Thursday Lowdown is Only 38% Ready For College Football

Heads up: Our full Alabama preview will be posted later this afternoon.

First and foremost...
Grantland: Q&A Brady Hoke
In the week leading up Saturday's start of college football, there's a lot of x's and o's being talked about...breaking down of offenses and defenses, but what really peaked my interest is this Q&A with Brady Hoke which touches on a lot of non-football topics, and shows everyone a side of Hoke you won't typically see.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never planned on being a coach. Even when I graduated college, it wasn't on my radar. At Ball State, I was a criminal justice major, and I had done an internship with the federal probation and parole office out of the Southern District of Indiana, and had really enjoyed that. My real dream was to become a Secret Service agent. President Reagan had been shot in March of '81, and from that moment on, I felt like it was my duty to protect the president of the United States.
I love that.

MLive: Michigan awards scholarships to 7 walk-ons during 'wild' team meeting
File this one under feel-good preseason news.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke called seven players to the front of the team's Schembechler Hall meeting room before Tuesday's practice.

Those guys had no idea what would come next: Scholarships.

Nathan Brink, Joey Burzynski, Jareth Glanda, Paul Gyarmati, Mike Kwiatkowski, Joe Reynolds and Steve Wilson are no longer walk-ons.

"(Hoke) called those guys to the front, and we were all like, 'Man, what's going on?'" senior cornerback J.T. Floyd said. "Then he announced the news, and that's when the team meeting room erupted. It was bananas in there. Everybody was just high-fiving each other, smiling. The whole team poured down in the front. It was great, man. It was great.
 ESPN Poll: Which season are you most looking forward to?

Clearly, 62% of Americans are just not right in the head. Pennsylvania gets a pass though.

Deadspin: Bristolmetrics: ESPN loves Urban Meyer, and the feeling is mutual
More shocked, I could not be.
What has seemed odd, though, is the amount of time ESPN has allotted to covering Meyer's first year with the Buckeyes. Even with college football getting SportsCenter's airtime table scraps, Ohio State received nearly half (9.5 out of 19.5 minutes) of the college football coverage this week. Almost all of the coverage was part of the network's Hard Knocks-style show that's being pimped on multiple platforms, titled Ohio State All-Access. Here's a sample, for reference.

Yes, Meyer is already one of the most successful college coaches of all time, and his being a former ESPN employee shouldn't stop the network from devoting its attention to a legitimately intriguing storyline for the 2012 season. But the extent to which they are covering Meyer and the exclusive access they've been given can't help but raise eyebrows.
SBNation: Alabama-Michigan & More: Shutdown Fullback Week 1 [YouTube]
This is why the terrorists hate us. Love the new format though.

ESPN: Allen Pinkett: Irish bans give 'edge'
Not really sure what that headline means, but basically Irish radio analyst Allen Pinkett thinks the recent suspension of 4 ND players has given the team an 'edge'. Cue message board explosion in 3..2..1..
"I've always felt like to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens on the team," Pinkett said on WSCR-AM 670. "That's how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team. I think Notre Dame is growing because maybe they have some guys that are doing something worthy of a suspension which creates edge on the football team.

"You can't have a football team full of choir boys. You get your butt kicked if you've got a team full of choir boys so you've got to have a little bit of edge. But the coach has to be the dictator and the ultimate ruler. Here's my opinion: You don't hand out suspensions unless you know you've got somebody behind that guy that can make plays."
Interesting take. And I get what he's going for, but its sometimes always best to just keep your mouth shut. Later in the same show, he didn't back off from his initial thoughts. But afterwards, once the story get legs, he backed off. Hence the statement released last night.
"It's clear that I chose my words poorly and that an apology is in order for these inappropriate comments. My words do not reflect the strong pride and passion I have for the Notre Dame football program," the statement said. 
Assorted Bits
Last night on Twitter I dove into what Michigan's record is versus singular mascot teams (i.e. Crimson Tide – teams who's mascot doesn't end with an 's' or isn't plural). There was some discussion about what is singular and what isn't, but ultimately it was decided that UM's record is 115-51-5 all-time against Alabama, Notre Dame, Stanford, Harvard, Tulane, Illinois, Syracuse and NC State – teams who's mascot is not plural. Tip of the cap to @cdbarker for his help.

The UM Band visited practice yesterday. The first Inside Michigan Football with Brady Hoke aired last night live from Pizza House in Ann Arbor.'s CFB writers break out their 2012 crystal ball. Countdown to kickoff: Day 2 features OL coach Darrell Funk.

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