Having Your Back, Past the 3–9 Stuff

By Jason Priestas on May 10, 2010 at 7:00a
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The gift that keeps on giving.
Here's something I bet you didn't know.  Cincinnati Bengal (and former Wolverine) Morgan Trent is featured in a new book chronicling four mid-round selections from the 2009 class and the four months leading up to that draft. Assumedly, the bulk of the book is about the hard work and the stress ahead of the NFL Combine and the visits to various teams leading up to the draft. And then there's the part about the old college coach taking a dump on his former cornerback:
At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors. “Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…” Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.
Bengals defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle weighs in:
“When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”
That might explain why Trent leveled harsh words at the Rodriguez regime in February and would also serve as fresh ammunition in the Carr-Rodriguez divide argument. Rodriguez was reached over the weekend by the Free Press and strongly denied the allegations in the book:
“The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”
Ah, who to believe... I will say this.  Ohio State's offense can put you to sleep on any given Saturday and every single one of us has second-guessed a Tressel call or gameplan, but a situation like this has about a 0% chance of happening in Columbus.  And that's kind of nice.

Your Hot Expansion Rumor of the Week

Has Sparty giving four.
Actually, I got nothing. The rumors kind of bore me and I'd much rather wait to find out what the Big Ten has done and then devote my energy to dissecting something that's real than peddling the latest for-sure picks. I do have this feeling that Notre Dame to the Big Ten (possibly as part of a five-team grab) is looking more likely than it was even two months ago.  University president Rev. John I. Jenkins stopped by the Chronicle of Higher Education and dropped this dandy:
"It's like musical chairs," Father Jenkins said. "You don't want to be left standing when everybody else has a seat."
Before we start running with that completely positive statement, he also said the following:
"I would worry that joining the Big Ten would regionalize us," Father Jenkins said. "If we were regionalized, we wouldn't be playing in those areas."
Is he a shrewd politician, floating ideas to his constituents to soften the oncoming blow?  One statement positions the school as being open to the possibility of hitching up with a conference, while his second provides some cover for the incoming fire he's sure to take from the delusional fanbase.

Elsewhere

Lane Kiffin's sweet curves continue to march through Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive bracket.  After dropping Danica Patrick in the 2nd round, he advances to take on a Sweet 16 opponent to be named later today.  If he pulls this out and wins it all, there's enough negative recruiting fodder to last a lifetime... LeCharles Bently is getting his prep scout-on and he has many, many good things to say about Glenville's Aundrey Walker... This offensive shot clock you speak of intrigues me.  Please tell me more.
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