In the afterglow of my wondrous trip back home to Florence last week and in anticipation of this week's UAB/Southern Miss tilt, I hadn't scheduled a game to cover in-person last Saturday. So instead I sat in front of the television and pondered all the things I miss when I embrace the press box and eschew the boob tube. The following is the result of that pondering; 25 random thoughts I had while watching a day's worth of football...
1. The stroke that Lee Corso suffered during the off-season was worse than we were made to believe. I know, I know, we all love him, but somebody has to say it. It's beginning to adversely affect the chemistry between him and the other talking heads on "College Gameday." I'm not saying we're in Dick Clark territory yet... but you know it's coming.
2. You know what industry is really making a killing off the H1N1 virus? Charter aircraft providers. It all started with Georgia QB Joe Cox, who was chartered separately from the rest of his teammates to Stillwater, Okla., for the Bulldogs' first game of the season against Oklahoma State. Then Florida's Tim Tebow, along with a couple of his teammates, got the same treatment prior to the Gators' game last week in Lexington versus the Kentucky Wildcats. Now, there is some question as to what medical ailment Tebow and his mates actually have, but hey, it's almost worth having pig flu just to fly private.
3. Ole Miss will never win an SEC Championship in my lifetime, and I'm 25 years old. Also, Houston Nutt is as dependable a big game coach as Marty Schottenheimer.
4. UAB QB Joe Webb is the football equivalent of Jerry Seinfeld's girlfriend (the "two-face") from the Festivus episode. "I don't know who you really are, but I've seen Jerry's girlfriend and she's not you. You're much better looking - and like a foot taller."
5. Watching football on the brand-new SEC Network is just as big a drag as watching the old Jefferson Pilot/Lincoln Financial broadcast. Same channel, same ungodly kickoff time, same Dave Neal, same overkill on the "Zero Meth" PSAs.
6. Joe Paterno is so old, that when ESPN was running that promo for the Penn State/Iowa game with the "JoePa-through-the-years" still photos and Brandi Carlille's "The Story" playing in the background, I immediately thought he was dead.
7. How's that transfer to USC working out for Mitch Mustain? Because who wants to be the No. 1 QB in Bob Petrino's offense anyway? Epic fail.
8. No team ranked in the Top Five nationally should ever play in that Thursday night ESPN game.
9. That Brett Favre commercial where he's trying to decide on whether to buy the big screen TV is LOL funny. Conversely, that commercial where he's playing fake slow-motion football with the A&F pinups gives me an involuntary eye twitch.
10. I don't like the commercial where Adrian Peterson turns into a gila monster.
11. Greg McElroy is a better quarterback than John Parker Wilson. Far better.
12. Can the guy who fixed Chris Todd's arm take a quick look at my right knee? Won't take but a moment.
13. OK, so it's not football related, but did you hear the joke Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl told at a Tennessee Valley Authority luncheon last week? "I've got a tough job. I've got to put these guys from different worlds together, right?" Pearl said. "I've got guys from Chicago, Detroit ... I'm talking about the 'hood! And I've got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood." Good God, Lane Kiffin's case of a terminal mouth must be more contagious than pig flu. Good luck recruiting in Grainger County next year, Bruce.
14. How is it that I've just now started hearing about this "pistol formation"? Apparently Nevada first implemented it five years ago...it's a modified shotgun set, wherein the quarterback is lined up closer to the line of scrimmage and the runningback is in position behind him (instead of split left or right). Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who coached at Fresno State before moving to Tuscaloosa, undoubtedly must have seen the Pistol in person and on film out West, and decided to adopt the strategy this season. So now, just like the Wildcat, lets have every team run it into irrelevancy!
15. Have you noticed that Les Miles' hat is, like, two sizes too small? Does he keep his wallet up there or something? I'm not the first to point this out, am I?
16. Lowell Galindo, the main studio anchor for ESPNU's college football coverage, is the most insufferable sports personality on television today. Period. You can't wear rugby shirts and jeans on television and then expect to be taken seriously.
17. Is Gillette really pulling down a profit substantial enough to afford Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Derek Jeter as shills, as well as run incessant commercials for every major sporting event on television? Are we really shaving enough to support this? Why isn't Colgate getting in on this action
18. Will Nick Saban do anything about that bald spot if it keeps getting bigger? Will he "Biden it up"? He seems like a guy that really cares about his hair, even though he apparently gets it cut at Head Start like I do. On a related note, is anyone under more pressure every couple of weeks than Nick Saban's barber? Try telling him "it will grow back." In his case, it might not.
19. Natural Ice's desperate campaign to make their beer cool and culturally relevant makes me smile, buy better beer.
20. Rain, not swine flu, is still the greatest equalizer in football.
21. We (myself included) may have been wrong about Gene Chizik, but I'll reserve judgment until Auburn actually plays a team with a decent quarterback.
22. Urban Meyer is really letting Lane Kiffin get under his skin, and for no good reason. So Florida didn't beat Tennessee by a historic margin? Big deal. Don't cop a lame plea about a bunch of your players being sick with the flu. That gives Lane Kiffin a perfect opportunity to needle his new rival, who's exhibiting sour grapes... after a win! Good for Kiffin, he finally has a legitimate reason to run his mouth.
23. Verne Lundquist is officially "venerable."
24. If I'm a mid-major Division I football team and I'm looking for a new coach after this season, I'm chartering a flight to Florence, Ala. and staying there until Terry Bowden boards my plane with his overnight bag in tow. I was skeptical at first that he could maintain UNA's championship-caliber momentum, considering he'd been out of coaching for 10 years and the Lions lost 23 seniors (including all-everything QB A.J. Milwee) from last year's team, which was one win away from playing in the D2 championship game. But UNA is undefeated on the season thus far and appears to on track for another deep playoff run, which, considering the circumstances, is mind-boggling.
25. My Tim Tebow voodoo doll worked... a little too well.
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