Thursday, December 27, 2007


For EDSBS readers:


Penn Wagers Does it Again

Do the same replay officials work with a particular crew of referees? I took issue here with Penn Wagers and his crew's interpretation of the rules that enabled Bama to squeak out a win in Oxford, and possibly cost Orgeron his job. Again, a penalty flag falls from the replay booth, thrown by this same crew, this time in the Holiday Bowl, resulting in a 50 yard penalty, a change of possession, and a total change of momentum. The "Longhorn Steve Bartman" interference/noninterference is yet another egregious miscarriage of football justice by this horrendous SEC crew.

The replay showed that there was an referee right on that sideline very near the "toucher" with an unimpeded view of the play as it happened. He didn't blow the play dead nor did he throw a flag when the Texas staffmember reached for the ball. That means the call on the field was "no interference." Therefore, video evidence had to be indisputable that he touched the ball. I looked at it for 20 minutes on super slo-mo in hi-def, and I really don't think he touched it. Herbstreit and Musberger, idiots as they may be, disputed whether it was touched during the whole review. If there was dispute, then, by very definition, it's disputable.

But okay, whatever. Give Wagers his (latest) moment in the spotlight to deliver the shocking reversal. Even still, he doesn't have to make it a 50 yard penalty (50 because the Longhorn player who eventually recovered the lateral was tackled at the ASU 43; after the microscopy from the booth, the ball was spotted at the 7). The language from Rule 9-1 is as follows:

Illegal Interference
ARTICLE 4. a. No substitute, coach, authorized attendant or any person subject to the rules, other than a player or official, may interfere in any way with the ball or a player while the ball is in play.
PENALTY—15 yards from the basic spot. The referee may enforce any penalty he considers equitable, including awarding a score.

It was obvious the Texas dude thought the play was already dead and he wasn't trying to interfere. Also, I really don't think he touched the ball. The equitable thing to do would be to declare the ball dead at that spot, which would leave the ball in ASU's possession, but it would be 4th and forever. Nevertheless, Penn Wagers thinks it's equitable to enforce a 50 yard penalty. Wow.

To me the right call was actually never mentioned on TV or by the refs. It looked to me that the staffmember never touched it, but a Texas player trying to save it from going out of bounds immediately after the "interference" was touching the ball at the same time his hand hit the chalk of the boundary. Should have been blown dead, ASU ball at that spot.

If Penn Wagers loves the esoteric nuances of the rules so much, how come he never pulls out that "whatever is equitable" clause?


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seasons' Greetings!

Before the day was over, I wanted to wish everyone a glorious Festivus.

Readers, a donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund ("money... for people").

Considering that this blog is just a constant stream-of-consciousness Airing of Grievances, we shall now move on to the feats of strength.

Nobody leaves until one of the 5 regular readers pins me.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Thoughts on the UNC assault cases

You may read the background here.

My thoughts on the alleged perpetrators:

Coolio never should've cut his signature braids.

And thus ruins my dreams of a PM Dawn reunion.

Did these hip hop artists learn nothing from the deaths of Biggie and Pac? Crime doesn't pay.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Revisiting the BCS Selections

Go back and read my piece on BCS selections (scroll down or click HERE).

Now read Stewart Mandel's piece HERE.

Here is a relevant part:

Two sources not directly involved in the decision speculated that the commissioners feared such a matchup might damage the legitimacy of the Ohio State-LSU title game.


Asked whether the split possibility played a factor, Slive insisted, "It never came up."

My response to Mike Slive's comment: "Bullshit."


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Thoughts Not About Football Necessarily

Peter King style!

1. I think the pitch for the most recent Old Navy ad campaign was this: It's Christmas at Zoolander's apartment. Too bad a gas fight didn't break out.

2. Radiohead's In Rainbows is their most enjoyable album since OK Computer.

3. I still think there's a sociology thesis to be written on the role of race and the demographics of the audience in the selection of America's Next Top Model. But let that not cloud my congratulations to Poor-Man's Rihanna!

4. This weekend Shannon Sharpe told me the weather in Cleveland was "treach-you-us".

5. Speaking of terrible speaking, on the E! True Hollywood Story for "Hip Hop Wives", an editor for Jet magazine used the word "jury" multiple times when I believe she meant "jewelry". It's good to know that editing a major magazine with a wide circulation doesn't require pronunciation skills.

6. It took me two weekends, several hours, and three trips to Target to complete the job of hanging Christmas lights. It was here that I sensed the following conflicting/in perfect harmony emotions:

(a) dammit, why do these lights break so damn easily with just a single staple through the main line!

(b) great! these lights are on sale for just $2 a box!

I'm an idiot.

7. Cheers to Sam Adams for brewing a mass-produced cranberry lambic. OK, not exactly a true lambic, but it's kind of/sort of close. And at least the attempt gets some points in my book. Thumbs up for their cream stout, too.

8. If there's one thing in this world that is true, it's that it wouldn't be a Lemon party without old Dick.

9. Brett Favre is SI's Sportsman of the Year. Here are better options:

(a) Glenn McGrath. If the choice is an aging statesman, why not choose this guy (who plays in the sport with the largest worldwide audience this year)? In his final international cricket appearance, the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he was named Player of the Tournament, led the tournament in wickets (setting a record for most wickets taken in a single World Cup), topped the record for all-time wickets taken, and just so happened to lead his Australian team to their (another record) third-straight World Cup victory. He was named World Player of the Year at age 37 (quite old for the sport). If Favre is having a great autumn, McGrath was inconceivably great.

(b) Roger Federer. OK, let me just say this: It is absolutely ridiculous what Federer has done in the sport of tennis over the last few years, and this year very well might've been his best. Look at this year what he did in the major tournaments. Australian Open - defended his title, and DIDN'T LOSE A SINGLE SET IN THE ENTIRE TOURNAMENT (let me put that in perspective - the last man to do that in a Grand Slam event was Bjorn Borg in 1980). French Open - on his worst surface, he still made the final, losing in 4 sets to the best clay court player of this generation, Rafael Nadal. Wimbledon - won his 5th straight title (equaling Borg's record for the Open Era) in one of the best single game sporting events of the year, the 5-set beat-the-hell-out-of-each-other classic with Nadal. US Open - won his 4th straight title (a record for the Open Era), dropping only 2 sets the entire way (and beating world ranked 5, 4, and 3 consecutively, all in straight sets). In 2007 Federer set the all-time record (male or female) for consecutive weeks ranked #1 (he's topped the rankings since February 2004!). He's played in 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, winning 8 of them. He won a second straight (and 4 of the last 5) Masters Series (year-end championship),. He also broke his own record for earnings in a season, becoming the world's first $10,000,000 earner. I think it's utterly ridiculous that Federer has never been named Sportsman of the Year. Nobody (yes, even Tiger Woods) is as good at his sport as Federer. I'm serious.

(c) Younis Mahmoud. Read the link.

10. I watched Hot Rod a second time, just to make sure I wasn't crazy about liking it. I think I may have even liked it more the second time (the dance punching in the woods is even funnier than I first thought, and the march/riot killed me). I pose this question to you: why isn't the band Europe held in as high regard as some of the other bands of the era? Do they not totally rule every bit as much?


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Flick the Button

1. 28 Weeks Later. Lively, but doesn't come close to the greatness of its predecessor. Big problem with the way Carlyle's character didn't exhibit the typical zombie mindlessness. While watching it, I enjoyed the ride (you can't beat a handheld camera and running from zombies), but it didn't stick in my head very long, and the more I think about it the more I'd rather just watch the original again. You're Fired.

2. X-Men: The Last Stand. Did this look better on the big screen? A big-budget action movie without many scenes that inspire awe. Seemed more like a Daredevil or an Elektra than a summer franchise movie. The second one was a classic compared to this Ratnerfied mess. You're Fired.

3. Death Proof. There were a host of issues I had with this, and I get that most of the problems are probably homages.  I thought the movie was either about 45 minutes too long, or should've had 2 more chase/crash scenes. The lapdance scene was useless. The one thing that bothered me the most about this movie: how much so many of the actors struggled with the Tarantino dialogue. So unnatural - several scenes had a real Dawson's Creek-nobody-actually-talks-this-way feel to them.  In fact, the most natural and I'd say the best actor of them all in this movie was Zoe Bell - and she's a stuntwoman. She ran circles around the others in her scenes. I usually like Tarantino's films, but this one didn't do it for me. You're Fired.

4. Transformers. So what happened to the plotline with the soldiers and the hackers after about 75 minutes? Did the film just ignore them or did I fall asleep for a minute and it was all resolved.  I'm confused. Wait. Why am I concerned about plot? It's gigantic robots punching each other. And when it came to that, it seemed to me that the CGI was really realistic and nice looking. I also sensed that they were holding back a little though. Like they knew it'd be a hit and they wanted to save something for sequels. I expect robots punching each other atop numerous world monuments. You're Fired.

5. Spider-Man 3. This trilogy is like a rock band who found success by singing songs about their blue collar roots, then once they made it big, could only write new songs about how much it sucks to be famous and rich. While the first two were never a garage band, they did have a completely different sensibility from this one. Too long by a half hour or more. Not memorable like the first two. And this one relied so much on deus ex machina, or people just in the exact spot needed for plot reasons, but for no real reason at all. A frustrating third part. You're Fired.

6. Goal! - The Dream Begins. What I liked about this was that it was clearly made for an international audience - which meant that it didn't insult people who knew anything about soccer, like 90% of the movies made about soccer. It was well-made, not horrendously acted and actually depicted the lives of professional athletes somewhat realistically. If you don't enjoy Oasis or you are annoyed easily by montages, you probably won't like this. But do, so I sort of liked it. Steak Knives.

7. Ocean's Thirteen. So it's not as good as the first, but more like the first than the second. It's tricky and fun, though riddled with inside jokes. Words I never thought I'd write: Pacino should've hammed it up more. They should've used Cassel more too. So it's flawed, but still an enjoyable way to spend 2 hours. I'll watch it again. Steak Knives.

8. 1408. What is it about Stephen King adaptations lately that has allowed the male leads to have so much fun playing their parts? Like Johnny Depp in the underrated Secret Window, Cusack is pretty great in this. It's kind of spooky, but the payoff isn't as great as I was hoping. Dull Steak Knives.

9. We Are Marshall. They could've cut 5 montages set to early 70s music and there still would've been about 8 left. Great story, but the movie was annoying despite it. McConaughey did a pretty good job, really - not too bombastic, kind of silly. Matthew Fox does his tortured soul bit. It's also nice to see a few people I know personally on the big screen. But the direction, man... it's weak. You're Fired.

10. Live Free or Die Hard.  So it was way more ridiculous than the other Die Hard movies, but I still liked it better than most of the summer blockbusters I've seen recently.  Justin Long was stunningly not annoying as hell.  Here's the problem: I had fun watching it, but it's significantly less memorable than any of the other Die Hard movies.  Unfortunately, that means this is a You're Fired.

11. Sicko. I could write a lot about this, but I'll just leave it to this: people need to watch this and ask themselves, "what kind of country do we want to live in?". Moore's most significant film. Goddamnit. Cadillac.

12.  Superbad.  Fantastic.  I thought I'd missed the boat on this, because I was afraid I'd seen all the funny parts in previews.  I do think it would've been better to see in the theatre, with the crowd laughter adding to the experience, but it's pretty spectacular on DVD.  Michael Cera is a comedy genius.  Cadillac.

13.  A Mighty Heart.  This is a movie that makes me confused about how I feel about it.  On the one hand, Angelina Jolie does a fantastic job purely acting - it's an Oscar-reel role, but it didn't come off like a Lifetime movie.  On the other hand, I think the movie might've been better if she weren't in it at all.  I found the investigation scenes and the political intrigue parts significantly more interesting than the human interest side.  Winterbottom is one of the most capable storytellers in the business.  Look at his IMDB profile and the true stories he's taken on (or look at Paul Greengrass'), and then think about how much McG butchered the Marshall air disaster story.  Steak Knives.

14.  Rescue Dawn. This movie is a total throwback.  A war movie without politics, without irony, without forced comedy, without a forced romance.  And it's nice that a movie like this can get produced.  This is the sort of movie that got made in the mid-60s, but not really since.  That, to me, made it a nice movie, but it was also kind of "too" straight for my own sensibilities.  I see that as kind of flaw in my own personality though.  Bale is as good as always.  Steak Knives.

15.  Waitress.  Not quite lives up to the hype, but considering how terrible most romantic comedies are, I guess I could see why a lot of critics liked it.  The moral of the story is that being unfaithful is great in most cases?  Likable bit players get big roles here, so there's probably something for a lot of people.  Notable things: Jeremy Sisto's character captured the insecurity of an abuser well; Eddie Jemison's character will annoy you at first, but after a few scenes he's great.  For me, You're Fired, but in comparison to most rom coms, Steak Knives.

16. Ratatouille. Now here's a nice story, though I'm not sure that America's yet got the idea that animated movies aren't necessarily just for kids.  In fact, I'm not sure this movie is right for kids under 12 or so.  But it's very good.  Funny, sweet.  Patton Oswalt's fingers seem all over this movie.  Also, the camera moves (sort of, I guess) are some of the best I've seen in a movie in a few years.  Not quite as great as Monsters Inc., but far superior to Cars.  Cadillac/Steak Knives.

17. The Bourne Ultimatum.  The best action movie since Casino Royale.  Here's a movie that is just slightly below the perfection of the first two Bourne movies, but it fits in the trilogy just right.  The Waterloo Station scene was classic, as well as the chase in NYC.  It's an exceptional movie.  Cadillac.

18.  Hot Rod.  If you watch this with low expectations, you'll love it.  I laughed a whole lot.  The timing of the editing perfectly added to the comedy.  The axiom that "if it's funny once, it's funny every time" is proved true again and again in this movie.  A goofy comedy is good if it makes you laugh.  I was in a crappy mood when I watched it, but laughed my ass off.  Sharp steak knives.

19.  Letters From Iwo Jima.  I wasn't in the right mood when I watched this, so my judgment is probably not to be trusted.  It was OK, though I don't think I saw anything different from what I already knew about WWII in the Pacific.  Some of the images shown are startling.  Cinematography is good (though it was hard to tell what was going on in some of the scenes).  But I was kind of tired/bored/distracted.  Like I said, probably an unfair viewing.  But I don't think I'll watch it again.  You're Fired.

20. Veronica Mars - Third Season. From reading other views on this, I would've thought this would've been the worst of the three seasons. But, while there wasn't a moment in the third that compared favorably to the first season, the third season was much better (tighter, more fun) than the second. It's a shame that the network didn't give them a full 22 episodes. 100 more minutes would've been nice - especially since the finale was rushed but fantastic. This is the kind of TV show more should aspire to be.

Here's hoping I didn't miss any because I forgot watching them.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Something About Ranked Opponents

The M Zone calls a team's record against ranked opponents the "dumbest stat in college football". I, for one, think punting statistics are the dumbest in college football, because they don't take into account the intent of a particular punt (if punters are pooching or cornering kicks frequently, the average length of a punt is a moronic stat).

But the topic of record against ranked opponents is an interesting one, and I think The M Zone's analysis is incomplete.

Their view is that when people cite a particular record against ranked opponents, they normally cite the record against opponents who were ranked at the time they played, and this is erroneous because teams can very well be ranked inaccurately at the point they play. As examples, they cite LSU's schedule, and credit for wins against South Carolina and Alabama, who were ranked at the time LSU played each. South Carolina and Alabama both went in the tank at the end of the year, losing their last 5 and 4 games, respectively.

The M Zone says that "record against ranked opponents" should take into account the rankings of those opponents at the end of the year, when the body of work is complete.

My view: yes, simply citing ranked opponents as of the time played is incomplete analysis. But citing ranked opponents as of the end of the regular season is also incomplete analysis.

Rankings are fluid over the course of the year, but so are teams. It is possible that an inflated ranking early in the year isn't an accurate picture of a particular team (such as, say, an early win over a top-10 preseason ranked Louisville team). But it's also possible that an inflated ranking early in the year is an accurate picture of a particular team at that point in time - just the team changed significantly over the course of time, as a result of injuries or personnel changes.

The M Zone cites South Carolina as it relates to LSU (and dozens of others have pointed to Georgia's loss to South Carolina as a reason for excluding the Dawgs from the BCS NCG). USC lost their last 5 games, dropping their overall record to a thoroughly mediocre 6-6. The week LSU played USC, USC was 3-0 and ranked 12th in the country. One could look at their final record and say they were significantly overrated at the time. Or one could look further. USC's best player on the defense, Jasper Brinkley (an All-SEC linebacker) injured his knee in the LSU game, changing the USC defense entirely. Before the injury, USC had averaged allowing fewer than 10 points per game. After the LSU game, with Brinkley out, USC conceded 28 points per game. Maybe they started playing better opponents, maybe they simply weren't that good overall. Or maybe the loss of key personnel (who played in the games against LSU and Georgia) made a massive difference to the season. The "at the time of" ranking might be an accurate depiction of the team LSU (or Georgia) played, AND the "end of season" ranking might also be an accurate depiction of the complete season USC had.

The thing is that temporal rankings can provide some context as to a game's value, but it takes more than a cursory citation. The problem is that the citation of such a stat is a simplification - but then again, the citation of any stat can be a simplification.

And at the end of their post, The M Zone is definitely right about how crazy it is that this sport uses opinions to decide things, and those opinions rely on incomplete information.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Thought for the Day

LSU is playing for the national title instead of Georgia because Tennessee had a better season than Arkansas.

Wrap that around your brain.


The BCS Does Not Want Good BCS Bowls - Just a Good BCS Title Game

Stewart Mandel is a frequent target of this blog, because I think he writes conventional wisdom and often fails to analyze such critically (and because I think he has a limited understanding of the sport he covers). But this post is not to bash him (which I most certainly could, for a number of his writings over the last week or so), but rather to use one of this posts today as a jumping point.

Mandel, in a column at CNNsi, writes about one of the underreported problems with the BCS. The fact that the goal of having a 1 vs. 2 National Championship Game has led to less compelling matchups in the other BCS bowls.

But you can't blame the bowls for most of those choices. In nearly every case, they were simply following selection protocol -- Pac-10 champ to the Rose Bowl, Big 12 champ to the Fiesta Bowl, ACC champ to the Orange Bowl, etc., etc.

He's right about this. #1 is playing #2 in the BCS National Chamionship Game, but then the next 4 teams in the final BCS rankings do not play each other. #3 Oklahoma plays #11 WVU. #4 Virginia Tech plays #8 Kansas. #5 Georgia plays #10 Hawaii. #6 USC plays #13 Illinois.

Mandel uses this problem to divert on a tangent regarding the tension of retaining traditional bowl matchups and how a "plus one" model might solve some things.

I take a different approach. See, I think you can necessarily blame the bowls for the weaker BCS bowl matchups because of the selection protocol. The BCS is a system in place to elevate 2 teams to a National Title Game. This is its primary goal and there really isn't a secondary goal. There are other concerns (such as maintaining traditional bowl matchups), but those are tensions against the goal - not a goal in and of itself. Whatever works against the prospect of elevating 2 teams to a National Title Game is necessarily against the interest of the BCS.

And because there is just one real goal to the BCS, the selection procedures are set up in a manner such as to prevent a compelling matchup in the other BCS bowl games. See, if the 3rd place team were to play the 4th place team in the Rose Bowl or some non BCSNCG game, then there's a significant opportunity for a split title, resulting from the AP Poll.

I can't stress this enough: a split title is the worst case scenario for the BCS. The worst case scenario isn't the current one, where a host of teams have reasonable arguments to play in a game but the process has selected one - in fact that's the precise raison d'etre for the BCS, to make a choice out of reasonably similar teams. No, the worst case scenario is if the selections take place, and the BCS gets it wrong.

Let's use a hypothetical. Assume Ohio State and LSU play in the BCS NCG and the two combine for 8 turnovers in a 13-10 joke of a game that neither team plays well in. A few days beforehand, say USC and Oklahoma played in the Rose Bowl and USC absolutely annihilated Oklahoma 57-7. Most reasonable people would think that the BCS certainly got it wrong - and there's an almost definite chance that USC would be awarded at least one poll's title. This was the case in 2003. If the system gets the choice wrong (and that's the only job the system has to do), it calls into question everything.

The BCS knows this. And that's why it is completely in their interest to dilute the other BCS bowls. If the 3rd best team is playing the 4th best team, it's too much of a showcase for those teams - and a great result by either of them calls into question whether the BCS got the right selection for the BCS NCG. But if the 3rd best team is playing the 11th best team, well, that's not as much of a showcase for the 3rd best team. Even a big victory might not be enough to raise the suggestion that the BCS NCG did not include the right teams.

The goal is not to have 5 good matchups. The goal is to have 1 good matchup - and the other 4 can very well be sacrificed in order to keep that 1 good matchup. That's why the BCS NCG keeps moving later and later into January. Separate this game from the others. Eliminate the suspicion that the BCS NCG is just a game like all the others. Set up a system that works in a way so that the remaining good teams do not play each other. Use the "promotion of traditional bowl matchups" as a method to prevent actually good games.

Don't think the weaker BCS bowl matchups are unintentional.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why Tommy Tuberville should become the coach at Arkansas

He's perfect for those insane morons in the Ozarks.  From the AJC:

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said that he had LSU No. 1 on his ballot followed by Oklahoma, Ohio State, Hawaii, and Georgia.

"Winning our conference championship means a lot to me," said Tuberville, whose team lost on a last second play at LSU (30-24) but was hammered by Georgia (45-20) on Nov. 10. "Believe me, I know how good Georgia is. But LSU found a way in win the championship, so they deserve this shot."

Wow.  Insane on so many levels.  

1)  LSU 30  Auburn 24 (last second, in Baton Rouge).  UGA 45 Auburn 20 (not close at all, in Athens).  One would think that these results would lead Mr. Tuberville to think one team would be appreciably better than another.

2)  LSU's SEC losses = 2.  UGA's SEC losses = 2.   Why did LSU win the SEC, while UGA didn't have a chance?  BECAUSE THE OTHER WEST TEAMS, LIKE TUBERVILLE'S COACHED AUBURN TEAM, WEREN'T AS GOOD.  "Found a way in win the championship" should translate to "was lucky enough to be competing against incompetents like myself."

3) You have to be fucking kidding me.  Hawaii?

4)  Richt/Stafford/Moreno To-Fuck-Harder-Than-Anyone's-Been-Fucked-Before List:

(A)  Les Miles
(B)  Tommy Tuberville
(C)  Phil Fulmer.

The 2008 Pain Train starts with a brutal pounding of the Flying Chocolate Unicorns of Guam  Hawaii.  You boys know how to shovel coal?  

hat tip to PNA in comments.


The Coaches' Poll in a Nutshell

Results Here.

Here's the nutshell:

1)  You shouldn't pay any attention to how we vote from week to week, because we'll elevate whoever we want based on rules never enunciated and for whatever reason we decide this year is important.

2)  There are eleven of us voters so corrupt (biased or personally benefiting) as to place a team ranked 7th last week #1 his week after requiring a pick six in the last few minutes to eke out a win over an underdog.

3)  There are two of us voters so corrupt (biased or personally benefiting) as to place a team ranked 8th last week  at #1 this week.

4)  We have completely forgotten about Kansas.

This system is irretrievably broken.  I can't wait to see the USA Today grid to see all of the conflicts of interest in all their glory.  And if you want to rely on the Harris Poll, go through my archives back in fall of 2005 to see how corrupt and conflicted those voters are.

And congratulations, Les Miles.  You've just sealed your fate in Baton Rouge next year.  Whatever the point spread, it does not matter.  Georgia will absolutely annihilate LSU next year.  Put the money in the effing bank,


Shorter Coaches Standing Up For Their Teams

Last night, the late SportsCenter invited the coaches of several schools competing for a slot in the BCS National Championship Game to come on the show via calling in and state the case for their team.  Here, briefly, is what the three coaches said:

Mark Richt: It's a bad system.  We're a strong team.  Our losses were the results of youth.

Pete Carroll: It's a bad system.  We're a strong team.  Our losses were the results of injuries.

Les Miles: I'm not going to come on here and criticize any other team, but Georgia sucks for the following reasons.  Also, we didn't really lose because I don't comprehend the concept of this "overtime" thingamajig.

Les Miles wears a tall hat because it has to fit around his ass.

Also: there's little doubt in my mind that Les Miles' approach will work.  Pollsters don't reward class.  They reward people who stand up and say "I want this", even if they are assholes while doing it.  


Your guess is as good as mine

The Wannstache virus has officially liquefied all of the BCS's internal organs, its body falling limp to the ground with a gory splash of blood, shit, and bile. So many teams have a legitimate argument to be in the National Championship Game. All we know for sure is that the following teams are in the BCS somewhere:

Ohio State
Louisiana State
Virginia Tech
West Virginia
Southern California


Most all of the pundits have quickly slotted Ohio State in the title game, and I'd say that's likely, but surely not definite. #1 and #2 could be any combination of a list that includes any of the above teams, along with Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, and Arizona State. That gives you 55 possible combinations for the NCG alone. Because any of the BCS bowls could lose their tie-in champion, there's no destination guaranteed at this point. The only slots that are all-but-guaranteed are VT to the Orange and Hawai'i to the Sugar. Depending on how the top-two shakes out, other teams that can sneak into a BCS bowl (but not the NCG), would be Illinois, Boston College, and maybe even Florida (if Georgia falls out of the top-4 and the Orange takes the Gators over us; not likely but possible).

What Georgia fans thought was the best case scenario may actually turn out to be the worst case scenario. If Ohio State and LSU go to the NCG, we will face Hawai'i in the Sugar, as was predicted before LSU lost to Arkansas. Even if Ohio State is #1, giving the Rose the first pick, they couldn't take Georgia to face USC unless the Sugar consents, which they won't. The language of the rule from the BCS website: "When two bowls lose host teams, then the bowl losing the number one team may not select a replacement team from the same Conference as the number two team, unless the bowl losing the number two team consents."

But I'm not giving up on being in the big one yet. I think enough has been said about Georgia not winning the SEC that the voters probably will impose a de facto must-win-your-conference rule by not voting Georgia any higher than #3. That's fine by me as long as nobody has us lower than #3, and they split the votes among different teams to be slotted ahead of us. Assuming everybody has Ohio State #1, if some people put LSU ahead of us at #2, some put USC, some put Oklahoma, they could spread out the votes enough to have Georgia slide into #2 without anybody having us there in the actual ballots.

The ballots are independent from the prior weeks, but I'm sure there are some voters who simply move down the teams that lost, and move up the teams that didn't in the same order as they were before. There is certainly no rule that says they have to.

Here is a smattering of combinations that I would put at or near the top of the "likely" list, but there's no telling what the voters (and the selection committees) will do:

Scenario #1
NCG - Ohio State v. LSU
Rose - USC v. Illinois
Sugar - Georgia v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. WVU
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. Kansas (or Arizona State)

Scenario #2
NCG - Ohio State v. USC
Rose - Arizona State v. Illinois
Sugar - LSU v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. Georgia
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. WVU

Scenario #3
NCG - Ohio State v. Georgia
Rose - USC v. Illinois
Sugar - LSU v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. WVU
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. Kansas (or Arizona State)

Scenario #4
NCG - Ohio State v. Oklahoma
Rose - USC v. Illinois
Sugar - LSU v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. Georgia
Fiesta - WVU v. Kansas (or Arizona State)

Scenario #5

NCG - LSU v. Georgia
Rose - Ohio State v. USC
Sugar - WVU v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. Kansas
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. Arizona State

Scenario #6
Rose - Ohio State v. Arizona State
Sugar - Georgia v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. WVU
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. Kansas

Scenario #7
NCG - USC v. Georgia
Rose - Ohio State v. Arizona State
Sugar - LSU v. Hawai'i
Orange - VT v. WVU
Fiesta - Oklahoma v. Kansas

The bottom line is, don't get your hopes up, Dawg fans, but it's Selection Sunday, all the regular season games have been played, and we are VERY MUCH in the discussion of who plays for the Crystal Pigskin. Unbelievable turn of events considering the debacle at Neyland and needing a miracle fumble to win in Nashville. Absolutely stupendous job by our players, coaches, trainers, cheerleaders and fans. Most of all, bless you, Coach Richt!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Why do we have polls anyway?

Polls are supposed to provide an objective analysis where subjectivity is insufficient (or at least that's what people tell me).

Here's the thing.  Two ATROCIOUS phantom holding calls effectively removed 6 points from Pittsburgh's score tally and gave the ball back to West Virginia undeservedly. (and another excessive celebration penalty that was ridiculous).  The already-been-proven by plenty of examples incompetent and possibly corrupt Big East officials tried their damnedest to give the game to WVU.

Pollsters can use their "objectivity" to discount entirely WVU's win (if they come back). If a win is undeserved, vote as if they didn't.

Just sayin'.

UPDATE: Never mind.  Karma.


Fuck you, Kirk Herbstreit

You are a fucking fuck, Kirk Herbstreit. You don't know me, you fucking ass hat. I've never even met Jon Tenuta. Don't fucking talk about me again, shitstick.