Two Florida football recruits were the subject of much derision on the web the last couple of days as a result of pictures from their Myspace pages being circulated. One featured the player posing with a small amount of money and a pellet gun. The other showed the UF prospect with a bandana over his face flashing some sort of hand signal. Internet hysteria being what it is, both kids were being called thugs immediately on websites like Deadspin. To their credit, each kid has come forward to acknowledge the photos are them while trying to minimize further PR damage by pointing out the pictures are from eighth grade. For all players, this should be an indication that if you choose to present yourself as a gangsta people will believe you're serious. The number of people eager to make sweeping conclusions about others from one photo or brief internet video clip is disturbing though.
The Chicago Tribune claims Big Ten sources are saying the conference might not stop at 12 schools, with 14 or even 16 a possibility. I don't buy 16 as a legit scenario for a second, but 14 could make some sense. If the Big Ten took Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, they would add a great basketball rivalry between KU and Mizzou. Nebraska's a legendary football powerhouse, and all three schools are of reasonable academic quality. I'm still not sold the conference will even go to 12 for sure, but it would be a lot easier to persuade Missouri to leave the Big 12 with Kansas and the Cornhuskers coming along.
The Washington Redskins caught everyone off guard by finally making the move their fans had been waiting several years for yesterday. GM/Danny Snyder racquetball buddy Vinny Cerrato is out. He's been replaced already, by former Tampa Bay and Oakland GM Bruce Allen. Translation: either the Chucky show is headed to DC after Monday Night Football wraps up or the Redskins just stomped out whatever lingering hope their fans had of success. Allen has shown no ability to make solid draft selections or function effectively as an NFL executive without Jon Gruden pulling his strings. It's hard to understand what could have convinced Snyder he was the right guy to lead the Redskins going forward.
Sports Illustrated's All Decade college football team has been released. I'm surprised to see Urban Meyer got the slot as coach, not that he's unworthy. With the media's love affair with Pete Carroll (who won a share of two national titles) and Nick Saban (who may be the first to win one at two different BCS schools) I would have anticipated one of them being the choice. Tim Tebow was selected at QB as well. There aren't many glaring errors on the team, although some are debatable. Oklahoma's Derrick Strait has no business being touted as one of the two best cornerbacks of the decade though.
A holiday note: there will be fresh posts Monday through Wednesday next week before taking some downtime for Christmas travel. I'll resume activity December 30, after traveling to Birmingham the day before to begin coverage of South Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl. I will be covering UF/Cincy in New Orleans as well, but only on game day itself. Should you be one of those who's taking the entire next week off, I hope you have safe travels and a merry Christmas. I have no holiday video to offer you, so please enjoy the University of Maryland's instead (turn your speakers on for the full ridiculous effect).