CARLSON ATTACKS REID, GUNDY ATTACKS CARLSON

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(Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy’s full press conference can be seen below) 

Below is the full column written by The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson that set Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy off on the paper and the editor.  In her article, Carlson says OSU quarterback Bobby Reid was benched because of his attitude, despite being the best signal-caller on the roster.  Carlson wrote “Does he have the fire in his belly? Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?”  Carlson also accused him of threatening to transfer.  “Word is that Reid has considered transferring a couple different times, the first as early as 2005.  Reid, then a redshirt freshman, was facing competition from returner Donovan Woods, and apparently, Reid considered leaving OSU just because he had to compete for the spot.”

OSU coach Mike Gundy took exception to the article, and had strong words for Carlson and the paper after last week’s game.  In his press conference, which can also be seen below, Gundy calls the paper and the editor garbage, and says that three-quarters of what was put in the article was untrue.  Without further ado, here’s both sides of the story.

REID IS STILL THE MOST TALENTED SIGNAL-CALLER, BUT ATTITUCE IS REASON FOR CHANGE

Jenni Carlson

Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Bobby Reid stood near the team charters last Friday night, using his cell phone, eating his boxed meal.

It would’ve been normal post-game activity but for one thing.

His mother was feeding him chicken.

Which brings us to the quarterback switch-a-roo at Oklahoma State. 

Don’t see the connection?

Let me explain. Cowboy coaches have gone full-speed ahead with the Zac Attack, opting to start Robinson over Reid a week ago, then sticking with him against Texas Tech today even after an embarrassing loss at Troy. Weren’t we being told just last week that Reid was still the guy? All the weight with which Cowboy coaches were backing Reid has totally shifted to Robinson.

The change seems sudden.

Thing is, it may not be as abrupt as it looks. If you believe the rumors and the rumblings, Reid has been pushing coaches that way for quite some time.

Tile up the back stories told on the sly over the past few years, and you see a pattern that hasn’t always been pretty.

Word is that Reid has considered transferring a couple different times, the first as early as 2005. Reid, then a redshirt freshman, was facing competition from returner Donovan Woods, and apparently, Reid considered leaving OSU just because he had to compete for the spot.

Reid’s nerves have also been an issue. Earlier this year, he told our Andrea Cohen about his game-day emotions.

“I get sweaty palms. I get the butterflies in my stomach. I sweat lot,” he said then. “I’ve been playing this game for 15 years. And I can honestly say every game I’ve played in, I’ve been nervous. It’s not so much me being scared; I just get to a point where I start worrying about a lot of things I can’t control.”

A lot of guys get nervous, some even puke before games. How you handle the nerves is important, though, and Reid hasn’t always managed them well. He has gotten off to some extremely slow starts, putting the Cowboys in some holes. Some, they dug out of, with Reid often wielding the biggest shovel, and some, they couldn’t.

Then, there have been the injuries. No doubt some of Reid’s ailments have been severe, including an injured shoulder that required surgery and forced him to redshirt. Other times, though, Reid has been nicked in games and sat it out instead of gutting it out.

Injuries are tricky, of course. You don’t want a guy to put himself in harm’s way if he’s really hurt, and yet, football is one of those sports in which everyone plays hurt. Aches and pains, bumps and bruises are part of the gig.

Reid’s injury against Florida Atlantic — whatever it was — appeared minor but just might have been the thing that pushed Cowboy coaches over the edge. Even though Mike Gundy said last week that Robinson got the nod because he had the better week of practice, insiders say that the coaches decided to bench Reid early in the week. The bottom line: The switch is less about Robinson’s play and more about Reid’s attitude.

“The coaches made a decision,” Reid told our Mike Baldwin after the Troy game. “I just have to go with it, get better and get back on the field.”

There’s something to be said for not being a malcontent, but you can almost see Reid shrugging his shoulders as he says those words. Does he have the fire in his belly?

Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?

That scene in the parking lot last week had no bearing on the Cowboys changing quarterbacks, and yet, it said so much about Reid. A 21-year-old letting his mother feed him in public? Most college kids, much less college football players, would just as soon be seen running naked across campus.

And what of the scene television cameras captured earlier that evening of Reid on the sidelines laughing with assistant strength coach Trumain Carroll? The same cameras showed him throwing his cap in disgust after a missed play earlier, but to be laughing in the final minutes of an embarrassing loss is bad form.

A lot of people have been saying Gundy lost his cool, and went overboard, but the fact is, he did exactly the right thing.  He made sure the media was not going to get away with downgrading his players.  He set the precedent that his team and players come first.   And, if he didn’t already have it, which would surprise me, he gained the respect of everybody involved with Oklahoma State football, and nearly every college football spectator.   

 

30

Aug

07

college football week 1 preview

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(LSU QB Matt Flynn) 

It’s week 1 of college football, and the season kicks off with a Thursday night line-up highlighted by an (2) LSU at Mississippi St SEC matchup.  Of note, (10) Louisville, (16) Rutgers, and (24) Boise St. also play Thursday, but against opponents not even worth naming on this site, so lets focus on LSU.

The Tigers are facing huge expectations this season, with their highest pre-season ranking in decades, but a vicious SEC schedule stands between them and a BCS championship game birth.  Much of that pressure will fall on the shoulders of senior QB Matt Flynn, who threw for all of 133 yards last season, after being a career backup.  However, much of that pressure may be relieved by LSU’s defense, which is being touted as maybe the best in the country.

On the other side of the ball, the MSU Bulldogs have failed to put together a winning season since 2000, and have lost seven straight to LSU.  In last seasons matchup, the Tigers took a 35-3 halftime lead before winning 48-17.  The Bulldogs expectations, as with their season ticket sales, are up this year, but don’t expect an upset of national-championship-minded LSU in week 1.

In non-conference matchups, the best game on the week 1 schedule has got to be (15)Tennessee at (12)Cal.  Last year the Vol’s thumped the Bears, but don’t necessarily believe they’ll do it again.  This will be a close game, and Cal will find a way to pull out the victory.

Other notable games on Saturday include Washington St. at (7) Wisconsin, Oklahoma St. at (13) Georgia, and Kansas St. at (18)Auburn.  Anticipate one of these ranked teams being upset at home in week 1.

It just wouldn’t be right to end the week 1 preview without mentioning the fierce battle that the top-ranked team is heading into Saturday.  (1)USC hosts Idaho in its season opener, and don’t sleep on Idaho.  Wait, nevermind, I take that back, do sleep on Idaho.  Here’s a quick pre-cap of the game.  USC scores ad TD within the first minute, be it kickoff return or 80-yard pass.  Idaho fumbles on the ensuing drive, USC capitalizes with an under 25-yard TD drive.  Repeat for 60 minutes.  The biggest questions in my mind are A) will USC be forced to punt even once in this game? And B) Will Idaho find a way to make it on the scoreboard.  The answers are NO and NO, unless USC fumbles in their own endzone. 

And that wraps up the college football week 1 preview.  It’s time to throw the steaks on the grill, tap the keg, and enjoy the season to come.

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GLASS FOOTBALL OR BUST IN ANN ARBOR  (8/21/07)

For college football fans, the end of August is a great time of year.  All the pre-season polls are out, people are checking where their team is ranked, and arguing that they should be ranked higher.  Week 1 sure-shot blowouts are just around the corner, propelling most fans’ teams to an impressive 1-0 (i.e. USC vs. Idaho).

But for Michigan fans, the preseason polls don’t come out until November 12, the Monday after their showdown with Big Ten challenger Wisconsin.  Week 1 of a two week season begins November 17, when the Wolverines host rival Ohio State.  Week two comes seven and a half weeks later, on Janurary 7, in the BCS National Champoinship game. 

If Michigan goes 0-2 again this season, as they have the last three (sub BCS Championship game for Rose Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Rose Bowl) The legacies of three of the best players to put on a Michigan uniform in the last decade will forever be tarnished.  Chad Henne, the quarterback who has started all 37 games of his career at Michigan (and also has the collest last name of any Wolverine since Tim Biakabutuka), Mike Hart, the Heisman candidate halfback who has started as a freshman but has missed time with injuries, and Jake Long, the could-have-been top 5 pick in the ‘07 NFL draft as an offensive lineman, will be remembered as the trio who couldn’t get it done.  The seniors have never beaten the Buckeyes, or won a bowl game. 

A one-loss season should be enough to get Michigan into the Championship game, granted that loss is not to Ohio State.  The only way that would not be the case is if both teams more likely to go undefeated than Michigan, USC and West Virginia, do, leaving 11-1 Michigan and on the outside looking in.  But, my optimism as a Michigan fan tells me that either A) That wont happen, or B) Michigan will run the table, and end up playing for the title. 

Look for a big glass football in Ann Arbor after this season, or some major changes to be made after the bowl season in Janurary. 

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REALLY?

Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Desmond Howard, Reggie Bush and . . .Jared Zabransky?  Really?  

Z joined some pretty exclusive company when EA Sports made him the cover boy for NCAA Football 2008.  

 In case you’re not from Idaho, Zabransky is that goofy looking quarterback from Boise State with the Zorro tattoo on his arm and a tribal armband on the other.   He’s currently on the Houston Texans roster, although he’s not listed on the depth chart at quarterback.  But that’s only because the Texans are so deep at that position, with guys like Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, Bradlee Van Pelt and Quinton Porter ahead of him.   

So how does a not-even-fourth-stringer make the cover of one of the biggest sports video games out there?  I’m still not sure about this one, but maybe EA was trying to avoid “the curse of the cover” by giving it to somebody who won’t get any PT.  Or maybe it has something to do with their ad campaign, which features a commercial where Ian Johnson’s game winning Statue of Liberty run on Boise State’s two-point conversion to win the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma was stopped short.  Or maybe, now hear me out on this one, maybe Jared Zabransky is the next Carson Palmer.  Really?

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10 college football games that should not be played 

It’s officially July, which means college football officially begins next month, which means the nations perenial powerhouses play cupcake non-conference schedules in September, while the bottom-tier schools look to make a quick buck off of it.  Here are this year’s 10 worst college football games, that should absolutely not be played.  (Rankings according to the SportingNews, out of 119 teams.)

10.  (13)Oklahoma vs. (117)Utah State  9-15-07

We all know how Oklahoma faired the last time it faced a WAC opponent, but lets face it, aside from being in the same league as Boise State, Utah State is not even in the same leauge as Boise State.  And even the undefeated Bronco’s needed three late-game miracles to pull off the 1-point victory over the Sooners in last year’s Fiesta Bowl.  Don’t expect anything but second-stringers in the fourth quarter of this one. 

 9.  (17)Ohio State vs. (96) Akron  9-8-07

After finishing last season getting crushed in a national chapionship game they were supposed to walk away with, this is exactly what the Buckeye’s need to gain confidence in the 2007 season.  Not to mention they open up against Youngstown State on September 1. 

8.  (19)Rutgers vs. (118)Buffalo  8-30-07

Point: This will be one of the most lobsided games of the year because everybody everywhere knows that Buffalo can’t beat anybody ever.

Counterpoint: Yeah, but it’ll be great because there’s a huge chance it’s the first game on TV of the season.

7.  (15)Penn State vs. (119)Florida International  9-1-07

Apparently you can’t find a worse Division I college football team than Florida International.  Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions will compete for the Big Ten crown, and a BCS birth. 

 6.  (8)Wisconsin vs. The Citadel  9-15-07

The Citadel (5-6) was one win away from being bowl-eligible last season.  Oh, wait, they play in a division that has playoffs instead of a bowl season.  Meanwhile, the Badgers (12-1) were one win away from being undefeated.

5.  (14)Georgia vs. Western Carolina  9-15-07

It took overtime, but the aforementioned Citadel took care of Western Carolina in a heated Soutern Conference battle.  The Catamounts were 2-9 and in the cellar by seasons end.  It took 18 fourth-quarter points, but Georgia took care of Va. Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl that last time it took the field.  Don’t expect the Bulldogs to need a fourth-quarter rally in this one though. 

4.  (6)Texas vs. (99)Rice  9-22-07

As if the Big 12 conference schedule isn’t already easy enough for the Longhorns, they get Rice in the non-conference.  Not to mention Arkansas State, UCF and under-appreciated TCU.  No wonder they always win by 50. 

3 (5)Florida vs. (101)Florida International  11-17-07

It’s called rivalry week, but outside of Michigan vs. Ohio State, there aren’t any rivalry games worth watching, and Florida vs. Florida International certainly won’t have the feeling of decades of bad blood.

2. (2)LSU at (106)Tulane  9-29-07

The only thing the Green Wave have going for them in this one is the fact that it’s at home.  A 31-3 halftime score should take care of that feeling, but a second half full of second stringers will act as a minor band aid for Tulane.  54-10 purple guys. 

1.  (1)USC vs. (115)Idaho  9-1-07

Do the math on this one.  There are 114 teams that are worse than USC and better than the Vandals.  Welcome to Idaho Robb Akey.


2 Responses to “NCAA Football”


  1. 1 Snap
    September 4, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    A glass football in Ann Arbor, huh? Nicely done. I’ll be sure to check in for all of my college football insight here.

  2. 2 sportsgarage
    September 4, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    hahaha, you’re a dick.


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