We must confess that we can't wait each year for the crunch of shoulder pads; for cleats churning up chunks of turf, and red-faced coaches screaming from the sidelines. But enough about lacrosse. College football season is upon us, and to celebrate, we're going to get back into tiny tidbit mode and present four things you didn't know about each major conference. If you have a little-known fact about your team or conference, strap it to a freshman, point him in our direction and whack him on the ass. Or, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The Independents.
• 1. In The Navy .... Common knowledge now, but before he started his rampage through the New York Giants receptionists pool, Bill Bellichick was quite the little Navy cheerleader. His father was an assistant coach, and he got to hang out with the squad a bit as a youngster, back in the day when Heisman winners Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963) were around. Lee Corso also got his start there, coaching at Navy in the 60s. Sorry. (Thanks to Kevin Crisson).
• 2. Ow, My Eyes!. Proving that the finger-in-the-light-socket hairstyle will never get old, we give you freshman Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Plus, a little something for the ladies: Clausen in Speedos. At least, TrojanWire says that's him. They're also responsible for the "Queer Eye" comment therein. (UPDATE: It was a Fark creation, and was admitted to be such.)
• 3. The Return Of Ira Guilford. The tailback who was supposed to be heir apparent to Maurice Clarett at Ohio State — and succeeded in one respect — Ira Guilford, has been spotted on the practice field at Temple. Guilford, who was arrested for allegedly robbing a fellow Ohio State student in 2004, is attending summer school at Temple, and his presence at practice seems to indicate that he will play for the Owls in 2006. Temple is an affiliated member of the Mid-American Conference and will not play a full schedule there until 2007.
• 4. All That They Could Be. Army won consecutive national championships in 1944 and '45 and has produced three Heisman trophy winners: Doc Blanchard (1945), Glenn Woodward Davis (1946) and Pete Dawkins (1958). Bill Parcells was an assistant coach there from 1966-69, where he became friends with Army basketball coach Bob Knight. Also on the football staff at West Point was Ray Handley, who later succeeded Parcells as Giants head coach, and Al Groh, who succeeded Parcells as Jets head coach.