Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Major Move

Major Applewhite was the subject of much interest on this blog a couple of days ago. He had a choice between a job with Les Miles at LSU, and with Nick Saban at Alabama. He chose a position on Saban's staff at Alabama. There was also the possibility of him getting the head coaching job at Rice, but Rice is looking in another direction at this point.

Major was raised a Crimson Tide fan, and was named after Crimson Tide great Major Ogilvie.

We could well see him return to the University of Texas before his career is over. Just think: OU head coach Josh Heupel vs. UT head coach Major Applewhite in the Red River Shootout at Jerryworld in Arlington. Could very well happen in the next couple of decades.

Friday, January 12, 2007

NFL Playoff Picks: Divisional Round

Last Week: 4-0 Playoffs: 4-0

There are eight teams left in the playoffs. All eight teams won division championships. These teams have all attained various levels of success this season. Some of them are better than others. This week will separate the contenders from the pretenders.

AFC: Indianapolis at Baltimore: The Colts return to Baltimore. The Colts have been in Indianapolis for 22 years, meaning that most of their current players likely do not remember the Baltimore Colts. The Ravens have been in Baltimore for 10 years, and may have players that don’t remember there not being a Ravens franchise in Charm City. As for the game, the Ravens should win. They have a superior defense to the Colts. The Colts still have the high-powered offense, and got a big performance from their defense last week, not allowing a first down to the Chiefs until halfway through the third quarter. I expect the Ravens’ defense to force turnovers early, and for their offense to manage the clock and win the game. Pick: Ravens
NFC: Philadelphia at New Orleans: The Eagles are flying high as the improbable champions of the NFC East. The Saints have had a magic season in their return home after Hurricane Katrina. I like the Saints a lot, and would love to see them in the Super Bowl. However, these are the Saints, so that means they will lose in the playoffs. Some things never change. The Eagles keep it going for at least one more week. Pick: Eagles

NFC: Seattle at Chicago: The Seahawks return to the scene of a Sunday night butt-kicking from earlier this season. The Seahawks were beneficiaries of a Cowboy collapse last week in Seattle. The Bears have an unpredictable offense, and a good defense. They also have dangerous return man Devin Hester. I don’t know if the Bears can keep it up for the Super Bowl, but they’ll win this week. Pick: Da Bears
AFC: New England at San Diego: Another AFC classic. The Patriots have a coach, a quarterback, and a bunch of guys. That’s been enough for a 12-4 record and a playoff win. The Chargers have been special on both offense and defense. This is the Chargers’ Super Bowl trip to lose. They won’t lose this week. Pick: Chargers

Getting Ready For The Game

This is a big weekend in Baltimore. The Colts left town on a Mayflower moving truck in 1984. They return on a chartered jet for Saturday's playoff game with the former Cleveland Browns, now known as the Baltimore Ravens.

People in the City By Chesapeake Bay are pumped for this one. A fashion trend among Ravens fans for the past few years are purple camouflage pants, such as worn by the fan above. Apparently, these are a big deal in Baltimore.

Even the local weatherman is into the purple camos.

You, too, can get some of these pants here.

Coming To America

I rarely watch soccer, or international football. I watch it for a month at a time, every four years for the World Cup. I could probably name 15 players, worldwide, total. I live in a city with the MLS champion Houston Dynamo, and couldn't name anyone who plays for them.

I know who David Beckham is, though. He had a movie named after him, Bend It Like Beckham. He has been the most well-known athlete in the world for the past several years. He is married to the former Victoria Adams, also known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls. Until a few months ago, he was the captain of the England national team. He also starred for Manchester United and Real Madrid. He is now coming to America.

Yesterday, Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer for $250 million, including endorsements. Not bad for a guy on the downside of his career. That is double the salary of Alex Rodriguez. And, he gets to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, putting he and his wife close to Hollywood.

MLS expects moves like this to put professional soccer in the mainstream of sports in the United States. Right now, Mexican league games on Spanish-language television get better ratings than MLS.

We'll see what happens.

And I thought MLS stood for Multiple Listing Service..

Thursday, January 11, 2007

As C-USA Turns

My mind was blown tonight, as I read that Rice coach Todd Graham accepted an offer to become head coach at conference rival Tulsa, where he was formerly defensive coordinator. Coach Graham took Rice to its first bowl in 45 years, and raised $7 million for improvements to the stadium and football program. This is a weird move, as the two schools are in the same conference, and Tulsa shares some of the same characteristics as Rice: private school, small enrollment and alumni base, decaying stadium, and competing with other programs and teams in its own city.

Unless the money is outrageous at TU, this is a strange move, and a lateral move. It would be like leaving Texas Tech for the job at Missouri. He has ties in both Texas and Oklahoma, having coached at high schools in both states, and having played at East Central University in Ada.

Any coach that can take Rice to a bowl game ought to be able to hold out for a job in a BCS conference. I hope TU came forward with a vault full of money on this one.

Rice has a $4 billion dollar endowment. They could use just a small portion of that to very easily become the Stanford of the Southwest if they so chose: a top-flight academic university with a top-flight athletic program. Athletics can do so much for a university, in the way of exposure, fund-raising, and enrollment applications.

This doesn't look good for the Feisty Nightbirds. However, they have an opportunity to hire the Major. Major Applewhite is a candidate for the head coaching job, after serving as the Owls' offensive coordinator this year. If this happens, ABC/ESPN needs to pick up a Rice game so Brent Musburger can call the game, and fans around America can once again play part of the Brent Musburger drinking game.


It's not really a uniform, but a "special occasion" blazer.

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl wears this orange blazer for games with rivals Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Yes, it shows some personality. However, he sticks out like a sore thumb on the bench. He looks like a moving bottle of orange juice on the sideline with this thing on.

They love it in Knoxville.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

It's been a few days since there has been a UUOTD. My apologies. I have a new job which takes me out of town during the week, working long hours, for a ton more money. However, I haven't forgotten about the blog.

Today's ugly uniform is not worn by the Patriots, nor by the Jets. It is a version of the new NFL officials' uniform, worn by the official in the background. It's hard to find pictures of the refs, so this is the best I could find at this time.

The NFL redesigned the officials' uniform this year. Overall, they're not bad. However, these black pants they wore during Sunday's AFC playoff game are hideous. They look almost like black parachute pants from the 80's. I understand the need to stay warm in cold-weather locations such as Foxboro. That is fine. I don't want them to freeze any more than they have to. But, they could at least wear white pants, as they did in the snow games earlier in the season in Denver.

Note to NFL: Keep the refs warm, but the white pants go better with zebra stripes than black pants.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Did you know.. the 9 years of the BCS, nine different schools have won the BCS National Championship?

1999-Florida State
2002-Ohio State

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's Great To Be A Florida Gator

I'm not a Gator, but I know greatness when I see it. Props to the Florida Gators, for their hide-tanning of The Ohio State University. I sure didn't see this happening.

The Gators, at the moment, are national champions in both football and men's basketball. Florida has a good thing going.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I couldn't resist...

American Idol brings down America's Team...

Sorry, I love Tony Romo. But, this was too good to pass up.