Posted: Monday September 19, 2005 10:30AM; Updated: Monday September 19, 2005 4:29PM
When cupcakes attack: UC-Davis stunned Stanford in Walt Harris' home debut.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make:
Full of college football. Thanks to the miracle of cable television, I was able to watch some or all of the following games on Saturday (and without having to buy any extra viewing package -- not even a nickel package for 3rd-and-long situations):
Oregon State at Louisville Virginia at Syracuse William & Mary (though I'm wondering if fans of the Black Eyed Peas refers to them as will.i.am and Mary) at Rhode Island Baylor at Army Miami at Clemson Alabama at South Carolina Michigan State at Notre Dame Cool Hand Luke at Road Prison 36 (sometimes, you know, you need a break from football, from all those sweaty men smacking one another around. And nothing I know takes you further away from all that than ... a film about sweaty men smacking one another around in prison) Florida State at Boston College Fresno State at Oregon Tennessee at Florida Arkansas at Southern Cal
That's 11 football games and I am sure I missed a few. Did CMT cover the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt game? Did Comedy Central have Pittsburgh at Nebraska? Anyway, here's a couch-side review of all that I witnessed on Saturday afternoon and evening, minus the timeline because that would have required more effort than I was willing to commit to this endeavor -- kind of like the way NBC has head shots of the Notre Dame players but isn't willing to go the extra mile to get those of the visiting school's players. Why is that? Anyway, away we go ...
Virginia-Syracuse: I'm sure you've heard this before, but maybe like me you had forgotten it. An ESPN reporter reminds viewers that the Carrier Dome, which is named for the world's largest air-conditioning manufacturer, itself does not have air conditioning. How great is that? For the record, I like Syracuse's throw-back unis. Especially the helmets.
Oregon State-Louisville: The Cards are in the midst of a 49-3 scoring run on the Beavers. OSU's lone bright spot is wideout Mike Hass, a third-team All-American. Mark Jones of ESPN tells us that Hass, a former Oregon prep player of the year, received no D-I scholarship offers coming out of high school and had to walk on in Corvallis. How does this happen?
Coach Mike Riley, shouldn't you automatically offer the state's top prep player (even if it's just a designation given by sportswriters or prep coaches) in Oregon a scholarship? You're Oregon-freaking-State, for chrissakes! Your linemen kidnap goats. Your defensive backs attempt to pay cab fare with marijuana. Another one of your linemen went on his first roller coaster ride this summer in San Diego and midway through began yelling, "Stop the ride! Stop the ride!" (I imagine the goat, if it could yell, would have said the same thing).
And you cannot find one scholarship for an in-state prep star? If for no other reason than to appease the locals? And all this kid Hass does is bloom into an All-American? How? Why?
Commercial: I don't like those kids in the Polo commercial. Something tells me that their school has a crappy football team. They look like the kind of punks who would sway Rory Gilmore into stealing a boat and taking it out on a joyride.
Oregon State-Louisville: I love (ESPN analyst) Chris Spielman. After Louisville calls a pass play that goes for a touchdown (making the score 56-13), he chides Oregon State for playing man coverage. "I know this is an unpopular opinion," Spielman says, "but it's not Louisville's job to stop themselves."
Not an unpopular opinion in my house, Chris.
William & Mary-Rhode Island: The Rams score a TD but then have the extra point blocked. God bless these kids for playing college football, and I know they're having fun, but you only need to watch a PAT attempt at the I-AA level to notice the difference in speed and overall talent between I-A and I-AA. It's dramatic. Maybe that's why Stanford is playing UC-Davis today.
Oregon State-Louisville: It isn't that Spielman should be doing higher-profile college football games for ESPN. It's that Spielman should be coaching college football. If I'm a student at Pitt or Nebraska, I'm writing Spielman a letter today and begging him to apply for a job at my school.
Here's Spielman after Oregon State nullifies a sweet kickoff return for a touchdown with a dumb block in the back. "That's laziness, pure laziness," says Spielman, "and lack of discipline."
Then Spielman demonstrates the proper way to illegally block your opponent in the back (body bump him; no hands) on Clemons in the booth. I wonder if Spielman would have done that if he were working the game with Ward.
Michigan State-Notre Dame: He's one of the better sports broadcasters around, but I swear, every time I see Tom Hammond on camera I immediately think of Victor/Victoria. I'm just sayin' ...
Update: San Diego State just scored on its first play from scrimmage at Ohio State. Can you say, "Hangover game for the Buckeyes"?
Michigan State-Notre Dame: Crank up the Pat Haden Quote-o-Meter: "If Job were a running back," says Haden, "he'd be Darius Walker."
I'm guessing that Haden is referring to the Old Testament figure, and not the Arrested Development character. Although, how funny would it be if Walker burst into the huddle, looked at Brady Quinn and said, "Yeah, the guy in the $3,000 suit is going to stay in and block for the quarterback whose parents never get shown on television. Come on!" (I guarantee you that at best 10 percent of the staff here at SI.com appreciated that.)
Alabama-South Carolina: I just switched to this game and on the first play Bama's Tyrone Prothro exploded for a 41-yard run on 3rd-and-11. I've now seen two plays involving Prothro this season, the aforementioned one and that ridiculous TD catch versus Southern Miss last week where he caught the ball by wedging it against the back of the defender's helmet. Prothro is leading the nation in thrills-per-televised plays thus far in 2005.
Yankees-Blue Jays:Gary Sheffield just hit a screaming rope, but pulled it foul. This has replaced Dave Wannstedt looking constipated as the most predictable moment in sports.
Michigan State-Notre Dame: NBC reports that Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis got a haircut at 4:45 a.m. Friday morning. Also, wild-haired Irish wideout Jeff Samardzija (who obviously didn't get a haircut at any time recently) just caught his second touchdown pass of the game, and fourth of the season. Quinn and Samardzija are beginning to resemble Joe Montana and Kris Haines.
Registering a "10" on the Haden Quote-o-Meter: "It isn't yet 17th-century Dutch tulip mania, but there's a lot of people around here excited about [Weis'] start."
Spartans running back Jehuu Caulcrick is a native of Liberia whose father was assassinated by Liberian rebels. If Caulcrick played for Notre Dame, you just know NBC's Jimmy Roberts would be interviewing the U.N. ambassador to Liberia at halftime.