8:30 PMLuis Suarez is reportedly leaving Liverpool to sign with Barcelona in a five-year deal worth almost $130 million. But Suarez cannot compete in any soccer activity until October after biting an Italian player during a World Cup match.
Last night, Texas-affiliated Orangebloods.com filled us in on the latest conjecture out of what is likely the University of Texas athletic dept.:
That same athletic director (source) said if Notre Dame agreed to join the league, the Big Ten’s expansion would stop at one school - Notre Dame - and be a 12-school league.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com also reported last night on KZNX-AM in Austin that if ND doesn’t immediately join the Big Ten, his “source” told him that the league would then set in motion a plan to expand to 16 teams, plucking Nebraska and Missouri from the Big 12 and perhaps Rutgers, Pitt and Syracuse from the Big East.
With the Pac-10 then gone to 16 teams, that could possibly set the scene for four 16-team superconferences, none of which would included Notre Dame. (With the remaining desirable Big East and Big 12 teams picked over by SEC, ACC and/or MWC.)
The latter threat supposedly could force Notre Dame’s hand into joining the Big Ten as the rust belt league’s 16th team, but according to ND AD Jack Swarbrick, the Irish at least seem like they will not be the first party to make a move.
It’s Easter weekend, and plenty of us are heading home to celebrate the religious holiday with our families. Well, before Notre Dame football players got a chance to skip out of town, the FORT WAYNE JOURNAL-GAZETTE got them to say who they’d be for one day if they had their pick. Not surprisingly, most of the Irish picked other athletes, rappers and the like, but at least one, tackle Sam Young (no, not that Sam Young, this one), picked an even higher target: Jesus Christ.
(Hmmmm, not the way we pictured Jesus.)
That’s right, the former Florida Gatorade Player of the Year — he won the award over Tim Tebow — would embody Jesus for a day if he could have his pick. More refreshing, however, is the logic Young used to choose Jesus. It’s basically the same line we use to convince ourselves we really do want ice cream at 1:30 in the morning.
Hey, what better than a “What the Hell?” attitude to encourage someone to be Jesus for a day, right?
All last-minute 11th-hour college football playoff protest lock-in petition candlelight vigils have failed, and the BCS has already declared who will play for the national championship. Sorry, Texas, Alabama, and Utah — two other states, Oklahoma and Florida, are going to the BCS Championship. Is it the right one? Meh, probably. But if we had playoffs, it might’ve been something weird like Texas Tech and Penn State. Yuck.
Looking at the BCS games:
• We have two teams outside the top 10 that are in the BCS? Well, hell, put ‘em in the same game! Unlikely Big East champion Cincinnati and ACC winner Virginia Tech will see each other in the Orange Bowl.
• This might be hard to believe, but Ohio State is in the Fiesta Bowl. This is not a repeat from 2006, 2003, or 2002. Honestly, why even have bowl contingency plans for these guys? They’ll play Texas.
• The last time Utah played in a BCS game, they got set up with BCS fall boy Pittsburgh and massacred them. This time they’ll get a slightly better challenge, facing off against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
• And the Rose Bowl. Hey, sure.
Now to go through the rest of the bowl games, one by one, in painstaking detail. Okay, just a couple interesting ones:
• Really? Does Charlie Weis wearing a lei this year represent anything that should happen in a fair and God-governed just world? The Irish went 6-6. Instead of schlepping off to some obscure game in Boise or Houston, Notre Dame gets the Hawai’i Bowl. No-foolin’ not-snowing beach-humpin’ Hawai’i. Since they play the local football squadron, odds are the Rainbowless Warriors will probably whump them, as is the local custom.
• Boise State, by going perfect, gets the high honor of playing not another strong power-conference team, but probably the next strongest mid-major, TCU, in the Poinsettia Bowl. Perhaps one of the most recently-created games will be the locale of the best non-BCS game. If nothing else, the bowl game will be a step up from 2006, when TCU smashed Northern Illinois by 30.
• “We beat the guys in the national championship game!” “Really? Because we beat the guys who beat the other guys in the national championship game!” It’s Ole Miss and Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.
• The MAC got five games. Five games? Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, too? Eek. As for Ball State and Tulsa, who both were supposed to roll in as the MAC and C-USA champs, respectively, they will lock helmets in the GMAC Bowl in a battle of Elisha Cuthbert-style sloppy seconds.
If I missed your favorite team’s game, I’m sure I did it for a good reason and/or to protect you. But no, seriously. Your team has a great shot to win the game. Here’s the master list of every single one.
Yes, the Giants and Titans also clinched the NFC East and AFC South divisions respectively, but the Arizona Cardinals also gave themselves a division championship by virtue of not being the Seahawks, 49ers, or Rams. They’re 8-5, a record which isn’t even guaranteed an AFC Wild Card spot. Six of their wins are against losing teams. Against winning teams, they give up over 32 points a game. The Arizona Cardinals win the NFC West, everyone. The lone argument in favor of implementing a bowl system in the NFL.
In other fuss-trating news around the lower 48:
“I’m very frustrated on the way, particularly today’s game unfolded,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy kinda said. That’s how the Packers’ official site transcribes it, but ‘R’ you sure about that ‘R’ in the word “frustrated?”
So here’s a fun one. Carolina Panther Jeremy Bridges was arrested — perhaps a first in NFL history — over a dispute involving champagne. THE ROCK HILL (SC) HERALD reports when it was uncorked, some other diners got sprayed. Although it doesn’t say in the story, I think you can assume what ensued. FOOD FIGHT!
Say buh-bye to Varitek, Red Sox fans. His agent says he will decline arbitration with Boston, and will talk with other teams. Of less consequence, Paul Byrd won’t accept arbitration either. The Boras has spoken.
Oh, yes, the Lions are still 0-something. The DETROIT NEWS looks at the depth chart, finds a little-known playmaking receiver named Calvin Johnson and asserts they have to throw it to them more if they’re going to win a game. Interesting idea!
Like we could go an entire Speed Read without previewing the upcoming NAIA football championship game. Mighty Carroll College, from Helena, Montana, has won five of six championships. The Saints opponent is the plucky University of Sioux Falls Cougars. Both teams’ colors are purple and gold. Oh, how embarrassing to wear the same dress to the debutante ball!
In the first meeting between Charlie Weiss and Rich Rodriguez, it is Notre Dame’s Weis who walks away victorious. Actually he’s not walking, Weis is limping with the support of crutches and a leg wrap. Yes, they make crutches and a leg wrap large enough for the ND coach.
In the second quarter of Notre Dame’s 35-17 manhandling of Michigan, Irish defensive end John Ryan was blocked into the back of Weis’ leg during a punt return. Weis, who was looking in the other direction following the play, was blind-sided by the 6-5, 264 pound Ryan, suffering the same exact injury of former pupil Tom Brady - torn ACL and MCL.
Weis: “I was both personally and professionally offended by her comments. And if the situation were reversed, and that were me saying them, two things would have happened. I would have been the lead story on SportsCenter, and I would have been fired.” Read more…