- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports19 hrs ago
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference calls its basketball media day Operation Basketball.
This year, it became Operation Damage Control.
The ACC’s celebration of the season coincided with a 1-2 punch of bad press: North Carolina is still reeling from the devastating details in the Wainstein Report that was released last week, tainting the image of a program that previously held itself to a holier-than-thou standard; and some of the Syracuse contingent was on a pit stop here on its way to an NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis – the climax of a marathon investigation into alleged wrongdoing in the basketball program.
So the ACC had a slightly awwwkwaaard situation on its hands – two of the league’s four Hall of Fame coaches had to deal with pertinent, pressing questions about something other than how wonderful they are. (One of them handled it a lot better than the other, but we’ll get to that.) And the commissioner was peppered with questions about off-court issues affecting the league. And the Syracuse and North Carolina players had to deal with questions about things far removed from their control as well.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In the Louisville football weight room last Friday, video screens flashed picture after picture of Florida State’s best players, over and over, in an endless loop. Just in case the Cardinals had forgotten who was coming to town Thursday.
The coaches needed no video bombardment reminder. A Florida State gameplan binder sat open on Todd Grantham’s desk, and Jameis Winston was on the defensive coordinator’s mind.
“Their quarterback is as good as I’ve seen in the five years I’ve been back in college ball,” said Grantham, who coached in the NFL from 1999-2009, and before that from 1990-98 at Virginia Tech and Michigan State.
Grantham’s defense might also be the best Jameis Winston will face as a college quarterback.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
No. It’s not bias. It’s the best league by such a wide margin that the computers, the voters – and, most important of all, the College Football Playoff selection committee – all agree the Southeastern Conference owns the sport at present.
The key words being “at present.” As of Tuesday night, Oct. 28, 2014. It will change, as the SEC West cannibalism accelerates in the coming weeks and other plot twists occur around the rest of the nation.
But for now, a single division of a single conference owns three-fourths of the playoff bracket: No. 1 seed Mississippi State, No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Mississippi. The lone outsider is No. 2 Florida State. (The committee and I are in 75 percent agreement on the field at this point; on Sunday I had the Bulldogs, Seminoles, Tigers and Oregon in my Fab Four, with Ole Miss just on the outside.)
For folks suffering SEC fatigue, this is nauseating news. But it’s the reality of the moment.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (tent stakes no longer available for sale in error-prone Ann Arbor):
CAMPAIGNING WITH THE COMMITTEE
Hello, College Football Playoff selection committee. Today is your day. After many months of us talking, it’s time to start doing. Time to reveal your first rankings, tonight on ESPN.
You are respected and successful figures in your chosen professions, and we’re all behind you 100 percent – right up until you do the first nonsensical thing. Then we’ll turn on you like a pack of ravenous hyena.
Which still isn’t as bad as a pack of Alabama fans if you leave the Crimson Tide outside the top four.
So, with that understood, have fun out there.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
Every week, I will play Selection Committee member, take a look at the College Football Playoff picture and offer my bracket as if today were Selection Sunday. Feel free to agree or disagree, starting with the latest development in Forde’s Fab Four: we are down to a single team from Mississippi for the first time in three weeks. But it’s really close.
No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4 Auburn in the Sugar Bowl
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
LEXINGTON, Ky. – How big is Josh Robinson's backside?
Put it this way: Kim Kardashian is jealous.
The nearly spherical Mississippi State running back's bountiful booty is his most attention-grabbing physical characteristic. And if you believe the fun-loving little man, it has made him a Southeastern Conference sex symbol.
"I think that's why the women come to the games," he said, eyes twinkling.
You thought chicks dig the long ball? In Starkville (Miss.) they apparently dig the Human Bowling Ball, which is the 5-foot-9 (cough), 215-pound Robinson's nickname.
That posterior also is the key to Robinson's power, along with his thunder thighs. Asked how much he squats, the senior exclaimed, "Oooh, a ton. A good 700."
His Maurice Jones-Drew-like lower body and low center of gravity allows him to pound through tacklers, as he did on one run in the Bulldogs' 45-31 victory at Kentucky Saturday – a third-quarter stampede in which seven Wildcats hit him without taking him down. Tacklers 8 and 9 finally combined to take Robinson to the ground, after he covered about 40 yards east and west and gained 22 north and south.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
There was an emergency in the North Carolina football program in the summer 2009.
Deborah Crowder, architect of a massive and long-lasting academic sham, was retiring. Before she left the school, the Tar Heels needed her for one more round of bailouts.
As a member of the academic support staff urgently emailed a director of football operations: "Ms. Crowder is retiring at the end of July . . . if the guys papers are not in . . . I would expect D's or C's at best. Most need better than that . . . ALL WORK FROM THE AFAM DEPT. MUST BE DONE AND TURNED IN ON THE LAST DAY OF CLASS."
The players in question needed A's and B's from Crowder in African and Afro-American Studies classes in order to be eligible to play for the Tar Heels. And that's what she was there to provide in exchange for little or no work – year after year, player after player, for football and basketball and other sports as well. Regular students also benefited from a scheme that disgraces a once-proud university, but athletes flocked to her no-show classes in disproportionate numbers.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (fire extinguishers sold separately in Morgantown):
Americans are a scared lot these days. Perhaps because it is Halloween Season. (Halloween used to be a day, or maybe a week, but now it’s a full-blown season, powered by six weeks of marketing and profiteering. Every town worth its Wal-Mart has at least one Industrial Terror Warehouse or Haunted Ghoul Forest charging $10 a head to frighten as many suckers as are willing to attend.) Or perhaps we’re scared because the media has found out how lucrative it is to strike fear in the hearts of its consumers (see: Ebola coverage and resulting hysteria).
But hey, if fear-mongering is in vogue, then The Dash is not here to buck any trends. Let’s scare the college football fandom by offering up the most terrifying College Football Playoff nightmares:
FEAR OF AN SEC PLANET
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
Every week, I will play Selection Committee member, take a look at the College Football Playoff picture and offer my bracket as if today were Selection Sunday. Feel free to agree or disagree, starting with the latest development in Forde’s Fab Four: we have the same four teams for the first time all season. But that hardly means the overall picture is unchanged, as the threat of worldwide SEC domination looms even larger.
No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4 Oregon in the Sugar Bowl
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Add the Midnight Flag to the list.
Place it alongside the Kelvin Benjamin Catch. And the Clemson Shotgun Suicide. In the roll call of close escapes for Florida State in its 23-game winning streak, the offensive pass interference call on Notre Dame with 17 seconds left Saturday night might move to the top.
Because this time, the Seminoles were beaten. When Fighting Irish wide receiver Corey Robinson suddenly was the most wide-open man in America and cradled the easy throw from Everett Golson at roughly 11:58 p.m. EDT, it looked like the streak was snapped and the game was over and Notre Dame had arguably its biggest victory in 21 years – since its last undefeated vs. undefeated showdown with Florida State.
Except for that yellow hankie on the Doak Campbell Stadium grass. A grand and dramatic game ended in an inglorious rules violation, with FSU clinging to a 31-27 victory after being pushed to the brink.