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    156000358

    1. Oregon. Cal deserves some kind of medal for only being down 24-10 at the half and holding Oregon to one of their worst rushing performances of the year. Then that medal should be melted down in front of their eyes, sculpted into a statue of Chip Kelly surfing on the back of a pegasus, and mailed back to them via UPS to commemorate a 59-17 loss to America's most entertaining and sadistic team. Towards the end, Ducks backup QB Brian Bennett threw a touchdown that hit one Oregon receiver, and then bounced into another's for the reception and score. I hope the people on Tightwad Hill were so drunk they skipped the descent and instead floated home safely like tipsy dirigibles.

    2. Kansas State. There are two kinds of Kansas State games. There is one where they beat you, 23-10, despite having nearly identical totals in the stats column in every category except turnovers and points. Then, there is the other where you outgain them, get more first downs, and allow fewer yards, just as TCU did this past weekend. You lose both of them. (Bill Snyder wasn't impressed as a child when they invented math, and he's certainly not impressed now.)

    3. Notre Dame. May lose a BCS slot simply for forcing networks' hands and exposing the rest of the nation to Boston College football, and would deserve it after their 21-6 snail orgy of a game against Boston's seventh most popular SPAHTS team.

    4. Alabama. Lost to a redshirt freshman quarterback playing in his 10th game as a starter for a team that lost to LSU and Florida earlier in their first year in the SEC. Did you fall off your couch laughing as the referees frantically rushed to the middle of the field to slow down A&M's offense to allow for defensive substitutions? Oh, you should have, because watching officials openly fearing for their lives mid-game is the SEC's richest comedy pudding.


    A&M kills SEC meme || Where's Notre Dame go? || Ducks to win it all? || Bowl projections

    5. Georgia. Beat Auburn, 38-0, in a friendly.

    6. Ohio State. Bye week, spent with family by contract.

    7. Florida. The No. 7 team in the nation almost lost to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns in a 27-20 victory. If your football team could be considered the handsome 80-year, erection-capable old lothario of football teams, congratulations: this year in college football is your retirement home full of lonely elderly ladies. Competition is minimal, and the bar is as low as it can get. Hop over it without breaking your hip and get into the top 10 while you can.

    8. LSU. Les ate grass this weekend and beat Mississippi State 37-17, so pretty normal weekend for him dietarily and on the field.

    9. Texas A&M.

    You never stood a chance against that runway walk, Alabama.

    10. Florida State. Beat Virginia Tech, 28-22, in a genuinely tough road game in Blacksburg against a desperate team. There would have been real reason for Florida State to lose this game, but remember the rules of Sudden Inexplicable ACC Loss Syndrome: if you see them coming at all, they're not really Sudden ACC Loss Syndrome.

    11. Clemson. Beat hapless Maryland, 45-10, on the road. In lieu of anything interesting to say about Maryland football, here is a video of a giant tortoise being flipped by another giant tortoise.

    12. South Carolina. Committed three consecutive personal fouls in a 38-20 win over Arkansas, but two were on D.J. Swearinger, who redeemed himself by returning a pick for a TD immediately afterward. His name is also an adjective that means "more swearing than just swearing, but not as much as swearingest," so it's in character, really.

    13. Oklahoma. A 42-34 victory in an obvious tarp game against a dangerous Baylor squad is nothing to sneeze at. Oklahoma's losses come to the No. 3 and No. 2 squads in the nation right now, so even when Bob Stoops doesn't win titles, he's all too happy to serve as an investor.

    14. Stanford. 27-23 over Oregon State. David Shaw is doing a brilliant job for someone who really could be confused for a very lost but utterly confident grad assistant.

    15. Oregon State. Lost that 27-23 game to Stanford. Maaaaaaan:

    155998345_medium

    16. Nebraska. Beating Penn State 32-23 doesn't look as happy and contented as one would think.

    17. UCLA. Did a superb job beating Wazzu on the road. Don't say anything about "Oh, it's just Wazzu." This is exactly the kind of game UCLA would have lost badly under Rick Neuheisel in tragic fashion.

    18. Texas. Is 8-2 after a 33-7 win over Iowa State, and could still win 10 games if they beat TCU and spoil K-State's national title hopes. If you said "Texas may spoil Kansas State's national title hopes" in August as a prediction, you are a sorcerer and Bill Snyder wants to fight you because there can only be one.

    19. Louisiana Tech. With a 62-55 win over Texas State, the Bulldogs have now won the final game ever of "WAC score or Big Ten basketball score."

    20. Louisville. Hammered by Syracuse, 45-26, because if Doug Marrone can't make the Big East's feeble bid for a national title shot then NO ONE'S MAKING IT.

    21. USC. Overcame Arizona State 38-17 without deflating a ball, improperly switching a jersey number, or any of the other parking ticket violations Lane Kiffin enjoys.

    22. Rutgers. A 28-7 win over Army you did not notice. Legions of invisible Rutgers fans in NYC, however, in their invisible bars with their invisible ratings boxes attached to the TV, did.

    23. Michigan. Northwestern has a running back named "Trumpy" and still lost, 38-31, to the Wolverines. Something is cosmically wrong about this, but i can't verbalize exactly what that wrongness is.

    23a. Texas Tech. A 41-34 overtime victory over Kansas is a win, no matter what your heart may be telling you.

    25. Kent State. Nine wins so far and a 48-32 win over Miami, and all you'll remember is this, you horrible internet person, you.

    Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

    Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


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    KIDS AT HOME, PAY ATTENTION, BECAUSE THAT IS HOW YOU HAVE A VERY LONG CAREER. We've tweeted this out twice already, but you really can't share something enough when it still reduces you to teary laughter on the fifth viewing.

    He's a pro.

    THE BIG EAST MOVES FURTHER TOWARDS INCOHERENCE. In the new Big East division lineups, Temple will be in the West, and Louisville will be in the East because someone has to get screwed, and the team in college football is usually the Temple Owls. The rest, to be fair, makes as much sense as the Big East ever will.

    WHY YES, HE DID. The winning TD in overtime in the Mizzou/Tennessee game was, in fact, drawn up on Dorial Green-Beckham's hand.

    ARE YOU READY? The Ole Miss Marine will only ask once.

    CODE EO. Will Muschamp's wife reveals that Muschamp's family has a code for his sideline tantrums: "E.O.s", short for "emotional outbursts." Also, she is disproportionately attractive compared to Will. If only science could invent an astonishing football-based term for this phenomenon, and then--someday, far in the future--create a website where men could creepily brag about this, and then point their dicks online. If only.

    MAKE A PRAGMATIC AND REALISTIC "U" GESTURE. State of the U has a fantastic summary of where the program is, and why everything before 2003 should be forgotten when discussing the current program. The comparison of Randy Shannon to Bill Stewart is painfully accurate, especially because we're sad for both of them for entirely different reasons. (Shannon because he's a good DC and a Miami lifer who just couldn't develop players, and Stewart because, um, he's dead.)

    GET AWAY FROM THEM, HARVEY. The best part about Alabama jokes is that they all really happened. Give it time, though: Aggies are saddling right up to the SEC racially-tinged insanity bar, and drinking deep already.

    PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE THIS. It's all ours, and will be worn with a pair of giant green Cross Colours pants and fifteen pairs of colorful boxers.

    BAND WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS AT FLORIDA. The hazing scandal at FAMU, broken down in excruciating detail.

    ETC: Bourdain MAD. Steve Young's expression here validates our estimation of him as a quality human being. Mario Balotelli is a genius. Black Ops 2 is a brilliant mess.


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  • 11/13/12--09:25: ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR SUMLIN
  • Screen_shot_2012-11-13_at_12

    [Alabama spits at the back of Johnny Manziel's head.]

    This mustn't register on an emotional level.

    In summary: giant ears ringing, left jaw fractured, three ribs cracked, four broken, diaphragm hemorrhaging. Physical recovery: two weeks because LOL Western Carolina. Full psychological recovery: we'll see on December 1st in the Georgia Dome.


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    13361stacks_of_lumber

    It is perfectly fine to note something like this because it is deeply unusual, and thus by definition "noteworthy."

    "When he was 14, Collin Klein promised himself he would not kiss a girl until his wedding day. He kept his promise, and first kissed his wife at the altar at their wedding on July 21, 2012."

    Collin Klein, you go ahead and do that. In discussing this very topic, Pat Forde got in a quick bout of trouble for giving Klein his "chump of the week" (and apologized rapidly) for not test-driving his spouse in any way. Rightfully so: the word "chump" is strictly in the "clownfraud" school of sportswriting, and its use is far less excusable than thinking someone's way of boots-knocking is weird.

    As for thinking it's weird or not, that's not foul--go right ahead. If you think it's great to wait until marriage to have sex, much less kiss, that is your free, weirdass American right to do whatever the hell you like. As a member of the influential "Failed Slut Voting Bloc" we can't understand how anyone lives that way, but at least he's not actively forcing it on anyone (as far as we know.) Storywise, we don't care how you have sex within the constraints of the law unless you're a.) doing something that will affect a football team, b.) doing something really spectacular worth noting as a bizarre phenomenon of human sexuality, or c.) both.*

    *See Bobby Petrino, that time Tommy Frazier had his way with Florida in front of a horrified national television audience in 1996, or that time Knute Rockne totally didn't buy whores to get George Gipp out of the pool hall he spent most of his time in as an "undergraduate" at Notre Dame. One part of that last example is unverifiable, but the rest is totally true. The year 1919 RULED.

    We do think it's weird, but Collin Klein and his wife don't give a shit and shouldn't. Your beliefs are your beliefs, and we have to respect your right to have them be they good, bad, or utterly insane. What you do matters, which is kind of the point of the Collin Klein story. You can bother him about it all you like, but he'll just be over there playing mandolin (which he can, along with the violin and piano) and driving up mountainsides on his parents' ranch when he's done leading K-State to their greatest season ever.*

    *Collin Klein would make a terrible Gawker commenter.

    What we would pay to see is the counterpoint presented utterly seriously in a profile of a player. Like this, which was not written in 2001 and could have been so magical:

    At the age of fifteen, lesser men would have panicked. The disco district of Rio de Janeiro was no place for the innocent, much less an Indiana teenager on his first trip to the Marvelous City.

    To wake up naked and alone in a brothel, forced to work his way through a full schedule of demanding heiresses as a gigolo? For a week, no less, all for an inability to pay for services he requested--and received--without having a dime to his name?

    Well, that was a challenge for the most desperate pirate to tackle. For a teenager, it should have been disaster.

    It was no ordinary challenge.

    But Rex Grossman was no ordinary teenager.

    To paraphrase Charlie Wilson: someone's got to represent the drinkers and fornicators of this world, and not just in our elected bodies.

    #teamfailedslutparty


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    Rtwol

    IT'S WEDNESDAY WE SHOULD REALLY MOVE ON FROM THIS WEEKEND. Or not, since Yony Futbol is still floating around our cabeza completing passes off his back foot against the Crimson Tide defense, and Alabama is still sifting through the wreckage of their commentary threads so entertainingly.

    The new episode of Shutdown Fullback is up, and it's mostly us talking about what massive assholes Jim Mora and Lane Kiffin are, perfectly timed discussion for two fanbases clearly in the zone for this week's game. The Coozie Challenge for this week: invent the best nickname for the Chip Kelly offense and receive America's most influential personal beer carrier. (It really doesn't have a branded, commonly used name, and so badly needs one.)

    MARCUS DAVIS THINKS YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS. He sounds casual about becoming internet famous for not blocking his own shadow during the Virginia Tech game, and Frank Beamer does not. This may just be why Davis will not be starting against Boston College.

    ON SHARRIF FLOYD. Hutchins on the situation is all you really need to read about the very odd situation of a 20 year old monster defensive tackle getting adopted. If it feels like something from Charles Dickens would have concocted as a 21st century southern writer, well it sort of is.

    LE NUMERICAL. Bill C. really is getting angry with Colorado for being so bad it hurts this year.

    TO HELL WITH YOU, REVERS-A-PAL. Not one ounce of Gruden in the damn thing in football or hound form.

    WOODY HAYES TAKES THE FIELD. If history could be retrointernetted, this would have been the most viewed football GIF of all time.

    ETC: The French Foreign Legion sounds fun. Chinese cabbies will get you from point A to point B, often while driving over pedestrians A, B, and C along the way. Shocking, just absolutely shocking, that Jerramy Stevens would be involved in anything with the police. Windows 95 has some disturbing advice. BRING ME ALL YOUR ADORABLE ORPHANED WALRUSES.


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    Gyi0063003479

    The Fourth Estate's mandate is simple: to serve as the last voice of reason when all else has gone mad, and serve the public interest even when the public does not want to hear it. It should also include slideshows whenever possible, and only report on beautiful murder victims, and never the homely ones, but the first part is like, really important to remember when building all those slideshows of smokeshow murder victims.

    The last thing the press should do is encourage the breakdown of basic public order. To aggravate an already aggrieved populace, to not just allow madness to persist, but indeed to encourage it? This is the opposite of journalism, the embrace of demagoguery, the embrace of the riding crop to steer the chariot of state into the gutter. Psychological arson has never been the duty of the press. It is the territory of aspiring war criminals, scoundrels, and the future damned.

    We would like to say this is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, vigilance and the resolved struggle to see what is in front of one's eyes forbids us from saying this. For shame, John Adams:

    If the Vols' coaching search turns desperate — and they're not above Kiffining somebody — Graham could be their guy.

    Free speech, like all freedoms, has responsibilities attendant to said freedom. At this point, Mr. Adams' openly suggesting Todd Graham for the Tennessee job is screaming "fire!" in a crowded movie theater, and driving a fanbase deranged by the pain of Tennessee football to new territory on the desperate lunatic fringe.

    In conclusion:

    14656_medium

    Keep it up, John. You're doing freedom's work one column at a time.


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    20121029_kkt_sr5_243

    Texas A&M confounded both Alabama and Gary Danielson at the same time, Nick Williams is returning punts for the wrong team, and the SEC schedule week is horrible.

    Anguish. Pitt's punter Matt Yoklic could have chased UConn punt returner Nick Williams forever and not gotten a damn inch closer to him.

    That has to be the worst moment in a punter's day: the moment when, after kicking a football all day in an athletic manner, you are then asked to do something footbally, and are then humiliated for not being a full-time tackling contact-type player. On a related note: Nick Williams of UConn is a tiny white punt returner, and why he is not playing at Iowa is yet another indictment of Kirk Ferentz's declining powers as a football coach. (All tiny white punt returners belong at Iowa, forever and ever, from now until Ragnarok.)

    Bargains. Logan Thomas hasn't ended all three of Virginia Tech's consecutive losses with interceptions, since only two of them ended with Thomas INTs. So at least Tech is diversifying the painful manner of death, and that helps when you watch them roll out Thomas directly into the teeth of coming blitzes or run the zone read badly ten times a game. (Virginia Tech runs a lot of the principles of the spread option as badly as NFL teams, and that is saying something if you have watched the Jets drunkenly slam the TebowBone into opposing defenses)

    College Station. One half of the Bryant-College Station two-star solar system currently hosting lifeform Johnny Manziel and his coach, Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin won't get enough credit for any of this: not for Manziel's development, not for the Aggies reversing their well-worn but totally earned rep for hopping on teams early and then forfeiting leads, not for the Aggie defense stonewalling Alabama and forcing them into the deeply uncomfortable role of playing a pass-first offensive football team.

    A&M was thrown to the lions of the SEC West this year as an easy meal, and then recovered and in turn ate everyone in the cage save for LSU, making them the cruelest Soviet Russian dinner of all: one that eats you. Manziel wasn't even supposed to be the leading candidate for starter in 2012. That, if you will remember, was Jameill Showers, whose job seemed even more secure after Manziel's involvement in a barfight.

    Manziel's excellence--his mind-boggling, ball-rattling, giddy, freewheeling, young-Brett-Favre-as-Sonic-The-Hedgehog, frenetic, ever-shocking multichambered grenade launcher of oh-shit wizardry--is the surprise. Nothing should surprise about Sumlin, a coach who succeeded at the D-1 backwater of Houston after serving twenty years as an assistant coach. He's standing on the ceiling of what most thought was possible in year one at Texas A&M this year, and reversed the very psychology of a program singlehandedly.

    TL;DR: Sumlin is awesome, and you might lose all that in the cloud of Johnny Manziel fireworks going off around the Hate Barn these days.

    Danielson. It is not that Danielson was openly mourning Alabama's loss this past weekend to Texas A&M. That is to be expected since CBS frontruns the SEC, and within the SEC frontruns the daylights out of those frontrunners. They helped ignite the Tebow phenomenon, and we're all very sorry for that in retrospect because SKIP BAYLESS.

    It is that after years of cutting reality into pieces to make the spam argument about the spread not working in the SEC, Danielson was left speechless by Texas A&M's dissection of the Alabama defense. If the color guy's commentary leaves out a good half of what is happening on the field, then the color guy is something else entirely. That something, for lack of a better word, is Gary Danielson.

    Ethanol. Late in the cold miserable stretches of a Washington State loss to UCLA in Pullman, a hero emerged.

    You can smuggle an entire bottle of Fireball Whiskey into the stands in Pullman, though if they weren't handing them out at this point in the season then by any rights they should have started on Saturday night. Per its website, Fireball "tastes like heaven and burns like hell," matching Washington State's football flavor profile at a 50% compatibility rating. (The burning part only.)

    Fire Joe Morgan. Back to Danielson for a second.The site created by Ken Tremendous, aka The Office and Parks and Recreation captain Michael Schur, devoted exclusively to savaging bad sports commentary. Joe Morgan was the primary target mostly for his opposition to statistical analysis, an opposition staunchly in line with the entire modern approach of looking at the boring but very quantifiable game of baseball.

    This would be the issue if Gary Danielson was openly arguing against looking at the statistical profiles of teams. (And he could do it in pretty neat ways now thanks to F+ and other Football Outsiders' business.) It is the naked inability to evaluate what is happening in front of him, something he can't blame on age. Brent Musburger does it all the time midstream in games, and still manages to tip his hat in the direction of the team he just won or lost money on simultaneously. Brent Musburger's only loyalties are to the line, and most often to the actual story of the game.

    Gary Danielson is the one who, in a naked bit of insanity on air, said the spread offense would not work without a transformative football figure like Tim Tebow, or Cam Newton, or Johnny Manziel, or basically any really talented quarterback. Nevermind the circular logic here, i.e. that quarterbacks a.) can put up ridiculous numbers in spread offenses thanks to the design of the offense itself, and b.) that any system has its advantages and disadvantages, like how Alabama's power run game turned into a turtle on its back playing without a lead.

    Oh, and finally: most irritating of all is the dishonesty of not saying Alabama got its ass kicked by a very real team called Texas A&M, something he still wasn't admitting THREE DAYS AFTER THE GAME.

    finebaum
    Gary Danielson,'Alabama has been a dominant team, but you have to win them all. They played a hot QB who was efficient vs the secondary'
    11/13/12 6:08 PM

    Not a good team doing things well, but a quarterback who stumbled into the catnip and was merely efficient. A quarterback who did things like this all day with teammates blocking like hell for him, and a defense that held the Alabama juggernaut to its second-lowest points total of the year and forced there turnovers. In Gary Danielson's version of the French Revolution, undecided to take a nap, and just happened to mistakenly lay down in a guillotine at the wrong instant.

    Gaming. It is against a broadcaster's code of ethics to wager on games they are calling, something Brent Musburger never, ever does, and never ever will.

    [whistles loudly, drops betting slip in coffee can dead drop]

    Herniated. As in discs, one of the many back problems Purdue's OC Gary Nord could have missed Purdue's game against Iowa for during a hospital stay. That hospital stay coincided with the team's best offensive performance in conference play. The Boilermakers totalled 490 yards in offense against the Hawkeyes in a 27-20 win, and also might need Gary Nord to stay in the hospital as long as he needs to in order to heal properly. No hurry. Just taaaaaaaaake it easy, buddy. No rush. Back's a tricky thing, that.

    Imprecation. An inexact word for a curse, but the perfect word for an inexact phenomenon: THE UNDER ARMOUR CURSE. Kevin Blank's expensive dancewear brand for bulky, athletic men and excitable prepubescents protects the house of the following teams with the accompanying 2012 records

    • Auburn: 2-8
    • Boston College: 2-8
    • Hawai'i: 1-8
    • Maryland: 4-6
    • Northwestern: 7-3
    • South Carolina: 8-2
    • South Florida: 3-6
    • Temple: 3-6
    • Toledo: 8-2
    • Utah: 4-6

    42-55 in the year 2012 is not exactly the curse of King Tut, but it does little to suggest that form-fitting overpriced undergarments have no significant effect on athletic performance. (And are avoided by military personnel, since they melt and stick to human skin at high temperatures.) I may also still be mad that Auburn jumped ship from dependable Alabama-based Russell Athletic gear. If they were good enough for a generation of alcoholic elementary school gym coaches, they're still good enough for you, Auburn.

    Jon. As in Gruden, who is not coaching your school because he is not a college football coach, and whose association with the University of Tennessee is based on a brief stint as a graduate assistant there over three decades ago. That is it. That is the only reason you hear Tennessee fans saying this aside from the kind of delusional hope you scrape from the walls of the pit of despair. That stuff you're eating is mold, Tennessee fans, and causes powerful hallucinations. (Plus, why go expensive for Super Bowl rings when Charlie Weis is at Kansas, a guy who has coached college football before! We didn't say what kind of college football, but he has definitely coached college football before.)

    Knoxchill. The Dooley era will not end to yield to Jon Gruden, because Jon Gruden is not a college football coach, and also because talking on television for millions of dollars is much, much easier than coaching football. In fact, very little will be missed or remembered about the Derek Dooley era, save for special moments like this:

    wesrucker247
    Vols QB Tyler Bray said he was the starting QB and punter in HS, and if he didn't want to punt, he just didn't.
    11/13/12 12:43 PM

    Lethal. As in the amounts of IDGAF coursing through Tyler Bray's bloodstream at all times. Summary: arrived on campus with back tattoo of his own name in stars, signalled "it's good" while throwing away a ball through the uprights, was cited for reckless jet-ski driving, tossed beer bottles into a parking lot off an apartment balcony for fun, and admitting that the winning TD against Vanderbilt was thrown despite having no clue what play they were running. We will miss you, Tyler Bray.

    Mode. Practice mode, specifically. Once, very late at night, we beat the game Splinter Cell without killing a single clueless AI bot. (Knocking them out, shocking them, gassing them, strangling them into unconsciousness, yes, but not killing them.) I actually yelled out loud, and then realized that all I would have to show for it was the memory, and perhaps a sad little badge I could save under a virtual profile to show that yes, with the limited time I'd spent on earth, I had taken a good chunk of it and blown it on twiddling an imaginary middle-aged ninja through a Georgia fortress to save a simulated America. There was a point here about nothing counting in an undefeated season for Ohio State, but now I'm just going to cry and throw my XBox in a furnace.

    [/does not throw XBox away]

    [/still cries]

    Nihilist. Illinois has eight rushing touchdowns on the season, and just three in conference play. You know what you tell someone who has no hope? This is a serious question, because I need to know what to say about Illinois football, which may just be Colorado football's Midwestern doppelganger. Don't even think about what would happen if the two played on the same field. The only thing I know is that grass would not grow on that soil for years afterward, and that PTSD is real and this game would prove it.

    Omnishambles. The O.E.D. word of the year for 2012 in Great Britain. For application, please see the two teams we just mentioned, or Gene Chizik getting fired just two seasons after winning the national title.

    Palsy. Mick Hubert nearly blew out a jugular on the blocked punt call that saved Florida from going to overtime against University of Louisiana-Lafayette. If you find a piece of Mick Hubert on the ground, please return him to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. He will not reassemble himself like the Iron Giant, and needs to be pieced together by hand.

    Quizzical.

    125481057_medium

    The instructions for facing a confused Nick Saban are the same as fighting a mountain lion. Try to look as big as possible; give him a wide berth if you hear him coming through the woods; avoid all contact, and by all means if the worst possible should happen, never, ever give up in the fight. The odds are long of you winning the fight, but the probability of death if you don't is worse. (P.S. Do not go after Nick Saban's eyes. They have a protective fold covering them, and are a waste of your time.)

    Riotous. That player is Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, aka "Ha-ha." We live in a golden era of football, and it is all because there is someone named "Ha-Ha" whom Nick Saban must call "Ha-ha" every day in practice.

    Substratal. In one sense, groundwork, i.e. the solid base of MAC football you can build your whole viewing week around. This is not sarcastic, particularly in the case of Toledo versus Northern Illinois, the game holding the greatest potential to turn into a true chemical truck fire of a game. The 7-2 Toledo Rockets coach Matt Campbell was hired at 32, and you are an utter failure for not having coached your own MAC football team at this point in life.

    Theodora. Wife of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, a woman of insatiable sexual desires who allegedly serviced forty men in a night. That's a feat of Clara Bow-esque endurance, since the actress is famously alleged to have also slept with a large group of men in a single night. That group: the USC football team, the same team who had a porn video shot on their field, and who this week plays bitter cross-town rival UCLA. The point here is to stay away from those wearing skirts and sandals in ancient history or today, because they probably engage in risky sexual practices at greater frequency than the rest of the population. (And also that JIm Mora isn't saying USC is a place for the sexually depraved, but you probably won't see people filming sex on top of a USC building in broad daylight, either.)

    Un-unconquered. NC State lost to Tennessee and yet somehow beat Florida State to utterly ruin the Seminoles' shot at a national title. There are a thousand things you will never understand about this season, and this is the most incomprehensible.

    Verdun. What every Big Ten game is like if Iowa is involved, with offensive coordinator fits Kirk Ferentz's Marshal Petain philosophy perfectly: one yard outs on fourth and four, and moving ever sideways and never forward. QB James Vandenberg's yards per completion: 5.83. The total number of running backs with significant carries who average better than this per carry: 62 of them, with Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez tied at 5.83 yards per carry.

    Weaklings. The SEC's pre-rivalry week schedule features the following abominable cardboard cutouts on the schedule: Samford, Sam Houston State, Jacksonville State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern, and Wofford. Mizzou remains the black sheep for going north to play a football game at Syracuse, something Mike Slive is going to have a stern talk with Gary Pinkel about over the offseason. Oh, and Auburn plays Alabama A&M, but is not included because seriously they might lose this game, and thus would not be a total upset.

    Xander. We'll always think of you as the proto-Archer, Xander Crews.

    Yonder. Past the horizon, go the dulcet sounds of a sad forgotten song about a possible Indiana Big Ten Championship Game appearance. Let it fade, but forget not its melody. song sounds like this.

    Z Ocean Hotel. The luxury hotel in Miami, site of the bizarre Kansas State/Oregon national title game we're all hurtling headlong towards at an uncomfortably rapid pace. (All except for Chip Kelly, the only one hitting the accelerator frantically in any situation.)


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    20120922_ajw_al2_442

    SO EXCITED.

    Lane Kiffin is being held hostage. Someone please tell Ed Orgeron to put the pitchfork down, and he will get the five racks of ribs for lunch that he is accustomed to receiving.

    AN EPIC TALE OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. We have now reached some amazing rubicon, and pause on the edge wondering what having a three thousand word piece on the Alabama/LSU teabagging incident means for our society, country, and for humanity as well. The words "Hello, Brian Downing's scrotum" appear on ESPN's website. You are welcome, America. --Love, the state of Alabama.

    ALSO IN GRAND WORK FROM THE WWL: Wright Thompson appears to be the closest anyone will get to becoming Les Miles' Boswell, so enjoy it while you can. This happened:

    A few days later, we sit in his Escalade waiting for his son Ben's youth football game to begin. He eats a burrito bowl. In the shadow of the Mississippi River, Sri Lanka comes up again, along with the sprawling world outside his bubble. "Am I gonna have a regret that I haven't traveled?" he says. "That I haven't seen the faces of other peoples?"

    #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW

    #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW

    #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW #LESMILESGLOBALTRAVELSHOW

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Kentucky has no stated interest in Bobby Petrino, or simply blasted "Ain't That Lonely Yet" into the phone when asked about it by reporters.

    POLITICS ARE A FULL-CONTACT SPORT. Or, if not yet already, they will be when Nick Saban politely shakes the Governor's hand, twists it into a joint lock, and slams him shoulder first into a running bandsaw Segal-style for subordination. The answer to any offensive playcalling issue is always "DO THE OTHER THING," and in Alabama it is always

    STAND DOWN. WR Thomas Johnson of Texas A&M has been found, and is fine after it was announced that he had been missing since Monday. By the way, being an athlete in college means people come looking for you, since by that definition we went missing for months at a time in college.

    DID FLORIDA STATE CHOKE? The answer to this in perpetuity is yes, but especially so in this year's ACC. As to the question of someone having to win the Coastal division, um, no. No one has to win anything in the ACC ever, and that is just something the rest of us will have to accept.

    HAIL FREEZES OVER. Oh, t-shirt punnery will get you a long way around here, Ole Miss.

    ETC: Zlatan, DAAAAAAAAAAMN. No one's arguing here about this world's sexiest man award. The bad part is that the kid missed a really fun ride in a trunk, something five year olds around the world love.

    ARKANSAS STATE LOSES A DB. And also a name every football team should have.


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    Screen_shot_2012-11-15_at_4

    Bob Stoops doesn't say hello in this commercial. He mouths it, and may have said it in person when they filmed this commercial during the second bye week of the Sooners' season, but be clear: that weirdass voice coming out of Stoops' mouth at the end is not his, and Bob Stoops will not just hand you a scholarship based on a Youtube clip. (Hugh Freeze, on the other hand, will give you three or four for a nice GIF of you scoring a touchdown. #wintheday)

    We thought it was weird the first time we saw it, and the kung-fu dub gets weirder and weirder the more we watch it. Stranger than a solid minute of other random "hellos" and sound effects dubbed over it, you ask? Only one way to find out, and that's by experiment. Dr. Freek, please start said the simulator.

    Results varied, except for the part where Bob Stoops says "BALLS OF STEEL" in the Duke Nukem voice. That part is gigglefart funny every time we watch it, and cannot vary across any number of studies no matter how many times you watch it.


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    DAN LIKES MAKING YOU MONEY. What does being a budding online media entity means? It means we not only embrace gambling FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY, but also have someone telling you explicitly which way to go against the spread, a mathematical concept drawn up solely for fun imaginary wagers with your friends and online peers.

    YOU EVIL BASTARD. If Charlie Weis buys you something, but then that something could hurt your soul so badly in the viewing of it that you may never recover, then isn't that an act of cruelty?

    UVA LOOKED GOOD, BB! They played football horribly, though, and have one of the worst quarterback rotations we have ever seen. But hey, gummy foot barefoot wine hang ten helmets for the Tarheels!

    OHIO STATE WAS FAT AND THEIR FOOD WAS AWFUL. Not to confirm everything you think happened under the Jim Tressel regime in terms of diet and workout, but the Pete Thamel article on the Buckeyes training table confirms everything you thought was happening under the Jim Tressel regime in terms of diet and workout.

    SHELDON RICHARDSON'S COLLEGE CAREER JUST GOT SHORTENED BY 25%. Suspended for the Syracuse game due to academics, Richardson will not be enjoying the tropical conditions inside the Carrier Dome this weekend.

    ACTUAL REPORTING. From yesterday and worth a replay, Godfrey's piece on Ole Miss.

    EHHH WHADDYAGONNADO. A puffy piece on Florida DC Dan Quinn is worth it for the picture alone of Dan Quinn, apparently caught screaming "aaaaahhhhh life!" with a slide whistle sound effect playing in the background.

    SHSU-SHSU-SUDDIO. Even in a week when, like most everyone else in the SEC, they Aggies are playing cannon fodder for an opponent, the Tailgate remains required reading. Why? Because you learn things like Sam Houston State having a player named "Bookie Sneed," who is actually really good, and inshallah will end up in the NFL making thousands of dollars a day simply for being named "Bookie Sneed."

    ETC: Liam Neeson can stare as long as you need him to, punk. Reader dennymayo is headed to run a 50 miler this weekend, and good luck with that horrible shit we'll never, ever do. Living without the ability to feel pain seems really, really overrated.


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    It's irresponsible to speculate about injuries. However, it appears a Georgia Southern player is injured, and we feel confident saying it is most likely an injury to his ring finger.

    That is only speculation, however.


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    Leslol3

    Les Miles' press conference after a thrilling win over Ole Miss isn't one long amazing ramble. It's like four separate stories in one, each with its own wisdom. Listen to Les; learn from Les.

    1. Les is emotional. Les Miles loses control of his voice defending his team from the descriptor "flop." Note: no one appears to have made this argument, nor is arguing with Les, but Les is having none of your reason because he is on a roll.

    2. Les is possessed by Bo Schembechler. Les grits his teeth, curses, and then describes his team as "a spectacular group of men" before suggesting everyone hug his football players, and if they are female, kiss them on the mouth. Les Miles goes a bit too far out of his way to be heteronormative here, but that's not his fault. That's Bo Schembechler's, because his ghost is from the 1940s, and thus trapped in the attitudes of a very different time while possessing the captive body of his former player, Leslie Miles.

    3. Les Miles is ten years old. "WOW WHAT A GAME." Les Miles' most endearing trait is the ability to become ten years old in a matter of nanoseconds, as he does here. Les has gone to Target for jumper cables, and returned home with three hundred dollars' worth of Nerf guns. That's happened, and do not deny that it has.

    4. Les Miles is a mime.

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    1. Oregon. Standing on the precipice of a BCS title shot and an undefeated season, Oregon peered over the edge, sneezed, and after slipping plummeted headlong into the abyss with a 17-14 loss to Stanford in Autzen Stadium. How did this happen? The usual Stanford victory march: marauding defensive linemen, Shayne Skov crashing plays to pieces in the backfield, and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz catching a touchdown while standing on his head.

    Puddles copes just like you and I do: kummerspeck, the German word for emotional eating.


    New BCS projections || Bowl projections || Dooley gone || Maryland/Rutgers to Big Ten?

    Gyi0062701000_medium

    NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

    2. Kansas State. Explaining Oregon's collapse is doable (Stanford's defensive line wrecked Oregon's blocking scheme, for instance, upsetting everything the Ducks do offensively). There is literally no explanation for Baylor beating Kansas State by a score of 52-24. Sure, you could buy a 52-48 shootout, maybe, with one team holding serve and emerging as the bullet-riddled victor in a spray-and-pray Big 12 gunstorm. That could have happened, partly because this is the Big 12, and especially because the defensively challenged but offensively potent Baylor Bears are involved.

    But this Baylor defense was not even your usual series of clueless AI bots. This team came into the game with the worst defense in FBS football, 120 out of 120 in national rankings, and allowing 37 points a game. The Bears forced Collin Klein -- the Heisman frontrunner prior to this -- into three interceptions. K-State, averaging 40 points a game on offense prior to last night, came in 16 points under its average while allowing 22 more points than it had allowed to anyone this season.

    This is, in every sense of the word, a complete statistical aberration. Yet watching it was even stranger because after a quarter or two the game seemed to be utterly in Baylor's hands. It wasn't like Baylor pulled away thanks to a series of fluky turnovers; no, this was a dispatching, with K-State flailing away like they were Kansas -- a team Baylor beat by a not dissimilar score of 56-14 earlier this year.

    Now that I've said that, watch Kansas State beat Texas next week like none of this ever happened.

    3. Notre Dame. Continued to add to its stellar resume by beating 2006's most surprising 11-win team, Wake Forest, 38-0. Wake Forest. DOMINANCE HAS RETURNED TO SOUTH BEND.* You could mention that computers love Notre Dame's strength of schedule, and indeed rank it as the best in the nation. The Irish also have a brutal defense, and their slapdash offense is not too different from 50 percent of SEC offenses. Are we conflicted about Notre Dame? You bet your ass we are, since they could either be 2006 Florida, or any other contemporary Notre Dame team that finished with double-digit wins, slid into a BCS bowl, and then met hot death in front of a national television audience.

    *This year's Wake Forest team is 5-6, and lost to Maryland.

    4. Alabama. Successfully passed its leg of the SEC's SoCon challenge by annihilating the Western Carolina Catamounts 49-0. I go to Western North Carolina frequently, and if you had to guess majors at the school strictly by roadside attractions, most of these players major in geodes, gaming machines and country ham. This also happened, albeit with some augmentation by Internet hooligans:

    2clvk_medium

    (photo by Vasha Hunt, who unlike me is very good at what he does.)

    5. Georgia. Got its training-wheels warmup for the Georgia Tech triple option in a 45-14 rehearsal against Georgia Southern. So doubly cruel for the Eagles because they don't even have Snooky's to go back to anymore, and you are a heartless bastard, Evil Mark Richt.

    6. Ohio State. Outlasted Wisconsin 21-14 in overtime, and that shouldn't be a surprise because have you seen Bielema? His cardio needs work, bro. The Buckeyes Need only a win against Michigan to complete an undefeated season that will not count for a national title shot thanks to Gene Smith going to a Gator Bowl last year, and instead choosing to take their postseason bowl ban this year. The Buckeyes lost that game, but Jacksonville is nicer than Miami if you like bridges and abundant adult diaper supplies.

    7. Florida. A truly unimpressive 23-0 win over Jacksonville State. Florida's offense downloaded a virus sweeper because a flashing box on the Internet told them to, and now can't even run MS Paint without crashing.

    8. LSU. Fought off an Ole Miss team 41-35 in the usual carnival ride Les Miles game (the carnival ride has not been inspected in years, and spits rusty parts on bystanders on every turn, but that and the impending civil suit for injuries are just part of the fun). This happened afterwards, and is already part of the Cycle of the Hat, but two observations before we let this pass over the horizon: a.) Odell Beckham Jr.'s punt return did save the Tigers almost singlehandedly, and b.) I read this to my son this morning, and the first thing I thought of was Les Miles.

    Eqqiv_medium

    Les Miles was a football coach, and a very good one. He was also very curious.

    9. Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel missed an XP attempt, and that is the sole fascinating note from their 47-28 scrimmage against Sam Houston State.

    10. Florida State. The Black Ops uniforms for Maryland might have called up Call of Duty in your head. If they did, then you are already a step ahead of me, and imagine the Terrapins as the unfortunate guy respawning over and over again in front of the camper with the knife and sniper rifle. 41-14, Florida State, and Jimbo makes no apologies for taking advantage of shoddy game design, my friend.

    11. Clemson. TAJH BOYD HAD EIGHT TOUCHDOWNS. A 62-48 win over NC State takes Clemson to 10 wins, extends a win streak to seven and puts the Tigers in line for slots in the Sugar, Fiesta or Chick-Fil-A Bowls depending on the South Carolina game and the whims of the bowl system. That's a 66 percent chance of prestige, a 33 percent chance of delicious, and a 100 percent chance of a bowl game involving at least eight points between Clemson and its opponent. Zero complaints here.

    12. South Carolina. Was tied with the Wofford Terriers late into the third quarter before pulling away for a 24-7 win. To be fair, though, the option is annoying as hell, and it's hard to tackle when you're laughing at Boston Terriers because OMG THEY'RE LIKE LITTLE WISE GARGOYLES, COME HERE YOU LITTLE GREMLIN--

    13. Oklahoma. Playing West Virginia means you have to score last. Oklahoma scored last in a 50-49 win over the Mountaineers in Morgantown despite Tavon Austin's 344 yards rushing.

    14. Stanford. The Auburn of the Pac-12 grappled Oregon to its first loss in a 17-14 quagmire. The two schools are more similar than you imagine, since they both have football teams, are referred to by farm-related nicknames, and that's it, really.

    15. Oregon State. Beat Cal 62-14 in Corvallis. Please don't look at Cal football; it has turned the bed to the wall, and will face its end alone and with dignity.

    16. Nebraska. A routine 38-14 gallop over Minnesota featuring Taylor Martinez, not his evil twin Laytor MarINTez, the one who throws INTs off his back foot with zeal.

    17. UCLA. A burly 38-28 win over the Trojans -- its first since 2006 -- also took Matt Barkley out of the game, thus making Notre Dame's path to a BCS Title game berth that much easier. (You're welcome?) P.S. Lane Kiffin did talk to the media, but if you want to imagine him leaving every game like this via helicopter and dastardly deed, then please do.

    P.S. Lane Kiffin would totally do this, and Jim Mora did a really, really good job in year one at UCLA.

    18. Texas. Bye week, but Mack Brown still had to spend six hours a day selling blenders on the Longhorn Network.

    19. Louisiana Tech. Lost a shot at the ETERNAL WAC CHAMPIONS title by losing 48-41 to Utah State in overtime. Does hold the title of nation's worst defense, however, thanks to Baylor's sudden fit of competence in Waco.

    20. Louisville. Bye week, most likely spent telling everyone that Syracuse is way, way better than you think. Isn't that right, Missouri?

    21. USC. Monte Kiffin cannot return as defensive coordinator next year, but he wasn't the one calling passes on short downs when Curtis McNeal was averaging 7.7 yards a carry.

    22. Rutgers. A 10-3 win over Cincinnati is a 10-3 win over Cincinnati. That makes no sense, but neither does "Rutgers should go to the Big Ten because they're New York's college football team."

    23. Michigan. Bye week, or played Iowa in a 42-17 rollover. Same thing.

    23a. Texas Tech. Lost 59-21 to Oklahoma State in the Big 12's best game between mascots who carry multiple firearms.

    25. Kent State. Avoided the curse of being a ranked MAC team by winning a thriller over Bowling Green 31-24 with a late endzone INT. "These flashes truly are golden!" said a sportswriter from the 1930s as he fell drunkenly off the back of a donkey somewhere between Bowling Green and Akron.

    Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

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  • 11/18/12--08:13: ANTHEM FOR A DOOMED COACH
  • Bkyzl_medium

    Bkyzl_medium

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?


    --Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

    Can patter out their hasty orisons.

    No mockeries for them from prayers or bells,

    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-

    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?

    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes

    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.

    The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;

    Their flowers the tenderness of silent minds,

    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

    --Wilfred Owen, "Anthem For A Doomed Youth"

    "Where's Rommel?"

    -Derek Dooley


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  • 11/17/12--11:50: TOM RINALDI BY THE NUMBERS
  • Screen_shot_2012-11-19_at_11

    Tom Rinaldi is the glint-eyed leprechaun of ESPN, the poplin clad popinjay of purple prose with two freshly unthreaded pockets in his well-tailored jacket. In one he has inspiration. In the other, some kind of powder giving you a wasting disease, horrendous traumatic life experience, or a close relative with one or the other.

    It's not that we weren't crying like a beestung child at this Saturday's latest Rinaldi segment, a very real story about the child of Wake Forest assistant Tom Elrod who, born with an inoperable brain tumor, died after just a week of life. Watched in isolation, without really thinking about who is doing it, it does what it is supposed to do, which is break your heart, wrap it in a carpet, and roll it into the Moyka River like the corpse of Rasputin.

    That Rinaldi appears on your television in the midst of sporting television, beaming one minute, and then dropping his eyebrows and hiding his chiclet-sized teeth behind his lips for SERIOUS TIME every other week is the odd part. At first he could surprise, but now the tinkling piano and rain of terminally ill characters cues a a run for the remote and sounding klaxons that yes, this is not a drill, and yes, if you do not want to shake the images of juvenile cancer or paralyzed athletes from your head for the next three hours, then you need to flee the channel now, and with all due haste.

    (The average Rinaldi segment is about five minutes, for those interested in how long emotional mustard gas takes to go to ground harmlessly.)

    But how likely is it, we ask, that having Tom Rinaldi showing up like the angel of death at your door means you are seconds from dying, having a terrible disease, or suffering a freak jetski accident turning you into a brainjar connected to a speaker? ("I'M SO GLAD TO ADDRESS YOU AT HOMECOMING. MORE NUTRIENT FLUID IN MY JAR, PLEASE.") Is he really the vulture we imagine him to be, the reporter whose very appearance guarantees personal calamity of an incalculable nature and an appearance by a retired jazz pianist? Or have we gotten him utterly wrong by the numbers?

    We seek to answer just this question with science.

    THE DATA

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    Rinaldi has about 30 stories indexed and available on ESPN's website. These fall into three different categories.

    LIFE'S HORRORS

    Jerry Kill (cancer/seizures)

    Scarred Warriors (healing vets war horror)

    Mike Powell-- wasting disease

    Pushing Paisley: (down's, children)

    Brotherly Bond (cerebral palsy)

    Tuscaloosa (tornado)

    OTL re: runner (rape)

    Austin Box (dead football player)

    Zaching (cancer)

    Penn State story (child abuse)

    The Fistbump

    OTL: Japanese at intern at Santa Anita (concentration camp)


    ACTUAL SPORTS SUBJECT PIECES

    The road game (aura)

    Braxton Miller (football)

    WVU (Football story)

    Dooley (pants)

    TAMU piece (aura)

    Run 'n Shoot (football)

    Inside Alabama (football)

    Queens (horse racing)

    Snowman (golf)

    Judo (coach)


    PANDERVIEWS

    Bubba Watson

    Four Horsemen (golf)

    Tiger Woods

    Jay Paterno I

    Jay Paterno II

    Jay Paterno III

    Saban

    Corso


    The first category covers disease, disaster, nasty misadventures of history, child abuse, rape, and anything else remotely tragic. The second is light, feature-y business about general aura and "sports magick." The third is the panderview, where Rinaldi sits in a chair, asks easy questions, and then jacks a page from Roy Firestone by attempting to make them weep on camera.

    A mention of Roy Firestone will always include the following video.

    SHOCKING SUMMARY

    If Tom Rinaldi shows up at your door with an interview request, a fresh spritz of breath freshener on his palate, and the angel of death on his shoulder, chances sit at about 40% that you are seconds away from being indirectly or directly fucked by life's least entertaining game of chance.

    This may sound bad, but the numbers tell us a different story. Considering the 100% fatality rate in life, being a Rinaldi subject is actually much safer than actually living. In fact, being the subject of a Tom Rinaldi story gives you a 10% chance of getting cancer, beating life's 50% cancer rate and 25% fatality rate by a significant margin. It also gives you a 3% chance of being a lucid 92 year old Japanese-American judo coach. That's better than cancer, and pretty cool all on its own. You could also end up being Derek Dooley's pants. That's bad, because you'd be fired pants, and employed pants are really the preferred choice of sane people everywhere.

    So in conclusion: as much as we'd love to claim Tom Rinaldi was himself a kind of karmic Typhoid Mary, the Rinaldi touch is in fact a sort of disinfectant, making you healthier than the general population by correlation. He's practically a one-man nutritional supplement and doctor's visit in one, a bland statin drug full of antioxidants tramping around the nation in Italian loafers. We are just as shocked as you are...

    ...but not as shocked as the day John Exeter, promising young running back from Tech University, was diagnosed with Botfly Chimp-phoma, a rare disease with an even rarer side effect: flying chimpanzees nesting in his skin, which would ultimately hatch without warning...

    [/piano]


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    Jim-delany-rutgers

    We were unsure of what to do about Maryland and Rutgers coming to the Big Ten, so we asked someone who voluntarily watches Big Ten football all the time: Brian Cook of MGoBlog. He sounds pleased!

    SH: My first question: what? And: the fuck?

    Brian Cook: Jim Delany is a camel farmer who is sitting on a billion gallons of oil. He knows about camels.That is all.

    SH: I understand none of this. The concept of "value added" seems utterly absent here.

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    BC: I guess it's a play for television sets, as everyone who thinks more money automatically justifies any activity keeps telling me. As if I should care about television sets in Maryland funding even more unncessary spending. Northwestern--NORTHWESTERN--just announced a quarter-billion dollar athletic facilities building initiative. At some point the money went from nice to destructive, and this is the point at which money bursts through your chest.

    Michigan is building a 40 million dollar indoor rowing facility. At some point they are literally going to run out of things to build, and then each incremental dollar is just another one going in the pockets of the guys running the show. At that point it takes on a very dark appearance.

    SH: The part I don't understand--aside from bad football value--is the notion that this could add anything to the brand, i.e. the midwestern-ness of the whole community. There is literally nothing in my heart but despair when I imagine Maryland/Iowa playing a football game. Empty crab shells. Some burnt cornhusks.James Vandenberg on the ground in a fetal position going whyyyyyy.

    220px-unfinished_businessjay-z_26r

    BC: Vandenberg is playing all-time QB and Kirk Ferentz tries to out-puntosaur Randy Edsall in front of 25,000 people.

    SH: Like, here's the thing with expansion from the SEC angle. It half-worked, for now. A&M fits because they have this insane, colorful community that glommed on perfectly, and yet also added this television market. Mizzou, well, I think most of us are still calling it Far-Kentucky, or sub-Iowa. But for the most part, it added something, and that's—at least from the least humane, most business-type perspective—is why you expand.

    Maryland and Rutgers is a horrendous International Bowl matchup.

    BC: But it also took away. Cross divisional games between unprotected rivals are happening at a 33% clip. As a result you get Georgia playing none of the good teams in the other division, and a general lessening of the sense of community in the league.

    SH: That hasn't been the sense I've gotten, but this is squishy and unquantifiable.

    BC: The inevitable 16-team end game isn't even a conference anymore. You get one game against the other division. One!

    SH: Yup. Current lineup in the SEC still has two, but yes. In a 16 team format you get one, unless we're talking about adding more games. We are inevitably talking about adding more games.

    BC:At least there's that. If there's anything good that comes out of all of this it's the reduction of bodybag games like last weekend's SEC schedule. But what does one game do? It means you play the teams in the other division once every four years, ie less often than ACC teams will play Notre Dame. I stop caring about those teams when I don't play them. Instead of having a rich history with Iowa I have a vague relationship with them.

    I think we should insert "Someone I Used to Know" here.

    SH: Framed against a pic of Adam Jacobi.

    BC: Yes.

    SH: I just don't understand the choices, because it relies on brute demographics without any real respect of what I regard as essential B1Gness, thus reducing what I know--even when we joke about it--to be a defined thing with attributes, traits, and a personality. And it's a demo that literally WILL NEVER CARE ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

    BC: They don't have to care, they just have to not watch the BTN they're paying for. For some reason. I would love to see New Jersey cable operators flat out refuse to carry the BTN.

    SH: That's what I don't get. You're paying to ship food that will just rot in the warehouses. This is what you would do to float stock price just before jettisoning a company. Jim Delany can't do that—wait, he can't, right? There's not some Dubai'i sheik waiting around the corner, right? I now sort of hope there's an insane sheik waiting around the corner. I'm sorry, it may be wrong, but it's just what I want.

    BC: Despite all appearances, the Big Ten is not a publicly traded company. They could hypothetically value something other than money.

    European-union-map_medium

    SH: I know Big Ten fans hate and despise change, but I want you to know this: as an SEC fan, I hate this for injecting your conference with historically shitty football. At least we got a dog-worshipping cult and high-grade methamphetamine.

    BC: I think we were all pretty cool with Penn State and Nebraska. Those are great programs with huge, dedicated fanbases. You didn't see many fans throwing a fit during either previous expansion. This is the moment when Spilly adds the syrup to the blender.

    SH: That's ironic, because that's something Paula Deen would do to rescue a hopeless formula. Decidedly un-Midwestern, which would be just putting more cheese on it.

    BC: Now we just have to figure out who is the tangball on this despairwich.

    SH: Can I interest you in SEC membership? It really does have its benefits. I have a pamphlet.

    BC: YES YES YES YES YES I SAID YES.

    SH: Okay, I need a few things from you. I need you to give up the idea of academic standards, because that's what Northwestern and Vanderbilt are for.

    BC: I've always hated those!

    SH: Done. You will also need Waffle Houses. Do you have any already?

    BC: Got one in Toledo. Also there is a Chik-Fil-A there.

    SH: Can you get another one, and lock them in a hotel for a weekend? DO NOT ALLOW THE CFA AND THE WAFFLE HOUSE TO BREED. I cannot overemphasize this point. The offspring has to be killed with a sniper rifle from a great distance, and the carrion cleaned up by the EPA.

    BC: I am trying to get Culver's interested in a pairing. It will either result in deep-fried cheese waffles or the irradiation of much of the Midwest.

    SH: I believe, after watching Iowa play this year, that last part would be redundant.

    BC: When the Mayans turn out to be right, the only survivors will be those already exposed to Greg Davis at Iowa.

    SH: I will now just ask for three random ruminations on the following words. Free association. Ready?

    BC: I am moments from pounding the keyboard randomly so hurry.

    SH: Rutgers.

    BC: Debt. Failure. Spraytan.

    SH: Maryland

    BC: WHERE'S WALLACE STRING.

    SH: Finally, I would like you to type whatever you like when I say the words, "Jim Delany, leader of legends, and legendary leader."

    BC: FFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU THAT MUPPET BASTARD AND HIS EYEBROWS HAVE CAUSED ME TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW FOR THE LAST HOUR AND MEAN IT :LKKFSPOJIWENJVD:NOIOEFS:NOI

    SH:Thank you for your time. Congratulations on your new acquisitions.

    BC: I hope to be dead by this time next week.


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    2idhx_medium

    With the expansion of the Big Ten to include Maryland and Rutgers, the map and listings of most fearsome native party beverages in the Brewer's Conference must be updated. The new list, in no particular order and arranged by school, follows.

    Note: all beverages are made in the state they are shown in except for Iowa's, whose laws prohibited the creation of large-scale brewing operations for much of its history. Choice Beer Advocate review excerpts follow.

    2idhx_medium

    1. National Bohemian (Maryland) "Everything else about this beer resembles pee.""Metallic."

    2. Champale (New Jersey) "Do not drink this beer...it should not be legally available."

    3. Schlitz (Wisconsin) "Am I tasting hops or the can?"

    4. Four Loko (Ohio) No BeerAdvocate review. Sub the Atlantic's verdict:"My Four Loko of choice was lemonade, reminiscent of lemon rinds rubbed in aluminum with a strong aftertaste of vomit."

    5. Yuengling (Pennsylvania) "The smell is pretty bad even for macro standards, old sock, corn vomit, cardboard, and rotten fruit round out the smells."

    6. Badass American Lager (Michigan) "Like Kid Rock's music itself, this beer absolutely sucks." Note: recently evicted from its brewery.

    7. Grain Belt Light (Minnesota) "What I can taste is best described as corn chex with a dash of sugar."

    8. Old Style (Northwestern) "Feels OK. I like liquids in my mouth."

    9. Faygo. (Michigan State) Not a beer, but from Yelp: "My favorite time with this drink was taking a can of Orange Faygo, dumping a shot of vodka in it, and sitting with my good friend who made a Moon Mist and Whiskey and just reminiscing outside of the University's library.

    10. Milk (Indiana) "Mindblowing."

    11. Storz (Nebraska) Doesn't even exist anymore, but like Nebraska football players it was once actually made in Nebraska.

    12. Busch Light (Iowa) "It's like a mouthfull of fire extinguisher foam."

    13. Mamma Mia Pizza Beer (Illinois) "If all the beer in the world except for this was destroyed by nuclear war, I would ferment and drink my own urine before opening another bottle of pizza beer."

    14. Bleach (Purdue) From Yahoo Answers, its flavor is described as "like bleach."


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    HE'S GOT THE HANDS OF A GORILLA AND THE HEART OF A LION. Most offensive linemen go down like a felled tree when they get the ball, terrified of fumbling and making an already strange situation even worse. Not Ray Beno of Georgia Tech, who clearly wants to audition for every tackle-eligible play in the Yellow Jackets' playbook.

    MOVIN' STICKS AND KICKIN' DICKS, BABY.

    MARYLAND DID IT FOR MONEY, NOT LOVE. The cruel finances of mismanaged college athletics drove Maryland into the arms of the Big Ten, while Rutgers just left because someone at last wanted them with all their heart, and having never felt the attentions of a tall, dark handsome baron of a man like Jim Delany was therefore defenseless. Bill C reminds you that Rutgers can legitimately claim to have invented football, so there's that.

    IT WON'T CHANGE MUCH. Frank Beamer seems overcome with grief at Maryland's departure.

    WHY DOES NATE SILVER HATE AMERICA? He predicts the move eastward could dilute the Big Ten brand, but only because he's a gay liberal nerd whose math can't read the heart of the American people. also wrote a fine column about statsiness and sports involving Silver and an entirely different subject--basedball?--but left out the answer to 'where does the magic go?' That answer: the magic is that you're not scrabbling for food 24/7, and live in a society where you get to watch people play games with "leisure time." THAT'S the magic.

    IN THE WEIGHT ROOM, IN THE COMMUNITY. Do Randy Edsall and Kyle Flood look...slower to you now?

    UNDERDOGS ALWAYS BECOME SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT IN RIVALRY GAMES. That thing? A slightly less competitive team, according to the numbers.

    OHIO STATE STILL WON'T DEMAND A BRO COMBAT UNIFORM. These are nice, but until they take the field with a jersey complete with built in sweatshirt hood on the back they will cheat their fans of the most Ohio uniform ever.

    AND THE MAC WILL SAVE US. With logical playoff proposals, of course.

    ETC: If you're a rapper named Trinidad James and you're from Clayton County, well, we ride for you, sir. RIP, LANCE HARMSTRONG.


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    We all have ways of celebrating Maryland going to the Big Ten. The internet's? I won't spoil it for you, but it does get a NSFW tag for a sexy image of Jim Delany humping a pile of money. Proceed at your own risk.

    You know what it is. I lost it at Maury Povich nodding, because Maury Povich randomly nodding in the middle of anything makes it ten times better than it already was. (Via)


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    HEY. Ol' coach got a few things to look at in the film room. THIS GUY's phone has been ringing off the hook. Seems a certain old muchacho who just might favor a tanga cut in his manderpants is floating around the rumor mill a lot these days.

    Check the panty lines under these khakis, ladies. It's just what coach want's you to do. Why TANGAS? Because I like my underwear just like I like my defenses: coverin' two, and funneling everything to the middle. Monte Kiffin'd make a great jock strap, and that's why I called him JOCK STRAP during our time at Tampa Bay together.

    I also called him JOCK STRAP because he's got nothin' in ass-stack. One long hamstring all the way to his neck.

    The attention. Pretty flattering stuff. I call that old coach BIG ME, because I'm the guy we're talkin' about, and that's always pretty big news to me. WHAT YA GOT, ARKANSAS?

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    Kinda looks like a postage stamp made by Salvador Dali. Don't know about that color scheme, though. Whole state looks like the SWAC threw up its uniforms on it. Didn't think the coach had SWAC knowledge, did ya? FULL OF SURPRISES.

    Doubt me? I siphoned the gas out of your car this morning. Why? To motivate you. To go to the gas station and buy coach a bag of those knockoff mexican Zingers. YOU KNOW THE ONES. THE ONES WITH THE SHITTY FROSTING.

    Coach needs 'em. Coach needs 'em now.

    I haven't coached football since 2008.

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    WHOA. You know what I see when I look at this guy? This guy's got SHAPE AWARENESS. It's not perfect. I see you Stewart County. Every team has a Keyshawn Johnson and you're it. I'd cut your ass and send you to Kentucky. Don't think coach isn't above that.

    But you look at the film here, and you know what I see? Real PARALLELOGRAMMALITY.

    I've never been the head coach of a college football team. NO. The Raiders do not count.

    SHOW ME WHAT YA GOT, ARKANSAS.

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    THIS GUY. Lotta power in that big ugly. LIke staring straight into Booger McFarland's grundle. Did you ever do that? I used to call Booger DON'T EVER WALK INTO THE LOCKER ROOM WHILE BOOGER MCFARLAND IS GETTING DRESSED. I didn't eat right for a month after that and every light I saw in the dark had CRAZY TRAILS coming off it.

    I specialize in running the West Coast Offense, a system that has failed spectacularly at the college level because of the timing, practice, repetitions required, and skill required to run it at the NFL level.

    Volunteer yourself, Tennessee.

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    Recently torn ACL? I call this guy CUT ON THURSDAY. If THIS GUY's gonna take the job, you gotta step up the animal game, Tennessee. You know what I like in a mascot? GIANT TENTACLES and INK-SQUIRTIN'. You get a giant squid on a trailer and just wheel it out there.

    Would it stink? You betcha, but we'd be the first college team to make smell a part of the homefield advantage. Okay, second if you count that bourbon-batter-sweat smell they talk about down in Baton Rouge. Pittsburgh smells like meat, but most people actually love that. Breathing the air there will make you fat! Just look at Big Ben and tell me ol' coach is lyin'.

    I have never recruited in the SEC as a full-time assistant or head coach.

    You know what I like about college football? OLD GUYS WHO HANG AROUND THE PROGRAM LIKE FORGOTTEN LAUNDRY. Let's see what you got there, Our-Kansas. Not my Kansas! AR-Kansas. Y'all don't even care about spelling, and I like that because it sticks it to the perfesser types.

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    Frank Broyles. Heard he hired Houston Nutt after he lost a bet. That makes him a man of his word, so I'll call him THE BIBLE. You can put your hand on him in court and swear in Arkansas. Great state. Great people.

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    I like this guy, Neyland. Wise, authoritative, and he's found a way that you can't even question him. Death is like winning a Super Bowl every year for the rest of time; no one can take it away from you.

    JUST LOOK AT HIM. He looks like he's a 1930s G-man. Just seconds away from gunning down an immigrant, homosexual, or a homosexual immigrant. That and winning football games is all you need to know about why people in Tennessee just LOVED this guy.

    I make around four million dollars a year to work on television one night a week.

    SHOW ME THOSE PIGSLINGIN' TYLERS.

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    Tyler Wilson: authoritative, cocky, insubordinate, concussed. Everything you like in one of your 7 quarterbacks.

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    THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS GUY. WHAT a player. I don't know if he's playing football sometimes. Sometimes I think he just got lost. Walked into a room. Saw some pads and some pants and a jock and said HEY, IT'S COSTUME TIME. Then he walked out and no one stopped him and that's the guy we call TYLER BRAY.

    This guy doesn't care what down it is. This guy might not even know what a down is. He might see the first down markers and think "THAT'S ONE WEIRD WAY TO MEASURE YOUR DICK BUT OKAY."

    When they say he makes all the throws, no one embodies this more. All this guy does is make throws. Throws through the goalposts. Throws to receivers. Throws to DBs. Throws to his coach on the sideline. You don't think a quarterback would ever throw it into a sousaphone on the sideline just to do it? TYLER BRAY'S DONE IT.

    GOD I WOULD LOVE TO BENCH HIM. I'm a little hard just thinking about rotating him and a 300 pound, diabetic Chris Simms in and out of the game on alternating snaps. That may be too personal but I'm a man of passion. These pleated khakis don't lie.

    I have never coached at Arkansas, and was only a grad assistant for one year at Tennessee. I have also never evinced any real stated interest in coaching at the college level despite being an alleged candidate for so long that it is now beyond what could be considered a running gag.

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    YOU KNOW MY NUMBER. LET'S MAKE SOME MEMORIES, BOYS. Side note: is every Southern football player named Tyler? If so, I'm gonna get confused quickly.


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