Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boeheim Probably Going To Be Shown the Door

Right or wrong, I never felt totally comfortable with Joe Paterno getting the heave-ho. While I can definitely understand that perspective (and can't say that there is anything wrong with it), I just sit on the side that Joe didn't really know what all was going on. If he had actually known, then I'd of been all about kicking him out.

Whether he should have known or not, I guess that's what determines your feelings towards Joe Paterno's exit. And that's fair. I feel it's just a sad situation all around.

On to Bernie Fine. And Jim Boeheim.

If you follow the protocol/logic of the Penn State situation - how does Jim Boeheim survive? Boeheim says he's not worried about his job status. Boeheim is a bit of an asshole, so the "I don't worry about it" thing is probably just his way. But man, if I were him, I'd start filling my Netflix queue with all the free time I'd about to have.

There's no way he survives this, right? I don't see enough difference between Penn State and Syracuse to come to any other conclusion.

What's more - why is Boeheim still on the sideline?

What does the Syracuse administration know that would make them feel comfortable by not taking any action on Boeheim to this point? And should that make me reconsider the position that Boeheim is probably on the way out?

It may once again come back to what did Boeheim know. Was there ever a report to Boeheim about the accusations?

But again, if the Paterno pattern is followed - shouldn't he have known?

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week 13 Continues

Iron Bowl Saturday is here, and since Nick and the Tide have to sit out a week, they're going to leave something for everyone to remember them by. I just don't see how Auburn scores twice today. They need non-offensive touchdowns in the worst way to make this any kind of a game. I'm up against the clock, so on to the picks:

(We're 5-2 so far this holiday weekend, so let's all be thankful for that.)

Plays at the number that I got them at or bought to:

Ohio State +8 ('The Welcome Urban Meyer Party')
Georgia Tech +5
Alabama -20'
Florida 3'
South Carolina -3


And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Because it's on my mind: B.S. personal foul call against Texas A&M last night. Refs have got to quit anticipating calls (in all sports - I'm looking at you, Tim Higgins), because this is the crap that loses teams ballgames.

Of course, if you're an Aggie, it seems that second halves also lose you ballgames.

These people are all fools.
Those of you who stayed up all night for midnight sales - you're a fool. I'll sit on my couch Monday and get good deals, online, from my nice and comfortable couch.

How will I pay for all that good stuff? With these...

Tulsa +3'
Arkansas/LSU over 52'
LSU -11'
California +7

Make that paper.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Stuffing

From Georgia fan Steve:
If things fall into place, every BCS conference champ could have at least 2 losses, yet the title game might include two teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in their conference. It amazes me no one is discussing this scenario. I know you are a Bama fan, but talk about some bullshit. And yes, I am still not over 2007.

ACC: Clemson
Big East: Someone terrible
Big Ten: MSU or PSU/Wisky
Big-12: Oklahoma
Pac-12: Oregon or UCLA/Utah
SEC: Georgia
I would say that you're not, Steve.

I can't sit here and say that this all "won't happen", because the last week and a half of college football has pretty much proven to me that just about anything can happen.

Alabama fans should rejoice in this - just to think that you cold actually be better off NOT going to the SEC title game. Pretty crazy.

As for Bulldog Steve's scenarios, I've seen Georgia play football in person this year. And while they are playing much better than the weekend I saw Chris Relf overthrow Sanford Stadium, I'm not sure the SEC East Bulldogs can match up physically with Alabama or LSU.

Georgia's turned out to be a pretty good football team - especially since they remembered they had Isaiah Crowell in the backfield. He's getting about 4 more carries a game since September, and reports are that he's back in a regular jersey (no more non-contact - that's for wusses). He needs to be getting it 22-25 times a game. Your best player, give him the ball. I'm hopeful he'll crack 1,000 yards this weekend against the Yellow Jackets.

On to business. Since it's Turkey Day, here are some items to be thankful for:

Detroit +4'
Baltimore -3
Texas/Texas A&M under 53'

Go fill up that belly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Gusta Basketbol de Alabama

Well done by Anthony Grant's crew in Puerto Rico. What was a disaster a year ago, turned out this time to be a good trip to Puerto Rico. I'm obviously excited about this team, as I have always been a bit fair-weathered on Alabama's football team - I have always been a Bama basketball fan. Which is why I disliked Gottfried so much.

Here's what I like and don't like about the team:

Like #1) As Doug Gottlieb gushed over throughout Sunday's broadcast, this team is full of athletes that are playing hard. It's a big deal if you can get that to happen. It's a bit of a mid-major (VCU-ish?) method - you may not have the best basketball players, but you make up for talent deficiencies with superior effort.

Good news for Alabama - they've actually got some good players, too. Good players, that are athletes, that play hard is a good combination.

Like #2) Trevor Lacey. At least so far. I think it's fair to say that he is the best of the three freshmen (Cooper, Levi, and Lacey), but he doesn't start. If Anthony Grant has done what I think he's done, then this really will be a tough team.

I believe that Grant has communicated to Lacey that he likes him as a player, and that he probably is the best of the three freshmen. But he needs Lacey's minutes to come and help him with Releford. Lacey can bring the ball up, and while there will be times when it's Releford at the 1 with Lacey at the 2, Bama needs some quality minutes when Releford's on the bench - something that our boy Eblin just can't do.

He appears to have accepted this role - which is important for such a young team.

Like #3) As mentioned, we can all look forward to less Ben Eblin on the floor. That is a good thing for everyone.

Like #4) Levi Randolph. Kid does not play like a freshman. Brings the ball up, hasn't made many mistakes, and plays his butt off on defense. Really with he and Rodney Cooper - when either one is in the game or has the ball, does it seem like either is a freshman? They just both play with a lot of confidence.

And for better or worse, with this, it appears that Charles Hankerson is quickly making his way out of the rotation. Nice knowing you, Hank!

The Swede doesn't do it for me.
Dislike #1) The Swede is no good. Gets pushed around, and comes across as having zero basketball IQ. It's a shame that so many 7-footers just don't understand the game or lack that aggression that would make them great. But I guess not everyone can be Patrick Ewing.

Among Engstrom's issues, are that he just gets flat-out outplayed by anyone that is around him. Players 4 to 6 inches shorter than he just put him to the side and take him out of what should be good rebounding opportunities. If Swede's in the game for five minutes, he'll cost Bama 3-4 second chance possessions (offense and defense).

I was hoping that he could give Bama 8 to 10 minutes a game. Doesn't look like that's going to be possible. That leaves Bama with a low post presence of only JaMychal Green and (I guess) Nick Jacobs. That's it - check out the roster, you'll see.

And when JaMychal gets in foul trouble in an SEC game - it's going to be a problem.

Dislike #2) This is a nitpick. Tony Mitchell needs to tone it down. I've just got a feeling that he could be spending the year trying out for the NBA. He's crazy streaky, and I'm just concerned that when he's on a cold streak he'll try to push through it and possibly put Bama into a bad spot. Really just depends on where his head's going to be once more people start to take notice of him.

It's all good now, but challenges await with VCU, Georgetown, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State all in December. (Who would have thought Bama could actually schedule some games? Mark Gottfried told us all that no one would play them...)

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 12's Cam Newton Plan

Wow. Well it didn't take long to get Bama fans back to reserving rooms on Bourbon Street.

And to think - it was done with a bunch of players recruited by... Gene Chizik. (Dah Dah duuuhhhh)

More thoughts on this later. But right now, we've got 'bidness to tend to...

Texas A&M -30'
Michigan -3
South Florida -1
Notre Dame -23'
Texas -7

Some more plays likely to come later. Keep checking back and please send a link to a friend. The site's doing well over the past two months, let's keep it going.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

B to the Izzy

I have been asked where I've been this week. You know, no posts and all. I thought about it and went and asked Merriam–Webster:

1.
A) engaged in action : occupied
B) being in use (found the telephone busy)

2.
full of activity : bustling (a busy seaport)

3.
foolishly or intrusively active : meddling

4.
full of distracting detail (a busy design)

I'm partial to definitions three and four. Those probably describe me best.

But busy is good, right?

Quick basketball thought:

I did have an opportunity to see Alabama play Maryland earlier this evening. I think it's fun when Alabama is competitive in basketball - or even just a group that plays hard. That had been lost in the last five years of Gottfried's reign. Mark had quit caring (or making any kind of an effort), and it was reflected on the floor.

Anthony Grant's got some talent coming in - which Gottfried was able to do. The difference is that Grant (to this point) is keeping that talent in school or at Alabama, and he's got them playing hard.

Makes a big difference and sets the tone for the program.

Hopefully, Tony Mitchell won't spend the year trying out for the NBA, and if they can get 12 minutes a game out if Nick Jacobs and the Swede down low, I like Bama as a potential second weekend team.

And, as you've probably realized, the only purpose of this post was to make a post. Hope we are all better off for it.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What a Terrible Football Program Looks Like

A real football program and athletic department wouldn't allow this to happen. If any Memphis fans continue to gripe about getting passed over for BCS conference additions - show them this.


And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Week 11 College Plays

Getting a late start to the morning. Here are the 11 o'clocks, more picks coming.

Penn State +3
Missouri pk
Pittsburgh +3'

And if anyone last night caught my karaoke performance of "Bette Davis Eyes", you're welcome.

Okay, now settled in. More plays for the afternoon:

Georgia -12
Texas A&M -5
Illinois pk

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What I Think Joe Pa Did(n't Do)

I'm torn a bit on this one, as I don't want to defend someone in an indefensible position.

The Penn State stuff really is sad. And I know that the real victims in all this are those young men who were violated, abused, and just put through something that is just truly unimaginable. I honestly cannot wrap my head around it.

I just saw Matt Millen's commentary (Tuesday) on ESPN, and it's obvious that there are lots of emotions involved for everyone.



It's sad, frustrating, and infuriating.

What comes next in the space is NOT a defense of this behavior, or of any individual. But I want to get into the reaction towards Joe Paterno's future.

The topic - In Light of These Accusations, Should Joe Paterno Be Allowed to Coach Anymore?

I have been reading and listening to the commentary towards what should be done with Joe Paterno. It is overwhelmingly positioned that Joe Pa should be pushed out. I got to talk a little bit about the situation with my friend Lance Taylor of WJOX. LT is a parent - 2 kids - and on the phone, he told me he thinks there's no way Joe Paterno survives. This may be true, and I think that parents, the victims and their parents, and lots of people agree.

He's the face of the program where all of these activities occurred. And it's easily arguable that he's responsible, and that he didn't do enough to protect these children.

Totally fair to say.

But I don't know if I agree. I'm not saying that I don't agree - just that I don't know. I really wish I couldn't sit the fence on this one, but I am a believer in due process, and Joe Paterno is not (at this point) being investigated in the abuse or the cover-up.

I have read the entire report. You can here, as well. It is not pretty.

Paterno probably didn't understand
what was going on.
I like to think of things in how they actually went down - not how they should have gone down, or what would be the politically correct story. From reading the report, I have my opinion of how this actually happened. I shared my thoughts with LT, and he said it really was possible that this was how it all went down. Again, my opinion only on what Joe Paterno did:

I think that the graduate assistant saw Sandusky and the boy just as it was described. And the GA flipped out, didn't know who to tell. He finally decides to go to Joe Paterno. The problem is that Joe is 70-something years old at this time, and I would imagine that telling a septuagenarian about a football coach sodomizing a child is very uncomfortable. And I think that the GA had one of those conversations where he attempted to tell Joe Pa what happened without actually saying what happened.

And Joe didn't make the connection. At least not fully. It's clear (to me, at least) that there is some grey in the report as to how specific the information that Joe Paterno had about the 2002 incident was. In the report, Joe Pa reports to Tim Curley (the athletic director) that something "sexual in nature" was reported to have occurred.

What may be "sexual in nature" to you and me may not be to Joe. Paterno really could have thought that it was towel-snapping or a butt-slap (like you see all the time on the football field). I'm not saying that the coach doing these activities with a child is appropriate - but Joe wasn't thinking sodomy when he was thinking "sexual in nature".

Remember, Joe Paterno was born in 1926. When Joe's views on the world were being formed - sexual conversation was not normal. And definitely not child sexual abuse. I believe that the GA got to Joe's house and couldn't quite get the right words out. And Joe Pa wasn't sure exactly what he was talking about.

As we said, Paterno reported it to the administrators. Here is another area where we have some grey - the report makes no more mention of anyone reporting this behavior to Joe Paterno. I think it's possible that Paterno reported this information (at this point - 2002 - not knowing if it was true or not) and never heard anything about it again.

Should he have followed up? Probably so. I think I would have.

But I'm not Joe Paterno. I'm also not (at the time) a 70-something and also not been told that a guy I coached football with (and who was likely a friend) for a long time was inappropriately touching/fondling little boys. But if I was in Paterno's position, it's not a conversation that I'd be looking to have.

It's just uncomfortable. I'm not saying that's an excuse for not following up - it's just probably why he didn't. He didn't hear anything else about it, and Joe probably assumed that nothing was found and everything was fine. He hadn't ever heard of or thought that Sandusky did these types of things. He was a fellow football coach, after all. One that he coached with for many years.

I think it came down to a miscommunication between Paterno and the GA, and an assumption that Joe Pa made that the investigation didn't reveal anything.

Was the responsibility still Paterno's at this point? A lot of talking heads have claimed he had a moral obligation to bring this to the authorities. Perhaps (and in retrospect, he should have). But he did what he did - thinking it was the right action to take. And when nothing new or update was given to him, he figured it was over. I know it's unfortunate, but I bet that's how it happened.

We all know that Joe comes from a different era where topics like this were extremely taboo and difficult. He miscommunicated and assumed.

Does that miscommunication and assumption justify pushing Paterno out?

I still don't know.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Early Shopping For the Holiday Season

This was just sent my way. New Daniel Moore print to commemorate LSU/Alabama '11...

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What We (I) Learned Yesterday

Great football Saturday. It was a long one - as I decided to act like I was 22 years old for about 48 hours. Stayed out until 4:30am Friday night - then woke up and left Birmingham for Tuscaloosa at 9:30.

Every muscle in my body is sore.

What an incredibly long day it was. From my cloudy state of mind, I've got a few game thoughts to share:

1) Les Miles likes Jordan Jefferson more than he likes Jarrett Lee.

And that's why he was the starter going into the season. When it really got to nut-cutting time Saturday night, it was Jefferson - not Lee - behind center. Keep in mind I haven't seen a replay or a recap, but I don't remember Lee playing after his second half pick.

It's unfortunate for Lee, because all the kid did was win, but I would not be surprised to see Jordan Jefferson starting for LSU from here on out.

2) Jim McElwain has me totally frustrated.

I'll need to go back and confirm this, but why did Alabama abandon their hurry-up offense after the initial drive? If they didn't, it felt like they did. Bama's first drive, which yielded no points on a missed field goal (more on these coming up), was actually a very good looking drive that - save one play - that had LSU on their heels and Bama in plus territory in just two plays.

What did the Tide in during the first series was a 1st and 10 that lost about six, and Bama didn't recover. I have not gone back to watch the game yet, but I don't recall them using this hurry-up again. Aside from that one play, it was a solid drive that just didn't result in points.

Why abandon this?

3) AJ McCarron may not be ready for Prime Time.

Not to say that he isn't a good QB. He is. But just a good one, not a great one. I just saw that, against an elite defense, there were several rushed throws (those sideline outs felt like they were in the air forever), and never got the impression that the Tide coaching staff was confident enough in either McCarron or the receiving corp to go out and win the game.

I'm sure there were some plays and statistics that prove me wrong on this - but I never felt confident that McCarron would 'win' the game for Bama. Just a feeling.

4) That being said - why not go Dexter McCluster with Trent Richardson?

Better yet - why not go Mark Ingram? What I'm saying here is that a few years back, Dexter McCluster was the only player Ole Miss had. Although it took him 2/3 of a season, Houston Nutt finally figured out that on every play, he either had to give the ball to McCluster or make it look like they were giving him the ball. Mark Ingram would tear teams up through the wildcat with continuous 5/6 yard games.

Give it to him.
Why not just do this with Trent? This was the national title game, after all. Give it your best player every play. No need to fool around.

Perhaps that's a little simplistic, but if you don't think a game plan consisting of giving it to Trent Richardson or faking it to Richardson every play would be effective, then I think you'd be wrong.

As I'm writing this - I've gotten to a DVR recording of the game and have started watching. Trent is running like a truck. I'm seeing 23 carries for Trent - should of been 40. Not kidding.

5) That Maze wildcat pass was a terrible playcall, terrible idea all-around.

I can understand being aggressive, and don't really have a problem with that. But this again takes your best player out of the action. Why, on a drive that had Bama driving down the field - with a Heisman candidate at your disposal - you'd take that risk is just a bit much for me. (And I'm a guy who likes the the A-11.)


That's really it. I'm not piling on kickers, which I understand is happening in some other spaces. Those kids know that you don't score if you don't put it through the uprights.

The BCS shows the Tide at #3, with Stanford hanging out at the 4 spot. I spoke with my old radio bud (and fellow Annistonian) Ryan Brown of WJOX this evening who explained to me that this situation makes a rematch very much a possibility. You obviously need Oklahoma State to drop a game and Oregon to beat Stanford.

Where it would get the most bizarre is that if Arkansas beat LSU (including the OK State & Stanford losses). That'd give you a three-way tie in the SEC West. Which gives you a really weird tiebreaker. There are eight tiers to the tie break, and I believe this situation would push it all the way to #8:
The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.
Which would mean that (again, Arkansas has beaten LSU, and LSU was still ranked ahead of Arkansas in the BCS) Alabama could be the #1 BCS team in the country, and would sit out the SEC Championship game. LSU would win that, and then (very likely) head to New Orleans to for the BCS Championship game against... #1 Alabama.

Weird how this works, right? I had to have Ryan explain it twice to me so that I was sure.

But even without the Arkansas upset, if OK State and Stanford fall, it doesn't look like there'd be any other option than the rematch.

So not all hope is lost, Bama fans.

It's not exactly how you would have planned it, but it seems like it would behoove Crimson Tiders to become Sooner and Duck fans. Bourbon Street could still be in your future.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Day of Dread Has Finally Arrived. Week 10 College Football Plays.

Well, it's finally here. Bama/LSU, and the honest emotions are mixed. At least those of the 30 year old variety.

Here's how we see today. It's going to be great, but... It's going to be a loooonng day. And can we handle it?

Is it a sign if age that - on one of the biggest college football days in memory - all my friends can think about is how we scares we are of drinking for that long, with a game that late? It is a CBS 7 o'clock kick, after all. We ain't getting out of that stadium til 11.

It's going to be a disaster.

The whole day will be. I'm leaving Birmingham now, and I keep getting visions of what it will all look like.

I'm picturing Tuscaloosa like its a scene out of 300. Bodies flying everywhere, all fending for themselves. In Tuscaloosa today, Lord of the Flies will be tested.

I hope I survive it. Pictures to come.

Today's plays, at the number that I got or bought:

Alabama -4 (Say what you will, but I like Bama today. And my bet slip shows it.)

South Carolina +5'

Texas -13'

Iowa +4'

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LSU/Alabama Rolls On

LSU/Alabama week continues. As most of my friends are Alabama fans, these are some of the images that come across my news feed.

I don't know when or where this was. But if it was
the Strip in Tuscaloosa... well, that's hilarious.
And our boy TBLTT has gone grocery shopping in preparation of LSU fans coming to Tuscaloosa...

Nose pins & Febreze. Apply evenly.

And if you've got any photos/images you want to share to smack talk, send them on. Pro-Bama or pro-LSU. Doesn't matter to me.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.