Monday, November 26, 2012

Good Message Board Fodder

Came across this fantastic bit of Internet trolling, courtesy of the Palm Beach Post:
Alabama coach Nick Saban does not like Florida’s path to BCS game

There are high stakes for the upcoming SEC championship game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia.

The winner will play for a national title. The loser likely will slip out of the BCS bowls entirely, falling behind No. 4 Florida. That would put the Gators in the Sugar Bowl.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban doesn't think that is fair.

“It’s not really a great scenario for either team,” he said on a teleconference Sunday. “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.”

Saban and Gators coach Will Muschamp are longtime co-workers. They were together at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins.

Florida (11-1) is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Sugar Bowl. The Gators are No. 4 in the BCS and should not finish third or fourth. The top four teams are assured spots in BCS games as long as no conference sends more than two teams. It will be hard for a two-loss Alabama or Georgia team to stay ahead of the Gators.
Nick ain't happy. But is he ever happy?
The comments, of course, are divided and hysterical. All depending on what colors you bleed.

While the obvious is there, "Nick Saban must have a short memory," I don't think this report was fully developed.

Of course the post was intended to spark some controversy. Everyone is going to jump to their respective defense, but what is ignored in the piece is that last year Georgia was #12 going into that game and likely to not go to a BCS bowl without winning the SEC Championship.

As LSU beat Georgia 42-10, I think we all knew going in that it was a long shot for UGA to pull off the upset. If you want to take Saban’s statement and apply them to that year, it would of been a shame for LSU to not go to a bowl game if they had lost the SEC Championship. So, in the case of 2012, it would be a shame for Alabama to not go to a BCS bowl should they lose Saturday.

That’s what he’s saying.

But it is fantastic for some Internet fodder. Troll on!

Follow me on Twitter. Do it for America. @harry_long

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Confidence On A Bus

I'm on a bus with a bunch of fools heading down to Tuscaloosa.

Not much time to type.

But plenty of time to win.

Confidence:

Ohio State -3'. Couldn't place this bet fast enough.

Florida +7'. Almost thought I was reading this wrong. This will probably best game of the day.

Go get it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Worst. Season. Ever.

Madness last night. I could not be a bigger fan of chaos. If it had a jersey, I'd wear it.

Despite the joy surrounding me with Alabama fans high-fiving and taking celebratory fireball shots - a thought hit me.

This has to be the worst season ever to be an Auburn fan.

Now, I'm talking the Auburn fans that just cannot stand Alabama. Finebaum Tammy-esque. Or how Phyllis from Mulga felt about Tennessee. That's the kind of hate I'm talking about. This year has to be terrible for these folks.

Here's why:

1) Auburn is terrible.

On their way to a winless SEC season, a team that could not figure out their quarterback situation until late October. The celebrated offensive coordinator bails on the team to go to... Arkansas State? Head-scratcher there. His replacement brings the team to the 115th offense in the nation. (Ahead of Tulane, behind... Temple.)

The head coach, less than two years off of a national title, finds himself firmly planted in the Top 3 of the Coaches' Hot Seat Rankings week after week.

Losses to Georgia and Alabama were and have been foregone conclusions.

2) Alabama back doors it.

One week after seeing Bama blow their national title hopes, Kansas State and Oregon choke on the opportunity. Just when Auburn fans had something to celebrate, this happens. Those guys get all the breaks.

3) For the second year in a row.

Makes it even worse. Like Oklahoma State a year ago, the people who couldn't lose - lost.

Now, a win over the Tide in the Iron Bowl would go a looonnng way to salvaging some positivity from the year. But that ain't happening.

The thoughts now are over whether the athletic director will be fired, and who Auburn can bring in to coach this team back to being an SEC contender. (Where it should be.)

Even more problems here - because of the instability of the athletic department, Auburn's behind the curve on the coaching carousel. This shit needs to get figured out and FAST.

Jeremy Foley, the beyond excellent athletic director at the University of Florida, has a very wise philosophy - "What must be done eventually, must be immediately." President Gouge should have adopted this policy. If a coaching change/AD change is going to be made, then make it.

With the news this morning, Auburn is now behind Tennessee, Kentucky, and (everyone knows it) Arkansas. Early birds get the worms.

There is no sense in waiting around. I wrote a month ago that there was nothing remaining on the schedule that would change anything.

And here we are, a month later. Nothing has changed. Only the inevitable.

There needs to be a plan in place. And to Auburn fans, there had better be. Otherwise, the Auburn powers that be are waisting a lot of time. And worse, the track record of Auburn having a plan isn't too shiny. That's how they ended up with Gene.

This season is the worst to be an Auburn fan.

Twitter me up, yo. @harry_long

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Week 12 Confidence Plays

18-4 on the year, and you're welcome for that.

Read an article this morning that today could be the last day that Auburn fans get to roll the oaks on Toomer's Corner. That's sad. Such a shame for that idiot to do that to the Auburn fan base.

Probably also going to be the last win for Gene Chizik at Auburn - 'cause I don't think he'll be back. My latest frontrunners for the Auburn gig... Bobby Petrino and Gus Malzahn.

I love Malzahn, but they had better hire Petrino. And all those folks sitting on high horses... do you want to win football games or not? Because that's what Bobby Petrino does. All he's got to do is come out and say, "I'm sorry," and then start winning games. All will be forgiven and forgotten.

And one more quick tidbit from the week - I found it hysterical that Derek Dooley had to say (paraphrasing) that he wasn't fired as far as he knew. And I'm pretty sure that the way he described his meeting with Dave Hart, he had to ask him if he was fired. Would of loved to of been a fly on the wall there.

Now, on to the cash money.

EARLY GAME!!

Arkansas visits Mississippi State, and while they have stumbled of late, I won't abandon State for good. (Although they won't win ten games like they should have.) State's laying 4', and I'm happy to give it. Mostly because this line started at 6', and I'm happy to pick up two points for free.

Tyler Russell plays well against bad defenses, and Arkansas... yeah, that D is bad.

CONFIDENCE: HAIL STATE -4'

Late evening game, with Oregon hosting Stanford. Line on this game is 20, with a total of 65'. Which of these am I going with?

NEITHER.

Team totals, kids. Team totals. All I need from Oregon is just a hair more than six TDs. NO PROBLEM.

CONFIDENCE: Oregon team total OVER 43

Best of luck today.

I'm on Twitter, and it looks glorious. @harry_long

Friday, November 9, 2012

Confidence, Week 11

Yeah buddy. That's 17-3 on the year. It's like magic. All this time, and we never knew what we had.

Alas.

On to the week at hand. We don't have to go far to find confidence - just go either direction out of Birmingham, and you'll find it.

Alabama welcomes Johnny Manziel to Tuscaloosa, but they hype is going to be a bit much. Against good defenses, Manziel has been good - but it takes more than good to move the ball against Alabama. Bama's close game against LSU probably throws a little more spice into Saban's pregame speech as well.

Bama, easy.

CONFIDENCE: ALABAMA -13'

Word is that President Gouge is on the hunt for a new coach. I've already felt that this team had given up on the year, and I don't think running into Georgia helps. Aaron Murray and crew will pick apart the undersized Auburn defense, and the seats at Jordan-Hare will be empty by the end of the third.

CONFIDENCE: GEORGIA -14

And there you have it. Let's take this last month strong.

I'm on Twitter. Follow me to freedom. @harry_long

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Confidence, Week I Lost Count

Another late start to the day - and this time, for no reason at all. Didn't go out last night, so can't blame that. But let's just go with the attitude that I'm clear headed.

But clear headed or not: we're 15-3 on the year.

Clear Hearts, Clear Minds, Can't Lose.

Or

Forward.

Whichever way you lean. If you can't win next Tuesday, let's make sure we win today.

Confidence strikes us yet again.

Richt and family hosting Ole Miss. I've seen Ole Miss in person - and their game against Auburn was a somersault away from giving Auburn a chance to tie the game late.

Georgia is much better than that.

Georgia -13'

West Coast, y'all... I'm going against my buddy LT here - so that's how confident I am. Oregon is going to score, score, and score some more. Chip Kelly is going to use this as a recruiting tool against Lane Kiffin - because Lane would do the same to him. Latest line had this at 8 points, and as always, I like to get a little help.

Oregon -7'

Best of luck to all you. Some good football today, so let's all be much more productive than a guy who woke up at 11:04am would be otherwise.

I'm on Twitter when I'm awake. @harry_long

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Confidence, Week 9

Halloween party last night. That equals late jump on the day.

So, not much to say here, other than us being 14-2 on the year. It's been a little crazy.

Okay, what I know:

Well, I dialed in earlier on South Carolina -13. But that does you know good right now. Sorry.

So, here are two more confidence plays...

Alabama -22'
I'm going to be there. Going to be an ass-whoopin'. Too bad for my boy Mullen.

Auburn/Texas A&M UNDER 53'
Auburn D keeps this number down. Auburn doesn't win, but not a total blow out.

Go get it.

Twitter: @harry_long

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Confidence, the Ocho

Alright, good morning to everyone. Let's make this a prosperous day. Whatever prosperous means to you, go for that.

We are 12-2 on the year by going with confidence. Should of been doing this all along. This week, it is simple and it is tricky.

First game is Alabama @ Tennessee. I've had Bama fans in the last 24 hours talk to me about being concerned about Tennessee's passing game and worried that they could jump out on Bama early.

Nonsense.

Alabama's three defensive levels are all top-notch, and will come into the game looking to totally deflate the Vols. Erik Ainge was no help to the Volunteers this week. It's also worth noting that Nick Saban really seems to hold a value on this game. Winning it means something to him, as he always mentions how big this win is for the school each year. That's all I need to know. AJ can wear his brace all he wants. TJ Yeldon with 2 scores in his inaugural 3rd Saturday in October.

CONFIDENCE: Alabama -20

Over to College Station. No bomb threat as far as I'm concerned. I think there are a lot of people who are thinking that Texas A&M can put up some points. But I'm sure they are mistaken - Texas A&M is about to run into a real SEC defense. Any trips to the redzone will leave points on the board for A&M, as they'll be putting up 3s instead of 7s. And that'll cost them, but not us.

CONFIDENCE: LSU -3

Let's keep this merry-go-round spinning.

I'm on Twitter. Check out the intellectualness. @harry_long

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chizik Being Left To Twist in the Wind

I guess my Auburn hate continues... Sorry, but that's the story of the past and present weeks.

I had a quick thought hit me on the ride back from Oxford. Where's the support for Chizik? (Other than his wife's Facebook page.) The Auburn administration has been awfully quiet this past month.

Lonesome Gene.
The longer that there is no positive statement by Auburn officials that Gene Chizik is their football coach for 2013 (I have yet to be able to find one - positive or not), the WORSE it gets for Gene.

Here's why: There's not one winnable game remaining on the schedule remaining that is significant enough to change the doubters' minds. Just look at it. They'll beat Alabama A&M and New Mexico State, but the rest of that slate?

Beating Vandy? That doesn't save jobs. Beating Alabama and/or Georgia? That might, but it ain't going to happen.

The longer the losing goes on this year with no statement or backing (besides the BS stuff you are hearing from Pat Dye on Finebaum's show) from Auburn brass, the public pressure will continue to mount on that group to make a move, because there's nothing on the horizon that can be done on the field to relieve that pressure.

Jay Jacobs - nothing to say here.
Jay Jacobs? Dr. Gogue? Anything to say? Where are you guys?

Rightfully or not, Chizik's being left out to dry right now.

Check me out on twitter for even more greatness, in 140 characters or less. @harry_long

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tuberville's Revenge?

Reporting LIVE from Oxford, MS!! As if that makes much of a difference, but whatever.

I'm sitting at a table with a load of Auburn fans who all they can say is how bad their team is. They're not angry, upset, distraught, none of that. It's like they've hit a wall of acceptance.

I'm glad I'm with these Auburn fans and not the looney tune faction. Because if I was, I think it'd be a different story.

As I type this (on an iPhone, which is awful for doing +140 characters), Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders are up 35-7 on the #5 team in the country.

It would surprise me if there wasn't some faction of Auburn fans that, after watching the loss to Ole Miss today, are thinking, "We ran off Tommy Tuberville for THIS?"

From beating Alabama six times in a row to very possibly not winning a conference game.

Even though Tommy wasn't getting along with ANYONE towards the end (it seemed like everyone wanted to make each other's life miserable), I've always felt that pushing him out was a bit of a panic move.

And with what all has happened today, it continues to look more and more like a bad move.

I wonder if Tubs takes any enjoyment in all this. He has to, right? Do a great job for about ten years, get run off, and while there has been some success - let's not totally forget about that national title - his successor is getting the same grief he used to get.

And HE is about to pull off a huge win for his new school.

I can't say Tommy would be doing any better at Auburn today, and his success today may or may not have anything to do with his time at Auburn. But I think Tuberville is getting the last laugh today.

Twitter me, yo. @harry_long

Confidence Supported By An Air Mattress, Week 7

Today confidence comes from an air mattress in Oxford, MS, as I am here to witness the continuation of a debacle of a season. I don't know what Mrs. Chizik was up to, and I don't think that whatever it was that she was up to was what she ended up doing. (Now that is a sentence for my 11th grade English teacher.)

Regardless of my grammatical extensions, Auburn seems to be in quite a pickle. I hear that Moseley is going to start at QB for the mighty Auburn Tigers. Well, here's what I know...

Clint Moseley ain't good. And everybody who's been watching the last two years knows that, too. Kiehl Frazier? Well, he hasn't been consistently good, but he has shown a flash or two.

At least with Frazier you can hold on to 'hope'. With Moseley, there is no hope.

But what this sniffs to me, in the larger picture, is a desperate coaching staff. For real - this Auburn coaching staff is in danger of not winning a single conference game. Like, Woody Widenhofer territory.

And nobody wanted Woody.

Yeah, I think this is a panic move. I was telling my Auburn fans last night that with Moseley at QB, I bet that Auburn will try to keep their game to under 100 total plays. If they snap the ball before 5 seconds in the play clock, I will be beyond surprised.

Which leads me to the important stuff...

WE ARE 11-1 so far this year, by the way.

What do I know for tomorrow? With how I expect Auburn to try to navigate this game, we are going low, shorty.

CONFIDENCE: Auburn/Ole Miss UNDER 49

Next up, I don't know what everybody's thinking when I hear all this positive talk about Tennessee. Mississippi State's going to win 10 games this year. I've already told you that. Why won't you listen???

CONFIDENCE: Mississippi State -2'

I'm on Twitter, so clickety-click that Follow button. Even though Oxford, MS has ZERO cell service. @harry_long

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot Seats

I got to checking out Coaches Hot Seat Rankings this afternoon, and down near the bottom (which is better for the coach), I saw a name that kind-of surprised me: Dan Mullen.

It's all subjective, but I do think it's pretty interesting how six weeks and a 5-0 record can totally change things for a football coach. Mullen came into this year with a donut against anyone in the SEC West that wasn't Ole Miss. Expectations had been all over the place - some met, some not.

Mullen's sitting in that cool, cool green.
I've been calling it - State's going to win 10 games this year. But to see the support (stability) swing so well. Mullen started out the year at #94 (higher the number, the cooler the seat) and now finds himself at #113. Just 11 slots below Nick Saban, who has a pretty secure gig.

I've already harped on this earlier today, but to compare how dramatic a little over a month of football can really be...

Preseason Coaches Hot Seat Ranking
#91 Gene Chizik.
In the neighborhood with Bronco Medenhall, Steve Addazio, and Frank Solich. Pretty stable guys.

And on Tuesday, Oct. 9th?
#3 Gene Chizik
Now hanging out with Derek Dooley (#2), Jeff Tedford (#4), and Joker Phillips (#5). Pretty toasty crew.

Please note that this is not an anti-Auburn blog site. I personally couldn't care less. But these situations fascinate me. Ask anyone who was around me during the Francione/Price/Shula debacle. I loved every second of it. So don't consider this piling on - it's kind of just what is going on right now.

And Gene's in that hot red.
That's 88 slots in the wrong direction. And by no means is Coaches Hot Seat scientific, but what percentage of the guy's in Chizik's company on that ranker will be at their school next season?

50%? Is that high?

Gene Chizik is 14 months removed from being the defending national champion. Now he's #3 on the hottest seats in college football.

So, uh... more attractive job or less attractive job?

Yikes.

Get your momma 'n em to give me a follow on Twitter. @harry_long

Auburn: The Bar Is Set, Make Your Move

Chizik - Straight rocking that chain.
Auburn.

Oh boy. This is a tough one.

I've been reading and listening over the past two days, and yeah, the Auburn faithful ain't happy. The over-reactive 'Chizik on the hot seat' that peered it's head out back in September was something that I thought was a bit media-created and endorsed only by the looneys.

Now, not so much. I've got Auburn fans - the sane, logical, intelligent ones, mind you - expressing to me how frustrated and - here's the key - doubtful they are about whether or not they have the right head coach. That's where you find the tipping point. Once you lose the rational fan base, you've got job security problems.

What I can't figure out, however, is the way the argument is set. Here are the numbers, and then we'll go from there:

Iowa State: 5-19 (but you knew that)
2009: 8-5
2010 with Cam Newton: 14-0
2011: 8-5
2012: 1-4

That's 36-33 overall. 15-12 in the SEC.

Where everyone gets all funky - rightly or wrongly - is that many use the opportunity to discard the 14-0 with Cam. Many pundits (Mr. Finebaum included) ask the question, "But what has he done without Cam Newton?"

Well, you see the numbers above. If 2010 was eliminated from history, he'd be 22-33 overall, and 7-12 in the SEC.

Those... those are not good numbers.

Back to what I can't figure out. Do you or do you not count the Cam wins? They happened. We all saw it, and until the NCAA or Danny Sheridan come up with a man with a bag, then it's going to stay that way. Gene Chizik was at the helm, and Auburn was All-In.

Is it fair to take that away?

It seems that anybody could of won with this dude.
When it comes to that question, I believe that much of the Auburn fan base is coming to the conclusion that anyone could have won the BCS title with Cam Newton at QB. And maybe they're right - it's kind of one of those things that you could spend forever (or hours upon hours of talk radio) debating. There is a lot of discomfort about the future direction of the program, and is a guy who just happened to have one silver bullet the key to a consistently winning and competitive program?

Fair or not, this is where the Auburn fan base finds itself...

But where is this?

Well, I think I can help figure that out. How bad are things at Auburn right now? Well, check out this list of comparables...

Your baseline, with the Bizarro "No 2010/Cam Newton World". I am completing this Auburn season at 4-8. (1 out of 3 in the Ole Miss, Vandy, A&M stretch. Take your pick.)

Gene Chizik, Auburn, '09 & '11-'12
20-18 (52.6%) overall
9-15 (37.5%) SEC
No division/conference titles
No appearances in SEC title game
No appearances in Final Coaches Top 25


Syl looking Sly
1) First up, Sylvester Croom. Mississippi State, '04-'08.
You know the story, but here are the numbers:
21-38 (35.5%) overall
10-30 (25%) SEC

Conclusion: Things aren't going well for Gene, but they ain't this bad. If only he was coaching at a pre-Dan Mullen Mississippi State, Chizik wouldn't be having any worries.

2) Ed Orgeron, EhrmesssRubbles, '05-'07.
Eddy spent more time 'cruitin and not coaching.
10-25 (28.6%) overall
3-21 (12.5%) SEC

Conclusion: The Ed Orgeron experience was high comedy for everyone (and on some level, maybe even including Ole Miss fans). Gene is well above the cartoon that was Orgeron. At least Ole Miss got The Blind Side out of it.

3) Gerry DiNardo, LSU, '95-'99
32-24-1 (57%) overall
18-20-1 (47%.4) SEC
2 co-division titles, no appearances in SEC title game

Hmmm... This is where it starts to get close. DiNardo has Chizik on the percentages, and Gerry picked up a couple of co-division titles (which don't count for much, but oh well). His last two years, though, he had a 2-13 SEC record and wasn't allowed to finish the '99 season. Chizik has the national title, of course, but in terms of where the program is heading, it definitely bares a DiNardo-ish look.

4) Ron Zook, Florida, '02-'04
23-14 (62.2%) overall
16-8 (67%) SEC
1 co-division title, no appearances in SEC title game
3 appearances in final Coaches Poll ('02-24, '03-25, '04-25)

Numbers be numbers, and when it comes to these numbers, Zook's got Chizik beat, hands down. The worse news for Chizik? He was fired mid-season, when they were 1-6.

Poor Mike.
5) Mike Shula, Alabama, '03-'06
26-23 (53%) overall
13-19 (40.6%) SEC
1 appearance in final Coaches Poll ('05-8)

Oh yes I am. Couldn't leave out my boy, deer-in-headlights. And WOW - those numbers are awfully close, aren't they? In the Cam Newton-less world we are talking about here, at the end of the 2012 season, he will have a slightly WORSE record (percentage-wise) than the great Mike Shula. Chizik is unquestionably a more dominating, confident figure than Shula, but results are results. Pat Dye's "nice guy" argument is going to get put to the test, because nobody was a "nicer guy" than Mike Shula.

If Auburn fans are worried about directions, just think back to the good old days of six in a row. Now flip it.

Whether or not it's fair to remove the Cam Newton days from the equation is debatable and I'm open to those arguments. But the rational Auburn fans who are now starting to rethink this situation, maybe there is something to it.

Four out of five of the above teams made moves and benefitted from it. Florida, LSU, and Alabama all won national titles and maintained a high level of competitiveness. Mississippi State appears to finally be making up some ground. Ole Miss... well, Hugh Freeze has a lot of work cut out for him.

The key here is that those programs didn't try to wait out the "good guy" longer than the minimum. If it wasn't working, the coach had to go, and they brought in someone new. It is this post-move sustained success that Auburn is trying to achieve - and why the Auburn faithful are starting to believe that a change is the best option.

And that's why they are taking Cam away.

UPDATE 2012-10-09 11:21
Some reader feedback from Alex D.:
Regarding your Chizik blog, I agree with you 100%. I think I recently referred to 2011-present as "AU's Shula Years" the other day, but your post got me thinking...Didn't Shula accumulate those percentages while on some sort of probation that limited scholarships? I'm too lazy to look it up, but if that's true, then #5 on your list carries even more weight.
I appreciate the honesty on your level of laziness. Everyone should be so up front.

As to your point, Shula sure did. The probation was a big factor in why Francione ditched Tuscaloosa. Shula was also battling the public relations disaster that was Mike Price. I still think Shula was incapable of managing four quarters of football, but he didn't have it easy either.

I'm on Twitter, and it would behoove you to follow me. @harry_long

Friday, October 5, 2012

Confidence Rolls Into October, Week 6

Well, I'm not going to point out that we went 90% in September. I'm just not going to do it.

Instead, I'm just going to go collect, and keep it all. Then spend it on alcohol and women who aren't really interested in me.

That's what I'm going to do.

....

Man, did we kick the shit out of September or what?!?!?!!

Confidence rules like a steamroller. And there's more pavement to lay. Lets do this.

Confidence oozes through Columbia one more time. I've a couple of UGA fans hit me up this week and ask me me my thoughts.

I tried to warn them before I answered, but they wanted to hear it any way.

I'm certain that Carolina's defensive ends are going to be highly acclimated with Aaron Murray Saturday. Also, Murray doesn't beat top 20 teams. Or at least he hasn't yet.

With South Carolina getting the homefield and having the better - yes BETTER - running game, Carolina wins and covers a less than field goal game.

All you kiddos yapping about Georgia's running-by-committee game, save it. Lattimore is about to have his best game EVER. Before and after.

South Carolina, minus the deuce.

Up in Lexington, the wrong-line game. A glitch or mistake had Kentucky as a 14' point favorite in the early part of the week. Unfortunately, my man had caught the glitch.

Still, State is giving ten. I don't think that's too much for a team that could win 10 games against a team in the bottom 5% of the FBS.

Confidence: State -10

Let's continue the diabolicalness.

I'm on Twitter, and there is no doubt you would benefit socially by following my every word. Do it. @harry_long

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 5, Confidence Rules

7-1.

Just saying.

So what do we KNOW today?

Well, I KNOW that Ohio State is better than Michigan State. And I KNOW that Urban Meyer has esophageal issues. But that won't matter today. Ohio State will score and score again today. AND they are catching points. I'll let you have them, I'd take them straight up.

Ultimate, outside-the-SEC confidence: Ohio State +120

Next up, I'm going back to my man. Who is apparently now living a life of vengeance.

South Carolina at Kentucky. Steve's on a war path against Ron Morris, and sadly, he'll be taking it out on Joker Phillips. To compound it, Kentucky's administration spent last night denying that Joker had resigned.

Not good for the Wildcats.

South Carolina -20. No sweat.

Confidence is the way to go.

I'm on Twitter. It's like a peek into the brain of Einstein, Newton, Socrates, and Andy Kaufman all at the same time. You should follow me. @harry_long

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Confidence Again, 4th Edition

Did you know that the alternate keyboard key for 4 is '$'? You should, because it's right in front of you...

Let's call it Week $.

5-1 so far on confidence picks. It's all about what we KNOW.

Today's confidence:

Early game, so get moving. My boy Ron Higgins is down in New Orleans, and just put out that there is NO ONE in the Super Dome. That place is going to have no atmosphere, like a black hole for energy. Tulane's on something like their 5th string QB, and I also think it takes lots of teams a quarter or so to wake up on those 11a kicks.

Ole Miss/Tulane UNDER 53

He's let me down once this year, but don't do it to me again, Steve. Connor Shaw's got the start, and I believe he's going to let it fly. (When he should have Shaw run QB draws, because that is his best play.) A cover in this game is all on Shaw's shoulders. I'm confident that he'll deliver. And despite a grand three quarter effort against Georgia, Mizzou ain't ready for prime time, and we're getting to prime time.

Sahkerlina -10 vs. Mizzou

I'm off to take it all in. Check me on Twitter for more.

And you can do that here. @harry_long

Sunday, September 16, 2012

SEC Expectation Scorecard, Week 3 | The Expectation Battles

Updated expectation scoreboard for the SEC is here. But, I've been thinking (and I've known this for some time) - fan bases are incredibly short-term centric, and the changes in expectations from off-season to in-season are dramatic.

In this, lies either the inaccuracy or ingeniousness of my expectation scoreboard. We can account for both.

So I can get it out of the way, the updated preseason expectation scorecard:
Click to enlarge.
Tennessee +2
Ole Miss +1
Missouri +1
Miss State +1
Florida E
Georgia E
South Carolina E
Alabama E
LSU E
Texas A&M E
Auburn -1
Kentucky -2
Arkansas -2
Vandy -2

And, if we could all just remember (and stick with what we thought the season was going to be like, then this would probably be pretty accurate. Problem, like stated above, is that we change our expectations. This is where things get dangerous for coaches, because think about it - who is it that answers for expectations? The coaches. It's their fault or to their credit on where the team performs against them.

So, based on where you thought the Tennessee Vol fan base's expectations were going into this weekend, should they still be on top of these rankers?

Or how about Auburn barely holding on against ULM? To be only just below offseason expectations feels a bit generous doesn't it?

I bet you'd dock points from both.

Tennessee should be at EVEN - because they are doing exactly what you would have thought going into the year... with Dooley making a mess in his and Vol Nations' collective orange pants.

Auburn? If it wasn't for John L. Smith, Gene Chizik would have the lowest Q Score of all SEC coaches right now. (Apologies to Joker Phillips - he'd be up there too if anyone in Kentucky cared.)

And that ain't good - Chizik needs to set a higher bar than John L.

It works the other way, too - if your team is kicking ass, then you can get some bump. As in, I expected Alabama to win its first three games. I didn't expect them to beat the shit out of everyone like this. Plus 1 for Nasty Nick.

Georgia, South Carolina, and LSU are all right on with expectations so far - LSU really doesn't have a shot at picking anything up until October, so they'll have to hold tight (unless they throw up 80 on Auburn, then we can reconsider).

So, let's adjust the scorecard:
Ole Miss +1 (Hey, they shouldn't have been anywhere close to Texas Saturday, and they weren't. That's right in line.)
Missouri +1 (It's been a fine introductory season. They are where they should be, or even a little better.)
Miss State +1 (The Mullen train has got a shot to win 10 games. Holy mackerel.)
*Alabama +1 (From 'EVEN'. Stomping mudholes has become de facto in Tuscaloosa, but this is ridiculous.)
Florida E (Still not sold on the QB situation, as Florida has to continue to rely on Trey Burton's seventh year of eligibility to help them score. Good athletes all over, though, and that beats Tennessee.)
Georgia E (Playing northeast Georgia junior high teams.)
South Carolina E (Winning ugly, but I've become accustomed to it.)
LSU E (Just waiting on their season to begin.)
Texas A&M E (Not scoring at the rate Sumlin wants, so Sumlin should change his expectations.)
*Tennessee E (From +2. As far as expectations are concerned, the Vols fell in love after Week 1. Oh, they will be disappointed. Don't get those hopes up, Knoxville. And start passing the hat for Petrino before someone else does.)
Vandy -2 (I like James Franklin, the coach. Good attitude for Vandy, but the air is coming out of the balloon.)
*Auburn -3 (From -1. Fans are fed up, but they have been using the "but he's a good guy" excuse. Georgia fans must be lending it to them this year. The lack of player development at Auburn is starting to raise a lot of eyebrows. 5-19? Mmmph. Auburn fans were expecting a little more than this.)
*Kentucky -4 (From -2. There's one thing to lose to a team that's better than you, but when you are the state's university, you shouldn't be the third best team in the state. Bobby Petrino is #1 on speed dial.)
*Arkansas -Infinity (From -2. I don't know the keyboard code for 'infinity' so please pass along if you do. I called it from the jump that this was going to be a disaster. But boy, I had no idea it was going to be this bad.)

Now, I'm not sure this all makes sense, but I benefit from college fan bases and college sports from not making much sense, either. So don't hate on me, hate the game. But it's like the value of football tickets over the course of the season, expectations move with the successes and perceptions of the on-field product. Up and down.

Then after it's all over, you say, "Well, what did we expect was going to happen?"

I'm on Twitter, and it's an amazing experience. Promise. @harry_long

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For Some Reason This Didn't Make It Up Last Week. SEC Scoreboard

It was probably because I was busy and lazy. Regardless, the scorecard after Week 2, now that Week 3 has begun...
A little bit of movement after Week 2.
Alright, so this means the against-expectations-scorecard scoreboard:

Tennessee +2
Ole Miss +1
Miss State +1
Alabama E
LSU E
Florida E
Mizzou E
South Carolina E
Texas A&M E
Auburn -1
Vandy -2
Arkansas -2

Derek Dooley maintains the lead, and if they pull it out today, then it's even more boo-kooz for DD. But I think there's going to be some disappointment in Knoxville today. We'll see what I know.

I'm on Twitter, in case you'd be interested in real time commentary on ridiculousness. @harry_long

Semana Tres de Confianza

Back to what we know, because what we've known so far has been pretty good to us. 3-1 on confidence plays this year, and I've got more this week.

Texas at Ole Miss, and it's ONLY ten points on the spread? Vegas is buying into some Hugh Freeze story that I haven't read yet. Texas has been down for a few years, but they are still bigger, faster, and stronger than the SEC West's worst team. Like two touchdowns or more bigger, faster, and stronger.

So, yeah, Texas -10. #AintSkeered

And next, is Tennessee a lot better than I think they are? Would seem that people think that way since they are FAVORITES going into Knoxville.

That's crazy. Now, I've been one of the least impressed people with Florida so far this year - the team is an offensive disaster, in my opinion. But I don't think they will be letting anyone who wants to get behind their safeties like the Vols did against NC State 2 weeks ago.

Florida may not be Spurrier or Urban Florida, but they ain't NC State. Let's not get caught up in Derek Dooley hope.

I don't even need the points here. Wrong team favored, whatever you want to say.

Take Florida +130 on the moneyline and save the extra dough for that new iPhone.

I'm on Twitter throughout today, and really everyday. Give me a follow for more information that will change your life: @harry_long

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ladies (& Football Fan Bases) Love A Guy On A Motorbike

Every girl's crazy 'bout
a sharp dressed man.
Boy oh boy - it is now a legit discussion. Everybody wants Bobby Petrino.

And we aren't even talking about Tennessee fans. (Yet.)

I thought that the Petrino fire would last at least until October before teams/universities/athletic directors/fans would start to realize that nobody cares about people's transgressions as long as they are winning.

Gene's getting the heat.
Auburn fans were all over sports talk today clamoring for the dude. It's like this fan base is looking for a reason to put their coach on the hot seat. Prior to the season, you'd hear the "What has he done without Cam Newton?" rants. I'm all for a coaching controversy, and I understand that the numbers aren't overly impressive (a couple of 8-5 seasons) - but it was just 54 weeks ago that Auburn was the defending national champs.

I'm not overly impressed with where Auburn is right now, but this isn't the first time that Auburn has been without playmakers on the offensive end. Maybe Tiger fans are panicking like they did with Tuberville after Saban had arrived. That's not an Alabama-guy shot I'm taking. Tubs had just won 6 of 7 against Alabama, but the et. al. of Auburn didn't like how they felt about the direction and sent Tommy packing.

In defense of the headhunters, 54 weeks ago - you also had Gus Malzahn. Maybe Auburn fans need to add him to the candidate list.

But who else wants Petrino? According to Facebook and Twitter, Hog fans. Boy, that was a mad group about 11:00 Saturday night. To quote a Hog-friendly friend of mine:
Thanks Jeff Long for firing BMFP, but hey, like you said, at least our program has integrity...and now a loss to a Sun Belt team. What a joke...wins are what matters, brings in money, fills the seats, and wins championships, NOT integrity.
Followed up by:
Awesome...the Hog loss was just the lead story to start off Sportscenter. "Integrity goes a Long way." What a joke...
Paul still loves the Hogs, but he - and a lot of other Arkansas fans - ain't happy.

This is the risk you take with the high road. Like with Petrino, there are consequences for your actions. The question here is, a year from now, who will have better consequences - Arkansas football or Bobby Petrino?

I think we all know the real answer to that question.

Twitter twitter, blah blah, follow follow: @harry_long

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NFL Week 1 Plays

Saturday... AND SUNDAY FOOTBALL!!!

From the sound of Chris Berman's gruffness, I can tell the NFL is back for real. And I'm excited to win. I know much less about the NFL going into the season, as it's just too damn hard to predict offseason improvements, motivation levels of teams, players. Takes me awhile to get a feel.

Fortunately, I know people who do have a feel.

Here you go:

Jets -3
Chiefs +2'
Bucs +2'
Cardinals +2'

I'm on Twitter, give a follow: @harry_long

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Confidence Rules Again, Week 2

College football, Week 2.

Not too bad last week with the new confidence strategy. 2-0, and if Alabama plays like that the rest of the year (which isn't easy), I'm not sure who can beat them.

This week, we are doing the same strategy - go with what we KNOW, NOT what we THINK.

Here's what we know:

Auburn @ Mississippi State
Here's Chris Relf overthrowing someone.
Tyler Russell couldn't beat him out.
A couple of QBs, that in my view haven't won me over. Auburn doesn't have passing game weapons beyond the QB either. (Lutzenkirchen isn't exactly a deep threat.) State is rolling with Tyler Russell, who I liked in years' past, but only because the other option was Chris Relf - and the dude couldn't beat out Chris Relf. Tells me enough about his potential.

Plus, it's a morning game, the cowbells won't be as bourbon-infused, and - most importantly - it's an SEC game. It's going to fast players on the defensive side of the football.

What we KNOW is to take the under. (I got at 49', I've seen 48' - take it, buy a half if you can.)

AUBURN/MISS STATE UNDER

Another thing we know:

USC @ Syracuse
Lane Kiffin don't play, and he wants a Heisman winner for recruiting purposes. Huge numbers for Barkley again, USC in a total route.

USC -25'

Do what you need to do.

**Earlier post had a brain fart with USC playing Washington. Another one of those looking at something else while typing deals.

I'm on Twitter, you should follow me there for more bad life decisions. @harry_long

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The ATWOB SEC Scorecard

Well, it seems that Nick Saban continues to find large, fast, and strong young men to play football for him. Problem is, his young men are larger, faster, and stronger than your young men. If Alabama plays like that every weekend, I'm not sure who is going to beat them.

Auburn had the effort, but you could see that the inexperience at QB put them in a bad spot late, with Frazier taking sacks with no timeouts. With experience, the decision making will come.

Big winner of the weekend? The great Derek Dooley. Big win over NC State moves him up the ATWOB SEC Rankings - where the league's performance is judged against my prognostications. If you do as predicted, no points. If you win an undecided, plus one. Win or lose a game that you shouldn't have, plus or minus two.

It's just that easy.

The scorecard:

Updated scorecard - click to enlarge.

And the standings after Week 1...

Tennessee: +2
Everybody Else: Even

Keep in mind that it will be impossible for Alabama or LSU to win this scorecard, because they should win every game. This is a scorecard against expectations.

Look for some possible shakeups next week, as I was more than unimpressed with Florida. Still seems to be just an empty suit at QB in Gainesville. I also have no read at this point on State and Auburn. That one should be a good game, played ugly.

Post-script: It was just pointed out to me who the weekend's biggest loser was - Floyd Mayweather. Betting $3 million against Nick Saban only makes him angry, Floyd. You know better.

I'm on Twitter, you should be, too: @harry_long
Check out the Facebook page and Like that thing: Facebook.com/ATWOB

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Year, New Strategy?

Okay, so you'll know - I've been pretty good on baseball this year. Mostly because I take games that I know who is going to win. (Know = really damn confident)

Nothing says confidence like Steve.
I'm going to try and adopt that strategy this year with college football. Fewer games, more confidence. Because what would happen would be that I'd go 3-2 and end up with $30. That's really no good. It was great on the days when I'd go 5-0, but let's be honest, there weren't too many of those.

So there you have it. Fewer games, more confidence, 2012.

(Editor's note: This had been the strategy going into to Thursday and Friday, and I Harry did not follow the strategy. He currently sits at 1-3 on the year.)

From a Facebook conversation with my boy Roberto this morning:
Roberto: Who you liking today Longschanks?

Me: Lot of confidence in Alabama - look for them to hang back and force Denard to throw, and bring pressure when ball is on a far hash and push him to side with less room to scramble.
I took bama early and have them at -12'. If you can get below 14, do it.

Also like Clemson. Auburn losing their center less than a week out + an inexperienced QB isn't good against a Dabo defense.
And I believe this. Even more so with Michigan suspending their best running back. The only pause and why I don't like the number creeping up too high is that Alabama does not regularly score lots of points, and I don't see that time-of-possession philosophy changing. They like to make defenses work. So, if it's still achievable to grab at less than two full touchdowns, make the play.

Auburn with just too many question marks against a team that under-performed (to a degree) last year. Dabo spent a great amount of time on the hot seat last year, and then fooled around and won the ACC - and gets NO credit. This is a team (and coach) with something to prove. A high-profile win over an SEC school can help with that.

Couple that with not believing that Kiehl Frazier became John Elway in the offseason and the suspension of Auburn's center a few days out from the game, I see a lot of potential for confusion that Dabo's defense will be sure to create. Take the Tigers, Clemson.

And really, that's it. Sorry, just bet bigger, but with more confidence.

What I got:
Alabama -12'
Clemson -3

Check me out on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day in case I stray from my strategy. (Highly likely.)

Twitter: @harry_long
Facebook: ATWOB

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The SEC Helmet Calendar, Complete w/ Predicted Outcomes

Alright, here we go. Gotta say that I'm excited about this year. The on-field entertainment will be plenty, but I love the drama of hot seats, suspensions, smack-talk, and more.

Every year, something unexpected happens.

But, here is what I expect, in terms of results...

Like always, I break schedules down mathematically - guaranteed wins, guaranteed losses, and undecideds (toss-ups). That gives us a range on what the win/loss expectations are for the fan bases - of which they will totally disregard after Week 1.

Here's the Helmet Calendar with green wins, yellow losses, and blue undecideds:
Obviously the chart was done by a Georgia fan, with Jorts
in for Florida. I found it appropriate.
Click to enlarge.
And the breakdown of W/L/U:

Florida - 8/1/3, Best case: 11-1, Worst case: 8-4
Georgia - 10/0/2, Best case: 12-0, Worst case: 10-2
Kentucky - 3/8/1, Best case: 4-8, Worst case: 3-9
Mizzou - 5/5/2, Best case: 7-5, Worst case: 5-7
SoCar - 9/1/2, Best case: 11-1, Worst case: 9-3
Tenn - 4/7/1, Best case: 5-7, Worst case: 4-8
Vandy - 6/4/2, Best case: 8-4, Worst case: 6-6

Alabama - 11/0/1, Best case: 12-0, Worst case: 11-1
Arkansas - 6/4/2, Best case: 8-4, Worst case: 6-6
Auburn - 4/4/4, Best case: 8-4, Worst case: 4-8
LSU - 11/0/1, Best case: 12-0, Worst case: 11-1
Ole Miss - 2/9/1, Best case: 3-9, Worst case: 2-10
State - 7/2/3, Best case: 10-2, Worst case: 7-5
A&M - 6/3/3, Best case: 9-3, Worst case: 6-6

What I take from this:

1) Auburn fans should have a great season, because they have the widest swing, with 4 undecideds. There's a canyon-esque difference between 4-8 and 8-4, making all games matter - and it's more fun when it matters.

2) State winning 10 games? I don't think so either, but with where I see Arkansas ending the season, State wins that game at home. Could be one hell of a season for the cowbells, all things considered.

3) Speaking of Arkansas, this will not end well. You already play LSU & Alabama, and I can only compare it all to the Dennis Francione/Mike Price/Mike Shula exchange - that was a messy situation all around with Fran dashing off, the NCAA, strip clubs, and a deer in headlights. The prior season was 10 wins - Bama went 4-9 in '03. Just saying that I don't have a lot of confidence in Arkansas picking right back up.

4) If I'm doing the math right, there is a potential of the SEC finishing with 4 one-loss or less teams this year. That would do nothing towards people's tolerance of the SEC and its fans.

My predicted standings:

East: Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Vandy, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky
West: LSU, Alabama, State, Auburn, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss

LSU wins SEC.

There you have it.

Twitter: @harry_long

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why I Took The Over On UGA Wins

9.5 (9' for those in the know.)

That's the bar for the number of wins that Vegas and other entities have set for Mark Richt's mighty mighty Bulldogs. Am I crazy, or is this easy pickings?

Let's break it down mathematically. Because, who can argue with math besides Pete Townshend? ("One and one make one"?)

The way I do these things is I break schedules down into games of three categories: Guaranteed Wins, Guaranteed Losses, and Undecideds. Undecideds are games that I just can't say for sure who should win outright, for various reasons.

And speaking of schedules... have you SEEN Georgia's schedule?

I know that it has been the talk among some radio shows, and it's this year's bane of existence to Steve Spurrier. Check it out...

This is a picture of Georgia's schedule.
Cute, right?
9/1 Buffalo
9/8 @ Mizzou
9/15 Florida Atlantic
9/22 Vanderbilt
9/29 Tennessee
10/6 @ South Carolina
10/13 BYE
10/20 @ Kentucky
10/27 Florida
11/3 Ole Miss
11/10 @ Auburn
11/17 Georgia Southern
11/24 Georgia Tech

Goodness me. #Doormats.

Alright, let's not waste too much time - here's how it breaks down:

Guaranteed Wins: Buffalo, Mizzou, Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech... That makes 10 already.

Guaranteed Losses: None.

Undecideds: South Carolina, Florida

All of the guaranteeds should make sense. Vandy never gets any breaks on the road, Mizzou just flat isn't as good, same with Auburn, and Todd Grantham is defending the option pretty well - make it four straight losses for the Nerds in Yellow.

South Carolina really is a toss up, and unless there is some injury, I always stay away from the Cocktail Party. Too many athletes on the field in Jacksonville, both sides.

So, if the total wins number is set at 9.5, and we've already got 10 guaranteeds... WITH the opportunity of winning two more?

What am I missing? Make that play.

But, looking a little larger... is Georgia going to be undefeated going into Atlanta? It's not crazy the way this has worked out. Probably the softest SEC schedule in recent history will still get a lot of credit with voters. And in a one-game situation, with Aaron Murray as the QB (not shabby, now), I wouldn't put an almost unthinkable scenario out of the question.

Not saying it's going to happen - got to beat South Carolina, got to beat Florida, and got to beat Alabama/LSU - it's not easy.

What a difference a year & a schedule can make.
Amazing though, that a year ago, Mark Richt was going almost week to week on the hot seat, and he's got an outside lane/short cut opportunity to get to Atlanta and beyond? That's incredible.

What's worse.. what if they don't even come close? How will Georgia fans respond to that?

Even worse if that happens? I lose my bet.

I'm on Twitter because it's the cool thing. Follow me: @harry_long

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Re-Casting of Space Jam

LeBron James was asked, and he responded. He'd like to be in Space Jam 2.

Maybe that'd work? Since LeBron has been able to do everything else he's ever been asked (and we know he can dance), I'm sure he could match the acting skills of Michael Jordan.

Watch Space Jam as an adult - you'll see what I mean.

CBS Sports was pretty clever and asked the question of who should be recast as the NBA players for Space Jam 2. Here's my lineup:

There they are: Bradley, Barkley, Ewing, Mugsy, & Larry
1) Yao Ming - huge international box office opportunity.
2) Kevin Love - funny guy, plays same position as Barkley, and great for the social media promotion of the movie
3) Kendrick Perkins - Not the player that Ewing was, but could double in the movie as an angry genie.
4) Nate Robinson - no more to be said.
5) Lamar Odom - because he needs the work, and the Kardashian connection could bring the female audience.

Perhaps the alien team would consist of a 19 year old Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah, Popeye Jones, Charlie Villanueva, and Chris Andersen.

I'm on Twitter. Follow me. @harry_long

Monday, August 20, 2012

My New Hero

Between my lists of "Things I Should Have Thought of First" and "Things I Thought of First But Didn't Do Anything About", I have been beaten to the punch yet again.

The Mountain Brook Bad Driver Facebook Page.

Meet the right guy in college? Check.
Acquire $80,000 vehicle? Check.
General awareness skills? Eh...
Browse around and enjoy it, as this stuff is spot on. I was recently in the parking lot behind the Piggly Wiggly in Crestline - saw a lady almost give herself whiplash backing out of Zoe's.

What a glorious usage of the Internet and social media. This is what Al Gore had in mind.

(Big Ups to EB for the tip.)

Twitter that thang, fo - @harry_long.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Somebody's Good Idea

Not sure the pic will give you a full feel for it, but this car is Pepto pink.

Don't adjust your set.

I'm on twitter: @harry_long

Monday, August 13, 2012

Honey Badger's Character

I'm a few days late on this, but before I commented, I wanted to hear more reaction via the universe's cultural epicenter, i.e., the Paul Finebaum Radio Network.

Honey Badger.
Smiling for the camera.
Yep, Honey Badger got caught (again) smoking weed. My favorite Les Miles quote: "We extended ourselves to the full length of the policy." Only Les would put it so succinctly and so unintentionally hilarious.

Weber over at LostLetterman.com has a very similar take to me, so I recommend checking it out. Don't read anything by people who disagree with me. They are fools.

But where I get all wound up in the craziness was listening to hours of conversation Friday and Monday with everyone - adults, mind you - referring to Mathieu solely as "the Honey Badger". He really had become a cartoon character, funny name and all.

Yet in the middle of all it's grand lunacy, isn't it a bit ridiculous that was how everyone referred to him? ('Everyone' is a loose term. But probably over 85%.) Kind of reminds me of the whole month I had to hear the words "tea bag" on the radio. Still can't believe that became part of standard radio nomenclature.

The way Tyrann (first time I've used his first name - sixth paragraph) embraced and developed the Honey Badger 'character' was truly a masterpiece. Vince McMahon ought to be calling him up right now. To be so loved by his fan base and to be so viciously hated by his rival schools, fan bases, and opponents - it really is something akin to professional wrestling.

And it's this whirlwind of attention and this assumed role that probably led to his demise. The 'untouchable-ness' of celebrity. Whereas a year ago, Mathieu had one start to his credit. He ended the season with a plane ticket to New York. In what I think is comparable to a child star, his rise was so fast, and the public's love/disdain for his character, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt a little outside of himself - like this was really happening to someone else or that it all wasn't real.

He was being who everyone wanted him to be. Wouldn't you start feeling a bit invincible too?

It's a shame this happened, because not only was he walking entertainment, Mathieu really was one of the most exciting players in college football. LSU will have guys who are plenty athletic to play cornerback in the SEC. But there are only so many Desmond Howards, Deion Sanders, David Palmers, et al, who can flip the field on special teams. It got to the point last year, you just didn't want to kick to this kid. Kick it out of bounds - at least the Honey Badger won't hurt us.

Dennis being as bad as
everyone expects him to be.
You hope he can put it together - because we've seen some be able to, and others not. Charlie Sheen seems to have himself back after his Torpedo of Truth run last year. We've all seen the continued struggles of a very similar-type situation with Dennis Rodman.

Sheen (likely because of drug use) and Rodman (ditto) lost themselves in the character that the world saw them as. And even for them, it was too much to handle.

Now, I'm not saying that Honey Badger only smoked weed because he was a celebrity. (He may have smoked weed without the success - lots of other less successful people do.) But I will say that he felt comfortable smoking enough to get caught for the third time because he was a celebrity. And celebrities don't have to live with consequences.

That is, unless you extend yourself beyond the full length of the policy.

I'm gonna miss the dude. Too bad, Honey Badger.

You can find me on Twitter, where I type a lot less: @harry_long

License Plate of the Day

She was also sporting three CB attennas. I imagine her handle being something like "Sprinkles" or "Hot Fudge".


And I'm all over that Twitter junk. @harry_long

Quote of the Weekend, Olympics

Say 'absolutely' one more time, PJ.
I dare you...
I was listening to the radio call of the Gold Medal game on Sunday, with PJ Carlesimo on the color commentary. (Have no idea who was the play-by-play.) While on the radio dial, I got a glimpse of broadcasting greatness.

As you know, the US got gold. Which led to PJ's Jim Nantz Moment.
Was it a challenge? Absolutely. Did they rise to that challenge? More absolutely.
More absolutely?

How can something be more absolute? How would that work?

Did PJ get strangled by Latrell, or did he get more strangled?

#Dumb

You should follow me on Twitter. More follow, more absolutely. @harry_long

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Michael Dyer Doing His Best Jimmy Johns Impression

Well, if you haven't heard - now you have. Mike Dyer has been dismissed from the Arkansas State football team.

It's really been an odd career, hasn't it? Kid sets the freshman rushing record at Auburn (beating Bo Jackson's first year - not shabby), gets named MVP of the National Championship game, and now he's not on a football team.

Any resemblance?
I won't say it's Maurice Clarett, but on paper, it's close.

And it's probably easy to go with the 'bonehead' label for Dyer. And best I can tell, the title fits. Shame, really. Maybe he can hook up with Stephen Garcia in the CFL.

I actually don't think we've seen the last of Michael Dyer. Perhaps not in college at any major level, but I think an NFL team would take a fifth or sixth round flyer on a guy that put up 1,000 yards in the SEC. Twice.

Hopefully someone gets a hold of him, or Dyer gets a hold of himself. There's a lot to lose here for him, and Maurice Clarett is a great poster child for what can happen when you A) have a history of poor decisions and B) will be removed from a team environment/structure for a full year. Not good.

So, good luck, Mike?

It's also worth noting how this reflects on Gus Malzahn. Is this a positive thing? He kicks off the guy who followed him to Arkansas State? Dyer obviously wasn't on the best of terms with Chizik, so maybe Dyer had no choice but to go.

This can go either way. Kudos to Malzahn for not allowing trouble into the locker room, or Malzahn can't handle a troubled player that followed him to his new school. What's the real story?

Malzahn really is an interesting story, isn't he? Can he co-exist with anyone over a period of time? Not Houston Nutt, Not Gene Chizik... and I guess not Michael Dyer.

In the end, it'll all be determined on the field - Malzahn's either going to win and move back to the big league, and Dyer's going to get his head on straight and make it to the NFL.

And I'm on Twitter. If you follow me there, it will change your life. @harry_long

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ralph Cindrich Knows Not Where He Treads

Ralph Cindrich.
Lawyer. Agent. Adult.
Hot Head.
All this business with Ralph Cindrich's comments about having "stuff" on Nick Saban, insinuating that The Process has been less than on the up-and-up, has really caught my curiosity.

Particularly, Cindrich's Twitter feed.

I think you can tell a fair amount from someone's Twitter feed. And in this instance, Cindrich appears to be a hot head and not the most mature dude around.

I've had plenty of fun with the Alabama fan base - to describe them as volatile would be a bit of an understatement - but I've never made anything up to stir the pot. (Or at least nothing I recall that wasn't absolutely obviously a joke.) But I think this dude unknowingly entered a world of pain.

And while I would find it hysterical on the Alabama fans and their reactions - I recall the Phyllis from Mulga phone-ins to Finebaum during the Fulmer/NCAA investigation series - what I don't find cool is when people claim to have 'dirt' on someone but never produce.

Remember Scott Moore's claims of the Cam Newton tapes? Never produced them. I didn't think that was too cool, and it backfired on Alabama fans who championed it as the smoking gun to bring Auburn down. Auburn fans were initially messing their pants, but once Moore never released the tapes, they laughed away.

I'm fairly confident that's where this is heading. Cindrich will be (is) harassed by Alabama fans (isn't social media great?) to spill the goods - because they've seen this movie before. Cindrich won't release or prove anything, and it eventually goes away.

It's clear to me that Cindrich didn't know the level of shit he was stepping in. You don't throw out claims on these fan bases. He's mad about Penn State, and is slinging mud wherever he can - but he's picked a bigger dog. Bad choice, and he'll end up looking the fool.

And, by looking at his Twitter feed, he already is looking that way. Here are my favorites:

Well done, Stacy. You kept Clay Travis out of it with
the proper "you're" usage.

1) Avella, PA is on the WV/PA border. It's unincorporated,
so I don't know if those are mean streets or not.
2) If you don't want to know them, why respond
on Twitter?

Whoop his ass, Bo!
(And that's a real man's 'stache.)

Ralph is def Zen. Like Phil Jackson.

Chris must be from Missouri.

Haha. Shove it.

Save you the trouble - I Google'd it - that's not her in the pic.

I wonder how many "eff you's" Mr. July 6th gives out a day?
Sunrise, mid-morning...

Damn, Nick! Can't leave the door open like that.
Attention to all fans - when you go public with written arguments -
you really need to read it before you send it. Little spellcheck.

ZING!

If there's a lesson at all here - most of these people are adults. Think about that.

And yes, I am on Twitter. You should give me a follow. I'm nicer than Ralph Cindrich. @harry_long

'12 vs '92. Let's Leave This One Alone Folks. Non-Debatable.

This is getting ridiculous.

Now LeBron says they could beat the '92 team. Why even go there? (Actually, I understand why it happens - because reporters don't stop asking the question.)

Here's how he (and everyone else) should answer this:

"You know, it's a fun question, and it would be fun to go up against a team that had 11 Hall of Famers. But until we've got a time machine to help get us all together, I'm not sure that we'll get a chance to try. So I guess they are still and will always be the original Dream Team."

See? Easy enough.

Kobe, LeBron, and the rest need to have someone tell them you can't win on these things. Just swallow the pride a tip your cap, smile, and say that you don't know if you could of beat them - they were awfully good. Anything else is doomed to fail and fall to the boisterous critics. (I haven't heard Skip Bayless on this, but I bet he's being loud about it. Just a hunch.)

Now - could '12 beat '92?

No way in hell.

We can sit and debate the MJ versus Kobe, Magic versus LeBron, Pippen versus Durant, Barkley versus Love (really - we need to compare that?), and the rest - we can debate all that. Some '12 guys may get the checkmark.

But there is ONE comparison that ends all this.

Ewing ain't pretty, but
Tyson Chandler ain't going
over the top of him.
Tyson Chandler versus Patrick Ewing. (And David Robinson wasn't too bad either.)

No way the '92 team with all that talent in the backcourt - and also defensive prowess - doesn't absolutely own the paint with Ewing in the middle. Tyson Chandler may be just fine on the pick and roll, but he's not running into Ewing at the rim. With Barkley/Malone rotating from the help side? Come on, now.

'92 vs '12 - '12 doesn't have a shot.

I do the Twitter: @harry_long

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Facebook Post of the Day

Today's Facebook Post of the Day comes courtesy of our boy, TBLTT:
Tom Banks
Why can't everybody just talk about how excited they are about The TIDE and leave all the pro and against Chick-fil-A shit alone? I'm not interested in the politics of chicken-- I'm just ready to see Dixie's Football Pride make all their asses quit. Roll Tide.
I hear ya, TBLTT.

As someone who just frequented the Chick-fil-A on 280 about five hours ago, I guess I'm not standing strong on any moral ground. But the chicken is just soooo good - what can I do?

(My go-to combo (also known as the 'Harry Combo' in certain circles - the #5 eight-count nuggets, fruit cup instead of fry, and lemonade.)

It's a bit of a shame the there is this hubbub with Chick-fil-A. I've always felt that as long as you're not hurting anybody else, live how you want to live. If a man prefers to have sex with another man, good for him. Not my game, but I'm fine with it.

Either way, I with TBLTT - let's forget this talk and get to football. Or at least football smack talk. Tom's post above got me thinking about what other loon Alabama fans are doing right now...

Cowboy, where you at?


I'm on Twitter. You should follow me. @harry_long

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State Gets It, But I Still Don't Know What "Extreme" Is

Well, it went down today. NCAA laid the wood to Penn State, and the Big Ten gave a pile-on kick to the stomach for good measure.

At least I get to trumpet that I got most of the penalties correct.

And I think all in all, the NCAA won the day. I mean, who could really argue? (Besides this guy. Oh, and the Paternos.)

Mark Emmert says penalties were "Thiiissss Big."
If there were going to be sanctions, they had to be tough. At least there will be games played. While they will still be affected, those whose businesses depend on Penn State can still walk on. Maybe not as high as they could have, but there dreams aren't shattered. Penn State players can stay, or they can go - it's up to them. (Obviously not their #1 choice, as they wanted to play for Penn State and compete for national titles, but they can still play football.) The fans can still sport their jerseys on Saturdays and chant "We Are... Penn State!"

It ain't perfect - a lot of innocent people are getting a raw deal. (Or at least considerably less than ideal.) But in a situation like this, collateral damage was probably unavoidable.

And in the end, after I read and understood the penalties. I really felt okay about it. I'm not a Penn State fan, so I'm sure they feel different, but I think the rest of the college football world probably understood, knew it was severe, and can likely sleep tonight with the decision.

For this individual situation, this was probably about as good as we could do without a time machine to stop it all in the first place.

However, my concerns about these disciplinary actions have not changed. If the head of the NCAA can step in and be judge, jury, and executioner in "extreme situations" - where's the line that defines "extreme"? Everyone was pretty up in arms this time last year about Miami, prostitutes, and "bounty" payments to Hurricane football players.

Gregg Williams and Jonathan Vilma.
Nothing to see here.
"Bounty"? Sounds familiar. And I recall an executive taking pretty "extreme" actions against the offender in that case. Like, somebody ain't coaching at all this year. (And another dude will likely never coach again.)

If this Penn State horror had happened a year ago, and this year the Miami story broke... would Mark Emmert have stepped in there?

I don't know, and I doubt anyone else knows either. But once a door is open, sometimes those things are hard to close.

The decision to discipline was made for this situation, and I can see why it was. I'm just curious where the "extreme" bar is set. Does anyone know?

Be awesome and follow me on Twitter. All the cool kids are. @harry_long