It doesn't matter how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose, and even that doesn't make that much difference. ~ Coach Finstock ~

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween...Not So Scary This Year

Did you know?.....a cockroach can survive 9 days without its head before starving to death.

What is usually a rough Halloween weekend or Monday after, is less painful this year with Georgia finally beating Florida this past Saturday. Actually might be a decent Monday for sports talk in Atlanta with Tech beating #5 Clemson as well. The pessimist in a lot of people will say that Georgia struggling to beat a bad Florida team cannot happen, but I say Georgia had to beat Florida by 1 or 20 points, either way it is a win and you just have to start winning this game to make it a true rivalry. The game was definitely ugly and the special teams issues were the worst I have ever seen under Richt. He said after the game, they are "mostly average to scary." They have a lot to clean up, but bottom line is to keep winning, no matter what. The defense however is playing lights out, giving up one first down and 32 total yards in the second half. This has been the one constants since the South Carolina game.

While it is great to talk about Georgia still having an edge in the overall series and how they dominated until the early 1990s, the recent history has been painful. It is time to string together a few wins and not let Florida have 3-4 years in a row of winning.

So now Georgia must keep on winning, especially in the SEC East. They have four games left on their schedule and need to run the table to keep the fanbase from jumping back out of their holes and firing up They have homecoming this weekend against New Mexico State and then two home SEC games against Auburn and Kentucky, before finishing the regular season in Atlanta versus Tech. The Kentucky game scares me more and more, as they seem to have that one game a year they struggle against a bad team, hopefully that tide has turned.

Georgia now has become Arkansas fans this week as South Carolina plays at Fayetteville this weekend. South Carolina looked mediocre at best this past Saturday in Knoxville, beating Tennessee 14-3. However, none of this matters if Georgia does not worry about themselves and beat Auburn and Kentucky.

Hope everyone has a safe Halloween, if you are in the Atlanta area you should check out Atlanta Zombie Apocayypse.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bryant Gumbel.....Where is the outrage?!?!?!?!?!?

For those that actually care the NBA has been locked out now for well over 100 days. In the past few weeks the NBA and the NBA Players' Association (NBAPA) have been meeting to work on a new collective bargaining agreement. As with most strikes or lockouts there are two sides to every meeting where both sides feel like the other side is not living up to their end of the bargain. To be honest with you, I am not sure most Americans or fans of the NBA know the feeling of a million  dollars so to hear them arguing over millions of dollars and how to best to split it up is exhausting so I choose to not pay attention.

It came back into my line of sight last week when I read about Bryant Gumbel's comments on the show "HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." I have seen this show numerous times and like other HBO documentaries or sports shows it is put together well and is an entertaining show. However, this time Gumbel has gone to new heights and I am shocked that there is not been more outcry asking for him to step down or make an apology.

On the show from Gumbel stated that Stern is "eager to be seen as a modern plantation overseer."  The one thing that should not surprise me is the media members and others who have come out defending Gumbel and saying it was taken out of context and that he is not trying to say anything about slavery. How about coming out and saying that his words were unacceptable and that we cannot throw race into every argument, because it is the easiest thing to do. The video below is the ending of the show where Gumbel makes his comments about the commish.

David Stern, who is considered one of the best pro sport commissioners, has done tons for the NBA with its mostly African American player base. He fought to bring in African American ownership and more coaches and assistants. He strives to have the offices reflect the product on the court and he has gone a long way to get there. He has some of the highest paid players in any sports most of which are African American. So what he is a white man operating a sport that is dominated by black athletes, it has not seemed to be an issue during the numerous other lockout or strike negotiations, why is it an issue now..............

I tweeted about this recently and received a note back that "whites do not have the right to complain about racism." Well I tried to respond to that message, but it was deleted before I could. Not only do I not agree with that statement, but let's move forward with this argument. If the roles were reversed and a white media member had a race related negative comment about a black sports commissioner, Jesse Jackson and the whole crew would have been out in front of this leading the charge for that white media member losing their job and wanting a public apology. Whether Gumbel meant it that way or not is irrelevant, he said it and must pay the consequences for his actions, period. Hasn't Gumbel always been criticized in the black community as well for acting white.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let Them Race!

Why a lot of people who may read this do not care about NASCAR, there is something that has been getting worse recently and I thought I would finally bring it out.

A few years back NASCAR made changes to the car introducing the "Car of Tomorrow" which is in full use now and has been for few years now with a few minor tweaks along the way. Another recent change was making rules changes that affecting the cars at restrictor plate racetracks, Daytona and Talladega. This change made it to where the big packs of cars that use to run together, similar to the picture below. With the new changes to the cars there are two car packs and everyone is split up, not to mention that you cannot stay nose to tail too long of your car might overheat.

After this weekend's race in Talladega there is a growing negative feeling for this type of racing from the drivers themselves. It cannot be fun at all. With the old way they ran if you had a good car you could make moves by yourself and actually drive the car, you definitely needed the draft, but you were not so reliant on another car to succeed. Now you must have a partner or you are left out to dry, it would suck if they were an odd number of cars at the end of the race up front, because someone won't have a dancing partner. The other issue I have here is it is making NASCAR more like F1 and IndyCar than they ever should want. The team orders to not help another car or make it ridiculous. I thought it was all about winning and doing the best for yourself at the end of the race.

I am all for safety, but slowing them down to where this is the type of racing is not the answer. NASCAR needs to continue to look for ways to get back to the racing from 3 years ago at these two tracks. The fans will start to stay at home if this keeps up too much longer.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Studio Movie Grill

This past weekend we celebrated my wife's birthday. This year she wanted to do something different and just relax and maybe see a movie and have a nice dinner. So on Saturday I made plans for us to go to Studio Movie Grill in Alpharetta. I have been skeptical of other theaters in the past that offer the eat, drink and movie combination, but after reading the reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon I thought we would give it a try.

Let me start with this story. The theater offers an online ticket option, where you can buy general admission or reserved seats for each movie prior to arrival. So on Friday I went online and thought I had purchased tickets to the 8:40 PM of Paranormal Activity 3 for Saturday, but somewhere in my rush to knock this out, the screen reset and I purchased the 8:40 PM showing for Friday. Luckily I noticed this prior to us leaving the house on Saturday night and per Stacy's suggestion, called the theater and left a message for the manager. Zach, one of the managers, called me back within an hour and asked if we still planned on coming to the 10:40 PM showing. After a brief discussion he said he understood our issue and wanted to make it right so he reserved seats for us and said to ask for him when we arrived. So once we arrived we asked for Zach and he walked us past the long line for the movie and had two reserved seats for us. Just for that I will for sure be coming back, it is hard to find customer service anywhere you go these days, but for him to go above and beyond will earn them a few return trips for sure. More about the movie in a later blog.

First off, the actual theater itself was not a big place and had a more intimate feel to it than most huge theaters you go to these days. It had a modern trendy vibe to it. The theaters were smaller than most and there were two types of seat options. They had certain rows with desk top seating were you sat in a office chair and then other seating options with two chairs with a tray in front of you.

The menu was actually pretty extensive for a theater and they had a full bar with unlimited options. To order you just hit your red order light and someone would come and take your order. Here is the menu.

The only downside to this theater was there seemed to be more noise coming from the crowd than normal. It could have just been the movie we were seeing or the fact that you are eating while at the movie. Either way that was the only negative I can see with this place. Overall the Studio Movie Grill gets a 4 out of 5 beers from me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hulk...So It Ain't So

In Hulk Hogan's (@HulkHogan) ex-wife's (Linda) book, "Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes," she claims that Hulk and Ed "Brutus Beefcake" Leslie had a gay fling. I can honestly say nothing surprises me anymore at this point when it comes to the Hogans. From the wrestling, to the reality show, car crashes, so-called music careers, etc. nothing is off limits.

However, the timing is weird for sure. The book came out this past summer and she never brought this up during their public, messy divorce. I will say it would not surprise me if it was true, as there are not a lot of professions that require you to wear a thong, tights, boas and makeup. Not to mention rolling around with oily guys while both wearing what amounts to a speedo. Here is Hulk on Howard Stern talking about it.

For all of the mess I will prefer to remember Hulk from my childhood days back when I was a Hulkamaniac and he was wrestling Andre the Giant and being interviewed by Mean Gene, brother!! Hulkamaniacs lived by the three demandments: training, saying prayers and eating vitamins. By the way, he is not doing too bad with his new girl.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conference Shuffle: Big XXII

I will try to keep this shuffle post down to a minimum as the SEC one got a little long winded. As with the other blogs regarding this topic, there has been a lot of potential news over the past few days. The big news for the Big XXII being that they invited TCU to join next season and they have accepted. Good thing for TCU, because going to the Big East never made sense for way too many reasons to list and geographically they belong in the Big XXII.

I believe the Big XXII will at some point have 12 teams, which in turn will make their conference name the only one that still makes sense. With that being said here is what the Big XXII looks like this season, remember due to them only having 10 teams they no longer have divisions.

Iowa State
Kansas State
Oklahoma State
Missouri (in my model leaving for the SEC)
Texas A&M (leaving for the SEC)
Texas Tech

With the addition of TCU and the eventual departure of Mizzou, the Big XXII will need to add three teams to get to 12 for the 2012 or 2013 football season.

Here are the teams I believe will be coming to a Big XXII stadium near you:

1. Louisville. They add a market that helps to extend the branding of the conference, as well as, top notch athletic facilities. This move unlike others will also help to strengthen the basketball competition in the conference.

2. BYU. This year was their first as an independent and with all of the conference shuffling it is going to be harder and harder in years to come to remain independent. BYU has said it is interesting in the Big XXII and recent reports have started the conference is starting to show interest in adding them as well. Again this expands the conference's footprint.

3. West Virginia. Even though I believed that they would end up in the SEC, stories keep creeping out that the SEC is not interested at all and the Big XXII could be their landing spot.

4. Boise State. While on paper this move makes sense, most of the BCS conferences have not approached or even thought about adding BSU. I think this is mostly based on athletic facilities and that football maybe the only power moving forward. Personally I would love to see the Broncos in either the Pac-12 or Big XXII.

So here is what I think the conference will look like in 2-3 years once the mess is cleared up. For argument's sake I am just going to call them the North and South conferences like before, even though they are going to create some division system that does not make sense like the ACC probably.

*Boise State
Iowa State
Kansas State
Oklahoma State

Texas Tech

If West Virginia ends up in the Big XXII, I believe Clemson will be on the move as well to the SEC and Rutgers will go to the ACC........

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Food Review: Big Tex Cantina

Needless to say we have established with numerous trips that Fox Bros. is the best BBQ in Atlanta, with that being said we finally made our way to their other restaurant, Big Tex Cantina (@bigtexcantina), in Decatur. There tag line is "Texas Style Comfort Food & Fellowship."

As far as the actually layout and restaurant, it is a open set up with concrete floors, a big bar area, as well as, a back game room with a pool table, video games and skee ball. They have a pretty good size porch wrapping around two sides of the corner spot they are in. There is a lot of Texas related memorabilia on the walls all around the entire joint. Another good thing is they are open later than a lot of similar spots, 'til 11 on weekdays/Sunday and midnight on Friday/Saturday. They even serve a brunch on Saturday/Sunday at 10 AM which may be worth a visit too!

They had a wide variety on their restaurant that made me feel like I was back home in the Lone Star State. They had a lot of different style apps, with a few must haves. We started with the queso and chips, a lot of folks in these parts will not like it since it is made with yellow cheese, but it was really good, enough to where we had to get a refill on the chips. Definitely want to try the Texas Poutine or Nacho Sliders on my next visit.

As far as your main dish, they have everything from salads, sandwiches, enchiladas, tacos, other Mexican favorites and a good selection of sides. A good part of the menu is they use the brisket and pork from Fox Bros. I went with one of my favorite dishes, chicken fried steak (not country fried steak) with mashed potatoes/gravy and roasted corn. The steak was done perfectly, the potatoes were fresh and reminded me of my mother-in-law's during Christmas and the corn was probably the best corn dish I have had at a restaurant. They even had an option to try the cfs with queso on top instead of gravy. My buddy went with the West Texas Stacked Beef Enchiladas, which looked incredible and according to Jason were even better than they looked. Cannot wait to go back to dig into their tacos, looks like a can't miss.

The only thing we could not pull the trigger on was dessert, but cannot wait to go back to try the Dr. Pepper chocolate cake.

Big Tex definitely is a must return to in Decatur and gets a 4 out of 5 beers from me!!

Take a peak at their menu, click here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Steadfast, Probably Not Even Close, No Doubt About Them....Picks of the Week

So after being perfect last week I figured we would give it another shot. I will say however that my scores were way off which is an inexact science, but gonna try to be better this week. So here are the marquis games and SEC games.

South Carolina @ Miss. State. (12:21 PM EST, SEC Network) With all of the turmoil around the Gamecocks with Garcia finally being dismissed from the team this week (not sure how many chances you should get), and Spurrier calling out a reporter at the press conference Tuesday, I think SC could be in for a fight in StarkVegas. Miss. State badly needs an SEC win and I believe they will find a way in this game Saturday, not to mention it is a 11:21 AM local start.
Gamecocks favored by 3
O/U 48.5
Bulldogs 27 Gamecocks 26

LSU @ Tennessee (3:30 PM EST, CBS) LSU is playing great right now and Tennessee lost its starting QB in the Georgia game last week. However, this was the game last year that Tennessee had won and ended up with 13 men on the field when they made their defensive stand and stormed the field. This game may be close in the 1st half since it is being played at Neyland, but I expect LSU to wear down Tennessee and pull away in the second half.
LSU favored by 16
O/U 43.5
Tigers 38 Vols 10

Alabama @ Ole Miss (6:00 PM EST, ESPN2) Not a lot to say here, Ole Miss is really bad and Bama is hitting on all cylinders. All that is left to decide in the West is who will win the game between LSU and Bama on November 5th in Tuscaloosa. Bama big!!
Alabama favored by 25.5
O/U 45
Tide 48 Rebels 9

Florida @ Auburn (7:00 PM EST, ESPN) Florida continues its stretch of tough games with its next stop at Auburn. Both teams have shuffled QBs in the past few weeks, but Auburn is more stable at that position with Trotter. This could be an ugly game. I think Auburn will find a way to win coming off a beating last week at Arkansas, with Florida's defense still trying to figure some stuff out.
Florida favored by 2
O/U 50.5
Tigers 34 Gators 24

Michigan @ Mich. State (12:00 PM EST, ESPN) Michigan finally runs into their match in only their 2nd road game of the year. This week Denard Robinson will have a turnover that costs them the game.
Michigan State favored by 2
O/U 47
Spartans 37 Wolverines 31

Georgia Tech @ Virginia (3:30 PM EST, ESPNU) Tech struggled greatly last week against Maryland at home and always seem to play bad in Charlottesville. Tech has begun the season undefeated and if they keep winning they are headed towards a top 10 matchup in Atlanta against Clemson on October 29th. Tech wins big here with their powerful offense. Virginia is really, really, really bad!
Tech favored by 7.5
O/U 55
Jackets 42 Cavs 19

Clemson @ Maryland (7:00 PM EST, ESPNU) Clemson may have a new starter at QB with the injury to Boyd. If so, this could finally be the week Clemson loses that game they are not supposed to. Not so fast my friend, Clemson will find a way to win even with a backup QB if Boyd does not play. If Boyd does play I think Clemson scores in the upper 30s.
Clemson favored by 8.5
O/U 52
Tigers 26 Turtles 19

Oklahoma State @ Texas (3:30 PM EST, ABC) The Cowboys visit Texas coming off of their beating last week in the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys scored 56 in the first half last week against Kansas and have one of the best offenses in the country. This game could look a lot like last week for Texas with their youth at QB, Cowboys big.
Oklahoma State favored by 7.5
O/U 64
Cowboys 49 Horns 23

Arizona State @ Oregon (10:15 PM EST, ESPN) College Gameday will be in Eugene for Oregon will most likely be with James at RB which could be a big blow. Oregon seems to start slow and then hammer down in the 2nd half, without James I think this game will be really close with the Devils pulling the upset late.
Oregon favored by 15
O/U 66
Sun Devils 41 Ducks 37

Georgia @ Vandy (7:00 PM EST, FSN) Not happy about missing our second trip in a row to Nashville, but feel good about the Dawgs visiting Vandy. Hate that I am going to miss the Vandy frat guys yelling at the Georgia players that they will work for them one day. Unfortunately for those guys its a football game not a job interview and most of the players that will be wearing silver britches will play in the NFL, you're welcome! Vandy has looked ordinary since their beatdown of Ole Miss early in the year. Georgia's defense has played great and I do not see that stopping this week. Georgia's offense is going to be without Malcolm Mitchell at WR so look for the run game to lead the way, with the defense or special teams making a play to put this away early in the 2nd half. Side note, Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) brother, Jordan, may get significant playing time for Vandy at QB.
Georgia favored by 10.5
O/U 41.5
Dawgs 31 Dores 13

Thursday, October 13, 2011


As with every new fall TV season there are a handful of new shows across the network, cable and premium channels. I must say that for the past two seasons Showtime has taken the prize for the best new shows. Shameless premiered this year in January and it was a great show and we are looking forward to it starting back again on January 8, 2012.

This fall Showtime premiered Homeland (@SHO_Homeland) on October 2nd and it has become appointment television in our house. The pilot had 1.08 million viewers, the highest Showtime drama series rating since 2003. The show comes on Showtime every Sunday night at 10:00 PM EST. The clip below is the preview that was shown on Showtime leading up to the debut.

The show is based on a prisoner of war in Baghdad that was captured in 2003 being found by Delta Forces during a raid on a compound belonging to a known terrorist. The show begins with CIA agent Carrie Mathison (played by Claire Danes) in the Middle East speaking to a prisoner before he is executed and tells her that an American POW has been turned by Al-Qaeda. You learn quickly in the pilot episode that Carrie has a lot of issues and was suspended following the attacks of 9/11. The POW is Nicolas Brody (played by Damian Lewis) and he returns home 8 years after being presumed dead, it is a good part of the story seeing how he adjusts to life back at home with his wife and two kids. Carrie after hearing about Brody being found is immediately suspicious of him and believes that he is the POW that has been turned and will do everything in her power to make sure another attack does not happen on her watch.

Claire Danes plays her character perfectly and is just the right amount of crazy. Damian Lewis does a great job with his character as he goes in and out reflecting back to his time as a POW. In episode 2 he does some things that make you believe that he may have turned. As with any Showtime or HBO drama series there has to be at least one sex scene per episode, actually when the wife finds out Brody is alive, she is in the act with another man. For those Criminal Minds fans out there, Mandy Patinkin plays a prominent role in the series as Carrie's old boss and mentor, Saul Berenson.

Homeland definitely gets a 5 out of 5 beers and I strongly recommend it to anyone! It is even worth getting Showtime added to your package....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have long said that there is no reason for pre-season football polls and again in 2011 there are some glaring reasons as to why the first poll should not come out until the first of October and maybe even when the first BCS poll comes out in the second week of October. While it may be picky to say anything since some of the same teams are still there, I just don't understand the need other than to hype up the season, or in some cases piss off the fan bases. The preseason poll can have a negative effect on a team that is not highly ranked and goes undefeated throughout the year. There are eight teams in the preseason top 25 poll that are not even ranked anymore. Let's just say they might have been wrong on Florida State at #6. The one on the left below is the preseason poll, the right one is the poll from October 10th.

The only other part I have never understood is dropping a team when they win, Oklahoma has done nothing to diminish what was said about them in the preseason, but they have fallen to #3 behind Bama and LSU. Another thing that people should explain to me one day since supposedly style points don't matter!

The thing I always think about as the season reaches this point is keeping teams high in the rankings that will play each other before the season is over, hoping for that top 10 or 5 matchup weekly.
-#1 LSU plays at #2 Alabama on November 5th
-#9 Oregon play at #7 Stanford on November 12th
-#3 Oklahoma plays at #6 Oklahoma State on December 3rd

What say you? Do you even look at the polls?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Florida........State of Emergency!

First off, I went perfect on my picks, but the games were easier to pick this week for sure. I was way off on the scores, except for the Arkansas game, pretty close there.

The news today about the "U," Gators or Seminoles being out of the top 25 for the first time since 1982 got me looking into the bad weeks of sports cities in recently. Especially with the fall of teams in New York City and Philly, which I loved by the way. By the way, I had just turned 4 when this last happened.

So here is where the state of Florida is in recent sports history.

The Miami Dolphins, luckily did not lose again this weekend, only due to them having a bye week. They have started the season 0-4 and they play in the AFC East with the Patriots, Jets and surprisingly good Bills. It is going to be another long season at Joe Robbie (I realize the stadium is not still called Joe Robbie, but they change it over six months so I prefer to keep it simple). The good news may be they are leading the way for the #1 pick in next year's draft which would land them Andrew Luck at QB from Stanford.

The Florida Marlins (soon to be Miami Marlins) had another sub par year. They finished the 2011 season 18 games under .500. It definitely seems to be feast or famine for the Marlins, either 15-20 games under .500 or winning the World Series. Another bit of bad news is the leak of their potential new logo. It has not been confirmed, but it is hideous. The good news for the Marlins other than the name change is they move into a new stadium in 2012, which has to be an improvement over Joe Robbie for sure.

The Gators have been beaten badly the past two weeks, even though a lot of teams in the country could have had the same fate playing #1 and #2 in back to back weeks. Does not get any easier playing at Auburn, Georgia in Jacksonville and at South Carolina, maybe without their starting QB too. I must say I feel no sympathy for them as they beat Georgia annually and it is gotten to be ridiculous.

The Hurricanes have had a lot of issues on and off the field this season, the lone bright spot may be they have a new coach in Al Golden who seems to be one of the good guys. The Hurricanes should be able to turn it around as they play in the ACC. Just like the Gators I have no sympathy for the "U." Not to mention they could have some NCAA penalties still headed their way.

The Seminoles started the season ranked at #5 and have now lost three in a row to Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest. If Bobby was still the coach the fans and media would be wondering when he would be leaving, since its Jimbo they have given his rope a lot of slack. I do not believe there is anything that can happen to turn around their season, it is already a disappointment.

All of the big 3 college teams in Florida have so much talent I do not see them being down for long.

Here are some other highlights or lowlights........

-Florida Atlantic is 0-5
-South Florida started the season undefeated and were embarrassed by Pittsburgh in their last game . They have a history of starting strong and fading as the season pushes on.

I would say the whole state of Florida has an argument for worst sports week or month over Philly and NYC!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Locks of the Week: Oct 8th

So I never really got into picking games in college football at least not formally, so even though we are 6 weeks into the season, let's give it a shot. I will pick all of the SEC games and other big games for the week. If I do not give a reason, that is simply because it is not worth much effort. Also, I am picking the games straight up, if you are for some reason thinking you can win money on these bets, I have added the lines and o/u for your benefit.

Red River Shootout (Oklahoma v Texas) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (Noon EST-ABC). Oklahoma is a 10.5 point favorite and the over/under is 56.5. Oklahoma will win this game, but will not cover. No one thinks Texas will play well this week, but with the change at QB and the underdog label will help them here. I think OU will win. I also think it will be over the 56.5.
OU-31 UT-27

Vanderbilt @ Alabama (7:00 PM EST- ESPNU) Bama is favored by 29. Not a lot to say here, Roll Tide!
Tide-34 Vandy-3

Boston College @ Clemson (3:00 PM EST-Regional) Is this the week that all Clemson fans and haters have waited for? The week when they lose to someone they should not lose to, especially after beating three straight ranked opponents. Clemson is favored by 20.5 with an o/u of 52.5. Clemson will win this game, but it could be tight until the 2nd half, Clemson will score garbage touchdowns late and make it look easy.
Clemson-38 BC-13

Mississippi State @ UAB (12:00 PM EST-FSS) MSU is favored by 19.5 and o/u of 51, which goes to show you how bad UAB must be. After starting off the season ranked in the top 25, MSU has been brought back down to Earth with consecutive SEC losses to LSU, Auburn and the real Dawgs, Georgia. MSU will win this game, but it will be really close. MSU is one dimensional to say the least, they cannot throw the ball at all.
MSU-30 UAB-28

Auburn @ Arkansas (7:00 PM EST-ESPN) Arkansas is favored by 10 with an o/u of 63.5. Auburn has surprised some with their season so far, but give them credit they have played well and have a brutal stretch coming up now, they have Arkansas, Florida, LSU and Georgia before the Iron Bowl at season's end. I think Wilson will have a good game for Arkansas and continue where he left off last week throwing for 500 yards against Texas A&M. Arkansas has a way of losing games in the SEC they should win, but I do not think this will be one of those.
Arkansas 38 Tigers-19

Maryland @ GTech (12:00 PM EST-ESPNU) Tech is favored by 15 with an o/u of 63. Maryland better be prepared on the Tech's first offensive play as Tech has scored on the 1st play multiple times this season. Tech is flying under the radar and everyone is starting to talk about their big matchup against Clemson on 10/29. However, like Clemson, Tech has a knack for losing to teams they are better than, but most of the time that happens on the road. The only thing that could make this interesting is how well Maryland's quarterback looks against the Tech defense, and of course what uniforms Maryland will wear. Tech wins easily on the flats.
Tech-48 Turtles-27

Kentucky @ South Carolina (12:20 PM EST-SEC Network) SC favored by 21 with an o/u of 42.5. Cocks give Shaw another chance to see if he is ready. SC wins late.
USC-24 UK-17

Florida @ LSU (3:30 PM EST-CBS) LSU is favored by 13 with an o/u of 42.5. Florida's QB situation will be an issue and LSU's defense is nasty. LSU wins, hopefully at least a decent game to watch.
LSU-42 UF-18

Georgia @ Rocky Top (7:00 PM EST-ESPN2) Georgia is favored by 2 with an o/u of 55. So basically Vegas thinks Tennessee will win this game close. Georgia has looked bad the last two trips to Knoxville getting shelled in Kiffin's only year there 45-19 in 2009 and 35-14 in 2007. Georgia's defense is much improved over last year's and Tennessee has proven to be one dimensional not being able to generate a running game. For Georgia they have to be worried that Tyler Bray will pick them apart like Kellen Moore did in the Boise game. Kellen had the underneath routes open all day long and kept moving the chains, tiring out the defense. Georgia's special teams also continues to be a weak spot, I look for them to get back on track and provide a spark for the offense. Georgia's balanced attack on offense will be the key to the victory and move them one step closer to competing in the SEC East race.
Dawgs-34 Smokey-21

**It has been 10 years since Larry brought us another classic!!**

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Conference Shuffle: ACC

The ACC has been aggressive in 2011 adding two teams, bringing their total to 14, after adding Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East in 2004/05. The only thing I still find strange about this conference is the reasoning for the divisions, why not just do North and South instead of Atlantic and Coastal? The answer is in basketball they want the North Carolina schools separated and in football they would not mind a Miami/Florida State championship game annually. So knowing they will never have conferences that make sense, I will not change that as they surely won't!

Boston College
Florida State
North Carolina State
Wake Forest

Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are joining the ACC as well, unfortunately due to the buyout and waiting period it is unknown when they will join the conference, but somehow they will get it worked out for them to start football in 2012. The ACC has been up front about needing to improve their football product so that should influence who they would bring into the conference moving forward too. Also, as a reminder I have Florida State leaving the conference for the SEC, so we will have to add 3 more teams to get the ACC to 16, here we go.

Boston College
North Carolina State
*Notre Dame
Wake Forest

*Central Florida
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

The biggest stretch here is Notre Dame, but they have expressed interest according to many sources and they definitely want to get into a conference before it is too late. Also, with the Big East looking weaker and weaker by the day, they cannot afford to get stuck there in the long run. They already compete in the Big East in all other sports other than football. I also do not believe they truly want to be in the Big Ten. Central Florida is an up and coming program with a new on campus stadium and would greatly improve the football product and add a decent television market in Orlando. The other option instead of UCF to me would be South Florida, but I think they would lean UCFs way.

These moves no doubt improve the football that would be played in the ACC, not to mention it would shift the basketball power back as well from the Big East.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference Shuffle: SEC

So with all the talk of conference realignment in college football and the inevitability that it is going to happen, I thought I would give my thoughts on how it should go. Some of these are a stretch, but to me make the most sense geographically and financially for each conference. Maybe this is also a step towards a plus one concept or a playoff system. More about the playoff system later. Here is a map of the Division I teams, as it is clear to see the majority of the teams are East of the Mighty Mississipp, so should be interesting where we can go.

I will just give you the SEC (@SECSportsUpdate) to start, with other conferences to follow. It seems like every week there is new news about this team going here or there.

SEC (as of 10/1/2011) has 13 official members. I believe they will eventually end up with 16, but they could stay at 13 for a few seasons waiting for a buyout or waiting period for the 14th team. So for the purposes of this I will give you my thoughts on the long-term solution with 16 teams.
Current Divisions
Mississippi State
Texas A&M (assume they will be in this division)

South Carolina

First, being from Texas I was shocked to even hear A&M being considered, but I can understand the want of A&M to leave with the University of Texas holding all the cards in the Big XXII and for the SEC wanting to add a school with a lot to offer and a new television market. Here is the story on about A&M joining the conference.

Texas A&M, as with other SEC schools, brings a lot of traditions that will fit right into the fold. The one that most people are aware of is the 12th man, for more information here is the wiki page on the traditions at TAMU.

I believe Missouri will join as the 14th team, giving the SEC another top 25 TV market with St. Louis. Geographically it does not make sense at all, and as a fan of a team in the conference I am not that excited about adding a team like Mizzou, however I think it is only a matter of time.

So if they add Missouri, the SEC has two options:
1. Stay at 14 teams and move a team from the West to the East. If this happens, Auburn would be that team and would move over. This is the most logical move and will allow Georgia and Auburn to continue their long standing rivalry game, and the Iron Bowl can be the permanent crossover game for Auburn and Alabama.
2. Be aggressive and bring in two more teams from the Eastern side of the conference to balance them out at 8 teams in each division.

I personally like option 2 and feel like there are three logical teams to bring in to the fold.
1. Clemson. They operate and have facilities that will compete in the SEC. The fan base fits as well. It is a win-win for Clemson, the issue maybe getting enough votes from the other schools to get them in the door. With recruiting being a cutthroat business, will Georgia, South Carolina, Auburn, etc. want another team in their backyard recruiting to the SEC?
2. Florida State. Similar to Clemson, FSU goes about their business like a SEC team already. Again though will other schools want FSU in their backyard. Another issue is that FSU nor Clemson add anything more from a television market standpoint, however the SEC may overlook this here with the additions of Mizzou and A&M. For sure, Clemson and FSU add value from a sports standpoint, no doubt.
3. West Virginia. This is the most far reaching option, but as far as sports and competition, WVU fits in perfectly. The main issue here will be the television market and the fact that Morgantown is in the middle of nowhere.

So here are my divisions with 16 teams for the SEC:

Mississippi State
*Texas A&M (assume they will be in this division)

*Florida State
South Carolina
*West Virginia

Needless to say the new 13-team pinwheel that was unveiled at Texas A&M this week will be getting a lot busier in the near future.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


With the calendar officially hitting the month of October it was time to change the beer of the month. With the changing in seasons also comes the changing of taps and beers in a lot of the bars and stores around you. My recommendation for this month is to give Harpoon Octoberfest a shot. It is a beer brewed out of the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA.

For more information click on the Harpoon Octoberfest picture to your left.