Posted: Monday September 19, 2005 10:30AM; Updated: Monday September 19, 2005 4:29PM
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Miami-Clemson: Flipping between Charlie Weis and Charlie Whitehurst. Constantly. I'm surfing between the two games relentlessly. No one has surfed this much in the interest of a quarterback since Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush.
Speaking of which, did you catch David Spade on The Showbiz Show? "Kate Bosworth and Orlando Bloom have reunited, thus replacing Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi as Hollywood's hottest lesbian couple."
Michigan State-Notre Dame: Three years later, Notre Dame wideout Maurice Stovall has finally overcome the SI cover jinx. In 2002 Stovall, then a freshman, appeared on the cover of SI when the Irish defeated the Spartans in East Lansing, giving them a 4-0 record in Ty Willingham's debut season. Stovall, who will catch eight passes for 176 yards and a TD this afternoon, is at last fulfilling his promise. I maintain that he'll win the David Givens "Where-Was-This-Guy-When-He-Played-for-ND? Award" once he gets to the NFL.
That reminds me, Washington is beating up Idaho 34-6. What are the odds of U-Dub appearing on this week's cover with a "Return to Glory" headline? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Cool Hand Luke: Lots of sweaty, topless men, shoveling dirt onto a freshly tarred road. Either this is Cool Hand Luke or I've mistakenly flipped to the LOGO network.
Miami-Clemson: Sideline reporter Lynn Swann is wearing a short-sleeve button-down shirt, which I imagine will fail to draw the wrath of viewers the way Jill Arrington's halter top once did. I wonder what Swann thought of Prothro's catch last week, by the way.
Michigan State-Notre Dame: Start of the third quarter, and Haden tells us that the Irish have not lost a game since 1985 when they do not turn the ball over, and just as the word "over" leaves Haden's mouth, Spartans bandit Sirdarean Adams intercepts Quinn's poorly thrown pass and returns it 30 yards for a touchdown. Michigan State 31, Notre Dame 17. Thanks, Pat.
Commercial: Somebody should file a sexual harassment suit against that dude in the Continental OnePass ad.
Michigan State-Notre Dame: The Spartans go up 38-17. That's the same score Boston College went up on the Irish in 1993 before the Irish came back to take a 39-38 lead. BC, as you know, won 41-39, and I contend that that defeat has haunted the Irish ever since. Here's Notre Dame's chance to exorcise that demon. And, should the Irish fail, we'll get Laura Linney to defend them in court.
I call my college buddy Kramden. "Notre Dame may lose, but I bet they'll at least come back to tie it," I tell him. Really, I did. If you don't believe me, call Kramden.
Miami-Clemson: Whitehurst just overthrew his wide-open receiver in the corner of the end zone on a potential game-winning TD pass. "What we have here is a failure to communicate."
Alabama-South Carolina: Tide's up 37-14. Alabama's still flying under the radar, and it's not a bad team. Keep an eye out.
Michigan State-Notre Dame:This just in: Charlie Weis flossed at 3:30 a.m. yesterday.
Miami-Clemson: The Tigers are down 27-20 in the first overtime and facing a 4th-and-2 from about the 5. Time is called and as the cameras pan the faces in Death Valley, everyone looks glum. Not much faith in Whitehurst down there, or so it looks.
Michigan State-Notre Dame: 38-all! It's as if the Spartans forgot that their QB, Drew Stanton, is an absolute stud as a passer. And now Irish safety Tom Zbikowski has just forced a fumble. Notre Dame's safeties are named Zbikowski and Ndukwe. It's as if you just put a 3-year-old in front of a keyboard and told him to type.
By the way, today's best names:
Elvis Dumervil, Louisville Sirdarean Adams, Michigan State Jazzmen Williams, Boston College
Miami/Michigan State/Clemson/Notre Dame: Both games are simultaneously in overtime. This is awesome! Both visiting teams (Hurricanes, Spartans) win. The Spartans celebrate their 44-41 victory by planting a flag at midfield of Notre Dame Stadium.
ESPN Update:Lou Holtz on Michigan State's flag-planting: "The next flag they plant will be all white, and it'll be surrender."
Mark May: "Is there any more room on that bandwagon for me, Coach?"
(Actually, Mark, yes there is. I think Beano Cook just jumped off).
Florida State-Boston College: With 14 seconds elapsed in Chestnut Hill, the Seminoles lead 7-0. Welcome to the ACC, Eagles.
Commercial: "Jodi Foster in FlightPlan." Wait a minute, Foster playing the mother of an imperiled daughter? What a great idea!
Florida State-Boston College: Speaking of Panic Room, BC. now trails 14-0 just five minutes into the game.
Fresno State-Oregon: Bulldog coach Pat Hill and NBC star Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) should have a contest to see who has the worse mustache. Viewers could vote online with all proceeds going to the fashion victims of Oregon's athletic department's decision to wear those hideous yellow uniforms.
Florida State-Boston College: Nice comeback by the Eagles, who are up 17-14. BC punts and DeJuan Tribble lays a nasty lick on Seminoles freshman punt returner Fred Rouse, who thus far in September is in a dead heat with Texas freshman running back Jamaal Charles to win my inaugural "Dakota Fanning Precociousness Award." Rouse fumbles but there's trouble for Tribble: He's flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The replays show it was a clean hit. "That's an awful call!" ESPN analyst Bob Davie says with conviction at least five times. The coincidence here is that that's exactly what Notre Dame fans used to say after third down back when Davie was in South Bend. Anyway ... kudos to Davie for saying it, but then he informs us, "That's not a reversible call!" Okay, more good info, but here's my question: Why not? Please tell us why not!
Tennessee-Florida: Sophomore Erik Ainge replaces senior Rick Clausen at quarterback. I'm wondering why Ainge, who set a Vols freshman record a year ago with 17 TD passes and who lost his job only when he got injured on the last play of the first half against Notre Dame last November, is not starting in the first place. Clausen's OK, though not as good as his older brother, former Vol QB Casey.
Here's a conspiracy theory that I can in no way prove: Casey's and Rick's younger brother, Jimmy, is in high school in southern California. Last season, as a sophomore, Jimmy Clausen threw 58 touchdown passes in leading his school, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, to a 14-0 record and the southern section Division XI championship. Now he's a 6-foot-3 junior of whom one private quarterback coach has said, "If there were a LeBron James in football, it would be Jimmy Clausen."
I'll admit it: Every time I hear "Jimmy Clausen," I wonder, are there any job openings at the Daily Planet?
So, I'm just wondering if Phil Fulmer is trying to keep the Clausen family happy. Because in Jimmy Clausen, he may not find himself the next Casey Clausen or the next Rick Clausen, but instead the next Peyton Manning.
Update: Stanford has just lost at home to California-Davis 20-17. Wow, that is sorry. The Cardinal not only lost at home in Walt Harris' debut but they also failed to score an offensive touchdown. I'm not sure that Stanford could even defeat Gray Davis right now. Certainly they couldn't beat Anthony Davis, which reminds me ...
Arkansas-USC: The Trojans are beating up the Razorbacks 70-17.
Update: Did Mike Leach's Texas Tech squad just hang 80 points on Sam Houston State? Eighty? Somewhere Stanford athletic director Ted Leland is saying, "Get me the phone number of the athletic director at Sam Houston State!"
Finale: A great day. Especially for the Florida schools, all three of which reclaimed some prestige with wins over Top 25 teams. Not as good a day for the Irish. Or Stanford. Or Paul Newman, for that matter.