Welcome to this week's Dean's List. Someone please tell Scarlett Johansson she shouldn't have married Van Wilder. She's only 23. He's 31. Scarlett, sweetheart, he's too old for you. You need to be with a young sports writer.
• I've got a friend in Philadelphia whose ultimate compliment is "dirty dog." Considering Connecticut running back Donald Brown is a Husky, that's appropriate on so many levels. Brown proved against Louisville that he is a straight-up dirty dog. In a game in which his team lost its quarterback and blew an early lead, he methodically ran for 190 yards and a touchdown. He was the engine that pulled his squad to a 26-21 victory over the Cardinals. After five games, he is also the nation's leading rusher with 906 yards and 11 TDs. But the dirtiest part about Brown is that he's humble. He doesn't dance in the end zone and he downplays UConn's attempts to promote his Heisman candidacy.
• We've got a warehouse full of investigators trying to figure out the last time (before Saturday) both Duke and Northwestern won conference games in the same week Florida, Georgia and USC all lost theirs. So far, no luck. Chances are it's never happened before. One thing's for sure, it most certainly hasn't happened since 2004, since that was the last time Duke actually won an ACC game. But it sure happened Saturday. Northwestern came back from a 17-3 deficit to beat Iowa and Duke exploded for 28 second-half points to beat Virginia. All of this while Florida fell to Ole Miss, Georgia lost to Alabama and USC succumbed to Oregon State. At 5-0, the Wildcats are off to their best start in 46 years and the Blue Devils, normally the tackling dummies of the ACC, haven't kicked off a season this well since 1994. Get me out of this rabbit hole.
• It's rare to have one notable amputation in a month, but two ... that's virtually unheard of. Yet that's what's happened this month in college basketball. First, former Oklahoma star Wayman Tisdale, who is a three-time All-America and the Sooners' all-time leading scorer, had part of his right leg amputated because of cancer. Then, the second winningest coach in the NCAA, Northern State's Don Meyer, had his left leg amputated below the knee after a car accident. Both Tisdale and Meyer have publicly state they are relieved the procedures were successful and are recovering nicely.
• All things considered, the three Oregon football players who crashed their car while street racing last weekend were lucky to have escaped with only 75 stitches, a concussion and a bruised elbow. Linebacker Eddie Pleasant was racing his Mustang with quarterback Darron Thomas and wide receiver Jamere Holland as passengers when he lost control of the car and spun into oncoming traffic. Pleasant needed stitches to close a one inch gash on his forehead, Thomas bruised the elbow on his throwing arm and Holland suffered a concussion. Just as importantly, no one was seriously injured in the car the Ducks hit. Thomas even got a little playing time in Oregon's route of Washington State on Saturday. Although, he still might've been feeling the effects of the accident. Thomas had three pass attempts and didn't complete a single one.
• The SMU women's basketball program deserves its own reality TV show. According to a lawsuit filed by former guard Jennifer Colli, Mustangs coach Rhonda Rompola asked inappropriate personal questions about Colli's sex life. When Colli complained to the athletic director, her scholarship was quickly revoked for "serious misconduct." Regardless of whether Colli wins her $2.5 million suit, the details revealed by the case paint the SMU women's program like a late night Cinemax movie. Players were sleeping with players. Coaches were sleeping with coaches. And all these romantic relationships were talked about openly during team meetings. Colli even claims that coach Rompola, who is married to UNC Greensboro's men's basketball coach, had a relationship with one of her assistant coaches. Very scandalous.
• While the NCAA has been catching heat for failing to bust major men's basketball and football programs, that doesn't mean it's lacking vigilance in other sports. Take Arkansas' track and field team, which has won 40 national titles since 1984. The NCAA stripped the Razorbacks of their 2004 and 2005 national titles for infractions involving Tyson Gay and a former assistant coach. For its part, Arkansas doesn't dispute the violations but calls the punishment excessive. The Razorbacks contend that if the NCAA subtracts Gay's individual point totals for the two meets, taking just 2.5 points for each relay in which Gay competed, they'd still have enough points to have won the championships. But the NCAA isn't buying it, deducting a full ten-points for each of Gay's relays. Hey, that rhymes -- Gay's relays. That probably won't help Arkansas in the appeals process, though.
• New York Times sports reporter Pete Thamel isn't letting Tommy Amaker off the hook easily. One week after the Ivy League cleared the Harvard men's basketball coach of wrongdoing in a recruiting investigation largely instigated by a Thamel article published back in March, the Times reporter took a crack at Amaker's unscrupulous coaching tactics once again. A few weeks ago, coach Amaker, known for his monogrammed mock turtlenecks, suddenly cut five players from the team to make room for his much-acclaimed recruiting class. The players, three of whom started games last season, were given no advance warning and no chance to compete for their spots. What Thamel really wants to know: How much integrity Harvard will sacrifice to win its first Ivy League basketball title?
• Georgia just didn't show up for its Saturday showdown with Alabama. There's no other way to explain the Bulldogs' 31-0 halftime deficit. So the question has to be raised: How can the No. 3 team in the country not come prepared for its biggest home game of the season? Maybe it had something to do with the Dawgs' motivational speaker. During the Bulldogs' practice on Thursday, coach Mark Richt invited U.S. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas to speak to his team. That probably wasn't the best choice. While Thomas is a Savannah area native, his wife is from Omaha, and he's an avowed Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.
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