Sunday, December 31, 2006

thebowl.challenge: THINGS GON' CHANGE

Since we're down to the last 12 games of the bowl season, all the people who didn't adjust their confidence points are about to start making big-ish moves into the top 15. Example: Evan is finally knocking on the door at #16, and my mom and dad, who created one pick set, have seen their sterling 17-3 record so far finally push them up to #14. If they keep up that pace, they'll run away with this thing (they still have a "max" of 510, for Christ's sake).

For the second straight year, Iowa was the victim of some game-swinging questionable officiating decisions. Last year there was the hilariously terrible "offsides" penalty on the onside kick against Florida, and this year the Hawks got victimized by an iffy "too many men on the line penalty" which took away a TD that would have put them up 21-3 and probably would have ended the game, judging by how flaky non-Vince-Young-led Mack Brown teams have been. And then there was the non-review of the play where Selvin Young ran out of bounds while Texas was trying to kill the clock. Kirk Ferentz and the rest of the Hawkeye fan base must be mighty emotional about referees right now. Still, helluva showing from Iowa -- that was essentially what everyone was expecting from them going into this year, so where the hell was that team against Indiana and everybody else? As Fiu pointed out this morning, the Big Ten should get more credit for this game than we're likely to: a 2-6 Big Ten team hung in for the full 60 against what was probably the Big 12's best team this year. What are the odds of that kind of credit coming? Jack and shit, and Jack left town.

1Wells=SpaghettiT. Lyon15-5133305
2THE WESTENDER RETURNSThe Caveman14-6169275
3The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence13-7120252
4Break of DawnJ. Morgan15-5254147
5Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey14-6192248
6Neary EntryMike14-6220231
7Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill15-5239229
8Joel Agrees w/ Mel GibsonRob Durham14-6245227
9I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu12-8228225
10Nyholm EntryM. Nyholm13-7224213
11Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy13-7237207
12Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise14-6234194
13Stupid Spoiled WhoreKristin10-10174193
14Moyer EntryDi17-3318192
15Milford ManFred12-8232176

Friday, December 29, 2006

Beavers and Balls

The girlfriend who I live with went to Mizzou, actually dated Truman Tiger while she was there, but when I called to tell her that her team was up 14 with just over 6 minutes left she didn't care. It's like she knew not to get too emotionally invested in college football's version of the Reds (week 7 = June). So with time winding down...or at least trying to wind down the Tigers threw 2 passes. It's not like they had a running back with 200 yards rushing, he only had 194 (easy on the sarcasm, Chandler (easy on the Friends reference, queer)). So of course as we all "sawl" the Beavers drive down to tie it up make the ballsiest call in Sub Bowl history. I should know, I took Sun Bowl History 101 and 213 in college because Coop was still coaching and I thought we could somehow end up there someday. This outcome was ironically symbolic to my pick for the game. I switched my pick to Oregon State at the last minute. I'm back in the top 15 ahead of Reader Wise and his anti-semantic ways.

thebowl.challenge: Cal won a bowl game!

I'm still not sure that I believe it, either, but that's what the scoreboard says. Tedford now has his biggest win since 2003, and Cal's first victory over a better-than-bad non-Pac 10 team since forever. Welcome to 2007's preseason top-5, Bars. I can't wait to see how you blow it.

In other semi-news, we had some shaking up in the challenge, even as then-clubhouse-leader Jeff had a 2-1 day. Wha happen? Well, we can now see; since the picks are locked and final, everyone can look at everyone else's picks. And current leader "T. Lyon" got extremely fat off of Rutgers and Cal, his/her 32- and 24-point games, respectively. Other big movers last night: Break of Dawn (3-0 for 42 points), Joanna (2-1 for 41 points), and new-ish blogtributor Dur (3-0 for 50 points). But the biggest mover of the day was current #2 Schill, who went 3-0, accumulating 68(!) points. That's a shitload of confidence on Rutgers and Cal (31 and 27), and apparently it was well worth it. Would that we were all so enlightened.

So I have very little to say about an afternoon and evening that featured three blowouts, one of which eventually turned into the bowl season's current frontrunner for "best game," due entirely to special teams fuckups by Oak State. But the 'Pokes ended up winning, ruining John Tanner Cody Parker Esteemed Penis Mansome Jefferson Wilson the 3rd, Esq.'s big trip to, uh, Shreveport. Lovely Shreveport.

Oh, and Pittman and Wells are fine and will be playing in the Not Fiesta Bowl. Huzzah. But you're still stupid, guys.

1Wells=FumblitisT. Lyon8-4274173
2Break of DawnJ. Morgan9-3337150
3Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill10-2352149
4The House That Funk BuiltT. Lawrence7-5254147
5Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey9-3341146
6Stupid Spoiled WhoreKristin7-5301142
7Neary EntryMike9-3365140
8THE WESTENDER RETURNSThe Caveman8-4345131
9Neary EntryMike's wife, Joanna7-5326127
10Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy8-4346124
11Milford ManFred9-3382120
12I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu7-5361119
13Joel Agrees w/ Mel GibsonRob Durham8-4389108
14Nyholm EntryM. Nyholm8-4384100
15Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise8-435894

Thursday, December 28, 2006

thebowl.challenge: now it's time to get serious

All right, we've waded through the sea of (uncommonly crappy, I think -- through nine games, only one has been decided by fewer than 12 points, and only two games have been decided by fewer than seventeen points; average score of bowls played so far: 33 to 14) early-bowl-season matchups between Buttfuck State and Pig's Knuckle Tech, we're getting down to the good stuff: five consecutive days of wall-to-wall football (well, except Sunday, but everyone will be too drunk to think about that. Didn't there used to be more games on New Year's Eve?), and then a straggling couple of days of football after that, leading up to The Other The Game. As such, I have a feeling that the pick 'em standings will be due for some hefty changes pretty much every day. Not that it matters, since Jeff is running away and hiding at this point, but it'll be worth checking it out, at least.

And can someone please explain to me how the FUCK Florida State, who would need a flashlight helmet, pliers, and a goddamn map to find their own assholes on offense, somehow goes out and hangs 44 points on a defense that, last we saw them, was battering Booty and holding Mark May's masturbation fodder to 9 points? How could UCLA get all that pressure on J.D. Bootzilla and then only come up with one measly fucking sack and get positively torched against a Florida State offense that could charitably be described as "below average"? The West Coasters now stand at 0-3 this bowl season, losing (to two mid-majors and Florida Fucking State) by scores of 38-8, 41-24, and 44-27. Fucking Pac 10. You pussies.

So ... three games today, five(!) tomorrow, three again Saturday (why five on Friday and only three on Saturday? Am I crazy or does that make no sense?), then on to the New Year. Here's how things stand as of this morning:

1Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey7-2352139
2The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence5-4298125
3Wells=FumblitisT. Lyon6-3349117
4Neary EntryMike7-2401116
5Moyer EntryKristin5-4341112
6Break of DawnJ. Morgan6-3379108
8Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy6-3383101
9I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu5-439191
10Neary EntryMike's wife, Joanna5-438986
11Milford ManFred7-242885
12Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill7-242081
13Nyholm EntryM. Nyholm7-244373
14Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise5-438567
15Jolly ShepherdJoe Schultz5-440261

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

He was delicious.

Wow. Tough times for Michigan football.
In a span of just under 6 weeks, they've lost the biggest icons in the history of the program: first Bo, and now Gerald Ford. I'll leave it to the Wolverine faithful to tell us who's #1 and who's #2.

In other news, turns out Tom Brokaw's gay.

Okay, most of you won't get that one.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Pittman, Wells, 2 others...stupid! Held a fundraiser to make enough money to fly their families out to the game! Stupid! Can't think! Stupid! One of their mothers called a coach DURING (not before--stupid!) the event to make sure it was okay--stupid! It wasn't of course! They had to donate all money to pee-wee football and the NCAA is aware of it and is reviewing the case. They may not be able to play--stupid! More details as they come.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

thebowl.challenge: seriously, what the FUCK was that?

Also, it's Christmas Eve. So, "merry" and stuff.

In other news, the basketBucks got positively shitstomped yesterday by the Florida whostheirfaces. I don't know, I've never even heard of that university before. Ever. Unlike the other yooge nonconference road game this year (North Carolina), yesterday the Bucks looked lackluster and intimidated. I guess you have to figure that'll happen sometime. More worrisome was that, just like last year, Thad's offense against a zone (especially an extended one, like Florida used a lot yesterday) consists almost entirely of long jumpers, be they three-pointers or long twos ... and, like I'm sure Todd noticed, we seem to have absolutely no idea how to A. feed the post against a zone, or B. break the zone down to get open shots (will somebody PLEASE flash to the GODDAMN HIGH POST, PLEASE!?!). We just seem to swing the ball around the perimeter until someone throws up a contested three-pointer; we don't rotate the ball and make the defense work and shift around. Our best offense yesterday was the fast break, the main problem with that being how we got dominated on the boards. Running is fun, guys, but you can't do it if you don't have the ball.

And the thing is, despite playing "meh" for the first 23 minutes of the game, it was still tied. And then the wheels flew off and injured people. 46 points allowed in 17 minutes? That's just stupid. And in the middle of it I had to turn the game off, because the combination of watching Florida players - especially the horrifically ugly, totally insane, and immensely annoying (also really good) Joe Kim Noah - repeatedly beating their chests every five seconds, the Bucks playing like crap, and Billy Packer saying "Dunnivan" and doing myriad other Annoying Billy Packer Things was giving me headaches and muscle spasms. Ugh.

So what did we learn? That #3 ranking was a tad prematurely jocular. This team is probably more in the 7-to-10 range ... although, Jesus, who in the country is actually, really good? Still, until they prove it to me against a team that is probably gonna be the Tournament, I'm back to being leery about this team. Also, our offense is still WAY too dependent on hitting threes. I understand that the success of perimeter-oriented teams will vary along with their perimeter shooting, but Cheezes, can we mix it up a little when the shots aren't falling? All right, I don't like thinking about it anymore.

On to more fun things, like The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, bowl season. It's always fascinating to see which teams go into their bowl excited and with something to prove, and which teams show up not wanting to be there and not giving a crap (and obviously, the latter is the vastly more interesting of the two). So far we've had two teams completely crap the bed with their indifference: Oregon and, oddly, considering that they were playing a home game, New Mexico. Also, I didn't watch the Rice/Troy game, so I have no idea how the Owls looked.

Anyway, on to the pick 'em. Evan has gotten a few games right now, crawling up to .500, although he apparently still hasn't changed his confidence points. That's okay, we love him anyway. Someone named "S. Lawrence" is currently in first place, though he/she is standing at 3-3 and has by far the fewest possible points remaining. Also, I'd like to commend Schill and Fred on their off-puttingly similar results so far. All right, I gotta go shopping. *Snuggles*

1The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence3-335784
2Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey5-142580
3Moyer EntryKristin3-339778
4I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu4-242076
5Wells=FumblitisT. Lyon3-339175
6Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy4-243866
8Neary EntryMike5-146562
9Break of DawnJ. Morgan4-244459
10Neary EntryMike's wife, Joanna3-342757
11Milford ManFred5-146855
12Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill5-146954
13Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise3-346446
14Michigan GOT SCREWEDC. Emanuele3-341238

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Who is overrated?

This is sad but I'm watching the cleanup minutes of the Rice/Troy game. Sigh, I'll be honest, I'm drunk in Topeka watching the rerun of the cleanup minutes of the Rice/Troy game at 1:52 a.m. central time. With just over 3 minutes left Rice cut it to 34-17 with a touchdown. As they're lining up for their onside kick some complete losers fans at the game are chanting, "Overrated!" Who would chant this? The Troy fans would be the logical pick because they're winning, right? If you only beat Rice by 17 do you have that right? And who was "rating" Rice anyway? Had they crept into the top 64 (32 bowl games would put them at no worse than 64)? Did Troy think 64 was too high of a ranking? "We beat you by a score of 34 41-17, you're not nearly as good as a 64th ranked team!" Or, is it the Rice fans chanting? "You gave up 17 points to us...Rice! You don't deserve to be in a bowl!" That makes no sense so I'm going to guess it's Troy. And now with under 2 minutes the chant has resurfaced.
So somewhere in the Super Dome there are a group of guys who are screaming their lungs out and implying the following, "Suck it Rice! Don't you dare think you're top 64 material. You'll stay in the lower 50% of college football because we beat you in this bowl that no one knows the name of. In fact, you could ask any big time sports fan what the name of this bowl was and he'd look like one of those blonde whores on the Tonight's Show Jay-Walking segment. And now I punch you for watching Leno.

Friday, December 22, 2006

thebowl.challenge: Vegas baby Vegas edition

Big movement in the standings after last night's entry in an ongoing saga called "everyone in the Pac 10 but USC really, really sucks at bowl games." This strikes me as odd since I really didn't have a friggin' clue (regular OR raging) who would win last night's game, but some people had a ton of points on it. So kudos to you all for being much, much smarter than me. And a hearty congratulations to blogtributor Evan - the only person in the group to get the first two games wrong - for not being much, much smarter than me. At least, not yet.

ETA: has this Reggie Ball business completely mindfucked anyone else as far as picks and confidence points go? Is him being out a fantastic thing for Calvin Johnson and the rest of the Jackets (under the "anyone but Reggie" theory) or does this make their odds of winning even worse (under the "if this backup couldn't even beat out Reggie Ball, he must be gawd-awful" theory)? I was just looking at CFN, and they point out that Ball's completion percentage went down every single year, this season settling at around 44% (!!!). In GT's last two games of the season, against Georgia and Wake, Ball went (*deep breath*) 15-of-51 passing -- that's 29% -- for 171 yards and four interceptions. Ye Gods. If they have even a quasi-competent backup, you'd think Ball would've been yanked a while ago. Of course, if the backup turns out to be decent, then we have to consider the possibility that Chan Gailey Equilibrium is actually THE GOAL in the minds of the GT coaching staff. Well now I'm just wildly intrigued. Thoughts?

SOC from Todd should be forthcoming (all the time coming).

1Moyer EntryKristin2-047454
2The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence2-047553
3Neary EntryMike2-048048
4Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey2-048444
4Break of DawnJ. Morgan2-048444
7Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill2-048741
8Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy2-049533
9Neary EntryMike's wife, Joanna1-147032
10Michigan GOT SCREWEDC. Emanuele2-050127
11I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu2-050226
12Wells=FumblitisT. Lyon1-149125
13Munger EntryKatey2-050622
14Jolly ShepherdJoe Schultz2-050721
15Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise2-051117

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dogs and Frogs (Living Together?) - The 2006 Poinsettia Bowl

Once again it’s time for the totally original, annual, and seasonal shitty bowl SOC.

So… I turn on the TV at 7:55 and ESPN’s already started coverage. Was there like a huge pre-game show I missed?

So here we are at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, live from Jack Murphy…or whatever it’s called.
10-2 TCU vs. 7-5 NIU
Appropriately, the game starts with a honk… or to be more accurate, something like a train whistle. Where are we? West Lafayette?
So we got Rece, Mark May and Mushmouth in the booth. At least I’ll have some stuff to work with.
5 Seconds into the broadcast, Rece is talking about LaDainian Tomlinson. God I hate ESPN. Can you shut up about the NFL for just 5 minutes? They’re Monday Night pregame is 5 ½ hours long! Every week! For one game!
Well, we’re about ready for kickoff, so naturally I change the channel. Sorry, like last year’s SOC and the Pittsnogles, the Bucks are just more important. Tonight they’re playing Iowa State (“the high school after high school”). Remember, Iowa State’s mascot is the Cyclones, which looks an awful lot like a cardinal going down a drain.
I turn back to football, and NIU somehow got a whopping 3 yard kickoff return…. And now 3 and out. Yikes. Glad I just bumped this game up to a 25 confidence.
Just got sent the “Dick in a Box” SNL video. Wow.
Somehow TCU doesn’t score on the punt return. NIU 25 and channel change.
Nice - gray unis for the home team. Oden somehow doesn’t get the tip.
Channel change - okay in maybe the last 90 seconds, TCU has not only scored a TD, but missed an extra point.
So much purple. I love it.
Checking the ticker Mich. State is losing to Belmont, who was my sleeper last year. Duke’s beating up on Kent State 44-42. At home. Duke @ #6 is more ridiculous than Notre Dame in the BCS. I mean it’s really really ridiculous.
And We’re BACK !!!
Sorry - just got a call from Cave. Among other tidbits, I hear Evan’s got a fantastic story about his trip to tell. I can’t wait.
During that special time w/ Cave, I saw one of the funniest non-punt returns ever.
The Bucks are looking so-so against the Cloney Gowans (21-16).
In his mumbled English, Holtz just said Northern Illinoiz. The NIU offensive line is getting blowed up. Wolfe is doing less than nothing, and it’s not his fault.
Oooh - a Dick Bumpus sighting!!! There are few names in college football on par with Dick Bumpus. Perhaps only Bronco Mendenhall.
Wow. Are we sure NIU is bowl eligible? Can somebody double-check this?
1:42 left 1st quarter - on 1st down, huge pass play down the sideline.
Ticker update Duke’s up 3 with 7:30 left. I may need to watch the last couple minutes of that. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a sports whore.
End of 1 -- TCU is somehow only up 6-0. NIU has -8 yards.
I’ve jinxed the Golden Flashers. They’re suddenly down 8. But still, we beat KSU 81-59.
Terence Dials is at the Buckeyes game. Guess he’s not too busy these days.
TCU punches it in with a QB scramble. Thankfully, they don’t go for 2. Good idea jeans. You hear me SHULA !?!!
HA!!!! Matty Lindner, some TCU O-lineman, apparently just hurt himself attempting to throw his helmet. If you weren’t watching, just imagine some offensive lineman hurting himself attempting to throw his helmet, and that’s exactly what it looked like. And he had a Downing-esque mohawk.
Shocking. NIU’s punting.
Oooooh. Football Buckeyes are accepting their Big Ten championship trophy. Outright, BITCHES!!! Tressel gives a very Tressel-like speech. And then Troy Smith whips it out. The Heisman Trophy that is. Sadly, the basketball Bucks are only up 29-28 at half. Grrr.
Back to the mildly poisonous flower bowl. Wow. I hate to keep beating a dead horse … er… dog, but NIU is really really terrible. Their offensive line is just non-existent. Rece just used the term ‘look-out block’ - I love that one. LOOK OUT !!!
TCU back on offense. When the purple has the ball, they are positively average… which in this game means they will win by about 30.
Good ventriloquist act by the ref.
Keep you’re eye out for Joe Novak.
They just showed TCU’s mascot up close. Dear god, that is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. It’s like the Kansas State wildcat only the head is a little smaller, made of rubber, and it looks like a horrifying alien.
Great work by Todd with his Doodle Von Taintstain reference in the pick ‘em.
Huge pass play for NIU -- 62 yard pass play for their first 1st down of the night. I’ve seen better coverage on Britney Spears‘ vagina.
NIU makes sure to get sacked on the next play. NIU’s QB is still down on the turf. That was quite the banana kaboom.
Duke wins 79-72. They’ll move up to #5 after the OSU-Florida game. Chew on that one.
Turn the channel to see Oden nearly break the rim with a dunk. OSU up 40-32 at the under 16. Unimpressive but comfortable.
NIU’s QB is back…which is fortunate for the Huskies since he’s their 2nd string. Horvath apparently went down 4 or 5 games ago.
NIU attempts a 51 yard FG….. And that would have been good from, oh, I’d say 42 yards. TCU takes over. Again.
Ref’s working without a mic, which is always fun.
TCU goes for it on 4th and 3 at about the NIU 45. Doesn’t work. TCU is playing down to the level of their competition.
First play for NIU - FLEA FLICKER !!!!……… into sextuple coverage (not kidding). Interception. Wow. So I guess they’re missing Horvath.

Okay, so I’ve been doing some research on this hideous TCU mascot. It’s name is SuperFrog. I’m trying to find a picture. So far, all I could find was this:
No uniform, but it looks like a hell of a painter.
Uggh…. Buckeyes up 45-41. Oden appears to be the only one doing anything at all for us, especially on D.
Huh. Just realized the Chargers have a TCU-NIU running back combo. Thanks Rece.
TCU knocking on the door and doing their best not to score.
Oooh. Here he is on a longhorn:
Is SuperFrog wearing a Texas belt buckle?
And here’s a good pic from EDSBS. The caption says it all.
Okay, after not wanting to score a TD, TCU chips in a FG. TCU 16-0 at the half.
And there’s that train whistle again.
Total net yards for the half:
TCU: 227
NIU: 42 and remember, NIU had a 62 yard pass play. Ouch.
ISU has cut it to 53-51 on a 3. I’m unhappy. I haven’t actually watched too much of this, but I’ve been unimpressed with what I have seen. At least the crowd at the Schott seems kind of into it. A close game and the mere sight of the football team can do that.
Shit we can’t rebound. ISU has 13 fouls for the game. We have 4. And we’re in the 1 and 1 right now.
Halftime back at the Poinsettia Bowl. Stephen A is just talking about the Iverson trade. They’ll probably do that for the next 15 minutes. At least. I actually think the 76ers did about as well as possible (although I think they should have traded Iverson and/or Webber like a year ago). I mean you have to just gut that team. And given the quality that could be in next year’s draft, getting 2 first rounders is big.
On a slightly related note, I really like George Karl.
And although I have some Pistons and IU fans close to me, Isiah Thomas is just a complete ass, at least in terms of his post-playing career. Total ass.
Buckeyes are in the double bonus. Making their free throws. 73-56. Iowa St. totally ran out of gas and OSU’s on an 11-0 run. Final score: 75-56. Sure looks good if you didn’t watch the game. They’d better play a lot better on Saturday in Gainesville.
Okay, we have a new winner:
I’ll give money to your university if you just keep that godforsaken thing away from me. Nice soundtrack though.
Actually, to be honest I love SuperFrog. It was just a little jarring for ESPN to cut to a closeup of his eyes back in the 1st half.
Wait. It’s just Mark and Rece in the booth. Where’s Lou? Is he having a Joe Paterno moment? I guess it all Depends.
The smoke from the halftime show has left the start of 3rd quarter pretty much unwatchable. Not much different from the 1st half.
There’s Lou! Sounds out of breath.
TCU quickly and efficiently marches down the field, then fumbles on NIU’s 1. They recover though and punch it in. 23-0.
Now’s a good time to thank the Poinsettia Bowl’s sponsor. San Diego County Credit Union. Yeah. That’s something everyone can get behind. Sure.
I miss the day’s when the bowls were all just named after the natural resources indigenous to the area the bowl was played in. copper, orange, cotton, Halls of Fame.
Ensuing kickoff for NIU: they get it out to their own 2. Impressive. Then go 3 and out.
TCU marches down the short field. Scores. This is getting a tad repetitive. And ridiculously predictable.
30-0 ---- 9:08 left in the 3rd.
One of TCU’s stud defensive linemen is named Chase Ortiz. He led his conference in sacks last year. Okay, first of all, that name’s not real. I could go on to say EA Sports came up with his name, but I’ve done that way too often the past couple seasons. What I will say is that his name is also what does the U.S. border patrol does.
First downs: TCU -- 17 NIU -- 1 Sigh.
Lou Holtz actually had a semi-interesting point (that someone else no doubt told him off air). TCU plays Texas next year, and Mack Brown didn’t put the Horned Frogs in his final top 25 poll. Bulletin board. After holding Texas Tech to 3 points, TCU’s defense can’t really shock me any more.
Wolfe has 14 yards on 12 carries.
Pass interference on TCU!!!!! FIRST DOWN HUSKIES!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!
And another pass interference!!!! NIU has finally found something that works.
Wow, some guy with a purple Mohawk and waaaay too much eyeblack just got ejected for an elbowing a NIU guy in the face. The guy was wearing a face mask so I don’t see what the big deal is.
NIU goes for it on 4th and 5 on TCU’s 22 and they come up about a foot short. Uggh.
This game is so bad. And it’s still only the 3rd quarter.
Rece: “Northern Illinois hasn’t been penalized tonight. They also haven’t scored.”
End of the 3rd. Everyone put up 4 fingers for Todd.
Promo points out that Quite Frankly is next on ESPN2. I think I’m actually looking forward to it. That’s how bad this game is.
Northern Illinois blocks a punt and returns it for a TD. Amazingly, there sounded like there were a somewhat significant number of people cheering.
Rece on Todd‘s Las Vegas Bowl: “What happens in Vegas will be broadcast to the entire nation.”
TCU has no trouble slicing down the field again. 37-7. I could give details, but honestly, who cares?
Rece just called Rob Stone - Stoner. Pauses all around.
Coach gets doused with purple stuff. Must’ve been out of Sunny D.
Congratulate me. I’ve gone a whole Horned Frogs game without going the whole ’horny’ route. Oh wait. I just did.
For what it’s worth, Wolfe finished 11 yards short of Archie Griffin for 10th all time.
Holy shit that game sucked. Here’s hoping the rest of bowl season is better than this game. At least I got 25 points out of it in the pick ‘em. (I feel retarded for only assigning 25.) NIU finished with 58 yards TOTAL. And I again point out that they had a 62 yard completion. TCU had 453.
Total first downs: TCU -- 26 NIU -- 5 (2 pass, 3 penalty, 0 rush)
Okay, time to think about upcoming bowls. Fu asked, so here are the 8 bowls I’m looking forward to the most:
1. The OSU-Florida --- Like Jack said, oblivious.
2. Arkansas-Wisky --- I love the wildcat formation. Plus this game’s gonna be over in like an hour and a half.
3. LSU-Domers --- If LSU doesn’t win by at least 21, I’ll be disappointed.
4. Georgia Tech-WV --- It’ll be bittersweet to watch Reggie Ball blow one last game. I’m gonna miss you, buddy.
5. Kansas State-Rutgers --- Only Evan can truly appreciate why I think this could be saucy.
6. Miami-Nevada --- The Hurricanes led by a lame duck coach, in the freezing cold, on blue turf…why do I think they might just refuse to care?
7. Boise St.-Oklahoma --- I love Boise. Plus, I can’t wait to see how Peterson is used and how he looks. Could be wishful thinking, but I think he’s a Brown in a few months.
8. Cal-Texas Tech --- It’s the freakin’ Holiday Bowl. A perennially awesome game…except when Cal’s involved.
Okay, that’s all for Nips. Hopefully the rest of yous do a better job and have better games. Shouldn’t be tough on either count.

thebowl.challenge: One game down!

Aaaaaaand they're off! First of all, wow, people were MIGHTY certain that TCU was gonna beat Northern Illinois. I guess that shows that you grundle mashers actually put some thought into your picks. Should be a fun bowl season. Also, a big welcome aboard to Mr. Dur.

Last year's pick 'em group consisted of 14 players, and this year's is 25. That's some healthy growth, but it makes blog recounting of the standings cumbersome, to say the least, so I'm gonna keep it like last year and only list the top 15, since they're the relevant ones at any given time anyway (plus, that's apparently just about the cutoff before we get into "people who didn't adjust their confidence points). After one game, the standings are...

1Break of DawnJ. Morgan1-049632
1Neary EntryJoanna1-049632
4Neary EntryJoanna's husband, Mike1-050028
5The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence1-050127
6Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipples1-050325
7Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy1-050424
8Moyer EntryKristin1-050523
9I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu1-050721
9Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill1-050721
11Jolly ShepherdJoe Schultz1-050919
12Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise1-051513
14Milford ManFred1-05244
15Munger EntrySteve's wife, Katey1-05262
15Michigan GOT SCREWEDC. Emanuele1-05262

Hi, I'm the Dur

A little about me. OSU grad '00 and I like to taunt, but I'm working on it. I was once flagged for it in a 2nd grade spelling bee (Sadly it was last year when I was substitute teaching the class).

Bowl weeks are upon us. Last year I finished near the top of the pick'em. I would have won if USC had ever played a real opponent to prepareany defense at all. The problem I make with picking games is that if I haven't followed a team very much this season I think of the one losing score I saw on the bottom line back in September. "That team won't win, they only beat Army by 14!" The problem we have is letting our hearts get in the way of our picks. I know a few of you out there think Iowa can actually beat Texas just because they're from the Big Ten.
Practice the skill of picking on games that don't matter. I watched the Division III bracket because I knew nothing about those teams. Plus I just wanted to see what college football would be like without all thoseblack guys scholarships. I play too many fantasy sports but the one I do best in is NHL. I have no idea who I'm picking I just look at the numbers. My team name is "Hockeysux" so that when I win the random online league (2 years in a row now), I taunt the rest of the 19 strangers who I beat. Pretend it's like finding a woman...but only one to cook for you. She's probably not as attractive, but if you look at her carefully it becomes obvious...she likes to eat. Sure there are those other chicks who have nearly perfect bodies (except the fingernails on their "purgin" hand), but do they make a winner? No. Take the chick (team) who has been bred (coached) to cook (play hard) and you will score (pick the right team). Now I have to get back to work (waste company time).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Early bowl SOCing and whatnot

So, like last year, I guess we'll do a few running diaries of early bowl games. Marvel at how many racist comments Todd can sneak into a post! Just how much text will Jeff devote to something other than the game he's ostensibly watching? Will I voluntarily pick a game that begins at 10:30 p.m.? (Answer: no.) Apparently Evan, when he's not ruining the lives of Dominican dancers, is desirous of doing a game as well. Since they start tomorrow, I figured we'd better figure out which ones we're all doing. The pre-Christmas bowl games are as follows:

Tuesday, December 19
Poinsettia Bowl - TCU vs. Northern Illinois

Thursday, December 21
Las Vegas Bowl - BYU vs. Oregon

Friday, December 22
New Orleans Bowl - Rice vs. Troy

Saturday, December 23 Directional Jackoff Bowl - South Florida vs. East Carolina
Armed Force Bowl - Tulsa vs. Utah

Sunday, December 24 (seriously, we should all be spending quality time with family and all that shit by this time)
Hawai(slight pause)i Bowl - Arizona State vs. Hawai(slight pause)i

Leave a comment to pick a game. First come, first served.

Also, the Bowl Pick 'Em is up to 20 entrants. PRIDE, BITCHES!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bowl-related timewasting lists: part the first!

This year was even worst than most. I spend nine months looking forward to the college football season -- especially since college basketball started going down the toilet in the early 'aughts; say, I sure hope the new rules preventing kids from jumping straight to the NBA improve the college game ... but I guess that's neither here nor there -- and then it finally gets here, and it's gone in the blink of an eye. I like to think that I enjoyed it as much as possible, but considering how shitty most of the Big Ten was, the 12:00/12:30 slot on ESPN and the Droppa became pointless to watch. Also, having a house now, there was housework. (I obviously get to keep my ManCard though, considering how many appletinis I devoured during OSU games. Dr. John Dorian would be proud.)

As a result, it seemed like this season, a hopefully historic one for the Bucks, flew by even faster than usual. Now we're almost to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and it seems like just yesterday I was fretting about the Texas game. *Sigh*. Anyway, what better way to waste time before the bowls than pointless lists? Maybe my fellow blogtributors could, um ... contribute ... their own after this, but since I'm so giddy about the bowls -- and the pick 'em -- I'm gonna list the top 10 bowl games I'm looking forward to...

1. National Championship: Florida vs. Ohio State

2. Sugar Bowl: Notre Dame vs. LSU
I'm trying to adjust to the reality that for as long as Chaz Weis is at Notre Dame and the BCS rules favor the Irish like no other team, the Domers are gonna be invited to play in prestigious big-money games that they have no business playing in. I guess I can take solace in the fact that Notre Dame probably couldn't have drawn a worse matchup for this game: LSU, with their man-beast pass rush and man-beastlier QB who also happens to be mobile and more than a little bit accurate in the throwing department. Oh, and it's a de facto home game for the Tigers. As Jeffy and I discussed last week, ND is probably gonna need at least three Patented Notre Dame Hilariously Fortuitous Turnovers just to keep this game reasonably close. As you can probably guess, I'm giddy. (Update: someone has the gall to hypothesize about an "anti-Notre Dame bias" in the Heisman voting. I'm pretty sure my brain just threw up.)(Update to the update: Brian at MGoBlog goes apeshit on the BGS post. Hilarity and head-nodding ensues.)

3. Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Oklahoma
Intriguing in many ways: it's the last game out of six on New Year's day, right after the Rose Bowl (this was the slot occupied by the WVU-UGa game last year); Adrian Peterson is rumored to be coming back for the game, which, if he's planning on entering the draft this spring, would simply be an astonishingly bad decision (sidenote: I'm more interested than usual in this year's NFL draft, as I can't wait to see whose career the Lions are going to ruin by taking with the #1 pick. Will they go with conventional wisdom and take Quinn? Are they scared enough of Kevin Jones to roll the dice with the equally injury-prone Peterson? Or will they conform to the usual M.O. of the Millen Era and take Calvin Johnson? Pins and needles!); Lastly, this is the best chance yet that a "non-BCS" school has at giving the big boys a pop and earning some legitimate national respect, because, I mean, Utah annihilating a mediocre Pitt team meant next to nothing in the big scheme of things.

4. Rose Bowl: USC vs. Michigan
As just about everyone is saying, this just may be the battle for 2007 preseason #1. Not that it necessarily matters who wins, like "winner = #1, loser = #2." Everyone's just noticing that these two teams are pretty much guaranteed of each being top 3 in the preseason polls. And hey, they're playing! Plus there's the tradition and the Big 10/Pac 10 Rose Bowl and the yada. It's also the only BCS game that's still on ABC, so it'll be super-interesting to see which announcing team they stick on the gig. Will they go with the A-team of Musberger, Davie, and Herbie, the B-team of Nessler, Griese, and Maguire, or will they dig up Keith Jackson to babble incoherently and get facts wrong one last time in the Rose Bowl?

5. Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Arkansas
I haven't got a goddamn clue what's gonna happen in this game. How good is Wisconsin? Nobody knows. Will someone other than McFadden complete a pass for the Hogs against a (supposedly) great 'Sconsin pass D? Plus, Arkansas's trickerationified "single-wing from the shotgun" offense is always fun to watch. This game is driving me crazy in the pick 'em -- if Alvarez was still there, I'd take the Badgers in a heartbeat (Barry Alvarez with a month to prepare vs. a one-dimensional offensive team? Please), but as it is, your guess is as good as mine.

Next five, as I'm short on time:

6. Holiday Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Cal
Will the Pac 10 (and Cal, specifically) continue to roll over and piss in the air against adequate Big 12 teams? Cal's next win over a nonconference team that's actually legit will be their first.
7. Gator Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia
White and Slaton vs. a stout GT run defense; Calvin Johnson vs. a terrible WVU pass D and Reggie Ball. Fascinating.
8. Meineke Car Care Bowl: Boston College vs. Navy
The most underrated power conference program, with seven straight bowl wins. Plus, I always try to go out of my way to catch Navy whenever I can. Flexbone, bitches!
9. Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon vs. BYU
Your guess is as good as mine. Should be a lot of points, though.
10. Cotton Bowl: Nebraska vs. Auburn
Two good teams. Two mild disappointments. Who finishes the season on a high note, in one of the worst facilities in the country?

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Observations?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Third annual thebowl.challenge!

Yep, it's the usual bowl pick 'em, over at Using confidence points. We'll see if some Mr. "P. Wholezinga" can defend his crown from last year. As usual, all are welcome to join, and the winner gets a piping hot cup of jack squat. Shit, that's right: pride. Winner gets pride. Go to the ESPN page and search for the group "bowl stewin'". The password is ... wait for it ... wait for it ... "boban". And remember that there's a lot of meat on that bone; you throw that in a pot with some broth, add a potato...

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's Official: Ohio State vs. Florida

All right, there's not a ton to talk about regarding the relative merits of Michigan and Florida, because it's been discussed ad nauseum all over the CFB blogosphere and the MSM alike. I just have a few things on my mind about a lot of the points being brought up.

Before I say anything else, I suppose I should reiterate that I'm one of those curmudgeons who think that rematches are horrible for college football and should be avoided when possible. When you're playing a game of 21 on a pick-up basketball court, oftentimes the person who reaches the 21-point goal first must hit another shot in order to "prove it." I personally believe that in a college football season with so few games played, no team should ever have to "prove it" or validate a victory over an opponent. Yes, I would be saying the exact same thing if OSU had lost to Michigan (I said it, before that game was played, numerous times).

Was it a political move -- a "let's do what we can to avoid a rematch" kind of thing -- on the part of the coaches and Harris poll voters to put Florida in ahead of Michigan? Almost undoubtedly (and, as I said before, I personally don't have too much of a problem with that). But don't act like Florida didn't have a very good case to be made. While the motivations of the pollsters may seem transparent, the on-the-field results of each team's games give the voters a metric ton of plausible deniability.

The argument that is driving me crazy from Michigan fans is "how can we get passed even though we didn't play," and, more specifically, the classic "if you thought we were second-best two weeks ago, how can that not be true now?" Aside from the fact that this argument just assumes that Michigan is the amorphously-defined "better team," I've always hated the notion that pollsters for some reason should vote based on how they voted the week before. Pollsters should be able to take a step back each and every week, examine the resumes of the respective teams (i.e., what they've accomplished on the field) up to that point, and vote accordingly. It is not at all unreasonable for a voter to look at the resumes compiled by Michigan and Florida and decide that the Gators have the more impressive slew of victories.

I've actually seen a bunch of people complaining about Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist "lobbying" hard for Florida during the SEC title game broadcast. Two things here: a.) they are kinda sorta employed by the SEC, so what did you expect them to do? And b.) how is this any different than Brent Musberger, Bob Davie, and Kirk Herbstreit, who ostensibly have no conference affiliation, repeating constantly during the OSU-UM game that "these are clearly the two best teams in the country"? Furthermore, Herbstreit took that attitude back to the College Gameday Final crew, where the analysts and hosts -- almost without exception -- clamored for a rematch. While every other team that had a viable shot at the title game still had two games left to play! If a Michigan fan is angry about Danielson and Lundquist's behavior this past Saturday, imagine how USC and Florida fans felt during the weeks surrounding the OSU-Michigan game. The people who stick to this whole "but we're the second-best team! Everyones says so!" argument, as well as the people who try to bash the "politicking" going on, are ignoring the media fellatio Michigan got leading up to, and even after, the November 18 game, which almost definitely contributed to this entitled attitude that Michian is clearly superior to Florida, when the resumes indicate that they're about as close as can be (the "evil" computers bear this out: the two teams finished in a literal tie in the computer polls).

This time around, Florida got the nod. If I were a Michigan fan, I may be furious, I don't know. As it is, now I'm just looking forward to bowl season. We'll be starting up the annual MWB Bowl Pick 'Em in earnest in a few weeks. Good luck to Michigan in Pasadena.