OMG REAL LIVE FOOTBALL FOOTAGE WITH FOOTBALL PLAYERS PLAYING FOOTBALL IN FOOTBALL LIKE CIRCUMSTANCES. Here, in the darkest winter of our Discontent, the bizarro sporting month known as Nantzuary, we have hope: football-like actions happening in a football-like situation. Admittedly, it's Big East football, but that still qualifies as football, and if you doubt us just as a spluttering, angry Big East fan.
These would be the only highlights you'll see of USF's spring game thanks to the awesome video stream offered on USF's website. We like the play where the circle goes around the empty circles. It's our favorite. USF's offense looked awful, but at this point that's kind of becoming a brand thing for the Bulls. Remember, it's okay to have a odious offense as long as it's a tradition. (See: Virginia Tech.)
MEANWHILE, IN THE TEXAS CONFERENCE. Texas held their Spring Game, and this may be the best summary of where Texas stands right now in installing Bryan Harsin's Boise State-style attack:
* Also nice: routes being run down the field! Nevermind that neither Gilbert nor McCoy could get the ball there. The routes were being run. Down the field. Consistently. This is progress.
We imagine a good fifty percent of spring practice for Texas will be explaining to the quarterbacks that throwing down the field is not only legal, but is often encouraged in the modern game of football. Manny Diaz didn't show shit from the new defensive playbook, and that is because Manny Diaz is a crafty sonofabitch. If the lackluster spring game disappoints some Longhorn fans, at least count yourself lucky that you had enough offensive linemen to have a game. (Florida doesn't.)
THIS SOUNDS MILDLY TERRIFYING. Chris Relf quietly improved to something like a bargain-bin Cam Newton over the second half of the season last year for Mississippi State, and on Saturday rent asunder the Mississippi State defense in scoring on 12 of its 18 possessions in a scrimmage. Dan Mullen with a quarterback who knows what they're doing: Alex Smith at Utah, Tim Tebow at Florida, and this is mildly terrifying in an SEC West made up of at least four teams who could have ten win seasons, but none with established starters at quarterback. (And no, Jordan Jefferson does not count no matter how good he looks in a scrimmage, and LSU fans are nodding in agreement so hard right now.)
PETE CARROLL IS SHOCKED. Shocked, we tell you, to find gambling going on in this place. In other stories of saying things that defy reality, the equal time portion of the Fiesta Bowl debate has already yielded some spectacular shit:
Before the Fiesta Bowl scandal, a Sports Illustrated poll showed that 90 percent of respondents said the BCS should abandon its current format for a playoff system. Weeks later, the national title game was a sellout.
The author is a member of the Fiesta Bowl board, sure, but the point stands: if Florida made the Fiesta Bowl next year, we'd be in line for tickets, especially since we still can't get credentialed by half of all bowl games and probably more on the individual team side. The neat thing about this piece: it makes an inflammatory point completely irrelevant to the inquiry into the Fiesta Bowl's non-profit status! Neato! For more tips on how to conduct an argument, please see this. (HT: Blutarsky.)
THREE DAYS TO HOLGORSENITY. Three days is all you need to install an offense according to Dana Holgorsen, Adam Smith, and Chris Brown, whose piece on simplicity in scheme installation is probably more than your brain can handle on a Monday morning, but you may as well read it now thanks to it not getting any easier over the course of the week. Brown neglects one political theory of play installation: anarchism, aka the Houston Nutt school.