We welcome back a feature that first showed up here over the summer and was found over the weekend while looking around in my mental attic for ideas to fill up this space now that I can no longer spend 2100 words recapping seven football games. And like anything new I introduce here, it has a 2% chance of returning, so this is like seeing a black person in Iowa (according to the latest census).
Mark Ingram losing the Heisman Trophy race.
Ingram was able to hold off Colt McCoy, Toby Gerhart, Ndamukong Suh and Tim Tebow to become the first player from the University of Alabama to win the trophy. And if you missed his speech, I strongly recommend watching it. A rare, unscripted moment in sports filled with some genuine emotion.
For as much hype as he got in the last week, Suh ended up finishing a distant fourth. It seemed like every column I read and every talking head I heard in the last six days said Suh was getting their vote. I supposed it's my fault for not checking to see that most of these people did not actually have a Heisman vote, which would explain the lack of votes for Suh. I saw Suh play twice this year (Missouri and Texas), and while very good, I find it hard to believe he could be considered the best player in college football. Best defensive player, yes, but one game doesn't make a season. Unless that game is the Ohio State/Michigan game because we all know that is the most important game that can ever be played.
Lane Kiffin being humble about yet another alleged recruiting violation.
Kiffin, with a face oozing smugness, said that he considers the investigation of Tennessee's recruiting practices a compliment to he and his staff's recruiting ability. And he kept a straight face both as he said it and after. The latest recruiting debacle for Tennessee involves a trip to a high school in Florida in which Kiffin took a recruiting intern to the intern's high school (where he is not allowed to recruit), which just happened to be home to players (or maybe just one) the Vols are recruiting.
And then there's also this, from the New York Times:
""Also on Friday, Keith Easterwood, a veteran summer basketball coach, said that on a visit (to Tennessee) last year with his son, a football recruit, he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against both him and his son.
He recalled saying, “Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem.”
Easterwood said that he took a group of basketball players to a Western Kentucky football game at Tennessee this year, and that the presence of the hostesses had his players “literally reduced to blubbering idiots.”
“I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,” Easterwood said. “My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.”"
So, no, Captain Dipshit, the rest of the SEC is not envious of the NCAA setting up a satellite office in Knoxville. Enjoy having those guys crawling all over you from now until 2010 when you're eventually fired. And everyone else already knows the non-stupid ways to cheat. Keep it under the table, the bills unmarked and in plain white envelopes and the vehicles registered to a church or an uncle.
Another assistant leaving Tennessee.
No one bailed out this weekend because they momentarily forgot what it was like in the office. On Monday morning they'll be reminded, and I look for a departure as soon as Thursday.
Ole Miss being at the center of some sort of controversy.
It's amazing the all the crap that happens during a football season. A team stumbling early, making a strong comeback and eventually collapsing in the end. Throw in all the off-the-field drama, and it's a physically and emotionally draining three and half months. In a way, I'm glad football season, or at least the home portion of the season, is over. Now I don't have to hear anything about dumbasses yelling, "The South will rise again" and the KKK protesting before the biggest home game of the year.
I'm in the process of shutting down the engines and recharging the batteries before throwing myself into the 2009-2010 Ole Miss basketball season, which promises to be another ride full of painful and infuriating inconsistencies that forever plague the University of Mississippi athletic teams.
The U disappointing.
If you didn't see ESPN's latest "30 for 30" film (I enjoy the pretentious nature of that word), The U, I demand that you watch it. It was as outstanding as I thought it would be, possibly even more. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen it, but here's a brief rundown of some of the things you'll see:
-A sweaty, probably drunk Bernie Kosar singing the praises of Miami.
-A goblin-like kicker who somehow got close to two minutes of camera time in between shifts of guarding whatever bridge he was supposed to be watching.
-You discover how smart Howard Schnellenberger really was.
-Luther Campbell, who I'm pretty sure is still banned from performing in Oxford.
-Michael Irvin wearing a t-shirt that read "The Playmaker" while discussing the greatness of the Hurricanes (Yes, I know that is his nickname, but the self-promotion in a documentary about the Miami Hurricanes just killed me. Well done, sir.).
And one last story that didn't make the movie. While listening to Bill Simmons' podcast with Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald (he's also in the movie) and their discussion of The U, Le Batard said that Tommy Tuberville (a former Miami assistant) told a story about going to Baton Rouge to play LSU in 1988. If you've never been to a game in Tiger Stadium, LSU parks, or at least once did, the cage with Mike the Tiger (a real, living and breathing tiger) inside it right next to the tunnel where the visiting team comes onto the field. Tuberville said some of the Miami players, who were out of their damn minds, high on their own sense of superiority and badassery, actually stuck their hands and arms in the cage saying, "Here, kitty, kitty." Then they went out and won the game 44-3.