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Pete Carroll Learns From … Tennis?

You figure the head coach of one the most successful college football programs in the country probably spends his practices imparting the wisdom of his predecessors. You would think he’d be barking out coaching methods from Tom Landry and Bear Bryant on the practice field, and sharing the secrets of Vince Lombardi’s success in the film room. You would think all that but you would be wrong. When it comes to coaching his players, Pete Carroll uses methods he learned from a tennis book. No joke.

He picked up the psychology and philosophy in earnest in the mid-1970s when he was a graduate student at the University of the Pacific. That was when he discovered “The Inner Game of Tennis.”

“It’s all about clearing the clutter in the interactions between your conscious and subconscious mind.”

Right, because there are so many similarities between the physical game of tennis, and the mental game of football. Get ready for every color commentator in America to play this story out in three … two … one …

Michigan Players Already Showing Confidence in Chad Henne

The guys about to be a fourth year starting quarterback for one of the most elite programs in all of college football. Three straight season of at least 20 touchdowns. Three straight seasons of at least 2,500 yards. A 29-10 record at the helm. And how do his Wolverine teammates indicate their faith in him? By not naming him a captain of course!

Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long, tailback Mike Hart and linebacker Shawn Crable have been elected captains by their teammates.

“The greatest honor a Michigan football player can receive is to be selected by his teammates as captain,” U-M coach Lloyd Carr said in a release.

Unfortunately for Henne, he will not be receiving such an honor. I guess Wolverine fans will be quick to point out one number — 3. As in 0-3 against Ohio State. Maybe that’s why. Man, I’d hate to be standing inside that huddle for a two-minute drill.

(via Fark)

Pac-10 of Course, Most Underrated

I’ve complained for quite some time that preseason polls need to go. They’re stupid and inaccurate. And of course, they manifest a heavy East Coast bias. Funny enough, there’s proof. As Kyle the Driver points out to me, and Obscure Sports Quarterly was all over, Mark Schlabach of ESPN studied preseason and postseason college football rankings in order to find out who the most overrated and underrated teams were. No surprise, the most underrated teams were from the West Coast and Pac-10, while the most overrated were from the East Coast. Here’s a summary of his findings:

[Read more...]

Jimmy Clausen Digs Natty Light

Why not? Choice of the collegiate champion, right? It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s perfect. And frankly, Jimmy is just getting a raw deal. As tipster JS emails in, Clausen was cited for transporting alcohol. That straight up has to be the lamest citation out there (next to urinating in someone’s mailbox while hammered). It also looks like someone must really be out to get this kid. From the South Bend Tribune, via FanHouse:

It has recently come to light that the University of Notre Dame freshman quarterback was cited for transporting alcohol as a minor in connection with a June 23 incident at a local liquor store.

Indiana State Excise Police cited the 19-year-old Clausen and a 23-year-old outside the Belmont Beverage store at 1621 South Bend Ave., near the Notre Dame campus, police said.

The 23-year-old entered the store and bought two 1.75-liter bottles of Smirnoff vodka and a 200-milliliter bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, police said, as well as a case containing 30 cans of Natural Light beer.

$170 later, problem solved. And honestly, if this citation doesn’t show how jacked up our society is, then I don’t know what does. Kid’s old enough to drive, old enough to quarterback the Fighting Irish and deal with national media scrutiny, but he’s not old enough to drive with alcohol in the car? Gimme a break. Now this to go along with his arm trouble. That’s harsh.

Michigan Football Players Have Zipper Issues

Giving Florida football a run for their money, a couple of Michigan football players had pretrial hearings this week. Sophomore LB Obi Ezeh plead not guilty to drunk driving charges. As for his teammate, junior WR LaTerryal Savoy, well he pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent exposure. But it’s his defense that’s the real kicker. Check it out:

Nicholas Roumel, the attorney for both players, said Savoy is “absolutely not guilty and did not commit a crime.”

Roumel said Savoy turned to say hello to a woman and had forgotten to zip his pants, a case of “accidental exposure.”

I’ll say this much, I’m definitely going to have to remember that one. That ranks right up there with Pacman’s I go to strip clubs for food defense, and Orlando Cepeda’s medicinal marijuana defense. Forgetting to zip up the zipper is one thing. I’ve done that a few times in my day. But come on, are we honestly to believe that some dude didn’t realize his wanger was hanging out too? Gimme a break.

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Frank Beamer Thinks He Was Spied On

Not while he was getting his dirty-dirty on or anything like that, but something much more serious. Eight months after the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (man, they make one hell of a chicken sandwich by the way), the Sultan of Special Teams suspects there was some foul play going on with the Georgia coaching staff.

“We practiced out at Georgia Tech and we let all kinds of people through there … people we didn’t really know,” Beamer told The Roanoke Times. “And I thought it hurt us in the bowl game. I’m not blaming anybody … but I thought Georgia knew exactly what we were doing in several situations.”

Nothing like manning up to a bowl game loss by suspecting the other team of spying eight months after the fact. Man, what I wouldn’t give to see these two teams meet up again this year. Maybe Beamer should start closing his practices to the public so that he can’t use that as an excuse in the future.

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Miami Football Has ‘Butt Buddies’

Preface: I love Miami Hurricanes football, and likewise, I’m quite happy with all the changes Coach Shannon has brought to the team. And after speaking to Coach over the weekend and finding out what a good guy he is, I have no reason other than to give him the benefit of the doubt with this comment, from the Miami Herald via EDSBS.

When asked about [Graig] Cooper in the spring, Shannon said: “I think Coop did a great job. He brought some some excitement to the team. And he’s a calm guy. He’s not an arrogant or flamboyant guy.” It was going well, then coach goofed. “Belive it or not, he and Javarris James are kind of like butt buddies.”

Butt Buddies? I never got around to asking Cooper or James what exactly that meant. But it probably would have brought a chuckle.

I guess the appropriate comment here would be, “no homo.” Wonder what Edgerrin would have to say about all this. Gotta love the coach cracking on the players in his most unique way. Those are my ‘Canes.

(in the pic, Cooper is on the left, James on the right)