Making the morning rounds.
• Stop the hate. No, you weren't having a nightmare: The screams you heard as you nodded off Wednesday night were coming from Clemson's defense, under a relentless assault by West Virginia that resulted in the most points by one team (70) and widest margin of victory (37 points) ever in a BCS bowl. But the most gratuitous attack of the night wasn't perpetuated by the Mountaineer offense, and didn't even occur on the field: It came when West Virginia safety Darwin Cook — in his exuberance at the end of a 99-yard fumble return that permanently flipped the momentum for the Mountaineers in the second quarter — punctuated the big play by tackling the Orange Bowl mascot, Obie, in the back of the end zone.
The incident was the most shocking case of mascot-related violence since Rufus the Bobcat's unprovoked assault on Brutus Buckeye last year. The worst part? It didn't even draw a flag, continuing our country's shameful pattern of indifference and outright discrimination toward Mascot-Americans. Are giant cartoon oranges not human? If you tackle them, do they not respond by pretending to throw up in a trash can? When will there be equality for our plushy, anthropomorphic citizens, America? This should be a wake-up call. [ParadigmShift35, @Greg_Witt]
And while it remains firmly in the "rumor" category, the smoke coming out of Jonesboro is worth keeping an eye on because it actually makes sense: Dyer is from Little Rock; the new head coach at Arkansas State is old offensive coordinator at Auburn, Gus Malzahn; and Dyer was just suspended for the Tigers' trip to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, putting his status at Auburn in flux. Whether or not he follows Malzahn home, Auburn fans should probably begin bracing themselves for a new leading rusher next fall. [National Football Authority, al.com, Mobile Press Register]
• We hardly knew ye. Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley said Wednesday he's skipping his senior season for the NFL Draft after picking up back-to-back All-ACC nods as a sophomore and junior. That honor came this year despite a nagging hamstring, which limited Hosley's numbers after he led the nation with nine interceptions in 2010. [Washington Post]
• Mark your calendars. The Saturday to circle next fall: Nov. 3, host to arguably the two biggest regular season games of the 2012. In the Pac-12, which released its full 2012 schedule on Wednesday, that's the day Oregon will visit USC in a likely top-five showdown that could decide one half of the BCS title game. In the SEC, which released its full schedule last week, that's the day Alabama will visit LSU in a likely top-five showdown that could decide the other half of the BCS title game. All four teams will be jockeying for position atop the preseason polls. [Pac-12.org, Eugene Register-Guard]
• There will be a test. Elsewhere, the MAC is adjusting its schedule, too, after shipping Bowling Green to the West Division to make way for its newest member, Massachusetts, in the East. The new 14-team alignment breaks down like so:
MAC East: Akron, Buffalo, Kent State, Massachusetts, Miami (Ohio), Ohio (Ohio), Temple.
MAC West: Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan.
Quickly… A pair of former Gators land in Louisville. … Wisconsin's linebackers coach will follow Paul Chryst to Pitt as the Panthers' new defensive coordinator. … Texas may be looking to junior colleges for a quick fix at quarterback. … Mike Gundy overrules his assistant coaches on a critical call in the Fiesta Bowl. …
Bob Stoops on how coaching has gotten harder since his first few years at Oklahoma. … Clemson' mascot attempts to uphold a little dignity at the Orange Bowl. … And at least one West Virginia fan thinks the MVP of the Orange Bowl was sitting in the press box.
- Sports & Recreation/American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- West Virginia