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Posted: Friday December 5, 2008 4:21PM; Updated: Friday December 5, 2008 4:21PM

Trend Spotters: Leap Year

Story Highlights

Trend Spotters: We've got the scoop on the latest sports and campus trends

Open-field hurdles have become so common, we're going to call this a leap year

We're also buzzing about dread lock tackles, Gmail themes and 3-D broadcasts

By Dan Murphy, special to SIOC

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Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno started a new trend with this hurdle over Central Michigan.
Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno started a new trend with this hurdle over Central Michigan.
Kelly Kline/Icon SMI

It's not unusual to see a college football coach hanging around a track practice or two, watching the sprinters for a possible hidden gem. Given the way things are going this year, coaches will still be at the track in the future, but they'll likely be huddled around the hurdles.

This year, players from all over the country have been filling up highlight reels by going airborne to get past defenders (because if you can't go through them and you can't get around them, you might as well go over them).

The trend started way back in the first week of September when Knowshon Moreno set the bar high -- literally. Back in the days when people still talked about Georgia football, Moreno gave Central Michigan's Vince Agnew a great view of the bottom of his cleats. The leap only earned him a few extra yards, but it instantly became an online phenomenon.

Oregon's LeGarrette Blount must have been taking notes.

The very next week, he strapped on the P.F. Flyers and took over the aerial show for almost a month. He started with a run-of-the-mill hurdle at Purdue, then really took off against Boise State. Blount got up and over a defender and his own lineman en route to an early touchdown for the Ducks. He had enough juice left for an encore the next week when he all but sprouted wings against Washington State.

Running backs haven't been the only ones cleared for takeoff this season. Missouri tight end Chase Coffman has extended his 6-foot-6 frame time and time again. Last week, Boston College junior linebacker Mike McLaughlin dragged the hurdles over to the defensive side of the ball, leaping over a Terrapin lineman for a huge sack as the Eagles went on to clinch a spot in the ACC title game.

Up until now, the world has had to wait four years between each leap year. College football fans can rest assured that from here on out, it will be a weekly event. If you have any doubts, just ask Michigan's Sam McGuffie.

Five other things we're buzzing about this week

Innovative tackling: If offensive players can hurdle, defensive players can grab hair. It seems only fair.

Gmail themes: We're not going to touch the new Tea House theme, but we won't judge if you do.

Coach-centered online games: When most of the college coaching news focuses on firings and resignations, you need trivia quizzes and eating contests to lighten to mood.

BCS Headquarters videos: It's hard to go wrong when humor, irony and monkeys mix.

The 3-D movement: If the NFL can do it, so can Baywatch.

Noticing a new trend on campus? Let us know.

 
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