Running around to Give you the Reacharound

11.30.2008

Sobered Up - Week 14

Shoot me now. Hey Plaxico...


Well, my feelings from last night remain very much intact, so let's take a quick trip through the dawgosphere in search of more coherent, intelligent analysis on yesterday's debacle that isn't interspersed with Hawks-Wizards notes:

Mackalicious searches for a silver lining and wonders why we didn't try an onside kick with 4 minutes left. A fair question, sure. Unfortunately, our kickoff and kick return teams make our defense seem as efficient and disciplined as the '85 Bears D; so trusting Blair Walsh and Co. to properly execute an onside kick is somehow more improbable than asking the D go force Tech 3 and out. Pick your poison at that point.

I love Richt's loyalty toward Willie Martinez in the press, I really do. I truly believe that the way he deflects blame off players and assistants makes them love the guy and want to go to war for him. However, if Martinez isn't gone after this year, I've got to wonder if that "loyalty" isn't really "stubbornness" under disguise.

Searching for a break from the Martinez-bashing material (hey, our special teams has sucked just as bad...), I went to the eternally optimistic Dawg Sports...whereupon I found this damming fact:


  • During the four years in which Brian VanGorder served as Georgia’s defensive coordinator (2001-2004), the Bulldogs lost ten games. In those ten games, the ‘Dawgs scored nine, ten, 17, 16, 13, ten, 13, 13, 14, and six points, respectively.


  • During the four years in which Willie Martinez has served as Georgia’s defensive coordinator (2005-2008), the Bulldogs have lost twelve games. In those twelve games, the ‘Dawgs scored ten, 30, 35, 33, 22, 14, 20, twelve, 14, 30, ten, and 42 points, respectively.


Ouch.

As usual, Paul Westerdawg says it all. Really not much to add to that. I do however, believe in Richt's ability to see the problems with his program and make the necessary adjustments he hadn't been able to in the past. Maybe I am being blindly optimistic, but I do believe in the guy.

Yeah, the injuries have hurt, but it's time to stop blaming them and focusing on the the problems with the talented players that actually were out there on the field missing assignments all year.

Anyways, that pretty much covers yesterday afternoon in Athens. We'll see what is done this offseason, and I still look forward to the bowl game; but, needless to say, I'm ready to move on to football that took place outside the state of Georgia this weekend.

No need to prolong the drama: Texas gets Sue's nod over Oklahoma in our Top 10/Mumme Poll, as discussed over a 20-minute long cross-country phone call this afternoon that, now that I think about it, didn't even utter a word about the Georgia game. Here's our thinking: you can look at margin of victory, strength of schedule, recent results etc. etc. etc. The bottom line is this: we approach our Top 10 rankings as a way of saying "On a neutral field, who would win?" Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field. Period. They remain impressive in victory, and their one loss was on the road in a hostile environment on an INSANE fluke play that if Harrell/Crabtree tried again they could not replicate (still though- that was awesome and Crabtree owns for that one). I understand and realize the other factors are important. I just don't think it jumps a head-to-head result on a neutral field.

Sad to see Sylvester Croom go. One could never really get a solid read on whether or not the guy was a good coach. His players were Conference USA-caliber, he inherited probation, and a bowl season qualified as a splendid season in Starkville. I could easily see Croom becoming an effective coordinator at an SEC school or a head coach at another institution...

...Just not Clemson, which has made Dabo Swinney their coach on a permanent basis. Swinney apprenticed well under former boss Terry Bowden, learning how to juuuuust keep his job with a strong finish to the regular season and a 31-14 drubbing of South Carolina (who, for all the progress they've made in the SEC lately, are 1-6 in their last seven against the Tigers...you figure two mediocre programs would match up a bit more closely over that stretch). Call me crazy, but I don't see a marked improvement over the 7-5, 8-4 seasons that have become the norm in Death Valley.

One final coaching note: I'm not sure what to make of Lane Kiffin's hiring at Tennessee. Part of me wants to point out that this guy has accomplished nothing, and his most notable coaching experience includes presiding over a stacked offense that Norm Chow developed. On the other hand, he is looking at bringing in his dad, standout NFL Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin, to coach the defense (likely) and former USC buddy Ed Orgeron to handle recruiting duties (less likely). That is the type of hiring package that can pump up a fan base and/or recruits.

I think the Kiffin hiring has more homerun potential than a Mike Leach hiring, even if Leach was the safer choice. (Personally, I would have handed Butch Davis a blank check) My favorite part of the above link from Rocky Top Talk is the rumor that Brian Kelly backed down from the Tennesse interest because the Notre Dame job might open up. Have fun with that, buddy.

Once he gets the Dicks out from under the center's ass, Bobby Petrino has a good shot at making Arkansas a legit contender, year-in-year-out, in the SEC West. You knew this season was going to be a struggle, and Houston Nutt's success at Ole Miss (albeit with Orgeron's stout recruits) has burned, but Petrino has that program headed in the right direction. A victory over LSU ain't what it was in years past, but you take what you can get with that roster.

Also, if you are a blue chip QB recruit and you want to playing time ASAP in a power conference where you will appear on national TV multiple times a season, verbally commit to LSU. Like today. This second.

Georgia Tech 45 UGA 42
Clemson 31 South Carolina 14

Wake Forest 23 Vandy 10


Never thought I'd say this, but I was thankful for yet another Florida victory over FSU this weekend. SEC Snobbery won't return until next year, folks. (Or at least until a 8-0 record in bowl games...)

Onto Sue's 10 + Mumme Poll extras:

1. Alabama - Dominated their in-state rival the way a #1 team should. As for Georgia...nevermind. Also, memo to Auburn: Don't. Fire. Tubs.

2. Florida - For one day (Saturday), SEC Snobbery might be back in play. This is your national title game, yo.

3. Texas - See above.

4. Oklahoma - It's a moot point since they finished higher than Texas and will beat play Mizzou for the right to go to the National Championship, but if OU/Tex trips up on the B12 championship, I have no problem with the other making the BCS Championship Game. Conference championship be damned.

5. USC - Like I mentioned last week, they should have been pulling for Oregon State to avoid yet another Rose Bowl, but still...

6. Penn State - ...USC/Penn State makes for a nice matchup...at least on paper, until USC pulls away by three touchdowns in the second quarter.

7. Texas Tech - Looked crappy against Baylor, was it because of a letdown....oh nevermind, their QB was playing with one and a half hands and a bunch of broken bones. Props to you Graham Harrell...that you were able to bring the Red Raiders back with your busted appendages, with a conference championship hanging in the balance, is very impressive no matter the opponent.

8. Utah - blah blah jibber jabber Boise State doesn't deserve a BCS bowl.

9. Ohio State - Looks like they'll be in the BCS again. Let's hope for the Sugar Bowl to play the SEC runner-up.

10. Oklahoma State - Jeez...can someone in the Big 12 get a friggin' defense? They'd automatically become the conference's best team. These guys were damn near scoring at will on the alleged #3 team in the nation. And yes, I am terrified of UGA's impending trip to Stillwater next year.

Mumme Extras: For the first time all year, Georgia has to drop off our ballot. I still don't see the Boise State/TCU/Ball State triumvirate as better than the Dawgs, but I'd definitely take a look at Cincinnati and (UGGGGGGGGGH!) Georgia Tech for the final two slots.

Fuck a preseason ranking.


11.29.2008

Hawks-Wizards-OU-OkieState-miniliveblog-SaturdayThoughts-Runonsentences

You sir, are Da Main. And a Damn Good Dawg.


One of the reasons we at Sue's christen our weekly college football recap "Sobered Up" is because we try to avoid kneejerk, drunken, Saturday evening quarterbacking that happens following a festive, several hour-long orgy of college football games. So I apologize if my thoughts on today's Georgia-GT game seem brash and irrational. It's really just an excuse to get the yesterday's post off the top of the page.

So that I can avoid thinking continously about this afternoon's contest, I'll be simeltanieously live blogging the 4th quarter of this brutal Hawks-Wiz game and various other college football contests. Good luck trying to enjoy this post!

Damnit- Antonio Daniels just dropped a three-pointer to cut what was a double digits Hawks lead to three...and as I type this, Flip Murray comes back w/ a quick layup. Cool. It's always better when you see Flip has connected on a shot after-the-fact so as to avoid the minor stroke that can come with watching him decide what to do w/ the ball in realtime.

RE: UGA. I'm beginning to think the strong finishes to the 2006 and 2007 seasons were simply flashes of brilliance by a quality program that just isn't destined to be an elite, Top 5 program anymore. Oh, Georgia has the talent to be among the top five programs, but we are not seeing the development of the personnel on and off the field. Ill-timed penalties, poor tackling, repeated mistakes by the same offenders...it just points to poor coaching. I still won't join the FREE WILLIE chourus, but we're getting dangerously close to a point where something has to give and there has to be some accountability on the sidelines. If this was indeed Stafford and Moreno's last game at Sanford Stadium, Georgia has, I hate to say it, wasted three years of those two incredible talents and have no championships of any kind to show for it. That hurts.

Oklahoma State just scored a TD to go up 10-7. How insane is it that we could be looking at a Big 12 Championship game featuring Missouri and Texas Tech, arguably and probably the 3rd and 4th best teams in the conference? College football makes no fucking sense. And I love it.

John Clayton on ESPN: "Plaxico Burress suffered an accidenatal gunshot wound last nite at tha club..." He trying to channel his inner-Fiddy on this report?

MoE threeball to increase Hawks lead to 89-92! I love that shot. When he lets lose a three it's pretty much the opposite of how I feel when Flip lets one go.

Look at the numbers. In five games against five bowl eligible teams, Georgia has given up 41, 52, 49, 44 and now 45 points. Richt and others' excuse that this same defense "shut down" Auburn, South Carolina and Arizona State continues to weaken with every week. Those teams all have terrible offenses. A defense full of blue chippers should absolutely shut down those team's offenses each week.

Even Vandy and Tennessee, two more inept offenses Georgia has been lucky enough to face this season, combined for more than 450 yards against a defense that continuously failed at decisively putting away these crappy offenses. It's just frustrating to see an immensely talented player like Reshad Jones attempt a weak helmet/shoulder tackle to try and knock Roddy Jones out of bounds instead of wrapping him up or attempting to use his arms at all.

If there is any silver lining in the Josh Smith injury, it's that Solomon Jones seems to be improving exponentially while contributing quality minutes. Not saying Solo should be out there 20 minutes every night, but it's nice to know he can fill in for a few games should the injury bug continue to bite us. Another 3 by MoE!

As Georgia Tech started their final drive with 4:04 left in the game, up by 3, one of my buddies said "this is for your job Willie...I hope Richt is letting him know that." Needless to say the memo got lost somewhere, and three plays later the game was over. "Fuck...did we just lose to Georgia Tech?" "Yeah...fuck" "Uggggggggh" "This sucks" were the sentiments kicked around shortly after the contest ended.

Damn 31.8 seconds, Hawks ball, tie game...AND BIG AL TAKES IT UP STRONG AND ONE! YES. THAT'S HOW YOU UTILIZE A STUD BIG MAN IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT. SORRY CAPS! Good look by Marvin to feed Al against the baseline facing double coverage. 101-98, 12 seconds...Wizards ball.

So a season that started with so much potential and entered the day as "somewhat frustrating but very good" can now be considered "an utter disapointment." As I type this, Oregon is predictabily kicking the shit out of Oregon State 40-17 in the second quarter, so it looks as if USC will indeed end up in the Rose Bowl, allowing Ohio State to get into the BCS, and assuring Georgia of a date in Orlando or Tampa versus Michigan State or Iowa. Often times teams that had disapointing seasons can run through the motions against an opponent that is pumped to be playing such a "great" team and get beaten. Let's pray this season does not end with four losses and a drubbing by a Big 10 school.

In some playcalling right out of the Terry Stotts handbook, the Wiz go for two, allowing DeShawn Stevenson to drive to the hoop, draw a foul, and miss both free throws. Thanks for playing. Damn, has that franchise fallen fast over the last year...their best player is getting paid $113million and is the most notable injury prone superstar/blogger in the NBA...their second best player is about to get jettisoned for cap room...they have no bench to speak of...and they idiotically fired Eddie Jordan as if his overachiving was the problem with this team. What a messed up organization. They should re-hire MJ.

Two, somewhat more upbeat/complimentary items so we can end this on a high-note.

1. I talked the smack in the post below; and Georgia Tech answered every one of my questions and doubts. Apologies to Paul Johnson for the Chan Gailey comparisons. From now on you will be remembered to me as the coach that while watching the game today, each girl in the room said when your mug appeared on TV "OMG, HE IS SO FUCKING UGLY....I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW UGLY HE IS...HE HAS FISHLIPS." I'm sure you care. Anyways, props to Tech's offense for making the necessary halftime adjustments to exploit Georgia's weaknesses up front. That program is definitely headed in the right direction, which I guess I just didn't want to admit until after this game was over. Also, while I look forward to the Jaybo Shaw era of quarterbacking, Roddy Jones and his 8+ yards per carry over the season will give me nightmares for the next three years. That guy is a stud, and is better than any RB on UGA's roster who's name does not rhyme with Blowkronn.

Oklahoma just caught a massive break as the refs overturn what appeared to be a fumble that would have given the Cowboys back the ball as OU was inside their 5 yard line. Now Mike Gundy is pissed...not "Mike Gundy pissed" though...he doesn't get like that anymore unfortunately. Stupid anger management.

2. I am going to miss MoMass. He's one of my favorite Dawgs of all-time, and I love how no matter the drops, fumbles, booing, benching or anything else he went through during his career, he remained upbeat, always busted his ass, went right back across the middle and wasn't afraid to want the ball, to want to be the man that made that catch. He never had the raw talent of a Reggie Brown/Fred Gibson/AJ Green, but MoMass represents everything that I love about the Richt era at Georgia. Hopefully he can catch on in the NFL as a late-round draft pick and I could absolutely see him as a successful slot or posession receiver in the pros. Dude ain't afraid to go across the middle. A lot of bigger folks than him can't say that. Damn Good Dawg.

Aiight, Oklahoma scored that TD and goes into the half up 21-13, likely one TD away from putting this one away. I still think OSU can pull it off, but I think I'm ready to peel my ass off my sixth couch of the day. I wanted to write about Tennessee's hiring of Lane Kiffin, but that will have to wait til Sobered Up tomorrow. Hopefully, I can find a silver lining in today's Georgia game, but don't set the bar too high for me, y'all.



11.27.2008

Shotcallin' - Hate Week

My freshman year at UGA coincided with Mark Richt's inaugural season on the Sanford sidelines. So obviously, I have never experienced a Dawgs loss to Georgia Tech. Therefore, they have never really been as high on my hate list as Florida, who I find new find new ways to loathe with every trip to Jacksonville, or Tennessee, LSU, and of course, Auburn.

To me, as a Georgia fan, hating Tech is like hating South Carolina, or your infinitely less cool, uglier, dumber little brother. It kind of reminds me of when the Red Sox of the early 2000s would always get into these fueds and brawls with the Devil Rays (when they really sucked). Is it really necessary to get that worked up over something when, as Tupac said "(expleive) ain't even on my level"? I'm siding with Pac on this one, and gonna say no.

Now...all that being said...talk to ANY older Georgia fans about Tech, and you can feel the venom seeping through their pores like the smell of alcohol at a 9am pickup basketball game. These guys HATE Tech, or as my stepdad (1968 UGA grad) will only refer to them, the Jerkets. They don't get nearly as excited with a Tech win as they would a great SEC victory, but the one team they do NOT want to lose to is Georgia Tech. It's just a pride thing. Sure, we can trade barbs with other SEC fans interchangeably each year based on who's over/underachieving and over a few seasons, it evens out. We recognize this. Let's just say Tech fans/students aren't like typical obnoxious SEC fans, but rather, annoying, sarcastic, little pimply-faced nutjobs. The less they talk, the better.

----------

As for this year's contest, Tech arrives in Athens with their highest hopes of leaving victorious in eight seasons. Sure, when they came to town in 2006, Stafford was a freshman and the Dawgs had lost to Vandy and Kentucky earlier in the year; but, even the blindest Tech homer had to see the inevitable Reggie Ball implosion coming. This year though, Tech supporters are back to a level of euphoria/delusion unseen since the O'Leary/Fridge/Hamilton/Godsey years.

This probably has as much to do with the fact that Chan Gailey's program had the identity of Publix-brand vanilla ice cream (and not that 'Premium' shit, either- just plain vanilla with no toppings). Now, as the only BCS school running the triple option, Paul Johnson has given Tech backers the sense that there is a plan in place, and as he has everywhere else he has coached, he will be successful in implementing that plan. (And dude won't smile while doing it...Johnson makes Bobby Petrino look like Richard Simmons)

As much praise has been heaped upon Johnson for winning his first year here without "his players", let's not forget that Chan Gailey was a very good recruiter for Tech and the cupboard was far from bare upon Johnson's arrival. With all the "PALL JOHNSUN IZ THEE SHIT!!!11" talk, Tech arrives in Athens at 8-3. The last three seasons, they have been 7-3, 9-2 and 7-4 heading into the UGA game. This is still arguably the most talented Georgia team of that time, even if they couldn't live up to everyone's enormous expectations (Sue's included). So, pardon me if I just don't see much of a different outcome. Yes, Georgia struggles defending the option. They also have had two weeks to prepare for this contest, and Richt's record following a bye week is an impressive 11-2. Unlike in years past, where some pre-work for a possible SEC Title game would have taken some priority (%@&@*@%@%!*@), these last two weeks have been all about Tech. Either way, I look forward to watching Tech's defense attempt to slow down a rested UGA offense that in what will/could be the last game for Stafford, Moreno and MoMass.

(Quick thought...with a loss to UGA and either in the ACC "Championship" or a bowl game, Tech will end the year with five losses. The ghost of Chan Gailey lives on...)

Vegas has the Dawgs as 8 point favorites after opening at 11. I'm staying away from this game, but I'll go on record with my prediction so Jesse has some ammo if needed: A high scoring affair and the most entertaining Hate game since that 2002 contest (my, was that a glorious day). Tech keeps it close for the first few quaters, but UGA pulls away at the end, successfully stuffing (say that three times...ok I just did, wasn't very hard, never mind) the option as Tech is unable to exploit the UGA secondary with their equally weak passing attack. I'm thinking UGA 37, Tech 28.

The picks:

Mississippi State (+18.5) over Ole Miss - $10 - great potential for a Croomin'.

LSU (-6) over Arkansas - $15 - I look forward to the tradition of SEC National Title winner devolving into a four loss team the following season, but as long as we're pumping out the titles, I suppose one can't bitch too much.

Mizzou (-15) over Kansas - $10 - KU looking like a one year wonder. And their coach still looking like Rick Majerus' black sheep cousin.

Tennessee (-4) over Kentucky - $15 - Send Fulmer out on a high note, hopefully forgetting that "beating Kentucky at home" now qualifies as "a high note" for this program.

Oregon (+3) over Oregon State - $15
Oregon (ML) over Oregon State - $10
Yeah, Oregon State in the Rose Bowl definitely one of those "believe it when I see it" things.

Also, I think in following in the proud tradition of his former boss, Clemson will beat South Carolina and Dabo Sweeney will retain his title of head coach for at least another season. That said, no fucking way am I ever betting on Clemson.

Last Week: 2-5

2008 Inferior Picks: 5-8-1

2008 Overall Record: 50-49-3

2008 Pot: $140

11.25.2008

List! Top 10 Atlanta Pro Athletes

What's a sports blog without a nice, arbitrary, completely subjective list apropos of nothing? Well, it's probably a good one actually.  

So without further adieu, here's one man's opinion on the Top 10 Professional Athletes in Atlanta.  Criteria?  No thanks.  Let's get it:

1. Ilya Kovalchuk - I first came up with the idea to do this list while writing the one and only hockey post you'll ever find on this here blawg.  Ilya has slipped quite a bit this season under Coach Anderson's new system (apparantly, as I haven't watched a second of regular season action. I can't lie), but are their any other Atlanta athletes that have been one of the truly elite players in their sport over the last few years?  Dude has been among the Top 10 goal scorers every year since his rookie season and he's only 25.  Hopefully, this current slide is just an early season slump.  

2.  Chipper Jones -  Wins a batting title at age 36.  Still among the game's most feared hitters, even if his power has slipped a bit with age.  Sure, injuries have taken a toll, and and it speaks to the current crop of pro athletes in this city when the 2nd best athlete is a 36 year old that misses 15-20% of each season, but Chipper remains an elite talent at the hot corner and at the plate.  

3.  Brian McCann -  In terms of pure plate discipline and ability to turn a crap pitch into a solid single or hard-hit ball, few young players in baseball remind me of a young Chipper in the batter's box the way McCann does.  Add in the fact he's a catcher and that makes his bat even more valuable.  At age 24 he's already a three-time All-Star and could have ten appearances in the midsummer classic before all is said and done.  Using Baseball References "similar batters through age X" stat, here are some of the guys McCann compares to at this point in his career:  Joe Torre, Ernie Banks, Tony Lazzeri, Yogi Berra, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Scott Rolen.  You're talking Hall-of-Fame capabilities here, brother.  

4.  Joe Johnson -  He's probably one of the few Hawks that has reached his ceiling in terms of development (well, assuming these players don't spend their whole careers under Mike Woodson), and thats fine.  Hell, it probably already makes him the best shooting guard in Hawks history.  That said, he's a 2nd tier star (think Paul Pierce, Carlos Boozer, TMac five years ago or Elton Brand) and you're probably not winning a championship with him as your #1 option.  

(Aside:  Anyone thinking Paul Pierce doesn't belong on that list needs a reality check.  Those Celtics teams where he was the clear cut go-to-guy were usually awful, and a conference finalist at best.  I'm not saying he didn't deserve the Finals MVP last year, but he had two great games, two good ones, and two really shitty games.  And he doesn't even sniff that stage without KG and RayRay.)

5.  Michael Turner -  How insane is it that Turner could actually go ahead of LDT in next year's fantasy drafts?  Not in mine of course, as I'll probably be picking LDT in the Top Five until 2015, but in most normal people's that don't discount the facts of life regarding aging and the pounding that 200+ carries for 5+ NFL seasons can put on a player.  Anyways, anyone who had Turner on a fantasy team in years past and was hoping for an LDT injury saw the potential in this guy, and now he's the best back the Falcons have had since Jamal Anderson's fluke season ----errr---- prime.  Turner, not Matt Ryan, is the Falcons MVP this season.  

6.  Josh Smith -  When his contract is up in five seasons, I could see him at #1 or #2 on this list, or completely absent from the list.  Neither would surprise me.  Whatever.  I'm so ready for him to come back that I'd be happy with the Hawks bringing in Randolph Morris and Solomon Jones to just clothesline folks as they continuously penetrate the baseline and take it to the rim, flagrants and suspensions be damned.  Say what you will about Smith's defense, but opposing players feared taking it to the rim with JSmoove shadowing them.  That isn't the case when he's not in there.  

7.  Roddy White -  Looks like a Pro Bowler.  If only he was this effective when MV7 was under center.  Not bitter or anything.  Moving on...did anyone else read this article and get blown away by White's revelation that it was Joe Horn and Bobby Petrino who had the greatest influence on White's transformation into the player he is now?  What the hell were the odds of that happening?  Glad they were able to earn at least part of the millions they essentially stole from this organization.  

8.  Al Horford -  Yeah, he's definitely gotten off to a slow and injury-riddled start this season, but if he develops as his talent warrants (insert Woodson caveat), he could shoot to the top of this list in the next few seasons.  My one concern is that, unlike Dwight Howard, he probably doesn't have the size to excel at the center position; and yet, he doesn't have the "game" of a power forward.  Still...the talent is there for multiple all-star appearances in his future.  

9.  John Abraham -  Talk about frustrating.  When this guy is on, he is on.  Hell, earlier this season, the talking heads were calling him the best since Lawrence Taylor at getting to and sacking the QB...now, that's obviously insane, but you can understand how good the guy looks when fully healthy and doing his thing.  Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to stay healthy for prolonged periods throughout his career, so you take what you can get.  

10.  Slava Kozlov -  Token Thrasher #2...but if Marvin Williams shows that his improvement is for real and sustainable, he could get on this list shortly.  I'm sure he'll be thrilled.  

One thing I thought when making this list was how devoid it was of elite superstars, so off the top of my head, I decided to go through some other cities with four teams and see what players would have made their lists, in comparison to Atlanta's.  

Again, off the top of my head...

Denver - Cutler, Brandon Marshall, CHAMP, generic Rockie hitters, Melo...eh...

Phoenix - Warner, Fitzgerald, Bolden, Nash, Amare, B-Webb...nice...

Dallas - Romo, TO, Barber, Dirk, JoHo, Hamilton, Kinsler...is Mike Modono still playing?

Philly - McNabb (kinda), Westbrook, Samuel, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Rollins, Brand, Iggy...wow

Boston - This will be fun...Brady, Moss, KG, Pierce, RayRay, YOOK, Papi, etc. etc. etc.  Shit, Wes Welker probably would have been #7 on the Atlanta list.  

Maybe Atlanta doesn't have it too bad...after all, there is a lot of young talent on the above list (7/10 players are 28 or younger), but then again, when you pick in the Top 10 as often as the Hawks and Thrashers have, that is going to happen.  Hopefully in two weeks I can edit this list with Jake Peavy in the top slot.  We keep it optimistic here at Sue's.  



11.24.2008

Sobered Up - Week 13

Welcome to a reestablished edition of Sobered Up, in which Sue's once again found ourselves where we should be on a Sunday evening: a nameless establishment, drinking beer, half-paying attention to the NFL while deeply discussing College Football. It's wonderful to not enjoy the NFL compared to College Football to the degree that Thomas Davis running down your home team's running back is the most exciting play you observe. Some guys you just always root for. Thomas Davis is definitely one of them. I don't care if "my" favorite NFL team (Saints? Falcons?) was in the Super Bowl, I would cheer for a player like Davis to lay out my team's best receiver. This is not exaggeration.

Georgia's disappointing season should do well to help me get over the end of this season and look towards the next. This is what I am hoping.

Coincidence that your initials are TD?

As an introduction to our upcoming Too Many Teams! Too Lofty the Expectations! Only 10 Spots! post, Sue would like to firmly state that Notre Dame needs to recalibrate their expectations. People don't want to play for your school. Hell, most of the nation even holds disdain for you. Sue is friends with many a Catholic, and not one of them root for Notre Dame. You're like the dude that used to be the coolest kid in town, but now you just sit at the same old bar, playing the same music on the Jukebox (I'm thinking Astley), smoking your Marlboro Lights and hitting on any girl that comes in utilizing your bourbon breath and double vision. Oh, and you're pathetically single. Nobody wants you, aging hipster stuck in the old days. Your first step towards reestablishing any semblance of relevance resides in joining a BCS conference. So, good luck with that. Oh, and hey Irish fans. Way to throw snowballs at your own football team. You stay classy, South Bend.

A quick question to Urban "LaBeouf" Meyer: four years ago when you argued that any team that goes undefeated should play in the national championship, how do you now reason through your Gators being more deserving than undefeated Utah? Just wondering.

With Georgia Blech coming at us with the impending expectancy of a locomotive careening into a parked car (or, more aptly a small, buzzing insect beelining into a glass door), a quick question to Tech fans: would you rather beat Georgia in your season-ending instate rivalry, or play in the ACC Championship game with a laughable opportunity at a BCS game? I think you would rather play in the ACC Championship game, but likely because of the novelty of actually having a Championship game and expecting some sort of satisfaction (which you hopefully wouldn't receive, leaving you feeling empty), rather than the millions you'd receive from a possible BCS berth. But what do I know. The mentality of the Georgia Tech football fan is dispassionate at best, fair-weather to be sure.

And the ACC Crapfest Game of the Week Award returns! With so many awful games to choose from, the winner of the biggest loser is...all of you! Blech slamming pitiful Miami 41-23 on a Thursday night? NC State blowing out ranked (???) UNC 41-10? And let's not forget the most loveable of the losers Maryland, who proved once and for all that no team wants to visit Jacksonville when the only excuse is an ACC Championship game, losing their divisional lead in a 37-3 wipeout to Florida State. Why do I keep picking you, Terrapins? I won't even attempt to discuss Clemson 13, Virginia 3. All eight of you teams deserve a 12.5% share of the Crapfest Award this week. For you all equally contributed to another forgettable weekend in ACC Football. Congratulations!
Prepare yourself for another epic ACC barnburner. At least this time hotel owners won't be left feeling cheated. This excellence in mediocrity is now fully consistent.

Georgia - Georgia Blech on the horizon, along with bloated bellies and even more forgettable NFL Thanksgiving football (I'm looking at you, Deeetroit). On to Sue's Top 10/Mumme Poll!

1. Alabama - Like Georgia, looked very solid against a well-rounded bye.
2. Florida - Disagree all you want that they shouldn't be here. But you cannot disagree that Florida is playing football at least as good as anyone in the country right now.
3. Texas - Sue is torn right down the middle between Oklahoma and Texas deserving this spot. Tough call, and even more difficult is the realization that Sgt. Friday's declaration months ago that the Big 12 is stronger than the SEC this year is absolutely spot-on.
4. Oklahoma - If you look as good against Okie State as you did Saturday night, you should jump Texas, even if they beat you. Unfair, but then that's the College Football landscape for you. At least you're not undefeated Auburn getting NO love.
5. Southern California - Memo from Friday: Bill Plaschke makes an excellent point in this article. I'll spare you having to click the link and try and wade through a cesspool of awful puns, nonsensical metaphors and craptastic sentence structure; but basically, Ole Bill points out that USC should be cheering for Oregon State to win on Saturday and spare the Trojans their fourth Rose Bowl in six years. The whole nation thinks USC is in a weak-ass conference, and it has affected their ranking this year. Getting the opportunity to play and possibly beat an SEC or Big 12 power would go a long way toward making voters and fans think that USC can compete with any team, in any conference, in any venue. Beating up on Big 10 schools just doesn't give college football nuts a hard-on anymore.
6. Penn State - Congratulations, Penn State! You have ascended back to national relevance while surfing a wussy wave of weak Big 10 teams, your 137-year old coach is coming back and fired up about a new lazy-boy he's installing in the press box to watch you, and your back in the Rose Bowl! Your reward? (Possibly) A team you've already destroyed 45-14! Welcome back.
7. Texas Tech - Sue wanted to drop you even further, but we couldn't find a team to jump you. Watch your back, Red Raiders. Oh, and I'd just go ahead and spend your Black Friday searching out the best deal for a new bed set. I wouldn't even try to wash that shit out. (Friday again: Crabtree is still my pick for Heism--- eh, couldn't do it. Give it to Crabs, Bradford, Tebow, McCoy or damn near anyone on USC's D...fine choices all around)
8. Utah - Unbelievable, but they've earned it.
9. Oklahoma State - Always rooting for the underdog, you'll have me firmly standing against my mother's alma mater for the second week in a row. Not that I think you have a chance in hell.
10. Ohio State - THE Ohio State, I guess, can have the 10 spot.

Remainder of the Mumme Poll - Georgia and Missouri completes the same Top 12 Sue's has had for the last three weeks. I guess you could say Sue knew what was up...

11.22.2008

Shotcallin' - Week 13

Bronze 'im.

Real life makes for a light week of posting on the ole blog, but I just wanted to make a point that could be completely a) irrelevant and b) idiotic in about 5 hours.

Michael Crabtree is the best player in the nation and should win the Heisman trophy.

I don't know why the Heisman has generally become an award for "the best QB/RB on a national title contender." It should always go to the best player in the nation, period. This isn't an MVP award, with a subjective "most valuable" qualifier. I thought it was insane when Jason White won the 2004 award over Larry Fitzgerald. Really? There were people out there that thought Jason White was the best player in the nation that season? He wasn't even the best player on his damn team that year (Peterson). Meanwhile, Fitzgerald dominated damn near every game that year for an otherwise mediocre Pittsburgh team.

I see alot of similarities between Fitzgerald that year and Crabtree this year. I wouldn't have too much of a problem with Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow winning the award. They're all great players. But Crabtree is a gamechanging threat that has transformed Texas Tech over the years from a team that relied on a gimmick offense to win games into a national title contender. As for Graham Harrell, well lets just say that Kliff Kingsbury, BJ Symons, Sonny Cumbie and Cody Hodges all put up record setting numbers running Mike Leach's offense. By comparison, could you see any Texas Tech receiver, past or current, making that final play of their game against Texas? Hell, do you see any other player in college football that could make that type of play? I'd say no, and that, combined with just about everything else he has done the last two seasons has me convinced Crabtree is the nation's best player and should be going home with the hardware on December 13th.

Oh yeah, I like Oklahoma in a close game tonight.

This week's picks. Yes, yes, it is 4:29 on Saturday afternoon. However, due to a timely project at work given to me on Friday afternoon that is due Monday at noon, I have been stuck in my office all day and have not watched a second of college football. Make of that what you will, you three loyal readers.

Michigan (+21) over Ohio State

Michigan State (+15.5) over Penn State

Boise State (-6.5) over Nevada

Oregon State (+3) over Arizona

LSU (-7) over Ole Miss

Inferior Picks:

Maryland (+1) over Florida State

Texas Tech (+7) over Oklahoma

Last Week: 4-1

2008 Inferior Picks: 5-6-1

2008 Overall Record: 48-44-3

2008 Pot: $170

11.20.2008

BLOGASM 11.20 - In which we sit bored at work...

...while consuming a healthy diet of Christmas popcorn and Grizzly Mint.

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(enter GMAIL) On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 12:55 PM, Joe Friday wrote:

You know it's a slow news day when this headline makes the front page of espn.com:

Aaron Heilman is demanding a starting spot, or a trade.

Seriously? Dude, do you not think the Mets have been trying to trade you for the last couple of seasons? You're a terrible middle reliever, which by default, makes you about as bad a pitcher as exists in major league baseball. Best case scenerio, you and Kyle Davies combine to hold up the front end of the Royals AAA affiliate's rotation. My two favorite parts of the article:

Heilman's agent, Mark Rodgers, told the New York Daily News, "The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he's ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher."

...followed by this money line...

Heilman, drafted out of Notre Dame in 2001, made 25 starts from 2003 to 2005, going 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA. In 2006, however, he was moved to the bullpen, where he has served as a set-up man. Last season, he finished 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA, with five blown saves, and gave up 44 earned runs, the most in his three seasons as a reliever.

Great success story there, buddy. Way to know your client's strong points.

Omar Minaya would be lucky to get a handjob from a pregnant Atlantic City whore for this guy. At least that article was good for a midday laugh.

----------------------

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Osama Ben Jammin' wrote:

I sincerely do not know where else to take this. I read the article and was all set to hunker down on my keyboard and mash out the exact same thing. Unfortunate.


I guess the only thing I can say is that, did you know he was only 30? Is he one of the oldest looking 30-year olds you've ever seen? Greg Oden thinks this guy looks distinguished.

Speaking of a slow day in sports, how's about Matt Ryan the Savior of Everything to be Saved being on the front page of the WWL?

I feel...conflicted. I love Michael Vick. But, apparently, so does Ryan. Used to play as the Falcons every time he played Madden? Man whenever I watched people play Madden I always demanded someone be the Falcons. This tells me unequivocally that Matt Ryan is a HUGE Mike Vick supporter. Hell, his dad even said he raised his son making sure that he had no sense of entitlement. These days, that's a tough thing to do.

On the other hand, I long for the days of Vick scrambling around for 5 seconds until he bursts down the field, jukes out 3-5 guys in the secondary, gains 35 yards and steps out of bounds to save the clock. Dude was ridiculous fast, too. It's kind of like when your parents get divorced I think. Like, no matter how badass and more sober your stepfather is, many times he'll never replace your real father and will only serve to make you have more contempt for your other parental figure (in this case, stretching the analogy to a ridiculous degree, the organization).

At this point I feel this completely unfair to Mr. Ryan. I still think we'll see him have a huge dropoff sophomore season, but at this point you need to ask yourself, "what else could I possibly want from my new franchise quarterback?"

Wondering where such high-quality journalism originated, luckily the following paragraph assured me that it was most certainly an O-Ridge report from the AJC:

One place you won't find Ryan is the Web-networking phenomenon Facebook -- at least, not anymore.

"Our junior year, when he was starting to be known as a good player, he was on Facebook," Poles said. "But 90 percent of his friends' list was male. There were hardly any girls. We used to rip him apart for that -- here's one of the top QBs in college, and almost all his friends were guys. That's why he's no longer on there."

Hmm. Straight-edge kind of guy. Doesn't electrocute puppies. Not bigheaded. Loyal to girlfriend? Who the hell does this guy think he is?

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On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Joe Friday wrote:

Give me a break. Everybody wanted to be the Falcons for those couple of years on Madden. Marcus Vick's ex-girlfriend's brother prolly fought with his boys for the right to play Video Vick in those days. Anyways, co-sign me on Ryan's Sophomore Slump. In fact, I'll go a step further and say it starts right now. Before the season, I had the Falcons penned for 4 wins...now? I'll go with 7.

Believe me, I was wrong about Sir Ryan. His accuracy (Vick's biggest weakness) is impeccable for a rookie. He is calm in two minute drives and manages the game well. His arm strength and mobility is better than what I remember from his senior season at BC. That being said though, the whole "OUR FRANCHISE QB HAS ARRIVED" talk is fairly premature. Case in point, Vick's stats from his first year as a starter (2002) vs. Ryan's.


Record Comp % Passing Yds/game Rushing Yds/game TD's INT
Vick 8-6-1 54.90% 195.7 51.8 24 (8 rush) 8
Ryan 6-4 59.70% 215.9 7.2 11 6

Taking everything into account, I'd say it is a pretty close call. What Ryan is doing as a true rookie is impressive, no doubt, but if there is anything that an Atlanta NFL fan should know, it is the fleeting nature of early QB success stories. Let's not clear off a spot for him in the Falcons Ring of Fame just yet.

xxxx

Alright, how does the news that Chase Utley, who always seems to be on whatever team wins the friggin' championship every year in any fantasy league I am in, is out until June after hip surgery affect his draft status in fantasy. Does he still go in the first 2-3 rounds? Slip until the 8th round? Further? Playing russian roulette with an injured player in a fantasy draft (while nobody in the draft room dares to mention his name) is one of the most tense situations one can deal with while sitting in front of a computer screen feeling like a total geek. I'm looking forward to our draft already.

xxxxx

Last year, any win in any situation against the Wizards would have been a welcome addition to a stagnant W column. This year? The Hawks and Wizards played a crapfest in front of a half-empty Philips Arena, and I couldn't even get too excited about a win over a depleted Wizards bunch that was seemingly freezing out their only available offensive weapon. Ok, that's a lie. I was pumped as hell about this ugly win against a 1-9 team.

Still though...the one thing the Hawks needed to catch a break on this year was injuries. Three of the top seven in the rotation (and pretty much our entire low-post presence) are injured right now. Marvin is manning up as much as possible, and Zaza somehow pulled down 18 boards on a bum arm last night, but the Hawks need Smith and Horford can heal up as much and as fast as possible before anymore four-game losing streaks occur. With the streaky shooters on this team, we can not live and die by the jump shot, as we saw during last week's games against the Nets. Either way, I haven't enjoyed an NBA November this much in years.

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On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 5:43 PM, Osama Ben Jammin' wrote:

Falcons Ring of Fame? Who exactly would that include other than Jamal Anderson? I'm thinking really hard here...

Excellent head-to-head graphic (except for the lack of any graphic element, of course). Personally, I think what's missing here is quarterback rating and, more importantly, ranking. I'm thinking Matt Ryan is stacking up quite nicely against other NFL passers in the league right now. But after FJM's funeral the other day, I can't bring myself to look up any statistics. It's just...too early.

---------------------

Try picking up Utley in the 8th round, and see what happens.

The best case scenario is still a return to baseball activity in early April, worst case late-May or June. I'm willing to gamble on that and pick up Utley very, very early. Like the 5th round if he's still there. Oh, and the reason he's been on several fantasy championship teams is not because of him, it's because whichever fantasy manager has a tendency to pick up players like Utley - somehow low-key, super-productive in several categories. In other words, not the Sheffields and RanJos that we pick up.

---------------------

As far as our Baby Hawks, check this out: Atlanta is currently 7-4, one game behind Orlando in the Southeastern Division. Upcoming games are Charlotte, at Cleveland, Milwaukee, at Toronto and at Washington. These are the remainder of the games for the Hawks' 2008 November. Now, first of all it's amazing to look at all of these, and really any game and think they're winnable. The Hawks of the past few years could hang with the best, but you knew they'd inevitably lose. With that said, I see the Hawks finishing 3-2 in that stretch, at the least. Editor's note: just don't check out the December schedule, which includes the still-brutal at Dallas, at Houston and at San Antonio (with at Miami following to boot!)

The Magic, on the other hand, are at Indiana, Houston, Milwaukee, at Philadelphia, at Washington and Indiana. I'm thinking 3-3 here for Orlando.

Either way, we have something to watch for in November with the Hawks, which is in incredible and (sigh) a welcome addition to my normally-college-football-entrenched sports season peak. This is going to be interesting.

--OBJ

11.17.2008

Sobered Up - Week 12

Never too early to look ahead to Tech

Well, well, well. Look where we are, fellas. 9-2 with another at-least-ten win season staring us right in the face. Beat our growing-on-me every day in-state rivals, and we're staring down 11 wins. Fail to do that and we get another chance at 10 in whichever crappy bowl game we skulk into. Informed Dawg fans knew we were looking at a two-loss season. We were hoping for one.

Take this Auburn "win" for example. Just shoddy all over the fucking place, guys. The worst tackling I've seen since becoming a Georgia fan, narrowly beating out the WVU Sugar Bowl. A last second touchdown-pass-that-wasn't that couldn't been Auburns' Michael Johnson had they caught it. The one bright spot, other than the notch in the "W" column, was once again Knowshon. I know you've been waiting for it, Knowshon, so here's Sue's advice: don't go to the NFL. Please. It's what's best for you. With your 22 carries for 131 yards, your butt will just be another target for bench splinters. So, with your additional 4 receptions for 58 yards and a TD, just come back to us. Don't make me start singing Boyz II Men. you Da Main, Knowshon.

But if I could have told you that we were 9-2 heading into rivalry weekend, going 3-1 in the brutal road stretch that was the last four weeks, you probably wouldn't have been too upset. Of course that was before UT and Auburn decided to blow each other rather than practice football, but the point remains. Georgia is still an exceptional program. Judging by Sue's collective thoughts as well as the pervasive mentality throughout the blogosphere, it is virtually universally agreed that the problems inherent in Georgia are immediately fixable. We don't have a lack of talent - we have a lack of utilization of that talent. Is a coaching change necessary? Possibly. These players should not be unmotivated at any time. They should be crushing folk. And these penalties? I used to cringe at Georgia's tackling methods over the past decade or so...it always seemed that two to three Dawgs on D would come running in, full force and head-first on a play that was clearly dead, a player that was clearly down. Several late hits called during these times. But I would KILL [a Georgia Tech fan] for those days. Solid tackling AND penalties that were actually worth a damn? Sign me the fuck up!

But these are thoughts better left to CMR. We need an immediate fix for the now. Look, Georgia is way more talented than Vandy, UK or Auburn. We should have destroyed those teams. If Georgia comes out looking lackadaiscal with poor tackling against Tech, there's a very good chance we could lose. We're talking about the folks with the Perfect Option here, people!


This would work immensely better if they weren't
taking themselves so gosh darn seriously.


If you think Dawg fans are walking lethargic avenue now, see what happens if we lose against Georgia Blech. As the good Senator aptly points out, while Florida is generally considered amongst the most passionate and informed Dawgs to be the biggest game of the year, Blech is definitely the game we most hate to lose. Perhaps that's because GT plays in the horrid ACC which is a huge bitch slap to lose to, or perhaps an entire generation of fans is used to having our asses handed to us for a Halloween present by now. Either way, Dogs, stop worrying about that now-LONG-gone #1 ranking and Finish. The Fucking. Drill. Hey, maybe you can even pull the 'ol 'Walking with the football haphazardly shielded by the QB's sternum' play action out of retirement. I can't remember any time it didn't work...


Can't let Georgia Blech be the only team with a vid, can we?

And in a follow-up to last week's MNF address on the state of College Football, 'Bammer reiterated his platform on Sunday's 60 minutes, meaning a considerable 1.37% of football's target demographic was tuned in. Quick to answer was John Swofford, BCS coordinator, who essentially congratulated Obama and then told him to suck an egg. 'Bammer said he would "Throw [his] weight around a little [because] it's the right thing to do" to which the BCS responded blah blah blah blah. Ugh and sigh. Look 'Bammer. Let me make it easy for you: Bush stepping in and demanding something be done about steroids in baseball = good, useful (although it shouldn't have been - we'd like to think that MLB would have gotten it under control but can you honestly say they would have without the push?) and at least plausibly relevant due to Bush's former positions. Namely, owner of a MLB team. On the other hand, you pushing hard, twice in a week, for a college football playoff = pointless, arrogant and completely useless. You're not going to do anything, Barack. The system will change when a better one is discovered. Period. Oh, and a quick suggestion. Why don't you throw your weight in the general direction of our FRIGGIN' economy? I got bills for shit I don't even KNOW about, man! I got friends still trudging in the Middle East. Why the hell are you even talking about fucking college football!?

And Louisville is 5-5, everybody! Hey Loo-ie, how in the hell can you suck SO bad that you're 1-4 in the Big East?! Everything Petrino built for your program is lying in wreckage all over your campus. And with Rutgers and West Virgina coming up, the Cardinals have a very good chance of going 5-7 with a 1-6 conference record. You know, you really should have known better when you hired someone named "Kragthorpe." It sounds like something bad, y'know? Like some sort of inoperable anal fissure, or something. "Shit. Did you hear what happened to Johnny? He got a fucking kragthorpe so bad he bled to death in 10 minutes. Made a huge mess all over the MARTA bus, too." Looks like the 'Ville's going to be shopping for a new coach this offseason. Color me surprised (close in color to cardinal red!) if they aren't.

Okay, I'm ready to say it. And by the way, any time between 2000 and last year, I never would have been able to dream of providing positive words for Alabama or Florida at this point in the season. But when Alabama plays Florida for the national title - whoops! I mean SEC Championship - we may be looking at the two best coaches in NCAA Football. I'm just not sure how Saban's going to get his team so freakin' motivated that they topple Florida in this one. Look 'Bamma. You're a good team. The epitome of solid this year. Incredibly motivated to play at or above your potential every second of the game. But since Florida lost to 'Ole Miss, Florida has opened up their playbook and just straight murdered people left and friggin right. And yes, Tebow's tear-filled address to Gator fans that they would play with more "passion" than ever before for the rest of the season is clear indication to me that he knew Meyer was about to let go of the leashes. Your only warning, 'Bama: Florida is going to kill you.

His eyes are on the Tide...

Oh, and nevermind that Meyer looks like Shia LeBeouf. While they both may be utter tools, this remarkable resemblance is little more than coincidence. Come to play, 'Bamma.

Separated at birth, they both amazingly found their ways back to the tool shed.

Hey, how 'bout that 70-30 barn burner in Houston? Props to Houston for scoring more points in quarters two and three, respectively, than Georgia scored in their entire game. Bravo! Can I jump on your bandwagon? Anything that gives the city of Houston something to cheer about is okay with Sue. Not a bad city, really. Just ugly, stupid, and not really fun. In any case, this sounds like really fun football.

Then we have these splendid games featuring the cream of the ACC crop, NC State, Maryland, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Miami and Virgina Tech. Wee if you can guess which teams go where: 21-17, 17-15 and 16-14. Isn't the ACC suck-o-round fun? Seriously ACC how badly can you suck? Haven't you listened to Sue's speeches trying to invigorate you? Do any of you even want to play in your pathetic conference championship? The only thing I'm looking forward to about it is to see how few people show up. In any case, these sound about as fun to watch as live footage of your own face melting off. Or the UGA-AUB game.

A sincere congratulations to Vandy on their bowl-eligible win. Going bowling for the first time in 26 years sounds more like a Hallmark channel inspirational story about a man born with no arms who builds his own prosthetic limbs, but damnit, there's a warm spot in my heart for you, 'Dores. By golly, you're probably my 2nd favorite SEC East team (you're consistent suckiness over the years is a likely contributor). I'm a big fan of underdogs, and I'll be rooting for you hardcore in whichever bowl game you get.

Before we move on to Sue's Top 10/Mumme Poll, we at Sue's would like to express our sadness knowing that there will only be two "Sobered Ups" left in the '08 College Football Season. As a rule we do not look forward, at least with terrifying, friend-losing focus, to the next season until around March or so. So that's a solid two months without College Football talk here, and frankly I'm a little scared. If I throw up a post about golf, boxing or hockey, I'm very likely just moments away from committing suicide via chair-throw to Florida State receivers. Just saying.

On to the Poll!

1. Alabama - Look, Florida could seriously be placed here with little or no complaints by our constituents. For the sake of UF's one loss and the fact that the top four will be sorted out with no room for complaints within two weeks, we'll go ahead and leave the Tide at #1.
2. Texas Tech - I can't say that you have a true test this weekend. I've already said your test awaits at least twice. You're legit, Tech. Even though my mom's Alma Mater is Oklahoma, I'll be rooting for you.
3. FU - In honor of one of the coolest hats I've ever seen, playing on UF only changing the letters around to say FU, which is about how I feel towards Florida and their winning ways.
4. Texas
5. Oklahoma
6. Penn State - That Oregon State win is looking mighty good right now, PSU.
7. USC - That Oregon State loss is mighty tough to look at right now, isn't it USC. Without going through all the "if they win or lose" possibilities, here are your possibilities for the 2008-2009 Rose Bowl if USC-PSU doesn't pan out: USC - Ohio State, USC- Michigan State, Michigan State - Oregon State, or Oregon State-Penn State. Hey, why don't we just see how many Hot Wheels cars we can shove up our nose before our brains hemorrhage, instead?
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
10. Utah

Mumme Extra Two: Utah's finally moved ahead of Georgia this week, due primarily to the perceived difference of how a typical Utah fan and a typical Georgia fan would've reacted if both had played the same game against Auburn last Saturday. Georgia fans were complacent and hung their heads a little lower, knowing that our expectations were WAY freaking off. Utah fans would have been freaking out, methinks. With that being said: UGA and Missouri round out our last two.

11.14.2008

Shotcallin' - Week 12

Admit it, you were expecting the "Uga bites Robert Baker pic"

While most Georgia fans save their foremost disdain for Florida, Tennessee or Georgia Tech, very few seem to loathe Auburn in a similar fashion. This may have as much to do with what era you became a Georgia fan (seriously, that makes for a week's worth of bathroom reading...worth every word too), but I can't help but think that the proximity between the two schools also plays a major role. Everyone knows folks from their high school that went to Auburn (the ones that didn't get into Georgia....zing!); so in college, the Auburn game was usually an opportunity to visit with old friends and enjoy some good football. By comparison, how many people from your high school went to Florida or Tennessee? Or how many went to Tech that you still wanted to hang out with?

As for me, I enjoyed watching the Auburn games with old friends and my fraternity's chapter over there...but still...I fucking hate Auburn. More than Florida. More than Tennessee. I hated Tuberville jumping from Ole Miss to Auburn...hey Tommy...instead of jumping ship on a potentially good SEC program to a divisional rival, why don't you fucking build up said program to contender status? I get annoyed that their university is essentially Atlanta Western University, hate their colors (no shit), hate that they have a couple too many nicknames and the pointless "WAR EAGLE" chat, and I really can't stand the town of Auburn. Take away the University and you're looking at Zebulon, Georgia...or pretty much any rural city in Alabama.

Anyways, it feels good to get that off my chest. Sure, many of those reasons are irrational or just plain ignorant, but I don't care. I hate Auburn, and wish more Georgia fans did too.

That being said, this rivalry has produced some of the more memorable games of the Richt era, and no matter the records, no matter the injuries, you can always expect the unexpected. Take a trip back down memory lane and try to revisit your experiences during this bevy of remarkable outcomes:

2001: I remember standing on the lower level bridge by the west endzone, waiting for Richt to call a timeout that inexplicably never came as Jasper Sanks got stuffed on the goal line at the end of a frustrating 24-17 loss. I then remember shouting out a multitude of curse words as me and my pledge brothers hauled ass to O-House in order to get through the doors before the dining hall closed. As broke freshmen, every penny earned from our crappy telemarketing jobs went to pay our pledge dues, so taking full advantage of the meal plan was a must. Belated apologies to the O-House workers that night. I'm sure we were a fun crowd to deal with.

2002: Probably the defining game of the Richt era, as it clinched the SEC East for the Dawgs and featured the memorable Greene-to-Michael Johnson pass in the corner of the endzone on 4th and long with just over a minute to play. I was at Auburn for this game, and just remember nearly getting my ass kicked on Magnolia Avenue multiple times over the course of a couple hours and my friend pissing himself at a band party later in the evening. Good times.

2003: At this point in my succession of crappy college jobs, I was working as a burrito roller at the brand spanking new Moe's Southwest Grill in Athens. For some reason, the owner decided it would be an excellent idea to hold the grand opening of a new burrito place with $4 beer bottles on a gameday. Needless to say, the entire staff sat around a 24-inch TD watching Georgia throttle Auburn 31-0 and drinking pre-frozen margaritas that were so weak they could have doubled as Slush Puppies.

2004: Ugh. My senior year started with such high expectations for the Dawgs (sound familiar?), only to have them come coming back to reality following a big win. Beat LSU 41-14? Lose at home to Tennesse and a freshman QB. Finally beat Florida for only the second time in 15 years? Get your ass absolutely handed to you on the Plains. The 24-6 score does not do this game an ounce of justice. It was an absolute asskicking from the coinflip, best personified by Junior Rosegreen's viscious hit on Reggie Brown that made me seriously think Reggie's career was over. I hated this game so much, I remember thinking "I wanna get the hell out of Athens" ...and then woke up 10 hours later in a seedy motel off the I-85 access road in Doraville with no cell phone, an empty bottle of Southern Comfort and a hotel phone that had been ripped out of the wall. Bad times.

2005: Auburn beats Georgia in a back-and-forth game with a late TD in a game many of my friends like to say "was a great game!" I disagree. Any game Georgia loses is not a great game. Between that close loss, the stinker that was the JoeT Florida game and the WTF West Virginia Sugar Bowl, that Dawgs team was just a few plays away from an undefeated season. Of course, they would have been destroyed by either USC or Texas that year, so basically the last sentence I just wrote was worthless. Apologies to all three of you reading this.

2006: Now THIS was a great game. After losing to Vandy and UK in the same year, many Dawg fans had given up hope heading to Auburn to face a Top 10 team. Three Tra Battle picks later, and Georgia was back on track for a strong end of the season finish. This game also kickstarted Georgia's love affair with the Brandon Cox era at Auburn.

2007: The Blackout. Enough said.

See how much fun a trip down memory lane can be? I swear, unlike "where was I during X catastrophic event," there's few things that can bring back a grin or chuckle like attempting to remember every last detail of a certain gameday. Here's to hoping this Saturday's edition offers quite a few full blown har-har-hars. And oh yes, fuck Auburn.

Couldn't resist.


The picks for this weekend's shoddy games:

Purdue (+17.5) over Iowa - $20

Boston College (+6.5) over Florida State - $35

Duke/Clemson (UNDER 44.5) - $15

California (+3) over Oregon St. - $10

Cal/OSU (OVER 50.5) - $15

Georgia (-9) over Auburn - $10

OBJ's Inferior Pick:
Texas A&M (ML +260) over Baylor - $10

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Last Week:
2-1-1

2008 Inferior Picks: 5-4-1

2008 Overall Record: 44-41-3

2008 Pot: $115

11.11.2008

BLOGasm 11.11.08: In Which Introspective Happens

The 2009 Playoffs: Where the Atlanta Hawks happen to stop by...again?

Sitting here reflecting on the Hawks game Sue and friends attended Friday night, witnessing the improbable four-and-0 start at the Highlight Factory, a few thoughts cross my mind. First of all, the Hawks, now 5-0, are beating Shee-KAH-Go on the road. They may or may not pull it out, which is pretty much the way I've approached every Hawks game for the past 12 years of living in this city. Tomorrow they travel to Boston in a rematch of what thus far has contributed more than anything to this bunch of young'ns' collective personality. Hell, I just saw an NBA: Where Amazing Happens commercial on the Hawks' playoff run last year. That's incredible for a decade-long Hawks fan that has seen his team in meaningful nationally televised games as often as he's gotten a body wax. Maybe even less.

Unfortunately it's not up yet. I imagine with tomorrows game coming up, it was the first time it aired. Closest thing I got is this. Sorry, folks. QUESTION, though. Can you tell me why the text "Where The Hawks Are The Biggest Jokes In The NBA Happens" happens to accompany the link in the Google search? Messed up.

The point is, despite the endless string of Doomsday-outlook posts Sgt. Friday has brought to Sue's (just click on the Hawks tag, fella), there is a real reason to be optimistic here. It's scary. You almost don't want to believe, and that's the only thing left keeping you from believing. It's kinda like falling in love but even better than bacon grease. Eerie. Everyone remember, it was me who put the Hawks at number 5 in the East. That's not looking too bad right now. I'm thinking I'm going to once again make SJF bet against his own team. More on this later.

Second, let me be the first, on November the 11th, the year of our Lord 2008, to go ahead and give this soon-to-be-unheeded advice to the Spirit Group: resign Mike Bibby. Give him 3 years. You're not going to find a more consistent and productive point that'll play with the intensity (he's titleless) and intelligence that Bibby brings. He's worth it. Period.

Third and lastly, I feel like writing a damn eulogy to that Friday night. With two of Sue's crew serving jail time that evening, I can't help but wonder: if this was a Game 7 win in the Eastern Conference Finals, would I be saying it was worth it the next day? Thinking with delusional grandeur that, hey, if it meant the win, I'll take it? Luckily I won't be faced with this ridiculous situation any time soon. Hey, Marta cops! If you happen to see us again, let me remind you in case my screaming at you that you had definitely found your man, and that I was a dangerous motherfucker, and that I was really going to hurt someone that night and good thing you picked me up, confused you at all. I'm a struggling-to-be upper middle class white guy. So are my friends. Now listen carefully: We. Mean. You. No. Harm. Or anyone else for that matter. We're not going to destroy shit. We're not going to yell and scream. We may trip and fall. We'll be okay. Please, find the people that are about to rob me to buy crack.

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Kuh'mown GAHZ. Y'KNOW y'wownt a playoff sistem!

---->Bibby back-to-back 3s, Hawks tie it up 8 mins in the fourth.

So are sports really so unprovocative right now that the WWL has to post irrelevant stories on its homepage for several days? Talk about a slight sports reference. On the WWL for that matter. What a shocker. Look I'm not going to talk about politics or who I voted for. It doesn't matter. He didn't win.

In response to Obammer's Monday Night Football game appearance where he delivered his speech on the necessity of an 8-game playoff system (okay, sure) to decide a national champion due to reasons beyond my non-executive-abled mind, including being tired of sinister factors such as "this that and the other," University of Oregon president and BCS Presidential Oversight Committee chair David Frohnmayer stated:

"My colleagues and I on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee have discussed the future of postseason football on many occasions and we do not believe a playoff would be in the best interest of the sport..."

Well, ZING! I love that it just so happens to be the Presidential Oversight Committee (committee of school presidents that decide the fate of all our lives). That's rich.

I would understand if this were the Blog Days of Summer. But 'taint. We've got the NFL going prime right now. Basketball is getting fired up. And goddammit, some of us still have college football teams to root for (just kidding, Dawgs! Just because I missed a game in jail doesn't mean I wasn't watching my watch and pretending! I didn't give up until it was 3:30 [3 hours after kick-off]! FINISH THE FUCKING DRILL, DAWGS!). So, I know I don't have to look, but I do WWL. You make me. You have the most news and usually most up-to-date. It's why you face so much criticism. So stop putting useless information on your homepage. Please.

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Huddy and Peavy 1-2 in '10? Yes, please.

A quick note to the Braves: Hey Braves, get this guy!

Being that the Braves are one of the few teams for which he's willing to waive his no-trade clause, I'd say he wants to be in the A. 'Course as beautiful as San Diego is, I'd want to play nearly anywhere else, including BALTimore (!), other than San D. Even the football team's lookin' like shit.

Look, I love you Yunel, but if it's you or Jake Peavy, my playoff-starved ass is, I'm sure regretably, going to go with Peavy. Every time. We need an SJF opine for a consensus opinion by Sue on this one. 'Cause I'm pretty sure Yunel 'gonna be Da Main for many years to come.

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Atlanta wins 113-108. Horford career game. Huh. The fuck's going on here, Hawks. 6-0 with a chance to beat your best start in 10 years by beating the Celts. Let's do this.

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Hawks won. And Sue's 'n be werkin on the morra.

11.09.2008

Sobered Up - Week 11


Now featuring an actual defense! And yes, this is still a football post.


We watched the Hawks improve to an inexplicable 4-0 on Friday night and still manage to shoot themselves in the foot (seriously, any article that leads with a sentence including the words "Solomon Jones" and "more playing time" is NOT good). Somewhere between the end of the third quarter (when the game was effectively over) and before getting "environmental hazard" citations on MARTA (don't ask), it became clear to me that the sports-focused portion of my mind is now on the NBA, not college football. I feel like a prick for watching the UGA-UK game with all the interest and attention I would pay to my three-year-old neice's ballet recital, and yet I couldn't help it. You have spoiled us, Mark Richt. Two loss seasons, while now commonplace, are somehow unacceptable. This must be how Yankee Fan lives his day-to-day. Great.

Now onto the thoughts on the weekend that was in college football...

I've done a complete 180 on Texas Tech. Not only do I think they're for real (although I still think they will lose to Oklahoma), but I am ready to anoint Michael Crabtree the best player in America and give him the Heisman. Dude is sick, and yet...

...I still have the feeling that Tim Tebow will be walking away with that golden, ultimately meaningless, statue in mid-December. And honestly, that wouldn't be such a bad thing either. Everyone's favorite mohel still only had 17 passing attempts in a 42-14 rout of Vandy. Combined with his 11 carries, that was good enough for 5 touchdowns. In other words, in almost 20% of the time Tebow was the primary playmaker on a play, the Gators scored a touchdown. The Bobs would be happy with his guy.


The pleasure is all on this side of the table, Tim.

Penn State: Thanks for playing. I'm not sure I could have dealt with a national title game where one of the head coaches was eating nachos in a press box during the third quarter. Enjoy the Rose Bowl. And screw the Big 10.

Oklahoma's defense is still suspect, giving up 28 points to Texas A&M. Although at this point, I'm not sure the Big 12 hasn't morphed into some uber-version of the Pac-10, where offense runs the show and defense is an afterthought.

I really don't have much else to say about this weekend other than Brian Kelly will not be at Cincinnati next year (lay it down...Muschamp to Clemson, Leach to Tennessee, Butch Davis erecting a house made of pure gold in Chapel Hill), so let's go to Georgia's fun, if not ultimately disappointing win in the bluegrass state....

I'm really, really, really glad Mohammed Massaquoi redeemed himself with a long reception on the last play of the drive after two costly fumbles on the previous two possessions. After the second fumble, I remember thinking, "is this how MoMass is going to be remembered? With two bad fumbles in a loss to Kentucky during a wasted season?" Luckily, no. And that's great. Massaquoi has been nothing short of solid, dependable and a damn good dawg for the last four years, and his line from Saturday (8 receptions, 191 yards) will be what was remembered from this game, not the two fumbles. Hell yes.

That winning TD pass from Stafford to Green. Wow. That's what happens when two NFL-caliber talents hook up (no homo). Green was surrounded by more dudes than a girl at a sausage fest, jumped up in the only place he could, and grabbed a perfect throw from Stafford, who had broken two tackles and eluded a well-placed blitz. Just an awesome play. I'd say a few more of those in the Alabama/Florida games would have been nice, but I'm going to try and avoid the blogger/hater stereotype, at least for this week.

On that note...I don't want to join the "Fire Willie Martinez" chorus of Georgia fans just yet...but it is clear something has to be done. 129 points allowed in the last three games...ain't gonna work, I'm just saying.


"See that scoreboard? Imma light that bitch up."

Onto Sue's Top 10 (+ Mumme Poll extra two)...

1. Alabama - You do not get dropped for a hard-fought road win in the SEC against a rival. Period.

2. Texas Tech - Color me impressed. Yes, I realize this is the 80th time I've said that over the last two weeks, but I have to make up for the previous 9 weeks of believing they were nothing more than a gimmick offense that would get outgunned by Kansas.

3. Florida - Yeah, I know we try and play the whole "who would beat who on a neutral field" when comprising this list, but I ain't gonna lie. I think, on this day, November 10th, Florida is the best team in the nation.

4. Texas - Look, at this point, we know who the Top 10 teams in the nation are. They ain't changing for the most part. So let's just run the rest of these down and appreciate the top-heavy competition the Big 12 and SEC have provided us with.

5. Oklahoma
6. USC
7. Penn State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
10. Georgia

Mumme Mumme: Mizzou and Utah. Barring any jarring upsets or a strong finish by LSU, these are your Top 12 teams in college football the rest of the season. Deal with it, for better or worse.