Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catching up isn't sure when Denard is down

As you might have figured out by now, the amount of time I have to blog is inversely proportional to my workload. Translation: My boss being on vacation = no bloggy. So while it makes me SO ANGRY that Michigan is on bye this week, it's probably for the best. Anyway, here's some stuff:

Worst attempt at an explanation EVER: So Michigan State pass-rushing dude Will Gholston was suspended for one game Thursday for throwing a punch against Michigan. Since he plays for Michigan State, where felons go to play football in between jail stints, the suspension obviously came from the Big Ten and not the school, which wrote the whole thing off as an "isolated incident" (that sounds kinda familiar) and then ignored it in hopes of having Gholston available against Wisconsin. Derp.

The suspension would be fine and dandy if not for the fact that the punch was No. 3 on the "dirtiest things done by Will Gholston against Michigan" list. He should have gotten two or three games for this awfulness by itself:

That's pretty horrifying, right? I mean, that is some dirty, dirt-filled dirtness with no justifiable explanation ... unless you're a Sparty:
... we’re talking about a 19 year old kid here. Not an axe murderer and certainly not a 40something year old man like Schwarz.

Bottom line question–when can you be sure that a player like Denard Robinson is actually down?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's your justification??? I'm pretty sure he was down when there were four guys lying on top of him, which was a full second before Gholston kneed him in the ribs and waaaay before he attempted to rip Denard's head off for reasons that had nothing to do with making sure he was down. That comment actually came from a Northwestern blog post that pretty thoroughly shredded MSU's embarrassingly classless tactics, and it got a typically intelligent Northwestern-y response so awesome that it deserves equal play here:

As for knowing when Robinson is down or not, fortunately there are a clear set of rules that tell us when he’s down, and that would be when either his knee or elbow touch the ground — even if he’s untouched! When he’s completely sprawled on the ground with defenders on top of him, trying to break his neck “just to be sure he’s actually down” is … hmmm, how shall I say it … “extracurricular” at that point.

Also, there’s a pretty large area between a toddler that doesn’t know any better and a psychopathic axe-wielding killer that’s covered by the term “inappropriate behavior”. But hey, if you want to defend indefensible actions because, after all, the guy didn’t go after anyone with an axe, then good on you. Do you and Brian Kelly drink at the same bar?


The grapes are so sour and not very delicious: Just to remind myself why I hate Michigan State, here's a table yoinked from the Wall Street Journal (?) that attempts to determine the dirtiest (in terms of personal fouls) rivalries in college football:

Auburn-Georgia5.4Georgia 59%
Duke-North Carolina5.2N. Carolina 69%
UCLA-Southern California4.8UCLA 54%
N. Mexico-N.Mexico St.4.6N. Mexico 65%
Kansas-Missouri4.2Missouri 76%
Michigan-Michigan St.4.0Michigan St 80%
C. Michigan-W. Michigan3.8Western 58%
Brigham Young-Utah3.6Utah 61%
NC State-North Carolina3.4N. Carolina 59%
The top two in terms of pure volume of personal fouls on that list are North Carolina (3.6 per game against Duke?!?) and Michigan State (3.2 against Michigan). The first is pretty surprising; the second is most definitely not.

Notre Dame has new helmets?!? I couldn't wrap my head around that headline until I opened the story and came to the realization that the helmets aren't exactly "new." They are ridiculously gold, though:

That is freakin' gold and almost perfectly matches the Golden Dome, which is awesome. I'd noticed that the helmet color never quite lined up with the pants/trim (Michigan also has this problem sometimes because of the brighter shade of yellow on the uniform), and finding a way to do that with the gold-flake paint while not ruining the general Notre Dame-ness of the helmets means somebody deserves a raise.

Gunner Kiel is so dreamy and so available: The spectacularly named Gunner Kiel, also known as the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country, is "re-evaluating" his decision to commit to Indiana now that he's seen Indiana play. I still think Kevin Wilson can eventually turn that program into a Joe Tiller-era Purdue, but man ... Indiana is just awful right now. Kiel apparently saw the losses to Ball State and North Texas (lol) and said "OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE":
"The last week or two especially, yeah," Kip said when asked if Indiana's struggles were a major factor. "I think there's a lot of things that had to do with. I don't want to get into specifics, but a lot of things are concerning."
Can't blame Kiel for looking around when his alternatives are, like, anywhere. His other finalists were Alabama and Oklahoma, but he's visiting Notre Dame for the USC game on Saturday and is supposedly getting a visit from Michigan next week (although I'm skeptical that he ends up at Michigan since the No. 1 QB and overall player in the 2013 class, Shane Morris, is already committed). Like I said: anywhere.

Rick Neuheisel is somehow still UCLA's coach: When previously winless Arizona (no, NAU doesn't count) was leading 42-7 at the half (!!!) Thursday night, I sent a text that said something to the extent of "so does Rick Neuheisel get fired right now or in the morning?" Remarkably, it turned out to be neither one:

"Rick is my coach," Guerrero said after watching the lopsided loss. "I don't know who is talking about him being relieved early, but it's certainly not me. He's a great Bruin. I want to see him succeed.

"We'll evaluate at the end of the year, like we always evaluate and make determinations (of) what we're going to do at that point."
UCLA isn't good this year and has gotten no better since the time Neuheisel took over, so the only possible justification for keeping him at this point is that the Pac-12 South is still winnable. UCLA is only a game behind Arizona State in the division and has winless-in-the-conference Cal coming up next before hosting ASU in two weeks; since firing Neuheisel would be waving the white flag on the season, Guerrero loses little (other than more dignity) by seeing what happens in the next two games. Then again, when your best-case scenario is (probably) 6-6 and a backdoor spot in a bowl game purely because there are so many, is it even worth waiting for that to happen and making the decision more difficult/controversial? Greg Byrne says no.

Best criminal impersonation ever: Speaking of Arizona-UCLA, this was indisputably awesome:

Walking up to the officials like you're part of the crew? YES!!!!! I'm not sure whether I'm more amazed by the brilliance of the complete referee's uniform or the fact that nobody's ever thought of it before. BTW, that guy has been charged with felony criminal impersonation and faces 18 months in jail. Overreaction much?

Missouri likely headed to the SEC: Whatev. Mizzou makes as much sense as anybody for the SEC's 14th team, although I'm not sure Gary Pinkel will love it so much when they're finishing fifth in a seven-team division every year. Money rules all. As for the Big 12, I said this a couple weeks ago and will repeat it here: Missouri is not a keystone. With the addition of TCU and possibly BYU (or Louisville or whoever), the Big 12 will survive and be fine; this will always be the case as long as Texas and Oklahoma can be persuaded to stick around.

LSU players tested positive for synthetic pot: That thing about "running afoul of the team's drug policy" turned out to be as stupid as expected:
Top-ranked LSU suspended cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon and tailback Spencer Ware from the team after they tested positive for synthetic marijuana in a school-administered drug test earlier this month, two people familiar with the situation told on Thursday.

In March, the DEA banned for one year the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana, which is commonly known by its brand names "Spice" and "K2." The DEA said its action was necessary to "avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety."

Five chemicals commonly found in synthetic marijuana blends are now classified as Schedule I controlled substances, a category reserved for unsafe and highly abused substances with no medical use.
They were presumably trying to avoid getting caught by a drug test but had to smoke something more dangerous than pot to do so, which seems ... ummm ... not smart. I'd recommend not doing something that's known to have killed a college basketball player in the past month.

Also, this tidbit seems interesting:
A source familiar with the situation said coach Les Miles suspended the players indefinitely but added the trio might be back before LSU's showdown Nov. 5 at No. 2 Alabama.
Those suspensions were reported to be one-gamers just a couple days ago, but it's possible that the details of the drug test weren't yet known. Still, I'd bet the delicious-looking chocolate chip cookie sitting right in front of me that "might be back" turns into "will be back" within the next 13 days.

More good coaching stuff: I seriously can't get enough of these "Experts Breakdown" videos. This one features Arkansas OC Garrick McGee explaining how to take apart the Tampa 2 (stuff like this is what makes Bobby Petrino's passing game so ridiculously dominant):

Me learning.


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