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Nick Saban Is Tommy Bowden’s Shoulder to Cry on After Loss

I’m a little new to this whole thing, but I guess in the college football world, it’s cool for coaches to converse with each other and share ideas. How often do we hear about coaches opening up their practices to other coaches who want to come by and learn? Wasn’t half the coaching world in Morgantown the last few years to adopt Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense? Apparently it doesn’t end with sharing strategies — calling coaches that just whooped your ass in a game is cool now too — if you ask Tommy Bowden. After Bowden’s Clemson Tigers got rolled by Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide 34-10 on Saturday, Bowden called over to Saban for advice:

“As I talked to coach Saban, I said, ‘I’m not one to have enough pride where I’ve got all the answers. I see you got six months to study me, a guy like you, what did you see?” Bowden said Tuesday.

Saban wasn’t the only high-profile coach Bowden called on this week. He said he also spoke with his father, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden; Georgia coach Mark Richt and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer about how the Tigers would recover from the beatdown at the Georgia Dome.

As my buddy Arnie Spanier pointed out, why the heck was he calling Frank Beamer? Don’t you think Beamer has his own problems to worry about, you know — like being upset by East Carolina? Where’s the compassion, Tommy? By the way, it’s just a shame that I don’t do Doc Brown’s picks for college games — Bama over Clemson would have been a lock for me; Clemson always gets tons of hype and fails in big games every single year. As for Saban? He may be a prick, but he’s a darn good coach. That’s just a mis-match right there.

The Road to 4 Wins Off to a Fast Start

I wouldn’t exactly say this was the same thing as the Saints beating the Falcons in their Monday night opener after Katrina a few years ago, but the energy and thought of something “new” made the UCLA win over Tennessee pretty sweet Monday night. It was a new coaching regime, a big-time SEC team coming across the country, on Labor Day for a national audience in prime time, and UCLA had just declared that USC’s supremacy in the city was over. That’s a lot of hype, build up, pressure, and anticipation all built up into one game, and perhaps why UCLA had to win the opener.

Seeing three starters go down early and four interceptions by Kevin Craft in the first half was hideous. Tennessee didn’t capitalize on the mistakes and got burned in the second half. If there’s anything we learned from Monday’s game, it’s that:

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Skydivers Land at Duke Football Game Instead of North Carolina Tar Heels’

I guess when you’re 15,000 feet away, football fields can look pretty similar. Will Brinson at FanHouse brings us the video of a pre-game stunt gone wrong. The man in the video was supposed to be skydiving into the stadium at Chapel Hill, not Raleigh Durham for Duke’s game.

Yes, the writing on the scoreboard does read: Duke Blue Devils. What’s a matter, skydiver man? Couldn’t read the print from where you were? That guy should be ashamed of himself. I guess the ultimate lesson to be learned here is: don’t build colleges close to each other.

UCLA Football Getting Premature in its Self Promotion

There’s that saying out there — you don’t tug on Superman’s cape. With that in mind, I present the latest advertisement by the UCLA Athletic Department that appeared in the LA Times on Monday, as passed along by Gutty Little Bruins.

I really do appreciate the enthusiasm by the athletic department, but I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying the ad is a bit premature. Why not wait until the team’s record speaks for itself? How’s that ad going to look when the team goes 5-7? I’d be laughing right now if I were a USC fan. Sure, the monopoly might be over in a year or two, but give it time. Isn’t it worse to hype up expectations and let the fans down rather than ramp up the marketing after the team’s shown signs of success? I’m much more comfortable with the patient approach.

Oklahoma Freshman Josh Jarboe Kicked Off Team for Rap Video

Once again we have encountered the line that falls between athletes’ personal and public lives. Earlier this year, Wake Forest kicked running back Luke Caparelli off the team for some comments he wrote on his Facebook profile. Even Shaq had his police badges stripped for a distasteful rap where he slammed Kobe Bryant. Now it’s Oklahoma freshman wide receiver Josh Jarboe who has suffered the consequences of his off-field antics, getting kicked off the team for a distasteful rap video he created.

This is not the first incident for Jarboe — he was arrested in the spring for bringing a stolen gun to his high school. Jarboe’s charges were reduced to misdemeanors since he was a first-time offender, which allowed his scholarship to stand. Though Bob Stoops initially indicated Jarboe would remain on the team despite the video, he changed his mind. I defend Bob Stoops in this instance. Between the two incidents, Jarboe has displayed questionable character — might as well nip the issue in the butt before it gets worse. Don’t forget, this is the same coach who kicked his starting quarterback and offensive lineman off his team for misconduct, so he is equal opportunity. As for Jarboe and all athletes, you have the freedom of speech, but you don’t have the freedom of consequence. Probably wasn’t worth it, was it, Jarboe?

And in case you couldn’t listen to the video, here are some of the lyrics he spits:

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Les Miles Works in Crack on Alabama

And why not, that seems to be quite the easy theme these days, no? So this totally flew under my radar, but luckily SNR host Tim Brando lives and breathes LSU athletics and was talking about the story on-air Wednesday, so I was able to catch it. Apparently Les Miles worked in a not-so-subtle dig on Alabama at a team rally as part of Tiger Tour 2008. Check it:

There was no question the attendees still bask in last November’s victory over former LSU head coach and Tide boss Nick Saban, and Miles brought down the house when he urged the faithful “not to make too much of that game as it seems like a lot of teams in Louisiana beat that team,” referencing Alabama’s shocking subsequent loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

Much like the Carson Palmer comment, it’s pretty harmless in the long run but pretty funny given the audience to whom he was speaking (Miles also clarified his remark, just like Palmer). Now that’s added some extra fuel to the Bama/LSU rivalry. I really can’t wait for that game just to see if Saban can stick it to Miles. And remember, as college football is coming up on the calendar, make sure you visit site sponsor Ticket Solutions for all your sports tickets needs. They have you covered for all your college football tickets needs including LSU football tickets and Alabama football tickets so you can be there for the big game in person.

Carson Palmer Ripping Ohio State Was Cool, Apologizing Was Weak

Given that I’m a Bruin and dislike darn near everything SC (with the exception of a few reasonable Trojan friends and other things), it’s pretty hard to say that I have a favorite Trojan. So I guess if I had a Trojan who I disliked the least, it would probably be Carson Palmer. It’s pretty tough when you have a guy beat on your school like a drum (while you’re a student no less) and pretty much hate him, and then see your favorite NFL team take him with the first pick in the draft and make him the face of their franchise. So no, I don’t like Carson, but I dislike him the least. Keep in mind that in addition to performing like one of the top five QBs in the NFL the last three years, Carson has also done pretty much everything right (with the exception of a few ill-advised hot dog ads) and stuck to saying all the right things from day one. Rather than complain about going to the Bengals, he embraced the opportunity and vowed to turn them around. Rather than rip on Chad for being Ocho Cinco or his teammates for getting arrested, Carson’s pretty much avoided the fray. In addition to maintaining a good image, Carson has a lot of school and Pac-10 pride, both of which I appreciate. So it was pretty cool when Carson Palmer ripped on Ohio State when he joined PMS on KLAC recently:

I cannot stand the Buckeyes and having to live in Ohio and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts. We got Keith Rivers out there and we got Frostee Rucker, we finally got a couple other ‘SC guys. It’s amazing to hear what those guys think about that university and what they think about that football program and Tressel and all the crap I got to put up with being back there.

“I just can’t wait for two years from now when ‘SC comes to the ‘Shoe and I get to, hopefully have a home game that weekend and I can go out there and watch us pound on them on their own turf and kind of put all the talk to rest, because I’m really getting sick of it. I just can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come to the Coliseum and experience L.A. and get an old fashioned, Pac 10 butt-whooping and go back to the Big Ten.”

Now that I can stand for! Carson’s very much a fan like us who listens to sports radio and watches local sports on TV and gets fired up about his team. Does it get much better than that? And this is the same Carson who ripped Nebraska on The Jim Rome Show before USC ran through them last year. Like I said, always appreciate a guy with a lot of school and Pac-10 pride. Unfortunately just as Carson was racking up all the cool points, he had to go out and issue a statement.

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