This ‘n That

Random thoughts from the past weekend…

—USC coach Pete Carroll–an avowed disciple of pro-style offenses and defenses–got a healthy dose of college-style medicine against Oregon.  Is it just me, or is Carroll turning into the next Mack Brown/Lloyd Carr/Phil Fulmer?  Meaning, like the programs headed by the aforementioned coaches, USC is laden with talent, but lacking urgency, creativity or dynamism which, of course, eventually leads to head-scratching losses.  There’s only one way to go from here and that’s down, unless Carroll makes some wholesale changes.  But that’s unlikely to happen, since to do so would discredit the philosophy he’s been preaching this whole time. 

Tony Pike is supposedly close to returning for Cincinnati.  But my question is:  Should Cincy put him back as the starter?  After all, his replacement, Zach Collaros is 2-0 in Pike’s absence and has completed 74.6 percent of his passes and has nine touchdowns with just one interception.  Just sayin’.

—After watching Iowa’s ridiculous comeback against Indiana, I must conclude that the Hawkeyes are the worst 9-0 team I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure Iowa fans don’t mind.

—Is this eye gouging thing really such a big deal?  I’m not defending it and I support some kind of suspension, but isn’t that stuff–and other dirty play–pretty standard for the bottom of a football pile?  Didn’t Brandon Spikes just happen to get caught on camera?

Mark Richt says he might finally replace senior Joe Cox at quarterback.  I think it’s two losses too late.  The Bulldogs don’t have any major postseason plans, so it’s time to get ready for next year.   With this in mind, they should’ve been giving Logan Gray his shot a couple weeks ago.

—Don’t look now, but Duke is 5-3 and on the verge of a bowl berth, its first since 1994.  But can the Blue Devils find one more win out of the remaining schedule?  UNC, Georgia Tech, Miami and Wake Forest stand in the way.  Still, big props to David Cutcliffe for the job he has done.

—I can’t remember the last time two brothers were as productive as James and Jacquizz Rodgers for Oregon State.  Together, the two average 348 all-purpose yards per game and have scored 21 touchdowns. 

—Quarterback under the radar:  NC State’s Russell Wilson, who is third nationally with 21 touchdown passes.   Quarterback who wishes he were more under the radar:  Jevan Snead, who is tied for the national lead with 13 interceptions.

—As good as Boise State is, I think TCU is the non-AQ team with the best case for a title game berth if it wins out. 

—Updated BCS Picks:

BCS Title Game: Alabama vs. Texas

Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl: Iowa vs. Oregon

Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. TCU

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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34 Responses to This ‘n That

  1. Perry November 3, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    I’m definitely not the biggest USC fan but has no one heard of a “re-building year”? Seems to me like everyone is a little too eager to pronounce the USC era over…

  2. ross November 3, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    I like the BCS Bowl picks, if those come true here are my early predictions:
    Bama 28 Texas 13. The Tide get two defensive touchdowns, and then two rushing scores late in the second half to put down the Horns and continue the SEC Title streak.

    Florida 63 Boise 20. Tebow shows voters he should have won his second Heisman and goes out of College Football with a bang.

    Oregon 38 Iowa 14. This one wouldn’t even be close, Iowa looks like crap to me.

    Cincinatti 21 Georgia Tech 20. I think this one could be fun to watch.

    TCU 28 Penn State 24. I like TCU a lot this year, I think if they get a weaker BCS team in their game that they could have a good shot at winning it.

  3. CloroxingTheGenePool November 3, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    #1 To be fair to Iowa, they’re physically beat up. By the time they get to their bowl, they’ll be healed up and probably surprise whomever they play.
    #2 Do you think Oregon State could up end Oregon, thereby sending USC to the Rose Bowl?

  4. Gizmo November 3, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    HP, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Boise State vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl, i.e. why you think the Broncos will be picked. It sounds like you think TCU will get the automatic non-BCS bid, meaning Boise State is picked as an at large.

    Do you really think the Sugar Bowl would pick them over a 1-loss team from the BCS, or maybe even a 2-loss team? USC would be a very talented 2-loss team, although I’m not sure they would travel very well since it’s a “down” year for them. Miami fans might not travel as well either, but they’d probably be ecstatic to be back in a BCS game and matched up against UF. And a 10-2 Notre Dame team matched up against UF, deserving or not, would have a lot of storylines. Plus the Irish travel very well and draw high ratings.

    And if Boise State gets the automatic non-BCS bid I would be asking the same question about a TCU team being picked ahead of any of the aforementioned names.

    I agree that it would be completely unfair for any of these teams to be chosen ahead of an undefeated BSU or TCU team, but in the end the BCS and the bowls seem to really only care about money, and they wouldn’t be doing anything against the rules to pass up the Broncos or the Frogs for a bigger name.

  5. Johnny November 3, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    @CloroxingTheGenePool, Oregon would need to lose twice for USC to have a chance at the Pac 10. Oregon is undefeated in the conference.

  6. Dawgy November 3, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    —Is this eye gouging thing really such a big deal? I’m not defending it and I support some kind of suspension, but isn’t that stuff–and other dirty play–pretty standard for the bottom of a football pile? Didn’t Brandon Spikes just happen to get caught on camera?

    Why would any rational person even ask a question like this? It may have been standard for 1950-60’s pro football but, it has absolutely no place in the college game or any other game for that matter.

    What stand do you take on Oregon suspending their player for a year for hitting the Boise player?

    Brandon Spikes is a THUG and, Urban Meyer has zero class. A half a game suspension is a total joke.

  7. Jtroche November 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    Dawgy: Washaun Ealey apparently thinks that the incident was not a big deal because he doesn’t think Spikes should be suspended. I agree that Spikes probably should have been suspended a full game but when the player whose eye’s were being gouged doesn’t think the guy should be suspended, well it makes you think.

  8. Jams November 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    I’d like to second Gizmo’s comment above… there is almost no way that both TCU and Boise State go to BCS bowls. There will almost certainly to be some more financially appealing team for the bowls to pick rather than whichever one of those two didn’t earn the auto-bid. Just look at last year: undefeated Utah got the auto bid, and the bowls passed over undefeated Boise State for two-loss Ohio State. I don’t see why that won’t happen again, unless both Boise and TCU miraculously end up in the top 4 (which I believe guarantees any team a spot).

  9. slippy November 3, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Oregon would have to lose 3 times for USC to get it since they hold the head-to-head tie breaker (not sure if the Pac 10 uses this for champion but the Rose Bowl does).

    What exactly makes Iowa so bad, but Alabama the best team in the country? Granted, Iowa’s victories were from behind, but Alabama has been playing down to their opponents and hardly blowing anyone out of the water. I think the fact that Stanzi threw 4 straight picks in the 2nd half and they still won by a lot shows how good their defense is.

    Ross have you seen GT play defense? I love Paul Johnson but that D struggles…no way Cinci only scores 21 on them. That game would be more like 52-48, take your pick of winner.

  10. Dukie November 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    so we have 5 wins but one of them is against DII NC Central University, so we actually need two more 🙁 dunno if that’ll happen with the brutal schedule we have left

  11. Matt November 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Did you really just lump Mack Brown in with Lloyd Carr and Phil Fulmer?

    Lloyd Carr: 13 seasons, 122-40 (75.3%) 1 NC, 6-7 in bowls, 2 -3 in BCS games
    Phil Fulmer: 17 seasons, 152-52 (74.5%) 1 NC, 8-7 in bowls, 1-2 in BCS games
    Mack Brown: 11.5 seasons, 123-26 (82.5%) 1 NC, 8-3 in bowls, 3-0 in BCS games.

    Ok, which one doesn’t belong? Really dumb comparison.

  12. Steven Starkweather November 3, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    @ Matt, have you bothered to compare Pete Carroll’s record(s) with those guys? Except for the loss to, umm, Mack Brown, Carroll’s numbers are a lot better than the other two, as well. On the other hand, you make it to the Hall of Fame and it doesn’t seem like a bad thing to be compared with you. Since all 4 of these guys deserve to be in the CF HOF, who cares? BTW, in response to the article, TCU has a pretty good shot at not going undefeated, so their schedule strength could obviate itself while also being the pole that BSU uses to vault them in the standings. Bowl score predictions seem a little bit early. If these were regular season games, those predictions make some sense but the bowls, coming as they do several weeks after the season, follow their own system of logic. And even UF might fall prey to the “we were slighted” moping that has helped Boise and Utah make their bones in bowl wins.

  13. zack November 3, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    Hawaii was a far worse 9-0 2 years ago. They had an ungodly weak schedule and needed overtime to win a few games.

  14. Ricky November 3, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    “—Is this eye gouging thing really such a big deal? I’m not defending it and I support some kind of suspension, but isn’t that stuff–and other dirty play–pretty standard for the bottom of a football pile? Didn’t Brandon Spikes just happen to get caught on camera?

    Why would any rational person even ask a question like this? It may have been standard for 1950-60’s pro football but, it has absolutely no place in the college game or any other game for that matter. ”

    I agree that it shouldn’t happen in college football, but this happens in every game involving physical contact (hockey, rugby, even baseball with retaliatory hits by pitch). Any coach that advocates just letting it slide when you get messed with is asking for either a team mutiny or a dead team.

    Eye gouging and groin shots definitely happen in modern football, even in the NFL. See: This happens at every level, up to the NFL. Sorry to break it to those who have never played the game and are screaming as though it was the crime of the century.

  15. Bucknut November 4, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    God, Curt Coleman gets a one game suspension for a helmet to helmet after the play. Brandon Spikes gets a 1/2 game for eye gouging. What the hell. Sorry but Urban needs to set a better example for his program.

  16. Bucknut November 4, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    Sorry it’s Kurt Coleman.

  17. Bucknut November 4, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Sorry but I’d take Pete Carroll anyday at OSU.

  18. Ed Newman November 4, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    “unless both Boise and TCU miraculously end up in the top 4 (which I believe guarantees any team a spot).”

    I don’t think this is a miracle scenario. UC could easily lose to Pitt, Iowa could lose to anyone. Bama or Florida (possibly both) WILL lose. Oregon has locked up the Rose and could get lazy versus Stanford or OSU. There is a lot of football still to play.

  19. Dave November 4, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    Why so harsh on Mack Brown? He doesn’t deserve to be with those other coaches — not by a long shot.

  20. sandymex November 4, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Ealey now admits that Spikes didn’t gouge his eyes at all! He thinks Spikes shouldn’t have been suspended. And where’s the similar outrage about the eye gouging by Shaun Chapas earlier in the game. Spikes had to leave the game for medical treatment.

    And of course there’s the cheap shot by Nick Williams on Tebow away from the ball. Spikes deserved the suspension, but there’s a reason Georgia is one of the most penalized teams in the nation.

  21. Dawgy November 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    Jtroche, if you shoot a gun at someone and miss you’re still in trouble. Doesn’t matter whether they forgive you or not. Just because Spikes didn’t acomplish his intent is no excuse in my mind.

  22. sandymex November 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Dawgy –

    Ealey didn’t even get a finger in his eyes… pretty hard to argue that Spikes intended to gouge them out. Bulldogs can dish it out but they sure can’t take it.

  23. sandymex November 4, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Bucknut –

    You might type “Curtis Terry cheap shots” on YouTube before you get too outraged about crimes without punishments.

  24. Dawgy November 5, 2009 at 5:27 am #

    JDouche and Sandymexican aka HP. Obvious that you haven’t seen the clip on this or you’re just mentally challenged.

    Apparently Brandon Spikes disagrees with both of you(s) as he as requested to be suspended for a whole game. At least he has more integrity than Mike Slive and Urban Meyer and, you(s).

    BTW, nobody gives a shit about the Heisman anymore. It’s just another Miss USA, Miss American, Miss World pageant.

  25. sandymex November 5, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    Dawgy –

    I guess calling me “Mexican” is supposed to be an insult… you might take the white sheet off or at least put in eye holes so you can see what’s obvious to the rest of us.

    Spikes should be suspended for putting his hand in the facemask even though everyone agrees there was no eye gouging. But you’re a hypocrite for demanding a longer suspension for Spikes while not calling for ANY suspensions for the earlier cheap shots by Bulldogs.

    Shaun Chapas undeniably gouged Spikes in the eyes and Nick Williams took an obvious cheap shot on Tebow. But Bulldog principles don’t seem to extend to their own team.

  26. Dawgy November 5, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    sandy, who’s the “rest of us”? Almost everyone I read and heard on TV agree that the length of the suspension is a joke.

    Justifing one wrong with alledged other wrongs is wrong.

    Took my sheet off and the only thing obvious is that I was right. Go eat you a Taco watch some soccer.

  27. sandymex November 5, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    I’ve never said Spikes was justified, in fact I’ve said he should be punished. You seem to acknowledge dirty plays by Bulldogs, but are silent about how they should be punished. My point is that you’re being a hypocrite and you know it.

    I said “everyone agrees there was no eye gouging.” Ealey agrees, Spikes agrees and the video never even showed Ealey rubbing his eyes much less seeking medical treatment like Spikes had to. Show me an article that acknowledges Ealey wasn’t gouged and demands a longer suspension. That’s a minority opinion at best.

  28. Dawgy November 5, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Look, as I said before and maybe you didn’t understand? The intent by Spikes was to do harm, not to wave Hi. If your intent is bad whether you’re successful or not doesn’t really matter much. You can get a life sentence for attempted murder just like the real deal. Spikes was trying to do harm. It wasn’t a late hit or a chop block, it was dirty.

    What dirty plays by Georgia are you talking about? Does one wrong justify another? Didn’t the Boise State player mouth off at the Oregon player which incited the punch.
    Unlike Urban Meyer Oregon’s coach exhibited some integrity and suspended him for the season. I’m not saying that was a measured response but, it sends a message.

    How’s that soccer game coming?

  29. sandymex November 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    It’s never easy to guess intent as you have tried to do with Spikes. I don’t buy the notion that Spikes intended to gouge Ealey in the eyes but couldn’t find them. When Ealey admitted there was no eye-gouging, the Bulldog outrage looked like cover for their own poor play and poor sportsmanship.

    I disagree with you when you say Meyer lacks integrity based on the length of the suspension. What would that logic lead you to say about Richt?

    There is no comparison between Spikes and Blount at Oregon. Blount had a long history of problems with multiple blowups and a suspension in 2008. In the first game of 2009 Blount:
    1) punched an opposing player in the face during post game handshakes,
    2) punched a team mate in the face,
    3) tried to attack fans in the stands, and
    4) fought with police.

  30. Dawgy November 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm #


    O.K. you don’t believe Spikes was intent on eye damage. What is your “notion” as to what Spikes’ intent was? Please give everyone your insight. Maybe he was just trying to remove a speck of dirt from Ealey’s cheak and should be commended. That’s why he suggested that his suspension be a full game.

    Get real dude you sound foolish.

  31. sandymex November 5, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Didn’t I just say it’s never easy to guess intent? Here’s what we know: Ealey wasn’t hurt. Ealey wasn’t even bothered enough to rub his eyes or face. Ealey finally admitted Spikes didn’t gouge him, despite ample opportunity.

    It is more plausible that Spikes was trying to intimidate or anger Ealey rather than injure him. Maybe he was making a statement that Georgia stop the dirty play. Any guess at intent is nothing more than a guess.

    The fact that Mark Richt refuses to penalize Bulldogs for cheap shots speaks volumes about his control on the program.

  32. Dawgy November 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    You only wish your team had a coach with the integrity of Mark Richt and his record over the past 9 seasons.

    You wouldn’t know plausible if it bit you on your mexican ass.

    Now go wonder why your once mighty Trojans can’t beat those bottom feeders in the pac 10.

  33. sandymex November 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    It’s one thing to say I don’t know plausible and that Pete Carrol has no integrity, but to call me a USC fan? Ouch. That’s really hitting south of the border.

  34. Dawgy November 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    I apologize for that one. I’ll suspend myself for 1/2 a game.