Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week Five – Conference Play Begins For Real

There have been conference games sprinkled throughout the schedule up to this point, but it really gets under way this Saturday with well over half of the BCS conference teams playing conference match-ups.  Not to depress anyone but one-third of the season is over. 

SEC Games – 4-3 straight up last week; 31-5 for the season

Georgia @ Colorado – A big gap in talent level exists between a mediocre SEC team and a mediocre Big 12 team.  UGA has A.J. Green back too.  UGA 24-17

Tennessee @ #12 LSU – This is the battle of the struggling offenses.  The Vols are 119 out of 120 teams in Division I on third down conversions and 113 out of 120 in sacks allowed.  LSU’s QB, Jordan Jefferson, has managed somehow to throw for less than 100 yards in each of the last three games (thanks for the stat JT).  LSU’s defense, led by defensive back/return man Patrick Peterson, has been flying under the radar because LSU fans are so pissed about their offense.  This unit has had 11 sacks in the last two games and Peterson has had 2 punt returns for a TD this year, leading the genius himself Les Miles to say this after last week’s game, “When he's hydrated, he's the best in the country, arguably having not seen anyone else.”  Very profound as usual Les!  Getting back to the game, I expect LSU to get a lot of pressure on Matt Simms and maybe kill him by the end of the game.  LSU won’t do much on offense either.  It may be good to use this game to get a nap in before the next one.  LSU 19-9

#7 Florida @ #1 Alabama – Is Trey Burton the next Timmy Tebow?  Get ready for Verne and Gary to ram that down your throat all night Saturday.  The answer is a very simple no.  Kentucky was caught off guard by CUM (Coach Urban Meyer remember) using Burton like he did last week, and it’s Kentucky folks.  They don’t necessarily scare anyone with their defense.  Jeff Demps, the 5’8”, 180-pounder that Urban likes to run up the middle 15 times a game has been wearing a walking boot all week because of a foot injury.  He will be ready supposedly.  This comes down to Florida just not having enough offense.  Bama is in the middle of a tough three game stretch here, but they continue to stay focused as they have throughout the first part of the season.  Bama 27-16

In the ugly SEC games this week, Auburn’s easy schedule continues over Louisiana-Monroe, Connecticut over Vanderbilt, Ole Miss over Kentucky and Mississippi State over Alcorn St.

Notable Games Around the Nation - 2-0 straight up last week; 11-1 for the season

#21 Texas @ #8 Oklahoma – See “If I were a bettin’ man…” segment below.

#11 Wisconsin @ #24 Michigan StateWisconsin is very overrated in my opinion.  They open up the Big Ten schedule on the road at Michigan State who has performed well this season; their coach even had a heart attack after the overtime thriller against Notre Dame.  I just don’t think these teams are much different than one another.  Wisconsin has gotten used to losing games on the road over the last four years going only 10-9.  I like the home team here.  Sparty 17-13

#9 Stanford @ #4 Oregon – This will be the best game of the day in my opinion.  I have had a chance to watch both of these teams play a couple of times and both are very good and well-coached.  This could end up being for the Pac-10 title, which I think is the second best conference in the nation.  This game is Stanford’s power vs. Oregon’s speed.  Oregon’s #1 scoring offense and Stanford’s #4 scoring offense in the nation.  Oregon’s #3 scoring defense and Stanford’s #12 scoring defense.  These two teams may be the most impressive teams through the first four weeks of the season.  I can’t wait to watch it; it will definitely be a two TV night in the living room to catch this and the Florida-Alabama game.  In a matchup like this, I’m going with the home team.  Oregon 36-33

If I were a bettin' man... – 0-2 against the spread last week (Vegas is getting this thing figured out); 5-5 for the season

#21 Texas @ #8 Oklahoma (-4) – The Red River Rivalry lost a little bit of its luster for this year last week when Texas was unexpectedly blasted by UCLA at home.  Oklahoma has had their share of tense moments with narrow victories over Utah State, Air Force and Cincinnati between a dominating performance against Florida State.  Texas seems lost right now without Colt McCoy.  They are trying to become a running team because they have a young QB, but haven’t been successful.  I think OU has simply had a tough time focusing against some of their early competition, but when they did against FSU, the game was over early in dominant fashion by the Sooners.  When this game features a new QB on one team (Garrett Gilbert) and an established QB on the other team (Landry Jones), which is the case this year, the team with the experienced QB wins most of the time in the recent history of this series.  It makes sense because this is a huge game for both teams each year and the experienced QB will be the one most likely to handle the pressure.  Mack Brown has shown little confidence in Gilbert at this point.  I look for OU to load up to stop the run and let Gilbert beat them.  He won’t…take Boomer Sooner to cover the slim 4 point margin.

Tennessee @ #12 LSU – Total points under 42.5 – See above.

And They Muffed Joseph Michael -

It would be really easy to write about the Arkansas Razorbacks this week and more specifically Ryan Mallett considering they outplayed the number one team in the country and who I think is head and shoulders the best team in the Nation.  But, anyone who has ever played sports knows that no on earth feels worse than Ryan Mallett and the rest of the Hogs.  But they played a hell of a game and had they caught a few breaks and not made a few timely mistakes, I would be skipping this week because I would still probably be on Dickson Street.

So here's who muffed it.  Texas, Texas, Texas... What the hell?  You waited 13 years for payback for "Rout 66" in 1997 where the Bruins beat you in Austin 66-3.  Not only did you have a chance for payback, you were playing a 1-2 team with a quarterback who looked like George Strait trying to act in "Pure Country", clueless.  This Bruin team's only win was against Houston who lost their top 2 Quarterbacks during the game and even though they were up 17-3 when Case Keenum and the backup went down.  A 14 point deficit is nothing for the Cougars Offense with Keenum. Regardless, Texas was ranked #6 in the country and this was supposed to be more of a walk through or scrimmage than a ballgame.  What happened was just a sequel to "Rout 66", "Rout 22", that doesn't have the same ring, but it was still a really bad loss and the score doesn't tell the tale.  There really isn't much I can say about this except, total embarrassment for Texas fans.  UCLA threw the ball 8 times. 8 times.  Some Pee Wee teams throw the ball more than 8 times.  Texas had the #2 ranked rush defense in the country and gave up 264 yards.  Of course it didn't help when the special teams and offense turned the ball over 5 times.  Mack Brown said after the game "It was a rear end kicking.”  I disagree - it was a full blown ass whipping.  On top of all that The Red River Shootout is this weekend and neither team has looked very impressive as Oklahoma beating Air Force 27-24 and Cincinnati 31-29 in their last two games.  Surprisingly, Gameday still chose the right game with Stanford at Oregon.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Texas got beat by UCLA 34-12 with the crowd more than half gone by the end of the game.  That is not Texas Football, what happened to the eyes of Texas?  And that is not what you want heading into one of the two biggest games of the Big 12's season,  The Red River Rivalry. Goodbye Big 12, it was a nice run.

Enjoy the games!

One more thing…everybody wish Money in the Bank good luck at the Baggo Tournament at Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart this weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week Four – This is Why the SEC Rules

Looking over this week’s schedule of games, you will note that there are four games where Top 25 teams go head-to-head.  Not surprisingly, three of these games will be played at an SEC venue.  Yes, that is SEC 3, rest of the nation 1.  After the picks, check out Joseph’s rant on the other Top 25 matchup that does not involve an SEC team.

SEC Games – 7-1 straight up last week; 27-2 for the season (Thanks again HDN)

#12 South Carolina @ #17 AuburnSouth Carolina had an easy week last week while Auburn had a very physical, hard-fought contest with Clemson.  If you didn’t watch the game, you missed a brutal, hard-hitting one (see Exhibit A here -  Auburn’s Onterio McCalebb was knocked out cold on the sideline – all the while still holding on to the football.  I’ll keep this one simple – the weakest unit in this game to me is the Auburn defense.  They have their moments but give up some big plays.  Cam Newton has been a little shaky recently too.  I’m riding Marcus Lattimore’s tough running in this one and a senior QB who is finally living up to expectations in Stephen Garcia with a clutch receiver in Alshon “I won’t be pumping gas for a living” Jeffery.  Cocks 27-23

#22 West Virginia @ #15 LSU – You could argue that neither one of these teams are worthy of their ranking.  In their first road game, West Virginia struggled at Marshall and should have lost.  Well, I have never been to Marshall, and I am sure it is a tough place to play (or not)…but I’m gonna say Death Valley at night may be a little more difficult.  The Mountain Dew-drinking, coal-mining Mountaineers have a new QB who has never seen an atmosphere like he will see this Saturday night.  More proof that the Big East needs to have its BCS automatic bid revoked…LSU 30-17

Kentucky @ #9 Florida - See "If I were a bettin man..." segment below.

Any other games?  Oh yeah…one more…

#1 Alabama @ #10 Arkansas – The Hogs had a dramatic win between the hedges last week while Bama played Duke.  Both teams have now been challenged (Bama’s dominating performance of Penn State two weeks ago).  Watch out if you are going – it is a Red Out (oh really).  I was expecting a Blue Out or a Green Out.  I think Bama wears red too and even have a script ‘A’ that is similar.  I digress…back to the game.  With the Hogs upcoming game with Bama in mind, I critiqued their performance last week more than usual because after all if the Hogs want to be in consideration for national title talk, they need to be a complete team.  While there was some good coming out of the game that everyone expected (passing game) and pleasant surprises (kicking game), I noticed a couple of things that will not allow them to beat Bama.  Georgia’s running backs averaged almost five yards a carry; UGA’s RBs do not compare to the best running back duo in the nation that the Hogs will see this weekend.  On the other side, the Hogs could not run the ball against a very average UGA defense.  Not being able to stop the run or run the ball will not beat a Saban team that is clicking on all cylinders.  Mallett will get his yards (and points) going up against a young Crimson Tide secondary.  This will be one of those typical Saban games where the Hogs may be down only 3 or 7 points, but it will seem like it is a 20 point game because of the way Saban’s teams just take complete control of the game with its methodical, hard-nosed style on both sides of the ball.  I think it will be close most of the game and Hog fans will be disgusted when they review the tape later looking over the 3 or 4 plays that could have went their way to pick up the win.  But, the truth is, Alabama is just too strong right now for anyone in the nation.  Bama 34-23

In other SEC games, this week Fresno over Ole Miss, Georgia over Mississippi State, Tennessee over UAB, and Vanderbilt doesn’t lose for the second consecutive week because they are off this week.

Notable Games Around the Nation - 3-0 straight up last week; 9-1 for the season

#16 Stanford @ Notre Dame – Jim Harbaugh has the Cardinal rolling – outscoring its opponents 155-41 so far this year.  Brian Kelly has lost two straight games in the final minutes to the Michigan schools.  I love Brian Kelly, and he will have the Irish playing well before too long, but he still needs time.  Everyone at Stanford has already forgotten about Toby Gerhart because of the balanced running attack and Andrew Luck at QB.  Cardinal 30-21

#24 Oregon State @ #3 Boise State – Gameday will be in Boise this weekend.  As sad as it is for college football, this is probably Boise’s last challenging home game, and we are not even in October yet.  I still like Oregon State a lot in the Pac-10 this year.  However, I have noticed a trend where the Beavers do not really care about non-conference games.  They typically use them to prepare for the conference season.  If you don’t believe, watch the TCU game from earlier and see for yourself.  They could have won that game, but it seemed at times like they really weren’t worried about it if they didn’t.  Boise will be trying to impress in front of a national TV audience in a way they did last week.  Do you think Boise was aware that Texas beat Wyoming by 27 points the week before they played them?  The answer is yes, and that is why Boise beat them by 44 last week.  It’s all about style points for them now, and that is all they have from here on out.  With that combined with the Beavers lackadaisical attitude about non-conference games and the atrocious blue turf, Boise wins 48-28.

If I were a bettin' man... – 1-2 against the spread last week; 5-3 for the season (of which two losses are thanks to Virginia Tech – can’t win with them or against them)

Cal @ Arizona (-7) – Cal is coming off of a miserable performance at Nevada and Arizona had a huge win at home against a top 10 Iowa team.  This one could be a hangover game for Arizona, but I don’t think so because it is another night home game.  It’s also the Wildcats first Pac-10 game of the year.  Cal has a tendency to fold once they start losing and Arizona’s defense got after Iowa last week.  My though here is pretty simple – Iowa is way better than Cal and Zona beat Iowa by 7 last week.  Take Zona at home.

Kentucky (+14) @ Florida – This ain't Tebow's Gators.  These guys are struggling to score.  They've been getting a lot of points off of turnovers.  Kentucky’s Cobb and Locke are by far the best offensive players the Gators defense has faced up to this point.  Here's the kicker (trend alert!): Florida is 1-7 against the spread the week after the Tennessee game the last eight years AND Florida has Alabama next week.  You don't think they are gonna have a hangover from a win against one of their "rivals" that CUM (Coach Urban Meyer that is) always stresses AND be looking ahead to Bama?  Remember just two years ago, this was the same week that Houston Nutt’s Rebels upset the Gators in the Swamp.  The Wildcats will put a scare into the Gators before eventually losing, but they can still celebrate their win against the spread!

And They Muffed Joseph Michael -

Gameday, I don’t know what else to say or even ask except for why?  It has no relevance whether or not the #24 Oregon St. Beavers @ #3 Boise St. Broncos this Saturday Night is the best game ever because on paper there is a better game being played right in the middle of SEC Country.  Even if #1 Alabama rolls over the #10 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks, you still should’ve been there because what if???  It has been since 1979 that two top 10 team have met in Fayetteville and has been since 1981 that Arkansas has beaten a Number 1 team in Fayetteville.  That place will be a zoo all the way up to Gameday, during Gameday and long past Gameday into the night.  Hog Nation is hungry for something special and everyone including myself believe this weekend is their chance to get back on the National Scene.  But what you are telling me ESPN is a non conference game between Boise St. and a notoriously bad starting team in the Oregon St. Beavers is more important than a game that could in fact decide the SEC West?  Get real.

Now I’m no conspiracy theorist like my dad and think that everything is driven for some crazy reason.  But ESPN definitely has an agenda here.  I think in all likelihood it is to prove that they are powerful enough to send a mid major team to the National Championship Game if they have non stop coverage and a Home Depot commercial featuring Chris Peterson every commercial break.  If that is the motive, way to go ESPN.  You really knocked yourself out with that one.  I hate to mix in business talk with sports talk or whatever the hell this is, but ESPN is a monopoly in it's truest sense of the word.  I mean your top competition is FSN, and their video quality rivals that of a good 80's Porno.  Another prime example of ESPN getting over involved is in 2006.  From the start of November up until the Heisman Trophy presentation, all that was talked about on ESPN was how a sophomore had never won it and should never win it.  So Darren McFadden loses.  Then 2007 gets here and around the same time ESPN starts the same type of commercials saying it’s time for a sophomore to win it.  Now you can call me biased or what you will.  I realize Tebow is a wonderful person and he scored around 30 one yard Touchdowns in 2007, but if McFadden didn’t deserve it in 2006 as a sophomore, then Tebow didn’t deserve it in 2007 for the same reason.  I'm guessing most reading this can’t even tell me who won it in 2006.  And you can’t fool yourself…ESPN had a heavy hand in that.  They just don't get that it's sports and not drama.  Yes, sports are dramatic, but Braylon Edwards, the 50th best Receiver in the NFL, getting a DWI doesn’t deserve eight hours straight of news coverage.

I want you to notice that I am not ripping Boise St.  I assume there is some method to their madness in the fact that their field is blue, they play in a conference that is first of all called the WAC and secondly teams are strongly encouraged to wear four and sometimes even five colors on their uniforms.  And it's not their fault that ESPN has been trying to get them in the National Title Game since they beat an Oklahoma Sooner team who wanted to be at that Fiesta Bowl about as bad as I want to be at the reopening of Avatar at the IMAX.   Anybody, who believes Boise got Oklahoma's best shot, go back and watch the game.  I have several times, and you can see how interested the players were in that game.  But take nothing away from Boise, they won the game and should've gotten their due for that season.  And they did.

Now what ESPN is doing is becoming embarrassing.  They are trying to prove that they can make Whoopi Goldberg win Miss America.  Well, that's a slap in the face to all parties involved, and it's really one of the meanest things you can do.  I'll even go a different analogy route on this one because I know to anyone who has seen Mask (the one with Cher, not the one with Jim Carey, that calling someone ugly is rude, crude, and sociably unacceptable, which I agree, but I digress).  So here is the other comparison - if you tell someone they can sing good for long enough that can't, you can bet your ass they will end up on stage at a karaoke bar one night, and it may take years to finally happen, but when it does, what happens next is not pretty.  Now, I don't know if it's the fact that over 50 percent of people who work at ESPN that aren't former players, now spend more time playing World of Warcraft than they actually do studying sports.  Or if I’m just blowing this out of proportion, but either way, everyone in America knows where Gameday should be this weekend and ESPN blew it.  Reporting live from Boise, Idaho this is Joseph Michael following Gameday wherever they may roam.  See you next Thursday live from Ypsilanti, Michigan where perennial MAC powers the Ohio Bobcats face off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles...

Enjoy the Games!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week Three - Upset Alert

The blog has been en fuego...going 13-0 last week!  There looks to be a few good games this week, and some games where some highly rated teams get tested for the first time.  This is one of those weekends where we don't expect a lot of fireworks necessarily, but it could surprise with a lot of potential upsets on the horizon.  After all the picks, Joseph Michael rants about his favorite team and fans and something else special.

SEC Games - 9-0 straight up last week; 20-1 for the season (Thanks again HDN)

In the unbloggable SEC games of the weekend, #15 LSU over Mississippi St., Ole Miss over Vandy, #13 South Carolina over Furman, and Kentucky over Akron (play somebody already Wildcats).

#1 Alabama @ Duke - See "If I were a bettin man..." segment below.

Clemson @ #16 Auburn - See "If I were a bettin man..." segment below.

#12 Arkansas @ Georgia - The Hogs finally get a test this week to see if they can live up to the expectations.  The offense has struggled by their standards so far this year, but the defense has looked good against the two junior high teams they have played so far.  Georgia was blasted far worse than the score indicated in Columbia last week.  The Dogs are still without AJ Green, which is huge for them if you couldn't tell last week.  I can see this one going one of two ways:  a slim Hog win or a lopsided Georgia victory (with one eye already looking toward next week's game).  I sense that the Hogs may be a victim of reading and hearing how good they are in the media, thus, their lack of focus and consistency on the offensive side of the ball.  On the other hand, I will give the defense the benefit of the doubt at this point, and say they are improved.  It is hard to pick against Mark Richt at home with his back already against the wall after the loss last week, and his seat getting warmer.  All that being said, UGA's defense is still bad, the Hogs offense will wake up (relatively speaking - most teams would kill for the stats they have put up to this point) and the UGA offense will not be able to keep up.  Let the hype for next week's big game in Fayettenam begin.  Hogs 30-28

#10 Florida @ Tennessee - This has always been the unofficial start to the SEC season to me - a very special game that I always overanalyze because it means so much to the rest of the season.  I got a stat for ya...the Vols have not scored first in this game since 2001.  Simply amazing!  The Vols played with Oregon for 2.5 quarters last week and then took their ball and went home when the going got tough.  Game two of the season, and they are already throwing in the towel when they get down by 14 to the #5 team in the nation.  That's a damn shame.  The Gators were unimpressive regardless of what the score ended up being against USF.  We have another new QB making his first road start in a hostile environment here in John Brantley.  With their new QBs, both the Vols and Gators have combined to convert on 30% of their 3rd downs.  All in all, this is going to be an ugly game to watch with the defenses way ahead of the offenses.  Look for the Vols to give up a kickoff/punt/fumble/interception/ return(s) for a TD like they do in all big games lately.  Gators 24-12 in a snoozer.  The big suspense of the day will be if Verne and Gary can talk about the Gators without mentioning Tebow in every sentence.

Notable Games Around the Nation - 2-0 straight up last week; 6-1 for the season

#8 Nebraska @ Washington - The jury is still out on Nebraska; Washington has already played two decent programs at least.  I love me some Jake Locker, but this one man show is gonna need some help to take the Huskers defense down.  Huskers 23-17

#6 Texas @ Texas Tech - Garrett Gilbert playing in his first Big 12 road game at Lubbock - the site of one of the most exciting college football games ever two years ago when Michael Crabtree took down the Horns with seconds left.  It will be good to see Texas get challenged for the first time this year.  Texas Tech is still adjusting to Coach Tubs.  I just can't get the memory of them struggling against SMU a couple of weeks ago out of my head.  Horns 30-17

#9 Iowa @ Arizona - This should be the best game of the day, and if you want to catch all of it, take a nap during the day because it doesn't get started until 9:30 PM on ESPN.  Iowa comes in as one of the best in the 2nd best conference (some are already arguing 1st - yeah right!).  Arizona has destoyed Toledo in the Glass Bowl and The Citadel so far by a combined 93-8!  Zona's home record has gotten better each of the last five years as Mike Stoops has been able to recruit his own players to Tucson.  I remember the days of the Desert Swarm defense terrorizing some opponents at Arizona Stadium.  I think the night crowd will be rocking there and the confidence this team has gained over the last two weeks will keep the Wildcats rolling.  Arizona 28-27  

If I were a bettin' man... - 2-0 against the spread last week; 4-1 for the season

It is officially "pick on the ACC" week.  As I was looking through the lines and came up with my final picks for this segment, I realized every pick was against the ACC.  That is about right though because after all the ACC does suck.

#1 Alabama (-24) @ Duke - This is not a typo.  Alabama is playing AT Duke.  Don't ask me...the only thing I can think of is that Bama owes Duke because the Dukies have been tutoring the Tide's players and Saban thought it would be a nice gesture.  Bama is back to full speed even though they have already looked like they are full speed on the field.  Marcell Dareus and Mark Ingram will be returning this weekend even though it is unknown how much they will play.  Duke in the meantime scored 48 points last week...but gave up 54!  This one seems easy.  Bama's defense has not even given up a TD this year!  I would say Duke will score 14 at the most and when the game gets out of hand, Bama's second team offense has shown that it is just as good as the first team and surely Bama will score in the 40s.  Bama is rolling right now, and it is just amazing to me that Saban has them playing with this much consistency already after a national title year when complacency can set in.

Clemson @ #16 Auburn (-7) - Looking over Clemson's early nonconference schedule, I think a 4 year old who is obsessed with coloring made the schedule for them.  They have played the North Texas Mean Green, the Presbyterian College Blue Hose (huh?...come again), and now go to the Auburn Tigers.  As everyone in SEC country knows, playing at night in Auburn is tough...especially when College Gameday is there.  A couple of notes on Clemson who is overrated in my opinion every year anyway.  They were outgained at home by North Texas, and they are just a combined 4-19 converting on 3rd down against the two aforementioned  schools.  Do you think it will be a little harder to convert at Auburn at night?  I think so...I like Auburn big!

East Carolina (+19.5) @ Virginia Tech - This line makes absolutely no sense.  We all know what the Hokies have done, but the ECU Pirates have been playing very well flying under the radar.  East Carolina has beat Tulsa and Memphis so far this year; I have as many wins as the Hokies do this year.  The Pirates aren't afraid of Lane Stadium either; they won there just two years ago.  This line is so far out of whack, I wanna ask "what's the catch?"  Well, I have researched and there is no catch.  I assume Vegas thinks that Va Tech is gonna come out pissed off.  I think that should have happened last game.  Take the Pirates to cover.

And now...

And They Muffed Joseph Michael -

Woo Pig Sooie. Go Hogs Go. Being the only Razorback mascot as we have come to love. Hell, everything Pat Summerall says on that stupid ass commercial with the Hog Deathtrap car driving around our great state.  In case you haven't noticed, I am a die hard Razorback fan; I was born and brought up that way.  My grandfather played for the Pigs, and I have no issue at all with bragging about that.  If you don't believe me, ask our waitress from Hooters Friday night - I think her name was Brooke.  If that's not enough, you can head over to The Paper Moon to our VIP section and ask Paris, India, or Mallory... My point being is, our fans are killing me and let me explain why.  I don't mind telling you I'm spoiled as you would call it, but I would call it lucky.  I have been forturnate to tailgate in the Grove, Baton Rouge, Alabama and pretty much everywhere in Florida, and there is no place like the War Memorial Golf Course.  It is for the most part the coolest place in the world with a few exceptions, and our fans are for the most part to blame.  I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, and if you're offended, I really don't care because you're ruining something that could be great.  Everytime you're walking down Markham and someone who has had too much to drink says a cuss word, there is no need to call them out about it and start a verbal confrontation.  I have said my fair share of obscenities and everytime I see a kid I feel bad enough about it that I don't need some tough guy Hawg fan that brought his family to the game and probably drove them drunk in the first place to come over and ruin my Baggo game.  I'm the first to admit that I shouldn't be using inappropriate language in front of a 7 to 10 year old, but you can bet your ass, when I was 10 years old at the TCU game that we lost 54-26 and fans where cussing up a storm, stringing together cuss words I still can't make heads or tails of, that my daddy challenged not one of those people to a verbal confrontation.  Or in 1994 when Eddie Kennison returned a blocked XP back for a Safety and the drunk guy with a mullett and no shirt cussed the entire team by first and last name straight from the program, did my uncle raise his voice?  No, that's passion and that is College Football; moreover, it's Razorback Football Baby... Whether you like it or not, your kids are probably using that same language, and they probably heard it from you, not some asshole on the golf course having a good time tailgaiting. I'm not condoning the language, I'm just telling you to be prepared, its a part of the deal....

Now to the game, which pisses me off even worse.  These same men and women that cuss in front of their children at home and let them watch Family Guy (hilarious show by the way), then bring them to the game and look down their noses at people who let an F-bomb slip over a terrible beer pong shot are the same people starting the mother f-ing wave in the 3rd quarter of a 7-0 game against UL Monroe. Or the same people who yell put in Tyler Wilson after the whole offensive line decided not to block, and Mallett ate the sack and didn't throw it up for grabs like the great Pete Burks would've done. Not to mention the fact that putting Tyler Wilson in over Ryan Mallett is just downright ignorant in the 1st place, and that's taking nothing away from Tyler. Or even the starting of the wave when the Razorbacks have a 3rd down and hell, I don't know, our offense might need to hear the cadence.  Because I'll bet my ass its not the drunk guy who said son of a bitch in front of your kid that's doing any of that because he knows what's on the line and why they are playing football out there.

I said all of that to say this.  Razorback fans, I love you, I really do.  I have proven that in the past few months beyond the shadow of a doubt.  For those of you who know me, you know what I'm talking about, but the piss ignorance of some of you fans has got to go, and yes I'm talking to a majority of people who call into Drive Time Sports and ask ignorant ass questions too.  I'm not talking to everyone because I wouldn't change our fan base for the world; for all those idiots we have some of the craziest, most kindhearted, and loyal fans that I would put up against any other team in the country.  But if you're wondering if I'm talking about you after reading this, then yes, I probably am.  I'll hang up and listen....

3 Guys I Would Go to See Play With Rosie O'Donnell

This is a new segment where we'll take 3 people you may or may not have heard of and talk about how even if my High Five Partner had to be one of the grossest women on earth, you'd still make the roadtrip...

1) Bernard Pierce, Sophomore Running Back from Temple...
Was rated the#229 rated running back out of high school by our favorite football person Phil Steele.  Let's just say he's exceeded expectations already.  As a Freshman he led the Owls to a 9-4 record and to the Eagle Bank Bowl while rushing for 1,361 yards with 16 Touchdowns.  This year he is off to a slow start, but not played much and still has 132 yards and a touchdown in two games.

2) Colin Kaepernick, Senior Quarterback from Nevada...
This is a bad dude!  If you're an SEC Fan, think Matt Jones with a better arm and better decision making ability.  Through three years plus, he has thrown for 7,623 yards with a 59% completion rate, 65 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions. And oh yeah, he's closing in on 3,000 yards rushing with 43 rushing TDs.  I'd definitely hold hands with Rosie to watch this guy.

3) How can I name a 3rd and not just go team?  James Madison, you crazy son of a bitches.  Thank you for ending any and all talk of Boise St.'s insane dream of playing for a National Championship.  I could see this night ending well for her, no matter how the game played out....

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week Two - Now We're Getting Somewhere

Gotta say Week One was a little better than expected but will not compare to what we have in store this weekend.  After all of the picks, be sure to catch guest blogger Joseph Michael and his take on Week One's biggest storyline.  Shockingly, it is about his favorite coach in the nation, the one and only Houston Dale Nutt.

SEC Games - 11-1 straight up last week

In the lame SEC games of the week (definitely fewer of these this week), #14 Arkansas over ULM, Mississippi over Tulane (C'mon HDN, don't let me down again this week), Kentucky over Western KY, #8 Florida over South Florida, and #19 LSU over Vanderbilt (or Leslie Miles better hope so).

# 21 Auburn @ Mississippi State (Thursday) - The cowbells will be ringing early for this one.  The Bully fans will be wearing their bourbon scented cologne/perfume.  The Bulldogs and Tigers both looked good last week.  This series has seen some crazy games lately like the 3-2 Auburn victory two years ago on a three run homer by Bo Jackson.  Still confused about all the Bully love although they are tough at home.  Auburn is a little too deep for them.  Auburn 21-17 

#22 Georgia @ #24 South Carolina - In a game of two other teams that looked great last week, I was leaning a little toward SCeast before the AJ Green news broke.  Gotta stick with them since: 1) Garcia actually played well for the Cocks last week, 2) UGA has a freshman QB in his first road game, and 3) Spurrier plays UGA well even when he doesn't have a an equal or better team.  On another note...who'd have thought the NCAA could suspend a guy for selling one of his jerseys when the NCAA makes money every day selling the guy's jersey to the public.  Cocks 31-23

#18 Penn State @ #1 Alabama - Two traditional powers (and one really really old coach) in a non-conference showdown.  It doesn't get much better than this.  The Big T(ele)e(ven)n is getting a lot of love this year;  it's time for them to prove something on the field.  Bama looked like a well-oiled machine on offense last week.  I got a feeling Penn State will do a little of what they usually do to SEC teams...lull them to sleep.  But in the end, the Tide won't fall for it.  In a less than stellar performance, Tide roll 23-13.  A win's a win in this one.

#7 Oregon @ Tennessee - Let me first say that I have no idea the last time the Vols were 12 point underdogs at home.  Let me set the stage for you...the Vols new defensive coordinator coached Boise State last year and shut down the Ducks (more explosive offense than this year) on the blue turf with a lesser defense than the Vols will be fielding on Saturday, inexperienced Duck QB will be in his first road start in front of 100,000 plus...okay, I'll stop there.  I won't allow my inner Rick Schaeffer to blind me here.  The Vols will be ready, but I think any chance at a win they had went away when they're top wide receiver, Gerald Jones, broke his hand last week.  I won't be surprised with a Vol upset, but Ducks win 33-24.

Notable Games Around the Nation - 4-1 straight up last week

#12 Miami @ #2 Ohio State - Is the U back?  Is Terrelle Pryor for real?  Personally I think Jacory Harris is a better QB than TP.  I also don't buy the Miami speed versus Ohio State power (or lack of speed); truth is both are strong and fast.  Miami has not been very good away from home lately, and I think the trend continues Saturday.  The sweater vest wins his 2nd big game in the last 7 years.  Buckeyes 26-21

#17 Florida State @ #10 Oklahoma - Okay...FSU looked stellar last week against Samford; OU looked bad in a narrow victory over Utah State.  The guy who was coach-in-waiting-and-his-team-was-so-bad-under-his-watch-that-the-old-coach-was-asked-to retire-and-now-he-is-head-coach has his first road test.  Don't get me started on the whole coaching in waiting thing.  FSU is 12-13 on the road the past five years.  OU has something to prove after last week's game.  Boomer Sooner 31-17

If I were a bettin' man... - 2-1 against the spread last week 

Iowa State @ #9 Iowa (-13.5) - It's always dangerous to take an early rivalry game here, but I'm feeling lucky.  The Hawkeyes thinks it's their year; it is never the Cyclones year!  When Iowa is ranked going in to this game, they typically dominate.  They beat the 'Clones by 32 last year at Iowa State and are allegedly going to be better this year.

Syracuse @ Washington (-13.5) - What's with me and 13.5 spreads this week?  Syracuse has been really bad and is picked by most to finish last in the Big East once again.  They also have an inexperienced QB and are playing on the west coast.  Traveling west is so underrated; east coast teams very much struggle on the left coast...especially when the team is already bad.  This is the second straight week the 'Cuse has played on the road.  Washington and Jake Locker will be excited for their home opener after a tough loss at BYU last Saturday.  The crowd will be psyched, and the Huskies roll in this one!   

And without further ado...

And He Muffed Joseph Michael -

Let's just spend this whole section in Oxford, Mississippi where the Ole Miss Rebels took on the Gamecocks... And they definitely muffed it.  No, not the South Carolina Gamecocks, but the Jacksonville St. Gamecocks.  Coached by former Razorback coach Jack Crowe.... The Rebels jumped out to a 31-10 lead at halftime and the tandem of Nathan Stanley and Jeremiah Masoli looked ready to doom SEC defenses in the weeks to come.  Only one problem, the Right Reverend Houston Nutt stepped in and reverted back to his four play Tecmo Bowl playcalling, mostly calling A^... Jacksonville St. was able to scratch and claw its way back until finally Ole Miss drove and kicked a field goal with 2:55 remaining in the 4th to make it a 34-26 game.  It looked like all was saved in Oxford and as we all know a win is a win, when Houston Nutt is calling the shots. Just like an Audible "is a called play and I called it Chuck," but that's a whole different story all together.  The Gamecocks took the final 3 minutes to drive down the field, score a touchdown and tied it up with a two point conversion.  That's when all hell broke loose.  The next two overtimes were full of wild play after wild play leading everyone to believe that Houston would indeed, luck out again, but with no fingernails to spare. Then on 4th and 16 from the 30 in the 2nd OT Coty Blanchard threw a strike to Kevyn Cooper in the back of the endzone to pull the Cocks within one at 48-47.  It looked like triple OT was a definite; however, I can only imagine what was going through Jack Crowe's head at this point.  He must've thought back almost 18 years ago to the day to the 10-3 loss his Razorbacks were handed by The Citadel, which cost him ever coaching big time football again.  I'm guessing his thought process was the same that runs through my head at Tunica when I'm down to my last 75 dollars on the way to the buffet passing the roulette wheel after a long night of drunken gambling. "F it, you bet big, you win big".... What ensued was probably the worst shovel pass in the history of shovel passes, but it worked and the Jacksonville St. Gamecocks had pulled off the upset of the Rebels and may have started the beginning of the end of the used car salesman turned football coach Houston Nutt...

At least Nutt and Masoli had some intelligent quotes in the postgame. Nutt saying " this is the worst loss in my career" and Masoli saying " I never expected us to be in overtime."

I don't know what the future holds for either of these men of genius, but one thing is for certain, they are pretty damn perfect at stating the obvious. As a Hog fan, this is a very sweet story for me to bring and I hope that all those Ole Miss fans that always tell me "thanks for the coach", understand why I bust out laughing and say you're welcome and buy them a Smirnoff Ice...

Good luck next weekend at Tulane, Ole Miss Rebels, I never thought Id say that, but it looks like you may need it.

Until next week, enjoy the games and tailgating at War Memorial.  Please keep the girl fights to a minimum!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Back - Opening Weekend

It is finally here - the weekend that starts it all and ends the weeks of counting down the days and watching replays of old games.  Starting this week and throughout the season, I will be using this blog to preview the SEC games, Top 25 and other notable games and a few games that look really good to me against the spread.

SEC Games

The SEC is definitely starting slow out of the gate as far as interesting games go this weekend.  We have several games that aren't even worth discussing:  Alabama over San Jose State, Arkansas over Tennessee Tech, Ole Miss over Jacksonville State, Florida over Miami (OH), Georgia over Louisiana, Tennessee over UT-Martin. 

Arkansas State @ Auburn - Hopefully Gus will take it easy on the Indians (yes they are still the Indians in my book).  I'm always skeptical of overhyped JUCO QBs such as Cam Newton, but it will be fun to watch how he does, and it is always entertaining to see Malzahn's offense.  Auburn 41-10

Memphis @ Mississippi St. - I guess I missed the memo that the Bullies are actually gonna be good this year, but it seems like a lot of people are saying they deserve some attention.  Well, they'll be undefeated for at least a week this year because Memphis is just not very good.  MSU 28-17

Southern Miss @ South Carolina (Thursday) - Spurrier is now in year six of mediocrity.  Mediocre as in being in a major conference and playing multiple Thursday night games a year.  I think this will be a snoozer, but it will just be good to see some live football.  Gamecocks 24-13

Kentucky @ Louisville - This is a very underrated game for this weekend.  Two new coaches in a rivalry game.  It'll be entertaining.  Kentucky in a close one 24-21

Northwestern @ Vanderbilt - Will there be more people in the library or the football stadium come Saturday?  Two of the most expensive private schools in the nation squaring off on the football field...okay, I am tired of trying to make this interesting to everyone.  Northwestern wins 27-15 and the Big T(ele)e(ven)n will brag about this win against the SEC for years to come.

UNC vs. LSU in the ATL - See "If I were a bettin man..." segment below.

Notable Games Around the Nation

#15 Pitt @ Utah (Thursday) - Man, this is a tough one.  Seems like a pretty evenly matched game to me.  In early games like this where it appears even, I gotta go with the team that has a more experienced QB, Oline and Dline.  That would be Utah and they are at home where they haven't lost since 2007.  Utah 20-17

UConn @ Michigan - The fans in the Big House are gonna be more nervous than excited about the start of the '10 season.  UConn can end RichRod's year before it even really starts.  UConn is very well coached; Michigan just practices more than any other team in the nation.  I gotta go with Meee-chigan in this one just because I am in the minority and think that Michigan will have a good year.  Michigan 21-17

Washington @ BYU - Jake Locker is a bad dude.  BYU will be rotating new QBs.  Washington 31-26

Cincinnati @ Fresno St. - Another underrated game of the weekend.  This is another tough one to pick.  It's at Fresno and they are returning 15 starters and Cincy doesn't have Brian Kelly anymore.  Zac Collaros will make some noise for Cincy though - another QB that is fun to watch.  Fresno 27-24 

SMU @ Texas Tech (Sunday) - Get Your Guns Up!  It's Tubs' first game in Lubbock.  He better have some guns to keep up with June Jones' offense.  Tubs finds a way to pull it out in an entertaining lazy Sunday afternoon game; get comfortable because it may last 5 hours.  Texas Tech 38-27

If I were a bettin' man...

This will be a weekly segment that looks at a few games that I think the spread is a little off because after all, going against the spread (instead of straight up) makes things more exciting.  It's really just a coincidence that this week I feature the marquee games here.  I usually like to find some obscure game because the Vegas guys can't get everything right, right?

#6 TCU v. # 24 Oregon State (+13) in Dallas - First of all, the Beavers are my sleeper team in the PAC-10; in fact, I have them going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the '60s.  Everyone is loving TCU this year and OSU is flying under the radar.  I am usually one of the first to give the little guy (TCU) credit but not in this one.  OSU has a nasty Dline and the Brothers Rodgers on offense still.  I really think that up and down the roster, there is more depth and athleticism in a good PAC-10 program than a Mountain West champion.  And when you factor in the 13 points, this is a no-brainer in my opinion.  I have tried to figure this one out and all I can find is that OSU has a new QB and that will be the difference.  We'll see.  Go Beavers!

#21 LSU (-5) vs. #18 UNC - UNC has had major off-the-field drama and everyone associated with LSU thinks their coach is an idiot.  This line has been all over the place because of the many issues going on with UNC.  I was all about LSU when UNC was favored by 1 before the scandals; now it has moved all the way to LSU -5.  All you need to know is what LSU has done to the ACC the last five years:  Beat #9 Miami 40-3, beat #9 Virginia Tech 48-7, and beat #14 Georgia Tech 38-3.  LSU has superior athletes and the SEC has shown that in the ACC vs. SEC openers in ATL that they are far superior (Alabama winning the last two) and the SEC's top teams regularly beating the top ACC teams in rivalry games toward the end of every season recently.        

#3 Boise St. vs. #10 Virginia Tech (+2) in Landover, MD - It's the battle of arguably the two most overrated teams of the last decade to see who is less overrated this year.  Quiz time:  When was the last time Boise State left its time zone and won a game against a decent team in a BCS conference?  Don't tell me Oklahoma because OU didn't want to be there in that bowl game.  Boise will have Virginia Tech's undivided the Hokies back yard...all the way on the east coast...far away from Boise...with all the hype going to Boise.  Va Tech is gonna have a bruising running game this year with Darren Evans coming back to join Soph. phenom Ryan Williams and Senior QB Tyrod Taylor.  So in summary, we have an experienced QB, the 2nd best running back combo in the nation, a stingy defense, at home, not getting any love playing a team that returns 21 starters (gotta give Boise a little credit) who is coming across the country with a bullseye on their back for a change.  Go Hokies...whatever the hell a Hokie is!

Enjoy the games!