No forced-shaved frosh eyebrows on Urban's watch

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It was long thought that there was a… what’s the word I’m looking for… lackadaisical atmosphere around and in the Florida locker room during the Ron Zook Era.

And by “lackadaisical”, we mean “certain players could go apesh-t within the friendly confines of the program Sunday through Friday and still play on Saturday”.

In talking about the recent locker room “horseplay” at Miami of Florida, current Gators head coach Urban Meyer stepped onto his soapbox, cocked his verbal shotgun, and fired off some not-so-thinly-veiled blasts at the previous regime, and what the culture was like when he came to Gainesville.

And by “not-so-thinly-veiled blasts”, we mean “Urban just ripped somebody a new one, sewed it back up, then ripped them a new one again, then urinated on the area while simultaneously directing a front-end loader full of Epsom to drop its load in the same area.”

In particular, Meyer rightfully railed against the treatment of freshman by the upperclassmen.  And we’ll let Meyer take it from here, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

“This is a big-time college football program, and we had fights and stuff because they’d treat the freshmen like they were non people – ‘Don’t walk through here, we’ll kick your tail, we’ll shave your eyebrows’. It took us awhile to break this great culture we had here. That was tremendous [/sarcasm].

“You don’t win many games, but you feed off freshman and shaved eyebrows…Unbelievable. Now I have a freshman who’s really going through some hard times, and he says – stood up in front of the team, tears falling down his eyes — he said I really want to thank the older guys for taking care of me.

“It’s called a team, not some silly nonsense. That was five years ago, let’s go beat up freshmen. Let’s get our brains kicked in against our rival, but let’s go beat up a freshman.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2002-2004 Florida Gators!

Ummm, wow?

I think the people in and around Champaign just threw up in their mouths a little bit.

This was a direct and serious indictment of Zook and the lack of control he had over his players, and it will be interesting to see if the current Illinois head coach has any public response to Meyer’s very public comments.

And how it plays out amongst Illini Nation.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.