Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bye Week Silliness: Chad Vader

Yeah, it's a bye week. It's like a miniature off season or something. Just like the team needs to recharge for the stretch run, I'm running on empty and need to energize the system. Because we have Louisville next week, and we need to be focused guys and gals. Our performance as fans was a little off at the Mississippi St. game. And I was the leader of that poor performance. So I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just saying. Don't go for broke on the beer bongs until you are sure you are going to be able to make if for the long haul. M'kay?

Anyhow, this is the game we were pointing to at the beginning of the year. And even if no one else thinks so, I don't think Louisville is going to come in here and roll over. They win this game, they make their season. I'll be taking a closer look at the Cardinals next week in a Q&A with Tom Heiser of the Louisville Courier-Journal. So until then, check with him and Mike over at the Card Chronicle for all things Louisville.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week Nine Blogpoll Ballot

The Blogpoll is run by Brian over at MGOblog. Click here to see the whole thingy. I have to make any changes by 10am Wed., so throw your thoughts in the comments if you see something that needs changed.

I couldn't really think of a good picture to go along with this post, so I googled "the coolest picture in the world", and this came up. Sure it ain't all that, but it seems right somehow.

We finally have some stability at the top. But still, the lazy-eyed prospect of having to again move UConn up is a little disturbing. We'll get to that in a bit.

1. Ohio State- Ummm, I can't tell you how bad I wanted to do a song about them yesterday. Oh well, it'll have to wait. That was a pretty dominating performance by the Buckeye's. At Penn St., at night. Yup, 37-22 in the time of posession, 453-263 yards. Hard to argue this week.

2. BC-I only saw the last two minutes, so I don't know of what you speak about the first 58. Probably, if Va. Tech had any offense it would have been a blowout. But wining at Tech at night is a big deal, no matter how much I hate to admit it.

3. Oregon-Hey, quality win like that should move you up. I'm really impressed with their offense. It's like WVU with a down field passing attack.

4. LSU-Bye

5. Oklahoma-Bye

6. West Virginia- Honestly, it felt like the first time I was truly impressed with West Virginia this year. The chances to play a good team are few and far between on this schedule. So getting this win told us a little something about West Virginia that we didn't see against USF.

7. Arizona St-I'm a little more impressed with their win over Cal than the Kansas win over Texas A&M.

8. Kansas-

9. Missouri-Can't say that I've seen more than one game of theirs, but they looked good and won big this week. Is this what people out west say about West Virginia?

10. Georgia-Quality wins over Florida, and Alabama. And if that team shows up every week the rest of the year, I will have no problem with ranking them this high.

11. Hawaii- What are you gonna do, ya know? They keep winning.

12. Auburn- Maybe not a sexy win over Miss, but it seems like everyone not named Nutt has had a hard time beating the Rebels. Only one quality win, over Florida, and one impressive loss against LSU.

13. Michigan- Anyone kicking themselves for not playing this well at the beginning of the year?

14. Texas-Mmmmm, we're getting into that part of the poll where a come from behind win at Nebraska doesn't look so bad.

15. Connecticut- No, really! Undefeated in the Big East after taking down Louisville and USF in consecutive weeks. If I said that before the season started, you would be asking why they weren't higher. But I still feel that they have at least two more losses in front of them. So enjoy it while it lasts.

16. Boise St.- At Hawaii Nov. 23rd can't get here soon enough.

17. Florida-

18. Alabama-Still thinking about that win over Tennessee.

19. Southern Cal-

20. Va. Tech-If they had an offense.

21. Wisconsin- Take that Indiana! Woot! Woot!

22. Wake Forest- Wins over UNC, Fla. St., and Maryland. But oh that loss to Nebraska. Still, six straight wins after starting out 0-2.

23. Kentucky-

24. Clemson-Sure

25. South Carolina- Dammit, we were going to do a repeat on Fulmer 'til SC had to fuck it up!

They are still horrible.

Before Schilling turns into Chuck Norris and begins his off season, I just wanted to congratulate every other team in the league on laying down and letting these fuckers sweep the world series. Fuck the Red Sox.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weekend Watching

I find the mystery genre disgusting. I hate being titillated. Dunder Mifflin. Limitless paper in a paperless world. The weekend is off to a decent start as BC won, but VT lost last night. It was a win-win or a lose-lose or addition by addition? So number 2 holds on after playing like a hot circle of crap for the first 46 minutes of the game. There are plenty of other good games this weekend with major bowl implications.

USC vs. Oregon--Oregon is ranked fifth with only a loss to California to blot the resume. Remaining schedule after this gets much easier as Arizona State is the only other ranked team the Ducks will play. Dennis Dixon is has 1728 yards passing and another 416 rushing to go with 23 total touchdowns. Oregon runs a vertical version of the offense run by WVU. Leading receiver Jaison Williams averages 16.3 yards per catch for the Ducks (over 4 more yards per catch than Reynaud). USC is beginning the stretch run of their season and still have Cal and Arizona State upcoming in November before ending with UCLA. It appears as though Mark Sanchez may start despite being worse than JD Booty in every statistical category. Completion percentage, yards per attempt, and quarterback rating are all worse for Sanchez, but he didn't lose to Stanford. Staforn Johnson is the second leading runner for USC with 425 yards behind the 426 yards of Chauncey Washington so you could say the Trojans use a running back by committee approach.

Florida vs. Georgia--The party of cocktails that is very large considering other similar party's held in this world kicks off this weekend as well. Florida is back into SEC championship contention as the East now has every team except Vanderbilt with 2 losses. Georgia is one of the three teams, including Florida, sitting at 3-2 in conference. Georgia has losses to South Carolina and Tennessee thus far in the season. The Bulldog offense is currently 80th in the country while the defense is 25th. Georgia is only averaging about 40 more yards per game than they give up. The Bulldogs also use a running back by committee with Knowshon Moreno and Thomas Brown. Mathew Stafford has thrown for over 1300 yards and 10 touchdowns, but is only completing 55% of his passes.

Ohio State vs. Penn State--This game shows the generational divide of Mountaineer fans. Penn State has never really been a rival during the last 20 years, but for older WVU fans Penn State still ranks up there with VT. Either way this game is probably similar to BC/VT in that it's really hard to ROOT for either if these teams. Ohio State dominated Michigan State in their last game for 3.5 quarters then held on at the end for the victory. The remaining Buckeye schedule is PSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. 4 victories means another birth in the BCS championship for OSU and no one wants that. Penn State is 6-2 with losses to Michigan and Illinois. The Nittany Lions are 49th in total offense relying almost equally on the pass and the run and 7th in total defense. All signs point to a typical Big 10 game of keeping it close to win in the fourth quarter for one of these teams. Hooray.

Cal vs. Arizona State--Did you know that Arizona State is 4th in the nation? Well things could change quickly for the Sun Devils in the next 4 games as they take on 3 ranked teams in Cal, Oregon, and USC. The Sun Devils are led by the 27th ranked offense in the country and the 14th ranked defense. Offensively Rudy Carpenter has thrown 1730 yards and Ryan Torain and Keeqan Herring have combined for over 1000 yards rushing. Cal is coming off back to back loses to Oregon State and UCLA. Against UCLA Cal was held under 300 total yards and had 4 turnovers. The Golden Bears averaged only 2.2 yards per rush in that game. In the Oregon State game Cal had 478 yards, but had three turnovers. Cal will need to establish a running game and protect the ball to knock Arizona State out of the top 5.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

WVU-Rutgers Q&A

Game eight of the season finds the Mountaineers traveling to Piscataway, NJ for a conference showdown with Rutgers this Saturday at Noon. So I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to a Rutgers blog and get their take on the game and other stuff. Thanks to TBL of the Rutgers blog Beat Visitor for stopping by to answer some questions about the game.

Conventional wisdom got thrown out the window real early with the quick and unexpected demise of Louisville, West Virginia and Rutgers suffering early losses, and USF and Cincinnati shocking the Big East. (Did I forget UConn? Yup!) What has been the biggest shock to you this year in the Big East? Anything you're secretly smiling about?

The biggest shock is the implosion of Louisville. They may have been robbed with the "fair catch" at Connecticut last week, but last year the score wouldn't have been close enough for the dogs from Storrs to take advantage of one gift touchdown (and losing to Syracuse???).
-Maybe it's not so secret, but how can the 2007 antics of the prancing leprechauns of South Bend NOT put a smile on every college football fan's face.

What does it feel like to have your coach come out publicly declare his intention to stay at your school as soon as the rumors start up?

I don't think you can overstate the importance of Schiano's loyalty to Rutgers and vice versa. While the national press had him packing his bags for Thug U last December, I don't think there were any RU fans surprised by his decision to stay. I think it's been clear for awhile that his greatest ambition is to be the Joe Paterno or Knute Rockne of Rutgers and, by extension, the New York metropolitan area. If you're a high school recruit, I think you can have lot of faith that he's not going to pull a Petrino and abandon you for the chance to work with Michael Vick (ooops).

How has Rutgers adjusted to the loss of Brian Leonard and Clark Harris? More one back sets, or just less handing off to the fullback? Do their replacements show you glimpses of the talent that those two had?

Brian Leonard was probably the most special player I've ever seen play and I think you see his influence on Ray Rice's toughness and work ethic; they were like brothers for two years. Neither Corcoran or Beljour are going to replace him, but putting Beljour into the Syracuse and USF games seemed to help the run blocking and pass protection. The running game has also suffered from the injury to Kordell Young; he would've had a lot of carries, and taken a lot of passes out of the backfield. We may still see more of freshman Mason Robinson this year.
The tight end position, which has always been an important one at Rutgers, and especially with Harris, has been invisible this season until Brock's touchdown receptions against Syracuse and USF. It's too soon to say if we're going to see more production from that position.

Tiquan Underwood is having a monster year. He already has more yards (789) and receptions (39) than last years leader, Clark Harris. And Kenny Britt isn't too far behind. How much of the jump in passing yards is Mike Teel's maturation as a quarterback, and how much of that is the play calling? Do you think Schiano is letting Teel loose in situations that he would have held him back in last year?

I think part of Teel's maturation comes from the fact that Brian Leonard is gone. He's now the leader of the team, which is what a quarterback should be. That being said, I don't think he's as good a passer as his predecessor, Ryan Hart, but he has better receivers. Britt and Underwood have both caught a lot of overthrown balls this year, and Underwood's yards after the catch are helping Mike's numbers.

The defense is ranked 17th in total defense in the country this year as opposed to last years squad that finished fourth. That certainly isn't a big drop off, but how do you compare the two? Anyone you wish you had back for one more year?

I think in the last two games -- especially the 2nd half of the USF game -- you've seen that 2006 defense rearing its head again. Freshman Joe Lefeged has been a great surprise, though Ron Girault's injury has hurt us. From last season, I would've loved to see Ramel Meekins come back to wear scarlet for one more year.

Favorite memory from this series, and worst memory?

There are so many bad memories from this series I wouldn't know where to start, but losing the close games hurts more than losing the blowouts.

Does the winner of this game go on to win the Big East?

If RU wins they definitely continue and win the Big East, because Cincy already has two losses. If the Mountaineers win, they need a little help; someone else needs to beat the Bulls.

Did you see Jim Leavitt's lips when he was getting mad last week?

No, I couldn't see Leavitt's lips from section 123. Did he seem unhappy?

Pitt wins and Dave Wannstedt not on the sidelines, coincidence?

I just hope the Wannstache's ankle is better when they visit Rutgers in November. I'll send him a get well card.

Big East coach of the year?

It's Leavitt if they finish with ten wins.

Big East coach on the hottest hot seat?

Robinson should be done in Syracuse. Ask any Orange fan. If they want to inspire the team, they'll fire him BEFORE the season ends.

Game prediction?

38-24 Knights, because no top-ten team can win in R House (not even the Knights when they were ranked #10 against the Terps).

Thanks again to TBL for stopping by to chat with us.

Around the Conference Week 9

There are only three games in the Big East this week as Cincy and Syracuse have the week off. Cincy plans to regroup after losing to Pitt last week and possibly saving Wannstedt's job. Syracuse plans on helping Greg Robinson put together a nice resume. Robinson has bought the glue and the sparkles, but hasn't put the resume together quite yet.

Pittsburgh vs. Louisville--Vegas doesn't believe in Pittsburgh despite Louisville continuing to gag week after week. Louisville is an 11 point favorite in this game. Pitt is coming off of their first conference win in a decade this season and has jumped to 3-4. The Panthers still have Syracuse, Rutgers, USF, and WVU so a win here is vital for any bowl chances. LeSean McCoy has proven to be as advertised so far with 805 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. Pat Bostick has thrown for 769 yards and 4 touchdowns to go with 7 interceptions for Pitt. In the win last week Pitt had McCoy and Stephens-Howling rush for 100 yards and forced three turnovers. Pitt is currently ranked 89th in total offense and 80th in scoring offense. The defense is 20th in the country and number 6 against the pass. Louisville can throw the ball considerably better than anyone Pitt has played. The Cardinal are 3rd in passing offense at 377 yards per game behind only Texas Tech and Hawaii. Louisville is also 5th in total offense and 11th in scoring offense. The defense continues to struggle. Louisville is 89th in total defense and as bad as Louisville has been against the run (68th) they have been worse against the pass (103rd). Louisville lost last week to UConn and Brohm had his worse game of the season passing for only 228 yards on 41 attempts. The Cardinal could also only manage 105 total rushing yards as a team.

USF vs. UConn--The final conference game is a matchup of two ranked teams and the conference leader versus one of the teams chasing them. I just wanted to see that in print. Yes, UConn is the current leader in the Big East after beating Louisville last week to remain undefeated in conference. Can you name one player on the UConn team? I couldn't and I've watched them play twice. The Huskies were outgained by Louisville and trailed 17-7 in the fourth quarter before rallying for the victory. Connecticut is winning on defense. The Huskies have the 3rd best scoring defense in the country and 6th overall total defense. The turnover margin is also impressive at +1.57 per game (2nd in the country). These stats overcome the 79th ranked offense in the country. USF is looking to bounce back from the first loss of the season vs. Rutgers. The defense held the Rutgers passing game in check. Mike teel threw for only 179 yards and completed less than half of his throws. However, Ray Rice ran for 181 yards on 39 punishing carries. Matt Grothe almost matched Rice play for play in throwing for 247 yards and running for another 58. A Bulls victory would potentially put the league into a bottleneck at the top as 4 teams could potentially have one conference loss after Saturday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BSR and his next-to-last MLB post

Well friends, we've been busy. Worky, weddings and a couple days of actual vacation have prevented me from finalizing my MLB prediction reveiws. Now the only thing preventing this is a combination of my own laziness and embarassment. That- and I don't roll on shabbas.

I will not thoroughly review my NL predictions. 1.) You don't care. 2.) They were not that good.
Here is what I am not ashamed to share.

1. I picked the Mets to finish 2nd. They did. I had the Phillies in third and the Bravos winning the NL East. Those two were flipped.

2. I had the Pirates in the cellar. They were. I had the Brewers winning the Cenral- which not too many people saw coming. They fell apart late and ended in 2nd. The Cubbies won it- I was way off on them. Sweet Lou was a miracle worker.

3. In the West, I had the Padres winning and followed by the D'backs and the Rockies in third. Move the Padres third and I got it right.

I don't remember who I had where in the postseason. I also am not up to checking on that. So the hell with it. I just hope the Rockies beat the shit out of Boston. Fuck the Red Sox.

Game Week--Rutgers

Saturday at high noon WVU will face the State University of New Jersey named after a guy that promised, but never really delivered, said University a bunch of cash. However, he did give the college a $200 bell and a bond for $5,000. If West Virginia named everything after people who got money for the state then everything in the state would have the name of Byrd on it. Oh, nevermind.

Rutgers comes into the game riding high on the tails of a 30-27 win over USF and to a lesser extent a win over Syracuse the Saturday preceding. The wins ended a two game losing streak for the Scarlet Knights at the hands of Maryland and Cincy. In those two loses there was one common theme; stop Ray Rice. Rice managed 94 yards rushing against Cincy, but on 34 carries (a 2.8 ypc average) and against Maryland had 97 yards on 21 carries. The 21 carries represents a normal half of work for Rice. Rutgers comes into the game with the 13th ranked total offense in the country and 21st scoring offense (Rice is 4th in individual rushing, Teel 8th in passing efficiency). The receivers are led by Tiquan Underwood with 39 catches for 789 yards and 6 touchdowns. Underwood had 114 yards vs. USF. Kenny Britt has added 29 catches for 667 yards and 4 touchdowns to the mix at WR while the tight end has been used sparingly with Kevin Brock only making 8 catches on the year. The game plan for Rutgers on offense is pretty simple, yet effective. Pound Ray Rice until the defense brings everyone up and then hit the wide receivers in man coverage with no safety help. The snag in the gameplan this season has been turnovers as the Scarlet Knights are 83rd in the country in turnover margin and have been forced into 14 turnovers so far this season.

The defense for Rutgers is 17th in the nation in total defense at 306 ypg. The rush defense allows 136 yards per game which is 44th while the pass defense is 7th in the county allowing only 170 yards per game. The defense will bring pressure on any passing down and Rutgers is currently 9th in the nation with 3.3 sacks per game. The leading tackler for Rutgers is DB Courtney Greene followed by linebackers Kevin Malast and Brandon Renkart. Jamal Westerman has added 6 sacks to the pass rush to rank 17th in the nation. The seven Rutgers interceptions have all been by different players. USF threw the ball for 247 yards in a loss and had no rusher other than Grothe over 50 yards for the game. Cincy threw for 257 yards and managed 150 yards rushing on 40 carries while Maryland threw for 219 yards and rushed for 239 yards on 59 carries. Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball combined for 233 yards on 46 carries in that game.

West Virginia is currently 12th in total offense with a break down of second in rushing offense at 304 ypg and 103rd in passing offense at 177 ypg. WVU is averaging 42 points per game which is 7th in the nation. Steve Slaton is 27th in the nation in rushing at 107 yards per game and Pat White is averaging 71.4 yards on the ground. White is also 6th in the nation in passing efficiency. Defensively the Mountaineers are now up to 4th in total defense at 255 ypg with the pass defense ranking 5th and the run defense ranking 12th. WVU is allowing 16.5 points per game which is 10th in the country. Johnny dingle is currently 17th in the nation in sacks per game and has 6 so far this year and is 13th in tackles for loss at 1.5 per game. The linebackers are leading the team in total tackles with Reed Williams setting the pace and Mortty Ivy and Marc Magro (tobacco free) following. In the secondary Ryan Mundy and Eric Wicks each have a pair of interceptions.

They are saying "Boooo"

Kevin "Boo" McLee was a stalwart linebacker for WVU for 4 years with over 200 tackles in his career. His senior season McLee had 79 tackles, three sacks, and an interception. As an undrafted free agent McLee signed with the St. Louis Rams after the NFL draft. Before arriving to training camp Kevin's father passed away and he was excused from reporting. It appears as though McLee never reported to camp and is currently not listed on any NFL rosters. However, Boo was able to get his name in the news with a traffic stop Thursday that included mutiple drug arrests.

Cleo Kevin "Boo" McLee, 24, of 193 Coolspring St. was charged before Magisterial District Judge Randy Abraham with possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession of cocaine and marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia as well as several traffic violations.

According to a criminal complaint filed by state police trooper Robert M. McGarvey, the incident began at 1:47 a.m. when police pulled McLee's vehicle over on Coolspring Street after McLee failed to signal a turn. Troopers observed the windows were covered with illegal tint and an invalid inspection sticker, the compliant stated.

McGarvey said after writing a written warning for the traffic violations, he asked McLee to step from the car so he could explain the warning to him.

McGarvey said after McLee got out of the car, he patted him down and found more than $500 in his front pants pocket, two bags of marijuana and a plastic bag containing cocaine in another pocket.

McLee has stated that he the drugs were for personal use only and has learned his lesson. The lesson, never get out of the car or let the police search it without probable cause. It can only lead to trouble. Boooooooo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quarterbacks hurting

There is going to be a tremendous amount of talk about the matchup of Steve Slaton versus Ray Rice in this game. Slaton has 135 carries for 752 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season and has caught 16 passes for 215 more yards and a touchdown. Rice meanwhile gets 135 carries in his sleep. On the season Ray has 204 carries for 999 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 17 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown. However, the bigger story may be which quarterback is healthy and stays that way.

Although Mike Teel and Pat White play the same position they do so in much different manners. Teel has thrown for 1996 yards, 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on the season while rushing for -21 yards (sacks count as rushing yards in college). Teel has attempted 197 passes on the season. Pat White has thrown for 926 yards on 114 attempts. He has 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. White has also added 500 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns on 74 rushing attempts. Both quarterbacks are coming into the nooner on Saturday banged up. Mike Teel has a bruised right throwing hand that bothered him against USF, but has vowed to play. Teel has had to overcome the injury since the October 6th loss to Cincinnati. On the otherside Pat White has been battling injuries since the USF loss. White took a couple of big shots in the game last week including a hit on a defensive offsides when the O-line did the "freeze" play made famous in the Gator Bowl. This time the defensive line didn't stop. White has been limited again this week in practice, but says he'll play as well.

Should either quarterback be further injured or unable to go the game will fall to the backups. For Rutgers the backup quarterback is Jabu Lovelace. This is clearly a made up name for someone running from a shamed past. "Jabu" has only attempted 5 passes for Rutgers. For WVU Jarrett Brown has thrown the ball 42 times for 312 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also run the ball for 238 yards and two scores. Rutgers also has a punter that showed a lot of promise during a fake punt in Jeremy Ito in case Jabu has to leave for a witness protection thingy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Week Eight Blogpoll Ballot

Not too much to say about this other than I can't wait to see Ohio State and BC lose. But if a little more effort is needed, then.....

-Hey, 3-10 can thank South Florida for losing, or thank Rutgers for winning.

-Kansas and Arizona St. have stayed undefeated long enough that we need to bring them a little closer to the fire.

-How does Kentucky lose and still move up one slot? Who else you going to put there? Plus, this isn't your dad's, or your granddad's Kentucky. These guys ain't so f'ing bad.

-Southern Cal! I don't know what it's going to take for me to start believing in them again. A win against Notre Dame isn't what it used to be.

-Auburn moves down one, but probably should move up ten for their performance against LSU. So they're young and getting better as the season goes on. Great! Who do we start the season off with next year?

-UConn and Rutgers move back in. Just remember Rutgers, you're next!

1 Ohio State --
2 Boston College --
3 LSU 1
4 Florida 1
5 Oklahoma 1
6 Oregon 2
7 West Virginia 3
8 Kentucky 1
9 Kansas 5
10 Arizona State 16
11 South Florida 8
12 Virginia Tech --
13 Missouri 2
14 South Carolina 7
15 Southern Cal 2
16 Hawaii 1
17 Auburn 1
18 Texas --
19 Michigan --
20 Boise State --
21 Georgia 1
22 Alabama 4
23 Connecticut 3
24 Penn State 3
25 Rutgers 1

Dropped Out: California (#11), Texas Tech (#23), Cincinnati (#24), Illinois (#25).

Slow day

Two of the Bastards were out of commission this weekend at a wedding so the usual OS review of the game may be delayed or outright cancelled. I managed to have a big WVU weekend taking in both the football game and the soccer game.

I went to the game against UConn Friday night when WVU beat the #1 team in the country 1-0. A full recap would consist be 8 paragraphs of "then a guy kicked it, then another kicked it, then it went out of bounds, then they threw it, then a guy kicked it." Needless to say I don't understand soccer all that well. But, the environment at the game is fun. All the international students show up and yell obscenities at the other team in accents. It's like being at the U.N. only instead of passing non-binding resolutions everyone is calling the guy laying on the ground a fag in front of 10 year old kids. For some reason the parents don't seem to care. Also, it is good to see that every culture hates the referees. If a WVU player was touched the crowd went nuts. If a UConn player was stabbed, then beat repeatedly with a shovel the crowd called him a pussy if he was on the ground for more than 1 second. I've also never been to a game before where the crowd brings their own instruments. There was a 6 piece drum set made up of fans playing for 80% of the game. The music was so consistent I had a nightmare I was in the movie "Blood Diamond."

As for the football game it was over after the opening kick. The second opening kick that is. MSU never recovered after Slaton fumbled the opening kick for a Bulldog recovery and it was reversed on a penalty. Two plays later Pat White ended any hope for MSU. WVU did continue a troubling tendency to sit on the ball after a big lead (see UMD last year, Sugar Bowl '06) and it really didn't make sense to have Slaton in the game with 4 minutes to go. Noel Devine did not play at all and it appears as though he fell a little behind after being excused from some practices. Rod said he isn't in the doghouse, but even then we should probably get Slaton out when all we are doing is running straight ahead into 10 man fronts. Ditto for Schmidt. The defense continues to dominate. At this point in the season they have outplayed the offense and I don't think anyone would have believed that 3 months ago. Chris Neild started b/c of a knee problem for Scooter Berry. This moved Dingle and Dykes to the end and for 3 quarters they were unstoppable. They tired late, but that happens when you spend the game chasing a guy running for his life then posing for 5 more seconds after the play. That posing takes up a lot of energy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Watching

Thursday gave you a great football game and the best Office of the season. You've been put on notice weekend.

I always imagined less manure. I mean, some manure. Just...less.
Medical school must have cost like $40 or a donkey or something. I would have been chief or surgery. Or a cowboy.

Another week when looking at the schedule doesn't seem to have a bunch of upsets, but #2 has already fallen and this year has proven that you never know. The early game offers Tennessee vs. Alabama and everything you need to know about that game can be found here. I think Jai Eugene will be pulling for Tennessee, just a hunch.

Michigan State vs. Ohio State--The Buckeyes are currently number 1 as everyone in front of them has played dead so far this year. The schedule begins to get a little harder although it is all within the 5th toughest conference from here on out. The defense has led the charge for the Buckeyes. The defense is currently ranked 1st in total defense, 1st in scoring defense, and 2nd against both the pass and the run. OSU has outscored the last three opponents 159-24. Michigan State is 5-2 with losses to Wisconsin and Northwestern. MSU is 15th in total offense behind a running game averaging 243 yards per game. The running game is led by Javon Ringer with 932 yards and 7.1 yards per carry. Brian Hoyer is completing 61.2% of his passes and must have a big game is the Spartans are going to pull out the upset in Columbus.

Florida vs. Kentucky--The Wildcats get another ranked team at home. In the game versus LSU Kentucky put up 27 points in regulation and managed 375 yards against the former #1 defense in the country. Florida is attempting to stave off a three game losing streak. The Gators have lost two games by a combined 7 points. Kentucky is bringing the 7th ranked scoring offense and 17th ranked overall offense against a Florida defense ranked 29th overall and 36th in scoring. The Florida offense is currently 25th overall and 11th in scoring while the UK defense is middle of the pack (60th). A Kentucky win could vault the Wildcats into the top 5 of the BCS while a Florida loss would make a Florida BCS game run extremely difficult.

Texas Tech vs. Missouri--Hopefully this game isn't stuck on regional coverage in your area, but it appears as though most eastern towns are getting either Michigan State/Ohio State or Miami/FSU. Those lucky enough to get this game will see some points. Texas Tech is averaging 50 points a game this year and throwing the ball for 500 yards per game. Graham Harrell has already thrown for 3151 yards and 31 touchdowns. Missouri is averaging 40 points per game and 534 yards of total offense. This game could take 5 hours due to television timeouts after touchdowns. Over/Under on punts should be set at 3.

Auburn vs. LSU--The last of the games versus ranked teams starts at 9 pm and will finish long after I go to bed pass out. LSU will be out for blood after the loss to UK last week. The blood will probably belong to Brandon Cox. Watching this game in the same day as TTech/Mizzou will be like watching Starship Troopers on the same day as watching 300. Both will give you the blood lust you crave, but one is a lot more high tech while the other is just hand to hand bludgeoning.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

#2 gets dumped

First, there hasn't been that many people from New Jersey together to watch a football game since the last WVU home game. If you could harness the manic energy of Jim Levitt and Greg Schino from this game you could power the country for years. No more oil or coal, just white dudes running around yelling, screaming, kicking, clapping, throwing, and spitting with reckless abandon. Even Sybil thought the mood swings were a bit much. This game was simple: Ray Rice vs. Matt Grothe with a side of special teams au gratin.

Ray Rice. He seems like the kind of guy that takes a shot of Jack and bites a wooden spoon for anesthesia. 39 carries for 181 yards. 75 carries for 377 yards in 6 days. Forrest Gump didn't run this damn much. Ray Rice doesn't wear a cup he wears a mug. His stiff arm should be registered as a deadly weapon, just ask George Selvie.

Matt Grothe. The USF offensive strategy of slather the ball in Crisco and punt almost worked. Instead they decided to play like I do in NCAA2008; run around with the quarterback until someone is open and if not run away. At one point I believe Rutgers was running the 9-spy defense. USF had 362 total yards and Grothe accounted for 305 of them either throwing or running (for his life some of the time).

Special Teams. I’ve been to two world fairs and a goat fuck and never seen anything like the special teams on display—fake punt, fake field goal, two muffed punts, and two blocked kicks (one served with extra forward laterals). The only thing missing was a juggling seal or a dog on a tricycle.

What a great game. The only problem is that I'm not sure that it will help increase the value of my Louisville tickets and really isn't that the most important aspect of the season?

See What Happens when you find a Stranger in the Alps!

We bastards... well, at least two of us, are big fans of the Big Lebowski. But being the devout Christians that we are, we always pray prior blog posting, visit neighbors to spread the word, help those less fortunate than ourselves and, finally, we prefer the cable version of the Big Lebowski which appropriately removes all foul and offensive language.

Wait, what is this "sacrilege" of which you speak?


Around the Conference Week 8

The Big East is off and running this weekend with games Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for your viewing pleasure (at least some should be pleasureful). The entire conference is back to playing this week/weekend and the title picture could begin to either clear up or turn into a clusterfuck, I hope for the latter. On to the games.

USF vs. Rutgers--Game of the Week for the conference right off the bat tonight. USF is a 3 point favorite going to Jersey, but that doesn't take into account car sickness due to extremely high number of roundabouts on the way to the game. USF is coming off of a complete dismantling of Central Florida 64-12. Central Florida was held to 145 total yards and 3 turnovers were forced by the Bulls. NFL bound Kevin Smith was held to 55 yards rushing which is 98 yards below his average. Rutgers rebounded from back-to-back losses by playing Syracuse. Ray Rice bounced back with 196 yards rushing against the Orange and Mike Teel threw for 310 yards on 29 attempts. USF is currently ranked 58th in total offense and 11th in total defense. The Bulls are winneg based on ball control and forcing turnovers (10th in the nation). Rutgers is again stout on defense with a ranking of 14th while the offense is ranked 11th. However, the bulk of the stats have been padded against a schedule of Buffalo, Navy, and Norfolk State. The over/under for the game is 53 which may be a little high. Don't expect a shootout, but a hard hitting game tonight.

Louisville vs. UConn--The Cardinals are 3.5 point favorites for the Friday tilt. Louisville has worked themselves back into bowl contention and possibly Big East title contention with a win 28-24 win over Cincinnati two weeks ago. The Cardinals remain a scary team even if they only play one aspect of the game because they do it so well. At this point the Cardinals are 3rd in total offense, 3rd in passing offense, and 8th in scoring offense. Meanwhile the defense is a respectable 100th in the nation. Wait, respectable isn't the right word. Horrible, that's better. Despite throwing the ball so much that Brohm may need Tommy John surgery after the season and tennis elbow, the Cardinals don't turn the ball over and are 11th in turnover margin. The UConn smoke and mirrors show came to a close last week in Virginia with a 17-16 loss. The teams COMBINED for around 350 total yards of offense. UConn is 71st in total offense and 6th in total defense. It's a game of strength versus strength and weakness vs. weakness. Louisville's offense is probably the biggest strength, but their defense the greatest weakness in this game.

Cincy vs. Pitt--Cincinnati lost last week for the first time this year. The Bearcats lost despite having more total yards and first downs because they committed four turnovers and forced none in the game. The game was a complete reversal of the normal season for Cincy as they have normally been winning the turnover battle as they are 4th in the nation in turnover margin. Pitt is horrible. The end. The winner gets the pretty trophy at the top of the post in the River City Rivalry.

Buffalo vs. Syracuse--The final Big East game this week features Syracuse as only 3 point favorites over a 3-4 MAC team. Congratulations Syracuse you keep reaching new lows.

Another Round of Reubens

Sometimes you need a second helping. Here is a link to the earlier mentioned private gift to WVU. A $25 million private gift with $5 million to the medical school's cancer center to start a breast cancer service for women in rural West Virginia with the remainder to fund other programs in the Health Sciences Center and College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. An allocation to a new scoreboard at the Coliseum is also mentioned. The state matches the first $2.5 million for cancer research as part of the Eminent Scholars program. The state will not match the scoreboard donation because the state enjoys having the same graphics since 1982 as it makes everything comfortable.

Unemployed or underemployed? Well the Bastards may be able to help in that area. Here is a listing for the little job I like to call the Dean of the West Virginia University College of Law. As you may be aware there will be some improvements around the law campus now that former WVU President Hardesty teaches there. You will need skills, experience, and vision. Girls only want guys with skills. Here is the further description.

The Dean must be an individual with vision, who can build a strong leadership team, who can communicate effectively with all of the school’s constituencies, and who can enhance the strong sense of community that now exists among faculty, students, administrators, and staff.
If hitting people in the face with snowballs builds a sense of community BSR is a shoe in, besides who spent more time in the Dean's office during our tenure then him or me?

It appears as though Johannes Herber has suffered a knee injury which will keep him out of his professional club in Germany for awhile. What you couldn't translate that? You are never going to be the Dean at this rate. Good thing Mike Casazza is on the job (reporter not Dean). His translation tool explains that Herber suffered a severe meniscus tear. Herber was on the same team as former Duke non-graduate William Avery.

In other injury news it appears as though Pat White is still limited in pratice and is in doubt for Saturday. While it appears as though White will still play, the amount may be limited if WVU can get an early lead or the pain level is high.

Finally, on the off week Dave Wannstedt watched football on a mission.
Dave Wannstedt watched college football all day Saturday, armed with a pad and pencil to take notes and look for a solution to Pitt's four-game losing streak.
We are lucky enough to have a source within the Pitt program that sent us a link of the actual notes the Stache took last weekend though it appears that at some point Dave got bored and started drawing.

Coliseum Scoreboard Update

According to the USA Today this morning (see Across the USA on page 13A) the Mountaineers Basketball home will soon receive a much needed update. Two Mon county natives have bestowed a $25 million donation on the school. The money, in addition to fund health care programs and support the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will be used for a new scoreboard in the Coliseum. Anyone who has attended a basketball game in the past decade knows this is long overdue.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Guitar Hero III

OS sent me a link to this today and since I'm a sharing individual I'll show you what I'll be doing this Christmas.

Finally, some good news for Pitt

Pitt received some great news yesterday that may be a key difference in Saturday's game against Cincy. Wannstache tore his achille's tendon and may not be on the sideline for the game.

Wannstedt missed practice Tuesday after tearing his left Achilles' tendon earlier in the day, requiring surgery that took place several hours after he was hurt.
And the last sentence of the article sums up pretty nicely why this is good news for the Panthers:
...hired by Pitt in December 2004. He has a 13-16 record.

Game Week-Miss. State

One question. Is MSU the best team with brown as a primary color in Division I? Fresh off a bye week and back into the top 10 in both polls the West Virginia Mountaineers step back out of conference this week to face Mississippi State. The last game WVU played was a 55-14 destruction of Syracuse which featured Owen Schmitt carrying the ball 8 times, catching it once, scoring twice, and a punt. WVU ran up 486 total yards including 251 yards rushing and held the Orange to 202 yards. Pat White ran for 89 yards and threw for 148 yards before being injured in the third quarter. White should be ready for Saturday's 3:30 kickoff. Steve Slaton was held under 100 yards for the second straight game, but more because of a lack of need rather than an ability to stop him. Slaton rushed for 69 yards and caught 4 passes for 51 more versus Syracuse. Slaton also needs one touchdown to break the school record for career scores.

Meanwhile Miss. State is 4-3 coming off of a 33-21 loss to Tennessee. The bulldogs have lost to three ranked teams (LSU, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and beaten one ranked team (Auburn). WVU will be the 5th ranked team in 8 games for MSU. For those that have only seen MSU in the opening game loss to LSU some changes have been made. Interception machine Michael Henig (6 in that game and 9 overall) has been replaced by Freshman Wesley Carroll at quarterback. Carroll is completing only 54 percent of his passes, but 0% to the other team which is a huge improvement. The Bulldogs are led on the ground by Sophomore Anthony Dixon. Dixon has accumulated 694 yards and 10 touchdowns including 100 yard games against Tennessee, UAB, Auburn, and Tulane.

On the season MSU is 110th in total offense averaging only 301 yards per game. The passing game has been the main culprit and ranks 115th in the nation with only 143 yards per game through the air. Defensively the Bulldogs are 42nd giving up 344 yards per game. MSU has also struggled in both the punt and kickoff return games. WVU is currently 9th in total offense (504 yards per game) in the country and second in rushing at 311 yards per game (passing is 91st). WVU is averaging 42.8 points per game which is 6th in the country. Defensively the Mountaineers are now fifth overall giving up 261.5 yards per game and 6th in scoring. WVU is 9th against the pass giving up 164.6 yards per game.

Some keys to this game. MSU is averaging 22.9 points per game. MSU must keep this game low scoring to have any chance as they are unable to move the ball for quick scores. Turnovers have been important for both teams as MSU is 76th in the country and WVU is 28th. The only loss for WVU included 6 turnovers and MSU has struggled to win the turnover battle (7 versus LSU and only forcing 2 combined in the three loses). MSU must slow the game down, force some turnovers, hold onto the ball, and keep the crowd out of the game. Answer to the above. It has to be either them or Minnesota right?

Is It Too Soon To Start Thinking About Who's Coming After Rodriguez?

Yeah, I hate to bring this up again, but reading a post over at the Georgia Sports Blog this morning reminded me of a conversation I had with Paul about a year and a half ago about the possibility of Rodriguez leaving WVU for another school.

Of course, at the time I thought there was no way in hell Rod would go anywhere. I was full of the kool-aid and couldn't be told anything that didn't jive with my thoughts on the matter. And then along came Alabama.

Of the schools that Paul has listed over there, I don't think most would be one's that Rod would consider. But some I think he would consider would be:

-Florida St.-Bobby's gotta die sometime and the relationship between the Bowdens and Rodriguez is pretty tight.

-Penn St.- Ditto, and don't be so fast to say no until you hear him say no.

-Clemson-Outside shot, but they already recruit for his style of offense and he used to coach the offense there.

-Auburn- I think there is a good shot Tuberville will leave or get fired at the end of the year depending on the Alabama game.

-LSU- If Les Mile takes over at Michigan, who wouldn't want to coach the 800 pound gorilla with a chainsaw for a dick?

Sorry if this isn't how you wanted to start your hump day off, but I'm not particularly excited about this weekends match up with Miss. St. So my mind is wondering a bit. Did I miss any schools you think Rod might jump ship for? Think I'm f'ing crazy? Leave a comment.

Oh yeah, forgot this one:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Funny or Die

This has very NSFW language. Judd Apatow, the writer/director/producer of Knocked Up and Superbad has joined forces with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay on Funny or Die and has vowed to make "Adult Films" to make the site some cash. Thanks to BWE for the link.

Round of Reubens

Levance Fields has been reinstated on the Pitt basketball team after being placed into an ARD program which, if he can go without any trouble for 9-months, will expunge his record. Fields was suspended for two weeks before the Pitt basketball team started official practices meaning he missed nothing. Fields was arrested for attempting to pull the gun of a police officer outside a club he was thrown out of for fighting and being drunk although he isn't 21.

"He learned a lot from it," Dixon said. "The process has begun toward a dismissal. He's learned from the experience. Some actions have been taken within the program. It's been tough for him to sit out as much as he has. A lot of people called it excessive. But I think he's learned something from the experience."
Those calling the punishment excessive were Jamie Dixon, Levance Fields, and a group of anarchists.

Some of the readers in the Whitestar area may be interested in this article on local player Reed Williams and his transformation from "Bobby Hill" into leading tackler on the team.

Steve Pederson was the Pitt AD during the years of the basketball expansion, namely the building of the Peterson Events Center which broke ground in 2000. Pederson rode out of Pitt in 2003 for greener pastures in Nebraska. Unfortunately for Pederson he then hitched his wagon to Bill Callahan after firing Frank Solich coming off of a 9-3 record. Callahan has gone 26-18, but is only .500 in the Big12, a douchebag that blames everyone else (cough Wanney cough), and has two embarrassing losses in a row in blowout fashion to Missouri and Oklahoma State. Pederson bit the bullet this week. Pederson will probably not be using the following quote on his resume:

Steve Glenn, a Nebraska offensive lineman in the late 1970s, said the firing of Pederson is "the best thing to happen to Nebraska football in 10 years," adding, it "lifts a cloud off the state of Nebraska."

Elsewhere, Marshall still hasn't won a game this season, but that hasn't stopped Chubb Small from remaining upbeat:
"That's because we know we're a good team," said running back Chubb Small, after rushing for 53 yards on 11 carries and scoring a career-high two touchdowns. "We know if we band together, everything will come. You can't get down because we're losing. We'll always be winners whether we're 0-12 or 12-0. We can be winners at heart."
Note to Small, 12-0 isn't really possible at 0-6 and Division I football doesn't give participation ribbons. This isn't the Special Olympics no matter much Snyder makes it seem like it is, so at 0-6 that reflection you see in the mirror is of a loser.

Finally, Friday is Dollar Day for Men's soccer against UConn. The team is currently 8-4 and hosting Navy this evening. Dollar Day will also include select concessions for a buck. I don't know much about futbol, but I like cheap nachos. If you can't make the game it will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel which I had no idea existed until just now.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sylvester Croom is Cool With Losing

If there is one thing I think we should all be happy about, it's that we don't wait to hear after a hard fought loss that we played good. Or that we gave good effort. It's nice to be past that point with the WVU program. It really is all about winning. It's expected. And when we don't we lose our freaking minds and burn the coach in effigy. Or at least question the way he ties his shoes until we win again.

The same can't be said for Mississippi St. and head coach Sylvester Croom. I'm not really knocking it as much as I am looking back on the last few years of Nehlen and the first couple with RRod. I don't really like moral victories. It might make me a better person if I did, but I don't and I'm not. But anyway, from going down to Starkville last year I was able to get a feel for how much longer Croom will be the coach of the Bulldogs. And that would be not much longer. However, given the situation, he seems to be holding things together as best he can.

"I'm as proud of this football team as I've been since I've been here," Croom, the MSU coach, said. "I think we probably played as good as we could play today."

So it wasn't a win.

So it wasn't the program-building, momentum-infusing, fan-exhilarating victory that the maroon-wearers among the 50,217 at Scott Field had gathered to see.

So what? On this beautiful sunny Saturday, No. 25 Tennessee was simply the better team, Croom said.

It's kind of sad considering he took over a program that was on probation and without much of a history of winning. But still winning is everything and maybe being more like Jackie Sherrill wouldn't be such a bad thing until you got on your feet.

Sherrill also achieved notoriety by castrating a bull during a team practice as a motivational technique prior to a game versus Texas. It worked, as unranked Mississippi State beat the #13 ranked Longhorns.

He finished with winning records against the Texas Longhorns and Mississippi Rebels. Sherrill retired after the 2003 season from Misssissippi State, which was followed by the NCAA levying probation for four years on the program. Mississippi State was not found guilty of any major violations, and Sherrill was never personally found guilty of any NCAA rules violations at either Mississippi State or Texas A&M.
My trip to Starkville was great! If you do anything, welcome Bulldog fans to Morgantown if you see them. They really did treat myself and every Mountaineer fan I saw like we were gold. It was also a great trip if for no other reason than my single best digital camera moment. Yeah cheerleaders!

Girl's got some up's!