Tuesday, May 27, 2008

College Baseball Brackets

The baseball regionals were announced yesterday and 9/12 (75%) of the league will be playing postseason baseball. While the conference was not as strong this year as it has been in the past, LSU (#7) and Georgia (#8) both managed to secure National Seeds and seem to represent the best SEC chances to reach Omaha. The 9 teams in the tournament were far and away the most of any conference, but the 2 1-seeds was only half the ACC's 4. Get a copy of the bracket here.

Speaking of LSU, their current winning streak is absolutely ridiculous. For those not into college baseball, the Bayou Bengals have pieced together an unbelievable 20-game winning streak, and have not lost a game since April 19, when they dropped a game in Athens to fall to 6-11 in conference. After tying UGA 10-10 in 12 innings on April 20, they’ve won their midweek games and swept conference series from USC, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Auburn. If they beat a 16-32 Texas Southern team, they’ll set a new conference record for consecutive wins.

Other SEC schools still playing:
Ole Miss: Headed to Coral Gables, FL as a #3 to be fed to the Miami Hurricanes
Kentucky: An 18-0 start turned into a #3 seed in Ann Arbor
South Carolina: I like the Gamecock’s chances in Raleigh
Arkansas: The Palo Alto Regional consists of #1 Stanford, #2 Pepperdine, #4UC-Davis, and the #3 Hogs. Losing that season-ending series to the last place MSU Bulldogs really put a damper on the season
Florida: Gators are visiting their good friends in Tallahassee in what should be a not-so-friendly atmosphere as the Noles’ p*nis envy tends to shine in matchups with the Gators
Alabama: The Tide head to an overlooked and underrated Coastal Carolina Regional that could get ugly
Vanderbilt: The ‘Dores have enough talent to play with anyone in the country. Tempe should be one of the most entertaining Regionals this year

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Linkage

* Fox Sports has a good read up about the rivalry between Stafford and Tebow – who not surprisingly are the only SEC QBs listed in Rivals top 25 QBs in the country. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about which one is better, but the simple fact is each of them is perfect for the system they are in. No way Stafford could operate UF’s spread offense and no way Tebow thrives in a drop back, pro-style offense. Both figure to be in the spotlight all season long and their November 1 showdown – don’t call it a Cocktail Party – will undoubtedly be one of the biggest games of the regular season.

* At least someone’s being honest. Big East commissioner admits it: The BCS is about the almighty dollar, NOT what the fans want.

* I wish the media would leave Ryan Perrilloux alone and just let him disappear into obscurity in Jacksonville, AL. He’s a bad apple who just happens to be a remarkable athletic talent. It became obvious from the circus surrounding his recruitment that all Ryan Perrilloux cared about was Ryan Perrilloux. Now he’s taken the Herschel Walker way out, saying he’s been diagnosed with OCD, thus (apparently) giving him license to act like he did because he was restless. I don’t buy it for a second. Just because he wasn’t playing on gameday as much as Flynn and Russell doesn’t mean he wasn’t actively participating in drills at practice.

* Another testament to the strength of the SEC: 4 coaches rank among Rivals’ Top 10 College Football Coaches

* The good news for the Crimson Tide: Gee is officially coming back. The bad news: So is Mark Gottfried.

* CBS Sportsline rated the Hot Seat for all 120+ coaches in D1 football. By his estimation, the SEC coach on the hottest seat is Vandy’s Bobby Johnson. Vandy’s in for a rough season this year with so many key losses, but Johnson has had Vandy consistently competitive the last few seasons, which is more than previous coaches can say.

USC’s Spurrier is on the 2nd hottest seat in the conference, which makes more sense. The Gamecocks’ epic collapse last season was due in large part to key defensive injuries, but the USC brass didn’t bring Spurrier in to go to middling bowls. I don’t think they’d actually fire Spurrier, but I doubt that they’re especially pleased with the results he’s delivered so far in his tenure. If Stephen Garcia continues to run amok though, it will be interesting to see how the USC fans react if the Gamecocks finish 6-6 this season.

* Droopy-looking Pete Fiutak takes a crack at predicting all the bowls, including the BCS games for next season. So go ahead and book your hotel rooms.

* Thanks to anonymous reader for this one... NEPatriotsdraft.com lists 7 guys from the SEC as "Players to Watch" for the 2009 NFL Draft. No real surprises as it's Florida's Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, and Brandon Spikes, Georgia's Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, Ole Miss' Michael Oher and LSU's Tyson Jackson.

* And for those of you into YouTube and pop culture phenomena, take a gander at Weezer's new video for "Pork and Beans"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Links for a Friday

I've been out of the Blogosphere for a while, but I've still come across some interesting reads while on the road with work and family...

* Rivals has a look at the upcoming rules changes for the 2008-09 college basketball season, including emphasis on palming and illegal screening

* Former Baylor head basketball coach Dave Bliss is one of the biggest scumbags on the planet. How this asshat is not in jail for what he did at Baylor is beyond me. It is tragic that he is allowed anywhere near a basketball court. It is despicable that Athletes in Action would even consider hiring this guy. What a disgrace.

* ESPN's got a variety of interesting football reads up here and here and here and here.

In the first one, Mark Schlabach takes a look at the 25 biggest stories to come out of the Spring. Not surprisingly, 7 relate to SEC teams (The dismissals of Ryan "McLovin'" Perriloux and Michael "Big Gun" Brown, Ryan Mallet not being allowed to be destroyed by SEC defenses until next season, Chris Rainey's emergence at Florida, Jevan Snead's emergence at Ole Miss, and Stephen "How 'Bout Another One?" Garcia's continued run-ins with the Columbia PD) as well as former SEC QB (and precious snowflake) Mitch Mustain not winning the starting job at USC. The countdown is on until Beck Campbell makes a fool of herself again.

In the other 3, they break down the SEC by team by division, but offer no predictions on final standings.

* Meanwhile, Mike Organ at the Shreveport Times does predict final standings. While there's no big shockers in the way of final placement of the teams, he does predict 6-6 records for both Vandy and Kentucky. With what each team lost, there is no way either of those teams finish with more than 2 wins in conference. 6-6 would be nothing short of a miracle and would put either Bobby Johnson or Rich Brooks in the lead for SEC Coach of the Year. The 'Dores and the 'Cats will be fortunate to win 10 games between them.

Top 5 Players at each Position

While rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, I have been absent for a while. And with a trip to Wrigley Field in the works for this weekend, I figured now was as good a time as any to get back into the Blogosphere.

Anyway, I stumbled across this piece on MSNBC, in which Matt Hayes ranks the SEC's Top 5 football players by position. He makes some interesting and obvious choices throughout, but it's definitely worth the read.

One of the most telling things about the SEC this year may be the lack of quality QBs in the league this year. Hayes ranks them:
1. Tim Tebow, Florida
2. Matthew Stafford, Georgia
3. John Parker Wilson, Alabama
4. Casey Dick, Arkansas
5. Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee

Dick's numbers should improve in Petrino's gimmick offense, but is he really a top 5 QB in the league? And with DJ Hall gone now, is JPW really a threat at all? Crompton threw for 97 yards last year - 49 on one play - and had a 1/2 TD/INT ratio. Ole Miss' Jevan Snead and whoever wins the starting job in Baton Rouge also stand as good a chance as anyone to end up on the postseason Top 5 SEC QB list.

Another interesting comment made is about the kickers. He lists AU kicker Wes Byrum as one of the top 5 in the SEC, but then says he wouldn't want any SEC kicker in with the game on the line. The Gators might disagree with that one...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A few more random links and thoughts

* Bruce Feldman, who remains one of the few ESPN employees worth reading/listening to, had this to say - among other things - about LSU's dismissal of asshat Ryan Perrilloux.

The move might cost LSU this year's SEC championship. Redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee and junior Andrew Hatch, the Harvard transfer, are Miles' two most viable options at quarterback. The Tigers, with Perrilloux, were the favorites to win the SEC West. Without him, and with less experience and less playmaking ability behind center, you have to believe that Auburn now becomes the favorite. LSU probably will lose at least one more game because of the move, but the program should be better for it down the road.
There's no doubt that kicking that numbskull off the team was the right move, though it should've been done much earlier. It'll definitely benefit both Miles and the LSU program in the long run. It certainly will make the SEC West much more interesting this year. LSU will be breaking in a new defensive coordinator, QB, and replacing Glenn Dorsey and other defensive studs. Auburn will be adjusting to a new offense though. Talent-wise, LSU is still ahead of Auburn, and it's not even close. Auburn's major advantage in the race to ATL is the schedule. They host LSU and avoid Florida, while LSU treks to the Swamp this year.

* Blabbering idiot Lou Holth fighth back streamth of thlobber as he reminithes about Thouth Bend, his playerth, and his run for thenator. I just hope he does a magic trick in his induction speech.

* So the Great Barstoolio had some free time on his hands and converted anti-meth ads into... well... just see for yourself. Some of these are just wrong on so many levels

* Came across this gem this morning. It's the Top 50 Commercial Parodies of all time per Nerve.com. Classics such as Bass-O-Matic, Mom Jeans, Bad Idea Jeans, Samuel Jackson Beer, Robot Insurance, the Love Toilet, and my personal favorite:

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball

Friday, May 2, 2008

Some random links for a Friday

* So we don't need a plus-one BCS game, but we do need two more crappy bowls to reward 6-6 teams for their mediocrity? Okay, thanks.

* Ryan Perrilloux has finally been kicked off of the LSU football team. Over the past few years, his antics have been well publicized, starting with his delusions of grandeur in his recruiting process. While the Tigers will certainly miss his talent next season, I can't imagine there's many sad to see him go.

* I just watched a replay of the Top 10 Dunkers in College Basketball history. I may be biased towards the SEC, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me that the 10 guys on that list were as consistently spectacular as Chris Porter was for Auburn back in the late 90s. Sure Jerome Lane and Darvin Hamm both broke backboards, but that's more sheer strength than anything. No dunk I've seen really even rivals this one:

Amazing Chris Lofton Story

All the talk at the beginning of the basketball season revolved around the struggles of Chris Lofton. He was shooting a miserable (for him) percentage and didn't seem to be in the flow of the games at all. It's only now been announced why...

Chris Lofton was diagnosed with testicular cancer the day the Vols lost to OSU in the Sweet 16 last March. While the Vols are one of the major teams in conference other schools love to hate, it's always been hard to dislike Lofton, who's one of the best shooters in SEC history.

The read on espn.com is long, but worth it, even if you're not a Vols fan.