Archive for the 'Big Ten' Category

Two Minute Drill: Mini-previews, fantasy match-ups, and Hooker’s multiple personality disorder

Monday, June 12th, 2006

GoVolsXtra’s Dave Hooker displays his split personality and tells us both why the Tennessee Volunteer football team will right the ship in 2006 and why they won’t. And speaking of Dave, he returns to radio, filling the 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon slot on The Sports Animal. Good news, as he brings a bit more fun to the Knoxville airwaves.

John Pennington has some fun of his own and picks the out of conference match-ups he’d most like to see. I’m with John on the Ohio State home-and-home to share our “running through the T” one season and witness their “dotting of the i” the next. UT’s don’t-shoot-me-I’m-not-a-deer orange versus the other UT’s burnt orange would also be . . . orangey.

The season previews are coming in multiples now. College Football News publishes its preview of the Florida Gators, and Inside Tennessee’s Randy Moore draws on the past to predict the future, writing that Spurrier’s Gamecocks could very well hit the hat trick it barely missed last year and beat Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Moore also points out that when UT and California meet on September 2, UT will run basically the same offense it failed with last year, while California will run a different offense it won with last year. One of us is making a mistake. Maybe both.

Final BlogPoll

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

Still having intermittent problems with the blog, both on my side and on my host’s side. Sneaking this in before the window of opportunity closes again.

1. Texas

2. Southern Cal

3. Penn State

4. West Virginia

5. Ohio State

6. Georgia

7. Louisiana State

8. TCU

9. Virginia Tech

10. Alabama

11. Oregon

12. UCLA

13. Notre Dame

14. Wisconsin

15. Auburn

16. Florida

17. Boston College

18. Miami

19. Texas Tech

20. Louisville

21. Florida State

22. Clemson

23. Oklahoma

24. Nebraska

25. California

Bowl Championship Series Team Blogs

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

As the bowl games draw near, here’s a list of BCS team blogs to help you keep up with the teams that are, you know, still playing football. Salty language warning for some of these.

Rose Bowl

USC Trojans
Texas Longhorns

Orange Bowl

Penn State
Florida State

Does anyone in Tallahassee blog?

Fiesta Bowl

Notre Dame
Ohio State

Sugar Bowl

West Virginia

Vollum. Vollum. The Diabolical Workings of a Wicked, Tricksey Mind

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

UPDATE: Apparently, a lot of people didn’t get the full effect of the video below, probably due to not having the latest version of Flash (version eight). I’ve added a link to the video in .wmv format, which should work for most people. If you see a hat floating in the air, you’re not seeing the whole thing. Thanks for those who responded with feedback.

Yes, blogging has been light the last week or two. Keep reading and you’ll find out why.

First, the context. About two weeks ago, I voted for the first time in MGoBlog’s BlogPoll. My poll is here. For my effort, I earned this rebuke from whip-wielding Brian, MGoBlog’s publisher:

Mr. Bold is the . . . newbie The View From Rocky Top, who, um, really likes the SEC: UGA #4, LSU #5(!), Florida #6(!), Auburn #12, Alabama #14… okay. Florida State is #9, GT #11… er, okay. Perhaps the ballot entry form was excessively confusing? Perhaps the Tennessee Season of Doom has sent our newest poller into a nervous breakdown where this year never happened and it’s 1967 or something? It is the mystery. Explain yourself! Try not to say the words “Southern Speed,” lest you feel the lash of my whip!

Here’s my response:

Southern Speed! Southern Speed!! SOUTHERN SPEED!!! Being a very public Volunteer fan over the past four months has made me impervious to pain. So lash away, Brian! Lash away, all! SOUTHERN SPEED!!!!

Actually, though, it’s not really about southern speed. It’s more due to the gradual poisoning of a Tennessee fan’s mind, season by season, game by game, evolving into full-blown lunacy by the end of the 2005 season. Let’s just say I’m not fit to stand trial.

Press play below for the full explanation. WARNING: The video below has sound, and the controls are a bit buggy. Hitting the No Music button will stop the music, but will not prevent the other sounds embedded in the video from playing. [Note to self: separate audio from video in future Flash projects.] Plus, if you want to watch it again, you’ll need to reload the page. Sorry, still learning.

And now . . . View from Rocky Top presents . . . a VollumTears production . . . a film by [insert-your-own-play-on-words-fictional-movie-production-company name here] . . . [and another] . . . [and another] . . . .

To see the video in .wmv format (good for most readers, but might be very small, depending on your settings), follow the Vollum link.

To see the Flash Version, click the play button below:

UPDATE: Just to clarify, I didn’t intend to game the poll. It was in fact, temporary insanity. Yeah, Florida beat two BCS and conference champion teams, and I couldn’t think of another team that had done that, but ranking them No. 6 is, well, crazy. And I do think the Big 10 has an advantage by not having to play a championship game — which only adds one more loss to at least one of the top two teams in the conference and doesn’t much help the winner — but weighting that fact as much as I did was, well, ludicrous.

Anyway, my poll was screwy, but not on purpose. And the fact that it wasn’t on purpose was more embarassing than if I had gamed it. Thus, the video and the insanity defense. But I’m feeling much better now, and you should expect more sanity from me in the future.


UPDATE II: I’m concerned about College Football Resource’s comment that “the black nothing is 99% of the story.” I’m hoping this doesn’t mean that a bunch of people can’t actually see the whole video. The video has text, music, film footage, and an “oddly brown Tennessee hat,” so if you don’t see all of that, something’s wrong. Try upgrading to the latest version of the Flash player. Please email me if you notice anything unusual. Well, anything that doesn’t work right.

MGoBlog Blog Poll

Monday, December 5th, 2005

1. Texas: UT gets nod over USC only because of USC’s would-be loss to Notre Dame
2. USC: Basically neck and neck with the Longhorns
3. Notre Dame: Two bad calls on final two plays cost them victory over USC
4. Georgia: SEC champ
5. LSU: SEC runner-up
6. Florida: Lost three games, but beat both SEC champ and ACC champ
7. Penn State: Only one loss, but docked for not having to play a championship game
8. Ohio State: Only losses to Texas and Penn State
9. Florida State: Yeah, four losses, but still champ of tough ACC conference
10. Virginia Tech: ACC runner-up
11. Georgia Tech: Four losses, but beat both Auburn and Miami
12. Auburn: Stumbled out of the gate and lost to SEC runner-up LSU, but beat SEC champ Georgia
13. Miami: Throttled ACC runner-up Virginia Tech
14. Alabama: Only losses to SEC runner-up LSU and number 12 Auburn
15. Oregon: Only one loss, but docked for relatively weak conference
16. West Virginia: Received a BCS berth while never cracking the top ten
17. Michigan: Beat Big 10 champ Penn State, but lost four games
18. UCLA
19. Clemson: Beat ACC champ FSU, but who didn’t?
20. South Carolina: Wins over Florida and Tennessee not as impressive in hindsight
21. TCU
22. Northwestern
23. Iowa
24. Iowa State
25. Louisville

Been There, Done That: A Penn State Blogger’s Perspective on the Tennessee Volunteers’ Losing Season

Monday, December 5th, 2005

Is Tennessee’s 5-6 season an anomaly or a harbinger of things to come?

Penn State fan The Nittany Blog offers perspective from someone who’s been there:

What exactly went wrong at Tennessee? I don’t know. I can only offer an outsider’s point of view. However, as a Penn State fan who watched our proud program crumble to nothing from 2000-2004, I have a fair idea of how something like this happens. And unfortunately for the Vols, the conclusions are not pretty.

* * * *

The downfall of a traditionally successful program typically occurs because of one or more of the following- poor recruiting of late, poor coaching, NCAA violations and just bad lcuk. Penn State’s downfall was caused by the first two and the last. The Nittany Lions strategy of taking the first players they offered and not waiting on the “big fish” were what produced the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The 2000 and 2001 seasons were just a lot of bad luck. There was more talent there than on the 2003 and 2004 teams. Poor coaching has already been tabbed as a contributing factor after Randy Sanders resigned as offensive coordinator. Obviously bad luck has contributed to it as well. The fumble near the goal line against Alabama and the touchdown by Vanderbilt late in the fourth quarter were two of the biggest.

I think Fulmer will right the program and Tennessee will get back to a bowl next season. There’s too much talent at his disposal to suffer another disappointing season like 2005. A couple years from now, 2005 will just be looked back upon as a hiccup, not the new norm.

I wonder, what was Joe Paterno’s response to the losing season? Did he shake up the coaching staff like Fulmer did? It sounds like he started recruiting differently, and I’ve heard that he started coaching differently, at least by utilizing star freshmen sooner rather than later. But how soon did he react? Did it take four or five years to recover even though he acted immediately?

Coach Fulmer has responded swiftly to the Vols’ losing season.

But was it the right response, and how long will it take to see results?

Time will tell.

The Animated BCS Race to the Rose Bowl: Week Twelve

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Entering the home stretch:

The Trojans and the Longhorns remain Nos. 1 and 2, and Penn State, LSU, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State all move up one spot due to Miami falling from No. 3 to No. 9 after losing to Georgia Tech. Oregon jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 after clobbering Oregon State, and the Fighting Irish improved by one position. Auburn rounds out the top ten.

The Tennessee Volunteers round out the top 117, and some players are behaving badly.

Games remaining that either will or could impact the Race:

  • Texas at Texas A&M, November 25, 2005 (12:00, ABC)
  • UCLA (12) at USC (1), December 3, 2005 (4:30, ABC)

See the Race to the Rose Bowl from the beginning:

What to Watch This Weekend if You’re a Tennessee Volunteer Football Fan

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

Okay, so the season has lost some appeal. But there is the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game today, and a 22-year winning streak and a 16-year bowl game streak is on the line. And it’s Senior Day, so that’s a good reason to watch.

But usually at this time of the season, Vol fans are not only watching their team, they’re watching other teams and games that might impact where Tennessee goes bowling.

No such luck today, but there are still good college football games to watch:

  • Ohio State at Michigan. 1:00 p.m., ABC. College Football News’ take on the game:

    As it’s supposed to be in a Midwestern-karma kind of way, this game could, again, be for a share for the Big Ten title. With a Penn State loss, the winner of this game picks up a share of the title. Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The one key not mentioned is how QB Chad Henne handles the heat and the Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes will miss Donte Whitner at safety, but it won’t be enough to knock out the Buckeyes. Michigan has played well lately, but Ohio State is catching their stride on offense. And, that’s scary with a capital S-C-A-R-Y. It hasn’t happened lately on the road in this rivalry, but the Buckeyes will party like it’s 2001. Ohio State – 29 vs. Michigan – 26

    Get the fans’ perspective from Michigan blogger mgoblog and Ohio State blogger Around the Oval.

  • Alabama at Auburn. 3:30 p.m., CBS. College Football News’ take:

    Could you make an argument for Auburn as the best team in the SEC? They ‘booted’ every opportunity imaginable at Baton Rouge, but arguably outplayed LSU on their turf. They manhandled a dysfunctional South Carolina team (at the time that is). They beat Georgia and outplayed them for the most part in every facet of the game. But, all that being said, it’s all moot if they don’t keep that level of intensity against Alabama. Not intensity from a “get-ready-to-play-your-rival intensity”, but a focus on offense that has helped get them to this point. This is the perfect position for Alabama – underdog, no one giving them a chance, seeking revenge for last year’s tough loss at home. However, Bama may have run out of juice after the crushing loss to LSU. War Eagle, one more time. Auburn – 21 vs. Alabama – 17

The BCS Race to the Rose Bowl Animation: Week Eleven

Monday, November 14th, 2005

UPDATE: This is Week Eleven. If you’re looking for the latest, see the Animated BCS Race to the Rose Bowl: Final Bowl Selections.

Only a few weeks left to go, and the Race to the Rose Bowl is tightening:Alabama’s loss to the LSU Tigers left the USC Trojans and the Texas Longhorns as the only remaining unbeaten teams. Miami moves up to the third spot behind the unbeatens, and LSU vaults over the Hokies to the fifth position behind number four Penn State. Georgia dropped out of the top ten after a loss to Auburn and is replaced by Notre Dame.

Games remaining that either will or could impact the Race:

  • Texas at Texas A&M, November 25, 2005 (12:00, ABC)
  • UCLA at USC, December 3, 2005 (4:30, ABC)

See the Race to the Rose Bowl from the beginning:

The BCS Race to the Rose Bowl (with Logos!): Week Ten

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

Rounding the final corner:

Virginia Tech drops, but not by much, after getting thrashed by Miami, Georgia re-enters the Race, and Oregon’s putrid yellow and green breaks the top ten.

Games remaining that either will or could impact the Race:

  • USC at California, November 12, 2005
  • LSU at Alabama, November 12, 2005 (3:30, CBS, maybe)
  • Texas at Texas A&M, November 25, 2005 (12:00, ABC)
  • UCLA at USC, December 3, 2005 (4:30, ABC)

College Football News’ Run to the Rose Bowl has Three Unbeaten Contenders — USC, Texas, and Alabama — and eight No Margin for Errors — Miami, Penn State, Virginia Tech, LSU, Georgia, Oregon, Texas Tech, and UCLA.

See the Race to the Rose Bowl from the beginning: