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Courtesy of Detroit Jock City

Cleaning Up the Mess is here to make sense of what just happened at your weekend-long television party. Who put Goldfish in the blender? And why is the thermostat on 42?

This week: The Pac 12 brought a party bus full of people and started covering the house in neon and HBK Gang records. The SEC brought some appetizers then left, but not without “blessing our hearts”. Then, the Big Ten decided it would be a good idea to put a lamp shade over it’s head – again. Maybe we should give think before we give the Big Ten a call next time. 

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Welcome to TV Party, a weekly segment where we preview ten of the week’s most exciting match-ups in college football so you know when to grab some beer and ignore the outside world. 

This week’s party is high risk, high reward. It’s like going to a club recommended by Weekend Update’s city correspondent Stefan. You will either having one of the best times of your life, or it could be the weirdest, most random and disastrous experience you have ever had. 

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Update One (12:30pm): The second day of the inaugural Basketball Tournament. After today, only four teams will remain in contention for the $500,000 grand prize. One of the day’s first games was also the biggest nail-biter thus far, as the Big Apple Ballers eeked out a win over HITTAS. The Ballers held the lead for the most of the game and took an eight point cusion into halftime, but a fierce rally from the HITTAS tied it up late. Smush Parker played hero for the Ballers though, nailing a free throw with under ten seconds remaining that would prove the difference in the game. Other contributors to the Ballers winning effort included Russell Robinson, who added 26 points and went 7-13 from beyond the arc, as well as Luke Bonner, who put up 18 points and 6 boards. Read More

If getting fired after being pulled off the team bus from LAX to campus isn’t the most Hollywood thing ever, please give me another example. This felt like a seedy termination. A scene, not unlike the one in Dog Day Afternoon, where the main character fails, and the repercussions involve a swift execution. Lane Kiffin didn’t even step foot on the USC’s campus before Haden uttered the words that put Kiffin out of job and Ed Orgeron in control of a faltering program. Now, the hunt begins anew for the Trojans, who have slowly started to slide into irrelevancy as the Pac-12 has started to gain notoriety as the second-best conference in America. Gone are the days of USC and everybody else. USC can’t compete with Arizona State, or even downtrodden Washington State. The whole country says “adieu” to Kiffykins, the man responsible for Tennessee fever dreams and the underdevelopment of all-around awesome Marqise Lee.

While your favorite team’s coach may not have been fired as soon as he exited the plane, his days as head man may be numbered. Look at UConn. Now Earl Campbell’s taking shots at Mack Brown? The coaching carousel may be fired up sooner than expected.

Aside from learning that, yes, the world of college football is on fiiiiiireeeeee, what else did we take away from this marvelous weekend?

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Why are we in Berkeley and the stands are full of Ohio State fans? Can someone explain why Nick Saban is running an up-tempo offense? Why is there a fox running around a football field? Did Joel Stave just put the ball on the ground? Why are these Airheads making me cry? IT’S LIKE THE FLAVOR IS RUNNING THROUGH MY BODY. SWEET MAGNIFICENT MYSTERY WHITE FLAVOR, I HAVE CRACKED YOUR CODE. (YOU TOOK TOO MUCH, DUDE. YOU’RE TRIPPIN’ BALLZZZZZ)

Yes, you were on LSD from Thursday until Sunday morning. No, everything is fine. You didn’t burn anyone’s couch, and you certainly didn’t come close to losing to Akron. But I don’t think your perception of the world is going to be right for awhile. It might be crippled going forward, but that’s what happens when you visit Lubbock and then proceed to stand out in the Arizona desert. Don’t worry – you’re still sane, and you can still call out bad officiating. You just had a bad trip with Jesse Palmer – it’s going to be alright.

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Please come back, Art Briles. The (mental) state of Texas needs you!

James invited me to give a few thoughts on each of the games. I am not nearly the college football addict he is, though few are. My responses will be in italics. – Rory Masterson

Thanks for joining me, Rory! And thank you reader for allowing me to pick a slate of Top 25 games that I am only qualified for by way of too much time on my hands on Saturday. If you haven’t heard, Texas A&M and Alabama is on tap this week (EDIT: as well as some talk of impermissible benefits, y’all). But there are other items of interest in Texas too. Items like Longhorn football. I don’t even know if there is enough ESPN money that can save Mack Brown if things fall apart. Mack Brown schadenfreude not floating your boat? Well then, there’s Texas Tech and TCU. Ah, Kliff Kingsbury – the cure for the common Texas archetype. Not satisfied with that? Then, there’s Bay – wait, they have a bye week? Please play again, Baylor. That would be super (yes, please)! Enough Texas talk. It’s starting to smell like brisket in here – LET’S GET IT!

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In a week that was supposed to be relatively quiet, it seemed like the world was on fire. First, the noon games were punctuated by a win by the Miami Hurricanes who won a turnover battle against an absolutely ugly Florida offense that reached its logical endpoint on a penalty to end the game. Then, the late afternoon games were highlighted by Georgia’s victory over South Carolina where Mark Richt seemed like he was going to be fired if he didn’t win. The prime time spot featured a dominant Michigan team led by Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon’s beautiful display of football. Yet Michigan’s time in the light would soon be eclipsed by a Texas defense that proved that the following axiom has not been altered in the slightest: Texas is still Texas. Calls for Mack Brown’s head in Austin were interrupted by a “Fire Kiffin” chant that could be heard alllllll the way from the East Coast due to USC’s terrible, terrible, terrrrrible loss to Washington State. Yes – the world is burning specifically Los Angeles and yes, also Austin. Week 2, you are an unpolished gem.

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Welp, here we are, gang. The second week of college football. The second AP poll of the year has been released and some have dropped (Ohio State, Georgia) while others have seen their stock rise faster than Anacott Steel (Washington, Oklahoma State). This week, College Gameday will be focused on Ann Arbor, Michigan which makes the nonsensical, unimportant historic, traditional rivalry one of the focal points in a week that features other rivalry games such as Florida-Miami and Georgia-South Carolina. It’s also a week of firsts for the Stanford Cardinal who got to sit in their dorms in Palo Alto and watch their eyes melt at the sight of a Lane Kiffin offense on their parents’ hand-me-down 52-inch, LED TV. I am excited because I am going to be at home base in Charlotte and not off on Ocracoke Island trying to watch the game while people waft their savory crab cakes in my face. My excitement will probably crash once I realize that the remaining games consist of match-ups against Tennessee Tech, UTSA, UAB, and Sam Houston State. Oh, brother. In the name of all things holy (REESUS), LET’S GET IT.

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