Posted on: October 25, 2009 12:05 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2009 12:36 am
Sorry I'm getting this up very, very late. Busy week in my personal life. As always, when I am late like this, I will limit it as though I am posting on Tuesday. I will not have a look ahead point as most of the things I am looking forward to have already happened. As we near the half way point in the NFL, after week 9 I make my official NFL playoff predicitions. Unlike others, I do very well with these as I wait until HALF OF THE SEASON IS PLAYED. Last year, because of this, I had Miami and Atlanta in the playoffs, unlike all of those publications that try to predict what's going to happen before the season. Also, I dedicate this week's edition in Memory of Jasper Howard and to the Unversity of Connecticut football program. How some of those kids were even able to play yesterday. And major Kudos to the University of West Virginia as well, for all they did yesterday. Well, on to the blog.
1) The good, the bad, and the ugly- You can just hear the music, can't you? This my friends, refers to the three critical calls in last week's UF Arkansas game that went against the Razorbacks. And I realize as a Gator fan, you might not take much stock in what I will tell you, but if you look at it realistically, you'll realize it's the truth. Now I purposefully avoided the boards after the game because I knew it'd be infested in Gator haters saying Arkansas got jobbed and the fix was in. Again, blaming things on the refs is loser speak, even when they make bad calls (in which case they made two [not three], one of which is never consitantly called and in the case of the one in question, almost never called, more on this shortly), they almost NEVER directly influence the outcome of the game. Arkansas had EVERY chance to win that game in spite of the for real and perceived bad calls, and honestly the Gators were VERY lucky to win. It's not often you turn over the ball four times and are still in the game. But back to the refs, I've only seen TWO times in my LIFE where the refs have indeed cost the team a game, the Oregon Oklahoma game a few years back and the Colorado 5th down game in 1990. Even in the Ed Hochuli debacle in San Diego Denver last year, a call that more directly affected the game than anything in UF Arkansas, people forget that after the play, it was 4th and goal from the 13. San Diego only had to make ONE MORE PLAY, and they couldn't do it. A bunch of my friends gave me, "Yeah, but San Diego was deflated, they thought the game was over, etc." Look, how many times to you see a 4th and 13 converted in the NFL? Not very often. Folks, in the end, the result of the game comes down to which teams made the plays and which teams didn't. Now, let's look at the three plays in question. First the good. The pass interference on Arkansas in the endzone against Deonte Thompson. Now I know a lot of people, especially in the media are going, look, what is the kid supposed to do. Then that means maybe the rule has to be looked at. But in this case, Thompson was absolutely impeded from coming back for a catchable ball. IN FACT, it was Tebow's poor throw that caused the PI situation, and how many times do you see that happen? I'd say AT LEAST half of PI's occur when the ball is thrown somewhere it's not supposed to be. But look, that flag gets thrown 100% of the time in the NFL where there is faceguarding, and 80-85% of the time in college where there is no face gaurding. Want to reduce your chance of being flagged? At least turn around and/or make a play on the ball. In this case, the defender did neither. Now for the bad. This would be the Riley Cooper PI in the end zone that wasn't called. Could it have been called, absolutely, and I wouldn't have been upset. But, if we are being honest with ourselves here, how many times do you see that called? Maybe 20% of the time? Receivers always get the benefit of the doubt as they are always looking for the ball and making a play on the ball. Usually the only time you see offensive pass interference called is during a pick(not an interception, BTW, a pick as in two people crossing and one purposefully rubbing off a defender), or the the receiver extends his arms to get clear separation. That's why you maybe see one a game. Again, get mad with the rule or the enforcement thereof, but yes, this could have been called. Now for the ugly, and the call that got the crew reprimanded. The personal foul on the Arkansas D-Lineman WHILE the play was still happening was atrocious and inexcusible. If there was one call that cannot be questioned or defended in any way it was that one. But again, it comes down to teams making plays, and on the subsequent touchdown run by Demps, he was going to score if he was 30 yards out instead of 10, so don't blame the inexcusible call on the ref as to WHY the Gators scored. Then it got worse as the SEC suspended the crew in question, and everybody again came out of the woodwork to use this as validation as to the two judgement calls (the PI's) in question were also wrong and the Razorbacks were thoroughly jobbed. Well, as I already explained, only one of the judgement calls was bad, and almsot never called, but folks, this was the SAME CREW that called the UGA LSU game with the phantom celebration call and the even worse makeup call. And I'm sure there were other mistakes in not such high profile games. They were suspended for their overall body of work, including the personal foul call in this game. Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.
2) Just to get right back on it- This time I'll be railing on the coaching staff of my beloved Buccaneers. I was in attendance for the debacle on Sunday, where after tying the game on a Fake Delhomme pick, the Bucs kick off to the Panthers with about 8:30 left in the game. At this point, all of the momentum is with the Bucs. But, after annoucing to the world that they were going to run the ball on every play, the Bucs still did not stop it. On the one or two plays they did get D Line penetration they couldn't tackle, but more often than not, first contact occured FIVE YARDS down field. After the game, coach Ra basically blamed it on a tired D using the excuses of the kickoff return for a TD and pick six as reasons why they were out there so much. No coach, here's what the problem was, and it was blatantly obvious to all of the people I talked to who even watched it on TV, and should show up in the film. ZERO, and I mean ZERO adjustments by you and Bates and the defensive staff on that last drive. The whole time, THERE WAS NOT PLAY ONE WHERE THE BUCS HAD EIGHT OR NINE IN THE BOX. Both safeties played back, the LB's weren't adjusted, and the result is a TD that takes seven minutes off the clock. THIS COACHING STAFF IS IN WAAAAAAAAY OVER THEIR HEADS, and is exactly what these so called Bucs fans deserve, unfortunately. And can we stop with the shiny happy BS on the Bucs radio post game show? Take the positives out of the game?? What positives? This team is absolutely abismal at 0-6. Stylez G. White getting his first sack? Oh, happy, happy, joy, joy! Yeah, because he and the rest of the line were getting SUCH consitant pressure the whole game. The only POSITIVE I took out of the game was Aqib Talib, who for the second week had his man on lockdown. Oh, and I am POSITIVE that Josh Freeman needs to be starting sooner rather than later. And could coach Ra please shut up around the media? Every time he talks to them, he says something really stupid, usually calling out players. Coach, that needs to be done behind closed doors.
3) Red River TO fest- Don't get me wrong, it was still a good game, and very much along the lines of the close defensive game I expected, but EIGHT turnovers in the game just kind of kills the pacing. Still, great job by the Longhorns, although I'm sure there were Pac-10 fans in here complaining about how boring it was.
4) A look at the first BCS poll- You know, as much as I can't stand the BCS, the first poll did get one thing right. It rewarded teams that were undefeated, and put the Trojans in their 7th place spot (that loss to UW is looking worse and worse by the week, BTW). And what is up with the AP poll? Can somebody PLEASE explain to me WHY oh WHY oh WHY is a THREE LOSS OU team still in the top 25? Yes, they lost their 3 games against decent competition by a combined five points, but are there REALLY teams out there that aren't more deserving? There has to be at least 25 zero, one, and two loss teams, right?
5) Who dat, who dat, who dat say they going to beat dem Saints- Wow, what a beat down put on by the Saints against the Giants this week. The Saints were in control for the entire game and made a huge statement to the rest of the NFL. I hate to give them props (mostly due to their fans), but in this case, a dominant win is a dominant win, against a pretty good team none the less.
6) Will the real Texans and Bengals please stand up- It's been hard in my Pick 'Em pools to figure out these two teams. I've only picked one Bengals game right all year. And the Texans. I just can't get a read on this team. It's one thing to be a mediocre team. It's another thing to have a mediocre record because one week you look like world beaters and the next like a college team.
7) Vikings, Broncos stay undefeated- And what a way for the Vikings having another late Brett Farve comeback and then having to hold your breath as the Ravens miss a kick. This D allowing 31 points to the Ravens is scary, though, and cause for concern. And remember when people thought Josh Daniels was the young rookie coach in way over his head??? Nope, we have that guy down here in Tampa.
8) Wreck rambles over Tech- In on of the big college football matches this week, Ga Tech ran roughshot over Va Tech using their triple option to perfection in a huge 28-23 win. The Hokies just seemed unable to make the adjustments to slow down Nesbitt and Dwyer. That was a huge statement game for the Jackets and one that just might get them to Tampa on Dec. 5th and Miami on Jan. 5th.
9) Other NCAA football musings- Just some quick hits on the other NCAA games I said I was looking forward to: Alabama dominated South Carolina a lot more than what showed on the scoreboard, Doyle's Heisman frontrunner was (thankfully) not able to get it done in crunch time against the other SC, and the black shirts were able to slow down the Texas Tech offense, but not nearly enough to cover for their struggling offense.
10) The NBA, it's Fan-tastic- Well, not really, at least not for me. It does start for real, though, so I will look to mix some hoops talk in from time to time. I'm much more of a fan of the college game. Somewhat follow the Magic just because they are the closest team. They seem to be set up for another division title and maybe another long run in the playoffs. Actually, last year I was playing a little game to see how many coaches got fired during the season. The NBA is the king of midseason turnover. Actually, bringing this up makes me surprised that as of yet, no NFL coach has gotten the axe yet.
Tags: Arkansas Razorbacks, bad defense, bad officiating, BCS, Brett Favre, Cincinnati Bengals, coaching turnover, Connecticut Huskies, Denver Broncos, Florida Gators, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Houston Texans, Jasper Howard, Josh Daniels, Minnesota Vikings, NBA, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, polls, Raheem Morris, Red River Rivalry, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Viriginia Tech Hokies
Posted on: October 1, 2009 12:21 am
Again a day late, but this time it was by choice. See, I knew I was going to be long winded on a couple of topics very near and dear to my heart, the Bucs and the Gators (hence, the name BuccinGator). Wanted the extra time to collect my thoughts and make sure I got everything out there. So without further ado, 10 things ...
1) The Ol' Ball Coach shuts down Ole Miss- I'll start with the Thursday night game. Now, I'm not going to jump on the Ole Miss was overrated band wagon. In a year where many a team already has one loss, they were just beneficiaries of everybody else losing earlier in the year and their starting ranking which was probably a little too high based on what they did last year and returning Jevan Sneed. But while SEC detractors point to this game as a sign of how the SEC is overrated and not that good, I point to this game as a sign of why the SEC is so great. You better bring your A game every week, and you better be ready to play against some slobberknockering defenses. I'm still a big Houston Nutt supporter (and Arkansas fans, check out how his replacement did this week. More on that later), and I still like Jevan Sneed, just think it was a case of where they ran up against an equally matched South Carolina squad in their stadium, and got outplayed. While Ole Miss was overrated through mostly no fault of their own, the fact is that South Carolina was probably more underrated.
2) Big 10 replay officials trying to overtake Pac 10 as being the most boneheaded and ignorant of the rules- Wow. What in the world is the point of having a replay system if it's not even going to be used properly? Come with me, my little chickadees, to last year, ironically involving the Michigan Wolverines. Forgot which side of the play they were on, but there was an absolutely ridiculous call that thankfully had no bearing on the outcome of the game against Michigan State in which a receiver was awarded a touchdown because his foot smooshed the pylon, which the replay official THOUGHT was in bounds. Nevermind the fact that 98% of the receiver's shoe was clearly Oscar Bravo. Now, spin it forward to Saturday afternoon, where an Indiana University receiver and Michigan defender CLEARLY had dual possession of the ball upon hitting the ground and then the defender wrestled the ball away and was awarded the interception. Even in the pros, where the ground does not end a play, the tie goes to the receiver. And no, Michigan fans, there is nothing in the rule that deals with who has "more" possession or whatever else you were trying to argue. I don't care if the defender has the ball locked to his chest, if the receivers hands are around the ball, that's it. And to me, it definitely appeared that the IU receiver had the better possession until it was ripped out ON THE GROUND when the play is over in college. Point is it's a moot arguement, and the rule clearly states that it should have been IU's ball. Their coach had every right to chuck his gum a la "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning, and they should have had the chance to see if they could produce the winning drive. Now we'll never know.
3) The running of the Bulls D-Line- Daggummit!!! The Seminoles just had absolutely no answer for the University of South Florida's D-Line. And it's nice to see others step up and make plays while George Selvie is getting double and triple teamed. They just decimated the Seminoles offense and forced four fumbles. And the Seminoles secondary was non-existant on several plays. It doesn't help that your best secondary guy is a smurf who plays 10 times his size. I love Greg Reid, but all teams have to do is throw it whereever he's not. And even if he's there, he can get picked on in goalline situations where his height becomes a true disadvantage. The Noles need to solve their inconsistancy on offense, showing up only on odd numbered games (which bodes well for my Gators as they are game number 12). Defensively, they are consistant, though. Consistantly bad. Going to be a long year for the Noles, who are still expected to win the Atlantic Division and make a trip to Tampa. For the Bulls, though, this was a huge win for recruiting. I hope both they and Cincy can stay undefeated heading into the upcoming Thursday night game here in Tampa. The Big East could use the positive exposure that that game could bring them.
4) The "U" downgraded to a Tropical Storm- Again, I'm not going to jump on the Miami was overrated bandwagon, as I think it's great what they are doing, winning two games when many expected them to be "0-4 out the door." I think they are still in for a solid year. Just obviously were not ready to make that next step in a true return to national prominence. Great game turned in by the Hokies.
5) Razorbacks hog-"Tide"- Again, I am not a huge Nick Saban fan, but you have to be impressed with what he is doing in Tuscaloosa. Moreover, I love each and every time anybody, and I do mean anybody (okay, well maybe not Lane Kiffin, but it's close) in the SEC can put a beat down on that despicable turncoat of a man that coaches the University of Arkansas. Sure, Saban is a bit of a turncoat himself, but what he did is Mother Teresaish compared to Petrino, especially what that waste of humanity did to the Falcons, a team that I am by no means a fan of. Razorback fans, I hope every year you finish behind Ole Miss in the standings.
6) Rookie head coach makes a mistake most Pop Warner league coaches wouldn't make- Okay, I am officially convinced that the football gods are out to get me by putting a horrible Notre Dame football team into a BCS bowl game to be slaughtered. Last week it was Michigan State icing it by throwing a pick. This week, with no timeouts left and after being stopped on a running play and starting to scramble around in an effort to clock the ball which would have brought up third down with under 30 seconds left, Perdue gift wraps the game by calling a timeout FOR Notre Dame. For what??? To get the right personnel on the field?? You already had the right personnel on the field the previous play, and if you SERIOUSLY wanted to make changes, let Notre Dame clock it, and THEN you can run out a new unit. That kind of absurdity can't even occur at a high school head coaching level, much less the collegiate level. It's not often coaches truely win or lose games for you, but in this case, Perdue's coach singlehandedly blew it by not being aware of the game situation.
7) Some general NFL musings- I can't pick a Bengals game right, so the Browns will probably win this week. Brett Favre ripped my heart out and cost me my overall lead in my Pick 'Em pool. But what a play. The Vikings got him to make those plays in exactly those types of situations. Still hate his guts, though, for the stunts he's pulled, especially this offseason, but have to give credit where credit is due. The Patriots grounded the Falcons, showing they still have some work to do. The Lions beat the Redskins in a game I called correctly. Even though they were 0-2, the Lions were playing better football than the Deadskins, and it showed on Sunday. Now even worse, the Deadskins play my Suckaneers this Sunday in the Toilet Bowl. Ugh! And finally, Jake Delhomme is finished. Yes, the pick six was Steve Smith's fault, but there was absolutely NO reason for Fake to be throwing it there IN THE FIRST PLACE. He was well covered and would have been tackled immediately in a situation where the Panthers needed to have a sense of urgency.
8) Hey, hey, hey, we're the Suckaneers- Oh my god. I've slipped back into the seventh circle of Lemon [sic] Bennett hell with my favorite NFL team. And Bucs fans have nobody to blame but themselves and the atrocious sports media we have down here in my fair city (although many are still trying to blame Jon Gruden). The media here wants to be coddled to, and got it for years from Tony Dungy (who to be fair is a great coach and even better human being) and Rich McKay (who I can't say the same for). Then came in brash Gruden who wouldn't bend to their every whim. So they began running stories, began sowing discontent, and everybody down here bought it (except for the one piece of decent media, the Pewter Report, who told it like it was the whole time, good or bad). Then Gruden gets the axe, which I didn't have too much of a problem with, except that you need to replace him with a Shannahan or Cowher. Then came the whole Derrick Brooks debacle, which if Gruden had done, people here would have been screaming bloody murder against him. Look I still hope Morris succeeds, but it is obvious this coaching staff is coaching very poorly and are currently in way over their heads. And hopefully Buc fans will now pull theirs out of the sand and realize what a great job Gruden did with what little talent he had. I know this team is rebuilding, but they were one fourth quarter defensive collapse in ANY of the last four games in which they were tied or had a lead in EVERY SINGLE ONE of them away from making the playoffs last year. To take this many steps back is inexcusible. I had this team pegged for 4-12, but now I'm thinking 2-14 is more in line. And the yahoos down here were actually psyched after the Cowboys loss, spewing 8-8 or 9-7 and how great the offense is and how they'd been waiting for something like that for years. Well, I for one was not buying it, and they were exposed by the Giants this week. Fans forget, this team was 14th in total offense last year, which is respectable, especially when you can throw the type of defense out there we had thrown from 1997 through the first twelve games of 2008. Now the defense is just plain horrible. And the offense, I'm afraid fans will realize, is more in line with the 25th overall ranking they have right now than the 4th overall ranking they had going into the game, although with the D it's not likely to matter much. Oh, and yeah, Jon Gruden was the one holding Michael Clayton back. Since week one, he has TWO receptions and dropped a sure touchdown. Yup, all Gruden's fault. Clayton is a great receiver and worth every penny the Bucs spent on him this offseason. Buc fans, reap what you sow!!!! And to further my attack on the media, and why I think this area does not deserve baseball, the St. Pete times runs a horrid article on the Rays about a week ago saying how Jason Bartlett and Carl Crawford's best value (along with one other player) lies in trading them? Are you FREAKING kidding me? Bartlett, your team MVP, and Crawford, who you dumped Scott Kazmir's salary just so you could keep him? And even at $10 million, which I think is ridiculous, in MLB terms is a bargain for a player of Crawford's talents. Yeah, let's just go back to the dark ages of finishing last every year and drawing 5,000 fans a night. Not like they had a winning season this year, right?? What's that, they did?? Could have fooled the press down here who got spoiled by a World Series appearance last year. People down here want to make me vomit. We are the biggest bunch of front running bandwagoners, and sadly, we're probably the best sports market in the state as Miami and Jacksonville are worse. Pathetic!
9) ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!- I am so sick in the aftermath of the UF-Kentucky game of EVERYTHING that is coming out, that I feel like being concussed. Everybody just needs to get off of everyone's cases right now, because everything that has been said is absolutely ludicrous. As soon as I saw a replay, I knew exactly what had happened, and just became concerned for how bad of a concussion Tebow had. Don't know why it took like 10 for most people to realize it was hitting the right tackle's knee coming down who was being blocked back into him, and not the hit that caused the damage. The first person people need to get off the case of is the Kentucky blitzer (pretty sure it was an LB) who hit Tebow. You have clowns like Dennis Dodd on this site running articles about whether or not it was a clean hit. Are you freakin' kidding me? Why not just have QB's wear dresses and play two hand touch? And again, it wasn't the initial hit that was the problem. It was a very clean football play. The second person people need to get off the case of is the UF left tackle. People, he was blocking the man he was supposed to block. In football, you block inside out. In that situation, the blitzer is TEBOW'S responsibility to pick up, and he didn't do it. And if there was going to be a shift of the O-lines responsibilities pre-snap had the blitz been recognized, that would have fallen with either Tebow or the Pouncey twin that plays center, not the left tackle. The third person people need to get off of is Urban Meyer. The suggestion that it's the way Tebow plays and he runs to much is beyond ridiculous. I must have missed where Tebow was injured on a running play. I could have swore it was a pass. And his style of play is irrelevant of the situation in which he got hurt. Even a pocket passer like Peyton Manning would have been injured whiplashing his head and neck on the leg of an O-lineman. Give me a break. Tebow gives as much punishment, if not more so than he receives. And the fourth person is Tebow himself. Everybody's suggesting after this that he needs to change his style of play and this and that and the other. That would be the absolute worst thing he can do. You have to dance with the girl that brought you there. If you really want Florida to become more of a passing team, just play John Brantley. And enough with all the talk of Tebow and the LSU game and putting the national title above the kids health and whatnot. It may surprise most people, but the decision for Tebow to play or not play this week won't come from Tebow or Urban Meyer, it will come from the UF medical staff, which I have every faith in making the correct call one way or the other. And if Brantley has to play, I'll take my chances. Obviously Tebow's leadership will be missed, and the style will be different, but if that's how they have to go, if we lose, we lose. I still think UF has a shot to win even with Brantley at the QB spot, although obviously I would prefer Tebow. Oh, and to top it all off, watching ESPNU on Sunday, they had reaction from a Gator fan at a Gainsville bar. Here's what this genius had to say. He talked about how upset he was that the UK players and fans were being all disrespectful cheering and celebrating when Tebow went down. Um, excuse me? Just exactly what game was this chuckle head watching? Was it some different feed than the one from ESPN2 that I saw? This wasn't the FSU game where the fans (surprisingly in my book, as I always thought FSU has great fans) were actually cheering when Percy Harvin went down. Hell, I could have swore I was watching a UF home game as the 15,000 Gator fans in attendance were making far more noise than the Wildcat fans. Want proof of that, watch a replay of the Chris Rainey punt block for TD. No, the Kentucky fans weren't celebrating, and the only players celebrating were the one who got the sack and one of his teammates in the immediate aftermath. Afterall, he had just made a great, CLEAN, football play. It wasn't like when the Gator bench emptied, the Kentucky players were on the field dancing around a la, "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead." Come on ESPN, you broadcast the game. You have to do a better job editing your pieces. I'm sure there were other Gator fans at that bar with better comments than what this moron came up with. All in all, though, this whole situation and experience just further enhances my dislike of most of the media. But that's why knowledgable people stop by my blog, right?
10) A look at the week ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are the Buccaneers Redskins game, the start of the NHL season! The puck drops for real tomorrow night. Woo hoo!!! Look for some ice talk to kick in on my blog. Anyway, to football, give me LSU Georgia and Oklahoma Miami, and in the pros Jets Saints (go Jets, if nothing else than to shut the Aint fans up), Steelers Chargers to see if the Steelers can regroup, and the MNF game of the Vikings and Packers for obvious reasons.
Bonus parting shot- Great job by the Cal Berkley Bears setting up their matchup with USC this week. They go into Eugene against a struggling Ducks team and get absolutely SMOKED. And thanks to Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal, and Miami for letting USC jump right back up in the polls, despite losing to a team that just got smoked by Stanford.
Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Bad Media, bad officiating, Big Ten, Bobby Petrino, Carl Crawford, Concussion, Derrick Brooks, dual possession, Florida State Seminoles, Houston Nutt, Indiana Hoosiers, Jason Bartlett, Jevan Sneed, John Brantley, Jon Gruden, Kentucky Wildcats, Media, Miami Hurricanes, Michael Clayton, Michigan Wolverines, NFL, Nick Saban, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, officiating, Ole Miss Rebels, overrated, Perdue Boilermakers, replays, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Tebow, University of Florida Gators, Urban Meyer, Virginia Tech Hokies
Posted on: December 24, 2008 11:20 am
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:01 pm
WARNING: No. this isn't going to be like Yo's surgeon general warning, although I can have my moments of wit and humor if you read some of my other work on here. In fact, this is probably my one serious release. No, just giving everyone a heads up that for the second time I will be breaking my own cardinal rule about cutting off the week's events on a Monday. Last night's game between Boise State and TCU was too good to wait until next week to comment on. And while I'm breaking my cardinal rule, congrats to my Bolts, who played their best game of hockey in a LONG LONG time last night against the Pens. They were forechecking like it was 2004, and their passing was the crispest I've seen all year, and was usually right on target. Anyway, here goes.
And so this is Christmas. And what have I learned? Another week over. A new one's just begun.
1) Feeling a little "Horn"y - Wow. What a game last night. TCU's defense, despite what the idiots logged into the four letter network were saying for most of the game, singlehandedly won that game for the Horned Frogs, and kept them in it while their offense was doing everything they could to lose it for most of the first half. Anyway, this game was one of those rare one's that lived up to the expectations, and quite honestly deserved a better date and venue than what they got. This was a great matchup between two great teams. Boise State fans, you should still be very proud of what your team accomplished this year, but if you want a reminder as to why tOSU is in the Fiesta Bowl (which I told you a couple weeks ago your venom was improperly directed in the first place), look no further than the stands. University of Phoenix Stadium will be PACKED. Trust me, I know. In 2007, it was about 70% Buckeye fans.
2) A Giant Victory - Speaking of great games, I predicted the SNF game between the Giants and Panthers would be a classic and it did not disappoint. Have to give huge props to the Giants not only being able to come back the way they did in that game, but just absolutely decimating the Panthers run D much the same way the Panthers decimated my Bucs run D a couple weeks ago. Thank you to Brandon Jacobs for helping me win my autodraft league here on CBS.
3) A "Titan"ic victory - In the same line, congrats to the Tennesse Titans who won a huge game against the Steelers and locked up home field advatage on the AFC side. I'm still not quite sold that it won't be the Steelers or Ravens coming out of the AFC, but the Titans are a solid team who would represent well here in Tampa in February.
4) The resurrection of the Dirty Birds - Even though Minnesota outplayed the Falcons for pretty much the entire game, the Falcons did what they had to to come away with the W and secure a playoff birth. What an amazing turnaround this year, a turnaround that should scare the bajesus out of (no, not the rest of the NFC, although they could make some noise, especially if they somehow win the division) the Arkansas Razorbacks. Yes, you had a huge win over LSU at the end of the year, but your current head coach, that you ousted the better Houston Nutt for (good luck to him in the Cotton Bowl. See Razorback fans, the COTTON BOWL) was the same head coach who divided and held back this Falcon team last year. Bobby Petrino sucks, there's just no other way of saying that.
5) A "Bull"ish victory - I haven't been doing too well with my bowl picks so far this year. 2-4 right now, although I'd be doing a lot better if the games would have ended at the 28 minute mark. I did score 32 points in my bowl pool with the USF Bulls, however. This team showed flashes of the team they should have been. One playing in a much better bowl than the St. Pete bowl. If only they could have cut out some of the turnovers, especially the ones in the red zone. What a different year this could have been for them.
6) A sinking ship - Boy, it looked for a moment like Navy was going to be up 20-0 at halftime, but one replay (where the correct ruling was clearly made), and all of a sudden, momentum shifted dramatically. Navy goes on to allow a last minute TD drive, and go into halftime only up 13-7. Then it was all over from there. Still you have to be proud of the way this team played this year and has played in recent years. They've become a perennial bowl team now.
7) So much for my Western Conference dream match - I still want to see Sharks Wings in a seven game series that means a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. But shortly after I posted last week's edition, Diva's Wings DESTROYED the Sharks 6-0. Huge win for them, and it pains me ever so to write that.
8) Let's see if anybody whines this year - Well, we arrive to the Christmastime tradition of the NBA on Christmas day, with some pretty good games scheduled. I'm just more interested to see if some of the players whine about having to play on Christmas day instead of being with their families as some have done in the past (I want to say Shaq). News Flash!!!! You make Millions of dollars every year. Sorry for the minor inconvenience. Coming from someone who used to regularly have to work Christmas day despite having a 25K a year job, stop crying and work around it. Usually when that happened, I had Christmas Eve off, so I'd just make that Christmas. Or, I'd just go see the family when I got off. If I could make it work, you can!
9) Weekly look ahead - Kind of a light week. The two NFL games that mean the most (and should be good games) are the Cowboys Eagles and the Panthers Saints. It kind of sucks knowing if the Bucs win, Philly is eliminated, but the Bucs would need Philly to beat Dallas to make it. Oh well. And unfortunately, the only bowl games that looks decent before the Dec. 31st ones are Northwestern and Missouri in the Alamo Bowl (which is a stretch) and Oklahoma State Oregon in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th (which should be a good game)
10) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Predicitions - Let's see if I can start to do better than 2-4.
Hawaii Bowl (which I predicted last week, but will post again) - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17
Motor City - Central Michigan 31 Florida Atlantic 10
Meineke Car Care - West Virginia 20 UNC 14
Champs Sports Bowl - FSU 28 Wisconsin 10
Emerald Bowl - Cal 23 Miami 21
Independence Bowl - La Tech 24 Northern Illinois 20
Papa Johns - Rutgers 31 NC State 13
Alamo Bowl - Missouri 38 Northwestern 17
Humanitarian - Maryland 21 Nevada 20
Texas Bowl - Western Michigan 28 Rice 27
Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State 34 Oregon 27
To all my friends, have a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. See you next week. I'm thinking about doing a year in review.
Tags: Arkansas Razorbacks, Atlanta Falcons, Bobby Petrino, Boise State Broncos, Brandon Jacobs, Carolina Panthers, Christmas, Christmas Day Games, Detroit Red Wings, Houston Nutt, Minnesota Vikings, More Bowl Predictions, Navy Midshipmen, NBA, New York Giants, NHL, Ole Miss Rebels, Pittsburgh Steelers, Poinsettia Bowl, San Jose Sharks, St. Pete Bowl, TCU Horned Frogs, Tennessee Titans, These Tags Do Work If You Know Where To Use Them, Turnarounds, USF Bulls, Warning, Western Conference, Whining