I have to admit, I was a little scared as I left the family's land in West Virginia Saturday night. As I drove down the winding road that leads to route 50 from our property I saw two large bonfires being lit. Was I wrong about the start time of the West Virginia vs. Pitt game? Had it been moved up from Saturday night due to security concerns? I turned to ESPN radio to see if they were talking about the game, but for some reason the broadcast was coming from the ASU A-St game. No mention of the WV game. You are useless ESPN.
Once I saw my 3rd large bonfire in the 1st 20 miles of driving I called home to check with my Old man. Had the WV game already been played? My trip home takes me right past Morgantown and I wanted no part of driving through a war-zone. He assured me that the game hadn't started yet, and that he just saw a bunch of bananas warming up on TV so I should be safely past Morgantown before all hell broke loose.
Safely at home I got to watch the carnage unfold on the big screen, and not as I drove through. Once again, I'm glad to be able to say, Suck-it BCS, lets all hope that you are dissolved soon.
Now onto the 7 things from the week.
1 - Thank you Tom Cable.
I could just leave it at that, Thank You, but then I'd just be mailing in another posting. I was genuinely excited when I saw that the Raiders were bringing in Cable this off season. The man learned the zone-cut blocking scheme from the best in Alex Gibbs when they worked together in Atlanta. Looking at the majority of the Raiders lineman, I thought the scheme would really benefit their talents.
The season started strong for the Raider's run game. Fans were excited, but a closer look revealed that there was still much work to do. The team was still struggling in pass protection and the run game was far from consistent.
A rough stretch in the middle of the year had some fans loosing patience with Cable and the Oline. But those who read my musings on the line knew that the system would take more time to get implemented.
The last two weeks, it appears that something is starting to click with the Raider's lineman. The holes are their consistently, and occasionally they are gaping. More importantly the pass protection is greatly improved. No sacks were given up against Denver. Read that again, no sacks. Sure Denver's pass rush isn't impressive, but for a much maligned Raider line this is a huge building block.
So thank you Mr Cable. Lets hope the Raiders don't make the same mistake that Atlanta made, and they keep you around to further build this system. Some stability would do wonders for this unit long term.
2 - College Bowling
I'm looking at this years college bowl schedule, and I might be more excited to see Co-eds bowling than the actual bowl games this year (especially if they are some of the girls from SEC poon). Look, I'm happy that their is a mess at the top as I hate the BCS system. Either give me a playoff or go back to the old system, enough with this half-ass shit.
The talk is that they will go to a +1 system soon. So what, we are going to have 4 or 5 BCS games with a game featuring the winner of 2 of the games while the other 2 or 3 go home, WTF is that.
Lets say that the following teams were to win their BCS games this year:
Who is your +1 game? USC vs. LSU and you send home VT, OSU and Georgia? Who is to say that OSU isn't better than USC right now? Yet somehow their are pundits who are looking forward to a +1 game. Me, I could give a fuck. Give me a playoff. To those of you who feel that this would be detrimental to the regular season, give me a break. The fight for the 8 or 16 playoff slots would be just as entertaining.
Now as for the rest of the bowls. First thing I would do is cut the number in half. Do we really need any of the following match-ups?
Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis
Nevada at New Mexico
Ball State vs. Rutgers
Maryland vs. Oregon State
Central Michigan vs. Purdue
Air Force vs. California
Houston vs. TCU
BYU vs. UCLA
Penn State vs. Texas A&M
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa
Boston College vs. Michigan State
Navy vs. Utah
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest
Alabama vs. Colorado
Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech
Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss
That's 16 out of 32 bowl games that I can cross off the list without a 2nd thought. Sure a couple of these teams are nice stories and deserve a bowl game, but we could easily replace another bowl eligible team in the remaining 16 games with one of them to improve the match-ups.
As for the rest, I'd adjust the remaining games the following ways:
Michigan vs. Florida and Texas Tech vs. Virginia would be replaced by
Michigan vs. Virginia and Florida vs. Texas Tech, these two match ups would be much more entertaining. Michigan vs. Virginia would feature two of the best players in college football going head to head in the two Longs. Florida and Texas Tech would be a great offensive shootout. As is we have Florida dismantling an underachieving Michigan squad and a match-up nobody outside of Texas and Virginia cares about.
Kansas would play Arkansas and VT would play Missouri to improve both of those match-ups.
The national Title game would be OSU vs. USC, in my mind the two teams who are playing the best right now, with THEO playing VW and LSU playing Illinois. All 3 match-ups are better than what we currently have.
Just by switching those 7 games around I have more than doubled the number of games I would be genuinely excited to watch. And as I have said before, the BCS should be replaced by a system that entertains me.
3 - Back to the Raiders
Tom Cable may have gotten his own Item, but two consecutive division wins means that the Raiders get more than 1 item.
Griffen and O'Neil give the Raiders an outstanding 1-2 punch at FB. I love watching these two blow up guys in the hole. The Raiders haven't had this kind of blocking in the backfield since Steve Smith was opening holes for Jackson and Allen.
Last week's victory formation was nice, but it pales in comparison to this week's I give up kneel by the Broncos. There is nothing like a division rival giving up at the end of the game.
Game balls to the entire Oline, there were holes my slow ass could have run through Sunday.
The D played a complete game. Sure the 1st Bronco drive was bad, and there were a couple of long balls that were poorly played, but the team seems more inspired now that the offense is moving the ball.
Special teams were also very good this game, I will have to go back and watch the tape, but I think the Raiders won the field position battle for the entire game, save for the one long FG miss by Jano.
Look at that, offense wins, defense wins, special teams win and the Raiders win the turnover and penalty battles, all in 1 game. Oh yeah, and some guy named Russell looked sharp in limited action. Good weekend to be a Raider fan.
4 - Oh to have a doe tag
So after my 1st weekend in the wilds of West Virginia had me come home without firing my riffle, I was sure that I would get off a shot this weekend, as I had a better idea of where the deer were.
Well I was right, I knew where the deer were, too bad they were all bitches. I got myself set-up to start hunting right at the start of hunting time (1/2 hour before sunrise) it wasn't 15 minutes before the 1st deer came into my range. Too bad it came up behind me and spotted me before I could figure out if it was a buck or a doe (fuck you trees) the deer bolted and I never got a good look, but it was just foreshadowing for the rest of the day.
I had 3 other deer walk through my line of fire zones as the morning progressed, all does. I had the option when I bought my licence to pick up a doe stamp, but has seen enough deer signs on the land to say, I'll just save the $25 dollars and take a buck. Now I'm pissed that all those deer got to prance around 10 yards from me, teasing me with their stupid deer walk.
Next year, does, next year. As for me, I'm headed to NY this weekend with mallace in my heart and a riffle in my hand. I'm coming for you finger lake deer.
5 - Shut the fuck up Kiper
So listening to ESPN radio for the 2nd striaght weekend driving back from WV. I was once again subjected to Kiper's rambling on College football. The guy may have started a cottage industry rating pro prospects, but who said this guy is in any way qualified to discuss overall team play? Give me someone who knows college ball and keep Kiper judging guys in shorts.
The thing that pisses me off the most about Kiper is his Heisman opinions. To Kiper the Heisman is Tebows. No one else is in the conversation. You would think that a guy who is such a player guru would know that Long, Long and Dorsey deserve to be in the conversation, but he only looks at QB's and RB's.
Not only that, but he completely dismisses Colt Brennen as being a system QB playing in Hawaii. So you mean to tell me that Brennen is a system QB, but Tebow isn't? How stupid do you think the listeners are? Tebow is playing in the same system that made Alex Smith look like a 1st round QB. Tebow is a single wing RB. I won't argue this, if you don't agree, go learn about the single wing offense, this is what Tebow runs.
This isn't a QB playing a pro style system, making great reads and revolutionizing the position. This is an athlete being put into a system that keeps him from needing his brain. Sorry, but if you are going to discount a QB who plays in a pass happy system, you need to do the same to a QB that need not make more than 1 read a play. You can't have it both ways Mel.
The thing is the majority of college players play in a gimicy system. I personaly don't hold Tebow's system against him. He is running the single wing better than anyone has in 50 years. Part of the fun of college football is that you get a chance to see a variety of takes on the game, as opposed to the NFL where everyone runs a variation of the same offense. But don't discount 1 player due to his system while ignoring another players system and the advantages it gives him.
6 - Winter is coming
Fall is my favorite time of year. Football is in full swing, there are games almost every day of the week, and there is almost always something to talk about. Through in my new found love of hunting and September through November is great.
I used to love snow, as it brought the promiss of days off of school. Now it just brings about poor driving, and signals the waining football season. The weekend brought the 1st snow that stuck to the ground around here, and I relized the following:
- There are only 4 regular season NFL games left. That means only 4 more weekends of Raider football for me this year.
- All the college football teams have only 1 game left. That only 1 time left this year to get excited to watch some of my favorite players and teams.
- I have only 1 weekend left of freesing my ass off in the woods looking for white tails.
- I have to go to the mall at least 3 more times in the next month with my wife to finish up Christmas shopping.
I look forward to all of these things, well except for the shopping, but all are sad in a way as they signal the end of another year, and the start of the long offseason. Every year the offseason seems to get longer and the real season gets shorter. Now is the time I stomp my feet and yell "Its just not fair".
7 - Brady knee watch
Damn you Ray Lewis, I had fully bought into the fact that you are God's linebacker and would be his angel of vengance. You let us all down (please don't knife me).
Not only that but your entire team gave the country a full on cock-tease before collapsing on the final drive.
So now that Ray Lewis has failed us, who do we look to on the Steelers to permently disable Tom and end the Boston Bukaki on the face of America?
My pick for the week is Deshea Townsend. We all know that Pittsburgh loves to blitz, hense the biltzburgh nickname. (Either that or most anouncers are confused by a 3-4 defense and don't understand that rushing 4 isn't a blitz)
Deshea is the pick, as this is the week where growing up with a girls name finaly caused him to snap and take a cheap shot at Tom's knee. I don't even think it will be a called blitz, Deshea will just take it upon himself after getting burned by a white guy named Wes once too often.
Thats it for this week, I have nothing else to say now.