Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Heisman Curse is striking already

The news DeMarco Murray will be unavailable for Oklahoma in the BCS title game wasn't a total shocker since he had been injured in the Sooners demolition of Missouri. Most had thought he would recover in time to face UF, though, and without him Oklahoma is considerably less explosive at the tailback spot. The Gators should be much more willing to take chances with the occasional blitz to try and rattle Sam Bradford now that Murray's not there.

Dan Mullen apparently will call the plays for Florida against the Sooners according to Urban Meyer. The main thing that makes sense about this is the fact Meyer has never been a playcaller during a game, having gone straight from WR coach at Notre Dame to head coach at Bowling Green. Someone will become UF's new OC, likely Billy Gonzalez, but with the championship on the line you'd prefer not to have him make his debut under that pressure. The extra week to get ready for the title game seemed to help Bo Pelini do alright last year (as opposed to Mark Richt, who had less prep time before FSU's awful performance in the 2001 Orange Bowl). It's not ideal, but this is probably the right move.

82 year old Joe Paterno's signing a contract to coach Penn State for three more years. That does not mean he actually WILL coach the Nittany Lions that long, a distinction that appears lost on many I've observed commenting on this subject. Right now Paterno's coming off a successful season and his hip replacement went well. Considering Paterno's oft-stated concern that stopping coaching would lead to his quick death, why wouldn't he feel like doing it for three more years? The reality is that Paterno's health is always going to be a question and he will face pressure to go anytime he has a bad season. This doesn't change that at all.

I'm glad to know that Michigan football has found the reason year one of Rich Rodriguez's tenure was a colossal flop. It was all defensive coordinator Scott Shafer's fault. I'm totally surprised that it was the assistant with the fewest ties to Rodriguez who turned out to be the scapegoat, how about you? Shafer's actually a pretty good coach based on his work at Western Michigan and Stanford. Dan Mullen could do a lot worse for a guy to lead his D in Starkville.

ESPN is redesigning their webpage, which is a great idea if it means no more video content with loud audio starting up as soon as the page loads. If you want a sneak peek at the new design, you can find their test version of it here.

In Germany, all children's names have to be approved by a Standesbeamter before they're official. That's the policy so that no one is stuck with a ridiculous or offensive name. A good example of the kind of foolishness they're trying to eliminate is naming your child after the village bar. We may need an American version to deal with idiots who think naming a child Adolf Hitler is clever. Their kids are going to need some serious therapy in a few years.

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