Archive for the ‘Saturday’ Category

Juvenile and UB40

December 4, 2007

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

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
 

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

YAHHHHHHH-FUCKING-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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).

Your conference blows, and so does (redacted)

November 3, 2007

So this week, the media has decided the most important game this week is between the Arizona State Sun Devils, who have a very good season about once a decade (the Dennis Erickson countdown is on…if you believe he’ll be at ASU in two years, I have some nice property along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet I’d like to show you), and the Ugliest Uniforms in All Sports, aka the Oregon Ducks.  ASU is high ranked by virtue of everyone else losing. Oregon is a better team, and the game is at Oregon. If Dennis Dixon (?) has a big game, he becomes, according to the media conspiracy, the front runner for the Heisman. Really, I don’t care, and would pay no attention, except for the fact I’ve read noises that the winner of this game might leapfrog LSU in the BCS, which would be crap, and that Oregon is “the best one loss team in America.”

They are the best one loss team in America because they play in the Pac 1.5.  LSU would be the best no loss team in America, as would (f*ck Florida), Auburn and Georgia, while Vanderbilt would maybe lose two games, if one of those SEC schools suddenly switched places with a Pac 1.5 school. Heck, even Ole Miss would be bowl eligible.  In any event, Oregon wins the alleged game of the week.

Now, back to real football. Of course, the real game of the week is between the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Whine, coached by (redacted), the Larry Brown of football.  (Hey, WVU fans! Did you know (redacted) is from Fairmont? Wonder why he didn’t want to stay around and coach the mighty Mountaineers?)  I think that LSU will win this game on Saturday, thanks to an experienced team that really doesn’t seem to panic much, despite our balls-for-brains coach. (A measure of the disrespect Coach Miles is getting, compared to (redacted), is the number of places I’ve seen Alabama, which doesn’t have the near the talent, picked over LSU.  For all the people who keep saying it’s not about the coaches, sure seems to be, eh?). Early Doucet is back; the running back by committee has had a week to rest; and someone is putting on Laron Landry’s number to send John Parker Wilson into a fetal position.  I think that Glenn Dorsey is angry at the state of Alabama, and will behave accordingly. I am not expecting the Tigers to win by a touchdown, but I do think that we go into Tuscaloosa, and come out as frontrunners for SEC West champions. It will be a brutal game.  Please, coaches (this means you, Coach Crowton. That Mountain West crap doesn’t work down south), no trickeration. Just pound the rock. Really, really hard.  Alabama can’t stop it. 

 Here’s what kills me: I know that (redacted), no matter what happens this season, will win a national championship for the Crimson Whine. It is an inevitability. He is a great coach (gag), a fantastic recruiter (ick), and his defenses play with ferocity (which is what Big East, Pac 1.5….who are we kidding….it’s what other conferences’ defenses lack).  But I rest easy, knowing that after he wins his national championship for the Crimson Whine, he will leave Alabama, because his ego demands it. He will move on to another place because he is bored. He is the Larry Brown of football. (Redacted) will move to the NFL again, to give it another try, because he has will have proven that he has reached the top of the mountain in NCAA football twice, and from the very best conference that is or ever will be (75 years of kickin’ yo’ ass).  But I digress. What I meant to say was f*ck (redacted), and may he wake up with an earth shattering migraine.

Anyhoo, other games of interest to myself. In the Greatest Conference in America, South Carolina is visiting Arkansas.  Arkansas has the Darren McFadden Experience and Felix Jones, your Secretariat and Seattle Slew of the human world. South Carolina has Steve Spurrier. Advantage, Gamecocks! (I have determined that the only force that can stop Darren McFadden is Houston Nutt).

Vanderbilt at (f*ck) Florida: depends on how Tebow’s shoulder is doing.  I just can’t believe the Gators will lose against Vandy at home, but they could be suffering a hangover from the Cocktail Party, combined with the beating they took when Mark Richt finally let his personality out of whatever box he had it in on the sidelines.  I’ll go with the Gators, but of course, I’ll not be upset if the smart kids take another step toward bowl eligibility (speaking of coach watches, Vandy’s coach is gone the minute they have a winning season.)

Troy at Georgia: If Georgia lost this game, exactly no SEC fans would be surprised. After the effort against the Gators, if any school is ripe for a letdown, it’s the Bulldogs. And Troy is no cupcake.  I’ll go Georgia, but in a disturbingly close game for Bulldog fans.

There are some other SEC games, but they are against random schools, so I will not waste my heartbeats.  In the Former Big Eight Plus Texas Teams from the Old SWC, there are a couple of interesting games.  Nebraska (Bill Callahan has put his house on the market) is at Kansas, where it’s basketball season, and the football Jayhawks are still relevant. Wow. I keep picking against Kansas, thinking that they just can’t be for real, with the cupcake schedule, and being Kansas. Why stop now? I’ll pick Nebraska to upset Kansas, and send them plummetting down the BCS poll.  Not because I believe in Nebraska, but just because I’m a hater.

Texas visits Oklahoma State, home of hothead, non-sensical coaches. Texas has not overwhelmed anyone this season, and Oklahoma State has given Texas fits in the past. I’ll go with Texas in a game that will give one of my buddies a huge, huge fit.

Texas A&M at Oklahoma: Oklahoma. Why play for a coach when you know he’s sold you out?

In the Big Ten Plus One, Ohio State should beat up on Wisconsin, and Michigan State should continue the annual implosion against the Big Ten Plus One team I am rooting for, Michigan.

In the ACC (keep trying, boys), Clemson will struggle against Duke for a good half or so. Why? Because that’s what Clemson does. They’ll pull it out. Barely. Florida State travels to Boston College in a game that is frankly depressing, because it will likely be another example of just how far the Seminoles have fallen from national relevance.  The only good that can come out of this game is Matt Ryan being broken (not permanently, of course), thus derailing his Heisman candidacy, and the talk of BC in the national title game. 

Go Navy! If you love America, you should cheer for Navy. Whose side do you think God is really on? A bunch of self-righteous dorks in the middle of a field in Indiana, led by a shmoo shaped coach (but he lacks Shmoo’s charm and cuteness), or kids who are gonna get shot at after they graduate from college?

There are a couple of games of note in the Big East. Let’s give a shout out to the top team in the conference, Connecticut!  Rutgers has been beat up and beat down. I’m going with the Huskies.  Cincinnati (what is a bearcat?) is at South Florida.  The Bulls get back on track, but just barely.

Finally, I said I’d discuss why the Big East will never be as good, top to bottom, as the SEC. It’s not tradition, it’s not the devotion of the fan base, it’s not the tailgating (maybe…no, I’m wrong there. SEC tailgating is an art form, while Big East tailgating….do they even do that…I’m getting distracted). It’s your recruiting base, and for purposes of this discussion, I’m talking the Big East “heartland” so to speak, not what you got when South Florida joined the conference.  I know that in this age, it’s not an automatic that kids are going to suit up for the State U of whatever state they come from. They have internet access, huge egos, and have to be wined and dined.  But recruits are by and large, still children who often don’t want to stray too far from home, and would like to play in their backyards if they can play what they want. And if you have access to a ton of those kids, who really would like to be close to home, it makes your life much easier to recruit.

Football is the be-all end all high school sport in two of the Big East “heartland states”: Pennsylvania (and I’m giving you, because it’s right on the border), Ohio.  The Big East is at an automatic disadvantage in those two states. Football is IT in every SEC state except Kentucky.  Coaches for Florida, LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia could field good teams without ever having to leave their states. (Although the SEC welcomes kids seeking to escape the cold of New Jersey, and places like that.)  Big East state populations are shrinking, by and large. West Virginia’s got maybe 1.5 million people, and a million of those are old.  

A school by school rundown:

WVU: an aging population with limited football factory potential. Two schools in Morgantown and Parkersburg South does not a recruiting hotbed make.  WVU, as evidenced by its  star quarterback and running back, plus its most famous NFL player, currently on probation, has to go out of state to get talent. Pennsylvania Steve Slaton should be at Maryland (great job, Fridge), while Pat White is from Alabama, and might be at LSU right now, but he wanted to play quarterback.  It’s just harder for the Mountaineers to recruit, although Coach Rodriguez has done a fine job. But eventually, he may find himself wanting to go someplace where it’s not such a supreme effort to get enough good kids, and where he doesn’t have to pick where to place his best athletes.

Louisville: Football will always be second to basketball in Kentucky, and at Louisville. If the Louisville football job wasn’t a steppingstone, Bobby Petrino would still be there.

Cincinnati: If they’re lucky, they can be the number 2 football school in Ohio. But that would require the decline of the MAC.  Ohio’s like Florida with awful weather and burning rivers. And Cincinnati is a basketball school, too. Maybe it’s sharing the border with Kentucky.

Rutgers: probably has the best shot of any Big East team of building itself into a consistent national power IF Greg Schiano wants to do the work, just because he’s sitting on the riches-by-default of the tri-state area.  Depends of the committment of the administration to Rutgers football.

South Florida: I love what they’ve done in 12 years, but they are still the fifth team in Florida (Florida, FSU, Miami, UCF). Florida’s like the Colorado. Eventually, the talent runs dry for the rest of the Big East (upstream). When it comes down to it, a lot of those boys don’t want to be too far from their mamas and don’t want to be cold.  Two strikes against most of the Big East.

Connecticut: basketball will always be number 1 and 2 (men and women’s) to football. UConn also has to compete with Rutgers for the same talent pool.

Syracuse: I’ve never understood why they were any good to begin with. I don’t see how anyone from south of the Mason Dixon line could go someplace where winter starts in October and ends in April, and did I mention it snows a lot there? Syracuse competes with the Big Ten for kids from that neck of the woods, because you’d have to be from Big Ten country to tolerate the weather.  And imagine the campus visits of a top recruit from Pennsylvania: he goes to State College on a beautiful fall night. They do the white-out thing. ABC is there. The game is nationally televised.  Then he goes to Syracuse, where he sees a game on at noon on ESPN2 in a half-full climate controlled, sound sucking dome. (And then he travels to Florida or Texas, and decides that pretty girls and warm weather will make football more fun.)  It will take mighty work to keep Syracuse football from going permanently in the toilet.

Pitt: another case of being the second school in the state. I know that Pitt was, for a time, competing with Penn State for recruits. Pitt even won a national title. And then Johnny Majors went home to Tennessee, and that was that.  If Pitt could get the right sort of person to recruit (not the Mustache), Pitt has potential as well. Unfortunately, Pitt’s new coach (whoever that will be) will have to remind the recruits’ parents when Pitt was great, and sent players to the NFL.

And that’s it. The Big East is composed of schools in basketball states; schools that are lucky to be second (or third banana) in their states; a football program with potential, but that was moribund for so long, making it into a national power will take resources the school may not be willing to spend; and a state with an aging population. And oh, by the way, the ACC took most of your TV market and revenue when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left. I don’t get Big East games unless they are on ESPN.  This is not to say that the Big East, as currrently constituted, will not have moments of greatness. This is not to say the Big East cannot be better than it is now, or that the Big East lacks in talent (it doesn’t, thanks to some out of area recruiting). But the Big East starts at a disadvantage that none of the other conferences, especially the SEC and Pac 1.5 have.

And that is all.

I wonder if USC will have to give back its’ crystal football?

Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is Football

October 20, 2007

 I expect to be curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth, around midnight. LSU and Auburn are the late night feast for those of you who can still take another shot after a veritable smorgasbord of games featuring the Greatest Conference That Is or Ever Will Be (Kickin’ Yo Ass for 75 Years).  But first, a brief review of the other SEC games today. This post is SECentric, so those unused to hard hitting defenses and weekly meaningful games among ranked teams should best stop reading now. This weekend, like every other in the SEC, is not for the faint of heart.

Briefly: I expect Arkansas to rebound against Ole Miss (or Houston Nutt should be fired today), Coach Superior to continue his experiments with the substance known as “defense” against Vandy, and for West Virginia to avoid being Croomed (but beware, my Mountaineer boosters. Beware.)

The mimosa game, as noted in a prior post,  is Tennessee at Alabama, which is only available through Lincoln Financial (formerly known as Jefferson Pilot). If you don’t have this game available to you on your local network or cable, get thee to a sports bar. Even if you are a fan of inferior football conferences, this is a game you have to see. It’s the Third Saturday in October. It’s two teams and schools that truly cannot stand each other (one of the small joys in life is to see Rocky T*ts substituting a “f*ck you” for a “sweet home” whenever she hears that song. Doesn’t matter when or where it’s being played). It’s Coach Fulmer’s last stand. It’s the annoying buzz of entitlement as the Crimson Whine builds weekly, expecting (redacted) to deliver them a national championship in the next two years. It’s wondering which Tennessee will show up: the one that put a 2X4 to Georgia’s ass, or the one that rolled over and died in the Swamp.  If you would like to commit a crime or get away with wrongdoing in either Alabama or Tennessee, today from 11:30 to 2:45 (CDT) would be an excellent time.  Because no one will be around to stop you or care. Today is the day I am an unabashed Volunteer supporter. A big ole trip to the woodshed for (redacted) would be lovely.  Go Vols!!

The main course of the day, as determined by CBS, is (f*ck) Florida at Kentucky. As I already said, I don’t think Kentucky can do it twice in a week, and I’m sure the Timmy Show will be at full capacity, having had an extra week of attention from his female classmates.  (The MLBGG does not post pictures of (f*ck) Florida players, unless they are crying like little girls, dropping passes, or making schools from other overrated conferences look like the b*tches they are. But I gotta admit, Tim Tebow is a cutie). The beauty that is SEC football is available to the whole nation at 3:30 on CBS.

Finally, there is game that the boys at Everyday Should Be Saturday described as one of the five or six best in the country every year. It’s almost always an ESPN Instant Classic. It never ends without controversy, something strange happening, or without a name. It is the late game of the evening, Auburn at LSU at 9 pm (EDT).  The last three games have been decided by eight points. Total.

This website provides some excellent Auburn and game information in a sane and surprisingly literate manner for an Auburn fan. (sorry, just had to get that bit of haterade in there.) http://www.trackemtigers.com/. Auburn’s current defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, was LSU’s defensive coordinator for the only national championship won in 2003. He is something else. Watch him tonight for lots of f-bombs. Delightful.  He also turned down (redacted)’s offer to be his defensive coordinator at the Crimson Whine, preferring to stay with Coach Tuberville. So while I can’t stand his currrent employer, I have no objection to Coach Muschamp.  Looks to be another head coach in 2008, if he wants to do so. (An aside: I really can’t stand that Tommy Tuberville is not an arrogant prick, and has been persecuted by his crazy boosters. It makes it harder for me to hate him. And I like to hate other SEC coaches, some of whom make it sooo easy.)

You people out there in lesser-conference land might have bands on the field.  You might have Fifth Downs. You might have last second passes in the Big House.  But none of you have a game that caused an earthquake.  We’ll take your fans rushing the field, and top you one seismic event! 

This is not a game for Pac-1.5 or Big East fans to watch. They may go cowering in fear due to the sheer brutality on the field. Coach Tuberville said that his players were sore for two weeks after last year’s 7-3 Auburn victory (in which LSU was screwed. But no time for bitterness today. Must direct positive mental energy to LSU defense. Even more, must direct energy to LSU offense). Speaking of offense, Early Doucet is finally back this week.  He will likely be broken in two, but as long as he holds on to the ball while being broken, I am unconcerned.  I have no smack for this game. I don’t have the nerve to have smack for this. LSU is beat up from last weekend, Auburn’s kicker is a freshman (18-year-old boy= too stupid and cocky to be scared) with giant balls and some substance other than blood running through his veins (no John Vaughn incidents this year), Coach Tuberville (and please remind me, crazy Auburn boosters, who are you getting that’s better than him?) seems to live for these huge games, and the pressure is all on my Tigers. LSU’s main advantages are the 92,000 seat Tiger Stadium at night, and the fact the Auburn offense is the opposite of high powered.  I am going to be sick watching this game. My stomach will churn. My friend James and I will be engaged in semi-hysterical ALL CAPS text messages.  I will crack the glass of the house I’ll be at, and send the dog howling under the bed.  I will be praying to every deity there is.

And I can’t fucking well wait for it.

(This is an f-bomb sort of game).

XOXO, Your Mean Lil’ Black and Gold Girl.

Games of Interest to Me

October 12, 2007

So anyhoo, we have what is apparently a “dead” weekend in college football. But we know better. There is no such thing. Just when it seems that nothing can ever top last weekend, this weekend happens. There’s a new Instant Classic and the national title picture is blown to hell every weekend. And that is why we watch. That and the chance to start drinking at 10, when College Gameday comes on.  Since I have things to do, a brief overview of games of interest to me. As always, we begin with The Greatest Conference That Is Or Ever Will Be (Celebrating 75 years of Kicking Yo’ Ass), and the Game of the Week, brought to you by the Home Depot:

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

LSU is traveling to the scene of one of the most storied games in Tiger history, where the students had a severe case of premature celebration.

As good as that was, here’s hoping that there’s no need for a Bluegrass Miracle. I don’t think there will be. This has been advertised since the start of the season as a potential trap game for LSU.   But can it really be one, since everyone has discussed it as such? This ain’t the Pac 1.5, where starting quarterbacks in the top half of the league believe that the other team shouldn’t even be on the field.   Every kid in the SEC (and especially at LSU, where it took some last second heroics to beat Ole Miss last year), knows that an “off” day means a loss (hulllo, Auburn!), and anything less than your best means you’re flying home a loser.   Besides, Coach Pelini and Coach Crowton are doing too well on their job interviews to mess it up now.  Kentucky has a subpar running game which should not pose a threat to the Tigers front seven. Although Andre Woodson is a fine quarterback and is doing beautifully under the tutelage of Randy Sanders (hee hee hee), he is immobile, and not the type of quarterback (see: Tim Tebow) that has given LSU trouble this year. He’ll be heaving and heaving the ball into the air, and although Kentucky probably has some of the best receivers in the SEC, the more you throw, the more you get picked off.  This game goes like almost every other LSU game this year: uncomfortably, almost WTF close through halftime, and a nice lil’ pull away due to some defense.

Tennessee at Mississippi State. If Mississippi State wins this game, exactly zero SEC fans will be surprised.

South Carolina at North Carolina: Basketball season starts soon, Tarheels.

Auburn at Arkansas: If Arkansas only had something resembling a passing game and a coach who was sane. The Darren McFadden Experience will have 2 touchdowns, 175 yards (and Felix Jones will score at least one more, and have 100 yards), and Arkansas will still lose. This was one of the big shockers of last season, and put The DMcFE on the map as one of the top players in college football. He still is and will be after this game, but Auburn will win.  After the game, Tommy Tuberville will not take the team plane back to Auburn, but will discuss the details of his new contract with the Arkansas boosters, and try to convince Jones and McFadden to stay another year.

Boston College at Notre Dame: Go Eagles!! I know that Pyrite Dome boosters think that last week was the start of the a new era for The Greatest Coach Who Ever Has Blessed College Football with His Presence(s), and the Greatest Quarterback College Football Has Ever Seen, but what that was Karl Dorrell sucking.  There are few things that motivate Boston College like playing at Notre Dame. And BC (boy, this sucks to admit) is much better than it used to be. Boston College, big.

Arizona at USC.  Poor, poor, poor Wildcats. They drew a bad hand, getting the golden children the week after they forgot that Stanford actually is a Division I-A team.  If USC scores less than 50 (by the half), I’ll be surprised. (PS…things haven’t gone well since Arizona stomped on the Eye of the Tiger. Coincidence? I think not. PPS…looks like the Indian burial ground curse afflicting the Team of Which I Do Not Speak is about to hit the Men of Troy. Hope that Saint Reggie only took that money in 2005. I wonder if the NCAA makes schools give back the hardware?)

Oregon State at Cal:  If it was at Oregon State, I might give them a chance. As it is DeSean Jackson will probably be the Heisman front runner after this game. Damned hippies.   A more interesting thing than the game itself will be finding references to Beavers chopping down the smelly sacred grove where the hippies are protecting the tree nymphs from the athletic department.

Just for laughs: Louisville at Cincinnati. Hee hee hee. Just for the heck of it, Louisville.  Brian Brohm does not suck. The poor child’s Heisman was stolen from him by his defense.

Wisconsin at Penn State: Joe Pa gets sideline rage, attacks Wisconsin coach via cart. Whiteout, tradition, yada, yada, yada. Really, who cares? Ohio State will win the Big Ten Plus One anyway.

Virginia Tech at Duke.  Virginia Tech. That’s really all I’ve got.

Texas at Iowa State: Hope the Longhorns got a shot to cure that case of the Mack Brown they came down with a couple of weeks ago.  An 0-3 conference start means a trip to the Lawnmower Seasonal Diamond Friendliness Bowl, brought to you by Capitol One.

The Battle of Florida, 2007 Edition: Central Florida at South Florida.  I’ll go with South Florida, just because I would love to see them as the Big East BCS rep. But this is certainly a dangerous game for the Bulls. UCF wasn’t scared of Texas, so I don’t see USF having any intimidation factor at all.

And finally, as I promised, the Big Ten Plus One Pillow Fight for All Time…or at least I thought it was before Northwestern sent Michigan State on the first step of the annual tailspin. This is actually gonna be a fun game to watch, if by fun, you mean no defense and resembling the 1960s AFL.  Northwestern lost to Duke, Duke, at home.  Minnesota is just abominable. This game comes down to the interceptions that Minnesota’s QB will heave into the air. 1000 yards of offense, 4 Minnesota interceptions, 2 Northwestern turnovers,  and a 45-38 score. Boy, firing Glen Mason sure was a great decision!

That is all for now. Love, MLBGG.

Watch this space, as we prepare for Big East-SEC showdown number 2: Mississippi State at West Virginia.

PS… F*ck Florida

PPS….Alabama and their traitorous f*cking coach sucks.

I knew I had missed something.

Rocky T*ts weighs in

October 8, 2007

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

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

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

The Definition of Entertainment and Questions to Ponder

October 8, 2007

Entertainment: sitting in a gay sports bar (the fabulous Nellie’s in Washington DC, located at 9th and U), having left the DC Red Dress Run, with smack talking Florida and USC fans.

Miles enjoys the win over the Gators.

PS…Thanks, Coaches’ wives.

PPS…Les, I doubt ye no more.

 Other questions to ponder from this most magnificent weekend:

Is Karl Dorrell the worst coach in college football?

Is USC the Randy Moss of Division I (or whatever it’s called now)? Sometimes, the Trojans just don’t feel like playing?

 Can I give Jim Harbaugh a big hug?

Is Jacob Hester done with his ice bath, and finished being attended to by several lovely LSU coeds? (And seriously ya’ll, his significant other ought to give him a big pass for Saturday night.)

Will Gainesville authorities now take Tony Joiner back into custody?

Can I give Jim Harbaugh a big hug?

Who was that team playing Georgia in Knoxville this weekend? And why have they just shown up?

Is Brian Kelly still at Cincinnati this time next year?

What is a Bearcat?

How will the media conspiracy market a Big East where the top teams are a basketball school that’s not such a basketball school anymore, and a team that didn’t exist twelve years ago?

The Big 12 North: It’s not for breakfast anymore (not a question, I know, but this is my dictatorship).

Can Clemson ever put a whole season together?

Stanford safety Bo McNally, left, intercepts a pass as Southern California wide receiver Vidal Hazelton, lower right, falls with seconds to go in the second half of their NCAA Football game, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, in Los Angeles. Looking on at right is Stanford linebacker Pat Maynor. Stanford upset USC,  24-23.

(Just threw that in there for more entertainment)

When will Pyrite Dom boosters start demanding that their team be ranked in the Top 25 and be in the Top 12 for the Harris Poll?

Can someone in the Big Ten Plus One step up and take out Mr. Sweater Vest?

Should I knock the Pac-2 back down to the Pac 1.5, at least for this week? (The answer to that question is “yes.”)

Can we all get together and put some love behind Boston College this week?

That is all.

Love, MLBGG

It’s October 6

October 6, 2007

From Every Day Should Be Saturday

That is all. I have a red dress to wear all day, and a football game to watch tonight.

XOXO, MLBGG

Thank You for Playing

September 30, 2007

What a weekend, folks. Where to begin, where to begin. Oh, wait.

Florida's Jarred Fayson has a pass go off his hands.

That’s a great place.

I watched the last few minutes of that game on my knees, shrieking for Wes Bynum to hit make his field goal, and leapt in joyous celebration when his second kick was true. (I wonder if any freshman in the history of Auburn has gotten more a&& than Mr. Bynum. I sincerely doubt it. He’s probably still got an entire sorority in his dorm room. ) And how Brandon Cox managed to flat out play the best game (at the Swamp, for gosshakes) he’s played since he was named starter is beyond me. Oh, wait. Tommy Tuberville is a great coach. When the boosters finally get rid of him, I’m sure he’ll have a job really quickly. (Speaking of Coach Tuberville, he’s aged about 30 years since he came to Auburn. I remember when he looked relatively young. But I guess that the constant threat of being fired will do that to you.)

Oh, and this game is yet another reason why Phil Fulmer should be ashamed of the coaching he’s done this year. Good coaches don’t let the 18 to 22 year old kids in their charge roll over and die.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to disdaining/ hating Auburn, but for today, the Auburn Tigers are my second favorite team in all of college football.  Speaking of that, here’s a lil something for all the Tigers (and Miami Dolphins fans) out there in MLBGG land:

That was of course, the was the second best win of the day, given that (f*ck) Florida lost.  Fans of the fighting (REDACTED) are wondering how it all could have gone so terribly wrong, and when the national championship that is their birthright will finally come back.

 It was definitely upset Saturday. Texas finally got that case of the Mack Brown I discussed in an earlier post, which manifested itself a total lack of special teams play.  This caused my friend John Taylor to consume a great deal of Jack Daniels in an effort to blot out the existance of _________, which, in his honor, will be referred to as __________ in this blog for the remainder of the year.  If you need a clue, Bob Huggins coached basketball there before coming to West Virginia this year. Oklahoma played a team from a BCS conference, and lost (at least Oklahoma was at Colorado). LSU came out flat (it is very distressing to get a text message saying Tulane 9, LSU 7 when shopping), and Matt Flynn played horribly, but the defense came through, turning what could have been a F*CKING DISASTER into something resembling a blowout. PHEW (And who is Charles Scott? How many running backs do my Tigers have?) .  The Pyrite Dome continued it’s suckitude, which of course, makes me happy. USC barely escaped an inspired Husky team.   Clemson looks like it’s beginning the annual downward spiral, while Penn State is looking like it was delightfully overrated.  Coach Paterno, it may be time for you to retire, as you were apparently outcoached by Ron Zook.  Boston College, perhaps the class of the ACC, struggled with UMass. ( I frankly wasn’t aware that UMass had a football program). It was a crazy, nutty weekend, and I don’t know how next weekend can top it.*

*You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any schools from a certain conference that is moving up to surpass and overtake the SEC (75 years of kicking your ass, and counting) as the premier conference in all of college football.  I could talk about how the Big East went from four legitimate Heisman contenders to none in two weeks.   I could go on and on and on about how when Rutgers finally faced a team not consisting of midshipmen or 215 pound offensive linemen, they folded, allowing 20 second points at home, to a team playing with its backup quarteback. I could go through Pitt’s loss to Virginia (which lost to Wyoming) in excruciating detail. I could talk about how, one week after opening a can of whoop-ass on former national title contender Louisville, Syracuse ran into a MAC school that played some defense, and lost.  And of course, the other former national championship contender and Big East marquee team played a team that played and beat someone (and by someone, I mean the SEC West team that beat the defending national champions last night), and lost for the second year in a row to a program that didn’t exist twelve years ago.  Wait, maybe I could mention how the other top team in the Big East is famous for basketball and thuggish JUCO players with 0.0 GPAs. (UConn is 5-0, but I am applying what I will call the “Rutgers Rule,” and evaluate them when they play Virginia in two weeks. They did manage to beat down Duke and Pitt).

No, instead of going into all those details,  I’ve just opted for the following:

Your conference representative in the Orange Bowl will likely be a program that did not exist 12 years ago. 

Thank you for playing, Big East.

Watch this blog for in depth coverage of the Big Ten Plus One Pillow Fight of the Year:  Minnesota at Northwestern on October 13, 2007! Watch how two teams from the Big Ten will combine for ten turnovers, yet still manage 80 points and one thousand yards of offense between them.

Also, it’s looking like I’ll have to review the PAC-2 (Cal earned it’s .5 at Autzen Stadium.)

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.