Tag Archives: SEC

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.

Gettin’ ready for some football…

It’s been pretty slow here in my world for the last couple of weeks. However, one of our favorite past times is right around the corner — college football.

My friend, Neil, sent me a link to a new Web site,  and this article on why everyone else in the country hates the Southeastern Conference. I thought it was hysterical…and right on target.

Sometimes it is great to be hated.

 

Caught orange and blue handed

I knew we were in trouble as soon as I opened the mail box. We had been caught.

The envelope from the University of Florida Athletic Association was addressed to “The Family of ‘my late father-in law.’”

Oops! That does not look good.

My father-in-law, who passed away in 2006, bought season tickets to University of Florida football games back in the late 1980s, when they were practically giving them away. Shortly thereafter Steve Spurrier arrived on the scene, followed later by Urban Meyer. The past two decades have included a handful of conference championships, three national championships and two Heisman Trophy winners. The demand for football tickets has risen dramatically.

Like all major football programs, at UF you must make a donation to the athletic association at a certain level to have the privilege of purchasing season tickets. Today that required donation runs into the thousands of dollars. In the late 80s, it was about a tenth of that. So long as Father-in-Law was alive, he was grandfathered in at his original rate. The athletic association will allow a transfer to a son or daughter, but the expected donation would reset at today’s level. So when FIL died in 2006, we conveniently neglected forgot to tell the athletic association about it.

To be blunt, we cannot afford the donation level they require for our seats. They aren’t great seats, and the donation level is near the bottom of the scale, but it’s still much more than Mrs. Poolman and I can afford or justify.

As Mrs. P said, “It’s like the end of an era.”

Our closest friends

I guess we will be spending more fall Saturdays in front of the TV, rather than enjoying the companionship of 92,000 of our closest friends. I hope they will miss us.

Pets, snow and the BCS

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Two of our pets, Casey the Lab and Penny the Fearless, underwent surgery on Friday. Casey had a growth removed from his right-front paw, and Penny was spayed and declawed (front only.) Casey came home shortly after the surgery on Friday, but Penny was held overnight, so we picked her up on Saturday.

Both did very well. With the help of pain medication, the two of them spent most of Saturday curled up together on a pallet in front of the fireplace.

And people still ask us if our dogs and cats get along. Ya think?

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I had originally planned to be in Atlanta for three days this week for the governor’s inauguration, the opening of the legislature and a Board of Regents meeting. Five to eight inches of snow sure changed those plans. It’s just as well. Now I have three open days I hadn’t planned on to get some things done.

We are cold and rainy here, but, fortunately, no signs of snowfall. Just as well — an inch of snow in coastal Georgia would shut the region down until spring.

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The college football season ends tonight. Then we face a seven and a half month drought until the next kickoff. We’ll have the NFL to hang on to for a few more weeks. We’ll be rooting for the Auburn against the “fighting ducklings” in the BCS championship game tonight. As much as I have trouble believing that Auburn’s QB Cam Newton is really as naïve and innocent as his family tries to make out, we’ll pull for the SEC standard bearer – for better or worse. Let’s make it five SEC national champs in a row!

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!

Happy 2010!

I have been off of work for the past week. It has been busy, if not particularly exciting.

I got a call from my friend, Craig, while I was out walking for exercise last Tuesday. He wanted to know if I wanted to go golfing the next day. Normally that isn’t such an unusual call, but neither Craig nor I have played golf in years. I used to play a lot, although I was never any good. A round in the 90s was a great achievement. I fell out of practice when I moved to Savannah in the early 90s. None of my friends played much; it is time consuming and expensive, so I stopped playing frequently. I have probably averaged a round a year for the past ten years.

We went out and hit some balls Tuesday afternoon. Gradually something that vaguely resembled a swing started to come back. However, it was obvious I couldn’t hit anything longer than a 5-iron, even off the tee.

We played on Wednesday, with Craig’s son, Brian. Brian actually has some game and played well. Craig and I didn’t even keep score. I hit a few good shots, but there were a couple of holes on both the front and back where I just “picked up” and said the heck with it. It was still a good time. It was even worth not being able to move the next day without back stiffness.

*    *    *    *

Mrs. Poolman and I spent much of the rest of the week working on the house. Our goal is to clean out our bedroom and paint it. Then, we want to finish out putting hardwood or laminate flooring in the bedrooms. (I put hardwood laminate in the remaining living areas of the house several years ago. That is a story all of its own.)

Since Friday, we dismantled our bed, moved our furniture out of the master bedroom and ripped up some seriously disgusting carpet. (Remember, we have both dogs and cats. The carpet was roughly 14 years old.)

This is still a work in progress. One major issue will be to try to match as closely as possible the hardwood-laminate that is in the rest of the house. We haven’t been able to track down the original brand and color.

Whatever we do, we will hire someone to do the actual installation. I did that once and it took darn near an entire summer of weekends. I have neither the tools nor the expertise (or patience, for that matter) to tackle four individual rooms with all the cutting that would be involved.

At this point the master BR is ready for painting hopefully that will get done tomorrow.

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We had a quiet New Year’s Eve. We stayed at home and cooked a great meal. We picked up some rib eye steaks and a couple of frozen lobster tails at Sam’s Club earlier in the day. I cooked both on the grill while Mrs. P tossed a Caesar Salad. I had never tried grilling the lobster tails, but they turned out GREAT! It certainly is not something we would do for quick-meal work night, but for a special occasion it was phenomenal! We watched a movie on the DVR, but Mrs. Poolman was asleep on the couch before 11 pm. I stayed up past midnight and walked out to greet my neighbors who were shooting off firecrackers. However, I was in bed by 1 am.

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There was an article in the local newspaper about a fatal traffic accident at roughly 2 am New Year’s morning just a couple of blocks from here.  Single car accident. 15-year old driver. (Legal driving age in Georgia is 16.) I feel so sorry for the kids’s family.  I am curious for follow-up information, however. What is heaven’s name is a 15 year old  high school freshman doing out driving at 2 am on New Year’s Eve night? Where were his parents and what did they think happened to the car? What a tragedy!

*    *    *    *

From the Orlando Sentinel

The pride of the Big East conference walked into the teeth of the SEC last night. I’m happy to say that my Gators “schooled” the Cincinnati Bearcats. Better luck next year. Good bye, Tim Tebow! It’s been a great run!

*    *    *    *

Painting tomorrow, followed by “back to work” on Monday.

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.

More on Tennessee football follies

About the time I posted yesterday’s comments on the UT football situation, Coach Kiffin kicked two of the players off the team.  That was the safe course. No one will seriously criticize him for that.

I think I might have suspended the players and waited to see what comes out in court.  Sometimes what something appears to be at first,  doesn’t turn out quite that way in the end. You could always play the “dismiss card” later, when the facts are in.

Well, Lane probably knows more then what is being made public, and, as I wrote yesterday, that’s why he’s making the big bucks.

At least two of those kids had really big potential. They’ve probably totally screwed that now. I hope for their sake they can get their lives together and make something of themselves down the line.

I’m still a big Gator fan, but I can’t chortle over this mess.

Oops! I just reread yesterday’s post. I guess I already did.

A tough call in Knoxville

SEC football fans are a-blog over the arrest late last week of three University of Tennessee football players on charges they tried to rob someone using a pellet gun.

NukeeseSome Florida fans are chortling in their beers over this development. One of the “three “Armed Amigos”, as some are calling them,  Nu’keese (aka: No Keys, or, he hopes, No Case) Richardson is a freshman receiver. He was a center of controversy last winter. Nu’keese was a Florida verbal commit who signed at the last minute with Tennessee. UT coach Lane Kiffen loudly held up (no pun intended) Nu’keese as an example of his recruiting prowess. And Nu’keese was the recruit Kiffen accused Urban Meyer of cheating to get to sign. Nu’keese is not an anonymous freshman.

I don’t  think the fans of any major football power should be laughing too hard. Remember, “those who live in glass houses…” Florida has had its share of problems. To anyone who is snickering, remember, you could be next.

It will be interesting to see how UT handles the issue. Unlike some, I won’t say “throw them out” before their case is ever ajudicated.  That’s too easy. You have to remember these are 18 year old dumb a__s. Would you throw out your own son if he got into trouble? You can’t just ignore it either.   The proper course should be well thought out.  What is best for the players and for justice? I don’t know what the exact right action is. I wonder if Coach Kiffen does. No matter what he chooses, he will be vilified by some group. It’s a no-win situation (kind of like quite a few UT football games this season. Ha!)  That’s why you get paid the big-bucks,  Lane.

Now that I’ve taken the high road, let’s get back down in the ditch for a while.

What do you say to a Tennessee football player when you see him in a suit and tie?

Would the defendant please rise?

The Gators are 10-0 and ranked #1 in the country. Life is good.

Later, Gators!