The most compelling story of college football so far in the season of 2007 has been the stunning upset of Michigan by the upstarts of Appalachian State in Ann Arbor the first week of the season. As if Wolverine coach Lloyd Carr wasn’t taking enough flack, his team lost big the following week to Oregon. Immediately, speculation started about Carr’s firing and who the replacement would be. Les Miles of LSU, a Michigan alum, was the consensus pick of the pundits to become the head of the storied program.
The team has since rallied and ESPN had a feature on GameDay last week about the friendship of Carr and actor Russell Crowe. Now, I’ve never heard Lloyd Carr and the words “A Beautiful Mind” mentioned in the same sentence, but the publicity from being buddies with an Oscar winning actor can’t hurt.
The second biggest story has been the “luck of the Irish”. One might surmise that all of it has been bad, but it’s not luck. Notre Dame football had never been 0-4 before this year. Now the offense has caught up to the defense in ineptitude. The Golden Domers have just been outscoring most opponents during the Weis era due to a leaky defense. Now, the offense stinks even worse than their counterparts.
This year’s team is the worst thing to happen to the Irish since the great potato famine. Or, at least, since Sinead O’Connor. Now they have fallen to 0-5 and can’t get up any time soon with an 0-8 start looking imminent.
Ty Willingham doesn’t look so bad now, does he? Charlie Weis was described as a “genius” so much the last few years, maybe he started to believe it. I have to agree with Irish alum Joe Theisman who once said on ESPN: “the term ‘genius’ doesn’t apply to football coaches, it should be reserved for guys like Norman Einstein”.Maybe Weis should have taken the Patriots cameraman with him to South Bend.
In the SEC, there is no question that Arkansas’ Houston Nutt has the hottest chair this side of Huntsville, TX.. What has Nutt in hot water is losses in 5 of the last 6 games against real teams, coupled with an off the field scandal involving thousands of text messages to a local female news anchor. One was 19 minutes before the kickoff of the What’s In Your Wallet Bowl in Orlando, FL.
Don’t ask what’s in Nutt’s wallet, after massive losses to USC the previous 2 years, the term “trojan” is a sore subject. In fact, I alluded to Nutt’s problems in an earlier piece this summer.Come to think of it, there were 2 articles on the Nutt soap opera..
Of course, Nutt issued a “I never had text with that woman” statement, but this guy is keeping many of the state’s lawyers busy, what with fans requesting and receiving his cell phone records under the Freedom of Information Act. Glad somebody in the state can receive. With All-SEC Wideout Marcus Monk sidelined with an injury and last year’s promising freshman Damien Williams having transferred to USC along with all-everything QB MItch Mustain, the Hogs are left with the likes of Reggie Fish, who gets caught more often than he catches anything. Then there’s London Crawford, a much ballhooed recruit last year who has only a handful more catches than Paris Hilton.
A 66-7 thrashing of rent-a-win North Texas State notwithstanding, until Houston Nutt beats some real teams, Michael Vick is more likely to host the American Kennel Club’s Dog Show than Nutt is to win back Arkansas fans disgusted with being lied to and conned into paying filet mignon prices for “tube steak”.
Not just the college football world, but much of the U.S. has been buzzing about the tirade of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy directed at Daily Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson concerning an article she wrote about one of his players. Having read Ms. Carlson’s work before, I have to say I was not impressed with her writing, but the last time a Jenni was subjected to such abuse, Forrest Gump got kicked out of a “Black Panther Party”.
By launching a Bobby Knight-type tantrum, Gundy just called attention to the column, which probably would have remained unknown outside of Oklahoma had he kept his wits about him. Assuming he has any wits. Maybe, like Forrest Gump, he’s “not a smart man”. “Stupid is as stupid does” and after a loss to Troy State earlier in the season, surely OSU fans were calling Gundy that and worse.
Watch your backside Mike Gundy, because if you don’t win, that meltdown could be a convenient excuse to fire you. Even Boone Pickens , the mega-bucks booster who helped finance the “swift-boating” of John Kerry has standards…maybe. However, I’m sure Pickens expects a lot of wins for his dollars and Houston Nutt, an OSU alum may be available soon. At least Arkansas fans can hope.
Lastly, this past weekend was a Green Day song waiting to happen. You know, “wake me up when September ends”. The last weekend of the month was one of several notable upsets including OU losing to Colorado after having a 17 point lead, Florida losing to Auburn at home as a 21 point favorite, West Virginia losing to upstarts South Florida, and Texas, the other half of the Red River shootout, losing by 20 to unranked Kansas State.
The last time OU and Texas both lost on the same weekend was 1999, also the week before the big game in Big D. The loser of this game is set for a Blue October, to name another band.
On Oct. 4, 2 days prior, an Oklahoma man will be arraigned on several charges for “de-horning” a Texan in a bar in OKC. It seems, a 30 something Texas fan entered Henry Hudson’s pub in the Oklahoma capitol city a couple of months ago, wearing a Texas Longhorn shirt. The man exited on a stretcher after a Sooner fan allegedly grabbed the Texas man’s crotch and threw him to the floor, injuring the Texan’s, well, how can I put it delicately, it’s the same as the Arkansas coach’s last name.
Understand, a Longhorn steer is a bull that has been castrated, but that’s taking things just a bit far, but in those two states, football is serious “bidness”..
After all the upsets, USC and LSU stayed 1,2 in the polls, only swapping places after the Trojans’ unimpressive win over Washington. Otherwise there was a shake-up in the polls. In my opinion, the rest of the country will be watching LSU-USC in the National Championship game and the rest is details. However, the Cajuns could have to beat Florida twice to get there, once in the regular season and again in the SEC championship game, a tall order.
If LSU does make it to the game, USC will be subjected to rude treatment by the fans of South Louisiana with the game taking place in New Orleans. A few years ago, a Georgia fan had a portable toilet turned over with him still in it on a parking lot outside Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge for committing the cardinal sin of wearing the visiting teams’ colors. Where such madness originates is anybody’s guess.
Just remember, if in Baton Rouge have an overcoat with neutral colors if you need to relieve yourself. Also keep in mind that the people in the Adam Sandler movie The Waterboy were not that far away from LSU fans.