Thursday, March 31, 2011

Houston Nutt's Circle of Circles

I'm a day late to this nonsensical party, but The World of the Uninvested is full of paths that are difficult to negotiate.  In a move that takes his LOOK-OUT-MY-HAIR-IS-ON-FIRE-OH-HEY-POTATO-CHIPS behavior up a notch or 70, Houston Nutt had this thing printed and posted in the indoor practice facility at Ole Miss.

Explaining in his words, so, no, I did not make this up, Nutt said, "Started back in January, as soon as they got back we made what we call a Circle of Champions. That’s a Circle of Excellence. And what that means is we want everybody to do it the right way.”

So, if you're trying to keep up, it was made as a Circle of Champions, but is a Circle of Excellence. Either the Circle of Champions is hidden from sight, morphed into the Circle of Excellence, or Nutt can't remember where he put the Circle of Champions and had a Circle of Excellence printed. I've got my money riding on number three there.

Like any good Rebel though, I'll get behind anything as long as it doesn't bring shame and horrible embarrassment on the school, or wins more than four damn football games a season. With that in mind, let's find out just what lives in Houston Nutt's Circles of Excellence, Untrustables, Uncommitted, and the World of the Uninvested.

Circle of Excellence (Possibly Circle of Champions, but we'll never know)
The Circle of Champions
The Circle of Excellence
Ice Cream
Dependent Clauses
Sweater Vests and Loafers

Circle of the Untrustables
Grape Kool-Aid
Washers and Dryers
Easter Bunny
The Facebooks
Suspension Bridges
Jevan Snead

Circle of the Uncommitted
Gus Malzahn
Olive Branch
Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
Puerto Rico
Guns n' Roses

The World of the Uninvested
Boogie Man
The Nintendos
Ball Caps
Track Suits
Freedom of Information Acts
Attention to Detail
The Kelvin Scale

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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 discussing just how to handle Cecil Newton's access to Auburn, while lounging around eating sandwiches.  In today's episode, the family conducts its daily staff meeting in which it learns that AUBURN PAYS EVERYONE.

Taylor: Dawg, that was one crazy party last night. I mean, shiiiiiiiiTTT! I am hung. Over.

Malzahn: Tell me about it. I woke up this morning and I shit a squirrel. I mean it. Literally. Hell of it is, damn thing's still alive. So I got this shit-covered squirrel down there in the office. Don't know what to name it.

Roof: I'm sorry, Gus. I think I ate your chocolate squirrel.

Jacobs: All right, guys. Let's focus up. Morning, everyone. Here are the stories that don't involve us doing something wrong. It looks like Ohio State may be forced to fire Jim Tressel.

Intern: This is a big one.

Jacobs: This could be the big story of the spring and summer. Bobby and the boys will be trying to play this one up as much as they can. And speaking of Bobby and the boys, word on the street is that they've got a high-paying, zero responsibility corporate position that needs someone with a known face to take over. So, Gene...

Chizik: (wakes up from nap) Huh, Bobby? Are they here?

Jacobs: A lot of you have been hearing the other schools in the conference complaining about a lack of compliance or ethics around here.

Malzahn: What in the hell are compliance and ethics?

Chizik: Well, I could be wrong, but I believe those are old, old wooden ships that were used during the Civil War era.

Jacobs: I would be surprised if the schools in the conference were concerned about the lack of old wooden ships, but nice try. Compliance and ethics mean that times are changing, and with that in mind...Gene, are you paying attention?

Chizik: Nope.

Jacobs: This concerns all of us.

Chizik: Okay.

Jacobs: Keeping that in mind, I'd like to introduce the reporter behind the latest addition to the stories that are going to destroy us, all the way from HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Andrea Kramer.

Kramer: Hello, everyone.

Chizik: OH!

Kramer: I just want you all to know that I look forward to interviewing all of you and finding out more about this university's sterling reputation of cheating.

Scene moves to Jay Jacobs' office where the family is engaged in heated conversation.

Taylor: Come'on, Jay! It's bullcrap, dawg! Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies. They rev my engine, but they don't belong in our football complex.

Malzahn: It is newsMAN, not newsLADY!

Taylor: And that is a scientific fact, dawg.

Malzahn: Uh-huh.

Roof: I don't know what we're yelling about!

Taylor: Gene, yo, what you think, dawg?

Chizik: She...'s terrible! She has beautiful eyes, and her hair smells like cinnamon!

Taylor: Mm-hmm. Word, dawg.

Roof: Loud noises!

Jacobs: All right, everyone relax. She's not gonna take away from New York Times or Yahoo! Sports interviews.

Roof: I read somewhere their periods attract bears. Bears can smell the menstruation.

Taylor: Well, that's just great, dawg. You hear that, Jay? Bears. Now you're putting the whole football complex in jeopardy.

Malzahn: I will say one thing for her, Jay, she does have a nice, big old behind. I'd like to put some barbecue sauce on that butt and just bite, bite, bite, bite, munch, munch, munch! Ah-whoo-whoo-whoo!

Jacobs: (laughing) Stop it! Oh, jeez.

Malzahn: Look at the full-moon butt!

Kramer walks into the room.

Taylor: Gus! Gus! Gus! Gus!

Kramer: Mr. Jacobs, I was just wondering if you knew when my interview space would be ready.

Jacobs: Well, that might take some time. For now, why don't you just set up near all the beat writers.


Jacobs: Lower your voice, Gene.

Chizik: Mm-hmm.

Kramer: All right. Thank you, Mr. Jacobs. I'll go get set up.

Kramer leaves the room.

Malzahn: Oh, she is a saucy mama! I mean, I would...

And scene.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Summary Of The Impending Ole Miss Quarterback Battle

Ole Miss' spring practice began Monday and, like many things covered with Houston Nutt's fingerprints, short bursts of sentences were everywhere and standard tasks were made exponentially more difficult, with a dash of controlled chaos tossed in the mix.  The two biggest concerns facing Ole Miss as they (noticed I avoided saying "we," which will stop shortly I am sure) are repairing a defense that hemorrhaged everyth OH THE BLOOD SO MUCH BLOOD BANDAGES STAT OH IT WON'T STOP IT'S BLEEDING OUT AND NOW THERE'S SPINAL FLUID EVERYWHERE and finding a quarterback out of a pool of four candidates.

Now, narrowing four quarterbacks down to one starter is somewhat of a difficult task, but not impossible.  However, if you thought that, you would be terribly wrong because that is not how Houston Nutt chooses to live.  Yes, there are four breathing quarterbacks that could win the job, but their skill sets cannot be described simply as "strong arm" or "great pocket presence."  No, friends, their skills sets include "he has a stuttering problem and can't get the call out correctly," "we need ANOTHER waiver to get him eligible," "has not taken a Division I snap," and "surely his confidence is okay after being given the starting job, then not having it two and a half quarters into a game one loss against a I-AA team."

Those are the problems that bounce off the walls in the world of Houston Nutt.  And to help educate those unfamiliar with Randall Mackey, Nathan Stanley, Barry Brunetti, and Zack Stoudt, I am here to offer you assistance by summarizing what each quarterback brings to the table through the use of pictures, video, or gentle sobbing.

Randall Mackey

That type of athleticism and arm strength, but minus the left handedness and hopefully the sense of entitlement and affinity for dog fighting.  Just so we're clear, HE'S NOT THE NEXT MICHAEL VICK, but he has all the tools that remind you of Vick.  There remains the whole stuttering issue, as mentioned above, and if this were to happen during an important moment, or any moment really, things would not go well:

Not well at all.

Nathan Stanley

Now, that's the way you conduct a handoff!  And that also concludes the skills in which the Ole Miss coaches are comfortable with Stanley displaying.

Barry Brunetti

"Just fill this out and we'll get back to you, oh, wait, when does your season start? September 3rd? We'll send you a fax September 2nd at 4:59. Enjoy your summer."

Brunetti could turn out to be the most gifted of all four, but any chance he gets to spend significant time with the first team offense before the season starts was sucked away last August when the Sports Gods gave us our 10-year allotment of inexplicable fortune by overruling the initial NCAA decision in which Jeremiah Masoli was declared ineligible.

Zack Stoudt

While throwing a ball 75 yards into a net is an impressive feat (or just throwing anything 75 yards), it remains the most impressive thing I've seen of Stoudt, which means it's not that impressive. I hope that he proves my initial reaction of him entering a game wrong, which will be something like OH NO WHY WHY WHY DAMN YOU HOUSTON NUTT AND DAVID LEE I KNEW THIS REUNION WAS GOING TO BE A DISASTER DAMN THIS WHOLE SPORT HOW CAN, followed by me passing out from lack of oxygen.

At the end of this search, no matter who wins the job, it probably will not matter because last time checked, Tyrone Nix was still in charge of coordinating defense, and opposing offenses surveyed our defense like Sherman looked across Georgia right before he left Atlanta.

Monday, March 28, 2011

System: Restored

My apologies for not informing you of my travel plans for Friday and the weekend, and thanks to Delta's we'll-screw-you-over-because-we-can-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha attitude, those plans extended into today (I've also been up since 4:30 in the AM, so let me double down on a hearty BURN IN A FIRE to Delta).  So, for those of you who came here Friday and today looking for something to delay what you really need to be doing by five minutes and expressed mild outrage or disgust at what you assumed to be my laziness in not having something new up, now you know that it was not total laziness, but laziness was merely a contributor.

While I have nothing new for today (see:  AM, 4:30), I do have a pair of travel tips from someone who travels great distances almost never.  One, and probably the most important travel tip ever, when forced to eat a meal of food in an airport, your top priority is selecting an establishment and dish that will be the least likely to hold you hostage in the airplane bathroom.  Taste or nutritional value should never be considered.  If you find yourself staring down the barrel of a Popeye's, local Chinese stir fry place, or Buffalo Wild Wings, you'd be better off just eating napkins.  And two, Wendy's does not have cheddar cheese in the kitchen, Mr. Eating Way Out Of His Element in the Atlanta airport.  Cheese at Wendy's is yellow, and while probably not a flavor, it is the only flavor they serve.

As for the point of all of this, things should be back to normal operating procedures starting tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giving Auburn A Hand In Their Search For A Quarterback

After Cam Newtoning their way to a BCS National Championship last season, Auburn opens spring practice without a clear starter at quarterback and very little depth or experience at the position.  It's such a void and cause for concern that even head coach Gene Chizik can only watch from his pickup truck (no, seriously this happened, but mainly because he's sick or something, or maybe he's been watching Varsity Blues on repeat).  To help Auburn solve their quarterback search, I have composed a decision tree, which should help Ted Roof sleep a little easier at night.
Click to enormosize

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SEC Schedule Breakdown

The home office in Birmingham released the 2011 football schedule today, which you may find here.  After briefly skimming, you may also commence the besmirchment of your rival's, or team you just hate, weak-ass schedule.  For those who have better things to do than read through a list of football games to be played six months from now (NOT GONNA MAKE IT THAT LONG), I have taken the time to organize and provide you with a brief summary of who is playing who.  Or whom.  Never learned that rule.

All opponents listed in parentheses.

Teams in the SEC 2nd Division
Florida Atlantic (Auburn, Florida)
UAB (Florida, Mississippi State)
Western Kentucky (LSU, Kentucky)
Louisiana Tech (Mississippi State, Ole Miss)
Clemson (Auburn, South Carolina)

Land of Enchantment Host Families
Georgia (New Mexico State)
Arkansas (New Mexico)

Making Sure We Got 56% of the Sun Belt on the Schedule
Alabama (North Texas)
Arkansas (Troy)
Tennessee (MTSU)

Stay Away if You Have an Honor Code
Ole Miss (BYU)

Were the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss All-Stars Unavailable?*
Kent State (Alabama)
Georgia Southern (Alabama)
Missouri State (Arkansas)
Samford (Auburn)
Furman (Florida)
Coastal Carolina (Georgia)
Jacksonville State** (Kentucky)
Northwestern State (LSU)
Southern Illinois (Ole Miss)
Tennessee-Martin (Mississippi State)
The Citadel (South Carolina)
Montana (Tennessee)
Buffalo (Tennessee)
Elon*** (Vanderbilt)

*New Mexico and New Mexico State also qualify for this category
**Does not apply if playing Ole Miss
***It's Vanderbilt, so not sure if they belong here

Those WAC/Mountain West/Teams That Keep Changing Conferences
Fresno State (Ole Miss)
Boise State (Georgia)
Utah State (Auburn)

Oh, Shit, We Have Too Many Open Dates
Kentucky (Central Michigan)
South Carolina (East Carolina, Navy)
Tennessee (Cincinnati)

Teams in the SEC 3rd Division
Memphis (Mississippi State)
Georgia Tech (Georgia)
Florida State (Florida)

Army (Vanderbilt)
Connecticut (Vanderbilt)
Wake Forest (Vanderbilt)
West Virginia (LSU)

LSU* (Oregon)
Alabama (Penn State)

*Also qualifies for first miracle of the season

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rejected Snake Stabler Wine Label Names

As mentioned on the Twitter early Monday, Kenny "Snake" Stabler is now glad-handing his way through the state of Alabama, hawking his own wine label called "12."  While there are, at the bare minimum, 75,000 jokes that could be made about Snake and his relationship with alcohol and general redneck-like behavior, none will be made here because, after all, this is a wine label we're talking about, so we'll be keeping it classy (note:  not a good chance of actually happening).

Even though I despise Alabama just about as much as one can, I cannot help but love Snake Stabler.  I suppose I attribute that love to 80% silver mane, 10% good ol' boy redneck and another 10% to the I-don't-give-a-damn flag he so prominently waved over the last 10-15 years in which I've followed his exploits.  To this day, one of my favorite memories from attending SEC games involves Snake, who I spotted walking straight at me before an Ole Miss/Alabama game in Tuscaloosa.

I was walking in the direction of the stadium to watch another David Cutcliffe team get torn apart limb-by-limb, when I saw the silver mane flowing in the wind.  As we walked by one another, I don't remember what I said ("How's it going?" maybe; my originality has not improved in the greeting department), but the Snake gave me a good Foley "Alright," with a head nod thrown in.  I have no idea where the hell he was going, as the game was about an hour from starting and he was heading in the direction of the Quad, away from the stadium.  I like to think he was getting in a half dozen more cold ones before taking to the radio waves because that seems like something Snake would do.

And on that note, the Snake Stabler rejected wine label names:

You better believe I'm turning this into a mural to prominently display in my home

Snake Eyes
Shrimp Juice
Gardens of Foley
Snake Venom*
Baldwin County Farms
Riviera de Crimson
LA Gulf
Snake Party
Tides of Mobile Bay
Gulfport Guzzler
Snake Skin
Locks of Silver
I Played For The Bear So No Matter What We Produce You're Going To Buy It
Mud Runner
Snake Charms
Snake Charmer
Championship Haze

*Turns out, this was a little too obvious and was once a soft drink sold in Houston when Snake played with the Oilers

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SEC Football Teams Have As Many Arrests Over The Weekend As The Number Of Big East Basketball Teams In The Sweet Sixteen

I'll be getting to more important things a little later (though I have no idea what they are), but right now I don't have the time, as the insurance adjuster is supposed to be here this morning to assess the fire damage to my NCAA bracket, which is actually still burning at this moment.  I blame it on the meth labs so prevalent in West Lafayette, Indiana. You're not off the hook either, Pittsburgh

Anyway, moving on to the arrests mentioned in the title above and unrelated to meth, but firmly related to college students being dumb, Mark Barron and Jenoris Jenkins.  Baron appears to be recovering well enough from his torn pectoral muscle to be arrested for hindering prosecution, which I suppose you only need the breath of life in order to commit the crime, but YOU KNOW HE WAS PROTECTING HARVEY UPDYKE, JR., AUBURN FANS.  Call your representatives and such to press the issue.

As for Jenoris Jenkins, he was arrested by Gainesville police after they noticed him freely displaying his interest in marijuana in the bathroom of a Gainesville bar/club/jort party.  The Coach BOOM era is off to a solid start in terms of arrests to amount of time in Gainesville, but will need to keep up this pace if it expects to carry the banner of repeated criminal behavior so expertly carried by the Urban Meyer era.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Augusta Homesick Blues

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, facing another spring without his incumbent starting quarterback Stephen Garcia, and, for that matter, another fall WITH his incumbent starting quarterback Stephen Garcia, sat down with a Fender electric, opened a vein, and let the sorrow come flowing out in the form of song.  ESPN's Chris Low was there to transcribe.

We keep hoping
That Stephen would
Really, really improve
And make that commitment level
That you’ve got to have
To be a decent starting quarterback

But he’s just a little different
Type individual, I guess
Than maybe what you would hope
To have as your starting quarterback
That’s just who he is
A little different type of individual than most

To be a decent starting quarterback
To be a decent starting quarterback
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh 
To be a decent starting quarterback
To be a decent starting quarterback

We’ll see how Stephen does
He’s a difficult kid to coach
Because some of the same mistakes
Keep happening with him
But I just have to accept
That he’s doing the best he can

If he’s our best
If he's our best
We’ve got to live
We've got to live
With the way he plays
With the way he plays

(Chorus 2X)
To be a decent starting quarterback
To be a decent starting quarterback
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh 
To be a decent starting quarterback
To be a decent starting quarterback

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Stephen Garcia Bracket Of Scholarship Loss

On Tuesday, South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was suspended (no, really, I had to look it up to believe it) for the first week of spring practice for certain festivities that may have happened (OHTHEYHAPPENED) in his Atlanta hotel room the week of the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  This suspension for spring practice is not to be confused with his incidents of police involvement, most notably a keying of a car, gettin' drunk and runnin' scared in public, and gettin' drunk and spraying a fire extinguisher in his dorm room, two of which resulted in a suspension from spring practice.

So now that he's at three suspensions in five available spring practice terms, not to mention irritating Steve Spurrier with seemingly every breath he takes, what would it take for him to get the boot from the Gamecock team?  In the spirit of March Madness, let us take that journey though those brackets of options and find out just who or what would cause Spurrier to slam down the hammer of get-the-hell-of-my-team on the crown of young Garcia.

Yeah, you're gonna have to click on that to make it big enough to read.

A few notes from the results:
-Never underestimate the power of Haters; they're always out to keep good times from being had
-How an arrest for an incident with a compound bow, fireworks, or taser (or all three at once) has not yet happened for Garcia is an indictment on the entire American justice system
-Do you really think Garcia is going to waste his time at a Days Inn, Best Western, or Motel Six? Hot tubs, bras, hot tubs.
-Is there any doubt Nic Cage is Garcia's favorite? Not just actor, but favorite everything.
-I thought Meeting McConaughey might slip into the Final Four, but even that is not enough BroPower for Haters
-Like any college student, Free Time, if not wasted properly, and thus harnessed, can turn into a monster far out of your control. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THERE ARE BURNING ORANGE CONES AND LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS KNIFE FIGHTING A MONKEY ON MY ROOF, OFFICER.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Remindurrr Before We Get To Much More Important Stuff

First, and it's up to you as to how important this is, there's still time to sign up for The Belly of the Beast NCAA Tournament pool.  The winner becomes one of life's winners, as well as receives a $100 gift from themselves and a PDF that is on my computer's desktop (I have no idea what it is, but it does have numbers in the file name).  I believe the sign up period ends when the first game starts on Thursday.  Here's your registration info:

Password:  seagal
Group ID#:  87075

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jackie Sherrill Is Impressed; Still In Parking Lot

Earlier Monday, while still in the same parking lot at the same Texas A&M function where we last saw him, Jackie Sherrill took time out from plowing through the giant plate of ribs he started last Wednesday to comment on yet another NCAA recruiting violation by Georgia. Just five days ago, Georgia reported five violations stemming from recruit Ray Drew's commitment ceremony. On Monday, they reported a single violation during star running back recruit Isaiah Crowell's visit to campus in January.

You may remember Crowell from puppy Signing Day fame:


"Well, it's not that the violations occurred," Sherrill said, "Because, hell, that's always gonna happen in recruiting, unless you're planning on making a living in the Sun Belt. But having them that close together?  Even we never did that.  Or at least got called on it."

The reported violation was a result of Crowell engaging in what the NCAA terms "game day simulation."  Crowell joined current Bulldog players in an offensive formation in which Crowell lined up at running back.  It was done in an effort to stress to Crowell how much the Bulldogs wanted him in Athens.

"The only thing about this situation that disappoints me," Sherill said, "Is that their, I'm talking about Georgia here, the way they showed their desire for him to be there was by putting him in some formation.  I don't know where Coach Richt learned to recruit, but this isn't I-AA.  And given his familiarity with violations, I thought he'd have a better idea than that.  A room at the Holiday Inn, a $75 an hour job in which no work is done or how about a factory that makes those cute little bulldogs he had on Signing Day.  I mean, something he can use, you know."

The violation is once again of a secondary nature and, as punishment, will prevent Richt from calling recruits during the spring evaluation period in April.  However, if the NCAA decides the violation is not secondary, they could bring more justice into Georgia's world and take away something else (DO IT).

"They'll get it figured out there soon.  We hit a few bumps at Mississippi State in the '90s, but we got our house in order.  Like I told you last time, it would have stayed in order had people not decided to talk.  That's always the key.  Keep the circle tight and everyone commits to keeping their mouths shut.  It's not really that big of a secret, how it all, oh, wow, whew, man.  I got the meat sweats right now.  I gotta go take a break."

Les Miles Has To Have Reached The Peak Of His Powers, Right?

Just a few days after becoming his own Mardi Gras float, which was the greatest float in the history of every parade ever, Les Miles was invited to throw out the first pitch of Friday night's baseball game in LSU's weekend series with Cal-State Fullerton.  When the announcement was made, the Internet roared with speculation as to what was going to happen during this pitch.  I read everything from hitting the mascot to hitting three players yet still having the ball cross the heart of the plate to launching into a maniacal laughter and throwing the ball over the center field fence.  It was all in play and perfectly believable.  I even Tweeted that he would most certainly sample the infield grass at Alex Box Stadium, which, of course, he did and even gave a blade to baseball coach Paul Mainieri.

But, what no one even considered was that Les Miles would show up, as a millionaire adult, to a public event wearing WINDSUIT PANTS.

People who wear windsuit pants in public (excluding participation in sports, which this was not; it's baseball) have either given up on life and are choosing not to compete in society anymore (tip of the hat to Seinfeld), are horribly sick and staring blankly at the cold and flu medicine options in the pharmacy section of Walgreen's or simply do not give a damn because they have more money and power than you or anyone else around.

Les Miles is not the first two in that list. He's a man getting paid millions to haphazardly coach a football team the the brink of self-destruction, only to miraculously turn that near self-destruction into the total annihilation of his opponent's will to live.  And that kind of power gives him the right to wear windsuit pants in public.  Don't you dare change, Les Miles. DON'T EVER CHANGE.