I’m a day late in getting to the college football stories I found the most interesting this week. I spent the bulk of this week flying back and forth across the country to the West Coast where I am in the process of setting up the new OFD headquarters. That 48 hour little whirlwind tour was like a montage of some of my favorite and least favorite things.
Airplanes and the randoms that sit next to you, great burritos, 70’s and sunny, new neighbors that follow an introduction with biographies on the rest of the neighbors, "Great" home inspections full of verbiage that make it sound like the place is going to spontaneously combust, the finer points of porcelain tile and a perfect excuse to blow more money on power tools. The quick trip wrapped up with me walking off the redeye around 5:30am on Friday with a boatload of info to brief the wife on. The cumulative result was that yesterday was pretty much a wash. I did manage to keep track of the greater college football landscape in there somewhere but for this week I will stick to the wave tops. Here you go.
The big ticket item this week were the rules changes announced by the NCAA.
1. No more wedge blocking on kickoffs. The reason is supposedly to cut down on an increasing number of concussions that occur on kickoffs. With the NFL adopting this rule a year ago it was only a matter of time. Not to mention that any time you say concussion these days someone drops the safety card. This is football right?
2. No more personal messages written on eye black. Hat tip to Reggie Bush who started this whole thing with his "619" area code eye black strips. More on Reggie in a minute. Maybe this will bring back the hand towels with personalized messages. I will never forget Hart Lee Dykes "Bye Bye" towel or Eric Bieniemy who sported a towel with "The Enemy" on it.
3. Starting in 2011 "live ball" taunting penalties will be assessed from the spot of the foul. So if the play resulted in a touchdown it will bring points off the board. While I have never been a big fan of guys celebrating in the endzone the level of interpretation involved with this rule makes me a tad nervous. It will rear its ugly head early in 2011.
The never ending drama surrounding Rich Rodriguez continues. Apparently Dick Rod himself is now fully under investigation for activities he was involved in at West Virginia. HLS is all over it. It is looking less and less likely that he will survive the 2010 campaign. At least he can distract himself by lamenting Tate Forcier’s bum wheel.
Reggie Bush has been ordered to submit to a deposition on April 23rd. This is the result of an ongoing legal battle between Bush and former gangster/ drug dealer/ wannabee sports marketer/ generally bad dude Lloyd Lake. The latest twist is that Bush knowingly took "drug money" as payment from Lake during his playing days at USC. This could significantly impact the pending investigation of the NCAA into the goings on at USC during the heart of the Pete Carroll era.
Notre Dame offensive guard Chris Stewart will be spending his time off the field in 2010 as a student at the Notre Dame Law School. Congrats to Stewart for being a great student athlete.
Jimmy Clausen took his turn in the chute this week taping a segment with Jon Gruden. It was a fairly unusual segment that focused on a couple of specific mistakes that Clausen made while at ND. I thought the entire exchange was pretty bizarre but this line from Gruden was particularly interesting. "You put stuff like this out on tape and people think you are either a. undisciplined or b. you are just winging it and going through the motions like Ryan Leaf." Nice. Here is a short version of the segment for those that are interested. The links to the segments with Bradford, McCoy and Tebow are also there. As a side note Clausen has decided he will not attend the draft in New York. After watching Brady Quinn a few years ago I can’t say that I blame him.