College basketball is over! That means we can focus our full attention on spring football, where a good amount of insane stuff is happening, because its college football. On Tuesday, here's a look at Bret Bielema's surprising musical taste - and inability to do anything about it - Wisconsin's weird depth chart and weirder formations, and UCLA's injury problems - although, not the the same injury problems most programs are dealing with.
Bret Bielema brought music to practice on Saturday, and to the surprise of many, it was reggae. The reason? Bielema doesn't know how to change the songs on his iPod, so he's been listening to the same music on repeat for months:
"When they did that, the video guy put 18-20 songs on my iPod. He knew I liked reggae from doing research. I was beating him up because, the other day, I was here last night, I wanted some music, and I've been listening to those same 18 songs since December every day. I'm the most inept, computer-challenged person. I don't know what iTunes is. I've heard it. I don't know what that means. I've never bought an app in my life. I don't know what that means.
"Last night, (the video guy) brought down his iPod and says, 'Here's 188 of my favorite tunes. Tell me which ones you don't like.' I'm on 128 and I haven't found one I like. That's what they were going to hook up. I said, 'Go grab my iPod off my desk. I know there's 18 great jams on there.' That's how it happened. It happened about five minutes before practice today. But it was kind of neat out there with the sun and the beat.
Wisconsin has a quarterback battle, and Bucky's Fifth Quarter isn't really sure what's gonna happen. Heck, even former Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien is an option.
What does that all amount to? A battle among five quarterbacks who could each reasonably win the job in five separate circumstances. Heck, we've shelved O'Brien as the least likely starter, but he's started 20 games over his three years in college football and thrown 32 touchdowns to 19 interceptions. There's no bona fide favorite -- for now -- but Wisconsin really can't go wrong with either guy. Start Phillips? Cool, he steered Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl. Start Stave? Nice, he probably was the best quarterback on last year's team. Start Houston? Sweet, we've got the beginning of a promising four years with a freshman quarterback. Start O'Brien? He's experienced, has faced adversity and could be better after a year in the system. Start McEvoy? Oooh boy, consider Wisconsin even more of a wildcard in the Big Ten.
In case you wanted more news of craziness from Wisconsin, the Badgers are working on a three-tight end spread formation, which is some bizarro football porn.
Its hard to see programs saddled with injuries in spring ball. Although in UCLA's case, its a little bit more bearable, since the injury didn't happen to a player, but wide receivers coach Eric Yarber. Yarber was trying to demonstrate a drill, and he tore his quad, somehow leading to mocking from Jim Mora:
"Gosh, that was scary," Mora said. "Initially, we went over there and thought he either dislocated his hip or his knee. First of all, honestly, my first thought was, oh no, is he having a heart attack? Once I saw it wasn't that, it looked bad. But I guess he just - just? - tore his tendon in his quad. We're going to shoot it up and get his butt back out here Monday night. He gets no sympathy.
A Kansas football player says something enjoyable happened to college football - quarterback Jake Heaps says that a short-yardage drill turned out to inspire players to compete against each other in an enjoyable manner, which apparently is noteworthy:
"After that, guys got a taste of it and it was like, ‘Wow, that was fun. That was cool,’" Heaps recalled. "As a leader, you use those opportunities and go, ‘Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be every day.’ Ever since that, we’ve carried that attitude all the way through."
Heaps says the team has tuned up practices ever since. Could it be a turning point for Kansas football? We'll check back this time next year and see if they've won more than 3-ish games.
Chris Ault retired, and Brian Polian's in charge. But don't worry: nothing is supposed to be different. In their spring scrimmage Saturday, it was all-Chris Ault Pistol everything:
In fact, every play from Nevada’s 20 drives on Saturday came from the Pistol offense.
For Polian, running out of the Pistol was the plan from day one.
"It just didn’t make any sense to scrap it," Polian said. "And that was part of the attraction of the job. And frankly, it’s something that identifies us. For a long time, Nevada football was coach Ault and the Pistol — and there’s nothing wrong with that. In recruiting, that separates us from some folks. We have an identity."