Daily Archives: July 2, 2007

Glutton for punishment

Mark Schlabach has a column up today listing the most intriguing games of 2007.  He means “intriguing” literally – it’s a list with more than a few quirks.

My favorite is USC at Nebraska.  Sam Keller is either a helluva competitor, or none too bright.

Believe it or not, one of the reasons Sam Keller chose to transfer to Nebraska over Colorado and Oklahoma is because the Trojans were coming to Lincoln. Keller didn’t get enough of the Trojans while he was playing at Arizona State? Keller threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns against USC in 2005, but the Trojans also intercepted five of his passes in their 38-28 victory. Keller went 0-3 against the Trojans while playing with the Sun Devils.

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Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Be still, my heart.

The Big Ten Network debuts on August 30.  Here’s what eager viewers can look forward to:

… Big Ten Network’s first-ever game coverage begins at 11 a.m. Central Time Sept. 1, with regional coverage of Appalachian State at Michigan; Youngstown State visiting BCS championship runner-up Ohio State; Florida International at Penn State; and Northeastern University at Northwestern. In prime time, the network will air Bowling Green at Minnesota and Indiana State at Indiana…

Second tier, indeed.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

My 100.

Let me say upfront here that I freely admit to stealing the theme for this post (and what’s the deal with the SEC’s “love of styrofoam”?).

Anyway, in no particular order of importance, here’s my list of 100 things I’m looking forward to in the 2007 college football season:

  1. The August 30 SEC opener, with LSU traveling to Mississippi State.
  2. The first time Spurrier yanks his visor off his head in frustration.
  3. The battle to see who progresses the most between Tebow and Stafford.
  4. The battle to see how the Big Ten Network gets carried on Comcast.
  5. How good Oklahoma State’s all-world receiver Adarius Bowman is.
  6. Which school gets labeled “this year’s Boise State” first.
  7. Which school gets labeled “this year’s Oklahoma” first.
  8. The Southern Cal Song Girls.
  9. Mike Bobo’s first trick play call of the season.
  10. Darren McFadden, quarterback.
  11. Mikey Henderson’s first punt return.  And probably a few more after that.
  12. Listening to the Zooker get all excited about a .500 season.
  13. Listening to Tyrone Willingham say that he’s not making Washington’s schedule an excuse for its record, while making it an excuse for its record.
  14. Watching Notre Dame struggle to become bowl eligible, while Charlie Weis hopes that someone will make Tyrone Willingham an excuse for the Irish’s record.
  15. Anything Munson has to say in the broadcast booth.
  16. LSU at Alabama.
  17. Louisville’s offense after Petrino.
  18. C. J. Spiller.
  19. Finding out whether Reggie Ball or Calvin Johnson impacted Georgia Tech’s offense more.
  20. How the soap dispensers hold up in the Hawaii locker room.
  21. Whether Noel Devine sees the field this year for West Virginia.
  22. Whether any burning couches see the field this year for West Virginia.
  23. Whether Urban Meyer gets a reprieve on text messaging.
  24. Which schools are in the “Gang of Six”, and how much logic gets twisted to put them there.
  25. Finding out who starts at left offensive tackle for Georgia.
  26. The Iron Bowl (especially the aftermath if Saban beats Tuberville).
  27. Tennessee at California.
  28. The over/under on Gamecock quarterbacks getting into trouble at bars.
  29. Patrick Nix at Miami. Heh.
  30. FSU’s offense after Jeff Bowden – and Bobby Bowden’s press conference after it’s become apparent to all that Jimbo’s hiring was a huge upgrade.
  31. Darren McFadden, running back.
  32. Pat White.
  33. Texas Tech’s offense.
  34. Whether Mississippi State crooms any coach this year.
  35. Learning how much losing nine starters affects Florida’s defense.
  36. Learning how much losing his top three receivers affects Erik Ainge.
  37. Leaving on a perfect Thursday afternoon for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
  38. Listening to the broadcast team for the inaugural “Roady’s Truck Stop” Humanitarian Bowl.
  39. Brandon Coutu. Simply money.
  40. The comments from the insane portion of the Arkansas fan base if Gus Malzahn has a successful year at Tulsa.
  41. The comments from the LSU fan base if Les Miles isn’t coaching in the BCS title game.
  42. Steve Slaton.
  43. The Army-Navy game. Just because.
  44. Whether Jimmy Clausen can beat any school with one arm.
  45. Seeing if Vandy can become bowl eligible this year – not at the expense of Georgia, though.
  46. Michigan’s offense. Really.
  47. Jerry Glanville, head coach (will Beau Bock cover a Portland State game this year?).
  48. Brent Musburger enjoying a cold one after a game.
  49. My first tailgate.
  50. A shrinking North Campus “Family Friendly Zone”.
  51. The move of Brandon Miller to middle linebacker. I hope.
  52. The announcement of more good/great twelfth game intersectional matchups in the coming seasons.
  53. Silence from Bernie Machen on D-1 playoffs.
  54. Darren McFadden, pass catcher.
  55. Seeing if Tommy Bowden can pull another win out of his ass to save his job for another year.
  56. Reggie Nelson’s early departure for the NFL.
  57. Restoration of the old NCAA clock rules.
  58. The first Willie Williams presser at Louisville. Lobster will not be served.
  59. The BCS uproar if two ranked mid-major schools go undefeated.
  60. Watching Mohamed Massaquoi shake his sophomore slump.
  61. Seeing if Rich Brooks is as good a coach with a +2 turnover margin as he was with a +15 turnover margin.
  62. The first cold beer toasting the start of the season. (That would be my beer, of course, not an underaged Dawg’s.)
  63. Bryan Evans’ progress at cornerback.
  64. Figuring out who Coach O plays at quarterback.
  65. Figuring out who Coach O says plays at quarterback.
  66. Seeing if Iowa bounces back from a sub-par year. It’s got the head coach – and the schedule – to do so.
  67. Seeing how the crazy part of the Arkansas fan base reacts if the Nuttster pulls off another 10 win season. Don’t laugh – he’s got the running backs and the schedule to do so.
  68. Seeing how the crazy part of the Arkansas fan base reacts if the Nuttster doesn’t pull off another 10 win season.
  69. Jim Grobe’s coaching.
  70. The first really hard hit on Tim Tebow, the runner.
  71. Florida at South Carolina.
  72. Pete Carroll’s presser after USC demolishes Stanford.
  73. Pete Carroll’s presser if USC is in the BCS title game – and LSU isn’t.
  74. The freak play that turns the game for Georgia in Knoxville.
  75. Darren McFadden, Heisman Trophy winner.
  76. Watching ‘Bama and FSU borrow a good idea by playing in Jacksonville.
  77. Seeing at least a third of the crowd at the Georgia-Georgia Tech game dressed in red and black.
  78. Thomas Brown seeing the field and contributing.
  79. Changing the channel when Lou Holtz and Mark May come on.
  80. Watching another Notre Dame QB transfer after Jimmy Clausen is named the starter.
  81. The police presence at the Miami-Florida International game.
  82. Knowshon Moreno.
  83. Seeing if all six SEC East schools can become bowl eligible.
  84. A strategically located Porta-Potty with a short line in Jacksonville.
  85. Virginia Tech at LSU.
  86. No eight – or more – team playoff for D-1 football. (Had to get that one in there, Bulldawgy!)
  87. Colt Brennan’s stats.
  88. The Red River Shootout – love those neutral site games.
  89. Mark Richt’s game management, not distracted by play calling.
  90. Trash pickup at Beaver Stadium.
  91. College bands, as opposed to loud, piped-in music.
  92. The SEC’s TV contract with CBS.
  93. Gamecock fans’ annual preseason crowing about South Carolina’s chances of winning the SEC East.
  94. The class of Joe Cox.
  95. The sight of Irish fans leaving the USC-Notre Dame game early in the fourth quarter.
  96. SEC speed, baby!
  97. My favorite meteor game of the year, every year: Tennessee at Florida.
  98. “Loran, whataya got?”
  99. Darren McFadden’s announcement after winning the Heisman Trophy that he’s leaving early for the NFL.

Whew! Feel free to add your own in the comments…

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Filed under College Football

Les Miles is feelin’ it.

I guess when your team is a consensus preseason top 5 team, you feel liberated.

He ain’t afraid of no Trojans:

“I can tell you that I would like nothing better than to play USC for the title,” Miles said in a speech that radio station WWL made available on its Web site.

Playing to an audience largely populated by LSU fans, Miles saw an opening for a chance to plug the strength of the SEC, calling into question the strength of the Pac-10 Conference, which USC calls home.

“I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel,” Miles said of the Trojans. “They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title (game). I would like that path for us.

“I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition.”

He thinks there ought to be a special rule for the SEC champ:

Miles said Auburn was the victim of an injustice and repeated his assertion that an unbeaten SEC champion should play for a national championship.

He’s not afraid of what an eight team D-1 playoff would mean for the SEC, either.

There’s little doubt Miles thinks there would be a strong SEC presence in an eight-team college football playoff unless the field were limited to conference champions.

“There’d probably be at least four SEC teams in the top eight,” Miles said.

At least.

Did I mention that he’s not impressed with Southern Cal?

Miles came from a Big Ten background too. Expecting him to lay roses at the feet of the Trojans, especially after his comments about USC having a suspect schedule, would have been foolhardy.

“Should something be done about SC?” Miles said. “Yeah. It might just have to be the system first, though.”

Pretty impressive talk for a guy that’s never won a SECCG to date.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under SEC Football