Dec 30, 2007

Perfection

Congratulations to the New England Patriots on completing a perfect regular season, 16-0. I, for one, have been rooting for the Pats to lose all season long, but I have to give credit to them for this amazing feat.

I was not necessarily rooting against New England, but was rooting against ESPN's coverage of the Pats season. ESPN has turned the Patriots into the Yankees and USC football. Two teams that get so much hype and coverage that the public gets tired of seeing them. ESPN has been hyping the perfect season almost all year long. The anchors seemed upset when the American public showed that a majority wanted New England to lose. ESPN, you created this monster.

With that being said, in today's NFL, 16-0 is an unthinkable accomplishment. The league wanted parity and tried to do away with dynasties. But New England has found a way to be a dynasty in the modern NFL. Coach Billichick, Tom Brady, and Randy Moss may not be everyone's favorites, but right now, they are the best. Now let's just hope they lose in the playoffs.

Dec 18, 2007

Aaron Stecker > Reggie Bush?

With word coming out today that Reggie Bush may attempt to play this weekend against the Eagles, Saints fans are forced to ask why?

Why would the Saints be in such a hurry to bring back Reggie? Aaron Stecker has been solid as a fill-in RB with 195 yards and 2 TDs in the Saints victories over the Falcons and Cardinals.

I think the issue comes more with the pressure on Reggie Bush to perform. He hadn't missed any time before this year due to injury. He has a ton of endorsements and now Mario Williams is living up to the hype of being the #1 overall pick. In the meantime, national and local media outlets are questioning whether or not Bush will ever have an impact in the NFL. Sure he is an exciting, specialty player, but he can't consistently find holes or make big plays. Pretty soon, defenses will stop keying on him, and he'll even lose his luster as a decoy.

Coach Sean Payton is forced to keep Bush involved in his weekly gameplans. He must determine the best ways to get him 20+ touches (receiving and rushing), and this ties the coach's hands with playcalling. With Stecker in the game at RB, the Saints know they are a pass-first offense and don't shy away from it. There are less gimmick plays and the offense seems simpler.

So the question remains, with the Saints in the midst of a playoff push, does having Reggis Bush help them or hurt them?

I think that Bush is a weapon and if used correctly, he will help them make the playoffs. The team now has confidence in Stecker and Bush can go back to being the complementary piece he was last year. Since he's coming off an injury, his expectations should be lowered. He won't get as many touches and can provide a spark here and there, but Stecker should still get the bulk of the carries, while also getting Pierre Thomas 5-10 touches as well.

Dec 4, 2007

Placing Blame

There are two people who are to blame for the Saints latest debacle, a fumble on a reverse pitch that gave last Sunday's game to Tampa Bay: Coach Sean Payton and Reggie Bush.

First of all, football is a team sport and you win and lose as a team. One player usually doesn't cost you a game, but in this case, the game came down to one bad play call. With a little more than three minutes left in the game and Saints holding onto a three point lead, New Orleans was looking to milk the clock. The defense had come up big on the previous two series -- first with an interception return for a TD, then a safety by Will Smith. The momentum was in the Saints favor. All they had to do was run some clock, then punt the ball to Tampa with little time left. With the Bucs having no time outs, the victory was definately there for the Saints.

On second down, the team lines up for the play. Drew Brees takes the snap and gives it off to Bush who is running toward the left side. Tampa pursues Reggie and defenders are there in full force. Bush then pitches the ball to a crossing Devery Henderson, but the pitch is a bad on and Henderson can't handle it. The ball hits the turf and the Bucs jump on it. Momentum is back in Tampa's favor. They drive down and score the go-ahead touchdown with only 14 seconds left on the clock. Game over, division championship out of reach and wildcard berth becomes a long-shot.

With Coach Payton, fans love his aggressive style, but sometimes the basics are what win football games. Bill Parcels has said that he would sometimes have to pull back the reigns on Payton, as he would get too cute in situations that didn't warrant it. In this situation, a couple of runs up the middle would have killed some clock, then a punt inside the 20-yard line would have backed up Tampa enough that it would have been a difficult task just to get in field goal range. Payton even admitted that it wasn't the right call.

With Bush, it was poor execution. The timing seemed off and the pitch was terrible. Henderson had no shot of grabbing a ball thrown behind him while running full speed from defenders. Bush should have realized that the play was shot and just fell to the ground. Reggie's has taken plenty of heat this year for his play. He hasn't lived up to expectations after his solid rookie year. He isn't finding running room and hasn't broken the big play this year. Mental errors and poor play execution shouldn't be happening at this stage of his professional career. After Sunday's game, he showed that he's not quite the professional yet, as he started to head to the locker room before the game ended and then refused to speak to reporters afterwards. Reggie needs to be a man and own up to the play. Sure one player didn't lose the game Sunday, but one player acted like he did.

Dec 3, 2007

Week 14 Top 25

West Virginia and Missouri were playing for the right to meet each other in the BCS Championship game...all they had to do was win and they were in. But like every other weekend this college football season, crazy things started happening. Pat White went down for WV and Pittsburgh, a 28 point underdog, shocked the Mountaineers at home to eliminate them from the picture. Oklahoma rolled Missouri in the Big 12 championship game, sending the Sooners to a BCS game and dropping Missouri all the way to the Cotton Bowl. Ouch.

Controversy and debates began and after the politicking was over and ballots turned in, Ohio State and LSU rose to the top. They will meet in the BCS title game in New Orleans on January 7. Now the debate begins on whether the system put the most deserving teams in the game. People are clamoring that USC and Georgia are the hottest teams or that Oklahoma just beat the #1 team and should be in the game, but they seem to be a minority. Most are in agreement that LSU and Ohio State are the most deserving and should make for a great championship game.

Here's my final regular season Top 25 rankings:
  1. Ohio State (11-1)
  2. LSU (11-2)
  3. Oklahoma (11-2)
  4. Virgina Tech (11-2)
  5. USC (10-2)
  6. Missouri (11-2)
  7. Georgia (10-2)
  8. Kansas (11-1)
  9. West Virginia (10-2)
  10. Hawaii (12-0)
  11. Florida (9-3)
  12. Arizona St. (10-2)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Boston College (10-3)
  15. Clemson (9-3)
  16. BYU (10-2)
  17. Tennessee (9-4)
  18. Texas (9-3)
  19. Virginia (9-3)
  20. Arkansas (8-4)
  21. Texas Tech (8-4)
  22. Wisconsin (9-3)
  23. Boise State (10-2)
  24. Auburn (8-4)
  25. Cincinnati (9-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Oregon (previously #21)

Nov 30, 2007

SEC Championship: LSU vs. Tennessee

Les Miles is going to Michigan. No, he's signing a new contract. But Michigan asked for permission to interview him. Bo Pelini's got the Nebraska job wrapped up. Steve Spurrier bought a house in Baton Rouge and spent Thanksgiving with Skip Bertman. Nick Saban is coming back and taking a $1 million pay cut with a $10 million buy out. Tommy Tubberville isn't renegotiating with Auburn or going to Arkansas until he sees what happens at LSU...these are all rumors that I've heard or read in the past 48 hours.

Baton Rouge is buzzing right now with coaching news and rumors, but wait, what's that? LSU is playing for the conference title this weekend. You don't say.

LSU will play Tennessee at 3 p.m. Saturday for the SEC title and right to represent the conference in the Sugar Bowl. But with all the coaching news and the way LSU ended their season, fans just don't seem too focused or interested in the game. Hopefully, the players aren't taking the same attitude. The winningest senior class in LSU history is looking to cap their career with their first SEC crown.

LSU is 2-1 in Atlanta in the championship with the only loss being Miles is first and only trip to the game. Surely if this is the end of his LSU tenure, he wants to go out with a conference title on his resume. There is still an outside shot that LSU gets into the BCS title game, so the intrigue and importance of this game is huge. Fans traveling to Atlanta and watching at home need to root for their Tigers and stay focused on this season. There will be plenty of time to worry about next year and who the coach will be, but the players need support right now. With all the distractions, let's cheer them on to a conference championship.

There will be plenty to watch for in the game. QB Ryan Perriloux will likely start or at least take the majority of the snaps. LSU's once dominant defense will be looking to show that the past few games have been a fluke and that they can equal their early season showing. It will also be interesting to see how Miles coaches in, potentially, his last game wearing purple and gold and his trademark white hat.

Prediction:
LSU 37
Tennessee 24

Nov 29, 2007

Predictions and Bowl Projections

It's the last weekend of the college football regular season and bowl line-ups are still being determined. There are a handful of games that will have major National Championship and BCS bowl game implications. Here's how I see this weekend unfolding and my predictions for the BCS and SEC bowls:

ACC Championship: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech
In a rematch of their regular season meeting, which BC pulled out at the end of the game, Virginia Tech will get their revenge by playing for a full 60 minutes this time.
Pick: Virginia Tech

SEC Championship:
LSU vs. Tennessee
LSU suffered a heart-breaking triple OT loss to Arkansas last week and now must pumped themselves up to play for the consolation prize of an SEC Championship instead of the BCS Championship. With the rumors of Les Miles to Michigan and Bo Pelini to Nebraska, the players and fans will have plenty of distractions. However, there's still an outside chance for the Tigers to sneak into the BCS Championship, so there is a lot to play for.
Pick: LSU

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Oklahoma defeated BCS #1 Missouri earlier this season and the Sooners are actually favored again. Missouri is playing the disrespect card and will want to show the country that they are worthy of their #1 ranking. OU coach Bob Stoops will have his team ready, as they also have an outside shot of getting into the BCS Championship.
Pick: Oklahoma

"Backyard Brawl": Pittsburgh at West Virginia
LSU, Ohio State, USC and Oklahoma fans will be rooting for a West Virginia upset. If WV and Missouri both go down then Ohio State will move into the championship, but there opponent could be any number of teams, including the ones mentioned before and Georgia. It would take a lot from Pittsburgh to upset the Mountaineers, but stranger things have happened already this year.
Pick: West Virginia

UCLA at USC
Last year, UCLA pulled a major upset over their crosstown rivals and kept USC out of the National Championship. This year, USC is playing for a BCS berth in the Rose Bowl. USC has been playing up to their preseason #1 ranking for the past few weeks and shouldn't have any trouble with a UCLA team that lost to Notre Dame.
Pick: USC

Washington at Hawaii
Hawaii, the WAC Champs, are playing for their conference's second straight trip to a BCS game. Last year, Boise State upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Hawaii is playing for an undefeated season and a trip to the Sugar Bowl to face the SEC Champion. The Warriors are playing well, but the dream ends this weekend.
Pick: Washington

BCS Bowl Predicions
  • BCS Championship: Ohio State vs. West Virginia
  • Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
  • Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Arizona State
  • Rose Bowl: USC vs. Illinois
  • Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Kansas
SEC Bowls
  • Capital One Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan
  • Cotton Bowl: Arkansas vs. Missouri
  • Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl: Auburn vs. Boston College
  • Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. Central Florida
  • Music City Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Florida State
  • Independence Bowl: Alabama vs. Colorado

Nov 26, 2007

Week 13 Top 25

The BCS becomes more of a headache as LSU, Kansas and Arizona State lose this week. However, the title game picture is becoming clearer with West Virginia and Missouri in the driver's seat and Ohio State hoping for a loss by one of them to sneak into the picture. If both lose, this could be the wildest BCS mess we've ever had.

Here's my Top 25 rankings this week:

  1. West Virginia (10-1)
  2. Missouri (11-1)
  3. Ohio State (11-1)
  4. LSU (10-2)
  5. Kansas (11-1)
  6. Virgina Tech (10-2)
  7. Georgia (10-2)
  8. Oklahoma (10-2)
  9. USC (9-2)
  10. Florida (9-3)
  11. Boston College (10-2)
  12. Hawaii (11-0)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Arizona St. (9-2)
  15. Tennessee (9-3)
  16. Clemson (9-3)
  17. BYU (9-2)
  18. Texas (9-3)
  19. Virginia (9-3)
  20. Arkansas (8-4)
  21. Oregon (8-3)
  22. Texas Tech (8-4)
  23. Wisconsin (9-3)
  24. Boise State (10-2)
  25. Auburn (8-4)
*Dropped from rankings: Connecticut (previously #21)

Don't let "catastrophe syndrome" set in

Shocked, disgusted, heartbroken, saddened, sick...these are just a few of the emotions and feelings LSU fans were going through while leaving Tiger Stadium after a triple overtime loss, 50-48, to Arkansas, basically ended the dream of a national title season.

LSU can still win the SEC Championship and play in a BCS bowl (most likely the Sugar Bowl), but when you smell the filet mignon all season, you don't want to eat hamburger steak. The Tigers had the crystal football in their reach. They controlled their own destiny, but it wasn't meant to be. The much-hyped LSU defense wasn't up to the task of stopping the Razorback rushing attack with Darren McFadden running his way toward the Heisman Trophy.

There were numerous chances for LSU to pull off another miracle victory. Fans have pointed to Arkansas 4th and 10 play in the first overtime as the best example of LSU breaking down and not stepping up when the opportunity was present. Should Bo Pelini have called for a blitz? Should a better coverman than Danny McCray been on the field? These are the "what-if" scenarios that can't be changed now. Others point to LSU's lack of offense in the first half. Matt Flynn had one of his worst halves of football and the Tigers failed to capitalize on great field position and Arkansas turnovers.

LSU lived on the edge for more than half the season. Close victories over Florida, Auburn and Alabama with an overtime loss to Kentucky thrown in, LSU was living on borrowed time. Fans knew that this style of play would catch up with the team, and against Arkansas, the Tigers couldn't pull it together.

Now it's the end of the world for LSU fans. Nick Saban coined it "catastrophe syndrome" when he was here, and it has been out in full-force since last Friday. Catastrophe syndrome is the feeling by LSU fans that when something starts to go wrong, everything will go wrong. Instead of us just losing to Arkansas, fans were worried that this is the beginning of the end for Tiger football...back to the Curley Hallman era. With Pelini interviewing with Nebraska and Les Miles being a top candidate for the Michigan job, LSU football should have a different look next season. They lose a great senior class, including Glen Dorsey, Jacob Hester, Matt Flynn, Early Doucet, Craig Steltz, etc. It could be a rebuilding year, but with the talent on the roster, fans don't want to rebuild, they want to reload.

But it's too early to think about next year. There's still games to be played this year and important games at that. The SEC Championship is up for grabs and Les Miles doesn't want his second trip to the championship game to end up like his last one, 34-14 loss to Georgia. A win in the Georgia Dome and a trip to the Sugar Bowl to play WAC champion Hawaii is likely in the future (unless the BCS games work out a deal to send LSU to the Rose, Orange or Fiesta). While winning the national championship is the ultimate goal, this can still be one of the most success seasons in LSU history. Let's cheer on the Tigers and send out this senior class on a winning note.

Nov 21, 2007

Arkansas vs. LSU


LSU will have its hands full on Friday when the Arkansas Razorbacks come to Baton Rouge for the season finale. LSU will be looking to maintain its #1 ranking heading into the SEC championship game, while also holding onto the heaviest trophy in college football -- the Golden Boot.

With the two headed running attack of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, LSU's defense will have to be ready and focused on stopping the run. Arkansas is a run-first team with two 1,000 yard rushers and not much going on with their passing game. However, Casey Dick did show last week that if you focus too much on the run, he is more than capable of hurting a defense with the pass. This will be a good test for LSU's defense, which is still stastically near the top in every category but hasn't played up to its potential in a few weeks.

LSU controls its own destiny and can't take the Razorbacks lightly. A slip up this week or next in the SEC championship (against Tennessee or Georia) will cost the Tigers a shot at the BCS championship. With the way this season has gone, anything can and will happen. With all the major title contenders stumbling at some point this year, except for Kansas thus far, LSU is right back where it needs to be since the Kentucky loss. LSU needs to focus on limiting mistakes, such as turnovers and dumb penalties, and they should be able to take care of business the rest of the season.

Prediction:
Arkansas 24
LSU 38

Nov 20, 2007

Week 12 Top 25

Oregon and Oklahoma both lost their starting QBs and went on to lose to unranked foes. Alabama lost to ULM. What a year in college football.

Here's my rankings this week:

  1. LSU (10-1)
  2. Ohio State (11-1)
  3. Kansas (11-0)
  4. West Virginia (9-1)
  5. Missouri (10-1)
  6. Arizona St. (9-1)
  7. Georgia (9-2)
  8. Virgina Tech (9-2)
  9. Oklahoma (9-2)
  10. Texas (9-2)
  11. Florida (8-3)
  12. Oregon (8-2)
  13. USC (8-2)
  14. Virginia (9-2)
  15. Illinois (9-3)
  16. Hawaii (10-0)
  17. Boston College (9-2)
  18. Boise State (10-1)
  19. Tennessee (8-3)
  20. BYU (8-2)
  21. Connecticut (9-2)
  22. Texas Tech (8-4)
  23. Clemson (8-3)
  24. Wisconsin (9-3)
  25. Arkansas (7-4)
*Dropped from rankings: Michigan (previously #20), Cincinnati (previously #22), Kentucky (previously #25)

Nov 16, 2007

LSU vs. Ole Miss

VS.

The #1 ranked LSU Tigers take on long-time rival Ole Miss this weekend in Oxford, Miss. No matter what the records of the teams are, they seem to play tight games every year. Last season, the Rebels forced the Tigers to play OT to beat them 23-20 at Tiger Stadium.

With Oregon's lost last night to Arizona, the BCS championship picture has become a bit clearer. Basically, if LSU continues to win, the are in. This should give them incentive to not take Ole Miss lightly. Despite having not won an SEC game this year, the Rebels provided a scare to Florida earlier this season.

LSU should be able to use this game to iron out some kinks, most notably Matt Flynn's interception issues and the now suspect kick coverage team. Both Alabama and LA Tech had success returning kicks against the Tigers. In this Saturday's game, however, LSU's talent should prevail easily. Ole Miss is playing out the stretch and while a win against LSU would make their season, LSU has bigger things to play for this year. With an eye on the SEC Championship and a trip to the BCS title game, LSU will remain focused.

Prediction:
LSU 35
Ole Miss 13

Nov 13, 2007

Week 11 Top 25

#1 Ohio State goes down! The BCS mess is just starting.

Here's my rankings this week:

  1. LSU (9-1)
  2. Oregon (8-1)
  3. Oklahoma (9-1)
  4. Ohio State (10-1)
  5. Kansas (10-0)
  6. Missouri (9-1)
  7. West Virginia (8-1)
  8. Arizona St. (9-1)
  9. Georgia (8-2)
  10. Virgina Tech (8-2)
  11. Texas (9-2)
  12. Florida (7-3)
  13. USC (8-2)
  14. Virginia (9-2)
  15. Illinois (8-3)
  16. Hawaii (9-0)
  17. Boise State (9-1)
  18. Tennessee (7-3)
  19. Clemson (8-2)
  20. Michigan (8-3)
  21. Boston College (8-2)
  22. Cincinnati (8-2)
  23. BYU (7-2)
  24. Connecticut (8-2)
  25. Kentucky (7-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Auburn (previously #21), Alabama (previously #23), Florida State (previously #24)

Nov 9, 2007

Rams vs. Saints

Having the 0-8 Rams come to New Orleans this Sunday looks like a good game for the Saints to continue their winning streak. Vegas has even put the spread at 11.5. Should be an easy weekend for the Saints...not so fast, my friend. This is the exact type of game that the Saints have been known to lose. If you look back at the Saints history, they lose games that they are supposed to win; they are known for giving teams their first victory (see expansion Browns). As a Saints fan, you cannot feel good about this game, especially with St. Louis coming off of a bye week.

Having the Rams coming in winless is scary enough, but the Rams will also have former Saints coach Jim Haslett standing on their sidelines. Haslett would like nothing more than to pump up his defense and have them stop his old team's winning streak. This has trap game written all over it. So much so, that Saints Coach Sean Payton has mouse traps baring the Rams logo placed in the Saints locker room this week. Payton will try anything to keep his team focused.

Prediction:
Rams 27
Saints 31

LA Tech vs. LSU

VS.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs travel to Tiger Stadium this weekend to take on the BCS #2 ranked LSU Tigers. Tech played Hawaii close this year, losing in overtime, but in this contest most would agree that they have little chance.

LSU will use this game to rest some of their key players and also to fix a few kinks that have appeared over the past four games. Coaches will want to clean up the penalties and help Matt Flynn keep his confidence after throwing too many interceptions last week against Alabama. LSU will also be looking to impress pollsters in the next few games and gain some style points to maintain their#2 ranking.

Prediction:
LA Tech 7
LSU 45

Nov 8, 2007

Week 10 Top 25

I'm a little late this week with my top 25, but how about those games this weekend? LSU wins another tight SEC game, and BCS #2 Boston College can't pull it out against Florida State. Here's my rankings this week:
  1. Ohio State (10-0)
  2. LSU (8-1)
  3. Oregon (8-1)
  4. Oklahoma (8-1)
  5. Kansas (9-0)
  6. West Virginia (7-1)
  7. Missouri (8-1)
  8. Boston College (8-1)
  9. Arizona St. (8-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (7-2)
  11. Michigan (8-2)
  12. Georgia (7-2)
  13. Texas (8-2)
  14. Connecticut (8-1)
  15. Hawaii (8-0)
  16. USC (7-2)
  17. Florida (6-3)
  18. Boise State (8-1)
  19. Virginia (8-2)
  20. Tennessee (6-3)
  21. Auburn (7-3)
  22. Clemson (7-2)
  23. Alabama (6-3)
  24. Florida State (6-3)
  25. BYU (6-2)
*Dropped from rankings: South Carolina (previously #22), South Florida (previously #23), Kentucky (previously #25)

Nov 4, 2007

Jaguars vs. Saints

The Saints are looking to keep their winning streak alive today against the Jaguars. New Orleans catching the Jags at a good time with their starting quarterback out and the inexperienced Quinn Gray making only his second NFL start. Look for Jacksonville to run the ball, but the Saints run defense has been surprising good this year. The Jags defense is good against the pass, so the Saints may have to rely on Reggie Bush and the running game a bit more today.

Prediction:
Jaguars 14

Saints 20

Nov 2, 2007

Saban Bowl I: LSU vs. Alabama

Did you hear, LSU is playing Alabama this weekend. Well, get this, their new coach used to be LSU's coach. I know, with the little hype that this game has gotten this week, it seems like someone would have pointed out that Nick Saban used to coach for LSU. All I've been hearing all week is how these teams match up on the field and how the winner of this game will likely play in the SEC Championship. People have been harping on the history of this rivalry, the traditions of the schools. Not once has someone mentioned anything about the former LSU coach. Crazy isn't it?

Had you going there for a second didn't I? Not really, right? Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that this is the game LSU fans had circled since the beginning of the year. Of all the games LSU has played or will play, this was the one that have to win, especially if your name is Les Miles.

LSU fans haven't really opened their hearts to Miles the way they did with Saban. Many were skeptical after feeling heartbroken when their guy, Saban, left the school on Christmas a few years ago. Miles has faced constant comparisons to Nick for years, and then with Saban decides to come back to college football, he picks a school in not only the same conference as LSU, but the same division. LSU fans were hurt a second time and now Miles has a new rival in the man his record is held up against.

I know a lot has been made this year and especially this week about playing Saban for the first time since he left Baton Rouge. It's a huge story, but it's not the only story. LSU is working their way toward a National Championship berth, and Alabama is just the latest roadblock put in front to the Tigers. The players will have to execute and be focused because the fans will constantly have one eye glued on Saban. They know what he's capable of and know deep down, he wants this win more than anything. Miles knows how important this game is as well. He gets a chance to go up against Saban once a year. With each victory over Alabama, Miles' legacy will be enhanced in the eyes of Tiger fans. But if he loses to Saban, he'll take a giant hit. Fans look for anything to bash Miles with and losing to Saban, especially this year, would give them more ammunition than they need.

Prediction:
LSU 31
Alabama 22

Oct 31, 2007

The Hornets are back

The New Orleans Hornets (no longer carrying around that dreadful /Oklahoma City or NOOCH moniker), make their return to the Big Easy tonight as they kick off the NBA season against the Sacramento Kings.

New Orleans has had an up-and-down relationship with the team since they arrived from Charlotte. Never feeling like the home town team, the Hornets made the playoffs a few times before turning into a high lottery team prior to Hurricane Katrina. Going through three head coaches and getting rid of stars/fan favorites like Jamal Mashburn, Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire, P.J. Brown, David Wesley, etc., hurt attendance and fan interest. Just when things were looking exciting with the drafting of Chris Paul, Katrina hit and the team was displaced to Oklahoma City. For the past two seasons, the team has been basically "out of sight, out of mind" to Louisianians.

Now the team is back. They have an exciting roster led by Paul and David West. Their major free agent signing from last year, Peja Stojakovic, is hopefully healthy enough to make it through a majority of the season. Center Tyson Chandler is coming on as a potential All-Star, and the rookie class of Julian Wright and Adam Haluska have shown promise in preseason. Add to that the signing of Morris Peterson and second year center Hilton Armstrong looking for a break-out season, the Hornets look like a team on the rise in the West.

New Orleans and the South are football first areas. The New Orleans Saints are having unprecedented success in ticket sales and team support, but there's no reason the Hornets can't feel the same love. This team will be exciting to watch and they will compete with the top stars in the NBA. The city needs to embrace this team as it has with the Saints. The Hornets are our team now. They are far removed from their Charlotte days and the flirting with Oklahoma City is in the past. Its time for Louisiana and the Gulf South to show that we are not the small, forgotten market that the national media sees us as. With the All-Star game coming to New Orleans this season and a full slate of Hornets games, fans can show that basketball can strive in the Big Easy.

Oct 30, 2007

Week 9 Top 25

LSU had a bye week, but the teams in the Top 10 had some good victories, but the top of the rankings are just as muddled as ever. Let's look at how I rank them:

  1. Ohio State (9-0)
  2. LSU (7-1)
  3. Oregon (7-1)
  4. Boston College (8-0)
  5. Oklahoma (7-1)
  6. Arizona St. (8-0)
  7. West Virginia (7-1)
  8. Kansas (8-0)
  9. Missouri (7-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (6-2)
  11. Texas (7-2)
  12. Michigan (7-2)
  13. Hawaii (8-0)
  14. Georgia (6-2)
  15. USC (6-2)
  16. Boise State (7-1)
  17. Connecticut (7-1)
  18. Florida (5-3)
  19. Alabama (6-2)
  20. Tennessee (5-3)
  21. Auburn (6-3)
  22. South Carolina (6-3)
  23. South Florida (6-2)
  24. Virginia (7-2)
  25. Kentucky (6-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Rutgers (previously #19), California (previously #20)

Oct 29, 2007

Stay Away from The Sports Guy's Columns for a While

With the Red Sox four-game sweep in the World Series, the Patriots running up the score on everybody and the NBA season tipping off this week, it would be a wise move to avoid ESPN's Bill Simmons for a while. He's always focused on Boston sports, but the past few years (since the Patriots won three Superbowls and Red Sox World Series win in 2004), he's been almost impossible to read. Every column comes back to Brady and Patriots or the Sox. Now that the Celtics are projected to have a good year, he's throwing them out there even more.

I imagine he'll write a couple of columns this week. One talking about how awesome the Red Sox are with two World Series sweeps in the past four years (even tough most baseball fans now view them as the equivalent of the Yankees). Also, the undefeated Patriots play the undefeated Colts on Sunday in a game that will be more hyped than this year's Superbowl. Simmons will join the fun and talk about the Patriots being the best team ever, and how Brady is smashing every passing record known to man. While Peyton Manning is viewed as the best QB of this era, and perhaps all-time, Simmons gives him little credit. When the Colts won the Superbowl last year, Simmons did not write a column and eat his crow in public. There was no Superbowl column from Sports Guy...just a mention in a later column.

When it came out earlier this year that the Patriots cheated and were caught, Simmons owned up to it and wrote about it. After a couple of weeks though, he tried to do like the NFL and sweep it under the rug. Journalist all around the country were trying to get to the bottom of the cheating scandal and Simmons and the league just played the "forget about it" card. The Pats are showing themselves to be a classless franchise, also equal to the Yankees with their swagger and free agent spending. Running up the score on one of the most loved coaches in NFL history, Joe Gibbs, was ridiculous and just remember, what comes around, goes around. The Pats and Boston sports fans may be on top of the world right now, but with people like Simmons rubbing everyone's face in it each week, the good times won't last.

Oct 27, 2007

Saints vs. 49ers

The Saints are on the road this weekend, taking on former NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers. Last year against the 49ers, Reggie Bush had four TDs...look for him to have another break-out performance on Sunday.

The Saints need this victory to get closer to the .500 mark and to try to get back in the playoff picture. The 49ers started the year with two victories, but they haven't won since.

Prediction:
Saints 32
49ers 16

Oct 24, 2007

What to do without Lost?

We're still months away from the start of season 4 of the best show on TV, Lost. Luckily, once the show starts in February, we'll get 16 straight episodes with no repeats. In the meantime, what are we to do while waiting? I've rewatched a few of season 1's episodes, but here's some other shows that have kept my interest while waiting for a return to Craphole Island:
  • The Office: This season started off slow with their hour long episodes. The format just works better in 1/2 chunks, but last week's visit to Dwight's beet farm was awesome. They are hitting their stride now and the rest of the season will be awesome. Plus, TBS is now running the repeats from the first few seasons, so you can't go wrong with The Office.
  • Doctor Who: How did I miss Doctor Who growing up? My friend Josh is a big fan and I was introduced to the Time Lord after hearing about it from him. Whether its the new series on Sci-Fi or catching up on Classic Who, this is a really good show. I'm still unsure of who my favorite doctor is, but I know that I really like Doctors #4, #5, #9, and #10 the best so far...but not necessarily in that order. I still need to see more of #3, but he's right up there too. #6, #7 and #8 are ones that I have yet to check out any of their shows, so I can't really talk much about them yet.
  • Heroes: Season 2 of Heroes is offering more adventure and more heroes than last year. The problem is that there is now too many stories to focus on. Instead of "Are you on the list" and "Save the cheerleader, save the world," there now seems to be a core group of original heroes that are being killed off. A fun mystery for the show and maybe we'll see the origins of these powers.
  • Flash Gordon: The original Flash Gordon serials inspired George Lucas to write Star Wars, so the new series was one I had to check out. The first few episodes were a bit slow since they had to introduce the characters, but now that the intros are out of the way, they can focus on the adventure. Its not great acting, but it is a fun sci-fi show to check out.
  • How I Met Your Mother/Big Bang Theory: These shows make up the 7-8:00 hour on Monday nights and both are worth checking out. How I Met Your Mother is always good for some laughs, especially from Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). Big Bang Theory is another cheesy sitcom that I'm enjoying that my wife thinks will get canceled (like The Class and Inside Schwartz). It focuses on science/sci-fi nerds, and of course, I can relate to the material.
  • Top Chef: The 3rd season of Top Chef recently ended with Hung winning the title of Top Chef. This was definately an interesting season and I enjoyed all of the contestants this year. I thought that Dale was going to pull it out at the end after Casey basically had her worst performance of the season in the finale, but Hung used his "me first" attitude (along with molten chocolate cake) to get the victory.

Oct 23, 2007

Week 8 Top 25

Another crazy week of college football with three of my Top 10 teams losing. Let's look at how my rankings shape up this week:

  1. Ohio State (8-0)
  2. LSU (7-1)
  3. Boston College (7-0)
  4. Oklahoma (7-1)
  5. Oregon (6-1)
  6. Florida (5-2)
  7. Virgina Tech (6-1)
  8. West Virginia (6-1)
  9. USC (6-1)
  10. Arizona St. (7-0)
  11. Kansas (7-0)
  12. South Florida (6-1)
  13. Kentucky (6-2)
  14. Missouri (6-1)
  15. Hawaii (7-0)
  16. South Carolina (6-2)
  17. Texas (6-2)
  18. Michigan (6-2)
  19. Rutgers (5-2)
  20. California (5-2)
  21. Virginia (7-1)
  22. Alabama (6-2)
  23. Auburn (5-3)
  24. Boise State (6-1)
  25. Connecticut (6-1)
*Dropped from rankings: Texas Tech (previously #19), Tennessee (previously #21), Cincinnati (previously #22), Georgia (previously #25)

Oct 22, 2007

Two-Game Win Streak!

Don't look now, but the Saints are on a roll...a 2 game roll, but one none-the-less. They defeated division rival Atlanta 22-16 yesterday to keep their hopes alive for turning this season around. They didn't look great and the offense and secondary still have their problems, but they held on and pulled out the victory.

Drew Brees is definately not playing up to his standards. He was OK yesterday, but missed receivers a couple of times and just doesn't look as comfortable running the offense as he did last year. Maybe he's trying to do too much, maybe the receivers aren't where they are supposed to be. To the average fan though, it looks like Brees is off a bit this year.

Another gripe I have with this year's offense is the lack of faith in the running game. Yes, they have struggled running the ball, but in order for play-action to work, the other team has to think you might run. Coach Payton forgets about the running game and has Brees drop back to pass too often. Sure Reggie Bush isn't going to carry the ball 25-30 times every game, but it would do some good to get Pierre Thomas more than two carries in these games.

The defensive front four is playing well, especially against the run. They have finally learned to stay in the their gaps and clog running lanes. The only problem is teams know that they can pass against the Saints and will abandon their running game for more yards through the air. Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich picked apart the Saints secondary and Roddy White had a career day. With a consistent pass rush, the secondary would perform better, but the front four gets their pressure in spurts. Hopefully, secondary and linebacker will finally be addressed next offseason. In the meantime, CB Jason David should be back from his injury soon...but considering his play earlier this year, that may not be such a good thing.

Oct 19, 2007

Falcons vs. Saints



The Saints have a rivalry game of their own this week, when the Atlanta Falcons come to the Superdome on Sunday. The Saints finally picked up their first victory of the season last week in Seattle. The offense finally got moving and didn't kill themselves with turnovers.

The game will mark the return of two of the most loved Saints to New Orleans, Morten Andersen and Joe Horn. Andersen's played in the dome a time or two since leaving the Saints, but this is Horn's first visit back. It will be special and Saints fans should give him a warm welcome.

The Saints defense is preparing for a new quarterback with Byron Leftwich making his first Falcon start. It is not clear what Leftwich will bring to the game as he looked terrible in his last action against Tennessee. He probably doesn't have a full grasp of the offense yet and with his lack of mobility, New Orleans should be able to pressure him all day.

Reggie Bush looks to continue his solid performance from last week. He didn't find the end zone, but came just three yards shy of his 2nd career 100-yard rushing day. He'll want to keep proving that he can be an NFL starting running back and will likely find the end zone this weekend.

Prediction:
Falcons 10
Saints 24

Auburn vs. LSU

VS

After suffering their first defeat last week, LSU will taken on conference rival Auburn this Saturday. In a game that has feature some great moments in Tiger history (Earthquake game, Barn Burner, LSU's first SEC West championship, etc), something excited always seems to take place when these two teams meet.

Auburn looked like they were an SEC bottom-dweller earlier this year with losses to USF and Mississippi State, but they've turned it around nicely with stellar defensive play. LSU's offense will have a tough time moving the ball on Auburn, especially if Matt Flynn continues to struggle.

LSU's praised defense has been beaten up in consecutive weeks by Florida and Kentucky. They need to find themselves this week and show the effort that they displayed earlier this season. The hyped D hasn't been living up to their reputation.

Predication:
Aubrun 13
LSU 21

Oct 18, 2007

Fleur-de-Bee

The New Orleans Hornets preseason schedule has begun and to commemorate their return to the Big Easy, they will wear the above fleur-de-bee patch. At first, I was not a fan of the patch, but it has grown on me. Supposedly fan support of the logo has the team considering making it a secondary logo and perhaps putting it on the court next year.

It definitely gives the team a more New Orleans feel, as the other logos are either retreads from the Charlotte Hornets or just the often fan criticized "stinger H." I applaud the Hornets for working to make the team fit in with New Orleans culture and trying to get New Orleans fans to buy in that this really is their team, not Charlotte or Oklahoma City's.

Oct 15, 2007

Week 7 Top 25

A tough weekend for LSU fans as the #1 team in the country fell to Kentucky in triple overtime. Cal also felt their first defeat after moving up to #2. This opens the door for some unlikely teams to make their claim at the top of the polls, let's look at my rankings after seven weeks of college football:

  1. Ohio State (7-0)
  2. LSU (6-1)
  3. Boston College (7-0)
  4. South Florida (6-0)
  5. Oklahoma (6-1)
  6. South Carolina (6-1)
  7. Oregon (5-1)
  8. Florida (4-2)
  9. Kentucky (6-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (6-1)
  11. California (5-1)
  12. West Virginia (5-1)
  13. USC (5-1)
  14. Arizona St. (7-0)
  15. Hawaii (7-0)
  16. Auburn (5-2)
  17. Kansas (6-0)
  18. Texas (5-2)
  19. Texas Tech (6-1)
  20. Missouri (5-1)
  21. Tennessee (4-2)
  22. Cincinnati (6-1)
  23. Michigan (5-2)
  24. Boise State (5-1)
  25. Georgia (5-2)
*Dropped from rankings: Illinois (previously #14), Wisconsin (previously #18), Purdue (previously #21), Florida State (previously #23, Connecticut (previously #24)

Oct 9, 2007

Early Predictions

I'll be without Internet for the next few days, so predictions are coming early. Both the Saints and LSU are on the road this week against tough opponents. LSU looks to continue to roll, while the Saints look to pick up their first victory.

Predictions:
LSU 38
Kentucky 20

Saints 24
Seahawks 17

Week 6 Top 25

What a game between LSU and Florida! That was the loudest I have heard Tiger Stadium in a long time. Then with USC getting upset, the night was that much sweeter. It's time to take a look at how this shook up my rankings:
  1. LSU (6-0)
  2. California (5-0)
  3. Ohio State (6-0)
  4. Boston College (6-0)
  5. South Florida (5-0)
  6. Oklahoma (5-1)
  7. Oregon (4-1)
  8. Florida (4-2)
  9. West Virginia (5-1)
  10. USC (4-1)
  11. South Carolina (5-1)
  12. Virgina Tech (5-1)
  13. Arizona St. (6-0)
  14. Illinois (5-1)
  15. Hawaii (6-0)
  16. Cincinnati (6-0)
  17. Missouri (5-0)
  18. Wisconsin (5-1)
  19. Kentucky (5-1)
  20. Auburn (4-2)
  21. Purdue (5-1)
  22. Kansas (5-0)
  23. Florida State (4-1)
  24. Connecticut (5-0)
  25. Texas (4-2)
*Dropped from rankings: Georgia (previously #13), Kansas State (previously #22), Rutgers (previously #23), Clemson (previously #25)

Oct 5, 2007

Panthers vs. Saints

Two struggling NFC South teams meet up in the Superdome on Sunday when the Panthers take on the Saints. Injuries have hit these teams and they are both without team leaders Deuce McAllister and Jake Delhomme. Both clubs are looking to right the ship after shaky starts to the season, but who will be able to get the victory?

Reggie Bush will get his wish on Sunday and will have a chance to show that he can be an everydown tailback in the NFL. Lots of media outlets are throwing the bust tag out for Bush, so he'll be extra determined to showcase his skills. Drew Brees will also want to show that he's still the same player who competed for the NFL MVP last season. If there ever was a must-win game this early in the season, this is it for the Saints against the rival Panthers. These teams seem to always play each other close, no matter what their records are.

Prediction:
Panthers 17
Saints 20

Florida vs. LSU

VS.

This is it...the match-up all Tiger fans have been anticipating. Too bad the Gators lost last week because this was shaping up to be the game of the year in college football. It's still going to be a great game and an awesome college football atmosphere, but there is a bit of luster gone from it.

College GameDay will be making their second trip to Baton Rouge this season to preview the LSU-Florida game. While Florida lost last week, LSU struggled to find their rhythm against Tulane. For two straight weeks, QB Matt Flynn has not looked well. His injured ankle could be bothering him more than he wants fans and opponents to know, or he could be missing injured senior WR Early Doucet a lot.

The offense better get in sync quickly on Saturday. With a potent running game, the Tigers should focus their attention on getting carries for Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams and Charles Scott. Also, backup QB Ryan Perriloux should be allowed to open the playbook more when he enters the game. Let him throw. Don't just have him run up the gut. Be creative with him. He's one of the best athletes in the conference.

The Tigers strength is their defense, and they must focus on stopping ESPN's new goldenboy Tim Tebow. Tebow is a big QB and seems to prefer running than checking down to options #3 and 4. The Tigers haven't had a starting QB finish a game against them yet and their success Saturday will come down to how much they can rattle Tebow.

Prediction:
Florida 14
LSU 27

Oct 4, 2007

Week 4 Power Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Colts (4-0): Beat Denver, but a few key players are nursing injuries.
  2. New England Patriots (4-0): Probably the #1 team in the NFL right now, but until they beat the defending champs, they have to settle for #2.
  3. Dallas Cowboys (4-0): The legend of Tony Romo is growing (according to ESPN), let's see him win some playoff games before we anoint him as Montana or Young.
  4. Green Bay Packers (4-0): Brett Favre is the man. He looks like he could play 5 more years, and he might.
  5. Seattle Seahawks (3-1): Seattle is playing consistent and sitting on top of their disappointing division.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1): The former Pittsburgh coordinators in Arizona showed that they know a thing or two about the Steelers.
  7. Tennessee Titans (2-1): Vince Young needs to quit worrying about the Heisman Trophy and Reggie Bush, he's in the NFL now.
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1): The NFC South looks like it belongs to the Bucs, but injuries will bring them down a bit.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1): Had a bye week and moved into the Top 10.
  10. Detroit Lions (3-1): The league's top passing offense. Would you expect anything less from Mike Martz?
  11. Denver Broncos (2-2): Still don't have the talent to hang with the Colts.
  12. Washington Redskins (2-1): Used the bye week to hide Clinton Portis' injured knee.
  13. New York Giants (2-2): After basically not showing up the first two weeks, the Giants defense is making a statement.
  14. San Diego Chargers (1-3): Fans are already calling for Norv Turner to be fired, after only 4 games played.
  15. Arizona Cardinals (2-2): Two QB system in the NFL. How long will this last?
  16. Baltimore Ravens (2-2): Steve McNair showing his age and his injuries.
  17. Chicago Bears (1-3): Griese or Grossman...doesn't matter, same results.
  18. Oakland Raiders (2-2): Dante Culpepper's 5 touchdown day helped him show Miami what he could do.
  19. Houston Texans (2-2): Tough loss to the previously unbeaten Falcons. Injuries are starting to add up, especially at WR.
  20. Cleveland Browns (2-2): Don't look now, but the Browns are making some noise.
  21. Carolina Panthers (2-2): QB David Carr gets the start this weekend, how many times will he get sacked?
  22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3): Giving up 12+ sacks is just ridiculous.
  23. San Francisco 49ers (2-2): QB Alex Smith injured his shoulder and give way to veteran Trent Dilfer.
  24. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2): Two wins in a row for KC, are they starting to put it together?
  25. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3): Oucho Cinco isn't happy, how much of a distraction will he be?
  26. Minnesota Vikings (1-3): Andrian Peterson is running away with Rookie of the Year.
  27. New York Jets (1-3): Despite putting up good stats, Pennington and the Jets fell to the Bills.
  28. New Orleans Saints (0-3): Can Reggie Bush step up and fill Deuce's big shoes?
  29. Atlanta Falcons (1-3): Joey Harrington looked legit and the Falcons picked up their first victory.
  30. Buffalo Bills (1-3): Trent Edwards or JP Losman? Does anyone really care?
  31. Miami Dolphins (0-4): Another former Dolphin QB outplays the current one.
  32. St. Louis Rams (0-4): Marc Bulger injuries and poor play have spurned a Gus Ferotte sighting.

Oct 1, 2007

Week 5 Top 25

"Upset Saturday" shook up the world of college football. With six of my top 11 teams falling this weekend, let's take a look at my updated rankings:

  1. LSU (5-0)
  2. USC (4-0)
  3. California (5-0)
  4. Ohio State (5-0)
  5. Wisconsin (5-0)
  6. Boston College (5-0)
  7. South Florida (4-0)
  8. Florida (4-1)
  9. Oklahoma (4-1)
  10. Kentucky (5-0)
  11. Oregon (4-1)
  12. West Virginia (4-1)
  13. Georgia (4-1)
  14. Purdue (5-0)
  15. Virgina Tech (4-1)
  16. Hawaii (5-0)
  17. South Carolina (4-1)
  18. Arizona St. (5-0)
  19. Texas (4-1)
  20. Cincinnati (5-0)
  21. Missouri (4-0)
  22. Kansas State (3-1)
  23. Rutgers (3-1)
  24. Illinois (4-1)
  25. Clemson (4-1)
*Dropped from rankings: Penn State (previously #19), Alabama (previously #24)

Sep 28, 2007

LSU vs. Tulane

VS.

In what will basically be a home game for both teams (if Tulane fans show up), #2 ranked LSU will travel an hour to the Superdome to take on Tulane at 11 am...Yes you read that correctly, LSU will be playing football this weekend at 11 in the morning. They'll kick off before Lee Corso dons the mascot head on Game Day. What a weird start time.

LSU is nursing a few injuries and this game comes at a great time for them. They can rest some players or give them little playing time to keep their skills sharp, then give way to backups to gain some much needed experience and playing time. Matt Flynn should go, but with his bum ankle don't look for him to play too long. Early Doucet is still out with his groin injury as well.

With a huge match up with Florida just a week away, the Tigers will put the Green Wave away early and work out a few kinks before focusing on the Gators.

Prediction:
LSU 48
Tulane 0

Sep 27, 2007

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

After 3 weeks of action, let's look at how teams are stacked up in the NFL:

  1. Indianapolis Colts (3-0): Another tough division win, they stay #1 until they get beat.
  2. New England Patriots (3-0): Another week, another 38 point performance.
  3. Dallas Cowboys (3-0): After only 3 weeks, Cowboys rise to the top of a mediocre NFC.
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0): Still not really tested, Steelers hold off young 49ers.
  5. Green Bay Packers (3-0): The story of the NFL season thus far, the Packers are playing like it's 1995.
  6. Seattle Seahawks (2-1): Back in their familiar spot atop the NFC West.
  7. Tennessee Titans (2-1): Vince Young outplayed Reggie Bush and led the Titans to a win on MNF.
  8. Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Didn't do a good job of putting away the Cardinals in the 4th quarter.
  9. San Diego Chargers (1-2): L.T. is finding little running room, what's going on there?
  10. Chicago Bears (1-2): Grossman is out, Griese is in...will it make much difference?
  11. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1): Returned to the running game and got a big win.
  12. Denver Broncos (2-1): Risky 4th down call backfired.
  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1): The Bucs are quietly making noise in the poor NFC.
  14. Carolina Panthers (2-1): Jake Delhomme should be able to start this week, but do fans want to see David Carr anyway?
  15. Washington Redskins (2-1): Follow up big division win with a loss to struggling Giants.
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2): Someone woke up the Eagles, will this turn their season around?
  17. Houston Texans (2-1): Injuries are making things tough, but they hung with the Champs for a bit.
  18. San Francisco 49ers (2-1): Steelers handed them their first loss and showed them that they still have work to do.
  19. Detroit Lions (2-1): That game sure put a damper on their 2-0 start. How will they react this week?
  20. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2): The defense held someone under 50 points, but the offense didn't score enough this week.
  21. New York Jets (1-2): Chad Pennington quieted the critics for at least another week.
  22. New York Giants (1-2): Eli's showing his toughness, playing through his injury. Defense actually showed up too.
  23. Arizona Cardinals (1-2): Kurt Warner will see more action after his return performance against the Ravens.
  24. Oakland Raiders (1-2): Used time-out trick in their favor this week, and should be 2-1 instead of 1-2.
  25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2): Chiefs won the ugliest game of the week.
  26. Minnesota Vikings (1-2): Vikings lost the ugliest game of the week.
  27. Cleveland Browns (1-2): The team is making strides, but they were bit by the time-out trick this week.
  28. New Orleans Saints (0-3): Everything's going wrong and it's getting worse. Jason David is out for at least a month and Deuce is gone for the season...or longer.
  29. St. Louis Rams (0-3): Marc Bulger has injured ribs and Steven Jackson is out this week, like with the Saints, when it rains, it pours. (could there be more commas in that statement?)
  30. Buffalo Bills (0-3): Passing game is non-existent and J.P. Losman's injury give rookie QB Trent Edwards the start. Ouch.
  31. Miami Dolphins (0-3): Bright spot: Ronnie Brown came through with a great game.
  32. Atlanta Falcons (0-3): Falcons look to be playing for the draft's top pick next year.

If it ain't broke...

Sure it's for a good cause, but just look at those uniforms. LSU and Tulane will be wearing special uniforms for this weekend's game with proceeds from merchandise ($1 per jersey sold) going to Katrina relief. That's great news and a great gesture, but couldn't the same thing be done without LSU changing their uniforms for the game?

LSU has a tradition of wearing white uniforms and their gold helmets are a college football staple. Well, this weekend, thanks to Nike, LSU will don white helmets, purple jerseys and white pants. It's the Gerry Dinardo era all over again. Everyone remembers the uniform combinations (purple pants anyone?) that Dinardo pulled out for special games. Many fans fear that this is the start of Nike getting what they've been after for a while now...changing LSU's uniforms weekly like Oregon, Florida or Miami have done in recent years.

Dear Skip Bertman, don't sell out. Stick with tradition. We can live with this being a one time thing. Don't make it a habit. Let's stick with the best uniforms in college football:

Sep 25, 2007

Saints Embarassed Again on National TV

The Titans dominated the Saints 31-14, Deuce McAllister is likely loss for the season, Drew Brees has turned into Rex Grossman, Reggie Bush looks like he's auditioning for "Dancing with the Stars," the defense still stinks and Sean Payton is in a play-calling funk. At 0-3, the Saints are no where near the team that fans and media thought they would be.

This quote from Scott Fujita says it all:

"Steve Weatherford is playing great," Saints linebacker Scott Fujita said of his team's punter. "Other than that, we're not playing worth a damn."

Week 4 Top 25

Another exciting week of college football is in the books. Time to update the Top 25:
  1. LSU (4-0)
  2. USC (3-0)
  3. Florida (4-0)
  4. Oklahoma (4-0)
  5. West Virginia (4-0)
  6. California (4-0)
  7. Ohio State (4-0)
  8. Wisconsin (4-0)
  9. Oregon (4-0)
  10. Texas (4-0)
  11. Rutgers (3-0)
  12. Boston College (4-0)
  13. Clemson (4-0)
  14. Kentucky (4-0)
  15. Virgina Tech (3-1)
  16. Georgia (3-1)
  17. Hawaii (4-0)
  18. South Carolina (3-1)
  19. Penn State (3-1)
  20. South Florida (3-0)
  21. Purdue (4-0)
  22. Missouri (4-0)
  23. Arizona St. (4-0)
  24. Alabama (3-1)
  25. Cincinnati (4-0)
*Dropped from rankings: Louisville (previously #17), Texas A&M (previously #20), Nebraska (#24), Arkansas (previously #25)

Sep 24, 2007

MNF: Titans vs. Saints

Finally, the Saints will play their home opener tonight on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans. After two tough loses on the road, the Saints look to get back on track in the Superdome. Last year, an emotional return to the city sparked a run to the NFC Championship game. Could tonight's game provide that same spark?

ESPN is promoting the game as Reggie Bush vs. Vince Young, but Saints fans know that the offense goes through Drew Brees and Deuce McAllister. The more of Deuce we see, the better the offense is playing. Reggie Bush is lagniappe at this point and so far he has disappointed. Deuce is the sparkplug and he needs to be fed the ball. Brees is the unquestioned leader in the huddle and needs to get over his frustrations and start throwing the ball downfield.

The Saints defense will have its hands full with Vince Young, Lendale White and Chris Brown. This rushing attack will give the Saints run defense fits, but the secondary should have a better day than the two previous games. The Titans rarely throw downfield, so if the Saints are giving up big plays in the passing game to them, this really could be a long year.

On special teams, kicker Olindo Mare will get to face the fans for the first time this season. He needs to start producing soon or the Saints will bring in another kicker. In a city that has seen some of football's best and most accurate kickers (Tom Dempsy, Morten Andersen, Doug Brien and John Carney) fans won't stick up for a kicker who keeps missing.

Prediction:
Titans 23
Saints 27

Sep 21, 2007

South Carolina vs. LSU

vs.

#12 ranked South Carolina will take on #2 LSU this weekend in sloppy conditions at Tiger Stadium. Weather will definitely be a factor as Tropical Storm #10 (likely to be a named storm by gametime) will be moving across southern Louisiana on Saturday. LSU played in rainy weather at Miss St. and should have the advantage playing at home.

QB Matt Flynn is still nursing a sore ankle, but he is expected to play. The Tigers, however, will be without senior WR Early Doucet and starting DT Charles Alexander was lost for the season with a knee injury. LSU should be fine at both positions due to quality depth and experienced backups.

The "Old Ball Coach" is a rumored candidate to replace Les Miles, if/when Miles heads north to Michigan. Spurrier may be looking to impress LSU fans and a good showing this weekend by the Gamecocks could leave that lasting impression if LSU is looking for a new coach. With LSU's defense, however, it will be hard to move the ball and South Carolina will have to be creative and force turnovers, if they are to have a chance.

Prediction:
S.C. 6
LSU 27

Sep 20, 2007

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Two weeks down, let's look at how teams are stacked up in the NFL:
  1. Indianapolis Colts (2-0): Had a tough game in Tennessee, but they're still the champs.
  2. New England Patriots (2-0): The cheaters look like a team on a mission this year.
  3. Dallas Cowboys (2-0): Offense is firing on all cylinders, but defense isn't. Signing Tank Johnson is a boom or bust move.
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0): How good are the Steelers? Bills and Browns aren't good barometers, but they look legit.
  5. San Diego Chargers (1-1): Tough game against the Patriots. L.T. has hundreds of fantasy owners questioning selecting him #1, even though he was the consensus.
  6. Chicago Bears (1-1): Is this the season that Lovie Smith makes a QB change?
  7. Denver Broncos (2-0): Two lucky wins puts the Broncos in the top 10. Yep, it's still early in the season.
  8. Seattle Seahawks (1-1): Looked like one of the NFC's top teams, but a botched handoff killed them against the Cardinals.
  9. Green Bay Packers (2-0): Brett Favre looks like he could play 4 more years, and he might.
  10. Washington Redskins (2-0): Nice win against the Eagles in one of the NFL's toughest places to play.
  11. Tennessee Titans (1-1): Vince Young was leading his team downfield, but couldn't quite
  12. Carolina Panthers (1-1): One step forward, and two steps back for a team that just can't consistently put it together.
  13. Houston Texans (2-0): The surprise of the NFL thus far, Houston must be tired of losing so much.
  14. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1): Scoring 45 points and losing must have been tough to shallow for Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson.
  15. Baltimore Ravens (1-1): Kyle Boller played well, will he be the starter now?
  16. Detroit Lions (2-0): The pesky Lions have a ton of weapons on offense, but they let Minnesota hang around and go to OT.
  17. San Francisco 49ers (2-0): The 49ers offense has yet to get going, but two wins is still two wins.
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1): The Jags still didn't run the ball well in their victory over the Falcons.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1): The Bucs hit the Saints with big plays in the passing game, showing that Joey Galloway and Jeff Garcia will make a nice WR/QB combo.
  20. New Orleans Saints (0-2): The offense stinks, the defense stinks and the kicker is 1-3 on FGs...other than that, the Saints are OK.
  21. Minnesota Vikings (1-1): Tavaris Jackson may need to take a break and hold a clip board for a while after throwing 4 ints against Detroit.
  22. Arizona Cardinals (1-1): With all the playmakers they have on offense, their coach still wants to pound the rock.
  23. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2): Donovan McNabb needs to not worry about the criticism of black QBs and just improve his game. He looked terrible last Monday.
  24. Cleveland Browns (1-1): Brady Quinn will have to wait a bit longer as Derek Anderson led the offense to more than 50 points.
  25. St. Louis Rams (0-2): Tough division loss to the 49ers. Steven Jackson needs to be a bigger part of the offense.
  26. New York Jets (0-2): Is that a QB controversy brewing in New York? Kellen Clemons looked solid against the Ravens, but his WRs didn't do him any favors.
  27. New York Giants (0-2): Eli Manning played through his injury, but the secondary was torched for the second week in a row.
  28. Oakland Raiders (0-2): Should have been a victory against the Broncos, but a time out stopped their celebration.
  29. Buffalo Bills (0-2): Flat effort against the Steelers. What happened to the J.P. Loman/Lee Evans connection?
  30. Miami Dolphins (0-2): Aging defense had trouble stopping Dallas' offense, at least they got a first hand look at T.O.'s celebration.
  31. Atlanta Falcons (0-2): Can Byron Leftwich save this team? Probably not.
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2): Larry Johnson is probably second guessing coming back from his hold-out.