A genius ploy by the Georgia head coach. Did it win the game? No. Did it get the team into the right frame of mind to do so? An emphatic yes. It certainly helped bring about the team-wide focus that turned the dropped passes of yesteryears into touchdowns and third-down conversions (10 out of 13!).
The celebration was uniquely amazing because it was so unexpected coming from Richt. I mean, the last time we'd seen him, he was manhandling his players because of inappropriate celebration. My main complaint about Richt as of late had been his predictability, so this was a welcome aberration, but not the reason the Dawgs won. This win cannot be boiled down to a single coaching gambit. Such an oversimplification sorely disregards the spectacular synergy of so many individual players and coaches performing as a singleminded unit. Huge credit to Bobo and Martinez whose artfully crafted plans were executed to near perfection. The persistence in winning the battles in the trenches on both sides of the ball provided heroic highlights for, among others, MoMass, Howard, Curran, Stafford, Mikey, and particularly Knowshon. This is why I was still excited after South Carolina. We've got a real chance at the Sugar Bowl, either through the front door if Tennessee slips up in one of three remaining SEC games, or perhaps even through the back door if Tennessee doesn't slip until Atlanta and LSU goes to the National Championship Game. Now that we're awake, let's stay that way. Rip through the Trojans!
More on the celebration after the fold...
What I find oddly fitting is the nationwide media's overreaction to our team's overreaction to a score with 51 minutes left to play. Maybe it was worth it for the national attention. Even Spurrier commented on it after losing to Tennessee, saying he would have sent his scrubs out to start a fight so the entire Georgia team would get suspended (you'll need to select "Spurrier's 10/30 News Conference" on this link, which may not last; comments start at 22:05 of the 23:42 video).
Some advocate changing the rules to make what UGA did a bigger penalty. I'd agree the rules should be changed, but not to increase the punishment for rushing the field. Instead they should loosen the noose on the players who were on the field to begin with. Sure, there is elegance and manliness in the Bear Bryant/Barry Sanders' dad philosophy of "act like you been there before," but should it be mandated? What if, like the Dawgs in Jacksonville up until Saturday, you really haven't been there, at least not emotionally? I agree that excessive taunting should be outlawed, and the cleared bench should be penalized, but kids should be allowed to have fun and express their exuberance at their on-field achievement. Chad Johnson has become a cartoon, but Ickey Woods and Jamal Anderson's touchdown celebrations helped galvanize and propel their teams all the way to the Superbowl.
I like to think that Richt commanded his players to draw the flag, not only to fire his team up, but also as an act of civil disobedience against referees' overzealous application of the celebration rules. Maybe Richt was joining the movement started by the University of Hawaii's team decision to continue to perform the haka, a traditional Maori pre-battle ritual, despite the WAC's insistence on penalizing them. I mentioned this to an expatriate buddy in the UK who was on his way to Wales to watch New Zealand's "All Blacks" rugby team, who (perhaps more appropriately) also performs the haka pre-game. He mentioned Hawaii's situation to a Kiwi co-worker of his, who responded, "They ought to get a penalty for wearing pads, bunch of poofs."
I, for one, believe that the helmet and pads actually increase the ferocity of hits in the American game, with the added bonus of preserving the delicately chiseled corners of Tom Brady's face. I don't, however, see any point in the poofery of celebration rules aimed to protect the feelings of the opposing team.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A genius ploy by the Georgia head coach. Did it win the game? No. Did it get the team into the right frame of mind to do so? An emphatic yes. It certainly helped bring about the team-wide focus that turned the dropped passes of yesteryears into touchdowns and third-down conversions (10 out of 13!).
Posted by T-Lud at 10:22 PM
October 27, 2007
State College, Pennsylvania - Ohio State at Penn State
Got a feeling this one is going to come easy for me, because things have definitely been looking up in the world. Sunny outlook on my face. Bet there's little to get pissed about.
- Opener shows a large crowd, and clearly a record for the most hoodies worn
- Fowler calls it a "gray Big 10 sky" when the camera clearly shows blue skies. If he can't get "the color of the sky above him" right, what are we counting on him for?
- Now Fowler says the skies are actually blue, but that it was rainy earlier.
- Only the second #1 team ever to visit Happy Valley. Surprising.
- Corso says it's the best student body in the country and calls them the 12th man. Texas A&M, file a lawsuit.
- Corso can't pronounce "USC". Apparently Lou Holtz's pep talk a while back was wrong.
- Flashback to last OSU-PSU game in State College.
- Graphic shows that OSU tied the record for consecutive B10 wins Saturday.
- Corso thinks turnovers will determine OSU-PSU.
- Herbstreit talks about how good teams rise to challenges.
- Fowler kind of gets the pronunciation right, calling Paterno "JoePa" like "Joe Pah" instead of "Joapuh", but then he adds a second "Pah" and it's weird again.
- Yeah. Whoever controls the hoodie market in central PA is a rich man.
- USC-Tennessee talk, but it's framed Spurrier vs. Fulmer.
- Fowler: "Even rational and reasonable fans at Tennessee have grown angry", then there's a montage of irrational and unreasonable radio call in mouthbreathers.
- Herbstreit says there's a bigger problem at Tennessee, but he doesn't really explain what that problem is, apart from "mental makeup" confuses him.
- Both take South Carolina.
- Fowler kind of puts words in Herbstreit's mouth, suggesting that their players have NFL draft picks on their brains. Can't let Blueyes McGelhead actually say something critical and unequivocal on his own, but you also need for the show to make some sense.
- Highlights from Thursday's VT-BC game.
- Some BCS rankings talk for a second.
- Interview with Matt Ryan. Ryan kind of puts the onus on VT for their success by saying the pass rush slowed at the end. Not as much of a fluffing as I was expecting. Good job, Fowler. Much better than the Leavitt and Saban on set interviews.
- Herbstreit says that for 57 minutes, BC was 18th best in the country, but for 3 they were #2 and Ryan had a "Heisman Moment".
- Corso makes a point about geographic bias in reference to Heisman voting, says Ryan has a good shot because there are no other candidates in the North.
- Corso praises BC because their schedule isn't atrocious compared to other unbeaten teams.
- Herbstreit takes the time to praise LSU for their schedule - says precisely that LSU, if they win out, will be in the BCS title game and the other slot would be an unbeaten team - BC or OSU.
- Herbstreit thinks BC is #3, behind OSU and LSU.
- Corso whines that he doesn't have an AP vote.
- Fowler makes a point about the underrating of Arizona State.
- The fake field has returned.
- Extended piece on Todd Boeckman. Desmond Howard reporting. Kid seems like he's destined to end up doing color commentary for the Noon ESPN game. Nice, enunciates somewhat well, has a non-threatening midwestern accent.
- Corso thinks Morelli is the key to the game (much like turnovers were the key to the game a half hour ago).
- Herbstreit breaks down a couple of Morelli mistakes. More like this would be better.
- Herbstreit also thinks Morelli is the key to the game (though a half hour ago the key was Ohio State playing well under pressure).
- Footage of Paterno delivering pizza to people camping out.
- Texas-Nebraska talk. Been a long time since Nebraska lost like this.
- Kansas-A&M talk. Mangino got his first win against a South team not Baylor.
- Corso picks A&M because Kansas can't win outside the state, even though they did just that last week. Herbstreit likes Kansas because they play with confidence. Intangibles.
- Fowler says Nebraska's losing recruits every day. Herbstreit gives Nebraska 0% chance of winning. Corso gives 1% chance.
- GameFace features, you guessed it, hoodies all around (4 of them). Seriously.
- Footage of the Penn State pep rally. Looks odd.
- Bowden-Paterno comparison. Fowler suggests that Paterno is going to catch Bowden because FSU isn't very good.
- Howard joins the set to discuss why FSU isn't good. Fowler lists all the objective reasons (bad offense, turnovers).
- Some interviews with FSU players. Not sure there's a groundswell of interest in the "what's wrong with FSU" story. I mean, haven't the Noles been kind of mediocre for about 5 years? Why now for this story and segment.
- Howard thinks the QB rotation is the problem with the offense.
- Herbstreit thinks FSU's problem is "emotional". Seriously.
- Then they show some clips of how many incredibly great players used to be at FSU, and Herbstreit hints at an inner truth - the players aren't as good.
- Corso says FSU needs leadership. Then says they'll be lucky to get to the bowl in Boise.
- Fowler seems to get it this week - and says FSU isn't good because the O line isn't good. Actually points to a tangible problem
- Pac 10 talk. I think they should've gone to USC-Oregon, actually. Next week they'll get to Eugene again, I suppose.
- Arizona State talk. I find it strange that this far into the season they are finally asking "Who is Arizona State" when they're undefeated.
- Extended Piece on Keegan Herring. Chris Connelly reporting. First time this year his story has been a foggy lens tearjerker (which used to be a weekly occurrence). Tough story though. Crazy tragic year for this kid's family.
- ASU's upcoming schedule mentioned, as well as recent history against Cal.
- Herbstreit's analysis of this game is quite good. Tangible, breaks down each team's strengths. When he actually analyzes a game, he gives some info that we can use.
- Herbstreit picks Cal, Corso drops a NSFMF, then does a Madden impression with three "watch this pass Boom!" highlight narrations.
- Corso says a GREAT football coach can make a difference. Droppin' knowledge left and right!
- Some talk about various fan signs. Corso doesn't like Cabbage Patch Dolls.
- HOLY CRAP! Greatest thing they've done all year. Analysis from the Knox brothers, shoeshiners who appear to know more about the game than the hosts.
- Georgia-Florida talk.
- Interview with Tim Tebow. Jesse Palmer reporting. Now this is how you do hype and fluffery. This is LeinartQuinnesque. The Kenny Chesney concert bit is pretty gay.
- Hold on here. Most people who've been online know there's been a running joke about Kenny Chesney and Peyton Manning. After the interview, Fowler says that Herbstreit is in the "Chesney Posse" and that Tebow is now a part. Is there a gay college football underground, and Kenny Chesney is the leader?
- Fowler makes a big deal about Georgia having a bye week last week, compared to most of the recent years when Florida had the bye.
- Corso likes Florida because their defense is coming around and getting a pass rush. Herbstreit agrees that the defense is the key, but phrases it far more negatively.
- Corso thinks Florida will win because "it's Tim Tebow's homecoming". Why does he bother doing any analysis at all if he makes his picks based on meaningless drivel?
- UCLA-WSU: KH expects UCLA to play well, but Corso slips in the correct upset call.
- Oregon-USC talk.
- WIRED!!! with Chip Kelly, Oregon's O coordinator. They've gotten better at this, now splicing in some actual useful information. It annoys me so much less.
- Herbstreit compares Oregon's O to West Virginia's spread. Also calls Jonathan Stewart one of the best backs in the country. Says the only way to stop this offense is to have lockdown corners and respect the run otherwise. But then hints that USC will do well because they're underdogs. Just go with your analysis! Quit ignoring it in lieu of intangibles!
- Todd McShay now comes on to compare Booty to Sanchez at USC. Says Sanchez is better, but all they do is show highlights of USC vs. Notre Dame, which has one of the worst defenses in the country.
- Corso thinks Joe McKnight is a special player, but Oregon is one of the two best teams he's seen (along with Oklahoma). Let me interject some opinion here... If Corso really thinks Oklahoma and Oregon are the two best teams, but he's seen LSU at least twice (VT, Florida), he needs his eyes checked.
- Looks like a big crowd, but the decibel meter is not very loud, comparatively.
- WVU-Rutgers talk.
- WIRED!!! with Rich Rodriguez. Less informative than the Oregon coach.
- Herbstreit's been pimping Rutgers all year, and today was no different. He talks about WVU's defense and potential injuries affecting Rutgers ad nauseam, but then picks Rutgers because of revenge for last year. Keep relying on intangibles.
- Corso nails his WVU pick - exactly naming WVU's point total and saying they win big.
- USF-UCONN. Corso does not nail this, calling USF a lock big. Herbstreit also wrong here, picking USF big.
- Some Big Ten talk. Fowler and Herbstreit admit that the Big 10 does not have many good games this week.
- Joe Paterno extended interview. Chris Fowler himself does the interview, and asks some really solid questions. Fowler is much better at this than the other guys, but he's got a stronger journalism background. There's even some dodging of questions from Paterno - which you NEVER see from someone interviewed on this show. GIVE FOWLER AN INTERVIEW EVERY WEEK. Best extended interview they've done on this show in 3 years, and I can't remember second best.
- Fowler follows up a good interview with useful injury information. He's having probably his best show of the season - and interestingly, I was surprised he was even on; in the past, Fowler has hosted the Breeders' Cup and Rece Davis has sat in.
- Corso nails the OSU offensive strategy - balance, then run, work the clock.
- Herbstreit thinks PSU's defense would be strong enough to stop the OSU run.
- Howard likes Ohio State to win, despite being on the road.
- On site injury updates for WVU-Rutgers with Bonnie Bernstein. They should do something like this at 5-6 sites.
- Pontiac Game Changer. Corso - Jorvorskie Lane. Herbstreit - Mike Teel. Fowler - Maurice Evans. 0 For 3. Nobody wins this week.
- Saturday Stupid Selections. Corso - Texas Tech, South Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Lawyer Ron in the Breeders' Cup. Herbstreit - Texas Tech, South Florida, Rutgers, South Carolina, Southern California, Street Sense in the Breeders' Cup.
- The rationales provided for their selections were so fact-less, so intangible ridden, that I'm starting to think that Vegas is a silent sponsor. If anyone listens to these guys to help them with picks, they'll end up poor quickly. Why Florida will beat Georgia? Because the game is in Jacksonville and Tim Tebow is from there. Why Rutgers will beat WVU? Revenge. So dumb.
Next week I believe they're headed back to Eugene, Oregon, for the best game of the week. Other good games would've been LSU-Alabama and OSU-Wisconsin, but they got the right one. Here's hoping for a good show that matches what should be a good game at Oregon.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
My shattered view of the world has been challenged.
Truly. A pride-obliterating bitchslap.
UPDATE LIKE 20 SECONDS LATER: Fishfisting condor-rapist fucktrolley dildo-cowboy cocksmoking indeed.
UPDATE LIKE 2 HOURS LATER: This is pretty much my favorite post ever. Especially for the google hits I'll get from it. Also: Knowshon is the greatest. And for the record, Georgia players did "the chop" approximately 1 GD PLAY INTO THE GAME and it didn't end up biting us in the ass. The world is upside down. Dogs and cats, living in harmony. My neighbors thought there was a murder taking place in my home when the last fumbled snap happened. Greatest ever. HAHA!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Really 2007.4, because I missed last week (when, believe it or not, Arizona State would've topped the list). Remember, these are performance rankings alone - in the simplest form. This list does not attempt to say which teams are "the best", or make any judgments as to who would beat whom. All it shows is who has done the best job of winning every game on its schedule. Current top 25 below the fold.
1. Ohio State 8-0 (91)
2. Boston College 7-0 (75)
3. Arizona State 7-0 (87)
4. Kansas 7-0 (125)
5. Hawaii 7-0 (129)
6. LSU 7-1 (6)
7. Virginia 7-1 (42)
8. Oklahoma 7-1 (99)
9. South Florida 6-1 (13)
10. Oregon 6-1 (26)
11. Virginia Tech 6-1 (51)
12. Missouri 6-1 (56)
13. West Virginia 6-1 (64)
14. Connecticut 6-1 (82)
15. Boise State 6-1 (115)
16. Southern California 6-1 (120)
17. South Carolina 6-2 (19*)
18. Kentucky 6-2 (9)
19. Michigan 6-2 (38)
20. Alabama 6-2 (54)
21. Penn State 6-2 (71)
22. Texas Tech 6-2 (117*)
23. Texas A&M 6-2 (72)
24. Air Force 6-2 (78)
25. Purdue 6-2 (93)
Next Five: Wisconsin, Texas, Cincinnati, Florida, Wake Forest.
Asterisk indicates a head to head win, meaning the winning team will be placed immediately ahead of the losing team if the losing team's SOS is higher.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
October 20, 2007
Lexington, Kentucky - Florida at Kentucky
Sorry about missing last week. The flu put me out of commission for 3 days, and then making up in other, real-life areas made spending three hours or so recapping something already kind of stale pretty much impossible, and the result would've been lame anyway.
Take note, however, that this is week 8, and the fourth trip to SEC venues. This is not to say that they've necessarily overhyped SEC games, as I don't think they've chosen to go to a venue so far that wasn't probably the "best" matchup of the day insofar as the rankings positions of various teams. Last year, Gameday received appropriate criticism for attending USC vs. Nebraska on a day with two SEC games featuring higher ranked opponents. The opportunity has been there this year for them to ignore a top matchup that happens to be airing nationally on a competing network - but they haven't taken that opportunity thus far. Good for them. Of course, now that the SEC is a big mess and nearly every team has multiple losses, I think it's quite possible that today's visit to Lexington could be the last trip to the SEC this year. As things shake out in all the conferences, I think we'll probably see more trips out west - as some of the best games in the coming weeks are in the Pac-10 (though, interestingly, many of those good games aren't supposed to be aired on ABC/ESPN networks).
- Opening with the Keeneland bugler playing the post music.
- HUGE CROWD. Looks like the biggest of the year by far. People everywhere. This is what happens when they go somewhere for the first time ever.
- First time at a UK game, record 26th game with Florida playing.
- Recap of upsets from the previous weeks.
- Highlights from Rutgers-USF.
- Corso says the SEC needs to be on upset alert (correctly), but cites LSU and Kentucky (not as correct).
- Herbstreit chastises "players" for not showing up ready to go and believing "the hype". As usual, he fails to acknowledge his own role in hyping teams.
- Highlights of UF-LSU and UK-LSU.
- Fowler: Florida "desperate", Kentucky "resilient". Awaiting discussion on "ability" and "matchups".
- Corso questions whether the bye week actually helps Florida, and also whether UK has enough left in the tank. Good questions. Of course, he provides no predictive answers, and Herbstreit ignores the questions for his own canned quasi-analysis (on Kentucky's resilience in the LSU game).
- Yeah, this is easily the biggest crowd of the year.
- Fowler mentions how some of the biggest games in previous years (Alabama-Tennessee, USC-ND, Miami-FSU) aren't really on the radar today.
- Slate of games discussed briefly. It bothers me that some of the best nuggets of analysis and information gets jammed into this quick segment, but then they spend 5 minutes on intangible BS later on.
- Some Michigan-Illinois talk. Corso says Michigan will win because they've been in more big games than Illinois.
- BCS standings noted, Fowler predicts USF to drop to 9 or 10, BC to move up to 2.
- Horserace of the BCS, using well known racing announcer.
- Graphic shows the difference between human voters and computer averages.
- Fowler says the computers like the SEC teams because they lose on the road, rather than at home like some of the Pac-10 teams.
- Herbstreit pats himself on the back for picking Rutgers over USF. Also tells us how he's been telling us for a while how one-loss teams shouldn't give up.
- Corso begs everyone to let the BCS "play out" and then fix it, because we all agreed to the BCS system. Fowler asks the crowd if they "agreed to" the BCS system and everyone raises their hands in disagreement.
- Corso then cites the end-of-year success of the Colorado Rockies to show how we should let things play out. Fowler directly says "but they settle that on the field, no?" and looks confused.
- Herbstreit tells us what we already know, that there's subjectivity in college football, and that "style points" come into play. He does say that it's unfortunate that it's the only way to separate teams. Fowler again says that it's a bad system.
- They throw to Desmond Howard in the bus, who says the people on cyberspace point out that choosing teams for a playoff would require subjectivity as well as the current system (though says that it'd be the 9th or 10th best team that would complain rather than the 3rd - as if that's an argument against a playoff). Then he says that a "Plus One" system is a "happy medium". I don't buy this. If the problem is subjectivity, a playoff (unless the participants playing in such were chosen by objective criteria, i.e. conference champions) and the current system are bad, and a plus one system would be no better. It wouldn't solve anything with the problem of subjectivity. It's not a happy medium at all.
- Fowler says "plus one" would be an improvement, but still not great. Herbstreit likes "Plus one". Corso says it'll never happen because of the Rose Bowl, the college presidents, and because the current system is too big a moneymaker. I think Corso has the most logical and salient take on this - because he focuses on realities rather than what could be.
- Some ACC talk - Maryland-UVA. Fowler says Virginia's record is a bit of smoke and mirrors because of close wins.
- Extended piece on Chris Long, Howie Long's son. Sounds like Wendi Nix reporting. Good highlights. Not a whimsical piece, which is nice.
- MD-UVA. Corso likes the Terps close. Herbstreit also likes Maryland because of confidence.
- FSU-Miami. Fowler points out the terrible offensive numbers for both teams. And the game ends up kind of a shootout. 20 years ago the Miami-FSU game featured 67 players who went on to play in the NFL (WOW).
- Herbstreit says it's sad how FSU is sucking under Bowden, but Miami is killing it in recruiting.
- Corso comes along to defend the old guards who were forced out (the previous offensive regime at FSU, Larry Coker).
- They open this segment with some commentary on the signs in the crowd. Seems like they might be a little short on material this week, but actually this bit is better than ham-fisted, intangible ridden quasi-analysis.
- Some metal-backed highlights of LSU-Kentucky with soundbites from Kentucky players and coaches. Long bit. Again, seems like they're a little short on material.
- Auburn-LSU talk. Les Miles press conference clips. Some historic game clips.
- Herbstreit thinks LSU's defense will come back from the UK game big, especially against Auburn freshmen linemen. Some actual matchup-based analysis from Herbstreit... but then he descends right back to intangibles, and says LSU wins because they've heard too much about Auburn this week and playing at home.
- Corso instead looks to Auburn's defense and special teams. Then says LSU's defense has been "exposed as a fraud", cites red zone defense stats. Herbstreit says "emails, note, the guy in the center said that". Why does Herbstreit care about e-mails? If you can back up an opinion with numbers or, y'know, facts, why would you concern yourself with what e-mailers think?
- Gillette Game Face. This week there was a guy actally shaving.
- Howard joins the set.
- Nebraska-Texas A&M. Fowler calls it the "Buyout Bowl" because of embattled coaches. Fowler praises the Nebraska fans for their patience and class.
- Extended piece on Tom Osborne's return to Nebraska as AD. Shelley Smith reporting. Former marketing guy Paul Miles says "we need to find a way to put a band-aid on this." That seems like a really bad quote to me. Seems like more than a band-aid would be needed. This was a good piece, though it could've been a lot longer. Might be better as a 12 minute story for E:60. Also, was this Shelley Smith's second story in the state of Nebraska in three weeks? Has she kept missing her flight back to LA? Not that I'm complaining.
- Howard says Nebraska's problem is intensity and passion, and that's because of the coach. Herbstreit blames passion, but also athletic ability, leaving the option to the past, the great defense.
- Herbstreit - wow, he's annoying me today - channels his executive consultant and, no shit, says Nebraska needs "to embrace the past but not live in the past" and "think outside the box". Herbstreit has become a Dilbert cartoon.
- Corso says Osborne will do the right thing, bring in the right guy - predicts Turner Gill who Corso says is doing a great job at Buffalo (who is 3-5).
- Howard predicts A&M to win, but Nebraska to rally the troops. Herbstreit picks Nebraska. Corso picks A&M. Everyone on the set seems unclear as to which of A&M and Nebraska is favored.
- Wow. Kentucky is on the wrong side of the second and third longest winning/losing streak between two opponents - Florida and Tennessee. ND-Navy is the longest.
- Tennessee-Alabama talk. Total 4 TDs in last 3 UT-Alabama games, and "that's the kind of game Saban wants" according to Fowler. Actually, I think Saban wanted the game he got- lots of passes to DJ Hall.
- Desmond Howard says Erik Ainge is one of the most improved players this year. Extended interview piece with Ainge and Howard. Good question/answer about playcalling at the line of scrimmage. Ainge is big (or maybe Howard was downhill or something).
- Corso says Ainge lights it up for the Vols because Ole Miss could pass on Bama.
- Herbstreit says UT lost a lot of confidence early on, but now they've got it together. Then he actually discusses some "tangibles", by saysing UT's balance on offense is difficult for opponents to defend.
- Kansas-Colorado talk. Interesting how Kansas is one of the least-covered unbeaten teams - and even Fowler calls them "Kansas State".
- WIRED!!! with Mark Mangino (interspersed with some soundbites). It's much better when they edit in clips of interviews, but the wired stuff is still pointless.
- Herbstreit says Kansas is capable of losing to anyone, but very much benefiting from not playing Texas, Texas Tech or Oklahoma. Herbstreit doesn't seem to rate Kansas very highly but thinks they'll have just 1 loss going into their final game.
- Corso likes Colorado because Kansas isn't good on the road over the last 20 years or so. Herbstreit and Fowler call him on this illogical analysis.
- Texas Tech-Missouri. Everyone thinks it'll be a shootout, which wasn't exactly that hard to predict. Fowler does say that Missouri tends to bounce back under Pinkel after losses, and Corso mocks him that he's relying on history (though arguably, wouldn't Fowler's statement have a lot more relevance than Kansas' road record 15 years ago under a completely different coach?)
- Corso says Oklahoma's the best team he's seen all year.
- Fowler tells us how stupid the media are. He says "they'd love to give some publicity" to Crabtree and Harrell at Texas Tech, but Leach doesn't give them access after Monday. God forbid they go down there and accommodate unpaid students' time. And the horror of covering something newsworthy even if you don't get complete access! Fowler should be ashamed of this comment - and the ombudswoman should have something to say about it.
- Energizer spirit meter says 112 dB, and Herbstreit calls that a new record. It's pretty high, though I don't know if it's an all-time record. I know I've seen 112 before.
- Ohio State-Michigan State talk. Good, fact-based analysis. Herbstreit thinks there's a psychological edge because Dantonio used to coach at OSU and Cincinnati (?) but then he breaks down some plays well.
- Fowler seems to be hinting at a Michigan State win by saying "nobody gives the Spartans a chance".
- Cal-UCLA briefly mentioned. No talk.
- Oregon-Washington also briefly mentioned.
- Herbstreit thinks Cal is fine this week, but Oregon might have a little more trouble.
- Corso picks Oregon huge (right) but picks Cal.
- USC-ND talk. The least meaningful game with a Pac-10 team gets the most attention.
Lots of highlights from the game 2 years ago. Ugly numbers going into this game.
- Clip of Digger Phelps at the ND pep rally. This stuff looks so dumb after knowing the result.
- Corso thinks the Irish will cover, but says USC is better in every aspect of the game (???).
- Herbstreit thinks the momentum from the end of the Arizona game will carry over to the ND game. Really? Not because USC is a lot better? He does think USC would win big, but his reasoning is strange.
- Extended piece on Andre Woodson and his friend who nearly died in a car crash. Tom Rinaldi reporting.
- Fowler balances it by mentioning the memorial service for the death of the Florida defensive back walk on.
- Quick segue into interviews on Locke and his emergence as a threat.
- Howard rejoins the set to talk about Locke for Kentucky. Says just because Locke is a track guy doesn't mean he's not tough. Adds that we should watch out for him in the 2008 Olympics in the long jump.
- Corso analyzes UK in the red zone, sort of. "Wow, what a player!" is about the extent of it.
- Herbstreit provides analysis on Tim Tebow's ability to throw and versatility of running the ball. Canned.
- Howard thinks Kentucky will win, surprising the rest of the set. Seems to me like this was pandering to the crowd - they knew Herbstreit and Corso were going to pick Florida, so they needed to throw the crowd a bone. Howard doesn't usually make picks
- Quick on-site shot of Penn State-Iowa, but no Erin Andrews.
- Game Changer. Corso: Chase Daniel. Herbstreit: Erik Ainge. Fowler: Dennis Dixon. Fowler and Corso share it this week.
- Saturday Stupid Selections. Corso: Kansas State, Colorado, Cal, Tennessee. Notre Dame to cover, FSU, Herbstreit: Cal, Tennessee.
- Herbstreit likes Oklahoma State because of passion after the coach yelled.
- Fowler again calls Kansas, "Kansas State".
- Herbstreit thinks whether Mike Hart played for Michigan is the key to that game, because of passion and leadership (but apparently not because he's really good - and they win anyway).
Next week probably the best game of the week is Thursday night, with BC-VT. I'd have to think that they'll travel to either Oregon-USC or Cal-Arizona State next week. Both are really big games with huge conference title implications. But then again, they may go to Ohio State-Penn State because it's #1 playing a decent opponent, and it's on ABC (unlike those Pac-10 games).
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I had the flu all week, so Gameday and Lebowskis suffered along with me. Skipping this week, starting anew next.
On an entirely different note, here's why I should not be a football coach... Were I Steve Kragthorpe, and I had been suffered a hilariously bullshit non-call like the failure of the Big East refs to notice a patently obvious fair catch call, here's what I would have done: I would've waited for the next opportunity to punt, and I would tell the punter one thing, "High as you can, don't care if it's short." Then, I'd tell the entire coverage team one thing, "do not stop until you feel his bones, no matter how vivid the fair catch signal."
Any pollster who gives UConn a vote all year is a complete and total idiot.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I don't know how the dude in the booth escaped from Vaught-Hemingway without having his eyes ripped out and chewed up by the Orgeron. I've scoured the NCAA rulebook, and I can find no authority allowing the replay official to throw a flag that was not thrown on the play. I'm all for getting the call right, but this was pretty ridiculous. The receiver-out-of-bounds rule is stupid anyway. It should only be enforced when someone is actually trying to hide from the defense by sneaking out of bounds. Certainly not where it wasn't called on the field, and where it robs a team of the opportunity to, at the very least, send the game to overtime, and maybe even win it in regulation. This seems to set a dangerous precedent. Can every play now be reviewed to see if, say, the officials missed a holding call on the offensive line?
UPDATE: I am a dumbass. The review was authorized, and the rules prohibit the booth official from calling most penalties. Still, I agree with this columnist that there certainly could be dispute over (1) whether Hodge was forced out of bounds, and (2) whether the defender touched the ball before Hodge did. If there could be dispute, the ruling on the field (no flag) must stand. I have no allegiance with either team, but for Bama, it just has to taste sour to win this way.
Posted by T-Lud at 5:13 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
October 6, 2007
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Florida at LSU
Second visit to Red Stick, third visit to the SEC. Hopefully this recap won't be tainted by some lingering bitterness from last weekend. Also, hopefully the show will keep up the relatively speaking "good" streak they've been on.
- Just like last time, Fowler opens by talking about how confident LSU fans are about their team.
- Herbstreit goes straight for the jugular and calls Fowler on his ridiculous sweating problem last time they were there.
- Opening recap clips of LSU-Tulane showed only successful plays by Tulane. Yes, the game was unexpectedly close for a half, but it was a Milton Berle performance by the Tigers, and the highlights don't reflect that.
- Clips of Auburn beating Florida.
- Fowler says that if Florida wins over LSU, they're right back in the national title picture, "check the polls".
- "Gut Check Saturday" makes an appearance. Gut Check Saturday, brought to you by the All-you-can-eat Kentucky Fried Chicken Buffet.
- Herbstreit tells us we'll learn a lot about Auburn, Colorado, Maryland and Illinois because they had emotional upsets last week and we need to find out if they're mature enough to handle it. I truly wonder what Herbstreit thinks matters more to a football game, (a) emotions and maturity or (b) talent and execution? Think about that question while you watch this show next time.
- Corso tells us not to get too excited if our team is undefeated, not get too upset if they've lost a game or two. His reasoning: the Phillies and Rockies came from nowhere to make the playoffs. I know most readers have already started rolling their eyes. Lee: college football has significantly fewer games than baseball. Lee: a baseball team that loses twice is not effectively eliminated from competition for the title.
- Fowler again talks about which teams are ready to redeem themselves from upset.
- Not off to a good start here. So far, they've been intangible-riffic.
- Gut Check Saturday is mentioned for the 4th time, 12 minutes in.
- Purdue-Ohio State talk. Herbstreit's interested in OSU's defense because Painter at Purdue is supposed to be good.
- Oklahoma-Texas talk. Corso thinks Oklahoma's defense was exposed the week before.
- Nebraska-Missouri. Fowler thinks it'll be a shootout.
- Herbstreit asks if Cincinnati is for real, but says their defense was tenacious.
- Corso thinks Virginia Tech would bring their A game against Clemson, Fowler says it's payback time for Clemson and that's a big difference maker for Clemson.
- Fowler, Corso and Herbstreit all agree that Clemson's kicker shouldn't be allowed to play soccer.
- Herbstreit: Clemson, we love you, but you need a psychiatrist. Thinks the crowd will cause problems for VT's QB. Again, more intangibles.
- Corso likes VT for defense and special teams. Exactly right.
- Some other ACC talk - referring to all the coaches going up against their former schools (NC State-FSU, UNC-Miami, MD-GT)
- Some highlights from the previous weekend's upsets.
- Some historic perspective on team's who lost games in September but went on to win the MNC.
- Desmond Howard joins the set.
- Who is the best 1-loss team, with best chance to get back in MNC picture.
- Howard: stumbles a whole bunch talking about Cal, which doesn't have one loss. WVU he says is a problem because of Pat White's injury. Florida has to play at LSU. Then he finally says Oklahoma.
- Corso agrees with Howard about Oklahoma. Feigns snoring. Twice.
- Herbstreit says Oklahoma is the obvious choice because of the easiest route.
- Herbstreit: Georgia is a team to keep in mind, because they've recovered and rebounded, have a good running game, a good enough defense. So, so, so wrong.
- Fowler points out that Oklahoma isn't ranked in many computer polls (because their schedule played up to that point wasn't all that good), causing consternation from Herbstreit, who hates these coils of wire and metal that produce something called "objectivity".
- Fowler also adds that Oregon is considered best of one-loss teams by computers.
- I saw it elsewhere in the blogosphere, but I have to say that the sign referring to Tebow in a glory hole in Middleton (louisiana?) is a little weird.
- Ohio State-Purdue talk. Purdue has lost 13 in a row to ranked opponents. How is that possible for a program that gets even a little respect?
- Joe Tiller press conference clip shows him to make very little sense, and be extremely boring. Weird clip for them to show.
- Corso says Purdue needs to throw to beat OSU. They showed the same TD reception clip twice in a 45 second span.
- Corso says he's not sure he's seen a better football team playing this year than OSU.
- Herbstreit (playing against type) says OSU has looked great against weak opponents. In hindsight, the Washington win was OK, but the Northwestern win looks a little stronger now.
- Corso says the UW win was good.
- Fowler asks the crowd whether they think Ohio state and Purdue are overrated, and they agree.
- Herbstreit thinks OSU-Purdue will be close, Corso picks OSU big. Corso's meds are right today.
- Throw to Howard on the bus chatting with people online.
- The crowd appears to include a whole lot of really old people, not just still-drunk college age kids. Interesting.
- LSU players and coaches think Matt Flynn looks like Matt Damon.
- Tennessee-Georgia talk.
- Fowler calls the previous year's UT-UGA game an embarrassing loss for Georgia's defense. 28 points UT scored were directly the result of Georgia turnovers (3 short fields, 1 blocked punt TD). Georgia's D wasn't spectacular, but they weren't to blame for 51 points.
- Lots of graphics and numbers showing how bad Tennessee was at home, how good UGA was on the road.
- Corso saw Georgia with his own eyes, likes Georgia's spirit and toughness.
- Herbstreit thinks Georgia wants the South Carolina game back, thinks the running game at UT will set up the passing.
- Herbsteit is shocked that UGA was an underdog. Wow were these guys wrong about this one.
- Fowler hints that he likes UT, and Herbstreit snipes sarcastically.
- Vanderbilt-Auburn. Now Fowler says Vandy's pretty good on D (not on Saturday).
- Corso thinks Auburn won't let up because they've heard too much about Alabama.
- Herbstreit thinks Vandy is an "ultimate sandwich game" because of tough games for Auburn coming up. Wrong.
- Are Woodson's Heisman chances over? Herbstreit says he'll have to beat Florida or LSU, and he doesn't think he will.
- Corso hints that he's sweating about how South Carolina might win a title and make him look bad.
- Corso says the Louisville D is the most disappointing team in the nation. Herbstreit and Fowler say "aside from Notre Dame".
- WVU-Syracuse. Corso thinks WVU wins big.
- South Florida-FAU: Herbstreit thinks no letdown, huge win. He can't pick anything today.
- Cincy-Rutgers. Some clips of Brian Kelly coaching. This is kind of a more-in-depth WIRED!!!, and there's a lot more actual information offered - philosophical views toward how they approach practicing. Actually pretty interesting.
- Herbstreit takes a few shots at Cincinnati's sports teams.
- Herbstreit picks Rutgers. Wrong again.
- Gillette Game Face. A giant man in a small helmet is yelling.
- Colorado-Baylor. Herbstreit says Colorado would be better off playing someone better because of a letdown, picks Baylor. Wrong again. He is getting killed today.
- Corso likes Nebraska to upset Missouri. Herbstreit thinks it'll be a shootout (wrong), but picks Missouri (because of the home field advantage). Herbstreit has never met an intangible he didn't base his entire analysis on.
- Kansas-KSU. Kansas hasn't scored at KSU in forever, Kansas hasn't played anyone good all year - Fowler says that is important.
- Extended piece on Kansas State's tie with the nearby Army base. Tom Rinaldi reporting. The report itself was probably OK, but they worked out together for just 4 hours. Doing the reporting for this 6 minute piece probably took several times longer.
- Live satellite link-up with troops in Iraq. I think the guy called Fowler "Sean".
- A weather forecast for LSU-Florida. I think they should do a bit on weather for the entire country.
- Austin Scott update on his suspension for Penn State. I think they should talk about this more too.
- Iowa-Penn State. The whole crew thinks both teams stink.
- Wisconsin-Illinois. "Who is Illinois?" reads the graphic.
- All Access with Ron Zook. WIRED!!! With Ron Zook's exuberance! Pretty useless, especially compared to the bit on Brian Kelly. This is just a bunch of yelling "let's go" and Zook saying that they have fun.
- Herbstreit nails one (finally) in saying Mendenhall for Illinois is one of the best backs nobody's ever heard of. But then he picks Wisconsin, because (get this...) they're tired of hearing about Illinois and Ron Zook and how Wisconsin wins ugly. Yeah, the ultimate hype machine behind Illinois is driving Wisconsin. See that bit above where their own graphics said "Who is Illinois?".
- Corso picks Illinois because he's confused by the Vegas line favoring Illinois.
- Extended piece on Danny Woodhead, the back about to break the all-classification rushing record at Chadron State. They misspelled his name on one graphic. Shelley Smith reporting, and it must've been hilarious for her to go from BS pieces on USC players chilling at Les Deux and travel to rural Nebraska.
- Let's just say this: the Chadron State Coach's Mustache is SPECTACULAR.
- Todd McShay comes on to talk about Danny Woodhead. Says he's got some potential, though undersized. Compares him to Maurice Jones-Drew. This segment with McShay is a little more NFL-drafty, rather than analyzing the player for his own college football purposes.
- They come back to show a real gator roasting on a spit. I love LSU fans.
- Notre Dame-UCLA talk. Graphic shows the other 1-A winless teams. Charlie Weis press conference clips. The other teams listed on that graphic received no analysis, no discussion of who the starting QB will be, no clips of the coach's press conference.
- Howard is back, says UCLA wins big.
- Corso doesn't really like UCLA, but thinks ND won't win (but will cover).
- Herbstreit thinks UCLA is underrated by everyone, has a chance to win out up to the USC game. Bad bad bad day predicting for Herbstreit.
- Arizona State-Washington State. Herbstreit likes ASU big.
- USC-Stanford. Fowler says they had to look very hard to find any plays run by Pritchard at Stanford.
- Graphic displays Harbaugh's media day quote about how USC is the best team in the country and maybe in the history of college football. Fowler wonders aloud why Harbaugh is stirring the pot and suggests that USC won't take the foot off the gas if they get a big lead.
- Howard, when asked about USC-Stanford, says he likes LSU better than USC, because of LSU's defense. Now the graphics catch up to Howard.
- Herbstreit thinks USC is better because defense is on par with LSU, but the offensive potential is much better.
- Corso likes LSU's defense a whole lot more, USC's offense better. Says LSU is better on a neutral site because they've played tougher opponents.
- Fowler throws in that the computers liked LSU better than USC.
- Herbstreit says what was on the mind of so many in the national media (verbatim quote): "The beautiful thing is, hopefully they both advance to the championship and we can settle it on the field." Should a member of the media like Herbstreit "hope" for a particular outcome which can be influenced by his own coverage? Also: Cal, Boston College, any other undefeated team, and such fans: Kirk Herbstreit doesn't hope you win.
- Now they show Gator Gumbo cooking from a pot hanging from a tree.
- Oklahoma-Texas talk. Corso likes Oklahoma because their mad, and want revenge and stuff like that. Herbstreit agrees, because of balance on offense and a strong O line. Actually decent analysis on this one from Herbstreit.
- Herbstreit mentioned this before the break, but they finally start covering the Florida-LSU game, 100 minutes into the broadcast.
- Wendi Nix does an extended piece on Florida trying to bounce back from the loss to Auburn. So far this year, I'm not sure anyone has received more hype from Gameday than Florida, even Notre Dame and USC. Seriously. It'll be interesting to see if it stays that way after their second loss. Also, Tim Tebow seems to have a slight lisp.
- Howard is back, talks about Florida's use of Tebow. Says when Florida has the ball, it'll be like Kasparov vs. Deep Blue. He might have been spending too much time online in that bus.
- Corso comes up with some exciting, pristine, fresh analysis: Get the ball to Percy Harvin.
- Herbstreit thinks Florida will use a similar strategy as they used in the OSU title game "when they didn't run the ball all that well" - to the tune of 156 yards, monopolizing the time of possession.
- Herbstreit: Glenn Dorsey might be the best player in college football.
- There was some pretty good in depth analysis in here, I just haven't written all of it down. If they covered more games with the detail they've used for this game, the show would be a lot better.
- Desmond Howard picks LSU.
- On-site previews of ESPN noon games. Erin Andrews says to Fowler, "Chris, I know you like body paint." Hmmm...
- Pontiac Game Changer. LC: Ben Olson, UCLA KH: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma CF: Jordy Nelson, Kansas State. Herbstreit gets this one. Wasn't Olson injured?
- Saturday Stupid Selections. Corso: Kansas State, Georgia, Nebraska. Herbstreit: Oklahoma State, Clemson, Rutgers, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida.
- If the words "urgency", "emotion" and "redemption" were never uttered on this show again, it'd be a better show.
Speaking of next week, I haven't seen where they're heading, but I'd guess they go to Norman, Oklahoma for Missouri-Oklahoma. It's a matchup of two top-11 teams, and the only other matchup of ranked opponents is LSU-Kentucky, and they've seen LSU twice already. Not too many great games next week, expecially compared to last week's slate. Unfortunately, that may mean more filler during the show with human interest stories.
Current standings below the fold. Will change a good amount next week.
1. Louisiana State 6-0 (14)
2. Arizona State 6-0 (54)
3. Ohio State 6-0 (70)
4. Boston College 6-0 (110)
5. Cincinnati 6-0 (119)
6. Hawaii 6-0 (130)
7. South Florida 5-0 (48)
8. Missouri 5-0 (58)
9. California 5-0 (88)
10. Kansas 5-0 (125)
11. Connecticut 5-0 (127)
12. South Carolina 5-1 (12)
13. Illinois 5-1 (18)
14. Virginia Tech 5-1 (43)
15. West Virginia 5-1 (66)
16. Wisconsin 5-1 (76)
17. Kentucky 5-1 (83)
18. Oklahoma 5-1 (91)
19. Texas A&M 5-1 (93)
20. Virginia 5-1 (97)
21. Indiana 5-1 (105)
22. Purdue 5-1 (117)
23. Texas Tech 5-1 (128)
24. Oregon 4-1 (11)
25. Florida State 4-1 (63)
Next Five: Southern California, Boise State, Wyoming, Mississippi State, Auburn
Monday, October 08, 2007
I have tried about 10 different ways of starting this post. I tried to be clever, but KSK has the Peter King angle covered a billion times clevererererer. I tired hyperbole, but it seemed stale. I simply cannot convey the incredulity I feel when I read this:
I could watch the Frank Caliendo stuff about a hundred more times. He's funnier today than Belushi was 30 years ago.
Unless he's talking about Jim Belushi, this is the most moronic statement about comedy ever uttered. He must be talking about Jim Belushi, right? Right? Caliendo's OK, I guess... if you like impressions for impressions' sake, regardless of how stale the content is. If he meant John Belushi... I mean. I'm at a loss for words. He must have meant Jim Belushi, because 30 years ago Jim Belushi was just starting at Second City and hadn't done anything that Peter King would know. He must have meant Jim Belushi. I'm going to keep writing that.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Georgia-Tennessee was super fun. Here are a few short thoughts:
- Tennessee was so well prepared for this game, it was mind-blowing. Having 2 weeks to prepare had to have been a huge help (but Georgia also played so bad that UT probably would've won had they played the night before). Here's hoping Georgia looks as good in Jacksonville after their bye week. There was a part of me that thought during the game that the Big Ten might have something right in having no bye weeks. Tennessee looked that precise and prepared.
- Arian Foster was awesome. Looked like a completely different back from how I've seen him before. He was so good I seriously thought he was on something - meth, 'roids, pure adrenaline.
- Know how a stopped clock is right twice a day? That's two times more than the Georgia defensive backfield was right yesterday.
- Once down by 4 touchdowns, Georgia started throwing downfield (ineffectively). Cal and Florida killed Tennessee by successfully stretching the defense downfield. It wasn't horizontal passing and screens that opened things up for either of them. Two of the first three plays in the game for Georgia were relatively deep passes (overthrown by Stafford), and each was the right play. But the next few series were more side-to-side passes and runs up the middle. Playcalling was scared for the rest of the first half.
- I can't get through this without talking at least a little shit about Tennessee. If there's one recent development I absolutely HATE about college football, it's the way Tennessee (and Oklahoma State did this too) before EVERY SINGLE OFFENSIVE PLAY, sets up, waits a few seconds, then the QB, running backs, and all receivers comes up out of their stance, looks at the coaches, resets and then runs the play. It's a more annoying equivalent of Peyton Manning's constant audibiles. God forbid they actually run a play that was called originally. God forbid that players actually make their own decisions on the field. When I see an opposing team doing this, I kind of wish football teams had no coaches at all, and just went out and played schoolyard football. It is so annoying - and sometimes Georgia does it too, though normally it leads to a timeout or delay of game penalty because the changed play gets in too late.
So the lesson is this: when your team gets totally annihilated by a rival, to the point where your season is rendered meaningless and you wonder if the team should simply stop playing football entirely, the best way to feel better about the sport isn't by grasping to whatever small silver lining there might be about your team's performance. No. The best way to feel better about the sport is to wait for two teams you don't particularly like to lose - one by a massively unexpected upset, the other in a road game where it probably played well enough to win.
Yes, I know I'm a weak person for thinking the misfortunes of others makes me feel better about myself. But that's what college football is all about. Hate schadenfreude, hate college football. Or something like that.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
OK, there's that Comcast commercial where the guy has a blackened foot, sitting in what appears to be a mountain lodge with a fire burning. He calls some doctor or poison control and asks if the status of his foot has changed because now he's calling on Comcast digital voice, and the lady asks if he still got bit by a pit viper, he says yes, and she says his foot is still going to fall off.
I have a few questions...
1) Is the actor playing the victim of the pit viper bite Graham Beckel? He's been in a million things, but I remember him best as Dick Stensland, Russell Crowe's partner in LA Confidential. That guy's had a steady career as a character actor. Am I wrong to think he should be above a Comcast commercial?
2) OK, it's clear that the guy's foot is completely black. It appears that he's in a mountain cabin. There's a fire burning, and the men are all wearing flannel. Why did they use as his malady a pit viper bite? Pit Vipers are cold blooded, and hibernate in the winter, and can't really live in mountain climes. Plus, wouldn't frostbite be a more logical malady? Especially when it actually looks like frostbite, not a snakebite.
Yes. I pay far too much attention to things like this.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
First Week Standings Below The Fold. Expect big changes every week.
1. Louisiana State 5-0 (31)
2. Wisconsin 5-0 (69)
3. California 5-0 (76)
4. Arizona State 5-0 (86)
5. Kentucky 5-0 (105)
6. Boston College 5-0 (111)
7. Ohio State 5-0 (112)
8. Cincinnati 5-0 (127)
9. Connecticut 5-0 (130)
10. Hawaii 5-0 (131)
11. Purdue 5-0 (132)
12. Southern California 4-0 (58)
13. South Florida 4-0 (82)
14. Missouri 4-0 (106)
15. Kansas 4-0 (133)
16. Oregon 4-1 (25)
17. Nebraska 4-1 (35)
18. South Carolina 4-1 (36)
19. Florida 4-1 (42)
20. Illinois 4-1 (46)
21. Virginia Tech 4-1 (53)
22. West Virginia 4-1 (61)
23. UCLA 4-1 (66)
24. Michigan State 4-1 (67)
25. Georgia 4-1 (75)
Next Five: Texas, Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma,Miami (FL).