Daily Archives: July 10, 2008

I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true.

Plenty of idiocy to go around in this story:

The father of Oklahoma freshman quarterback Landry Jones says he plans legal action against a Nebraska football fan who allegedly posted a bogus story on an Internet message board claiming that two Sooner quarterbacks had been arrested on cocaine distribution charges.

James W. Conradt, a Nebraska football fan living in Austin, Texas, said he did not mean to hurt Oklahoma quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Landry Jones with his Internet hoax, according to a story posted on The Oklahoman’s Web site late Wednesday.

It started as you might expect.

… Conradt said he was on a Nebraska message board when some OU fans began writing smack.

“I just wanted to get em all riled up, I guess,” Conradt said.

He did an Internet search for Sooner sports and came across the newsok.com template. He told The Oklahoman he did not realize it was The Oklahoman’s Web site.

“It was a bad decision,” Conradt said. “When I got home, I got on my computer, one of the moderators on the Oklahoma site e-mailed me and said some Oklahoma people are upset about this. That’s when I took it down.”

And from there, it blew up.  Moron.

The father of one of the kids is talking legal action.  Maybe one of RichRod’s lawyers has time to help now.


UPDATE: The Wiz has an update worth taking a look at.



Filed under College Football, General Idiocy

A very early look at the SEC West

It’s July and nothing is set in stone yet.  The coaches haven’t worked out all the kids from the incoming recruiting class, or, in some cases, finalized who’s even in the incoming recruiting class.  But there’s something about football blogging that makes you want to categorize and analyze, no matter how incomplete the data.

So I’ll take a first stab at lining things up in the SEC.  I’m not going to go overboard, though – no 2008 records or order of finish at this point in time.  Instead, I’m settling for doing some projecting, based on some general principles and prejudices, as to whether a school is likely to be better or worse than it showed in 2007.

Some general rules of thumb:

  • More experienced personnel is better than less experienced.  Kids mature physically and mentally and are more familiar with their roles, with what it takes to play at the college level and what the offensive and defensive schemes require.  That, of course, is within the context of a particular school.  We’ll all still pick an inexperienced Florida squad to beat an experienced Vandy team.
  • That goes double for the starting quarterback.
  • Coaching continuity is generally a good thing.  New coaches mean new ways of doing things – sometimes fairly dramatic ways of doing things, which means there’s usually a transition period of getting the right personnel for the new system or systems.
  • Fortune, good or bad, generally isn’t permanent.  Unless you’re Southern Cal under Pete Carroll, you don’t run positive double digit turnover margins year after year (and that’s even dried up there of late).  A program may have a year where its wins and losses grossly outperform or underperform its scoring and yardage numbers, but things tend to swing back to the norm over time.  Similarly, Steele will tell you that a team that pulls off a bunch of close wins in a season probably won’t repeat that run the next year.

Since I’m using last season as a base from which to evaluate, I’ll list the schools in the order of their finish in the conference in 2007, with their overall and conference records.  You get the West today; I’ll throw out the East projections tomorrow.

  • LSU (12-2, 6-2). I’ve got a simple question:  does losing Ryan Perrilloux make that much of a difference to this team?  Because otherwise, I’m having a hard time justifying the fairly common opinion that the Tigers won’t repeat as West champs in ’08.  This was clearly the SEC’s best team last season.  Twelve offensive and defensive starters from that team return; LSU is the fifth most experienced squad in the conference.  Four of the five top rushers and all but one of the team’s receivers are back.  The schedule, even with Georgia replacing Kentucky from the East, is significantly easier than last year’s.  The negatives?  New quarterback, new co-defensive coordinators (although promoted internally) and a likely slide from an incredible +20 in turnover margin.  Prognosis:  slight drop… maybe.
  • Auburn (9-4, 5-3). The good:  sixteen starters back on offense and defense and the Tigers swap Vanderbilt for Florida.  They’ve also got their top four rushers returning and most of their top tacklers.  But there’s a lot of shaky stuff to account for, too.  A road trip to West Virginia comes in the middle of the schedule and I don’t recall Auburn of late being a program that does particularly well with marquee OOC games.  A new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback don’t bode well for a smooth transition, and there’s a new coordinator on the other side of the ball as well.  Auburn is too talented on defense to drop much, but I’m not sure why we should expect much improvement, either.  Prognosis:  unchanged.
  • Arkansas (8-5, 4-4). New coaching staff and a radical change in offensive philosophy.  One of the best backfields in the history of the conference – gone.  Casey Dick as the linchpin of the offense.  Tennessee drops off the schedule and is replaced by Florida.  Oh yeah, there’s a road trip to Austin, Texas in there somewhere.  On the plus side, there should be a lot less litigation to deal with this season.  Prognosis:  going down.
  • Mississippi State (8-5, 4-4). You know what?  This really wasn’t a very good team last year.  It was dead last in the SEC in 2007 in net yardage per conference game, at -73.4.  That ought to give you an idea of how competent a head coach Croom is.  The Bulldogs were a terrible offensive team and a middle of the pack defensive squad, so it’s probably not a bad thing that six starters on offense and eight on defense come back.  The top two rushers and eight of the top ten tacklers are back.  They did lose their defensive coordinator, though.  Turnovers were the story for this team last year.  When MSU got the breaks, Croom did an excellent job of managing the game and stealing a few wins against better squads (Auburn, Kentucky, Alabama).  It’s probably not reasonable to expect a repeat of that in ’08, but it’s not like the man will suddenly forget how to coach.  Prognosis:  slight drop.
  • Alabama (7-6, 4-4). The schedule is tougher.  There’s a new offensive coordinator.  Plenty of offseason turbulence and teh greatest class of recruits in SEC history are good indicators that the talent level isn’t quite where Saban wants it to be.  On the plus side, the entire backfield returns and John Parker Wilson, in addition to having the most irritating name in the conference, is the most experienced returning quarterback in the West.  You’d like to think that Saban’s ego will demand a serious improvement, but his track record suggests that his programs typically don’t take a big step up become consistently elite in his second year at the helm.  Prognosis:  unchanged.
  • Mississippi (3-9, 0-8). Seriously, since the end of the 2007 regular season, has there been a luckier SOB in the conference than Houston Nutt?  He goes out with a big win, gets a sweet severance check from Arkansas, then signs a contract for more money… at the only school that was coached by a worse in-game manager than he was.  On top of that, Orgeron left him a decent amount of talent (sixteen starters on offense and defense are back and Mississippi is the most experienced team in the SEC), he’s got an exciting talent at quarterback in Jevon Snead and a feature running back coming in with Enrique Davis.  Georgia drops off the schedule and South Carolina comes on, as a home game.  The most challenging OOC game is at Wake Forest; the rest is more than manageable.  And the Rebs were -10 in turnover margin; Steele says that teams with negative double digit TO margins have a strong likelihood of improvement in the next season.  Don’t get me wrong.  This team won’t break even in the conference.  But it’s got nowhere to go but up in 2008.  Prognosis:  improvement.


Filed under SEC Football

Punditry in motion

Over at College Football News, they’re doing that Experts Roundtable thing they did last year.  Along with their own Pete Fiutak and Richard Cirminello, here’s the list of guys they’ve got reviewing the world of college football as we know it:

– Charles Davis, NFL Network/FOX Sports
– Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com – College Football Columnist

– Bruce Feldman, ESPN.com – College Football Columnist
– Steve Greenberg, The Sporting News – College Football Columnist
– Teddy “Mr. Media” Greenstein, Chicago Tribune – College Football Columnist, Media Columnist
– Stewart Mandel, SI.com – College Football Columnist

The discussion slate has been considerably expanded this go ’round, as they’re shooting the breeze on fifteen or so different topics.  Here’s a taste of a few of their comments:

From What aspect of college football should you care about, but really don’t?

Stewart Mandel: I know it sounds bad to say this, but the scandals. I know as a journalist I should be outraged and ready to tear down walls every time any hint of unseemliness arises at a school — be it player arrests, academic scandals, etc. — but I’m just so jaded to it at this point that I pretty much shrug my shoulders.

From Should a two loss LSU team really have won the national title?

Dennis Dodd: Absolutely. Here’s the problem: Once you lose one game in this system, it’s a crapshoot. If you lose two, you’ve got absolutely no argument for being in the national championship game. But last season was the 500-year flood of college football — seven teams with two losses in the top 10 of the BCS in the first week of December.

Someone had to get in. That it was LSU didn’t bother me. In the end, The Tigers benefitted from winning the strongest league in the country. What’s wrong with that?

It was all the outrage that followed that got to me. Why? To me, USC was eliminated because it was the victim of the biggest upset in the game’s history — losing at home at Stanford. I suppose Georgia had a beef but I really got turned off with the whole Michael Adams, Rose Bowl argument. By the end of the day, Georgia looked like donkeys because its actions were a backhanded slap at the Sugar Bowl.

Missouri lost twice to Oklahoma. West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh. LSU was basically the last comic standing when it came time to pick two teams to play for the national championship.

From How should college football be more like the NFL?

Bruce Feldman: I love the NFL playoffs format and the college doesn’t have that. On the opposite side, college football has no such things as games that don’t count in some preseason. I know GMs and NFL execs would argue it helps them decide who should be on their roster and make sound business decisions, but make your cuts off scrimmages and practice.

From Your college football guilty pleasure

Teddy Greenstein: I like when Charlie Weis is interviewed at halftime on NBC with his Irish trailing by four touchdowns.

Definitely a mixed bag…


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Southern hospitality

Time to reminisce, Dawg fans.  Here’s one of the classier moments in the Georgia-Auburn series:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds like Mike Patrick pontificating about taking dead grass home in that clip.  It’s a long way from that to Britney Spears.

(h/t bugboy @ Dawg Run Message Board)

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Filed under Georgia Football