Around College Football: Michigan still a mess, Bowden sticks foot in mouth
Florida fans, it could be worse.
Michigan fans have endured nonsense this season. Like the team gouging students on ticket prices, then giving away tickets with the purchase of a couple of bottles of Coca-Cola. Like the team replacing its senior quarterback, having new starter Shane Morris suffer a concussion, leaving him in the game and then offering some shady explanations.
Last week, though, trumped everything.
Michigan, the supposed big brother, lost to in-state rival Michigan State, 35-11. After the game, Wolverines coach Brady Hoke apologized to the Spartans.
Take a moment to think about those two sentences in conjunction.
Hoke used a tent stake as a motivational tool — something about staying tough in a rugged atmosphere — and it somehow made its way onto the field at Spartan Stadium. One of the Michigan players planted it into the turf before the game.
Instead of running out the clock late, the Spartans scored a touchdown.
“It just felt like we needed to put a stake in them at that point,” Dantonio said in his postgame news conference.
“I can only be diplomatic for so long. The little brother stuff, all the disrespect, it didn’t have to go in that direction. We try to handle ourselves with composure. That doesn’t come from a coach. It comes from the program. Throwing the stake down in our backyard out here and coming out there like they’re all that. That got shoved up … It got shoved in the last minute and a half.”
Michigan’s players and fans felt humiliated enough that the team fell to 3-5 thanks to a 24-point loss to its traditionally weaker in-state program. That Hoke had to get on his knees and ask forgiveness after that beat-down can’t sit well.
2. Tommy Bowden disses Condoleezza Rice as a football analyst.
Leave it to a former SEC assistant coach — and more importantly, a former Clemson head coach — to make an ignorant statement.
Bowden said he’d trust Rice, a former Secretary of State, as the most powerful leader in the United States, but not to pick the best four teams in college football.
“If the selection committee wants to get it right, and find the most knowledgeable people about the sport of football, go get people who played the game and preferably coached the game,” Bowden said at Monday’s Knoxville Quarterback Club meeting, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “… But just because she likes to watch football doesn’t necessarily mean she knows anything about football.
“I’m a big Condoleezza Rice fan. I’m Christian Conservative. I’d vote for her for President. I don’t necessarily agree that she should be on the committee.”
Only someone in CFB would think a politician could be qualified to be President but not qualified to pick the nation's four best teams.
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) October 27, 2014
3. RB Karlos Williams became the latest FSU player to come under legal fire and escape unscathed.
Williams, investigated for domestic battery due to a social media post by his former girlfriend and pregnant the mother of his child, will not face charges as the woman asked investigators to drop the case.
4. Speaking of FSU, the Seminoles are the biggest SEC roadblock right now.
The irony: a pair of SEC castaways nearly knocked FSU off its perch. Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, outed after a sordid affair with a Razorbacks staffer, and former Auburn and Arkansas State running back Michael Dyer, outed due to incidents involving guns and drugs, teamed to threaten Florida State’s 23-game winning streak.
Louisville built a 21-0 lead and took a 24-7 advantage in the third quarter on Thursday night as Jameis Winston threw three interceptions and FSU turned the ball over on downs. But Winston and FSU roared to a 42-31 win with a second-half flurry.
As a result, the No. 2 team in Tuesday’s College Football Playoff poll should at least retain its spot in the second edition of the rankings.
5. Colorado State is one of the nation’s hottest teams.
For most of the season, Marshall and East Carolina have been competing for the New Year’s Six bowl slot reserved for teams outside the power conferences. Colorado State is starting to change that. The Rams are 7-1 with a road loss to Boise State and non-conference wins against Colorado and Boston College.
Jim McElwain signed a contract extension before the season that increased his base salary by $150,000 and his buyout to $7.5 million. If not for that price tag, he could emerge as a candidate at Florida, Michigan or any other power conference job opening. The former Alabama offensive coordinator has turned Colorado State into a Mountain West Conference power in just three seasons.
Looking at the team’s remaining schedule, it’s easy to imagine CSU finishing the season 11-1 and in the conversation with the Thundering Herd and Pirates.
6. Mack Brown won’t rule out a return to coaching.
Brown, who coached at Texas from 1998-2013, got fired after failing to secure a good quarterback since Colt McCoy led the 2009 team to the BCS championship game.
SMU already has floated a potential offer to Brown for $4 million annually.
“I’m not going to call anybody. I’m not going to pursue any jobs,” Brown said, according to College Football Talk. “If somebody calls me, I’ll talk to them. I’m very happy with what I’m doing. I talked to 10 coaches this spring and asked them their opinion of what happens when you get out of coaching. Some got back in. Some didn’t. And they all said, ‘don’t put one minute’s thought into it until December, or late November.’
“And then, if somebody calls you and it excites you, you’ll talk to them.”