College football overtime (cont.)
Smaller story, but I'm sure you're following it ...
Ball State coach Stan Parrish just can't win. Literally.
When Toledo's Aaron Opelt threw a game-wining 51-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left, it didn't just drop the Cardinals to 0-5. It marked Parrish's 33rd straight winless game as head coach, a drought that's now approaching 23 years.
Parrish rose from offensive coordinator to become Ball State's head coach when Brady Hoke left for San Diego State prior to last year's GMAC Bowl. The Cardinals, as you may recall, were 12-1 at the time. They lost that game 45-13 and have not won since.
Perhaps Ball State fans should have seen this coming. Prior to his current gig, Parrish had last served as head coach 20 years earlier at Kansas State, where the Wildcats lost the last their five games in 1986, then went winless (with one tie) during Parrish's last two seasons.
It's not like the guy can't coach. The 63-year-old went 42-3-1 at Wabash from 1979 to '82, won a national title in 1997 as Lloyd Carr's quarterbacks coach at Michigan (where, incidentally, he served as Tom Brady's position coach) and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2002. But he did have the misfortune of taking over Ball State the year after Nate Davis turned pro.
Mike Locksley: Untouchable
As you may have heard, Oregon has established a process by which suspended running back LeGarrette Blount could be reinstated, though no sooner than Nov. 7. You can criticize Oregon administrators if you'd like for softening their original stance of a yearlong suspension, but you can't say Blount hasn't paid a price for his ghastly sucker-punch that night in Boise.
The same consequences apparently don't apply, however, to fist-wielding coaches. It's been two weeks since New Mexico's Mike Locksley allegedly punched assistant coach J.B. Gerald following a heated argument in a staff meeting, and the only repercussion to date has been a "reprimand" for Locksley. (Locksley acknowledged an altercation took place but denied he punched Gerald; whatever happened resulted in a split lip for Gerald, according to the police report.)
The university opened an investigation into the incident last week, but only after facing public pressure. While a suspension or dismissal are possible, FanHouse writer Terrance Harris reported from Albuquerque that, "It is likely, however, that it will be determined that the athletic department handled things appropriately."
Athletic Director Paul Krebs said last week: "I think [Locksley's situation] is compounded by the fact we are 0-4. If we were 3-1, I think people would look at it much differently."
Seriously? That's the issue? Just be honest about it: Coaches aren't held accountable for their behavior to nearly the same degree as players, which is ironic, considering they're supposedly the adults.
A.J. Green: Man among boys
With just over a minute left against LSU, Georgia's star receiver made a touchdown catch even the pros would envy. Then he drew an absurd celebration flag that helped set up the Tigers' winning drive. See them both (shown at the 0:54 mark).
DeMarco Murray: Stop right there, son
Miami freshman safety Ray Ray Armstrong has been drawing comparisons to the late Sean Taylor since the day he arrived on campus. Here's why.
Mini-previews for three of this week's big games
Florida at LSU, Saturday (8 p.m. ET): One of the loudest crowds I've ever heard was at this game two years ago. LSU won 28-24 that night in large part by converting five fourth-down attempts. This could be another hard-hitting grinder just like that one ... or the Gators could win 51-21 like they did last year.
Alabama at Ole Miss, Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET): Oh yeah -- the nation's No. 3 team faces a big conference road test as well. Rebels quarterback Jevan Snead, coming off a three-interception night against Vanderbilt, has struggled much of the season. He must now turn things around against a top-10 pass defense.
Wisconsin at Ohio State, Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET): The last time the Badgers made it to 6-0, in 2004, their sixth win came at ... yep, Ohio State. Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, a surprise standout so far, will have to make some big plays, because the Buckeyes aren't likely to give up many yards on the ground.
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