Thursday, January 04, 2007

Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Stop Sniffing Glue

I'm not sure if I have any readers left after taking a little break for the holidays, but if I do, thanks for sticking with me. I just needed a few days to recharge my batteries and begin the charade of my New Year's resolutions before settling back into my old ways of sloth and debauchery. But now the beer is cold, the porn is deviant, and I've got a brand new box of tissues. So let's get things rollin...

One of the problems for me with doing a weekly recap is that I read so many different sites with sports commentary that by the time a day has passed since a game has finished or a story has broken, I feel like it's old news. That's one of the reasons why it's tough for me to read Bill Simmons' weekly column on ESPN. He waits until Friday to make his commentary, and by then, I've already read much more entertaining remarks on Deadspin, one of MJD's outlets, The Hater Nation, etc. But nonetheless, I do think there were a few big stories that came down this week, so I thought I'd throw my two pennies in on the matter. Besides, after losing my readership (hopefully temporarily) I'm probably just writing this for my own amusement anyway, so I can talk about whatever the hell I want.

Did JaMarcus Russell pass Brady Quinn as the #1 QB prospect in the 2007 draft?

If you didn't watch any college football during the regular season and just tuned in for the bowl games, you would have thought that it was JaMarcus Russell that NFL scouts had been drooling over all season and not the Domer QB. Russell demonstrated poise and amazing arm strength in a 41-14 rout of Notre Dame. He also showed the ability to allude the rush and fight off would be tacklers, which are attributes that would really come in handy if he were to be drafted by the Oakland Raiders. Brady Quinn on the other hand, looked very ordinary- often making poor decision and inaccurate throws. However to be fair, the two QBs were playing against two very different calibers of defenses. LSU has one of the best defenses in the country and, as mentioned many times by Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long, their team speed was vastly greater than Notre Dame's. The Irish secondary had given up deep balls all season, so it really wasn't much of a surprise that Russell could connect on a few bombs in the Sugar Bowl. Also, Brady Quinn only had one receiver (Samardzija) who could even catch a ball, and the LSU defense was keyed in on him. One red flag on JaMarcus Russell is his decision making on the road. The LSU Tigers amazingly only played four road games this season and in two of them (at Florida, at Tennessee), he threw three interceptions. Even in the Sugar Bowl, he lofted some passes that better defenses would have made a played on (one was so bad that even the Notre Dame secondary was able to intercept it). Brady Quinn on the other hand has had the benefit of Charlie Weis' tutelage for two seasons. It's going to be a tough decision for an NFL team to make (and this is all assuming that Russell even decides to leave early), but right now, I'd give the slightest edge to JaMarcus Russell. Quinn still has the Senior Bowl and combine to change my mind.

Is it time to give the "Mid-Majors" some respect?

After Boise State's dramatic one point overtime victory over Oklahoma, all the buzz was that the Broncos deserve a chance to compete for #1, and that this game would have two big effects: It would legitimize the non-BCS conference champions as BCS bowl game participants, and it would further the push to a playoff system. I however, am skeptical. (What else is new?) What did Boise State's victory over Oklahoma prove that wasn't already made evident two years ago when an undefeated Utah team demolished Pittsburgh 35-7 in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl? That game featured a more dominant performance, an undefeated team from a non-BCS conference, the #1 overall pick in the following draft, and even had a hook and lateral play of its own. But has there been any more progress towards a playoff system since then? Have any non-BCS teams been given any preseason hype leading up to the following season? Nope. So just because Boise State ran a few more beautifully executed gadget plays, I don't really think things will change.

By the way, if the mainstream media really believes it's time to give the mid-majors a legitimate chance at a national championship, it has the power to do so. Rather than penning columns about the need for a playoff system that isn't feasible under the current BCS contract, what AP writers can do to enact change is to put a non-BCS conference team in the top 5 of the AP preseason poll. The reason Boise State never realistically had a chance to compete for the national title is because they started the year so low in any polls that there was too far to climb to get to the top. So next August, put Boise State as one of the top 2 teams in the country to start the year and make entry into the BCS title game theirs to lose. You want to see the BCS university presidents rally for a playoff system? Just introduce the possibility that an outsider can actually push them out of their monopoloy for the championship. Then you'll see some change.

Maybe football players should be thanking Xenu after a big win?

Boise State's win over Oklahoma was amazing. Considering that they had to convert a 4th and 18 Hook and Lateral, a 4th and goal halfback option pass, and a statue of liberty two point conversion, their victory was practically a miracle. Who was responsible for these miracles? Well, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is a loyal Scientologist. Perhaps it was thetanic cleansing which led Boise State to victory? Or maybe it was the Christian God- working in his mysterious ways- who compelled Oklahoma to lose so he could guide Bob Stoops out of Oklahoma and over to Dallas to be the Cowboys next head coach? Or maybe, just maybe, whoever or whatever created us has no interest in the outcome of a football game at all? What do I know tho? I'm just a mere mortal who thinks too much.

Who should be #1 next year?

During the Rose Bowl, Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Bob Davie blamed those nasty "bloggers" for making knee-jerk reactions and premature evaluations. They then went on to state that the winner of the Rose Bowl should be the preseason #1 team going into 2007. Since USC ended up pulling away in the 2nd half, then the Trojans should be #1 in 2007. Talk about a premature, knee-jerk reaction. While USC should certainly be in the conversation for #1 next year, it's pretty hasty to put them (or anyone, really) at #1 next season considering:

1) The score was 3-3 at halftime with neither team looking like a top 10 squad. I'm not sure why one dominant 2nd half from USC should erase the memories of 12 total points over the previous six quarters.

2) USC still wasn't able to run the ball. Until the score was 32-11, the Trojans did not have a positive rushing gain from a running back in the 2nd half. UCLA was also able to contain USC's rushing attack in the regular season finale. With Dwayne Jarrett gone, things will only get tougher for the Trojans offense.

3) There's a very slim chance that Pete Carroll could go back to the NFL. I don't see it happening, but it's still a variable. But honestly, why would he want to leave Southern Cal, where he owns L.A. and gets the pick of the litter amongst both high school recruits and SC song girls?

4) If JaMarcus Russell decides to stay his senior year, it will be tough to ignore the Tigers for preseason #1.

5) Florida may actually be better once Chris Leak moves on. Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin are going to be dangerous weapons next year.

6) If Brian Brohm stays at Louisville (and possibly, but unlikely Michael Bush), the Big East's postseason performance warrants giving the Cardinals consideration for #1.

7) And what about Boise State and Ohio State? The Broncos are coming off an undefeated season and the Buckeyes might be as well. Yeah, they're both losing their starting QB, but both teams run great systems and can be expected to contend for their conference title next season as well.

Memo to the ABC crew. Next time, leave the irrational proclamations to us bloggers.

...So there ya have it. Sorry it took me so long to get to these. I'll do my best to get back on top of things for the rest of 2007. By the way, I intentionally left out "spankygate," - the investigation into the identity of the SC song girl who showed a little bit of underbutt during the Rose Bowl. "With Leather's" commentary on the fallout from the flash reflects my feelings perfectly:

Anyway, you'll pardon me if I'm a little testy about this whole episode. It's just that I kind of see myself as a year-round appreciator of cheerleaders, and now everyone wants a piece of the Song Girls. Get with the times, man. The Song Girls get me through slow news days. I feel like one of those expert drunk drivers out on New Year's Eve, watching what I drink because all the amateurs are out.

Amen, brutha. See ya in the fast lane.


At Thu Jan 04, 08:18:00 PM PST , Anonymous jason said...

Don't understand why there's such a flap over ass cheeks. Shouldn't the real question be about that short blonde with jowls in the bottom right hand corner? How the hell did that dumpy munchkin get on the squad???


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