End Of The Regular Season Road Trash

Welp, with this weekend, we have reached the end of the road for the regular season in the NFL and the NCAA, with only playoffs in the former and the BCS Championship game left in the latter.

It is still early out here in the west, and I have some very important duties duties to do this morning in regards to selecting our new puppy, so this will be a brief stub as a placeholder for this that want to start talking trash. I mean, hey who knows, there might be people interested in the Taxslayer Bowl (Louisville/Mississippi State) and the Liberty Bowl (Iowa State/Memphis), both of which start well before I will be back. As I have mentioned before, Memphis is really fun to watch.

I will fill in some more post content later. And……..

Okay, back now. There are only two huge bowl games left before the BCS playoffs. First up is the Fiesta Bowl here at Cardinals joint early afternoon. Pits Washington versus Penn State, both teams coming in at 10-2. This really should be a great game, both have solid defenses and both can be extremely explosive on offense. I’ll root for the Huskies, but give slight edge to Nittany Lions. Then there is the Orange Bowl tonight with Wisconsin v. Miami. Wisconsin is tough and they grind. But Miami, if they get their groove back is more explosive and this is a home game for them. That is a pick em in my eyes, but oddsmakers have Wisconsin by 6. That is probably right.

On New Year’s Day, there are five games. Michigan/South Carolina in Outback Bowl and Notre Dame/LSU in the Citrus Bowl look like yawners. But UCF versus Auburn in the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl could be pretty good. Then there are the two BCS semifinals. First up is Georgia v. Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. As good as Georgia is on offense, Oklahoma is even better, but the reverse holds on defense, where the Bulldogs only allow 13 points a game. Spread is currently 2.5, but I don’t buy it. Straight up pick-em. In the late game, it is yet another rematch of Alabama and Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Very even on both sides of the ball. Clemson, even when they lost two years ago to Bama, played them neck and neck, which no one does. Last year they won. They are not afraid of the Tide, and I will give them a slight edge.

On to the Pros: Cardinals at Seattle is always a bloodbath. Cards have won three out of the last four up there though. Squawks still have shot at playoffs and are probably far more motivated. Niners at Rams is interesting as SF is on a roll with Jimmy G and the Rams are resting up. I’ll actual;ly take SF there. Jets at Pats and Browns at Steelers only interesting to see if either of the two top seeds screw up and lose. Steelers resting key players, but then again it is only the Brownies. Lastly, there is nothing playoff wise in play, but Packers at Lions is always a good game lately. Green Bay has Hundley, Kittehs have Matt Stafford, I’ll take the Kittehs.

Since it is a road post, I thought some road music from Bob Dylan would be in order. Behold the incomparable “On the Road Again” set to scenes from the classic movie of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Rock and roll it.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.

28 replies
  1. Bay State Librul says:

    92 (XCII)

    Geneo Grissom bestows 92 to James Harrison.

    Steelers on the road?

    January 21st @ Gillette

    Scribe’s revenge….

     

     

  2. Trent says:

    Interesting stat: of 7 times a heisman qb has faced a top 10 D, heisman qb has won exactly once. ( I think I heard that right on the radio this am). Sic ‘em Dawgs!!!
    Falcons looked like shit against the Saints and I think they’ll play just as sloppy against sCam and the Charlotte Panthers but I’ll hold out hope because I’m friends with Arthur’s daughter.
    Namaste

  3. Peterr says:

    The Chefs are resting Alex Smith and starting rookie QB Patrick Mahomes. At the start of the season, some in KC was clamoring for Mahomes to start from Day One, which got laughed at a lot — especially when Smith put together a string of really good games against some really good teams. At this point, everyone at Arrowhead is clear that this is “checking out what’s on the shelf” as opposed to igniting a QB controversy.

    And nothing would go down better in KC than for the Chefs to beat the Donks (a) in Denver and (b) with their backup QB.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    Bob Ryan gives an honest appraisal of the Pats.
    Playoffs are a coin toss.

    “The Patriots are never going to prevail in the national Court of Public Opinion, OK? They have been the beneficiary of some really troubling rules interpretations, and people elsewhere smell a rat emanating from the league office, which is clearly ridiculous. But they do. Of course, what their critics seldom acknowledge is that the Patriots almost always capitalize on the physical and mental errors of their opponents in a manner no other team matches.

    The playoffs will not be easy. Pittsburgh can play with them and so, too, I believe, can Jacksonville. I wouldn’t overlook KC if that’s the case, either.”

    • Peterr says:

      “the Patriots almost always capitalize on the physical and mental errors of their opponents in a manner no other team matches”

      Right. The other 31 teams erred in not putting handcuffs on every Pats employee not on the sideline or in the locker room, and the Pats just took advantage of that mistake. And rats inside the league office? Inconceivable!

      Or, you know, not.

      Goodell had imposed a $500,000 fine on Belichick, a $250,000 fine on the team and the loss of a first-round draft pick just four days after league security officials had caught the Patriots and before he’d even sent a team of investigators to Foxborough, Massachusetts. Those investigators hadn’t come up empty: Inside a room accessible only to Belichick and a few others, they found a library of scouting material containing videotapes of opponents’ signals, with detailed notes matching signals to plays for many teams going back seven seasons. Among them were handwritten diagrams of the defensive signals of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the notes used in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game won by the Patriots 24-17. Yet almost as quickly as the tapes and notes were found, they were destroyed, on Goodell’s orders: League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room.

      Yep. Nothing to see here, Bob. Move along, move along . . .

  5. Rapier says:

    Belichick is an evil genius. Well BelichickBrady are. It’s uncanny how players just do their job for the Pats. No drama, just do the job. They will design each play and formation taking into account their abilities. Then apparently they are told, ‘you can do this’. As opposed to ‘well maybe you can do this, once you learn the system blah blah blah’. I am sure nobody gets my drift.

  6. Pete says:

    A pic of Q or of Kiki or both would make 2017 better than it otherwise would be. Just sayin…

    Others might consider doing so as well and I will once I get off the road.

    Pete

  7. Bay State Librul says:

    Peterr,

    The Ides of Arlen?

    Was Dan Rooney part of the cover-up?

    …. “Steelers chairman Dan Rooney rebuffed Specter, stating that “We consider the tapes of our coaching staff during our games against the New England Patriots to be a non-issue. In our opinion, they had no impact on the results of those games.”

  8. scribe says:

    Nothing much to see here. Patsies taking it to the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, whose defense can’t not get penalized even though Biebs and Co. don’t really look to be trying too hard. 4 NE first downs b/c of penalties so far. Biebs throwing a big block on an end-around. Harrison getting some snaps.
    Stillers playing scrubs and letting the Browns have something approaching a game. Pride and playing for next year’s job [elsewhere] driving the Browns.

    EW and I had a discussion in the background about the Harrison move, which I’ll reprint here. EW asked me how I felt about the Pats signing Harrison and I said:

    “Meh.

    “If it comes down to the AFC Championship and Harrison is a deciding player in a Steeler defeat, then they had it coming. Thinking about it while walking over to get my coffee this morning, I concluded Tomlin disrespected Harrison both as a player and as a man. The situation would never had devolved to the point it did, with Harrison wanting to go (“play me or trade me”, in Baseball English) and the Steelers wanting to free up a roster spot by cutting him, of all people. There were a number of lesser players who could and should have gone first. Especially not on the Saturday before a Monday game, setting aside the whole Cut For Christmas thing. Harrison was grumping about playing time earlier in the season and Tomlin fed into that comparing him to a vintage car you take out on sunny days and special occasions but leave in the garage otherwise. Granted, drafting Watt the Younger and having him compete for and win Harrison’s spot put the writing on the wall, but any 40 y/o linebacker still in uniform would have had the same writing facing him. Harrison wanted to retire a Steeler – should have been a Steeler for Life, really – and that won’t happen now.

    “Frankly, there’s a lot wrong in the way the Steelers coaching staff is handling people, and plays late in the game. I can see Ben retiring not because he feels his tank is empty and he is done with playing, but rather because he’s fed up with the coaching. That whole “handoff to Bell when the Pats know it’s coming”, which led to the 3 and out which was the “real” deciding factor in that game – it would never have gotten to Jesse James and the catch rule had they converted that 3rd down [before NE’s lead-taking TD drive] – traces directly to the coaches. One would think that after 14 years and 2 Super Bowl wins, Ben would be entitled to call plays. But no. The coaches are flaunting a whole lot of ego and they’re going to take one of the most talented teams in the league in a long time and piss it away because of that ego. I’m thinking more highly of Blount’s being a “bad citizen” and then walking away, then turning into a perfect citizen and workhorse for Cheatin’ Bill AND NOW in Philly. In walking away, maybe he had something there. Like his finger on a leadership problem that had and has nothing to do with the players and everything to do with the coaches.

    “If, OTOH, Harrison is not a deciding factor, or somehow causes a Pats loss, then the Steelers will feel proven right. In reality, they will have just papered over the rot.

    “On a slightly different topic, when I’m around town here … at home … I’m usually wearing a Steeler hat. I have had more total strangers, people in stores or on the street, come up to me and apologize or say comforting things about that game. More than I can count. I was walking over to get coffee this morning at 630 and passed some guy…. Total stranger in a Pats hat, he asked how I was doing and apologized for the result. Go figure.”

    Still feel that way.

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    Next up on the leader board…
    The Times wants Jacksonville vs. Foxboro

    “The Pittsburgh Steelers might have the verve and experience to thwart the Patriots, but from an entertainment standpoint, the ideal matchup for the conference title game would have the upstart Jacksonville tramping into New England’s Gillette Stadium.

    The Jaguars have considerable problems on offense, but their defense is formidable. They are also among the league leaders in sacks. And no one is more aware of how a relentless pass rush can unnerve Tom Brady than Tom Coughlin, the former Giants coach and the driving force behind Jacksonville’s revival.

    Coughlin’s crafting of the Giants’ two Super Bowl upsets against the Patriots may seem like ancient history, but it is still fresh in his mind. And don’t be fooled by Coughlin’s new, elegant-sounding front office title: executive vice president of the Jaguars. He commandingly roams the sidelines at Jacksonville practices.

    If the Jaguars get to Gillette this month, Coughlin will be standing at a white board in the days before the game to help concoct a plan that can derail the Patriots’ Super Bowl train.”

  10. bmaz says:

    Thirty years ago today, I was in Pasadena to watch ASU blow up Bo, Harbaugh and the Wolvereenies in the Pose Bowl, and then caught a jet back to Tempe to watch Penn State beat Vinn Testaverde and the Miami Hurricanes for National Championship in the Fiesta Bowl at night.

    Fun times.

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