Separated at birth: a young Damon Wayans and Miami's head coach Randy Shannon.
I was amused to hear Lee Corso say that Wake Forest's capacity crowd of 31,500 would help to lull the Cornhuskers to sleep in hope of aiding their Demon Deacons to the upset. What Corso didn't factor into the equation was the 15,000 "Sea of Red" Nebraska fans that filled Groves Stadium on Saturday. The game looked more like the Red River Shootout or the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party with the near 50/50 split of fans in the stands.
I think Chris Fowler's on HGH. If you think I'm kidding, wait until you see him in the commercial where he's bench pressing about 275 lbs. across from where Corso has himself strapped into the Blubber Melter Machine.
To punt or not to punt: What on earth was Nebraska's Bill Callahan thinking when he decided to go for it on Fourth and 2 at the 37, and his team leading by three points with 1:56 remaining in the game. Wasn't he watching the USC/Texas BCS Championship Game when the Trojans made the same boneheaded decision? Actually, I think he was because his team ran the same boneheaded play in calling for a run off tackle that was stuffed by the defense. Fortunately, for Callahan, unlike Vince Young and the Longhorns, Wake Forest did nothing with the opportunity and ended up losing the game 20-17.
Props to those students who helped fill the entire Arizona Zoo prior to Saturday night's kickoff against NAU. Despite last weekend's setback to BYU and the fact that NAU is a Big Sky Conference member who plays in the Championship Sub-division (new name for the old Division I-AA), the students were not deterred. I was informed, however, that Arizona Stadium was nearly half empty with 12:25 to go in the fourth with the Wildcats leading 45-24. I don't understand this. All UA fans have been doing is griping over and bemoaning their team for not winning games and yet when the ‘Cats finally do treat them to a scoreboard game you bail early on them. Nice. The one caveat is that the game did not end until almost 11 p.m. and many UA fans drive for hours from all parts of the state to attend the games. These fans are excused. Actually, so are the others who are trying to get to Dirtbags for a little nightlife after the game, or to the students who need to get to that party where their ‘new' classmate – the one they've been eyeing in Statistics 275 – is supposed to be at. You're all excused. Those who are not excused: Freshmen. You are required to sing Bear Down and All Hail, Arizona along with our cheer, spirit, and football teams after the game.
While on the subject of being a good fan here's the Fizz's How To Behave in the Stands tip of the season: When it doubt, do as you're told. From the Cheer Team that is. Arizona's Cheer is led this season by Coach Jen Goldman and Co-captains Angela Peiffer and Leon Kim. Like all great student athletes, Angela and Leon work tirelessly to represent and support their school. If Axel Foley were around he'd say, "They're not just students. They're super students." These two have daily schedules you wouldn't believe. They also have such positive outlooks, work habits and personal philosophies that should have them doing 20 minutes on Oprah. When times get tough during games be sure to look to Angela, Leon and their squad to lift your spirits. Follow along in their crowd leading, shout the letter that they flash you on one of the signs they hold, stand when they ask you to, and do your best to root on the ‘Cats. If you do, win or lose, I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself on the way home.
Best trick play of the day was when Oregon's Dennis Dixon pulled the fake Statue of Liberty and ran untouched into the end zone. Not one, not two, but all 11 Michigan defenders bit on the tailback sliding behind Dixon as he tucked the ball behind his back and bluffed the hand off. The play probably never would've worked had Boise State not scored on the Statue Play during last season's Fiesta Bowl classic against Oklahoma.
Javier Arenas (Gilbert's a.k.a. Agent Zero's brother) returns punts for the Crimson Tide. Saturday, he nearly took one to the house finally being pushed out of bounds near the 2-yard line.
HD Timeout: Oh, man this stuff is great. I can actually see individual pom poms in the stands. Incredible! I feel like Neo in The Matrix or Truman in The Truman Show. My eyes are finally open, "and I'm lovin' every minute of it, Gerry." One interesting thing about HD television: I've always been critical of NASCAR until about two hours ago when I caught a little right hand turn racing on my new flat panel display. Let me just say that after watching those cars circle the track in high def, I get it. I mean, I totally get it.
Penn State's "White Out" gets my nomination for Best Crowd Being Broadcast in High Def. On the field, the Jimmy Clausen Project, despite the score, went well. They young quarterback is fearless, which is good. He tends to drop back into the pocket and relax himself by bouncing with confidence. The only problem is this isn't high school and he's getting pressured extremely quickly. Combine this with his typical freshman tendency to hold onto the ball too long and it's easy to see why he's getting hit so often. He'll figure this out, though, and he showed the kind of talent that warranted his recruiting hype. Notre Dame definitely has a good player in Clausen. Now all they have to do is find 10 others on offense and 11 others on defense to surround him with.
Is it just me or has the SEC become the old Pac-10? Is it possible that Les Miles' big mouth may have jinxed his entire conference because after two weeks it looks to me like it's the SEC with the one great team and the nine other so-so schools? Meanwhile, the Pac-10 is the conference that's loaded with talent from top to bottom? The good news for LSU is if this is true, maybe this IS the season where LSU dominates the competition and wins it all.
Have you ever seen those Starbucks commercials where the rock band follows around a guy as he heads to work with his Starbucks bottled drink in hand? That would be totally sweet. You know what would be even sweeter. Waking up everyday and after grabbing a quick shower and doing whatever you need to do to get ready, having Lou Holtz give you a little pre-day pep talk before you charge out the door. I say this because I love the new segment on ESPN's college football show that features Lou Holtz providing sample pre-game speeches. Whichever producer thought of this segment should be promoted. Holtz's speech this week is what he would tell Michigan players before taking the field against Oregon. His best line goes, "Somebody has to pay for what happened last week and it's gonna' be Oregon today." Great stuff coach! There's a reason why you've won a national championship and are so well respected by your peers. A close second was when Holtz would earlier tell his virtual Michigan squad, "20 years from now you're gonna' get laid off your job, the bank is gonna' refuse to extend the mortgage on your home, your car breaks down on the way home – and when you finally get home your four children tell ya' your wife just ran off with the drummer. You're not even gonna' flinch! You're gonna' say ‘I met the challenge at Oregon and I'll meet the challenge here." And who said playing sports doesn't provide life lessons.
The new Certified Purveyor of Miller Hi Life commercials are great. "Two hot dogs for a buck-fifty" and "not an appletini in sight" are two great lines by the Hi Life Delivery Guy.
The Fizz's Saturday Pac-10 Offense Game Balls go to the following players:
Wazzu's Alex Brink (469 passing yards, 5 TDs)
Arizona's Willie Tuitama (283 passing yards, 5 TDs)
Cal's Delasean Dean (141 all-purpose yards, including a 73-yard rushing TD)
Washington's Marcel Reese (4 receptions for 102 yards and 1 TD)
Oregon's Dennis Dixon (292 passing yards, 76 rushing yards, 4 TDs)