Clemson’s Kyle Parker Nearing 20 Home Run-20 Touchdown Pass Year

This is truly one of the coolest stories I’ve heard about recently. Listening to Clemson fan David Stein’s show on Sporting News Radio Sunday evening, I learned that Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker is also a baseball player. There have been plenty of football-baseball crossover athletes in the past but not many are as accomplished as Parker in both sports. Parker enrolled at Clemson in January of 2008 to get a head start on the football season. That also meant that Parker played for Clemson’s baseball team in the same Spring he was supposed to be a high school senior. He still dominated competition by clubbing 14 home runs and 50 RBIs. Parker later red-shirted during the fall of 2008 for the football team.

In 2009, Parker had a slight dropoff from his freshman year stats in baseball as he hit 12 home runs and drove in 52 runs with his OPS falling from .959 to .794. Later that fall (this past college football season), Parker became the starting quarterback for the Clemson football team. Parker led the Tigers to a 9-5 season in which he threw for 2,526 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He was named the first-team freshman All-ACC quarterback by Sporting News.

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Seven Automatic BCS Bids Could Make Things Worse

It looks as if the Mountain West Conference will become the seventh conference to receive an automatic BCS bid two years from now.  Amidst a four-year evaluation process that began in 2008 and 2009, the MWC is the leading candidate to receive the seventh spot due in large part to Utah qualifying for a BCS game in 2008 and TCU following suit last season.  Like almost everything that has to do with BCS rankings, it remains unknown what exactly all of the criteria are that the Mountain West Conference needs to fulfill over the next two years in order to secure the bid.

While I agree with the notion that some teams in the MWC have been very, very good over the last couple years, (Utah and TCU were undefeated in 2008 and 2009, respectively) the rest of the conference is weak.  Utah, TCU, and BYU will probably be competitive year after year, but beyond that teams like Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado State and San Diego State make the MWC one of the more top-heavy conferences in the country.  I’ll admit if there has to be a seventh team added that will receive an automatic bid, the MWC is probably as good an option as any conference, but is it really necessary to create a situation in which seven out of ten BCS bids are automatic?

It’s no secret that the computer system that is the BCS standings is flawed.  In fact, that’s one of the furthest things from a secret in all of sports.  Leaving only three spots open for all of the other teams in college football to grab in order to gain a BCS berth is asking for trouble.  Some of the conferences (Big East) have a hard enough time fielding a team that’s worthy of their BCS bid some years.  Yes, Utah beat perennial powerhouse Alabama in 2008 to finish the season ranked No. 2 in the country, but don’t expect teams from the MWC to be that stellar every year.  The way the automatic bids are designed now, with six conferences receiving a bid and the other four spots up for grabs, leaves a good amount of flexibility for “Cinderella” stories and teams from small conferences to climb to the top.  The NCAA should leave it that way.

Two years into evaluation, MWC in good spot [ESPN College FB Nation Blog]

Alabama Football Fans Are Slipping

Three years ago in Nick Saban’s first season as head coach at Alabama, 92,000 fans showed up at Bryant-Denny for the annual Spring Game known as A-Day. I took a lot of heat from Tide fans after criticizing them for packing the house for a meaningless intrasquad scrimmage. They must have taken my words to heart because attendance slipped to 78,000 for the ’08 Spring Game. Well now that they’ve been to back-to-back title games and won a national championship, attendance for the Spring Game is back up. I’m just disappointed that Alabama couldn’t pack the house this year.

An announced crowd of 91,312 people were on hand to witness the Bama scrimmage. That’s impressive and all, but I think the biggest question here has to be what happened to the other 800 fans? Three years ago they had to turn fans away from the gate. Now they’re winning national championships and not even filling the house to capacity. Have Bama fans gone soft? Are they just taking their success for granted? Come on, Tide fans, I expect better from you.

Official attendance for Alabama’s A-Day: 91,312 [Mobile Press-Register]
Photo Credit: Katie Johnson on twitter

Tim Tebow Understood Deonte Thompson’s ‘Real Quarterback’ Comment

A major stir was started in the college football world this week when a quote from Florida receiver Deonte Thompson made its way around the blogosphere and Florida coach Urban Meyer subsequently attacked the writer who reported it. Thompson was comparing the styles of new starting quarterback John Brantley with his predecessor, Tim Tebow. Though Thompson referred to Tebow as a legend, he described the obvious differences between the two — Tebow was a spread-option quarterback while Brantley’s a traditional pocket passer. Thompson was pleased that his stats were going to pick up and that he would have more of a role in the offense because of the new quarterback. The Palm Beach Post happened to catch up with Tim Tebow at a Boy Scout function and asked him for his response:

“I think (Thompson) was just saying how it is. (I) might be scrambling for a while, and throw it up to you. Brantley’s more of a guy who throws on timing. You know when it’s going to come there or it’s not going to come there. It’s how me and Brantley are. Just stating facts, I think.”

Exactly. Tebow gets it, I get it, most competent people should get it, why doesn’t Urban? Thompson was speaking the truth about the differences between Tebow and Brantley. The dude was viewed as a disappointment because his stats were lacking because of the type of offense they ran. Of course he’s excited to have a traditional quarterback than a running quarterback. Some reporters may have left the “real quarterback” aspect of Thompson’s quote out but Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel didn’t. Why should he have? And why did Urban Meyer attack him? Because most other reporters have been intimidated into protecting the athletes or chose not to hang Thompson out to dry which is how Urban wanted it.

No doubt that Meyer absolutely crossed the line but the question is why. In my opinion, the entire debate centers on one issue: people are eager to bash and find fault with Tim Tebow and will jump at any opportunity. Some do it by making fun of his low Wonderlic scores. Others, myself included, reproduce a Wonderlic prayer story that my have been false. What this entire issue boils down to is that Urban Meyer is very protective of Tim Tebow and doesn’t want anyone speaking about him negatively, even if their comments are true. Meyer took his anger out in the wrong way and on the wrong person. He should have known better.

Commentary: Despite negativity in the air, Tim Tebow always plays the good scout [Palm Beach Post]

Lane Kiffin Could Win Vote for ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by Esquire Magazine

The humorous college football site Every Day Should be Saturday had one of the best finds of the year. As Spencer Hall pointed out, somehow Lane Kiffin made it into the bracket as a 16 seed in Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive tournament. The four regions are broken down as follows: music and fashion, television, sports, and movies. Kiffin is going heads up with female golfer Natalie Gulbis in the first round. By the looks of things, Kiffin will become the first 16-seed to knock off a one seed ever in March!

Kiffin nearly tripled Gulbis’ vote count when the total vote was around 10,000 so his victory seems imminent. Although no true reason is given for Kiffin’s inclusion in this tournament full of females, Esquire produces the following line if you vote for Lane: “Such a pretty girl. Sure raises a ruckus.” I’m pretty sure that no reason really needs to be given for Lane’s inclusion. I’m also guessing a UT grad works for Esquire. Anyway, here’s to Lane Kiffin, the Sexiest Woman Alive.

Vote for the Sexiest Woman Alive! [Esquire]

Mike Leach Wanted His God Squaders Using Their Entire Brains

Have you ever wondered what goes on during those infamous pregame, halftime, and postgame speeches? And no, I’m not talking about players’ dongs being shown on national TV, but the speeches the coaches make. Well thanks to the efforts of Orangebloods who used the Texas Open Records Act, we now have been blessed to see video of postgame speeches made by former Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach.

The first video comes after Texas Tech’s 42-21 win over Kansas this past season. In the video, Leach calls out some of his religious players for not playing hard enough, referring to them as “god squadders.” The second video comes after Texas Tech’s 20-13 win over Baylor. Leach goes into a six-minute long rant with tons of cussing. He makes several valid points and lashes out against his players for feeling entitled to success. These videos will likely be used by Texas Tech in defense for their pending court case involving Leach’s firing from the school. These videos don’t mean much to me because its commonly known that coaches cuss and use extreme measures to fire up their players. This also doesn’t change my belief that Adam James was lazy and felt entitled. Anyway, here are the videos, and beware of all the cussing:

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Chip Kelly on Arrests: We’re Embarrassed

Oregon coach Chip Kelly took the stage on ESPN’s Outside the Lines Tuesday to face the firing squad. Reporter Bob Ley offered Kelly the opportunity to discuss the state of his program and pressed Chip with difficult questions. When forced to answer for Oregon’s disruptive offseason that includes several arrests, Kelly defended the way he’s handled things:

“If people want to pile on me, if people want to hit me, fire away. But I love my players, I’m going to stick by my players. But if they do something wrong, they understand that they will have to pay a price for doing something wrong. Our job will continue to be to educate them every single day about the right things to do and the wrong things to do.

I’m embarrassed. Our football team is embarrassed. We represent an outstanding university and that’s not how we do things and that has to stop.”

Kelly also said that the off-field activities have tarnished the accomplishment of reaching the Rose Bowl which is pretty accurate now that the program has become a punchline. The main question is whether the multitude of arrests and issues indicates a lack of control of the program by Kelly. The other question is if Kelly is properly disciplining his players.

At this point I’d be inclined to say that Kelly does have control over the program but either he or former coach Mike Bellotti recruited some poor character guys who are making them look bad. And as far as disciplining the guys I think Chip is taking the proper approach in viewing things on a case-by-case basis. The only difference is I would take a harsher stance towards my player based on the crime they’re accused of — theft is less severe than domestic violence and strangulation so I would suspend accordingly. If this sort of activity persists then the university needs to put its foot down regarding the type of player the school is recruiting. If things turn around then the issues can be attributed to a really bad and embarrassing offseason. Bottom line is Kelly needs to send the message that this sort of behavior won’t be tolerated and that’s accomplished by kicking players off the team and suspending. He’s already done both.