings, they're not going to make money, and really the only reason for a school to ever field a football team is to finance the rest of its athletic department. What Feinstein's really making the case for is that these schools should stop fielding football teams, but that's probably a little too uncomfortable for a Duke partisan to consider rationally at this point.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 3:47 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Florida Gators may be 4-1 on the season but, by and large, they haven't played nearly as well as a team as that record would indicate. They started the season with three straight wins over Miami (OH), South Florida and Tennessee and all three of those contests were a lot closer than what we've all become accustomed to seeing from the Gators.
Now, obviously, there is a reason for this. No matter what your personal feelings were for Tim Tebow when he was playing in Gainesville, it's hard to argue that Tebow was the perfect quarterback for the Florida offense masterminded by Urban Meyer and called by Steve Addazio. Losing Tebow is something the team needs to adjust to.
Unfortunately it's an adjustment that Florida's coaching staff doesn't seem willing to make.
It wouldn't be fair to compare John Brantley to Tebow because they're two completely different quarterbacks. Tebow was the battering ram who would occasionally make an ugly throw whenever it was needed. Brantley is your more traditional quarterback, with an arm that is much stronger than his legs.
Yet the Gators are treating Brantley as if he's Tebow, asking him to run more speed options than throw deep ins. Brantley has carried the ball 15 times this season for 60 yards, with no run gaining more than 11 yards. He also picked up some bruised ribs on an option run courtesy of the Alabama defense.
Even after seeing that unmitigating disaster, Addazio says that there will be no change in the way the Gators conduct business on Saturday against LSU.
"That's a part of who we are and that won't change," said Addazio. "It's like everything else. Get a little better, operate it a little better. Twenty of them? No. But the element is there and element will always be there."
Which is fine. It's hard for an offense to completely overhaul its identity in the middle of a season. Still, you would think Addazio would take a look at his team's performance against Kentucky two weeks ago.
Without question the Gators 48-14 win over the Wildcats was their most impressive outing of the season, dominating the game from the opening kick to the final whistle. In that game Brantley ran the ball four times and picked up a yard.
However, Trey Burton took some snaps at quarterback running the option and picked up 40 yards on five carries. Each one of his five runs ending with six points as Burton went on to break Tim Tebow's school record with six touchdowns in the game.
Brantley had a fine afternoon throwing the ball, as well, completing 24-of-35 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown.
So why won't Addazio use this approach the rest of the season? Against Alabama Brantley ran the ball eight times to lose a yard. Burton had half as many carries, and only picked up five yards.
Forget about the output, as even Tebow had his problems with the sturdy Alabama defense last season, and look at the philosophy. Burton was coming off an amazing game and only got half as many carries as the quarterback who has struggled to run the ball all season.
Hell, Brantley had more carries than every Florida running back other than Jeff Demps, and Demps was playing on an injured foot.
In what world does this make sense to anybody?
Not even Brantley sounds like he's comfortable running so much, though he isn't stupid enough to say it publicly.
"I don't mind doing it at all," Brantley said. "It is a little different. Gotta get a little used to it at game speed, but I'm comfortable doing it. That's what our offense is. It's been successful for us these last four years, so why not keep doing it?"
He doesn't mind doing it. Not I enjoy doing it, not I want to do it. He doesn't mind.
Well, I don't mind watching Project Runway with my girlfriend if she asks me to, but that doesn't mean I want to.
The reason you don't keep doing it is because in the four games you have been things haven't worked out too well. In the one game you didn't, and mixed it up, you had your best game of the season.
If I can see this, then why can't the Florida coaching staff?
Go with a two quarterback system. When you want to run the option, bring in Burton. If you want to pass, use Brantley. I seem to recall a former Florida quarterback who wasn't exactly suited to run an option offense either. His name was Chris Leak. That's when the Gators started using Tebow in run situations, and things turned out pretty well that year as the school's trophy case can attest to.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 12:14 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 12:18 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As I've said here in the past, I love Steve Spurrier because the man is the only coach in the business who doesn't seem to have a filter between his mind and his mouth at times. While other coaches may think thinks they won't say in public, Spurrier just doesn't care. He'll take shots at other coaches, other teams, or even his own players if he feels the need to.
He's the only college football coach whom I wish had a blog.
If he did he could then go into further detail about his feelings for LSU head coach Les Miles. For now we're just going to have to settle for the subtle digs he takes at Miles while talking about the Gamecocks next game against Nick Saban and Alabama.
"Those were two of the good offenses we had at Florida," Spurrier said. "We looked like we were a lot smarter than [Saban] was those two games. Recently he's a lot smarter than I was last year, let's put it that way. Who knows who'll be the smartest this year? ... Of course, sometimes you can win and still be a dummy. We've learned that recently."
When asked for a response, Miles said "I like turtles."
It seems Les Miles is the constant in this country. No matter who you are, what you do, where you come from or what you believe in, we can all agree on one thing: Les Miles is the luckiest moron to ever grace the sidelines of a football game.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 10:15 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 10:40 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Sadly, the movement for Admiral Ackbar as Ole Miss' new sideline prowler was shut down after a powerful student movement, and now we must look at other options that will not be trademarked by Lucasfilm. It's true that the leader of the Calamari star fleet would have served as an intimidating figure for the Rebels, lurking on the sideline carefully watching the game through his oversized squid-eyes. Just imagine how useful he could be for fake punts and other trick plays, with the ability to inform head coach Houston Nutt that "It's A Trap!"
But the voting opens today for the Ole Miss community to voice their preferences on the new mascot. The vote will not ultimately determine the selection, though this is the most democratic step in the decision process. The student-run mascot selection committee has narrowed it down to these three candidates.
(Images via: Clarion-Ledger)
What are your thoughts on the new mascot choices in Oxford? Let us know in the comments below.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 9:41 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Georgia's A.J. Green didn't need the first four games of the season to quickly remind everyone of his rank among wide receivers in college football. The seven catch, 119 yard, two touchdown performance (particularly this catch) in the Bulldogs losing effort against Colorado is just another set of highlights to add to Green's expanding NFL reel. While it has not been set in stone that Green would enter the NFL Draft as soon as he is eligible, it has been widely assumed to be the case.
But Green claims that decision has not been made. Yesterday during Georgia's media availability Green touched on the issue of leaving early and answered questions as to whether or not the suspension has had any effect on that decision.
“I don’t know yet. But I do feel like I owe some of the fans some more stuff, just missing those four games. So I don’t know,” Green said. “Like I said, I’m gonna sit down with my family whenever the time comes and make the best decision for me.”That's all nice and everything A.J., but you are not really fooling anyone. For someone who has already shown an interest in capitalizing financially on his all-star status, there will be no surprises when Green declares for the NFL Draft following the season. Green is considered by most to be the top wide receiver in a draft class that is significantly thin at the position. For NF teams needing a playmaker that can have an immediate impact, Green will be their prize.
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Posted on: October 6, 2010 12:15 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Alabama coach Nick Saban has made his feelings towards agents pretty well known in the past. I believe Saban compared agents to "pimps" back in July when discussing the ongoing problem between agents and college athletes. So, as you can figure out, he's not really a big fan.
He's also not a big fan of answering questions about any other college coaches who may be friendly with those pimps. Coaches like former North Carolina assistant John Blake. Something which will be pretty hard for Saban to avoid considering the reported interaction between Blake and Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus.
Which is probably why he took such a dismissive tone when asked about that relationship on Monday.
"First of all, I don't know anything about this," Saban said Monday of a story that Yahoo! Sports reported late Sunday night.
Saban then went on to say that he wasn't going to comment on other coaches or what they've been accused of doing, and that he wanted to talk about South Carolina -- Alabama's opponent this week. Well, you can probably guess what the next question was about. Yes, that's right, John Blake. A question that then set Saban off.
Nick Saban: he may not be a pimp, but he keeps that pimp hand strong.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 3:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Good news, Georgia fans! The solution to what has ailed your team all season long is finally here. No, it's not the return of A.J. Green, it is the return of Uga. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newest in the long line of Georgia mascots, Uga VIII, will be making his debut at Sanford Stadium on October 16 against Vanderbilt.
The news comes from Sonny Seiler, the man who has provided Georgia with Ugas since 1956.
Seiler said the plan is to hold a “collaring” ceremony for Uga VIII before kickoff of the Vanderbilt game. He said UGA President Michael Adams, athletic director Greg McGarity, Seiler family members and interim mascot “Russ” will participate in the ceremony.
Seiler did give one hint, saying that Uga VIII is a "big" dog. So maybe he can double as a defensive tackle or something.
The Bulldogs have been Uga-less since Uga VII died from heart-related causes in November of 2009. Which may have been a blessing because had he lived to see this season he'd have probably been wishing for death. Russ, Uga VII's half-brother (dog infidelity!), has been serving as the interim mascot since.
So should the Bulldogs start winning once they have their new mascot, Russ can serve as a handy "fall dog" for Mark Richt. "Don't blame me, blame Russ!"