Posts Tagged ‘Illinois Illini’

Stromectol For Sale

Here's my ballot for this week's CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 hosted by—as you might imagine—CBS Sports.

Preseason Prognostications


Through 20 August 2009

College Football on Gate21.net

Stromectol For Sale, Well, it’s been almost nine months since last I posted a BlogPoll ballot, and let me tell you that it feels mighty good to be back in the saddle again.  This does not, however, mean that I have suddenly gained any sense or am any more reliable.


As a general rule, I consider preseason ballots to be dubious at best.  They are based upon little more than rumor and innuendo.  There is little to no basis for selecting one team over the other.  Thus, as Hooper has pointed out, this is little more than a turkey shoot.  That said, here’s my preseason Top 25 for everyone to attack:

My Ballot for the Week















































































































Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Oklahoma
3 Southern Cal
4 Texas
5 Penn State
6 Ole Miss
7 Alabama
8 California
9 Ohio State
10 Notre Dame
11 Georgia
12 LSU
13 Oklahoma State
14 Boise State
15 TCU
16 Virginia Tech
17 Illinois
18 Rutgers
19 Miami (Florida)
20 Nebraska
21 Iowa
22 Brigham Young
23 Pittsburgh
24 Clemson
25 UCLA

Explanations after the jump...


Comments, Explanations, and Excuses


So, how did I approached my preseason selections?  If nothing else, there is a slight method to my madness.  Here are the high-points:

bullet General Principles:

First of all, I am not going to tell you that I can irrefutably defend the precise ranking of every team in my Top 25.  Given there are still wide-ranging differences of opinion as to the rankings in November, it stands to reason that there is even less certainty in August.  I have no fancy system of metrics which uses the slope of a line tangent to the parabolic curve (bet you didn’t think I even knew what a derivative was—Ha!) of the passes thrown by the quarterback to divine how that team will perform over the course of the season.  I do, however, have a spreadsheet in Excel with many exciting and stimulating colors which sometimes cause me to lose focus and think of the rainbow on the front of a box of Lucky Charms.


I digress…


There is a fair amount of “gut-factor” included in my rankings especially at this point in the season.  That is, I attempt to look at the various teams objectively in the first instance, but I still often have little more than instinct, a bit of pocket fuzz, and a note from my mother with which to defend my ultimate choices.  It’s not rocket science but it is also far from exact.  You have been warned.

bullet You have to play somebody:

At this early stage, I do place a heavy emphasis on strength of schedule and on overall chances each team winning all of its games.  Given the fact that half of the teams in my Top 25 play one another over the course of the season, it is fair to assume that I did not find many teams that I felt were likely to accomplish this task.  Still, playing a quality schedule with some likelihood of actually winning most of the games on that schedule goes a long way with me in the preseason.  Thus, this poll is more relative in that each team is judged—to some extent—by the teams it plays and my half-cocked conclusions about how those contests will be decided.  In other words, any team needs help at this point in time…


…except for a select few.

bullet The Juggernauts:

My top three selections—the Florida Gators (#1), Oklahoma Sooners (#2), and USC Trojans (#3)—are in a class all their own in my mind.  Some may doubt me on this, especially when it comes to Oklahoma.  I think it is altogether possible for each of these three teams to win all of their games and run the tables.  I know that this is not likely, but I do think it is possible.  The ordering of these teams is based upon the following key considerations, assumptions, and delusions on my part:



  1. I believe that Oklahoma will win over the Texas Longhorns (#4) due to Mack Brown’s epic struggle to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory in another exciting installment of the Red River Classic.  The Big XII is not the SEC, but the Big XII is a solid conference—this matters.


  2. USC will mop up every single team they play with the exception of the California Golden Bears (#8), whom I predict they will barely beat.  USC has also shown a nasty habit of playing down to their opponents over the past three-to-five years and thus I think they are slightly more likely to lose a game than Florida or Oklahoma.


  3. Florida defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason scrimmage last week** and is a 73 point favorite over their first opponent, Charleston Southern.


bullet Struggling with those “outside the money:

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I struggled with ranking a number of teams.  In particular, I had a hard time with (and am still not completely satisfied with) the following:



  • The Ole Miss Rebels (#6) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (#7) were a tough call for me.  Ole Miss comes in with an extremely experienced team.  Thanks in no small part to Ed Orgeron who recruited the lights out for Rebels while head coach, the Right Reverend Houston Nutt has an impressive stable of talent.  What’s more, the Rebels improved every week last year and managed to knock off the mighty Gators in an upset of prodigious importance.  Alabama, on the other hand, has a stellar defense but only five returners on offense which raises questions in my mind.  This, along with the fact that Ole Miss avoids playing Florida and Georgia, gives the Rebels the advantage.  Ultimately, these two teams will likely battle it out to determine the SEC West champion in Oxford in early October.


  • I have questions about both the Penn State Nittany Lions (#5) and the Texas Longhorns (#4) which are essentially the same—namely, coaching.  Joe Paterno’s age is a factor, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Having played in the very first college football game ever played, in 1875,** Joe is on the older side of completely indeterminate and it has been obvious that he is not truly running the program fully, but rather is simply along for the ride.  That said, the White-out brigade has a fairly weak schedule and has a lot of defensive power, enough, I think, to overcome the Joe Pa factor.
    Mack Brown, get Stromectol, Buy Stromectol without prescription, on the other hand is not particularly old and in many ways seems to be playing out a storyline which is somewhat similar to that experienced by another team in orange around 2001 (I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “T” ends with an “e” and has “ennesse” in the middle).  Mack Brown is a fabulous recruiter, but does “less with more” with almost amazing regularity.  In all honesty, my Stromectol experience, Stromectol brand name, I would say he is the 3rd or 4th best coach in the Big XII.  Thus, I am a little suspicious of the Longhorns chances of breakout success this year.  Still, online buy Stromectol without a prescription, Online buying Stromectol, Texas has a ton of talent and has the ability to win a lot of games, therefore they are still in my Top 5.  I just personally feel that Oklahoma and Bob Stoops get the best of him this year.


  • The California Golden Bears (#8) are not flashy, Stromectol natural, Stromectol forum, but they are good and they are efficient.  With top 10 offensive and defensive lines, the Bears look to own the line of scrimmage—which is always a huge advantage.  All of this said, order Stromectol online overnight delivery no prescription, Stromectol results, their schedule is a bit on the weak side on the whole, but they do face the Trojans of USC early in the season.  While I am not willing to say that they win that game, effects of Stromectol, Is Stromectol safe, they definitely have a chance.  If they do, then they should be able to coast home to win the PAC-10, canada, mexico, india. Stromectol reviews, I considered dropping them a few spots, but ultimately felt that there is a ton of potential for Cal, Stromectol pictures, Buying Stromectol online over the counter, and decided they deserved to be in my Top 10.


  • The Illinois Illini (#17) are another team I had real struggles with.  Last year the Illini finished at 5-7 and generally underperformed.  That said, they have a lot of great talent and proved in 2007—when they went to the Rose Bowl—that they can win.  I think they lose to Penn State at home and probably to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Stromectol price, Stromectol mg, but aside from that they have the ability to win the rest if they can just find a bit of consistency.


  • The LSU Tigers (#12) are really tough for me to assess at present.  LSU had a strong core unit in 2008, but simply gave up too many big plays and lacked consistency.  I continue to believe that the Tigers are an extremely tough team and have the ability to compete with any team in the country, kjøpe Stromectol på nett, köpa Stromectol online, Where can i cheapest Stromectol online, the question remains, will they?  With games against Florida, cheap Stromectol no rx, Stromectol dose, Ole Miss, and Alabama, Stromectol dangers, Stromectol wiki, I don’t see them being a contender for the SEC West, but stranger things have happened, fast shipping Stromectol. Stromectol blogs, The Georgia Bulldogs (#11) are similarly difficult to size up.  Last year everyone in the world felt that Georgia would win the SEC and likely play for a BCS Championship.  Obviously, that did not happen.  This year their schedule is still tough, herbal Stromectol, Stromectol street price, but not nearly as daunting as in 2008.  They also return their defensive core, but will be breaking in a new quarterback and will sorely miss phenom Knowshon Moreno.  I think the Dawgs have a chance at the SEC East, real brand Stromectol online, Stromectol without a prescription, but they are going to have to find some consistency and prove that they can score.  Still, I like the Dawgs chances of mixing things up.


Parting Thoughts

Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, Stromectol schedule, Stromectol steet value, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work.  I promise that I will consider all insults comments.


You can view the final results of this week's poll over at CBS Sports later this week and check out an analysis of how the collective blogging brain-trust arrived at this week's result. If you're craving even more BlogPoll goodness, no prescription Stromectol online, Order Stromectol online c.o.d, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.


And that’s the way it is (Godspeed, Walter Cronkite)...


-- So it goes…About Lawvol






CBS Sports Fantasy Football

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2008 BlogPoll Ballot: Week 5

Here's my ballot for this week's College Football BlogPoll which, as always, is hosted by MGOBlog.

Week 5

Through 28 September 2008

My, my, my… How things sure do change in only one short week.  After all the craziness of the past weekend in the world of college football, there are a lot of changes in my BlogPoll ballot for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here’s my ballot.  Explanations after the jump…

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1
Oklahoma 1
2
Alabama 7
3
LSU 1
4
Missouri 1
5
Penn State 3
6
Texas 4
7
Auburn 6
8
Southern Cal 7
9
Georgia 6
10
Texas Tech 1
11
Florida 5
12
Ohio State 2
13
South Florida 4
14
Utah 1
15
Brigham Young 1
16
Vanderbilt 3
17
Wisconsin 10
18
Oregon 2
19
Wake Forest 7
20
Kansas 1
21
Boise State 2
22
Fresno State 2
23
Oklahoma State 3
24
Connecticut 2
25
California 1

Dropped Out: Colorado (#18), Illinois (#22), Clemson (#25).

Oh boy, now don’t we have something to think about...

Comments,  Explanations, and Excuses

Here are the high-points of the week’s changes:

Oklahoma (1) & Alabama (2):

The Oklahoma Sooners assume the top spot this week in the wake of the clear-out that occurred in the Top 5.  I gave Oklahoma the No. 1 ranking because I think they have earned it.  In fairness, however, I think Alabama has almost as good a claim to at the top of the poll—if not a better one.  That said, in the interest of not appearing to be a complete SEC homer, I opted to give the benefit of the doubt to Oklahoma since they were already at No. 2 last week, and handled TCU with ease.

The way I see it, the rest of the season will sort these two out…

I imagine a few might take issue with Alabama’s meteoric rise this week—particularly LSU (3) and Missouri (4)—but the Tide put on a clinic versus the Georgia Bulldogs (9) and look like the mid-season favorite to win the SEC.  This is especially true considering that the Auburn Tigers (7) barely beat the Tennessee Volunteers (NR) (sigh…) and the Florida Gators (11) have hardly looked impressive in their loss to the Ole Miss Rebels (NR).

Returners & First Timers:

This week sees three faces that weren’t around last week.  First is Oklahoma State (23) which, at 4-0 is looking better than I anticipated.  The same is true for Connecticut (24) who is 5-0 with several nice wins.  Both these teams have the potential to rise quickly if they can continue their winning ways in conference play.  This is especially true for Oklahoma State since they are just beginning their Big XII conference schedule.

The other new face this week is the California Golden Bears (25) who lost to the Maryland Terrapins (NR) two weeks ago, but bounced back by pummeling Colorado State (NR).  Furthermore, as Clemson (NR) learned the hard way, the Terps are not exactly a pushover.  Maryland is on my bubble and are likely to appear in my Top 25 in the near future if they keep winning.

“Now Departing at Gate 21…”:

I hated to see the Illinois Illini bid farewell this week, because I really love what Ron Zook has done to revitalize that program.  Their loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions, however, really necessitates that change.  As the season progresses, I imagine they will return.

The Clemson Tigers earned their walking papers by not taking care of business against Maryland.  I really thought Clemson was going to be tough this year.  In fact, I picked them to win the ACC (which shows what I know).

Finally, though it pains me to do so, I dropped the Colorado Buffaloes after their loss to the Florida State Seminoles (NR).

The Rest of the BlogPoll

Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work.  I promise that I will consider all comments.

As for the rest of the BlogPoll, well, you can check out how other bloggers voted, how your team fared across the blogosphere, and view the weekly results each Wednesday over at MGOBlog.

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


2008 BlogPoll Ballot: Week 2

Here's my ballot for this week's College Football BlogPoll which, as always, is hosted by MGOBlog.

Week 2

"Adjustments" in the Works

I have no business trying to rank all of the teams in the country, and this week's ballot makes that obvious.  More on this week's changes after the ballot.

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1
Georgia
--
2
Southern Cal
1
3
Ohio State
1
4
LSU
--
5
Missouri
1
6
Florida
1
7
Oklahoma
--
8
Auburn
--
9
Kansas
--
10
Wisconsin
1
11
Penn State
1
12
Texas
1
13
Alabama
1
14
Oregon
--
15
Wake Forest
--
16
Arizona State
1
17
Texas Tech
9
18
Utah
1
19
East Carolina
7
20
Colorado
2
21
Fresno State
1
22
Brigham Young
1
23
South Florida
--
24
California
2
25
Illinois
1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#16), Clemson (#20), Bowling Green (#24), Tennessee (#25).

Comments,  Explanations, and Excuses

The high-points of the week's changes after the jump:

Southern Cal (2) & Ohio State (3):

This flip-flop is guaranteed to raise the ire of Ohio State fans (including my spouse), especially since the Buckeyes won their game and Southern California did not play.  That said, the Buckeyes did not look good against the University of Ohio this past weekend, and but for a muffed punt by Ohio they have a decent chance of losing the game.  Furthermore, the continuing questions surrounding Beanie Wells cause me to drop the Buckeyes one slot.

Mizzou (5) & Florida (6):

After watching the Gators play Miami, I am beginning to have some serious questions about the Gator offense.  Their offensive line looked horrible against a seriously inexperienced Hurricanes defense.  This was especially true at the left side A and B gaps.  Though the Gators came back to beat Miami handily, a lot of that was due to Miami's mistakes.  In the end the Gators looked beatable.

Wisconsin (10) • Penn State (11) • Texas Tech (17) • Colorado (20):

This is where I show my idiocy.  All of these changes are the result of my making "adjustments" based upon oversights in my Week 1 ballot.  I simply no longer felt that my rankings for these teams were accurate, thus I adjusted each of these according to what I perceive to be their appropriate ranking.  Thus, I suppose this renders my Week 1 ballot meaningless -- or at least erroneous.  I figured, however, that it was better to remedy this problem through an honest adjustment than to try and pull some sort of BCS-esque calculation which no one could understand in an attempt and rationalize my changes.  I also figured I should do this earlier rather than later.  Thus, I suppose I am officially -- and in print -- admitting that I was wrong last week.  As if that was anything new.

Mea Culpa...

Alabama (13):

I dropped the Alabama Crimson Tide one spot not because I am a cussedly bitter homer, but because their win over Tulane (paired with Clemson's performance against what should have been a woefully out-manned Citadel team) was not as impressive as I had expected in light of the Tide's guns-blazing debut in the Georgia Dome against the Tigers.  This is a semi-adjustment, but really is less due to my pure ineptitude, and more attributable to the Tide looking much less impressive this week than last.

BYU (22):

I dropped Brigham Young due to their poor showing against the Washington Huskies.  I am not saying that the hotly-debated celebration penalty at the end of regulation ultimately had any impact on the outcome of the game (especially since Washington would still have had to win the game in overtime), but I am saying that BYU should have taken care of business a little better, thereby making the whole celebration penalty moot.

Out of the Money -- Tennessee • Clemson • Bowling Green • West Virginia:

I dropped the Tennessee Volunteers and the Clemson Tigers from this week's poll because I simply could not justify their remaining with California (24) looking more and more impressive and Illinois (23) bouncing back from its loss to a tough Mizzou (5) team.  I hope the Vols return in the near future, but they are going to have to earn it.

As for Bowling Green, they dropped for much the same reason -- their strength of schedule simply doesn't compare to those of California and Illinois.  That doesn't mean I think they are weak, but indicates that I simply can't compare them equally at this point to the new teams in the poll

I never personally thought that West Virginia was very good to begin with, but I ranked them based upon the fact that I figured they would still be a strong contender due to their Big East schedule.  ECU (19) proved that to be wrong, and single-handedly bumped WVU from the poll while earning a well-deserved debut in my poll for this year at No. 19.

The Rest of the BlogPoll

Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work.  I promise that I will consider all comments.

As for the rest of the BlogPoll, well, you can check out how other bloggers voted, how your team fared across the blogosphere, and view the weekly results each Wednesday over at MGOBlog.

Hopefully, the BlogPoll Powers won't have me listed as "Dropped Out" next week...

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


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