Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State Buckeyes’

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

Week 11


Through 8 November 2009


This past weekend’s slate of college football games were—for the most part—supposed to be dull and boring.  There were very few “key” Buy Colchicine Without Prescription, matchups on the schedule and most thought it might be a snoozer.  Well, that simply did not turn out to be the case.   Thus, is Colchicine addictive, Where to buy Colchicine, there are a number of shake-ups in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is is:

My Ballot for the Week












































































































































Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama --
2 Texas --
3 Florida --
4 TCU --
5 Cincinnati 3
6 Ohio State 6
7 Georgia Tech 4
8 Pittsburgh 6
9 Southern Cal 4
10 Boise State --
11 Miami (Florida) 6
12 Utah 6
13 Houston 2
14 LSU 8
15 Iowa 6
16 Penn State 11
17 Oregon 10
18 Oklahoma State 2
19 Arizona 2
20 Wisconsin 3
21 Brigham Young 3
22 South Florida 3
23 Virginia Tech NR
24 Navy NR
25 Auburn NR
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Oklahoma (#16), Colchicine long term, Colchicine from canada, Notre Dame (#19), California (#22).

Explanations after the jump...

Comments, Colchicine steet value, Colchicine blogs, Explanations, and Excuses


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

bullet The Buckeyes Return to the Fray while the Hawkeyes Fly Away:

I have to admit that, buy Colchicine no prescription, Colchicine photos, despite being married to a graduate of the Ohio State University, I was surprised at how easily the Ohio State Buckeyes (6) dispatched the Penn State Nittany Lions (16) in Happy Valley.  In all honesty, Colchicine forum, Colchicine wiki, I had Penn State winning that game comfortably.  Obviously, the Buckeyes had a different idea of how things were supposed to go.  As a result, rx free Colchicine, Taking Colchicine, despite their early season failing against the USC Trojans (9) and their mid-season debacle against the Purdue Boilermakers (NR) the Buckeyes now find themselves back solidly in my top ten.  Of course, having four teams ranked above them either lose or barely win didn’t hurt either.


This week, buy Colchicine without prescription, After Colchicine, the Buckeyes will face the Iowa Hawkeyes (15) whose luck finally caught up with them, as their undefeated season came crashing to a halt against the Northwestern Wildcats (NR).  I honestly hate it for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes, Colchicine coupon, Canada, mexico, india, but I cannot say that I am surprised.  If they can manage to beat Ohio State in Columbus, then they have a legitimate shot at returning to the top ten, Colchicine brand name, Colchicine canada, mexico, india, as well as grabbing a Big Ten Championship.  That said, I’m not holding my breath given their near constant inconsistency and the injury sustained by quarterback Ricky Stanzi.  Still, Colchicine results, Online Colchicine without a prescription, anything is possible.

bullet Anchors Aweigh, my boys, kjøpe Colchicine på nett, köpa Colchicine online, Online buy Colchicine without a prescription, Anchors Aweigh!:

Yes, the Navy Midshipmen (24) managed to beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NR) again, Colchicine reviews, Colchicine recreational, making me wonder if this might just become a regular thing again.  As a result, Charlie Weiss’ Irish were shown the door in my poll for the week while, Colchicine over the counter, Order Colchicine no prescription, amazingly, the Midshipmen debuted in my ballot for the first time ever.  I assure you that this ranking is not merely the product of Navy’s win over a mediocre Notre Dame squad, Colchicine dosage, Colchicine trusted pharmacy reviews, which did play a part.  The real reason for Navy sailing into my ballot, however, Colchicine dose, Where can i buy cheapest Colchicine online, is their 7-3 record and their extremely efficient brand of football.  With only the Delaware Blue Hens (NR), Hawaii Warriors (NR), online buying Colchicine hcl, Colchicine pictures, and Army Black Knights (NR) remaining on their schedule, the Midshipmen have a good shot at finishing the season at 10-3 and going to a bowl.


Here’s something even more intriguing.  Since Notre Dame has slipped to 6-3—with the potential of finishing 8-4—it is possible that Navy and not Notre Dame could grab an independent BCS bowl berth.  I have a feeling that the folks in South Bend are probably not really all that happy about this prospect.  Of course they have not been all that happy with much of anything from Charlie Weiss’ teams over the last year or two, Colchicine pics, Colchicine interactions, so that’s hardly anything new.


Still, nice win by the Middies…

bullet Ducks Don’t Live in Trees:

The Stanford Cardinal (NR) with along with their silly mascot have proven that the Oregon Ducks (17) cannot live in trees and are, australia, uk, us, usa, Colchicine price, in fact, beatable.  How exactly the Ducks looked past the, Colchicine pharmacy, Buying Colchicine online over the counter, now, 6-3 Cardinal is a bit unclear, Colchicine overnight, Buy Colchicine from canada, but suffice it to say that they did—especially their defense.  The final tally in the game was 93 points scored by the two teams, unfortunately for the Ducks, the Cardinal had more of those points.  That’s why I have always said that the team with the most points usually wins.


How’s that for a little brilliant insight?


At any rate, Oregon managed to completely shoot themselves in the foot, and likely took themselves out of contention for a BCS berth.  That is, unless Phil Knight manages to buy them one

Parting Thoughts

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 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, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.


-- So it goes…About Lawvol



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

Week 10


Through 01 November 2009


Buy Phenergan Without Prescription, Well, it appears that silly season has begun as there were multiple losses among the Top 25, some near the top.  As a result, there are a few substantial changes in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot after the past week in the world of college football.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here it is:

My Ballot for the Week











































































































































Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama --
2 Texas --
3 Florida --
4 TCU 1
5 Penn State 2
6 LSU 2
7 Oregon 7
8 Cincinnati 1
9 Iowa 3
10 Boise State --
11 Georgia Tech 2
12 Ohio State 4
13 Southern Cal 9
14 Pittsburgh 1
15 Houston 3
16 Oklahoma 4
17 Miami (Florida) 2
18 Utah 3
19 Notre Dame 4
20 Oklahoma State 9
21 Arizona 3
22 California NR
23 Wisconsin NR
24 Brigham Young NR
25 South Florida NR
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Mississippi (#12), Virginia Tech (#17), South Carolina (#22), West Virginia (#25).

Explanations after the jump...

Comments, Explanations, and Excuses


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

bullet Hawkeye Harangue:

Yes, only one week after bumping the Iowa Hawkeyes (6) up to the number 6 spot due to their winning ways, I am knocking them back down to number 9 this week because, after watching them flail about against the Indiana Hoosiers (NR), I simply do not believe that they are as good as most of the other teams in the top 10.  Iowa has been extremely lucky all year long and has had more sickeningly ugly wins than any other team in the top 25.  I personally believe that they will lose—possibly quite badly—to the Ohio State Buckeyes (12) this week in Columbus.  If they win, then I will have to re-assess my thoughts on the Hawkeyes, and perhaps move them back up.  For now, they are staying near the bottom of my top 10.

bullet Fear the Duck:

The Oregon Ducks (7) put on a clinic this weekend against the USC Trojans (13) and absolutely annihilated Pete Carroll’s men of Troy.  It was brutal, and as a result, they have rocketed up seven spots to number 7 in my ballot for the week.  Though the Ducks have an early season loss to the Boise State Broncos (10) they are playing as well as anyone right now, and with only a few lightweights remaining in their schedule, look to be the likely winner of the Pac-10.


If they can keep the ship on course, they will almost surely move up in the coming weeks.  Of course, I ought to mark them down a few notches for having the ugliest uniforms in the country (and a wide assortment of not-so-fashionable combinations) but this isn’t a style contest.  Right now, they look tough.

bullet Slip Slidin’ Away…:

Along with USC, who fell nine spots, a number of teams took a tumble this week including the Oklahoma State Cowboys (20), who were given the backhand by the Texas Longhorns (2).  That one will hurt for quite a while.  Joining them in the slide are the four teams that departed the poll this week: the Ole Miss Rebels (NR), the Virginia Tech Hokies (NR), the South Carolina Gamecocks (NR), and the West Virginia Mountaineers (NR).  All of these teams lost to an unranked opponent and, on the whole, looked bad.

Parting Thoughts

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 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, doses Phenergan work, Buy generic Phenergan, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.


-- So it goes…About Lawvol

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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






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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cornell won the Ivy League for a second straight year - and got blown out in the first round both NCAA trips"][/caption]

The Other Side to March's "Madness"


Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription, It's been raining all day today (Friday) here in Knoxville, so I think it's perfect time to do this post, one I've been conjuring up for the past week. Tetracycline coupon, A couple of disclaimers: first, it has little or nothing to do with anything Tennessee-related; secondly, where can i order Tetracycline without prescription, Tetracycline mg, overall it just isn't going to be a happy post in any sense.


The NCAA Tournament is undoubtedly one of the greatest sporting events in the world. It's my favorite time of the year, Tetracycline gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, No prescription Tetracycline online, along with the fall of course. We all know why it's so great - a champion being determined on the court, Tetracycline dosage, Tetracycline dangers, players rising to the occasion, teams playing their best basketball, Tetracycline images, Online buying Tetracycline, schools you've never heard of putting a scare into a traditional power - so on and so forth. The office pool phenomenon is second to Super Bowl parties in sports-related hooplas, comprar en línea Tetracycline, comprar Tetracycline baratos. Everybody loves it and says that's what makes college basketball so much fun to watch.


However, there's a bad side to just about everything, and the NCAA Tournament/March Madness, Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription. Tetracycline used for, And it's one I've come to realize this past March more than ever before.


[caption id="" align="alignright" width="247" caption="Wesley Matthews and Marquette started 9-0 in the Big East - but saw their season end in a second round loss to Missouri"][/caption]

You see, I chose not to fill out a bracket this year, where can i find Tetracycline online. Tetracycline over the counter, I was in the middle of one on the eve of first round Thursday, but stopped midway and erased what I had done, discount Tetracycline. Tetracycline treatment, Why. I wanted to see what watching the tournament and not worrying about if I picked the right team would be like, about Tetracycline. Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription, I wanted to watch it just to watch it for once. Tetracycline duration, Sure, I had my champion (Louisville) and felt confident in the picks I made, Tetracycline alternatives, Ordering Tetracycline online, but I figured I'd take a break.


Aside from always rooting for the upset, I've come to the conclusion that the NCAA Tournament is just as cruel and saddening as it is exciting and fun, buy Tetracycline online cod. Tetracycline price, To answer your obvious questions: yes, I know this isn't earth-shattering news (I see all two of you out there reading this going "Duh, Tetracycline cost, Tetracycline pictures, moron...") or anything. And no, Tetracycline street price, Order Tetracycline no prescription, it doesn't mean I'm going to stop watching the event.


But whether or not you've really noticed it before, you see it every game: a late game shot of the loser's star player or players on the bench with towels covering their faces, fast shipping Tetracycline, Online Tetracycline without a prescription, hiding their emotions from the millions watching. Players getting subbed out, Tetracycline use, Tetracycline without a prescription, some for the last time - in a 25-point blowout loss to a powerhouse - embracing their coaches and teammates. And sometimes it's players standing in shock after a last-second loss, hands over the heads or lying on the floor facedown, prostrate with emotions after a close loss.


They say you are judged on what you do in March, Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription. But the truth is that for about 98% of every Division I team, Tetracycline pharmacy, Kjøpe Tetracycline på nett, köpa Tetracycline online, the season concludes on the losing end. All but one team loses in March, purchase Tetracycline. Order Tetracycline online overnight delivery no prescription, Seniors graduate after four years, their last memories of college basketball filled with pain from leaving it all on the floor - and coming up short, Tetracycline online cod. Online buy Tetracycline without a prescription, Hours and hours and years of practice and work to reach the goal of winning a championship come to a cruel and heart-wrenching end - that is inevitable for most.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="K.C. Rivers and Clemson saw their comeback against Michigan fall short"][/caption]

Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription, Great, successful accomplishments of being one of 65 teams competing for a championship end in heartbreak and despair - even for small-conference teams who consider reaching the big stage the ultimate goal. From first-time tournament participants to major conference champions, doses Tetracycline work, Tetracycline description, a loss is almost the guaranteed ending. The slight beauty to all of this is the wide variety of stories for each of these different losers, Tetracycline reviews. Buy cheap Tetracycline, For example:


Wake Forest reached the top of the polls in late January and you heard "Final Four" and "championships" mentioned in the same breath. The Deacons lost their next game at home to NIT-bound Virginia Tech, get Tetracycline, played .500 ball down the stretch, and saw Friday flameouts in double-digits losses to Maryland and Cleveland State in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.


Clemson looked poised to shake off its label as a fast-starter/poor-finisher after pounding Duke at home. The Tigers then proceeded to finish just 9-7 in the ACC, and went 0-2 in the postseason with losses to Georgia Tech and a desperate comeback come up short against Michigan.


Florida State made its first tournament in 11 years and got a reasonable draw against a bubbly Wisconsin team, Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription. The Noles then watched as Badger guard Trevon Hughes completed a circus three-point play to end FSU's breakthrough year in a single play.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="198" caption="After his first round heroics stunned Ohio State, Ronald Moore and Siena ran out of gas against Louisville, falling short of the Sweet 16 for a second consecutive year"][/caption]

Ohio State had Siena beat on a couple occasions, only to watch as Ronald Moore drilled his only two threes of the game at the end of the first and second OTs. Boom, see ya, Buckeyes. Likewise, the Saints looked like they were going to shock Louisville in the second round - only to see the Cards close the game on a 20-9 run. It's midnight, Cinderella.


Western Kentucky appeared to have risen from dead against Gonzaga late, and tied the game on a tip-in by Steffphon Pettigrew with 7.2 seconds. Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription, Problem is, the Zags' Demetri Goodson needed just 6.5 to race down the other way and send the Toppers home.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="159" caption="Like Morgan State, many small-conference champs had an brief stay in the spotlight - and now return to relative obscurity"][/caption]

• League champions Washington (Pac-10) and LSU (SEC) saw unlikely conference title seasons come up short of the Tournament's second weekend in valiant efforts that came up short against Purdue and North Carolina.


VCU senior Eric Maynor's last shot as a college player. A missed game-winner against UCLA, similar to the one he made against Duke two years before that etched his name in March lore.


• Quite possibly the most devastating: mid-major conference champions who play guarantee games in November and December (aka, 30-point losses in exchange for money) and go unheard from for the entire season. Their seasons basically come down to three or four days at conference tournament neutral sites, for that one and only shot to reach your brackets. Most get there and are humbled, as was predominantly the case this year. After just one game, one shot at becoming the next Davidson, George Mason, or Valparaiso, they return to the abyss of obscurity.


For some teams, just reaching the field of 65 qualifies as a great season. For others, a first-round exit crushes hopes of a longer stay, leaving bitter tastes into the offseason and summer doldrums, Buy Tetracycline Without Prescription. As you go to the second weekend of the Tournament, dreams of reaching the Final stage become more real - only to be crushed by an untimely poor performance.


When I saw Memphis junior Shawn Taggart crying into his towel in the final moments of the Tigers' loss to Missouri, my initial thought was one of ridicule - I wanted to laugh, because honestly seeing Memphis fail makes me happy. But I caught myself, and I can honestly, sincerely say I felt for him. It's like that nearly every one of the Tournament's 64 games.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="March can be so cruel..."][/caption]

So as you're watching Saturday's and Sunday's Elite 8 games - what promises to be two days of excellent basketball - keep in mind this cruel, darker side of the wonder that is March Madness.


-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.



Images Courtesy of: AP / Paul SakumaAP / Paul SakumaAP / Ed ZurgaAP / Al BehrmanAP / Orlin WagnerAP / Mark J. Terrill
.

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No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21


Brian Butler has been called many things by many people, not all of them are nice.


Butler is a former rapper and call-center manager, and a seemingly respectable football trainer based out of Wichita, Kansas.  At present, Butler is the principal and operator of the Potential Players recruiting service through which he serves as a self-styled, come-lately, “recruiting adviser” to high school football standouts across the country.  A “gifted” self-promoter, he is also the subject of a recently announced investigation by the NCAA.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="390" caption="Brian Butler working a recruit    (NY Times / Simmons)"][/caption]

There are many questions being asked about Butler by many people, especially those recruiting high school standout Bryce Brown (which includes Tennessee).  The fundamental question, however, centers on whether he is essentially seeking to act as a sports agent for players being recruited by college football programs.


For now, at least, there is no definitive answer to this query.


The reason that this is an issue is that Butler has widely taken the position that the only way that college recruiters can speak with high-schoolers that he is “advising” is by going through him.  To many, this appears—at least outwardly—that Butler is serving as an “agent” rather than simply as an “adviser.”


Again, why does anyone care?  Under NCAA bylaws, current and potential student athletes are prohibited from retaining agents, and requires that all prospective athletes undergo an amateurism certification process, which includes, among other things, certifying that the athlete has not agreed to be represented by an agent.  On the issue of agents, NCAA Bylaw 12.3 states that:


An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, Buying Atarax online over the counter, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.


See NCAA Operational Bylaw 12.3.1 (PDF )



The NCAA’s website offers additional guidance stating that:

…a student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate sport) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete's ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, is Atarax safe, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.


Also, Online buy Atarax without a prescription, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an athlete agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.


The term "agent" includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits) and financial advisors.


It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established) or socializes with an agent.

• via: Overview of NCAA Bylaws Governing Athlete Agents | NCAA.org


Thus, low dose Atarax, Butler acting as the only means of communication with a recruit could be troubling and potentially a violation of NCAA rules, Ordering Atarax online, hence the NCAA investigation.


This raises a particularly thorny set of issues for high school athletes and their families, college athletic departments, high school coaches, Atarax pharmacy, college boosters, Atarax gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, the NCAA, and State Legislators.  That’s right, I said State Legislators.


For these reasons, Atarax description, I am personally of the opinion that someone—whether it be Butler, Buy generic Atarax, athletes, college institutions, or otherwise—will end up paying for what amounts to an infraction that lies in the proverbial “gray area” of the NCAA’s rules.  A violation in spirit, Atarax pics, if not in the letter.  The problem is, Atarax alternatives, however, that whether Butler’s conduct violates many rules or none all depends on the perspective applied to the facts, and for the record, effects of Atarax, I make no assertion that I know or understand all of the facts.


Still, Atarax treatment, let’s use a hypothetical to illustrate the complexity of the situation.


Meet Johnny Rocket


Let’s assume we have a hypothetical 17 year-old high school running back from Bugtussle, Tennessee, named Johnny Rocket.  Our boy Johnny has had a stellar career and is now looking at the possibility of playing at any number of schools across the country—all the recruiting sites have him tabbed as a 5-star recruit and the coaches across the country are salivating at the thought of having him suit up for them in the future.  Let’s also assume that no one in Johnny’s family ever played for any school and that they are simple working-class folks who really do not understand the mechanics of the recruiting process.

The Patriarch…


Using our hypothetical, Atarax trusted pharmacy reviews, let's assume that Johnny Rocket’s father ("Jackson") decides that his son is going to play for Tennessee, Atarax dosage, because that’s Jackson’s favorite team, he’s regularly gone with a friend to watch the Vols play for years, and “that’s just how it’s gonna be.”  Since Knoxville called and told Jackson that that they’d love to have Johnny wearing an orange shirt, about Atarax, Jackson has bought every single piece of orange clothing he can find and has filled Johnny’s closet.  He took Jackson to every home game in Neyland Stadium last season, No prescription Atarax online, and talked a friend’s son who is a UT student into letting Johnny spend the weekend with him so he could see what college life in Knoxville is like.  Jackson has also let it be known that no coaches anywhere from any school can do anything to talk to his son without first coming through him, but since Jackson’s mind’s made up, unless you know Lane Kiffin or Ed Orgeron you’re not getting in the door.  Case closed.


While this might seem a closed-minded and unfair way for the recruiting process to work, Atarax coupon, there is no violation of any rule of any kind whatsoever in this circumstance.  You see, Atarax duration, young Johnny—like most recruits—is a minor and his parents’ have the ability to completely control the situation.  That’s because the law recognizes their parental rights to make decisions for their minor son, regardless of whether they are reasonable or not.

The Family Adviser…


Let’s say, however, purchase Atarax online no prescription, that instead of Jackson making the decision that he turns to the assistance of a family friend whom he’s known and trusted for years: Lawius T. Buy Atarax from canada, Vawlius, Esq. (known to his friends simply as “Lawvol” and not to be confused with the author).  Jackson trusts Lawvol because he is a dear family friend, and because he is—of all things—an attorney, has known Johnny since he was a kid, and knows all about the law, about going to college, and about “life, the universe, and the bounce of the ball,”  Jackson trusts Lawvol.  Oh, and since Lawvol thinks the world of Johnny and his family, Lawvol is glad to help as a friend—for free—and not as an attorney.


Still, despite being an attorney by profession, there is no prohibition on family friends and advisers helping out in the recruiting process.  It matters little whether that friend is an attorney, a coach (who probably played or went to a coaching camp somewhere), a priest (although I suppose the Notre Dame or Boston College pull might be a bit sketchy), or a former college player.  A friend giving free advice is just that—usually.


Here’s the catch.  Our hypothetical friend Lawvol is a donor to Tennessee’s VASF and has been a season ticket holder for years now.  Thus, Lawvol is a “booster” in the eyes of the NCAA.  As a result, there are limits on what Lawvol can say about Tennessee and how much he can encourage Johnny to play for the Big Orange.


Were Lawvol, in accompanying Johnny to all the programs across the country, to decide that his best choice would be to go to THE Ohio State University, with whom Lawvol has no affiliation, then Lawvol can engage in all the arm-twisting, lawerly-double-talk, and encouraging he wants—he’s not a booster and no amount of the “Come to Jesus” talk is too much.  Lawvol, as a family outsider, can talk with recruiters at Ohio State till he’s blue-in-the-face, can make endless trips with Johnny to Columbus, he can even help Johnny pick out a sweatshirt or two on Short North near campus after visiting the Horseshoe.  Lawvol could even tell coaches—as the appointed family friend and adviser—that they cannot talk to Johnny unless he approves it.


When it comes to talking-up Lawvol’s beloved Tennessee Volunteers, however, things would be much different and could result in something fairly similar to the Albert Means scenario if he went too far.  Other than that, however, everything here is perfectly within the rules.

Someone Call the Butler…


Once again, let’s say that Jackson wants help and he calls Brian Butler.  Now the dynamic changes—or does it?


Butler has made it clear that he’s willing to do much of what our preceding two advisers did, but on some points he is less willing.  First, no purchases of clothing or free trips.  Second, no prohibitions on any specific schools, just a general requirement that he be the contact for communicating with Johnny.  These are important because they could be no-no’s.


Here is what Butler offers to do for our Johnny, and any other player out there who needs a little advice on the recruiting process:

Our Goal

To assist student-athletes in making positive decisions by recognizing the impact their lives have in our world; while preparing them physically and spiritually to overcome the challenges of life.

What Potential Players Provides


  • Academic College Tours

  • Career Development Seminars

  • Golf and BBQ Charity Event

  • Host Nike Sparq Camps and Combines

  • Speed, Agility and Football Skill Training

  • Academic and Athletic Assessment

  • Academic Enhancement

  • ACT, SAT Preparation

  • Player Highlight Films

  • Player Recruiting Assistance

  • Attending Fall College Games

  • Weekly Film Study

  • Attending Winter and Summer Combines and Camps

  • Host Seminars and Coaching Clinics


• via: Potential Players.com | About Us



Oh, but there is the small fact that Brian Butler—unlike Jackson and Lawvol—is getting paid for his help.  He gets paid a nominal fee by Johnny’s parents and gets paid infinitely more by those sponsoring his events, courting him to gain his favor, and others “interested” in college recruiting.

Thoughts from the Bully Pulpit


In the end, you can see where the lines between one type of adviser and another are blurry and whether they are different in form as opposed to substance is really a matter of perspective.  In reality, the most troubling one would likely be my fictitious “Lawvol” dealing with a recruit who wanted to attend Tennessee.  So is what Brian Butler is doing troubling?


For me, it is.


The reason I have problems with what Butler is doing is because, at the end of the day, it is all about making money for Butler off of the talent of high school kids and their families.  Sure, he is providing advice to those who probably need it and don’t have anywhere to obtain it.  Good for him.  The difference between him and everyone else is that he is operating as if he were a sports agent and is banking the benefits.  Is he making anything approaching what some of the major sports agents make?  Probably not.  Still, I’m sure he’s making a comfortable living off of the endeavor.


Yes, I realize that college athletic programs also make money off of the student-athletes they field, but that is a little different in my mind.  The benefits that a school gets from its players are substantial, but so are the benefits provided to the student athlete—namely an education and a chance to compete.  Furthermore, most college athletics programs are in a constant state of hemorrhaging cash, only a select few (Tennessee being one of the few) actually make any money at the end of the season.  They are simply a creature of tradition which are designed to self-perpetuate as best they can.  Most athletic departments are constantly chasing dollars because they pour out as fast as they come in.  The few programs that manage to achieve solvency in a traditional business sense—like Tennessee—typically disgorge their profit back to their parent institution.  Thus, though it is a money game, it’s not the typical profit and loss system that is seen in other areas of sport.  I am, however, biased in favor of college athletics.


So what, if anything, can or should be done about it?


One of the questions that Hooper raised in his article was what exactly can the NCAA do to police Butler if they want to impose their will upon him?  The simple answer is, by itself, not much.  Butler is not a player and is not a sanctioned institution.  Thus, he can’t be given a penalty for an infraction.


Could a player be sanctioned or declared ineligible for using Butler, Atarax For Sale. Potentially, buy cheap Atarax no rx, but I doubt that the NCAA would be quite that draconian on a high school kid who simply wants to do the best for himself and unwittingly trusted Butler.


Could the NCAA sanction schools for using Butler. Order Atarax online c.o.d, That seems doubtful considering that the programs are not the ones controlling the contacts and recruiting process—they are essentially beholden to Butler and simply along for the ride on the rollercoaster that Butler has created.  The one exception that might lead to a school getting sanctioned would be if a program provided any sort of financial incentive to Butler (a/k/a “bribes”) in return for a recruit’s ear or commitment.  That would most certainly lead to sanctions, but really is not any different than the aforementioned Albert Means scenario.


It is entirely possible that the NCAA has additional weapons in its legal arsenal of which I am simply not aware, in fact it is likely.  I am not an expert in the area of NCAA compliance, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, rules, Generic Atarax, and regulations.  At first blush, however, Butler does appear to be operating outside the existing regulatory framework—at least in a traditional sense.


So, Atarax maximum dosage, if the NCAA has no control over Butler, Order Atarax online overnight delivery no prescription, is that it. No.


The fact of the matter is that the NCAA does not have to exercise its authority to reign Butler in—that’s where those State Legislators I mentioned earlier, and a little thing called the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) come into play.


In the fall of 2000, where can i order Atarax without prescription, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL)—a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers, Atarax steet value, judges, state legislators and law professors appointed at the state level—released the Uniform Athlete Agents Act which was intended to “provide a uniform system for regulating athlete agents.”  This Model Act was drafted by a taskforce at the NCAA’s request.  Upon release, it was submitted to all of the state legislatures across the country.  In some form or fashion, Atarax online cod, 43 states and territories have enacted the provisions of the UAAA, Atarax samples, are in the process of enacting it, or have a similar act already in place.  Tennessee is one of the states which enacted the UAAA verbatim  (See TCA § 49-7-2122 — § 49-7-2141 ).


The UAAA imposes strict requirements on Agents in terms of how, when, Atarax over the counter, and where they do business.  It also requires that they register with state officials as athlete agents.  Violations of the provisions of the UAAA can lead to civil and criminal liabilities.  In the case of civil suits, Order Atarax from United States pharmacy, any award is trebled (multiplied by a factor of three), state officials can impose administrative fines up to $25,000 per violation of the Act, online buying Atarax hcl, and criminal penalties—which in Tennessee are a class E felony—can result in up to six years in prison.  (See id. )


Whether Butler’s actions fall within the reach of the UAAA is a question which would be open to debate.  That said, Comprar en línea Atarax, comprar Atarax baratos, if the NCAA were concerned enough, there is no reason that the UAAA could not be revised to include activities of precisely the sort in which Butler is engaged.  Thus, while it might not be possible for the NCAA to stop Butler at present, where can i buy cheapest Atarax online, there is no reason that they could not potentially stop him at some point down the road though the use of the NCAA’s considerable power in the various legislatures of states far and wide.

But is all of that really worth it?

Whether or not Brian Butler is deserving of some sort of censure is open for debate.  Undoubtedly, Atarax dose, the NCAA will let the world know its thoughts when its investigation is concluded.  Until then, it is all speculation.

If the NCAA determines that Butler is in violation of its rules, buy Atarax no prescription, then likely as not, Order Atarax no prescription, there will be a furor to follow.  What impact that might have on Bryce Brown’s recruitment is beyond me.  Still, until then all eyes in the recruiting world will be focused squarely on the exploits of Brian Butler and the considerable weight of the NCAA investigatory lens bearing down upon him.


Butler asserts that his service is legitimate and that he is simply helping players maximize that potential.  Helping someone maximize their potential is hardly a moral  offense.  Violating the rules of the NCAA, while hardly laudable, Atarax schedule, is sometimes understandable given their massive breadth and scope (PDF ).  Sometimes, rules get broken with the best of intentions out of no true fault on the part of the offender.  In my opinion that is not what is going on in the case of Brian Butler.


Though perhaps un-sanctionable for now, however, the use of high school athletes—their families, their hopes, their dreams, their desire to excel—to propel yourself to national prominence and wealth, in my opinion, is hardly reputable and should not be condoned.  While Butler may not have violated any rules or regulations which can be enforced, his shameless self-promotion paired with his willingness to interject himself into the recruitment of athletes in unprecented ways, makes me seriously question his motives.  I cannot say that Butler is dirty—I am not privy to those facts.  It does, however, appear to this author that he is.


Whether the NCAA agrees remains to be seen…


-- So it goes…About Lawvol



Portions of this post relied upon information published by: The New York TimesRocky Top TalkDr. SaturdayThe Quad BlogImage(s) Courtesy of: The New York Times / Brandi Simmons
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On Remote: Just Past Halfway…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Last week offered some great in-conference matchups and a couple turned out to be more lopsided than many thought. The great conference games continue this week, as the races begin to take shape.

Indeed, the conference races will continue to take shape as the temperatures drop around the country (it was 86 in Knoxville yesterday) and leaves start falling everywhere. Yes, I'm avoiding mentioning Tennessee's now meaningless season by discussing the weather...

Another larger storyline that's been discussed already this week is the Big 12's apparent attempt to claim itself as the best conference. While the league is pretty good at the top, I still think the SEC has better depth, even with the struggles of Tennessee and Auburn.

Anyways, here's the games to watch, and hopefully this time I'll do a better job picking them - I picked LSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and they all lost...


SEC Football | Gate 21 SEC Games

Vanderbilt at Georgia (12:00, RayCom): So much for that little run. Vandy just missed out on a huge opportunity to get to 6 or more wins. There's still chances with games against Kentucky, Tennessee and Duke, but beating Florida, Georgia and Wake Forest may be a tough order. Vandy's offensive struggles were exposed last week against Mississippi State, and Georgia's not the best team to face with an iffy offense...

The questions with Georgia: they left plenty of points to be gotten last week against the Vols, with two picks and kicking four field goals. They better not overlook Vandy, as trips to LSU and the showdown with Jacksonville come in the next two weeks.

Ole Miss at Alabama (3:30, CBS): Alabama comes off the bye looking to continue the momentum from hammering Georgia and edging Kentucky two weeks ago. Ole Miss has been better, yet horribly inconsistent, beating Florida on the road but falling to Vandy and South Carolina at home.

I don't expect Ole Miss to win, but they should keep it close. I'm still expecting Alabama to lose a game, but it won't be Saturday. The matchup to watch is the Tide's offensive line against the Rebels' defensive front. The only way Ole Miss can win is limiting the turnovers that hurt them in their two home SEC losses.

Arkansas at Kentucky (7:00, ESPNU): Give me some credit, last week I didn't explicitly pick Arkansas to upset Auburn, but I did say the Hogs were gonna get somebody at some point this year and they did. Can they follow it up? Kentucky's offense is still struggling, so Arkansas can certainly keep it close. This is a big game for UK's bowl hopes, as they sit at four wins on the year.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="222" caption="This 63-yard TD run by Michael Smith led Arkansas to the upset over Auburn. Can they Hogs get UK this week?"][/caption]

Mississippi State at Tennessee (7:00, PPV): Ugh. Good thing this game is on pay-per-view...who wants to watch these offenses?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Uh oh...Mississippi State held Vanderbilt to 107 yards of total offense..."][/caption]

Obviously I do, because I'll be there in the fourth row. I'm expecting an ugly game with points few and far between. Tennessee can't really lose at home to Mississippi State, can they? State has played decently the past two games, and no doubt have some momentum coming into Knoxville. How does Tennessee show up with nothing but pride to play for? Is Phil Fulmer the next coach to be Croomed like Ron Zook and Mike Shula?

LSU at South Carolina (8:00, ESPN): Ouch. Didn't see that coming. LSU got crushed by Florida, and now they travel over to Columbia to a Carolina offense that's gained some confidence with SEC road wins in Oxford and Lexington. Whoever's been playing QB for the Gamecocks - Chris Smelley and/or Stephen Garcia - have actually done pretty well.

LSU's defense isn't what it was last year - they're 9th in the league in total defense. Carolina's defense is going up against an inexperienced QB and an offense that got beat physically by Florida last week. How do they respond?

Honestly, I want to say Carolina will win. But this is historically one of those "almost" wins for the South Carolina program. "Almost" as in they "almost" win a huge home game over a better opponent. That said, I think LSU bounces back, setting up that showdown with Georgia next weekend.

Florida is off this week, but I want to give a little shout-out to Brandon Spikes. Now I hate the Gators and hope they fail at everything, but when something's funny, it's funny. Here's Brandon Spikes' attempt at a punt into the stands after a pick-six...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeib4I8hlO4[/youtube]


OTHER CONFERENCES

Some Mountain West love: big game tonight for unbeaten BYU, as they travel to TCU tonight. The unbeaten Cougars essentially have two tests between them and a BCS Bowl: tonight and the season finale at fellow unbeaten Utah. Keep an eye on this game...

The Weekly Duke Update:After a bye week, the 3-2 Blue Devils are back in action with a big game, at home against young Miami. Just 4.5-point dogs, Duke looks for the upset. This game is on ESPNU at 3:30, so if Alabama starts killing Ole Miss (and you actually have ESPNU), switch on over and see if the missed Coach Cut can lead Duke to the upset. The emptiness of Duke's stadium won't have any adverse effects on the Canes - they're used to it...

Big XII

Kansas at Oklahoma (3:30, ABC): Oklahoma and Bob Stoops is going to be pissed off. Poor, poor Kansas. They avoided OU and Texas last year. Er, not this year. How Kansas stops OU I have no clue. Then again, the Sooner defense got worn down watching Texas go up-and-down the field on them in Dallas. Kansas keeps it close - for a half.

Missouri at Texas (8:00, ABC): So much for Missouri beating Oklahoma State by three TDs. The Tigers essentially gave the game away, and now face a make-or-break game at #1 Texas. I say make-or-break because Missouri's schedule is pretty clear sailing after this game, and they obviously have to win to stay relevant in the title race.

Can Texas return to earth after beating their hated rival last week? This should be a pretty high-scoring game (duh, it's the Big XII new Pac 10...), and entertaining. I think Texas wins the game in the fourth quarter.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="279" caption="Javon Ringer faces a tough Ohio State defense Saturday afternoon"][/caption]

Big Ten

Ohio State at Michigan State (3:30, ABC): Yes, people, Michigan State is very much in the Big Ten race. Of course they have to beat Ohio State to stay there. The Spartans are led by HB Javon Ringer, but the Ohio State defense is tough up front.

Ohio State has been overly impressive on offense. They have actually been kinda bad. If Michigan State doesn't give up a special teams or defensive TD to the Buckeyes, I like their chances to keep Ohio State's offense in check. The winner would become the biggest challenger to the dominance Penn State has shown this year.

Michigan at Penn State (4:30, ESPN): I know, I know, Michigan sucks and Penn State is really good. Thought losing to Toledo is bad? The Wolverines better be ready to get blasted Saturday. Penn State is a legit team. Keep in mind two things: (1) Penn State hasn't beaten Michigan since 1996 and (2) they are at Ohio State next weekend.

Outside of these games, there isn't much else. We all know USC will win the Pac 10 and whoever wins the Big East doesn't matter. As it is, enjoy this weekend...


Images Courtesy of: Dave Martin / AP (Daylife)Rogelio V. Solis / AP (Daylife)Nam Y. Huh / AP (Daylife)

2008 CBS Sports BlogPoll Ballot: Week 7

Here's my ballot for this week's CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll which is now—surprise, surprise—hosted by CBS Sports.

Week 7

Through 12 October 2008

Man, oh man, what a weekend of craziness this was!  After all the shake-ups this weekend in the world of college football, there are major changes at the top in my BlogPoll ballot for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here’s my ballot:

My Ballot for the Week

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

Dropped Out: Northwestern (#21), Auburn (#22), Wisconsin (#24).

Explanations after the jump…

Comments, Explanations, and Excuses

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

Oklahoma (4) & Southern Cal (5) :

I imagine some will think I’m a bit mad for only dropping the Oklahoma Sooners three spots to fourth—leaving them on notch above the Southern Cal Trojans.  Well the reason for this is simple.  Southern Cal’s loss came to a very mediocre Oregon State (NR) team who simply out-played them.  Before that loss, I had written about how I felt the Trojans were beatable because they only seemed to play full-tilt for games that got a lot of national attention.  Furthermore, though the Trojans blanked the Arizona State Sun Devils (NR) this past weekend, it was a very sloppy game on offense for USC.

The Sooners on the other hand played lights-out against a tough Texas (2) team in an absolutely fabulous football game.  Both teams left everything on the field and if you play that game ten times, I bet each team wins it at least 4-5 times.  In short, I applaud Oklahoma for playing a tough schedule and facing top-notch opponents (something to which SEC schools have long been accustomed) poll rankings should not be a disincentive to facing the best you can find.  Though they lost, Oklahoma lost valiantly, and thus they stay in my Top 5.

Ohio State (10):

Despite the fact that my dear wife is a Buckeye, I simply cannot move the Buckeyes up this week allowing them to be jumped by Florida (8).  I realize that Ohio State defeated Purdue.  I realize that they lost their only game to Southern Cal.  I also realize they were—effectively—beaten by Wisconsin (NR) last week, by Ohio U (NR) several weeks ago, and they continue to beat other teams by the narrowest of margins.  Given the fact that they were absolutely back-handed by a Trojans team I continue to feel is a bit overrated, the Buckeyes are going to have show me that they have improved before I give them freebie jumps in my ballot.  That is not to say I don’t think they are good—because I do.  I simply don’t think they are “great.”

Brigham Young (15):

Yes, I realize that I dropped BYU after they defeated New Mexico (NR) and slid both Oklahoma State (13) and Kansas (14) above them.  As was the case above, I simply do not believe that beating New Mexico is nearly as significant as defeating Kansas beating Colorado (NR) and Oklahoma State beating Missouri (9).  There are only so many spaces in the poll each week and I try to rank on who I think is the best team.  That necessarily includes looking at a team’s record and who they play (i.e. simply winning is not always enough).  I’m sorry, Cougars, but the teams around you simply played better against better opponents.

Returners & First Timers:

The Oregon Ducks (25) just keep coming back.  I really think they are a solid team, but they could use a little lesson in consistency.

Meanwhile, both Ball State (23) and Minnesota (24) make their debut in my poll ballot for the first time.  Whether they can keep up their winning ways down the stretch is an unanswered question, but for now they are in.

"Now Departing at Gate 21...":

One week after their debut along with Michigan State (21), Northwestern (NR) lost to Michigan State and thus got their ticket out of the poll.  That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them back if they can keep their focus and stay healthy.

That is much more than I can say for both Auburn (NR) and Wisconsin (NR)—both of whom were in my Top 10 earlier in the season.  Auburn now appears to have an even less productive offense than my Tennessee Volunteers, and Wisconsin—now with 3 straight losses—is a candidate for my 2008 Self-Destruction award.

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 out-to-lunch—which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work.  I promise that I will consider all comments.  After all, I’m hardly unaccustomed to being wrong.

As for the rest of the BlogPoll, well, you can check out how other bloggers voted and how your team fared across the blogosphere over at MGOBlog, and view the BlogPoll Top 25 results each week over at CBS Sports.

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


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