Mike Lantry, 1972
It could have been much, much worse:
(HT: Bruce Feldman($).)
Wow. There was much tremendously exciting conversation about the first BlogPoll roundtable. I now endeavor to summarize the general tenor of the conversation:
The chorus was most unified on this question and on this answer: Texas. Nebraska blogger Struggling Joe summarizes everyone's argument by referencing this article that reveals that the Longhorns love... pillow fights? I like the incredulous question mark of Joe's reaction: "Pillow fights...good God almighty?" Exactly. The comment thread is also littered with imprecations against Mack and the Longhorns. Some people are declaring Vince Young to not be all that and a bag of Heismans, which I freely admit to not understanding. After the Rose Bowl whenever I hear the man's name I look for a bomb shelter. Most of the criticism comes down to "Mack will blow it again," though. mgoblog thinks someone should come up with something a little more rigorous than that. Not it.
Those worried about a large influx of Michigan voters polluting the stream can probably relax--we Wolverines are notoriously manic depressive. Witness the traitorous Straight Bangin', who delves into the love/hate relationship Michigan fans have with Lloyd Carr. If you want real "Et Tu, Brutus" action, though, you have to head over to Sexy Results. Ian's fantastic, tortured post knifes both his undergrad and law school alma maters in extremely convincing fashion and proposes a Sports Guy-esque theory that rings true:
"It'll be great to see whether or not the Dawg fans buy into the Tee Martin Corollary, which states that anytime a beloved white QB for an almost-there team is replaced by lifelong backup, mobile black QB, you stand a better chance of winning a national championship (trust me, I fell hard for this last year)."
I do believe that would have to be a "hypothesis," though... a corollary is relative to another law.
The other two highly-rated Big Ten teams also come in for a beating. iBlog For Cookies raps Ohio State on the head for having no semblance of an offense under Jim Tressel (criminal variety excluded). So does Every Day Should Be Saturday, though mgoblog vainly wishes this sentence was actually true:
"There's little reason to think their offensive woes and lack of a power runner will get any better this season, and no matter how good your linebackers are-and jesus, sportswriters nationwide are soaking their keyboards over them-a D left on the field that long will lose their grip late in the game every time."
Oh, EDSBS... if that were true I would be a much happier man. The djl Zone ends the pile-on.
Heismanpundit makes an interesting point about SEC fave-rave Tennessee: for God's sake, the Vols gave up 30+ points in each of their last three SEC games. The opponents: Auburn, Kentucky(!), and Vanderbilt(!!). Boi From Troy risks the wrath of Glenn Reynolds to agree.
Brent at ParadigmBlog makes an excellent point by invoking the Ewing theory to pimp Miami next year. The starting quarterback is gone, which is always a bad thing unless he was a man with the name and football acumen of an East German porn star. Brock Berlin will be panhandling for change next year, so Brent thinks that Bruce Feldman might end up mighty happy. Benedict Arnold over at Straight Bangin' concurs, as does Sexy Results.
The djl Zone, a Falcon, also highlights Omar Jacobs and Bowling Green (a piddling #29 on the consensus poll) as an underrated squad, an assessment both myself and Have You Met Tony? agree with. Boise and Louisville are the sexy mid-major picks this year but neither has a guy who threw for 200 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions against Oklahoma in his first collegiate start. The Boise-BG showdown on the smurf turf will be a seminal moment for blogpollers, as many are pegging the Broncos as a top-ten squad who will defeat Georgia in their opener.
Fellow Michigan blogger IBFC wins the "weird pick" award in this category by fingering... Rutgers? Yes, that appears to be right.
Flyer Rose Bowl Pick:
Every Day Should Be Saturday jumps aboard the Boston College bandwagon. Er, on second thought, they've built it.
The vicious dissent on Purdue comes to a head here, as well, with several people pointing out the weak-scheduled Boilers as potential party crashers and other people claiming that their defense is overrated and Tiller is Mack Brown minus talent. mgoblog foresees that the Boilers, along with Boise, will be at the tippy top of teams pollsters love to disagree about.
The comments section has several plugs for Texas A&M. We Are the Boys notes that the A&M schedule looks very, very weak until the season-ending clashes with Oklahoma and Texas. Reggie McNeal and the promise of a Year 3 Franchione Uplift has people excited.
pssst... blogpollers... I'll update this post later today with stuff I missed. If there are teams or items that I've left out of the conversation, comment here and I'll add them. And if you've got a post you're about to put up, leave a note here as well.
Update: Just one last-minute entry from Bruce Ciskie, who also says Texas SUX0RS.
So I heard about this "taking notes" thing and decided to try it out during the Pistons game last night. This should be interesting. -ish. Format is "quote: wtf was I thinking?" Comments which are self explanatory are left as is.
(content warning: swearin'.)
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT -1
Picture in Picture for Mason!
When was the last time you got to MEET and GREET the PA announcer? They actually PiP'd the man when he announced Ben Wallace with the squeaky aggressive "Virginia Union University" and B-b-b-b-b-b-ben WWWWALLLACE. That's when you know you're good at your job: when you get put on TV for no apparent reason (theory does NOT apply to any musicians at Finals).
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 0
Tayofa needs a spa
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 1
pop gets t'ed up. bitching about fouls but that looked totally clean, all of them
on second look that was an obvious foul. awful calls 1-0 pistons
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 2
hubie brown: useless. calls duncan "timmy" though. and again. I hope he starts calling sheed "sheedy".
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 3
billups with an impossible shot after an ugly possession. prince looks like a total mess, constantly putting wallace in position to fail.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 4
oh hell yes scarlett.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 5
dice fronting duncan veery nicely
keep giving that to dice FOOLS
This was a SuperDice game. He seems to have three power levels. On level 1, he misses all his jumpers, can't keep opponents off the boards, and sort of hangs around the perimeter. It happens about once every six or seven games. On level 2 he cans most of those jumpers and rebounds decently enough. On level 3 he's doing that and viciously defending people, blocking the occasional shot, and slamming home other's misses. On level 3 he's the best player on the floor and you wonder about whether he was destined for the HOF before the knee troubles.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 6
steal on udrich, TO SA again. Hunter: postive impact, NOT SHOOTING JUMPERS
"lindsay hunter is a bear" - Hubie
hunter even cans a jumper
More on Hunter later.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 7
prince had udrich on him and couldn't get a post position
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 8
lindsay layup. fugging man
browns calls lindsay "the young man"
offensive foul on bowen
WTF? where was this team in games 12
keep giving him that shot FOOLS!!!!!! dice swish line 16 going on 17
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 9
they cut to the italian guys who are talking about al michaels? I call bullshit. "I believe in miracles"
Look, there is NO way the Italians just just happened to be talking about Al Michaels and saying "Do You Believe In Miracles" accidentally. Also: Michaels TRADEMARKED IT?
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 10
that was billups initiating contact, bad foul on spurs. even billups is smiling.
"if you foul this guy, though, it's almost... death." jesus hubie
I bet Hubie thinks about death a lot.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 11
aaarg hate this camera angle
WHY do ABC and TNT erroneously believe that I would like to watch three or four possessions a game from a disorienting point of view directly above the floor? I'm not an owl, I do not enjoy pretending that basketball players are fieldmice for me to swoop upon and digest whole, excreting their bones in a weird tufty mass. Is the director at ABC an owl?
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 12
i'm going to listen to walton to criticize him
"this game is too rough for SA" "their fatal flaw is that they don't have a guy who can turn that around." SLAMMING FUCKING ANALYSIS DOUCHETARD
Yes, he could have given a penetrating analysis of the defensive changes that had dramatically slashed the effectiveness of Ginobli and Parker and I would have called him a douchetard anyway. But I am releatively secure in the fact that he probably won't do something useful.
PS: I'm trademarking "SLAMMING FUCKING ANALYSIS DOUCHETARD."
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT13
YES PRINCE that's unpussified
ginobli/parker: o assists.
parker o points
Now I will give penetrating analysis: clearly they just gave Parker any jump shot he wanted and committed to shutting down his dribble driving. Parker's drives consistently forced a ton of rotation and seriously compromised both the three point defense and defensive rebounding. Though they yielded a number of open looks this game the quantity was greatly reduced. Ginobli? Dunno why he looked lethargic. Prince did a good job staying in front of him and he just went meekly in Game 4.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 14
aw, damn, ben nice d ben
prince jumper looking a little better
nice d ben!
parker scores finally. we're letting him have any jumper he wants and laying way off
This sequence was a missed Ben offensive putback dunk followed by two consecutive possessions where Ben played fantabulous D on Duncan. Wallace X 2 can defend Duncan, no one can defend Shaq except Shaq's age and weight.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 15
ARE YOU FUCKING FUCKING FUCK !!!! FUCK!!!
GODDAMMIT GINOBLI CAN FUCKING CHARGE ANYONE IN THE FUCKING LEAGUE FUCKING FUCKERS BALL DONT LIE YOU MEXICAN BITCH
Right. Not Mexican. Also very profane. Sorry.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 16
how does duncan have 12 points ten rebounds thats a foul
UNEDITED STREAM OF C
ONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 17
this is the best game hunter will ever play the rest of his career.
jesus fuckchrist! lindsay
another defensive miscue by hamilton no screen no nothing.
AND 1 for hunter! enjoy this, lindsay. Murder! MOIDER.
hunter misses finally, and then a break is given up by HAMILTON AGAIN. now that's a fucking foul billups.
hunter for 3! pigs fly! stuart scott talks fucking sense!
You know you are going to win when Lindsay Hunter has 17 points and climbs over the 30% mark for all time playoff shooting. (I was going to call it the Mendoza line, but even Mendoza would be ashamed of that. That's the Hunter line now, 30% shooting. Or maybe the Kobe-vs-Prince line, HA!)
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 18
duncan is PISSED
When you piss off the Pete Sampras of the NBA, you know you're doing something right. And there wasn't really much for him to complain about other than a blatant hack early in the game. He was well, well defensed all night.
UNEDITED STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGHT 19
OMG DARKO IS TEH NEW GARNETT!
Update 6/16: Finally removed LeSean McCoy after reading this PA Homestyle Sports entry. Given the way things are going (Percy Harvin now lists UM along with USC and the three Florida schools and added UM immediately after I sliced him off), we should lead for McCoy in under a month until I put him back on the list, upon which he'll immediately commit to Buffalo. Also removed IN LB AJ Edds. Changed Jeremiha Hunter's status... Michigan has fallen back to the back. Updated some schools for other players, as well.
McCoy was a pipiedream anyway. mgoblog doesn't think Michigan will take a running back in this class unless DeMarco Murray surprises. Link here.
Overrated: I'll try to keep this within the scope of teams that I know about. My pick here is Iowa, which I hate (the pick, not the school). But this is a team without any semblance of a running game, and that won't change this year. Albert Young is probably their best back but it really takes two years to get back to speed after an ACL tear and this is year one for him. Plus they lost their starting LT for the season and are one injury on the offensive line away from scrambling for players.
Defensively, that entire line is gone and my initial reading of the Iowa tea leaves says that the best that the Hawkeyes can hope for this year is that the guys who replace them are pluggers who hold up okay. Teams that can pound straight ahead (a dwindling few in the Big Ten) will be able to move the ball against Iowa. I don't think that's the profile of a 10-1 team. Much closer to 8-3, in my opinion, and thus they have no business in the top ten.
Why do I hate the pick? Kirk Ferentz. He's been holding the Hawkeyes together with tape for a couple years now and has a proven ability to take 180 pound losers and turn them into Robert Gallery. There's an excellent chance this will end up making me look real dumb.
Underrated: Let's suck up to the ridiculous influx of Falcons out there. I pick Bowling Green, who check in at #29 on that poll. I believe that Omar Jacobs and company will blow Wisconsin out in their opener and then have one of the year's most entertaining games against Boise State. (Do NOT miss that game. The over under will probably be 100, and I'm taking the over.) Will they win? Who knows. What happens when you take two explosive offenses and two trash defenses and put them together?
1) Complete unpredictability.
2) A hell of a lot of fun.
And if they're going to toe to toe with the Broncos in the land of fake blue grass, then dammit, they're probably just as good as a team that many slightly intoxicated blogpollers are pegging in the top 10. mgoblog thinks that's mighty kind to Boise, but both should be around 15-20, meaning that the Falcons are at least ten spots too low.
Rose Bowl flyer: Again in the Big Ten, a team no one is talking about: Minnesota. On the surface Brian Cupito was pretty mediocre last year but that was partially a function of the throws he was asked to make, which were largely bombs downfield. Victimized by a spate of dropped balls, he completed under 50% of his passes... but led the Big Ten in yards per attempt(!). With three great offensive linemen back and Laurence Maroney ready to blow the doors off, I think there's a good chance Minnesota's offense starts ramming protons together, ignites, and becomes a really bright thing that you can't look straight at.
The defense? Probably still atrocious, but that isn't stopping the Boise State/Louisville bandwagons.