Pete Carroll Must Have a Short Memory

jake-lockerIt’s fun to watch Pete Carroll and see the head games that he employs. Remember when he got pissed that Mark Sanchez declared for the pros early and he said Sanchez wasn’t ready? Not only does he look bad for that especially now that Sanchez looks really good, but he also realized how wrong he was and he started backtracking. He then explained his behavior saying he was “testing” Sanchez. I’m not sure who bought that because it was Carroll clearly trying to cover his tracks. Well Carroll used a similar tactic this week after suffering the upset loss to Washington (now you know why he was so pissed Sanchez was leaving). He tried to diminish the achievement by Washington by pumping them (specifically Jake Locker) up:

“I’m not saying [Locker] played the greatest game ever against us,” Carroll said chuckling. “I think the guy from Texas did. But I just think he’s one of the really, really fine complete athletes. I don’t know why I’m blowing him up all the time, but I just really like the guy.”

“I think this guy is the best quarterback we’ve played against,” Carroll said. “I thought Vince played the best game I’ve ever seen anybody ever play.”

Well to answer what Carroll’s thinking, here’s the logic: pump up Locker and Washington and then the loss no longer seems as bad. His goal is to get everyone to repeat his logic. Now don’t get me wrong here — Locker is a fine quarterback who is a huge part of Washington’s success, but to call him the best guy they’ve played against? Aside from the talented Kellen Clemens and Dennis Dixons they’ve faced, Aaron Rodgers to me would easily be the best quarterback they’ve played against. From what I remember, Rodgers led Cal to an upset win over USC and the next year took them down to the wire at the Coliseum, completing 20-something straight passes in the game. Like I said, he must have a short memory.

Why Is South Carolina Beating Ole Miss Considered an Upset?

Mississippi SCarolina FootballIf you watched highlight shows or read about the Ole Miss/South Carolina game from Thursday night, you heard many people term the outcome “an upset.” If you go by the poll rankings it was an upset, but if you actually use common sense, you’ll see that this was just a predictable outcome. What we had on Thursday was a couple of average SEC teams squaring off. What’s generally the difference in those games? Home field and usually nothing more than a touchdown or field goal. So when Ole Miss goes to South Carolina and loses by six points, why on Earth would that be considered an upset? It shouldn’t be other than the jacked up poll system.

In reality, the polls shouldn’t be determined until after a month of the season. After about four games people should be able to judge teams much better than they would prior to the season. What really goes into determining preseason polls anyway? How a team finished the previous year and tradition of the program? That doesn’t seem to be a logical way to determine how strong a team is in the current season. Even the Ole Miss players were relieved not to have such a high ranking anymore because they knew it hadn’t been earned.

Answer me this, why aren’t Auburn, Iowa, or UCLA in the so-called Top 25? Because they were not expected to do well prior to the year? It’s total b.s. and it sucks that preseason expectations impact rankings once the year actually begins. And the way Ole Miss’ offense looked last night, it will be surprising if they don’t lose four games this year.

You Buying Lane Kiffin’s Post-Florida Loss Spin?

89184623SG016_TENNESSEE_V_FLane Kiffin pissed plenty of people off with his comments upon taking the Tennessee coaching job. His “we’re going to sing Rocky Top” all night long after beating Florida certainly charged up the fans and it no doubt pissed Florida off. But as pumped as Florida had to be for the game, they really never unleashed the hounds against the Vols who played good defense and kept the game close, winning 23-13. When asked about his comments from months ago, Lane said it was all part of a master plan:

“It worked perfectly,” Kiffin said. “It took all the pressure off the players. We played the No. 1 team in the nation with no pressure on them. … It was all on me. We were 30-point underdogs in this place and it really helped them go out and play ball.”

So do you really buy Lane’s comments or is that the best way he can spin a loss his team that’s now a disappointing 1-2? While I do believe it’s all spin, I really think there is some merit to his comments. Since he’s made himself the face of the program and the target of opponents, the pressure is taken off the players. It’s the same way with Ozzie Guillen and all his crazy remarks — it takes the heat off the players. Here’s the deal though: Tennessee had strong defense and a good running game, but they’re just not getting enough from their quarterback to win. It’s actually pretty similar to Lane’s days with the Raiders — he should be used to it!

Sergio Kindle Decapitates Taylor Potts on Sack, Causes Fumble

Here I was thinking that the hit Tennessee delivered on UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince last weekend that broke his jaw was a tough hit. I may have to reconsider things. Texas defensive end Sergio Kindle is highly rated and a top pro prospect. After seeing the sack he got on Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts, it’s easy to see why. Let’s go to the videotape:

It’s incredible that Potts walked away from that hit like it was nothing. Maybe he was just acting tough for the moment but really felt woozy as soon as he got to the sidelines. His reaction really didn’t matter because the fumble set up a Colt McCoy touchdown pass that put the game out of reach for Texas. Potts was still pretty effective throwing for 417 yards and 3 touchdowns proving once again that it’s more about Mike Leach’s system than the guy throwing the ball.

Jahvid Best Solidifies Heisman Campaign with 5 Touchdowns, Airborne Score

The difference between Cal and USC is that a school like Cal goes out and loses to an Oregon the week after getting lots of attention and praise. I have a feeling that’s what will happen now that I and many others are giving Jahvid Best love for the win over Minnesota. Best scored every touchdown for Cal in their 35-21 win over Minnesota on Saturday. Best score three times in the first half including runs of 34, 2, and 27 yards, and then he punched in two short runs to help solidify the win in the 4th quarter. The first TD may have been the most impressive and it will be the one played on all the highlight shows. Check out video of Jahvid Best’s airborne touchdown against Minnesota:

Two elements really came together to make that play work so well. The first is the way they ran the fake end-around (that even tripped up the camera guy), making the defense freeze. The second is Best’s speed that allowed him to beat everyone to the sideline and then to the corner of the end zone. Gotta love the way he punctuated the touchdown with the airborne leap into pay dirt. That reminded me a lot of Knowshon Moreno’s run for Georgia last year against Arizona State. All the talk before the season was about the three quarterbacks and which one of them would get the Heisman — Bradford, Tebow, or McCoy. Best was widely considered a darkhorse candidate but now he must be thought of as one of the frontrunners. It was also hard to watch in the 4th quarter and not think Tedford was doing his best to pad Best’s stats. It sure worked.

Even Colorado’s Professors are Bagging on the Buffaloes Football Program

Ralphie_buffaloAfter a second disappointing loss to start the season for Colorado last week, we wrote a fictitious, humorous post suggesting Colorado didn’t allow their coach on the team plane back to Boulder. While that was just a sarcastic post, the notion was representative of the attitude around Boulder regarding the football program. If you don’t believe me, just check out the way a geology professor picked on a student of his who also is a football player.

Buffs football player Marcus Burton said his geology professor told the class: “You people may think this class is boring. We’re just talking about rocks. But it’s no more boring than both the CU games. Marcus, you’re a captain. Can you tell us about that?”

That’s so ridiculously inappropriate I can’t even begin to say how wrong it is. First off, academics and sports are supposed to be separate. You telling me this guy isn’t the type of person who would be willing to give the players good grades to keep them eligible if he’s making comments like that? Luckily the head of the geology department thinks the same way because he really took the professor to task saying, “The hope is that after such, both faculty and student can get back to the business of education, which, I hope most would agree, is the only business with which my department should be concerned.” Damn straight. You have to figure that Hawkins is done for good if they can’t beat Wyoming Saturday.

via Dr. Saturday

Boise State’s Winston Venable Channels Waterboy with Must-See Sack

Winston Venable was already having a big game Friday night when he broke out with an unbelievable, highlight reel, must-see hit. Honestly, I’ve never seen something like this outside of the movies, and really I just mean Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. Check out this incredible hit produced by Venable in the 4th quarter on the Fresno State quarterback (forward to the 3:00 mark):

He straight launched his body like it was a missile. Man, I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that assault. Yikes. And if the name sounds familiar, it’s because it should. Winston Venable’s brother is Will Venable, who plays for the Padres, and their father is Max Venable, who played 12 seasons in the bigs, mostly for the Giants.