So You Had Good Seats For USC-Stanford Game?

No you didn’t.

Colin Cowherd seats for USC-Stanford football game at the L.A. Coliseum

Colin Cowherd did.

Colin Cowherd seats for USC-Stanford football game at the L.A. Coliseum

Can’t get much lower than that, eh?

Not to mention, those seats absolutely kill.

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Ex-NDer: Botched Penalty Walkoff That Cost USC

Sunday I noted the botched call by Pac-12 Referee Michael Batlan that likely cost USC an opportunity to attempt a game-winning field goal against Stanford in its eventual 56-48 triple-overtime loss to the Cardinal.

Former Notre Dame football player Rick DiBernardo botched penalty walkoff during USC-Stanford game in 2011

But as preposterous as that officiating error was, at least it involved a sliver of subjectivity.

You can’t say the same for the gross negligence shown by Batlan and a certain member of his officiating crew during a critical juncture in the second overtime.

Trailing USC 48-41 and in possession of the ball, Stanford was called for holding during a 2nd-and-5 play from the USC 20-yard line. The foul occurred at the line of scrimmage, which should’ve resulted in a 10-yard markoff against the Cardinal forcing Stanford’s offense into a 2nd-and-15 situation at the USC 30-yard line.

Strangely though, the ball was instead walked by Umpire Rick DiBernardo only back to the USC 22-yard line, somehow setting up a 2nd-and-7 play. So rather than penalize the potent Stanford offense - led by Heisman Trophy frontrunner Andrew Luck - 10 yards, the Cardinal was pushed back only two.

How could DiBernardo have made such an astonishing error?

Maybe his mind was wandering back to his days as a starting linebacker for Notre Dame during the ’80s.

UPDATE: For those wondering exactly where the holding penalty in question took place, here’s closeup video of what led to the epic, inexplicable blunder by game official - and former starting Notre Dame football player - Rick DiBernardo:

As the video shows, Stanford’s Geoff Meinken held USC’s Chris Galippo at the line of scrimmage from which Umpire DiBernardo should’ve walked off 10 yards to the USC 30-yard line.

Instead, DiBernardo spotted the ball at the 22-yard line, two yards behind the spot of the foul.

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Pac-12 Referee Who Kneeds Replacing: Part One

From the contents of the video below, it’s not unreasoonable to observe that there’s more than an insignificant chance that Pac-12 referee Michael Batlan affected the final outcome of the Stanford-USC game Saturday night at the L.A. Coliseum.

As if the above, abject incompentence wasn’t enough, stay tuned for Part Two.

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ESPN’s Sins Against Cardinal Were Unforgivable

Monday Stanford completed a historic football season with a convincing victory over Virgina Tech in the Orange Bowl. The win was the culmination of the greatest program turnaround in college football history. (At least outside of Evanston and Manhattan, Kansas.)

Jim Harbaugh blows off Rece Davis

(Video below)

In five years, the Stanford team has done the unthinkable, going from 1-11 in 2006 - the year before current coach Jim Harbaugh arrived - to 12-1 this season with its only loss on the road to top-ranked Oregon.

No, this isn’t any ordinary, bowl-victorious college football team. The Cardinal’s season is undeniably cause for a certain measure of awe and reflection.

Sadly though, the primary disseminators of Stanford’s crowning achievement, Orange Bowl broadcaster ESPN, steeply discounted the historical significance of the moment by focusing on what is, in comparison, a rather transient subject. Read more…

STAHHHNfuurrrd Sign: “Character And Cruelty”

Surest sign my humor isn’t mainstream?

Stanford: Character and Cruelty

My favorite sign of the year, via Clay Travis. Read more…

Forcier: “You really have to try to flunk out here”

When Jim Harbaugh first took over a ghastly Stanford program in 2007, two things stood out about his early stewardship:

Tate Forcier

1) He installed a winning attitude that would eventually see the Cardinal to a BCS bowl this season.
2) He ripped his alma mater Michigan for its coddling of football players when it came to academics

In the late summer of 2007, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER columnist Glenn Dickey had this from Harbaugh:

“College football needs Stanford. We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner. The Ivy League schools don’t have enough weight [because of their low athletic level]. Other schools which have good academic reputations have ways to get borderline athletes in and keep them in.”

Harbaugh includes his alma mater, Michigan, in that indictment.

“Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there,” he said, “but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them.”

The former star quarterback for the Wolverines then didn’t back away when confronted about the remarks by the DETROIT FREE PRESS:

“I would use myself as an example. I came in there, wanted to be a history major, and I was told early on in my freshman year that I shouldn’t be. That it takes too much time. Too much reading. That I shouldn’t be a history major and play football.”

That prompted 2007 Michigan football captain Michael Hart to later say of Harbaugh, “He’s a guy I have no respect for.”

At the time, Harbaugh’s comments were thought to be an unforgivable sin in Ann Arbor.

Times change.

As current UM coach Rich Rodriguez twists in the win, Harbaugh is now the obvious favorite to take over the Michigan program if Rodriguez is jettisoned by school Athletic Director Dave Brandon.

Somehow even more ironic than Harbaugh’s criticism of Michigan in ‘07 was the words of quarterback Tate Forcier today in an interview with the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Read more…

Video: Cal-Stanford Finish For KY High Schools

Friday Louisville-area high schools Butler and Pleasure Ridge Park played to a finish reminiscent of what some think is the most famous football play of all time.

Butler Miracle Comeback On Kickoff Against Pleasure Ridge

(Top: Pleasure Ridge coach, players thought ref whistled Butler player down)

Using a series of laterals much like California did to defeat Stanford on the final play of the game in 1982, Butler somehow scored as time expired in its game against Pleasure Ridge Park.

Remember the Stanford “band on the field” as the Cardinal yielded the game-winner to its PAC-10 rival? Friday’s Kentucky high school game finish had the same feel as Pleasure Ridge Park players left the bench  during Butler’s game-winning play - thinking they had already won the game.

But even after scoring with no time left, Butler actually did the Cal Bears one better. Read more…

Chip Kelly: Game Ref Is “Friends” With Harbaugh

At halftime of the Stanford-Oregon game in Eugune on Saturday night, Oregon Coach Chip Kelly showed his dissatisfaction with the officiating during an interview with Erin Andrews on ABC-TV.

Chip Kelly

(Credit: Portland Oregonian, ABC-TV)

During his comments about a lack of communication with the presiding game referee, Kelly went so far as to flippantly suggest that perhaps the ref was ignoring him because the official was “friends” with opposing Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

Transcription and video of Kelly’s comments are below. Read more…

Coach Neuheisel, Don’t You Ever Change On Us!

So what did Rick Neuheisel do after his UCLA Bruins were throttled at home by Stanford 35-0 last Saturday night?

Rick Neuheisel talks to crowd after 35-0 loss

(”We can’t get any wor … [whoops]”)

He did what any self-respecting coach who doesn’t have Bill McCartney, Jim Lambright and Don James to recruit for him anymore would do, give a speech to the Rose Bowl crowd.
Read more…

2009: Willingham Paid More Than Weis By N.D.

Brian Hamilton of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a breakdown today of the 2009 Notre Dame paycheck of Charlie Weis.

Tyrone Willingham Charlie Weis

Weis earned $649,090 from Notre Dame, including base salary, bonuses, “other” income, deferred income and non-taxable benefits. But the table for “compensation from unrelated organizations” offers insight into the areas of true windfall.

After going through additional payments to Weis from outside soucres, Hamilton noted:

And ex-football coach Ty Willingham remained on the university payroll, so to speak, for yet one more year, earning $650,000 from Notre Dame — $910 more than Weis was paid, officially, by the school.

Willingham, who was fired by Notre Dame five years ago, was also fired by the University of Washington two years ago.

So could that mean that Willingham is also still getting paid by Washington? (Oh hell nah.)

Read more…