Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ex-Cop in Trouble for Being Sun Devil Fan

A retired detective could be flagged for identifying himself as the "biggest Sun Devil fan on the Tucson Police Department" and revealing his true colors beneath his uniform during the Arizona-Arizona State game. Wayne Jacobs may have violated Police Department ethics and conduct rules, or he may have committed a misdemeanor by impersonating a cop, said Sgt. Ramon Batista, a Tucson police spokesman. Jacobs isn't talking.

Columnists' Corner

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: Best read of the day. Few teams have a fan like 91-year-old Francis Benavidez, who has attended every USC home game since 1933.

Dave Krieger, Rocky Mountain News: Colorado might not be happy with Gary Barnett, but the university doesn't have the bankroll to pay off the coach.

Betting Fool, San Francisco Chronicle: No matter how much it is tweaked, the BCS remains one heck of a mess.

Ron Higgins, Commercial Appeal: Talent is not the problem at Tennessee, but getting the players motivated is (registration).

Jerry Izenberg, Newark Star-Ledger: It seems like the last time Rutgers played in a bowl game, the players were wearing leather helmets.

Jeff Shain, Miami Herald: A 7-4 record is unacceptable at Florida State, but a victory against Virginia Tech would make for a memorable season (registration).

Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News: Auburn is another team about to get shafted. And you wonder why there is so much hatred for Notre Dame.

Tom Powers, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Maybe Minnesota should be called Team iPod. The tune the Golden Gophers are hearing most is Music City Bowl.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: It looks more and more like the Oregon Ducks will migrate to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, where Oklahoma or Nebraska will be the opponent.

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times: UCLA's Maurice Drew is dinged up and missed practice, but he won't miss the biggie against USC.

Ron Higgins and Marlon W. Morgan, Commercial Appeal: They break down the SEC title game and tell you who will walk away with the trophy (registration).

Susan Miller Degnan, Miami Herald: NCAA head honcho Myles Brand has started an investigation into Miami's University High, the school at the center of a New York Times investigation (registration).

Chris Low, Tennessean: Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer won't be getting a raise and will have to make due on $2.05 million next year.

Robbi Pickeral, Raleigh News & Observer: A lack of consistency was North Carolina's downfall, and coach John Bunting has much work to do (registration).

John Moredich, Tucson Citizen: If Arizona can beef up its defensive front, it could be a force next season. The offense is another story.

Chad Hartley, Reno Gazette-Journal: Decisions, decisions. Nevada is a team divided. Do the Wolfpack prefer to spend the holidays in Honolulu or Las Vegas?

Steve Kirk, Birmingham News: Alabama's Mike Shula is about to get a fat raise, sources tell the paper.

Moisekapenda Bower, Houston Chronicle: The Chronicle scoops the world. Ken Hatfield resigns as Rice coach.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Old Turning a Negative Into a Positive

Remarkable. Sixty hours later, after some sleep and a cold shower, a nasty hangover can be beat. Frank Solich is living proof, and we're not talking 120 proof, either. Solich apologized Tuesday for parking/driving his car the wrong way down a one-way street, being unable to roll down his window and struggling with his command of English (no, I have not been drinking ossifer) during his arrest on drunken driving Saturday night. But hey, every burg has an Otis the Town Drunk. In Athens, it just happens to be Solich! The good folks at Ohio University see this as an opportunity to move forward. Because of Solich's interest in the mysterious demon alcohol, the 61-year-old will now be able to better educate the student body about its dangers. We never knew that good, old Ohio U. had such a reputation as a research university. We'll drink to that!

Living in a Mad, Mad World

Mississippi Madman Ed Orgeron is back in the news. He finally confirmed what everybody knew: offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has been fired. It is expected that Orgeron will announce next week that his team lost to Mississippi State, 35-14. Orgeron's first year at Ole Miss has been a doozy. It started when he introduced himself to the team by ripping his shirt off in a fit of rage. Then two of his hand-picked assistants were dismissed before the season began because of off-field transgressions. Orgeron provoked gales of laughter by saying he'd "build a fence around Memphis" and has been trying to recruit players off a Tulane team that was hammered by Hurricane Katrina. Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal asks Mississippi fans, "Y'all comfortable with this?" (registraton).

The Bartender Is Your Best Friend

Drunken driving is nothing to laugh about, but you have to think they are chuckling in Nebraska over Frank Solich's conviction on Monday. The former Cornhusker coach, who just completed his first season at Ohio, was found Saturday night in his vehicle by police in Athens. Solich's vehicle was facing the wrong direction on a one-way street and when confronted by police, the coach had trouble figuring out how to roll down the window. He also had trouble understanding simple questions, like "why was your team only 4-7 this year?" So this begs the question: Now that Solich has had his license suspended for 180 days, who is going to drive Brent Musburger around?

Columnists' Corner

Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman: So are you ready for a Louisiana State-Penn State Rose Bowl? (registration).

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Register: "Four-Finger" Tommy Tuberville's gesture at the end of the victory against Alabama was brilliant.

Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle: If UCLA defeats USC, how about a rematch pitting the Trojans against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl?

Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal: Louisville finds itself in a fix because coach Bobby Petrino insisted on playing Brian Brohm nearly every snap.

David Climer, Nashville Tennessean: With several quarterbacks returning, maybe SEC teams can manage some offense next season.

Joe Santoro, Reno Gazette-Journal: For Nevada fans, giddy over the victory against Fresno State, it's time to party like it's 1999.

Reporters' Notebooks

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times: USC's LenDale White has a bruised shoulder and expects to play Saturday against UCLA.

Chico Harlan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penn State students have started camping out in freezing temperatures to be first in line for bowl tickets.

John Helsley, Daily Oklahoman: Mike Gundy's first season at Oklahoma State has to be classified as a disappointment (registration).

Dave Reardon, Honolulu Star-Bulletin: His team is 4-7, but Hawaii's June Jones says "this has been the funnest year I've had coaching since I've been here."

B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News: Colorado officials are still taking out the trash after students tossed debris on the field against Nebraska.

Dan Steinberg, Washington Post: The problems continue to mount for Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen (registration).

Jeff Shain, Miami Herald: Now that Florida State is out of the rankings, fans are calling for offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden to be fired (registration).

Monday, November 28, 2005

Report: School Helped Manipulate System

The New York Times has a terrific story on a Miami correspondence school that has helped at least 14 players make the necessary grade-point-average to gain entrance into college. The school, University High, was founded by a man who pleaded guilty to mail fraud (for fake diplomas) and is located on the third floor of an office building between a Starbucks and an animal hospital on Route 1 in south Miami. The Times identified 14 players who had signed with 11 Division I programs: Auburn, Central Florida, Colorado State, Florida, Florida State, Florida International, Rutgers, South Carolina State, South Florida, Tennessee and Temple (registration).

USC May Have Suffered First Loss

USC's preparations for Saturday's game against rival UCLA got off to a rough start. Tailback LenDale White suffered an apparent shoulder injury during practice on Sunday and severity has yet to be determined. After getting hit, the junior lay face down, grimacing in pain for several minutes, and, once he got to his feet, needed assistance to walk to the trainer's area. White was carted to the locker room later in the workout. White provides the power inside running for USC, and if he were not to play, that will mean a bigger workload for Reggie Bush, who has a shoulder injury of his own.

Columnists' Corner

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: If everything holds up as well as Don King's hair, this will be the BCS lineup.

Bob Young, Arizona Republic: Style over substance. Oregon has the better resume, but Notre Dame and Ohio State will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl.

Joe Lapointe, New York Times: All of a sudden, there happens to be a UCLA fan club forming at Penn State (registration).

Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: What if Texas were to lose to Colorado, then what happens to the BCS pecking order? (registration).

Marlon W. Morgan, Commercial Appeal: The next few weeks could reveal some telling things for Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron (registration).

Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: The Big East has taken its fair share of hits, but Rutgers is one of the best stories around.

John Pruett, Huntsville Times: Get your digs in now because Tennessee won't be down for long.

Reporters' Notebooks

John Henderson, Denver Post: In 40-plus years of watching college football, he can't recall a team in such shambles and looking more incompetent, disorganized and flat as Colorado in its 30-3 drubbing by Nebraska.

J.P. Giglio and Lorenzo Perez, Raleigh News & Observer: USC will absolutely destroy UCLA, then lose to Texas in the Rose Bowl (registration).

Keith Whitmore, Dallas Morning News: The Big 12 needs fixing, and the best solution is to do away with the divisions altogether (registration).

Doug Segrest, Birmingham News: Auburn's Kenny Irons moves into his Heisman list, but still no Drew Olson.

Zack McMillin, Commercial Appeal: For Memphis, it was a gratifying finish. For Mississippi, it was humiliation heaped on top of disappointment (registration).

Week 14

The last week of the regular season before we get down to business with the bowls. A first look at the numbers from We have games on Thursday-Saturday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Maybe This Wasn't Such a Good Idea

It has been 10 years since the Big 8 and Southwest conferences brokered a back-room deal to merge. The Kansas City Star gives the marriage a thumbs up. But it probably endorses Wal-Mart Super Centers, too. Like so many things theses days, the deal appears to benefit Texas (Haliburton, Enron, Longhorns. ...). One of the positive examples cited is the improvement of the bottomfeeders. Iowa State, for example, will be playing in its fifth bowl in six seasons. But the article fails to chronicle one of the ugliest weeks in Big 12 history. The Cyclones blew a chance to advance to the Big 12 title game for the second year in a row (see comments) by losing to Kansas (video), for chrissakes. This allowed Colorado, which was drilled at home to Nebraska, 30-3, to back in to the title game for the second year in a row. Now the Buffs get to be slaughtered by — you guess it — Texas, whose fans are still clinging to the idea that Vince Young can win the Heisman. And what about those great Oklahoma Sooners? They are left begging for a trip to the Holiday Bowl (video). Anything to avoid going to the Alamo Bowl in — correct again — Texas (some registration).

An Update on the Ed Orgeron Experiment

It's full steam ahead for the Madman of Mississippi. Saturday's season finale ended with a bang. The Rebels were drilled by hapless rival Mississippi State, 35-14, and were outgained in the process, 409-189. First to escape this mess was Noel Mazzone, who dashed past reporters. Mazzone has been fired, but the Madman has yet to confirm his offensive coordinator is toast. Yet in L.A., USC assistants Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin continue to be stalked by the Madman to replace Mazzone. Then there is this growing problem involving Tulane. It appears the Madman has tampered with several Green Wave players, among them quarterback Lester Ricard. "In the worst natural disaster [Hurricane Katrina] in the history of the United States, you have to stoop pretty low to do that. You're lower than dirt," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said (some registration).

Columnists' Corner

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: Fiesta Bowl officials see a thing of beauty when they look at Notre Dame Coach Crewcut Charlie Weis' sweaty upper lip.

Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune: It's time they hide the Crayola box at Florida State so offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden can't design any more plays before the ACC title game.

Edwin Pope, Miami Herald: Only 37,629 were in attendance for Miami's victory over Virginia. It seems two-loss seasons are becoming too common for many Hurricane faithful (registration).

Kevin Van Valkenburg, Baltimore Sun: That didn't take long. The fallout from Maryland's 5-6 season has started. Defensive coordinator Gary Blackney won't be back in 2006 (registration).

Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech blew its chance to defeat Georgia. It's difficult to envision Chan Gailey beating the hated mutts anytime soon, if ever (registration).

Joey Johnson, Tampa Tribune: South Florida coach Jim Leavitt looks like a fool for calling a trick play late in the Bulls' devastating loss at Connecticut.

John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader: Rich Brooks promises better days ahead, but after a 27-8 loss to Tennessee, there is little to suggest that the dawn of a new age is around the corner.

John Gambadoro, Arizona Republic: Put that phone down right now! No, you are not going to call that sportstalk show and demand that Arizona State fire Dirk Koetter.

Wizard Keeps Winning Edge by Going 4-3

A nice November for the Wizard, who finishes 4-3 on Saturday and concludes the month with a 19-9 record. His season mark is 48-41-2 (53.9%). Winners on Saturday: Nevada, North Carolina State, Georgia and Rutgers. His losers were South Florida, Notre Dame and Miami.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Lot More Than Chads Hanging in Florida

What would make the Citadel, a small school with strict discipline, play a big-time powerhouse such as Florida State? Let's see, we can give you two reasons, pictured above. And while we're at it, those Seminoles and Gators are squaring off today at the Swamp, which is under fire from a Florida professor. He wrote an editorial to the Gainesville Sun, saying Gator fans should be called for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Columnists' Corner

Jim Reeves, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: You've been exposed, Vince Young. You are a Heisman fraud. At least your team still has something to play for (registration).

Bernie Lincicome, Rocky Mountain News: That's one classy bunch of fans at Colorado, but given how the Buffs played, maybe the two were made for each other.

Joe Macaluso, Baton Rouge Advocate: Let's see, USC beat Arkansas, 70-17. And LSU? Oh, it beat the Razorbacks, 19-17. And this is the best the SEC has to offer?

Tom Mulhern, Wisconsin State Journal: Admit it. You just love it when former USA Today columnist Rudy Martzke, now a shill for the Capital One Bowl, hands out an unofficial invitation to Wisconsin.

Andrew Bagnato, Arizona Republic: Arizona State better enjoy this victory over Arizona because it's the last time it will beat the Wildcats for years to come.

Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star: Arizona's record is 3-8, but the Wildcats' program is in the best place it has been since October 2000.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Register: Since Alabama can't seem to beat Auburn, maybe we should try moving the Iron Bowl back one week to interfere with Thanksgiving.

It's All Guts and No Glory

They're the ultimate jobbers. They never get to play, never go on road games, never get the cheerleaders. These are the walk-ons, the ultimate jobbers of college football. Underappreciated? You betcha. Just like the WWE's Brooklyn Brawler, who, according to superstar Sean Michaels, "never had a problem laying down for anyone." We salute those who have sacrificed so much for so little (registration).

The Wizard and Week 13

The Wiz (44-38-2, 53.6%) is coming off three consecutive 5-2 weeks. Can he keep it going? To see what he has planned for Saturday, click on comments below.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Montana Tries to Keep Its Streak Alive

Yet another exclusive from the Wiz. You might remember our earlier posting about the streaker at the Cal Poly-Montana game. Well what do you know, the teams are meeting again Saturday in the Division I-AA playoffs at Missoula! Security no doubt has been, ah, beefed up, and for good reason. Rumor has it coaches have been combing greater metropolitan Missoula searching for our elusive streaker, who as you can see, displayed Reggie Bush-like ability to elude tacklers. While the coaches continue to search, the Wiz offers yet another set of clues to his identity that were published by the Montana Kaimin.

Our Mascot Will Kick Your Mascot

Screw that phony Capital One contest. The Wiz brings you the only mascot that matters. The mascot with passion and attitude. The bad boy of mascots. The one, the only Vili the Warrior, who roams the sidelines at Aloha Stadium, raising trouble with his Little Warriors. You want crude? How about that time Vili grabbed the trunk of Big Al, the Alabama elephant mascot, stuck it near his rear end and started trotting away, dragging the elephant for a few seconds. Vili takes crap from no one. Not even EA Sports, which is being sued for $75,000 by Vili for using his likeness without permission on its NCAA Football '06. And now a national audience will see firsthand what we are talking about when Vili takes center stage during the Wisconsin-Hawaii game Friday on ESPN2.

Don't Take Our Word for It

We know, you were wondering which games will be broadcast on satellite radio this weekend. Well, never fear. Here are those weekly listings for Sirius and XM. ... That was so easy, even a caveman could do it! ... Now you know the Wiz loves these satellite gizmos, but read what Neal Best, a "terrestrial radio" throwback who happens to work at Newsday, had to say after his tour of Sirius' headquarters in New York.

Columnists' Corner

B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News: Yes, it has flaws, but instant replay is here to stay and only needs some fine-tuning.

Chad Hartley, Reno Gazette-Journal: Nevada is 7-3 and can clinch a share of the WAC title by beating Fresno State, but missing the postseason altogether is a possibility.

Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle: Think having a playoff would put an end to all the BCS controversy? Think again.

Joe Starkey, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh-West Virginia is called the Backyard Brawl. On Thursday, it was the Backyard Maul.

John Pruett, Huntsville Times: If that CBS report is accurate, our man in Huntsville is nearing his 115th birthday.

Reporters' Notebooks

Mike Organ, Nashville Tennessean: Scott Liston knew he was in trouble when Tennessee's Albert Toeaina towered over him and said, "Get that (expletive) camera out of my face."

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Biggest potential screw job of the postseason? A 10-1 Oregon team falling all the way to the Sun Bowl. It's a distinct possibility.

Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star: It's the golden age of Iowa State football, which has helped make the Big 12 North better than expected (registration).

Tommy Hicks, Mobile Register: He gets some straight talk from ESPN analyst Mike Gottfried regarding the SEC.

Ken Goe, Portland Oregonian: Crews will be working 15.5 hour days, six days a week to transform Stanford Stadium into a modern facility.

Crystal Ball

Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: By far, the best prognosticator we've featured this season with a 50-31-2 record (61.4%). He says take Georgia Tech (registration).

Double D, Boston Herald: He stands 68-63-1 but is coming off a big week. Now he says forget that 12th man business. Load up on the Longhorns at College Station.

Brian Bennett, Louisville Courier-Journal: A nice 61-51-5. How about this for starters: Kentucky 17, Tennessee 12.

Jim Mashek, Biloxi Sun Herald: It's a column, yes, but he picks the SEC games at the end. His record is 32-26 against the all-mighty number.

Scott Wetzel, Opposite Picks: The always entertaining Wetzel provides his usual wealth of information, even if it sometimes lacks the necessary winners.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Strange Goings-On at Arkansas

First there is this photo of three Arkansas players. Then comes word that athletic director Frank Broyles, 80, is engaged to a Fayetteville nurse. They met seven weeks ago. Maybe this is why Houston Nutt is expected to return as coach. Despite reports to the contrary, you have to suspect Nutt had a hand in their meeting. On Friday, the Razorbacks finish their season at LSU, which has plenty to play for but has been living on the edge. Even the hometown paper is dissing the Tigers. After all, Joe Paterno's return to glory is a much better story. All Louisiana State had to deal with was a hurricane.

Sooners Are a Class Act

The Oklahoma athletic department placed a full-page color ad in the Manhattan Mercury to honor retiring Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. Sooner coach Bob Stoops and assistant Chuck Long have ties to Snyder from their days at Iowa and OU assistant Brent Venables, who appears to be the top candidate to replace Snyder, was born in Kansas and played and coached at K-State (some registration).

Columnists' Corner

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: Notre Dame is at large and in charge when it comes to a bid to the Fiesta Bowl.

Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: Not so fast, Reggie Bush. Vince Young has the stage all to himself Friday.

Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal: Reggie Bush is not only the best player this season, he was the best player last season.

Kirk Bohls, Austin American Statesman: Texas A&M, which has won only six of its last 15 games, has made some bad calls on the recruiting trail (registration).

David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel: It might be best for Chris Leak to call an option play and leave Florida.

Jeff Shain, Miami Herald: Reggie Bush continues to pick up steam, earning points in South Florida (registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Brian J. Pedersen, Arizona Daily Star: Drew Olson is the MVP of the Pac-10, but Reggie Bush is the best player.

Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle: Iowa State coach Dan McCarney is searching for a way to inspire his team for its game at Kansas.

Richmond Times Dispatch: The North Carolina State-Maryland winner goes bowling. The loser is finished.

Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser: Northern Michigan needs a coach and is interested in Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville.

Crystal Ball

Betting Fool, San Francisco Chronicle: He checks in a day early as he heads for the Turkey Bowl with a bankroll of 1,450 simoleons.

Fab Five, Detroit News: Not much consensus among Motor City's finest as they head for the wire.

Lenn Robbins, New York Post: A tough season for Lenn, who is 24-32-3 against the number (registration).

Joseph Duarte and Terrance Harris, Houston Chronicle: They blog, then pick the games in the Big 12.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Trev Alberts Is Still Unemployed

Trev Alberts, who was fired earlier this year by ESPN, has emerged from hiding. The former "College GameDay" analyst gave an interview to the Des Moines Register and said he remains good friends with former cohorts Rece Davis and Mark May, but had little to say about ESPN management. "It's obviously an interesting scenario when you're terminated in the middle of what you do. This is the college football season. That was obviously a bit odd." Alberts indicated earlier that he couldn't discuss his termination from ESPN because of pending litigation. As for what his plans might be, Alberts hinted that a return to TV is possible, but not in his usual role. "I'd like to think there's a lot more to me than 'a football guy who talks about football.' "

Bielema Already Under Fire at Wisconsin

Bret Bielema's record as Wisconsin coach is 0-0, but this is a tough bunch in Madtown. Andy Baggott of the Wisconsin State Journal is questioning the hiring of Bielema as the Badger coach. "What I see in Bielema after two seasons at UW is a guy with a questionable upside. A year after inheriting exceptional personnel, his defense has fallen off dramatically. The area that seemed to have the most flaws and was most underdeveloped, linebacker, is the unit Bielema oversees." Ouch! And while we're at it, the Wiz has one for you. Expect the outgoing Barry Alvarez to get back into coaching, quite possibly at Nebraska if Bill Callahan is fired at the end of next season. Remember, you heard it here first.

Maybe Bill Snyder Is Available?

That promising pool of candidates for the Kansas State job? Well, it's drying up fast. Texas Christian's Gary Patterson is out of the running after agreeing to a contract extension through 2012, and South Florida is working on a deal to keep Jim Leavitt "for a long time." From afar, this search is off to a rather slow start. Kansas State offensive coordinator Del Miller and offensive line coach Dana Dimel appear to be in the in-house candidates. Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables tops the list of outsiders.

Not All Is OK in Oklahoma

It's Bedlam week in Oklahoma, and not all is right with the Sooners or Cowboys. Even though the Big 12 plans to review the controversial ending of the Sooners' loss to Texas Tech, there are questions about Oklahoma's ability to move on and prepare for rival Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have problems of their own, such as finding a quarterback. And is Mike Gundy the man to lead them? We even get former Sooner Dean Blevins to chip in with a video report and a blistering commentary from yes, you guessed it, his blog. He pulls no punches, saying Oklahoma was robbed, jobbed and screwed in Lubbock (registration).

FSN Gets Big Numbers for Fresno State-USC

No. 1 USC is packing them in at the Coliseum and in front of the TV. The Trojans' game against Fresno State earned a 2.7 national rating on FSN's regional networks, meaning it was seen in 2.1 million homes and had a viewing audience of 2.8 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. And this despite the game ending Sunday at 2:20 a.m. Eastern. The only game to draw better numbers in FSN's history was the 2000 Nebraska-Kansas State matchup, which had a 3.0 share. And while we don't want to promote any illegal activity, many interesting USC items are available at If you don't know what a BitTorrent is, here is a definition. If any fans of other teams have BitTorrent sites of note for our college audience, please post in the comments section or send us an email. We are here to inform.

Columnists' Corner

Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star: What has happened to the Arizona-Arizona State rivalry? About 10,000 seats remain for what used to be the hottest ticket in Arizona.

Ron Higgins, Commercial Appeal: The annual Higgy awards, presented to the best and the worst the SEC had to offer (registration).

David Climer, Nashville Tennessean: Phillip Fulmer, who can't even count the number of helmets on the field, has lost control of his team.

Carter Strickland, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: So just how does Georgia come up with all those exotic names for its plays? (registration)

Ron Morris, The State (Columbia): He has to get some stuff off his chest after watching 18 games in 13 weeks in seven states.

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: Defenses can't catch Reggie Bush, and neither will Vince Young in the Heisman voting.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Let's get the speculation started: can anybody beat USC next year?

Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger: About the only rivalry left in the Big East will be on display Thursday when West Virginia and Pittsburgh square off for the "Backyard Brawl."

Chadd Cripe and Nick Jezierny, Idaho Stateman: All-mighty Fresno State might want to win the WAC before strutting its stuff.

Chad Hartley, Reno Gazette-Journal: The WAC, basking in the afterglow of Fresno State's impressive performance at USC, is looking to add to its bowl resume.

Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal: And since we're on a roll with Fresno, the Bulldogs have cashed in on the USC effort by accepting a bid to the Liberty Bowl (registration).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Was Musburger Singled Out by the Cops?

The Wiz, full of new-found respect for Brent Musburger, knew down deep that the citation given to the sportscaster for drinking a beer in a moving vehicle somehow involved a form of injustice. And a search eventually found what we were looking for. An unidentified witness who saw the rental car that Musburger was riding in also had other passengers who were consuming alcohol, yet only Musburger was cited when the vehicle was stopped. Lincoln police say no such thing (wink, wink), that anybody else who was getting liquored up also would have been cited. We worked up quite a thirst while surfing around for this bit of news, so we thought that a round of the Brent Musburger Drinking Game was in order.

Trojans Knew Bush Would Have Big Game

Think the new Xbox 360 is the coolest thing in the universe, eh? Fat chance, bubba. The Wiz is going to wait on this crap until they come out with the XXXbox 360, Ron Jeremy Edition. Now if you are looking for all the cool toys, take a trip to USC, where the team has embraced the digital age. High-tech video equipment has transformed scouting to the point that Pete Carroll knew Reggie Bush would go off against Fresno State. The coach broke the news to the Heisman candidate on Friday. "You're going to get a lot of chances in this game because this is the way the plan has come down. Don't force it. Don't think that you have to do too much. It's going to come to you, hopefully."

Gay Perspective: Texas Will Beat USC

Todd Heustess' mission is complete. He finished his tailgating pilgrimage for Be Gay Tours and completed his journal for And he knows who will win a national title game between USC and Texas: "After seeing both SC and Texas play in person, I would have to give a slight edge to Texas if the two teams win out and play in the Rose Bowl. Texas can match SC’s offensive firepower and seems to have a better defense."

Columnists' Corner

Carter Strickland, Atlanta Journal Constitution: On a scale of hatred, Georgia dislikes Florida much, much more than Georgia Tech (registration).

D. Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal Constitution: Crewcut Charlie Weis, Pete Carroll and Joe Paterno didn't accomplish what coach of the year candidate George O'Leary did this season (registration).

Ron Cook, Pittsburrgh Post-Gazette: The player whose stock has dropped the most this season? Try Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko.

John Rohde, Oklahoman: The Oklahoma-Texas Tech game has now been dubbed "the worst-officiated game in college football history." (registration).

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Register: It took only eight days for Alabama to go from No. 3 in the nation to No. 3 in the SEC West.

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.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Let Us Propose a Toast to Brent Musburger

ABC Sports play-by-play man Brent Musburger has paid $144 rather than fight his citation from the City of Lincoln for drinking a beer in a moving vehicle after Nebraska's Sept. 17 game against Pittsburgh. Our level our respect has now gone through the roof for Musburger. The man just finished broadcasting the Cornhuskers' 7-6 victory over the Panthers in what arguably was the worst Division I game of the season. After suffering through that, who could get on his case for immediately seeking some form of liquid relief?

In the End, It's a Lost Cause for Sooners

Bob Stoops is taking the high road after a controversial touchdown by Texas Tech's Taurean Henderson beat the Sooners, but that wasn't his approach immediately after the play. Stoops was heard telling referee Randy Christal, "You blew that call. Everybody says you guys blew the review, too." Stoops will submit a report to the Big 12 office, but added that he's "not going to sit here and make an issue of it." Red Raider coach Mike Leach certainly is not making an issue of it. He found nothing wrong with the three plays that were reviewed on the game-winning drive. "I think all the reviews were correct." (some registration).

Columnists' Corner

Lee Jenkins, New York Times: Reggie Bush may have won the Heisman with his monster game against Fresno State (registration).

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: The Pac-10's insistence on playing night games at the expense of East Coast audiences could hurt Reggie Bush's chances of winning the Heisman.

John Henderson, Denver Post: Oregon reportedly will lobby Fiesta Bowl officials today to select the Ducks as a BCS at-large team.

Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: Crewcut Charlie Weis remains the favorite, but don't count out Joe Paterno for coach of the year.

Carl Dubois, Baton Rouge Advocate: Louisiana State has to pour it on against Arkansas for any chance of playing for the BCS national title.

Reporters' Notebooks

Doug Segrest, Birmingham News: The favorite to win the national championship next year? Clearly, it's Auburn.

Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger: The Pac-10 has only itself to blame for a lack of respect nationally.

Zack McMillin, Commercial Appeal: Saturday was nothing more than a trip back to those wild and wacky 1980s (registration).

J.P. Giglio and Lorenzo Perez, Raleigh News & Observer: A look back at the ups and downs from Saturday (registration).

Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Will Big 12 officials call for a review of instant replay after the controversial calls in the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game? (registration).

John Niyo, Detroit News: If Ohio State gets an at-large berth to a BCS bowl, it will shake up the Big Ten's postseason lineup.

Week 13

What a glorious week! Games each day, beginning with tonight's matchup between Miami (Ohio) and Ohio. Here's an early look at the lines from Covers.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's Too Little and Way Too Late for Bush

Reggie Bush (No. 5) likely will go down as the best player in college football never to win the Heisman. Bush put on a one-man show Saturday night/Sunday morning at the Coliseum, accounting for 513 all-purpose yards, including 294 rushing yards in 23 carries, in USC's 50-42 victory over Fresno State. The problem? It's likely nobody east of the Mississippi saw this jaw-dropping performance, as the game ended at 2:20 a.m. Eastern. And even though they normally vote for anybody named Bush in Texas, they have a new darling to inflict on the American public: Vince Young. Now Young is a nice player, but the Wiz says Drew Olson is the best quarterback. Yes, check the numbers, he's having a better season than Young and Matt Leinart. But without a doubt, the best player is Bush. The problem is that the Heisman voters, who are concentrated in the Northeast, were snoozing when Bush was electrifying the rest of the nation. Normally when you snooze, you lose, but in this case the loser will be Bush.

Is UCLA's Dorrell Target of Raiders?

Kudos to the great Ben Maller site for getting it first, but reports out of Denver indicate that UCLA coach Karl Dorrell could become the coach of the Oakland Raiders sooner rather than later. There is growing speculation that Al Davis, the Raiders' managing general partner, is preparing to fire Norv Turner, who is 1-9 against AFC West competition. Dorrell fits the profile Davis wants in a coach. He's young, with an offensive background, has coached in the NFL and AFC West and has California ties.

Controversy Rages Over Oklahoma Loss

We know how Sooner legend and former WWE announcer Jim Ross feels. Even after the dust settled on Texas Tech's 23-21 victory over Oklahoma, there was no clarity to a series of questionable calls by the officials that gave the Red Raiders the victory. Now the Wiz believes the Sooners were, well, screwed. But it's only fair to give both sides of the story and the Wiz has complete coverage, including newspaper reports from Oklahoma City and Lubbock. Then we go to the videotape, with reports from Oklahoma City's KWTV and Lubbock's KCDB. As they say, we distort, you decide (some registration).

Wizard Has Third 5-2 Week in a Row

The man improves to 44-38-2 (53.6%) and is 15-6 the past three weeks. His winners: Iowa, Clemson, Oklahoma, Eastern Michigan and Penn State. His losers: USC and Stanford.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Officially, It's a Victory for Texas Tech

Did Taurean Henderson score to win the game for Texas Tech, or was it another blown call by the officials on the Red Raiders' final drive? Oklahoma fought back for a 21-17 lead, then Texas Tech got the ball for the final drive. Three of the 13 plays on the drive were reviewed, including a delayed call on Henderson's winning run as time expired. As he was going down, Henderson lunged and stretched his arms out in an attempt to get the ball over the goal line. The officials hesitated, then ruled a touchdown. Review officials agreed, but the Wiz isn't so sure. Of the three controversial calls that were reviewed on the final drive, only one was overturned. That was a touchdown on a bobbling catch, properly ruled a no-catch. Before that, a tipped ball that appeared to be intercepted by Oklahoma was given to Texas Tech. It happened on a fourth-down play, and the spot of the ball, which gave Tech a first down by inches, was questionable.

We Have a New Leader in Prank of the Year

Somebody snuck into Virginia's Scott Stadium overnight and transformed V at midfield into VT, as pictured in this screenshot from ESPN. Understandably, one Hokie fan said he would be using this image as his wallpaper for the next year. The "T" was eventually painted over before kickoff, but then the real damage came: Virginia Tech 52, Virginia 14. This wasn't the end of it. In celebration of its ninth victory in 13 games against its rival, a new site appeared: And Cavalier coach Al Groh won't be going anywhere. He recently signed a deal the through 2010 season.

Another Sign Inflation Is Out of Control

Really now, can you blame Purdue fans for finding new ways to keep themselves entertained this season? The Purdue Exponent captured this image from a Boilermaker home game in October, just when the team was starting its decline that led to a 4-6 record entering Saturday's tilt at rival Indiana, which also stands 4-6. In other words, the action in the stands could be more entertaining than the activities on the field. But in basketball-crazed Indiana, there are football gems to be found. And Indiana is making a push to control the flow of recruits in the state, a potential bonanza given that Crewcut Charlie Weis and Notre Dame seem to ignore what is happening in the backyard.

The Wizard and Week 12

The man is usually bowl eligible by this time, but his record stands at a pedestrian 39-36-2 (52%). The critics are many. Just this week, the local columnist who covers the Wiz home and away came out with a front-page piece that blamed the man's decline on this very website. He even went as far as to call for the site to be deleted. Another fan has taken matters into his own hands, starting a site. Now the Wiz has yet to make any public comment after all of this and is sticking to his gameplan, but it can be pointed out that he is 10-4 the past two weeks. For this week's selections, click on comments.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Now that wasn't very Christian-like. Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University, has just fired football coach Ken Karcher, athletic director Thom Park and two associate athletic directors. Essentially, he gutted the school's sports administration. "We don't feel that Liberty has been keeping pace, particularly in football," Falwell said. The athletic department lost $7.4 million in 2004, the biggest drain by any department on Liberty's budget. "I'm 72. I don't have much time to get the football program in the Top 20," said Falwell before throwing his Hail Mary.

Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out

Tired of that crappy corporate commercial radio in the digital age? Can't listen to your beloved announcer on football Saturdays because you have to work for the man on the other side of the continent? You know what Timothy Leary would do. He'd rebel against the masses and purchase a satellite radio to tune in to the best that the college game has to offer. So in a rebellious rage, we present you the ever-popular weekly channel listings of games to be broadcast by Sirius and XM.

Crystal Ball

Betting Fool, San Francisco Chronicle: His bankroll has swelled to 1,460 simoleons. He's risking 70 simoleons on USC.

Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: There's nothing average about his 45-29-2 against the number. There is something very average about Georgia Tech (registration).

Double D, Boston Herald: Lay the points and take Penn State against Michigan State, says D, who is 57-62-1.

Scott Wetzel, Opposite Picks: It's the Big 12 play of the year. How on earth can Kansas State lose to Missouri in Bill Snyder's farewell? OK then, take Missouri.

Brian Bennett, Louisville Courier-Journal: Bennett stands 54-48-1. As a bonus, he also handicaps the Heisman race.

Fab Five, Detroit News: Is this a great country or what? Where else would five people agree to take Eastern Michigan over Buffalo?

Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal: The Great Handicapper Challenge enters Week 12. Somebody on the panel of experts likes Washington.

Lenn Robbins, New York Post: The Pigskin Profit, at 22-29-3, is making a late charge to get to .500 (registration).

Columnists' Corner

Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: With Ohio State fans spilling over the border, local convenience stores in Michigan are calling for emergency supplies of Slim Jims and pickled eggs.

Jim Mashek, Biloxi Sun Herald: Players are leaving Mississippi in droves, but fiery Ed Orgeron isn't concerned. "People figure out that this isn't for me."

Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle: That daunting schedule Texas had to play to get to the Rose Bowl? It turned into a schedule of creampuffs.

Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A crushing tackle by Notre Dame's Bob Crable 25 years ago signaled a career of shoulder problems for Herschel Walker (registration).

Dave Curtis, Orlando Sentinel: Florida has two games remaining, but regardless of what happens, the season is a disappointment.

Reporters' Notebooks

Jeffrey Flanagan, Kansas City Star: Despite efforts by the Big 12, Bill Snyder's finale at Kansas State will not be televised (registration).

The State (Columbia)
: South Carolina and Clemson fans are joyous over the decision to telecast Saturday's game on ESPN2.

Phillip Marshall, Huntsville Times: Pat Dye, the man who brought Alabama kicking and screaming to Jordan-Hare Stadium, will be honored at the Alabama-Auburn game.

Mark Knobler, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech officials are trying to figure out the meaning of "vacating" after the NCAA hammer came down (registration).

George Schroeder, Oklahoman: The Oklahoma-Texas Tech game could be a battle for the Cotton Bowl (registration).

John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Minnesota had its best attendance for home games (49,025) since 1987, but remains far behind the Big Ten average (72,944). (registration)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Meet the Man Who Should Win the Heisman

The 923 Heisman ballots were mailed Wednesday and it's likely that Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, Texas' Vince Young and USC's Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart will get the most attention. But are they missing the best player in the land? From a statistical standpoint, UCLA's Drew Olson stands above them all. His efficiency rating is 172.5, which is better than the past nine quarterbacks who have won the Heisman. He has 30 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. In the past six games, he has 22 touchdown passes and one interception. He has led four fourth-quarter comebacks from deficits between 10 and 21 points. And the Bruins are 9-1. Heisman voters screw it up more times than not, and it appears they are poised to do it again.

Columnists' Corner

Chuck Culpepper, Newsday: He ranks the top 25 stories from the past week, leading with that forgotten Big 12 title game.

Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune: Does South Florida want to play with the big boys? If it does, the university will do what it takes to keep Jim Leavitt.

Rich Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal: John L. Smith had it all at Louisville. Now he's fighting to keep his job at Michigan State.

Robyn Norwood, Los Angeles Times: There's another Leaf in the Pac-10, and he looks a lot like the former Washington State quarterback.

Reporters' Notebooks

Howard Richman, Kansas City Star: That didn't take long. Now that Bill Snyder is stepping down, rivals are swooping in on Wildcat recruits (registration).

Michael Pointer, Indianapolis Star: Ohio State and Michigan don't need to play for a trophy. This rivalry is bigger than that.

Bryan Mullen, Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt has been eliminated from bowl contention, but it wants to keep rival Tennessee from the postseason.

Jim Masilak, Commercial Appeal: Rice's season could be complete now that it has snapped the nation's longest losing streak (registration).

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Oregon coach Mike Bellotti's new motivational tool? A sledgehammer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We Revert to Mackovician Form

Our wish at the moment is that this blog was equipped with the OnStar system so we could hysterically call some cool and collected operator for help. Why? We've just had our worst fears confirmed. The newspaper business is going in to toilet — and fast! John Mackovic, the former coach at Illinois, Texas and Arizona, and a former analyst at ESPN (the TV biz went in the porcelain long ago), is now a columnist at the Desert Sun in Palm Springs. Yes, the man who blew a crater-sized hole in the Arizona program from which it is still trying to recover. Mackovic was such a disaster in Tucson that Arizona Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen has refers to any Wildcat collapse as Mackovician in scope, or of Mackovician proportions.

Just Keeping You Abreast of the Situation

Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser might not want to talk replacements, but who could ignore that fine performance turned in by Brooke Langton in the 2000 not-so classic "The Replacements." OK, a stretch, yes, but we were looking for any reason to run this photo. Do you have a problem with that? ... Now, back to business. Who is going to take over for Bill Snyder? The clubhouse leader appears to be Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, a native of Salina, just a hop, skip and a jump from Manhattan. Even the Oklahoman is endorsing Venables. Then there is South Florida's Jim Leavitt, whose salary is fourth-lowest among 66 BCS teams and comes with a small buyout of $50,000. TCU's Gary Patterson, who isn't saying much, is signed through 2007, but he played and was a grad assistant at K-State. The in-house favorite appears to be Bob Elliott, who had health issues that cost him a shot at becoming Iowa's coach after Hayden Fry retired. But Elliott is thought to be headed to Wisconsin to join Brett Bielema's staff (some registration).

Columnists' Corner

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Those BCS computers that pushed two-loss Notre Dame ahead of one-loss Oregon must have been impressed with the Irish's 42nd consecutive victory over Navy.

Wally Hall, Northwest Arkansas Times: Houston Nutt called that play. Yes he did. He made some good calls today, didn't he?

Jorge Milian, Palm Beach Post: OK, say USC or Texas were to lose. Would Miami have a chance to play in the BCS title game?

Ron Morris, The State (Columbia): This won't go over with the locals. He takes a stand against the South Carolina-Clemson game being on free TV.

Jim Mashek, Biloxi Sun Herald: South Carolina opponents should have realized long ago that it's the Year of the Rooster.

Joe Starkey, Tribune-Review: There is plenty the Big East can do over the next six weeks to prove that better days are ahead.

Reporters' Notebooks

Chad Hartley, Reno Gazette-Journal: Is all the pressure on USC in its game against Fresno State? No way, says Bulldog coach Pat Hill.

Michael Vega, Boston Globe: Boston College blew it. The Eagles could have won the ACC's Atlantic Division, but a loss at North Carolina did them in (registration).

Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger: Eight years after playing its first football game, South Florida is three victories from a BCS appearance.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A double dip as the paper takes a tour of the ACC and the SEC (registration).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Kansas State's Snyder Calls It Quits

Kansas State's Bill Snyder, whose team is floundering through a 4-6 season, is stepping down as coach. Snyder, 66, called a meeting of his staff and players Monday night to tell them of his decision, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. "You could hear the loud echo from everybody's jaws hitting the floor," a source told the paper. Snyder, who has a record of 135-68-1, will coach his final game Saturday against Missouri. Snyder cited a need to spend more time with his family as a reason to step down, and he paused several times to regain his composure when speaking about them. Here is a link to the video from Snyder's press conference. And although he often caught flack for a soft nonconference schedule, he was humble to the end, writing a letter of thanks to the student newspaper.

Columnists' Corner

Geoff Calkins, Commercial Appeal: Was it his ankle or his heart? The DeAngelo Williams controversy continues, and the Memphis standout has questions to answer (registration).

Greg Couch, Chicago Sun-Times: It's clear that Crewcut Charlie Weis has been packing on the pounds since signing his new, fat contract.

Dave Dye, Detroit News: Michigan State coach John L. Smith said he doesn't feel the Spartans have to win Saturday to save his job.

John Rohde, Oklahoman: Baylor coach Guy Morriss says he has no ill will toward Oklahoma State, even though he accused the Cowboys of running up the score last season (registration).

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Register: What could be worse than getting knocked out of the national title picture? If you're Alabama, it's losing four in a row to Auburn.

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.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cyclones' Home-Field Advantage Is a Doozy

Fans attending the Colorado-Iowa State game in Ames had quite a scare an hour before the scheduled kickoff. A series of tornados swept through the area, including one, pictured above, that could been seen from Jack Trice Stadium. That tornado-producing storm forced the evacuation of the stadium and delayed kickoff by 40 minutes. To the south of Ames, another twister hit, with some brave souls standing in its path to shoot video. The Wizard would like to reward their effort by linking to three pages that contain this incredible footage of the F3 tornado (the pages are getting pounded, thus the three links). They say don't try this at home, but these guys ignored all that crap. And you thought cameramen who stood their ground while a linebacker crashed into them were true American heroes.

Columnists' Corner

John Henderson, Denver Post: The coaching job turned in by Louisiana State's Les Miles is nothing short of remarkable.

Bud Withers, Seattle Times: Washington State, unlike Notre Dame, doesn't fire coaches. But Bill Doba could be cause for the university to rethink its stance.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: Now that Alabama has been brushed aside, it's clearing sailing for the BCS.

Pete Thamel, New York Times: Texas El Paso's Jordan Palmer might be the best quarterback you've never heard of.

Steven M. Sipple, Lincoln Star Journal: "Old" Nebraska didn't burn the redshirts of true freshmen in the 10th game of the season.

Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: As if Steve Spurrier had to prove something to Florida when the university requested that he go through the process and reapply for his old job.

Reporters' Notebooks

Keith Whitmore, Dallas Morning News: Our man in Big D has double duty. First, Texas Tech can spin a Cotton Bowl berth with a victory over Oklahoma. And Colorado's loss to Iowa State puts a new spin on the Big 12 North race (registration).

Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger: Splitting a conference into two divisions and then having a championship game makes dollars but no sense.

J.P. Giglio and Lorenzo Perez, Raleigh News & Observer: Just for old times, how about an ACC title game between South Carolina (Steve Spurrier) and Florida State (Bobby Bowden).

Zack McMillin, Commercial Appeal: Memphis fans are wondering if standout tailback DeAngelo Williams decided to 'wimp out' against Tennessee (registration).

Doug Segrest, Birmingham News: Texas quarterback Vince Young is the man to beat for the Heisman trophy.

Week 12

The mere thought of college football coming to an end is enough to send the Wizard back for those mindless therapy sessions that cost tens of thousands of dollars, which he then has to recoup by picking winners the following fall. So let's not even go there, OK? In the meantime, take a look at the early lines from before the doctor sees you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mining for Gold

The Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition has a superb piece on teams that have turned it around. What is the impact of a winning football team on a university? Texas El Paso, for example, had three consecutive two-win seasons, then spent $15 million on facilities improvements in 2002. It hired Mike Price, above, as coach a year later. Last season, the Miners won eight games and played in the Houston Bowl. This season, Texas El Paso is 8-1. And athletic director Bob Stull says the increased exposure because of the turnaround has helped the university increase enrollment from 14,695 six years ago to 19,264 today. The Journal's online edition is pay only (no wonder the publication is struggling), so you might want to venture to your local newsstand and snare a copy. And don't blame us, we're only the messenger.