Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ryan Mallett is officially a project.

"Project" Mallett
It wasn't surprising that former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett took went into a bit of a freefall in the 2011 NFL Draft. After news broke of his allegedly admitting drug use to NFL team officials, and his skipping out of a meeting with the Carolina Panthers after an alleged night of partying, it was going to be a shock if Mallett was going to be a high first round pick. Where he landed in the third round, as a draft pick of the New England Patriots, was a bit of a surprise though. It did mean one thing for the former Razorback QB- he had officially crossed into the dreaded category of being a "project."

Project players are easily cumbersome. It means the team that picks the project player believes that he isn't quite ready yet to become an player that can relied to be productive right away. It can also mean that the player has a few issues in his life that could be a red flag when it comes to on-the-field success and/or good publicity for the team.

Sadly, it seems, Ryan Mallett fits both categories. As an underperforming QB at Arkansas, Mallett barely rose up to the potential many analysts thought he had. Leaving Arkansas a year early probably didn't help things either. It looks now like another year in college would probably helped him right now.

The fact that it was the New England Patriots drafted Mallett seems to be sending mixed messages. For one thing, it means that they see something in him that makes him an ideal back-up quarterback for Tom Brady. On the other hand,  it means that they see something in him that makes him an back-up quarterback, period. It doesn't look like New England will be without the services of Tom Brady any time soon, barring serious injury. Drafting Mallett as a back-up says that the Pats think they can sort through the baggage he carries with him. On the other hand, it means that they're going to need to keep a closer eye on him.

Ryan Mallett's decent from a sure-fire first-rounder to a tenth-pick-in-the-third-rounder barely shows the confidence that teams around the NFL had in the former Razorback QB. His new status as a back-up QB for New England doesn't help the belief that his off-the-field issues could hamper his on-the-field usefulness. Being a "project" means that Mallett is going to work harder to prove he deserves a place on an NFL roster.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mark Richt goes potty mouth on a disgruntled Dawg fan.

Georgia head football coach Mark Richt had a little bit of a confrontation with a disgruntled member of the Bulldog Nation in Macon on the annual Bulldog Club tour. One which had a bone to pick with Richt (if you should pardon the expression) with about everything related to the Georgia offense. Including a shot at UGA running backs coach Bryan McClendon. That's when Richt shot back with a response that included an out of character word that is more associated with the Georgia Tech fight song then they are with his usually squeaky-clean mouth.

”I’ll tell you this, and you’re certainly close to an expert in football, I’m sure you are,” Richt said.
And later he said: “I see your frustration, I understand your frustration. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve coached football for 25 years, so I know what the hell I’m doing, OK?”

Oh, and McClendon? Richt called him a “hell of a coach, he’s a hell of a recruiter. And I’m glad we got Bryan McClendon.” He came back later and told the man who asked the question “Excuse me for saying `he-double heck.’”

Mark Richt has a potty mouth, who would have thought it?  But at least he was courteous about it.

(via The Macon Telegraph, HT Athens Banner-Herald)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Big Ten home game starting times changing?

That logo doesn't get any prettier, does it?
Living in the Central Time Zone has its advantages and its disadvantages. On the plus side, Conan comes on a hour earlier than it does in the Eastern Time Zone. On the negative side, Big Ten home games start at 11:00 A.M. CST so that lazy bums on the East Coast don't have to roll out of bed before noon to catch a game. Such inconveniences may become a thing of a past, however, if Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has his way.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany reportedly is lobbying hard in negotiations with the television networks to do away with them. If Delany has his way, all Big Ten games next season will start at either noon, 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m.
Many fans objected to the 11 a.m. starts because they cut down on pregame tailgating time and made it difficult for fans who lived several hours away to get to games on time.

Of course the downside of this is that the 3:30 P.M. games will in all probability not finish up until after 7:00 P.M. It could also mean fewer Big Ten games leading off the Saturday afternoon viewing schedule, as games would be starting at 1:00 P.M. in the EST.  But those are the breaks.

It will also probably mean the 1:00 P.M. games could possibly be relegated to games against out-of-conference cream puffs and/or games against Indiana.










Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tornado hits near Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscalooa

Via Tuscaloosa resident Clay Hasenfuss on Twitvid, here is footage of a tornado seen in the vicinity of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL.



Major damage has been reported in Tuscaloosa and reports are coming in about damage around McFarland Boulevard, which is close to the University of Alabama campus.

(via Go Vols Xtra)


Shirts Without Random Triangles: Oh no! Colonel Reb and the Rebel Black Bear have been polymorphed




Is it any shock that a t-shirt with an image like this one has shown up? The shock is more the amount of time it took to show up. The polymorphed Colonel Reb/Rebel Black Bear t-shirt was seen in a Jackson, MS store called The Rogue. I'm sure the Colonel Red diehards will not be amused by this.

(via Friends of the Program)

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Janoris Jenkins, Justin Houston, and people who haven't smoked pot.

(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.)    


Your Bill Clinton memorial “That depends on what your definition of "is" is” moment of the day. 
T. Kyle King gets all anal over the handling of Janoris Jenkins' dismissal from Florida and/or Florida head coach Will Muschamp's comment on the subject, where he said "we both felt it was in his best interest to move ahead to the next stage of his career." Picky, picky.  (Dawg Sports)

Former Georgia linebacker Justin Houston tested positive for marijuana use at NFL Combine. 
And the T. Kyle King rant mentioned above had absolutely nothing to do with this, right? (FOX Sports)

My quarterback. I think I'll keep him.
Georgia head football coach Mark Richt is "very thankful" to have Aaron Murray as the Dawgs' quarterback, and is impressed with his work ethic during spring practice. (ESPN)

20 things you didn't know that you ever wanted to know about Nick Saban.
At least four of the facts involved when he landed at the airport in Alabama. (Capstone Report)


The Good Wife.
Checking with Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley's wife, Allison, a year after moving to Knoxville. I wonder if she's been to Alimony's to get her hair done yet? (Go Vols Xtra)

Nightmare scenario for the Vols #1256:
That Tennessee players could possibly be penalized for doing "the loco" under the NCAA new anti-taunting rules. (Rocky Top Talk)

BASKETBALL

Posting the numbers. 
Kentucky had the highest per game attendance for NCAA men's basketball. (The Dagger)

Dancing in the Ruins: Dan Beebe, Corey Nelson, and Texas gold!

(Dancing in the Ruins is SWRT's look at the Big XII Conference...or at least what's left of it.)

Dan Beebe saved the Big XII.
Because Berry Trammel said so. Shut up, Berry. (The Oklahoman)

Love Will Find a Way (and so will the Sooners).
Oklahoma is searching for ways to get linebacker Corey Nelson, who head football coach Bob Stoops calls the Sooners' "best player," playing time, even though he's currently slated as the backup to the  Travis Lewis, a possible Big XII Defensive Player of the Year. (The Oklahoman)

Conspiracy Theory?
Crimson and Cream Machine blogger Jtesooner is suspicious of Texas being listed in a Top 25 preseason poll by ESPN analysts at #20, and suggests the WWL's involvement with The Longhorn Network as the reason. Quick, call George Noory. (Crimson and Cream Machine).

Oklahoma State visit to Iowa State moved up a day to November 18. 
Please adjust your schedules accordingly. (Cowboys Ride for Free)

The Cowboy Way?
Questioning whether Oklahoma State is bound by to tradition to having former Cowboys alumnus as a head football/basketball coach. (Cowboys Ride for Free)

Sophisticated Boom Boom.
Judging which Iowa State quarterbacks fighting it out for the starting position are the most sophisticated when it comes to their development. (Clone Chronicles)

Fade to Gray. 
A look at Texas recruit Johnathan Gray's day on campus when he announced his plans to commit to the Longhorns. (Burnt Orange Nation)

University of Texas invests 5% of it's endowment in gold bullion.
So expect a lot of those gold commercials you see on Glenn Beck to migrate over the Longhorn Network when it debuts. (Barking Carnival)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Janoris Jenkins is an ex-Gator.

Janoris Jenkins from a previous visit to jail.
If there is any sign that things at Florida under new head football coach Will Muschamp may be different than they were under Urban Meyer, then the following news may be it. Muschamp has  dropped the banhammer down on Gator cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was arrested over the weekend for marijuana possession. It happened to be the second marijuana-related arrest for Jenkins in three months.

Muschamp met with Jenkins Tuesday morning and gave him the news of the CB's dismissal. The dismissal is a hopeful sign for those who have criticized former Florida coach Urban Meyer for the number of players that had been arrested under his administration that things might be different under Muschamp.

(via ESPN)

Big Tentacles: Ohio State and Jim Tressel, Bo Pelini, and more.

(Big Tentacles is the SWRT look at the Big Ten and the schools it not-so-secretly covets.)  

Eight pages of pain.
The NCAA's Notice of Allegations to Ohio State, in all it's redacted glory. (Eleven Warriors)

Ohio State: What's next?
Along the Olentangy looks at the next steps in the NCAA's investigation of Ohio State and Jim Tressel. (Along the Olentangy)

"Jim Tressel should be fired." 
Because Michael Rosenberg said so. Shut up, Michael. (Detroit Free Press)

Oh no, not this again! 
Beano Cook believes that Urban Meyer will replace Jim Tressel at Ohio State. I already covered why this is a stupid idea and shouldn't happen. So click here to go back and check it out. (College Football Talk)

Bo Pelini's pay day.
Nebraska head football coach got a raise and and new contract on Monday. (Rivals.com)

There's a possibility, but no chance.
Off Tackle Empire looks at Purdue to see if the Boilermakers could make it to a bowl game at the end of the season. Don't hold your breath, even with week opponents like Rice on the schedule. (Off Tackle Empire)

I'll take "Things Rich Rodriguez should have thought about before he did them for $500, Alex."
Rick Rod says that he should never had left West Virginia to take the head coaching job at Michigan. Congrats, Rich. You're the last person in the Western world to figure that one out. (Rumors & Rants)

Black Heart, Gold Pants, Red Neck.
FRY Fest, the annual festival held at the start of the Iowa Hawkeye football season will include a still to be named country music artist this year to headline the entertainment on September 2. The festival will pay tribute to legendary Olympic wrestling champion and Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable this year. (Hawk Central)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ohio State set to meed NCAA infractions comittee on August 12.

Generalissimo Tressel
The NCAA has set an August 12 date for Ohio State to appear before the association's committee on infractions over head football coach Jim Tressel's withholding of information regarding Tatgate. It sent Ohio State a “notice of allegations” regarding the situation on Monday. Fortunately for Ohio State, the notice comes down harder on Tressel than on the school.

"In a 13-page indictment of Tressel’s behavior, the NCAA alleged that Tressel had “permitted football student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics while ineligible.” It also said he “failed to deport himself … (with) honesty and integrity” and said he was lying when he filled out a compliance form in September which said he had no knowledge of any NCAA violations by any of his players."

The outcome of Ohio State's meeting with the infractions committee could result in the school having to vacate victories from last season. It could also seal Jim Tressel's fate, if it decides to punish him or the school with penalties harder than the five game suspension. 

(via Rivals.com)

Auburn Blogger wants Sirius/XM to dump Paul Finebaum.

 Track 'Em Tigers contributor Jay Coulter has had it with Paul Finebaum, or at least being to able hear "Pawl" on Sirius/XM. In an open letter to Sirius/XM CEO Mel Karmazin, Coulter demanded that Finebaum be yanked from the satellite radio provider's schedule after the latest radio tryst on his show with accused Toomer's Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke and his lawyer, Glennon Threatt last week.

"We beg you to please pull The Paul Finebaum Show from your programming lineup. For a state that's tried hard to overcome George Wallace and Taylor Hicks, the daily musings of Alabama's most ignorant on national radio is too much for a state to endure."

Obviously, Coulter believes that Sirius/XM subscribers are getting a distorted view of what life in Alabama is really like. Of course, most of them already had that perception before Updyke decided upon his infamous act of stupidity.

"The vast majority of fans in this state view the Auburn-Alabama rivalry for what it is: a nice diversion from the struggles of everybody life in the Deep South. While fans from both schools generally dislike the other on football Saturday's, we do take a sense of pride in producing the last two national champions."

At least for the moment, they can.

"Listening to Finebaum, it's easy to understand why many of you in New York view the South the way you do. I promise it's not like this in all parts of Alabama. Just stay away from Bryant-Denny Stadium in the fall and the all-you-can-eat buffet at Golden Corral on Saturday night and you'll be fine.

I hope you'll consider my request. The state has suffered enough. With double-digit unemployment and Bear Bryant starting to fade from the memories of even the oldest Alabama fans, the good people of this state need a break."

It's obvious to see why Coulter would be upset about Finebaum's continued involvement with the Updyke story. It has certainly boosted his amount of time and his position in the national spotlight. However, pulling him off Sirius/XM (or terrestrial broadcasting) will do nothing to change what the rest of America feels about Alabama, good or bad.

(via Track 'Em Tigers)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jim Tressel trades in his sweater vest for camo pants and combat boots for Ohio St. spring game.


Yes, that's "Generalissimo" Jim Tressel wearing BDU pants and combat boots instead of his dapper red sweater vest at Ohio State's newly rechristened "Jesse Owens Spring Game" on Saturday. Unless he's wearing it under the jacket, of course; which would be taking things to a hereto unlevel of dorkiness not seen on this plane of existence. 

The BDU pants went along with the camouflage helmets the Buckeyes wore during the game, which will be autographed and sold for $1,000 each to raise money for The Ohio National Guard Family Readiness and Warrior Support Program, LiFE (Learning in Fitness & Education) through Sports Program, and the Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Fund. (Insert probably inappropriate-in-this-situation snarky comments involving TatGate here)

 Tressel may want to keep those is BDU trousers on hand, because he may going to need them pretty soon. Because it's reported that the NCAA  may be ready to drop the banhammer on him and Ohio State over his involvement in not reporting what he knew about TatGate to his bosses. At least that's what central Ohio televesion station WBNS is reporting on its website.

(via CBS SportsAlong the Olentangy, WBNS, )

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Derek Dooley uses life lessions when dealing with Tyler Bray.

It must be frustrating at times to be Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley when it comes to dealing with sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray. Bray certainly has the potential to be the top QB in the SEC next season, jumping ahead  of Georgia's Aaron Murray and South Carolina's Stephen Garcia (if he gets off suspension and gets a clue, that is). His spring practice struggles, on the other hand, shows  California's native son still isn't quite up to the measure of Peyton Manning quite yet.

Bray's notorious laid-back mentality certainly doesn't make things easier for Dooley, either. His "flatlinine" mentality on the field is at times equally (and sometimes simultaneously) a plus and a minus. It also can be frustrating for a coach trying to educating his player on improving his skills. The knowledge of the infamous ink job on Bray's back lying deep inside of the crevices Dooley's immaculate hair-covered brain has to keep him away at nights as well.

So how does His Hairness deal with Bray's up-and-down spring practice? Apparently by focusing on life lessons he's learned on-the-job. In this case, one involving his time at LSU as one of Nick Saban's assistants, and dealing with struggling QB Matt Mauck.

“I always get a little nervous about overvaluing the spring game, because I remember the year (before) we won the national championship, Matt Mauck had (five) interceptions in the spring game at LSU,” Dooley said. “We were in a panic state all offseason and summer, and then he went on to be the winningest quarterback in LSU history."

Whether this means that Bray leads Tennessee to a BCS Championship is still too soon to tell. But
Dooley has to know that Bray has the potential to be a better QB than Mauck was. And perhaps one of the best SEC QB's in recent years as well.

(via ESPN, Go Vols Xtra)

Is this the reason why Florida went to pot last year?





Well, that would explain a lot of things that went wrong last year.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Mark Ingram, Mark Richt, and someone with the last name of "Favre" (but not that one!).

(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.)   

I have been blessed.
Former Alabama running back Mark Ingram says that being voted to be on the cover of EA SPORTS NCAA Football12"is a blessing and something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.” (The Christian Post)

Every woman, every man, join the (Crimson) Caravan of Love.
Alabama's Crimson Caravan hit Montgomery on Thursday, bringing with it Nick Saban and his explanation for those attributed comments he alledegly made to John Elway about Cam Newton. (al.com)

Millen on Mallett.
Matt Millen says that says that despite "liabilities," Ryan Mallett  "has good leadership skills. That counts for a lot," and that  "He’ll play fine.” Would you seriously listen to the guy the ran the Detroit Lions (further) into the ground? (Arkansas Sports 360)


Not out of the woods yet. 
Chris Relf is slated to be Mississippi State's starting quarterback. However, he still faces competition for the job from his backups Tyler Russell and Dylan Favre. (Yes, that's Brett's nephew.) (The Clarion-Ledger)

Finally, something we can all agree on. 
Mark Richt admits that Georgia's 2010 season was "embarrassing." (The Florida Times-Union)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dancing in the Ruins: Covering the Big XII - or at least what's left of it.


Being Bryce Brown.
Looking at Bryce Brown, the former Tennessee running back who's now at Kansas State. You remember Brown, the running back with the running drama last spring and summer between him and Derek Dooley, don't you? (Dr. Saturday)


Von Miller and his Adidas do the illest things. 
Former Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller signs an endorsement deal with Adidas. (I Am the 12th Man)

Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
Iowa State joins the growing chorus of schools installing bigger and better scoreboards in their stadiums. (Clone Chronocles)

Even the rubber chickens are bigger in Texas. 
Tommy Tuberville spoke in front of a group of around 200 Texas Tech boosters in Abilene, TX for that city's annual Red Raider Luncheon (Abilene Reporter-News)

If the Big XII were bars in Stillwater, Oklahoma...
Apparently, you should just go to Eskimo Joe's and just blend in with the Oklahoma State fans. (Cowboys Ride for Free)

Oh Snap! Mike Leach is on Twitter! 
Hide your kids. Hide your wives. Hide your fat little girlfriends. (Dr. Saturday)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peter King isn't quite sold on John Daly's support of Ryan Mallett.



King did have this to say in Ryan Mallett's behalf, though.


Big Tentacles: Cullen Christian, Kirk Frentz, Terrelle Pryor, and more.

Michigan getaway?
Michigan cornerback Cullen Christian is reportedly making plans transfer from the Wolverine program. (Detroit Free Press

Ahead of the curve?
Northwestern trainer Ryan Collins says that Wildcats quarterback Dan Persa's recovery from his Achilles' tendon injury is "ahead of schedule." (Rivals.com)

There is trouble with the Trees.
Northwestern and Stanford agree to a four game series between the schools in 2019-2022. (The Chicago Tribune)

The Rubber Hawkeye circuit.
Iowa head football coach Kirk Frentz and AD Gary Barta spoke to Hawkeye boosters at a Polk County I-Club gathering in Clive, IA. (The Gazette)

Time to panic in Columbus?
Apparently none of the Ohio State quarterbacks looking to fill-in for the suspended Terelle Pryor when the Buckeyes' 2011 season begins have had a stellar showing during spring practice. (Along the Olentangy)

Chucky chats up about Pryor.
Meanwhile, Jon Gruden believes Terrelle Pryor has a place in the NFL as a QB, or at least isn't saying he can't be a NFL QB. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Dead Ringers? 
Have you ever seen Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill and Goldie the Gopher in the same place in the same time? This and other subjects as Off-Tackle Empire lets fellow SB Nation bloggers rake Minnesota over the coals. (Off-Tackle Empire)

Covering Dixie Like Mildew, Derek Dooley, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray, and more.

I'll Stand By You.
Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley stands behind quarterback Tyler Bray despite his Orange and White Game struggles. (ESPN)

Bray's still chillin'.
Meanwhile, despite the Orange and White Game issues, Bray still tried to keep the "flatliner" mentality that helped him become a breakout star at the end of last season. (ESPN)

Georgia QB Aaron Murray is The SEC's  "franchise player." 
Because Edward Aschoff says so. (ESPN)

Age Ain't Nothing But a Number.
Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik says freshman quarterback Kiehl Frazier's youth wouldn't be an issue if he gave Auburn "the best chance of winning." (al.com)

Only the Strong Survive. 
Bruce Feldman names names Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman as the strongest man in college football. Then hides eight of the other nine players on the list behind a paywall so you have pay to have to find out who eight of the other ten are besides Chapman and Michigan's Mike Martin. (ESPN)

My Sugar Daddy likes me more than your Sugar Daddy!
Kristi Dosh (a.k.a Miz Sports Biz) looks at what SEC schools get the most money from contributions from donors. (The Business of College Sports)

Speaking of/to Sugar Daddies...
Florida head football coach Will Muschamp began his inaugural tour of the various Florida booster clubs by speaking at the Polk County Gator Club in Lakeland, FL. (The Gainesville Sun)

Kentucky spring practice "review."
Bluegrass? Well, some kind of grass may have been involved in the creation of this. But it sure wasn't blue. These reviews BotB is doing may be the closest thing the SEC's gotten to some of Black Heart Gold Pants' bat-guano insanity. (The Belly of the Beast)

And from the "Why should Kentucky have all the fun?" department:
Vanderbilt gets the same treatment, complete with guest appearances by former Vandy head coach Robbie Caldwell, and lots of his turkey friends. (The Belly of the Beast)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harvey Updyke's attorney claims attack on his client during call to Finebaum Show.

Accused Toomer's Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke was allegedly attacked in a nearby Tiger Express gas station shortly after he had appeared in court a preliminary hearing (which he waived)on charges of "first degree criminal mischief. (Insert ironic comment here.) The news was relayed by Updyke's attorney, Glennon Threatt, in a call to sports radio host/Svengali Paul Finebaum. (Well, who else would you expect Threatt to call?)



"Somewhere right outside of Opelika, Harvey stopped at a gas station to get a drink and some gas and when he got out of his car, it went black." Threatt said. "He woke up on the ground. He'd been hit in the head with something. So he wandered into the gas station, in pain, and they directed him to a local emergency room. He responded to that emergency room." Updyke didn't require stitches, according to Threatt, but may have "a slight concussion." (Listen to Threatt's call here.) He also claimed that the alleged attacker called a Montgomery television station to report (falsely) that Updyke had been stabbed.

An Opelika police captain told the Opelika Daily News that Updyke's injuries were "minor" and could result in misdemeanor charges following an investigation, but added that Updyke couldn't identify or describe the assailant and the gas station didn't have video surveillance in the parking lot: "[Updyke] has not really been too cooperative at this point."

Matt Hinton of Dr. Saturday is is skeptical of the story, saying "The fact that Threatt actually had to say, on the air, "I had nothing to do with my client getting attacked at a gas station" should raise your cynicism meter to the appropriate level re: the veracity of his and/or his client's account"

Finebaum has posted on Twitter that "Threatt says the doctors told Updyke his injuries are consistent with being hit in the head with a wooden board." Already an Opelika-Auburn News beat reporter David Morrison replied on Twitter by naming  WWE Hall-of-Famer "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan as a suspect in the case.

The Updyke case seems to become more of a tragedy and a farce  as time goes on.  At the same time, every new twist doesn't seem to come as a much of a surprise, either.

(via Dr. Saturdayal.com)

Northwestern wants to play at Wrigley Field again. Really?

Last season's game between the in-state Big Ten rivals Illinois and Northwestern at one of the last of America's great baseball parks may have sounded like a good idea on paper, but the execution of the game will go down as one of the more infamous moments in college football history. With a cramped east end zone declared unsafe by the Big Ten, the game was played using only half the field.

Despite the  double embarrassment playing with under the abnormal the field conditions and losing to Illinois 48-27 (though the later can partially be accounted to the loss of quarterback Dan Persa the week before), Northwestern wants to begin playing games at Wrigley Field on an annual basis. The Chicago Tribune reports that despite the field debacle, the game did well financially, and both Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs would like to see a yearly Wildcat trip to the Windy City. With one big caveat involving funding for renovations to Wrigley.

"The Nov. 20 game was such a financial and marketing success that Cubs and Northwestern officials have talked about putting an annual Wrigley Field game on the calendar, sources told the Tribune.
But that won't happen until the Cubs renovate their ballpark. Once it secures funding, the team hopes to create space for a regulation 100-yard field by manipulating walls in at least one dugout area."

Someone should have thought of that before last year's game. Still the idea of playing at Wrigley does show a renewed interest by Northwestern in being a serious contender in the Big Ten.

(via The Chicago Tribune. HT:  Off-Tackle Empire and CBS Sports)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Ryan Mallett, Tyler Bray, Gene Chizik, and more.

(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.)  

Least. Shocking. News. Ever. This Week. 
Ryan Mallett reportedly admitted drug use to an unnamed NFL general manager . (Pro Football Weekly)

Panic in the streets of Knoxville.
Tennessee fans should be worried about Tyler Bray's maturation process as a quarterback in the Orange and White Game. Because Mark Wiedmer said so. Shut up, Mark.(Chatanooga Times-Free Press)

Oh no they shouldn't!
Rocky Top Talk gives a spirited retort to Wiedmer's comments. (Rocky Top Talk)

Derek Dooley's ESPN profile.
The World Wide Leader takes on His Hairness. (ESPN)

Speak No Evil. 
LSU is silent while the NCAA is working on a report on "alleged recruiting improprieties." (The Times-Picayune)

Chizik gets Bronx cheer at Talladega. 
Gene Chizik  got booed at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega  on Sunday. Partly because there were Alabama fans in attendance, and partially because he wasn't Dale Earnhart Jr. (CBS Sports)

Here's a shocker. 
The SEC had ten schools on a list of spring game attendance figures. All of them had more than 25,000 spectators at the games each. (CBS Sports)

Alabama A-Day "review."
And yes, the Nick Saban statue gets some well-deserved skewering. (The Belly of the Beast)

That Don't Impress Me Much. 
Chadd Scott is still "Not Yet Ready to Believe in Georgia." Shut up, Chadd. (ChuckOliver.net)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purdue Pete's makeover shelved by Purdue.

From the "Well, that didn't last long" department":

Purdue has shelved the "new-look" Purdue Pete faster than Alabama shelved Mike Price after that little trip to that strip club. The semi-official mascot was given a facelift to allegedly make him less scary to children (and other living things). The results, however weren't quite universally loved, and the Purdue officials gave the "new" Pete the heave-ho.


"The fans have spoken, and we are listening," athletic director Morgan Burke said Wednesday afternoon. "They like the Purdue Pete they've known for the last 30 years, and that's the one we're going with."

It's a shame that Jim Delany and the Big Ten couldn't listen to the people when they introduced the "Leaders" and "Legends" divisions.

(via The Indianapolis Star. HT: Kegs N' Eggs)

Donors raked University of Tennessee administration over the coals during Bruce Pearl scandal.

How did donors to the University of Tennessee handle the Bruce Pearl firing? Not so well. Through a series of e-mailed uncovered by  Knoxville News Sentinel using a public records request, donors lashed out at both Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek athletic director Mike Hamilton over how the issue was handled.

"The 14 donor email messages and a handful of others between UT officials and trustees were released Friday in response to a News Sentinel public records request. The names of the donors, all of whom each contributed more than $100,000 to the university, were redacted because of state laws protecting donor identities.

Despite the threats to pull donations, athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton said officials have not seen a decline in contributions and that there has been more positive feedback since the hiring of new coach Cunozo Martin. 

“More than likely in an emotionally charged situation, this is always to be expected,” Stanton said of the negative email."

Highlights of the e-mails include jabs at Cheek and University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro's University of Florida connections.  

"On March 20, the day before Pearl was notified of his dismissal, one donor told UT President Joe DiPietro  to “call off your little (fellow) attack gator, Cheek. What are you AgHeads thinking???”

The comment referenced both DiPietro’s and Cheek’s connection to the University of Florida, where both served before coming to UT, and their agriculture department backgrounds."

Just to show how delusional some of the e-mails were, one donor even threw womens' basketball coach Pat Summit under the bus.


“Hamilton has splintered the fan base of Tennessee and been an embarrassment to UT fans across the country along with the coaches he hired,” the email reads. “I would love to be president for just a day. I’d fire that self-promoting inept AD, promote Pat Summitt, then you could have your job back.”

The Knoxville News Register reports the majority of the e-mailers supported Pearl, which makes one wonder about the ethical standards of those supposed "$100,000-plus donors." Although at least one donor had the right idea to chastise Pearl, the one who actually committed the violations that could result in the Volunteers getting ban-hammered by the NCAA.




"On March 19, one donor was so upset by Pearl’s comments following UT’s NCAA tournament blowout loss to the University of Michigan — “We got into this together and we should see it through together,” Pearl had said — that he wrote Hamilton about them.

“This is way more than I can choke down. I am incensed at the arrogant ignorance of that comment. I, and thousands of other Tennessee supporters, had nothing to do with HIS actions. I worry for you … and some others that are caught in this meat grinder,” wrote the donor."

At least there is one rich person in Tennessee with a lick of sense. That should make some people breathe easier.

(via Go Vols Xtra)





Sunday, April 17, 2011

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Steve Spurrier, Tyler Bray, Branden Smith, and more.

(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.) 

Will Alabama and Auburn go "From back-to-back champions to back-to-back probations?"
 Joe Solomon ponders the idea of both schools going on NCAA probation. (al.com)

Mo' Money for Spurrier. 
South Carolina gives head football coach Steve Spurrier a raise for the next three seasons, but not a contract extension. (ChuckOliver.net)

Bray's sophomore slump?
Tyler Bray struggled in Tennessee's Orange and White Game.  (Go Vols Xtra)

Arkansas loses Broderick Green for 2011 season. 
The wide receiver suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a practice session. (The Slophouse)

Ross Rassner suspended.
Arkansas suspends linebacker Ross Rassner indefinitely after his arrest for "being a minor in possession of alcohol and possession of a controlled substance" namely marijuana. (Arkansas Sports 360)

Branden Smith back in black. 
Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was impressed with cornerback Branden Smith's performance as a member of the Black team during the G-Day game on Saturday. (Athens Banner-Herald)

Please come to Oxford for the springtime. 
The Belly of the Beast gives its case for Stephen Garcia to transfer to Ole Miss. (The Belly of the Beast)

More appropriate fact than you think of the day:
ESPN lists Stephen Garcia's hometown as Lutz, Florida. Well, he certainly has applied more than enough of the lutz lately. (ESPN)



Nick Saban's statue is finally unveiled.

The wait is finally over for the unveiling to the public of Nick Saban's statue on Alabama's Walk of Champions. And it is scarier than you could ever imagine.  



Not only will Alabama be able Nick Saban for generations to come now, it will also be able to scare the crows away from the area of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big Tentacles: Dan Persa, Michigan State, Kirk Cousins, and more.

(Big Tentacles is the SWRT look at the Big Ten and the schools it not-so-secretly covets.)  


Yeah, I know. The new Purdue Pete isn't looking any better. This is what a Cabbage Patch Kid grows up to look like.


Persa not quite good to go yet. 
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles' Tendon,  won't be taking part in the Wildcat's spring game Saturday. But he should be getting medical clearance to take part in the Wildcats' summer practices by June 1. (The Chicago Tribune)

Linthicum gets probation.
Michigan State tight end Brian Linthicum agreed to a plea bargain deal giving him a year's probation for his involvement in an incident in Colorado. (Lansing State Journal)

Kirk Cousins is the new Stewart Scott.
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins is trying to revive the term "Boo Ya!" In a word, Kirk, don't. (The Only Colors)

Meet James Abbrederis. 
Wisconsin walk-on Jared Abbrederis has gone from fighting for a spot on the team to being one of the players who are standing out during spring practice. (Wisconsin State Journal)

I come to bury the Iowa-Illinois rivarly, not praise it. 
Looking at the rivalry between The Buckeyes and the Fighting Illini, who haven't played each other since 2008. Thanks to Big Ten scheduling, the two schools won't play each other until at least 2015 at the earliest. (Black Heart Gold Pants)


What's a Purdue loss to Indiana on the football field feel like? 
Apparently it feels like a burning void of pain, emptiness and self doubt that is greater than the emotional wasteland formed deep in the soul after listening to every song ever recorded by The Cure rolled together into one mournful dirge of unfathomable sorrow. (Off Tackle Empire)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shirts Without Random Triangles: Minnesota Gopher Boy t-shirt is so two-thousand-and-late.

Never let it be said that the University of Minnesota isn't trying to make itself seem hip. After all, the Land of a Thousand Lakes has given us Bob Dylan, Prince, and The Replacements (just for starters). But gee whiz, the latest attempt to make the school keep up with pop culture seems, well, awkward.



First of all, let it be known that this fashion faux pas is in relation to this video, which is a response to that annoying "Teach Me How to Bucky"  video abomination that crawled out of Wisconsin.



Of course, what better way to respond to a parody of a still semi-current song than with a song straight out of...2007? Heck, that's ancient history when it comes to hip hop culture. "Crank Dat Soulja Boy" is so two-thousand-and-late (even more than the line "two-thousand-and-late").

(via SB Nation)

Les Miles kissed a pig, and liked it.

What if I told you an SEC coach locked lips with a farm animal? Which coach would be your first guess to have done the deed? Yeah, it probably would be Les Miles, wouldn't it?

The fun-loving, grass eating, head football coach of LSU joined six other university luminaries in the school's annual "Kiss the Pig" fundraising event, which raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. No word if Miles wore any cherry Chapstick while he kissed the pig. Or if the pig's boyfriend didn't mind it happening.

(via WBRZ. HT And the Valley Shook)

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Auburm, Les Miles, Ryan Mallett, and...John Daly?

(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.) 

Another day, Another Auburn investigation. This time the NCAA is taking a look at the now-defunct "Tiger Prowl" to see if any funny business went on inside the Auburn bus. (SB Nation)

It's too soon for Auburn to erect a Cam Newton statue. because Kevin Scarbinsky says so. Shut up, Kevin. (al.com)

Florida is "a launching pad for successful coaching careers." Because Pat Dooley says so. Though some people are going to take issue with Ron Zook being on the list. (The Gainesville Sun)

Les Miles has a language all his own. And trying to translate it without a Rosetta Stone is a dangerous job. (Alexandria Town Talk)


Faster than a speeding bullet?  ESPN's Chris Low takes a look at the SEC's fastest (and yes, probably most furious) players. (ESPN)

Green Thoughts. Marc Weizer looks at the Georgia wideouts looking to take A.J. Green's place. (Athens Banner-Herald)

The Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list. With a whole Lott (sorry) of SEC defensive players. (Lott IMPACT Trophy official website)

LSU linebacker Ryan Baker and Tennessee running back Tauren Poole are the SEC representatives on Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan's list of players whose performances in 2010 were somehow overlooked. (Rivals.com)

Catch  a Falling Star? Heisman winner Mark Ingram NFL Draft stock seems to be heading in a downward trend. (Roll 'Bama Roll)

Vols' Smith injured. Tennessee defensive end Jacques Smith suffers an injured foot during practice, and will be out of action until at least June. (Go Vols Xtra)

 Look upon Houston Nutt's works, ye mighty, and despair! A cataloging of things all or partially destroyed by the Ole Miss head football coach, including huge swaths of the English Language. (The Belly of the Beast)

Ryan Mallett visits Camp Chucky. The former Arkansas quarterback has a meeting of the minds (?) with Jon Gruden, with a special guest appearance by John Daly to boot.  (Friends of the Program)


Video of the instillation of Nick Saban's statue.

Here's some video of the instillation of Nick Saban's  graven image onto the University of Alabama's walk of champions. It seems the reporter on the scene got a little too dramatic in describing the statue's delivery via helicopter.



The reporter didn't really say "It was as if he descended from the clouds of Heaven," did she? Oh snap, she did! No, it did not descend from Heaven. It descended from a freaking helicopter!  Get your facts straight, dangit! This is why the rest of America mocks Alabama, and the South as well.

(via WVUA-TV on YouTube)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nick Saban's graven image is under wraps at Alabama.



Is that The Mummy? Nope. It's the tightly-wrapped statue of Nick Saban, which has finally arrived to its place of honor on Alabama's Walk of Champions. It will finally be unveiled before the A-Day Game on Saturday. Despite reports, the statue will not "breathe fire." Nor will it be able to transform into a giant sandstorm to pummel Tuscaloosa (or Auburn, for that matter).

(via @UA_Athletics  on TwitterOff the Bench)

Big Tentacles: Illinois, Iowa, and more


Illinois is removing 2,200 seats from Memorial Stadium due to being "too old to use." That and the fact that Memorial Stadium apparently had only one sellout in 2010.   (ESPN, Eleven Warriors)

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is the new sponsor of the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry game. Of course they are. (Black Heart Gold Pants)


Would Black Heart Gold Pants stoop so low as to mock the "new and improved" Purdue Pete? Of course it does. Make sure to check the reader comments on this one. Epic.  (Black Heart Gold Pants)

What Northwestern football greats deserve a statue erected in their honor? And stop snickering. (Lake the Posts)

Penn State "new" uniforms are officially unveiled. I said stop snickering, dangit! (Linebacker U)

Jim Tressel's Book Club

With the days winding down before Oprah Winfrey ends her cultural dominance of daytime television, it also marks the end of Oprah's Book Club. So now who is going tell America what books to read? Well, there's always Glenn Beck to...oh wait, his show's been canceled going off the air too.

Well here comes Jim Tressel to the rescue. While the embattled Ohio State coach is dealing with the mass hubris known as "TatGate" that he stepped in, he has taken time to do a little heavy reading. And according to his blog on Ohio State's official website,  he's had his staff and team join in the fun too.

"As preparations for spring football began, our staff and team certainly had shared off-season experiences that provided tremendous opportunities to improve and grow. We learned a great deal about ourselves and about others. Prior to concerning ourselves with the fundamentals and techniques of the game of football, we felt as if we needed to make some personal decisions as we moved forward. Hence, we chose to read as a team the book, The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews.


The Traveler's Gift is a simple book that outlines seven decisions that determine personal success. It has been an ideal teaching tool for us as we seek to grow with this young team. For nearly 25 years, I have been utilizing "team books", and I really feel that this book by Andy Andrews is the perfect book for our football family at this moment in time. We actually have Jerry Rudzinski, former Buckeye great, to thank for sharing this book with our staff. It has been a blessing to both the staff and players."

The line about "shared off-season experiences that provided tremendous opportunities to improve and grow" has to be the mother of all understatements.  Though one wonders if a book that dealt with situations that were a little pertinent to the Buckeye player's lives may have been a little more appropriate. Like maybe A Payroll to Meet: A Story of Greed, Corruption, and Football at SMU, by David Whitford. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. (Besides, they could just buy Pony Excess off of iTunes)

(via OhioStateBuckeyes.com HT: Eleven Warriors)




Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Michigan looks at game in Dolphins' Sun-Life Stadium home.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon went down to Naples, FL. to appear at an event sponsored U-M Alumni Club of Southwest Florida. He informed the attendees that Michigan is looking into playing a neutral-site game in the Sunshine State. Specifically at Sun-Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.

"We've had some preliminary discussions with Stephen Ross about whether or not it would be possible to come down here and play a game," Brandon said Monday night at an event presented by the U-M Alumni Club of Southwest Florida in Naples. "That's something we'd consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well."

The Stephen Ross connection is of no coincidence. According to Ross' bio on the Miami Dolphins' official website, the majority owner of the Dolphins' is a graduate of Michigan. In fact, U-M  rechristened its business school as the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in his honor in 2004. 

Ross also attended the University of Florida. With that connection in mind, the Gators might be the obvious opponent for the Wolverines. Florida has been criticized in the past over its out-of-conference scheduling. And except for the 2010 and 2011 Alabama and Penn State confrontations, big games between SEC and Big Ten teams have been rare in recent years. (Mention Northwestern-Vanderbilt and wait for the laughter).

Barring that, Florida State and Miami would be the next obvious targets for a Wolverine opponent. Miami currently calls Sun-Trust Stadium its home field, however. So that might defeat Brandon's desire for a "neutral-site" game. Florida State has always been open to playing major opponents. So the odds of a  Wolverines-Seminoles showdown might be better than a Wolverines-Gators game.

 If U-M can't get one of the "Big Three" Florida schools to play in Sun-Trust Field, either the school will have to talk another major SEC or ACC school into making the trek to Miami, or scrap the idea altogether. South Florida and Central Florida are probably out in the cold when it comes to playing Michigan, unless they schedule it as a trip to The Big House.

If Michigan can pull its Sun-Trust Stadium game off, it will bound to be a blockbuster game for college football. With Stephen Ross (and probably a little nudging from ESPN), it could happen sometime in the next few years.

(Detroit Free Press, ESPN, St. Petersburg Times)

Will Northwestern's Dan Persa slide into Heisman contention?

Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa's 2010 season was cut short when he tore his right Achilles’ tendon in the Wildcats' Nov. 13 victory against Iowa. Still rehabbing from the surgery repared tendon, Persa is learning how to avoid the same situation (or worse) during this upcoming  season. That includes figuring how to slide out of dangerous situations on the field.

“Danny will be the first to say that he learned some valuable lessons last year,” NU coach Pat Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “It’s fine for him to move around and scramble, but he has to get down and, at times, do a better job of managing himself. He took some unnecessary hits, especially early.”

Persa agreed, saying: “I was definitely told to take care of my body, and I knew people were a lot bigger in this league than (I faced) in high school. But I always thought of myself as a strong kid and never really was injured. Once I started getting hit after the first couple of games I was like: ‘Wow. They weren’t lying.’”



Meanwhile, Fitzgerald is already pimping Persa as a Heisman Trophy candidate for next year.


"To have a Heisman Trophy candidate come back at quarterback for us is something that gives me a little bit extra sleep at night," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said Tuesday. 

While a QB out of Northwestern as a Heisman Trophy candidate seems mind-boggling, Persa was coming off an notable season before his injury last year. Despite that, he made it onto the coaches' first team All-Big Ten list. 

Meanwhile the probable Heisman candidates out of the Big Ten seem to be few and far between.  Michigan's Denard Robinson may be the most likely Heisman Candidate out of the Big Ten, he might struggle a little with new coach Brady Hoke's new system. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez gets a mention or two, but only as a dark horse at the moment. Don't even mention Terelle Pryor at this point.

With a few good wins under Persa's belt, more focus could shift to the senior Wildcat QB in the Heisman race as a viable candidate.  At the least, it will improve his 2012 NFL Draft stock, which in the end could be the more desirable outcome.



(via The Chicago Tribune, ESPN)



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Covering Dixie Like Mildew: Nick Saban, John Brantley, Logan Gray, and more.


(Covering Dixie Like Mildew is the SWRT roundup of SEC  news, with the occasional pesky Southern school from another conference.)  

Meet the Press. Alabama head football coach Nick Saban responded to reporters' questions on the Brent Calloway recruiting controversy, the battle for the starting quarterback job, and other subjects at a fund raising event in Mobile, AL. (al.com)

Replacing Julio. A look at the wide receivers looking at taking over Julio Jones' spot in the Alabama starting offensive line. (al.com)

Of course he is. AuburnSports.com's Jeffrey Lee is is accused of making up  his claims about Alabama recruit Brent Calloway being involved in a play-for-pay scandal to turn attention away from brewing issues at Auburm. Of course a 'Bama blogger is making the claims. (Capstone Report)

The difficult we do immediately, the impossible may take a little longer.  Chuck Oliver, chimes in about Florida QB John Brantley. The Kang says that Brantley will be an effective QB...someday. (ChuckOliver.net)

I'm Still Standing. Tennessee QB Matt Simms is still considered a leader on the team, despite losing his starting job to Tyler Bray last season. (Go Vols Xtra)  

LSU progress report. Chadd Scott takes a look at the LSU offense under new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe. (ChuckOliver.net)

Too small for their britches?  Looking at Louisiana-Monroe, and wondering if a)The Warhawks are too small for the NCAA and b)If the NCAA is too big. (Team Speed Kills)

Kleptomania runs wild. Georgia players were the victims of a locker room break-in that resulted in the theft of over $1,300 worth of electronic devices. (CBS Sports)

The blame game. Is Joe Tereshinski to blame for Trinton Sturdivant's ACL injury?  Some critics of the program are blaming the embattled strength and conditioning coach. Here's a defense saying otherwise. (From Hedges to Hardwood)

Oh give me a home where the Buffalo roam. Former Georgia quarterback/wide receiver Logan Gray is transferring to Colorado. (ChuckOliver.net)


Purdue fans are not taking to Purdue Pete's Extreme Makeover.

Purdue fans are in an uproar over the plastic surgery given to the school's semi-official mascot Purdue Pete. The hard-hatted symbol of the school which is best known for its engineering and science programs was given a makeover because he reportedly scared children (not to mention bloggers who thought he was really an Auton).  

Purdue Pete has gone from this:


To this new and, er, "improved" Pete, making his appearance at the spring Black and Gold Game: 



Notice Pete's new head, which has gone from a shiny, stoic but fierce look; to a softer, more compassionate Cabbage Patch Kid-looking dome. Along with a helmet that looks more like Jay Garrick's Flash headgear (sans the wings) than a hard hat. Also, look at the arms. They're meant to be muscular, but come off as appearing flabby instead. Fans aren't too crazy about it.


"We can't recall much dissatisfaction voiced about the Pete who has roamed the sidelines and the hardwood in recent years. He seemed to fit the bill quite nicely, even as he was ridiculed on websites as being among the worst mascots in intercollegiate sports. Students here would argue otherwise; Pete has been a projection of brute strength, nerve and a solid work ethic."

Needless to say, reaction on the Internet is much worse.

"The new Pete was publicly shown off and here's what I think: he looks worse in person than he did via photos. His goofy stuffed animal shoes make him look like Mickey Mouse. I always liked Pete wearing black Nikes with a white swoosh as if he might suit up and play for the team. His physique isn't tough-looking and his costume just isn't right. The shiny silver helmet doesn't seem to be shaped like a hard hat and his matching giant belt buckle (like he's about to go to the Neon Cactus) doesn't fit. Plus, he looks like he stole his pants from the lady's department at JC Penney. Whereas the old Pete might have looked intimidating and menacing, the new one looks as if he was born chromosomally-deficient."

Hammer and Rails went on to gripe about Purdue Pete's missing hammer. Claiming that his mighty Mjöllnir is missing because "allegedly because it promoted violence."


Purdue is already claiming that the Pete that appeared at the Black and Gold Game is merely a prototype version that arrived just before the game, and will undergo some further alterations. Though reports of the new headpiece's place of origin might explain Pete's less-than-stellar appearance.

"The new Pete was manufactured in Wisconsin, and might explain why he seems so foreign and fake."

"Manufactured in Wisconsin," eh? I smell a conspiracy involving those steenkin' Badgers. Alert Alex Jones to this chicanery.

(via Journal & CourierBoiled Sports, Hammer and Rails)