Kind of loving Western Kentucky’s reflective helmets. The logo placement makes it look as though small red towels held by disembodied hands are shining the helmet even as it’s being worn. Admire the multitasking spirit.
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Tommy Tuberville’s sitting by the phone* and Jimmy Sexton’s got that particular sparkle in his eye. It can mean only one thing: The coach firin’ season is upon us once more. We’ll be tracking the carousel of progress, right here, for as long as it takes to stop spinning. Raise a glass to times past, won’t you? * Well, not anymore, but never tell us we don’t have the gift of very specific prophecy through throwaway jokes.
New Mexico State [updated 02.01.2013]
• Who’s out: DeWayne Walker, who jumps to the NFL with less than two weeks remaining between now and Signing Day. And not even for a coordinating gig: Walker will coach defensive backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Walker released the following statement through the athletic department: “I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a Division I head football coach. Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward. There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!” • Who’s in: Doug Martin — the one who played at Kentucky, not the one who played at Boise State. Although if Martin The Younger is really so opposed to his excellent nickname, we’re gonna refer to Martin The Elder as coach Muscle Hamster instead. It’s been a whirlwind courtship for Martin and the Aggies: He was announced as offensive coordinator on January 17, temporarily promoted to interim head coach on January 24 and will be officially announced as DeWayne Walker’s successor on Monday, February 4. Martin’s previous head coaching experience consists of a seven-year stint at Kent State, from 2004-2010. Read More…
• It’s really and truly over. With Army-Navy receding in the rearview, and a football-free week between now and the New Mexico Bowl, it’s time to confront the close of the 2012 season with the following range of emotions:
Everything is terrible.
• What verbal glories await in Hattiesburg? As a kind of farewell to Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken, the Oklahoman rounds up a collection of his more memorable (if PG) quips during his tenure in Stillwater. One favorite: “Up until that point, there hadn’t been a moment for myself. Dana had been here, I was just running his stuff. Up until that point there was a trust, but it was still, ‘Who is this guy that stands in front of us?’ It’s like in ‘The Sandlot’ when the goofy kid with glasses finally catches the ball. It’s like, ‘All right, he’s OK.’ Up until that point he’s just the nerdy kid in the outfield with his hat on weird.”
• Bobby Petrino thinks he’s people. What you really want to take away from Herr Hawgpanky’s return to the public eye is that he wants to coach football in 2013. Even given time to prepare before sitting down with ESPN, he wasn’t all that good at feigning human feelings. Arkansas Expats slices and dices:
Petrino, spare us the whole southern belle complaining of a case of the vapors routine. “Why I declare, I just cannot believe I found myself in such an entanglement!” We all know exactly how this happened. Petrino was one of the most famous, powerful, wealthy, and popular people in the state of Arkansas. People are attracted to that regardless of what you look like. If Petrino is the head coach of another football-hungry school, he’ll be the Big Man On Campus there as well. Even if he’s able to resist the women that he’s sure to encounter on any college campus he’s coaching, he’ll still have to resist the other various temptations that come with power and fame. And if he’s not willing to recognize that’s the problem, well, that’s a problem.
Arkansas Sports 360 has a transcript of the Q&A that you may read and judge for yourself.
HOOVER, Ala. — A Memphis-based reporter asked John L. Smith, ”Would you like to be at Arkansas for more than one year?” Smith didn’t have to think about it for long. ”OF COURSE. Do I look stupid? DON’T ANSWER THAT.” We like you, Johnelle. A LOT. Even if you hadn’t used the word nine times in your opening statement, we’d already know we’re going to be blessed to have you around live mics this season.
• On the transition from the Bobby Petrino regime: “It’s gonna be the same, as much as it can be.” We actually sort of buy this given Smith’s history with the program and the fact that so many assistants remained with the Razorbacks. ”If you’re committing to an individual, you’re committing for the wrong reason. You commit to a school. You commit to a program.”
• Has Johnelle talked with Bobby? “Can we move on to the next question, at least one with intelligence?” Temperatures in the room plummeted after that one, and John-El rocketed up our Crusty Codgers leaderboard.
• We’re trying really hard to convey what it was like to sit in a room and watch a coach express normal human emotions at a podium, and if we’re not completely getting our point across, perhaps one of Smith’s players can lend assistance:
Ark's Wright says his fav John L-ism is "get your piss hot." We had to get chemical explanation for that, but it makes sense for high energy—
Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) July 18, 2012
Lovingly curated light reading to speed you through your Friday:
• This is not Texas A&M’s new helmet. And we are all poorer for it. Which will be the first school to crack the Three Wolf Moon uniform barrier?
I’ve given it some thought, and if I only had ONE guess at what we’re seeing at 12:12… twitter.com/Stewade/status…
— Stewart Wade (@Stewade) July 5, 2012
• We solved this bowl thing. That will be $300,000. Thanks so much. Will middle- and lower-tier bowls be marginalized as the Big Six grow in prominence? Will any resort to gimmickry to maintain a high media profile? We have a solution: Bring Sky High Sports to, say, the Alamodome. Trampoline football! (This is not a paid endorsement, but if we were famous we would totally endorse this place.)
The last time we took a daylong car ride, Jim Tressel resigned. The time before that, USC’s NCAA sanctions came down. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that our spending four days in a car last week triggered a blockbuster breaking news moment: Craig James announcing that he won’t be returning to ESPN for the 2012 college football season. According to the Houston Chronicle, James “has been contacted by other networks to gauge his interest in returning to TV,” but the one with most of our football on it will be free of his vacuous presence. Glory be. Just keep a repatriated Darren Rovell off GameDay and we’ll all have a fine and jolly autumn.
In decidedly less funny and markedly more important news: Jerry Sandusky is going to jail for a very, very long time. We haven’t done much talking about this case here, because we find alternating between serious discussions of sexual abuse and photos of college athletes enjoying pedicures to be uncouth and weird. We subsist on jokes in the offseason, but not on these jokes. Some people disagree. That’s their absolute right, but we’re with this guy. We also have the utmost respect for those with the stomach to cover this story, and do it well, including SI’s Luke Winn.
Back to what we’re better at. Items of interest from our week off that we cannot let pass without comment:
Impersonate Bobby Petrino in ripstop nylon-festooned style with the ex-Razorbacks coach’s personal fleet of golf gear, now up for auction at an Arkansas thrift store! All the fellows on the links will whisper, “Is that him?” ”Yes!” you will reply, having slept in a kiln for three weeks to obtain that ruddy Petrino glow. From the Arkansas Times:
[Two] sets of golf clubs, in personalized bags, remain on offer. [...] An Atlanta Falcon jacket, from Petrino’s brief run as head coach there, is also up for bid in the $15 to $20 range.
We are legitimately astounded that Petrino kept anything from his Falcons tenure and have nothing to add, so let’s move on to the golf clubs: Think there’s a driver in there? Because why would he want to give a driver away? Because he could’ve really used one! A driver, that is! There is our last remaining Bobby Petrino joke. Fin.
Stanford’s offensive coordinator position was recently endowed by an anonymous donor to honor Andrew Luck (gross autoplay video alert at that link). The donation got friend of the program The Gurgling Cod thinking about how to turn this into a rivalry game:
— The Gurgling Cod (@TheGurglingCod) May 23, 2012
Monied fans, you have your marching orders. Our previous bloggy home has just wrapped up an annual charity drive in which donations are given to match rivalry scores (say, $70.33 for enthusiastic fans of January’s Orange Bowl outcome), but an endowment? Oh, that’s a gift that lasts and lasts. We have 10 modest suggestions for our readers overburdened with spite and disposable income:
It is Wednesday in May, and Bobby Petrino’s career-eviscerating motorcycle is for sale. So many jokes! And like every sports site on God’s green internet, we are unable to process value judgments without power rankings.
1. Motorcycle is highly productive in terms of positive yardage but not well-regarded defensively against ground attacks.
2. This is widely regarded as a system motorcycle, and it’s not known if it will operate well outside Arkansas.
3. Motorcycle not being a scooter will prevent Georgia football players from being arrested on it. Buy, buy, buy, Athenians!
4. WARNING: Bike may be possessed by the undead spirit of Houston Nutt, causing it to weave erratically until crashing in Oxford, Mississippi.
5. Act quickly, before you are outbid by George O’Leary, who will dub himself “GHOST LIAR” when he rides this around town.