Thursday, November 27, 2008
Now before everyone sinks into their turkey-induced comas later today, we here at 4th and Fail would like to acknowledge some of things that we, as sports fans and bloggers are thankful for on this joyous day.
1. Football. Really, what's Thanksgiving without some football? Even if it is the lowly Lions playing today, Turkey and Pigskin go hand in hand this time of the year, and we are thankful for that.
2. Rivalries. College football's rivalry weeks. It brings out the best in all players out there, the one game they pride their whole season on. Who care's if your team isn't bowl eligible this year, the season can be salvaged by a win over your big rivals. This weekend, as well as last weekend, are considered to be "Rivalry Week" in the college football world. It also happens to sandwich Thanksgiving. Coincidence? We think not. This weekend, we will be indulging in the Florida-Florida State game (which we regrettably will not be attending this year), surrounded by our family. Go Gators.
3. High Definition TV. Because, to steal a line from comedian Daniel Tosh, the lack of resolution was making it difficult for us to watch our favorite sports team on broadcasts like Raycom Sports (ew).
4. Turkey Bowls. Because we look forward to waking up from that turkey-induced coma to play some football with our friends. Nothing better than some pickup football over Thanksgiving break.
5. Bonehead athletes. Because they make for good writing. Sure, it's sad when they slip up and do stupid things, but as a writer, it's great.
6. You, the readers. Because without you guys, this would just be a glorified journal.
We're off to spend time with the family and indulge in some good eats, and hopefully some good football. Good day, folks.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Note, before we begin this game, we realize the unlikelihood that all of the following events occur, but let's be ambitious and think about the possibilities.
So now that Texas Tech was shellacked by Oklahoma, there's currently a three-way tie for the Big 12 South division title, and a trip to the Big 12 title game. It's been well publicized that the three-way tiebreak goes to the team ranked highest after next week's BCS standings are released. So barring a collapse by Oklahoma next weekend, let's assume they finish ranked ahead of Tech and Texas (who beat them, soundly, at a neutral site).
Anyways, next week we have Florida visiting rival Florida State. Obviously, being a Gator homer and student, we like the Gators to win this game. But remember, we're playing "What If.." here.
So what happens if UF falls to FSU, then the following week UF handles undefeated 'Bama in Atlanta for the SEC title. Obviously, both teams would be eliminated from a trip to Miami for the BCS title.
Now let's say, the same weekend, Missouri knocks off Oklahoma. Oklahoma would probably drop out of the picture, too.
We assume that Tech and Texas, at this point, should be left out of the title picture by virtue of not winning their conference. So with that in mind, do we nix USC from the argument, too, if Oregon State beats Oregon in the Civil War next weekend and wins the Pac-10?
Yeah, yeah, we know Oklahoma lost the Big 12 title game in 2003 and still wound up in the National Championship game. (That turned out real well, didn't it, Jason White?)
Or, for the hell of it, let's say (and we know this is the most unlikely of all the events listed here), that Notre Dame somehow topples USC next weekend.
What title game would America be tuning into in January?
At that point, does Utah and/or Boise State finally get the nod over all of these BCS schools? Does that ultimately make Penn State rise back into the top 2?
Utah and Boise State would be the only remaining undefeated teams ranked highly (sorry, Ball State), and Penn State would be the only BCS conference champion with one loss.
What would happen in the (extremely) unlikely event that all of these things occur? Would America even tune in to a title game of Utah/Boise State, Utah/Penn State, or Boise State/Penn State?
Our head is starting to spin just thinking of this doomsday scenario. We don't like this game of "What If: BCS Ultimate Doomsday Edition!" We quit.
Let's just snap back to reality, and hope that nothing out of the ordinary occurs and either Florida or 'Bama (and by that we mean Florida all the way), win out. And that whoever wins the Big 12 South beats down Mizzou for the crown, so America can get the matchup they want: Big 12 -SEC for the BCS National Championship.
Please and Thank You.
Friday, November 21, 2008
He wasn't caught when he stole it, but rather when the school traced the laptop back to him after he logged into the UF network from the laptop. Honestly, who is stupid enough to do that? Not that stealing a $1,700 laptop is a smart move to begin with, but c'mon.
Police initially entered Newton's dorm to investigate. They checked the serial number on the laptop, and left the dorm to verify it. After it was confirmed that it matched that of the stolen laptop, they re-entered Newton's dorm and: voila, the laptop was gone.
They found out that Newton had thrown the laptop out of the window of his dorm, and it was later found behind the dumpster of the dorm.
Maybe Newton should've thrown the laptop out before the police came in and read him his Miranda rights. But we guess that sitting on the bench for the past two seasons has really affected his throwing arm.
Regardless, Gator fans shouldn't care about Newton's arm anymore. Coach Urban Meyer should kick Newton off the team, in much the same manner that cornerback Jacques Rickerson was booted for felony assault by strangulation a few weeks back.
Entering his career at UF, Newton showed promise as Tim Tebow's backup in garbage time. He became a fan favorite after his performance at the end of the game against Tennessee in 2007:
But those days should be forgotten by Gator fans. Newton must be kicked off the team for this, it's inexcusable.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As of this week, nine of the conferences 12 teams were still in contention for a trip to Tampa. Only Duke, Clemson and NC State have eliminated themselves. Of the nine remaining teams, only Maryland and Miami controlled their own destiny entering the week.
So withour further ado, and after hours of computations and permutations and all sorts of advanced calculations, we give you our solution for how to pick the ACC champion:
Directions: Simply close your eyes, flick the spinning arrow and pray that it lands on the team of your preference if you're an ACC fan (or a betting man).
UPDATE: On ESPN's College Football Final show last night (December 6th/7th), before they showed the highlights of the ACC Championship game, they had a similar wheel-of-fortune-esque gameshow spinner that represented all the ACC teams. I've heard of them snatching other people's jokes from blogs, but material like this? Perhaps it's a bit of a "rip-off"? Oh well.
Halftime: Georgia Tech 24 - Miami 3
At the half, Yellow Jacket "B-Back" Jonathan Dwyer has 128 rushing yards (on 10 attempts) and two touchdowns.
For those not familiar with the triple-option offense, the B-Back is essentially the equivalent of a fullback in most offenses. Coming into the game, Dwyer was the only back in the ACC over 1,000 yards on the season, and the only one averaging over 100 yards per game.
That's right: the ACC's leading rusher is essentially a fullback. The next closest rusher in the conference, Da'Rell Scott of Maryland, is 200 yards behind Dwyer on the season.
Oddly, that's not the craziest part of the ACC this season. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, nine of the conferences 12 teams are still in contention to play in the conferences title game in Tampa on December 6th.
Coming into the night, Miami controlled its own destiny in the division, but GT is looking to shake things up yet again. If they hold on for the win, it's anyones guess as to who will win the ACC this season.
EMBRACE THE GAMBLING, NFL! EMBRACE IT!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
If he's close to breaking the sack record, Porter hopes Favre takes a slip against the 'Phins in Week 17
Monday, November 17, 2008
Our personal reaction was similar to that of the reporter at the 34 second mark, "Seriously?"
We still can't believe Donovan McNabb didn't know the rules to the game he gets paid millions to play one-third of the year. Really, Donovan?
You're going to stand there and tell us you weren't aware of ties in the NFL?
It's not like you were in the league the last time there was a tie, oh wait, never mind, you were in the NFL when the Falcons tied the Steelers in 2002, since you were drafted in 1999.
At least you didn't play one of those teams in the playoffs that year, either. Hold on, you mean to tell us you did play Atlanta in the NFC Divisional playoffs that year? I guess you weren't at all curious about what that 1 under the column that said "T" in their win-loss record was.
I guess when you're being paid to play a game, you don't concern yourself with minor details like that.
We assume you just thought the NFL overtime rules are like that of NCAA football (it should be, as we stated in an earlier post). But wait a minute, you enrolled at Syracuse in 1993, before the NCAA instituted overtime to eliminate ties in 1996. We'll give you a bit of leeway since the NCAA overtime system was adopted whileyou were still playing college ball, but still, come on.
As a professional, making millions of dollars a year to play a child's game, it's inexcusable to not know the rules of the game you play. Isn't it common knowledge to the average sports fan that NFL games end in a tie after one overtime?
Come on Donovan, stop being ignorant and educate yourself, please. At least do it before the outraged, and ever so classy Philadelphia fans try to run you out of town.
That quote would be from Albert Puljols, back in 2006, in reference to Ryan Howard, who won the NL MVP honor that season.
Two years later, Pujols is being named the NL MVP, despite not leading his team to the postseason. The real question here is: does Pujols think he deserved to win the honor this season? If it's a yes, talk about hypocrisy. If it's a no, we wonder who his vote would have been for. Would it have been for Howard, who finished second in the voting, Ryan Braun, who finished third, or even Manny Ramirez, who finished fourth despite only playing in the NL for two months?
Personally, our vote would have been for Manny or C.C. Sabathia. Sure, neither of them played a full season in the NL, but both men did put their respective teams on their backs and carried them into the postseason. That sounds like the definition of "most valuable player" if you ask us.
But hey, that's why we don't have a vote here at 4th and Fail.
On a side note, if Sabathia accepts the reported $140 million dollar deal from the Yankees, it would give a new meaning to "most valuable" player (read: pitcher).
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Phildelphia Eagles 13, Cincinnati Bengals... you guessed it, 13.
Sure, it may have been the first tie in six seasons, but if you ask us, that's one too many. This is football, people, not futbol. Ties are not acceptable.
Yesterday we made an argument against a college football playoff, mentioning that it would make the game more like the NFL. Today we argue that the NFL should be more like its NCAA counterpart, with an open letter to NFL Commish, Roger Goodell.
Dear Roger Goodell:
Please, hear us out, Mr. Goodell: Adopt the college football overtime system! Your fans deserve better than this.
Your current system is boring, and can result in atrocities such as today's tie. C'mon, you saw the backlash that Bud Selig got when his Mid-summer Classic ended in a tie a few years back. You need to fix this problem, Mr. Goodell.
Currently, you have the teams play an extra quarter of football, not even guaranteeing that both teams get a shot at winning the game. One team can just march down the field and end it with one swift kick, while the other just watches from the sideline (like the Patriots earlier this week).
Fans want excitement, Mr. Goodell. Just imagine what your league could be like if you adopt the college football overtime system. Fans want to see high scoring games. Defense may win championships, but we all know that offense puts the fans in the seats.
Give each team the ball from their opponent's 25-yard line (or further back, if you so choose). Play a game of "anything you can do, I can do better." Make them go for two-point conversions starting in the 3rd OT. The fans would love it. We want to see equal opportunity for all teams.
Really, if a team comes back from a big late-game deficit and ties the game to force overtime, should they really be punished by a game of chance, and lose the coin flip? It's a bit unfair, don't you think?
Sure, these ties are few, and far between, but they shouldn't occur at all. College football's overtime system is one of the most exciting occurrences in sports, if you ask us. The NFL's, not so much.
So take a look at this problem in the offseason, Mr. Goodell. Adopting the college football overtime system could be what's best for your league. It might be the step you need to take to rid the NFL of its "No Fun League" moniker.
Besides, imagine what it would do to fantasy football scores when you have an overtime game. Our eyes are lighting up and we're starting to salivate just thinking about it.
"Joe the NFL Fan"
A little over a month ago, when we first started 4th and Fail, we kicked it off with a post about the Dolphins' crushing last-minute loss to the Texans. We asked if that loss would cause the 'phins to "spiral into oblivion" for the season, or if they would bounce back and contend in a "Brady-less AFC East."
After today's game-winning march down the field against the lowly Raiders, the answer to that question seems to be clear: they will contend.
It's not often we gladly accept a slice of humble pie, but this is one of those instances. At the time, we thought that the loss to Houston would, sadly, be a crushing loss for the 'phins. We'd like to apologize for ever doubting this up and coming team.
With today's win, Miami improved to 6-4 on the season. Let's take a look at what they've accomplished since that loss to Houston, which dropped them to 2-3 on the year.
Since that loss on October 12, the 'phins have gone 4-1, including four straight victories. During that winning streak, they haven't allowed 20 or more points in a game. This team has come alive, folks.
They are currently tied for the best division record in the AFC East, at 3-1, trailing the Jets by virtue of overall record and head-to-head tiebreakers. They are also currently tied for what would be the 6th and final playoff spot.
Remaining, the 'phins have what looks to be the easiest schedule left to play. Here's how it looks:
- Week 12: hosting the Brady-less Pats.
- Week 13: visiting St. Louis.
- Week 14: at Buffalo (0-3 in the AFC East).
- Week 15: playing host to the 49ers.
- Week 16: at Kansas City.
- Week 17: at the Jets, in a game that could decided the division. (Who saw that one coming before the season started?)
We know you can never chalk up victories by looking at the schedule, but each one of those games can be won by Miami.
This team is out to prove something. Chad Pennington is out to prove he is still an NFL starter (thanks again, New York, we appreciate you getting rid of him). Ted Ginn is out to prove he's not a bust, and is emerging as a star on this team (40-yard touchdown run today).
So while we may not be talkin' Super Bowl with these Dolphins just yet, Miami fans have reason to be talkin' playoffs. Playoffs?!?! Yes, Miami, Playoffs!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
College football, as much as most of you will disagree, is better off with the BCS in tact than it would be with this "8-team playoff" that so many seem to be proponents of. Sure, annually there are controversies and debates over who should really play in the national championship game and who's getting shafted by the system, but an 8-team playoff, while eliminating some of those scenarios, brings with it controversies and debates of its own.
Let's look at the first potential problem that a playoff could produce: how would the seeding work? Would you just take the top 8 "BCS" ranked teams and seed them 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, etc.? Because then you would inevitably leave out some big-money conference champions (yeah, you Big East).
If you were to seed the teams by the top 8 standings, you would have 2 SEC teams, 3 Big 12 teams, 1 Pac-10 team, 1 Big Ten team, and then one non-BCS team (#7 Utah). That leaves out two BCS conference champions: ACC and Big East. Those conferences would definitely be getting a raw deal, considering they are two of the six "power conferences."
On the other hand, if all 6 of the BCS conference champions receive automatic bids to this hypothetical playoff, we would potentially have UF-'Bama winner, Big12 winner (could be Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma or Mizzou), Penn State from the Big Ten, Oregon State or USC from the Pac 10, any cluster of teams from the ACC, and the same for the Big East. That would undoubtedly leave out multiple teams from this group: UF, Bama, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, all of whom are arguably the most talented teams who have been playing the best football all season. That wouldn't sit right with the fans, or those schools, now would it?
If you guarantee the 6 conference champions a spot, who gets the final two at-large bids? There's a plethora of deserving teams that would fall into that category, including the aforementioned teams, as well as Utah, Boise State, Georgia, Ball State, Mizzou, Oklahoma State and Ohio State. Though, in all fairness, Ohio State probably should be banned from this playoff based on recent big game goose eggs.
Now would you all prefer one or two teams gettin the short end of the stick at the end of the season every year, like we see with the BCS, or would you rather have a handful (or two) arguing they got screwed by the playoff system?
I know some of you out there are thinking, "hey, just make it a 16 team playoff then, that would solve everything." Wrong! That would add another four games to the would-be champions schedule. Add that to the 12-game regular season, plus a possible conference championship game (depending on the conference), you have a 17-game season for a team of amateur athletes. That's more than the NFL regular season, and that's just wrong.
While this is one major problem that faces a potential playoff, there certainly are others. Games like last week's Iowa upset over then-undefeated Penn State, and LSU's near upset of #1 'Bama would have lost a lot of meaning. With a playoff system, both of those teams would have already clinched a spot (if you're seeding the top 8 teams), and both would probably clinch by winning their respective conferences. A game like next week's Oklahoma-Texas Tech game would also lose a lot of meaning, they wouldn't be playing for a possible title game shot, they'd simply be playing for a higher seeding in the playoffs. A playoff, as has been argued several times before, would somewhat cheapen the meaning of the huge regular season games we see week-in and week-out.
The final point I'd like to make as for why college football is better off with the BCS is simple. What makes college football so great, and so unique? The answer is pretty simple: the pageantry, the fans, the idea that any given Saturday can shift the national title race. That idea is in large part thanks to the BCS.
If you all want a playoff system, I suggest you stick to watching those guys play on Sundays, because Saturdays are where this game belongs. Saturdays in the fall are unique to any other day, in any other sport, so let's keep it that way.
Besides, if things play out the way they should, with all the top teams winning out (though, it's never that simple), you all might get your playoff this season, at least a miniature one, with the SEC championship being a national semifinal, and the Big 12 title game serving as a play-in for the Big 12 South team (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, or Texas). Sorry USC, but play in a real conference first, then we'll talk about your national title prospects.
Now that I've said what I had to say, bring on the tar and feathers!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This will mark the first time that ESPN's weekly college football preview show will be broadcasting live from a Historically Black College and University.
Why this weekend, though? FAMU is only 7-3 overall (3-3 MEAC) while Hampton is 5-4 (4-2 MEAC).
At least we can all look forward to FAMU's marching band this weekend!
We're pretty sure Lhyvann Felipe was just training for hockey season, like Happy Gilmore.
Finally, if the guy really wanted some money that badly, he should've just gotten the surveillance tape from the place and sent it into "America's Funniest Home Videos." Nut-shots usually take home the $10K prize weekly, right? Next thing you know, all those people who submit those tapes of "cup-checks" are going to take those videos to court and sue whoever they can try to make accountable for millions.
But hey, that's the beauty of America, right? At least we know where this guy will fall under President-elect Obama's tax plan, eh?
Monday, November 10, 2008
We're pretty sure that violates Newton's First and Third Laws of Motion, but that's fine, Economics and Finance double-majors from Texas don't concern themselves with such things.
Oh yeah, not only did he stay alive, but we forgot to mention that he threw a touchdown on that play, too. Too bad Kansas lost the game.
But seriously, what are they feeding these quarterbacks from the Big 12? Reesing, Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell, Sam Bradford and Zac Robinson, just to name a few.
Anyways, here are the rest of our thoughts on the weekend that was:
- College football fans outside of the Big Ten can breathe easy. With Penn State's last-second loss to Iowa, we can be assured that there won't be another Big Ten team getting annihilated on the big stage in Miami this January.
- On that note, it looks as though the BCS National Championship game in Miami will likely be between the Big 12 champion (if it's Texas Tech, Texas, or Oklahoma) and the SEC champion ('Bama or Florida) if they all win out.
- Graham Harrell is a win at Oklahoma away from winning the Heisman trophy this season. McCoy and Tebow are right there with him though if he slips up. Tebow, since the Ole Miss loss and his postgame press conference, has been on a tear, looking more and more like last year's Heisman winner.
-Bobby Bowden had a great 79th birthday. On the 79th anniversary of his birth, Bowden's team treated him to a 41-27 win over son Tommy's former team, Clemson. What a stand-up father, avenging his son on his own birthday. Classy. Happy belated birthday, Bobby.
RUN, MARQUIS! RUN!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Just how you dreamt it, right Michael?
One minute and 29 seconds is all Harrell and his offense had to win the game. One minute and 28 seconds was all they needed.
And just like that, one second shook up the national title race, the Heisman race and the perception of the Texas Tech Red Raiders football program.
Crabtree ripped away from defensive back Curtis Brown, and with it, he ripped away the Longhorns' undefeated season.
As a result, the Red Raiders jumped to number two in the BCS standings, ahead of idle (undefeated) Penn State. Texas dropped to fourth, but no longer controlling their own destiny. McCoy slipped up in the Heisman race he once dominated, and Harrell took the reigns for the time being.
While all of this can change in the weeks to come, there is one result from Saturday's showdown that is for sure: Texas Tech legitimized itself in the eyes of the college football world. What was once thought to be a gimmicky offense designed by Mike Leach is now considered a real threat in the best conference this season.
Texas Tech won a game against the AP number one team for the first time in the program's history, improving to 1-7 all-time.
While the Red Raiders' seat near the top of the polls might be short lived (they host Oklahoma State this weekend and visit Oklahoma two weeks later), the newfound respect for Mike Leach and his program will not be.
We here at 4th and Fail salute you Texas Tech, for making this college football season that much more entertaining.
9:45 AM: Leave the apartment with our buddy Wooj and hit the road for TWLOCP! No tickets, but ready to have a good time and watch some highly anticipated payback.
10:20ish AM: Drive through the SOUTH south. We used to think Gainesville was the south, that is, until we drove through Waldo and Lawtey. Jeez. Watched out for those speed traps, though.
11:30 AM: Finally get a view of downtown Jacksonville. Unimpressed.
11:45 AM: Arrive at The Jacksonville Landing, enjoy the surroundings and the view on the St. John's River. If you look closely, the water is actually brown.
12:45 PM: Take a water taxi down the river to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Okay, let's be frank, we're guessing on the times here, but you get the jist of it.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of tailgating in front of the stadium at the Sports Illustrated zone, as well as under all of the overpasses with the orange and blue bus. Good times.
Gametime quickly approached. The Georgia fans, southern drawls and all were out in force. Even Wooj, a 'Canes fan admitted that these were the most obnoxious fans he had ever encountered. (Side note: we thought Waldo and Lawtey were the South, until we actually met some Georgia fans.)
We enjoyed the game from right outside of the stadium, watching on two back-to-back jumbo screens. One side was dominated by Georgia fans, the other dominated by the Florida faithful.
Gametime came, and it certainly did not disappoint... at least if you're a Gator. Three hours later, revenge was in the books. 49-10.
Took the water taxi back to the Landing, already overflowing with joyous, drunken Gator fans. Quite an atmosphere.
We would've stayed and celebrated, but we headed back to Gainesville to catch the rest of Texas-Texas Tech. Boy was that the right choice. Game of the year, thus far. But more on that later.
Jacksonville as a city, from what we saw, we weren't too impressed. (Did they really host a Super Bowl a few years ago?) However, as the host of such a heated rivalry, and TWLOCP, we give Jacksonville two thumbs up. Stay classy, Georgia fans, stay classy.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
First off though, let's start by saying TAKE THAT GEORGIA! Revenge is certainly a dish best served cold. All week the media, and the city of Gainesville pondered what Coach Urban Meyer would have in store for payback against the 'Dawgs after putting a gag order on his squad this week and saying in his authorized biography about Georgia's team celebration in last year's WLOCP that, "that wasn't right. It was a bad deal... We'll handle it, and it's going to be a big deal."
Many waited in anticipation for Florida's first score to see if there would be a mass celebration. Percy Harvin dashed to the endzone on a pitch from Tim Tebow. Nothing happened.
Then, before you knew it, the Gators were up 49-3 with the backups coming in. That's when we knew revenge had been served. What better way to handle it than to blowout Georgia in the biggest game of their season, run up the score and hold their starting unit to three points.
Just to add insult to injury, in a bit of showmanship, with under a minute left in the game and the ball, with the game easily decided, Meyer called a couple of timeouts. Priceless.
While the game was decided on the field with an impressive all-around showing from the Gators, Mark Richt and his team lost this year's game the moment that they rushed the field last year and celebrated Knowshon Moreno's first touchdown.
In the offseason, Florida strength coach Mickey Marotti designed workouts for the team that required players to do 42 reps at each station (one for each point that Georgia scored in their 42-30 win last season) and sets of 188 pushups and crunches (one for each yard Knowshon Moreno tallied in that win). Last year's loss was etched in the minds of this Florida team, and now this win will be etched in their minds.
The Gators now hold the inside track for a trip to Atlanta in December for the SEC title, and can book their tickets with a win next week at Vandy.
The win also puts Tebow back into the thick of the Heisman race, and reignites Florida's BCS hopes.
I'll be back later with my chronicles from Jacksonville, as well as my reaction from Texas Tech's big win over previously undefeated Texas. Stay tuned.