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The College Football Report: That's A Clown Quarterback, Bro

Could Sam Houston St. upset Texas A&M?

That's a clown question, bro.

But Johnny "Football" Manziel will upset somebody on Saturday, because he's a clown quarterback.

To review: Out of 800 total possible points, ala the SATs, Manziel earned a 740 in the opener for his antics after entering the game against Rice. Suspended for the first half for pseudo-allegations of NCAA rules stemming from signing some autographs, Manziel drew a penalty for taunting a Rice defender following a touchdown, his third, in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was displeased in the sophomore's behavior and yanked him from the game early.

Still, the talking heads who seized on the chance to weigh in, with escalating hyperbole, were a bit hard to take:

* ESPN's Matt Millen, the worst general manager ever: "I would bench him this week after I gave him a size-13 in the rear end."

* ESPN's Mark May, liar: "[He's] a very selfish player that doesn't care about his teammates."

* Lou Holtz, age 76: "I would have grabbed him by the throat."

* Barry Switzer, age 75: "I wanted to jerk his face mask and I wanted to grab him. Of course you get fired for that now; in the old days you could get away with that."

Ah, the good old days, when you could grab a player by the face mask, call their girlfriends fat, and beat on assistant coaches. Oh wait, all that still happens. Just ask Nick Saban.

Incidentally, there is an argument to be made that ESPN uses a double standard, harshly judging the controversial Manziel while other high profile players (like Tim Tebow, also not above mocking opponents)) get a free pass. We won't bother, but have at it if you feel so compelled. (Also: Please tell us Manziel is not a ratings godsend as everyone tunes in to see what happens next - with the pump primed by indignant ESPN "analysts.")

Amidst all the blather, kudos to Jay Leno for poking fun at Manziel and, indirectly, everyone so stirred up about the latest incident.

And a hat tip to Deadspin for providing the world with The Only Johnny Manziel GIF You'll Ever Need.

Comeback Of The Week
The Hendrix College Warriors will take the field Saturday after a 53-year absence from college football.

Hendrix football debuted in 1906 but insufficient financial support forced the school to drop the sport in 1960.

Coach Buck Buchanan will field a team of 55 players, including 48 freshmen, in the season opener against the Westminster (Mo.) Blue Jays.

Welcome back, Warriors.

Suspension Of The Week
Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan will miss his second game this weekend, after pleading guilty to two counts of "boating under the influence" during the offseason.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt should add "Studies in Restrained Exuberance" and "Unsafe At Any Knot: Drunken Boating" to his offseason regimen.

Injury Of The Week
Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell, the Bulldogs' top returning receiver, will miss the remainder of 2013 with a torn ACL

Mitchell suffered the injury last week while celebrating a long touchdown run by teammate Todd Gurley in the first quarter. The Bulldogs (#5 at the time) went on to lose to Clemson, 38-35. Ouch.

Dismissal Of The Week: Illinois RB Dami Ayoola
The Illini haven't released any specifics behind his release, but we just wanted to see the name "Ayoola" in print one more time.

Buckeye Broadcast: Conversation level (60dB)
Not to short Ohio State, we'll be measuring (in decibels) the hysterics surrounding the Buckeyes. This week, the level holds steady after beating Buffalo 40-20. If anything, that the Buckeyes only led by 10 at one point in the second half (30-20 in the 3rd quarter) may damp down the enthusiasm.

Clowney Coverage: Heavenly
Remember when we marveled at Clowney's stats last season? (We weren't alone - Clowney impressed the rest of football, including the pros, many of whom projected Jadeveon as the first overall pick had he entered the draft.) In 2012, he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at 257 pounds. Before South Carolina started spring practice this year, he was clocked at 4.54 - while weighing 274 pounds. So, to recap: He has one more year of experience, is bigger and faster.

The First Presbyterian Church in Athens, GA implored a higher power for answers to Clowney's pass rush as the #11 Bulldogs host #6 South Carolina on Saturday. Or so it seemed . . . but it was just a promotion for ESPN's College GameDay.

Rolling Tide
With all the preseason hype (see the short list from Week One), Alabama (#1) merits a weekly update. The Tide beat Virginia Tech in the opener, but didn't dominate. Sophomore RB T.J. Yeldon netted just 75 yards on 17 attempts and looked shaky as an every-down back, missing pass protection assignments and showing signs of fatigue. The 4th quarter resembled a sleepy spring practice, as the Tide managed only 43 yards on 17 plays.

The game turned on two plays on special teams. Midway through the 2nd quarter, the Hokies were driving, down 21-7, but only managed a field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, 'Bama's Christian Jones scored on a 94-yard return, his second (!) of the game after running back a punt for 77 yards and a TD just four plays into the game. Tack on a receiving touchdown by Jones, and Alabama didn't need the extra 14 points to win 35-10.

Despite all the big plays that made the highlights, the Tide faithful should hope the O-line shapes up quickly. The stout Hokies D will pare in comparison to the units 'Bama has to face in conference play. The early bye week this Saturday should help.


Our picks for Week Two:

Tennessee Tech vs. #21 Wisconsin (-45)
Washington State vs. #25 USC (-15.5)


The Take Any Team Against The Kentucky Wildcats strategy started the year with a W, as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers took the points (+4.5) and the game, winning straight up 35-26. This week the Wildcats welcome Miami (OH) to Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky is favored (-17) but the smart money, as always, is on the Redhawks.


Mike Luce is our man on campus. He welcomes your comments.

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