Posted on: July 12, 2011 10:48 am
NCAA Football 12 is out today and I'm jacked. Hope the feeling is mutual because college football needs a break. The sport has been dipped in controversy, cheating, lawyers and courts too long this offseason. We need us some cfb even if it is from a PS3.
Quick background: For those of you who don't know, NCAA Football 12 is a video game. It is more addicting than 30 Rock depicting the thrills, detail and game day experience. This year's edition is the best yet. The Coaching Carousel function puts coaches on the hot seat. The new version includes the ability take the BCS out of the equation. That fantasy alone should be worth the $60 price. A MAC team can play in the Rose Bowl. The Big East can be kicked out of the BCS.
Think of the possibilities:
--Can't wait to play Ohio State in "shame" mode. That's assuming I can navigate my way through the "having a conscience" function to access the Buckeyes.
--Miami (Ohio) in the Rose Bowl. The RedHawks have never won a national championship in anything. Ever. This streak goes back a couple of centuries to when the school was founded. This being a video game is it possible Paul Brown (Class of '30) could jump on the dog pile if Miami beats USC for the national championship?
--Will asking the game to assemble the current membership of the WAC crash my PS3? Don't even try to sort out Legends and Leaders.
--If the Big East is cut out of BCS will West Virginia start an ugly rumor about the game's creator having a "reputation of being a partier"?
--Mascot mode must: Delanys vs. Slives.
--There has to be a seven-on-seven function where gamers start with $10,000 in funny money and can pay it out to players any way they want. Will Lyles could narrate the tutorial.
--In light of the upheaval at Ohio State and deadlines for the game's production I'm really interested in who will be coaching the Buckeyes. Mike Leach is available.
--Need input, gamers: Jordan Jefferson on EA: Cotton Bowl version or spring-game version?
--Does Texas Tech include Craig James on the sidelines or not?
--Where's the Pac-12 Network button?
--It seems only fitting that Mark Ingram graces the cover of this year's game. A tailback who won the Heisman in 2009 is pimping a fantasy version of the 2011 season marketed as NCAA 12.
Some things never change. In what might be an EA first, it is featuring a player whose school is currently on probation. Since 1987, Bama has been involved in more major football infractions cases (three) than national championships (two).
In this offseason of sleaze, there are some things you can't escape.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 10:47 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 10:48 pm
Alabama and Auburn have gone to war and I predicted it.
I told you in February to expect a response to Harvey Updyke's alleged poisoning of the Toomer's Corner trees. History has proved that something would happen. People have died over the rivalry, so should we be surprised that Updyke reportedly was assaulted after a court appearance on Wednesday?
What was simmering below the surface now has boiled over. I told you in Wednesday's story the rivalry may have never been as fierce as it is now. Alabama can't stand Auburn and, it seems, Auburn can't stand success. For the first time in a long time the two schools are somewhat equals on the football field. They can't co-exist. Ever.
Whether you believe Updyke or not, that's not the point. The guy has manipulated this situation. If he wasn't in Alabama, he'd be hired as a Hollywood publicist. I’m writing about it. You're reading about it. SEC types can't get enough of it and blood pressure is boiling in Alabama. Comcast needs to bid on the broadcast rights.
Congrats, Harvey. You got us.
"It's a good thing," my guy Clay Travis tweeted last week, "Auburn and Alabama fans don't have nuclear weapons."
"I'm serious about that."
Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:50 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 11:08 am
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Consume at your peril ...
--Kemba Walkers' 36 points tied the UConn record for most points in a tournament game. The guys he tied aren't bad. Ray Allen did it in 1995 vs. UCLA and Ben Gordon had 36 against Alabama in 2004.
--Prior to Jim Calhoun arriving in 1986, UConn was 4-14 in the tournament. It is 43-13 under Calhoun.
--UConn leads the Big East in players in the NBA, 11.
--UConn has made nine second-half comebacks this season in which it trailed by five or more points. The Huskies trailed San Diego State by four with 9:19 left when Jamaal Franklin was called for a technical. UConn outscored the Aztecs 25-14 the rest of the way.
--Calhoun is second among Division I coaching "trees." Only Herb Sendek of Arizona State has more former assistants from his staff (eight) out there as head coaches. Calhoun has six.
--That was a career high for Arizona's Derrick Williams Thursday night, 32 points. He is average 23.6 points and 10.6 rebounds in the tournament
--Arizona (0-4) has never beaten Connecticut
--This Arizona team has made more threes (292) than the 1993-94 team that set the previous school record (279) with Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves leading the way.
--Thursday's win was Arizona's first over a top-10 in three years (Gonzaga, 2008).
Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:12 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 10:53 pm
What I like about this story is the meticulous care taken in reporting a prank.
Example: Note the amount of poison found in the soil to the exact decimal point. Is this an autopsy or just dead trees?
If you didn't think the Auburn-Alabama rivalry was a big deal, it now involves the Paul Finebaum show, soil samples, presidential statements and tree forensics. Let's hope this isn't taken to the next level and some Bama fans steals every piece of toilet paper in Auburn. Although, that would kind of balance things out. No trees to roll, no rolls. Makes sense.
There is an obvious warning for Auburn fans going forward: With your famous trees dying, don't drink the Kool-Aid.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: December 30, 2010 4:15 pm
Jan. 8 -- I'll never forget a crushed Mack Brown in the Rose Bowl hallway leading to the Texas lockerroom after losing to Alabama. I ask him, "Would Colt [McCoy] have made a difference?" Mack: "It wouldn't have been close."
Feb. 1 -- What's so special about Cretin-Derham Hall High in St. Paul, Minn. No. 1 recruit Seantrel Henderson? A lot. But the kid's nationally televised commitment to USC turns out to be a mockery of the system.
March 17 -- Before Butler bounces a ball in the NCAA Tournament I was there to chronicle what was then a stepping-stone job.
Also in May -- Haley Dodd graduates from high school, commits to the University of Missouri.
June 1 -- Big 12 spring meetings begin in Kansas City with all hell breaking loose.
June 3 -- Big 12 schools are so spooked by impending conference realignment that an ultimatum is issued: Declare loyalty or else. Nebraska won't commit, having been in talks with Big Ten since January.
June 9 -- Colorado announces it is joining the Pac-10.
June 11 -- Nebraska trashes Texas on the way to announcing its departure for the Big Ten in 2011. The Longhorns take their worst beating in seven years.
A portion of the remaining Big 12 have nots (Missouri, Iowa State, etc.) agree that Texas should get an increased share of conference revenue just because it's Texas. There is no Big 12 with it. The Horns spend the rest of the year establishing its own network, reportedly with ESPN for $15 million per year.
June 16 -- Troy is burned to the ground.
July 21 -- Nick Saban goes there with the p-word.
August 15 -- Haley moves into her University of Missouri dorm 30 years after her dad moved out of Columbia. Yes, a few sentimental tears were shed.
August 27 -- It's the Year of the Comeback.
September 7 -- Boise State launches itself into a season-long national conversation with a 33-30 win over Virginia Tech.
October 9 -- It's officially a national race again as defending national champ Alabama loses to South Carolina.
October 12 -- Turns out, South Carolina's win was a bigger deal than we thought. The Gamecocks become only the 45th team ever (in wire service era) to a beat a No. 1 team.
November 4 -- Story breaks of Cam Newton's dad soliciting $180,000 from Mississippi State.
November 6 -- Matt Hayes of the Sporting News and I get trapped in the LSU postgame celebration after an amazing win over Alabama. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the LSU's coach's "Lesticles."
Non-BCS story of the year: While covering that Boise-Nevada game on a bitterly cold night in Reno, a window in the press box has to be cracked so the clock crew "can hear the whistle." We're not exactly in Columbus, folks. Haven't heard a line like that since the Class 4-A state title game in 1984.
November 27 -- Miami's Randy Shannon is fired after an uninspired loss to South Florida. Jon Gruden gets his name in the search, as he always does, but in the first major hire of his career, AD Kirby Hocutt eventually picks Temple's Al Golden.
December 1 -- The best guy to talk about Kyle Brotzman's disappointment happens to be Boise resident and fan Bill Buckner.
December 5 -- Told you it was the Year of the Comeback.
December 19 -- Jack and dad enjoy the Chiefs and Rams in St. Louis during Christmas break. It's nice watching a game without a deadline to meet or a petulant coach to question. It's even better doing it with my wingman.
It was a great year. May 2011 be even better.
Tags: Alabama, Ascension Catholic School, Auburn, Baylor, BCS, Big Ten, Big Ten, Boise State, Butler, Cardinals, Chiefs, Colorado, Cretin-Derham Hall High, CYO football, ESPN, Final Four, Frozen Four, Haley Dodd, Heisman, Iowa State, Jack Dodd, Janet Dodd, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Magic Johnson, Mexico, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, NCAA Tournament, Nebraska, Newport Beach, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Padres, Rams, South Carolina, Texas, Texas, USC, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, World Cup
Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:51 pm
One or the other is going to happen Saturday at the SEC championship game.
Cam Newton has not been available to the media for the past two games against Georgia and Alabama. That will be an issue this week in the SEC championship game. As you can see from the language below, all players and coaches must be made available to the media in an open lockerroom after the game or a school risks being fined.
I believe Auburn will take the hit. Why change now when the punishment is, say, $10,000? Joe Paterno absorbed a $15,000 fine a couple of years ago in the Rose Bowl when he didn't open his lockerroom.
I was at the Georgia game. I don't believe this is Auburn's decision. I think the school has been told by the NCAA and/or the FBI to clam up. They don't want the media to have the opportunity to ask Cam pointed questions.
If Auburn wins, the next issue will be with the Fiesta Bowl and BCS. There are similar rules for the BCS title game that require coaches and players to show up for scheduled interviews. This time it won't be just game night, it will be 10 or so days leading up to the game. That's a long time to keep a guy silent, and only adds to the doubt over Cam's innocence.
Anyway, here's the postgame language from the SEC:
“All coaches and student athletes from each team shall be available for interviews after a 10 minute cooling off period. The timetable for the cooling off period begins when the head coach enters the dressing room immediately after the game. Following the cooling off period, each locker room will be open to the media for approximately 30 minutes. The head coach must proceed directly to the dressing room after the game unless requested to remain for a short interview (not to exceed four minutes) by CBS TV. The players must be available to the media for at least 30 minutes after the 10 minute cooling off period has expired. No more than four players will be brought outside of their respective locker rooms for easier media access. Equal access for all reporters, regardless of gender, must be provided.
The post game media conference format shall specify that the losing coach shall be scheduled in the interview room first, followed by the winning coach. The interview with the losing coach should not exceed 10 minutes. The game’s MVP will also be on the podium with his coach during the post-game media conference time. Regardless of any personal regular season radio or television contracts, the coach is first obligated to the entire media staffing the championship game and must report to the interview room immediately after the 10 minute cooling off period. The coach cannot delay a post game interview with the covering media to conduct a program for a single radio, newspaper, or television reporter unless requested to grant a short interview (not to exceed four minutes) by the television network that has purchased the rights to the championship game. After fulfilling the commitment to the entire media covering the game, the coach and players may participate in special interviews.
Failure to comply with these rules and regulations may subject the coach and/or the institution to a fine by the Commissioner.”
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:32 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 8:03 pm
In the middle of Friday's post-game handshake, Alabama's coach moved close to Gene Chizik and uttered the obvious: "Great comeback."
The two words are beginning to define Auburn's season. After Saturday's stirring 28-27 win in the Iron Bowl, it's becoming a lot easier to concentrate on the football portion of the Tigers. Off the field, they are a mystery until the NCAA gets through with them. On the field, they are playing with the resolve known only to crooked politicians.
While the world is collapsing around them, they continue to smile and do their jobs. That job is now down to beating South Carolina next week. Do that and Auburn is in the national championship game.
"God," Chizik said, "is good."
Fitting that the Auburn coach brought religion into the equation. That's what the Iron Bowl is the folks of Alabama. What they saw Friday is one of the all-time Auburn-Alabama games. The Tide obviously used iup their emotional ammo in the first quarter going up 24-0. From there, Auburn regrouped and outscored the Tide 28-3. Auburn's Comeback Kids are now 4-0 when trailing by 10-plus this season. The win was their eighth this season when trailing at any point in the game.
Comeback? Two years ago Chizik's hire was a joke, Cam Newton was transferring from Florida and Alabama was ramping up to win a national championship. Now it all seems so long ago.
What we've witnessed to date is as much a movie as it is a season. Don't laugh. Saban already has one. Auburn's close up is getting, well, closer.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:14 pm
The BCS exclusionary?
Not today with 22.5 percent of Division I-A still eligible for BCS bowls. That's the conclusion after reading a BCS press release Tuesday afternoon. The BCS released its list of teams still under consideration for the five elite bowls. In addition to the 19 teams contending for automatic berths by winning their conference there are still eight teams being considered for at-large berths.
No. 11 (in the BCS) Alabama, 9-2. Eliminated from the SEC, the Tide could get in the conversation by beating Auburn.
No. 21 Arizona, 7-3. A longshot even if the Wildcats beat Oregon this week.
No. 12 Arkansas, 9-2. The LSU game is a playoff to stay alive in the BCS.
No. 4 Boise, 10-0. Let's be honest, if the Broncos don't win out they're not going to a BCS bowl.
No. 5 LSU, 10-1. The highest-ranked one-loss team would seem to be in if it beats Arkansas.
No. 19 Nevada, 10-1. Another longshot even with a win over Boise on Friday.
No. 20 Utah, 9-2. Consecutive losses to TCU and Notre Dame doomed the Utes.
No. 3 TCU, 11-0. The Frogs are nervous. If they are passed by Boise for the No. 3 spot, their BCS bowl chances are in jeopardy.
To be eligible for an at-large berth, a team must finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings. For a non-A.Q. (automatic qualifier) conference champion to get into a BCS bowl it must finish in the top 12. (Top 16 if it is ranked higher than a champion from a power conference.) Only the highest-ranked non-A.Q. meeting those parameters is guaranteed a spot in the BCS.
What's amazing is that there are 19 teams still alive for automatic berths:
ACC: Florida State, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise, Florida State, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-10, Pac-10, Pittsburgh, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Texas A&M, UConn, Utah, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin