Guys like Todd Graham make me want to lie down in a cool place. I don't know the former Pitt football coach personally, but I know him very well. He's every coach in quasi-amateur athletics who has ever sold a suit from the trunk of his car. Metaphorically, of course, though with guys like Graham, you never know.
As if reaching the College World Series wasn't incentive enough, there was an added element for team's competing in last year's Super Regionals: playing at historic, 63-year-old Rosenblatt Stadium in its last turn as host of the CWS. This year it's about being among the eight teams to christen new TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha, Neb. There are plenty of other intriguing storylines across the country as the best-of-three Regionals begin this weekend, highlighted by South Carolina's quest to return to defend its title; the Dallas Baptist vs. Cal matchup assuring that a No. 3 seed advances; and the Texas vs. Arizona State series assuring that a program steeped in tradition makes it back once again.
Scientists have discovered a form of bacteria that can thrive on arsenic -- an element generally considered toxic -- dramatically expanding both traditional notions of how life is sustained and the range of where it might be found in the universe, NASA funded-researchers said Thursday.
The UFC's light heavyweight division has long been the promotion's premier class. With relatively few exceptions, the UFC has locked down top stars and prospects at that weight, which makes Ryan Bader -- an undefeated 27-year-old former Arizona State University wrestler who made a statement by easily winning the eighth season of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter -- someone worth watching.
Frustrated Arizona officials seeking two fugitives released new clues Wednesday, saying one of them is missing a prominent tooth, while his alleged accomplice is missing most of her right index finger.
One of the small sorrows of my adult life is being married to a man who won't eat tongue. "It's delicious," I tell him, but he won't budge. "If you tasted it and didn't know what it was, you'd love it," I say. "The problem is all in your head!"
The old slogan -- "Everything's bigger in Texas -- might be a bit of an exaggeration. After all, at least one thing was decidedly smaller in Texas in 2009: the Longhorns' ERA. In fact, 286 Division I teams posted bigger ERAs than Texas' 2.95 last year, and only one (Arizona State) had a smaller ERA.
MIAMI - About the only thing that passed for drama Thursday at American Airlines Arena was the quote Temple guard Dionte Christmas gave a reporter from Tucson's Arizona Daily Star. Asked how the Owls might defend Arizona State and touted NBA draft prospect James Harden, Christmas called the Sun Devils' offense "80 percent" Harden.
Since this seems to be a good week to throw out tortured political metaphors, allow me to toss another one out to explain how you should look at RPI rankings in mid-January. Think of the season as an election night where the polls have just closed. We can spot some trends based on the early returns (Pittsburgh and Duke are 1-2, for example), but until more districts report their tallies (e.g., until we get deeper into conference play), it's too early to declare definitively what has happened.
The fourth-floor view of Tempe Town Lake would be splendid, but the shades are drawn because the glare from the descending desert sun makes Ping-Pong impossible. This glassy tower on the road snaking behind Arizona State's landmark "A" Mountain is no dorm -- if the architecture doesn't give it away, the sign advertising luxury condos will -- and inside it looks as if these college kids are crashing an investment banker's bachelor pad. But the resident of the two-bedroom unit is actually junior communications major Derek Glasser, the Sun Devils' starting point guard and son of premium jeans magnate Michael Glasser. Derek's volleying with sophomore shooting guard Ty Abbott as friends look on, heckling them.
Given the recent wave of lay offs, people around the country are contemplating their next step. Hiring has slowed. Job seekers are taking an average 4.5 months today to land a new gig, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So more adults are thinking now is the time to return to the classroom.
The blood dripping down Rudy Carpenter's right shin is still fresh as he pulls his sock down to inspect the wound after getting clipped by a defensive lineman's cleats toward the end of practice. As he limps towards the sideline, slightly grimacing with every stride, coaches tell him to get treated. A trainer makes plans to see him back on campus. Soon his teammates walk past him off the practice fields to board maroon and gold trams that will transport the Arizona State football team back to Sun Devil Stadium less than a mile away, but Carpenter stops and makes a detour.
Europeans rarely feel more superior to us Americans than at this time of year, and you can't blame them. They're taking their umpteen-week vacations, perhaps enjoying state-funded massages in Baden-Baden, while we're trying desperately to squeeze every drop of fun out of our measly two or three weeks off before returning to the salt mines.
Steve King and I couldn't get connected in time to include his perspective in Tuesday's story about early basketball commitments, but we had a long chat Wednesday. King is uniquely qualified to speak on this subject. His son, Taylor, committed to UCLA shortly before starting ninth grade in 2003. Taylor's commitment didn't last; he ultimately signed with Duke and has since transferred to Villanova.
Sheila Johnson just wanted tennis lessons. That's it. It was a simple request for the 60-year-old former high school teacher who retired after 30 years of instructing students on the finer points of algebra.
In the wake of last week's New Hampshire primary, this is not exactly the best time to call yourself a pollster. Fortunately, when I conduct a college hoops poll, I yield results with zero margin for error. That's because the only person I poll is myself. The answers, therefore, are always correct.
The NCAA tournament is nearly four months away, but thanks to those early season tournaments, we won't have to wait long for some pretty intriguing matchups. In fact, we've already seen some. North Carolina knocked off Arizona State on Sunday. Maryland got the better of Courtney Paris and Oklahoma. LSU and Michigan State will meet this week in the WNIT.
The sun devil painted on the 50-yard line of Arizona State's field is presumably supposed to be menacing, a dark figure with a sharp pitchfork and the intent to use it. But upon closer examination he's more cartoonish, a mischievous-looking guy who's not as tough as he's trying to look. Until last Saturday the same seemed to be true of the real-life Sun Devils, whose perfect record appeared to be mostly a product of a schedule that was softer than a featherbed. But after Arizona State's 31-20 victory over No. 21 California, it's hard to dismiss the Sun Devils as just a desert mirage.
His career has spanned from Seattle to Coral Gables, Fla., and includes six other points in between. But the well-traveled Dennis Erickson believes he's finally found the final stop of his coaching career at Arizona State.
A new twist on an emerging theory says the sun was born amid massive, short-lived stars that sculpted our solar system with intense radiation and violent explosions that may have affected the origin of life.