Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

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

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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).

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!

WE MUST IGNITE THIS HOUSE!!

September 11, 2007

Thursday Night’s Firestarter All Stars

 

It’s West Virginia at Maryland in the couch burning, mini-riot special of the year!  (7:45 on ESPN). Will Maryland have a reason to engage in pre-basketball season burning and car-overturning? How many mentions of the fact that Steve Slaton had his scholarship yanked by Maryland will there be? Will Ralph Fridgen beat the odds, and survive yet another game without a coronary? Can West Virginia play for two halves?

 

On paper, this should be a relatively easy game for WVU (much like last week’s game against Marshall) was supposed to have been). Last year’s Moutaineer victory was downright boring (believe me…I was there) and Maryland hasn’t beaten WVU since the 2004 Gator Bowl.  Maryland has been simply average since Ralph Fridgen’s first few seasons. The Terps haven’t beaten a top 5 team since 2004 (FSU). Maryland struggled last week against Florida International University, after opening against (I-AA) Villanova. They were only winning by six points in the fourth quarter against the F_U.  However, Maryland’s website/ propaganda proudly trumpets that their defense held Villanova to 187 total yards, and FIU to 163 yards, making them the number one defense in the ACC (I’m sorry, I just started giggling while typing that), and number seven in the country. (Hee hee hee). You would think this the Maryland defense is the 1986 Bears after reading this:

 

http://umterps.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/091007aaa.html

 

I think those defensive rankings will probably change after Thursday night. Maryland, despite the glowing propaganda written by the athletic department, doesn’t have the personnel to keep up with an actually motivated Mountaineers team.  The game is sold out, but Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium is not known as the hardest place to play (plus, it’s harder to throw batteries and mock player’s families in a football stadium than a basketball arena); the students can rather quickly be quieted down, and sent back out to Route 1 to drink, and perhaps burn some stuff, with a few early touchdowns. Coach Rodriguez should have them pumped up and ready to go for this night game.  I would think this is Steve Slaton’s favorite game of the year, being that he didn’t live up to Maryland’s high standards and all.

(I’m realizing that I may have a new target for my most cutting mockery: the ACC)

 

I’m going with West Virginia, 42-17. Maryland will try really hard to shock the nation, and Maryland will not succeed. The students will riot.

Your inboxes should be less full now

September 7, 2007

Hey ya’ll. I’m finally doing it, after a couple of friends have encouraged me to write a blog, rather than clog their e-mails with my epic smack on a weekly basis from August through February.  So you asked for it, and I’m here, The Mean Lil’ Black (and Gold) Girl. I’ll be posting  about things I love, namely the SEC, the Saints (yipes), putting down the Big East and the other B-S conferences, and whatever pops into my fevered little brain.  My blog is a dictatorship, but a benevolent one, and I welcome your criticism, which I will feel free to ignore.

This opening post is from an e-mail I already sent out to my friends/ frenemies during Big East-SEC contests, Big Ten-SEC contests (you get the idea).  I was astoundingly Cassandra-like, given what happened last night. I possess the power to get an NFL game turned on at the gayest bar in Washington DC (and get the gay porn and dance videos turned off), yet I am powerless to do anything about the Saints still abominable pass defense. Looks like I can expect a couple of big games from Steve Smith, since he plays my boys twice.  Or maybe it’s just an AFC thing, and I don’t understand.

Well folks, I’m thinking I’ll be too worn out and possibly depressed tomorrow after tonight’s opening game, so it’s time to get the commentary out now. A quick rundown of the Top 25 shows some games that are supposed to be better than last week, but of course, I really don’t see how that’s possible.

Oh, before I get going, look out for next’s week’s email, tenatively “The Law Enforcement Special: Riotous and Burning Smack,” in honor of next Thursday night’s ESPN game, West Virginia at Maryland.

This e-mail will cover the Top 25 (in no particular order), SEC, Big”You’re always taking pot shots at” East, and other games of interest (to me).

So here we go, in game order:

There are three Thursday games tonight, which I will not be watching.

-Middle Tennessee State at Louisville: expect Louisville to run up the score.

Oregon State at Cinncinnati: Huh? Beavers beat Bearcats. (I liked typing that, but does anyone know what a Bearcat is, other than a thuggish juco recruit being given a “second chance” by Bob Huggins? Oh wait, that’s now a Mountaineer!)

-Navy at Rutgers: Love those spunky Navy kids, but if Rutgers doesn’t win this by 20, they and everyone else should reconsider their status as a Big East contender. Ray Rice should seriously have 200 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Saturday:

The Game of the Day: Virginia Tech at LSU, which one clever blogger dubbed the “Tragedy Bowl.” (Strike Zones and End Zones)

(Did anyone see the Seinfeld where George was trying to get the co-op against an Andrea Doria survivor: Hey, we’ll see your 32 dead people by 1500 more, including some that drowned in their attics, plus add in a non-responsive federal government and our campus being turned into a refugee camp! Fats Domino in our star quarterback’s apartment! Fats Domino! Beat that, suckers!)

Anyhoo, as I leave my quick detour into the land of bad taste,  LSU is a 12.5 point favorite over VT. I think LSU covers that, but only because the LSU defense is  much better than the Virginia Tech offense.  I wouldn’t look for scillintilating offenseive football. I see Sean Glennon running for his life and failing miserably. The LSU offense isn’t great, but Matt Flynn won’t try and make something happen where nothing exists, which means turnovers should be limited. Even Les Miles should have the special teams looking for the block, and itty-bitty Trindon Holliday (he weighs less than the Golden Boot, the trophy for the Arkansas-LSU game that has been safely enconsed in the LSU trophy case for some time now) is really, really, really fast. It will be uncomfortably close, and my stomach will hurt, and I will drunkenly text message various friends. But LSU wins. The crowd does make a difference.

West Virginia at Marshall: The Friends of Coal Bowl (boycotted by one John Bailey). I don’t care that this is an in-state game. Bob Pruett either was 1) a genius; 2) made some sort of pact with the devil. In either event, Marshall has sucked spectacularly since he left, and there’s no reason for that not to continue now.  This should be similar to last week for WVU.

Nebraska at Wake Forest: I still doubt Bill Callahan. It doesn’t matter to me if Nebraska wins the Big 12 this year, beats Texas (Mack Brown needs another savior/ QB) or lucks out against Oklahoma. But WF’s starting QB is not playing due to his separated shoulder, so I’ll go with Nebraska.  

Miami at Oklahoma: five or six years ago, this would have been the game of the week, a potentially epic ESPN instant classic. Now it’s just gonna show how much more Miami needs to do to rebuild. Oklahoma big over Miami.

Akron at Ohio State: No one ever complains about the patsies Ohio State always has on its schedule. That’s because Ohio State can point out that the schools are all in-state rivals, and that it was a competitive series back in 1920. Ohio State, not suffering from Michigan-itis.

La-Monroe (formerly Northeastern) at Clemson: Watch this happen. After smothering FSU, Clemson will find some way to make this game more interesting that it has any right to be, ant least for a quarter or so.  Clemson, although not by the 50 points it should be.

Samford at Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech started off the year so beautifully, by making Notre Dame look as bad as they are, that I can’t bring myself to say anything bad about them.  Georgia Tech.

Cal-Look we have 2 big wins-Berkley at Colorado State: So this week, the engineers and smelly hippies can go back to their normal lives and do equations on Saturdays and save the forest nymphs.  Cal wins, but in a closer game than people expect.

Fresno State at Texas A&M: Fresno State plays anyone, anywhere. And when they play good teams, they get smoked. I’m not so sure about this one, because I’ve just seen Texas A&M choke one too many times in the Franchione era. A&M is another one of those teams that’s always poised to compete for a Big 12 title, yada yada, and yet they never do. If there was any game I’d pick as an upset, it’s this one. So I’ll go out on a limb, and do so.

Boise State at Washington: I’m just picking Washington. I’ll be honest. I love the uniforms, and I can’t imagine a much better thing than Ty Willingham’s Huskies having a much better record for this season than Charlie ‘Rockne” Weis’ Irish. Plus I love the shots of the stadium.

South Carolina at Georgia: Before last week, I might have picked South Carolina to win.  That was before Georgia shut down the greatest offense on earth. I’ll go with Georgia here, although Steve Superior will find a way to make it briefly interesting.

Notre Dame at Penn State: last year, Notre Dame won this game 47-17. This year, I don’t think Notre Dame will reach double digits. And that makes my heart glad.

Troy at (f*ck) Florida: Now, Troy is not to be taken lightly, and has given teams fits in the past. Florida wins, but it may be fun to see Troy not get run off the field until the second half.

BYU at UCLA: UCLA.  (I really have nothing to say about this game.)

TCU at Texas: So last week, it took some late game heroics to ensure that Texas didn’t become a second Michigan as they faced Arkansas State. I feel a creeping case of the Mack Brown coming on for the Longhorns: superior talent with unsuperior coaching+motivated team with a lot to prove=sad, drunk night in Austin. And the last time Texas played a purple team, whoa, Nellie! I’m not saying it hits this week, but the Mack Brown is gonna hit hard sometimes this season.

Southern Miss at Tennessee: Um, I hope that the Vols’ defense was sufficiently embarassed last week to show up this week.  I’m gonna go with Tennessee here, in what should be at least a 14 point win, but I foresee bad juju ahead if things go wrong, and Southern Miss wins this game.  As I previously stated, this is NOT Murray State the Vols are playing.

Hawaii at La Tech: First of all, I’ve always found the whole concept of “Lousiana Tech” to be an amusing one. Not that there are not engineers in Louisianabut I’m pretty convinced that most people’s technical genius has gone into building a better fishing boat, grill, or deep fryer, or some way to dispense alcohol in the most efficient yet tasty manner possible.  And La Tech is in the north, which I like to call “Texas.”  In any event, Colt Brennan scores 17 touchdowns, etc, etc, what an offensive show, yada yada yada. Only the thick air can keep Hawaii under 60.

South Florida at Auburn: here’s the game that many experts are picking for the upset. And that, my friends in the Big East looking for that upset, is your and South Florida’s problem. Auburn is Philly to Alabama’s New York. They are the red-headed, left handed stepchild who managed to graduate as valedictorian from high school, get a doctorate from an Ivy League school, and still gets the package of socks for Christmas from grandma, while the blood relative gets a golf trip to Hilton Head.  If there is any coach and any team that thrives on being disrespected, it is the Auburn Tigers and Tommy Tuberville. Bobby Petrino almost had Tommy Tuberville’s job one year before he went undefeated.  I see a locker room with blown up clips about how K-State almost won, and the explosive South Florida offense, headed by their adorable little quarterback (he’s like Flutie-size), and the speedy defense that shut down WVU’s two Heisman candidates.

And then I see that same adorable South Florida QB on the sidelines after he’s been knocked out in the first quarter.

Auburn, baby.

Wisconsin at UNLV: Is it too early to anoint them Big Ten champs, send them to the Rose Bowl, and be done with discussing that conference?

Other games of interest (to me): 

Grambling State at Pitt. I sure hope Grambling wins, as they are 1-AA, or whatever duma&& name the NCAA gave 1-AA. Better yet, I hope the band goes up. Because that would be cool. Pitt should win, though. Bleh.

Duke at Virginia:

If Duke gets its first win in what…2 years…against Virginia, Al Groh should be fired the same day. But UVa may just be that bad.

Oregon at Michigan (snort): I wondered why I hadn’t discussed this game in my Top 25, and then I remembered, and then I started to giggle, and then it turned into the cackling sound that I make. Part of me wants Oregon to crush Michigan, sending them on a huge tailspin and knocking Mike Hart irrevocably out of the Heisman race (because he did put on a show last week, the only bring spot in the Medium House). But then I thought, wouldn’t it be AWESOME if Michigan got it together, and won the Big Ten, and the Rose Bowl rep lost to a 1-AA team? So I will now be a Michigan fan for the rest of the season.

Alabama at Vanderbilt: Go Vandy!! If not, I’ll have to listen/ feel/ telepathically receive noise from Alabama about how they’re back, and the Tide will win the West, and yada yada, so on so forth.  PS.. F*ck (redacted).

Mississppi State at Tulane: If MSU can’t beat my alma mater, they should forfeit the remainder of the season, fire Sylvester Croom, and cancel the football program until such time as they are ready to start handing over cash hand over fist.

Kent State at Kentucky: this is no gimme for the Wildcats, as a couple of teams learned last week. Iowa State lost at home to Kent State.  I still think no one wants a case of Michigan-itis, so I go with Kentucky.  But the MAC is not to be trifled with lightly, which brings me to…

Miami of Ohio at Minnesota: New coach, four less idiotic players, all hyped up….and then there goes Bowling Green. Miami has usually been better than Bowling Green. Another loss to the MAC before a schedule that includes three of out of the four Big Ten heavyweights (and yes, I still count Michigan for that purpose) does not make for a bowling season.