Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

25 Nov

Thanksgiving thread

I really do have a lot to be thankful for, even if I don’t always recognize it. Including you guys — thanks.

And now, Jeff Francoeur riding a giant turkey.

Jeff Francoeur riding a turkey

196 Responses to “Thanksgiving thread”

  1. 1
    desert Says:

    In sports (2010) I am:

    Thankful for Dan Uggla
    Thankful for Brian McCann
    Thankful for Jason Heyward
    Thankful for Jason Heywards’s parents and grandparents and ancestors
    Thankful for Tommy Hanson
    Thankful that Jeff Francoeur is a KC Royal
    Thankful for Frank Wren
    Thankful for Chipper Jones
    Thankful for Craig Kimbrel
    Thankful for Brooks Conrad
    Thankful for the fact that Conrad will not play the field in 2011
    Thankful for Bobby Cox
    Thankful for Jeffrey Loria’s stupidity
    Thankful for Jonny Venters
    Thankful for this blog and Mac
    Thankful for Jake Heaps
    Thankful for David Ross
    Thankful for Tim Hudson
    Thankful for Derek Lowe’s new mechanics
    Thankful that Derek Lowe only has two years left on his contract
    Thankful for Matt Diaz
    Thankful for Martin Prado
    Thankful for Julio Teheran
    Thankful for Freddie Freeman
    Thankful for Omar Infante’s 2010
    Thankful for Eric Hinske’s cluthiness
    Thankful for Jair Jurrjens
    Thankful for Edward Salcedo
    Thankful for Matt Ryan
    Thankful for Michaels Turner and Jenkins and Roddy White
    Thankful for the Falcon’s defense
    Thankful for Mike Smith
    Thankful for Fredi Gonzalez

    Missing anybody?

  2. 2
    Mike N. Says:

    Billy Wagner

  3. 3
    Bethany Says:

    You forgot Uggla’s forearms.

  4. 4
    billy-jay Says:

    Thanks, Mac, for running one of the coolest places on the web.
    Thanks to all the rest of you for helping make it one of the coolest places on the web.
    Thanks to the Braves for this season. It was a good one.

    The turkey this year seemed to be okay. There have definitely been better years for turkey. I hope all of you enjoy Thanksgiving (mine’s almost over).


  5. 5
    beege Says:

    I don’t post very often, or very well. But I read every day and I give thanks for your site and the awesome discussions that take place here daily. And of course all ya’ll commenters too!

  6. 6
    Chris A Says:

    Thankful for Mac’s photoshops of Jeffy riding animals. Please don’t let this die. When they seem to be running long, just throw Melky in there too. Thanks Mac!

  7. 7
    sansho1 Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. 8
    Timo Says:

    Thanks Mac and guys for making this website my most visited place in the web!

  9. 9
    Smitty Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    That is the best WKRP ever.

  10. 10
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving

  11. 11
    Stu Says:

    I’m thankful for you, Mac. And most of the commenters. ;)

  12. 12
    JC Says:

    When you have turkey underpants, it’s like you’re always riding a giant turkey.

  13. 13
    Bethany Says:

    Happy Thanksgiiving, y’all!! Remember to pace yourselves.

  14. 14
    justhank Says:

    If we’re not grateful, we’re not paying attention.

    Thanks to all you guys (and especially Mac) for making this such a sweet spot of a blog (sugar, spice, a little knowledge, a little rancor, a lot of passion – the perfect recipe).

    Oh, and I’m thankful for spike’s hilarious riposte in the last thread. I’ll be giggling innapropriately all day about that one.

  15. 15
    Stewart Says:

    Frequent reader, very much infrequent poster here.

    Happy Thanksgiving and a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend to everyone.

    I’ll give thanks for this site; it’s the best Braves site on the web.

  16. 16
    spike Says:


  17. 17
    sdp Says:

    Samsung Continuum or a Droid X?

  18. 18
    Bethany Says:

    @15 Your iPhone deserves a tasty meal on Thanksgiving too, Spike.

  19. 19
    spike Says:

    Fillet of bootheel is what I am thinking of serving the damn thing.

  20. 20
    c. shorter Says:

    Thnks, Mac, for a great site. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.

  21. 21
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, youse guys. Eat some turkey and pumpkin pie, enjoy the football, and be happy. You’re all awesome.

  22. 22
    oldtimer? Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, thanks for the site Mac and to all the visitors for enlightening and entertaining us.

  23. 23
    Parish Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving all.

    I wish I could be thankful for the Dallas Cowboys. They were almost quite helpful to the Falcons there, but they found a way to self-destruct.

  24. 24
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I was starting to wonder if anyone had ever been named NFL coach of the year for a half-season’s work. (Well, other than the strike year.)

  25. 25
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The Black Eyed Peas are performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. For heaven’s sake.

  26. 26
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and Thanks again to Mac for all that he does to make Braves Journal come alive….

  27. 27
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Business opportunity: A system to ring everybody’s cell phones when the BEP are done doing whatever it is they do instead of music.

  28. 28
    spike Says:

    Didn’t that happen in 2005?

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    Jeter wants 6/150…lol, huh??

    Yanks and Jeter are $80mil and 3 years apart on their offers.

  30. 30
    Raoul Duke Says:

    You forgot Skip Caray and Francisco Carbrera…

  31. 31
    Smitty Says:

    Jeter is a fool

  32. 32
    Nick Says:

    That is officially the most ridiculous contract demand I have ever heard. You don’t get paid on what you were 5-10 years ago.

  33. 33
    c. shorter Says:

    29 — well, that’s ridiculous. He knows how deep the organizations’ pockets are. Posturing for as much as he can get.

  34. 34
    spike Says:

    Looks like Hardy will be available soon. I don’t think Wren has the nerve to do it, but it would be nice.

  35. 35
    spike Says:

    Jeter’s camp is already walking that number back. I think Cashman will hold the line and they will “settle” for a bit more than 3/45 to let Jeter save some face

  36. 36
    mikemc Says:

    I also like the Hardy possibility.

  37. 37
    DowneasterJC Says:

    I like Black Eyed Peas. Both the food and the group.


  38. 38
    Mark Grogan Says:

    I like Hardy too, but what would it take to get Keppinger from Houston to fill some of the Infante role?

  39. 39
    Spike Says:

    Well Alabama got a gift early

  40. 40
    Bethany Says:

    That interference call was a joke.

  41. 41
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It was a pretty clear rulebook interference, though I wouldn’t have called it and it was of a type I don’t like — where the ball was uncatchable because the defender made a play on it.

  42. 42
    Coop Says:

    Roll, Tide.

  43. 43
    Spike Says:

    I fully expect Alabama to be up by double digits at halftime. I still think auburn will win.

  44. 44
    Parish Says:

    Seems more appropriate for the Black Eyed Peas to play halftime for a New Year’s Day Bowl game.

    In fact, I don’t know why that doesn’t happen every year.

  45. 45
    Bethany Says:

    Oh my.

  46. 46
    Bethany Says:

    Oh my god. That is bull.

  47. 47
    Spike Says:

    That is a fucking awful call

  48. 48
    Spike Says:

    Just declare Alabama the winner if this is the way thi is going to be

  49. 49
    Bethany Says:

    It’s not like Bama needs the help.

  50. 50
    Mac Thomason Says:

    If Nick Fairly hadn’t been acting like a douchebag all season, he wouldn’t get called for that penalty. The lesson, as always: don’t be a douchebag.

  51. 51
    Bethany Says:

    If you could throw flags just because someone is an ass Bama would start every game with a deficit. Your coach invented the behavior.

  52. 52
    Bethany Says:

    I am not sure I’ve seen a total collapse like this. Also, Auburn needs to grab a girl from the soccer team to take over punting.

  53. 53
    Spike Says:

    That is so weak, Mac. Call it the same for both sides is all anyone asks

  54. 54
    JoeyT Says:

    I half expected Alabama to have 24 points in the first half. I just thought it would be like 21-24 or 28-24. I am shocked by how impotent the offense has been so far.

  55. 55
    Bethany Says:

    Now they take a catch away from us. Bullshit.

  56. 56
    Spike Says:

    Don’t bother reviewing any auburn plays.

  57. 57
    Bethany Says:

    Guess Cam isn’t the only guy on the field being paid.

  58. 58
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    J.J. Hardy is a guy we don’t need. We went into this offseason with our infield set and a serious need in the outfield… and so we got a second baseman. We really don’t need a second starting shortstop.

  59. 59
    Adam M Says:

    58 – Let’s see what you say after another half season of Sea Bass!

    Seriously, though, the Braves need a backup infielder and a great defensive backup outfielder. Punto and Gwynn Jr. Let’s make it happen.

  60. 60
    Bethany Says:

    I agree with AAR, but I don’t think Wren is going to make any more big moves. He’ll get some bench pieces and another reliever.

  61. 61
    Spike Says:

    I won’t go into detail, but the Alabama commercial was just precious.

  62. 62
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Sea Bass could kick his ass.

    Seriously, since his breakout year in 2008, Hardy has hit .247/.310/.374; in the same period, AAG has hit .245/.288/.411. In the last two years, Hardy has 3.8 fWAR (Fangraphs WAR), while AAG has 4.0 fWAR. (On baseball-reference, over the last two years, Hardy has 2.0 WAR while AAG has 3.7.) They’re both slightly below-average hitters with an above-average glove.

    They’re incredibly similar players, but AAG is going to make $2.5 million next year, and Hardy is going to make between $5.5 and 6 million. Hardy is pretty much the exact same player as Alex Gonzalez, but he costs more than twice as much. We don’t need him.

  63. 63
    Adam M Says:

    62 – Just to be clear, I’m not advocating for Hardy. I am serious about Punto, though, which makes me feel confused. I have given a Twins-fan friend of mine no end of grief about his prominent role on that team over the past few years.

  64. 64
    JoeyT Says:

    This team is unflappable. Amazing.

  65. 65
    Adam M Says:

    That was among the dumbest decisions I have seen since… well, last night, when Roy Williams played in a football game.

  66. 66
    Bethany Says:

    So mad.

  67. 67
    Coop Says:

    Bethany, as much as I hate to admit it, Auburn is making a heck of a statement. When they win, if they win, they deserve to play for the MNC.

    Now I’ve got to go wash my computer with soap.

  68. 68
    Spike Says:

    How you like me now?

  69. 69
    sansho1 Says:

    Depends on if you’re still s….I like you fine!

  70. 70
    Bethany Says:

    Oh my god.

  71. 71
    mravery Says:

    Wow. Great game.

  72. 72
    Spike Says:

    Hell yes

  73. 73
    JoeyT Says:

    Considering the stakes, the opponent, and the initial deficit, this could be the greatest win in school history.

  74. 74
    csg Says:

    Bama’s usual game plan. Get up early and then shut it down and try to win with the defense. Great job slowing down Newton, but TD’s always catch up to FG’s

  75. 75
    Spike Says:

    The most satisfying auburn win I can remember. War damn eagle FTW!

  76. 76
    Smitty Says:

    and in basketball news Vandy might have some challenge form best team in the state. Go Vols.

  77. 77
    spike Says:

    And Oregon gives up a safety to Arizona. Long way to go, but still.

  78. 78
    mravery Says:

    So if you push a receiver out of bounds and they catch it before they can get back, it’s legal? Cool. That makes sense.

  79. 79
    Bethany Says:

    I would argue that at least half of the rules in football make absolutely no sense.

  80. 80
    mravery Says:

    There have been some awful person foul calls the past week.

  81. 81
    mravery Says:

    Here comes another one, just wait.

    Edit: Yep. There it is. Should the the defender have just let him get the first down? How do you play football without maiming people? I honestly don’t know. I mean, isn’t that the point?

  82. 82
    spike Says:

    You know, the football rule changes over the years are what have put me off the game. I was a HUGE football fan as a kid, and the game incrementally got put in the hands of the officials.

    /and Oregon gets a bullshit call. Fuck football.

    ///yes, I am completely loaded right now.

  83. 83
    Mac Thomason Says:

    There is a silly belief that not calling penalties and “letting them play” is the answer. No, the answer is to call the penalties — all of them — and then players will stop doing those things all the time. As it stands right now, you can call holding on any play.

  84. 84
    spike Says:

    Sure – I am in complete agreement. But the discretionary penalties – was it helmet or a shoulder? – just make it unwatchable.

    /Finally Arizona gets a fumble they are allowed to keep.

  85. 85
    mravery Says:

    Hah. BS call on Oregon here it looks like.

  86. 86
    ububba Says:

    Crazy game, congrats Aubies.

  87. 87
    Mac Thomason Says:

    By the way, basketball is infinitely worse in its arbitrariness. We complain about the umpires, but at least they don’t normally decide games depending upon how they feel that day. They make plenty of mistakes, but at least baseball has cut down on the judgment calls.

  88. 88
    Bethany Says:

    @87 Wholeheartedly agree. I can’t watch basketball any more.

  89. 89
    spike Says:

    Good god this is ridiculous. Jump the neutral zone and you get an offsetting penalty?

  90. 90
    mravery Says:

    And my problem is more the trend towards penalizing players for legal hits that just look nasty. In football, people are going to get hit HARD, and the’re going to get hurt because of it. It’s just the nature of the business. You have these men who are about as jacked as you can be without (and sometimes with) steroids running at eachother as fast as they can with the objective of kocking the other guy down/back/out. If that’s the game you’re playing, injuries are inevitable, and to penalize teams because their players hit the other guy “too hard” or slightly in the wrong place or whatever seems stupid.

    My main problems are these new personal fouls, the “late hits” that get called so much now, and the facemask penalties when players don’t actually grab the facemask.

    Also, that “holding the guy who jumped off-sides so now he’s not penalized for jumping off-sides” thing is also dumb.

  91. 91
    Smitty Says:

    That call in the Oregon game was terrible. Those type of penalties should be reviewable.

  92. 92
    Mac Thomason Says:

    My favorite terrible penalty — you see this one a couple times a year — is a particular type of pass interference. Double coverage, safety in front, corner on the receiver. The safety knocks the ball away, but before that happens the corner bumps the reciever. Flag. Why isn’t that uncatchable? The ball never got there!

  93. 93
    Bethany Says:

    “President Obama required 12 stitches after being injured in basketball game, and as a result, Mike Hampton will miss the entire 2011 season”

    I think that’s the best thing I’ve read this year.

  94. 94
    Mac Thomason Says:

    BTW, my next-door neighbor is an Auburn fan. I can’t get away from them in Tuscaloosa, even. And I go out to dinner, and there’s somebody from the sheriff’s office there talking to him. I think that the roundups have begun. Perhaps I’ve said too much.

  95. 95
    mravery Says:

    PAC-10 tackling

  96. 96
    Bethany Says:

    Woof. What a sloppy game.

  97. 97
    mravery Says:

    Wow. Arizona really doesn’t want to win this.

  98. 98
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Auburn is going to KILL Oregon.

  99. 99
    Smitty Says:

    Oregon has SEC speed. They will be hard to beat

  100. 100
    Mac Thomason Says:

    They’re sloppy and they, even more than Auburn, try to give away every game in the first half.

  101. 101
    mravery Says:

    Oregon’s defense hasn’t impressed me. They’ll put up some points vs. Auburn, but I don’t think they’ll win.

  102. 102
    Bethany Says:

    We have to beat SC before we can think about Oregon.

  103. 103
    mravery Says:

    True. I want an SEC team to win the title again, but I’d also like to see one of the Boise/TCU squads play for it. Since it seems unlikely that Oregon is going to lose to Oregon State, that means Auburn would have to lose.

    Oh well. Either way it should be fun to watch. :-)

  104. 104
    JoeyT Says:

    (deleted – no one cares about your fantasy team)

  105. 105
    td Says:

    Alabama’s offensive line has been bad all year. They came out in the first half like they were going to dominate and they came back down to earth in the 2nd half. Bama had 3 chances to put it away in the 1st half (Ingram’s fumble, Richardson’s drop and McElroy’s fumble), but couldn’t get it done.

    I give Auburn all the credit in the world. They didn’t give up, and did what they had to do to win – like they’ve done all year. I hate the saying about being a team of destiny, but after all the last second wins all year, there isn’t much you can say. They’ve been lucky, but they’ve made their own luck. They may not win the national championship, but I sure wouldn’t bet against them.

  106. 106
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Anthony Steen STILL hasn’t turned around to see the ball lying on the ground.

  107. 107
    Bethany Says:

    Huh, maybe Nevada will be able to make this a close game.

  108. 108
    Bethany Says:

    What is up with Nevada sending a player straight back at the snap on offense?

  109. 109
    Adam M Says:

    I predict a 63-56 game if Oregon plays Auburn. Looking forward to it.

  110. 110
    Bethany Says:

    WOW. What a game. You get the miracle catch with 1 second left, then you miss the field goal.

  111. 111
    c. shorter Says:

    what a crazy game

  112. 112
    Bethany Says:

    What a choke job by the kicker.

  113. 113
    c. shorter Says:

    he might not want to return to Boise

  114. 114
    Adam M Says:

    I’m not convinced he actually missed the first one, but yeah, rough night.

  115. 115
    JoeyT Says:

    Thanks to Nevada, I think most of the country will be rooting for Auburn against the Gamecocks. I can see the appeal of wanting to find out just how good Boise St is, but I don’t think anyone wants to see TCU destroyed in the National Championship game.

    Question: If Michael Vick is vilified for dogfighting, why is it okay to cheer for gamecocks?

  116. 116
    jj3bagger Says:

    Not a good night if you were on here earlier in the week telling everybody how Boise was legit. Oh wait, that was me. Not a good night if you also had a certain Boise State Bronco team laying the 14 points. Oh wait, that’s me again. I’ll resume my drinking now.

  117. 117
    Nick Says:

    I generally operate under the theory that the officials pretty much always get the good/no good call right. Given their vantage point, I really don’t know how they could ever get it wrong.

  118. 118
    spike Says:

    Hey! I didn’t drunk-dream the whole thing!

  119. 119
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I am currently looking over the Alabama asssistant coaches and deciding who needs to be fired and who needs to be re-assigned. Hopefully, Nick Saban will take my recommendations.

  120. 120
    csg Says:

    Best thing for College Football happened last night. Its shows you that Boise and TCU arent legit NC contending teams. They are good football teams, but you cant put them in the elite status. Nevada isnt a very good team, they did get beat by Hawaii, its just a different level of play. No way they could handle facing top 25 teams for half of their season. TCU hasnt faced one current top 25 team and they gave up 35 pts to San Diego St last week. Sorry, but Boise crashed the dreams of both schools last night and all the media hype around the idea.

  121. 121
    csg Says:

    Mac, UA’s problems start and basically end with the atrocious offensive line. The defense/secondary is very young and they made mistakes. Their is no excuse for the offensive line to be this bad though

    Im just glad Bama had already had two losses because if that had ended their SEC title shot, I wouldve lost it

  122. 122
    Adam M Says:

    120 – I’m not sure I buy that argument. I mean, sure, it’s very possible that Boise isn’t an elite team, but one loss doesn’t prove it. As baseball fans, we (mostly) understand the point when someone invokes “small sample sizes.” And losing one game really proves nothing at all.

    This is why the whole BCS system should rub people the wrong way: it’s rooted too much in chance. Had Alabama managed to squeak through a game winning field goal in the final minute yesterday, or had Boise’s kicker not missed the chip shot for the win, today’s narrative would be dramatically different–despite the fact that these two teams would be exactly the same as they are right now. Auburn would still be an elite team deserving of chance to play for the title, and Boise would still be an unproven but clearly talented team that deserved a shot to play the likes of Auburn, Oregon, LSU, Wisconsin, etc. I know everyone here pretty much takes it for granted that there should be a playoff, but one of the reasons why, from my end, would simply be to minimize the remarkable import of (say) a kicker having a bad night.

  123. 123
    Adam M Says:

    Also csg, you’re making a logical fallacy. I tried to make a similar point after the LSU-Mississippi game last week, when the announcers argued that LSU’s struggle to beat a 4-6 SEC team “proved” the strength of the conference. Here, you’re arguing that Boise State’s loss to a fellow WAC team “proves” the weakness of their team. But both points are rooted in assumptions that frame the debate, and predict very specific readings of the evidence. On the one hand, the announcers took it for granted that the SEC was better; therefore a tough game for LSU provided evidence of their theory. On the other hand, you assume the WAC is weak; therefore Boise’s loss provides evidence of their inferiority.

    I’m not saying they’re wrong, or that you’re wrong. The SEC very well might still be the best conference, talent wise, and I would likely argue that it is based on players who make the NFL, etc. My point here is just that these individual games, whose outcomes merely serve to “prove” our already-formed assumptions correct, don’t actually prove anything about the strength of the SEC, or the weakness of a non-BCS title contender. You can’t determine the weight of a conference based on intra-conference games, and we simply don’t have enough evidence of inter-conference match-ups to tell us anything statistically relevant.

  124. 124
    spike Says:

    @123, the bottom line is in the SEC, or PAC 10, or Big 12, etc., you are lining up against blue chip recruits every week, and taking the physical punishment as well as associated risk. I understand your point about internal consistency not necessarily being relevant, but given the baseline of talent in the respective conferences, it’s an easily defensible position to say that a road game against Mississipi State is harder, and by no small factor, than a road game against San Diego State. Let’s put it another way – how do you think MSU does in the WAc – 2 losses max? Now, how do you think Nevada would do in the SEC West, with LSU, Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama on their schedule every year? They’d get annihilated and you know it.

  125. 125
    Jeremy Says:

    Well, to be fair, Nevada doesn’t have the budget to pay for top player talent like SEC schools do.

  126. 126
    spike Says:

    Then GTFO.

  127. 127
    Bethany Says:

    I’ll be glad when football is over and we’ll be back to rooting for the same team.

    It really is a good thing that Boise lost last night. Can you imagine if that kicker had made the first field goal? “Another last minute, exciting win for BSU! How can you not let them play for the Championship?”

  128. 128
    Jeremy Says:

    I’ve contended all year that TCU is better than Boise. They have speed, athletes and a GREAT coach in Patterson. I’m hoping they get matched up with LSU in the Sugar.

  129. 129
    Mac Thomason Says:

    If Oregon goes to the championship game and TCU wins out, TCU goes to the Rose Bowl.

  130. 130
    Jeremy Says:

    Just FYI: Vegas has Oregon at 9/5 odds of winning the BCS title and Auburn at 3/1. Auburn opened the year at 75/1.

  131. 131
    Jeremy Says:


    Thanks. I just read that, likely against Wisconsin or Sparty. What a stupid system.

  132. 132
    Adam M Says:

    124 –

    I’m not arguing that a road game against SD State is harder than one against Miss State, or that it’s even comparable in terms of difficulty. I’m saying that the fact we have to consider that comparison at all is ludicrous, especially because football teams, like all teams, really do play differently week to week.

    Now, I also said that there are criteria to determine which conference is better, and I would never assert that the WAC is better or as good as the SEC, Big 12, etc. I merely dispute the fact that Boise’s loss last night “proves” anything at all. Similarly–and I think you’d agree with this–I would have argued against someone who claimed that a hypothetical Auburn loss in the final seconds against Alabama “proved” they were not elite. They’re elite, regardless of whether the Alabama offense rallied to score a field goal or not. And we don’t know almost anything more about Boise now than we already knew yesterday, except maybe that they should have recruited a better kicker.

  133. 133
    Adam M Says:

    On another note, for those of you distressing about the increasing power officials deploy over a game’s outcome… is it true that, next year, excessive celebration penalties will actually nullify touchdowns? I thought I heard an announcer recently say that.

  134. 134
    ububba Says:

    They’re gonna make a bad rule worse.

    In the Ohio State/Michigan game today, the OSU WR dove for a TD. It was the only way he could avoid getting crunched at the goal line, a great athletic play, completely legit.

    Penalty flag. Unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Next year, it’s no TD. Ridiculous.

  135. 135
    spike Says:

    I’m saying that the fact we have to consider that comparison at all is ludicrous,

    Short of every team playing every other team, what other data are you planning on using to compare two schools? I am comfortable the BSU, TCU, and Nevada are good football teams. I ma also comfortable in asserting they should not get the benefit of the doubt by virtue of going 10-0 against the SDSUs of the world. Completely unfair in terms of access, but absolutely fair in terms of the data you have to compare these teams.

    I merely dispute the fact that Boise’s loss last night “proves” anything at all. Similarly–and I think you’d agree with this–I would have argued against someone who claimed that a hypothetical Auburn loss in the final seconds against Alabama “proved” they were not elite.

    Auburn had ALREADY proved they were elite by virtue of beating 4 teams ranked in the top 25. Similarly, while the loss didn’t change my opinion of BSU, they have played two quality opponents and gone 1-1. A good side and on any given night able to beat anybody in the country. But that could be said of 15 or so schools right now, and is no particular virtue in a world where only two can go for the title. TCU even more so. I am unsure of what they can do, given their only opponent of note was Utah.

  136. 136
    Adam M Says:

    “Short of every team playing every other team, what other data are you planning on using to compare two schools?”

    My point is simply that it sucks to have to do it at all. It’s just so bizarre. Obviously, it’s currently a pipe dream to think that a playoff is around the corner, but in lieu of one we’re stuck with this awful system in which abstract arguments about conference superiority ultimately have relevance in determining champions.

    “Auburn had ALREADY proved they were elite by virtue of beating 4 teams ranked in the top 25.”

    Yeah, and they wouldn’t have gotten a chance to play for a national championship if they blew it yesterday. The argument works both ways. Just as Boise deserves a shot to prove they’re legit, Auburn deserves a chance to prove their conference is the best and that their solid record–even if tarnished by a loss–is indicative of elite status. They would merely have to prove it on the field.

    My whole point, which has gotten lost, was about sample size. If we isolate a single game in which a team plays badly, or in which the kicker bombs, or in which an official makes a couple awful calls, then someone could surely lose. As a sports fan, and in particular as a baseball fan who has learned the value of randomness in small samples, I get crazy reading/hearing arguments about so and so’s score against a non-conference foe who, in turn, beat another non-conference foe by this many points, and so on.

  137. 137
    spike Says:

    Yeah, and they wouldn’t have gotten a chance to play for a national championship if they blew it yesterday.

    See above – in a world where only two can go, you have to separate yourself somehow. And I am far from convinced what you say is accurate (we will never know of course) – a one loss Auburn with an SEC championship could easily get the nod over TCU, and Boise State is a non-factor now.

    If we isolate a single game in which a team plays badly, or in which the kicker bombs, or in which an official makes a couple awful calls, then someone could surely lose.

    And I concur – so the only rational way to compare is strength of schedule over the totality of the regular season, which is exactly why Boise has no margin for error. You have forgotten the converse of your premise – If a single stumble does not automatically diminish a team’s goodness, team, a season of empty victories does not create greatness automatically either.

  138. 138
    Adam M Says:

    137 –

    “And I am far from convinced what you say is accurate (we will never know of course) – a one loss Auburn with an SEC championship could easily get the nod over TCU, and Boise State is a non-factor now.”

    Nope, we’ll never know. What’s funny about this is that, had Auburn lost yesterday but beaten USC, I probably would have been one of those arguing Auburn was the better team regardless of their record, and thus “deserving” of the championship game spot. It’s just a shame that such an argument could have happened. Rest assured, though, that that argument will happen sometime soon, as it seems to reoccur every few years.

    “If a single stumble does not automatically diminish a team’s goodness, team, a season of empty victories does not create greatness automatically either.”

    No, and I don’t argue that such empty victories do create greatness. I simply argue that we don’t know whether Boise is great, and it’s a shame that as a result partisans will point to a single loss as proof that they aren’t. I’d love to see them get a spot in a BCS bowl game over than the Big East winner, but such is life.

  139. 139
    spike Says:

    No, and I don’t argue that such empty victories do create greatness. I simply argue that we don’t know whether Boise is great,

    Then on what basis do they belong in the discussion for going to the BCS championship? That’s the question no one can answer for me.

  140. 140
    Parish Says:

    You do realize that if we go to an 8+ team playoff, we make the NC more subject to small sample sizes, right?

    I would like to see an 8-team playoff, but I’m just sayin’ the SSS is not a good argument.

  141. 141
    Stu Says:

    76—LOL. Can’t wait to put you guys in your place. Again.

  142. 142
    Adam M Says:

    140 – But it won’t have direct implications on the national championship; that is, it will only have indirect implications. I don’t have nearly as big a problem with arguments about who’s getting into the BCS Bowl Games–I can quibble with the Big East winner (well, we all can), etc.–but so long as eight great teams get a chance to duke it out, I can live with the flawed selection process.

  143. 143
    mravery Says:

    Florida’s really shot themselves I’m the foot thus far. I pit it on the coaches. Gotta have your guys prepared and not calling 3 TOs early in the half. If they get their stuff together I’m the 2nd half they can still win, but it’ll be tough.

  144. 144
    csg Says:

    #123 – Adam, I understand your point and where you are coming from, but with this system in place you cant put someone like TCU or Boise in the championship game. There is just no comparison in the level of competition that these teams are facing each and every week. You could almost make a case that every one loss team is better than TCU right now. LSU has one loss to the #2 team. Stanford lost to the #1 team. Wisconsin lost to the #10 team. Ohio state – #7 team. Okie ST – #15 team. Mich st – #25 team. However, TCU hasnt even faced one current top 25 team. You dont get the benefit of the doubt when you are playing sub par teams. Its not their fault, but these one loss teams should get far more credit just because of who they play each and every week. Its not an SEC thing at all. If and when a playoff system is put in place, I may change my opinion. I just cant when there is one title game to decide a champion.

  145. 145
    Smitty Says:

    Well the Vols beat Kentucky, again. Going bowling. I give Dooley a B+ in his first season.

  146. 146
    Bethany Says:

    LSU loses. I am glad, I don’t think they deserved a BCS bowl.

  147. 147
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It appears that Arkansas is going to the Sugar, which I guess means LSU to the Cap One and Alabama to the Cotton (assuming Auburn wins against USC).

  148. 148
    Smitty Says:

    I agree Mac.

    Here is what I think (assuming UGA and Auburn win)

    BCS Champ Game Auburn
    Sugar Arkansas
    Capital One- USC
    Outback- LSU
    Chic Fil Peach-Florida
    Gator- MSU
    Music City- Tennessee
    Liberty- Kentucky
    Birmingham/Papajohns/Whatever Bank- UGA

    I still wouldn’t be surprised if LSU got in the Sugar Bowl

  149. 149
    JoeyT Says:

    Yeah, I’m not going to make any predictions until the Cockfighters finish up with Clemson. If they lose that game and next week, there’s no chance for the Citrus.

  150. 150
    Smitty Says:


    USC is in a bad spot. But with Florida losing today, that helps USC more than anyone.

  151. 151
    csg Says:

    prediction – Rich Rod fired before next saturday

  152. 152
    Smitty Says:


    Loyd Carr is somewhere laughing.

  153. 153
    csg Says:

    yes he is and so are a bunch of folks at WVU. Im just glad his wife didnt let him get on that plane to Tuscaloosa.

  154. 154
    Smitty Says:


    Who is the next coach at Vandy? I heard Gus Malzahn, Ivin Jasper and Mike Leach (don’t think he will get it)

  155. 155
    csg Says:

    Randy Shannon fired at Miami. I thought he did a good job turning that THUG U around. They had some injury issues this year too I believe

    now GT misses an XP attempt 35-34 UGA. Weird football weekend

  156. 156
    csg Says:

    Gary Danielson said that there is no such thing as “momentum” swings in college football.

  157. 157
    ububba Says:


    On to Shreveport!

    Or Memphis.

    Or Birmingham.

  158. 158
    Nick Says:


    I will grant you that it’s possible Vandy’s the best team in the SEC. However, Tennessee’s win over Villanova was clearly the most impressive victory by an SEC team thus far. Methinks you’re being a tad too dismissive. (Though me also thinks that’s your goal.)

    Also, there’s nochance the Sugar Bowl still takes LSU, is there? Arkansas certainly deserves to go, and would likely take a lot of people, but it seems like it would be hard to pass up the guaranteed 70,000 people LSU would bring.

  159. 159
    braves14 Says:

    My SEC bowl projections:

    MNC Game: Auburn
    Sugar: Arkansas
    Capital One: LSU
    Cotton: Alabama
    Outback: USC
    Peach: MSU
    Gator: Florida
    Music City: Tennessee
    Liberty: UGA
    Birmingham: Kentucky

  160. 160
    Stu Says:

    154—Leach and Jasper aren’t even being considered. Malzahn is on the list, but he’s not at the top, he wouldn’t be near the top of my list, and I don’t know that he’d have interest in the job, anyway. From what I’m hearing, Al Golden is the top target. Tommy Bowden and some others are in the next group. We’ll see.

    158—Beating Villanova was nice, but it did nothing to change my opinion about the relative strength of UT and VU.

  161. 161
    sdp Says:

    Clemson sucks. Froze my ass off to see such an atrocious display of incompetency.

  162. 162
    Smitty Says:


    I think Vandy should take a long look at Jasper. They really need some sort of gimmick on offense to have a chance to win.

  163. 163
    Stu Says:

    162—You seem to be mimicking the Tony Barnharts of the world. Even if it’s true that we need something gimmick-y, why on earth would we go after Navy’s OC and not Ken Niumatalolo or Troy Calhoun?

  164. 164
    Bethany Says:

    Big game for the Falcons today! I hope they pull it out.

  165. 165
    csg Says:

    Marlins about to sign Vasquez

  166. 166
    Smitty Says:

    Ken Niumatalolo or Troy Calhoun are not coming to Vandy

  167. 167
    Stu Says:

    166—Well, we don’t know for sure, although I can tell you that one of those is on the list and has already expressed interest. And it’s probably not the one a UT fan would want to hear.

    And the point is that VU would go after those guys (and at least two dozen others) and would have to be shot down by them before making their way to the likes of Jasper.

  168. 168
    Smitty Says:


    I know of whom you speak, but I don’t think he takes it. As a Tennessee fan, I don’t really care if he does. I didn’t want him to get the UT job and I am glad it fell through.

    I agree that Jasper would be a dark horse/ long shot.

    I hope they hire someone good and start to show more dedication to having a winning football program.

  169. 169
    Mike N. Says:

    So Matt Ryan got engaged this week. That girl is so lucky.

  170. 170
    Nick Says:

    The Falcons are so freaking awesome right now!

  171. 171
    Bethany Says:

    @170 Hell yes.

  172. 172
    Parish Says:

    Great win for the Falcons and a great game all around.

    I was disappointed in the Falcons defense on 4th down on the game tying touchdown, though. I understand why they were conservative there, but they had to get more pressure on Rodgers. You cannot cover professional receivers that long.

    Meanwhile, Baltimore and Chicago might make this a very profitable day for the Falcons.

  173. 173
    Bethany Says:

    I hate rooting for the Ravens, but that helped the Falcons a lot.

  174. 174
    Nick Says:

    If only the Cowboys hadn’t gagged the other day, we’d really be ahead of the game.

  175. 175
    ububba Says:

    Interesting Falcons schedule the rest of the way, too:


    They get the woeful Panthers twice. Seems like 12-4 (or better) is real possibility.

    How ’bout an NFC title game in the Dome vs. Philly/Vick?

  176. 176
    Nick Says:

    Given what a nightmare that was last year when they came in and our home crowd turned against us, that is pretty much the last matchup I’d want. Also, Andy Reid is in Brian VanGorder’s head.

  177. 177
    Bethany Says:

    Yeah I hope they don’t see the Eagles again.

  178. 178
    ububba Says:

    Who cares? Just beat ’em. These Eagles aren’t exactly the ’85 Bears. Hell, they can’t even beat the 2010 Bears.

    Getting well ahead of myself… I’d like to see a Falcons/Jets Super Bowl. As I told a Jet fan friend, have no faith & it’ll happen.

  179. 179
    sdp Says:

    I got busted for downloading Jackass 3D.

  180. 180
    IthacaBraves Says:

  181. 181
    John Gaines Says:


    Bummer. Torrent?

  182. 182
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Rest in peace, Leslie Nielsen. Win one for the Zipper.

  183. 183
    jj3bagger Says:

    179 – what happened ?

  184. 184
    sdp Says:

    It was a torrent. I just received an email from my ISP serving me with the notice. I had to fill out some online agreement from that I deleted it from my hard drive and won’t download anything (illegal) in the future.

  185. 185
    jj3bagger Says:

    sdp, sounds like an online slap on the wrist. What happens if you do it again ?

  186. 186
    spike Says:

    proxy servers are your friend.

  187. 187
    Grst Says:


    I got a notice recently for downloading an episode of South Park, which was really stupid of me for two reasons, 1) I knew Viacom is a bunch of assholes and 2) It was going to be on their site for viewing in full the next day or something anyway.

    Haven’t been asked to sign any agreements or seen any other repercussions, though. Hoping it stays that way.

  188. 188
    BFedRec Says:

    Leslie Nielsen was one thing… but Irvin Kershner too? Rough weekend for old guys who brought a lot of joy.

  189. 189
    csg Says:

    sdp, best of luck. Hope thats all that happens

  190. 190
    Smitty Says:

    Wonder if the Mets would do a AAG + minor leaguer for Jose Reyes

  191. 191
    csg Says:

    Matt Young continues to hit in Winter ball

    .387/.480/.528 in 142AB’s

  192. 192
    justhank Says:

    Jose Reyes would go from one of my least favorite players to “that talented but misunderstood shortstop we picked up”.

    I dunno, after watching Kentucky’s Rastaferian secondary play like they’d shared a few spleefs, I’m digging out my Dad’s sweater and vowing to oppose all dreadlocks.

    Gotta love Scotty Hopson’s retro ‘do, however.

  193. 193
    td Says:

    I lost a bet on the Alabama/Auburn game and have to wear an Auburn tie all day. This is extremely painful!

  194. 194
    justhank Says:

    In my continued quest to get my head around the latest statistical categories, may I challenge our sabremetric friends to the following?

    Identify which stat is most important for which spot in the batting order:

    For example:

    Leadoff – OBP

    and so on.

    Thanks much to any takers! This will be a great exercise for me as I should know more about this important new(ish) ratings paradigm than I do.

  195. 195
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Whatever the lineup position, it’s always OBP.

    New thread.

  196. 196
    Bethany Says:

    Torrenting? Really guys?

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