Monday, February 23, 2009

Moving on up

I'm currently in the process of moving to the Wordpress format so please updated your blog rolls accordingly. I've already transferred all the posts and comments over there. The URL is It's a work in process and the theme I have up right now is kinda ripping off the good Senator so I'm working on fixing that. I just liked the formatting better over there and think it looks a little smoother than the Blogger format here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another foray into the world outside of sports

If you've checked my site recently, you've noticed that my posting has gone down significantly since the turn of the new year. For one thing, football season ended and I didn't much feel like being reflective on the woulda's, coulda's, and shoulda's that were the Georgia football season and the Atlanta Falcons playoff "run". The first full workout for the Atlanta Braves was today so baseball isn't really in motion yet. The men's basketball team is a mess in itself and I personally couldn't care less about the NBA, NHL, or recruiting.

I realize that's blasphemy to a lot of college fans these days, but I don't follow recruiting that strongly. I just don't see the point in getting all worked up over a bunch of 17-18 year old kids that showed some athletic ability in high school. Some have already peaked athletically and some unheralded recruits end up becoming Damn Good Dawgs by the time they leave (see: Pollack, David). I can't put much stock in some kid just because Scouts or Rivals tells me to. I especially wonder about kids that come from rural areas and small towns. These kids have typically been stars on the field their whole lives. They've always been better than everyone they've played against on sheer athletic ability alone and never really had to work at it. Then, they get to a big-time football program like Georgia and are in a room full of guys that are just as good athletically, or even better than these guys. I wonder if an 18 year old kid that's always been told he's the best is mature enough to handle that reality.

Back to the original subject of my post, my posting lately has been light. That is primarily attributable to what we in the public accounting industry call "busy season". If you haven't been able to deduce by my online tag, I work as an external auditor for a fairly well-known public accounting firm in its Atlanta office. Busy season for us occurs during the first few months of each calendar year as most companies end their fiscal years at 12/31 and we must complete their financial audits by the end of February so they may file the appropriate reports with the appropriate agencies by March 15th. Anyways, you can tell when someone is a public accountant because they tend to always be at work and gain anywhere from 15-70 pounds during January and February (I kid, I kid).

Anyways, I've decided to take more of a personal focus on this blog during the downtime in the sports world to discuss the current crapstorm of a financial crisis we face in this country as my career path is intimately related to it. I decided to post this after a nice discussion I entered with Ally over at her site over the past weekend. First off, I don't want to turn this into a Democrat vs. Republican vs. Libertarian debate because I think we're polarized enough as it is. I want to bring this to the forefront as a concerned citizen and why I personally think I could grab a friend and go run this country better than the idiots (that term includes Democrats and Republicans. See, I'm not biased. I'm an equal opportunity hater when it comes to politicians) we have in Washington right now. I'll break this down into five separate points that I feel warrant further discussion.

(1) People that say it's the (insert party's name) fault when referring to the current financial crisis.

You people are straight up morons. This is a crisis for which the blame shall be equally shared. Many like to think that the current crop of Democrats are going to increase the size of government through spending programs that will eventually lead us into Socialism or some form of it. I say the wheels were already in motion towards huge government when the Republicans were in power from 2001-2006. They controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House for 6 years and all they did was spend profusely and increase the national debt three-fold from what it was when former President Clinton left office. Say what you will about having to increase spending to fund two wars, but these Republicans that are now outraged over the spending provisions within the recently signed stimulus bill crack me up. My question to them is "Where the hell were you fiscal conservatives when your party was going gangbusters with my tax dollars from 2001-2006"?

(2) The whole Citigroup situation

The whole ordeal that Citigroup experienced from a public relations standpoint over the last month has caused my blood to boil more than anything else about this whole crisis. This time I will blame the Democrats for being idiots. They essentially have strong-armed Citigroup into consider reneging on a 20 year $400M marketing agreement with the New York Mets and to cancel the purchase of a new corporate jet. On the face, those things do look bad from a PR perspective. What company in its right mind would accept bail-out money from the federal government and use it to buy a new jet and pay $400M to a sports team? It's a fair question. The problem is those were agreements the company entered into well before the current financial crisis. The company originally ordered the jet in 2005 to replace its aging jet and it made the marketing agreement with the Mets in 2006. I may not be a lawyer, but I thought a legally binding contract between two consenting companies was a staple of common law in this country.

My problem with the idiots on Capitol Hill is that they just pander to the complaining masses. John Q. Taxpayer sees these expenditures towards the Mets and a new jet and freaks out wondering why this company should be receiving his tax money if it's going to spend it indiscriminately. It's a fair concern, but the general populace shouldn't be angry with Citigroup. They should be angry with their representatives in Congress for being a bunch of idiots. Those idiots realize the anger of their constituents and play to the masses by condemning Citigroup and making Citi look like the bad guy.

Citi accepted the bailout money under the premise that it was to allow business to go on as usual. If Congress had a problem with giving money to a company in the process of buying a new jet and getting ready to put its name on a new stadium in Queens, Congress should have made that explicitly clear before Citi accepted any money. If anything, Congress didn't do its due diligence and didn't actually review the books of any of these companies for which it has so generously awarded this taxpayer money. Had the Congress actually reviewed Citi's books it would have been well aware of these upcoming expenditures. I don't blame Citi for honoring its previous commitments. I blame Congress for not doing due diligence and then pandering to the masses. I just hate this two-faced nature of Congress. Once it feels public support shifting, it does an about-face so quick it would make your head spin. For a lack of better phrase, the way Citigroup was treated through this whole ordeal by Congress and in the court of public opinion really pisses me off.

(3) The salary limitation on executives accepting bailout money

I actually don't have a huge problem with this provision. The funny part about this is that Congress enacted it to pander to the complaining masses, but it may have an unintended effect. By limiting executive pay for companies that accept taxpayer money, Congress may indirectly cause more companies to steer clear of the federal money. Since I don't agree with taxpayer money going to private companies in the first place, that is what I hope happens. I realize that $500K is a lot of money to most of us that work normal 8-5's. For an executive of a Fortune 1000/Fortune 500 company, that's not worth the position. $500K is not worth the risk, stress, or the potential ramifications of being an executive. If you disagree with me, I pose a question to you. Would you accept a salary of $500K knowing that if things go wrong at your company and you are proven to be negligent, you could go to jail for 24 years for something that wasn't directly your fault? Ask Jeff Skilling how he feels about that. If I'm going to bear the risk that comes along with that position I want to be equally compensated for that risk and frankly, $500K ain't cutting it.

(4) Congress ridiculing executives because of their salary

This is close in nature to #3. I remember when the heads of the Big 3 automakers first went to Congress to ask for bailout money and a member of the committee scolded one of the CEO's for having a $22M salary and having the gall to ask for taxpayer money. Once again, this is Congress pandering to the masses. That Congressman that scolded this man is lucky it wasn't me. If it were I would have been held for contempt and a possible assault charge to boot. Who the hell do these people in Congress think they are? Nothing grinds my gears like Congressman ridiculing an executive's salary when the majority of Congress is independently wealthy.

Also, it's not that guy's fault that he is making $22M a year. A Board of Directors approved that salary. If Congress has beef, it should be with the shareholders of that auto company. The shareholders elect the BOD that approved this man's salary. I find it grossly un-American to question somebody's salary. I thought the American Dream meant that if you worked hard, one day you will be rewarded. I guess this current incarnation of Congress feels otherwise.

(5) Congress ripping bonuses without thinking

Until the Citigroup story broke, this to me was the most unnerving thing that took place. Here's a snippet from the story with quotes from Senator Claire McCaskill of Montana:

"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."

This quote relates to the report that "Wall Street" firms handed out $18B in bonuses during 2008. So obviously, the idiot McCaskill assumes that it's just evil bankers sitting in dark rooms thinking new and evil ways to deceive the American taxpayer. To steal a line from Keith Olbermann, I think she is the worst person in America.

Perhaps if the idiot McCaskill did a little research she would realize that a bulk of these bonuses go to staff level employees that need these bonuses just to pay their bills. This is a Letter to the Editor from earlier this month that was sent by an angry father to the New York Times in response to one of their typically scathing articles:

To the Editor:
Re ''Few Ways to Recover Bonuses to Bankers'' (news article, Jan. 30):
How nice to read at the very end of your article that ''some bank employees may have done their jobs well, even though their employers lost billions.''
My daughter is a young equity analyst on Wall Street. She is smart, grounded, ethical and works extremely hard to deliver a high-quality, objective analysis of publicly traded stocks -- the kind of advice that underpins our capital markets. She has nothing to do with subprime mortgages or other ''toxic'' assets.
She doesn't have a private plane or a house in the Hamptons. A significant part of her compensation for working as hard as she does comes at year-end in the form of a ''bonus.''
There is nothing ''shameful'' about my daughter's bonus. She earned it.
Michael C. Foley
New York, Jan. 30, 2009

I wish Mr. Foley's daughter well. The problem with the sweeping allegations from the idiot McCaskill and the New York Times is they don't take time to realize that Mr. Foley's daughter is not the exception to the rule, she is the rule. Certainly, much of that $18B went to executives that have all those privileges mentioned by Mr. Foley. Based on work I've performed around company bonuses, I'm guessing probably about 45% of that $18B went to executives while the remaining 55% went to people like Ms. Foley who are either staff level employees getting 10-15% bonuses at the end of the year or sales-level employees that get nearly 70-80% of their salary from bonuses which they earn by meeting sales incentives. I will not fault a young woman or a sales staff that makes $6/hour for accepting a bonus so that they can pay their bills. I've got a message for the idiot McCaskill: You can kiss my ass for speaking without thinking.


I realize this post has rambled on quite long, but these are some things that I feel are wrongs and we are being wronged by our leaders. This is just an online forum where I can vent and get my thoughts out there to share with you. I can't change anything by angrily rambling. What I hope to do with posts like this is to promote free-thinking and removing ourselves from this culture of fear that's been cultivated by our leaders regarding this financial crisis. We have to be able to step back and provide constructive criticism to our leaders. We can't be afraid to write our Congressman and our Senators to express our concerns and let them know how the people really feel about the legislation they're creating. After you read this, I hope that if nothing else I provided an insight or a different point of view that made you think about the financial crisis in a different way. Feel free to post your thoughts, criticisms, praises, or whatever comes to your mind regarding the way I feel.

Personally I'm at the point now that I want to send 535 hammers to all our representatives as a Christmas gift this year with a card that says "Feel free to hit yourself in the head with this because you can't harm a brain that isn't working". That's just the way I feel about it. I have been wrong before.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Steroids "Issue"

Let me preface my comments by mentioning that by far baseball is the sport I first truly loved as a kid and personally it is still my favorite. I'm sure everyone is aware of "The Story" so I won't bother rehashing what the Worldwide Leader has no doubt beat down your throat by this point (makes you look forward to the slob-fest Florida will be getting when half their games are on the Mother Ship next year, huh?). Here are my first three thoughts when I heard that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in the "anonymous" testing that was performed in 2003.

(1) Don't Care
(2) Don't Care
(3) Don't Care

Maybe I'm just desensitized at this point in my life, but this has been my position ever since 1998 when Mark McGwire's "Andro" issue came up. Frankly, I couldn't care less that some athlete decides it is in his or her best interest to ingest a"performance enhancing drug". Perhaps the libertarian in me comes out and I believe in a degree of personal responsibility (what a concept - sarcasm heavily implied). I feel in the last decade or so we've decided it's easier to let the federal government figure our problems out rather than take responsibility for our actions.

I hate that these guys get vilified for this and labeled with the Scarlet letter "J" for "Juicer". Here's a more poignant question. What exactly is a "performance enhancing drug"? The easy answer is one that enhances performance on the field. I understand that some of these guys are using to get stronger which inherently may be the difference between warning track power and home run power. I also believe many pitchers used things like Human Growth Hormone in order to recover faster from injury or fatigue in order to get back out on the field to help their team. We treat those guys like they are the scum of the Earth when they reveal that fact. What about the guy like Steve McNair that had to take a shot of cortisone every Sunday just to numb the pain so he could get on the field and help his team? We call him a warrior, a hero, any number of glorious nouns could apply. How is taking that cortisone shot not "performance enhancing"? Without it, the athlete could not perform.

I realize the obvious rebuttal to my example is that steroids are considered illegal, controlled substances while cortisone is a legal substance. That's a fair argument. The main problem I have is that we're quick to point out these guys as villains when all they did is what was readily available for the next guy to do in order to perform at the highest level.

That leads to the question of : "Is taking steroids wrong?". I don't have an answer for that. I don't have a moral objection to a person putting whatever they damn well please in their own body. My opinion is that if it harms you, then you obviously learned your lesson. There are plenty of studies and examples such as Lyle Alzado to point out the potential ramifications of long-term use. Players are fully aware of the risks they take with their bodies when introducing these substances.

The other argument I hear is "What about the example these guys are setting for children?". That is also a fair point. I idolized Greg Maddux and John Smoltz when I was a kid. I wanted to be just like them. I assure you had Mad-Dog or Smoltzie been using steroids, I would not have been influenced by them to do so. This also comes back to my argument of personal responsibility. My parents taught me the difference between what is good and what is bad for me. Inherently, when a kid takes a substance like this I do not feel you can point fingers at an athlete. You point fingers at the kid's parents and his support group. It is not the responsibility of Congress or Major League Baseball to teach right from wrong. That goes back to the personal responsibility shouldered by the family.

Ultimately, I hope this story dies a quick death. We all know it won't though because the Worldwide Leader is involved so they will milk it until it's completely dead and then repackage it to us in a half-hour special.

This is the best news that I can think of regarding this situation. I really hope Congress stops having these sham parades anytime it feels it needs to protect me from myself. I hate the fact that my taxpayer money is funding investigations of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens just because they did not want to admit something that frankly is nobody else's business but theirs. To me, this is government intrusion into our personal lives at its worst. I feel we are better served spending our federal money figuring out how to bring our boys home from two wars in the Middle East and solving the worst economic crisis to face our nation since the Great Depression.

Okay, now I can get back to making petty jokes about Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin. By the way, keep Mr. Meyer and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he is currently with his father in Ohio who is battling cancer. I may not like Urban Meyer the coach, but it's never a good experience when one's parent is sick.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Two Cents on a Playoff

This seems to be a popular topic floating around the blogs recently so I thought I'd add my two cents to the discussion.  I'm one of those fans that wants it both ways.  I would love to see a playoff in college football, but I'd hate to see the regular season devalued.  Here are three recent examples why I worry about a playoff being implemented in college football:

(1) 2008 Arizona Cardinals
(2) 2007 New York Giants
(3) 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

The NFL to me is very similar to college basketball.  The whole point of the regular season is just to get into the tournament.  That's the exact reason I love college football so much more than its professional counterpart.  The regular season is its most valued treasure.  It's not about the team that gets hot for three weeks.

The Arizona Cardinals this year lost 56-35 to the New York Jets and 47-7 to the New England Patriots.  If this were a college team, there's no way we would be considering this team for national title contention (see the Georgia Bulldogs 2008 team for how two blowouts will affect your national championship hopes).  Nevertheless, this team is on the cusp of being crowned the "champions" of the NFL if they can win one more game.  Last year the New York Giants won a tight game against a team they were heavy underdogs and which they lost in the regular season.  In 2005 the Pittsburgh Steelers made the playoffs without even winning their division and got hot for three weeks leading to a "championship".  Does anyone honestly believe that had the Giants and Patriots played again a week later that the Giants would be favored?  Am I the only one that has an issue with this?

In my last post here, I voted Utah #1 in my final Mumme Poll.  This had nothing to do with my bias against the hated Gators as I explained that my true opinion was that Texas, Florida, and Utah all had an equal claim to the #1 spot in the land at season end.  Right now, college football has what amounts to a two-team playoff better known as the BCS Championship Game.  We essentially are splitting hairs between multiple one-loss teams to determine who we think is most worthy of the title.

Like I mentioned earlier, I don't want to see the regular season lose its value.  If we had a multiple team playoff, there's a solid chance that USC (the real one, not the Gamecocks) could be the 4 or 5 time defending national champions as they traditionally are playing their best football at the end of the season.  The problem is they seem to slip up during the regular season (see Oregon State/UCLA 2006, Stanford/Oregon 2007, and Oregon State 2008).  The argument I hate the most in college football is "Well, Team A could beat Team B right now at a neutral sight so we should rank them higher".  That argument is just silly.  Just because USC could obliterate the rest of the 118 teams in FBS on January 1st, 2009 didn't change the fact they lost to a 4-loss Oregon State in September.

Saurian Sagacity posted in 2007 (funny that this was the year after the Gators won a national title under the current system, apparently some Gators can see the flaws in a system that benefited them - shocking) a "modest proposal" for a playoff.  He prefaces the post by the fact that it is a "TOTALLY UNREALISTIC PLAN" that "WILL NEVER HAPPEN".  I do like the idea proposed.  I have a few concerns about whittling the teams down to 96, but I can see how that makes sense.

The concern that has been posted over at the Senator's site, and which he and I have an agreement on, is the concern for expansion.  One of mine and the Senator's most noted discussions concerns that of one Dennis Felton.  As we are both alums of the University of Georgia, we want to see our programs succeed.  He and I both agreed that if a playoff were instituted in college football and allowed to expand in size, we could see programs suffering under Felton-like regimes.  The only reason Dennis Felton is still coaching at UGA is because he got to the NCAA tournament last year with that tornado stricken, wild weekend in Atlanta.  Most rational UGA fans would notice that was fluky and not indicative of the Felton era as a whole.  The problem is that the casual UGA fan sees that UGA made the NCAA tourney therefore Felton should be allowed to stay around even though his record suggests otherwise.  This brings me to my biggest argument against the playoff because when money is involved we all know there is the inevitable expansion of eligible teams.  Hell, we already have 68 teams playing in bowls, who knows what the playoff number could be.

If we are going to have a playoff, there can only be 8-12 teams.  I prefer the 8 team answer because this eliminates the need for byes which would probably be based on human rankings anyways.  I do agree with Saurian Sagacity that we need 8 power conferences with 12 teams apiece (for those of you that majored in management/marketing, that's 96 teams).  For that to happen we will have to eliminate 23 teams in FBS (if you can't subtract 96 from 119, please stop reading).  The SEC, Big 12, ACC and MAC are already set up for this.  The easy solution for the Big Televen is to add Notre Dame (if NBC will allow it).  There would be a challenge with how to allocate Conference USA, WAC, MWC, and Pac-10, but I'm sure smart people could figure that out.

Once we get down to eight power conferences with 12 teams, we can split each conference in two divisions with a conference championship game.  The winners of the conference championships get in to the playoff, and we seed based on BCS (or whatever the system is at the time) rankings.  Therefore, in that first week 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, and so on.   Currently, the last week of games for FBS schools is the first week of December.  We can play the first two weeks of the playoff during the middle of December, have a two week break for final exams and holidays, and play the championship game during the first week of January.  This way we don't interfere with school and at most we've added two games to the schedule (currently, conference champions in the 12-team conferences play 14 games a year including the bowl.  With a playoff they'd play 12 regular season, conference championship, and three playoff games if they made it all the way to the championship game for a total of 16 games).

By not interfering with final exams we throw out the critics that worry about conflicts with school.  The two extra games may be a stickler for the "too many games" critics, but I'm not concerned about continuing play through December.  I'd rather see my championship game in January with two fairly fresh teams than the two recent stinkers that Ohio State put up after being off since the Thanksgiving weekend.

Quite frankly, I don't ever see this happening as there is way too much money to be made in the arguing and bickering that is the BCS, but it would be nice.  As long as we, the college football fans, keep watching and attending games under the current system, nothing will change.  The only realistic chance for a playoff is for us to decide that we'd rather find new hobbies than watch college football on Saturdays (which ain't happening).  By having a conference championship game for every conference, we don't devalue the regular season as you have to make the conference championship to have a chance at the national championship.

Well, anyways, that's my two cents.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Final Mumme Poll

The Senator already has his final Mumme Poll up for the year and the final poll will be posted to his site next Monday. In the interim here is my final Mumme Poll for review. Any thoughts or criticisms are welcomed.

Bold notes #1 overall, while asterisks note the rest of the top five.

Number 1

Rest of the top 5

Final 7
Texas Tech
Boise State
Penn State
Ohio State

This is how I think the vote should go. I don’t know how you can delineate the respective resumes of Utah, Florida, and Texas and come up with a completely infallible defense for your argument. I prefer the Orson Swindle method and think that the pie should be split. Utah, Florida, and Texas have all earned the right to be #1 based on their resumes and common opponents. I refuse to believe in this notion of “Team A could beat Team B on a neutral field, therefore they deserve the nod”. This is idiotic logic as it completely devalues the idea that the regular season is important. Honestly, does anyone believe that had the New England Patriots and New York Giants played again a week later after the Super Bowl that the Giants would be favored? Absolutely not, as New England’s resume (their regular season) was indicative of the type of team they are. The Giants had one amazing game and are crowned champions although they were less than impressive during the run to the regular season. That’s my biggest argument against a playoff in college football. Once the field gets large enough to accommodate average teams we will get watered down champions and the regular season accomplishments will be devalued because of one flukey play or one weird game for teams that dominated their regular seasons. Off my soapbox now. Here are my explanations for my rankings.

-Ultimately, I’m going with Utah as #1. If we are going to split hairs between them and Florida, Utah did not lose at home to a 4 loss team. Also, both played Alabama on a neutral field with Utah manhandling ‘Bama unlike Florida. Obviously, Andre Smith was a bigger factor than we realized, but Andre Smith doesn’t play defense from what I remember about his playing days.

-Florida showed that it could slow down the juggernaut that was Oklahoma’s offense. If the GPOOE comes back for his senior year, he may well go down as the greatest college football player of all time (GPOAT). This team is very young and will likely lose Spikes and Harvin to the NFL. However, if the Golden Child returns, I have a sneaking suspicion they will be preseason #1 next year. It’s hard to argue this team doesn’t deserve the #1 ranking, and as I said earlier I believe they all should be voted #1. However, there ultimately is only one #1 and I felt that Utah’s resume was harder to poke holes at.

-Texas played a less than stellar game against a team they were favored to beat pretty easily (I guess someone forgot to tell those Vegas boys that Ohio State always plays pretty good defense). The voters in the AP and Coaches polls are holding this against Texas as an indictment on their conference and Texas itself. Texas had a killer schedule in the middle of the season where they played four straight top fifteen ranked teams (humiliating Missouri, BTW) and were able to survive it with only one loss. If that doesn’t impress you as a college football fan, then you are one cold person. Ultimately, I feel their resume is strong enough to warrant #1 recognition. My only knock on them is the same I had on Georgia last year. They did not win their conference. It’s a very weak argument though as you could argue back that they were screwed by an idiotic tiebreaker process, and that’s why I’m lobbying for the split #1 vote. Just because Texas beat a supposedly inferior opponent unimpressively in their last contest does not wipe away all the goodwill they built up during that gauntlet run.

-Oh USC, what should I do with you? Your coach argues that you are the best team in the country and that no one could beat you right now. That may be true, but I’m voting based on resume. Quite frankly, you played no one of importance other than Ohio State during the regular season, you lost to a four loss team in miserable fashion, and you have smelly feet (I couldn’t think of another logical reason to put USC down, but I wanted to make a list). USC is typical of why the power poll experience is wrong. They want people to see what they are right now, which is arguably the best team in the country, and ignore that blip on the radar in Corvallis. Just because you could beat them by 100 today still doesn’t change the fact that you lost to them in September.

-Oklahoma showed me a lot of heart last night. They were put into submission by the GPOOE in the second half, but they were playing to win. They were told for weeks that Florida was going to clamp down on them on D, which Florida did to the tune of 14 points, and that the defenses in the Big 12 are terrible, which turned out to be untrue as Oklahoma held Florida to its lowest point total since the LSU game in 2007. Oklahoma did everything it needed to and took advantage of the tiebreaker to win its conference and be in contention for a national title. I would have no problem replacing Florida with Oklahoma in my split pool had they won last night. It was tough for me to pick Oklahoma over Alabama for this fifth spot, but I think Oklahoma played a slightly tougher schedule out of conference, Cincinnati – Big East Champion and TCU. Oklahoma is a fine football team, but they are not worthy of #1 talk because of the losses to Florida and Texas inherently make their resume look worse than those of two victors.

-TCU played perhaps the best bowl game of the season. I was colored with envy watching their defense in that game wishing that Reshad Jones would take a hint (Write slams head repeatedly into desk thinking about it). TCU’s only losses were to Oklahoma and Utah, both of whom played in BCS bowl games and were both in the running for the #1 ranking prior to Oklahoma’s loss to Florida.

-Texas Tech sure laid a whale of an egg in the Cotton Bowl. I’m thinking they were less than satisfied to be completely left out of the BCS talk despite only having one loss and having beat Texas. They didn’t seem to interested to be there and it showed. Overall, Tech had a great season. They beat one of the teams that I consider top ranked during the season with one of the most dramatic endings to a game I can remember. They humiliated Oklahoma State, but were buzzsawed by the monster at Oklahoma. I didn’t see Ole Miss beating them by outgunning them though. That was a peculiar outcome to me.

-Alabama had one heck of a season considering not much was expected of them this year. They rode their mauling offensive and defensive lines to the top of the polls for nearly half the season. One could argue at the end of the season, Bama’s ascension to the top was built like a house of cards that started tumbling. In the polls, their quick rise was due to complete demolitions of highly ranked Clemson and Georgia on the road, both of which turned out to be average to good football teams this year. You still can’t discount a team that went 12-0 in the regular season and 8-0 in conference play as lucky. They earned every win. I don’t penalize them much for the loss to Florida because Florida was playing at the highest level I’ve seen a team play since the mid-90’s Nebraska teams with Tommy Frazier. They went punch for punch with Florida and played one of the most memorable SECCG’s since the game started in 1992. Alabama’s biggest concern was its lack of depth and it showed once Andre Smith was removed from the equation. Alabama maybe had the biggest thud of a loss in the BCS games, but I’m not going to penalize them highly for losing to what I consider the top team in the country.

-Boise State made it through the regular season with only one loss to Utah and played one of the most memorable bowl games against TCU. I enjoyed that one thoroughly. This is a team that’s going nowhere and is going to remain in the eyes of the public for awhile to come.

-Penn State did what Big 10 teams do when they play USC. They got shellacked. That one shellacking doesn’t discount how impressive their regular season was to me. Their only blemish prior to the Rose Bowl was a last minute field goal loss to Iowa. They beat Oregon State soundly, who beat USC BTW, and beat a pretty decent Ohio State team on the road. This may have been Joe Paterno’s best coaching job of the last 10 years and he celebrated by signing a lifetime contract (snarky sarcasm hinted).

-Ohio State has certainly evolved from a respected program to media punching bags for their repeated failures on the big stage. They played well in every game this season except the debacle in LA and the Fiesta Bowl against Texas. They took the best shots their conference had to offer and nearly won the thing had they beat Penn State at home. They’ve got a freshman QB that really needs to learn to throw the ball, but once he does that offense could be really scary.

-I wrestled with this last spot between Georgia and Ole Miss, both of which I had reservations about adding to the poll. Frankly, three losses is better than four and that’s why I put Georgia here. Georgia didn’t blow away Michigan State like some thought would happen, but the defense played like its hair was on fire the whole game. I only hope for the future going forward this was a show of the defense to come and not an anomaly. Georgia’s best win of the season was over Michigan State. It got beat soundly by Florida and Alabama, and humiliated by in-state rival GA Tech. For a team that had so much hopes and aspirations pre-season, that was a loud thud you heard coming from Athens at halftime of “the funeral”.

This poll took me way longer than any of the others I’ve done this season because I spent a lot of time thinking about the top ranked team and came to my conclusion that it deserves to be split, but if there can only be one it must be Utah. I’d say I spent a good hour and a half thinking and compiling my thoughts.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A little off topic

Normally I only discuss sports here, but I'd like to stray off topic to something that hit me today.  I've realized that my favorite song of all time may be "Susanne" by Weezer.  It's not because the song is epic or complicated, but the sheer talent in Rivers Cuomo comes out in that song.  If you've never heard it, the song is played at the end of Mallrats and it's about an A&R Assistant at Geffen Records when Weezer was first starting out.  It just amazes me that someone can put those words to lyric about how someone touched his life.  I've been playing guitar since I was 14 years old and this song caused me to realize that Cuomo has more talent in his left pinky fingernail than I do overall.  I realize it's just a random thought, but I felt I should share it.  This song amazes me every time I hear it and I wish I could write songs like that guy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

We're Back

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Santa brought you everything you wanted.  I'm well rested and still full from the home cooked meals.  I'm going to get back to posting soon, but have some stuff to catch up on at work that I put off due to the holiday.  In lighter news, I'm currently 4-8 on my bowl picks in the office pool I participate in.  If I ever give you gambling advice, please cover your ears and run away.  That is, of course, unless you like losing your money.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, I'm leaving today to head home for some quality time with the parents.  Internet is on the fritz there, so I expect little to no posting the next few days.  Since I won't get a chance tomorrow I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and safe traveling.  See you in a few days.  BTW, if Notre Dame loses tonight and has two straight losing seasons, does that mean they'll be calling Urban Meyer tomorrow?  We can only wish.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Georgia Basketball; Epic Fail Thusfar

I shouldn't be surprised. I've even said so before. Last night, the UGA men's basketball team played an epic, OT thriller and lost on a last second half court. Their mighty opponent, you ask?

The mighty Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Islanders, of course!


Where does the basketball program go now? I realize it's quite a knee jerk reaction to immediately place the blame on a coach, but seriously... This is the second loss this season to a team with hyphens in its name. I really don't expect a lot when it comes to our basketball program. I realize that Georgia is, and always will be, a football first school. To use a quote from Damon Evans, there isn't even a "blind spot" with this program. The perception outside is that it's crap, and quite frankly the perception within the Bulldog Nation is that it's crap.

Coach Felton got dealt one turd of a hand when he took the reclamation job from the pits of the Harrick downfall. He literally put up flyers in the dorms asking students to come out and walk on because he was so desperate for warm bodies. But we're past that point now. The scholarship reductions are gone. No, the lack of talent is a product of kicking our most talented players off the team, or guys like Billy Humphrey having multiple run-ins with the law. I really don't know where to go at this point, but it can't get any worse, can it?

The only reason Coach Felton wasn't on the chopping block last year was because of that miraculous run on GA Tech's basketball court. Damon Evans didn't tie his hands by making some contract extension to Felton, which was smart. My belief is that Felton was as good as gone otherwise. The way this team is playing right now, the NIT looks like a far reach. Heck, maybe we'll turn it around and post some impressive showings in conference play. Right now, I'm just not seeing it. I implore you Coach. Please do not lose to Kennesaw. That would just give bragging rights to every stripper in Atlanta. (For those not in the know, next time you're at the Cheetah or Pink Pony, ask the lady where she goes to school. I guarantee you she will say Kennesaw State.)

Monday, December 22, 2008


That's right, Falcon fans. You can rejoice. We're going to be playing football in January. I'm still in disbelief. You don't come into a season with a rookie HC, rookie QB, rookie GM, and on the heel of the Petrino/Vick debacle last year and expect to make the playoffs. What a job this group has done. After the Cowboys decided to lay an egg Saturday night in likely its last ever game at Texas Stadium, and the Bucs decided not to show up for the 4th quarter against San Diego, the Falcons needed only a win at Minnesota to clinch at least a wildcard spot. Despite being outplayed by the Vikings, the Falcons used seven Viking fumbles to jump out to a big lead and ironically the Falcons scored the winning TD on a Matt Ryan fumble that was recovered by Justin "Johnny-on-the-Spot" Blalock for his second huge Ryan fumble recovery in as many weeks.

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's your rookie QB!

To top the day off, the Giants and the Panthers clashed in New Jersey last night for a classic game that decided the top overall seed in the NFC. The Giants emerged victorious and the Panthers have still only wrapped up a playoff spot. By some miracle, should the Falcons dispatch of the Rams on Sunday and the Saints defeat the Panthers in New Orleans, the Falcons would win the division, grab the #2 seed, and be playing a home game in January for the right to play in the NFC Championship. What an early Christmas present Mike Smith, Matt Ryan, Thomas Dimitroff, Michael Turner, Roddy White, John Abraham, and company have given Falcons fans. Thank you Arthur Blank for making the right choices and setting this franchise in the right direction.

Update:  Smitty came to his senses and told Ryan to cut that Superman crap out.