Still more notes from Big East media day ...
Landed safely in Tampa, having sat directly behind a well-behaved Ben Moffitt and Nick Capogna for three hours, on the same flight with Mr. and Mrs. Jim Leavitt. Lots of leftover notes from Rhode Island, so here's the first batch ...
Purely random, indeed: Remember last week, when Big East associate commissioner Nick Carparelli told a West Virginia newspaper that Notre Dame was talking to USF? Not to rain on any parades, but he addressed that quote Tuesday: "Any comment I made that mentioned specific schools was purely random. It's safe to say that every Big East school is talking to Notre Dame and would like to play them, but the likelihood of them playing one or another, I can't assess that."
Gee, who could that be: Leavitt, quoted in Sportingnews.com, tries to be a tease: "We may soon get a new, exciting weapon at running back who could transfer in from an SEC school at any time. He would be a real weapon." Leavitt went ahead and identified former Lakeland star Jamar Taylor by name Tuesday, expressing optimism about the freshman from Alabama being on USF's team this fall and potentially getting a waiver to play in 2007.
Fear the I-AA Superpowers: Leavitt, overdramatizing last year's 41-14 win against McNeese State, twice said his team trailed in the fourth quarter. They got the lead for good late in the third quarter. Leavitt, on this year's I-AA opener, Elon, which I'll point out returns 32 -- thirty-two -- letterwinners from last season: "We will probably get picked to beat Elon. Let me tell you something: that games worries me more more than the other three. If we don't play well, they'll beat us."
Favorite quote: Rutgers running back Ray Rice, asked if it's hard after this week's excitement to wait until football season starts (Aug. 30): "You're talking about seven or eight weeks. That's a month."
High Praise From the New Guy: New Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe, showing he's been reading up on his new conference rivals, said this of USF: "I think all three of the new programs that came in and did a tremendous job. South Florida, Jim's done a tremendous job there, taking the program from truly its infancy and starting a program from scratch. They obviously had an excellent year last year too, beating West Virginia the way they did. That was a very impressive win at the conclusion of the season on the road."
Unrelated Note That I Feel a Need to Share: My lovable, adorable 17-month-old daughter Hailey, wanting to play on the computer like her big brother Riley, has destroyed my left shift key on this laptop. I'm a left-hand shifter, and I'd estimate it's slowing my typing by at least 10 percent. I can't bring myself to drive clear to St. Pete just to get a shift key fixed. I could easily go ALL CAPS AND SHOUT THE WHOLE BLOG, or go e.e. cummings on you guys, so every time you're reading a capital letter, know there's a little extra going into that.
OK. Expect more notes Wednesday, and check back for a link to Jeff Testerman's full story on Academic Financial Services. "Sun Dome" doesn't have a bad ring to it after the past week, does it?