Tag Archives: alabama

Let’s talk a little college football

The great thing about football season is you never run out of things to talk about. This week, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Florida coach Will Muschamp fired some shots at each other. Since Will is one of Nick’s protégés it makes it all the more interesting. Nick isn’t happy with the way the BCS bowls will be selected after the conference games.

One of the unfair elements of the process is that those voting in the various polls tend to look at a team’s losses, not their wins. So this year, Alabama and Georgia both have one loss and will play for the conference championship. However, the loser of that game will have a second loss and almost definitely be ranked behind one-loss Florida in the BCS rankings.  Because they won’t play in the conference championship, Florida won’t have the “opportunity” to pick up that additional loss. That means Florida will probably get a BCS invitation, while the Alabama-Georgia loser will not.

No fair! Says Nick.

“It’s not really a great scenario for either team. You play your way into the championship game, which means you’re the best team in your division. It doesn’t seem quite right. I don’t feel good about it for our football team or their football team.”

Actually, I agree. What’s interesting, however, is that Nick didn’t express that opinion last year when his Alabama team…

1.) Finished second to LSU in the Western Division and did not go to the championship game.

2.) Advanced to the #2 BCS ranking, when Georgia lost to LSU.

3.) Picked up the SEC’s second BCS invitation, to the national championship game.

4.) Won the national championship even though they did not win their division or play in the conference championship.

I love a little hypocrisy.

By the way, Muschamp’s response – “I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta and play the ‘Dogs. Be careful what you wish for Nick.”

Is young Will channeling a little Stevie Spurrier?

Meanwhile the discrepancy in the strengths of the conferences is creating some interesting situations.

Georgia Tech, with a 6-6 record, will play FSU in the ACC conference game this weekend. If they win, they get a bid for a BCS bowl, probably the Orange Bowl. Meanwhile, the Big East doesn’t have a single team in the top 25, but guess what conference does? The MAC! Right now, Kent (“Four dead in O-hi-o”) State could move into the top 16 with a win in their conference championship game.  The BCS rules state that a school not from a “guaranteed-bid” conference earns a spot in one of the BCS bowls if it finishes in the top 16, and is ahead of the top-ranked team from one of the “guaranteed-bid” conferences.

If you were running the Orange Bowl, how excited would you be to host a 7-6 Georgia Tech playing Kent State? (Sorry, son-in law.)  One columnist, Pat Dooley, from the Gainesville Sun, wrote he wouldn’t watch that game if were played in his backyard.

Don’t ya love college football?

It’s November, and in the college football world, fans are starting to get riled up over the BCS rankings. I read an article on FOX.com yesterday  that projected LSU getting to the national championship game without even winning its division, let alone winning its conference. As much of a travesty that would be (It seems like almost anything involving Les Miles is a travesty.), I am even more amused over the debate regarding the “mid majors.”

As anyone who reads me knows, I am a big University of Florida football fan. It follows that I am also an SEC fan. Almost every year, we watch the SEC beat itself up.

This year is a good example. The three top teams in the SEC are probably Auburn, Alabama and LSU. So…

Auburn beat LSU.

LSU beat Alabama.

Alabama will play Auburn on Thanksgiving weekend, and may beat them.

So who is the best of that trio?

Of one thing you can be certain – when you play a schedule year-in and year-out that includes teams like Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, etc., and you come out ahead, you know you have a good team. To one degree or another, the same could be said about the rest of the major conferences.

Outside of those conferences, the “mid-majors” are another question. Schools like TCU, Boise State and, until last weekend, Utah, are portrayed as the raggedy urchins, left standing out in the cold; noses pressed to the window; and waiting for the BCS schools to throw them some table scraps.

I’ll concede that it is possible TCU or Boise State MAY be the best team in the country. The problem is – how will we ever know? They run up impressive records and statistics, while playing schedules consisting of Sister Mary’s School for the Deaf and Blind.

Utah was another school that was considered a top contender.

Donna McMillan - AP

They were undefeated and had accumulated impressive stats while playing a bunch of weak sisters. They were ranked in the top ten of all polls. Then they played TCU. They not only lost; they were blown out of the stadium by 40 points!

Oops! Maybe we were wrong.

The pseudo-logic that supported Utah’s claim to a ranking is also the same logic that supports Boise State and TCU.

So what is the answer? Since it doesn’t look like a playoff is going to happen anytime soon, I put the burden back on those “mid-major” schools.

If you want to be considered one of the “big boys,” then act like one. Improve your schedule. Join a stronger conference. Improve your own conference. If you can run a gauntlet like an SEC schedule, then someone may take you seriously.

PS to Boise State: Paint your field the right color!

Normally, I'm a big fan of orange and blue...but really!

You may think the blue field makes you special, but the rest of us just laugh and point to it as another example of you being a minor league player.

 

Only eight and a half more months!

I stayed up late last night to watch the Alabama-Texas game. Unfortunately, I missed the best part of the game. At half-time, it looked as if the Tide had it in their pocket and it was just a matter of running out the clock in the second half. I ended up dozing off early in the second half and completely missed the Longhorns comeback. I awoke as the game ended and saw the final score. I thought the blow out had just continued.  I didn’t realize there was any drama until I listened to the radio on the way to work. I hate it when these games are on work nights.

I was very happy to see Alabama win. That is four years in a row for SEC teams. Florida finished third in the polls with a 13-1 record and a Sugar Bowl win against previously undefeated Big East champ Cincinnati. It would have been fun to have watched the Gators play last night, but I can’t complain about that kind of season.

We have a guy here at work who is a Florida State fan. He is always trying to lump the SEC and the ACC together as “southern football.” Sorry, pal, that just doesn’t hold water, at least not for the past several years. In the last weekend of the regular season the ACC division winners (Georgia Tech and Clemson) were soundly beaten by two middle-of-the-pack SEC East teams (Georgia and South Carolina.) What else do you need to know?

The SEC did not have the best bowl record, but then again, the SEC sent 10 of its 12 teams to bowls. Does it really matter that an ACC runner up (Clemson) beat a team that finished fifth out of six teams in the SEC East (Kentucky)? Both SEC’s BCS teams won big.

As there is every year, there is a lot of grumbling out there about the so-called mid-majors and the BCS system. Some radio guys were talking about mounting a protest and voting Boise State #1. I actually have some sympathy for the Boise States of the world, but too much. If you really want to be taken seriously and walk with the big boys, then start acting like one. Upgrade your program and play a serious schedule. Either join a serious conference or upgrade your own. In Boise State’s case, joining the PAC 10 (then 11) would make perfect sense. You go undefeated against that competition and we’ll take you seriously. However, when you play one or two decent teams (especially real early in the season) and then flesh out your schedule with Sister Mary’s School for the Deaf and Blind and the Montana School for Cattle Rustlers, you won’t be taken seriously. Playing a Mountain West or WAC schedule simply does not match up against playing Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, etc week in and week out. You MAY be the best team in the country, but we’ll never know for sure.

Let’s see, signing day is about a month away; spring practice about 3 months down the road and summer camp a few months after that. Fall kick off in 8 and a half months. Can’t wait!

The “Tide” keeps rolling

We’ll the Gator’s failed to show up for the SEC Championship Game last night. Some other group of guys with white helmets played Alabama. Is there a BOLO out for the Florida football team? Last seen leaving Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on I-85.

I did call my friend/neighbor, Birdie, last night after the game. He is a serious Alabama fan and has been in some state of misery or another for most of the past decade.  He wouldn’t come down and watch the game with us Gator fans. He gets too emotional. Last year, his wife came down to watch for a while. She couldn’t take it and had to leave during the fourth quarter. If I hadn’t called and congratulated him, I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the eye the next time I saw him.

I’m very sorry the Gators didn’t win the game and the conference championship, but you still have to look at a 12-1 record and a BCS bowl game as a very successful season. The way the season was set up, it was almost as if anything less than a second consecutive national championship would be a tragedy.  That’s neither fair nor realistic. I’m very happy with what they accomplished this year.

We had a house full of company all weekend. The next-younger generation (20s) stayed up very late both Friday and Saturday night partying. Us old folks went to bed.  They are all gone now and we have the house back to ourselves.  Mrs. Poolman and I are going to enjoy the last half of a Sunday being slugs.

Here’s to slugdom!

By the way, if you happen to run into the Gator football team, tell them there is still a bunch of people looking for them. Check the milk cartons.

Mid-week rambles

I haven’t posted in a couple of days, so here are some random thoughts.

Tiger Woods’ family problems seem to be the headline on all the sports talk radio this week. I hope he gets his life back together, but it’s going to be tough. I do have one issue with Tiger. His initial response to the charged included a shot at the news media for giving the story so much play. Sorry, Tiger, you are a celeb. You are celeb, because you wanted to be a celeb. You have made a TON of money off of your status. You may have earned your golf winnings with your skill, but all that endorsement money is due to celebrity status. Do you think Nike is paying you millions because of your golf swing? The downside to celebrity is that when something goes bad, the sharks start feasting. Celebrity is a two-sided sword. You made your bed. Hope you can sleep in it. (or whatever and whoever you choose to do)

The biggest game of Florida’s season is coming up Saturday afternoon, the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.

Last year's game

This should be a very good game. I’m not making any predictions. I think the Gators match up fairly well, but I think this is going to come down to field possession, turnovers and someone breaking a big play. Let’s hope it’s the Gators!

We’ll be watching the game in Gator Central (aka our family room.) This will be the last game for the “Gator altar.”

"The altar"

Mrs. Poolman will take it down after the game and redecorate the fireplace for Christmas. The altar will go back up after the first of the year for the bowl game. Gotta keep the karma going.

My sister sent me an email with this picture, and I cracked up.

Don't you wish you had thought of this?

Better count ’em, Santa! You might be missing one.

A football weekend & movie review

We had such a lazy weekend. It was great.

Mrs. Poolman had a work-related event on Friday. Once a year, they have a reunion of the former baby/patients and families. It’s a big party.  Mrs. Poolman is a regular participant.  She helps the kids make paper flowers or something of the like.

I ran some errands on Saturday morning and then utilized the help of one of my friends with a pickup truck to take an old couch to the dump. Later I made a big pot of chili for our informal football viewing party Saturday evening.

Football thoughts….

TCodyAlabama barely held on to beat Tennessee on a blocked field goal by nose tackle Terrence Cody. This guy is 370 pounds. He is big enough to have his own gravitational field, which I think just sucks the ball to him.

Florida’s offense played poorly, but won again. Tim Tebow threw up two “pick sixes.” (That’s an interception run back for a TD, for you non-football fans.) He hasn’t been quite the same since the concussion in the Kentucky game. I hope he is OK, and especially for this weekend’s game with Georgia in Jacksonville.

We had a few folks over to watch the game. It wasn’t a formal party, just some friends and fellow-fans watching the game together.

percy-harvin-siOn Sunday, the Steelers beat Brett Favre and the Vikings. One Gator favorite-son, Percy Harvin, ran back a kick off for a TD. I hated to see that against the Steelers, but if someone was going to do it, I’m glad it was a Gator.

Sunday evening, Mrs. Poolman and I watched “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds on DVD. ProposalThis movie had a lot of potential but fell short. I’m sure you probably have heard of the plot. Bullock convinces her secretary, Reynolds, to marry her so she can avoid being deported to Canada. The film has a good cast with Mary Steenbergen and Craig T Nelson playing Reynolds’ Alaska parents and Betty White his grandmother.  It all goes along fine, until the Reynolds character decides he is actually in love with Bullock. The problem is this. The writers failed to give Bullock’s character any redeeming social graces at all. She plays a cold-hearted bitch who even the dog hates. When Reynolds decides he loves her and chases her down, the plot falls off the end of the cliff. It would have been a much better movie if the writers had given Bullock just a little charisma and “likeability.”

Back to work today. It is a short week, due to another furlough day on Friday. The timing works well on a personal level. The Florida-Georgia game is always one of our big parties of the year. Mrs. Poolman’s family will be coming up from Jacksonville for the weekend and we’ll have a bunch of other friends over too. We may have to segregate the viewing areas by teams like they do in the stadium. Ha!

Go Gators!