Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:46 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 1:47 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
If you watched the game between Nebraska and Texas A&M on Saturday night, you had a front row seat to a special viewing of Bo Pelini bursting any ear drums that dared get within five feet of him. Pelini wasn't very happy with the officials on Saturday night, as his team was called for sixteen penalties in the game, compared to the two that were called on the Aggies.
Still, Pelini's rage and spittle weren't reserved solely for the officials. The cameras caught him tearing into quarterback Taylor Martinez on the sidelines after Martinez had returned from having his ankle looked at in the locker room. That incident led to some rumors that Martinez had quit the team on Sunday, which were refuted on Sunday night, and also led to Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman publically reprimanding the head coach about his behavior.
Now, unsurprisingly, Pelini is apologizing for the way he behaved on Saturday night. Pelini said that while he doesn't think it's wrong for a head coach to yell at officials during a game, he did believe it was wrong to "make it personal" and that on Saturday night he "let it get personal."
Personally, I don't find any of this to be that big of a deal. Football coaches have a tendency to yell at players and officials all the time, as I know I've been on the receiving end of such tirades myself. Plus, it's not like this is anything new from Pelini. I recall seeing him chew out Ndamukong Suh during a game against Virginia Tech in 2008, and Suh turned out just fine. Frankly, I think the only problem with any of this is the fact that it had been caught by cameras in a nationally televised game.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 11:44 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 12:28 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Over the last couple hours, the Internet has been abuzz with wild rumors that star Nebraska freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez had quit the team in the wake of the Huskers' 9-6 loss to Texas A&M -- and the epic chewing-out Martinez received from coach Bo Pelini -- on Saturday.
Back away from the cliff, though, Huskers fans; reports of Martinez's demise are likely greatly exaggerated. Here's what WOWT 6 in Omaha has just reported that while Martinez hasn't quit the team, he has likely broken a serious team rule:
Following this report, Pelini told the Omaha World-Herald (in typically brusque fashion) that Martinez is, in fact, still a Husker:
In all likelihood, this situation isn't fully resolved yet; if Martinez missed a mandatory team meeting, then he likely faces some sort of discipline, so even though he's on the team, his status for the Colorado game still needs to be specifically addressed. But that's a lot different than "has quit the team," so let's actually wait for that to happen before speculating about it.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 2:47 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Pelini brothers -- Nebraska head coach Bo and his assistant, Carl -- are two of the most notoriously irascible coaches in the sport, high-strung past the point of parody and quick to unload on whoever's in front of them. And that's when things are going well. Things did not go well tonight for the Huskers, who dropped a 9-6 contest to Texas A&M in a game that featured 16 penalties called on Nebraska for 145 yards (both school records) while the Aggies saw two such calls. Two.
The disparity in calls kept Bo Pelini in a state of near-constant froth all game long, but while Bo spent plenty of time in officials' ears all night long, he saved his worst outburst of the night for his own quarterback, Taylor Martinez :
It's worth pointing out that Bo was mostly restrained in his post-game conference, although he was clearly still fuming over the game, asserting that his team had only given up six points on the night.
Meanwhile, Carl wasn't quite as noticeable in his reaction to the game, though one popular Aggies website is claiming that he reacted far worse than Bo ever did today. TexAgs.com reports that a cameraman of theirs was on the field immediately after the game, when Carl Pelini knocked the camera out of his hand, breaking the camera. Here's video of the incident:
Obviously, it's not immediately evident from the video by itself that the website's version of the events actually happened, though it does seem clear that the camera gets knocked down a couple seconds after it catches Pelini's attention (he's the one in the black that turns toward the camera at 0:08). The lack of sound makes it hard to completely absolve the cameraman of any active role in the encounter, but still: that's no way for a coach to ever act.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Edited on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. And then there was one (state). As if the rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State needed any more significance in the state of Oklahoma, next week's game between the rivals will determine who wins the Big 12 South. Should Oklahoma State win, then the Cowboys will be headed to Dallas -- don't let Justin Blackmon drive -- and it's settled. If Oklahoma wins, things get a little dicey depending on what happens between Texas A&M and Texas. Should the Aggies and Oklahoma win, that would leave all three teams tied at 6-2 and we'd have to go through a whole mess of tiebreakers to determine which team would win the division.
2. The North is still undecided. All Nebraska had to do on Saturday night was beat Texas A&M and they'd clinch the Big 12 North. Well, I guess Nebraska didn't want to make it easy on us, instead picking up about 40 more penalties than points, and causing Bo Pelini to burst about 18 eardrums. Now, the Cornhuskers still control their own fate thanks to a win against Missouri earlier this season. If they beat Colorado this week, then they're going to Dallas. If they don't, well then they need Kansas to beat Missouri. In other words, they should probably win.
3. The Big 12 isn't happy about Nebraska leaving. At least that's the impression that I got on Saturday night. Now the 'Huskers didn't get 46 penalties called against them like I implied earlier, but they did pick up 16 penalties for 145 yards. Some of them were deserved, but not all of them. While I don't really condone Bo Pelini screaming obscenities into the side judge's ear all night long, I could understand why he was so upset. I'm sure the Aggies committed a few penalties as well, but they were only called for two.
4. Colorado is still alive for a bowl game. This is one of those things that I see in the standings and think to myself "that can't be right. Somebody messed up." But it's true. Thanks to the Buffaloes second straight win in the post-Hawkins era, they find themselves at 5-6 on the season. That means beating Colorado next week would not only kill Nebraska's conference hopes, but send the team bowling as well. I wonder if Dan Hawkins will go to that game?
5. Texas should play in the Sun Belt. It seems to be the only conference whose representatives they can beat in Austin these days.
6. Oklahoma can play well on the road. Sure, it was against a Baylor team that has stumbled coming down the stretch, but the Sooners have had problems with just about everybody on the road. Until Saturday night, anyway. The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders and blasted the Bears, 53-24, and the game wasn't even that close. Baylor scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter while the Sooners were on cruise control.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 9:06 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2010 9:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Poor, Taylor Martinez. If only he could use some of that T-Magic of his to miraculously cure the ankle injury that's been bugging him for weeks. Maybe then he wouldn't be spending his Saturday night getting roughed up in College Station. Martinez's night started with a cut on his right arm that was bleeding so badly officials had to keep asking him to wipe the blood off with a towel.
Then Martinez got his right ankle stepped on by his own center, Gino Caputo. Martinez was stepping up in the pocket while Caputo was getting pushed back, and Caputo stepped directly onto Martinez's ankle, bending it awkwardly. Martinez then hopped off the field gingerly before trainers told him to lay down during the first quarter.
After being attended to on the sidelines for a bit, Martinez walked -- slowly -- to the Nebraska locker room. X-rays taken on his ankle were negative, and word is that he is going to try to return to the game. Though how successful that attempt will be, remains to be seen. You have to figure that his mobility -- which is his greatest strength -- is going to be severely limited.
Which isn't good news for the Nebraska offense, as they haven't managed to do much without Martinez. What is good news for the 'Huskers is that Texas A&M hasn't done anything at all against the Nebraska defense, as Nebraska leads 3-0 early in the second quarter.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 6:24 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.
We're less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and apparently the NCAA has taken that into consideration with this week's schedule. It seems they're kind enough not to give us anything too heavy this weekend so that we're able to gorge ourselves to death on Thursday.
The NCAA: always concerned about the fan and their digestive limitations.
Main Course - Michigan vs. #6 Wisconsin - Noon - ESPNListen, people, if Bret Bielema can put up 83 points on Indiana, then surely he can do the same against a Michigan defense that has been the polar-opposite of stout this season. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Badgers shoot for 100 this weekend.
First of all, they need a win a win to keep their Big Ten title hopes alive, and second of all, the Badgers have some BCS computers to impress. What's more impressive than 100 points?
There's also the fact that Bielema has already gotten Tim Brewster fired this season, and may have added Bill Lynch to his tally last week as well. Why wouldn't he take a shot at Rich Rodriguez?
Side Orders: Not much else of importance on Saturday morning, but there are options. Oklahoma State goes to Kansas looking to stay atop the Big 12 South division, and West Virginia will try to keep its slim BCS hopes alive on the road against Louisville. There's also the battle of North Carolina when the Tar Heels take on N.C. State. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan State looks to maintain its spot on top of the Big Ten hosting Purdue.
Main Course - #21 Iowa vs. #8 Ohio State - 3:30pm - ABCWe have a couple of games featuring ranked teams during the afternoon, but in my opinion, this one should grab top-billing. Iowa saw its chances at winning the Big Ten ruined by Northwestern last week, so what could be better for the Hawkeyes than to ruin Ohio State's chances?
After all, it was Ohio State that beat the Hawkeyes last season and ended their hopes of going to the Rose Bowl, so why not return the favor?
If nothing else, it's just another chance for Ricky Stanzi to spread the message of loving America and hating hippies throughout the country.
Side Orders: The other ranked game this afternoon features Miami and Virginia Tech. Miami has a very slim chance to win the ACC Coastal division, but in order to keep those hopes alive, they have to knock off a Hokies team that's won eight straight since dropping that game to James Madison. There's also some Les Miles fun on the mothership when LSU hosts Ole Miss, and seriously, after all that's gone on surrounding the game, how can you not tune in to Illinois and Northwestern at Wrigley Field? I'll be at that game witnessing the insanity from the press box.
Main Course - Maryland vs. Florida State - 8pm - ABCThe game that would decide the ACC Atlantic!
Who saw this one coming? Essentially, the winner of this game will be going to the ACC Championship Game in a few weeks. Now, while seeing Florida State in this position doesn't come as much of a shock, the fact that Maryland is here is rather surprising.
Though that's just the way the ACC rolls these days. One minute you're terrible, and then the next you still aren't very good, but you're good enough. Seriously the ACC should adopt the motto of "Hey, at least we aren't the Big East!"
Side Orders: If ranked teams are more your thing, then you can check out Texas A&M and Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers look to hold on to their ticket to Dallas while the Aggies -- who have done a 180 this season -- still want a chance to buy one. Mississippi State and Arkansas will be going at it in Starkville as well. Also, if you're into football games being played in baseball stadiums that use two end zones, Notre Dame and Army continue their annual rivalry on Saturday night, but this time from Yankee Stadium. Show up and chant Derek Jeter's name for no reason!
Late Night SnackUtah has not had a good November. One week its getting pasted by TCU at home, and the next it's getting beat up on the road by a mediocre Notre Dame team missing half of its offense. Now they get to take on a San Diego State team that played TCU much better than the Utes did.
Tags: Arkansas, Army, Bill Lynch, Bret Bielema, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, James Madison, Kansas, Les Miles, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Rich Rodriguez, Ricky Stanzi, San Diego State, Saturday Meal Plan, TCU, Texas A&M, Tim Brewster, Utah, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: November 18, 2010 5:23 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
With the Big Ten expanding to 12 teams next season and adding a championship game to its football schedule, the logistical challenges facing the conference as it plans its first football championship game ever have come into focus. Back in August, the conference announced that Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis would house the very first championship game, but made no plans past the first year. On Wednesday, the Big Ten made some considerably more stable plans for the television side of the title game, tabbing Fox Sports to carry the game for its first six iterations:
The Big Ten Conference has reached a media agreement with FOX Sports to serve as the official broadcast partner of the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
This news isn't a total surprise, since Fox has been a 49% partner with the conference in the Big Ten Network, the hugely profitable television venture that has helped the conference earn more television revenue per school than any other conference, even the SEC; moreover, the disparity in revenue leaves conferences like the Big XII and Big East not only in the dust but in structural peril for that exact reason; the BXI successfully stole Nebraska from the Big XII and by all accounts could have had its choice of Big East teams if it had advanced any offers that way.
And yet, the last time a college football game has been televised on Fox itself*, it was January 5, 2010, and here's what the lingering vestige of that coverage ended up being:
That's Chris Myers asking an absolutely dippy question and getting an equally silly answer. Myers, like all Fox Sports personalities who covered BCS games that January, hadn't spent the entire season covering the teams or conferences in play (and neither did the rest of the announcers or producers, who instead spent the entire time staring at fans or trying to compare the games to other sports), so it's natural that he would ask Ricky Stanzi a for-the-sake-of-politeness "evergreen" question like that, but here's the thing: the vast majority of viewers still tuned in at that point had, in fact, spent the entire season watching Big Ten (or at the very least ACC) football. Myers' line of questioning was a dog whistle to a group of viewers (namely, those completely unfamiliar to Big Ten football) that had already tuned out of the game, basically, and that makes for bad television.
That's why it would be enormously smart of Fox and the Big Ten to appoint Big Ten Network staff to call the championship game rather than Joe Buck or whatever random announcer that's on the Fox payroll and hasn't been calling BXI games all season long. Familiarity's important, especially when the announcer's has to at least approximate the average viewer's, and one of the main complaints about Fox's coverage of BCS bowls over the years has been the fact that the announcers have basically a passing familiarity with the men on the field. The Big Ten can't really subject its tens of millions of fans to that grating superficiality for the next six years, can it?
*Fox's network of regional stations televises a LOT of college football games per week, of course, and is a prominent source of television revenue for the Big 12. Ask the Big 12 how well that's gone for them.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 5:23 am
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