Commentary

Put away your Heisman ballots

Originally Published: September 17, 2010
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

It's Week 3 of the college football season and we already have a clear Heisman favorite in Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Last year at this time, Michigan also had a Heisman candidate in Tate Forcier. You may recall he didn't win the Heisman.

The lesson being this: There's still a long way to go in the season. And also: Don't tie your shoes if you want to be any good at football. It couldn't be more clear.

    

Game of the Week

No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona -- 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN


The forecast for Tucson on Saturday is a high of 101 degrees. But I've learned to not really trust numbers when it comes to the Big "Ten" and the Pac-"10" -- it's probably going to be more like 120 degrees. So tune in at 10:30 (12:30?) and watch these players give what I will assume will be a good bit more than 110-percent.

    

Another Game of the Week

No. 8 Nebraska at Washington -- 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC


Nebraska had five interceptions last week in a 38-17 victory over Idaho, the Cornhuskers' fourth game in their past seven with at least three interceptions. And although Washington quarterback Jake Locker is one of the nation's best, Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini says his players aren't concerned: "We played Reesing, we played McCoy. We've played great quarterbacks a lot in the Big 12. I don't rank 'em."

Ahh, but I do! I do rank 'em.

1. Jake Locker
2. Colt McCoy
3. someone else
4. Todd Reesing.

Hope that helps, Carl!

    

Still One More Game of the Week

No. 10 Florida at Tennessee -- 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS


As though SEC games aren't contentious enough, some entrepreneurial Tennessee fans this week started selling "Time To Die" T-shirts mocking the threatening text messages Florida receiver Chris Gainey sent his girlfriend.

We'll have to wait for the sales figures to see if the "Time To Die" shirts are more or less popular than Derek Dooley's "Time To Shower" T-shirts.


Cupcake of the Week


Virginia Tech: They play in a joke of a conference. They've lost to a WAC team and an FCS team. Their mascot, a Hokie, is as absurd as they come. And the school is in the middle of nowhere. A program really can't get more cupcakey than Virginia Tech.

This week Conference-USA power East Carolina comes to Blacksburg to play the Hokies (1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com). The Pirates are 2-0, but unless they win by 30 or more, you have to think they'll lose AP votes. There shall be no reward for scheduling cupcakes, East Carolina!

    

Rivalry Game of the Week

No. 6 Texas at Texas Tech -- 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC


Texas has designs on getting to the national title game and Texas Tech can ruin those plans. Again. Mack Brown is only 3-3 for his career in Lubbock and Texas is only 9-9 since 1974.

And while Brown might be fortunate that the unpredictable Mike Leach is no longer standing across the sidelines from him, Tommy Tuberville isn't much better. A riverboat gambler is basically the modern equivalent of a pirate.


Heisman Candidate in the Crosshairs


Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: You can't lose your starting job to injury, or so they say. But you can definitely lose the Heisman to injury. (Fun fact: You can also lose the Heisman due to NCAA violations, but that usually takes about five years.)

After missing the first two games of the season due to a knee injury, Ingram will have to come back in a big way against Duke (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC) to impress the voters. And impressing the voters against Duke will probably require 700 yards and 11 touchdowns. Yeah, Mark Ingram isn't going to win the Heisman this year.


Mascot Fact of the Week


"Hokie" was a nonsense word used in a cheer by a Virginia Tech (then Virginia Polytechnic Institute) student way back in 1896. For a long time the school mascot was a turkey -- Virginia Tech teams were once called the Gobblers (really) -- and eventually the Hokie name caught on and replaced Gobblers.

By the way, that student's cheer in 1896 was this:

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI
Sol-a-rex, Sol-a-rah
Poly Tech Vir-gin-ia
Ray rah VPI
Team! Team! Team!

So ... yeah. But if you think that's bad, it's way better than Virginia Tech's current cheer.

Tailgate Tip of the Week

Bring a hacky sack: It's always smart to bring a hacky sack to a football tailgate and ask if anyone would like to play. If anyone says yes, you'll know they are a football tailgate impostor and that you should ask them to leave.

Tailgate Recipe of the Week:

Tar Heel pork barbecue: Get some North Carolina pork and your favorite local barbecue sauce and put them in the slow cooker. Then it's a waiting game. The pork should cook for two to three hours. Pass the time by speaking to an agent. If you don't feel like waiting that long, throw the pork out and have your agent cater the tailgate for you. Enjoy!


Quote of the Week


"We do our best to win games. Dirty program? It's not a dirty program. We follow the rules and some guys make mistakes and we've got to correct those mistakes. We follow the rules. We do it the right way at Florida and we have to do a better job with correcting some of the people making mistakes."
-- Urban Meyer

That's Meyer addressing the 30 arrests his program has had under his tenure. Maybe Florida can make Meyer's quote into a plaque like the famous Tim Tebow plaque. The Tebow plaque is outside the football facility, so maybe Meyer's could go outside the campus police station.


Stat of the Week


0-5: With Cincinnati's loss to NC State on Thursday night, the Big East is the only BCS conference that has yet to beat a fellow BCS conference team this season. (The ACC is now 1-5. Congrats, guys!)

This is probably why the Big East has invited reigning FCS champion Villanova to join the conference. An FCS power like Villanova can feast on teams like Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Kansas and restore the Big East's reputation.


Coach on the Hot Seat


Mark Richt: Bulldogs fans are not happy with the team's 1-1 start or the program's discipline issues, and now No. 12 Arkansas is coming to town (noon ET, ESPN). Mark Richt is 91-28 at Georgia. He's won 10 or more games in two of his past three seasons and six of his past eight. Does he deserve to be on the hot seat? No, probably not. But he coaches in the SEC and fans want more than 10-win seasons and decent bowl appearances.

So maybe the question is: Should he be an SEC coach? And the answer to that is a definite no. I mean, his name is Mark. What kind of southern football coach is named Mark? He better change his name to something like Skeeter Richt immediately or he's going to find himself out of a job.


Lane Kiffin NCAA Violation of the Week


None. This is getting boring. Kiffin and USC better step up and start violating (and getting caught!) or risk losing this spot to Urban Meyer or North Carolina.

This week USC travels to play Minnesota (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) where Kiffin starred as a high school quarterback at Bloomington Jefferson High School in suburban Minneapolis while his dad was a Vikings assistant. Kiffin was also voted in his yearbook as Most Likely To Secede. Probably.


Name of the Week


Phelon Jones, DB, Alabama:

Nothing against him personally, I just think the Tuscaloosa police should probably keep their eye on him. He's a known Phelon.


Stone Cold Lock of the Week


Michigan is playing UMass this week, so Denard Robinson will play in flip-flops.

DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.


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