Jadeveon Clowney looked human last night

The Jadeveon Clowney hype was getting out of hand, and now the criticism will be just as loud after Clowney had a mediocre game where he appeared to be taking plays off.

Perhaps it was a matter of conditioning in the intense heat and humidity last night. Clowney also mentioned having a stomach flu the night before the game. But he was clearly dogging it on a number of plays. Chris Spielman just ripped him pretty hard, and with Spielman it has nothing to do with the hype. Spielman is brutally honest and always holds players to a high standard when it comes to effort because Spielman always gave it his all on every play.

The notion that Clowney could win the Heisman Trophy seemed silly to me. It’s too tough for a defensive player.

But ESPN had elevated this kid to icon status based on one play in a game where Michigan left tackle Tyler Lewan actually played well against him. Clowney is a huge talent, but he’s not Superman.

The question is whether Clowney started believing his own press clippings. Has he become too cocky? Is he willing to work hard to be the best? We’ll see, and this lackluster opening night performance might be the best thing that happened to him.

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Urban Meyer denies SbB report on Ohio State job


Not surprisingly, former University of Florida Gators football head coach and ESPN analyst Urban Meyer just denied a report from SPORTSbyBROOKS that he had accepted the head coaching job at Ohio State.

Rumors had been rampant that Meyer was in line to take the job, but Brooks reported that Meyer had indeed accepted even though it had not been formalized in a contract. Brooks reported that Meyer was in the process of putting together a staff and the Luke Fickell would stay on with the Buckeyes. He also reported that Meyer also aims to add Chris Spielman and Kirk Herbstreit to the staff among others. Spielman makes some sense as he once lobbied to coach at Ohio State, but the Herbstreit part seems to be far-fetched as Herbie has one of the best gigs in broadcasting.

On the air during the ESPN broadcast of the Michigan-Nebraska game, Meyer just said that he had not been offered the position and that he had not agreed to coach at Ohio State. He did not, however, issue a blanket statement that he was not going to coach at Ohio State next season, so he can easily hide behind the fact that he hasn’t signed a contract. But Brooks made that clear in his story, so this looks more like the standard denial that doesn’t mean a thing.

Luke Fickell is the interim coach at Ohio State, and it is generally understood that Ohio State was going to look for a big name at the end of the season. Fickell understood that, so any discussions between Ohio State and Meyer are more understandable and are not a slap in the face to Fickell given his interim status. Fickell has made some progress through the season, but it has been clear many times that he is in over his head. Staying at Ohio State under Meyer would make a ton of sense for him. He can continue to learn at his alma mater and someday be considered either for the Ohio State job or another big job.

This makes even more sense given Urban Meyer’s health issues. He left the Florida job twice, and you have to wonder if he’ll give up on Ohio State as well if problems resurface.

As for Spielman, he did not make any comment during the broadcast when Meyer issued his “denial.” This could be an intriguing opportunity if he decides to join Meyer’s staff, though it also sets him up as a rival to Luke Fickell. Can these guys work together if both of them are angling for the top job at Ohio State in the future?

That said, the main story is Meyer’s status. His statement today tells me that these rumors are real, and that the Buckeyes will soon have a new head coach.

Torretta, Brown make 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Subdivision

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision Class and former Heisman winners Gino Toerretta and Tim Brown made the list.


•PERVIS ATKINS – HB, New Mexico State (1958-60)
•TIM BROWN – WR, Notre Dame (1984-87)
•CHUCK CECIL – DB, Arizona (1984-87)
•ED DYAS – FB, Auburn (1958-60)
•MAJOR HARRIS – QB, West Virginia (1987-89)
•GORDON HUDSON – TE, Brigham Young (1980- 83)
•WILLIAM LEWIS* – C, Harvard (1892-93)
•WOODROW LOWE – LB, Alabama (1972-75)
•KEN MARGERUM – WR, Stanford (1977-80)
•STEVE McMICHAEL – DT, Texas (1976-79)
•CHRIS SPIELMAN – LB, Ohio State (1984-87)
•LARRY STATION – LB, Iowa (1982-85)
•PAT SWILLING – DE, Georgia Tech (1982-85)
•GINO TORRETTA – QB, Miami (Fla.) (1989-92)
•CURT WARNER – RB, Penn State (1979-82)
•GRANT WISTROM – DE, Nebraska (1994-97)
* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee, deceased


•DICK MacPHERSON – 111-73-5 (.601) – Massachusetts (1971-77), Syracuse (1981-90)
•JOHN ROBINSON – 132-77-4 (.629) – Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004)

It’s always amazing to me that a guy like Torretta can put up such great numbers in college, yet never made it in the NFL. (Teams didn’t even consider him as a top pick despite passing for more than 3,000 yards during his Heisman-winning senior season.) But you see examples of it every year (this year’s was Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, who went undrafted), so I guess I shouldn’t be too amazed.

Good to see Pat Swilling on this list. The late Swilling was always fun to watch and I thought he was a little underrated as a player. You have to appreciate self-made players like Chris Spielman, too. Scouts said he was too small, yet he went on to appear in four Pro Bowls.

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