Saturday, September 26, 2009

Raiders: Just Whine, Baby!

Has there ever been a sports franchise that's fallen farther, faster than the Oakland Raiders?

This once-proud team of marauders, led by its egocentric owner, Al Davis, used to eschew anything resembling the conventional to achieve the only thing that really mattered: winning.

These days, though, the only thing their unconventional approach has earned them is a new, embarrassing identity -- sniveling losers.

And the descent toward, and through, the bottom continues unabated.

Consider this story that has made the rounds in recent days ...

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Week 4 Predictions

North Carolina @ Georgia Tech (-2.5)

The Yellow Jackets are at 6000rpm in 3rd gear, and they don't seem to be progressing. The Tar Heels have been on the easier course so far, but their offense has sputtered at times too...

The Call: North Carolina by 7

South Florida @ Florida St (-14)

The Bulls have destroyed Wofford, Western Kentucky, and Charleston Southern so far this year, so we don't know a whole lot about them. Now that seven-year starting QB Matt Groethe is out, we know even less. But that's okay - we know the Seminoles hung with Miami, had a close call against Jacksonville St, and crushed BYU. 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

The Call: Florida State by 21

Fresno State @ Cincinnati (-16.5)

The Bearcats are beating (what should be) good teams, while the Bulldogs are getting beaten by (what should be) good teams. Like a glove.

The Call: Cincinnati by 18

(Continue to The National Championship Issue)

SEC Is So Tough ... Just Like a Duck

Most certainly, I'm not the only one who suspected that Ole Miss was a fraud. Yeah, the Rebels did beat Florida and finished with a six-game win streak last year, but what have they done in 2009 to warrant the lofty ranking of No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the Coaches Poll?

Well, nothing, really.

Ole Miss was manhandled by Stever Spurrier's very mortal South Carolina team last night, scoring just one touchdown on a long pass play in a 16-10 loss. The score would've been more lopsided, in the Gamecocks' favor, had it not been Carolina's insistence on shooting itself in the foot repeatedly.

The Ole Miss defeat, without a doubt, brought back the oldest canard (or is it a Peking Duck?) in college sports back on the table: The SEC Is the Toughest Conference in Football. I've gone around this several times and really don't want to waste another second on this dubious subject. And delightfully, the Wall Street Journal (of all papers) came to the rescue.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Cupcakes for Florida ... Mmmm Good

First and foremost, all UF programs are about winning SEC championships, as AD Foley has repeatedly stated. Indeed they are one of the primary benchmarks by which our coaches are evaluated.

Within this context, the scheduling Ass. AD must keep in mind that our first SEC game is always UT, half the time an away game. Thus, the goal must be to prepare the team, allow it to work the kinks out during the first couple of games, let the coaches test the rotations and let some of the 3rd teamers get some playing time in case they are called upon once the brutality of the SEC schedule takes its toll on the 1st and 2nd teamers.

It is the scheduling Ass. AD's job to set us up for an SEC run, and hopefully more, not satisfy the idle urges of bored alumni who want to chew peyote in the Arizona desert.

(Continue to Saurian Sagacity)

JaMarcus Russell Continues Struggle

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Following Wednesday evening's practice, Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher discovered a gift waiting for him when he greeted his wife as he left the field: a framed and autographed poster of Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Fisher coached Russell at LSU, helping Russell develop into the top overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. A lot has changed since their last season together at LSU in 2006.

Fisher left Baton Rouge for Tallahassee after the season, and Russell soon began his quest to find the same success in the NFL that he enjoyed at LSU. So far, Fisher is having better luck as FSU's coach-in-waiting.

(Continue to Seminoles Sports Center)

Dolphins Look to Avoid 0-3 Start

After all but beating the Indianapolis Colts last Monday night, the Miami Dolphins travel to the West Coast to face the high powered San Diego Chargers at 4:15 p.m.

The challenge is a daunting one: Try to avoid going 0-3 against one of the most talented teams in the NFL.

Last week, Miami dominated the Colts statistically, except for the big statistic on the scoreboard, which read Indianapolis 27, Miami 23.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Fleury Released, But Still a Winner

Well done, Theo Fleury.

No, the comeback kid's attempted comeback didn't pan out with the Calgary Flames, but he did himself proud nonetheless.

Fleury was released by the Flames today, but he performed a lot better than anyone could have anticipated with four points in four preseason games, along with a winning shootout goal.

Not bad for a guy who is 41, has been out of the NHL for six years and is a recovering alcoholic. He's been sober for some time and will continue to fight the good fight, so kudos to him.

(Continue to Through the 5 Hole)

The World's Longest Trick Shot

(Continue to The March to Madness)

Wanderers Pitch Lifts England

After half the cricket writing fraternity have eaten large slices of humble pie this morning - myself included - it's time to reflect on England's surprise six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka last night.

England were desperately looking for some inspiration before this game, and they probably didn't bank on finding it inside five overs, thanks to a Wanderers pitch that offered more movement than a steroid-charged Kangaroo. Some of the top order's shot selection left a lot to be desired, but it was still a great effort to reduce Sri Lanka to 17 for 4, even if they did let them off the hook in the middle overs.

(Continue to Crick Down the Legside)
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