Quick Slants (cont.)
WHAT, THEY RAN OUT OF ROOM IN THE BLIMP?
The biggest shock during Saturday's action came not on the field, but in the announcing booth. That's right, ABC temporarily suspended its "Find Paul Maguire" game and let the affable commentator inside the warmer confines of the Kinnick Stadium press box during the Iowa-Penn State game. What gives? Maguire has become more of a novelty on ABC, as the announcer has bounced around and called games from the nooks, crannies and spider holes of nearly every stadium he's visited. My theory several weeks ago was that ABC was secretly trying to get Maguire to quit by denying him the simple luxuries of the booth, a la George Costanza during his rocky stint at Play Now. If Saturday was any indication, though, Maguire has weathered the storm and climbed his way back from obscurity. It's dumbfounding.
Penn State was so surprised, it lost.
ONE SWEET DAY FOR MARK MAY
Random question: How wide was Mark May's smile on Saturday when both Penn State and Notre Dame lost while Pitt became bowl eligible? Just wondering...
YOU'D PROBABLY NEED MORE THAN ONE PILL FOR ALL THAT PAIN
In a rather strange twist of fate, former first-round bust Ryan Leaf saw his newfound coaching gig come to a screeching halt when reports surfaced that he'd allegedly asked a West Texas A&M player for a pain pill to help him deal with an injury. Leaf has since resigned, but the investigation continues. No word on whether the lingering "injury" was actually Leaf's entire NFL career.
Kidding aside, it's a sad setback for Leaf, who had seemingly begun to embrace his lackluster professional career and use his experiences to mentor young athletes. Even if the allegations prove false, this still figures to be a deathblow to another career opportunity for Leaf, who could probably offer a lot of valuable insight on sports, stardom and how not to deal with the media.
NOTE TO SELF...
I will not heckle Alabama fans. I will not heckle Alabama fans. I will not heckle Alabama fans.
GET OFF THE FENCE: 10 RANDOM QUESTIONS THAT COULD IMPACT YOUR FALL
1. More intriguing formation: Wishbone or wildcat?
2. Better Heisman candidate: Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) or any other Heisman candidate?
3. Better Tecmo football game: Tecmo Bowl or Tecmo Super Bowl?
4. Hotter coaching seat: Tommy Tuberville (Auburn) or Charlie Weis (ND)?
5. More overrated conference: Big 12 or SEC?
6. More overplayed question: Breed of the Obamas' future dog or 2012 Presidential candidates?
7. Better BCS outsider: Boise State or Utah?
8. Better Apple products description: Cutting-edge or overpriced?
9. Likelier Michael Crabtree decision: Stay in school or go pro?
10. Likelier BCS champion: Florida or Alabama?
THREE IRON-CLAD LOCKS OF THE WEEK
What'd it take for Washington State to cover its first line of the season? That's simple: Ty Hildenbrandt betting on 41-point favorite Arizona. Yeah, that didn't work out. Onto the picks...
Notre Dame (-3.5) at Navy
Duke (+11) at Clemson
Texas (-13.5) at Kansas
Last week: 1-2. Season: 8-7.
YES WE CAN...RECEIVE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! E-MAIL OF THE WEEK
From reader David in response to last week's BCS-to-professional wrestlers column:
As a huge wrestling fan and a football fan as well, that column was great. Perfect picks, especially the Umaga one.
You hear that? PERFECT. I'm ending this column on a high note. The end.
Ty Hildenbrandt writes Quick Slants every week. Shoot him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out his podcast at SolidVerbal.com.
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