We could give you some context for this, tell you that it’s actually taken from LSU’s "Harlem Shake" video. But we’d rather not. So here’s a 10-minute loop of Les Miles dancing to an Epic Sax Guy soundtrack. We apologize in advance for how much time you’ll spend watching this today.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
Mason Plumlee scored 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and Rasheed Sulaimon scored all 17 of his points in the second half, as no. 2 Duke staged a 73-68 comeback win over no. 4 Ohio State. "In the end, 'The Little General' just killed us out there," said Buckeyes coach Thad Matta. Unfortunately, it was unclear who he was referring to, since a majority of Duke players and coaches are nicknamed "The Little General."
While agonizing over the possibility of a second straight Alabama-LSU title game, I think I came up with the worst thing about their horrible dominance: as a neutral college football fan, you have to pick a favorite.
Well, let me qualify that. A person like me, who is incapable of watching a sporting event of any kind (including youth Frisbee) without vilifying one team and venerating the other, needs to pick a favorite. Believe me, that is a hateful, torturous task in this world of Tigers and Tide. Anyone with a semblance of love for the amateur unpredictability of college football probably despises these two programs. They are the evil empire, magnified by a power of two. While the rest of us stand by and watch, helpless, Les Miles and Nick Saban have created near-professional super-teams in a non-professional sport, slowly sucking the competitive life out of the game.
O Meyer. O Saban. O Miles, you mysterious, grass-eating prophet
Sorry, you caught me in the middle of my daily prayer to the Southeastern Conference. Like a lot of college football fans, I consider the SEC my guiding light. Only by praising its six straight national titles can I justify my miserable existence as a Big 12 fan. But through three weeks of football — through bumps in the road against Louisiana-Monroe and Western Kentucky — my faith in the SEC has begun to waver. If we college fans are expected to bow before our SEC overlords, we ought to clear up just who’s worth bowing to.
I’ve got three names: Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Urban Meyer. When we talk about the SEC, it’s tempting to imagine a southern behemoth that stretches from Columbia to College Station. The recent spasm of SEC greatness, though, is largely the work of three guys.
When Michigan and Alabama kick off in Arlington tomorrow night, the man most responsible for bringing them there will be starting over. He’ll be 950 miles away, likely tucked in an office, waiting out the two hours before he begins again. Rich Rodriguez will be in Tucson, preparing to coach his first game at the University of Arizona. He’ll be far from Jerry Jones’s kingdom and the gem of college football’s first weekend, but without him, the Wolverines and Tide might be just as far away.
It’s a testament to what Nick Saban has done in Tuscaloosa that for those removed from Alabama’s football program, it’s hard to remember any of the mess that came before. The shine of those crystal footballs has a way of leaving Mike Shula in the dark. The truth is that it didn’t take Saban long to get his statue. It was less than six years ago that he was pried away from the Dolphins, and in that time, the success has made it easy to forget that the man who’s already a legend wasn’t even Alabama’s first call in the winter of 2006. That was Rich Rodriguez.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said that his team's pass-rushers are in Tom Brady's head. And at least one of them — the insanely creepy Justin Tuck — has also been in his underwear drawer.
Bill Belichick's preparations for the Super Bowl now include taking a 31-minute break during practice to simulate the lengthy halftime intermission. He also tried to hire Janet Jackson so he could rip off her shirt in front of the team to teach them discipline in the face of distractions. She was too expensive, though, and he had to settle for an awkward cup check on kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
The NCAA hit Ohio State with a one-year bowl ban for violations committed under Jim Tressel. When reporters reached new head coach Urban Meyer for comment, he was unable to respond for several minutes while he attempted to eat his contract.
Yes, the so-called "Game of the Century" was an epic SEC war, but The Solid Verbal guys can't help but feel let down with a 9-6 final tally after so much hype. In this week's episode, the boys break down LSU's hard-nosed victory, Jarrett Lee's demotion, conservative play-calling, and the potential for a rematch.
Plus, Ty Hildenbrandt and Dan Rubenstein wonder what's eating Brady Hoke, discuss Nebraska's dud against Northwestern, analyze South Carolina's running game, and play another rousing batch of listener voice messages
Maybe it’s just the reporter in me, but as soon as Marquis Maze heaved that football toward the goal line, I started thinking of headlines. I could see them on newspapers large and small, a thousand variations on the same facile irony: SABAN TURNS TIDE. Boring ole uncle Bama was going to win this game on a trick play, and wacked-out cousin LSU was going to lose this game on a trick play, but then that toss out of the backfield from Alabama’s star wideout hung up in the air just long enough to land in two pairs of hands at the same time. One belonged to Alabama tight end Michael Williams, and the other to LSU safety Eric Reid, who tore the ball away before the bodies reached the grass. LSU regained possession at its own 1-yard line, thereby setting up the game-winning punt.
Five titles for the book about the Alabama-LSU game:
"The Questionable Classic"
"Czar Nicholas Comes Unglued"
"The End Zones Were Not Breached"
"The Foster Debacle"
"Catch the F*&%ing Ball, Michael Williams"
Or maybe it should have something to do with soccer. Over the weekend, Twitter was afire with living room pundits comparing LSU-Bama to the beautiful game, and their words were not flattering. These analogists, diametrically opposed to anyone who believed the long defensive standoff was a sign of something epic, were peeved at the pace of play and wanted more scoring.
Ara Parseghian is 88 years old, and I am not aware of how well he might be aging, but I have to think that if he’s able, he will be watching CBS with the rest of us on Saturday night. They’re calling it the Game of the Century, largely because college football’s marketing terminology is still mired in the Sterling-Cooper-Price era, and so this is what we’ve evoked anytime the top-ranked and second-ranked college football teams in America have met on a football field for at least five decades. Nobody knows that better than Ara. Forty-five years ago this month, when Parseghian was at Notre Dame, he coached the Irish through a contest that is regarded as the true Game of the Century despite — or more likely because — it featured the most frustrating ending in the history of the sport.
You may know the details, but in case you don’t: On November 19, 1966, Michigan State, ranked No. 2 with a largely black starting lineup, hosted Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 with a largely white starting lineup. The Spartans took a 10-0 lead, and the Irish lost starting quarterback Terry Hanratty after he was Hightowered on a quarterback draw by the late Bubba Smith. Even so, Notre Dame managed to tie the game at 10-10 behind backup Coley O’Brien, and the Irish had possession on their own 30-yard-line with 1:10 to go. And that’s when Ara made perhaps the most controversial decision in college football history: He chose to sit on the ball, run out the clock, and preserve the tie. He was villified for his perceived cowardice. Sports Illustrated’s Dan Jenkins wrote that Ara had chosen to “Tie one for the Gipper,” and Parseghian spent the following four decades defending his decision, his argument buoyed largely by the fact that Notre Dame finished No. 1 in the polls at the end of the season.
Though he’s not without his detractors, college football has finally begun to come around on Les Miles—“Les Miles’ Journey from Lucky Loser to Legendary,” went a telling headline on Bleacher Report. And while a victory this week against SEC rival Alabama and former LSU head coach Nick Saban might do wonders for Miles’ cachet, it’s not likely that he’ll ever be considered among college football’s truly elite minds. Saban, Miles’ predecessor, commands a level of respect that was once reserved for higher powers. When Alabama travelled to State College in the second week of the season to play Penn State, he was quietly billed as JoePa’s peer, at least in legacy if not in age; in 2008, Forbes coronated him “The Most Powerful Coach in Sports”--all of sports. No matter what happens this Saturday—or, really, any Saturday at this point—Nick Saban will retire a legend.