Saturday, March 17, 2012

Catching up obviously needs an "M" hologram

Because, I mean, obviously: Michigan and Notre Dame announced this week that this year's game will be another under-the-lights edition, which is thoroughly unsurprising given last year's awesomeness and the accompanying ratings bonanza (check out this chart that shows the top six highest-rated games of the year).

It's also not that big a deal since it's at Notre Dame -- the night games there are slightly more frequent than they are in Ann Arbor -- but it'll be the first Michigan-Notre Dame night game in South Bend since way back in 1990. In case you're under the age of 30, that's when ND was actually good (zing!).

Tee Shepard is no mas: Speaking of Notre Dame, there might be some depth issues in the secondary this year. Tee Shepard, arguably the top cornerback recruit in the country, enrolled in school early and lasted all of two months before withdrawing and heading home to NorCal this week. Details are a little sketchy:
Shepard's dad Ray told me today his son is back because of health issues.

Ray Shepard would not tell me what happened to his son, but did tell me he hopes Tee will be cleared to resume working out sometime in May or June.

I was told Tee was expected to challenge for a starting spot in the Fighting Irish secondary, but he will not return to Notre Dame.

Shepard is undecided as to where he will play this season. He's just focusing on his health for now.
That's ... umm ... odd. He shouldn't have much trouble finding a spot when he's ready to play again (assume he's healthy enough in the relatively near future). Totally baseless speculation has him considering Houston because of his cousin, top-100 receiver recruit Deontay Greenberry, who was committed to Notre Dame all winter and then flipped to Houston on Signing Day. We'll see.

As for Notre Dame, there are now four scholarship corners on the roster, none of whom will ever look for the ball under any circumstances since they play for Notre Dame.

They still don't get it: Prepare to facepalm ...
A new poll released Friday shows Pennsylvania's registered voters favor renaming Penn State's football stadium in honor of longtime coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.

The Quinnipiac University survey found that 46 percent of those polled thought the school should rename Beaver Stadium, while 40 percent were opposed.

... aaaand go! Please explain me to how anyone with a brain could consider this to be an appropriate time to put Joe Paterno's name on a huge and public-facing thing at Penn State, especially a thing that's currently named after a former governor of Pennsylvania (the spectacularly named James Beaver from way back in the old-timey-mustache days). Please note that this poll was not exclusive to moronic college students and actually got its most lopsided support numbers from people who are "very or somewhat interested in college football" or over age 65. Argh.

Perhaps this should be revisited in 10 years, when it'll be a little easier (in theory) to zoom out and consider exactly how Joe Paterno should be remembered/recognized at Penn State. Until then, the same-as-always takeaway is this: People are stupid.

She didn't make it: Barring an Iowa-tailback-level depth-chart cratering, women's soccer player Mo Isom won't be kicking for LSU this year:

“We reviewed her skill, the things she can do and do well,” LSU coach Les Miles. “We kind of felt like there’s four guys on the team right now that would be ahead of anybody that tried out the other day, including Mo. I told her that today.”

“She’s going to go back and concentrate on extra points and field goals. She did not want to take that she couldn’t make the team. She said, 'Do I get another opportunity if I get a lot better?’ I said ‘Sure.’”

Miles also made a comment about the kicker needing be capable of making a tackle, but I kinda doubt that'd be an issue if she were really the best kicker since last year's kickoff guy (Drew Alleman) has one career tackle listed in the NCAA database. Kicking is kicking; there are just guys better than her, which is fine. I have nothing snarky to add here.

You know you want it: ESPN published its obligatory "Rich Rodriguez starting over" piece the other day and actually got some pretty good stuff out of Ivan Maisel. It's a lot deeper than most of the typical spring-practice fluff pieces, probably because RichRod will tell you whatever you want to know and let you watch whatever you want to watch (even to his own detriment). There's some behind-the-scenes stuff from staff meetings and some quotes that fall slightly outside the range of coachspeak; the whole thing's worth a read. Teaser quote:
"I have to remind myself it's the first spring," Rodriguez said. "This is the sixth place I've put the system in. I've learned to be more patient in installation. Today is the simplest first day. My hope is we don't have to sacrifice tempo. People say teach them slowly. But it's always easier to slow down than it is to speed up."
One more amusing tidbit: The UA coaching staff has a swear jar that requires a $1-per-word contribution. Rodriguez either isn't participating or is just redirecting his salary straight to the jar.

A totally reasonable purchase: Darren McFadden has a lot of money. I know he has a lot of money not because I googled the details of his massive contract but because he apparently had $90,000 to spend on this thing:

That's a diamond-and-sapphire-loaded hologram pendant that displays the Arkansas logo and/or his pro number, depending on the viewing angle.

I'm not sure whether I'm more amazed that a holographic logo pendant made out of diamonds exists or that somebody paid $90,000 to have it made and presumably wear it. Mind-bottling.


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