Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

BREAKING NEWS: Yours truly will actually not be working on Saturdays and Sundays now. This makes me…just like most of you. Anyway, this means that I could actually write about football on Sundays from now on. I know you’re SO excited about this.

So, even though I worked from mid morning until the early evening, I still watched football from noon til midnight. (That’s how Gs do it, y’all.) I got a good enough look at all of the other games to waste your time with telling you what I thought about things to come away with a lot of thoughts. I was impressed by quite a bit yesterday. Here are the five teams that impressed me the most (in most impressed to not as impressed but still impressed):

(All photos “borrowed” from the guys at 30 FPS. Aren’t they cool?)


1. Clemson
I got into a friendly, yet passionate debate via Twitter about the merits of Clemson after their wins over Auburn and Florida State. I just didn’t think that those two teams were that good, and the games were in Death Valley (every team SHOULD have an advantage when playing at home). If there was any team that had a tall task Saturday, it had to be Clemson. Playing in Blacksburg against a Virginia Tech team that had won 12 conference games in a row? A Tiger team that has disappointed in the past when expectations have been high? Well, Clemson went to Virginia Tech and laid the hammer down, 23-3. And to think, Tajhjhjhjhjihjhjh Boyd (I know that’s not his real name, but his real name is spelled stupidly enough) was 13-32, and threw a touchdown pass after doing about a 42 step drop. The defense was in the backfield all evening, and now Clemson’s schedule lines up quite nicely for the rest of the season. Hell, even Dabo Swinney looked great in his varsity jacket. I think it’s time to finally take notice of the Clemson Tigers, folks.


2. Alabama Crimson Tide
Sure, Alabama made things look easy by winning 38-10. And, yes…it helps when John Brantley went down in a heap just before halftime. But after the game, Nick Saban mentioned how their man-to-man defense wasn’t working early on (Brantley was just torching the Tide with deep passes early). So, once they switched to zone, that gave them a chance to get more pressure on the quarterback. That was really the difference in the game. Of course, it helps having Trent Richardson and a suffocating defense. But I think that Alabama has been a tad bit overlooked this season. They’ve still got LSU and Auburn, so it’s not as if it’s time to crown them. But anytime you can go in and win by 20+ in Gainesville…that’s impressive.


3. Auburn Tigers
You can’t dance with the champ, you gotta knock him down!!
I use that phrase from time to time because I’m an idiot whenever there’s a team playing the defending champ. Say what you want about Auburn, but they did win the national championship last year. And, South Carolina booty danced with them yesterday. Of course, it helps when opposing team’s quarterback is 9-23 with two INTs, your opponent has some hideous crap on their pants and the stud running back loses a fumble. Also, Auburn ran 92 plays. 92!!! As well as the Gamecocks seemingly played on defense, letting Auburn run so many plays is dancing with the champ. Now, I won’t go on about how some sexy ass blogger predicted this outcome back in August, but this is still an impressive result for a team that seems to believe in itself every week. And it also gets Auburn in my Most Impressed List!


4. Wisconsin Badgers
Okay, so it’s hard to not be impressed with a 31 point win over the eight ranked team in the country. Also, credit to anyone who was able to sit and watch that entire game without your eyes bleeding. It was like a candy cane orgy. I’m not really into that sort of thing, y’all. Wisconsin has been good for the past two years. I would love to see them play against an Alabama or LSU.

There is one thing that does annoy me though: The super fawning over Russell Wilson. These commentators act like he’s the greatest quarterback ever, without ever mentioning that he was decent but not spectacular while at NC State. Also, that pass to Nick Toon? Yeah, that was a bad decision, and a lucky catch by Toon. But, whatever, I digress. Wisconsin’s a good team, but it’s not just because of Russell Wilson. They went to the Rose Bowl last year without him! Still, they did enough last night to color me impressed.


5. Washington Huskies
Okay, so you probably don’t watch the Huskies very much. And, it helped that Utah had a questionable choice in uniform (I didn’t even notice those horrendous undershirts. Ye gods!!!). Anyway, Washington barely beat Eastern Washington, got blasted at Nebraska, but yet are 2-0 in conference play after winning by 17 at Salt Lake City. As much as Jake Locker was hyped, his replacement Keith Price has completed 68 percent of his passes with a YPA of 8.5 (Let’s put it this way—Jake Locker never, ever did that). Not sure if I’m just feeling nostalgic, (Holy Marques Tuiasosopo, guys!) but I like where this team is headed. There’s a lot of crud in the Pac-12, but I don’t think that’s coming from the Washington Huskies. At least I don’t think so.

What teams/players/moments impressed you this football weekend? Do you think Clemson is over/underrated or properly rated? Any other things that stood out to you from Saturday? Leave it in the comment bin. Please!

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I’m not making any promises, but the goal is to throw out three random thoughts from the weekend that hopefully are original each week. Let’s just hope that I can make it to three.

1. Brooks Conrad: Le sigh.
You know the story by now: The Atlanta Braves stormed back from a 4-0 deficit in Game 2, and were hosting the Giants before a packed house and lots of foam tomahawks. Then Brooks Conrad happened. And by

He'd probably commit an error here too, if given the chance.

“happened,” I mean, “I’m pretty sure he’s being paid by Brian Sabean.” Conrad had three errors in the game, two of which led to runs for San Francisco. The final score: 3-2, Giants. Yes, he had two pinch-hit grand slams during the regular season, including one that made Joe Simpson pull the “rodeo card.” Yes, I’m a Braves fan, and I may or may not have said mean things about Conrad after the game. But! There’s still a game left, and Brooks didn’t put any of those guys on base. Also, the Braves still had a chance to at least tie the game in the bottom of the inning, even though they had to do it against Brian Wilson. Still, there’s another chance for Brooks to either be a hero tonight, or he will remain a very plausible scapegoat for a team whose overall defense slipped mightily in the second half of the year, and stopped hitting sometime in 2003.

2. Alabama: Making everyone prisoners of the moment.
Obviously, you may have heard that Alabama lost to South Carolina, 35-21 Saturday. For some strange reason, the question I was asked the most was where both teams would be ranked after the game. (Let’s be honest, I think only three people asked me. But hey, who’s counting?) I was certain that the Tide would fall no further than fifth. This was the same team that had won 19 in a row, had the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and a quarterback who had not lost since the eighth grade, right? Just one week ago, you could be convinced that Alabama was far and away the clear top team in the nation. Then Saturday happened. So, after that loss, while albeit a convincing one, Alabama is now the eighth best team in the country? And we’re still working with the premise that the SEC is the best conference, correct? And we knew that Alabama had a tough stretch of two road conference games in three weeks, all against ranked teams, correct? Are the pollsters really convinced that the seven teams in front of them are actually better than Alabama? But then again, it’s only Week 6. I guess that there’s plenty of time for things to get straightened out.

3. Because you didn’t ask: My top ten in college football.
Just to clear a few things up: No, I am not a pollster. No, this shouldn’t be taken (very) seriously. But, I’ve seen at least a portion of games played by the teams in this list. I also tried to consider opponents played, as well as…well, whatever, my criteria doesn’t really matter. I know that people will likely disagree, but this may or may not be an opinion. So, let’s calm down before you say, “OH MY GOD, HOW CAN YOU RANK THEM THERE?” So, without further ado:
1. Oregon (Only team in this list to beat another top ten team at the time. Also a win three time zones away in Knoxville)
2. Boise State (Every win except one by double digits, and, well, I liked those unis from the Virgina Tech game)
3. TCU (Only loss in the since last season happened to be to the team ranked above them)
4. Alabama (ONE loss in the last 20 games. And because there’s no way you’d say every one below would actually beat Alabama)
5. Ohio State (Plenty of double digit wins. But only one road game, and can you really trust the Buckeyes?)
6. Nebraska (All double digit wins. And Taylor Martinez is no Joe Ganz. Which is good, obviously)

Can someone give this guy a better name than T-Mobile, please?


7. LSU (Tell me you wouldn’t take Les Miles to a casino with you)
8. Utah (I don’t really like the defensive prospects of the two teams below, so, uh, yeah)
9. Auburn (We’ll see what they’re all about very soon, with games against LSU and Alabama all to come)
10. Oklahoma (Blew out Florida State, yes. But can you see them actually beating anyone above them in this list?)

I must say that I’m pretty surprised that I got through three subjects here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop one of these on a weekly basis. So, having said that, tune in next Monday!

Because my girlfriend is a superb lady, she agreed to battle me in NFL picks this year. Each week, I’ll present some sort of explanation for our picks, and at the end, the winner gets dinner from the loser. And no, I don’t like my chances.

After three weeks of the NFL season, I realize that I’ve changed my opinion about the league in general about seven thousand times. I’m not really keen on season predictions, but I was certain that:
1. Matt Moore would be more than decent as the QB for the Panthers.

This has been the Matt Moore Era in a nutshell.

2. Michael Vick probably wouldn’t play that much this year.
3. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco would admit that they’re actually lovers.
So far, none of these things have panned out. But then again, that’s why they play the games…right? I’m not supposed to know what’s going to happen, right? Well, yes. But still. I’d like to know that my countless hours of football watching have resulted in something. Other than being that “guy who would know the answers to all the sports questions in trivia.”

What else have I been pretty wrong in? NFL picks!! I’m 22-26 through three weeks. Somehow, that’s tied with The Lady. I’ve decided to stop going with what I think will happen when it comes to these games. I’m now going to go with feeling. Because, you know, that should work perfectly!!!

(Home team in caps)
FALCONS (-6.5) over 49ers
Of course, there are obvious reasons that this is an easy pick (West Coast team with a 1 p.m. Eastern start, the 49ers are garbage, the Falcons play pretty well at home, etc.). While we’re on the 49ers…why do people keep saying that they played pretty well against the Saints? Really? A team with five turnovers played pretty well? The Saints have a mediocre defense when the game is close, yet the 49ers still weren’t able to win the game. And they were at home! You can buy into the “it was the offensive coordinator’s fault!” logic if you’d like, but that wouldn’t be very smart. So, please keep in mind: the 49ers are not good. The end.

Jets (-5.5) over BILLS
Try as I might, I can’t seem to be anti- J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! After they failed to beat Baltimore at home, I figured they were all hype. But lo and behold, they beat the Patriots by 14, and the Dolphins by eight. And Dirty Sanchez played well in both games! My goodness, the Jets might be all right after all!! And with a trip to Orchard Park on the horizon, at least Rex’s boys will be able to live the dream for one more week.

BROWNS (+3.5) over Bengals
I know, the Browns have yet to win a game. And Jake Delhomme will likely be starting again this Sunday. But did you see the Bengals last Sunday? Carson Palmer was something woeful. I have some other words to describe his performance, but I think that I would just come off as bitter since Palmer may or may not have been on my fantasy football team at some point.

*checks roster*Wait, he’s still there? Well, let’s just pretend I didn’t write the paragraph above.

Lions (+14.5) over PACKERS
I probably should have learned my lesson with the Lions last week, since Adrian Peterson decided to run wild and make that 10.5 point spread seem worth the trouble. But! The Packers have been erratic at best, and the Lions are pretty frisky. Also, would you want to block Ndamukong Suh? Better yet, wold you even want to try and spell that name? And besides, wouldn’t you consider the Lions a “not that bad” 0-3 team? C’mon, you know you want to.

Broncos (+6.5) over TITANS
Maybe this is more of a “thank you” to Kyle Orton for throwing for 476 yards in helping the Dixieland Stars and Bars (which may or may not be the name of my fantasy football team) win their first game of the season. I cringe whenever I see high spreads, especially for teams that are not “that” great. So what if the Titans beat the Giants by double digits? You know the Giants are terrible, right? You also know that, well, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about anyway. Let’s move on.

RAMS (-0.5) over Seahawks
The Seahawks won one game on the road last year. ONE! Not even Pete “I Didn’t REALLY Live With a Co-Ed” Carroll can help that. I don’t think. And yes, I know I said that I was picking games based on feeling.

That's right! The Rams are ready to...at least not get decked by the refs.

But if you combine Seattle’s woeful road record + the Rams getting their first win + weird things happening in October + I FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS= you should believe in me believing in the Rams being 2-2 after Sunday. And making the NFC West super, duper wacky.

Panthers (+13.5) over SAINTS
Allow me to give my thoughts on the 0-3 start for the Panthers: Well, actually, I think this is a better description of my feelings on how things have turned out. At my barber shop, the Sports Illustrated preview of the Panthers talked about how a “low-risk” offense would be the key to the season. Well, I’m going to tell you what NOT low-risk: throwing the football 33 times in wet conditions with a rookie quarterback. Who was making his first start, mind you! You cannot be serious!! Anyway, the Saints can’t stop the run. There may or may not be two stud running backs playing for Carolina. Even when the Saints were great last year, the Panthers were able to beat the spread in both meetings. Zing!

Ravens (+1.5) over STEELERS
I know, I know. It’s probably not very wise to pick against the Steelers, especially with the way they’re playing, and they’re playing at home. And it’s going to be OH SO PHYSICAL. I mean, not that football isn’t already physical…but still. I think the Ravens realize the wasted opportunities they had the last time they were in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers haven’t started 4-0 since the 70s (thanks, Sportscenter!). And..I like teams that wear black pants. Does that make me weird? Probably.

ALABAMA (-8) over Florida
A college pick! Yes, eight points is a lot for an SEC game. But it’s obvious that people will want to believe that because the Gators blew out Kentucky, and Alabama had to come back against Arkansas, then Florida should be able to knock off the Tide. But I have two rules when it comes to sports:
1. You can’t dance with the champ, you must knock him down!
2. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.
Even when Arkansas had a chance to finish off Alabama, they decided to dance around last week. I just don’t see Florida even getting the opportunity to do this in Tuscaloosa. You may recall how woeful they looked in the games before Kentucky. Also, until the top dog is beaten, you can’t really bet against him. Also, check who’s on Alabama’s schedule for next Saturday. Yes, they have to win this game convincingly in order to lose next week, folks!

Colts (-8.5) over JAGUARS
If Michael Vick can throw for three touchdowns against Jacksonville, Peyton Manning should be able to throw for about 30 of them, right? Do you remember when the Jags were good, and this was always a “statement game” against Indy? The Jags were just certain to feed off the home crowd (not that anyone comes to their games anyway) and beat the Colts. Well, I think the Colts haven’t lost in Jacksonville in quite some time. Don’t see that happening Sunday either.

RAIDERS (+3.5) over Texans
I noticed that I have a whole lot of road teams winning this Sunday. What happened to home-field advantage? Also, don’t the Raiders have one “did they really win that game?” win in Oakland each year, even over a “good” team? As for the Texans being “good,” well…I do realize that they beat Indy by ten in Week One. But, we obviously see that the Redskins might not be that good, and when they really had a chance to make a statement against the “reeling” Cowboys, they laid an egg. I’m thoroughly convinced that these are the “same old” Moo Cows (not that bad, but nowhere near good) until I see otherwise.

CHARGERS (-8.5) over Cardinals
I don’t wish to alarm you, and you probably don’t care anyway, but this game will be blacked out in San Diego and a 75 mile radius for the second home game in a row. For those of you who may not know, the NFL’s policy is that if the home team cannot sell all of the tickets for the game within 72 hours of the kickoff time, the game is blacked out in that city and a 75 mile radius. Now, you can agree or disagree with this policy, (as with everything sports related, I’m torn) but I’m still baffled that the blackout bug is hitting San Diego. How could you not want to go to a game, especially after listening to their super amazing theme song? The Chargers have been to the playoffs in five of the last six years. Playoff failures notwithstanding, they’re

LOOK AT THE CHEER BABES YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON, CHARGERS FANS!

“in the conversation” when it comes to elite teams over the past four or five years. And it’s always sunny in southern California!!! Anyway, if the Chargers can’t sell out, it’s proof that no NFL city is immune to fans saying home. Anyway, you could have about 500 people in the stands and still beat Arizona by more than nine points.

OREGON (-7) over Stanford
One lesson I’ve learned from watching so much sports is to stay away from the popular opinion. Great hype will almost always fall hard. Case in point: Stanford. They’re ranked #9 in the country after beating such stalwarts as Wake Forest and Notre Dame. Nonetheless, people are raving about “Jim Harbaugh football,” and the “physical presence they bring each week.” Well, apparently these people forgot that the game is being played in Eugene. That’s really all you need to know.

Redskins (+6.5) over EAGLES
I suppose this qualifies as an upset special. Yes, Michael Vick is suddenly the flavor of the month (and also the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, actually). But if you’re Donovan McNabb, you just have to win this game, right? Shouldn’t this be the week that you show everyone how wrong they were for trading you, and making the Philly fans boo the home team (although, that won’t be very hard to do)? Also, the about face that people are doing on Vick/Andy Reid must be giving them whiplash. Yes, I am a Vick apologist. And yes, I preach that great hype falls hard. So, the Eagles may very well win this game. But I feel like they won’t win it by more than six. So, there you go.

GIANTS (-3.5) over Bears
Wait a minute, the Giants are bad!!! Whatever. The “real” Jay Cutler may or may not have surfaced Monday night. Also, you may recall that Jay DC (Double Chin) has never won on Sunday night. Obviously, the best part of this game will be all of the shots of New York City that you’ll see. Now, here’s a little secret about the New York Giants (and Jets, for that matter). THEY PLAY IN NEW JERSEY. I’m sure that most of you savvy football fans were already aware of this, but just in case…it’d be wise for you to keep that in mind.

LeBron is an Idiot (+4) over RACE PLAYED A FACTOR
Well, this line is pretty self-explanatory. If race has played a factor in the backlash against LeBron James, how has it exactly? I have yet for anyone to give a reasonable answer for this. I don’t wish to bore you with more talk on the matter, but why can’t people just be upset over the fact that ESPN and the James camp stuffed The Decision down our throats, and that LeBron was a grade A douche for feeling the need to tell everyone on national television that he was “taking his talents to South Beach?” It’s not like anyone is actively wishing for you to fail (at least I don’t think). But if you thought that people would just be like, “Oh, good for you LeBron!” when you did things the way that you did, and when they didn’t, you decide to pull the oldest card in the book…then perhaps LeBron James should have gone to college after all. Maybe he would have learned that, you know, people are complex and have feelings.

DOLPHINS (+0.5) Patriots
By the way, I’d like to thank Vegas for such a horrible spread. Half a point? Really? What did I ever do to you guys to deserve such torture? I should probably know not to bet against Tom Brady in a pri—wait, that’s Peyton Manning. I should also realize that there’s probably no way that a “Bellicheck defense” will look bad in a third game in a row. But I’M NO LONGER OPERATING ON THINKING when it comes to these picks. It’s all feelings, baby!!!
Last Week: 8-8
Season: 22-26

The Lady’s Picks
FALCONS (-6.5), Jets (-5.5), Bengals (-3.5), Lions (+14.5), TITANS (-6.5), Seahawks (-0.5), Panthers (+13.5), STEELERS (-1.5), Colts (-8.5), Texans (-3.5), CHARGERS (-8.5), EAGLES (-6.5), Bears (+3.5), Patriots (-0.5)
Last Week: 7-9
Season: 22-26