For lack of a better term, we're calling this the "Kiffin Effect." Pop quiz, hotshot: Coming off a 4-8 season and a 45-0 vivisectioning by your big in-state rival in which you netted all of 37 yards, what do you do? What do you do? Evidently, this:
Houston Nutt phoned in just now to say he has sucked it, as a matter of fact, and the Delicious Creamsicle of Immediate In-State Superiority was everything he thought it could be.
The pressure of being the preseason #1 for the Fulmer Cup must've gotten to them. I know all you EDSBS regulars have been waiting with bated breath for the first time I'd make a blatant plug for my dear Georgia Bulldogs, and here it is: For what feels like the first time since I was an naive, apple-cheeked freshman, the Dawgs have gone an entire offseason without a single player getting arrested. One hundred law-abiding cocktails to all of you, gentlemen! By contrast, the Dawgs' season-opening opponent, Oklahoma State, won't be suspending two offensive players arrested for pot possession in June. Note to Mike Gundy: If you're going up against Georgia and you're the one that looks slack on player discipline, there may be a problem. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, that righteous indignation plus two bucks will get Willie Martinez a grande Pike Place roast at Starbucks.
Your "Suddenly My Problems Seem Pretty Minor" moment of the day. The Tulsa World profiles Tulsa QB G.J. Kinne, whose dad, a high-school coach in Texas, was shot to death by the angry parent of a player four years ago. By contrast, I've spent most of the past 24 hours raging at having shattered the screen on my iPhone, and officially consider myself humbled.
We have met the enemy, and he is Tony Franklin. I mean us. We knew the Auburn coaching staff was a wee bit divided during last year's 5-7 debacle, but evidently so were the players. Why was that, you think?
"The offense had their problems and some guys started hanging their heads - just stuff of that sort," said defensive end Antonio Coleman. "That led to a 5-7 season. It was just the little things that led to seven losses. Coach Chizik came in and corrected that; and all the guys have their heads up."
Yeah, it was just the little things -- you know, division, not having any semblance of an offense, that sort of thing. You drop off by a few hundred yards here and there, pretty soon you're going 5-7. It happens.
Hasn't Detroit suffered enough? With the cash-strapped Big Three automakers pulling their sponsorship of the Motor City Bowl, Little Caesar's Pizza may be stepping into the void, meaning "We're gonna probably be known as the Little Caesar's Pizza, Pizza Bowl," according to bowl co-founder George Perles. As a Birmingham resident and much-put-upon supporter of the Papajohns.com Bowl, I have but one thing to say: YOU BASTARDS. Can't you just let us have this?!?
It beat out other mottos including "Bereft," "Unfulfilled," and "Empty-Feeling." Ole Miss's team motto going into 2009: "Unsatisfied," taking a commanding lead in the Most Depressing Team Motto of All Time competition. Tip: If it sounds like something you'd circle on a restaurant comment card after a particularly disappointing meal, it probably shouldn't be your team motto.
Failure to plan means planning to fail. As for the Early Bird Award for Most Absurdly Diligent Scheduling, Oklahoma and Army have won that one in a runaway by agreeing on a home-and-home -- in 2018 and 2020. Congratulations, Black Knights, on being the first D-IA program to earn a guaranteed loss in a season that won't even begin for another nine years.
Now, you go back to doing something latently homoerotic, all right? We've already posted Still Life With Shirtless, Oiled Football Players and Lamborghini, the curious poster Tennessee is using to arouse . . . uh, interest in the 2009 season, or something; turns out there's a "making of" video. Go click the link yourselves, pervs, we're not posting that nonsense here.
File under "Up, Nowhere to Go But." UCF offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe is "pleased" with the improvement his team has shown heading into '09. Considering that the Golden Knights finished 120th out of 120 in DI-A in both total yardage and first downs, the fact that there has been improvement at all is probably reasonable grounds for pleased-ness.
Twelve-pack? Better go ahead and make that a case. Scott Wolf compiles every single college football game that will be on TV opening weekend. If you can look at this and not devise a way to remain laid out on your coach from noon straight through midnight on September 5, you're not really trying.