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Ohio State Fans Are Pretty Crazy About Buckeyes Football

So I realize that I just shared a no-brainer statement there, but something happened Saturday that really turned my head. Nearly 96,000 people showed up to watch Ohio State’s spring game — 95,722 to be exact — setting a national spring football record. I got on Alabama fans two springs ago for having 92,000 people show up to their spring game in Nick Saban’s first year as head coach. Maybe I’ll revise my position slightly from ragging on people who go to spring exhibition games to saying it’s just not for me. There was some extra reasons explaining the humongous turnout in Columbus:

The stadium was filled to the top – though not at the capacity levels seen when fans are packed into the bleachers for regular season games.

“A lot had to do with the weather,” said Dan Wallenberg, Athletics Department spokesman. “The team also have a significantly different look from last year and people wanted to get a look at that.”

Two years later, I guess I’ll make more of an apology to Bama fans. Maybe having that sort of passion and excitement for a team is cool. I’m still blown away, nearly 100,000 fans to see a spring game? My goodness. At least they were guaranteed to see Ohio State win a big game, that’s always good for something, right?

Lane Kiffin: Tennesse’s Offense Is Still in the 1960s

Lane Kiffin’s run his mouth so darn much lately it’s hard to distinguish fact from exaggeration. At some point I might have to take everything he says with a grain of salt but I’m not quite there yet. That’s why I’m still inclined to share Kiffin’s thoughts on the state of Tennessee’s offense:

“I feel like we’re in the ’60s right now with our offense,” Kiffin said. “We’ve got to run the ball and throw play-action right now. That’s about all we can do. It’s pretty scary right now. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

That was after a team scrimmage in which the offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jonathan Crompton. I know Kiffin has his doubts now, but I saw the way he operated the Raiders’ offense so I have confidence they’ll be fine. By the way, I love the shot Kiffin’s taking at Phil Fulmer by saying that; it’s almost as if he’s pre-warning fans and shielding criticism by putting the blame on what Fulmer left him by making such a remark.

(via FanHouse and College Football Talk)

Jim Leavitt Runs a Faster 40 Than Me

Let’s be fair though, it doesn’t take much to beat an old codger like myself at a race. I don’t know what the appeal is but for some reason watching old men race is eye-catching. Maybe it’s like tuning in to see the car wreck — you just want to see the guy pop his ACL or strain a groin. It’s like nothing can go right when men over 45 race. Anyway, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt ran the 40 this week to promote the team’s spring football game. Here’s how it turned out:

The former All-Big 8 athlete at Missouri clocked a 5.72 40 which is nothing to sneeze at. He also had a faster time than one of the 22 students who ran it as well. Students who beat him got a “Faster Than Coach Leavitt” shirt. I actually wouldn’t mind one of those.

Pete Carroll Backtracks on Mark Sanchez Trashing, Calls it a Test

I gave Pete Carroll the benefit of the doubt the first time around when he strongly disagreed with Mark Sanchez’s decision to leave school early for the NFL. I understood that Carroll was motivated by his desire to run a strong program and also his desire to see Sanchez develop more before going pro. I also speculated that the move could hurt Carroll in recruiting since recruits would see that Carroll doesn’t always support their decisions. That must be the case because Carroll looked like Deion Sanders backpedaling off his initial comments when he spoke at Sanchez’s pro day:

“He made a point to really go to bat for Sanchez,” a scout said. “You could tell he meant it.”

Carroll told the group that his public frosting of Sanchez — including the comment the player made a “bad choice” — was meant to test his resolve, to see if he truly had his heart set on turning pro right away or if he would waffle. Sanchez didn’t waver.

“He told us, ‘I challenged him. I wanted him to make the right decision,’ ” the scout said. “He said, ‘I love the kid. I support him. I think he’ll make a good pro.’ “

If there isn’t more of a b.s. line that the one where Carroll said he was testing Sanchez’s resolve, I don’t know what is. Carroll should have kept his feelings to himself from the start so as not to reflect poorly upon himself or Mark because he ended up making both look bad when he questioned the decision. Ultimately I don’t think Sanchez’s stock will be adversely impacted by the remarks. Clearly Carroll now realizes the error of his ways. That excuse was just too lame though — we could have done without it.

If This Is Tim Tebow’s New Girlfriend, I Definitely Approve

Many curious fans have wondered about Tim Tebow’s sex life for quite some time. There was speculation for quite some time that the busty young lass featured in this photo was his girlfriend. The smart money said it wasn’t his girlfriend, but The Big Lead has used some intrepid detective work to dig up this photo of someone who could be Tebow’s woman.

Gotta love the details by TBL whose source is someone from Gainesville: “We don’t have her name yet, nor her Facebook or Twitter account, but apparently the two have been ‘hanging out’ for quite some time.” Well, if this indeed is Tebow’s lady, he’s done well. And if the Heisman comes down to him and Colt McCoy, I might be torn. Monday Morning Punter at WL has a hysterical post on the matter, it’s a must read.

College Football Girlfriends

(From left to right: Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, Urban Meyer’s daughter)

Miami and Notre Dame Bringing Back Catholics vs. Convicts?

Someone must be working behind Charlie Weis’ back because I think he’d be too much of a wuss to step up and play Miami while he’s coaching. And with that line, it’s pretty evident that you’re on one side or the other when Miami and Notre Dame play — there aren’t many schools that are more diametrically opposed when it comes to their football programs. The Canes and Irish played annually from ’71-’85 and ’87-’90 before Notre Dame broke things off because they were too scared to face the big bad U each season. But with some initiating by the Miami program, it appears as if ND’s ready to get back on the wagon:

After a nearly two-decade break, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the Fighting Irish is ”very interested” in playing Miami again in football, and the interest is mutual.

UM’s Kirby Hocutt initiated talks with Swarbrick, who became Notre Dame’s athletic director in July. No dates are set, but talks will resume in April, Swarbrick said by phone Monday.

Swarbrick mentioned the possibility of a home-and-home series, as well as a neutral site game between the schools. I’d totally be down for that. And I’d just hope the Irish will be up to snuff by then because I know Miami’s going to be back on top in just two short years. Wouldn’t want to see another repeat of the 58-7 thumping from ’85, would we?

Tennessee WR Ahmad Paige Ran Into a Brick Wall … and Lived to Tell About it

I do suppose that’s better than butting your head against one. So actually, this is a true story that happened on the field, not off of it as a stupid stunt like some of you might be thinking. The Vols had actually just opened up a practice on Friday to the fans when something bad happened.

Wide receiver Ahmad Paige suffered an undisclosed neck injury when he ran into a brick wall in the corner of the end zone at Neyland Stadium late in the Volunteers’ practice, silencing a crowd of about 2,000 fans.

Kiffin said Paige was able to talk and had movement in his arms and legs, but he was placed on a backboard and transported to a nearby emergency room as a precaution.

I think (and hope) that Paige is doing well. I guess when they said that people would run through a brick wall for Lane Kiffin, they weren’t joking. By the way, end zones are starting to get pretty scary these days. And since we’re on the subject of Lane Kiffin too, I’m starting to doubt his character more and more and think Al Davis isn’t (as) crazy as we thought he was.