Tag:Mountain West
Posted on: September 23, 2009 10:49 pm
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10 Things I Learned the Week of Sept. 22nd

Day late and a dollar short posting this week's edition.  Must say all of my look ahead games ended up being close, interesting games, so a pat on the back to me.  Hey, I need one since my Infinity League team is tanking.  Can't get any receiver help.  Anyway, on to this week's musings ...

1) What a difference a year makes- 365 little days.  Okay, so that's not how the song goes, but it fits for what happened in the UM-Ga Tech game.  Last year, Miami was lost against the option running attack, allowing something like 1000 yards (actually, closer to 400, but you get the picture).  This year, they absolutely obliterate the Jackets, and reappear in the Top 10 for the first time since Coker was winning with Butch Davis' kids.  Put up the Hurricane warnings in Blacksburg.  That should be one heck of a game.

2) Why can't we be friends- Ugh.  Just when it looked like Meyer and Kiffin might be able to patch things up and move on, they can't.  Saturday's UF UT game ended up being a lot closer than most people thought, thanks in large part to a Tim Tebow fumble that led to a UT touchdown for a 14 point swing and a very good Volunteer defense.  In fact, if UT had some semblance of an offense, especially at the QB position, they would have been in a position to potentially win.  The main thing I noticed between this year's game and last year's is that unlike last year, UT did not quit, although the decision to keep running the ball down 17 late was confusing at best.  In fact, Meyer said to Kiffin during the hand shake that Kiffin's team "Played Hard," which is a nice compliment.  Both coaches handled themselves very well in the immediate post game as well.  But then over the course of the next day or two, Meyer, in an attempt to most likely quell Gator fan and alumni fears after expecting a "Slaughter in the Swamp" mentioned his team was suffering from the flu (which is something you don't make public and come off looking like you are using it as an excuse) and said that he was taking it easy on Tennessee late in the game, something you absolutely don't say (although, again, I believe it was related to the flu thing).  Well, this just opened the door for Lane to become a childish a-hole again, and needless to say, he took the bait and kicked that door wide open.  Meyer, next time don't say things that don't need to be said, and Kiffin, please just go away ... soon.  If you want to see swagger, look at the aforementioned Hurricanes.  What you are doing is instilling false bravado, and the only people it's fooling is YOUR fans and alumni.

3) Oops, we did it again- Way to go, University of Spoiled Children.  Last week, I had to defend both UF and Texas as SC fans were piling on us about our out of conference schedules and they should be ahead of us.  I had to remind these bozos that while yes, I would like to see both these teams play slightly better competition, the fact is that both Texas and UF's IN conference schedules are far superior, and they have to play in a little something called conference championship games.  And I reminded them of their annual Stanford they always pull.  They fired back about how the Pac-10 was 5-0 last year in bowl games, and while the 100% winning percentage is admirable, YOU SENT FIVE FREAKIN TEAMS TO BOWL GAMES.  By comparison, the ACC sent 10 and the Big 10 and SEC sent 8.  Now we always hear from these whiners about an east coast media bias, and there is.  Almost all of your major cities are on or east of the Mississippi River, duh.  But every year it seems USC is not properly punished for their annual choke job.  This year, falling down to number 12, hopefully they will be.

4) Cry me a river- Bama fans, please stop complaining about where you are in the polls and you should be number one.  Yes you beat Va Tech on a neutral field (who just might be 2-2 after this week and barely avoided being 1-2 right now).  Yes, UF and Texas looked less than impressive in games they were expected to do better in.  But you base this on what, looking impressive against a pathetic North Texas team???  Just go out and win your games and you will have your shot at the BCS title game.  In fact, the most impressive team not to lose a game right now just might be ... you got it.  The "U."

5) Sparty comes up short- Arrrrgggghhhh!!!  I thought Michigan State was going to win it driving late in the game and officially start the Charlie Weis death watch, but alas the football gods tease me and give Notre Dame a pick to seal it.  Now I still have to sweat out the Irish making a BCS bowl game and being slaughtered by a team they are clearly overmatched by.

6) One thing I'm not looking ahead to- Is the Detriot Washington suck fest on Sunday.  I actually had to swallow poison and ended up picking the Lions in all of my pick 'ems because they are the home team and in my book, have actually looked better than the Redskins so far this year in their two losses.

7) "Pack" attack- Ugh.  I'm dead in both of my dead pools thanks to the Green Bay Packers.  All preseason all anybody talked about was how good they looked, especially on offense.  Two games into the season, they had to have Jay Cutler hand them their only win, and lost convincingly against a Bengals team where Palmer was attempting for a while to do the same thing.  I don't know who I'm goin to root for when they play Minnesota.  Goes to show preseason means nothing.

8) Tony "Ronoooooooooooo"- This guy will never be an elite quarterback in the NFL, I'm sorry.  And notice, I said elite.  He is a good quaterback.  He is one that has the tools to win you some games and take you to the playoffs most years.  But he will never, ever be one that will get you over the top and win rings for you.  For one thing, it's obvious he doesn't have the work ethic necessary to put in the time to improve himself and become an elite QB.  In fact, if you gave me a choice of NFC East QB's to start a franchise with, Tony Romo would be a distant third, and you can guess who he's in fornt of.

9) Getting close- Pretty soon, the MLB playoffs will be upon us, as will another thing, hockey season!!!  I love the sport of hockey and encourage everyone if they can to just attend one game live to see if you get hooked.  The sport just does not translate well to TV, which is a shame.  I'm hoping my Lightning will be able to win some more games this year as it looks like they'll be able to throw a better set of defensemen on the ice.  Don't think they'll make the playoffs, but hopefully they surprise me.

10) Weekly look ahead- Let's see if I can nail this like last week.  Give me Miami Va Tech as the only game in college to see who has the early hands up in the ACC, and for the professionals, let me see Atlanta and New England, to see if the Patriots can rebound, or, if as I have it, instead if the Falcons are for real.  All in all, not a very good week, and not many baseball races to make MLB interesting.  Oh well.

Oops, forgot to hit on the Mountain West being done after BYU and Utah losing.  Basically my point was going to be that the Mountain West overall is still a quality conference, but they will not be sending any teams to Pasadena this year.  Go Horned Frogs!  And how do you take a team like FSU lightly?  Sorry, Cougars, but that's what you did.  Got too full of yourselves after your big win over Oklahoma and saw the Seminoles limping in after barely beating Jacksonville State, and got smacked around in your home stadium for your efforts.  Your consolation T-Shirts are at the door.
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 14, 2008 8:41 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2008 10:20 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 10th.

Well, here I am posting this just before I should be posting my blog for Nov. 17th.  Guess that's what I get for trying to set a Tuesday deadline.  Hey, it's not like I'm getting paid for my opinions (it really would be two cents worth.  Of course, most of the posters {and some of the writers} <and writers="" some=""></and>in here, if I gave a penny for their thoughts, I'd be demanding change back, so I guess it works both ways).

1) Texas Tech should be number 1 - I can only go by what I observe.  I don't think the Red Raiders will finish at number one (although it'd only be a minor surprise if they did.  Their offense is scary good), but they get my vote for number 1 right now.  Now while Tech's big victories have been at home, and Bama's have been on the road, Tech's playing better football against better teams and getting better results.  Also, I don't understand why Michael Crabtree isn't getting more love for the Heisman.  I guess it's because the ball isn't in his hands every play.  Honestly, I'd vote him ahead of McCoy and Bradford right now (of course, this could change pending future results).  I did not expect the Red Raiders to just decimate the Cowboys the way they did.  Oklahoma State, which had played well on D all year could not get off the field against this team.  Their first SEVEN possessions went for TD's.  Remarkable.

2) Speaking of scary good - Gotta give some love to the Gators.  To me, they are playing the best, most complete football in the country right now.  And their special teams are the very definition of special.  They give opposing coaches nightmares.  That Ole Miss loss may have been the best thing to happen to them.  It woke a sleeping giant.  That is one focused football team right now.  And to everyone who keeps bringing up that loss that obviously didn't watch that game, especially those comparing it to USC's loss to Oregon State, the Gator's lost because they had a bad case of let's put the ball on the turf.  They were up 17-7 at halftime.  It wasn't like they were down all game and had to fight back.  That being said, they deserved to lose, you can't take the loss away, and you have to hold it against them.  One thing I will give to Longhorn and Sooner fans, your losses were against superior competition.  But if you've seen the Gators since then, they are just flat out dominant.

3) Thank you Hawkeyes - I love Joe Pa and have nothing against PSU (unlike tOSU), but I am so glad that Iowa beat PSU this week practically guaranteeing the Big 12-SEC match up I want to see on Jan. 8th (even if it is Bama instead of UF).  I think most of the nation will agree with me on that one.

4) Another thing about I hate about the BCS - Why is the Big East considered a BCS conference?  Is it too late to go back and draft the Mountain West as a BCS conference, or rewrite the rules where if a non-BCS school is in the Top 10 while a BCS champion (and I use that term losely) is not in the top 16, instead of guaranteeing just one spot, they should rip the spot from the other school.  Who honestly wants to see Cincinnati or Pitt in a BCS bowl game (have fun with that, Orange Bowl)?  I'd much rather watch a Utah or Boise State.  And this is why we'll never have a playoff.  Conferences like the Big East will take 85% of a $100 million pie instead of 50% of a $200-$300 million pie.  It's simple economics people.  All the arguements against the playoffs are so dumb, I can't stand them.

5) Why does everybody think it's going to be PSU-USC in the Rose Bowl? - And no, I'm not talking about the almost nonexistant chance USC has of making the BCS Championship game.  The fact is, while PSU controls it's own destiny, they do not own the tie breaker advantage and are therefore not the only team that does so.  Michigan State holds the tie-break, and therefore, also controls it's own destiny.  And speaking of controlling destinies ... USC DOESN'T EVEN CONTROL THEIRS!!!!!!!!!  No, that honor belongs to the Beavers of Oregon State, who some of you might remember beating USC earlier this year.  Beavers win out, they will be in Pasadena no matter what anybody else might want or what the polls say.  Update: Just learned that I was wrong about the Big Ten and who controls what.  While Michigan State does indeed control a multiple team tie-break due to the reason I listed, the first tie break is head to head.  Therefore, PSU is the only team to truly control it's destiny.  The Spartans would need the Buckeyes to lose while the Buckeyes get in with a win and a PSU loss.

6) Oh When the Aint's ... Go Marching Out - To you self entitled, never won anything, think your crap doesn't stink, holier than thou, buy into the hype Saints fans, I only offer this ... ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!   Couldn't happen to a better group of people.  Where's all these defensive improvements you made?  Where's this unstopable offense?  My Bucs may not win the division this year, but I know for darn sure you guys won't!  How's the view back there?  How's it feel to be two games behind a 4-12 team from a year ago?

7) Mike Martz, please quit yer b&$!hing - Reguardless of what you thought the situation was going to be in after the review, your only choice for a play call involved Shaun Hill throwing the ball a few inches in front of him in a downward motion, and then calling the appropriate play for the moment.  If your call before the review was to ground the ball, what the heck made you change the play call, to a run no less.  I don't care if the ball was at the 1, the 2 1/2, the five.  You had the correct play called, and then your geniousness kicked in and cost you a game.  Have fun finding a job next year.

8) 0-16? - As much as I love Rod Marinelli, especially for the time and work he put in here in Tampa, I pray his team pulls the 0fer.  I honestly think it's harder to lose 16 games than it is to win 16 games.  I should temper my enthusiam until about week 15 or 16.  If they can go into week 15 0-13, things will look a lot better.  I do know that they will not be favored to win another game all year.

9) Look ahead - The games I'll be looking forward to this week are UF versus the other USC, Oregon State Cal (to try to keep USC out of the Rose Bowl), and Cowboys Redskins in the NFL.  Unfortuantely, it's a pretty ugh kind of a week.

10) Tip off time - College basketball officially gets underway this week with the games starting to count for real in teams quest for March.  Expect a lot more bball posts from me as I follow some of the conference races and big games.

Bonus Look Ahead: Next week I will have a point on my Bolts decision to fire Berry Melrose after just 16 games.

Posted on: September 20, 2008 8:39 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2008 3:59 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of Sept. 15th

Sorry I'm late on this one.  Had a busy week and was sick for a day.  Even though this is going up on a Saturday, I'll limit it as though I was posting on Tuesday.

1) Most NFL fans need to relax - I always love how after one week, fans of 16 teams are writing off their seasons, and fans of the other 16 are printing their playoff tickets.  Several teams that were 0-1 won, and vice versa, so where are we at now?  It's a lot easier to get a better read after week 4, so be patient.

2) USC will easily win the PAC 10 and will most likely be in Miami for Jan 8th - Really, were most of us surprised by that result?  I think more suprising was what the rest of the Pac 10 pulled off (losses except for Oregon, which had to rally).  Unless SC pulls a Stanford, there's them, and then there's everybody else.  The only team that will beat them is themselves.

3) The three best conferences are 1a) SEC 1b) Big 12 3) MOUNTAIN WEST??? - By going 5-0 against said Pac 10, I think we can definitely make the case for this.  Honestly, who else to you put in that 3 hole?  The Big 10?  The ACC?  The Big East?  Can't be the Pac 10 based on the 0-5 record.

4) One of the best games I saw this week was USF-KU - That was a huge victory for USF, which beat a good Kansas team with a great QB in Reesing.  Unfortunately, he made one mistake in a critical time, and the rest is history.  USF just might be the class of the Big East this year.  Maybe a trip to Miami on Jan 1 is in the cards.

5) An MNF classic - The best game I saw was the Cowboys Eagles game.  That game was back and forth just like a basketball game.  Yes, I know pureists will sight the lack of defense, but still, WOW!  That kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

6) Auburn 3 run double Mississippi State 2 run home run - Yes, I know people looking to slam the SEC  will point to this score, but it is just an effect of the best defense being played in the country.  Right now, the defensive stats are drastically skewwed toward SEC schools.  Now, on the other side ...

7) Big 12 sand lot football - Had that score come from a Big 12 game, I could understand a little more.  For those of your who aren't paying attention to what are clearly the two best conferences this year (see: 7 8 teams in the top 10), the Big 12 teams are averaging nearly 50 points scored per game.  Little surprise with the great QB's that play in here.  Daniels, Bradford, Reesing, the up and down that is Texas Tech.  Can't wait until they start playing in conference.  Unfortunately, only one school from one of these two conferences will be able to play USC in Miami (unless they do pull a Stanford).  Would be nice if they could play each other.  Strength versus strength.

8) ND is still ND - last week I wondered if the ND team this year could be worse than the one last year.  Well, despite beating Michigan, the jury's still out.  Michigan put up better numbers, except for the most important one, the scoreboard.  ND will clearly finish with a better record this year, aided by a softer schedule.  Still, I think we'll know just how bad they are when they play SC.

9) Preseason Predictions mean absolutely zero - So far, two of the medias darlings, the Browns and Vikings are 0-2.  Worse, we're to be subjected to nearly the entire Browns regular season thanks to the powers that be giving them like 10 4:15, SNF, MNF, or NFLN games.  Yurg!!!!

10) Can this be the Cardinals year? - On the other hand, another media darling is quietly 2-0 despite ostracizing one of their WRs.  Looking at the rest of that pathetic division, this may finally be the year for that trendy pick to come true.

 
 
 
 
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