The National, 4/26/12: Hunger Games

Almost certainly the first name to be called tonight.

There was no National yesterday because, well, Tuesday was BORING. But today, we have excitement galore and thrills for the entire family. That's right, tonight each of the 32 Districts in NFLIA will select their participants in this year's edition of the Hunger Games. What? You mean they're not choosing 32 guys to fight to the death? Well, never mind then.

But since it is Draft Day, Spencer Hall caught up with former #1 pick Tim Couch to talk about what tonight's like for players. Inexplicably, despite mentioning that Couch is from Harlan County, Spencer failed to ask Tim if he knows Raylan Givens, or perhaps if he'd even been shot by him sometime between declaring for the draft and debuting in Cleveland (thus explaining certain things). This is a regrettable oversight in an otherwise interesting interview.

The BCS Is Dead, Long Live the BCS: Bill Hancock has made it all but official; tthe BCS as we know it is dead, croaked, kaput. The only plans remaining on the table for discussion are all four-team playoff plans. It's a start. Automatic qualifications: gone. That stupid "Rose Bowl as a third possible semifinal" idea: bzzzt. Questions remaining are whether it will be the top four teams period or the top four conference champions, and the format of the playoff (i.e., where the games will be played). The current BCS bowls will remain involved in the process under all known visions of the plan.

Grab Your Popcorn: Oklahoma State has settled on freshman Wes Lunt as Brandon Weeden's replacement, and OSU offensive coordinator Todd Moncken couldn't resist providing Oklahoma with a season's worth of bulletin board material in the process.

I Can't Even Make a Joke Here: Ryan Leaf, already in jail in Montana for burglary and drug charges stemming from actions undertaken while on bail for burglary and drug charges on which he'd just been arrested days earlier, is now officially a FUGITIVE. FROM. JUSTICE. Texas has declared him to be so, since his arrests constitute violation of his Texas probation... for a burglary conviction. Honestly, I just can't wrap my head around this. How does a guy end up like this when he, although a failure at the NFL level, still got a bunch of millions? I mean, I live in the armpit of hell where seemingly 80% of the population has been rung up on burglary and drug charges, but they all have one thing in common: they're all poor people who flunked out of high school.

This Isn't Funny Either: Nebraska RB coach Ron Brown has jammed his foot in his mouth, and Holly Anderson addresses it... pretty much exactly as I would have, with only one additional question: If he objects to equal treatment for LBGT folk, why'd he take a job in the first place at an institution where such things are guaranteed?

Another Blocked Transfer: Well, not so much, as Michael Wadsworth has no scholarship offer in hand, but Norm Chow has informed Wadsworth he's free to transfer anywhere he wants as long as it's not Brigham Young. He's acting on principle here, claiming that BYU has an unfair recruiting advantage anyway since Wadsworth's been absent the last two years... on his Mormon mission.

If He Played for Duke, He'd Have GAINED a Year: The NCAA has ruled Montana State forward Mohammed Fall's Division I career to be over, because he played in two exhibition games. Four years ago. Without compensation. For a team unaffiliated with any NCAA institution. In other words, he loses his senior season over two games, just like Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis -- oh, wait, Abromaitis only had to sit out the first four games of his senior season, and his "illegal" games were played with full knowledge of the Notre Dame brass since he was, you know, wearing the Notre Dame uniform. Fall is a rarity in college athletics; he chose Montana State specifically because they offered his major, and now even though the Bobcats are honoring his scholarship for next year, he's probably going to transfer just so he can play. All because the NCAA are bungling idiots.

Diablerie: This is how offensive linemen sleep in Georgia. Texas Tech's Austin Stewart was hit by a bus; the bus suffered a severely broken windshield while Stewart apparently only scratched up his right front quarterpanel. Craig James for Senative appears to be pretty much dead in the water. Ohio State's Gordon Gee is back to doing standup.

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