Nole’s Notes

February 4, 2009
Nothing brings out the manlove like winning the Super Bowl.  Photo from Getty Images.

Nothing brings out the manlove like winning the Super Bowl. Photo from Getty Images.

Now that the NFL season is officially over, I guess I have to turn my attention to other sports.  I’ll be honest with you, other sports do not entrance me the way football does, but I do pay attention to headlines and major happenings for the most part.  So I’ve decided to do a weekly Notes Blog wherein I discuss the major sports happenings of the week.  It will be football, baseball, tennis, hockey, basketball, whatever strikes my fancy.  Without further ado, let’s hit it!

  • Today is national signing day for the college recruits.  Well, most of them, for some reason some of them don’t commit today and commit several weeks from now.  So why have a deadline?  I really don’t get that.  Anyway, today us college football lovers get excited about all of these random people we never heard of before and get depressed over missing out on other top recruits.  I hope on and to find out what my Noles are doing and where they’re rated and who we’ve got and who we might get.  I get rather obsessive about it and refresh every half hour or so.  And today I ask myself why?  I don’t know these kids.  I don’t know anything about them other than somebody slammed 5 stars next to this guy and only 3 next to that guy.  Doesn’t really mean they’ll kick butt on the field, I’ve seen many of the top recruits flame out over the years.  But still, I care, and I get excited!  Go Noles!  We did land the top DT in the nation apparently, which pleases me, as well as high rated cornerbacks and safeties and a kicker.  All positions of major need so I’m content.  So, hope you’re having a blast college football gurus, may your school land those top recruits and may everybody decommit from USC and UF just because I hate them.
  • So everybody’s all up in arms about this Michael Phelps marijuana smoking picture.  Some of the morons in the media blasted him for letting his picture get taken.  Hello, I don’t believe he knew it was.  Also, he is a 23 year old and he will do the occasional stupid thing.  That’s what happens in the early 20’s.  He admitted it, which was pretty stand up of him, because I saw the picture and it really didn’t even look that much like him.  I’d have gone with the lie personally, but then I happen to be an accomplished and awesome liar.  Now apparently the police are thinking of charging him.  Can you charge someone for a picture?  I mean, you may as well hit myspace right now and get your warrants ready.  What a bunch of bull.  Leave him alone, lesson learned, moving on, get in the pool and win some more gold medals in 4 years.  Thanks, buh bye.
  • Apparently indictment records against Bonds were released this week and lo and behold, he tested positive for steroids.  This is GROUND BREAKING NEWS.  I was not aware of this information!!!!  I mean, I know he doubled his size right in front of our very eyes a couple years ago, but I assumed it was natural.  He was probably hitting Taco Bell and McDonald’s every night.  I can grow to twice my size very easily when I do that and I’m not on the roids!  Truly, I am sick of this story.  Get a trial going or don’t, I really don’t care anymore.  I am tired of Barroid and want him gone.  It doesn’t matter if he goes to jail or just goes home and counts his money and throws baseballs at passers by from his bedroom window.  Just go away!
  • Roger Clemens, the same goes to you.  We know you did roids, you know you did roids, why are we all still talking about it?  Government, put up or shut up.  We’ll see if the vengeful media punishes Roger and Barry or if they usher them into the hall of fame with their not very valid we don’t know when he used argument.  If you’re going to keep Big Mac and Palmiero and others out, you keep those two out too.  Period.
  • Kobe broke the scoring record at Madison Square Gardens the other night, got 61 there I guess.  That’s cool I suppose, not as cool as the 81 he got a couple of years ago.  It appears that nobody will ever beat Wilt’s record which is a shame, I live to watch records fall and I would actually tune in to a basketball game if there’s a possible scoring record on the line.
  • What was going on in Pittsburgh on Tuesday?  I’ve seen some clips of the Super Bowl celebration party and that was the quietest damn crowd I’ve ever seen.  What, #6 is just passe now?  Ramp up the celebration, peeps!  Bring the energy, it’s cold out there so you should be yelling and whooping it up!  Perhaps William Gay’s retarded rap song stunned them all into silence.  I could understand that.  The record execs will not be knocking down your door Willie.
  • Manny Ramirez remains unsigned and the Dodgers are getting a little bit tired of him turning down their rather large contract offers.  Albert Pujols of my St. Louis Cardinals is pushing for my spendthrift owners to get off their butts and bring him there.  At first I was horrified by this idea but then I thought of the beauty of having and Albert/Manny combo at 3/4 and I decided I could suck it up and deal with the Manny drama.  Do it!  Do it now, Cards!  It’s not like you’ve bothered to do anything to improve the team this off season, so there should be some cash lying around for Manny.  Albert with keep him reigned in, I have faith in that!
  • I guess there was some epic tennis this past weekend.  Can’t say that I watched, but Federer/Nadal round 2938293 or whatever it was was a long battle that drained them both.  Nadal came out the victor and Federer had a heartfelt teary speech.  Nadal came back with his own honoring Federer.  Awesome display of sportsmanship.  Serena won again as well, go Williams Sisters.  I don’t follow the sport but I do follow them and I love that she’s still winning at an age when most tennis chicks are retiring.
  • The Cardinals offensive coordinator is interviewing for the KC job.  He and Pioli have a history together so that’s a pretty good possibility.  If he goes that will probably be good for the Cards when it comes to retaining Boldin, but who can say what it means for Warner?  Haley’s done a great job with that offense and deserves another head coaching job.
  • I didn’t do a Super Bowl commentary, by the time I thought about it I was immersed in Heroes blogging and Days drama and Idol in Hollywood, so the opportunity slipped past me.  But I will say that was the best Super Bowl I’ve ever seen.  I know it was quiet in the 3rd quarter but since I knew that AZ could score quickly I remained riveted.  Worked out well all in all.  My heart was broken for the Cards, that had to have been a major gut punch to lose; but the football fan in me was thrilled with the last minute TD by Santonio Holmes.  Gorgeous play, fantastic game.
  • There should have been a longer review of the Warner fumble at the end of the game.  I hate to have a game that good end somewhat questionably.  No matter where you fell on was it or wasn’t it, you have to agree it should have gotten more than cursory glance in the booth.  I would have loved to see Warner get a shot at the end zone with Fitz and Boldin waiting.

So those are the big things on my mind this week.  I hope you liked this format, I’ll be happy to stick with it if people like it.  If it seems like I’m just talking to myself I’ll call it quits, because I talk to myself all the time and I could save myself some future carpal tunnel treatment if ya’ll don’t like it.  Let me know!


Bowl Blitz

December 20, 2008
Do these guys look like champions?  Photo from The AP.

Do these guys look like champions? Photo from The AP.

I haven’t forgotten about college football, friends, it’s just that the 3 weeks of no games period kinda diminishes my love for and interest in the game.  Also the fact that my team sucked balls at the end of the year did nothing to inspire my love for the old NCAA either.  But the bowl season kicks off tomorrow so I felt it was time to talk a little about each game.  We’ll go in order, but I forewarn you that some of these games have no meaning for me and nor do I know jack about the teams involved.  In those cases, I will pick a winner and move on.  I’m sure you understand.

Before I start, how about we take a moment of celebration to gloat over Sam Bradford winning the Heisman.  Do I care about Sam Bradford vs. Colt McCoy vs. Grant Harrell?  No, I do not.  They’re all good and interchangeable to me.  But I do care about Tebow not being a two time winner, so thank you voters.  All 3 of those QB’s had better years statistically and were equal in the win/loss column, so you did the right thing.  Go to the NFL, Timmy, I’m sick of you and I have it on good authority that the Jags are dumb enough to take you.  Take the money and run!

Dec. 20th, Eaglebank Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Navy

What the hell is the Eaglebank Bowl?  Who is Eaglebank?  Clearly this game is not in my area of the world.  Navy has a decent offense but Wake Forest has a confounding offense that drives me insane.  They’ve beaten my morons 3 years in a row, so they ought to be able to beat Navy.  The Demon Deacs get the pick.

Dec. 20th, New Mexico Bowl:  Colorado State vs. Fresno State

Who knew Colorado State even qualified to go to a bowl?  I’ll take Fresno State here.

Dec. 20th, Magicjack St. Petersburg Bowl:  Memphis vs. South Florida

Alright, I live in Tampa and I have no idea what Magicjack is.  The hell?  A friend informed me that it’s a phone jack, I’ve seen the infomercials.  This might be the lamest sponsor I’ve ever heard of.  I’ll take USF, it’s a home game in their home stadium.

Dec. 20th, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl:  BYU vs. Arizona

Is BYU even allowed in Vegas?  Isn’t that some kind of religious violation or something?  I’ll take them anyway, Arizona did nothing all year.

Dec. 21st, R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:  Southern Miss vs. Troy

Hee, you can tell we’re in the games I know jack about, because all I want to do is comment on the damn bowl names.  I miss the days of the old Independence Bowl.  Although the Independence Bowl did sell out and become my favorite bowl name of all time, the Poolan Weedeater Independence Bowl.  Good times.  My spelling may be wrong on that but that’s how it was pronounced.  Awesome.  Uhhh..pick…Troy, why not?

Dec. 23rd, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl:  Boise State vs. TCU

Hmmm, this appears to be the second bank already on this very short list.  Is this where our bail out is going?  To fund the ludicrous out of date bowl system?  I best not dwell on this idea or rage will overtake me.  I love Boise State here, their offense is awesome; I’ll love them for all time for taking down Oklahoma a couple of years ago,  Innovative team and I want their OC as the new FSU head coach (you know, next century sometime when Bobby is gone).  This could be a good one but I like Boise State.

Dec. 24th, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:  Hawaii vs. Notre Dame

I wonder, is Notre Dame the only 6 win team that made a bowl?  I recall hearing that 7 wins were the guide this year, but of course the guide doesn’t count when it comes to the Irish!  I’m too lazy to look it up, but we’ll go with it, conspiracy theorist that I am.  Why should it matter to them, they’re college football U baby.  Ok…they WERE college football u….like 30 years ago.  When will people get the hell off their jocks?  How many bowl games have they lost in a row?  Yet you keep on inviting them.  And they get to go to Hawaii of all places.  Whatever.  I’ll take the home team because I refuse to pick Notre Dame, even though they should win this one.  Maybe Weis will get another 10 year extension if they achieve the pinnacle of awesomeness by winning the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Dec. 26th, Motor City Bowl:  Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan

Um, we’ll go with Central Michigan, this is almost a home game.

Dec. 27th, Meineke Car Care Bowl:  West Virginia vs. North Carolina

Oooh this is a tough one.  North Carolina has played some great games this season but they were tailing off by the end of the year.  I don’t think a whole lot of the Big Least conference, so I’m not overly enamored of this pick, but I’m going with West Virginia here.

Dec. 27th, Champs Sports Bowl:  Wisconsin vs. Florida State

My Noles have had a couple of heartbreaking bowl losses in recent years but this one does not scare me at all.  Wisconsin’s running game can be a force but I think the Nole D will be more than ready to handle it.  I also think the team speed is something Wisc isn’t used to facing.  Noles roll.

Dec. 27th, Emerald Bowl:  Miami vs. Cal

I think this is essentially a home game for Cal but you all know by now how I feel about the Pac-10 Conference.  Miami had a roller coaster year and I just found out their QB is suspended.  My pick just magically changed, funny how that works.  Cal gets this one.

Dec. 28th, Independence Bowl:  Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech

How about that?  Earlier I was whining about the lack of normal bowl names and I cited the Independence Bowl and here it is, intact yet again.  Who knew?  Not only that but my alma mater is actually playing in it.  This shows you how very closely I have been following the bowl selection process doesn’t it? hehe  I’ll go with Northern, since I got my degree from there.  Funny, when I went there the concept of Northern being in a bowl was unheard of.  I transferred there from FSU (yes, I was insane) and my friends made me go to a game with them.  They were in the band and I got to sit with them.  Northern was in the midst of the longest losing streak in the nation.  I watched with horror as that terrible team played in their tiny stadium and I told my friends they would never see me set foot in that stadium again.  My high school could have beaten them.  I was true to my word and stayed home and watched real football on TV from then on!

Dec. 29th, Bowl:  NC State vs. Rutgers

Hee, it’s our first bowl named after a website.  And a pizza place of course.  I don’t like Papa John’s.  Rutgers underachieved all year, Schiano has to be sickened that he didn’t take the Michigan job.  Hee.  Meanwhile NC State blew all year and then came out of nowhere to start beating teams like UNC and Miami.  I have no idea who to take here…I guess I’ll go with momentum and take NC State.  I don’t like it though.

Dec. 29th, Valero Alamo Bowl:  Missouri vs. Northwestern

This actually has the makings of a good game.  NW can be kinda decent on offense, could be a shoot out.  I’ll go with the underachieving Missouri and Chase Daniel though, I trust him a lot more than whomever helms Northwestern’s offense.

Dec. 30th, Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl:  Maryland vs. Nevada

Roady’s?  I don’t think I wanna know.  Aren’t Roady’s those guys that lug bands equipment from city to city?  Are they humanitarians?  Maryland is the pick, I haven’t a clue.

Dec. 30th, Pacific Life Holiday Bowl:  Oklahoma State vs. Oregon

I’m still pissed at Oregon for beating Oregon State and thus giving USC the Pac-10 title.  Shouldn’t they have intentionally lost just to ensure that USC did not get the title?  How hard is this?  Every team in the Pac-10 has to hate them don’t they?  Anyway, OK State has a potent offense, I don’t see the Ducks hanging with them.

Dec. 30th, Texas Bowl:  Western Michigan vs. Rice

I’m pretty sure Rice is in Texas…so there you go.

Dec. 31st, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl:  Houston vs. Air Force

I don’t know about you but I’m not picking against a military academy in a bowl that is named after the Armed Forces.  That would be just wrong.

Dec. 31st, Sun Bowl:  Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh

I think I’ll go with what should be considered an upset here, since Pitt is ranked and Oregon State isn’t.  I’m thinking my boy Jacquizz will be healthy again and make the difference.  He’s why they beat USC, I think they can take Pitt.

Dec. 31st, Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl:  Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Ahh Vandy, how quickly we devolved from the dream season to the forgotten one.  I don’t see the dream returning here, BC should win this one rather easily.

Dec. 31st, Insight Bowl:  Kansas vs. Minnesota

Not sure which way to go on this one, Minnesota has had a surprising season and Kansas was not nearly as good as everyone thought they’d be.  I guess I’ll go with Kansas, their QB should be good enough to push them over the top.

Dec. 31st, Chick-Fil-A-Bowl:  LSU vs. Georgia Tech

Awww, didn’t this used to be the Peach Bowl?  I miss the Peach Bowl.  This is essentially a home game for the Yellow Jackets and I like them to edge LSU.  LSU’s QB is error prone and GA Tech likes to blitz quite a bit.  They run that triple option offense that can confuse even the best defensive teams.  I like Tech in a close one.

Jan. 1st, Outback Bowl:  South Carolina vs. Iowa

Hmmm…this is another one that’s hard to call.  When I’m in doubt, you know who I’m going to go with, just out of sheer love for the names.  What will I do when Smelley and Succup are gone from the Cocks?  It’ll be  a sad, sad day.

Jan. 1st, Capital One Bowl:  Georgia vs. Michigan State

How far the mighty Dawgs have fallen, from #1 to the Capital One Bowl.  That’s okay, I don’t see them having much of a problem here.  As long as their defense can shut Ringer down, Knowshon and the offense should carry the Dawgs to victory without much of a problem.  Michigan State’s decent but they’re nowhere near UGA’s level.

Jan. 1st, Gator Bowl:  Nebraska vs. Clemson

This could be interesting, Nebraska’s big bruisers against Clemson’s speedsters.  I like Clemson here, not for any particular reason other than a gut feeling though.  The blackshirt defense hasn’t been around for years and I think Spiller and Co can do some damage.

Jan. 1st, The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Citi:  Penn State vs. USC

How obnoxious is it that the Rose Bowl gets referred to as The Rose Bowl Game Presented By?  No other bowl gets that distinction.  I loathe the Rose Bowl and I blame them and the Big 10 and Pac 10 for that fact that we’re without a playoff today.  Them and their antiquated ideas.  HATE.  Do I really have to talk about this game?  I think we all know damn well that USC is going to beat Penn State.  Penn State looked extremely mortal by the end of the year and I think the Trojan defense is going to smack them around something good.  Then Pete Carroll will gloat about his victory and declare himself the real national champion.  You know it will happen.  While I’m talking about good old Pete, who are you people who are searching out information about his girlfriend and his affair?  I get blog hits every single day on this topic and I can’t help but wonder why anybody cares?  Please, one of you who will inevitably find me, leave a comment and tell me what’s so friggin fascinating about Pete’s woman?  Thank you in advance.

Jan. 1st, Fedex Orange Bowl:  Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

Why is it that every year we get at least one crappy match up in the big games?  This is of course one of them.  But I’m done yet (what up Bama/Utah?)!  I get that Cincy is a surprise winner of the Big Least but do they really need to get rewarded with a BCS game?  I’m all for abolishing the Big Least from contention.  I know, the ACC isn’t that much better but at least it was competitive this year.  And Va Tech will probably kick the crud out of Cincy, limited on offense though they may be.  That defense is gonna have a blast.

Jan. 2nd, Cotton Bowl:  Mississippi vs. Texas Tech

Good lord, I didn’t even know Mississippi was in a bowl game.  I don’t think this is going to be much of a game, but TT is fun to watch on offense and Harrell and Crabtree, unfairly left out of the Heisman ceremony, ought to have a big day.  If Crabtree is healthy that is.  Crud, I forgot he was injured.  See how little attention I’ve been paying?  Well regardless, TT is gonna roll here.

Jan. 2nd, Autozone Liberty Bowl:  Kentucky vs. East Carolina

Why is this on Jan. 2nd?  I thought there would be one game but there are 3.  I don’t get it.  I’m going to take the Wildcats because I haven’t a clue.  I’ve liked ECU in recent years but I think they fell off this year.

Jan. 2nd, Allstate Sugar Bowl:  Utah vs. Alabama

Bama, you were so close to the national title game but instead you’re stuck playing Utah of all teams in the Sugar Bowl.  I know Utah was once coached by the immortal Urban Meyer, god of everything, but I don’t see them defeating Nick Saban, coach who never saw a job he didn’t like, no matter what they do.  Keep an eye on that freshman, Julio Jones, that Bama has.   He’s awesome.

Jan. 3rd, International Bowl:  Buffalo vs. Connecticut

Not sure why this bowl hits on Jan 3rd, but whatever.  I’ll go with UConn.

Jan. 5th, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:  Ohio State vs. Texas

While Ohio State has improved from it’s early poor showing against USC, I think the Buckeyes are outgunned against Texas.  McCoy, still smarting from his Heisman loss, should be able to lead the Longhorns over Ohio State.  OSU has given up a lot more big plays on defense than I’m used to seeing in recent years, I expect Texas to exploit that.  Pryor is a phenom but he’s young and not good enough yet.

Jan. 6th, GMAC Bowl:  Ball State vs. Tulsa

This pick’s for Letterman, Ball State it is.

Jan. 8th, Fedex BCS National Championship Game:  Florida vs. Oklahoma

And here we have it, #1 vs. #2, also known as Nole’s nightmare bowl.  Could you pick two coaches that I loathe more than Meyer and Stoops?  Maybe, maybe if you had Spurrier and Paterno, then sure.  But it’s pretty hard to do.  Gators everywhere I turn…yeah I haven’t forgotten where Stoopsy came from.  Gah…I truly hate this game.  So we have Heisman winner this year vs. Heisman winner last year.  These match ups never seem to work out well for the current Heisman winner, they’re usually bested by the runner up.  So that favors Florida.  But for some reason I was actually rooting for Oklahoma to make this game, despite my Stoops hate.  I felt like OK was the one team that might be able to hang with the Gators offensively while occasionally stepping up on defense and making a stop.  My gut says to go with Florida but the bile rising up within refuses to let me do it.  I’m going with the Sooners, heart above logic.  I just can’t tolerate the Gators winning another title under Tebow.  Boomer Sooner…it hurts to say it but there you go.

So that’s my longest blog of all time right there…hope it was as fun for you as it was draining for me.  I really am looking forward to watching some football again tomorrow.  So many boring Saturday afternoons stretch out ahead of me after bowl season is done.  I always miss football when it’s gone, flawed though it may be.  I hope you enjoy the games…I’ll check in periodically to talk about what we’ve seen in some of the lesser bowls, then we’ll look at the big ones as they go, provided they are remotely interesting.  Happy Bowling friends!

My long, Penn State, National Nightmare is over

November 10, 2008

On Saturday, November 1st, I entered into a self-imposed NCAA football exile that lasted until 3:30 pm on Saturday, November 8th.  The crushing FSU defeat was just too much for me.  I couldn’t handle the ESPN coverage, the twelve emails I get from the Official Seminoles website and the Facebook status updates.  It was all too much, so I stopped watching Gameday, didn’t read any sports articles and I had to learn by word of mouth about Phil Fulmer.  Luckily for me, the Election and Susan Lucci getting voted off of Dancing with the Stars proved to be huge distractions.

Of course, the Seminoles were able to pull off a win against Clemson in the first non-Bowden bowl in years.  I’ll be honest: I’ve always hated the Bowden Bowl so I’m not really crying in my pillow at night about the it.  With that being said, I’m extremely happy that the running game has returned, we beat Clemson at home and Bobby pulled out a win on his birthday. 

I thought it was really sweet of Iowa to give Bobby Bowden a one-win advance on Joe Paterno’s lead.  Hopefully Joe Pa will give me a Christmas present and retire in January.

Of course Penn State’s loss is Florida’s gain as the Gators beat up my one time hope, Vandy.  Remember how strong Vandy was out of the gate?  It reminded me of how I was so certain that Rudy Giuliani was going to be the Republican nominee and then he wasted all of his campaign time and money in Florida and we ended up with McCain and a Neiman Marcus shopper who can see Russia from her house.  So now everyone I know is planning SEC Championship tailgates and I’m hoping that we win out and Wake Forest loses again. 

What’s up with USC? How can I continue to make fun of them if they only outscore their opponent by 14 points?  For people living in Los Angeles, they’re not making a very impressive showing for November Sweeps.  Seriously, Pete Carroll’s evil twin should show up or Sanchez should show up on Gameday with Teri Hatcher on his arm.  Something.  Come on guys, you’re losing in ratings to the Big XII.  A conference lacking any kind of discernible defense.  That’s another thing.  I’m getting confused (and a little bored) with all the Texas and Oklahoma teams.  Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, etc.  Since the defenses don’t show up, why don’t they just settle the conference title game by having on of those carnival booths where all the quarterbacks can just throw the football into a hole?  That would be like a good, thirty second clip tailor made for SportsCenter.

Close Calls & Another Top Team Falls

November 9, 2008
Iowa's kicker brings home the win against PSU, photo from The AP

Iowa's kicker brings home the win against PSU, photo from the AP

Another week of college football, another week of excitement and let downs!  We had a few really stellar games yesterday and some unexpected blowouts.  This, of course, is the fun of college football and this year is just as, if not more, wild than all the others.

  • Awww the crusty old man isn’t going to get a shot at another national championship!!!  Regular readers might have picked up on the fact that I’m no fan of JoePa, so I’m not going to shed any alligator tears over their last second loss to Iowa.  We needed to see another Big 10 team in the national championship game like we need the Dow Jones to go down another 1000 or so points.  They just can’t hang with the big boys right now.
  • LSU, if you actually had a quarterback you would have knocked off Alabama yesterday.  What is up with that Lee kid?  He throws a pick 6 to help Bama tie the game at 14 and then throws an interception in overtime that ices the game.  And he had been saved by LSU special teams blocking a very short field goal by Bama.  I know the kid is a freshman but you just can’t lose a game like that.
  • Speaking of Bama, they are going to get their butts handed to them by UF in the SEC championship game.  That is one of the least impressive #1 schools I’ve seen in recent years.  They’re eeking out wins but they’re not looking impressive and against a team that can score?  They’ll be in trouble because their offense isn’t all that.
  • Ahhh Florida, just how long do you have to let Tebow stay in the game on a blowout win?  And why are teams not going out of their way to cheap shot him for still being in the game that late?  Why am I not a head coach so that I can order this to happen?  That’s right, I am like the Sensei in Karate Kid, “Sweep the leg!”  Hopefully the UF/FSU game won’t be a blowout this year but if it is, I bet my boys will cheapshot.  They’re coached right!  Yes, I am terrible, I admit it.
  • It’s only taken about a decade, or it feels that way, but the Noles have finally found their running game.  It was hiding in the quick feet of a freshman out of Jacksonville named Thomas all of these years.  Who knew?  Seriously, I am in love with that kid.  It feels like every time he touches the ball he rips off 10-20 yards.  Why it’s taken the coaching staff this long to decide to get the kid more heavily involved in the offense is beyond me.  We would have taken Wake if we had, I am quite confident of that.
  • The ACC…what do I say about it at this point?  Does anybody want it?  UNC knocks off Ga Tech who knocked off the Noles last week.  The Noles take down Clemson (Hooray!)  Wake takes out UVA who was in position to take their division.   I don’t have a clue but I do know that I need Wake to lose, so someone take care of that.
  • While I’m discussing conferences, let’s talk about the Big Least.  Was West Virginia their only ranked team, at #25 no less?  And then they lose in overtime to Cincy, an overtime they had to fight to even get to?  Pathetic conference, seriously.  Their automatic bid in the BCS needs to be revoked.
  • The Phil Fulmer Farewell Tour continues its march toward its pathetic end.  Tennessee lost 13-7 to Wyoming.  Yes, that football powerhouse, Wyoming.  Three games in a row Tenn has failed to score in double digits.  I don’t know who will agree to come in and coach that team, but I’ll laugh if Gruden does go for that job.  That team is a long way from competing for the middle of the road in the SEC, let alone contending for a championship.
  • What is going on with the Georgia defense?  I understand losing to UF but they nearly lost to KY and gave up 38 points.  And a last minute interception is what kept them from losing the game.  I don’t know what is going on there but they’ve ruined my Knowshon’s Heisman campaign and I am not appreciative.
  • No Heisman will be seen at USC this year, but at least they’re comforted by the fact that they get to beat up on Pac-10 teams and wait to see if anybody above them stumbles.  They’ll check in at about #6 this week. Can the media stop building shrines to their supposedly stellar defense?  They’re shutting down Pac-10 teams, not Big 12 ones.  Talk to me when they do, cause I’m sick of USC and their crappy conference.
  • Texas Tech/OK State lived up to the hype on one end, because Texas Tech was awesome again last night.  TT blew them out in the second half, winning 56-20, though it was close for awhile.  They really make it look effortless on offense out there, don’t they?  It’s like they get the ball and 5 plays later they’re in the end zone, with only about 2 minutes elapsed.  It’s just beautiful to watch Harrell hook up with my other college boyfriend, Michael Crabtree.  3 TD’s yesterday, fantastic.  Harrell will win the Heisman but Crabtree is the best player in the nation right about now.  He needs to be a Buc!  I’ll say it until it happens and I’ll cry about it if it doesn’t, get used to it!

I think that about covers it for the big happenings of the week.  We’ll see what next week holds, will another big boy get knocked down?  Probably should bet on it the way this year is going!

Gators Roundtable: Florida, Tebow Dominate Georgia

November 6, 2008

Retaliation has never been this classy.

Last season, the Georgia Bulldogs brought the entire team out on the field at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in this contest, a move that shook the world, and had many Gators fans, such as myself, up in arms.

This year, Florida is the only team doing the dancing, following a 49-10 rout of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Penalties, Penalties and more Penalties

Yellow flags aplenty were expected to be thrown in this contest, as Georgia, the most penalized team in college football, faced Florida, who’s the 9th most penalized team in the nation.

And the officials didn’t disappoint, as both teams drew up a total of 16 flags in the game, 8 apiece. Half of Florida’s penalty flags came in the 1st quarter, and Georgia’s were spread out throughout the game.

I’d call Florida’s penalties statement penalties. The first quarter showcased a lot of chatter between players, and Florida certainly had a bitter taste in their mouth from last season.

If Florida’s penalties were statements, than Georgia’s were senseless. A lot of Georgia’s penalties kept drives alive for the Gators, one even gave the ball back to Florida following an interception which was negated. (Which would have been Tebow’s 3rd interception thrown on the year, so he doesn’t make many mistakes)

Officiating Was a Bit Questionable

Although I am a Florida fan, and am very pleased with this victory for the University of Florida football team, I must admit that the officiating in this game was a bit spotty at times, and ultimately had a big impact on how the game ended up.

If you watched the game, you knew Florida’s consistent pressure on Stafford was nagging, and caught up with the Georgia gunslinger. Stafford’s first injury, which caused him to limp off of his left leg somewhat considerably, appeared to have happened from a late hit from a Florida defensive lineman.

That call was missed.

The game-shifting call, though, probably occurred after halftime. The Bulldogs stopped Florida on their first drive, got the football back, and Stafford drove the Dawgs down to Florida’s 30 yard line, looking in control to begin Georgia’s first drive of the second half.

But Florida defensive back Joe Haden didn’t like that thought, as he intercepted Stafford, returning it all the way to the 1 yard line.

Replay evidence firmly shows that Joe Haden held the Georgia wide receiver before making the play, however, no call was made. This was certainly a game changer because if Georgia was to score, it would have been 14-10 Florida, and the momentum would have shifted right into Georgia’s hands.

The call that ended it all, though, was on a 44 yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Louis Murphy. Georgia’s best corner back, Asher Allen, pleaded his case on the sideline after Murphy marched into the endzone, and with good cause, too.

Replay evidence also confirmed this time that Murphy had grabbed Allen’s jersey, throwing him out of position to possibly break up the pass, or maybe even intercept it. The touchdown made the score 28-3 Florida, and it was all downhill from there.

I do give the officials some credit, though, as the plays did seem to happen so fast that they couldn’t have been noticed at first glance. I didn’t see the facts mentioned above until they went to the replay screen and showed all the things Florida had “gotten away with”.

Florida DID Retaliate Part I

Urban Meyer might have told his team not to mention the dance from last season, not to respond to any questions about it, or not to take any anger out from last season against the Bulldogs… but at some point, Florida stopped listening.

There were certainly plenty of cases in which Florida retaliated, although they were small things that many ignored and overlooked.

However, I sat glued to the television, notebook in hand, jotting down all things suggestive done by my Gators to the opposition, and let me tell you, there were several things of relevant note to mention.

There was the play in which Matthew Stafford was knocked down on Georgia’s second drive, and, without looking, Stafford stuck his hand out to the first jersey he saw for some help off the ground.

The nearest jersey wasn’t red, it was an enemy all-white Florida Gator, #92, Terron Sanders. In the average game, Sanders probably would have helped Stafford up off the ground, but it was something in the grass of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, I’m sure, that possessed Sanders to act in the following way.

Instead of helping Stafford up, Sanders simply gave Stafford a high-five, and trotted right back over to the defensive huddle.

Another thing that was rather obvious to happen in this contest was the constant chatter between both teams, and during the first quarter, as I mentioned previously, it was rather obvious.

However, one player-player duel occurred throughout this game, all 60 minutes of it, in fact. Florida’s middle linebacker, Brandon Spikes, was constantly jawing with Georgia’s running back, Knowshon Moreno.

It started on Georgia’s first drive, where Spikes disrupted an early rushing attempt by Moreno. Spikes palmed both sides of Moreno’s helmet, and sat on Moreno for what probably seemed like an eternity for Knowshon, yelling something towards Knowshon that probably as sportsmanlike as it should’ve been.

Then, late in the 4th quarter, when the game was clearly over, Georgia kicked off to Florida running back Chris Rainey following their first touchdown of the game.

Chris caught the ball and proceeded to walk a couple yards. After Jacksonville Municipal Stadium’s Florida side, which, I must point, was still fully populated and lively, grew so quiet that you could hear a pen drop, Rainey faked a kneel down and took off for a big return.

While the return was negated, it was still an obvious hotdog play to the Georgia Bulldogs. In the words of CBS announcer Gary Danielson, in an array of words that summed up the return in the fullest, Danielson proclaimed “That was pretty cool”.

Indeed it was Gary, indeed it was.

Florida DID Retaliate Part II

As if the list of paybacks against the Georgia team wasn’t long enough, Florida decided not to stop there. Several different gestures and moves were noteworthy to myself, as the Gators decided to move on from bullying the Dawgs, and to get back at the Georgia fans.

Amidst the choreography of last year’s Georgia team, which had a lot of the bigger Georgia players dancing, it’s always been easier to give a few Florida Gator related dance moves, the primary one of course being the Gator chomp. The chomp was certainly on display today, and while it may not have been as flashy as the Georgia dance last year, it was still effective.

It all started on Florida’s first score, a pitch off of the speed option from Tim Tebow to wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin had nothing but grass in front of him, and he noticed it, obviously, as he strolled in from about 7 yards out, all the while giving the #1 gesture to the crowd.

As I mentioned above, the chomp was a well sought after taunt towards the crowd by Florida yesterday. You know the Gators are rubbing in a victory when the kicker, Caleb Sturgis, celebrates towards the Georgia side with a Gator chomp following a muffed kickoff.

The chomps didn’t stop there, oh no they didn’t. Offensive lineman Jason Watkins was seen giving the chomp following a Tim Tebow run for a touchdown.

Speaking of Tebow, towards the end of the game, he ran all the way down to the 10 yard line during a commercial break, just to give the Florida fans at the other side of the field a few words of appreciation, and a couple Gator chomps, too.

Florida also had some dance moves of their own, too, but on the sidelines.

The camera caught wide receiver Louis Murphy and Safety Ahmad Black breaking it down over on Florida’s sideline, and then caught a couple Gators defensive backs dancing to Florida’s band rendition of “Dragnet” following a Georgia penalty.

There was also a couple smaller gestures towards fans, too, such as Ahmad Black giving Bulldogs fans a crying gesture, and Cameron Newton, Gators backup quarterback, applauding Georgia after scoring their first, and only, touchdown of the game.

Urban Meyer’s Enthusiasm

If your a firm follower of the Florida Gators, or even a casual fan at that, chances are your aware that Florida head coach Urban Meyer seldom smiles.

Yesterday, however, the camera caught Urban cracking a couple smiles after a few of the gestures his boys made towards the Georgia players and crowd.

It become quite obvious that Urban Meyer was filled with pleasure after Rainey did his hotdogging on the kick return, and came back to the sideline without getting screamed at.

In Urban Meyer’s autobiography, he had this to say about the celebration last season: “It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We’ll handle it, and it’s going to be a big deal.”

It was a big deal.

Florida had the ball with the clock winding down, which would probably have been a time for the clock to wind down. However, after Emmanuel Moody picked up a first down, Meyer decided even the score in the slightest bit, as he called timeout.

Moody then proceeded to pick up 9 more yards, Florida called another timeout.

While it wasn’t the biggest way to pay the Bulldogs back, it was certainly one of the few ways that the Gators bit back at the Bulldogs for last season’s celebration. Without a doubt it was in the back of Urban’s mind, as well as the rest of the Florida players’ minds.

Well worthy of the smack on the behind in the 4th quarter by backup quarterback Cameron Newton, Urban Meyer greeted this game with an enthusiasm we as Florida fans have yet to have seen. He got the team fired up, and that’s without question, and gave Georgia the best payback he could give them, legally, of course.

Georgia’s Miscues and Bad Playcall

With Florida’s special teams being the X-Factor of this victory (Georgia’s kicker missed 2 field goals, Georgia wasn’t able to get anywhere in the first few kick and punt returns) Mark Richt felt that an onside kick in the 2nd quarter was necessary.

It wasn’t.

The onside kick, which gave the Gators great field position as they scored their second points of the game, wasn’t a bad call, it was just played well by the Gators. With the advantage on special teams clearly going to Florida, Richt had to mix it up somehow, and this was his way to do just that in a sense.

An apology to the defense was issued by Richt, and a thank you was issued by many Gators fans and players alike to Mark Richt for the excellent field position. Christmas came early for the Gators on this play!

Matthew Stafford, who was constantly referred to as the “Best Pocket Quarterback in College Football” throughout this game, didn’t look like it at times. Stafford threw 3 interceptions, was under constant pressure from the defensive line, and was also the probable cause of the fumble when the score was 28-3.

The constant pressure and blitzing from Florida, which made me reminiscent of Georgia’s pressure on Tebow last season, had Stafford go down twice, and had him receiving hits on every part of his body, as he was often forced out of the pocket.

Tim Tebow’s Heisman Re-Establishment?

Tim Tebow had a big game when it mattered most. The Florida quarterback accounted for 5 scores, 3 on the ground and 2 through the air, against an exceptionally strong Georgia defense.

Tebow surpassed former Florida leader Emmitt Smith in career rushing touchdowns, and now has 22 total touchdowns on the season, 14 through the air and 8 on the ground. But is the reigning Heisman winner back in the Heisman discussion after a slow start to the 2008 campaign?

I don’t think the numbers are Heisman-esq, but there’s one thing for sure, and that’s the fact that Tebow is fully playing the role of the position he plays, that being quarterback. He’s distributing the ball to the wide receivers, tight ends, running backs and full backs, and is putting Florida in position to win each game.

That, in my opinion, holds a bigger bearing than winning the Heisman. He’s giving it his all to win a National Championship.

Following his exit in this contest to a wonderful standing ovation from Florida, and from some of the Georgia fans still in attendance, Tebow was seen hugging and discussing his performance with several coaches, Dan Mullen and Charlie Strong (Offensive and Defensive Coordinator respectively) were seen on camera.

As Gary Danielson put it “Tebow has no one left to hug. He’s coming up to hug you, Verne”.

Tebow certainly put up a performance worthy of hugging Verne Lundquist.

College Football Tidbits

November 2, 2008
Michael Crabtree's winning TD, from & USPresswire

Michael Crabtree, winning TD, from & US Presswire

After the afternoon of games, I wasn’t even going to bother doing a blog.  When you actually turn off the tv rather than watch UGA get thrashed by UF or your beloved Noles get smacked around on defense by GA Tech, you know you have a problem.  But thanks to the end of the 3:30 games, most of them, and the awesome Texas/Texas Tech game, I am here.  This won’t be my usual 1200 world ramble, just a few thoughts on the big happenings of the day.

  • Way to show up and show last year wasn’t just a fluke UGA.  Good lord.  49-10..and you got the TD late in the game.  Way to crap the bed in your two biggest games this year.
  • While I’m talking about that game, in the early going, you know, when GA was still in the game, the refs gave Tebow a first down that he clearly was at least a yard short on.  Richt even challenged it and it was reviewed and not changed.  See, this did enrage me but then I figured it out.  Even though Tebow was clearly short, physically, his mental toughness and his heart well eclipse that one yard, therefore you have to award it to him.  It’s not about where the ball actually was, but how far it would have been if Tebow’s awesomeness could have been seen at that moment, clearly.
  • Though my Noles suffered a heartbreaking loss at the end of their game, I still give them credit.  They were down by 10 and they fought back and would have won if not for the ball meeting a helmet while going into the endzone.  It sucks, I don’t blame Sims though, it’s his second game carrying the ball and these things happen.  Thomas, who I love, ran for over 130 yards on 9 carries.  HELLO, can we use the kid more now PLEASE???
  • Wild endings everywhere yesterday.  Pitt takes down Notre Dame in 4 OT’s (HAHAHAHA suck it Notre Dame, you probably would have been ranked if you won this week, but you continued to be you, thanks!)  Wake upends Duke in OT.  Michigan State wins on a last second field goal against Wisconsin.  Miami edges UVA in OT.  The Noles ending of course.  Texas Tech’s ending, which I will talk about in more detail.  Just chaotic, but fun!
  • Speaking of chaotic, what the hell is going on in the ACC?  I think every team is still pretty much alive in the conference championship hunt, with the exception of NC State.  Yes, even Duke is still around.  Okay, they’re really not, but they’re a .500 team people!  I haven’t a clue what is going on.
  • Can we officially start the fire Fulmer watch?  His team didn’t even show up against the Cocks last night!  And welcome back Smelley!  You, and only you, should be the one steering the Cocks to victory!
  • Oklahoma was up on Nebraska 28-0 with 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter yesterday.  9 minutes!  I was watching Texas/TT but I was laughing my ass off every time a score update came over.  Nebraska is pathetic these days, so much for Pellini fixing the defense.
  • Alright, on to another number one going down.  TT punched Texas in the gut in the early going and though they let them back in it, and even take the lead, they never gave up and they pulled the game out at the end.  And how awesome was that ending?  Texas makes the go-ahead TD with 1:30 left on the clock and you just knew that was too much time.  TT returned the ball to the 37 for a nice starting field position and zipped down the field.  Just when you thought they’d win the game, Harrell throws a ball that is tipped and right in the hands of a Texas DB, but he doesn’t catch it!  My heart about stopped in that moment and I didn’t really have that much of a rooting interest in the game.  I just love some awesome football and that’s what I got.
  • Now, for that final TD, of course it had to be nobody other than Crabtree making the catch and muscling into the the endzone.  Since he got screwed on a bogus pass interference call on their prior drive (were the Dallas refs in charge of this game?), he deserved to be the one to win it here.  With all of 8 seconds left, Harrell throws the ball at Crabtree’s back shoulder and he catches it right near the sidelines, stays in bounds and just yanks away from the DB draped on him.  TD with one second to go.  Pandemonium.  Fans stream onto the field, moronically.  (Sorry but I hate that, this wasn’t that big of an upset).  Review shows that Crabtree didn’t step out of bounds, the fans re-stream onto the field, again there is one second to go morons.  Finally they clear them off and kick the extra point.  I think some morons tried to enter the field again at that point.  Then they are penalized twice and have to kickoff from the 7 1/2 yard line.  They squib, Texas laterals a couple of times and gets picked off mid-lateral.  Game over.  The morons can now take the field.  Despite moronic fans, I truly loved this game.  Two stellar QB’s that never gave up, can’t ask for more.  Also, Crabtree needs to be a Buc.  That is all.

Well I think that about covers the big stuff that I had on my mind at this ridiculously early hour.  I’d like to take a moment to bitch about the time change.  I hate time changes, I truly do.  Who thought it up?  I don’t like it getting sunny at 6 AM.  I am one of those people who feels the sun and up I am.  Hate.  See ya’ll next week, hopefully later in the day!

Colt, Jorts, and Jack-O-Lanterns

October 31, 2008

Last week was a fantastic day in college football…for me at least, maybe not for Kentucky, Phil Fulmer, or the Virginia Tech Hokies, but I had an awesome time.  I went back to Tallahassee, took pictures in front of every statue at the stadium (seriously, Florida State and the city of Tallahassee-at large are crazy about the statues), saw W., ate Mexican two nights in a row and saw my beloved Seminoles win again.  True confession: I’ve never attended a football game where the team I was rooting for lost.  Therefore, I would like to announce that I will be attending the Florida State game this Saturday at Georgia Tech (which automatically makes me better off than Corey Surrancy*).  Look for me on the Visitor’s Side, I’ll be the little girl bundled up in a faux-fur coat and Bill Belichick-style headband.

*So I was thinking that between the players getting suspended left and right, the winning streak, and knocking quarterbacks out of games, this 2008 Seminole Team reminds me somewhat of the ones in the mid to late Nineties.  Although it’s not the same without a tearful Steve Spurrier throwing his visor in disgust, but I’ll take it.

Moving on, it’s time for the annual Floria/Georgia game.  (Of course I will be at another game between a Florida team and a Georgia team but we’ve covered that).  So there’s all this talk about the bad blood between the teams, how Florida thinks Georgia is crass and cocky for celebrating on the field and how Tim Tebow has the highest quarterback rating in performing circumcisions.  I’m calling this one for Florida because a) I want them to win every game until November 29, b) my brother goes to Florida, c) karma points and d) Tim Tebow Hot Wings.

Each week I pray that Penn State will lose.  To be perfectly honest, that’s the only thing I pray about which is probably why it hasn’t happened…yet.  Anyway, since they’re off this weekend I am going to concentrate all my energy on Texas losing to Texas Tech just because I love an upset.  Of course, I’ll come back here on Sunday and they’ll still be ranked Number 1, but I can dream.

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