Florida football has a bye this week, although for financial purposes they will claim it's a game with FIU. I hate these kind of matchups - the only good thing you can get out of them is playing time for younger players on the roster. Hopefully the starters will get out of the game healthy early on and then that's how it will go. It's a pretty horrid week overall for college football when even the Ohio State-Michigan game has no buzz to it. Here's the available viewing options from Awful Announcing.
What may be Bobby Bowden's final game in Tallahassee now has another sad storyline attached to it. Longtime FSU writer Steve Ellis of the Tallahassee Democrat won't be there to see it after his death from a heart attack yesterday afternoon. When Ellis called for the end of the Bowden era earlier this season, it was a significant development. No one else on the FSU beat even remotely approaches his time spent covering the ins and outs of that program. It's a tremendous loss for the paper. I didn't know Ellis well personally, but when I did deal with him he was always a good guy. My sympathies go out to his friends and family.
An already rough year for Georgia football continued with the word yesterday that UGA VII had died unexpectedly. Of course I hate to see any family lose their pet, and from my limited observations of UGA at games over the past couple of seasons he seemed like a very nice dog. Having said that, I really wonder if Georgia people are going to go overboard with memorial services and a funeral the way they did when this happened a couple of years ago. UGA's a much loved dog without question, but something's seriously screwy when its funeral is getting vastly more attention than those of people who've served the country.
For a number of years, the answer for major public image issues has been to go to rehab - drug, alcohol, overeating, or even sex rehab like Steve Phillips, but some kind of rehab. Now it appears the strategy's changed to "TD-hab". I have great regard for Tony Dungy, but when did he become some sort of magic talisman that solves all problems? Guiding Michael Vick back into the NFL made some sense, but then it got silly. Oregon's LaGarrette Blount punched a Boise State player - part of his image remake was to get "counseling" from Dungy. Mike Locksley got himself into multiple messes as New Mexico head coach, so who's his new mentor? You guessed it. I actually saw someone suggesting yesterday that Mark Mangino should call Dungy too. I'm sure Dungy is sincerely trying to help anyone he deals with, but he needs to be careful with who he's letting present him as a PR shield.
Maybe USF basketball coach Stan Heath should call Dungy too. He needs to do something after former Tampa Tribune Bulls beat writer Brett McMurphy blew the lid off his program yesterday on the Fanhouse website, with both first hand reporting and interview documentation of multiple NCAA violations. I know it's hard to get high quality recruits to look at USF, but the answer to that is work harder at evaluating talent and find diamonds in the rough you can develop. Instead of panning for gold in a river, Heath opted to do it in a sewer and signed lots of kids kicked out of other programs. When that's the kind of person you go after, this is the kind of result you get. Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.