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Tag:LSU Tigers
Posted on: November 11, 2009 11:25 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2009 11:40 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 9th

This week, I would like to take the opportunity to give my deepest thanks to the troops, both past and present, who have put/continue to put their lives on the line to protect my freedom to enjoy sports to the point where I might learn a thing or 10 over the week, and then come in here to pass along this knowledge, and the freedoms of Americans everywhere.

1) The uni's weren't the only thing changed this week- Watching the Bucs Packers game at my house, I was telling my dad as he and the announcers on the game kept mentioning how the Bucs were hanging around and fighting hard, "Yeah, but watch, they'll go in at halftime, make no adjustments, and come out and get blown out in the second half."  I had every right to believe what I was saying.  It had happened already in all 7 of their previous games (including winable games against the Redskins and Panthers).  But then the miraculous happened.  I joked with the guys at work I felt like I was watching on old Foldger's coffee commerical.  "We've secretly replaced the Buccaneers coaching staff with one that can make half time adjustments and win a game."  And that they did.  And what's up with the Packers swiss cheese O-line?  Way to make Stylez G. White look like the second coming of Michael Strahan.

2) Irish's BCS dreams sunk by Navy- In addition to thanking the troops this Veteran's Day, how about thanking future troops, the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy, who prevented mine (and every non-Notre Dame fans) worst nightmare of seeing an undeserving and over-matched Irish team in a BCS game only to serve as the sacrificial lamb.  And of course, with Pitt and Stanford both looking to be much better than previously advertised, the Irish could relistically finish the regular season 7-5 and be Charlie Weis' swan song.  For more of my thoughts on the game, Irish fans, and their "mystique" (if interested), I direct you to this thread: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messag
es/chrono/18150835
.

3) Take advantage of your stellar D- Boy, as a Gator fan I am longing for the days of Dan Mullen.  Steve Adazio's play calling is baffling at best sometimes, and a huge reason for the team's red zone struggles this year.  There was a third and two from the 10 early in the game where Aaron Hernandez, our TE, motioned into the backfield, and in a terrifyingly slow developing play, Tebow fake pitched it to him and was absolutely stuffed.  Field Goal.  It's obvious this year due to the Gators' superior D, he's afraid of opening it up and making mistakes, preferring the D to carry them.  I say, all the more reason to open it up and make a couple mistakes.  You know the defense will be there to clean up for you.  Sure, maybe Charlie Strong gets a little mad at you when the other team ends up putting 10 or 13 on the scoreboard, but so what?  Especially if you end up putting 40+ up.  Is it just me?

4) Anti-SEC angst again directed in the wrong direction- It's been an abysmal season for officiating in the SEC, and I cannot try to defend or justify it.  Previously, I thought we had the best officials in the game along with the Big 12, due to the level of football being played.  Well, maybe this game has become too fast for them.  Another likely blown call was made in the LSU-Alabama game.  But as easy as it is to criticize the replay official and why do we have replay, blah, blah, blah (by the way, ask the Big Ten how replay is going for them) it was AGAIN not the replay official's fault.  Here's why.  You take a look at the replay.  Clearly his left foot was in bounds.  The problem is, it is not obvious when he secures possession (despite what LSU fans say).  To me, it appeared that he did not secure the ball until his left foot was up.  So now we look at the right.  Did I think he had the right down?  Yes, I do.  Gary Danielson did a fantastic job during the replay showing again why I feel he's the best in the game.  He even pointed out the little bit of grass that seemed to come up with the right foot, and no white grass.  But can I conclusively say it was in?  Conclusively being the opporative word.  No, I can't.  And if I can't say he conclusively had his right foot in, and I can't conclusively say he had possession while his left foot was still down, guess what?  Play stands as called.  Again, I point out, PLAY STANDS AS CALLED.  Somehow, fans and media members have twisted this around using converse logic that had it correctly (imo) been called a pick, it would have been overturned on replay.  SIMPLY NOT TRUE.  There would have been equal (if not less) evidence to not overturn a pick call.  Once again, get mad at the officials on the field who were either out of position or simply inept and made a bad call and then expect the replay official to OVERSTEP his bounds and fix what was not as obvious of a mistake as people like to think.

5) Curb your enthusiasm- After tOSU's domination of Penn State in Happy Valley, some Buckeye fans began jumping off the deep end proclaiming that Terrelle Pryor might not lose another game.  Well, I mean, in a sense they are right.  He MIGHT not lose again.  But likely he will.  Still, with the team he has around him, he shouldn't lose many more, especially if he can build off his performance.  But, one good game does not a career make, and he still has things he needs to work on.  Overall, though, great win by the Buckeyes, who I no longer need to win this week, but just might pull for them all the same (more on this, next).

6) General college musings- Iowa's weekly let's play to the level of our competition and come from behind job is mercifully over, although you never want to see a starting QB go down like that, a week after a through dismantling of the Trojans, the Ducks lay an egg against Stanford (although the Cardinal are a good team), the Hoosiers again do just enough to hang in a game and still lose, and the black shirts get some revenge against their formal arch rival in securing 5 picks in a 10-3 victory over the Sooners that mericfully finally pushed OU out of the Top 25.  By the way, what has become with some of the tradition in college football?  I meant to hit on this a few weeks ago, but Bama Tennessee not being on the 3rd Saturday in October? (Bama played the other USC that week, and the Volunteers were off).  And OU Nebraska not playing each other every year since expending to the Big 12?  As I was telling my good Husker fan HuskerTex, I remember EVERY Thanksgiving weekend watching four football games, Florida Florida State, Auburn Alabama, Texas Texas A&M, and Oklahoma Nebraska.

7) General NFL musings- Huge wins by the Cowboys and Steelers this week.  Why did more people not see Cincy beating Baltimore?  They already did it once, and Cedric Benson, an early candidate for comeback player of the year, ran for over 100 yards against them AGAIN.  It's the 3rd time in 4 games the Ravens have allowed a 100 yard back.  Big win also by the Chargers.  How does Vincent Jackson get that wide open.  Well, first the corner thinks he has (and should have had) safety help, and did, but the safety was far too late getting over.  Of course, part of this is on the corner for not rerouting Jackson inside to where the help should have been and allowing him to get outside where the safety had much more ground to cover (and again, was late doing so).  And the Saints and Colts just continue to find ways to win, again in comeback fashion for the Saints.

8) Some thoughts on the hardwood- We may be in line for another Celtics Lakers Finals matchup.  The Magic look great most nights, but lose by 28 to the Thunder.  Also, Magic might be in a tougher division than previously thought as there may be 3 playoff caliber teams, including the resurgent Heat.  And is LeBron already half way out the door?  That 4-3 start won't help.  Also, college bball tipped off for real on Monday, so expect to see more on that in the coming weeks, especially after football winds down.

9) Icy thoughts- The Lightning are an improved 6-4-5, getting points in all four games on a recent road trip.  Should the playoffs had started Monday, the Lightning would be in it.  The Devils are red-hot (hey, they are the Devils) and now are tied with the Penguins in the East Atlantic (I do make mistakes form time to time).  And the Avalanche continue to amaze getting stellar goaltending, although the Sharks have now passed them for the overall lead in the NHL.

10) BuccinGator's stone cold NFL predicitions- Instead of doing a look ahead this week (although I am really looking forward to the Sunday Night game between the Patriots and Colts), I shall bring you my NFL playoff predictions.  Now that all of the teams (except 2 who have gotten in 9) have played exactly half their season, it's far easier to get reads on the teams and who might make some noise come post season.  Sure, waiting like this makes it easy for me to pick teams like the Colts, Vikings, and Saints, but it also makes it easier to identify the Dolphins and Falcons of last year.  Here's a look back at last year's edition:

Now that we are officially at the half way point of the NFL season, with every team having played 8 games (except for 4 that have played 9), here go my picks for the twelve teams that will be playing come January for a chance to visit my home town of Tampa, Florida on Feb. 9th.  In the AFC, I like the Patriots to hang on to the East, the Titans to win the South (duh), the Steelers to take the north, and the Chargers to luck into the West with no better than a 9-7 record.  For the wild card teams, give me the Ravens (even though they face a brutal schedule including all the teams from the NFC East), and I'll go with a team from the East, give me the Dolphins in a surprise.  The Bills have looked lost recently for some unknown reason and I just don't trust Jet Favre to be careful enough with the ball on what I think is a mediocre team.  In the NFC, I'll take the Giants to win the East, the Packers to squeak by in the North (with no better than a 10-6 record), the Cardinals in the West (another duh).  I'll take the Bucs as one of my wild cards, and the other will obviously go to a team in the East, so let's make it the Eagles, who I think edge out the Redskins.  But wait a minute, I haven't picked my division winner in the South, you might be saying.  Well, the easy thing to do is take the Panthers, who in the end I think will take it (especially if they can handle the Bucs in Carolina), but my official pick on my blog is ... the Atlanta Falcons.  Yes, the worst to first trend continues with a team that everyone thought would be rebuilding, but instead are just recovering from a horrible coach.  So there you have it.  I'll pick official playoff winners once the playoffs are set, but based on these picks, I'll go #3 Patriots over #6 Ravens, #5 Dolphins over #4 Chargers, #1 Titans over #5 Dolphins, #2 Steelers over #3 Patriots, #2 Steelers over #1 Titans.  In the NFC, give me #5 Buccaneers over #4 Packers, #6 Eagles over #3 Cardinals, #1 Giants over #6 Eagles, #5 Buccaneers over #2 Falcons (hey, how about that, two divisional matchups in the divisional round.  Wouldn't that be neat?) #1 Giants over #5 Buccaneers, and finally, in Tampa, Giants over Steelers.  There you have it, folks.

As you can see, I got 9 out of the twelve teams correct (couldn't see the Colts late season run or the Bucs choke job).  I did also call the Chargers lucking into the AFC West last year.  Don't know what I was thinking taking the Pack and TT's big ego.  And, I had the Jets pegged better than most of the experts.  So here they are, this year's NFL playoff predictions culminating with who I think ends up in Miami.  For the AFC East, it's an easy pick with the Patriots.  South another slam dunk with the Colts.  In the North, I like the Steelers to edge out the Bengals, while both make the playoffs, the loser securing one of the AFC's wild cards.  In the West, gotta go Broncos, although they appear to be slipping somewhat, and the Chargers are hanging around.  For the last wild card spot, I just don't trust the Jets or Ravens enough, so I think it comes down to the Texans and Chargers, with the Chargers winning out.  In the NFC, give me the Eagles to win the East despite their hiccup against the Cowboys, the Saints to win the South (duh), the Vikings in the North (double duh), and in the West, it's got to be the Cardinals with the 49ers disappointing the way they are.  For the two wild cards, I'll take the Cowboys and the Falcons.  So here's how I see the playoffs.  In the AFC, I like #3 Patriots over #6 Chargers and #5 Bengals over #4 Broncos in a revenge game, then, #1 Colts over #5 Bengals and #2 Steelers over #3 Patriots in what should be a great game if it happens.  Home field and defense I think will win out.  For the AFC Championship, I'm going to go with the upset and go #2 Steelers over #1 Colts granting Sixburgh their second consecutive trip to Florida.  For the NFC, I like #3 Cardinals over #6 Cowboys (Cowboys still can't win a playoff game or get revenge for 1998) and #5 Falcons over #4 Eagles in what would be a tight game.  Then, #1 Saints over #5 Falcons and #2 Vikings over #3 Cardinals.  Then in what should be a heck of an NFC Championship game which will most likely be in a dome (will be if my top two seeds are there), #1 Saints over #2 Vikings where home field again becomes a factor.  And for Super Bowl LXIV in Miami, I can't believe I'm saying this as it will make Saints fans more obnoxious than normal (although it'd be a great story for the true Saints fans like some of the ones you see in the Super Dome), I'll take the Saints to beat the Steelers.  They just seem to have enough on defense and have finally realized that Bush is overrated and exactly how and when he needs to be used, that I will go ahead and go with them.  I really hope I'm wrong, however (at least with them).
Posted on: October 13, 2009 7:58 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 5:44 pm
 

10 (plus 3) Things I Learned the Week of Oct.12th

With Halloween fast approaching, this week, I give you, my loyal fans, the treat of a baker's dozen of topics that enlightened me in the sports world this week.  Usually, I keep these to 10, so as not to get too verbose, but certain weeks (I had one last year around Thanksgiving), no matter how hard I try and combine up my points, 10 just isn't enough.  And looking ahead to next week's slate of games, it might very well happen again.  The remote will be smokin' this weekend.

1) Huskers shuck Mizzou- In a game played under a heavy downpour, Nebraska could have easily packed it in going into the fourth quarter down 12-0, but instead amped up the D and used two picks to help Zac Lee throw 3 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter en route to ringing up 27 unanswered (missed a 2 pt. conversion) and a huge 27-12 victory over Big 12 north rivals Missouri.  Now the game later this year against Kansas looms big time and could determine who goes into Cowboys stadium on Dec. 5th.

2) Badgers/Tigers not yet ready for primetime- No, I'm not talking about the good ol' days of SNL, I'm talking about the current season of Saturday college football.  Two teams that were struggling for early respect despite being undefeated went down on Saturday afternoon.  I knew that Auburn's defense was inconsitent at best and Arkansas could score, but the fact that Auburn's offense took until the second half to show up, and by then it was already far too late, was a huge surprise.  As for Wisconsin, if you look at the pure stats, you'd think that they won the game, but they did just enough not only to keep tOSU in it, but win it convincingly.  You'd think there was no way since tOSU's offense had less than 200 yards, but there was all kinds of hidden return yardage for both the tOSU defense and special teams.  In fact, they accounted for three touchdowns for the Buckeyes.  Further proof that stats can lie.  The showdown in the Horseshoe on Nov. 14th looks huge now, and will likely decide who plays in Pasadena (no, not on the 7th).

3) Where's Johnathan Crompton and what have you done with him?- Look, I've already been on UGA's offense this year, looking basically lost losing Stafford and Moreno from last year, but I thought it was an absolute physical IMPOSSIBILITY for ANYBODY to make Johnathan Crompton look like the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Afterall, I forget if it was going into this game or the Auburn game last week, but here was a QB who's coach had ZERO faith in him as reflected by the offensive play calling, and had thrown 8 TD's and NINE PICKS on the season.  If I was Mark Richt, who I love as a coach, I'd want to hide after that defensive showing.  I do love ANYTHING that humiliates the Bulldog program, though, even if it is seeing Lane get his first SEC win.  Wonder if he was up all night Saturday singing "Rocky Top?"

4) Some "Snead" remarks about Jevan- Ugh!  So much for all that talk about Heisman darkhorse and number 1 overall draft pick.  This kid looks absolutely lost this season.  And his frustration is showing more and more every game.  Now, as much as I'd like to hang it all around his neck, okay, so not really, but a lot of the media and Ole Miss fans do, it's simply not ALL his fault.  First off, he needs some people around him to start to step up and make some plays.  But most of all, AT LEAST half of his problems I hang firmly around the necks of his offensive linemen.  Todd McShay ran a good piece on ESPN's College Gameday showing two clips from the South Carolina game.  On the first clip, South Carolina rushed TWO, count 'em, TWO people on the play, and Snead was still sacked.  That's unforgivable.  And so what does Houston Nutt do in response to this?  Well, since we can't block two with five, we'll keep BOTH running backs in for extra protection.  The result of this play?  South Carolina rushes three people against the seven, and while Snead had plenty of time, he has THREE receivers going up against EIGHT men in coverage!  Do you think anybody was open?  Nope, didn't think so.  So say what you will about the kid buying into his own hype, whatever, but there are some serious issues with one of the media darlings who was supposed to contend with Alabama for the SEC West this year.

5) Hold that Tiger- Really.  Did the experts not see this one coming?  Well, seeing as how Darst was the only one on this website to pick the Gators, and Kirk Herbstreit was the only one on Gameday to call it (more on this in a bit), even getting ribbed by Corso, obviously not.  Everybody was so wrapped up in the Tebow/No Tebow/Will he play/Won't he play (more on this next point) what effect will it have on the Gators that they somehow forgot that the Gators sported going into the game, the NUMBER 1 DEFENSE in the nation and the NUMBER 1 running game in the nation.  These remain whether Tebow or Brantley is under center.  Overall, a brilliant game plan by Urban Meyer to get a tough SEC road victory.  Florida was ABSOLUTELY DOMINANT of both sides of the line of scrimmage.  It's one thing to let your opponent know you're going to run dive plays 80% of the time early on.  To still do it and do it effectively against a team with the athletes on defense that the LSU Tigers possess is another.  And kudos to Herbstreit, for not only pointing out that Tebow will play (according to Herbstreit, he thought Tebow would play great.  I thought he played well, and as good as could be expected due to the concussion), but calling out the Gator defense, specifically Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Spikes and predicting they would play great and carry the Gators to the win.  While Dunlap played well, Spikes was a man amongst boys, and word came out that Herbstreit's comments made their way to the Tim Tebow of the Gators D, and he used it as motivation.  In fact, Meyer came out today and said if anybody else in the media wants to make similar comments about Tebow or Riley Cooper, to be his guest.  And to all the people (in particular Pac-10 fans who have absolutely no grounds to stand on whatsoever) who were calling this a boring game and the SEC overrated, this was good clean defensive, ram the ball down your throat and you can't stop us football.  And, it was the perfect gameplan for the situation.  If you don't believe that, just ask the previous 32 Saturday night opponents of LSU in death valley and ask them what their result was.  Offense is sexy, sells tickets, and can win you games, but defense wins championships.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  If you don't believe it, look up who's won the last three BCS National Titles and will likely be favored to do so a fourth time. 

6) I'm not a neuropathologist, but I'll darn sure play one in the newspaper/internet- Can the media stop already with the ridiculous pre-guessing and second guessing involved with Tebow playing the LSU game?  I'm sorry, Greg Doyle and William Rhoden, but I'll darn sure take the UF medical staff's opinion over yours any day.  I guess your journalism degrees somehow came with a minor in sports medicine.  I mentioned after the Kentucky game that it wasn't going to be Urban Meyer or Tim Tebow who decided on whether Tebow would be able to play, it would be the doctors.  None of the ridiculous speculation by these Web MD's changed that.  And honestly, with the D and running game, I believe that UF wins the game with John Brantley, so why risk it if he's not 100%.  I think the fact Tebow was on the field meant that he was (although obviously the playbook was scaled back a bit.  Sure didn't seem to shy away from contact, though, did he?).  Oh, and guess what?  Tate Forcier of Michigan has a concussion and has already been stated he will start if cleared.  Where's the outcry against Rich Rodriguez and Forcier should not play articles?

7) Horns Hooked in AP- Had to calm down a bunch of Longhorn fans this week who got their panties in a bunch because Alabama overtook them at number 2 in the AP poll.  First off, in the two human polls that are used in the BCS formula, Texas is still number 2.  Secondly, should the big three keep winning out, there's this little game in Atlanta on Dec. 5th that either Alabama or Florida will have to lose, so even at number three, keep taking care of your own business, and everything will work itself out.  Honestly, I'm not impressed by the fact that Texas seemingly has to throw the switch in the second half every week.  And if you don't think Florida and Alabama are the two best teams right now, we'll show you on Dec. 5th and again on Jan. 7th, IMHO (of course, one of them can lose before then, and I'll look pretty stupid.  I'll take my chances right now, though).  However, worrying about these things on Oct. 11th when any/all (we already know at least one will have to) of them can still lose is pointless.

8) DolphinMania runs wild(cat) on the Jets- Wow, what a game last night.  Another classic MNF in the rivalry between these two teams.  Honestly, I was a bit surprised that with defenses on both teams I would consider to be in the top half of the NFL, that neither team seemed to really be able to stop the other.  In the end, though, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski seemed to be the only ones outside the Dolphins offense who realized that on 3rd and goal from the three, with ten seconds left AND A TIMEOUT, that Miami just might run the ball.  As they both astutely pointed out, you get stopped, you call the TO and go for it on fourth down.

9) The best and worst of the NFL so far- Can you believe that the two best teams in the NFL right now might have met in week one, with one taking a miracle play to beat the other in the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals?  Honestly, you look at all the undefeated teams, and nobody's played anybody except for these two, and they are still winning (yes, obviously the Bengals have the one loss).  On the flip side, I believe the Rams are the worst team, but if I had to pick a team to go winless this season, the team with the best chance based on their schedules is my Bucs.  And somebody PLEASE explain to me how a team has a QB go 2 for 17 passing and still wins the game?  And why is JaMarcus Russell still a starting QB in this league?  Just how many wasted first rounders are the Raiders going to have (that DHB pick looks awesome right now)?  Couldn't happen to a more hapless, senile owner.

10) Some NHL thoughts- Well, the Lightning pulled off the 4 point minimum I wanted last week (although not the way I expected) going 1-0-2, then picked up a huge win against the Panthers last night.  Right now, they are currently in first place in their division and have more points than the Redwings.  The Bolts D is playing better as of late.  The fact that this team still remains unable to score in shootouts, however, is bothersome at best.  The defending champion Penguins are off to a hot start amassing 10 points already.

11) A special look ahead to Thursday night's NCAA game- I usually don't take a whole point for a look ahead, but this week's Thursday night game is huge for the Big East.  Regardless of who wins, they need these two teams to put on a great show to bring some respect and interest back to the league, and I believe they'll do it.  It was mentioned during a recent Big East broadcast I was watching that the league needs Pitt to win to carry this league, but I just don't argee with it.  I think both Cincinnati and USF are perfectly capable of performing this function, and I think the winner of this game is likely to play in Miami on January 5th.  Of course, Pitt being undefeated in the conference is still not out of conversation, but I also think West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers when they play well, can all help this league.

12) Weekly look ahead- Wow, let's see.  In college, give me the aforementioned Bearcat Bulls game, the Red River shootout to see if OU's vastly improved D can carry their struggling (by their standards) O, Arkansas Florida to create a second common opponent for UF and Alabama to compare them better (I think UF had a better showing at Kentucky than Alabama did which somehow gets overlooked), Alabama South Carolina to see where these two teams really stack up, USC Notre Dame to see just how Doyle's number one QB in the land does against a real defense (a lot of people are picking the Irish in this game, which would be a huge blow to both the Pac-10 and my keep ND out of the BCS hopes), Nebraska Texas Tech to see if the black shirts can slow down the suddenly revamped and rerevved Red Raiders offense, and Virginia Tech Georgia Tech in what should be one of the better ACC matchups of the year.  If the Hokies dominate, look for them to enter the title picture if one of the big 3 slips up.  Like I said, the remote will be smoking.  For the pros, give me Carolina Tampa Bay sorry, I'll actually be in attendance for that debacle (although it could be worse, I could have tickets to KC Washington), the Giants Saints to see which nts team stays unbeaten, Vikings Ravens to see if Baltimore can recover from two straight tough losses, Bears Falcons to see which one of these teams is likely for real and wild card material, and finally Broncos Chargers to see if Denver can keep it going with a tough road game.  Good slate for the paid athletes as well.

13) MLB LDS look back and LCS predicitions- Well, I got three out of four right, although I had all of them going longer than what they did.  I knew Boston had some holes, but didn't expect them to get exposed that thoroughly by LA, especially since I thought playing in the AL East would toughen them up.  TBS lost a lot of money by all of the series ending so quick.  But that can happen in short series.  I know last year, Philly beat LA in the LCS, but I just think the Dodgers have too much for them this year.  Don't see it going less than 6, however (in fact, I'll call it Dodgers in 6), and as much as I hate to, I'll go Yankees in 5 setting up the LAD NYY series you know baseball is praying for for not only the east coast west coast thing, but also the Torre back to New York thing and Manny against the Yankees.
Posted on: October 6, 2009 7:51 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 9:02 pm
 

10 Things I learned the Week of Oct. 5th

Welcome again, my friends, to another installment of that sports knowledge that was imparted upon me this week which I shall now share with all of you.  And just to show that I'm not all about the Gators and/or the SEC (although those who read regularly already know), my verbose point of the week shall be about a certain team from Tallahassee and their coach whom I have a world of respect for, even coaching the enemy.

1) NHL season underway- But not the start for my Bolts that I was hoping for, dropping their opener 6-3 against the Thrashers.  I'm still hoping for a better defense and more points this season.  That was a little disappointing giving up 6 goals, though.

2) The "U" upgraded from Tropical Storm to category 3- Wow, huge win for the Canes and Jacory Harris, who rebounded very nicely after throwing two early picks.  What a leader this kid is turning out to be.  The Hurricanes could have let last week's horrid performance and early troubles inundate them, but instead held it together for an impressive win.  The Hurricanes could possibly lose only the one game and be a second representative for the ACC in the BCS (unless Va Tech loses a couple in conference, in which case they could be THE representative).  By the way, can we please abolish preseason polls?  Oklahoma is still in the Top 25 with two loses because of what?  Oh yeah, they started number 2.  How can you rank them and not an undefeated Wisconsin team?  Now, don't get me wrong, in no way am I suggesting that the Badgers are better.  Most likely, Oklahoma beats them.  But until Wisconsin loses a game, how can a TWO loss team be in front of them.  And what if the Badgers don't lose?  Eventually they have to leapfrog the Sooners, right?  Right???  Actually, unfortunately, it's not likely to happen.

3) The football gods officially have it in for me- Gyah!!!!  That was heartwrenching to watch Washington choke away two shots close to the goalline like that and have the domers come back and beat them, extending my worries that ND will make a BCS bowl game.  Kudos to the Irish defense for stepping up like that, but come on Sark!!!  The runs to the middle were not working.  Mix in a roll out with a run/pass option.  I'm not going to get on the officials for blowing the two point conversion call which I immediately saw on the first replay that he was down.  Afterall, I think Sark had his challenge left.  But that didn't cost them the game.  The ineffeciency I previously mentioned did.

4) Speaking of Gyah's- I pick my Bucs to win over the hapless Redskins, and what thanks do I get?  Missed FG's, no adjustments, and a loss.  This team's best (and possibly only) shot of winning a game is in two weeks when the Panthers come to town.  If they lose there, 0-16 is not out of the question.  And could we please throw Josh Freeman to the wolves already and see what we might have in our first round draft pick from this year?  This season is lost, and Josh Johnson is not the answer.  Sure he gives you mobility and a faster delivery, but lacks everything else Leftwich brings to the table.  Honestly, Leftwich never should have been pulled until Freeman was ready to play, which even in that case is hopefully sooner rather than later.

5) Giving credit where it is due- Have to give props to the Saints, which is hard for me because I can't stand their win nothing, think their crap doesn't stink fans, but that was a huge win over the J-E-T-S.  I'm still not sold the Saints D will be able to stand up for a whole season, but for one game, they won it for them.

6) Cal Bleakly- Boy, what a fraud this team was.  People thought they were going to be the ones to challenge USC?  People figured out if you shut down Jahvid Best, whose Heisman Hopes are now officially zero, there isn't anybody else on this offense that's going to beat you.  And who is the leader of the Pac-10 at this point in the season?  Would you believe it's the Stanford Cardinal?  No joke.

7) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 1- Well, at least unlike the Pac-10's head of officiating who defended the worst call in history last year, the SEC's head ref stepped up and admitted they screwed up throwing a flag on Georgia Bulldog receiver A.J. Green after making one of the most incredible catches I've ever seen, the fact is that that flag has to stay in the pocket in the first place.  Actually, more likely the rule needs to be changed, but as the 90,000 people in attendance and millions watching at home clearly saw, Green made no jesture.  It would have been kind of hard from the middle of the mass of humanity that was his teammates congratulating him on his spectacular play.  But don't get me wrong, UGA fans.  this DID NOT cost you the game.  Again, blaming it on officials is loser speak, and there is the little matter of kicking off TO Trendon Holliday and giving up a 40+ yard return which likely would have happened regardless of kicking from the 30 or the 15, and not being able to wrap up on Charles Scott and everybody else seemingly giving up on the play when the defender SHOULD have had him on the turf.  THAT cost you the game, and LSU DESERVED to win.  And the only thing worse than all of this?  The make up call on Scott after his touchdown.  Under NO circumstance should you EVER compound one horrific call with another trying to level the field.  And deny it all you want, but if that wasn't a make up call, then I'm not a Gator fan.  Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.  Point is, you don't ever want to be worried about your team scoring a touchdown because some ref might get a little overzealous.

8) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 2- I had the Pats-Ravens football field thingy on NFL.com several times during Sunday as I had the Ravens in my Pick 'Em pools and knew it would be an important swing game.  Twice I saw as the Pats had the ball just past the 50, Personal Foul, Roughing the Quartback on the Ravens.  Then I heard about Ray Lewis' remarks after the game.  Even being right, I figured he was going to be fined for speaking his mind, especially since he was questioning the officiating, which is a definite no-no in the NFL.  Shoot, on one play, it looked like the flag was thrown simply because Tom Brady whined for it.  Well, I heard today on the radio that Ray Ray will not be fined for what he said, which means one of two things.  Either A) Our Refs really F'ed up, or B) Our rules are F'ed up and need to be revisited after the season.  Most likely, it's the latter, and to me, and to many other people, it appears that the league has far too many rules in the name of "Protecting the Player" that is detracting from the game.  Pretty soon, football will become 7 on 7 where the offensive and defensive lines are eliminated, and it's man on man, including a defender to shadow the QB who can't touch him until he gets near the line of scrimmage.  Seems this is what they want.  Oh, and no making a good hard hit on the receiver, either.

9) Bored of Untrustees- First off, I will make this clear.  Even as a Gator fan, I have a huge amount of respect for Bobby Bowden and what he has accomplished.  I was adminantly PO'ed this offseason as it was suggested he lose 14 wins for playing players that to the best of his knowledge that were eligible, while the school which allowed itself to get swallowed up in an academic scandal that encompassed SIXTY ONE of its athletes in NINE sports got off with nary a slap on the wrist.  To me, nothing screamed lack of institutional control more than this case, and made me yearn for the days of bowl probations and losing t.v. revenue.  You want to stem something like this, hit the university in the pocketbook, don't punish a coach by vacating wins.  Not like Duke is going to show a victory for that game anyway.  Now word comes from Monday of the head of the Seminoles Board of Trustees, who I can only define as a world class moron.  Here are the quotes that came from his way. 

"We've got too many bosses out there," Smith said.

"Jimbo is in a very, very tough situation where people assume he has a whole lot more authority than he really has," Smith told the Associated Press. "He's getting blamed for a lot of things that's just not his fault."


Really, too many bosses?  I count one.  A coach in waiting does not count as a boss.  And if coordinators count as bosses, then yes, there are too many as this would make Mickey Andrews and the special teams coach a boss, too, but no team is run like that.  Fisher's situation is clearly outlined to him, and as far as getting blamed for a lot of things that just are not his fault, I'll blame him for one thing that is his fault.  He is the offensive coordinator, correct?  He, or one of HIS OWN assistants call the plays, correct?  Then I blame him for having a offense that has the consistancy of an elderly man's bowel movements on a low fiber diet!  And don't give me recruiting, either.  Yes, it hasn't been up to standards at FSU recently, but do you really think Fisher has no input, especially with offensive players?  Give me a break!!!  And he continues:

Smith said Fisher should take over following Florida State's last game this season.


Too bad this isn't the board of trustees' decision and you have no direct say in it whatsoever.

Smith said that arrangement has resulted in division among the Florida State staff, an accusation Seminole coaches have vehemently denied.

"I know coaches are sniping at each other and that's just terrible," Smith said Monday. "There are too many mixed signals."


Really???  And you know this from what?  Your close, intimate, first hand knowledge of the team?  You'd swear HE was a coach at FSU.  Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of dissent between Bowden and Andrews, life long friends.  And if there is division between Fisher and Bowden, which I don't believe there is, especially since Jimbo has yet to produce on his end of the field, well then, there might be another agenda at work there, so forgive me if I put absolutely no stock in it whatsoever.

He also said fundraising has slowed significantly, and the school has an obligation to fans and alumni to be competitive.

"I take absolutely no pleasure in this," Smith said. "I love Bobby Bowden, but I tell you what, I love FSU more."


Ah, and at last we arrive at the only true statement from this genius, and the true crux of his problem.  Fundraising is down.  Imagine that.  First off, Bobby can't go out there and play for these kids, so I apologize for the sudden downturn in which you have your first losing record since Bowden's first year.  Yes, that hurts a little, but, clown, fundraising is down everywhere.  There's this thing called the economy, which maybe you're not up on current events, but it hasn't been doing all too great as of late.  The fact of the matter is you have little power and no immediate knowledge of the current situation there, so dude, please, STFU (and no, I'm not talking about John Cena's finishing move).  If anybody's earned the right to go out on his own terms, it's Bobby.  Besides, sure didn't hear you or any of the other Nole faithful complaining as he was delivering a record 14 straight top 4 finishes to you, and I'm sure ALL KINDS of fundraising dollars.  Guess you didn't invest wisely when you had the money.

10) Weekly look ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are, surprise, surprise, the Florida LSU game to see who can stake early lead to conference supremacy, Alabama Ole Miss to see if Jevan Sneed can rebound or if the Tide continue to roll, Nebraska Missouri to see who's the early leader for the Big 12 North, and Ohio State Wisconsin to see if the Badgers are for real, or if they're simply Badgering me wanting to put them ahead of two loss Oklahoma.  In the NFL, give me New England Denver, Jets Miami, and Redskins Panthers wait, that's another suckfest.  Also give me the start of the MLB playoffs, which is really underway right now with a tight one going on in Minnesota.  Also, my Bolts play three games this week against teams currently 0-2.  They need to take at least 4, preferably 5 or 6 points from them.  I'll update after today to give you my MLB playoff predictions.

Update: MLB Playoff Predictions- Wow what a game tonight in Minnesota.  Unfortunately, I don't think it bodes well for them having to turn around and play tomorrow in New York.  At least they get a day off after that.  Anyways, here's what I think for the playoff series.
Philadelphia over Colorado in 5
Los Angeles over St. Louis in 5 (both cases just because of home field.  Think the NL is very evenly matched)
New York over Minnesota in 4 (Yankees should win game 1)
Boston over Los Angeles in 4 (I know LA will be out for revenge after last year, just don't think it'll work)
Posted on: January 7, 2009 10:28 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2009 8:25 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Jan. 5th

I'm a little under the weather and under the gun this week, so I'm only doing a half dose.  Update: Now that I'm feeling better, and over my celebratory hangover from Thursday night (Go Gators!!!), I'm expanding this week's installment back to 10.  There were other things I definitely wanted to hit on.  I considered doing part 2 of this week under next week's entry, but decided instead to finish it, and just post a link next week back to this one.

1) Just exactly how good is the Big 12 Conference - A strange thought entered my head during the Fiesta Bowl in the final moments before Ohio State's defensive coordinator suffered a mental lapse of epic proportions.  Had Ohio State held on to that game, the Big 12 conference would have been 3-3 going into the BCS Championship game.  The real funny thing would have been, though, that all three wins would have come from teams in the north, which was the inferior division this year.  Now while these games have no bearing on the title game and the better team should win, it makes me question just how strong the "strongest" conference was this year.  Update:  I think the answer to this question is now clearly a resounding, "Not as strong as everybody (including myself) thought they were!"  Still doesn't change the fact that they were the best conference this year (or that the SEC had a down year despite 6-2), but sheesh!

2) Could Mack Brown and Pete Carroll please STFU - Oh my god!!!!  Are these two coaches clueless.  Hey Mack, there's no way that IMPRESSIVE victory on THE LAST PLAY over a tOSU team you were SUPPOSED to destroy is going to convince voters in the AP to vote Texas number 1.  In fact, they might be lucky to be voted number 4 behind the winner of the title game, Utah, and USC.  When you say there will be a split title come Friday, that may be, but it won't be the Longhorns splitting it, genius.  Now, on to Carroll, who's team might get some first place votes.  You come out and say "Nobody can beat this USC team"?  Not, I think this team is the best in the country?  Not, nobody's playing better right now than we are?  Guess what.  Somebody DID beat this USC team, which is why they were playing in the ROSE BOWL.  You might have remembered them.  They were called Oregon State.  Honestly, if there is a split title on Friday (doubt it, especially if Florida wins since they are already number 1 in that poll), the team with the best case is Utah.  Afterall, they are the only undefeated team in all of the FBS.

3) My Predictions are going south - I don't want to look at what my bowl record is, and my NFL predictions were 1-3 after amazingly 2 home teams won (and not the one I picked to do so, sorry Yo) despite all 4 road teams being favored.  Honestly, the most suprising was San Diego over Indy (and Jay Cutler, please come on down for your dose of STFU).  Honestly, if it wasn't for the Chargers mistakes, Indy wouldn't have even been in that game.  Just goes to show that the any given Sunday rule applies even to the playoffs.  Since I picked all four home teams this round anyway, I won't bother repicking (since they should {hopefully} win).

4) The forgotten third team - I'm surprised by all the OU and UF fans who think this game will be a blowout, with their team reaching potentially the 60's in scoring.  I just don't see it.  I see it being a close game with both teams in the thirties (for a total in the sixties).  First off, I'm tired of UF and OU fans defending thier team/conference by using the "Big 12 plays no defense" and "The SEC has no offense" lines.  Simply put, OU will be the best offense that UF will play this year, and UF will be the best defense OU will play this year, and anybody not accepting this is just refusing to take off their homer glasses.  But if my predicition is correct of it being a close, potentially lower scoring game, then special teams could play a huge role, and this is where UF has a clear advantage and will hopefully cash in big time.  People tend to easily overlook it, but special teams can put up huge hidden numbers.  With all they're great returns and punt blocks, how many times did the Gators have a short field this year?  Not only does starting from the 50+ greatly increase your chances of a TD, but it's hard to rack up huge offensive numbers when you do so 25% of the time.  The only way OU is likely to operate on a short field is if they force turnovers, something they are very good at doing, but UF is very good at avoiding.  Now maybe this won't be a factor in the game, and maybe OU wins anyway, but I feel this will lead to ...

5) BuccinGator's BCS Championship Game Prediction - UF 37 OU 31

6) Geaux LSU - Wow, I did not see that beat down coming on Dec. 31st.  In fact, to my embarassment, I had it completely the other way.  After watching Georgia Tech just manhandle Miami and Georgia, getting something like 400+ yards rushing in EACH GAME, I thought LSU would be completely overmatched, especially since they struggled defensively this year.  This, and I felt Georgia Tech was the best team in the ACC (guess it really was Virginia Tech.  By the way, is there a conference that is stronger in the middle but weaker at the top than the ACC?  Simply put, no).  Well, I'll happily eat my crow on this one.  Part of the problem is I used cyclical logic on this one, which I should know better than to do.  I figured since GT destroyed Georgia, and Georgia destroyed LSU ... well you see where that went.  It's the same logic that most year's will allow you do say that a FCS school should be national champs (because they beat team W that beat team X that beat team Y that beat team Z that beat the national champs).  Ugh.

7) Utes in (and display some) good hands at Allstate Sugar Bowl - What a great game for Utah.  I think Alabama was surprised by the speed and tenacity that Utah displayed.  Alabama did show some guts in cutting it from 21-0 to 21-17 in the second half, but honestly, the only time Bama was really close in that game was the opening coin toss.  To some degree, this was caused by Utah realizing that this game was their Super Bowl.  With as good as the Mountain West was this year, maybe next year Utah and/or TCU will start off high enough in the polls that they will have a legitimate shot at Pasadena next year.  The rest of this might have been caused by ...

8) Andre the Giant Mistake - Where the heck was this kid's head?  Talking to an agent BEFORE he plays his final game?  I think he was a senior (Bamaman, feel free to add a comment and correct me if I'm wrong), which means he won't be in the Senior Bowl, either.  Now while he has the talent where he'll still be a first rounder, this didn't help him at all.  More over, it hurt his team, big time.  You can't do anything this blatantly silly, especially right before a major bowl game.  Way to go, Smith!

9) Rebeling against the Raiders - What a game put in by Ole Miss (Arkansas fans ... again, you wanted Petrino over Nutt?  I'm going to keep hammering this until it sinks in.  Not only is Nutt a better coach, but Petrino is a certifiable TRAITOR.  You'll learn the hard way soon enough when he realizes the SEC is over his head, just like the NFL was).  I had this game as being much closer than most people thought, and the Rebs did not disappoint.  I was telling everyone who would listen (SEC fans {especially Georgia fans}, Big 12 fans {especially Texas Tech fans}, and Big 10 fans {especially Iowa fans, because I wanted to see them here in Tampa}) that Ole Miss was the third best team in the SEC this year, and they went out and proved it on the field.  Jevan Sneed will be a stud.  In a down year for SEC QB play, he was a bright spot.

10) Matt Ryan will be a great QB, but don't crown him yet - There was talk about the midway point of the NFL season of considering Matt Ryan for NFL MVP.  I quickly pointed out on a thread that such talk was ridiculous and WAY too early, but he was a deserving offensive ROY (although I told people then not to forget about Forte.  I had Ryan winning it back then, be he was CLEARLY deserving after the season).  The point here, though, maybe Michael Turner was more worthy of MVP talk.  After all, in the games where I saw him get shut down (the first Panthers and Buccaneers games for ATL), Matt Ryan looked VERY MUCH like a lost rookie.  HUGE kudos to the Arizona Cardinals for doing the same thing and getting the same result. 

Posted on: November 19, 2008 1:04 am
Edited on: November 19, 2008 10:13 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Nov. 17th

Yea!  I'm posting on time!  Just got back from the Lightning game (well not just, stopped by Iamyo's blog to vote on songs, first), so that's where I'll lead off after the big news coming down on Friday.  And thank you NFL for making it very easy for me to come of with ten topics after what I thought was going to be a blah weekend (or curse you NFL for making me make some tough decisions to keep it to ten, depending on how you want to look at it).

1) So long, Mullet - No, this is not going to be a good-bye and good ridance point.  Instead, this is going to be a rip owner Oren Clueless point.  First off, you didn't give the man enough time.  Despite the team's poor performances, they were only 6 points out of first at the time.  Secondly, way to show some cajones (not).  Great job letting the inmates run the asylum.  Thirdly, it's absolutely beautiful that you are paying TWO coaches not to coach now.  Guess Saw VI is already in production.  Gotta get that money somewhere.  Plus, it's not like the team is performing much better now that Melrose is gone.  In the game tonight, I saw too much cross ice passing, no players in posistion for rebounds (which Vokoun gave up a ton on the FIFTY shots he faced), and a goalie who makes all the spectacular saves, but gives up the softest goals I've ever seen.  Two of the Panthers three goals tonight were on shots from the blue line, and the third was a soft shot from in front of the net in which he was horribly off balance.  Plus, he commits too early.  That's why they lost in the shootout.  If the one Panther player doesn't lose control, he would have allowed goals on both shots.  Plus, why can't the Lightning players score in shootouts?  This should be an area they excel in.  This team has some major problems, and I don't think anybody in the organization knows how to fix them.  Oh, and one more thing, why is St. Louis on the point on the power play?  Did he develop a 100+ MPH slap shot I don't know about.  His two greatest assets are his agility and his ability to steal the puck, and they are being wasted back there.

2) I always wondered what the "T" in the standings stood for - Just like Donovan McNabb, I had no idea NFL games could end in ties.  I thought they settled it like soccer and lined up five receivers in the end zone, sent out one DB, and the QB had to see how many he could complete from the 20 yard line.  If it was still tied after that, they back up the QB's five yards until one QB hits his receiver and the other doesn't.  You are the leader of an NFL franchise.  You have played this game for many years.  And you didn't know one of the most basic rules????  A rule that was explained to you during the OT coin toss????  A coin toss you were present for as a captain of the team????  And you hope the Super Bowl doesn't end this way????  This is all absolutely inexcusible.  This is the same QB and same head coach that faced a 10-6-1 Atlanta Falcons team in the 2003 playoffs (for the 2002 season) on their way to getting their butts handed to them by the better looking Barber twin.  What the heck did they think the -1 stood for?  That Atlanta suffered a rainout at some point?  That they didn't have enough healthy players to continue one game?  McNabb is a joke.

3) Caveat Emptor -  Unfortunately, I didn't know the latin phrase for "Let the bettor beware."  I couldn't believe (especially with today's economy) that $100 million was bet on the Steeler game against the Chargers.  And because an NFL officiating crew outthought themselves and applied a proper rule improperly, and changed a correct call to an incorrect call, 2/3 of those millions were swept away into the Vegas economy (maybe the housing market out there will improve, now).  Now, I have no sympathy for those that thought they had won and instead held a worthless ticket.  There's always a chance of that when you gamble.  My concern is, though, that these lost points MAY end up coming back in a tie breaker for the playoffs.  Doesn't happen often, but I remember one year (I want to say 1998) where it did.  It was a tie breaker between the Packers, Cowboys, and one other team.  I remember hearing the experts breaking down how the Packers had a +8 differential while the Cowboys had a -24, so they had to make up 32 points, or whatever it was.  Anyway, how is it that people that should INHERITANTLY knows the rules (players, coaches, referees) don't (or at the very least, apply them incorrectly).  This is becoming appalingly scary.  Thanks to the gaffe, though, it was the first 11-10 final in NFL history.

4) Um, say what? - Is there something in the water in Minnesota (maybe it's all them lakes) that makes people see things differently from the rest of us?  First, there was a columnist for the Star-Tribune who called the offensive PI call on Bobby Wade near the end of the game questionable at best.  Questionable at best?  There was absolutely NO question about it.  If he doesn't interfere with Aqib Talib, Talib has an easy pick.  Fortunately, most of the people up there told him to take his homer glasses off.  Now, Brad Childress comes out today and says that not only does he believe that DE Ray Edwards shouldn't be fined, but he thinks Jeff Garcia should have been flagged for intentional grounding.  Um, coach, want to watch the replay again?  You can do it without slow motion, since you said that's what was making people draw the conclussions they were drawing.  First off, Edwards hit Garcia SECONDS (not a second, SECONDS) after he released the ball taking close to three steps to get there.  That's the very definition of roughing, and has been for years.  That was in the books long before all this driving into the turf, leading with the helmet, going low on a QB stuff began.  And then he said Garcia should have been called for intentional grounding because he left the pocket, then went back in?  Coach, you might want to check the rule book again.  I don't think there's anything in there for that.  Another case of someone who should know the rules who doesn't.  No coach, you're more worried about Edwards possibly getting suspended, and being without your ENTIRE starting defensive line.  Oh, and great play calling late in the game, too.  Way to shut down the best RB in the league FOR US.

5) Keep on Rolling - No, I'm not talking about Alabama, who scared me to death in the first half before they woke up and took care of business in the second.  I'm talking about the University of Florida Gators, who have just been on a phenominal tear since dropping the game to Ole Miss.  After that game, Tim Tebow promised that you would never see anybody work harder, and he's lived up to it, with the rest of his teammates joining him.  In the last three games, they have made three of the best defenses in the nation look silly.  They force you to try to run gimmicks to beat them, as Spurrier did with the kickoff throwback that blew up in their face.  In the Vandy game, the only way Vandy's defense got off the field in the first half was with the help of a blind replay booth.  By the way, Florida has scored on all but two of its red zone trips this year, one on the aforementioned Harvin fumble that was a TD (or at the very least not a fumble), and one when they took a knee in the Tennessee game.  That's SCARY effeciency.  I know some of this is due to the SEC being down this year.  Even as an SEC honk, I can admit it.  This is mostly due to a huge drop in the QB play this year.  But hey, they're still clearly the second best conference, without there even being a close third.  Some down year.

6) A look back - Several weeks ago, I wrote this in my blog: Commodore 64's - If you were to suggest to Vanderbilt fans that this would be their record after 10 games this year, I'm sure most of them would have been ecstatic.  Well, they'll have to go 1-4 during the next 5 in order NOT to top it.  ...  Well, they did only go one and four in their next five, but in doing so, secured the aforementioned 6-4 record and their first bowl game since 1982.  Congrats Commodores, from a Gator.

7) Tiger scare - Does Troy have any concept on how to finish a game?  You were up 31-10 going into the fourth quarter, and you allow LSU to drop a 30 spot on you in the quarter????  How on earth does this happen?  More importantly, though, how does LSU get down 31-3 to a Troy to being with?  Did the Bama game take that much out of you?  Or did your coach just not perpare you for this team.  I have no problems with Les Miles.  I think he's a great coach.  But when a team is unmotivated and/or unprepared, that falls squarely on the coach's shoulders, no matter what level of football it is.

8) Speaking of poor coaching ... - Who is the special teams coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?  If there was one going into the Navy game, there should not have been one coming out of the Navy game.  How do you just stand around and watch what's going on, like they did on the second one.  Allowing one onside kick is a fluke, allowing two is unforgivable.  Way to hang on to win a game that, quite frankly, you deserved to lose.  Doesn't seem like that hot seat cooled off too much for Charlie Weiss after that one.

9) Speaking of poor coaching ... - Yes, I know I just used this as the title to the previous point, but it fits here as well, especially when talking about an unprepared and/or unmotivated team.  This time, I give you, the University of Ketucky basketball team.  Did they really just lose to VMI, a year after coming off a loss to Gardner-Webb?  Yes, I know upsets happen, but this level of upset should not happen to this storied of a team two years running.  Kentucky at 18-11 no more deserved to be in the NCAA tournament last year than my Gators did, but one of them made it.  And now they're well on their way to potentially not making it this year.  And UK basketball fans, what's your deal?  Gary Parish writes one little article about you that you don't like, and you go flying off the handle?  I'll give you this link to one of my responses: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs
/entry/6271764/11701790#comments

10) Weekend look ahead - The games I'm looking forward to this weekend are UF versus The Cit ... ah, who am I kidding?  Give me Texas Tech Oklahoma, Ball State Central Michigan on Wednesday to see if they can remain undefeated (actually, Ball State might be wishing it was Michigan and not Central Michigan on their schedule), Penn State Michigan State, and in the NFL, New England Miami (who would have thought I'd be saying that after last year?), New York Giants Arizona, and Atlanta Carolina.  As you can see, a fantastic weekend to make up for last one.

Posted on: October 21, 2008 8:39 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2008 9:20 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of Oct. 20th

1) Kissing your sister - God what an awful game.  In a game that set the NFL back at least 25 years, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a FIFTY FREAKIN' SEVEN yard field goal (that would have been good from at least 63) with 2:30 left in OT to beat the Jets.  Anybody paying attention to that game should have been hoping for that game to end in a tie (which would have been the first since I believe the Steelers and Falcons tied a game back in 2002 ).  What a horrible display of football.  And when are coaches going to learn to stop calling a TO the millisecond before the ball is snapped to ice the kicker?  You want to do it?  Call it right after they get set, not right before they hike it.  All it does is give the kicker a free practice swing at it.  Unfortunately, both the Raiders and Cardinals won a game that that boneheaded move should have cost them.

2) West Coast Love - Yes, I truly believe that for the most part, there is an east coast media bias.  Why?  Because most of your largest cities are east of the Mississippi (duh).  So what on earth is everybody's fascination with USC?  Why are they fifth in the first BCS poll?  They play in THE WORST conference (yes, worse than the ACC and Big East.  Even the Mountain West has more teams in the top 25) and have THE WORST loss of ANY of the one loss teams.  I shouldn't have to worry about them playing in any game other than the Rose Bowl, and yet I have to because the pollsters are freakin' idiots.  Why are they not being punished for their schedule that was put together by silkworms and NEVER being in a game they were like a billion point favorites?  Again, and being a Gator fan, I HATE tOSU, but I would a million times MORE rather see them in the BCS championship game than the Trojans, especially if they beat Penn State this week.  Speaking of Penn State, I have yet to mention them on my blog, and to their fans who might read it, I apologize.  I cannot begin to say enough about the job that they and Joe Pa have been doing.  This appears to be their last obstacle, and that the winner of this game will go on to win the Big Ten.  Good luck to you all.  Anyway, back to the University of Southern Chokeifornia, you pull this yearly choke job, and I for one am sick and tired of it.  As much as I HATE Notre Dame (which is more than I hate tOSU, by the way), I will be the world's BIGGEST Domer Homer the week they play you, and if there is a god, they will win that game.

3) Dallas' implosion is on - How 'bout them Cowboys.  I especially chuckled when people were saying that they didn't miss Romo when they took their first drive of the game for a TD.  How did the rest of the game work out?  Their secondary is a wreck (and now they've lost the Roy Williams that matters for the season), and their offense looks lost.  I'm hoping my Buccaneers pile on to their misery this week.

4) Another firing - Mike Nolan was the latest coach to get the axe.  What amazes me is that, while I don't hate this move, the amount of misdirected hate coming from Niner fans toward Nolan and their unreasonable expectations.  I heard many of them say that he underachieved with their talent.  Talent?  What talent?  Beyond Patrick Willis, exactly what talent has he been "underachieving" with?  He has no QB (through partial fault of his own due to Alex Smith being a bust).  Niner fans, vent your angst where it belongs, and just like your friends across the bay, you need to be looking at your owner, Dr. York.  He is BY FAR one of the worst owners in the league.  I know, you can't fire the owner, but you need to be wishing you could.  I do wish Mike Singletary the best of luck.

5) Weekend look ahead - Other than the World Series, the games I'm looking forward to are the aforementioned Penn State-Ohio State, Georgia-LSU and Texas-Oklahoma State in college, and the Steelers-Giants and of course the Cowboys-Buccaneers in the NFL.

6) Tebow to McCoy ... Heisman - Earlier, Tim Tebow was asked who he was voting for for the Heisman trophy, as being a former winner he gets a vote.  He rightfully pointed to Colt McCoy of the Longhorns.  An EIGHTY ONE completeion percentage?  Are you kidding me?  I mean, yes, he doesn't play SEC defenses every week, but still, that's phenominal.  What he and the Longhorns have accomplished so far is beyond words, absolutely DESTROYING the Missouri Tigers.  And Chase, you can go ahead and unpack that bag, because you won't be going to New York.  The Longhorns continue their brutal schedule this week against a very good Oklahoma State Cowboys team.

7) Yurgh!!! - The horrible start for my Bolts continues (talking NHL Charger fans).  Not scoring a single goal in a game, not even in the SHOOTOUT portion.  Inexcusible.  They need to get it turned around, and quick.  Update: Yea!  They finally won one.  Now they just need to string about 10 more in a row, and then go about .600 the rest of the way.

8) An interesting theory - Well, the rest of these will be baseball takes.  I heard a theory today that Vegas made the Rays -135/+115 favorites to try to recoup impending losses on Rays early season bets at 100:1 in case they win.  Two problems with this.  Even at 100:1, they only need 100 bets on TWENTY NINE other teams, including two from Chicago, two from New York, two from LA, Boston, Philadelphia, and a Detriot team that was supposed to do better than what it did.  I can't imagine there were THAT many Rays bets to not have it covered.  Secondly, even if that is true, it still makes no sense.  As anybody who does any sports betting will tell you, Vegas wants equal action on both sides.  If they PURPOSEFULLY set the line to get all the money on one side, and then the Phillies WIN (which is very possible), now you're paying out all these +115 bets, plus whatever bets you had on the Phillies to win it all at the start of the season (let's say it was 10:1).  Now Vegas IS losing money.  They are not in this to LOSE money.

9) Another interesting theory - Yes, this isn't the LA-Boston series that everybody wanted, but why does everyone think that nobody will watch this series.  First, they were the two best teams, period.  Secondly, both cities are very passionate and will watch.  Which brings me to the fact that Philadelphia is the FOURTH largest market, and Tampa/St. Pete the THIRTEENTH.  Those aren't bad numbers.  Plus, yes, Boston was involved, but game 7 was the highest rated baseball game on cable EVER.  That's EVER.  And maybe some of the people watching that game outside of Boston/Tampa/St. Pete will want to continue to watch this fascinating team.  I'll tell you one thing, this series will feature a lot of speed.  The Rays were first in stolen bases, the Phillies were fourth.  Could put a lot of pressure on the batteries.  Both teams can mix in the long ball, too.

10) World Series predicition - Well, so far I'm batting exactly .500.  So this one will decide if I'm successful or not.  The Phillies will win any game that they can get to Madsen and Lidge with the lead in the 8th and 9th.  Clearly this is where the Phillies have their advantage.  The problem will be getting it there, because I believe the Rays have the advantage everywhere else.  Their biggest advantage might come in starting pitching.  Cole Hamels is lights out, but the rest, eh.  Plus I think the Rays have SLIGHT advantages in speed, hitting, power, and defense.  All this will amount to Rays in Six.  I heard that this has the softest odds in Vegas of all the possible combinations, so I'm going with it.

Posted on: October 14, 2008 6:38 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2008 11:25 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 13th

Wow, one of the great things about being on vacation is I get to post my blog on time.  Here goes this week's edition.  Hope you all enjoy.  And hope I can keep it to ten.

1) Game Over - Well, it just came down that Roger Goodell has suspended Adam Jones for at least 4 games.  I still hang on to two contentions that I've been hearing from Cowboy apologists.  One, they are hanging on to that allegedly the bodyguard started this and that it was a "verbal" altercation, even citing the police report.  Well, first off, even if it is the bodyguard that started it, it's Jones' previous behavior that made the bodyguard necessary and even if he started it, Jones HAS to realize with the short leash he's on, he has to be the better man and just ignore it.  Now, on to this being a "verbal" altercation, my response to that is, man when your heard as a kid that words can hurt, I guess they really meant it.  Jones showed up at practice Wednesday with obvious facial bruising.  Man, those F-Bombs can be rough on the complexion.  Also, how big of an idiot is Jerry Jones for not stepping up and doing SOMETHING in the first place.  If he does do something to Adam, I don't think Goodell comes down as hard.  He still comes down, but now it's a MINIMUM of 4 games.  And Jones non-chalantly acted like this was no big deal.  Of course it's a big deal, and thinking that nothing was going to happen shows that Jerry just might be as senile as good old Al Davis.

2) Basic Cable - Yup, it was all Lane's fault.  The Raiders went out and proved that by performing WORSE than what they were doing.  First off, it was the Raiders D that was choking away games, and yet Rob Ryan is still employed.  Also, great job by Cable throwing JaMarcus Russell under the bus today.  It's obvious he's Al's puppet.  And this also proves that Al was on a senile rant in his goodbye speech to Lane.  Remember, Lane was the one who didn't want Russell.  Well, last week we found out they were still talking, and this week, Al, via Cable, throws JaMarcus to the wolves.  The Raiders are a mess.

3) Wild week in the NFL - Last second finishes.  Big time upsets.  And an impressive, impressive victory by my beloved Buccaneers.  Big props to the Rams, Browns, and Falcons as well.

4) NFC NASCAR division - I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the best division in the NFL.  The south's only loss was to a team from the south, while the NFC East was inexplicable playcalling by the 49ers away from pulling the 0fer.  Guess only time will tell.

5) Hook 'Em Horns - What a great game turned in by Colt McCoy and Texas this week.  They fought hard the whole game and were rewarded with a win.  While I would have ranked Alabama ahead of them, I can't find an arguement against them being number one.  Their upcoming schedule is brutal, so we'll see if they can hold on to it.  Meanwhile, why is Oklahoma still a top 5 team?  Yes, I know they lost to number 5 Texas on a neutral site, but still.  I would have them around number 7 myself.  And Sooner fans, your season isn't done, yet, although you will need two losses by Texas.  I know there is no rule saying you have to play in your conference championship game to play in the BCS title game, but it will most likely be a case of out of sight, out of mind.

6) How 'bout them Cowboys - No, not the ones from Dallas.  The ones from Stillwater.  I haven't seen very many better defensive performances this year.  Nobody thought anybody would be able to harass Chase Daniels into a bad game.  Absolutely outstanding.  And now maybe people will recognize Mike Gundy for the good coach he is, and not his press conference blow up at that reporter who ran a bad story.

7) It's great to be a Florida Gator - Wow.  Didn't see that blow out coming.  LSU looked lost against their first real defense they've played all year.  And wow, what a difference a running game that doesn't rely on Tim Tebow makes.  Rainey and Demps look fantastic.  The fan piece on the expert picks section of this site said that this game would catapult Charles Scott to the Heisman.  Oooh, so close.  What, did you think he was going to put up 200 yards and 4 TD's against this defense (similar to what some Georgia fans thought Knowshon Moreno was going to do to Alabama)?  The defenses in the SEC are just too darn good.  With Vandy losing this week, I'd love to see an Alabama-Florida SEC championship game, especially if at least one of them has a shot at the BCS title game.

8) Are the Cowboys ready to implode? - No, not the ones from Stillwater.  This time I am talking about the team from Dallas.  Injuries are starting to mount.  And now they have to go with Statue er, Brad Johnson at QB, behind that line that failed to protect Romo from the Cardinals?  And with the Rams, Bucs, and Giants as their next three games?  And how long before T.O. melts down?  Romo would try to placate him.  Johnson will do no such thing.  He'll try to get the ball to the open man, whoever that is.  But, it might be hard to deliver the ball from his butt.

9) Madden not making the trip to Tampa - John Madden is taking a two week vacation, citing not wanting to make another cross country trip.  Madden's idol Brett Favre called him a wuss.  He had called nearly 300 games in a row.

10) My Apologies to Phillies fans - Well, I knew that pick had a decent chance to come back and haunt me.  Even mentioned it in my post.  I know they still have to win one more game, but I think it's clear that Philly is indeed the better team and should move on.  And what a melt down by the Dodgers.  I still love Joe Torre, but he made some extremely questionable decisions last night.  Meanwhile, what a huge win by the Rays knocking around Lester.  Hey, Papi, do the Rays still look scared to you.  Despite the baserunning mistake by Upton, what a performance he has put on this post season.  He cleared the park on that shot (and Baldelli would have, too, if not for the Sports Authority sign).  Still a long way to go in this series, though.  Being able to beat Wakefield tonight would be huge.  If not, wow, what a series.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com