Friday, December 31, 2010


Today the Irish renew their long dormant rivalry with the Hurricanes of Miami. Vegas thinks it will be a tight game (Miami -3) and most predictions from experts and fans alike are in line with

There are three main questions that I have entering the game and how they're answered will determine if Notre Dame emerges victorious or not.

1. Will Tommy Rees play like the deer in headlights he was in the third quarter against Southern Cal?

Miami's defense is fast, athletic, and aggressive just like Southern Cal's. I'm not knocking Rees all that much because it's understandable that he'd struggle against top defenses as a freshman, but he MUST limit his mistakes. He was almost single-handedly responsible for giving away the game in the Coliseum--we can't expect the defense to bail the offense out in the same ridiculous manner they did that day.

In order for Notre Dame to win he can't hand Miami easy points. We're not asking for an All-American performance by any stretch; he just needs to manage the game well like he did against Utah and Army.

2. Will the Irish be able to establish a consistent running game to ease the pressure on Rees?

Was the final drive against the Trojans a turning point or an aberration? In the final minutes of The Fall of Troy, Robert Hughes bulldozed his way down the field and into the endzone leaving helpless defenders scattered in his wake. While it was a breath of fresh air to see Hughes run with such authority, it was equally exciting to see the offensive line manhandle the opposition in the trenches. They imposed their will on the Trojans and the result was a brand of smashmouth football that's been lacking for a decade (and one many people were convinced couldn't exist in the spread offense).

Miami has the #2 ranked pass defense in the country. Chances are they're going to stack the box and force Rees to beat them with his arm. If ND can't impose their will like they did against Southern Cal there could be serious issues.

3. Will Notre Dame force Jacory Harris into some crippling mistakes?

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is an enigma that's equally capable of delivering great plays and epically boneheaded ones. The Notre Dame defense has played exceptionally well since the Navy game. If they can pressure Harris and force bad decisions then there's a good chance that he'll gift the Irish a few turnovers that will lead to points.

Notre Dame must win the turnover battle to win and the key to that is making sure at the end of the game all Notre Dame fans nod when someone says, "doesn't he remind you of Chris Rix?"

This is going to be a slugfest, nothing like the glitzy showdowns on the late 80's. I have a feeling that turnovers will be plentiful on both sides (think 2-4 per squad), but in the end the Irish keep the momentum rolling into 2011. The big games come from Harrison Smith (one interception), Michael Floyd (eight catches and a TD), and Manti Te'o (one decapitation...charges pending). And ugly win beats a pretty loss any day.

Notre Dame 20
Miami 17


The WeNeverGraduate Sun Bowl Drinking Game

New Year's Eve is going to start a little early this year for many Fighting Irish fans thanks to a 2pm kickoff against the Artists Formerly Known as Convicts and Still Known as Candidates for Derek Zoolander's School for Kids Who Can't Read Too Good.

I'll be taking in the game from the friendly confines of my college roommate Brad "They Call Me Mr. Balls" Blomstrom's house, the same place we watched the Irish knock off Southern Cal over Thanksgiving Weekend. We figured this momentous end of the year showdown deserved some special treatment. Our answer? A drinking game of course.

Drumroll Please...

* Any camera shots of Juarez, mentions of a donkey show, or mentions of how the players had their passports got revoked results in a drink of Dos Equis.

* Any mention of Duval Kamara: go around the room and name individuals who were one year rock stars from college (people who put forth one great year and then vanished into party oblivion). The first person who hesitates has to take a drink.

* Any mention of Kelly at Cincinnati: first person to say “the chlli capital of the woild” tells anybody else to chug a Dos Equis. The chugger becomes the Chili Boy. If a sombrero is available then they should be forced to wear it. The Chili Boy is tasked with getting the entire room food until the next Cincinnati reference where the process starts again.

* Anytime a player is shown moping on the sideline, yelling at a coach or his quarterback then the group chooses a girl to take a drink for entering a “glass case of emotion.”

* Drink anytime Verne mentions the following:
- the SEC
- Charlie Weis or Randy Shannon
- References the 3-0 2008 game featuring Dave Wannstedt
- Chris Stewart is in law school
- Cam Newton

* If there’s a fight in the tunnel all must scream in a Lou Holtz voice “SAVE JIMMY JOHNSON’S ASS FOR ME” and shotgun a beer.

* Double-barrel shotgun if someone stomps on someone like Brandon Meriweather in the FIU brawl.

* Any time a Jewish player makes a play it’s time for 8 crazy shotguns.

* Verne says the wrong name of a player, first person to correct him gets to tell someone else to drink. If they are wrong, they must drink.

* Every Irish touchdown results in a shotgun “For the Love of the Game” Style.

* Every time Verne Lundquist laughs for more than a second, last person to yell "Shut the &%$# up Verne" has to drink, and the first person to yell becomes the Old Grand Dad. The Old Grand Dad has the power to do two things:

- At any mention of Miami in the 1980's or the ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary, the Old Grand Dad becomes the grand dad of 1980's Miami football, Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew. Thus, he gets to tell one person "Face Down, Ass Up," and that person must take a shot of Bold Grand Dad and watch the game with their face on the floor and their ass in the air until the next commercial break.
- Any crowd shot of ND football grand dad Joe Montana or his son means the Old Grand Dad gets to tell one person to play the "Chicken Soup Game." Said player will pour a beer into a bowl, and has one minute to drink it all with a spoon during the next commercial break. Should he fail, he receives a shot of Bold.




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Irish Blogger Gathering: The Most Interactive Edition EVER!

Subway Domer has delivered the final IBG of the 2010 season and as always we're more than willing to answer the bell. This edition is the most interactive yet. Below should be a poll supplied by the Subway Domer that you can participate in. The results will be calculated and sent back to SD for a giant compilation of how the Irish Faithful feel.

So pull your weight and be a part of the IBG and then enjoy the correct answers below.


1. What is your biggest “FEAR” going into the bowl game?

For whatever reason as we approach this game I keep having terrible flashbacks to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Freshman quarterback Matt Lovecchio rode a seven game winning streak (throwing just a single interception during that stretch) into that contest against Oregon State. Over the course of 60 minutes Lovecchio demolished most of the fan base's confidence, turning the ball over three times in the third quarter that saw Notre Dame's deficit balloon from 9 to 38 points.

His final stat line read 13/33 for 138 yards, 2 INT's, 1 Fumble, and 6 Sacks. It was so horrendous that friends of mine who were on-campus at the time gave him the nickname "Father Matt" (the thought was he might as well become a priest because there was no way he was going to reel in another female). Nine months later Carlyle Holiday usurped the starting job and shortly thereafter Father Matt took his talents to Indiana.

My biggest fear Tommy Rees doing anything that resembles that giant turd Lovecchio laid on the field at Sun Devil Stadium (to be fair it wasn't all his fault, but he certainly compounded the problems to the n-th degree). I like Tommy Rees and I applaud the way he's responded to the very difficult situation he was thrown into down the stretch, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop on him.

Of course I hope it doesn't. I have no agenda or preference for who leads Notre Dame, I just want them to win. My humble opinion is that Tommy isn't capable of being that guy in the long-term. Yes, he won three consecutive games including over a ranked Utah team and an archrival, but he hardly spearheaded those victories (in fact, ND won that last one despite his performance).

He'd be the perfect backup for whoever emerges from the Crist-Hendrix-Golson trio. Rees can step into the fire and calmly lead the team in a crisis and he's proven he can get the job done if called upon, but his ceiling is light years closer to Evan Sharpley's than Joe Montana's.

2. Will Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph enter the NFL draft?

Good News: I have some close, well connected family friends that talked to Rudolph's parents and they said he was coming back. I assume they have some good insight on that decision so I'll predict that Kyle stays.

Bad News: Everything I read and hear says that Floyd will be gone.

The biggest reasons for Floyd to come back would be a chance to prove he's actually durable (he's missed time every year of his collegiate career), he'd avoid the potential NFL labor issues, and he'd duck what could be one of the most loaded receiver classes in recent memory (AJ Green, Julio Jones, Jonathan Baldwin, etc). If Floyd stays another year and blows up--which is very possible and even likely with the entire offense becoming more comfortable with the spread--he could skyrocket into the first round discussion. This year the best case scenario seems to be late 2nd, early 3rd round.

It's a tough decision but my guess is all signs point to ND getting back only half of their potentially All-American duo.

3. Duval Kamara did not make the trip for personal reasons. This is very bad – true or false?

In terms of production/gameplan? It's not a huge deal. The fact that he's going to miss the game though is absolutely a bad thing. Who the hell would want the Bard of Bergen County's career to end a game early?

Kamara had done a very nice job of reestablishing himself as a contributor the last few weeks of the year and you always want to see a senior go out on a high note. Unfortunately it sounds like his actions in some way have cost him that opportunity. I hope everything is ok with him and it doesn't turn out to be a big deal.

4. Which senior will have the biggest game?

I'll go with Harrison Smith. I don't know if anyone's watched Miami much this year, but Jacory Harris has a tendency to make some god-awful decisions. Smith has steadily trended in the right direction over the course of the season and turned in some gritty performances while banged up at the end of the year.

My guess is that (at least) one of Jacory's passes finds Hayseed's hands and sticks. Combine that with another solid all-around performance that he's consistently handed in over the second half of the year (I'm knocking on every piece of wood in my entire house right now) and I think he's your senior MVP for the game.

5. Vegas has the Irish as a 3-point dog: Wrong or Right?

It's about right. I figured it'd be right around a PICK with the Canes probably favored slightly so this falls pretty much in line with that. The deciding factors that nudge the points to Notre Dame are the Freshman QB, the mutual opponent comparison (ND squeaked out a W over Pitt at home, Miami thrashed Pitt on the road), and the general assumption that the U has a slight overall talent advantage (probably an accurate assessment across the board).

6. Does Notre Dame NEED this bowl win for a good start to 2011?

A close loss wouldn't be a killer, but keeping the positive momentum heading in the right direction would be huge for the confidence of players and fans alike (not to mention it'd give a little boost for the final recruiting push). Almost every year in recent memory Notre Dame has headed into the offseason with their heads down. If the Irish can beat the Canes it will be the longest win streak to end a season since 1992.

Find a way to finish the season with wins over Utah, Southern Cal, and Miami in three of the last four games and you give everyone plenty of ammunition to stay optimistic. Lose handily to the Canes and it'll be amazing how quickly people forget the three game November win streak.

7. In the 2010 Hyundai Sun Bowl Notre Dame will… in a barnburner. Let the good times keep rollin'!

Notre Dame 27
Miami 23

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ten Things Irish Fans Want From Santa

It's been a roller coaster ride for Irish fans in 2010. Have they been well behaved enough to warrant inclusion on the "Good List?" That's up to Santa to decide, but chances are if they post on a message board the answer is "no."

However, just in case the answer is yes we're going to run through the ten things that should be on every Irish fan's list.

#10: A Scholarship for David Ruffer

David Ruffer has been the most consistent and prolific kicker in the history of Notre Dame Football. Someone needs to answer why there's even a question as to whether he should be honored with a scholarship for his fifth year next season.

If there's one thing Notre Dame fans have learned to appreciate over the years it's a placekicker that's good at his job. There have been plenty of times over the past twenty years when fans had to hold their breath on extra points let alone 30-yard field goals. Those experiences with the likes of Kevin Kopka, Jim Sanson, and Carl Gioia have made it easy to recognize and fully embrace the proficiency of kickers like Kevin Pendergast, Nick Setta, and Mr. Ruffer.

Whenever Ruffer steps up for a kick whether it's 20 yards or 50 yards, the expectation is not only that it will split the uprights but that it will be a laser that barely budges to the left or right. He's become a cold-blooded assassin who has already come up big in pressure packed situations like overtime at Michigan State.

Why has there been a hesitation to guarantee this kid a scholarship? Santa, why don't you just go ahead and take care of this one. Give Ruffer his well-earned scholarship so we can move on and pretend this was never even an issue.

#9: Good Health for Dayne Crist

Dayne has been a fan favorite since the day he committed. He chose Notre Dame despite the fact that he knew he’d be sitting behind fellow five star prospect Jimmy Clausen for two—maybe three—years and made it clear he wanted to be a part of Notre Dame for all the right reasons. Patiently he waited his turn and quietly emerged as one of the team’s biggest leader despite his limited playing time.

Of course when his time finally arrived he had to overcome a devastating non-contact knee injury in order to get on the field. Against all odds he was back to full health for the season opener against Purdue and led the Irish to a victory. Unfortunately, the next week he was suffered a freak injury where he went temporarily blind in one eye, which essentially ended up costing the Irish a win against Michigan. Seven weeks later his season was ending when he ruptured his patellar tendon against Tulsa.

Can’t this guy catch a break? Santa, I don’t know if Dayne is destined to be the next great Notre Dame quarterback but I do know he deserves a shot. Despite starting eight games this season he still has a long way to go in becoming a complete, consistent quarterback. Should he not turn out to be the answer it should be because he fell short on the field—not because his body betrayed him.

So Santa, hook our boy up and bring him some good health in 2011 and beyond. Grant him the opportunity to win or lose the starting job on the field.

#8: The Return of Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph

The two most dangerous offensive weapons on the team will be faced with a very difficult decision this January. Should they stick around for their senior seasons and attempt to spearhead the Irish resurgence or should they forgo their final year of eligibility and take their talents to the NFL?

Most experts project both to go somewhere in the first three rounds of the draft—and some even think they could sneak into the Top 32 picks with good workouts—but their choice is made more difficult with the NFL labor problems on the horizon.

If they return to school for their final years then both would have an opportunity to boost their draft stock. With a strong campaign there’s little doubt Rudolph could get himself into the first round conversation. Floyd could too if he comes back and answers the concerns about his durability. The fact that he’d be going against a loaded class of receivers (A.J. Green, Jonathan Baldwin, Julio Jones, etc.) provides another reason to give college one more go-round.

So Santa, what do you say? Please bring this duo back for one more lap and help ensure the Irish offense has every available weapon next season.

#7: The Delivery of All Recruits That Verbally Commit

Irish fans have plenty of scars from recruiting wars over the past five years, but the ones that linger the longest and hurt the most are the players that go elsewhere after verbally pledging their commitment to Notre Dame. The mere mention of names like Greg Little, Justin Trattou, Omar Hunter, and Chris Martin is enough to make blue and gold blooded recruitniks cringe.

This summer Brian Kelly landed arguably the biggest fish on Notre Dame’s radar this recruiting when Aaron Lynch (a dynamic defensive end from Florida) said he would enroll at Notre Dame in 2011. He was so taken in by the place and found campus to be so special that he actually spread his grandfather’s ashes on the field in Notre Dame Stadium.

So what happened a few months later? He decommitted and decided to go to Florida State. Forget explaining the 180 to ND fans and coaches; how does he explain it to Grandma?!?

During Notre Dame’s October swoon Brian Kelly also lost his grasp on LB Clay Burton, OL Jordon Prestwood, and RB Justice Hayes. He’s done a nice job finding replacements and is in the hunt for some elite prospects that perhaps could be upgrades from all of the above, but it’s crucial that no more bleeding occurs.

The new gem of this recruiting class is Stephon Tuitt, a defensive end from Georgia who is ranked the #26 overall prospect by Rivals. Just last weekend he took a visit to look at Auburn and said that while he thinks Notre Dame is the place for him he’s still open to going somewhere else.

An elite Irish verbal commit along the defensive line is waffling. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.

That’s where you come in Santa. Remind Stephon and all the other verbal commitments who may be tempted to go back on their word to remember why they chose Notre Dame in the first place. Help them to see that they can contribute to the rise of the sport’s largest sleeping giant and make it clear that if they spurn Our Lady that they’ll be on the naughty list forever.

#6: The Commitment of Savon Huggins

One word describes this New Jersey running back: stud.

Huggins is a legitimate home run threat from the backfield and would instantly become the biggest recruit landed at the running back position since Julius Jones came to town in 1999. Armando Allen’s eligibility has been exhausted which means there’s a very real chance that Huggins could come in and challenge Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray for carries right away.

Huggins has expressed some concern as to how exactly he would fit into Notre Dame’s spread attack since he’s more accustomed to an I-Formation look, but a talk with Brian Kelly helped ease those fears. What probably went farther than Kelly’s words in making Huggins feel comfortable about his role in this type of offense was the sudden commitment to the run game down the stretch that spurred the three game win streak.

Santa, make it perfectly clear to Savon that he can excel in the spread offense and that his inclusion in the Irish attack this fall would amp it up to a whole new level. Remind him that two of the other schools he’s considering (Auburn and North Carolina) will be on probation during his time on campus, one of them is the little brother in its own state (Michigan State), and one of them is Rutgers (gross).

Once he’s on board then place him snugly in Brian Kelly’s stocking.

#5: A Big, Fat Lump of Coal For The Chicago Tribune

Lizzy Seeberg’s death was an unspeakable tragedy. The details of the incident that happened the week before her suicide are somewhat fuzzy and complicated by a wide range of factors.

Over the past month The Chicago Tribune has offered unbelievably slanted coverage of the tragedy and painted Notre Dame as an organization hell-bent on covering up the truth in an attempt to protect its football program. NBC’s Keith Arnold wrote a phenomenal article that outlines exactly how twisted and imbalanced the Tribune’s coverage has been (read it here).

First of all, people accusing the school of covering up a sexual assault to protect a football player have such a warped sense of how the University of Notre Dame operates it’s sickening. This is a school that has suspended a star basketball player for possession of marijuana (Kyle McAlarney) and kicked a starting tight end (Will Yeatman) out of school for an underage drinking ticket. Yet some seem completely convinced the administration would sweep a sexual assault under the rug to save a back-up football player. Does that not seem absurd to anyone?

Santa, I’d say bring the entire Tribune staff a certificate that gives them a spot in a Journalism 101 class (because it’s necessary), but they don’t deserve anything. Get your biggest lumps of coal ready and throw them in the stockings of the Tribune staff. If you choose to throw it through the window instead of the chimney then all the better.

#4: A Clear-Cut Starting Quarterback by September 3rd

Next season Notre Dame will return all five scholarship quarterbacks currently on the roster. That doesn’t mean the position isn’t home to a slew of giant question marks heading into spring practice.

Will Dayne Crist be healthy in time to start against South Florida?

Would Crist beat out Tommy Rees even if he was healthy?

Has Rees earned the starting job with his performance down the stretch?

Will highly touted incoming freshman Everett Golson shake up the depth chart?

Can Andrew Hendrix build on what apparently was a very impressive fall on the scout team?

True Irish fans don’t care who emerges from the pack; they just want someone to take a stranglehold on the position. The last quarterback derby Notre Dame hosted (in the spring of 2007) turned out to be a complete fiasco on every level. The last thing Brian Kelly’s squad needs is a revolving door behind center that could sabotage a potentially potent offense.

This year’s edition won’t be as disastrous as it was three years ago if only because two of the candidates have extensive game experience (in 2007 there were three freshmen and a sophomore who’d only seen garbage time). Still, it’d be nice to see one guy deliver a performance that stands out among the rest.

So Santa, Irish fans would love for you to bring strong showings for all of the starting quarterback candidates this spring…but for the fans’ sanity please make sure one is stronger than all the other ones.

#3: News That Rich Rodriguez Will Be Retained at Michigan

Rich Rodriguez is not a bad coach, he’s just an epically terrible fit at the University of Michigan. He’s demonstrated it very clearly since the day he told boosters they needed to “get a life” shortly after he took the job. Over the course of three years he’s been throttled by Ohio State three times, posted only one bowl appearance, committed NCAA violations, and seemingly stepped on the toes of every person in the Michigan athletic department.

He may pump out high-powered offenses as long as he has players like Denard Robinson to execute his spread attack, but his defense is in absolute tatters and no help appears to be coming. The ceiling for Rodriguez at Michigan is not even a conference championship let alone a national title—and that’s not going to cut it in Ann Arbor.

While Irish fans delight in Michigan floundering and therefore would love to see Rodriguez continue to drag a traditional power down, there’s another reason to want Rich Rod to stay put. His name is Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh is a Michigan grad who has transformed Stanford—a team that was one of the biggest cream puffs in college football as recently as 2006—into a hard-nosed, Top 5 football team. Think about what he could do at Michigan without the academic restrictions and additional resources.

The worst thing that could happen to Notre Dame is Harbaugh moving next door to coach the Wolverines. That’s why it’d be wonderful news if Rodriguez’s awkward Josh Groban sing-a-long bought him one more year at the helm. By then Harbaugh may have moved on to the NFL or elsewhere within the college football world. Irish fans can only hope.

This is a preemptive strike Santa. The Irish don’t want to deal with Harbaugh in Ann Arbor so please deliver the news that Rich Rod will be retained…and while you’re at it why not bring Jim Harbaugh an NFL head coaching gig?

#2: Comfort For the Families of Declan Sullivan and Lizzy Seeberg

It hasn’t been a particularly good year for the Notre Dame Family. Two young students lost their lives this fall due to tragic circumstances and with the holidays approaching the families of Declan Sullivan and Lizzy Seeberg will be forced to deal with a void that will never be filled.

It doesn’t matter what the specifics of either incident are right now. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. These families are in need of the Notre Dame Family’s prayers and full support during what undoubtedly is an indescribably difficult time.

Both the Sullivans and Seebergs are in the thoughts of the Notre Dame Community during this holiday season.

#1: A Victory in The Sun Bowl

The Irish finally have some positive mojo going thanks to their three game win streak to end the regular season. The tendency in recent years has been to take a giant step backward after every step forward. Notre Dame can't afford to continue that trend.

The Irish need to keep this wave of momentum going so that it can maintain the positive vibes both inside and outside the locker room. The players are fresh off the program's biggest win in five years and fully buying in to Kelly's new system and scheme. The atmosphere around the program is becoming more and more upbeat as well which has a definite effect on the psyche of the players.

If Notre Dame can find a way to get past the Canes it won't mean "they're back" and it won't go down as a great victory. However, the facts will read that the Irish end the season on a four game winning streak (their longest streak to end a season since '92) and clear, marked improvement occurred over the course of a season for the first time in ten years. That can't help but give players, coaches, and fans alike an extra bounce in their step heading into the offseason and perhaps the dramatic turnaround can be parlayed into some success on the recruiting trail.

Two years ago you delivered a smackdown of Hawaii on Christmas Eve, Santa. That victory turned out to be fool's gold in the end. Here's hoping if you bring a victory in this year's showdown with Miami the gold is 24K real.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Just a month ago it appeared that Hinkle had a stranglehold on the title. Unfortunately for Joshua though, the season did not end then. Mattare started a furious comeback with "All-In Weekend 2010" and rode that to a 9-3 finish, pulling him into almost a dead heat going into the bowl season. Mikey and Chuck? Not so much.

Now we have two more weeks on the slate. Week one will be all non-BCS games and there will be a $200 maximum just like the regular season (but you only have to select three games). Week two will be a $300 maximum for the BCS games (three game rule applies as well).

Can Mikey or Chuck come back thanks to an absurd win on the moneyline (Helloooo UConn!)? Will Mattare find a way to win or will Hinkle put the finishing touches on a great start-to-finish run?

The race is on! Let's check the standings and get to the picks!

Week 14 Results
1. Mattare: $85…
Ends the regular season on a sizzling hot streak.
2. Hinkle: $21...His conservative moneyline plays stop the bleeding.
3. Chuck: -$104.55Devastating blow to any slim comeback chances.
4. Mikey: -$198Woof.

Preseason Prop Bet Results (Listed here)
1. Mattare: $85…Jordan Toddman and UConn get it done!
2. Mikey: $70Took the under on Iowa and Southern Cal's win total.
3. Hinkle: $30…Kirk Cousins passes Hinkle to a small gain.

Final Regular Season Standings
1. Hinkle: $398.50…A solid all-around year for Hinkle.
2. Mattare: $390.10…Epic comeback in the final month.
3. Chuck: -$227.10…Rough year.
4. Mikey: -$394…Rougher year.

Non-BCS Pick Summary
Hinkle: Miami > Notre Dame, FSU-USC (Under), Toledo > FL Intl
Mattare: Boise St > Utah, Tulsa > Hawaii, Mizzou > Iowa
Chuck: Utah (ML) > Boise St, Tulsa (ML) > Hawaii, BC (ML) > Nevada
Mikey: Boise St-Utah (Under), SDSU > Navy, MSU > Alabama


It was a fairly good year for me so far. I was dominating then slacked off on my analysis which led to a mediocre finish but that is a good thing because now the bowl games mean something. You know what else means something? BEATING MATTARE, ON HIS SITE, AT THE HANDS OF HIS OWN TEAM!

Sun Bowl: THE U (-3) over Notre Dame...$110 to win $100

This is what I want Mattare to tell me for the next 9 months until its time for Round 2:

A. I really thought heading into Bowl Season I was on fire and going to beat you but damnit!

B. Not only am I pissed I lost, but its because Notre Dame blew it for me. (Insert 7 reasons why they should have won)

With that being said, I am not overly excited about this play but thats how I am going to roll!

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: FSU-South Carolina (OVER 54.5)...$22 to win $20

I just see this being monster shootout. Like 39-29. Hopefully they do not disappoint!

Little Caesars Bowl: Toledo (-1.5) over Florida International...$66 to win $60

Four of Toledo's losses came to Arizona, Boise, and Northern Illinois. Florida International is 3-4 on the road and only covered two times as a dog this year, the first two games of the season vs an overrated Rutgers and Texas AM. They PF and PA are identical, but playing a tougher schedule I think Toledo is a double digit victor.

PS. Brotzman is pathetic at kicking and catching.


Ohhhh Joshua, the enemy is at the gate. Time to deliver the death blow and set up a BCS showdown. All lines from Sportsbook.

Maaco Bowl: Boise State (-16.5) over Utah...$55 to win $50

Boise State is mad, especially after the Utes gave some serious bulletin board material this week. Utah was unbelievably underwhelming in every game I saw them play this season. They're going to watch their nine game bowl streak go down in flames

Hawaii Bowl: Tulsa (+10) over Hawaii...$44 to win $40

I love the Hawaii Bowl. I love Hawaii. I love the crazy, high-scoring games that seem to always take place on the big island. These are two high-octane attacks and though Hawaii's defense is far better than in recent memory I don't think it's enough to blow Tulsa out.

Insight Bowl: Missouri (-3) over Iowa...$33 to win $30

There isn't a chance in hell that Iowa can have its head in this game, is there? Their friends (and key starters) are getting suspended, their drug business has been ruined, and the underclassmen realize that they're stuck in Iowa City without any weed for the next few years. Bummer dudes. Mizzou rolls.


Just call me the Lord of the Moneyline.

Maaco Bowl: Utah (+550) over Boise State...$10 to win $55

Because I need a big, fat moneyline victory right out of the gate.

Hawaii Bowl: Tulsa (+320) over Hawaii...$180 to win $576

Do you hear that Matt and Hinkle? That is the sound of the Category 6's blowing into Aloha Stadium, and blowing away y'all's lead. Tulsa's superior offensive talent will find a way to outscore Hawaii's superior offensive scheme. The final score may be more reminiscent of a Maui Invitational final than a college football game.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Boston College (+270) over Nevada...$10 to win $27

This is a strength vs. strength slugfest with Nevada's potent rush attack taking on the best run defense in the nation. Something tells me that Colin Kaepernick left everything on the field against Boise State and is due for a letdown.


My best pick all season was Andrew Luck to win the Heisman. Maybe they'll give it to him after Newton mails it back. C'mon backdoor Heisman win!!! (all lines from

Maaco Bowl: Boise St-Utah (UNDER 60)...$110 to win $100

This just seems to be a matchup of 2 very disappointed teams. I can't see the normal display of firepower showing up that we normally see from them so give me the under.

Poinsettia Bowl: San Diego St. (-4) over Navy...$55 to win $50

San Diego St. has got to be the most overlooked school in the 2 major men's sports. Overlook this, Navy.

Capital One Bowl: Michigan St. (+11) over Alabama...$55 to win $50

11 points?? Are they serious? Would Alabama still be favored over Auburn and Oregon? I just can't ignore this line so go Sparty.

Death to the BCS: Mattare Converts

It's time for installment three of our Death to the BCS review series. I won't lie, I've never been in support of a playoff simply because I've been against anything that would diminish the intensity of the greatest regular season in any sport. Every single week is like a playoff as the season rolls on and I love the do-or-die feel to each game.

(Allow me to get into Stephen A. Smith Mode for a moment)

HOW-EVAHHH, I would be completely on-board with this for a couple reasons due to a shift in thinking due mainly to how Wetzel presents his argument. I love the non-conference games and how much they mean even though it's early in the season (PSU-Bama, OSU-Texas, USC-OSU, etc). A playoff would avoid those types of games at all costs because teams wouldn't want to risk an early loss that would put them behind the 8-ball in an at-large situation...

BUT, Wetzel does a really good job of painting the picture of Oklahoma going to Autzen, Florida heading to Happy Valley, etc. Essentially we'd be flipping when those non-conference games would happen from September to December. I'd be all for this--in fact it would be indescribably awesome to see the SEC schools squirm in the cold. The Gators coming to South Bend in December!?!?!? Someone get me a change of pants.

My concerns would still be:

1. How much would teams water down their OOC schedules? I mean you want to talk about playing the Little Sisters of the Poor. A way to fix this is eliminate the option of schedule I-AA schools and cap the number of home games you can play at 7. I don't see either happening.

2. This would make scheduling for Notre Dame very, VERY difficult. The way the current system is set up Notre Dame will always be able to find opponents easily as long as we're reasonable with our tradeoffs (ex: being willing to play a home game at the opposing team's home stadium as opposed to a neutral site). Who the hell is going to want to schedule ND OOC in this playoff situation if the Irish are good? The Akrons, Ohios, and New Mexico State's of the world are going to have their doors blown off by requests to play. Notre Dame will still be a guaranteed sellout for whatever school we play, but the appeal will definitely be curtailed a bit I would think. I hope I'm wrong.

3. Rematches. I loathe them in college football, I think they're terrible. In this situation there's a chance teams could play THREE TIMES!!!!! If this would actually to come to fruition in this specific format there'd need to be some sort of finagling like there is in the NCAA basketball tournament to avoid two teams from the same conference being in the same pod (in the NCAA's no two teams from a conference can ever meet before the Sweet 16). In the bracket they have laid out Arkansas and Auburn could play in round two. I don't like that. I'm not sure how to fix it exactly, but it'd need to be somehow.

4. This isn't so much a concern as it is an acknowledgement of reality: there's no chance in hell that this would be how it was implemented. The cynical reason is it makes to much sense, the real reason is that the bowl lobby and the so-called "cartel" as Wetzel describes them in his book are incredibly powerful--like tobacco lobby in the 80's powerful.

All in all it's a fascinating argument and I think far and away the most well-articulated and well-thought out proposal I've ever seen. I would get behind this if it were the route they chose. Unfortunately I think you're much more likely to see the stupid "Plus One" implemented than this.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Death to the BCS: Hinkle's Take

Today Hinkle gives his two cents on the Dan Wetzel's playoff proposal detailed in the book Death to the BCS.

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I think that Dan Wetzel is on to something with his proposed playoff system. I love the idea of all conferences being represented, but I feel there needs to be certain rules in place to make it fair to the big conferences. The first thing that would need to happen is the following.

In order to have your conference represented automatically, the conference champion must meet either of the following criteria.

A. They have had a 10 win season


B. They have 2 losses or less

One of those need to be met in order to qualify. This way, no conference can feel they were shafted such as the MAC, WAC, C-USA, or Sun Belt. If your conference feels it has a shot top play with the "Big Boys", then they need to show something to get into this elite field of 16. In the proposed format, there is now way UConn, Florida International, or Miami (OH) deserve to be in this field. Here is my problem with automatic bids for all conference. Suppose Nebraska, South Carolina, and Florida State all won in their respective conference championships. That would have left the following teams for 5 spots.


1. Auburn
4. Stanford
6. Ohio State
7. Oklahoma
9. Michigan State
10. Boise State
11. LSU
13. Virginia Tech

Now I understand that it is simple, win your conference and you are in, but look at these teams we would have to choose from! This would be a worst case scenario for the proposed playoff format. So instead, I would say you have an automatic bid for all conference champions with 10+ wins or 2- losses. I would then use the current BCS formula to determine the remaining at-large bids for the remaining 5 teams. Seedings would be given in order of BCS rankings to Conference champions first. After all conference champions meeting the criteria are seeded, the remaining teams would be seeded according to their BCS rankings. Indy teams ranked in the top 15 would get the same love as a conference champion. Outside if the top 15 they would have to go through the same process as the rest. With that being said, here would be the seeds for this years playoff according to what I would do.

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Wisconsin (Higher BCS Ranking than OSU and MSU)
5. Oklahoma
6. Boise State (Higher BCS ranking than Nevada and Hawaii)
7. Virginia Tech
8. Central Florida

Big East, Sunbelt, MAC forfeit automatic seeds so now the following 8 slots are filled with the next 8 highest BCS teams

9. Stanford
10. Ohio State
11. Arkansas
12. Michigan State
13. LSU
14. Missouri
15. Oklahoma State
16. Nevada

With this formula, Alabama would be the 1st team out and Texas A&M would be the 2nd team. There could be no complaining from these two schools because they simply failed to get it done. Alabama had 3 losses. One was blowing a 24 point lead vs Auburn and 1 was not being able to stop LSU on 4th down. Throw in South Carolina loss and they failed to win one more game. Look yourself in the mirror and head to a different bowl game.

Texas A&M has 3 losses. All 3 of those losses came to teams in their conference that will make the field of 16 this year. Again, look yourself in the mirror because you do not belong.

All games would be played at the higher seeds field except for the "Final Four" and National Championship. The BCS Bowls could rotate the "Final Four" games to keep their name and profit in it. Therefore, say on odd number years there would be the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl and even years the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

I think this system is fair to all deserving automatic bids because it gives the top 8 a home game. Teams that play weaker schedule such as a Boise or maybe an LSU one year by scheduling four cupcakes to be certain of wins would then face the risk of winning a conference but not getting an automatic home game for the first round. This is the risk you would take with who you schedule and give the "power" conferences an upper hand a they should have because of who they play week in and week out.

As far as the other bowl eligible teams, they can play in the other bowls that still exist now. Some of the lesser or newer bowls can go by the wasteland for all anyone cares. Who would cry if the Humanitarian Bowl left...or the Papa Johns Bowl. All people would care about it the 16 team field. Money could be made for all schools involved, TV ratings would soar because of the importance of all games, people would sellout stadiums. I won't go into the economics and BCS Presidents and all that because this is getting long enough and people only care about the format proposed. Pick it apart....what do you guys think? Lord of the Shots, I'M LOOKING AT YOU.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Death to the BCS: WNG Weighs In

Year in and year out analysts, coaches, and fans alike debate whether or not college football needs to junk the current bowl system in favor of a playoff format. Most arguments and proposals are overly simplistic and ignore certain intricacies unique to college football. Perhaps the biggest hurdle to getting everyone on-board with a playoff has been the fact that most scenarios do not find a way to preserve the intensity of what is without a doubt the most riveting and exciting regular season in sports.

Last fall Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports released a book called Death to the BCS that provided the most in-depth and detailed analysis I've ever seen as to why the bowl system needs to be junked and a playoff adopted. He published this article a couple weeks ago that essentially adapted this season's results into his playoff proposal. It's a worthwhile read (as is the book...though if you want the CliffNotes they're right here).

I forwarded the article and the CliffNotes to guys who contribute to WNG and asked for their input and opinions on Wetzel's proposal and where they stand on the issue in general. The next couple days I'll post them one-by-one leading up to Christmas. Today Mikey weighs in, tomorrow Hinkle, and I'll put my thoughts up on Wednesday.

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Death to the BCS? Mikey's On Board

It's obvious that the best thing for college football and its fans is a playoff system, most have been screaming for it since Day 1 of the BCS. The good news for them is that the proposal laid out by Wetzel and Co. is a very viable option and seems to be gaining popularity.

Every team in the country would have a legitimate shot at the national championship and that's all anyone is really asking for. The idea of including all conference champions and then selecting some wild cards is a great one. I thought if a playoff was to be formed it would simply be about 4 or 8 teams chosen by a BCS-like points system. Wetzel's plan is formed more like college basketball's postseason though, aiming for more inclusion than exclusion. I'm very much in favor of anything that tries to imitate the greatest postseason tournament that's currently in place.

This change could mean the end of the bowl system (sorry Beef O' Brady), but certain bowls will still remain even with the playoff system in place. The Rose Bowl and other significant bowls in major cities/markets will certainly survive as many other teams will still be a part of the college football postseason.

The regular season will be just as exciting as well. Teams play their whole season to try and land in 1 of the 2 championship spots at the end of the year, so people look at the whole season essentially as a playoff. Teams go through this regular season playoff undefeated, though, and still don't get a chance at a championship spot. How is it even remotely fair that some college football squads are dropped in a maze and all they have to look forward to is a dead end?

The regular season would be more fair and still have the feel of a playoff as teams try to grab their conference title or one of the wild card spots. It seems it would be better if there were more relevant games on the last week of the season other than having to watch Auburn smack South Carolina and trying to care about it.

The money debate is a non-issue because time and time again the playoff system is shown to be more profitable as well for conferences and schools when compared to the BCS. In the current system the revenues from bowls aren't exactly trickling down as they should to benefit universities so the financial system is in need of an overhaul anyway, isn't it?

Even though I can't find any I'm sure there are some flaws with the playoff system, but compared to the BCS it would be complete perfection. I'm going to stop rooting for the revival of Xavier football if they don't do this in the next few years.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dynasty League Update: Second Verse, Same as the First

My top-ranked Demon Deacons headed up the road to Durham with a lot on the line. First, there was the newly earned #1 spot in all the polls. Next, was a berth in the ACC Championship. Lastly, there was the customary bet that Bill and I always have for our games.

The terms of this game's bet were debated and finally agreed upon: 30 on-demand pushups (I know, not original...but they're always entertaining) and the purchase of a traveling trophy. After searching the interwebs far and wide we found our Holy Grail - The Chug-a-Duck. What's the Chug-a-Duck? Click the link, you might want to purchase one yourself (if you're in college you probably should do it immediately).

So where does the Chug-a-Duck reside after our showdown?
You better believe it, THE DEACS' DREAM SEASON CONTINUES! And perhaps more importantly, MY DOMINATION OVER BILL IN VIDEO GAMES CONTINUES! An untimely Sean Renfree interception helped set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.

Wake Forest 24
Duke 21

Get ready to do some pushups on the floor of Yocco's this Christmas Billy Boy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I culminate my season long masterpiece with a prompted yet free form analysis of Penn State's performance this year:

1. Offensive MVP

Derek Moye

He has 10 more catches, 300 more yards and 2 TDs more than the next guy on this team. It seemed like every time he was targeted he was open and made the catch. Plus he's the only receiver that stretched a defense for us this year.

2. What Grade would you give the offense?


We were able to execute against lesser opponents which is something I try not to take for granted with Penn State. The flip side to that is always that against a good defense we get knocked off the line and don't make game changing plays.

3. Defensive MVP

No one.

Michael Mauti gets the runner up here because he hit hard for about 10 quarters this year. Yes he was injured for about half the year but he still doesn't deserve the award outright.

4. What Grade would you give the defense?


Not an F because there were 20 minute stretches where we looked okay (2nd half against Michigan, 1st half against Ohio State), but that doesn't excuse the passive play we saw the rest of the year. As Penn State fans we watch our offense with tempered expectations because we know that defense is what we hang our hat on. We know it can keep us in games. Not this year.

5. Biggest Surprise (Positive)

Silas Redd

We're in much better shape next year with him getting (hopefully) 15+ carries a game in place of Royster. We haven't had a runner like him since Ki-Jana Carter.

6. Biggest Surprise (Disappointment)

Defensive Line

I saw 2 returning defensive ends that were poised to make the leap. A returning 2 year starter in Ollie Ogbu and a house of man in Devon Still that waited patiently behind a 1st round draft pick at defensive tackle. The result? No chaos! Calling a base defense with a 4 man rush this year was like calling an 8 yard completion for the other team. Once a possession you have to hurry a throw, I didn't see any of that this year.

7. Best Moment of the Season

35 Unanswered Against Northwestern

For 2 1/2 quarters the entire team looked like they appreciated every snap they played. No one took a play off. Everyone wanted Joe to get 400, even if they weren't alive for the first 200. Awesome to watch.

8. Worst Moment of the Season

Rob Bolden's Screen Pass Pick 6 Against Illinois

The first domino in the ugliest homecoming loss since 6-4.

9. Grade the Coaching Staff's Effort this season.


It's clear the staff hand their hands full picking up the slack of our senior head coach. However, that's just an excuse, and it doesn't excuse the recruiting dearth we're witnessing right now. The #4 and #6 players in the state don't even have OFFERS from PSU meanwhile we were busy signing Anthony Alosi whose impressive offer sheet includes Toledo and Richmond. I hope this season was a wake up call for everyone.

10. What are your thoughts on your bowl game and matchup? Excited, indifferent?

Very excited. We have to win. Urban Meyer just announced his resignation so you know the Gators will bring it. I also don't need to remind all my readers that I live in Orlando and this here is G8R N8N!! Can't wait to see all the Tebow jerseys dusted off. It's over! Go back to your pontoon boats!

11. Whole lot of quarterbacks and a whole lot of questions going into the spring (McGloin-Jones-Newsome-Bolden). How do you see it shaking out? Who do you think will be starting in September? Will that player be starting at the end of the season?

I still have high hopes for Bolden and he's my pick to win the starting job next year. The fact that he even got the nod this year is ridiculous. He got there in June! The only thing McGloin has over him is his attitude, which don't get me wrong I love, but I'm hoping a year in the locker room with his teammates will give Bolden more confidence so he can win over his teammates because to me his ability can't be ignored.

12. How do you feel about team is direction heading into next year? What are some way too early predictions for what your expectations for 2011 will be?

We're definitely trending up just based on our youth. The only units where there will be turnover is where we need it most: offensive and defensive line. I just want to be able to run the ball again. We have shown the ability at times to set up the run with the pass but that's not what we're best at. We need to get back to it being the other way around. That doesn't mean we need to abandon the Spread HD it just means we have to get 2 yards when we need 2 yards.

I think we go 10-3 next year. Paterno thinks next year is the year. As a part-time-seasonal blogger I'm here to say: sorry Joe but I think 2012 is the year. Won't be mad if you're not around to see it.

Monday, December 6, 2010


The Irish regular season is over but that didn't mean it wasn't an action-packed weekend of college football. The Miami series renewed a couple years ahead of schedule, Irish recruiting victories, Cam Newton's ridiculous season continues, and the FAIL to end all FAILS. Let's go around the college football world for some quick hits.

I feel it'd be too much to ask Bill to do back-to-back Two Dudes, One Posts so I'll tackle them myself. ONWARD!

Catholics vs Convicts in El Paso

Most people thought ND would be spending the holidays in Disney World, but in a somewhat surprising move the Champs Sports Bowl passed up the Irish which sent Brian Kelly's boys to the Sun Bowl. The happiest person in America? The President of the Sun Bowl, Amen Ayoub, whose prayers were answered when two big name programs landed in his lap. Amen--a man short on consonants but long on hyperbole--said at the press conference to announce the matchup, that "this is absolutely unbelievable, this is the greatest game we've ever put together here in 77 years of the game."

I know that Oregon State's 3-0 victory over Pitt in the 2008 Sun Bowl set the bar pretty high, but please Amen, you're making us blush. Are we really expected to top when the Southwestern US beat the entire country of Mexico in the 1945 edition of the game???

Enough gushing from Amen. I'll admit I wasn't giddy at first about facing the Canes when the matchup was announced. The only reason is the fact that we have them on the schedule in a couple of years and I would've liked to have faced off against a different team we haven't played and aren't supposed to play in the future (perhaps a shot at revenge against Jon Tenuta?).

But the more I thought about it the more excited I became. The Irish and the Canes is a fun matchup and who knows? Maybe there will be an incident that provides a spark that reignites the fire of hate that once burned hotter than any other in Notre Dame's football history (yes, even more than Southern Cal). Am I rooting for a brawl or anything like that? No, but I'm hoping this is a heated contest that provides a preview to what could be a mega-showdown in 2012. The matchup at Soldier Field could be a watershed "look how far they've come under their new coaches" moment for two programs mired with problems the past five years.

Miami is a very, very talented team. Randy Shannon has left the cupboard relatively full and if they can lure a high quality coach then they should have a quick rebound in a conference full of mediocrity. The Irish are going to have their hands full in this game and my early thought is that if nothing else the Under (46) looks pretty damn good.

It's Morning in Notre Dame

I don't know how many of our readers check out the blog House Rock Built, but you should add it to your favorites because they pick up steam with every video they make. This week's is worth reposting. A tip of the cap to the puppeteers that put Jim Henson to shame.

Cam Newton: The Devil outbid Mississippi State and Auburn for his services

I realized something during SEC Championship right after Cam Newton completed a Hail Mary pass at the end of the half that effectively shot a cannonball into the bow of the Gamecocks' sailboat. The reason there was allegedly only money discussed with Mississippi State and not Auburn in this Newton Pay-for-Play Scandal is the fact that before Auburn could offer Cecil Newton accepted a fat, Alex Rodriguez level deal with the devil. Isn't that the only explanation for what's been happening over the past three months?

There are FBI wiretaps that caught the shopping of Killah Cam. There's a mountain of evidence (topped by common sense) that says he knew what his father was doing. The NCAA has acknowledged in its preliminary findings that Cecil Newton clearly partook in attempted to obtain money for the services of his son. Despite all of this Cam found a way to break yet another tackle--this time the attempted tackler was the law, so this is far and away his most impressive escape of the year--and against all odds maintained eligibility.

This temporary absolution by the NCAA has cleared the way for one of the biggest landslide Heisman Trophy victories in history and War Eagle storming Glendale for a National Championship showdown. He has had an undeniably spectacular year on the field. His statistics are jaw-dropping, his highlight reel mind-blowing, and his performances in pressure packed situations were spectacular. This should go down as one of the greatest individual performances in the history of college football.

Unfortunately the chances all his feats are eventually stricken from the record books is far greater than the chances they remain. The NCAA laid the smackdown on Southern Cal for their transgressions this spring, they need to do the same at Auburn. And honestly, from the sounds of it the things that have transpired at Auburn are worse than what happened out in LA.

Isn't it truly sad that we're going to have to deal with two vacated Heismans in six years and they're two of the most dazzling ones of recent memory? Why couldn't it be Jason White that had his vacated? The only memorable thing from his Heisman campaign was how epically terrible he was in his final two games against Kansas State and LSU.

Irish Recruiting Upswing

After a month of bad news on top of bad news on top of horrible news, it seems Brian Kelly has found a way to get momentum going the right direction on the recruiting trail as well as the field. Over the past couple weeks Notre Dame has locked down two solid prospects from deep in the heart of Texas, positioned themselves well down the stretch with some 4-star athletes, and poached the guy many are calling the Quarterback of the Future from the Tar Heels.

I love snagging Cam McDaniel and Bennet Okotcha from Texas and I'm pumped about our chances with some other big names (come on down Ishaq Williams!), but let's focus with the anointed QB of the Future, Everett Golson. He's got gaudy stats, a great presence, and some serious wheels. The only reason he hasn't been ranked high by the recruiting services is his slight stature (6'0", 175lbs), but that hadn't stopped powerhouses like Florida, Ohio State, and Michigan from offering him a scholarship. The fact that he's enrolling early has led some to proclaim that he's going to emerge by the fall as the starter since he's the "best fit" for the spread among the quarterbacks we have.

Irish fans need to pump the breaks a bit on this one. I'm very excited to get Golson and he is a great fit, but he's going to need some serious time in the weight room to build himself up to handle the beating he's sure to take when he finally does get under center for Notre Dame. Everyone seems to forget that current freshmanAndrew Hendrix has apparently looked great in practices and possesses a rocket arm and underrated mobility. And oh by the way, Dayne Crist will be back with two years of eligibility remaining and current Golden Boy Tommy Rees will be there with three.

Golson makes the water even murkier for who will emerge as the starting quarterback for an offensive unit with boatloads of potential for next season. At the very least this battle will provide The Observer with a fun Irish Insider cover where Rees, Golson, and Hendrix are all touching a football that Crist is holding in his hospital bed as Nate Montana fills out his walk-on papers in the background. It'll also give The Guru and me unlimited ammo for our spring ball phone conversations.

Quick! Somebody Call a Doctor! This Kid is Experiencing Life Failure!

I love the Dr. Pepper halftime gimmicks in the SEC and Big 12 championship games. Always have, always will. There have been some pretty exciting victories and some pretty terrible attempts. In this year's SEC Showdown we had one of the most epic fails to date. Let's head to the tape:

Yes, poor Matt from Kentucky not only lost to a girl, but lost to a girl that threw her footballs LIKE A BASKETBALL CHEST PASS. If you watch the video at the 31 second mark you'll see him glance over at her once he's exhausted his supply of 10 footballs. The girl (Nikki) has one ball left and with victory already in hand delivers an "EFF YOU" victory chest pass straight into the heart of the giant Dr. Pepper can.

Matt got to see the EFF YOU chest pass which means he got a good look at what he lost to. At the 32 second mark you can see reality sink in for young Matthew as he looks on in disbelief: not only has he blown the chance at $123,000 in tuition money, but now he'll have to endure never-ending ridicule from his friends for losing to this chest-passing girl who attacks her chewing gum like it tried to steal her purse. If I were him I'd just cut bait and find new friends, there's just no coming back from this one.

Here's hoping when ESPN rolls out another documentary series for its 50th anniversary that they do one on how this kid's life turned out. There's an 80% chance it'd be more interesting than the "30 for 30" on the origin of Fantasy Baseball, which could've been done in approximately eight minutes on E:60 and saved me 52 minutes of my life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


We're rapidly approaching the finish line and suddenly we have a race on our hands. Hinkle's Boise Broncos took the gas in Reno on last Friday night which has allowed Mattare to sneak right back into the thick of things with only Championship Weekend and the Bowl Games to go. Will he hold on to what seemed like an insurmountable lead? Will Mattare continue his Lazarus-esque comeback? Will Mikey go four digits into the red? Stay tuned...

Week 13 Results
1. Mattare: $89
…Could be right on Hinkle's heels if not for NC State.
2. Mikey: -$8…Four straight weeks of 2-2, four straight weeks of -$8.
3. Chuck: -$28.18…Limping to the gate.
4. Hinkle: -$143…First goose egg of the year makes the final weeks interesting.

Week 13 Standings
1. Hinkle: $347.50…The footsteps are getting louder...
2. Mattare: $220.10…(CLICK CLACK).
3. Chuck: -$122.55…Will need something ridiculous to get back in it.
4. Mikey: -$266… Will need a miracle to break even.

Week 14 Pick Summary
Hinkle: Ore (ML) > OSU, FS-Ill (Over), Aub (ML) > SC, LU > Del
Mattare: Pitt > Cin, SC > Aub, Conn > USF, USC-UCLA (Under)
Chuck: OSU > Ore, UCLA > USC, SC > Aub, Idaho > SJST
Mikey: SC > Aub, Neb > Okla, UCLA > SC, WSU > Wash


How was my Thanksgiving at the beach? Horrible. I finally understood what it felt like to be a die hard Notre Dame fan the past few years. I now understand the misery you all endure watching heartbreak after heartbreak. Alabama, I will forever hate you more than Mike Guman does. Up that many point and you blow it...are you serious??? Then, to top it off a kicker ruins another great football game. TWICE! In the end, I am glad Auburn came back. If the door to Tempe was wide open and that crap happened...OH MY GOD I do not even know what I would have done.

Boise State is a great team. I am not mad they lost. Every team loses at some point. But to lose a game like that. Horrible. You know who feels for that piece of crap kicker? Bill Buckner. That bum lives in Boise and owns a car dealership. Kicker may at least get some sympathy from Billy and have a job there since everyone else in the state will forever hate him.

I am up $130. I am playing conservative.

Game #1: Oregon (ML) over Oregon State...$83 to win $12

If I lose this bet I do not even want to win this competition.

Game #2: Fresno State-Illinois (Over 58)...$11 to win $10

I saw Fresno's awesome D in Boise. Illinois is not much better.

Game #3: Auburn (ML) over South Carolina...$83 to win $31

I am a believer in them after last week on the road. Cam Newton is a man child.

Game #4: Lehigh (+17) over Delaware...$11 to win $10

I looked up the rules. No where does it say one must bet on an NCAA Division 1-A game. I will take the fightin Donnie Robert's plus the points.


Apparently being engaged gives you gambling superpowers. Hinkle is slipping up and I'm coming at him like a SPIDER MONKEY. All picks are unless noted.

Game #1: Pittsburgh (-1.5) over Cincinnati...$110 to win $100

Cincinnati just isn't very good. They've had Pitt's number over the past few years, but that was due in large part to the man who was leading the Bearcats...and now that man is patrolling the sidelines in South Bend. Nippert Stadium just isn't as intimidating as it once was.

Game #2: South Carolina (+5.5) over Auburn...$55 to win $50 (

For a few reasons. First of all, I think the Ol' Ball Coach has something up his sleeve. Second of all, Auburn has to be mentally worn down after the grueling Bama game while the Gamecocks' confidence is soaring thanks to crushing a hated rival on the road. Third of all, South Carolina should've won the last game at Auburn and blew it down the stretch. And lastly, karma is eventually going to rise up and smack Cam Newton in the face.

Game #3: Connecticut (+2.5) over South Florida...$22 to win $20

Connecticut squashes all these convoluted Big East BCS scenarios and secures their spot in what's sure to be the most uninteresting BCS game ever.

Game #4: UCLA-Southern Cal (Under 53.5)...$22 to win $20

Southern Cal has a pretty darn good defense, but their offense is so vanilla and reined in with Mustain at the helm that I just can't see a lot of points being scored.


Welcome to my final week of the regular season picks: Clemson style. Like Kyle Parker, I have decided to mail it in for the season. No, I am not going to "quit" on this column. I am, however, going to give very little effort while still handing out my picks. Buyer beware. Also, there's a theme in my analysis. It's subtle, but see if you can find it.

Game #1: Oregon St. (+16.5) over Oregon...$50 to win $45.45

Corvalis might burn down.

Game #2: UCLA (+7) over USC...$50 to win $45.45

LA will burn down either way.

Game #3: South Carolina (+4.5) over Auburn...$50 to win $45.45

I hope the Gamecocks win so that Columbia does burn down.

Game #4: Idaho (-13.5) over San Jose State...$50 to win $45.45

I smell potatoes burning.


I should've never stopped picking Temple after Week 4. (all lines from

Game #1: South Carolina (+5.5) over Auburn...$110 to win $100

Will karma finally kick in and deal Auburn a loss? Nobody wants to watch a national title game that they know won't count.

Game #2: Nebraska (+4.5) over Oklahoma...$33 to win $30

This game should be a pick em so points are a gift.

Game #3: UCLA (+6) over USC...$33 to win $30

Just think USC is reeling right now and Rick Neuheisel will have his boys ready to play.

Game #4: Washington State (+6) over Washington...$22 to win $20

This has to be the worst rivalry matchup of the weekend. I see a 3-0 final score so 6 points looks good.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's been awhile since we provided an update on the 12-person NCAA Football 2011 Dynasty that Bill and I participate in. After loyal WNG reader and frequent commenter Lord of the Shots and his Texas Tech Red Raiders took home the national championship in year one we turned the page and moved on to the 2011 season. How has that gone? Well let's go to the polls:

After knocking off previously unbeaten and top-ranked NC State (led by Bill and TLOS's roommate Mooney), one major regular season hurdle remains between my Demon Deacons and a 12-0 record: Bill.

This week my Deacs will travel down Tobacco Road to Durham for a showdown with the #25 ranked Duke Blue Devils (6-2). This also means there's another bet that must be arranged.

As many of you know, I knocked off Bill last season which led to him busting out on-demand yoga poses for the masses at the Jersey Shore. What will be at stake this go-around? I'm open to all ideas readers can offer.

It will either be carried out over Christmas or when I head down to BrOlando in the spring. Maybe wearing a bike helmet out to the bar for a night? Perhaps being forced to wear jorts for 24 straight hours? The possibilities are endless...

But in terms of the game itself, I've got one clear message for you Billy Boy:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two Dudes, One Post: The Return of Bill

It's been far too long, but Two Dudes, One Post is back! And you know it's a special occasion because someone we've awaken Bill from his posting slumber to chime in. This week we touch on Killah Cam, the Boise Chokejob, and whether my roommates will ever speak to me again after our holiday party.


1. Championship Weekend has arrived in college football, but unfortunately there's a giant black cloud hanging over the SEC Championship, Heisman Trophy, and likely the National Championship as well: the Cam Newton Scandal. How do you see this playing out? Will Auburn end up vacating everything? Will they end up with nothing or maybe just a slap on the wrist? And lastly, if you were an Auburn fan would you be able to fully enjoy what's going on knowing that there's a good chance everything could be wiped from the books just a few weeks later?

Mattare: There is enough smoke in this situation that there's not only going to be a fire when it clears, there's probably going to be a volcano. There are plenty of rumors bouncing around that speculate as to how deep this corruption runs and I think how big a deal this blow up into comes down to whether the NCAA wants to sweep this under the rug a bit and hope the 24-hour news cycle moves on and people forget about it or if they want to attack and gut the real problem. The temporary declaration of eligibility leads me to believe they're leaning toward the latter.

In the end you have to think everything will be vacated--it's just a shame that the Heisman will now be vacated twice in six years. If they allow him to keep everything under the ridiculous farce that "he didn't know what his father was doing" then I will be shocked and appalled. As my buddy Brad pointed out, how dangerous a precedent will this set moving forward? Will parents be able to just shop around their kids with no real fear of repercussions as long as their kid maintains plausible deniability? It's just a terrible situation.

And if I were an Auburn fan then wouldn't have a conscious about these things and would justify it by saying Bama probably does it too. So I'm sure they'd be more than willing to enjoy the accolades in the present and deal with the consequences later.

Bill: I see Auburn vacating the wins while Cam played there. I can also see them losing scholarships and getting a bowl ban for a couple years. Sounds serious, but is it? What happens after the punishment is handed down? They'll go right back to being a middle of the pack SEC team. So they really have nothing to lose. If I was a fan I would sit back and enjoy this. I'm assuming Auburn fans never cared too much about ethics in the first place so they might as well enjoy the success.

2. In one of the wildest games you'll ever see Boise State choked away a shot at the national title and lost to Nevada in overtime. This signaled the end of a Butler-esque Cinderella run. Did Boise State blow its only chance at a National Championship? Will they continue to knock on door or have they hit their ceiling as a program?

Mattare: Yes, I think this was Boise's best chance at a title. You had a year where they started in the preseason top five and really had only two teams with a stone-cold stronger case for a berth the national championship game. It's a shame, I would've loved to have seen David take on Goliath on the ultimate stage.

In terms of ceiling, I think they have reached it. If Peterson stays they'll continue to be very, very good but the ceiling is going to be sneaking into a BCS game and not winning a national title. I think the best way to maximize their ceiling isn't joining the Mountain West or any conference for that matter--it's going independent. Unfortunately their other sports add absolutely no value to really any conference so they wouldn't be able to arrange any sort of deal with the Mountain West so that'd be tough to pull off; but if they really want to challenge for national titles they need to take the BYU route just embarked on and barnstorm as an independent. I'd love to see it, I just don't think they can realistically make it happen.

Bill: I think they will perpetuate the non BCS school in the national title game discussion. They upgrade conferences to the very solid Mountain West, which I think will bring them slightly more recruiting success. If Peterson stays I still think they have a good shot to run the table most years.

Getting back to that horrendous loss this weekend! Is that kicker on suicide watch? Thanks to the west coast time zone we saw the end at approximately 1:45 am which led me to declare it the most amazing sporting event I had ever seen.

3. If Oregon or Auburn is upset this weekend who deserves to be the next team in line for a shot at the National Championship and why?

Mattare: It comes down to TCU and Wisconsin. The Badgers have been the most impressive team over the past month as they steamrolled through the Big Ten, but I'll give the nod to the Horned Frogs. All they've done is go 24-0 the last two regular seasons. Give them a shot--if they win the non-AQ schools will have a totally redefined place in terms of respect from their peers. Plus I'd love to see them stick it to that idiot Gordon Gee from Ohio State. Nice bow-tie you toolbox.

Bill: I think Wisconsin should get the nod. The same old strength of schedule argument knocks TCU out of the picture. Stanford lost to Oregon, so there's no way Stanford should get in ahead of the Ducks. Beyond them Wisky is the team remaining. They have an unstoppable rushing attack and Tolzien makes good decisions. Also a loss to 11-1 Michigan State looks good. I think they are the 4th best team right now but Stanford shouldnt go for the aforementioned reason.

4. TCU is now officially headed to the Big East in all sports. Is this a good move or a bad move?

Mattare: Good move if you're TCU. You pick up a chance at an auto-bid to the BCS in a league that they could roll through based on recent history. They also expand their exposure to the entire east coast and help their bottom line since they're guaranteed a bigger part of the BCS pie every year. Plus, the geography isn't as massive an issue as people think; makes as much sense for TCU to play conference games in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as it does to play them in Utah and Wyoming.

In terms of their other sports, they're doomed. Football is the ultimate cash cow though so that'll be more than enough to make up for their complete futility in every other sports arena.

Bill: Bad move. They will get crushed in basketball and they grab headlines in football now winning 11 games every season. I think they would still win at least 9 or 10 a year in the Big East but they still wouldn't get to a title and they wouldn't be able to carry the torch for all the small time programs out there.

5. Both of you have gotten to see Rich Rod face your teams for three consecutive years. First of all, if you're the AD would you can him after yet another disappointing season in Ann Arbor? Second of all, as a fan of a Michigan rival do you want to see him fired? Lastly, if Rodriguez is retained will the Wolverines turn the corner next year and become a legitimate contender in the Big 10?

Mattare: If I'm the AD could get Harbaugh and find a way to guarantee he'd be in Ann Arbor for the long-haul then I'd drop Rich Rod in a heartbeat. I don't think that's realistic though because eventually Harbaugh wants to land in the NFL (hopefully this offseason so ND doesn't have to deal with him ever again). As a Notre Dame fan I want to see Rodriguez there for another couple years because their ceiling is not nearly as high as it's historically been with him at the helm. Sure, the offense will be explosive, but the defense is broken beyond repair at this point and there's not a lot of help on the way in terms of highly-touted recruits.

I don't think the Skunkbears will be a legitimate contender as long as Rich Rod is coach--not next year, not three years from now. He's a great offensive mind and found the perfect player to make it go in Denard Robinson, but there hasn't been anything to suggest they can do anything to improve an indescribably atrocious defense. Rodriguez and Michigan have been a complete mismatch from day one and it's been a joy to witness. I can only hope that this era lasts another couple years and when it's over they hire someone not named Jim Harbaugh (Les Miles anyone?).

Bill: I think you have to fire him based on how he's handled the defense. There's just no hope for that unit and he doesn't understand that he has to take responsibility for their performance.

Personally, I really don't want to see him fired. I always enjoy Michigan games now! We're not even with them until we beat them 10 times in a row, then they can go shopping for a coach. Unless the defense gets a one year turnaround like Illinois did with Vic Koenning they will not be a legitimate contender. I think their offense gets even better but that's clearly not enough in a Big 10 that is going to have the most depth it's had in years with the addition of Nebraska.


Bill: It's basketball season! Do you like Kobe in spite of Lebron at this point?

Mattare: I'll never like Kobe, but my hatred of Lebron has definitely ratcheted up. I can't wait for the game vs Cleveland tonight. There will never be a more venomous crowd in sports history--it'll be like if Michael Vick playing a game at an animal right convention two years ago.

Mattare: Along those lines, can you think of a situation where there'd be a more hostile crowd at an American sporting event?

Bill: No, while Lebron didn't commit any violent crimes he may have done worse in the eyes of Cleveland fans. A new age diva turned his back on an old city that held all their championship hopes in him for a warm weather team with terrible fans that will never appreciate him as much as they did.

Bill: Congratulations on your engagement. Does Gaby know about this blog? Don't lie.

Mattare: Yes, she does. Does she read it? No. She says she's essentially forced to listen to everything I write on here anyway so it'd be redundant to read it...and it's not like there's any Penn State articles posted that she could learn anything from.

Mattare: My house is throwing a Christmas party on December 18th. Among the confirmed guests are Slatington's own John "Hollywood" Yackabonis and Steven Stanley Reed. Chris Marciano is on the fence. How do you see this playing out? Will I be on speaking terms with my roommates on the 19th?

Bill: I haven't seen Chris or Steve in awhile so I'm going to go ahead and not give them the benefit of the doubt. You will be asked to move out after Reed wakes up your roommates at 4am with an elbow drop.


Mattare: Chipotle and IT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Mattare: You haven't really posted since PSU got throttled by Iowa two months ago. What do you say to the people who say you've been a coward for not coming on and taking your medicine for ass-whoopings at the hands of Iowa and Ohio State (among others)?

Bill: I'm sorry, I've been living the rockstar life ever since WNG took off. Drunk off fame. No more late nights for me--I will once again dedicate myself to writing about the most predictable program in the country and trying to make it interesting.