Game of the century of the week prediction

Alabama 35, Florida 26. Alabama grinds out a couple of long drives, keeps Florida from breaking big plays, and gets one big play of their own in the kicking game.

Open invitation to kick Mac’s ass

I co-own an expansion team in an APBA Baseball for Windows league. An established team is without a manager right now, and we need someone to take it over. Email me at bravesjournal at gmail dot come if you’re interested. Chipper is on the roster, if that helps.

(Posted a bit early because I thought the other thread looked full.)

337 thoughts on “Game of the century of the week prediction”

  1. alabama 24-21

    I put this in the last thread, but here it is again anyways…

    “geez, if Smoltz can come back and start for us it would be huge. They said they should know by Christmas what the plans are for John.

    For some reason Im trying to convince myself of why he wouldnt be effective after this surgery, but then I just look at his performance with that damaged shoulder and it erases most of those doubts. Smoltz is too good of a competitor and he wont come back to be average. Until he puts up an ERA over 3.5, which hasnt been done since 1995, I wont doubt him”

  2. Florida 48, Alabama 16

    I’m not really sure it matters who Florida is playing; Tebow is a man on a mission.

  3. Except for him being a Gator, I like Rob Cope’s posts a lot. That said, this old Gator Hater would love to see Bama whup the lizards; but I expect Florida to win by four touchdowns or more. Damn it.

  4. Alabama 32 Florida 24
    Bama’s defense holds Florida for most of the game. Bama intercepts on a last gasp Florida drive.

  5. Apparently Steve Sarkisian got the coaching job at Washington. Good luck to him. Seems like just yesterday he was quarterbacking for my cougars. Ahh, freshman year…

  6. I hate you, Stu. :)

    Thanks, Coop.

    Yeah, I think Florida just has too many playmakers on offense to be kept out of the end zone. This is the first game all year, though, I’m legitimately concerned for.

  7. c.shorter, I think Sark will do a good job in Washington. I would much rather have Sark as my head coach than Lane Kiffin, that’s for sure. Kiffin only got the Raider job after Sarkisian had enough sense to turn them down. I think he did a better job overall running the USC offense than Kiffin did anyway.

  8. I do think Florida’s probably going to win, but I’ll tell you this: The outright disrespect being directed toward Alabama right now is starting to border on stupid, and this is coming from someone who intensely loathes them (although I intensely loathe Florida pretty much the same amount). For the No. 1 team in the country to be 10-point underdogs to anyone is ludicrous, and for everyone to be nodding their head and picking spreads greater than that is absolutely mind-boggling. Not just here, but everywhere.

    Not to bring everything back to Tennessee, but I kind of have to in order to illustrate a point here. This really reminds me of our game with Florida in 2001. We were No. 4 in the nation and went into Gainesville as 18-point underdogs. We won that game, and played as if we had never wanted anything more in our whole lives to do it. (If anyone brings up what happened the next week, they get shot BTW.) My point is Top 5 teams (much less No. 1 teams) should not be double-digit underdogs, and to make them such is a huge slap in the face, and if they’re any type of a team, should really piss them off. I guarantee you Saban’ll use it as motivation, and rightfully so.

    I was much more confident that Florida was gonna win this game before I saw that line than I am now. It’s not like Alabama isn’t capable of winning this game, and it’s not like Florida has been facing a bunch of teams with great defenses. Florida may win, but I will be surprised if they cover the spread, and I will be shocked if they win by more than two possessions.

    My prediction: Florida 20, Alabama 17

  9. Point spread has nothing to do with respect or disrespect—it has to do with money.

    Bookies & sports books don’t care about the feelings of coaches or players. They just want equal money bet on each side.

  10. Obviously the spread being set in the double digits means so many people think that Florida is going to win that they won’t start betting on Bama until you give them 10 points. That is the insult, if you want to look at it that way.

    I’m shocked at the SEC’s tumble this year. It is pretty shallow compared to its normal depth. Only 3 BCS top 25 teams. Granted, Bama and Florida both reside in the top 4 of every poll, but UGA is down below 15 and got waxed by just about every good team they played. In the AP poll, no other SEC team even received any top 25 votes. If UGA began the year at #10 instead of #1 they might not even be ranked either. The coaches did get Mississippi into the top 25.

    Anyway, I think the Big 12 was the superior conference this season and its good that the championship game is going to feature the SEC champ against the Big 12 champ. I’d like to see each runner up go head to head as well but I know that won’t happen.

    I’d prefer to see OU vs Bama and Texas vs Florida. Even though that would put all the maroon in one game and all the orange in the other and would probably be the most aesthetically repulsive possible combination. I think those teams match up better and would be more fun to see.

  11. Point Differential:
    Alabama +247
    Florida +409

    Point Differential (SEC play):
    Alabama +140
    Florida +259

    Strength of Schedule:
    Alabama 88th
    Florida 13th

    I think Florida is the superior team. I really don’t see Meyer and Tebow being denied a shot at the “title” (I put that in quotations just for you ububba) by the likes of John Parker Wilson. Florida covers the 10 point spread.

    ‘Bama’s time will come, just not this year.

  12. Wow! No respect for Number #1!
    I’m a damn yankee (Hoosier), but you guys got me hooked on SEC football this fall and I’ve seen almost every Alabama game. And I think they’re gonna bust Florida in the mouth. I can’t believe so many are forgetting Saban is coaching a great team.

    Alabama 31 Florida 21

  13. Mraver – from the previous thread.

    The reason I do not want to see the Braves force a fit into lf is that I do not see us as being really competitive next year.

    Think of it – we have to have a power bat out there and we really need it to be right handed. This should be something we get on the free agent market, but strangely, there just do not seem to be any good options. If we force our way into a trade, I envision us overpaying for a less than ideal solution.

    That’s why I do not really like the Vazquez deal. We got good value, but he is only signed for two years. I would rather us have spent Tyler Flowers on someone who would have a more enduring impact on our roster.

  14. Ahem:

    Alabama 27, Florida 24.

    Keep in mind that NO ONE picked Bama to win August 30th vs. Clemson and they thrashed them. Yes, Florida’s a lot better than Clemson, but Bama wasn’t even top 20 back then.

    Something else to consider (and I say this as a Georgia fan) – Florida hasn’t seen a really stout offensive and defensive line all year. Look at their schedule. (yes, if we don’t lose 3 of our top OL’s at Georgia and have our top DE all year, Jeff Owens, I think we’re a different team, but I digress).

    The point…Florida’s been jacking up high scores on teams not uquipped to handle Urban Whiner’s team speed. Anchored by Terrence Cody and Andre Smith, Bama has the All American horses to stand up to the Gators.

    Additionally, even if Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey play, they’re not at full speed:'-Rainey-hampered-by-groin-injury,-will-play

    Bottomline, all of you Gator lovers are delusional if you think Florida can just run all over Bama like they’re the Citadel.

    I stand by my prediction: Bama – 27, Blue & Orange a–holes – 24

    Roll Tide.

  15. Re: Lane Kiffin

    Lane Kiffin was hired when the “horny old boys network” in Knoxville met LAYLA Kiffin.

    Brad Edwards (?) maybe or someone on ESPN jokd that the only thing Lane Kiffin has ever proven is he’s really good at interviewing.

    My guess is he walks in with Layla Kiffin and that’s the interview “close”.

    My joke to Mac and others since Lane Kiffin was hired is that Basketball coach Bruce Pearl is now on “Sexual harrassment watch alert”.

    I think a camera watching Pearl follow Layla Kiffin around Knoxville would be an awesome Reality series.

    As for Kiffin the coach, he’s in way over his head and will be out in 3-4 years. He’s nothing more than a transition coach to the next hire at UT.

  16. People here give Alabama no respect or people in the national media doing so? Because people here seem evenly split between “Alabama wins like Alabama has been winning” and “Florida wins like Florida’s been winning” camps.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the game end up really low-scoring, just because when everyone thinks one thing in college football, they tend to all be wrong. :-)

    And while I don’t think Florida will run over ‘Bama like they’re Citadel, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ran over them like they were LSU or UGA or something like that. Those were top 5 teams until they played the Gators. ;-)

  17. I triple-hate UF, but I have seen almost all their games this year, and despite that hiccup against Ole Miss, they look like a juggernaut – especially the last two months. It doesn’t help either that this game is on turf. UF 37, Tide 19. I hope I am wrong, I hope Bama whips Florida’s ass, I hope to see Tebow cry after the game, I hope, I hope.

  18. i hope i’m wrong because i’m religiously opposed to rooting for the gators…………but….Florida38-Alabama 21

  19. I respect that people hate these arrogant bastard Gators while sticking picking them.

    However, while I hate Florida almost as much as I hate Al Queda (I firmly believe Urban Whiner spends HIS offseasons hiding in a cave on the Pakistan-Afghan border…) I’m picking Bama because I really believe Florida’s run up the score on a bunch of teams *(including mine) that simply didn’t have the lines to slow them down.

    (and Florida’s 1 loss, Ole Miss, was probably the 2nd stoutest lines they’ll have faced all year besides tomorrow).

    Plus, again, two of the Gators deadliest weapons, Harvin and Rainey, are not at full strength.

  20. For the record, in 1992, no one gave Bama any chance either and they crushed a fancy, high scoring Miami offense and the “legendary” Gino Torretta.

    And anyone who will sit and say, “oh, well Tebow is so much more respected than Toretta” was not following football in 92…trust me when I say that Gino was the ‘golden boy’ of college football who could do NO wrong. It took a tough in the trenches Bama team to expose him.

    I think the same thing happens tomorrow, though I do think Tebow will have a much better game than Toretta, albeit in defeat.

    Plus, Saban is a better coach than Urban Whiner.

  21. Ah, the ’92 Bama/Miami game – my favorite college football game of all time.

    When the Bama DB ran down and just TOOK the ball from the Miami receiver (names, please) it marked the beginning of the end of the Miami dynasty.

    Time to nip the budding Florida dynasty. Nip it. Nip it in the bud.

  22. well said Alex, but any comparison between Torreta and Tebow is just crazy. when your QB runs around knocking linebackers on their ass, it’s a whole new ballgame.

  23. hankonly–That was also a great game–I also remember Curry disciplining Prince Wembly (Mac–correct me if I am wrong about this) for behaving as an arrogant Miami player might….

  24. Well, Calathes is hot from 3 right now, but the Tide has a strong inside presence.

    I’d say

    Bama 79
    UF 74.

    (What? It is basketball you guys are talking about, right?)

  25. I think that Alabama will win 28-24. However, they are not playing a team that will allow them to overcome turnovers. I think that Florida could have an int or a fumble and still win. I don’t think that Alabama can do the same.

    I’m jealous. I’m going to the Big 12 title game tomorrow to root for a holiday miracle for my Tigers, but I wish I was back in Atlanta. The game is going to be ridiculous; plus, I’m sure the weather will be nicer than the 24 degrees and snow that we’re expecting up here.

  26. Isn’t there an indoor stadium in the Midwest somewhere?

    Btw, have we fired Terry Pendleton yet and if not, why not?

  27. Why is Nick Saban a better coach than Urban Meyer? Last time I checked, they have the same amount of national championships.

    I love it that so much of you on here absolutely HATE Florida. Love it, love it, love it, love it… (in that weird Jim Gaffigan voice)

  28. Seat Painter – if we’re talking basketball, I’d put it about 110 to 50 for Florida. Alabama just beat Alabama A&M by 8 points. This is the same A&M team that lost to basketball powers like Alcorn State and Southern.

    I knew Gottfried fairly well at Bama (he borrowed my truck for and out of town speaking engagement once) and I like him, but at this pace he may not make it through the year. He should definitely make new plans for next year!

  29. I was at the Sugar Bowl when Bama lost to Miami. Miami was extremely obnoxious. Curry getting in Prince Wembley’s face on the Jumbotron was awesome. It was like he was saying you will not stoop to the level of Miami no matter what they do!

  30. LOL, Smitty. I was doubting you in ’05 and again in ’08. How much did UT fans love those years?

    I get that UT fans are upset that their hire doesn’t scare anyone, but come on. Surely, even you can admit that you’re mildly terrified of the direction of the program.

  31. “I love it that so much of you on here absolutely HATE Florida.”

    The hate stems from them getting their asses kicked on a year to year basis. Alex R’s bitterness is so precious.

  32. Stu,

    I don’t care that the hire doesn’t scare anyone. I don’t think most UT fans are going around saying, “Why aren’t the all crying?”

    I think he is hiring an excellent staff and is going to give younger guys the chance to see the field, two things that Fulmer was hesitant to do. Kiffin is an excellent recruiter, that combined with the previous two things, should work out at Tennessee.

    The only think I am really concerned with is his game management. I think he has enough experience around him to make the right calls, so that may not be a big deal. He grew up around the game and I am sure he has an understanding of when to call time outs.

    I can’t wait to see what happens.

  33. Mac,

    I think Eric Berry is the whole defense.

    It was Morley and it looks like it was from an old warent that shouldn’t have been on the books.

  34. Smitty – that’s almost the same thing I said about Shula. Point is that he has a chance to be successful, but it’s a lower probability than most UT fans were hoping for.

    It should also be noted that the Shula hiring took UA completely off guard and Bama was under a cloud of probation and were in a terrible position to hire a big time coach. I don’t think the same thing can be said for UT.

  35. #49

    “Year to year basis” – I must be confused, what was the score last year, Jeremy?

    If we win the 8 in a row, I’d still hate Florida. We won 8 straight (until last week) against Georgia Tech and that’s the other most obnoxious fan base in America.

  36. Btw, have we fired Terry Pendleton yet and if not, why not?

    Because Terrence Moore would have a heart attack. So, yeah, win-win scenario there. Why hasn’t he been fired, again?

  37. “Year to year basis” – I must be confused, what was the score last year, Jeremy?

    Marc Richt 1-3 vs. URBAN MEYER.

  38. You say we are the one of most obnoxious fan base? This coming from the school where fans get on their hands and knees and bark at you while you walk by and then throw food and beer on you at games. We have the occasional retarded drunk who tries to start something, but overall we don’t act nearly as bad as UGA fans.

  39. I attended the Georgia/Alabama game in September and despite the bad result for me, I chatted WITH Bama fans at the game who made it a point to say the fans they liked the best in the SEC were Georgia fans and they were treated well.

    So Mike, there are obnoxious fans in every group and I even have some close friends who are Gators, but the vast majority of Florida fans are insufferable people.

    Kind of like their head coach.

    And Jeremy, I’m not arguing Richt’s 1-3 record in 4 games vs. Meyer, but you made a statement that was patently inaccurate, “year to year” basis since we won the 2007 game.

  40. Alex R.,

    I wasn’t speaking only about UGA.

    But I’ll amend my statement to getting your asses kicked regularly. Better?

    What makes Meyer so much more insufferable than any number of coaches in the SEC. What, Marc Richt and Little Nicky Saban are just beacons of humanity?

  41. I have to say that I’ve had the same experience you’ve had with Bama fans, Alex. As much as I hate their team and their incessant whining about Fulmer, I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever sat next to an Alabama fan at a game who was just outright rude or obnoxious to me. In fact, almost all of the best and most cordial in-game conversations I’ve had with fans of the other team have come with Alabama fans. I’ve always appreciated that, especially if Mac’s seething hatred of Tennessee is representative of how the Alabama nation as a whole feels (and I know that it mostly is).

  42. per

    rival executives believe we offered a 5 year/75 million contract for burnett.

    if that’s the case…and he accepts…i say that 15 million per year is decent for burnett…

    he’ll probably wait to see what other teams do, but i think he will be signed by the winter meetings and then the red sox and yankees and angels and possibly the dodgers are going to out-bid each other for sabathia. the angels will sign him. leaving the yankees to sign tex for something silly (10 years/220 million is about what will happen). this leaves the red sox to try to sign lowe, again. but they won’t. they MIGHT sign sheets for an incentive-laden deal. but they could be the team left out in the cold this off-season.

    now…on to the LF bat…

    anyone have ANY ideas on this front? i don’t want ludwick. has anyone heard anything?

  43. #62 – Wren told DOB yesterday that it is NOT a 5 yr deal, its a 4 yr deal with a very attainable 5th year vesting option. DOB said it should be somewhere around the $16 mil per mark

    Chris, as for the LF bat, Wren said it could be something that doesnt happen until after the season starts next year. That is a little alarming in my opinion

  44. I think “fans” and “students” should be contrasted. Every school has drunk students who are often asinine and even criminal. Georgia students almost blinded a reporter (okay, it was Finebaum, but it could have been a productive member of society) by throwing ice shavings at the UA-UGA game this year. This may have been revenge for Alabama students dumping ice and cups on Georgia players celebrating at the end of last year’s game. And this is probably the friendliest pair of fanbases in the SEC, at least among the elite programs. I’ve sat in student sections at Alabama games, and there are some awful people there. In the regular sections, that’s not the case.

  45. And I’m sorry, Jeremy, but Urban Meyer is absolutely the most insufferable coach in the SEC right now. His incessant whining, his ridiculous running up the score on people (that FG at the end of the Miami game was patently unnecessary and classless), the degree to which he thought he was the biggest genius on Earth when calling that timeout against Auburn last year (that is pretty much the ultimate douche bag coaching maneuver, but the way you can tell the really big douche bags is when one of them doesn’t do it sheepishly like he’s embarrassed that he’s about to do that, but does it proudly like he’s the biggest genius on Earth for thinking of it), his holding of a ridiculous grudge over that whole Mark Richt incident after everyone else had long forgotten about it and Richt had apologized for it, the overall air of arrogance that pervades him… I’m sorry, he’s completely insufferable. And while I’m not expecting you to think that he is, I refuse to believe that you don’t see why other people think so.

  46. I also think that the degree of familiarity makes a difference (which is kind of why I’m so appreciative of cordial Alabama fans, given that we play them every year and there’s the amount of hate that there is). I would not characterize Georgia fans as one of the friendliest fanbases in the SEC at all. In fact, quite the opposite for me. On the other hand, I’ve never had one single solitary problem with Auburn fans, or really LSU fans (although I do recognize that they’re very annoying and attempt to tip over team buses), and I’m sure you have a laundry list with both of them.

  47. I’m starting to pass over posts about how Meyer is this or that. The guy wins, he knows he wins, and he doesn’t give a crap if people thinks he runs up the score. He knows the system that he’s in, he knows what he needs his team to do, and he does it. And most importantly, he doesn’t care what stupid people who have problem with kicking late field goals and not punting on first down think.

    It’s the same old thing: people hated Spurrier too. You always hate the people who beat your head in regularly. That’s why Georgia fans will never, ever get over Meyer or Spurrier. Start beating us, and you’ll change your tune. Until then, get over it.

    Go Braves.

  48. #25 Florida has played one team with good lines this year.

    Ole Miss has an Outland finalist in Micheal Oher on offense and the other OT John Jerry is an underclassmen who will play pro ball.

    On defense you have one of the best lines in the country with two first round picks in Greg Hardy and Peria Jerry plus some solid players in Kentrell Lockett, Marcus Tillman, Ted Laurent and some solid back ups. This is the defensive line that led the SEC in sacks and tackles for a loss:

  49. The attitudes toward Meyer are heightened because he’s so good. If you win as often as he does, people will find you insufferable. So what if he’s arrogant. Beat him and he won’t be.

  50. @67 – I disagree. As a Florida State fan I really liked Spurrier, and even though most thought he was a jerk, I was actually kind of sad to see him go. He had his fair share of verbal jabs (UT/Citrus, Free Shoes University), but he cared alot about his alma mater (he would make his team show up and support the women’s sports team, e.g.) and was one of those colorful personalities that make college football what it is. This is not retrospective reflection, I actually thought those things at the time he was coaching the Gators. Plus he and Bowden seemed, at least on the outside, to have respect for one another (maybe not so with other rivals).

    Coach Meyer just seems like a prick, whether he goes 13-0 or 0-12. It’s not because he wins, there are plenty of coaches and teams that do that. Do you think UCLA fans hate Pete Carroll or OU fans hate Mack Brown?

  51. I don’t know if “insufferable” is the word I’d use to describe Meyer, but it’s hard to argue with the statement that he’s a total jerk. And, sure, if the Gators weren’t winning, nobody would pay attention to him, because he’d have no reason to be so cocky. I don’t see how that’s relevant to the issue of his character, though.

    And I love the attempt to put “calling a late timeout to kick a FG in an already-decided game” in the same category as “waiting until fourth down to punt” in order to make those who have a problem with former seem crazy. Slightly different situations there.

  52. Familiarity certainly breeds contempt in the SEC.

    For example, UGA has always played Bama and LSU on the rotational basis. (I’ve attended such games in Athens, Birmingham & Tuscaloosa, but not Baton Rouge.) And the level of nastiness isn’t close to anything you see with our annual rivals.

    Trust me, UGA students & grads hated Florida when we beat them regularly. In going to the Jax games in 1981, 82 & 83, I can tell you that the worst people I ever dealt with were Bull Gators.

    And it’s not sparring with facts to say that Spurrier & Meyer are obnoxious in victory and defeat. It hasn’t always been that way in the SEC. A few opposite examples: Bear Bryant, Vince Dooley, Shug Jordan.

    But if Florida wants to embrace the villainy, that’s fine. Neither pro wrestling nor the NFL work as well without heels either. Steve Spurrier meet Al Davis; Urban Meyer meet Abdullah the Butcher.

  53. I can’t really hate Florida because I can’t remember when they last beat Michigan. I strongly dislike them though because they are better than Michigan.

  54. As an Alabama fan my view of Meyer has been pretty neutral. Admittedly that has a lot to do with the fact that we don’t play Fla often and I don’t hear that much from him.

  55. That was the last kick of his college career too. What a way to go out.

    Ok, I’m going to stick my neck out here and ask a question that I will probably regret.

    For those who hate Michigan, what is the source of that ire? I understand hating Ohio State and ND, but I kind of get the feeling that down here in SEC country Michigan is largely irrelevant to most people until the bowl game making them unlike Tony Larussa’s face.

  56. Mac, Alabama beat Michigan in Gene Stallings’ last game 17-14 in the Outback Bowl, highlighted by Dwayne Rudd’s interception TD.

    The Tide also lost the first ever meeting with the Wolverines after the 1987 season, 24-28 in the Hall of Fame Bowl.

    So Alabama is 1-2 all-time vs. Michigan, a 4-pt game, a 3-pt game and a 1-pt overtime game*. Good contests.

    *Michigan defeated Alabama 35-34 in OT in the Orange Bowl after the 1999 season. Tom Brady to David Terrell destroyed Alabama’s terrible secondary, but Shaun Alexander ran all over the Wolverine defense (OT Chris Samuels did not play since he was a guaranteed top NFL draft pick–think he had slight knee soreness). Game was decided by a missed extra point in overtime.

  57. I was at the 87 game. Michigan had a terrible qb, but his one perfect pass was a game winning fourth down td. I still can’t say that I hate Michigan. It seems like there are several Michigan transplants in Alabama and most of the ones I know are passionate about their team but not obnoxious.

  58. Overall, Michigan’s games against SEC opponents in the bowl games are among my favorites that they ever play. Tennessee destroyed us one year though.

    The teams I hate in order from most to least hated.

    Ohio State – maximum hatred almost exclusively due to fan base

    Notre Dame – ditto, but in 2nd because they’re less annoying when we lose to them than OSU is and lately we lose to them less frequently

    USC – exclusively due to on field results and being sick of them always being Michigan’s Rose Bowl opponent when we make it there

    Wisconsin – Because they are always overrated and losing to them is annoying because beating Michigan makes people overrate them even more

    Nebraska – for 1997 and the ’06 bowl game.

    That’s about it really. Any other team I am ambivalent about unless I need them to lose for Michigan to move up in the rankings. There are some other teams I love to see lose though, like Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, and Florida State.

  59. As a Tennessee fan I hate Spurrier less than I use to.

    I think Meyer is a whinny bitch. After touchdown last year and all the Georgia players ran on the field, Meyer is still crying about that. Think of what Spurrier would have done:

    5 wide the rest of the game. Stafford would have been in ICU after some walk-on senior from south Georgia laid a late hit on him. Then there would have been like 17 triple reverses, and Florida would have won by 33 points.

    When Tebow goes and the rest of the confrence gets a lot of speed on defence, Meyer is going to be done.

    Alabama fans in the past have been terrible to be around, but they haven’t been to the promise land in so long that now they are tollerable. Florida fans, for the most part, are terrible scum suckers that no one wants to live with so we make them stay in Florida.

  60. Re:62 Chris
    My idea for LF is a wild one:
    Matt Holliday

    I know the A’s just traded for him, but there’s no indication that they’ll give him a contract extention. They didn’t give up an embarassing amount to get him. JS could pull it off; Wren might.

    Holliday locked up in LF for a few years would look mighty good. I know it’s not conventional thinking, but hearing Wren say the LF may have to wait until the season made me wonder.

  61. Notre Dame is like the Yankees. They’re both fun to hate no matter how well or poorly they are playing. Especially fun to kick when they are down.

  62. ND is the team I most love to laugh at. Followed closely by Michigan State (lol@ Plaxico and Rogers).

  63. Kevin, JS might be able to pull it off, but he wouldn’t. Holliday’s a Boras client, and he will be ludicrously overpaid, even given the present market. He’s got great tools, but he has played half of his career games in the best hitters’ park in the majors, and his value will be overinflated. We’re not going to be able to outbid a richer team willing to pay for Coors Field stats, even if he can’t repeat them outside of Coors.

  64. has the first prospect rankings of the winter out.

    Heyward at #3, Hanson #24 and Freeman #38 are the Braves on it. Probably not surprising that there’s no love for Schafer although Austin Jackson (who Jim Callis and, I think, Kevin Goldstein have both said they’d take Schafer over) was #27.

  65. Just look at the source. It has Sparty in the title. The appropriate response here is “Sparty, No!” similar to when your pet misbehaves.

  66. @92, ref. #89, I’m not sure I believe it either. One link mentioned that Peterson is friends with the Mississippi State athletic director from their time together at the University of Oregon.

    But.. Starkville? If, IF! true, then Auburn will have to get Mike Leach or else we’ll have to start asking Tiger fans for their belts and shoestrings.

    @93, Ha! You’re probably right.

  67. Smitty,
    Florida didn’t have the horses on defense last year to do anything like that.

    I have no genuine feelings about U of Michigan one way or the other, but I will say that it has been my experience that Ann Arbor people are cooler than Columbus people. Also, my view is put through a music filter—historically, the music scene has been better in Michigan.

    Re: Getting Your Hate On
    Hate? Hmmm, I don’t think I actually hate any college football team, except Florida. Anyone else is just an annoyance.

    When I was a little kid and there were fewer games on TV, I always seemed to chose sides in the big rivalry games, sometimes based on uniforms, sometime based on nothing.

    Ohio St/Michigan? I’d root for Michigan. I liked their helmets, but now I think both schools have great uniforms.

    Notre Dame/USC? Easy. I was a Catholic school boy, after all.

    USC/UCLA? I’d root for UCLA. Again, great uniforms on both sides, but no good reason otherwise.

    Texas/Arkansas? I’d root for Arkansas. I liked the pig on their helmet.

    Oklahoma/Nebraska? I’d root for Oklahoma. I liked Greg Pruitt & those white-plastic facemasks they used to wear.

    And it’s interesting to note that, back then, the state of Florida (UF, FSU, Miami) was not a national factor.

  68. Cary, most Aubie fans that I know dont want either of those two guys. Who knows how good Peterson is? Hawkins was suppose to be great also.

    Leach at Auburn doesnt look like a fit and most people dont want it to happen.

    Apparently, Auburn went after Houston Nutt today and he turned them down also

  69. I still don’t believe it. I mean, why would he do that? I don’t care if his father is the MSU AD. I don’t care if it’s his wife. That’s a terrible terrible job in an armpit.

    I’m rooting for Arkansas and Alabama Polytechnic to pull off the coach swap, with Tubey in Fayetteville and Petrino in South Opelika.

  70. I’d be surprised to Mac. Peterson even turned the Mississippi State job down publicly in the newspaper on Monday. However all the State folks I know insist that its a done deal because he found out he couldn’t get the Oregon job when Bellotti retires and because State will up his salary from less than a mil at Boise to $2.5 mil for the Bullies.

    And Meyer is just as bad when he loses. After he lost to Ole Miss this year he went on and on about how they violated some rule about jumping over blockers on PATs even thought the rule involves boosting and jumping over your own player and that the reason it happened is that the Florida blocker never got out of his stance.

  71. Re: 90 AAR
    Sorry, I should’ve researched the Boras connection more thoroughly. It was your mention of Michael Lewis in an earlier posting that got me thinking about Oakland and Holliday.

  72. Ububba,

    Your sentiment towards Michigan was just about what I’d expect most people around here to have.

  73. Houston Nutt, meanwhile, scares me a little. I think he’s in a better situation at Ole Miss, where he should be top dog in the state (with MSU a mess and USM in decline) but he probably doesn’t see it that way. I hope Auburn can’t pull this off.

  74. he may be, either way, he has a clause in his contract saying he cant go to any other SEC West team in the near future. or at least thats what his agent said

  75. I just like the idea of Bobby Petrino becoming football’s Larry Brown, without the amount of hardware or rings, of course.

    Hell, maybe Bobby Lowder can buy out Petrino’s Arkansas contract himelf. For some reason, he seems to love the guy.

  76. hire him. assistant pitching coach. bullpen custodian. bench coach. bobby’s personal assistant. something to get him to rub off on the team.

  77. As much as I loved Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro & Dale Murphy, Maddux was my favorite Brave.

    He’s the only one I ever dressed as for Halloween anyway.

  78. If you haven’t done so recently, check out Mad Dog’s 1994-95 performance. Unreal.

    ’94: Averaged over 8(!) innings per start with an ERA that was 171% better than the league.

    ’95: Almost an 8:1 K:BB ratio—23(!) walks in 209 2/3 IP—with an ERA that was 162% better than the league.

    We were so spoiled.

  79. Aaron was my favorite Brave, but I never got to see him play. The guys I got to see play, Glavine and maybe Andruw Jones. I never, ever appreciated Maddux when he was with us — I took him for granted, delighted in how easy he made it look, how short his starts were, how automatic he was.

    Posnanski, of course, put it better than I ever could.

  80. Between them, Burnett and Vazquez have had one season (Javy’s 2003) with an ERA+ better than Greg’s career mark.

  81. Greg Maddux is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen, and it’s not particularly close.

  82. I think Smitty inadvertedly hit on it. The hatred of the coach is wrapped up in the present. At the time, people hated Spurrier. And Spurrier was a whiner too. When Florida lost to FSU in the regular season at Doke, Spurrier whined up a storm that the late hits knocked Wuerfful out of the game. In the national championship, even after smoking FSU, Spurrier complained about all the late hits. Spurrier whined over calls against Michigan State in the Citrus Bowl in 2001, too. Every coach whines. It’s their job to have the backs of the players. That’s what Spurrier does, and I had TONS of FSU fan friends who hated him. Now that he’s gone, people forget. Same thing with Urban. It’s just irrational hatred for someone who flat-out knows he’s a better coach than most, if not all, coaches in the SEC.

    It’s crazy how I’m defending Urban Meyer. I’ve never considered him a person that I would look at as a spiritual mentor or someone even remotely close to do. If I was a player, I would probably look at Bobby Bowden or Mark Richt that way. But to say Urban Meyer is any different than Les Miles, Nick Saban, or Bobby Petrino is ridiculous.

    But it’s not like he’s got nothing to be arrogant about. In his second year, he won a national championship. In his third, his quarterback one the Heisman. If you think Urban Meyer didn’t have a hand in the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman and put up records left and right, then you’re crazy. Now, in his fourth season (meaning: nobody from Ron Zook’s great recruiting classes), he’s playing for the SEC championship again. I think the dude deserves some respect.

  83. In 1995–when I was still incredibly pissed about the strike, it was Maddux which brought me back to baseball.

    Its a damn shame that he could not have finished his career with the Braves….

  84. People didn’t hate Spurrier for whining.

    People hate him for other things. Generally, folks don’t like it when coaches have a team beat and they take a thrill out of rubbing it in.

    Calling trick plays at the end of a game to push the score over 50 qualifies for that. People don’t forget that and they shouldn’t.

  85. You’ll have to be more specific as to what you’re referring to, ububba. The Miami field goal withstanding, I have not seen where Florida has been guilty of running up the score.

    When you’re blowing out a team, you get your 2nd team in. If THEY score, then how can you hold that against them? In our blowouts, our 2nd team has gotten a ton of snaps. In fact, you could even say that Tebow may not get the Heisman because his numbers are down so far because he hasn’t been playing nearly as much as was last year. He’s lost so much playing time because we’ve been cruising in the second quarter. And if Tebow is not around, how can you possibly hold that against the second string quarterback? Say what you want; if Georgia didn’t like it, there’s always tackling.

    And as for the timeouts against Georgia, it was so Emmannuel Moody could get three more rushes up the middle. He wasn’t going to break for a touchdown. Don’t worry. If you’ve followed Moody’s career to this point, you know he deserved to get every carry he gets, even if Urban has to call a timeout to get them. Urban could have just let the clock run out and be politically correct, but he cares more about his players than he does other teams’ fans and the media, and that should be respected.

  86. Rob,

    You may be too young to remember this, but I’m not too old to forget: the 1995 Georgia/Florida game in Athens.

    To the winners go the spoils and that’s fine. But it’s how you win & how you lose that further defines you.

    In the Goff Era, Tennessee had plenty of success vs Georgia, but they never went out of their way to insult the opposition. That kind of talk and action only came out of Gainesville.

    BTW, the timeouts didn’t really bother me—certainly not as much as the turnovers, the penalties or the replay officials did. But if you believe that Moody story, I have a subway stop in front of my apartment I’d like to sell you, too.

  87. if Georgia didn’t like it, there’s always tackling.

    Yeah, Georgia and tackling don’t really go together.

  88. From BBTF re Maddux:

    Joey B. Posted: December 05, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#3021868)
    When he gets inducted, they should make his plaque about four to six inches wider on the left side, strictly as a jest.


  89. I am indeed way too young to have remembered that. I thought we were talking more recently.

    However, I do believe the Moody story. I read several news articles about him not getting in after the Hawaii and Miami games, how he was buying his time, and then he finally got in against Tennessee. He didn’t get in in the Ole Miss game, and they had been trying to get him carries since then. He has only been getting them in blowouts.

  90. Rob,

    I am sorry I haven’t been of any help today supporting our Gators- have exams all next week. The Meyer hate is pretty entertaining- have any of y’all actually met the guy? He’s great- came to our fraternity house when he first got hired (he went to every organization on campus and ate dinner). He sat for a couple hours, ate dinner, asked questions, and was very gracious that he had the opportunity to be our coach.

    So I support my coach- he coaches my team- and he’s good at it. We all do (especially when we are winning).He might be insufferable, but as long as he takes care of my school, I am happy with the guy. Perhaps the whining wouldn’t be so loud if he wasn’t so successful.

  91. Here is some good news from the site:

    While Glavine just started playing catch earlier this week, Smoltz has been throwing for a little more than a month, and on Friday afternoon, he threw off a mound under the watchful eyes of Braves manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Roger McDowell.

    “John Smoltz was just outstanding today,” Cox said. “He threw fastballs, breaking balls, [split-finger fastballs] and changeups. If I was rating him on a scale of 1-10, I’d say he was a 6.5. He was really good.”

    Blaine Boyer, who has been working out with Smoltz throughout the offseason, was equally impressed with the performance Smoltz provided while throwing off a mound for the first time since undergoing major shoulder surgery in June.

    “The ball is just exploding out of his hands, and it’s just unbelievable, because he’s not even six months removed from his surgery,” Boyer said. “It’s absurd to see how good he’s throwing right now.”

    I would really like to see one more year of Smoltz on the hill.

  92. Rob,
    OK then, I’ll sell you the 7 Train stop and the 59th Street Bridge for the low, low price of $24.

    Hey, it worked for the Dutch…

  93. Here’s the thing, even if you want to call those timeouts to get a guy more reps, you can’t do it without looking like a jerk because you know how it will be perceived by your opponent. That is showing them up, or rubbing salt in their wounds just the same, even if you have a legitimate justification for wanting to call those timeouts.

  94. Yeah, I’m sorry, but the timeouts were a clear message. I just don’t see what the problem with that is. Was it a middle finger right in UGA’s face? Sure. But what was that crass celelebration last year? It was a complete showup, and the response this year was to make UGA wait an extra minute or two before they could take their shower. I think beating the snot out of ’em was probably enough of a response, but I don’t think what Meyer did was out of line.

    If you want to complain about Meyer, certainly you can do better than that.

  95. The ’07 celebration, which I wasn’t crazy about, was a slap in the face 5 minutes into the game.

    Florida had 55 minutes to respond. Instead, they waited a year & 55 minutes.

  96. Greg Maddux, a great great player and one of the great Atlanta Braves. Happy retirement sir and thanks for some wonderful moments.

  97. As an unbiased SEC observer, I can’t believe that I’m getting the #1 team, coached by a quality coach, getting ten points on a neutral field. Where do I sign ?? I can’t see Florida running away with this, Bama just doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot often. I’ll take Bama plus the points. If Florida wins, I see it by a field goal or a touchdown, not more than that. I think Bama wins straight up, so by law, I’ll get the ten points, but I won’t need the points. Moneyline Bama. Oh wait, this isn’t a gambling site ??

    Very sad to see Maddux retire, even after his Braves years, I don’t know that I’ve rooted, or enjoyed a player more out of a Braves uni than Maddux. I would always make an effort to watch him pitch. Smoltz remains my favorite Braves pitcher of all-time, but I never enjoyed watching a pitcher pitch, on any team more than I did Maddux. Truly a master of his craft.

  98. Also, I don’t see anybody currently pitching getting within a sniff of 355 wins. Basically, if you don’t like Greg Maddux, I may bomb your house, or you don’t appreciate baseball, one of the two.

  99. If the Mad Dog ain’t your favorite pitcher of all time…well, then screw you!

    p.s. Roll Daaaaamn Tide. 31-28.

  100. urlhix, well screw me then. Give me Game 7 of any series, and I’ll take Smoltz over Maddux. This is not an indictment of Maddux, more of how much I love Smoltzie. Like I said earlier, Maddux is the pitcher I most enjoyed watching pitch, but my loyalty to the Braves gives Smoltz the edge to Maddux.

  101. I was at a restaurant tonight having a rather serious conversation with a friend. A tribute to Greg Maddux came on SportsCenter, and right in the middle of our conversation I just said, “Can I have a moment?” I sat for two minutes in the restaurant with my friend wondering what was wrong with me while I just sat in awe of how good this guy was.

    To sort of quote Ron Burgundy: “If you don’t think Greg Maddux is the greatest pitcher in the world, I will fight you, and that’s no lie.”

  102. Well, seeing as how you guys are all about college football this week, I might as well chime in.

    Don’t know about all this hate for other programs. I can’t say that I truly despise any one more than the other. Of course there are rivals that you route a little harder against but for the most part I’m indifferent, depending on how it affects ND. That’s right; this ND fan does even “hate” Michigan or USC.

    Similar to ububba I have found reason to cheer for teams based upon things as silly as uniforms and underdog status. However, the things that I do hate about programs are the coaches and the way that they run their programs.

    With that said, Urban Meyer is number one on my hate list. Of course there is that fact that he shunned the Irish on the last coaching go round but that’s not really the source of my hate. I don’t even care about running up scores. My major gripe with the guy is his recruiting tactics.

    I don’t know if this has happened while going head to head with SEC schools but there have been several occasions when recruiting against ND he has convinced a recruit to decommit and keep silent about it. Thus, ND is left empty handed on signing day.

    I’m not opposed to poaching recruits, but asking them to essentially lie about their intentions is, if nothing else, bush league. If you can convince a recruit that your school/system/program is a better place for them, well good for you, but you should at least allow that school the opportunity to fill their vacancy with another recruit.

    Running neck and neck at second and third are Rich Rodriguez and Les Miles for no other reason than they are loud mouth, arrogant rednecks. I hope they both die a thousand painful deaths.


    What’s the word on the McGuffie transfer? Is that really happening?

    What do you guys think about Leach’s idea for the Big 12 tie breaker, graduation rates?

    Glad to see Javier Vasquez on board. Would have liked to have seen Flowers get a chance with the Braves but for what we got in return I say it was worth it. I hope we can get Burnett. and the idea of filling left field in spring training spooks me. I’m going to assume that the outfield will be shit this year and any upgrades will be minor unless we are in the thick of it at the deadline.

  103. I’m glad I didn’t read any baseball news yesterday afternoon… because it bought me a little more time not thinking about Mad Dog as retired. I know it’s not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things (especially since my dad is shaken up right now because he was fishing off the sunshine skyway in Tampa on Thursday when a lady jumped off the bridge in front of him), but Maddux was just such a large part of what’s GOOD about baseball. Smoltz is one of my favorite Braves too, and I’m glad I’ve never had to watch him in another uniform, but Maddux earned himself an awful lot of good will with the Braves fans and I don’t know of very many people who had seen him pitch for us for so many years who didn’t wish him well, and try and watch him, when he moved on.

    Hats off to ye Greg.

  104. And I know I’m a bit late, but I’m having an el Diablo barley wine to celebrate the 21st Amendment’s 75th birthday.

    That’s not political is it, Mac?


  105. Now, this certainly brings up a point about the BBWAA with Maddux retiring–will he get 100% of the vote the first time around? He certainly deserves it, but then again, there are those morons who send in blank ballots. I guess we will see in five years how stupid those voters are. Here’s a guy who’s done so many things without any personal or steroid-related scandals. The press seems to like him. His teammates like him. The opposing teams heavily respect him. The stats speak for themselves. IMHO, any voter who doesn’t put Mad Dog on their ballot when he’s eligible needs to be kept from voting ever again.

  106. So 20 years from now I’ll remember: Maddux went 8, gave up two, game took about two and a half hous. Braves won.

    Thanks for letting me say that a hundred times, Mad Dog. Especially those last two words.
    You’re my favorite and you always will be.

  107. some people over at AJC have been yelling about us not including Flowers in the Peavy deal and that could’ve gotten it done. this is per DOB…

    “From the Braves’ side, I was told the same thing last week, that Flowers was not someone the Padres had been hot on in negotiations, that he had nothing to do with the talks stalling.

    Gorkys, yes, they were high on. And I was told by a San Diego person that Charlie Morton was also someone the Padres were high on, and that Braves wanted them to take Jo-Jo instead. The Padres weren’t too high on that idea; they wanted Morton, not Reyes.

    Even that, however, was almost certainly not what prevented the deal from happening.”

  108. Whoa, Charles. I read about that. A 25 year old woman just got out of her car and jumped, from what I read. I’m really sorry for your dad, and also for that girl’s family.

    Do you live in Tampa too?


    Nah, it was a dude.

  109. I’m glad Maddux is retiring because the longer he pitched, the less people were going to remember how good he was in his prime. It’s time to go before he becomes Steve Carlton.

    As for the Gators, they have a long history of being obnoxious assholes going back to the John Reaves lay down affair in the early 70s. Urban Meyer just follows in a long line, including Charlie Pell and Spurrier. But there are very few, if any, college football coaches I would want to have a beer with anyway.

  110. dirt,

    I know what you know about McGuffie. He’s got family issues at home in Texas, a younger brother he needs to take care of though I don’t know why that is the case. He’s been homesick throughout, and then he got utterly destroyed on about 3 separate occasions, all resulting in concussions. Three concussions in year 1 of a college football career is bad news.

    I think he’s really gone this time, though he’s changed his mind once or twice already. He wasn’t at a major football dinner the other night which I think means he’s gone.

    He would probably have made a better slot receiver than running back for us, so I don’t think we are going to miss him all that much. We were about 4-5 deep at RB, but its always nice to have extra talented bodies.

  111. Furcal rejects the A’s.

    Given that the Giants were one of his other suitors, that leaves us and his mystery team.

  112. looks like Alabama could win if they would take that Arenas guy and nail his ass to the bench.

  113. really good, well played game. nice to see a big game that isnt controled by silly turnovers and penalties. that being said, if they win one more, i’ll be eating breakfast at home and screening my calls for awhile.

  114. This game was decided by a penalty. That stupid facemask call on the third down on Florida’s go-ahead drive. I thought it was ticky-tack, but I’m biased.

    McElwain’s done a great job this year, but he screwed up after that drive throwing deep on first down — doing the very thing he hadn’t done earlier and panicking. Florida couldn’t stop us when we stayed in our offense and threw midrange passes to Julio and ran between the tackles. There was plenty of time left to do that.

  115. It was a great game. Alabama could easily have won. Either team could have been a worthy representative of the SEC in the championship game.

  116. Hey guys I’m a huge Magic and Dolphins how do you guys see them? I just wanted some outside thoughts from people who’s opinion I respect…..

    @ 62 Crazy thought, Vernon Wells. Plays a good cf, but has enough power to man of of the corner spots. Jeremy Hermida, I know, wrong side of the plate, but a solid guy who man LF, would be another cheap solid fit, or take a flyer of Baldelli, then the CF problem is solved.

  117. The Dolphins need to jettison Pennington and start Henne and they’ll be super bowl champs in no time.

  118. I just wish they’d trade John Beck so he might get the chance to play somewhere before everyone just decides he’s too old to even give a shot.

  119. The Dolphins are overachieving — but most importantly they finally have a system and some stability in place with Parcells & Co. That’s a big positive after enduring Wannstedt, Saban and Cam Cameron.

    They’ve tried trading Beck, c. shorter. Nobody wants him.

  120. I think that game was secided by speical teams. Florida’s were everywhere, when that Bama guy steped out of bounds on the kick off, that really hurt.

    Sorry Mac, but don’t feel too bad, you lost to the National Champs.

  121. That was a good game. I feel like I just watched the National Championship. No Big 12 team can play as well as Alabama and Florida played tonight. Obviously I’m glad Florida just barely squeeked by. That could have easily been Alabama’s game, and I was worried for most of the game that is was. On to the National Championship (hopefully), and hopefully we’ll squeek past Oklahoma too.

  122. dix

    duke is pretty bad this year….

    the freight train that is UNC (which could beat 4 or 5 pro teams) is coming…

  123. LOL

    1. Oklahoma City

    2. Charlotte

    3. Memphis

    4. Minnesota

    5. Washington

    all five of those teams are pretty awful.

    I would venture to say we could beat The Clippers and Indiana. New York is a team that could get it together, but they’re still 2 years away from being remotely competitive.

    obviously I will until someone proves otherwise.

  124. Mac – sorry about the game. I thought Bama played a quality game, but I really think the Gators have looked like the better team for the last couple of months.

    Now, hopefully a Florida-Oklahoma matchup.

  125. For which of those team would more than 2 current Heels start? None. (In other words, they’re all better at 60%+ of the starting positions.) Does UNC have 12 guys that would stick on an NBA roster this year? Those NBA teams do…

    It’s a ridiculous argument.

  126. Was that an NBA-reg game, AAR? Because the international game is very different. (PS: The Puerto Ricans would dismantle UNC, too.)

  127. Favorite Maddux moment (note: my memory may be taking some creative license here)-

    I think it was the year that Maddog went like 81 consecutive innings without issuing a walk. Naturally, we were in a penant race.

    The Braves were in a one run game in Houston and Maddux walked the first three batters (in either the 6th or 7th). A pretty packed Astro dome rose to their feet as he went 3-0 on the 4th batter. They cheered and of course, jeered Maddux, but suddenly fell silent as Maddux recorded the 2nd and then 3rd out without allowing a single run to cross the plate. Maddux got out of the jam without even the aid of a double play.

  128. All I know is that the 2008 Florida Gators could easily beat the 1985 Bears, 1972 Dolphins, and the 1962 Packers. Easily.

  129. Of course they could – half the players on the Packer team are probably dead. Maybe not those teams, but the ’08 Lions?

  130. Wasn’t it during Carter’s presidential campaign that a reporter asked brother Billy if he’d ever seen a professional football game. “Naw,” Billy replied, “but I have seen the Falcons play.”

  131. I was hoping the Falcons could pull that game off. Now, I am feeling like they have to win out to make the playoffs.

  132. Jeremy — 191 — I’m more expecting Beck to get released. Nobody should offer anything for him considering he’s obviously not a Parcells guy (whatever that means) and so of not much value to the Dolphins. Just hoping he might get a chance somewhere. I don’t consider the few starts he got last year on that team to be a chance.

  133. The Falcons should have won that game, and yes, they will have to win out to get into the playoffs. Smith’s decision to punt on 4th and 5 with three and a half minutes to go was atrocious. Conventional wisdom remains an oxymoron.

  134. Is it irrational to have a legitimate fear that Florida won’t be in the BCS National Championship? We’re so far behind Texas in the BCS that I don’t know if we’re still gonna pass them.

  135. If Florida is not in the game, I think the entire SEC should march on the NCAA headquarters. Now I hate the Gators and wish nothing but 11 loss seasons and NCAA violation upon them, but if they get screwed, I am ready to march.

  136. It is always ridiculous to suggest that any college team would beat any pro team. As Stu alluded to, every pro team is filled with players who were one of the best two or three players on their college team, and that includes the bench warmers. I could go down the Hawks bench if you would like: Randolph Morris, star at Kentucky (albeit kind of troubled star); Othello Hunter, best player on Ohio State last year; Mario West, if not the best player on Georgia Tech late in his career, certainly one of the two best. These are the people who almost never get in the game. North Carolina is the best college basketball team in recent memory talentwise, and they have at most two top-line NBA prospects, and I’m not too keen on Hansbrough’s chances of being an NBA star, so that might leave just Ty Lawson. There is almost zero chance that the best team in college basketball history (whoever that may be) would get within 10 points of the worst team in NBA history. And frankly, I’m not even sure a college team could take one-out-of-10 against an MLB team. The Braves play either Georgia or Georgia Tech every year at the beginning of spring training. The Braves always play low-level minor league prospects, and always absolutely crush Tech and Georgia, and those are two of the better college baseball programs in the nation normally.

    And yes, that Falcons loss sucked. Smith had been really good up to that point about not automatically going into a turtle shell and sending on the kick unit on fourth-and-short, so I don’t know what got into him today, but that was by far his worst decision of the year thus far. Our defense hadn’t stopped New Orleans all day.

  137. Well Stu, you got BC in the Music City bowl. Tough draw. But hey, not bad for a team that hasn’t been to a bowl game in 2+ decades

  138. Not that tough, smitty. They can’t stop mobile QBs, and their fans won’t travel. We may well lose, but this is about the best possible matchup for us.

  139. Alabama, by all reports, is getting Utah. This is known as a “no-win game”. If you win, you’re supposed to, because it’s Utah. If you lose, everybody celebrates. I wanted Ohio State.

  140. Stu

    The Music City bowl gets the #5 pick fromt the ACC. I would have tought Miami or Maryland would have been the pick. BC is a good team

  141. I would have tought Miami or Maryland would have been the pick.

    Then you clearly did not know what was going on. The Gator Bowl wanted Clemson, and for obvious reasons, Atlanta wanted GT and Charlotte wanted UNC. Music City was going to take VT if they’d lost to BC, and it was between BC and FSU if VT won.

  142. I am baffled by the David Ross signing still, i cannot wrap my brain around it at all. Is he the greatest catcher EVER at calling a game? WTF? I am baffled.

  143. He bats right handed, and has a career OPS of .782 against LHP. Especially good in comparison with Corky’s .562 career mark.

    That’s about all I can come up with.

  144. Here’s my take on the Ross signing: I don’t really care, as there are far bigger fish to fry. It’s $1.5 million and the backup catcher spot. Frankly, “better than Corky” (and I think he is) is all I really care about.

    With “reports” coming out that Peavy to the Cubs is “on life support” and me spending more time thinking about what AJ Burnett has actually done in his career, I’m starting to wonder if the Peavy route isn’t superior after all.

    Also, here’s the list of guys who may pitch in the Atlanta rotation next year:

    Javier Vazquez RHP
    Jair Jurrjens RHP
    Jorge Campillo RHP
    AJ Burnett RHP
    Jake Peavy RHP
    Tim Hudson RHP
    Tommy Hanson RHP
    Charlie Morton RHP
    JoJo Reyes LHP
    Chuck James LHP

    The list is hardly exhaustive, some are mutually exclusive, and others will only be part-time participants. But surely you see a pattern amongst these guys. And I understand the circumstances involved and the lack of available starting lefties to target. But does it bug anyone else that the only LHPs that stand a reasonably good chance at pitching in Atlanta next year are probably our worst options? In a division that has Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, David Wright, and Lazarus Delgado in it, is it really wise to have such a righty-centric rotation?

    Or does it just not matter enough to care about?

  145. Well, I still don’t understand why Bobby doesn’t like Brayan so much behind the plate. Anyway, he is a backup catcher, so I am not all that concern. He has to be better than Corky, Sammons, and Pratt.

    The Mad Dog…I love the man. He is the reason why I hate watching pitchers with poor control. I am spoiled by him. He was absolutely awesome. I can’t say enough about the guy.

  146. Nice link Mac. I would definitely buy a copy of that game if it were available.

    Mraver, I’ve noticed that too. That was probably the main reason I was hoping to sign Hampton to a 2MM deal. I really don’t have an answer either. It’d be nice to have at least one lefty in the rotation, but it’d be stupid to put one in for solely for that reason. Especially with those being the options.

    The a$$ whipping yesterday of the Tigers at the Big 12 in 15 degree weather is definitely not worth the cold I have now. Alamo Bowl. Woot.

  147. Not sure why there’s so much negative reaction to the Dave Ross Signing. They just signed a back-up catcher that is “light-years” better than anyone we had on the roster last year(except McCann of course). He’s costing $1.5 mil per year which isn’t going to stop us from signing Burnett/etc. or trading for Peavy/etc. Overall seems like a good move to strengthen a very weak position on our team. Now we just need a couple more pitchers and and LF and potentially a RF. None of which are jeopardized by signing Ross.

  148. Small favors. Prepare for mighty Northwestern.

    Just browsing over the bowl schedule. Penn St. vs. USC looks good and so does Boise vs. TCU. And of course, the title game. Texas vs. Ohio St. will be a blow out and so will Alabama and Utah. You’re right Mac, Ohio St. and Utah deserve each other and Bama Texas would have been awesome.

    KC, I love Glavine, but to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were completely washed up. Which, to me, makes him a smarter version of last year’s Chuck James. And Smoltz is right handed, which falls into the point mraver was making.

  149. I would be way more surprised if Glavine came back and was good than if Glavine just came back. He was getting pretty bad in his last year in New York, and he was pretty bad in the few games he was able to pitch here last year. Ehh. Lotsa cash and a draft pick… What a poor deal that was.

    On another note, I really think Casey Blake would be a good signing. He provides some RH power off the bench and can play all four corners, giving us flexibility and someone who can spot Chipper without having the bat of a MI.

    But I doubt it’ll happen.

  150. Yeah, the Bama/Utah game sucks. I mean, it pretty much guarantees Bama will get a bunch of money, but it’s kinda boring. Utah deserved a bowl game, but I can’t see who they should have been matched up with. Even Ohio State would probably beat them.

    Cincinnati and Virginia Tech? Yawn.

  151. Thanks for the Maddux/Posnansky link. I remember that game well.

    I’d gone to the first 2 games of that ’97 series at Yankee Stadium–2 great pitchers duels. In the first one, Glavine threw 9 shutout innings, but ATL lost 1-0 in extras.

    Pettitte got hit by a line-drive in the middle innings & had to come out. Kenny Rogers relieved & shut us down. Luis Sojo won the game with a 47-hopper that snaked through the infield.

    Yes, after the fresh memories of the previous October, it sucked leaving the stadium that night. I remember the Yankee fans clucking on the way out & I was definitely chapped.

    The next day Neagle beat Ramiro Mendoza 3-1 with the help of one of those Klesko Destrukto blasts. Even.

    I didn’t go to the Maddux game, mainly because of the threatening weather. But I watched it at my office—Klesko hit another bomb, this one off Gooden—and it felt great because it clinched the series. In 28 innings, the Yanks scored 2 runs, ATL scored 5.

    Re: SEC Title game
    Helluva game. Congrats to UF people (he says through gritted teeth). I thought the same thing that Mac posted above.

    The facemask penalty killed Bama in an otherwise clean game—I haven’t been accustomed to many of those this year—and that bomb on first down was completely unnecessary.

    And, as great as Arenas has been all year, that first-half goof killed them. They had to play a perfect game & they came very close.

    Yes, a Bama/Utah Sugar Bowl is similar to UGA/Hawaii. Even if you beat them by a computer score & slam then into the dome turf like Hulk Hogan, everyone will just shrug their shoulders. I wanted to play USC last year, but…

    UGA/Michigan State? I’m just glad it’s the 1 pm game on New Year’s Day. Hate those 11 am starts.

  152. So I’ll go out on a limb and figure I’m the only Ute alumni that ever posts here, so I figure I better stand up and be counted.

    From the Utes perspective, you have to remember that in 2005 they also went undefeated and ended up playing a crappy Big East champ in Pitt, and kicked their butt. That was a no win game for them then — win, and everybody just says, so what, it was the Big East champ, lose and everyone says, see I told you so. I’m happy to see them get some real competition to measure up against and Bama is certainly one of the best teams in the country.

    Now, I don’t necessarily think they will win, but that doesn’t mean I won’t root like hell for them. And I will be stunned if it ends up like the UGA/Hawaii game. Of the 3 BCS busters, Hawaii was the least deserving of them all and it showed. I do agree with Mac though at #221, it is a can’t win game for Bama. I felt the same way in 2005.

  153. I wanted Ohio State not just because a win would be more “impressive” but also because they’re not as good as Utah. Trust me, Terelle Pryor is not Tim Tebow, and the “Run Around and Then Do Something” offense wouldn’t work against us. I think we could lose to Utah, and I don’t think that would have been the case with OSU.

  154. Bama doesn’t get more money if they win, Rob, unless the SEC has some weird rule about how they divvy it all up?

  155. Utah beat Michigan by 2 points. I shudder to think what Alabama would do to Michigan. I don’t see Utah beating Alabama.

    UGA vs Mich St. is a lame matchup. Expect UGA to roll if they can tackle. Ringer will carry the ball 40 times.

    Hawaii vs ND is perfect.

    OSU vs Texas is boring because we’ve seen it 2 of the past 3 years

  156. I like the Casey Blake idea. Though I dislike his age and fear that his value as a 3rd baseman will inflate his price. Maybe two years at 7 MM per.

  157. The second one is only better if it is your final contract of your career, or at least expected to be.

  158. A better offer for the player? Depends on where you are in your career, but I’d lean toward the first one.

    UGA/MSU could be entertaining. I’m sure we’ll find a way to keep them in the game.

    I would’ve preferred a UGA/Texas Tech Cotton Bowl—100 points & 100 yards in penalties.

  159. Depends on risk aversion and depreciation of ability. If you don’t think you’ll be worth ~$4 million over three years two years from now, you take the 2nd one, but unless you’re really old, I would think most ball players would take the first one.

  160. mraver,
    Ollie Perez is left-handed…

    I wasn’t talking about the “projections” drafted by random ESPN, CNNSI, CBSSportsline, etc. writers who have no idea what they’re talking about. I was referring to what the Music City people were saying all week. Everyone who knew anything about the issue knew it was FSU or BC—I’m glad it’s BC.

  161. Yeah, but weren’t they also saying they didn’t want Vandy?

    But ditto on the projections. One of the ESPN guys kept projecting Georgia into the Cotton Bowl. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s actually been pointed out to me that the Cotton was officially tied into the SEC West, and couldn’t pick an East team unless something very odd occurred (like the top three West teams going ahead of any East team or something like that).

  162. I think that the Cap 1 bowl got first choice and could’ve chosen UGA or Ole Miss, and picked UGA. Wasn’t aware of the SEC West connection for the Cotton Bowl.

    BTW, Jan Kemp, the most divisive figure in UGA sports history, has died.

    In living through that time & being close to both “sides” of that story, I still view her as very brave. It’s still not a view shared by everyone.

  163. The Cotton has the power to choose Notre Dame, too, which is pretty awful.

    So, DOB says he thinks the Braves would consider Milton Bradley. That makes me happy. Should we believe that’s educated speculation or just DOB musing?

  164. I think there are so few power bat out there that the Braves would consider everything. I doubt Bradley is at the top of the list though.

    In respect of the contracts, if this is my last contract or if I am a 30-something years old catcher or pitcher, I will definitely take the second one. Otherwise, I will take the first one for sure.

  165. Well, DOB has ruled out several names, including Burrell and Dunn, so I think it’s significant when he specifically names Bradley as someone he wouldn’t rule out.

  166. Bradley is defintiely a much better option than Burrell and Dunn, and he can also play centerfield which is always a plus. The Braves better do a very good personality check on Bradley before signing him.

  167. This is from the SEC site:

    The Outback, Chick-fil-A Peach and AT&T Cotton Bowls will work with the conference office to determine picks 3-5.* The Cotton Bowl has the first preference of teams from the Western Division and the Outback Bowl has first preference of teams from the Eastern Division. The Cotton or Outback Bowl can select teams outside of its divisional preference, but must not select them before the opposite bowl selects from its divisional preference. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has the selection of preference following the Cotton and Outback Bowls.

    *Actually 4-6 if the BCS takes two SEC teams, as it usually does. –MT

    Therefore, the Cotton could only take Georgia if the BCS, the Citrus, and the Steakhouse Bowl had passed on them. I suppose if the Cotton said they really wanted Georgia and the Steakhouse said they really wanted LSU, it could be arranged, but there’s a reason for the tie-in being structured this way.

  168. These bowl games always confused the ^&%&$ out of me. I think they should just use all the bowl games to set up a NFL format playoff…

  169. Were we going after Oliver Perez? I hadn’t heard anything to that effect. And all the talk was about getting an “ace”, which Perez clearly is not.

  170. Oceanside Mike,
    I’m a Ute alumni as well. Small world, eh?

    Anyway, I agree with your sentiments. Utah certainly isn’t Hawaii of ’07. Not by a longshot. But ‘Bama is dang good — and I’m not sure this is a good matchup for Utah. They have a great scheme on defense, speed and very good athletes in place, but are a bit undersized up front. That could be an issue with ‘Bama’s big offensive line and power run game. Utah should be able to hang — for a while anyway.

  171. From MLBTR: “Kevin Towers wants five players back for Peavy.”

    Maybe THAT is the reason why Wren and Towers can not come to an agreement. Towers is looking for a Tex like package.

  172. The Music City (as ACC #5) was contractually obligated to take the loser of the ACC title game if they fell past the Peach/Chick-Fil-A, Gator, and Champs Sports Bowls (ACC picks 2-4). That’s a new rule they instituted a year or two back after the loser fell quite far. With GT in the Peach and Clemson in the Gator, that basically meant that if the VT/BC loser didn’t end up in the Champs Sports Bowl, they would 100% be in the Music City Bowl. Champs Sports wanted FSU for obvious reasons, leaving BC to be the choice for the Music City by default.

  173. #258

    I was a junior at UGA when all the Jan Kemp stuff went down. As a football fan, obviously I was pissed, and more than once employed the “everybody’s doing it” defense. But as a student (and one who took his lumps, grade-wise, a time or three), it was clear that she was wronged and that what was going on was beyond the pale. Andre “Pulpwood” Smith was the furthest thing from a college student you could ever hope to find. It’s too bad he was turned into a punchline for being basically illiterate, but specific examples had to be shown.

  174. mrraver-

    from what i’ve read we’re going after Burnett AND Perez (to be the lefty we need) and may be thinking about packaging Hernandez/Reyes/insert single A infielder name here not named Hicks for a right-handed hitting LF (Gullien? i hope not, but you never know).


    it’s stupid to suggest that a college team couldn’t beat a professional team in 1 game. it’s stupid to think that (seeing that some of the pro teams have average ages LOWER than average age of some college teams) just because the team is “professional”.

  175. Mac @ 229: thank you. When I think of Mr. Maddux, I hear Skip: “He is the best, folks. He is the best.”

    No argument here.

  176. Oceanside Mike,
    I’m a Ute alumni as well. Small world, eh?

    And now I understand the Urban Meyer defense.

    I’ve read nothing suggesting we’re going after Perez, he was just the only lefty “out there” I could think of.

    (a) Where have you read this?
    (b) What does age have to do with it? The average professional is better than the average amateur. That’s sort of self-evident.

  177. 5 players for Peavy seems about right. Cy Young winner at 27 years old locked up for 4 more years at the least?

    That is worth 5 players more than a 1.5 year rental of a power hitting first baseman is.

    The hold up can’t be because they want 5, it’s got to be which 5. The problem is probably that Towers wants quality and quantity, when I’d think Wren is only inclined to part with one or the other.

  178. i understand wanting 5 good prospects for an ace. The problem is that we were also including a proven, under control, mlb SS. I would rather have that piece than three prospects. I dont blame Wren for balking at the idea of Esco and 4 other good pieces

  179. Morton, Reyes, Boyer, B. Jones, Gorkys

    Could Towers do better than this? (I say no.) Would it be worth doing from the Braves’ end? (I say yes.)

  180. @274 Right. It makes sense for the Padres, and frankly, it makes some sense for the Cubs, but not so for the Braves. There are just too many other pieces they need right now for them to be selling the farm. And from the sound of it, the market for Greinke is even tougher than that for Peavy.

    As for attaining an outfielder, my guess is Atlanta will look to land Dye or Ludwick before they do Bradley, but, depending on what Bradley wants, he may be the bargain of the lot. What the Braves have going for them is that they are one of only four teams with real liquidity in an offseason during which most teams want to skim recessionary payrolls.

  181. @270

    There is no way a college team would beat an NFL team. EVER. It would be like a 16 seed beating a 1 seed in March Madness. Only that would be like a 1000 times more likely. NFL teams are so good it is unreal. Players are bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, smarter, and most importantly,have more experience. Professional is not just a word. The soon to be 0-16 Detroit Lions would beat Florida by 30.

    Is there a link for the Oliver Perez and a bottle of Valium if it’s true?

  182. ububba,
    Well, it’s heavy on major-league-readiness. Jones may not interest the Pads, but I think two starters they could insert into their rotation would, and I doubt the Braves would want to part with those two and one of Locke, Rohrbough, Medlen, etc.

    And I can’t see the Cubs putting together a better package, even with the Orioles’ players.

  183. @Stu

    It’s heavy on major-league readiness but not, necessarily, on high-ceiling guys. Towers may be looking to land at least one blue chipper, and we don’t know his time frame on when he thinks San Diego will compete again for the division. Also, Morton and Reyes are no guarantees to stick even in a last-place rotation. Their ‘readiness’ is based on the fact that they’ve played in the majors, not succeeded.

  184. I don’t think it’s too hard for an East Division team to play in the Cotton Bowl, as long as it’s a nationally well-known program that the Cotton Bowl wants. Tennessee has played in it twice since that setup came about, and I’m pretty sure a deal was struck between the Cotton and the Outback in at least one of the situations. Georgia would’ve had to fall past the Citrus first, but if they had and the Cotton had really wanted them, they probably would’ve been able to get them.

    And yes Chris, it’s stupid to think that a pro team would beat a college team just because they’re “professional,” you’re right, what was I thinking? In fact, if the UNC basketball team were playing the UNC baseball team in a game of basketball, wouldn’t it be stupid to say that the baseball team could never win a game? I mean, why should we say that the basketball team would be a lock to win the game just because they’re “basketball players.” I mean, that hardly matters, I think. NBA teams can be younger and far more talented. By and large, the reason players are still in college past their freshman year is that they wouldn’t make it in the NBA yet. I’m sorry, but I stand by my point. A college team would have zero shot against any NBA team, and that includes North Carolina.

  185. That’s possibly two starting outfielders and two starting pitchers, plus a guy that can get MLB hitters out in relief. It may not have the zing of some projectable sweetheart from A-ball, but it is a solid package.

  186. Verne Lundquist may be my favorite announcer ever, but that 4-hour Lewinski he performed on Tebow has me ill.

    Now where do I get an Oklahoma t-shirt around here …

  187. I think Wren has a small little bad habit in overpaying in getting what he wants.

    Not entirely true. Wren doesn’t overpay for good players like Peavy; just cruddy ones like Jeff Ridgway, Mark Kotsay, Dave Ross, etc.

  188. Hahahaha. Tebow just crushed half of the SEC teams’ defenses’ guts out, catipulated himself back into the Heisman race, and you’re talking about SKIPPING?? Hahahaha. While he was pumping up the kickoff team that nailed Bama behind the 20??? BRILLIANT! Wow, he must be that good, that you guys have that little on him.

    Verne Lundquist is a tool though. That’s the only hard thing about watching SEC football.

  189. The idea of watching Florida-Oklahoma is disturbing me. I want to root for the SEC school, and I absolutely loathe Oklahoma, yet Florida is the SEC team in question. I just can’t root for them. I’ll probably just not watch, because somebody will have to win and that makes me feel sad.

  190. I, avowed Gator Hater without peer, will pull for the SEC team in the national championship game, but I will wash my mouth out with soap afterwards.

  191. Two Ute alumni on here? What are the chances?

    As a BYU alum I’m glad Utah is getting the conference money and recognition. But it does somewhat sicken me that they’re in a bowl in which I’ll be cheering for them (again, for conference recognition). I was somewhat hoping they’d get screwed and play VT. The conference would still get money and I could cheer for tech (as a fan, not just in cheering against Utah)… even though they’d kill VT.

  192. The above package can easily be beaten by the Cubs. They just have to include Vitters and right there they’ve got the best prospect of the lot. They can get MLB starting pitching on par (or better than) either of the guys the Braves are offering by trading Pie to Baltimore for Garett Olsen. And again, the Braves aren’t offering the type of high-teir prospect that Vitters is (unless, of course, you toss Escobar back in).

    The Cubs can’t beat an Escobar deal, IMO. But they can beat a deal without him and do so quite easily, IMO.

  193. Gordon really should have been in already. He wasn’t the best player out of the Hall, but he was a heck of a player in a short career — remember, he lost two years to the war. The only second baseman before the 1970s with more homers was Hornsby, and if not for the war Gordon probably would have had a few more.

  194. crasnick: Kevin Towers and Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod drove together for the 4.5 hour ride from San Diego to Las Vegas, but Axelrod says they only talked about Peavy for about three minutes. Also, Axelrod brought a sweet mix CD.

    I thought that was pretty amusing.

  195. Dye was apparently traded to the Reds for Homer Bailey per ESPN’s rumor central. Take it for what it’s worth.

  196. The Rangers traded Gerald Laird, so Saltalamacchia presumably has a job.

    According to Steve Phillips, so this is almost certainly wrong, the Braves are most interested in Raul Ibanez as their left fielder. Whee!

  197. This just in from Jayson Stark: Las Vegas- Atlanta Braves place Jorge Campillo on red at the Balaggio’s roulette table, walk away with hurler CC Sabathia.

  198. Reds GM denies Dye-for-Bailey deal – 3 hours ago
    Reds general manager Walt Jocketty denied a report that Cincinnati traded starting pitcher Homer Bailey to the White Sox for outfielder Jermaine Dye, .

  199. Joe Gordon was a very good player, but not a Hall of Famer in my book—just not enough great years.

    But that’s what the Veterans Committee is for, I guess.

  200. I’m on the Milton Bradley bandwagon.

    career vs LHP:
    .303 .387. 504

    career as cleanup hitter (180 games)
    .331 .443 .566

  201. I don’t get all the gushing about the UNC basketball team and how they could beat pro teams. That is like saying the Gators could beat the Lions. NOt if they played a a million times.

  202. Well, I’d think the odds of a great college basketball team beating an NBA team would be much, much higher than the odds of a great college football team beating an NFL team. The former is incredibly unlikely and would be nothing more than an extreme fluke, but the latter would absolutely never happen.

  203. Both are absurdly unlikely. The athletes who play professionally are so clearly superior to those that play college that no amount of “team work” or whatever will make the difference. It would take an incredibly apathetic professional team for the possibility to even arise.

  204. The Oklahoma City Thunder would have to be in the middle of 4 road games in 5 days and have a collective case of mononucleosis before they lost to UNC.

    Football plays one game a week and Florida would get waxed by the Lions.

    Am I crazy, or does a Florida/USC game look more intriguing than UF/OU? Or even USC/OU?

    I’m not interested in who deserves to be there, because absent a playoff, the whole thing is ridiculous IMO. But, like the UF/Bama game, I’d rather see a great offense vs a great defense. That was a terrific game.

    And Mac,
    I was going to let someone else bring that up that incident. Thanks, it certainly speaks for itself.

  205. All I’m saying is that it’s not remotely conceivable that a college football team could beat a professional football team, like, under any circumstances, whereas it’s at least conceivable that a college hoops team could pull it off. When I say “much, much higher,” that’s because any probability greater than zero blows a probability of zero out of the water.

  206. At least the championship game wont be maroon vs maroon or orange vs orange.

    As far as College vs Pro-

    It is at least possible to put together a college team that could beat a pro team. You’d have to get 5+ guys who would all be going straight out of high school to the pros without that required year out of H.S. and they’d basically have to be going up against the worst NBA team ever created and even then it’d be incredibly unlikely. However it would be impossible to even put together a roster of college players that would beat the worst pro team. Even an all-star college team of past and present players wouldn’t pull it off even once in a thousand tries.

    Has there ever been a college football team where all 22 starters off the roster that year ended up in the NFL eventually?

  207. Stu,
    Youre right. A college basketball team has a better shot thatn a college football team. Of course, it would still take ububba’s events to make it happen.

  208. Jeremy, glad to know there is a fellow Ute out there. If they lose I know there will be much abuse, so you can share it with me!

  209. This, I think, was Santo’s last best chance. Another reorganization of voters, and he still fell “well short”. So that’s it. One of the ten best 3Bs in history, and he’s never getting in. That’s a damn shame.

  210. Ububba, that is impressive.

    I know the 2000 Michigan team put all 11 starters in the NFL eventually. Of course, only the O-line met with any success. The rest were guys like Anthony Thomas, Drew Henson, David Terrell, Marquise Walker, all flame outs.

  211. That is awful about Santo. What is wrong with those nitwits? You would think he would get in for his contributions to baseball if nothing else.

    For many years, from the 30s until the mid-70s, there was something called the College All-Star game in which a collection of college players–generally, players drafted and going to the pros, would play the professional (ie, NFL or, later, Super Bowl) champion. The college guys actually won a couple of times–the last being, I believe, in 1963 when they beat the Packers. (Camp the next day for the Pack under Vince Lombardi must have been a lot of fun). The other times, I think, were back in the 30s and 40s when lots of the best college players didn’t go to the pros. It was generally not much of game; it happened right after the pro team started training camp and,as you might imagine, they weren’t really into the game. Of course, that’s different than, say, a USC playing the Lions. I just can’t see how any college team could compete with an NFL team considering that, even the powerhouse teams don’t send more than 10 or 12 guys to the NFL and many of those don’t last long. I could sort of imagine a college basketball team getting real hot one night and beating an NBA team-at least in theory-but I think if the game was close the NBA guys would ramp it up so as not to lose. The difference in talent and experience is just enormous. The idea that UNC could beat, say the Wizards who, as bad as they are, have two all star players, with a bunch of kids barely out of high school, is sort of ludicrous. I mean the Wizards were one three pointer away from beating the Lakers the other night.

  212. I remember those College All-Star games. They always played them at Soldier Field in Chicago. They were treated as a pre-season game by the NFL champ.

    I saw Drew Henson’s 1st MLB AB at Yankee Stadium—it was a K.

    When I was a UGA freshman in 1981, I had a football-player friend who transferred from Pitt to UGA (long story about a girl). He played on that Pitt team, then walked on at UGA, got a scholarship & played for the Dawgs.

    He told me many stories about both teams, including some hysterical stuff about Jackie Sherrill. He was portrayed as basically crazy. Did anything to motivate his team. So when that story about the bull castration came out, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

  213. 319 — Mac, I’m a BYU alum, but grew up in southern Virginia. I was drawn to the Braves because of relative proximity, they were on TV everyday, and, yes, because I thought it was cool that a star baseball player was LDS too. I was drawn to bravesjournal by a link in something Neyer wrote, if I remember correctly.

  214. @320

    Didn’t know that. Damn. That is impressive

    About college vs. pros, I thought it was about football, which would be no contest. Regarding basketball, it would be even less of one. The two most talented college teams I can think of are the Fab five and Roy’s Natl Champ Tar Heels. The Tar Heels, even if you put that team together now would be horrible in the NBA. Back then, they would be destroyed. If you took the players in the fab five and put them together in their NBA primes, you would have a crummy/low mediocre team. Again, back in college when they were younger, less skilled, weaker, and (TO Webber!) dumber, they would be slaughtered.

    The worst player on an NBA team is better than the best player on most college teams. A college team beating a pro team would make The Miracle on Ice look like a Clash of the Titans.

  215. Tebow and Eric Berry SEC Players of the year.

    Fulmer is going to work at UT in the President’s office doing something.

  216. Just read AAR’s Maddux powerful tribute and highly recommend it if you haven’t yet. Even his commercials were wonderful – chicks digging the long ball, his pool side commercial reading the romance novel and chipping golg balls into the floating basketball goal. We were blessed to have seen his greatest years.

    Could we petition the Braves to get him to throw out the first pitch at the TED in 2009, retire his number, put him into the Braves HOF, and declare the home opener Greg Maddux appreciation day?

  217. If you want to talk college teams that could maybe take on pro teams, how about those 2005-2006 Gators? That team had 5 players drafted after their 2nd national title including three in the top 10. OTOH, their strength was their big men, and I tend to think that wouldn’t be the right formula for winning against a pro team. For that, I think you’d want to just sit back and launch 3-pointers.

  218. And like, none of those players are doing that well in the NBA. Joakim Noah is probably the most high-profile, but he’s not really all that great. I assume Brewer is on board with somebody, but I haven’t really seen him on SportsCenter or anything, so I don’t think he’s exactly lighting it up. And Humphrey is surely back in Maryville selling insurance by now. I think if they had gone up against a horrible NBA team…say the Hawks, who were pretty awful those two years and had no real inside presence to speak of, they still would’ve gotten absolutely stepped on.

    I could foresee a team of college all-stars maybe having a slight shot in winning one or two over a 10-year period against a regular pro team, but taking a full team against a full pro team would be exceptionally ugly in every conceivable circumstance.

  219. As to college basketball teams beating professional basketball teams, apparently either you guys are too young or don’t have quite the perspective that my years give me.

    Twice in my lifetime it was credible. Both times at UCLA. The Lew Alcindor / Kareem, Mike Bibby (Sr.), Swen Nater, etc. team was quite likely better than the bottom two or three pro teams then (remember there were almost no European or African players then).

    Also, when Bill Walton was a senior with Jamaal Wilkes et al. that was a pretty good team as well.

    On the College All Star game, I believe that Vince Dooley was MVP of a game in approx 1953 in which the college boys won.

  220. That Florida hoops team was great for its era, but not as good as about 5 teams I could mention, most of them coming from UCLA.

    Here’s one: 1981-82 UNC with Worthy, Perkins & Jordan. Those guys weren’t just high draft picks, they were NBA all-stars who helped win about 9 NBA titles.

    Nice work, AAR.

    Back in the VHS days, whenever I was going out, I’d always tape the Braves game & watch it later. But if Maddux was pitching, I’d do my best to watch it in realtime. Not always a popular decision.

  221. Is the Utah cluster about Dale Murphy?


    Murphy didn’t move to Utah until later in life, IIRC — I’m not LDS either. I’m a Braves fan more because of TBS and Jeff Blauser.

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