Posted: Friday November 11, 2005 12:44PM; Updated: Friday November 11, 2005 5:57PM
My new favorite recurring character on television is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family who appears occasionally on CNBC's Morning Call. Seated in a high-backed chair, wearing sunglasses, bin Talal does not look and act so much like a Saudi prince as he does Don Novello (Saturday Night Live's unforgettable Fr. Guido Sarducci) portraying one. Check out this photo.
Bin Talal is cool all right. The "Arabian Warren Buffett," as Time calls him, is also a savvy investor whose prescient picks (those, and perhaps that mother lode of black gold under his feet) have helped make him the fifth-richest person in the world. He is, to steal one of Larry David's more memorable politically incorrect quotes, "quite a Muslim."
I imagine that if our man Alwaleed focused on football with the same enthusiasm that he did the stock market, he'd be surpassing by far my 69 percent win rate this autumn. But, hey, he's got a royal family to feed. I don't. So you're stuck with me.
If you think Alabama is worthy of the Rose Bowl, you must be in dreamland -- and I don't mean the BBQ joint. The Tide have scored just one offensive TD in their past three SEC games. But wait! Mike Shula's gang has not allowed a touchdown of any sort in 15 quarters and only one TD in the past five games. Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (8.2 points per game)! Expect the Dangerfield Factor ("We don't get no respect!") to kick in and the Tide to keep the "BCS-needs-fixin'" argument alive at least one more week.
In this photo, Bulldogs quarterback D.J. Shockley sings along to Young Jeezy's Soul Survivor while backup Joe Tereshinski III provides the beat. "'Cuz er'body know the game don't stop/Tryin' to make it to the top for your ass get popped." Three weeks ago against Arkansas, Shockley's knee got popped, and the game stopped for him. D.J.'s back now, and the Dawgs are eager to climb back up the charts.
Just finished reading the 637-page interview with Bono in the November 3 issue of Rolling Stone. The U2 frontman reveals that if he hadn't found salvation in a band, he "would've been a journalist." I can see it now: "Paul Hewson's Hurling Power Rankings." And if 2004 Mr. Ohio football Tyrell Sutton had remained in-state the Wildcats would not have a prayer at the Horseshoe. But Sutton chose Northwestern, which makes this game interesting.
My favorite sub-plot of the Terrell Owens-saga is that former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas is the franchise's official "ambassador." Sweet gig! The Golden Bears and Trojans have unofficial ambassadors in musicians Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Snoop Dogg. USC returns to Memorial Stadium, the site of its most recent defeat some 747 days ago. Will the Trojans, who succumbed in overtime that day, avenge their lone loss of the past 2 1/2 seasons? Fashizzle
The Jayhawks (the only BCS school named for an alt-country rock band) will be covering a tune from Mike and the Mechanics in Austin: All I Need is a Miracle. Kansas snapped Nebraska's 36-game stranglehold on their program a week ago in Lawrence, but guess what, Coach Mangino? "You're ___ __ ______ ___ ____." (a line so obvious I was ashamed to print it out. The Vince Young Heisman campaign rolls on.
From the official Notre Dame athletic site, concerning safety Tom Zbikowski's prep track career: holds 11 school records in track and field, including the 100 meters at 10.4. From the official USC athletic site, concerning tailback Reggie Bush's prep track career: placed third in the 2002 California state 100 meters final and posted bests of 10.42 in the 100. Worth noting in case the "not particularly fast" Z scores his fifth touchdown of the season versus the Midshipmen. Don't mean to harp, Mr. Haden.
OK, it's the wrong Carolina, and it's the wrong level of football, but this is as close as I'll come to being able to opine on the Carolina Panthers cheerleader fiasco, so here goes. Angela, Renee, listen up: Next time you go Taradise in a public restroom, do it in the Men's room. Trust me, no one will hurry you. No one will mind.
The Bruins face their second freshman quarterback from an Arizona school in as many Saturdays, and the results may be just as gruesome. Sun Devil redshirt freshman QB Rudy Carpenter (whose dad is in construction!) has taken over for injured incumbent Sam Keller and in 2 1/2 games is 74-of-102 (73 percent) with eight TDs and two INT. Carpenter will hammer the Bruins' secondary with passes to senior wideout Derek Hagan, who needs just seven receptions to become the Pac-10 career leader.
Hey, remember Chris Rix? The former four-year starter at quarterback for the Seminoles is not on any NFL roster. His former coach, Bobby Bowden, recently said of Rix, "We had a guy who maybe played more snaps than anybody and just didn't get better." Ooh, snap. Rix's replacement, Drew Weatherford, is the top-rated freshman passer in the nation. Can he outduel the Tigers' own four-year starter, Charlie Whitehurst?
Okay, I'm not making this up. The Cyclones' leading scorer is junior fullback Ryan Kock, whose last name, as Iowa State officials take pains to inform the media, is pronounced COOK. Kock has scored 12 touchdowns this season, which led one fervent female student in Ames to don an "I LOVE KOCK" T-shirt at a recent home game. I only report the news. The Buffs only losses this season (blowouts, though) were to Top-five teams Miami and Texas.