Monday, December 29, 2008

From the Weekend That Was

Do not challenge Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen to a swimming race. Here’s the link to the online article, but the print version in yesterday’s Clarion-Ledger had a small headline in the continued portion of the story that noted Mullen won a state freestyle race when he was 12. What editor decided that was the most compelling story from the second half of the article? “World traveler with some interesting stories from Europe or swimming title at age 12? It’s a tough call, but I like the swimming story. It’s the year of Michael Phelps!”

Greg Hardy’s biggest enemy is not his insanity. No, his area of main concern for hurting his draft status is not his reputation for being lazy, getting along with coaches or doing what’s best for Greg Hardy instead of the team, but, unbelievably, it’s steps. You know, those things that make up staircases. In this case, it was actually an escalator, but he also once took a tumble down the stairs in Meek Hall his freshman year. Unlike his fall in Meek, he won’t miss any practice this time, but someone needs to tell him it’s in everyone’s best interest if he just sticks to elevators.

John Chavis hitches his wagon to Les Miles’ fading star. One of the SEC’s minority coordinators is changing locations, but not jobs. There are probably a million jokes here about LSU losing its co-defensive coordinators, but the staff’s overall weight will stay the same. By the way, what minority group is Chavis a part of? I’m assuming “fat” isn’t considered a minority.

Gus Malhzan brings another high-scoring offense to more below average quarterbacks. A few weeks after trading Paul Rhoads for Gene Chizik, Auburn is bringing the former Arkansas savior and Tulsa offensive coordinator in to direct the Tigers’ offense. Unfortunately for Malhzan, he’ll be dealing with a pair of quarterbacks a step down from Casey Dick.

Detroit can cite crime and the first 0-16 team in NFL history as major reasons not to live there. Thank you, Matt Millen. Your gift to the sports world will always be looked on by those outside of Detroit with great fondness. Incidentally, I saw Lions’ kicker Jason Hanson interviewed in an article on the 0-16 season and couldn’t believe he’s still on the team. Anyone that was on an NFL roster in Tecmo Super Bowl is okay in my book.

Jay Cutler taps his inner Vanderbilt and the Broncos don’t make the playoffs. After leading the AFC West for 16 weeks, the Broncos fell apart down the stretch, giving the last AFC playoff birth to the San Diego Chargers. Cutler, who played his part in the loss last night by throwing two interceptions, spent a good deal of time standing on the sideline watching the Chargers shred his team’s defense for 289 yards on the ground. The last three weeks of the season saw the Broncos get outscored 112-54, reminding Cutler of the days at Vandy sitting on five wins and not making a bowl.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All You Need to Know About Every NFL Week 16 Game in Two Sentences

But first, the Andy Kennedy debacle. I'm leaning in the direction of believing AK's version of the story simply because Pete Boone believes it. Now, I've said Pete Boone is many things, but he's not a complete idiot. That means Boone isn't going to stick his neck out for a coach he's clashed with and would love to send packing unless he's certain Kennedy will be found innocent. He enjoys his 30-hour work week and isn't going to risk his last few years at Ole Miss over an alleged drunken cab fight.

Even if Kennedy is cleared of everything, what the hell is he doing out after midnight on the road the night before the toughest game of the season? I don't have a problem with him going out in Oxford after home games, but going out on the road is asking for trouble. I know he has old friends in Cincinnati, but how about getting them to come to the hotel in Kentucky or going some place near the hotel? Going to "college night" at some bar in Cincinnati is just stupid. Even if they weren't drinking (which I'm certain they were), it's dumb.

I can only hope Kennedy realizes his leash has no more slack in it. He had been warned about his trips to the bar before, and now this happens. Again, even if he's cleared, if something else like this happens, I have no problem with Pete Boone showing him the door and giving him Joe Cullen's number.

(Stepping down off soapbox)

On to the games....

Indianapolis 31, Jacksonville 24
Go to hell Reggie Wayne, go to hell. Thanks for finally showing up when my fantasy team is battling it out for the fifth place title.

Baltimore (9-5) at Dallas (9-5)
Of all the feuds going on in the whole world, the most inexplicably dramatic right now is Terrell Owens taking on ESPN reporter Ed Werder. The second most dramatic right now is Ed Werder's mustache and 21st century men's grooming habits.

Cincinnati (2-11-1) at Cleveland (4-10)
Sweet little baby Jesus with your baby Einstein DVDs, please make it stop. And thank you I don't live in Ohio.

San Francisco (5-9) at St. Louis (2-12)
Mike Singletary pants watch: No pant droppings in like five weeks. And next year's potential Rams coach Jim Haslett has now lost eight straight games.

New Orleans (7-7) at Detroit (0-14)
Sean Peyton, don't screw this up.


Everyone outside of Michigan.

Pittsburgh (11-3) at Tennessee (12-2)
So you're telling me Kerry Collins quarterbacking a team isn't going to work late in the NFL season and playoffs? Surely you jest.

Miami (9-5) at Kansas City (2-12)
My thanks to Tony Gonzales and Dwayne Bowe. Your team stinks, but you've been money all season for my fantasy team.

Arizona (8-6) at New England (9-5)
The Cardinals have already made the playoffs so they're not exactly interested in the rest of the regular season. In fact, if you're looking for them, they're out on the smoker's patio burning down some heaters and waiting for the real games to start.

San Diego (6-8) at Tampa Bay (9-5)
Please, please, please can we have the Chargers win and the Broncos lose so the winner of the AFC West finishes 8-8? I don't ask for much, but I need this.

Houston (7-7) at Oakland (3-11)
I'm sorry Darren McFadden, we're no longer getting that apartment together. After your fantasy performance this year, I've moved on to Peria Jerry.

Buffalo (6-8) at Denver (8-6)
The possibility of a Week 17 San Diego/Denver showdown for the AFC West title is riding on the arms of Philip Rivers and J.P. Lossman/Trent Edwards. No, you're not mistaken, those three are actual NFL quarterbacks.

NY Jets (9-5) at Seattle (3-11)
Brett Favre is already saying he's not sure if he'll be back next season. Let me be the first to give him a preemptive screw you for clogging the sports world in the NFL offseason with the gazillion "will he or won't he play next year" stories.

Atlanta (9-5) at Minnesota (9-5)
Matt Ryan and/or Tarvaris Jackson will be in the NFL playoffs. I am hurt and offended, but mostly hurt.

Philadelphia (8-5-1) at Washington (7-7)
A tip for your 2009 fantasy football season: don't draft any Eagles. They're either hurt, fat, out of shape or plagued by some of the worst coaching in the league.

Carolina (11-3) at NY Giants (11-3)
Domenik Hixon isn't as good as Plaxico Burress? Seriously, Burress is a much better shot than Hixon.

Green Bay (5-9) at Chicago (8-6)
Chris Berman (in his deepest voice possible): "Norris Division....blah, blah, blah. Black and blue, blah blah blah."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From the Weekend That Was (and Monday/Tuesday)

Since this is a few days late, I'll get straight to what happened over the last five days...

The Ole Miss basketball team is as interested in playing defense and rebounding as Auburn is in hiring a black coach. In the previous two seasons, we've seen Andy Kennedy's teams at least attempt to play defense, but have never been very good at it. This year's team naturally stinks at defense, but to compound that problem, they don't even try. There's little to no communication between the players and help defense is nearly non-existent, and when it does arrive it's so awful it essentially just leaves an opposing player wide open elsewhere.

We also don't have much on offense, but not everyone can play offense. Everyone can play hard on defense and that's my biggest problem with this team. I know a lot of these guys are young, and losing Eniel Polynice definitely hurts, but it's going to take Kennedy making it perfectly clear that whatever's going on right now isn't acceptable. And if there's not any improvement as the season progresses, then (gulp) it might be time to ask some questions about Andy Kennedy. I think it's a stretch to start doing that now, but if it's mid-February and we're still getting shredded on defense, it might be time.

One quick point on the offense, the three-headed monster of Kevin Cantinol, Malcolm White and DeAundre Cranston might be the worst combination of offensive forwards in Ole Miss history. Those three are bringing NOTHING to the table on the offensive end of the floor. White has two more points than personal fouls (39 to 37), while shooting 35% from the floor, and Cranston has six more points than fouls (28 to 22), while shooting 39% from the floor. Paging Andre Burnside, paging Andre Burnside. Ugh.

Seriously, Gene Chizik? If you had given me 100 guesses as to who Auburn might hire for its next head coach, I wouldn't have come up with him. The guy was an 0-4 start in 2009 away from being canned by IOWA STATE, a place where .500 will keep you around. It's very rare someone can go 5-19 in two seasons, end the second season on a 10-game losing streak and get a promotion.

Predictably, Auburn fans were a little upset. Well, actually one fan:

We can probably assume the rest of the Auburn fans were preparing for another march on the president's house, only this time they were carrying gasoline, torches, tar and feathers.

To calm the irate Auburn nation, AD Jay Jacobs sent out an email/letter trying to assure everyone that Gene Chizik was in fact the right man for the job and that everything will work out just fine. Even former coach Pat Dye got in on the action and said he fully supported the Chizik hire. Both of those calmed exactly zero people. This is going to end well to quite well.

The Lions threatened, then became the Lions. A feisty effort from the Detroit Lions this week as they were tied with the Colts in the fourth quarter with nine minutes left before finally falling 31-21. There's a little too much fight left in this team, and with the Saints coming to town this weekend, the perfect season could be in jeopardy. And what a fitting end to the Saints' season that would be.

Peyton and Eli Manning can now follow the upstart NFL tradition of opting out of the Pro Bowl. If you took the 50,000 to 1 odds that any combination of the Clausen brothers would make the Pro Bowl before the Mannings, you lost. But it was a good run.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

All You Need to Know About Every NFL Week 15 Game in Two Sentences

Chicago 27, New Orleans 24
Looks like the Saints are done in their quest for the playoffs. And it looks like Kyle Orton has become Rex Grossman with a beard.

Tampa Bay (9-4) at Atlanta (8-5)
If Atlanta loses, they're most likely out of the playoffs, which will end all this Matt Ryan for MVP talk (which is legitimate right now). If Tampa Bay loses, America wins because no one wants to watch a 16-10 first round playoff game involving the Bucs.

Washington (7-6) at Cincinnati (1-11-1)
I just noticed the Bengals record is actually a palindrome. That's pretty much the most interesting thing about a game between the slumping Redskins and a Bengals team whose coach really might have to be implicated in a murder in order to get fired.

Detroit (0-13) at Indianapolis (9-4)
The following people have thrown passes as a quarterback for the Lions this season:
Dan Orlovsky
Daunte Culpepper
Jon Kitna
Drew Stanton
Drew Henson

And Colts backup Jim Sorgi might be better than all of them.

San Diego (5-8) at Kansas City (2-11)
The Chargers need to win out and need the Broncos to lose out in order to win the AFC West. This, of course, means that Norv Turner will rise to the challenge and lead the Chargers to three straight losses.

Seattle (2-11) at St. Louis (2-11)
Let's take this time to get to know Texas Tech coach Mike Leach a little better...

And currently, on the NFL Network postgame show, Rich Eisen is either wearing a fedora or a bowler.

San Francisco (5-8) at Miami (8-5)
Apparently, the threat of seeing Mike Singletary's junk again has spurred 49ers players on to two straight wins. If Miami can win out, I look forward to my conversation with the Roach about yet another first round Dolphins exit from the playoffs, ala late '90s or early '00s.

Buffalo (6-7) at NY Jets (8-5)
Nothing would make me happier than to see Brett Favre get a head start on making more crappy Wrangler jeans commercials in the offseason. Unfortunately for me, he'll have to out suck Trent Edwards, which is probably impossible.

Tennessee (12-1) at Houston (6-7)
The Texans have the best receiver you've never heard of in Kevin Walter. The same guy who's on my fantasy team that managed to finish the regular season with the highest point total in the league, but didn't make the playoffs.

Green Bay (5-8) at Jacksonville (4-9)
Again, Fred Taylor called this the worst team (in terms of chemistry) on which he's ever played. Let's go ahead and put the Jags down for 4-12.

Minnesota (8-5) at Arizona (8-5)
The Cardinals are already in the playoffs and if the Vikings can hold steady, they're in. Gus Ferotte and/or Tarvaris Jackson in the playoffs is sort of like when you were little and let the kids who stink take their turn in the game just because you feel sorry for them.

Denver (8-5) at Carolina (10-3)
Playing running back for Denver this season is sort of like being the drummer for Spinal Tap. You'll get your one or two games of 100 yards rushing, but in a flash, your season will be over.

Pittsburgh (10-3) at Baltimore (9-4)
What if Troy Smith hadn't been injured? I don't think the Ravens would have five wins right now.

New England (8-5) at Oakland (3-10)
I know the Raiders have won three games, but if they were to play the Lions, would you take the Raiders? I don't see any scenario in the world were I would take them over the Lions, even if Dan Orlovsky somehow found his way back under center.

NY Giants (11-2) at Dallas (8-5)
Who would have guessed Terrell Owens and his quarterback don't really like each other? What will it take for this guy to not have a job in the NFL anymore?

Cleveland (4-9) at Philadelphia (7-5-1)
Ah, just what this NFL season needed, some more Cleveland Browns in primetime. And on an unrelated note, Lil' Wayne, if he were a closer in baseball, would come into a game to Semisonic's Closing Time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From the Weekend That Was

21-year old Tim Tebow didn’t need Percy Harvin, but 24 years from now 45-year old Tim Tebow wishes he had played. Without Harvin, Tebow carried the ball 17 times (and 16 the previous week against Florida State when Harvin was injured), which was the highest number of carries since the Ole Miss game when he rushed 15 times for 7 yards and lost, 31-30 (maybe you heard about it).

Florida’s offense wasn’t as strong without Harvin (which is scary since they still scored 31 points), but they were able to take advantage of some good field position, hit a few big pass plays and run the ball when they needed to do so. Alabama needed a perfect game from its offense, mainly John Parker Wilson, in order to win and didn’t get it. Wilson delivered his normal performance (12 of 25, 187 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) and if not for Julio Jones, wouldn’t have done much of anything.

I thought Alabama made some odd play-calling decisions when they mixed in a few deep balls and some non-play action pass plays after they were really punishing Florida on the ground. That got them in some long yardage situations, which always favors the team trying to defend Rush Probst’s student. And for the love of all things holy, how has Alabama not developed a fade play in the red zone for Julio Jones? I’m not a huge fan of the fade, but when you have a giant receiver that can’t be covered and catches everything in sight, perhaps you should look into such a play.

One last comment, up 20-17 heading into the fourth quarter, Alabama’s defense really melted away (especially after spending most of the third quarter on the sideline). Really good defenses slam the door shut when given that opportunity. Of course, it’s a little harder against Tebow and an appearance by the Florida running backs, but Alabama was in a great position to win and couldn’t hold on.

Oh, and again, Urban Meyer, please send those flowers and thank you note to:

Houston Nutt
c/o The University of Mississippi
1810 Manning Way
University, MS 38677

Hide the women and children. Ohio State is back in the BCS. Seriously? No, seriously? Have the past two years taught the BCS people nothing? I guess beating Michigan State means more now than it once did. I’m not a big fan of Boise State, but I’d rather see them in the Fiesta Bowl than Ohio State. We know what Ohio State is. A team that was skull-drug by USC and a team that lost in Columbus to Penn State and its backup quarterback.

I said after last year’s debacle against LSU if Ohio State made it back to the BCS, those in the BCS deserved to have their houses burned to the ground (which they may anyway for this money-whoring system we’re in now). I still think it’s an appropriate response.

Will SEC defenses prove to be the offenses’ of the Big 12 kryptonite? I’m really looking forward to seeing how Oklahoma and Texas Tech’s offenses do against Florida and Ole Miss’. Eleven SEC defenses rank ahead of the top defense in the Big 12 (Texas is at number 50, while Mississippi State is the lowest of the 11 at number 38). This could be because of the juggernaut offenses they all face or because they really stink. And maybe the SEC rankings are inflated because of the plethora of inexperienced and bad quarterbacks operating the conference’s offenses. I’m thinking we’ll find out that the Big 12 offenses aren’t as spectacular as they’re made out to be. Someone remind me of this when Texas Tech throws for 600-plus yards against Ole Miss.

Is it possible a BCS game could have a lower attendance than the ACC championship game? If Virginia Tech and Cincinnati have anything to say about it, it will. Well, probably not because Virginia Tech should travel fairly well and Cincinnati should bring more than the seven fans Boston College brought to the ACC championship game. All I really wanted to do here is point out this is an actual BCS game, not a Thursday night ESPN game.

Alabama, don’t pull a Georgia. No one wants to hear about Utah and the Mountain West. Remember a few years back in the Sugar Bowl (when it was held in Atlanta after Katrina) when Georgia found a way to lose to West Virginia? Well, that game is the reason we’ve been hearing so much about the Big East and why Cincinnati is playing in the Orange Bowl. Before then, the only time we ever heard about the Big East was when Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech announced they were leaving the conference. Now, they’re on ESPN every Thursday night in the fall and talking heads sing the praises of Rutgers and the rigors of going to Tampa to play South Florida. So, seriously Alabama, don’t screw this up.

Three games away from 0-16. Mark your calendars, Sunday, December 28 the Detroit Lions should be playing for history against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions have teased us before in 2001 when they started out 0-12, but rallied to win two games late in the year to finish 2-14. I think this team may be for real though. The soul-crushing loss on Sunday to Minnesota should have taken the last bit of fight left in them.

$3.99 buffets and Indians/Cubs trade talks. It can only mean one thing: Baseball winter meetings in Las Vegas! I think ESPN created these winter meetings as an excuse to get Buster Olney, John Kruk and the rest of the Baseball Tonight people to work a little extra for their paychecks. Technically it could be called a vacation for these guys, but ESPN at least makes them report once a day on what Yankees GM Brian Cashman said at 4 a.m. while waiting in line for the seafood buffet.

And speaking of the Yankees, it appears they’re trying to sign every free agent pitcher on the market. All 76 of them. Not sure how they’ll all fit on the roster, but if they throw enough money at enough players, some of it should stick and they’ll have a new pitching staff. It's science and responsible spending.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Everything You Need to Know About Week 14 in the NFL in Two Sentences

San Diego 34, Oakland 7
Uncle Jonathan’s corn cob pipe, the Raiders are bad. And thanks to everyone on the Raider’s coaching staff for ruining Darren McFadden’s fantasy season.

Jacksonville (4-8) at Chicago (6-6)
Fred Taylor claims this is the worst “team” (chemistry-wise, not skill) on which he’s ever played. Jags wide receiver, and former Raider, Jerry Porter takes umbrage with that remark.

Minnesota (7-5) at Detroit (0-12)
Looking at the schedule, this is probably the Lions’ last chance at a 1-15 season. It’s also the first time in the history of fantasy sports that fantasy owners are knowingly and willingly starting a back-up running back (Chester Taylor) because of the potential for massive points in mop-up duty, which should start in the second quarter.

Houston (5-7) at Green Bay (5-7)
How horrible is the NFC North? At 5-7, the Packers are still considered a solid favorite to come back and win the division.

Cleveland (4-8) at Tennessee (11-1)
Stealing from Bill Simmons, “That’s Ken Dorsey’s music!!!” Did anyone think we’d see a Ken Dorsey/Kerry Collins match-up this season?

Cincinnati (1-10) at Indianapolis (8-4)
What does it feel like to spend a couple thousand dollars on Bengals season tickets? Probably something similar to spending a second round fantasy pick on Reggie Wayne.

Atlanta (8-4) at New Orleans (6-6)
At this point in the season, Matt Ryan has a more legitimate claim to be an MVP candidate than Drew Brees. Just so we’re clear, this is the same Matt Ryan who spent last season killing Boston College’s chances of winning games.

Philadelphia (6-5) at NY Giants (11-1)
I’d like to formally send out a big, hearty f-you to Brian Westbrook for miraculously finding out his legs could hold up for last Thursday night’s game. Your last-second discovery prevented me from putting you in my starting lineup, and subsequently cost me 37 points in a game in which I lost by 27.

Kansas City (2-10) at Denver (7-5)
Chiefs coach Herm Edwards is, or at least should be, considered a dead man walking right now. But can someone explain to me why Carl Peterson (GM, President and CEO of the Chiefs), who’s made all the horrible personnel decisions, is still going to keep his job?

Miami (7-5) at Buffalo (6-6)
I feel for the city of Buffalo. They live through 8 months of 25-degree temperatures, 6 feet of snow on the ground during that time, they lost four straight Super Bowls and now their team is moving to Toronto.

NY Jets (8-4) at San Francisco (4-8)
I believe Mike Singletary has gone 4 weeks without dropping his pants. So, congratulations to him.

New England (7-5) at Seattle (2-10)
By the beard of Zeus, the Seahawks are bad. The only team more lifeless in Seattle than the Seahawks is the Sonics.

St. Louis (2-10) at Arizona (7-5)
I believe I read that the Rams players would love for Jim Haslett to be named head coach for next season. It’s like his time in New Orleans never happened.

Dallas (8-4) at Pittsburgh (9-3)
Why in the hell has the NFL not forced the Steelers to put artificial grass on their field? Mud football is an intramural sport, not a professional one.

Washington (7-5) at Baltimore (8-4)
Geographical rivals that aren’t rivals at all. Probably because they don’t recruit against each other, play in the same conference or fire coaches when one coach doesn’t match the success of the other coach.

Tampa Bay (9-3) at Carolina (9-3)
Both of these teams are 9-3? If you’re scoring at home, Jeff Garcia and Jake Delhomme are prominently involved with these teams.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

From the Weekend That Was

After setting a blistering pace heading into the final week (60-15, .800 winning percentage), I stumbled through the finish line thanks to two SEC teams stinking it up against ACC teams and LSU blowing a 30-14 against Arkansas.

Last Week: 4-4
Season Record: 64-19 (.771)

Ole Miss 45, Mississippi State 0
Inmates in third world country prisons don't get abused as badly as State did on Friday. I've never seen Ole Miss do anything remotely close to what they did to the Bulldogs. At one point, I actually felt bad for laughing when State would attempt to pass the ball. No quarterback should have to endure the punishment all three of State's were getting. Although, Tyson Lee seemed to get a good laugh when Chris Relf was smashed on his first pass attempt, a right which Lee probably earned since he was nearly killed a few times.

As you know by now, the abuse was so severe that Sylvester Croom was told he would not be coaching at State anymore. I know officially he resigned, but resigning coaches don’t usually get buyouts for themselves and their assistants. And someone as stubborn and arrogant as Sylvester Croom doesn’t just resign unless there’s a really good reason. Like, say a big buyout for himself and guaranteeing money for his assistants, which is a good thing for those often forgotten in coaching changes.

Over the past few days, we’ve been bombarded with statements saying Croom is a man of character and did things “the right way” at State. Now, I’m not going to argue with the character statement. By all accounts from people who know him or have worked with him, he is a good guy. But I’ll take issue with the doing things “the right way” claim.

Does someone really need to be praised for doing what they’re supposed to do? Don’t cheat (or get caught), make sure your players make their grades, keep your players out of jail (it’s been ignored he gave Jackie Sherrill a run for his money in this category), and get your players to play hard. These are pretty much the basic things expected from a college football coach, with winning being the major requirement.

Sylvester Croom tried to do all of these things and was constantly given a media high-five for his attempts. As long as high-fives were being given out for doing what he was hired to do, why not give him some recognition for getting out of bed in the morning, practicing proper hygiene and not murdering people? This whole “right way” thing is completely absurd. Hundreds of other coaches have been doing the exact same thing and never once do we hear he’s doing things “the right way.”

A coach referred to as doing things the right way is like the quarterback that’s called a game manager. It’s a nice way of saying, “This guy is a good guy and tries hard, but he stinks.” Or, more importantly, it’s an excuse given to someone that doesn’t deserve one. Sylvester Croom no doubt was well liked as a person and tried hard as a coach, but he was not a head coach. He had five years to find a quarterback, five years to change his offense, five years to build on offensive line and five years to turn a bad program into a competitive one. He did none of these.

He refused to change when it was clear change was needed, both with certain coaches and his offensive scheme. He never blamed his team’s failures on his offensive scheme, which never worked in five years, but on individual players’ inability to make plays over that span. He claimed they were always in position to make plays, but never did, in effect, throwing them under the bus. In the end, that’s what brought him down. He was waiting on the players to change their performances when it was he who needed to change.

And one final note about Ole Miss in this game, when Peria Jerry finishes the year, gets drafted and moves to the city in which he’ll be playing, I hope he’s open to the idea of us getting an apartment together. My man-crush is reaching the same level it reached with Darren McFadden.

Actually, two more final notes about the Ole Miss game. One, when was the last time Ole Miss went undefeated in November? The ‘60s? This season was like the anti-David Cutcliffe season. Rocky start, strong finish. With Cutcliffe, we shouldn’t have even bothered playing games in November. And to be fair to Cutcliffe, this entire season was like the anti-Ed Orgeron season. Good coaching, winning record. And two, we outscored teams in November 152-20. That’s an average score of 38-5.

Arkansas 31, LSU 30
This co-defensive coordinator business needs to change before LSU goes to their bowl game. Up 30-14 in the third quarter, the defense allows Casey Dick, seriously, Casey Dick, to lead not one, but three scoring drives to win the game. Oh, and they gave up almost 400 yards of total offense.

Les Miles may not be destroying the LSU program, but if he drops another 7-5, 3-5 SEC stinkbomb next year, he’ll be looking for a new job. Luckily for him, Michigan should be canning Rich Rodriguez right about the time he would be getting fired. So he’s got that going for him, which has to be nice.

Georgia Tech 45, Georgia 42
Stafford and Moreno’s stats?

Stafford: 24 of 39, 407 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Moreno: 17 carries for 94 yards 1 TD and 4 receptions for 74 yards

Georgia’s offense is like 2007 Golden State Warriors. All the starters are fantastic for a fantasy team, but the team itself isn’t quite good enough to do any real damage.

Clemson 31, South Carolina 14
I just realized Chris Smelley is only a sophomore. What are the chances he and Spurrier will be together for his senior year? -25%? -75%? -10,000%?

Florida 45, Florida State 15
At some point last football season, I wrote that instead of watching the Saints and Bucs battle to their inevitable 16-9 final twice a season, the NFL should scrap those two games and we should get to watch a staying awake contest between Ed Orgeron (Saints D-line coach) and John Gruden. Watching Orgeron inhale Red Bull, beef jerky and recruiting videos, while seeing Gruden think of ways to come up with longer names for his plays, would be infinitely more compelling than watching the Saints and Bucs play.

Well, I think a similar contest should be in order for Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno to determine the greatest coach of all-time. Whichever one has the lead in career coaching victories should just retire and let the other one catch him. Then, the guy who ties the record retires, and the two basically try to see who can outlive the other one. That way Penn State and Florida State fans don’t have to watch as a couple of guys in their 90s try to coach major college football. It’s just stupid at this point.

Alabama 36, Auburn 0
Kudos to me for correctly picking Florida (7-1) to win the SEC East. Massive fail to me for picking Auburn (2-6) to win the SEC West.

Tennessee 28, Kentucky 10
Too bad Tennessee waited until games 11 and 12 to find out they actually have a better chance to win when they throw less than 10 passes. Granted, it was against Vanderbilt and Kentucky, but give Phil Fulmer credit for scrapping what wasn’t working and doing what he had to do to win.

Wake Forest 23, Vanderbilt 10
Congratulations to Vanderbilt for tying that Memphis team from last year or year before as the worst bowl eligible team in the history of college football. And another congratulations on finishing strong after the 5-0 start. They should have plenty of momentum headed into bowl season with a 1-6 finish.