Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get A Life!

Tonight, the fan bases at schools such as Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, and West Virginia are in meltdown mode following upset losses.

I love college football. I spend too much time watching and analyzing it. However, there are more important things in life.

There are way too many people out there that place their entire self-worth and identity in their teams, whether it is a college or professional football team. It is really silly to wrap one's identity in what a group of 18 to 22 year olds do on a football field. Here is an example of this type of reaction, from a post tonight on

If I needed the money for the tickets I wouldn't have bought them. If I have a family member that wants them I'll let them have my tickets but I'm not going to support them until we get a BCS bowl win. I'll tell someone where my seats are vacant and you can stretch out on them and sleep for all I care. I left in 2005 for an RV trip with them and I'm heading out again. Surely this loss isn't a surprise to anyone the way OU has been the past 3 years? Go to the post picking OU's lost games this year. I said 3 lost games this year and I got it right the past two years with 3 last year and 4 the year before. This isn't rocket science, Stoops can't coach a team picked to win every game. He does well with underdogs. After that he's a big game loser. I'm not an OU fan near as much as I am a State of Oklahoma fan. Lately OU has been more of an embarrasment to our state rather than an asset! The only thing I hate as bad as a Texas fan is a Crimson blind OU fan. They are far more dangerous to OU than UT ever will be.

Excuse me, but embarrassment to your state? And ultimately, yourself? In the words of Mike Gundy: "They're good kids. They go to class. They're respectful to the press." etc. Yes, it's bad to lose a game you shouldn't lose, especially when your team had it won. However, it's nothing to be personally embarrassed about.

For a lot of people, it's National Championship or Bust. A 10 win season and a conference championship just isn't good enough. People tolerate a whole lot of mediocrity and spareness in their own personal lives, but don't tolerate so much as an offsides penalty from their football team.

Folks, football is a ton of fun to follow. But, at the end of the day, it's a game. It's only a game. For most of us, it's not our livelihood.

Get a life!

Knee-Jerk Reactions

I'm in shock. I'm almost so numb I can't get upset. The Oklahoma Sooners blew a 24-7 lead and lost to Colorado, 27-24. The Sooners started playing not to lose in the 2nd half, turned the ball over three times, and couldn't find a way to win. The Big 12 is anyone's to win.

Elsewhere, the Fighting Ron Zooks put themselves on the map, as Illinois beat Penn State, 27-20. Illinois has won four in a row after an opening week loss to Missouri.

My, how Notre Dame has fallen. The Irish played in the spare 11:00 AM game on ESPN today against Purdue. Purdue took them to the cleaners in the first half, and led 26-0. The Irish made it interesting in the second half before Purdue scored again to provide the winning margin of 33-19. Notre Dame is 0-5. Purdue is 5-0.

More knee-jerk reactions later on. I'm going to go absorb defeat.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Really Bad Aggie Joke

It's safe to say the countdown to a new football coach has started at Texas A&M.

The San Antonio Express-News reported today that Aggie coach Dennis Franchione had been selling insider subscriptions to an e-mail newsletter at $1,200 per subscription. The subscriptions were sold to VIP boosters, and contained information not revealed to the public. This information included injury reports and personal comments about players. The newsletter was written by Franchione's personal assistant, Mike McKenzie. The proceeds from the subscriptions supposedly went to the upkeep of Franchione's website,

All has not been well in Aggieland. In my opinion, a booster decided to leak this information in order to speed up the process of Fran's dismissal. Aggies are not (and should not be) happy with the performance delivered by their program. They have a coach making $2 million per year, and a program that does well to finish 3rd in the Big 12 South division.

I have a couple of takes on this situation.

First, this is not worth risking trouble over. These are health records that are now subject to federal privacy laws. Also, this is information that could end up in the hands of gamblers. This is a big can of worms.

Second, this is coming from a coach left his two previous jobs in less than stellar fashion. It appears he is about to burn some bridges on the Brazos River, as well.

This is not going to end well for either Fran or the Aggies.

Where's R.C. Slocum when you need him?

Ugly Uniform of the Day

Today's edition of UUOTD takes us to sunny south Florida.

The University of Miami, also known as The U, has been creative in their combination of their colors of orange and green. They were also one of the first schools to use creative stripes and trim on their uniforms.

This year, Miami has added a green line which comes extends all the way to the back of the jersey, up onto the back of the jersey where the name would normally be. It looks like someone took a picture of their orange jersey and used Microsoft Paint to draw a green line on the jersey. The green stripe looks like two snakes are meeting on the back of the jersey.

This is a bad use of green and orange. Yuck!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NFL Picks, Week 4

Last Week: 11-5
Overall: 32-16

It’s time for another round of picks in the National Football League.

Week 4 begins the series of byes. Each team will take a week off during one of the next several weeks of the regular season. Jacksonville, New Orleans, Tennessee, and Washington are all off this week.

Without further adieu, here are this week’s picks:

St. Louis at Dallas: The Rams have been most unimpressive in an 0-3 start. Now, star RB Steven Jackson is out for this week. The Cowboys, on the other hand, have moved to the front of the NFC pack. This pick is not hard, whether I’m a Cowboy homer or not. Pick: Dallas

Houston at Atlanta: Matt Schaub returns to Atlanta, where he would have become the quarterback by default after the Michael Vick legal trouble. The Texans are better than the Falcons. It’s still hard for me to believe the Texans are better than anybody, but it’s true. Pick: Houston

New York Jets at Buffalo: Yuck. Buffalo is terrible. The Jets are mediocre. I’m glad I don’t have to watch this stinker. A stopped clock is right twice a day, and every dog has its day, so I’m going with the Bills. Pick: Buffalo

Chicago at Detroit: The Rex Grossman era in Chicago is over, at least for now. Brian Griese is now the starter in Chicago. It’s strength vs. strength, as the Detroit offense faces the Chicago defense. DET gave up 56 last week to Philadelphia. It would take the Bears three games to score 56 points, even against a sorry defense such as the Lions. Pick: DET

Oakland at Miami: Another stinker. The Raiders broke into the win column last week, blocking a Cleveland field goal at the end of the game to preserve the win. Now, they travel to sunny south Florida to take on the ‘Fins. Miami has had a couple of close losses to Washington and the Jets. Everyone loves the king of the sea… Pick: Miami

Green Bay at Minnesota: Don’t look now, but the Packers are 3-0. Brett Favre needs one touchdown pass to break the all-time record for career touchdown passes. He gets it. However, the Vikes find a way to steal this one at home. Paul the Damn Viking is happy. Pick: Minnesota

Baltimore at Cleveland: The old Browns vs. the new Browns. The Ravens are a mysterious team, as their vaunted defense has been giving up a lot of points. However, the Cleveland defense has been giving up a lot of points, as well. Ya gotta look out for CLE. Oops, wrong sport. Ya gotta look out for CLE in baseball. In football, Cleveland still stinks. The Ravens are better, even on the road. Pick: Balmer

Seattle at San Francisco: Important NFC West showdown. The 49ers went home with their heads down last week after a 37-16 thumping by Pittsburgh. Seattle got a big win over Cincinnati. These teams are really pretty even. When in doubt, pick the home team. Pick: Frisco

Tampa Bay at Carolina: This one is for first place in the NFC South. The Bucs have gotten two big wins at home, but now travel to Charlotte to face the Panthers. The Panthers may be without QB Jake Delhomme. The QB reins would then fall to David Carr, who was run out of Houston on a rail. Pick: Bucs

Denver at Indianapolis: The Broncos have stunk the last two weeks. They escaped in overtime against the sorry Raiders, then were kicked all over their home field by the Jaguars. Now, they go to the RCA Dome to face the mighty Colts. This one looks ugly. Pick: Colts

Kansas City at San Diego: The Chargers are off to a slow start, and are doubting themselves in a huge way. Think the front office knee-jerked a little too much by letting Marty Schottenheimer go after last year’s playoff debacle? I think so. By the way, Marty once coached the Chiefs as well. The Chargers get well this week. Pick: San Diego

Pittsburgh at Arizona: Steelers have rolled through three games this season, and travel to the desert to take on the enigmatic Cardinals. This could be more entertaining than it looks on the surface. Still, Pittsburgh is a better team. Pick: Steelers

Philadelphia at New York Giants: The Sunday Night extravaganza gives us a classic NFC East battle. Both teams saved their seasons last week, as Philly blasted Detroit and the Giants got a big win in Washington. Eagles should be back in their normal uniforms after last week’s fashion atrocity. This is so unpredictable. When in doubt, pick the home team. Pick: New York Football Giants

New England at Cincinnati: The Monday night special gives us a matchup that should provide plenty of fireworks. The Patriots will score exactly 38 points. That is what they have scored in their first three games. Can the Bengals outscore them? No. Pick: New England

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

College Picks, Week 5

Week 5 is here in the world of college football. Though the conference season is getting into full gear, this week’s matchups leave a little to be desired.

Last week: 10-9
Overall: 56-24

This blog had to search long and hard to find 20 games worth picking. But, there are 20 big ones to pick, so here are this week’s picks:

Oklahoma at Colorado: The Sooners rolled through four non-conference foes, scoring an average of 61 points per game and winning the four games by almost 40 points per outing. Colorado experienced a flash of past glory last week, pounding Miami (Ohio) 41-0. The Sooners won’t hang 60 on the Buffs, but they’ll win. Pick: OU

Kansas State at Texas: When these teams last met, K-State pulled a shocking upset of the Horns as Texas QB Colt McCoy was injured. McCoy is back, and so are the Longhorns. Pick: Texas

Baylor at Texas A&M: The battle of Highway 6 finds the Aggies stumbling home after being pasted by The U. Baylor has three wins over suspect competition: Rice, Texas State, and Buffalo. A&M’s not great, but they’re a lot better than those three creampuffs. This will be close, but something freaky will happen for the Aggies. Pick: A&M

Iowa State at Nebraska: The Huskers were nearly shocked last week by Ball State. Iowa State let one get away at Toledo. Come to think of it, there’s not much difference between the Big 12 North and the MAC. Nebraska doesn’t have much of a run defense, but they’ll have enough to win this week. Pick: Nebraska

Northwestern State (La.) at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders gave up 100 yards rushing to three different OSU Cowboys last week as Tech lost to OSU, 49-45. The Raiders were a dropped touchdown pass away from winning the game. Since then, the Raiders have fired their defensive coordinator in search of some toughness on defense. Tech will score some points this week, and will outscore the visitors from Natchitoches. Pick: Tech

Sam Houston State at Oklahoma State: The Orange Bowl. Not quite. Rhett Bomar returns to the state of Oklahoma, this time as quarterback of the Sam Houston State Bearkats. SHSU shares the color orange and the city of Huntsville with a more well-known institution: the Texas Department of Corrections. Perhaps SHSU should take the nickname of Executioners. OSU had a big win last week over Tech, and their coach had a big tantrum over a newspaper article. OSU ought to be able to win this one. Pick: OSU

West Virginia at South Florida (Friday): The high-flying Mountaineers go to Tampa to take on the undefeated Bulls. USF won last year’s meeting in Morgantown. Both teams are for real. I like West Virginia’s offense a lot, but South Florida is better than most people think. I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. Pick: USF

Florida State vs. Alabama at Jacksonville: Before he retires, Bobby Bowden wanted to play a game against the school he once attended and idolized. He gets that opportunity this week. The Noles are still finding an identity. The Tide has played two nailbiters in a row, defeating Arkansas while losing last week to Georgia in overtime. These are two great college football traditions with simply above-average teams. Actually, the way FSU has played the last couple of years, they'd love to get back to above-average. Give me the Sabanites. Pick: Alabama

Notre Dame at Purdue: One of these teams is undefeated. The other one is winless. Guess which one is which? The futility continues for the Fighting Irish. Heh, heh, heh. Pick: Purdue

California at Oregon: Unless one of the teams wears their all-white uniform, there are guaranteed to be some ugly uniforms in this game. Both teams have the same supplier: the Swoosh. Both teams are good, as well, and are fighting to challenge USC in the Pac 10. The Ducks are at home. Quack, Quack. Pick: Oregon

Clemson at Georgia Tech: This is always a fun, exciting, and close game. Clemson takes their unbeaten record to Historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech is reeling after two consecutive losses. Things are going the Tigers’ way this year. Pick: Clemson

UCLA at Oregon State: UCLA returned to the college football atmosphere last week, following up an unexplainable loss to Utah with an impressive win over Washington. Oregon State is pretty unpredictable in their own right. When in doubt, pick the home team. Pick: Oregon State

Auburn at Florida: War Eagle is young and is struggling. The last thing they need is a trip to the Swamp, but that’s what they get this week. The Gators roll. Pick: Florida

Colorado State at TCU: Frogs are trying to find their way. They got off to a good start on that last week by taking the Iron Skillet back from SMU. Rams make their second trip to Texas in two weeks, after losing last week at Houston. Pick: TCU

Penn State at Illinois: The guys in the generic white uniforms can’t get anything to go right for them when they play Michigan, and that didn’t change last week. Now, the Nittany Lions are 0-1 in the Big Ten, and they face the Juice. Not O.J., but Illinois QB Juice Williams. The Illini have some young guys that can play, as Ron Zook has recruited well. I smell upset here. Pick: Illinois

UNLV at Nevada: The Casino Bowl. UNLV has improved this season, and no longer fills their role of Mountain West patsy. This is a big rivalry game, so records should be thrown out the window. My gut says Reno, but my brain says Vegas. Viva Las Vegas. Pick: UNLV

Air Force at Navy: Air Force has been a pleasant surprise this season, while Navy has been unpredictable. Navy had to come back from a large deficit to beat Duke. Air Force is coming off a 31-6 shellacking by BYU. Winner gets the inside track to the Commander-In-Chief Trophy. The Zoomies are back. Pick: Air Force

USC at Washington: Trojans take their show back on the road to visit Seattle and the Huskies. Washington started strong, but has fallen off in two losses to Ohio State and UCLA. USC is just too good for them. Pick: USC

Akron at Connecticut: The Zips are coming off a 27-20 win over archrival Kent State, and will give any team fits. UConn is undefeated, having won at Pittsburgh last week. East Hartford will be rocking on Saturday. Pick: UConn

Charleston Southern at North Greenville: The Baptist Bowl. Charleston Southern has jet lag, as they played last week at Hawaii. They were outmanned and spanked by the Warriors, but got to see the islands. I didn’t know North Greenville had a football team until I saw the schedule today. CSU has a Division I-AA (Football Championship Subdivision) program. They should be able to handle North Greenville. Pick: Charleston Southern

Monday, September 24, 2007

Flying Off The Handle In Stillwater

This is a story and video that just won't die. It's over 48 hours old, and is still worth a comment.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys took a huge step in rescuing their season by beating Texas Tech in a barnburner, 49-45. One would think that OSU coach Mike Gundy would be happy. Not in this video.

Gundy took exception to an article written by Daily Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson in that morning's paper. She gave an account of the benching of once highly touted QB Bobby Reid. Gundy went ballistic in this video, and used the article to attack the columnist.

I've followed Mike Gundy's career since high school. He grew up and starred about 30 miles away from me. As my dad would say, we went to different schools together. He went on to become OSU's all-time leading passer. His brother, Cale, played at Oklahoma and is now running backs coach for the Sooners. I don't know them personally, but I'm sure we know some of the same people, as Oklahoma is not a big state. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of Oklahoma State, a/k/a the Oklahoma Aggies. I find this tirade somewhat amusing, but also somewhat sad. It's really uncalled for.

On the other hand, I read the Oklahoman online just about every day. I make it a point to skip Jenni Carlson's column. It is usually a waste of time for me and most other Sooner fans. As a result of this imbroglio, she will probably be working for another newspaper within the next year.

Mike Gundy has a right to disagree with what was written. He did the right thing to take up for his player. However, he had no right to publicly dress a columnist down in front of 30 or so of her peers. That was low-class and highly unprofessional. This tirade is an embarrassment to Oklahoma State University, known by some of my fellow Sooner fans as Payne County Tractor College.

Nothing good comes in orange. Nothing.

NFL Highway, Week 3

It’s time for another trip down the NFL highway.

There is never a dull moment in the NFL. When it comes to the NFL, the only thing to do is to expect the unexpected. So, there were some surprising events, in addition to some rather mundane results.

We’ll start in Chicago, where the Dallas Cowboys had a coming-out party, as they whipped the Bears by a score of 34-10. The Romo Empire is being built one game at a time, as Tony Romo threw for 329 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Marion Barber III continued to stake his claim to the RB position, gaining 101 yards while scoring a touchdown. The Bears, meanwhile, continue to struggle on offense, as Rex Grossman continues to play himself out of the Windy City. Sexy Rexy had three interceptions and a quarterback rating of 25 for the game. Defense alone will not be able to carry the Bears back to the Super Bowl this year.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles celebrated the 75th year of their franchise by wearing their 1933 uniform. The horrible fashion statement grossed out the Detroit Lions, as the Iggles ripped the Lions apart, 56-21. Donovan McNabb threw four touchdown passes, including three to Kevin Curtis. Brian Westbrook had 110 yards rushing, 111 yards receiving, and three touchdowns in 2 ½ quarters. Rumor has it that the Lions were forced to walk back to Detroit, and were seen hitchhiking late Sunday night on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Indianapolis Colts showed the Houston Texans what a championship team looks like, as they delivered a workmanlike 30-24 win over the Texans. The Texans are being quickly bitten by the injury bug, as WR Andre Johnson was joined in the infirmary by RBs Ahman Green and Ron Dayne. The Colts will not give up their championship easily.

The Baltimore Ravens held on at home to defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 26-23. Cardinals backup QB Kurt Warner (remember him?) brought the Cardinals back to make the game close, leading Arizona to 17 4th quarter points. The Ravens lost QB Steve McNair to injury, as he was replaced by Kyle Boller.

The San Diego Chargers are in deep trouble. Well, maybe not deep trouble, but things are definitely not well in sunny San Diego. The Chargers traveled to Green Bay and lost, 31-24. Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson and QB Phillip Rivers were seen arguing and yelling at each other on the sideline late in the game. Meanwhile, the ageless Brett Favre threw for three touchdown passes, tying the career record for touchdown passes with 420. The Packers find themselves undefeated at 3-0. The Chargers are 1-2.

In a rematch of Super Bowl IV, the Kansas City Chiefs matriculated the ball down the field just enough to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 13-10. The Chiefs’ running game was shut down, while Adrian (Oklahoma) Peterson is becoming a star for the Vikings, gaining 102 yards rushing and scoring a touchdown. Look for both of these teams early on draft day next spring in New York.

For the third week in a row, the New England Patriots scored 38 points. This week, the victim was the awful Buffalo Bills, as the Patriots rolled, 38-7. Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, as the Patriots continue to roll. This team is playing better than anyone in the league at the moment.

The New York Jets got their first win of the season in a high-scoring game with Miami, winning 31-28. The Jets still have a chance to salvage their season. The Dolphins stink.

There are some really strong teams in the AFC. Another one is in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers won big for the third week in a row. The black and gold-clad team made mincemeat of the San Francisco 49ers, 37-16. I’m already looking forward to the AFC playoffs, where the Steelers, Patriots, and Colts will all run into each other.

A big disappointment thus far is the St. Louis Rams. The Rams did not show up in a 24-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Earnest Graham came off the bench to score two touchdowns for the Bucs. Marc Bulger was hammered by the Bucs’ defense, and caused both of my fantasy teams to perform horribly.

What is up with the Denver Broncos? I had given the Jacksonville Jaguars up for dead in this one. Instead, the Jags went into Denver and smashed the Broncos, 23-14. The game really wasn’t that close. The Broncos are still in 1st place in the AFC West, but that division is looking pretty mediocre at this point.

The Oakland Raiders lost a game last week when Denver called a timeout as the Raiders were kicking a game-winning field goal, nullifying the play and forcing a block of the second attempt. The Raiders did the exact same thing to the Browns yesterday, as Cleveland missed a game-winning field goal on the Browns’ second attempt. Oakland won their first game of the season, 26-24. These are two more teams that look to be drafting early next spring in New York.

The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a slow start, losing their second in a row on a trip to Seattle, as the Seahawks nipped the Bengals 24-21. Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdown passes for the Seahawks. Seattle is a tough road trip for anybody.

The Atlanta Falcons aren’t very good. Sunday, quarterback Joey Harrington threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns. However, that performance was wasted as the Carolina Panthers dispatched the Falcons, 27-20.

In the Greatest Division In Football, a/k/a the NFC East, two old rivals met as the New York Giants went to Washington looking for respect and a win. The Giants bounced back from an awful start by beating the previously unbeaten Redskins, 24-17. The Redskins had four downs from the Giants’ 2 yard line in the last minute. The Giants’ defense kept Washington out of the end zone on four consecutive plays to preserve the win.

The Monday night extravaganza features Vince Young and Reggie Bush. The Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints will also be playing. Plenty of points will be scored in the Superdome.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

This was suggested by a friend of my wife. I warned of this occasion earlier in the year. As warned and promised, this becomes the first two-time offender in the history of this column.

Today, the Philadelphia Eagles wore the ugliest uniform in the history of modern professional football. They were attempting to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the franchise. That thought is well-taken. However, they redefined the word U-G-L-Y with these things. These are gross, disgusting, and putrid.

Unfortunately for us, the Eagles may be tempted to wear these again, as they pummeled the Detroit Lions, 56-21, in these things.

If they're going to wear old uniforms, why don't they wear something like this?