Monthly Archives: October 2012

New Top 25; Logjam at the top, Just Who IS #2? Big Ten Making a Comeback

A lot of talk was made of the whipping Florida gave South Carolina, but I’m gonna hold off on that kool-aid for just a second. Yes, they hammered the Gamecocks, however, when you still don’t top 190 yards of total offense, you need to temper the excitement a bit. Personally, I think the other three teams in the top four were more impressive last week. I’ll go so far as to say I thought Oregon and Kansas State were FAR more impressive as well. That said though, beating LSU and South Carolina in the past few weeks certainly holds a lot of water. I’ve said it before, and still say it, you can throw a blanket over teams 2-4 right now.

The loss of Braxton Miller could really hurt Ohio State, as in the last two weeks they’ve been less than convincing in wins over Indiana and Purdue. But, the fact is, they’re still unbeaten. Notre Dame wasn’t exactly impressive either, but they too remain perfect. That tilt with Oklahoma this week is going to be huge. Two storied programs, any hopes of a national title on the line for both, should be great.

Speaking of Oklahoma, that loss to Kansas State looks less and and less damning as the season goes on. Perhaps the Sooners have been underrated. We’ll see soon enough.

I’ve railed on the Big Ten all year, and it got off to a pretty bad start with Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska and Wisconsin all suffering underwhelming losses out of conference early on in the year. However, the superior teams in the Big Ten have begun to assert themselves, and all have the looks of solid top 25 teams. Nebraska in particular, broke Northwestern’s heart last week.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Mississippi State play Alabama. The Bulldogs are off to a fantastic start, and a lot of people are saying ‘Bama hasn’t really been tested yet. We have a chance to learn a lot about both teams this week. Though, I get a feeling that if ‘Bama doesn’t blow them out, you’re going to be hearing from Oregon, Florida and Kansas State fans that it won’t be because Mississippi State is that good, but that ‘Bama is overrated.

1.  Alabama

2.  Oregon

3. Florida

4.  Kansas State

5.  Ohio State

6.  Notre Dame

7.  Oklahoma

8.  LSU

9.  USC

10.Mississippi State

11.Florida State

12.Oregon State

13.Louisville

14.South Carolina

15.Clemson

16.Rutgers

17.Georgia

18.Texas Tech

19.Ohio

20.Nebraska

21.Wisconsin

22.Texas A&M

23.Michigan

24.Penn State

25.Louisiana Tech

Others

West Virginia

Texas

UCLA

Stanford

Toledo

Cincinnati

TCU

Northwestern

N.C. State

Tulsa

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Get Off Lance Armstrong’s Nut

Cheating: to break rules to gain an advantage: to break rules in a game, examination, or contest in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage

So in a sport where it’s been pretty much proven that everybody who has won anything in recent years is cheating, then how is it considered cheating? In that definition, “to gain advantage” seems to be a key part of what it means to cheat. So if everyone is “cheating”, what advantage is being gained?

This isn’t like baseball, where some guys were juiced, and others weren’t. This is a sport that is as “dirty” as they come. This sport goes beyond the old NASCAR saying of, “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin'”. In this sport, if you aren’t cheating, you likely don’t even exist.

In baseball, if you want to do things the clean way, and the honorable way, you can do that. You won’t hit 65 homeruns, and you might suffer some injuries, but you can still go out and be a legendary player. Ask Chipper Jones. You don’t have to cheat to still have success. In baseball, you don’t have to be the very best baseball player on the planet for people to know who you are, for your efforts to be worth while, to have a chance of making any kind of career out of it.

But for a cyclist? Name me someone who finished second to Armstrong in one of his seven Tour de France victories……waiting……It’s probably not even that easy to look up. Okay, it probably is, but still, the point is made. If you are a cyclist, or a track runner, or any one of those individual sport athletes that only gets a few stages a year, if that many, to shine on, you have to be the best. No, not among the best, not just good enough to be in the show, you have to be the absolute best of the best, otherwise, nobody has a clue who you are. And if nobody knows who you are, you’re not making any money.

So get off your high horses about how Lance Armstrong has let you down by being a “cheater”. You can sit there all you want and say you wouldn’t have ever done it. Bulls**t. If that was your life, that was your dream, that was your everything, and you saw the people standing in your way of achieving it doing it, knowing you had no chance of overtaking them unless you did it yourself;  If you even then still wouldn’t do it, you’re a bigger person than I, and most everyone else on the face of the earth.

So Lance Armstrong took some steroids……Okay. Did he not still come back from cancer? Did he not still defeat all those other cyclists seven consecutive times? Cyclists, who mind you, were on the same sort of chemical enhancement.

Lance Armstrong didn’t take steroids to beat them. He took steroids to keep the playing field level. And then he beat them.

Now, if you want to talk about him lying about the steroids, that’s a slightly different topic. But what did you want him to do? Come clean immediately, fess up, even though he’d done this well enough to be competitive, and not get caught? Why? So he could see all the work he had done for the cancer community immediately come undone?

Yes, at this point, he has stepped down from his position with the Livestrong organization, but would you have preferred this happen sooner? Why? So less people would be aware of cancer? Less people would be aware of it? Sounds reasonable.

Had Lance Armstrong decided to go about his return to cycling in the clean, “honorable” way. Nobody would have the slightest clue who he even is. Do you know how many additional people aside from those who knew him he would have made more aware of cancer? Zero. Do you know how many dollars he would have raised? Zero. Do you know how many people he would have inspired? Zero. So yeah, shame on you Lance, you didn’t do the “honorable” thing. All you did was provide hope and inspiration, awareness, and raised money, for a horrible disease. I don’t know I could even look at you.

The argument that he shouldn’t have had to cheat is naive, and uninformed. Plain and simple. Lance Armstrong had a mission, and without the use of steroids he never could have accomplished it.

So quit villifying him for it. If anything, villify the sport that let doping get so out of control that any hope whatsoever of competing depended on one’s willingness to do so.

Do not villify the man who defeated cancer, then set out to complete a mission of achieving his dream of winning the Tour de France and of bringing this disease to the attention of millions of people with the hope of one day defeating it. And he did this the same way he beat cancer, he did everything he possibly could and had to do, to do it.

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Saddest Scenes in Recent Television

So creating this list, and visiting all the links, I think I don’t need to watch them anymore, but nevertheless, I felt an urge to take on a project of remembering some of the saddest scenes in television history, sitcoms, dramas, the like. While some scenes were not available in their entirety due to copyright laws, and others may take some explaining, I think they all pretty much hit their point whether you’ve watched the show or not. Enjoy, or actually, maybe don’t?

These are in no particular order, but which would you say are the top three?

Dr. O’Malley Dies, Grey’s Anatomy

Opie’s Wake, Sons of Anarchy

Will’s Dad Leaves, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

How I Met Your Mother Countdown to Big, Great, News ,  The “Big News”

News of Dr. Green’s Death, E.R. , Dr.Green’s Funeral , Rachel Green’s First Day

Series Finale, Dawson Creek  *noted, I refuse to play “Dawson” ever again, ha ha

Series Finale, Six Feet Under

Winter, Dr. Cox’s Denial over friends death ends, Scrubs

Pilot Episode, The Wonder Years  *I chose this as a personal favorite, since, well, I know how this ends

“Then How Come it Is”, Ross & Rachel break up, Friends

Amber Dies, House *unfortunately I could not find the actual ending of this episode, so a montage with music leading to the final moments of the scene will have to*

House Series Finale *same as the other House episode, the entire final ending isn’t available, so a montage summing it all up is all I could find*

Charlie Dies, LOST

Marissa Dies, O.C.

Saying Goodbye to Laverne, Scrubs

C.J.’s Protector Agent Donovon Killed, West Wing

The Finale, LOST

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New Top 25; Big East Is Underrated, Props To Indiana, Arkansas Could Be SEC Spoiler

The LSU victory over South Carolina probably did the most to really shake up the top ten. It certainly didn’t do Georgia any favors. Fear not Bulldog faithful, they win their next two, they will get their due. Just like every team in the SEC, next week is a chance to prove yourselves. Unfortunately for them, the flop they had against South Carolina was just too disastrous to overlook and give them the benefit of the doubt simply because they’re in the SEC. South Carolina knows if they don’t win next week, they won’t win the SEC. Georgia knows if South Carolina doesn’t win next week, they control their destiny in the league. So, to say it’s a big game is a mild understatement.

Speaking of the multiple title scenarios in the SEC, there’s a huge spoiler lying in the weeds, and it’s Arkansas. They’ve played much better the last two weeks and have too much talent to overlooked. Remember, they get LSU at home to close the season.

Notre Dame is sitting rather pretty right now, and with two games left on the road against highly ranked Oklahoma and USC, the Irish pretty much control their own fate into the national title game. If it’s an SEC champion and then an unbeaten Oregon, Kansas State, or Notre Dame, seriously, c’mon now….

It’s a real shame that in both the Big Ten and the ACC, the best team in one of the two divisions of each conference isn’t eligible to even play for the conference title. In the Big Ten, it’s arguably the two best teams in one of their divisions. It’s unfortunate that these conferences will have to scramble to find bowl eligible teams (hello Wake Forest, hello Purdue) that aren’t worthy to cover their slots. It’s going to definitely skewer post-season conference vs conference records.

Congratulations to Kevin Wilson, in his second year as head coach at Indiana, for seeming to have them on the right track. Last year was a disastrous 1-11 season. This season they’ve started off the year just 2-4, with four straight losses, but keep in mind they include the two point loss to Ball State, the four point loss to Michigan State, and a three point loss to Ohio State. They lost all but one of their last seven a year about by 14 points or more. They’d lost their last four games against ranked opponents by at least 21 points. Here’s to hoping it continues.

The most underrated conference in the country has to be the Big East. Rutgers, Cincinnati and Louisville are all undefeated. Among the non-conference opponents they’ve defeated are Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Virginia Tech. That’s 4-0 against the SEC and the ACC. Not bad. Remember also, Pittsburgh also took down the Hokies, and Connecticut beat Maryland, who is the only unbeaten team in ACC play right now.

1.  Alabama

2.  Oregon

3. Florida

4.  Ohio State

5.  Kansas State

6.  Notre Dame

7.  LSU 

8.  Oklahoma

9.  USC

10.South Carolina

11.Mississippi State

12.West Virginia

13.Florida State

14.Louisville

15.Oregon State

16.Clemson

17.Georgia

18.Rutgers

19.Texas A&M

20.Cincinnati

21.Texas Tech

22.Ohio

23.TCU

24.Northwestern

25.Boise State

 

Others

Penn State

Texas

Louisiana Tech

Nebraska

Iowa State

Arizona State

UCLA

Stanford

North Carolina

 

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Setting the Record Straight With Matt Ryan’s Playoff Record

We’ve heard it before the year, and sure enough, we’ve heard it this season after our 6-0 start. The Atlanta Falcons are garbage. Why? Because they can’t win in the playoffs. Matt Ryan’s lost three straight playoff games, he stinks in the playoffs.

So, okay, yes, he has indeed lost three straight playoff games. But have we taken into any context those losses, or considered how difficult it is to even make the playoffs three times in your first four seasons?

Consider these facts:

Rookie year: Went from the number three pick in the draft, and not because we traded for it, because we were that bad, and lost a one possession game to the eventual NFC Champion, on the road.

Year three: Led his team to the best record in the NFC. Unfortunately the eventual Super Bowl champions defeated the Falcons in the second round of the playoffs.

Year four: Led his team back to the playoffs, a fourth straight winning season, lost again to, you guessed it, the eventual Super Bowl champions, on the road.

That’s three losses to NFC champions, with two of them coming on the road and one road loss being against a Super Bowl champion.

Yeah, clearly Matt Ryan has choked in his first four years, just choked…… As a rookie he lost on the road to a quarterback on the way to his third Super Bowl appearance in eight years. So sue him. Oh, he lost on the road to a quarterback on his way to his second Super Bowl victory in five years. Yeah, run him out of town. He obviously will never succeed.

And of course, Matt Ryan is the only one.

Not Brett Favre….Wait, you mean he only even made the playoffs twice in his first four seasons in the NFL? And they never got out of the second round either? You’re kidding me. *the fact that his two wins also came against the Lions…..c’mon….*

I can’t imagine Phil Simms did it either. Oh, he didn’t make the playoffs at all in his first four seasons? Interesting.

Well Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls, so it certainly couldn’t be him then, could it? Okay, he did win ONE playoff game in his first four years, while only reaching them twice.

Then it definitely wasn’t Steve Young. Well, you’re right. He only saw significant playing time in one playoff game during his first four years, and of course, it was a loss. It wasn’t until his eighth season in the NFL before he started and won a playoff game.

So, surely not the legendary Peyton Manning. Hold on, he didn’t win a playoff game in his first four years either? Only one appearance in the second round? And they didn’t even MAKE the playoffs more than twice?

Sure, John Elway and Eli Manning both reached a Super Bowl in their fourth year, along with Troy Aikman. But in all three cases, neither had won a playoff game in either of their first two three years either. And never mind the case that if not for Steve DeBerg going 4-1 as a starter, Elway likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs at all. In fact, Elway, Manning and Aikman all did something in their rookie year that Matt Ryan is still yet to do, lose more than they win as a starting quarterback. Yet, because this trio were in Super Bowls in year four, and Ryan wasn’t, we now know that Matt Ryan never will, right? I see that’s how this works.

It’s funny too, Matt Ryan won’t ever win a Super Bowl after the start he’s had, yet there was the one guy from Fresno State who won all of one playoff game and all had of one winning season in his first six seasons. Somehow though, in year seven, he was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

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New Top 25, Dawgs & Noles Crash, South Carolina and Ohio State surge, Welcome Louisiana Tech and Ohio

I think right now it’s Alabama and Oregon at the top, and that, I think is pretty concrete and universally agreed upon. The question is, who is that third team that could potentially spoil that party. After Saturday night, one has to think it’s South Carolina. But are the Gamecocks really on that level?

Georgia takes a huge hit for completely not showing up at all. The Seminoles also drop a good bit after losing at North Carolina State. The SEC should fear not though, LSU stays in the top 10, and Mississippi State replaces Georgia among the top 12, so the conference still has five teams in the top 12. Georgia and Texas A&M also ensure that half the teams in the conference are ranked after this week.

I didn’t want to drop TCU all the way out, I’m interested to see what becomes of their quarterback situation. With Paschal, I think the Frogs win that game against Iowa State and remain unbeaten, so I didn’t penalize them too much.

With Nebraska, Northwestern and UCLA all playing poorly in games with a real chance to prove something, someone had to replace them in the top 25. Welcome teams like Louisiana Tech and Ohio. Both could potentially run the table this season.

It’s a real shame Ohio State isn’t eligible for the conference title, or a bowl game. These Buckeyes are good, and wouldn’t Urban Meyer against any SEC school in a potential national title game be extra compelling. Unfortunately it won’t happen……this year.

And Notre Dame? They’re for real people. They are for real.

1.  Alabama

2.  Oregon

3.  South Carolina

4.  Ohio State

5.  West Virginia

6.  Florida

7.  Kansas State

8.  Notre Dame

9. LSU

10.Oklahoma

11.USC

12.Mississippi State

13.Florida State

14.Louisville

15.Clemson

16.Georgia

17.Rutgers

18.Oregon State

19.Texas

20.Texas A&M

21.Stanford

22.Cincinnati

23.Ohio

24.Louisiana Tech

25.TCU

 

Others

Northwestern

Tennessee

Michigan State

San Jose State

Boise State

Iowa State

UCLA

Nebraska

Penn State

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