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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable Response - Week 7

My Opinion on Sports has been magnanimous enough to host this week’s Blogpoll Roundtable. MOOS offers “Complete coverage of the Oklahoma Sooners, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Mariners…” Is there a more random collection of sports teams in the blogosphere? Anywhere? Have those three athletic teams ever been grouped together before?

Anyway, onto the questions.

1. Which coaches are clearly on the hot seat at this point? Who is surprisingly not?

Last time I checked up in East Lansing, John L. Smith’s ass was so hot…Wait. That didn’t come out right. I have never really noticed the relative hotness of JLS’s posterior. What I was trying to say that the guy is gone-diddly-gone as soon as the season ends. The only thing that’s kept him in the job this long is that they’ve now gone two full weeks without another flag-planting incident. It’s too bad too, because I like John L. and not just because Michigan is 4-0 against him. He’s very forthright for a football coach and adds some needed personality to the game.
Larry Coker also has to be wearing asbestos pants at this point. By everything that is right and good he should have been long gone by now and not necessarily because Miami has become an ordinary team. That fight this past weekend – with very few suspensions to Hurricane players – was a disgrace to college football. I’m sure he’ll be gone after Miami’s bowl, but that won’t be soon enough.
There are two guys who I think should be sent out to pasture, but there are no rumblings that it will happen: Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. Clearly these guys have long since lost their fastballs. Hell, they’ve lost their Eephus pitches at this point. Paterno is 80, for crying out loud. He probably shouldn’t even have a driver’s license anymore. He spent half the tOSU game on the crapper and clearly does very little game coaching. He’s basically holding the Penn State program hostage – they can’t fire him after all he’s done for the university – but they really need to get someone new in there.
As for Bowden, I still can’t get rid of the picture of him last year in the Orange Bowl asking one of those Florida State Troopers if his kicker made a field goal. His teams have underperformed for several years at this point, the nepotistic act of keeping his son as offensive coordinator – of a terrible offense, and continued off-field transgressions of his players should be enough to send Bobby off with a gold watch and his name on the stadium in Tallahassee.

2. Pick three of the undefeated teams and state your case as to why they won’t run the table.

Who says there are three undefeated teams that won’t run the table? Well, the schedule does. Either Michigan or tOSU won’t run the table, if not both. And at most one of West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers goes undefeated. So pick three of those teams and that’s your answer. I’ll say Michigan won’t go undefeated because they play tOSU in Columbus. West Virginia won’t go undefeated because their defense won’t be able to stop Louisville, and Rutgers won’t go undefeated because it would be the end of the world as we know it if they did.

3. Which conference is playing the best football right now?

The popular answer here is the SEC. And there’s no doubt that the conference is among the best. But that would be by default as much as anything. What conferences are even considered strong this year? The Big Ten? Sure it might have the two best teams, but it also has a few of the worst. Losses to Division IAA schools have been common among the bottom dwellers. The Big XII? The conference where Missouri might be the second best team? I don’t think so. The ACC has reverted back to its pre-expansion days. I was going to throw a curveball here and say the Pac 10 might be the best right now but I just couldn’t make the case. Stanford is historically horrible, UCLA and Washington are still weaklings, and Arizona State has regressed badly. Oregon is decent and Cal is strong, but their ass-whipping at the hands of the Vols means the SEC still is number one.

4. Which team is playing above and beyond your expectations this season?

I have to say I’m surprised at Ohio State. Yes, the #1 team, which started as #1, is still a surprise to me. I knew all about how powerful their offense was going to be, but I still couldn’t get over all the losses on defense. I knew they had talent at many of those positions, but experience has to count for something, doesn’t it? Plus, I figured that all of the pre-season publicity would lead to complacency. It hasn’t happened. Troy Smith has been fantastic, and their defense has been almost as good as last year’s edition. They haven’t played in a close game yet, and even though they haven’t blown out teams, they’ve been in control early in every game but against Penn State.

5. Which team is crashing and burning in regards to your expectations?

I’ll stick with the Big Ten on this one by selecting Iowa. As mentioned above I thought that tOSU was prime for a letdown this year, and I pegged Iowa as my sleeper pick in the conference. They had a returning QB who was brilliant at times, a solid running game, and an excellent coach. They lost some key guys on D, but they’ve recruited well on that side of the ball. But the Hawkeyes have struggled. They almost lost at Syracuse, granted without QB Drew Tate. They barely got by Iowa State at home. Even when they beat Illinois it wasn’t a cakewalk. They didn’t put up much of a fight at home at night against tOSU. The lost to Indiana – who lost to Southern Illinois at home! They’ve really only played one good game (Purdue). Let’s hope it stays that way after this weekend.

6. Is your pre-season BCS championship game prediction still alive?

Yes. The game will still take place on January 8, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona. That’s about all I predicted about it at the beginning of the season, and I’m right on all counts.


Jeff said...

The Sooners, Dolphins and Mariners reminds me of the (I believe) Lowe's commercial where the guy is going to repaint a room and he's deciding which team colors to use. The Oakland A's mascot, Oklahoma State cheerleaders and Washington Redskins fans all try to convince him to pick their team. Another very random assortment of teams.

Wholesome Goodness said...

You jerks. After I spent a few minutes chuckling at your 'tossing focused internet inhibitions to the wind', and mocking your childish ADD habits, I now know more about Eephus pitches than I ever dreamed possible.
Maybe I should give up hope of ever 'quickly' checking the site.
BTW, great show last night, I was able to catch clips here and there.
I got the impression, though, that if they extended it to a four hour show, Yost would've still talked the entire time; with about 18 bathroom breaks.

Anonymous said...

Good point on Joe Paterno. I watched the UM/PSU game and for the first time I noticed JoPa wasn't even with the team during timeouts?!?! The offensive or defensive coordinator talked solely during the timeouts. I realize these coaches are instrumental but I would expect the head coach to be in there as well. So I guess Joe just shows up and yell at referees?

The King said...

I had USC vs Louisville in the NC game, which is still alive...but pretty much impossible. Even if they both win out, the winner of the Big Ten is extremely likely to get into the title game, bumping one of them.