Edition 10.22.2007

October 22, 2007

Good job Georgia Tech. You managed to run Tashard Choice right out of the line up. Oh well, it’s not like the rest of the football world has anything fear from anyone in the ACC.

So how about my list? Greg Robinson won, Dave Wannstedt won, Karl Dorrell won, Tommy Bowden won, Chan Galey won those are turning out about as good as my point spread picks.

Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh: Still topping my list. It really is not a good sign when a team finally wins a game when the head coach is not on the sidelines. There isn’t much bad you can say after win, but the number of empty seats at this game against a top 25 opponent were just astonishing. For god’s sake people, they play their games off campus so the student should actually be able to buy beer at the games. College football is a revenue generating entity. It is this revenue that makes other sports possible that only Christine Brennan can love. If you can’t get people coming to the games you have got to get out.

Greg Robinson, Syracuse: Copy and pase from above, search for Pittsburgh and replace with Syracuse. There was a sign at this game versus Buffalo that said something along the lines of “Hey c’mon, it’s Buffalo.” This says a lot in a couple ways. One, Buffalo is not the cliche horrible Buffalo of the past. And two, Syracuse is trying to find some pride in beating a MACtastic team that is struggling to reach bowl eligibility. In a game where Buffalo was down only one score late the stands looking more like attendance for a girls field hockey championship game than a BCS conference football game played by Jim Brown’s alma mater.

Mike Stoops, Arizona: A fourth quarter loss to Stanford? Well, I guess losing to Stanford isn’t that big a deal anymore. The Cardinal really seem to have turned the corner to being a tough team. Well Mikey, all you have to do to get to a bowl game this year is win out. Four straight wins over Washington, UCLA, Oregon and Arizona State seems reasonable huh? Dude, you are so done.

Ed Orgeron, Mississippi: Yeesh, you think Ole Miss wants to rethink dumping David Cutliffe for having one bad season? Cutliffe put up respectable 7, 8 and 10 win seasons over his first 5 years only to have a 4 winner sneak in there in year six. But I guess that’s how the SEC does things. Now the Rebels are looking at another 3 to 4 win season. Things are bad for ya there Ed. You hung tough with ‘bama and Florida, but that’s not enough.

Sly Croom, Mississippi State: It’s hard to believe you actually won 4 out of 5 game earlier this season. It must have seemed eons ago when West Virginia went up 31 – 0 with two minutes to go in the first quarter. There is really nothing left here for Croom to prove. He has not, is not and will not get it done with Mississippi State. The Bulldogs need to cut their losses.

Earlier today on ESPN radio Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski tempted fate by saying the Virginia Tech crowd won’t affect their game this Thursday night. I have been to games at Lane Stadium, and I have been to many games at many other stadiums. Some other Stadiums come close, but Lane Stadium is waaaaayyyy up there at the top for fan insanity. There have been times at Lane Stadium that make you wonder what is wrong with these people that they make this much noise. I was there in 2001 when the Hokies had a horrible offensive performance going on but somehow managed to stay close with a top ranked Miami. Then Eric Green blocked a punt. I can tell you that was the single loudest moment I have ever experienced in a stadium. Ever. There were people screaming so loud they were falling off the bleacher seats, on which of course they were standing. I was there in 2003 when Miami came to town again and proceeded to get gutted by the Hokie defense. That entire game the stadium was rock concert kinda loud. This year’s Hokies have been flying well under the radar mainly due to yet another horrible offense, but ask Tommy Bowden if Virginia Tech needs offense to win a game. Coach Jeff, if you have never experienced a football game in Blacksburg, if you are not truly familiar with the Hokie fans, when you chose to make that comment, you may not have chosen wisely.

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Take a hint Pittsburgh

October 20, 2007

You beat a top 25 team without Dave Wannstedt on the sidelines.  That was no coincidence.

Let’s hope Directv and ESPN have prepared themselves.  At 8pm tonight the 900 pound tag team of Ralph Friedgen and Mark Mangino will be on the air at the same time.

Oh, nice crowds in Pittsburgh and Syracuse today.

How perfectly symbolic this is.  The worst head coach hiring of the last 5 years loses a wheel.  Just like Pittsburgh has done since that dreadful day when some idiot in the athletic department thought interviewing him for the job was a good idea.  The team, the coach and the entire football program is now skreetching down the PA Turnpike on three wheels with sparks flying out the back.  Three wheels are good if you’re riding a Big Wheel, not so much if you’re driving a rusted out 1979 Chevy Impala.

Edition 20071018

October 18, 2007

Here we go with a new number 1. With November just around the corner the first of the 2007 firings is not far away.

Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh: This team is bad. Real bad. What’s worse is fans aren’t even going to the games. Wannstedt won in his first year as head coach of the Chicago Bears, and hasn’t won since. There was no reason to even interview him for this job.

Greg Robinson, Syracuse: My oh my, what will happen if Syracuse loses at home to the Buffalo Bulls? Syracuse has been giving up frightening amounts of yards on the ground this season and the Bulls’ James Starks has been running very well lately. 244 yards last week, 183 the week before to be exact. Again, like Pittsburgh, people expect more out of Syracuse than we’ve seen during the Greg Robinson era.

Karl Dorrell, UCLA: The window of opportunity exists in Los Angeles for someone else to ascend to the throne. Pete Carroll’s magic touch is fading. He’s got to be smart enough to see that. Sometimes being able to land every five star recruit you want isn’t such a good thing. USC is proving that. That’s simply too many prima donnas wearing the same uniform. Given this UCLA needs to make a choice. Do they reach for the ring or do they merely accept more Nut Bowl losses in the years to come?

Tommy Bowden, Clemson: Clemson is a former national champion you know. Just listen to their fans. Forget about how many recruiting violations it took to win that title or the fact that championship trophy is nearly 30 years old. Tommy is never going to win the big game at Clemson. If he couldn’t do it with good college quarterbacks or great college running backs he’ll never get it done. The question is for the Tiger fans, is the Mickey Mouse Bowl good enough? Is the Dollywood Bowl good enough? If those bowl games are satisfying for you then keep Tommy around.

Chan Galey, Georgia Tech: Chan has only lasted this long thanks to riding hard on the backs of Tashard Choice and Calvin Johnson. Everyone was marveling at your superiority after the 33 – 3 drubbing of Notre Dame, but now it seems you should have been able to win by a lot more that day. My honest feeling is that Chan is very unlikely to be fired any time soon. But if that is the case the Yellow Jackets will be mired in mediocrity until he is gone.

Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State: You know, I’m actually tired of talking about him. At this point I’m more in favor of Mississippi State disbanding their football team. It’s not like Mississippi State is some kind of crown jewel of academia. Even Vanderbilt has managed to put together a solid team with their educational superiority. For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster you’re in the SEC, all you have to do win seven games in that conference and the media will be slurping at your lap as a national championship contender.

Others on their way out: Lloyd Carr, Michigan: you damn well better find a way to beat Ohio State this year if you want your job next year. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: you will survive this season, but next year you’re serious trouble.

My weekly picks have been nothing short horrible so far. So here is this week’s round of money losers.

MARYLAND -4.5 over uva: The Cav’s top rusher is out for the game + they generally play horrible on road + they are barely squeaking out wins against the middle of the road teams = A win for the Terps.

LSU -11.5 over auburn: Tommy Tuberville generally plays better on the road than at home. But nobody plays well against LSU at night in Baton Rouge. LSU should come in rather perturbed after losing the overtime game to Kentucky. I expect a rather serious beat down of the War Eagle.

cincinnati -9.5 over PITTSBURGH: The Panthers haven’t been able to score much on teams that have average defenses. Cincinnati doesn’t have just an average defense. Pitts biggest hope for this game is the Bearcats coming in bummed out over their loss to Louisville. I don’t see that being enough. Cincinnati still has the Big East title in their own hands, but they have to keep winning. If they drop this game their upcoming matchup with South Florida becomes meaningless.

stanford +10.5 over ARIZONA: Mike Stoops is another dead coach walking. Don’t be fooled by a close game with the Trojans.

oregon -11 over WASHINGTON: Oregon is another team with reason to keep playing hard. Win out and they will likely sneak away with a PAC-10 title. The Ducks are one of the more fun teams to watch on offense with Dennis Dixon running the controls. Ty’s Huskies have beaten Boise St (before they got rolling) and Syracuse so far this year. Their only other close game was a home loss to USC.

FSU -5.5 over miami: FSU is the same as they have been for the last 3 or 4 seasons. Strong defense and meh on offense. I can’t even tell you what Miami has these days. One week they’re giving up a megaton of yards and points to Oklahoma then next they look like they’ve turned a corner against Texas A&M and then they struggle with Duke. It should be close, but not a wide right kinda close.

army +26 over GEORGIA TECH: Look Army ain’t winning this game, but they are playing tough close games. All GT has on offense is Tashard Choice and they are running him into the ground (37, 32, 32 carries in the last three weeks). If they end up having to run Choice 30+ times again this week that’s bad news for their upcoming game on November 1st with Virginia Tech.

Man alive nothing says you need to hit the bricks more than being the head coach of a BCS Conference school with a prime time home game where the empty seats on 50 yard out number the filled ones. Both of Jimmy Johnson’s former übercoordinators will be lucky to be employed after Thanksgiving. The only thing that could save Norv Turner is some guy nicknamed LT. In Wannstedt’s case he’s proven nothing over two and half years. Five straight losses to end last season, a 2 – 4 start this season with games against Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia to go. At this point in your Panther history (two six loss seasons) you’ve only managed to show a feeble fading pulse against Rutgers and South Florida. This was a bad hire in the first place. Dave was not a good head coach in the NFL and has shown no signs of moving Pittsburgh in a positive direction. Even in an extremely top heavy conference.

This weekend’s picks…

USC -21: Think they might be a bit embarrassed after last week? Arizona could not have come to town at a better time for the Trojans.

UVA -3: The Cavs are a solid team at home. UConn ain’t so bad their ownself, but they haven’t stepped up to winning these types of games yet.

CAL -13.5: If they’re going to keep that #2 spot in the polls they need to roll big time on everybody left on their schedule given Ohio State’s emergence.

STANFORD +5.5: TCU packed it in for the season when they lost the game and their BCS Bowl dream to Texas a month ago.

OREGON -17: These guys are not out of the PAC-10 picture yet. They need to play that way.

tennessee -7: Looks like they got a wake up call against Florida.

NFL

CLEVELAND -4.5: Miami was terrrrrrible with Trent Green. Not that he’s exactly anything special, well maybe special ed, these days.

Yeah, my picks sucked the other day. Fuck you. Now on to death row.

1. Mike Stoops, Arizona: Nice job keeping Oregon State from scoring twice as much as you, but that doesn’t help your need for four more wins to be bowl eligible. With the reality of being an underdog for every game on the rest of your schedule (well, maybe you’ll be a pick ’em with UCLA) your time is up is desert. Arizona is in a hopeless situation. They are so far behind the rest of the conference in football they might as well disband the team.

2. Greg Robinson, Syracuse: Yep, that win of Louisville is looking less and less impressive with each passing week. Clearly your team is more like the one WVU just ran over like a NASCAR Chevy over a paralyzed bunny. Syracuse would do well to cut ties now and use that for recruiting momentum. The Big East is wide open to get a BCS bid. Especially once White and Slaton leave WVU.

3. Slyvester Croom, Mississippi State: Congrats to you Sly. A personal best 4th win of the year for you. You’re two wins away from being bowl eligible. Now all you have to do is find two wins among your remaining games with Tennessee, @WVU, @Kentucky, Alabama, @Arkansas and Mississippi. Good luck with that. Remember what I said about the Arizona team? Same applies here.

4. Carl Dorrell, UCLA: You lost to ND. Normally, that’s no big deal. Except in a year when it was a foregone conclusion that Notre Dame was heading and 0 – 8 start and possibly going to have to trouble winning against Duke and Navy. If you hadn’t stolen away a win against USC at the end of last year you’d be heading back to being some worthless position coach come this December. The loss to the Domers was a huge embarrassment. Bigger than getting gutted at Utah earlier this year.

5a. Tommy Bowden, Clemson: How can this guy still be at Clemson? We’ve seen this story how many times? One big win (this year versus FSU) and the state of South Carolina thinks Tommy has finally gotten over the hump. Three returns for touchdowns and the super duo running backs held to a combined 9 yards later and we see you got your one big win out of the way early this year. Sadly, I can envision some other program being conned into hiring you again for your last name alone.

5b. Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech: Pretty much the same story as Tommy Bowden. An occasional big win makes people think this team is on its way to something big. Something big that never comes. How a coach can still be employed after having Reggie Ball as a starting quarterback for four years is the real mystery in this picture. Then again, ACC football is the epitome of mediocrity, so coaches like Gailey and Tommy Bowden are perfect for this conference.

On Notice: Lloyd Carr, Michigan – no need to discuss any further; Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – you lucked into a couple good season when Drew Tate came out of nowhere for a couple magical seasons. Well, he vanished from the scene about midway through last season, and so too will you.

wvu -6.5 over USF: USF is the feel good story of the season so far. How-eh-vuh, WVU has White, Slaton (both a year more experienced) and the midget missle Noel Devine loaded and ready for action. It’s a revenge game for the ‘eers and they don’t have any big game distractions coming up for at least three weeks. Take the ‘eers, the points and the over.

alabama +1.5 over FSU: Papa Bowden’s boys have shown, zip, nada and nothing so far this year. Let alone many recent years. Coach Saban seems to have the Tide rolling in the right direction. ‘bama wins this one straight up.

UVA -6 over pitt: Al Groh manages another job saving win. This time over an opponent that for no apparent reason people seem to rate as a decent team. UVA plays very well at home. Pitt is looking to start a true freshman QB. UVA is the easy cover in this one.

lsu -41 over TULANE: Yeah, I’m taking a team to cover 41 points. At this point I think you could swap out LSU and the New Orleans Saints and possibly improve an NFL team. The Tigers have to keep blasting opponents out of the water to keep Oklahoma at bay in the polls. The only way LSU doesn’t cover is if they call off the dogs early to relax and go prepare for the Gators next week.

louisville -8.5 over NC STATE: So, coach O’Brien, you still sure about wanting to move south? Your old BC squad looks like the ACC lock for a BCS bid while your team could easily wrestle away the ACC doormat from Duke. If Louisville doesn’t come into this game pissed off, angry and ready to stomp bunnies their season is over. OVER. UofL wins my a lot more than 8.5.

KENTUCKY -22.5 over fla atlantic: Again, like the LSU game, the only way UK doesn’t cover this game by a lot is if they call off the dogs too early. With South Carolina, LSU and Florida coming up the next three weeks for the Wildcats that is a possibility. That said, you still take UK with the points.

ohio state -23.5 over MINNESOTA: Quietly lurking in the background is an Ohio State team that has been crushing opponents on offense and defense. The Gophers only to chance to beat anyone this season is to outscore them Texas Tech style. That ain’t happening against the Buckeyes. OSU takes this one.

nyj -3.5 over BUFFALO: What some NFL style? This one is by far the lock of the week. Buffalo has lost more players for the year in three weeks than a typical Iraqi IED takes out at the local food zoom.