Uga VI, the mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs since 1999, has died.
I’m not a Georgia fan, obviously, but Uga (pronounced "uh-guh") is pretty freakin’ cool. Not as cool as Traveler, of course, but cool nonetheless. R.I.P., Uga VI.
You know those "House Divided" license plates — they’re really popular here in the South — for families in which the spouses root for rival schools? Well, the governor and first lady of California have something similar going on, except it relates to politics rather than sports, and it’s on their house instead of their car:
(As for those license plates, I need a customized USC/Notre Dame version that says "A Man Divided." Heh. Okay, not really, but it’d look cool, anyway…)
Last week, I confessed that, although the rational side of my brain is undecided between Barack Obama and John McCain, the “portion of my brain that views politics as a sport can’t help ‘rooting’ for Obama” because he is “the scrappy mid-major going up against the staid, boring, established program; he’s Boise State against Oklahoma (’They said this day would never come: a WAC team in a BCS bowl! Yes, we can!’), he’s Appalachian State against Michigan… or, as McCain might prefer to say, he’s Hawaii against Georgia.”
Now, Ben Smith uses a college-football metaphor, saying that Obama’s 50-state, expand-the-map strategy is the political equivalent of the “spread offense.”
If so, Obama’s definitely going to win Michigan. :)
Gays aren’t the only new couples in California. USC and the Coliseum have patched up their differences and worked out a deal to keep the Trojans playing at the Coliseum for another 25 years, about the same time Coach Carroll will be ready to retire.
The ACC and Pac-10 have the least despicable non-conference schedules in college football. And when you consider that the Pac-10 plays a nine-game, true round-robin in conference, their schedules are the most respectable by a mile.
Which conference has the cupcake-iest schedules? The Big Ten, of course. Though the SEC and Big 12 are nipping at its heels.
Every Day Should Be Saturday is running a contest that gives all you college sports fans an opportunity to help the victims of the recent spate of disasters — the Burma cyclone, the China earthquake, the Midwest tornadoes — while simultaneously showing your team pride. Here’s how it works:
2) Email the donation confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org and state your team affiliation by 8pm EDT on Wednesday, May 14th.
4) The winning school will have its colors displayed at EDSBS and logo/mascot shown on every page at Fanblogs.
Things are looking dismal in the current standings for both USC and Notre Dame. Neither school shows up in the Top 10, and in fact, if EDSBS is counting ND as part of the "Big East" for purposes of their conference standings, it appears that zero dollars have been donated by fans of either school. (The Pac-10 and Big East are tied for last place with $0.)
So, pony up, Irish and Trojan fans! We can’t let freakin’ Michigan — in first place with $1,000 — win this thing.
[Warning: All of the links below are at least marginally SFW, in that they contain no actual nudity. However, some contain scantily clad women, suggestive material, etc., so depending on your situation and location, you may want to steer clear.]
The Arizona State cheerleading squad survived the uniformed ex-cheerleader in a porn movie scandal, but apparently the specter of six current cheerleaders in their underwear, baring their not-quite-naked bodies on the Internets for all to see, was too much for the university to handle:
[T]he cheerleading squad that performed at Arizona State football and basketball games has been eliminated. Arizona State will instead have “spirit squads” that will be led by the band director.
Why the change? It’s not entirely clear, but the Fox TV affiliate in Phoenix suggests that it’s because TheDirty.com posted photos of Arizona State cheerleaders in their underwear.
More on this story — including the photo — after the jump.
I mentioned yesterday that college football’s powers-that-be have once again decided, in their infinite wisdom, that the BCS is just fine & dandy, and playoffs r teh suxx0rs. But I missed this detail: the NCAA has certified two new bowl games, bringing the total to 34. Because, as AOL Fanhouse says, "that’s what the nation really wanted."
This means a total of 68 teams will be goin’ bowling. Last year, 71 teams finished with records of 6-6 or better. We’re seriously getting into the territory where, in a given season, there might not be enough bowl-eligible teams to fill out all the slots. I expect we’ll soon see a rule change allowing in teams with 5-7 records if there aren’t enough .500-or-better teams available. (Remember, 6-6 teams have only been allowed in for the last two years, and that change coincided with the expansion from 28 to 32 bowls.)
In any event, 34 bowls means that more than 57 percent of all Division I-A teams will be playing in the postseason. Remember when a bowl bid was actually a meaningful reward for a good year?
Anyway, the new kids on the block are the
Congressional Bowl in Washington, D.C., and the St. Petersburg Bowl in
St. Petersburg, Florida. Mercifully, a 35th bowl — the Rocky Mountain Bowl in Salt Lake City, which would have pitted the fifth-place Mountain West team against the fourth-place WAC team — was rejected.
The St. Petersburg Bowl is still in need of a corporate sponsorship, which gives me an idea. If every college football fan who supports a playoff, and hates the endless proliferation of meaningless bowls between 6-6 teams, were to donate, say, $5, couldn’t we make these folks a sponsorship offer they couldn’t refuse — and force them to name their bowl something like the "Utterly Meaningless St. Petersburg Bowl" or the "St. Petersburg Bowl Brought To You By Shameless Greed" or the "Let’s Have A Freakin’ Playoff Already St. Petersburg Bowl" or the "F***-the-BCS St. Petersburg Bowl"? Cuz that’d be sweet.
Meanwhile, another AOL Fanhouse blogger wonders how on earth USC lost two games (and played poorly in a bunch of other games) each of the last two seasons, given that seven former Trojans were drafted during the first two rounds of the NFL Draft last weekend — which continues a trend of Trojan dominance on Draft Day. It’s a fair question.
Well, everybody who matters, anyway.
The Connecticut legislature reached a compromise with UConn that will allow the university’s football team to schedule a six-year series against Notre Dame, even though none of the games will be played in Connecticut. The Irish balked at playing at the Huskies’ 40,000-seat home stadium, Rentschler Field in East Hartford, insisting instead that UConn’s "home" games played in larger stadiums elsewhere, most likely in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and/or New York. However, Connecticut lawmakers were unimpressed with the idea of UConn outsourcing its home games to other states. In the words of State Rep. Michael Christ,
D-East Hartford, who proposed an earlier bill that would have
required UConn to play all its home games at Rentschler, "Many of us felt we already had a beautiful facility in
Connecticut and it was built for UConn."
The newly announced deal requires UConn to play six home games at Rentschler Field each year, "as long as the NCAA rules permit a
12-game season and permits a team to use one Football Championship
Subdivision win per season as a bowl-eligible win." It also reduces the length of the series between UConn and Notre Dame from ten years to six. "I
believe we have crafted a reasonable solution," said Christ, who added that he hopes UConn can persuade the Irish to play at
Rentschler Field in the future. (Ha! Fat chance.)
The series will start in the 2011 season and go through 2017. The three home games for the Irish will, of course, be played at Notre Dame Stadium. The deal still needs to be approved by Notre Dame and venue officials. Connecticut and Notre Dame already have a separate deal to play next season in South Bend.
UPDATE BY BRENDAN: Rep. Christ wrote a scathing op-ed about this topic last week in the Hartford Courant. My dad suggested the headline, "Christ to Notre Dame: Screw you." Heh.
Anyway, here’s an excerpt:
Loyal Husky fans flock with family and friends to Rentschler for every home
game, rain or shine, in support of their beloved team. There are hundreds of
stadium workers who depend on a game day payday from parking cars, working
concessions and post-game clean-up. Many local school bands and clubs as well as
charities also use games to bolster fundraising. Should all those benefits move
to Massachusetts? I say no!
If Rentschler Field is too confining for the
Leprechaun army the Fighting Irish deploy each week, how come the similar
capacity stadium of the Boston College Eagles (formerly of the Big East) is not
too small? That series alternates between South Bend and Chestnut Hill,
There is no question Notre Dame will remain the "Wal-Mart" of college football as long as it is able to keep its national television
network deal. However, UConn officials can come out of this looking like heroes
both here in Connecticut and nationally by saying "no thanks." They could brag
that no one, not even the legendary Notre Dame, can tell Connecticut where to
play its home games. Even if the Fighting Leprechauns, after a few more years of
two-win seasons, do eventually find their television revenue dried up and are
forced to finally join a conference, it is very possible that the Irish will
abandon their pseudo Big East affiliation and join the Big 10 anyway.
Ahem. It was a three-win season, thank you very much.
Incidentally, to answer the question posed by the title, I will, of course, root for Notre Dame, my alma mater. But as I said in comments, "if I had to pick one game (other than USC) for ND to lose, it would be
the UConn game. Imagine what a huge win that would be for the Huskies
That said: Gooooo Irish! Beeeeeat Huskies! :)
Domersphere reactions? Her Loyal Sons hates it. Rakes of Mallow likes it, although he wishes it was green. Blue-Gray Sky thinks it’s “pretty good.” Of course, it features the famous quote about “the blue, gray October sky” that BGS is named after, so they would like it. ;)
The Frozen Four is underway, and Notre Dame leads Michigan 3-2 with 10:44 left in the second period. It was 3-0, but Michigan just scored two rapid-fire goals to get back in it.
UPDATE: Michigan tied it at 3-3… then Notre Dame just took a 4-3 lead with less than 9 minutes left.
UPDATE 2: Tie game 4-4, with 5:21 left. Ugh.
UPDATE 3: Overtime. And, alas, I have to go to bed. Go Irish.
UPDATE 4: IRISH WIN!!!! (Okay, so I didn’t actually go to bed…) WOOOHOOO!!!
UPDATE 5: The Associated Press is mean. Check out their lede:
Michigan has Notre Dame’s number on the football field. Not so the ice.
Jeez! Is that really necessary? The Irish hockey team makes it to the national championship game for the first time ever — upsetting the #1-ranked team in the country, and becoming the first #4 seed ever to advance this far — and the first sentence of the AP article takes an irrelevant shot at the football team? WTF?! Is Brian Cook working ghost-writing for the AP or something?
Moreover, it’s inaccurate. Yes, Michigan beat Notre Dame — badly — in 2007 and 2006, but the Irish won easily in 2005 (when Michigan was ranked #3 in the country, the Irish just #20) and in 2004 (when ND was unranked and Michigan was #7). Michigan won in ‘03; Notre Dame won in ‘02. That makes them 3-3 in their most recent series. (They didn’t play from 1998 to 2001.)
If you want to go back further, the Irish are 12-11-1 against the Skunkbears since the series was renewed in 1978 after a 35-year hiatus. Michigan leads the overall series 20-14-1, but somehow I don’t think the Wolverines’ 9-2 record between 1884 and 1943 was what the AP reporter had in mind.
In any event, 20-14 is hardly a massive advantage, and 11-12 isn’t an advantage at all, nor is 3-3. However you look at it, you simply cannot construct an accurate historical reality in which "Michigan has Notre Dame’s number on the football field," unless you’re looking only at the last two years, which is rather myopic and hardly a sufficiently representative sample to make such a sweeping statement. Neither team has the other’s number; they’ve been very even in recent years.
Maybe the AP’s hockey writers should stick to talking about hockey. How about that.
Anyway, here’s a better ESPN article about Notre Dame’s amazing run to the national championship game. In hockey.
P.S. Now, if you want to say that USC currently has Notre Dame’s number in football, thanks to six straight wins — five of them blowouts — that
would be accurate. :) Likewise, it would have been accurate to say that
the Irish had the Trojans’ number back during their 13-year undefeated
streak in the ’80s and ’90s. But no way does either ND or UM have the
other’s number right now.
Man, oh man, has it been a great year to be an unheralded, small-conference school in western North Carolina, or what?
First Appalachian State beats Michigan in the Big House. Then Gardner-Webb beats Kentucky at Rupp Arena. And now Davidson — Appy State’s conference-mate — is going to the Elite Eight.
Just call it the
Bermuda Carolina Triangle:
Heady days in western Carolina. HOT! HOT! HOT!
The University at Buffalo football team will play a home game on ESPN2 on Election Night against Miami of Ohio. It’ll be Buffalo’s first nationally televised game since moving to Division I-A, and the first-ever nationally televised game out of UB Stadium. And according to UB grad Weston (pictured below with yours truly on the night of the Buffalo-Rutgers game last fall), they’re calling it the "Blue vs. Red Game," in reference to its Election Night timing. Heh.
Speaking of Buffalo, the Bulls are currently trying to extend their men’s basketball season in unlikely fashion. At 3-13 in conference play and 10-19 overall, UB is the lowest seed in the conference, #12, but they’re leading aforementioned Miami, the #5-seed, by a score of 51-42 with 11:39 to go. Can Buffalo get four wins in four days to win the MAC Tournament? Um, probably not. But hey, you never know. Crazier things have happened — like the UB football team winning five games in a season. :) Winner gets #4-seed Ohio tomorrow.
UPDATE: Buffalo loses, 69-68. :(
Not content with pissing all over USC’s football championships, now LSU wants to steal our basketball coach. :P
Floyd responded with a non-denial denial. I’m sure Les Miles will be rushing to the microphone any minute to castigate the media for reporting on such rumors when Floyd is busy trying to focus on winning a Pac-10 and NCAA championship. ;)
(Hat tip: Jay.)