Friday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Coaching carousel in college football is about to get rolling; there were rumors Thursday night that LSU has a deal with Houston coach Tom Herman, but others are saying it is a ploy to get Texas to ante up some more cash as it pursues Herman to be its coach.

Once jobs start getting filled, there is usually a domino effect, with guys moving upward on the financial scale, but one effect of Herman going to LSU instead of Texas would be that Charlie Strong probably will not get fired unless the Longhorns can get Herman to replace him.

12) LSU 54, Texas A&M 39— Tigers gained 622 yards and Leonard Fournette stayed home. His replacement Derrius Guice ran for 285 yards, a new school record and four TDs.

11) Georgia’s basketball team was getting hammered by the Kansas Jayhawks earlier this week, so the Dawgs called a timeout; after the timeout as the team went back on the court, a mangled dry-erase board was seen on the floor in front of the Georgia bench.

Apparently coach Mark Fox tried to make a point by sacrificing the board, which looked like it had been run over by a Humvee. Coaches do strange things to try and motivate players. Jayhawks wound up winning by 11 on a friendly “neutral” court in Kansas City.

10) Former Jets’ DL Marty Lyons was a great player at Alabama under Bear Bryant, over 30 years ago. He once promised coach Bryant he would get his college degree and on December 10, he will fulfill his promise to a man who passed away almost 34 years ago.

9) UConn’s basketball season is in trouble; the Huskies are 1-4 vs D-I teams, their bench is already #340 (out of 351) in minutes played and now their second-best player (Terry Larrier) is out for the year with a torn ACL. UConn’s 8-man rotation has three freshman, two sophomores; they can’t afford any more injuries and the season is only two weeks old.

8) Herb Sendek got fired as basketball coach at Arizona State in large part because he couldn’t beat rival Arizona; now he is at Santa Clara but his Broncos gave Arizona a good run for their money at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas last night. Sendek is an excellent tactician, not that great a recruiter.

During a late-game timeout, the FS1 camera was right in Santa Clara’s huddle and it was great TV as Sendek was talking to his team. Then he looks up at the camera and says “Please get that out of here”. Dammit!!! Wanted to hear what he was going to say. Arizona won 69-61.

7) On Hard Knocks this summer, Rams coach Jeff Fisher referred to some of his players’ stupid behavior as “7-9 bullshit”, in other words, the stuff losing teams do.

Last Friday night, Rams’ starting CB Troy Hill got a DUI roughly 36 hours before LA lost a home game to the Dolphins. The ultimate “7-9 bullshit” move. Rams didn’t suit him up for the Miami game, released him Monday, then re-signed him to the practice squad, meaning he is probably getting a two-game suspension, in effect, for his stupidity.

Rams are 4-6; they’ll do fairly well to finish 7-9. Another cruddy season, in part because players do not know how to act off the field.

6) Morehead State suspended basketball coach Sean Woods indefinitely, apparently for mistreating one or more of his players. Morehead is 77-55 under Woods but hasn’t made the NCAA tournament; his predecessor made it twice in six years. Awful early in the season to be suspended; curious to see how this plays out.

5) Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Raiders’ QB Derek Carr has thrown 11 4th quarter TD passes that either put Oakland ahead or tied the score. During that time, no other NFL QB  has more than six of those.

4) Did Indiana hoop coach Tom Crean do the right thing scheduling a road game at Fort Wayne earlier this week? It is 175 miles from Bloomington to Fort Wayne, and there are a hell of a lot more Hoosier fans than Mastodon fans along those 175 miles, even as there were in Fort Wayne’s home arena Tuesday night.

But the Hoosiers played a true road game and lost; no Top 25 teams do that anymore. Jim Boeheim would rather smile than play a true road game and he ain’t much for smiling. You can bet all over America, coaches are taking note of Fort Wayne’s win and adding more home games or at best, neutral court games to their teams’ schedules.

3) I roll my eyes every time an NFL ref throws a flag in the defensive secondary, then immediate another flag (or 2) is thrown, like the foul is the most obvious call in football history. It happens all the time.

This is known as “selling the call” making it obvious to the crowd that the right call was made, even if it wasn’t. The NFL is terribly over-officiated and this is a small part of it.

2) Is this the best sports week of the year? It is probably the busiest if not the best. College football and basketball; NBA-NHL-NFL. Baseball hot stove stuff is starting, the NASCAR year ended Sunday. Lot of good entertainment.

1) Ralph Branca passed away this week at age 90; he is best-known for giving up the homer Bobby Thomson hit to win the 1951 NL pennant, but Branca was more than that.

A 3-time All-Star, Branca was 88-68 in 322 games (188 starts) in an era where no one counted pitches or cared if a pitcher’s arm was abused. He won 21 games in 1947. If he was on the mound at that critical time of a decisive game, you know he was a damn good pitcher.

His daughter is married to former Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

My dad grew up in New York City, was a huge Brooklyn Dodger fan; sometime in the early 90’s, I can’t remember exactly when, Branca did an appearance at Mohawk Mall about seven miles from my dad’s house. I picked him up but didn’t tell him where we were going.

Mr Branca was sitting at a card table, not many people there; I introduced the two of them and soon they were talking like long-lost friends from the neighbohood, reminiscing about Dodgers like Ernie Lombardi, Gene Hermanski, Roy Campanella. It was great fun to listen to.

RIP sir.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.