December 23, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Does that swivel chair come with a seatbelt? If Urban Meyer's pregame and halftime turns during ESPN's Las Vegas Bowl coverage had the distinct ring of an audition, it's because that's what they were: Meyer reportedly met with ESPN officials Wednesday about joining the network in some capacity after he officially leaves Florida next month. [Gainesville Sun]
Coach did fine on-air – especially considering that he actually discussed Xs and Os at halftime (what a concept!) – but there's still something very depressing about a 46-year-old setting aside part of the prime of his professional life to sit in a studio in Bristol, Conn., talking about other people doing the thing he can still do better than almost any of them. Meyer is an all-in guy, and an all-in retirement split between his daughters' volleyball games and a lake in the middle of nowhere, I could see. A gig as a part-time critic is a tougher sell.
• Tatgate goes national. Almost all Vegas bookmakers have taken the Sugar Bowl line off the board in the wake of Wednesday's reports that multiple Ohio State players face suspensions over an alleged autograph-for-free tattoo trade, currently being investigated by the school. Gamblers looking for someone to blame for blowing their quick score on Arkansas can aim their twitchy fingers at a certain broadcasting team that felt compelled to break the story to a national audience at the end of the Vegas Bowl. [Eleven Warriors, VegasInsider.com, Bodog.com]
For their part, a pair of inked-up Buckeye stars took to Twitter Wednesday night to defend themselves: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor told followers he paid for his tats, and All-America center Michael Brewster said he got all of his done at the same shop in his native Orlando, not in Columbus.
• Not so fast, my friend. Georgia receiver A.J. Green also took to Twitter Wednesday night to refute a sketchy report that he's "100 percent" on his decision to leave school early for the draft, lockout or no lockout, writing "Idk where these ppl got that I'm going pro..this is def not true.. Haven't even made a decision yet!" [Atlanta Journal Constitution, Twitter]
• Sitting Tiger. LSU could be without All-SEC running back Stevan Ridley in the Cotton Bowl, thanks to an "academic issue" that at least temporarily rendered him ineligible. Ridley continues to practice with the team, and is appealing for reinstatement in time to play against Texas A&M on Jan. 7. "While I question (the NCAA's) findings and think that the punishment is harsh, I did put myself in a compromising position that I deeply regret," Ridley said in a statement. "I have the full support of the LSU administration and coaching staff, and trust them in assisting me with the appeals process." For his sake, I hope they're better appeals than clock management. [Associated Press, Baton Rouge Advocate]
• Tapping the Pettis-to-Pettis connection. It was late, but no, you weren't hallucinating – Boise State's Austin Pettis did, in fact, complete a pass to Austin Pettis:
• Will he get a real whistle? Mike Leach still doesn't have a job, but Miami's got the next best thing: Brennan Carroll – spawn of Pete Carroll and breakout star of a legendary (and sadly lost) video of USC's 2008 walk-on tryouts – will serve as the Hurricanes' recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach under new head coach Al Golden. Just get Brennan on the field, let the cameras roll and step out of the way, please. [Miami Herald]
Quickly… Ralph Friedgen could see himself coaching again. … Bill Stewart confirms multiple academic casualties for West Virginia's Champs Sports Bowl date with N.C. State, but refused to name names. … Justin Wilcox continues to fend off the Texas rumors. … Washington tight end Chris Izbicki leaves the program ahead of the Holiday Bowl. … Once-hyped quarterback Kevin Newsome didn't travel with Penn State for the Outback Bowl, further suggesting his pending transfer from the team. … Add Mississippi State to the list of teams losing money on its bowl game. … Bill Snyder warns his team about the dangers of the big city. … A quick guide to not getting killed at the Sun Bowl for Notre Dame fans. … Oklahoma players fail the UConn quiz. … An Auburn beat writer is cleared of DUI. … A very unfortunate photo from the Las Vegas Bowl. … LSU gets into the holiday spirit. … And nothing to see here, folks.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.