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Athletic fan bases are notoriously hostile to change, so if Oregon State is at all nervous, they really ought to bump next Monday’s event up to today. Where there’s plenty of cover:
Boise State and the Mountain West are trying to make it work, you might have heard, and apparently part of this rekindled relationship involves letting Boise be Boise. The Idaho Statesman got ahold of a letter in which the MWC, which previously banned the Broncos from wearing blue uniforms on their blue home field because of some bizarro belief that elite college athletes cannot see in three dimensions, defends Boise against a proposed NCAA rule change that would take that prohibition nationwide. Why?
The Mountain West required Boise State to wear a contrasting color for conference home games the past two years as part of the Broncos’ membership agreement. However, the league agreed to allow the blue uniforms beginning in 2013 as part of the school’s renewed commitment to the league.
The letter itself states that “The proposed rule is not related to any student-athlete safety concerns,” a position that must be given some weight considering the Broncos’ trip to East Lansing last season. The team was repeatedly victimized by Mark Dantonio’s “Surly Hillocks” defensive alignment, which consists of Spartan defenders dressing in all-green uniforms and lying perfectly still on a verdant field to form tripping hazards.* The unit’s top-five finish speaks for itself.
*This is not actually a thing Michigan State does, but only because Dantonio finds the practice overly slothful.
• IMPORTANT DEE LINER, D-LINER NEWS. We did promise you at the end of the season that we wouldn’t get mired too deep in recruiting antics, not being super interested in prospects until they actually take the field in August, but exceptions will always be made for defensive ends named Dee Liner. Liner, a five-star prospect from Muscle Shoals who’s ranked by Rivals as the second-best overall recruit at his position, has decommitted from Auburn, citing the loss of his relationships with Gene Chizik and Trooper Taylor. This has been a public service announcement to remind you all that there is a defensive prospect out there named Dee Liner. Thank you.
• Coach-hirin’ follies! Coordinators snapped up by new schools since we last typed in this here box: Bill Cubit (OC) at Illinois, Josh Conklin (DC) at FIU, David Gibbs (DC) at Houston and — reportedly — Scot Loeffler at Virginia Tech.
• Roster blotter. Roster moves and non-moves since we last typed in this here box: Notre Dame’s Cierre Wood intends to turn pro; Oklahoma’s Aaron Colvin will return; Houston’s Charles Sims is staying a Cougar for one more year; and Nebraska’s Sean Fisher is forgoing a possible sixth season of eligibility in favor of medical school, the little scamp.
• The greatest p.r. email we have received on this job begins thusly: “Tuesday, November 6th is Election Night for the country but it’s also a decisive night in the battle for the West Division crown of the Mid-American Conference. The Toledo Rockets host Ball State on Nov. 6 in a nationally televised contest at the Glass Bowl (8:00 p.m. / ESPN2) in what could help determine the eventual MAC champion.” We should probably get this framed. Preview coming later this afternoon for tonight’s game, right after Profiles in Profiteroles.
• Roster blotter: Matt Scott was, in fact, concussed against UCLA, and is questionable for Arizona’s game against Colorado … Washington State’s company line on Marquess Wilson is that Marquess Wilson is suspended … Bret Bielema is keeping the details of Wisconsin’s late-season quarterback race to himself … Boise State defensive tackle and internet favorite Mike “Bacon” Atkinson is through for the year with a torn ACL.
• Mack Brown trolls message boards all night long just writing “STAY CLASSY:” Because if there’s one real big problem college athletics has right now, it’s a lack of respect conveyed through hand signals and signs, amirite?
• 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.
• So this makes Nick Saban the Mandarin? LSU’s crack video crew has made a trailer for the upcoming Tigers-Tide game in which Les Miles is Tony Stark, or something. From that, we can infer Saban to be the Sir Ben “Thunderbirds” Thunderbirds-Kingsley in this nonexistent movie, for those of you scoring at home.
• Big morning reading material. Major Tuesday morning movement from the NCAA: “The Division I Board of Directors today adopted an overhauled enforcement structure that creates additional levels of infractions, hastens the investigation process and ratchets up penalties for the most egregious violations.” (We know what you’re about to ask, and we believe Mark Richt’s butt-dialing incident would be a Level IV.)
• It’s always somebody’s hate week, I. Texas A&M’s official compliance Twitter account gets in on a popular anti-LSU meme:
There are no violations in the NCAA database that mention corn dogs. Hot dogs? Yes: 1 secondary & 1 major. But no corn dogs.
— Brad Barnes (@TAMUCompliance) October 16, 2012
1. We’ve never seen a corn dog consumed at an LSU tailgate. Are we at the wrong parties?
2. Begun, these GIF wars have.
3. What was the major NCAA violation involving a hot dog??
• It’s always somebody’s hate week, II. It is our sworn duty to report receiving an email from the Auburn athletic department with the following introduction:
Auburn Compliance to Host Seminar on Wednesday
NCAA Compliance Series: Ethical Conduct
Don’t say we never did nothin’ for you, Vandy.
• What’s wrong with ‘the storm clouds are gathering?’ Barking Carnival begins the somber journey into the tempest-tossed land of “Fire Mack Brown.”
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.]
• Washington 17, No. 8 Stanford 13. Will this be one of those delightful years that sees every highly regarded team picked off, one by one? What, like you don’t want to see a Minnesota-Oregon State Rose Bowl? Cartoon beavers and gophers, clutching flower stems in their teeth! Don’t hate this beautiful inevitability.
We do not quite credit Stanford’s Trent Murphy with the elusive FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN, but he certainly is burly, and his interception return provided some of the only entertainment to be found in Thursday night’s matchup. Stewart Mandel, bless him, actually watched the whole thing and wrote some words about it. Honor him. [BOX | RECAP]