January 26, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Frat boys demand justice. To clarify Monday's somewhat convoluted Oregon robbery story: Eugene police are still investigating a reported robbery at a fraternity over the weekend, but say Duck players Jeremiah Masoli and Garrett Embry are not suspects, though they are named in the report for being present at the time of the robbery; officially, a police spokesman told the school paper, "Masoli and Embry have not been named suspects and there are no persons of interest in the case." Members of the frat, however, are telling every local outlet that Masoli and Embry are responsible for a pair of missing laptops and other items -- one student Sig Ep told the Oregonian he chased the players from the house, and another left a message with the student paper in which he called Masoli and Embry "hoodrats" who "just stole all of my friend's possessions." There have been no charges or arrests. [The Oregonian, Daily Emerald]
In better news for the Ducks, kicker Rob Beard was removed from the ICU and is expected to make a full recovery after being badly beaten and kicked in an early-morning fight on Sunday. Beard underwent "relatively minor" facial reconstruction surgery on Monday and was able to greet visitors and return text messages. [Eugene Register-Guard]
• The peasants, sir, they demand more. The five mid-major conferences brought in a record haul from the BCS, splitting up a record $24 million among themselves -- more, for the first time, than the $22.2 million apiece the Big Ten and SEC brought in for sending two teams to the Series. Most of the non-Big Six cash was split among the WAC ($9.8 million) and Mountain West ($7.8 million), thanks to Boise State and TCU, but that payout still remains about half of the $17.7 million apiece the BCS doled out to the ACC, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big East for qualifying just one team. [Associated Press]
• Mobile Confidential. Among several dozen last-second Senior Bowl additions over the weekend was Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount, of Boise State Punchout fame, who joins Tim Tebow and recovering USC tailback Stafon Johnson -- playing for the first time since dropping a loaded bench press bar on his neck last September -- as one of the more interesting stories of the week in Mobile. One of the worst stories of the week: Big Ten sack leader O'Brien Schofield, trying out at outside linebacker after an all-conference effort at defensive end for Wisconsin, tore his ACL during practice, putting his rookie season next fall in doubt. [Mobile Press-Register, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
• Welcome to the Cinderella Bowl. I'm generally a defender of recruiting rankings, but aside from Peyton Manning, ESPN's Bruce Feldman pointed out Monday that the star system didn't fare very well in projecting this year's Super Bowl: The vast majority of starters in two weeks were rated three stars or worse coming into college, if they were rated at all, and many (including Colts Pro Bowlers Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne and former LSU running back Joseph Addai) initially walked on. The Saints are starting three Pro Bowl-caliber players, Marques Colston (Hofstra), Jahri Evans (Bloomsburg State) and Darren Sharper (William & Mary), from obscure lower-division schools. Which just goes to show how good a thoroughbred, blue-chip quarterback like Manning can make everyone else, right? [ESPN]
Quickly ... Under Armour congratulates Stafon Johnson on just being at the Senior Bowl. ... The Kansas City Star reviews Missouri's options when it comes to joining the Big Ten's expansion efforts. ... The South Bend Tribune continues its tour of new Irish assistants with a look at Brian Kelly's right hand man on offense, Charley Molnar. ... And most of the South may be finished with Lane Kiffin, but Kiffin definitely isn't finished with the South.