Sunday, September 30, 2007

Columnists' Corner

Jeff Carroll, South Bend Tribune: Is Crewcut Charlie Weis close to losing his team?

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Welcome to the new home of Iowa's football team. The Hawkeyes are taking up residence in the Big Ten basement.

John Rhode, Oklahoman: Oklahoma got what it deserved. The Sooners were kicked all over the field before Colorado's deciding field goal split the uprights.

Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune: Abolish San Diego State's football program? Nobody knew it would happen as early as Saturday night.

Steve Politi, Newark Star-Ledger: As losses go, Rutgers' tumble to Maryland ranks as a doozy.

Ray Melick, Birmingham News: That's two losses in a row for Nick Saban, who really doesn't know the identity of his team.

Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News: A lesson to be learned: Don't lose faith in Auburn.

Eric Gilmore, Contra Costa Times: After a huge victory over Oregon, California is adjusting its goals upward.

Reporters' Notebooks

Antoine Pitts, Ann Arbor News: Michigan may be penalized for using an ineligible player in the first four games. Sanctions could include forfeiture of the Wolverines' league-opening victory over Penn State.

Sarah Trotto, Arizona Daily Star: Arizona coach Mike Stoops, who spent part of Friday in a hospital being treated for a kidney stone attack, said he felt no pain during the Wildcats' 48-20 victory over Washington State.

Miami Sports Blog: Given all the upsets on Saturday, the conference that come out looking the best was the Atlantic Coast.

Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman: That ball Ian Johnson fired into the stands after scoring the winning two-point conversion in the Fiesta Bowl is headed back to Boise.

Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Advertiser: Comments made earlier in the week by ESPN analyst Craig James helped fire up Hawaii for its game against Idaho.

Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: A Duke lineman's brainchild might turn into Internet gold.

Possibly the Hit of the Year

Michigan State safety Nehemiah Warrick delivers a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit to Wisconsin receiver Kyle Jefferson in the final minute of the first half of Saturday's game at Madison, won by the Badgers, 37-34.

With help, Jefferson eventually got to his feet and made it to the bench. He didn't return.

"He was real close to being able to get back in there, but he couldn't answer all the right questions in the short amount of time," Badger coach Bret Bielema said.

Warrick was awarded the bone, which is given each week to a defensive player who makes the hardest hit in a game.

How Arkansas Lost One of Its Nutts

If Danny Nutt wasn't helping his brother Houston coach the Arkansas Razorbacks, what was he listening to over those headphones in the coaches box during the Razorbacks' 42-29 loss to Kentucky on Sept. 22?

Nutt, who stepped down in July as running backs coach because of a recurring health problem that involved bleeding from his brain stem, had been replaced on the staff by Tom Horton. So adding another coach was a strict no-no.

When ESPN caught Nutt in the booth during the loss to the Wildcats, Charles Bloom, the Southeastern Conference's associate commissioner, ordered him out of the coaches' booth and team bench during games. Thanks to the Hog Blogger for finding this image.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Final Days of Dennis Franchione

Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione is so radioactive at the moment, even his friend and boss, athletic director Bill Byrne, is doing all he can to distance himself from the football coach.

Byrne, right, issued a statement Friday clarifying that he was unaware of Franchione's email newsletter sent to select boosters who paid $1,200 for inside information, including injury reports of Aggie players.

Byrne, described as proud and brash, is also said to be "a big ol' teddy bear when it comes to Franchione," writes Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News.

Fans are getting more upset by the day in College Station, and Franchione's comment that the "exhibition season" was over after a 34-17 loss at Miami only fueled the anti-Franchione sentiment.

The growing distaste for Franchione ultimately led to one of the dozen or so subscribers to Franchione's VIP Connection newsletter to turn the evidence over to the Express-News.

"Maybe the fan pushed 'send' about the time Miami was leading 31-0," writes Wendell Barnhouse of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Barnhouse also raises another point, writing that Franchione guards injury reports "like they were nuclear launch codes. ... But at Texas A&M, for $1,200 a year, you could find out how many stitches it took to close a gash on the starting quarterback's hand.

"If you're so inclined, you can take a look at the betting line and make a wager based on information gleaned from your VIP status. Maybe even recoup some of the $1,200 subscription fee."

Reporters' Notebooks

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: Three weeks ago, South Florida was unranked and virtually unknown throughout the nation. That all changed Friday night. In a big way.

Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette-Mail: West Virginia’s national championship chances went out with the tide on Friday. Steve Slaton’s Heisman Trophy hopes were more than likely shipwrecked. Ditto those of Pat White, who left injured early.

Bart Pohlman, Arkansas Traveler: Arkansas fans deserve better than this. Razorback players deserve better than this. It's time for the Houston Nutt era to come to an end. It's time for a change.

Oklahoman: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has something to say: "I want this to end."

Pete Bosak, Centre Daily Times: Former Penn State defensive end LaVon Chisley, who was kicked off the team in 2005, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of the stabbing and slashing death of a woman.

Tucson Citizen: Arizona coach Mike Stoops went to the hospital Friday to be treated for kidney stones, but he is expected to be on the sideline Saturday against Washington State.

Adam Sparks, Tennessean: Is Vanderbilt trying to avoid scheduling Middle Tennessee State?

Adam Kilgore, Washington Post: The Atlantic Coast Conference has the status, but not the statement.

Jaymes Powell Jr., Raleigh News & Observer: A video game that promises to capture the experience of black college football will be released this fall. A link to the BCFX website.

Bryant-Jon Anteola, Fresno Bee: The new mascot for Fresno State, home of the Bulldogs, is getting bad reviews. The student newspaper said it "looks more like a cat and wears clothes that are maybe a little too tight for its own good."

Dave Reardon, Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Hawaii and quarterback Colt Brennan were treated like rock stars upon their arrival in Idaho.

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

Officially, It's Still a Loss for South Carolina

How about the Southeastern Conference officiating! Check out this video from Cool Chicken examining some of the calls in last Saturday's South Carolina-Louisiana State game at Baton Rouge, won by the Tigers, 28-16. Yes, they are still bitter about this one in Columbia.

Friday, September 28, 2007

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

How do you know when a team is comfortably ahead? When players are casually using portable public toilets during the game.

Boise State receiver Vinny Perretta was caught in the act Thursday night during the Broncos' nationally televised game against Southern Mississippi. And it's not like Perretta is a deep reserve. He had four catches for 74 yards in the Broncos' 38-16 victory.

Franchione Stops Selling Newsletter

Dennis Franchione likely shoveled dirt on his grave with this report from the San Antonio Express-News: The Texas A&M coach has been selling a secret email newsletter to select boosters for $1,200 a year.

The newsletter, titled "VIP Connection," has been distributed the past three years to about 12 boosters, each of whom had to sign a letter of confidentiality to receive it. The newsletter contained detailed information about injuries and candid assessments of Aggie players.

Franchione, who said the profits earned from the side business were used to underwrite his personal Web site, Coach Fran, stopped selling the newsletter this week.

"I knew it was probably going to be controversial," Franchione said. "I certainly didn't mean for it to be that. When I knew you guys were starting to ask around a bit, I thought, 'Maybe we shouldn't do this.' "

Worse for Franchione is that his boss, athletic director Billy Byrne, apparently did not know of the newsletter. The paper said Byrne met with Franchione after being told of the newsletter, and although Byrne didn't ask the coach to stop "VIP Connection," he strongly suggested that it would be the prudent thing to do.

One last note: If anybody would like to slip us a copy of "VIP Connection," we promise to keep your identity a secret.

Game of the Week

California and Oregon have staged some memorable games in recent seasons, and Saturday's meeting in Eugene has all the potential to be another classic. Each team is 4-0 with resume building victories. The Golden Bears beat up on Tennessee to open the season and the Ducks delivered a knockout of Michigan a week later at Ann Arbor.

With Oregon favored, this one is tough to call. So let's hear what representatives from each side have to say, beginning with Dave from Addicted to Quack:

"Oregon and Cal are two similar teams. Neither defense is very good, and their 'bend, don't break' philosophies have them near the bottom of the league in defense. This means that you are likely to see a shootout. Both teams have great running games, but I think three things stand out as the difference for the Ducks: The Bears have injuries at key positions with DeSean Jackson and Zach Follett, Oregon has a legitimate playmaker at quarterback in Dennis Dixon whereas Cal has Nate Longshore, and the game is at Autzen."

Next up is TwistNHook, representing California Golden Blogs:

"Many people think that this game is going to be a shootout between two top-notch offenses and two less than staunch defenses. If that is true, I feel like Cal can win in the end. We have three great running backs, three great receivers and two really solid tight ends. Plus, DeSean returning punts usually shortens the field, either by shanked punts or solid returns. The only missing piece is Longshore, who has been inconsistent at times. If Longshore can stay consistent, I think this Cal offense is nigh unstoppable. So if it is a shootout, that could favor the Bears."

Crystal Ball

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Hello, lovers of free money. Hlastradamus has a three-week record of 15-6. That's 71.4% against the spread.

Jody Demling, Louisville Courier-Journal: After picking Louisville to beat Syracuse by 63 points, there is much work to do.

Jerry Hill, Waco Herald-Tribune: Baylor is getting 17 points at Texas A&M. Are the Bears worth the investment?

Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Breaking it down in the Pacific 10. What about this California-Oregon game?

Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News: Coming off a 4-1 week. He also is adding a post picking all the Pac-10 games.

Double D, Boston Herald: Tough times in Minnesota. You know what that means. Take Ohio State and give the points.

Phil Steele: His weekly top 25 forecast.

New York Post: Saturday's heroes tackle the spread.

For the latest numbers, go to Doc's Sports.

Leave Crewcut Alone

It's time to check in on developments at Notre Dame, home of Crewcut Charlie Weis and the 0-4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The latest: Offensive guard Chris Stewart is set to transfer. He left Thursday for his hometown of Spring, Texas, and if he follows through, Stewart would become the third player to leave in the past two weeks and the fourth member of the vaunted sophomore class to leave in the past three months.

And for those keeping score at home, a Stewart departure would mean 17 players have left since Crewcut became coach in December 2004.

Demetrius Jones, the quarterback who started the opener for Notre Dame and then fled to Northern Illinois, is now transferring to Cincinnati. Jones, who will be eligible in 2008, must feel like he hit the lottery. Consider that he has traded an 0-4 team for a 4-0 team that is ranked.

Some are now wondering if Crewcut is the next to go.

Let the Smack Begin

Florida and Louisiana State don't play for another week, but that doesn't mean we can't start having fun with what should be the game of the year in the Southeastern Conference. Reader Seth sent us this fine game day poster, designed by Jaxfl Tiger of the Tiger Droppings board.

That's LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey with the taser, about to put it to use on Florida's Tim Tebow. Of course, this can all be traced to the taser video of Florida student Andrew Meyer at a town hall forum for John Kerry in Gainesville on Sept. 17.

Hmmm. Any of those Florida photoshoppers have a response to this?

Wanted: Kicker

Although Duke ended its 22-game losing streak, the Blue Devils still have a plethora of problems. After kicking problems contributed to Duke starting a new losing streak last Saturday in a 46-43 setback at Navy, coach Ted Roof decided to hold auditions for a kicker.

Thanks to Miami Sports Blog and Scrapper Nation, we now have the ad that ran in the Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, asking for a kicker. The ad appeared in Tuesday and Wednesday in the Chronicle.

Reporters' Notebooks

Joe Ovies, 850 The Buzz Blog: Check out some of the problems at North Carolina State's Carter-Finley Stadium: Long lines to get into the stadium, running out of water and bad smelling ice/cups. Writes Ovies: "As a good friend of mine described it, when he went to take a drink it, 'smelled like someone farted in my cup.' "

Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: A longtime San Diego State faculty member is sponsoring a resolution to abolish the Aztec football program because of its failure to generate revenue as promised and because of the strain he says that puts on academics. Thanks to Mike for this!

Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: How bad is the Big Ten? Example: Michigan State allowed Notre Dame to score not one, but two whole touchdowns.

Jeff Rabjohns, Indianapolis Star: You don't get the Big Ten Network? Relax. You haven't missed much.

Brad Rock, Deseret Morning News: Utah, which has stumbled to a 1-3 start, deserves to be insulted, so here goes. ...

USA Football: Two California high schools — Concord De La Salle and Long Beach Polytechnic — top the list of high schools with the most 2007 NFL players with six each.

Jason Riley and Brian Bennett, Louisville Courier-Journal: Louisville dismissed troubled linebacker Willie A. Williams after he charged with possession of marijuana, felony tampering with physical evidence and driving without a license.

Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post: Two Florida State football players were involved in academic fraud for receiving answers for online exams.

Geoff Calkins, Commercial Appeal: Memphis blew a 25-point halftime lead and lost to Arkansas State, 35-31. A potential game-winning punt return for a touchdown was called back with 3:16 left because of an illegal block by Turner West, son of coach Tommy West.

Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: The Boise State offense was back in its big-play glory — and its coming-out party came against Southern Mississippi, Conference USA's perennial leader in defense.

Thayer Evans, New York Times: Rhett Bomar is returning to Oklahoma, this time as Sam Houston State's quarterback. His team plays Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times: Meet William C. Dowling, a Rutgers professor who has written a book about his efforts to curtail the university's ambition to run among the elite of college athletics.

Doug Zaleski, Muncie Star Press: Ball State tailback Quale Lewis' season is over. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the loss at Nebraska.

Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News: San Jose State's football program, which was in danger of being eliminated just a few years ago, could turn a profit this season.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

USC Displays Its Full Arsenal

USC wanted to impress poll voters last Saturday when it played host to Washington State, and by most accounts, the Trojans were successful, blowing out the Cougars, 47-14.

The football team wasn't alone in making a statement. A group of students, above, used body paint to spell out "Free O.J."

These photos are courtesy of Image of Sport, a sports photography service for daily newspapers and editorial publications.

Washington State coach Bill Doba, right, is feeling the heat in Pullman, and his team has a key game Saturday at Arizona. His quarterback, Alex Brink, below, remains among the national leaders in several statistical categories and had two touchdown passes against the Trojans.
The Trojans huddle up before they are led onto the field by the Song Girls. USC quarterback John David Booty had his best game of 2007, passing for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Pete Carroll and his team will go for the Washington sweep on Saturday in Seattle when they take on the Huskies. The Trojans haven't lost a September game since a 34-31 defeat at California on Sept. 27, 2003.

This Heisman Thing Can Be a Real Drag

Is it an indication that the overall quality of play is down, or do we not have that superstar to cling to in 2007?

Yes, it's time to talk Heisman trophy.

Usually the Heisman picture is somewhat clear at this point of a season. But as we enter Week 5, the race up for grabs.

Heisman Pundit, the blogosphere expert on such matters, has been conducting a straw poll each week to determine where the candidates stand. Currently, Arkansas' Darren McFadden, dressed in drag in the above photo, leads the race. Florida's Tim Tebow is second and West Virginia's Pat White is third. USC's John David Booty is fourth and Kentucky's Andre Woodson has surged to fifth.

Also of note: Hawaii's Colt Brennan, who didn't play last Saturday because of a sprained ankle, was tied for eighth with Oregon's Dennis Dixon. And Louisville's Brian Brohm? He's not even listed among those receiving votes.

Wolverines' Manningham Does the Worm

Michigan receiver Mario Manningham celebrates his team's 14-9 victory over Penn State on Saturday by doing the worm, a move made popular by professional wrestler Scottie 2 Hotty.

Reporters' Notebooks

Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: The excellent college football insider: Notes, quotes and anecdotes.

Bob Ford, Philadelphia Inquirer: That's not cool. Rutgers' Greg Schiano, whose Scarlet Knights led I-AA Norfolk State, 45-0, called three timeouts near the end of the first half so his team could get the ball back and score again.

Andrew Logue, Des Moines Register: Iowa State unveiled its new helmet, uniform and logo designs to be used beginning next season.

Baird Helgeson, Tampa Tribune: South Florida won't be alone in profiting from selling out Raymond James Stadium for Friday's game against West Virginia. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to fatten their wallet.

Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal: Could the Nevada Las Vegas and Nevada game escalate to the 1995 standard, when there were two on-field brawls, 25 ejections and six arrests?

Jake Schaller, Colorado Springs Gazette: A Colorado senator has joined the fight to get The mtn. on satellite television.

Tony Phifer, Coloradoan: Mountain West Conference notebook: Utah and Nevada Las Vegas are the most confounding teams in the league.

Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune: Will losing hurt the draft stock of Notre Dame's fifth-year seniors?

Eric Crawford, Louisville Courier-Journal: What went wrong at Louisville and why the media/fans didn't see it coming.

Rick Scoppe, Greenville News: Louisiana State's Les Miles disputed Steve Spurrier's contention there were "a couple of helmet-to-helmet" hits on a punt return against South Carolina.

Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Big 12 insiders: Texas and quarterback Colt McCoy have a debt to pay.

Here is today's mystery link.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ohio States Its Case

Reader Matt, who spent the previous week in Boulder at the Florida State-Colorado game, moved the party east last Saturday to Columbus, where Ohio State kicked off Big Ten play with a 58-7 thrashing of Northwestern. And once again, he was kind enough to send us photos of the day's activities.
Matt and his army of followers always have plenty of adult beverages on hand, above, a necessity for a long and sometimes grueling walk to the Horseshoe on a beautiful fall day.
Matt obviously has connections when it comes to scoring seats. Check out the view from down low and near midfield behind the Northwestern bench.
As if the Wildcats don't have to set through enough lectures during the week, they got one on a Saturday from coach Pat Fitzgerald. After the game, it was time for the party to begin.

Introducing Wiz News Wired

It's a work in progress, but we are announcing another layer to the site that we have been working on for the past month. It's called Wiz News Wired, and when the Wiz is not around, you can keep up to the minute on all 120 Division I-A teams (we've included future I-A Western Kentucky, for those of you keeping score).

How does it work? What we've done is set up feeds for all the teams, which are listed alphabetically, from Air Force to Wyoming. According to plan, links will filter into News Wired as they are posted on the World Wide Web.

New Wired has imperfections. It takes a couple of seconds to load because of the number of feeds, and we've been unable to keep all of the feeds directly related to football, but these are issues we continue to work on. Any feedback and input on how to tweak the site is greatly appreciated.

The site is also listed under "Links" on the top right-hand corner of this page, just under Wiz Resources, which is the links page we added last month.

Gay Blogs Take a Look at Sun Devils' Tryon

Arizona State cornerback Justin Tryon has a new fan club: Gay men.

Pitchfork Nation sends along word that Tryon has become a favorite of two gay men's blogs.

Comments from the blogs include:

—"There are no words — except, 'Pass the whip cream'."

—"I can't help thinking that Justin has his first and last names accidentally reversed."

—"Dear God, if you could make all athletes wear outfits like this, I'll start going to church. I swear."

—"Booking a trip to Arizona right now."

Tryon is putting together a solid senior season, with 16 tackles and an interception he returned for 44 yards.

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

A hearty thanks to Shakedown Sports for finding what we have been looking for: Video and images from what could be the brawl of the year in college football. North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T squared off in more ways than one moments after Central's 27-22 victory on Saturday night.

This melee reportedly started after Central players stormed the field and began jumping up and down on A&T's midfield logo.

Police officers from both schools tried to separate players, and as you can see from the photos below, at least one officer from Central began spraying pepper spray at players who continued to fight.

Thus far, only one unidentified player from Central has been suspended.

Dawg Treat

Larry Munson, the voice of Georgia football, missed only his second game in over 40 years Saturday, but the Bulldogs clearly have depth at the position. Listen to Scott Howard's call of the winning touchdown pass in overtime from Matthew Stafford to Mikey Henderson in Georgia's 25-23 victory.

Reporters' Notebooks

Kevin Tatum, Philadelphia Inquirer: The Mid-American Conference acknowledged that its officials blew the call when a touchdown reception by Temple receiver Bruce Francis was disallowed with 40 seconds remaining in the team's 22-17 loss to Connecticut.

Bruce Cadwallader, Columbus Dispatch: Antonio Henton has been suspended by Ohio State's Jim Tressel after the backup quarterback was charged with soliciting a prostitute. He has pleaded not guilty.

Associated Press: The Southeastern Conference has told Arkansas that former running backs coach Danny Nutt, who was spotted last Saturday in the Razorback coaching booth with headphones on, should not be in the booth or near the team bench during games.

Bryan Strickland, Durham Herald-Sun: If you're a Duke student reading this, the football team is having auditions for a kicker.

Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star: Purdue coach Joe Tiller played nice, but the reality is that Notre Dame scares no one.

Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska linebacker Corey McKeon: "This isn't a down year for Nebraska. We're 3-1 and people are looking at it like . . . we're Notre Dame, like we're 0-4."

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Hands down, Alabama is the most exciting team in college football.

Jake Schaller, Colorado Springs Gazette: At Air Force, the focus is no longer on games against Navy or Army.

Tom Kensler, Denver Post: Is Oklahoma beatable? "Totally," Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said. "Anybody is beatable, and anyone can beat you."

Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Johnny Sears, a cornerback who was a starter for Michigan when the season began before being dismissed from the team, might be considering Washington as his next destination.

David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot-News: Here are the options: 1. Blame Paterno. 2. Just live with it. Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.

Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press: A warrant was issued for the arrest of Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham after he failed to appear in court earlier this month on a traffic offense.

Kate Hairopoulos, Dallas Morning News: Texas Christian defensive end Tommy Blake will miss at least two games to take a medical leave of absence.

Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Boise State, which plays host to Southern Mississippi on Thursday night, is worried it might be a step slow against the Eagles.

Jim Masilak, Commercial Appeal: Meet Reggie Arnold, the best running back from the state of Arkansas you've never heard of.

Brad Rock, Deseret Morning News: How close was O.J. Simpson to attending Utah instead of USC? Turns out, he nearly became the Utes' public relations nightmare.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oklahoma State Pissing Match Continues

The Mike Gundy tirade, which first aired on the Blogosphere, finally trickled into the mainstream media.

Gundy defended his actions Monday at his weekly press briefing (above video), saying he didn't have to explain inaccuracies in a column by the Oklahoman's Jennie Carlson. The Oklahoma State coach said he only wishes he had said more and that he had been better prepared.

Carlson defended her story and fired back in column. The paper also posted a video of Carlson and sports editor Mike Sherman discussing her column (video below). And here are links to other videos — here and here — posted on the Oklahoman.

What are they saying in Big 12 country about this? Here are two different opinions:

Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: In Gundy's world, college football players should be treated like children — seen and not heard. His message is to ignore Oklahoma State's football team. Fine by me.

Jerry Hill, Waco Tribune-Herald: Gundy's rant was right, but he should have handled it one-on-one with the writer and behind closed doors.

And Lost Amid Gundy's Tirade ...

Here is the video of Mike Leach's tirade Saturday after the Red Raiders' 49-45 loss to Oklahoma State. On Sunday, Leach went on to ask for and receive the resignation of defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich. Leach apparently wants his defense, now under the direction of Ruffin McNeill, to have a tougher attitude.

Reporters' Notebooks

Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune: The rats are jumping off the ship. Konrad Reuland became the third top 100 prospect from Notre Dame's vaunted sophomore class to leave the team in the past three months.

Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times: Notre Dame has been big and fat and successful for so long in football that this current fall from grace has all the haters loving it.

Luciana Chavez, Raleigh News & Observer: Duke offensive linemen are wearing T-shirts with "The Bodygaurds" printed on the front, honoring their improved pass protection for quarterback Thad Lewis.

Iliana Limón, Albuquerque Tribune: New Mexico receiver Marcus Smith, whose mother died Sept. 15, learned he must pay $6,000 for her funeral, money he doesn't have. A fund has been set up to help cover the costs.

Dirk Facer, Deseret Morning News: Utah beats UCLA, 44-6, then falls at Nevada Las Vegas, 27-0. What is going on with the Utes?

Dick Harmon, Deseret Morning News: The good, the bad and the overrated in college football.

Mike Miller, Capital Times: Two Wisconsin fans were arrested on disorderly conduct charges during Saturday's game against Iowa. The couple reportedly engaged in intercourse in a stall in a women's restroom and were arrested during the second quarter. Thanks to EDSBS.

Rick Scoppe, Greenville News: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier said the Southeastern Conference’s head of officials told him the officials erred in spotting the ball before his team’s failed attempt on a fourth-and-one play against Louisiana State.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina's top defensive player, linebacker Jasper Brinkley, is done for the season after tearing a ligament in his right knee.

Tommy Deas, Tuscaloosa Times: Nick Saban doesn't want Alabama fans to shower opposing players with garbage.

Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times: Ben Olson, who sat out the victory against Washington, will return as the starting quarterback for UCLA at Oregon State.

Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press: Michigan quarterback Chad Henne, who strained his right knee in the first half against Oregon, has been cleared to play again.

Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser: Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan declared himself physically fit to play in Saturday's game at Nevada.

That West Texas Town of El Paso

We order up another round of Texas El Paso tailgating from reader Greg, who had so much fun the last time he attended a Miner game he just had to return.

As you can see above, there is only one way to enjoy a beer in El Paso.

Mascot Paydirt Pete was quick to flash the pickaxe hand symbol. You might not know this, but a mineshaft still exists on the mountainous, desert campus that sits on the north bank of the Rio Grande.

The Miners defeated Texas Southern, 52-12, and have a game this Saturday at Southern Methodist.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Snapshots of Week 4

A look back at the weekend that was from TV Tan Line.