Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Bowl results thus far

I have calculated the results of the bowl games up to the Mississippi-Texas Tech game. I'll update again after each game up to the title game between UF and Okla.

So far, the ACC, Pac 10, Sun Belt, WAC and Independents have finished their games with the Pac 10 going undefeated.

Key:
--The numbers in parentheses next to the conference names are the number of teams in bowl games and the conferences' record so far.
--Following each team is W or L with their opponent in parentheses.



ACC (10) (4-6)

Virginia Tech-W (Cincy)

Wake Forest-W (Navy)

Florida State-W (Wis)

Maryland-W (Nev)

North Carolina-L (WVA)

Miami-L (Cal)

NC State-L (Rut)

Boston College-L (Vandy)

Georgia Tech-L (LSU)

Clemson-L (Neb)

Big East (6) (3-2)

USF-W (Memphis)

W. Virginia-W (NC)

Rutgers-W (NC St)

Pittsburgh-L (Ore St)

Cincinnati-L (Va Tech)

Connecticutt- (Buff)

Big 12 (7) (3-2)

Missouri-W (NWstrn)

Kansas-W (Minn)

Nebraska-W (Clem)

Okla St-L (Ore)

Texas Tech-L (Ole Miss)

Oklahoma- (UF)

Texas- (OSU)

Big Ten (7) (1-5)

Iowa-W (SoCarol)

Wisconsin-L (FSU)

Northwestern-L (Mizzou)

Minnesota-L (Kansas)

Michigan St-L (Georgia)

Penn St.-L (USC)

Ohio St.- (Texas)

Conf USA (6) (3-1)

Southern Miss-W (Troy)

Houston-W (Air Force)

Rice-W (W. Mich)

Memphis-L (USF)

East Carolina- (Ky)

Tulsa- (Ball St)

MAC (5) (0-3)

Buffalo- (UConn)

Ball St.- (Tulsa)

W. Michigan-L (Rice)

C. Michigan-L (FAU)

N. Illinois-L (LaTech)

Mountain West (5) (2-2)

TCU-W (Boise St.)

Colorado St-W (Fresno St)

Air Force-L (Houston)

BYU-L (Ariz)

Utah- (Ala)

Pac 10 (5) (5-0)

Arizona-W (BYU)

California-W (Mia)

Oregon-W (Okl St)

Oregon St.-W (Pitt)

USC-W (Penn St.)

SEC (8) (4-1)

Vanderbilt-W (Bos Coll)

LSU-W (GaTech)

Georgia-W (Mich St)

Mississippi-W (Texas Tech)

South Carolina-L (Iowa)

Kentucky- (E Carol)

Alabama- (Utah)

Florida- (Okla)

Sun Belt (2) (1-1)

Troy-L (SoMiss)

FAU-W (C.Mich)

WAC (5) (1-4)

Louisiana Tech-W (No Ill)

Fresno State-L (Colo St)

Boise St.-L (TCU)

Hawaii-L (ND)

Nevada-L (Mary)

Independent (2) (1-1)

Navy-L (Wake Forest)

Notre Dame-W (Hawaii)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Then and now

Gainesville Sun scribe Robbie Andreu compares the 2006 Championship team to this year's squad in the article above. While I agree with most of his analysis, I think he missed the mark on some of the differences.
For example:
Tailbacks--Andreu says DeShawn Wynn was solid. I agree Wynn had a tremendous upside, but never became the star he should have been. He says we have speedier guys this year, but we were awesome at tailback in 2006 when Harvin was used, so the potential for home runs was the same. We have more depth this year.
Fullbacks--Andreu doesn't go into a lot of depth here. But with the true spread in place, we don't use a traditional fullback. But with Aaron Hernandez at tight end it replaces that extra blocker we had with the fullback, plus it gives us another home run threat, this time in a non-traditional role.
Overall defensively, this team seems as good as the 2006 variety, but I think the 2006 was a little better. I don't base it on statistics, but I the fact I think they faced better offenses overall and their mettle was constantly tested because they were relied on to win games. I think the one thing better about this defense than the 2006 defense is depth. The 2006 defensive line were all stars whereas the defensive line this year is a mix of very talented and interchangeable players. In 2006, the linebackers were led by two guys, Siler and Earl Everett. This year we have Spikes and a lot of other really talented guys, which I feel makes this year's linebacking crew better than 2006. And finally, we don't have a Reggie Nelson kind of player in this year's secondary, but overall I think we are better with a lot of guys--Haden, Jenkins, Wright, Black, Hill--all on the verge of becoming that kind of player.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Football Is Smart

"In contrast, football, born during the industrial revolution, is a game precisely divided in time and space, played on a regulation grid and according to a strict official clock. Each player has an assigned role, like workers in a factory. It is thoroughly modern.

Yet that is where football's poetry begins: its apparent rigidity is misleading."


This is something like the arguments made in genre theory when dealing with films, etc.

Gators Lead All Teams in "Opponents' Wins"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why It's More About How The Money is Distributed Than It Is About How Much Is Distributed When It Comes To The Bowls

"Overall, the Sugar Bowl spent $11.1 million in 2006 alone. The SEC operated its 2007 Championship Game (in effect a bowl game) for just $2.1 million. The ACC managed to pull off its 2006 title game for $1.2 million.

It’s not easy making a single, three-and-a-half-hour football game cost over $11 million; which might explain why the Sugar Bowl has an actual 'committee on golf'."


These are some of the more remarkable facts revealed in the article linked above. Kaufman sums it up at Salon, pointing out that the NCAA has no power over the postseason, and this seems to be the reason that the bowl committees want things to continue as is--their profit margin is actually much lower than a postseason under an NCAA guided playoff structure would be, so the money-interests argument gets a little more complicated at this point. Defending this bowl system is starting to sound similar to defending health insurance companies. The deal that ESPN has with the bowls could help explain why the defenders of playoffs at ESPN is a lower proportion to defenders of playoffs not working for ESPN--but these kinds of (ideological) arguments are tricky since, consciously, and spontaneously, they really believe in the bowls.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

From Rocky Top to Swamp music

The Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, a 3-star QB/DB, has changed his commitment from UT to UF. He'll probably play corner for us.
Here is a list of who we've recruited so far according to Rivals.com. They have us 15th, but that could change once the recruits coming in around the BCS game get a chance to visit.
Scout.com basically has us in the same spot at 14th.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mullen to call Florida plays vs. OU

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Newly hired Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has decided to stay with top-ranked Florida through the national championship game.

Gators coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday that Mullen will call plays in the Bowl Championship Series national title game Jan. 8 in Miami.

"The goal is to win the game, and I think right now, unless something changes, it looks like that's going to happen," Meyer said. "Is that the best chance of us winning that game, with the mechanics of the game the way we do them? Probably yes. So right now I'd say the plan is he'll be up in the press box."

Mullen was still in Mississippi and not planning to return to Gainesville until after Christmas, Meyer said. The Gators held their first bowl practice Tuesday, but with final exams scheduled all week, it was mostly conditioning drills. Meyer said detailed game-plan preparations for No. 2 Oklahoma won't begin until after Christmas.

Meyer also said he recognizes that Mullen still has work to do with the Bulldogs -- Mullen is assembling his staff and recruiting -- but he's confident the rest of Florida's offensive assistants can pick up the slack.

"The good thing is we have one of the best coaching staffs in the game," Meyer said. "This is not a dictatorship or one-man circus. The plays are scripted. Dan does a tremendous job.

"It's taking on a life of its own -- what's going to happen, what's going to happen? We'll be OK. We're still going to run the same offense."

Oklahoma's Murray To Miss BCS Championship Game

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kerwin Bell for OC

Last week, Sean, David and I were discussing who would fill Mullen's shoes as offensive coordinator and Kerwin Bell's name came up. Apparently we weren't the only ones speculating about Bell. The Gainesville Sun started poking around into Bell's intentions. I suggest skipping the story and reading the comments below it. They are quite good. The best question posed is "would Kerwin Bell buy into Meyer's offensive philosophy?" (Bell teaches the pro style offense) Another good question is "would Bell instead take the QB coach position? I don't know what Bell wants for himself or what would be the best thing for him in terms of development as a coach, but I do know he would be a great asset to the Gators. He is a proven winner with deep ties to the Gators. I believe he would be an excellent recruiter in Florida. And for him personally it would be an opportunity to learn under another great offensive-minded coach. (He was coached by Galen Hall at UF)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bill proposed to end BCS system

Story Highlights
A Congressman is planning on introducing anti-BCS, pro-playoff legislation
Rep. Joe Barton did not specify a playoff set-up, only that the BCS must go
Only a playoff game could be marketed as a "national championship" game
Read the full story

Mullen To Be Mississippi State's New Head Coach

No word yet on whether he is staying for the BCS Championship Game. I think he is (slightly) overrated because he doesn't have the best in-game play calling (He stubbornly kept up with the first and second down run plays against Alabama, making the game closer than it needed to be because of our 3.4 yards per carry statistic). He makes some good adjustments between games, but a head coach can do that for a team. And who couldn't be a good coordinator with those players? The approach itself is identified with Meyer more than Mullen, who (Mullen) is considered more conservative on plays and play-calling, so it shouldn't be difficult for the players to transition to a new coordinator. But he is young and smart so things could change. He is certainly as worthy as many other coaches, but not more worthy than Charlie Strong, and Miss St. had already fired one of about 3 or 4 black head coaches in Division I, so Strong would have seemed to make more sense. The Mullen pick is sexier, and Miss St is probably sick of having bad offenses-even their coach before Croom was all about defense (Jackie Sherril). So in that way Mullen makes sense. He is also a good recruiter. And Miss St is a tough job, so whomever got it was going to have trouble keeping it very long.

Harvin should probably get the Heisman (I know, he won't). If he had played in the SEC Title game, and had a great game, I would say that with more self-assurance.

You might wonder whether Mullen leaving affects Tebow's decision to leave or stay, since the two seemed to work so closely together and actually be good friends.

"Random Walks Polling": I Don't Totally Understand It Yet, And Its Data Is From Last Year, But It's Intriguing.

This Could Have Been Titled, "Ideology and Southern Football."

A Rare Agreement With A WSJ Editorial

(But this isn't to say that I suddenly decided the computers are just fine without a playoff.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flood It

A game to play while we wait for The BCS Championship game
Flood It! game. The object of the game is to flood the whole board with one color in less than 25 steps. You start from the top left corner and progress by selecting one of the colored balls on the left. When you change your current area color, every adjacent square with the same color also changes, that way you can flood other areas on the board.

Tebow, Saban and Berry receive top SEC honors


Tebow claimed his second straight SEC offensive player of the year award

Alabama placed a high of six players on the all-SEC first team

Crimson Tide wide receiver Julio Jones was named the SEC 's top freshman

Monday, December 8, 2008

CBS announcer goes to hospital after Tebowner lasts for more than four hours

Got this from Tom Alexander in Chicago. A pretty funny read
ATLANTA, GA — At approximately 11 pm Saturday night, CBS sports announcer Gary Danielson realized it was time to head for the emergency room. Read full story


How the Coaches Voted

Friday, December 5, 2008

Saban's Defense

This breaks down Saban's approach to scheming on defense. I had posted earlier a piece from the same site on Meyer's offensive approach and scheming. It's a very informative site. This entry is really good as well, I posted it below under the "Game Theory" heading.

BCS Defends BCS!

"I really think the BCS is good for college football. We have tremendous amount of interest in our regular season - more so than in any other sport. I ran the Final Four for 13 years and we just don't have this kind of passion in the regular season. And the BCS has moved college football from regional to national. The SEC fans are now very interested in the Pac-10. Before the BCS, that interest was there but not at the level it is today. College football is more popular than ever and we believe how our postseason is handled is a big factor in that. When you consider a change, the single biggest thing we have to think about is what would it do to the regular season. That's the great unknown and there would be unintended consequences to any change, with out a doubt. This is the crown jewel and it's too risky to just tinker with it. I think the commissioners are on the right track in being very deliberate about change. We don't know if this is perfect, so let's not tinker with it until we're sure we know how it's going to be better."


This quote is from an interview with Bill Hancock, the ONLY BCS employee/administrator. It argues the "regular season is exciting" theory of pro-BCS advocacy. I've basically addressed this in a post below. It should be pointed out how idiotic his point about basketball is. 1) basketball regular season games are inherently less exciting than football's since they occur every night. 2) he is arguing against playoffs in football by using an example of a sport that has the MOST exciting postseason in sports, March Madness. 3) Is he really suggesting that it would be really cool if college basketball dropped March Madness and selected 2 teams to play in a BCS championship game at the end of the season? Really!?!? He also brings up "unintended consequences." This is a classic argument used by neo-conservatives in the 1970s (not so much when they argued for the Iraqi invasion!). What you get is the worst kind of non-action, or incremental action, which both are capable of producing terrible consequences, intended or not. Also, what does he mean about SEC interest in the PAC-10? Have we cared about the PAC-10 this year anyway? Yes, we have. When? When Oregon St had a shot to win the PAC-10. In a playoff format with conference winners, the same exact thing would have happened, except in even more quantities. We would have been paying attention to Oregon-Oregon St to see if Oregon St would have made the playoffs. Does he really think a playoff would make college football popularity crumble and force it into some kind of quixotic, regional interest-type thing? This is pathetic.

Saban Critical of Coach-Firings

Saban talking loyalty. Hmm.

Uh Oh!

I guess this post is not moot since, so called, "head-to-head" advocates could still keep Florida out.

---

I think if Florida wins they will get more boost in human polls than the article implies since they will get lots of first-place votes. However, if Texas holds, we will get a scenario where Texas and Oklahoma play for a BCS Title and Texas Tech would NOT get into a BCS bowl...amazing! They could join Boise St in the "Isn't the BCS Great!" Bowl.

I've mentioned this point before, but I will say it here again, I support a 16-team playoff (11 conference winners + 5 at-large picks) that would NOT put limits on the number of teams that can be represented in the playoffs from any particular conference. So, under such a system this year, we would (likely) get OK, Tech, and Tex in the playoffs, as well as Alabama and Florida. And, of course, Boise, Utah, and Ball St would all get in, as conference champs. After this Saturday, we can have some fun with hypothetical brackets.

Now, someone might argue that such a playoff would decrease excitement for some of these regular season and championship games. This point isn't very serious, though. First of all, we don't know before the year, or even by the middle of the year, whether or not the SEC championship winner or loser will get into the National Championship game, in fact, we still don't know for sure that Florida could get in, even if they win. So, the meaning of any given win or loss is never clear until the end of the year...and it would be the same during the regular season in a playoff system--a certain win or loss COULD mean a lot...or not. BUT! we do know that in a playoff structure like the one I've mentioned, the SEC winner would DEFINITELY go to the playoffs.

Another point on this is the ridiculousness of these championship games and in-season rivalries somehow meaning less if there were playoffs (actually, these championship games ARE playoffs). They are just as likely to mean MORE, since playoff stakes may be at hand. Currently, a BCS bid may or may not be at stake, and actually, most regular season games for most teams are meaningless from a national championship perspective. And by adding more teams to the mix, with a playoff, you are getting a net-gain of meaningful games since more teams will have a shot.

Also, even with 16 teams, losses would hurt quite a bit (and so, wins would help a lot). As I've said before, just one loss in the race for the SEC East is often costly. It is always a loss that knocks a team from some kind of championship, and we never know which loss that is until the season is at least near over (and even then, if multiple losses are involved, it may not be clear which loss was the stake in the heart). Likewise, we can never pin the achievement of a championship on any given win, since it's the accumulation of all of the wins that makes it possible. Even more perplexing, though, is the fact that wins nor losses decide the champion at this point--just rankings.

So, the single-game theory (the theory that holds tight to a "2-team" playoff because it argues that it fosters a more interesting regular season) is a myth. Those exciting games are exciting simply because they are upsets and because championships and rivalries are at stake. Changing the form of the championship-determining structure will not change the character of the excitement of upsets and rivalry wins. Increasing the possibility for a championship for more teams, in fact, without demeaning the standards of success, would create a more interesting college football regular season.

This is just from the perspective of pleasure for the fans. Even more powerful arguments can be made from legal-justice-equality-funding-type perspectives.

The Recruiting Story of Tebow and Alabama

Medical Analysis of Harvin's Injuries (Not Really)

This site (EDSBS) was founded by Gators. They also link to a Smart Football (the blog) posting that analyzes Saban's defense. More Smart Football stuff in postings below.

Florida Offense Historicized, Dissected. A Real Treat.

Game Theory and Offensive Strategy? A New Favorite Blog For Ode?

Franklin Blacklisted After Delivering Dish on Mumme, and "Airraid" Spread Not Recognizable At Auburn--Tubs Didn't Buy In?

"If the teams play a rough approximation of how they have the whole year [...], it appears Florida will win," says Gator Tailgating.

Some number crunching. Gator Tailgating (educated) guesses, 25-17 Florida, or 35-21 Florida.

Teams With Great Defenses Usually Underrated, But Great Offensive Teams Often Overrated, Argues Chait

This years Gator team has both, I think. At least a much better Defense than that 2005 USC team Chait is referencing. But his point really bared out for the 2006 Gators. I love that he nailed the truth about that USC team BEFORE they lost to Texas. If you're curious after reading the article, this year's Gator team outscores their opponent by a 3.8-to-1 ratio.

Smiting Irish

Chait normally writes on politics and economics, but occasionally knocks out some wise collegiate football pieces. This is from last year, but still applies. What struck me was near the end where he describes the trouble some NFL assistants have had coaching in college. You don't hear that point too often. People will say that college coaches usually struggle at the pro-level, which is an observation based on selective evidence or insufficient data (many don't coach very long, so if, say, Belichick were held to a similar standard, he would have been declared a failure since he had a losing record until his 9th! season as a head coach). And then you will maybe hear that it's just a different coaching experience at each level, meaning they require different strengths. But the emphasis is usually on college coaches struggling at the pro-level.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Auburn Testing Leach's Interest

Gators to prevail, but it won't be a runaway

Read the full blog

Harvin's health a mystery heading into SEC championship game


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's Percy Harvin might be the fastest decoy on the field in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Harvin spent the last four days in and out of the training room, trying to get his sprained right ankle healthy enough to play against top-ranked Alabama on Saturday.

Florida coach Urban Meyer says his do-it-all receiver is "getting better and better," but Harvin's health remains a concern for the second-ranked Gators and a mystery for the Crimson Tide.

Will he play? If so, how effective will be? Will he be mostly a decoy? Is his status all a smoke screen to throw off Alabama?

"He's such a great player and such an asset to this team that not one player can come in and step in and completely have this offense going the way it was," fellow receiver David Nelson said. "It's going to take two or three of us to fill his position."

Even that might not be enough.

Harvin, a junior expected to jump to the NFL after this season, leads the Gators with 35 receptions for 595 yards and seven touchdowns. He also is second on the team in rushing, with 538 yards and nine scores. He has scored at least once in 14 consecutive games -- the longest streak in the nation -- and burned defenses while lining up at receiver, running back and even quarterback.

"He's a great player," Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas said. "He's a great playmaker. When you think of the Florida Gators, you think of Percy Harvin. He's kind of the first thing that comes to mind. He'll make a huge impact."

If he plays.

Meyer acknowledged that his staff was creating two game plans -- one with Harvin and one without. Meyer also hinted that Harvin's role could be a deceptive one.

"The biggest thing you notice is when you play him, when he's lined up somewhere, the whole defense kind of [shifts], and I don't blame them," Meyer said. "That's opened up some other things for us."

The Gators certainly have received plenty of contributions, making their offense much more diverse than the Tim Tebow & Harvin Show that everyone saw last season.

Chris Rainey leads the team in rushing with 654 yards and four touchdowns, and Jeff Demps, a freshman who holds the national high school record in the 100-meter dash, is close behind with 529 yards and six scores. There's also Tebow (507 yards, 12 TDs), Southern California transfer Emmanuel Moody (394 yards), senior Kestahn Moore and return specialist Brandon James.

"Whether he plays or not, they're going to be able to have somebody that's going to be able to be just as explosive as Percy Harvin," Tide linebacker Cory Reamer said. "He's a great athlete. If they don't have him, that's a tough loss but they'll have somebody that can replace him, I'm sure."

Florida, which has won eight consecutive games by at least 28 points, would much rather have Harvin in the huddle, especially since few players are as versatile as the 5-foot-11, 190-pound speedster. He handles direct snaps, takes option pitches the distance, catches passes in traffic, finds running lanes and often turns negative plays into big gains -- when he's healthy.

Harvin missed two games last season because of migraine headaches and sat out this year's season opener while recovering from offseason heel surgery. He also has missed practice time because of a hip pointer, tendinitis in his Achilles' tendon and tendinitis in his knee.

The Gators have done just fine without him. They scored 31 points after he injured his ankle Saturday at Florida State, totaled 110 points against South Carolina and Florida Atlantic last year and managed 56 points against Hawaii in the 2008 opener.

Coincidence? Meyer believes so.

"When you hand it to No. 1, the whole stadium holds its breath," he said.

Whether that happens at the Georgia Dome remains to be seen. Harvin was still wearing a boot Wednesday and limping around campus and the training room. Coaches expect him to try to go full speed Friday during walkthrough, see how his ankle reacts Saturday morning and then test it once more before the game.

Then they'll decide whether Harvin plays, sits or becomes a decoy.

"No matter how good you are -- it definitely helps that you're gifted -- but ultimately you play your best ball when you have a chance to get those reps throughout the week," receivers coach Billy Gonzales said. "So we'll just have to wait and see what he's able to do."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Tuberville out after 10 seasons as Auburn coach

AUBURN, Ala. -- For most of Tommy Tuberville's 10 seasons as Auburn coach, the Tigers were the best college football team in a state where that title is almost as important as the national championship.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Abercrombie and (BCS) Fix

Hawaii Representative Neil Abercromibe, speaking my language, trust-busting and college football playoffs. I don't know how I missed that a resolution to disband the BCS (in the name of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law) was already submitted earlier this year.

A Soundtrack for a Victory in Atlanta

Another brilliant pick that I was told should be in the list is "City Middle," by the National. The album it is on is called "Alligator." This is from the chorus (I kid you, not):

"I wanna go gator around the warm beds of beginners,
I'm really worked up."

Other good selections not on the list (I do like the list):

--"Florida" by Modest Mouse. Added bonuses, it's a great song, it has the lead singer from the Shins, and Modest Mouse's Brock lived in Gainesville.

--"Hope" by REM. Here are some lyrics:

"...you dreamt of alligators..." and, "you want to cross your DNA with something reptile..."

There are also some references to "killing alligators," but, whatever. Also a great song. (There's also a reference to a "volunteer" on the last song on the album, "Falls to Climb.")

--"Orange Crush" by REM. I don't like this one as much, though. Love the song, but it's a song about Vietnam, and the Broncos already called themselves the Orange Crush way back when, and it could be turned around by a Gator opponent, "we are Orange Crushers.")

One more thing, the list includes a Sufjan Stevens song. Another song on that same album of Stevens' is called "Jacksonville." So, you could make some kind of claim that the song is about the scene of the beat down of Florida's challenger in the SEC East, an event that helped Florida get to Atlanta to wham (also could make the list) on 'Bama.

-ed.-Santogold made the list. She has a song on that same album called "Shove It." It is with a group called "Spank Rock," which is a good enough reason to include it in such a list, but the lyrics also apply:

"We think you're a joke,
shove your hope where it don't shine."

also, an attack on Alabama's backwoods culture in the same song:

"...got guns for the strength they lack"

and, an attack on their traditionalism and anti-Darwinism?:

"I pay for what's called
eccentricity and my will to evolve."

---

I would enjoy any ideas from others. Variations on "Tide" and "Crimson" seem potentially fruitful, though, the original list didn't need any literal connection whatsoever to work.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Everything You've Heard About The Big 12 South Is Wrong

Texas would be a more formidable opponent than Oklahoma, for Florida.

But Oklahoma most deserves to represent the Big 12 South this Saturday.

I will start with the latter point first. You have certainly heard, or may have even argued yourself, that head-to-head is a better measure than BCS rankings when deciding which team should represent the South in the Big 12 Championship game, so Texas should be Big South Champions. Sounds simple, right? But what is being (unintentionally) concealed here? This argument is either already relying on the rankings, or it is being supported by Oklahoma's dominance against Texas Tech to set the parameters of their judgment (which is something the polls are also relying on). If this latter point is true, then Oklahoma is being (theoretically) punished by people using the head-to-head argument because they beat Texas Tech so thoroughly and so late in the year.

Here's how. To make the head-to-head argument, you have to find a way to reduce three teams to two teams. How is that being done? Rankings. Not rankings? Subjective judgment (Texas Tech seems weaker)? Date of loss (Tech lost later)? So, if rankings are not the reason, then the reason is because Oklahoma so thoroughly, and so recently, embarrassed Texas Tech, dropping Tech in rankings, making Tech look weaker, and giving Tech the latest loss of the three teams. So either the head-to-head advocates are relying on polls, or they relying on Oklahoma's dominance (or both), to make their case.

Here's what is being said, effectively, albeit, unconsciously: Texas should represent the South since Oklahoma just beat Tech so badly.

One might add that their real reasoning for reducing their decision down to 2, and then choosing Texas, is the "neutral field" argument. Let's examine. The advocate of this argument will say that of the three teams, only Oklahoma lost a non-road game (Texas and Texas Tech lost in other teams' stadiums). This gets you down to Tech vs Texas. I have yet to hear anyone argue Tech should represent the South, so I guess the head-to-head claim is one more of convenience. Maybe they cite the reasons I cited above, but again, you get into the same problems of defending a poll when you are trying to say the polls are not the right standard, or you are justifying a position by using Oklahoma's recent, devastating win over Tech. You might notice another problem, you are granting an a priori advantage to Texas and Oklahoma since these two teams often play one another on a "neutral field" (it is at the TEXAS State Fair). It would be like saying, before the season, "if there is a 3-way tie between Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, the tie should be broken by the winner of the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville. In these cases, Tech and Tennessee would never have a shot to gain advantage in that tiebreaker (not that anyone 'round these parts would shed any tears for Tennessee)--and such a system would also eliminate the loser of Florida-Georgia automatically, no matter what kind of margin of victories or non-divisional wins were at hand.

Even if one were to give some stock to the neutral-field theory, no matter how strained that logic is, it is Oklahoma's non-conference schedule, and their impressiveness of victory over Tech (which unconsciously caused many to magically abandon a 3-way tie for a 2-way tie), and a few other teams (like Florida, Oklahoma lost 1 and dominated the rest), that makes me think Oklahoma is the right team to win the South. Also, I don't object to the BCS tiebreaker out of principle, since doing so would undermine anything I might say about strength of schedule, etc. Think about that. Can we say much of anything about how good teams are without citing some kind of ranking, even if tacitly, and even if we don't rely on a crude determination of polls? Sure, we can talk about division and conference championships as measurements, but this is precisely our problem--conventional determinations of conference measures are not fit to answer who is the champion of the Big 12 South.

Quickly, the best team Texas beat that Oklahoma did not play was Missouri. Missouri lost 3 games, and their best win was against Illinois, when they gave up about 45 points. Illinois was ranked, but not anymore. Oklahoma beat two very good teams that Texas didn't play, TCU and Cincinnati. TCU lost 2 games, one to UTAH, a team that will be going to their second BCS Bowl game in 4 years(!), by 3, on the road, and they were blown out by OK on the road. Also, TCU blew out BYU when BYU was ranked in the top 10. Cincy won the Big East--a BCS conference! Cincy beat 3 ranked teams in one month (USF, West Virginia, and Pitt--all ranked when Cincy beat them). OK blew Cincy out. Tech has no big wins against a team the others didn't face. The best candidate is Nevada. To be fair, Texas did face Arkansas, whom they blew out, and FAU, a team that did win their conference, albeit, not a good conference. But Oklahoma, based on ranking, based on their win over Tech which silently reduced 3 to 2, and based on non-conference, or non-common opponents, comes out with a clear advantage by my judgment.

I know that some may claim schedule is out of these teams' hands, so its unfair for me to cite that standard since I thought the neutral field standard is unfair. But, the analogy is weak (since the strength of teams is not an, a priori, advantage the way that the neutral field is because we don't know how good teams will turn out, and OK underwent greater risk playing that schedule, a risk that Texas and OK did not have to endure by simply playing on a neutral field, since doing so gives them a better shot than Tech if all 3 teams are tied), and I'm not committed to just non-conference-schedule as a standard (I use several criteria), and so its not necessary the way that the head-to-head argument needs everything to fall together in a way that it simply doesn't (it claims it avoids rankings--it doesn't, it claims neutral field is a neutral standard--it isn't to Tech, and it claims there are 2 when there are really 3--a fact that exists because of OK's dominance).

Okay, so after all of this, why is it that I think Texas would be a tougher match-up for Florida, at least theoretically? Colt McCoy and defense. Texas gives up an average of 1 fewer TDs per game, and 20 fewer yards per game than Oklahoma. And McCoy is more dynamic than Bradford, running and throwing well, and showing that he may be a bit better against a rush than Bradford. But my case is far from convincing, even to me, since these stats are conditioned by the fact that OK played a tougher schedule, as I argue above. Also, now that OK is playing in the Big 12 Championship game, they will, unlike Texas, have an experience playing, and winning (since they will have to win it to face Florida), a high-pressure championship game. But that effect is overrated, and Texas has played under plenty of pressure this season. Moreover, Texas has played better defense, overall, against opponents that are common with Oklahoma. Wildcard? Oklahoma has a much better turnover ratio than Texas.

This last bit of speculation is moot (and so is this entire post). Oklahoma will beat Missouri. Florida will beat Alabama. Both will meet in the Orange Bowl (actually, Dolphin Stadium, for the BCS Championship Bowl), January 8th.

Harvin showing improvement

Story Highlights
Florida's Percy Harvin has shown improvement and hopes to play against 'Bama
Harvin is wearing a protective boot on his ankle, which he injured against FSU
Harvin leads the Gators with 35 receptions for 595 yards and has 538 rush yards

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good Call Mike

You gave FSU too much credit, and the Gator's took their foot off the gas in the 2nd half.

I think, under the conditions, this was a great victory. I know Harvin will probably be out for the SEC Championship, but I think we have enough offense and a very good defense, we should be able to handle the Elephants on a fast field.

No trash talk this week

It's been pretty silent this week on the blog, but that's because Urban asked us to keep a lid on the trash talk. He didn't want any outlandish predictions or comparisons being posted on the Ode that the Noles could use as bulletin board material.
Well game time is in 7 hours, and and there are no more practices, so I think we are free to comment or predict.
I saw a piece where Bowden said he thought Ponder would be where Tebow is next year. Pardon my Scooby Doo impression, but "huh"!
Let's compare sophomore years:
Yards passing-Tebow, 3,286 to Ponder, 1,747
TD passes-Tebow, 32 to Ponder, 12
Interceptions-Tebow, 6 to Ponder, 11
Yards rushing-Tebow, 895 to Ponder, 390
TDs rushing-Tebow,23 to Ponder, 7
Apparently the figurehead they call coach at FSU needs to brush up on his statistics, because I see nothing in Ponder's numbers that suggest he will be anything like Tebow in the future.
Sure, I am a little apprehensive heading into this game.
--We have been on an unbelievable roll, and sooner or later all good things come to an end.
--This IS FSU! And you can throw out records with all rivalry games.
--FSU had their best game of the year last week, so they are on a mini roll.
--Despite Ponder not being quite Tebow-like, he can give defenses problems with his running ability.
But here is Mike's Top 10 reasons why I think Florida will beat FSU by at least 3 TDs:
Reason No. 10--Come on! It's the SEC vs. ACC.
Reason No. 9--A coach named Jimbo. Sounds like the name of your fourth cousin from Arkansas who's in jail for gigging frogs in the town fountain. Jimbo is a named better suited for a guy who wants to start his own online encyclopedia.
Reason No. 8--Brandon Spikes. Spikes gets up for these big games and when Spikes is up, the defense is up. FSU will have trouble sustaining any momentum today against Spikes and the No. 3 ranked scoring defense in the country.
Reason No. 7--FSU's defense is overrated. Sure they have a top 25 scoring defense, but they did give up 39 to Miami. How much did we give up?
Reason No. 6--Their second leading rusher is Jermaine Thomas. Who? Exactly!
Reason No. 5--FSU's fans don't believe they can win.
Reason No. 4--They scored 3 (yes 3) points against Wake Forest, a team that gave up 24 to Navy and 30 to Duke.
Reason No. 3--Urban Meyer coaches the Gators.
Reason No. 2--We've got Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow.
Reason No. 1--Bobby "Dad Gummit" Bowden coaches the Noles.
Florida, 45, FSU 17

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1985

It was the last year Florida beat FSU and Miami in the same year (although, if the Gators played Miami all the time there would have been more occurrences of this I would guess), and it was the last time there was a 5th game added to a winning streak between Florida and Florida State- the Gators won their 5th in a row over the Seminoles that year (it was extended to 6 the following year).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just Imagining...

the speed (and the stop-and-go's and cuts) we will see on the turf, in Atlanta, from this Gator team.

Texas, Oklahoma, and Polls

There is some speculation about who will get the Big 12 South nod, or, who will be ranked higher after this week, Oklahoma or Texas (assuming both win this week). If both do win, it will be Oklahoma. If Oklahoma loses, it goes to a tie between Texas Tech and Texas, which Tech will win. So, Texas is not going to win the Big 12 South, regardless of whatever "rock, paper, scissors" kind of argument someone makes for Texas beating OK--remember, the 3-way tie exists because the same can be said for each team involved--Tech beat Texas, Texas beat OK, OK beat Tech (Texas' best argument is that they have been ahead of OK since they beat them, on a neutral field). Oklahoma is already ahead of Texas in the Harris and Coaches, and the difference between the 2 is razor-thin, closer than Florida is to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma plays #12 Oklahoma St this week, away. Texas plays A&M, an extremely mediocre, if not bad, team (lost to Baylor by 20 this past week), this Thursday night. If Florida beats FSU and the Tide, and OK loses to OK St or Missouri (ranked 13, but I think OK St has a better shot and they are at home), Texas, with a win over A&M, will be in the Title game (a non-division winner). This is okay with me, I don't think they especially deserve to not be there ('05 Champs vs. '06 Champs, possibly). If you want to look down the line and speculate a little more, USC will maintain their higher (#5, right now) ranking over #6 Utah if USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA, since Utah is done-if they trip up, then Utah may still get passed if OK loses and #7 Tech gets into the Big 12 Championship game and beats #13 Missouri. And yes, if enough of those top teams lose, Alabama will get a rematch against Florida in the BCS Championship game. One more thing, people may wonder if Florida will pass either Texas or Oklahoma if those 3 teams win out-- yes they will, they will pass at least 1. Hope this helped.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Something Dumb From an Otherwise Intelligent Person

He doesn't like Obama's proposal for playoffs. His reason is because he loves the fact that regular season games mean so much more because of there being no playoffs. This is no fact, though. Rankings decide a 2-team playoff at the end of the year, not regular season games. If regular season losses and wins made the final difference, how did we get a 2-loss national champion last year, and many 0-loss teams without a shot at playing for a national championship over the years (there have even been schools like Auburn and Penn St that have been undefeated and not won a title). What this means is that losing does not knock a team from the title game (the Gators won 2 title and have never been undefeated), and winning all your games guarantees nothing. The regular season, with its wildly dispersed measurements for success and differing schedules and levels of competitiveness, cannot be asked to appropriately decide champions without engaging in unfounded and arbitrary declarations, as well as ignoring certain teams and conferences, and being just generally unsatisfying. Also, playoffs would add excitement, not decrease it. Even with a 16-team playoff that I would support, which gives spots to conference champions and the 5 teams estimated to be the best non-conference teams, teams would not be allowed much room for error--does even winning the SEC East usually allow for many losses? Would Florida take it easy against Florida State this week if we knew we were in the playoffs if we beat Alabama? When are these mythical moments of tampered down excitement supposed to occur in a college football world (Division I) with playoffs? Did the fact that the Gators could not afford to lose to The Citadel make that game more intense? Would the fact of being able to lose to The Citadel and still make a playoff by winning the conference have made that game more uneventful? Yeah, right. Upsets will still be meaningful for championship implications, even more so because more teams will be vying for higher stakes. Rivalries will remain intense, if not more so since playoff spots will be at stake.

I can go on, but I already did here and here.

I will add that this year could provide even more reasons to mock Curtis' suggestions about the regular season. We could see, if Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma St or Missouri, a non-conference champion in the Title game (like OK was in '03), and a slew of 1 and 2 loss teams to choose from, as well as a couple of good 0-loss teams in Utah and Boise St. Texas and USC are the 2 teams I'm thinking of as far as non-conference winners. So only 1 of those exciting upsets Curtis probably loved--Oregon St over USC, or Tech over Texas, or Ole Miss over Florida, may prove to mean anything.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nice While It's Lasted

Maybe Charlie Strong won't need to go too far to get that first head coaching job-unless he follows Meyer to Notre Dame, where they both coached as assistants. (And there are some other places Strong should be seriously considered for this offseason--it would just be a matter of how soon Weiss is fired and Meyer is hired. With what he has done with these new defensive players in such a short time, I would imagine Strong would prefer the Florida job, but he may not want it to be his first job, so he doesn't end up like Zook, following a legend in your first head coach job. Foley probably also would want to avoid this scenario.)

Stats

Includes all games against Division I opponents in 2008, except FSU.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

UF hands ex-coach Spurrier worst loss at The Swamp in 90 games

Spurrier and Meyer met at midfield after the beatdown, and Meyer said Spurrier told him, "Good luck. Go on a four-game winning streak."

"This team is a lot better than the one two years ago," said Spurrier, whose previous worst loss in Gainesville was a 33-21 setback in 1993 against rival and eventual national champion Florida State. "This team they have now is a lot stronger than that one in my opinion."

Obama Really Sounds Serious About A Playoff

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Predictions

South Carolina hasn't given up more than 24 in a game so far this year, but neither had Vanderbilt or Kentucky. And South Carolina averages 24 points a game. I think the Gators will eclipse that 24-point barrier both coming and going. I know its the ol ball coach and South Carolina has good players, but I see another convincing win.
Prediction: 44-10, Gators.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Forde Compares Big 12 and SEC

Of Course the BCS Committee Doesn't Like It!!!

How great and fulfilling is the regular season (the faux-tournament) when Ball St, Utah, and Boise St, 3 Division I teams (formally equal to all other Division I teams), may all go undefeated and win all their games by double-digits and still not get a shot at a National Title?

Tebow For Repeat Heisman

Schlabach and Feldman Go With Tech vs. Fla

Monday, November 10, 2008

Florida-Oklahoma: Book It

Oklahoma seems to be the forgotten team right now. They are two spots below Texas in the BCS, but I think they will jump them with consecutive wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. This would give them the nod in a Big 12 south 3-way tie; and a win in the Big 12 championship would secure their spot in the BCS title game as far as humans and computers are concerned.

The Oklahoma-Texas Tech game should be a major shootout. These are the 2nd and 3rd ranked scoring offenses in the nation. Combined they average just under 100 pts/game. Also, they allow a combined 56 pts/gm (and they are the 2nd and 3rd best defenses in the big 12!). Neither team has scored under 35 points all season, and I don't see any reason that should change next Saturday. I think Oklahoma will win, because it is at night in Norman... and Stoops is 60-2 at home. And I can't help but point out (seriously, I can't help it) that Oklahoma has superior athletes.

49-35 Oklahoma

Edit: Last night during the South Carolina-FL game, Danielson and Lundquist were saying that if Oklahoma does beat Tech then Texas should still be voted ahead of OK, since they beat them.... as in, this is one case where we don't need a vote, its already been decided. The thing they forgot is that its not just between OK and TX.. its between OK, TX, and Tech. In this scenario, all three would have 1 loss. If we put TX over OK because they beat them, then why not put Tech over TX since they beat them? My point is, the whole idea behind a 3-way tie is that head to head no longer matters. Voters will have to look at the 3 teams independently and decide who has the most impressive resume. Since that's impossible to do, voters will resort to the usual "what have you done for me lately" technique. In a scenario where OK beats Tech and OK State, they will have not lost since mid October, while TX and Tech will have both lost in November. Also, let's not forget how much a big win in a prime time game can sway voters (and Texas has the week off).
Of course, like Sean said, we could get into a situation where the better team in the polls isn't the better team in the BCS. You wouldn't think that would happen though, since these 3 teams basically have the same schedule.

Meahwhile, While We Sit In Judgment of Violence In The Middle East And At European Futbol Matches...

Gameday In Tallahassee...But Not For 'Noles

BCS Speculation

In spite of moving ahead of Texas in human polls, the BCS still has Texas ahead of us at #3- me not worried though. The top 5 is 2 SECs and 3 Big 12s--we will get to play Alabama, and, borrowing an idea Dave had, I don't think 2 Big 12 teams will go. Now, in 2006 and 2007, Michigan and Georgia were kept out, partly because people didn't believe a non-coference-champ team should not be in the title game-- however, this won't necessarily repeat itself because the voters (coaches and Harris voters) right now ARE voting Texas below us but the computers are nudging them ahead of us--so we can't simply depend on human consensus like in those other years... But, I think winning the SEC championship game would be enough for the computers to push us up into the top 2, possibly #1, jumping any 2nd best Big 12 team, since that 2nd place Big 12 teams will not have a championship game win (and our win would be against a #1 team). So, in 2006 we depended on humans to bump us up after beating Arkansas, and this year we will depend on computers to bump us up after beating a potentially #1 Alabama. (Notice the principled stand we maintain here at "Ode," we realize Florida can almost always make it into a title game with 1 loss, and another SEC won it all last year with 2 losses, but we still support equal [at least formally] opportunity playoffs.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Destiny Is In Our Hands

We are #3 in Coaches and AP.

Better Than What We Have

Here is a defense of an 8-Team Playoff, and an example of what it may look like this year. I prefer a 16-Team version, with automatic bids for all conference winners (partly for reasons I defended in my post below), and with 5 at-large teams (the 5 highest ranked teams that are not conference champs). However, this 8-teams scenario is way better than what we have, and I think it would be pretty good overall. He argues for keeping a 2 teams per conference limit, which I disagree with. Realistically, a conference would only occasionally have a third team in the playoffs under the 11/5 system, and when there is a third team, we are talking about a top 12 type team, most likely...and we are talking about a conference with some very dominant teams at the top. We should remember when thinking about this part of the design that there are sometimes great teams in conferences that do not play each other in the regular season, nor in the championship game--LSU and Georgia did not play each last year, for example. Kansas didn't play hardly any good Big 12 South teams last year (and Missouri hardly plays any this year--just Texas). Since anomalies like this occur within the conferences, I think it's important not to put conference limits on what teams get included in the playoffs. And even if 3 teams from a conference are invited, there are still 3 more available at-large spots for second or even third- place teams from other conferences.

Lastly, I think not putting limits on the number of teams invited from 1 conference can be a sort of concession to good conferences, a sort of compromise, since we would be inviting all conference champs, it would be a good way to set it up so that having a less-than-stellar conference champ would not push out a stellar non-champ from a currently more competitive conference (Remember Gator fans, Florida would have made the playoffs last year in this 11/5 system I defend! A Gator team with obvious flaws would have been in... as well as ALL conference champs.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Parody of Parity

This is another reason I favor the inclusion of all conference champions in a playoff--not just as a charity gesture to schools with far inferior budgets, but a more universal playoff is one of the ways, outside of outright sharing like the NFL, that can "redistribute the wealth" in at least a minimal way. Over time, the exposure of the non-BCS conference teams would increase (more TV, more revenue, potential home playoff game, etc might follow), I would guess, and there would be a little more incentive for better players going to non-BCS schools if the opportunity for playoffs was at hand (also increasing competitiveness, exposure, excitement, revenue, etc). Also, a playoff structure that I would support would automatically share revenue with all conferences, in a similar fashion to how BCS conferences all make money off the current BCS system, and all SEC schools/teams make money off the SEC championship game.

Prediction

Florida 45, Vandy 6

How The West Will Be Won

Based on this site's poll, I can see that I am in the minority--I voted for LSU to win the West. It looks like I might be wrong, and I hope I am. I want Alabama to be undefeated when they play the Gators in Atlanta, which would help Florida (with a win there) in the rankings. I must admit, though, that I still think LSU will beat Alabama tomorrow. After that, the Tide will play Miss St and Auburn at home--after tomorrow's game I will have a better idea of what I think will happen in those games. Either a 1 or 0 loss Alabama, or a 2 loss LSU will be in Atlanta, I think any of those scenarios still present a good situation for the Gators beating a quality team and reaching a top 2 spot in the BCS, especially given the likely continued bloodshed in the Big 12 and the weakness of the PAC 10 (leaving USC short) and Big 10 (and if the Big 10 isn't that weak, then we should expect Iowa, Iowa St, or Mich St to upset Penn St anyway).

78% Masculine

Ode to the Gators is comfortable with both its masculinity and femininity.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trap game?


I don't know that I would call our next game against Vanderbilt a trap games because the next big rivalry game is not until we play Florida State at the end of the month. But fans we certainly shouldn't be looking past these Commodores. Certainly we cannot be expected to generate the same excitement in our household for playing the Commodores as we did for the hated Dawgs. But the way I see it, the Commodores pose the same challenge as Miami did earlier in the year, and I know how you all felt for that game. Vandy, like Miami has a great defense. In fact there defense is more battle tested and mature than Miami's. If we go into this game flat and don't execute on offense, we could allow Vandy to hang around and possibly steal one. Vandy beat Ole Miss and South Carolina and even with several key players out on defense only lost by 10 to Georgia. However, if we execute, Vandy's lack of offense could lead to the Gators' offense being on the field for a long time and we know what that will mean: John Brantley throwing TDs in the fourth.

More From Luke and Skip





Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mike McCall

This was over a year ago, but it never gets old.

Fulmer's Last Great Win?

SI's Staples on Fulmer:

"In fact, Fulmer's last great win came Dec. 1, 2001, when he took his team to Gainesville to play a game postponed by the Sept. 11 attacks. In the locker room before kickoff,
Fulmer told his players about captaining the 1971 Tennessee team that went 99 yards to beat the Gators in Gainesville. Tennessee was about to play the team Steve Spurrier considered his most talented ever at Florida. No one gave the Vols a chance -- except Fulmer. "Those guys put their jocks on just like you do," Fulmer said. "Those guys like the same girls that you guys like. Everything's the same. It gets back down to who wants to win it the most."

Fordism

Maybe Pat Forde could take the Coaches Poll to court for violating the 8th Amendment. I've been thinking for awhile that the Coaches Poll is terrible. The AP is far superior, but no longer affects the BCS (and don't worry, the AP had Florida at 2 after the 2006 SEC Championship game just like the Coaches). In 2003, there seemed to be almost more praise given to USC, the AP Champs, over the BCS Champs, LSU.

Forde also takes stock of potential upsets and counts Florida amongst the potential victims:

"What if Bobby Bowden's final home game becomes his first victory over Urban Meyer, taking the Gators out of the national-championship hunt? Chances of a Florida State upset: 33 percent."

Also by Forde:

Grind-Your-Heel Guys

A quartet of coaches who aren't in it to make friends with their opponents, and sure don't mind making a few enemies:


Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer is no stranger to adding insult to injury.

Urban Meyer (24), Florida. Calling two timeouts in the final minute of a 39-point win against Georgia? Pure payback for the 70-man end-zone celebration of 2007. But that's not all -- don't forget Meyer ordered up a field goal with 25 seconds left while beating Miami by 20 in September.

Steve Spurrier (26), South Carolina. Nobody has stuck the needle into opponents with greater frequency or more painful precision than the Head Ball Coach, who has run it up and laughed about it afterward. He hasn't had many opportunities to make jokes at the losers' expense with the Gamecocks, but Spurrier got in his shot the day after they whipped Tennessee 27-6 last weekend, kicking Smokey while he was down: "The Tennessee band was there last night, weren't they?" Spurrier asked, according to The (Columbia, S.C.) State. "I'm used to hearing 'Rocky Top' about 10 times. Did they play it at all? I can't remember any of it. Usually you hear that song, maybe they only play it after they score, I don't know. Their crowd was very quiet last night."

And The Grinded, Forde on Fulmer:

"Fulmer was outwitted by Steve Spurrier early, and by Urban Meyer and Mark Richt late. Tubby was eclipsed by Billy Donovan."

Finally, joining President-Elect Obama and Trojan-in-Chief Carroll, Forde offers his would-be 8-Team playoff scenario at this juncture:

It's Time For A Change

No less a voice than Barack Obama's called on Monday night for a playoff in college football. To which The Dash says hallelujah, it's time for some pressure on the ossified system from the top down.

The first round of The Dash's eight-team playoff would shape up as follows today:

Top seed and SEC champion Alabama (2) versus eighth-seeded ACC titlist North Carolina (3) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The backstory would make this interesting, since the Crimson Tide were interested in current Tar Heels coach Butch Davis as far back as 2000, when he was the coach at Miami. That was before Mike Price, before Dennis Franchione and before Mike Shula. Then Bama got it right -- royal-flush right -- with Nick Saban.

Second seed and Big Ten champion Penn State (4) versus seventh-seeded Big East winner West Virginia (5) in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Just for fun they could award the old Lambert Trophy for the best school in the East to the winner.

Third seed and Big 12 champion Texas Tech (6) versus sixth-seeded Pacific-10 champ USC (7) in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Would anyone enjoy seeing the Red Raiders' O (first nationally in passing offense, second in total offense, third in scoring) against the Trojans' D (first nationally in pass defense, first in total defense, first in scoring defense)?

Fourth seed at-large selection Texas (8) versus fifth seed at-large selection Florida (9) in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow on the same field might be a little fun.

(Dash apologies to Oklahoma and Utah for being the best teams left out. Y'all can console each other in, say, the Alamo Bowl.)

After that: semifinals at the Orange and Fiesta Bowls. National title in the Rose Bowl. Championship trophy presented by Dashette Irina Shayk (10).

Decide for yourself whether that playoff would generate any interest. After you've thought it over for five seconds, call the president of your favorite university and scream into the phone that you want a playoff. Do not stop screaming until you are out of breath or they have hung up on you -- and then redial and scream again.

Maybe it will come to pass by the time Tebow's kids are in college.

Or maybe it happens a little faster depending on Tuesday's election results.

Spurrier Votes "NO" On Rocky Top

"The 63-year-old Spurrier, who grew up in Tennessee rooting for the Vols, had great success during the 1990s while coaching Florida against Fulmer's Vols. He once roiled Fulmer when he said 'You can't spell Citrus without UT,' a reference to Florida's SEC dominance that left Tennessee with a lower-tier bowl appearance.

Maybe five years ago I would've [been interested in the Tennessee job], but it wasn't open five years ago,' Spurrier told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. 'I'm at my last gig right here [at South Carolina]. And we've got a pretty good team if we can get a little offense going.'

No More Mr. Softie

Behind the 8

Obama!!! and Carroll endorse 8-team playoff.

Rickerson Off The Team

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spiked

Leach

“Here’s a guy that can talk to you about the European Union and Howard Stern in one conversation. He’s that diverse.”

It's easy to root for Tech, because of Leach (and this, this, and this) and their style of play, except when they take away a BCS title slot from the Gators.

After Meyer called a timeout





Haden

Joe Haden was on ESPN's First Take today. They said Meyer called his interception the play of the game. I'd have to agree. He also had 10 tackles.

Fulmer Out

As more teams get added to the list that Tenn, Wash, and Clemson have so far joined-the Head Coach vacancy list, Gators will get increasingly nervous wondering about the future of Charlie Strong and Dan Mullen.

It was more than just Spurrier that did this to Fulmer, but I do remember Fulmer not being thrilled (respectfully) at the prospect of the Spur-dog returning to the SEC East (in 2005).
As we saw more and more top notch coaches joining the SEC (high paid coaches that in many cases have even won National Titles and/or coached in the NFL or at least have won elsewhere at lesser schools), and as we saw Vandy and Kentucky and Miss St get more consistently competitive, something was going to have to give...in other words, with all 12 teams having realistic expectations to seriously compete each week, there would necessarilly be some big disappointments--there are not enough wins available for LSU, Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee to all have close to the success they expect each year--and the other 5 are far from pushovers.

Even given all this, Tenn is a good coaching job. Along with good pay, a nice stadium, fan support, lots of TV and a high profile schedule, there are also good players, including a highly ranked recruiting class coming in. And even though the new coach will be following a good coach who won a title and some SECs, there is still room for plenty of improvement.

My Hope

In a perfect world Penn State will go undefeated and the Gators end up number 2 in the BCS. I think playing Penn State in the Orange Bowl would be a cake walk, and Jo Pa will be about 5 or 6 games in front of Bobby, and Bobby may not be able to catch him anytime soon.

I could not resist this one

I just heard that Michael Vick had the Florida/Georgia game turned off at his prison on Saturday, because even he could not stand to see a "DOG" get beat that bad.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Big 12 vs SEC

If Penn State does get into the BCS title game (avoiding this), and there is an impressive SEC or Big 12 champ that wins their bowl game against a good opponent and finishes with 1 loss but does not get into the title game, we could be looking at an AP champ that is distinct from the BCS champ (a 1 loss USC team might also be an option in this, but not very likely given their low schedule strength and they don't have a conf championship game, but they may play the role of being the team that a potential AP-only champ beats in their bowl game--except that they will get a rematch with Ohio State because the Rose Bowl and BCS are lame, and the BCS does not want a really high profile matchup whose winner might challenge the legitimacy of their BCS champion). This last happened (split champions), of course, to USC and LSU in '03. Recently, but before the current BCS setup, Washington and Miami shared in '91 and Michigan and Nebraska shared in '97. The good thing, for whatever teams could be involved in such a scenario, is that no ones seems to begrudge the accomplishments of co-champions. The bad thing about this scenario, for 8 and 16-team playoff advocates, is that it makes everyone think a plus-1 formula will make everything better--still, anything that questions the legitimacy of the current system, any confusion or controversy, and any move towards playoffs, even a 4-team version, means progress. It will not happen all at once anyway.

Rexy

Grossman came in and helped the Bears come back and win. Orton is supposed to be out at least a month with an ankle sprain, so Grossman should get some starts. It's ironic that Grossman has played some musical chairs at QB in Chicago, a place not known for QBs, but at Florida, playing for a place popular for QBs, and for a coach notorious for QB shuffling, he locked in the starter role pretty solid at a certain point in 2000 and kept it for over 2 years.

"Grossman could not get in and out of plays. He could not check — all he knew how to check to was the bomb.”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

“But there is no scientific evidence to show that it helped. There’s too many variables.”

A Georgia Professor could use a little help.

“Don’t let him act like he doesn’t know it,” Tebow said. “He quotes it all the time. He quotes it all the time.”

Luke and Skip Football Fundamentals



"The videos they referenced on the interview with Tebow"

Jawja- Your time is gonna come

Here's a little rework of the Led Zeppelin song: "Your Time is Gonna Come" applied to the Florida-Georgia game today.



Dancin', clappin', stompin, that's what your coach had you do
Messin' around in J’town
Puttin' us down, but today’s game is new
Always the same, thinkin' you’ve got game
Drive me insane, trouble's gonna come to you
One of these days, and it won't be long
We’ll show you that you don’t belong

This is all I gotta say to ya, “Jawja”
Your time is gonna come, your time is gonna come
Your time is gonna come, your time is gonna come

Made up my mind, break you this time
Won't be so fine, it's your turn to cry
Do what you want, your gonna have to punt
Your time’s fadin' away, can't you see you don’t matter anymore
Don't care what you say 'cause I'm goin' away to blow you away
Gonna make you pay for that great big stomp in J’town
People talkin' all around
Watch out, “Jawja”, cause we’re gonna stomp you down

You been bad to us, “Jawja”, but it's comin' back home to you
Your time is gonna come, your time is gonna come
Your time is gonna come, your time is gonna come
Your time is gonna come, 'bye, 'bye-'bye, “Jawja”
Your time is gonna come, right now, right now

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Philosophers call for end to madness, demand their own playoff system to determine whose social order should prevail

Philosophers today called for an end to the madness. After centuries without a playoff system to determine whose universal view should be named the No. 1 universal view in the universe, the few remaining philosophers in the world have asked the BCS to design a computer ranking system so the business of working toward a universal view that can be universally accepted throughout the universe can begin.
The BCS immediately assigned Jeff Sagarin to began working on a plan.
Sagarin said the first order of business would be to determine who would be included in the pre-ranking system.
"There is some who think Zizek has no universal view of his own," Sagarin said. "He uses his notoriety to establish himself as a good guy against society's evils."
An unnamed Bowl Coalition representative said everyone would get a fair chance to be in the playoffs whether they wanted to be or simply refused to acknowledge the accepted thought on being.
"That means you Martin Heidegger," he said.
CBS officials have already rejected the BCS request to televise the playoffs saying they felt PBS would be better suited for the contest.
"Unwatchable," said CBS executive Andrew Heyward referring to the playoffs. "We're not interested in the least bit."
The BCS did get one bit of good news: Bob Costas said he would be interested in announcing the playoffs.

"I think we are the top two teams in the SEC statistically, which usually means in America. Why? We are balanced."

"Something will happen in that game," Shannon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week. "I can guarantee you that. You better go to that game. You would get a great story. Don't come to ours. I'm serious. Something is going to happen after what happened last year. You can book that."
.........

"You talk to the guys who played here before, and they say they always felt they had the talent to beat Florida, but they felt intimidation and even fear when they played Florida."

1st B-Ball Poll

#19. (Miami, 3 spots ahead of us?!?!)

Head Ball Coach rooting for Paterno

Injury Update/Ingram

"INJURY UPDATE: A day after Meyer said freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins would play against the Bulldogs, Jenkins was held out of practice because of his sore shin. Meyer said he still expects Jenkins to play Saturday.

Meyer said both sophomore running back Emmanuel Moody (ankle) and redshirt senior offensive lineman Jim Tartt (shoulder) practiced Tuesday. Meyer said he expects Moody to play and that Tartt could be available.

Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Maurice Hurt (shoulder) practiced, but Meyer said he was sore and could play Saturday.

CI SIGHTING: Tight end Cornelius Ingram walked off the practice field Tuesday in a warm-up top, gloves, shorts and cleats. Despite his ACL surgery over the summer, Ingram said he went out to the field to catch a few balls and move around a little bit.

When asked if there was a chance he might play this season, Ingram replied, "I don't know.""

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Stomp (Part II)

When the entire Georgia team stormed the field last year to celebrate a first quarter touchdown, they made a statement. If that statement had been written down it would be something like, "I thought they said this was the largest outdoor cock party."

As his team jumped up and down, Mark Richt clapped and smiled. He may as well have been smiling at Tommy DeVito. As Meyer and Richt shook hands after the game, Meyer reportedly said, "I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you?"

Florida is loaded. They are coming off two huge wins; they have scored 135 points in the last 9 quarters, and now they're pissed. The players and staff have been hush mouthed about last year's game, but if you think Florida has forgotten, tune in Saturday and you will officially be welcomed to college football. They haven't forgotten.

At first I was confused why last year's celebration was named, "The Florida Stomp"- it was Georgia stomping, not Florida. But now it's obvious. It's because they needed, "The Georgia Stomp" to be available for this year's game. Because this year Georgia is going to be: crushed, manhandled, pelted, blown out, dominated, destroyed, annihilated, killed, devastated, laid to waste, demolished, smashed, obliterated... stomped!

UF- 52
GA- 20