No Love In The Heartland

Asking the tough questions, and getting ornery responses

College Football Preview: Week 7

> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> B.J.: No Love In The Heartland  | Bad Bruins    |  Amsinger: Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Questions
> Braff: Backups Be Ready  |  Hart: Magic Acts  |  Trev: USC Still In It  |  Heisman Frontrunner
> Caparell: Missouri The Machine  |  Blackburn: Top 25 Pop Quiz  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions

Oct. 9, 2007

By Brian Jones

Special To



Brian Jones is a football analyst for CSTV and
E-mail here!

Let me tell you, it's been an interesting last couple of weeks for your boy B.J. It seems that the last few weeks I've been getting on people's bad sides. I know; it's hard to believe a quiet, mild-mannered dude like myself, making people angry? Well, apparently I am.


This past weekend I headed to Carbondale, Ill., for my broadcasting duties and proceeded to draw the ire of both head coaches and the freakin' referee. It was a big Gateway Conference game between Youngstown State and Southern Illinois. Sure, it was not the likes of Texas-Oklahoma or LSU-Florida but I was excited about the matchup. Youngstown State has been on the national scene for years as a result of Jim Tressel's success prior to leaving for Ohio State. Current head coach Jon Heacock has been pretty successful as well. Last season, the Penguins won their first outright Gateway Conference title. In the maroon corner we had the Salukis, a football program resurrected by head coach Jerry Kill - good football name for a coach, reminds of an old coach who used to say, "Men I can't tell ya to go out there and kill `em, but I can tell ya to go out there and make `em wish they were dead!"




All my troubles started on a significant 3rd-and-3 or 4 from the Youngstown State 25 or 30 yard line. That's when I noticed backup QB Joe Allaria trotting onto the field. I then panned to the Southern Illinois sideline to witness starting quarterback Nick Hill talking to coach Kill, and Kill seemingly annoyed, shooing him away. Now, Nick Hill is a pretty good athlete and gets the job done with his feet as well as his arm. To say the least, it was a surprise to me that he wasn't in the game during a crucial moment prior to halftime.


So, like any credible reporter would, I had to ask the coach what the hell was going on and why his stud QB was on the sideline in that particular instance. Of course, I didn't ask like that, I'm much more professional than that, right...quit laughing.


"Can you talk about that little exchange you just had with your quarterback prior to that last third down play?" I asked, to which he answered with what exchange? There was no exchange.


"Well, you didn't have Nick Hill in the game coach..." I continued. "Well, we like to get Joe Allaria in for about eight or nine plays each game." Riiiiiight!


While the backup Allaria had played in the previous four blowout games, he did not play in the one close victory over Northern Illinois. So, coach, come on! It's a big moment, a chance to get a first down or move into the red zone and possibly the end zone before halftime and you put your back up in? Plus, on the sideline you appear indifferent to your talented signal caller. But yet, you were irritated by my question, viewing it as an exchange? From my perspective, there was a mutual expression of ideas and you said shoo fly. That's an exchange, homie.


If that wasn't good enough, I had to then pose a question to the Penguins head coach, the aforementioned Heacock.


"Coach, the first couple of drives your team put points on the board and after that they fell off, what was said at halftime about that fact?" I asked. "Well, I don't know what game you're watching, but from my perspective we've continued to fight, like we always do, so I didn't see any fall off."


What is up with these coaches being so persnickety? The first two series his offense scores a field goal and a touchdown, the next three possessions were punt, fumble, punt. That's a freakin' fall off no matter where you're from. But of course I couldn't stop there, why not piss someone else off?


I had a little help with the next person that was angered. That person was the referee, Ron E. Snodgrass. Mr. Snodgrass called an intentional grounding on Youngstown's QB Tom Zetts in the second half that proved to be a seminal moment in the game. My broadcast partner, the pride of Syracuse, Carter Blackburn and I agreed that Zetts was outside the tackle box when he threw the pass and there was a receiver in the vicinity. Well, wouldn't you just know that Mr. Snodgrass begged to differ. After reviewing a tape of the broadcast he shot our game producer Rick Angelo an E-mail stating that Zetts' pass did not land beyond the neutral zone or line of scrimmage, which is a determinant when assessing an intentional grounding penalty. The E-mail went on to say that Rick needed to share his findings with Carter and me so as to not make the same mistake again. He reiterated this point multiple times in the E-mail. Of course, we had to do our own investigation and Mr. Snodgrass, you are incorrect, my man. The ball clearly sailed forward past the line of scrimmage. So thanks, but no thanks for the rule book lesson.


Alright, I'm done. Now I'm going to try to get through this week without causing anyone else grief.