THE CURIOUS INDEX, 12/22/2011

CHRIS PETERSEN TO BE BANNED FOR COUNTING CARDS BECAUSE HE IS A ROBOT WITH AMAZING MATHEMATICAL CAPABILITIES (AND A CRIPPLING INABILITY TO EVALUATE KICKERS.) Dennis Erickson will finish his tenure at Arizona State with this, the million dollar bowl in a five dollar stadium, tonight's Las Vegas Bowl. Broncos fans are admittedly a bit checked out, while Arizona State partisans see low percentages and bad probabilities on the horizon. (Arizona State fans are fairly bright, it turns out.) The team, meanwhile, is already enjoying the greatest pleasures of Las Vegas: the free and painful lessons in basic math.

The announcers for this game? Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Tom Rinaldi. These gentlemen, given their choice of bowl games to call, are neither stupid nor unaware of the virtues of being the first hogs at the trough. You would also be fairly bright in watching this game: for good or bad, the Sun Devils always make something happen. (Even if it's blowing themselves to pieces, it's still entertainment.)

THE FROGS THE FROGS THE FROGS. It was an ugly, scrape-and-scrap game, but TCU's Casey Pachall did earn his underoos (so to speak) by running for a first down on third and short last night late in the fourth, thus allowing TCU to run out the clock and end a tightly contested San Diego County Credit Union Financial Bank Industrial Concern and Fisheries Poinsettia Bowl with a TCU victory. (The bowl game is the longest by syllable, by the way.)

PITT TURNS THEIR LIVES OVER TO SUGAR-FREE JESUS. Or a really odd Christian nü-metal band, or whatever other joke you'd like to make about the approximately messianic last name of Wisconsin's former offensive coordinator and Pitt's new head coach Paul Chryst. Chryst beat out Mario Cristobal for the job in large part thanks to booster lobbying and testimonials from Barry Alvarez, and will have the loving support of both the depth chart and fans who would just like a coach to stay for longer than a year.

Meanwhile, their old coach does an interview that attempts to explain his case, and doesn't help at all.

IN HOUSTON THEY DON'T LIKE MAKING NEW KEYS. So they just made assistant head coach Tony Levine the head man, and saved at least $3.50 in the process. Don't change anything, Tony, and you'll be fine as long as Case Keenum is approved for a 31st year of eligibility. (If not, simply find another Case Keenum. Coaching is so easy, guys.)

DOWN A SAFETY? CARE TO DOUBLE THAT BET, DABO? Dana does, even if he's down a safety in the secondary, because the odds are just where he likes them: horrendous.

FREEK IS NOW JUST RANDOMLY CHATTING UP PEOPLE'S MOTHERS. Freek knows people, man, and confirms your suspicion that even the mothers of elite athletes like Tyrann Mathieu are awed by Trent Richardson's rippling muscularity.

TEAM CAKE STAND UP. Congratulations, son, and enjoy it because Nick Saban is pretty sure cake is never part of the process.

BY GAWD, KING, THIS INTERVIEW IS EXTENSIVE. So, Jim Ross both really likes the Oklahoma Sooners, and is also eerily consistent in posed photos taken with other famous people.

ETC: Uncle Luke has a slightly NSFW preview of his new film. It's based on "La Jetee." This is not a joke. Paul Bergrin was indeed the baddest lawyer in the history of New Jersey. This is a horrifying article about former OK State player Chris Collins and his descent into the criminal justice system. Bye, hater.

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