Making the morning rounds.
• Obsessed? Urban Meyer wants to see your bleeding ulcer. In case there was any doubt, yes, Rich Rodriguez is feeling the heat at Michigan, according a weekend radio spot in Detroit: “We think about it every day. I know our fans do as well. I’m obsessed. I think our staff and our players are obsessed with it too. … I think we have and I think the better times are coming because the guys are growing up and understanding that process.” On an entirely unrelated note, the only known wolverine in the state of Michigan was found dead in the wild on Saturday. No symbolism at all there. [SRI, MLive]
• Mr. Evans, make it so. Georgia athletic director Damon Evans suggested Monday night that he wants in on the annual “Kickoff Classic” game in the Georgia Dome, more proof that Chick-Fil-A’s primetime, season-opening extravaganza is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Georgia is an obvious choice for any big game in Atlanta, and a promising one, if only because it’s probably the only realistic chance the Bulldogs have of renewing their formerly fierce rivalry with Clemson, spring practice notwithstanding. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
• Now you tell us. Despite the pleading of his unselfish quarterbacks, new Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville promised again in an interview with the Sporting News that the Raiders “will throw the ball more than I’m used to,” but couldn’t resist a subtle dig at his pass-oriented predecessor, anyway: “Mike [Leach] did some terrific things here; I don’t think anyone can deny that. But I’m a firm believer that you have to play defense at a high level—consistently—to win championships. … [I]t’s a lot easier to score more if your defense helps you by holding down the number.” Funny how a football savant like Leach never figured that out … [The Sporting News]
• Sexy Kiffin update. USC coach Lane Kiffin’s bid to become Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” is off to a roaring start in his first-round showdown with golfer Natalie Gulbis, where Kiffin’s commanding lead on Monday afternoon continued to grow overnight: As of 8 a.m. Eastern, Kiffin was pulling in more than 73 percent of 10,000 total votes — far, far more than have been cast in any other match-up in the entire bracket, including the epic collisions of Erin Andrews and Danica Patrick and Christina Hendricks and January Jones — an unstoppable groundswell that’s going to force Esquire editors to rethink the joke after Team Kiffin smashes poor Heather Mitts in the Sweet Sixteen. (On a related note, can I get some love for my girl Ana Ivanovic, please?) [Esquire]
In less sexy Kiffin news, his first game as USC’s head coach will be picked up by ESPN, which has scheduled the Trojans’ Thursday night opener at Hawaii for an 11 p.m. Eastern kickoff on Sept. 2.
Quickly … Once-hyped LSU cornerback Jai Eugene (already a fifth-year senior!) is switching to safety for a better chance at seeing the field in his final season. … Florida running back Jeff Demps is tearing up the track as usual, and backfield mate Emmanuel Moody is “starting to grow some hair on his chest.” … West Virginia’s very non-grizzled female mascot, Rebecca Durst, is hanging up the musket. …
And should we assume that this will be Craig James’ first announcing assignment of the ’10 season?