Tulsa football coach earns ire of Rice band 

How bad can marching band smack be?


During the Nov. 24 Conference USA West Division championship game between the University of Tulsa and Rice University, "we've got spirit" was more like "we've got Satan."


Rice's infamously irreverent "Marching Owl Band" " better known as the MOB " enacted a search for TU football coach Todd Graham through the nine circles of hell detailed in Dante's "Inferno" during its halftime show.        


(Graham " who led the Owls to a first bowl game in years as coach there " left for T-town shortly after inking a new two-year Rice contract.)


"The MOB decided it was high time to give Todd Graham a piece of our mind," the band announcer said as the performance kicked off, according to the show's script on the MOB Web site. "We searched high and low, asking 'Where in the hell is Todd Graham?' "¦ Dante "¦ told us we should be asking, 'Where in hell is Todd Graham?'"


MOB halftime perfs often sport props and skits as part of telling a story of sorts. In this case, the musicians plunged into a "staple" of the "Sound Track from Hell" " "YMCA" " before eventually approaching hell's head honcho for help. A demon pointed the way to Graham's fate beyond the lowest depths: a blackened door, the announcer said, "inscribed with three frightful words: Welcome. To. Tulsa."


Hmm, is it getting hot in here?


The announcer's description of Graham as something that rhymes with  "mooshbag" at show's end was maybe a low blow, but some former band geeks at CFN can't help but smirk at the earlier antics. This is the band that once spelled out "BCS = BS = $$" and "BEER."


While the announcer suggested sending all complaints to "your mom at MOB dot Rice dot E-D-U," TU " which won the road game " took a different approach (at least as far as CFN knows): filing a complaint with Conference USA.


Rice director of bands Chuck Throckmorton offered an apology " kind of.


"The best reaction from an audience is laughter, which by the way we did  (get)," he said, The Associated Press reported. "I think the next best reaction is that they're shocked because they did not know which direction we were going with that."


Well, we can guess which direction the Owls might be going, in Tulsa's book. Straight to: You. Know. Where. CFN will probably see them there.

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