Thursday, July 31, 2008

Talking College Football

I'm going to be a guest Thursday night of Bobby Fenton on Sporting News Radio. Bobby will be doing the college football countdown and the show airs from 7-11 p.m. (Pacific). We are scheduled to be on around 8:25. You can listen live at Sporting News Radio.

If you're looking for a guest for your radio show or podcast, drop an email at dawizofodds (at) aol.com.

Snoop Dogg Now on the LSU Bandwagon!?!


Sports By Brooks has the scoop. Yes, Snoop Dogg was spotted Wednesday with none other than Les Miles at a Rotary Club event. This came a day after Snoop first met the Louisiana State coach. Snoop has been a frequent visitor to USC practices, but perhaps the Trojans' street cred has run out with the Dogg.

Sooners' Jarboe Already Getting a Bad Rap


Oklahoma freshman receiver Josh Jarboe is rapping about carrying guns and shooting people in a video that is making the rounds (discretion is advised). Jarboe was arrested in March for receiving stolen property and having a weapon on school property — both felony charges. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors and Jarboe, despite being on two years probation, was allowed to keep his scholarship to Oklahoma.

The video is also available at this link.

The video below is of Jarboe announcing his decision to attend Oklahoma during the Under Armour All-American game in January.

Colorado

"It's Division I football!" Colorado goes with a basic look for its poster schedule. Come to think of it, Dan Hawkins wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks to Justin for sending this poster our way.

Reporters' Notebooks

Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn State announced that defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phil Taylor have been booted off the team. The move comes days after ESPN's "Outside the Lines" questioned whether Penn State players that had gotten in trouble with the law were being disciplined enough.

ZagsBlog: Heisman candidate Pat White is upset that West Virginia doesn't have more African American players on its baseball team. Athletic director Ed Pastilong issues a statement saying the "university is committed to diversity."

Marcus Nelson, Palm Beach Post: Howard Schnellenberger, 74, received a new contract from Florida Atlantic.

Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal: How much did quarterback Brian Brohm lose by deciding to return for his senior season at Louisville? Minimum $7 million, with some estimations as high as $33 million.

Chip Towers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia offensive lineman Clint Boling had drunk driving charges against him reduced to reckless driving, meaning he likely won't get suspended.

Kyle Veazey, Clarion Ledger: Three Mississippi State players have been re-admitted to the university after each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an arrest.

Consider This Your Last Warning

Join us Friday night at the midnight hour in the Pacific time zone for "Sports Overnight America," heard worldwide on the Sports Byline USA Radio Network. Listen live by clicking here and give us a call at 800-878-7529.

And if you're looking for a guest for your radio show or podcast, drop us an email at dawizofodds (at) aol.com.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Penn State's Off-Field Troubles


In case you missed it, here is the ESPN "Outside The Lines" report on off-field troubles at Penn State that aired Sunday. It's 14:40 long, but if the boss isn't looking, it's worth the viewing time. Thanks in part to EDSBS.

David Jones and Bob Flounders teamed for an interesting commentary about ESPN's report in the Patriot-News, and Jones has since followed with another piece. Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.

Spurrier Joins Chorus Against Rivals, Scout

Steve Spurrier finished a round Tuesday on Woodcreek Farms Country Club in Elgin, S.C., then teed it up in a press conference where he took a few swings at websites that cover Clemson.

The South Carolina coach charged that someone working for a Clemson fan site has been mailing recruits and sending them articles about Gamecock players having brushes with the law. Spurrier didn't name the site, but publishers of Rivals' Tiger Illustrated and Scout's CU Tigers denied the allegation.

Seven of Spurrier's players have been arrested or cited since Dec. 31, but charges have been dropped in three of the cases, including a marijuana possession charge against receiver Dion LeCorn. That charge was dropped Monday and Spurrier made note of it in his statement.

"Usually when a guy’s arrested for whatever, that always makes the headlines," Spurrier said. "And the guy that runs the Clemson website, he likes to send those articles to recruits all over the state. So I just wondered if he sends the articles about all charges dropped. So you guys that know that dude over there, tell him he can add that one today hopefully when he sends them out."

In April, Illinois' Ron Zook took a shot at Rivals and Scout, saying the sites are likely to be at the heart of the next major scandal.

"Some programs have secretly allied themselves with the websites that report on their school as another way to communicate with recruits," Zook said. "In return, the websites get better information, more traffic and make more money."

That drew a harsh response from Bobby Burton of Rivals, who wrote that the Zooker was out of line.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penn State received the "Outside The Lines" treatment from ESPN on Sunday, and it made the once-admired program look like a renegade outfit with its revered coach seemingly out of touch with his team and its players. The numbers were damning but no more so than the responses from Joe Paterno.

George O'Leary, Orlando Sentinel: That's right. The Central Florida coach tells his side of the Ereck Plancher story in an op-ed piece and takes a few swings at the paper in the process. "I believe it is beneath the Sentinel to sensationalize this tragedy as it has. All of this has led me to discontinue conversations with the paper for the time being." Thanks to Losers With Socks.

Jorge Milian, Palm Beach Post: Time to adjust those recruiting rankings. As many as seven freshmen from Miami's class may not be on hand Thursday when players report to school.

Ray Melick, Birmingham News: The attorney for Phillip Fulmer said that he will fight to prevent the Tennessee coach from having to give a deposition in a civil lawsuit filed against the NCAA and others by disassociated Alabama booster Wendell Smith.

Brian Bennett, Louisville Courier-Journal: Louisville receiver Trent Guy, who was shot in the lower back this month, intends to play this season, coach Steve Kragthorpe said.

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett wants South Florida to play a neutral-site game in the Jacksonville stadium and has had several discussions with Bulls athletic director Doug Woolard about the possibility.

William Weathers, Baton Rouge Advocate: Attention Southeastern Conference teams: The big, bad Sun Belt Conference is coming for you.

Marc Morehouse, Cedar Rapids Gazette: The Big Ten and Mid-American conferences will combine their instant replay programs, with administration of the program being handled by the Big Ten.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: College football has its "watch-out" games on opening weekend.

Katie Kennedy, Daily Reveille: Louisiana State may over-sell tickets for non-Southeastern Conference games (Appalachian State, Troy, North Texas and Tulane) in an effort to increase student attendance. (Or is nobody interested in seeing games against inferior opponents?)

Alex Abrams, Springdale Morning News: Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell is facing charges of improper display of tags on his vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm.

The Bowlology Code: More realistic than a playoff. More sensible than the current bowl mess. Check it out!

Here are today's mystery links, here and here. Thanks to Gordon Keith.

If You're a Longhorn Fan, Forget It

It seems like everybody this side of Marty Robbins wants to attend the Sept. 6 game between Texas and Texas El Paso at the Sun Bowl. Certainly understandable considering the teams haven't played since 1933.

Now El Paso's party of the new millennium can be yours. UTEP is conducting an online auction for two tickets and roundtrip air transportation to the festivities, but if you're a Longhorn fan, forget it. Check out the disclaimer posted on the auction:

"Winning bidder must be a UTEP fan and supporter and must dress and act accordingly and in a professional and courteous manner while participating in this experience. At the sole discretion of UTEP Athletic Department, if at any time during the Experience the winning bidder is not acting in a professional and courteous manner, UTEP Athletics may end the Experience and no refund or additional services will be offered to the winning bidder whether or not the entire experience was completed. Winning bidder will be required to sign an indemnification waiver prior to participating."

The auction ends Sunday night and the bidding stood at $700 at the time of this post.

Hawaii

Keeping with this week's green theme (see Michigan State and South Florida), we present Hawaii's poster schedule. This is the first time in three years of doing this feature that we've had a poster schedule from Hawaii. We thank Tombo of Warriors Will Throw.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Strangest Brew ... Just Go There!

Reader Tom has completed work on Strangest Brew, arguably the finest online college football schedule in the land.

This handy site allows you to create a custom schedule grid. Simply input your time zone, week range, whether or not you want logos and select your teams or conferences.

For future reference, a link to Strangest Brew is stashed on our Wiz Resources page, under Toolbox, titled Strangest Brew Schedule.

Reporters' Notebooks

Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin, Newark Star-Ledger: The New Jersey comptroller's office opened an inquiry into fiscal practices at Rutgers. The review is focused on the financial management of the athletics department amid reports of detailed hidden side deals with coach Greg Schiano.

Ray Melick, Birmingham News: With Ohio State as the preseason favorite to win a fourth consecutive Big Ten Conference championship, Southeastern Conference teams are slobbering over the prospect of dope-slapping the Buckeyes again in a third-consecutive BCS title game.

Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal Constitution: Trying to explain why Georgia, the sexy pick for the national title, was picked to finish second behind Florida in the SEC East.

Heisman Pundit: Five programs that should be great, but aren't.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: It's time to look ahead because there's no going back.

Jake Trotter, Oklahoman: Oklahoma defensive end Auston English, the Big 12's preseason defensive player of the year, is out indefinitely after having emergency surgery to remove his appendix.

Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette: No truth to the report that the Big East is considering an arrangement with Army and Navy to give the league another member in regard to scheduling.

Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press: What's Lloyd Carr up to these days? The former Michigan coach is busy in retirement.

Rochelle Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Former Minnesota player Dominic Jones, who is serving time for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct: "My name now is inmate."

Jeff White, Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia offensive linemen Will Barker, who has started 25 games in a row, and teammate Dave Roberts were arrested at Club 216 in downtown Charlottesville around 3:45 a.m. Saturday. Both reportedly admitted to police that they stole beer from a cooler at the nightclub. Each was charged with a misdemeanor.

Mike Sorensen, Deseret News: Utah finalized its deal to play Notre Dame. The teams will meet Nov. 13, 2010, in South Bend.

Michael Rothstein, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Tennessee — as an athletic department — spends the most on recruiting. Notre Dame is second.

Robbie Neiswwanger, Springdale Morning News: Arkansas linebacker Freddy Burton and receiver Marques Wade have been suspended for the first two games (scrimmages against Western Illinois and Louisiana Monroe). They'll be back for game 3, against Texas.

Ian R. Rapoport, Birmingham News: If you're not familiar with the Jerrell Powe story (it's a lengthy one), here is a primer.

Will Collier, From The Bleachers: Interesting piece on the exodus of sportswriting talent from newspapers to online ventures.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not.

South Florida

South Florida has gone poster schedule crazy. As it did last year, the Bulls have issued five poster schedules. Our favorite is the one below, with a packed Raymond James Stadium at night. Our guess is that shot was taken last Sept. 28, when the Bulls upset West Virginia on a Thursday night. Thanks to Carlos.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ducks in a Row

The gang over at Ducks Attack invited the Wiz as a guest for their podcast Monday morning. We covered a lot of territory, including Pacific 10 coaches on the hot seat and top games involving conference teams. You can give a listen by clicking here.

If you are seeking a guest for your radio show or podcast, send an email to dawizofodds (at) aol.com.

Florida Has Something to Be Proud Of

The Princeton Review unveiled its annual list of biggest party schools and the winner is ... Florida! The Gators edged fellow Southeastern Conference member Mississippi, with Penn State finishing third.

On the other end is Brigham Young, voted No. 1 among stone-cold sober schools. Outside of BYU, you probably won't recognize many of the schools unless you carefully study nonconference schedules of SEC teams.

Here are the top 20 party schools:

1. University of Florida
2. University of Mississippi
3. Penn State University
4. West Virginia University
5. Ohio University
6. Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Va.)
7. University of Georgia
8. University of Texas
9. University of California Santa Barbara
10. Florida State University
11. University of New Hampshire
12. University of Iowa
13. University of Colorado
14. Indiana University
15. Tulane University
16. University of Illinois
17. Arizona State University
18. University of Tennessee
19. University of Alabama
20. Loyola University New Orleans

Here are the top 20 stone-cold sober schools:

1. Brigham Young University, Provo.
2. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.
4. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo.
5. Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.
6. U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
7. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
8. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.
9. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.
10. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.
11. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
12. Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga.
13. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass.
14. City University of New York-Queens College, Flushing, N.Y.
15. Webb Institute, Glen Cove, N.Y.
16. Berea College, Berea, Ky.
17. Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga.
18. City University of New York-Baruch College, New York.
19. Simmons College, Boston.
20. Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Thanks to H.T.

Penn State or State Penn?

If you're looking for the runaway leader in off-field troubles, look no further than Penn State.

According to an ESPN study of Pennsylvania criminal records, 46 Nittany Lion players have faced 163 criminal charges since 2002 and 27 have been convicted of or have pleaded guilty to a combined 45 counts.

In 2007 alone, 17 players were charged with 72 crimes, with nine guilty pleas.

Joe Paterno, when asked about the disturbing numbers, told Steve Delsohn of ESPN's "Outside The Lines" that the network was on a "witch hunt."

The centerpiece of the "Outside The Lines" report chronicled an incident last year when several Penn State players forced their way into an apartment and attacked several people attending a party, including one individual who tried to break up the altercation and was knocked unconscious after being hit in the head with a beer bottle. While unconscious, police say the man was repeatedly punched in the head.

Paterno is entering the final year of his contract and the speculation continues that this season will be the last for the 81-year-old coach. After watching the "Outside The Lines" report, which you can view by clicking here, you have to think Penn State officials have had enough and are ready to send Paterno into retirement.

Reporters' Notebooks

Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer: Big Ten coaches are still fighting the perception that their conference is stuck in the dark ages of college football — all run and no pass — and, thus, one of the lesser weights among Bowl Championship Series conferences.

Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Alabama's Nick Saban, worried about his security when the Crimson Tide plays at Louisiana State on Nov. 8, says he is considering traveling separately from the team (second item).

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: Didn't even know Stony Brook had a football team, but it will play at South Florida to open the 2010 season.

Jon Solomon, Birmingham News: Views on where the Southeastern Conference is headed over the next 25 years. Here are some predictions.

Ray Melick, Birmingham News: The SEC is not likely to follow the lead of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has adopted an NFL-style guideline for reporting injuries.

Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio State starting defensive tackle Doug Worthington was arrested over the weekend and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Alex Abrams, Springdale Morning News: Arkansas receiver Marques Wade was arrested on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and careless driving. According to a police report, Wade nearly struck an officer when he slid to stop at a stop sign.

Christopher Walsh, Tuscaloosa News: It was a particularly long offseason for many teams, with the overall list of off-field transgressions running the full gamut of charges, including alcohol-related incidents, assault, weapons and drugs.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati season ticket sales have reached the 11,000 mark — the highest in team history.

Bob Hammond, Laramie Boomerang: Former Alabama receiver and defensive back Tarence Farmer is transferring to Wyoming.

John Coon, Deseret News: A story on Utah sports bloggers, mentioning our friends at Block U.

Crewcut Charlie Jeered at Wrigley

It was Notre Dame weekend at Wrigley Field, or so they thought.

It started Friday, with former Fighting Irish receiver-turned middle reliever Jeff Samardzija making his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs, pitching two innings in the North Siders' 3-2 loss to the dreaded Florida Marlins.

On Saturday, Crewcut Charlie Weis arrived on the scene and his son, Crewcut Jr., threw out the ceremonial first pitch on his 15th birthday. Then the big guy made his way upstairs to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch.

Things didn't go as planned, as the Wrigley faithful let Weis have it. This account on All Headline News said: "Weis appeared to be a bit shook up by the reaction, singing way off-key, but eventually settled down to finish the fabled song."

Michael Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette received a text message from a friend at the game: "At Wrigley. They just BOOED THE [naughty word] out of Charlie Weis."

Fortunately, the weekend wasn't a total loss. Samardzija pitched two innings Sunday in the Cubs' 9-6 victory.

Thanks to Awful Announcing.

Michigan State

There never seems to be a dull moment with Mark Dantonio, set to begin his second season as Michigan State coach. Who can forget his jabs at rival Michigan last season? And what about the clock in the Spartan practice facility that counts down the seconds until the Michigan game? It's ticking on the trip to Ann Arbor, set for Oct. 25. Another game of note: at California on Aug. 30. Thanks to Brian.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rich Rod: They Sell Guns in West Virginia

It's a summer Rich Rodriguez would like to forget. Not only will the Michigan coach have to fork over $1.5 million of the $4 million buyout on his deal with West Virginia, he has found those trips back to his home state something less than comforting.

Rodriguez, talking with Brent Yarina of the Big Ten Network, described the long drive from Ann Arbor to West Virginia, mentioning how Ohio and Pennsylvania are never fun to drive through.

But, he added, it's nothing compared to West Virginia because, "There are more than ['wanted'] posters [with my face on them]. They sell a lot of guns in that state."

Miami Hurricanes

Miami's poster schedule, sent to us by Steve, resembles a computer wallpaper. You would think moving into the new digs at Dolphin Stadium would inspire something more out of the Hurricanes. As the tools suggest, Miami has some work to do.

Reporters' Notebooks

Wendell Barnhouse, Big 12: A tweak in the instant replay system will allow replay officials to review if a player fumbles even if the on-field officials ruled the ball carrier down without fumbling. Also, if the officials rule a player steps out of bounds on his way to the end zone but replays show the player stayed in bounds, the officials can rule a touchdown.

Matt Winkeljohn, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Is it time to stop this foolishness and pay players? An argument for and an argument against such a system. Plus, a full ride looks empty to some critics of the NCAA

Iliana Limon, Andrew Carter and Jeremy Fowler, Orlando Sentinel: What do selected coaches and players think about a playoff? What rules changes would they like to see? And do athletes think they should get paid?

John Helsley and Berry Tramel, Oklahoman: The best and the worst of Big 12 nonconference schedules. Plus, ranking games involving Big 12 teams, from one to 96. How about that Chattanooga-Oklahoma game, eh? And Big 12 teams are playing more neutral site games.

Paul Gattis, Huntsville Times: The 10 questions you want answered before they tee it up in the Southeastern Conference.

FanBlogs: Check out the new Virginia Tech uniforms. Not sure we are fans of the new threads.

Eric Crawford, Louisville Courier-Journal: Drug policies often differ from team to team at the same school, let alone between schools. Maybe it's time to standardize testing and penalties.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Henry Mason, who joined the Wisconsin staff in 1995 to coach receivers, continues to battle a severe spinal-cord injury suffered during a fall last summer in his home.

Eugene Register-Guard: Oregon has suspended linebacker Kevin Garrett for a violation of team rules.

Jim Watson, Shreveport Times: Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley has suspended junior linebacker Zach Schreiber.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not. Here is today's bizarre (troubling?) mystery link.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Snake Charmer or a Snake Oil Salesman?

Bobby Petrino was the headline act Friday at the Southeastern Conference media days, and why not? The Arkansas coach, working on his third job in two years, had a controversial departure from the Atlanta Falcons, leaving the post without speaking to his players. Safety Lawyer Milloy taped a copy of Petrino's farewell letter to his locker and crossed out the coach's name, substituting the word "coward." Running back Warrick Dunn was more direct, call Petrino "a liar."

At Louisville, coach Steve Kragthorpe has dismissed seven players since taking over for Petrino in 2006, essentially blaming Petrino for recruiting players with discipline problems.

And let's not even get into the clandestine meeting Petrino had in 2003 with Auburn officials.

A poll of media members conducted by the Mobile Press-Register ranked Petrino last among SEC coaches in terms of media savvy, public speaking and friendliness/media accessibility.

Is Petrino being treated fairly? Here is a look at how papers in Louisville, Atlanta and Little Rock interpreted Petrino's appearance at media days.

Brett Dawson, Louisville Courier-Journal: Petrino, responding to Kragthorpe's comments, said: "We didn't have a discipline problem when I was there. ... we had players that were real focused, did a great job, went 41-9, and I think returned 21 starters off that Orange Bowl team. So, you know, I felt good about the way we left the program and the shape that we left the University of Louisville in."

Chip Towers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Petrino declined to discuss the details of his departure from the Falcons. "I don't think we need to get into that. It's something that I've put behind me and I'm sure that the Falcons have."

Wally Hall, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: It was not the vicious feeding frenzy some thought it would be. Petrino did what he does best. He took center stage and was himself.

Boise State

Doesn't it seem like Ian Johnson has been around forever at Boise State? He's back for his senior season and takes a spot front and center in the Broncos' poster schedule. Thanks to Allison.

Reporters' Notebooks

Sunday Morning Quarterback: The blogger announces that he's leaving Sports Blog Nation in two weeks and will "let readers know where to find me for the upcoming season. Only hint: that place doesn't exist yet."

Brett Dawson, Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky quarterback Curtis Pulley is facing disciplinary action after two brushes with the law in the last six weeks.

Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station Eagle: Former Texas A&M kicker Matt Szymanski will transfer to Southern Methodist.

Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal: The Western Athletic Conference is becoming a running league?

Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego State has offered to reduce its on-field practice activities by one hour during the first week of practice as a result of having excessive practice time in March 2007.

Centre Daily Times: ESPN's "Outside the Lines" will air a piece on Penn State's off-field troubles on Sunday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Grandmother of All BCS Disasters

The BCS Guru continues his examination of the 10 years of the Bowl Championship Series with a look at the 2003 season, the most catastrophic finish yet for the system supposedly designed to bring you, the fan, the best possible matchups in the postseason. Who is the BCS fooling?

After five years, you think the bugs would have been worked out of the BCS. Far from it. It all came crashing down in 2003 with split national champions.

Entering the final weekend of the season, three teams were vying for two spots in the Sugar Bowl. USC had one loss — in triple overtime at California, 34-31 — as did Louisiana State — at home to Florida, 19-7. No. 1 Oklahoma was undefeated entering the Big 12 title game against Kansas State.

USC defeated Oregon State, 52-28, and LSU beat Georgia, 34-13, in the Southeastern Conference title game. Oklahoma was routed by Kansas State, 35-7, in the Big 12 title game.

So who played in the Sugar Bowl? LSU and Oklahoma, of course. USC's anger was directed not only at the Sooners, but the Tigers as well. The Trojans' nonconference games were at Auburn and Notre Dame and home games against Hawaii and Brigham Young. LSU steamrolled Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech and I-AA Western Illinois at home and Arizona on the road. As the Guru writes, "Just how LSU's schedule could be considered to be among the top 30 in the country showed the flaw in the [strength of schedule] ratings.

LSU, of course, beat Oklahoma, 21-14, in the Sugar Bowl. USC defeated Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl. LSU was named the BCS champion and USC was crowned the Associated Press champion.

Ted Waitt of Gateway Computers offered $31 million for LSU and USC to settle it on the field. LSU fans were upset with USC followers for claiming a piece of the title pie and eventually raised funds to put up a billboard across the street from the L.A. Coliseum.

Great system we have here. Great system.

Cover Story

Very cool post by Joe at Only Time Will Tell. He gathered all of the regional covers from the Sporting News preview magazine and rolled it into one snazzy post. There are 16 covers in all.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bryan Mullen and David Climer, Tennessean: Tennessee's Phil Fulmer acknowledged that he was served with a subpoena during the Southeastern Conference media days.

John Adams, Knoxville News-Sentinel: Last time Fulmer was threatened with legal action, it ended up much worse for Alabama, which was put on probation by the NCAA.

Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Serving a subpoena on a coach is just the kind of knucklehead stuff that the SEC has been trying to get rid of under commissioner Mike Slive. It's time to move the league's media days out of Alabama and to Atlanta.

Andy Hamilton, Iowa City Press-Citizen: Iowa's Kirk Ferentz said he reluctantly met with the alleged victim in a sexual assault case involving two of his former players, days after the attack. The victim's father said during the meeting Iowa officials talked to him and his daughter about all the options. He said they were told, "if we contact police it goes formal, it will take a long time." He added: "I've been working in the sales business for 27 years. They sold this to us."

Erin Jordan, Iowa City Press-Citizen: Letters from the mother of an alleged sexual assault victim were not the only documents that Iowa officials failed to turn over to the Board of Regents during the initial investigation of how the assault report was handled, university president Sally Mason acknowledged.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Wisconsin's Bret Bielema gets a bit fiesty when defending a nonconference home schedule that includes Akron, Marshall and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Centre Daily Times: A Penn State student was charged with burglary after police say he got drunk while celebrating his 21st birthday and decided to trespass on the football team practice field and break into the Lasch Football Building.

Paul Strelow, Columbia State: Clemson announced that the athletic department had raised $21 million, $5.6 million more than the previous year, "due in part to the new seat equity plan" that restructured the seat distribution policy for season ticket holders.

Randy Shannon, Miami Herald: Maybe the move to Dolphin Stadium is paying off for Miami. Despite a souring economy, Hurricane season tickets are expected to total more than 28,000.

Kevin Clark, Sun-Sentinel: Former Miami quarterback Kenny Kelly has been arrested and charged with three felony drug charges.

Laurence Miedema, San Jose Mercury News: Yonus Davis, the eighth-leading rusher in San Jose State history, was granted a sixth season of eligibility.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not. Here is today's mystery link. Thanks to Joe.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Another bitchin' poster schedule, this one from Tulsa. A sleek design that is bursting with color. We thank Mike for sending it our way. What does reviewer Mike think of the effort? Let's find out:

"Overall I like the use of colors. They work together and give the poster a sense of balance. The dark shadows behind the players help separate them from the blue background. The images are arranged in an arc and helped draw my eye to the center of the poster. The schedule stands out and is easy to read.

"But what is with the calendar months at the bottom? This bizarre addition detracts from the overall piece."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Living After Midnight

Join me at the magical hour of midnight in the Pacific Time Zone on Friday for "Sports Overnight America" on the Sports Byline Radio Network. If you don't have a local affiliate, click here to listen to the Internet stream. Our men and women in the military can listen over the American Forces Network, available in 177 countries and U.S. territories and Navy ships at sea.

And if you missed our appearance Thursday on 98.1 The Sports Ticket in Pensacola/Ft. Walton Beach, click here to hear the segment.

Need a guest for your radio show? Send an email to dawizofodds (at) aol.com.

Phil Fulmer Is Served

We're not talking breakfast, lunch of dinner. We talking subpoena. At least that is what legal channels suggest.

Fulmer, in Hoover, Ala., for the Southeastern Conference media days, denies being served the document, which calls for the Tennessee coach to be deposed Sept. 25 in Birmingham, two days before the Volunteers' game at Auburn.

This is all part of a defamation lawsuit brought by Chattanooga car salesman Wendell Smith against the NCAA.

Four years ago Fulmer refused to come to the event in suburban Birmingham and took part by phone, incurring a $10,000 fine from the SEC. Back then, Fulmer was being sought in order to testify in another case involving an NCAA investigation of Alabama.

Fulmer was asked Thursday about possibly being subpoenaed and denied he had been served.

"I have not seen a subpoena," he said. "This is not the place for that kind of thing. The great fans that are very passionate about the Southeastern Conference aren't interested in that kind of B.S."

Thanks to Richard of Map Game Day.

Wake Forest

Seniors are the backbone of any program, and Wake Forest honors its group of 16 and coach Jim Grobe with small player cards that form the design for its poster schedule.

While this design lacks the snap, crackle and pop featured in many other posters, it's a classy way to remember your frontline gladiators. Click the image for a larger view.

We thank Michael for sending the poster. Let's see what Mike has to say about the Demon Deacons' effort:

"This design is little overwhelming although, unlike Clemson, the images do not run into each. Again, you know how I feel about putting a kicker/punter on your poster, and I do not care if he is a Groza award candidate or not.

" 'Back in Black'? Did they get copyright permission from AC/DC? The schedule itself seems to be an afterthought. Just kind of stuck at the bottom in small type that is overpowered by the rest of the piece."

Reporters' Notebooks

The Joe Cribbs Car Wash: You want previews? Here are links to every online preview of all the Division I-A teams that can be found. Thanks to Get The Picture for turning us on to this amazing resource. Check it out!

Lee Hermiston and Brian Morelli, Iowa City Press-Citizen: The mother of the victim in an alleged sexual assault released another scathing letter to Iowa officials criticizing their handling of her daughter's case. "Shame on all of you for backing down when the going got tough. Shame on all of you for turning away from your moral and professional obligations."

Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman, Newark Star-Ledger: Rutgers' Greg Schiano would not discuss any of the terms of his $2 million contract that is now under increasing scrutiny.

Christopher Walsh, Tuscaloosa News: Louisiana State's Les Miles sidestepped questions about his Alabama comment earlier in the week, saying he has "great respect" for the Crimson Tide.

Bill Koch, Cincinnati Enquirer: Quarterback Ben Mauk still doesn't know if the NCAA will grant him a sixth year of eligibility that will allow him to play this fall for Cincinnati.

Brian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune: Notre Dame doesn’t expect any lingering eligibility issues after sending a cease-and-desist letter to a cell phone ring tone service that used images of two active Fighting Irish athletes in an online advertisement. One of the athletes was quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle: Hours after the University of California won a court decision allowing a long-blocked athletic training center to be built next to Memorial Stadium, supporters of illegal tree-sitters occupying the project's site commandeered a new tree on the main campus. They later abandon the newly occupied tree.

Ian R. Rapoport, Birmingham News: Alabama and Clemson will earn nearly $2 million apiece for their season-opening matchup in Atlanta. And fans will be able to purchase beer until halftime!

Associated Press: Army has revised its interpretation of U.S. Department of Defense policy regarding soldiers playing professional sports, requiring cadets to complete two years of active duty before applying for a release.

FanBlogs: Breaking down the top 15 intrastate rivalries.

Building The Dam: Your favorite Oregon State commercials, all rolled into one post. Thanks to EDSBS.

Samuel Spies, Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina's Board of Trustees approved the design for a first phase of plans to substantially expand Kenan Stadium.

Mick McGrane, San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego State is in the midst of negotiating a new lease with the city that would allow its football team to continue playing at Qualcomm Stadium for at least the next five years, even if the Chargers opt to leave San Diego.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going to the Air Game

If you're in the Pensacola/Ft. Walton Beach area, set your radio dial to 98.1 The Sports Ticket. On Thursday, I'll be a guest of Adam McCloskey and Rob Brown on the "Morning Wrap." beginning at 8:20 a.m. (Central). We urge all our friends in SEC-land to check it out.

If you need a guest for your show, please don't hesitate to ask. Drop an email to dawizofodds (at) aol.com.

Schiano's Secret Deals Lead to Penn State?

A day after the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Greg Schiano had a previously unknown side agreement with marketing group that paid him $250,000 a year, another clause was revealed in the coach's contract.

Schiano will be able to break his 10-year contract without penalty if Rutgers is unable to complete an expansion of its stadium by 2009. Currently, the buyout on his contract is $500,000.

Rutgers president Richard McCormick apologized for the university's continuing "lack of transparency" involving Schiano's deal and said all terms should have been made public.

"I'm not sure why we didn't, but I regret it," McCormick said.

So let's get right to it. Schiano, a former Penn State assistant, has long been the odds-on favorite to replace Joe Paterno, who is likely in his final year as Nittany Lion coach. And yes, that renovation of Rutgers Stadium is — you guessed it — running into all kinds of roadblocks.

It all seems too perfect, doesn't it?

A Tour of Pac-10 Stadiums


Fasten your seat belts and take Google Earth tour of stadiums in the Pacific 10 Conference. Thanks to Tom Kirkendall.

Reporters' Notebooks

Paul Strelow, Columbia State: Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said it would be at least six years before there is a chance the plus-one model for the Bowl Championship Series could be implemented. Swofford indicated that negotiations on a four-year extension with Fox should be done by Christmas, thus locking in the current format through 2014.

Gregg Hennigan, Cedar Rapids Gazette: The University of Iowa was trying to protect an alleged sexual assault victim's privacy when it kept secret from the state Board of Regents two letters from the alleged victim's mother, university president Sally Mason said.

Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Is Boise State ready to jump to the Mountain West Conference?

Dirk Facer, Deseret News: Utah's rifts with Nevada Las Vegas and Wyoming are apparently over.

Ryan Autullo, Toledo Blade: Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon is defending his program after seven players and a former captain were arrested in the offseason.

Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star: Mike Gundy is still a man. And he's still 40. "I am for about two weeks," he said.

Heisman Pundit: Here is what Missouri's Chase Daniel has to do to win the Heisman.

Ken Tysiac, Charlotte Observer: More than half of the 65,837 seats at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa have been sold for the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: South Florida defensive line coach John Hendrick is returning to his job, three weeks after suffering a heart attack.

Marcus Nelson, Palm Beach Post: The Sun Belt Conference reached agreement with three bowl games that could put a team other than the conference champion in the postseason beginning in December.

Steroid Nation: A Louisiana steroid bust identified at least 100 users — some of them high school students.

Louisiana Monroe

Up next, the giant killers of Louisiana Monroe. Who can forget the Warhawks' stunning 21-14 victory last season at Alabama. We thank Adam for sending the poster. Let's see what Mike and Mike have to say.

Mike:

"This is a rather ho-hum effort. I like the layout, the curved football-like area for the images provides a nice visual separation from the schedule. Other than that there is not much to get excited about. The colors are drab and lackluster and the images are nondescript. The band has some hefty members though. Maybe it's the Biggest Damn Band in the Land?

"On a personal note, I'm running the Chicago Marathon in October and raising funds for a charity organization, Opportunity Enterprises, whose mission is to promote self-sufficiency and life choices for challenged individuals. If you wish to help, here is a link to my fund-raising page."

Mike from S.F.:

"Monroe is selling the family environment with pictures of fans, the marching band, tailgating and a packed stadium. The real kicker is the jab at Alabama on the bottom, showcasing the Warhawks' upset of the Crimson Tide last season. I like this poster so much I'm not going to comment on the Arkansas 'home game' in Little Rock.

"Last year was a good year to be a Warhawk fan, and this poster is all about the positive."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mouth of the South

Move over Jimmy Hart, you've been replaced. Louisiana State's Les Miles is strutting his stuff, taking yet another pop at Alabama during a Tiger Tour stop in New Orleans.

Miles, back in the city where his team won the Bowl Championship Series title in January, was asked about LSU's 41-34 victory over Alabama last Nov. 3 in Tuscaloosa. According to the Times-Picayune, Miles brought down the house when he urged the faithful "not to make too much of that game as it seems like a lot of teams in Louisiana beat that team," referencing the Crimson Tide's stunning 21-14 loss to Louisiana Monroe on Nov. 17.

Miles, of course, ripped into Alabama last year, dropping the old F-bomb.

And who can forget Miles' performance before last season's Southeastern Conference championship game.

Reporters' Notebooks

J.P. Giglio and Robbi Pickeral, Raleigh News & Observer: The Atlantic Coast Conference will adopt a standard guideline for reporting injuries during the week, resembling the weekly injury report produced by the NFL.

Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman, Newark Star-Ledger: Five months after agreeing to terms that will pay him as much as $2 million annually with bonuses, Rutgers Greg Schiano quietly signed a side agreement providing for an additional $250,000 a year from the university in payments made through a vendor.

Associated Press: The University of Kansas is concerned it might look like it is supporting Barack Obama after governor Kathleen Sebelius was pictured holding a T-shirt with the words "Barack Chalk Jayhawk" across the front.

Lee Hermiston, Iowa City Press-Citizen: The Iowa state Board of Regents is planning to have a special meeting this week to address a letter sent to University of Iowa officials by the mother of the alleged victim of a sexual assault involving Iowa players last fall. Board president David Miles also confirmed the existence of a second letter the mother allegedly sent to Iowa president Sally Mason on May 16.

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: We are in the early stages of what could prove to be some of the darkest days for University of Iowa athletics.

Adam Rose, All Things Trojan: Our man Mr. Rose has the scoop on what will be replacing USC and UCLA "Rewind."

Jon Wilner, Mercury News: Bet best in Vegas? Take California over 5.5 victories.

Kristy Eppley Rupon, Columbia State: A tanking economy and overbuilding are blamed for 40 condos near South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium being put on the auction block.

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: Colorado receiver Markques Simas is one of three Buffaloes who failed to make the grades and will be ineligible this fall.

Dick Harmon, Deseret News: It's put up or shut up time for Mountain West Conference coaches.

Lawrence Journal-World: If you're in need of weightlifting equipment, you should check out the sale going on at Kansas.

To bypass registration, go to Bug Me Not.

Scholz Garten

The booze cruise known as Thirst and 10 continues with a stop at Scholz Garten, a place that seemingly has been around longer than Texas.

History, food, booze, music. This Austin watering hole has it all. Two distinguished Longhorn bloggers have offered their opinion of the joint. First, let's hear from Henry James of Barking Carnival:

"The place to be before and after a Texas Longhorn game is Scholz Garten. Founded in 1866 by a German immigrant, it has been around longer than the University of Texas.

"You can sit in the air conditioned inside area, but the real action takes place in the large outdoor biergarten. Here Texas fans of all shapes and sizes cram themselves in to either praise or curse coach Mack Brown. Healthy debate has always been welcomed at Scholz though. Whenever the state legislature is in session, it's a popular hangout for representatives and politicos of both parties.

"Like any good biergarten, Scholz has a host of German beers available. But the number one choice of Texas fans is Shiner Bock. It comes from the Spoetzl Brewery in the small town of Shiner, Texas (pop. 2070), located about halfway between San Antonio and Houston. And don't worry if you drink too much. Scholz is located within easy staggering distance of the stadium."
Matt Berg of Bevo Sports gave us this review:

"Talk about Texas history, Scholz Garten first opened its doors after the Civil War in 1866 and was a favorite meeting place for the German population around the Austin area. It serves classic German dishes such as Wienerschnitzel and J├Ągerschnitzel, though I don't recommend going there for the food.

"What it is known for is great beer (probably at least 20 different beers on tap), the large outdoor biergarten (patio), and history (self-proclaimed oldest business in Texas).

"With only a short walk to the stadium, this is the place to be, that is if you can find any room to stand. The large outdoor biergarten is filled with burnt orange and long lines of Longhorn faithful trying to beat the heat with a cold beer. Outside expect to find a live band, that is unless a radio station is running their pregame there. The atmosphere is crazy and energetic, and is something every Longhorn fan has to experience at least once."

Glowing reviews from the Texas bloggers, but there are many experienced drinkers in our audience who view each and every watering hole with a critical eye. Have you been to Scholz Garten? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Previous reviews: Esso Club (Clemson); Dirtbag's (Arizona); Bash Riprock's (Texas Tech); The Original Varsity Club (Ohio State); Walk-On's (Louisiana State); O'Connell's Irish Pub & Grille (Oklahoma); Top Of The Stairs (Virginia Tech); Linebacker Lounge (Notre Dame); The Bear's Lair (California); Eskimo Joe's (Oklahoma State).

Florida State

A bitchin' effort from Florida State, if we may say so ourselves. We thank Brent for sending it our way. Do the reviewers agree with our favorable opinion? Let's find out.

Mike:

"Apparently FSU is going for some post-apocalyptic theme.

"There are so many things wrong with this poster. One, never use what appear to be drawings of players when you have photographs. Two, the visual tone of the poster is too dark. I kept wanting to turn on a light. Third, if you want people to read the copy, don't make it blend into the background.

"However, I do like how FSU displayed the schedule. I do not recall seeing it done that way.

"If Bobby Bowden retires after this year, I hope he takes the people that designed this poster with him."

Mike from S.F.:

"I like the way this poster integrates the team colors into a burning background, definitely conveying intensity. I am pretty sure those are textbooks burning in the background, given the team's recent tutor scandals and (future) sanctions.

"I am not a fan of the understated way FSU differentiated between home and away games across the bottom, but really when you're only leaving the state of Florida three times during the season, how big of a deal is it?

"In general, this poster will get Seminole fans fired up about this season."

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

The gang at Spartan Thunder went on the hunt for a San Jose State poster and found out the school is not producing one. So they took it upon themselves to produce their own. They write: "It does have a few spelling errors, and is not perfect, but at least we now have a schedule!"

Update: Mark of Spartan Thunder has sent us a final version of his poster, minus the spelling errors.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Southern Methodist

Southern Methodist alums are not shy about flaunting their financial success. This is the place where you'll see BMWs sporting bumper stickers that read, "My maid went to Texas."

Imagine what will become of the fatcat alums if June Jones can resurrect the football program. Jones' boldest move to date has been a return to the white helmet, which is featured prominently on the poster schedule, sent to us by Todd of College Football Top Ten. What do our reviewers have to say?

Mike:

"I like the design because it is clean without being mechanical (see Texas El Paso). Despite the dominance the helmet, it doesn't throw the piece off-balance and the image of Jones, which is somewhat faded into into the background, is a nice way to highlight the coach. To me it seems to be a metaphor for Jones being the force behind the program.

"The colors are balanced and transition well into each other, giving the poster a certain flow. It would appear that the Pony Express is on its way to riding back into college football relevance."

Mike from S.F.:

"This poster is all about Jones and the return of a once great program. In the background across the top, you see the SMU facilities, part of reason Jones bailed out of Hawaii. In the middle is the white helmet, bringing back memories of the program's glory years. Behind the helmet you see an image of Jones. All of this is layered on parched paper background.

"Other than the relatively small font for the schedule at the bottom, my only complaint would be that the poster resembles a beer ad. At first glance, it seems like the helmet is buried in packed snow, like a frosty one you reach for at tailgate time. But that may be more my problem.

"A good job on this by SMU, a team that will be fun to watch this season."

Reporters' Notebooks

Eleven Warriors: Former USC and current Cincinnati Bengal quarterback Carson Palmer gives his thoughts on the Ohio State-USC game: "It’s amazing to hear what those guys think about that university and what they think about that football program and Tressel and all the crap I gotta put up with being back there. I just can’t wait for two years from now when SC comes to the Shoe ... and I can go up there and watch us pound on them in their own turf and kind of put all the talk to rest because I’m really getting sick of it and I just can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come out to the Coliseum and experience L.A. and get an old-fashioned Pac-10 butt-whooppin and go back to the Big Ten."

Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Asked for an historic 456,000th time over the weekend how long he plans to continue coaching, Joe Paterno replied for the 456,000th time, "the way I feel right now, four, five, six years."

Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star: Is the balance of power in the Big 12 shifting to the north?

Jake Trotter, Oklahoman: Upgrades to the Cotton Bowl mean there will be more seats available for the Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas.

Adam Jones, Tuscaloosa News: Alabama will be charging a hefty fee for RVs to park on most campus tailgating areas.

Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman: Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson, who presided over the split and the rebuilding of the conference, can rightfully smile.

Associated Press: Marshall's J.J. Johnson was kicked off the team after he was arrested early Sunday morning.