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Tag:USC
Posted on: January 10, 2010 10:22 am
 

USC held hostage Day 3

No surprise that Mike Riley would be USC’s first choice if/when Pete Carroll leaves USC.

The surprise would be if Riley came. He’s already left Oregon State once (for the Chargers). Riley was lucky enough to get his old job back after flaming out with San Diego.

Leaving this time, though, would present another set of circumstances. Riley would be leaving his hometown and the Beavers’ program in the middle of recruiting. Does he really want to do that?

<i>The Oregonian<i/> reported Saturday night that Oregon State AD Bob DeCarolis was prepared to offer Riley a lifetime contract.

If Riley doesn’t come, then the speculation turns to Jacksonville’s Jack Del Rio or Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian took his name out of the “running” on Saturday.

There is more than a little consternation on the recruiting trail where USC. The Trojans top two recruits are uncertain.

“It hurts," receiver Kyle Prater told Rivals.com. "I don't even know what to say. I can't really tell you anything because I don't know anything so I can't tell you. All the coaches at the school are just as clueless as me."

I talked to a USC coach Saturday who was out on the road but had not been contacted by Carroll.  His boss has talked to NFL teams before. He said the concern this time is that the process is dragging out and definitely impacting recruiting.

Corona, Calif. safety Demetrius Wright stayed with USC Saturday, committing during the Army All-American game. He called USC is “dream school.”

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: USC
 
Posted on: January 8, 2010 6:05 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2010 10:20 am
 

Pete Carroll and the Seahawks

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Pete, we hardly knew ya.

Actually, we knew all about you. We knew that one day you'd be back in the NFL. That day seems to have arrived as the Seahawks have an offer on the table. As I write this, I'm getting on a plane in Los Angeles and Carroll reportedly has agreed in principle to coach the Seahawks.

Last one out of L.A. please say goodbye to the USC dynasty.

That's the first thing that comes to mind if Carroll does leave. The defection of juniors Joe McKnight and Damian Williams on Friday made me think of that helicopter on top of that building in Saigon. Those who got on it were whisked to safety. Those left behind had to wait for the Viet Cong.

Getting a little teary-eyed at the moment, actually. Pete was the best, his energy, his drive, his coaching. I'll never forget the time Will Ferrell came to practice in full gear and caught a pass from Matt Leinart. I remember the wide eyes of a recruit in the USC lockerroom after a big victory over UCLA.

Yeah, it was Tim Tebow.

This was Pete's kingdom. He could have ruled it forever. Now with the NCAA closing in and the riches of the NFL being dangled it looks like a modern-day dynasty is over.

As far as I know, USC coaches are still on the road but that might change soon.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: USC
 
Posted on: January 6, 2010 8:32 pm
 

Javier Arenas' Japanese acid trip

PASADENA, Calif. -- Javier Arenas is one of the baddest dudes at Alabama. The closest talent to Charles Woodson since the Michigan defensive back won the Heisman in 1997, is as intimidating as they come in the defensive backfield.

That’s why it’s so disturbing that he collects Pokemon cards. Remember the Japanese cartoon of about 10 years ago that resembled an acid trip?

“I like the holographic ones,” said Arenas, cousin of Washington Wizards, uh, sharpshooter Gilbert Arenas. "I like to collect them for myself and leave them for someone after that.”

My son collected Pokemon cards too – 10 years ago when he was about three. It’s disconcerting that an All-American cornerback compares himself to Pikachu and Charzard.

Told that Pikachu seems a little uncharacteristic for such a bad ass, Arenas asked, “What do you picture me as?” Well, something more bigger and stronger for starters.

“Appreciate you,” Arenas said.

 Much has been made of Nick Saban’s privacy fence he had erected around the Tide’s “Camp Saban” practice field. Well, stuff it, Nick says.

“I don't think it's uncommon for any coach to not want people to see practice when you're playing in any game. I have no problem with the media coming to practice, but when you televise everything and put it on camera, then we might as well just open it to everybody,” Saban said.

That’s exactly what USC’s Pete Carroll has done, Nick. Seems to have worked for him. How does seven consecutive BCS bowls sound?

“It gets your juices flowing,” Arenas said. “When we get in there  it’s time to go. This is what we’re here for, The Granddaddy Of Them All.”

That raises another question, the Rose Bowl has been played. Shouldn’t the BCS title game be The Great Granddaddy Of Them All?

 More from Mack Brown:

“I wasn’t the smartest guy in the world so one day I said [the game] is full of Fs: It’s fast, have fun and be physical and they all laughed. Some of [the players] didn’t get it. That bothered me more.”

“I was taught in a small town in Cookeville, Tenn. To say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’ and ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no ma’am’ I was taught to open doors. I was taught to allow ladies to walk through and gentlemen older than I to walk through the door before I did. And if I didn’t do that, I got whipped.”

What will he think about Wednesday night before the game?

“Are they going to onside kick to open the game? Do we? How do you punt it? How do you protect? What about your fakes? What about protection? How do you start the game? How do you get your offense more comfortable than they were against Nebraska? What do you do on defense?”

Doesn’t sound like Mack is going to get much sleep.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Alabama, USC
 
Posted on: January 3, 2010 2:24 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2010 2:24 pm
 

USC hoops gets The Big Haircut, is football next?

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- By now you know that USC basketball self-imposed some fairly severe penalties. The Trojans are out to a surprising 10-4 start (2-0 in the Pac-10). Here's the gist of Sunday's press release that hit here about 10:42 a.m. PT...

The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In addition, because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible.  USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament. 

These self-imposed sanctions impact only the men’s basketball program, and do not affect any other program.

“We have very high standards for our faculty, athletic department, staff and students,” said USC Senior Vice President Todd R. Dickey.  “We expect and demand that everyone associated with the University live up to these standards.  Nothing is more important than the integrity of this institution and its people.”

AD Mike Garrett said, “We believe the self-imposed sanctions are consistent with penalties imposed at other NCAA member institutions which have been cited with similar rules infractions.  Although we are disappointed that rules were violated, we look forward to moving past this matter and to the future success of our men’s basketball program.”

Kevin O’Neill, head men’s basketball coach for USC added, "I think the University did the right thing in self-imposing sanctions.  I respect and understand the action that was taken. Our players have risen to many challenges already this season and I am proud of what they have accomplished.  I am confident that they will rise to this latest challenge. 

“As their coach, I will do everything in my power to make our program better on and off the court every day,” he said. “Our job as a team now is to move forward in a positive manner.  We have 16 games left to play this season.  I have no doubt that our players will prepare and play well in those games. While it is unfortunate that our players won't have the chance to compete in the post-season, that just makes every game for us now a post-season game.”

I'm wondering if this is USC getting out in front of itself on the football side too. The investigation into the Reggie Bush matter is now in its fourth year. This has to suggest that there is still some abiguity with the football investigation.  The O.J. Mayo deal was a disaster from the start. USC knew exactly what it was getting into when Tim Floyd recruited the kid.

I keep hearing that something is something soon on the Bush matter but the fact that basketball was settled first -- don't forget the NCAA can still add additional penalties -- meant this was a much more pressing matter.

I guess my question is, could it be possible that USC could have postseason bans on BOTH major programs?

Probably not, but for sure USC is going to get slapped with institutional control which means football can expect to lose some scholarships. At least.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: USC
 
Posted on: December 28, 2009 8:40 am
 

What I WAS writing for Sunday...

...had Urban Meyer stayed retired or whatever it was he was doing:


Short of death, there really has been nothing like it in the coaching profession. Knute Rockne was at the top of his game when he died in a plane crash in 1931.

Urban Meyer reacted to his own mortality when he stepped down as Florida’s coach Saturday night. Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe the impact on Florida and the game. The whirlwind, really, has just begun. All signs point to Florida AD Jeremy Foley moving quickly to name a new coach, perhaps by the end of the week.

Here’s a look at the fallout both past and to come:

--More than anything, Meyer’s departure shows the vagaries of the coaching profession. Tommy Tuberville once put the over/under for any coach at one school at 10 years.

Meyer lasted only five at Florida – nine total -- before the stress wore him down. They say there will never be another Joe Paterno, but how many more Meyers will there be given the stress of modern coaching?

Pete Carroll will be entering his 10th season next year at USC and the wear is starting to show. There are academic and NCAA issues within his program. This season’s team was the worst since a 6-6 debut in 2001. Carroll remains one of the top coaches in the game but 2010 will be a key season whether his program remains at the top.

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops saw some decline in his program as well this season. It was injuries mostly that caused a 7-5 season. The bigger concern is that Texas is getting a choke hold on the Big 12.

Speaking of which, Mack Brown is completing his 12th season but already sees the finish line with coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp, well, waiting.

The next great coaches are going to trend more toward Meyer than Paterno. Get in, get out, hopefully with enough money to live on and some championships to solidify your legacy. In that sense, rock star coaches are more like actual rock stars. In both professions, most of the best peak quickly and last – like the Beatles  – about a decade.

The Rolling Stones of the world are as rare as the Bobby Bowdens.

Coaching is an unstable profession, at best. How unstable? When Florida hires its next coach, since 2002 it will have had as many coaches as Notre Dame. In the space of this decade, Meyer has gone from rookie head coach at Bowling Green to arguably the best at his profession to, for now, retirement. That dizzying rush to the top has included four conference championships, four BCS bowls and two national championships.

If he were alive today, those would be Rockne-like numbers.

--It seems that at least one program is going to get blown up in the middle of recruiting season. Unless a pro coach like Mike Shanahan is hired, the dominoes are going to fall down the line. The ripple effect could be significant.

Florida AD Jeremy Foley likely wants to have a coach in place by Jan. 3 when the recruiting dead-period begins (no contact with recruits). That means a busy week as Florida gets ready for Meyer’s last game.
 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 15, 2009 9:44 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2009 10:21 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Here’s why Rich Rodriguez is an odd fit for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh is an odder fit for Stanford … 

Because Harbaugh and Michigan could be close to being engaged to be married right now if it weren’t for those niggling things like contracts.

The same reason that Notre Dame needs to reach out to Brian Kelly right now is the same reason Harbaugh should be playing footsie with his alma mater. But it can't happen for Harbaugh right now. As painful as the transition has been at Michigan, Rodriguez deserves another year. He has only 71 scholarship players (for a variety of reasons), the offense shows promise and, well, Harbaugh isn’t available.

It’s just not a good time. After the second-biggest victory Saturday in his short three years on The Farm – remember USC in 2007? – Harbaugh is hotter than July.  Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby is hurrying to complete a contract extension that would tie up Harbaugh through 2014 at $1.25 million per year.

“Tie up” is a relative term these days. Because of the awkward timing, Michigan/Stanford could lose Harbaugh to another college or NFL team by the time it is ready to make a change after next season. The $1.25 million salary makes Harbaugh one of the highest paid coaches ever at Stanford. It’s also about half of what Harbaugh is currently worth on the open market.

What makes the Cardinal so interesting is that Harbaugh has installed a toughness gene. He talked before the season about playing physical. Sorry, but the words “toughness” and “Stanford football” seldom appeared in the same sentence ever. Until now.

Tailback Toby Gerhart has run for 401 yards the last two games. If he isn’t on the top of every Heisman list this week something is wrong. Owen Marecic started at linebacker and fullback on Saturday. Marecic already has broken a couple of helmets this year.

All of it sounds sooo like Michigan and sooo unlike Stanford that you’d figure that Harbaugh would be in Ann Arbor soon. But it’s too early for Michigan pull the trap door on Rich Rod and too early for Harbaugh to leave.

Here's why USC isn't done: At some point next month, the Trojans will wake up in El Paso and wonder how the hell they got there. It’s called the Sun Bowl, fellas, and it this rate you’re going to be playing in it.

The popular thing this week will be to bash USC and say that Troy has crumbled before our eyes. That would be true if some other team were out there to take control. Oregon leads the Pac-10 for now but still has to go to Arizona and beat Oregon State in the Civil War.

Arizona botched a great opportunity Saturday, losing at Cal which without Jahvid Best.  Stanford, the hottest team in the league, has lost three times, one of them to Wake Forest. Suddenly Oregon State is in the mix.

This is not to say it isn’t bad. It’s real bad at USC right now.

“You could see that everything was not there,” Stanford’s Richard Sherman told the L.A. Times. “They didn’t run as hard. They didn’t play as hard.”

Ouch.

The 55 points were the most given up in the 121-year history of USC football. You never thought you’d see the day where a Pete Carroll team would lose that toughness groove. When you’re bitching about a run-it-up two-point conversion, which the Trojans were in the fourth quarter, that’s just deflecting bigger problems.

The quarterback (Matt Barkley) is a freshman and playing like it.  The defense, led (?) by senior two-time All-American Taylor Mays, has been embarrassed. Turnovers are coming in bunches.

This would be cause for bigger alarm if USC couldn’t get it back, quickly. They can in the same way Carroll began storming the conference in 2002, by playing some of the best defense in the country. It seems laughable to think that now, but the recruiting isn’t going away and, until further notice, the conference isn’t exactly slipping away.

Carroll has lost one game -- one -- in November while at USC (28-1). Barkley is going to get getter. The defense can’t get any worse.  If an 82-year-old man can lead Penn State within sniffing distance of its third BCS bowl in five years, if a small, private school in Fort Worth that doesn’t sell out its games can go undefeated, believe me, USC can get it back.

A lot of fingers will be pointed this week – at coaches and players. Remember this whole thing started with a wake up call in Sin City in 2001 at the Las Vegas Bowl for USC. Waking up in El Paso might be the shock to the system the Trojans need. 

Yes, that’s SMU in first place in Conference USA’s West Division: The Mustangs beat Texas-El Paso becoming bowl eligible for only the third time since their last bowl in 1984. You might remember that the little thing called the death penalty that intervened.

The scuttlebutt is that the Ponies will play in the Hawaii Bowl. June Jones will triumphantly return to the scene of his greatest glories, this time to boost attendance at the Hawaii-less bowl.

Congratulations Ohio State but …:
Until the Luckeyes backed into that Iowa win, an interesting note was developing. Had the Bucks lost, consider that in the games that decided the Rose Bowl berth each of the last two seasons, Terrelle Pryor (and Ohio State) would have been beaten by two backup quarterback – Penn State’s Pat Devlin and Iowa’s James Vandenberg. Devlin came in for Daryll Clark and directed the game-winning drive last year for Penn State. He is now at Delaware.

Vandenberg, a freshman subbing for the injured Ricky Stanzi, led the Hawks back from a 24-10 deficit only to lose in overtime, 27-24.

Not another one!: SEC officials blew another one in the third quarter of the Florida-South Carolina game. Florida’s Brandon James clearly went to knee to field a punt near midfield. It didn’t matter as block in the back nullified James’ long return. Caleb Sturgis eventually missed a 54-yard field goal.

More incredible was the replay official in the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh game. Notre Dame had its final possession cut short when Jimmy Clausen was ruled to have fumbled while trying to throw. The replay clearly showed Clausen’s arm going forward as he was it. The ball came out at an odd angle, but it still came out while he was throwing.  That was one of the more egregious rulings this season.

Stingy Blackshirts: Nebraska allowed its first rushing touchdown allowed in 14 quarters. Big deal. The Huskers rebounded to beat Kansas 31-17 and take the lead in the Big 12 North.

BCS trivia: In case you’re wondering, in the BCS era no unbeaten team from one of the power conferences has been knocked out of the BCS title game by a team with one loss. That possibility still exists for Cincinnati if Texas, Alabama or Florida lose.

Heisman hit: Going to be hard to justify Heisman mention now for Case Keenum. Houston’s two losses have come to Texas-El Paso and Central Florida. Can’t remember the last Heisman winner to lose to two directional schools. Keenum threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns in the 37-32 loss to Central Florida.


Philly excellence: Temple, Villanova and Penn are a combined 24-5. The last time all three had a winning record was 1986 then they finished a combined 24-6. Temple, though, had to forfeit six victories for using an ineligible player (Paul Palmer). Not counting that year, you have to go back to 1951 when the Philly Three finished a combined 16-11.

Heroism: Rowan (Division III) defensive end Matt Hoffman missed his team’s season-finale against The College of New Jersey. On Thursday, Hoffman began donating blood marrow to a 52-year-old man who is dying of lymphoma. Hoffman was one of seven matches found through a search of the national registry.

Dog of the day: Louisville beat Syracuse 10-9 in the dog game of the day. Somehow we’ve missed the fact that the once mighty Cardinals had lost nine Big East games in a row.

The no B.S., up-to-the-minute, not-what-they-did-last year, right now Heisman list

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Hottest skill player in the country. Gerhart has Stanford in the Rose Bowl conversation after running for 178 yards against USC.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Stayed consistent running for more than 140 yards against Mississippi State.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Best quarterback in the country right now.

Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh: Ran for 152 yards including the game-winning 50-yard touchdown run.

C.J. Spiller, AP, Clemson: The most dangerous player in the ACC. Heisman voters usually don’t recognize all-purpose players but Spiller deserves mention especially after adding to his accomplishments with a 17-yard touchdown pass against NC State.

Posted on: November 15, 2009 9:44 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2009 10:21 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Here’s why Rich Rodriguez is an odd fit for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh is an odder fit for Stanford … 

Because Harbaugh and Michigan could be close to being engaged to be married right now if it weren’t for those niggling things like contracts.

The same reason that Notre Dame needs to reach out to Brian Kelly right now is the same reason Harbaugh should be playing footsie with his alma mater. But it can't happen for Harbaugh right now. As painful as the transition has been at Michigan, Rodriguez deserves another year. He has only 71 scholarship players (for a variety of reasons), the offense shows promise and, well, Harbaugh isn’t available.

It’s just not a good time. After the second-biggest victory Saturday in his short three years on The Farm – remember USC in 2007? – Harbaugh is hotter than July.  Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby is hurrying to complete a contract extension that would tie up Harbaugh through 2014 at $1.25 million per year.

“Tie up” is a relative term these days. Because of the awkward timing, Michigan/Stanford could lose Harbaugh to another college or NFL team by the time it is ready to make a change after next season. The $1.25 million salary makes Harbaugh one of the highest paid coaches ever at Stanford. It’s also about half of what Harbaugh is currently worth on the open market.

What makes the Cardinal so interesting is that Harbaugh has installed a toughness gene. He talked before the season about playing physical. Sorry, but the words “toughness” and “Stanford football” seldom appeared in the same sentence ever. Until now.

Tailback Toby Gerhart has run for 401 yards the last two games. If he isn’t on the top of every Heisman list this week something is wrong. Owen Marecic started at linebacker and fullback on Saturday. Marecic already has broken a couple of helmets this year.

All of it sounds sooo like Michigan and sooo unlike Stanford that you’d figure that Harbaugh would be in Ann Arbor soon. But it’s too early for Michigan pull the trap door on Rich Rod and too early for Harbaugh to leave.

Here's why USC isn't done: At some point next month, the Trojans will wake up in El Paso and wonder how the hell they got there. It’s called the Sun Bowl, fellas, and it this rate you’re going to be playing in it.

The popular thing this week will be to bash USC and say that Troy has crumbled before our eyes. That would be true if some other team were out there to take control. Oregon leads the Pac-10 for now but still has to go to Arizona and beat Oregon State in the Civil War.

Arizona botched a great opportunity Saturday, losing at Cal which without Jahvid Best.  Stanford, the hottest team in the league, has lost three times, one of them to Wake Forest. Suddenly Oregon State is in the mix.

This is not to say it isn’t bad. It’s real bad at USC right now.

“You could see that everything was not there,” Stanford’s Richard Sherman told the L.A. Times. “They didn’t run as hard. They didn’t play as hard.”

Ouch.

The 55 points were the most given up in the 121-year history of USC football. You never thought you’d see the day where a Pete Carroll team would lose that toughness groove. When you’re bitching about a run-it-up two-point conversion, which the Trojans were in the fourth quarter, that’s just deflecting bigger problems.

The quarterback (Matt Barkley) is a freshman and playing like it.  The defense, led (?) by senior two-time All-American Taylor Mays, has been embarrassed. Turnovers are coming in bunches.

This would be cause for bigger alarm if USC couldn’t get it back, quickly. They can in the same way Carroll began storming the conference in 2002, by playing some of the best defense in the country. It seems laughable to think that now, but the recruiting isn’t going away and, until further notice, the conference isn’t exactly slipping away.

Carroll has lost one game -- one -- in November while at USC (28-1). Barkley is going to get getter. The defense can’t get any worse.  If an 82-year-old man can lead Penn State within sniffing distance of its third BCS bowl in five years, if a small, private school in Fort Worth that doesn’t sell out its games can go undefeated, believe me, USC can get it back.

A lot of fingers will be pointed this week – at coaches and players. Remember this whole thing started with a wake up call in Sin City in 2001 at the Las Vegas Bowl for USC. Waking up in El Paso might be the shock to the system the Trojans need. 

Yes, that’s SMU in first place in Conference USA’s West Division: The Mustangs beat Texas-El Paso becoming bowl eligible for only the third time since their last bowl in 1984. You might remember that the little thing called the death penalty that intervened.

The scuttlebutt is that the Ponies will play in the Hawaii Bowl. June Jones will triumphantly return to the scene of his greatest glories, this time to boost attendance at the Hawaii-less bowl.

Congratulations Ohio State but …:
Until the Luckeyes backed into that Iowa win, an interesting note was developing. Had the Bucks lost, consider that in the games that decided the Rose Bowl berth each of the last two seasons, Terrelle Pryor (and Ohio State) would have been beaten by two backup quarterback – Penn State’s Pat Devlin and Iowa’s James Vandenberg. Devlin came in for Daryll Clark and directed the game-winning drive last year for Penn State. He is now at Delaware.

Vandenberg, a freshman subbing for the injured Ricky Stanzi, led the Hawks back from a 24-10 deficit only to lose in overtime, 27-24.

Not another one!: SEC officials blew another one in the third quarter of the Florida-South Carolina game. Florida’s Brandon James clearly went to knee to field a punt near midfield. It didn’t matter as block in the back nullified James’ long return. Caleb Sturgis eventually missed a 54-yard field goal.

More incredible was the replay official in the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh game. Notre Dame had its final possession cut short when Jimmy Clausen was ruled to have fumbled while trying to throw. The replay clearly showed Clausen’s arm going forward as he was it. The ball came out at an odd angle, but it still came out while he was throwing.  That was one of the more egregious rulings this season.

Stingy Blackshirts: Nebraska allowed its first rushing touchdown allowed in 14 quarters. Big deal. The Huskers rebounded to beat Kansas 31-17 and take the lead in the Big 12 North.

BCS trivia: In case you’re wondering, in the BCS era no unbeaten team from one of the power conferences has been knocked out of the BCS title game by a team with one loss. That possibility still exists for Cincinnati if Texas, Alabama or Florida lose.

Heisman hit: Going to be hard to justify Heisman mention now for Case Keenum. Houston’s two losses have come to Texas-El Paso and Central Florida. Can’t remember the last Heisman winner to lose to two directional schools. Keenum threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns in the 37-32 loss to Central Florida.


Philly excellence: Temple, Villanova and Penn are a combined 24-5. The last time all three had a winning record was 1986 then they finished a combined 24-6. Temple, though, had to forfeit six victories for using an ineligible player (Paul Palmer). Not counting that year, you have to go back to 1951 when the Philly Three finished a combined 16-11.

Heroism: Rowan (Division III) defensive end Matt Hoffman missed his team’s season-finale against The College of New Jersey. On Thursday, Hoffman began donating blood marrow to a 52-year-old man who is dying of lymphoma. Hoffman was one of seven matches found through a search of the national registry.

Dog of the day: Louisville beat Syracuse 10-9 in the dog game of the day. Somehow we’ve missed the fact that the once mighty Cardinals had lost nine Big East games in a row.

The no B.S., up-to-the-minute, not-what-they-did-last year, right now Heisman list

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Hottest skill player in the country. Gerhart has Stanford in the Rose Bowl conversation after running for 178 yards against USC.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Stayed consistent running for more than 140 yards against Mississippi State.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Best quarterback in the country right now.

Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh: Ran for 152 yards including the game-winning 50-yard touchdown run.

C.J. Spiller, AP, Clemson: The most dangerous player in the ACC. Heisman voters usually don’t recognize all-purpose players but Spiller deserves mention especially after adding to his accomplishments with a 17-yard touchdown pass against NC State.

Posted on: November 11, 2009 10:31 am
Edited on: November 12, 2009 11:32 am
 

National notes

Happy birthday, of sorts, to the Associated Press poll. The 1,000th AP poll was released this week with Florida at No. 1.

Historical perspective: Back in 1936 when the first poll debuted Florida was kicking off a 4-6 season under Josh Cody. The Gators weren’t ranked in AP until 1950 during a 5-5 season under Bob Woodruff.

Minnesota was No. 1 in that first poll. I think we all know where the Gophers are these days in terms of poll relevance – underground.

I bring all this up because the AP poll might be our lifeboat this season. With the season hurtling toward a BCS-record four undefeated teams at the end, we are squarely in line for split national champions.

That would be more than fair in the only game where the national championship matchup that frequently isn't decided on the field.

Here’s the scenario for your split national champion:

BCS title game: Alabama, Florida or Texas win the big game. One of three will finish 14-0 and be the BCS champion.

Fiesta Bowl: TCU defeats USC or Iowa to finish 13-0.

Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati defeats the SEC championship game loser, Alabama or Florida, to finish 13-0.

Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State beats a two-loss Utah to finish 13-0.


Who do you pick? The reality is that it will be hard for the voters to ignore the title game winner. We had chaos in 2003 because the BCS somehow rated No. 1 in the polls USC No. 3. That gave the voters a motive, fairness, elevate the Trojans in AP.

Keep dreaming Boise, Cincy and TCU.


Don’t hold your breath, Boise. That talk already has started about there being two non-BCS schools in the BCS. Even more, perhaps pitting TCU and Boise in a battle of non-BCS unbeatens.

Here’s why it won’t happen: In the TCU-Boise argument don't forget that these two teams played 10 months ago. I would love to see this game in the Fiesta Bowl (which is the only place it can happen in the BCS) but the fact a two-loss Penn State or USC will probably jump Boise. They can rationalize it because Boise is, frankly, an old story. Given the option the Fiesta Bowl will exercise that option. Unfair? Sure, but a bowl never changes its stripes (or something like that).
 
The Fiesta will argue that it has more than done its part for the BCS by taking Utah and Boise in previous years. It is reaaalllly sensitive about becoming the depository for the non-AQs. Taking TCU will be enough. 


Another replay mind-blower. According to this story most replay booths don’t have HD monitors.

You have to be kidding me? We can watch the game at home in HD, the television production trucks have HD, but the guys making the decisions are watching on the same low resolution sets that have been around for years?

Amazing. In the case of Saturday’s LSU-Alabama controversy you can see why perhaps replay official Gerald Hodges ruled inconclusive evidence. You can also see why there was outrage.

We may have had a better view?

It’s not like these conferences can’t afford to upgrade. Do yourselves a favor, commissioners, and save the possible embarrassment of missing a key call. Go to Best Buy and start loading up the shopping cart.

 
 
 
 
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