Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Week 6

Check out the Full Poll Results at
Team Speed Kills!

Week 6

Through 11 October 2009

Here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.  Not a whole lot of ways to separate between some of the teams in the middle of the pack, but at least I thought up some excuses for my decisions.

Here they are, my darlins:

Rk.

Team

Comments

1.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide is playing better than anyone in the country right now. Their defense is brutal, their offense effective. Now, if they could just figure out how to defend a kick return. Fortunately for Alabama, Tennessee is actually worse at this the Tide.

Result: ALA 22 • MISS 3

2.

Florida Gators

Florida Gators‘ coach Urban Meyer has proven that he will do anything to win — including risking St. Tim on a QB dive late in the game against LSU.

Still, they are undefeated, that is until they likely meet Alabama in the SEC Championship game, where it’s anybody’s guess.

Result: FLA 13 • LSU 3

3.

LSU Tigers

I was actually impressed with the LSU Tigers’ showing against Florida in some respects.

Their defense — in classic bend but don’t break fashion — held the Gators to only 13 points. Their measly 162 yards and 23:30 time of possession, however, did them in.

Still, they are better than many other SEC squads so, they stay put at number 3.

Result: LSU 3 • FLA 13

4.

South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks should have beaten Kentucky badly. Instead they simply kept from losing.

Still, at 5-1, they are finding ways to win games. Props to Stephen Garcia for his herculean effort to drag the Cocks to victory.

Result: SC 28 • KY 26

5.

Arkansas Razorbacks

The Arkansas Razorbacks are an offensive machine that is a thrill to watch.

Defensively, however, they are weak and cannot rely upon simply outscoring their opponents. Still, great progress thus far, which Florida hopes to blunt … smartly

Result: ARK 44 • AUB 23

6.

Tennessee Volunteers

I cannot decide whether the The Tennessee Volunteers‘ win reflects a huge step forward or simply another bit of small progress paired with Georgia’s complete ineptitude.

Either way, the victory over the Dawgs was huge for the program. It’s hard to believe that Jonathan Crompton — paragon of fail only weeks ago — is now the SEC offensive player of the week. Nice to see that the Blackjack General does know a lot more than the rest of us armchair geniuses

Result: TN 45 • GA 19

7.

Ole Miss Rebels

Defensively, the Ole Miss Rebels did everything they could to beat Alabama, but their offense continues to be wobbly at best.

Apparently, the Wild-Reb offense had been in the White Lightning again.

Result: MISS 3 • ALA 22

8.

Auburn Tigers

Well, the party is over for Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers, courtesy of the Razorbacks. Auburn has a solid core, but needs to learn how to play defense — which no one (including the Vols) really require them to do previously.

That whole tackling thing, that is important.

Result: AUB 23 • ARK 44

9.

Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats were weaving through the season like a bourbon soaked drunk — in and out of competence and suck.

Now, with quarterback Mike Hartline gone for the season, it’s looking like the it’s looking like the hangover will stay, and the Cats’ fans will have to start getting ready for basketball season.

Result: KY 26 • SC 28

10.

Georgia Bulldogs

I can honestly say that I have never seen a Georgia Bulldogs team with less spark than they showed in Knoxville. It’s looking like a long season for Dawgs with, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to come.

I imagine the fire under Richt’s backside is for real now.

Result: GA 19 • TN 45

11.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

One of these days, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Dan Mullen are going to manage to win one of these things. They keep putting up valiant efforts, but keep coming up short.

While their record hardly reflects a departure from their legendary suck of 2008, they are a far better team and continue to improve..

Result: MSU 24 • HOU 31

12.

Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt Commodores losing to Army. Man, what to say?

In the words of the Late General Anthony General McAuliffe (in response to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge) “NUTS!

Result: VU 13 • Army 16

Yes, I know, rank incompetence on my part…

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the round-up will appear later this week.

Also—further confirming that the standards of the Power Poll have slipped—I will be joining in the “Team Speed Kills Now! ” podcast tonight at 9:00 ET to discuss the state of the SEC at mid-season.  I know you simply cannot wait to hear my brilliance unleashed.  I’ll be posting an embedded player and link to the podcast later today.

Onward and upward …

– So it goes…About Lawvol

2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Week 4

Check out the Full Poll Results at
Team Speed Kills!

Week 4

Through 27 September 2009

Here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron. Hopefully most of these are fairly obvious.

Here they are, my darlins:

Rk.

Team

Change

Comments

1.

(T)

Florida Gators

The Florida Gators manhandled Kentucky this past weekend, but the Cats manhandled Tebow. The Gators are good, very good. They are, however, beatable.

Without Tebow, they are very beatable.

Result: UF 41 • UK 7

1.

(T)

Alabama Crimson Tide

arrow up 2

After seeing he Alabama Crimson Tide make short work of Arkansas, my gut is beginning to tell me that Alabama is the best team in the SEC. That’s why they are tied for first this week.

Result: ALA 35 • ARK 7

3.

LSU Tigers

arrow up 1

The LSU Tigers get the bump to number 3 this week for simply managing to not lose against Miss. St. I don’t think they are nearly as good as Florida or Alabama, but I do think they are the best of the rest.

Result: LSU 30 • MSU 26

4.

Georgia Bulldogs arrow up 2

The Georgia Bulldogs found their stride this past week against a solid Arizona State team. Maybe they have begun to figure out what the problem was and have started heading in the right direction. They rise shakily in my ballot.

Result: GA 20 • AZ St.17

5.

Auburn Tigers

arrow up 2

The Auburn Tigers are not flashy and are not getting a lot of press, but they are disciplined and undefeated. I think that counts for something. I am not sure how well they will fare down the stretch, but for now I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Result: AUB 54 • Ball St. 30

6.

Ole Miss Rebels

arrow down 3

The Ole Miss Rebels laid a huge egg versus South Carolina last week and obviously are not quite as good as I originally thought. Still, I think they have a chance to remain very relevant in the SEC West.

Result: MISS 10 • SC 16

7.

(T)

South Carolina Gamecocks

arrow up 4

The South Carolina Gamecocks have apparently righted the ship and look light years better against the Rebels this past week. They played with more “fire” than I’ve seen in a long time.

They have a bye this week since SC State simply doesn’t count as an opponent.

Result: SC 16 • MISS 10

7.

(T)

Mississippi State Bulldogs

arrow up 3

Yes, I know they lost, but Dan Mullen has the Mississippi State Bulldogs looking tough. They had LSU beaten, and let it slip away. At this point, they are definitely my most improved team. I guess this means I have to get used to hearing cowbells again.

They’ll be tested again this week by the bumblebees of Georgia Tech.

Result: MSU 26 • LSU 30

9.

Tennessee Volunteers

arrow down 2

The Tennessee Volunteers struggled this week on defense against a scrappy Ohio team that refused to die. My gut tells me they were tired from the Florida game or looking ahead to Auburn. Either way, this week looks to be a milestone game for the Vols.

Result: UT 34 • Ohio 23

10.

Kentucky Wildcats

arrow down 2

The Kentucky Wildcats got the hell pounded out of them by Florida and they responded by sending Tebow to the hospital. Kentucky looks like Kentucky usually looks: not good, not bad, and not at all happy that basketball season isn’t here yet.

Result: KY 7 • FLA 41

11.

Arkansas Razorbacks

arrow down 2

The Arkansas Razorbacks, took it in the chops from Alabama who did everything that Georgia didn’t do against the Hogs: namely play a little defense.

It’s amazing how actually defending your end of the field will keep an opponent from scoring.

Result: ARK 7 • ALA 35

12.

Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt Commodores beat up on Rice and got a much needed win. The Owls, however, are 0-4, so I’m not so sure that means much. Either way, the Dores’ are going to have to pick it up this week lest they be smitten by the ticked-off Rebels in a nasty way.

Result: VU 36 • Rice 17

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the round-up will appear later this week.

– So it goes…About Lawvol


2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 5

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by: The Pigskin Pathos

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by The Pigskin Pathos, the resident Tennessee/Auburn blog, and he’s thought of some highly interesting questions…

Given the fact that Lawvol is lazy, unreliable, and has been out-of-position most of the week due to “depositions” (likely story), this week I am flying solo on the Roundtable…

Week 5

(1a) Urban Meyer is last in line to order at a Pahokee, Fla. McDonald’s. The door suddenly opens, and Lane Kiffin walks in. Urban Meyer is not above momentarily turning his head to see who enters a room, as we are all wont to do. Upon seeing each other, both coaches pause for a moment, knowing that an awkward encounter is inevitable. Lane, being the brash one, decides to initiate. Finish the conversation, use as many lines as you feelare necessary.

HSH: Sorry to be a Buzz Killington, but this a is trick question.

You see, there actually is no McDonalds in Pahokee. The closest one is in Belle Glade, which, according to Google Maps, is a 16-minute drive from the great city of Pahokee. After what Lane Kiffin said back around Signing Day in the spring about Pahokee, I was inspired to double-check of if the city had a McDonalds, and this is what I found. So maybe Kiffin’s Pahokee comments – although not necessarily wise – weren’t exactly that far off-base…they don’t even a McDonalds.

But to play along, here’s my take:

  • Lane: Sup, Urbie?
  • Urban: Oh…hey Lane…
  • Awkward silence, tension building
  • Kiffin’s phone rings, and it’s a recruit
  • Urban goes on to order, the two never make eye contact again – including the postgame handshake September 19th

I think it would be the awkward confrontation between two guys that don’t have an ounce of respect for each other. These two guys couldn’t give a you-know-what about the other one, so I don’t think either would have much to say.

Read the rest of this entry

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…


bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

Read the rest of this entry

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

This week marks the second edition of the 2009 version of the Big Orange Roundtable and is hosted by the guys over at 3SIB..

Week 2

1)  We will start with an easy one.  Last week, our beloved Rock was relocated across the street to make room for a new building on campus.  What are your thoughts on the Rock’s relocation?

bullet HSH: Being a student, I actually have the slight advantage of seeing the change.  I drove by as the crane was lifting the behemoth out of the ground, and I’ve only seen it once since it’s been moved.  I have to say it’s going be to a little odd driving through the stoplight next to Stokely Athletic Center and the Thornton Athletic Student Center (where all the UT athletes get their school on), looking to my left and not seeing the Rock.  It might take a little bit of time to get used the change come the fall.

For me, it’s just another aspect of a common theme of my years here as a student.  Here’s what’s changed or been built since I came to Knoxville in the fall of 2006: all the recent renovations to Neyland Stadium, the makeover of Thompson-Boling Arena, Pratt Pavilion, a new soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, the brand new aquatic center.

And that’s just the changes on the athletics side of campus.  There’s also been the total change in the old Glocker Building, which has now become Haslam Business Building where all the business majors do their thing.  The Baker Policy Center was risen up on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, replacing the parking lot where my family parked for every game I came to up until I graduated from high school.  Those are two major projects, that I’ve seen started and completed in my days as a student.

Back to the Rock, my only contact with actually came before I was officially enrolled.  I had two of the more enthusiastic Orientation leaders, and late one night during the two-day event we got together and painted the thing.  I would have visual evidence to prove it, but my computer erased my hard drive awhile, thus I have nothing…


The Rock in its new Home

The Rock in its new Home

bullet Lawvol: First of all, I am glad that the Rock did not unceremoniously disappear from campus as a result of the new Student Health Center that is being constructed.  The worst thing imaginable would have been for the university to simply blow the thing up or what have you and cart it off.  I realize the process of relocating the Rock was both onerous and expensive, but I have to give a little credit to university administration (a/k/a “The Big Orange Screw”) for making the right call and preserving this tradition for future generations.

All that said, the last time I painted the Rock was 1997.  I say “painted”—my involvement actually centered more on leaning up against the Rock in a near catatonic state as drool fell from my gaping mouth and I uttered various slurred obscenities at my cohorts.  You see, I was completely pissed drunk overcome by a multitude of circumstances at the time and my recollection of that particular evening of frivolity is fuzzy to say the least.  Still, the Rock does have a special place in my mind due to its tradition of announcing great events, lurid innuendo, and Gameday proclamations.  Considering it is directly across the street from where it used to be located, I doubt there will really be all that much difference.

Of course, I do wonder whether some students may be confused by the relocation—in particular, those suffering from the same … mental confusion … that afflicted me the last time I painted the Rock.  If so, the university may be faced with a long road of maintenance as the drunken masses repeatedly paint the front of the new Student Health Center.

Read the rest of this entry

Remembering John Ward: Ten years since “Give Him Six!”

Tennessee Football Regardless of how things turn out for the Tennessee Volunteers this fall, the 2009 season represents so very many milestones—it really isn’t even worth the trouble to try and count them all.  There has been so much change lately and so very many new looks and faces that everything seems as if it is in flux.  Some feel this near c-change is long overdue, others decry it as a loss of tradition, others still reserve judgments and simply point to the inevitable movement of the hands of time.  Still, no matter how great the changes may be, the echoes of years gone by still ring in the air around Neyland Stadium.  Thankfully, this will never change.

Vol Network In addition to all of the “obvious” landmark events that have or will occur as part of the 2009 football season, there is one more that may go unnoticed by many.  Though it hardly seems possible, the 2009 season marks Bob Kesling’s tenth year as the “Voice of the Vols.” Since the kickoff of the 1999 football opener against the Wyoming Cowboys, Kesling along with color-commentator Tim Priest, and sideline reporter Mike Stowell (who succeeded Jeff Francis in 2007), have brought the sounds of Big Orange football into our homes via the “Statewide Stadium” that is the Vol Network.

As have I pointed out in previous posts, since I was a child, I have always been a dedicated fan of live sports radio broadcasts.  I learned at an early age that television broadcasters, no matter how good they may be, simply cannot match the style, flair, color, or excitement that a gifted radio sportscaster can bring to a game.  There are few on television that come close—Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried being pretty much the best—but even they cannot quite stay in step with the great radio broadcasters of the game.  Of course, for every Franklin and Gottfried, there are a bevy of lackluster talking suits which do little more than get in the way of the game rather than actually improving your understanding of what is taking place.

Thus is the curse of television…

Read the rest of this entry

What the Puck?! Carolina beats the Bruins!

After last night, I’m just glad that the Canes are still alive…

My, oh my!  The Carolina Hurricanes are going to the NHL Eastern Conference Finals!  Led by the RBC Center’s master of the scoreboard ceremonies —the Nature Boy, Ric Flair—everyone is “WOOO-ing” in my hometown, the City of Oaks.

Video: Carolina Hurricanes Goal! WOOOOO!

The Hurricanes scoreboard celebration after scoring a goal

Once again, the Carolina Hurricanes pulled off the amazing, besting the Boston Bruins 3-2 last night in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals.  Once again, the decisive game of the series came down to the wire, with Carolina securing the victory off of a Scott Walker chip-shot goal with only 1:14 left in sudden death overtime.  The goal scored at 18:46 on the clock in overtime by Walker (who used to play for the Bruins), sealed the game, advanced the Cardiac Canes to the NHL Eastern Conference Finals, and gave the Bruins a chance to get start on all those “honey-do” lists around the house.  For some real insights on the game, check out Canes Country (which is written by people who actually understand hockey).

Up next, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Once again, I find myself loving this “hockey thing” and having something to cheer about in the off-season as I prepare for the Tennessee Volunteers’ upcoming football season.  Of course, as I mentioned a few weeks ago when the Canes beat the New Jersey Devils, hockey can be a hard sell in the South, where few people ever played the game.  Still, it seems to me that hockey is a natural fit in the South due to all of the things it has to offer.  In reply to my last hockey post, I posted a few comments on the issue:

I think the primary reason that so few Southerners really “get” hockey is due to the fact they had no exposure to playing it. I played (at some level) all of the major sports, except hockey growing up. The first time I went to a hockey game I was a little sketchy on the rules and really wasn’t completely sure what was going on except for trying to get the puck in the goal.

The penalties left me a bit perplexed too. I remember thinking “A penalty of ‘icing’ — what the hell is that about? The playing surface — in case you hadn’t noticed Mr. Referee—is a big freakin’ sheet of ICE! They’re all knocking big chunks of the frozen stuff all over the place, why do you have to pick on that guy?

Over time, however, I have picked up on most of the rules and so forth, but the other thing I realized the night I first went to watch a hockey game was that I didn’t need to understand the rules. In some ways, hockey is a synthesis of all the great games: the team model of basketball; a flow like soccer; the speed of … well … racing; the use of sticks to hit things like baseball (okay that one is a bit of a stretch); and the strategy and bone-crushing physicality of football. Oh, yeah, and there is the whole fistfight thing from boxing.  The thing that makes it so exciting is the speed and the anticipation of the goal.

Most of all, it is just a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I really wish more Southerners would give it a look, it is a blast to watch in person.

So, all of you, go out and watch a hockey game next time you get the chance, whether it be the Hurricanes, the Predators, the Knoxville Ice Bears or whatever team is in your area. It’s a good time.

Just remember to bring a sweater…

via: Comments on “Speaking of Hockey…” | Gate 21

Seriously, hockey is a pretty darn cool game.  On top of that, most of the teams in the South know that they are a new thing to a lot of folks, and as a result have done everything they can to reach out to the community and show them what a great game hockey is.  Here’s Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos explaining—GEICO style—what the Hurricanes did to get the community involved (well, sort of):

Video: Carolina Hurricanes: Real Hockey

I love the outtakes reel at the end of that one

The game is just exciting, and I for one agree with what Mike Greenberg said on today’s edition of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning this morning: while I may be a much bigger fan of other sports, the NHL playoffs are some of the most exciting sporting events you will ever see.

Yes, just like before, I do realize that all this hockey talk is a bit off-topic for a site focusing on the Vols and the SEC.  Still, I figure there’s a little wiggle room in that whole “Life, the Universe…” part of the Gate’s byline (that’s those words at the top of the page, if you were wondering).

Besides, what else is there to write about at present…

– So it goes Email lawvol No McAlisters


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