The Long Snapper (3/9/10)

Starting the week off right with another Marvin Kloss story.  Quick recap for those of you that didn’t read my many mentions of the kid or never cared in the first place.  According to some kicking school you’ve never heard of, Kloss was one of the best kicker prospects in the nation.  According to the big-budget recruiting sites, Kloss didn’t exist.  He was offered a scholarship from USF, but turned it down for a chance to go to Florida.  After realizing there was a good chance he wouldn’t qualify, he decided to return to the green and gold and attempt to walk on.  So why am I mentioning him yet again?  Because Kloss was recently arrested on charges of grand theft.  The story is one of those “good job idiot, way to think about your future” ones we all love so much.  Kloss and a high school teammate are accused of stealing over $8,000 worth of items from a home during a party.  A party thrown by not the owner of the house, but by someone who was watching the house while the owner was out of town.  Think Kloss still has preferred walk on status at USF?  I’m going to go with “probably not.”  Skip Holtz has already shown what he tolerates and doesn’t.  If Kloss ever wears a Bulls’ uniform, I’d be very surprised.  But let’s at least hope he doesn’t something to warrant another Long Snapper inclusion in the near future.
Joel Miller has decided not to go forth with a lawsuit against former USF coach Jim Leavitt.  He said everything you would hope someone would say but never does.  That he doesn’t want to make any money off of the incident despite what people think.  Miller felt he had to tell the truth, but claims he didn’t do so to make money and therefore won’t sue his former head coach.  An honorable move I guess, but I’m more excited about the fact that this is just one more step to us not having to hear anymore about what did or didn’t happen in the locker room that day.  More could happen, but for most USF fans, the door is closed.  Leavitt is gone and isn’t coming back, ever.  Everyone seems to have embraced Holtz and can’t wait for his first game on the sidelines.  Think of this as just another hiccup in the ongoing story of Bulls’ football.  A year or two from now, we’ll barely be talking about it.
Matt Patchan is balls.  Anyone that has a story that starts with “so this is how I got shot” earns mention as being tougher than I am in even my best dreams.  Added to his steel is the versatility that makes Patchan desirable at whatever position he comes back at.  From defensive line as a freshman, to offensive line briefly as a sophomore, to the mention of maybe tight end (I’ll believe it when I see it) in 2010.  Right now, Patchan is doing his best to come back from a nasty ACL that cost him a real chance to earn a starting spot along the offensive line during the 2009 season.  He’ll be extremely limited during spring practices, but watch out for him come fall.  He sweats more talent than you’ll have in a lifetime and will star as whatever position he ends up at.
Joe Paterno now has his own award.  Or to be exact, he has an award named in his honor.  The winningest coach in Division 1-A/FBS history will have his name on an award given out by the Maxwell Club.  The Maxwell Club also gives out the, you guessed it, Maxwell Award.  The award givers haven’t decided exactly what the criteria for the Paterno is just yet, but it’ll be something along the lines of the affect a coach has on his team and community.  Basically exactly what embodies the man himself.  I’m still waiting for the Ron Zook Memorial Trophy, but apparently Zook is still alive and well and actually coaching football.
I’m not sure how I feel about the advancement of 3D over the last year or so when it comes to movies.  Some of the ones I’ve seen have looked great, but I have to be honest, in the end, I just end up with a headache.  Due to that, I’m not as excited about true 3D technology coming to our homes and, more importantly, sports in the not-so-distant future.  I love HD.  Who doesn’t?  I don’t feel the same way about 3D.  I’m probably in the minority with that sentiment, but oh well.  Despite the technology offered, I have to wonder if it will really catch on.  Will people really enjoy it as much as everyone seems to think?  Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.  Regardless, I’m reminded of some of the more recent technological failures.
1. Blu-ray won the war and I’m glad I didn’t end up buying this.
2. Sales, no.  Failure, yes.
3. Sony has a lot of hits.  They also have some misses.
4. I actually really enjoyed my Sega Saturn.
The Sixth Man: NCAA Tournament bid or not, USF just finished what has to be considered a great regular season.  At least by Bulls’ standards.  If you had asked me before the season who would’ve had a higher conference win percentage, the football team or the basketball team, I never in a million years would’ve guessed it the way it ended up.  Now USF heads to the Big East Tournament as the nine-seed.  As the highest seed in the first round, the Bulls will face the conference’s last place team in DePaul.  It’ll be the second time in eight days the two teams have squared off.  USF won the previous matchup 63-59.  Get by DePaul and the Bulls will face another team they beat the last time they faced them in Georgetown.  Look at it that way and it seems like the Big Dance is a real possibility.  USF needs some help, but two wins in the tournament of a conference that has five ranked teams at the moment (two of which the Bulls beat during the regular season) and they could get in.  It’s not out of the question.

The Long Snapper (2/19/10)

By now you’re sick of Marvin Kloss.  I know I am.  Not Kloss the kicker.  Kloss the “where will he end up?” saga.  First, he said there was a good chance he will head to USF, but wanted to visit Florida first and see what it had to offer.  Then, he said he would walk on at Florida despite receiving a scholarship offer and a chance to grayshirt at USF.  Finally, it appears as if it would be very hard for Kloss to be accepted into Florida, so he will end up walking on at USF.  Got that?  Good.  Kloss is a Bull and will not grayshirt, but will instead walk on to the football team in hopes of earning a scholarship sometime in the near future.  Checking out some highlight tapes of Kloss, it appears he can be a successful kicker at the collegiate level.  But kickers are hit or miss and seem to be a dime a dozen.  Including punters, USF will have eight total kickers on the roster come fall.  Impressive when you consider some teams have one guy assume all kicking and punting duties.  USF, however, has struggled mightily with the kicking game in recent years, so the more the merrier.
The Athletic Department at USF recently started Bulls Pen Pals.  The program puts kids in touch with various USF athletes and gives them the chance to write to one another.  Each week, GoUSFBulls.com will highlight one contact and this week they focused on third-grader Khaleid and Bulls’ wide receiver Jason Sherman.  Khaleid already has the confidence is takes to be a football player, telling Sherman he got more touchdowns than him, will get more yards than him, and is the fastest kid in his class.  Confidence is not lacking in this one.  No word yet on whether or not his family has been contacted by Lane Kiffin to discuss USC and a possible scholarship offer.
“Police say Clayborn got out of his car, walked back to the taxi and hit the man.”  It sounds like this was such a calm, well thought-out action when put that way.  A cab driver honked at him or yelled something Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn didn’t like, so Clayborn put his car in park, calmly undid his seatbelt and opened the door, walked back to the cab, said “how dare you insult me good sir,” and smacked the cabbie silly.  You know, because road rage is always so calm and collected.  Clayborn has decided to plead guilty for assaulting the cab driver.  Or better yet, his attorney has advised him it would be a better idea to plead guilty.  Clayborn is not a small individual, so he can probably handle a lot, but this is one of those situations where I wish we had the eye-for-an-eye judicial system.  Let the cabbie get his and move on.  Altercations happen in life every day.  Sometimes the person affected just wants revenge.  Then again, if rumors are true, the cabbie may have done more than just honk at Clayborn.
Texas leaving the Big 12 might not be as much of a long shot as people (read: me, myself, and I) may think.  The Longhorns’ athletic department brought in more money than any other school in the nation during the 2008-09 school year to the tune of $138.4 million.  The other nine schools in the top 10 all came from either the Big Ten or SEC.  Being #1 in terms of revenues obviously means Texas is doing pretty darn good where it is right now, but think of how much better it could do in a conference with super-rich television deals.  The Longhorn athletic department could bring in more money than ever imagined.  Conference affiliations tend to make sense for the most part because of geographical considerations, but in today’s world, the location of the school may not matter as much.  It’s all about the dollars and cents of it.  If Texas feels it can make even more under a different conference name, school officials will definitely consider making a move.  A move that would crush the Big 12 if it actually happened.
Has Boise State taken a leap forward in more ways than one?  The Broncos recently added Bob Gregory to the coaching staff.  Gregory has spent the last eight years as the defensive coordinator at Cal, a position it seems he won’t have with Boise State.  At the moment, Gregory has been hired as a defensive assistant.  Given that Broncos’ head coach Chris Petersen promoted defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski to DC, it seems like Gregory may have less of a role than he did at Cal.  If the Boise States of the world are pulling assistant coaches from BCS conference schools, some of the balance may indeed be shifting.  Of course there’s still that final hurdle of actually getting to play for a national title.

The Long Snapper (2/16/10)

Yesterday was President’s Day, so I salute the presidents of our favorite schools if for no other reason than to avoid discussing the real politics of the world.  To Bernie Machen, you are thanked for whatever role you played in bringing Urban Meyer to Gainesville.  I assume your relationship with Meyer while you were both at Utah had something to do with the head coach coming to Florida.  And even if it didn’t have as much to do as the large contract and stature of the program, we still celebrate your work.  In the small sect of the collegiate world I discuss on this site it goes 1) athletics, 2) academics, and Bernie, you’ve succeeded in making #1 very pleasing to cheer for in recent year.  Sorry to those of you that have the order of those priorities reversed, but consider this site a fantasy land where sports rule and all else is null and void.  To Judy Genshaft, we stand behind you in support of your decision to fire the only head coach the USF football program has known and proudly applaud Fresh Mark.  Firing Jim Leavitt may have been easy considering the circumstances, but regardless, the program needed a shot of life and that may have been exactly what it got.  You are both worth our adulation on President’s Day even if the holiday isn’t really meant for your type of presidential work.
National Championships ease the pain, but Machen can’t be pleased with the arrest record the Gators have piled up over recent years.  And neither am I or any fan for that matter.  It’s becoming less and less easy to make a snide remark about Miami of the 80s or FSU of the 90s.  The arrests just keep piling up for Florida.  Add another to the list.  Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Gary Brown reportedly smacked one woman and scratched another at a party and was subsequently arrested (Brown’s mug shot definitely goes into the hall of fame).  Both of the women are okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that you DO NOT HIT WOMEN!  It’s just one of those rules.  Don’t run with scissors.  Don’t eat yellow snow.  Don’t hurt puppies.  Don’t hit women.  If there was an order, you could probably just switch what I just listed around.  Not hitting women definitely warrants consideration for #1.  It’s an easy enough rule for most of us to remember, but not all of us apparently.  Brown has been suspended by interim head coach Steve Addazio and it remains to be seen if he’ll be welcomed back to the program with open arms.  Meyer has been known to give players multiple chances in certain situations, but Brown hardly lived up to his potential in his first year.  Redshirts are common, but Brown’s was mostly due to a lack of effort.  There have been others that had that similar problem as well.  They tend to finish their careers elsewhere.  That’s more than enough black eyes on the program thank you very much.
A couple of weeks ago I told you about kicker Marvin KlossThe #1 rated kicking prospect in the nation according to the Kornblue Kicking School, Kloss was close to choosing USF as his destination.  Again, I warn about getting too excited.  Not to take away from the talent Kloss may possess, but he doesn’t even register in either the Rivals.com or Scout.com databases.  After all of that, Kloss won’t become a Bull despite being offered a scholarship if he’ll grayshirt.  He has decided to walk on at Florida and hopes to earn a chance to compete for the kicking job in the fall.  I’m sure Caleb Sturgis will have something to say about that.  Kloss doesn’t lack confidence, which is good, but I’m still weary of his ability.  No, stars don’t always matter when it comes to recruiting rankings, but when you don’t even appear in a search, there has to be some question.
Damn you Molly Jones!  DAMN YOU!  You are a sly she-devil and there is no excuse for your ways.  What the hell am I talking about?!?  A Miami alum, Jones tricked our beloved superstar Tim Tebow.  Tricksy she is.  Jones asked Tebow to take a picture with her and just before the snap, she threw up the U.  Tebow was of course nice about the whole thing and probably even had a little laugh about it.  Part of me commends Jones for having the fortitude to pull off something I only dream of doing when I am four or five sheets to the wind.  The other part of me wants to show here where she can shove that U.  Either way, I definitely applaud Tebow for not going all Gary Brown on her and instead just brushing it off.
There is something to the majesty of the one-year contract extension which is effective many, many years in the future.  It’s an interesting animal in which we tend to question why.  A thank you from the school for your hard work and success, but a reward that’s not realized until much later.  Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is the latest to receive the one-year extension many coaches never see (he gets a bump in base pay to go along with it).  His contract now keeps him as the Cornhuskers’ head coach into 2015.  Nebraska has shown some promise and could be a program on the rise so keeping Pelini around is probably a good idea, but in today’s coaching world it’s hard to say with any certainty if he’ll still be in Lincoln.  But alas it still important (read: doesn’t really mean a whole lot) for the school to pledge its support by offering up that extra year.  And as a bonus, Pelini gets $500,000 if he’s still the head coach on January 15, 2015.  Of course if he’s still around then, one can assume he’s done a pretty good job and restructured his contract at least once anyway.

The Long Snapper (2/6/10)

The other Florida commit that didn’t end up signing with the Gators has gotten himself into some trouble as well.  Victor Hampton – who Florida backed away from early in the recruiting process – was arrested and charged with possession of alcohol.  You’re probably thinking “just a kid making a stupid mistake.”  Well, yes, but Hampton was caught because he brought the alcohol to school.  That’s beyond just a stupid mistake.  That’s taking stupid to a different level.  It’s yet to be known whether South Carolina – where Hampton ended up signing – will do anything about it.  Odds are they won’t.
Get a head start on the 2011 recruiting class.  Max Preps ranks it’s very, very, very, very, very early top 10 in terms of teams for 2011.  Florida ranks in at #10 with commitments from De’Ante Saunders and A.C. Leonard.  There’s been a lot of buzz about Saunders and the possibility that he could end up as one of the higher ranked prospects in the nation.  Both he and Leonard are listed as athletes and could make an impact on either side of the ball.  Saunders is one of those that seems ready to play immediately.
The nation’s top kicker – according to the Kornblue Kicking School (no, I didn’t just make that up) – still hasn’t made a decision on where he’ll kick in college.  Marvin Kloss did make an official visit to USF, but the Bulls didn’t offer the kicker a scholarship.  It appears as if he still may want to attend USF as a walk-on though, but those pesky Gators could get in the way.  Kloss has also mentioned possibly walking on at Florida, but won’t make a decision until he gets a chance to visit the school.  Before you get too excited over a top-flight kicking prospect Bulls’ fans, check around.  Kloss may be #1 according to Kornblue, but he doesn’t even come up in the Scout.com and Rivals.com databases.
“[SCHOOL] takes NCAA rules very seriously,” [NAME], the university faculty athletic representative to the NCAA, said in the release.  “We continually conduct monitoring and internal reviews.  The end result of the current review is that we found violations and are treating them with the seriousness they deserve.”  You could fill in any school and name into that quote because you’ve probably heard that exact statement thousands of times.  This time it belong so Brian Shannon of Texas Tech.  Back during the Mike Leach days, the Red Raiders violated the NCAA rules by sending text messages to recruits.  The illegal texts where found during a review of cell phone records.  Being a compliance worker at a school must be a blast!
Everett Golson could end up being one of the highest-ranked quarterbacks of the 2011 recruiting class, but he’s already off the market.  Golson made his decision on Friday when he committed to UNC.  He wanted to get the process over because he described playing for the Tar Heels as his dream.  The strong-armed Golson threw for 44 touchdowns as a sophomore and another 47 as a junior.  He’ll also be given the opportunity to attempt to walk on to the UNC basketball team.  With roughly a year left in the recruiting process, we’ll see if he sticks with his commitment when the bigger programs start pushing harder.