Friday, September 28, 2007

PredictionTime!

Last Week: 2-2
Season: 13-10-1


Alright, enough of this sputtering above .500 crap, time for an unbeaten weekend to kick off a relentless surge... or more than likely, another mediocre effort. Thankfully, I have no money to lose gambling.

West Virginia (-6.5) at South Florida
I know a lot of people like the upset, but not I. The Mountaineers are faster than last year, and they also have that little revenge factor going for them. The Bulls are an up and coming program -- and that's exactly why they won't win this weekend, they're coming, but they ain't there yet.

Clemson at Georgia Tech (+3)
Time for the Ramblin' Wreck to bounce back after two straight losses, providing Tommy Bowden's annual letdown loss.

Wisconsin (-7.5) vs. Michigan St.
True, they have looked ugly this year, but this is a prime statement game opportunity for P.J. Hill and company.

Oregon vs. Cal (+6)
Oregon is hot right now, but I'm sticking with my preseason Pac-10 champion pick.

Florida St. vs. Alabama (+1.5)
Bobby Bowden loves us. So, naturally he's going to lose to us. Actually, his incredibly inept offense will do that for him. I'm looking for a breakout game from John Parker Wilson.

Florida (-17.5) vs. Auburn
Hmm, let's see... Auburn's offense is pathetic on a FSU level. Florida's may be the nation's best. Auburn was Florida's only blemish last year, this year they play in The Swamp. You know, I actually feel sorry for the Tigers... OK, I'm lying.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Foos and a book

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

The biggest complaint I hear about the Foo Fighters nowadays is that they "aren't fun anymore, man."

To a certain degree, I agree. The Foos are not the same goofballs who made the "Learn to Fly" video, but then again that kind of thing happens when you grow up and start families. You could argue that hey, what's wrong with a little fun? You'd be somewhat right, but then again you'd probably be the same person who would slam them for "never growing up." People will always find something to pick at. So the Foos aren't making goofy ass videos with Tenacious D anymore, big deal -- you can only go to the well so often.

The second main complaint is a little more reasonable, and that is their new stuff is not nearly as good as songs like "My Hero" or "Everlong." Again, I agree to a certain extent -- those are great songs, and admittedly the newer FF stuff doesn't have the same panache and overall catchy feel.

But that's exactly what I admire about Dave Grohl and company, their ability to evolve as musicians. They easily could've continued to put out clones of the aforementioned hits and called it a day. But they didn't, they experimented with new sounds, new styles, new themes and topics. They've put out a double album and a live acoustic album.

Is it better than old Foos? Depends on your tastes, I reckon.

That brings us to the new one, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. I think this is easily their best effort since 1999's There is Nothing Left to Lose.

Why? Well, because it's everything that their last two studio albums weren't. It has the beginning to end playability that One by One lacked. In Your Honor tried to mix the Foos' signature plug in and play loud sound with some decent acoustic tracks, but lacked symmetry and flow because the two styles were separated into two discs.

ESP&G does exactly the opposite, putting the two together along with songs that strike a fine balance between the contrasting styles. The CD starts off heavy with single "The Pretender," keeps it going for a few songs before hitting some mellower but still rocking tracks like "Come Alive," and ultimately ending with Grohl and a piano in "Home."

The beauty of this CD lies within the tracks that intertwine the two styles, and ultimately see the Foos branch out in directions they've never gone before. "Long Road to Ruin" has a great classic rock feel to it, and may be the best song on the CD. "Summer's End" is a bluesy, almost Southern rocker and right now stands as my personal favorite track. "Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running)" and "But, Honestly" hearken back to the days of Foo Fighters yore, what with their catchy riffs and all.

Simply put, I dig this CD, a lot. In what has already been a great year for rock music, the Foo Fighters make it that much better.

The official Livin' man-crush adds another title to the Livin' book club

And here you probably thought I forgot about Chuck Klosterman, HA! Chucky K delivers another strong effort with his fourth book, the aptly titled Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas.

Once again, a must read for fans of Klosterman, and also a big recommendation for pop culture lovers. The array of topics Klosterman touches on in this one cover a lot more ground than his previous releases, and the short fiction piece at the end throws in something new to his arsenal. Not as funny as some of his other stuff, but just as thought-provoking and gripping.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend roundup

Damn you Gameday

So the Gameday hex continues, and whole civilizations crumble as they realize that Nick Saban won't go undefeated every year at Alabama.

Anywho, it was a tough loss to swallow, but Georgia earned it plain and simple. Matt Stafford made an ansolutely PERFECT throw in OT, I mean a half foot shorter and it's broken up, a whole foot and it's picked. They played hard, didn't let us get any backbreaking plays, and didn't kill themselves with mistakes. Well done, Dawgs.

Once again, we showed great resiliency and heart, and that's what needed the most changing. But, I do have some gripes. First, John Parker Wilson has got to be more accurate. He's overthrown receiver after receiver this year and it's cost us some touchdowns. I love his leadership skills and the way he runs the offense, but he's missing some throws that could really put us over the top. Second, where the hell was Terry Grant in overtime? Matter of fact, where the hell was he period? Eleven carries? Eleven!? I only saw the play live, but it seems to me like there was a ton of open field off tackle on our first play in overtime -- and Grant is the type of back who could've bounced that play outside and taken it to the house.

Some other notes from the game: First, am I the only one who got Mike Patrick's joke? Maybe the timing was a bit off, but I got a laugh out of it before cussing Stafford's name incessantly. The other thing is every media outfit ripping the student section (specifically the Greek part) for showering the Dawgs with cups and a bottle or two. Crummy act on the students' part? Absolutely. Something done only at Alabama? Fuck off, you holier-than-thou assholes. Seriously, that kinda stuff happens everywhere, and most places it's even worse. There's always gonna be a couple of bad apples who toss a cup or two, especially if you taunt them within striking distance, as multiple players and even a coach blatantly did on screen.

Whatever, bring on the Seminoles.

Ravens eek past Arizona

OK, this developing trend of letting teams back into the game in the fourth needs to stop immediately. Naturally, it all goes back to Brian Billick's genius offense and their habit of blowing their load early and not being able to keep any drives going late in the game. Oy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Prediction Time!

Last week: 3-2-1
Season: 11-8-1


LSU vs. South Carolina (+18)
This line just jumped 1.5 points, interesting. I'll tell you though, don't slouch on SC's defense. I'm still not sold on the Bayou Bengals' offense. I don't see the Cocks coming out of Baton Rouge with a win, but I sure as hell don't see them losing by that much.

Penn St. (-2.5) at Michigan
Both of these teams have beaten up on exactly nobody. The difference? Penn St. has not gotten beat by a 1AA team.

Arkansas vs. Kentucky (+7)
I think people are underestimating the suckiness of the Hogs' pass D. I mean it's abysmal. We torched them, Kentucky will rape them. That said, Darren McFadden should also make the Kentucky D his personal bitch, because he does that sort of thing to defenses. But if the Cats are around in the 2nd half, Houston Nutt will not have a pleasant weekend.

Alabama (-3.5) vs. Georgia
Fuck Mark Richt and his sneaky ways, fuck the Gameday hex, and fuck, um, Auburn... yeah. I'm not saying we should book a weekend in Atlanta just yet, but what I am saying is that wins at Vandy and over Arkansas are vastly more impressive than wins over Oklahoma St. and Western Carolina.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random stuff

Folks with ESPN Insider privileges are treated to two breakdowns of Saturday's UGA @ Bama tussle. The first being a breakdown of both teams' freshmen RB sensations by Todd McShay, and the second being a complete game analysis by Scouts, Inc. Both favor Bama, I suppose that's a little inspiring.

Been some talk about our jump from unranked to #16 in the AP Poll, and I guess there's some justification to that. But the thing is, this early in the year it's so hard to judge teams -- most haven't played anybody, and the teams that do play one big game instantly get attention if they win. So we beat the #16 team and a top Heisman candidate, now we get noticed. This is why I don't start my power poll until October, it just doesn't make sense to try and rank teams this early. We are a perfect example: first two games, Western Carolina and Vandy. Last three September games: Arkansas, Georgia, Florida St.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Well I guess I shouldn't look forward to Bama basketball this year

Ron Steele to take a medical redshirt for the 2007/2008 season

I mean... shit. Lock up another NIT season?

On the bright side, barring any early defections to the NBA, Mykal Riley will be the only significant loss after next season, meaning a 100% Steele returns to a stacked and experienced squad.

Weekend roundup

Excuse any errors in this post, I may still be suffering the after effects of the three strokes I had as a result of Saturday night.

What can I say about the game, other than... wow. It went from good to great to good to great to oh-shit-what-the-fuck-is-happening to son-of-a-fucking-whore-I-don't-believe-this to YES! YES! OH MY GOD I LOVE FOOTBALL YES! ROLL TIDE!

The passing game was great (outside of a couple of bonehead mistakes by JPW), the running game was a bit stagnant at times for my liking, but still alright. But that game-winning drive was a thing of beauty. It's a shame Mike Shula could never relay his penchant for comebacks as a player to his coaching days, because it has been far too long since Bama Nation has seen one of those. As Stewart Mandel put it, "Wilson, by the way, should begin entering every discussion of the nation’s top quarterbacks."

Defensively... well, what we feared during the off-season became true: our lack of depth up front hurt us. On the flip side, who the hell can stop Arkansas' run game? But, my problem lies within the fact that we almost let the passing game beat us. When you play a team like Arkansas, you cannot, CAN NOT fall prey to the play-action pass. You have to be disciplined and not cheat up to a point where it gets you burned. I know it's tough, but the secondary is supposed to be -- nay, has to be the anchor to this defense. That said, they made the stop when it mattered, and that's all you can ask.

This weekend Gameday will, um, "grace" Tuscaloosa with their presence -- not exactly music to the ears of any superstitious Bama fans. The Tide is currently 0-4 when Chris, Lee and Kirk set up shop on The Quad, including a 2002 loss to Georgia -- a date both memorable for two things: first, a squirrel causing a power outage in every building south of University Blvd., thus forcing my friends and I (and many others) to miss the show; and second... well, let's just say I swore an oath to never touch liquor again on gamedays until after the game (90,000 people + lots of screaming and jumping + intense Alabama heat = one hell of a headache).

The Dawgs are a lot more balanced than the Hogs (of course so is just about every team not named Navy, Hawaii or Texas Tech), but they haven't looked too impressive in games not involving a vastly overrated Big 12 team or a D-1AA team (see: they sucked balls against South Carolina). More on this later this week.

Ravens win... albeit a bit close for comfort's sake

So, bleepin' Kyle Boller managed to not lose the game, good for him (although he's extremely lucky to have Todd Heap catching his passes). Have I explained that nickname? Well I will now: it came from a rant of mine following some deplorable Boller showing, and somewhere in said rant I deemed him not worthy of a First Name 'bleepin' Last Name moniker (a la Aaron bleepin' Boone or the like), and thus bestowed the above nickname upon him, much to the amusement of my buddies Clint and Nate. Serviceable backup? Sure. Franchise QB? Hell fuck no.

The good news is there really isn't game we should lose until November -- Arizona, at Cleveland, at San Francisco, St. Louis and at Buffalo. That means the purple and black (and white and gold) should be 6-1 leading into the Nov. 5th Monday night showdown at Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Prediction Time!

Last Week: 6-3
Season: 8-6


The games are starting to get fo' real, yo. No more excuses, gentlemen.

Florida (-7.5) vs. Tennessee
I'm not liking the Vols D's chances against the Gator offense.

Ohio St. (-3.5) at Washington
Everyone listen to me: this is still Washington. Yes, they beat Boise St., but this is still Washington. Not yet, people, not yet.

Alabama (-3) vs. Arkansas
Bring it Hogs, and prepare for a full box all day long. Casey Dick, meet Simeon Castille. Nation, meet Terry Grant.

Louisville at Kentucky (+5.5)
Three words: Middle Tennessee St. Granted the Wildcats' D is pretty damn bad, but they do have home field and Andre Woodson. Prepare for fireworks.

Georgia Tech (-6.5) vs. Boston College
Deadly D, damn fine running game.

USC at Nebraska (+9.5)
I'm most unsure about this one, but I think they'll keep it close at the very least.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday... things

Oden out for year
Bummer about Greg Oden, you hate to see someone get injured before their rookie season -- not to mention this is just piling on Blazers fans. But I think it'll turn out alright. Portland will more than likely get another lottery pick out of this, meaning next year's squad will be loaded. Oden is young, he should bounce back from this -- and apparently could use the rest.

Pats, lies and videotapes
This whole Patriots cheating thing has been overblown. My buddy Clint suggested a one-game suspension for Belichick -- sure, works for me. Every team steals signals, they were just dumb to use a friggin' video camera. But no one can convince me that they win/won solely because of this after seeing Randy Moss torch triple coverage.

Wounded Ravens
Sheesh, B.J. Sams is out for the season, Jonathon Ogden is out indefinitely. On the bright side, Ray Lewis did not tear his triceps, and Steve McNair thinks he'll play Sunday. Again: I hate playing in Cincinnati.

The year in music just keeps getting better
I've seen the Rowdy Frynds Tour, B.B. King, Little Richard, Al Green, Old Crow Medicine Show and Valient Thorr in concert this year. Linkin Park, Velvet Revolver and The White Stripes all released new CDs. The Foo Fighters and Kid Rock have new ones coming in the next month.

Now... Shooter mother fucking Jennings is releasing a new CD on October 23rd. Thank you music gods. The first single off the album is a cover of Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" -- it can be found on Shooter's MySpace page.

"I'd gladly trade all my big city livin' / For some rowdy women and a honky tonk tonight"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do we really want this?

By this, I mean the impending Led Zeppelin reunion show and possible following tour, which by all accounts is awesome news... sort of.

A couple of months ago I prayed like a Pagan to anyone who would listen for a LZ reunion tour, but now... now I'm not so sure.

It's not like something happened over the summer that made me come to this. But today at work as I read the story I thought whether a full-scale LZ tour is really what my generation of Led Heads wants, and more importantly what we need. For the people who actually grew up with LZ and maybe even saw them in their day, this is great of course. Why I'm not sure I can fully explain yet, but I have a feeling that when you get over 40 or so, things like seeing a band you grew up worshiping bring on a state of euphoria mixed with nostalgia that is probably only described as... cool, man.

Anywho, back to the reason this worries me in the terms of my generation of Led Heads. Our entire perception of Led Zeppelin goes way beyond their music. Obviously, we like LZ because they make the most kick ass music in the history of kick ass music. But for those of us who call them our favorite band or claim that their music has some life-altering meaning to us, LZ transcends band status and becomes an icon.

But what differentiates us from those who grew up with LZ and view them in the same mindset is to them, they were living, breathing god-like beings. They could see them, they could see they were mortal, they were humans just like them. To us, they are more straightforward god-like beings. We cannot see them as a whole, we do not view them as our equals, but as our superiors who reside atop a musical Mount Olympus. Part of their aura is that whole attitude of "Led Zeppelin is beyond awesome, if I could go back in time only once, it would be to see them live."

But we can't, and that elevates their status that much more. Chuck Klosterman put it perfectly when he said "Led Zeppelin sounds like what cool should look like." Exactly. Zeppelin gives us that something that we can't touch, the proof that there is something greater than what we have in front of us. It is their unattainability that makes them more than just a great rock band, but rock gods.

If they tour, and we get to see them, does it ruin that?

Granted it's not the same as seeing the original lineup in their heyday, at their zenith. I've seen what's left of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it goes both ways -- yes I can say I've seen Skynyrd, but it's not the same. I saw Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard last year, I've seen the current lineup of Metallica. And it was awesome every single time. At the same time, there's always that "yeah, but..." aspect to it.

Does it ruin it? No. But Zeppelin is different. It's almost as if a tour would take away their immortality. Because the music would be the same, but the band wouldn't. It's more than just not having the elder Bonham -- I'm sure his son is a more than capable substitute. But Zeppelin live is presented as a larger than life experience. Robert Plant's sexuality set the mood. Jimmy Page's mysterious wizardry on the guitar put the audience in a trance. John Paul Jones and John Bonham brought the thunder that made it earth-shattering.

But now? They're all old and wrinkled. Can Plant still hit those notes? No doubt Page can still shred, as the tour with The Black Crowes showed. But do they still have that chemistry that made them the must-see live act they were? Can they still have that chemistry? Or would they just play the hits and be done with it? I fear that instead of going to see Led Zeppelin, I'd be going to see a glorified tribute band -- one who had every last detail about the band down, and if you close your eyes it sounds just like the real thing... but it's not the real thing, they don't have the soul. And there is my problem: would this, could this reunion even begin to possess the same soul that embodied and defined Led Zeppelin?

It's not as if they ended on a sour note between members -- once John Bonham died they ended LZ because they truly believed the band could not exist without him. This isn't a Pink Floyd situation where the band ended on such a bitter rift between members, that you want to see them reconcile to bring a finality to the group -- which their Live 8 performance accomplished. To a certain extent, maybe LZ should take a cue from Floyd. Maybe this one-time thing should be it. We should all watch and go, "yeah, that was nice, thank you for that" and be happy.

Led Zeppelin ended because it had to. I think we should respect and admire that. They have nothing to prove, nothing to gain from a tour.

So, if they tour, will I go? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Random Thoughts

Just end my misery already

An incredibly depressing article on ESPN, if you're a Braves fan anyway. This season has just been a huge disappointment if you ask me. I feel this may become a rant once their season is officially over.

Kayne speaks out again

Call Kayne West what you will, but the man is my no means dumb. And while his intentions may be somewhat selfish here, he comes to the defense of Britney Spears. He's right, too. Honestly, I'm shocked her people even let her do the thing in the first place -- and then MTV went and made things worse by nixing her original performance that had something to do with Criss Angel. Regardless, MTV pimped the hell out of her "comeback" and they knew people were going to tune in -- by the way, I was not one of them, and from what I've read all the good stuff happened off camera anyway (Kid Rock/Tommy Lee slapfest, Foo Fighters and Kayne West suite performances).

Some GREAT news

Kevin Everett, the Bills player who was thought to be paralyzed for life just yesterday, now appears on the way to recovery. That's just awesome, no other word to describe it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend roundup

First things first: I am 100% convinced that I can someday be an offensive coordinator in high level football. Why? Because if Brian "I think I'll throw every single time we need one fucking yard" Billick can call plays for the Ravens, any person with some semblance of football knowledge most certainly can.

Aside from the aforementioned lack of common sense, he just has no clue how to find a rhythm for his offense. And if he does, he kills it right away. Receivers getting open on every play? Switch to the run. Line opening gaping holes and backs averaging about 6 yards a carry? Let's throw it. Other team getting intense pressure on the QB? Logically, you throw a screen or run a draw, right? Not if you're the offensive "genius" Brian Billick.

Jesus man, you're an idiot. After we took the lead 20-19, we have a 3rd and 1 on a potentially game clinching drive. And we throw it, and it's picked. Run the damn ball! If you're offense can't get the yard, they don't deserve it. And a 4th and goal on the 1 to win... and you throw? Granted, we got ROYALLY hosed by an absolutely horrendous offensive pass interference call. I mean that was horrible, seriously, somebody investigate that ref. That was atrocious.

I know what you're saying: "But it was a touchdown if the ref isn't a fucktard, wasn't that a good call?" No, it wasn't. It was only saved by a great catch by Todd Heap... who did not push off, not even in the least. Fuck that ref, may you get explosive diarrhea.

But we get a reprieve, and get the ball back to the 2. Third down, and we pass... again: if you can't get two yards in two plays running the ball, you don't deserve it. Of course, this pass is intercepted. The one ball Todd Heap will drop all year is picked off by a one-eyed (I vaguely remember him being blind in one eye college... I think) defensive lineman (Mike Myers, you may be a fellow Tider, but for the next week I hate you). Granted, Kyle Boller didn't need to throw the ball 879987 mph either, and I am MUCH more likely to forgive Heap than Boller -- on anything mind you, Heap and Boller could tag team my wife and I'd beat the ever living piss out of Boller and shake Heap's hand.

Anyway, it's only the first game, I'm not too worried. The o-line looked horrible, but that should improve. McNair rushed a bunch of throws, but that was a cause and effect thing. McGahee... meh. Line didn't open up too many holes, and he looked lost on some plays. Again, something that will improve. I did like his ability to get outside and play a part in the passing game though.

All in all, I'm still confident we can be a playoff team. Why? Because we had six turnovers on the road against a divisional rival, and yet we still were in the game until the final play. Anyone who buys into the Bengals because of tonight is an idiot, no way they are a playoff team over Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The Tide looks good

Bama went into a tricky game in Nashville and pretty much dominated from whistle to whistle. The passing game still leaves a bit to be desired, namely J.P. Wilson and his new penchant for overthrows and the lack of Keith Brown (and pass protection is still a bit shaky). But Terry Grant is The Man. With all those weapons around him, JPW should settle down and get in gear.

Ar-kansas comes to town this weekend, and apparently Hog fans are quite confident. Observe this idiot in a Mark Schlabach chat on ESPN.com today:
Heath (Houston,TX): So will Dmac and Jones dominate Alabama again...I'm seeing over 500 All purpose yards between the two this weekend!!
Umm, again? When the hell has that ever "dominated" us? Was it last year when Leigh Tiffin missed five kicks in a one-point Arkansas win? Or maybe the year before in an Alabama win? It's official, the Arkansas fan base is the craziest, most delusional in the land.

Houston Nutt still has no concept of the forward pass unless it's thrown by his running back. Saban and Steele will pack the box and force Casey Dick to win the game. I'm not guaranteeing a Bama victory (not yet anyway), but no way in hell the Hogs come into Bryant-Denny and dominate.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Prediction Time!

Here's where the season really begins, week two. they say the biggest adjustments are made from the first to second game, so we should see teams show their real identities this week. A few tests this week, should be a fun weekend of football.

Last week: 2-3

Alabama (-3.5) at Vanderbilt
Blah blah blah, upset schmupset. Terry Grant goes buck wild again, and John Parker Wilson gets his as well. Vandy will hang for a bit, but the Tide rolls in the end.

Nebraska at Wake Forest (+8)
I like the Deacs to keep it close. Nebraska may be caught looking ahead to USC next week, and Wake wants to redeem themselves for a lackluster open to the year.

Oklahoma (-10.5) vs. Miami
I know a lot of folks like for Miami to come into Norman and cover, but I don't see it happening. I like where Randy Shannon is gonna take the Canes, but not this year. They'll keep it within reach for a good bit, but the Sooners will pull away in the end.

Georgia (-3.5) vs. South Carolina
Yes, I did pick South Carolina to win the SEC East. But man, the Dawgs looked damn good last weekend against Okie St. Blake Mitchell is back for the Gamecocks, but I don't see them winning in Athens.

Penn St. (-17.5) vs. Notre Dame
Irish fans, close your eyes. The Nittany Lions remember getting embarrassed last year in South Bend. I'll tell you, that Notre Dame team is just not good this year. Charlie Weis can say what he wants, but this is a rebuilding year.

Texas vs. TCU (+9)
The Longhorns looked mighty sloppy last week against Arkansas St. TCU, well they're a lot better. I'm not saying they go into Austin and get the win, but they put a scare to everyone wearing burnt orange.

Tennessee vs. Southern Miss (+10.5)
Don't look past this one, folks. The Golden Eagles are always a pesky team, and this is a classic sandwich game for the Vols -- in between last week's beat down at Cal and next week's showdown in Gainesville with the Gators.

Auburn vs. South Florida (+7)
Everyone is calling this an upset watch, which usually means I turn the other way. But Auburn didn't look one bit of good last week, and the Bulls defense is better than K-State's. Should be a close one on the plains.

LSU (-11) vs. Virginia Tech
LSU is gonna lose sometime this year, just not tomorrow night. The Hokie offense is putrid, and playing the Tiger defense in a night game in Baton Rouge is hardly the remedy. On the flip side, LSU's offense ain't much better and the Hokie D is just as good. But the home field will be pivotal, and the Bayou Bengals will make one big play to pull away (either a Sean Glennon INT returned for a score, or a Trindon Holliday touchdown return).

Thursday, September 06, 2007

NFL Preview

Not that I've been particularly good at picking the NFL, but whatever.

AFC

East: Patriots -- Just one of those all too easy picks.
North: Ravens -- The Steelers will push, but the Ravens D is still too dominant.
South: Colts -- Yawn.
West: Chargers -- Even Norv Turner can't fuck up all that talent... can he?
Wild Cards: Steelers and Jets -- Big Ben will be back to form, and last year was no fluke for the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets.

NFC
East: Eagles -- I just feel a BIG comeback year coming from McNabb.
North: Bears -- This division really sucks.
South: Saints -- Another weak division, but Nawlins is plenty good regardless.
West: Seahawks -- Speaking of comeback years, Shaun Alexander will be back in a big way as well.
Wild Cards: Cowboys and Rams -- The Boys have all the puzzle pieces in place, and the Rams could go far behind emerging superstar Steven Jackson

Super Bowl
Seahawks over Patriots -- Alexander the Great shall reign supreme.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Weekend Roundup

Well, this weekend was certainly a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Bama looked mighty impressive in their debut under Nick Saban -- though I didn't watch the game, I just read the recap and have seen a few highlights.

Terry Grant appears to be as explosive as people have been saying, but then again it was Western Carolina. Still, any time your team can average 7-YPC, you gotta be happy. Also, worth noting that Grant's first half (135 yards, 3 TDs) was better than 12 of the 13 running back performances last year -- with Ken Darby's 167 yard performance against Ole Miss the lone exception.

This week will be the real season opener however, when the boys in crimson visit Nashville to take on those pesky smart boys from Vanderbilt. Suffice to say this will be a game worth ordering on Gameplan -- and hopefully I will recieve a similar stroke of luck to last year when a one-game order magically turned into a "buy one get the rest of the season free!" promotion. Suck on that, Comcast.

The Bad

Did You Know? The no-hitter was the first time this season the O's got shutout. Oriole baseball: we may lose 30-3, but we still got 3.

The Ugly

Pathetic. Never have I seen a Braves team look that unintersted in a series -- against the Mets no less! As little as two years ago the Braves would've pulled their collective hearts out and used them for batting practice. But this year? They had no sense of urgency, none. I know we have major pitching problems, but come on.

Yesterday's win provided the smallest glimmer of hope. If the Braves can salvage at least two of three from Philly, then sweep the Nationals, next week's trip to New York could actually mean something.

Of course, it'd be swell if 1999 Chipper Jones showed up in all of his Mets-Killer glory.

In other news...

Scoop Jackson has done gone and lost his cotton pickin' mind. Tennis, better than college football? I won't dignify that with a rant.

Prediction Time! Week 1 results: 2-3. Thank you Cal and Troy. Auburn, FSU and Okie State: you suck. No, really. Auburn's o-line looked just plain not good. Florida St. still has the same lame offense -- and who predicted that? And I almost got a two-for-one when Tommy Bowden's inept coaching let the Seminoles back in it. Okie St. put up an early fight, but I thought they could at least hang for three, three and a half quarters... guess not. With Matthew Stafford looking the way he did, our Sept. 22th showdown in Tuscaloosa just got that much juicer.

Thanks a lot Michigan, you -- along with Miss. St. -- made my preview look nice and shitty. I mean, I know I'm not perfect, but damn... I'm not that dumb. Two things can happen here: Michigan goes 12-1, or the Wolverines have one ugly season. We shall see Saturday when Oregon visits the Big House (personally, wouldn't wanna be an Oregon fan right about now).

I'll tell you what, I'm about damn tired of every team getting a bye before they play Bama. Arkansas will get an extra week to prepare for their trip to Titletown on the 15th. Who takes a bye in the second week of the season? Whatever, I do not fear the Hogs. We handed the game to them last year, and by we I mean Leigh "1 for 3 against Western Carolina" Tiffin. Yeah yeah, McFadden and Jones. I get it, and I know run defense ain't our strength this season. But when your RB's passing line (1-1, 42 yds, TD) is better than your QB's (11-20, 108 yds), you don't skurr me. I'm fairly confident in the abilites of Coach Saban and Kevin Steele to come up with a counter for the Hogs' vaunted Wildcat formation.

You know, I have probably more hatred for Arkansas than I should. I think it just stems from the fact that all of their victories over us in my lifetime has been utter bullshit (aside from that 42-6 beatdown in 1998). I mean there was that year where they got away with having 12 men on the field the play before the game-winning touchdown catch that was actually an incompletion. Matt Jones single-handedly won the game in 2003 and 2004 (with the help of a flag-happy ref in '03). And don't even get me started on last year's game.