Carefully scored by a panel of three judges, former figure skater Scott Hamilton, current Secretary of the Navy (and former Mississippi governor) Ray Mabus, and a shadowy Russian judge, this poll attempts to rank those in the SEC who are living the good life. And by that I mean should probably go buy lottery tickets in bulk. Pronto.
1. Les Miles
Just what in the hell does this man have to do to lose a game? He has no quarterback, no offense, an offensive coordinator unfit to direct a third grade YMCA flag football offense, a fanbase bearing down on him waiting for a screw up before pouncing and a defense, that while good against totally inept teams, was ripped to pieces by the eh-he's-not-that-bad T.J. Yates. HOW LONG CAN REASON AND NATURAL LAW CONTINUE TO BE SLAPPED IN THE FACE?
2. Gene Chizik
Another leader of a flawed football team, but the leader of a "God-thing" football team, which is the only rational explanation as to how this team is undefeated. Well, that and Cam Newton running around.
3. Cam Newton
He leads the SEC in rushing, is second in total yards a game and first in passing efficiency. And yet he hasn't even looked good passing. If he figures that out, the New Israel's team marches on to an undefeated showdown with Alabama.
4. Greg McElroy
Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson bailed him out of what was certainly going to be a loss had they not taken over the game (mostly Ingram). While it was not his fault for calling that many passes (the stink eye looks at you, Jim McElwain), it was his job not to throw crushing interceptions.
5. Dan Mullen
A rare conference win over Georgia and a first win for Mullen over one of the big guys. Surely he's not itching to dust off Tyler Russell for conference play again after he throws four touchdowns against Alcorn State?
6. Robbie Caldwell
Still gathering points from his win over Ole Miss.
7. Patrick Peterson
Even Les Miles can sense something is afoot with his fanbase. He's not sure what it is, but, like all ass-backwards luck people, it's telling him that he needs to give Peterson a chance to play offense.
8. Jeremiah Masoli
Each passing week, Ole Miss has added more and more read option, the offense Masoli was scientifically created to run. Now if only he can stop throwing interceptions.
9. Urban Meyer
Running back Jeff Demps has been given the all clear sign and will play against Alabama. This is perhaps Florida's best chance to avoid the shutout.
10. Chris Rainey
Rainey avoided time in a Gainesville or state of Florida correctional facility and agreed to a misdemeanor charge of stalking. Instead of some solid incarceration time, he'll do the community service blah blah blah.
Last week: 4-3
Former Directional School at Auburn
I've said it once and I'll mention it here again with bold, obnoxious text IS THERE ANYONE REALLY SURPRISED JOHN BLAKE IS A BAD GUY? Quick, Les Miles, push to schedule North Carolina from now until ever.
Vanderbilt at Connecticut
Outside of the Ivy League, will there be a whiter crowd than the one at this game? Duke at Maryland may beg to differ, sir.
Oh, right, the pick.
/points blindly at a map
/finger lands off the coast of Greenland
Since Greenland is closer to UConn, let's take the Huskies.
Kentucky at Ole Miss
Last Friday, I had this weird belief that Ole Miss was actually going to play well and beat Fresno State. I didn't dare mention it because we all know if I had done that Ole Miss would have lost by three touchdowns (since, you know, somehow an individual is ultimately in charge of the team's fate). Well, it's now only Thursday and I've already convinced myself Ole Miss can actually win this game. Sure we can't stop anyone, but since when is that a good reason to pick against someone? I say NEVER, especially when I'm emotionally involved.
My case, while cheap napkin thin, goes something like this:
1. Mike Hartline is back in the interception game. He had two last week and no doubt is itching for more when he realized how far behind he is in the 2010 Jevan Snead Award for Oustanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure.
2. Joker Phillips has never won a conference game, most importantly a road conference game.
3. The aforementioned adoption of the offense Masoli was created to operate.
4. A Kentucky defense fresh off surrendering 466 yards of offense to what Florida calls their offense.
To be fair, the opposing case, which has the thickness and consistency of a young pine tree:
1. Ole Miss' defense offers the resistance I do at the thought of eating Chick-fil-a even though I have just finished my supper.
/brief pause to inhale nine dollars of golden brown, cooked-in-peanut-oil deliciousness
2. Randall Cobb will not be defended by someone with more than 45% of his skill.
3. The Ole Miss defense is also on pace to go the length of 2010 without an interception, even with Hartline's best efforts.
4. By my last count, the Ole Miss offensive line starts a walk-on at left guard, a guy who has played center four times in his entire career and whoever won this week's lottery to start at right guard.
Like many decisions I have made in life, I shall shun the smart choice and go with what I want, which works something like 12% of the time. Good enough for me. Ole Miss it is.
Alcorn State at Mississippi State
I found this to be particularly spectacular:
Tennessee at LSU
HO-LEE SHITBALLS. Les Miles is going to be 5-0. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and older siblings and cousins, here is an effective tale you may relate to the young ones to really drive home the point that LIFE IS 100% NOT FAIR.
/shakes fist angrily at the sky
Georgia at Colorado
And here's this week's avoid-at-all-costs game. Colorado, unable to fire Dan Hawkins because they no longer have any money, will certainly crank out a very special uninspiring performance against a team that may still be trying hard but is simply awful. So in order not to drag this post any lower than it already is (Georgia will win), we shall move on to more important matters. Like, say, the Ole Miss mascot situation (and yes, it enrages me this is a story).
To refresh the collective memory, the committee/focusgroup/wasteofresources has narrowed the final choices to three, eliminating the lion and the horse. Reasons for cutting the lion (don't forget: "Rebellion"):
"The Rebel Lion was eliminated because, despite a positive response to the play on the word “Rebellion,” the committee felt that there was not a strong enough Mississippi or Ole Miss connection, according to a statement from the committee."Because a horse is totally Ole Miss. But why the elimination of the horse?
"The committee also eliminated the Rebel Stallion concept due to the problematic logistics of having a live horse in the stadium or Grove. Though there was great enthusiasm for a live horse to lead the Ole Miss Rebels, we soon realized that the horse would in reality be present for a short time at the beginning of each football game. Also, there are limitations concerning the horse functioning among the extreme crowds in the Grove. These facts would require a companion costumed horse mascot to be visible at the games, other sporting events like basketball games where horses are not allowed and at special events.”Right. Of course. Logistically, getting a bear or shark in the Grove presents far fewer problems. Dammit, why are we doing this again?
The surviving concepts:
"Depictions of the remaining three options – the Rebel Land Shark, the Rebel Black Bear and Hotty Toddy — will be released for public review as a part of the poll on Wednesday, and the committee said it has taken more time than expected to ensure the designs presented are respectful of Ole Miss culture. In fact, based on input from all groups within the Ole Miss community, the committee said it spent a great deal of time over the past few months discussing, reviewing, tweaking and re-thinking the Hotty Toddy concept, which has evolved from a pair of characters into one mascot.So there it is, your new mascot, Ole Miss - Hotty Toddy - just as I said when this committee/focusgroup/wasteofresources released the 10 or so concepts earlier this summer. We no longer have an ambiguously gay duo, but a giant Muppet that may have ambiguously gay characteristics One day, perhaps not in my lifetime, but one day, we may finally figure out how to get out of our own damn way. However, today is certainly not that day.
“This concept has a strong tie-in to Ole Miss traditions; it is unique, and it has the potential to unify our fan-base. However, it is important that the ultimate concept be proud and in no way silly, so we have taken more time than anticipated to make sure the concept shown is as strong as it can be.”
UNCLE VERNE GAME OF THE WEEK
Florida at Alabama
The only hope for the Gators is that Alabama has not totally recovered from last week's game against Arkansas - both physically and mentally. And perhaps that offensive coordinator Jim McElwain will continue to call for Greg McElroy to throw when the two best running backs in the conference are at his disposal. Also, it's possible John Brantley could turn into an All-SEC quarterback like so many thought he would be even though he had yet to play a meaningful down in college football.
I suspect that, even though Florida is outmanned, they will make this a tougher game than expected for Alabama. Despite being a a chief on the great council for assholes, Urban Meyer is still a good coach who does well in big games. I think we'll see Florida's best effort, but even if Alabama isn't clicking on all pound-you-into-physical-submission cylinders, they still have enough to beat the Gators.