Friday, December 28, 2007

Changing Directions, Again...

It turns out randomness is harder to maintain than I thought.

When I started this blog a few years ago, I figured I could just put my daily musings about music, sports, life, etc. on here and it'd be all good.

What I learned is that a point-of-view and general subject perameters help in coming up with things to write about.

Thus, since this blog has pretty much deteroriated (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) into a neanderthalic sports blog, I'm just giving into that...and since I've spent nearly 3 decades as a miserable Atlanta sports fan, I figured that was the best thing to right about.

So, I'm picking up stakes here, and moving...into that all too familiar locale for Atlanta sports fans: Losersville, USA Where I'll chronicle the sad, seemingly improbable gaffes that have left Atlanta with only 1 major sports championship in some 40 years of top level competition...and maybe find some time to praise those who are trying to help us improve our lot.

Won't you join me?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hawks Start Well, Despite Conspiracy

Seriously, does the NBA not want the Hawks in the playoffs or what? Here's the rundown of their first 6 games:

vs. Mavs (Won 101-94)
at Pistons (Lost 92-91)
at Nets (Lost 87-82)
vs. Suns (Won 105-96)

at Celtics (Nov. 9th)
vs. Wiz (Nov. 11th)

To be 2-2 after that slate of first 4 games in encouraging. Even more encouraging, though, is the fact that, if not for 2 uneven performances against their Eastern mates, they could easily be 3-1 or 4-0.

I guess this is what makes the NBA different than the NFL. With enough high draft picks, you can eventually put together a decent team, especially if you can snag one legitimate All-Star, like Joe Johnson.

This team is pretty much former coach Lenny Wilkens' wet dream, 4 starters who could post a double/double in some form on any given night, and one off the bench in Josh Childress. Marvin Williams, and Al Horford are all capable of being monsters on the glass from their respective positions, and Josh Smith and Joe Johnson could do it in any number of ways.

Safe to say Horford has been a great pick. He's solid on the glass, and plays physical underneath. It also looks like we may finally see the Marvin Williams that was worth passing on Chris Paul for. A shooting guard with a nice touch, rebounding savvy, and the ability to penetrate and draw a foul. Acie Law still needs some seasoning, but has shown a daring that Atlanta's been lacking from their 1.

Still - a very young team. The games against veteran half-court squads like New Jersey and Detroit show that. The Hawks, with a style more suited for the freewheeling West, struggle when the other team wants to slow it down and run set plays. Luckily, the Suns and Mavs didn't catch on until it was too late.

They've received lukewarm attention from the national media - the real chance to announce the beginning of a turnaround comes Friday night. The Celtics have raced out to a 3-0 start against 3 playoff teams from last year. Because of the orgasmic euphoria being experienced in Bean Town right now, it's expected they will knife through the rest of the East this year like the Celts of old.

The Hawks win there, and people will notice.

I think the most encouraging thing is that they've managed to do all this without the services of a veteran post (either the injured Zaza Pachulia or Lorenzen Wright), and without the oft injured Speedy Claxton...who will surely see some minutes, when 100%.

It's a long season, but I'm starting to believe the long National nightmare is over for Hawks Nation - even if it is the NBA equivalent of Luxembourg.

It gets a bit easier after the next 2 games, so if they can somehow knock out the Wizards as well, they'll be set up for a nice season. And by nice, I mean close to .500.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Know-Nothing Party, Week 7 - You Can't Spell Change Without "Chan"

First, some thoughts from last night's "Disaster at Dodd":

“When your running game is not working, you’ve got to go to the air,” Bennett said. “There’s only two ways to score on offense.”

That’s a quote from Taylor Bennett. Mind you, this is after stud freshman Jonathan Dwyer had 10 carries for 68 yards. Yet, any time Tech got on a roll running the ball with Dwyer (who should have started), they resorted next to some underneath route on 3 and 2, or a non-play action pass.

There are alot of things right with the Gailey regime. The recruiting is better than it’s ever been, and he has one of the best Defensive Coordinators in the country in Jon Tenuta.

But, when that D is getting no help from the offense…and the offense is making mistakes like under-running a sure TD or fumbling on a long gain, you have to ask what is wrong over there.

I get the feeling Gailey is still calling most of the shots, not John Bond. It’s time someone sits him down and tells him, in no uncertain terms, that he either gives up control of the O, or he’s gone. There is too much talent on that side of the ball for it flounder so mightily, even without Teshard Choice in the game!

The questionable personnel decisions for one, are concerning. Bennett should have been out after his 3rd pick. You put freshman QB Josh Nesbitt and Dwyer in the backfield and run a read draw/option offense. Both guys were moving the ball on the ground. That kind of offense would have ground the Hokies out last night, but Chan has his boys. He wouldn’t start the true freshman, instead opting for a less than stellar Bennett and an underwhelming Jamaal Evans.

That is just as bad as sticking with Ball. It may even be worse. Bennett currently has a 1-3 TD/INT ratio and a 51% completion percentage. He should be riding the pine, he is not the answer.

Now that I've got that out of the way, we can review my semi-disaster of last week's Party. I was right that this was the year at Georgia would finally win the WLOCP they shouldn't have. It was quite the performance by Knowshon Moreno, as he showed his coach the value of a brutalizing feature back. Richt might learn to embrace the running game yet.

Still, Arizona State remains the biggest surprise succes, while Cal is quickly becoming the biggest surprise failure. Oregon covered, and now sets up a big showdown with Los Diablos Del Sol in Eugene. UConn, much to my chagrin, proves again to be a tough out regardless of who they are playing. Randy Edsall might be auditioning for a move back to Atlanta.

On to this weeks game. I was too lazy and late to pick the Tech-Tech game. Considering the Jackets were favored, my first instinct would have been to pick The Hokies and the points. Oh well.

Lonely Local Collective

We're giving an Auburn a pass this week with FCS Tennessee Tech on the schedule. No line there, thankfully, because Tuberville would find a way to win by one fewer point than whatever it would be. So...

Troy (+16) at Georgia: All the makings of a trap game. Dawgs coming off a big win, facing a tricky Air Raid-style offense, run by a mobile and resourceful veteran QB. If the Dawgs stick to the gameplan they had against Florida, this should be a walk, but I expect a bit of a letdown. Dawgs by 14.


My weekly parlay of death. Sure to make me sweat, but alternately could pay for my beer for the next month.

Cincinnati at USF (-5.5): Both these teams got off to ridiculously hot starts, only to come tumbling back to earth in the last few weeks. As far as talent and coaching experience goes, though, the Bulls are way ahead of the Bearcats. Despite 2 Big East losses, the Bulls still have a shot at the conference title with a strong finish. They get started here, and win by 20.

Arizona State at Oregion (-7): Dennis Dixon has gone from Heisman afterthought to vice-Favorite after a strong performance against USC. Another strong game here, on national TV, puts him in the lead over Matt Ryan. Does the Heisman have to wear the ugly white or ugly green, or mustard yellow unis?

LSU (-7) at Alabama: Saban Bowl I. Alabama looked pretty solid against the hapless Vols D a few weeks ago. This isn't the Vols defense, though. Add the bitterness LSU fans feel towards Saban, an inside track to the SEC West Crown. LSU doesn't lose this game with superior talent, and, you could argue, superior coaching. Bayou Bengals by 17.

More Chan-tastic picks next week!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Know-Nothing Party, Week 6 - I AM THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE!!!

I'm still a little geeked by boing 3-0-1 last week. Off the blog, I even threw in a little Wake Forest -6 action over Navy, and got that one.

I'll enjoy this while it lasts.

Boston College did its part to chip away at my prediction that chaos would reign supreme by the end of next weekend. We'll see if Arizona State, Kansas, and Ohio State can do the same.

On to our weekly slate, featuring all of the undefeateds not named Hawaii.

Hangovers and Parties:

Georgia gets ready for what seems to be their annual capitulation to Florida, while Auburn should get a break from either pulling a win out of their ass, or having defeat shoved up said ass.

Georgia (+7.5) vs. Florida - This is my bold pick of the week. Tim Tebow is banged up, and the last 4 Gator games have all been slugfests, even their road game against Ole Miss. Georgia, meanwhile, has done almost everything wrong and still finds themselves in the midst of the SEC East race. There have been a few times in the Mark Richt era where an inferior Florida team the Dawgs. '02,'03', and '05, to be exact. Georgia turns the tables here because Mark Richt is forced to pick one running back, and go with him. A novel concept for he of the 3 Headed Back.
UGA pulls it out late and wins by 3.

Ole Miss at Auburn (-18) - A little breather for Auburn after 3 straight down to the wire games. Ole Miss has been pretty bad over all, but they're even worse on the road. 44-8 to Arkansas, and 45-17 to Georgia in their last 2 trips away from The Grove. Auburn covers easily by running, running, and running. Coach Tuberville is giddy, and benches all his QBs. Tigers by 24.

This Currency To Be Taken Orally:

Again, giving you my bets for the week, so you know I've got a stake in this!

USF (-4) at UConn - UConn could just as easily be on a 2 game winning or losing streak over the last few games. A close loss to UVa, followed up by a comeback win over Louisville (aided by a sketchy phantom Fair Catch call), and they are suddenly the only undefeated team in The Big East. USF missed a great chance in Jersey, but The Bulls know the conference title is still in their sights, and have a much better defense than Louisville...who still only gave up 14 offensive points to the Huskies. This has the markings of a no touchdown game for the boys from Storrs. USF by 10.

USC at Oregon (-3) - If you, like me, have seen USC play a few times this year, you're in on the best kept secret in College Football. That is, that USC just isn't very good this year. Oregon, meanwhile, was a fumble away from being undefeated and likely leading the BCS standings. In Mark Sanchez's first significant road test, the Trojans venture to one of the toughest places to play in the Pac-10. The Ducks break out their lime green unis with burnt maize piping...eveyone vomits. Still, the Ducks win by 14.

Cal (+3) at Arizona State - This is a hunch game for me since I know exactly zero about the Sun Devils outside of Dennis Erickson, Rudy Carpenter, and absurdly hot women. What I do know is that Cal has beaten Tennessee convincingly, and outlasted Oregon in Eugene. Despite 2 straight losses, I find it hard to believe that they will let that slide go to 3. If they do, of course, I hope it's by 2.9 points! I'm taking Cal to win by 1, though.

Enjoy your viewing and return to marvel at my throbbing temporal lobe next week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Falcons' Bye Week Thoughts

A few thoughts on the local NFL team, before the newly released Grady Jackson takes his vengeance by devouring his former team.

On Defense - considering how unprodcutive the Offense has been, the Defense isn't performing as poorly as you would think. 24th Rated overall, but holding up favorably in 3rd Down situations (collapses on 3rd were a staple of the Donatell regime), only allowing a 38% conversion rate. Also - it appears the Falcons may have a rising star in strongside linebacker Michael Boley, who is 3rd in the NFL in tackles, and has 2 interceptions to his name.

On Offense - The main reason I'm writing this. Most people regard Bob Petrino as an offensive mind in the mold of June Jones or Mike Martz.

However - In his time at Louisville, and his lone year as Auburn's Offensive Coordinator, Bobby P. enjoyed crushing other team's souls with equal parts run and pass. Coaching Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown on the Plains in '02, they combined for nearly 1900 yards rushing. His backs were also collectively exceeding the 2000 yard mark in his seasons at Louisville with regularity, including Michael Bush and Eric Shelton spearheading a 3,005 yard output in '04. Safe to say they would have exceeded that number last year had Bush not broken his leg against Kentucky.

My point is - where's the running game, Coach? Unfortunately, it's in the hands of Warrick Dunn most of the time.

This, of course, is maddening to any Falcons fan who has spent even one game watching Jerious Norwood get 6 or 7 carries, and still post at least 30-40 yards. Quite simply, he's a homerun hitter, as evidenced by the fact that all three of his career rushing touchdowns have gone for 67 or more yards (check out a few here). He also flashes a nasty streak when finishing his run - showing a bit of the powerback that Petrino would like to have back there.

A closer look at the stats makes it even more maddening:

Norwood: 47 car. 272 yards 5.8 att 1TD
Dunn: 95 car. 292 yards 3.1 att 1TD

You don't have to be a mathematician to see that Jerious has half as many carries, and almost as many yards. This also goes in the receiving category where Norwood has 17 Catches for 143yds., and Dunn has 18 for 78yds.

I will point out that I think Warrick Dunn is one of the finest men in the NFL, and has had a tremendous career. It's likely he'll pass the 10,000 yard plateau by the end of this year, and he will be one of the NFL's Top 20 all-time rushers in terms of yards. Not bad for a guy most thought too small to be an every down back in the NFL. That being said, he'll be 33 shortly after this season ends. I shudder to think that that he's only 3.5 years older than me...but I'm also not an elite athlete.

It's quite simple - The Falcons need to get their running game going. The offensive line is in shambles, and the quarterback holds the ball too long. Without the run, defenses are loading up on the pass. A 23 carries a game average - 13 of which go to a guy averaging 3 yards a tote - is not going to cut it.

Time to let your playmaker make some plays. Just give me one game where he gets 20 carries. If he isn't over 100 yards by game's end, I'll stop complaining.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Know-Nothing Party, Week 5 - Fubar'd Again

The picture to the right is of former New Orleans Saints Coach, Jim Haslett.

Not really related to the college game, but it occurred to me during last night's USF-Rutgers slugfest that Jim Leavitt bears a striking resemblance to the deposed ammonia-sniffer.

That's when I knew it was over for them.

Thus, week 8 of the season commences in the only way it could, another unbeaten falling in agonizing fashion. That fashion? Their mobile quarterback showing a complete inability to avoid the rush and/or throw the ball away.

Kudos to Rutgers for not thinking too hard and just giving Ray Rice the ball 39 times. Offensive Coordinators trying to prove they can win without heavy doses of their best player has been the downfall of many good teams. As my Auburn-fan friend, Jimbo (from The Ocho), informs me, this is one of the big reasons Auburn fell flat in '03...Hugh Nall apparently thought it'd be unfair to give the ball too much to Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Brandon Jacobs - 3 guys who all start in the NFL, when healthy.

I could go on, but it just seems that coaches nowadays thing being creative offensively equals passing alot. I think West Virginia and Arkansas (well, at least in '06) have proved that doesn't have to be the case.

Anyway - To review, the 5 remaining unbeatens:

-Ohio State
-Boston College
-Arizona State

By the end of next weekend, it's quite possible only 2 of those will remain unbeaten - one of those being Hawaii. That would bring all of the 1-loss teams back into play for what could be one of the most exciting Novembers in College Football history.

I hate to say it...but if stuff like this happened every year, I might jump off the playoff bandwagon altogether!

On to the picks. 2-3 last week, thanks in large part to Steve Spurrier doing his best Tommy Tuberville impression by packing up the offense with a decent halftime lead. Otherwise, I would have called it a success, and stomped all over Vanderbilt's midfield logo.

The Obligatories

Georgia is off this week, in preperation for their annual sacrifice to the Gator Gods, so we're left with only Auburn and Tech...two teams with very different games on the schedule.

Army (+24) at Georgia Tech: Homecoming on The Flats, and Bobby Ross returns with his Black Knights. Army has no offense to speak of, but have managed to cover a few games against superior opposition, like Boston College. Chan Gailey is never known for beating up on teams not named Samford, so I think the Jackets put it in cruise control early and win by 21 or so heading into their bye week.

Auburn (+10.5) at LSU: The Tigers put some serious voodoo on former Tigers kicker John Vaughn a few years back in Baton Rouge, even while he was on his way to a stellar career in Orange and Blue. Wes Byrum is already a bit of a local hero, twice lifting the Tigers to victory in close SEC Battles. Somehow, some way, he's going to have a bad game. Visiting kickers just seem to in Death Valley.

This game is rarely a blowout, and Auburn is still in the hunt for the SEC West crown. Winning this would put them in the driver's seat, but LSU just has too much at stake. The Bayou Bengals over their fellow Tigers by a late touchdown.

Games I actually put money on.

Putting my money where my are? Anyway - 2 picks from my personal stash, maaaannnnn.

Arkansas (-5) at Ole Miss: Quite simple here, Ole Miss has the 98th ranked run defense, Arkansas has Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. As long as David Lee and Houston Nutt don't befall the same disease that we mentioned above, they should roll up about 300 yards rushing on the Rebs tomorrow. Razorbacks by 10.

Michigan (-1) at Illinois: The Wolverines appear to have turned the corner after last week's throttling of Purdue and their moustachioed leader. Meanwhile, Illinois zooked the game away in Iowa City. UM might not have Mike Hart in this one, but I think this team is now squarely focused on winning the Big 10, and getting revenge on Ohio State. Michigan, in a low scoring affair, by 6.

Come back and laugh at me around midnight on Saturday - I should be on my way back from yet another home victory for The Appalachian State Mountaineers!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ooooh...White Lightnin'!!

In honor of Ohio State being ranked #1 in the initial BCS Poll, and the recent renaissance of caucasian ball-carriers, I introduce you to Sam McGuffie.

Appropriately, he will be playing in the Big 10, the only BCS conference where it's possible for a white kid to be faster than most of his black counterparts. Sam will be a freshman next year at Michigan.

Nonetheless, the kid's got some freakish skills:

Now, if they could only find someone fast enough to chase down Appalachian State's Wide Receivers, regardless of pigmentation.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Know-Nothing Party, Week 4

I usually rip on my picks - but I actually went 3-2 last week! Still, this seems to be an apt name for my general scattershot technique this year. Although, I think very few saw that monumental beat down of the Georgia, at the hands of the usually defensively deficient Vols, coming!

Nonetheless, we plow forward to our 4th foray in the seedy world of picking college football games based on Vegas spreads.

Sherman's March To The Sea Redux

Not a good week last week for the boys from the Peach State. As mentioned, the Dawgs fell flat on their face, hard agains the banks of the Tennessee River. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech did their usual big win/mindnumbing loss routine up in College Park.

Prospects should be better this week.

Georgia (-7.5) at Vanderbilt: It's hard not to root for Vandy, the little Private School That (almost) Could. Still - Georgia needs this game. They're already in danger of finishing 5th in the SEC East. Losing this one might equal the basement. Plus, Thomas Brown is out with an injury, and Kregg Lumpkin has a club hand. Knowshon Moreno should get the bulk of the carries - something many Dawg fans have been hoping for this year. Georgia wins by 10.

Georgia Tech (+3) at Miami: Jon Tenuta's Defense vs. Patrick Nix's offense. I'm sure this constant beat down occurring at Rose Bowl Field during practice for the last 4 seasons is what made Patrick Nix think leaving Atlanta was a good idea. Tech scores just enough to win, despite turnovers. I'm thinking somewhere in the 20-17 range.

Auburn at Arkansas (-3): Auburn is the only one of the teams I cound as "local" to win last week, and they won big. Brad lester is back, and the running game seems to be getting back to Auburn-like levels. If Auburn wins this one, they could inexplicably set up a potential SEC West Title Showdown next week against LSU.

However - everyone remembers the game in Jordan-Hare last year where Arkansas pounced on the #2 team in the country thanks to a corpulent O-Line and 2 1,000 yard rushers. Houston Nutt just seems to know how to beat Auburn, and if he loses this one, he may want to start inquiring about the soon to be vacant Texas A&M job. Arkansas outlasts Auburn, 17-13.

Games I've Actually Picked

I'll actually put my money where my mouth is here.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech (-10): A&M has had one crappy week, with their coach basically getting paddled by the A&M administration for running a secret newsletter off his website. Texas Tech, meanwhile, gets a chance to prove their defense can stop someone under new coordinator Ruffin McNeil (former App State DC, by the way). Tech's had A&M's number, and in the dusty wastelands of Llano Estacado, this is a tall order for the Ags. Graham Harrell catapults into the Heisman Race - Red Raiders by 3 TDs.

South Carolina (-7) at North Carolina: Butchies Boys are coming off their first big one, albeit against a shaky Miami squad. Meanwhile, South Carolina is in an unusual position for them...the second quartet of BCS hopefuls. The OBC knows a surprise out-of-conference loss would mean kissing the Sugar Bowl goodbye, and the 'Cocks' Defense under Tyrone Nix might be one of the most underrated in the country. The Palmetto State over The Old North State by 24.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When Being Wrong Feels So Right

Yep, I missed on both Georgia and Georgia Tech last week. That's fine with me, since I had the Dawgs barely getting by woeful Ole Miss, and the Jackets falling to Clemson.

Naturally, strange things happened in the Clemson-Tech game (i.e., Clemson's razor sharp offense dulling out), and Georgia finally got their suspect offense in gear. Will that continue this week?

Local Yokels

Georgia (+1) at Tennessee: Well, one thing's for sure, if there is a defense you can score points on in The SEC, it's Tennessee's (and Ole Miss', and probably Kentucky's). Georgia has Kregg Lumpkin back as a running back option, which might gum things up. Mark Richt seems to think a trio of running backs is better than a pair. Hopefully, he'll just use Lumpkin on short yardage situations, and let Moreno and Brown carry the load.

Georgia Tech at Maryland (+2.5): C'mon! We all know it's coming. A big win against an ACC front runner, followed up by a road trip to a fellow pretender to the throne. Is there anyway Tech covers? I submit to you that there isn't. I think Friedgen has thing headed in the right direction in College Park, sans his ability to stop West Virginia or stay away from those delicious Potbelly's sandwiches. My heart says Tech, but my head says Maryland.

Vanderbilt at Auburn (-9.5): This is the kind of game I could easily see Al Borges' offense make very in, enough with that Rocky Road we opened up on Florida last week, back to Vanilla! The X-Factor here is the return of wayward Auburn tailback Brad Lester. He brings some experience and stability to that backfield, and Vandy's offense will have trouble moving the ball on a very stout Auburn D. Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Tebow?

Of National Import

Florida (+7.5) at LSU: I just think this is happening. LSU hasn't looked that impressive in its last few games. While winning both convincingly, they've still gotten off to somewhat sluggish starts. Florida, obviously reeling from that loss to Auburn knows that this game might not only put them out of the National Title picture, but depending on what happens tonight between Kentucky and South Carolina, could put them in danger of being out of the SEC race.

As crazy as this year has been - the only (il)logical conclusion I can draw is that Florida wins in Death Valley.

Oklahoma (-11.5) vs. Texas:Both are coming off surprising losses...but Oklahoma's was a little more surprising. I honestly think Kansas State is a better team than Texas. After all, they're coached by a fellow App State Alum. The question is, do I think K-State is better than Oklahoma?, I don't.

Sorry for the brevity this week, folks, but I'm heading off to Boone for my first Appalachian game this week...which compels me to post this wonderful piece of aerial photography:

See? Isn't that nicer than Ann Arbor?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Wanna Take This Scam Out Behind The Middle School and Get It Pregnant!

It looks like Tracey Jordan isn't the only one falling for our favorite e-mail ruse:

Postal Service Cracking Down On Nigerian Scam

And you don't have Grizz and Dot Com to protect you!

I have nothing to add. Just a reminder that you don't have to be a genius to surf these here internets!

Oh, and watch 30 Rock! You're missing the funniest show on Television if you don't. If you're soul is actually dead, you can just keep watching Grey's Anatomy.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wes Byrum Wears Crocs So He Can Comfortably Kick Your Ass

Tell me those don't look like the shoes we all hate!

If you're alive after the College Football Nuclear Fallout, you already know that Auburn pretty much outplayed the indefatigable Florida Gators before Tigers' kicker Wes Byrum gave them a double Donkey Punch by making a timeout interrupted 43 yard field goal. This, of course, betters Sebastian Janikowski and Phil Dawson (they couldn't make NFL Hashmark-Type kicks after timeouts) to vanquish Team 1B in the SEC. Team 1A - LSU - looked underwhelming in dispatching of Tulane. LSU-Florida looks decidedly less glamorous next week. Being the SEC, that means the Gators will probably win.

Overall,What a day. Colorado plays DIVISION I FOOTBALL(!!!) against Oklahoma, the 'Cats of K-State remind Texas that they are, in fact, their bitch.

"I know you coached for one glorious year at my Alma Mater, Mack Brown. Still, I have to barrel my sleek cranium into your team's sternum!"

-Ron Prince

K-State proves that, if they can do one thing, it's mercilessly pound the Longhorns.

Rutgers falls to the school that probably has more kids from New Jersey in its student body outside of Piscataway - Maryland. Bravo,, the Big East could realistically send either Cincinnati or South Florida to the Orange Bowl. there a harder city to spell outside The 'Nati? I had to spell check to make sure I got right.

Wisconsin might sneak into the Top 5, where they have no business residing,which probably means they'll inexplicably run the table...but I think they'll lose soon.

And, of course, Notre Dame lost in Duke-esque fashion. So close, yet so far away.

This is going to be a great season.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Just For Fun, Right? Right?!

Clearly, this gambling thing isn't working out too well for me so far. Luckily, I bet small amounts, so I don't start debating about how much Ramen one man can actually ingest in a month, and no one is showing up at my house with a Gibraltar or Costa Rica stamp on their passport.

We'll keep it brief this week, since me trying to reason out why I picked something has pretty much just become a comical view of how I convince myself to pick the wrong games.

To review, I was 2-4 last week. Auburn covered the 16.5 handily against NMSU, and UGA won in they obviously beat the 3.5 spread. Georgia Tech let me down (in so many ways), as did the Arkansas and Kentucky defenses, NC State, and Penn State.

This weeks games, a brief note on why I picked them

Local Kids:

Two teams at the crossroads of their season. Will Tech fall to 0-3 in conference play? Will Georgia be able to build on their win last week in Tuscaloosa? Will Mike Patrick bring up Britney Spears again? Even if he does - he's thankfully not calling either of these games.

Clemson (-3) at Georgia Tech: Clemson appears to finally have a solid QB under center, and the already known commodities of Spiller and Davis in the backfield. This game always ends up being decided by the best athlete on the field...whether it be Calvin Johnson or Woody Dantzler. Clemson just has more of those right now. Generally, though, a hard game to predict...which is why mine will probably be wrong (even though that will make me happy in this case).

Ole Miss (+15) at Georgia: Mark Richt rarely likes to do things the easy way - see last year's comeback win over Colorado for proof. He might have the best young RB/QB combo in the SEC, but that likely means he'll pick this game to work the Zone Read (and maybe even Joe Cox) back into his offense, neglecting his massive fullback's obvious run blocking abilities. Ole Miss looked promising against the Gators, as they were the first team to really test them. The Dawgs win, but not by much.

National Games:

Kind of a down week here, with really only 3 "big time" matchups. In fact, the best game might be tonight...thanks to the programming geniuses at ESPN.

WVU at South Florida (+7): These Friday night games do weird things to teams (right, Mike Gundy? Sorry...don't yell at me!). Their expecting the first sell out in school history at The Bulls' impenetrable fortress that is...uh...Raymond James Stadium.

Surely, the Bulls will beam with pride as they think of all the history there, and many octagenarian Alumni will tear up at the montage of the great Bulls teams of yore, when Col. Tiberius Leavitt commandded the team his great-Grandson now oversees.

Okay - so they've only been around 11 years. Thanks to conference realignment, though, the Bulls can interject themselves into the National Title picture this weekend. I don't even think they'll need the 7 points, they just seem to know how to play WVU, and they'll have the "Program Game" atmosphere at their backs. Bulls Win! Bulls Win! Bulls Win! (Flails wildly at Craig Ehlo)

Cal at Oregon (-6.5): Why this isn't the ESPN night game, I have no idea. This is the biggest game of Saturday as it will pretty much determine who gets to unmask USC later in the year. Oregon's hippies have apparently hired a Shaman to make Autzen Stadium a house of horrors for most, and beat Cal there 2 years ago. Cal's hippies would protest, but they're not really aware they have a football team. Anyway - Dennis Dixon leads his troops, sans Brian Paysinger, to a comfortable win, and Jeff Tedford starts wondering when Franchione is going to get the axe at A&M (Hint: it's at the end of this season)

Auburn (+18) at Florida: This should be an interesting game, despite what some might think. You have arguably one of the best defenses in the SEC, who should have one of its biggest cogs back in Trey Blackmon, versus a seemingly unstoppable offense. Florida obviously has revenge on their mind, while Auburn is just looking to cancel out a really bad loss to Mississippi State. Auburn managed to put up 27 points last year without scoring a single offensive touchdown. They might need one or two this time to stop Gold-Plated Baby Jesus, Tim Tebow, and his pet Jesus Lizard, Percy Harvin. Gators win, but the Tigers keep it close.

Stay tuned next week when, like Louisville, my status as a football sage spirals further out of relevancy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Myth of the "Vick Divide"

When they booed Terrence Moore, I wasn't surprised. The moment they booed a spokesperson for The Humane Society, I knew they were crazy.

I knew this, and I felt sorry for the majority of black Atlantans. I know many, and I know they don't think like the Vick apologists. They don't draw comparisons between Bill Belichick videotaping other team's defensive signals, and dogfighting. (Yes, someone actually did that last night) They don't shout down people trying to make valid points, and they don't think Michael Vick got a raw deal.

Still - ESPN has to advance their point of view - that Atlanta is a city comprised of thugs and rednecks, surrounded by apathetic (perhaps secretly racist) suburbanites.

What they don't know, and don't want to take the time to know, is that the discussions that took place on stage, amongst Terrence Moore, Neal Boortz, and Chuck Smith (Terrence Mathis The New York Times' Selena Roberts offered little useful to the discussion), happen at restaurants, offices, and in the media of this city every day.

That is to say - people of different races and backgrounds having a reasonable discussion about what went wrong with Michael Vick - not placing blame on the Federal Government for doing their job, and not claiming that Vick was unfairly targetted because he was/is a black athlete.

These are the black people I know - they are educated, middle class, and think Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and The NAACP are as much of a joke as I do. Until I lived in this city, everything I saw on TV and in print media led me to believe that those racists spoke for all blacks. The media still wants us to believe that the average Southern white is an unintelligent bigot. In their eyes, whether it be the War, Civil Rights, or politics in general, they still wish it was 1967.

Another myth perpetuated by Roberts, the token member of the New York Intelligentsia (can't have a Town Hall meeting without one of them) is that dogfighting is a Rural Southern past-time. Chicago, in fact, has a bigger problem with dogfighting than anywhere down here. Since that doesn't advance ESPN's POV that Atlanta is not only a bad sports town, but backwards, it's not included in the discussion.

Let's also not forget that Michael Vick was tried, and convicted, in Virginia...not Atlanta. Somehow, though, they saw fit to bring their dog and pony show to "The City Too Busy To Hate", and invite the most obnoxious, unreasonable Vick fans to the party.

This city has moved on, this city did not begin to teeter on the brink of anarchy because of this case, and this city (well, most of it) understands that what Michael Vick was doing - supporting illegal gambling, evading taxes, and financially backing an interstate dogfighting ring, puts him on equal footing with any other organized crime boss in this country.

Ultimately, that's what he was.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Boselli Apparently Paying for Transgressions

Former Jaguars and Texans Tackle Tony Boselli is apparently going through some sort of broadcaster hazing. 3 weeks - 3 Falcons games. Unfortunately for him, Ron Pitts is along for the ride as his play-by-play partner.

They aren't a bad team - just odd that they seem to be stuck covering what could end up being the worst team in the NFC.

Some encouraging things from today's loss to Carolina, though. Harrington was sharp, Roddy White is coming into his own, and the line held well. When you're supposed All-Pro CB gives up 67 yards in penalties on one drive (albeit some shoddy officiating on 2 of the 3 calls), it's going to be hard to win.

Petrino still not running the ball enough - Dunn and Norwood combined for 87 yards on 17 carries. I think Norwood especially needs to get the ball more. He is a homerun hitter, plain and simple.

Mike Patrick Has an Incredible Sense of Timing

A slugfest between to of The SEC's Big Six...overtime, Alabama up 23-20 on UGA. The Bulldogs lining up for what would eventually be the gamewinning touchdown pass. ESPN's Mike Patrick surely has his thoughts squarely focused on this epic battle, right?


Bravo, Mike - for all the legendary calls Larry Munson has made during Georgia games - you took the opportunity during his first absence in 41 years to trump them all. For that, we are forever indebted. Praise be to the Combover.

Friday, September 21, 2007

One Of The Few Advantages Of Being Strictly An NFL Fan

Many of us are crossover football, high school, pro, powder puff...we watch it all. The guys that only follow the pro game, however, have a distinct advantage over the rest - especially those obsessed with the college game, and there is one overriding reason...

Fall Weddings!

While a handful weddings will fall on a Sunday - Saturday being the preferred day hits college football fans, and hits them hard. I know a Georgia fan who, right now, is getting ready to board a plane for Dallas for a Saturday wedding. A Saturday night Catholic wedding that starts at 6:00 CDT - 15 minutes after the Georgia-Alabama game kicks off.

I have been fortunate enough to mostly avoid this phenomena. Although, I was forced to listen to the Georgia Southern-Appalachian State game last year on a faint radio signal in Northwest Georgia. Otherwise, I probably would have driven the 3 hours to Statesboro to watch it in person.

The upshot was that I won $10 off my buddy's dad, whose daughter went to Southern.

(Word to the wise - getting people who know nothing about FCS football to bet on it is as close to a sure thing in gambling as there is...provided you know something about it.)

But - I digress.

For those of us who have been put through this pain - there is finally a place for us:

Fall Weddings Suck

It's heavy on LSU fans, which I can't say surprises me that the women over there didn't/don't probably think things through. Nonetheless - I'm sure you'll find a little bit of yourself in one of these guys.

The Vols fan who had a wedding (likely pictured above)cause him to miss last week's UT-Florida game, however, probably realizes now that he got out easy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dr. Farthing, What Happened To Your Arm?

Well, it was from either sleeping on it the wrong way, or bookmakers throwing me out of a speeding car.


We'll give this picking games thing another go, so I can see what I really know about college football. I'm not exactly sure I want to know the answer to that, but I will be spending all day Saturday in a full on smorgasboard of college football - even if it means watching Auburn vs. New Mexico State on Gameplan (more on that game later).

On to my I Know A Guy, Who Knows A Guy, Episode II


#15 Clemson at NC State (+7.5) - Let's face it, NC State is the only team to slow down the disturbinglingly efficient BC offense thus far, even if you couple that with their loss to UCF, and a sleepwalk over Wofford, it says something. One thing Chuck Amato left behind, along with red shoes, white sunglasses, and pectoral a solid defense.

Clemson's Cullen Harper has yet to really be tested, and this will be his first road conference game. Being that he might sadly be the most famous graduate of my High School Alma Mater...and only be 20...I still say Clemson pulls this one off thanks to better athletes on both sides of the ball, but NC State keeps it close until late.

#21 Kentucky at Arkansas (Under 67.5) - Over/Unders scare me about as much as having Reggie Ball under center with 2:00 left and no timeouts. The idea that you can be screwed by a meaningless TD in a blowout just seems to be too risky...most of the time.

In this game - both teams are coming off of offensive shootouts. I am inclined to think it won't be quite as chaotic in Fayetteville this Saturday. Kentucky is coming off a program win, and Arkansas helped kickoff the "Nick Saban is God '07" tour in Tuscaloosa. The Hogs will actually use Darren McFadden for all 4 quarters this week and keep the scoring low, like a good running team should. Remember, this Wildcat team gave up over 300 yards on the ground to Kent State in Week One...and the Golden Flashes didn't have a half-cyborg/half-gazelle in their backfield (unfortunately, DMC's hamstrings not part of the cyborg half).

As for the game itself, I also think it's likely Arkansas covers the 7 thanks to a Wildcat comedown. Still - I am happy to see that people finally remember that Rich Brooks can coach.

Home Warriors:

#Penn State (-3.5) at Michigan - Seriously, does Michigan ever go on the road? Playing their 4th consecutive game in The Big House, which you would think might actually scare them by now, if not for piling on Notre Dame last week. Penn State comes in with designs on a trip to the Rose Bowl. Anthony Morelli has a tidy 7/1 TD to INT ratio, and Michigan's suspect secondary, still trying to catch up with Oregon's Derrick Jones and App State's Dexter Jackson, lining up in a Cover None Zone.

New Mexico State at Auburn (-16.5) - Auburn, unlike Michigan, can avoid starting 1-3 at home because they scheduled the tricky "cupcake" game last. Seriously - if Auburn can't get up enough muster to thwart Mummeball, we might be witnessing the beginning of the end of Tubbytime at Jordan-Hare. Auburn learns to stop throwing the ball at guys who can't catch it, and read past the Preface of their playbook.

There are also rumors swirling that Brad Lester might be available for this one, which will be a big boost to the Tigers rushing attack.

Personal Interest

#22 Georgia (+3.5) at #16 Alabama - Picking against Alabama again, I know. Other than an improbable win against Auburn last year, Georgia's been sliding in the SEC lately. For a team with as much talent as they have, this is unlikely to continue.

Last week, once Arkansas actually made adjustments, they outscored the Tide 38-10 after the 1st Quarter. That last second heart-stopper, combined with UGA's humane destruction of Western Carolina, points to a rested and motivated Bulldog squad.

Really, I am just hoping for ESPN's continued sideline shots of these girls:

Even if they are crying.

Georgia Tech (-5.5) at Virginia - World, meet Jonathan Dwyer, Jonathan Dwyer, world. The Yellow Jacket recruit so good they assigned him #21 as soon as they saw Calvin Johnson out the door, Dwyer is likely to get a few more carries this week with Tashard Choice nursing his tender hammy, and ruptured Heisman Hopes, going into Charlottesville. Apparently, God didn't take to kindly to him running all over religious institutions.

Virginia has a little momentum going with a 2-0 conference start - but it was Duke and North Carolina, after all. Jackets by at least 10.

Finally - the nation's longest winning streak continues this week as Appalachian State wins their 18th straight game in front of the 1100 strong student body of Wofford College.

We'll be back next week to sift through the prediction carnage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekend Review #1 - Owweee!

Shows how much I know.


Well - I took the easy way out on my biggest miss of the week - picking Georgia Tech to outlast BC, but still saying the Eagles would cover. Boy, did they ever. Matt Ryan looks more like a #1 pick than Brian Brohm right now.

This was typical Gailey-era Georgia Tech, though. Too agressive on defense, too predictable on offense. It'll work against most of the ACC, but BC looks to be for real.

The people that should really be worried about this are NC State fans - Jeff Jagodzinski has this team playing well on both sides of the ball, with the same players Tom O'Brien seemed to always go 9-3 or 8-4 with. The Eagles may well be 7-0 going into Blacksburg on October 25th - a game that looks entirely winnable.

The Rest of the Story:

The first sentence that comes to mind when looking at the 2007 College Football season is "What the hell is going on?!"

Obviously, Michigan-App State started that...but when Wisconsin struggles to hold off the 3rd or 4th best team in the Southern Conference, FAU thumps Minnesota, and Northern Iowa can rightfully claim to be the best team in Iowa (thanks to beating Iowa St., who beat Iowa), these first 3 weeks have just been one hefty helping of crazy. Now that I look at it - especially if you're a fan of the Big Ten.

This is going to be one of those years like 1990, when Ga. Tech and Colorado split the National Title. We're going to have BC vs. Oregon or Rutgers vs. Cal in the National Title game.

Quickly reviewing my less than stellar picks (reminding me that maybe I should stop betting on football):

UTEP +5 vs. New Mexico State:29-24 A push. Nonetheless, can't figure out how you lose to Texas Tech by 14 and can't beat the Aggies. I can only figure Mike Price pulled a "Jake Taylor in his first scene in Major League" type bender the night before.

Incidentally - are Land Grant schools west of the Mississippi just incapable of coming up with better nicknames? Texas A&M, Cal-Davis, New Mexico State, and Utah State...all the Aggies. We get it.

Arkansas (+3.5) vs. Alabama:41-38 The Hogs covered - but didn't do what I wanted, and win. Alabama didn't get Arkansas' best shot until it was already 21-0. It's almost as if Houston Nutt wants to prove he can win without leaning on Darren McFadden. Call me crazy, but when you have the best running back in the SEC since Bo, you lean on him. While, he got 32 carries, and 190 yards - they waited until the Tide were up big to really utilize him.

When Saban finally faces a team with more than 1 player, it'll be a little more difficult (fortunately for him, he has Georgia this Saturday).

Notre Dame vs. Michigan (-8):38-0 Wait, I got one right on the line, and the outcome? Someone stop the Prognostication Sensation! Seriously, you had to see this one coming. Michigan has better athletes, Mike Hart, Mario Manningham, a home game, they were facing Notre Dame's defense...and Mike Hart and Mario Manningham. The Irish might actually start 0-8 - where's your Jesus now, Notre Dame? That's right, he's over here with us Protestants.

I won't even mention the Georgia - Western Carolina prediction. That was just a throw in. The Dawgs still look destined to fall flat on their face this Saturday night.

We'll give this whole picking games thing another go Friday, hopefully it'll turn out better.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy

Okay, well most of you probably use a website - but if you're getting ready to call your bookie, I have a few thoughts on this weekends games. Including the ones I may, or may not have, put some money on.

On a side note - how random is this movie poster? I don't recognize the names of any of those actors on I had just had to use it. The things you find on Google Image search!

Anyway - on to the games.

Games Of National Interest...

Arkansas (+3.5) vs. Alabama: So, Alabama is 2-0 under Nick Saban, and some Tide fans are already making early December reservations in Atlanta. Everyone can agree that beating Western Carolina was not really much - in fact, it was just mean. The Vandy win, though, showed that against a middling I-A program, Alabama can look like a football team, or reasonable facsimile thereof.

Beating Vandy really only takes 2 steps - 1) Hurt Earl Bennett, or the guy who throws to him., and 2) Win. Done and done. This is a little more complex, as you have to deal not only with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, but a halfway decent Arkansas defense that is probably drooling at the prospect of Major Applewhite breaking out some plays from his old Rice playbook.

I think the Razorbacks remind Saban that it isn't always going to be Western Carolina on the other side of the ball - but take the 3.5 points anyway.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan (-8): The Wolverines finally get a team that is slower than them. Both teams will be starting True Freshman QBs...but Michigan's gets to throw to Mario Manningham and hand-off to Mike Hart. Jimmy Clausen gets to wonder if the Irish used all their recruiting points to sign him.

Games Of Personal Interest...

Boston College (+7) vs. Georgia Tech: The Jesuits will learn Saturday that their Polish coach isn't quite as infallible as the last Polish guy they hired. It'll be close, though.

Hard to say we know much about either of these teams, considering BC pummeled a hapless NC State team, led by their old coach, and a now 0-2 Wake Forest. I do know that Matt Ryan's production fell off significantly when facing a mildly talented Wolfpack defense, and Taylor Bennett won't throw 5 INTs like State's Harrison Beck did.

The Jackets are at home, and essentially had last week off when they pasted Samford 69-14. They have one of the most underrated running backs in the country. Tashard Choice has gone over 100 yards in 4 straight games against religiously affiliated schools. He'll make it five before turning his attention to those Cardiganned Sodomites at UVa. Choice, and an equally uderrated Jacket defense, will be the difference.

Whoever wins this game will be in the odd position of getting the ACC BCS push - for what it's worth. (Thanks to LOLJocks for the photo!)

Western Carolina vs. Georgia (-Alot): So the Dawgs aren't ignored. It's likely they will start seeing Spurrier's face in place of the Catamount's helmets, a la The Waterboy. The Bulldogs are playing the anti-Appalachian State. Western is actually App State's oldest rival - but have basically been collecting paychecks from BCS teams, and thinking about turning the Southern Conference basement into that bonus room they've always wanted, while the Mountaineers won 2 National Titles and embarassed Michigan. Georgia rolls, and Knowshon Moreno gets his second consecutive 100 yard around 5 carries.

Random Line Of The Week...

UTEP (+5) vs. New Mexico St.: You always seem to have that game featuring two non-BCS schools that just seems to be a trap. This is mine. UTEP is 1-1 after they beat New Mexico by 4 (who beat New Mexico State by 10) and lost to Texas Tech by 14. The Red Raiders needed two late TDs to hold off the Miners to boot.

Somehow, though, the Aggies are the favorite here. The two schools are seperated by 30 miles of the most desolate real estate you'd ever want to see - so, it's hard to say there's any real homefield advantage here. I mean - State is the 2nd biggest New Mexico.

Also consider that Hal Mumme taught Mike Leach the Air Raid offense, which means UTEP will see it for the 2nd straight week. There will be lots of points here, but I'll take Mike Price's almost certain penchant for Juarez whores over Hal Mumme's Ted Haggard-esque hairdo. To's all the same. New Mexico, Old Mexico - he's giving someone the Dirty Sanchez. Sorry Aggies.

We'll review just how off I was on my opinions next week...and if I miss them all, that might signal the end of I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy.

Finally, in honor of Appalachian State's game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks this Saturday - I present to you a classic Monty Python bit - The Lumberjack Song!

Someone needs to teach this to the student section at Kidd Brewer, or get it up on the video screen!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sea Change

This week just keeps getting better.

This may mean we will have two teams called The Mountaineers in a Top 25 Poll for the first time ever! Daniel Boone, rejoice!

This definitely makes me knowing that there may have been a money line on the Michigan game (somewhere out there on the internet) feel slightly less aggravating. I might have only bet $10, but I'm sure it would have paid me about 25 times that!

Back to the Poll - I knew when we beat Michigan, it would alter the way alot of people thought about I-AA/FCS football, but I didn't think it would start the process of blurring the line completely. We now appear to be moving back to the way things were 30 years ago...where every team was just "Division I", not I-A, I-AA, or some kind of subdivision.

While I am excited at the idea of Appalachian appearing in the Top 25 alongside schools like Georgia Tech and Tennessee (current denizens in spots 20-25), I'm forced to wonder what this will ultimately mean. If App can be ranked in the top 25, and manages to finish 15-0, why can't they go to a bowl game. Conversely, why can't a team like Boise State or TCU, who are likely to get perpetually shut-out of the BCS National Championship game, decide to go play in the playoffs instead?

Ultimately, since the AP Poll is no longer used to determine BCS spots, it may not matter. But, if it somehow causes a complete elimination of subdivisions, it could spell the end for many of the smaller Division I schools who have neither the resources, nor the fanbase, to compete in a DI free-for-all.

Regardless of what happens - Appalachian may organically succeed in doing something that the legislators have only had limited success in doing - fundamentally changing the way college football is structured.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

You Got No Fear of The Underdog...

...that's why you will not survive!

I've been listening to the song The Underdog off of Spoon's latest album for about 2 months now. During the past 3 days, that lyric has seemed all the more sweet.

For those who may check this blog out on a semi-regular basis (which would also generously describe how often I write on it) that don't already know - I am an alumnus of THE Appalachian State University!

Needless to say, the last few days have been the most enjoyable of my life as a sports fan. There is truly nothing that could compare.

Being a I-AA/FCS fan is a lonely existence. You get strange looks from people when you answer "Appalachian State" to their question "Who do you root for?". The idea of picking your team based on where you went to school seems a foreign concept to them. That all has gone away, if only temporarily, after Saturday's stunning occurrence.

For that day, to anyone who knew me outside of App, I was the person to call. To my friends and acquaintances, I was THE Appalachian guy - and they knew that because I never made excuses for my love of The Mountaineers.

It's one of the feelings people who go to big schools, unless distantly transplanted from their Alma Mater, can't experience. Yet, here I was, only a 4 1/2 hour drive from my school, being bombarded with phone calls and text messages. It felt like a tremendous reward for my loyalty to the Black and Gold.

I can't say much that hasn't already been said from an analysis standpoint, but I will highlight two things:

A) This game was very quickly compared to some of the great upsets of all time - Chaminade over Virginia, US Hockey over the Soviet Union, etc. As mentioned by Kevin Hench of FoxSports, though, the most amazing thing about this upset is that the Mountaineers did it on the road. Most of the "Greatest Upsets Ever" took place at a neutral site, or in a de facto home location, like Lake Placid. That is something truly amazing and unique. This is like Leonidas and his 300 defeating the Persians at Thermopylae!

Although, now that I think about it - Thermopylae is pretty close to Sparta.

B) If you had only heard about this game, you would have assumed that App State must have played the perfect game, a la Villanova vs. Georgetown in the 1985 Final Four.

You would be wrong.

Despite a practically flawless start by Armanti Edwards (he of the now household name), he still finished the game with 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble. The 2nd interception coming when ASU was trailing late - leading most to think this game was over.

The Mountaineers also egregiously missed a chance to make the game 35-20 early in the 3rd Quarter when a wide open Brian Quick, a true freshman WR, dropped a sure TD in the end zone. (Hard to blame a True Frosh in that situation) This forced App to settle for a Field Goal and a 31-20 lead. They would also later miss another field goal that would have made it 34-20 midway through the third.

That miss, ironically, seemed to help seal Michigan's fate as they haplessly botched two 2 pt. conversions later in the game. Quick would also redeem himself later by blocking the first of Michigan's two 4th Quarter FG tries.

We can also forget about safety Corey Lynch leaving Mario Manningham 1-on-1 with Justin Woazeah on the penultimate play of the game - the 46 yard completion that set up Michigan's 2nd blocked FG attempt.

That's because - when the Mountaineers needed a miracle - the man who might one day be Billy Graham's grandson-in-law delivered one.

I, like most App fans, will bask in this for quite a while. Nonetheless, I hope the team is the thinking the same thing I am right now. The shoe is on the other foot this Saturday, and really for the rest of the season. This Saturday, Division II Lenoir-Rhyne comes to town with hopes of taking down a 2-Time National Champion/Media Darling, and having their highlights on ESPN.

If we've learned one thing from this's that anything is possible in college football.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In The Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaannnddd...Seven. (College Football Edition)

-A tragedy of national proportions will befall the ESPN studios, as Lou Holtz will drown an entire studio tour with his saliva, all while making ridiculously unfounded predictions about a Notre Dame BCS berth. Notre Dame will finish the season at 7-5.
-Nick Saban will spend the latter half of 2007, in his office, curled up in the fetal position. Meanwhile, some Birmingham area boosters begin the search for the next mediocre NFL head coach to take over the flagging Crimson Tide program. Norv Turner is introduced as the new coach in January.
-Butch Davis begins to reconsider his choice of schools when he's asked to address to one of his Tar Heel colleagues only as "Mr. Coach Williams, Sir".
-Across the Research Triangle (which, by the way, woman hate having their hoo-hoos referred to as), Tom O'Brien flies into a panic when he realizes that he's never learned how to coach a home game where every seat is filled. NC State still manages to defeat rivals North Carolina because their head coach has been asked to go get lunch for the UNC basketball team.
-On November 17th, South Florida shocks the nation as they win the Big East by upsetting #1 Louisville in front of a raucous crowd of 47 at Raymond James Stadium. The Orange Bowl planning committee commits mass suicide.
-FSU and Miami, realizing they've been surpassed by USF, will merge their football programs thanks to some lobbying by a well known Hurricane Booster. They are henceforth known as 2 Live U.
-Mark Richt will continue a proud tradition of ignoring the running game when he unveils Georgia's new "No Back" offense. The running backs retaliate by kidnapping all of the Bulldogs quarterbacks and hiding them on the last row at Stegeman Coliseum, where no one ever sits.

-Darren McFadden pulls of the impressive feat of winning The Heisman, and Arkansas Sportscaster of the year when, in a shocking spate of injuries, he is inexplicably forced to do Play-by-Play from the field.
-With ESPN no longer compelled to pump up The Big 10, thanks to the new Big 10 Network, the World Wide Leader will shock America when, during a Tuesday night game, they proclaim Conference USA to be the toughest conference in America.
-On New Year's Day, seismic activity is reported in the unlikely locale of Jacksonville, FL. The epicenter is discovered to be Alltel Stadium, in the exact spot where Maryland's Ralph Friedgen and Kansas' Mark Mangino have just met for their pre-game handshake. Thankfully, no one is injured.
-USC will forfeit its National Title to LSU when it's discovered that John David Booty is actually supposed older brother, Josh, who just can't let go of his failed career.
-Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit will refer to my alma mater as Appalayshun State no less than a dozen times leading up to the Mountaineers season opener at Michigan. This, despite the school's brilliantly subversive marketing campaigns and outspoken activist students.
-Upon winning their 3rd Consecutive I-AA...err...FCS title, Appalachian State is promoted to I-A...err FBS in place of relegated Temple. The Owls will fall all the way to Division III before finally dropping football in 2010.
Enjoy the season everybody!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fork, meet Braves. Done.

I had hoped that Bobby Cox's "Al Capone in The Untouchables" style offing of Bob Wickman on Friday might light a fire under the Braves heading into a crucial weekend series with the Cardinals. Oh well.

They're now 4 back of the Wild Card (behind the Rockies...the Rockies!!!), and have done nothing but give up ground over the last month. This is not a team capable of fashioning anything longer than a 2 game winning streak - and that only happens when Smoltz and Hudson pitch back-to-back. The rest of the rotation is about as useful as Mike Hampton, circa today.

I'm ever the optimist, though. Hampton will be back in '08, Chuck James will be a year older, as will JoJo Reyes. I expect, though, that Schuerholz will go out and find a legit 3rd starter - maybe by dangling Edgar Renteria and either James or Reyes.
We also can't forget, of course, that a certain...ahem...dead weight will be removed from the Braves batting order, along with his audacious salary. The kind of money that could be used to get a decent starter or closer.

Even more optimistically, I know it's 3 days until college football season, and 10 days until the NFL, really, I was about to stop paying attention to baseball anyway.
Side Note: The picture above was the first one that popped up on a Google Image search of "Braves Lose". I couldn't tell you who those guys are, or what year that is from...but I'll be damned if it doesn't just sum up the second half of the season.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

American Music Now With More Pre-Packaged Goodness!

In case you can't get enough of Fall Out Boy, or set your DVR for reruns of Making The Band:

The makers of American Idol now bring us America's Next Great Rock Band!
Ugh - Good to know that radio Program Directors will now have the ability to think even less critically when picking new songs for their stations. Thank God for Satellite Radio, Sirius-ly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Get Out

This isn't a local case. There won't be a slap on the wrist. The Federal Government rarely loses cases, and they don't indict for publicity, or for voters. Michael Vick is going to jail. Period. And if all of what is in the indictment is true - he should stay there for a long time.

As a Falcons fan, you have to wonder what they are going to do. They brought in Bobby Petrino because he was an offensive guru and disciplinarian. Now, their marquee player, who needed Petrino's help the most, is engulfed in heinous accusations because someone didn't act as the latter of Petrino's most visible traits earlier.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 99% of federal cases from 2000-2005 resulted in convictions. This, of course, includes the Enron case, and the Scooter Libby case - and I don't think President Bush will be commuting Michael Vick's sentence any time soon.

Time to move on. Time for the Falcons to open up the starting quarterback job to anyone besides Vick. D.J. Shockley, Joey Harrington, even...ugh...Chris Redman. Oh, and there's a guy named Culpepper currently in the market for a new team. The worst thing he's ever been accused of doing is receiving some special attention from a stripper in plain view of boaters on Lake Minnetonka. While disgusting - definitely forgiveable.

I know Vick is innocent until proven guilty, but that doesn't mean he has the right to keep playing football while on trial. Cut him, suspend him, bench him - do whatever you can to make him not be a distraction. The Falcons brought in arguably one of the brightest offensive minds in football, and he has provided a high quality coaching staff in turn. There is so much invested in this team right now, don't waste it by post-poning the inevitable.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Whither, Gobots?

As a child, I picked the wrong side in the Gobots vs. Transformers battle. I was never more reminded of that than this past Sunday as I witnessed the retro-Nerd giddiness that is the Transformers movie. As, I am not a huge fan of the genre, it definitely falls into my "Good For an Action Movie" category along with the first Die Hard, Top Gun, and of course, Red Dawn.

Still - amongst the sturm and drang of Michael Bay's newest homage to determined, slow motion, walking, I couldn't help but wonder what had become of my beloved Gobots. Will they ever get their moment in the Summer Blockbuster sun?

I think the reason I liked them more was the fact that one of them was named "Turbo". When you are an 8 year-old boy, the word Turbo automatically equals cool. Incidentally, this also why the character Turbo was much cooler than Ozone in Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Some men actually never grow out of this phase, and it causes them to subconsciously buy not only cars, but new razors, energy drinks, and computer based income tax programs.

Sadly, I learned that Hasbro now owns the rights to the Gobots, and will surely keep Leader 1, Turbo, and the rest of the Gobot pantheon under wraps. Voltron, you're my only hope!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Deprived Indifference

It's been a while, my dearest blog...

I'd be remiss if I didn't offer my two cents on tonight's game between Florida and Ohio State. It seems the Sports Gods have conspired against me. For the 2nd time in 3 months, I'll be subjected to Buckeyes and Gators duelling for the right to be called Supreme Commander of The Order of The Jean Shorts.

Obviously, the edge goes to The Gators. They do, after all, have a website that proclaims their superiority in this As I was wandering through a see of unnecessarily revealing denim in The CNN Center today, I was reminded that Buckeye fans have the ability to take it a step further with mustaches. Their dogged one-upsmanship has gotten them this far twice, but will it be enough? Will all of the gasoline doused couches in Columbus get their just desserts?

Incidentally, I was also reminded that - unless they are sporting your teams garb - large groups of middle aged men wearing collegiate apparel will almost always resemple large bags o' douche.

Back to my original point - regardless of whether or not furniture is incinerated in Buckeyeland, it's a lose-lose situation for Ohio State. Yes, they get the basketball National Title from Florida, but they will receive it with everyone knowing they would like to trade it for that gaudy crystal football the Gators got to hoist back in January. Well, everyone but the basketball team will feel that way.

Again, I really don't know who to root for. I guess, as a Southerner, I'm supposed to feel some sort of loyalty to the SEC. That just can't account for the fact that Joakim Noah scares me. There's something slightly off about him - the semi-stache, the dancing, the hair that is only a spontaneous pregame slumber party away from showing up on the court in a French Braid. It all makes me uneasy.

Of course, I know that means I'll hear the words "With the 5th Pick in the NBA Draft, the Hawks select Joakim Noah." in June...

I wouldn't mind picking up Greg Oden, but as we know...the NBA won't rig the draft lottery for the Hawks like they did when the Cavaliers got LeBron James. Otherwise, Dwight Howard would be dominating the middle in his hometown right now, alongside childhood buddy Josh Smith. Sigh.

I think ultimately what has tipped the scales is the fact that I don't want a man named Thad coaching a team to a National Title. The success of any man named Thad will unnecessarily embolden spikey-haired, pop-collared kids everywhere. Next thing you know, guys named Chet, Talan, Chazz, and Austin will be leading teams to the Final Four. We just can't let that happen!

So...uh...Go Gators, I guess.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Out of Hibernation

It's been a while, old friend. I haven't given you the attention you deserved...forgive me.

Yes, I was groveling to my blog. What of it?

Okay, so I haven't been hanging around these here Blogger parts for a while, and I didn't really know when I was coming back. Sometimes, you don't get to make that choice. Last week, two encounters with surreality took the choice out of my hands.

I'll get to it - I'm not induced to unabashed staring much, but when I wander into a dive bar and see Jared from Subway buying round after round of shots in attempt to get a chick drunk, it's like watching the most glorious of trainwrecks.

Yes, it was actually him, not someone unfortunate enough to resemble him. I had heard he was there, and just assumed it was the usual embellishments about another patron. How wrong I was - seeing this doughy physiqued, toothy spokesperson for mediocre sandwiches in the flesh was slightly unsettling. Not only that, but watching his attempt to ply a girl with alcohol...that image is burned into my mind.

I had to resist the urge to just go over and berate him for helping America develop a taste for mediocre deli meats and knock-off condiments, but I didn't. Seriously, I hate Subway...if they didn't convince me that I could eat out healthy by eating there, I probably wouldn't have gone there in the last decade.