There is no better investigative reporter in country right now. And it's not even close. Unless you count his colleague Dan Wetzel.
If you haven't read this piece on The U, it's pretty much mind-blowing in breadth and influence. And I place an NSFW tag on some of the adult themes. You want to talk about thorough reporting? How about 100 different interviews and 21 players corroborating rule-breaking. Oh yeah, not to mention sifting through 20,000 pages of financial records and 5,000 pages of cell phone records.
I need a cup of coffee just reading those facts.
--- The Miami story becomes the latest off-the-field focus of college football. The other that continues to take shape is the possible transformation of the conference landscape.
Brett McMurphy spoke about Big East commish John Marinatto stepping in to return civility to what has become an ugly process. He sees the writing on the wall of the dominoes which could fall should Texas A&M jump to the SEC. It would seem to set forth an possible series of events that ends with the Big East, ACC and Big XII in an expensive game of musical chairs to see who stays part of four 16-team superconferences.
Clay Travis of outkickthecoverage.com detailed that to The Dan Patrick Show yesterday. It's an enlightening listen here.
Where would that leave UC? Who knows. Where would that leave anyone? To try and predict specifics right now would be irresponsible. We do know the possibility of everything changing seems more real than any point before. With nobody to be the "college football boss" it creates a type of anarchy.
Marinatto stepping in to be at the centerpiece of the events going forward bodes well, but the fallout from a possible A&M move will be important to watch for everyone involved, including UC.
--- Gladly moving back to the field, I enjoyed heading out to Higher Ground again yesterday, particularly for the abundance of Philly cheesesteaks and corn dogs at the dining hall. Oh, and the smattering of broccoli was lovely, too.
Most importantly, with help from sports info wiz Ryan Koslen, came up with a nice shot of punter Pat O'Donnell's mustache. I feel like if given the proper amount of time to blossom it could have some Tom Selleck characteristics. It certainly looks worthy of some late-night Showtime television.
"My roommates dared me to do it," O'Donnell said. "It comes in pretty thick, so the big joke was that I would grow it out at camp. It's my second year doing it."
O'Donnell plans on shaving it upon returning to civilization. Probably a good idea for anybody who plans to have conversations with a woman. Anyway, I promised a shot of the stache...here it is.
Good luck to O'Donnell and O'Donnell's stache the rest of camp.
--- I posted a story yesterday on changing bodies changing the dynamics of the Bearcats.
Didn't get into TE Adrian Robinson, who dropped 25 pounds since rising to 280 after offseason shoulder surgery. Also, JK Schaffer is playing at 10 pounds heavier after a rigorous offseason program. Hard to believe JK will be faster and stronger considering how he played last year. (Second in BE in tackles per game at 9.25 and top returning tackler in conference)
"He is built, but now he is even better," strength and conditioning coach Dave Lawson said. "He's put on 10 pounds, running better, he's leaner and 10 pounds bigger. Those will serve him well when he is taking on those 300 pounders."
Also, JK was named the No. 11 player in the BE by Andrea Adelson.
So, I asked Zach what his response to hearing somebody say that would be:
"I love it," he said, then asked if that's how he looks at it. "Can't look at it that way, you don't want to put that much pressure on yourself. You want to be able to play within yourself. I feel like you put that kind of expectations on you at all time, you are going to make poor decisions sometimes you are going to try to do too much. As a quarterback, you know the offense runs through you, as a competitor, that is what you want. If Coach Jones were to say something like that, I would be happy about that."
--- Rare off day for UC at Higher Ground today. They'll be back at it tomorrow morning.
--- Bill Koch with this story on Alex Hoffman, one of the true great stories of how to be a student-athlete.
Sidenote: The only time you would find me in an organic chemistry class is if I was trying to steal a Bunson Burner.
--- Butch Jones said he's probably never put as much pressure on a true freshman as RB Jameel Poteat. Koch outlines the possible contributions of some frosh.
Unfortunately, Akise Teague has only practiced three days due to a hamstring injury or he would probably be talked about in the same light.
--- Tuesday's wasn't a great day in the daily duty of cutting down on turnovers. Collaros had two turnovers at the morning practice. Still, the grind of cutting down on those never dissipates. Finishing 119th in the country in turnover margin guarantees that.
Collaros said a greater understanding of the big picture will help make it a reality.
"Just go through your progressions and not force things in there on third down especially," he said. "Know that we have a good defense to punt the ball too and let them play defense. That is what it comes down to is field position. If we as an offense can do that and me as a quarterback can do that our defense is going to be successful and therefore our team is going to be successful."
An improved defense will help as well. Collaros didn't say this, but I'd have to imagine pressure to take extra chances influenced myriad forced passes last season. He sounds dedicated to a more calculated approach.
--- Speaking of QB play, Tommy G spoke to backup QB battle participants Munchie Legaux and Jordan Luallen. He extended that conversation with OC Mike Bajakian.
--- Some randomness...
--- This happened in Florida? Really? Shocking.
--- In case you didn't know, the Bleacher Report is the worst pile of garbage in sports media -- that is if you care at all about real content, accuracy and, you know, facts. Sports Pickle with a great shot at them with this fake redesign.
--- When you guys head to Knoxville on Sept. 10, I hope you don't run into this guy. Though, chances are you'll see much worse.
--- All the photos, Q&A and streaming video from last night's Big Lebowski reunion is phenomenal. That link really tied the blog together, did it not?
--- You woke up this morning and the sun was gone, you turned on some music to start your day. That's right, 80s power ballad week continues in full Boston glory.