My ongoing tribute to the worst broadcaster in the history of recorded time. Here’s to you, Larry:
◊ With seemingly half the North Carolina team suspended for tomorrow night’s game, LSU coach Les Miles has more pressure on him this weekend than he had in the BCS title game in 2008.
◊ Seantrel Henderson didn’t watch the USC-Hawaii game last night. He was too busy listening to Michael Irvin’s new motivational CD, “Let Me Tell You ‘Bout Da U, Son.”
◊ Early season bandwagoning is in full swing: Last night, Utah turned it over three times in the first half and had a punt blocked while holding off a decidedly mediocre Pittsburgh team in overtime. But some folks already have the Utes’ BCS ticket punched.
◊ People who bitch about early season cream puff games are the douchebags who aren’t satisfied by anything. I heard lines like, “Marshall’s fat cats got their pockets lined by sending the football team to get killed by Ohio State.” Really? The money from that game won’t line pockets, it’ll pay the travel expenses for the chick sports at Marshall that don’t make a dime. Get a clue, people.
◊ University of Georgia Police took out a warrant Thursday for the arrest of Bulldog football player Alec Ogletree, who is accused of stealing a…get this…scooter helmet. Wow, talk about putting a death grip on the Fulmer Cup.
◊ Southern Cal fans loved explaining away their team’s curious Pac-10 losses under Pete Carroll (like the 24-23 head scratcher to Stanford in ‘07) by insisting how awesomely balanced and terrifyingly powerful the league was. After the Trojans gave up close to 600 yards to Hawaii last night, I predict the following excuse from USC fans following the inevitable Pac-10 losses that Kiffin and Company will endure this season: “The Pac-10 is the greatest friggin’ assemblage of football teams EVER. At least three of these teams could win the Super Bowl THIS year.”
◊ I know he’s just a true freshman, but for some reason I was expecting a monumental coming out party for South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore last night against Southern Miss. It ended up being solid (13 carries for 54 yards and 2 scores) but unspectacular. Maybe he’s saving the explosion for Georgia next week.
◊ In case you missed it last night (as I’m sure you did), UAB blew a 16-point lead to Florida Atlantic and then had a potential game-winning field goal attempt blocked on the final play. The temperature on UAB coach Neil Callaway’s seat just went up a notch or two.
◊ Wow, another season of being subjected to Craig James in the booth. To the greatest helicopter dad in history, this is all I have to say:
◊ Indiana took Towson behind the shed last night to the tune of a 51-17 ass whipping, but it wasn’t all cookies and cream. The Hoosier defense let the Tigers run up 392 yards of offense, 227 of it coming on the ground (at a 5.4 yard a carry clip). Ouch.
◊ Will the Golden Luchador make a return to some college football field sometime this season? We can only hope:
◊ Colorado and Colorado State hook up tomorrow for another installment of their rivalry. Remember when people outside of the Centennial State used to pay attention to that game? I can’t.
It’s damn near the end of July and USC head coach Lane Kiffin has gone and hired Kennedy Pola away from the Tennessee Titans to be his offensive coordinator. This is after Kiffin stated publicly that he would be the one calling the plays this fall for the Trojans.
The trouble for Kiffin, who’s mastered the art of getting himself into hot water, is that by hiring one USC alum (Pola was USC Class of ‘85), he’s gone and pissed off another, that being Titans head coach Jeff Fisher (USC Class of ‘80).
“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,’’ Fisher said. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.”
“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.” (The Tennessean)
This has given Kiffin an opportunity to practice something else he’s gotten good at, that being damage control. Here’s the statement he released today in an attempt to smooth things over:
“We reached out to Kennedy Pola yesterday to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process.”
“Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today. Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation.”
“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events.”
“We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.” (Orange County Register)
I think it’s highly doubtful that Fisher would accept an invitation from Kiffin to give the Trojans a pep talk in the near future. But whether or not Fisher and Kiffin speak to each other ever again isn’t what interests me in this matter. No, what’s fascinating to me is what motivated this hire in the first place.
After running backs coach Todd McNair was released nearly a month ago in the fallout of the Reggie Bush scandal, it opened up a spot on the Trojan staff. So you’d think the position of running backs coach would be the one that would be filled.
That’s exactly the position that Pola’s worked for the last six years in the NFL. In fact, Pola was the running backs coach who preceded McNair at USC. He left the school in early 2004 to take the same position with the Cleveland Browns, where he took over for…Todd McNair.
There’s no reason Pola would go back to USC and assume his old duties, not after he’s gotten a great reputation in the NFL for being a great tutor of running backs. So it makes sense that nothing less than coordinating duties would lure him away from the Titans to work for Kiffin (I’m sure Pola will also tutor USC running backs as well, though).
But why would Kiffin give up those duties so close to the start of the season? My theory is that it’s got something to do with last week’s hiring of Pat Haden as USC’s athletic director.
Did Haden force this hire as a way of putting his stamp on the program? That might not ever be made clear, but the timing is mighty curious…and a little strange. If this is Haden’s handiwork, then it appears he’s already confused about what an AD does. His role is to keep the football program squeaky clean and on the good side of the NCAA, not to dictate who’s calling the plays in the Coliseum. Whether you like Kiffin or not, that’s his job to decide.
In the notebook today we have a new spin on stadium use, the NCAA’s agent dragnet continues, Georgia recruits acting a fool once they leave the Peach State and K-State doing something I didn’t think I’d ever see…
Florida Atlantic’s radically student friendly stadium
Ted Hutton of the South Florida Sun Sentinel shared some pics of Florida Atlantic’s new football stadium, as well as the following tidbits:
There was a lot of talk about keeping the stadium open during the week. This area could become a student lounge, with internet access and indoor and outdoor seating.
The idea is that students who live in the dorms can wander over and use the facility as a study or social area, so the stadium becomes more than just a place to gather five or six times in the fall.
It could also be the site of watch parties for away games. All that sounds good to me.
The more use the stadium gets between games, the better, especially with it located right next to the dorms and in close proximity to everything else on campus.
Be a shame to have it locked up 360 days of the year. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
You wanna know what would happen to students trying to get into places like Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn or Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on a non-game day? It would be like a lot like this, only more violent:
The NCAA’s anti-agent rampage continues
With the NCAA already sorting out who has and who hasn’t been partying with agents in South Beach (those investigations have already touched Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina) and whether or not Maurkice Pouncey took $100,000 from an agent while still at Florida, college football’s reigning Heisman Trophy is also being scrutinized.
Alabama’s Mark Ingram apparently attended a party on May 12th in Washington D.C. at the District nightclub. The party was a celebration for players who’d just been drafted, and the guest list included Florida’s Joe Haden. TMZ provides some more details:
The University of Alabama says Ingram is on the up and up. The Compliance Department tells us, “Mark asked if he could visit Joe Haden at his home in Baltimore. We checked with the NCAA and they approved this trip as long as Mark provided receipts for his expenses.” (TMZ.com)
As with the Marvin Austin investigation at North Carolina, the NCAA probably needs more details on how travel was paid for and who picked up the tab once Ingram was in D.C. I hope for the sake of Alabama fans that Ingram hasn’t followed Austin’s lead and uploaded a ton of pics to Twitter that would cause even more head scratching among NCAA investigators.
Why do recruits lose their heads once they leave the Peach State?
It’s been a bad summer for highly recruited wide receivers from the Class of 2010 who left the state of Georgia to play elsewhere. First, Tennessee’s Da’Rick Rogers got into that bar fight in Knoxville and his status with the team is still uncertain.
Then word came last week that Notre Dame’s Tai-ler Jones was nabbed at a party in South Bend and charged with underage drinking.
The other highly prized Georgia wide receiver from the Class of 2010 who left the state was Markeith Ambles of McDonough, who followed Lane Kiffin to USC after being considered a Tennessee lock. Ambles was ranked by Rivals as the state’s second best recruit behind Rogers (Jones was tabbed as the state’s 9th best prospect).
As of this writing, there is no word on Ambles having gotten in a brawl at a club or getting nabbed with a brew in his hand. But there’s still some summer to go…
2010’s biggest scheduling surprise
Remember Bill Snyder’s first run as Kansas State coach? Back then, you had a better chance of being abducted by a Sasquatch family than seeing Snyder’s Wildcats schedule a decent out of conference opponent.
Take the 1998 team that won the Big 12 North for example, they played the following OOC murderer’s row: Indiana State, Northern Illinois and ULM. Those teams ended up with a combined 12-21 record and K-State beat the three of them by a combined score of 201-14.
Fast forward to the present day and K-State is trying to get back up that mountain following a 6-6 season. But in very un-Snyder-like fashion, the Wildcats will attempt to do so while not feeding exclusively on cupcakes. Oh, the Missouri State and North Texas games should be W’s, but the other two non-Big 12 opponents are UCLA and UCF.
I know, it’s not like Snyder will be leading his team onto the field against Alabama and Penn State. But two OOC bowl teams visiting Manhattan in the same season? That’s strange for me to see on paper.