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• Good morning. If you’re reading this, you’ve survived a weekend without football of any sort. Army’s Black Knights, bless them, begin spring practice tomorrow, but until then keep up your winter conditioning with Florida’s spirit squads.
• Coach-hirin’ season! Utah has just announced the hiring of Dennis Erickson, and we’re just going to paste in an excerpt from the athletic department here with some emphasis added:
Dennis Erickson, who compiled a 179-96-1 record in 23 seasons as a head college coach and won two national championships, has joined Utah’s staff as the co-offensive coordinator. The 65-year-old Erickson, whose background also includes six years as an NFL head coach, will share the coordinator title with 26-year-old Brian Johnson.
BUDDY COP STORY, BUT WITH COACHES. SITCOM WAITING TO HAPPEN. HIJINX ABOUT TO ENSUE. Brian Johnson and Dennis Erickson becoming besties is now all we want out of the 2013 season.
Elsewhere on the perpetually active college football coaching carousel: Todd Grantham withdrew from consideration for the Saints DC job on Friday … Kennedy Polamalu is out as offensive coordinator at USC … Gregg Brandon will coach quarterbacks and coordinate the offense at New Mexico State.
• We put a lot of work into that headline. Be nice. Here is Ohio State’s new logo, to your right. Can you spot the changes? Do you like them? IF YOU DO YOU ARE WRONG AND GROSS:
Though Ohio State could’ve gone any number of directions with the new logo, they instead effectively rendered an end result that looks something like an Adobe Photoshop CS6 mistake from a first time attendee at a design camp. The biproduct is a mark that’s unreadable at best, and appears to the naked eye as “O-S-E hio-tat” (tattoos? Get it?). While the minds behind the creative decision could’ve properly kerned the logo, instead they elected to take the easy way out and completely punt on crafting the typography.
• Crootin’ comin’! Stay tuned tomorrow for our power rankings of ridiculous Signing Day stunts, and place your prop bets now on whether any of SBN’s helpful suggestions will come to pass … Northwestern prospect Matt Alviti is missing part of his ear, which absolutely does count as news, because February … and Reuben Foster is back to Alabama. (For. the. moment.) Did you hear he has an Auburn tattoo? Once or twice? A day? For the last month? Jason Kirk has an excellent point about that:
I really think the ballin'est thing Foster could possibly do is leave the tattoo exactly as-is and never talk about it.—
Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) February 05, 2013
• Hey, thanks, catlab. For the night terrors that will surely stretch into the weekend. What is it about an upside-down Lil’ Red that’s so starkly upsetting?
• Blue pig sooie. Former Arkansas coaches think the widely publicized expiration date on John L. Smith’s 2012 contract made last year’s Razorbacks quit-happy. It’s not the first time last season’s squad has been accused of giving up by a party within the program, but Knile Davis takes exception to the characterization:
Quit?This is my take on it!!! twitter.com/BoobieKnile_Er…
— Knile_0r_Never (@BoobieKnile_Era) January 31, 2013
• “Group of five” still just sounds so ominous. Jeremy Fowler reports on the coalescing system the Big East, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt are working on to distribute playoff revenue from the new postseason system:
In this proposed system, more than half the group’s roughly $86-million playoff pot would be distributed among the Big East, Mountain West, Mid-American Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt as guaranteed base shares, according to a source with direct knowledge of the discussions. The source expects those shares to be evenly split, but added discussions are ongoing. The second tier pays out based on a conference’s body of work — the top conference gets the highest amount, then “X” amount for the next-rated conference, and on down. The third tier pays a kicker to the conference with the highest-ranked team, which is guaranteed an access bowl bid or, if among the top-four teams in the country, a semifinal berth in the playoff.
• Harbros’ early broing days. Check out Dan Wetzel’s tale of relatively wee Harbaughs recruiting youngsters to their dad’s team at Western Kentucky, including an appearance by one Willie Taggart.
• Exactly how you would’ve guessed. Former Miami Hurricanes make up the biggest slice of Super Bowl roster pie charts, but two of the next five teams on that list are … Marshall and Utah? Marshall and Utah! Go ThunderUtes!
• From the no-jokes department. Compelling story via OTL on UCLA researchers and evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living football players.
• Miami 30, Virginia Tech 12. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An ibis and a turkey walk into the bar, and the bartender says: “Wait, so Virginia Tech can’t even hang on special teams anymore?” Logan Thomas threw for 199 yards and rushed for 124 more, including a 73-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. No other Hokie entered the end zone last night, or managed a score of any kind in the entire second half. The specter of an all-Florida ACC championship game looms, unless Duke gets its way. And isn’t the possibility of Duke getting its way one of the more purely delightful things about this season? [RECAP | BOX]
• Middle Tennessee State 34, Western Kentucky 29. The Blue Raiders and Hilltoppers hit the locker rooms at halftime tied 17-17, and traded scores throughout the final two quarters. MTSU scored the final touchdown, but WKU went down swinging with a safety-producing stop of Logan Kilgore in the final five seconds. [RECAP | BOX]
• Sandusky case update. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was formally charged Thursday with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy relating to his handling of the Jerry Sandusky case. Additional charges were also filed against Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. SI’s Michael Rosenberg has more.
• BIG OL’ BREAKING NEWS. BCS bowls would consider inviting a two-loss Notre Dame team? WELL, I NEVER.
• Duck hunts. Not to be outdone by the LSU-Alabama trailer that dropped earlier this week, Oregon has released its own hype video in honor of the Ducks’ upcoming trip to USC. Among its highlights: The Duck learning to play Oregon Trail and doing the team’s laundry under threat of dysentery from a school employee, the Duck searching for a watch he does not wear, a covert laundry detergent handoff from gold-medal decathalete and Oregon grad Ashton Eaton and the implication that the Duck possesses a commercial driver’s license, which wouldn’t actually surprise anyone. Our one quibble is spelled out neatly by YouTube commenter “ChocolateJesus2K:
Wash uniforms? Oregon doesn’t wear the same thing twice.
• Jerry Sandusky, going away. We trade in irreverencies here, but this is not a matter for lighthearted anything (except for this guy, maybe?), so we will give you some facts instead: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced this morning to 30-60 years in prison. Sandusky plans to appeal. SI.com’s Michael McCann has provided a full report.
• Groh puns! Get your Groh puns! Puns by the thousands! Through six games, Georgia Tech is giving up an average of 431 yards per contest, and Paul Johnson apparently thinks that’s about enough. Defensive coordinator Al Groh’s firing was announced Monday afternoon. Said Groh: “I feel positive that this is a good time in life to move on to a new situation.” Hard to argue with that.
• It is news that Frank Spaziani is not yet fired. Boston College sources have confirmed that Brad Bates will become the school’s new AD.
• Injury report story hour. Following Oregon State’s official release on the matter of Sean Mannion’s knee, we don’t know a great deal more than we did yesterday. The weeks Mannion will miss are still set at “undetermined.” What we do have now, however, is a statement from coach Mike Riley on Mannion’s backup, junior Cody Vaz, and an attempt to dispel that pesky “No one but Sean Mannion has taken a snap at quarterback in 14 games” fear. “Cody is a good quarterback; he’s been preparing for this for a long time. He’s had a ton of reps; in fact he almost had as many as Sean did during fall camp. Cody knows what we are doing, he gets rid of the ball fast and he’s accurate.” He’ll have to be, at BYU.
This is a 1-pound, half ground beef, half ground bacon burger topped with bacon, peanut butter and jelly. No words. twitter.com/Andy_Staples/s…
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 3, 2012
Staples, doing the good work.
• Next food news update of vital importance. None other than the Wall Street Journal measures SEC stadiums’ proximity to Waffle Houses, even going so far as to state a measurement in sausage links. We have never felt closer to the WSJ than we do right now.
• Will the Honey Badger return to LSU? A resounding “maybe!” from the Times-Picayune.
• Welp. “According to a study published in the October issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, male non-athletes were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and partying, and decrease their study time, in response to the success of the team.” [Via.]
• MACtion, MACtion, we want some MACtion. Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the first of those glorious weeks of the 2012 season where there is only one day without football. That day is today, so once y’all stagger out of bed on short rest after last night’s interminable Monday Night Football game, put on your game faces. All evening errands must be run, all loved ones and pets reminded you are aware of their existence, all today. Tomorrow brings the first Wednesday-night MACtion of the year in the form of Kent State-Buffalo; Thursday is BYU-Boise State and Friday features Baylor-ULM. You wouldn’t want to disappoint the Warhawks by missing kickoff for a trip to the hardware store, now would you? You know how they get when they’re angry.
• In defense of not wanting one’s arm to fall off. The backlash to the backlash to James-Franklin-The-Player’s decision not to shoot up his shoulder and play against the Sun Devils is well underway in columnist circles; here’s the Post-Dispatch’s take.
• Assorted bowl updates of varying degrees of importance. Could the number of postseason bowl games be creeping up already? … the Orange Bowl wheels and deals … and UCF’s appeal of its postseason ban is official.
• Monteé Ball case update. Three people have been charged in the August assault of Monteé Ball; all are Wisconsin students.