Posts for college football

ESPN’s New College Football Anthem is a Bazillion Times Better Than Imagine Dragons

Kevin Kinkead - August 9, 2019

Ah, thank God. Thank God we don’t have to hear Imagine Dragons a million times on ESPN this season.

“You’re a natural, blah blah blah blah, a beating heart of stone, blah blah blah you’re a natural.”

Terrible song.

This season ESPN is rolling with an anthem by Judah & the Lion, a track called “Let Go,” which will be seared into your skull permanently by mid-September.

Here’s what they wrote about it in a press release:

“College football is back. For fans, teams and players, it is about letting it all go for the wild ride of the season,” said Emeka Ofodile, ESPN vice president of marketing. “Judah & the Lion and their single ‘Let Go’ captures that emotion and story to a ‘T’. We can’t wait for college football to start.”

Said Brian Nolan, Senior Vice President, Capitol Music Group, “We are thrilled to partner with ESPN for the upcoming college football season.  Music plays such a prominent role within the landscape of the college football experience and Judah & the Lion have delivered an instant classic anthem with ‘Let Go.’”

Yeah whatever.

Here’s the song, after the jump:

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The First Coaches Poll is Out

Kevin Kinkead - August 3, 2018

College ball is right around the corner.

I’m pumped. Saturdays are all about Premier League in the morning, then NCAA football for the next 12 hours, which gets really weird when Hawaii vs. San Jose State ends at 1:30 a.m. Then you wake up and realize it’s an NFL Sunday. Man, life is so easy.

Anyway, the first coaches poll came out this week and it’s the usual suspects at the top. Your Penn State Nittany Lions slide in at #9 overall (first place votes in parentheses):

  1. Alabama (61)
  2. Clemson (3)
  3. Ohio State (1)
  4. Georgia
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Washington
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Miami
  9. Penn State
  10. Auburn
  11. Notre Dame
  12. Michigan State
  13. Stanford
  14. Michigan
  15. Southern Cal
  16. TCU
  17. disgusting team from Blacksburg, Virginia
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Florida State
  20. West by God Virginia
  21. Texas
  22. Boise State
  23. Central Florida
  24. LSU
  25. Oklahoma State

Looks pretty straightforward to me. The Big 10 is well represented in the top 15. Washington is the preseason PAC 12 favorite and Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team to crack the top ten. I don’t know how Penn State replaces Saquon Barkley and a couple of important receivers, but you do have Trace McSorley coming back behind an experienced offensive line.

Here are the other teams receiving votes:

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Temple Has Some Sweet New Football Uniforms

Chris Jastrzembski - July 12, 2018

Temple football is more relevant these days due to a pair of 10-4 seasons that saw the once-poor program qualify for a couple of bowl games and host College Gameday on Independence Mall.

Even with Matt Rhule taking off for Baylor, the Owls finished above .500 last season, won a bowl game, and remain a legitimate college football presence in a pro sports town. With Geoff Collins’ second season getting underway in September, Temple has some new uniforms for 2018.

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The Bu$ine$$ of College Football

Tim Reilly - December 13, 2017

Last week, the college football world experienced another iteration of what has become an annual scandal.

No, I’m not talking about the announcement of the four schools that were selected to compete in the College Football Playoff (CFP), or the various other bowl berths that were assigned. Undoubtedly, charting the four best teams makes for compelling television. Absent a truly objective way to assess teams that do not always play each other, there is always enough uncertainty built into the process to generate debate. But the dispute that arises at the conclusion of each regular season over the CFP participants pales in comparison to the year-end spending frenzy that takes place among the Power 5 conferences and the chaos that ensues throughout the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Universities that fell short of their boosters’ expectations scour the coaching landscape in search of a savior to lead their football programs back to prominence. Yesterday’s wunderkinds are discarded in favor of today’s geniuses. The outgoing head coach accepts his lucrative buyout package while the ink dries on his successor’s multimillion-dollar deal. When the game of mercenary musical chairs ends, everyone seems to find a seat. Everyone, that is, except for the players who provide the labor and risk their physical welfare for our entertainment.

This time of year, the coaching market moves at warp speed. It can be incredibly disorienting. Take Willie Taggart, for example. One minute, the coach is flashing the “O” during a recruiting trip on behalf of the University of Oregon:

Nine days later, Coach Taggart has abandoned Eugene and the “O” for Tallahassee and the Tomahawk Chop: Continue Reading

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Clay Travis Leads a Social Media Uprising Against Greg Schiano

Tim Reilly - November 28, 2017

For a brief moment on Sunday, it appeared as if the University of Tennessee would hire Greg Schiano as its next football coach. When word of the impending decision filtered into the social media universe, a virtual firestorm erupted, the flames of which were extinguished only when the university walked away from the deal.

The brightest torch in the cyber mob that gathered to oppose Schiano belonged to Clay Travis, a sports personality who has built himself a sizable platform catering to SEC country. Travis is a Tennessee native who, when he’s not busy believing in “the First Amendment and boobs,” takes an avid interest in Volunteer football.

If you’re not familiar with Travis, think of a less talented version of Bill Simmons when the Sports Guy was still churning out regular copy. Travis has essentially appropriated Simmons’ shtick, but tailored it to his own audience. Though he’s not the best writer, Travis plays the role of contrarian very well. The Vanderbilt-trained lawyer is particularly adept at framing arguments and advocating them in a persuasive way.

Case in point: Travis’ long-running feud with ESPN. Travis has written several articles on his website, Outkick the Coverage, documenting ESPN’s hemorrhaging of subscribers and subsequent ratings decline. He’s linked the downward trends to the network’s perceived censorship of conservative voices and concession to political correctness. To buttress his narrative, Travis has contrasted ESPN’s treatment of Donald Trump critic Jemele Hill with the firing of Curt Schilling and suspension of Linda Cohn. He also broke the news of ESPN’s ridiculous decision to remove announcer Robert Lee from play-by-play duties for a University of Virginia football game after the protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

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A winless Matt Rhule is still the right coach for Baylor

Kevin Kinkead - September 21, 2017

Baylor football may very well go 0-12 this year, depending what happens on November 4th in Lawrence, Kansas.

Circle that one on your calendar. It’s Bears vs. Jayhawks for ninth place in the Big 12 Conference, a matchup between the movable object and the stoppable force.

It’s sad to think about because I really like Matt Rhule.

My first interaction with the Baylor head coach was two years ago while working at CBS 3. I was producing “Sports Zone” at the time, the half-hour special that aired on Sunday nights after the late news.

Rhule had just started his third Temple season with a 27-10 home win against Penn State, which was probably the biggest victory of his nascent head coaching career. He did every interview that weekend, from ESPN, to the Associated Press and Action News and all of the local papers. Rhule didn’t have to make time for us, but he did, showing up in person at 9 p.m. the night after the game to tape a segment for our 11:35 p.m. show. I took him to our studio after he got off the elevator and we spent 10 minutes just bullshitting about college football in general. He seemed like a grounded and genuine person.

Ask around and you’ll hear similar stories about Rhule, who left for Baylor after taking the Owls from 2-10 to 10-4. The guy made college football relevant in a parochial pro sports town. We had College Gameday on Independence Mall, for Christ’s sake.

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Joe Paterno Was Just a Creature of College Football’s Toxic Culture

Tim Reilly - September 21, 2017

The latest Joe Paterno story slipped into the news cycle two Saturdays ago, nestling itself between the ongoing revelry of a new college football season and the impending calamity of Hurricane Irma.

Given the distractions that presented themselves that weekend, you would be forgiven if you missed it, or, more likely, quickly digested the lede before moving on to the next article.

After all, the Penn State scandal is yesterday’s news. Jerry Sandusky is in prison. Two former PSU administrators and the school’s ex-president received jail sentences for their roles in the cover-up. Paterno is dead, his legacy in tatters outside the Happy Valley bubble. The university has paid millions of dollars in settlements to Sandusky victims.

There are fresh tragedies for the public to consume. Frankly, some of us have even become so inured to atrocity that we’ve lost our capacity for outrage.

However, the primary revelation contained within Sara Ganim’s recent CNN offering should require us all to read past the headline and pause – not for anger – but for introspection.

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Brent Musburger Is Retiring

Kyle Scott - January 25, 2017

From SI.com:

Brent Musburger is calling an end to his broadcast career. Millions of Americans experienced sporting events through his folksy narration, most often when he was the lead voice of CBS Sports during the 1980s.

Musburger will call his last game for ESPN on Jan. 31, a college basketball contest pitting Kentucky against Georgia. Musburger, who is 77 years old, plans to move to Las Vegas and help his family start a sports handicapping business.

Anyone else feel like he was nudged out? After a series of not-really-that-controversial statements – specifically referring to A.J. McCarron’s smokeshow girlfriend – Musburger essentially cheerleaded for Joe Mixon and told us all that he was doing great after punching some girl. Glad to hear it, Joe. At the time I thought it might be the final straw for Musburger, a terrific announcer, who strayed a little too far into wacky old man-boys club territory minimizing and then doubling down on domestic whatever sort of violence knocking the shit out of your girlfriend in a fast food joint is. His retirement seems a bit too convenient. Either way, no surprise that he’ll be involved in sports betting– he rountinely hinted at lines on the air. I can only assume that Al Michaels, no stranger to implicit gambling references, will sign on as a partner when he hangs ’em up.

Musburger’s best call is obvious:

Side note: Joe Buck waded into those waters, noting that the over-under in the Packers-Falcons game on Sunday was approaching.