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Before we kick off the 2011 season, we want to bring you up to speed on some headlines and errata:
* Update: ESPN made it official on Wednesday - integrity has been routed by shameless money-grubbing. The Worldwide Leader debuted the 2011 version of the weekly "Top 25 Preview" page including one odd outlier: The Texas Longhorns (unranked in the AP Poll) vs. The Rice Owls. When Awful Announcing took a screenshot and publicly called out ESPN, the game quickly disappeared.
Why all the hubbub?
ESPN uses the AP Poll when listing the weekly matchups - and Texas isn't ranked in the AP. The network conveniently forgot and used the Coaches Poll rank instead - but only for the Texas game. Earlier this week, we trashed ESPN for reporting bias in favor of the major football powers, but we didn't think it would get this bad.
The network has since pulled the Texas game from the preview, without comment. (You can see the screen cap here.)
Tags: Awful Announcing, Deadspin, fellow (much more prominent) bloggers, network dirtbags, conspiracy theories
Tags: geek humor, evil empire, rumors lies and innuendo
* More ESPN bias: You may (or may not) recall our skepticism about the dismissal of former head coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech. The school, egged on by ESPN commentator Craig James, fired Leach in response to allegations concerning Leach's treatment of receiver Adam James. In other words, as we said last year, Leach made the mistake of "poorly managing an injury to the son of an ESPN commentator." (Oh, and the school saved itself $800,000 in the process.)
Earlier this summer, ESPN indefinitely suspended (as reported by Sports by Brooks) college football writer Bruce Feldman for playing a role in the Mike Leach biography. As of Thursday, Feldman announced via Twitter that he had resigned his post at the Worldwide Leader to take a position at CBS.
Tags: free bruce, self-referential, network dirtbags, conspiracy theories, Awful Announcing, Sports by Brooks, fellow (much more prominent) bloggers
* They Gone: Texas A&M announced their departure from the Big 12 (soon to be The Big 12 Conference of Nine Teams) to seek a berth with another conference. The Aggies' membership in the Big 12 will cease as of June 30, 2012, assuming the school has found another home. By joining the SEC (the presumed destination), Texas A&M can renew their long-standing rivalry with . . . nobody. But Steve Spurrier put the base motives at play best, stating that the move "will be a huge addition to the SEC" because - wait for it - "[it] really increases SEC TV markets."
Tags: Hawk Harrelson, super conferences
* In related news: The Mormons may be taking their talents south to the Big 12.
Tags: BYU, Cougars don't cut corners
* Rap sheet: The latest arrests from football programs include Colorado State (two players), Tulsa (one) and Marshall (one). Come on, kid, charging your girlfriend $.034 for $1,283 worth of merch at Macy's? Even we could figure that out.
Tags: pool partyin', robbin', embezzlin'
* "Total poppycock": So says a Virginia Tech spokesman in response to rumors that the Hokies will join Texas A&M (and possibly Clemson and possibly Florida State) in the SEC next year. Gadzooks! With all this tomfoolery, our world has gone catawampus!
Tags: super conferences, rumors lies and innuendo, godwottery
* Beats us: We don't know what to do with this story, but the situation at LSU does not sound good. Adding insult to (alleged) injury, LSU's quarterback had 49 pairs of shoes seized from his apartment in a search for possible evidence.
Tags: nothing funny about this one
* Let the games begin: The season gets underway Thursday night! Thank God. While we're on the subject, you will have the chance to watch star quarterback Russell Wilson's debut for Wisconsin. His pilgrimage led him from North Carolina State, where he had lost his starting job, to Madison. (In lieu of the North Star, he followed the smell of brats.) We are to believe that the Badgers' national title hopes, big-time TV exposure and pro-style (NFL-friendly) offense did not play a part in his decision but that instead it was The Man Upstairs who came to Wilson and urged him to transfer. Oh, and "give [himself] the opportunity to play in the NFL" with his last year of eligibility. We wonder if the The Big Man will remind Wilson to pass the plate next year.
Tags: divine intervention, NFL draft prospects, utter bullshit
With the start of the season fast approaching, we will step aside and let the Sports Seal get down to business. The Seal has spent the offseason sharpening his gambling instincts after a dispiriting 2010 which left the Beachwood Bankroll borderline bankrupt. This season, we won't burden the Seal with the bankroll, we will just run his picks (smeared with anchovies, reeking of cigars . . . ) every week.
Thursday, September 1
Montana State at (Other 25 #28) Utah (-28.5), 7:00PM Central
Saturday, September 2
(Other 25 #31) Northwestern (+3) at Boston College, 11:00AM Central
(AP #12) South Carolina (-20.5) at East Carolina, 6:00PM Central
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