Whoooop! If I may stray for a moment: Karl Rove just resigned, effective at the end of the month. Let us pause in respect for the memories, and bid our Machiavellean spinster par excellence a fond sayonarra, au revoir, adieu...
He intends to rehab his ACL and be back in time for the '08 election. Read on...
• Suicide Watch: Pitt's offense already figures to struggle with the run, already has a quarterback situation that relies heavily on a true freshman who walked away from the team and now loses its best player, receiver Derek Kinder, to a torn ACL. He'll miss the entire season, during which time he'll be editing and making copies of Dave Wannstedt's resume.
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More knashing of teeth to Pitt's immediate south: Marshall's Albert McClellan, favorite for C-USA defensive player of the year, is out for the year with torn ligaments in his knee.
• No Mercy: You, sir, may proceed as you wish, but if not for the inviolable mandates of the NCAA Howard Schellenberger would yield no quarter to human concern of his players' well-being, according to an interesting look at the disappearing two-a-day by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Preseason two-a-days are hell, and they're supposed to be hell, as orchestrated by the Darwinian filtering processes of grizzled taskmasters like Bear Bryant, Schnellenberger's one-time boss, and Rich Brooks, who'd still like to institute a few three-a-days at Kentucky, if he could get away with it. Former Louisville quarterback Wally Oyler remembers the good ol' days of the sixties:
Practices could be even more grueling in the NFL, said Oyler, who remembered that during training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, golf carts were positioned near the field for the inevitable heat-related collapses of linemen.
Lemon! Everything a body needs. Because - and I know this from experience - you'll only end up vomiting that water back up during the first few practices, anyway. You might as well just skip it altogether. Doctors will back me and coach Schnellenberger up on that one.
• Team Unity Yesterday, Team Unity Today... Bizarre story of the weekend comes from a short Clemson notebook in South Carolina's State:
That night, coach Tommy Bowden gathered the team on the field, then had a fire truck come from behind a fence and hose off players.
"I told them we were fixing the field," Bowden said. "I read where the (NFL's New Orleans) Saints went to a water park. We don't have a water park."
Good times, I'm sure, except when you think "firehose" in a former Confederate state, it's more like:
But I dunno, maybe the "fun" is all in the context.
A quarterback takes out a defensive end? That's a bigger upset than Hogan slamming Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III in front of a record 93,000 stunned fans at the Pontiac Silverdome, except on a practice field. And not staged, presumably ... Jeff Smith, gamebreaker, if all goes according to plan ... Clemson will bring back its "J-back" position, if Rendrick Taylor can remain in one piece ... Where ever you go, if you're talking FSU, you're talking about the new staff. And that's the only reason anyone's still talking about Xavier Lee as a Seminole, too, even if he's no closer to the starting job ... A "slew" of new quarterbacks has forced Maryland backup Bobby Sheahin to transfer to, uh, Salisbury University? ... Talk about simulating the real thing in practice: "game-like situations" overwhelm NC State quarterbacks ... Virginia's Andrew Pearman is back at running back ... And mega quarterback recruit Tyrod Taylor "had every mouth in the house agape" on a 15-yard scramble during Saturday's open scrimmage at Virginia Tech. Are the Marcus Vick comparisons supposed to be positive?
You don't want to see what happens when you cross Taylor Bennett, brother.
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• Big East
Ben Mauk makes his move on the quarterback job at Cincinnati ... UConn is taking its time on naming a signal-caller ... Rutgers is not backing off its efforts to recruit with the best ... South Florida's fastest player, great white receiving hope Colby Erskin, is out for the season with a torn ACL ... And finally, somebody is willing to make it official: Andrew Robinson is the man at quarterback for Syracuse.
• Big 12
Colorado's offense gets explosive in a weekend scrimmage. Or, you know, in relative terms ... Bret Meyer's still Iowa State's man, but the Cyclones will "play it by ear" to get Austen Arnaud into the mix ... Dead last in pass defense? The defensive line has to answer to that at Kansas ... Concussions, hamstrings, etc. Nebraska running backs can't escape the injury bug ... "The media will be the last to know" who starts at quarterback for Oklahoma, according to Bob Stoops, but everybody already knows: it's Sam Bradford ... And it's not that Texas doesn't like the I-formation, really, it's just that the shotgun allows the `Horns to get their best eleven guys on the field.
• Big Ten
Serenity now, Illini: Arrelious Benn is going to be fine ... Indiana wants to improve its ability to rush the passer. And I wanta pony ... Cornerback Donovan Warren should play right away, and does Michigan ever need him. And how about Jake Long for Heisman? Hypocrites ... Surprise: more quarterback uncertainty at Minnesota ... Returning Ohio State starter Jamario O'Neal has been passed at free safety by Kurt Coleman ... Joe Paterno wants more red zone productivity from his offense. And I want to win the lottery.
• Pac Ten
Arizona's Chris Jennings, from walk-on to opening day starter ... Cal is familiar with transition in the secondary. A little too familiar, actally ... Stanford quarterback Kellen Kiilsgaard transfers to safety, with an abundance of existential dread ... Sammie Stroughter watch, Day Four: still no sign of Oregon State's star receiver in his "personal" hiatus. And who's the quarterback at OSU, anyway? ... And hyped cornerback recruit Ronald Johnson has switched to wide receiver at USC, and with the number and the touchdowns and all, he looks a little too much like Dwayne Jarrett. Scott Wolfe has the details of SC's Saturday scrimmage. Seriously minute details.
You weren't really that skeptical of USC's new receivers, were you?
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Nick Saban, shockingly, doesn't time for inconsistency and shit in 'Bama's first scrimmage ... Arkansas' Morning News delves into the sordid family history of Darren McFadden ... Starting center Jason Bosley was carted off the field during Auburn's scrimmage Sunday night ... Florida's Cam Newton was back at full speed Saturday ... Georgia's offense is "no fun" for Mark Richt ... Top ten safety recruit Chad Jones' dad says his son will attend LSU, but he's still trying to leverage a deal with the Houston Astros before Wednesday's deadline ... Steve Spurrier thinks transcendent freshman Stephen Garcia is "lost," but the kid's a star at Carolina practices ... Another season-ending ACL tear, this one to Tennessee fullback/tight end David Holbert ... And Jermaine Doster is following his brother's path to Vanderbilt three years after Kwame's murder.
Scrimmages are hot at Houston. Like, literally, unbearably hot ... Bush Hamdan's injury only slows the race for the starting job at Boise State ... And Fresno State's incoming class is a tempting lot, if, you know, you're into freshmen.
Didn't spot any arrest reports over the weekend...what gives? Practice leaves everyone a little worn down for the typical run-ins, I suppose. Ah, summer...