Thursday, December 10, 2009

M15directed Hate

Before we start put this on in the background.

In the past few years the coverage of Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has reached epic proportions. Prompting a backlash from many that consider him overrated. However, Tebow isn't to blame for the hype that surrounds him. He doesn't claim to be the greatest of all time. He shares praise with his teammates and coaches after a win, and takes the blame when the team falters. No, the focus of the hate directed at Tebow should instead be directed at the ESPN's, Fox's and other major sports media outlets that have bombarded everyone with wall-to-wall coverage. However, to their credit they have to make money, and they know that anything concerning Tebow will generate page views, clickthroughs, comments and ad revenue.

They've done a great job at monetizing the aura of Tebow, and both the love and hate that comes with it. For the Tebow fans they see a college athlete that seems to be genuinely grateful for the opportunity that he's been given. One that loves donning the orange and blue, especially on game day. For the haters, they're tired of the stories about a quarterback they've deemed "overrated", and some can't stand that he's so open about his religious beliefs both on and off the field. Ironically, those people probably stand up at sporting events and proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance that includes "one nation under God" then bash Tebow with a hearty "keep your religion out of my sports".

In any case, Tebow isn't his own biggest cheerleader. Yes, he does play the game with a lot of passion(sometimes leading to tearful endings when he feels as if he's let every Gator in the world down), but isn't that what we want from our team leaders? And maybe that's the bigger problem. Maybe the hate doesn't come from the overexposure, but from the fact that Tebow doesn't play for your team. The inability to see talent because of team affiliation is probably even greater when the athlete in question is seemingly everywhere. Tebow's not campaigning to be called the best college football player of all time, but some people seem to be convinced that he is. Sadly, those people would probably still denigrate Tebow even if he had won four Heismans and four BCS titles. Fortunately, one Heisman(as a sophomore), two BCS titles, and 140+ total touchdowns should be good enough statistics for anyone that's not an outright hater to see just how talented Tebow has been at the college level.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why There's No Reason For The Orange & Blue To Panic

So far this season I've heard more than one Gator fan talk about a win as though it were a loss. Close victories against Tennessee and LSU have been met with skepticism about the lack of a flashy, explosive passing game instead of enthusiastic banter about just how incredible this year's defensive squad is. Which is a bit odd considering that just about everyone in the country pegged Florida's returning two-deep defense as the reason they had a shot at repeating. Besides, is this year's team that far off from last year's through the first five games?

In one word, no.

In a few ways they're actually much better than last year's team was at this point.

The 2009 squad is undefeated, unlike the '08 team that started 4-1. They're also stronger on both sides of the ball. Check out the stats(through the first five games):


Rushing Offense: 178.60 yds/gm
Passing Offense: 211.60 yds/gm
Total Offense: 390.20 yds/gm
Scoring Offense: 36 pts/gm

Rushing Defense: 99.60 yds/gm
Passing Defense: 165.40 yds/gm
Total Defense: 265 yds/gm
Scoring Defense: 11.40 pts/gm


Rushing Offense: 284.60 yds/gm
Passing Offense: 201.80 yds/gm
Total Offense: 486.40 yds/gm
Scoring Offense: 39 pts/gm

Rushing Defense: 87.40 yds/gm
Passing Defense: 115.20 yds/gm
Total Defense: 202.60 yds/gm
Scoring Defense: 6.40 pts/gm

Last year's team really didn't get it going until the second half of the Arkansas game in week 5, and if this year's team improves at all on its current numbers it's definitely going to have a great shot at repeating.

Already, the offense is averaging more yards and points, and the running game that's been missing for a few seasons is running roughshod. The defense is stifling opponents, and is giving up an average of less than seven points per game. In fact, they've only allowed two touchdowns in five games so far. If they continue putting up those type of numbers, then they have a chance of being the best defense to ever take the field for the Gators.

So, cheer up Gator fans. Yes, there have been a few games where the score was closer than you might have liked. Though, I think that has more to do with the team playing a little under par in the red zone than anything else. This year's squad is every bit as good, if not much better, than the one that was able to capture both the SEC and BCS titles last year.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

There Is Nothing to Second Guess

If you're a college football fan, then you've probably heard that Tim Tebow was injured during yesterday's win over Kentucky and likely suffered a concussion. You might have also heard columnists, fans, "haters" and experts second guessing Urban Meyer's decision to have Tebow in the game at that point in the third quarter with Florida leading 31-7. Though, to me that shows how little they watch the game, and renders their opinion just about worthless.

It's common practice to give your starters two to three sets of plays in the third quarter of a game that was a blowout by halftime. The game has a different feel after the break, and you want them to be used to playing after sitting in the locker room between the second and third quarters. If Urban Meyer sat his starters in the games that became blowouts by halftime, then they would have had eight quarters of football under the belts leading into yesterday's game. They then would have played 10 quarters of football(through four games) as they take two weeks off in preparation for traveling to LSU. To me, that sounds like the perfect recipe for not having a team that's game tested as they head into an extremely hostile playing environment. After all, you can only simulate so much in practice.

What about the other coaches that kept their starters in the game when it seemed like they had it in hand? Colt McCoy was still on the field in the third quarter after Texas had run out to a halftime score of 47-7 against UTEP. Terrelle Pryor played all four quarters of the 30-0 Ohio State blowout of Illinois(the score was 23-0 heading into the fourth quarter). Greg McElroy was still taking snaps for Alabama as the Crimson Tide was up 35-7 in the fourth quarter against Arkansas. Yet, you don't hear anyone criticizing Mack Brown, Jim Tressel or Nick Saban for keeping their starting quarterback(or any other starters) on the field too late in the game. Though, that's probably because none of them suffered a freak concussion by taking a knee to the back of the head by an offensive lineman. Which is exactly what happened.

Though, if you are one of those people bashing Urban Meyer and not one of the other coaches that did something similar yesterday I'm curious to know if it's because you don't follow football closely, you hate the Florida Gators and Urban Meyer or both.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vinsanity Comes to Orlando

The trade that had been rumored during offseasons for the past couple years has finally come to fruition. Vince Carter will be playing for the Orlando Magic next season. For the most part, I like this trade, and it's not just because I'll get to watch hometown hero Vince Carter play night in and night out(Full disclosure: I grew up in the Daytona Beach area, and have always kept an eye on Vince's career).

The one part of the trade that I'm not too fond is the loss of Courtney Lee. He played extremely well as a rookie for the Magic this past season, and he's actually one of their better defenders. It would have been nice to have him locked up in a Magic jersey for years to come. However, this deal wasn't going to get done without him leaving town.

The rest of the trade is actually pretty good for Orlando. Alston was obviously unhappy with how his season ended. The damage done to the relationship between he and Coach Van Gundy could have been repaired, but I'm not sure there ever would have been good chemistry with Nelson starting and Alston coming off of the bench. Battie's contract made it necessary to shop him, and the strong possibility that Turkoglu isn't coming back made it imperative that Orlando make a move. Adding Carter lessens any blow that comes from Turkoglu leaving, and for those that say that Carter is too old, he's only 2 years older than Hedo.

Comparing the numbers, you'll see that Vince is a much better scorer and rebounder(Carter's career averages: 23.5pts/5.5 rebounds, Turkoglu's: 12.3pts/4.2 rebounds). Turkoglu probably shoots the 3 a little better. Even in his best season, 07-08, Turkoglu still averaged under 20pts/gm, whereas Carter has averaged 20+ pts 10 times in his career. Carter is stronger and more explosive, and can make it to the basket easier than Turkoglu. He can also shoot the mid/long range jumper fairly well, which makes him a good fit for the inside-out offense the Magic like to run.

The other thing to consider is that this trade relieves some of the pressure to resign Turkoglu to the big money deal he wants. While there's no doubt that he is talented player, Turkoglu doesn't warrant Orlando throwing a ton of money at him and putting a strain on any future signings.

Also, don't forget that Orlando is also getting Ryan Anderson. He's a quality forward that can shoot well, though, hopefully his defensive skills will improve just a bit.

All in all, I like the trade to bring Carter to the Magic. It not only helps the them on the court, but it also gives this small market team some big time press as they prepare to move into a new arena following the 2009 season.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Mountain West Conference Requests A Bailout From Congress

I get that people want a playoff in college football. I understand that some don't see it as a "perfect system". They want a +1, or even an eight team playoff. But does Congress really need to be sticking its nose into this matter at a time like this?

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a game a national championship unless it’s the outcome of a playoff, bluntly warned Swofford: “If we don’t see some action in the next two months, on a voluntary switch to a playoff system, then you will see this bill move.”

Seriously, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas you think going after the BCS on the issue of a playoff while your governor is riling up crowds with speeches insinuating secession, and violent Mexican drug wars are spilling over the border into your state is the best use of your time?

It is true that an change to the current system is probably going to have to come from the outside. The bowl structure is extremely lucrative for the TV networks, and the schools/conferences that receive automatic bids. Everyone that gets rich off of the BCS year in and year out really don't have any motivation to change unless they're forced to. However, right now is probably not the best time for Congress to be pressing this issue. Though, the MWC probably thinks that right now is the perfect time to request a bailout from Congressional leaders.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lane Kiffin Has 126 Problems

Lane Kiffin has certainly made a splash in his short time in the SEC coaching ranks. Wait, before I go any further let's get a little background music going...

Anyway, his newest cannonball into the SEC pool produced allegations that Florida coach Urban Meyer "cheated" while trying to recruit Nu'Keese Richardson. Exactly what did Kiffin say?

"I'm gonna turn Florida in right here in front of you," Kiffin said, according to WVLT-TV. "While Nu'Keese was on campus, his phone kept ringing. One of the coaches says, 'who's that?' And he said, 'Urban Meyer.' "

Unfortunately for Kiffin, and the UT fans that rallied around his statement, there is no rule against that type of contact. NCAA and SEC officials confirmed that this afternoon.

So, not only did Kiffin try to pull a bitch move by "outting" Meyer over supposed cheating, but he did so without even being fully aware of what the rule did and did not prohibit. Now, he just looks like jackass, and has given Meyer and his team, you know the ones that won the SEC and the BCS last year, early bulletin board material for that September 19 showdown in Gainesville.

The Gators will be looking to extend their winning streak to four consecutive against the Vols, and Kiffin will probably be hoping that Meyer doesn't add too many more digits to those 126 problems that he's already dealing with. And exactly what are the 126 problems? That's the number of points that the Gators have totalled over that four game win streak, outscoring the Vols 126-53.

Welcome to the SEC, Lane. Try not to let your mouth write checks that your ass can't cash.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Problem With This Year's (Not So) Super Bowl Ending

By now, I'm sure you've read or heard all about how the Super Bowl ended with a controversial call. In case you didn't get to see it I've posted it below.

The biggest problem with the officials seemingly not reviewing a crucial call late in the game(eventhough, they said there was a quick look in the booth) is that it pushes many of the casual observers over to the Cardinal's side of the argument.

There were probably quite a few NFL fans watching who really didn't care which team won the Super Bowl. However, when the Warner "fumble" wasn't reviewed those same fans realized that it could have very well been their team(well, except for you Detroit fans) getting screwed, and they threw their support behind Arizona and the outcry from its fanbase.

I thought it was eerily similar to the Brady "Tuck Rule" play, and that it warranted a look under the hood by the refs. When I saw Pittsburgh snap the ball before any review I was a little bit shocked. Though, after a season that featured quite a few controversial calls I probably shouldn't be surprised that the season ended this way.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Quiet Stars of The UF BCS Win

For much of this(and last) season, most of the focus on UF's offense was on their proverbial homerun hitters. Tebow, Harvin, Rainey, Demps, James, Cooper, etc. Until Harvin's injury, wide receiver Louis Murphy wasn't mentioned all that often, and David Nelson was doing a great impression of the Invisible Man. However, when their team needed them most they showed up in a big way.

Against the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS Title Game, Murphy and Nelson accounted for 12 of UF's 24 points. Murphy caught Tebow's first TD pass to put the Gators ahead 6-0, and Nelson caught Tebow's 2nd pass to basically ice the game at 23-14 with 3:00 left in the 4th quarter.

It was great to see these two players impact such a big game in such a big way, and for Murhpy it was an awesome way for him to close out his senior season in Gainesville.

Superman Returns

At the BCS celebration in Gainesville today Tim Tebow let the college football world know what his NFL decision was, and he's decided to return for his senior season.

Florida junior quarterback Tim Tebow made the announcement all
Gator fans wanted to hear on Sunday. After his speech he turned around and said,
"Oh and one more thing, let's do it again. I'm coming back!"

Personally, I am a little surprised because he doesn't really have anything left to prove at the college level. Two BCS titles and a Heisman really speak for themselves. Hopefully he doesn't take too much punishment next season because I would hate to see him get injured. Though, it is going to be great to see him donning the orange and blue for one more year.

I haven't heard any word on if Harvin and Spikes will return or not.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Everyday UF Is Hustlin'

Yes, that is a shitty screen capture, but thanks to FOX's reluctance to replay any game action at all it's the best I have. Anyway, it's Torrey Davis doing his very best Rick Ross impersonation. Which is fitting because the game was played in Miami, and the Sooners got hustled. Check out Davis around the 1:00 mark where he shows Bob Stoops that he's tha boss.