Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Catching up wears jean shorts

I can't believe I forgot about this: My all-time favorite rivalry meme somehow got overlooked last week amid my overworked-ness and underhealthy-ness. Mandatory video:

Also, there is now a Facebook page dedicated to "Gators wear jean shorts." Yes. If I were a Georgia fan, this would be my ringtone and every other audio narrative in my life.

Why I both hate and love ESPN: I flipped on SportsCenter late Saturday night to catch a few highlights from games I missed and noticed that one of the lead items -- like right in the mix with Stanford-USC -- was a bunch of stupidly early analysis of the LSU-Alabama game. I realize this is the BIGGEST GAME THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED, but seriously. At that point, there were still six full days until the game, not to mention basically an entire day of College GameDay in Tuscaloosa leading up to the 8 p.m. local time kickoff. Let's prioritize, plz. On a far more awesome note, I discovered that ESPN3 offers picture-in-picture. Schwing.

Let's agree to disagree: Lane Kiffin was not entirely happy with the officials Saturday night, and for (some) good reasons.
Kiffin, USC's second-year head coach, said he told an unspecified referee before the final play of regulation that he wanted a timeout after the Trojans ran a play, which began with nine seconds left on the game clock. But receiver Robert Woods winded a screen pass the opposite way and was tackled inbounds with one second left, and the clock was left to run out into overtime.

Speaking with reporters in a conference call Sunday, Kiffin also said he disagreed with three other notable calls from Saturday's game, including a taunting penalty on receiver Marqise Lee when he scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, a targeting penalty on safety T.J. McDonald on Stanford's game-tying drive near the end of regulation and a holding penalty on Stanford that appeared to have been called at the line of scrimmage and should have resulted in a 2nd-and-15 situation, not a 2nd-and-7.

Of the holding call, Kiffin said he discussed the play with his "friend Knox" over breakfast on Sunday morning and found that Knox, his son, was able to find where the ball should have correctly been placed after the penalty.

"Just so you know, Knox is two years old," he said.

Zing! BTW, Kiffin's totally wrong about the timeout -- the referee didn't signal for the clock to stop until it had hit zero, so whether anybody had requested a timeout at any point was irrelevant -- but he's right about the T.J. McDonald hit and the holding penalty. The McDonald one in particular was devastating, as Stanford went from throwing an incompletion on third-and-6 to having a first down on USC's side of the field on the eventual game-tying drive. I say he's right because (a) McDonald led with his shoulder and not his helmet and (b) the receiver was juggling the ball and should be lit up in that situation by any safety worth a starting job. If you can't do that, you can't play safety ... which makes it all the more ridiculous that McDonald was suspended Tuesday for the first half of USC's next game. Argh. The holding penalty was just a flat-out screw-up for which there's no logical explanation. But I question whether Kiffin's 2-year-old can really figure out penalty yardage when my 2-year-old still isn't clear about whether she should eat dog food (although she can count to 13).

Georgia needs running backs, stat: This seems problematic (albeit not for the obvious reason):
Georgia running backs Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome are suspended for the Bulldogs' game against New Mexico State on Saturday, coach Mark Richt confirmed.

Richt would not discuss the reason behind the suspensions, only that a violation of team rules occurred. "They didn't do things the Georgia way," he said.

But a source told DawgNation that the three players were disciplined for failing a drug test that was administered last week before Georgia's 24-20 victory over Southeastern Conference archrival Florida in Jacksonville. The source had no knowledge of when the test results were known.

There's a zero percent chance we ever find out "when the test results were known," which means any Florida-generated controversy would be purely hypothetical. There's also a zero percent chance Georgia loses to New Mexico State even if Uga (the interim one since the real one died) lines up at running back, and he might have to since Crowell is the starter, Thomas is the nominal backup and third-stringer Richard Samuel is out for a month with an ankle injury. The real concern for Georgia has to be that Crowell, an uber-elite recruit who was the de facto starter from the moment he stepped on campus and is clearly the future of the offense, has already failed a drug test just eight games into his career. Any more = goner, which would be disastrous. In the short term, Georgia just needs him to not do anything stupid for a week so he can back in the lineup for the Auburn game in two weeks that represents the Dawgs' last real SEC test.

Garrett Gilbert headed to SMU: This has been rumored for a while but is now (kind of) official: ESPN is reporting that Garrett Gilbert, who left Texas last month after blowing out his shoulder and losing his starting job to a pair of freshmen, will enroll at SMU. My understanding is that he'll have to sit out 2012 as his transfer season and will then have one year of eligibility left (he's currently a true junior). That should work out nicely since current starter Kyle Padron is also a junior so will be graduating after next year. Gilbert has gobs of talent but generally looked like a deer in the headlights (or the grill) for most of the past two seasons; if he can figure out the not-throwing-terrible-interceptions thing, he'll get the honor of being the 2013 version of June Jones' throw-it-600-times triggerman.

Indiana dismisses Damarlo Belcher: This is pretty unimportant in the big picture since Indiana is downright awful, but senior Damarlo Belcher -- who was arguably the best wideout in the Big Ten last year -- was kicked off the team this week due to the always-specific "violation of team rules." He had 78 catches for 832 yards and four TDs last year but had a knee-area bone bruise early this season and had played in only six games before getting the boot (he did have a team-high 25 catches in those six games, which is decent). He obviously wasn't being thrown to as frequently this season, in part because of the injury and in part because of the revolving door of crappy quarterback play. Still, he was probably Indiana's most talented and productive player for the past year and a half (which isn't saying much), so his loss isn't entirely meaningless for a team desperate for tangible signs of decency as the inevitability of a 1-11 season sets in.

You and your plus-one are invited to be part of our exciting future: The Big East's incredibly drawn-out and pointless expansion process is finally moving forward:

The Big East Conference will invite Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only and SMU, Houston and Central Florida for all sports, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The conference's member presidents, meeting in Philadelphia, voted unanimously Tuesday to extend invitations to football-only and all-sports members. Commissioner John Marinatto declined to name the schools being targeted.

He did say he expected the targeted schools to accept but added that there are still details to work out with each institution.

That last portion is bolded for emphasis. I'm sure UCF will jump on board, and Houston and SMU will probably do the same, but I'm not sold that the others are ... umm ... sold. It's been known for a while that Navy and Air Force have been not totally super excited about the idea of signing up for something as stable as public-bathroom toilet paper, and I don't see much reason for Boise State to go be a big fish in (primarily) an East Coast pond when it can be a big fish in a Rocky Mountain pond that seems much more logical. Get back to me when Boise accepts that invite, because that's the only thing that'll salvage relevance for the soon-to-be-mid-major Big East.

Big Ron and The Noodle: Iowa-loving blog Black Heart Gold Pants wins the interwebz this week for 15 minutes of pure, brilliant, hilarious and not-at-all-subtle DOMINATION of the inanity of sports-talk radio, specifically an Iowa City radio show that decided to publicly pick a fight with one of the best college football sites out there and continues to believe Kirk Ferentz is the second coming of Vince Lombardi. Listen to it. Srsly. I nearly fell out of my chair when he politely asked for a job because of his fear of the internet becoming "old technology" while "AM radio goes racing by into the future." The sarcasm is so, so thick.

Brock Osweiler has a sense of humor: This was Brock Osweiler at ASU's weekly press conference on Monday, which happened to be Halloween:

In case you can't tell, he's Dennis Erickson. The accuracy is a bit lacking (his glasses are a bit low and I've literally never seen Erickson wear a collared shirt to the presser), but the comedic brilliance more than makes up for it. Well played.


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