Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pre-Holiday Wrapup

I'm heading out to the airport in a few hours to brave the frozen tundra of Denver, which apparently is buried underneath nine feet of snow right now. Wish me luck. Last time there was a blizzard in Denver I had to slice open my cab driver and sleep in his entrails for warmth.

And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.

So in case you missed it:

    • The Irish landed Harrison Smith, a big, fast, white safety who has drawn comparisons to John Lynch, Tom Zbikowski, and a bigger, faster, more athletic, football-playing Eminem.

    • I think it's a conflict of interest that Urban Meyer gets to sponsor a bowl game:

    • I'll be out and about for the holiday season. I'm not strictly sure when I'll be able to post again, but I'll most likely be offline until the days leading up to the Sugar Bowl. Turn off the computer and have a mug of my family's secret recipe for egg nog (with lots of brandy and no eggs).

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  • Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Partial Nudity Delayed, Millions Rejoice

    Last week I asked my loyal readers to ajudicate and come to a ruling on a braggadocious bet I made in the preseason. The polls are closed and the people have spoken. By a margin of 22-5, it has been decided that final rankings are not calculated until after bowl season. Ergo, you will not see a picture of me in Razorbacks boxers unless the Hogs beat Wisconsin in their bowl game and end the season in the top 13.

    Bucky Badger, you are my last hope. Judging by how Wisconsin has fared against teams not named Buffalo or San Diego State, morale is at an all-time low at the House Rock Built

    No! Put down the basketball! Football, man. Football. This is hopeless.

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    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Anyone Heard this Album?

    I just got a new CD this weekend. I'm still trying to figure out how to take it out of the packaging (damn you, sausage fingers!), so I haven't listened to it yet. I've got high hopes. Anybody else heard it? Opinions?

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    Four Awesome Things About TCU's Defensive Coordinator

    So I'm watching the Poinsetta Bowl, wanna fight about it? Anyway, TCU is pretty much manhandling NIU, and most notably have completely shut down freak of nature Garrett Wolfe (who currently has 7 rushes for -3 yards). Lou Holtz talked a little bit about Dick Bumpas, the Defensive Coordinator at TCU, and I've decided he is one of the coolest people in college football. Here are four things that kick ass about Dick Bumpas.

    • His name is awesome. And vaguely suggestive.

    • He has an absolutely bitchin' mustache:

      I call it "The Peg-Legged Drifter"

    • He used to coach for Notre Dame. He was the defensive line coach from 1990-1992, and tutored Chris Zorich.

    • Finally, his last name is "Bumpas". Just like the neighbors in A Christmas Story whose dogs terrorize the house.


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    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    Clausen Playing for State Championship Now

    If you're in California right now, flip on over to Fox Sports Net and check out the second half of the Oaks Christian - Cardinal Newman state championship game. If, like myself, you're not in Cali, head over to the audio feed and have a listen. I had some trouble loading it up in Safari and Firefox on my Mac, but I was able to run the streaming audio on my rarely-used copy of Internet Explorer.

    OCHS is up 13-10 at halftime, and Clausen has struggled with three interceptions in the first half (he has thrown 3 interceptions all season up to this game). It will be interesting to see how Jimmy deals with adversity, something he really hasn't had a whiff of all year in OCHS's multiple touchdown drubbings of their competition. And with freakshow RB Marc Tyler sidelined, it's going to be all up to JC to take control. Cardinal Newman is about to receive the second half kickoff.

    UPDATE: OCHS wins 27-20 in overtime. Gutty performance for the emu.


    Friday, December 15, 2006

    The House Rock Built is Sick

    Sorry, kiddos, the House Rock Built has been deathly ill the last few days. Fortunately, not too much has happened in the college football world, but nonetheless, it's a big mea culpa for not keeping everybody up to speed. Provided we're able to wheel over my compter to my iron lung tomorrow, hopefully we'll get some updateage for my loyal viewers.

    As a heads up, the First Annual "Bloggies" are in session, and nominations are being accepted this week over at MGo. Hopefully, I can get my nominees up in a post tomorrow, but I'd like to get your input as well before I finalize my list.

    Aaaand... since this post needs a punchline, how about Texas having to choose between two different McCoys to quarterback their team during the Alamo bowl. I say, why limit it to two? There's a little known footnote to the NCAA charter that says the Texas Longhorns can draft any able-bodied male in the country whose last name is McCoy as an emergency quarterback. Why not do a tandem of these badass McCoys?

    ADA Jack McCoy

    Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy

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    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Wishing You a Very Orgeron Christmas

    Today marked the public launching of Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron's blog, Every Day Should Be Lemsday, a collaborative effort that was the brainchild of Trev and the lads. If you haven't checked it out yet (Orson and Deadspin have linked it today, cranking the hit meter into overdrive), I would advise you swing over there and check it out. The 12 Day of Orgeron-mas and the diatrabe on chickunwaffa are, if I may be so bold, quite timeless.

    Issa blawg! Boutadalifa coachO. If yudongowdere, yousamama-boy, heah?


    Hot Diggety Damn! Two More Recruits Commit to ND!

    Your Irish Eyes subscription really paid off this week, as there was some serious moving and shaking leading up to today's announcements. This afternoon, not one but two top recruits committed to Notre Dame, bringing the class size up to 14.

    First up is a kid named Golden, which one would naturally think would be a no-brainer to go to Notre Dame. Golden Tate is a versatile athlete who could play one of five different positions in college. As a result, it seems like recruiting services aren't quite sure what to do with him. Scout has him as a four-star Wide Receiver, Rivals has him as an Athlete, and has him as the #3 Cornerback in the country and the #18 overall player.

    Tate is also an accomplished baseball player who will try out for a spot on the squad when he gets to campus. Suffice to say, one of the big first steps in Tate's Notre Dame career will be picking out a position. With his speed and versatility, he should be able to make an impact wherever he ends up playing.

    Next up is Ian Williams, a big, bruising prototypical defensive tackle from Florida. DT was probably by far and away the biggest need in this year's recruiting class, and getting a natural DT of Williams' caliber is a huge relief for the future of the depth chart. Williams is a member of the Top 150, and picked the Irish over Florida, Auburn, Clemson, and, yes, The Orgeron.

    You're angered the Orgeron. Thankfully, you're big enough that you don't have to be in constant fear for your life, like I am.

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    The House Rock Built is Appealing for a Ruling

    Allright, readers, I need your help to provide a ruling on the field. So in August I hosted the preseason blogpoll roundtable, and came out guns blazing against people who overrated Arkansas. Read:

    Personally, I think that all of these people who voted Arkansas high in the poll (two people put them as high as 13!) are suckers that fell for a big joke that Phil Steele has played on the world. All of you overeducated dorks who bought and have ingested every word of Phil Steele's 2006 college football guide (hey, I'm guilty too) saw that Steele put the Hogs at #13 in his preseason poll, which I am convinced is either a typo or a prank to see how many bloggers he can fool.**
    And if you followed the double-asterisk down to the bottom of the post, you would see this additional verbiage tacked on:
    ** Uh, since I've gone on record saying that, I suppose I should take some accountability. I propose that if the Hogs end up ranked 13 or higher at the end of the season, I will post a picture of myself painted red wearing nothing but Razorbacks boxers.
    Wager made, verbal contract enforceable, yadda yadda yadda. The problem is, however, that I was a little bit ambiguous in my choice of words. Does "end of the season" mean "end of the regular season"? In that case I have already lost the bet, woe is me. Or do I still have a chance to win the bet if the Hogs should fall in their bowl game? In the interest of fair play, I'm turning it over to the readers to decide. Cast your vote in the comments. In one week, I will comply with the majority. Just remember to vote in accordance to your interpretation of the Constitution, not out of some personal desire to see my somewhat-spoon-chested body on the internet.

    UPDATE: So far, "after the bowl" is leading 18-5. Go Badgers. For the love of God, go Badgers.

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    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    Boston College Needs a Big-Name Coach

    In the wake of the departure of Tom O'Brien, Boston College message boards have been aflame with rumors, speculation, and wishlists for their next head coach. Sifting through the wishes and pipe dreams, it's pretty clear that the biggest want for BC fans is a "big-name coach". Now, if you don't mind me playing AD for a day, I think the answer is pretty obvious. There is only one "big name" in the Boston area, and it's damn near the biggest name in the world. Introducing your new Boston College head coach:

    Denny Crane


    Friday, December 08, 2006

    Your 2006 All-Hairmericans

    It's awards season, and while I generally disagree with handing out awards before the postsesason, the All-Hairmerican is pretty much won or lost during the regular season, as I can't really remember a time when someone came from off the radar with an awesome hairdo for their bowl game. Then again, it migh be a cool motivational strategy to have your team entire run out of the tunnel with dreadlock wigs underneath their helmets. That might work better than green jerseys.

    Anyway, thanks to all my readers who submitted their candidates this year and pointed out some under-the-radar Hairmericans. Big props to Nick at WTTO who compiled the High School Bad Hair Awards. Nick is doing the yeoman's work of being the Tom Lemming of All-Hairmericans, tirelessly scouting the prep school ranks for future standouts. As you can see, there's a lot of potential for the class of '11, but there's no such thing as a sure thing. Injuries, stress-induced allopecia, and head-shaving hazing will likely keep many of these budding stars from reaching their full All-Hairmerican potential in their college careers.

    And now, the list!:


    Syvelle Newton
    South Carolina
    Running Back
    Jason Laumoli
    Marshawn Lynch
    Tight End
    Trent Pupello
    Wide Receiver
    Frantz Hardy
    Marcus Monk
    Offensive Line
    Tala Esera
    Palauni Ma Sun


    Defensive Line
    Xzavie Jackson
    Brent Curvey
    Iowa State

    Stewart Bradley
    Brian Crum

    Phillip Wheeler
    Georgia Tech
    Michael Malala
    J.R. Hair
    Greensboro College
    Tom Zbikowski
    Notre Dame
    Reggie Nelson

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    Love Your Friends? Prove it With Presents!

    The House has been AWOL today due to very important and pressing issues (forearm stuck in a vending machine... again), but thanks to some friendly firefighters and the jaws of life, we're back in business. I've got some special projects that I'm going to try to get wrapped up by tomorrow, so keep your head on a swivel. In the meantime, have a look-see at the latest offering from the House Rock Built Shop, which commemorate our new favorite crusty college football coach and our grassroots campaign to give Boston College a coach truly worthy of their program's storied history. With the holiday season coming up, it's getting time to think about that gift to get the person who has everything. Remember, nothing says "I'm sorry I cheated on you with the cigarette girl from the Rusty Lizard" quite like some piping hot House Rock Built merch.


    Other Favorites:

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    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Howard Schnellenberger... On Recruiting

    Howard Schnellenberger Says...

    "Back in '82, there was this kid who lived on a farm in Kentucky that all the scouts said I had to see. So as I'm driving down his 2 mile long driveway, I come around a bend and see this big feller, buck nekkid, strangling a 2,000 pound bull with his bare hands. When I introduced myself to the kid, he bit my hand as hard as he could, tearing open a wound that would later take 14 stitches to close. I offered him a scholarship right then and there."

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    Readers, the House Rock Built Needs Your Help

    It's time for some audience participation at the House Rock Built, and I'm counting on my loyal readers to step up to the plate and help out. There are two items of business:

    • First, I'm starting to compile the 2006 All-Hairmerican team, a prestigious award that was founded on this very website last year that honors the truly legendary hairstyles of college football. Unfortunately, I'm a little bit stumped, because having traveled to every Notre Dame game this year, I haven't had as much time to scope out the rest of the college football world for All-Hairmericans, especially since the Irish slate this year consisted of surprisingly clean-cut and well-groomed young men. Very disappointing.

      Anyway, we're taking nominees for the 2006 All-Hairmerican team, and your vote counts. So drop off a comment on this thread with your nominee's name, position, and if at all possible a link to a picture of them in action.

      Someday, your son might win this award and vindicate the crummy waste of life you've been.

    • Second, I'm gonig to have to revamp the top of the page banner for the site, since those three fine athletes will all be graduating this year and likely moving on to the NFL. While I'm thinking of taking another whack at it myself in the old Photoshop, I figured I'd open it up to the readers too, as I'm willing to bet there's some hidden artistic talent out there. The rules are pretty simple... the banner has to be 850 x 200 (or 200ish. It has to be 850 wide, though), and have something to do with Notre Dame football. Also, I couldn't help but notice the more I look at this page that my player selection for the banner was... let's just say a little bit on the white side. I would probably prefer if my replacement banner had a bit more diversity in it.

      Other than that, it's pretty much free reign. It can have current players, past players, or any other insignia that gets the reader pumped up about football. I'll probably keep the text from this banner and overlay it on my next one, but you can also take a crack at the logo too.

      A good example of what not to do...

      Anyway, if you're up to the challenge, you can e-mail your entry to The lucky winner will receive a free copy of "The University of Notre Dame: Fighting Irish Collector's Edition DVD Set", which features hour after hour of all of Notre Dame's greatest games. The good folks that made it provided me with a few copies to give away to my awesome readers, and also sent me one to enjoy for myself. It's wicked cool, guys. Right before we left for USC, I watched the '77 Green Jerseys Game against USC with the Irishoutsider and Trev Alberts and we took turns alternating between belts of whiskey and suckerpunches to the face. Now that's how you get fired up for a football game.

      Do not mix with brown liquor. Results could be painful.

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    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Howard Schnellenberger is Now Officially Cool

    I've always had lots of respect for Howard Schnellenberger. First, Orson Swindle told me that Schnellenberger has the greatest mustache in college football, and dammit if he's not the authority on the subject. Second, he looks like he could be part of the Mandelbaum family from Seinfeld, as every time I look at this picture I get a visual of him hoisting something heavy over his head and throwing out his back while screaming "It's Go Time!" And if that wasn't enough reason to love the guy, check out his officially off-the-reservation final ballot in the USA Today poll.

    Apparently, Les Miles did something unspeakable with Schnellenberger's wife, or maybe his granddaughter. The Bayou Bengals are an incredible #15 in his poll, stuffed behind powerhouses like Wake Forest and Rutgers, and five spots below Arkansas, despite having a better record and, you know, beating the ever-loving handsomeness out of them head-to-head. Oklahoma? #18. And sitting pretty at #8 in Schnellenberger's sheet? Your Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

    That's right, old Howard has the Irish ranked seven spots above their Sugar Bowl opponent LSU Tigers. Looks like somebody has some confidence.

    On a related note, it looks like confidence is staggeringly low for the Notre Dame fanbase going into the bowl season. It's hard to blame anyone though, as the team has folded like cheap lawn furniture against top-flight opponents this year, the defense is a porous travesty of arm-tackling dancing bears on mopeds, and the game is being played within a wad of smokeless tobacco's projectile range of the opponent's home field. In light of this, I am adopting Howard Schnellenberger as the official mascot of misguided, irrational, largely faith-based confidence. Every day from now until I get horribly bored of the idea, we'll take time to hear some (completely fictionalized) words of wisdom from big Howie. If it works properly, it will be just the booster shot of confidence this fanbase needs going into bowl season.

    Howard Schnellenberger Says...

    "Making love to a woman requires a gentle yet unflinchingly stern hand, much like coaching college football, breaking a wild stallion, or robbing a liquor store. Any before any of you candyasses chime in with your opinions, keep in mind that I've done all four of those more times than you've had hot meals."

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    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Blogpoll: The Taste of Tears Edition

    1 Ohio State --
    2 Michigan 1
    3 Florida 1
    4 LSU 1
    5 Louisville 2
    6 Southern Cal 4
    7 Boise State 1
    8 Auburn 1
    9 Oklahoma 1
    10 Notre Dame 1
    11 Wisconsin 1
    12 Arkansas 4
    13 West Virginia --
    14 Wake Forest 2
    15 Tennessee --
    16 Virginia Tech 2
    17 Rutgers --
    18 Brigham Young 2
    19 Texas A&M 4
    20 California 2
    21 Texas 3
    22 Nebraska 4
    23 Oregon State 2
    24 UCLA 2
    25 TCU 1
    Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#19), Hawaii (#21).
    Well, reason is more or less dead and we're locked into full-on monkey poo flinging. You will observe that Michigan is number two right now, so you Wolverines fans can enjoy the cold comfort that in my flawed and skewed personal metric for worthiness, they happen to have had the second best season in the country this year. If I ran college football, you still wouldn't be in the title game, you'd be hosting Boise State this weekend in Ann Arbor in the first round of the playoffs.

    So Notre Dame is number ten. I think I'm at risk of the homer award because of the negative skew in rankings for the Irish in the blogpoll in general (week in and week out, it's 2 to 3 spots lower than the AP/USA Today/Harris/BCS), but I think I'm being as fair as possible with the Irish. You'll observe I have every team that is ranked above the Irish in those three other fine polls ranked higher, with the lone exception of Wisconsin. Service Academies and all, Notre Dame's strength of schedule is several orders of magnitude more diffcult than Wisconsin's, and the Irish have beaten the two best teams Wisconsin has beaten in similar if not demonstrably better fashion. I stand by my decision.

    Everything else is kind of a grab bag, most of which has stayed pretty stable save for your conference championship contenders skittering about a bit.

    Since I still have quite a bit of vertical space to fill, let's take a look at the House Rock Built Championship Series Playoffs round one, hypothetically speakinig. Toss out conference championship automatic bids or a special preferred clause for Notre Dame, it's straight-up top 8 are in. We're adding one more regular-season home game before the bowl season, and we're making room by axing the 12th game requirement (which has given us the great joy of Florida vs. Western Carolina and Notre Dame-Army). The matchups:

    • Auburn at Ohio State
    • Boise State at Michigan
    • USC at Florida
    • Louisville at LSU

    Now that's a great weekend of college football, my chum. Or you can watch the New Mexico Bowl. You know, your choice.

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