Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Via PFT comes this lovely piece of video.

Maybe ESPN doesn't believe in camera cues. More likely, Emmitt Smith just gets so into the music that he forgets what he's doing, while simultaneously not realizing that he's, you know, on live television.

And, no, I don't want to know who owes Emmitt sex. I'm pretty sure it's not anyone I know, and that's all that matters.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I'm not really surprised at this, but Vikings head coach Brad Childress is apparently starting to do the "dead man walking" routine.

Something about a 1-3 start by a team that was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. The Vikings have three games before their bye week, and they're only likely to be favored in one of them (home vs. Detroit, in which Childress himself could play quarterback and probably lead a win).

Via PFT comes this gem from Childress. At Monday's weekly press conference, Childress was asked to explain the inexplicable. He was queried as to what the bloody hell he was thinking when he punted to Tennessee in the final two minutes of a 30-17 game. His team was down two scores, out of timeouts, and did I mention they were down two scores?
When asked about his decision to punt on 4th-and-13 late in Sunday’s game, Childress said, “Based on the way we were playing defense, I thought we’d have a chance to get it back.”

There were two minutes left. The Vikings were out of timeouts. How the hell were they going to get the ball back? Was Childress hoping that Tennessee would put Joe Pisarchik in at quarterback?

I decided not to believe that Childress was stupid enough to say that. Yes, the quote came from a KFAN story, and KFAN is the radio partner for the Vikings. So, yeah, it's hard to imagine that they would even unintentionally misquote Childress and make him look like such a boob. But that had to be what happened. No way an NFL head coach who makes millions of dollars is this dense. Right?

Nope. They got it right.
Q: What went into your thought to punt the ball when you were behind late in the game?

A: (It was) basically the way we were playing defense. I thought we’d get a chance to get (the ball) back.
I'm left even more dumbfounded than the media in the Cities must be right about now. I mean, there has to be one assistant coach on this team who can think, right? How could none of them have gotten into Childress' headset and reminded him that the team was out of timeouts and wouldn't get the ball back.

Or maybe Childress surrendered and didn't want anyone to think it went down like that.

Either way, the guy is an absolute moron and unfit for office.

Just think, if Zygi had let him get on that plane in 2006, he's probably the head coach of the Packers.

Thanks again, Zygi.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

SCREW 1982

I've been sitting here for the better part of an hour, trying to think of something intelligent to write about the end of the baseball season.

(Insert joke about "Bruce writing intelligently" here. I know you want to.)

While I could roll out some lame analysis of how the Brewers made the playoffs, or how the Mets choked on the playoffs, that would just be a waste of time and not interesting for me or you.

This is pure emotion for me. I've been a Brewer fan longer than the Brewers have been available on local radio or television. I used to follow the team via boxscores in the local paper. I had nothing else to use. The internet, cable, satellite, and all our current wonderful technology didn't exist in my world. It was the local TV stations, radio, and the newspaper.

As the 1987 heartbreak wore off, and the 1992 pennant race left the boys just short of the postseason, the Brewers sunk into an abyss of sucktitude. They never got close to a winning season as Phil Garner finished up his tenure. Davey Lopes and Jerry Royster were disasters. Ned Yost got them just short of where they needed to be.

Today, all that went away. The 1982 season DVD is no longer a dream.

The Milwaukee Brewers are back in the playoffs.

They did it two weeks after firing their manager, and they did it two-and-a-half months after trading for a near 300-pound left-handed pitcher who is pitching for a new contract, but not acting like it.

No, instead, CC Sabathia is pitching for a championship. He's taken the ball three times in nine days, and won twice (should have won a third, were it not for the defense and offense failing him in Cincinnati). He's going to take the ball on three days' rest again Thursday in Philadelphia, and there's no questioning his ability to shut the Phillies down.

He might not get serious consideration for the National League Cy Young (Tim Lincecum, Brandon Webb) or MVP (Albert Pujols) awards. But he should. Sabathia (11-2, sub-2.00 ERA, 10 complete games on the season) is the best pitcher in the game. He oughta be recognized as such.

The Brewers exorcised the ghosts of 1982 on Sunday. For their fans, the euphoria could last months, even if the team doesn't win a championship. Milwaukee is an underrated baseball town (the team drew over 3 million fans), and this team is a hoot to watch. If chemistry matters in the playoffs, they'll do well, because they genuinely enjoy each other's company.

And if having the best pitcher (Sabathia) and best hitter (Ryan Braun) in a series matters for anything, Philadelphia doesn't stand a chance.

It's been 26 years. Cut us some slack if we seem a bit loopy these next few days.


1 Alabama 6
2 Oklahoma --
3 Missouri 2
4 LSU 2
5 Texas 4
6 Penn State 4
7 Brigham Young 1
8 South Florida 4
9 Texas Tech 2
10 Georgia 6
11 Florida 8
12 Ohio State 6
13 Auburn 1
14 Utah 1
15 Boise State 1
16 Kansas 3
17 Vanderbilt 3
18 Michigan State 7
19 Connecticut 4
20 Northwestern 4
21 Wisconsin 4
22 Fresno State --
23 Virginia Tech 3
24 Oklahoma State 2
25 Ball State 1

Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#1), Wake Forest (#13), TCU (#21).

Alabama gets the nod. How could I do anything else? They absolutely manhandled Georgia, and Oklahoma stomping a mudhole into TCU just doesn't match up.

Wisconsin only drops four spots, mainly because they didn't do anything Saturday that I didn't think they were capable of doing. All they did was validate what I've been saying.

I invite your feedback. A final ballot will be posted Tuesday afternoonish.


I normally don't give two hoots about things like "Wild Card" t-shirts or whatever. But isn't that a thing of beauty.

So is this. Just take a listen.

Friday, September 26, 2008


This is a big weekend for Wisconsin.

The Badgers have done little to impress, but they really haven't had to. Akron and Marshall put up little resistance, and Fresno State basically gave the game away.

This week, everything changes.

The Big Ten season starts. If Wisconsin wins the next eight games (or seven of them, probably), they're going to a big-time bowl game. It's probably too much to ask, but optimism reigns supreme this time of the year.

Michigan is the first obstacle. As you read in the VEQ exchange, neither Brian nor I are totally enamored with our teams. I see Michigan as being a bit more flawed than Wisconsin, but both teams have holes that the opponent can exploit with a strength.

The Wolverines should be able to pressure Wisconsin QB Allan Evridge, and their line will pose problems for P.J. Hill, who needs to be able to reach the second level to be effective. If he has to spend all day trying to run over Michigan's linemen because Wisconsin isn't blocking them, it could be a rough outing.

Meanwhile, Michigan's linebackers and safeties are extremely vulnerable. Good luck tackling Hill when he gets to you, and good luck covering a healthy Travis Beckum. Oh, and Garrett Graham, too. Don't forget about him.

I'm very concerned about Wisconsin's linebackers and secondary against Michigan. The line might shut down the run game, but I am not confident that Michigan's receivers will be totally held at bay. The tackling has been shotty so far, and Michigan is going to live on their ability to make big plays out of innocent-looking short passes.

Wisconsin is probably the better team, and I'll reluctantly take them, even on the road. Keep in mind, though, that the Badgers haven't won at the Big House since 1995. That's not a good thing.

The pick: Wisconsin

On now to my other selections. I'll start with all the Big Ten games.

Last week: 12-5
Season: 57-14

Minnesota at Ohio State -->Hats off to Tim Brewster for leading this team to a 4-0 start. They have a lot of work left to prove themselves in the Big Ten, where they went 0-8 last year. Beating Montana State by 12 isn't going to show me you're ready to beat Ohio State in Columbus.

Gopher fans probably want to hang their hat on tOSU's beatdown loss to USC and their rather underwhelming performance against Troy. I would respond by saying that USC is better than a team you could put together with the absolute best players combined from the Gophers' first four opponents.

Terrelle Pryor is the quarterback now for the Buckeyes, and we get to see him work with Beanie Wells for an extended period. Wells is back from his Week One injury, and not a moment too soon, because you can see how important he is to the Buckeye attack. This won't be 45-0, but it will not be a Gopher win, either.
The pick: Ohio State

Northwestern at Iowa -->
Iowa is having QB problems. Northwestern is 4-0, but like the Gophers, the Wildcats haven't beaten anyone good yet.

I'm not sure what to make of this Iowa team. They have some impressive skill players, but Jake Christensen has been a disaster at QB, prompting a change this week to Ricky Stanzi. It's not going to solve everything for this scattershot offense.

Northwestern actually has some tools on defense for a change, mainly with the line. They can really rush the quarterback, and I think they can cause major problems for Iowa's offense.
The pick: Northwestern

Michigan State at Indiana -->
The Hoosiers were blown out by Ball State last week, and Michigan State is quietly pretty impressive. The Spartans have a well-balanced offense and an underrated defense. I said in the preseason previews that I thought Indiana was in trouble this year. I'm unfortunately right on that one. The Hoosiers will be lucky to win two more games all year.
The pick: Michigan State

Illinois at Penn State -->
Amid all the hype over Ohio State, the Nittany Lions have been able to stay under the proverbial radar. They may have the league's best offense, and the defense - admittedly untested so far - appears to have enough speed and talent to compete with tOSU.

Illinois is a work in progress. I like their defense, but Juice Williams is still not very good at throwing the ball. That's important for a quarterback.
The pick: Penn State

Purdue at Notre Dame -->
I don't care that Notre Dame beat Michigan. They aren't very good. Again. Someone should alert the administration, because they sure as hell weren't ever this bad under Tyrone Willingham.
The pick: Purdue

Other games (home team in CAPS)
CLEMSON over Maryland
GEORGIA over Alabama
Colorado over FLORIDA STATE
NEBRASKA over Virginia Tech

Thursday, September 25, 2008


You have to respect a guy like Eric Gagne.

With the way he started the season, and with how quickly he was getting booed by the home fans in Milwaukee, he could have just packed up. He still would have collected his exorbitant salary, only he would have been completely forgotten about by everyone.

Instead, Gagne continued to work through the boos and the gopher balls. He's actually posted pretty good numbers since the All-Star break. Still not justifying that salary, but he's been better, and there are signs he could be effective on this team should it advance to the playoffs.

Gagne also showed a classy, appreciative side today. It's a side of him we didn't know existed, and it's a side that makes all the booing, yelling, heckling fans look like complete jerks.
Gagne footed the bill for 5,000 tickets to Thursday's Brewers-Pirates finale and then gave them away to fans via Brewers.com. The supply of seats was gobbled up in 20 minutes, according to the team.

..."It's not every day that you get to see us try to get to the playoffs," Gagne said. "In Milwaukee it's been what, 26 years? It's something special and I wanted to give a chance to see more people get to see it.

"I'm a fan of the game, too, and I don't like to see empty seats," Gagne said. "All the kids here deserve that chance to come. I remember having to sneak into Olympic Stadium [in Montreal] even though it was $4. It's expensive to come to a game. ... I like doing something that's spontaneous."
Pretty damn cool.

Also cool: Gagne's reaction to the booing he's heard all season.
"I haven't really pitched that good. Look at my ERA (5.59)," Gagne said. "I've booed a lot of Canadian hockey players in my life, so I know how it is." Make no mistake, he hears the boos. He views them as a challenge. "But I've had more than my share of cheers in my life," Gagne said. "There's ups and downs in a career, and the fans want to win. It's been 26 years here and they're pretty interested. They want to get to the playoffs and they want to win. ... I don't think they boo the person, they boo the performance. It's nothing personal." Gagne has donated $200,000 to Brewers Charities this year for a variety of causes this year. A $50,000 chunk went to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer), the largest single donation in that organization's history. "I try to donate to the kids because I have four really healthy children and I was really fortunate," Gagne said. "I was in a position to [donate] ... and I am in a good position to do something. I know it is not much compared to how much money we're making."
You have to respect a man who appreciates the position he's in. Gagne did something nice for a fanbase that is starving for a playoff run.

I don't know what the future holds, but this is the kind of guy you want on your team. In a town like Milwaukee, he can be a real ambassador for the organization because of his willingness to help out and make a difference off the field.


Well, it's time for Wisconsin's Big Ten opener. Since I haven't said much of anything about the Badgers, I figured this would be a good time to talk about...


Bucky invades A Large Structure this weekend. Normally, certain death awaits. Instead, Wisconsin appears to be favored. By a touchdown. Eesh.

Anyway, since I haven't seen much of Michigan's games, and I was woefully unimpressed by what I did see, I thought I'd touch base with Brian Cook, God of Michigan football blogging.

We call it VEQ: Vicious Electronic Questioning. Here's the Michigan-centric version. I invite you to check MGoBlog for the Wisconsin look-see whenever Brian posts it.

As always, we thank him for his participation. It's kind of a dumb game but it's normally enjoyable, and it's a learning experience if you're one of those who is so Badger-centric that you don't watch much of the other teams.

The Ciskie Blog: Were Michigan fans really, truly ready to see this team struggle out of the gate? Are they still holding out hope for conference record somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-2? Is that realistic?

MGoBlog: I can't speak for everyone, but personally: I expected the team to be better than it is but was not surprised that they appear to be as bad as they are. If that makes any sense. Michigan has one viable quarterback, maybe six or seven viable offensive linemen, a new system, and some obvious holes on defense. There was always the possibility they would just be flamingly bad, and while I don't think they've been flamingly bad they've been close and have already blown the two major swing games this year.

At this point I think Michigan fans are skeptical of getting to a bowl game, and I'd be shocked if you could uncover anyone predicting a 6-2 year in conference.

TCB: Have they recovered from the shock of their school hiring a spread offense coach? Or was that "culture shock" part of the hire overblown to begin with?

M: Again you are asking me to answer something only scientific polling could really answer. I live on the internet, where everyone wanted the cutting edge and shed no tears at the departure of the "Avalanche" offense of Mike DeBord. After The Horror, the internet craved culture shock. All the bler bler bler in the papers about Rodriguez's culture shock may be relevant inside the athletic department and with tottering old people; I have not experienced any of it.

I think the spread offense is an excellent system that will serve Michigan well as long as Michigan finds guys who can pass a bit; the recruits coming in seem to have that ability.

TCB: Does Threet have any potential to stick in this offense?

M: If he plays like he did against Notre Dame minus the presumably correctable fumbles, yes. He's obviously not Pat White but his decision-making is extremely advanced for a freshman. Rodriguez's system requires a lot of post-snap reads and Threet's gotten just about all of them right to date. His accuracy is the thing that will hold him back: since he can't jet for 44 yards, he's got to bring something in the passing game.

He'll start for the rest of the year, at which point two freshmen will come in and fight him for the job. He'll have two years on them, one of which he's spent as a collegiate starter. I wouldn't write him off yet.

TCB: Is there anyone on offense besides McGuffie who is worth cowering in fear over?

M: I dunno, maybe? Michigan's got a wide array of receivers who might be pretty good. Greg Mathews has been the top target so far; he's not Manningham but is closer to Avant. He dug out a bunch of balls two weeks ago and almost had a spectacular diving touchdown. Freshman Darryl Stonum was a major recruit and started picking out some downfield balls last week. Freshman Martavious Odoms is Michigan's version of Darius Reynaud, a bite-sized slot guy who will be the recipient of screens and reverses and whatnot; he was frequently deployed on wheel routes against ND to good effect. Also, another freshman tailback, Michael Shaw, has gotten his share of hype. His playing time has been limited by a nagging injury but he's supposed to be healthy.

We just don't know outside McGuffie. Michigan has six to eight guys who might make an impact, or might do nothing. I tentatively suggest there will be one or two guys you are very frustrated about because they will do things they probably shouldn't be able to do.

TCB: How did Michigan's linebackers get so freaking bad?

M: I don't know, but I plan on going back to the recruiting over the last years of the Carr regime to figure out. It says a lot that Michigan brought a JUCO linebacker last year. Austin Panter was Michigan's first JUCO player at any position in ten years; the coaches obviously perceived a great cavernous need there.

As for the current team: Michigan has almost no depth or experience. Ezeh is a returning starter but is still just a sophomore. WLB is fought over by a sophomore and a redshirt freshman, neither of whom played at all last year despite having Chris Graham in front of them. SLB is fought over by Panter, who didn't play at all last year, and Johnny Thompson, who lost his job to a then-freshman (and *bad*) Ezeh a few games into last year. The LB recruiting classes have been bad, bad, bad.

TCB: What are the expectations on defense? Is the unit going to get better or will this be a season-long problem?

M: I don't think they've exactly been terrible so far; a large number of the points they've given up have something to do with the offense's ineffectiveness and turnovers. Since the first half of the Utah game they've been pretty good when not backed up against their own goal line.

The D-line, IMO, has been about as good as they were hyped up to be, and the corners have been tough. Safety and linebacker have come in towards the bottom of the range of possibilities, though, and it's hard to see those improving radically as the season goes along. Maybe Ezeh gets better, but I have a hard time seeing the OLB situation as anything but dire. Stevie Brown... well. I suppose it's possible the first four games of his career (including the Horror) are nerves or inexperience or a fluke, but I doubt it.

TCB: The Big Ten. What are you looking for in the conference schedule?

M: I'm hoping Michigan squeaks to 5-3 and slides into a crappy bowl game but that doesn't seem realistic at this point. 4-4, I think, and a 6-6 record that gets them left in the cold because Indiana and Northwestern are scheduling the University of Phoenix Phoenixes.

TCB: What do you know about Wisconsin?

M: What's to know? You've got a functional-esque white quarterback with acceptable mobility, thumping tailbacks, a cow-sized fullback, and offensive linemen that blot out the sun. You are Wisconsin, and this is what you will be forever and ever amen.

TCB: Am I missing something with this team, or am I right in thinking they're really not that good? I still think they're going to get exposed on defense, even if it isn't by Michigan.

M: Dude, put yourself in my shoes and interpret "not that good." To me, Wisconsin's "not that good" is 9-3: an impossible dream for Michigan this year. Are they a top ten team? Almost definitely not. Are they top twenty? Almost definitely. I think your concerns about the defense are a little extreme, especially given this excellent scouting report from the MGoDiaries.

If you've got your hopes set on a BCS bowl I think that's a bit much, but it's not out of the question.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


1 Southern Cal --
2 Oklahoma --
3 Florida --
4 Georgia --
5 Missouri --
6 LSU --
7 Alabama 1
8 Brigham Young 2
9 Texas 4
10 Penn State 2
11 Texas Tech 2
12 South Florida 5
13 Wake Forest 3
14 Auburn 3
15 Utah 2
16 Boise State 10
17 Wisconsin 1
18 Ohio State 1
19 Kansas 2
20 Vanderbilt 2
21 TCU 5
22 Fresno State 1
23 Connecticut 1
24 Northwestern 1
25 Michigan State 1

Dropped Out: East Carolina (#14), Oregon (#15), West Virginia (#20).

Wasn't sure what to do with the bottom. After about 30 huffs and puffs, along with more thought than I should put into places 20-25 in this thing, this is what I came up with.

I'm horribly underwhelmed by pretty much the entire group.

Hats off to the mid-majors in the poll. I count five, and I was tempted to throw Tulsa in there, too.

BYU is legit. I think Utah is very good. Fresno is solid. I'm not totally sold on TCU, but their reputation and a good start to their season. We'll see how they fare against Utah and BYU.

South Florida falls because of an unbelieveably unimpressive win over Florida International. Beating them 17-9 isn't accomplishing much. Everyone has their bad days, and I'm willing to send them back up the ladder if they impress me again. Texas Tech didn't really do anything wrong, but I'm sick of seeing them line up tomato cans for the pre-Big 12 season.


My colleague in Madison, Todd Milewski, has decided to conduct a WCHA pre-season media poll.

The Grand Forks Herald has done a coaches' poll for many years, but this is the first time in my four years covering UMD that we have had a media poll.

I've always been about full disclosure here, so with a deadline of Friday, this is my ballot:

Final standings
1. Colorado College
2. Denver
3. Wisconsin
4. North Dakota
5. UMD
6. Minnesota
7. Minnesota State
8. St. Cloud State
9. Alaska-Anchorage
10. Michigan Tech

Player of the year: Chad Rau, F, Colorado College

Rookie of the year: Aaron Ness, D, Minnesota

All-WCHA first team:
F: Chad Rau, Colorado College
F: Tyler Bozak, Denver
F: Ryan Duncan, North Dakota
D: Jamie McBain, Wisconsin
D: Brian Connelly, Colorado College
G: Alex Stalock, UMD

Even though I've already sent this in, I'm not opposed to making Milewski accept a revised submission from me if someone makes a compelling argument for a change. Or maybe you need to just say "HEY IDIOT, YOU FORGOT ____".

Either way, use the comments or e-mail.

As you can tell, I really like the Colorado teams. Again.

Bottom line to me is that the Tigers and Pioneers return top-notch players and - in CC's case - superb goaltending. Wisconsin is going to be very good, and despite more losses, you can't count out North Dakota.

As for UMD, their experience and goaltending will make a huge difference. Goal-scoring won't be nearly the problem it's been. The big issue is figuring out which senior forwards will step up their games, and which defensemen will eat the many, many minutes played by Travis Gawryletz and Jason Garrison a year ago.

Minnesota needs to prove they can score goals without Ben Gordon and Blake Wheeler, and Minnesota State just has to prove it. They had a great run last year, but the questions I have are the same as many teams who get on a run with a lot of close wins.

Can they do it again? It's not a knock on the team. It's a long-held belief of mine that teams that win a bunch of close games are benefiting from a run of good luck that doesn't always repeat itself.

As for St. Cloud State, I expect a bit of a drop-off thanks to the loss of Andreas Nodl, who was a big part of their offense. Alaska-Anchorage should be improved by a good amount, and Michigan Tech will get better as the season wears on. However, there are just too many losses to take them seriously as a home-ice contender.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Last week: 11-3
Season: 45-9

I'm very hopeful that some teams begin to solidify themselves as solid poll-worthy teams. It would make the voting process much less stressful.

(NOTE: Connecticut didn't help themselves in this. Art Briles is a good coach, but Baylor still stinks, and beating them by three on your home field doesn't impress me much.)

Perhaps we'll see some separation start to develop in the SEC, though I wouldn't bet on it.

PENN STATE over Temple
MINNESOTA over Florida Atlantic
OHIO STATE over Troy
PURDUE over Central Michigan
MICHIGAN STATE over Notre Dame
INDIANA over Ball State
Alabama over ARKANSAS
OREGON over Boise State
NORTH CAROLINA over Virginia Tech
Florida over TENNESSEE
Utah over AIR FORCE
Wake Forest over FLORIDA STATE
AUBURN over Lsu
Georgia over ARIZONA STATE

A few thoughts:
  • I don't believe in Notre Dame yet. Neither should you.
  • I look forward to seeing what East Carolina does against NC State. They laid an egg last week against Tulane and nearly lost, but the Pirates should be ready for this one. If they can win, they're a serious threat for a BCS bowl.
  • I love the Utah-Air Force matchup. In a non-conference game against a similarly-skilled team, I'd give Air Force the edge because of Troy Calhoun's funky offense. Kyle Whittingham, however, is on to Air Force's games.
  • Florida State isn't for real until they beat a I-A team. Yes, Wake Forest would count.
  • Auburn looked terrible last week, but they will be prepared for rival LSU. Don't read too much into that 3-2 game. Auburn's offense is better than that, and they'll be on a mission to prove that tonight. This time around, the winner of the game will get to double digits.
  • One of the day's most intriguing matchups will be Virginia Tech-UNC. The Tar Heels thumped Rutgers on the road last week, and Tech continues to struggle on offense.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I don't think I can do this anymore.

See you next year, Brewers. Because there's always next year, right? And this is just another "next year" for a franchise that's all too familiar with waiting for it.

There has to be something more rewarding in life than being a Brewer fan. Because this just isn't getting the job done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I don't do this kind of post often enough, but I have some spare time, so here are some random thoughts about my BlogPoll ballot.

I did get one e-mail from a reader who thinks I'm nuts putting Wisconsin as low as I have them. I'll justify that and other things that haven't been asked.
  • USC in the top spot is kind of a "duh" at this point. I think the only voter resistance here is due to bias. There's just no way you can justify not ranking a team that beat Virginia and Ohio State by a combined 87-10 in that top position. Oklahoma looks really, really good, but I'm not convinced they're as good as USC, as their competition so far just doesn't justify the argument.
  • That said, OU did their job in Seattle Saturday. USC went up there last year and struggled against a Washington team that's inferior to this year's outfit. OU kicked the living crap out of them from the opening kickoff on. Certainly a good sign for the Sooner Schooner.
  • I rank Florida ahead of Georgia mainly on a hunch at this point. I think UGA's probably more talented, but they've suffered a couple key injuries, and they looked generally lifeless in their conference opener against South Carolina. Florida has flaws, too (mainly on the offensive line), but I give them a slight nod at this point.
  • As much as I like Missouri, I want to see them prove it. And not while allowing 42 points to Illinois.
  • You'll notice almost half the SEC in my top 11. That needs to not be taken the wrong way. The conference is really good, but my big problem is that I'm just not sure which teams are good and which aren't.
  • BYU is legit. I think. After all, I did watch UCLA beat a decent Tennessee team, and I can't believe BYU beat that team 59-0 without scoring a point in the fourth quarter.
  • I think Penn State might be a significant threat to Ohio State's Big Ten title.
  • I don't think Wisconsin is. With all due respect to their win at Fresno State, this might be the worst top-ten team in the history of the major polls. They're just not very good on defense, with too much of a penchant for missed tackles, bad angles to ball-carriers, and blown assignments. Fresno couldn't take advantage because of an inaccurate kicker and some key drops. Teams like Penn State, Ohio State, and even Michigan State won't make those mistakes as much once we're in the teeth of the Big Ten season. Hopefully, Wisconsin improves, because they'll have to if they want to get to a major bowl.
  • I have no clue what to do with East Carolina.
  • Or Utah. For that matter, spots 20-25 were pretty much drawn out of a hat. Teams like Vanderbilt, Connecticut, and Northwestern are off to great starts, but against somewhat questionable (or downright bad) schedules. However, I feel better sticking them in there than I do a team like Clemson, who I've already seen absolutely tank in a big-game atmosphere.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Apologies for blowing off last week. I lost my mind somewhere in the long work days and didn't remember until I saw Brian's poll post in my Bloglines reader.

I'm such a retard.

As a result, my "change" numbers are all FUBAR, just like the bottom of the poll.

Please offer some assistance in the comments.

1 Southern Cal 25
2 Oklahoma 24
3 Florida 23
4 Georgia 22
5 Missouri 21
6 LSU 20
7 South Florida 19
8 Alabama 18
9 Texas Tech 17
10 Brigham Young 16
11 Auburn 15
12 Penn State 14
13 Texas 13
14 East Carolina 12
15 Oregon 11
16 Wake Forest 10
17 Utah 9
18 Wisconsin 8
19 Ohio State 7
20 West Virginia 6
21 Kansas 5
22 Vanderbilt 4
23 Fresno State 3
24 Connecticut 2
25 Northwestern 1

Dropped Out: