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Campus Quick Slants

There's about a seven-year gap in every person's life when Halloween stops being a social event -- when the thought of free candy and girls dressed like Jenn Sterger loses its luster with the "in" crowd and teenage hooligans find other ways to get in trouble. But that's about it. By the time you hit college, Halloween is revered like it's the Fourth of July and New Year's rolled into one. Alcohol may or may not have something to do with that.

But if you're a college coach that wants in on the action, you've got quite a quandary. There you are, smack dab in the middle of everyone else's fun, stuck with one of the most recognizable faces on campus. And ever since Larry Eustachy went and schmucked things up, you can't even sneeze without ending up on YouTube. So what's a stir-crazy coach to do on All Hallow's Eve?

The answer is simple and bulletproof: Dress up as another coach. And since the NCAA would never license the costume rights to any third-party vendor, I'm here to provide all the ingredients and instructions your college coach needs to disguise himself as a peer. Here are five suggestions:

Ron Zook

Print out a picture of Luther from the old sitcom Coach; cut eye holes and use as a mask; strap self to hammock, showing how years of underachievement can be pretty darn relaxing.

Kelvin Sampson

Find the nearest Wal-Mart and purchase several "Go" phones; duct tape to both ears; talk for duration of the evening.

Les Miles

Buy two cantaloupes from the nearest supermarket; fasten between legs; take risks like you're Jack Bauer; fear no repercussions.

Al Groh

Wear cheap Virginia apparel; learn slight-of-hand from a local magician; pull a disappearing act until someone notices.

Nick Saban

Without puncturing any vital organs, slowly remove your own spine; buy snake venom off eBay and syringes from Marion Jones; inject venom into salivary glands; do not mix with alcohol.

For those of you keeping score at home, my record is 6-1 this season when predicting the next undefeated team to fall. By no means am I attempting any self-promotion on this front?I'm just as stunned as you. So, while I'm riding the wave, let's whittle the field down a little more...

VIRGINIA TECH 17, BOSTON COLLEGE 10

I can't ever remember being less motivated to watch a "big game" between two top ten teams, can you? Unless you're a Hokies or Eagles fan, it's the kind of game you watch after The Office because there are no better options.

But someone has to win. And Thursday nights haven't been the warmest of settings for ranked teams as of late. So let's go with Virginia Tech on a bizarre special teams play.

CALIFORNIA 38, ARIZONA STATE 17

On behalf of Idaho fans everywhere, Dennis Erickson is a crook.

In other news, Cal is fresh off a horrible, letdown loss to a soft in-state rival (UCLA) and is left with only two real options from here on out: ruin someone else's season or implode like the New York Mets. Provided Cal doesn't fall off the map, this game has all the makings of a blowout victory for the Bears.

As explained in this space several weeks ago, Notre Dame jokes have long died and gone to hell. So has the Irish football season. But indulge me for one last question: Was the decision to don green jerseys in Saturday's clash against USC the sports equivalent of walking under a ladder on Friday the 13th while carrying a black cat? This was a perfect storm of bad karma. Forget the wild notion that honoring the famed "green jersey game" of 30 years ago would summon any positive energy -- Lady Luck was so frightened she scalped her ticket on StubHub.

Simply put, combining the depressed aura of Notre Dame's lackluster start with the jinx of its green jerseys was as treacherous as the original Ghostbusters crossing their proton streams. And it showed. Given the circumstances, a 38-0 final score wasn't just likely, it was a mortal lock.

Ladies and gentlemen, ESPN's Andre Ware has a man crush: Indiana receiver James Hardy. Before Saturday's Penn State-Indiana game, Hardy was just another basketball player-turned-wide receiver, twisting in the wind, trying to find his calling in the world. But by the fourth quarter, Hardy was, at the very least, the best receiver in college football, the key to curing cancer, and perhaps even Batman. A heartwarming tale, really.

Hardy had a monster game (14 catches for 142 yards and 2 TDs) in his own right, but it was virtually impossible to see past Ware's bias as it blossomed in Bloomington. After a while, you couldn't help but wonder if Hardy was holding Ware's Heisman Trophy and incriminating photos for a ransom of gratuitous comments.

Meanwhile, on a semi-related note, there was an actual game being played, and unranked Indiana took Penn State to the wire. But, eh, who cared about that, right?

You weren't one of the bettors who favored Kentucky (+7) on Saturday evening, were you? Thought ya had it made, huh? Wait! No! (Thump.) AH! Stop hitting me!

Trailing by 14, the Wildcats scored a last-second touchdown to pull within eight points. However, due to Rule 8, Section 3, Article 2, since the extra point(s) had no bearing on the final outcome, Kentucky wasn't even allowed to try. The final score was 45-37, one point shy of a "push." The final result for Kentucky bettors was a punch in the kidney and a middle finger from Vegas odds makers and the NCAA.

1. Worst defunct Gatorade flavor?Midnight Thunder / Alpine Snow

2. Better SEC dog? Smokey (Tennessee) / Uga (Georgia)

3. Cooler '80s toy?Teddy Ruxpin / Koosh ball

4. Bigger BCS dark horse?Virginia Tech / Kansas

5. Superior Tecmo Super Bowl QB? Joe Montana / QB Eagles

6. Better USC QB?Mark Sanchez / John David Booty

7. Best-looking Midwest campus? Ohio State / Indiana

8. More out-of-place commercial?Flomax / Cialis

9. Funnier Seth Rogen movie?Knocked Up / Superbad

10. More irrelevant football team? Notre Dame / Miami

Last Friday must've been a slow day over at Hollywood blog JustJared.com. Need proof? Vince Vaughn's nose hair was making news.

In response to my choice of Man vs. Wild over Survivorman in last week's "Get Off the Fence" section:

Really? Man vs. Wild? [Bear Grylls] is a fraud; Survivorman wins this 10 times out of 10.--Mark, Indianapolis, Ind.

I'm glad somebody brought this up. I'm well-aware of the reports that Bear Grylls isn't quite the MacGyver of the wild that Man vs. Wild makes him out to be. But you know what? I don't think I care.

Here's the thing ... there are scenes you can fake and others you cannot. I've resigned myself to the fact that Grylls isn't building all those elaborate contraptions by himself; but when I saw him ring the water out of a pile of ELEPHANT DUNG and then DRINK IT, that was the all-time clincher. Seriously, that can never be topped. If you can do that in the face of dehydration, you've got all my respect.

Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at tyhildenbrandt@gmail.com with your comments, questions and random observations.

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