Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Gray Should or Should Not Ever Gamble With Real American Dollars in Large Quantities: 12/31 & 1/01 Editions

First, a brief recap of what all of this nonsense is about:  In order to determine whether my diet would consist of Ramen noodles (mix them with ranch dressing and you've got yourself a real treat!) or large quantities of meats and cheeses if I ever did embark down the slippery slope of minor high-stakes gambling that would most likely lead me to living out my days in a YMCA shelter, I shall conduct an experiment of the opposite of the scientific variety.  

I'll be wagering 20 Confederate dollars on each bowl game (minus the three I ignored during my Christmas/traveling odyssey) and at the end of the bowl season, we'll see just how poor I would have become.  Or just how vast my estate would be.  Bring me another $100 bill, Pendleton, I can't seem to light this fire properly!

2010-11 Bowl Season Dollars as of 12/30:  -$20
Record Against the Spread:  5-6-1

Meineke Car Care Bowl
South Florida vs. Clemson (-6)
Rationale:  Hey, Clemson, remember when you led Auburn 17-0 with 1:14 left in the first half?  Oh, and remember in overtime when Kyle Parker couldn't hit a wide open wide receiver in the end zone to win the game?  You do?  Excellent.  Now, BURN IN A FIRE.
Pick:  South Florida (+6); I know they're going to lose, but screw you, Clemson

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Miami (-3)
Rationale:  I read earlier this week that both teams forbid its players from slipping across the border into Juarez, which is a perfect analogy for both of these teams' seasons.  They both embraced playing it safe, no risk, EL PASO miserable football.  However, only the Hurricanes have ever sniffed danger remotely close to what's going on in Juarez simply because they live in Miami.  I've played Grand Theft Auto Vice City.  I know what goes on there.
Pick:  Miami (-3)

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Georgia (-7) vs. Central Florida
Rationale:  This is sort of like a boys high school basketball team playing the UConn women's team.  You take the high school team.  Does this analogy make sense?  Not sure.  But in the SEC vs. CUSA, the CUSA always represents the UConn women's basketball team.
Pick:  Georgia (-7)

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Florida State vs. South Carolina (-3)
Rationale:  Stephen Garcia off his leash for nearly a month?  Steve Spurrier sharpening his golfer's tan since early December?  YES, PLEASE.
Pick:  South Carolina (-3)

TicketCity Bowl
Northwestern vs. Texas Tech (-10)
Rationale:  When Houston Nutt and company get fired in December 2011, my coaching wish list will look something like this:

Kevin Sumlin at Houston
Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech

Did he outrage everyone and act like an asshole in the way he left Ole Miss?  No doubt.  Was he right in his demands that, you know, Ole Miss put money into its football program?  Of course he was.  If not for him smashing us in the back of the head with a shovel, we don't have a stadium that seats 60K+ with suites and club level seating or one of the nicest indoor complexes in the country.  I have forgiven him and embrace his return.  At the very least, he would not retain Tyrone Nix.
Pick:  Texas Tech (-10)

Outback Bowl
Florida vs. Penn State (no line)
Rationale:  A waste of time if there's no line.  I refuse to invest any more time in what will most certainly be a horrible, horrible game.
Pick: Unnecessary.

Capital One Bowl
Alabama (-10) vs. Michigan State
Rationale:  Had Alabama's loss to Auburn been one that prevented the Crimson Tide from going to Atlanta, this is a heavy Michigan State lean (see:  Sugar Bowl vs. Utah).  However, since Alabama had been eliminated from SEC title contention before that game, I think they might show up for this one.  Plus, I can't in good conscience take a team that inexplicably got DRILLED by Iowa in the middle of an undefeated season.
Pick:  Alabama (-10)

Progressive Gator Bowl
Mississippi State (-4.5) vs. Michigan
Rationale:  You know what really grinds my gears?  The exponentially annoying red-headed lady in the Progressive commercials yelping and making jokes about insurance.  You know what's enjoyable about insurance?  Nothing.  Especially getting it.  Pain.  In.  The.  Ass.  Which is why you should shop with Progressive, Gray!
Pick:  Mississippi State (-4.5)

Rose Bowl
Wisconsin vs. TCU (-3.5)
Rationale:  Has any team gotten more mileage out of beating a shitty team than TCU?  Ohio State is probably a correct answer for one of their meaningless victories over Michigan, but at least this season, TCU's win over Utah is the most absurdly blown-out-of-proportion win.  Utah is awful.  Awful.  Double awful.  And TCU destroyed them.  Congratulations.  Let's move on.  To a thrashing by the hands and meaty thighs of Wisconsin.
Pick:  Wisconsin (+3.5)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
UConn vs. Oklahoma (-17)
Rationale:  If there are Sports Gods and they possess a sense of humor, they would make the UConn women's team lose its next 90 games.
Pick:  Oklahoma (-17)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why Gray Should or Should Not Ever Gamble With Real American Dollars in Large Quantities: 12/30 Edition

First, a brief recap of what all of this nonsense is about:  In order to determine whether my diet would consist of Ramen noodles (mix them with ranch dressing and you've got yourself a real treat!) or large quantities of meats and cheeses if I ever did embark down the slippery slope of minor high-stakes gambling that would most likely lead me to living out my days in a YMCA shelter, I shall conduct an experiment of the opposite of the scientific variety.  

I'll be wagering 20 Confederate dollars on each bowl game (minus the three I ignored during my Christmas/traveling odyssey) and at the end of the bowl season, we'll see just how poor I would have become.  Or just how vast my estate would be.  Bring me another $100 bill, Pendleton, I can't seem to light this fire properly!

2010-2011 Bowl Season Dollars as of 12/30:  -$20
Record Against the Spread:  3-4-1

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Army vs. SMU (-7)
Rationale:  Coming into today, 14 bowl games have been played.  Of those 14, exactly 1.5 have been watchable.  Not competitive games (sorry, FIU and Toledo), but watchable.  Iowa/Missouri earned a full point, while Southern Miss/Louisville scored a half point.  And I give credit for that half point to my fascination with all things Beef 'O' Brady's, which was rewarded by a game that went down to the final few minutes.

Luckily for all of us, our conference commissioners are hell-bent on preserving the great traditions and matchups of shit sandwiches like this one.  Now, of the 35 bowl games, no matter how crappy, I made or will make every effort to watch.  Mainly because I'm a loser and have nothing better going on, but also because it's more entertaining than whatever the hell else is on TV and I am addicted to college football.  However, of those 35, here's a list of games I found or will find compelling enough to make sure I'm watching most of the game:

-Alabama/Michigan State
-Mississippi State/Michigan
-Ohio State/Arkansas
-LSU/Texas A&M

So that's 7 out of 35.  God forbid we ever have more than seven compelling football games to end a college football season.  HOW DARE ANYONE WANT TO MAKE COLLEGE FOOTBALL EVEN MORE AWESOME.
Pick:  SMU (-7)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kansas State vs. Syracuse (pick 'em)
Rationale:  Most impressive win for Kansas State:  27-20 over Iowa State (5-7).  Most impressive win for Syracuse:  19-14 over West Virginia (9-4), whose most recent work you may remember in their bed-shitting performance against NC State.  Thankfully, I'll be at work and cannot expose myself to this atrocity.  Oh, hey there, ESPN3.  What's up?  Why yes, you do look very nice and shiny over in that corner.  Check you out?  Okay, maybe for just a minute.  Or thirty.


Pick:  Syracuse; chosen based on the hobo who chased another hobo off a valuable intersection corner today at lunch.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
UNC vs. Tennessee (pick 'em)
Rationale:  At least this misery won't take place in 33 degree weather and rain.  Or 20 degree weather and ICY DEATH.  Checking the weather, they'll still have the rain, but it'll be a balmy 50 degrees at kickoff.  I know people who went to the Ole Miss/West Virginia game in 2000 and they still talk about it as if they survived six months in a Soviet work camp in Siberia.  I'm talking about people staying in the bathrooms or gift shop rather than being in the stands and dying from exposure or hypothermia.
Pick:  UNC

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Washington vs. Nebraska (-14)
Rationale:  Occasionally, the Holiday Bowl spits out a game worth watching.  I seem to recall Oregon/Oklahoma State two years ago was highly entertaining.  Yes, the same Oklahoma State team beaten by Ole Miss in the 2009 Cotton Bowl, who, despite losing its top two offensive players, won 11 games this season, while Ole Miss won four.  That's right, Houston Nutt, they nearly TRIPLED your win total.
Pick:  Nebraska (-14)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why Gray Should or Should Not Ever Gamble With Real American Dollars in Large Quantities: 12/29 Edition

First, a brief recap of what all of this nonsense is about:  In order to determine whether my diet would consist of Ramen noodles (mix them with ranch dressing and you've got yourself a real treat!) or large quantities of meats and cheeses if I ever did embark down the slippery slope of minor high-stakes gambling that would most likely lead me to living out my days in a YMCA shelter, I shall conduct an experiment of the opposite of the scientific variety.  I'll be wagering 20 Confederate dollars on each bowl game (minus the three I ignored during my Christmas/traveling odyssey) and at the end of the bowl season, we'll see just how poor I would have become.  Or just how vast my estate would be.  Bring me another $100 bill, Pendleton, I can't seem to light this fire properly!

2010-11 Bowl Season Dollars as of 12/29:  -$40

Military Bowl
East Carolina vs. Maryland (-8)
Rationale:  We're looking at about 800 pounds of beefy coaches with Ralph Friedgen and Ruffin McNeill thundering around on the sidelines.  I don't know what outcome that necessarily has on the game, but, oh, wait, what's that?  Seriously?  That many?  Did you do the math correctly?  Double-checked it?  Hmmm.  Well then.  While his weight does not matter, it does in fact matter that Ruffin McNeill is coaching in this game because his defense gives up 43.4 points a game.  That's almost 10 more than the great Tyrone Nix, and I considered that to be the worst defense I've ever seen.
Pick:  Maryland (-8)

Texas Bowl
Illinois (-1) vs. Baylor
Rationale:  RON ZOOK ALERT!  This means you should expect the unexpected except when the expected is not expected to happen unless their are exceptions that could possibly be unexpected or expected.
Pick:  Baylor (+1); I made this selection based on a bird that flew off a tree branch before another bird did, which is the only way to avoid insanity when trying to foresee Zook's decision making.

Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma State (-5.5) vs. Arizona
Rationale:  My only wish while watching the Cowboys tear Mike Stoops' defense apart tendon by tendon is that Stoops' head actually explodes and a fountain of rage spews out of his neck.  I think you could probably get pretty fair odds from Las Vegas on this happening.
/breaks into a sprint
/dives head first Slip n' Slide style down the slippery slope
Pick:  Oklahoma State (-5.5)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gamblin' Update

Remember all the way back to last week when I embarked on a quest to discover if I should ever wager significant dollars on college football games?  That's okay, I didn't either.  I had to go back and check.  So, turns out I picked a few games last week and wagered Confederate dollars on the outcomes.  Here's how I did.  YIKES.

Southern Miss vs. Louisville (-3)
Pick:  Southern Miss (+3)
Result:  Louisville 31, Southern Miss 28
Total dollars gained or lost:  $0 (Oooohhhh, sweet PUSH, you are just as good as a win in my book)

Utah vs. Boise State (-17.5)
Pick:  Boise State (-17.5)
Result:  Boise 26, Utah 3
Total dollars gained or lost:  $20

Navy vs. San Diego State (-4)
Pick:  Navy (+4)
Result:  San Diego State 35, Navy 14
Total dollars gained or lost:  $0

Tulsa vs. Hawaii (-10.5)
Pick:  Hawaii (-10.5)
Result:  MURDER.  Tulsa 62, Hawaii 35
Total dollars gained or lost:  -$20

Florida International vs. Toledo (-1.5)
Pick:  Toledo (-1.5)
Result:  Florida International 34, Toledo 32
Total dollars gained or lost:  -$40

Back with more games later on Wednesday.

A Post of the Informative Information Variety

Due to festivities and travel related to Christmas, the posting around here has slammed face first into a brick wall of laziness and no regular schedule.  Those of you outraged that there has been no mention of the Florida International/Toledo or Air Force/Georgia Tech game, I apologize for nothing.  Those games were horribly unwatchable (though, I did see the second half of the FIU/Toledo game jumped up a notch) and I wish I could have the 20 minutes back I spent in front of those games.

Anyway, starting Wednesday, things should be back to normal around here.  So the oft-times incoherent rambling and general confusion that you've been missing so over the past few days will soon be back in your life.  Until then, explore the space World Wide Web.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Synopsis of Gray's Thursday Which Will Explain Why Nothing Was Posted Today

Not that I need to make excuses to you people (what do you mean, you people?), but I thought I'd share, since I imagine most of you are terribly interested in my days and nights.

Thursday, 11:30 AM
Austin, Texas
Gray enters car to drive back to Mississippi.

Thursday, 8:30 PM
Parents' Home in Mississippi
A temporarily crippled Gray exits car after nine hours trapped in said car.  Along the way, there was plenty of nonsensical shouting to no one in particular, furious scanning of the radio, five or six albums listened to, as well as a meal of food at a Dairy Queen in Franklin, Texas.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A MEAL OF FOOD AT A DAIRY QUEEN.  While Dairy Queen has drastically improved their food, it was still A MEAL OF FOOD AT A DAIRY QUEEN.  My only defense is that I was very hungry and really needed to pee.  And let's be honest, I didn't have the same level of trust with the local Mexican place as I do with Dairy Queen.  So there.

Anyway, despite Christmas bearing down on us, I hope to have something up tomorrow for those of you who run out of things to do and/or other sites to browse.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Awards

Good Lord, man, how can you possibly still be talking about the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl?  Because my fascination with a public event and restaurant named after what someone thought a fictional portly Irishman would be named shall never end.  AND YOU'LL LIKE IT.  So much like the Nachos 'O' Brady, smothered with queso and all the other fixins, I'm gonna get a little more mileage out of this thing as we honor some of Tuesday night's players with a dish right out of the Beef 'O' Brady's kitchen based on their performance.

Much like I envision the patrons of this establishment, there was no real MVP of this game, just some steady, forgettable performances.  I had plans for the MVP to receive a three-course meal in his honor, but no one truly deserved a food coma meal.  So, when in doubt, you give whatever the highest honor is to the winning quarterback.

Justin Burke, QB, Louisville

Nothing flashy, just like 20-32, 178 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs, but solid. Could have done worse, could have done better, as does the person ordering this. In the end, he didn't make any killer mistakes and got the job done until the next game. Interesting note about Watterson, the first customer, he was also the first person to puke in the restaurant and experience diabetic shock when he returned home.

Jeremy Wright, RB, Louisville

Much like the most dangerous thing on the menu, Wright was Louisville's biggest hit to the core of Southern Miss with his 95-yard kickoff return early in the fourth quarter, as Southern never challenged the end zone again.

Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss
Quentin Pierce, WR, Southern Miss

Wraps usually carry a sense of "I would like to eat something relatively healthy today," even though they're usually slathered in mayo or some type of secret sauce. However, Beef 'O' Brady's laughed at that notion and created yet another combination that allowed them to feature meat and cheese products. It is a most unusual combination (and exceptionally deadly) much like USM's Pierce and Davis changing their roles and having Davis do the catching of the pass.

Peter Boehme, P, Southern Miss


Click to enormosize

Desmond Johnson, RB, Southern Miss

Though I had to strain through the typical fog of not remembering anything that happened within the last 12 hours to remember his long touchdown run, there is a rule somewhere that requires special recognition of all running backs who hit the 100-yard mark. Congratulations, Desmond. Enjoy burping Guinness gravy for the next 24 hours.

Special Teams, Southern Miss

The Least Valuable Player in the game deserves the meal that is Most Likely to Make You Vomit on Your Table and Everyone at Your Table. This unit surrendered a kickoff return for a touchdown, short-hopped a snap on a punt, resulting in the Super Sampler punter being tackled, and they had a field goal blocked. You should expect your tartar sauce to be extra bitter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why Gray Should or Should Not Ever Gamble With Real American Dollars in Large Quantities

I tend to fancy myself as someone milling around the edges of knowing what is going on in college football, but I rarely put that limited knowledge to use, say, for financial gain.  Sure, I am in some type of picks league (short version of our rules:  Pick six games a week, any games, points based off winning and losing, $50 entry fee, winner takes $200-ish), but I feel like I need more.  However, I also know that in said picks league, going 5-1 each week is just as likely as 0-6 (never pulled off the perfect week), leaving me open to financial hemorrhaging should I dare to try more dollars on individual games.

So to find out whether my diet would consist of Ramen noodles (mix them with ranch dressing and you've got yourself a real treat!) or large quantities of meats and cheeses if I ever did embark down the slippery slope that would most likely lead me to living out my days in a YMCA shelter, I shall conduct an experiment of the opposite of the scientific variety.  I will start each week with $100 Confederate dollars and wager accordingly on the bowl games of that week.  Then, on Sunday night, we'll see just how much money I have left.  Though, for next week, since there are so many games, I'll probably have to make a visit to the Richmond Central Trust so I can spend a little more recklessly (if those bastards even give me the money; lousy distrust for the common man).
/shakes fist indignantly

EDIT:  As much fun as it would be to shake my fist indignantly at an imaginary bank, that process is stupid.  How about I just do $20 on every game?  Not to worry though, them dollar bills are still Confederate.
/spends $35 on a loaf of bread

This week has five games, starting with tonight's thrilling Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Bowl, which has Southern Miss and Louisville battling to the death.  And I said this during the bowl preview extravaganza gala I did last week, but not enough credit is being given to this operation for successfully working in two different meanings of "bowl" into a bowl game.  That, my friends, is AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP INGENUITY.  Let's get this thing in gear.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Louisville (-3)
Dollars at stake:  $20
Rationale:  Mmmmmmm.  Beef 'O' Brady's....

/vomits honey BBQ wing sauce everywhere
Pick: Southern Miss (+3)

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas
Utah vs. Boise State (-17.5)
Dollars at stake: $20
Rationale: Is this the first ever bowl game in which the city in which the game is being played has been thrown in at the end? They couldn't go with MAACO Bowl of Las Vegas or even Las Vegas MAACO Bowl? This is like an incomplete sentence or dangling modifier. You had an entire year to figure this out MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and you failed. Reap my disgust and displeasure from 1200 miles away.
Pick: Boise State (-17.5)

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Navy vs. San Diego State (-4)
Dollars at stake: $20
Rationale: Would you be excited to travel ALL THE WAY to your home stadium to play a bowl game? Or is San Diego state just excited to be in a bowl? How do you get a handle on their emotional state? DOES NAVY EVEN CARE? Ah yes, now I remember why gambling drives people to the brink of remaining a functioning member of society.
Pick: Navy (+4)

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Tulsa vs. Hawaii (-10.5)
Dollars at state: $20, plus sanity
Rationale: Another case of going nowhere yet playing in a bowl game. The last time Hawaii left the island (Lost flashback ensuing.....aaaaannnndddd, done. I miss that show.) for a bowl game, they were drilled by Georgia. Granted, they had no business playing Georgia, but I don't like Hawaii away from home. I watched Tulsa lose earlier this year to East Carolina, who is one of a smattering of teams with a worse defense than Ole Miss'.  I could not have less of a clue what happens here.
Pick: Hawaii (-10.5)

Little Caesars Bowl
Florida International vs. Toledo (-1.5)
Dollars at stake: $20
Rationale: Sun Belt vs. MAC, ROUND TWO. On a side note, and a major one at that, this is the worst bowl game of all-time. Detroit. December. MAC. Sun Belt. 7,500 people. HOW DARE WE TAKE THESE PRECIOUS GAMES AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.
Pick: The winter solstice pointed me to Toledo (-1.5), so far be it from me to go against that cranky old man.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Weekend Bowl Recap

Thankfully, in college football, there are people in positions of power and importance who are looking out for everyone's best interests.  If not for the dedicated resistance of these fine individuals, our precious, tradition-laced bowl system might be destroyed and we'd stuck with an ugly, dirty playoff system, which no one wants a part of.  Nevermind that EVERY OTHER SPORT IN THE WORLD USES A PLAYOFF AND PLAYOFFS ARE AWESOME, we must preserve the sanctity of the New Mexico Bowl and bowls sponsored by a type of software truckers can use.

Tale of the Tape

New Mexico Bowl
BYU 52, UTEP 24
Number of people enchanted:  When you enter the state of New Mexico, you become enchanted, dammit.
Minutes UTEP resembled a well-oiled machine:  Zero.
Minutes UTEP resembled a donkey with three legs:  59.
UTEP rushing yards:  -12.  Seriously, -12.  Joseph Banyard led all Miners with 11 yards on two carries.  On the opposite end, quarterback Trevor Vittatoe went for -43 on eight carries.
Pappy Price sightings in Albuquerque gentlemen's establishments:  Classified.  But it happened.  Pappy doesn't go anywhere where it's not rollin', baby!!!

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl
Northern Illinois 40, Fresno State 17
Number of people educated as to what uDrove is:  At the very least, one, and I was so happy to learn such in the seven minutes I spent watching this game.
What I did instead of watching:  Took a nap and went to the grocery store.  Of what I did see, I was reminded of watching this Fresno team against Ole Miss and, some three months later, they appeared just as incompetent. 
Would Northern Illinois slap the hell out of Ole Miss:  Is Tyrone Nix still coordinating what he terms "defense?"  Yes?  Then of course they would.
Number of times the announcers were confused and continued to refer to this game as the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl:  Multiple.  It's hard to retire tradition.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy 48, Ohio 21
Total offensive yards:  910
Yards earned by Troy:  602
Owner of lower conference supremacy:  The Sunbelt.  SUCK IT OHIO AND DIRECTIONAL MICHIGAN SCHOOLS.
Reasons this bowl should continue:  Other than serving as a practice run for the Sugar Bowl, none.
Can imagine life without this bowl?:  A one-sixth full Superdome on a Saturday night in mid-December and a game between the two worst conferences in America is something that should always be a part of this world, even if it means squashing a playoff that would be the single greatest sporting event in sports because a life without the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl is a life I don't want to imagine.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vanderbilt, This is What Happens When You Elect to Ride a Bull Named Facebook

As of this writing, Vanderbilt, owner of 100% of the land in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium since 2008, has decided that they will announce their new coach via this Facebook page.  An interesting idea, sure, because it's never been done before.  However, there's probably a reason for that.  They've allowed commenting on the page from anyone who has a Facebook account.  As you might imagine, order and sanity lasted about as long as it did on that island in Lord of the Flies.  Though, I don't think they've started killing pigs or one another over there.  Yet.

So before someone at Vandy logs in and sees the shitstorm on their Facebook page, which will immediately be followed by the Vandy people in charge of whatever they're in charge of getting together and discussing how this was a good idea during some bullshit committee meeting, let's examine how this disintegrated rather quickly.

(By the way, for those of you who have been or are employed in an office environment, I think you'd agree that there is absolutely nothing worse than a meeting where anyone is allowed to throw out ideas.  The non-creative types immediately start talking and waste everyone's time with their dumbassery and attempts to justify their existence.  Then, when the creative types throw out ideas that, you know, don't suck, these assholes sort of cock their heads and say, "Hmmm, I don't know.  What about if it was this------", and launch into another horrible idea.  Meetings suck.)

This seems rather civil and informative.

Uh oh, I think I just saw a wheel fly off.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ron Prince!

It jumped up a bit, didn't it?

Right about now, Vandy's Facebook person just threw up on their desk.

And right about now, they just lost their job.

I lost count, but this could be the first time in history Ron Prince was mentioned in 72 straight posts on Facebook.

And this entire exercise is why the Internet is AWESOME.

And this thing finally reached the point is was expanding faster than I could take screen shots. Well, that and reading through 193 posts probably would have stopped being fun around number 70. UNLESS YOU LOVE READING ABOUT RON PRINCE.

Do it, Vandy. Make this happen so I can cheer for a team that will absolutely lose to Ron Prince's coaching abilities.

Commodore Ron Prince!

(Stolen from somewhere off the interpages of the web)


If you haven't signed up for the Fourth/Fifth-ish Annual Belly of the Beast College Bowl Pick'em Quest for Marginal Greatness, you still have time to do so. All are welcome. The first bowl game is on Saturday, which leaves you with nearly two full days to sign up. As a procrastinator, I understand that oceans of time between now and then prevent you from signing up now, but I fully expect a stampede of new members about 13 minutes before the first game starts. And no, I have no idea when it does. IF ONLY THERE WERE SOME MASSIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION RIGHT AT YOUR FINGERTIPS WITH WHICH TO DISCOVER THIS INFORMATION.

This year's winner receives the following exclusive prize package:
-The satisfaction of being one of life's winners
-A $50 gift from yourself
-A PDF that is on my computer's desktop and I have no idea what it is (I will not open it until I send it to you, so I'm looking forward to it as well)

Here's your link to sign up (you'll need a free Yahoo! ID to sign up). And here's your sign-in information:

Group ID#: 12298
password: seagal

If you've already joined, a tip of the cap to your industriousness. I look forward to storming out to a giant lead over you, then collapsing with great vigor in the last two weeks of the bowl season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ole Miss Embarks on a Dam Repair Job

After a season in which its defense surrendered just south of 33,000 points and 27 million yards, Ole Miss took advantage of the junior college signing period and inked four players who are supposed to come in and help provide an immediate solution to this:

Ivan Nicholas (DB), Wes Pendleton (DB), and Gilbert Pena (DT) represent a bale of straw, a glue stick and a bucket. While certainly not the solution, those three at least represent three warm bodies in which to take the place of warm bodies who graduated or are more terrible than three below average to average JUCO players. And in case a game is ever decided by which quarterback can throw the ball the longest distance and land it in a net, we've got that covered.

Zack Stoudt, everyone!

Why, Gray, are you still bitter about Ole Miss football?  Why, yes, you might say that I am.

/checks Tyrone Nix's job status
/discovers status is listed as employed
/envisions 2011 defense surrendering 54.7 points a game
/watches Zack Stoudt net toss 300 times searching for some type of hope
/reminded of the Josh Nelson era
/projectile vomits on the wall

But seriously, Tyrone Nix still has a job, which signals the world that the Houston Nutt era is going down or surviving another year based on Nix's defense.  And let me help you out here, it's over.  We certainly need all the warm bodies we can get, and I hope at least one of these guys works out, but quick fix attempts with average JUCO players, hoping instead of knowing that one or two can contribute, is a coaching staff's last desperate attempt to stay alive.  State fans who experienced the end of the Jackie Wayne Sherrill era are familiar with these flashbacks.  Hint:  IT DIES.

Coach Boom Mother#(@*!$ Is Excited To Be Here

Note:  Some of these quotes are probably altered.  I'm not sure what percentage "some" is, but let's set the baseline at 50%.  You can compare these quotes with the real ones on the Florida site here.

Dr. Bernard Machen:  Good evening, everybody.  We're delighted that you could be here on the campus at the University of Florida.  This is a very special time of year for us.  Final exams are ongoing.  This Saturday we have winter graduation where over 4,000 young men and women will get their degrees, and the Univer -  NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY EDUCATION PERSON.  THIS IS ABOUT FOOTBALL.  GET US TO WILL MUSCHAMP CURSING AT EVERYONE.

Jeremy Foley:  Thank you very much.  It's good to see you all again.  Obviously it's my pleasure today to introduce to the Gator Nation our new head football coach Will Muschamp. We talked last week about some things we were looking for in our football coach; obviously someone who had a familiarity with the Southeastern Conference.  We felt that was very, very important.

Essentially, it was my job not to hire Ron Zook.  That was our goal.  Don't hire Ron Zook.  And I think we achieved that goal because the man sitting up here is in fact not Ron Zook.  At least that's what his driver's license and birth certificate say.  Nor does he really look like him.  He could one day coach like him, but at least for now, he is not him.  And with that, I introduce you to Will Muschamp, not Ron Zook.

Will Muschamp:  Well, it's great to be here.  I am certainly honored and proud to be the head football coach of the University of Florida.  It's a great day certainly for my family and Florida.  I want to thank Dr. Machen. We've got to have leadership here that is remotely concerned with books and shit.  Can't have morons running around representing the University of Florida.  Lord knows there are plenty of those people already out there:

When Jeremy called me, we first had our conversations, he talked about a fit, and really when he started describing exactly what he was looking for, he wanted somebody that was a little something like this:
(whips out iPhone to play video)

That's right, BOOM MOTHERF-

Foley:  Uh, whoa, hold on there coach. Not sure we can say that here.

Muschamp: My apologies, Jeremy. Just a little excited to be here. Haha! BOOM! JUST FOR EFFECT! BOOM!

Anyway, as I was saying, I agree with Jeremy and his research that there is a certain fit you look for in all situations, and again, I feel like I'm the right fit for Jeremy, and I can certainly tell you you're not going to regret that. I'm excited about the opportunity.

And more importantly, I'm not waiting on anyone to say the game has finally passed them by, or has lost the ability to be an asshole. I'm not here to make friends with my players. Tell 'em how much I love 'em. Now, I may love 'em, but I express my feelings through screams of profanity. The more a player meets a freight train of F-bombs and general cursing in all directions, the more he's in my good graces. Strange tactics? Probably. But I grew up under Coach Saban, who loves me like a son, but to this day calls me Shitstick Magee. True story.

But we're going to have programs set for our players that are going to help with leadership development, character development and the mental conditioning it takes to be successful. It's all about making good choices and decisions nowadays. There's a lot of distractions out there. Like HAVE YOU SEEN THE GIRLS THAT GO HERE? ARE CLOTHES EVEN REQUIRED? BOOM AND DOUBLE BOOM!

There's a lot of things that can go wrong when you make a poor choice and decision. Like say, 30 arrests in six seasons.  I want to do great job of conditioning our players to make good choices and decisions. And again, I think that's something that we can supplement our plan with here at Florida along with our football, along with our academic, along with our social, along with our spiritual to make sure that our players are exposed to those types of things. So we'll be locking them in the football complex for hours at a time. That's the most effective treatment I've found to date.

Foley: Again, uh, not sure that's-

Muschamp: BOOM! I'M TALKING NOW. As for offense, we will be a pro style attack offensively. This is a major upgrade from last year because it will be an actual attack and not a stationary front or constant action in reverse. And, most importantly, we will stop snapping the ball by our quarterback and snap it to him.

Roars of approval, followed by Muschamp fist pumping repeatedly and letting more BOOMS loose

Muschamp: The University of Florida is a powerful place. It's a flagship University in this state. BOOM! FSU! WHAT NOW!  As for those reports that Jimbo Fisher are friends?  Not true.  We were friends.  Just got back from our shared beach house where I left a present in his room.  Ate my last meal in Austin at Salt Lick and that room was the first place in Florida I announced my presence with authority.  I-

Foley:  Coach, what does-

Muschamp:  Again, Jeremy, BOOM!  I'm STILL TALKING.  But I need to wrap this thing up.  Only brought one pair of underwear here from Austin.  Got too excited and forgot to pack.  Plus, I haven't yelled BOOM! at everything on campus yet.  I missed that group of trees earlier because I wasn't paying attention.

So let me end with this, I told the team there's two things you can control right now, how you prepare for the Bowl game and how you finish on exams, and not necessarily in that order (winks).  So let's finish strong academically and let's have a great bowl preparation and let's have a great bowl game, send the seniors out right, send Coach Meyer out right, maybe a couple more arrests to go out in style, and when we come back in January we're going to let the chips fall where they go BOOM!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Though it's yet to reach Most Awesomest Thing Ever, the clash of divisions seemingly named after a program on the Major League Baseball Network will eventually surface.  When it does, who will prevail?  Those elitist bastards in the Leaders Division or those holier-than-thou jackasses in the Legends division?  LET'S GET TO THE PAIN.

Click so you can actually read it

Click so you can actually read it

Just Now Found the Keys to This Thing

Once again, my shallowest and least heartfelt apologies for not getting this machine up and running this morning.  I was out of town all weekend and my flight back home last night was courteously CANCELED.  However, I should thank Southwest, as they re-booked me on a flight that would have been so late getting home today, I would have missed all of today as well.  And, by doing so, they forced me to book a much earlier flight with a different airline, which gave me the privilege of waking up at 5:15 this morning.

Until today, I was unaware clocks actually worked before 7 AM.  So, thank you, Southwest, for teaching me that society does in fact function before the sun comes up.  Now, give me just a minute to do a faceplant into my keyboard and steal back 20 or so minutes of sleep that was brutally taken from me.  HOW DARE YOU CHANGE MY REM CYC.AKSD;KFJASA;DKLJF;ASDLFKA;LSDKF.

/cleans drool off keyboard

Anyway, a pretty big weekend in terms of stuff going down, mainly Florida's hiring of Will Muschamp, Vanderbilt's offering of its science and economic departments to Gus Malzahn and Miami stealing Temple's coach.  I know, I thought the Miami story was made up too when someone told me this weekend.  I'm just upset I lost $50 betting The Playmaker would be the next coach.  Damn Joe Schad's That Guy Down By The Pier.  Hopefully, something will get cranked out around here later this afternoon, so don't be afraid to visit twice.  Until then, explore the space of your Monday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Should Clear Everything Up

Click to enormosize

Click to enormosize

Thursday, December 09, 2010

ESPN's Joe Schad is Wading Through the Miami/Florida/Pitt Mess

ESPN's czar of the BlackBerry and friend of every person named Source or Sources, Joe Schad, is on the case of the Miami, Florida and Pitt job openings. Though, one could argue the Pitt jobs is already reserved for an ex-NFL coordinator or coach, thus there is no opening there (Norv Turner, you, sir, have life after San Diego). Regardless, Schad has been busy working all lines of communication, including one of his top sources:

That Guy Down By The Pier

After an early afternoon craving for halibut, Schad had the valet bring around his jet black Audi S4 and headed down to the pier (He eats the things right off the boat.  Is it weird?  No doubt.  Safe?  Only if you've got a stomach like Schad's.  Economical?  I did mention the S4, right?).  After polishing off his halibut, he decided that he might as well kill two birds with one stone and went looking for his guy.  He found That Guy Down By The Pier smoking a heater and watching two fellow pier residents throw pieces of glass at seagulls trying to out-muscle them for some Cheetos.

Once Schad agreed to pay for a 24-piece, $3.99 shrimp ring from Captain D's, That Guy Down By The Pier started talking.  Schad furiously transcribed juicy details with the world's most agile BlackBerry thumbs and here's what he's now reporting.


Tommy Tuberville
"He's not not happy about being in Lubbock, but he's not pleased either. How the hell he lasted this long, I'll never know. Let's see if the winter breaks him. You ever been to Lubbock in January? Passed through there once on the way to Amarillo. Let's put it this way, I'd rather live under a pier and fight ex-longshoremen with broken bottles over scraps of blubber than spend 45 seconds in Lubbock in late January."

Mike Leach
"He was not really a candidate, but has recently become one because he keeps talking to every person with a microphone, pen and keyboard how great he'd be at Miami. Sort of like a form of brainwashing. Like the George Costanza treatment. Co-stan-za! Damn, I loved that show. By the way, you do realize he went from Lubbock to Key West. I tried to figure out on my calculator just how big of a percentage upgrade that was, but it was missing the six, eight and nine buttons."

Michael Irvin
"The Playmaker's got his radio show in Dallas, but he misses talking to the kids. Particularly reminding them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again just how they did things when he was at the U. And how they're not living up to that legacy. Then he'll show them one of the Super Bowl rings and indignantly walk out. Not sure that's what they're looking for though."

Dave Wannstedt
"The University is pushing hard across all fronts to become more "green." And what better way for the football program to do their part than by hiring 100% recycled material. He recruits well so there will be no pollutants left when he's fired in four years. Sure he's not as sturdy and quality as original material, but Miami should get a nice tax break for being so eco-friendly."


Dan Mullen
"Seems to be the first name everyone thought of when Urban called it quits. I'm not so sure he gets the first call. Or the second. Or the third. Maybe fourth. Probably fifth. Florida first has to go through their standard checklist of Bob Stoops, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden before moving on to people who might actually take the job."

Bobby Petrino
"Even with a 10-2 record, things have grown a little stale in Fayetteville. After all, he's been there for TWO YEARS. That kind of commitment wears a man down. Plus, it's been quite some time since he firmly planted a knife in someone's back."

Tim Tebow
"Yeah, he's still hoping the NFL thing works out, but have you seen his throwing motion? Looks like a softball windup. I thought they worked on that.  If Florida put a plaque up commemorating some speech he gave after they LOST and before he graduated, they'll offer him the job. Though, I think they think he is still eligible to play."

The Head Ball Coach
"He's got the stink of South Carolina all over him, which is much like the smell of rotting halibut, but nothing washes that off like a virtually unlimited athletic budget and talent sitting on your front porch. And no Stephen Garcia."


Norv Turner
"Probably book it."

Dave Campo
"Book it."

Sylvester Croom

/all 27 Pitt fans jump off bridge into the Allegheny
/State fans cackle with delight

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bowl Preview Spectacular Extravaganza Gala

Up two teams from last season, this year's crop of bowl teams includes 70, yes, that is a 7 and a 0, worthy to marginally worthy to totally UConn squads.  To help you differentiate between, say, the New Mexico Bowl and the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl (note:  there is no difference), I attempt to offer some limited assistance, but it's up to you to decide which ones you'd rather watch.  And, let's be honest, while most are horribly unwatchable, there is absolutely nothing else on TV during December and early January.  Damn you, TV and your extended breaks during holidays. 

New Mexico Bowl
BYU (6-6) vs. UTEP (6-6)
Pro:  The game is played in the early afternoon, which reduces players' and fans' chances of freezing to death by at least 80%.
Con:  After the result of this game, both teams will still have a combined .500 record
Way to make it better:  Move this thing out of the stadium and onto the desert floor, then maybe we can squeeze a picturesque painting out of this ordeal.

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl
Northern Illinois (10-3) vs. Fresno State (8-4)
Pro:  Northern Illinois's coach just left to go to Minnesota, so there's a chance we could have a Varsity Blues situation, minus the showdown in the locker room at halftime.  And the horrible accents.  I hope for the Huskies sake they have a James Van Der Beek at quarterback.
Con:  I have seen Fresno State play an entire game of football and I never want to watch them again.
Way to make it better:  Boise, Idaho in June.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Ohio (8-4) vs. Troy (7-5)
Pro:  I have always wanted to see a MAC and Sun Belt team in front of 12,000 people even though I've ignored it every Tuesday and Wednesday night since September.
Con:  Did I just type the words "MAC" and "Sun Belt?"
/scans last sentence
Yes, I did.
Way to make it better:  Throwback game at old Tulane Stadium.  Or the empty lot where Tulane Stadium once stood.  Or inside the building that sits on that once empty lot.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Bowl
Southern Mississippi (8-4) vs. Louisville (6-6)
Pro:  It's not easy having the word "bowl" in the title twice while successfully using two of the word's definitions.
Con:  Are the faux Irish strong at producing quality beef dishes?
Way to make it better:  More chotchkies on the wall, preferably an oversized stop light, a Kansas license plate and picture of a team of skydivers.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Utah (10-2) vs. Boise State (11-1)
Pro:  21 wins between the two with a threat of competent football.
Con:  Unfortunately, it's only a 15% threat from Utah.  Did you see the TCU game?
Way to make it better:  ANY KIND OF GAMBLING.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Navy (8-3) vs. San Diego State (8-4)
Pro:  San Diego.
Con:  There's a chance, a chance, it might be partly cloudy and only 71 degrees.
Way to make it better:  You and your perfect weather, San Diego.  Always looking down your nose at the rest of us.  I'll show you.  Watch me not watch most of this game.  Part of this game.  A quarter of this game.  Shit.  The intro.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulsa (9-3)
Pro:  I think we've got an outside shot at 61,000 yards passing.
Con:  I said this last year, but every game I've ever watched taking place in Hawaii's stadium involves debris blowing across the field or swirling in the air.  What the hell is that?  This is not Costa Rica vs. Honduras in soccer.  CLEAN THAT CRAP UP.
Way to make it better:  Have the game serve as the backdrop to Saved By The Bell:  Hawaiian Reunion.  Like you wouldn't watch that.

Little Caesars Bowl
Florida International (6-6) vs. Toledo (8-4)
Pro:  I'm not sure anything in Detroit, and certainly anything in Detroit in December, has a pro.
Con:  I find it absolutely delicious that Isiah Thomas' Florida International basketball team lost to Jackson State, a member of the SWAC, which is usually in the race for the worst basketball conference in America.
Way to make it better:  $5 Hot-n-Ready pizzas for all.  These things are delicious, provided you eat the whole pizza in one sitting.  Saving that stuff for later ruins what little zest is actually in the pizza.  So to recap, it's cheap, tastily edible, but you'll be left feeling like a complete fatass for eating the whole thing.  HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Air Force (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6)
Pro:  Running.
Con:  Passing.
Way to make it better:  Bring back Poulan Weedeater.

Champs Sports Bowl
West Virginia (9-3) vs. NC State (8-4)
Pro:  Bill Stewart will have a month to fine-tune his Country Bear Jamboree offense, which consists mostly of 11 out-of-tune banjos and a washboard trying to make a passable song.
Con:  Tom O'Brien has a month to conceive of ways to bleed out what little interest there is in watching this game.
Way to make it better:  Stimulants for O'Brien and doses of logic for Stewart.

Insight Bowl
Missouri (10-2) vs. Iowa (7-5)
Pro:  Wait, Missouri won 10 games?  When did this happen?  Is that also counting last year?  I don't believe that happened.
Con:  It's unfortunate Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi cut down on his tendency to throw the ball to the other team.  The game could have used the spice of a five interception day from Stanzi, which he did once last year, so there's always a chance.
Way to make it better:  Stanzi, and only Stanzi, is allowed to wear a uniform made out of an American flag from a tank unit in World War II North Africa.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
East Carolina (6-6) vs. Maryland (8-4)
Pro:  Ruffin McNeill's Pirate defense is actually worse than that of Tyrone Nix.  McNeill's defense gave up a staggering 43.4 points a game, almost 10 more than Nix's.  CANNOT.  IMAGINE.  THE.  HORROR.
Con:  We'll have to watch McNeill sweat, and I mean literally, sweat.  It's like he has the entire Great Salt Lake within his body and all of it must come out in three and a half hours.
Way to make it better:  A few dozen towels and a couple of fresh shirts for McNeill.

Texas Bowl
Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5)
Pro:  Ron Zook alone is LIFE ON THE EDGE.
Way to make it better:  Zook calls the shots for both sides and somehow Baylor wins.

Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Pro:  I've scored this one as a toss-up between watching the Cowboys' offense when it's clicking and Mike Stoops shooting rage out of his eyeballs when something, anything happens.
Con:  I see that Craig James is going to be behind the mic here.  Last year, he did this game with Mike Patrick, and together those two spent an entire half of football laying out why Mike Leach deserved to get fired because James' son wasn't getting to play.  BURN IN A FIRE.
Way to make it better:  Let's not renew James' contract next time around, ESPN.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Army (6-5) vs. SMU (7-6)
Pro:  I love old tales of boosters who didn't give a damn and players who held out both hands (as long as it's not of my team).  So I can't wait for ESPN's latest 30 for 30 documentary, Pony Excess, about the bat shit craziness that was going on at SMU in the 80's.
Con:  I can wait to see this game.
Way to make it better:  The game is televised by thousands of cameras on these:

Only $19.99! Call now!

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kansas State (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)
Pro: Not being at this game where you would:
1. Watch a truly horrible game.
2. Pay $16.75* for a beer
3. Spend three and a half hours in the Bronx
4. Did I mention Syracuse and Kansas State were playing?
Con: Everything associated with this game is pure evil.
Way to make it better: Conduct a home run derby while the game is being played.
*As a user of Confederate currency, this is only an estimation of what I think a beer costs in Yankee greenbacks.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6)
Pro: The chance to see UT AD Mike Hamilton grind his teeth down as he watches his school lose to a team he spent $750,000 on NOT to play.
Con: In late December in Nashville it's entirely possible you could see a group of frozen dead fans staring wide-eyed into one of the cameras.
Way to make it better: Let Vince Young play all-time quarterback until he either injures his woman parts or cries and throws his shoulder pads into the stands.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6)
Pro: Nebraska has now lost two straight Big 12 Championship Games by a field goal, but at least it won't happen next year. They'll get their chance to do the same though, while in the Big Ten/Twelve/Conference/Cold Conference. Not really a pro, just an interesting fact.
Way to make it better: A counter in the corner of the screen for the pieces of gum Bo Pelini chews during the game. Or, how many fury smacks he makes when he watches his offense shit the bed on yet another possession.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
South Florida (7-5) vs. Clemson (6-6)
Pro: You can see the team that almost kept UConn out of a BCS game, then yell profanities at them for the duration.
Con: You get to watch Kyle Parker play quarterback and be reminded of his horrendous throw to a wide-open wide receiver in overtime against Auburn that could have stopped the Auburn freight train before it reached maximum velocity.
Way to make it better: DO NOT WATCH.

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5)
Pro: If you are not at the game, you do not have a chance to get abducted and taken into Mexico where you will never be seen again. I would think that's a pretty solid positive.
Con: The tens of thousands of references to the glory days of Miami and Notre Dame, which, if you're keeping track, last happened 20 years ago before 75% of the players playing in this game were even born.
Way to make it better: Both teams represent a drug cartel and whoever wins, that cartel gets control of the area across the border from El Paso. No more violence, just standard illegal business operations.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Georgia (6-6) vs. Central Florida (10-3)
Pro: One last chance to check out A.J. Green against competition that best resembles your athletic ability.
Con: I vividly remember watching the 2007 Liberty Bowl, when Mississippi State and UCF played, as the second worst college football game I've ever seen. State won 3-0, but humanity lost infinity to nothing (The worst game I've ever seen? Also at the Liberty Bowl, Ole Miss' 3-0 win over Memphis in David Cutcliffe's first year. It was at night, yet still close to 110 degrees, and Ole Miss should have lost.)
Way to make it better: Hot liquor drinks for all who brave hypothermia and actually attend the game.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
South Carolina (9-4) vs. Florida State (9-4)
Pro: I will always wholeheartedly support anything and everything Chick-fil-A does. Just thinking about stuffing my face with three sandwiches in one sitting makes me ready for this game.
Con: Quarterbacks.
Way to make it better: Order multiple platters from your local Chick-fil-A and eat all of them while watching Stephen Garcia ruin one last game for the Gamecocks.

TicketCity Bowl
Northwestern (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Pro: Nothing screams welcome to 2011 quite like an 11 AM CT kickoff between a team without a quarterback and Tommy Tuberville's quest to suck the life out of the once-great Texas Tech offense.
Con: 11 AM on New Year's Day.
Way to make it better: Demolish one of the end zones of the Cotton Bowl while the game is being played.

Outback Bowl
Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5)
Pro: It could plant the seed to later convince yourself that, yes, it is time to go to Outback, where I find overeating a requirement.
Con: Watching a Steve Addazio offense, the Tyrone Nix defense of offenses.
Way to make it better: Avoid direct eye contact.
*EDIT:  Damn you, Urban Meyer.  Now my Addazio jokes should be replaced by jokes about you quitting because it became too hard for you to engage "total asshole" mode on a regular basis.  But I won't do it!  I won't!  Not gonna give you the satisfaction that it's about you.  Jerk.

Capital One Bowl
Alabama (9-3) vs. Michigan State (11-1)
Pro: A potentially angry Alabama team unleashed on a Michigan State team that is not an 11-1 team.
Con: A potentially indifferent Alabama team half-assing its way through a game against a Michigan State team that can still probably be beaten with a half-assed effort.
Way to make it better:  Make sure the field doesn't look like it did last year:

Gator Bowl
Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Michigan (7-5)
Pro: Denard Robinson.
Con: Greg Robinson's defense.
Way to make it better: Allow Michigan to play with 27 defenders in order to keep the game close.

Rose Bowl
Wisconsin (11-1) vs. TCU (12-0)
Pro: The pageantry. The history. The traditi...wait. TCU? The lack of a Pac-10 presence will certainly make stuff, old white men highly uncomfortable.
Con: Other than TCU being pounded into a fine paste, nothing really here.
Way to make it better: Be less fascist and get non-Big Ten and Pac-10 teams in here more often.

Fiesta Bowl
UConn (8-4) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)
Pro: After the scorching, followed by the salting of the remains Husky football, this could be the final piece of evidence as to why the Big East should lose its seat at the table with all of the grown-ups.
Con: If Oklahoma acts like Oklahoma in BCS games and loses, then the Big East becomes like Boise State and we never hear the end of it. Also, if this happens, Oklahoma should disband its football program.
Way to make it better: How about West Virginia not totally sucking and beating UConn to prevent this from happening? Just so you know, UConn lost to TEMPLE, who is also 8-4 and not going to a bowl game.

Orange Bowl
Stanford (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Pro: There are is not a pro when Virginia Tech is playing on television.
Con: I believe this is Tech's 32nd straight Orange Bowl appearance, so it might be time to freshen things up in Miami.
Way to make it better: Find a way to keep it from raining.

Sugar Bowl
Ohio State (11-1) vs. Arkansas (10-2)
Pro: Terrelle Pryor, just kidding. Nothing about the Ohio State offense is a pro. Except the seven guys that will go to the NFL and leave everyone wondering why the Buckeyes are always so blah on offense. Hint: JIM TRESSEL.
Con: Ohio State.
Way to make it better: Remove the tribal arm band tattoos so adored by Ohio State players. Bowl
Middle Tennessee State (6-6) vs. Miami (OH) (9-4)
Pro: 13 teams that have 6-6 records got into bowl games (Army is 6-5 and plays Navy this weekend, so we could have 14).
Con: Those teams will be on TV.
Way to make it better: Less MAC and a little less Sun Belt.

Cotton Bowl
LSU (10-2) vs. Texas A&M (9-3)
Pro: We'll finally get to settle the question of whether Gary Crowton or Mike Sherman is more incompetent in an offensive capacity.
Con: Pat Summerall will not be calling the game this year, which means we won't be able to enjoy name mispronunciations or incorrectly identified players.
Way to make it better:  No one want to watch these two bumble around for 60 minutes.  The entire game should be the overtime process. Much faster and will pump some life and interest into the game.

BBVA Compass Bowl
Pittsburgh (7-5) vs. Kentucky (6-6)
Pro: There's a chance Dave Wannstedt could still coach this game and give the people what they want from a final Wannstedt game, a 6-3 bloodbath.
Con: Dave Wannstedt may not coach this game.
Way to make it better: Complimentary fake mustaches for all Pitt fans (and Kentucky fans, since Wannstedt is their best chance of winning) as a tribute to their coach before the door hits him in the ass on the way out.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Nevada (12-1) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Pro: This damn list is almost over.
Con: I'll never get back the hours it took to do this.
Way to make it better: More time and quicker wit.

BCS National Championship Game
Oregon (12-0) vs. Auburn (13-0)
Pro: Kind of an important game. Maybe you heard about it.
Con: Any shots of Trooper Taylor.
Way to make it better: Play this game with players who did NOT take hundreds of thousands of dollars for one year of service.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Belly of the Beast Readers, ASSEMBLE

It's time once again for us to gather together so that we may separate the one winner from the rest of us losers.  You may better know this process as the Fourth/Fifth-ish Annual Belly of the Beast College Bowl Pick'em Quest for Marginal Greatness.  Past winners include great people who I am sure have gone on to do a few okay-to-great things here and there.

Unlike previous years, this year's winner will take home an exclusive prize package, which includes the satisfaction of being one of life's winners, a $50 gift from yourself and a PDF that is on my computer's desktop and I can't remember what why I have it or what it is (I will not open it until I send it to you, so we're both in for a nice surprise).  So choose your picks wisely, my friends.  You can't win these things everyday.

Per the usual, if you're reading this, you're encouraged to sign up.  And don't be alarmed if you are terrible at picking games, because I look forward to battling you for last place.  Also, we're using confidence points only (no point spread).  So that means, you pick the game, assign a confidence point value to the game and earn that number of points if you correctly pick the game.  For example, if you pick Auburn over Oregon and put 35 points on it, and Auburn wins, you get 35 points.  If Auburn loses, you get nothing.  Person with the most points at the end of bowl season wins.

Here's your link and pertinent info.

Password:  seagal
Group ID#:  12298

You'll need to have a Yahoo! ID to sign up, but it's free and takes an annoyingly-long-but-really-shouldn't-be-but-still-is 15-20 seconds.

The first bowl game is on the 18th, so it would be wise to submit your picks before then.  Not required, but wise.

Give Each Other $20

There wasn't much time for anything else because, you guessed it, I am very busy and important, but I did take a few minutes to look under the couch cushions and see what fell off the plate in the past 24 hours or so.  As much as I hate powering through a round of links (finding them SUCKS), I get the feeling this could turn into a steady meal during the offseason.  Think along the lines of only one plate of a Golden Corral buffet.  It's edible, doesn't quite fill up the hole and will ultimately leave you wishing for the sweet release of death before your stomach murders itself.  With that, onward....

As you've probably noticed, rage is sort of like my Vinny Testaverde of words to express my anger.  It's been around a long time, I've gotten some solid miles out of it, but it often gets overused and fails me miserably.  However, in this case, it's a perfect fit.  Texas, after a personally enjoyable for me 5-7 season, will enter 2011 without its offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and defensive line and special teams coach.  Greg Davis, Mac McWhorter (Friday Night Lights Mac?  Nnnnnnnnooooooooooo!!!) and Mike Tolleson, respectively, either resigned or retired.  I bring this up because, at last check, Tyrone Nix, James Shibest, Terry Price and Dave Rader are still gainfully employed by the University of Mississippi, who just achieved the worst season since a Shrimp Boat Captain was placed in charge of the football program.  And it's a debate whether or not the Shrimp Boat's 2007 squad could beat the 2010 team (I've got the 2010 team at -3).  WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?

So that's how they do it
There's nothing groundbreaking here, but it's a solid profile piece by the New York Times on Chip Kelly and Oregon's jet-rocket-missile-(crystal meth?  I'm just sayin')-fueled offense.  The main bit of information I took away from this is that I do not ever want to play Oregon.
(You may have to register to read, but it's free, though still a complete pain in the ass.)

I assume Gerry DiNardo wasn't available
Indiana has been in the market for a new head coach to lead them to more 4-8 seasons since it fired Bill Lynch some days ago (I apologize if my knowledge of the recent history of Indiana football is a little hazy).  They've apparently tabbed Oklahoma defensive coordinator Kevin Wilson to be the next guy they fire.  Wilson, last seen wiping away the tears of laughter while watching film on UConn's offense, is set to become the Hoosier's sixth coach since 1986.

Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee just lost their jobs
Former Georgia quarterback Zack Mettenberger has committed to play football at LSU.  Now, Gray, how can a guy with no college experience already have won that job?  BECAUSE HE'S NOT JORDAN JEFFERSON OR JARRETT LEE.  If you recall, Mettenberger was kicked of Georgia's team last spring after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery of a woman, or, more commonly known as putting his hands on things they should not have been on.  Let's hope he's learned his lesson and uses a different approach with the ladies.  Perhaps, something like, oh, I don't know, "Me.  Quarterback.  LSU."  That bit of gold is like fishing with dynamite.

Yes, we will be keeping that $750,000
Earlier this football season, Tennessee paid North Carolina a cool $750k NOT to play them in football in the 2011 or 2012 seasons.  Now, the two schools are matched up in the Music City Bowl.  No word if Tennessee can give the Tar Heels its share of the bowl money to not play them again.

The head of Lee Corso has been found
Not his actual head, because that would have SUCKED, but the big cartoon one made famous on GameDay and ESPN commercials.

That's not who we wanted
Minnesota fans were a little disappointed with the hiring of Jerry Kill, formerly of Northern Illinois, as their new head coach.  And that's okay, because Kill was equally disappointed when he realized that, yes, everyday in Minnesota from November to March looks exactly like this:

Monday, December 06, 2010

Belly of the Beast Year-End Awards

With Auburn's thrashing of South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game, our three-month long regular season journey comes to a close.  For some of us, those with at least semi-competent coaching and players, the journey continues into December and early January.  As is custom-ish around here, it's time to recognize those players who achieved strongly to quite strongly over the last three months, adding moments of joy to our three-month long physical and emotional odyssey that damaged our bodies, mental health and probably some relationships. 

However, the awards around here are not of the "Cam Newton is awesome" variety.  No, they are much more awesome than that.  These awards acknowledge the players who performed to such a high level that I would want to get an apartment with them, which is the highest award of which I can think.  Past roommates include Dexter McCluster, Shay Hodge, Tim Tebow, Darren McFadden, Mark Ingram and Anthony Dixon (and yes, it was a tearful moment when Dexter left for Kansas City).  There are several different tiers to the awards, mainly because living with lots of people would suck, but mostly because some dominated, some played well and others made me want to swim in pools of acid.  Congratulations to all listed, you earned your time in the spotlight.


Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
However, our first rule is that Cecil can never visit.  Ever.  I don't want him stealing my stuff and shopping it on eBay.  As for Cam, he took a team with no pass defense, an average run defense and one really good defensive lineman to the BCS title game.  He received some assistance from a fantastic offensive line, Gus Malzhan, one speedy running back and one solid wide receiver, but mostly it was him doing whatever the hell he wanted to do when he wanted to do it.  I've never seen anything like it, nor will I probably ever again.  I know it's probably blasphemy to say he was greater than Tim Tebow, even at the height of Tebow's powers, but I'm not sure Tebow could have gotten this team to 14-0.  I look forward to the day he goes pro and Auburn gets back to Chris Todds playing quarterback.  And when the NCAA shoves massive scholarship reductions down Auburn's throat.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Yawn.  Another 30 TD, 3500-yard season.  And he did a chunk of that without his best wide receiver for the second half of the season.  Plus, with him there, we'll have to get an extra-high shower head.  As a relatively tall person, nothing is worse than a shower head that is level with my chin.  HOW DARE YOU PUT PRESSURE ON MY NECK AND THIGHS.

Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
I can't remember the rotation of SEC East teams on Ole Miss' schedule, but I think the Rebels have a chance to avoid South Carolina while Lattimore is there (assuming he goes pro after his junior year).  And to that I say, EXCELLENT.  Because with the way we tackle, 950 yards would be in play.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
And the same goes for Jeffery.  I have no idea who we'll be running out in our secondary in 2012, but rest assured, they will not belong on the same field as Jeffery.  I'm not sure what Steve Spurrier's had in mind during Saturday's championship game, but there should have been zero plays in which Jeffery and Lattimore were not involved.

Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Though I nearly leapt through my television to strangle him when he fumbled against Mississippi State, Davis was Arkansas' second-best player.  He also pulled a 2009 Dexter McCluster, gaining only 203 yards through the first six games, then in the final six, 980.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Even with an injured hand (though Nick Saban had it replaced with a machine-like Luke Skywalker hand), he was virtually unguardable anywhere within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.  And it will be nice to have someone with a touch of Saban discipline to help run a tight ship around the apartment.  PAY YOUR SHARE OF THE ELECTRIC BILL, RYAN.

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The single reason I said to myself, "Hey, self, that Aaron Murray isn't all that bad."

Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
This way I'll know what he looks like.  By the way, Cobb was the all-purpose yardage leader in the conference by over 600 yards.

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Ever wonder what a deer would look like if you put pads and a helmet on it?  This is your answer.

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Though I imagine he'd spend most of his time in the apartment in timeout for trying to break everyone else's spine, he has earned the right to be there and attempt to break said spines.


Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU
Ridley broke 1,000 yards and scored 14 touchdowns with two quarterbacks who combined for six touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  Repeat, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  Oh, and they went 10-2.  What a bunch of assholes.

Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss
At six yards a carry, it would have been nice to see what he could have done had he averaged something close to 20 carries a game, instead of 13.6.


Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
The Shrimp Boat Captain had this guy committed to Ole Miss, only to lose him late due to "pressures."  By this, I mean money.  Or I assume.  Who wouldn't want to play for a moron that had won three conference games in two years and was about to get fired?  I doubt that had anything to do with it.

Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
Missed a game and still scored 16 touchdowns, which was only one behind Lattimore (and amazingly four behind Newton).  Plus, when he comes over to play Call of Duty, he can give us the latest on how soon Dan Mullen is going to Miami.

The Auburn Offensive Line
It typically helps a quarterback when an offensive line provides enough time to make a sandwich, then find an open receiver.  And if they happen to smash some knees and ACLs along the way, even better.  I considered this group for getting into the apartment, but didn't want all those fat guys eating all the food and smashing my ACL while enjoying our nine-foot high shower head.


Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
He missed two games, had an offensive coordinator who enjoyed drives in which no rushes were attempted (these also resulted in punts) and split time with another back, and still had a pretty solid season.  His performance against Arkansas was one of the greatest individual showings of the whole season.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Mike Hartline, QB, Kentucky
Roommates.  Inexplicably, wait.....because the SEC East sucked, these two combined for 47 TDs and only 15 INTs.

Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky
Featured last April in this space, the self-described Flowddaa Boy, led the SEC in tackles, and any good apartment complex needs a good linebacker.  Also, you are welcome, Danny for your preseason plug that clearly led to your success.

Josh Jasper, K, LSU
We've got to have a kicker.  And a punter.  And someone who can field a lateral on a bounce, then run for a first down on a game-winning drive.  Again, assholes.

Director of Housing Houston Nutt will make sure your room meets the minimum number of regulations allowed by law during your stay.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Resident Advisor, Tyrone Nix.

The Ole Miss Defense
Linebackers, you get the top bunk.  Defensive line, you're on the bottom bunk, and secondary, you'll be, well, we don't know where you'll be since you got lost on the way over.  Staying on task is not your strength.

Jordan Jefferson, QB, LSU
Jarrett Lee, QB, LSU
Again, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions, yet a 10-2 record.  All together now, ASSHOLES.

The Auburn Secondary
The South Carolina Secondary
Somehow, these units finished behind Ole Miss in pass defense.  After watching Ole Miss play defense for 12 games, I find that almost impossible to believe.

/looks out window
/sees Jeremy McGee running around in circles across the street
/Johnny Brown sprints by, headed in an undetermined direction

John Brantley, QB, Florida
At least Steve Addazio and Urban Meyer promised they'd help him move in to the dorm.

Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
Time to not suck, bitch.

Matt Simms, QB, Tennessee
Was unable to complete a pass against Ole Miss.  Yes, I do count 0 for 1.

Worst loss in Ole Miss history?  Worst loss in Ole Miss history.

Sorry, rest of SEC, this spot is reserved for the Ole Miss guys that looked like they gave a shit all season, and give me a reason to get sucked into the 2011 season before it starts.

Jeff Scott, RB
Even though the SEC attributes his kickoff return stats to Cliff Coleman, who broke his foot before the season started and never played a down (and is also a defensive back), Scott offered speed and a legitimate threat to score every time he touched the ball.  Would have been nice if all of Enrique Davis' carries could have gone to Scott.  WHAT DOES ENRIQUE HAVE ON YOU, HOUSTON.

D.T. Shackelford, LB/DE
A natural linebacker, our defensive ends were so horrible that we eventually placed Shackelford at DE in passing situations, followed by playing him there most of the time.  Solid year for a guy who was moved around so much.  If we can find non-awful defensive ends before next season, I look for a big year in 2011 from Shackelford at linebacker.

Jeremiah Masoli, QB
Even though he won't be around in 2011 and he had his moments of sucking, he's always welcome in the apartment.  Without him, we go 0-8 in the SEC and aren't even in the handful of games in which we were competitive.  His coming to Ole Miss saved Nathan Stanley's life and kept Ole Miss fans from watching the worst team in the history of Ole Miss football.

Friday, December 03, 2010

All Systems Not Go

My shallowest apologies for not slapping something up here today.  I had a dog and pony show an elaborate preview of the South Carolina/Auburn game in mind, but alas, last night was an overload of television that had to be watched.  And today at work I was hit with a tidal wave of, well, work, which is total OLDDONKEYCRAP.  How dare they make a Friday like this.

Anyway, yesterday was the annual celebration of the day of my birth and it could not have been a more special day.  For the Ole Miss Alumni Association SPARES NO EXPENSE when it comes to its members.  From my inbox yesterday morning:

Click to observe the clip art from old Geocities webpages

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Inside Gene Chizik's Office

Last time, when we met in the plush, all oak-walled surroundings of Gene Chizik's office, the family was returning from a fight with the members of the press hell-bent on bringing down the Auburn family and football program.  In today's episode, the guys discuss just how to handle Cecil Newton's access to Auburn, while lounging around eating sandwiches.

Chizik: This is nice, gang, sittin' here.

Jacobs: Oh, yeah. Brown baggin' it.

Taylor: The team pancake breakfast is tomorrow morning at 10 instead of 9.

Chizik: Oh, Almost forgot. I won't be able to make it, fellas. Cecil and I are trying this new fad called, uh, revivaling. I believe it's revivaling or rivayaling. It might be a soft "V." I'm not sure, but apparently you just sway, dance, sweat and shout for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild.

Roof: So Gene's not coming?

Taylor: No, dawg, Gene's coming. It's the pancake breakfast. We do it every month.

Chizik: I realize that. But sometimes you gotta look at yourself and say, "When in Newnan, Georgia."

Taylor: Yo, bottom line is, you've been spending a lot of time with Cecil. You're a member of the Auburn coaching staff.

Chizik: That's a given.

Taylor: We need you, dawg. Hell, I need you. I'm a mess without ya. Don't know where to send money, who to give it to. I miss you so damn much. I miss being with you. I miss being near you. I miss your chin-jut. I miss...I miss your ferocious gum-chewing. I miss your musk. When this gets sorted out, I think you and I should get an apartment with a recruits' parents.

Jacobs: Just take it easy, Trooper. Why don't you stop talking for a while? Maybe sit the next couple of plays out. You know what I mean?

Taylor: Yeah, I'm gonna quit sayin' shit when it crops up in the ol' skull, yo.

Jacobs: See what it's like when you're not here? You're our leader. Look what you're doing to the group. Trooper's been a mess. Ted can't sleep at night.

Here's the thing, I don't trust this bishop. We need you around and he's just using you.

Chizik: Everyone, just relax. Believe me, if there's one thing Gene Chizik knows, it's fathers acting without their son's knowledge (winks). Okay?  And Cecil Newton, he's just...he's just dying to take a step back so we can finish this season undefeated without distractions.

Jacobs: I don't know, Gene.

Chizik: Guess what. I do. I know that one day, Cecil and I are going to stand in one of his churches that we paid for on top of a mountain. And there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs.

And we will dance till whenever Pentecostals have to go to bed. And then Cam and the other children will form a sports agency. And we will go across the country finding schools for high school and junior college players as long as they promise to pay us a flat rate of 10% of their first NFL contract. AND YOU WON'T BE INVITED!

(extends chin a foot and a half)

Now get out of my office!

(group slinks out of his office)

Cecil, Cam, you can step out from behind the California Redwood I had imported to display in my office because I can.

(Cecil and Cam emerge)

Cecil: That was close. Maybe we should take a step back.
Cam: Dad!
Cecil: Quiet, you!

Chizik: Nonsense. This whole situation is garbage! GARBAGE I SAY! Com'on. We've got to go pick up Fairley from his Spearing:  The Destruction of Quarterbacks 554 class.

And scene.