Power Rankings: Week 9  

Posted by Walter

1. Ohio State

Walter - While it was hard to argue with the Buckeye's dismantling of Penn State on Sat night, I'm still interested to see what they'll do against a team that can play offense AND defense. With PJ Hill likely out for Wisconsin, looks like we'll have to wait at least another week to find out.

2. Boston College

Frazier - The Eagles survived the curse of #2 in a thrilling win over Virginia Tech. It's hard to be impressed with that performance, but they certainly showed more heart in pulling off the comeback than they'd displayed in recent years. In a year where everyone else is losing, BC deserves credit for hanging tough.

3. Kansas

Walter - Beating a Dennis Franchione coached Texas A & M team isn't all that impressive. Thoroughly dominating them (as the Jayhawks did taking a 19-0 lead into the fourth quarter) at Kyle Field is.

4. Arizona State

Frazier - Ok, I'm not ready to anoint the Sun Devils or anything, but I was very impressed with how they played on Saturday. On the same day Oregon took down one of the Pac-10 supposed "elites" the Devils were no less impressive against another in the Cal Bears. Surrendering only 13 points, and none in the second half against an explosive offense definitely deserves some attention.

5. Oregon

Walter - Although they may not be the same juggernaut that dominated the Pac-10 for the last 5 seasons, any win against USC is a big win. Oregon gets Arizona State next, and will prove once and for all who the best of a still underrated Pac-10 is. Do people realize the Ducks were a fumble on the one inch line away from potentially being unbeaten and a unanimous #1?

6. Louisiana State

Frazier - This team is surprisingly difficult to judge. At times they have looked incredible, but at others kind of sluggish, without offensive consistency, and with a talented but underperforming defense. Frankly, the way the SEC has imploded recently has made this a tough team to evaluate. But they can probably beat anybody on any given Saturday, it's just they might not.

7. Oklahoma

Walter - Here's where it starts to get a little dicey. Although Oklahoma has been far from impressive in some lackluster wins recently, the loss to Colorado is looking less and less atrocious by the day. They need some help, but if they win out they could get themselves a crack at the title game.

8. West Virginia

Frazier - Ok, not entirely sure who they've beat. Destroying Rutgers was impressive (probably) but they still have a bad loss to S. Florida, and a stud running back who seems to have lost a gear. Lots of talent will go a long way, and this team could still put a hurting on somebody in a BCS tilt.

9. Missouri

Walter - Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that the Mizzou-Kansas tilt to wind up the Big 12 regular season would be so drastically important to the national picture? Parity is great for competition, but when it gives you Mizzou-Kansas as can't miss viewing perhaps it's run amock.

10. Georgia

Frazier - Wow. A team that got lit up by the Vols is now the #10 squad around. This ranking is a testament to 2 things: the quality of the SEC, and the dearth of competition for this spot. Honestly, nobody else is even really lurking right now. If Stafford can be consistent, and Moreno continues to run hard, well, they may actually be deserving of the spot.

Dropped off:

Florida -
Yikes. This team is basing its' reputation on beating a Kentucky squad that got owned by Miss St? Um, that's not a good thing. Tebow needs some help for the Gators to redeem.
South Florida - These guys just aren't ready for prime time. I know leaving Florida is no fun, but you have to bring SOMETHING with you when you visit UConn.
Virginia Tech - Yeah, you gave #2 all they could handle, but then you spit the bit. Seriously, beat somebody with a pulse.

Tuesday Question - Police Blotter  

Posted by Frazier

Welcome to the 323 precinct. We've opened the drunk tank so Sox fans have a place to cool off instead of flipping cars, but we have a number of other perps in here this week. Here are the guys spending time in the pokey, and the crimes they committed.

Regicide: Mike Bellotti

Down with the king! Not only are the Ducks flying high, but Bellotti's boys were completely unafraid of the King of the Pac-10, USC. Now the king is dead. -

Lewd and Lascivious Conduct: Jimmy Clausen

How bad has it been? Notre Dame is last in the nation in sacks allowed (39), last in tackles for loss allowed (77), last in rushing ypg (34.13), 112th in passing ypg (153.5, last in total yardage (187.5). Yup, behind that OL Claussen is totally "exposed" (thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week). - Walter

Jaywalking: Jim Tressel

Pretty much the only crime the sweater-vested one is likely to commit. Unless ruining yet another title game is a crime. And, frankly, it should be. - Frazier

Grand theft auto: Mike Hart

The only thing keeping this huge-hearted dynamo from being a sure fire first round pick is speed. Once Hart picks himself up a set of wheels, top 5 here we come! - Walter

Extortion: Ray Rice

Rice has Rutgers by the balls, and everyone knows it. If he leaves school after his junior season, he will make himself a ton of money, and the Knights will descend back towards mediocrity. If he returns, they could have their best season, well, ever. -

Intimidating a witness: Chris Long

Let's see, 6'4'' and 280 lbs. with a borderline inhuman intensity. Yeah if I needed to shut a witness up I might give Chris a call. Plus, if he needed some backup he could always call on his NFL Hall of Famer Dad Howie. - Walter

Forgery: Mike Crabtree

We all learned from Danny Almonte that if a kid seems too good for his age, HE IS. 100 catches, 1400+ yards, 18 TD, and he claims he only just turned 20 years old? Sounds like Mike might have used some of his handy work on his birth certificate. - Walter

Identity theft: Hawaii

They're trying to be the Boise St. of 2007. Unfortunately, they ain't. We hauled these guys in after the near-debacle against San Jose St. and we're holding them for their own protection, so they can't get destroyed in a BCS game. -

Prostitution: Dennis Erickson

Yeah they love him in Tempe right now, but what happens when some sweet NFL job comes a calling this summer? If history is any indication Erickson will go where the money is. To call Erickson a "gentleman of the evening" ain't such a big stretch. - Walter

Mail Fraud: Dennis Franchione

Well, this was a gimme. We all know about his illicit booster-magazine business. And we all know that he's just a big fat fraud generally. While we may actually have a case here, there's no way the punishment is going to fit all his crimes. -

Attempted murder: Minnesota Golden Gophers

If they attempt murder like they do football there will be no reason to worry about anyone getting so much as a paper cut. Attempted murder? Seriously guys, do the deed or don't. Losers. -

Student Body Right... Student Body Wrong...  

Posted by Frazier

I was right about.........

(1) Tim Tebow struggling seriously with a shoulder injury. He is not a polished passer, and although he made some plays he threw several ugly balls, and that Florida offense just can't get any balance without him charging through the line. Meyer has to think long and hard about exposing Tebow to such brutal punishment by SEC defenses. (2) Kansas actually being able to play some ball. Reesing is a very solid quarterback, and the Jayhawks defense really showed something. They held the same rushing attack that TORCHED the blackshirts to a measly 74 yards. Mangino's bunch may not be world-beaters, but they can play. (3) Morigami being completely worthless. I thought PSU would hang around thanks to a good defense and a real home-field advantage. However, Morigami prevented that from happening by not being able to simply play caretaker.

I was wrong about..........

(1) The Sun Devils defense. Wow, I thought it would be a huge shoot-out. The Bears scored 13 points on offense, and none in the second half. I still think Oregon has too many weapons, but the desert boys played tougher than I expected. (2) USC being able to rally. I thought they still had some cache, some intimidation factor, and a little more pride. But they didn't show enough heart, and no one is afraid of them'. Not only did they lose their playmakers, but they seem to have lost their swagger. (3) South Florida, I still like what they've done, and I still like a lot of their players, but they are struggling with success, and are not the same team on the road. Grothe is still raw at times, and while he makes a lot of plays, he also makes a lot of mistakes. Leavitt and company need to let Grothe make plays, but get him some help, and not ask him to do too much. The program has an incredibly bright future, as does Grothe, but the time is not now, even though their still incredibly dangerous.

Student Body Right... Student Body Wrong...  

Posted by Walter

I was right about.........

(1) Penn State being utterly and completely outclassed by a far superior Ohio State Buckeye team. I mean the numbers don't lie, Ohio State just beat up the Nittany Lions in virtually every area: OSU outgained PSU 453-263, OSU outrushed PSU 200-139, OSU outpassed PSU 253-124, OSU was lethal on third down converting 75% of the time (to PSU's 50%), and OSU held the ball 15 minutes longer than the Lions. In a word, this was a world class beat down and the Buckeyes showed the nation that they are not just the best of a weak Big 10, but they are one of the best in the nation. That 3.5 spread was idiotic......(2) Oregon laying the wood to a far-worse-than-we-realize USC team. Oregon was not at its best offensively on Sat. (thanks in large part to the USC defense), but it was more than enough to beat a USC team that is reeling on offense. This isn't your father's USC team. I've said it before, the signature players on the Trojans' championship teams were the skill guys and this year they just don't have the players to count on. Mark Sanchez is not Matt Leinart. Patrick Turner is not Dwayne Jarett. Chauncey Washington is not Reggie Bush. The Trojans lost because they couldn't make plays on offense. When was the last time you could honestly say that?......(3) The Florida secondary proving to be the team's downfall. While nobody expected a young Georgia offense to put up 42 points, its not surprising that Matt Stafford basically had his way with the Gator defensive backs. For the Dawgs the name of the game was big plays. Georgia had touchdown passes of 84 and 53 yards, and the numbers could have been far worse if Knowshon Moreno hadn't torched the Gator D for 188 yards. All you need to know is that Matt Stafford completed only 11 passes yet still threw for over 200 yards. That's about 20 yards per completion.

I was wrong about..........

(1) The Kansas Jayhawks. While I'm not a believer yet, I am getting there. The Jayhawks went into College Station and really took it to the Aggies, especially defensively. The Jayhawk defense completely shut down the A & M running game to the tune of 74 yards and no touchdowns. While the final score showed a close game, this one was over by the time the 4th quarter started with Kansas up 13-0 (they'd later add 6 more points before losing the shutout). If not for some garbage time passing yards the stats in this one would have been a lot more lopsided......(2) California being able to do anything right. I may come around on Kansas, but I refuse to come around on Arizona State. The Golden Bears had a chance to save their season and they laid an egg in Tempe. Nate Longshore got picked twice, and the Bears went down with their two best players (Forsett and Jackson) touching the ball a combined 24 times. Throw in 11 penalties, and a 15 minute deficit in time of possession and you get on stinker of a performance. Give the Sundevile credit for winning the game but they are doing it with smoke and mirrors. Sooner or later some team (Oregon!) is going to smack them in the mouth......(3) Someone in the SEC, just not sure who yet. In the preseason I touted three potential sleeper teams: South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. South Carolina was looking great until injuries and a brutal SEC road schedule derailed their season (although an eye towards next year makes them the prohibitive favorites in the league). Georgia had been up and down until their dominating win of Florida. And Alabama has a chance to make a real statement against LSU this week in Saban Bowl I. So actually I am looking good with all three right now, but one of them bound to fall out of favor (yup, I'm so good that I can turn one of my three "I was wrong abouts" and turn it into an "I was right about".....deal with it!).

10 things I saw..............  

Posted by Walter

The next "big" defensive player in the nation could very well be UNC sophomore DT (1) Camaron Thomas. Thomas is 6'3'', 325 lbs., and strong as an oxe. He is still very raw and his technique (especially learning to play with better leverage) needs a lot of work, but Thomas was unblockable against Wake Forest, even when all ACC center Steve Justice was given the assignment.....What a win for UConn's (2) Randy Edsell, one of the most underrated coaches in the nation every year. Fitting that Edsell, who brought UConn from 1AA to 1A power, got his first signature win over Jim Leavitt, the coach lauded for doing a similarly difficult job in South Florida. Both are great coaches, hopefully now Edsell will get his due.....Wake Forest has themselves a real keeper in RB/WR (3) Josh Adams. The 6'0'' freshman is elusive and runs much harder that his 180 lbs. frame would indicate. Adams has been improving every week, and he is going to be an absolute superstar in the VERY near future.....Last year around this time I gave you South Carolina as a deep, super sleeper for the 2007 season and the Gamecocks made it all the way up to the top 6 before some key injuries derailed their season. For 2008 I'm going to give you (4) Michigan State. In what will be a very weak Big 10, the Spartans will return all their key offensive skill players, and some young and talented defenders. More on this later, but you heard it here first.....Bold prediction: Oregon's (5) Jonathan Stewart is the first running back taken in the 2008 draft, even ahead of Darren McFadden. Bolder prediction: taking Stewart ahead of McFadden will prove to be the right decision.....Speaking of McFadden, does anyone realize that teammate (6) Felix Jones is badly outplaying him this year? Despite getting 90 less carries than McFadden, Jones is only 130 yards and 3 TD behind his more ballyhooed teammate. Jones also leads McFadden in receiving yards and his otherworldly 8.8 yards per carry is a full 3.5 yards better than McFadden's.....Congratulations (7) Sylvester Croom. Croom has his Mississippi State team at 5-4 in the SEC (a huge accomplishment) with his four losses coming against LSU, Tennessee, at South Carolina, and at West Virginia. With wins over Auburn and now Kentucky, Croom has his program headed in the right direction.....The best defensive performance of the weekend belonged to the Wisconsin defensive backfield duo of (8) Jack Ikegwonu and (9) Allen Langford. The talented duo held Indiana's 6'7'' wideout James Hardy to a meager 17 yards on 4 catches, a far cry from the monster numbers we're all used to seeing from the, until now, uncoverable Hardy.....The best offensive performance of that day that nobody saw belongs to Arizona's talented QB (10) Willie Tuitama. The 6'3'', freakishly athletic Junior quarterback torched Washington (@ Washington!) to the tune of 510 yards passing (on 70% passing) and 5 TD. Tuitama is still haunted by inconsistency, but when he is on he's good enough to beat any team in the nation.

Week 9 Picks - Frazier  

Posted by Frazier

Georgia +9 over Florida (@ Jacksonville) for $10

Awesome, a one-man team against the Jekyll and Hyde bunch from Athens. I think Richt gets his team ready to roll in this one. Georgia makes the necessary plays, and Tebow's shoulder makes him one-dimensional. But the Bulldogs won't be able to get it done, 28-24.

California +3 @ Arizona State for $30

Ugh. Another tough one. An Arizona St. team that we know absolutely nothing about against a Cal team that's shown us one thing: they're inconsistent. I'm going with the devil I know over the devil I don't know. I think Cal pulls the upset, and prevents me from having to pay attention to the Sun Devils for the rest of the year, 38-27.

Kansas -2.5 AT Texas A&M for $15

I am backing Kansas for one reason: the coaching matchup. Coach Fran is coaching desperate. Which either means he'll step up, or completely fold. This IS Fran we're talking about, so I'm going to back the real "Mangenius" the one waddling the sidelines for the Jayhawks. I like Kansas balance, and I think they squeak another one, 20-16.

Ohio State -3.5 @ Penn State for $15

It's a no-win situation. As I do every time when the Nittany's are involved, I'm playing it safe. In another desperate anti-jinx move, I'm just going to go with Ohio St. here. This is going to be a tough game for the Buckeyes, but everyone has been talking about it for weeks, and they may have even got caught last week looking ahead a little. I think they're ready to go, and I can't say the same about Morigami. It's Buckeye time, 20-13.

USC +2.5 AT Oregon for $30

The Trojans haven't been an underdog in the regular season in several years. Last year they were underdogs in the Rose Bowl, and we all know how that turned out. I honestly believe that starting Sanchez is in their favor, as he has a ton of talent, and seems to have more spark than Booty. Oregon lost at home to a Cal team that doesn't play defense nearly as well as USC, and I just can't go against Carroll and company. Every year they fail to show up in a winnable game, but they almost always come out gangbusters in the spotlight. USC downs the Ducks, 31-20.

Last Week: 3-2

Season: 19-20-1

Winnings to Date: up $20

Week 9 Picks - Walter  

Posted by Walter

Georgia +9 over Florida (@ Jacksonville)

I don't love this game, and if I were a betting man in real life (ahem ahem) I'd stay away. Florida is clearly the better team, although Georgia does have some nice young players. The question is going to be whether Matt Stafford and company can stay with the Gators when the points start flying. Stafford has the arm but his WR aren't good enough. Still, I'll take Mark Richt on the "road" to cover 27-21 for $10.

California +3 @ Arizona State

Lots of questions in this one. Which California shows up, the one that beat Oregon in Autzen or the one who has lost two straight to mediocre teams? Is Arizona State even any good, I mean they haven't played anyone? There are basically four combinations at work here and three of those four favor the more talented Bears. So basically, the only way Cal loses this game is if the bad Cal shows up and AZ State is actually decent. Uh yeah.....that sounds good. I'll take my chances with Cal taking it outright 28-24 for $10.

@ Texas A & M +2.5 over Kansas

Wow a home dog against a team that is undefeated because they haven't played anyone, this is a gambler's dream.....oh wait A & M is coached by Dennis Franchione right? Damn. I am still not buying this Kansas team. Maybe it's because I haven't seen them play enough (a distinct possibility), or maybe it's because they really aren't that good (also a distinct possibility). All I know is that the next time an opponent gets an easy game at Kyle Field, well that will be the first time. Fuck it, give me A & M winning it outright 23-17 for $20.

Ohio State -3.5 @ Penn State

I hate to do this, I really do. I love JoePa, I love the White Out, I love "we are Penn State." Conversely, I hate the Horsehoe, I hate dotting the i, and I hate the Buckeyes and their "path of least resistance" schedule (seriously their non conference schedule is a JOKE). All that said, OSU is clearly the better team in this one and only one of these teams has the amazing folding QB at the helm (yea you Morigami). Penn State gets NOTHING on offense in this one. I'll take Ohio State easily covering 23-6 for $30.

@ Oregon -2.5 over USC

This just in, the Ducks offense is flat out ROLLING right now. They hung half a hundred on Washington and seem to finally have Jonathan Stewart healthy and dominating. Stewart and Dixon form the most lethal QB-RB running duo in the nation (that's right, better than White-Slaton at WVU.....check the numbers). USC has been underachieving all year, and with a QB controversy looming there is no reason to think they are going to right the ship now. The bottom line is that although USC has some nice defensive players, the Chip Kelly led Ducks offense is WAY too much. I'll take Oregon big in this one 38-27 for $30.

Last Week: 3-2

Season: 18-21-1

Winnings to Date: up $50

The Heisman Run Down - Fourth Down  

Posted by Frazier

It's still madness from a Heisman standpoint. Most of these players are 100% subject to the futures of shaky teams. Yikes.

1) Matt Ryan

Walter - We will know everything there is to know about Matt Ryan's Heisman future within the next few hours. But even if Ryan and the Eagles go down in Blacksburg, it's rather remarkable what the Sr. QB has done this year. Ryan has made himself the ACC's top offensive player and led his team to #2 in the BCS rankings without a single pass catcher who is likey to be playing Sundays next year.

2) Tim Tebow

Frazier- The man refuses to give up. He IS the Gators offense, leading the team in rushing as well. He's also their short-yardage back. If Florida keeps winning, it's because of Tebow. If they lose, well, so far it hasn't been his fault. However, his courage may cost him the Heisman. He's taking an unreal beating in a ruthless SEC, and I'm just not sure how much more banging he can take.

3) Jacob Hester

Walter - The numbers aren't there, but the production is. Hester is by far the best and most important on one of the top 3 teams in the nation. He has come up huge for his team time after time, and in a season virtually devoid of a superstar grasping for the brass ring Hester has two signature plays (the fourth down conversions against Florida, and the other-wordly effort to get into the endzone and give LSU the lead against Auburn). That's 2 more than anyone else.

4) Andre Woodson

Frazier - Woodson has been delivering the goods week in and week out. It may have been a tough loss to Florida, but Andre was superb in the outing. Given the talent level of his teammates, he might be the most valuable player in the country. It's a stretch to think he'll be able to keep Kentucky high enough in the rankings to win the prize, but he at least deserves some love.

5) Dennis Dixon

Walter - Remember when everyone in Eugene was worried about Dixon playing baseball this past summer instead of learning the new offense? Yeah neither do I. Dixon has established himself as a legit Heisman contender, and possible frontrunner if he wins big over USC, but lost in the shuffle has been the masterful job of new coordinator Chip Kelly who brought his spread offense all the way from UNH (New Hampshire) for Dixon to run perfectly.

Frazier's Ballot:
1) Matt Ryan
2) Tim Tebow
3) Andre Woodson
4) Dennis Dixon
5) Ray Rice
Walter's Ballot:
1) Jacob Hester
2) Matt Ryan
3) Tim Tebow
4) Andre Woodson
5) Mike Hart

Power Rankings: Week 8  

Posted by Frazier

Just forget it. We give up. Every time it looks like things are becoming clear, they just go all to shit again. So this week we're mixing it up. We're ranking the four legit undefeateds (sorry Hawaii) and then pulling the next six out of a hat. Seriously, it's gotten to that point.

1) Ohio State

Frazier - Beating a mediocre Sparty in uninspiring manner? Yep, they're somehow at the top of the heap. They may be superfrauds, but they're undefeated superfrauds. Another turnover filled day for Boeckman against PSU and we won't have to worry about the Buckeyes anymore.

2) Boston College

Walter - Before the season started nobody thought BC would get to this point of the season at 7-0. Looking back, nobody would think they'd have gotten here at anything less. Seriously, I love BC (we know this), but the ACC had been so dreadful this year that it's hard to make much of a 7-0 start. That said, this BC team can really assert itself with a win over a very beatable VTech team.

3) Kansas

Frazier - Well, they beat Colorado on the road, which Oklahoma failed to do. This team is playing well on both sides of the ball. They have a creative offense that gets plays through the air and on the ground. Definitely a fun team to watch, and their stock could continue to soar.

4) Arizona State

- Am I all that impressed with what the Sun Devils have done this year? Absolutely not. Have they beaten all the teams they were supposed to beat? So far so good. Has any other so-called "contender" in America done that this year? Nope. Congratulations ASU your ability to meet mediocre expectations has landed you in the top 4. Now please lose to Cal this week so we can stop pretending we think you are any good.

Ok, now for the results from the hat.

First try:

5) Oregon
6) Oklahoma
7) Florida
8) LSU
9) Virginia Tech
10) South Florida

Frazier - Yeah, this seems pretty reasonable.

Second try:

5) South Florida
6) Oregon
7) Florida
8) Virginia Tech
9) LSU
10) Oklahoma

Walter -
Reasonable again. Are we just really good at picking out of a hat, or is it more likely that these teams all suck just enough that it doesn't even matter what order they come out in?......

Dropped off:
South Carolina - One of the ugliest losses imaginable. You have to be able to score at least a little bit, especially on the Vandy's of this world.
Kentucky - It was a tough fight, but ya lost. That team was just beaten up from the previous week.
West Virginia -When you haven't beaten anybody, you can drop out at any time. Sorry guys.

Just missed:

West Virginia - Yes, you're still on the waiting list.
USC - Win this weekend and we'll have to consider reinstating you.

Tuesday Question - Walter  

Posted by Walter

So if someone was gonna make a movie about your life, what would it be called? Who'd play the lead? More importantly, who cares?!! Exactly, while we've all thought about it, frankly nobody gives a shit about your worthless life. College football players/coaches on the other hand......now that's something I gotta see.

1) Anthony Morrelli, QB Penn State

Movie title that sounds just a little too autobiographical: "The Good the Bad and the Ugly"

Actor who'd be perfect playing him: Paul Walker

I certainly don't have to remind Penn State fans that Morigami is the classic tease. He tantalizes you with hig big arm and gorgeous deep ball (the good), but can never seem to reach his potential (the bad), and he always folds up in the big game (the ugly). Frankly, it's too bad for Walker that "The Anthony Morrelli Story" won't ever get made because he's probably the only person on the planet with little enough acting talent to absolutel nail the patented Morrelli deer in the headlights look as he watches his fourth pick of the day sail into the arms of an Ohio State defensive back.

2) The Entire Louisville Secondary

Movie title that sounds just a little too autobiographical: "Gone in 60 Seconds"

Actor who'd be perfect playing the parts: Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Ice Cube, and Steve Harvey

One of these days people will wake up and realize just how bad the Cardinals secondary has been this year. I mean we are talking historically bad. I've been watching football for a long time and I have never, I mean NEVER, seen a team give up so many big plays in the passing game. I'm not sure what's a bigger exhibition of idiocy: Steve Krathorpe continuing to put the same four starters in the defensive backfield, or producers hiring any of these morons (let alone a combination thereof) to make a movie. Frankly, thinking about that is making my head hurt.

3) Casey Dick, QB Arkansas

Movie title that sounds just a little too autobiographical: "Very Bad Things"

Actor who'd be perfect playing the parts: David Spade

Simple put Dick is Spade to Darren McFadden's Chris Farley. Just like Spade, Dick had a nice run last year generally riding the coattails of his much more talented companion, but when he's asked to make any plays on his own (which he's had to do in 2007 thanks to some nagging injuries to McFadden) they come out about as poorly as Spade solo projects like "Lost and Found", "Joe Dirt" and "Dickie Roberts" (and yes I did have to look those up on IMDB.com). Still, a Casy Dick led 2 minute drill isn't quite as bad as burying a dead hooker in the desert after your buddy's bachelor party....right?.....right?.....ah whatever.

4) The Notre Dame Offensive Line

Movie title that sounds just a little too autobiographical: "The Dead Zone"

Actor who'd be perfect playing the parts: The Baldwin Brothers

Before you jump all over me, yes I do understand that Alec is a comedic genius. But I contend to you, that just as Alec is the lone supremely talented Baldwin, Sam Young (6'8'' 310) is the lone supremely talented member of the Irish Offensive Line. Once that is understood, the rest falls into place. Stephen, Daniel, and Billy simply aren't good at anything. They've tried comedy, drama, horror, and none of it has worked. Similarly, the Irish OL can't pass protect, the certainly can't run the ball, and they pick up holdin penalties like its going out of style. Needless to say I'd fear for my life if I had to take a 5 step drop with these guys blocking.

5) Mike Hart, RB Michigan

Movie title that sounds just a little too autobiographical: "The Last Boyscout"

Actor who'd be perfect playing the parts: Mos Def

Mike Hart is amazing. He's a great player, he's well respected, he's SQUEAKY clean, yet he's still as cool as the other side of the pillow. Growing up Hart was probably the guy who did community service by day, and partied by night. Just as likely to walk an old lady across the street, as he is to pick up a 3rd and 3. Like his footballing counterpart, Mos Def pulls off the enviable trifecta of being talented, supremely cool and a good citizen. Although I'm not sure Mike Hart has the versatility to star on Chappelle's Show.....but then again Mos Def probably couldn't pick up Dan Connor on a blitz up the gut.

Tuesday Question - Frazier  

Posted by Frazier

1: "Dead Man Walking" - The Bill Callahan Story, starring: Keanu Reeves

Stiff, wooden, emotionless, and Keanu doesn't exactly emote either! Keanu could deliver his usual sleep-walking performance and absolute nail Callahan. Hell, he could bring home an Oscar, so long as anyone was able to stay awake through the film.

2: "Grumpy Old Men" - The Joe Paterno Story, starring: Walter Matthau

Only Walter is curmudgeonly enough to capture Joe's essence. So the hell with it, we're either digging him up, or splicing together lots of old footage.

3: "House Party 2" - The Pete Carrol Story, starring: Gary Busey

If Pete lived on the same planet as the rest of us, his teams would never lose. But instead he's too busy having a good time, and enjoying the SoCal life. If his back-to-back titles was House Party 1, the current edition is as flat as the sequel. The equally spacey Busey brings Pete to life.

4: "Dumb and Dumber" - The Dave Wannstadt Story, starring: Billy Baldwin

They both have admirable hair. Their both stupid as rocks. They've both had way more opportunities than they've earned and screwed up every single one.

5: "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" - The Ralph Friedgen Story, starring: John Goodman

Like there's anything that the Fridge ISN'T eating!

Student body right........student body wrong  

Posted by Walter

I was right about.......

The (1) Oklahoma Sooners I don't care if they win the Big 12. I don't care if they play for the national title. Hell, I don't care if they beat a pathetic, undefeated Buckeyes squad for the championship. This team is completely overrated. They struggled mightily against a pathetic Iowa St. team before pulling away late. Speaking of underachieving teams the (2) South Carolina Gamecocks committed the kinds of mistakes they couldn't afford against Vandy. I said they had to avoid turnovers and score consistently. They were -2 in the turnover department and scored only six points. One player having no trouble finding the endzone is (3) Dennis Dixon. He has the Ducks soaring these days. Oregon is facing some serious tests in the next few weeks, but if Dixon keeps scoring with his legs and arm, he could sprint to the top of the Heisman charts. The sinking ship out in Lincoln, (4) Nebraska. Callahan is making Osborne's decision easier and easier with each uninspiring effort. Not only are they losing, but it doesn't even look like they're trying. Callahan has his quarterback, and his recruits, and it looks like none of them want to play for him. I questioned Keller as a leader after reports he simply walked out on his ASU teammates, now it seems he's quitting on the main who was so hot to turn his career around. Yikes. If Keller had the heart of Brandon Cox and (5) Auburn then it'd be a different story in Lincoln. I knew they would stay close with LSU, but it was especially impressed with their late drive to take the lead.

I was wrong about.......

(1) Florida St. and Miami being unable to score. Look, I have no idea what happened. So of it was defensive. Some of it was almost accidental. Some of it was tricky. But however they did it, these teams managed to put up points. Startling. While these two managed to light up the scoreboard, it was the ineptness of (2) Graham Harrell that was even more surprising. Mizzou hadn't shown much on defense up until this point, and yet they managed to completely shut down Harrell and the Red Raiders offense. I was way off, it's a system, and sometimes the system just doesn't get it done. Speaking of eating crow, that what I have to do regarding (3) Les Miles. I called him "ballsy" for his calls against Florida. After he almost cost LSU the game against Auburn with atrocious clock-mangement, I'd have to go with "reckless". He's the kind of coach who acts like he's bigger than the game, and his ego WILL cost his team victories. I also overrated (4) South Florida. I still like this team, a lot, but they just weren't ready for prime-time. They made mental errors, committed stupid penalties, and cost themselves yards in key situations. They have a bright future, but blew a golden opportunity. I'm upset about their underachieving, but am thrilled at the overachieving of (5) Indiana. The Hoosiers can play. They put a lot of points, and a lot of yards up on a very good Penn St. defense. Kellen Lewis makes mistakes, but can also make some plays. It helps that he has the incredibly talented James Hardy to throw to. Hardy is one of the best, and most unrecognized, players in the nation. He will get very rich playing on Sundays.

10 Things I Saw  

Posted by Walter

Although they gave up nearly 500 yards of total offense, that was a heroic effort by (1) Will Muschamp's Auburn defense on Saturday night. Muschamp came up with another brilliant game plan (seriously, this guy needs to be on someone's radar for a head coaching job), but Auburn's second half offensive woes forced the Tiger defense onto the field WAY too much and they were simply too tired to close out the game......(2) Erik Ainge, another 25 attempt, 240 yard day. If this guy is so good, why doesn't Tennessee throw the ball down the field? I think I just answered my own question, eh Phil......I feel so bad for Michigan State fans. After watching a disciplined and focused Spartan team nearly pull off the upset at Ohio State, I can't help but wonder what would have happened had (3) Mark Dantonio coached the talent in East Lansing that John L. Smith had.....For about 3 months now all we've heard from NFL draft pundits is that there are very few, if any, "elite" offensive prospects for the 2008 NFL Draft. While they may be right, I think we saw a sleeper for the "elite" tag announce himself on Saturday. With 251 yards and 2 scores, Oregon's (4) Jonathan Stewart looked like a future NFL superstar. Stewart is a scout's wet dream with off the charts triangle numbers (5'11'', 230 lbs., 4.4 speed), but his production has always been hampered by nagging injuries. If he stays healthy the rest of the year, assuming they both come out, he could challenge Darren McFadden (who has been badly outplayed this season by his teammate Felix Jones) to be the first RB taken, and in the top 5 overall. Hey, you heard it here first.....I said it before, I'm saying it again, and I'll keep saying it until somebody listens to me. If I had a Heisman vote, it would go to (5) Jacob Hester......I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there will be more than a few people rooting for (6) Navy to snap their nearly 50 year drought against Notre Dame this weekend. If the Midshipmen don't beat the Irish this year, it may never happen......20 of 22 passing, 273 yards and 5 touchdowns. Nope, we here at the 323 haven't forgotten about you (7) Cullen Harper......If I told you that (8) Miami was playing FSU in Tallahasee, that their leading passer would have a completion percentage under 50 and oly 59 yards, and that their leading rusher would have only 80 yards, would you have guessed that they would have scored 37 points????? Seriously, you can't make this stuff up......Shhhh, don't look now but (9) Pat Hill has his Fresno State Bulldogs at 5-2 and absolutely rolling heading into next week's matchup with Boise State. With their only losses coming at Texas A & M (by 2 points) and at Oregon (by significantly more) this Fresno team has is a lot better than people think and could definitely pull the shocked against the Broncos at home......Who am I? I am a 5'11'', 200 lbs. sophomore quarterback. I have 1805 passing yards, 17 TD against 4 INT. My team is currently undefeated and atop its conference for the first time in, well, ever. Still don't know? Hi, my name is (10) Todd Reesing and I play for the Kansas Jayhawks, but because I don't have an OU or a Longhorn on my helmet you've never heard of me.

Week 8 Picks - Walter  

Posted by Walter

Texas Tech +3.5 @ Missourri

When there's a shootout expected always take the points. I don't exactly know who's going to win this game, but I do know each team should score 40 points. Mizzou doesn't have anyone who can cover Michael Crabtree, and they've got even less personnel to put pressure on Graham Harrell. Give me Tech winning outright 44-40 for $10.

Miami +6 @ Florida State

I wanted to I could basically just copy and paste the Tech-Mizzou analysis by simply changing the team names and the word "offense" to "defense." For the past 20 years these games are ALWAYS close, and there is no reason to think any different in 2007. I don't expect another "wide right" situation from Florida State, but I do expect a hard fought defensive struggle. Give me Miami covering fairly easily 13-17 for $15.

@ Kentucky +7 over Florida

The only justification for this number is that Florida is coming off a bye week and Kentucky is coming off a hard fought win over LSU. Florida is good, but they aren't that good. And they defnintely aren't equipped offensively to get into a shootout. Kentucky is the lone SEC team that can exploit the Gator secondary. The Wildcats pull another stunner and cover in the process, 38-35 for $15.

Oregon -11 @ Washington

The Ducks are flat out rolling right now, and with South Florida losing last night Oregon can almost smell the BCS top 2. The Huskies have been somewhat schizophrenic this year. They play well in some games, and terrible in others. Jack Locker is the real deal, but he isn't a polished enough passer to really take advantage of Oregon's weak secondary. No matter, all they have to do is slow them down as Dennis Dixon will put up plenty of points. Give me Oregon in a route 44-20 for $20.

Auburn +11.5 @ LSU

Auburn is not great on offense, and they may struggle (I say "may" because, heck, this LSU defense has looked pedestrian the past couple of games) but the Tiger defense is for real and there are even whispers that Auburn, not LSU, has the best defense in the SEC. Either way, these two defenses are way too good to give up many points, and let's not forget that Tommy Tubberville has an unreal 5-1 record against teams ranked in the top 5. Make it 6-1, as I'm taking Auburn in another shocker (and an easy cover) 17-14 for $40.

Last Week: 3-2

Season: 15-19-1

Cash on Hand: $100

Week 8 Picks - Frazier  

Posted by Frazier

Ok, last week was yet another debacle. We're not going to count the high school game, mostly because I bitched about it enough to get it stricken. Also, we were both wrong. We're trying a new format this week. We'll be picking games, but also wagering an imaginary $100. This will probably turn in to a good lesson why we have been playing with imaginary money recently, since the picks themselves have been shaky (at best). On to the action:

Texas Tech +3.5 AT Mizzou: $15

Fool me once... I'm going to back the Red Raiders until proven otherwise. Who wins a shootout by more than three points? Tech pulls it off, 48-45.

Miami +6 AT Florida St.: $10

I can't lay the points with these two depressing teams falling over themselves offensively. Florida St. is probably less a disaster, but that doesn't say much. I'll give them the home edge, 17-13.

Kentucky +7 vs. Florida: $25

Kentucky is due for a letdown, I agree. But I'm taking the home dog getting a full touchdown. Florida has not impressed away from the cozy confines of the Swamp, and Woodson will put up points. I think Tebow drags Florida to victory, 31-28.

Oregon -11 AT Washington: $30

The Ducks are no joke. If Ohio St. can swoop in and put a hurting on the Huskies, I say the Ducks can do likewise. Oregon has a huge road win at Michigan, and has been dominating opponents. Washington got rolled by an ASU team without the balance of the Ducks. Dixon and company shine, 42-27.

Auburn +10.5 AT LSU: $20

I simply cannot ignore the fact that LSU has gone through two straight wars. Auburn is a tough, physical defense that will make it a long, slow day for the Bayou boys. I don't think Auburn has the offense to win, but I do think they'll make it another tough day before falling, 17-10.

Last Week: 2-3

Season: 16-18-1

Cash on hand: $100

The Heisman Run Down - Third Times a Charm  

Posted by Frazier

The only thing more wide open than the national title race is the heisman race. For the first time in recent memory there is simply no front runner. Here's our best effort so far:

1) Andre Woodson

Walter - Although his effort against LSU wasn't Herculean (250 yards 3 TD) it was by FAR the best performance against the thought-to-be untouchable Tiger defense this year. After the loss against South Carolina many left Woodson's Heisman chances for dead, but the Senior passer is carrying the Wildcats and the huge win over LSU helped his chances a lot. Do people realize that he is possibly the only NFL caliber player on a Wildcat offense that hung 43 points on what some were calling the best defense in the nation.

Get used to the hype Mr. Heisman frontrunner!

2) Matt Ryan

Frazier - His play has given the Eagles legitimate reason to dream of playing for a title. BC will live and die by his performance. If he continues to lead his team to wins, the stock shoots up.

Heisman voters know that the #3 Eagles will only go as far as Ryan's right arm takes them.

3) Mike Hart

Walter - While Michigan's two home losses to Appalachian State and Oregon might make the Wolverines season rather unimpressive, in my eyes they make Hart's Heisman candidacy all the MORE impressive. Even when it looked like this team had nothing to play for Hart went out there and carried his team. If that ain't a Heisman winner, I don't know what is.

Literally the "Hart" and soul of Michigan football.

4) Graham Harrell

Frazier - If he's a system quarterback, then give me a system quarterback any day! The numbers are staggering (3,151 yards, 74.4% completions, 31TD, 3INT) as are the results. He's played some legit teams, and in Tech's only loss he completed almost 70% of his passes for 646 yards and 5TD without an interception. Wow.

Still don't know about Mr. Harrell and the Red Raiders? You will.

5) George Selvie

Walter - Is Selvie going to win the Heisman? No way. But it is downright scary what this true sophomore is doing. He currently leads the nation in sacks and tackles for a loss. Why the hell don't teams double team this kid.

Trust us, the Selvie kid can play!

Frazier's Ballot:
1) Andre Woodson
2) Matt Ryan
3) Mike Hart
4) George Selvie
5) Tim Tebow

Walter's Ballot:
1) Andre Woodson
2) Matt Ryan
3) Graham Harrell
4) Mike Hart
5) Mike Crabtree

Power Rankings: Week 7  

Posted by Frazier

1) South Florida

Frazier - The Bulls have officially crashed the party. They absolutely deserve to be here. But now they'll have to show that they have more than just talent and potential. It's time to play like a championship team.

2) Ohio State

Walter - I'm still torn on this edition of the Buckeyes. It's impossible to argue with their results (although some of the shine was taken of the Purdue win when Michigan pasted them last Saturday), but there is still a real possibility this team is crummy.

3) Boston College

Frazier - The Eagles may be in the best spot of anyone to run the table. The ACC is a mess, but like South Florida they'll have to have nerves of steel to hang on. They may never have a better chance, so Matt Ryan will have to play the hero.

4) LSU

Walter - Despite the loss at Kentucky (not a bad loss by any means) the Tigers still boast the best trio of wins in the nation (Florida, South Carolina, Virginia Tech). It's simple, if they run the table, including the SEC title game, they'll play for the championship....even if there are three undefeated teams (yes, the SEC is that strong).

5) South Carolina

Frazier - The win AT Kentucky is looking better and better. With the lone loss coming at LSU, it's hard to nitpick too much with Spurrier's boys. If they can score consistently and not turn the ball over, this could be a very special year.

6) Oklahoma

Walter - The Sooners are in better position that you think. With a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way 12-1 is a real possibility (although I'd watch out for @ Texas Tech with the way their defense is playing). Chances are at least 4 of the teams ahead of them are going to lose somewhere along the way, so this is another team that could be looking at a "win and your in" situation.

7) Kentucky

Frazier - Just when it looked like Kentucky's hot start to the season was going to go for naught, their defense stood up and made people take notice. Woodson put his team in position to win, but it was the much maligned Wildcat D that stopped the Tigers cold and gave their team a chance for the comeback.

8) Oregon

Walter - I wonder how many people in the nation realize that the Ducks were probably one fumble away from being the undisputed #1 team in the country. With USC (#14) and Arizona State (#8) visiting Autzen Stadium, the Ducks will have a real chance to move up the polls.

9) Kansas

Frazier - Now THAT'S what top teams are supposed to do to Baylor. Have you seen their schedule? A&M, and Nebraska are falling apart, Colorado just isn't that good, OK. State is its' usual yo-yo self. I mean, they could be undefeated with Mizzou coming to visit to finish the year. Of course they could also choke under the bright lights.

10) West Virginia

Walter -
Don't look now, but the Mountaineers are 5-1 are cruising. Although they still have some tough games ahead of them, 11-1 is a real possibility. The real question is, what will happen when both WVU and South Florida are 11-1 and the Mountaineers get into the title game over the Bulls? Don't laugh, the BCS is just screwed up enough that this could happen.

Dropped off:
Cal - Possibly the worst play I've ever seen. Still, don't put the rook in that position.
Mizzou - You had your chance boys. Not a bad effort, but close doesn't win you shit.
Cincy and Illinois - Two teams on the doorstep who choked. Our decision to not rank you last week was totally justified.

Just missed:

Virginia Tech - This team isn't terribly inspiring, but their schedule sets up nicely for an impressive run.

Arizona St. - Beat someone, and we'll consider you.

The Team

How's the look?