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Damn You, Arizona, Ruining Seasons

Well, I guess it was more of Dennis Dixon’s knee ruining the season, with Arizona taking advantage while he was out. What really pisses me off is that Arizona sucks at football, and nobody on campus cares about their football team, so their wins go to waste. Think about it — if you’re only going to go like 5-7 or something on the year, why bother knocking off a good team and ruining their season? If you’re going to pull an upset, at least make it to a good bowl or something — make it worthwhile. Unfortunately, Arizona doesn’t do that, so their upset wins are virtually meaningless. Big wins by the Wildcats don’t change their program; they’re not jumping off points for future success. They just are wastes and it sucks.

I’m going to take this a step further and say that Oregon should still be in the national title game if Dixon comes back healthy and they finish with just two losses. You cannot possibly tell me that there is another team in the country more dangerous than Oregon when Dixon is bouncing around on the field. They are a nearly unstoppable offense gaining 7-8 yards per play, it seems. The game was on its way to 15-0 and an Oregon blowout to start. Dixon gets hurt, enter a rusty Leaf, and it’s over. I can easily let this loss slide. Sure, Oregon’s defense is sketchy, but I’d like to see any team in the nation try to stop that offense when it’s healthy. Good luck with that. That’s why when January comes around, I’d still want to see Oregon in the title game, putting up a 40 spot.

(photo courtesy Wily Low)

Cal Tree Hugger Falls, Breaks Wrist

They’re so depressed in Strawberry Canyon right now about the football team going from national title contender to a four-loss squad in a matter of a few short weeks, that the protestors are jumping out of the branches to try and commit suicide. OK, maybe not. But those same Berkeley tree-dwellers that freaked out all the Tennessee Vols fans at the beginning of the college football season are still swinging on branches as a protest. Unfortunately for one of them, he suffered a humpty-dumpty like fate:

One of the tree-sitting protesters in a grove of oaks next to UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium was in the hospital Monday after taking a bone-breaking fall.

Nathaniel Hill, who fell at least 30 feet on Sunday night, was in stable condition at Highland Hospital in Oakland, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.

“It’s just kind of a fluke that it happened,” the 24-year-old Hill said in a phone interview from his hospital bed Monday afternoon. He said he broke his wrist and ankle, both of which are in casts.

Hill estimated he was between 30 and 40 feet in the air when he fell from a rope he mistakenly thought his harness was attached to.

I honestly had been wondering how these guys never got hurt before. You seen em? They literally are living in the trees — those rent free bastards. You just knew this had to happend at some point, right? I’m guessing they’ll find some sort of way to blame Tedford for it.

(Thanks to my buddy Andy for the tip)

Has Karl Dorrell Lived His Last Life?

Of all the disappointing seasons under Karl Dorrell — and there have been many — this year might be the most excusable. Down to a third and fourth string QB at times would hamper any team, program, and coach. It’s hard enough to win with a backup — but a backup to a backup? Yeah, that’s pretty much game over. So is it justifiable and fair that Dorrell would get fired after a season ruined by injuries? Well, the argument can be made that it was heading towards disappointment with healthy QBs anyway, and that he was set up for failure to begin with, as TJ Simers says. I’ll concede that the harsh academic standards and low coaching salaries makes the job of a UCLA football coach no easy task, but it can be done better than it is.

I’d like to see Dorrell succeed in his career — I really would. I’ve just seen enough of him in Westwood. It’s been five years of mediocrity, and this season can be heading towards 5-7. I’d like to see someone who can run a respectable program that wins on a more consistent basis. Now, why people are so hot on Mike Leach from Texas Tech boggles my mind. What’s so much better about losing 50-45 than 24-20? I’m still trying to figure that one out. Dorrell is not the answer, but neither is Leach. I’m not sure who the proper replacement is, but there’s no question that a change is needed.

Nice 48-0 Orange Bowl Farewell Miami

After crushing Ohio State the way I just did, I would be remiss if I also didn’t touch on the pathetic display by my Canes on Saturday. In their last home game ever at the Orange Bowl, Miami got blitzed 48-0 by Virginia. Virginia. Not a powerhouse program, but a mediocre one like Virginia. I supposed it’s better than getting crushed by Florida State or Virginia Tech, but still, that’s pretty horrible. How can you get run off the field so horrendously in a farewell game like that? All the great alumni were at the game, and the program was embarrassed on the occasion. To put the loss in perspective, here are some details:

It was Miami’s first home shutout loss since Oct. 4, 1974 against Auburn, and the Hurricanes’ worst defeat since losing 66-13 at Syracuse on Nov. 28, 1998. The last time Miami lost by more points at home was in 1944, when Texas A&M beat the Hurricanes 70-14.

That’s a lot of history right there, and this stands out just as badly as any of them. It was another stellar day from the dynamic duo of Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman at QB, with Wright not even cracking 100 yards passing. Just goes to show that high school recruiting classes are meaningless; all that matters is what you do on the field at the next level. Kyle Wright was the top high school quarterback prospect entering college and turned out to be a dud. I think it’s also worth mentioning that since the night I set foot in the Orange Bowl for the first and only time in my life, Miami hass gone 13-13. They lost that evening to Calvin Johnson and Georgia Tech 14-10, couldn’t move the ball offensively, and have been in a tailspin ever since. (head down in shame) It’s all my fault.

(AP Photo/Lynn Stadky)

Finally Ohio State Loses Sparing Us All

I don’t think I’ve been less enthusiastic about a team recently than Ohio State. Ever since getting run off the field by a one-loss Florida squad in the title game last year, I’ve thought very little of them. Once that happened, nothing accomplished in the Big Ten could impress me. Think about it; Ohio State ran through everybody in the conference only to get squashed in a game for which they had weeks of preparation. That’s why I had just been waiting every single week for them to finally get knocked off. Who really wanted to see them get embarrassed yet again in a title game? Certainly not me — I’ve already seen that show and it sucked.

Ohio State lost at home to Illinois. Illinois is not a very good football team. The Buckeyes couldn’t stop a running quarterback, letting the Illini run over eight minutes off the clock with their final fourth quarter drive. If they couldn’t stop Juice Williams who isn’t even a threat to pass the ball, what would they have done against a Dennis Dixon or Matt Flynn/Ryan Perrilloux combination? Suffice it to say that an Oregon team which whooped up on Michigan in the Big House would’ve done the same to Ohio State.

Now the door has finally opened up for an Oregon/LSU match up which I think would be the most fulfilling in the entire country. Will those teams hold up their ends of the bargain? I don’t know, but I sure hope so. I’m just glad we’ve all been spared from having to watch Ohio State get run in a title game for the second year in a row.

UPDATE: CONTROVERSY IN COLUMBUS?

SpinMax emails in to say that Ohio State could have been jobbed by some disgruntled officials in the game. Apparently there are some Big Ten officials from the Penn St/Purdue game facing suspension for poor calls two weekends ago. Turns out this is the same crew (warning: link is a PDF file) that also worked the Ohio State game, and Spin thinks revenge against the conference could have been on their mind.

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Maryland Mascot Getting Bar-Mitvah’d

I guess I’ve completely missed the boat (arc?) on this one. Dan Steinberg of the famed DC Sports Bog passes along news that the Maryland Terps mascot, Testudo, is set to have a Bar Mitzvah in the near future. What I hadn’t realized what that this was a common trend. Per Steinz:

In the fall of 2004, Syracuse’s Otto the Orange was Bar Mitzvahed. ” ‘Otto came and tore down the house,’ said Jacob Perlin, communications vice president for Hillel. ‘He came in dancing and everyone went crazy.’…Shortly after Otto entered and danced the horah, about six male party-goers hoisted Syracuse’s favorite mascot into the air.”

In March of 2006, UNC’s Ramses was Bar Mitzvahed. “A blown up image of Ramses was covered by guests with the signatures and words of good luck such as ‘Rock on Ramses’.”

That fall, Miami’s Sebastian the Ibis was Bar Mitzvahed. “The party lasted three hours, but Sebastian did not read from the Torah, the Jewish Holy Scripture …”

Apparently Bucky the Badger and Central Florida’s mascot have also enjoyed the honors. Storming the Floor has put together an excellent list of mascots who surely won’t be getting Bar-Mitzvah’d in the near future. And while we’re at it, you must check out the post Matt did at With Leather — the mascot photo gallery is tremendous (and where I snagged the photo above). Now, this begs the question: are bris’ next?

Nebraska Deserved 76 Points on Them

I had a caller over the weekend crying on the phone because Nebraska got blown out by Kansas Saturday. How could they dare hang 76 on his beloved Cornhuskers, he whined? Well, on the same weekend that Notre Dame suffered the ultimate form of disappointment — losing to Navy at home for the first time since the effing Revolutionary War — another team got the proper dose of medicine it deserved. Nebraska, the biggest culprit when it came to running up the score and embarrassing its opponents throughout the mid-90s, got a 76 spot hung on them by the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, the same proud basketball school which might not even score 76 in a given hoops game, rang up a 76 on Nebraska, and it was beautiful.

This is the same Nebraska powerhouse that went 8-0 against KU in the 90s under Tom Osborne, outscoring the Jayhawks by a 454-86 margin. They slapped Kansas around 63-7 in 1996 and probably never thought twice about it. That same ’96 season, Arizona State avenged an embarrassing 77-28 loss the previous year in Lincoln with a 19-0 Jake Plummer special in Tempe. It might take more than a decade, but what goes around obviously comes around. Getting crushed 76-39 by Kansas — a former laughingstock of college football — is unheard of in the Big 12 world. It was well-deserved and well overdue. Welcome to 4-6 hell Nebraska. Sucks to be down, doesn’t it?

(Photo Courtesy Charlie Riedel/AP)