Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Tied for Second

February 8, 2008

So I heard the Patriots are 18-1, tying them for the second best record in NFL history. Only in an era where the New England Patriots have become the embodiment of sports evil would the New York Giants, one of the oldest and most famous franchises in American sports, be the plucky underdog. But, hooray for the Giants.  I guess the nation, and myself, will have to prepare ourselves for an entire season of nothing but Manning commercials.  

As I suspected, Yoko Romo DID rob me of a two day party at the home of my favorite Cowboys fan.

I can’t believe its all over, as I don’t really count the Pro Bowl. Now, it’s almost time for the four weeks I pay attention to college basketball, and make wild pronouncements about schools I’ve never heard of. Hooray!!

Anyhoo, I’ve been busy,  but I will be back. There’s still much to talk about:  West Virginia and its former coach are still at war; kids are so desperate to play D-1 college football  that they hoax everyone around them; Terrell Pryor is still weighing his offers, and its only seven more months before my favorite upright activity returns.

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The Wes Welker Effect and Cheating, Shredding Hearts

January 15, 2008

Dear readers, I am in lovely Santee, California, a suburb of San Diego, near the world-famous Miramar (formerly) Naval Air Station, now the home of Marines.  I am visiting the dad and stepmother out here as they both get ready for a wee bit of surgery, which is not fun. However, at least I am here in perfect weather, instead of the craptacular climes of the Northern Commonwealth.  In any event, haven’t been posting much with college football being over…WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sorry about that.   But we have some NFL,  my honest assessment of how my Tigers will do next season (Let’s put it like this: I’ll be clinging on to the memories of this year to keep me warm), rumors from people who would know all about recruting violations, and some DRAMA in the Monogahela Valley.  So let’s get rolling.   Everyone saw the debacles of last weekend; the only game I don’t regard as a disaster was the fine performance of the Jacksonville Jaguars in a loss to the Evil Empire.  A short rundown of the rest:

Peyton, did Norv Turner’s face suddenly morph into Steve Spurriers? Were you having some sort of flashback to college days? What the heck was that?  A future hall  of famer, the only person with a non-ED/ beer related commercial on NFL Sundays, and the child of southern football royalty got outdueled by BILLY VOLEK? Come on, now. ‘That’s how you’re gonna send off Tony Dungy? With a loss to Norv Turner, Billy Volek, and “Performance Enhanced”” Merriman?  For shame.

Seattle at Green Bay. Things fall apart fast, don’t they?

Giants at Dallas Cowboys: I regarded this game as an utter disaster, because frankly, it robbed me of the excellent Super Bowl party I was going to convince a couple of Cowboys fans to have at their house.   My brain says that the game was lost because the Giants got rolling during the last four games of the season, and the Cowboys simply did not.  The much maligned Giants’ secondary took advantage of a TO who simply could not push back.  The Cowboys got all the running they needed in a fine performance from Marion Barber, but could not get the passing game going due to miscommunication  and about 100 dropped passes. And Eli Manning for once, did not flip out in a big game. 

That being said, Tony and Jessica will have plenty of time to vacation in Cabo because she is a human jinx with a creepy dad, and if Romo doesn’t cut her loose, she’ll take him and the Cowboys down with her.  A scary, scary fact:  America’s Team has not won a playoff game at home in 12 years.  I was in college. Some of my baby friends were in junior high. A Clinton was on the central stage in national….never mind. Bonus, Cowboys fans: your offensive coordinator may be going to the Ravens. Let your crappy offseason begin!

On to this Sunday’s Championship Games:  Giants at Green Bay. Oh, how I wish the Giants would win this game.  I could see Tom Coughlin’s face trying to remember how to smile.  I could see Tiki Barber struggle to keep his face plastered into a fake one. I could see endless shots of Michael Strahan’s gap. I could see Mike Lupica jump up and down like a chihuahua as he salivates about a New Jersey team playing in the Super Bowl. The endless stories of how Eli Manning has fufilled the promise, and has done it earlier than his future HOF brother.  Stories of the Maras, one of the first families of the NFL. More Manning ads with both brothers.  The NFL faints with joy at having their biggest media market squarely in the spotlight.  But what will happen is that the Giants, worn out from having played three playoff games in a row (thanks, Jimmy!), if you include the mighty effort against the Patriots, will come sputtering to a crashing halt in Green Bay. I’m not saying they can’t win three away games in a row, I’m saying that they won’t. Eli Manning will have one of his inexplicable flip outs that sometimes happen when he plays in hostile environments (I would have thought four years of SEC football and four more years of playing in the NFC East would have cured him of that). Baby Manning still has a hard time with bad weather.  Plaxico Burress is still not healthy, and that weather is not going to do him any good, especially when the Green Bay secondary keeps knocking him on his ass.   The best chance the Giants have is unseasonably warm weather and the Giants’ defensive line playing their best game of the season. 

 Or else, the viewing public, specifically me, will be subjected to HOW! MUCH! FUN! 38! YEAR! OLD! BRETT! FAVRE! HAS!  and HOW! GREAT! PACKERS! FANS! ARE! for the two weeks leading up to February 3.  Then the entire NFL offseason will be dominated by whether BRETT! WILL! RETIRE! OR! NOT!   Oy.  Packers 31, Giants 2o

The AFC Championship: with the four teams remaining in the playoffs, I really have no one to root for, but I now have someone to root against, thanks to the San Diego Chargers.  I wanted the Colts to win this past Sunday, being a big Tony Dungy fan, and because I thought Patriots-Colts woyld be a fantastic AFC title game. I have now reached the point of being officially annoyed by the Chargers, or rather, being annoyed by certain people on their roster.  First of all, let’s start with Shawne “Performance Enhanced”Merriman. Is he an excellent football player?  No doubt. But how a third year player from Maryland whose seasons have ended short of the Super Bowl has the nerve to talk so much smack is beyond me. Congrats. You made another tackle.  That’s your job.   You were a first round draft pick.  You are supposed to be good. Now shut up, and go get another shot and some masking agent for your next drug test.  The other annoying one is Philip Rivers.  Did ya’ll see him jawing with the Colts fans and strutting around the sidelines? You sir, are one LaDanian Tomlinson and a locker room blow up away from being Ryan Leaf.  I know that all those trips to whatever game the fourth place ACC team goes to gave you supreme confidence in your abilities as a game winner, and you may have learned the basics of class from my Drew.  But you seen to have forgotten them all in his absence.   Ok. Disparaging rant over. 

  Here’s the Chargers actual problem.  Do they have a good defense? Yep.  Can the defense get some pressure on Tom Brady?  Maybe for a half.  But the Chargers, like everyone else the Patriots have defeated this year, have to deal with the Wes Welker Effect. Who is Wes Welker?  He was an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, where he returned eight punts for touchdowns. He is tiny (5’9, 185) and very fast.   He is much less famous than Randy Moss, and somewhat less famous than Donte Stallworth.  Before the season, most people would have considered him the number three,  perhaps even fourth receiver on the Patriots.   Wes Welker also caught the most receptions in the NFL this year, with 112, and those passes totalled almost 1200 yards.   That is the problem with the 2007 Patriots: there’s just too much.  Randy Moss blanketed? Fine. There’s Welker over the middle. Donte Stallworth being illegally held by Cromartie? There’s Ben Watson? Drop everyone back to defend against the pass? Brady with a short screen to Maroney or Faulk, which turns into a twenty yard gain.  Didn’t know Kyle Brady was still in the NFL? Well, ya do now, biotches!  Understand that this does not make me happy. I am not a Patriots’ fan (although with a quarter of their roster from the SEC and four players from LSU, less the late Marquis Hill, who was the fifth Tiger on the Patriots roster, I admire the genius of the scouting department); at this point, my only interest is to see if they can make history, which I tend to think they can do. 

And the Chargers’ offense?  The Bolts’  most reliable receiver is playing with a dislocated toe.  Philip Rivers and LT are both listed as questionable, although I can’t see them not playing Sunday.  Even healthy, this is not an offense that can go score for score with the Patriots.  The Chargers may have an edge in special teams. However, Patriots punter Chris Hanson (easiest job in football this year), in the rare event that he has to work other than holding for the kicker, will be angling the ball to whatever side Darren Sproles and Antonio Cromartie are not.  The Chargers best bet is to snap Brady’s leg in half (literally, because I think he would tape any other injury up and come back) early in the game.

That is about the only chance they have at winning. The Patriots, in humiliating fashion. I don’t think they were happy about the game against Jacksonville being as close as it was, and that frustration is going to be taken out on the Chargers.  (And don’t think they still don’t remember LT’s  little hissy fit from last year. Woe betide you, Chargers.

So there you have my picks for the Super Bowl: New England vs Green Bay.  The Methodical, Businesslike Evil Empire vs FUN! ON! THE! FROZEN! TUNDRA!

Now a very brief assessment of my Tigers: we’re losing a lot of the defense, many of whom were three year starters.   According to Geaux Tuscaloosa, however, it’s not as disastrous as I first thought.   All those games we had at home this year: Auburn, Florida, South Carolina? It’s their turn to host.  Is Ryan “too Good to Be Expelled” Perrilloux’s mind right? Don’t know yet.  The good news on offense is that the offensive line, including the biggest baby ever born in Louisiana, returns four starters, and the left side of the line will be on its third year together.  Being on the sane end of the fan spectrum, I’ll be thrilled with being SEC West Champions and a  January 1st bowl this season.  I think the SEC Champion comes from the East this year: Georgia or Florida.  (Mark the Game Formerly Known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on the calendar folks!  I predict the winner plays in the BCS title game. )  Recruiting is apparently going well for the Tigers (that’s not my strong suit- I don’t bother knowing who they are until they show up in uniform for spring practice), so that’s a nice thing.  LSU may be recruiting a little too well, according to some people drinking vinegar. According to a Michigan booster, per EDSBS and the JockRap, the NCAA is looking at Coach Miles for recruiting violations, so that’s why Michigan backed off of The Hat.  Point 1: Michigan boosters know all about cheating. Point 2: The NCAA  is investigating an SEC school? And the violations might get the school on probation.  Next thing you know, someone will tell me that baseball players used steroids in the late 1990s. Point 3: I know Oklahoma State folks ain’t fond of Coach Mile$, but I never heard that he was accused of removing all the records on all his players, from what classes they attended to how many times they could bench press a certain weight. Thanks to Fran for pointing that one out.  

Michigan, you hired Machiavelli. Don’t try hide that fact by pointing at other coaches’  faults.  At least no one would ever think Coach Le$ would be bright/ evil  enough to do something like that, essentially remove the documents on seven years of progress, sending the program spinning back to the Nehlen-ages.  That (alleged) move is one an Alabama booster would be proud to call their own.  (Dear ‘Eer readers: d*mn. Ya’ll had the devil in your midst, and he came from down the road. But I don’t doubt that everyone already knew that).

At least we’ll have something to make the months until August entertaining.

That’s all for now.

XOXO, MLBGG

Spectaculinks

December 6, 2007

The Ohio State University is a damned mystery – Geaux Tuscaloosa

That personality that got let out of its cage at the 2007 Cocktail Party , but who was chained to a wall against Tennessee? That’s who I’m talkin’ about– Georgia Sports Blog

Mississippi State and Louisiana Monroe are BCS worthy– Football Diet

We’re not snobs, we’re just better than you: The All-SEC Team– secsports.com…. BTW, one person on this list has a book written about him.  Even if you can’t stand Ole Miss, or are a fan of an inferior conference, check it out.  Mr. Oher, buy your sister and mama something from Tiffany when you’re at NFL draft headquarters, whether it’s this year or next.

The Official Holiday of the Idiot Brigade, a holy day in New Orleans, and a happy day for Southern girls, no matter where they are.

Juvenile and UB40

December 4, 2007

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 01:  Herman Johnson #79  of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates after defeating the University of Tennessee Volunteers, 21-14 in the SEC Championship game on December 1, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
 

Excuse me while I begin this post with some insightful commentary:

YAHHHHHHH-FUCKING-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

When my Saturday morning started in lovely Fayetteville, NC, I heard from the second prettiest bottle blonde at ESPN that Coach Le$ had run off to Michigan. As far as I was concerned, the booster jet was heading from Ann Arbor, and prepared to carry off my crazy, balls-for-brains coach.  After the game, Bo Pelini was headed to the frozen plains of Nebraska with a legend looking over his shoulder, to try to make Cornhusker football relevant again. (Thank you and good luck with that, Coach Pelini. Heck, at least Alabama’s legend is dead- as far as we know). My defense was falling apart, everyone held together with ace bandages, leg braces, and local injections.  The much maligned Matt Flynn was out, but his backup was not too shabby.  The-running-back-by-committee gave me hope. All that was left to do was see if the seniors could bounce back from the Boot Debacle of 2007, and hold it together for sixty more minutes until it was time for a well-deserved month of healing and lifting.

Then I went to drink. (Actually, I began my morning with bacon and jello shots. Fabulous).

I began Saturday evening slightly inebriated as I spent the afternoon watching the ACC Championship Game (ya’ll need to show up for those sorts of games. No wonder no one takes your conference teams seriously for bowls, with the exception of your champion).  I saw the angry press conference by Coach Le$.  Heck, I was fired up by his five minutes of angry posturing. Al Pacino will pattern some future overacting job on that press conference. Then I watched the SEC Championship (the Original and Still The Best), and was happy that my Tigers bounced back, limping and all, with another great performance from Jacob Hester, and a very nice game by Ryan “Too Good to Be Thrown Off the Team” Perrilloux.  At about 8 pm, I was happy that the boys were heading to the Sugar Bowl.

And then all hell broke loose.  I watched Missouri get slapped around by one the of other best two loss teams in America, and receieved a text stating something I couldn’t believe: West Virginia had lost to Pitt. (Glad I gave away my tickets to that one).  I shrieked happily, possibly breaking glass in the bar I was at, and began banter with an Ohio State fan, and asking my West Virginia people if they had refundable tickets (sorry guys, but I know ya’ll were positively overjoyed at the LSU and Ar-Kansas game.  An Arkansas blog was flooded by grateful fans.  Never buy your tickets before the first Sunday in December. The football goddesses do not appreciate hubris).  So I figured the BCS title game would be Virginia Tech or Georgia (herereinafter known as “Merlot”) and The Sweatervests. I had no thought that my Tigers, left for dead by the Darren McFadden Experience, could leapfrog the four teams ahead of us.

But G*d, there are times I love being absolutely totally wrong. The Louisiana State University Fighting Tigers, the Bayou Bengals, who are undoubtedly someone’s darlings, whether it be the media’s or the coaches, are playing for the BCS title.  And Coach Le$ Mile$, one of my favorite blue eyed nutjobs:

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 01:  Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates after defeating the University of Tennessee Volunteers 21-14 in the SEC Championship game on December 1, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

who met his wife at Ann Arbor, who was a protege of Bo Schembechler, who played on the Michigan Wolverines, and had an expensive buyout clause to head to one of the great football factories  universities in America….well, at the end of the day, warm weather, a talent base that’s a one hour flight on the jet from his lovely home, pretty girls to attract the recuits, an athletic department without former coaches who are not terribly fond of him, and 3.45 million reasons were enough to stay at L$U.  I love capitalism.  

The remarkably self righteous Mitch Albom (I don’t know that I trust sports reporters that appear as if I can beat them up… Give me big ole loudmouth Jason Whitlock any day), perhaps looking to pander to his Detroit Free Press readers, dismissed Coach Le$’ press conference as a meaningless performance.  After all, his players were in the locker room getting taped! (Apparently, there are no televisions available in the Georgia Dome locker rooms). The LSU fans were already on their way to the stadium!  What use could it have been?

I’ll tell you what use it was, in case you didn’t know.  At 10 that morning, ESPN’s pretty boy annunced to the world what Michigan fans had been believing since Appalachian State took the Wolverines (the world’s largest weasel) to the woodshed that first amazing weekend: that Coach Le$ was on his way to the Big House to restore them to their rightful glory.  So you think, Mr. Albom, that such an announcement, made by one of the leading personalities on the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment, would have no impact on the players? The fans who traveled to (or now live in) Atlanta for the game?  Coach Mile$ did what he’s been doing all year: pumping up the fans, but more importantly, pumping up his team. Believe it or not, eighteen to twenty-two year old college football players have to believe that their coach has their back, and that he’s not abandoning them.  Whatever else you want to say about his decisions, his nuttiness, his crazy statements (which has all served to take the pressure off the players and assistant coaches), the Tigers have not quit on Coach Mile$, not once all year.  There has to be a reason for that: he has not quit on them. And that, Mr. Tuesdays with Morrie, is what that press conference was about.

There have already been multiple analysis of who got screwed-Mizzou (fell victim to the power of the Zook more than anything else, and it also appears Lawrence has its revenge for being torched), who else should be in the title game -Oklahoma (didn’t you know Sam Bradford played in the secondary, too!), USC (my kingdom for an interception!), Virginia Tech (ah, when we were healthy), Hawaii  (Tim Tebow couldn’t handle the WAC!). So I won’t go there.  But I did want to mention the Merlot (aka, Georgia Bulldogs), and their special vintage.  Did LSU leapfrog you? Yes.  Was the Merlot “the hottest team in the country” at the end of the season? Well, maybe the hottest team for sportswriters east of the Rockies, who were not located in Oklahoma. There was a simple way the Merlot could have been playing their “home game in Atlanta” on Saturday afternoon, demolished my Tigers, and taken their rightful place in the BCS title game: that would have been to not been prison raped by Tennessee earlier in the season, and not to lose to a team that lost to Vanderbilt. Then they would have won the SEC East. Get over it.  Next year,  the Merlot, featuring their New Jersey running back and pleasantly thick QB will start the season off in the Top 3 in the country if they handle their business in the Sugar. They too, can get their second chances, and work on becoming media darlings, if Mark Richt will let some of that personality out of the bag.  Unfortunately for the Merlot, it would appear (f*ck) Florida will have a running game next year, and I’m sure the Gators will watch film of the Bulldogs dancing on the field on continuous loop in the weight room. But anyhoo, win your division, win your conference and shut up.

Anyhoo, the Tigers are, just like the Sweatervests, proudly backing that ass up into this year’s edition of the worst, most unfair, unjust, wrongly picked travesty of BCS title game that will ensure there’s a playoff (in 2020)…..zzzzzzz.

Thanks for believing in yourselves, boys. Enjoy the journey, 70 miles downriver, to the ‘ship.

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 01:  Head coach Les Miles and Glenn Dorsey #72  of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrate with the SEC trophy after defeating the University of Tennessee Volunteers 21-14 in the SEC Championship game on December 1, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I leave with you with a poem that has probably gone around the world by now…cause the Purple and Gold Nation is everywhere. You had way too much time on your hands, my friend. I salute you:
Twenty four days before Christmas, in a state in the south,
Les Miles was pissed as he opened his mouth.
“Miles to Michigan,” was reported as fact.
To which Miles responded, “Herbie you don’t know jack!”

The Tigers had suffered a gut wrenching loss,
At the hands of McFadden and the rest of the hogs.
And Bo in his sweatshirt, and Miles in his Hat.
Were determined to prove they were better than that!

When the Tennessee Vols ran out on the field,
There were ruckus applause from the mentally ill.
Still in the locker room, Les told his team,
“This season ain’t over. We still have a dream.”

The hurt throwing arm of QB Matt Flynn
Meant Ryan was the man they put their faith in.
Then the fans all heard, what Les said in the Dome.
“I ain’t goin’ anywhere. I’m happy. I’m Home!”

The fans were still thinking “This might be a trick.”
’til someone pointed out “Hey, this guy ain’t Nick!”
The Hat took the field for this championship game,
And he brought all his Tigers, and called them by name;

“Now, Hester! Now, Early! Now, Highsmith and Putt!
Let’s let ‘er rip and shut these guys up!
Take to the field Men! Give it your all!
Then later we’ll watch numbers 1 & 2 fall.”

The fans still weren’t sure as to what team would show,
The Virginia Tech game seemed like so long ago.
But there in the stands, the fans they did cheer,
As Perrilloux played his game of the year.

While out in Ar-Kansas, the hogs claimed the boot,
The tigers were focused on far better loot.
With the game knotted up, Ainge threw a quick out
But Zenon was ready and took six to the house.

He wore a LSU jacket, and a white turtle neck,
The same as he wore when his team beat La Tech.
With the hat on his head, and a childish grin,
Les put his team in the title picture again.

His smile-how it widened! as Pitt won its game!
He cheered Oklahoma, when it did the same.
The stars were aligning, it couldn’t be true.
Turns out Miles WAS destined, to play O-S-U.

With a month to prepare and a month to heal up,
We’re all pretty sure which team will show up.
He ain’t going to Michigan, and we’re sure of that.
But Tressel and the Buckeyes should still Fear The Hat!

On December first, he called L-S-U home.
Then set up the Tigers, to play again in the Dome.
It soon will be legend, how Les started that day,
“Can’t talk now. . . . I’m busy. . . . [Y’all] have a GREAT day!”

Greetings and Salutations

November 20, 2007

Greetings and Salutations from still beautiful and still here New Orleans, Louisiana.  I flew in from 40 degree Arlington, and landed in 78 degree, no humidity (which only happens occasionally) sunshine. Fantastic! I started my three days  in New Orleans  with a trip to Mandina’s, a restaurant I highly recommend.  I had a seafood platter which was both lunch and dinner, which is impressive if you knew how much I can eat. An absolutely wonderful start to my trip, and to this holiday season.

 The Mean Lil’ Black and Gold Girl welcomes Princess Truth to the world. In twenty years, I expect to hear a defense of why West Virginia represents the pinnacle of not only college football, but of all amateur athletics since the turn of the 20th century.  Her birth prevented her mother, but not her dad, from watching yet another exciting weekend of college football.  I am glad she’s here.

Due to traveling and the holiday rush (which began around Veterans’ Day for me), I’ve been and will likely continue to post somewhat erratically for the next few weeks.  I am excited for this upcoming weekend,  as we have Hate Week, Part Deux to finish the regular season, and then three conference championships, two of which I normally don’t care about.  There were some great games this past weekend (I know about a dozen people who became huge Red Raider fans Saturday night),  but the biggest event in college football happened today. Lloyd Carr, to no one’s surprise, resigned from Michigan today, thereby throwing the remainder of LSU’s season into relative turmoil. A few words about Lloyd Carr. He was a lifer. He loved, and loves that school. By all accounts, he is a genuinely good man.  He fell victim to what John Cooper(Ohio State’s coach before the Sweatervest arrived) did: over the past few years, Coach Carr could not beat his biggest rival.  So out the door he goes, to be an assistant AD emeritus.  (Oh, he also fell victim to the 1950s style football that the Big Ten Plus One is still playing. But this is a tribute of a sort.)  In any event, all may not be smooth sailing for Coach Les’ departure to the semi-frozen tundra.   3rd Saturday in Blogtober offers some good analysis of their enemy’s coaching situation.  I don’t think we’re talking about a Dean Smith-Matt Doherty situation here (Doherty managed to piss off every one at UNC after he got there, not beforehand, and Lloyd Carr does not have Dean Smith status…maybe Roy Williams). But it does seem he has enough clout to put the kibosh on what everyone thought was a done deal.

Another thing to consider is that Coach Les’ fortunes can take a considerable upswing if his boys can win three more games.  Big Ten schools don’t pay that kind of money, Coach Sweatervest and the Iowa Genius aside. If Coach Les stays through January 8, that’s certainly entering into his calculations, “Michigan Man,” or not.

Anyway, don’t get your panties in a bunch, Coach Carr. Enjoy the retirement and try to get some sun.  Michigan boosters, remember that we here in Louisiana can put a curse on your team if you mess with Coach Les before the SEC Championship Game (The Original, and Still the Best).  Thank you for your interest, the MLBGG.

If Coach Les does head north for frozen pastures and an easier conference, apparently Tommy Tuberville would be more than happy to move to Baton Rouge. I would not object to that. At all.

A quick note on the LSU- Ole Miss game. First of all, I thought I was hallucinating when I saw a black kid playing quarterback for Ole Miss.  Secondly, LSU does not have a great defense, not at this stage of the year.  LSU has played one perfect game, against Virginia Tech, and played one perfect quarter, against Florida.  The last few weeks of the season have not been awe inspiring.   Great defenses don’t allow the 2007 edition of Ole Miss to hang around. Great defenses don’t allow 466 yards against anyone, let alone this year’s Ole Miss. Coach Les admitted that Brent Schaeffer wasn’t in their gameplan. (But heck, who would have a mobile QB in the gameplan when playing Ole Miss? They haven’t had a mobile quarterback since Archie Manning, and the other thing…well, everyone got thrown for a loop). That lack of preparation by the coaching staff is the kind of thing that we can’t have happen the next three weeks.  Glenn Dorsey hasn’t been the same since the chop block against Auburn, we’re starting a true freshman on the d-line because everyone else is hurt, and our starting middle linebacker is hurt. Ole Miss continued to expose a glaring weakness in the LSU defense that we saw against Kentucky, an ability to defend effectively against four receiver sets.  But you know what? LSU won by 17

But the 17 point victory wasn’t the domination that the media conspiracy was looking for, and pundits are predicting doom and gloom for LSU:

 The Tigers face Arkansas and arguably the nation’s best running back, Darren McFadden, next week. Then they will play either Tennessee or Georgia in the SEC championship game on Dec. 1. All three teams are flawed, but dangerous. And they’re talented and perceptive enough on offense to capitalize on the clues Ole Miss left for them like a trail of bread crumbs. – From Yahoo Sports

As for Arkansas, that game is at LSU. The Darren McFadden Experience will have 200 yards of total offense. I accept that. But the game is at LSU. And LSU’s biggest issue is against the pass. You need a quarterback for a passing game. Casey Dick is a less talented John Parker Wilson.  It will be like nearly every other LSU game this year. Uncomfortably close, but LSU will win it late.  The Championship Game? I’ll just have to see which Tennessee shows up against Kentucky this Saturday. If the Georgia of the last few weeks shows up, that will pose quite a problem for the Tigers.  What the boys need most is to get through the next two weeks, and then have a month to heal. 

I believe in the Tigers. I don’t believe in the delusional- Michigan/ Big-Ten-fan-from-last year-way. If LSU loses, then we lose.  We will go down fighting. We wil not give up, roll over and play dead.  If LSU loses either of the next two games,  then I will watch LSU play another January bowl, and tilt my beer to the two teams that managed to run the gauntlet and impress the media conspiracy.  But I think this team is something special.  The boys win despite a coaching staff that doesn’t get them fully prepared and makes questionable calls (not a good way to enhance the resumes, Coaches).  Glenn Dorsey gave up beaucoup bucks to come back and try to win a national title. He’s been playing hurt for a month. Matt Flynn is smart, saavy, and just athletic enough. Jacob Hester moves mountains.  Early Doucet is a game-breaker.  We have seem to have 100 running backs, who all give everything every down.  Ali Highsmith just smacks people around.  Chevis Jackson and Jonathan Zenon seem to have been starting forever.   Craig Steltz hits about 1/2 as hard as Laron Landry, which means twice as hard as most other college safeties.  Itty-bitty Trindon Holliday is gone once he has a step (as I’ve noted, he weighs less than the Boot).   We’ve got a team of juniors and seniors with two consecutive BCS bowls behind them; a coach who abandoned them for bigger and better things; another coach who is seriously considering doing the same (although Michigan is bigger, I can’t really say it’s better, unless you like snow, bratwurst, and less pretty girls); a team that lost four players to the first round of the NFL draft, and has a new offensive coordinator who likes to pull Mountain West crap.  And, oh, there was the little matter of the weather systems that passed over the central and western Gulf Coasts during their stay at LSU.  I say bring on Mark Richt and his theatrics and his New Jersey running back. Bring on next year’s number 1 draft pick. Bring on schizophrenic Tennessee and letters of support from NFL players. Bring on the Big 12 Team du Jour, West Virginia, or whoever else comes.  Katrina and Rita could not truly defeat us; what chance do mere humans have?  I believe in the Tigers.

Anyhoo, West Virginia seems to be peaking at the right time, if by uncomfortably close margins.   But let’s be clear about the big story in the Big East this year: Connecticut, which played 1-AA football until 2000, and joined the Big East in football in 2004, will finish no worse than second in the conference.   Huskies, say thank you and goodbye to Randy Edsall.  That game is in Morgantown. Too much offense for the Huskies to handle.  Book your tickets to the Sun Bowl. ( UConn at least deserves a trip to someplace not freezing cold. One site had the Huskies going to the International Bowl. Yeesh) . Speaking of bowl projections, as of today, both CBS and College Football News have a LSU-WVU national championship.  I refrain from any comment about that possibility until such time that it actually occurs.   However, I would note that WVU does not have a good history when playing in New Orleans, and I would also warn any Mountaineer fans who are used to mouthing off to Morgantown police and West Virginia state troopers that New Orleans’ finest crack skulls, even of white college kids.  And that’s all I’ll say about that until December 2. Heck, my Tigers still have to get through the train wreck that is Arkansas, and then the SEC Championship (keep trying, and maybe one day you’ll be as good) before we worry about a BCS berth.

A huge salute to Dennis Dixon, Oregon Ducks quarterback, and the kid who might have won the Heisman, had he not torn his ACL on NOVEMBER 3. That’s right; he started the Arizona game with a completely torn ACL, and still played. As a matter of fact, he outran the Arizona defense before coming out the game.  Along with Byron Leftwich being carried by his linemen to continue playing, this has to be one of the dumbest, but guttiest performances of any college football player.   Dennis Dixon, you are SEC-worthy.  Heal up, kid, so you can buy momma, who didn’t raise a wimp, a new house.  From EDSBS, through the Eugene, Oregon Register Guard. For true football idiocy, which lives on through the ages, check out the story of the fabulously named Jack Youngblood. Know why chop blocks are illegal? Snapped fibulas.

My friend from the boonies (meaning Woodbridge) throughly enjoyed last Saturday’s pass-fest, Texas Tech over Oklahoma. Boy, was I ever gloriously mistaken about that game.  Congrats to the Texas Longhorns.

 Finally: per Sports by Brooks, since Arrowhead Stadium is an NFL locale, there will be beer for the Border War.   Let’s see:  people who have been tailgating since Thanksgiving, a rivalry that literally celebrates destruction, murder and terrorism, and a BCS bid to boot?  Woe betide Kansas City! There’s a reason there are so many episodes of Cops filmed there.  I am so watching that game.

Wait, I forgot one thing. There was a terrible loss in college football, one that hurt LSU’s strength of schedule, diminished the achievements of Sylvester Croom, and should make Tennessee feel more embarassed than they already are for almost losing to Vandy.  But on the other hand:

From Roll Bama Roll

From 3rd Saurday in Blogtober

Next: My invitation to Coach Rodriguez (and Coach Tuberville, too); Tim Tebow (ick) for Heisman (I can’t believe my fingers typed that); Hate Week Part Deux, featuring the  Border War, the Hole in the Ground Bowl,  a Longhorn vs. Lassie, and the game it is your duty as an American to watch:  Navy vs Army.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

XOXO, MLBGG

(PS…Ole Miss fans. I’m sorry for my incredulous references to your backup QB, but you’re Ole Miss, for goodness sakes.)

The Homestretch, Part One

November 15, 2007

Wow. I missed what turned out to be another fantastic weekend of college football, and I’ve just got to make a few comments. First of all, I’d like to congratulate Sylvester Croom and the Mississippi State Bulldogs for winning the battle of Alabama, and announce that the MLBGG will no longer use the term “Croomed.” I think that he’s earned that, along with not getting fired this season. Beating this year’s Kentucky, Alabama and Auburn is no fluke.

Image Hosting by Picoodle.com

From deepsouthsports.net. Please visit the site for the most delightful photoshop ever.

Also, don’t get too fired up, Illinois fans. Just watch and see if you don’t lose to Northwestern. That’s the beauty and the pain that comes with Ron Zook. (f*ck) Florida fans may be annoying, but they’re not nuts. That being said, you will have crazy talent coming into your school during the Zook era. That talent will always end up in the Capitol One or Outback Bowl, but you will have talent.

Now, on to the future. There’s so much hatred and contempt coming up in the next few weeks, beginning with this Saturday and the Ohio State-Michigan game. And then Thanksgiving weekend is a veritable hatefest: Kansas and Missouri (140 years of real, genuine contempt); The Egg Bowl (Ole Miss and Mississippi State); Texas & Texas A&M; The Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State; Virginia Tech (salt of the earth) vs. Virginia (brie eating wine drinking snobs); and what I affectionately call the “Hole in the Ground Game” between Auburn and Alabama. ( For those of you not swift enough to figure it out, the optimal result for me would be for the ground to open up under the stadium. It’s officially known as the Iron Bowl.)

But I am getting waaaay ahead of myself here.  Before we start off with the Thursday night game, let’s start with the most important game of the week for both LSU and Michigan fans. LSU is visiting Oxford, Mississippi (speed limit 18 on campus) to attempt to stay on track for a shot in the BCS title game (win out, and we’re in), and to solidify Coach Les’ resume as he heads to Michigan. The bookies have us at 18 point favorites over Ole Miss. I will be the first to admit that there is no way LSU will win by that much. I worry, in fact, that my Tigers  will be on cruise control, having won the West this past weekend. But, the Tigers do have the terrible memories of the game we should have lost to Ole Miss last year, and the fact that this is an away game to keep them on track.  Ole Miss has also taken some other top SEC teams to the last quarter,  and the boys will know that as well.   Despite having to face Arkansas for the Boot next Friday, I do not think anyone at LSU is looking ahead to the championship game. No one wants to be playing in some New Year’s Day Bowl, or at this point, even in a regular BCS bowl.  I foresee, as usual, a slow start that will give me a headache, and a pull away due to the sheer talent differential between the two schools. Plus, Ed Oregeron may bigger balls and less brain that my beloved, soon to be freezing his ass off, Coach Les.  LSU wins, but not anywhere close to the 18 point spread.

Thursday night, I’ll find myself cheering for the morons who stomped on the Eye of the Tiger last season. Oregon at Arizona is a huge game for the Ducks, since they were humilated by Arizona last year. A win keeps them in the national title picture, a loss, and they’re thinking about the Holiday Bowl (the Pac-10 really needs to work on some better tie-ins). I’ll be cheering for Arizona, but I think Oregon will run up the score.

Virginia Tech hosts a Miami team in total disarray. If it weren’t Miami, I might feel bad. Miami’s only shot at this game is the fact Virginia Tech has virtually no offense. Tech wins, but in a closer game than it should be. A couple of big plays by Miami’s defense could turn this a very unpleasant Senior Day in Blacksburg, but here’s hoping that won’t happen.

West Virginia at Cincinnati (Can anyone please tell me what a Bearcat is? Please?) This could be a trap game for the Mountaineers, as they had to labor mightily to beat Louisville at home.  Some of the media conspiracy is picking Cincy to win this game (anyone who thinks Brian Kelly is at Cincy next year, raise your hand. No takers? Didn’t think so).  I’ll go with the Mountaineers, just because I expect to see some of these people soon for a Christmas party.  I would note that the Bearcats have a better defense than Louisville, and are officially the second best team in Ohio. Don’t screw this up, Mountaineers; the Orange Bowl committee is counting on your ticket sales.

Lloyd Carr’s last game: GO BIG BLUE! Seriously, the only reason I care about this game is that I want the winner of the Big Ten Plus One to have lost to a Division 1-AA school, and I also want Les to see what he’s getting into, and what he’s losing. Andouille is better than brats.

Wisconsin at Minnesota: In addition to heading to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Wisconsin, a pre-season sleeper pick for Big Ten champions, can console themselves with keeping Paul Bunyan’s axe.  (Terrible things will happen to me if Minnesota wins this game. Terrible.)

Boston College at Clemson: as always, the question is whether Clemson can put together a whole game. I say that this time, they can.  Clemson wins big.

Iowa State at Kansas: I’ve been hating on them all season. Since that seems to be doing them quite well, I will continue hating on them, and pick Iowa State, although the Cyclones will be lucky to lose by 30.

Missouri at Kansas State: this here, folks, is my real and genuine upset pick.  Missouri has been dazzling this season, and Kansas State has fallen off dramatically, losing to the Cyclones (ick) and being treated like an escaped ‘ho by Nebraska the last two weeks. Ron Prince and those K-State Wildcats need to redeem themselves, and heck, they might be pissed off by that Missouri t-shirt, too. ( If I were engaged in negative recruiting, I would sure point out how Missouri students are still celebrating confederate heroes. Worse than Ole Miss!) I think Missouri may get caught looking to next weekend, and Kansas State isn’t quite bad enough to look past. Kansas State in the upset.

Oklahoma at Texas Tech: Ah, the Red Raiders. They beat up on the Baylors of the world, and then when they run into the top half of the Big Twelve food chain, they get slapped around. I see no reason for that to stop this weekend. I think that Oklahoma, more than any other team in the Top 10 in the BCS, is on a mission. The past five or so years have not been all that great for the Sooners. They lost to LSU in a BCS title game that the media conspiracy (and annoying Pete Carroll) said they didn’t belong in. The 2005 season was wiped off the books thanks to a too-generous booster and some dumb kids who, lo and behold, acted like bad kids, and took money.  They did get screwed last year against Oregon, and then they lost to Boise State, last year’s America’s Darlings (and that was awesome).  I’m not sure that any team should really be thrilled about facing them from now through the bowls, because they’re going to open up a big can of whoop-ass on everyone they play.  Someone from Texas Tech will get broken on Saturday. (I’d just like to announce, so I can get back into Cliff and Heather’s house, that I am not pro-Sooner in any way, and I’m sure Texas will open a can of whoop-ass, too. Just not in the Big 12 title game.)

Two games I will be paying a lot of attention to, as either Georgia or Tennessee, both of which are very capable of beating LSU when they actually show up, will play the Tigers in Atlanta:

Kentucky at Georgia: I just don’t believe Georgia can keep it up week after week. I think the Bulldogs, beat Kentucky, but it will be a harder game than it should be.  The optimal result in this game for me is four overtimes (doesn’t matter who wins) and Matthew Stafford and/or (ok, especially) Knowshon Moreno suffering a severe ACL sprain, broken collarbone, or completely separated shoulder.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee:  Tennessee should win this game, like they should always beat Vanderbilt.  But Tennesse has a way of say, shutting down the number one pick in the 2008 NFL draft one week, and then needing to stop a two point conversion against a service academy the next. I can’t say the smart kids can’t do it, but they probably won’t.

(You may be more able to tell which team troubles me more from the above. )

Next week, the MLBGG bids goodbye to the Darren McFadden Experience and his coach, Houston Nutt, and I tell Rich Rodriguez that not only is Baton Rouge is a great place to raise a family, but why he should head back to Louisiana, where he first made his name as an offensive genius. 

Also, we’ll get a bunch of names who are supposedly up to be LSU’s next coach, and try to figure out where Tommy Tuberville is going next.  Texas A&M is apparently hoping they can do better with another person who coached in Alabama than with the last one. My Texas fans had best hope he doesn’t head to College Station.

GO DUKE!!

And welcome back to the NFL, Ricky. Hoped you visited rehab (no, no, no).

Rocky T*ts weighs in

October 8, 2007

So another epic fall weekend has passed us by.  It seems that every one so far, with this past one being no different, has brought excitement, shake-ups and most definitely disappointments.  I gotta tell ya, the disappointments (as long as they aren’t for the Vols) are definitely more fun. 

Take for instance last weekend, the MLBGG and I went to an establishment full of Texas fans. We even sat with Texas fans. And we, along with those very same Texas fans watched Texas lose. Not just lose, but pretty much get taken for a ride. I gotta tell ya, it was kinda fun. I’ve never sat there and watched the complete and utter dismay that brews when someone else’s team is getting destroyed. I thought to myself, so, this is what I look like when my Vols crumble (which happens way too often for my tastes but we aren’t going to talk about that ’cause we’re going to think positive thoughts). 

Unfortunately I didn’t watch enough football this weekend to enjoy the same experience. But my team did not disappoint and f*ck Florida lost, so I’m happy.  For now at least.

The Road to the Orange Bowl goes through Raymond James: Friday Night Liveblog

September 29, 2007

Yo. Since I went out last night, I am staying in this evening, and watching the WVU-USF game at home.  I’ve got everything I need: wine, cheese and wine and cheese.  I am ready.  I am in contact with the Queen Bee, West Virginia resident, hostess with the mostest, mother of Jack “My baseball” Bailey and Vanderbilt alumnus. I expect texts from the Insouciant Truth.

7:37 pm: the senile dude is talking, so he may be saying that makes sense, but I seriously doubt it. Now Mark May is talking. He is picking WVU, basically saying that the Mountaineers have too many weapons.

7:38: I just changed to “Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team 2.” Coverage of the first quarter will be somewhat limited, because this is the first episode of the girls at training camp. I’m hooked on this show. One of the rookie candidates this year is deaf.  She made the evil dance instructor cry when she did her solo dance.

8:15: the heaviest girl at the DCC training camp weighs 138 pounds.  Yeesh.

WVU was stopped on the first drive. There is obviously a lot of excitement in Tampa. The best way for the Moutaineers to take out that excitement is to score two touchdowns in rather rapid fashion. The longer the crowd is in it, the longer the Bulls will be.

First turnover of the game by South Florida. WVU recovers. The Mountaineers get nothing despite the short field. Coach Rod looks like he’s aboout to stroke out.  The Bulls have the ball back, and are driving.

That may have been the worst pass I have ever seen. That includes the QB from Mississippi State.  USF 7, WVU 0.  As of this time, I don’t want to hear anything about low scores in the SEC being a result of bad offense, and how SEC offense is downright boring compared to the scillintilating Big East.  This season’s premier Big East teams have combined for five turnovers in one quarter.

Can we say “blown coverage” and “poor tackling”? USF 14, WVU 0.  I read that Coach Rod’s philosophy was to keep his best athletes on offense. That’s perfectly clear from that last touchdown.  (Of course, at LSU, the kicker can score a 15 yard touchdown, and the defensive tackles run the 4X100 in high school. Matt Flynn is probably the worst athlete of the 22 starters. If (f*ck) Florida does the unthinkable, and ends up facing WVU in some BCS bowl, assuming the Mountaineers win tonight, Tim Tebow would have 250 yards rushing.)

Oops. That drive didn’t end well for WVU. FOUR turnovers? In one quarter? WVU’s on pace to beat Mississippi State’s numbers against LSU.  Well, that drive didn’t end well for USF. FOUR turnovers? Boy, this is some quality Big East offense. I feel privileged to be watching. This is an ESPN instant classic, for sure. EIGHT turnovers with six minutes to go in the first half.  No texts from The Truth yet.

But still, I can hear the sounds of jets firing up in Knoxville and Auburn, heading for Tampa.

Uh oh. Pat White is limping. My Mountaineer boosters had best hope they can inject that with something and tape it up.

I don’t know what kind of snap that was.  So much for the touchdown chance. I would love to be in the that locker room at halftime. Coach Rod seriously does look like he will stroke out.

I just heard a commercial praising the “four Heisman candidates from the Big East.” Um, no. The Big East lost one when Louisville lost to Syracuse, following the loss to perennial SEC football doormat Kentucky.  And if some things don’t happen very differently in the second half, the Big East will be down to one. And his team still hasn’t played a game against a real opponent.  Ya’ll KNOW how much I HATE to say this, but (f*ck) Fliorida has the front runner for the Heisman right now, and if (f*ck) Florida wins next weekend (please, L*rd, Shiva and the Furies, you owe us), I’d hand the hardware to Tebow on the Eye of the Tiger.  And the Heisman trophy “the most revered of all trophies,” which it is? Please.  Much like when Milli Vanilli won a Grammy for best new artist, the Heisman hurt its credibility when Gino Toretta was declared the best football player in the nation that year.  And Jason White (2003 award winner, who had his bell rung in the only national championship game that was played that year, Trojan fans)? Puh-leeeze.  Speaking of greatest players, I checked a list of greatest college players by team on Rivals.com. Texas’s final two were Vince Young and Earl Campbell. It is a testament to the power of Earl Campbell’s legacy that he didn’t lose to Vince Young by that much, despite the fact he was in a Texas uniform thirty years ago.  Just a little side note. I was always an Earl Campbell fan. Thought I’d talk about it.

But seriously, I’d like for WVU to still be a top 5 team when I arrive in Morgantown on October 20th. No texts from The Truth as of yet.

John Taylor for Arlington County President! Heck, John Taylor for PRESIDENT. Mr. Taylor’s team has a big game next weekend, as does mine.  It will be fun to watch at least some of it with him in a red dress. ( Most of you have no idea what that means, but it amuses me immensely.  The soon-to-be Mrs. Taylor would be a proud member of the RWA (Red Wine Association). My West Virginia people would love her, except for her slight Virginia Tech obsession. She’s a fab lady.)

Um, that was probably not the way to start off the second half.  But again, South Florida has played a big-time team in a big time atmosphere.

Apparently, Pat White is not coming back out. 21-6, USF.

Go AUBURN! (If not a victory, at least a high ankle sprain for Tebow.) More on the Florida offense (Tebow). He has an 890 SAT. He is a running quarterback. His first instinct is to pull the ball down and run. He had 20-something carries last week and ran for two touchdowns against Ole Miss.   Last year, he played when (f*ck) Florida needed a a mobile threat under center.  And he’s white.  Hallelujah!  Things done changed!

WVU has 12 minutes to keep from going to the Gator Bowl, and the Big East has 12 minutes left of three Heisman candidates.

The Big East is down to one Heisman candidate.  Final score 21-13, University of South Florida.

I am not picking against South Florida for the rest of the season. The new Big East Game of the Year is South Florida-Cincinnati.

I just heard the Volunteer Booster Gulfstream passing over my apartment. That Jim Leavitt is some kind of coach. From nothing to a BCS conference contender in eleven years…imagine what he could do with say a team with decades of tradition, and a stadium seating over 100,000 (or 92, 000, if Michigan does not win the Big Ten and Coach Miles heads to up Ann Arbor.)

From The Insouciant Truth: “USF is the best call in the handgun state and the Big East.”

(You know I love ya’ll. I’ll get the new Insouciant Princess some WVU related gear.)

I’m out.  XOXO, MLBGG

All good things

September 25, 2007

Welcome to Princess WVU. Here at the benevolent dictatorship that is the Mean Lil’ Black and Gold Girl’s domain, we welcome dissenting views, even when they are wrong.  Go to it, Princess! XOXO, MLBGG

I must say that watching the Mountaineer defense pitch a shut-out until the last 59 seconds of the game– which shot my beloved husband The Insouciant Truth into a rage–was just beautiful.  Our defense played as if they were trying to prove something… oh, wait, they were.  And, I am sure that first play from the line of scrimmage had many d-coordinators on our schedule scratching their heads wondering who in the world is Brandon Hogan.  All in all, fun times. And, we are off to run with the Bulls. 

Louisville, just wow.  I don’t think it was a well-kept secret that the Cards defense was nothing less than pitiful, but just how do you lose a football game after posting 600 yards in total offense… easy– coaching and turnovers.  Apparently, two areas that the Cards are struggling with this year.  As much as it pains me to say it, I guess Petrino was holding that ship together with duct tape.

But, no real worries as that was not the “breaking news” on ESPN NEWS…

 That was, course, that Charlie Weiss– the offensive genius– actually got ND into the end-zone.  No, that’s not it.  It was that Notre Dame did not win– again.  That Notre Dame is 0-4.  So, do we have to see the “breaking news” when ND is 0-8 for the first time in school history or can we just have a crawler section that is devoted to promote the fact that “ND is really bad this year”.  For instance, the little Tulane RB Matt Forte had more rushing yards in 3 hours than ND has had all season.  I would say the “breaking” part of the news is broken, just like the hearts of their faithful.     

 As everyone is aware, there is this crazy popularity contest each year for the “best football player in the whole-wide land” award a.k.a. the Heisman.  I nearly fell out of bed when I heard that Mike Hart has returned to the “race” for this coveted award after this weekend’s game.  With this weekend’s win, that puts Michigan at .500– with that argument, should the Orange now be ranked? Nope.

Seriously, my beloved Insouciant Truth notes:  Mike Hart jumps back in the Heisman race by…being mediocre? You want to impress me, get your 153 on 22 carries, or rack up a quarter-grand on your 44 carries. But please, empty headsets, don’t tell me how great he is based on a 3.5 yards-per-carry day. The only thing that tells me is that Michigan has no other weapons.

And more from the beloved Insouciant Truth which of course is directed to our sweet little Mean Lil B&G girl:  call this ‘The Question Dare Not Asked’ by the hairgel puppets employed by college football’s cosa nostra: if we grant the SEC supremacy as a conference and exclude them from this discussion, which conference is the hardest to go undefeated in? Asked another way, of USC, Oklahoma and WVU, who has the easiest path to 12-0? The toughest? And no, I didn’t mention Ahia St or Wisconsin because they haven’t shown anything that merits inclusion in the discussion, and they’re in the Big Bad Math, so, uh, no. I won’t cloud your judgment with facts…yet. I’m just trying to jolt you out of the Holthph-Herbie axis of unthink.

SECentric, and How Kentucky Ruined West Virginia’s Season

September 23, 2007

So yesterday was long, but fun. My half marathon was fun and I got my t-shirt and medal. I went to brunch, got my nails done, and then headed out to the middle of nowhere in Maryland for my friend’s wedding, which was beautiful and wonderful and had an open bar. Spiffy!  In another spiffy note, my friend’s husband is from southern West Virginia, Williamson, I believe. He is cool.  When I got together with my friends from high school, we basically regressed to fifteen year olds. I met my friend’s new boyfriend: the best way I can describe them is to recommend the chick flick “Something New,” with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker.  That pretty much sums them up in a Hollywoodish nutshell. I am not being facetious in anyway. Anyhoo, it was a lovely day, except that it kept me from my regular and favorite Saturday activity.

I only got the chance to see the first quarter of LSU’s win over South Carolina. Of course, the opening few minutes of the quarter were not pleasing to me, as South Carolina dinked it’s way to a touchdown and early 7-0 lead. (Here’s a tidbit for you Big East homers: LSU is dead last in red zone defense in the SEC. This is because LSU’s opponents have been inside the 20 yard line twice this season; once was the end of the Virginia Tech game, and the other was against Coach Superior’s ‘Cocks). Once Bo Pelini adjusted to what South Carolina had to serve up, which is what championship caliber coaches do, the universe righted itself, and everything was OK. As I noted in a prior post, I didn’t expect this to be an easy game for LSU, and I didn’t think the Tigers would blow out South Carolina.  The coach who underestimates a Superior-coached college team does so at his peril.  Matt Flynn was gimpy, Early Doucet was out, and it was pouring rain the whole game. But I’m not gonna make excuses for the Tigers. They already know that allowing 16 points, 261 yards (17 rushing yards on 27 attempts) at home to South Carolina was not acceptable:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=schlabach_mark&id=3031943&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

To put all the bellyaching in the proper perspective, however, it was a victory over a ranked conference opponent, and even LSU’s kicker is fast.  

I’ll take this “mediocre” victory over Coach Superior’s SEC East team over a blowout of say, a Conference USA team coached by the son of a senile ESPN analyst any day.  To answer a question that popped up via text message, LSU lost some depth as it had four players taken in the first round of the 2007 draft: Jamarcus Russell, Laron Landry, Craig Davis and Dwayne Bowe.  I’d say four out of thirty-two first round picks counts as many.

And if Matt Flynn can’t play, LSU will be all right with Ryan Perrilloux and some crazy-freaking-good defense. I’m not sure the same is true if Pat White goes down in a freak accident, tripping over one of his own linemen, because he’s not going down to a Big East defense (well, maybe South Florida.)

Speaking of South Florida, I’m looking forward to the Big East game of the year this Friday night. It will likely decide who gets to go play in the Orange Bowl, as former national championship contender Louisville looks to be headed for a Spartan-like swoon.  Eventually, the inability to play defense will kill a team.  Now, I wasn’t expecting it to kill Louisville so fast and so dead, but there you go.  Louisville will be unranked when the new poll comes out, and still has games against Utah and Cincy before playing WVU. Yeesh.  If anyone wants to talk to me about tickets for the now-meaningless November 8 WVU-Louisville game, I’m open to offers.  Miss Fran keeps me from scalping, so it’d be at face value.

Speaking of the team that ended both Louisville and West Virginia’s national title hopes*, Kentucky was down 29-21 in the fourth, and came back with 3 fourth quarter scores.  Kentucky is no joke this year, and clearly not a team to be taken lightly. I worry about the potential for that to be a trap game for the Tigers, coming between hosting Florida and Auburn (no need to worry about LSU being fired up for those games). I do suspect, nay I expect, that some Kentucky player, between then and now, will say something stupid regarding Glenn Dorsey, that Kentucky media will provide sufficient locker room material, and that the clip of Devery Henderson taking the tipped hail mary into one end zone while the Kentucky fans flooded onto the other will be shown about 957 times, especially if both teams are undefeated going into the game. (LSU has my po’ Tulane and (f*ck) Florida, while Kentucky has Florida Atlantic and South Carolina). There are no easy games in the SEC. (Of course, I am also encouraged by the fact that LSU’s coaching staff is also creating their resumes for the several head coaching opportunities that will be popping up nationwide, so I don’t think there will be too many letdowns).  

Speaking of job openings, I just put Houston Nutt on the clock. There’s gonna be a good number of open slots in the SEC after this season.  The top spot of course, will be at Tennessee (after yesterday, I’m not quite so sure I’m ready to write off Lloyd Carr just yet, and that Coach Miles will be heading to Michigan. There is no reason, other than Ohio State, that Michigan can’t win what is proving to be a delightfully average to sub-par Big Ten. That Minnesota-Purdue score looked like it was from the Pac 1.5).  I am going to assume that Florida (with the exception of Tim Tebow) did not come firing on all cylinders for yesterday’s game at Ole Miss, but it looks like the Rebels did. And for that, Phil Fulmer should be embarassed. Ole Miss is not good. They do not have the talent. It is hard to get players (and by that I especially mean talented black kids who make up the bulk of major college football players) who are not from Mississippi to go there.  Ole Miss makes some noise every 15 years or so. But Ole Miss took Florida to the last second, and the kids on Ole Miss never laid down and gave up (and neither did South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Georgia, Alabama, the Arkansas (offense) etc, etc). The ONLY SEC team that has appeared to give up at a certain point in the past few years is Tennessee. And that can only be laid at the coach’s feet.  Am I a Tennessee fan? No. I am not a fan of any other SEC school other than LSU (I do hold a spot in my heart for the smart kids). Do I respect what the Tennessee program has meant to college and SEC football? Yes. Do I want to see the Volunteers decline to mediocrity after another few seasons of Fulmer-ball? Absolutely not.  A change must be made in Knoxville at the end of this season.

Speaking of SEC East teams, a hearty hooray for Georgia!! ( The East appears to be the stronger division this year. Bleh). Getting back to the SEC West,  I am praying for Auburn to man up and prepare for an epic game against Florida this Saturday, or at least to play hard and well enough to bang up the Florida offense.  Auburn players, pretend the team opposite of you next Saturday is wearing crimson, and Coach Tuberville, play the sound of private jets flying to Tampa and Cincinnati while drawing up your game plan . That should help. 

Notre Dame is 0-4! That glorious 0-8 start is looking like it will be reality, and I wouldn’t count Air Force and Navy as gimmes for the Pyrite Domers.

* Let me explain myself. At this point, WVU has four teams ahead of it: LSU, (f*ck) Florida, Oklahoma, and USC.  I think that Oklahoma will beat Texas, but if Texas wins that game, Texas will leapfrog WVU.  USC’s only stumbling point in their schedule is the .5 in the Pac 1.5, Cal, and perhaps Oregon, as both of those games are away. And I think the Trojans be more than a wee bit fired up and ready. If Cal beats USC, they will leapfrog WVU.  Ohio State and Wisconsin  both lurk in the Top 10, and either one of those teams suddenly turning it on would also have shot of leapfrogging WVU.

LSU and the Gators will take one or the other out of the equation, but the prevailing wisdom (and likely scenario) is that both teams will meet again in the SEC title game. Should they (eck) split, both LSU and (f*ck) Florida would be probably be ahead of an undefeated WVU on strength of schedule, and the talking coming from Les Miles and Urban Meyer to get their teams into the national championship would be nothing less than extraordinary. Both teams will probably be in BCS bowls, if all plays out as it should. WVU’s signature out of conference win is against a team that defeated Villanova and Florida International. Maryland has Rutgers next, and then plays all conference games, and I don’t see Maryland going much better than 4-3 in the ACC. If Maryland somehow manages to beat Rutgers, kiss any shot of going to the title game goodbye. Rutgers has reached a number 11 ranking by beating up on Buffalo, Navy and Norfolk State, and any loss by Rutgers to a non-creampuff (look out for that Oct. 6 game against the mystery Bearcat team) will be severly punished in the polls, which further hurts WVU.

The Louisville losses really, really hurt WVU’s schedule strength and title chances. Unless WVU whoops on Louisville, that game has now has absolutely no benefit to WVU, and is in fact, incredibly dangerous, as Louisville has not lost the ability to score, and would probably love to spoil WVU’s season.  South Florida is quickly becoming a media darling (media darling= higher ranking), and WVU needs a convincing win over USF (and for the remaining undefeated Big East teams to step up)  to keep from taking another step back in the polls now that the conference schedules have started.  BTW, Mississippi State’s next three games are South Carolina, UAB and Tennessee, and they are now 3-1. It is not inconceivable that the Bulldogs will have a winning record (4-3, or 5-2, depending on which UT team shows for the game. I think that the ‘Cocks beat MSU, simply because of better coaching, although it won’t be a pretty game), when they arrive to Morgantown, which would help WVU’s schedule strength.

I am going to consider leaving my house.  Toodles!