Thursday, December 13, 2007

2007 College Football Season Post-Mortem

You think you know a thing.

But you don't know a thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Downloadable 2007 College Football Bowl Game Schedule

First, the Link: Downloadable 2007 College Football Bowl Game Schedule. (PDF)

Yet again, a selfless hero has emerged from the mists of the Interwebs and blessed my inbox with this beautiful schedule of all of the 2007-08 College Football Bowl Games and associated Bowl Game logos.

In the spirit of paying it forward and celebrating the graphic design achievement of our bored hero, I'm posting it on the Interwebs for mass downloading and distribution across all of College Footballdom.

One caveat, which you may also read on the PDF, but all listed game times are in Central (Central?). So we can pretty much be assured it wasn't a Pac-10, ACC, or Big East fan putting this schedule together. In any case, do the math and adjust accordingly for wherever you live since timing will be of the essence.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rock Bottom


As a fan when you care a lot and spend a lot of time hoping for a satisfying season and then get disappointed, do you sometimes feel stupid for caring so much? Like you've wasted your time?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Same Borst??

Don Borst of FoxSports.com today did a complete 180 on the Buckeyes from last week. Maybe he actually watched them play a game? He went from "Ohio State is going to get blown out" to "they deserve to play a team as good as them."

Last week:

"For the sake of the national championship game, let's all hope Ohio State loses to one of its weak sisters in the Big Ten in the next month. Because as things stand, it sure looks like we're destined to watch a repeat of last season's BCS championship game — top-ranked Ohio State getting blown out by a much more complete team."

This week:

"Most impressive about the 37-17 victory was that Penn State didn't play badly — OSU was simply a much better team. If Jim Tressel can get his team to continue to improve like this, then the Bucks will handle Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan... and might even beat the SEC or Pac-10 team that they face in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

With all of the scars that last year's BCS Championship Game loss to Florida did to their own psyche and their national image, it would actually be unfortunate for the Buckeyes to see Boston College win its way into the title game as Ohio State's opponent.

Beating the Eagles wouldn't be as satisfying as outplaying one of those fast, exciting teams like LSU, Oregon or even Arizona State. Because of that, OSU fans should be rooting against BC these days."

I personally think BC deserves to be in the game if they win out, and would enjoy seeing OSU play BC in the title game. But Don Borst again proves that sportswriters love to change with the winds of fortune. Thanks Don!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don Borst -- Need Some Prozac?


In an article today on FoxSports.com, writer Don Borst goes on an angry anti-Big Ten tirade. It can be best summed up by this paragraph:

"[I]t sure looks like we're destined to watch a repeat of last season's BCS championship game — top-ranked Ohio State getting blown out by a much more complete team."

I will not argue that the Big Ten is having a down year (or three), but Borst goes on to utilize the unoriginal, yet still popular "soft schedule" argument to support why Ohio State would get beaten in the National Championship by "a second-ranked team like LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, or USC," at which point "we'd have another ugly title tilt along the lines of last year's 41-14 drubbing of the Buckeyes by Florida."

January 8 was a huge embarrassment. There's no doubt about that. And I could point out that Borst's main thesis is flawed by his assumption that this OSU team is the same as last year's, which is completely untrue. The OSU defense is better, faster, and more cohesive than last year's unit. And as everyone knows, "Defense Wins Championships."

But on to the real issue, how LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC would all spank the Buckeyes. Because the schedule is cited as the reason OSU is where they are, let's look at the strength of schedule of these teams:

Ohio State - 40
LSU - 8
Oklahoma - 60
Oregon - 14
USC - 113

I'll admit that LSU and OSU would be a great matchup. But this doesn't make much sense:

"Those teams, as well as USC — this would be the increasingly healthy USC team, with offensive linemen returning to the lineup and the speed that created the 60-minute mismatch with Notre Dame on Saturday — are just too fast for the Buckeyes."

Too fast for the buckeyes? With one of the 6 weakest schedules in the country and a loss to STANFORD? Okay.........

As far as Oregon goes, they are a "last-play-fumble-at-the-goal line from being unbeaten," according to Borst. If only football was measured by almosts. Also, Oregon's loss to Cal looks even worse now that Cal dropped two in a row and is out of contention.

No discussion of why Oklahoma is a better team, or mention of Oklahoma's loss to unranked Colorado.

Like I said before, OSU vs. LSU would be a great matchup. The others, I'm not so sure. There is also that whole "winning every game you play" issue.

Borst's argument seems flawed to me, and I'm not sure how he arrives at his conclusions. But if Fox Sports was paying me to write about college football, I'd at least try to write columns that made sense.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ty Willingham: Back in the Game

A strange thing is happening in college football this week. People are showing genuine admiration for Ty Willingham. After at first criticizing Willingham's lack of progress at Notre Dame, the media then shifted to deploring Willingham's firing from Notre Dame and resurgence at Washington as a racist move by the Irish. Today, as it turns out, it's completely different. Ty Willingham was just waiting for his chance to do something better. As one headline reads, "Turns out Notre Dame wasn’t good enough for Willingham."

Look, I have no problem with Notre Dame bashing, but we are now classifying Washington's 2-0 start and new, fast QB Jake Locker (Bruce Feldman calls him "a fast version of Tebow") as the second coming. Here is what I will give to U Dub: TW's recruits are coming of age, they're coming off a good win against Boise State, and it looks like the program is back in order. And it's a feel good story, for sure.

But today I'm wondering if some of the praise is the media is trying to make up for the fact that they all screwed up in the first place and blamed his firing at Notre Dame on him? Columnists are now having a field day with the Weis vs. Willingham stories, because the contrast is striking (although there are some Willingham players still on Weis' squad). But this week's game against Ohio State is providing columnists across the nation to talk about the coaching prowess that Washington has heading into this big game.

In fact, Scouts (which does game breakdowns for ESPN.com) gave the Coaching advantage to Willingham in this game. As far as coaching in Division 1 football games, Willingham is 72-67 as a head coach and Tressel is 64–14.

Tressel has one National Championship and Willingham has none.

I'm not saying Willingham is not a quality coach, and the capriciousness of the media is not at all surprising, but let's at least let him win ONE big game. That's all I'm asking.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Michigan Line on Oregon

Right now on the InterWeb's best sports betting site, SportsBetting.com (and they only pay me in gambling earnings that I actually win to say this), Michigan, despite all their evident foibles, is an 8 point favorite going into the game against Oregon.

Sacre bleu, you say. How can this be? Isn't Oregon with their Dennis Dixon to Amanti Edwards something like Appalachian State on I-A 'roids? In other words, isn't Oregon the prefect weapon to take down Michigan? Kryptonite to Michigan's superman? Something like that.

That's what we're lead to believe, but the wise guys in Vegas and the beat reporters at Le Detroit News (whose hard work I've simply stolen in the above graphic) have other suspicions that I'm wont to believe. Michigan's good when they're disrespected.

Interestingly, and I can't find the link at the moment, but this line actually started closer to 6 and that tells us that the savvy gambler agrees. Typically the early movement in the line occurs as the more professional gamblers place their bets early in the week. As hard as it is to believe after last weekend, Michigan by a touchdown looks good to many gamblers.

So good that the line moved to 8 and 8 is a world different than 6 or 7. So the question is, do I believe?

One More Sign of the Apocalypse

OSU fans scoop up Mountaineers gear


As Colin Cowherd said on his radio show the other day: careful Buckeyes. If you think about it it's in your best interested to stay quiet about this fiasco in the waning hopes that Lloyd Carr gets to keep his job. After all, John Cooper's biggest supporters were always Wolverines...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Big Ten Network Comes Through



The long holiday weekend gave me plenty of time to think about my first post today (Michigan Preview 2008 was the best thing I came up with). But I have to say, the real winner this weekend was the Big Ten Network. After all of my complaining about it, and even the calling out of the BTN schill who commented on our blog, I'm going to reverse my decision.

I have officially joined the club of flip-floppers.

I turned off College Gameday at 8:59 a.m. PT and switched to channel 223 on my DirecTV HD receiver, and after a moment of Deep Purple background music and the DirecTV logo, I was in the booth with Roger Twibell and Mike Tomczak in Columbus, ready to watch my Buckeyes take on the Penguins of Youngstown State.

The BTN delivered everything that it promised: every game was carried over, and in addition to checking in on the Michigan vs. ASU game, I was able to watch Northeastern @ Northwestern, and Florida International @ Penn State. Although I couldn't take my eyes off of the train wreck on Channel 220 (Michigan vs. ASU), I got a great first-time experience watching my Buckeyes on the BTN.

But now knowing that there might be a BTN person reading this blog, I do have a few observations:
  • Green Announcers For those who might not know, Mike Tomczak (one of the announcers) was the Ohio State quarterback from 1982-1984 (and led the Buckeyes to 2 Big Ten championships). I'm assuming he'll do more OSU games, which is fine with me, but he is obviously a beginner in that profession. My experience was similar with all the games.
  • Ridiculous Advertising One thing is for sure: the advertising on the BTN has not yet matched ESPN's level. I saw some of the cheapest, most ridiculous advertising on the BTN...but luckily they have carried on the Big Ten commercials. Those commercials that only Big Ten fans like or care about.
  • Halftime Show? For halftime of the OSU game, they went back to the janky BTN studio for an update of other BTN games in progress. First of all, I can check the other games with a switch of the remote. But secondly (and most importantly), because it's only OSU fans watching the channel anyway, why not show the halftime show? I would have tuned in to watch this week's lucky sousaphone player dot the "i." Maybe they can show some halftime shows this year, then we'll really feel like we're in Columbus, without the couch burning.

Week 1: Scratching My Head

With the first week under our belts it's time to take a step back on reflect on the key takeaways from an eventful weekend in College Football:

* The Michigan Loss is a Really Big Deal - Sports Illustrated says: "Appalachian State's win at Michigan Stadium marked the first time a Football Championship Subdivision team -- formerly I-AA -- beat a team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25."

True dat, the magnitude of this loss will be felt and discussed throughout this season. Whether Michigan salvages a decent season or goes on to fail completely, this game will be seen as the catalyst for whatever befalls the Wolverines from here on out. Repercussions set to amplify should things go bad.

Days later we're still talking about it and getting unique color commentary such as this tidbit also from the SI article linked above:

"Indianapolis Colts defensive back Marlin Jackson, a former Michigan standout, said he was embarrassed by the result.

'We lost to a I-AA program, and we were a top-five team,' he said. 'To go out and be the first team in history to lose to a I-AA team, it hurts.'

Jackson said the loss has been an almost nonstop topic of conversation for him.

'That's all I've been getting the last couple of days. Every text message I get just says `Appalachian State.' That's all it says,' he said.

'The Ohio State guys have been all right. It's everybody else around here. Even coach (Tony) Dungy said something to me about it.'"

* Notre Dame Sucks Worse Without Brady Quinn - Charlie Weis wasn't being coy (as Stewart Mandel lamely suggested) when refusing to name a starter at Notre Dame before the season opened. He just couldn't pick the lesser of three evils since they all flat out suck and so, apparently, do the Fighting Irish. God help them in the upcoming pillow fight at Michigan. Is that game like a consolation prize now that it's the two high-prestige programs who've been brought down to new, humbling lows?

* Cal Had it's 'Coming-Out' Game in the Victory over Tennessee - For a few years now in the Tedford era Cal has been flirting with greatness. I think the Saturday win over Tennessee, nevermind redemption for last year's setback, was Cal's coming-out party. As long as that offense keeps clicking this will be a great team and that date with USC is looming ever larger with National Title implications.

* Washington/Boise State Will Be a Fireworks Display - Both the Dawgs and the Broncos appear loaded with speed aplenty on offense. Washington surprised and delighted as new starting QB Jake Locker scampered all over the Carrier Dome and Syracuse D. Back in Boise, with Tyler Tharp at the helm, things were going as usual with Ian Johnson taking care of 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns before halftime. This equates to a big time match up this weekend in Seattle. Unfortunately nobody that you or I know is televising this except maybe the local Northwest affiliates or a pirate cable access feed in Seattle.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Michigan: Aftermath

It starts....
DREW SHARP: Blame Lloyd Carr; Michigan needs fresh voice soon
The discussion is heating up on SackCarr.com and UMGoBlue's Fan Forum, while MGoBlog has seemingly given up forever. Michigan's fan base is in a state of crisis and the pandemonium will not be settled until Michigan takes the field and puts together a convincing win.

I think the question of whether to fire Carr is still premature. He is skating on incredibly thin ice, but has a chance to revive his team and bring them through a successful remaining 11 (12?) games of the season. That will be the true test of his mettle as a coach.

Oregon looks like a stiff challenge this coming Saturday and it is suddenly the marquee match-up of the weekend as all eyes will want to see how Michigan responds and if Carr has any grip on this team.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Michigan

Well. It hurts to be a Michigan fan today. So much for big expectations. So much for the sacrifices of Mike Hart, Chad Henne and Jake Long. So much for the grand exit of Lloyd Carr.

This is the single most embarrassing loss in Michigan football history. It hurts Michigan's image as an 'elite' team, damages national respect for the Big Ten and officially sunsets any National Championship aspirations while simultaneously raising serious red flags on anything else Michigan hoped to do this season.

Beat Oregon next weekend? Beat Notre Dame? Ohio State? Big Ten Championship? Forget it all if this team can't handle it's home opener against a 1-AA team. None of it seems likely, or even appropriate, to think about anymore after the fact that Michigan got outclassed by Appalachian State in every facet of the game.

How quickly the tables have turned. It's officially crisis-management time at Michigan.

Now, unless Carr shows us something Phoenician in terms of resurrecting his team by next week, I'd say it's going to be a mighty long season for the Wolverines. Whether they have the talent or not, it's going to come down to the spirit of this team and whether its already broken.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Documenting My Addiction

I've quietly placed two more bets:

UW -3 at Syracuse
Notre Dame -1.5 home vs. Georgia Tech

Am I crazy? Nobody knows shit about the Dawgs and only Charlie Weis knows who the starting QB will be at Notre Dame. How could I have any confidence in these wagers?

I'm glad you asked. I do know that both of these gold-helmeted teams represent tarnished, talented traditions that need these wins very badly and I'm willing to risk it on that alone for more glory!

However, I think that'll do it for this weekend, win or lose tonight. Reason being that I've been placing too many faith-based bets and I've got to watch a few games before throwing down any more bones.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Night Vindication

Big ups to Andy Gresh in yesterday's ESPN U College Football Insider Podcast for calling out the disrespect to Boise State after their coming-out season last year.

Quoth Gresh: "... and finally in the Top 25, Weber State at #24 Boise State. I hope Boise crushes, I wanna see them win a ton of games this year because I think it's disrespectul that Boise State, off of last year's finish, is #24 in the country.... Maybe I'm honking out for the small conferences, but I don't care: HOW can Boise State only be ranked 24th!!?!?! How can that happen? It's embarrassing!!"

And 'crush' they did. In fitting style last night they pummeled (admittedly I-AA) Weber State to the tune of 28 first quarter points en route to a 49-0 tally at half time, before calling off the dogs big time and crusing to a 56-7 victory. In any case they lived up to Gresh's call and made a fine statement going into next weekend's contest up in Seattle.

But signs of vindication were everywhere last night. Rutgers and LSU also lived up to the hype making their opponents look inept in convincing, cruise-control victories that also happened to safely cover the enormous spreads set in both games.

It was an auspicious evening for me, if not the Vegas bookies, and a great way to set the tone for this weekend's gambling picks which will be forthcoming later in the day.

Mainly, I'm torn on the Cal/Tennessee game. I bought into the West Coast hype last year and am still feeling the burn. Switters ran into the UT Vols in an Oakland hotel last night and confirmed that they are big and wear a lot of orange. So they're going to show up. Stil Ainge has a broken pinkie finger in his throwing hand. A sign of the apocalypse for the Vols? Thoughts? Advice? I'm ruminating.

The Season is ON!

Well, we've officially made it through the desert of the off-season as four of the top 25 teams in the country take the field tonight to kickoff the 2007 season.

LSU @ Miss. State
Buffalo @ Rutgers
Weber State @ Boise State
Murray State @ Louisville

As it's the first flight of games of the first week of the season my sense on betting these games is a little underdeveloped. But oth I-A only games have seemingly tempting lines and it's been so long my need for a fix is overwhelming, so here's my initial inkling:

*Earlier this week when the spread was 21.5 I was thinking 'LSU's a defensive team this year since I can't name their starting QB or RB off the top of my head and a defensive end is hogging the pre-season hype.' Given that double-digit home underdogs are generally good bets against the spread and it's crunch time for Sylvester Croom, I was liking Miss State to beat the initial spread in a valiant home loss against the Tigers. But something magical happens when a spread slips under the three-touchdown barrier and the #2 team in the land is involved. I'm taking the Tigers to cover 19.5

*Buffalo is the worst team in 1-A and facing off against a Rutgers team ready to prove that last year was no fluke. Ray Rice rocks and rolls tonight and Rutgers covers the enormous -31.5 riding on their head.

Going large on big spreads, here goes nothing...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Signs of the Season: Feldman's Back

Back in June we reported on the dire condition of ESPN's Bruce Feldman with the now evident theory that his strength (physical, mental and emotional) waxes and wanes with the proximity of college football. As it turns out college football is both Feldman's life force and mana and he struggles through a hellish, self-destructive depression through most of the offseason.

Said Switters at the time of the June 6 pic: "His picture definitely didn't look as bad during the season, maybe he just gets more and more fucked up until the next season comes around and his life changes for the better. Practically the same thing happens to me."

I agreed and wrote: "By August he will be twice the man he is today and we will hardly recognize his refound glory."

Well, judging by the picture posted now on ESPN we were right. Feldman is back at about 85% and looking fit here on Game Week 1, the veritable eve of college football. By Thursday at 7pm EST as Rutgers and Buffalo take the field and commence the season proper, we may even see a toothy smile on Feldman's face as his strength returns to full.

SEC's "Real Men of Genius"


Bud Light Presents, "Real Men of Genius" (Reaaaaal Men Of Genius)

Today we salute you, Mr. Delusional SEC Homer (Mr. Delusional SEC Hooooommmer!) Year after year, you say that your teams are the baddest in the land (Baddest rednecks around!) Ignoring stats, facts, bowl records, and out of conference results, you push on (Facts are for Yankees!) Because when you're drunk on Bourbon and your family tree is a straight line, those seven to three games look like quality football (Barn burners!!!) So here's to you, Mr. Delusional SEC Homer... keep fighting the good fight. (Logic is for wimps!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Ten Network: Answer my Question!

After last week's post about the Big Ten Network, we received a comment that could be nothing other than a Big Ten Network schill (nothing against schills, by the way):

Anonymous said...

All split feeds are offered to cable and satellite providers. DirecTV has already said that it will carry all of the split feeds on its overflow channels so if your carrier gets the BTN you should be able to choose the game you want to watch or channel surf among all of them, just like ESPN GamePlan except for much lower cost.


If the BTN takes that much interest in what's said on this blog, then I at least invite this person to give me a link, a document, some sort of proof of this. I just can't imagine an average person reading this blog to use language like "just like ESPN GamePlan except for much lower cost."

If the claims made by this person are true, I pretty much withdraw all of my criticism of this new BTN plan......

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Pre-Season Top 25

Now that we've been snubbed for inclusion in MGodBlog's Blogpoll, I'm continuing my petition for inclusion (not letting our pride get in the way) here in public by creating and posting my own derivative and aribitrary pre-season Top 25 ranking, what I would have submitted to MGodBlog, with the Lutheran statement that I personally believe that pre-season polls, no matter what their origin, are a complete waste of time.

Now that I've nailed my dissenting view on the Church door, I'll lay out my entire plan for a Reformation of sorts from within the college football blogosphere. The plan, as it were, was to effect change from the inside, by infiltrating the blogpoll and convincing its members that we could one-up traditional media schills with their 'pre-season polls' through a righteous refusal to rank teams until a sufficient set of data from the field was collected.

Ideally, I would push for the end of the non-conference schedule, 4 weeks into the season, to bide our time, watching inter-sectional games and slurping beer in stony, scientific silence while we made our observations backed by actual on-field play and not plagued by the moronic conjecture of Mark May and the lisping geriatricity of Lou Holtz.

And this poll, issued in the 4th week would be a good poll. It would be better informed by fact than by East Coast bias and anybodies-guessing as to whether Michigan's secondary might emerge, when by then we might actually know.

Of course we have some idea, now. But is it fair? No. We don't have all the facts. We have old news. We have history. But does it matter in the end? Yes, but only insofar as it serves to screw a great team out of a fair shot (Auburn 2004?) And is that what we really want?

We have a unique opportunity here in the blog ranks to do things different and better than the traditional media. Yes we make it better by turning the news into a conversation, but even then we're following their lead. What about starting our own conversation?

On the other hand, had I been admitted into the exclusive ranks fo the MGodBlog Blogpoll, I might not be whining right now. I might have played ball and submitted a pre-season poll. Hypothetically, it would have looked something like this:

My 2007 Pre-Season Top 25

  1. USC
  2. LSU
  3. Michigan
  4. Texas
  5. West Virginia
  6. Florida
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Louisville
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Ohio State
  12. UCLA
  13. Georgia
  14. Penn State
  15. Nebraska
  16. Auburn
  17. California
  18. Boise State
  19. Arkansas
  20. South Carolina
  21. Oregon
  22. Rutgers
  23. Hawaii
  24. Texas A&M
  25. Tennessee

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

College Football's Most Overrated

By way of the Detroit News, by way of ESPN (though I didn't notice this on the CFB
portal
), college football's ten most overrated teams:

1. Florida State (-63)
2. Tennessee (-58)
3. Washington (-42)
4. Miami, Fla. (-35)
T5. Ohio State (-34)
T5. Nebraska (-34)
7. Florida (-33.5)
8. Michigan (-25)
9. Texas (-24)
10. Clemson (-22)

These rankings were made by taking the difference of teams' preseason rankings against their final rankings over the past 10 seasons and adding them all up to determine which programs had been the "most overrated" and "most underrated." The number (n) in parenthesis behind each team name above is that difference compounded over the past ten seasons.

Looking at the flipside of the results, we get college football's ten most underrated teams:

1. Washington State (+51)
2. Boise State (+48)
3. Oregon (+32.5)
4. Arkansas (+26)
5. Wisconsin (+23)
6. Louisville (+20)
7. Texas Christian (+18)
T8. Boston College (+17)
T8. Iowa (+17)
T8. Maryland (+17)

Any surprises here?

I'm not sure. To me overrated is about facing high expectations year after year, a byproduct of sustained success, indicating not really being overrated. Whereas with being underrated you have the advantage of flying under the radar early and moving up into the soft underbelly of the top 25 as a few surprise teams do every year. It is imminently easier, to start low and surprisingly rise when you don't face said expectations and real obstacles (like the SEC compared to Conference USA) or risk being overrated at all.

If Hawaii slips from a pre-season ranking of 25 out of the poll, they lose 1 spot in this ranking system and suffer no such ignominy as being called 'overrated.'

On the flipside, a team that has to start high (Michigan) and risk a more dangerous and unlikely path to win it all (which if you're starting high is the only way to match the commensurate rise enjoyed by the underrated) has a much tougher time and more to lose for failing. A drop from a pre-season #3 to a pre-season #8 somehow makes them look a bad, overrated team?

Maybe I'm being too liberal in my view of the term 'overrated.' Scientifically speaking this ranking is right if a team underachieves from where they're projected to finish, but that methodology assumes a lot of science that the college football ranking system just doesn't have.

Finally, given a liberal interpretation of 'overrated,' all college football fans see it as a bad thing, that overrated teams are bad teams. But the real truth, the truth that is continually betrayed by pre-season rankings, that the overrated list includes some of the most storied-names in college football, doesn't back up this claim.

9 of the 10 teams on the 'overrated list' have won National Championships recently. So who's overrated now? QED.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Go Away, and Look What Happens.......

First thing's first: 12 days until I can watch the Ohio State Buckeyes play their first football game of the year. Yep, with ESPN GamePlan, you can watch all of your favorite team's games! All is well in the world, and nothing could be easier.

Wait a second....

Yeah, you already knew about this, but still. I am willing to pay hundreds of dollars to watch Ohio State beat the shit out of Akron, Youngstown State, and other non-conference lightweights. But it appears that I no longer have that option.

According to the Big Ten Network's website, there will be "35+ football games per season"!!!!

Wow! Thanks so much!

According to a detailed analysis, there are 45 Big Ten conference games alone, not including all 11 teams' non-conference schedules. But here's where the Big Ten Network really fucks us all:

Let's take the first weekend, September 1. According to the BTN website, they will be showing the following games:

Appalachian State at Michigan, Noon EDT/11 a.m. CDT
Youngstown State at Ohio State, Noon EDT/11 a.m. CDT
Florida International at Penn State, Noon EDT/11 a.m. CDT
Northeastern at Northwestern, Noon EDT/11 a.m. CDT
Bowling Green at Minnesota, 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT
Indiana State at Indiana, 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT

For your convenience, I've highlighted the games that are all on at the same time. But guess what? There's only ONE Big Ten Network, not four. So they show the game that will "split the feeds regionally among cable operators to allow Big Ten fans to watch the game with the most regional interest."

Regional interest my ass

If you live in the area where your team plays, most likely you'll be able to watch your favorite team play. But if you lived in the area where your team plays, most likely you can watch your game on local TV. So if NastyB (a _ichigan fan) and yours truly (a Buckeye fan) both live in California, which game are we going to get? Which game between Youngstown State vs. Ohio State and Appalachian State vs. Michigan will generate the most interest in California?

I'm composing an email right now to lobby on behalf of the OSU/YSU game, because Tressel used to coach at YSU. Maybe that's the only way to make sure we can watch our favorite teams.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nick Saban, So What?

Saw this on ESPN's college football homepage along with some bloated Ivan Maisel piece about the walking, talking, coaching controversy that is Nick Saban and the only thing I think anymore is... So What?

Isn't it pretty much the American Dream to climb the ladder to success like Saban has? So why does everyone hold it against him? Wouldn't anyone else in the same position have made the same decision?

Things weren't going well in Miami and to pretend that he owed the Dolphins anymore loyalty than they would have shown him when the chips are down is crazy. Look at the shelf life of NFL coaches when they aren't winning. The franchises show no loyalty.

So good for him for recognizing a bad situation and securing a better one. Just like any employee, you do have to look out for number one. So why is this still a story?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chat Transcript: The Return of Switters?

Seeing this controversial statement of the Pac-10's mettle over the Big Ten by ESPN's so-called 'experts,' a seam of white-hot rage woke Switters (erstwhile co-blogger of this blog) from his silent slumber.


switters:

horse shit
how could the pac 10 possibly be better than the big 10????
Sent at 1:54 PM on Thursday

nastyb:

unsure
sounds like a thin argument

switters:

yep
you got that right
fucking jerks

nastyb:

sounds like you need to vent
the blog's been missing you...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Freep Hatin' on the Big Ten

As one of a handful of sources I cruise for Michigan and Big Ten coverage I might otherwise miss, the Freep (Detroit Free Press) has been notable lately for its decided lack of the de rigeur pre-season hope and optimism.

In fact, in lieu of the expected homerist hype, there's been a biting, negative tone to recent Freep coverage including:

Big Ten: Most overrated conference?

and, in response to the ridiculous Jim Harbaugh situation:

DREW SHARP: Hail to the hypocrites; U-M's arrogance is academic

The tone and intent of these pieces almost feels like teenage rebellion (see: biting the hand that feeds you). Though some of these criticisms may have some validity, the Big Ten hasn't been totally excellent lately, it's pretty shocking to see the hometown crowd sweeping the rug out from under the home team, particularly in the unproven, conjecture-laden and usually hopeful run up to the season. Where's the love Freep?

And more importantly, where's the journalistic dispassion and perspective wherein band-wagoning with Harbaugh is concerned? He's looking like a jackass not only among Michigan fans (just ask USC and the rest of the Pac-1o outside of, or maybe now including, Stanford) and it doesn't take an investigate journalist's spider sense to sniff that out, Drew Sharp.

Finally, amid all of this negativity, the Freep's strangest contribution was a sad recap of the false-start-filled odyssey of Drew Henson.

FINAL SNAP: Once a two-sport star, U-M's Drew Henson is fighting for his football life

Who needs at this most hopeful time of year to be reminded of the sadness of the past?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Pair of Tom Brady F-Bombs

Who knew? There is an emerging YouTube sub-genre devoted entirely to Tom Brady dropping F-Bombs. Witness:

Act I



Act II

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Good Sign For the Season


My special lady announced yesterday that she's got an extra $500 burning up her purse that she'd like to use to buy us a new television set. Sounds good right? So I said, what's the catch. Well, she said, we have to renew our subscription to HBO.

Is that a catch? I can finally find out what happens to Tony Soprano and watch college football in glorious high-resolution each and every Saturday. I'm not seeing the catch.

This is how I know it's going to be my year. The fall is shaping up beautifully and the only thing the woman wants from me is more of my time planted on the couch watching the brand new TV for which she's personally willing to contribute five-hundo? Luck be a lady indeed.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Does South Dakota Hate College Football?

The above should need no explanation, since it is clearly the GeoMap Overlay report from Google Analytics showing the relative volume of traffic to CollegeFootBlog.blogspot.com by US State between January 1 and August 7 of this year.

Other than the horribly misshapen mitten of Michigan (um, where's the lakes?), the other disturbing feature of this map is NO TRAFFIC WHATSOEVER FROM SOUTH DAKOTA!!!!

Jeeze, what does it take to get you guys? Even population light-weights like Vermont, Wyoming and North Dakota sent a little love our way. Shit, we even got some Guam/Puerto Rico and "Minor U.S. Outliers."

Quirks in the data? Maybe. Or perhaps it's something more sinister. Should we question South Dakota's love for the great American tradition of college football?

So what up Rapid City? Pierre? Defecting to the Soviet Union? Boycotting the game out of extreme Nebraska envy? What will it take to get one South Dakotan to read this blog?

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Second Annual Foster's Oil Can Post


About one year ago, on this very blog, I thought it would be a good idea to extol the virtues of my second mistress (after college football) - the Foster's Oil Can. You see it has become something of a tradition to gather at the earliest excusable moment (and that comes earlier on the West Coast, mind you) on the first Saturday of college football season with a mess of these in a paper sack and drink them during the first round of games.

As with many things, it's about size. Which in this case means vital caloric content. The hopsy, yeasty goodness provides enough carbs to make it through the morning all the way to afternoon buffalo wings and pizza and ensures the requisite level of retardation that let's one know: you are shirking your responsibilities sufficiently and enjoying Saturday the way it was meant to be enjoyed since caveman times.

Only we're watching college football and the danger of death by sabre tooth tiger is low, so drink up and enjoy. If you're man enough, you may even be up to the Oil Can Challenge which is to finish at least one during each set of games and retire as many as possible with the goal of benchmarking a new high AND staying awake through the SEC night game on CBS.

Tallies for record consideration accepted starting September 1.

Interesting College Football Factoid: BSU

This is of course the time of year of lots of schlocky pre-season annuals, rankings and conjecture, but it is also a time when more sophisticated news sources navigate the domain of sycophantic college football fans, bloggers and parasitic pundits to put together their own analysis. After all, it is their weekly rankings that comprise the AP Poll and not (much to their chagrin) the bloggers of the CollegeFootBlogospher (who may know better on both counts).

If these pinnacles of print journalism are going to add any value to the already over-populated dialog, much of it increasingly insider informed, it may be their commitment to dispassion and pure cold facts. Many of these turn out to be interesting and can be taken home for future consumption, which all blogging merits aside, is more than I can say for most of what I read out here on the Internets.

To wit, The Washington Post, who ranks Boise State a safe but respectful (read: cowardly) 25 in their Top 25 list includes this fascinating factoid:

*Boise State at 44th is now the highest-rated non-BCS school in the Collegiate Licensing Company's latest rankings of royalties reported over the last year. The school earned $512,000 in royalties during that period, school officials said, which is up 56 percent from the previous year.

What is the standalone value of a fact? I don't know, but for me, this has it. And maybe that's only because it dovetails neatly with my reigning and advancing view that the WAC is where it's at in the non-BCS world.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Downloadable 2007 College Football Schedule

2007 College Football Bowl Season Amendment: The Downloadable Bowl Schedule is now available.


Yes it's awesome. But I cannot take credit for this work.

I received it in a string of email forwards at work and thought that the entire College Football Community should rejoice in its abundance. Witness this model of tabbed-Excel-spreadsheet, organizational excellence as it plots out by means of full-color, helmet graphics the entire NCAA 2007 schedule of college football games. The tabs are organized by conference and this thing will come in handy for visualizing at a glance what games to watch/bet on week by week.

To the anonymous hero who created this document. Thank you for having so much time on your hands. Step up and be recognized!

Click the Link to Download:

Awesome '07 Football Schedule

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Worldwide Leader?


Some realizations sink in slowly as the aggregate of subtle clues adds up to the larger, troubling whole. Like taking a drink of slightly turned milk. It takes a bit, but the sump of oily slick finish on the surface, faintest waft of acridity as you raise the glass to your mouth, and finally the sour receptors send up the signal and you drop the glass and check the expiration date. That shit had to be out of the grocery store yesterday sucka.

Not to draw too exaggerated a corollary here, but that's kind of the experience I've had lately with ESPN.com (specifically) and ESPN the media phenomenon (in general) now that I think of it. Not to say sour milk, but that the clues of soddenness in thinking and presentation are starting to manifest as the quality of ESPN's product is starting to turn after so many years of excellence. I guess we shouldn't be surprised by this, since the historical record has plenty of examples of the complacency that can be engendered by an unchallenged run at the top. But still, it's sad to see.

ESPN has taken a lot of flack for its lame effort to cash in on the Web 2.0/celebrity culture revenue stream by mashing-up their sports coverage with a pop culture popularity contest in the "Who's More 'Now'" campaign.

But that's only the most obvious, tip-of-the-iceberg example. Real sports fans don't care if Tom Brady is good looking and stylish or that he bangs Gisele and knocks up b-list actresses if he isn't first and foremost an amazing football player. And if, in our shameful moments of giving in to guilty pleasures there's always US Weekly and Perez Hilton to fill the fix. We don't need ESPN peddling low-grade schlock in that department as well.

What we need is ESPN living up to its promise of being 'The Worldwide Leader.' (The more you fail to deliver on that promise, Bristol, the more your proclamation starts to ring like an empty communist tagline ala Kim Jong Il.)

I used to rely on ESPN heavily for my college football coverage. And while they still do some things very well (the weekly ESPNU Podcast, por ejemplo) so much of the meaty coverage has gone pay-per-view and is provided by mealy-mouthed third-party schills (read: Scouts, Inc.) that I just don't know who to trust anymore.

And so, almost imperceptibly, I've started to navigate to other websites before ESPN.com. Heresy! Nay! Truth! I will by the first to say it. CNNSI.com, CBSsportsline.com and, coming up fast with the most-improved-player award, Yahoo! Sports, are officially better sports websites than ESPN.com, both from the navigability/user-experience and content perspectives.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Big Ten Expansion?


Crafty, crafty Jim Delany. SI is reporting the Commish is once again pushing the idea of expanding the Big Ten by one team to 12.

It should be little surprise that revenue is the driving factor (Championship Game = TV Dollars) but there is the added galvanizing factor of the nascent Big Ten Network. (Which is more of the aforementioned 'TV Dollars'.)

Now the Big Ten Network slight of hand becomes clearer - it was all along an elaborate, multi-faceted ruse geared toward an end of expanding the already misnomered and mis-numbered conference. Delany figured he could steamroll all traditional pleas if the economic argument for the Network was stronger.

Quoth Delany: "The broader (the network) is distributed, the more value (expansion) has. We have eight states. With expansion, you could have nine."

Ah. Well if you put it that way....

But does that mean Notre Dame is no longer the preferred target? If it's a ninth state Delaney's after the likely candidates would appear to be Missouri, West Virginia or Louisville (in ascending order of preference by this guy).

Still the Delaney is cracking open the door that was shut in 1999. Delany said of Notre Dame: "There aren't many universities that produce that kind of value."

Wait and see I guess. But the argument should be interesting. There are low of powerful interests that like this conference just the way it is. Ferentz. Carr. The fan bases of Ohio State and Michigan. And the outcome is unclear. Is Delany a visionary taking the progressive move for the advancement of the conference or is this a reckless power grab?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hindsight is 20/20: the '07 Rose Bowl Game Explained


Buddy Dave is a legal intern in the front office with the Oakland Raiders this summer and so will be a source I frequently pump for insider info of the ilk that arose unexpectedly (and unpumped I might add) in a recent chat.

Being that we're both Michigan fans we got to talking about the coming season in which some foolish pundits believe a Wisconsin team sans the Godly John Stocco is going to be the best team in the Big 10.

We disagreed, the Badgers are not the best team in the Big 10. Without a seasoned QB, you've got to doubt them. It's the Wolverines in the Big 10 this year - simply too much experience on offense.

Michigan's D, I pointed out, is the question mark, but I compare it to OSU's from last year. They're going to be better than expected. After last season, I've got a lot more faith in English than Herrmann.

To which Buddy Dave replies, "yeah, though he was exposed for losing to USC in essentially the same way they lost to OSU."

And I say, well, you've got to put a lot of the second loss on the offense, since even the bona fide Leon Hall can get tired if he has to chase fast receivers around the field all game because the offense can't put together a drive. And by offense I mean:

1st Down - Off-Tackle
2nd Down - Off Tackle
3rd Down - Draw
4th Down - Punt

Buddy Dave says, "good point." Then suddenly conjures up the insight that inspired this whole post:

"[The offense] seemed to drop the ball in that game. Which was weird. I was talking to the Raiders guy who does college scouting the other day.. and, I forget the name of the guy graduating on the right side, but this guy was telling me that there were SO many plays where Henne wouldn't necessarily get sacked or Hart stopped in the backfield but where the right side of the line would cause the play to break down and they were basically all this one dude's fault."

The gears in my mind were starting to turn. Who was this dude who couldn't hold up his shit? Then as they started to turn faster, the questions changed. Who else could it be?

Rueben Riley. That slow sack of shit.

The embarrassing Rose Bowl loss to USC reduced to a single observation. The right side of the o-line was compromised. The right side of the o-line was Rueben Riley - the often maligned and frequently doubted, ponderous, plodding, undrafted sub-planetoid. Good riddance. If Michigan get's OSU and USC this year, I'm pegging his absence (or replacement) as the difference.

"You need a good o-line, just ask the Raiders," summarizes Buddy Dave. "We gave up how many sacks last year? Burning through QBs like cords of wood. Oh my God. This guy was like... 'well, it we suck again this year we can draft Jake Long.' They LOVE him."

And they should. He's pretty manly.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Was Bruce Feldman Arrested? By ESPN?


What else are we to believe? He looks drunk enough. He looks sorry enough. By God he looks dirty enough.

Of course you will infer from the inclusion of this picture and the title of this blog that we have taken issue with Bruce Feldman's swarthy new look.

Buddy Dave (to whom credit must be given for unearthing this latest offense on ESPN.com) writes:

"When did Bruce Feldman's pciture change to look like this? And, what the fuck kind of picture is this? Did he just find out his wife was cheating on him, sit on the couch, not shower or shave for six days and then go in for his picture?"

Seriously. I mean, you'd think for a high-profile picture like this that he probably had days to contemplate and prepare for, he'd get gussied up a little. Nothing major you know, wash your hair, wear a collared shirt or at least take a razor to the fortnight of unkempt, Appalachian Trail stubble. I know all sportswriters are frustrated athletes, but someone's got to tell Feldman that the hockey playoffs ended for him years ago. And we're not asking for Kirk Herbstreit, necessarily, but just a little more professionalism - something, anything, to suggest a little more respect for our readership.

Unless of course Feldman's apparent regression is a sign of something deeper, as Switters suggests:

"His picture definitely didn't look as bad during the season, maybe he just gets more and more fucked up until the next season comes around and his life changes for the better. Practically the same thing happens to me."

I love this idea of the rejuvenating approach of the college football season. It's happening to Switters and Buddy Dave and me. With each passing day our strength is growing and Feldman, in an effort to commune with his fans (whom he resembles, I confess), is chronicling this rehabilitation by the restorative power of college football by showing us the face of its healing - the face of his healing. His worst days in late January and February a distant memory, he has picked himself up off the floor, applied deodorant and changed out of the beer-strained t-shirt he wore for the six-month bachelor party he's apparently just returned from. By August he will be twice the man he is today and we will hardly recognize his refound glory.

Now let's all genuflect on a moment of silence for the new dawn of college football.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Problems with the Athlon Top 25

June's the first month where it really starts to feel like College Football is coming back. Maybe it's that the old school year is finally over. Or maybe it's that the NBA is winding down and we need a second sport to discuss besides baseball. But probably, it's the sudden, mushroom-like profusion of pre-season Annuals with their crazy pre-season Top 25s.

I won't lie. I love these things, beautiful, vapid, glossy bullshit-stuffed, but so, so irresistibly consumable at the scale and ease of pornography. They manage to trick everybody year after year. Maybe it's just my sweetest-of-all-time blogger hubris talking here, but I've grown wise to their tricks, and to prove it I'm going to poke a few holes in the recently-released Athlon Pre-Seasons College Football Top 25:

-Wisconsin #4 - On what authority? They've got a fat running back who stumbled over 12 teams, but lost to the only, proven team they played last year (Michigan) and all that was with the best offensive lineman the world's ever seen (Joe Thomas) and a dependable, if boring robot of a QB in John Stocco. The bad news, and the main reason the Badgers aren't the #4 in the country nor even the second best team in the Big 10, is that both of those aforementioned dudes graduated. The Badgers return to earth big time this fall.

-No BSU pre-season love, but plenty for everyone they beat in 2006 (OU #7, Hawaii #19, Oregon State #22). Honestly. What will it take for the Broncos to get some pre-season love? Admittedly, Zabransky' graduated, but they've still got Ian Johnson and should have a better defense this year. To top all of that, shouldn't the epic Fiesta Bowl win and final #5 ranking last year be worth something?

-Which brings me to OU #7 - No proven QB, and Adrian Petersen has flown the coop leaving what exactly? Well if you believe the experts at Athlon that's apparently the makings of a Top 10 team. I guess this is more a testament to the middling year projected for the Big 12, or the motivational energy imparted by being immortalized in Boise State's coming-out win, but still I think this is a little generous.

-Rutgers - This party ended last year.

Things they did right:

-USC is #1 - It's hard to argue with the ranking of USC as #1, given they return most of the team (except good old Dallas Sartz) that dismantled a very good Michigan team in last year's Rose Bowl. You can bet they've improved everything in the off-season except, apparently, John David Booty's haircut.

-No Notre Dame - this one I really, really like and don't have to explain, but it will be fun to see Jimmy Clausen not win the starting QB job, let alone the first of the Four National Championships he's counting on before he goes on to dominate the NFL.

-Michigan at #8 - Reasonable, and if anything a tad underrated, which should be comforting considering that Michigan has typically underachieved when expectations have been highest. This team has plenty of reasons to be good, so let's not screw it up by expecting the all-star, all-veteran offense to actually put up big numbers and blow teams out.

Overall it feels like they are just trying to be different for the sake of being different. Not ranking FSU? That's like anarchist blasphemy no matter how bad the 'Noles may look on paper after absolutely rocking a UCLA team Athlon says is Top 15 material.

So has Athlon no need for prognosticating credibility? Do they sneer in the faces of honest college football fans like you and me? Let's take it to Athlon and tell 'em what we think of their Top 25 poll. It sucks prunes.

(Next up Lindy's)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cody Hawkins - Buffalo Gunslinger


CFN is reporting today that true freshman Cody Hawkins is looking like the uncontested starting QB this fall for the Buffs. So, without giving up a spoonful of the benefit of the doubt, doesn't this whiff faintly of nepotism?

Cody is Coach Dan Hawkins son, which raised my eyebrows at least, and I suspect I'm not alone. See 'Who is this Kid?', where one poster close to the program, Katie Hnida, sums up the uncertainty of the people thusly:

"My guess is they are wondering if he is a rapist or just a pot smoking hippie that can't get it done in the big game."

Well, all internet chin music aside, there are some facts about Dan Hawkins latest gambit that deserve a little more superficial examination and conjecture (assuming of course the Hawk will anoint his son the starting QB come September).

As recent as two years ago, a kid from Idaho's pre-eminent Catholic school (which doesn't even play in Idaho's toughest high school football division, 4A out of 5A) would not have a chance of starting at a prestige program like Colorado. Now, it's fair to ask, could he even start at Boise State were it not for his Dad's influence?

Is this Dan Hawkins' decision because it's best for Cody? Or because it's best for CU football? The key to CU's season will rest on this decision. Daddy issues for Cody or another losing season for CU? But just maybe the Hawk can have it both way!

Fact: Cody jumped ship from his commitment to Boise State last year and followed Dad to Boulder. What motivated this? Could it be the competition was suddenly looking fiercer at a Boise State program that was on the eve of a 13-0 season and BCS Bowl victory over Oklahoma? Were Cody's gifts suspect in such an environment?

Quite possibly. Though to be fair the idea of that and Cody being the rightful starting QB at CU, are no longer mutually exclusive. The nagging idea that Cody's best chance to play was wherever Dad is drawing up the depth chart and calling the plays, would probably have been easier to demonstrate had the Hawkinses stayed at Boise State where the benchmark would have been maintaining an astounding level of success rather than building up from a 2-10 season and a new low for a once proud program effectively ruined by the one-two punch of Neuheisel and Barnett. The point is there is a greater margin of error at CU, and the bar is lower than at Boise State, which seems funny to say. (But I like it.)

That said, and having never seen the kid play myself, I must rely on what I read about his talents as a football player. And the journalists at CFN seem convinced, writing, "with a nice arm and great passing touch... Hawkins has the biggest upside and might be allowed to work out all the kinks now with the hope that he'll be a star in 2008."

A star? Really? The little kid (5'11"/190) from the second best league in the mighty high school football state of Idaho? (I should know, I grew up there.)

My dubiosity aside, the truth of this review hinges on whether the impartiality of this 'reporting' can be trusted. Generally the guys who write these previews are people quite close to the program, bloggers or local beat reporters, bought for peanuts on the dollar, to put together 'scouting reports' that get repackaged and sold to stoke the faintest hopes of each fan of each program that this is their year. The 'secret sauce' in all of this? That the reporters themselves actually believe the hype they're peddling.

Good little PR schills. Their careers depend on it. What fan's going to keep reading prognostications of doom and gloom? What boosters will show up on opening day for Baylor's 87th gridiron campaign without first being convinced in the naive parts of their brain that this season just might be different?

But the writer here, Michael Bradley, Sports Illustrated's own El Hombre, is a hired gun with some old school street cred. Writing out of Philadelphia he doesn't have a local fan base to appease or a program to build up for the lift it could provide his own career. So it just might be genuine optimism.

Anyway, with a program as down in the mouth as Colorado, non-fans won't be reading period (unless they're archrival fans, or anti-fans, my assertion holds) so impartiality (balance as Fox would say) is a nicety not a necessity, and as a reporter you're after the lowest common denominator, or in this case those Buff fans at the bottom looking up where all the news is good because shit can't get any worse.

Which in the end is a kind of hope for Cody Hawkins. I will buy into the hype and believe that Dan Hawkins isn't making the choice that's best for his relationship with his son, and that for maybe the first time in this unfair world, the answer to Coach Hawkins second pressing question is the same as the first - Cody Hawkins. It would, after all, make a hell of story if father and son together rescue CU from the absolute, fucking dumps.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Switters Takes It Hard


TODAY AN ATTACK FROM SWITTERS:

switters: cool man
you are a classy dude
still taking that michigan loss to heart

nastyb: what?


switters: it's cool man
i knew you weren't always a real michigan fan at heart


nastyb: what are you talking about?


Sent at 5:33 PM on Tuesday


After which, stony cold silence.


Hmmmm. How is one to interpret this? Did I just shit on Switter's dream? Did I kick his dog or sleep with his girlfriend? I can't be sure, but I think this is related to a chat we had yesterday before what would become Ohio State's second, high-profile manhandling by Florida in a major college sport championship game. Witness:


switters: what's your take on the game


nastyb: chomp chomp


switters: i see
i would pretend to not be a big ten fan too if i were you


nastyb: well
when you've got $2500 riding on the outcome


switters: you do?
that's awesome for you


nastyb: if florida wins


switters: nice


nastyb: 23% of the kolkata pot


switters: you can take out the 50 you owe me for osu/um and you'll be up 2450


nastyb: haha
the check is in the mail


switters: ok good
i'll look for it when i get home


nastyb: what's your address again?


switters: who knows


nastyb: i'm serious
i'm sending you a check


switters: dude if you send me a mail bomb i'm going to be pissed


nastyb: not a bomb
but maybe some anthrax or ricin powder


switters: did you split florida with a bunch of people or what


nastyb: two other guys
so i get 1/3 of $2500
still a nice chunk of change


switters: cool


nastyb: assuming they win
if they don't we get about $400 each


switters: well it's pretty much already over
if you know anything about sports, you know that the favorites always win


nastyb: true
i've been following 'sports' for a while and that's always been the case


switters: i'm glad it was for the bcs championship


nastyb: ok


switters: i'm just saying


nastyb: there is the poetic justice argument here


switters: i love it
i love watching their press conference yesterday
they were acting like the game was already played



nastyb:
arrogant bastards
i have no love for florida
but i do want to get paid


switters: they are very proud of their back to back championships


nastyb: well, my support is nothing personal


switters: this is how bookie make millions
days like today
and days like january 8


nastyb: yep
what's the line?


switters: 4.5


nastyb: word
over/under?


switters: 140 i think


nastyb: that's respectable


switters: well florida's going to score 120


so osu will at least score 20


Sent at 1:50 PM on Monday


The guy's got a chip on his shoulder about being #2 and takes it out on me for my coincidental support of the new evil empire in college athletics? I'm just an opportunist, please don't say I'm not a Big 10 fan. That hurts. Besides, it's not like I could have supported Michigan in the NCAA Tournament anytime in the last 6 seasons. Give me some credit for still getting up in the morning.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Roy Hall is Ohio's Public Enemy #1

This looks bad, and I bet this guy (Roy Hall) already feels pretty bad. After hearing the resounding cry from Ohio if only Ted hadn't been hurt maybe 41-14 Gators wouldn't have happened, who wouldn't? Up until today, however, there was a cloud of mystery surrounding Ginn's injury and it just seemed like one of those things - or a goddamned blight from fate. So it's unfortunate for Roy that a.) someone was there to capture the moment of the crime, and b.) that Sports Illustrated put said picture out there for the world to see and judge.

I'm going to heap onto that mountain of shame because what a waste right? I've always watched the celebratory, tackle-the-amazing-guy-that-just-scored in the end zone thing with a little bit of incomprehension. I know you're jacked up 'cause your team just scored, but why risk hurting the team when chances are you're going to need to score again?

Already with Adrian Peterson shattering his collar bone on an unnecessary, celebratory dive into the end zone we have seen the folly and potential consequence of stupid end zone celebrations. Now it's getting out there that another ended Ted Ginn's BCS Championship game prematurely, and after such a promising start.

Chances are Roy Hall's learned his lesson, but it was such an expensive one so we'd better hope the lesson itself is invaluable and that's why I don't feel so bad, after all, heaping a little additional shame on this moron's shoulders.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Problems With the Post-Season College Football Rankings

I have a problem with Boise State's final rankings of 5 in the AP Poll and 6 in the Coaches Poll. Come on guys. They belong inside the Top 3 at least. And Ohio State's final ranking is pure lip service to the fact that they were in the Nat'l Championship game. Which is fine. It's an achievement. But the way the lost, and that at the end of it all their best win was over Michigan, I think they belong lower, like 5-6 range.

Michigan, who did not get beat as badly as Ohio State in their bowl game, fell 5-6 spots to numbers 8 and 9. Is Ohio State looking better than USC, LSU or Boise State these days? After racking up just 80 yards of offense on Monday night I'd argue no. They aren't the number 2 team.

So who is? Boise State, but for the blueblood of college football's continued reluctance to respect a 'mid-major.'

According to Michael Wilbon (who said he would vote Boise State at #2) on last night's PTI the only sports journalist in the country with the stones to match Chris Petersen's, and vote Boise State #1, was Greg Archuleta of the Albuquerque Journal. Way to go guy. That's a true pioneer.

But how was Boise State to climb higher when even the Idaho Statesman's own Mike Prater, couldn't bring himself up to the (shameless?) homerism to vote Boise State #1? He put them at #2.

And I don't necessarily disagree with that vote, but he had to know Boise State had an uphill battle to get to the AP Championship and I would have appreciated the moxie of that #1 vote from the hometown writer.

All the same it's interesting to see the AP Voters Votes (all available here). You will note some big-time names on there, like Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler, and Stewart "What the Fuck Did I Do to Deserve an AP Vote?" Mandel, each one of them towing the corporate line and dicking the Broncos over with #5 votes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

We Were All Wrong, Except Urban Meyer

Wow. What happened? I had some faint misgivings when Michigan got thrashed by USC in the Rose Bowl, admittedly, and against my natural inclinations, I started to suspect the Big 10. But I never saw this happening.






Yeah, Penn State/Tennessee, yeah Wisconsin/Arkansas, but something was smelly at the top. I had the feeling that if Ohio State and Michigan beat the crap out of each other and seemed well matched back in November, was there a problem if Michigan didn't seem to belong on the same field as USC on New Year's Day?

Since beating Michigan was Ohio State's signature, and only "elite," win as Texas panned out, did this mean that the Buckeyes were suspect? I had that tingle in my reptilian sub-brain, but I quashed it because the Buckeyes looked unstoppable and I believed in the Big 10.

Now it's been exposed. I didn't follow Ohio State with the same level of detail that I invested in Michigan, so I can't speculate on what went wrong with the gameplan, coaching or execution (and I hope that when Switters peels himself up out of his alcohol-induced fugue he'll have the courage to try). But with 82 yards of offense, and Florida defenders grabbing and eating chunks of Troy Smith like cotton candy, I can restate the obvious and say that something went very, very wrong.

And for the first time in my life I felt terrible for Troy Smith getting sacked. This miserable ending did not befit the apparent season he'd had. Nor did it fit the season that the Buckeyes turned in.

I supposed the speculation will turn to the 51 days of waiting time, or the de-emphasis on preparation, the lack of what they call 'hunger' or 'fire,' that comes with being the odds-on favorite not just to win but to destroy. Then maybe there's the Ohio State/SEC jinx (0-8 in as many tries) or the fact that Ohio State was one of Sports Illustrated's #1 Cover teams back in August and Florida was not.

Anyway it falls out it was a disappointing finale for the Big Ten and they've taken a nationally televised beating that diminishes a lot of the respect for the conference and validates the SEC's claim to best in the land.

Finally, you do have to hand it to Florida and Urban Meyer. They worked it.

Choke!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

All Eyes on Troy Smith


You might think this picture of Jim Tressel is from January 8, 2007. It's not, it's from January 3, 2003. But before I part for the day, filled with some work and some recreation, these are the reasons why I think Ohio State outmatches Florida tonight:

1. Offensive weapons -- As everyone saw in the Michigan game, Ohio State possesses a legitimate running game with Antonio Pittman and Chris Wells. And at the skill positions, you add that to two GREAT receivers: Ted Ginn, whose speed everyone is afraid of, and Anthony Gonzalez, whose route-running ability should be made into a "Wide Receiver Play for Idiots" book.

2. Senator Tressel -- He's a big game coach. He takes his team to what will basically be a home game for the Buckeyes, he knows how to keep them focused, and he brings the team to play. Every game. Tonight will be no different. Watch for Tressel to continue to shed the conservative coaching image and let Troy Smith do his thang.

3. James Laurinaitis -- The front four will have to get significant pressure on Leak to wear him down, which brings more pressure on the Ohio State LBs. Laurinaitis will be forced to drop back in some cover packages and will be asked to put pressure on Leak at times. His versatility, endurance, and determination will prove to be a huge factor in this game.

4. A.J. Trapasso -- The Ohio State punter is averaging 41 yards per kick, and if you remember the Texas game, he was consistently sticking the Longhorns inside their own 20. When OSU is forced to punt, Trapasso will continue his stellar season by leaving the Gators at a field-position disadvantage.

5. Troy Smith -- He is one day away from accomplishing everything that could possibly be asked of an all-time great Buckeye. Three wins and zero losses against Michigan, leading his team to a 19-game winning streak, a Heisman Trophy, and this last step......a National Championship. He was on the sidelines the last time the Buckeyes brought it home, not playing, just imagining what it would be like to be on the field.

This is Troy's time to shine. I'm going to shed a tear when he leaves the field for the last time, but appreciate the fact that I was able to watch the best Ohio State quarterback of all time.

Thanks Troy.

Go Bucks.