Saturday, January 06, 2007


I'm speechless. I'm sick. The Cowboys stole defeat from the jaws of victory tonight in Seattle.

I feel horrible for Tony Romo. I like him. I hate it that he dropped the snap on the field goal attempt. He almost made lemonade out of the lemon, but was stopped short of a first down on the run.

I want to throw up.

The sun will come up tomorrow, however.

Friday, January 05, 2007

NFL Picks-Wild Card Weekend

Last Week: 11-5 Regular Season: 155-102

This weekend is the first round of the NFL playoffs. 32 teams have been cut down to 12. Before last season, I would have called this playoff round a waste of time, as the better teams have byes in this round of the playoffs. However, Pittsburgh blew that conventional wisdom to shreds, advancing from the sixth playoff seed in the AFC to win the Super Bowl. This year, Pittsburgh is sitting at home, but 12 teams retain hopes of spending the first week of February in sunny South Florida.

AFC: Kansas City at Indianapolis: The Colts tripped over the roadkill known as the Houston Texans in Week 16, and slipped into the #3 seed in the AFC, placing them in a wild card game. They also get a bad matchup for their sorry run defense, as the Chiefs come in with stud workhorse RB Larry Johnson. The Colts come up big in this one, though, as the offense gets off to a quick start, and the Chiefs have to play from behind. Pick: Indy
NFC: Dallas at Seattle: The Cowboys are sliding downhill fast. Last week, they lost to the awful Detroit Lions. Dallas has lost three of the last four games, and were fortunate to win in Atlanta. Seattle hasn’t done much better, losing three in a row before closing out the season with a win against Tampa Bay. This game should be a scoring-fest, as the Seattle secondary is banged up, and the Dallas secondary has been bad in recent weeks. It doesn’t look good for the Cowboys. The one time this season I picked them to lose, Tony Romo brought them back against Carolina. I’m picking against them. I think Seattle is better than them at this point. Pick: Seattle
AFC: New York Jets at New England: The Jets are this year’s surprise story, as first-year coach Eric Mangini has led them to a 10-6 record and a trip to the playoffs, where he faces his mentor, Bill Belichick. Belichick has three Super Bowl rings. The Pats show the Jets what a playoff team looks like. Pick: New England
NFC: New York Giants at Philadelphia: The Giants are the best of the 8-8 teams in the NFC, and get to head down the New Jersey Turnpike to meet the Eagles. The Eagles won bragging rights to the Molly Pitcher Service Area on the Turnpike in their last meeting, and now are playing for the right to talk smack for the northbound Joyce Kilmer Service Area. More importantly, the Eagles would like to make a trip to the Big Easy for the second round of the playoffs, against the Saints. That should happen with little problem. Philly is playing better than anyone in the NFC right now. Pick: Eagles

This Is Orange

This is one of the more off-the-wall entrances in college football.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys now enter the stadium behind a rodeo chute, opened by cowboys. They wait behind the chute, like cattle at a rodeo, or an auction. They then go onto the field in all of their orange glory.

By the way, this is a more true color of orange than what UT wears. In this shot, they are wearing orange jerseys and orange pants.

To each, their own.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cool Uniform of the Day

I've been slipping on the uniforms the last couple of days.

Those who know me may think I've been drinking or doing drugs. I've been doing neither.

I am a fan of the University of Oklahoma. Conversely, I hate the University of Texas. I have also been getting a reputation as someone who dogs on all things orange. That is not the case.

Often, you respect the most that which you despise. Such is my view of the UT athletic program. UT is the biggest and baddest school out there, or so it seems. I can't stand them, but they have the second or third largest enrollment in the nation, and arguably the most wealthy donor base in the country. The school sits right in the middle of the most fertile recruiting ground in the nation, and can pretty much pick and choose who they want to recruit in almost any sport. There is no reason why that school shouldn't compete for national championships every year, in every sport. The same applies to The Ohio State University, only I can cheer for them. :-)

Back to uniforms. The University of Texas has one of the coolest looking road uniforms around. It is simple, classic, and blurts out, "We're Texas! Don't mess with us!". The longhorn logo on the helmet, and "Texas" on the front of the jersey is all they need. The white jersey goes well with the helmet and the pants.

Pictured above is wunderkind Vince Young, as he was creating his Rose Bowl legend for the Longhorns. He is pure greatness. The Longhorns really missed him this season. The Titans are really glad to have him.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Classic

Last night's game between OU and Boise State was a pure classic.

My Sooners, in all honesty, should have gotten their butts kicked. It is a testimony to them that they made the comeback after being down 28-10 in the 3rd quarter and playing like dog poop. But, these guys have overcome a lot this year, and made the plays necessary to tie and then take the lead.

Hats off to Boise State, though. They throw what looked like a game-losing interception to go down seven. They then go down the field, convert a 4th and 18 with a hook and ladder for a touchdown, and tie the game to force overtime. In overtime, they used a halfback pass and a Statue of Liberty play to win the game, 43-42. Their coaching staff pulled out all the stops, and everything worked.

It's a shame someone had to lose this game.

There are greater implications, though. Boise State more than proved that they belong in the BCS. In a perfect world, this would be to college football what the Jets-Colts Super Bowl III was for the pros: a statement screaming for change, in this case, a playoff. I doubt if we see a playoff, but Boise showed us how great a playoff would be.

I don't ever like for Oklahoma to lose. I would much rather they win. However, I take no shame in losing this game. It was a game for the ages, and ought to have an even greater impact.

I just wish Boise would have beaten someone else. :-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Which is Uglier?

There is now an ongoing debate. Which is uglier? The Virginia Tech uniform?

Or, the Clemson uniform?

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Day, and there is a ton of football on TV.

On ESPN, Oklahoma and Alabama are playing. This matchup is made for New Year's Day.

Only thing is: it's a basketball game. At those schools, though both basketball programs are good, this game is under the radar.

Boomer Sooner!

UUOTD-New Year's Day

I've had a nomination for UUOTD. They nominated Virginia Tech's football uniform. The person has told me that purple and orange don't go together. VT wears maroon, but I can see where their maroon can look purple. The Hokies' uniforms don't look too bad, as long as they leave the orange out. But, when they start putting too much orange on, they start looking bad. The worst was the Nike test jersey, with one orange shoulder. VT and Florida both did that, but it went over like a lead balloon.

However, the suggestion reminded me of something in the same conference. Clemson mixes and matches their orange, white, and purple. They look fine in orange or white. They start looking scary in the purple. Above is the worst combination of them all, with the purple jersey and orange pants. My friend is right: Purple and orange do not go together. Please, Clemson, keep the purple put away.

Would Danny Ford let his team wear purple?

BCS Picks and Ratings

Finally, we are to the bowls that really matter, the Bowl Championship Series. Actually, the only one that matters is the BCS National Championship game, now rotated among the sites of the four BCS bowls. These bowls offer the highest pay, the biggest amount of prestige, and mucho television exposure. These are the biggies.

Rose Bowl presented by Citi at Pasadena, California: USC vs. Michigan. Both teams had a chance at the national championship game, but now find themselves here. USC lost two late conference games at Oregon State and UCLA. Michigan rolled through the Big Ten until losing their season-ending game at Ohio State. Michigan is a better team. Pick: Michigan.
The countdown is on, as ESPN has been counting down to this game for three days. To watch ESPN, you would think this is the biggest game out there. This is the only BCS game remaining on ABC, as the rest of the BCS has moved over to Fox. As someone who grew up in Big 8 country, this game was always filler, and meant time to eat and to get ready for the Really Big Game later that evening in the Orange Bowl. I always thought this game was overrated. I finally “got it”, when I first visited California five years ago, and saw the stadium and setting. Later, my Sooners were invited there to play Washington State, and became the first Big XII team to win that bowl. As an event, this is a really big deal. The game is often overrated. This bowl, as the Grandaddy of them all, wouldn’t complain about leaving the BCS, and really would be ok if there were only 21 Division 1 schools: those from the Big Ten and Pac 10. They were kicked dragging and screaming into the BCS. There is a level of arrogance that comes from being the oldest bowl game. Rating: 5
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Arizona: Oklahoma vs. Boise State. The Sooners overcame player suspensions, injuries, questionable officiating, and a loss to its archrival to win their last eight games and the Big XII championship. Boise State is 12-0, and is the first non-BCS school to qualify for a BCS bowl under the new rules of qualification. This will not be a cake walk, and Boise will be competitive. However, OU wins the game. Pick: Oklahoma
This bowl grew with the Phoenix area. Originally created as a bowl for Arizona State and the old WAC, this bowl really splashed onto the scene in 1986, when it secured Sunkist as a title sponsor and snared Penn State and Miami for a matchup of #1 vs. #2. It has taken the Cotton Bowl’s place as one of the four major bowls. Until this year, it was played in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. It moves this year to the new University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. It will also host the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 8. The only thing this bowl lacks is tradition relative to its sister BCS bowls. That is only because the bowl was created in 1971. Rating: 4.8
Allstate Sugar Bowl at New Orleans: LSU vs. Notre Dame. Notre Dame has lost eight bowl games in a row. According to Rece Davis on ESPN, 87 Division 1 programs have won bowl games since Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a name, but do they have game? LSU is as good as anyone in the country, but were victims of the SEC schedule maker, being sent on the road to Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The Oakland Raiders would have a hard time with that schedule. They lost to Auburn and Florida, but won the rest of their games. This game might not be close, as LSU has too much speed for Notre Dame. Pick: LSU
The Sugar Bowl returns to New Orleans, after a one-year stay in Atlanta due to damage from Hurricane Katrina. This bowl has everything: good matchups, fun city, nice stadium, big payout, good TV contract. The Sugar Bowl has had legendary coaches and national championship games. Rating: 5
Fedex Orange Bowl at Miami: Louisville vs. Wake Forest. Just a few years ago, this matchup would not have been on TV, and would not sell out either stadium. Now, these teams are playing each other in a major bowl game. Louisville is a penalty away from the national championship game, as a missed field goal by Rutgers was waved off due to a penalty, and Rutgers subsequently won the game. Wake Forest has had a Cinderella season, winning the ACC championship. Louisville is really strong, and should have their way with the Demon Deacons. This has the potential to be a dud game. Pick: Louisville
The Orange Bowl may have suffered the most with the evolution of the BCS, as they had national championship games more often under the old system. Big 8 schools Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Colorado won national championships here, as have Miami and Florida State. This has always been a prime bowl in a prime location. The bowl secured its major status by moving up the road to Dolphin Stadium ten years ago, and leaving the decrepit Orange Bowl stadium. Rating: 5
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at Glendale, Arizona: Ohio State vs. Florida: Ohio State likes the desert, as they won their last national championship here in 2002, and have won two other Fiesta Bowls since. The Gators have not been here since being pounded by Nebraska, 63-14, in the 1995 national championship game. Today’s players were little boys then. The Gators deserve to be here, but Ohio State is a better team. Pick: Ohio State
This is the national championship game. Enough said. Rating: 5

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bowl Picks, Part 4 (and Bowl Ratings)

As promised, the last round of non-BCS bowl picks, along with corresponding bowl ratings.

These bowls are the appetizers for the more prestigious BCS bowls. These bowls feature conference runners-up as well as teams with recognizable names. New Year’s Day is not what it once was, but it’s still a good day to hang out in front of the tube and watch TV.

Outback Bowl at Tampa: Penn State vs. Tennessee. Penn State had a decent year, but more importantly, has a lot of fans and a coach that coached when Jesus turned water into wine. Tennessee was having a good year, before losing late games to Arkansas and LSU. Tennessee, on paper, should win big. Pick: Phat Phil’s Big Orange
This is a relatively young bowl, having begun in the 80’s. It pays well, is in a great location, and is played in the Pirate Ship, the Bucs’ state-of-the-art NFL stadium. They have the 3rd pick from both the Big Ten and the SEC, giving them quality teams and large traveling fan bases. This is not the best bowl out there, but is far from the worst. Rating: 3.4
AT&T Cotton Bowl at Dallas: Nebraska vs. Auburn. Nebraska comes into this game as champions of the Big XII North. This is better than winning District 8-5A, but is not anywhere close to winning something like the NFC East, or even the Big XII proper. Still, Nebraska will show up. Auburn was picked by many to win the national championship, but got their fannies kicked in a couple of home games by Arkansas and Georgia. If War Eagle shows up to play, they win. There's not a whole lot of excitement for this one, as $95 tickets are selling for as little as $12. Pick: Auburn
This game is a shell, or even a caricature, of its former self. This bowl has a great history, and is one of the original New Year’s Day bowl games. It is now the laughing stock of the Big XII. The breakup of the Southwest Conference accelerated its decline, but the bowl made a devastating choice by staying in the decaying Cotton Bowl stadium in Fair Park. The bowl had a chance to join the original Bowl Coalition, but would have had to move to Texas Stadium. The poohbahs in Dallas nixed that idea. Now, it is a second-banana bowl. It still pays well, and gets the second choice from the Big XII, against an SEC team. It also suffers from an outrageously early starting time, at 10:30 AM local time (formerly 10 AM), mandated by the SEC’s contract with the Capital One Bowl. The SEC has a no-compete clause in their contract with the Capital One Bowl, keeping any other conference team from playing opposite that bowl. The Cotton Bowl is forced to play at breakfast to have a better chance at a decent matchup. Between the stadium, the neighborhood, the unpredictable weather, and the starting time, this bowl has become a joke among fans in the Big XII. Still, the bowl pays well, and has oodles of tradition. They need to get on the phone with Jerry and get into the new Cowboys stadium when it opens. Rating: 3.6
Gator Bowl at Jacksonville: West Virginia vs. Georgia Tech. West Virginia was a contender for the BCS for most of the season, but suffered an inexplicable loss to South Florida late in the season. Georgia Tech won their division in the ACC, but lost an ugly ACC championship game. Now, senior QB Reggie Ball is academically ineligible for the bowl game. West Virginia is celebrating the retention of coach Rich Rodriguez, who is one of the 6,000 coaches to turn down the Alabama job. Pick: West Virginia
This bowl has been around for a long time, and has had many great games. It is played in a quality NFL stadium, and gets a good matchup between the ACC and the Big East. They will get to choose a Big XII team two of the next three years, as well. The bowl is on CBS this year, after a long run on NBC. There are worse places than Jacksonville. Overall, this is a pretty good bowl. Rating: 3.8
Capital One Bowl at Orlando: Arkansas vs. Wisconsin. Great matchup between two high-powered teams. Wisconsin would be in the BCS, but Ohio State and Michigan are there, and BCS rules only allow two teams from the same conference. Wisconsin’s only loss is to Michigan. Arkansas won 10 games in a row, before losing to LSU and Florida at the end of the year. Darren McFadden is the real deal at running back. Wisconsin won this bowl last year, and they win it again. Pick: Wiscy
This bowl has been known as the Tangerine and Florida Citrus Bowls, before losing their sponsorship from the Florida citrus growers. Now, it bears the name of a credit card company/bank. That’s just about the only drawback to this bowl. The stadium is starting to fall apart, but Orlando is a great place to visit. They get the second pick from the Big Ten and the SEC, so they are guaranteed two good teams and two large traveling fan bases. Rating: 4