Speed Read: Ball State Still Perfect, Still Screwed

It’s official: Ball State is the real deal. At least, as real as a win against a team called the Chippewas can make a team, but still: going on the road to take out a tough opponent like Central Michigan is tough. But the Cardinals pulled it off, winning 31-24 behind 177 yards rushing from Quale Lewis, keeping them perfect at 11-0 and keeping them on track for…the Motor City Bowl.

Ball State after defeating Central Michigan

Because no matter if the Cardinals win out, they aren’t getting an automatic BCS berth ahead of Utah, Boise State and BYU. And even if, say, Boise State loses a game, and USC wins the PAC-10 outright, freeing up another at-large spot, the choice for a BCS bowl would likely come down to a non-BCS school or Ohio State, and guess who wins that battle? (Unless the Buckeyes get upset by Michigan this weekend. Please stop laughing now.)

So yeah, another reason to hate Ohio State - not only did they ruin the last two BCS Title games, but now they are ruining things for Ball State. I know that Hawaii totally tanked last year against Georgia, but come on - wouldn’t you rather see Ball State in the Sugar Bowl against, say, Alabama than Ohio State?

Speaking of Cardinals…just as Arizona fans were starting to enjoy their team’s prosperity and start thinking about home playoff games, here comes a giant mess down the I-10. In this case, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that it’s disgruntled running back Edgerrin James, who apparently wants to be released but the team won’t let him go. His agent Drew Rosenhaus maintains that he won’t be a distraction.

Edgerrin James

Since this is Drew Rosenhaus saying this, let me translate for you, Cardinals fans: this is going to be a massive, season-crushing distraction. Glad I could help. I still don’t know what team would be interested in a running back who is an old, beat-up 30 but plays about 40. Unless the Detroit Lions are in the market.

Finally, let’s transition from the unethical oiliness of Drew Rosenhaus (when a character based on you is so loathsome and unlikable that they need Jay Mohr to play you, that’s not a good mark on your character) to someone on the moral high ground: golfer J.P. Hayes. You might have heard that he DQed himself from PGA Tour Qualifying School after realizing that he had accidentally used a prototype ball during a round.

That’s pretty impressive moral fiber - it’s better than how I felt when I found someone’s wallet and resisted the urge to use their Shell gas card to by smokes even though I was broke and totally need some.

ESPN.COM’s Jason Sobel speculates that Hayes’ good sportsmanship could bring some good karma, as tournament sponsors will likely be lining up to offer the two-time Tour winner exemptions into their tournaments.

Other sports miscellanea from overnight:

  • KTRK-TV passes along word that those Texas cheerleaders who are accused of using feces to haze the JV squad have been indicted and are facing trial. Looks like something’s really hit the fan for them.
  • Morton Ranch High School cheerleaders

  • Top Rank boxing promoter Todd duBoef rips the ending to the Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar UFC Heavyweight Title fight, telling the LOS ANGELES TIMES that it looked “nothing more than a tough man contest” and that there is “no way it’s safer than boxing.” UFC President Dana White responds by telling the MMA EXPERTS BLOG that Top Rank chief Bob Arum is “95 years old and senile.” Let’s give this round to White, 10-8.
  • How does Mike Mussina plan on celebrating his first-ever 20-win season? Ken Rosenthal of FOX says he’ll do so by retiring.
  • Want tickets to the big Utah vs. BYU game? How about coughing up $1,600 each, asks the DESERET NEWS? I guess when you don’t drink, your have to spend the beer money somewhere.
  • The HOUSTON CHRONICLE says that Donald Driver’s father is in critical condition, two days after he was allegedly beaten by cops arresting him on outstanding traffic warrants. A family spokesman says one of the cops may have gone to school with the Packers’ WR and held a grudge.
  • The U.S. breezes past Guatemala 2-0 to finish up the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying. But as GOAL.COM notes, the big story is that Freddy Adu (is he really still only 19?) scored his first goal for the National Team during the match on a rather impressive free kick:
  • Toronto probably aren’t getting the Bills any time soon - in fact, FOOD COURT LUNCH thinks the NFL is going to London before Toronto. So they’ve provided their Canadian brethren with a handy British lingo guide.
  • What do you have in common with the NFL? You both probably want 49ers coordinator Mike Martz to shut up: CBS SPORTSLINE says he was fined $20,000 by the league for whining about a “quick spot” of the ball on the team’s final play against the Cardinals a few weeks ago.
  • The CHARLESTON CITY PAPER notes that four Charleston Southern football players are charged with allegedly robbing a couple at gunpoint for a whopping $35.
  • The TENNESSEAN reports that eight players from a Knoxville high school football team were arrested in a shoplifting ring that involved $9,000 in stolen merchandise, putting their status for their playoff game this week in doubt. Do you think?

Which rivalry game are you most interested in watching this week?

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Columnist Upset With ESPN Lack of Coverage of Sean Taylor Shooting

Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST isn’t happy with ESPN’s coverage - or lack thereof - of the Sean Taylor shooting:

Sean Taylor ESPN

• Meanwhile, MY BRAIN SAYS RAGE remembers the slain Redskins safety.• And PART MULE presents a video tribute to Taylor.

• NEW HAMPSHIRE PRESIDENTIAL WATCH socks it to us, as Curt Schilling will be shilling for John McCain.

• WAGGLE ROOM takes a shine to these golden golf jackets-slash-Caesars Palace bellhop uniforms:

Gold golf jackets

• THE BIG LEAD isn’t laughing when Jay Mohr makes a joke about a baseball player’s death. (When it comes to Mohr, when is there ever an opportunity to laugh?)• THE BIG PICTURE gives a toast to Louisville forward Juan Palacios drinking up in Vegas.

• NATION OF ISLAM SPORTSBLOG croons about Sylvester Croom being their coach of the year.

James Posey Pantsless; Allison Stokke Giving Herself More Attention

• DEADSPIN bottoms out with Miami Heat player James Posey throwing up signs, while a girl is just throwing up:

James Posey pantsless

• SONS OF SAM MALONE hopes to Bond victims together with their 10-step program in dealing with 755*.

• FIRE JOE MORGAN laughed until they stopped, as they perform their own analysis of Jay Mohr on FoxSports.com.

• BEARS NECESSITY hopes future Cal student Allison Stokke can finally get away from the spotlight she keeps vaulting into:

Allison Stokke action shot

• After Tom Glavine, will another pitcher ever be able to reach 300 wins? Rahula Strohl of CHICAGOSPORTS.COM locates a candidate who could be next.

Stephen Holder of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reminisces about Clinton Portis not telling his college coach he was going pro.

• What are they showing on the Lambeau Jumbotron? PACKERS REPORT points out that Family Night at the Green Bay stadium costs “less than price of an adult movie ticket.”

Lambeau Field Deep Throat

• YARDBARKER knows it’s all about the benjamins, as LeBron James gets money advice from his childhood friends.

• RAIDER TAKE knows this season is the one, as laid out in their Oakland Raiders manifesto.

• ARIZONA SPORTS HUB has lost a reader, now that Sun Devils QB Rudy Carpenter doesn’t want to read about himself ‘n’ Brynn ‘n’ Matt anymore:

Rudy Carpenter Brynn Cameron Matt Leinart

• BRUINS NATION finds that UCLA football coach Karl Dorrell is the real Mr. Irrelevant.

• LION IN OIL kicks out the jams, as a young rapper is bringin’ his mad b-ball skillz to da SC, G.