Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Georgia gets run over by Cinderella

After a remarkable Cinderella run through the SEC men's basketball tournament, the University of Georgia had the tables turned against it in Omaha. After knocking out superior foes earlier in the tournament, it appeared - on paper - that UGA should have little problem dispatching a Fresno State team that was working with a exhausted, makeshift pitching staff. But - as we all know - games aren't played on paper, they're played inside TV sets.

It took a great bottom of the 8th rally to win Game 1. Other than that 8th inning, this series wasn't really close. It caps off a roller coaster season for UGA that saw them win the regular season SEC championship, get swept at the SEC Tournament, lose a Regional game to Lipscomb before beating arch rival Georgia Tech twice to advance to a Super Regional. There, they took 2/3 from NC State before rolling to the Championship Series in Omaha.

Based on recent history, UGA will not be very good next year, but will be back in Omaha in 2010.

As an aside, hats off to Fresno State. They're a fun team to watch and played their hearts out. It's cliche, but it seemed they just wanted it more than UGA did. At least it wasn't an ACC team that won it. After listening to those pompous fans gloat all season about how great the ACC was, it was satisfying to watch their teams drop like flies in Omaha.

Could the SEC have 10 Bowl Teams in 2008-09?

ESPN's Mark Schlabach believes that 10 SEC teams will be bowling at the end of the 2008 season. He predicts:

*Georgia vs Ohio State in the National Title Game
(Oh goody, tOSU vs the SEC in a bowl game... How exciting!)
*Auburn vs Texas Tech in the Sugar Bowl
(Would be interesting to see the contrast of styles)
*Ole Miss vs Houston in the Liberty Bowl
(OM from 0-8 in conference to a respectable bowl?)
*LSU vs Texas in the Cotton Bowl
(I'm sure Cotton Bowl officials are praying for this matchup)
*Florida vs Illinois in the Capital One Bowl
(Gee, I wonder what the appeal of this matchup is)
*Tennessee vs Penn State in the Outback Bowl
(Don't these two play every year somewhere in Florida?)
*Alabama vs Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl
(Word is they'll move the Chick-Fil-A Bowl to Shreveport to make the transition easier on the Tide players)
*South Carolina vs Miami in the Music City Bowl
(Not the bowl game Gamecock fans have in mind for this year)
*Kentucky vs Rutgers in the Bowl
(I'll be surprised if UK is in any bowl game this year)
*Mississippi State vs Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl
(See above notes)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So THIS is why Nick Saban oversigned...

It's all starting to make sense now. Nick Saban was asked a lot of questions when he oversigned for the upcoming 2008 football season. But quite obviously he knew he'd have some open roster spots.

This morning, LB Jimmy Johns was booted off the team after being arrested and charged with with five felony counts of distributing cocaine and a sixth charge of possession was also tacked on after police officers searched his off-campus residence and found cocaine and Ecstasy pills. Johns, who had been a RB previously, apparently misunderstood the "line" part of "linebacker" and assumed that cocaine distribution was part of his new role.

No word on this affect sales at Jimmy Johns delis across the country.

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin

A great bit about the differences between football and baseball...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

AJC not very high on SEC basketball for 08-09

Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a look at the upcoming college basketball season. While he - like many - assume it's a foregone conclusion that UNC will walk away with the national title, the rest of his top 25 is fairly intriguing. From the SEC, he ranks Tennessee #5, Florida #17, and Ole Miss #24.

I think Tennessee will actually be better in 08-09 than they were last year, but they won't have as good a record. And by better, I mean they'll advance deeper in the tournament. This past year's team - like Vandy - relied too much on jump shots to operate. They'll be much more post-oriented next season.

Florida and Ole Miss both have awesome young backcourts that gained invaluable experience last year. Both have major questions inside though, as UF's Speights has entered the NBA draft and OM lost their 3 big guys to graduation. If either team can just consistent play inside, the sky is the limit for either team.

I've said it before - even with the loss of Randoplh - LSU has the talent in place to be good. Now that they have a coach who knows what he's doing, they may be able to maintain the consistency that John Brady never could.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Never too old for Beer Pong

Fat, balding, shirtless, old man + Beer Pong = Win
I half expected someone to yell "You're my boy Blue!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why you should love every college football team

The guys over at Cake Rocks the Party have put together a list of reasons to pull for every team in the country. Some are quite funny, some not so much. But in a college-football starved region of the country, it’s certainly worth a read.

For those interested only in the SEC teams, here ya go:

78. Vanderbilt: Here’s the thing about Vanderbilt. They always seem to have one or two good pro prospects, even if it is a lot more academic than athletic at Vandy. This year’s big prospect is Thomas Welch.

63. Kentucky: Now we all know about the magic quarterbacking that Andre Woodson perpetrated. But did you know that Curtis Pulley actually beat him out? It’s true! So maybe Andre Woodson went all Batman in the Summer of 2006. But by this analogy? Curtis Pulley is Wolverine. That’s all good sir.

54. Arkansas: We may get an opportunity to see if Bobby Petrino is nothing more than a licensed asshole. If Casey Dick (a.k.a. the Swiftboat Quarterback for Truth)** can become a good passer? Then Bobby Petrino is the truth in the college ranks.

53. Ole Miss: Good news for Michael Oher! The subject of The Blind Side finally has someone legitimate that needs his…blind side…protected in Jevan Snead. Sure, it’s year one of the Houston Nutt Oxford Era? But they have an offense and a defense of experience! Huzzah? Sure!

46. Mississippi State: Hey, did you know the African-American can coach college football? By the lack of black faces, you may not have noticed. But it’s true! And you know what else? They can take a small town in Mississippi and send them to Bowl Game excitement! I wonder why more Athletic Directors don’t consider going down this road?

27. South Carolina: I’m not too proud to be lazy, I’m going to crack wise on the comedy that is somebody with the last name of Smelley, especially when he plays for the Gamecocks. And during my time as a game show gadabout I asked for a smelley gamecock.

24. Tennessee: In a world with Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Matt Stafford, and even Michael Oher’s got some juice behind his name. It’s hard out there for an Arian Foster. He’s just a solid back from a school with a good pedigree. Maybe if he gets arrested, he’ll get the hype he needs

20. Alabama: The Saban is the devil. The Devil is a good recruiter. Julio Jones will be playing Sam to Nick Saban’s Ray Wise. All John Parker Wilson has to do is make a virgin sacrifice at the opening frat party where some white dude’s sporting Blackface. Yes, the one on Water Street.

13. Auburn: Can a system that allowed Troy to take down Brad Smith’s Mizzou or Zac Robinson’s Oklahoma State work in the big time? Auburn hired Tony Franklin to find out. It ruled for the Peach Bowl, but what happens when all the offensive players are new fish? That’s just intrigue.

7. LSU: Now, you and I love Glenn Dorsey. But here’s the thing. The Bayou Bengal’s D-Line may not lose the smooth now that Dorsey’s gone. Tyson Jackson’s a force, and Ricky Jean-Francois may be just one touch higher caliber than Glenn Dorsey. If they can avoid the shootout noid? They’ll be mighty.

6. Florida: Umm, is it all right if I go for the photo and move on? Percy Harvin’s awesome pass-catching skills say it is.

1. Georgia: If you want one off the Knowshon Moreno-Matt Stafford path? There is a sleeper of potential emergence, if you believe that freshman defenders only grow? Then you need to feat your eyes on Rennie Curran. If not? I heard that Knowshon’s got a good shot of getting the Heisman.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ron Polk is not a happy camper

You know how sometimes, after somebody's been around for awhile and has accomplished a few things, he starts to get something of an inflated opinion of himself and his place in the pecking order?

Well that's about where now former Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk is these days.

Since announcing his retirement earlier in the season, Polk openly and vocally campaigned for Tommy Raffo, who was on his staff. He felt Raffo was ready for the job and would ensure a smooth transition. Instead, incoming AD Greg Byrne opted for (now former) Kentucky head coach John Cohen. Despite Cohen's recent run of success - including an 18-0 start to this season, albeit against weak competition - Polk is miffed and making all sorts of threats.

Here's a sampling of the grumblings from Polk: (emphasis is mine)

"Now he's got me on the war path and all I can do is hurt him," Polk said of Byrne in a phone interview with The Associated Press from Athens, Ga., where he is watching Georgia play North Carolina State in an NCAA super regional. "I'm going to do everything I can to make his life miserable."
He's also working hard to disassociate himself from the baseball program that he built. FTA:
In addition to taking his name off the stadium, Polk said he will personally take down the banners that display his name and number. He also will use his influence to scuttle a number of support programs, such as the foster parent program and the Dugout Club. And he's taking Mississippi State athletics out of his will.
You have to respect Polk for the jobs he's done at MSU through the years. He's one of the most decorated college baseball coaches in history and his accomplishments speak for themselves.

That said, he's way off base here. While he may have thought Raffo was a better coaching candidate - and he might be - that's not the way his boss saw it. No childish temper tantrums like the ones he's already thrown - and apparently will continue to throw - are going to change that fact.

He's said that as long as Byrne is there, he won't support MSU athletics and they may not use his name on the Stadium. Taking his name off the field in Starkville means he thinks it was an honor for the stadium to bear his name... not the other way around. Threatening to urge Bullpen Club members to withhold donations will do nothing but hurt the program he dedicated the majority of his adult life to. It's going to hurt the returning and incoming players he has recruited. And to what end? He's really just coming off as an angry old man who is having difficulty adjusting to not being in a position of authority anymore.

His best move now would to be to drop the shenanigans, put his name back on the stadium and fade quietly into the sunset. If he doesn't want to support Cohen - who, by the way, is a former MSU player as well - then he doesn't have to. What he doesn't need to disrespect the loyal MSU fans that love their baseball program.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Random Links for Early June

* The Birmingham News has a ton of SEC football links on their site today. Plenty of good reads for the dedicated fan.

* FVSports has their college football preview up with a different take on the SEC standings