Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Reporters' Notebooks

Mark Knobler, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Forget the speculation about Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey being fired. He is getting a contract extension (registration).

Knobler, again: He hits the daily double with a conference-by-conference breakdown of the bowl picture (registration).

Lonnie White, Los Angeles Times
: Drew Olson gets none of the Heisman hype, but the UCLA quarterback has 30 touchdown passes and has thrown only three interceptions.

David Climer, Nashville Tennessean: So exactly what happened to that two-point conversion Georgia was going to try after taking a 26-21 lead against Auburn?

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: It was a Saturday to remember for football fans in Iowa (subscription, so story is in comments).

Marlon W. Morgan, Commercial Appeal: What is going on at Mississippi? Three players have quit, and coach Ed Orgeron said he's surprised (registration).

Curt McKeever, Lincoln Star Journal: Big 12 stock report. The cheat sheet says buy Oklahoma and sell Iowa State.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

THE HLIST

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

FIRST DOWNS
1. It’s All Good: Here’s the formula for a glorious Saturday in your state: Have your three Division I teams all beat nationally ranked foes.

Iowa vanquished then-No. 19 Wisconsin, 20-10. Northern Iowa edged then-No. 4 Southern Illinois in a I-AA scrap, 25-24. Iowa State closed the day by conquering then-No. 22 Colorado, 30-16.

Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska joined Iowa State, Minnesota and Wisconsin as bowl-eligible. Will the last person who leaves the Midwest in late December please turn the lights out?

2. Cold Cocked: South Carolina earned its first win over Florida in 15 tries, dating back to 1938. The 30-22 victory was the 7-3 Gamecocks’ fifth straight in the SEC.

South Carolina players gave Coach Steve Spurrier a dousing of ice water after beating Spurrier’s old school.

"The guys hit me with the dang ice bucket," said Spurrier, who refused to allow himself to be carried off the field by his players. "They don’t know that you’re supposed to do that after a championship, not after a season game. I got to coach them up on that a little bit."

3. America’s Team: Two months ago, LSU’s season started late because of Hurricane Katrina. While most other teams were playing ball, LSU players spent much of their time helping Katrina evacuees in Baton Rouge.

Saturday, the Tigers improved to 8-1 by beating previously unbeaten Alabama in overtime at ’Bama, 16-13.

"This is a predictable circumstance for this football team, considering how they started this season, what happened, how they responded," said LSU Coach Les Miles. "(For) the men that wear these helmets, this is predictable."

4. North Stars: The NFC North isn’t good. Before Sunday, North teams were 6-14 against those from outside their division. Green Bay and Chicago lost to Cleveland.

But Sunday, the North went 4-0 against the world.

Minnesota had 12 rushing yards and no offensive TDs, yet beat the New York Giants, 24-21. Samkon Gado, a practice squad player two weeks ago, scored three TDs in the Packers’ 33-25 win at Atlanta. And Chicago’s Nathan Vasher returned a missed San Francisco field goal try 108 yards for a TD in the Bears’ 17-9 win.

"I’ve never seen anything more amazing in my life, besides the birth of my daughter," said Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. "That particular play was the best thing I’ve ever seen since I started playing football — bar none. Unbelievable."

A blotch on the victory was the three lost fumbles by Chicago kick-returner Bobby Wade, trying to field punts in gusts of up to 47 mph.

"Hopefully, I get some wind days this week where I can catch about 50,000 punts in the wind," Wade said.

FUMBLES
1. Zero for Zorros: Texas Tech’s shock-and-awe offense crashed against an unlikely stopper, Oklahoma State.

The 8-2 Red Raiders had their lowest offensive output in 37 games. The Cowboys, who had allowed 43.6 points per Big 12 game, got their first league win in six tries.

So the Zorros managed just one offensive touchdown and lost to the Pokes, 24-17.

"It wasn’t worth a damn," Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach said. "Everybody on this staff and team needs to find the first mirror they can and they need to look in it for a long time."

2. Spartans Smartin’: Michigan State won at Notre Dame in September. MSU was once 4-0 and ranked 11th.

After their 41-18 loss at Minnesota, the Spartans are 5-5 and in a need of a Nov. 26 home win over Penn State to qualify for a bowl.

"I don’t care what bowl it is," MSU offensive lineman Gordon Niebylski said. "I don’t care if three people come."

The Motor City Bowl promises a crowd of up to six.

3. The Son Also Rises: Florida State has lost three Atlantic Coast Conference games for the first time since joining the league in 1992. The latest team to whip up on FSU is Clemson, 35-14.

Clemson’s coach is Tommy Bowden, son of Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

"Tommy just blew us out today," Bobby Bowden said. "I’m real proud of him, but that doesn’t help me."

In a between-quarters promotion, 28-year-old Army veteran Chris Bostic won $1 million by throwing a football through a hole 20 inches in diameter in a board 25 yards away.

"Everybody out there was luckier than me," Bobby said.

4. Stomping Mad: After their 41-14 rout of Indiana, Michigan players complained about Indiana players stomping on the ‘M’ at midfield of Michigan Stadium before the game.

Indiana Coach Terry Hoeppner took greater umbrage at something else. When the Hoosiers tried to use their half of the field for punting and kicking drills during warm-ups, Michigan assistant coaches told them they only had a quarter of the field to use. The coaching staffs exchanged unkind words.

"The next time we play these guys, I can’t wait," Hoeppner said. "I’m already getting ready for it. I’m going to count the days down until this date when we play them again. After what happened in the pregame warm-ups and right through the game, I can’t wait to play them next time."

The Hlist has yet to hear of any Wolverines quaking in their shoes.

FROM THE PAPERS
"Go ahead and inhale if you dare. Take a deep breath. Smell that stench? That’s the sweet scent of the University of South Florida continuing in its quest to stink up the BCS." — Brett McMurphy of the Tampa Tribune on South Florida being three wins away from a Big East title and BCS berth.

FINAL WORD
"My mind-set is to do everything I can do so we don’t go back to the Alamo Bowl. I think the seniors deserve more." — Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman.
How nice for one of the Big Ten’s bowl partners.

Mike.Hlas@gazettecommunications.com