Friday, October 17, 2008

I could hear the gagging from here

Let's be clear: the Tampa Bay Rays must win game six or seven of the ALCS. It is a moral imperative that they do so. Because given the way Boston media and ESPN mythologize everything the Red Sox do, you and I will be hearing about that fiasco in game five until the end of time if they don't.

While FSU edging out NC State was the game most college football fans were watching last night, the more important one was taking place in Fort Worth. TCU destroyed BYU's hopes at a perfect season, meaning Utah, Boise, and Ball State are the last three non-BCS conference teams with a shot to run the table and squeeze their way into a more than likely undeserved spot in a BCS bowl game. Of the three, Utah's the only one I think could be legit.

The AJC's Terence Moore raises an interesting point about last year's UGA celebration fiasco against UF. He believes it has led to the massive penalty issues plaguing UGA this season. Looking at the numbers, he appears to be on target. Richt was incredibly lucky not to have caused a brawl with that stunt.

I have no idea what prompted the Orlando Sentinel's Alan Schmadtke to write a passionate defense of recently fired Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence on his blog this week. Having watched Spence call plays, I was not impressed because almost everything in his scheme seems designed to go go sideways. That doesn't seem like the kind of thing Sentinel readers would really care too much about, though. So why am I blogging about it? This is the core of Schmadtke's argument...

"this offense --- Spence’s offense --- is averaging 5.81 yards a play, third best in Clemson history... This offense is sixth in the ACC in rushing (141.5 ypg) and fifth in scoring (26.7 ppg)."

Omitted from those numbers is the fact Clemson has played two 1-AA teams this year. They won those games 45-17 and 54-0. In their four games against Division 1A teams, they are 1-3 and have scored: 10, 27, 17, 7. Of those points, seven came on a kickoff return meaning that in their four games against D-1 teams Spence's offense produced 54 points. That averages out to 13.5 per game - quite a different picture than the one painted above. I'm not going to recalculate all the other numbers (because I simply don't care enough about totally rebutting this to do so) but Schmadtke's case as he made it is either willfully deceptive or incredibly poorly thought out.

The idea put forth by the MLB Players Assocication that Barry Bonds was the victim of owner collusion is ridiculous. Collusion was a real problem years ago, and the owners were rightfully slammed for it. What would have possibly interested a team in Bonds last year, though? He can't play the field any longer, is a jerk in the locker room, is an obvious drug cheat, and is under federal indictment. Somehow I don't think a conspiracy was required to keep people from fighting to sign Bonds to a big dollar deal.

Next week will be slammed, as I'll be going to Birmingham for my first ever SEC Basketball media days and down to Gainesville for UK-UF. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.

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