Monday, November 29, 2010

Saying Goodbye to One of the Greats and One of the Ehhhh, He Could Have Been Good. Maybe.

After Saturday night's loss to Mississippi State, Ole Miss fans slammed shut the book of Jeremiah Masoli's career and subsequently whipped it across the room.  Not necessarily because of what he individually did or didn't do, but because the whole season was A NIGHTMARE STRAIGHT OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF HELL.  Masoli was one of the few bright spots to the entire season, frustrating at times, no doubt, but his athletic ability allowed us to slap together four wins and at least make things interesting in a few conference games.  Without him, we would have referred to 2010 as the year I plucked out my eyeballs with a spoon.

And so, it comes time to bid goodbye to the first American of Samoan descent to ever visit the South (zero research confirms this could be true).  I am sorry things didn't work out better.  I am sorry your offensive line was what it was.  I am sorry you had a front row seat to the worst defense in the history of a school you'd never even seen before.  I am sorry your best wide receiver was MELVIN HARRIS.

I wish things could have turned out differently, but, alas, it happened the way it happened.  To send you on your way to your impending tryouts with the Roughriders and Argonauts of the world, as well as pay homage to one of the men who helped shape my sense of humor and we unfortunately lost on Sunday, Leslie Nielsen has a few parting words of wisdom:

Capt. Ed Hocken:'re taking a big chance.
Lt. Frank Drebin:  I know.  You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street or sticking your face in a fan.

(For those who thought Stanley should have gotten the call this season)

Lt. Frank Drebin:  Hector Savage. From Detroit. Ex-boxer. His real name was Joey Chicago.
Capt. Ed Hocken:  Oh, yeah. He fought under the name of Kid Minneapolis.
Nordberg:  I saw Kid Minneapolis fight once. In Cincinnati.
Lt. Frank Drebin:  No you're thinking of Kid New York. He fought out of Philly.
Capt. Ed Hocken:  He was killed in the ring in Houston. By Tex Colorado. You know, the Arizona Assassin.
Nordberg:  Yeah, from Dakota. I don't remember it was North or South.
Lt. Frank Drebin:  North. South Dakota was his brother. From West Virginia.
Capt. Hocken:  You sure know your boxing.
Lt. Frank Drebin:  All I know is never bet on the white guy.

The first time my dad saw this part of the movie, I thought I was going to watch him die from suffocation because he was laughing so hard.

From the Weekend That Was

Week:  3-5
Final Season Results:  73-22 (.768)

Auburn 28, Alabama 27
As an Ole Miss fan who has seen and experienced dozens upon thousand-kabillions of missed opportunities that ALWAYS come back to bite you in the ass, I knew Trent Richardson's drop of a sure touchdown pass was going to do just that to Alabama.  A 28-0 lead would have been the kill shot and the end of Cam Newton prancing around like the drama queen that he is.  Instead, the game goes down as one of the all-time great choke jobs in SEC history.  And I say, WELCOME TO THAT LIST, ALABAMA.  It is a cold and unforgiving place, but provides excellent material when you launch into an incoherent rant on the general failure of every facet of your school.

And that rant may start with offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and his remarkable ability to abandon what was working (short, quick passes) in favor of a power run game into the teeth of an Auburn defense with seven to eight guys within three yards of the line of scrimmage.  Then, he maintained a dedication to that attack, despite Auburn's defense getting more and more aggressive.  I find it hard to believe Nick Saban will let such a transgression go quietly, especially after his defense did what they did in the first half, shutting down one of the best offenses in the conference and country.  The good news for Jim is that he'll have a handful of Ole Miss coaches with which he may form a support group.

Tennessee 24, Kentucky 14
I don't even pretend to know what the hell is going on with Tennessee football, so forgive my ignorance in asking this question, but why did Matt Simms start so many games again?  While I think Tyler Bray throws the ball like a drunken, poop-slinging monkey (seven picks in 179 attempts; one INT every 25.6 passes), he's exponentially better than Simms, who threw the ball like a drunken, poop-slinging monkey with no arms.

Arkansas 31, LSU 23
Finally, a team massively outgains LSU (464-294) and WINS.  I never thought we'd live to see that day.  And there is no doubt that Arkansas' 80-yard touchdown pass right before halftime, the result of two LSU DBs smashing into one another, was the sweetest sight these eyes have seen in a long, long time.  Now, LSU fans, you know how the rest of us have felt since Les Miles' insanity started working to his and your benefit.


Florida State 31, Florida 7
Alright then, Florida is much worse than I thought and I thought Ole Miss would have a chance to beat them.  Luckily, Urban Meyer is on record saying he's not into excuses, but solutions.  I look forward to the excuse he uses to avoid the solution, which is the dismissal of Steve Addazio.

Mississippi State 31, Ole Miss 23
From last week:
"I can't wait to yell incoherently at the TV as I watch a stunt or reckless run blitz on first and ten result in a hole the size of Nebraska opening, through which Vick Ballard or Chris Relf will sprint and evade the Ole Miss safeties by continuing to run along the same path, knowing such a horrible angle will have been taken that Johnny Brown, Fon Ingram, Damien Jackson or Brishen Matthews will just fly right by."

Easiest prediction ever?  Easiest prediction ever.  My only regret is that I only hinted that Chris Relf would win SEC Offensive Player of the Week rather than just saying he was absolutely going to win it.  I never said I was overly smart, I only think it.

As of this writing, the rumor mill is working its child laborers at a rapid, unrelenting pace.  In just the past few hours, I've heard Houston Nutt to Dallas, Houston Nutt is retiring, Houston Nutt is going to Colorado, some coaches will be fired, no coaches will be fired, Dave Rader is fired, Tyrone Nix and his brother are fired and Ole Miss is fired by its fans.  99.999999% of it of course is total bullshit, but that doesn't take away any enjoyment from guzzling it down and demanding more.

However, if Ole Miss is a legitimate football program (and I often question whether it is), someone or someones have to be fed to the fans as an "I'm sorry" gesture from Houston Nutt for the shit show we had to watch since September.  And more than likely, the main course of that meal has to be Tyrone Nix.  You don't operate the worst defense in school history and live to tell the tale.  It was obvious Nix had zero answers or adjustments for any offense or situation he faced.  By offering no improvements or even flashes of hope that he might get this thing figured out, there is no reason he should return.  Every week was a constant stream of quotes saying "we're going to work harder" and "we're going to make plays," yet none of those things held true.  If he stays, and I would not be surprised that he does, he should make exactly $1 less than Don Lindsey, Art Kaufman and Chuck Driesbach ever did, because that's what he's worth right now.

Offering up Dave Rader is not a strong enough sacrifice to those who pump money and life into the football program.  Rader's firing will be as worthless as his hiring.  It must be Nix (I would also gladly accept a few more thrown in, but will settle for just Nix) or Houston Nutt toes the line of completely losing the fanbase.

South Carolina 29, Clemson 7
Clemson fulfilled the terms of their agreement with the sports gods:  No more than eight wins, no fewer than six.

Wake Forest 34, Vanderbilt 13
A rarity for Vandy as they outgained their opponent 443-299.  Not a rarity for Vanderbilt, they lost.

Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 34
Did anyone get confirmation that Georgia Tech's quarterback did not receive an arm transplant surgery in which his donor was a 12-year old girl?  I swear I read that.  Also, it should be noted that the SEC East's bowl eligible teams, excluding South Carolina, have a combined 25 wins and 23 losses and are 1-11 against SEC West teams (congratulations, Ole Miss).

Nevada 34, Boise State 31
So Boise went from BCS championship game dark horse, and at the very least at-large birth contender, to not even going to win the WAC.  The difference between Boise State and the SEC is that when one of our kickers misses a kick that literally destroys our season, we do rage-filled, childlike things, like force him to get a new cellphone number, move, change his name, alter his daily routine, drop out of school and consider his spoken name blasphemy.  We DO NOT create a Facebook page to offer him support.  Until you learn to hate and act like morons, you'll never make it to the biggest stage.

Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches

Chris Relf, QB, Mississippi State
13-20, 288 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
12 carries, 62 yards

In support of Tyrone Nix, at least Relf didn't go over 100 yards rushing like last year. Put that on your resume for your next job.

Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play

Tyrone Nix, Defensive Coordinator, Ole Miss
The Ole Miss secondary

288 yards to Chris Relf.

Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

He spent all year running his mouth, and when the time came to back it up, he did.

2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the season

1.  Jeremiah Masoli  13 (Winner)
2.  Ryan Mallett  11
3.  Jordan Jefferson  9
     Mike Hartline  9
     John Brantley  9
     Stephen Garcia  9
7.  Tyler Bray  7
8.  Tyler Russell  6
     Cam Newton  6
10. Larry Smith  5
     Chris Relf  5

Congratulations to Jeremiah Masoli, the second straight winner from Ole Miss.  In the past two seasons, Ole Miss starting quarterbacks have combined to throw 33 interceptions.  And who says Houston Nutt is a quarterback killer?

/tears of joy that the atrocity that was the 2010 season is now over
/gears up to be ultimately disappointed by the basketball team

Friday, November 26, 2010

Very Important Reminder That May Not Be Important

I'll be operating solely within the realm of Twitter for today's Auburn/Alabama game.  So if you do the Twitter or are at least mildly intrigued as to what goes on over there, click the link on the right side to follow me.  You'll be treated to my commentary contained in a 140 character box, and I can think of no better way to watch a football game.  It's like I'll be watching the game with you, but sitting over in the corner, speaking Houston Nutt-like sentences. 

If you don't know what Twitter is, nor care to find out, then this is certainly not important to you.  Continue with your Friday as planned.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 13 SEC Power Poll and Picks


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 (who probably knows all about the Cam Newton payment plan), 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. Cam Newton
As of this writing an entire week has gone by without mention of Newton, his dad, money, the NCAA, eligibility and Auburn University in the same sentence. AND WHAT A BORING WEEK IT WAS. STIR, HORNET'S NEST, STIR.

2. Auburn
The dream season is still alive on the shoulders of Cam Newton and not Kodi Burns or a Chris Todd/Brandon Cox/Daniel Cobb clone.

3. Cecil Newton, Sr.
The cuffs have not been slapped around his wrists by the FBI, which is always a positive note.

4. Gene Chizik
Why does a school with the prestige and dollar bills of Auburn hire a 5-19 coach? Because he'll do whatever they tell him to do.

5. Jordan Jefferson
Your reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week. First Tyler Bray, now Jordan Jefferson. I like Chris Relf's chances this week.

6. Les Miles
Look, any time he doesn't achieve a cataclysmic failure, he'll damn well find his damn fine self here.

7. Chris Relf
He gets the Ole Miss defense this week, and after last year's performance, plus the aforementioned Tyler Bray and Jordan Jefferson Player of the Week Awards, his potential good fortune has jumped exponentially.

8. Ted Roof
Employment still in check.

9. Steve Addazio

10. Tennessee
One victory away from throwing its resume into the ring for worst SEC team to ever go to a bowl game. The 2007 Mississippi State and 2008 Vanderbilt teams are not amused with this new competition.

Last week: 6-0
Season: 70-17 (.805)

Auburn at Alabama
Rivalry games are always enjoyable to watch, especially when it's two schools that would rather die than watch the other have more success. Throw in one school has a chance at an undefeated season and the other holds in its hands the chance to ruin that season, and we can all expect to be treated to the sight of very large, very fast objects smashing away at one another, attempting to beat the hell out of the other one over the course of three and a half hours. Most importantly, it's on Friday, so, hey, now we all have something to do during turkey and gravy burps.

Alabama is the one team I believe has the speed and physical size at linebacker to handle Cam Newton's running ability. The key to their success is Auburn's offensive line handling Alabama's defensive line with single blocks, which will allow those other offensive linemen to get out on the linebackers. If those offensive linemen can do that, Newton is free to run as he pleases.  If Alabama's defensive line creates problems and requires a double team or two, then I think Auburn's running game won't be hitting the 300-yard mark. 

And on passing plays when Newton starts to scramble, I don't think he's going to be able to gain significant yardage due to those linebackers. And even though Alabama's secondary is not very good, I expect Saban will have his safeties playing much closer to the line to limit Newton, which will leave single coverage on the outside.  A risk, yes, but I'll take my chances playing tight on the line and blitzing Newton on obvious passing downs, where he is not all that successful.

We know Alabama is going to score because Auburn's defense stinks. The outcome of the game will depend on to what degree Alabama limits Auburn's offense. Newton is the best player in college football, as evident by him dragging this Auburn defense to at 11-0 record, so he can't be completely stopped. However, I think if the Alabama defense can get even just a medium shutdown, they'll win. I have no idea what a medium shutdown looks like, but I'll know it when I see it. And I think we'll see it on Friday.

Kentucky at Tennessee
I haven't the desire or patience to sit here and write about this game. I declare you, Kentucky, to be my pick.

LSU at Arkansas
Can we all agree, well, how about just LSU and Ole Miss fans, that Houston Nutt and Les Miles never need to coach against one another again? With the recent exception of the 2008 thrashing by Ole Miss, Nutt and Miles always seem (going back to Nutt's Arkansas days) to get locked into these epic struggles that result in thousands of lead changes, spiked and plummeting blood pressure, violent mood swings and display quantities of coaching buffoonery not normally seen in 60 minutes of football. I know I'd rather not go through something like that for the next two or three years.

As for the contest here, unlike the Auburn and Ole Miss offenses, Arkansas' version does not involve a shifty (or just plain awesome) quarterback or lots of read option, which requires discipline and less aggression to defend, something LSU's defense does not seem capable of doing. So, even though Ryan Mallett is in charge, I think this is a better matchup for LSU's defense.

LSU will probably take a page out of what Mississippi State did last week, minus the collapse and giving up big plays, but further increase the pressure. A Mallett with free time is a Mallett that will destroy a defense. I think they'll force enough mistakes and get just enough offense from Mr. SEC Offensive Player of the Week to pull off the win.

Florida at Florida State*
Remember when this game was really, really, really important on a national scale? NOT ANYMORE.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss
Ole Miss is going to lose because Tyrone Nix has no idea how to stop a read option offense. He's learned absolutely nothing since Auburn beat him last year running it and after State obliterated him last November. I fully expect him to be more aggressive than ever to show that he means business this year, which, of course, is exactly the opposite of what you should do against this offense. I can't wait to yell incoherently at the TV as I watch a stunt or reckless run blitz on first and ten result in a hole the size of Nebraska opening, through which Vick Ballard or Chris Relf will sprint and evade the Ole Miss safeties by continuing to run along the same path, knowing such a horrible angle will have been taken that Johnny Brown, Fon Ingram, Damien Jackson or Brishen Matthews will just fly right by.

Good times.

/robs local liquor store, not for cash, but for booze
/encourages all of those forced to watch and listen to this asshole at home to do the same


South Carolina at Clemson*
In August, Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies that allowed him to play football for another year at Clemson. After reading that, I wrote the headline "Kyle Parker returns to Clemson to ensure the Tigers complete another 7-5 season." Any idea what their record is now? 6-5.

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt*
The four victories present between these two teams: Presbyterian, Duke, Ole Miss and Eastern Michigan.

/random bout of snow blindness despite lack of exposure to snow
/soft sobbing until bedtime

Georgia Tech at Georgia*
If Georgia wins this game and Tennessee wins theirs, FIVE TEAMS from the SEC East will be bowl eligible and will probably go. FIVE. One team that has played well at times and four garbage teams. Nashville, Memphis and Birmingham, CHOOSE WISELY.

*Me picking at ACC team? HAHAHAHAHA. You'll sooner find me saying, "That was a well-thought and lucid gameplan, Tyrone. I enjoyed how you showed your defense how to stay disciplined and cover their gaps and assignments. Well done, sir."

Egg Bowl Week

To get things started in the proper direction of hate, we summon the probation giants from both schools and their once-upon-a-time blood feud.

Dog Brewer

Jackie Wayne

More to come today and tomorrow. And a programming note for the holiday week, power poll and picks will appear here tomorrow, however, if you choose to view them on Thursday, they will be in this spot. Also, on Friday for the Auburn/Alabama game, I'll have the Twitter machine fired up, so if you're on Twitter and follow me, you'll enjoy comments like "THAT PLAY WAS BAD" throughout the game. If you're not signed up for Twitter, get your ass in gear and do so (if Twitter went away tomorrow I would be at least 75% less informed than I am now), then follow The Belly of the Beast (there's a link for it on the right side of this page). You won't be disappointed. Not by others you choose to follow, but certainly by me.

Enough self-promotional babble. Back to your regularly scheduled Tuesday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What Say You, Les Miles?

It's time for our weekly check-in with the only coach in America who fielded a question about Erin Andrews AND peepholes in a two minute span. Seriously, some crazy old bastard asked questions about both.  To his credit, the grass-eater sidestepped the question and still brought maximum entertainment.

Opening Statement...
"Happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for, all of us. Our football team, our state, and our community have a lot to be thankful for. I have to say finishing a home stand at Tiger Stadium undefeated, I would have to thank the fans. I think those people that come and sit in those seats are rare and they make a great difference to our team."
And thank you to T-Bob Hebert for snapping the ball as time was expiring against Tennessee. If not for his smarts, I would have been murdered on the 50-yard line by these same people. And thanks to the Tennessee defensive staff for displaying the organization and composure of a herd of on-fire cats before that play. I hope they enjoyed the coffee cake I sent.
"How wonderful it is to walk into a stadium where 92,500 fans believe in their hearts that you are supposed to beat the ever living tar out of your opponents just like you are supposed to believe."
Luckily, I never wilt or make questionable choices under that pressure.
"The Ole Miss game, I think Jeremiah Masoli waited for this game to play his best, and he was just uncanny. I thought he was as talented a quarterback as we have seen, and I have watched every game that he played and he played his best."
Les, you are stoking my fire-of-a-thousand-suns hate Tyrone Nix right now.
"I give it to coach (Houston) Nutt for having that team ready to play."
I overrule your admiration and cite the Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt and Tennessee games.
"There were a couple places where we missed the line on defense, a couple signals that they just didn't quite get accomplished on the field and it led to some big plays. These things are definitely correctable, and the issue that I enjoy is I like how our defense plays."
Other issues I enjoy: Budgetary matters, immigration reform and conservation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
"Offensively we had a big day. I thought Jordan Jefferson had his best day to date, and he is the SEC Offensive Player of the Week."
"I like the position we are in. I recognize the enjoyment to come over here and see you all, and that the quickness to which the season goes by really predicts how much fun you are having. I go to work every day with guys that have a smile on their face all the time, and I go to work with guys that fight like hell for victory."
And I fight like hell with the English language.

On Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton re-inventing himself on offense...
"I don't know if there is really a re-inventing, but I can tell you that the things that we need to have happen."
To re-invent something suggests that there was something there in the first place, no?

On Jordan Jefferson's progression as the season has gone on...
"It is interesting. The thing that you have to allow is for our guys to get better. The observation of where they are at now and where they are going to be is always going to be different."

On kickoff coverage...
"Then there is some improvement being made by certain guys, and we can't go by that very talented young player that we have on that team that made mistakes in that game with the idea that we need to correct him and get him fixed, because they are very talented."
In short, certain guys are talented that need corrected with mistakes in young ideas that can't go by some improvement with the idea that very talented and get him fixed.

On what the 'Boot' trophy means to him...
"I can tell you that since I've been here, the Arkansas-LSU game has been tremendously contested. Every game has always come down to the back end. Every game has had big plays, and I can't imagine it will be any different (this year). I promise you when it comes to the challenge of keeping that trophy, that's something that we want to have happen. I can also tell you that the 'Boot' kind of reminds me of the shape of our state. I can tell you that a boot is also a piece of clothing worn on the foot. The key is to not be given the boot."
I can also tell you that Arkansas is north of Louisiana. I can also tell you that we are all in this room. I can also tell you that it is daytime right now. I can also tell you that my head is flooded with other elementary facts and observations I could use here to continue to avoid answering in a succinct fashion, which is presently incapable of happening when my synapses are firing with the velocity and great performance one would want out of their brain in situations such as the one I find myself in now as I talk to you in this room in the state of Louisiana, which looks like a boot.

On if he has noticed any change in QB Jordan Jefferson's demeanor or body language...
"I'm not necessarily following demeanor and body language."
Otherwise, I would have benched him two years ago.

On if he has ever been around a kicker as athletic as Josh Jasper...
"We ask him to kick field goals. We ask him to kick off and put them in spots that we want them, and rarely we ask him to run -- I hate to use the word -- a fake."
Embrace your tears, Florida fans. They might help wash some of the stink and shame off this season.

From the Weekend That Was

Alabama 63, Georgia State 7
Who had any idea that Bill Curry was capable of stirring my emotions to the point of maybe I would run through a brick wall?  This is Bill Curry, who, before Bob Davie seized the title, was the worst, most monotone college football announcer trotted out by ESPN.  Even more amazing, he manages to keep the Bill Curry monotone voice going for the entire speech.

Wait no, check that previous statement.  Let's just go with a crash sheet they use in high school games. 

South Carolina 69, Troy 24
Spurrier has said all year he wanted to put up half a hundred on someone, and he finally achieved a goal only thought of and set by Steve Spurrier.

Florida 48, Appalachian State 10
Surely you jest, John Brantley and Steve Addazio.  Either the box score is lying or Brantley really did average 10.1 yards/attempt.  For some perspective on an accomplishment of that magnitude for this Florida offense, Brantley averages 6.47 yards/attempt.  Congratulations all around.  All it took was a I-AA defense to make you look like a grown-up offense.

LSU 43, Ole Miss 36
There have been some great defenses in college football.  Great defenses with some great names.  The Desert Swarm at Arizona.  The Wrecking Crew at Texas A&M.  The Blackshirts at Nebraska.  All defenses whose play at one time or another deserved such a badass distinction.  This raises the question, at least in my rage-fueled mind, why don't bad defenses get names that offer a perfect description of their complete failures?  If I know nothing about a team, but know that their defense is known as The French Army, I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen in that game.

With that thought in mind, Tyrone Nix's defense has failed to such a level that from now ALL they way until Saturday, they shall be known as the Tyrone Nix Shitstorm.  What type of total incompetence must be shown in order to get that name?  Only THIS:

-Seven times an opposing offense has scored at least 35 points
-In the last four conference games, they've surrendered an average of 46 points a game (184 total)
-In seven conference games, they've surrendered 270 points for an average of 38.6 points a game
-Scoring defense rank (SEC):  12th
-Total defense:  11th
-Rushing defense:  8th
-Passing defense:  10th
-Passing efficiency defense:  12th
-Interceptions:  12th

And perhaps most glaringly, the Ole Miss offense, against the top defense in the SEC, the number five team in the country, on the road, scored 36 points, had 420 yards of total offense and LOST.  Yes, there was plenty of stupidity all around (Markeith Summers, Andrew Ritter, Bobby Massie to name a few), but ultimately what lost Ole Miss this game was its defense's total inability to get any kind of a stop.  It was nice to see them (and the entire team) to, you know, actually care, but the same horrible fundamentals, blown assignments and general poor individual performances still occurred and killed any chance of winning this game.

It was nice, however, to become emotionally sucked into a game and teetering on the edge of embarrassing behavior and language choices.  This season has been so dull and offering so few emotional swings (other than journeys into deep, dark places), I finally got that sweet taste of elation mixed with heavy doses of blinding rage.  AND I FELT ALIVE.  I was about one week away from arranging hobo fights with broken bottles as the weapons, while I flick matches at the participants as they drunkenly stagger and lunge at one another (due to the Steel Reserve I provided), just to know what it's like to feel something.  So thank you, Houston Nutt.  I didn't want things to sink that low.

Arkansas 38, Mississippi State 31
How dare you, Knile Davis.  After I spend three weeks touting your excellence, you betray me and nearly cost your team the game.  You hold on to the ball with 1:50 left on third down and State is forced to go 60 yards-ish in order to set up for a game-tying field goal.  Instead, they only needed 40-ish.  Again, HOW DARE YOU.  Never again will I speak of you in such glowing terms.  Unless you turn into Darren McFadden 2.0, then I have no control over my man-crush.

I made mention on Twitter after the game that I thought State nearly Sylvester Croomed their way into this win.  That's probably 75% unfair since they generated real, functioning offense for most of the game (486 yards total).  But, down 10 with 10 minutes to go, getting a gift from Knile Davis, they rallied to tie it and send it into overtime.  That is 2007 Mississippi State football.

/pauses to remember Ed Orgeron's 14-0 lead with 10 minutes to go
/stricken with paralyzing anger
/wakes up on bathroom floor
/recalls the shitcanning the following day
/donates $25 to the athletic department

Tennessee 24, Vanderbilt 10
I hope no one watched all of this game.  The body and mind are not meant to endure such challenges.

Texas A&M 9, Nebraska 6


Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches

Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
33 carries, 150 yards, 3 TDs

Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Ole Miss
15-23, 177, 1 TD, 2 INT
11 rushes, 64 yards, 2 TDs

Our first ever tie?  Sure, first ever tie (will not research this).  Without either one of these guys, their respective teams had no chance of nearly winning their games.

Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play

Johnny Brown, S, Ole Miss
Andrew Ritter, K, Ole Miss
Markeith Summers, WR, Ole Miss
Jeremy Magee, CB, Ole Miss

Brown is in position to have this award named after him.  No player since Eric Oliver has run his mouth this much and made exactly ZERO plays to back up whatever the hell he says.  And if Andrew Ritter can't do the one thing he's on scholarship to do, kick the damn ball into the end zone, then he doesn't need to play anymore.  EVER.  HE HAS NO OTHER SKILLS.  We'd like our scholarship back, Andrew.  Just leave it in your locker and someone will pick it up this afternoon.  Thanks.

Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him

Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Thanks to a miserable SEC East and Ole Miss, Dooley has this group within one win of going to a bowl game.

2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the season

1.  Jeremiah Masoli  12
2.  Jordan Jefferson 9
     Ryan Mallett  9
     Stephen Garcia  9
5.  John Brantley  8
     Mike Hartline  8
7.  Tyler Russell  6
     Cam Newton  6
9.  Matt Simms  5
     Tyler Bray  5
     Larry Smith  5

Auburn at Alabama
Mark it down, whatever big news was supposed to break in the Cam Newton story last week will break this week.  The hype machine for this game needs to be fed and what better way than AUBURN YOU ARE SO SCREWED.

LSU at Arkansas
A potential BCS bid is on the line, as well as a 10-win season for Arkansas.  Plus, it's our last chance until January or late December to see Bobby Petrino yell profanities at everyone within a five mile radius.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss (do not watch unless you are a fan of either school; trust me)
A combined 0-8 versus the SEC West.  But, hey, Kentucky.  THIS STATE OWNS YOU.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your SEC Power Boosters Breakdown

As the Cam Newton out-of-controlness continues to reach new heights, many of you have probably read about Auburn booster Milton McGregor, bingo parlor and dog track baron.  Now, this may seem odd that someone involved in such a, what's the word....I HOPE NO ONE I KNOW SEES ME HERE business, is heavily involved with an athletic program, but this is how the South works.  We, and I'm speaking as if I'm involved in an athletic department, embrace anyone that has money, as long as the check clears.  Fueling the football monster isn't cheap.

So for those of you unfamiliar with the SEC, or perhaps those without your fingers on the pulse of the conference, consider this your tutorial in who actually runs things at each school in the SEC.


People who buy this shit
Yes, there are more prominent and influential boosters, but the backbone to the Alabama cash machine are the good folks from Muscle Shoals and Foley who couldn't find Tuscaloosa on a map, but buy Alabama merchandise as if the ghost of Bear Bryant appeared in their living room during an episode of Judge Joe Brown and commanded them to do so.


Sellers of affordable and economical everyday items


Dog track, bingo establishment and bank owners
DOG TRACK AND BINGO PARLOR BARONS and a guy who used to run a successful regional bank. And no, I will never tire of the idea of a dog track and bingo parlor baron calling the shots.


James Carville
I vividly remember seeing him before an Ole Miss/LSU game in Baton Rouge and remarking that yes, he also looks that weird in person. I should also mention that I have no idea about any LSU boosters. But he seems like a logical fit.

Mississippi State

Bryan Hot Dogs
Delicious when grilled properly.

Ole Miss

Even if they are in jail. We have the guy who started Netscape (remember when that was popular? Like 1997?), but he donated a chunk of money to academics and education. WASTE OF PRECIOUS RESOURCES.

(Admittedly, I know next to nothing about who's in charge over here, but I did my best in research and asking around)

The sun
Probably the most influential booster in the conference. Because when he is done with the league, we turn into the Big Ten.

/projectile vomits on floor, wall, sink, refrigerator, table, television and mirror


Why not? Close enough to Athens. And much like Georgia, is sweet and ultimately results in softness of the body.


Whiskey and bourbon
I can't speak to the Kentucky Gentleman distillery, but the Maker's Mark distillery tour and grounds were fantastic. If you ever find yourself in the ass-middle of nowhere in Kentucky and want to get further into the ass-middle of nowhere, I highly recommend making the trek to visit the Maker's Mark setup.

South Carolina

State's rights
Not sure if he files a tax return or not, given his distaste of the federal government, but if not, the Gamecocks could run into some trouble later.


Davy Crockett
Look, I said before my knowledge was limited. I also considered Jimmy Dean Sausages, but was unsure of the loyalties of that fine company. By the way, if you've never seen the episode of Cops where a domestic dispute spawns over the ownership rights to a package of Jimmy Dean Sausages, you, my friend, HAVE NEVER LIVED.


Jefferson Pilot Financial
If these assholes and the SEC didn't throw them on TV at the unholy hour of 11 AM on seemingly every Saturday in the early to mid 2000s, their ship would have sunk years ago.

Week 12 SEC Power Poll and Picks


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 (who probably knows all about the Cam Newton payment plan), 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. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
From the standard rumors to outstandingly detailed rumors to the little bits of factual evidence that have come out, the fine men and women of this organization apparently hold the key to whether or not Auburn is essentially wiped off the map. Paying for players, wire taps, middle men, Bishops, DOG TRACK AND BINGO MACHINE BARONS. It's the greatest story ever told.

2. Bill Bell
Wednesday was the day many have been saying was coming and it finally hit. Bell revealed to news sources that he did have taped recordings and text messages from Kenny Rodgers and Cecil Newton, Sr. where a payment plan for acquiring Cam Newton's services was discussed. I expect his house to be burned to the ground by the Cult of Auburn.

3. John Bond
Simply because he can backup everything Bell has said. Also, his house will be burned to the ground.

4. Les Miles
Hey, look, our first football person! Miles has gone just over a month without doing something that leaves fans of opposing schools questioning their core beliefs, and providing his own fans with a sense of impending death, immediately followed by a euphoric high. I'm not sayin', but I'm sayin'.

5. Ted Roof
Gainfully employed.

6. Steve Addazio
Gainfully employed and got a vote of confidence from Urban Meyer this week.

7. Steve Spurrier
SEC East Champion with STEPHEN GARCIA as his quarterback. Though it took three conference losses to get there, I'd say that's ahead of the Garcia curve.

8. Stephen Garcia
It's been almost a week and I still can't believe he pulled it off. The odds of this happening are something akin to Cecil Newton, Sr. not getting caught on tape discussing money. Wait, no, slightly better than that. My mistake.

9. Nick Saban
While Auburn deals with Hurricane NCAA/FBI/BillBell/Shitstorm, Saban lies in wait, like a fire-breathing cobra that spits throwing knives, ready to destroy (before the NCAA does) Auburn's shot at a national championship.

10. Kentucky
Oh, hey there, Wildcats. Sort of forgot you're now bowl eligible. Do you know anything about the Cam Newton story? No? Okay, please move to the back. No, the back. Keep going. No, no. WAY back. By that door. The one that has "alarm will sound if opened on it." That's it. And if you could pick up any trash while back there, that'd be great.

Last week: 6-1
Season: 64-17 (.790)

Georgia State at Alabama
Little known fact about this place: This blog was originally started as a way for me to vent my outrage that Rod Barnes was still being allowed to coach basketball at Ole Miss. Barnes was in the middle of his third straight losing season and a season in which he would win four conference games for the third straight year (he did actually win five in the second year of that stretch). After making the NCAA Tournament in 2002, Barnes would go 55-63 (17-47 SEC) in the following four years before Pete Boone remembered we had a basketball team and fired him (or maybe he resigned, whatever).

So for the Ole Miss fans thinking Rod Barnes would be a better solution than Andy Kennedy (I think these are the same people who are interested in mascot crap), let that record sink in. And to sweeten the deal, you should probably know he's 33-61 in three years at Georgia State. I'll be the first to admit Kennedy needs to get his ass in the NCAA Tournament, but the guy knows what he's doing, unlike his predecessor, who destroyed the tiny sliver of basketball success we had built.

Troy at South Carolina
I don't think there's any doubt South Carolina will lose to either Troy or Clemson. IT'S WHAT THEY DO. I'll give Spurrier and Garcia the benefit of the doubt and say they lose next week.

/will forget this and pick South Carolina next week

Appalachian State at Florida
Relax, Steve. You're job isn't on the line here. Now, when you throw up a 10-spot on Florida State, then Urban may recant his desire for solutions and make your firing the solution.

Ole Miss at LSU
I've been to the Ole Miss/LSU game in Tiger Stadium four times.  And all four times I've seen Ole Miss win.  I'm not sure how that happened, but thanks to schedules and logistics and shit, I have been fortunate enough to miss the vicious thrashings and soul-numbing losses that have happened there.  The Orgeron collapse in 2006 and the Eli Manning pass off the face of Trumaine Turner inside the five-yard line (LSU led 14-13 and Ole Miss only needed a field goal to win) that was intercepted immediately come to mind.  Had I been there for those, I probably wouldn't be typing this right now because I would have jumped off the top of Tiger Stadium.

I was unable to go to the Eli-pass-off-the-face game in 2002 because I was in a friend's wedding that weekend (note to you yet-to-be-married folk:  NEVER GET MARRIED IN THE FALL; if you do, you deserve to have people not show up for your wedding).  So Saturday night, while at the reception during the game, my dad kept going out to his car to check the score on the radio (additional note:  this was before cell phones did cool things).  As I knew the game had to be almost over, I headed outside to hear the end of it.  Before I got to the parking lot, I saw my dad walking towards me.  He looked as if his wife, children and our dog had all been brutally murdered in front of his eyes.  Then he told me what happened.  I stood there for a second to contemplate why in the hell I follow this team, went back inside, ordered another Budweiser and ate something close to 23 pounds of prime rib and other meats.

The point of all of this is that I don't want to talk about this game.  We're going to lose and I'm glad the logistics and shit failed me once again so I don't have to watch my team get slowly clubbed to death with a gumbo serving spoon by this LSU team.  But, hey, if America is up for an awful game to watch, tune in to CBS at 2:30! 

Arkansas at Mississippi State
With a new acknowledgment that the running game exists, this Arkansas offense may be turning into an even more unstoppable force.  Throw in that State always has problems with Arkansas and that Nick Saban just gave the Hogs a defensive blueprint on how to dominate State's offense, and I don't like the Bulldogs' chances.  Granted, Arkansas does not have the defensive talent Alabama has, but State isn't exactly lighting it up on offense (8th in total and 11th in scoring).  And the State defense, while 3rd in scoring, gives up a lot of yards (7th total and 8th in passing).

I expect the Bulldogs will blitz and blitz heavily, trying to disrupt Mallett and take advantage of his strong ability to crumple to the ground at the slightest touch.  Unfortunately, I don't think this is a good matchup for State at all.  Their defense has not faced the type of offense they'll see on Saturday.  It's much more aggressive and sophisticated than anyone they've played all year, and I'm not seeing how they'll be able to stop Arkansas from scoring.  I think State's offense will be able to have some success moving, but unless Arkansas turns the ball over in large gift basket amounts, I don't think State can keep up with them.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt
These teams are a combined 2-11 in the SEC and only the Ole Miss Rebels can claim the right to have been beaten by both of them.  There's a feather for your caps, Houston Nutt and Tyrone Nix.  Even more disturbing than that (well, no, nothing is more disturbing than that), when Tennessee wins this game, they'll just need to beat Kentucky to become bowl eligible.  TENNESSEE.  One of the great garbage teams in America could be bowling.  THE HORROR.  So, have we fired Tyrone Nix yet? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Say You, Les Miles?

It's time for our weekly check-in with America's most successful borderline insane person. This week, Coach Miles discusses pieces of issues that present great challenges occurring within themselves on great planes of competition.

“We recognize that this is Ole Miss Week, and this is going to be a great competitive game between two traditional rivals. I think about the many games historically that have been played between these two teams. The Billy Cannon run is certainly one that everyone talks about and will continue to talk about forever."

You mean former federal inmate Billy Cannon?

/invents time machine to ensure Cannon gets tackled
/ends up in 1812
/assists in the War of 1812 by running and hiding, thus making the American army stronger
/fails at stopping Cannon
/forced to listen to Cannon crap for rest of life

"This Ole Miss team is much better than a 4-6 team..."


"... they are a team that has the ability to score. They have a very fine running back, and certainly the quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. They can run it and throw it, and they have an offensive line that’s given up the fewest sacks in the SEC, and they are going to be a great challenge for our defensive front."

He's right, we CAN run it, but we choose not to do so with our best running back.

"Defensively they have given up some points, and certainly they have given up some yards as well. They also take chances and they get into the backfield, as they are second in the conference in sacks. They have an outstanding punter in Tyler Campbell who is averaging 45 yards per punt, which is second in the SEC. They have a very dangerous returner Jesse Grandy who is third, so they are very solid in special teams and we are going to have to very good in our coverage as we have been."

Other than the part about the defense, ALL LIES.

On if he is confident in his quarterbacks’ abilities to throw the ball down the field...
"The issue is we want to throw it deep, and we should probably have taken some of the underneath throws in that game that we just played, but no, I think our guys can throw it deep. They’ll mishit, but they’ll hit more than not.”

But mostly, they'll mishit.

On Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt’s game plan against LSU...
"I think Houston Nutt does a great job. I think any time you line up against his teams, they are going to be very sound in offense, defense and special teams."

Again, LIES.

On how much the way last year’s Ole Miss game ended sticks with him now...
"We looked at that very long, and we made adjustments. We saw the mistakes, and we fixed them. The issue is one that is certainly not a pleasant memory, but getting beyond it and making sure we’re headed in the right direction, that’s got to be our focus. To me, that’s what our team has to do and what I have to do."

Except in the Tennessee game. And the ones before that. And the ones after that. But all the others, yes, we've fixed the problems in those games.

After questions about the BCS, a BCS bid, the quarterback that signals in the plays and some of the younger guys that got to play, the reporters decided, well, shit, I guess we probably should ask questions about Ole Miss now. But not too many!

On if the end of last year’s game led them to adjust the way they do things at practice...
"We’ve done a number of things differently in practice that helps us in those situations. We’ve worked at it."

This Ole Miss team is so miserable to talk about that the reporters can only rephrase questions about last year's game.

On how involved they were in recruiting Ole Miss RB Brandon Bolden out of high school...
"We absolutely took a look at him and saw that he had real talent. It’s difficult not being able to recruit all of the very good players in this state. It’s our goal and desire to take the very best, and at some point in time, you get into those marginal decisions, and certainly Bolden is good enough to play SEC football."

At least Ole Miss was in the question.

On the emotion of Senior Day...
"I think they’ll miss it most after it’s over. It’s youth. It’s the experience of youth. When they walk off that field for the last time, it’s then that it will probably strike them. The good news is their memories are as strong as there is in college football. There is not a guy that will leave his experience here and ever think that there was a better venue, better stadium, better place to go to school, better place to be cheered for. There is only one Tiger Stadium."

That is the most lucid response ever given by Miles, and a fantastic one at that. Though I am sure there are hundreds and hundreds books written about the ending of a football career and what comes next, the one that comes to mind, mainly because of LSU and I've actually read it, is John Ed Bradley's It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium. Bradley describes in painful and powerful detail what it's like to no longer have access to "a drug," as he called it, that offered the highest of highs. And even though he was talking about his college football career, we can all identify to some degree with what he's saying because we've all experienced leaving behind something that brought us similar feelings.  Like PLAIN OLD COLLEGE.

/pauses to remember paradise
/regrets not doing more
/does not regret the 267,000 games of Mario Kart played
/realizes nap time would be coming up in a few hours
/cries tears of rage

Uh, anyway. Read that book.

The next six questions had nothing to do with Ole Miss or any preparation for this game, but, rather, the return of an injured player, Patrick Peterson's career, the chance to have a great season, LSU playing well in the third quarter and end of the game, the LSU walk-on program and another question about the BCS. Even though Les never got a chance to be flex his Les-muscles, I did learn 1,000% more about the LSU walk-on program than I ever thought I would know or care to know.  Good times.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ron Zook Does Not Want to Think About Something. It Might Be the Bowl Game.

The last time we saw Ron Zook around these parts he was receiving the business end of one of the great Croomings of the Sylvester Croom era.  After his dismissal from Florida, he headed north to fill the vacant head coach position at Illinois, who was in the market for a warm body.  Now, he surfaces again, trying to answer a question and set a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most words crammed into 17 seconds of speech.

What was the most amazing about this video?

A.  The words "bowl" and "game" were mentioned less than every three seconds

B.  Illinois is on the cusp of bowl eligibility

C.  Illinois lost to Minnesota

D.  Zook spoke out of the side of his mouth opposite of the way he was facing

E.  Zook used brief pauses while speaking

F.  Seriously, I just looked it up and Illinois is one win away from bowl eligibility

G.  Zook is still coaching at Illinois

H.  All of the above

I accept A, B, E, F and G.  C is out of the question because it's Illinois we're talking about.  And D occurs when Zook gets excited, which is 99% of his conscious hours.  Congratulations to all of you winners.  Give yourselves $20 for your success.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coordinator Returnability Index

As the college football season winds down (PRAISE ALL THINGS THAT ARE DECENT AND HOLY), rumors are swirling as to which coordinators in the conference will be moving on to other opportunities in 2011, and which coordinators will be given no more opportunities in 2011.  Some of these swirls are mere gentle, soothing breezes, while others are F9 tornadoes that travel 600 miles across four states.  To help you, fair reader, keep tabs on what could be happening on your team's coaching staff come December (for teams like Ole Miss) or January (like legitimate teams), The Belly of the Beast embarks on an assessment of each school in the SEC.  I'm using a very sophisticated rating scale that determines the likelihood of each coordinator's return, so don't bother asking how it works because I have neither the time nor the patience.

Jim McElwain, Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Had its heyday, followed by a resurgence in the late '90s, then slowly fell out of the minds of the majority of contributors to society, now only die-hards can be found still supporting it.

Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

What are we up to now, 14 of these things? I think two have come out since June.

Bobby Petrino, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:


Willy Robinson, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

I could see it, but either way, I don't care.

Gus Malzahn, Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

I would have scored this one at 100% if not for a job offer and acceptance that's sure to come unless the stink of NCAA violations can be found on Malzahn.

Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Both could be big one day in Europe. Or Chile. Or the moon.

Steve Addazio, Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Oh, Urban, how I love your stubbornness. "I'M NOT INTO BLAME, I'M NOT INTO EXCUSES. WE'RE INTO SOLUTIONS."

/examines solutions
/sees firing Addazio listed at the top

Teryl Austin, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Would you know if he didn't?

Mike Bobo, Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

He's only this high due to loyalty from Mark Richt, otherwise, he'd be in Tyrone Nix territory.

Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Though fond of taunting college kickers, Grantham has performed very well this year. He just misses out on The Sun ranking due to the small chance Richt doesn't come back.

No effort was made to research and calculate.

Gary Crowton, Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

It will remain my undying wish, as well as a source of disappointment.

John Chavis, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Like Ted Roof should do with Gus Malzahn, Les Miles should send one or more of his paychecks to Chavis.

Dan Mullen, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

All depends on the State finish and the desire for a coach who fixed Sylvester Croom's mess in two years.

Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:
See: Mullen, Dan

Houston Nutt, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as

We may be crazy and unstable, but we're not that crazy.

Tyrone Nix, Defensive Coordinator
Chance of coming back the same as:

Design, organization and usefulness the same across the board: HORRIBLE.

THE SUN across the board.

No effort was made to research and calculate.


System failure. Memory erased.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

From the Weekend That Was

Tennessee 52, Ole Miss 14
Handshakes, backslaps and complimentary drinks for you, Houston Nutt and Tyrone Nix.  The two of you, in short and aggressive fashion, have turned a team with a smattering of talent into the worst team in the SEC.  Yes, you have somehow developed a team that cannot beat Tennessee and Vanderbilt, the least talented teams in recent SEC history.  I credit your lack of adjustments, teaching and whatever the hell legitimate coaches do.  This, and I hesitate to use this word, football team could not beat one of the Ed Orgeron teams.  Not one.  And it would probably give up 300+ passing yards and four touchdowns to Seth Adams.  SETH ADAMS.

Color me as no offensive genius, but when I know that Tennessee's run defense is awful and has ZERO defensive tackles that should be playing, I do what I can to dedicate myself to the run with my best running back, or as Houston Nutt calls it, "the hot hand."  So I guess the results from Saturday mean Brandon Bolden with 12 carries for 113 yard and two TDs (NINE POINT FOUR YARDS A CARRY) was not the hot hand, nor the best running back, and needed to give away 11 carries to Enrique Davis (40 yards, 3.6/carry).  Couple that with a quarterback who did not practice the regular amount this week and had the accuracy of a Cecil Newton, Sr. public comment, I'm not sure a more piss poor offensive attack could have been created.  Unless Bolden has the conditioning my aging, out-of-shape self has, he should be run until he PUKES. 

As for the defense, let's make this as succinct as possible:  Tyrone Nix, would you like your severance payment in one lump sum or in three installments over two years (similar to Auburn's Cam Newton payment plan)?  I don't know what you've been attempting to do this year, but even Ted Roof has the right to look down his nose at you, which means you are a defensive leper and shall be moving to where the rest of the unclean reside.  But I'll tell you what, I looked around the house and found two boxes I don't need, so consider them my parting gift to you.  However, I will need that packing tape back.

Two final comments before I move on to more gentle typing on my laptop:  One, kudos to our coaches for leaving in the starters until the bitter end.  Senior defensive tackle Lawon Scott, one of our legitimate players, and his broken ankle and potential pro career thank you for your stupidity.  There are only two games left, so choose wisely who you want to miss spring practice while recovering from an injury sustained in a worthless blowout loss.  And two, Tyler Bray is a lucky bastard.  Yes, he put up solid yardage and touchdowns, but when the day comes where he must play a real defense, his recklessness with the ball will bite him firmly and heartily in the ass.  He was spared this game due to incompetence, hands made of stone and shiny objects that distract defensive players while the ball is in the air.

Wait, one more.  Congratulations to Jeremiah Masoli for overtaking Stephen Garcia in the standings of the 2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure.

Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt 20
A bright, big gold star for me because I, despite the temptation, watched zero minutes of this game AND did not see a single highlight.  Probably my proudest moment from the weekend.  It's either that or when I shot who I thought was Fidel Castro in the head while playing Call of Duty Black Ops.  Tough choice.

Auburn 49, Georgia 31
As long as Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray doesn't play the defensive Lee Ziemba, commonly known as Nick Fairley, anymore, he should have a long and extremely successful career.  Given the environment and the spearing and leg-sweeping he was dealing with, Murray was fantastic.  It helps that he had A.J. Green and a Ted Roof secondary, but he showed decent accuracy and excellent moves in the pocket to avoid sacks and season-ending injuries.  His only killer mistake was the overthrow of the big, tall white wide receiver (#16; no, I will not look up his name) in the end zone, which led Georgia to settling for a field goal (cut it to 35-31 instead of tying it).

As for Auburn and Cam Newton, we still don't know what will be proven regarding his DAD SELLING HIS SERVICES TO PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL, but what we do know is that HE'S GUILTY.  I continue to be amazed by Auburn's attitude of defiance.  Not they've reached the Southern Cal level of defiance and cult-like behavior concerning NCAA matters, but I think they're heading down that path.  Humility, not arrogant assholishness, goes a long way when the NCAA and curious reporters are all up in your business.  But, hey, Auburn fans, enjoy the following 12 hours celebrating your SEC West championship before the next Cam Newton story breaks in which your school and money are mentioned in the same sentence!

Arkansas 58, UTEP 21
Knile Davis is a freight train straight out of hell!  Another 182 yards and a touchdown.

LSU 51, Former Directional School 0
LSU total yards:  251
LSU completions:  8
LSU passes:  22
LSU passing yards:  95
People surprised by this:  0

South Carolina 36, Florida 14
It was as thorough of an ass-kicking as Steve Spurrier has delivered while at South Carolina.  As expected, Florida struggled to show a fraction of offensive competency (35 yards rushing), spraying the field with incomplete passes and boos from the home crowd.  A tip of the hat to Stephen Garcia, who played under control and now finds himself playing in an extremely meaningful game.  Lord knows he has taken metric tons of crap, so it's great to see him finally breaking through, if only to blow our minds with epic stupidity on the SEC Championship Game stage.  But, South Carolina, know that everyone else is behind you in your quest to beat an Auburn team you had beaten the first time you played before shitting the bed in the fourth quarter.  Now, go and enjoy your impending loss to Troy.

Also, if Marcus Lattimore got his shot at the Ole Miss defense, he'd run for 717 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Alabama 30, Mississippi State 10
From the great Cousin Eddie in the disaster that was Vegas Vacation, "I haven't seen a beatin' like that since somebody put a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose."  It was indeed an angry Alabama team that showed up and, aided by State's inability to slap together even a rickety form of a passing game, they punished the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball.  The most exciting news to come out of this game was that Tyler Russell, backup quarterback Tyler Russell, has a strong shot at finishing in the top five in the conference in interceptions, despite only throwing 67 passes this season.  I'm rooting for you, Tyler.  Good luck.

Wisconsin 83, Indiana 20
My apologies, Mississippi State fans, I spoke too soon.  Ahem, Indiana fans (if you really exist), "I haven't seen a beatin' like that since somebody put a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose."

Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches

Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
40 carries, 212 yards, 3 TDs
I think if Spurrier could get away with it, Lattimore would carry 55 times against Auburn.  Unfortunately, Auburn isn't so bad at stopping the run, which forces THE HAND OF GARCIA.

Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play

Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Ole Miss
7-18, 80 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
The good news is that by playing, Masoli prevented Nathan Stanley from putting up this line and destroying what millimeters of confidence he has left.

Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
Welcome back, Ball Coach.  And thanks to you, the following programs are the only ones that have never gone to Atlanta:  Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.  BUT WHAT ABOUT COLONEL REBEL!  HOW DARE THEY TOUCH MY TRADITIONS!  BLACK BEARS ARE STUPID!

/bitterly weeps
/drinks paint thinner
/sets oven to 350
/climbs in

2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the season

1.  Jeremiah Masoli  10
2.  Stephen Garcia  9
3.  Jordan Jefferson  8
     Ryan Mallett  8
     Mike Hartline  8
6.  John Brantley  7
7.  Aaron Murray  6
     Tyler Russell  6
     Cam Newton  6
10. Matt Simms  5

Ole Miss at LSU
Again, America, another chance to watch this traveling shitshow for the second straight week!

Arkansas at Mississippi State
A game in which the bowl pecking order will be affected.  The winner is probably the leader for Cotton Bowl consideration and if LSU stumbles or slips into the BCS, potentially the Capital One Bowl.

Friday, November 12, 2010

For Those of You Who Are Terribly Confused

A flowchart to help straighten out the Cecil Newton-sold-his-kid-for-cash story .  So, it IS that Kenny Rogers!

(Blatantly stolen from EDSBS)

But to increase your confusion (let it never be said I did not give equal opportunity to all), I present Tennessee STARTING QUARTERBACK Tyler Bray's "it wasn't a good idea at the time nor will it ever be" back tat.  And please, don't look at this if there are children in the room.

(Stolen from the Internet)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week Eleven SEC Power Poll and Picks


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. Gene Chizik
Sure the shit hit the fan with great speed and power this week, but at last check, Chizik still held his job and had the full support of the Auburn administration. Though all signs certainly point to waves of planes loaded with napalm headed to the Auburn campus and careers of Chizik and staff, he's coaching an undefeated team that just needs to not screw up and they're in the national championship game.

2. Les Miles
Though he may have the appetite and digestive tract of various barnyard animals, The Hat has somehow piloted an LSU team with no discernible form of offense to an 8-1 season. No one can explain it and God forbid you ever listen to him try to explain it.

3. Ted Roof
Still employed.

4. Steve Addazio
See #3.

5. Bobby Petrino
Arkansas destroyed what everyone assumed was at least a good South Carolina team on the road and now gets to feast on UTEP, a team that lost to UAB, Tulane and Marshall and is somehow still 6-4 (combined record of those giants: 9-18).

6. Ryan Mallett
See, Texas-El Paso, University of

7. Knile Davis
Considering how much Bobby Petrino likes to throw, Davis is having an unprecedented run (NO RESEARCH WAS DONE TO VERIFY THAT CLAIM) over his last four conference games. 459 yards, 114.8/game, 8 touchdowns.

8. Dan Mullen
Deranged Auburn fans have yet to find his address, post it on the Internet and send him packages filled with feces.*

9. Kentucky
Though 1-5 in the SEC and awful, the Wildcats are one win away from bowl eligibility. After facing Vanderbilt this weekend, who can't wait to see this team in a cold, wet, miserable bowl game in the last week of December?

10. Trooper Taylor
Largely recognized as Auburn's "guy" in recruiting, we have yet to hear Taylor's name in the Cam Newton mess. Not to worry, towel-waving haters (hey, that's me!), the bell will soon toll for Trooper.

*Subject to change any second

Last week: 6-2
Season: 58-16 (.784)

Ole Miss at Tennessee
Last week, thanks to the very exclusive cable package I have, I was unable to watch the Ole Miss game on ESPNU via my television. And since decided they'd rather stream some Sun Belt game in which everyone who cared about the game was at the game, I was forced to find a non-legitimate source in order to watch. I ended up finding a feed that was ESPNU's coverage, but it was out of the Tampa area because I kept being tempted to call in some take-out from Tampa's best Chinese Fusion restaurant, Crazy Buffet. DAMN YOU CHINESE FOOD AND HOW YOU ALWAYS LOOK SO GOOD NO MATTER THE HOUR OF THE DAY.

And the way Ole Miss and Tennessee have played this year, this game deserves to be on a bootleg feed out of Tampa that's only accessible through knowledge of websites that also show horse races in Finland. Instead, it's the early CBS national game. So now, all of America will get the privilege of watching a 4-5 and 3-6 team pummel each other with piss poor defense, overall marginal offense (no thanks to you, Tennessee) and play that leads to a combined 1-9 conference record.

If Ole Miss wants to take away something positive from this season, this game provides that chance. Tennessee is awful. In all major offensive and defensive categories, the Vols' highest rank is 6th (passing offense). While Ole Miss offers very little that impresses, they do scratch the top half in three categories (scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense). But the stat that jumps out at me, which I think gives Ole Miss the advantage, is in the run game.

Ole Miss has the second-ranked rushing offense while Tennessee ranks ninth in rushing defense. Tennessee has the worst running game in the conference, which helps limit Ole Miss' 8th-ranked run defense. When bad teams collide, I prefer the one who will have the greatest ease in running the ball. Now, of course, Tyler Bray could come in and torch the Ole Miss secondary for something like 350 and 4 TDs, but until he puts up solid numbers against schools not named Memphis, I will discount anything he's done. With regret and minimal confidence, I'm taking Ole Miss.

EDIT: If Jeremiah Masoli is ruled out with a concussion, then it's Tennessee all the way and Nathan Stanley will also have a concussion.

Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Outside of the Ole Miss/Vandy game, this is the game that most screams Dave Neal and Andre Ware. Boring? Of course. Dead atmosphere? No doubt. People not yet in the stadium? You know it. Miserable game play? COUNT IT.

Before we move away from something not fun to talk about, a tip of the hat to Vanderbilt, who now boasts the conference's statistically worst total defense and offense. And if not for Tyrone Nix's shitshow, they'd have the worst scoring defense and offense. So get excited, Birmingham, Kentucky is on their way to whatever bowl you host.

Georgia at Auburn
When Abraham Lincoln appointed General Joe Hooker as head of the Army of the Potomac in 1863, Hooker famously said, "May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none." If you're unfamiliar with what happened next, Hooker's much larger army was annihilated by Lee's army at Chancellorsville. And though the analogy doesn't work here, I like the the quote and will bend it to apply to Georgia. May God have mercy on them, for Auburn will have none.

Auburn was already the far superior football team, but now that the whole world has gone and pissed them off, DUCK AND COVER, MARK RICHT, DUCK AND COVER. I think that crowd and team are going to be worked up into quite the frenzy due to the events of the last two weeks, and Georgia is going to bear the full fury of both crowd and team. I find it hard to believe Auburn is going to come out flat and distracted. This is their chance to finally hit back after the last week or two, and I fully expect them to make Georgia pay.

And on a note of not-so-minor importance, because of the speed of the investigation into Newton's recruitment, there's always the possibility this is Newton's last game.  If the much-rumored tapes of Newton and his dad asking for money to play are made public (assuming they exist), that's the end of the magical ride for Auburn.  They'll turn back into the 2009 Auburn team with Chris Todd/Brandon Cox/Daniel Cobb 2.0 leading the way.

UTEP at Arkansas
Of the five Division-I teams the Miners have beaten (though it's debatable if New Mexico and New Mexico State are D-I), those teams have a combined record of 11-35. UTEP: We can lose to teams that are slightly less bad than the ones we beat!

Former Directional School at LSU
I have no doubt LSU will win this game by less than 11 points and with less than 27 yards of offense.

South Carolina at Florida
Ah, South Carolina, marching cohesively into the SEC East championship game. When told Stephen Garcia said this was the biggest game in South Carolina's history, Steve Spurrier said, "No, that's not true. Please don't listen to Stephen when he talks all the time. He's speaking sometimes for Stephen."

Usually, I would never go against Spurrier when it comes to matters with Garcia, but in this case I think Garcia's right. They win, they go to Atlanta and take part in something they've never experienced before with the chance to do something even greater. They lose, they're 6-4 and headed to a bowl game they'll lose with an uninspired effort. A win could signal a change in the culture of choking away seasons, while a loss solidifies what they've always done - lose. So, yes, this is the biggest game in school history. Well done, young Stephen.

Even though Florida has had a resurgence of sorts, if beating and Georgia can be considered such, my eyes still tell me Florida is crap. And I will not betray the things that allow me to see. South Carolina has one bad showing (Kentucky) and just got its ass kicked last week against Arkansas, but they still have a claim to be a legitimate football team (win over Alabama and a should-have-won against Auburn).

More importantly, South Carolina defends very well against the one thing Florida can kind of do (when the mood fancies them), which is run. The Gamecocks' horrible secondary shouldn't come into play here because Florida doesn't like throwing passes that travel more than 1.3 yards. But what could come into play is South Carolina's deathly sensitive allergy to the month of November. They hate this month. It causing wheezing, vomiting, blood-red faces and their throat eventually closes up, leading to a 1-3-ish finish. History and allergies may be on Florida's side, but non-crappy football is on South Carolina's. I'm taking the Gamecocks. SO DON'T BLOW THIS, STEVE. YOU TOO, STEPHEN.

Mississippi State at Alabama
I desperately hope there is video from Tuscaloosa this Saturday that shows Alabama fans laying down palm leaves at the feet of State fans as they walk around. If one State fan pays for a drink on Friday or Saturday, I say shame on you Crimson Tide fans, shame on you.  Your season has been ruined and all you've been hearing about is Auburn playing in the national title game, and now a gift has fallen from the sky.  You show your respect to those who have punched a giant hole in the legitimacy of Auburn's season.

Unfortunately for State, as much adoration and praise as they'll receive on Saturday, Nick Saban has no time for that business.  He does however have time for getting angry and turning his team into a hate-fueled machine seeking an outlet for that hate, which, this week, is Mississippi State.  I think you'll see a renewed dedication to the run and an Alabama win.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inside Gene Chizik's Office

As rumors, accusations and general hysteria swirl around Cam Newton's recruitment to Auburn, Gene Chizik and company return to his plush office to rest moments after facing ESPN, The New York Times and Fox Sports in a rumble that could best be described as curb-stompingly violent.

Chizik: Boy, that escalated quickly...I mean that really got out of hand fast.

Jay Jacobs: It jumped up a notch.

Chizik: It did, didn't it?

Ted Roof: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart.

Chizik: I saw that. Ted killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?

Roof: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

Trooper Taylor: Yo, dawg, that was some CRAZY SHIT! A trident? That's straight gangsta, Ted! Gimme some!
(exchanges chest bump with Roof, waves towel repeatedly)

Chizik: (takes long drink of his Miller High Life) Ted, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.

I'm proud of you fellas. You kept your head on a swivel. That's what you've got to do when you're in a vicious cockfight.

Jacobs: Can you believe Forde, Low, Shlabach, and Thamel? "Did you pay him? Have you investigated this? What's his eligibility status?"

Taylor: This Cam Newton business is really hurting our rep.

Chizik: I know exactly what you mean, Trooper. Every reporter in this country is laughing at us. And I don't like it. I don't like the put-downs. We're gonna do something about it. It's time to put an end to this!

Last time I checked, my name's Gene Chizik. What's your name?

Jacobs: Jay Jacobs

Taylor: Trooper Taylor

Roof: Jay Jacobs

Taylor: No, dawg, you're Ted.

Roof: Trooper.

Taylor: I'm Trooper.

Roof: Gus.