Nov 21, 2009

Predictions: LSU and Saints

I'm off to vacation for Thanksgiving week, so I'm combining my Saints and LSU predictions this week. LSU has a tough matchup against long-time rival Ole Miss, while the Saints look to move to 10-0 at NFC South Division opponent Tampa Bay.

The Tigers need to finish the season strong against Ole Miss and Arkansas to secure a Capital One Bowl berth. Ole Miss has been playing better lately and they are eying a strong finish and good bowl bid as well. The Tigers defense has been solid, but the offense is just as much a question mark this week with Jordan Jefferson still recovering from his ankle injury. This is a big rivalry game and both teams would love nothing more than to give the other a late season loss.

LSU 23

Ole Miss 21

Many Saints fans have next week's Monday Night Football game against the Patriots circled. The media have penciled in the 10-0 Saints to take on New England, but New Orleans needs to take care of the pesky Bucs first. Tampa Bay has been playing better since going to Josh Freeman at QB. The Saints will also be without some of their starters again this week due to injury, including Reggie Bush, Sedrick Ellis and Tracy Porter.

The past few games have seen the Saints struggle with turnovers and things just aren't clicking like they were earlier this season. Look for them to play better this week and put together a solid, four quarter performance. While Tampa has shown improvement, they should be no match for the Saints.

Saints 38
Bucs 17

Nov 19, 2009

LSU Bowl Projections

With LSU sitting pretty at 8-2 and only two games remaining on the schedule, it's time to check out where the Tigers are projected to be playing in the bowl season.

If LSU wins out and finishes at 10-2, they'll most certainly land in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. This would be a nice spot and a good reward for a 10 win season with the Capital One being just a notch below a BCS berth. LSU last played in the Capital One Bowl in 2005, when they lost on a last second play to Iowa in Nick Saban's last game with the Tigers. Most projects have LSU playing here against Penn State, but a rematch with Iowa is also possible.

The other likely possibility for LSU (and it becomes more likely with a loss to Ole Miss or Arkansas) is the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Some projections have the Tigers playing there against either Nebraska or Oklahoma State. Both would be good games story-line wise as Nebraska is coached by former LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and of course, Les Miles left Oklahoma State to come to LSU. LSU's last trip to the Cotton Bowl was a 2003 loss to Texas.

Another bowl possibility experts project for LSU is a trip to Tampa for the Outback Bowl to face Wisconsin. LSU's last trip to a bowl game in Tampa was the 1989 Holiday Bowl (now the Outback Bowl). The Tigers lost that game to Syracuse. So basically, in the three projected spots for the Tigers, LSU lost in their last trip to those games.

Here's a look at who's projecting the Tigers to play in these bowls:'s Mark Schlabach:
Outback: LSU vs. Wisconsin's Bruce Feldman:
Cotton: LSU vs. Nebraska's Stewart Mandel:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

CBS Sportsline:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

Fox Sports:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

College Football News:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

Cotton: LSU vs. Oklahoma State

The Rivalry Esq.:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

NBC Sports:
Capital One: LSU vs. Penn State

Sporting News:
Outback: LSU vs. Wisconsin

Lost Rewatch: Week 24

The Lost Rewatch continues to move toward the final season of Lost this week. There's a break built into the Rewatch schedule next week for the Thanksgiving holiday (the schedule actually list this week as Thanksgiving, but we'll take the break next week), so if you're behind on episodes (like me) this could be an opportunity to do some catching up. Now onto this week's batch from season 5:

The Little Prince (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashforward focuses on the Oceanic 6, mostly Kate dealing with the lawyer (Ben's lawyer) who's out to prove that Aaron's not her son.
  • Some questions: Who is after the Losties and keeps attacking them (mainly Sayid) and why did Sayid's attacker have Kate's address? Who sent Sun the box of chocolates and gun?
  • Who were the Other Others, who fired at the group when they were in the canoes? Juliette appears to have hit one of them. Speculation was that they were Ilana's group, but we haven't had any conformation of that yet.
  • Canton-Rainer carpet cleaning is an anagram for reincarnation.
This Place is Death (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashforward focuses on the Oceanic 6 and Ben trying to convince them to go back to the island. Sun, Jack and Ben go to Eloise Hawking's church and Desmond is there to talk to Faraday's mother (Hawking).
  • Why did the Smoke Monster attack Danielle's team? What power does it have over people? Danielle called it the sickness.
  • Why does Charlotte say that "this place is death?" She had spent her entire life trying to get back to the island, what makes her say this (besides, you know, her being about to die and all). How does she knows so much about the island just before she dies?
  • Since Charlotte remembers Daniel from her past, does that mean that all those encountered during the jumps would remember the Losties? (Like Ethan having met Locke or Danielle with Jin?)
  • How exactly does a frozen donkey wheel get knocked off its barrings? Did this happen because Ben turned it and not Locke, as originally instructed? Christian Sheppard shows up in the donkey wheel cave to give Locke further instructions. So is/has Christian always been Jacob's enemy (aka the man in black)? Why couldn't he help Locke up? Is he not allowed to touch the living?

Nov 17, 2009

Doctor Who: The End of Time

Here's the trailer for David Tennant's last episode as the Doctor:

Nov 13, 2009

Saints at Rams

The 8-0 Saints travel to St. Louis this weekend to take on the 1-7 Rams. On paper, this game should be ugly and one sided, but in the NFL, anything can happen.

The Saints are riding high, but the past few weeks, they've flirted with disaster. They've gotten behind in games early and turnovers have started to pile up. A game against a team like the Rams could be just what the doctor ordered to get back on track, but the Saints shouldn't take them lightly.

Steven Jackson is one of the top running backs in the league, and teams have shown that this Saints defense can be run on. The Saints coaches will make it an emphasis to stop the run and Jackson will be a good test. The Saints should be able to move the ball on St. Louis, just as they have against everyone they've faced this year.

Many fans and national media are already penciling in the 10-0 Saints to take on New England on Monday night in a couple of weeks. The team better not be drinking that Kool-Aid and should be ready to play no matter the opponent's record. A loss against either the Rams or the Bucs next week would be extra costly, since it would be against a NFC foe.

There's one man that will make sure this team isn't in for a let down and that's Drew Brees. Brees is a man on a mission and that mission is the Super Bowl. He won't let his teammates get complacent and will have them ready to go.

Saints 42
Rams 13

LSU vs. Louisiana Tech


After a tough loss on the road last week at Alabama, LSU is back in Tiger Stadium for a Homecoming match up with Louisiana Tech. This should be a tune-up game for the Tigers heading into their last two SEC match ups of the season, but Tech has shown to be a pesky team that gave Boise State everything it could handle in their last game.

LSU will be without a few key players, most notably RB Charles Scott, who's out for the season, and quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Jarrett Lee will get the start at QB and will be looking to show the hometown fans that he's a much better QB than he showed last year.

Last week's game is still on the minds of fans around Tigertown, but hopefully the team has moved on and is prepared to finished out the regular season on a high note. That will start with a good showing against the Bulldogs.

LSU 38
LA Tech 13

Nov 12, 2009

Byron Scott out as Hornets Coach

Byron Scott has been relieved of his coaching duties of the New Orleans Hornets after a 3-6 start to the season. He'll be replaced by GM Jeff Bower and assistant coach Tim Floyd.

I'm not sure what this means, but if your GM is taking over as head coach, it usually means your team is in trouble. Many fans are yelling the name Avery Johnson for next head coach and that may very well be the case ... but most likely next year.

With the mess that the Hornets are currently faced with -- bad start to the season, over the salary cap, no bench or starting quality shooting guards -- you have to wonder how long Chris Paul will give the Hornets before demanding to be traded to a contender. Paul is a team first type of guy, but if the team's a mess, how long will he wait?

Nov 11, 2009

Lost Rewatch: Week 24

We've reached season 5 in the Lost Rewatch. These episodes should still be fresh in your mind, so I'm just going to link to the recaps and post the most relevant questions remaining heading into season 6. This season gave us more insight into the island's history, DHARMA and Rousseau's early days on the island. Enjoy, and we're inching closer and closer to season 6. Unfortunately, don't look for any season 6 insight in previews. Elizabeth Mitchell (aka Juliette) said in a recent interview that the show's going into a blackout and won't show anything from season 6.

Because You Left (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashforward shows what the Oceanic 6 (and Desmond/Penny and Ben) are doing off island. Jack and Ben start working together, Kate is confronted by lawyers over Aaron, Sayid busts Hurley out of the mental institution and Desmond and Penny are on a sail boat.
  • Did Dr. Chang know about the frozen donkey wheel before seeing the x-ray of the wall below the Orchid? How much does he really know about the properties of that station? What is the history of the frozen donkey wheel?
  • A few more questions: How does Daniel know so much about the island and how it's skipping through time? Since Ethan met Locke when the island was skipping, did he remember him when 815 crashed? Why don't the rules apply to Desmond and what does that mean? Can Desmond alter the past?
  • The scene where Richard tells Locke what he must do (give him back the compass and to get everyone to come back, he has to die) is still a killer scene, especially knowing what we know happened just before the conversation.

The Lie (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback shows the Oceanic 6 discussing the details of lying about where they've been. "The Lie" originally aired just after "Because You Left" as a two-hour season premiere.
  • Ben has a bag hidden in the hotel vent. Fans have wondered about it since this episode aired. Will we find out what was in the bag and why he hid it?
  • Why does Locke's body need to be kept safe? Does Ben know more than he's leading on about the man in black's plan? There are apparently Others working for Ben off island. Who are these people and how many Others are off island?
  • Ms. Hawking tells Ben that if he can't get the Oceanic 6 back to the island in 70 hours, then God help us all. What would happen if they didn't go back?
Jughead (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback/flashforward focuses on Desmond. The flashback is to the birth of his and Penny's son, Charlie. The flashforward shows him looking for Faraday's mom.
  • Since the U.S. Army visited the island in the 1950s, are they still looking for it today? How did they find it and what did they learn about its history?
  • The receptionist at Oxford is the same woman that worked the Oceanic Flight 815 gate, who let Hurley board the plane. They are played by the same actress, but are they the same person on Lost? The show hasn't addressed it, but a newspaper article said that they aren't the same person.
  • A few more questions: Why do the Others all know Latin and how did they all learn it so well? How long had Widmore been on the island and how was he recruited? Why does Richard always look the same, except for the first time he met Ben when he was wearing ragged clothes and had shaggy hair? What is the Others leadership selection process that Richard references? How'd did Widmore know Ms. Hawking's address in Los Angeles? It seemed they hadn't talked in years.

Nov 9, 2009

Nov 5, 2009

Saints vs. Panthers

7-0! The Saints have now tied their best start in franchise history and fans (and some players, i.e. Reggie Bush) have brought up the word undefeated.

I think its ridiculous to even talk about or worry about the Saints going undefeated. We're not even at the halfway point of the season and for a team with two playoff victories in the franchise's history, winning in the postseason is the only accomplishment that fans need to worry about. This is the best Saints team ever, but say they go 13-3, 14-2, 15-1 or even 16-0 and then lose in the playoffs, it's all for not. Just ask the Patriots. But with the Saints history, losing in the Superbowl will still be a victory, but that's way too far down the line to even worry about now.

This week the team takes on another division rival in the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have had a rough season, but they seem to have pulled themselves out of the ashes and are now a game below .500.

This will be a tough game for the Saints. The Panthers and Saints always play tough, close games and this one will likely be no difference. John Fox won't put the game in Jake Delhomme's hands and will likely run the ball down the Saints throats. The way that Michael Turner was able to gash the Saints defense has to have DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart eager to get their shot.

New Orleans will have to prove they can stop the run to beat Carolina. If they do that, they can force Delhomme into making mistakes, something the Saints have made every opposing quarterback do this year with fumbles and interceptions. I don't worry about the Saints offense. They should be able to move the ball, but the offensive line will be tested against Julius Peppers and company. Drew Brees has been feeling more pressure in the past few games and the o-line will have their hands full once again. Look for short, quick passes and delayed runs to throw off the Panthers pass rush.

Sean Payton is a bright coach and he'll put his team in the best spots to succeed. Plus, this game is once again in the Superdome and the "Who Dat Nation" will be out in full force to support their team.

Saints 30
Panthers 25

LSU at Alabama


Saban Bowl. The most anticipated SEC West game of the year is upon us when LSU travels to take on Alabama this Saturday on national television. An SEC title game appearance and perhaps a path to the BCS championship from there are likely on the line.

LSU has shown improvement the past few weeks, while Alabama has turned into a struggling team on offense. Alabama still has one of the top defensive units in the nation, but LSU counters with a stout defense of their own, one that has allowed 13, 13, 10 and 0 points in their last four games.

LSU's offense has shown life as well with Charles Scott getting going and Jordan Jefferson showing more poise in the pocket, but will it be enough to compete with Alabama in the unfriendly confinds of Brian Dennehy, I mean Bryant-Denny Stadium?

LSU 16
Alabama 13

Nov 4, 2009

Lost Rewatch: Week 23

Season 4 comes to an end this week in the Lost Rewatch with some awesome episodes. These three episodes set up the frantic season 5. What's not to love about frozen donkey wheels, crazy cabins, Richard Alpert's test, a new DHARMA station and the reveal of the person in the coffin. Enjoy the end of season 4.

Cabin Fever (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashback focuses on Locke growing up from his birth up through his rehabilitation after becoming paralyzed.
  • We now know why Richard was at the hospital after Locke was born, Locke himself told him to go there. But with the test he gave Locke as a youth, it seems Richard was testing Locke to see if he truly was special. Locke fails here by picking the knife. Do all the future Others get tested by Richard or just Locke since he was so "special"?
  • Locke has a vision of Horace Goodspeed and learns that Horace built Jacob's cabin. Nose bleeds are introduced here as well. Ben tells Locke that he used to have dreams. I wonder what those were like. Locke has had some crazy dreams/visions, but I'd bet Ben's would be even better.
  • Matthew Abaddon tells Locke that when they meet again, he'll owe him one. I don't recall Locke paying up when they met again in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham."
  • Ben says that he wasn't the one who ordered the purge. He says that he wasn't always the guy in charge, so does that mean that Widmore ordered the purge? Was Widmore taking orders from Jacob when the purge occurred?
  • Once again, what's the deal with the cabin? They had trouble locating it, then once they find it, Christian and Claire are inside. Christian says that he can speak for Jacob (is he the man in black?) and tells Locke how to save the island -- move it. This is definitely all part of the man in black's plan as moving the island starts the spiral that culminates in the season 5 finale, "The Incident." Christian also says that Aaron's where he's supposed to be. So is that with Sawyer and eventually Kate?
There's No Place Like Home (Part 1) (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashforward focuses on the Oceanic 6 making it back to civilization and what happens to them just after they get back.
  • How did Daniel know so much about the island? He knew about the secondary protocol and the Orchid, but who provided him with this info? His mother? Widmore?
  • After the show hadn't focused on the numbers for a couple of seasons, the full set of numbers make their return on the odometer of Hurley's Camaro. Will we finally get an explanation for the numbers in season 6? Damon Lindelof has hinted at yes.
  • Who hid the case that Ben finds on the way to the Orchid? Was it this part of the protocol the Others had if someone ever had to go to the Orchid to move the island? Ben says the crackers are 15 years old; did they have to move the island or go to the Orchid 15 years ago? Who does he signal to? Is there an Other stationed in that location at all times?
  • Claire's mom attends Christian's "funeral" and tells Jack that Claire was his sister. Last time we saw Ms. Littleton, she was still in a coma. How and when did she recover? Could the island/Jacob be a part of her recovery?
There's No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3) (Zap2It Recap)
  • GulfCoastOffense's original recap. LongLiveLocke's original recap.
  • Flashforwards focus on the Oceanic 6 and their lives off the island. We get to see Jack and Kate conversation continue at the airport from "Through the Looking Glass," season 3's finale as well.
  • After everything Jack sees happen on the island, why did he have such a hard time believing? Even after he saw the island moved, he still refused to believe it.
  • Walt tells Hurley that the only one that came to visit him was "Jeremy Bentham." Why didn't any of the other survivors check in on him?
  • Was Kate's dream about Claire an island manifestation? After Claire's appearance in "Cabin Fever," things don't look good for her still being among the living.
  • The Frozen Donkey Wheel. OK, was this built by the island's original inhabitants? Did Jacob build it? Who told Ben about it? How much did Ben really know about what would happen once it was turned? What do the hieroglyphs mean in the donkey wheel room? Why is it cold in there?
  • A few more questions: How does Miles know that Charlotte was on the island before? Why does the Orchid orientation video rewind itself? Why is it Christian Sheppard who appears to Michael just before he dies to tell him that he can go now?
  • Jack says that Jeremy Bentham told him Ben was off the island, but in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" Locke doesn't mention Ben at all in their conversation. Locke never told Jack about the bad things that happened on the island either. Did the two of them have another conversation or is Jack just too stoned to remember correctly?

Nov 2, 2009

MNF: Saints vs. Falcons

Four seasons ago, the Saints returned to the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina on Monday Night Football. The Saints took down the Falcons in what was the most memorable Monday night game in Saints history. Flashforward to tonight and those same Falcons come to town for the biggest game of this early season for the Saints (seems like we've said that about a few games this year like the Jets and Giants games, but when you're undefeated, the next game is always the biggest).

The Saints currently have a two game lead over the Falcons in the division, but the Saints have yet to play a divisional opponent until tonight. These two rivals always play each other tough and this Falcons team isn't one to take lightly. While they lost last week to the Cowboys, they will be jacked up for their game against the Saints.

New Orleans got their first scare of the season last week against the Dolphins, but pulled through with a great second half. This team is winning on both sides of the ball and a win tonight will tie the best start in franchise history at 7-0.

The Superdome is already a tough place to play, add to that an undefeated season on the line, a division oppenent and playing on Monday Night Football, and this game will be electric. Saints fans are showing the team lots of love and support this year and look for the home field advantage to only grow stronger throughout the season.

Saints 40
Falcons 23