Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Texas A&M is single*

Texas A&M has broken up with the Big 12; they sent the official letter today. I like to think they folded it very neatly and put it in the Big 12's locker between lunch and gym class. They made it clear they had to move on, but that they would totally love the Big 12 forever, they just weren't IN love with the Big 12. It's just time to move on and it totally has, like, nothing to do with another conference.
/SEC walks in, winks
/A&M's panties get wet
/Big 12 gets drunk, calls BYU
* By single, we mean they already have the SEC logo tattooed on their ass and the Big 12 still has old t-shirts in the dresser.

1 Day.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And, We're Back! Weekly Picks

Finally. Our time has returned. For a few brief moments, we get to savor the spiritual perfection that is college football. The first coin flip, toe hitting leather, the smell of the grass, the clack of cleats on concrete, the tailgaiting smells of hot grills and iced down bourbon, cold beers and spicy bloody marys. It's back. Our time.

Things kickoff Thursday night with a slow spate of games, get turned up a notch with an underrated lone star affair, and peak Saturday night with twin kickoff classics featuring SEC teams. It should be fun. Then there's Sunday and Monday night to nurse you back down before the work week owns your soul for a few more days.While there aren't many big time match-ups - most of the big guys are easing into 2011 with an appetizer of cupcakes and cheesedick sandwiches - there's at least something interesting each night.

Thursday night:

Mississippi State 40, Memphis 10 - No, this isn't a classic match up, but it is the first SEC game. The real question here is: Why is Mississippi State going to Memphis? That must've been a Croom-era deal. I like the Other Bulldogs to come out trying to prove their power, and the Tigers should be an easy target to do that against.

Wisconsin 41, UNLV 20 - Enter Russell Wilson. I don't know how Wisky got into this deal with UNLV, having gone to Vegas twice in three years in exchange for one home game, but I do know that the Rebs play the Badgers tough, at least early. That probably won't change this season. But, as Wilson gets comfortable and the run game keeps pounding away, the Badgers should separate and kick start what could be a great year in Madison.

Friday night:

TCU 27, Baylor 23 - A lot of people are over looking this game and I don't know why. Actually, I guess I do know why: the 45-10 beatdown last year. The Frogs are a pretty solid favorite (6'), but Baylor feels like a true wild card to me this season. Robert Griffin is going to give opposing defenses fits, and it could all start with TCU. Tank Carder and Co. will have their hands full in Waco and the Bears should put up much more of a fight this go 'round.


Notre Dame 28, South Florida 27 - Fuck with the Bull, and you know the rest. SoFla is my preseason pick for Big East champ and I think they'll give the Irish all they can handle in South Bend. IND will pull it out late, but this could make for a nice little match-up as Brian Kelly and Dayne Crist settle into year 2.

Ole Miss 32, BYU 29 - The Rebels/Bears/Ackbars will not lose two home openers in a row. But they will try.

Oregon 31, LSU 27 - From my earlier pick: "It's odd to write this about an SEC team, but LSU will have trouble keeping up with Oregon's team speed (insert Cliff Harris rental car joke here). And, if a track meet doesn't break out, we saw in last year's BCS title game that the Ducks can play defense if they need to. I know LSU is on a lot of peoples' short lists, but Oregon's near the top of mine. And, while the trip to Texas and it being opening week might clip Oregon's wings a little bit, the Tigers have too many question marks, especially for such a big game on opening weekend. Oregon 29, LSU 27" The only change to this I'd make is a little more confidence in the Ducks with the recent bad news out of Baton Rouge.

Georgia 34, Boise State 24 - From the earlier pick: "Same song, different verse: if Boise wins, blah, blah, blah, BCS title game. I'm not trying to take anything away from the individuals that make up the BSU program, but this has been their narrative for so long, they don't know anything else. Meanwhile, Georgia has NO expectations and Richt's seat is getting quite warm. If the Dawgs play with nothing to lose, and they should, there could be some re-writes on deck for the Broncos' storyline. Georgia 34, Boise State 24" I'm holding fast to this.


Texas A&M 44, SMU 30 - A&M's edge in Vegas has dropped a point this week to 15, and rightfully so. June-bug might finally have 'his' team down in Dallas. This seems like another under rated Texas tee-up, as there could be some serious fireworks in this one. Defensively, the Mustangs just won't have an answer for Tannehill. Michael, and Co. It should be a shootout early, but the twelfth man should help the Aggies pull away late.


Maryland 23, Miami 22 - I honestly have ZERO idea about this game. I know there's a hurricane (ha!) of problems swirling in Corral Gables and that Jacorry "DeepVerts" Harris will be sitting out, but will that matter against a team that's just so, well, Maryland-y? Maryland games usually seem so boring, so at least there's a little change of pace here. I like both of these coaches, and Al Golden is a reliable enough man to whether the storm, but will that have any impact on this game? Doubt it. Calling it for the new unis: Terps win.

Pro Combat: Dawg Nation

2 Days.

"Glory, glory..."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

4 Days.

"...of the entire Bulldawg Nation."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Boise's Pro-Combats for the Dome

Here's the look that will be lining up across from Georgia's silver-capped Santa Claus suits. It's a bit plain, but that's to be expected for an all-white away get-up. I do like the helmet. I find myself saying that alot; apparently I'm some kind of alt-uni helmet whore.

Anyway, the "pale horse" motif is kinds cool, I guess; mainly because of the movie, Tombstone, though. Maybe if Boise gets Michael Biehn to stare crazily into the sunset and softly speak their intro, it might pay off for them...

Godspeed, Pat.

Pat Summit's revelation that she's suffering from early-onset dementia was a big story this past week, and buffeted a Tennessee program already beset with bad news with some of the worst info an athletic program can get: real life problems. I know most men will refuse to acknowledge Summit as a great coach or even as being that important (ignorant sexism is a hell of a thing, huh, Ron Franklin?), but I think she's one of the greatest coaches of all time. Summit and her family are now in the position to play the waiting game for when the disease decides to get worse and finally takes over, because, unfortunately, it's one of the few opponents you can't beat. I like to think when the diseases got together to decide who should go after Pat, they chose dementia/Alzheimer's because they knew she could kick the shit out of cancer. Godspeed, Pat.

It's been one Les Miles of a week.

Remember when it was revealed that Steve Kragthorpe had Parkinson's? That was a shot of bad news that makes you feel bad no matter who you pull for. Diseases suck and true tragedy should have no place in sports; I mean, like, real tragedy, not "OMG I hate my school's uniforms, hurr." However, you felt that the Tigers would be OK. Les Miles is a mystical, big-hatted, grass-eating shaman who conjures wins with just luck, magic, and a locker room of four and five star talent. So, even with the sous-chef out, the ingredients were still there and ten wins seemed a foregone conclusion.

But then last week happened; a week as nutty for Baton Rouge as Miles himself. There was a bar fight - no, surely not, not in a college town - that witnesses claimed involved key Tiger players, including Jordan Jefferson. And then: nothing happened. For two days, the lawyered-up* players in question waited while the police looked into the matter. It looked like Knoxville '09 all over again.

Then a bit of bad news. Unrelated to the brawl, but still costly: Russell Shepard was ruled ineligible. The play-making wideout was suspended for an NCAA violation. He spoke to a teammate about the NCAA's probe into LSU about Willie Lyles. It is unclear whether he'll miss just the opener or a chunk of time while the school waits around for his reinstatement. Just like that, Jefferson lost his biggest crutch heading into the showdown with Oregon (who has there own Lyles problems, as well as some extra-curricular issues).

The same day, the police announced Jefferson as a person of interest in the bar fight investigation. Eyewitnesses said the QB kicked a Marine in the head during the fight (They always said he tried to solve too many problems with his feet). Then there was a search warrant issues for his home. The police left the residence with a couple bags full of something and an arrest warrant was quickly issued for Jefferson and a team mate, LB Josh Johns. They were released on bail this morning and have been suspended indefinitely.

Now Les Miles has Jarret "Arm Punt**" Lee as his starter with a borderline rapist at backup. It is going to take some special-kind o' grass and some serious mojo to get this one back, coach. But if there's anyone who can take this cobbled together team and beat Oregon, it's Miles. He will follow that, though, with a loss to Northwestern State.

* Clay Travis made a good point about the level of legal help the players received being a huge improper benefit. Does the average college student have access to the best, most expensive, attorneys in their state?

**That fabulous nickname is thanks to WatsonTiger, a commenter on this EDSBS post. Here's his comment/artwork/hilariousness in all its glory:

5 Days.

Friday, August 26, 2011

6 Days.

"...with two words. Two simple words..."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stand aside, Georgia.

Dry your eyes, Dawg fans, your time to complain about uniforms has past. So your multimillion dollar deal with Nike means you have to wear a cutting edge uniform once a season every few years and half the fanbase doesn't like it. Wah, wah, crybaby. At least you're not Maryland. IN an attempt to trump Nike's Pro Combat line, Under Armor has gone full-retard on a uniform line of their own with the home team Terps first in line. They've mixed all the colors from the team, the Maryland state flag, and, well, who fucking knows, really, and rolled out over 30 possible combinations of second-rate unis. And Maryland's stuck with them forever, not just one game.

It looks like they've completely screwed up the right red color; it seems almost Miami-orange. But the black-on-blacks are OK and it's hard to screw up white. I will officially go on record, though, as a full-on supporter of the helmet:

That's right, ACC foes: tortoise shell. I really do like it; incorporating mascots into a uniform design will always earn you credit with me (I heart you, TCU's 2009 Pro Combats).

Here's a link to the full pic gallery of all the choices. The site looks like it was designed for local mechanic in 1997 and I only get the photos to load about half the time, but enjoy.

8 Days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

9 Days.

"...let All the Bulldawg faithful..."

Monday, August 22, 2011

From All Over

  • Little by little, the Pro Combats are growing on me. At least the helmet has, anyway. I still think they could've used some more detailing. My vision is three black stripes on the pants, with silver in between, that form the UGA arch on the hip. It would break up the plainness of the all reds and be a nod to a Georgia tradition.
  • Sit down, Caleb King. The academically ineligible wunderkind failed to be picked up in the supplemental draft. Man, he's really going places.
  • You wanna throw with a patriot? Apparently Jordan Jefferson does. He's accused of allegedly kicking a Marine in the head during a bar fight in Baton Rouge this weekend. A few other Tigers' names are being bandied about as suspects, as well, but there's been no arrests or direct police action. Don't worry, though, a top defense attorney is on the case. How did these players with no jobs afford him? Don't ask questions, loser, this is pro bono shit, not some kind of improper benefit.
  • Littering and...littering and...littering and...smoking the refer: Oregon has their problems heading into that season in Arlington, too. Wideout Cliff Harris was already in trouble for his attempted time-traveling earlier this summer, but now we've found out that QB Darron Thomas was riding shotgun and there may or may not have been marijuana involved.Who will be left on the field for these teams come kickoff?
  • Tennessee gives up, "Opportunity is Nowhere."

10 Days.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

11 Days

" the University of Georgia."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Ineligibowl

Saw this little gem over on the EDSBS Weekend Open Thread comment boards:

That's fantastic.

No, thank you.

NOTE: I do not dislike these uniforms because they are new; I mind them because they're kinda ugly. Tradition is a fine thing, but something like this can be a nice shot in the arm every now and then. As I've written here before, I am not against new/custom/retro/special unis...if they're done right. Remember the uni-crush I had on TCU's 2009 Pro Combats? Those things were fucking awesome. These just feel uninspired. The helmet is cool* and I like the stripe running down the facemask, but the all reds with block black trim screams lack of details like they rushed them out the door. I just think we deserve better.
*By the way, all you non-traditionalists out there fawning over these unis, remember that our helmets were silver until Dooley took over in '64. S0 these are actually super-traditional.
This morning at picture day, Georgia unveiled the Nike Pro Combat Unis they'll be wearing in the Dome. They're hideous.

Seriously, fuck you, Nike.
Are they better than the black-helmeted abominations from Jacksonville a couple years ago? Yes. But that's like being a less smelly shit in a Waffle House bathroom.
UPDATE: Here are the gloves:

Look at the collar detailing. Sweet.
OK, that's pretty awesome. I just hope we don't get a flag happy crew that penalizes a player for enjoying how the gloves are designed.
Another Update: OK, this pic makes me a feel a little better - you get a better feel for the jersey and helmet than in the Nike pics above (h/t dawgsports). It still feels too plain; like Nike couldn't be bothered to really put any detail or nuance into anything under the collar.

12 Days.

"No institution worthy of such loyalty..."

Friday, August 19, 2011

C'mon, Iowa

Wow. Iowa has really taken the Republican straw poll at the State Fair to heart. They've apparently swallowed the lie republicans sell, non-stop, hook, line, and sinker; just look at the new trophy they unveiled.

That's what the Cy-Hawk trophy looks like now. It has NOTHING to do with football or a direct connection to anything inherently Iowan. I mean, not all trophies have to depict the sport in which they're won. The Floyd of Rosedale and the Heartland trophy are good examples of traditional trophy-fied depictions of Midwestern life. But they've been around for almost a hundred years. What they depict was actually pertinent at the time. That new abomination above has been around for less than three days and exhibits "an Iowa family together after a day on the farm"; somehting that less than five percent of Iowan families do! All that 'small-town, family values, baby Jesus' shit from the GOP tents must have really trickled down over the trophy designers. That thing sucks.

Here's what it used to look like:

Hey, is that a football on there? Can't have that, Michelle Bachman might cry. Grow up, Iowa; this looks like some dumb shit SEC schools would come up with had we been clever enough to create trophies back in the day.

[Gratuitous Bachman in Iowa image:]

So Presidential. Bonus: She Hates Science! That's good for the 21st century.

13 Days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

From All Over

1. Not good: Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel both sat out during Georgia's second scrimmage this week. This is it, the albatross that will drown us this season: depth. Without these two we have walk-ons playing tailback and the O-line seems just as thin. A 2-0 start might not mean anything if just one offensive player gets hurt...

2. Will Muschamp is dead to me. It was one thing to lead opposing defenses against us Auburn. I even understood taking the Florida job - I mean, it's his career. He irked me a little more when - apparently to really convince his new fan base of his loyalty - shit-talked our shared Alma Mater, but it's all in the game. But now? Completely unforgivable. I mean, the man's hawking Pepsi. He may as well burn down an orphanage (h/t Blutarsky).

3. I was kidding when I said in my Hurricane's post, "He then apparently took that money and made it rain all over the Miami Hurricanes program in such a fashion that Uncle Luke complained how over the top it was." I didn't realize how close I was to something there. Uncle Luke himself took to his column in the Miami New Times to let everybody know that Nevin Shapiro Can Kiss His Ass.

4.  Orson Charles, along with most of the briefly-mentioned players from Shapiro's story, was cleared by the NCAA.

5. EA still has not fixed the Teambuilder Online Dynasty problem. You should have seen the run-around I was given in online chat support session. First, I waited in a queue of ten that took ten minutes to get throiugh. After a few brief, but tense, exchanges, my technician curtly told me a supervisor would have to deal with me and, without consent, switched to a new 42-person long queue. Maybe I was being a but confrontational, but this shit's ridiculous. Here's Oscar Rogers with another appearance detailing a simple 3-step process for EA to use to get this glitch patched:

14 Days.

continue that

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

15 Days.

"To assume the reins of their Georgia forebears;"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Money, Cash, Hoes: Miami Football

Nevin Shapiro is in prison for running a ponzi scheme that allegedly swindled over $900 million dollars from hapless investors. He then apparently took that money and made it rain all over the Miami Hurricanes program in such a fashion that Uncle Luke complained how over the top it was. There were strippers, mansions, yachts, cash, agents, abortions, flights on team planes, illegal deals, and almost anything else you can think of. The dude's been labelled "Miami's Caligula"(if you don't know, read here). for christ's sake. This was all done with (again, allegedly) coaches' and administrators' knowledge. Shapiro was an official booster for a little over a decade and could now be the man responsible for bringing down the program.
"In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs. At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion."
Boom! Shit's real, bro. Beyond this, I really don't know what else to say, so I'll just leave you with some pics and video I find relevant.

Remember this? Seems like a good idea now:

Also, Hurricanes got nautical themed pashmina afghans:

You know what's really sad? Miami didn't even win the 2002 championship. You can complain about bullshit PI all you want, but a team this jacked up on boats and hoes should have been unstoppable. Better get below deck, with a dick in your hand:

And AD Paul Dee? He is King Hypocrite now (or, King Hippo-crite - couldn't resist).He served as chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and led that body in their deliberations on USC's early 2000's hijinks. That shit seems, pardon the pun, Bush-League by comparison (get it? Ha.) I mean, one player compared to pretty much an entire program? No contest, Mr. Dee.

Chairman of what now? Oh, that's hilarious!
Oh, well, guys. Hey, remember when AJ Green sold that jersey? LOL, so cute. And let's not forget the flea-ridden house of ill repute that is Boise State tennis. They should probably give every sport on campus the death penalty, or at least make the football team forfeit their first game. Who are they playing again...?
UPDATE: It reaches. Apparently, Shapiro had inappropriate contact with players who ended up signing with other schools, including Georgia's Orson Charles. I'm not sure what the penalty for getting a tour of a closet is when you're a junior in high school, though:
“Orson Charles was a tight end out of Plant City [High School] who was Robert Marve’s teammate. And because I had a real close relationship with Robert, Robert’s high school coach, Robert Weiner, came to Miami, Marve brought him to my house and he was with Orson Charles. I showed [Charles] my closet. The reason why I show all the kids my closet is because that’s where I had like 50 to 70 UM game-worn jerseys of all the best players in the last however long. That was our first visit. I saw him a second time and I think it was a Miami football camp.”

16 Days.

"...stands ready to take the field of Battle."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dynasty Update: Fuck You, EA.

Well, there probably won't be any Screaming Eagle news in the near future. Every single time I try to load my online dynasty, the console freezes. I've looked around some message boards and the EA forums and found that I am nowhere near alone in experiencing this problem. It seems to be even worse for dynasties that use Teambuilder custom schools, so I'm doubly screwed. I've run through the trouble shooting tips on the NCAA website to no avail and am now trying to send an email to customer support, but it's nigh on impossible as I don't have the info for some of the required fields. Also, the live chat has proven useless. Unless this gets fixed, there will be no Hayden Fox and Minnesota State updates. I know you're crushed.

Until then, I have one suggestion for EA:

17 Days.

"And now a new breed of Bulldawg..."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Expansion Talk Tabled...For Now

So, the Presidents of the SEC schools met today to discuss realignment options. There may or may not have been 11 of the 12 present and they may or may not have met in secret. At the center of all this hullabaloo is Texas A&M and their desire to escape the shadow of in-state rival Texas' Longhorn Network. The Aggies have long had their eyes turned to the east and a possible move to the SEC, but this time it felt like it was certain. However, the message from the SEC Presidents and Chencellors doesn't hold out much hope for a move any time soon:
“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment.  We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion.  No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”
So, does A&M go back with their tail between their legs and pledge renewed allegiance to a conference they (and possibly everyone but Texas) doesn't want to be in? Or, do they stay quiet, play through 2011, and hope that the "future conditions" that would make expansion "advantageous" happen sooner rather than later. Either way, A&M is in a place they don't want to be, Texas still holds all the cards, and the SEC kinda looks like a bunch of dicks. None of this means Texas A&M is out for good. When the A&M regents meet tomorrow, they could vote to leave the Big12 and then, oddly enough, find an invitation to the SEC waiting next week.

Dynasty Update: Year One in the Books

Well, the first season of the Hayden Fox era is over at Minnesota State and the people of Screaming Eagle Nation have little to show for it. MSU finished 4-8 and dead last in the Big Ten Leaders division, with several of the losses coming in blowout form. Purdue shut State out through three quarters, Northwestern stole a win in overtime, and Michigan State crushed the upstart Eagles. Despite the low lights, however, there were a few positive things to build on as we head into 2012. The Eagles were a top-3 rushing team and the defense finished in the top-30; this led to improved recruiting and a slight bump in the overall team ratings. Fox definitely has the program headed in the right direction, but will he get them there before the fan base's patience runs out?

2011 Schedule (4-8, 1-7)

Baylor W 24-20
at Missouri L 14-17
Ball State W 31-21
at Akron W 42-0
Penn State L 13-16
Ohio State L 17-27
Nebraska L 21-31
at Wisconsin L 13-31
at Purdue L 10-32
Illinois W 34-20
at Northwestern L 21-24
at Michigan State L 24-56

18 Days.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Crowell Misses Practice.

Isaiah Crowell sat out of practice today with a strained groin.
"Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said the injury is not considered serious. Richt added that he didn't know when Crowell would return to practice."
God, I hope this shit's not serious. The running game needs this guy; even if he doesn't live up to all the hype, he's still a warm body at a depleted position.

Expansion Update

Texas A&M cannot do anything until their Board of Regents meets. Today, they announced they're moving their August 20th meeting up to Monday morning and will be adding an item to the agenda. It seems they will give lateral decision-making powers to University president, Bowen Loftin, and encourage him to do whatever is needed to get the Aggies into the SEC. The Monday meeting comes the day before a special session of the Texas legislature meets Tuesday, likely to discuss re-alignment. By then, though, the Aggies could be SEC-bound.

Why the formality? Because the SEC doesn't want to bang anybody's girlfriend; they want her to dump their dopey boyfriend first. So A&M will withdraw from the Big-12, you know, because things just aren't working and they need some time; it's not the Big-12, it's A&M, etc. Only then will they get the invite to join the SEC.

What happens next? Well, the SEC could stay put at 13 teams with one lop-sided division, like the MAC (which they'd be willing to accept if forced to just to get that sweet lone star recruiting spread). More likely, they'll add another team to get to 14 teams, seven to a division. So who will it be?

The SEC would love Oklahoma, but the Sooners are most likely hobbled by their in-state little brothers. Virginia Tech is a nice target - a valuable new media market (DC), decent recruiting, and semi-close by - but their AD has said they'd decline an offer. That leaves the rumors swirling about Florida State as the most likely next step.

Who's on the list behind that? There have been Clemson and Missouri rumors, as well as UNC and Miami mentions. Does the expansion cause more realignment? Do the Pac-12 and B1G poach more from the Big-12? Will the SEC stay at 14? Or, do they go to 16 and break all hell loose in cfb? Whatever happens, it should be fun.

20 Days.

"The tradition of unbridled excellence..."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rivals Calls it a done deal.

UPDATE: Others say it is "just not true."
A screengrab from Texas A&M's site:

Everybody else says to just wait a sec and wait for an official announcement; it might be in the works, but it's far from done.

Domino Theory: CFB gets Geo-Political.

Oklahoma? They're a god damn state now?
Hey, Oklahoma, don't say Dwight Eisenhower didn't warn you. Once one falls, they all go, and you could be left in a league with UTEP, Sam Houston Institute of Technology, North Texas, and, of course, Oklahoma State. You should get out while you can...

Seriously, follow along, Senator Sooner. The SEC has established an Iron Curtain that will soon extend it's red fingers into your heartland. The precious Longhorns will be safe, what with their television deal and "tradition." But A&M's nationalists have retreated to Taiwan and it's only a matter of time before they, too, succumb to the encroaching storm of brown liquor and sundresses. The arms race that loss will set off will leave you holding together a weak six or seven team nation-state frantically searching for allies. Sure, you can try to retaliate against Arkansas or with overtures to Notre Dame, but no one will join you.

No, Sooners, your best bet is to bail out. Untie the albatross of OK State from your neck, as the People's Conference finds it repulsive, and join the sunshine and rainbows of the SECollective. They control the means of production and promise you your FAIR share. You do not have to cower in the gutters, dirty and hungry, while fat-cat Texas lights cigars with hundred dollar bills and shits out gold-plated cake. Leave the Pokes to their own fate; they'll find a home with Missouri or the Kansases - nobody cares about the Dardanelles anymore, anyways.


Gov. Rick Perry* confirmed yesterday that Texas A&M was indeed in talks with the SEC. This has re-stirred the pot of expansion that's been brewing anew since June and at least simmering since 2009. There is a lot of support in the Aggie fanbase and we all know the SEC elites would love a door into Texas.What happens next?

*seriously, all football aside, fuck that guy.

21 Days.

"...can be justifiably proud."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Reason Alabama's Defense Will Be No.1

Dont'a Hightower. The junior linebacker is a beast best summed up by this picture from his freshman year:

No helmet, getting held, tackle for loss. And he's not even the best player on the defense.

Achievement Unlocked

Holy shit. Go read this. Now. All of it. Spencer Hall has previewed  every game involving an SEC team for 2011. It's an unmatched feat of blogging strength and absolutely hilarious; you know, if you like things like humor and college football and the kind of specific jokes that make you feel like you're part of a small group of people who are in on the punchline. At least if you can connect yellow journalism to the Philippine War and have read Conrad's Heart of Darkness. And went to an SEC school. So, that's like 3 people, I guess.


Bodog has released their college football regular season win totals. The way it breaks down is simple: they set a number of predicted wins for a team to reach, one bets whether said team will win more (over) or less (under) than that magical number, winnings are determined by the odds. If the sign in front of the number is a minus, the number shows you how much you have to risk in order to win $100; if the sign in front of the number is a plus, the number indicates you how much you will win if you bet $100. 

For example, let's take the BCS Title game participants from last season, Auburn and Oregon. They seem to really like the Tigers to win 6 games and the Ducks to win more than nine..

Auburn Tigers
Over 6.5 (+105)
Under 6.5 (-135)

So, the oddsmakers have set Auburn's win total at 6.5. They obviously cannot get half a win, so you're betting they either win 6 or 7, with no opportunity to push (tie). To win $100 on 6 wins, you must risk $135 - so, obviously, the oddsmakers are hedging their bets as they think 6 wins is more likely than 7. Conversely, if you bet $100 on 7, you'd win $105. The extra money in the odds is an attempt to lure betters that way.

For comparison, here's Oregon. The (EVEN) means it's a straight up bet; $100 wins $100.

Oregon Ducks
Over 9.5 (-130)
Under 9.5 (EVEN)

National Title contenders for 2011 include:

Alabama Crimson Tide
Over 10 (-155)
Under 10 (+125)

Oklahoma Sooners
Over 10 (-130)
Under 10 (EVEN)

LSU Tigers
Over 9.5 (+115)
Under 9.5 (-145)

Virginia Tech Hokies
Over 10 (-140)
Under 10(+110)

And, just for shits and giggles, here's your week one Dome match-up. Right now, they've got Georgia at 8 wins, Over (-180)/Under (+150). So, they like the Dawgs to win at least nine. Boise's at 10. The Over is -250! The under is +195. They're pretty damn sure of at least 11 wins for the Broncos.

22 Days.

"...for which the entire Bulldawg Nation..."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Boise Bump

Uh, oh - Vegas has shifted the point spread in the Georgia-Boise State game. It's gone from opening at six to one and a half in June and now to three. Ouch; three points is a tough spread to bet on. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic hasn't been the most mobile line, though. "The biggest game of the weekend is also all over the board. Oregon opened as a 3-point favorite over LSU earlier this year, but early betting turned LSU into a favorite at most places. This Hilton now lists the Ducks as a 1.5-point favorite although you can expect that line to move as we approach the actual game." I'm not really a betting man, but I have seen my record in picking games; if you really want to bet and win, just go with the opposite of what I pick. Always seems to work.

Mark Richt hates Energy Vampires.

UPDATE: I didn't see this until I got home today, but EDSBS has already hit this one. Hilariously hard.
They really are trying to change the energy in Athens, these days. We've got a new strength and conditioning program, the post-Liberty loss pact, and now this. The program is calling out guys who torpedo positivity; complainers, debbie downers, and negative nellies are all unwelcome in Mark Richt's locker room. Anyone caught offending will be labelled an "Energy Vampire." Seriously, energy vampire; like with a straight face and everything.

"It's a new distinction for anyone on the team who complains or doesn't meet certain standards. If a teammate is nominated by another player for the "energy vampire board" and coach Mark Richt approves, the offending player ends up with his photo plastered all over video boards in the weight room, usually photo-shopped to include fangs and other unflattering enhancements.

"If you say something negative, if you're not doing something positive when we're doing activities as a team, you can be called an ‘energy vampire,'" sophomore linebacker Chase Vasser said. "Anybody who hears you say something like, ‘I don't want to be here,' you can be turned into the coach and you'll get your face on the board. They'll take a picture of you and put a wig on you with some vampire teeth and crazy-looking eyes.""
I'd make more fun of it, but it comes from a place of success: Mike Smith and the Atlanta Falcons. Apparently, Smith read about the term and incorporated it into his program and brought it around to some clinics and workshops this spring. Also, a true homer would never poke fun at his alma mater and his pro team in one fell swoop. But it is kinda dumb. Let us win the SEC, though, and you'll be hard pressed to find a fuck for me to give, no matter how dumb I thought it was in August.

23 Days.

"Men with hearts, bodies and minds..."

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Fairness: Georgia Fan Picks Georgia.

In all fairness to the last post, I'll acknowledge my pick from earlier this summer. I guess I can't honestly rag on the Bronco-phile's post too much; I mean, I wondered how he could pick a 14-point win, especially with the low line, but I'm no better:
"3. Boise State-Georgia (Atlanta) - Same song, different verse: if Boise wins, blah, blah, blah, BCS title game. I'm not trying to take anything away from the individuals that make up the BSU program, but this has been their narrative for so long, they don't know anything else. Meanwhile, Georgia has NO expectations and Richt's seat is getting quite warm. If the Dawgs play with nothing to lose, and they should, there could be some re-writes on deck for the Broncos' storyline. Georgia 34, Boise State 24"
 Homerism, for the win! Honestly, there are a couple things that make me feel good about the match-up. One is this: Georgia's defensive line weighs-in at 309, 350, 306. There's NO ONE on Boise's starting O-line that big. When your D-line has that kind of size advantage, good things can happen. Of course, this all depends on everyone playing head-up ball in the right position...let's not go there. Also, Boise's 0-4 against the SEC:

•  2000 vs. Arkansas: L, 38-31
•  2001 vs. South Carolina: L, 32-13
•  2002 vs. Arkansas: L, 41-14
•  2005 vs. Georgia: L, 48-13

I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything now, as Boise's much improved in recruiting and development, but it's a nice number to have around. All jokes aside, this Boise squad is legit. Kellen Moore is a great QB with a talented offense around him. It will take a strong defensive performance to disrupt his rhythm and hopefully force the Broncos to change up their game plan. If Grantham and his charges can't get it together this summer, it could be a long night in the Dome. So, yeah, maybe my 10-point win was a high-hopes fantasy. But, to my credit, I was there live to see this:

Boise Fan Picks Boise.

If you can make it through the horrible grammar and spelling errors/typos in this OneBroncoNationUnderGod post, you'll find that they're of the mind that Boise State will win pretty easily in the Dome. (EDIT: On further review, you'll find this is a "fan post", not an official blog post.) They go through eahc possible match-up and the only one seen as a Georgia advantage is "Georgia Pass Offense." The overall opinion is very azure-tinted indeed:
With the improved recruiting in the recent year for Boise State the size and speed issue normally facing a non BCS against an SEC opponent should be a non issue. With 7 returning starters, expect the Bronco offense to move the ball with relative ease against the Bulldog defense.  Georgia will have a difficult time establishing the run in this match up and will have to relay heavily on the passing game.  The Bronco defense should win this match up, also returning 7 starters on the opposite side.  If the Bulldogs offense has to become one dimensional, with the Broncos shutting down the young and inexperienced rush attack, they will have to relay heavily on the passing game, and should put Georgia at a huge disadvantage. This game should be a easy win for Boise State.
I know I'm biased and I've already made a contrary pick, but this seems a pretty confident pick...especially when the line in Vegas is only 1'. Could this happen? ABSOLUTELY. Will it? I don't think so.

24 Days.

"Heroes have graced the field before you..."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh, Vontaze.

Vontaze Burfict is a beast, but even Nick Fairley thinks he has a "questionable" playing style. He seems like he's just roid raging 24/7 and he does not care who gets in his way. So, it really shouldn't be a surprise that he "allegedly" assaulted a teammate. Dennis Erickson played cover-up at media days, but the story's already out there; according the SportsbyBrooks:

"In the aftermath of a verbal confrontation between Burfict and Arizona State wide receiver Kevin Ozier during a Wednesday Sun Devil practice, the star ASU linebacker initiated a blindside attack on Ozier from inside the team’s locker room, sucker-punching the diminutive wide receiver in the face.

"The force of the blow knocked Ozier, who Burfict outweighs by 50 pounds, to the ground.
Ozier, who was initially unresponsive after Burfict delivered the brutal, blindside shot to his head, eventually recovered from the assault.

"Despite Erickson being fully aware of Burfict’s attack on Ozier, the Arizona State coach has not held Burfict out of any practices since last Wednesday’s incident nor mentioned Burfict’s locker room assault on Ozier to the public.

"In addition to his missing Saturday’s annual Arizona State football media day, a national magazine cover shoot involving Burfict was also recently scrapped."

Hey, man, Vontaze keeps it real (watch #7).

Orson's Optimism

Orson Charles has a lot to say about the upcoming season. The general sentiment surrounding the team right now is commitment. After the embarrassing loss last year's Liberty Bowl, the returning players made a commitment to each other, the team, and to giving full effort, something they were apparently lacking the last few years. “I don’t think everybody was on the same page; everybody had their own goals and was focusing on their own thing. But going into the spring, we all started buying in and listening to the coaches. That’s why I’m excited to kick this thing off and see what we can do.”

On Georgia's new strength program, run by Joe Tereshinski, Charles said:
"Coach T’s workout is no joke, and it’s not easy. You have to be a man to go through what we went through, and we all gained something going through that program … the ones that survived. Yes, at first it was hard. Yes, a couple of days, we were in terrible pain. And, yes, there were a couple of days where we thought this man was crazy. But in the long run, it’s going to help us. We’re going to be much meaner and play much faster and go out there and win games. That's the main thing we had to focus back on, and that’s playing Georgia football.”
That's all well and good to say, but will it truly translate onto the field? Will any of this make the defense less likely to play out of position, miss tackles, or just in general mediocre it up out there? Will it light a fire in the bellies of the coaches so we don't get weak-ass play calls like the 4th & inches in the Liberty Bowl? Will it improve the run blocking and add depth to a thin O-line? Will it add more options at running back? I doubt it.

But, Charles says even the new guys, the so-called "Dream Team", have bought in.
“The freshmen have come in here and worked hard and not been big-headed, because there was a lot of talk about how they were supposed to be that class that saved us. They don’t think that. They just want to come in here and win like we all want to do. I’m excited to see what this Dream Team’s got.” 
Maybe there's some hope here after all. Either way, we'll know for sure pretty quickly after kickoff on September 3rd.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Operation: Iron Snare

Step 1: Tell a deadbeat, no-account parent they've won Iron Bowl tix.
Step 2: Celebrate with them when they show up.
Step 3: Pull a Chris Hansen and then Arrest them.
Step 4: LOL

It's actually not ALL fun and games; part of it's a little sad. A very small part.

/"Do I still get my tickets?"

Rumor Mill: Another Possible Pic of UGA's Pro Combat Uni

Here's another possible photo of the custom unis Nike's Pro Combat line created for the UGA-Boise State game. If this is the one, I'm definately cool with it; it's slightly updated, a little customized, but still traditional.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FTS Preseason Poll

UPDATE: This was written before I knew about Steve Kragthorpe. I don't know if it would change my assessment of LSU, but I wanted that disclaimer out there. Oh, and obviously, this was before the coaches' poll; I obviously feel very different about OK ST than they do.

Here it is, the FTS Preseason Poll. It took longer to get finalized and posted than I  though it would (real life will do that to you), but it's up now in all its glory.  It's another exercise in pessimism and inaccurate, useless fun, but it's mine.

1. Alabama
This defense is going to be nasty; it will be the number one unit in the nation and lead the Tide to the BCS Title game. 'Bama will have a VERY rough road-to-hoe through the SEC West, but I think they'll make it. I see them getting matched up with an undefeated Oregon squad and winning a close one to bring home the trophy.

2. Oregon
Remember: this team was only 3-points short in last year's title game. In that game, their high flying offense did get stuffed and their O-line got dominated in the trenches, but the Duck-D (11th in the nation, we forget) did get their gameplan to go almost perfectly. Kelly relied on massive substitutions and speed all season to nullify opponents and it worked on what had been Malzahn's flying circus starring Cam Newton.That's why I'm still high on this team: systems. Only 5 defensive starters back? Cool. There's 20 that have serious game experience. Only 6 offensive starters back? Cool. One's the QB, one's the Heisman finalist RB, and the schemes are still tough to stop. I might be taking a risk on the O-line, but we'll have all the answers about that in week one.

3. Wisconsin
What got Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl last year? The offensive line, two thousand-yard rushers, and a responsible QB. It wasn't flashy, but it worked...but it also might never get you to a national title. Enter Russel Wilson. The NC State transfer might just be the spark Bielema and the Badgers need to finally make the jump. He upholds the Wisky tradition of ball protection - he owns all-time NCAA record of consecutive pass attempts without an interception - and adds a true dual threat athleticism that defenses will have to account for. They'll most likely play Nebraska twice, but I feel good picking the Badgers in both games.

4. Virginia Tech
Look, the Hokies are a FG away from 12-0 last year. Follow me on this: No 3-point loss to Boise, no funk-induced loss to James Madison and the typical run through the ACC. Now, they did lose Tyrod Taylor, but I've read a lot of people who are high on Logan Thomas (6'5'', 245 lbs - sound familiar?). I'll trust him to lead Tech through a very easy OOC slate and the Coastal Division. Florida State will not be a pushover in the ACC championship game, but if I have to make the call right now, I'll take this team over the 'Noles.

5. LSU
This will be the best two loss team in the country...and those two losses will be close. I feel like the Tiger defense could be disruptive to Oregon in week one, a la Auburn's in the BCS title game last year, but not enough to control the game; they're missing that Fairley-level player. In the end, the Ducks will squeak by. LSU will rebound with a run through the SEC. Unfortunately, that streak will end in November in T-town. While there's athleticism in heaps in Baton Rouge, I don't know if I trust Kid History and the Grass-Eater to lead it to a BCS Title.

6. Florida State
FSU might end up being a 3-loss team once the ACC's settled, but I'll keep them this high right now because I'm still predicting them to win head-to-head with one of the next teams on my list, Oklahoma. Jimbo and the 'Noles will be on top of the world after that win, but they'll come crashing down in a road game somewhere down the line; I don't trust EJ Manuel as a lock in the big game...yet. Look for a sloppy drop at Clemson or BC and a loss to VA Tech in the ACC CG. Despite how high I feel on them right now, I'm not fully confident they won't still screw the pooch somewhere else. That said, I'm holding them here right now on faith they'll be 11-2 headed into their bowl.

7. Nebraska
Good news: The Huskers have a great team and play in a division they should easily win. Bad News: They'll play Wisconsin twice and their offense will let them down in some key games. Defensively, the Blackshirts will dominate and finish in the top-3 of unit rankings. But it won't be enough; Martinez and co. will fail to top 14-points in at least two games: the two match-ups with Wisconsin. There might be another flub in there somewhere, but I can't see it right now. A 10-win Nebraska that's B1G runner-up would probably earn a BCS at-large bid from the Fiesta Bowl where they'd play the Big-12 champ; I'm taking NU over Oklahoma in this way-too-distant, way-too-specific decision.

8. Oklahoma
The Sooners are my reluctantly chosen team to win the Big-12, but I don't have the faith to invest too much more into them right now. They'll be a lot of folks' pick for the BCS title, but I'm not seeing it. I think they'll drop the game against FSU in Tallahassee and stub their toe in a conference game somewhere, maybe the RRR or Bedlam. They'll be no conference championship game for a BCS bump, either, so the Sooners will need to be perfect for a return to the national title match-up - and that's just not gonna happen. They will, however, play host to the Fiesta Bowl as Big-12 champs where I have them welcoming an old friend, Nebraska. It'll be close, but call it the Sooners' third loss.

9. Texas A&M
I honestly came pretty close to picking the Aggies as surprise Big-12 champs, but just couldn't do it in the end. I think they'll get edged out by a feisty Arkansas squad in the Jerry Dome and get dropped by OU in Norman. Beyond that, though, Sherman's charges should be favored until, maybe, the finale with Texas. I honestly like A&M to roll at Kyle Field to finish up 10-2. They won't make a BCS bowl and could get a shot at revenge against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, which I'd see them getting for an 11th win.
10. Notre Dame
I don't like the bump the Irish get any more than you do, but I feel like Brian Kelly can actually get this team over the hump. I guess it's a matter of choosing his overachieving over the programs last two decades of underachieving. They finished last season strong and while the schedule's stronger, it's still not a true murderers' row. Look for ND to make it back to double digit wins. But, they need to be careful; if they make it to a BCS bowl, they likely be matched up against someone who blows the doors off of them. Still, as long as they don't drop the ball Davie-Willingham-Weis style, they'll hover around the voters' minds and the top-10.

11. Stanford
I like Andrew Luck, but without Jim Harbaugh's sideline grittiness, the Cardinal will lose a step. They get Oregon at home, but will let the Ducks slip away late. I also don't like back-to-back road trips to USC and overlooked Oregon State late in the season or the finale with Notre Dame. I think a 3-loss regular season is very realistic and Stanford will need a bowl victory - likely over a team from Texas - to get back to double digit wins.

12. South Carolina
I think the Gamecocks have the potential to reach 10 wins...but it won't matter. Whether they have 9- or 10-victories under their belt heading into the SEC championship game in ATL, they'll still get beat - solidly - by Alabama. I don't see Stephen Garcia letting his team down in his last bowl game, so the season should end on a high enough note to keep SoCar in the top-15.

13. Boise State
I think Boise loses a game this year: the season opener against Georgia in ATL. After that, they'll cruise through their new conference schedule with the only real test coming at the hands of visiting TCU. The Broncos will pull out a close one on the blue turf and finish with 11-wins, but it won't be enough to keep them from a crappy bowl, as I think Houston will finish the regular season higher-ranked. Once Boise knocks off a mid-tier Pac-12 team in Las Vegas, they'll pass Houston in the final rankings.

14. Houston
Right now, I feel Case and the Cougs will run the table. If they do, they'll likely automatically qualify for a BCS bowl bid since they'll be a top-16 team and ranked higher than the Big East champ. The place it looks like they'd end up is the sugar bowl against the at-large bowl host, LSU. It'd be a great bayou battle in theory, but the Tigers would win this cat fight and send Houston home with their first blemish.

15. Texas
Here are the re-bounding Longhorns. I've got them finishing third in the Big-12 behind Oklahoma and Texas A&M and dropping a third game somewhere else along the way. A 9-3 Texas team is nothing to scoff at, but the Horns could easily be sitting at 9-4 after a bowl loss. To me, no. 15's a nice, safe place to pick this team.

16. TCU
Um, 11-1, MWC runner-ups, a little lost luster, and who knows what in the bowl. The loss to Boise State, who will already have a loss, will drag the Frogs out of the top-15. It might not be a fair placement based on their talent, coaching, and program stability, but that's just how it is.

17. USC
Being banned from the Pac-12 title game and the post-season will have a decent Trojan team left at the back of most voters' minds. They'll have the best record in their division and a head-to-head win over Arizona State, but they'll be relegated to the doldrums of the rankings with 3- or 4-losses and no national presence after Thanksgiving. 

18./19. Arkansas/Mississippi State
A little cheating here, I know. But, the SEC West is going to be brutal and these two teams will be part of the reason why. Right now, I'll call for both teams to wrap-up 8-4 with the head-to-head game between them way too close to call in August. In reality, both of these teams are better than a few of the higher-ranked squads, but that's just not how the poll works. Did I mention how strong this division's going to be?

20. Ohio State
A coach and a QB gone forever and five more starters out the first five games equals a big time slip in Columbus. However, this team does not need to be forgotten about and should be clicking by season's end, if it's under Fickell and Bauserman instead of Tressel and Pryor.

21. Oklahoma State
Dez Bryant thinks this team could win a national title, I don't. The AP and coaches will have the Pokes in their top-10, I won't. I can realistically see five losses, but will give a little benefit of the doubt until that Thursday night game against Arizona.

22./23. Michigan State/Penn State
Another lump. I think Dantonio's a good coach - the little giants play against Notre Dame, anyone? -  and these last two seasons have seen his best teams. Penn State will have some QB issues early, but could have everything figured out by mid-season. A couple lucky breaks and either of these teams could sneak their way into the B1G title game.

24. Clemson
Sure, why not.

25. West Virginia
I like Holgo to be clicking by season's end in Morgantown.The Mountaineers will start slow, losing to LSU, but they're more athletic than most of their league. I see them losing the Backyard Brawl and the season finale to South Florida, which will cost them the Big East title. They will however be higher ranked than the Bulls, even though the Bulls will get a BCS bowl...and an ass-reaming.

Who else?
Arizona State
South Florida
Southern Miss

I Wanted a Closeup of Brennan's Tears.

I found this video today and it's pretty awesome. It's stills from the Georgia-Hawaii Sugar Bowl set to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." They did a good job synching up the action shots to the right moments in the song, Varsity Blues-style. Check it out:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reconsidering the Big-12

OK, I've been slogging through my predictions for the upcoming season the past month or so, and now that we're closing in on kickoff, I've got a reconsideration to make.

The Big 12 - I am not standing by my conference blast. Most of it centered around how disappointing I feel Oklahoma will be and how improved I thought Texas will be. I mean, Stoops did earn the sarcastic "Big Game" Bob monicker somehow, right? And, I got burned by picking them to make it to the BCS Title game last year. And then there's Texas. They dominate recruiting in the most talent-rich state and Mack Brown's no slouch. How can we possibly expect them to be that bad two seasons in a row? So, I picked the 'Horns over the Sooners in the RRR, which led me to picking them as league champs.

In retrospect, I might have been wrong here. Now, I'm not gonna jump on the Boomer Sooner Wagon and pick OU for the BCS Title game...but I will pick them to knock off Texas and win the Big 12. I see the Sooners dropping their game at FSU and a conference game somewhere on the road; that 8-1 league mark will still be enough to take the crown outright. Meanwhile, the Longhorn Kool-Aid I apparently pounded last month has worn off. Texas has lost a D-lineman and a speedy wideout for the year and were already facing breaking in two new coordinators. I see three losses, at least two of those in the Big-12. So, even a RRR win might not be enough to win the conference. Lost in my shuffle here was Texas A&M. The Aggies actually have everything lined up to win the conference outright..except for two big things: 1. They play what will probably be a very pumped up Sooner team in Norman, and 2. While they seem to be returning a billion starters, they're still from the A&M talent pool, which has been pretty shallow compared to the big boys the last decade or so. Call it two losses - one OOC to Arkansas and one at Oklahoma.

So, my new top-3 in the predicted Big-12 pecking order looks like:

1. Oklahoma 10-2 (8-1)
2. Texas A&M 10-2 (8-1)
3. Texas 9-3 (7-2)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sometimes we go too far.

Look, I've been known to get rowdy and argue about college football; Hell, ask the old Sidelines pub in Marietta ("It's my time to shine!"). But, sometimes, our fanhoods get the better of us and it brings out the dark side of our passion. The video below is a shinning example of that. I think we all need to remember that the sport itself is violent enough; we don't need to add to it.


h/t: docsat

My Brother-in-Law's New Job

My bro-in-law, Jean Francois Houle, landed a new gig as head coach of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (L'Armada de Blainville-Boisbriand).