The SEC's streak of seven consecutive national championships isn't dead yet, but on the final weekend of the regular season, only Michigan State can keep it alive. Plus advanced stats, analysis and picks for the rest of championship Saturday.
18 Oct 2013
compiled by Rory Hickey
"Good afternoon. I just wanted to remind everybody that it’s Columbus Day. All those of you that know Italians, like Italians, or the people that might venture onto a ship and travel to explore and find new lands, this is your day."
“It’s not St. Patty’s day — that’s a different day entirely.” -- LSU head coach Les Miles, educating the media on Columbus Day during his weekly media day (Dr. Saturday)
"I've got a question for you: It was a 14-6 game. We played our ass off, and how anybody could pick the hammer and the nail, when in fact, that hammer, or that nail, or whatever the hell you got picked, we catch a ball down there, we're fixing to take the lead and we turn it over. I mean explain to me how Kevin Minter, who sets, damn near, the career tackle record in that game, how anybody could ever say 'hammer and nail.'"
"I can tell you right now, here's what happens: two very quality teams take the field and compete like a son-of-a-bitch for victory. And you know what? It's not a hammer and a nail relationship. It's an opportunity for an opponent to be equal, and to raise the level of play in such a fashion that they win."
"And that's how this thing works. That, in fact, you respect the opponent, and he's not the hammer and he's not the frickin' nail. OK, he's the opponent. Understand? I'm just letting you know I resent that. I resent the fact that suddenly we were nailed. You got it? I mean, honest to petes."
" [Expletive] we were a pretty good team last year. I thought we played like a son-of-a-bitch in the stadium. I'm just letting you know, I felt differently than the nail, so you know." -- LSU head coach Les Miles, taking exception to a reporter's reference that in last year's 14-6 loss to the Gators, LSU was a nail to Florida's hammer. (The Times-Picayune)
"There’s no doubt that Stanford did not play well. But I know coming from an academic institution, this is a time for midterm exams. Players are not focused, they don’t get to practice on time, they’re worn out, they’re tired, they don’t get much sleep, and you do not play very well. And that is exactly what it looked like to me with Stanford. I don’t know that for a fact, but that looked like a football team that was in midterms." -- ESPN analyst Lou Holtz, claiming that Stanford’s midterms were the reason for their upset loss to Utah. Stanford is not currently in midterms (Dr. Saturday)
"I wasn't sure who the Colts were playing this week all the ads I saw." -- San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, after the Chargers defeated the Colts 19-9 on Monday Night Football (USA Today)
"I’m a big Rocky fan. So I just try to keep that eye of the tiger, keep that focus mentality where I come through for the team and do my job. Vinatieri was doing the same thing. Even going against a guy like Vinatieri, I try to lift my game and match him kick for kick. He’s a competitor, and I love that." -- San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak, who finished 4-for-4 on field goals on Sunday and was named AFC Special Teams player of the week (NFL Nation Blog)
"Special teams, they took about 25 steps back. I said that when you have two weeks to prepare for a team, you have to come out with the best scheme, offensively, defensively and special teams. And I’ll say this: Keith Burns, you are a problem right now because you can’t seem to get your guys to play for you. The one thing that every coach has to have – great coaches – they have to have the ability to get people to buy into what they’re trying to present. And at this point, they’re not buying into one damn thing that you’re presenting."
“Because they can’t cover kicks, they’re not returning the ball, you can’t seem to get anything together out there. Special teams is supposed to be a part of the game that throws momentum to your side. What the hell momentum are they throwing? … Special teams totally sucked tonight.” -- Former Washington Redskin Brian Mitchell, ripping into the Redskins’ special teams unit (NFL Nation Blog)
"But there are some things that just don't make sense to me. I mean if you're so concerned about player safety then why do you have every team in the league playing on Thursday night when they just competed on a Sunday, knowing how difficult it is for guys to get back to being healthy after playing on Sunday? Guys really don't feel like they're back till probably Thursday or Friday to prepare for that next week."
"The league can say they're doing things to protect guys, but I'm not one of the guys buying it." -- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin, on the NFL’s new emphasis on player safety (San Jose Mercury News)
"I think a lot of us saw the hit on Dustin Keller. I just felt like [Elam] had enough time to make a hit in the legal hitting zone." -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, taking exception with Ravens safety Matt Elam’s hit on Randall Cobb (ESPN Wisconsin)
"It’s bad when members of the other team are saying that’s messed up that [fans] would do something like that. It just shows no class. It wasn’t all the fans. But those are the same people that you’re out somewhere with your family and you tell them they can’t have an autograph right now; those are the same people that tell you you’re rude. It shows what they’re all about. You don’t cheer about nobody being injured – I don’t care who it is." -- Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, responding to the fans who cheered quarterback Matt Schaub’s injury (Houston Chronicle)
"Let them know VY is in shape and ready to go! I always loved my birth place and everyone who lives in it IM READY" -- NFL free agent quarterback Vince Young, during his hometown Houston Texans’ game against the Rams (Twitter)
"I think some are. I think some don’t care." -- New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas, wondering why some of his teammates aren’t as fed up as he is with the Giants’ 0-6 record
"Yeah, everybody’s different. Some people can lose a game and go about their day very easily. Others can’t sleep that night. I’m one of those guys. I got home at 4:30, probably didn’t go to sleep until about 6. I was just laying in bed." -- Thomas (NY Daily News)
"He’s a way better athlete than I am. He moves better and he’s faster. He has so much speed that it allows him to play a little differently than I do. I have to play straight technical football. He gets to play a little looser because he can recover in a flash and get back in a play." -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, comparing himself with Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (NFL Nation Blog)
"I would never go and ask [the Falcons] for a trade. And if that's something that they wanted to do to help their franchise, that's up to them. But it wouldn't be coming from me."
"Like I said, I came back to play with these guys. I have great relationships with these guys. ... These guys are friends that I'll call for the rest of my life. Like I said, I'm not going to jump ship. I'm not saying, 'Things are bad around here, so I'm out of here." -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, shooting down the notion that he would want to be traded from the Falcons (ESPN)
"I really have a personal attachment to No. 10, but I feel like the guys that I have out there with me represent way more than my number. Christian Bryant means way more to this team than No. 10 does, so that’s why I felt like I needed to wear No. 2 -- that number is way more important to this team now."
“So, yeah, I’ll wear it until he comes back in the national championship.” -- Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, on why he switched from #10 to #2 after Christian Bryant fractured his ankle (ESPN)
"She bought me diapers with Barney’s face on them. She said, ‘If you go to the bathroom in your diaper, you’re going to the bathroom on Barney’s face. And you don’t want to do that.’ So, I’m like, ‘No, I don’t want to do that, I wouldn’t dare.’ "
"Under Barney’s diaper, I put another normal diaper on and went to the bathroom in that diaper. So, I guess, I decided I had to go to the bathroom, took my diaper off, went and found where the generic diapers were, put that one on, and then put Barney’s diaper on." -- Penn State guard John Urschel, relaying a story of how his mother attempted to potty-train him (Dr. Saturday)
"I told them they’re going to smell beer from the time we get off the plane to the time we hit the stadium. Their fans are going to be loud. They’re going to be rude. They’re going to be crazy, but I think they’ve got one of the best stadiums to play in on the road."
"West Virginia, their student section is ridiculous. It’s going to be like having an extra player on their offense right behind you. And they’ll do their research. They’ll know our dog’s name, our best friend’s name, what gets under our skin." -- Texas Tech defensive end Branden Jackson, on what he told his teammates about Morgantown, for when the Red Raiders play West Virginia on Saturday (RedRaiderSports.com)
"I only seen one this time, but there have been a few occasions when I’ve seen a whole gang of them. I live right there on the mountain, and they come down at night.”
“Get a baseball bat. Run ’em off. They won’t turn on me. I’ve got the baseball bat. I used to play baseball, man." -- Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, describing how he protects himself against a pack of wild javelinas (AZCentral.com)
19 comments, Last at 29 Oct 2013, 12:13pm by NakZ