PETE CARROLL'S ENCHANTED GRIDIRON GROTTO: WEEK ELEVEN

That which is and was vis-a-vis college football, re: this weekend and the immediate future thereof. Written as always from Pete Carroll's hot-tub in the USC underground grotto, which he writes off on his taxes as a 1300 ft "office."

We regret the error. Pam Ward, broadcasting the early Big Ten game on ESPN2, makes a slight error on a roster/injury call.

PW: Yes, he's out for the game with some criminal trouble. Um, sorry, that's a hamstring.

Did we say aggravated sodomy on a Cornish Gamehen? We apologize. Meant to say he's out due to turf toe. Really the same thing when you get down to it.

Of course it's tax deductible! IT'S A HOT TUB.

Gameday live from Oregon again proved that the only fans on the West Coast that gives a proper-sized shit about college football is the Oregon fanbase, who showed up in numbers despite it being cold and pitch black. Wherever the camera panned, there were dimly lit faces wearing green and yellow. Impressive, but next time for a properly frightening effect, bring torches and pitchforks, Duck fans. (This will only backfire against Tennessee fans in an interconference game, since it will remind them of last week's hunt.)

Lee Corso, btw, continues to be the conversational anchor for the Gameday crew. There's several times a show when Corso pauses and everyone around him has no idea what to do. At this point, once Corso snaps to and realizes this, he says what he just said again, but LOUDER. At this point, Desmond Howard text messages a young honey dip, and Chris Fowler reaches for the gun under the desk, counts to ten like his therapist told him to, and moves the show on to the next topic.

D.J. Moore of Vandy is 11th in the SEC in tackles with 57 solo tackles as a sophomore cornerback. Sadly for Vandy, he could not be cloned 10 times, as Percy Harvin decided to bring his evil twin Mercy along with him for Vandy's game at Florida: Percy caught the ball 9 times for 110 yards and Mercy ran the ball 11 times for 113 yards on the ground. Florida won 49-22, quieting the nerves of Cassandras and keeping Vandy one game shy of bowl eligible, which was impolite, really.

Indiana roundly beat Ball State, becoming bowl eligible and causing afterlife-white-suit-wearing afterlife Terry Hoeppner to cruise by, tip the pimp cup in the Hoosiers' direction, and roar off back into the heavens. 100 Cocktails, sir, to you and the Hoosiers.

HD versus regular video standard can be thanked for at least one unreversed call on replay challenge on Saturday. In the Florida/Vandy game, Percy Harvin snatched a ball off the ground like a Lab scooping up a falling crumb off the linoleum, and the crew at Florida Field opted to review. If we really had to guess, the ball was trapped for the catch; however, the crappy video standard meant that the defining light and shadows were too murky to see exactly what would have been clear in HD.


A career investment. Asian chick with lump on head included.

What's the point? We don't want an HD tv. We need one for clarity's sake, tax auditor. Strictly for personal use, and not for porn and hours of Guitar Hero 3.

Percy Harvin could juke through a herd of stampeding bulls.

Dave Neal and Dave Archer give us our next great moment in broadcasting

from the Lincoln Financial broadcast of Vandy/Florida.

Dave Neal: Man, it is a perfect day here in Gainesville. I might not go home.

Dave Archer: Your wife might not be happy with that.

Dave1: "She might not mind that."

Dave2: "Yeah."

HA-ha! Marriage in trouble.

It would have been great to have our national perspective broadened and had the chance to watch the Wisconsin/Ohio State game. But it was on the Big Ten Network, and we therefore couldn't sit on our couch and watch it. What? We're supposed to blame our cable operator? But they're the magical flicker elves who pipe Adult Swim into our eyes! They're good! Jim Delany's much easier to hate, since he's Jim Delany and never gave us Squidbillies or Sealab 2021. And sorting out provider/network pricing disputes hurts our tiny normal-sized brain.

As it was, though, Ohio State may have looked more impressive in the stat column and in the glimpses of Beanie Wells' (163 yards, 21 carries, and 3 TDs) shoulder pads jerking spastically downfield through seemingly handless Wisconsin defenders. Wisconsin was without leading rusher P.J. Hill, though, so SEC pollsters looking for any reason at all to put LSU number one and Ohio State second, well, there you go. Free of charge from the propaganda department.

Another Great Moment In Broadcasting came from the VS. broadcast of the Kansas State/Iowa game, courtesy of whoever was doing their sideline commentary:

I asked them what Coach Ron Prince said at the half, and he said he talked to them about not playing well.

With inspirational, incisive talk like that, Ron Prince is gonna be a neon-lit monster of a legendcoach. BTW, this was also the talk of Ron Prince's inspirational incisive post-game talk, as Kansas State lost to the 1-8 Cyclones.

NBC Sports still runs their sports operation like it's 1982. "Hello, helpless, unpicky sports consumer! Prior to our exclusive coverage of NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL, enjoy our coverage of the Olympic Marathon Qualifying run, which you know is thrilling because it's TWO HOURS OF MANOREXIA ON THE HOOF!!! Look at them run! And still running! Later, following the game, stay tuned for Survival of the Fittest and our stirring coverage of English sidecar racing!"

Actually, this sounds way better than what NBC actually shows as sport.

USF continues to devalue itself like a prudent Fortune 500 company would, coughing up eight turnovers against Cincinnati to lose 38-33. Investors nod approvingly, applaud their ethics, and immediately sell. UConn continues to show surprising yields despite Randy Edsall's unglamorous offshoring of points, glitz, and football not involving a guy in bleached dreads hitting the shit out of someone. That's UConn football: some guy in bleached dreads hitting the ever-loving shit out of somebody. It's good enough for 4-0 in the Big East and 8-1 overall.

UConn will make a BCS bowl, and there's nothing you can do about it. Cue the sound of men in zanily covered blazers jumping headfirst from balconies at the thought of having to take UConn and their 4000 fans in a bowl game. Spare tickets may always be given to the homeless--you know they'll show up, and you can kill two birds with one stone by filling the stadium and running a live tuberculosis exposure experiment simultaneously.

Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame. Navy beat Notre Dame.

Forty-three times, if you're counting, thus equaling the streak snapped by Navy in their 46-44. Drink to the foam!

Bill Callahan...er, we mean Charlie Weis did pass up a 41 yard field goal to attempt a 4th and 8 conversion that Notre Dame crumpled on following Navy linebacker Ram Vela's Supaman leap and sack of quarterback Evan Sharpley. Weis had several painfully retarded/hopelessly arrogant moments in the game, but the worst may have been the final two point conversion attempt, a lame running play Navy had snuffed out pre-snap. Notre Dame hadn't been able to rush through a Dan Brown novel all season, much less run when it counted. Jon Chait's still wrong about Weis being "The Worst Coach In the Universe." Saying that he was an inept sweatshirt-wearing anti-Belichick on Saturday is not inaccurate, though.

It took Kansas four quarters to score 76 points on Nebraska. That's the total amount of points Virginia, your ACC leading Cavaliers, have scored in their last four games. Also astonishing: Nebraska's Blackshirts gave up a total of 348 points in 1995-96 across two seasons of horrifying, dominant football. This year's Pinkshirt Sleeveless Mesh T edition has given up 359 points this season alone.

Kansas, with its hordes of angry white guys with thick calves, now obviously has the crown of official team of the White Midwest. Commenter Mr. Pelican Pants suggests that Kansas prepare immediately for the post-season steroid investigation by the NCAA.

Chad Henne played on one leg Saturday and still made some ungodly throws to Mario Manningham, who made equally heretical catches to pull Michigan out of trouble and into a 28-24 victory at Michigan State. Mike Debord will be waiting with a tire iron outside Henne's door to ensure Henne's continued one-leggedness for the Ohio State game, since he played better on one knee than he has on two.

Do not forget that Matt Flynn faked a knee injury to avoid wasting a timeout in the LSU/Alabama game in order to fix his busted headgear. Flynn, feeling that his chinstrap was broken in the first half, grabbed his knee and flopped with the spineless skill of Cristiano Ronaldo, falling dramatically to the turf and actually limping on the same knee the whole time to get to the sideline and fix his helmet.

LSU continues the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride thing with the narrow win at Bama, keyed largely by a late miscue by John Parker Wilson, who fumbled the ball late for an eventual LSU touchdown. Miles continues to talk in several different voices during the game; one with the sideline reporter, one after the game at the press conference, another at the weekly appearance. He's like Ahab, addressing the crew one way while writing in Shakespearean verse in his journals.

Do they shoot Oregon games from the Hubble Telescope? The overhead cam at Oregon is situated so high above the field that Dennis Dixon's underplayed national presence as a jaw-dropping player of astonishing talent is an achievement in itself--every time he plays at home, he's literally smaller than every other potential NFL top-tenner on the screen thanks to Autzen's mile-high pressbox camera.

Even from space, great detail could be seen, though, including Oregon's assault on Rudy Carpenter. Oregon turned dogs loose on Carpenter, sacking him nine times and nullifying Arizona State's run game once the Duck offense cranked to life and spotted the Ducks a few scores. Oregon may have had the most single-game PR impact of any major team's games on Saturday, even if ESPN watchers on the East Coast had to wait through the dregs of UConn-USF to watch the game. Oregon versus Ohio State for the title? A spread offense going in against a heavily favored Ohio State team? MAO!

Brent Musberger, forcibly separated from Jim Tressel by a restraining order and his employer's demands that he cover the FSU/Boston College games, funneled that pain into on-air laughs by mocking the Boston Globe's burial of Boston College's game against the Seminoles on page eight of the sports page. Ah, that's funny, Brent! Holding up that paper thingy they read back during the Cold War. Call us on your corded phone and tell us about this bonny pair of pantaloons you found to match that new horseless carriage you purchased with your pieces-of-eight!

Matt Ryan isn't a football genius, but he's certainly in better shape than FSU's kicker. We've never seen an FSU kicker who didn't look like a 44 year old Venezuelan guy wearing a football player costume to a party, and we still haven't after watching Gary Cismesia roll off the bench and paunch onto the field for kicks against Boston College. Do they make them lift a weight at FSU? As in a single weight whose primary bulk and heft does not come from its malty, liquid contents?

We come not to merely poke FATTIE! FATTIE! fun at the long string of obviously unhealthy-looking FSU kickers, but to say that being the kicker at FSU must be the best and easiest way to enjoy the football life on the cheap, effort-wise.

Finally, Darren McFadden. Commentary fails. Watch.

And:

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