Posted on: December 2, 2009 1:05 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2009 8:37 pm
As winter quickly approaches us and most of my loyal followers are preparing for bitterly cold nights, snow, and all the other things that come along with it while I sit here in my shorts pecking at my computer (nah nah ), due to a couple of major college football stories, I feel compelled to break my own rule yet again and extend it to covering Tuesday as well, especially since one affects a certain game on Dec. 5th. So here are 10 things I learned in the week and a day between 11/24 and 12/1.
1) What an idiot!- How can you, in the week leading up to one of arguably the biggest games in your career, do something so stupid as what Carlos Dunlap did to effectively end his career at the University of Florida. I honestly don't see him playing another game this year, and he was likely to come out, so this pretty much puts the kabosh on UF's leading pass rusher and defensive MVP from last year's BCS title game. It remains to be seen as to what effect this has on the Gators on Dec. 5th, as the Gators do have lots of talent, but unlike some of my fellow Gator fans, I realize this will affect them at least somewhat. There is not another Carlos Dunlap on this team, and his presense and pressure will be missed to some degree, no matter how well everybody else steps up in his absense. And to those trying to pin this on Urban Meyer somehow, please stop. What, do you want these teams to have 100 assistant coaches to babysit each player personally all the time? Notice, I wasn't in here blaming Lane Kiffin for what Richardson and his thug friend did (although I did find it funny that it was the same guy Lane got in trouble with the SEC over). It's how the coach deals with these situations that you can hold them responsible for, not the actions themselves. Dunlap is an adult, and he will face the consequences of his poor choices.
2) Bobby deserved better- Yes, I know things haven't been going the Seminoles way recently. I have NEVER seen a UF-FSU game where the Noles didn't deserve to be on the same field as the Gators until Saturday. But this is the man that had FOURTEEN straight AP Top 4 finishes. That's a mark that's very likely never to be duplicated ever again. The whole Bowden-Fisher situation will be filed away under "How NOT to handle a head coach in waiting." Depending on who you listen to, Bobby Bowden was either forced out, or given the option to come back, but as little more than a figure head. Now, while I feel that Bobby should have been allowed to come back next year with no strings, Jimbo did deserve the right to name a defensive coordinator, as that would have been Bobby's last year. You did have to start preparing for life after Bobby. Thing is, it's awful hard to be the man who replaces the man. Why do I get the feeling that if FSU struggles early next year, that firejimbofisher.com is not too far away. Hopefully FSU sends Bobby out on a winning note in whatever bowl game they end up in.
3) Sorry Charlie- In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Notre Dame cut ties with Charlie Weiss on Monday, ending Notre Dame's worst three year run in their history. While there is a lot of blame to go around here, where is the blame that should fall squarely on the shoulders of the former athletic director (I forget his name)? As much of a weasel as he is, Mike Lupica pointed this out on a recent "Sports Reporters" on that four letter network. He's the one that got played by Charlie Weis and locked him up to a ridiculous 10 year deal that's now going to cost Notre Dame something in the range of $20 million to pay a coach who won't be coaching for them. And they'll have to pay whoever comes in, likely involving another buy-out. And where's these strong athletes from ND's alleged top 10 recruiting classes recently? They have Floyd for one more year, and Teo for two more. Beyond that, what do they have? Claussen will be gone. Tate will be gone. If you notice, Charlie only won with Willingham's players. It's going to take a lot for Notre Dame to return to BCS title contender, because as I pointed out before, the reason they had lost 9 bowls in a row before last year was they kept running into superior competition due to them being Notre Dame and drawing well in both fanbase and ratings. This is not going to change soon, even if they start winning 9-10 games a season. Those annual bowl blowouts do hurt you when it comes to recruiting. I don't care if you are Notre Dame.
4) Crash that Tiger- Who the hell is in Tiger Woods P.R. staff and why do they still have jobs? Look, Tiger owes us the general public absolutely nothing. No explanation. And I can see why his lawyers told him not to talk to police (because Elin would be in jail right now if he had). But if you want to see a playbook of P.R. done right, spin it back to Kobe Bryant. He had geniuses on his P.R. team. To think that this would go away just because you're Tiger Woods. Look, because you ARE Tiger Woods, somebody in the media will dig up the dirt and uncover the story. And while stonewalling the police is the correct legal tactic, don't think they won't do the same. Fewer people are going to forgive him for trying this P.R. coverup spin job. The media, police, and public are not stupid. We can put two and two together just fine on our own, thanks. UPDATE: As I was piecing my blog together, Tiger finally came out and admitted some of the stuff, something he should have done on Sunday, but I guess better late than never. It is my sincere hope though that people can now leave him alone and let his family work it out if they can, or handle what they must if they can't. I just know I'd find it hard to cheat on Wood's wife, although I'd find it hard to marry her now knowing her temper. Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned.
5) I've finally found the best team in the NFL- After wondering if it might be the Colts of the Vikings (and I still think the Vikings will be a tough matchup), and as much as it pains me to say it, because of their holier than thou, think they've already won somehting in the past, refusing to take off their Black and Gold glasses and defend Reggie Bush till the end fans, there is no denying that it is the New Orleans Saints. That was an epic beatdown of a pretty good Patriots team on Monday night, and they did something I never would have thought possible, especially form a Saints team, confuse Tom Brady with their defense. I was always holding reservation on the Saints, because I just didn't believe in their D (have always believed in their O, even with Reggie Bust). I always thought somewhere along the way it would revert back to the old Saints D. Well, now I know better, and unfortunately, it reaffirms my prediction of the Saints winning it all I made a few weeks ago. I'll be very happy for the Saints players (except Reggie and maybe cocky Shockey), and the city of New Orleans, but god, I dread having to deal with the obnoxious fans thinking that they just might FINALLY win something this year. By the way, Gregg Williams HAS to be coordinator of the year.
6) So much for that matchup in Tampa- Yeesh. The ACC has to be thrilled that its two best teams got beat by mid-level SEC teams this past weekend. Georgia Tech looked from being in line for a Top 5 finish to being just another conference champion. And that's IF they beat Clemson and win their Orange Bowl game. I'll have my prediction in point 10.
7) Can we stop with the overrated crap?- After Thursday and Friday in which Texas and Alabama both struggled on the road in rivalry games and Cincinatti's defense got exposed by Illinois, all the threads in here were about just how overrated these three teams are. And while I can't give a good defense to Cincy (although I still wouldn't call them overrated), the other two, along with Florida and TCU who took care of business on Saturday, are clearly the four best teams in the country. Look, they are called rivalry games for a reason. Usually you can throw the records out. And they all won, which is what counts in the end. The 2006 Gators didn't earn any style points in the season, but still handled tOSU with ease. And what I wouldn't give to see TCU play any/all of the other three teams. They are the real deal, and I think would matchup well. God, a playoff (even 4 team) would have been nice this year. And in a side note, I hope if Texas beats Nebraska, the BCS does the right thing and gives an invite to Boise State as well.
8) Some quick college hardwood thoughts- What a start for the University of Florida basketball team, one that most people has going 5th in the SEC East. Now, while they have yet to play a conference game, and Michigan State followed it up with a disappointing performance in last night's rematch of the title game, you have to like how good they look right now. It will be interesting to see how they do against Syracuse (another hot team early) in the SEC-Big East challenge game here in Tampa. Even as a Gator fan, I didn't see a 7-0 start. I'd love to see Billy's boys make the tournament this year. And what's happened to UCLA. They look completely lost out of the gate at 2-4. Now they have players transferring out. And it doens't get any easier with a Dec. 6th date at Kansas.
9) Look ahead- The games I'm looking forward to are the conference championship games, which I will predict in my next point, and in the NFL, Patriots Dolphins to see which team can bounce back from devastating losses, Cowboys Giants to see which team ate too much turkey on their Thanksgiving day game (my guess would be the Giants who seemed to load up before their night game with the Broncos), and Packers Ravens. There's also a couple interesting NBA games coming up with Boston San Antonio on Thursday, and Lakers Heat on Friday with the Heat on the back end of a two in a row situation. In hockey, you have the Penguins and Avalanche on Thursday, and my Lightning have a tough two game stretch with Boston tonight and New Jersey on Friday. And on the college hardwood, you have a very interesting Ohio State Florida State matchup tonight as part of the ACC Big Ten challenge.
10) BuccinGator's college football conference championship game predictions- While there are only 5 official conference championship games (3 BCS in SEC, Big 12, and ACC and 2 non in CUSA and MAC), with two conferences having defacto championship games this week with tomorrow's Oregon Oregon State game (which for the first time will decide a Pac-10 champion and Rose Bowl bid between these two) and Saturday's Cincinnati Pitt game, in what has to be a scheduling coup for the Big East and Pac-10. So, in order of how they are played:
Oregon 38, Oregon State 24 (just think Masoli is too much for the Beavers yet again)
Central Michigan 34, Ohio 17 (LeFevour gets it done)
Houston 45, ECU 20 (Case Keenum way too much for ECU, way too late for Heisman. Those UTEP and UCF losses will kill him)
Cincinnati 37, Pitt 27 (Although Cincy's defense does scare me. Pitt could pull this out, but I refuse to bet against Pike)
Florida 31, Alabama 27 (was going to go with last year's score as I think the game will be very similar [still do], but with Dunlap out, give Bama another TD)
Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 27 (C.J. Spiller could play spoiler, though. Just noticed the forecast for here in Tampa calls for thunderstorms that day. Of course, both these teams love to run anyway)
Texas 21, Nebraska 9 (Nebraska's D will keep this close, quite possibly closer than what I have it).
Hopefully I can go 5-2. Last year, I think I went 3-2, but I also think it was the mid-majors that tripped me up.
Tags: ACC Championship Game, Alabama Crimson Tide, Bad Public Relations, Best team in the NFL, Bobby Bowden, Carlos Dunlap, Charlie Weis, Clemson Tigers, College Basketball, Conference Championship Game Predictions, Crash, defense, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Gregg Williams, Jimbo Fisher, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, overrated, Patriots, Public Relations, Saints, SEC Championship Game, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, Tiger Woods, UCLA Bruins, Urban Meyer
Posted on: October 6, 2009 7:51 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 9:02 pm
Welcome again, my friends, to another installment of that sports knowledge that was imparted upon me this week which I shall now share with all of you. And just to show that I'm not all about the Gators and/or the SEC (although those who read regularly already know), my verbose point of the week shall be about a certain team from Tallahassee and their coach whom I have a world of respect for, even coaching the enemy.
1) NHL season underway- But not the start for my Bolts that I was hoping for, dropping their opener 6-3 against the Thrashers. I'm still hoping for a better defense and more points this season. That was a little disappointing giving up 6 goals, though.
2) The "U" upgraded from Tropical Storm to category 3- Wow, huge win for the Canes and Jacory Harris, who rebounded very nicely after throwing two early picks. What a leader this kid is turning out to be. The Hurricanes could have let last week's horrid performance and early troubles inundate them, but instead held it together for an impressive win. The Hurricanes could possibly lose only the one game and be a second representative for the ACC in the BCS (unless Va Tech loses a couple in conference, in which case they could be THE representative). By the way, can we please abolish preseason polls? Oklahoma is still in the Top 25 with two loses because of what? Oh yeah, they started number 2. How can you rank them and not an undefeated Wisconsin team? Now, don't get me wrong, in no way am I suggesting that the Badgers are better. Most likely, Oklahoma beats them. But until Wisconsin loses a game, how can a TWO loss team be in front of them. And what if the Badgers don't lose? Eventually they have to leapfrog the Sooners, right? Right??? Actually, unfortunately, it's not likely to happen.
3) The football gods officially have it in for me- Gyah!!!! That was heartwrenching to watch Washington choke away two shots close to the goalline like that and have the domers come back and beat them, extending my worries that ND will make a BCS bowl game. Kudos to the Irish defense for stepping up like that, but come on Sark!!! The runs to the middle were not working. Mix in a roll out with a run/pass option. I'm not going to get on the officials for blowing the two point conversion call which I immediately saw on the first replay that he was down. Afterall, I think Sark had his challenge left. But that didn't cost them the game. The ineffeciency I previously mentioned did.
4) Speaking of Gyah's- I pick my Bucs to win over the hapless Redskins, and what thanks do I get? Missed FG's, no adjustments, and a loss. This team's best (and possibly only) shot of winning a game is in two weeks when the Panthers come to town. If they lose there, 0-16 is not out of the question. And could we please throw Josh Freeman to the wolves already and see what we might have in our first round draft pick from this year? This season is lost, and Josh Johnson is not the answer. Sure he gives you mobility and a faster delivery, but lacks everything else Leftwich brings to the table. Honestly, Leftwich never should have been pulled until Freeman was ready to play, which even in that case is hopefully sooner rather than later.
5) Giving credit where it is due- Have to give props to the Saints, which is hard for me because I can't stand their win nothing, think their crap doesn't stink fans, but that was a huge win over the J-E-T-S. I'm still not sold the Saints D will be able to stand up for a whole season, but for one game, they won it for them.
6) Cal Bleakly- Boy, what a fraud this team was. People thought they were going to be the ones to challenge USC? People figured out if you shut down Jahvid Best, whose Heisman Hopes are now officially zero, there isn't anybody else on this offense that's going to beat you. And who is the leader of the Pac-10 at this point in the season? Would you believe it's the Stanford Cardinal? No joke.
7) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 1- Well, at least unlike the Pac-10's head of officiating who defended the worst call in history last year, the SEC's head ref stepped up and admitted they screwed up throwing a flag on Georgia Bulldog receiver A.J. Green after making one of the most incredible catches I've ever seen, the fact is that that flag has to stay in the pocket in the first place. Actually, more likely the rule needs to be changed, but as the 90,000 people in attendance and millions watching at home clearly saw, Green made no jesture. It would have been kind of hard from the middle of the mass of humanity that was his teammates congratulating him on his spectacular play. But don't get me wrong, UGA fans. this DID NOT cost you the game. Again, blaming it on officials is loser speak, and there is the little matter of kicking off TO Trendon Holliday and giving up a 40+ yard return which likely would have happened regardless of kicking from the 30 or the 15, and not being able to wrap up on Charles Scott and everybody else seemingly giving up on the play when the defender SHOULD have had him on the turf. THAT cost you the game, and LSU DESERVED to win. And the only thing worse than all of this? The make up call on Scott after his touchdown. Under NO circumstance should you EVER compound one horrific call with another trying to level the field. And deny it all you want, but if that wasn't a make up call, then I'm not a Gator fan. Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left. Point is, you don't ever want to be worried about your team scoring a touchdown because some ref might get a little overzealous.
8) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 2- I had the Pats-Ravens football field thingy on NFL.com several times during Sunday as I had the Ravens in my Pick 'Em pools and knew it would be an important swing game. Twice I saw as the Pats had the ball just past the 50, Personal Foul, Roughing the Quartback on the Ravens. Then I heard about Ray Lewis' remarks after the game. Even being right, I figured he was going to be fined for speaking his mind, especially since he was questioning the officiating, which is a definite no-no in the NFL. Shoot, on one play, it looked like the flag was thrown simply because Tom Brady whined for it. Well, I heard today on the radio that Ray Ray will not be fined for what he said, which means one of two things. Either A) Our Refs really F'ed up, or B) Our rules are F'ed up and need to be revisited after the season. Most likely, it's the latter, and to me, and to many other people, it appears that the league has far too many rules in the name of "Protecting the Player" that is detracting from the game. Pretty soon, football will become 7 on 7 where the offensive and defensive lines are eliminated, and it's man on man, including a defender to shadow the QB who can't touch him until he gets near the line of scrimmage. Seems this is what they want. Oh, and no making a good hard hit on the receiver, either.
9) Bored of Untrustees- First off, I will make this clear. Even as a Gator fan, I have a huge amount of respect for Bobby Bowden and what he has accomplished. I was adminantly PO'ed this offseason as it was suggested he lose 14 wins for playing players that to the best of his knowledge that were eligible, while the school which allowed itself to get swallowed up in an academic scandal that encompassed SIXTY ONE of its athletes in NINE sports got off with nary a slap on the wrist. To me, nothing screamed lack of institutional control more than this case, and made me yearn for the days of bowl probations and losing t.v. revenue. You want to stem something like this, hit the university in the pocketbook, don't punish a coach by vacating wins. Not like Duke is going to show a victory for that game anyway. Now word comes from Monday of the head of the Seminoles Board of Trustees, who I can only define as a world class moron. Here are the quotes that came from his way.
"We've got too many bosses out there," Smith said.
"Jimbo is in a very, very tough situation where people assume he has a whole lot more authority than he really has," Smith told the Associated Press. "He's getting blamed for a lot of things that's just not his fault."
Really, too many bosses? I count one. A coach in waiting does not count as a boss. And if coordinators count as bosses, then yes, there are too many as this would make Mickey Andrews and the special teams coach a boss, too, but no team is run like that. Fisher's situation is clearly outlined to him, and as far as getting blamed for a lot of things that just are not his fault, I'll blame him for one thing that is his fault. He is the offensive coordinator, correct? He, or one of HIS OWN assistants call the plays, correct? Then I blame him for having a offense that has the consistancy of an elderly man's bowel movements on a low fiber diet! And don't give me recruiting, either. Yes, it hasn't been up to standards at FSU recently, but do you really think Fisher has no input, especially with offensive players? Give me a break!!! And he continues:
Smith said Fisher should take over following Florida State's last game this season.
Too bad this isn't the board of trustees' decision and you have no direct say in it whatsoever.
Smith said that arrangement has resulted in division among the Florida State staff, an accusation Seminole coaches have vehemently denied.
"I know coaches are sniping at each other and that's just terrible," Smith said Monday. "There are too many mixed signals."
Really??? And you know this from what? Your close, intimate, first hand knowledge of the team? You'd swear HE was a coach at FSU. Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of dissent between Bowden and Andrews, life long friends. And if there is division between Fisher and Bowden, which I don't believe there is, especially since Jimbo has yet to produce on his end of the field, well then, there might be another agenda at work there, so forgive me if I put absolutely no stock in it whatsoever.
He also said fundraising has slowed significantly, and the school has an obligation to fans and alumni to be competitive.
"I take absolutely no pleasure in this," Smith said. "I love Bobby Bowden, but I tell you what, I love FSU more."
Ah, and at last we arrive at the only true statement from this genius, and the true crux of his problem. Fundraising is down. Imagine that. First off, Bobby can't go out there and play for these kids, so I apologize for the sudden downturn in which you have your first losing record since Bowden's first year. Yes, that hurts a little, but, clown, fundraising is down everywhere. There's this thing called the economy, which maybe you're not up on current events, but it hasn't been doing all too great as of late. The fact of the matter is you have little power and no immediate knowledge of the current situation there, so dude, please, STFU (and no, I'm not talking about John Cena's finishing move). If anybody's earned the right to go out on his own terms, it's Bobby. Besides, sure didn't hear you or any of the other Nole faithful complaining as he was delivering a record 14 straight top 4 finishes to you, and I'm sure ALL KINDS of fundraising dollars. Guess you didn't invest wisely when you had the money.
10) Weekly look ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are, surprise, surprise, the Florida LSU game to see who can stake early lead to conference supremacy, Alabama Ole Miss to see if Jevan Sneed can rebound or if the Tide continue to roll, Nebraska Missouri to see who's the early leader for the Big 12 North, and Ohio State Wisconsin to see if the Badgers are for real, or if they're simply Badgering me wanting to put them ahead of two loss Oklahoma. In the NFL, give me New England Denver, Jets Miami, and Redskins Panthers wait, that's another suckfest. Also give me the start of the MLB playoffs, which is really underway right now with a tight one going on in Minnesota. Also, my Bolts play three games this week against teams currently 0-2. They need to take at least 4, preferably 5 or 6 points from them. I'll update after today to give you my MLB playoff predictions.
Update: MLB Playoff Predictions- Wow what a game tonight in Minnesota. Unfortunately, I don't think it bodes well for them having to turn around and play tomorrow in New York. At least they get a day off after that. Anyways, here's what I think for the playoff series.
Philadelphia over Colorado in 5
Los Angeles over St. Louis in 5 (both cases just because of home field. Think the NL is very evenly matched)
New York over Minnesota in 4 (Yankees should win game 1)
Boston over Los Angeles in 4 (I know LA will be out for revenge after last year, just don't think it'll work)
Tags: A.J. Green, bad enforcement, bad officiating, Bad penalties, bad rules, Baltimore Ravens, Board of Trustees, Bobby Bowden, Byron Leftwich, Cal Berkley Bears, Charles Scott, Excessive Celebration, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, Jacory Harris, Jahvid Best, Jim Smith, Jimbo Fisher, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, LSU Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, NHL, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Oklahoma Sooners, Polls, Preseason Polls, Ray Lewis, Roughing the passer, Stanford Cardinal, Steve Sarkisian, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tom Brady, Trendon Holliday, Washington Huskies, Wisconsin Badgers