Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

ESPN Gameday, Ole Miss @ Aub, GA-FLA, and then who knows what. But in the spirit of the day, I'll leave you the best Halloween video I've ever seen:


And, as always, the UGA'lantern:

But, judging from the times I've been down in the JAX for the Cocktail Party, I think this jack o'lantern is a bit more indicative of the weekend:

Friday, October 30, 2009

BOO! Weekly Picks

Things will definitely be spooky this weekend. There's middle of the conference clearings and re-orderings to be had, as well as opportunities to upset favorites and save seasons.

Last Week: 8-2; Season: 37-16


West Virginia 23, SoFla 19 - Another ugly win for the 'Neers; the spiral continues for the Bulls.


Ole Miss 27, Auburn 17 - Speaking of downward spirals...this will be 4 in a row for the Tigers.

Florida 30, Georgia 16 - That hurt as much to type as it will to watch. Seriously, between my Dawgs playing Florida tomorrow and my Falcons going to New Orleans Monday night, it's going to be a painful stretch of football.

Tennessee 21, SoCar 16 - It'll be hard-fought and defensive, but I think the Vols finally breakthrough. Not that I necessarily want them to...

Texas 31, OK St. 20 - McCoy gets back to form and the Horn roll in Stillwater.

And the big one:

USC 34, Oregon 23 - This is a huge game. A Ducks win puts the Trojans out of it completely for the first time since 2001. I just don't think it will happen.

Things from all over to kick off the Halloweekend!

1. First, the Cocktail Party: Too many people have been discussiing how Georgia could win this game. That amount of confidence from the pundits makes me very nervous...

2. Tatum Bell thinks his UFL Florida Tuskers could beat the Buccaneers. This idiocy is not that far removed from the infamous 2001-era argument of the Miami Hurricanes beating the Bengals. Yes, the Bengals of then and the Bucs of now are terrible, but they're still NFL teams! But, college teams and squads of rejects and hasbeens* are unarguably inferior. How do we know? If all the players were equal to their NFL level opponents, they'd be in the fucking NFL! Now, a Bucs-Tuskers game might not be the 103-0 shellacking that the Bengals could have unleashed on the Canes in '01, but it'd be pretty close...

3. Here's a topic I thought I'd never cover here: Miley Cyrus. But, she needs to get her ass back on Twitter (or have some lackey do it for her) and save this cat.

4. Mike Leach hates your fat little girlfriend.

Face it, coach, it's not the fat little girlfriends, it's you. Your system is good enough to rack up yards and points and compete - sometimes - with the big guys, but the tempo keeps your D on the field too long and even Texas A&M can take advantage of that.

5. Speaking of the Big-XII, that North division is getting very ACC-ish. Nebraska has 8 turnovers and loses to Iowa State? Kansas lost to Colorado? And, while we're at it, what the fuck's with the ACC? DO they have to play "fuck it, let's all be 5-3 or 3-5" every season? UNC's late FG knocked off the VA Tech Hokies last night and made this entire league more frustrating to pick.

6. Lastly, I'd like to extend an official FTS welcome to Aroo, the new guy who propped that ESPN-caliber World Series breakdown on us earlier this week. Well done, cheers, and we're looking forward to more posts as the series wears on.

* The word "hasbeens" came up as needing to be spell checked. One of the options? Shebeens. Yep, shebeens. I Googled it and guess what, it's not a slang, plural form of clitoris. It's apparently the same as a 20's-era speakeasy, an illegal bar selling excisable alcohol or operating without a license. I liked mine better.

Series tied 1-1; To Philly we go!

After two games, the old adage holds true: pitching wins ball games. Although the Yankees and Phillies entered the World Series with the best hitting teams in the major leagues in terms of both regular season homeruns and postseason RBI's, the spectacular pitching has been the story thus far.

CC Sabathia and Pedro Martinez both pitched fantastically for their ballclubs, garnering quality starts, but both made exactly two mistakes that cost them the ball game. On the other hand, Cliff Lee was magical baffling the Bronx Bombers for a complete game victory in what should have been only their 3rd home shutout in World Series history (Rollins made a booboo in the 9th). His curveball danced wickedly and the fastball bit every corner. Not to be outdone, AJ Burnett stepped up in game two to answer his demons and delivered a masterpiece while making Ryan Howard look silly three times on backdoor curveballs.

With the exception of Chase Utley and Derek Jeter, the rest of the hitters have looked downright silly. No further details are needed after you read that after 105 possible outs (the Yanks didnt bat in the ninth last night), 40 were by strikeout. The pitching may be fantastic, but the hitting is pathetic. Futility awards go to AROD (6 K's) and Howard (6 K's). Aren't these guys supposed to be all-world? I'm not saying that you don't ever have an off night, but Arod has had only 4 hat tricks this year, with two of them being the past two nights. I wonder if Kate Hudson is holding out on him until the playoffs are over? I'd be pissed too.

Last point of note- bullpens. The Yankees have looked shaky; well at least in game one. Rivera is lights out as always, but Girardi should be careful as he has already pitched 12 innings this postseason(11 games). He only pitcher 66 innings(162 games) all season. Don't want another heroic Luis Gonzalez type hit off a burnt out Sandman come game 7. Madson and Eyre looked sharp last night for the Phils, but I still look forward to Brad Lidge's first outing!

PS. That play in the 7th last night where Damon and Posada got doubled up by Ryan Howard was crap. Howard knew he didn't catch that ball, otherwise why would he have thrown it to 2nd base instead of just tagging 1st himself? It didn't change the game so who cares?! I do dammit.

Saturday: Game 3
Andy Pettite vs. Cole Hamels (I'll be wearing my #46 jersey- Go Yanks)

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 World Series Preview

New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Manager- Joe Girardi vs. Charlie Manuel
Girardi is young, inexperienced, and a classic overmanager. He tends to make the game more about his choices then the play on the field. But his team did win a major league high 103 games this season and he would stand to join a select few who have won the WS as a player and a MGR. Manuel plays the exact opposite role. He trusts his players to do the right thing, make the right choice and sometimes stands behind the wrong players for a tad too long. He is quiet and undemanding but also has experience winning last years WS. The 2008 Phillies remain mainly intact with 3 great additions in Lee, Pedro, and Ibanez for him to work with.
Advantage: Phillies

First Base- Mark Teixeira vs. Ryan Howard
The most difficult call of any position. Tex signed a record contract and followed it with an incredible year (.292, 39, 122), carrying the Yankees power surge for much of the season. He is an excellent switch hitter and a gold glove first baseman, which has proven huge to NY in the first two rounds. But his .181 batting average so far this postseason has been very meek although he did single handedly win an ALDS with a big walk-off. Ryan Howard had an MVP type season (.279, 45, 141) and carried a Phillies team that went wire to wire in first place behind sub par years from Utley and Rollins. His power is unparalleled as even the smallest mistake from any pitcher can land the ball in the stands. Not to mention his postseason thus far has been heroic (.354, 2, 14). His flaws are his inability to hit left-handers and his propensity to strike out often. A big dose of CC, Pettite, and Coke should slow him a bit off of his current torrid pace.
Slight Advantage: Phillies

Second Base- Robinson Cano vs. Chase Utley
Cano had an incredible rebound year after a subpar 2008 (.320, 25, 85) and provides a lot of power, average, and speed that the Phillies do not generally face in the bottom third of NL lineups. More importantly, he is a very consistent fielder with a great arm and even better instincts, reaching balls to his left that most 2b cannot. His less than stellar postseason has been coming around as of late with 2 key triples in the ALCS. Chase Utley clearly put is the best second baseman in MLB. Even on a down year, by his standards (.282, 31, 93), he outmatches Cano in almost every category. Also, not mentioned were his 23 SB. The 4 time All Star is having another solid postseason with only one major flaw; a HUGE error against the Dodgers. As the #3 hitter in the Philly lineup, expect big numbers from him if the Philly hopeful expect back-to-back WS wins.
Advantage: Phillies

Shortstop- Derek Jeter vs. Jimmy Rollins
Another incredibly close category. Without printing names, one is a career .317 hitter, 10 time all star, 3 time gold glove winner, and been top 10 in MVP voting 6 times. The other has a lifetime .439 SLG, averages 36 SB per year, 2 time gold glove winner, and won an MVP. Both will play pivotal roles in their teams success as they both bat leadoff and are catalysts for their offenses. Rollins is fighting a down year with an incredible second half (.250, 21, 77), as Jeter is Mr. Consistent yet again (.334, 18, 66). The big difference will always be Derek Jeter loves October. And November. And when the pinstripes are on the largest stage expect him to put up the same gaudy numbers he does every other time.
Advantage: Yankees

Third Base- Alex Rodriguez vs. Pedro Feliz
Arod - Lifetime .305 hitter covering 15 seasons, 583 HR, 1706 RBI.
- This postseason .438 AVG, 5 HR, 12 RBI.
Feliz - Lifetime .254 hitter covering 8 seasons, 135 HR, 558 RBI.
- This postseason .161 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI
The postseason demons have been exercised.
Major Advantage: Yankees

Catcher- Jorge Posada vs. Carlos Ruiz
Posada had a great year (.285, 22, 81) but has shown some signs of wear over the past two seasons landing on the DL multiple times. He is the backbone of the Yankees catching almost every game of their postseason existence since the exit of Girardi. One of the “core four” as they are known in NY, Posada joins Jeter, Pettite, and Rivera as the group who have won 4 WS titles. Ruiz is still relatively young in experience but has done magical things this postseason with the lumber (.346, 1, 4) especially since he is hitting right ahead of the pitcher. He provides a stingy bottom of the order out but still wont strike fear into the hearts of many pitchers. Also, Ruiz is a very good defensive catcher throwing out 27% of would be base stealers.
Advantage: Yankees

Left Field- Johnny Damon vs. Raul Ibanez
Tough call. Damon had another great year (.282, 24, 82) matching a career high with homeruns and second best RBI total. He relished in the 2nd spot of the order, and recovered after a bad DS to play great in the ALCS. His weakness is a very poor arm and often times has to be pulled late for a defensive replacement. Raul Ibanez followed up an amazing first half and incredibly gaudy numbers with his first All Star appearance and a major slowdown in production. He still finished strong (.272, 34, 93) and has posted very solid numbers in the postseason. At times a minor defensive liability, he has an above average arm. Hitting behind Utley and Howard helps immensely, but again a solid lefty mows right through the heart of their order with nothing more then dancing curveballs.
Advantage: Tie

Center Field- Melky Cabrera vs. Shane Victorino
Melky started the season as the #4 outfielder but between great patience and Brett Gardner’s inability to hit the broad side of a barn, he quickly gained back his starting role and had his best season, flourishing in the #9 hole (.274, 13, 68). Melky followed that with a superb ALCS with 4 RBI. Shane Victorino is one of the more underrated players in MLB. The Flyin Hawaiian followed up two very good seasons with his best so far (.292, 10, 62) stealing 25 bases and making his first All Star team. He is a great compliment to Rollins at the top of the order and sets the plate well for their big 4 hitters to follow. Also, Victorino plays a great CF and will track down almost any ball that stays in the park.
Advantage: Phillies

Right Field- Nick Swisher vs. Jayson Werth
Swisher started the year at the Utility position but quickly flourished with the unavailability of Xavier Nady. He seemingly hit all 29 of his homeruns during the first month of the season then tailed off badly. He plays a very solid defensive right field and provides some potential pop from the bottom of the order. Jayson Werth was a surprise call of the year amounting career highs in HR and RBI (.268, 36, 99) while making his first All Star team and helping Howard carry the Phils through the season atop the NL East. He has been absolutely smoking the ball in the postseason (.281 5, 10) and remains red hot heading into NY.
Advantage: Phillies

Starting Pitching- Sabathia, Burnett, Pettite vs. Lee, Martinez, Hamels, Blanton
This is a very tough call as both teams are very deep with talent and playoff experience. Sabathia and Lee should provide a phenomenal Game 1 as both lefties have been on fire in the postseason (CC: 3-0, 1.19; Lee 2-0, 0.73). Pedro is a known Yankee killer and Hamels was the 2008 WS MVP, but Andy Pettite is a postseason hero (most wins all time in postseason- 16) with four rings to his name. This series will come down to whether AJ Burnett is effective once, and even more importantly whether he is effective the 2nd time, on three days rest, and whether Cole Hamels can find some of that magic that he had last October. Yankees pitchers need to get an early lead and get through 6 innings while the Philly pitchers feel the need to go a bit deeper. Lefties tend to pitch well against a very lefty laden Phils roster, while the Yanks play ball well against both sides with plenty of switch hitters. Pedro is not the Pedro he used to be and relies to heavily on his changeup now, which the Yankees hit very well.
Slight Advantage: Yankees

Bullpen- Rivera, Hughes, Chamberlain vs. Lidge, Happ, Madson
Not even close. Rivera has been his incredible self (44 saves, 1.76 ERA) all year with no blemishes AGAIN in the postseason gaining three saves in over 10.1 innings pitched already. Hughes and Chamberlain have proven to be formidable additions to the back end of the game but both have been a bit flawed so far this postseason getting touched up numerous times for game tying runs against the Angels ands Twins. And with all of the lefties the Phillies have, this could spell late inning trouble. The Phillies however, have been god awful. Lidge couldn’t get ANYONE out (7.21 ERA). Madson proved to be just as bad. Charlie Manuel will stick with them and pray, but that’s about as good of a guess as anyone has at this point.
Advantage: Yankees

DH, Bench, and Intangibles-The Tiebreaker
Hideki Matsui had another very good year but with deteriorating knees he can longer play the field and is often a late inning liability on the bases. Brett Gardner is the fastest white man alive and is perfect for exactly what the Yankees need him for; to score the winning run. The Phllies bench doesn’t offer much more that Ben Francisco or Matt Stairs who will probably DH in the AL park and can add a spark to a game in a NY minute.
Overall, the Yankees have playoff and WS experience where it matters, the heart of the order and the pitching rotation. Their “core four” has amassed more playoff experience than almost anyone in MLB history. On the other hand, the Phillies did win the World Series last year and return with a better team this season. Both sets of fans are FANATICS too! With 40 pennants, Babe, Yogi, and the Mick dangling from one stadium and 10,000 plus losses Schmidt, Ashburn, and Carlton dangling from the other it is my decree that:
Advantage Yankees (in 7)


As a virgin contributor, I look forward to enlightening you all into the absurdity that is my brain. Per the editor, my first topic will be from a baseball fanatic's perspective. Don't worry, I think everyone who reads and contributes to FTS knows where my bias leans to, but I aim to remain as professional of a journalist as possbile. HAHA, 2009 World Series pre-examination is forthcoming. - arooo

Sunday, October 25, 2009


The Big Three (in no particular order):


The Top-10:

4. Iowa
5. Cincinnati
6. USC
7. TCU
8. Boise State
9. Oregon
10. LSU

Everyone Else:

11. Penn State
12. Pitt
13. Georgia Tech
14. Virginia Tech
15. Houston
16. Oklahoma State
17. Ohio State
18. Utah
19. Miami
20. Oklahoma

The Back Five:

21. Arizona
22. South Carolina
23. Ole Miss
24. West Virginia
25. Notre Dame

Hangers On:

Central Michigan

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly Picks - Late Edition

Well, I missed picking last night's ACC Disappointment Duel, but never fear, I'll at least make sure you get few picks for tomorrow. And, no, I won't be picking Army-Rutgers tonight.

Last Week: 7-4; Season: 29-14

Pitt 26, SoFla 23 - The Bulls are going to make it a game, but their D rests on a strong pass rush. And, if things according to plan, Pitt proabably won't need to pass that much, riding Lewis all the way. Selvie and Pierre-Paul are athletic enough to adapt, but that won't quite enough to get the win.

Michigan 29, Penn St. 23 - I don't know why, but I like the upset here. I see State getting stuck in some unwinnable spots and RichRod's offense doing just enough, using both QB's to take pressure of the recovering Forcier.

Ohio State 24, Minnesota 17 - A clean, conservative, gentlemanly affair all around. No odd scoring, no big plays, a great afternoon-nap game.

Iowa 23, Michigan State 20 - I honestly like Sparty to ruin the Hawkeyes' run, but I said I wasn't picking against Iowa until they lost and I meant it.

TCU 21, BYU 20 - It won't be as dominant as last year, mainly because BYU's a bit more balance and the game's in Provo. But, in the end, I'll take the Frogs, even on the road.

Alabama 27, Tennessee 9 - Just another road apple for the Soviet War machine.

Florida 29, Mississippi State 16 - If the Gators had not just had a close call with Arkansas, I'd call the upset here.

LSU 22, Auburn 19 - Auburn has enough talent to win this game, but I have a feeling that LSU will be strong enough to set the tempo and contain Malzahn's offense. The Hat wins a close one.

Texas 31, Mizzou 20 - McCoy rebounds from last week and has a lights out day against the Tigers.

Washington 30, Oregon 26 - The Ducks' lucky streak has to end sometime and Jake Locker is the man to do it. I bet Sarkisian is loving being a double digit dog and has the Huskies ready.


BTW, here's a bonus UPSET ALERT for the weekend: I'm not saying that the Tigers are going to win, but Miami better be awake and aware for this Clemson game. Miami's more talented, but this is setting up as a good spot to trap the 'Canes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My far, and in no particular order

Tim Tebow - His is a greatness of intangibles, hard to measure statistically, except for overall record. His character is unquestionable, as is his leadership, and watching him play gets even my fat ass ready to suit up. While mediocre against LSU, he had good numbers in the squeaker against Arkansas. When you think 'Greatest Player' he's what comes to mind, and it's not his fault the media loves him, so grow up, but if you do need numbers, check his efficiency and rushing yards.

Ndomukong Suh (spell check that, mofo) - Holy Crap, this kid's a beast! Once again, if it's stats you're looking for, he doesn't have them..and you're probably not very football savvy anyway. Suh doesn't have to rack up tackles to change the pace of a game, just watch the opponent's offensive line. They'll double, contort, bend and break against this, the best DL, if not best overall defensive player, in the nation. So, Texas Tech beat the Huskers last week, huh? Well, Suh can't be everywhere.

Mark Ingram - I know what you're thinking: an Alabama player for Heisman? Yes. Ingram's hit 900+ yards already this season, and that includes games against 2 cupcakes where he only carried the ball 18 times...combined. He is the wrecking ball that the Tide rolled behind last weekend, hitting the Cocks for 246, and that's on the heels of b-2-b 140+ yard games. Throw in 8 TD's and look past the Arkansas game and you'll see this candidacy is for real.

Colt McCoy - Um...I guess this is mainly because I thought so highly of him earlier this year. He's been more pick-happy this season, already throwing 7 (compared to last season's 8 INT's overall), and he looked, well, average, against Oklahoma. Now, everybody get's their worst game dropped, apparently, and I do like his athleticism, gutsy play, and overall leadership. But, in comparison to some other QB's out there, he lacks intensity. All that considered, though, he's still easily one of the best players in the nation...just not THE best.

For the Wild-Card, how about...

...true-freshman Dion Lewis - If I can overlook the Arkansas game for Ingram, I have to overlook the Navy game for Lewis. Like Ingram, D.L. has 900+ yards and acts as pace-setter for his team. In trying to eat up the clock last Friday, Pitt called Lewis' number throughout the fourth, and he delivered, breaking Rutgers' back en route to a 180 yard performance. While he didn't find the endzone in b-2-b games, it's his freshman-ness that appeals to me, evoking memories of Herschel in '80...he's just not as dominant.

Also-Rans: I guess all those QB's piled up at the bottom of everyone else's ballots: Clausen, Keenum, Pike, Harris, Moore, LeFevour, Reesing, Forcier, Hall, Taylor, Sleepy, Grumpy, Optimus Prime and Edmond Dantes...oh yeah, and Samuel Tilden.

Monday, October 19, 2009


OK - I'm doing the top-25 interspersed with commentary on Saturday.

First off, as the day/night wore on, it felt like everyone was losing. As it turns out, it only felt that way to me because I put too much faith in the Big-XII North. Nebraska and Mizzou both laid turds against South foes and Kansas decided to get its first loss against a very bad Colorado team. That said, Nebraska is still the team to beat in the North and statistically, the D did a pretty good job containing the wild fire that is the Red Raider O.

Second, for all the Georgia fans: It was Vandy.

The Big 3

1. Alabama - They almost play with NFL method and efficiency.

2. Texas - the 'horns get the nod over the Gators this week.

3. Florida

The Gators looked beatable on Saturday. But, they looked beatable after they lost to Ole Miss last year, too. The defense is still the best in the nation, at least according to the stat line, but the offense needs a wake-up call. Maybe Mullen was the man after all...

Sub-topic: Why does Charlie Strong still not have a head coaching job? Some friends of mine think it's ridiculous to think there are socio-racial undertones to it, but I'm not that optimistic. People are still kind of old-fashioned and fucked up. But, white-wife be damned, if his numbers continue, it should be enough to blind even the most color-sensitive eye.

4. USC - I know: They lost to Washington. I've heard that one, before. But, do you really think they couldn't beat the other teams in the nation on any given Saturday? If so, you're clueless.

5. Cincy - On the merit of being undefeated and beating USF on the road. That, and the 75-yard QB draw.

6. Boise State - Good win over Oregon and...I guess that's it. At least Cincy plays in a BCS conference.

7. TCU - They play tough, fundamental football; that goes a long way with me. See #1.

8. Iowa - One more sloppy win and they default into the top-5.

9. LSU

10. Miami

11. Oregon

I honestly though VA Tech had surpassed the ACC attitude of "Let's not win this week, because Fuck It, being 5-3 is awesome" but alas, no, they found their way back into the fold with a loss at Georgia Tech. So, based on record, VA Tech's past win quality, and GT's record, I give you:

12. Georgia Tech

13. VA Tech

How long this lasts, I don't know. Charlottesville is like kryptonite to the Bees and with Al Groh at the helm, UVa can beat, or lose to, anybody. If GA Tech goes down and VA Tech wins out, the Hokies will climb back past the Jackets. God, the Coastal Division is a mess.

14. Houston - Yes, Houston. I know they lost to UTEP, but they beat OK St. and Texas Tech, which now looks even more impressive.

15. Oklahoma State - This is by benefit of how highly I thought of the Big-XII North before this weekend.

16. Penn State - I thought Minnesota was gonna be scrappy this year and the Nits shut them out. And, the better Iowa gets, the better State looks.

17. Ohio State - It's a long way down, but I wanted to make sure they were behind PSU this week. Will this last? No. I think the Bucks bounce back from the upset and win least until they host Iowa.

18. Texas Tech

19. Nebraska

20. South Carolina - Why drop that much by playing a tough, physical game against the best team in the land?

Do the last 5 spots really matter? Not really. So, in that spirit, here goes 21-25, in no particular order:

BYU, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Utah, and...

IDAHO - I do not really think that the Vandals are the 25th best team, but when will I get another chance to rank them? Probably never, because they'll lose to Nevada this weekend.

At the Gates:

Kansas is still a good football team who only has one loss. Oklahoma might be a better team with 3.

The Big East is a mash up of mediocrity waiting to dry up or push through and be ranked. So, you take your pick of the following: Pitt, WVU, and a still-tough, 1-loss SoFla.

Arizona - The 'Cats have lost only to Iowa and the bad penny of the PAC-10, Washington. I'm keeping my eye on them...

Stay Tuned:

Top-25, lessons learned, and reflections on the weekend will be coming up this evening.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekly Picks

Here come the weekly picks. As usual, I chose the ten most interesting match-ups involving the highest ranked teams. I am going to go ahead and admit that I will, at best, go 3-7 this week. There are many a close call mixed in here and I'm afraid the Big-XII will be my undoing, as I've put my faith in the North.

Thursday Night:

Cincy 30, SoFla 28 - I'd like to take the Bulls at home, but the 'Cats are rolling offensively and I like them in a squeaker. It should be a lot of fun either way, though.

Bonus Pick - Friday Night:

Rutgers 28, Pitt 23 - This one doesn't count for or against, but since it's the only Friday night game, I figure I'd throw it in for free. I said Rutgers could easily be 12-0 or 11-1 at season's end and their first game against Cincy made me look stupid. But, the Knights have quietly won them all since and a win here could push them further up the standings.


RRR: Texas 31, Oklahoma 30 - I want to pick the Sooners, but I'm scared that the upset would bite me in the ass. I know Texas will likely be down both RB's and could likely lose, but I don't know if it'll be enough.

Iowa 29, Wisconsin 27 - I'm done picking against the Hawkeyes; they play ugly, but are still winning. When they finally do get Ferentz'ed, I guess I will too.

SoCal 38, Notre Dame 23 - I'd like to call a huge blowout for the Trojans, but the Irish are more competent than that. It might be close, even late in the third, but SC will pull away.

Florida 36, Arkansas 16 - I might be being too generous to Arkansas here. 'Bama held them to 7 and the Gators' D is still ahead of the Tide statistically.

Penn St. 24, Minnesota 21 - I was leaning towards taking the Gophers to make the Lions misery complete, but Royster could do a mean Jahvid Best imitation to lead PSU to a win.

VA Tech 31, GA Tech 27 - This is risky. ACC teams love to screw the logical pick so they can all finish 5-3 or 4-4.

Nebraska 28, Texas Tech 27 - C'mon Huskers...don't let me down now. If Suh and Co. can limit big plays by the Raiders, the Husker O could do just enough to win.

'Bama 26, SoCar 13 - Slow and steady...I love to watch 'Bama dissect an opponent with mean, focused, disciplined football.

Mizz 27, OK St. 26 - I'm picking a B12 North double with this one. I'm hoping the drama surorunding recently deposed WR Bryant will be enough to trip up the Pokes. I doubt it will, but you have to take chances somewhere...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Here's my top-25, comments to come later:
  1. Alabama
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Virginia Tech
  5. USC
  6. Ohio State
  7. Nebraska
  8. Miami
  9. Cincinnati
  10. Boise State
  11. TCU
  12. LSU
  13. Oklahoma
  14. Oregon
  15. Houston
  16. Iowa
  17. Kansas
  18. South Carolina
  19. Oklahoma State
  20. GA Tech
  21. Penn State
  22. Missouri
  23. South Florida
  24. BYU
  25. Auburn
At the Gates:

Ole Miss
Notre Dame
West Virginia
Central Michigan
Wake Forest

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Morning QB - Part 2

Florida and Alabama are probably the best one-two punch defensively that a conference has ever had. Combined, they held their opponents to 6 points yesterday and looked smothering and oppressive. So much so that it doesn't really take a great deal of offensive production to earn wins, just efficiency, which these two well-coached teams have in spades.

Sidenote: Why do so many people hate Tim Tebow?

By comparison, Texas seems to be a clear number three. They constantly allow weak teams to hang around before clamping down and pulling out the win. And now their top-2 running backs are out, which means McCoy and Shipley are going to have to carry pretty much all the load.

LSU lost to #1, USC lost an unranked U-dub team and USC is still ranked higher than LSU. And, you know what, I agree with it! People, especially the local SEC-philes around here, are rabid about this. But to me, LSU is right where they deserve to be. I didn't think they should have been #4 to begin with, but I do think that USC is a top-5 team. I know, I know, sacrilage, huh? Me and Colin Cowherd can go fuck ourselves, yadda, yadda, yadda. Grow up.

Houston has now beaten 2 Big-12 and 1 SEC team. That's an impressive non-conf run for a mid-major. Now, the AP has allowed the Cougs back into the top-25. So, my question is: Why did you un-rank them last week? Is there no foresight to your voting?

I cannot get a handle on this Iowa team. They are undefeated, but they play so un-impressively. I keep waiting for the Kirk Ferentz nose-dive, but they keep on side stpping the curse and winning, albeit in a very sloppy manner. And I guess that's their strength. They force everyone to play their unorganized, crap-shoot game and only they can survive 4 quarters of that.

TCU barely beat Air Force last night. I wondered when the doldrums of that MWC schedule would start to take hold.

If Cincinnati beats USF next week, will they go unbeaten? And if they do, will they skip over 1-loss teams from the Big-XII and SEC? I smell split-title...

Stay tuned for the Top-25.

Sunday Morning QB - FIX IT! Edition

No longer should those calling for a new DC at Georgia be considered the reactionary, lunatic fringe. There are WAY too many problems with that unit that can be directly attributed to coaching. I've said it before and I'll say it again, tackling is the most basic thing you can teach a football player and our guys just cannot do it. I mean, it's the most basic tenant of the game: 'Tackle the man with the ball.' We have loads of talent, but there's never any true development or discipline and we've statistically gotten worse and worse with each passing season; yesterday was just another episode. CWM got out-schemed and never adjusted until the half, and even then he adjusted poorly. To stop the roll-out, he brought outside pressure without covering the receiver on that side. To solve the problem, we dropped two guys back, but left the deep man WIDE open for a TD. Jonathan Crompton looked like a Heisman candidate in that game and I think we all know that couldn't be further from the ruth.

Now, all the blame cannot be placed on the D. The offense was horrid yesterday, managing a measly 3 points on questionable play-call after questionable play-call. But, we've seen enough flashes of offensive output this year, that I think some reassessment, and refocusing, could begin to take that unit in the right direction. At least Special Teams showed up - mostly - and kept us in it early. I'd still like to see more discipline there, too, and some type of actual Punt-return scheme.

It really makes one wonder where this program is actually headed. I think Clay Travis summed it up nicely:

"I'm not sure where Kiffin is headed, but he's got his signature win in 2009. As for Richt, in 2001, he brought a hobnailed boot with him to Neyland Stadium. In 2009, he brought Willie Martinez.

And that made all the difference."

Well said. All-in-all, this team is loaded with potential but fails in almost every facet of the game. And that means coaching. So, if we can all see that, then we need to...

...FIX IT!! (skip to 2:21 mark) !!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quick break from Football before Kickoff

First off, I had a blast in JINX-sylvania last night, thanks guys! We hit up some wings, cruised up to Decatur and chilled at the Brickstore and Twain's before calling it a night. The only downside was actually being in Conyers..."Conyers, GA: Where nothing's out of your league!"

Second, there are some very conservative folks out there who, despite what they say about loving our nation and it's Constitution, are actively working to establish a theocracy here. And that wack-job shit's scarier than any socialist program we're debating right now. You want to talk about personal choice and freedom? It all goes out the window when you start basing government on religion.

I mean, look at this: McNaughton Fine Art's partisan affirmation of "one nation under god" is terrifying. And, honestly, why would you want to see white Jesus when you could have this: ONE NATION UNDER CTHULHU - all praise the Old Ones!

If you're too lazy to follow the links, click below to enlarge:


UPDATE: Oh yeah, and if you don't know who/what Cthulhu is, PICK UP A FUCKING BOOK!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekly Picks

I'm off to JINX-sylvania* tonight, so the picks will be quick-and-dirty!

VA Tech 24, BC 16 - Don't sleep on BC! That said, I don't think the Hokies are.

Auburn 38, Arkansas 34 - That Tiger O is clicking, but the Hawgs are explosive on that side, too. I look for fireworks, but Auburn pulling out late.

Bama 31, Ole Miss 20 - Bama rolls on. BTW, the royal Snead is the 3rd least efficient QB in the SEC. Where's your Heisman talk now, idiots?

Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 16 - I don't have a lot of faith in Wisky.

Florida 31, LSU 27 - I'm banking on Tebow playing. If he doesn't, the Gators could still be too much.

GA Tech 28, FSU 24 - Of all the picks, this is the one I hate the most. There's such a large part of me that wants to pick the 'Noles because this is a cluster-fuck ACC game. But, when I typed FSU 27, GT 21 it just looked too stupid to keep.

Michigan 19, Iowa 17 - The Hawkeyes will force the Wolverines to play Iowa-ball, but UM should still pull it out.


* Conyers...don't ask.

Give 'em Their BlackShirts, Already...

C'mon, Pelini, let the D wear the black shirts! The Huskers coach has been waiting for his defense to earn the right to the traditional blackshirts worn by Nebraska defenses in practice. Well, after last night, I say let 'em have the jerseys. They have the number 2 overall D in the land behind Florida and shut down Missouri pretty effectively all night. Without the D, the huskers leave Columbia with a loss last night, as the unit, led by Ndamukong Suh, stepped up and made enough plays to keep Nebraska within striking distance. Cheers, Huskers, and keep rolling!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Top 25

It's getting tougher to rank the sub top-10 masses. I've used some iffy standards, weighting, and formulaic thought to get here and hopefully after next week things will shake out a little clearer. Let me make this clear right now, though: Losing to a team that is ranked significantly higher than you does not equal dropping in the poll. It's very possible for a team to lose and remain unchanged if that loss was to a better team (UGA). It's also possible to stay relatively high after a loss, even if it's a loss to a lower ranked team (Okl.). We're still early and there's a lot of ball left to be played!

The Big Three: Unchanged

1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Texas

One-loss, but top tier:

4. Virginia Tech
5. USC
6. Ohio State
7. Nebraska - Thursday night's showdown is the Husker's best chance to shine on a national stage. They also have the most to lose, rank wise, as a loss to the Tigers could drop them about 10 spots.

And then there were three...

8. TCU -
9. Cincinnati -
10. Boise State -

Everybody Else:

11. Miami - Great win over Oklahoma. Harris' rebound after a terrible start was very impressive. This kid's going places!

12. LSU - They beat a slightly better than average UGA team last week, so not much movement here. This week against Florida will begin to answer some questions. The Tigers could, in reality, still move up, even in a loss, if they show some killer instinct.

13. Oklahoma - 2 losses, but a long way to go yet.

14. Oregon - The Ducks keep hanging around...I bet they'd love a shot at Boise in a bowl game.

15. Auburn - Look who's 5-0! Maybe Chizik was a good hire...or at least Malzahn was.

16. Houston - One loss isn't enough to kick the Cougs out of my poll. They still have 2 of the more impressive wins of the season.

17. Oklahoma State - Right in the meaty part of the curve.

18. Iowa - 3 point win over Arkansas State? Mighty close to getting Ferentz'ed...

T-19. Missouri and Kansas - I like these 2 Big-12North teams in this spot. Missouri could gain some real separation with an impressive performance Thursday.

21. Georgia - I know, I know: 2 losses. But, 2 losses to teams ranked well ahead of them and I need the Dawgs here, at least for one more week, to keep my hierarchy of victory in place. You know, UGA>SoCar>Ole Miss.

22. South Carolina - Speaking of...

23. Ole Miss - The Rebs better play like madmen against 'Bama, or this could be it for them in this poll.

24. GA Tech - (sigh)

25. Penn State - I had the Lions much higher, but then I remembered how bad they looked against Iowa 2 weeks ago. And then Iowa barely beat 25's good for now. I'm not getting burned again by putting too much faith in JoePa this early.

At the Gates:

South Florida
Notre Dame

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Morning QB

I was kind of out of it for the most part yesterday, but from what I saw, heard, remembered and got caught up with on ESPN, here's what's jumped out at me:

What does LSU's win over Georgia actually prove? Well, pretty much nothing. They struggled again with a VERY mediocre opponent. I do think they are a good team, but we haven't seen it yet. There's not a bigger stage to prove themselves on than next week against Florida.

Speaking of Georgia, how bad are they? Talent wise, the Dawgs are on par with anyone else in the nation. But, they have no discipline or team identity. They did clean up the turnovers, but key penalties and poor tackling sealed their fate. How many more games will they lose? Honestly, and I hate to be this guy, but I think it's coaching. Martinez and Bobo need to focus and if they can't, then we need to re-assess our staff a bit.

I think the 'T' in TCU stands for TOUGH. Freshman Tanner Brock made a crushing block to spring Jeremy Kerley's punt return for a TD...and he did without his helmet.

UTEP upset Houston. And that's all it was: an upset. I'm fine with it shutting the door to the BCS for the Cougs, but it shouldn't drop them from the polls. They're still a good enough team to be third in the Big 12 South as noted by wins over OSU and TT and they just got a big head and let the Miners creep up on them. If they lose more games, it's probably because they're bored playing a C-USA schedule after all the big time non-conf. games.

No, Lou Holtz, Jimmy Clausen is not the leading Heisman candidate. I'd debate he's not even a candidate at all, as there are QB's across the country with better numbers, they just don't play for Notre Dame.

I was wrong about Cal. They've now been held to 3 points in back-to-back blowouts and are 0-2 in the PAC-10. I was also wrong about Oregon, apparently, as the Ducks have rebounded from early disappointments behind the development of Masoli. Halloween is huge for this conference, as the Trojans come to Autzen Stadium for a BIG showdown.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekly Picks, Q&D

I don't have a lot of time this week, so here's a quick and dirty rundown of a few games this week:


West VA 26, Colorado 19 - The Buffs have looked AWWW-ful this season.


Pitt 31, Louisville 23 - Panthers recover, pull away late.


Michigan 31, Michigan State 30 - Why not?

LSU at UGA - Pass.

Notre Dame 34, Washington 21 - I'd like to see the Huskies win, but because I want it to happen, the Irish will pile it on.

Auburn 17, Tennessee 16 - I ranked Auburn relatively high. I hope they don't screw me on this...

USC 35, Cal 23 - Best gets back on track, but so do the Trojans.

Oklahoma 30, Miami 16 - Harris gets hassled all night, Landry and his magic-stache rock on.

OK, here goes:

UGA 26, LSU 24 - Somehow, some way, and a whole lotta AJ Green!