When last we met: 50-41; 40-31; 30-21.
20. Matt Hayes
Charges: The print-media poster child for the sorry state of sports punditry these days and the punditocracy's belief that even when they're wrong they're right because, well, YOU weren't all that right either so who are YOU, asshole? Ha ha BURN!!1!!1! Makes vacuous assertions with the tone of Lincoln standing at the podium at Gettysburg, but when the smoke clears and he turns out to be wrong, there's no apparent reconsideration or "Gee, guess I screwed the pooch on . . . ", he just forges boldly and heedlessly ahead with more vacuity and wrongness. Has just as much deep-down seething contempt for broadcast personalities as all print journos have (trust me), yet in the end he's just as starfucky and susceptible to the next big fad as they are. Equally susceptible to the creeping influence of the Simmonsish cutesy-remark-as-substitute-for-actual-insight writing style.
Exhibit A: His "Mailbags" are basically nothing more than an opportunity for him to spitefully and sarcastically take potshots at the readers who've had the temerity to share their opinions with him.
Sentence: Surgically attached to Tom Dienhart and used as a counterweight for ESPN's SkyCam.
19. Lamar Thomas
Charges: Most people who witnessed the bench-clearing brawl during this past season's Miami-FIU game had the decency and good sense to immediately dub it a travesty, but not Thomas, the former Hurricane wideout CSS made the mistake of inserting into the broadcast booth for the game. Thomas not only encouraged the Miami players in the disgusting spectacle but also laughably announced his desire to "go down the elevator to get in that thing." Even Michael Irvin publicly declared him a dipshit.
Sentence: George Teague ties a bunch of hams to him and leaves him in the Everglades, "Nip/Tuck"-style.
18. Bobby Bowden
Charges: Pure bumpkin shystering. If Bowden were a car salesman, he'd be the guy who throws in all kinds of Scotchgarding/extended-warranty charges you don't see until it's time to sign on the dotted line, but grudgingly accept just to get the damn deal over with already. Has won by running one of the slackest, most thugged-out programs in the country, yet somehow skates in the court of public opinion because he's just so old and lovable. Those in the know regard him the way Democrats regarded Ronald Reagan throughout the 1980s: as a devious, scheming rule-bender who fooled everyone into thinking he was just a kindly old granddad through fatuously self-effacing insistences that he had no idea what was going on at any given time.
Exhibit A: Following the departure of offensive coordinator Mark Richt, he allowed FSU's once-invincible offense to devolve into embarrassing Keystone Koppery solely so that his talentless son Jeff could sustain gainful employment. When the university and fan base could finally stand no more, he blamed "eBay and e-mail and all that junk" for making El Jefe look bad.
Sentence: Mashed to a pulp and injected into breast implants for FSU's next generation of Cowgirls.
17. Mike Tranghese
Charges: As the braintrust behind the Bowl Championship Series, did his level best to ruin college football fans' enjoyment of the pursuit of the highest honor in the land. By reducing the selection of national-title combatants to an impenetrable bouillabaisse of computer-generated numbers and decimal points, basically implied that we can determine gridiron superiority without ever actually seeing the teams compete with one another on the field. Whined and cried about having his Big East Conference's three best teams bogarted by the ACC, then turned right around and looted Conference USA like it was a Circuit City during the Rodney King riots.
Exhibit A: Rose Bowl-bound and down, your 2001
Sentence: One right hook from each of Auburn University's 23,333 students.
16. Nick Saban
Charges: The Terrell Owens of head coaches -- a crabby, egotistical, perpetually dissatisfied tyrant who has managed to alienate virtually every fan base he's ever served. Has taken the conniving job-jumping coach stereotype to levels only Dennis Erickson has so far been able to top: Denied interest in the Alabama job, repeatedly excoriated the press for continuing to ask about it, then took the Bama job anyway. With no buyout clause in his UA deal, three or four years from now he'll have probably left Tuscaloosa in his dust for the first NFL program (or, hell, less psychotic college program) that came calling.
Exhibit A: Abandoned the Dolphins after having personally saddled them with the virtually useless Daunte Culpepper and his $23.5-million contract.
Sentence: Has to appear in Culpepper's next "love boat" video getting a Cincinnati Bowtie from Marcus Vick.
15. Michael Adams
Charges: Provided the real-life inspiration for Jeremy Piven's character in "Old School." As president of the University of Georgia, decided it wasn't enough just to jettison AD Vince Dooley like a middle-aged man unloading his first wife so that he could start shopping for young blond trophies; also had to make a stink about the Georgia-Florida game being called "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," and instituted alcohol-free "family-friendly tailgate zones," an idea so hilariously lame it was scaled back after only two home games. Loses as many as five hours of sleep each night fretting over the fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having fun.
Exhibit A: Even the people at his previous school, Centre College, don't like him.
Sentence: Used as a human sponge to mop up the floors at Club La Vela from March through September.
14. Phil Fulmer
Charges: If Nick Satan is the T.O. of football coaches, then Fat Phil is the Barry Bonds -- a surly, comprehensively unlikable character who should have the decency to admit that his rise to the top has been based on all manner of unethical behavior, but doesn't. Instead, he occupies the position of the SEC's Hypocrite-in-Chief: Despite the fact that his program is an annual cavalcade of off-the-field shenanigans and iniquity, he has no qualms (or shame) about running to the NCAA and tattling on his big rivals -- then slinking back into the shadows, as he did in 2004 when he stayed home from SEC Media Days (at a cost of $10,000 to his university) for fear that he'd get asked about his role in blowing the whistle on Alabama in an earlier scandal.
Exhibit A: The rap sheet for 2006: a DUI for tight end Lee Smith; disorderly-conduct for mike linebacker Marvin Mitchell; and DUI, open-container, and underage-consumption charges for backup QB Jim Bob Cooter. Yahtzee!
Sentence: Breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown.
13. Kellen Heard
Charges: Won Cheap Shot of the Year "honors" for waiting until Texas QB Colt McCoy was unbuckling his chin strap to unload on McCoy in the waning moments of the UT-TAMU game. Also waited until McCoy had already been injured once in the game, the mark of a true manly man. Got ejected and then bitched vocally about it as his embarrassed coaches tried to usher him from the sideline.
Exhibit A: Viewable here.
Sentence: Sewn up inside a blocking sled (along with accomplice Eric Pedersen, the TAMU student writer who said the late hit was OK because McCoy lacked A&M players' "toughness") and presented as a gift to Bill Romanowski.
12. Tommy Tuberville
Charges: Brought a whole new level of false piety and smug, unctuous smarm to a conference not exactly lacking for it. Making an embarrassingly blatant attempt to fill Steve Spurrier's cocky, wisecracking shoes, tweaking fellow coaches and strutting around the sidelines with a champion's swagger in spite of the fact that he's won all of one SEC title and didn't accomplish squat before he hooked up with Al Borges. Promised loyal fans at Ole Miss that he wasn't going anywhere, then took a job at a rival school in the same division the very next day. Continues to act like the entire world owes him an official apology, a coronation, and a pony for the rogering his team took from the BCS in 2004.
Exhibit A: Whined incessantly the week leading up to the Arkansas game about how an SEC team couldn't make it to the BCS title game under the current system, then proceeded to get drilled, at home, by an unranked Razorback squad, 27-10.
Sentence: Forced to watch as an SEC team he beat earlier in the season goes to the BCS championship game in his place. Oh, wait.
11. Tom Lemming
Charges: Being an even creepier version of Mel Kiper. Kiper at least evaluates grown men angling to make millions in The Show; Lemming's so-called "area of expertise" is college recruiting, a "science" so inexact it makes draft analysis look like quantum physics. Lemming's life's work involves assigning star ratings to 16-year-old (or younger) guys from Florida to Idaho to Texas, a practice that should look ridiculous on its face, yet is discussed and pored over by legions of CFB fans too addicted to notice. Like seemingly everyone else these days, a blatant shill for Notre Dame. Probably hangs out with Jimmy Clausen (q.v.) on the weekends.
Exhibit A: Like the Jack Horner character in "Boogie Nights" (or, hell, disgraced congressman Mark Foley), makes his daily bread marveling over the physiques of teenage boys, using words like "big," "muscular," "long," "thick" . . . ugh, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Sentence: Forced to be the fluffer for Matthew McConaughey (q.v.) in "Varsity Dudes" and any sequels thereof.
Tomorrow: the top 10! It'll be way better than whatever that game is they're playing out in Arizona.