Hooray! It's published this week.
---ESPN's ($)Bruce Feldman lists his 10 most exciting players in college football.
9. Kennan Burton, Kentucky, WR-KR: The best thing to come from Kentucky since Ashley Judd, Burton has caught at least two TD passes in four straight games. He also leads the SEC in all-purpose yardage with 159 per game. Joker Phillips, UK's offensive coordinator, recently compared Burton to the great Lynn Swann. "He's got unbelievable body control, long arms and good ball skills," Phillips told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "He can twist and turn his body and get into position to where, if Andre [Woodson] throws it up there, he can go up and make a play and come down with the football."
I know he's a receiver, but Burton is a fine player in the open field. Yet, he has only one carry this season. What gives?
---ESPN's Ivan Maisel excoriates Alabama about, well, being Alabama.
Ivan's entirely too defensive of Shula who was a bad hire, but it sounds like the uppity-ups at Alabama don't have their acts together, either.
They got lucky with the Franchione and Price hirings (both of whom would have turned that program around in a hurry and been the toast of the SEC), but there's something spooky to that place that's driving coaches away through absurdity (Franchione), Panhandle benders (Price) and incompetence (Shula).
---ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski has an utterly throwaway anti-BCS article.
Wah... wah wah wah wah... wah... playoffs. OMG. Wah wah.
Complaining about subjectivity in the BCS? Gee, that's only been part of the game for the last oh... 100+ years. It was fine back then, it's still fine now except for those who simply like to blow things up and move onto the next target, rubble and debris be damned and left for others to clean up.
---ESPN's Pat Forde gives audience to LSU's BCS politicking after their victory over Arkansas.
"When the hell," asked [LSU Athletic Director Skip] Bertman, "in the history of football, did anybody ever play four teams on the road in the top nine?"
What four teams are those, Skip?
I see two: No. 4 Florida and No. 9 Arkansas.
Is this like that Auburn argument from 2004 where they claimed to have beaten four top 10 teams? Y'all realize that a season isn't played in a vacuum and rankings are fluid and ever-changing, right? I wish the writers would either not print these silly arguments/deprive them of oxygen or simply smack them down in their articles.
---CBS Sportsline's Dennis Dodd chews out Tuberville-esque Florida coach Urban Meyer.
And so begins the "Urban Cryer" legend. I'll have some very kind words about Meyer's coaching job so far at Florida at a later time, but for now let's just say CFR's thoroughly disappointed in his demeanor.
Part of this smacks of SEC arrogance. Part of it is Meyer's naiveté. Does he forget that it was this same BCS system that got Utah to the Fiesta Bowl two years ago? In the old system, Utah would have been playing in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The system also catapulted Meyer to hot-coach-of-the-moment status, essentially got him his big-time shot at Florida.
We're getting a mixed message. Michigan doesn't belong but USC and Florida do?
Here are some ideas, Urban:
- Beat Auburn. At least make Auburn score. You're in this position because the Tigers won 27-17 on Oct. 14 without scoring an offensive touchdown.
- Beat South Carolina by more than the fingernail on Jarvis Moss' hand that blocked a field goal attempt to preserve a one-point victory.
- Don't play Western Carolina, ever. You know better. But if you have to play the last-place team in the Southern Conference, do it in September.
If you're looking for a reason why you're in this predicament, check your schedule. It is inferior to USC's. Out of conference, the Trojans scheduled Nebraska (Big 12 South winner), Arkansas (SEC West winner) and No. 6 Notre Dame.
Florida scheduled two teams from Conference USA (Southern Miss, Central Florida) and the aforementioned Western Carolina in addition to Florida State.
Don't talk to me about the SEC conference schedule, either. Florida and USC each will have faced seven bowl-eligible teams in-conference.
Beyond the numbers, Florida doesn't pass the eye test when compared to other contenders. Its offense is torture to watch at times. It keeps getting defensive linemen suspended.
No wonder that on Oct. 29, Florida was No. 4 in the BCS and hasn't budged since.
Meanwhile, USC moved from No. 8 (following its only loss to Oregon State) to No. 3. Win its final two and the Trojans deserve to zip past Michigan into the No. 2 spot.
Hey, what do you know? There would be no rematch. Isn't that what Urban wanted?
Also from Dodd: revisiting the replay follies from earlier in the year.
---The Sporting News' Matt Hayes is also defending the now-terminated Alabama coach Mike Shula.
So what can we expect with this latest coaching search at Alabama? Since the Tide has chewed up and spit out four coaches in the last seven years, maybe, just maybe, we ought to look at the guy(s) doing the hiring.
That's two writers now casting not-so-subtle evil-eyed glances at the decision-makers in Tuscaloosa. Hmm...
---The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart has all the latest coaching rumors.
How does he do it?
---Maxim Magazine's JoBu road tripped to Clemson and discovered... a magical world with nothing but team merchandise shops as far as the eye could see. Creeeeepppyyyyy, but so college football.
---The Dallas Forth Worth Star-Telegram's Wendell Barnhouse shows it's been a good year for the members of the former Southwest Conference.
Old school is the way to go, folks. Tinkering with the game just gives us the blues.
Needless to say, I disagree, but respect the man.
---Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel also jumps in to criticize Alabama for its termination of coach Mike Shula. Outsiders displeased, Bama fans are content. Interesting.
---Finally, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tony Barnhart says there's slim pickings when it comes to Alabama's coaching search.
Mike Price is twiddling his thumbs in El Paso. Just sayin'...