Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Reporters' Notebooks

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times: Is this the first hint that not all is well at USC? LenDale White, upset in Hawaii, gets the tough yards, leaving Reggie Bush to get the Heisman-style touchdowns (may require registration).

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Register: What a difference a week makes. Tommy Tuberville won 15 in a row at Auburn, but a startling loss to Georgia Tech has Tiger fans pushing the panic button.

Randy Holtz, Rocky Mountain News: Think Dennis Franchione was the only coach to error on Saturday? Colorado State's Sonny Lubick has come forward to confess his sins.

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: A colorful look at who sizzled and who fizzled in Week 1 (pay site, so story is in the comments tab).

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

The HList: A look back over the football weekend

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

A weekly look at the glory and the gory of the past football weekend, compiled from sources around the nation and Nick Lachey.

1. Big Tenand-O: That’s right, the Big Ten is 10-0 after Week One. (Purdue didn’t play.) Six wins came against Mid-American Conference teams. Most weren’t pretty.

The average Big Ten-MAC score was 44-17. Big Ten teams averaged 501 yards to the MAC’s 323.

Northwestern took particular pleasure in singing ‘‘Hit the road, MAC.’’ It whomped Ohio, 38-14, in Frank Solich’s first game as Ohio’s coach. In 2000, Solich’s Nebraska team butchered Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl, 66-17.

Those days are over. For Solich and Nebraska.

2. Leapin’ Leprechauns!: Hey, Notre Dame has a football team again. The Fighting Irish ripped Pittsburgh, 42-21, with an imaginative offense that produced over 400 yards before its first punt.

It must have come as a jolt to ESPN college football analyst Mark May, who predicted the Fighting Irish would lose their first six games.

But everyone makes mistakes, and May has a sensible side. He tabbed USC as his pick to win this season’s national title. ESPN mates Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit took Ohio State and Trev Alberts selected Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes and Hokies are very good. But they aren’t USC.

3. Neon Keon: The early leader in the 2005 Heisman Trophy race i s . . . Keon Gaither?

Perhaps not, but the junior safety from Division II West Texas A&M has six interceptions in two games and has returned two picks for touchdowns. His Buffaloes beat New Mexico Highlands, 90-21, on Aug. 27, and mauled East Central last Saturday, 37-6.

The latter halted WTAMU’s nine-game home losing streak and made it 2-0 for the first time in 10 years.

The Hlist loves Neon Keon.

4. Nice going: Mississippi State gave 2,000 tickets to Hurricane Katrina evacuees for its home game against Murray State.

Over 300 Alabama fans dropped off their tickets for the Crimson Tide’s opener against Middle Tennessee at a Red Cross shelter for Katrina victims on the Bama campus.

‘‘This is monumental. It takes your mind away from what’s going on,’’ said Raydell Hayes, a displaced restaurant worker from New Orleans who took five children to the game.

Some Mississippi State and Alabama fans not only gave up hotel rooms they booked for last weekend, but paid for evacuees to stay in them. And, fans at games all over the U.S. donated money for the relief cause. It all helps.

1. Oklahoma isn’t OK: Oklahoma, owners of a 60-7 record from 2000 through 2004, is 0-1 after a 17-10 loss to TCU.

‘‘In the locker room at halftime, everybody was talking about an upset, but I didn’t want to even hear the word,’’ said TCU defensive tackle Ranorris Ray. ‘‘Don’t talk about an upset to me. This was supposed to happen. We took this as a game we could win. And then we went out and did it.’’

‘‘Our defense?’’ TCU quarterback Tye Gunn said. ‘‘I don’t know what was said, or if there was some kind of magical potion given to them over the summer, but that was unbelievable.’’

OU Coach Bob Stoops is 0-1 since his guaranteed annual income was bumped to $2.4 million in June.

2. Lighter, not brighter: Missouri lightened its future schedules last year by, basically, backing out of a four-year contract with Iowa that was to have begun this year.

Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden weaseled out of the Iowa deal partly so the Tigers could play patsy Arkansas State at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium this year. They did so Saturday. Mizzou won, 44-17.

The announced crowd was a mere 32,906. Arrowhead’s upper deck was closed.

‘‘It was pretty clear that 31,500 were Missouri fans, and I was pleased with that,’’ Alden said.

Uh huh.

The Kansas State-Iowa game at Arrowhead in 2000 drew 77,148.

3. Fifteen yards . . . for piling on. Piling on the Big 12, that is. The Hlist apologizes for doing so and hopes better days come to the conference, but didn’t like what it saw in Week One though the league went 9-2.

Oklahoma lost. Iowa State, Nebraska and Oklahoma State struggled to beat I-AA teams. Kansas State was none too fabulous in beating I-A Florida International, 35-21, and Kansas limped to a 30-19 win over I-A Florida Atlantic.

Kansas hosts Appalachian State Saturday. Can you imagine the crowd size if they moved that game 45 minutes east to Arrowhead?

4. No sizzle: Bacone College of Muskogee, Okla., lost 77-7 to Sam Houston State last Thursday.

‘‘We are embarrassed,’’ said eggs, lettuce and tomatoes.

‘‘The scope of destruction of Hurricane Katrina and Baton Rouge’s role in helping its victims should supersede home football games in the foreseeable future.

‘‘Move the games to Shreveport, Houston or somewhere else that is not so directly involved in the recovery effort. It’s the right thing to do.

‘‘Tiger Stadium can roar on Saturday night by remaining silent.’’ — David Climer, The Tennessean, on LSU’s scheduled home game Saturday against Arizona State, which now has been moved to Tempe.

‘‘I’d say we won the line of scrimmage.’’ — Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis, after the Irish rushed 50 times for 275 yards in their pounding of Pittsburgh.