Monday, December 31, 2007

College Basketball Rankings (Dec. 31)

Three SEC teams - Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss - remain ranked through the waning days of non-conference play. The Vols moved up to #8/#9 from their #11/#12 rankings last week to remain the highest ranked SEC team. The Commodores held tight at #15/#15, while the Rebels moved up to #18/#18 from a #22/#25 ranking last week. Florida and Arkansas are both receiving a few votes.

UT's win over Gonzaga on Saturday is another marquee win for the conference, but is almost certainly offset by yet another embarrassing loss for Kentucky at home, this time to San Diego, which, as we all know, is German for Whale's Vagina. BigFootFool at LWS sums it pretty well here as does 3SIB here. Maybe Billy Gillespie should try something like this... Wisconsin just went on the road and knocked off Texas, so he must be doing something right.

A Look at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Auburn (8-4, 5-3)
Clemson University (9-3)
Atlanta, GA
Today’s Line: Clemson -2.5

AU Tiger Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)
Total Offense: 327.8 (10th, 101st)
Offensive PPG: 24.3 (9th, 82nd)
Total Defense: 298.3 (2nd, 8th)
Defensive PPG: 16.7 (1st, 6th)

CU Tiger Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)
Total Offense: 412.4 (2nd, 47th)
Offensive PPG: 34.2 (1st, 23rd)
Total Defense: 297.2 (2nd, 6th)
Defensive PPG: 18.3 (2nd, 10th)

Forget what ESPN tried to tell you about the Holiday Bowl being the best pre-New Year's Day bowl. This is it. Two fast, hard-hitting defenses will dominate this game between a pair of Tiger teams that were headed in opposite directions at the beginning of the season.

This isn't Tuberville's best Auburn team. Far from it. But, after dropping 2 of their first 3 games, Auburn is 7-2, with losses to LSU and UGA, both representing the SEC in BCS bowl games. The defense has been consistent all season, as evidenced by a Top 10 national ranking in both Total D and Defensive PPG. The offense - to put it nicely - hasn't. So Tuberville fired OC Al Borges and brought in Tony Franklin, who has instituted a no-huddle spread attack since bowl practice began.

It will interesting to see how Auburn responds to the new offense. Senior QB Cox is not known for his mobility, so FR QB Kodi Burns - a much better - athlete may see the field much more than usual in this game. One thing's for certain, the Auburn D will come ready to play.

This should be one of the most entertaining matchups of the year - before or after New Year's. While Clemson has gaudier stats, they are 0-2 against ranked teams this year, outscored 61-40 against BC and VTU. Auburn comes in ranked #22 and will have something to prove, particularly offensively. Look for AU's version of the Tigers to pull out a tough, close win.

Dead Guy sees:
Auburn 17
Clemson 13

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Look at the Music City Bowl

Kentucky(7-5, 3-5)
Colorado University (6-6)
Nashville, TN
Today’s Line: Kentucky -9

Wildcat Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)
Total Offense: 438.6(4th, 25th)
Offensive PPG: 36.7 (4th, 15th)
Total Defense: 390.3 (10th, 65th)
Defensive PPG: 29.8 (12th, 80th)

Seminole Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)

Total Offense: 360.0 (4th, 82nd)
Offensive PPG: 22.9 (8th, 90th)
Total Defense: 350.4 (8th, 36th)
Defensive PPG: 21.9 (7th, 31st)

What originally was shaping up to be a entertaining clash of offense vs defense has become a game that Kentucky should win handily now. Unless you've resided in a cave the past few weeks, you've heard that more than 30 Criminoles Seminoles are not playing in this game, because of injuries, grades, or cheating.

Even with 1/3 of the roster unavailable for this game, UK cannot afford to take it lightly. FSU HC Bobby Bowden is undefeated in December Bowl games, and is 20-7-1 in bowls for his career. While he may not have faced a situation exactly like this before, he'll do what he can to get the remaining players healthy.

That said, I had Kentucky penciled in as a winner in this game even before the cheating scandal became public knowledge. FSU struggled in a very weak ACC this year, and while Kentucky lost 5 games, they played one of the toughest schedules in the country. They're a battle-tested group of experienced players that can score points on anybody. Which is a good thing, because they haven't stopped many people this year on defense.

If they can get over playing in the Music City Bowl in consecutive years, they'll be bowl champions in consecutive years for the first time since 1950/51.

Dead Guys sees:
Kentucky 38
FSU 24

Friday, December 28, 2007

A look at the Independence Bowl

Alabama (6-6, 4-4)
Colorado University (6-6)
Shreveport, LA
Today’s Line: Alabama -3

Crimson Tide Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)
Total Offense: 372.6 (7th, 75th)
Offensive PPG: 26.8 (7th, 65th)
Total Defense: 341.2 (5th, 28th)
Defensive PPG: 21.8 (4th 29th)

Buffalo Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)

Total Offense: 377.0 (10th, 72nd)
Offensive PPG: 27.6 (10th, 63rd)
Total Defense: 389.4 (6th, 64th)
Defensive PPG: 29.3 (8th, 78th)

Everyone's heard the story. The Crimson Tide finished with the same record and wound up in the same bowl as they did last year. Last year it was Mike Shula's fault for being such a bad coach. This year it's Mike Shula's fault for being such a bad recruiter. And to make it worse, Tide fans will have to drive by this billboard on their way to Shreveport.

Alabama wasn't motivated for this game last season. They looked slow and disinterested in their 34-31 loss to Oklahoma State. It makes me wonder, if they couldn't get up for the game last year, what's their motivation to play better this time? On the other side of the field is a Buffalo team looking to officially announce it has recovered from the transgressions of Rick Neuheisal and Gary Barnett. Their HC Dan Hawkins has been around the block a time or two as well, having laid the majority of the foundation of the current Boise State program.

Alabama should win this game based on talent and coaching ability. But Colorado will win the game based on effort and motivation.

Dead Guy sees:
Colorado 34
Alabama 28

Newsflash: Paterno is old

I'm don't know much about Joe Paterno. I know he's been at Penn State since 1784, he and Bobby Bowden have won more games than any other D1 coach in history, and he's coached PSU to yet another bowl game this year. I know that a faction of the PSU fan base wonder if it may be time for him to retire. I also know that he doesn't care what those people think and he's going to hang around as long as he wants.

What I don't know is why some chodemonkey cheerleader Yell Leader for Texas A&M would attempt to run smack on the man saying they needed a casket for Paterno because he's "on his death bed". The man is as spry an octogenarian as you'll find. There are drivers on the Penn State campus who could have warned aTm about that...

But seriously, who does Texas A&M think they are? They've won exactly 1 bowl game in the last 10 years and just 3 since 1990. Only one of those wins is against a BCS conference opponent. Penn State has won 9 over that same period. They're at best the third best football school in their own state and their little-man syndrome is blatantly obvious in their fight song, in which they mention "Texas University".

They just hired a fired NFL coach to man the helm of their program since, you know... that worked out so well for Nebraska. They were in the market for a new coach, as their previous one was selling inside information in a newsletter to those alumni willing to shell out the cash. The same asshat that never finished higher than third in his division, let alone the conference. The same clown who - when hired at TAMU - informed his players at Alabama via teleconference, ranking him in the same category as current SEC West villains Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino.

But have your little fun now Aggies. aTm officials have apologized for the remarks, but it's not going to appease a lot of Nittany Lion faithful. Do you think really think it's a good idea to get Penn State fans riled up? The death bed man is coming for you tomorrow night, and it won't be pretty.

**UPDATE 12/31**
Scottstradamus on Fox Sports sums up Texas A&M pretty well in his rant...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A look at the Liberty Bowl

Mississippi State (7-5, 4-4)
University of Central Florida (10-3)
Memphis, TN
Today’s Line: UCF -3

Bulldog Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)
Total Offense: 305.2 (12th, 112th)
Offensive PPG: 22.4 (10th, 93rd)
Total Defense: 341.2 (5th, 28th)
Defensive PPG: 24.8 (8th, 47th)

Knight Rankings: (Conference, Nationally)

Total Offense: 426.5 (4th, 32nd)
Offensive PPG: 38.4 (2nd, 13th)
Total Defense: 379.3 (3rd, 58th)
Defensive PPG: 27.8 (2nd, 65th)

Saturday’s Autozone Liberty Bowl kicks off the first of 9 bowl games for the SEC this season. The Bulldogs are making their first bowl appearance since the infamous Snow Bowl game when they defeated Texas A&M in a driving blizzard in Shreveport. The fans, players, and coaches are certainly excited to be in Memphis for the game, but the inexperience all around may serve as the undoing for MSU.

UCF head coach George O'Leary may not always tell the truth on his resume, but he’s a proven head coach who’s been to – and won – bowl games before. The Bulldogs were very fortunate this season in catching teams at the right time (Auburn, Kentucky) or getting to face certain teams at all (Gardner-Webb, Ole Miss). They certainly took advantage of the opportunities given to them, which is more than had done the previous years.

Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, they just don’t have the offensive firepower to match the Knights for 60 minutes. UCF RB Kevin Smith won’t break Barry Sanders record (he needs 181 yds, and that ain’t happening against MSU’s defense), but he will help the Knights control the clock and pound away at MSU. This game features two similar offenses in that each like to pound the ball with talented RBs while the QBS are relied upon to make short, smart throws to keep the opposing D honest. UCF just does it better than the Bulldogs do.

Dead Guy sees:
UCF 27
MSU 17

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to duck away from the family for a minute to say Merry Christmas to everyone who visits this page. Even if you don't observe Christmas, I hope your day is just swell as well.

And, if you're looking for a way to kill some time after consuming too much egg nog, check out What If Sports. You can choose any college football team since 1996 and simulate a game between the two. For fun, I simulated this year's LSU title game participant against their 2003 national title team. The 2003 version won 27-0. It even gives complete stats for all the players. (A big tip of the hat to 3rd Saturday in Blogtober for the find)

College Basketball Rankings (Dec. 24)

Break up the SEC! There's finally (again) a 3rd conference team ranked as the upstart Ole Miss Rebels parlayed their win over former #15 Clemson into their first ranking since ending the season at #14 in 2001. Tennessee and Vanderbilt come in at #11 and #15 respectively. Florida, despite a horrid performance this weekend in Columbus, is still receiving a handful of votes, while Arkansas has fallen completely out of the ARV column.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

In the Words of the great sage Paula Abdul...

*I take two steps forward...*
- Tennessee, a 2.5 point underdog, went into #24 Xavier yesterday afternoon and knocked off the Musketeers by 7, despite sharpshooter Chris Lofton's continuing struggles from the field. Arizona transfer JP Prince exploded for 23 points in just 20 minutes of action.

- Ole Miss, a 2.5 point underdog, knocked off #15 Clemson yesterday in the de facto championship game of the San Juan Classic. The Rebels got 19 points from senior F Dwayne Curtis and freshman PG Chris Warren and matched the best start in school history at 11-0.

*... I take two steps back*
- If the Florida State game earlier in the season didn't convince you that these Gators are a long way removed from the 2-time defending national champs, this game had to. They couldn't score 50 points against a rebuilding Ohio State squad. They shot 33.3% from the floor and 53.8% from the foul line. Worst of all, Ohio State should never beat the SEC in anything.

- What the Pel? The Razorbacks dropped a home game (well, in Little Rock) to Appalachian State? The Mountaineers were hot, hot, hot, knocking down 66.7% of their shots, while the Hogs shot just 41.7%, including 27.3% on 3s. Not much was expected from the Gators this season, but the Hogs were the preseason pick to win the West. With the way Ole Miss has played this season and the way Mississippi State has played in their last two games, the Hogs may have their work cut out for them.

Overall, the SEC was 9-2 yesterday, and 10-2 for the weekend as MSU won Friday night, so it wasn't a bad day for the conference, but the Gator and Hog losses are a little disturbing. The Gators looked discombobulated from the word go. It seems as though they've played enough games together to be a little farther along than that. As for Arkansas, that's inexcusable no matter how you slice it. The majority of their team from last year returned and expectations were higher than this under new coach Pelphrey.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big 12 Bowl History Over the Last Decade

***UPDATE: 1-8-08 I've created a master chart with all 6 BCS conferences and their bowl records against each others, including BCS games here. It's current as of last night's game.***

Okay, so we've already covered the SEC and Big 10 bowl records here and here, so here's the Big 12.

The cold hard facts pretty much toss the Big12 out of the "best conference" argument, as they're behind the SEC and Big 10 at least. Surprisingly, there's not a single team in the Big 12 that has been to a bowl game after each of the last 10 seasons. The SEC had 2 - Florida and Georgia - and the Big10 had Michigan, but no team from the Big12 can claim that consistency. Also, only 2 Big12 teams (Nebraska and Texas) have winning records in bowls in the last decade, while the SEC had 6 (UGA, LSU, AU, OM, USC, MSU) and the Big10 had 3 (tOSU, Wisc., PSU). The Big12 also has a losing record in BCS games (5-7), which drops them further behind the SEC and Big10 in accomplishments over the past decade.

Big Saturday for Basketball

In addition to the 3 bowl games today, there's a lot of great basketball going on. While the SEC has struggled on the court this season, today offers something of a chance to get the ship righted, as there are a handful of noteworthy games today.

*In one of the marquee matchups nationwide today, #12 Tennessee travels to #24 Xavier. This is the third big non-conference game the Vols will play, having defeated West Virginia and lost to Texas. The X is always tough at home and the Vols will need ace SG Chris Lofton to snap out of his shooting slump if they’re going to win this one.

*Florida takes on Ohio State in Columbus today. The Gators spanked tOSU twice last season, but neither teams even resembles their former selves this year. The Gators have yet to venture out of the O-Dome this season, so it will be interesting to see how they handle a hostile crowd for the first time this season. A victory would land the Gators back in the top 25.

*Ole Miss, though undefeated, has yet to play a marquee opponent. That changes today as they take on #15 Clemson in Puerto Rico today. It will be by far the biggest test of the non-conference season for the Rebels. If the Rebels can pull the upset today – Clemson is favored by 2.5 – it would rank with Tennessee’s win over West Virginia as the best non-conference wins of the season for the SEC.

*LSU takes on Oregon State today. While the Beavers certainly aren’t a marquee program, they are a name program from a BCS conference. The Tigers are 5-0 at home, but are coming off a 20-point loss at Wichita State Wednesday night. With no significant wins to date, the Tigers need to win this one to get back on track.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Chance to join ESPN College Bowl Mania

As the bowls start tonight - perhaps the greatest bowl game ever featuring schools with 4-letter team names - today is the last day to join Dead Guy's Group on College Bowl Mania. It's free to play and join and the winner of the Dead Guy Group will get a $10 gift card to

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Freshman Point Guard Comparison

While it will be nice to have a few more months of Dick Vitale free basketball on ESPN, he's certainly not the only thing wrong with their hoops coverage. Their fixation on certain teams and conferences shows an obvious bias and definitely skews their objectivity. Their constant talk of certain members of this year's freshman class is no different.

Take a look at the stats for 3 freshmen point guards below. One of them is a guard who you probably know all about, as the talking heads on ESPN wax poetic about him incessantly. Another is a guard you’ve probably heard of if you follow SEC basketball. The other you may not have heard of even if you do follow SEC basketball. Tell me - based on these stats - which one deserves all the hype, while the others get little to none...

Ok, enough with the suspense… Guard A is Florida’s Nick Calathes, Guard B is Memphis’ Derrick Rose, and Guard C is Ole Miss’ Chris Warren. I understand that Memphis is the best team of those 3 – Florida lost nearly everyone of consequence off their back-to-back title teams and Ole Miss is still recovering from the Rod Barnes era – but when you compare player to player, there’s very little difference in any of the three.

So, you tell me, based on season stats, what has Derrick Rose done to be deemed “one of the best freshman guards in America” and Calathes and Warren haven’t? The teams are a combined 26-1 and Ole Miss is the lowest ranked team at #32 in the new polls. I’m sure it has nothing to do with ESPN picking Memphis #1 in their rankings or that Memphis (justifiably) is on the family of ESPN networks more than Florida and Ole Miss combined.

I’ve seen very little to justify Rose’s hype. He’s remarkably strong and tall for a guard of any age, but he’s no outside threat at all. The majority of his points come inside the paint and from the foul line. As the season wears on, teams are really going to start playing off of him and making him prove he can shoot the ball.

That’s not to say he isn’t the best player of the 3 of them. He’s certainly got the best chance for a pro career, as Warren is listed at 5’10 and Calathes is a bean pole at 6’6, but only 185. Neither comes close to the strength packed into Rose’s 6’4, 195 frame. My argument is that Rose has done no more to distinguish himself as a top freshman than Warren and Calathes have. If he has, please feel free to comment or email me to let me know...

**UPDATE: 8:30 PM CST (12/19)** Okay... so just hours after I posted this, Rose scores 26 points, including 5 3s. He looked great for the most part tonight, but his 6/5 A/TO ratio still needs improving. That said, his updated numbers still don't put him significantly ahead of Calathes and Warren for season stats.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

OT: Jimmy Dean Complaint Call

Ok, this has absolutely, positively nothing to do with SEC sports or even sports in general, but I'm still putting it up. This literally made me laugh out loud at my computer screen which is pretty rare. For some reason, I can't get it to embed to the site, so here's a link...

One word of warning though, there is a lot of NSFW language, so turn your speakers down (or up) as you deem necessary.

Jimmy Dean Complaint Call

Petrino loses recruit

You have wonder if things like this are going to be a theme between now and Signing Day. Junior Okpara, a DB from TX, has switched his commitment from Arkansas to Boston College of all places and cites Petrino's gypsy tendencies as his reasoning.

"The problem with Arkansas was the reputation of Coach [Bobby ] Petrino leaving during the season," Okpara said. "And not staying there and his name not being highly thought of like when he was at Louisville. I didn't want to play ball for a coach that had a reputation like that. That kind of drove me away from Arkansas."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the remainder of the recruiting season. Many kids will ignore Petrino's nomadic past and only see the winning % and the offensive numbers. Others, like Okpara, will be somewhat hesitant to commit to a guy who seems unable to return that commitment.

Monday, December 17, 2007

College Basketball Rankings (Dec. 17)

Another lackluster week for the conference hoops wise, as Kentucky lost at home to UAB, Mississippi St lost to Miami at home and South Alabama in Mobile, Tennessee struggled to beat Western Kentucky, and Florida struggled with Georgia Southern. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are still the only teams from the SEC ranked, though Florida and Ole Miss are creeping ever closer. Arkansas would have jumped into the ranks with a win over Oklahoma Saturday, but fell apart down the stretch.

Other than Tennessee's 74-72 win over West Virginia, no team has a real marquee win yet this season. As far as I can see, the best of the rest are:
* Ole Miss over New Mexico
* Vandy over Georgia Tech and Wake Forest
* Georgia over Wake Forest
* South Carolina over Providence
* Arkansas over Missouri

In Joe Lunardi's latest projected brackets, only 4 conference teams (UT, VU, UF, Ark) are "in" and the Rebels are included in his "Last Four Out". I think the SEC will get 5 in, if based on name alone, but I don't expect anything too spectacular come March.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Big 10 Bowl History Over the Last Decade

***UPDATE: 1-8-08 I've created a master chart with all 6 BCS conferences and their bowl records against each others, including BCS games here. It's current as of last night's game.***

I detailed the SEC's bowl records over the last decade in this post earlier in the week, but figured I'd look at the lesser conferences too. The Big10 is the conference that is most frequently paired up with the SEC, with 26 matchups in the last 10 seasons. The familiarity has helped contribute to the 13-13 record in those games. While the Big 10 has split those games with the SEC, their bowl resume as a whole is not as impressive as the SEC's.

* The Big 10 has won 48.5% of its bowl games the past decade, the SEC 56.7%
* The Big 10 has had 10 schools make a total of 66 bowls or an average of 6.6 each. The SEC has had 11 schools make 74 bowls or an average of 6.72 each.
* The Big 10 has 3 teams with winning bowl records over the last 10 years, the SEC has 6
* While the Big 10 has had two more participants in the BCS over the last decade, the SEC has more wins (SEC: 9-4, Big10: 8-7) and a significantly higher winning percentage (SEC: 69%, Big10: 53%).

And last, and quite possibly most importantly, Erin Andrews has her memories as a Dazzler while in the SEC...

... and memories of being groped by the Big 10. You tell me which is better...

More Petrino flack

I think it's safe to say that Sean Salisbury won't be receiving a Christmas card from new Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.

Add him to a long list of pundits, former Petrino players, and bloggers (including me) who think that he's a sleazeball with loyalty to no one but his bank account. He phoned in his resignation for Falcons' ownership, then - in lieu of actual face to face contact with his players - he wrote them a letter announcing his departure.

Jacksonville DE Grady Jackson called him a coward with a yellow stripe down his back. Falcons RB Warrick Dunn calls him classless, but also hints that no one on the team is sad to see him go, and Falcons DB Lawyer Milloy calls it like he sees it: "Everything he said he stood for was a lie... He wasted a year of my life." And a whole plethora of Falcons chime in with their thoughts in this article from the AJC.

Nick Saban probably couldn't be happier with this scenario. With all the attention focused on Petrino now, it's easy to forget that he pulled a similar stunt last year, but at least had the courtesy to finish the season out. But that's Petrino. He's signed 20 years worth of contracts in the last 18 months. He's a offensive guru who - with the right players and right opponents - can design a high-powered offense. But, how much will he have to work with at Arkansas next year? More importantly, will he be around to coach the players he brings in?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Simulated College Playoff

Since we're likely to never see a legitimate playoff format in Division 1 College Football, we're left with silly little widgets, like this one on You can set up a bracket-style playoff based on the Top 16 BCS Rankings, the ESPN Power 16, ESPNU Allstate Top16, or customize your own. Unfortunately for Ole Miss and Vandy fans, it doesn't quite go that deep into the available pool of teams...

It appears to be completely random and offer no real insight as to why a particular team should win. I ran it through 3 times - one on each of the predetermined rankings - and came up with not only 3 different champions, but 6 unique title game participants as well.

- BCS Rankings: LSU defeated Ohio State
- ESPN Power 16: Georgia defeated Florida
- ESPNU Allstate 16: USC defeated Virginia Tech

So basically, if you're looking for something stupid on the internet to waste 10 minutes on, by all means, visit the link above. If you're looking for anything useful - even in the least - in making your bowl Selections for the College Bowl Mania game, you should seek assistance elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Petrino to Arkansas

On the same days that insiders were reporting that Auburn DC Will Muschamp was headed to Fayetteville, SportsCenter just announced that Bobby Petrino resigned from his head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons to take the Arkansas job.

Here's the story on ESPN's site. Looks like Falcon fans picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue...

**UPDATE: 12/12: And now that it's official, expect a lot more pieces like this one and this one questioning the integrity of Petrino who always seems to have one foot out the door. Hog fans can take solace knowing he'll never land another NFL job, but I can't imagine that he views the Arkansas job as a final destination.

Why should anyone believe he'll be there more than 1 year? He phoned in his resignation at 5:45, he's had 13 jobs since 1983, and in 4 years at Louisville, he lost 45 signees (either through grades or kicking them off his team... that's nearly 50% of his signees.

The Ballad of Nick Saban

Found this on Losers With Socks. It's the Ballad of Nick Saban as sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme. 11 of the 12 fanbases should get a nice laugh from it. Bama fans not so much...

Rebels hire Tyrone Nix, Hogs close to deal with Muschamp

Is today the day the Hogs finally get their first second third man? Looks like they’re close to hiring Will Muschamp, the Defensive Coordinator from Auburn. If this comes through, expect to see/hear a lot about this video…

Meanwhile, former Arkansas head coach and current Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt lured Tyrone Nix away from South Carolina today to be the defensive coordinator position in Oxford. I know the Gamecock defense basically fell apart in the latter half of the season, but it's not fair to judge him based solely on USC's last 4 games. The Gamecocks were decimated by injuries and played 4 teams currently ranked and playing in bowls. As long as everyone stays healthy in Oxford, he’ll have a solid pool of talent to work with and should improve a Rebel D that ranked near the bottom in nearly ever statistical category.

Also, he's returning to his home state and will aid Houston Nutt in recruiting Mississippi, something he's never been especially proficient at.

Monday, December 10, 2007

SEC Bowl Records Since 1997

***UPDATE: 1-8-08 I've created a master chart with all 6 BCS conferences and their bowl records against each others, including BCS games here. It's current as of last night's game.***

It’s Bowl Season again, which means it’s time for SEC fans everywhere to speak of their supremacy and fans of other conference to call it into question.

Taking a look at the SEC's Bowl Records over the last 10 seasons - games following the 1997 season - the SEC is a combined 42-32 in 74 bowl games. When you break down the records against other conferences (see chart below), the SEC has owned the ACC, handled the Big 12, split 26 bowls with the Big 10, but has struggled mightily in its random meetings with Big East schools.

While a 42-32 record is not the dominating prowess many SEC fans would like to think they have, it's not bad to have a winning record against 2 of the other 4 conferences the SEC plays the most often with bowl tie ins and a .500 record against another. Most of the bowl games have the SEC participant playing a higher seeded team from the other conference. More importantly, the SEC is 9-4 all-time in BCS Bowl Games and is the only conference to have 3 different teams win the BCS Championship. The Big East is 5-4, the Big 10 is 8-7, and the Big 12 is 5-7.

**NOTE**: For this chart, opponent schools are included in the conference they were in at the time of the bowl game. Florida’s loss to Miami in the 2001 Sugar Bowl, Georgia’s loss to BC in the 2001 Music City Bowl, and Alabama’s loss to Virginia Tech in the 1998 Music City Bowl are reflected in the Big East standings, not the ACC.

College Basketball Rankings (Dec. 10)

Nothing different from last week as far as the SEC is concerned. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are the only teams ranked. Florida, Arkansas, and Ole Miss are still lingering in the ARV column. It's going to be a very interesting season this year as the league may be pressed to even get 5 teams in the Dance come March.

Bowl Mania Group Still Open to Join

So I've officially locked my bowl picks into place, including a 6-3 record (more on that after entries lock) for the SEC this year. For anyone else who wants to join the Community Group, I've set up a Dead Guy Group. There are 50+ SEC fans in there now, but the more the merrier.

To play, you just pick the winners of all 32 bowl games and assign a confidence value to each one, 1-32. If you're right, you get the points, if you're wrong you don't. The winner of the Dead Guy's College Bowl Mania Group will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, perfect for all the post-Holiday deals they'll have up.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More random randomness

* I'm not sure how long this site has been around, but is an incredibly comprehensive site for any college basketball fan. Whether you want to see stats for an individual player, team, conference, or nationwide, it's all there. Just a quick glance shows me that Ole Miss is 2nd in the country in scoring, Tennessee is 2nd in the country in steals, and LSU is 4th in the country in blocks.

* From what I'm hearing, there's no truth to the rumor that Alabama is going to withdraw from the Independence Bowl because they can't get past Monroe.

* I think another factor working against Colt Brennan tonight regarding his Heisman campaign are the numbers put up by the backup QB while Brennan was out for all of the Charleston Southern game and only attempted 2 passes against Nevada. In those 2 games combined, Graunke threw for 533 yds and 5 TDs.

* How much longer until Michigan ponies up and goes and gets Brian Kelly from Cincinnati to be their new head coach? He should have been their first choice from day one.

* The Big East/SEC Invitational format needs some tweaking. Why only 4 teams from each conference? And how did they choose those 4 teams? Auburn has been a huge disappointment this season and Alabama has missed Ronald Steele from the season's opening tip. South Carolina was picked to finish at or near the bottom the conference. And what about LSU? They had Villanova beaten and then choked that game away. That was painful to watch.

* Speaking of painful to watch, what's wrong with Kentucky this season? They lost at home to Gardner-Webb by 18 and a 10-point home win over Stony Brook. I'm pretty sure Tubby Smith never lost to a school like G-W and always handled the like of Stony Brook by more than 10 points. Their impending beatdown by IU today will only make matters worse for the 'Cats.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heisman Finalists announced

The Heisman finalists were announced today with Florida QB Tim Tebow, Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, Missouri QB Colt Brennan, and Hawai'i QB Colt Brennan earning free trips to the Big Apple. This is the most wide open race in years and no one's really sure who's going to take it home.

Here's my guess how it's going to shape up this weekend...

4) Chase Daniel - He was incredible this season, leading the upstart Tigers to a late-season #1 ranking and just one win away from a berth in the BCS Championship game. While he has the numbers and success to win the trophy, I don't think he has the prerequisite preseason hype or the household name recognition that the other 3 candidates do.

3) Colt Brennan - He put up ridiculous numbers this season- again - and has set close to 40 records throughout his career. His competition level is the by far the weakest of the four finalists, but he's the only one playing in a BCS Bowl. Another strike against him is the simple fact that Island time is a whopping 6 hours behind EST and a lot of voters never got to see him play a full game. I just can't see him taking it home.

2)Darren McFadden - Yes, his numbers are better than last year. Yes, he's a junior and Tebow's only a sophomore. Yes, he had the hype in the preseason as well as the credentials from last year. Most years, he'd walk away with the trophy in a landslide, but he just hasn't had the consistency this year that Tebow has. If you take away his ridiculous game against South Carolina where he rushed for 321 yards, his numbers are actually a little behind last year's pace and Tebow's numbers are better than Troy Smith's, last year's winner.

1) Tim Tebow - If you throw out class and go strictly on body of work this season, this is definitely Tebow's Heisman to lose. He threw for 29 TDs and ran for 22 more. That should be enough to win it right there, but he also had a 177.85 QB rating and anchored one of the highest scoring offenses in the country. Shame on any voter who penalizes him for "only" being a sophomore.

Bowl "Attractiveness" per

Mike Huguenin of ranks the 32 bowls according to attractiveness. Not surprisingly, the majority of bowls involving SEC teams fared well, with 6 of the top 10 games offering some sort of neutral fan appeal. Only Alabama's repeat visit to Shreveport ranks low, coming in at #30.

*#1: BCS Championship Game (LSU)
*#3: Sugar Bowl (Georgia)
*#5: Capital One Bowl (Florida)
*#6: Cotton Bowl (Arkansas)
*#7: Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Auburn)
*#10: Outback Bowl (Tennessee)
*#13: Liberty Bowl (Mississippi State)
*#17: Music City Bowl (Kentucky)
*#30: Independence Bowl (Alabama)

Monday, December 3, 2007

ESPN College Bowl Mania has launched their annual College Bowl Mania game. I've set up a Dead Guy Group if any of you want to join a group with other SEC fans. You pick the winners of all 32 bowl games and assign a confidence value to each one, 1-32. If you're right, you get the points, if you're wrong you don't.

**UPDATE (12/4): Due to popular demand, the winner of the Dead Guy's College Bowl Mania Group will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, perfect for all the post-Holiday deals they'll have up**

New Basketball Rankings

It's a good thing the SEC was so strong in football this year, because it's not looking very good for in basketball. Only two teams are ranked, Tennessee at #10 and Vanderbilt at #23. Arkansas and Ole Miss are the only other teams even receiving votes.

Towards the end of the month, the focus of this site will shift primarily to roundball as it becomes the predominant sport. Bowl breakdowns and predictions will come sporadically, probably a day or two before kickoff of each one.