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.