Speed Read: Bearcats Go Bust In Their BCS Debut

It started so well for Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. On their first drive of their first-ever BCS bowl game, they marched down the field and scored a touchdown thanks to a pair of big receptions by TE Mardy Gilyard. It was an instant 7-0 lead and a sign to anyone switching over from the dog that was the Rose Bowl that this game could be good.

Cincinnati QB Tony Pike after throwing another INT against the Hokies

And then…pfft. Cincinnati spent the rest of the game playing like a team that was scared to death of being on the big stage. Meanwhile, the Hokies were being the Hokies - physical,  methodical, boring - and just doing enough to salt the game away. The end result? A 20-7 Virginia Tech victory that was moderately more fun to watch than the Sun Bowl. (Hey, at least El Paso had The Village People!)

Meanwhile, in Japan…well, it’s your usual assortment of weirdness from the world of K-1. Specifically, their latest fight card was headlined by Bob Sapp, who combines the physique of Butterbean with the MMA fighting skills of Kimbo Slice into one freak show package that the Japanese can’t get enough of even if no one in the US cares. (Sort of like Cheap Trick.)

Bob Sapp versus a cartoon character

His latest opponent? Um, some guy in a wrestling mask that Sapp outweighed by 140 pounds. And oh yeah, the guy he fought was based on a cartoon character named Kinnikuman. Basically, it’s like if Brock Lesnar fought against the actual Captain Crunch. No, I don’t get it either, but I don’t get most Japanese things (Shonen Knife, sushi, Bobby Valentine). CAGE WRITER has analysis of the card and video of the Sapp/Fictional Character match:

Here’s what else was happening while you were breaking some to all of your New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Bad news for Florida Gator fans: AWFUL ANNOUNCING says that according to Fox, Tim Tebow has apparently decided to transfer to Cincinnati. And play right tackle. And convert to Islam. Either that, or the graphics department at Fox is a mess.
  • Tim Tebow playing for Cincinnati

  • UTEP back-up QB Jeken Frye was attacked on New Year’s Eve by a group of known gang members who came to the house he was at armed with crowbars and metal water meter covers. Not to make light of a serious situation, but honestly - metal water meter covers?
  • The roof of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center at Indiana was damaged by careless welders (wasn’t that a Wham song?), according to the AP. It’s named after the former school president from the 1930s and 1940s who favored strict segregation. Chuck D. says to let the sucker burn.
  • In case you missed it (and frankly, I can’t imagine that you did), video has finally been posted of David Hasselhoff’s triumphant National Anthem performance at the Las Vegas Bowl. And you know what? He’s not quite Marvin Gaye, but it wasn’t a Carl Lewis-style meltdown, either.
  • CAGE WRITER has another UFC fighter doing a Rampage Jackson impersonation: Josh Neer was arrested after leading Iowa police on a lengthy, high-speed car chase. Yeah, but it wasn’t a monster truck, and he sure didn’t have his picture on the side of his car.
  • The CINCINNATI ENQUIRER has word of a girls high school basketball player who is suing her school because she was injured while scrimmaging against men. But the good news is that the way her shoulder separated was very fundamentally sound.
  • Eastern Washington head basketball coach Kent Earlywine missed out on coaching his team against Boise State on Monday, according the SPOKANE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, because he had been popped for a DUI that weekend. But he was able to watch the game online. I guess he had his “wine” a little too “early,” huh? (Insert rimshot here.)
  • The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE says Minnesota Golden Gophers head hockey coach Don Lucia is suffering from an “undisclosed illness” and might miss his first-ever game in 22 years of coaching the team when they take on Brown tonight. I once went a whole three weeks at my old job between missing time with an “undisclosed illness,” otherwise known as being hungover.
  • The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE debunks the latest Manny Ramirez rumors, saying “it would be a mistake to put too much stock” into rumors that have the slugger coming to the Giants next season. Still, if you think Dodgers fans hated Barry Bonds
  • Don Larsen might have pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, but the SEATTLE TIMES says his flight from Idaho to New York to tape a segment for the new MLB Network was a perfect mess, turning a 60-hour trip into six days of travel hell.

Choose your favorite rendition of the National Anthem:

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Orange Bowl Tix Now Cost Less Than A Shamwow

Looking for good seats to a BCS bowl game? Do you have loose change scattered around the house? Then you’re in luck. We all know that most bowl games will see a bit of a dip in attendance this year due to the rough economy, but things are bordering on ridiculous.

Dolphins Stadium

(Luckily, Dolphins Stadium is used to holding sparsely-attended events)

As of last night, Orange Bowl tickets were going on StubHub for as little as $1. The prices have gone up since then, but there are hundreds of seats that can be had for anywhere from $3.25 to $20. It probably doesn’t help that the Virginia Tech-Cincinnati matchup is less desirable than the freaking Poinsettia Bowl. So much for New Year’s Day prestige. More good deals after the jump:

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Blog Jam: ‘Canes Should Play In Half-Wrecked OB

• EVERY DAY SHOULD BE SATURDAY suggests that nothing would be more intimidating to Miami Hurricanes foes than playing in a half-demolished Orange Bowl.

Orange Bowl demolition

• PRO FOOTBALL TALK isn’t so high on Travis Henry right now, as the teamless RB has failed yet another drug test.

• THE WORLD OF ISAAC celebrates Paula Creamer’s round of 60 by teeing up a pleasant pictorial of the good-looking golfer.

• DEADSPIN races up news that Barack Obama may be sponsoring a NASCAR car.

Read more…

Blog-A-Roni: Pacman Chomping His Way To Big D

Matt Mosley of ESPN’s HASHMARKS notes what the biggest reaction was to the finalization of the Pacman-To-Cowboys trade: “Patrons of Dallas strip clubs were spotted running for the exits.”

• The SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL checks in to see how well the Orange Bowl demolition is going.

Orange Bowl Demolition

• Taking a cue from the K.C. Royals, EVERY DAY SHOULD BE SATURDAY makes a date with the Oregon Ducks’ O-Line and their new calendar.

• Comedian Chris Elliott laces up with the New York Rangers. Man, we sure miss “Get A Life“.

Read more…

MLB To Remain In Miami After Stadium Deal OK’d

The MIAMI HERALD reports that the Marlins will be remaining in Miami, after city & county officials approved a deal for a new ballpark.

Marlins new stadium Billy the Marlin mascot

Two separate votes by the Miami City Commission and the Miami-Dade County Commission sealed the deal Thursday night. The $525 million plan calls for a new 37,000-seat stadium (complete with a retractable roof) to be built on the soon-to-be vacant Orange Bowl site.

However, some citizens are still upset with the whole deal. Read more…

Dolphins Can’t Win In Orange Bowl Flag Finale

Even in a flag football game against a college team, the Miami Dolphins can’t win.

Orange Bowl flag football

The MIAMI HERALD reports on the last football game held at the Orange Bowl - a 7-on-7 flag football contest on Saturday between former Dolphins and former Miami Hurricanes. The ex-Canes were able to run away from the ex-Fins in a 65-51 shootout. Too bad the current stock of UM players couldn’t have done the same thing in their own home finale.

Over 12,000 fans showed up for the final football farewell to the stadium - more than the Marlins can even hope to bring out to their games. But folks are invited to come back to the OB in two weeks and pick up a urinal or two.

No word if Dan Marino was selling his new vodka at concession stands - or if Dana Jacobson was spotted in line.

Orange Bowl Items Going On The Auction Block

Have you always wanted to go where Miami football legends have gone? Then why not bid on an Orange Bowl urinal?

Miami Orange Bowl

The MIAMI HERALD flushes down news that the bathroom fixtures are just one of the many O.B. items up for sale for the stadium’s going out of business sale.

A public auction will be held at the 70-year-old stadium from February 9-10. Everything inside & outside the Orange Bowl will be up for grabs - including lockers, turnstiles, air conditioners, ice makers, and even the trees surrounding the stadium.

The only items not part of February’s auction are the stadium seats, which will be available for purchase online starting next week. Also, the field’s turf, owned by the city of Miami, will be transferred for use in a city park. But the soil underneath is anybody’s for the right price.

As are the urinals. An organizer of the auction admitted, “We’ve gotten huge amounts of calls asking about that.”

Miami Virginia

Probably from fans wanting to do what the Hurricanes did in their last-ever game at the Orange Bowl.

Kansas Coach Mark Mangino Named Home Depot Coach of the Year

KU’S MANGINO GORGING ON COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS: Our massive man Mark has done it again. After leading the Jayhawks to an 11-1 record and a trip to the Orange Bowl, king-size Kansas coach Mangino has been named the Home Depot Coach of Year:

Mark Mangino coach of the year award

The KANSAS CITY STAR grabbed a front-row seat at ESPNU’s 2007 College Football Awards Show down in Disney World Thursday night. In addition to Mangino’s hardware, the Jayhawks football team was honored with the Stanley Tools Breakthrough Of The Year Award.Home Depot? Stanley Tools? Now the team can start on Memorial Stadium renovations when they get back to Lawrence.

Mark Mangino Frank Beamer

Mangino is also licking his chops as one of the eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. His competition includes Virginia Tech leader and Orange Bowl nemesis Frank Beamer.And now the Hokies have bulletin board material before their Miami showdown. During the awards show, Kansas OT Anthony Collins remarked, “We’re an up-and-coming team. We’re 11-1, soon to be 12-1, and we need all the recruits we can get so we can get to the national championship.”

Mark Mangino

Dolphin Stadium is sure to be Rockin’, Chalkin’ & Jayhawkin’ with a Hokie Hokie High come January 3rd.

Florida International Wins Last College Game At Orange Bowl, Ends 23-Game Losing Streak

FIU OUTDOES MIAMI, GIVES ORANGE BOWL LAST-EVER WIN: The Orange Bowl finally closes out with a winner:

FIU football

Florida International did what the Miami Hurricanes could not, and completed their stay in the south Florida stadium with a final victory - a 38-19 triumph over North Texas.Not only that, but the win snapped a 23-game losing skid for the Golden Panthers, which was the longest in the nation. FIU was also the last Division 1-A team to get a ‘W’ this season, meaning all 120 teams have at least one victory for 2007.

Saturday’s Sun Belt showdown was the last-ever college football game played at the 71-year-old facility. FIU spent the season at the O.B. while a new on-campus stadium was being built. And the Hurricanes will be taking their act to Dolphins Stadium next year.

The win was FIU football’s finest Orange Bowl moment.

Miami FIU fight

Except maybe this one.

Kansas Jayhawks and Smith Center HS Still Dominate While Miami Football Fortunes Stay Grim

KANSAS FOOTBALL ROLLS ON, AS MIAMI TEAMS FALL FLAT: Football fortunes keep shining in the Sunflower State:

Mark Mangino

Mark Mangino feasted on yet another opponent, as Kansas devoured Oklahoma State on Saturday, 43-28. The 10-0 Jayhawks are now the only undefeated BCS team left, and the real Mangenius has a realistic shot at the national championship.And it’s not just in the collegiate ranks that Kansas football is stepping up. Smith Center High School continues to destroy anyone who gets in their way.

The latest victim was Oakley, who had the nerve to make the Redmen punt - for the first time all season. But Smith Center had the last maniacal laugh, as they trounced their playoff foe, 56-0.

Smith Center football team

The shutout also keeps Smith Center’s surreal season scoring record at 760-0, as they march toward a fourth straight state title. Next week’s opponent, St. Francis, actually managed to score against the Redmen last year - by notching 2 whole points!While football in Kansas looks bright, dark clouds continue to hover over south Florida.

The Miami Hurricanes ended their 70-year stay at the Orange Bowl with a 48-0 shellacking against Virginia, their worst home loss since World War II:

Miami Virginia

Meanwhile, the other Division 1-A team in town, Florida International, is still looking for their first win of the season. The Golden Panthers will be playing in the O.B. for their last three home contests.But it’s a safe bet the old stadium might never see another home-team victory, as FIU is currently stuck in a 21-game losing streak.

Dolphins fan bag on head

As far as the pro game, the Dolphins are now the only winless franchise in the NFL. Cam Cameron’s club keeps the goose egg with a 13-10 loss to Buffalo, while the St. Louis Rams shed their sorrows with a win over New Orleans.Sad times in South Beach, indeed. But we can’t end a Miami football retrospective without naming our favorite Orange Bowl memory.

Was it the 1984 Orange Bowl? Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary?

Nope. ‘Twas this friendly encounter.