Monday, November 23, 2009

The Bye Week: College Football 11/23

Most important stories of the weekend
The lack of a South Carolina game to recap gives me more space to dedicate to my overall thoughts from the weekend, whether you like it or not.

LSU/Ole Miss: The Hat vs Coach Giggity - Revisited
First let me share the sentiments of the boys over at Everyday Should Be Saturday in that it should be an NCAA mandate that Houston Nutt and Les Miles coach in the same division to provide the kind of nonsensical comedy that is sure to ensue each time their teams face off. Here are the series of decisions that led to the kind of ending that can only result from this legendary showdown of nitwits:
1) Houston Nutt decides to go for two after a second-quarter touchdown, after failing the score is 17-15 Ole Miss
2) Ole Miss scores a second half touchdown to make it 22-17, no insanity there
3) Ole Miss kicks a field goal to make it 25-17 with 3:42 left to play, a great 8:26 drive to milk the clock
4) LSU scores a toudchdown with 1:17 left, then misses the two-point attempt, 25-23 Ole Miss
5) LSU recovers onside kick as Ole Miss players apparently unaware they can touch it before or after 10 yards
6) This sequence of events then occurs:

1st and 10 at LSU 42Jordan Jefferson pass incomplete.2325
2nd and 10 at LSU 42Jordan Jefferson pass complete to Brandon LaFell for 26 yards to the Miss 32 for a 1ST down.
1st and 10 at MISS 32Jordan Jefferson pass incomplete.
2nd and 10 at MISS 32Jordan Jefferson sacked by Emmanuel Stephens for a loss of 9 yards to the Miss 41.
3rd and 19 at MISS 41Timeout LSU, clock 00:32.
3rd and 19 at MISS 41Jordan Jefferson pass complete to Stevan Ridley for a loss of 7 yards to the Miss 48.
4th and 26 at MISS 48Timeout LSU, clock 00:09.
4th and 26 at MISS 48Jordan Jefferson pass complete to Terrance Toliver for 42 yards to the Miss 6 for a 1ST down.
End of 4th Quarter

Important to note that on the first play LSU gets the ball to the 32, and at the time still had two timeouts. The incompletion on 1st down is also fine, but then a sack and an attempted screen pass burn those two timeouts and put the Tigers out of field goal range. Better yet to note that screen pass attempt took the clock from 00:32 to 00:09. Clearly while watching you could see that a timeout could have saved ten more seconds. Imagine what would have happened with
00:19 left? Also there's the much publicized problem with trying to spike the ball with 00:01 after the completion to the Ole Miss 6 yard line. Here are my thoughts on the issue:
- Yes, the timeout should have been called immediately after the 3rd down failed screen pass behind the line
- No, there was not enough time to run the field goal unit out, not with 1 second left
- No, of course you can't spike the ball in less than a second
- Yes, they should have simply run a play with receivers just going into endzone, this call should have been made on the last timeout, or at least a field goal strategy called
- BUT, more importantly that any of that, why was LSU throwing the ball with over a minute left on the Rebel 32? Why not just run the ball, use your timeouts if necessary, rather than
trying to throw the ball? That is the question that needs to be asked. I know that Les Miles was down his top two running backs, but really there has to be someone on the team who can run it up the gut a few times to make the field goal a little easier. You can always throw a pass on second down and then try the field goal on third down. At the end of the day, you just have to accept that with Les Miles there's good and there's bad, and you can't have one without the other.

... meanwhile, back on campus...
Every few years there's a controversy at Ole Miss, and every year it ends poorly. This time it was over the chant from fans that accompany the Ole Miss Band playing "From Dixie With
Love." First let me say that I very much like the song as a musician, if that's what playing in an SEC marching band makes me anyway, and as such it sucks that the song has to be brought into it. Here is a sampling of the controversy, which occurs at the 1:10 mark in the video:

yes indeed, the final strain of Glory is chanted as "The South will rise again" by a good number of Ole Miss fans at the end. So let's see here the timeline of Ole Miss controversies:

1962: Violent riots rage as the first black student is enrolled at Ole Miss
1997: Student leaders passed resolution asking fans to stop bringing confederate battle flag into stadium
1997: Administration then banned sticks, which essentially enforced the student resolution
2003: Colonel Reb, the mascot for Ole Miss banned, due to looking like a plantation owner
2009: Band ordered to stop playing "From Dixie With Love" indefinitely

Well, you see that last one, it just happened, but then this week with the CBS SEC Game of the Week spotlight on Ole Miss there was yet another twist in the story. You knew there'd be a protest, here it is:

Incidentally, eight recruits cancelled their official visits after hearing of the protest. If you don't realize how badly Ole Miss needs to move on then you're not thinking. Also, worth a note, the chant only really began in the last five years. At some point you have to just wonder if some people will ever move on. The best news of all? The dozen members of the Klan were outnumbered by around 250 protesters of the KKK, all of which made it impossible to hear what they themselves were saying. When the KKK is protested by that kind of ratio it proves there is hope.

Carolina/SEC Bowl Scenarios
BCS- Florida and Alabama: winner in title game, loser in at large BCS bowl
Citrus Bowl- Ole Miss: Their win over LSU put them in this position, need to beat MSU to clinch
Cotton Bowl- Winner of LSU vs Arkansas this weekend will end up here
Outback Bowl- Winner of Tennessee vs Kentucky gets this one
Peach Bowl- Most likely loser of LSU/Arkansas OR possibly Kentucky if 'Cats lose to Vols OR UGa if upset GT
Music City Bowl and lower- Georgia OR Kentucky OR South Carolina OR Tennessee OR Auburn

Here's what I will say, based on my these outcomes from Saturday
-Florida beats Florida State
-Alabama beats Auburn
-Ole Miss beats Mississippi State
-Kentucky beats Tennessee
-South Carolina beats Clemson
-LSU beats Arkansas
-Georgia Tech beats Georgia

BCS- Florida and Alabama in some order for title game and at large
Citrus- Ole Miss: strong finish gets Rebs where they campaigned for last season
Outback- Kentucky: rousing finish gets 'Cats to Tampa
Cotton- LSU: LSU will salvage season with win at home vs Hogs for Cotton Bowl berth
Peach- Auburn: My anticipation is that loser of ACC title game ends up here, and either would be good match-up vs Auburn
Music City- South Carolina: If Cocks lose to Clemson then it's either Birmingham or Shreveport, again
Liberty- Arkansas: Good season and offensive fireworks guaranteed w/Petrino vs C-USA champ
Independence- Georgia: Will their fans care or show up? Big time question Tennessee: At 6-6 not sure Vol fans will show up much either

And now, your moment of zen

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Wanna hear a good Clemson joke?"

The guy next to him replies, "Well before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 6' tall, 200 lbs., and I am a Clemson grad. The guy sitting next to me is 6' 2" tall, weighs 225, and he's a Clemson grad. And the fella next to him is 6' 5" tall, weighs 250, and he's a Clemson grad. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?"

The first guy says, "No, not if I'm gonna have to explain it three times."

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