Move Over 2010, It’s A New Year Of Trash Talk!

It is hard to believe 2010 is over and gone already, but nevertheless we have blasted through another year here at Emptywheel full of substantive and important issues on the merits and fun and relaxation with Trash Talking. And another year of football is heading down the stretch. Big props to the TCU Horned Frogs who capped a perfect 13-0 season with a solid game and huge win over the powerful Wisconsin Badgers. By the way, non-AQ schools are now 4-1 vs AQ schools in BCS bowl games, those stuck up holier than thou Big-10 and SEC school officials ought to just shut the fuck up about TCU and Boise State not belonging on the big stage.

After yesterday’s debacle, however, you have to wonder if the Big 10 belongs on the big stage. The three yards and a cloud of dusters managed to go 0 for five in New Years day bowl games and actually managed to lose four of them all in the same time slot. In all, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin all lost. Michigan and Michigan State just flat out got embarrassed. Pretty bleak, and Ohio State still has to play another SEC school, Arkansas, so if the past decade’s record by the Big-10 against SEC schools is any indication, it could still get worse for the Big-10. To be fair, my beloved Pac-10 did not, except the Ducks and the Trees, have a really great year overall either, and we still do not know how those two will perform in their respective bowl games.

Now, on to the pros, who are completing the final Sunday of the regular season. The biggest game by far today is Da Bears at Green Bay. Hard as it may seem to believe, the Pack needs to win to even get in the playoffs. But Aaron Rodgers is back from his concussion and absolutely shredded the Giants last week, throwing for over 400 yards and four TDs. The Bears cover two pass defense is not a good matchup for the GB passing attack, so Julius Peppers and the line are going to have to get constant pressure on Rodgers if they want a chance to win. Bears have looked very solid for several weeks now, and Jay Cutler has been playing surprisingly consistent QB for them; but the edge has to go to the Pack on the Frozen Tundra today.

Their records may not be very good, but the Rams and SeaSquawks are playing for the NFC West title and attendant home playoff game. Will it be an 8-8 St. Louis or a 7-9 Seattle that emerges? The Rams have really been surprising this year, even though young Sam Bradford has had a little bit of a slump the last few weeks. Seattle QB is a concern, Hasselbeck is questionable and Charlie Whitehurst inexperienced and shaky. But the game is in Seattle, which evens things out quit a bit. This is a toss up, but I am rooting for the Rams.

The Giants not only have to beat the Skins, but have to also have the Bears beat the Packers to make the playoffs. Coughlins job is probably safe with a win irrespective of whether that results in a playoff berth or not, but a loss to Washington might make his retention shaky. Especially with Bill Cowher indicating he is ready to return to coaching. The Giants should win this game in spite of it being at Fed-Ex Field. Jacksonville needs to beat the Texans in Houston and have the Colts lose at home to the Titans in order to win the AFC South and make the playoffs. Neither are likely to occur. Look for the Texans to play for Kubiak’s job and win over the David Garrard less Jags, and Peyton to take care of business for another division title.

Philly hosting the Cowboys should be an interesting game; Cowboys are playing much better and the Iggles are suddenly in a funk; but the game is in Philly and I will take Mike Vick and the Eagles for that reason. Dallas reportedly is going to make Jason Garrett head coach for next year. The rest of the schedule is mostly just marking time; look for Niners over Cards, Tebows to lose to Rivers and the Bolts, Saints over Bucs, Falcons over Carolina, Chefs over Rayduhs, Ravens over Bengals, Steelers over Browns and Pats over Fish. That leaves the Jets and the suddenly semi-respectable Toronto Bills. Jets are already in for a wild card and have little to play for, which makes this a toss up.

That is the schedule folks. Blend up some Bloody Marys and cut that hangover edge, get your couch freak on and let’s rumble!

  1. tjbs says:

    but the game is in Philly and I will take Mike Vick and the Eagles for

    Um, Mike’s sitting this one out with a limp. Keven Kolb gets to showcase his talents. Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time when the Vick Express hitting the ground running, so to speak.

  2. Oskie says:

    Does anyone else think that it was the Vikings’ offensive line that finally decided who their starting quarterback would be? I base that on the way no one seemed to rush to Favre’s aid as he lay conked out on the field. (Reminded me of Ben Roethlissberger’s teammates gazing down disinterested at his motionless body after Richard Seymour sucker punched him. Didn’t seem to be a whole lotta love their either.)

    As I live in New England I’ll be rooting for the Pats today – hoping no one gets hurt – and trying not to be too disappointed with our unseasonably warm weather. It’ll be near 50F today so the fish won’t be freezing.

    Last thing – only 67 days to the start of Formula1!

  3. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Happy New Years everyone.

    How about those Horned Frogs. No matter what the BCS shills say I still think that’s the best team in the nation. The Big 10 (or 11 or 12 – whatever they call themselves now) – LOL.

    The word down here in Houston is, unless today is a blowout, Kubiaggie’s job is safe. McNair apparently likes the guy and doesn’t want to get rid of him. Bum was at practice Wednesday and it looks as though Wade will be brought in to take over the defense next year. Maybe he can bring some of TCU’s defensive players with him. I think it has something to do with chickensalad and chickenshit. Anyway, the Bum has spoken and Kubiaggie has been deemed a great coach.

  4. emptywheel says:

    In spite of the Lions just fumbling away a TD, I do think they’ll win today’s game. But I’d rather be watching the TB/NO game. Not to mention the Bills/Jets or the Pats (even if they appear to have done the same thing the Kitties just did, fumble away an almost TD).

  5. emptywheel says:

    Ah, sorry.

    Since I’m in the ‘hood of Peyton and Cutler, I get both of those games. Not bad for seconds. And to be honest, the Kitties look like a team. At the half they were talking about how the Kitties have the longest streak in the league after the Patsies.

    • bmaz says:

      It gets better. Saints/Bucs actually a close game and Stillers game so lopsided CBS has switched to the Chefs/Raiders. Probably no such luck on getting rid of the Cards though on the late game.

      • emptywheel says:

        Huh, better check that switch, too. Mr. EW just told me the Rayduhs stand to sweep their division with a win.

        Of course, aside from beating everyone in the hapless AFC West Division, the Rayduhs have only beat teams from the even more hapless NFC West Division.

        I guess that makes the Rayduhs like a Big 10.2 team.

  6. emptywheel says:


    If you guys haven’t already found the Packers game, I recommend it. Neither one of these teams want to win this, and unfortunately the Gents are ahead in DC.

    Oh, and the hapless Titans are tied up with the Colts, tho Jacksonville is behind…

      • bmaz says:

        You should know better than to go verbalizin yer Peyton hatin.

        I tried watching the Pack game online. Very annoying. I mean, my computer isn’t that bad and I have supposedly high speed cable service. But it was el-lame-O. Turns out the powers that broadcast be here actually have allowed CBS to have a game on at the same time as the Fox Cardinals coverage. First time all year for that. So I am getting the Colt/Titans too.

        How the fuck did NBC flex the Rams/Squawks instead of Pack/Bears???

        • emptywheel says:

          And you know? The single dumbest thing BillBel has done in recent years–just slightly above letting Richard Seymour go last year–was letting Vinateri go to kick game winners like that.

          • bmaz says:

            Good point. And the ‘Boys just scored to take the lead over the Iggles. Looks like Philly is entering playoffs against Pack on a nice losing streak.

            • emptywheel says:

              Yeah, I think the Iggles game will be all about Vick’s injured leg. He looked terrible last week. If he’s not playing full strength, I give it to the Packers, whose D looks even better than it was earlier this year.

          • croghan27 says:

            certainly agree with Seymour – and throw in a Superbowl MVP, Branch too (which pissed off his good friend Brady)…. but Vinateri in his last several games in his last NE year sucked big time … missing too many easy shots.

            • emptywheel says:

              I’ve always assumed BillBel let Vinateri go bc his leg wasn’t strong enough for kickoffs anymore. Still. A powerful leg to let your biggest rival pick up.

              • bmaz says:

                Kind of proved that when he kicked five field goals to beat the Ravens in Divisional round and then three field goals to beat the Patsin the AFC Championship during the Colts 2006-2007 Super Bowl run.

  7. bmaz says:

    Tom “Bieber” Brady threw a TD pass in each of the 16 games this season, one of only seven QBs to ever do so:

    Brady and the Patriots also set or tied several other records en route to their 14-2 finish. Among them:

    – Brady was 10 of 16 with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday’s 38-7 win over the Dolphins. That extended his league record of passes without an interception to 335, and gave him nine games with at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions, another league mark.

    – Brady had only four interceptions, which would have allowed the Patriots to set a record for the fewest in a season, but his backup Brian Hoyer also had one. That gave the team five over all, tying the league mark.

    – The Patriots finished with 10 turnovers, the lowest total in league history for a 16-game season.

    – New England closed the season with eight consecutive games in which it scored at least 30 points. That tied the record set in 2000 by the St. Louis Rams, which was tied in 2007 by the Patriots.

    • emptywheel says:

      Brady had only four interceptions, which would have allowed the Patriots to set a record for the fewest in a season, but his backup Brian Hoyer also had one. That gave the team five over all, tying the league mark.

      Damned Spartan fucking it up for a Wolvereenie.

    • emptywheel says:

      I like the Pats. I lived in SF for the last year of the Montana era. And I’ve been bitching about how the Pats are less than all that all this year.

      But they sneak up on you and have record years while still looking like they have the crappiest D in the league.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Compared to Brett Favre, who ends his career with 334 interceptions (the most in NFL history).

      The Wrangler may be over-rated?

  8. emptywheel says:

    Speaking of which, who do you give Coach of the year to? Mr. EW mentioned that BillBel was in the running, w/Haley. At first I was like, NAHHHH. But then I realized they have the best record with the shittiest D and a bunch of kids. So there’s something to that.


  9. WilliamOckham says:

    As a Texan with a long memory, I have to bring up the fact that UT and TAMU broke up the old Southwest Conference because the small schools like TCU wouldn’t ever be able to compete with them. This year, TCU certainly seemed like it belonged in a whole different league the ‘Horns and the Aggies. Also, TCU is affiliated with my current religious denomination. Lots of crowing at church this morning, in a gentle Christian way, of course.

  10. radiofreewill says:

    Thanks Marcy and bmaz for a fine year of trash – a consistent bright spot – in the midst of the slow-motion meltdown of truth, accountability and justice in our America!

  11. BayStateLibrul says:

    Countdown to 45…

    Saturday, Jan. 8

    4:30 p.m. ET — New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

    8:20 p.m. ET — New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

    Sunday, Jan. 9

    1 p.m. ET — Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

    4:30 p.m. ET — Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

    Saturday, Jan. 15

    4:30 p.m. ET — Colts/Chiefs/Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

    8 p.m. ET — Seahawks/Saints/Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Sunday, Jan. 16

    1 p.m. ET– Seahawks/Eagles/Saints at Chicago Bears

    4:30 p.m. ET — Chiefs/Ravens/Jets at New England Patriots

    Sunday, Jan. 23

    3:00 p.m. ET — NFC championship

    6:30 p.m. ET — AFC championship

    Sunday, Feb. 6

    6:30 p.m. ET — Super Bowl XLV

      • rosalind says:

        hey, you stole my line! did you catch the espn announcers just now, after the field reporter chased down Andrew Luck for the interview they said she accomplished what the Hokie’s D could not. funny.

        • bmaz says:

          Hilarious line actually about catching Luck. Harbaugh is going to have a lot of options. 49ers just seems kind of dysfunctional though and they still don’t have a firm stadium plan do they? Denver and Michigan may look better.

  12. john in sacramento says:

    Biting my tongue, trying not to say I told you so, but …

    I told ya about Harbaugh 2 or 3 years ago, and I told ya about Luck last year. And I think all the tree alums need to thank UC Davis for shocking them into getting a decent coach. See: this

    If I were to give odds on where Harbaugh is next year; in descending order

    1) Niners
    2) Trees
    3) Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Wolverinees

    The Niners are going to go hard after Harbaugh. I don’t see him going to Michigan, and if he does stay in college, he stays at Stanford. Denver’s a darkhorse. I have no idea what the Panthers could offer him unless they open up a bank vault for him. And isn’t Sparano still the coach at Miami?

        • klynn says:

          Thank you bmaz. You do need to know, folks here are extremely disappointed in the five but proud of how the team has confronted their teammates. We all think Dane is the team leader.

          To give you an idea of the fan attitudes on this; normally, after a win like this, my neighborhood would be filled with hooplah, fireworks and horns honking. It. Was. Quiet.

          I can assure you, the five are not reflective of Tressel or Heacock.

          A final thought…It does make me smile to think about the two teams ARK lost to this season before the bowl game against OSU.