Heard ASU

Hot Reads: Man in the Mirror

IDAHO STATE WEEK >>> It’s early in the week, but I’ve already learned to treasure any sort of update on Idaho State football. Frankly, news out of Pocatello, Idaho is hard to come by. It took us the better part of a week to determine why the Bengals star receiver, Rodrick Rumble, didn’t play in the first two games. (It was an injury, but the ISU policy is to say no more.)

Thankfully, though, there’s an update from the Idaho Statesman on the Bengals’ preparations to face Nebraska. Idaho State’s head coach Mike Kramer, a Big Sky lifer with the third most wins in conference history, seems like a fun guy if nothing else. Here he is on the excitement for this week’s game:

We’re so frightfully young that we get fired up to play anybody. We get fired up to play ourselves.

And here he becomes the 29th consecutive coach of the past three years to mention Taylor Martinez’s running threat:

With any team you cannot allow big plays, and a lot of big plays with the Cornhuskers come via Taylor’s feet. And they also come now via his pass because his passing is pretty much improved.

Points to Kramer for using ‘Cornhuskers.’ It almost sounds foreign given the way we all use Huskers these days. What, exactly, is he hoping to get out of this game? Glad you asked:

It’s not who we play, but it’s how we play for ourselves and we try to not focus on anybody we’re playing against. We have so much to prove, we have to always play the man in the mirror, which is ourselves, every game.

“Which is ourselves.” I’m starting to really like Mike Kramer.

THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG >>> We all knew Urban Meyer was going to make Ohio State, a team that was already talented, better in a hurry, but the Big Ten Network’s Tom Dienhart already has the Buckeyes at the top of his Big Ten power rankings. And that’s after Ohio State survived at home against a Cal team that wasn’t thought to be that good after two weeks. Michigan State dropped only to No. 2, followed by Michigan, Northwestern and Nebraska. The Huskers were No. 5 last week as well.

If anything, you could argue that Northwestern isn’t getting enough respect. While the rest of the Big Ten has been tripping all over itself in non-conference play, the Wildcats have quietly rolled to three wins over BCS conference schools. Northwestern’s win over Vanderbilt is, without much argument, the best win any Big Ten school has at this point and there’s a decent chance the Wildcats will be undefeated when the Huskers come calling on Oct. 20. Northwestern opens conference play hosting Indiana, followed by trips to Penn State and Minnesota. All three are very winnable.

INTO THE WEST >>> What’s so great about Lane Kiffin? Grantland writer Shane Ryan asked that question Monday and I’m glad he did. It’s something I’ve been wondering for, oh, about five years now. If you ignore the circumstances of his job-hopping, Kiffin has a decent resume for a 37-year-old head coach but in reality…

…the reality doesn’t match the perception. Lane Kiffin has made a fool of himself at every career stop, shown a penchant for lying and selfishness, and rarely produced on-the-field results that would seem to justify his meteoric rise. The latest example was Saturday’s 21-14 loss at Stanford, which ended USC’s national title hopes and sent them plummeting from no. 2 to no. 13 in the AP poll.

Point, Ryan. I highly recommend reading the rest right here.