Monday, December 31, 2007
Oklahoma City, OK (LTP) - A contrite DeMarcus Granger issued a statement today through his press agent, Jamelle Holieway, regarding his arrest for allegedly stealing a coat from the Burlington Coat Factory. As a result of various Fiesta bowl events that both teams partcipate in, he felt a special camaraderie with the West Virginia team. After reading reports on espn.com that WV would have to pay upwards of $1 million for tickets not purchased by Mountaineer fans, the Dallas, Texas native decided to take matters in his own hands.
“Being from Texas and playing football, stealing stuff is second nature. I just felt like doing this for a good cause.” As to why he would remove the anti-theft device from the coat and then walk out of the store WITH the anti-theft device in a bag, Granger said, “We go over this sort of things in drills all the time. With the practices leading up to the bowl game, though, the coaches give a lot of reps to the younger players and as a result I got sloppy with my technique. If I get back on the team in spring, I should be able to work through it and be ready for the offseason.”
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Blake Griffin is a stud.
The game was one of the more entertaining I'd watched in awhile (admittedly my college hoops watching has fallen off in the past few years), even after the 10-10 after 10 minutes start.
I was impressed by the Sooners resilience, coming back in OT and second OT to finally take the victory.
the big part of this was that the Sooners beat a quality for on the road, which should the Sooners keep playing this well, could get the Sooners back into postseason action.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Sooners toughest opponent in a hostile environment to date has been the trip to LA to visit Southern Cal, which resulted in a 66-55 loss. The only other pure road game the Sooners have played is in Fort Worth, against the TCU Horned Frogs.
To date I've been pleasantly surprised by the Sooners, so we'll see what happens later today.
Friday, December 28, 2007
BC is led by Matt Ryan
Three losses left his fans cryin'
But Up against Sparty
The Eagles will party
And the Big Ten will keep dyin'
Texas Bowl Limerick
Texas Bowl two dot zero
Will Dalton be the hero?
He can't run for ****
His passes don't fit
But the Cougs still fall below.
Emerald Bowl Limerick
This bowl game is for the mutts;
Both offenses are stuck in ruts.
They can't run or pass
Cashews give me gas
If you watch this game, you're nuts.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Twelve Chizik Nickels
Eleven wins for Kansas
Ten Jammal Lords Leaping
Nine Coaches Staying
Eight Bowl Teams Playing
Seven Longhorns Pleading
Six Alert Levels
Three Coaches Leaving
Two Counts of Car Theft
and a Bass Fishing Championship!
Merry Christmas! We'll be back on Dec 26-27ish.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Mrs. Santa - Sooner women's coach Sherri Coale. If Santa wasn't gonna get off his butt and get the job done, she was.
Santa Claus - Merv Johnson, Director of Oklahoma Football Operations and longtime Sooner operative. Took belief in Sooner Magic just a little too far. He's the most paternal figure I could think of related to Sooner sports. Coach Switzer could be Santa, if Santa had a thing for coeds.
Snow Miser - Jim Tressell. Cold weather football is right up his alley. Don't need that blasted speed running through all that snow.
Heat Miser - Rich Rodriguez. RR is from the south, but will to bend a couple of rules if he can secure some northern territory.
Jangle Bells - Joe Dickenson, OU Offensive Coordinator, 1998, the last year of the Desert Era.
Jingle Bells - Larry Coker, former Okie State offensive coordinator and former HC of Miami Hurricanes. Jingle and his brother Jangle didn't seem to be the brightest bulbs.
Mother Nature - Those flashes of lightning to whip the Miser brothers into shape made me think of the McBride Electric Power Play of the game, hosted by the inimitable Bob Barry.
Southtown Dog Catcher - Paul Dee, interim Chairman of the Committee on Infractions and Miami-FL AD.
Mayor of Southtown - U of O President David Boren. Personality didn't match, but physically, give David a mustache and the two are twins.
Mr. Thistlewhite - Bob Stoops. Thistlewhite still believed in Santa. Stoops still believed those kids in 1999 could win football games.
Ignatius Thistlewhite - Sam Bradford. The boyish complexion of Iggy reminded me of the Sooner QB.
Blue Christmas Girl - Jessica Simpson. Clearly you could see the effects of a little Proactiv on that smooth complexion.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"The riot gear is scheduled to arrive on December 21st, the academy graduation is on the 22nd and the players arrive on the 23rd, so everything is going as scheduled. The first activity for the Holiday bowl teams will be a Navy and Marine Corps luncheon. We believe this will be a good transition event for new police officers, as there will be MPs nearby for reinforcements if trouble breaks out. The citizens of San Diego should be safe throughout the week."
"We believe we have made some errors in judgement. For example, extending the invite may have been a good to ensure a high quality football game, but it put millions of people in harms way. "
Landsdowne did extend an olive branch to the Longhorn football team. "Twelve years ago, Ricky Williams was known as a weird kid from San Diego. Now he's known as a marijuana addict that played football at the University of Texas and the NFL. We're grateful for them taking him off our hands."
Monday, December 17, 2007
A place I found today is West By God Virginia, and they are coping quite well with RR's departure. As an additoinal bonus, you'll find there that Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, allegedly contacted WV about the opening there. There appears to be some connection to Saban and West Virginia, and it'll be interesting to see how this thing plays out. IMO, I don't see Saban leaving for WVU, but I could certainly understand that a coach, regardless of how good they are, could land at a place like Norman, Tuscaloosa, Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, etc. - where they are dysfuncionally passionate about their fuball - and after a year say, "Huh? What did I get myself into?" I read an article earlier this year that Stoops wondered if he'd made a mistake after one year at OU.
Sexton is also the agent for many other coaches, including Fulmer, Tuberville, Spurrier and Houston Nutt, so this could be much ado about nothing.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Rogriguez was asked whether he could win a national championship easier at Michigan instead of West Virginia. "You bet! Look, at Michigan, you have to beat Notre Dame, a couple of MAC schools, then cruise through the schedule until the Ohio State game. Once the NCAA catches up to the Sweatervest, that matchup will be a piece of cake. In the Big East, we have to go up against a national recognized opponent every week. Take our loss to Pittsburgh, for example. They have a great history there, with Curvin Richards, Mark May, and Tyler Palko. It's tough to beat them no matter where you play them."
Landthieves insider Drew Henson asked Rodriguez if he really met with a financial advisor while in Toledo. Rodriguez nearly broke down in tears. "I'm tired of answering that question. Look, I'll be honest with you...I suck at math. I knew WV was paying my $2.0 million, and Michigan offered me 2 and 1/2 million. I've never been good with fractions, so I flew to Toledo to talk with a friend of mine and see which one was the better deal."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Some other time i'll get into my rant about Longar Longar and his development under Sampson vs Capel.
I wish him the best in Houston.
It should come as no surprise that the Sooners are expected to consider Moses for the job as co-coordinator opposite Kevin Wilson.
Personally, I think this is the logical choice. I expect Heupel to some day take over the reins of the Sooner program, if Stoops ever decides he's had enough.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Utah plays Navy
In the Bowl's third edition.
Give me a playoff.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
There's a nice article in Sports Business Journal about the money in the bowl system. Sponsors and ESPN are pouring a ton of money into the present system. As much as ESPN likes to drive debate about playoff, they are financing the present system and promoting it big time.
There's money in it for the schools...fundraising folks and university officials from the school entertain donors and alumni, it's a one week gig, and everybody has fun, and half the teams go home victorious with hope springing eternal for the following year.
With a playoff system, hope does not spring eternal. With a playoff system, every team but one is playing "shouldawouldacoulda" and finding something to complain about from Jan to Aug. It makes the "will you give us money?" discussions harder in that situation. Plus, potential travel for 2-3 weeks over the holidays to suck up to boosters wouldn't be much fun.
For teams, it's about the extra practice. It's a huge benefit to have that extra 15-20 sessions that you get between your final regular season game and the bowl game. If you read the articles in the local papers, you'll find the bowl prep teams are having a lot of the underclassmen and second and third teamers get more reps in the early practice sessions. It's like an extra spring schedule. Put in a playoff system and that's eliminated.
Coaches are competitive, and they want to win their games and all, but in reality, a bowl that's not giving you a MNC is basically an exhibition game after the season. In fact, way back when, the MNC was announced BEFORE the bowls.
If I may go off on a tangent (it's my blog, I can if I want) we say the present system is screwed up. Roll back the clock for the bowl system setup 15 years. Your big bowl lineup would be: USC v Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Texas vs. West Virginia in the Cotton Bowl, LSU vs , and Oklahoma vs Virginia Tech or Georgia in the Orange Bowl. More chaos there than what we have today. In a twisted way, we're better off, but still not solved.
How do you choose?
The concept that "we'll just pick 8 or 16 teams and solve this" has lots of flaws...how do you get the teams?
The argument that "Division 1-AA, II and III do it" is valid, but flawed. The 1-AA playoffs picked 16 teams. They picked the top 16 eligible teams in 1-AA, per the coaches poll. The participants include Delaware, Delaware State (boy, I bet that's a heated rivalry), McNeese State, Wofford, etc. The average undergraduate population of the 16 schools, per my research at Wikipeida, is 10,798. The largest school represented in the 16 is UMass, which lists 19,934 undergraduates. Name the schools in the 1-AA finals this weekend.
On the other hand, I looked up the undergraduate population of the top 16 schools in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The average undergrad population of these schools is 25,782. Twelve of the schools represented have larger undergrad bases than UMass. Why does this matter? When 1-AA announces their poll, and the State University of Central Kentucky gets the short end of the stick, not many people give a crap. When the 17th ranked Texas Longhorns (36,878 undergrads), or 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers (2ok undergrad), are on the outside looking in, you not only have a ton of students and former alumni, but you have schools that the entire state identifies with.
The residents of Central Kentucky aren't even sure if they are in the Central, Northern, Eastern, Western or Southern part of the state. There's not nearly the allegiance. The schools aren't on CBS or ESPN family of networks every week. There's much less uproar. Have you seen anyone breaking down the 1-AA playoffs and stating that SUNY-Binghamton was screwed by not getting in? Exactly. Have you heard much uproar about the 5th ranked North Dakota State team, winners of two games this year against 1-A foes, getting left out of the playoffs because they're in a provisional year? No love for Grambling or Georgia Southern for being left out? I'm sure there were a couple of people upset outside of the immediate family, but they got over it.
One of the ways Grambling got over it was by cheering on LSU in the SEC Championship, and I'd venture that many Georgia Southern fans became huge Tennessee fans that week, pulling for the Georgia Bulldogs to get into the MNC game.
Think back to the Oregon-Okla game in 2006, the one with several officiating gaffes. The entire Sooner state was in disarray...the Sooner fans from being hacked, the Cowboy fans from laughing their butts off at their rivals misfortune. Fellow SHS alum and Sooner Pres David Boren even took a public stance of outrage. It was almost comical. If that's Eastern Washington playing the Ducks, no one cares.
That all being said, here's my proposal:
- Divide the D-1A into four tiers. There are 119 teams, with one provisional, in D1-A. Put 30 in each tier. You can call the tiers, Premier, Upper, Mid American and Boone State and Friends for all I care.
- Play 1 game at the first of the year as an exhibition game with a team out of your tier. Play 10 games within your thirty team tier.
- The top 4 teams start a playoff. How do you come up with the four teams in the playoff? That's a selection committee. You have a coaches poll, sportswriter polls, some computer rankings and some backroom posturing, just like NCAA Hoops. Coaches poll doesn't come out until week five, each coach has a vote, and every voter's selection is published.
- The bottom four teams are demoted to the tier below. The top four teams in the tier are promoted to the tier above.
The benefits of this: i) schedule is 13 games max; ii) aside from teams that fall way off the map (see Dame, Notre), the teams are playing peers and every week is a relatively competitive game - GameDay would have a smorgasbord to choose from every week; iii) there's new teams in the mix every year; everybody has a shot at a championship.
Why this doesn't make sense? i) it really blows up the bowls. But does that matter? Sure, the Rose Bowl has a tradition, and ditto for Orange, Fiesta and Sugar, own down to Cotton and the Holiday. Raise your hand if you will miss the Kotex Independence from Feminine Napkins Bowl. People don't remember childhood memories of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, or the Texas Bowl, or whatever; ii) it also doesn't make sense because left leaning bureaucrats would have to really tell North Texas and Louisiana-Monroe that they are in the D flight. Presently, they can be delusional at the first of the year that if all fell into place, they might make something beyond the New Orleans needs air conditioning bowl.
You may think my idea is wacked, but it's a better solution than this.
part of that is the fascination with BU coach Art Briles. I loved watching Stephenville play when Briles was a h.s. coach, and Houston's been a treat to watch with Briles at the helm. Today the Waco Trib posted a couple of interviews with Briles, and one comment caught my attention.
Jerry Hill asked, "What's the between our offense and the offense we'll see
under you?" Briles response was, "The difference is we finished 10th in the
nation in rushing this year (239.92 yards per game). That’s one of the
differences. But at the same time, we’ve thrown for over 3,000 yards every
season. Which isn’t great, but it’s not bad. It’s throwing it around a little
Being the investigative journalist that I am, I decided to look at the BU record book. The Bears have thrown for over 3000 yards in a season twice - in 2006 and 2007. Things could be looking up for the Bears.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
In the press conference announcing his hiring, Sherman said in the press conference that announced his hiring that he wanted his players to be aggressive on both sides of the ball. Well, yesterday Aggie OL Yemi Babalola (no relation to Yogi Bear) and DE Brandon Joiner apparently demonstrated some of that newfound aggressiveness.
Allegedly, Babalola and Joiner joined forces to make their way into an apartment, bind the resident and a friend with tape and held them at gunpoint while taking several small items.
Sources close to the matter indicate that Interim Coach Gary Darnell updated several VIP Connection insiders on the matter early Wednesday via email, informing them that “We want to be better than Texas at everything.”
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Join the LandThieves group over at espn.com. The group password is 'thieves'.
See you over there.
Monday, December 3, 2007
- The Bugeaters, as expected, hired Bo Pelini this weekend. I like the hire. He's familiar with the Husker cult, he has a good track record as an assistant, and I think he's already had a warmer reception than his predecessor.
- On a previous Sooner foe matter, UCLA fired Karl Dorrell. Frankly, I thought this was a four years too late. Punting to Antonio Perkins after he already had two punt returns for TDs and over 200 return yards, UCLA punts to him again. Result, another NCAA record for a Sooner wearing #28.
- The Great Pirate is considered a candidate for the UCLA job. This would be a great hire for UCLA, but I'd be sad to see Coach Leach leave the Big 12.
- Miracle of miracles - Tommy Bowden was extended and given a raise at Clemson. They complain about him every year.
- Charlie Weis drove down to Gainesville and assaulted Florida DE Jermaine Cunningham for wasting a perfectly good sandwich.
- Dr. Charles Johnson is affiliated with New Mexico State. Doc has Mizzou 6th, OU 9th and the 4-7 Pitt Panthers as 25.
- Lance McElhenny, former SMU QB, lists Hawaii as #2, and doesn't have Texas in the top 25.
- Craig Morton, former Cal QB who had a bit of sucess with the Cowboys and Broncos, voted the LSU Tigers 11th. A little bit bitter about that Super Bowl XII loss in nearby New Orleans, methinks.
- Dr. Terry Schmidt, affiliated with Ball State, and Paul Schneider, affiliated with Boise State, voted the LSU Tigers 10th.
- Bob Socci (Navy) voted Georgia 1st and Oklahoma 8th.
Overall, less blatant homerism or vengeance filled than the Coaches poll, in my opinion.
Original predictions are at http://landthieves.blogspot.com/2007/08/big-12-south-preview.html and http://landthieves.blogspot.com/2007/07/big-12-north-predictions.html
disclaimer: trying google docs and posting; this could be ugly...
|Big 12 north|
Upon further review
|Nebraska||Missouri||I expected the jrs and srs at Nebraska to carry the team. Apparently the Huskers did, too, as they fired Callahan. Also, the curse of Warren Powers appears to have been lifted.|
|Colorado||Kansas||I was close on this one, but not really. I had considered slots 2-5 interchangeable, and the gap between 2 and 3-5 in the North was huge.|
|Kansas||Colorado||Colorado was really inconsistent this year; upsetting the Sooners and shutting down Tech, then losing to Kansas State and Iowa State.|
|Missouri||Kansas State||I was a wee bit off on the Tigers. Hats off to them.|
|Kansas State||Nebraska||I don't think anyone saw the Husker collapse coming.|
|Iowa State||Iowa State||I know a cellar dwellar when I see it. They actually did better than I thought they would.|
|Big 12 South|
|Prediction||Actual||Upon further review|
|Travis County Jail||Oklahoma||Two things make the difference here: a) underestimated the o-line losses by the 'horns; and b) Sam Bradford rarely played like a freshman.|
|Oklahoma||Travis County Jail||see above.|
|Boone State||Tie||I used an excel function to predict 3-5, as I saw the teams as interchangeable. So I got that going for me, which is nice.|
|Dust Pirates||Tie||see above.|
|Cash Machine U||Tie||see above.|
|Baylor||Baylor||I know a cellar dwellar when I see it.|
Alternatively, the Sooners are 9th in scoring defense, but played #6 TxTech, #7 Mizzou twice, #10 Tulsa and #19 Texas.
Stats aside, I think this will be a good game. Slaton and White are fun to watch, and it'll be a good challenge for the Sooner D. According to Sagarin's predictor ratings, the Sooners should be around a 3 point favorite. Since the Sooners are followed around by some mad oil and native american casino money, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Sooners as a 5-7 pt favorite.
Some interesting things come out of the USA Today/Coaches poll…
- Oregon coach Mike Belotti voted the Sooners 8th. Missouri, whose two losses were to the Sooners, was ranked 5th.
- Clemson coach Terry Bowden tanked the Sooners 10th, four spots behind Missouri. He’s the only coach to not include the Sooners in the top 8.
- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has the Sooners 7th, behind 5th place Missouri and 6th place Kansas.
- Louisville (and former Tulsa) coach Steve Kragthorpe voted the Sooners 8th. He at least had the good sense to vote Mizzou 9th.
- Boise State coach Chris Peterson voted the Sooners 7th. He’s apparently not a fan of the Big 12, as he voted Mizzou 9th and Kansas 10th.
- FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger voted the Sooners 7th and the Missouri Tigers 4th. Howie has a unique perspective on the college football landscape…he ranked Boise State 10th and Southern Cal 12th. He’s the only coach to not have the Trojans in the top 10. Given that the University of Washington nearly beat his 3rd ranked team, Hawaii, and beat Boise State, I’m stunned he doesn’t have the Huskies in the top 10.
- Landthieves would like to give a shout out to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier for the #1 vote.
- It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention Head Visor Bob Stoops voted the Sooners 1 and the LSU Tigers 6th.
- LSU/almost Michigan coach Les Miles voted Georgia 3, Va Tech 4, and Oklahoma 5, so it doesn’t look like he did much maneuvering, other than voting LSU #1.
I’m not foolish enough to believe that this would alter the final standings - I had mentioned earlier in the month that if a two loss team got in the championship game, that LSU would likely have the strongest resume of that group - it would have been much easier just to beat Colorado or Texas Tech, but apparently that wasn’t as easy as one would have hoped.
The Harris Poll has some interesting data points as well, but there's only so much one can do on their lunch hour.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
- Tigers are 95/174 or 54.6% (2nd in nation)
- Sooners are 80/159 50.3% (6th in nation).
3rd Down conversion percentage, defense
- Sooners are 59/183 or 32.2% (13th)
- Tigers are 82/194 or 42.3% (85th)
In the October game:
- the Sooners were 10/14 on third down, punting three times and kicking one field goal. The Sooners lost two fumbles (one on a kickoff return).
- the Tigers were 9/16 on third down, punting four times, converting on fourth down once, and throwing two interceptions on third down passes (one on a reverse pass by Jeremy Maclin). Mizzou also had two other turnovers, and a drive to end the first half that concluded with a field goal.
All this to say I expect a Sooner W today, as a result of a better Sooner defense. Should be a fun game.