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Hyped on College Football

A _______ National Championship

BCS Championship

Things were a little unclear on the podium Monday night.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve left the names in our beat reporter’s recap of tonight’s “National Championship” blank, because us curmudgeon editors feel it’s not a championship game as defined by every other major professional and collegiate team sport in North America. Until there’s a playoff, we say [blank] the national championship. Congratulations _______!

NEW ORLEANS — The revenge was sweet. The shutout was even sweeter.

In a repeat clash of the No. 1 and 2 teams in the country (as determine by computers and coaches, rather than players and a playoff), _______ beat ___ 21-0 in one of the most dominant defensive showings we’ve seen in a “national championship.”

The win avenged a Nov. 5 loss in a game labeled the “Game of the Century,” despite the fact it was touchdown-less, defensive struggle that ended 9-6 in overtime.

If the November meeting was the Game of the Century, it’s uncertain what Monday’s game should have been called, being the No. 1 team in the country mustered just 92 total yards and five first downs.

Not that _______ dominated offensively, settling for 23, 34, 41, 35 and 44 yards before breaking free for a 34-yard touchdown run late to cap its second title in three years.

In the end, all that mattered was that _______ had captured its ninth “national championship” in the program’s storied history.

What if the champs wore another color, like blue?

Well Deserved

This year’s title was certainly _______’s most deserving title victory.

Sure, it lost to that same conference foe some four games earlier, but that didn’t mean any of the other four one-loss teams from non-___ conferences deserved a shot at the title.

After all, the ___ Conference has won a half dozen of these things, and there’s no evidence the computer rankings favor big-money schools that play in weighted conferences benefitting from the success of past seasons. And it’s not like these teams never leave their own 100,000-seat stadiums or refuse to play anyone substantial in the non-conference season.

Why give a Boise State a chance to foil your Mardi Gras party when you can preparty against powerhouses like Kent State, North Texas, or even Georgia Southern, which, for the record, lost to Division I-AA NATIONAL CHAMPION North Dakota State 35-7 in the 16-team I-AA playoffs.

What, you can’t believe the top division has a bowl series when all lower-level divisions have a legitimate playoff system in place?

What the naysayers fail to point out is that Division I-A is much more positive than the extremely negative lower divisions when it comes to its postseason system.

Thanks to our current Bowl System and the BcS, 35 teams were able to finish the 2011-12 postseason with a victory, which brings plenty of closure to another great postseason in the Division I ranks.

"It's all about these student-athletes."

See, it’s not about the money or the names on the bowls (Gildan, Famous Idaho Potatos, R+L Carriers, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, S.D. County Credit Union, MAACO, Sheraton, AdvoCare V100, Little Caesars, Belk, Northrop Grumman, Bridgepoint Education, Champs Sports, Valero Alamo, Bell Helicopter, New Era, Frank American Mortgage, Insight, Meineke Care Care, Hyundai, Auto Zone, Kraft, Chick-fil-A, TicketCity, Outback, Capital One, Taxslayer.com, Vizio, Tostitos, Allstate, Discover, AT&T, BBVA, GoDaddy.com and Allstate, again).

Nope, Division I football is all about the student-athlete and the ____ they represent. And that’s the way it should be, [blank]ers.

So What’s the Solution?

After this reading this, you’re probably thinking: “OK Mr. Know it All, what’s the solution then.” Rather than rant any more here, I’ll just link to last season’s post on this topic, and the need for an eight-team playoff.

We welcome your comments on the BCS vs. playoff scenario below …

 

 

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Jim Mora, Jr. is putting together a pretty awesome coaching staff at UCLA

Carlos Sandoval is a student at UCLA, which means he bleeds True Blue and Gold. Seriously. Follow him on Twitter: @CarlosatUCLA and check out his UCLA Bruins’ blog, the Sons of Westwood.

The UCLA football program has been a pretty funny joke for about a decade now. Since Terry Donahue left, the Bruins have failed to accumulate any sort of momentum or put themselves on the national map. Bob Toledo, Karl Dorrell and recently-fired Rick Neuheisel have failed to live up to expectations. (Although you can blame that on the always-incompetent Athletic Director, Dan Guerrero, for not throwing enough money into the football or basketball programs.)

And with the hiring of Jim Mora, Jr., most figured this was another desperate, bogus move by Guerrero. And though the next season is nine months away, he’s kind of already proving us wrong.

Mora’s only been on the job since Monday and he’s already making waves despite his hire barely making ripples. First, Mora, Jr. managed to pry heavily-coveted offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone from Arizona State:

ASU fans, students and alums were pretty ticked that Mazzone left ASU, and the UCLA blogosphere tingled with happy emotions.

That wasn’t it for Mora, though. The dude was on such a role, he thought he’d pick up a few of the best recruiters in the conference (and, depending on who you ask, the nation) in Demetrice Martin:

That is to go along with the hiring of Adrian Klemm and Steve Broussard, too.

OK, so maybe Jim Mora, Jr. wasn’t the sexiest, most ideal hire, especially considering Washington picked up Mike Leach while Arizona reeled in Rick Rodriguez. Sure, his coaching experience in college is, well … what coaching experience in college? But the dude seems restless and is hungry as hell. His career hasn’t exactly been astounding, so the fact that UCLA has given him an opportunity to revive his career could make this his last chance at redemption.

When Mora was hired, the UCLA fan-base was furious — after reaching out to guys like Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin and Al Golden, we “wound up” with Mora. In all honesty, I was pretty upset that Guerrero managed to screw up another head coaching hire.

Of course, Mora’s finished product will be heavily criticized in nine months. But for now, he’s all making us look like we had no idea what we were talking about.

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UCLA Football: We want Chris Petersen

With Rick Neuheisel out as head honcho of the UCLA football squad, names have been popping up left and right to fill the vacancy. Jon Gruden, Mike Martz, Butch Jones, Bob Stoops, Kevin Sumlin and Chuck Norris have all been mentioned as potential candidates.

Of course, the sentiment around the Bruin blogosphere is this:

Yes, that’s Boise State’s Chris Petersen in UCLA swag in some version of Rick Neuheisel’s infamous ad telling USC to move over.

The UCLA blogosphere is hoping and wishing.

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Pac-12 Football: UCLA backs its way into Pac-12 Championship game without even playing

Mike Chalensky sacks U$C QB Reggie Perry in 1991. Via UCLA Athletics Facebook page

Carlos Sandoval is attending the University of California–Los Angeles and, sometimes, blogs about his thoughts on UCLA football and basketball. Please follow him on Twitter.

The game UCLA Bruins’ fanatics were dreading and anticipating is now not as important as everyone thought.

With losses by Pac-12 South foes Arizona State and Utah to California and Colorado, respectively, and with USC’s ineligibility to play in any form of a postseason, the Bruins are Pac-12 South champs.

Well, technically.

Of course, we all know that the real Pac-12 South champ winner will be the team that emerges victorious in tomorrow night’s game between the Trojans and Bruins, a heated cross-town rivalry which pits friends against friends, family members against family members, and the smart from the not-so-smart.

Because despite USC’s ineligibility, it isn’t as if people will walk away from this thinking UCLA earned the right to play against either Oregon or Stanford. In all honesty, the Bruins’ horrifying play on the road has convinced many that this team isn’t as good as their 6-5 record (5-3 in conference play) indicates. Sure, a 5-1 home record is pretty awesome, but when you compare that, side-by-side, with a 1-4 road record, a win against USC at the Coliseum would, at best, validate their somewhat-successful season or, at worst, make the entire season a failure and doom their chances against whichever team they might play.

Beyond that, there are bigger implications. If UCLA happens to lose to USC (like they’re “supposed” to), they’ll finish regular season play at 6-6 and are at a huge risk of losing their bowl eligibility if they lose to either Oregon or Stanford in the Pac-12 title game.

Of course, the other side of the coin (and the more optimistic side, albeit unlikely one) will see UCLA win the Pac-12 title game and play in the Rose Bowl game this New Year’s day. Not only would that cap off the best season under Rick Neuheisel’s tenure, but it may also save his job (to the dismay of many UCLA nuts; let’s remember that Philadelphia sports fans are the Los Angeles sports fans of the East Coast).

A ton is at stake tomorrow night when UCLA steps onto the field at the Coliseum to play U$C. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Black Friday Deals for Sports Fans

Yankees Garden Gnome - Black Friday Deals for Sports Fans

Would you love, or hate a Yankees garden gnome?

So this is a sports blog and all, but I know the bloggers and sports fans who visit BallHyped.com also geek out on tech gadgets and Black Friday deals this time of year.

I know I’m already filling out my gift list of gadgets as we speak, preparing for the holiday season, so I thought I’d share with you my favorite Black Friday deals for sports fans:

Best Buy

Best Buy has a handful of great tablet deals for sports fans who want to stream live events, ESPN SportsCenter, etc., while on the go.

Some of the best all-around deals include a Best Buy exclusive on the Asus Transformer 10.1-inch tablet for $249.99 and the Dell Streak 7″ Tablet for just $149.99.

Best Buy also has blowout deals on movies, video games, digital cameras and camcorder and iPods and MP3 players, so you can watch, listen and record all of your favorite sports moments (and then Hype them up on your blog!)

NFL Shop

NFL fans can get 10% off plus free shipping at NFLShop.com through today. So hurry up and get that Tebow jersey today!

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has some great deals on sports books as you would expect. For Black Friday, they’re also offering 50% off their Top 50 bestselling books.

They’re also offering 50% off electronics and 50% off DVDs and CDs.

Amazon.com

Amazon has some of the most random gifts that I love, and will be getting for some of my sports buddies.

As for the more traditional items, such as books, check out the new book, 100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History. This great, beautifully illustrated look back at the greatest moments in professional football history was written by Joe Garner and Bob Costas with a forward by Joe Montana. We picked up a few copies of this book and will be giving them out to BallHyped members for contests and awards over the next couple months.

Amazon also has countless Black Friday dealsa s you would expect, including the Go Pong 8-Foot portable folding beer pong table and the new Kindle Fire ($199) — which shouldn’t be used in combination by the way.

If you did want a tech gadget to go with your Go Pong beer pong table, there’s always the Intova CP9 compact waterproof digital camera, which is a great gift for the beer pongers, boaters, fishermen and surfers in your crew.

As for those random gifts for the sports nuts on your holiday list, nothing says die-hard like an NFL-team specific Mr. Potato Head, NFL teamand NCAA team pillow pets, and, of course, NFL team
and MLB team garden gnomes.

What are the best Black Friday deals you’ve been eying this year? Share yours in the comments section below:

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Lee Corso Drops an F-Bomb

Lee Corso didn’t just drop on a mascot head and a pick on the Houston GameDay crowd today, Corso dropped an F-bomb on them as well.

Corso was so hyped on his pick of the unbeaten Houston Cougars that the analyst blurted out an F-bomb live on ESPN as he tossed aside an SMU megaphone in favor of the Cougars mascot head instead.

Shocked by the “F— it” outburst by Corso, guest picker Carl Lewis, and ESPN co-hosts Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler, covered their faces and doubled over in laughter at what was one of his wackiest of his 100-plus GameDay picks yet.

“Glad there’s a delay,” Herbstreit joked, although most of the country saw blunder without a beep, forcing Corso to make an on-air apology during the commercial break of the early game at Michigan.

“Earlier today on College GameDay while picking the SMU-Houston game I got a bit excited and used an expletive that I shouldn’t have used,” he said. “I apologize and promise it won’t happen again.”

Well, it’s happening again below. Here’s the video of Coro and his F-bomb (contains explicit language):

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Urban Meyer to Ohio State? Not yet anyway

Urban Meyer to Ohio State?

Is Urban Meyer headed to Ohio State? Not yet anyway (Wikimedia Commons)

Urban Meyer isn’t going anywhere … for now.

After declining comment about the Ohio State football head coaching position rumors earlier this week, Urban Meyer addressed the speculation Saturday during ESPN’s broadcast of the Michigan-Nebraska game and said he has not been offered a head coaching position anywhere.

“There’s no truth to that,” Meyer said. “I have not been offered any job and certainly have not accepted any job.”

The speculation has swirled around Meyer this week because he is an Ohio native who coached at Ohio State as a grad assistant in 1986.

But times have changed at Ohio State, which has been surrounded by turmoil with the tat scandal along with a host of other off-field issues the past couple seasons, leading to the resignation of head coach Jim Tressel.

While the Ohio State job has always been considered a premier coaching position, thanks to the large fan base and resources available,  Meyer seems content with his life after coaching college football.

Then again, Meyer didn’t exactly put the rumors to rest other than to say he hasn’t accepted a job. ESPN didn’t follow up with any additional questions about whether he was interested in returning to coaching, but on its website later reported that “Ohio State has been in contact with Urban Meyer about becoming the school’s coach” but that “no contract is in place and no announcement likely would be made until after the regular season.”

Sounds like Meyer is talking off camera, at least.

Meyer surprised the college football world when he announced he was retiring from Florida a couple years ago. The 47-year-old then returned to Gainsville in more of an administrative role in 2010 before officially retiring in December 2010.

Meyer won two national titles and 104 games in his 10 seasons with the Gators, walking away from one of the most successful programs and not to mention a recruiting hotbed in Florida — all of which makes the Ohio State rumors a bit of a headscratcher.

Then again, until Meyer puts the rumors to bed for good, they’re going to keep following him from stadium to stadium over the remainder of ESPN’s college football coverage this season.

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Penn State Player Reaction on Twitter: “Yaw ready to riot!!!”

A couple years ago, Joe Paterno made it clear he wasn’t a fan of Twitter.

Now we know why. A look at some Penn State player reaction on Twitter following his firing on Wednesday:

Penn State junior tackle Nate Cadogan, like many players, was upset about the way Paterno was fired and how he’s been perceived by the media. But going as far as to encourage fellow students to riot?

Penn State player encourages riot on twitter ThaniBoy92 (Nate Cadogan): Yaw ready to riot!!!

Sophomore tailback Silas Redd followed by saying he was proud of the way the students reacted late Wednesday:

Si Redd MomentOfSilas25 (Si Redd): so impressed with my fellow students @Paternoville you guys r class acts and that’s what Joe tried to instill in us on how to carry ourself.

Many players made JoePa out to not only be a father figure, but held him up as a religious one as well:

Mike Wallz Mike_Wallz (Mike Wallace): This WAS a crucifixion

Other players were already turning their focus to Saturday’s game, and also providing some bulletin board material for the Cornhuskers …

Penn State players react on Twitter  Ckuntz17 (Christian Kuntz): I would not want to be a Nebraska cornhusker this weekend #PSU

Bold words from a junior wide receiver who has just one catch this year.

While there were some questionable comments from the players, which is expected considering the circus following this story has received, some players such as junior fullback Josh Matzkin showed perspective.

Twitter players react to Paterno firing on Twitter JMatz30 (Josh Matzkin): I’ve been watching TV for the last 2 days and I’ve barely heard the name Sandusky. Leave the football program alone and focus on the victims

Unfortunately for the players, who came on campus long after this alleged sexual assault, they’re still searching for answers …

Quinn Barham DurhamBull67 (Quinn Barham): Too many questions need to be answered

And they’ll have to deal with this media circus for another couple days leading up to Saturday’s game against Nebraska

Kwaku Beng2smooth(Kwaku): This weekend need to be here already

And for the first time since 1949, Penn State will play this weekend without Joe Paterno. Should be interesting to see the players’ reaction on gameday, especially considering there are already rumors coming out of College Park suggesting the seniors will refuse to play on Senior Day in protest of Paterno’s firing.

Stay tuned. This story is just getting started.

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Joe Paterno Fired

Paterno Fired

Paterno was fired on Wednesday.

Joe Paterno Fired

Joe Paterno was fired on Wednesday night shortly after 10:15 p.m. Eastern by the Penn State Board of Trustees amid the child-abuse scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches.

The news not only sent shock waves through college football and Penn State, but it also led to student riots and a circus-like atmosphere in State College.

Penn State junior tackle Nate Cadogan even went as far as to prod his fellow students to see if they were ready to riot after the announcement.

Nate Cadogan ThaniBoy92 (Nate Cadogan):
Yaw ready to riot!!!

ESPN’s Tom Farrey reported being hit by a rock and noted that the student gathering at Penn State was taking on “a mob-like atmosphere.” He also reported a WTAJ TV truck had been pushed over by the crowd.

“I’ve been covering sports for 25 years … and I was struck by the intensity,”  Farrey noted.

Overshadowed by the riots and news that one of the most iconic figures in college football history was ousted, Penn State President Graham Spanier was also fired.

Paterno had hoped to retire at the end of his 46th season, but that will no longer be the case as defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will now serve as interim coach.

Paterno and Penn State have been at the center of a media firestorm after a report surfaced that the coach and university failed to contact authorities in 2002 after a grad assistant saw former assistant Jerry Sandusky assaulting a boy in a school shower.

Sandusky was arrested Saturday, accused of molesting eight children.

In a circus like atmosphere in front of his house, Paterno, 84, briefly spoke to students and the media camped out on his front line.

He told students to go “study” and said that “we still got things to do.”

“I’m out of it, maybe,” the shaky Paterno said, “… Thanks and pray a little bit for those victims.”

Before going back into his house, he threw up a fist and revved up the crowd with a “We are Penn State.”

Additional updates from Penn State tonight:

From Penn State Live …

Board of Trustees announces leadership changes at Penn State

Statement by Graham Spanier

Tweets from State Park …

DailyCollegian: Hundreds of people are dispersing after police sprayed a substance on the campus side of College Avenue. #PSUCharges
DRoyer32_524: 

Extremely sad, and emotional. We play for each other and our fans. We play for Joe Paterno.
ScottPaterno:

 Finally, thanks everyone for thoughts and prayers but please, pray for the victims.
DailyCollegian: Police are telling the crowd to clear the sidewalks. #PSUCharges
DailyCollegian: Rocks are being thrown at cars on College Avenue. #PSUCharges

Paternoville:
Thank you @SportsCenter and @StuartScott for realizing that not all students are rioting. They are right – peaceful at Paternoville.
To be clear, use of “mace” not confirmed, but certainly a pepper-spray-like substance. #PSUCharges
DailyCollegian : And College Avenue is nearly cleared, but thousands still remain on the sidewalk near campus. #PSUCharges
A man in a Pirates t-shirt was handcuffed and taken down College Avenue by two state troopers. He received cheers from the crowd.

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Ten hardball questions for Penn State’s ex-coach Joe Paterno for his future press conference

Joe Paterno

As you have heard by now, Joe Paterno has been fired as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions’ football team (it was all over CNN, you guys). That ticked quite a few people off, and now students are, um, “rioting” at State College.

Of course, it’s expected that Joe Paterno will have his own press conference acknowledging his firing, we’re sure. And considering the way local reporters threw hardballs at Penn State’s Board of Trustees, we’re going to guess Joe Paterno is going to get different questions from the same perspectives and point-of-views.

So what will these “reporters” ask? We have an idea. Here are ten questions we expect the local media to ask Joe Paterno:

  1. “Coach. Obviously, Jerry Sandusky is a pig. You don’t condone his actions, right? And don’t you think he should be receiving all this negative attention?”
  2. “Coach Paterno, you’re one of the greatest, most influential figures in the history of Penn State. How regretful are you that you won’t be coaching this football team anymore?”
  3. “Joe, two-part question: Do you love Penn State to pieces? If so, are you upset at the way things ended?”
  4. “JoePa, you’ve obviously received a ton of support from students here. Would you like to take this opportunity to thank them again?”
  5. “Coach, is there anything you would have done differently? You did take the required steps, but would you have done things differently? Yes or no question.”
  6. “Joe, it’s obvious that this scandal has revolved around you. But are you the real criminal here? Did you commit these crimes?”
  7. “Hey coach, just wondering: If you had the chance to sign every single one of your fans’ Penn State gear, would you?”
  8. “Joe, concerning all the riots that occurred in State College, would you say you are glad no one was seriously injured?”
  9. “Coach Paterno, would you say you are praying for the children who were sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky?”
  10. “Coach, isn’t Penn State one of the best universities in the nation? If so, doesn’t your heart go out to the current players on the team for having to get put through this?”
That pretty much sums it up, guys. I am interested in watching this press conference, of course.
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