Saturday, October 21, 2006

OVERTIME -- Week 8


Sometimes, I have a tendency to, um, strongly state my opinions. Such as when I called this week "Somnambulant Saturday."

But this is what I love about college football. This was a week of barn-burners, last-minute comebacks and nailbiting games. And at least one unexpected blowout that ... well, as a USC fan, I probably shouldn't talk about so much. (See ESPN's wrap here.)

The highlights:

--In a game pre-empted by the FSU-BC match here in Atlanta (blast you, ABC!), Michigan managed to get by Iowa and keep everyone talking about the 11-0 v. 11-0 matchup ... which, again, will probably never happen, because the CFB Powers That Be seem to take great joy in derpiving us of these great scenarios.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Yes, Michigan can sleepwalk it's way through the rest of the schedule, because that's how they started this game.

--A last-minute field goal salvaged what could have been the body blow to Texas' title hopes against a game Nebraska team.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Texas can't sleepwalk it's way through the Big XII. Or it can't sleepwalk it's way through the Big XII Championship Game. It's probably safe until then.

--Erik Ainge started looking like Erik Ainge again, but Tennessee still managed to overcome a halftime lead by Alabama (hint, Mikey: Your boys have to play those last two quarters, too). Tyrone Nix, you better have been taking notes on how Bama got in Ainge's head.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Erik Ainge hasn't become Peyton Manning overnight. But the teamwide funk of last year is gone, so others can carry the team for a game or two.

--Notre Dame got by UCLA after a Jeff Somethingorother catch and run.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The luck of the Irish is still very much alive.

--California need overtime to beat Washington.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The near-win at Southern California wasn't a fluke; Washington is a good football team.

--Oregon needed ... another team to beat Washington State, meaning their Pac-10 contender hopes, already on life support, are gone.
WHAT WE LEARNED: It takes more than ugly uniforms to win the Pac-10.

--Boston College edged Florida State, wearing all black as a symbol of mourning for their lost season.
WHAT WE LEARNED: BC is the real deal. (What more do you want from me?)

--Texas A&M took a one-point win over Oklahoma State, also in overtime.
WHAT WE LEARNED: Parity sucks when you're trying to impress the pollsters.

--Michigan State pulls off the biggest rally in Division I-A history to beat Northwestern.
WHAT WE LEARNED: A game between two bad teams can be thrilling. And JLS will keep his job for another week.

The lowlight:

--Clemson just blistering Georgia Tech with a dominating performance, taking it to a great defense and making Reggie Ball forget his name and Calvin Johnson's jersey number.
WHAT WE LEARNED: The Tigers have a good, good running game.

Tomorrow:

--It's best to wait seven games to evaluate an SEC team. A look at South Carolina and where it goes from here.
--Who could be riding the coachosel at the end of the year?
--Fanlaws returns.

Friday, October 20, 2006

THE WORD -- Week 8

**NOTE: Because of space limits, the images in this post have been removed.**

And now it’s time for the weekly word -- a summary of the Saturday games and how they’ll turn out. Granted, this week isn’t exactly what you would call a marquee week.

I see two games that match up ranked teams (using C&F’s Top 25), and a couple of other interesting games. Otherwise, this would be the week to miss CFB, if you were so inclined to do. Why, I wouldn’t know, but if there a week you were going to miss, this would be it.

Indiana at No. 1 Ohio State, 12 p.m.
Ah, Indiana must be on top of the world after beating Iowa. But they had a huge advantage in that game.

The Hoosiers get hosed.

Ohio State 36, Indiana 7

No. 7 Texas at No. 21 Nebraska, 12 p.m.
Of course, the biggest reason for Texas’ success this year is Colt McCoy.

And Nebraska is decent this year. But decent won’t be good enough.

Texas 21, Nebraska 14

No. 8 Louisville at Syracuse, 12 p.m.
The Carrier Dome isn’t what it used to be. Not because of anything to do with home field advantage; it's just that there really is no such thing as home field advantage when you’re as bad as Syracuse has been in recent years.

Louisville rolls.

Louisville 42, Syracuse 0

No. 17 Wisconsin at Purdue, 12 p.m.
The Badgers are actually putting together a good year this year. Purdue is, well, Purdue is …

… working on it. More work is needed.

Wisconsin 35, Purdue 24

Ole Miss at No. 14 Arkansas, 12:30 p.m.
One of these days, Ed Orgeron will win a big game. One of these days, Ole Miss will win a big game.

This isn’t the day.

Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 14

Kansas State at No. 23 Missouri, 2 p.m.
Can we say rebound game?

Missouri got hit with their first loss last, and they’re not going to lose two in a row.

Missouri 36, Kansas State 6

Tulane at No. 4 Auburn, 2:30 p.m.
Pity Tulane. Last year, they got hit by the hurricane named Katrina. This week, they get hit by the hurricane named Auburn.

The Tigers need to win this game convincingly, along with many of their other remaining matches, to keep themselves in the pollsters’ minds.

Auburn 56, Tulane 3

UCLA at No. 9 Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m.
Charlie Weis reaffirmed today that he will stay at the Dome until he a) dies or b) is fired. This is the first team from L.A. that ND will face. One has a chance at winning.

But it isn’t UCLA.

Notre Dame 34, UCLA 13

Iowa at No. 2 Michigan, 3:30 p.m.
Over at Mzone, they have been engaged in this wicked practice known as history. Apparently, there were things that happened before most of us were born. We have our own history with Iowa: The most consistently underperforming program in recent memory not located in the ACC or Florida.

And, as their recent slide has shown, Iowa is not disappointing in the disappointment department.

Michigan 28, Iowa 13

Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee, 3:30 p.m.
The third Saturday in October is here, and that can only mean one thing.

The classic matchup between the Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers is here. Given the way Alabama has been playing lately, Mike Shula better be burning up that special phone Daddy gave him. Closer than you might think, but still a Tennessee (gag gag, cough cough) win.

Tennessee 21, Alabama 14

Washington at No. 12 California, 3:30 p.m.
To some extent, you have to feel sorry for Tyrone Willingham, always coming so close to tasting prominence but just falling short.

The Huskies are off to a strong start, but now they’re in trouble. This year’s Cal team is not the best team to play when you’re trying to catch your breath.

California 38, Washington 10

No. 24 Boston College at Florida State, 3:30 p.m.
This game will feature two teams that will be offensively hobbled: BC, because their QB will probably miss the game; Florida State, because Jeff Bowden will probably not miss the game.

It won’t be easy for Boston College to win in Tallahassee, but it’s all too easy for FSU to lose.

Boston College 17, Florida State 3

No. 18 Oregon at Washington State, 5 p.m.
Normally, a match between Ducks and Cougars would look bad for the Ducks. But this is Pac-10 football, so the Ducks look good.

Those thinking this is a possible Washington State upset? I’ll talk to you when I’m done laughing. In three days.

Oregon 38, Washington State 13

No. 20 Boise State at Idaho, 5:05 p.m.
This is one of those games where I look at it and go, “What, exactly, do I say?”

There’s really not a word for what Boise State’s going to do to Idaho. Not one I’d feel comfortable using here, anyway.

Boise State 62, Idaho 3

!UPSET SPECIAL! No. 19 Rutgers at Pittsburgh, 5:45 p.m.
This is one of the few intriguing games of the week. One reason is because the teams, offensively, are good at different aspects of the game. Ray Rice is just unbelievable running. Tyler Palko is one of the better QBs in the league. This game could be a nip and tuck.

But in the end, I just have a feeling that Pittsburgh will pull a close upset.

Pittsburgh 31, Rutgers 30

Colorado at No. 16 Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Oh, Dan Hawkins. Oh, Dan Hawkins. Oh, Dan Hawkins.

For Colorado, this has been the most disappointing season you could imagine. Oklahoma, meanwhile, is trying to put together a resurgence. They need this one.

Oklahoma 34, Colorado 10

No. 22 Texas A&M at Oklahoma State, 7:05 p.m.
Texas A&M has quietly put together a decent season. Granted, they’re in the Big XII in a year that has been very un-Big XII-like.

Move along, citizens. This game is less interesting than the prediction looks.

Texas A&M 24, Oklahoma State 13

No. 15 Georgia Tech at No. 11 Clemson, 7:45 p.m.
Wake up! A good game! The Jackets head to Dearth Valley to take on the Clemson Tiggers. (Misspellings intentional.) If Calvin Johnson were thrown to as he should be, he’d pick up a lot more yards.

Alas, he won’t be used properly, because this is Reggie Ball and Chan Gailey we’re talking about. Again, as nauseous as it makes me, my gut tells me this is Clemson’s game to win -- narrowly. I hope I’m wrong.

Clemson 21, Georgia Tech 17

Fresno State at No. 13 LSU, 9 p.m.
Ah, remember when Fresno State was the team that was upsetting BCS-league teams left and right? When they were in the Top 25? Remember?

This isn't an SEC game, so the LSU offense will act like an offense.

LSU 46, Fresno 0

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

MIDSEASON REPORT: Who's No. 2?

It is the hottest question in CFB right now: Who is the second-best team in the land?

One of the reasons this is such a heated debate is because of the wonderful compooters that make up part of the high-falutin' BCS. Inevitably, those of us who think CFB can be broken down into data points have helped screw up what, to most humans who actually watch the games, becomes fairly obvious.


One of the BCS' computer experts.

Now, there are really only five teams that -- at no losses apiece -- currently have any room at all to argue that they are the second-best team in the land. Except that one of them happens to be Rutgers, whose most impressive win is a victory against Illinois. Or is it North Carolina?


Schiano doesn't like my fixation on, you know, playing someone who can defend themselves.

Besides the Scarlet Knights -- who would be a nice story if they could make it to the NC game -- we have Michigan, Southern California, Louisville and West Virginia.

Obviously, my poll has Michigan at No. 2. But to spell it out, let's look at the numbers:

MICHIGAN (7-0): defeated Vanderbilt, 27-7; Central Michigan, 41-17; Notre Dame, 47-21; Wisconsin, 27-13; Minnesota, 28-14; Michigan State, 31-13; Penn State, 17-10.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (6-0): defeated Arkansas, 50-14; Nebraska, 28-10; Arizona, 20-3; Washington State, 28-22; Washington, 26-20; Arizona State, 28-21.

WEST VIRGINIA (6-0): defeated Marshall, 42-10; Eastern Washington, 52-3; Maryland, 45-24; East Carolina, 27-10; Mississippi State, 42-14; Syracuse, 41-17.

LOUISVILLE (6-0): defeated Kentucky, 59-28; Temple, 62-0; Miami, 31-7; Kansas State, 24-6; Middle Tennessee State, 44-17; Cincinnati, 23-17.

Looking at Michigan, let's keep in mind (in fairness) that Vandy played them close. But Vandy plays everyone close before remembering that they are Vanderbilt and therefore are entitled to only one major upset per year. (Sorry, Georgia. No I'm not.)

The Notre Dame win was, is and will be impressive unless the Irish implode in Willinghamian fashion. Wisconsin is far more impressive than it looked at the time; Minnesota and Michigan State, less so. Penn State is at the periphary of being Top 25, as far as I'm concerned, and Happy Valley is always rough.

In Southern Cal's case, we have the Arkansas myth. Yes, they slapped 50 on the Hogs. But that was pre-Mustain. So, essentially, SC's getting credit for "I beat his butt before he bought a gun." The Nebraska win is pretty impressive, but it doesn't offset beating Notre Dame and Wisconsin. Beyond that, they have four too-close-to-call games against middling Pac-10 competition. Maybe they will win out, though I doubt it. Even so, the wins aren't as impressive as Michigan.

With the possible exception of the three-TD beat-down of Maryland -- and, really, wasn't that gratuitous -- there's really nothing impressive about what West Virginia has done.

As for Louisville, it's hard to tell. One week, beating Kentucky by that much looks impressive. The next, it looks like nothing special. The narrow win against Cincy always looks underwhelming. And the margin against Miami would look much better if this were bar-room brawling instead of football.


Beat Miami like this, and I'll be impressed.

So, for now, I'll leave Michigan at No. 2 until someone gives me a reason not to. Or, like every other No. 2 team so far this year, they manage to screw it up somehow.

MISSING: SIDNEY RICE

Authorities said today they are investigating a missing-persons case to find South Carolina WR Sidney Rice, hardly seen in the Gamecocks' contests so far this year.

Rice is said to be 6-foot-4, fast and very elusive, sometimes able to escape two or even three people within close proximity.

He was last seen Sept. 23 in the vicinity of Williams-Brice Stadium.


Have you seen this man?

Police say cornerbacks and safeties should not attempt to apprehend him.

Anyone with information on Rice's whereabouts is asked to contact USC Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier at the South Carolina athletics department.

Monday, October 16, 2006

THE RANKS: Who knows?


Can I drop Georgia into the un-unranked? Is there another circle of unrankedness for a team that loses to Vandy at home for homecoming?

Guess not. There's enough knocking around going on. I'm not at the rip-up-the-poll-and-start-all-over-again stage. But I'm close.

The ranks:

1 (Last week: 1) Ohio State: def. Michigan State, 38-7. An impressive enough win to keep them rolling along at No. 1, despite the temptation to shake the whole poll up like a silicon Etch-a-Sketch. Now it gets painful, the pride and the ego wounded by some bad calls.

2 (3) Michigan: def. Penn State, 17-10. Get ready for a knock-down, drag-out, full-blown slobberknocker to wrap up the Big Ten season. Imagine it: 11-0 Ohio State. 11-0 Michigan. Everyone's projecting it, so it probably won't happen. But it would be a great, great football game. And probably pre-empted in Atlanta by Georgia Tech's monumental showdown with Duke.

3 (4) Southern California: def. Arizona State, 28-21. Man, I hate doing this. I really hesitate to say that Southern Cal deserves this spot on the poll. But they're still undefeated. I like Auburn, and I agree with Tommy to a point. But you have to get bonus points for being without a loss. This will, I think, straighten itself out in the end.
4-T (5) West Virginia: def. Syracuse 41-17. They haven't really screwed up. But what have they done? What have they proven? Nothing until they play Louisville and Rutgers. So they find themselves in a tie with ...
4-T (10) Auburn: def. Florida, 27-17. Impressive, gutsy win over the Gators. But the loss against Arkansas still lingers. So I can't move them over West Virginia. And this will also straighten itself out.

6 (7) Tennessee: IDLE.
7 (8) Texas: def. Baylor, 63-31. The 'Horns staked the Bears a 10-point. Then they blasted the hapless boys in green.
8 (6) Louisville: def. Cincinnati, 23-17. Brohm appeared Rusty. And the Miami win no longer looks impressive. So they slip.
9 (9) Notre Dame: IDLE.
10 (2) Florida: lost to Auburn, 27-17. Is it time to introduce the FULL CIRCLE curse?


Victim of the dreaded Cowherd-Skycam duo.

11 (11) Clemson: def. Temple, 63-9. Sort of-kind of remove doubt that they're an elite program. But there's too much talent above them to move them up.
12 (13) California: def. Washington State, 21-3. Which proves ... what, exactly?
13 (14) LSU: def. Kentucky, 49-0. Nice rebound from the loss to Florida and Iowa's free fall moves the Bayou Bengals up a slot.
14 (15) Arkansas: def. Southeast Missouri State, 63-7. Division I-AA, directional name, and a "State" to boot. Again, this tells us nothing.
15 (16) Georgia Tech: IDLE.
16 (17) Oklahoma: def. Iowa State, 34-9. Doing what they need to do. So they don't move.
17 (NR) Wisconsin: def. Minnesota, 48-12. I was wrong earlier this season. Minnesota is bad bad bad. But Wisconsin torched them and, with the other wins they've had, deserve the bump.
18 (18) Oregon: def. UCLA, 30-20. Just edging Rutgers here, because I can't bring myself to say the Scarlet Knights would beat the Ducks. But I'm close.
19 (20) Rutgers: def. Navy, 34-0. We could have some real barnburners to close out the Big East this season.
20 (22) Boise State, def. New Mexico State, 40-28. Gave up a lot of yards, but managed to get the win in a week when a lot of other teams couldn't.
21 (23) Nebraska: def. Kansas State, 21-3. Not very impressive to beat K-State. But it's a win, and a solid one.
22 (NR) Texas A&M: def. Missouri, 25-19. How much of that was Texas A&M is good and how much was Missouri is bad? We'll find out.
23 (21) Missouri: lost to Texas A&M, 25-19. Again, trying to sort things out.
24 (NR) Boston College: def. Virginia Tech, 22-3. Don't look for the ACC turmoil to end any time soon.
25 (NR) Wake Forest: def. N.C. State, 25-23. Tread carefully with any team like Wake Forest. Move them up too fast, and they can bite you.

DROPPING OUT: Iowa's loss to Indiana was too much...Boston College is a mystery, but Virginia Tech shouldn't have gotten beat like that...Penn State is gone...Washington couldn't hang on...

ON THE BUBBLE: Pittsburgh has a big game coming up against Rutgers...Iowa can still win their way back on...

FOOTBRAWL: BREAKING DOWN THE FALLOUT

A wrap-up of some further bits on the Miami-FIU brawl and the fallout. Starting with tougher punishment of a secondary player from Miami:

Sophomore safety Anthony Reddick was suspended indefinitely following further consultation Monday with the Atlantic Coast Conference, the school said.
Reddick charged across the field, helmet raised over his head, and slammed it into an opposing player during the melee.
Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers took a much harsher stance -- dismissing two players, Chris Smith and Marshall McDuffie Jr., and extending the suspensions of all other 16 sanctioned players indefinitely. ...
One-game suspensions for Reddick and 12 Miami teammates were announced Sunday. Other disciplinary measures for the players may include community service and other unspecified actions, the school said in a statement. ...

First of all, any player who participated in stomping or hitting another player with a helmet should be gone. Gone. Permanently. No suspension, no "indefinite," nothing but gone from college football. At all levels. Their career in the college game should be over.

The ACC and Miami (4-2) suspended Reddick, Carlos Armour, Chris Barney, James Bryant, Tyrone Byrd, DajLeon Farr, Ryan Hill, Bruce Johnson, Charlie Jones, Brandon Meriweather, Brian Monroe, Derrick Morse and Randy Phillips.
All will miss Saturday's game at winless Duke.
"These suspensions send a clear and definitive message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Swofford said.

Normally, you would say, "Big deal, they're missing the game against Duke." But this year, that could actually hurt Miami. Imagine: The U beat by Duke. That would be poetic justice.

In addition to McDuffie and Chris Smith, the Sun Belt Conference and FIU (0-7) suspended Michael Alls, Scott Bryant, Roland Clark, Michael Dominquez, John Ellis, Cory Fleming, Reginald Jones, Robert Mitchell, Quintin Newman, Luis Pena, Jarvis Penerton, Julian Reams, Lionell Singleton, Samuel Smith, Mannie Wellington and Chandler Williams.
They'll miss FIU's next game Oct. 28 at Alabama. ...

Which has now gone from "horrific slaughter" to "unspeakable apocalypse." Actually, given how Bama has played this year, it might have gone from "toss-up" to "leaning Crimson Tide."

The NCAA, in a statement released Monday, called the fight "wholly unacceptable."
"It is hoped that the actions taken by Miami, FIU and the conferences will send a message that such behavior is not tolerated," the NCAA statement said.

And here we have college football in a nutshell. The ACC, the Sun Belt and the two schools suspend and dismiss players. The NCAA ... issues a statement.

Several players from both sides appeared to throw punches. Meriweather was seen attempting to stomp on FIU players, while an injured Golden Panther swung a crutch menacingly at several Miami players.

I'm sorry; I find this amusing. It almost sounds like something out of a nursing home fight: "Come here, you whipper-snapper, and let me show you what for!" Meanwhile, Meriweather -- you are one of the ones I'm talking about being gone.

It's the latest in a disturbing series of incidents for Miami in recent months.
• Several Miami players fought with LSU players following the Tigers' 40-3 Peach Bowl win.
• Shortly before the Miami-Louisville game Sept. 16, virtually the entire Hurricanes' roster jumped on the Cardinals logo at midfield, an act widely viewed as a taunting gesture. Afterward, some Miami players chided teammates for that incident.
• A Miami player, Willie Cooper, was shot outside his home shortly before training camp began in what players contend was a robbery attempt. Meriweather returned fire; police said he acted legally.
• Wide receiver Ryan Moore, who was suspended for the Peach Bowl for violating team rules, then suspended again for other infractions, is expected to be charged this week with misdemeanors stemming from an August fight with a woman. He hasn't played this season.
And now, perhaps, comes the worst blow.
Still, Miami coach Larry Coker -- who has been under fire all season and whose job security seems to be a constant source of speculation -- bristled when asked if he has control of his team.
"I do have a grip on this program," Coker said. "Don't ever doubt that. Don't ever doubt that."

Um, Larry, when one of your players gets shot and another returns fire, you've got control problems. When a player is packing heat, the line has officially been crossed. And, control or not, there's no doubt you'll be gone at the end of the season.

Maybe the honorable thing to do would be to resign now.

Or maybe it's not honorable. Maybe it's all that's left.

LAMAR THOMAS: UNAPPRECIATED GENIUS


During the CSS broadcast of the Miami-FIU brawl, analyst and former Hurricane Lamar Thomas showed why the U is the pride of South Florida. Posted here because the channel has already made clear their intention to clean up Thomas' on-air, ahem, brilliance:

"Now, that's what I'm talking about," Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing. ...
"I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby," Thomas said. "We've had a down couple years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."

That is what you call a special kind of stupid. In fact, it takes a certain degree of genius to credibly pull off that much stupidity.

Remember: Don't come into the OB talking smack. Or a middle-aged football has-been might have to climb in the elevator so he can come and kick your butt.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

LIVEBLOGGING THE BCS STANDINGS -- WEEK ONE

4:41 p.m. Several shortcomings, as far as I see, but it's still too early to game out the BCS meltdown scenarios. Unless an undefeated West Virginia gets snubbed for a one-loss Auburn. It might or might not be justified, but all hades will break lose. More later. END LIVEBLOGGING.

4:39 p.m. Apparently, the BCS thinks West Virginia can beat Florida. Interesting. I also just noticed the BCS trophy in the middle of the set and realized that's as close as Barry Alvarez has every been to the NC trophy.

4:38 p.m. It's tough to see how all teams are going to have a loss at the end of the season. BTW, way to be bold choosing Ohio State and USC, Terry.

4:37 p.m. Pitt is a tough team? So says Barry Alvarez.

4:35 p.m. Auburn is No. 4? That's kind of a surprise. Maybe the Tigers aren't delusional to talk about a shot at the NC game...

4:34 p.m. USC No. 2, Michigan No. 3. No news. BCS is stupid. No news.

4:33 p.m. Barry Alvarez is their college analyst? There's no bias there. "Is Wisconsin underrated, atheltic director of Wisconsin?" "Absolutely."

4:29 p.m. As the Fox team prattles, a warning that I'm only going to spend a little time griping on here when Southern Cal is announced as the "No. 2 team in the nation" because I'm going to post a more detailed critique later.

4:25 p.m. Ah, another excuse for Fox to run their bizarre BCS commercial, as if the championship game -- in Arizona, no less -- is heaven, and college teams are a group of warring religious groups. Who knew that the road to the Music City Bowl is paved with good intentions?

4:23 p.m. Trying something new -- live blogging the BCS standings as they are unveiled during the Fox NFL post-game show. Not sure why the NFL guys are doing BCS standings; they're a little bit out of their league if you ask me. But it is what it is.

ADRIAN PETERSON HAD A BAD DAY

Imagine this: You are one of the premiere players in college football. No, maybe not THE GREATEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER EVERER, as ESPN wants to call you, but probably the best in the Big 12 and undoubtedly one of the best in the nation.

Your father, newly freed from prison, is in the stadium to see you play for the first time in years.

You run for 183 yards.

And after a 53-yard dash for a touchdown, you leap in the end zone.

And break your collarbone.

Larry Coker knows nothing about "bad days."


He had a bad day.

Now, Adrian Peterson faces a tough decision: Stay in college for another year, once again pursuing the Heisman and continuing to try to help return Oklahoma to glory? Or go to the NFL and get the kind of money that can help your family -- and the father who just got to see you play?

Normally, I would say (as I say in most cases) STAY IN COLLEGE. You have more to fall back on if the NFL doesn't work out.

But with Peterson, I don't know. He could make a ton of money in the NFL. I think the Sooners are still aways away from being the team they once were. And Peterson could suffer an injury that would end his chances of going to the NFL, instead of one that won't hurt his running ability but still keep him out.

It's a tough call. It's a shame he has to make it.

LARRY COKER HAS A BAD DAY

Wow ... that didn't take long.


CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami coach Larry Coker said Sunday that at least eight Hurricane players will be suspended for their role in a sideline-clearing brawl against Florida International. ...
Coker said the five players ejected in the fight -- offensive linemen Derrick Morse and Chris Barney, running back Charlie Jones, and cornerbacks Carlos Armour and Bruce Johnson -- would be suspended.
Coker also suspended safeties Anthony Reddick and Brandon Meriweather and fullback James Bryant.
The lengths of the suspensions have not been determined.
"I don't have many bad days," Coker said Sunday. "This is a bad day."


"I don't have many bad days." Does Larry Coker watch the Hurricanes when they're playing? He's had three or four bad days in the last seven weeks.


Miami 14, Houston 13 is a bad day. This is a terrible one.

Does this mean that Coker has given up on returning and Miami will mail it in for this season? No. That's already happened.

On a serious note, the NCAA needs to decide what to do about situations like this. It happened in 2004 with South Carolina v. Clemson. Now, less than two years later, it happens again. With the growing "toughness beyond all bounds" culture growing in sports, there needs to be a set approach to these fights instead of the case-by-case, school-by-school hodgepodge we have now. This gets to the heart of the college game just as much as boosters stuffing cash into the pockets of a star QB -- and a brawl can be far more dangerous.