Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Sep 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Bad Idea Jeans

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: So if last week, with seven games between ranked teams, was "Separation Saturday," "Showdown Saturday," or " Footballpocalypse" as our friends at EDSBS dubbed it, what does that make this week'? "Skip It Saturday?" Or maybe "Shop With Your Wife Saturday?" Gordon Gekko would call this week's schedule "a dog with fleas."

Vinny: Well, after my 1-7 record last week, I think Gekko would agree that I'm "walking around blind without a cane." Nice phone, Gordo.

Russell: I'm just glad I'll be making the roadie to the Big House this week. Something tells me I won't feel like I'm missing much if I spend the Wisconsin-Michigan postgame at Casa Dominick's instead of BW3.

Vinny: I'll probably be entertaining my parents all weekend out here on the West Coast. Odds that my mom will force me to sit through back-to-back episodes of the Suze Orman Show? 3-to-2. I'm just praying that TNT doesn't have "Pretty Woman" in the heavy rotation.

Russell: Vin, I know you say you can't make the trip, but I won't believe until the weekend has actually passed without you showing up. You can't really resist the siren call of the Big House, can you? What if I told you the band was going to play another tribute to Phil Collins at halftime? Would that sweeten the pot for you?

Vinny: I'm still haunted by the Michigan Marching Band's rendition of "Sussudio". I don't even want to talk about it.

Minnesota (-2.5) at Purdue, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Russell: These are two second-tier Big Ten clubs with a combined record of 5-1, yet the best win between them was Purdue's overtime win over Miami of Ohio, a team that got crushed at home by Northwestern who then got crushed at home by ... New Hampshire. Did you follow that, Vin?

Vinny: Not really.

Russell: At least Glen Mason stepped up his non-conference schedule a bit this year, taking it on the chin at Cal two weeks ago. Something tells me Mason followed that game with a call to the AD demanding to get Wofford on the schedule for next year. Purdue, meanwhile, is the worst 3-0 team in America after struggling at times in all three games. The Boilermakers have given up over 1,200 yards on defense already this year.

Vinny: Joe Tiller did shake up his staff in the off-season, but that was mostly on the offensive side of the ball. And it doesn't get any easier after this week for the Boilers, with trips to Notre Dame and Iowa up next.

Russell: Minnesota is finally letting quarterback Bryan Cupito throw downfield a bit this year, adding a nice dimension to its offense. I guess you have to do that when you don't have a pair of NFL-caliber tailbacks in the backfield. Purdue's defense is hideous, and QB Curtis Painter is an interception machine. I like the Gophers on the road.

Vinny: That may be a little harsh on Painter -- he's only a sophomore and he's starting to come around after getting thrown into the fire last year for Brandon Kirsch. But I like Minnesota as well.

#24 Penn State (+16) at #1 Ohio State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I guess there are a couple of decent games on the schedule after all. This game was a classic last season, as Tamba Hali and the Penn State defense put the lockdown on Ohio State in Happy Valley in a win that propelled the Nittany Lions to the Orange Bowl. Of course, Hali is now wearing a Kansas City Chiefs jersey, but it's quarterback Michael Robinson whose loss is being felt more acutely in Happy Valley.

Vinny: I'm not sure that Galen Hall has noticed that Robinson is gone -- he could do a better job of adjusting the offense to Anthony Morelli's drop-back passing game. Running back Tony Hunt needs to be a factor for four quarters for the Nits to have any chance.

Russell: Morelli wasn't exactly up to the task in his first road test, a blowout loss at South Bend two weeks ago. Based on the relative strengths of Notre Dame's and Ohio State's defense, methinks the 'Shoe could be a house of horrors for Mr. Morelli.

Vinny: Meanwhile, with everyone jumping off the Brady Quinn bandwagon, maybe more people are noticing that the best passer in the country right now is Troy Smith. Yes, that's passer -- he's not running much as of yet, but he hasn't had to since he's completing about 70 percent of his passes. It's nice to have Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez, yes. But Smith is that good. Will someone please give this guy some more money before November rolls around?

Russell: You stay classy, Vin. Ohio State snapped out of its post-Texas hangover to bury Cincinnati in the fourth quarter last week. They'll be ready from the opening kick this time. I don't like JoePa's chances of avoiding another blowout here. Ohio State is the pick.

Vinny: Paul Posluszny says he's back to full speed physically after tearing up his knee in the Orange Bowl, but learning middle linebacker has slowed him down some. Ohio State linebacker Jim "Road Warrior" Laurinaitis is picking up where he left off last year as a superb substitute for Bobby Carpenter. The Buckeyes coast to an easy cover. This is my Fred Edelstein Lock.

Alabama (+1.5) at Arkansas, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: I know I bring this up every time we talk about Arkansas, but do you think Houston Nutt wants to rethink the decision to turn down $2 million a year from Nebraska? It's two years later, and the guy is just hanging on at Arkansas, and I don't think anyone's calling with that kind of job offer anytime soon.

Vinny: It's right out of Saturday Night Live's old "Bad Idea Jeans" commercials. Of course, nothing will ever top the all-time classic: "Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, 'When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?'"

Russell: Nutt did manage to recruit quarterback Mitch Mustain, however, and the true freshman looks like he'll deliver on his considerable promise. After beginning the year on the bench, he's now starting and he carved up Vanderbilt for three touchdowns last week.

Vinny: Well, it was Vandy, although Mel Kiper Jr. does love 'dores linebacker Jonathan Goff, who's been all over the field when I've seen him play this year. Mustain will be aided by the very capable Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in the backfield.

Russell: Bad news for Arkansas in last week's narrow win over the Commodores: The Hogs were gashed on the ground, not a good sign with Kenneth Darby and Alabama coming to town. I think Alabama finds a way to win on the road here.

Vinny: Alabama really likes to work its fullbacks, Le'Ron McClain and Tim Castille, into the offense; they've accounted for three touchdowns already this season. This is the first road start for Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson. I like the Hogs here.

#22 Arizona State (+7.5) at #21 California, 4:30 p.m. ET, FSN

Russell: Both these teams began the season with hopes of challenging USC for Pac-10 supremacy, but I'm not sure either is in the Trojans' league right now. Cal has rebounded from the Tennessee debacle with a pair of wins, and now gets a balanced Arizona State team in its conference opener.

Vinny: And both of these teams are coming off of not-so-impressive wins over I-AA teams: Cal over Portland State, and Arizona State over ... Colorado ... Well, you get the idea.

Russell: Who are you, Gary Barnett? After the controversial way in which he got the starting job, ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter has been just fine, and he's been complemented by a defense that leads the nation with 18 sacks.

Vinny: Considering Carpenter led the nation in passing efficiency last year, and is 7-1 as a starter, maybe he has been playing below his own high standards. But I think Dirk Koetter could make Joey Harrington into a Pro Bowler.

Russell: Arizona State needs to get the pash rush working against Cal QB Nate Longshore, who crumbled under pressure in Knoxville. Of course, pass rush won't matter if Marshawn Lynch keeps the Bears in second-and-short all day. The line's a touch high, but I still have to stick with Cal at home.

Vinny: The Sun Devils are getting some ink for their rush defense, but given their creampuff schedule, that's just a mirage. Still, this could end up being the best offense Koetter has had. Arizona State wins outright.

UCLA (-3.5) at Washington, 7 p.m. ET, TBS

Russell: Vin, do you think Ty Willingham felt any satisfaction at watching what happened to Notre Dame last week? I wouldn't hold it against him if he did; he certainly has more of a right to feel that way than Barnett, who chose to kick the Buffs when they were down.

Vinny: I'm sure Ty didn't mind hearing that the genius who succeeded him was actually fallible. But I doubt he would admit that to anyone.

Russell: Could it be that Willingham is actually beginning to turn things around at U-Dub? The Huskies were competitive against Oklahoma, and last week edged Fresno State, 21-20, on a blocked extra point in the final minutes to improve to 2-1. Quarterback Isaiah Stanback has some ability, and if he takes care of the ball, Washington has a shot in this one.

Vinny: The Bruins haven't been tested at all though, with wins over mighty Rice and Utah to date. But they are coming off a bye week, which has become something of a rarity with teams scrambling to schedule 12 games this year. I'd be curious to see if major conference teams coming off a bye week struggled or thrived.

Russell: Nobody expected much out of UCLA this season after they lost running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Drew Olsen, but few people remember that new QB Ben Olson was very highly touted coming out of high school before taking a two-year Mormon mission and transferring from BYU. The Bruins have shown the ability to both pass and run in their first two wins, but I like what I've seen from Washington so far. The Huskies get the home win.

Vinny: Agreed. Washington looks noticeably better this year. We'll see if Husky Stadium can return to its days of one of the biggest home field advantages in football. I'll take Washington and the points.

#20 Boston College (-6.5) at North Carolina State, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Russell: Is Boston College any good? They've authored back-to-back OT wins over Clemson and BYU, both at home, the last two weeks. Not exactly statement wins, although the Clemson victory may yet turn out to be one. Still, the Eagles are finding a way to get things done.

Vinny: Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan has been cool under fire this season, although he did toss his first picks of the season against BYU.

Russell: There's no such mystery surrounding N.C. State. The Wolfpack are awful, turning Chuck "Chest" Amato into Dead Coach Walking in Raleigh. Worse yet, Amato is getting desperate as he gets closer to the end of the line, offering up a string of excuses for his team's pitiful play.

Vinny: Amato is hoping that a switch in quarterbacks (Matt Stone sits, Daniel Evans starts) will fire up an offense averaging under 270 yards and 19 points during a less-than-impressive non-conference slate.

Russell: You wonder if a team backed into a corner like N.C. State will come out fighting. I don't see it. The Wolfpack look like they've already quit on the season. Boston College rolls, and I'm making this my Fred Edelstein Lock.

Vinny: Yep, this could get ugly. Tom O'Brien's squad finally gets a laugher -- the Eagles waltz to a win.

#12 Notre Dame (-3.5) at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: Notre Dame's M.O. against teams from Michigan in recent years has been to rise up against the Wolverines and then get humbled by the Spartans, who've owned the Irish like nobody else the last few seasons. Last year's game featured a huge comeback by Notre Dame to force overtime, where Michigan State won, then planted its flag on the Notre Dame Stadium turf. You can bet Charlie Weis has replayed that clip a few times this week.

Vinny: Definitely, but you have to wonder if playing Penn State and Michigan back-to-back will leave the Irish with not much left in the tank. The Spartans have usually benefited from playing Notre Dame at this point in the schedule -- MSU's first big game of the season and Notre Dame's second or third.

Russell: It's a case of here we go again for the Spartans, who've looked great in the early season as they typically do. Drew Stanton has been terrific and now gets a chance to author a statement performance against the one-time presumed Heisman winner Brady Quinn. There are more than a few people who think Stanton might be the better pro prospect. Quinn needs to do something big, lest this become his highlight reel:

Hat Tip: mgoblog

Vinny: Who's classy now? Both teams have made a concerted effort to beef up their lackluster defenses of a year ago. The Irish look somewhat better, especially with the play of defensive tackle Derek Landri, but their secondary was torched by Mario Manningham early and often last week. That has to make John L. Smith even more giddy than usual.

Russell: Publicly, Weis took the blame for last week's debacle against Michigan, but I'm guessing that hasn't exactly been the message in practice this week. Notre Dame needs to respond, and in a big way, if it's to be taken seriously for a BCS bid this season. First the Irish will have to figure out how to stop the pass with their substandard (and that's being kind) corners. Weis is too good a coach to have his team not show up two weeks in a row. The Irish take care of business in East Lansing.

Vinny: I would normally think that the Irish would be determined to bounce back in a big way. But this is a night game on the road against their el guapo. And they're giving points. I think Michigan State covers in a barnburner.

Hawaii (+15.5) at #25 Boise State, 8 p.m. ET, GamePlan

Russell: Normally, Hawaii is roadkill whenever it ventures to the mainland, but the Warriors hung tough at Alabama to open the season. Even better news: the Don't Call Them the Rainbows actually showed a balanced offense against UNLV last week, rushing for over 200 yards out of the run-and-shoot, and Jerry Glanville's defense dominated the Runnin' Rebels. Do you think Glanville wears the big ol' belt buckle and lei combo on the Hawaii sidelines? I need to see visual evidence of this.

Vinny: I'm sure of it. For some reason, Glanville never bothered me. I actually found him strangely amusing, kind of the way that listening to Bill Walton cracks me up ... I need help.

Russell: No comment. Boise State meanwhile, is up to its old tricks on the Smurf Turf. After having a lengthy home wining streak snapped in the bowl game loss to Boston College last season, the Broncos have won a pair of home games by an 87-14 count this year. Still, there's cause for concern. Quarterback Jared Zabransky hasn't been the same player since his turnover festival at Georgia last year, and Boise was forced to gut out a 17-10 win at Wyoming last week.

Vinny: When Dan Hawkins bolted for Boulder, offensive coordinator Chris Peterson was elevated to the head job. And the Broncos haven't missed a beat.

Russell: I still don't like Hawaii playing in the lower 48. Boise running back Ian Johnson will have a big day, and the Broncos' defense will make things miserable for Hawaii QB Colt Brennan. Boise State wins big.

Vinny: Agreed, I like the Broncos as well.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Minnesota -2.5 Purdue Minnesota Minnesota
Penn State +16 Ohio State Ohio State* Ohio State
Alabama +1.5 Arkansas Arkansas Alabama
Arizona State +7.5 California Arizona State California
UCLA -3.5 Washington Washington Washington
Boston College -6.5 North Carolina State Boston College Boston College*
Notre Dame -3.5 Michigan State Michigan State Notre Dame
Hawaii +15.5 Boise State Boise State Boise State
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 1-7-0 (0-1-1) 11-13-0 (2-1-0)
Russell 3-5-0 (0-1-0) 14-10-0 (1-2-0)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 22 Sep 2006

176 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2006, 2:28am by Travis

Comments

1
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 1:21pm

Reason why the Ohio State blowout pick is probably not that great:

COLUMBUS, OHIO: Showers and a few thunderstorms likely. High around 75F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Rainfall may reach one inch.

Good chance this isn't going to be a high scoring game.

2
by Mitch Cumstein (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 1:33pm

Nutt did manage to recruit quarterback Mitch Mustain, however, and the true freshman looks like he’ll deliver on his considerable promise.

Let's just hope he doesn't go night-putting with the Dean's daughter. Talk about your bad idea jeans, speaking of which:

"Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months."

3
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 1:46pm

Fred Edelstein lock? I thought we were changing the name. I still think Sex Panther was the best suggestion. "60% of the time, it works every time."

4
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 2:10pm

Re #1
I dunno, I could see a 24-7 game in that kind of weather.

I'm so enthused by this weekend's slate of games that I'm... going to a baseball day game with coworkers. I should be back before tOSU-PSU is over, at least, and that's the only game I really care about this weekend.

5
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 2:32pm

I dunno, I could see a 24-7 game in that kind of weather.

So could I. But I don't think an easy cover's going to happen with a raging thunderstorm. 24-7 would make anyone betting on a 16-point line very nervous.

6
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 4:05pm

Mike Shula likes putting Tim Castille in at the goal line at TB. He had 7 rushing TDs last season as well.

I think Bama wins this game, even if its J.P. Wilson's first road start. Arkansas has not shown improvement of having "19 returning starters" and Alabama beat them up last season.

Keith Brown has been a beast this season. Not dropping every other pass and making a lot of nice grabs, watch for him in this game.

7
by Josh (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 4:47pm

I don't know, watching Virginia cling to a 24-7 margin with a 1/2 point to spare on a 17 1/2 spread last night made for compelling TV. There were at least 3 or 4 GT plays that could have gone the distance in the fourth quarter were it not for a lucky tackle/stumble/handofgod...lucky for me, anyway...

8
by Cheezer (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 4:55pm

Wrong thread B. Different Lock of the Week.

9
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 5:37pm

I'm 2 - 1 with my picks after getting slaughtered last week by taking Miami over Louisville. Before that I thought talk of Larry Coker's dismissal was a bit premature, but it definitely sounds like he's lost the team.

This week I'm taking Illinois (+21 1/2) to cover vs Iowa, a sandwich game for the Hawkeyes.

Does this week's slate of games absolutely stink compared to last week's, or what? Normally Georgia v Colorado would be interesting, but normally CU isn't 0 - 3 with a loss to a 1-AA team.

10
by Fnor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 6:02pm

I midly-to-severely dislike college football, but oh my god that clip show was hillarious.

11
by low4 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 6:10pm

Re. #9

The weather's supposed to be bad in Champaign, too.

12
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 6:19pm

The Pac-10 announced today that Jeff Cutaia, the referee from the Oklahoma/Oregon fiasco, will be the referee in the USC/Arizona game tomorrow, because the one-game suspension for the the officials has to be staggered or there won't be enough referees for Pac-10 games for the rest of the season.

So, Bob Stoops, now Mike Stoops?

13
by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 8:43pm

Wait, the Pac-10 sent a crew that had never worked together before and never would again to ref Oregon-Oklahoma? Can the league officials suspend themselves?

14
by peachy (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 8:44pm

I think it's slightly more likely that it will be raining blood in the desert tomorrow than that USC will need an assist from the ref to beat Arizona...

15
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 11:36pm

Nothing makes a blooper reel quite like a good rendition of Yakkity Sax. Too bad it has to involve Michigan winning, otherwise it would be just about perfect.

By the way, does anyone else think that a Heisman candidate should at least be able to cover his own fumble when there's nobody else around and he has a clean shot at it?

16
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 12:22am

Agreed on the merits of Yakkity Sax. As for "raining blood in the desert," almost sounds like some alternative lyrics to the Doors' "Peace frog."

17
by witless chum (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:04am

Re: Flag-planting.

According to the Detroit Free Press the Big 10 has outlawed flagplanting, threatening suspensions of any Big 10 player caught doing it. So, whichever Spartans did that will kind of live on for as long as the Big 10 shall exist, or keep enforcing a stupid rule.

John L. has been countering by claiming that N.D. didn't bring the Whatever it is Trophy to the stadium and they had to send their P.R. flack up to the Notre Dame athletic department to get it.

I'm figuring the MSU secondary has improved over last year and that gives my beloved Spartans the edge.

18
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:17am

"I’m figuring the MSU secondary has improved over last year and that gives my beloved Spartans the edge."

Yes, but John L. will do his best to muck it all up.

19
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 12:49pm

Re: 18 all to true! I'm looking forward to the game though, if for nothing else than to see State win, get ranked, get my hopes up that they don't suck, and then watch them win one game the rest of the season.

20
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 1:22pm

Officials blow another replay call early in the Iowa-Illinois game. What is the point of instant replay again?

21
by stravinsky (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:04pm

Boise over Hawaii??? How could you pick against Jerry 'I Left Two Tickets For Elvis' Glanville?

22
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:04pm

Now the officials overturn an Iowa interception with questionable video evidence.

Ferentz must be going crazy.

23
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:09pm

KState is looking pretty good hanging with Louisville, their D is anyway

24
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:44pm

A weird decision by Ron Zook (how unusual) to have the wide receiver punt (14 yard net) gets the Iowa offense rolling. 21-0 at the half. Highly touted Illinois freshman QB Juice Williams got the start and looks, well, like a freshman on a very young team (1-10, 11 yards). Iowa true freshman receiver Dominique Douglas out of Detroit, MI has been fantastic early this year...great hands. 6 catches for 77 yards in the first half today after catching 6 balls for 88 yards against Iowa State last week.

25
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:45pm

What is happening in the Colorado-Georgia game? More than 200 total yards for the Buffs against 30-odd for Georgia... whoulda thunk it?

26
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 2:59pm

Re: No. 25

The SEC is ov-er-rat-ed

27
by Jim Kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 3:21pm

If, like me, you live outside the US, and don't have satellite TV, you might be interested in the free broadcast of the Georgia - Colorado game on Yahoo:
http://sports.yahoo.com/top/collegebroadcast.

Seems like it could be worth watching.

28
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 3:55pm

Jim:

Thanks! It's good for those of us caught at work today too :)

29
by Jim Kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:05pm

Colorado look really good... but maybe it's Georgia that are no good? I'm just trying to work out how an undefeated top-10 ranked team is being shut out by a team that lost 19-10 at home to Montana State in week 1, a team that has subsequently lost at home 35-24 to Chadron State (must admit I have never heard of this college) and 45-0 at home to UC Davis. It's very baffling...

30
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:17pm

If Chris Spielman says "send a message" one more time...

31
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:18pm

Georgia starting to turn it around. Fascinating game so far. The quality of the Yahoo broadcast has been declining. I'm guessing more people are learning about it and connecting :)

32
by Jim Kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:22pm

Yep maybe I shouldn't have posted the link..! Actually quality here is okay. This sure is turning into a good game. Got a feeling Georgia is going to eke out a win.

33
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:39pm

And Georgia takes the lead. Poor Colorado. Their offense really let the defense down, unless they can come back in the final minute.

34
by Jim Kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:40pm

They're saying that the Colorado kicker kicked an 80-yd FG in practice... ye gads, that is one heck of a kick - if it's true - even at altitude and with the wind...

35
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:42pm

Talk about a poorly executed last drive for Colorado. How can coaches still not be aware of the new timing rules? Not that the Buffs would have come back but they certainly started off on the wrong foot before shooting themselves in it.

36
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:47pm

to Chadron State (must admit I have never heard of this college)

Don Beebe says hi

37
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:52pm

Darby has been bothered with a hip pointer...one reason why his production has dropped some.

Andre Smith is a beast.

Alabama has been running a 3-3-5 a lot lately.

38
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 4:57pm

Simeon Castille is a big play CB. But he will get beat deep once a game it seems like. Takes a lot of risk.

McFadden is perhaps my favorite non-Alabama player in the SEC.

39
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:03pm

Nice late hit. Come on J.P. you know you have to run superfast when you are going out of bounds.

40
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:06pm

I repeat Andre Smith is a beast.

41
by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:09pm

Paul Maguire uses more words to say nothing than any other person in the history of the world.

42
by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:11pm

Did Paul Maguire just say, "It's hard to clap with a bong in your hands?"

I swear thats what he just said.

43
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:25pm

Where the hell is JoePa going?

44
by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:35pm

He was taking Carson Palmer to the Super Bowl.

45
by Jim Kimber (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 5:37pm

Can anyone update me on Marshall at Tennessee - it says 'Delayed' on ESPN scoreboard. Is that because of bad weather?

46
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:10pm

Apparently, someone forgot to tell PSU they were supposed to get run over today.

47
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:11pm

Paul Maguire..."You have to throw the ball."

Troy Smith throws the ball.

Interception.

Brilliant analysis.

48
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:14pm

#47- If that were Theismann, we'd be treated to the hilarity of Joe telling us how throwing was a bad idea.

Kevin Kelly hooks the FG wide. Still 3-0 PSU. Ugh.

49
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:17pm

so PSU tried to give the Heisman to Quinn; now they're taking it away from Smiff

50
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:24pm

Russ called and said the Michigan Marching Band played a halftime tribute to Michael Jackson. I think the Neil Diamond tribute is slated for next week. Anybody catch Rob Stone's interview of Lloyd Carr after the game? Todd Harris, where have you gone?

51
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:39pm

I'm enjoying listening to Bob Griese at least try to shut Paul Macguire up. It's not working, but God bless Griese for telling Macguire he's wrong at every opportunity.

52
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:43pm

Just browsing the site, I saw the link Jim posted and thought I'd have a look, as I've never seen any college ball at all. Two initial thoughts.

1: The Georgia QB looks like he's auditioning for a job with the Raiders.

2: I didn't realise Lurleen Lumpkin played ball.

53
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:45pm

Cal has scored 42 points vs Arizona State, and the first half isn't over yet.

54
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:46pm

Switch to Alabama-Arkansas if you have a chance and watch this replay. I think this is a fumble by 'bama's JP Wilson that leads to a Hogs touchdown, but it's being reviewed. Just take the sack and punt, son.

55
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 6:49pm

Is Gary Danielson prescient or what? He totally predicted the Arkansas 2-pt conversion play call (which worked, possibly saving Houston Nutt from some second-guessing since it's still 3rd quarter).

56
by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:15pm

"...Well, I didn't have a condom, but I figured: Hey, when's the next time I'm gonna get to Haiti?!"

Funny, funny commercial, but really dated by that line and a few others.

57
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:18pm

How did they not bring down the OSU d-back on the return - seriously, he ran through the entire offense to get to the end zone.

58
by Tyler (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:19pm

God damn I hate Morelli and his so called "rocket arm". That pick 6 was like a popup hit in little league.

59
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:20pm

Did Jenkins spike the ball before reaching the end zone? Was it just me or was that pretty close?

60
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:20pm

Hm, the replay judge didn't catch him spiking it before he got in the end zone...

61
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:21pm

Did the ball break the plane on that INT return before Jenkins spiked it? It landed outside the endzone, and I couldn't tell if it was across the goal line first. Wouldn't matter though as PSU wasn't going to score. At least they'll likely beat the spread though.

62
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:24pm

Alright, scratch that part about beating the spread...

63
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:30pm

OSU v PSU is a classic "closer than the final score indicated" game.

64
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:32pm

Vinny is blessed by the football/gambling gods today, who saved his lock of the week. :) I think in exchange for PSU-OSU, he's going down hard in ASU-Cal. It works like that sometimes.

65
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:33pm

Did Lundquist's partner on CBS (Blackledge?) just call that "the enema play"? Eeewwww.

66
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:39pm

#61,
As I posted, I saw the same thing on Jenkins interception return...of course the announcers never made mention of the key part of what might have been the play of the game. OSU definitely deserved the win but it might have changed the final score a bit.

67
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:42pm

"“…Well, I didn’t have a condom, but I figured: Hey, when’s the next time I’m gonna get to Haiti?!�

Funny, funny commercial, but really dated by that line and a few others."

So, there's no need for condoms these days?

68
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:53pm

If I ever have a son, I'm teaching him how to kick field goals. Alabama's kicker just missed an XP, to go with 3 missed field goals on the day.

69
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 7:57pm

Arkansas makes the extra point in double overtime, winning by 1. So Alabama loses, but does beat the spread.

70
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 8:40pm

Speaking of the gambling gods, they smited me and anyone else who thought Arkansas would cover. Alabama covers with the hook (0.5).

71
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 8:44pm

That was Gary Danielson doing the game with Verne Lundquist... The puppeteer who's holding Lou Holtz's strings deserves a pay raise...

OK, your predictions for ND-MSU?

72
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 8:59pm

I don't want to blame a loss on a kicker...but our back-up kicker just lost us a game.

He makes the 46 yarder...but the 36, 37, and thirty-whatever he misses...plus the extra point.

Of course Bama's usual problems helped them lose as well. Never being able to score in the red zone, and never being able to turn turnovers into points. Plus if I see one more run up the middle I am going to shoot someone.

Arkansas enjoy this one, Alabama gave it to you guys.
358 total yards to 270...3 turnovers to 1 turnover...we killed them in time of possession..and we lose...

73
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:23pm

Great start for Michigan State. Brady Quinn and Charlie Weis just might have been overhyped a bit at the beginning of this season. If I know MSU, the defense will find a way to keep Notre Dame in the game.

74
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:29pm

MSU's kickoff guy has a cannon for a leg. That ball went well through the end zone.

75
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:34pm

I just watched Brady Quinn not come even vaguely close to two open receivers, and I'm think we can officially stop the "Brady Quinn #1 pick in the draft" talk

76
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:44pm

This year's #1 pick didn't exactly impress anybody at the beginning of last season, either.

77
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:45pm

Apparently that last kickoff was wind-aided, as the MSU kicker seems more human now.

The ND receivers can't get open against the MSU secondary? Or is Quinn just afraid to pull the trigger?

78
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:47pm

On another note, Paul McGuire seems to infect all other commentators he works with. Bob Griese, who I always thought was OK, was reduced to a stammering idiot at least half a dozen times in a vain attempt to riff off the inane things coming out of McGuire's mouth

79
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:48pm

Re: 76 Brady Quinn has never impressed me. I've never understood why people are so in love with him

80
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:51pm

Re: 79

He's the Notre Dame QB, and has done well when playing for a pro coach against bad defenses. That's enough to impress most people.

81
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:53pm

Raise your hand if you thought Florida-Kentucky was going to be more competitive than MSU-ND.

82
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 9:57pm

Sorry Erasmus, I can whine about the gambling gods, but nothing hurts more than when it's your team and they give a game away. I've been there (a few too many times last year).

83
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:06pm

Wow, the wind is having impressive influence on this game.

84
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:07pm

Hey, someone woke up the ND offense. Maybe they were late getting to East Lansing.

85
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:09pm

Cue the overcompensation from ND haters, who assert that the Irish are possibly the worst football team to ever take the field.

86
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:13pm

Now that's the UF offense we all know and love... followed by the UF kicking game we all know and despise. Ugh.

87
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:15pm

The "What the hell is wrong with the ACC?" Game of the Day: Maryland 14, Florida International 10. Florida International's Hail Mary was caught at the 9 as time ran out.

88
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:19pm

Re: 85 Apologies, Brady Quinn is indeed the greatest quarterback ever *genuflect*

89
by Vinny (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:22pm

There's no way that pick-6 by Quinn was wind-aided. Ouch. But then maybe Charlie Weiss shouldn't call the same play back-to-back.

90
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:26pm

Re: 88 - For the past two weeks, he's got 4 TDs out of his hands for ND, and 3 TDs for the opponents. It's positively Testaverdian.

91
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:26pm

The reason people overreact to Notre Dame's struggles is that they have been forced to suffer through the hyperbole about the greatness of the Irish and Weis. Good team...sure. Top 5 team...I don't see it, not even in a year this wide open. When is Jimmy Claussen due on campus?

92
by BC Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:28pm

watching bc-nc state, I just can't believe how terrible State is! Amato surely can't survive the year with such awful qb play. If LV Whitworth wasn't a slowpoke this game would be a blowout. Matt Ryan is looking like a sure day 1 pick at this point, but who knows until the combine in 2008.

93
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:31pm

Testaverdian or Maddox-esque? Which is more fitting?

94
by Shalimar (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:31pm

Plus if I see one more run up the middle I am going to shoot someone.

Which was the real problem IMO. The play-calling sucked. Who the hell plays for a field goal when your freshman kicker has already missed 2? And there's no way you should send him out for a crucial extra point after the 3rd miss. It wasn't like they didn't have alternatives. Tiffin is going to be good, but this clearly was not his day (though he was amazingly consistent in his misses).

95
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:32pm

Halftime score: USC 3, Arizona 0. Anyone watching that one who can explain what's going on?

96
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:34pm

95- Blood raining from the sky, as mentioned in #14? :)

97
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:35pm

"The reason people overreact to Notre Dame’s struggles is that they have been forced to suffer through the hyperbole about the greatness of the Irish and Weis. Good team…sure. Top 5 team…I don’t see it, not even in a year this wide open. When is Jimmy Claussen due on campus?"

Yeah, I guess. I'm a Penn State fan myself. I just don't get it though. Ohio State and Michigan fans, for starters, are much more obnoxious than ND backers. And don't get me started about SEC honks crying for respect. Your best two teams combined for one TD last week!

98
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:38pm

Aw, Temple scored to break up their 62-0 streak.

99
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:39pm

Ohio State and Michigan fans, for starters, are much more obnoxious than ND backers.

The fans may be, but the media is certainly more pro-Notre Dame than pro-any other school. After all, Notre Dame is the only school with its own national TV contract/sycophant announcers.

100
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:40pm

Re: 97 I think it depends where you're from. Where I grew up, ND fans were by far the most obnoxious ones around, and slowly turned me into the raging ND hater I am today :)

101
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:41pm

This just in- ND's defense blows.

102
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:41pm

Hilariously inept D by ND on that play

103
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:43pm

I think Notre Dame should pull a Jeff Fisher and onside kick after every score.

104
by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:43pm

"The fans may be, but the media is certainly more pro-Notre Dame than pro-any other school."

Two words for ya: Mark May. Sure, there are pro-ND people in the media, but plenty of haters as well. And they turned on ND like a pack of vultures when Willingham got fired, if I recall.

105
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:43pm

Perhaps just a drizzle of serum at the moment... I'd really hate to be made to look a fool by a team I don't even particularly like.

106
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:47pm

Speaking of Willingham, Washington is beating UCLA 29-19 with 5 minutes to go.

107
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:49pm

So is Quinn costing himself money this year? There was a stronger QB class last year, but he hasn't looked especially electrifying so far

108
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:49pm

106 - Wow. UCLA was up 16-0 before Washington had a first down.

109
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:52pm

Re: 107

Nah, Quinn will rally during the next 7 games, 5 at home, which include the elite defenses of all 3 service academies, North Carolina, UCLA, Purdue, and Stanford.

110
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:56pm

I'd like to know what ND's defense was doing all summer when they were allegedly working hard after the scorching they took from OSU. It doesn't appear to be paying off much. Either that, or they're just that lousy, and no matter how much you polish a turd it's still a turd.

111
by scottnot (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:09pm

Re 93:
Far more reminiscent of the Kyle Orton for heisman before the season ever started. Quinn seems to be following the same path, though he will pile on the stats ala #107's schedule.
Ortonesque it is.

112
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:13pm

Tebow is going to be an absolute beast next year...

113
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:17pm

Re: 111

Orton wasn't much of a Heisman candidate before the 2004 season started, but he had 4 great games (17 TD, 0 int) to open the season, and he suddenly became the front-runner. His candidacy came to a quick end when he fumbled away the Wisconsin game, and followed that up with two mediocre games in Purdue losses.

114
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:20pm

We want Tebow

115
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:20pm

Quinn is amazing when he has time to throw. When he's pressured, he melts down- it's like Tim Couch. Luckily for ND, MSU isn't bringing constant pressure, and can't cover anyone when they don't blitz. 31-21 MSU, and hopefully ND tries the onsides kick to spare the defense.

116
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:21pm

It looks like this years MSU/ND game is going to be very similar to last years. The MSU defense isn't any better than ND.

117
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:29pm

Pretty nonexistant hold there

118
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:31pm

Well, at least we saw that Tebow's arms are good for something besides holding the ball and smacking luckless defenders.

119
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:32pm

Notre Dame goes for it on 4th and 8 in the Maroon Zone, no good. Michigan State takes over.

Interesting that on the previous Notre Dame series, they managed a long (40 yard) touchdown pass...to the tight end.

120
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:33pm

Yikes, that big RB for MSU is a load and a half.

121
by Shane S. (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:35pm

Re 93:
I would have to say it's almost McMahon-esque...

122
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:37pm

Nice exchange there

'And they had to step over the corpses piled up in the street. He'll never forget it'

'Wonderful story'

123
by Derek (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:40pm

Who doesn't love football in the pouring rain...this makes me think of that Thursday Louisville game against Florida State from a few years ago...Mike Tirico called it. Wasn't John L. Smith the coach then too?

124
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:42pm

Re: 123 agreed! I love watching games being played in the rain, and I loved participating in them way back when in high school. Those were always my favorite practices too (the ones in the rain).

125
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:43pm

Hm, your last 6 runs went for 18, 8, 5, 30, 16, and 6. Why are you throwing?

126
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:48pm

The weather getting so bad has certainly helped MSU. It's hard to come back when it's pouring with 30 MPH winds.

127
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:48pm

And just when things look up for ND, a penalty negates a punt return that would have been a TD. And Quinn is back to being inaccurate.

128
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:51pm

a penalty negates a punt return that would have been a TD.

It may not have been a TD without the infraction.

That wind is NASTY in East Lansing.

129
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/23/2006 - 11:51pm

Florida just tried a fake field goal on 4th and goal from the 25. Strange call.

130
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:01am

128- Probably not, but still- it wouldn't be the first time a ref missed a penalty that led to a TD. :)

It's pretty sad when I'm starting to think Bob Davie is right- ND is a finesse team and too soft. I hate agreeing with him.

131
by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:04am

What is weird is that MSU has the reputation of being soft within the Big Ten (11). I would love to have sees ND play a Big Ten schedule this year.

132
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:12am

Let's not give this away MSU

133
by John (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:13am

Big stop on the conversion. The previous MSU series was ridiculous. 3rd and 42!!??

134
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:18am

Boston College's lucky streak might be over. 16-15 NC State, on a 34-yard TD pass with 8 seconds to go.

135
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:19am

Holy blank, NCSU is going to beat BC on the road.

136
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:19am

Chuck Amato can breathe easier for one week at least.

Over in ND-MSU, when do MSU fans start panicking?

137
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:20am

Re: 135

The game is in Raleigh.

138
by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:20am

As I said at 8:23, "If I know MSU, the defense will find a way to keep Notre Dame in the game." I guess I should have included the offense.

139
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:21am

Does Mussberger really not know the difference between the ineligable man and intentional grounding signals

140
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:22am

You got me again, Travis. :)

141
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:22am

Offensive genius Charlie Weis resorts to the Madden/NCAA football "chuck it deep" offense. And it works.

142
by John (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:23am

ugh

143
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:24am

Bobbled

144
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:24am

Chuck Amato is the Wayne Fontes of college football.

145
by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:25am

Is it just me or does Charlie Weis look like a grumpy housewife on the sideline...exhibit A being the missed extra point

146
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:25am

Can anyone in college football kick an XP? Have we set a record today for blown extra points on one weekend? This is absurd.

147
by John (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

I'm going to vomit

148
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

That probably locks up a BCS bowl for ND

148
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

Notre Dame intercepts, returned for a TD. They take the lead.

150
by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

If Notre Dame comes back (shudder), then BC at #20 would be the highest-ranked team to lose today, despite a number of - perhaps - surprisingly close games. And there's the pick and TD... oh dear lord. I guess there's a reason it's called the JLS Trophy, hey?

151
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

The projected winner of the John L. Smith award for this week: John L. Smith.

152
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:30am

This Notre Dame hater says: you've got to be kidding me.

153
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:32am

I'm stunned. Two consecutive possessions - an MSU fumble, leading to a quick ND touchdown, and an MSU interception returned for a touchdown. Notre Dame has scored 19 points in the 4th quarter.

MSU really decided that they wanted ND back in the game badly - but I'm guessing they weren't thinking ND should win it. And it's hard to even see MSU scoring again. They've been doing nothing on offense this quarter.

154
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:34am

And ANOTHER Notre Dame interception. MSU has completely fallen apart. But MSU is bailed out by a face mask penalty.

155
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:37am

Why is Stanton, a righty, continually rolling left?

156
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:38am

What a joke this drive is, you can't be stopped in bounds

157
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:41am

Out of bounds

158
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:41am

That's a pick. Game over.

159
by Derek (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:41am

And that is why the Spartans are known as soft.

160
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:42am

MSU is putting on a choke job of amazing proportions tonight. They should be proud. But, as has been pointed out many times this evening, there is a reason the John L. Smith Trophy is named the John L. Smith Trophy.

And a Notre Dame interception on one of the most amazing plays in the universe, off two players, off the back of a MSU player, into the arms of a ND player. And game over.

Congratulations, John L. Smith, on your award. You pissed away a huge lead to Notre Dame, at home, with three turnovers in your final three drives.

161
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:42am

That INT doesn't even happen in Madden, let alone real life. It's official- God loves Notre Dame. :)

162
by scottnot (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:47am

Re113:
(Not that it matters, but kind of reminds me of Qinn's off season)

Orton pursues publicity over summer, begins campaign for Heisman trophy

Brent Drinkut/Photo Editor

Senior quarterback Kyle Orton and the Boilermakers play at Illinois this weekend. It is the first road game of the season.

Kyle Orton?s Heisman campaign began long before he threw his first pass in 2004.
Operations had to start earlier.

For Orton to even be a known candidate, sports information director Tom Schott had to make sure everyone knew who Purdue?s starting quarterback was.
Orton spent part of his summer making public appearances, both locally and around the state. He did anything ? from riding a two-seat Indy car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to judging a lip sync contest at Lafayette Jefferson High School. His name went to the top of Sports Illustrated?s list of Heisman hopefuls. ESPN.com had Orton third on its Heisman watch.

To accommodate increasing media interest, Schott asked Orton to set aside an hour every Tuesday to satisfy requests from news sources such as ESPN News and USA Today.

Orton obliged.

"You just gotta get your name out and be open with the media," Orton said.
______
By Mark Blaudschun | August 27, 2004
Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart is the leading contender for the Heisman. But that's because the Trojans are the No. 1 preseason pick in a lot of people's minds. Then you hear names such as Minnesota running back Marion Barber III and Texas running back Cedric Benson in Heisman conversations. You hear Missouri quarterback Brad Smith or Georgia quarterback David Green or Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton or Kansas State running back Darren Sproles mentioned.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
Matt Leinart's the clear leader, and then maybe Cedric Benson and Kyle Orton.

Orton's benefiting from Purdue's smart campaign mentioned a few days ago, and the lack of a clear candidate outside of Matt Leinart.

Kyle Orton might be leading the #1 or #2 team in the Big Ten and should stick around unless he isn't for real. He's thrown a mere 13 and 15 touchdowns the previous two seasons, so this year already looks a bit fluke-ish. He's also ran those numbers up against some terrible opponents.

163
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:47am

Also, does the second half revive Brady Quinn's Heisman hopes, at least for one more week? He made some big throws and kept the team alive until MSU got around to rolling over.

164
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:48am

Given that everyone else won, I wonder where this puts ND in the polls. I'd love to see them jump unjustly to fuel my hatred

165
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:49am

Spartan Nation: welcome to therapy a month earlier than normal!

166
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:53am

It's greatly amusing to watch Desmond Howard wipe his rear end with Michigan State on ESPN.

167
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:56am

#163 Quinn's campaign will be just fine after he throws for 400+ yards against Purdue next week. (I'm saying this as a Purdue fan.) The secondary was bad before two starters got hurt. Now it's...high schoolish?

168
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 12:59am

Quotes of the day:
Lou Holtz, speaking of the tOSU-PSU game and Troy Smith's statistics: "There's only one number that matters, and that's the W." This on the heels of his comment during Thursday's halftime show, that "East Lansing is a difficult place to play football. Part of that is because you have to play Michigan State." Rather prescient, considering tonight's weather.

Also, Bob Davie: "Notre Dame is 2 for 16 on their last 18 3rd down conversions."

Elvis and the Month Man cover, Boise State only wins 41-34.

169
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:01am

Re #163
Quinn can't win the Heisman without having a good game in a victory over USC. I think if tOSU goes undefeated and Troy Smith plays well, Smith would win. Even if we have to acquaint every Heisman voter with Yakkity Sax.

170
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:13am

Lou Holtz took over at South Carolina in 1999.

Steve Spurrier took over in 2005.

Can we count on Pete Carroll taking he helm at the "other" USC in 2012?

171
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:13am

Re: 162

Every senior with an ounce of recognition seemed to have a Heisman campaign in 2004. Orton was no exception; there are similar articles to the one you cited for David Pollack, Anthony Davis, Timmy Chang, Walter Reyes, and many other longshot candidates.

Searching for non-Indiana papers' preseason Heisman trophy lists (not selectively picked to avoid ones with Orton on them):

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: lists 6 players (Jason White, Darren Sproles, Brad Smith, Matt Leinart, Cadillac Williams, David Greene), but not Orton.

Austin American Statesman: lists 12 players (the above 6, plus Justin Vincent, Chris Rix, Cedric Benson, Braylon Edwards, Mark Clayton, and Chris Leak), but not Orton.

Florida Times Union: lists 6 players (White, Leinart, Greene, Smith, Sproles, and Benson), but not Orton.

Grand Rapids Press: lists 5 players (white, Chang, Sproles, Leinart, Davis), but not Orton.

Memphis Commercial Appeal: Lists 6 players (Leinart, Sproles, Smith, Greene, White, DeAngelo Williams), but not Orton.

Associated Press: Lists 5 players (Leinart, Greene, Sproles, Benson, Smith), but not Orton.

New York Times: Lists 5 players (White, Leinart, Smith, Sproles, Benson), but not Orton.

171
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:13am

MDS commented last week about the respective pro potential of Troy Smith v. Drew Stanton. This is the first good look I'd gotten at Stanton since the Michigan and tOSU games last year, and I agree with MDS. He really impressed me last year with his decision-making in the spread offense and accuracy. Tonight, though, he looked more like Craig Krenzel, but without the leadership/clutch/luck factor. Maybe part of that is John L. Smith, but I didn't see the same sort of progression you'd expect from a QB you want to succeed in the NFL.

173
by scottnot (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:47am

Re171:
"Orton wasn’t much of a Heisman candidate before the 2004 season started"

Just stating that he was to more than a few papers, people..
But I guess everybody was if you read enough papers.
_____
"Chuck Amato is the Wayne Fontes of college football"

Amato career record 46-28 (4-1) bowls
Wayne Fontes record 67-71 (1-4)playoffs
??

174
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 1:58am

“Chuck Amato is the Wayne Fontes of college football�

Amato career record 46-28 (4-1) bowls
Wayne Fontes record 67-71 (1-4)playoffs
??

Wayne Fontes had a miraculous ability to win games whenever his job was on the line (which was quite often). Amato seems to have the same ability when in hot water (witness his win over Florida State last year after a 3-4 start, for one).

175
by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 2:06am

“Orton wasn’t much of a Heisman candidate before the 2004 season started�

Early in the 2004 season he was, before the wheels came off the Boilermaker train.

176
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/24/2006 - 2:28am

Orton wasn’t much of a Heisman candidate before the 2004 season started.

As I said in #113 and #171, Orton was a longshot candidate at best before any games had been played in 2004. His candidacy really got started with a nationally televised 51-0 drubbing of then-decent Syracuse in the first week.

Following up on #174 - a brief history of Wayne Fontes on the hot seat:

Before the 1991 season (6-10 record in 1990):

Wayne Fontes was one of the National Football League coaches who entered this season on the hot seat.

The Lions would go 12-4 in 1991 and make the NFC Championship game.

Before the 1993 season (5-11 record in 1992):

The Lions made some major mistakes a year ago, and Fontes knows where the buck stops.

From coach of the year to living on borrowed time in two seasons is a pretty fast slide, but that's how things go in pro football.

The Lions would go 10-6, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Before Week 7, 1994 (2-4 record):

Fontes is a coach who has been on the hot seat before. But now the heat is growing intense.

His Detroit Lions play host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday and Fontes is out of wiggle room. The Lions (2-4) have lost three straight. Only a miracle finish can salvage a playoff berth. The Bears (4-2) are going in the other direction.

The Lions would win 7 of their last 10, making the playoffs again.

Before Week 4, 1995 (0-3 record):

"I'm like that buck that's in the field and they're trying to hunt him down, trying to shoot him," [Wayne Fontes] said. "I just keep dodging those bullets. Everybody wants my rack on the wall. Everybody wants that trophy.

Right now, ownership appears to be in Fontes' corner. "Wayne is Lazarus," says Bill Ford Jr., Lions vice chairman and son of owner William Clay Ford. "He could raise from the dead."

The Lions would win their next game over the undefeated defending Super Bowl champion 49ers.

Before Week 11, 1995 (3-6 record):

After the Lions were drubbed by Atlanta to fall to 3-6, owner William Clay Ford went public with his ultimatum: playoffs or else.

"It's really spelled out for us now, what we have to do,'' quarterback Scott Mitchell said. ""Maybe in a sense, it's good, because when there's a clear understanding of what needs to be done, we tend to play better in those situations.

"I don't think people realize that's Mr. Ford's way of getting the most out of Wayne. He thinks if he tells him he's going to get fired, he'll get the job done."

The Lions would win their final 7 games, making the playoffs, but again lost in the first round.

Fontes was given a playoff win-or-else mandate in 1996. The Lions started 4-2, but lost 9 of their final 10, and Fontes was fired.