Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reporters' Notebooks

Ron Higgins, Commercial Appeal: So why is Auburn's Tommy Tuberville suddenly such a big fan of Arkansas? (registration).

Marlon W. Morgan and Higgins, Commercial Appeal: Morgan reports on the turmoil at Mississippi under madman Ed Orgeron. Higgins says Tennessee's courtship of David Cutcliffe is nearly complete (registration).

Curt McKeever, Lincoln Journal Star: Big 12 stock report. He's buying Kansas, which is 5-0 at Lawrence and in need of a victory over Iowa State to become bowl eligible.

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Our man in the Midwest takes a look over the shoulder at the football weekend (subscription, so story is in comments).

Chris Dempsey, Denver Post: With a break here or there, Iowa State could be playing in the Big 12 title game.

Irv Moss, Denver Post: Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry is busy recruiting. Maybe he can find some black players who "can run very, very well."

Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News: Michigan is 7-4. Lloyd Carr must be screaming mad. Turns out, he's not.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...


Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

1. Burning Bush: Here’s a call to vote for Bush. That’s Reggie Bush. For the Heisman Trophy.

The USC running back gained 294 rushing yards and 513 all-purpose yards in the Trojans’ 50-42 win over 16th-ranked Fresno State. Every inch was needed against perhaps the most-underrated program in the country.

"No. 5 is a great, great player," said Fresno State Coach Pat Hill, whose Bulldogs are indeed bulldogs. They surely would have upset the Trojans were it not for Bush, who is having a far better autumn than someone else who shares his last name.

2. Seems Like Old Times: You may have heard this one before. Kurt Warner passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns as his team won a game in St. Louis, 38-28.

Except this time the son of Cedar Rapids was playing against the St. Louis Rams, not for them. The two-time National Football League MVP was Warner-esque in his first game back at the Edward Jones Dome after leaving the Rams two years ago, helping the Arizona Cardinals prevail. Warner improved to 24-4 with 63 touchdown passes as a starter in that dome.

"I said this when he left us a few years ago, he’ll come back in here and cook us one of these days," Rams center Andy McCollum said. "And it happened. I’m sorry that I was right."

3. Manning’s Man: The Indianapolis Colts improved to 10-0 Sunday. Quarterback Peyton Manning utilized former Iowa tight end Dallas Clark to great success in the Colts’ 45-37 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Clark had career-highs in catches (six) and receiving yards (125). With the Bengals’ defense designed to blitz and pressure Manning, as well as stop the Colts’ run, Clark was left spending much of the first-half matched up against a linebacker.

"Anytime you get Dallas on a linebacker, you feel like you like that matchup," Manning said.

"Peyton’s the best," Clark said.

CBS’ announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms raved about Clark during their telecast of the game, and spoke of how he walked on at Iowa and used his signing bonus to pay off a college loan.

Clark can make that back with the Super Bowl check he’s likely to soon receive.

4. All MAC, All the Time: This week is a Mid-American Conference Thanksgiving smorgasbord.

Last night, Miami (Ohio) played Ohio. Tonight, Toledo plays Bowling Green. Wednesday afternoon, Western Michigan plays Northern Illinois. Thursday morning, Kent State plays Akron.

The Hlist appreciates the MAC’s effort to attract attention. Not enough to actually watch those games, but it appreciates it.

1. ’Canes Un-rapped: A funny thing happened on Miami’s way to the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

The same week that revelations of a partcularly vile rap song was recorded two years ago by some former and current Hurricane football players, the ’Canes got caned by Georgia Tech in Miami, 14-10.

Georgia Tech can’t exactly claim the high road, since it was placed on two years probation last week for using 11 academically ineligible players in football.

2. Bowled New World: Ranked third in the AP preseason Top 25, Tennessee fell to 4-6 and lost its shot at a minor bowl with its 28-24 loss to Vanderbilt.

It was the Volunteers’ first loss to Vandy since 1982, and first defeat at home to their state rival since 1975.

"You see grown men crying and you realize how long it’s been since we’ve won," said Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler.

"Before you start building back anything, you have to hit rock bottom," Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer said. "This is rock bottom."

3. Z(zzzz) is for Zook: Only 31,465 fans watched Illinois close its first season under Coach Ron Zook at home with a ninth-straight loss, 38-21 to Northwestern.

"I’m done with this stuff," Zook said. "We’re going to get ballplayers in here, and we’re going to coach them up. This ain’t going to happen any more"

The Illini open their 2006 season at home against Eastern Illinois. Tickets still are available.

4. S-E-See Ya: The Southeastern Conference is doing no favors to certain bowl games, the Big 12, and Iowa State.

Last year, the SEC didn’t have enough bowl-eligible teams to send one to fill its spot in the Independence Bowl against Iowa State. So the Cyclones played Miami (Ohio) instead.

This year, ISU may land in the Houston Bowl against an SEC team. But wait, the SEC already has failed to have enough bowl-eligible teams to send one to Houston.

Maybe conferences with 12 members shouldn’t have eight bowl tie-ins.

"The Gophers’ running game, reputed to be the best in the country, reached several milestones, but did not reach the end zone until Iowa had grown bored.

"(And Iowa has a high threshold for boredom. On the radio Friday night, I heard Christmas music and cookie recipes and saw a flashing billboard offering this cutting-edge joke: ‘Why did the police arrest the turkey? For fowl behavior.’)

"I kid you not." — Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after Iowa whomped Minnesota, 52-28.

"I always thought I wanted to get up again." Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, after his team beat Michigan State, 31-22, to lock up a Big Ten title and berth in a BCS bowl.

Paterno said his father was a recreational boxer who often said that the only fighters who didn’t get up were the ones who didn’t want to. Penn State was 7-16 over the previous two years.