* Yes, I know it’s not actually “alright,” but that’s the way the Who spelled it on their album, and the Cal Band did a Who tribute show Saturday (and a damn fine job, although a Union Jack formation would have been a nice touch).
* It’s also an apt title if you look at the relative youth that Cal has rolled out (and Vandy and Bama, albeit to a lesser extent). But the tradition lives at Cal: last year’s backup becomes this year’s star running back, and another star-in-waiting shows up as the backup. Keep an eye on Shane Vereen, if you can, and you probably can’t. You sure can’t on Jahvid Best, who moves like a streak of lightning and is so electrifying that he cannot go in the shower for fear of electrocuting his teammates.
* The boos that cascaded down from the east stands following Longshore’s second INT should not have been directed at him – and to be honest, probably weren’t. They should have been directed (and rightly so) at Jeff Tedford, who cannot seem to grasp that the Golden Bears are a football team and not Nate Longshore’s personal group therapy exercise. Continuing to put Longshore in that position is bad for morale – for the fans, for the team and doubtless for Longshore himself. I am sure Nate is a fine gentleman and is doing his best, but that ship has sailed, for better or worse – this is Kevin Riley’s offense now, and the sooner everyone comes to terms with it, the better.
* Man, but Bama sonned Clemson something awful. Freshman running back piled up almost 100 yards, the much-vaunted Julio Jones scores a TD in his debut, and John Parker Jimbo Billy Bo Bob Wilson passes Brodie Croyle for completions. (I still despise Dennis Franchione and Mike Price, because the tumult they caused the Crimson Tide wasted the career of somebody who should have been his generation’s Namath or Sloan or Hollingsworth or Barker.) The ACC has reverted to the Almost College Conference for football purposes and will remain so until forcibly proven otherwise, because that was just ugly. (East Carolina? East F-ing Carolina?)
* Vanderbilt finally breaks the streak against the very team they last got a win against. I wouldn’t say they clowned Miami of Ohio, but any SEC team should be favored against any MAC team, and at least the ‘Dores didn’t let the side down. Not sanguine about next week, though – I am sure that after the humiliation last year, Spurrier will have the Gamecocks loaded for bear and will be looking to administer the beatdown.
* Yes, Ess-Eee-See and all that, but I won’t shed one single tear if Tennessee gets their ass handed to them on the West Coast by a team with an ursine mascot for the second consecutive year.
* Celtic lost the first Old Firm derby of the year, 4-2, although it’s a relief that Venegoor of Hesselink was healthy enough to play as a sub after being stretchered off against Falkirk last week.
* And to cap everything off, the Redskins are limping to the starting line after two absolutely anemic performances down the stretch. The problem with preseason is that you look good playing third-string on third-string with guys that aren’t even going to make the practice squad, and all those great runs by Marcus Mason or traffic catches by Billy McMullin or great passing from Colt Brennan are all meaningless come Thursday night, when Washington becomes the latest stop on the NFL’s “Messiah Mannings” tour.
* Advice to anyone playing the Colts or Giants this year: come out in gold jerseys and black helmets with a “V” on the side. Mannings tend to freeze up and choke when they see it, and there’s proof if you look it up.
* All my peeps on the Dirty Coast: stay dry and shoot first.