Battle For The Wheel Trash Talk

I swore I would not do Trash until the NFL started playing real games, but it turns out there is a very special game in this, the first week of college football. It is stunning that two dynasty college teams that usually open up with patsies like Lower Patagonia State or something are paired off in week one this year, and it should be a fascinating grudge match.

Yes, obviously, I am talking about Florida State and Alabama on the “neutral” site of the brand spanking new Mercedes Stadium in Atlanta. The Tide is number one rated in the early polls, with the Seminoles right behind at number 3. Huge implications for the end of season bowl playoff slotting. Both teams have second year QB’s that had sketchy years last year, Jalen Hurts for the Tide because of serious inconsistency, and Deondre Francis for the Noles because he was under constant assault from a very bad O-line. Both defenses are superb, so the one that gets their passing attack untracked the best is probably going to win.

Okay, that was a little cruel, as the real game of the week here at Emptywheel is the other blockbuster, Marcy’s Michigan Wolverweenies and Jim White’s beloved Chomping Gators, another neutral site game, this one at Jerryworld in Dallas. As you may recall, Florida absolutely got decimated by Michigan in the Citrus Bowl two years ago. Gators ranked number 17 and Michigan number 11 in the preseason polls. Both teams have holes all over the place, on both sides of the ball. The Weenies have the fewest returning starters of any team in major college football. The Gators have 29 players suspended for the game (okay, “only” ten the last time I checked). Neither team looks very proficient on offense, but Michigan might have a slight edge, so I guess I will take them in what is nearly a pickem. Oh, and the coaches Harbaugh and McElwain, seem to not get along very well, so keep an eye on that. Really, does Harbaugh get along with anybody?

Other good games include Ohio State at Indiana, Colorado State at Colorado, Troy at Boise State (seriously this should be a great game), West Virginia at Virginia Tech, and BYU at LSU for the start of Ed Orgeron’s tenure as head coach now that Les Miles is gone. That game was set for Houston, but has been relocated to New Orleans because of the Hurricane Harvey destruction. Teexas A&M Aggies at UCLA looks promising as well.

Also this weekend is the Italian Grand Prix from Monza. Am watching qualifying right now, and it has taken hours because of rain delays. It is really wet. Everybody is sliding on the famed Parabolica curve, it is pretty nuts. Not clear what the weather will be like for tomorrow’s race, but more rain a distinct possibility.

Lastly, Marcy ordered me to write an obituary for the departing odious Judge Richard Posner. No he is not dead, but he is retiring, presumably to spend more time with his self inflated ego. Posner boasts of his “legal pragmatism”, a load of crap that includes his own legal fact finding behind the appellate record. Good riddance to a narcissistic plague on the federal judiciary.

This week’s music comes from a local band that is starting to get some national attention, the Black Bottom Lighters. They are really good, give them a try. Rock on.

43 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    The OSU-IU game was Thursday. IU continues to be able to play OSU strong, for a half. But in the end OSU knocked the rust off in time for the second half.

    And how dare you suggest Messiah doesn’t play well with others?

    • Peterr says:

      Messiahship does not come with applause from the crowds. As Isaiah noted about the Messiah, “Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.”

  2. Jim White says:

    Gosh, I’m not sure I ever got around to the serious level of gloating I earned with the outstanding, wonderful, very good Gator win of the College World Series. And look out baseball world, the team looks even better for next year!

    Great tune, bmaz. You should make “Stuck in Arizona” your theme song since you didn’t get your lazy ass (along with Ew’s and Armando’s, among others) down here to Gainesville to help me watch the game on the tube.

    I can top your suspension joke, as it looks like Mac’s socks are suspended today, too.

    As for the game, despite all the suspensions, the Gators should be in great shape anyway. They have tremendous depth this year and despite losing their number one receiver and running back, those positions are especially deep, so don’t be surprised when the Gators show flashes of returning to their very offensive brand of football (pun intended). The biggest improvements come at QB, where they finally have a legit threat in Franks who beat out a talented group in a very competitive spring and fall. The o-line also finally is likely to come into maturity this year. There are questions on depth in the defensive backfield, but I think the thin crew is in position to step up. I look for the Gators to win by at least a TD.

    With the loss of so many starters, Marcy’s team looks very much like a fraud with that inflated ranking. And of course Harbaugh was so embarrassed by his recruiting he played very childish games with hiding his roster. Not the move of someone with confidence in his team.

  3. scribe says:

    It is too early to get too deep into football.  The trees are not yet turning (except for a couple leaves atop a neighbor’s maple – I’m looking at you!) and there is plenty of baseball left.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Justin Verlander is now an Astro (I thought he’d be a Tiger for life), Aaron Judge is still not hitting (Curse of The Home Run Derby, vol. 17), Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez is doing a variation on Met catcher (from 25+ years ago) Mackey Sasser and his yips throwing the ball back to the pitcher (i.e., being unable to, such that he had to walk it out – you can look it up) with his repeated trips to the mound.  Bubbie, if you have to go out and chat all the time, it tells me (and everyone else) you got no confidence in your ability to call a game.  Oh, yeah.  Learn to get the mitt down and stop the pitch, rather than lead the league in hitters striking out and reaching first base when you drop the ball or let it roll through your legs.

    At least Sanchez doesn’t have yips like Knoblauch did, throwing the ball from second into the stands and hitting Keith Olbermann’s mother n’at, but that ain’t saying much.

    I’m debating whether to talk about my Stillers, seeing as how there’s the better part of a week until the pros start their games.  I will say I’ve heard the Noo Englanders are looking forward to raising a banner and hope for the appearance of King Roger the Clown at the ceremony.  I wouldn’t hold my breath, seeing as the man Roger is a spineless, craven coward who makes the run of lickspittle toadies look good by comparison.  That said, it is regrettable that Edelman blew up his ACL in a meaningless pre-season game, working for some yards-after-catch.  But, the Patsies and Cheatin’ Bill being what they are, a new WR will appear from nowhere.  I heard there will be a hurling tournament at Fenway this fall (the Irish game, not typical Drunken Sawx Fan behavior), so I can see Bill recruiting a good WR out of there.  Worked with Hogan and ruggers, so why not?

    But IMHO, the best way to deal with King Roger the Clown, short of screaming “Free Tom Brady” at him and his wife while cornered in the supermarket checkout line near his summer lair on a seaside Maine cliff, is what his neighbors there have done.  Reports from people known to this writer are that King Roger’s neighbors, Pats fans all, have made his lair a very unpleasant place by shunning him and his wife.  Serves him right.  Sucks when you have millions and your neighbors won’t invite you over for drinks or BBQ.

    If the reports out of camp are true, the Steelers may have pulled off a major coup in drafting Watt The Younger to join their LBs.  This, amplified by making him the understudy to the immortal James Silverback Harrison, he who singlehandedly demolished the acceptability of participation trophies, among other uber-alpha-competitive highlights.  (“If you don’t win, don’t come home.”)  And who the craven King Roger had piss-tested 5 times in the last month of last season, unable to believe that clean living, vigorous workouts and hundreds of thousands of dollars to specialists could, indeed, make it possible for him to play linebacker at a top level – high enough to draw double-teams- in the No Fun League.

    Watt, I’m told, saw the marker placed by a man nearly twice his age and let the competitive fires rage.

    Astros will beat the Sawx in the ALCS, 4-2 I’m guessing.

    Dodgers v. ‘Stros in the WS.  Can’t call it.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Before the ALCS, we have a four game series with the Astros at home.

      Sept 28 @ 7:10

      Sept 29 @ 7:10

      Sept 30 @ 4:05 and the finale

      October 1 @ 3:05.

      The schedule makers cooked a TV delight……..









      • What Constitution? says:

        Nah, Angels over Dodgers in WS.

        I mean, as sabermetrics go, one of the TV guys calling yesterday’s Angels-Rangers game (Angels win in 10) offered the insanely arcane observation that Mike Trout is batting .625 against the split-fingered fastball this year — and who could hope to defeat a team with a guy like that on it?

  4. dakine01 says:

    It’s gonna be like old times in beautiful Bowling Green, KY today where my Hilltoppers break in a new coach in a game against long standing rival Eastern Kentucky (though different levels now.)  If it were the old days when the field was grass, it would be a mud fest as Bowling Green has gotten nearly 5 inches of rain the last couple of days (obviously not to TX mounts but still…) but the field is something called Field Turf now.

    Anyway, Go ‘TOPPERS!

  5. Ed Walker says:

    Heard on ESPN during one of the punch-down bowls (Clemson-App State?)

    College games are too  long. More after the break.

  6. bmaz says:

    Huh. Bill Bel and the Pats have traded Jacoby Brissett to the Colts for ultra speedy WR and return man Phil Dorsey. Guess Belichik really was concerned about return game without Edelman and then Cyrus Jones done for year with ACL injury.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, a bit sad about that. I liked Brissett as the future over Garop. But BillBel is determined to give Tommy all the weapons he might want this year.

        • bmaz says:

          Which means that it just got VERY likely that they use the franchise tag on Garropolo next year and pay their backup QB like $21 million.

    • Peterr says:

      You seem to be under the impression that they exist for their fashion sense, or for their connection to Tradition(tm), as opposed to their true purpose: to make money.

      “Getyer specialty uniforms here! One time only, so get ’em while they last. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. They’re a limited edition item, so buy one to wear and one to save — the investment potential is amazing! . . .”

      They can be yours for the low low price of $119.99, plus 4.99 shipping and handling.

  7. Peterr says:

    The Big XII has been the NCAA title holder for the school whose athletics department is the most abusive toward women, with Baylor’s Days of Yore setting the gold standard, when Ken Starr (yes, THAT Ken Starr) couldn’t figure out what to do with rapists in the football program and the coaches who protect them.

    This past Wednesday, the SEC made it clear that they are unwilling to let the title go to the Big XII uncontested:

    A Title IX complaint and a subsequent letter from a former player describe Auburn’s softball program under recently retired head coach Clint Myers as one where players were subjected to a pattern of inappropriate, sexualized attention by the coach’s son, according to an ESPNW report.

    Myers retired Wednesday, making no mention of the complaint and ongoing investigation, but now it appears that a Title IX sexual discrimination complaint was formally filed against the school earlier this summer, alleging that Corey Myers, the head coach’s son and an assistant coach with the team, had “relations and [pursued] relations with multiple members of the team,” and that, when confronted by his players, Clint Myers and another school official threatened the players who spoke out:

    Greenberg’s letter alleges that on March 30, 2017, “several players approached Head Coach Myers with proof in the form of text messages from a student-athlete’s cell phone that Coach Corey was having an inappropriate relationship with one of the student-athletes.”

    According to the letter and several players, the team was then “quarantined” for several hours prior to a trip to Georgia. Five players told ESPN that, at that meeting, Auburn executive associate athletic director Meredith Jenkins told the players they were risking arrest for taking the text messages from their teammate’s phone and ordered them to delete the messages.

    Baylor and the Big XII are not impressed with this minor-league attempt to wrest their title. The day after Myers resigned at Auburn, another Title IX lawsuit was filed against Baylor (the second in the last two weeks), bringing the number to 9.

  8. jo6pac says:

    Yawn I’ll be back next week.

    Go Raiders

    9ers, well they have pretty much got rid of all the players from the pass and now have something in the way of 72+ million in cap. Strange

  9. quebecois says:

    Messy qual. session this morning.  The asphalt they used in the parabolica and straight does not drain water to F1 specification.   Stroll pulled a fast quali where he dominated Massa proving that this guy is not all about his dad’s money.  This kid is obviously talented.  Is the NFL still in denial about CTE?


    • Peterr says:

      The NFL is definitely not in denial about CTE. They are very clearly convinced it can cost them a lot of money, and are determined to act boldly to minimize their financial exposure.

      But if you are asking if they are worried about what will happen (or is happening) to players as human beings rather than revenue generators, the answer is no.

  10. rosalind says:

    how did I not know that Mr. Edelman was QB for our cross-town high school rivals? Or that he played his first year at College of San Mateo – longtime home of Coach Tom Martinez, aka Tommy Brady’s longtime mentor, and my childhood neighbor? world/small.

  11. bmaz says:

    Two things bugging me about the start of the season for Trash:

    1) Marcy did not properly laud the “featured image” with wonderful jerseys

    2) Nobody….but especially Rosalind….seems to have watched the Black Bottom Lighters. They are really pretty smoking.

  12. bmaz says:

    Have to be honest, even though they were not necessarily “squeakers”, the US Open today has been far more compelling than NCAA football.

  13. lefty665 says:

    Hey, baseball still exists, and the Nats are once again threatening. They are solidly astride their division, have been getting guys back faster than they are injuring them, and the replacements have been winning games in the meantime.

    What trick will they find this year to once again snatch defeat out of the jaws of a world serious appearance?

  14. tjallen says:

    Be interested to see Alonzo at Williams next year? Too bad the car is not so good, but it may be better than the McLaren-Honda (if the McL still has a Honda in back next year.)
    Stroll did fine, and Ocon too. Good to see some young drivers who are not so reckless/dangerous in their youthful aggression. Why do the crowds (and car owners) so love the dangerous/over-aggressive drivers like Verstappen, who wreck a dozen cars in their first couple years, when more points are accumulated by smoother, calmer, more mature young drivers? Sure, the Sennas, Villenuvues, and Verstappens win sometimes, but so do the Damon Hills, Buttons and Prosts.

  15. bmaz says:

    Personally I think Alonso may still be the best driver in F1, if not,then certainly in the top 3-4. So, yeah, I’d love to see him in better equipment. By my understanding though, it is more likely that McLaren switches to Renault power than Fernando going to Williams. The McLaren chassis is actually quite good. With equal Renault power, it is quite likely McLaren could be up with the Red Bulls. Not quite Mercedes of Ferrari territory, but a LOT better.

  16. quebecois says:

    Alonso is in the top three, with Hamilton and Ricciardo.  I hope Honda will just go away, they are so bad.   The Renault engine has had a lot of failures this year.  I agree about Ocon and Stroll who have been prepared so well to deal with the pressures of being in front for the first time.  Stroll not fighting Ocon in the first turn was a relief.   Alonso and Stroll would make a great team, I think that Alonso will stay with his team if Renault comes in.


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