29 November 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 11.29.2008

In the throes of the tryptophan-induced stupor that embraced me after Thanksgiving, I forgot to consider one very significant issue. I haven't yet figured out what that issue was, but I'm quite certain that there was one - because there's no substitute for a clear head, and a mind wandering within a turkey-induced haze isn't clear. Or something.


On to the picks!

Georgia Tech +9 against Georgia
I'm making a couple of key assumptions here. First: that the Yellow Jackets' triple-option attack can control the ball well enough to avoid letting the Bulldogs run up a big lead. Second: that an asteroid isn't going to hit Earth and cause a catastrophic mass extinction and a cancellation of the game.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Georgia Tech 19

South Carolina +1 against Clemson
Because Steve Spurrier wears a visor, the Gamecocks will win. Don't follow my logic? Check this out: it's a beautiful day at Clemson. And you know what comes with beautiful days? That's right: sun. And where there's sun, there's sun in people's eyes. Sun in the Clemson coaching staff's eyes. You follow? Yeah, that's right.
Prediction: South Carolina 19, Clemson 16

Florida State +15 against Florida
Yes, I'm picking against the Gators. Why? Because every time I pick against UF, they win in a blowout. Why? I don't know - perhaps they read my blog and get motivated by the criticism. Why? That's getting kind of annoying, dude. Why? I SAID GET OUT OF MY FACE! GET OUT OF MY FACE RIGHT NOW!
Prediction: Florida 34, Florida State 32

Alabama -14.5 against Auburn
Bird in waterfall. Drowning tiger. Auburn trying to play against the Crimson Tide. Unpleasantries. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Prediction: Alabama 30, Auburn 12

Tennessee -5 against Kentucky
Volunteers versus Wildcats. Rednecks with guns versus cats. Sound like a mismatch to you? The only way that Kentucky has a chance is if the rednecks try to clean their guns while they're plastered on moonshine - in otherwords, if the Vols commit a bunch of turnovers. I don't see that happening.
Prediction: Tennessee 33, Kentucky 24

Last Week: 1-4
Season: 39-46
All Time: 84-80-1

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! Joe Posnanski has issues.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my loyal readers... none of whom should be reading this right now, because you should e spending this hallowed day with your families. So happy Day-After-Thanksgiving to all my loyal readers!

Having the time to actually read the sporting websites again, I'm finding errors! Errors like this one by SportsIllustrated.com's Joe Posnanski, who, in an article on the least-prolific and least-successful base thieves in MLB history, managed to come up with this humdinger:

"Leon Durham was called Bull, probably for his last name, and but he was quick as a young player."

Don't know whether the second half of your statement agrees or disagrees with the first half? Don't stress! Just say both!

Have a great day, everyone!


25 November 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Hands Across America

Today at 90% Mental, we celebrate the art of catching.

Yes, catching, that illusory, daunting task which has for so long vexed so many, which has eluded the grasp of would-be running backs and made wide receivers into cornerbacks, is the focus of each of our videos.

Video 1: "The Greatest College Football Catches Ever"

I don't know whether these are really the Greatest College Football Catches Ever - but they're a very solid list.


Video 2: "Greatest NFL Catch Ever!!!"

Yes, there are three exclamation points in the title of this very-unassuming video... it's a heckuva nice catch, too. Worth every single bit of punctuation.

24 November 2008


From SportsIllustrated.com, we have our first error in a while... not that they haven't been happening, but I've been too busy to do the kind of reading I need to be to catch the errors.

Headline: "Could Silva vs. Lidell mega-fight really happen?"

That wouldn't be much of a mega-fight, considering that Jamie Lidell is a singer. Now, a fight between Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell... that might be interesting.


22 November 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 11.22.2008

Have you ever read Ash Wednesday? It's a poem by T.S. Eliot, and one of my absolute favorite works.

Why do I bring this poem up? Because, this morning, I noticed a number of resonances between the games I'm picking and lines from this classic poem.

On to the picks! Odds from USA Today.

Vanderbilt -3.5 against Tennessee
"Because I do not hope to turn again"
Is it too late for the Vols to turn their season around?
In a word: yes. Look for the Commodores to get things back on track against an absolutely floundering Tennessee team.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 24, Tennessee 13

Mississippi State straight up against Arkansas
"Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope"
Neither one of these teams is going to challenge for anything significant this year, or in the near future, although each has aspirations of building towards a better status.
Prediction: Mississippi State 19, Arkansas 17

LSU -5.5 against Ole Miss
"Because I do not hope to know / The infirm glory of the positive hour"
The Tigers were positive that they would be national championship contenders... and then, hampered by poor quarterback play and a floundering offense, they lost to Florida. And to Georgia. And to Alabama. Still... they're better than Ole Miss.
Prediction: LSU 31, Ole Miss 21

Out-of-Conference Pick:
BYU +6 against Utah

"For what is done, not to be done again / May the judgement not be too heavy upon us"
BYU has lost a game. By beating Utah, and avoiding another loss, they will seek to become the first one-loss non-BCS-conference BCS team.
Prediction: BYU 24, Utah 21

Out-of-Conference Pick:
Texas Tech +6.5 against Oklahoma

"Consequently I rejoice having to construct / something / Upon which to rejoice"
The Red Raiders, under the guidance of coach Mike Leach and AD Gerald Myers, have constructed something upon which to rejoice: a football team that, on the offensive and defensive lines as well as on the perimeter, is the equal of any in the country.
Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Oklahoma 41

Last Week: 3-3
Season: 38-42
All Time: 83-76-1

18 November 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Top Tens

Gotta love the goofiness of the unexpected. Or the unexpectedness of the goofy. Or... yeah. Gotta love these two top-ten lists.

Link One: Top 10 Premature Celebrations


Linke Two: Top 10 Football Trick Plays


Have a wonderful Tuesday afternoon, everyone!

15 November 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 11.15.2008

Gotta keep the picks brief today, as I'm running in a few directions at once.

Picks! Odds from USA Today.

Georgia -8 against Auburn
War Eagle! Or... not so much. The Tigers have struggled offensively all year, and offensive struggles are a recipe for blowouts against Moreno, Stafford, & co.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Auburn 14

UL Monroe +21 against Ole Miss
IDK... my BFF Jill? Seriously, though... IDKY.
Prediction: Ole Miss 24, UL Monroe 9

Florida -23 against South Carolina
Because even though the Gamecocks have been impressive of late, the Gators have been flat-out dominant.
Prediction: Florida 41, South Carolina 13

Mississippi State +20.5 against Alabama
Beware the trap game here! Alabama's already clinched the SEC West. Will they suffer a letdown?
Prediction: Alabama 20, Mississippi State 16

Vanderbilt +5 against Kentucky
The Commodores keep betraying my trust... and I keep picking them. Why? Dear God what is that hideous THING? (props if you got the totally useless Princess Bride quote)
Prediction: Vanderbilt 17, Kentucky 15

Oregon State -3 against Cal

Because Jacquizz is just such a cool name.
Prediction: Oregon State 24, Cal 20

Have a great day, everyone!
Last Week: 3-2
Season: 35-39
All Time: 80-73-1

11 November 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Garrincha and Christian NuMetal

We're gonna keep it pretty simple today. Two videos, not a lot of context. Enjoy.

Video 1: Garrincha
Much thanks to Vinicius Adam for the link.


Video 2: P.O.D., "Boom"
Because, when you get right down to it, what rocks harder than table tennis? And, before you ask, this video did indeed come out before Balls of Fury.


08 November 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 11.8.2008

Because I can: today's picks written in iambic pentameter! Odds from USA Today

Georgia -11.5 against Kentucky
The Bulldogs fight against their weaker foes,
But come up short against the Gators; teams
that play against the Georgian hordes without
an offense blessed with speed are doomed to lose
Prediction: Bulldogs 40, Wildcats 21

South Carolina -10 against Arkansas
The Spurrians from old SC are skilled
at making things that should be easy tough.
But versus Arkansas, it doesn't matter;
The Razorbacks are not equipped to take
Prediction: South Carolina 27, Arkansas 13

Wyoming +25 against Tennessee
The Cowboys (if their mascot be named that
in sooth, for yea, I do not know) can keep
it close against the Vols, who struggle hard
to not completely fail at everything
this year.
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Wyoming 17

Alabama -3 against LSU
The Crimson Tide are led by Satan; Nick,
who left his other teams behind, brings Bama
and massive tackle Cody to the game.
The Tigers have too many issues here
to win.
Prediction: Alabama 24, LSU 19

Vanderbilt +25 against Florida
The Commodores are struggling, but still
have D and still play tough enough to keep
the Gators at a reasonable margin.
Though Florida wins, do not expect an easy
romp all day.
Prediction: Florida 38, Vanderbilt 16

Last week: 2-3
Season: 32-37
All time: 77-71-1

04 November 2008

Two Link Tuesday: The Internet is for CHAN... also, VOTE

It's Two Link Tuesday time!

For those who aren't familiar, 4chan.org is an image-based messageboard (most content nsfw) that's put together a bunch of famous gifs and spawned a number of memes, including lolcats (aka icanhascheezburger), ORLY, and the RickRoll.

The 4chanians have also applied their talents to sports media, often with hilarious and/or completely random results.

For those who aren't familiar, today is election day. IF YOU'RE READING THIS AND YOU'RE REGISTERED, GO VOTE NOW. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO!

First video: Star Wars vs. Zenedine Zidane

We all know the headbutt... but did you know that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gonn were also involved?


Video 2: Don't Just Vote

I mean, yeah, vote, but do more than that. And yes, I know it's not a sports video. But sometimes it's important to say things.


Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

03 November 2008

What are you, eight? Also: sports.

Headline from the New York Post: "Urine Trouble".

It's amazing how mature people are, isn't it?

It's be difficult to overstate how much I enjoyed watching the Bucs game yesterday (while I was writing an essay applying Marx to The Island of Dr. Moreau, of course, but that didn't take away too much from my appreciation). Tampa was absolutely terrible in the first half and through a good bit of the third quarter. Their offense was stalled, their defense couldn't stop the run, and Tyler Thigpen - Tyler Thigpen! - was picking them apart time after time.

Here's my take on what changed: The Bucs realized that playing timid, playing not to lose, wasn't working. They started attacking. The Chiefs forgot that playing aggressively, playing to win, was what had put them up by 21 points. They started trying not to lose.

The Bucs started attacking.
The Chiefs stopped attacking.

It's that simple, to me, and it's been a recurring pattern from what I've observed in my few years watching football. The team that knows it's going to keep attacking, going to keep coming and coming and coming until the other team breaks, tends to win. Oftentimes, that's the team that's fallen behind and become desperate. The playcalling changes, the attitude of the team changes, and the outcome of the game often changes.

Have a great day, everyone.

01 November 2008

Dude. Sweet!

As I type my personal statement for my graduate school applications, I'm watching the Texas/Texas Tech football game.

19-0?! Really?! If anybody saw this coming, feel free to email me... because I didn't.

ABC just flashed a stat on the screen, showing that Tech has just more than tripled the Horns' time of possession.

All season, I've been waiting for the Red Raiders to fall apart. They're a team that over the last few seasons has crushed weaker opposition, but come up short versus quality teams.

Is this Tech team different? We'll see... I'm still having trouble believing that it is.

NCAA Football Picks - 11.1.2008

Happy Day-after-Halloween! I know I'm coming in a little late with these picks, but I'll make up for it: the explanation for each pick will be written in the form of a haiku. Work for y'all?


Auburn +5.5 against Ole Miss
The War Eagle is
underdog against Ole Miss?
Something is wrong here.
Prediction: Auburn 16, Ole Miss 13

Tulsa -6.5 against Arkansas
The Razorbacks miss
Houston Nutt. Or maybe, more,
McFadden, tackles.
Prediction: Tulsa 38, Arkansas 23

Kentucky +3 against Mississippi State
Don't trust the Wildcats!
I think they're overrated, but
trust the Bulldogs less.
Prediction: Kentucky 21, Mississippi State 17

Alabama -23.5 against Arkansas State
Razorbacks may fight -
oh, wait, this is ASU.
What is their mascot?
Prediction: Alabama 34, Arkansas State 3

Georgia +5.5 against Florida
Go Gators! I'll cheer
for UF. It's gonna be
a very close game.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Florida 32

Have a great day, everyone. Before I go:

The Bulldogs all taunted the Gators.
When they scored their first touchdown, players
rushed onto the field
and refused to yield
Now the Gainesville contingent are haters.
Or something. Look for the UF/GA game tonight to be one of the hardest-hitting contests of the entire year.

Last week: 3-4
Season: 30-34
All time: 75-68-1