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I'm baaack

So the Blob is back in business again, after spending a few days a couple of Blobs down the block at Preps Plus.

A few brief notes on a busy weekend:

* Still trying to figure out the IHSAA rule that penalized Jaylon Smith of Bishop Luers for an incredible athletic play in Friday's 2A state championship game. In case you missed it, Smith was being crowded toward the sideline on a sweep right when, at full speed, he hurdled a tackler, turning his body in mid-air at the same time to land inbounds and tightrope the sideline for four or five more yards.

It was the best play I saw all weekend. Unfortunately, per IHSAA rules, it was also an illegal play -- hurdling another player is verboten in high school -- and Luers was tagged 15 yards for something called a "non-contact" foul.

Problem is, I've been covering high school football for 35 years, and I've never seen that called before. Like, never. And I've seen a few hurdle jobs in my time.

The skinny here: It's a bad rule, because it penalizes a player for making an exceptional play. As my colleague Greg Jones quipped, Smith was flagged on that play for "illegal use of talent."

Exactly.

* Is there a worse head coach at a major national power than USC's Lane Kiffin?

The guy's got four shots from the 1 late in the game and elects to use three of them running into the heart of perhaps the best run defense in the country. Predictably, USC gained squadoosh. So then, on fourth down, Kiffin has his redshirt freshman QB throw a weird pass to the fullback, who drops the football.

Never once, in four snaps, does Kiffin try to go to his two gold-standard wideouts and let them make a play. Ridonkulous.

* Look, I'm with everyone else: The red flag rule on touchdowns in the NFL is stupid cubed. The officials will automatically review (and occasionally reverse) a scoring play, but if a coach throws a red flag to challenge that play, they can't reverse it? What sense does that make?

So, yeah, I felt for Lions coach Jim Schwartz on Thanksgiving, because the officials clearly blew the call. But I don't feel for him that much. Every coach in the league knows not to waste a challenge on a scoring play, so why did Schwartz do it?

Kinda dumb.

* In case you missed it, race fans, big news out of NASCAR this week: Danica Patrick is about to be single again. She and her husband of seven years, Paul Hospenthal, are divorcing.

Tabloid headlines to follow.

Ben Smith's blog.

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