Mon Aug 24 09:48am EDT
On that note, beware the extreeeeemely misleading headline hitting all the wires Sunday that suggests Rich Rodriguez may rotate three quarterbacks in the Wolverines' opener against Western Michigan. That header is based on a teasing throwaway line -- "Maybe we’ll have three starting quarterbacks," Rodriguez said. "That would be neat." -- from the bottom of an obligatory media day story whose first 23 paragraphs focus exclusively on freshman's Denard Robinson's totally quirky habit of playing with his shoelaces untied. Rodriguez is playing coy about announcing an official starter, but even reporters who accept his premises are having a tough time working Nick Sheridan into the narrative. Repeat after me, folks: Sheridan will not be Michigan's quarterback as long as Tate Forcier and/or Denard Robinson are upright. And God help them if he is.
• The art of compromise, brought to you by the threat of prolonged legal action. A court date for Oklahoma linebacker Mike Balogun -- who was awarded an injunction last week to save his final year of eligibility from the clutches of an obscure NCAA rule re: his former semipro career -- is still on today's docket, but as of Saturday, Balogun's lawyer said a compromise was in the works to keep his client on the field:
A compromise between Oklahoma linebacker Mike Balogun and the NCAA concerning his continued eligibility may be reached outside the courtroom, according to Balogun’s attorney.
“We are working on resolving the situation in a way that will be a case of win-win for everyone,” attorney Woody Glass said in a telephone message.
An independent source familiar with the situation confirmed Saturday that an attempt was being made to reach a compromise.
And regarding the widely-disseminated Oklahoman article last week that claimed Balogun was turned in by Florida State's compliance department based on a random comment in the play-by-play of the national championship game, FSU says not so fast my friend:
Not so, says FSU’s Brian Battle who oversees the school’s compliance office. Battle said his staff called Oklahoma – and only Oklahoma – to gather information to help prepare the [Corey] Surrency appeal. No phone calls were made to the NCAA, Battle said. Battle also said the last conversation his department had with OU officials regarding the similarities in the Surrency and Balogun cases was in February.
That sounds reasonable enough -- it was my initial instinct when I saw the Oklahoman headline last week -- but directly contradicts the Oklahoman's report, allegedly based on court documents, that "an official from Florida State's compliance office contacted the Big 12 Conference and suggested the league investigate Balogun’s eligibility." In any case, rest assured that if Balogun is on the field this fall when Corey Surrency is not, there will be a few irate 'Noles.
Sophomore Richard Samuel is "a solid No. 1," Richt said. "I would definitely say that right now."
Richt again praised Thomas on Friday night and again said he’s eager to see [Caleb] King healthy and back in action, but the coach made it clear Samuel has run with the opportunity presented to him.
This seems like a make-or-break year for King: If Samuel holds on to the job, he'll likely relegate the former four-star heir apparent -- who may have been the top-rated running back in the 2007 class if not for a major injury as a high school senior -- to the status of the Bulldogs' biggest recruiting bust of the decade.
• Lean on me, when you're upset by Stanford. It's debatable how many USC players actually knew who Bill Withers is when they broke into his song during a team meeting a couple weeks ago, but when the guy bothers to show up in person -- and to do it in the guise of a fungus-related gag -- an encore is obviously in order:
The real highlight of the Trojans' weekend: Confirmation that quarterback Aaron Corp should be back at full speed in practice on Tuesday. Freshman Matt Barkley clearly improved in Saturday's scrimmage compared to his sobering effort last Monday, but Corp's hold on the starting job only increased the longer he was out.
Quickly ... Nebraska running back Quentin Castille, top backup to (and potential co-starter with) Roy Helu, was booted from the team for unspecified rules violations. ... Tennessee receiver Gerald Jones could miss the opener with UCLA to a high ankle sprain, and maybe the Vols' date with Florida, as well. ... Mel Kiper's first big board for the 2010 Draft is out, and per his standing position re: Tebow, the great one is not on it. ... Tebow sat out contact drills with a sore back last week but is "100 percent," according to Urban Meyer. Ditto Ohio State guard Justin Boren, who sat out the Buckeyes' weekend scrimmage. ... Speaking of the Child, Colt McCoy seems to be working on his own version of the Tebow beard. (Once Tebow does it, he owns it.) ... Undrafted Chase Daniel has a nice preseason debut with the Redskins, except for getting sacked by former Missouri teammate Ziggy Hood. ... Auburn running back Eric Smith will surrender to police today after a disorderly conduct charge from Friday morning was upgraded to third degree assault, still a misdemeanor. ... South Carolina defensive end Clifton Geathers was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness outside a Columbia nightclub early Sunday morning. ... Former Penn State defensive tackle Abe Koroma is transferring to Western Illinois. ... Ron Zook and Urban Meyer go back and forth over another aspect of Zook's wayward administration at Florida. This time, hazing. ... Flu, though probably not the dreaded swine flu, is depleting Tulane's roster. ... Hawaii is considering dropping its pregame ha'a dance. ... Hyped linebacker Manti Te'o talks about why he chose Notre Dame over USC and UCLA. ... This is probably Photoshopped, but funny nevertheless. ... Magic Johnson drops some "pure knowledge" on USC after the Trojans' Saturday scrimmage. ... Smoke but apparently no fire in a probe into a fishing trip involving Alabama starters Julio Jones and Mark Ingram last spring. ... And despite their recent success, Missouri fans are plenty humble, thanks.