October 06, 2009
• Can't you see you're tearing us apart!?. As usual when coaches' seats start to get a little toasty, there are two conversations going on at Florida State: The one we see, which ultimately means little outside of the fact that it exists, and the one we don't, which will actually seal Bobby Bowden's fate after possibly the worst start in his 34-year tenure at FSU.
On the former front, everyone is weighing in except Bobby himself -- calls for Bowden's "retirement" by the local newspaper and then the head of the university's Board of Trustees over the weekend was red meat for the blogs and led to a round of counterpunches Monday from an indignant Ann Bowden (who "speaks for herself," according to her husband) and even 'Nole legend Deion Sanders, who sprinted in from whatever Prime Time is doing these days to call the criticism "nonsense" from people looking to "kill a man while he's alive." Man-on-the-street opinion remains mixed, and the grassroots Bowden Blackout remains on for Saturday's home game with Georgia Tech, which could have the home crowd at each other's throats before kickoff.
But the conversation behind the scenes is more interesting, especially for the persistent rumors throughout the day Monday that "heavy hitting boosters" were working to put together a retirement package ($) that could be done as soon as tonight and announced by the end of the week, and the unsurprising speculation that Bowden is "digging in" to hold onto his chair for another year. One note that may get lost in the mix: Athletic director Randy Swetman admitted that most of the e-mails coming into his account since Saturday's loss at Boston College are in favor of a change.
• Obligatory Tebow Watch, go. Across the state, the Gators' own existential crisis gets a little more intense by the day, ramping up Monday with word that Tim Tebow still has not been cleared to play or practice off the concussion heard 'round the sports world at Kentucky. The Tebow Child is reportedly back to normal in every other facet of his life, although since his life consists solely of being a football player this semester, I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean, exactly. At least the headaches have stopped, but no one seems to have any firm idea whether he'll play or whether John Brantley will make his first start Saturday at LSU.
The Gators have other, non-Tebow-related problems: Five-star recruit Matt Elam, one of the top players at any position in the 2010 class, is no longer a firm Gator commit after visiting Tennessee last Saturday despite the Vols' home loss to Auburn. Kiffin!
• We hardly knew ye. Whatever future gains Tennessee earned over the weekend, the offense suffered an immediate setback with the dismissal of receiver/tight end Brandon Warren for "conduct detrimental to the team" after he was caught "tossing helmets and arguing on the sidelines with a coach" during the Auburn loss. That's a tough break for Warren, a big-time recruit from near Knoxville who had a solid freshman season for Florida State in 2006, transferred home to be closer to his ailing mother and struggled to make any inroads with the Vols under the Fulmer or Kiffin regimes. He ends his Tennessee career with 17 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a little under a year-and-a-half.
• Act like you've been here before ... because you have been here before, and it ended badly Attention South Florida: If you need a prominent billboard to express this sentiment --
-- perhaps you're not quite there yet. Just let your record do the talking, Bulls, and try to avoid your third straight second-half collapse before plastering your inferiority complex over the highway.
Quickly ... Maryland will be without starting running back Da'Rel Scott for five games thanks to a broken wrist. ... Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli sat out Monday's practice and remains questionable for Saturday's game at UCLA. ... Michigan cornerback Justin Turner is still on track to redshirt despite getting in a few plays this season. ... Terrelle Pryor is, in fact, making some crazy athletic plays. ... Syracuse has suspended starting linebacker E.J. Carter and will be without two starting tight ends, Nick Provo and Cody Catalina, Saturday against West Virginia. ... The Washington Post attempts the impossible. ... Todd Reesing achieves Jayhawk immortality. ... And Tate Forcier already has an unofficial but very devoted Heisman site.