Monday, July 21, 2008

Not too much going on these days...

Other than what seems to be a twice-weekly occurrence of players being booted off teams, all's quiet for now. Well, except for Urban Meyer. Most of you have probably heard about this...

Simply calling Tim Tebow the best quarterback in college football apparently isn't enough. Gators coach Urban Meyer told a Miami audience that Tebow ''is the greatest player of our era.''
Tebow certainly has the potential to be the greatest player of this era, but I think it's premature to bestow that honor on him just yet. The MNC ring as a freshman and the Heisman as a sophomore put him in a class by himself, but he's got at least one year in college. SEC coaching staffs have had another full offseason to work on defensive schemes to slow him down. And, there are plenty of defenders across the SEC who will take a little extra joy popping the defending Heisman winner.

* ESPN loves to make up new statistics and shove them down our throats - OPS anyone? Their latest is to come up with (in their mind) the definitive way to measure the prestige of all college basketball programs since 1984-85, the year the tourney went to its current format. They've listed #s 41-50 here and #s 51-300 here.

I love the reasoning ESPN gives as to how these numbers are indisputable:
Normally when you see these rankings, they are the "expert" opinion of one or more people whose knowledge (and sanity) usually is questioned by those who disagree. But with ESPN's Prestige Rankings, there is no such argument. We let the numbers do the talking. We assigned point values for certain successes (win a national title, earn 25 points) and failures (get your program banned from the NCAA tournament, lose three points), put all the seasons through our big calculator and came up with the No. 1 program (and the No. 300 program) of the past 24 seasons.
But I digress.

So far, 8 of the SEC's 12 schools have shown up...
41. LSU
T-86. Mississippi State
T-90. Auburn
T-96. Vanderbilt
99. Tennessee
T-105. Georgia
T-185. South Carolina
T-192. Mississippi

...which leaves Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama. Without taking the time to do the math, It'll be interesting to see if UF or UK comes out on top for the SEC. Each has 2 championships and a title game loss. I'd imagine Alabama will be in the next group, Florida in the 20s, and Arkansas somewhere in the teens. Even with mediocre play lately you gotta figure UK is in the Top 10.

In the end though, it's just another excuse for ESPN to fawn over ACC basketball. Once the top 10 is unveiled Friday, you can count on Duke Vitale to show up on Sportscenter and go crazy for Dook and UNC.

*UPDATE: 7/22*As expected, Alabama shows up at #35. More than any other SEC team, Alabama had the most opportunity to be higher than they are. While Florida had some painful early exits in recent years, the Tide made it routine in the late 80s/early 90s.
*UPDATE: 7/23*Florida checks in at #21
*UPDATE: 7/24*Arkansas shows up at #15
*UPDATE: 7/25*>Kentucky ranks #4, based almost entirely on Pitino's utter dominance of the SEC when he there.

* Next time you think you're doing well at the gym, try not to think of UT OL Jacques McClendon and how he benched 645 pounds. And no that's not a typo...

* Fairly interesting read on BleacherReport today: 30 Fearless Predictions for the 2008 season

* Off topic, but if you haven't see The Dark Knight yet, what are you waiting for? Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise is what all other superhero franchises wish they were. Superman Returns was mediocre at best and, after Spiderman 3, that franchise is dead. Iron Man was good, but Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are in a league of their own when it comes to Superhero movies.

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