Thursday, September 07, 2006

Assorted College Football Thoughts

I've been in depositions this week, so my apologies for the light blogging despite the fact that there are now actual games and such to discuss, but anyway, in the few minutes that I haven't been arguing with witnesses who think that they're Bill Clinton and can redefine words like "frustrate" and "learn":

Why is Ted Ginn wearing a punter's facemask? Is he the first position player to wear a kicker's helmet since Joe Theismann? Is this the new cool thing?

The crowd at Gameday's set at Tech was a nice representation of Atlanta's status as the college football UN. I counted signs for at least eight other programs in addition to Tech and Notre Dame. Also, credit to Tech fans for some creative signs, especially the "Calvin: Defeating Catholics since 1509" sign. Compare that level of reference to that of their arch-rival:

Saturday was my first day ever with Gameplan and it made my head spin, first with rage when the games weren't popping up and then with a deep bliss when I could skip to and fro between about ten different games. I got to see Oregon whip up on Stanford, using a variant of the Texas/Northwestern run-based spread. (I think they're the first team in the Pac Ten to take this approach.) Oregon's defense really impressed me, as Stanford has talent on offense (ask Notre Dame) and they shut the Cardinal down. I got to see Alabama's broadcasters in ridiculous Hawaiian shirts. (The Tide's broadcast also included their jumbotron intro, which is cool as hell, especially because it makes the Bear sound especially drunk.) I got to watch some of the Florida-Southern Miss game and marvel at Sun Sports' ability to mess up the color on the screen. I got to watch Steve Slaton tear shit up for three quarters. Speaking of Steve, here's my fantasy team for the year. Pray for the health and production of the following upstanding individuals:

John David Booty
Shawn Bell
Mark Sanchez

Steve Slaton
Yvenson Bernard
Antonio Pittman
Courtney Lewis

Joel Filani
Courtney Taylor
Greg Carr
Dominique Ziegler

Joe Newton
Kellen Davis

Texas Defense
Auburn Defense

And if you're asking yourself "who the hell are Shawn Bell and Dominique Ziegler?," we are betting hard on Guy Morriss's Leach-ification of the Baylor offense. Seven points against TCU isn't an overly encouraging start, but the Bears did throw for almost 300 yards against one of the better opponents they'll play this year. With USC off this week, the AirBear offense had better click against mighty Northwestern State. And one other fantasy note: after franchising Maurice Clarett, Mike Williams, and Vernand Morency for the past three years, a sole tear of relief cascaded down my cheek when Steve Slaton took his first handoff on Saturday, as he was the first franchised player to play for Team Peace/Elkon in ages.

Strangely enough, I got a dirty look from a female Tech fan at Taco Mac in Decatur on Saturday night when I shouted "SALADS!!!" every time Charlie Weis would appear on the screen.

And speaking of females, the line of the weekend from the wife after I opined that Hawaii doesn't really run the ball, but instead uses the shovel pass from the shotgun in place of a running game: "Is that a cultural thing?"


peacedog said...

We just need this start out of Bell and then it's Booty for like 11 weeks. And by the time we need a QB again, we'll have probably cut Sanchez and gotten someone capable for that last start.

Also, I don't think we discussed this enough saturday - Slaton is mother f*cking electric.

Also, people might wonder what the draftable pool of players is - the five big conferences + the Big Least (don't misunderstand me, we love that conference slate for WVU).

Ed said...

Too bad Georgia Tech was “predestined” to lose. Looks like the whore of Babylon can field a pretty good football team.

Let me get this straight. First, you went to a place called the Taco Mac for the Ga. Tech-ND game. Second, at this location, you were hurling fat jokes at the screen to the point of annoying a fellow customer. Let me congratulate you on your prodigious legal ability – I don’t know too many lawyers who are sixteen.

Michael said...

Taco Mac actually has an excellent beer menu, which is the main reason why I go. They have something like 92 beers on draft and another 200+ in bottles. Plus, there are TVs everywhere, which makes it a great place to watch games.

Regarding the fat jokes, they're an integral part of college football, or maybe I'm biased having rooted for Georgia during the Phil Fulmer salad days in the late 90s. As for your last sentence, my wife is probably nodding furiously as I type.

What did you think of the ND game?

Anonymous said...

Calvin sign was great.

My personal favorite had to be:

"Rudy was offsides"

Ed said...

I think that your perspective on the ND game depends on where you rated the Irish at the beginning of the season. If you had them around 9 or 10 in your imaginary poll, then ND fared quite well. They went into a hostile stadium against a good team, weathered an early storm, and dominated for the last 35 minutes of the game. In the process, they looked better-coached and better-conditioned than their opponent. Job well done.

If you had them as a leading NC contender poised to run the table, however, then the evaluation gets considerably stricter. ND has major issues at strong-side linebacker, a qb/offensive line that can be rattled by well-crafted blitzing, and a defensive line that generates little pressure of its own. Oh, and to coin a Michaelism, there’s that pesky “can’t make a field goal” thing. There’s much work to be done.

So there you have it. Think they beat Penn State, though. None too sure about Michigan.

Oh, and I understand about the weight issue. Many times I’ve chortled at the Quaker Oats guy from West Lafayette....

Michael said...

Ed, I think that's a fair assessment of the Irish after one week. Since we were both in the "good, but not great" camp for them, their performance was about what one would expect. The offense struggled more than I thought it would, mainly because Quinn, like most other QBs, can be rattled by pressure. The defense was a little better than expected, especially in pass coverage, although Tech's one-man offense can make lots of defenses look good. Right now, the three teams who look like they can exploit ND's average pass rush and corners are Michigan State, UCLA, and USC. Michigan will be on that list if they shore up the right side of their offensive line, but typically, they only figure out their best personnel groupings after the Notre Dame game, so expect the Irish to generate plenty of pressure against UM.