December 03, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• We're sorry. You're still overrated, but we're sorry. Reno mayor Bob Cashell and University of Nevada president Milton Glick plan to send a letter of apology to Boise State fans and players in response to photos and anecdotes about Wolf Pack fans taunting the vanquished Broncos in the wake of last Friday's 34-31 upset. No word on whether they also plan to apologize to the WAC for costing the conference millions by knocking Boise out of a certain BCS bid. [Reno Gazette Journal]
• Dude, you're just like that other dude. Like his Boise State counterpart last week, Arizona kicking goat Alex Zendejas is being both assured and assailed on Facebook after missing two critical extra points in the Wildcats' 30-29 loss to Arizona State Thursday night. Among the pages that sprang up overnight, there's "The Wildcat Nation Loves Alex Zendejas," "Alex Zendejas Should Never Show His Face in Tucson" and of course, "I Would Trade Alex Zendejas for Kyle Brotzman." [Tucson Citizen]
• Movin' on up. Arkansas State offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze – better known as Michael Oher's high school coach in both the book and film versions of "The Blind Side" – is Arkansas State's new head coach, replacing the ousted Steve Roberts. The Red Wolves (née Indians) never managed a winning season in nine years under Roberts, who was fired last week after back-to-back 4-8 finishes. But they haven't had a winning record under anyone else since reconstituting the football program in 1990, either, save a 6-5 mark under John Bobo in 1995, their final season in the now-defunct Big West. [Associated Press]
• Someone's seen Jeff Sagarin's strength-of-schedule rankings. Despite vindication of sorts in Nevada's upset over Boise State, Ohio State president Gordon Gee backed off last week's controversial dismissal of Boise and TCU as championship contenders because of their "Little Sisters of the Poor" schedules, telling the Columbus Dispatch he's going to keep his nose out of football: "What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football," Gee said, "[W]hat I should do is go over to the surgical suites and get my foot extricated from my mouth." I think he looks more like a dorkier Woody Allen than Orville Redenbacher, but that's just me. [Columbus Dispatch]
• E'rybody playin' up in here. Oklahoma running back/return man DeMarco Murray is expected to play against Nebraska in Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game, per head coach Bob Stoops, who said Murray's banged-up knee was ready to go after Thursday's practice. As for banged-up Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez's status, well, that's kind of a long story, if you believe it. [The Oklahoman, Corn Nation]
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is also "on track" to start Saturday against UCLA after showing improvement Thursday on a bum ankle. "I would anticipate him starting," coach Lane Kiffin said. "It will be a decision as we get a little closer. … We'll see how sore he is [Friday]." [L.A. Times]
Quickly … All-SEC safety Mark Barron will miss Alabama's bowl game with a pectoral injury. … Pitt linebacker Dan Mason is scheduled to undergo a second knee surgery, putting his career at risk after a gruesome injury against Miami in September. … Dan Hawkins gets a lovely parting gift from Colorado. … How the NCAA put Robert Quinn on ice, with help from his lawyer. … How an NCAA rule designed to slow down the recruiting process is having the opposite effect. … The Chick-Fil-A Bowl will take the loser of the ACC Championship Game. … Come in from the ledge, Wyoming fans: Austyn Carta-Samuels is still a Cowboy. … Jon Gruden isn't going to coach at Miami, but he's more than willing to help find someone who will. … Will the real Big 12 Coach of the Year please stand up? … Thursday night's win didn't come easy for Dennis Erickson. … There's an ice rink in the Big House. … And Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett is just keeping it real, yo.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.