Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bobby Bowden discusses his "legacy"

Sure, I might be biased, but in my experiences in college football fandom, I've noticed that there's some big differences between Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. Both are obviously legends in the sport and will be remembered forever for their contributions. Maybe it's his southern swagger, but I always thought Bowden was a little bit more pretentious when discussing matters such as his "legacy."

Case in point, this article from SI.com, which wonders if Bowden's reputation takes a hit in the latest F$U scandal.

"I don't think you can ruin my legacy," the 78-year-old coach said Saturday. "How can you ruin it? What I've done, I've done. You can't take it away, can you?"
See, a comment like that leaves me a little unsettled. No, we can't take away Bobby Bowden's contributions to college football, but I don't like that he's trying to throw them around and show them off. If you ask Paterno about his legacy, he'll mumble incoherently for a few seconds before likely explaining that he doesn't consider it a "legacy," that he's glad to have made a difference in the university and in young men's lives, and that he doesn't want to talk about himself anymore.
In the Bowden interviews I've read or seen, it seems clear to me that Bobby's coaching for the all-time wins record, while Joe says he stopped counting his wins years ago (well, at least that's what he'll tell you).

Even though Joe has "stopped counting," I'll pick it up for him -- with his Alamo Bowl win victory last night, JoePa is one win behind Bowden on the all-time wins list. So pull up to the TV tomorrow night with some champagne or eggnog, watch Florida State lose to Kentucky in the Music City Bowl, and celebrate the start of an exciting 2008.

Alamo Bowl wrap

It's a final in San Antonio as the Nittany Lions of Penn State cap off a tumultuous season with a 24-17 victory over the Aggies of Texas A&M to finish the year 9-4. Penn State found themselves in an early 14-0 hole as ball handling woes plagued the offense yet again in the 1st quarter. Morelli eventually found Deon Butler in the end zone on a gutsy 4th down call and Darryl Clark gave the Lion offense a nice spark to send the teams into the locker room at 17-14 at the half -- a lead they never relinquished.

The offensive game really belonged to both squads' ground games, especially in the first half. Rodney Kinlaw capped off his career with 143 yards rushing and Evan Royster gave fans something to dream about for next year with 65 yards and a TD. For the Aggies, big man Jaworski Lane barreled down the field but it was Mike Goodson who ran in 2 TDs in 12 seconds to take the early advantage. Neither Anthony Morelli nor Stephen McGee really got a consistent game going, as Morelli often made bad throws and made his obligatory pick while McGee failed to convert a 4th and 1 inside the 3-yard line. The defenses controlled much of the second half with solid efforts from both teams.

What to love about this year's four-hour long commercial for San Antonio Alamo Bowl:

Joe Paterno: The man still knows how to make a football game entertaining all after these years. His facial expressions and reactions were classic JoePa, especially following Kelly's missed FG from 45 yards out. And that story about the '87 Fiesta Bowl? Awesome.

Darryl Clark
: Who would've thought Clark would get serious playing time tonight? Clark rushed 6 times to the tune of 50 yards and the game-tying TD in the 2nd quarter. Over 8 yards per carry on the night. What an outing for Clark on a night we expected to see the Penn State staff celebrate their maligned, graduating senior quarterback.

Evan Royster: Nittany Lion fans have to be excited at the prospect of what this offense might be next year, with the great potential Clark and Royster have shown. With the dismissal of Austin Scott, Royster saw some serious playing time this year, which will be indispensable for next year's campaign.

Sean Lee: It seemed to me that we heard Lee's name a lot more than Dan Connor's tonight, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. I'll be the first to say it's sad to see Connor go, and it was fun to see him play his last game as a Nittany Lion, but make way for the new face of the Penn State linebacking corps.

Erin Andrews: The Alamo Bowl has the distinction of being the only bowl game at which Erin Andrews will work the sidelines. Nobody does better JoePa impressions, and certainly nobody else looks half as good doing them. (Although I have to call her out for wearing, as a friend who texted me during the game described it, "that sailor suit thingy.")

Things that weren't so great...

Commercials: Why in the world did this game last four hours? Halftime felt like an eternity and my wavering attention span couldn't help but to force me to flip around the channels a bit in the 3rd quarter.

Anthony Morelli: It wasn't that he was bad... it just that he was mediocre... again... in his 26th start for the Lions. The ESPN crew wondered all night why Clark wasn't in the game more often for Penn State. Good luck to him as he moves on, but I have to wonder if this offense might have a quick turn-around, much like it did following the graduation of Zack Mills.

Conference USA officials: Seriously? Actually, they did a pretty decent job.

Craig James: I dunno, I just don't like the guy. Maybe it all stems from that infamous "old fart" comment from last year, but I just don't really see what he brings to the table. I think Chris Fowler pretty much sums it up when follows up James' comments with, "Are you going somewhere with this?" Maybe it's just that he's a little full of himself, maybe it's because he still holds that grudge against JoePa, or maybe it was because he tried to upstage Erin Andrews with a JoePa impression of his own -- which, if you asked me, kinda paled in comparison.

Overall, an entertaining night for what some (especially a few Penn State bloggers) were expecting to be an evening of uninspired football. I really don't want to jump on the bandwagon too quickly, but I have to admit that I kind of like what I see.

(Of course, gotta follow up with a shameless plug: After a slow start in the bowl picks, guess who's gone 6-for-6 so far in weekend action? A Crimson Tide win tomorrow in the Independence Bowl makes it 7-for-7 in the three-day stretch.)

You Will Get No Congratulations from Me

16-0 (cue slow, drawn out, sarcastic clap). Guess what? You still are cheaters. Arrogant ones, at that. You may be the best team in the NFL this year. Perhaps in the history of the game. But your total lack of class and cocky attitude has made you more enemies than friends. How does it feel to have everyone outside of New England hate you (except for those ridiculous "fans" who like your red, white, and blue colors and/or logo)? You probably love it. And I'd expect nothing less from a team that has gone from America's sweethearts to the gutter. I'd root for Satan's minions in a game versus the Patriots. Here's to whatever team knocks your arrogant asses back down to earth in two weeks. Cheers.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Put RC Slocum in his casket!!!!!

Wait, that doesn't make much sense. I mean, put Dennis Franchione in his casket!!! Crap, he just resigned....who did they hire? Ah, yes. Put Mike Sherman in his casket!!!! What? Oh, he hasn't started the job yet? Then....put the interim coach in his casket!!!! Sheesh, that didn't have the ring I was looking for.

It's really difficult to taunt the Texas A&M coaches when none of them can hold on to the job for more than 5 years.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chris Jessie, your 15 minutes begins...now; TAMU doesn't understand the stature of Mr. Paterno


I'll admit that I missed the *insert sponsor here* Holiday Bowl last night. By all indications it was your typical pre-New Year's bowl game, with one team slightly worse on defense than the other (Texas beat AZ State 52-34). That is, until you see this play.


Video can be found here, but what happened was on a backwards pass by ASU QB Rudy Carpenter about to go out of bounds, some guy on the Texas sideline named Chris Jessie (whose apparent coaching title is "Mack Brown's stepson") tries to reach out and grab the live ball. Luckily he must not have been a very good shortstop in high school because the ball bounced right over his hands, and Texas recovered and returned it a distance. However with the use of instant replay the refs caught him, and gave UT an unsportsmanlike penalty, and the ball back to ASU, who scored on the next play. Since Texas ended up winning easily, everybody can laugh it off and have a good day. (Photo: AP)
In other news, people are in a tizzy over some TAMU guy making a comment at a pep rally about putting Joe Paterno in a casket. Obviously this isn't a tasteful comment, but I can excuse the man's ignorance and laugh it off. All Penn State fans know that *if* JoePa dies (he may be immortal), he will be above these average man "casket" devices. He should obviously be embalmed and put on display in the HUB next to that old mule Coaly.


THANK YOU

As of Thursday night, The Daily Collegian is reporting that 5 PSU football players will not be making the trip. They include Navorro Bowman, Knowledge Timmons, Willie Harriot, Tom McEowen, and a guy who shouldn't even be on the team anyway, Chris Baker. I'm glad somebody had the sense to tell JoePa that Chris Baker shouldn't be making this trip, especially since he's being charged with FELONIES IN TWO SEPARATE INCIDENTS. Not that my voice has any weight whatsoever, but I've been calling for the dismissal of Baker for quite some time now. At least this is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thriller in Detroit

"What happens in Detroit... stays in Detroit."

The Big Ten started their bowl season with a bang, as the Purdue Boilermakers finally lived up to expectations defeated the two-time MAC champion Central Michigan Chippewas 51-48 in last night's General Motors Unemployment Motor City Bowl.

Despite the fact that I still find it astounding that a team that went 3-5 in their conference is invited to go bowling, Curtis Painter put up some absolutely sick numbers, throwing for a school-record 546 yards. Three of his receivers had over 100 yards on the night. The 546 yards ranks fourth all-time in individual passing yards in a bowl game.

Purdue went into halftime on the winning side of a lopsided 34-13 match. The Chips quickly jumped out of the gate in the second half with an electrifying 76-yard TD to pull within two scores. Painter put his cannon on display once again to make it 41-20, but the Chippewas refused to be put down, rallying to make it 41-34 late in the 3rd quarter. How about that Dan LeFevour! Talk about a heavyweight match of highly-touted quarterbacks.

Purdue coughed up the ball near their own 10, and LeFevour punched it in to tie it up at 41 going into the final act. Central Michigan capped off the 3rd quarter with four touchdowns. Painter and company easily plastered another TD on the scoreboard late in the fourth, leaving the ball to LeFevour with about two minutes or so left. In just about a minute's time, LeFevour found Bryan Anderson for yet another TD, but ended up leaving too much time on the clock for the Boilermakers. Unsurprisingly, Painter rifled a few passes down the field, allowing for the 40-yard game winning FG. Woo.

Now, the aftermath. The Boilermakers breathe a sigh of relief, as they almost choked away a three-score lead to the MAC champions. The Chippewas drive home with the moral victory that they almost beat the 7th-place team in the Big Ten.

Dan LeFevour came close to matching Tim Tebow's 20-20 mark, but I don't think he quite made it. I think he'll have a great chance of hitting it in his next two years of eligibility.

The bowl may have big coaching implications. The win likely saved Joe Tiller's job at Purdue, as there's always been speculations and grumblings that boosters and fans might be getting sick of his recent mediocrity. Meanwhile, Chippewa coach Butch Davis is likely in Morgantown today for his second interview for the West Virginia job. Davis had been an assistant for the Mountaineers for a few years. We can pretty much confirm his interview, since he declined to comment on it last night. We all know how coachspeak works by now.

So, Purdue starts the conference's bowl season on the right foot. Bring on the Big 12 and the SEC!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has great New Year. Posts will hopefully become more frequent after January 1st (including the last two Hot 12's).


MERRY CHRISTMAS

The message is well intentioned...

Ok, I'm probably looking way too far into this but look at the latest featured user comment from ESPN.com.
I'm really curious what this guy means by 'friends.' Why the quotes? You don't have any real ones? Either way, the main thing that stuck out to me was the name of the guy that submitted the comment. Maybe you read it as tom69edw but I read it as tom 69ed w. Again, quite nitpicky but you'd think ESPN.com might look at user names before publishing. Tryin' to keep things Y7 rated here, you know. Maybe on New Years I'll post a happy new year message under the user name tom69edbill...as in Brady and Belichick...and now I just got angry because Tom Brady is dating Giselle. Merry Christmas.

More grinches

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3167808

The only thing worse than finding out you've been rejected from a big job you're applying for on Christmas Eve? Getting fired from the job you already have on Christmas Eve! And that's what happened to Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles yesterday. He had the Bulls, whom I guess were supposed to be good this year, to a 9-16 start, and that will usually do it. But that's not the point: Call me old-fashioned, but isn't it really rude to fire somebody on Christmas Eve? You think this guy or his family is going to have any resemblance of an enjoyable holiday now? I mean, will it really kill the team that much to just wait two days and do it on the 26th so his family can at least have a relaxing Christmas? It just reeks of being unethical to me.

With that out of the way, on behalf of all the Sports Fountainhead writers I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Or if you don't celebrate Christmas, Merry Tuesday, and enjoy your Chinese food.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Rejected :(

Some of you may remember me putting my name in for the head coaching position at the University of Michigan several weeks ago. Not only was I not contacted for an interview (I guess they read the blog), not only did they make their choice and announce it on national television before contacting me, but I get this email this morning. Keep in mind today is CHRISTMAS EVE.


Dear Jonathan Donati:

Thank you for your application for the HEAD FOOTBALL COACH position in the department of Athletics, requisition number 13431. This position was posted 11/26/2007 through 12/19/2007. The department has completed their activity on this position, and it has been filled.

You are encouraged to continue your career search by using the University's automated employment system at http://www.umjobs.org. If you have questions about this email or your application(s) for positions, please call the HR/Payroll Service Center at 734/615-2000.

Sincerely,

The University of Michigan


Are you kidding me? Obviously I wasn't seriously under consideration for this job, but what if I actually was a coach who had serious interest in the job? Or what if I'm applying for a different job in the university that actually has an interview process (which we all know head coaching positions don't)? They actually have the nerve to reject applicants on CHRISTMAS EVE?? Good golly Michigan is more evil than I had ever thought.

Pittsburgh Steelers - 2007 AFC North Champs

Good things happen to the Steelers in Cincinnati late in the season. Two years ago, it was a win in the first round of the playoffs after Carson Palmer got hurt and the Bengals quit. Last year, the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs already, but were able to also eliminate the Bengals with a dramatic overtime win on the last week of the season. This year, the Steelers weren't even involved, but the Bengals win over the Browns on Sunday sealed up the division championship. A lot of criticism has been thrown on the team the past month or so, but when you put everything in perspective this has been a pretty amazing year for the black and gold. In his first year as coach, Mike Tomlin has done something with the Steelers that we weren't even able to do when we won the Super Bowl two years agon - win the AFC North division. One more win in Baltimore next week will match the record of that season, and the record of Bill Cowher's first year in 1992.

There's still something to play for, with the 3rd seed still up for grabs. We will have to beat Baltimore next week and hope the Chargers either lose tonight vs. Denver or next week at Oakland. The difference between the 3rd and 4th seed? 3rd seed hosts either Cleveland or Tennessee in the wild card game, and the 4th seed hosts Jacksonville. 3rd seed would go to Indianapolis if they win the wild card game, and the 4th seed would likely go to Team X. So Tomlin will have some decisions to make next week as to whether to rest some banged up players or not. Regardless, it feels good to be on top again.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007 Poinsettia Bowl Champions: Utah Utes*

I knew it was only a matter of time before some official somewhere confirmed the refs messed up at the end of the Poinsettia Bowl. For those that don't know, a Ute fumbled the ball near the Navy goal line but the ball hit the pylon then bounced out of bounds. Rule #whatever states that when that occurs, you have a touchback. The replay official screwed up and said Utah ball on the 1. However, the Midshipmen made a great goal line stand and forced a turnover on downs, getting the ball on their own one. While the Midshipmen did in fact get the ball, they were forced to squeeze their way out of their endzone and ended turning the ball over on downs themselves on about the 20 or so. Had the ref not screwed up, who knows what would have happened with the momentum shift, plus, Navy wouldn't have to call a couple plays just to get breathing room. While I do admit, Utah probably deserved to win the game, it's pathetic that a ref could blow such an easy call. Even Lou Holtz was saying in the booth how much of an easy call it was!! When Lou Holtz is smarter than your replay official, you have a major problem.


I got cooler participation trophies for little league baseball

At least Navy didn't miss out on any cool trophy...

Owls!


Why doesn't FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger look excited? This dude has seen it all. He's coached on a Super Bowl team ('72 Dolphins, no less), been an assistant coach for a few college NCs and head coached the Miami Hurricanes to the '83 National Title. Instead of riding off into the sunset, Coach Schnellenberger decided to start a football team from scratch at a commuter school in Boca Raton, Florida. His work finally paid off tonight with a sound defeat of the Memphis Tigers in the New Orleans Bowl. It's a bummer that he couldn't have looked a little more amped to have a Gatorade shower but hey, he's seen bigger things that I'm sure he hopes FAU accomplishes down the road.

And he probably isn't too happy because he paid top dollar for that snazzy suit.

Note: After Steely's comment, it has come to my attention that the picture might not be of Howard Schnellenberger but actually of Mark Twain. Stay tuned for updates.

(Credit the AP with the pic)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Steely's back!

I'm sorry I've been MIA for the most part lately, I've been working on this side project of mine that involves graduating college. Now that that is accomplished, minus the actual walk, let's catch up on how my teams have been doing lately.

Steelers - In mid-November, beat the Ravens and Browns to get to 7-2 and open a commanding lead in the AFC North. Then they went to the Meadowlands to play the one win Jets. Oops. After one of the most embarrassing performances I can remember from the team, they lose in overtime, and haven't been the same since. After sloppy wins against Miami and Cincinnati in the bog at Heinz Field, went up north and got embarrassed by Team X. Another home loss to Jacksonville put us at 9-5 and tied with Cleveland for first place. Thursday night we had one of those bizarre NFL Network games, and beat St. Louis 41-24 in probably the best overall team performance since the Jets loss. However, the NFL's leading rusher, Fast Willie Parker, to a broken leg. Now our main back is Najeh Davenport, most well known for pooping in some chick's closet while with the Miami Hurricanes. Davenport played great last night, actually becoming the first back to run for over 100 yards against the Rams this season. Big Ben also had an amazing game, putting up a perfect 158.3 QB rating, and the offense put up a season high 41 points without Parker. The #1 defense has not played like it the last 3 games, but turned it up in the 2nd half against the Rams offense that was actually dangerous with all its weapons healthy (Bulger Jackson and Holt).

So the question is: Can the Steelers have postseason success without their main running back? Well, losing Willie certainly won't help our postseason chances, but it may not totally erase them either. While Davenport has ran well in his stead, he doesn't have the same big play ability as Willie. So defenses will try to force us to beat them in the air. And you know what? We can. We have a Pro Bowl QB, two big play receivers (Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington), two possession receivers (Hines Ward and Heath Miller), and you could argue that Najeh is a better pass protector than Willie. It all depends on the play of the line, which has been terrible of late. If the Steelers are to have any chance in the playoffs, the line will have to step it up big time, especially in pass protection. Ben can't be getting sacked as much as he has, which is a lot. The defense will also have to play better than they have, which I think they definitely can.

One more game left, against Baltimore in Baltimore. The Ravens have quit on their season since losing to Team X so it should be an easy win. All Steelers fans should be rooting for the Bengals against the Browns this weekend, as that would clinch the division and allow us to rest the key starters for the last game.


Penguins - Last time I wrote about the Pens, they were struggling something serious, and we're about to play the first place Senators in Ottawa on Thanksgiving night. I actually suggested that the game on the fast Canadian ice could help our offense get back on track. Hate to say I told you so, but...the Pens won that game 6-5 and it appeared to turn the season around. We had a winning tear right after that, sweeping a Western Canada road trip in the process. There's been some bad losses lately, including 8-2 in Philadelphia and 4-0 in MSG (we need to learn to handle the Atlantic Division), but overall have improved the record to 17-17 (2) and are in the top 8 in the Eastern Conference. Most recent game was a 5-4 shootout win in Boston (take that Belichick), in which Sidney Crosby had a Gordie Howe hat trick: a goal, assist, and fight in the same game. And he made the fight count, making former Penguin Andrew Ference bleed from the head.

The biggest problem for this team is the goaltending. The oft-maligned Marc-Andre Fleury is lost for a couple months with an injury, and his value is not realized until he is gone. Now the team is relying on Dany Sabourin (who can be very good or very very bad on a given night) and Ty Conklin (who is just very very bad) in net.


Pirates - Real baseball teams are signing free agents and making deals to improve their teams this time of year. The Pirates don't like participating in these types of activities.


Penn State (football) - Plays Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl on the 29th. Yawn.


Penn State (basketball) - Undefeated at the Bryce Jordan Center, winless everywhere else. My guess is that once Big Ten play starts, we will no longer be undefeated at the Bryce Jordan Center; but we may stay winless everywhere else.


Penn State (volleyball) - National champs. You can thank Joey for that.


That's all for now. Steely updates will be more frequent now, as I will have a LOT more free time starting Saturday.


P.S. In the little bowl challenge we got going on right now: Steely 1-0, everyone else 0-1. That's right boys. GO UTES!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007-2008 Sports Fountainhead Bowl Predictions

See the Bowl matchups in the previous post.

Predictions
Joey Eric Justin Tom Jonathan
Navy Navy Navy Navy Utah
FAU FAU Memphis Memphis FAU
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati
New Mexico New Mexico New Mexico Nevada New Mexico
BYU BYU UCLA BYU BYU
Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State
Purdue Purdue Purdue Purdue CMU
Texas Texas Arizona State Arizona State Arizona State
Boston College Michigan State Michigan State Boston College Boston College
TCU Houston TCU TCU TCU
Maryland Oregon State Oregon State Oregon State Oregon State
Wake Forest Wake Forest UConn Wake Forest UConn
UCF UCF UCF Mississippi State UCF
Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State
Alabama Colorado Alabama Alabama Colorado
California Air Force California Air Force Air Force
Georgia Tech Fresno State Fresno State Fresno State Fresno State
South Florida South Florida Oregon South Florida South Florida
Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky
Indiana Indiana Ok. State Ok. State Ok. State
Clemson Clemson Auburn Auburn Clemson
Wisconsin Tennessee Wisconsin Wisconsin Tennessee
Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri
Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech Virginia
Florida Florida Michigan Florida Florida
USC USC USC USC USC
Georgia Georgia Georgia Hawaii Georgia
Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
Kansas Virginia Tech Kansas Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers
Tulsa Tulsa Tulsa Tulsa Tulsa
Ohio State Ohio State LSU LSU LSU

2007-2008 Bowl Schedule

Date Bowl Teams
12/20/2007 Poinsettia Utah vs Navy
12/21/2007 New Orleans Memphis vs Florida Atlantic
12/22/2007 Papajohns.com Southern Miss vs Cincinnati
12/22/2007 New Mexico Nevada vs New Mexico
12/22/2007 Las Vegas UCLA vs BYU
12/23/2007 Hawaii Boise State vs East Carolina
12/26/2007 Motor City Purdue vs Central Michigan
12/27/2007 Holiday Arizona State vs Texas
12/28/2007 Champs Sports Boston College vs Michigan State
12/28/2007 Texas TCU vs Houston
12/28/2007 Emerald Maryland vs Oregon State
12/29/2007 Meineke Car Care UConn vs Wake Forest
12/29/2007 Liberty UCF vs Mississippi State
12/29/2007 Alamo Penn State vs Texas A&M
12/30/2007 Independence Alabama vs Colorado
12/31/2007 Armed Forces California vs Air Force
12/31/2007 Humanitarian Georgia Tech vs Fresno State
12/31/2007 Sun South Florida vs Oregon
12/31/2007 Music City Kentucky vs Florida State
12/31/2007 Insight Indiana vs Oklahoma State
12/31/2007 Chick-fil-A Clemson vs Auburn
1/1/2008 Outback Wisconsin vs Tennessee
1/1/2008 Cotton Missouri vs Arkansas
1/1/2008 Gator Texas Tech vs Virginia
1/1/2008 Capital One Michigan vs Florida
1/1/2008 Rose Illinois vs USC
1/1/2008 Sugar Hawaii vs Georgia
1/2/2008 Fiesta Oklahoma vs West Virginia
1/3/2008 Orange Virginia Tech vs Kansas
1/5/2008 International Rutgers vs Ball State
1/6/2008 GMAC Bowling Green vs Tulsa
1/7/2008 BCS Championship Game LSU vs Ohio State

Monday, December 17, 2007

Like you need additional reasons to hate the Patriots...

Real class act by the Patriot fans to throw snowballs at the Jets during the game Sunday. They're really challenging Philly for the most disrespectful fans in America.

With Penn State Doomed to Choke, I Did What I Had To Do

I stopped watching. Yep, that's right. I am referencing this past Saturday's NCAA Women's Volleyball National Championship, pitting #1 seed Stanford vs #3 seed Penn State in Sacramento, CA. As you know from Steely's earlier post moments after the final kill, Penn State pulled out a thrilling victory. The Nittany Lions won 3-2 (30-25, 30-26, 23-30, 19-30, 15-8), finishing the season at an astounding 34-2 and on a 26 match winning streak. Penn State lost only 18 games all year. They played 126. They won 85.7% of their games and 94.4% of their matches. It's safe to say they were a great team. The Nittany Lions only match defeats came versus Nebraska, the #2 seed (30-2) in the tournament, during the Cornhuskers Labor Day Tournament, and Stanford, the #1 seed, during the Yale Classic two weeks later. This team dominated the lesser opponents and captured their fifth consecutive Big Ten Championship.

Anyway, I couldn't follow the team throughout the year since I'm in Boilermaker Nation Region City Field and away from Nittany Lion Country. I knew they were good and routinely checked gopsusports.com for match updates (I would have watched them online but streaming using the apartment internet is, to put it nicely, useless). So stats and recaps would have to do. And they did. Until the National Championship. Yay ESPN2! We get that!

Click on image to enlarge.

Kelly and I turned the game on while we finished up at the gym. We left after a few points in the first game (Penn State was losing). After I showered, I turned on the match but left the room to check my email and read the remarkable posts on Sports Fountainhead. I could hear the announcers in the background saying Penn State had taken Game 1 and was leading Game 2. Pleased to hear this, I continued lazily scouring the internet. I returned to watch the National Championship at the end of Game 2, with the game all but sealed and a reassuring 2-0 lead over #1 Stanford. Sweet. But that's when things got ugly.

Like McDonati, I'm a superstitious person. While I know it is complete and utter crap, I always convince myself that what I am doing is hurting the team/individual. Watching Penn State struggle to do anything offensively in Game 3 was starting to pull at those superstition threads. But they didn't convince me so I continued to watch as Penn State handed Stanford point after point on miscommunication errors. They looked oddly confused and out of place. This continued through Game 4. I knew it was me. I had to stop watching. I hadn't watched all year. They were 33-2 in matches I didn't watch. The had played 121 games and won 105 of them. But the little I watched of Game 1 in the gym and all of Games 3 and 4, they looked bad. It was me. Had to be.

So I did what superstitious fans would do. I stopped watching. Game over. I didn't want to do this to Penn State; to those girls that had worked so hard. Penn State hadn't won a meaningful Championship since...1999? The last Women's Volleyball Championship team (apologies again to the gymnastics, fencing, and rugby squads)? Maybe. This needed to happen. TV off. Time for bed.

I wake up 30 minutes later and check the gopsusports.com. "2007 National Champions". IT WORKED! I stopped watching and they returned to their dominating form! WE WIN! WE WIN!


Click on bracket to enlarge.

Do I actually believe me not watching helped them win? Eh. They were a great team with a lot of talent. The announcers continually mentioned how many of them would probably be on the USA squad in the 2012 Olympics. A few maybe even in Beijing in 2008. This team won because they were the best team. But these events and this outcome will keep me wondering. And won't dampen my sports superstitions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Andy Pettitte Saga

I just want to start out by saying that Andy Pettitte has been my favorite baseball player ever since 1996 and it was very disappointing to me that he was named in the Mitchell report. While I don't condone the use of HGH or other performance enhancing drugs at all, I am willing to give Pettitte somewhat of a pass on this. The report stated that he used HGH 'two to four times' as he was recovering from an elbow injury. Yes, that was wrong, but his intentions were good. He was trying to recover from an injury. That's what he admitted and what the Mitchell Report pretty much said. While the purpose of the Mitchell Report was to state on the role of performance enhancing drugs in baseball and what to do to fix it, I thought that when we named the names, we were trying to expose the people that took the drugs to really amp up their performance. Barry Bonds took the stuff to build himself up like crazy and so he could crush baseballs out of the ballpark. Again, I am not condoning what Pettitte did, but at least the alleged circumstances were not that bad and he owned up to it. Apparently all that is not good enough for some. Renegade/Idiotic national columnist Mike Freeman for cbs.sportsline.com felt the need to rip into Pettitte and basically call him a huge liar. I honestly think I lost brain cells reading it...here it is (in bold)

If you believe Andy Pettitte, then you also believe a big, fat man wearing a red suit will slide down your chimney in a few days.

You also believe the excuses given by those perverts on the Chris Hansen Dateline shows.

Or those Internet ads promising increased length ... of your hair follicles.

Well, looks like I actually do believe in Santa, along with a lot of other people who didn't think they did. Apparently I believe that some overweight, unemployed 52-year old men just want to be friends with 13-year old girls too.

Increasingly, George "Superbad" Mitchell is looking more and more like a genius and Barry Bonds more and more like he had plenty of company.

He wrote down what a trainer told him (at least in this instance). Real tough stuff. And holy cow! Barry Bonds had plenty of company!!?? I never knew!!

Here is what the latest news from the Mitchell investigation -- Pettitte admitting he used HGH -- really means:

It means at least some of the championships earned during the recent New York Yankees dynasty are seriously tainted.

There is no other conclusion. None. Not one.

Hmm...let us see. Some of the championships tainted? Well, Pettitte admitted taking HGH during the 2002 season. That's what the Mitchell Report said too. There is no other evidence whatsoever that he took it during any other time. The Yankee's last title? 2000. To say "at least some" of the championships are "serious tainted" is a completely outrageous statement. If he were to say that other former Yankees on that list taking performance enhancing drugs could have tainted the titles, he might have somewhat of an argument, but he didn't. He said that Pettitte admitting he used HGH (and only that) means that the titles were tainted. And that there's no other conclusion. Wow. I'll offer another one. His admission didn't taint s***. Plus by saying this, Freeman shows how close-minded of a person he really is. Last I checked, George W. Bush was the decider (sorry, had to do it).

Both Pettitte and Roger Clemens were key mentions in the Mitchell report and Pettitte helped the Yankees win four World Series championships. Clemens was, of course, key as well.

Wait...you just said that Pettitte's statement that he used HGH tainted the title. Don't bring Clemens into this. Because Pettitte and Clemens are such good friends, people tie them together and assume that means Clemens had to have done it too. You can't do that. While I do admit, Clemens' situation is very hairy, just because one story was proven right doesn't mean they all are. Besides, Clemens came to the Yankees in 1999 so at least he would have only helped for 2 of the 4 titles if the allegations against him prove true.

If Yankees fans have written me and said Bonds' records are tainted, it is only fair to suggest that what the Yankees did with Pettitte is now tainted.

If New York sports fans have stated the New England Patriots are cheaters and said their Super Bowls are tainted, then how is what the Yankees did not tainted?

It strains credibility, no matter what Pettitte's apologists will say, that he limited his use of HGH.

Pettitte claimed he used HGH on only two occasions.

Ooookkaayyyy ...

And I only just had two beers.

Bonds probably did steroids 23940723498 times. Pettitte? Two to four...crappy comparison. Especially since Bonds did it out of greed, self image, and for personal gain. And again, the Mitchell Report stated he took it only in 2002, and only because he was nursing a bum elbow. Knowing how evil and sinister Belichick is, who knows how long the Pats filmed signals. Another very loose comparison. To slam Pettitte for claiming to only use HGH twice is just stupid. That's what the Mitchell Report said too. How can you be so adamant that he is lying? I just don't get it. While Pettitte did have pretty decent stats in 2002, they weren't jaw dropping by any stretch. Either way, he has put up similar stats since baseball started testing for HGH and other things.

Your use had nothing to do with increasing your fastball. Nothing at all.

Actually it didn't. His K/IN ratio has been relatively steady throughout his career.

You're a team guy, Andy. You make me proud to be an American. I want to cry.

(Example of why Mike Freeman is a complete a**.)

If you're going to laugh at Bonds for saying he thought he was taking flaxseed oil, or mock Mark McGwire's appearance before Congress or laugh at how Sammy Sosa sat before Congress and suddenly couldn't speak English, you have to laugh hysterically at Pettitte's statement.

Again, another flat out retarded comment. All three of these guys blatantly abused performance enhancing drugs to inflate their bodies. I'm pretty sure Pettitte's head didn't double in size like Bonds'. What he did was confirm the statement written in the Mitchell Report. I don't understand how you can compare the situations at all. Pettitte is the only guy of those 4 to even admit taking anything too...

Rumors of HGH and steroid use have swirled around Clemens and Pettitte for some time, so why hasn't Pettitte said anything until now?

I can answer that one. It's because he was named in Mitchell's report. He had to come clean. So Pettitte did the next best thing; he came sorta, kinda clean.

Right, you expected players to come out and admit taking HGH before the Mitchell Report. While that would be nice, it is just unrealistic. Plus, HGH rumors have not swirled around Pettitte that much (at least to my knowledge). His build really hasn't really changed at all and he has never been a power pitcher. Maybe I'm missing out on something but outside of recovering from injuries and such, wouldn't HGH mainly only help develop power pitchers? Did he admit it because of the Mitchell Report? Yeah, I won't argue that point. You honestly can't expect everyone to come clean, and especially Pettitte since he (allegedly) has only used HGH 2-4 times. To charge that he as only come sorta, kinda clean...how can you? There is NO evidence that he used it at any other time. Almost sounds like a personal vendetta against Pettitte if you ask me.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Champions!

The #3 Penn State women's volleyball just defeated #1 Stanford in a thrilling five game match (30-25, 30-26, 23-30, 19-30, 15-8) to win the 2007 NCAA Championship!! It marks the team's first title since 1999 and the first title for PSU in any sport at least since I've been a student here (gymnastics and fencing dont count, sorry). Congrats to a great group of girls!

Shut Up!!!!!!

Bill Belichick continues to be a complete ass. Apparently, there was a cameraman in the stands behind the end-zone at last year's Jets v. Pats playoff game. His purpose (according to the Jets and not disputed by anyone yet) was to just film the game from that perspective. That cameraman was kicked out because he didn't have permission (which the Jets claimed he had). Either way, Belichick then felt the need to officially go on the record saying that the Patriots had never granted the guy permission. That begs the question..

WHO CARES?!?!

I blame this current debacle on the Pats and the media. If the Patriots thought that he was doing anything blatantly illegal (ie taping signals), you bet your ass Belichick would have turned in the Jets just as Mangini did to the Pats. However, he didn't. So who cares. He was filming the game!!! I loved how Belichick kept going on about how all this stuff was "in the past" earlier this week, yet he decided to bring it up two days before the rematch. The media is just looking for any kind of fuel for the spygate fire so they have more material to write and it's getting to be pretty pathetic. The fact of the matter is, the Jets and Pats have an extremely sour relationship and have had one for a very long time. The two franchises hate each other. It's almost like two little siblings...one turns the other in for something legitimately bad so the other one says "well he/she did this before too!" Too late guys. If the Pats thought the Jets were doing something bad, then they should have turned them in then and there. They didn't, and haven't even proven that they were even really doing anything that bad. The Patriots just really need to shut up.

I hope karma comes around and give the Patriots a swift kick in the ass tomorrow. Remember, the Jets beat the Pats last year during the regular season during terrible weather conditions. That will be the case tomorrow. Anything goes...

Michigan fans breathe a sigh of relief

Congratulations to the Appalachian State University Mountaineers, winners of the FCS (AKA Division 1-AA) National Championship, who won in a 49-21 romp over the Delaware Blue Hens. It is the first time a 1-AA school has won three consecutive national titles.

Maybe their upset win over Michigan wasn't so embarrassing after all.

No, wait. It still is.

(P.S. -- With this win, the Mountaineers finished the season 2-0 against teams with winged helmets.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The REAL List: Mitchell Report Names

The list before, as stated, was based on rumors and unfounded reports. There was no mention of a few key players (i.e. Jason Varitek, Johnny Damon, Albert Pujols, etc.) in the real report. However there were many others.

To save the loyal readers (all 12 of you) from having to page through the 409 page document created by Senator George Mitchell et. al., the good people at Deadspin and ArmchairGM have compiled a list of the MLB players, former and current, in the Mitchell Report. Here it is:


All the players listed in the section VIII. B.: "Information Regarding Purchases or Use of Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball" (section 3 is "Radomski¹s Distribution of Performance Enhancing Substances to Major League Baseball Players")

Lenny Dykstra
David Segui
Larry Bigbie
Brian Roberts
Jack Cust
Tim Laker
Josias Manzanillo
Todd Hundley
Mark Carreon
Hal Morris
Matt Franco
Rondell White
Roger Clemens
Andy Pettitte
Chuck Knoblauch
Jason Grimsley
Gregg Zaun
David Justice
F.P. Santangelo
Glenallen Hill
Mo Vaughn
Denny Neagle
Ron Villone
Ryan Franklin
Chris Donnels
Todd Williams
Phil Hiatt
Todd Pratt
Kevin Young
Mike Lansing
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Adam Piatt
Miguel Tejada
Jason Christiansen
Mike Stanton
Stephen Randolph
Jerry Hairston
Paul Lo Duca
Adam Riggs
Bart Miadich
Fernando Vina
Kevin Brown
Eric Gagne
Mike Bell
Matt Herges
Gary Bennett, Jr.
Jim Parque
Brendan Donnelly
Chad Allen
Jeff Williams
Howie Clark
Nook Logan



Section IX. B."Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball"

Rick Ankiel, Paul Byrd, Jay Gibbons, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Gary Matthews, Jr., and Scott Schoeneweis, and former players David Bell, Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Darren Holmes, John Rocker, Ismael Valdez, Matt Williams, and Steve Woodard."


BALCO FOLK

Marvin Benard
Barry Bonds
Bobby Estalella
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Randy Velarde


The Mitchell Report

Merry Christmas

http://files.mlb.com/mitchrpt.pdf

Tis the Steroid Season - Mitchell Report Out Today (2pm EST)

Crazy day. There are various rumors out there on who is named in the George Mitchell report on steroids in baseball. There is a press conference today at 2pm EST and ESPN is having 6 straight hours of coverage from 1pm-7pm. MLB Commissioner is expected to have a press conference around 4:30pm EST. Who will be on the list? Well there are some foregone conclusions (Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, etc.). Well there is a pretty hefty list circulating the internet now and rumor mongers are claiming the list is pretty accurate. Only time will tell. The steroid list is below (taken from Deadspin). I've highlighted some big name/surprising players. Remember, these are based on rumors, not facts. The truth is told at 2pm.

Brady Anderson
Manny Alexander
Rick Ankiel
Jeff Bagwell
Barry Bonds
Aaron Boone
Rafael Bettancourt
Bret Boone
Milton Bradley
David Bell
Dante Bichette
Albert Belle
Paul Byrd
Wil Cordero
Ken Caminiti
Mike Cameron
Ramon Castro
Jose and Ozzie Canseco
Roger Clemens
Paxton Crawford
Wilson Delgado
Lenny Dykstra
Johnny Damon
Carl Everett
Kyle Farnsworth
Ryan Franklin
Troy Glaus
Rich Garces
Jason Grimsley
Juan Gonzalez
Eric Gagne
Nomar Garciaparra
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Jose Guillen
Jay Gibbons
Clay Hensley
Jerry Hairston
Felix Heredia, Jr.
Darren Holmes
Wally Joyner
Darryl Kile
Matt Lawton
Raul Mondesi
Mark McGwire
Guillermo Mota
Robert Machado
Damian Moss
Abraham Nunez
Trot Nixon
Jose Offerman
Andy Pettitte
Mark Prior
Neifi Perez
Rafael Palmiero
Albert Pujols (Not In Mitchell Report)

Brian Roberts

Juan Rincon
John Rocker
Pudge Rodriguez
Sammy Sosa
Scott Schoenweiis
David Segui
Alex Sanchez
Gary Sheffield
Miguel Tejada
Julian Tavarez
Fernando Tatis
Mo Vaughn
Jason Varitek
Ismael Valdes
Matt Williams
Kerry Wood


Remember, all conjecture/rumors. In my opinion the biggest names are: Roger Clemens, Albert Pujols, Troy Glaus, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Tejada, and Jason Varitek.

So glad that Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Cole Hamels aren't on the rumor list. Let's hope they aren't on the real list, either.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NCAA Division 1-A Simulated Tournament: National Championship & Consolation Game

This is the last set of results for the Inaugural Sports Fountainhead Simulated Division 1-A (FBS) Tournament. I hope everyone has enjoyed it. Sadly, the games were not as good as previous rounds. To look at the other results go here, here, here, and here. The final results are below...


Consolation Game
5 Georgia vs 2 LSU
Round 4, Game 1 Results
Sugar Bowl

Final Score
44-24, LSU

Game Statistics
Passing
Matthew Stafford, Georgia - 21 of 35, 312 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
Matt Flynn, LSU - 19 of 19, 294 yards, 2TDs, 2 INTs

Rushing
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia - 31 rushes, 117 yards, 0 TDs, 1 fumble
Alley Broussard, LSU - 37 rushes, 127 yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble

Receiving

A.J. Bryant, Georgia - 5 catches, 96 yards, 0 TDs, 0 drops
Demetrius Byrd, LSU - 7 catches, 114 yards, 1 TD, 0 drops

Defensive

Marcus Howard, Georgia - 9 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INTs
Luke Sanders, LSU - 14 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INTs

Kicking
Brandon Coutu, Georgia - 3 FGs made, 3 FGs attempted
Colt David, LSU - 3 FGs made, 3 FGs attempted


National Championship
9 Florida vs 3 Oklahoma
Round 4, Game 2 Results
Rose Bowl

Final Score
54-31, Florida

Game Statistics
Passing
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma - 15 of 33, 282 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Tim Tebow, Florida - 20 of 40, 274 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs

Rushing
Allen Patrick, Oklahoma - 15 rushes, 125 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles
Kestahn Moore, Florida - 26 rushes, 118 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles

Receiving

Adron Tennell, Oklahoma - 5 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD, 2 drops
Louis Murphy, Florida - 5 catches, 76 yards, 1 TD, 0 drops

Defensive

DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma - 10 tackles, 2 sacks, 0 INTs
Derrick Harvey, Florida - 7 tackles, 1 sack, 0 INTs

Kicking
Garrett Hartley, Oklahoma - 1 FG made, 1 FG attempted
Joey Ijjas, Florida - 1 FG made, 3 FGs attempted




Final Bracket
Click on bracket for larger image.


Round 4 Awards
Most Valuable Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Least Valuable Player - Matthew Stafford, Georgia
Offensive Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Defensive Player - Luke Sanders, LSU

Tournament Awards
Most Valuable Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Offensive Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Defensive Player - Luke Sanders, LSU
Best Game - USC vs LSU, Round 2 (38-31 LSU in OT)


Memo to College Football Coaches

NCAA Football Coach: Do not, I repeat, do not accept an NFL contract. You may be doing an amazing job at your current school and have 3 BCS trophies on your shelf but it doesn't matter. If you leave for the NFL, you will be miserable, drive a franchise into the ground, and have a whole lot of people hate you too. Here are a couple of examples:

Nick Saban: Leaves LSU for Miami. Leaves Miami in shambles as they now sit at 0-12. Signed a deal with Alabama and ended up losing a game to UL-Monroe...at home. LSU is playing for the title this year. Oops.

Steve Spurrier: Maybe if he didn't use each and every single quarterback in Washington he also had at UF, he might have done something. He is doing well at South Carolina...but Florida is still doing a lot better. They did win the NC last year, you know.

They're not the only ones. Today, your dumb old colleague Bobby Petrino ditched his Atlanta Falcons for the job at Arkansas. Boy is he stupid. First, I'm sure 13 games is a great sample of what it is like to be an NFL coach, especially when your star quarterback was sentenced to 23 months in jail. If you do what he did, you won't have any chance of getting back into the NFL if you wanted. Spurning someone like Arthur Blank is how you burn your NFL bridges. Ok, so I know I did say that coaching in college is better than the NFL so we should give good ol' Bobby some credit, right? No! What job did he take instead? Arkansas?! I guess he was away from college football for too long to realize how the administration really treated Houston Nutt pretty darn poorly. But you know that. You've been a college coach. Maybe he didn't get the other memo that Run DMC won't be around next year...maybe he can call up his former Atlanta friend, Warrick Dunn...not.

Sticking in college is as good as it's gonna get for you. There's always room to move up the coaching ladder, and you can actually build a dynasty here (unless of course you are Satan, aka Lucifelichick). The fans in college are always better too, and you don't have to worry about players holding out for money or guys taking plays off. Every play matters.

Do yourself a favor, and ignore the NFL. Just leave it to the guys already there. College is fun, you know that. Don't leave.

If you thought that 8-4 season sucked, just wait until you go 2-14 one season and 6-10 the next.

Thank You.

-Someone that has a lot more sense than Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, and many, many more coaches that fell flat on their faces when making the jump.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ENOUGH!!!!

I've tried to remain as quiet as I could for as long as possible about this. I tried to be as calm as I could after the beating the Steelers endured on Sunday from Team X, simply comparing it to the Colts game from the Super Bowl year. But I can't take it anymore. I have to get one thing off my chest.

THE STEELERS DID NOT, I REPEAT DID NOT LOSE ON SUNDAY BECAUSE OF ANTHONY SMITH'S GUARANTEE.

I'm serious. If I hear one more person mention it I'm going to punch them. Of course newspapers cut out critical components, but the second year safety from Syracuse was clearly baited into providing his guarantee last week. In the now infamous interview, he was talking about how the Steelers were confident about their preparations for the game against Team X, and he said something along the lines of "I think we can beat them, I think we can win." The reporter, and this is what is never printed, then asked him something along the lines of "So are you guaranteeing a win over [Team X]?" At that point, what the hell do you expect him to say? "No, I think we're gonna play our asses off and lose?" That would have been far worse for the Steelers. Any football player with self-esteem is gonna say they guarantee a victory.

And you know what? I respected him for saying that before the game, and I still respect him for saying that now after the loss. The only way anyone is going to beat that team this season is by being 100% confident that they are going to win. Upsets don't happen by accident. Do you think the Appalachian State football team went into the Big House thinking they were going to lose? Do you think Joe Namath and the Jets went into Super Bowl III against the heavily favored Colts thinking they were going to lose? Speaking of the Colts, do you think the Steelers of two seasons ago thought they were going to lose in that playoff game? Of course not. Those big upsets all occurred because the underdogs went in with the mentality that they would be able to win at all costs. And that is exactly the mentality Anthony Smith and the rest of the team went into Foxboro with on Sunday. Did it work out? Not exactly, because Team X played with the same mentality. Did they use the guarantee as "motivation"? Maybe, but they shouldn't have needed to. They were four wins away from history, playing against another good team in front of a charged up crowd, with the chance to clinch a first round bye in the playoffs. That should have been enough motivation.

The Steelers were clearly a step slow on the artificial Gillette Stadium surface after playing their previous two games in the swamp at Heinz Field. Satan played an amazing game, 81X played an amazing game, and they outplayed us and won. But you know what? The Steelers were not nearly as overmatched as the score 34-13 suggests.

We ran for 181 yards against their defense, as Fast Willie had his best game in weeks. Ben wasn't awful, taking what the defense gave him and not making any mistakes. Our defense shut down the run so much that they abandoned it completely in the second half. We dominated time of possession as well.

So what made this game a blowout instead of a close loss? Three factors:

1) The bombs that Satan threw to WR81X in the first half and WR10X in the second half, using the same trick play that the Steelers used against the Bengals in the playoffs two years ago (Hey Coach X: I thought you had the best offense in NFL history? If this is true, is it really necessary to even use trick plays at all, much less steal another team's trick plays? If you MUST use trick plays, can't you create your own? You are an offensive "genius" after all.) Everyone points out that the safeties, particularly Anthony Smith, got burned on both those plays. Everyone fails to point out that neither of those safeties were named TROY POLAMALU. Smith is in his first season starting and Tyrone Carter, well he sucks. So let's not give Team X and Satan too much credit on those plays. They may not happen with a healthy Troy.

2) Red zone. The offense consistently was able to drive inside the Team X 20 the entire game, but sputtered each time. Two field goals in the first half, and a stop on a stupid 4th and goal play call at the 1. On the season, the Steelers have one of the better red zone offenses, so you would think that would improve in case of a rematch.

3) Injuries. The secondary had previously played well without Troy, but not against any offenses of Team X's caliber. They clearly missed him greatly, as there were no sacks and Satan picked apart our secondary. Santonio Holmes was back after missing a couple games, but was clearly a step slow and had only one catch. We were without our biggest defensive playmaker, and our biggest offensive playmaker was slowed greatly. Yet we still hung with them for a half.

No defense is going to completely shut down that offense this year. If they are held in the 20's, you did a heck of a good job on defense. Without their big TD passes, they're in the 20's. If we have better red zone production, we're in the 20's as well. If there's a rematch in the playoffs, there's no reason to believe we cant give them a more competitive game. To get to that point, the Steelers have to put Sunday behind them and prepare for another big game against Jacksonville on Sunday. We have to beat the Jaguars to regain our confidence, which has been diminished a bit over the past month or so. After that are two road games at St. Louis and Baltimore, both of which we had better win convincingly if we are to have any chance in the playoffs.


As for Team X, I'll go with a quote from Breaking Benjamin:

You had to have it all
Well have you had enough?
You greedy little bastard
You will get what you deserve

When all is said and done
I will be the one
To leave you in your misery
And hate what you've become

Team X won this round, fair and square. But this isn't over yet. The Jets, Dolphins, and Giants will all be playing with nothing to lose. In the playoffs, if the Steelers don't get another crack, the Colts, Cowboys, or Packers will, and they will all have something to say about this team's so called dominance this season.

This is not over yet.

NCAA Division 1-A Simulated Tournament: Final Four Results/Awards

We've reached the Final Four of the Inaugural Sports Fountainhead Simulated Division 1-A (FBS) Playoff. After a stupendous 2nd Round that featured three games decided in the final minutes, the Final Four matchups were set.

For past results/information: Overview, Round 1-Part 1, Round 1-Part 2, Round 2


9 Florida vs 5 Georgia
Round 3, Game 1 Results
Orange Bowl


Final Score
41-34 (2 OTs), Florida

Game Statistics
Passing
Matthew Stafford, Georgia - 17 of 29, 205 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
Tim Tebow, Florida - 25 of 42, 348 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Rushing
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia - 44 rushes, 118 yards, 1 TD, 2 fumbles
Tim Tebow, Florida - 20 rushes, 109 yards, 2 TDs, 0 fumbles

Receiving

A.J. Bryant, Georgia - 4 catches, 73 yards, 0 TDs, 0 drops
Riley Cooper, Florida - 6 catches, 113 yards, 0 TDs, 0 drops

Defensive

Akeem Hebron, Georgia - 7 tackles, 0 sacks, 1 INT
Javier Estopinan, Florida - 11 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INTs

Kicking

Brandon Coutu, Georgia - 2 FGs made, 4 FGs attempted
Joey Ijjas, Florida - 2 FGs made, 3 FGs attempted


3 Oklahoma vs 2 LSU
Round 3, Game 2 Results
Fiesta Bowl

Final Score
34-24, Oklahoma

Game Statistics
Passing
Matt Flynn, LSU - 20 of 37, 317 yards, 3TDs, 3 INTs
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma - 16 of 29, 294 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs

Rushing
Alley Broussard, LSU - 24 rushes, 66 yards, 0 TDs, 1 fumble
Allen Patrick, Oklahoma - 28 rushes, 121 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles

Receiving

Alley Broussard, LSU - 3 catches, 87 yards, 1 TD, 0 drops
Juaquin Iglesias, Oklahoma - 8 catches, 161 yards, 0 TDs, 2 drops

Defensive

Luke Sanders, LSU - 10 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INTs
Reggie Smith, Oklahoma - 9 tackles, 0 sacks, 1 INT

Kicking

Colt David, LSU - 1 FG made, 2 FGs attempted
Garrett Hartley, Oklahoma - 2 FGs made, 4 FGs attempted


National Championship
9 Florida vs 3 Oklahoma
Rose Bowl

Consolation Game
5 Georgia vs 2 LSU
Sugar Bowl


Click on bracket for larger image.


Final Four Awards

Most Valuable Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Least Valuable Player - Matt Flynn, LSU
Offensive Player - Tim Tebow, Florida
Defensive Player - Reggie Smith, Oklahoma
Clutch Performance - Tim Tebow, Florida
Best Game - Florida vs Georgia


The Florida/Georgia game was just another great example of why College Football needs a playoff. Sure it was simulated. But don't you think Florida would love a chance to avenge their earlier loss to the Bulldogs? Plus it was an amazing game just like the majority of Round 2 matchups. Tebow was his usual other-worldly self, despite the 2 INTs. Once again he orchestrated that game tieing and game winning scores. With 47 seconds to go, he crossed the goal line for his 1st rushing touchdown. In the second OT he gave UF the lead on his 2nd rushing TD and the defense stopped the Georgia offense to vault the Gators into their second straight National Championship game.

Oklahoma controlled much of the game against LSU, sprinting to a 24-10 halftime lead. Sam Bradford and Allen Patrick played beautifully. LSU mounted a comeback late in the 3rd and into the early 4th, slicing the Sooners lead to 27-24. That's as close as the Tigers would get.