Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: The Hlist was kind enough to give the Wiz a plug and gets top billing (nudge, nudge, hint, hint to all you freeloading sportswriters ... the Wiz gives you credit. Now how about some love for the Wiz!) Hlas' story is subscription protected, but the Wiz has cracked the code and posted it in comments for the world to see.

Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News: In a letter sent to the NCAA, former Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar says he didn't use proper judgment when he took money from a booster (registration).

Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express-News: A category-by-category look at how Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops lost his groove.

Tim Bisel, Topeka Capital-Journal: Only three of the 28 requested Kansas State players for Tuesday's media gathering showed up for the conference.

Doug Segrest, Birmingham News: Washington State's Bill Doba, whose team has played Auburn and USC, won't say which team he ranked ahead of the other in the coaches' poll.

Mike Baldwin, Oklahoman: If Oklahoma State is counting on having a successful season, it must beat Kansas State (registration).

Aaron Fentress, Oregonian: Oregon, with a rush defense that ranks 94th out of 119 Division I-A teams, would appear to be in trouble against California.

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: Pac-10 notebook. The last team to beat USC at the Coliseum? It was Stanford in 2001, coached by Tyrone Willingham, who brings Washington to L.A. on Saturday.

Jorge Milian, Palm Beach Post: Miami, which has ranked first or second nationally in pass defense in four of the past five seasons, has plummeted to 71st this season.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina reserve defensive end Kerry Bonds has been dismissed from the team for allegedly choking a female student.

Randy King, Roanoke Times: Virginia Tech players say the loss to Georgia Tech could be the turning point in their season.

Emily Badger, Orlando Sentinel: Florida State has been favored over North Carolina State in each of the six seasons Chuck Amato has been Wolfpack coach, but the Seminoles have won only three of the games.

Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Big Ten notebook. More on the troubles at Michigan State.

Brian Bennett, Courier-Journal: Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm had the cast removed from his left thumb and could begin throwing next week.

Kate Hairopoulos, Dallas Morning News: Texas El Paso coach Mike Price is using a photo on the cover of the Southern Methodist media guide to fire up his team (registration).

Natalie Meisler, Denver Post: Mountain West notebook. San Diego State is 0-4, has lost two quarterbacks because of injury and will start a freshman, who happens to be the former coach's son, at the position.

Bryant-Jon Anteola, Fresno Bee: Somehow after four games, Fresno State has managed to get worse.

Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Wait a minute! Boise State could go undefeated and not make a BCS bowl, according to an analyst.

Columbus Dispatch: Which announcer/analyst irrates you the most? Currently, Brent Musburger leads the voting.

Michael A. Hiltzik, L.A. Times: We warned you. A bill to ban online gambling has passed and is expected to be signed by President Bush.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

10-3-06

The Hlist

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

FIRST DOWNS
1. Yo, Adrian!: A year ago at this time, Michigan wide receiver Adrian Arrington of Cedar Rapids was a player with an injured ankle and a not-too-healthy attitude.

Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr didn’t play Arrington in games after he came back to practice last year, and didn’t take him on the Wolverines’ Alamo Bowl trip.

‘‘We just weren’t seeing eye to eye on a few things, and those are the kinds of things that happen sometimes,’’ Arrington said. ‘‘We got a few things straight between us and I had to work on the kind of things he wanted me to.’’

Arrington caught two touchdown passes Saturday in Michigan’s 28-14 win at Minnesota, the junior’s first two college scores.

‘‘He’s a guy that I see getting better and better and I think his role will expand,’’ Carr said.

2. High Five: The best team Missouri has beaten en route to its first 5-0 record since 1981 is . . . there isn’t one.

‘‘When I hear we haven’t played anybody,’’ Missouri defensive end Brian Smith said, ‘‘I just start plugging my ears.’’

To Mizzou’s credit, it isn’t acting like it’s BCS-bound though it’s the Big 12’s only unbeaten club.

‘‘We’re far from perfect,’’ Tigers Coach Gary Pinkel said. ‘‘But I guess the good news is we can get better.’’

Which is good, because Missouri had 10,500 empty seats for its 28-13 home win over Colorado. It is the ‘‘Show Me State,’’ you know.

3. Little Big Man: If you think Iowa’s Oct. 28 home game against Northern Illinois is a chance for the Hawkeyes to relax after playing at Michigan the week before, think again.

NIU isn’t a team of Michigan’s caliber, of course, but it has an offense. Specifically, it has running back Garrett Wolfe, who rushed for a career-high 353 yards and touchdowns of 51, 48 and 53 yards in NIU’s 40-28 win at Ball State.

With his 1,181 yards — 171 of them in a season-opening 35-12 loss at Ohio State, Wolfe set the NCAA record for most rushing yards in the first five games of a season.

USC’s Marcus Allen had held the mark since 1981.

‘‘I’d like to take credit for it all, but the real credit starts with the offensive line,’’ the 5-foot-7, 177 pound Wolfe said. ‘‘And then it extends to every player, every coach and everyone else associated with this program.’’

4. No Poll Vaulting: Unbeaten Boise State went to Utah and drubbed the Utes, 36-3.

But the Broncos only climbed one spot in the coaches’ poll, to 21st. For a non-BCS team to automatically claim a BCS bowl spot, it must finish in the top 12 in the BCS standings or be ahead of any BCS conference champion that finishes 16th or worse.

‘‘That was an underdog team on the road and they absolutely dominated the University of Utah,’’ said Western Athletic Commissioner Karl Benson. ‘‘I don’t understand how the voters can’t recognize that as significant.’’

FUMBLES
1. Slapped Silly: Michigan State Coach John L. Smith ended his three-minute news conference after his team’s stunning, 23-20, home loss to Illinois by slapping himself in the face.

It’s on the Internet (www.thewizofodds.com). It’s very peculiar.

‘‘The way we practiced is what you saw,’’ Smith said before the slap. ‘‘I can’t get them to go, and apparently I don’t have the answer.

I can’t get them to go hard in practice, but we have to continue to go look for answers.’’

Here’s one: Stop acting crazy.

2. Wham Bam Thank You Sam: I-AA Sam Houston State picked up a first down on its first possession at Texas. A few plays later, its punt was blocked and returned for a Longhorns TD. A 56-3 rout followed. Texas tried to get a I-A foe for Saturday’s date. It contacted about 40 I-A schools, but got no takers.

That’s primarily because it wouldn’t sign a home-and-home deal with anyone, and wouldn’t pay good money for an opponent. So it gave Sam Houston State $275,000. Iowa paid I-AA Montana $650,000 for its game at Iowa City this season.

Texas took in $53.2 million in football revenue from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, with $14.5 million in expenses. During the same time period, fellow Big 12 member Iowa State had $11.3 in football revenue, $7.1 million in expenses.

But Texas couldn’t spring for a I-A opponent for its 88,913 ticketholders.

Wow.

3. Airing Grievances: Three different messages calling for the firing of Miami Coach Larry Coker and Athletics Director Paul Dee were flown over the Orange Bowl before the Hurricanes staved off Houston, 14-13.

‘‘You’re expected to win,’’ Coker said. ‘‘People have opinions. My old college coach said, ‘You know, there are 5 percent of the people in the world that hate motherhood.’ So you’re going to have a lot of againsters in the world.’’

4. Spread the Other Way: Iowa is 0-4 against point-spreads this year.

From 2000 to 2005, the Hawkeyes were the best team in the country to bet on, 45-21-2 against the spread. Next were Boise State at 42-23-2 and Louisville at 42-25.

Ohio State, Central Michigan and Syracuse are 5-0 against the spread this year. Louisville is 4-0.

Iowa is one of 10 teams that have yet to cover.

Don’t ask the Hlist how it knows this. It just knows

FROM THE PAPERS
‘‘University presidents use ‘missed class time’ as a reason for not wanting a playoff system in major college football.

‘‘But it’s OK for Southern Miss to play consecutive Tuesday games on the road?

‘‘It is not a crime if presidents don’t want a playoff.

‘‘They just need to come up with a better story than that.’’ — Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

FINAL WORD
‘‘It builds character — after it’s done stinking.’’ — Colorado tailback Mell Holliday after the Buffaloes lost to Missouri to drop to 0-5.

Mike.Hlas@gazettecommunications.com