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The College Football Report: Ridin' Dirty feat. The Mercury Grand Marquis w/Kristen Saban

Welcome to another season of The College Football Report, featuring once again contributions from the Beachwood Sports Seal, the College Football Report Free Range Chicken, and other crackerjack members of the CFR staff.

The Saturday kick-off to the season is upon us, bracketed by Navy vs. Notre Dame (played in Dublin, Ireland) at 8 a.m. and #8 Michigan visiting #2 Alabama at 7 p.m. We do not recommend you fill any of the eleven hours with drinking games. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Kristen Saban would agree.

We have been diligently tracking some of the hottest stories in the sport during the offseason. To get caught up, see below. Remember, dear reader, we are here for you.

Ridin' Dirty, Grand Marquis Edition
The 2012 offseason saw the usual number of reprimands, suspensions, and dismissals from major college football programs. Take a lil' ol' incident in Athens, Georgia in June when police stopped sophomore Isaiah Crowell's 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis at a roadblock, discovering: an odor of marijuana, four other Georgia Bulldogs, and a 9mm Luger.

Crowell, the nation's top-rated running back prospect in 2011, was dismissed from the team after he was booked on three weapons charges.

Now he's seeking a fresh start at Alabama State. University, not Prison.

In another case a few weeks later, the Georgia State Patrol stopped Florida State cornerback Greg Reid for "window tint and seat belt violations" and, after searching Reid's 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, Trooper Gordy Wright "suspected a marijuana joint was in the cup holder."

Both Reid and Crowell are also facing charges of driving a Mercury Grand Marquis in Georgia while black.

Bold Prediction
Savannah State University Will Shock #19 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Well, maybe not. The Tigers have a much cooler logo but the Cowboys will probably win the game by 50.

Uni Watch
New Vanderbilt Kit Features A Surprised Toddler Affixed to the Helmet.

Head Coach Earning $850,000 Declares Bankruptcy
From the Schadenfreude File: New Arkansas football coach John L. Smith may declare bankruptcy resulting from a failed real estate venture.

Many Americans can identify with the situation Smith found himself in: "At that point, the bank was willing to give away money. We got in over our head with land, and then the bubble burst and all this land value dropped and we couldn't sustain it."

Although in Smith's case, the bank isn't foreclosing on the family home - more likely one of the subdivisions he owns.

And instead of taking two or three part-time jobs, Smith reneged on his coaching position at Weber State after only four months on the job, solicited Arkansas for their suddenly vacant head coach spot following the Bobby Petrino scandal, and accepted an offer for a 10-month contract at $850,000.

Our heart bleeds for you, JL.

Sadly, No Pillows Were Harmed
An innocent night of Power Hour ended in tragedy in July when Kristen Saban, daughter of the head coach at national champion Alabama, allegedly administered a beat-down on one of her sorority sisters in a confrontation over a Facebook post.

Kristen doesn't look too threatening, too threatening, but Saban reportedly slammed her sister's head into a door, pulled her hair, and punched her "multiple times in the head and nose" after a night out in Tuscaloosa.

We have two comments:

First, the guys at Business Insider (not surprisingly) don't know how to execute a proper Power Hour. As any drinking-game aficionado knows, you drink a shot of beer every minute for an hour, not "every time the song changes."

Second, whatever happened to sorority sisters getting into pillow fights in only their underwear? Yet another instance of how Facebook is ruining our lives.

Nike's Phil Knight Donates $68 Million to Build Oregon's New Football Operations Center
The new facility will feature all the latest modern amenities, including hot tubs for the coaching staff.

Also: "[C]oaches will have a private hot tub and steam room, each with a waterproofed video center, next to their locker room, so they can watch games while taking a soak."

Now that is multitasking.

The Game Will Be Followed by the Carrot and Celery Stick Parade
The former Bowl has accepted a new sponsor and will now be known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

During pregame of the inaugural BWWB, we hope the commentators clear up a long-standing debate: Which is better, the little legbone piece, the drumstick, or the actual wing part?

Also: Blue cheese or ranch?

Finally: Does it make sense to refer to the renamed bowl as the 24th Annual Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl?

We say no, at least in part because we suspect an overwhelming majority of sports fans would have no idea about the BWWB if asked.

In fact, we suspect they would assume you were asking about some sort of delicious new concoction from Kentucky Fried Chicken, proud home of the Chicken & Biscuit Bowl.

Mmmm, a dish of chicken meat, mashed potatoes and cheese, drizzled with the new Wild Buffalo Ranch sauce. We can almost taste it already.

"He Did Admit the Pattern Made his Head Hurt"
The text for that header appears in Tim Barker's July column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the two-tone barber pole-style turf installed for the new football stadium at Lindenwood University-Belleville.

The Lynx's new field is part of a $2.3 million renovation program for the university. The Lynx are competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for the first time this season and the field represents Lindenwood's new "branding effort."

Some 258 small (tiny, downright little bitty, in some cases) institutions belong to the NAIA and Lindenwood seems to feel a need to distinguish themselves from the likes of Dickinson State, MidAmerica Nazarene and Valley City State.

To compete with these football powerhouses, much less vie for the NAIA championship, Lindenwood will need to appeal to some of the country's top (hopefully, color-blind) athletes.

The NAIA championship has a proud history dating back to the first Aluminum Bowl in 1956.

Last year, the Saint Xavier (IL) Cougars defeated the Carroll College (from Helena, Montana) Fighting Saints, 24-20 for the Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship and took home the cumbersome RA-NAIAFNC Trophy. (Note: we made up the name of the trophy. We aren't really sure if it has a name, in fact.)

The 2012 game will have to be truly riveting to match the excitement from last year, but we doubt anything will surpass the hotly contested game in '56 which pitted Montana State against St. Joseph's (Indiana) and ended in a scoreless tie.

For a rundown of the remaining match-ups this weekend, we recommend that you check this out. We appreciate the brevity as well as the subtle references to gambling. But we ignored all the gibberish at the end, so consider this a lukewarm recommendation.

Come back next week for an update on all the action we care to talk about from Week One.


Mike Luce is our man in college football land. He welcomes your comments.

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