Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell, a UNLV alumnus, appeared for Sports at Lunch on Nov. 7 at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park — four days before UNLV and SDSU met in a Mountain West Conference game at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Chargers wide receivers corps is enjoying a better year in 2006 than their alma maters are in the college football standings.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell, a UNLV alumnus, told fans who gathered at the Hall of Champions on Nov. 7 for Sports at Lunch about the BCS competition the wide receivers put together for 2006 season.
It’s not a record to be proud of, since McCardell’s UNLV Rebels are 1-7, Kassim Osgood’s San Diego State Aztecs are 1-7, Greg Camarillo’s Stanford Cardinal is 0-9, Vincent Jackson’s Northern Colorado Bears are 1-8 and Malcom Floyd’s Wyoming Cowboys are 5-5.
“Wyoming was booted out of our BCS because they beat San Diego State,” McCardell said. “Now we, UNLV, play them this week.”
Eric Parker, a Tennessee alumnus, is exempt from the BCS competition since his Volunteers are 7-2 this season.
“Whoever wins the San Diego State-UNLV game gets kicked out of the BCS,” McCardell said. “The winner gets kicked out and the loser can still get the trophy. Our BCS is a BC of Shame. But I think Stanford is going to win our BCS. Stanford isn’t going to win a game.”
Although the players are disappointed in their alma maters’ record, they’re still proud of their schools and it’s an example of how NFL players trade barbs the weeks that their alma maters play each other.
“The college experience is the best time of your life,” McCardell said.
Osgood was scheduled to attend the Hall of Champions Sports at Lunch with McCardell, but the aspiring actor had a last minute taping session in Los Angeles that he had to fulfill.
In Osgood’s absence, Lon Sheriff, Osgood’s old quarterback at SDSU who was in attendance, traded some barbs with McCardell.
“We used to look at UNLV on the schedule and see it as a guaranteed victory,” he told McCardell. “We’d think we’re going over to Vegas to have some fun.”
McCardell replied, “Well, the shoes on the other foot. We’re coming over to San Diego for some sun and to do a little surfing.”
But McCardell also asked fans — which included UNLV fans with memorobilia they brought to have McCardell sign — to be patient with both programs. UNLV coach Mike Sanford is in his second season of trying to turn around the program and SDSU coach Chuck Long is in his first season.
“Both programs are in transition,” McCardell said. “You’ve got to give Coach Long and Coach Sanford a chance to turn things around. Now that I live in San Diego, I look in the paper to see how the Aztecs are doing, but I mostly look to see how UNLV is doing.”
McCardell, a member of the UNLV Hall of Fame, also opened up the floor to questions, including questions from Chargers fans. One of the questions was about Philip Rivers’ rapid development as a first-year starting quarterback.
“We’re not really surprised as players,” McCardell said. “We saw him every day and we’ve been around him since he’s been here. We knew he could play once he had the opportunity. One thing is he learned a lot from Drew (Brees) in his two years behind him. He wasn’t just stting there. He was learning all the ups and downs that Drew was going through. He saw how Drew handled himself when we had a bad loss. He got a lot maturity in the National Football League.”
McCardell also talked about the 6-2 Chargers’ goal of winning enough games the second half of the season to clinch the homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
“Then you can come out and see all of our games,” McCardell said.
What else did he say about college football, the Chargers and playing with LaDainian Tomlinson? You should have been at Sports at Lunch.
Tom Shanahan can be contacted at 619-699-2334 or [email protected]