The Wiz is back with the most classless acts of the 2009 season. What is a classless act, you ask? It's any attempt to degrade an opponent, player or the game. It's the stuff that isn't in the summary but often gets mentioned years later after somebody extracts retribution. As they say, what goes around comes around.
At the bottom of the post, readers can vote to select the most classless act. One vote per IP address, so give it careful consideration.
Let's get to the finalists:
Oregon leads punchless Washington State, 45-0, in the third quarter of an Oct. 3 game at Eugene, when the Cougars recover a fumble at the Ducks' one-yard line. It takes three plays, but quarterback Marshall Lobbestael sneaks in for a touchdown, cutting Oregon's precious lead to 45-6.
Kelly should have other things to worry about — like keeping his players out of trouble. Instead, he decides to challenge the touchdown call. Although he loses the challenge, the Ducks somehow hang on for a 52-6 victory.
Washington State's Paul Wulff says afterward, "We'll have plenty of motivation moving forward, believe me."
Connecticut defeated Syracuse, 56-31, on Nov. 28, but the Orange won't forget what happened in the final minute. The Huskies led, 42-31, and were facing fourth and 11 at the Orange 28 with 53 seconds remaining. Syracuse was out of timeouts.
Instead of calling a run play to help bring this to a merciful end, Edsall calls for a pass. Zach Frazer throws a touchdown to Marcus Easley, putting Connecticut ahead, 49-31. The Huskies would return a fumble for another score with eight seconds remaining.
Syracuse's Doug Marrone didn't comment afterward, but his postgame handshake with Edsall was described as being "uncomfortable." Orange safety called Frazer's pass "a little cheap shot."
3. Lane Kiffin, Tennessee
The first-year Volunteer coach's body of work was a classless act, from accusing Urban Meyer of cheating to his one-minute farewell press conference, featured above. But with his 4-4 team entertaining an overmatched Memphis on Nov. 7, Kiffin made several jackass decisions.
After taking a 14-0 lead less than six minutes into the first quarter, the Volunteers tried an onside kick.
Leading 35-0 late in the first half, Tennessee called a timeout when Memphis faced a third-and-eight play at the Tigers' 14.
The Volunteers went for it three times on fourth down in the first half.
The take-no-prisoners approach paid off. Tennessee built a 49-7 lead and held off a late Tiger charge for a 56-28 victory.
A smug Kiffin said afterward: "It came to me during the week that I had to make sure they felt my intensity — we're really going after this thing."
The Nov. 14 "double nickels" game. The Cardinal were steamrolling USC, 42-21, when Toby Gerhart rumbled into the end zone. Instead of kicking the extra point, Harbaugh decided to go for two — probably because he couldn't go for three. The try failed, but Stanford tacked on one more score for a 55-21 bludgeoning of Pete Carroll's Trojans.
Carroll was not happen with Harbaugh, asking him in the postgame handshake, "What's your deal? What's your deal?"
Harbaugh retorted, "What's your deal?"
Carroll, when asked about Stanford's try for two, said: "I don't know what they were thinking with that."
Harbaugh offered this: "I thought it was an opportunity, the way we were coming off the ball, the way our players were playing — that it was the right thing to do."
5. Pete Carroll, USC
One would think Carroll would have learned a lesson about being a good sport after what Harbaugh did to him, but USC's coach failed to rise above it in his team's next game on Nov. 28. With the Trojans holding a 21-7 lead over UCLA with 52 seconds remaining, Carroll decided to stick it to the Bruins, calling for Matt Barkley to throw deep to Damian Williams. The play worked for a 52-yard touchdown and Carroll celebrated like a 13 year old at a Miley Cyrus concert.
The benches emptied and the teams nearly went at it. When things settled down, USC held on for a 28-7 victory.
Carroll and USC said afterward that Rick Neuheisel and UCLA deserved it because they were using timeouts with the verdict already decided. Of course, Carroll didn't feel the same way two weeks earlier when Stanford rolled it up on USC.
6. Max Hall, Brigham Young
The Cougar quarterback let his feelings be known after a 26-23 overtime victory over rival Utah.
"I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything. It felt really good to send those guys home."
Video later surfaced of Hall landing a cheap shot to a Utah player after his winning touchdown pass.
7. Mike Leach, Craig James and Texas Tech
Plenty of blame to go around. Leach allegedly put receiver Adam James in an electrical closet off the press room at Jones AT&T Stadium. That resulted in a complaint by James' dad, Craig, an analyst for ESPN. Leach was suspended and eventually fired, a day before he was due an $800,000 bonus. Leach then said Adam was a slacker and that Craig was a always calling and acting like a LIttle League dad.
Craig said he was merely protecting his son, but documents suggest he threatened the university with a lawsuit for improper treatment of a student-athlete, i.e. his son, who was recovering from a concussion. The only winners here are Tommy Tuberville, the new Tech coach, and attorneys. The fans? The heck with them! Tech just announced a hike in ticket prices for 2010!
Leach's appearance on "Friday Night Lights" was filmed in Austin on Sept. 18, the night before his team played Texas and lost, 34-24. No wonder he lost control of the team in midseason.
You can't do this list without Rich Rod, who continues to drag this storied program to new, embarrassing lows.
No stranger to litigation (see West Virginia), Rich Rod was sued for allegedly defaulting on a real estate loan to build condominiums near Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium. One of his business partners in the failed venture is facing five felony counts and possibly 50 years in prison.
Michigan has gone to 33 consecutive bowl games until Rich Rod arrived. Now they've missed the postseason two years in a row. If that's not bad enough, the NCAA alleges that Rich Rod's program committed five potential major rules violations. Somehow, he's still the coach.
Nothing quite like punching your receivers coach in the face after a coaches meeting. That's what Locksley did, landing a blow to Jonathan "J.B." Gerald in September.
Locksley showed more fight than his team, which finished 1-11 and ranked near the bottom in nearly every NCAA offensive and defensive category.
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