CURIOUS INDEX, 8/7/09


'Cause it's Friday, you ain't got no football, and you ain't got s#!t to do. Break yo' self, fool -- the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll has been released in all its premature, ghostvoted glory. Rest assured Holly and I will get around to a withering dissection of everything that's wrong with the coaches' rankings later on today, not the least of which is the fact that some of the teams they ranked may not have even started fall practice yet, but for right now let us rejoice in a sign that the college football season truly is a-comin'. Kind of like when they start putting up the Christmas-sale banners in the first week of October.

This has been "Scary Thoughts" with Eric Berry. The battle has begun at Tennessee for the title of Other Safety Besides Eric Berry, and no less than Berry himself says both Janzen Jackson and Darren Myles Jr. have "a lot more natural ability" than he did when he stepped onto the Tennessee campus. Here's a thought for Lane Kiffin: Why not just let the other team's offense have the ball every series and play defense the whole game? Can anyone honestly say Berry isn't the biggest scoring threat the Vols have on their entire roster?

It must be the winning record. It's very slimming on you. Don't look now, but Stoops might actually have whipped Arizona into a solid team -- so solid, in fact, that Stoops himself has unloaded 20 pounds his Wildcats upset BYU in last year's Las Vegas Bowl. In other nutritionally healthy news, there's nothing spectacularly shocking about this Alabama notebook, we're just amused by anything applauding a 354-pound man for his weight-loss diligence.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Bronco. Boise State says they're not dwelling on their home opener against Oregon this season, but who'd blame them if they did? You can't really accuse someone of "looking ahead" when the game they're looking ahead to is their first game of the season, particularly when their opponent's QB promised to "take it to them" a couple weeks ago. If you're scoring at home, BSU punked Oregon 37-32 in Eugene last September, and host the Ducks on the Smurf Turf on Sept. 3.

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Rolling with the Neu. Rick Neuheisel's son Jerry, a presumptive member of the class of 2011, is starting to get some recruiting buzz, and though he looks sort of like how we imagine a member of the Swedish women's track and field team might look, we know better than to bet against anyone with Neuheisel DNA. (Presumably, as a student at Los Angeles's Loyola High School, Jerry will be at least an ancillary beneficiary of the breakup of the infamous Los Angeles Football Monopoly, though we can't say for sure until we've seen the documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission.)

It's going to be an interesting family Thanksgiving in the Bowden household. For the first time in ages, the only member of the Bowden family fielding any questions about national-title expectations is -- Terry, despite bringing back only one offensive starter on his (Division II) North Alabama team. Imagine Stephen being the lone member of the Baldwin family to get any Emmy buzz in a given year and you've pretty much approximated the head-scratching factor here.

Profiles in headline understatement. The Virginia Cavaliers are looking for big-play wideouts, says the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Or, you know, big-play anybody, that'd be good too. (Cue my dad, UVA undergrad '71, Med '77: "We're still the closest thing to a public Ivy in the country, Thomas Jefferson founded us, GRRRR ARRRGGGHH.")

File under "Longtime rumors confirmed." It's official: Joe Kines "speaks another language." The city of Tuscaloosa just collapsed under the weight of its collective lack of shock.

What? Oh, yeah, star QB, football, blah blah whatever. Ex-Longhorn hero and current Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young makes a very edifying appearance in the "What I've Learned" feature of this month's Esquire, and while some of you are sure to beef with his promise to "be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl," I'm not commenting on that one way or the other, mainly because I'm too distracted by the feature on Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" immediately preceding the Young article.

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Yes, I know that's about as lazy as segues get, but y'all have been very good this week, and the very least I can throw your way as a show of gratitude is a little bunda. Don't say I never gave you nothin'.

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