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Thursday Hub Shoots For Longevity

Munson Mania: I've never even lived near Georgia, and I have a Larry Munson memory: driving back from the annual Southern Miss beating at the hands of Alabama in 2003, my friend's car radio improbably picked up the call from the UGA-Tennessee game. None of us knew him, but Munson's wavering, blatantly biased growl was unmistakable, so immediately distinct that we still routinely make fun of his delivery - "Aaaaan' we blitzum!" - but this was also the game that featured Tennessee, down 13-7, methodically driving inside the Georgia five with less than a minute remaining in the half, at which point Munson was beginning to get a little beside himself with frustration. Then Casey Clausen fumbled a handoff, which Sean Jones subsequently picked up and took 92 yards for a touchdown that put Georgia up 20-7 at the half rather than down 14-13. Ninety-two yards of an astonished, frothing old man who communicated everything about the wild emotional swing in the stadium without managing more than two consecutive coherent words. Georgia won 41-14.

Munson may be retiring, for real this time because of his health, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution commemorates the mere suggestion of Bulldog football without its voice with a short collection of much better stories. The best for my money:

"One time I was listening to the Kentucky game on the radio somewhere in North Georgia," said Seth Wilcher of Denver. "They were going to kick a field goal with no time left to beat us. Everyone is hanging on every word. The snap is made, and all we hear from Munson is, 'Where did she come from?' We were left to wonder for about five seconds until he follows with, 'Lady Luck!' I'll never forget that."


Munson: These are the good times.
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One of Munson's peers, similarly homespun Mississippi State icon Jack Kristal, hung on past the early stages of senility, to the point he sometimes couldn't even recognize the current players, much less communicate their exploits in any interesting way. For his own sake, there's no point in Munson or anyone else hanging on that long.

And What Would They Put On the Big Ten Network?: There's no Championship Subdivision in the NFL, and pro-bred boss Tim Brewster doesn't get the idea of playing down in college, either:

If he had his druthers, Gophers football coach Tim Brewster would upgrade his team's nonconference schedule and eliminate Division I-AA opponents.

Brewster reiterated those thoughts Wednesday at the Minnesota Associated Press Sports Editors annual meeting.

"Every nonconference game that we play should help us in recruiting," he said. "If we look at a game on our schedule and you say, "I don't see any way it can help you in recruiting," well then I don't think we ought to play that game."

Brewster angered some North Dakota State fans recently when he said he does not see the value in playing Division I-AA opponents because he desires more high-profile opponents for recruiting purposes. He repeated that statement Wednesday.

"The object is to win a championship," he said. "To help recruit championship-caliber athletes, we've got to play in big-time games."

Brewster is obviously right - I-AA games suck, and Bowl Subdivision athletic directors who schedule them should be made to carry around the white flag-clad spear Brewster uses to shame players who give up on workouts - and also, of course, obviously wrong: the object in scheduling is not to win a championship. It's to make loads of dough through extra home games that facilitate bowl eligibility:

The Gophers have partially filled their nonconference schedules through 2015. They already are scheduled to play one BCS opponent from 2009-2015.

In a 12-game season, Gophers officials said they hope to have seven home games, including three nonconference. Athletic director Joel Maturi has said he is in favor of scheduling one regional Division I-AA opponent with the extra home game.

Joe Paterno, in all his crochety wisdom, understands how these things work. Brewster will come around soon enough.

Related: Pitt AD Jeff Long is deflecting criticism after Clemson backed out of a future series by denying a I-AA replacement is in the works. Long says he wants three of the Panthers' five non-conference games to come against BCS conference opponents, which isn't easy when they keep backing out on you – Clemson and Penn State both fall by the wayside in the same week. Long: "We are talking to BCS conference teams, so this talk of wanting to add a I-AA is just not fair."

Behemoth Engulfs Smaller Behemoth: I don't do message boards as a rule, unless lured by some very specific information, and Rivals in particular is the most frustrating of the big boards because it's the most likely in my experience to shut out non-password-enabled visitors. So if new Rivals owner Yahoo! can do something about that, or can let me use my totally free Yahoo! mail account that generates little to no profit for the company to get behind the paywall on Orangebloods, for example, I'll be pretty happy about that. Actually, I probably won't even notice, just like I'm not very likely to notice if Rupert Murdoch succeeds in taking over a quarter of Yahoo! shares in a bizarre bartering maneuver. Such things...who has time for these commercial vulgarities? Just let me in.

Quickly: Arkansas quarterbacks breaking their arms! Oh, in slowly. They're breaking their arms in slowly. Not that David Lee can watch either way ... "Indians" on the way out at Arkansas State ... Cam Newton will be fine, says Urban Meyer. It's just a small crack in his back is all ... Michigan regents vote today on the go-ahead for Big House expansion ... Back to running back for Angus Quigley ... Iowa adds players five and six to its 2008 class - just more work ahead for busy Hawkeye sports/wedding announcer Gary Dolphin ... Ineligible Georgia CB Paul Oliver works out for the pros ... Champions at Ohio State, beaten out by hockey? ... And, while an old Trojan dances to his own drummer, USC basketball gets a precious commit from a 14-year-old who's never played a second of high school hoops. I wouldn't pass up that offer, either.


The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Disciplined, sort of, accused brawlers Anthony Scirrotto and Chris Baker, who joined teammates Lydell Sargent and Jerome Hayes in expulsion Wednesday from summer school at Penn State but will be allowed back in time to begin practice in August. Allowed back early, in fact:

The four players who were expelled for the second summer semester -- Scirrotto, Sargeant, defensive tackle Christopher Baker and linebacker Jerome Hayes -- were told they would be allowed to return to campus Aug. 6 for preseason workouts, sources said. Normally, expelled students would not be allowed on campus until the expulsion ends, in this case on Aug. 17.

Sargeant is "vehement" in his protest of the charge he wielded a bar stool in the infamous apartment fight back in April - "One witness told police in a written statement he saw Sargeant swing the bar stool that was `broken over the back of the guy identified as Scirrotto,' court documents indicate" - so much so that he's willing risk more severe punishment by requesting a formal hearing from the university.

Scirrotto still faces three felony charges, along with a pair of misdemeanors, and Baker has two pending felonies and a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Dismissed, Southern Miss receiver Rodney Gray, for unspecified "rules violations and poor conduct." No reported arrest, so no details whatsoever, per the usual with Jeff Bower. Thus Gray fulfills the role of Tavarres Williams Memorial Promising Freshman Wideout Who Immediately Disappears. He fell back into the rotation after starting immediately over a couple seniors last year, but he ranked as a veteran among the receivers on the upcoming team - outside of uninspiring Chris Johnson, it's a cavalcade of total inexperience, likely to be filled by more interchangable, stopgap freshmen. Dammit, Rodney.