USC genius Lane Kiffin did a 29-second press conference this week. The 'Book will pull no such nonsense. Kiffin was ticked off that a reporter would dare violate USC policy by asking about a player's injury, and walked out before the half-minute mark. USC even redacted the player, the injury and the question from the video of the session it published later. Not to worry. That's what The 'Book is here for. The injured party, apparently, is Kiffin's ego after the 21-14 loss the Trojans suffered at Stanford last Saturday. Kiffin, according to sources, has his posterior is in a sling and his compression shorts in a wad, and is listed as day-to-day.
The 'Book, meanwhile, is reporting no injuries, and unlike Bill Belichick, we mean it.
CARDS LOOK TO SHINE IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
It's always been a tricky proposition for Louisville, returning to Florida to play football games. Ever since the edict came down from Mount Schnellenberger that the Cardinals would stock their sidelines with Florida talent, taking so many Floridians home to play football games has proved problematic.
Bobby Petrino found that out the hard way when he took a pretty good U of L team to Tampa in 2005 and lost 45-14.
With 17 players from the Miami-Dade County area alone on this season's team -- including quarterback Teddy Bridgewater -- the question had to come up about whether distraction would play a role in Saturday's game at Florida International in Miami. But Bridgewater says the players are on top of it.
"We don't want to let any outside distractions get in the way," said Bridgewater. "Even though it's our family (in the stands), our main goal is to win our next football game."
Eli Rogers said, "It's pretty cool playing against them, but it's just another game."
Charlie Strong said he's hoping to strike a balance. He wants his players from the area to get a chance to see their families and get back into the area, but he wants them to understand why they're down there.
"What's going to be positive is their families are going to be there, so at least we feel like we're going to have a little crowd because of the number of players we have from south Florida," Strong said. "But, one of the issues can be that they are all going to want to see them and be around them. I have some time blocked out for them to see their families, but this is a business trip. We can't have that pleasure. When you have the time to go visit with them, then go visit with them. Still though, we've got to get on with our business too."
U OF L PIPELINE: THE ALL-FLORIDA TEAM
The 'Book got to reminiscing about the great players to come to U of L from Florida, and wondered what a roster composed only of U of L Florida natives would look like. The result (your corrections, improvements, are welcome. The 'Book feels like there are some names missing, but can't reel them out of the steep traps that are our collective minds):
Offense QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Miami RB: Kolby Smith, Tallahassee RB: Bilal Powell, Lakeland WR: Arnold Jackson, Jacksonville WR: Ernest Givens, St. Petersburg WR: J.R. Russell, Tampa TE: Gary Barnidge, Middleburg OL: Jason Spitz, Jacksonville OL: Bruce Armstrong, Miami OL: John Miller, Miami OL: Danny Barlowe, Tallahassee
Defense DE: Elvis Dumervil, Miami DE: Marcus Jones, Alachua DT: Ted Washington, Tampa DT: Jim Hanna, West Palm Beach LB: Alan Campos, Miami LB: Tyrus McCloud, Fort Lauderdale LB: Abe Brown, Sarasota S: Curry Burns, Miami S: Brandon Heath, West Palm Beach CB: William Gay, Tallahassee CB: Johnny Patrick, Deland
And for the record, The 'Book believes that similar teams made up of Alabama and Georgia products would give the Florida bunch a run for its money.
25.7 MILLION REASONS NOT TO SMILE
On Tuesday, Arkansas coach John L. Smith admonished media members covering his weekly press conference to smile – or he wouldn't proceed with answering questions. On Wednesday, USA Today.com posted a story that makes you wonder how Smith keeps smiling – or going to the grocery store.
And The 'Book isn't talking about the back-to-back games Arkansas has lost to Louisiana-Monroe and Alabama. According to court documents, Smith has $25.7 million reasons not to smile.
That is the amount that Smith listed in the liabilities column in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy documents his attorneys filed in federal court. That's $25.7 million in liabilities and only $1.2 million in assets, which featured $300 in cash and $500 in a checking account. Most FBS coaches 'Book knows have more money than that in spare change under the floor mats in their SUVs. (Though, let's face it, most people filing Chapter 7 generally take the precaution of shoving cash away and outside of those on-paper accounts, so too much shouldn't be made of those figures.)
The numbers are striking, but not totally surprising. Smith announced prior to the season that he would be filing bankruptcy papers because of problems he incurred in real estate investments in Louisville, where he coached as the Louisville Cardinals' head coach from 1998-through-2002.
The primary claim against Smith is for $20 million from Terra Springs LLC in Louisville. According to the USA Today story, there are also claims by Republic Bank ($2 million) and King Southern Bank ($902,000).
LOOKING FOR TICKETS? BRING MORE THAN JOHN L.'S WALLET
The folks at TicketCity are players in the secondary ticket market, which means they specialize in purchasing tickets from Joe Fan and selling them to John Fan. Some people call them scalpers. Others call them brokers. Most people just call them and ask, "How much?" when they're looking for two or four tickets for an important game.
The Notebook enjoys following the ticket market to judge where the pulse for college football beats relentlessly no matter the price. According to TicektCity, here are the Ten Toughest Tickets for the remaining regular-season games this season.
1. Alabama at Louisiana State, Nov. 3, average price $749. 2. Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 24, $447. 3. Notre Dame at Oklahoma, Oct. 27, $433. 4. Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 24, $429. 5. Texas vs. Oklahoma (Dallas), Oct. 13, $411. 6. LSU at Texas A&M, Oct. 20, $376. 7. Nebraska at Iowa, Nov. 23, $346. 8. Michigan at Notre Dame, Saturday, $340. 9. Michigan State at Michigan, Oct. 20, $339. 10. Michigan at Nebraska, Oct. 27, $328.
HEISMAN HYPE – CHECK YOUR TWITTER FEED
Schools used to pepper The 'Book with notebooks, magnets, posters, trading cards, bobble-head dolls and other goodies to promote their Heisman Trophy candidates.
All The Notebook has received this season is a lousy Twitter feed. The guys at Kansas State have taken to promoting K-State quarterback Collin Klein with his own hashtag -- #CKMVP.
The e-mail blast for Klein includes praise from Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and several writers from Sports Illustrated. The 'Book is sure Klein is a talented player, capable of beating opponents with his arm or his legs.
But we'd prefer to see a Collin Klein notebook or bobble-head – and that he beat Oklahoma Saturday.
INDIANA ADDS A COACH – TRE ROBERSON
Tre Roberson won't take another snap for the Indiana University football team until spring practice. He broke his left leg during the Hoosiers' second game at Massachusetts Sept. 8 and will miss five or six months. In his first 5 1/2 quarters, Roberson has performed like one of the best young quarterbacks in the Big Ten.
But the injury hasn't stopped Roberson from contributing to the team. Several days after surgery, Roberson was in the press box with the IU assistant coaches for the Hoosiers' game against Ball State last Saturday, charting plays and making suggestions.
He's committed to watching IU's four remaining home games from the same spot. IU head coach Kevin Wilson said the school is talking with the NCAA to learn if Roberson can also travel to road games without his presence counting against the team's travel-squad limitations.
Roberson, a sophomore, told Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, that the trip to the press box wasn't easy – and he wasn't talking about the ride in the slow IU elevators. In fact, watching the game upstairs brought him to tears.
"It was real hard (in the press box)," Roberson said. "I got a little emotion(al) up there. It is what it is. I have to keep talking to the guys and helping them and keep everybody going. I really wanted to go out and play.
"So many people texted me and tweeted me when it happened. It makes me want to work harder and focus on getting ready for next year."
There's still little separation in the prognostications of 'Book proprietors Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich in their picks made each Wednesday on their SportsPage Live webcast on WDRB.com. Crawford was a late Ball State Field goal away from going 5-0 for a second straight week to run his record to 13-2 in the season's first three weeks. Bozich missed on the UK loss and had Tennessee over Florida. Here's betting he won't pick against the Gators again this week.