Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Dudes, One Post: 11/5/09

Two dudes, one post. Take II. If you want to submit any questions for future columns fire an email to

1. Oregon just smoked USC and is gaining ground on Boise State--who dominated them in the first game of the season. If Boise finishes 12-0 and Oregon finishes 11-1 with a more impressive strength of schedule, who should be ranked higher at the end of the year?

Mattare: Boise State and there is zero room for discussion as long as they stay undefeated. The two teams met on the field and Boise State smothered Oregon—the final score didn’t really do justice to how the Broncos totally dominated and controlled the game. I don’t care that it was the first game of the year or that it was the first game of Chip Kelly’s career. I give the Ducks all the credit in the world for bouncing back from that debacle, but as long as Boise is undefeated Oregon should not pass them.

I understand that Oregon plays a much more difficult schedule than Boise State, but that does nothing to change the fact that when the two teams met on the field one team won decisively. I know in the sports world today everyone likes to look at formulas and this and that to determine who is truly the best team, but hypotheticals should never outweigh what actually DOES happen on the field. If Boise State loses then there is an argument that can be made, but as long as there are no blemishes on their record Oregon’s ceiling should be one spot behind the Broncos.

Bill: I think Oregon deserves to be ranked higher in this situation. For me, running the gauntlet in the PAC-10 is more impressive than 1 win over the PAC-10 champions. I try to stay away from interpolating wins, just because Boise State beat Oregon does not mean they could beat every PAC-10 team. The one argument for Oregon that I don’t think matters is “They’re playing so well right now.” It makes analysts sound like they are excusing the Boise State loss when you can’t do that. Yes, Boise State won that game but, no, I don’t think that one win is a more impressive than Oregon’s body of work for the season. There’s a reason you play 12 games. I don’t think it’s cool that an undefeated team gets left out of the picture, but under the current system it’s the best they can do... which leads me back to my answer to the BCS question last week! Full Circle!

2. Bill saw Iowa in person. Mattare has watched a few of their games on TV. Are the Hawkeyes legitimately a top five or ten team?

Mattare: Iowa deserves their ranking in the top ten right now because they’ve taken on and defeated all comers to this point. It hasn’t been pretty but keep in mind there have been cases before where Big Ten teams have won ugly all year and done great things (see: Ohio State and their 3.0 avg margin of victory in winning the championship in 2002). That being said there is no way they’re a top five team and probably aren’t a top ten team. Why? Because of whom they have leading the offense. Their quarterback Ricky Stanzi is like a hybrid of Chris Rix and 2009 Jake Delhomme—it’s almost as if he’s equipped with a self-destruct button. Iowa has a solid defense and a good running game even with some injuries. The formula for taking advantage of those positives is a quarterback who manages games and won’t flat-out lose them for you. I don’t think anyone can realistically argue that Stanzi is that type of quarterback; his high wire act will come crashing down eventually.

And while we’re talking about Iowa, the officiating in the Iowa-Indiana game was so abhorrently terrible that thinking about it makes me upset even though I don’t care about either team. Indiana was on their way to smoking a top five team and thanks to terrible calls by officials in the replay booth (which should NEVER, EVER happen), all momentum came to a screeching halt and a total collapse ensued. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the officiating has been so slanted toward highly ranked teams this year it makes you understand how the theories are derived. Iowa fans, props to your team coming back but you can’t do anything but put your hand on the back of your neck, look down, and sheepishly shrug about how many terrible calls went your way.

Bill: Top ten, their defense is very good, their quarterback makes throws on third down, and they find a way to win. I need to move to the next question before I waterboard myself for actually typing those words.

3. Urban Meyer suspended star linebacker Brandon Spikes for one half after he was caught on camera reaching his hand through the facemask of an opponent in an attempt to gouge at his eyes. Is one half enough?

Mattare: No, it’s not. I think the only argument against that stance is that “it’s football and those things happen.” There’s no doubt they do, but when you’re caught red-handed blatantly gouging at someone’s eyes in a pile on national television swifter action needs to be taken than what Urban Meyer did. If nothing else it supports the perception that Florida’s roster is littered with thugs and the coaching staff does little to nothing to discipline players as long as they perform on the field. .

Bill: No, it wasn't enough. I've heard it goes on a lot under the pile but it's a terrible trend. Why mess with a player's eyes? That's as dirty as you can get, and when it's openly displayed on replay like it was, Meyer needs to come down harder. If you punch a player during a game (not paralleling LaGarrette Blount here) you'd get suspended for more than a half, I think digging fingers into a defenseless player's eye socket is worse.

4. Is the SEC really that much better than the rest of the country?

Mattare: Right now it is, but to think it’ll be like that forever is naive. These eras of dominance are cyclical and for the time being they’re on top thanks to two main things. First of all, the talent pool in the southeastern part of the country is so deep that even the teams that only get local table scraps get phenomenal athletes. The SEC is without a doubt the fastest conference and many times their opponents are so taken aback by it that their normally effective game breaks down. The second more important (but underreported) factor is coaching. Look at the phenomenal list of guys leading teams in the SEC: Meyer, Saban, Spurrier, Miles, Petrino, Richt…it’s impressive to say the least. I think that list is the reason why the SEC is so far above the rest of the country right now. The talent gap isn’t as big as people would think, but the coaching gap is absolutely enormous.

Bill: From the heart of Gator Country, I’m issuing a very loud, “NO.” I think they are the best conference, but not by the margin they would have all of us believe. The advantage they have is that they have more than one heavyweight each season. This year it’s Florida, LSU and Bama. But they have 12 teams and once you get past the upper echelon I don’t find them too impressive. Last year they Big 12 was loving itself with Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma, but the bottom of the Big 12 is ugly, really ugly, and you have to factor that in. I feel the same way about the SEC, if Michigan State goes out and plays South Carolina next week, do you really know who’s coming out on top? I don’t think you do.

5. Let's see your Heisman ballots to this point in the season

1. Jimmy Clausen…hate all you want, he’s been the best player in the country
2. Mark Ingram…he’s been a bruiser for the Tide
3. CJ Spiller…absolutely electrifying, a one man wrecking crew
4. Golden Tate…has made the leap, he’s one of the most dangerous players out there
5. LeMichael James…his emergence helped Oregon get off the mat and into the top 10

I really have no idea how to answer this one, this is something I don’t think about much, and you can make a case for so many guys, here goes:

1. Jake Locker
2. Case Keenum
3. Russel Wilson
4. Mark Ingram
5. LeMichael James


Bill: What’s the point of Oregon playing 12 games? They lost to Boise so therefore they can no longer have a better season than them? Upsets no longer exist?

Mattare: Boise didn’t just beat Oregon on a last second field goal, they gave them an ass whooping. This was no fluky upset—they were the better team.

Mattare: The Nittanys take on Ohio State this weekend. Explain your feelings toward Pennsylvania native Terrelle Pryor.

Bill: Love Pryor. He faked interest in PSU during his recruitment which is constant bulletin board material—and he's not that good. And he cried after last year's game.

Bill: Prediction for Notre Dame's basketball team this year?

Mattare: We have the best player in the country in Harangody, but I have a bad feeling we don’t have the horses to support him. Livin’ on the bubble.

Mattare: If you intentionally jammed one of your famous boney/razor sharp elbows into the face mask of an opponent in an attempt to maim them how many games would the NCAA suspend you for?

Bill: I think the police would step in and put me away for life before the NCAA got involved. You don’t want this humerus.

Bill: Are you mad cuz I’m stylin on you?

Mattare: It takes more than a 150 word post every other week to style on someone...and for the record my boy Kearney's a better rapper than you.

Mattare: You once described a 65 year old man you caddied for as having "gentle eyes." Defend yourself.

Bill: No homo.

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