Fiu's Cavalcade of
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances
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2006 Season | Preseason
Part Two |
If this column sucks, it’s not my
I fired Frank Solich, who was only a year
removed from playing in the national title game, and
in an attempt to
prevent the column from making a freefall into mediocrity,
Callahan. Unfortunately, I ignored what had made it so dominant for so
many years. I’m now at the end of an off-ramp holding a sign saying,
“Will Direct Your Athletic Department For Food."
And unlike Nebraska, his team is sure to get in a bowl … Nebraska,
ready to make everything all better? Want to push the back button on the
DVR and try this whole thing over again? One name: Paul Johnson. He has
his Navy team at 4-2 with the nation’s number one rushing offense. He’s
taken a program that’s unable to get any appreciable D-I talent and
molded it into a disciplined mini-juggernaut that’s gone to four
straight bowl games with a 39-17 since 2002. Again, he's doing this with
a different level of athlete. Nebraska, I’m begging you. Pull down your
drawers and flash a big, fat vertical smile to the spread offense,
realize that you actually had it right all along, and go back to running
the option. Don’t be afraid of the wishbone. Go back to what you do
best, and you’ll scare the bejeebers out of the rest of the Big 12.
If you’re going to put it on a tee for me … The body of George Gipp,
the legendary Notre Dame star, was exhumed this week to test his DNA,
for unspecified reasons. 1) Technically, it's true. The Notre Dame
running game couldn't be ranked any lower with Gipp at tailback. 2) And
you thought Ty Willingham had a tough time recruiting. 3) The corpse
took a limo to the College Football Hall of Fame and announced it'd be
quarterbacking for the Irish next year.
You'd think he could at least help Notre Dame get a running back or
two … Those Pep Talks Lou Holtz is doing on ESPN are the real deal.
I know from personal experience. In between the second and third periods
of a Minnesota North Stars game, a young Pete Fiutak walked past
Holtz, then the Minnesota Golden Gopher head coach, on the way to the
Young, impressionable, nervous Fiu with voice crackling like Peter Brady
singing “Time To Change”: “Um, uhh, hi Coach Holtz. How’s it goin’?"
Holtz: “Son, I’m doin’ fine.” (slaps young Fiu on the back and walks on
Inspired, young Fiu goes out the next day and pulls off an improbable C+
on his math test.
Yeah, and in 1986, a show about four old biddies starring Bea Arthur
could be a hit … Here’s my TV show pitch. “The Golden
Coaches.” Picture four mature coaches living together and experiencing
the joys and angst of their golden years in Miami. Strong-willed Holtz,
spacey Bowden, lusty Southern Belle Spurrier, and the matriarch, Paterno,
occasionally clash, but are there for one another in the end, with the
signature moment coming each week when they raid the refrigerator for an
ice cream sundae binge session. I’m only half joking here. Listening to
those four is as entertaining as anything else on television.
have four cases left, and one has a million dollars, and the rest have
less than $10,000, you play the odds and always, always, always pick
another case so you get a better deal from the banker
… Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt and Minnesota’s Tim Brewster,
after each lost tough overtime
games this week by unnecessarily going for the win,
would each like to personally thank LSU's Les Miles for taking the
overtime coaching spotlight away by running on third and fourth down. If you’re in overtime, you don’t go
for two, or a touchdown, until you absolutely have to. If you’re so confident in your
offense, then kick the extra point, or the field goal, score a touchdown on your next
overtime possession, and put the pressure on the other team.
At least she didn't miss a block … Last week, Joe Paterno chastised
a woman driver for blowing through a stop sign. After the legendary head
coach was through, a man came out and said he was her husband, causing
Paterno to remark, “Boy, that’s your problem.” Pass rushers dream of the
moment when they have a free shot on a quarterback. I dream of someday
being able to nail a moment like that right on cue, and this week, to be
able to come up with a decent line about Gipp..
“All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That’s all you did. You
put people in danger. Sweet dreams, son.” … O.K. Kentucky, you can
admit it now. When you made the controversial decision to keep on Rich
Brooks, never in a hundred million years did you actually think the
program would actually be good under his command. Appalachian State is
now the new comparison for every big upset, and for the foreseeable
future, the Rich Brooks situation will be used by every sucky head coach
as the reason why he should get more time.
There’s less than two feet between a halo and a noose … You can’t
call LSU head coach Les Miles gutsy and brave one week after powering
the ball on Florida time and again, and then dog him for going with what
worked all season long in the third overtime on the road.
“I like to think the last thing that went through his
head...other than that bullet...was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne
ever got the best of him.” … I could be reading this all wrong, but
I get the sense that LSU was getting way too full of itself, and it
proved costly. It seemed like Les Miles and the entire program never
dreamed Kentucky, or anyone, could crank out 375 yards of total offense
and 43 points on its defense in 12 quarters. “I’m surprised at how well
Kentucky moved the football,” Miles said right after the game. Everyone
keeps asking how all the upsets keep happening all across the country,
and the short answer continues to be arrogance. The big programs, say
all the right things, but they just don’t believe in their heart of
hearts that they can be beaten by a supposedly inferior team.
“Thank you Mr. Cowboy, I’ll
take it under advisement. Hit it again.” … In the NFL, where the
talent level is about dead even, give or take a Tom Brady or LaDainian
Tomlinson, a defense can pretty much focus on stopping one player and
erase him from the opposing team’s gameplan. The offenses adjust, and
then the chess game kicks in. In college football, where you often have
a wild disparity in talent level, particularly in certain areas, with a
future NFL draft pick sometimes matching up against a guy who’ll be
working the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell counter at the local Target 18 months
from now. The good college offensive coordinators don't get cute, and
hammer the mismatches over and over again. I know Wake Forest came up
with a big pick, but if you’re Florida State and you don’t have a
running game, and you have Greg Carr, you throw him a deep jump ball on
first down. You throw him a deep jump ball on second down. Third and
ten? Throw a deep jump ball to Carr. Everyone knows it's coming, and it
takes a special play to stop it.
Hmmmmm. Turner Gill. Nebraska, Hmmmmmm … A big college football
pajamagram goes out to two of the most downtrodden bottom-feeders of the
last few years. When asked who the best college football fans are, I
always say they’re the longtime season ticket holders for programs like
Temple and Buffalo. A two-game winning streak is hardly anything to get
excited about at most places, but consider this. After beating Akron on
a last second touchdown pass, Temple has won as games in the last two
weeks than it had over the previous 36. The program’s last two-game
winning streak came in the middle of the 2002 season. For Buffalo, after
beating Toledo, it’s now 3-4 and actually in the race for the MAC East
title. Only once has UB won three games in a season since getting to the
D-I level, and this is the first two-game winning streak since late in
the 2001 season.
Extremely curious Mike Rozier ankle injuries and Irving Fryar dropped
passes aside … It’s mid-October in 1983. How many out there were
going, “Miami in the national title hunt?” And then the Canes
beat an unbeatable Nebraska team in an all-timer of a national
championship. It’s mid-October in 2007. How many out there are going, “South
Florida in the national title hunt?” Ladies and gentlemen, welcome
to the new Da U.
Upon further review (tongue sticking out), thhhpptptphhhth … To
anyone out there still dim enough to be against instant replay, watch
the Alabama – Ole Miss game and then say it doesn’t make the game
better. The Rebels probably win it if there wasn’t an extra set of eyes
on a final deep catch that was correctly overturned. The receiver was
clearly out of bounds and came back in play.
What, you didn’t see the
promos for the game when you were getting your NHL fix? …
If the nation’s number two team loses a
game televised on Versus, did it really happen?
You think that’s bad, try getting him to brush his teeth, wipe himself
every time after “blasting a dookie” on the potty, and to let you
listen to anything other than The Wiggles on a car ride lasting more
than six minutes … Never work with kids or animals. Every parent has
been there, metaphorically watching their little redshirt freshman
quarterback hoplessly trying to scramble for a touchdown with no time
outs left and no chance to spike the ball. Like Cal head coach Jeff
Tedford, who hasn’t slammed a proverbial clipboard or thrown a headset
when dealing with kids?
If you’re a man, then don’t act like you need a time out …
Amazingly, the Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy rant is still
getting play all over the place. To keep the fun going, and working on
the Gundy classic, “I’m a man! I’m 40!” line that’ll have a spot in our
sports hearts for the rest of time, here are five other ways to know
you’re a man if you’re a college football fan.
5. You remember a time when Nebraska, Notre Dame and Miami didn’t suck.
4. When you wear a jersey, you get the same looks as the creepy mom with
the mini-skirt, teased hair and mass produced Fleetwood Mac t-shirt.
3. The AIG commercials make you think.
2. There’s a part of you that you don’t particularly like that thinks
those cheerleaders should probably put some more clothes on, and then
feels sort of wrong when you're happy they didn't. .And then you rewind
the DVR. Twice.
1. The game that’s making or breaking your mood for the week is being
played by people at least half your age.
You’re a dillhole. Make up
for it … Do you have extra tickets? Have a spare $20? Go to
www.specialspectators.org. Special Spectators is an organization
that takes seriously ill children to college games for a unique
experience. They have raffles available for the BCS Championship game
and the Rose Bowl, or you can just donate your extra tickets to help out
the worthy cause.
If only JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and
Marshawn Lynch were around to make the 2007 season interesting …
Whether or not you personally agree with the concept, it’s undeniably
time to admit that there’s no real reason for a limitation on when a
player can go to the NFL. Adrian Peterson would’ve been able to rip
apart NFL teams three years ago. Darren McFadden would’ve been the
starting tailback on at least 15 teams last season. The college game
will be just fine. Let the kids go earn their millions whenever they
Just like you don’t fall in love with, and by a cappuccino maker for,
the masseuse who does that ,,, don’t make the mistake of
getting to comfy cozy with anyone in the Pac 10. I like this Oregon
team. You like this Oregon team. This Oregon team will get tagged at
least once more. So will Cal, Arizona State is overdue for a loss, and
USC has at least two more coming its way..
The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
There’s no need to watch college football until January. Now that the
initial BCS rankings are out, I’m going to clue you in on what’s going
to happen in the BCS race. The ten teams in the big money matchups will
10. Arizona State – Rose Bowl
No one is believing in the Sun Devils, mainly because no one has
seen them play. Those late night games in the desert are always off the
map for most, but that’ll soon change. The offensive line has a few
issues in pass protection, but with a physical style, to go along with
all the normal ASU speed and athleticism, ASU should be able to keep up
in home games against Cal and USC, and should be able to overcome an
upcoming loss at Oregon to go 11-1 and win the Pac 10 title. Dennis
Erickson's team will then go to Pasadena to play ….
9. Boise State – Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl will lose the number one team to the BCS Championship
game, so it’ll get its first pick from all the at-large teams. Even so,
the selection people will be a bit hamstrung by their options, and will
end up being happy to get all the Bronco fans streaming down from Boise,
while getting huge TV ratings with everyone looking for the 2007 Fiesta
Bowl magic to kick in again. There won’t be any Big Ten teams available,
and after Boise State beats Hawaii when everyone is watching, and runs
the rest of the table, it’ll move up enough in the BCS rankings to get
into the top 12 and earn an automatic spot.
8. LSU – Sugar Bowl
The LSU schedule eases up big-time, with the two road games left,
after a home date with Auburn, coming against Alabama and Ole Miss. Nick
Saban will pull out all the stops against his former team and give the
Tide the early signature win in his tenure. The Tigers will still win
the West and will still go on to win the SEC title, while also
eliminating the East representative from the BCS chase. LSU will sell
out the Superdome against …
7. Kansas – Sugar Bowl
If you’re waiting for the schedule to get nasty, it doesn't get too
bad, with road games against Colorado, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, along
with home dates against Nebraska and Iowa State. 13th in the initial
rankings, Mark Mangino’s team will keep moving up and up as others start
dropping with key losses late. KU won’t win the North, losing to
Missouri in the regular season finale, but it won’t be by much. Mizzou
will lose a rematch in the Big 12 title game to …
6. Oklahoma – Fiesta Bowl
The Sooners will obliterate Iowa State, Texas A&M and Baylor to get
into the number two spot in the BCS rankings, after South Florida loses
to Rutgers, BC loses to Virginia Tech and LSU loses to Alabama, and then
they’ll run into a Texas Tech buzzsaw in Lubbock to ruin the national
title hopes. However, they’ll get a whale of a showdown against …
5. Oregon – Fiesta Bowl
The world will jump all over the Ducks, currently tenth in the BCS,
after they beat USC (and badly), and ruin Arizona State’s unbeaten
season. Just when it seems like they’ll be in the national title
discussion, UCLA will pull a performance out of its ear in a shootout in
4. Virginia Tech – Orange Bowl
The Hokies enter the national title picture with a win over Boston
College, and then they’ll lose to Georgia Tech to bring things to a
screeching halt. However, they’ll beat Florida State, Miami and
Virginia, and the Cavaliers will have already lost at least once along
the way, forcing a BC – VT rematch in the ACC title game. The Hokies
will come up with a second win over the Eagles.
3. South Florida – Orange Bowl
Here we go with the big
debate of the 2007 season. South Florida will lose at Rutgers in a
thriller, but will beat Connecticut, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Louisville
and Pitt to finish 11-1 to earn an automatic spot in the BCS as the Big
East champion. The computers will all have the Bulls in the top two,
with at least one having them number one, but because of the recency
effect, with the voters remembering the Rutgers loss and forgetting
about the West Virginia win, the humans will screw things up by putting
them just low enough to open the door for ….
2. West Virginia – BCS Championship
Currently ninth in the BCS rankings, the Mountaineers will start
creeping up with impressive win after impressive win. They’ll beat
Mississippi State, Rutgers, Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Pitt
to finish 11-1, and get just enough love from the computers to go along
with the respect from the human polls. I’m not saying it’s right that
West Virginia will get in over South Florida, I’m just predicting here.
The Mountaineers will get the number two spot, USF will be three, and
the college football world will be buzzing.
1. Ohio State – BCS Championship
You’re not happy about it, and SEC fans are going to have a
conniption over a Big Ten team getting into the big dance again, but
Ohio State is going to make up for past sins. With wins over Michigan
State, at Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and at Michigan, in yet
another classic, the Buckeyes will earn more respect than it’ll likely
receive, and on a mission, they’re not going to make the same mistake
two years in a row.
Nuggets for the upcoming week, now made with white meat, at
participating restaurants …
- In case you missed it, Houston WR Donnie Avery has been on fire
over the last three weeks, coming up with one of the best performances
of the season with a 13-catch, 346-yard, two touchdown day in the win
over Rice. However, if you want to get ahead of the pack, start paying
attention to Cougar RB Anthon Alridge. A wisp at only 5-9 and 175 pounds
soaking wet, he’ll slide to around the third round of the draft next
year, but he’ll end up being a situational superstar. He'll be the type
of player every scout will beg their GMs to take..
- In the hard-to-do department, Baylor threw the ball 43 times against
Kansas, completing 22, and only came up with 154 yards. The Bears
averaged 3.58 yards per attempt.
- Watch out for two eligible Big Ten teams, likely Northwestern and
Indiana, to get shut out of bowl spots. With almost no chance of two Big
Ten teams getting into the BCS, there simply aren’t going to be enough
- Miami is in big trouble for a bowl. It’ll likely beat NC State and
Virginia at home, but will likely lose all three road games against
Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Boston College to finish 6-6.
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated
aspects of the world
Kodi Burns and Tyrod
Taylor (for now) ... Underrated: Brandon Cox and Sean
2) Overrated: Ron Zook … Underrated: Getting a three-year contract
extension after a decent start to one season
3) Overrated: Reggie Bush and $280,000 ... Underrated: Joe McKnight
4) Overrated: USC right now ... Underrated: USC in about a month when it
starts to get healthy
Tim Tebow getting
crushed by phone calls from LSU fans ... Underrated:
Tim Tebow, as
a recruit, getting crushed by text messages from Urban Meyer
My Heisman ballot this week would be … I vote
based on a combination of three things: Most valuable player, most
outstanding player, and the signature player of the season. I might
wildly change my mind weekly, but I’ll sort it all out at the end. 1)
Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech, 2) Matt Ryan, QB Boston College, 3)
Mike Hart, RB Michigan, 4) Graham Harrell, QB Texas Tech, 5) Brian Brohm,
“You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools/But that's the way
I like it baby, I don't wanna live forever” … The three lines this
week that appear to be a tad off. (Keep riding the horse. I’m 1-2, but
I’m 1-2 every week. 5-13 overal. As always, enjoy these just for pure
amusement.) … 1) Oklahoma -28 over Iowa State, 2) Oregon -11 over
Washington, 3) Southern Miss -4 over Marshall.
Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … the computers
loved my column and had it ranked high, but the humans hated it, and now
it needs others to fall so it can get into the hunt.