Archive for the ‘NFL’ 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.

Advertisements

The Championship Quarterbacks- Philip Rivers, Tangerine/ Champs Sports Bowl MVP

January 16, 2008

San Diego Chargers backup quarterback Billy Volek smiles in his post-game press conference after the Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts 28-24 in an NFL divisional playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Indianapolis. Volek, filling in for injured starter Philip Rivers, engineered an 8-play, 78-yard drive in the fourth quarter for the winning score.

I couldn’t find any pictures of Philip Rivers in which his head was not disproportionally large, so I decided to go with with this lovely picture of Chargers backup QB, Billy Volek. Rather plain, but what a nice and genuine smile for the QB who ran the drive that eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions. Given that he may have to play sometimes this Sunday, there’s nothing wrong with a picture of him.

Fine. Here’s one of Philip Rivers.

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 30:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on December 30, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Eh.

A trick picture in the baby blues. (Why, oh why, don’t they go back to that permanently?)

If he actually looked as good as the ESPN cover photo, he’d be the winner of the pageant. But he does not.

I’d have to give it to Brady.

Damnit.

The Championship Quarterbacks- Elisha Nelson Manning, the Baby of the Family

January 16, 2008

I think this is a trick picture.

Eli Manning

And so is this. But it’s not fair for me to just put pictures that reflect my mental picture of him:

Eli Manning

That was after he tripped over his own lineman, whom  Chad Lavalais pushed backward, at the 2003 LSU-Ole Miss game, which decided the SEC West, a game which was the start of the only national championship run that season.

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas. The Giants defeated the Cowboys 21-17.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Here’s one after the game this past Sunday in Dallas.

Not a  bad shot above.  He just doesn’t do anything for me. Probably because I’m sick of hearing about him, too ( his daddy is still legend in New Orleans, and he grew up not ten minutes from my house in NOLA, so it’s even worse than Brett Favre.)  And he’s goofy looking as heck, if not quite the potato head that his middle brother is. 

The Championship Quarterbacks- Brett Lorenzo Favre, the Media Darling

January 16, 2008

Green Bay Packers Brett Favre manages a smile in the closing moments of a victory against the New York Giants Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. P-C photo by Dan Powers.

So one day, he will finally retire. He’s still very um….well….yeah. 

And here’s one from five years ago:

A relaxed and happy Brett Favre watches the end of the game from the sidelines during the Green Bay Packers game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Monday, September 29, 2003. PHOTO BY STEVE LEVIN

It’s not that he’s not a nice looking man. He is. I know he’s done good things to help out his state (and his part of it was leveled) in the aftermath of Katrina.   I’m just sick of him. His hometown and college (Southern Miss) is close enough to New Orleans that I’ve been hearing about him for the better part of two decades. I just wish he would take his aw shucks act and go home, whether that be Green Bay or Pascagoula/ Kiln. And I heard gossip about him from a long time ago that I cannot repeat here, since I don’t want to be sued or hunted down by angry Green Bay people.

That being said, I wouldn’t give him the evil eye.

The Championship Quarterbacks-Thomas Edward Patrick Brady or, Mr. Big’s Wife’s Baby Daddy

January 16, 2008

New England Patriots' Tom Brady smiles during a post game news conference after the Patriots' 31-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL divisional playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 in Foxborough, Mass.

I am ripping off a page from the Ladies… and The Chicks in the Huddle.  This is the first in a series of four, looking at the quarterbacks who will be playing this Sunday for their conference titles. We’re starting off with Tom Brady.  He annoys me to no end, being the quarterback of the Patriots; a model; dating a wealthy Brazilian supermodel; and having three rings and being a newly minted league MVP.

But I gotta admit that he looks damned fine in this photo.  Even pulls off the goofy-ass hair.

Not the face, boys. Anywhere but the face.

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

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).

My heart needs the break

October 27, 2007

It’s Halloween weekend. Tonight I am resting and enjoying an evening by my lonesome. Tomorrow, I’m off to Virginia Beach for a….um..stroll around several establishments with a few dozen of my closest friends, and some people who scare me.  I will be a referee for Halloween, as I am a League Commissioner. ( We’ll be having a live draft on Saturday. I still have to go with my original number one pick, despite his absence from the festivities, instead of his best buddy. Youth before beauty! I know that almost no one knows what that meant, but that’s ok. It’s my dictatorship.) And thankfully, after last weekend’s near-death experience, LSU has a bye week, so I don’t have to worry about trying to find a TV to watch, staying sober enough to start watching a game at 9 p.m., or shattering the glass in whatever house or establishment I am watching the game.  Like every weekend, there are games of interest and importance, even if I’m not particularly absorbed. We’ll go backwards this week, and start with games in the lesser conferences. 

WVU at Rutgers: After weeks of upsets, WVU is back in the BCS championship game talk.  The Moutaineers have more talent, and should win.  Much like Kentucky last weekend, I don’t think Rutgers can put up a supreme effort two weeks in a row, and a supreme effort is what it will take to defeat the Mountaineers. Rutgers’ best advantages are that they are at home, and the Mountaineer pass defense is not good. The WVU D will wisely be keyed on Ray Rice. If Teel can manage to get some long accurate passes off, this might be a better game than I think it will be.  I’ll go with the Mountaineers in a close one. (I wonder where Coach Rodriguez will go next year? There should be some very nice jobs opening up.) 

Nebraska at Texas: There was a time where this would have been a marquee game. Now it’s the Bill Callahan countdown (yet another job that will be open in 2008) against a Texas team that finally got that case of the Mack Brown I was talking about.  The road to the Alamo Sunshine Bowl, sponsored by Poulan Weedeaters, goes through Austin! Nebraska not only has less talent than Texas; the boys on that team have flat out quit on Callahan. Texas, in a big, huge way.  (PS…Bo…hold out for a better job. Why do you want to freeze your a&& off on the Great Plains?)

Kansas at Texas A&M: somewhere, a schedule of creampuffs, cupcakes and girls’ schools has got to catch up with Kansas. I believe that this is the week, since Dennis Franchione will be looking to spice up the resume for potential new employers.

Cal at Arizona State: Wow. From national championship contender to….Holiday Bowl, if they’re lucky. ASU is highly ranked because everyone else lost. I really have nothing to say about this game. Whomever is coaching ASU will not be there next year. There are better jobs in the Pac 1.5 and nationwide. Because I don’t care, and that’s the way the season goes, I’ll go Cal. Let’s continue to screw everything to hell!

USC at Oregon: Autzen Stadium will be absolutely rocking. Will USC be blinded by the ugliest uniforms ever in any sport?  Will the USC of old, swaggering and proud, show up, or the one that forgot Stanford was a Division 1-A football team appear? USC has played distinctly lackluster football in the past few weeks. The Trojans barely beat Washington and an awful Arizona team, and of course, there was the Stanford debacle. I think that the USC people think USC is supposed to be will show up in Oregon tomorrow. I go with the Trojans. It should be epic, or as epic as Pac 1.5 football gets.

Ohio State at Penn State: Penn State is not good. They really aren’t. If the Sweatervests don’t step up and beat down Penn State, they are a fraud.  I know about the white-out, and the alleged intimidation factor of playing at Penn State, but seriously, this should really not be a close game if Ohio State is really championship caliber.  I advise SEC fans (and even those from the Pac 1.5  and Big 12 South) to not watch this game, as they may become ridiculously bored and frustrated at the slow speed of play.

UCLA at Washington State: I just bring up this game because I bet UCLA will blow it.

South Florida at UConn: Another huge game for UConn. South Florida should really win this game. We’ll see if USF can get themselves back together. I think they can. The Bulls in a close one.

Minnesota at Michigan: looks like the Little Brown Jug will be staying in Ann Arbor.

A brief review of last night’s Virginia Tech game, as I channel my favorite Tech fan, Heather. Heather, to let ya’ll know, spent last Saturday night holding me as I watched the LSU-Auburn game in an inebriated panic. This is not meant to mock her, or any of the Hokie Nation. Believe me, the MLBGG knows your pain: 

Minutes 1-57: this is fantastic! This is great! Let’s check on tickets to Jacksonville, baby.  Minute 58: Ok, we’ve got the ball back. We’ ve just got another two minutes OH SWEET JESUS MOTHERF*CKER WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HOW DID THEY GET THE G*DD*MNED BALL BACK CANT GLENNON HOLD ON WHERE IS TYROD?. Minutes 58:30 to 59:55: SOMEONE STOP HIM FROM RUNNING! HOW IS MATT RYAN GETTING AWAY FROM OUR DEFENSE WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING SOMEONE TACKLE SOMEONE FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! Minute 59:55-60:00: That sucked balls. And not in a good way.

(Portions of that commentary were edited for family consumption, filtered with my voice, and modified so I don’t get my a&& kicked.)

Now for the good stuff:

Miami at Vanderbilt: Vandy is the kind of team that will go balls to the wall at Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, and then stink up the joint at home against a MAC team. So don’t be surprised when it happens tomorrow.

MSU at Kentucky: the only question I have is if Kentucky can get to 45. I think they can. Andre’ (must get the apostrophe) Woodson, I doubt ye no more. Wildcat fans, enjoy this season, because your program graduates this year, and your coach is not long for Lexington.

Ole Miss at Auburn: Here’s another SEC West game with two job openings for next year (seriously, the entire division is going to have new coaches next year, except for the Crimson Whine.  Coach Balls for Brains is still the leading candidate to take the reins at Michigan if Lloyd Carr decides to resign; Houston Nutt’s days are numbered, since he has Secretariat and Seattle Slew in his backfield, and managed to do exactly nothing of note with them this year; the crazy boosters have finally driven Coach Tuberville to the edge; Mississippi State needs to start over…and Ole Miss…how’d firing Cutcliffe go for you?). Anyhoo, I’d say this is a trap game for Auburn, them being worn out by all that scoring from last week, and rolling up on Glenn Dorsey’s knee, but Ed Orgeron’s a terrible coach, and contractually, Auburn cannot lose to more than one team from Mississippi a year.  Auburn in a close one, because that is how Auburn wins football games.

South Carolina at Tennessee: Both teams were embarassed last week. Only one team, however, has a coach who develops a nervous tick when he sees his visor wearing, squinting opponent across the field.  Steve Spurrier beats Tennessee, then finds yet another way to manage to insult Phil Fulmer. 

Finally, the SEC Game of the Week, sponsored by Home Depot on CBS, is the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Right now, massive quantities of cocaine, weed, Jack Daniels, Makers Mark, Bombay Sapphire are entering the Jacksonville city limits in preparation for tomorrow afternoon’s tailgate/ fashion show/ meat market/ cookoff ….oh, hold up. There’s a football game, too.  The MLBGG will go with (f*ck) Florida for this one. Timmy’s groupies didn’t have to work on him quite as thoroughly after the UK  game as after the LSU game. The Timmy Show is a bit banged up in his non-throwing shoulder, so don’t expect the 57 carries a game he’s been getting most of the season against Georgia. Georgia, Georgia, Georgia. Really, it’s been all downhill since the 2005 SEC Championship, where they demolished my Tigers. The end result was the game the Angry Eer from Loser with Socks still can’t stop talking about. (An aside about that game: I was there.  I respect what the Mountaineers did at what was basically a home field for Georgia. WVU put up 28 points on the Bulldogs before they had the chance to react, and they ran out of time to catch up.  I will always continue to believe that if Georgia took WVU half as seriously as they did LSU and the rest of the SEC, the Bulldogs would have won that game going away. Unfortunately for Georgia and SEC fans who have to hear about that game being some sort of turning point, they did not. And the failure of those boys not being ready lies squarely at Mark Richt’s feet.)  The Bulldogs are the most schizoprenic team in the SEC.   You never know which team will show up from week to week. I certainly don’t. So I have to lie back, close my eyes, think of Liuzza’s, and pick the d*mned Gators.

That’s all for now. Apparently, the NFL may actually exist.  A word of caution to Boston fans who are in the grip of hubris: you are one broken collarbone from not making the playoffs, a rotator cuff from letting the Rocktoberfest (TM)back in, and a real football conference from a national champion. 

Next week is Hell Week Part Deux. I can feel the overconfidence from the Crimson Whine in my bones.

Also, I’ll tell you why the Big East will never be as good as the SEC. 

And it’s actually pretty fricking simple. Here’s a clue:

“What we’ve got to do is continue to work toward getting more speed and athleticism on the football field, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.”
— Minnesota coach Tim Brewster in the aftermath of his team’s loss to North Dakota State (It’s not your conference, but it’s close enough).

West Virginia doesn’t suck, but my Saturday does

September 22, 2007

We’ve got another short version this week, folks. Let me start by saying this. West Virginia is a lovely place to visit, with lovely people, by and large.  Some of my people were thrown into turmoil by a blog post by an obnoxious type that all Washingtonians would recognize: those who don’t leave the 202 (the District’s area code for the two of you who may not know that) except to travel to National Airport, and act as if they are Lewis and Clark when they do. I won’t repeat the commentary, but suffice it to say that it was rude, and if the same things had been written about a visit to a predominantly black city, the person would have been dropped as a contributor to whatever it is he does. 

I love my West Virginia people. I like my visits there,  the people I work with are dedicated and have been good to me, by and large. My friends there are beyond wonderful.  I love going to football games and tailgating in Morgantown (although it does not reach the art form that southern tailgating is), and I love the people watching in the Charleston Town Center Mall.  I have been to some parties there that any hasher would be thrilled to attend (and from which periods of time seemed to have melted away). People were broken, cases of wine were consumed, I drank green punch and ended up in a gay bar (several times.)

Finally, I find their delusions about the Mountaineers and Big East adorable.

 I hope to do another stream of consciousness next weekend, when my weekend will consist of going to buy a red dress and some high school reunion clothes with Rocky T*ts, a garter belt and thigh highs for myself (it’s a hashing thing) and taking down the braids. Tomorrow, I am strolling through Quantico for about 13 miles, and hoping no Marines come to chase me down and carry me to the straggler bus. Then I have brunch, and need to get my nails done and figure out to wear for an evening wedding in lovely Pasadena, Maryland. And I still have to decide whether I want to get a hotel room out there, so that I may have more than one glass of wine.

So I’ve got a ridiculous day coming up, and there’s one thing that truly annoys me: I’m missing football, including the SEC Game of the Week, sponsored by the Home Depot, on CBS at 3:30:

http://www.ilovewavs.com/TV/Sports/TV%20Theme%20-%20CBS,%20College%20Football.wav

( I hear that, and I know it’s time for a real football game.) 

(Ok, I just noticed something incredibly funny. When I checked the link for the SEC Game of the Week theme, the related searches were “The Game,” “Jeff Gordon,” “Tony Stewart” “Georgia Tech” and “gay porn.” What that means, I don’t know.)

Being the SEC Game of the Week (and that should be capitalized) means LSU has to play in the day at Tiger Stadium. It’s just not right, I tell ya. LSU- (f*ck) Florida better be prime time.  I am worried about this game, because Steve Spurrier is a great college coach, and has proven able to adapt with the little talent he has.  Early Doucet is out, and Matt Flynn is not 100 percent.  The South Carolina defense definitely does not suck.  The ‘Cocks have two decent running backs. There are no easy conference games in the SEC. 

On the other hand, Blake Mitchell threw three interceptions against South Carolina State.  Les Miles did not coach in the SEC in the 1990s, so he doesn’t have that nervous tick that some coaches get (see: Fulmer, Phil) when Ole’ Ball Coach Superior appears on the sideline. Coach Superior is not his usual cocky self, realizing that LSU does have an edge in talent over his ‘Cocks. Frankly, now that Coach Superior is not with (f*ck) Florida, I am getting all nostalgic for the old days.  I am looking forward to the Tennessee- South Carolina game. I expect the Superior Attitude to come back with a vengeance that week, for the last time Fulmer faces Superior as the coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

Because the game is not at night, Early Doucet is out, Matt Flynn is not healthy, and I have a healthy respect for what Coach Superior can get out of his players (remember, (f*ck) Florida won last year on a blocked field goal), I am not predicting a blowout. I don’t think that Blake Mitchell will be allowed to throw more than 10 passes, so that’s a few less touchdowns off interceptions.  Glenn Dorsey will fall down on him at some point, and Blake will go boom. LSU 30, South Carolina 12.

(f*ck) Florida at Ole Miss. There’s really no reason to discuss this game, other than the chance the Gators will score 70. Also, the Grove is beautiful, 18 MPH speed limit, beautiful co-eds, fired David Cutcliffe, don’t you feel dumb now, yada, yada, yada.  Gators many, Ole Miss 9.

The most fun game of the day, and by fun, I mean limited to no defense, should be Kentucky at Arkansas. I am seeing 1000 yards of offense (with the DMcFE responsible for 300 of them by himself), a ridiculous score, and just lots of good ole fashion fun. This is a key game for Arkansas. If they can bounce back after last week’s loss against ThatTraitorous Bastard, they should still have a good season. If not, we could be looking at the SEC’s Michigan State/ Clemson.  I’ll go with Arkansas because they’re hosting, and because I think Darren McFadden is one of the best college football players I will ever get to see.

Georgia at Alabama: We are all Bulldog fans now.  Georgia 17, Alabama 13

Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi State all play three random teams. One of them will lose to the random team, probably MSU, thanks to Mr. Pick Six throwing three or four interceptions.

The Mountaineers play East Carolina. I expect some extrapolation on how WVU ran for 500 yards on East Carolina, which held Virginia Tech in check, and therefore, LSU is overrated, and WVU can run on the Tigers. Ok.  WVU 42, ECU 20

South Florida over North Carolina; Louisville, rather massively, over Syracuse (what the heck happened to that program?); Cincy over Marshall.

I hope Michigan wins and throws the Big Ten into total turmoil. I don’t know why Penn State is getting so much more credit than Michigan, given that both team’s best wins have come against the Pyrite Dome and Knute Rockne reincarnate. I’m going against all the experts, and picking Michigan to win this game, at Happy Valley.  Start humming “The Victors” to yourself, Michigan, and maybe ya’ll will believe it again.

If Michigan State loses to Notre Dame, or if the game is even remotely close, I will start to believe that East Lansing is built on the graves of Chief Pontiac’s family and medicine man.

Ohio State really has no reason to not score 42, and to not keep Northwestern from scoring at all. Northwestern lost to Duke at home, which frankly is far more embarassing than losing to the two-time defending 1-AA champions.  But it will be the typical OSU game: uncomfortably close for much longer than it needs to be.

Indiana (about 4 games away from being America’s inspirational story and the College Game Day story that makes me cry; the coach died of a brain tumor last year) plays Illinois. Illinois is awful; Ron Zook may be the one of the worst coaches of all time.

Wisconsin plays Iowa. Both states are flat and cold, just like your mom! (Sorry. I was going back and forth with some of my West Virginia people that afternoon, so a mom joke popped into my head.) Anyhoo, Wisconsin should win big (and does have the advanage of cheese, brats and beer. Heck, why is this even a contest! Advantage, Wisconsin!)

In another game that may interest those of you for whom defense is an afterthought,  and if you’re looking for something to put on the TV, Purdue plays at Minnesota. Purdue has a fabulous passing game. Minnesota has a distinctly unfabulous pass defense (has given up 1300 yards and ranks 119th in pass defense), and gave up seven turnovers last week against an F_U school.  I foresee many, many yards in the non-atmosphere of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Woe betide you, Golden Gophers. 

There will be no coverage of the ACC (congrats to Miami), Pac-1.5 (except to mention that the Huskies have a very winnable game this week against UCLA, and it sure would make people happy to have them win with the Pyrite Dome going down in flames yet again) or Big 12 this week.

Finally, Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett is back home in Houston.  His doctors believe that he will be walking in months, and the NFLPA has asked the Houston Texans to adopt him as a teammate this year. I look forward to watering eyes when he comes onto the field at the Super Bowl in February 2008.

Remember him when you watch your games Saturday, and what 20 year olds risk to make our hearts sing on Saturday afternoon.