Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

As the winner of the Sports Wookie's video contest I figured it was perfect for the start of the Nutt era. I really want the Rebels to Rock Memphis.


La Monroe to barely cover Auburn's 26.5
Ole Miss by more than 8 over Memphis
LaTech to cover State's 9
Clemson by more than 5 over Bama
Hawaii to barely cover Florida's 33.5
UCLA to cover Tennessee's 7
Kentucky by more than 4.5 over Louisville
Arkansas and Georgia will eat cupcakes and LSU's cupcake will give them more trouble than they want.

Oh and South Carolina and Vandy already won. Oops.

Memphis Preview

(Try catching the ball now Singleton)

Words can not describe how excited I am for this game tomorrow. Yet I'll try anyway cause that's what I do. After years of watching a program I love bottom out under one of the worst coaches ever I get to watch them spring anew under a legitimate head coach again. They just happen to play Memphis who even Orgeron went 3-0 against. Time for a new team, a brazen bunch of wild brutal wookies, to take the field.


The have two great wide receivers. Duke Calhoun and Carlos Singleton are both big fast tall and NFL prospects. They had a running back Charlie Jones transfer into Memphis last year from Miami and he's eligible to play this year. He's a former five star recruit and is currently listed as second team on their depth chart.

On defense the return two former Ole Miss players Corey Mills and Jada Brown at defensive end. The Fox mentioned their starting defensive tackles Clinton McDonald and Freddie Barnett as the strength of the defense. Nutt actually signed Barnett while at Arkansas.


Starting at quarterback for the Tigers is Arkelon Hall in his Memphis debut. He came to Memphis after spending one season at The College of the Sequoia's after leaving Washington State. Lets just say after the last College of the Sequoia's quarterback to transfer to the mid south I'm not that impressed with quarterbacks from the College of the Sequoia's. Especially since he didn't even put up as good of numbers there as Schaeffer did.

The offensive line is made up of transfers from every where and jucos. Their starting left tackle
Cody Stubblefield looks more like a dentist than a college lineman. If the Rebel defensive line can win up front and pressure Hall in his first start he won't have much chance to get the ball deep down field to the tall receivers and Memphis won't pose much of a threat. A good pass rush and the Rebels could rout Memphis. Otherwise they will be in for a long night if it becomes a shooting match because you never know what could happen in those. We all remember the Pam Ward hosted loss in the Liberty Bowl Eli's senior season.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thank Goodness The Olympics Are Over

Which means one thing. Nothing left but one of the real sport, football, to take over. No more stupid highlights of non-sports were arbitrary voting determines the winner.

I know what your thinking. "But there's a standard they are all competing and getting voted against." Yeah and there is a standard against what painters have their work critiqued against. Ask a landscape painter after he's stood before an easel for seven straight hours if it doesn't require stamina. Its impressive work but neither one is a sport.

Neither are anything that requires you to be a member of a country club or other club (i.e. swimming) as a child to be able to play. Sorry badminton, tennis, golf, raquetball and yes although you're not in the Olympics yet Golf, none of you are sports. And sorry Michael Phelps. That goes for swimming too. You're one of the greatest athletes ever. You just don't compete in a sport.

So what does that leave us. The collection of egos known as "The Redeem Team" which I could care even less about than I do normal NBA games. Track you qualify just barely as a sport, and you are certainly great athletes, but you are just too boring.

And baseball and softball. Of course because of the MLB season you can't get anything but a few minor leaguers for baseball. (Not that I don't understand MLB's stance. There is pennant races going on.)

So obviously the Olympic committee removed these sports from the Olympics. Even less of a reason to care slightly in four years in London.

Instead the one thing to follow in these Olympics was the dominate US girls softball team. They may have only taken silver but I was more excited for that silver than all the rest of the medals. Its not like they didn't beat Japan the day before. And they were a great bunch of girls as well between Cat Osterman, Jennifer Mendoza, and the rest they are a great bunch of role models and classy individuals that you don't see from the rest of the professional athletes. And since this is the biggest stage for their sport its an absolute travesty they were voted out because a bunch of pansy European countries don't play softball.

They can get rid of them. Just don't expect me to care at all for the future of the Olympics.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Season Prospectus

(Pictures From
Football season is actually exciting again in Oxford for the first time since about '04. The Rebels actually have the chance to be interesting again thanks to a legitimate coach coming in and replacing the worst head coach in the SEC in at least 30 years. Ed Orgeron made Brad Scott want to dust off his resume.


At quarterback the Rebels plan to start a highly rated transfer who played well as a freshman at a large public university that goes by "UT." If this sounds familiar, its because it was tried in 2006 with Tennessee transfer Brent Schaeffer. With horrid results.

Enter Texas transfer Jevan Snead. Jevan is still a great mystery to me. I wasn't overly impressed at the spring game with a very bland offense and little blitzing he's timing seemed off with the wide receivers. He's still looked better than any quarterback the Rebels have started since Eli Manning. Snead's had a great fall camp according to the rave reviews of Houston Nutt and offensive coordinator Kent Austin. Thanks to Orgeron's inability to sign quarterbacks he's really all the Rebels have. If Snead gets hurt there's only Billy Tapp (not likely to ever take a meaningful snap) or true freshman Nathan Stanley who played last season at a Indian tribal school in Oklahoma going against pretty weak competition.
The Rebels do return numerous letterman at wide receiver. Shay Hodge is the best position receiver, Mike Wallace is the deep threat, and the diminutive Dexter McCluster is the elusive slot back that will play qb some in the "wild rebel formation." (Honestly, I hate that name.) Markeith Summers is expected to also get extended playing time. While the group is overall solid none of the receivers would be labeled as an elite receiver. Tightend is in a desperate shape as all the Rebels have is a converted offensive tackle and a juco transfer. Look for the juco, Gerald Harris to start by default.
Luckily David Cutcliffe left a few lineman behind for running game guru Mike Markusson. The starting Offensive line is pretty good. Left tackle is anchored by preseason All American Michael Oher. John Jerry moves from right guard to right tackle and looks to be a solid NFL prospect as well. Mo Miller and Reid Neely are returning starters in the guard slots. Center looks to be manned by junior Daverin Geralds and should be solid. Rishaw Johnson and sixth year senior Daryll Harris are solid guard backups. Other than that though its a huge drop off since the former coach who was better adapt to work on a shrimp boat couldn't recruit offensive lineman.
The running back position is one of the few with real depth.

Cordera Eason had a superb spring game and a solid fall camp and looks to be the starter this fall. However he has little game experience (9 carries) since Orgeron preferred to play BenJarvis Green Ellis despite the fact that the players routinely said Eason looked better in practice. Eason looked awesome in the spring game showing the ellusive speed Green-Ellis never could by breaking off a few long touchdown runs. Jason Cook is a solid multi year starter at fullback. Backups who have gotten good reviews in fall camp include Derrick Davis, Brandon Bolden, and last recruiting seasons top prize Enrique Davis.
Throw in Markuson's known ability for great running games, the starting o-line, Eason, biggest rated signee ever Enrique Davis and its hard to see the Rebels not having a solid running game. If Snead lives up the hype and the receivers play well the Rebels could have a surprisingly decent offense.


The Rebel's will surprisingly have one of the best defensive lines in the country. About the only thing Orgeron could do was get defensive linemen on campus. The rest of his recruiting was largely on paper but here he did a great job and we actually have more quality depth than most teams in the country. The Rebels have taken a few shots at this depth during fall camp but luckily the bulk of the injuries have occurred here. Pre-Season all sec pick Greg Hardy went down with a stress fracture in his foot and will miss six to eight weeks. He'll be back just in time for the bulk of the SEC part of the schedule. Marcus Tillman can start at either defensive tackle, like hid did as a freshman, or defensive end, like he did as a sophomore and is a superb run stopper. Kentrell Lockett is better than most backups and will start while Hardy's out. Emmanuel Stephens, a pass rushing specialist, and Chris Bowers give further quality depth at end.
At tackle the Peria Jerry is also banged up some but looks to play. Ted Laurent was slated to start but hurt his knee. Luckily it occurred early and after a scope he looks like he'll play against Memphis after all. 57 year old true freshman Jerrell Powe was also cleared to play. We were good without Powe but mix him in and it can get dangerously good once he gets going. Lawon Scott provides further depth and Justin Sanders provides the cockfighting angle. True freshman Justin Smith and Gerald Rivers had great fall camps and may or may not get to see some action.

Unfortunately after the line it drops of a bit. The projected starters are Ashlee Palmer at weakside, Jonathan Cornell at middle, and Allen Walker at strongside. Cornell started the first two games last year before going down to injury against Missouri and receiving a medical redshirt. Walker was highly recruited but yet to reach his potential. Ashlee Palmer was a juco transfer last year who played well. Backing up Cornell is juco transfer Tony Fein, who finished the year last year as the starter and is a great run stopper but struggles against spread teams. Former Auburn player Patrick Trahan is backing up the other two positions and looks to get a lot of playing time.
Houston Nutt has listed the secondary as the weak point of the team and what needs the most improvement. Last season the Rebels were one of the worst teams in turnover margin and interceptions. To help he moved two offensive players, Marshay Green and Jeremy MacGee, to cornerback and both look to be the backups. Starters look to be Doustin Mouzon and Cassius Vaughn. Jamarca Sanford returns to start at strong safety for the fourth straight year. Either Kendrick Lewis or Johnny Brown will start at free safety. The Rebels have little depth beyond nickel back Terrell Jackson.

So I'd expect the Rebels to struggle on defense against the spread passing and other good passing teams but perfom better stopping the run. So its good Missouri goes off the schedule.


The kicking game will more than likely be horrid unless the freshman kickoff guy from North Carolina , Bryson Rose, shows up and finds a way to kick it beyond the thirty five yard line. Field position routinely killed the Rebels last year. Whichever of the three scholarship punters wins the job they don't look to improve much over last years last place in the league. Junior place kicker Joshua Shene suffered through a down year last season but it was subsequently reveled that he was kicking with a torn hamstring that Orgeron refused to let him rest during practice instead preferring for him to perform in drills with the position players. Hopefully he can rebound to freshman form where he was dead on from mid range inwards.
For a team with five kickers on scholarship they have little to show for it.

Its a huge swing year because it could vary greatly between best achievable results and worst achievable. For example last year I wrote that best we could hope for was 6-6 but that was unlikely and I actual prediction was 2-10. I wasn't far off. This year I think 8-4 best case and 4-8 worst case.

Biggest reason for that is they have no depth. The Rebels are one or two critical injuries away from the entire season falling apart. Nutt can't let one of the offensive tackles, linebackers, fullbacks, tightends or Snead get hurt. Subpart to the lack of depth is some teams will wear Ole Miss down just by greater numbers. Specifically Florida, Auburn, & LSU will present a great disadvantage to the Rebels and its hard to see them winning any of those games. Additionally the Rebels are cursed in Tuscaloosa so its hard to predict that as a win. Wake is the most obvious loss to me. They are too efficient and its the second game. If was later in the year I'd give Ole Miss a better chance.

So where does that lead the Rebels. Throw in that Nutt finds a way to win a big game every year that he has no business winning. So I think he could find a way to win one of the Auburn, LSU or Alabama games. I don't know which one. Auburn's at home, Ole Miss always shows up for LSU because they are the biggest rival and Nutt usually finds a way to give them a good game. Orgeron took Bama down the line the last three years so maybe the addition of Nutt could push them over the edge. I wouldn't count on one of those though.
I don't see Nutt who's never lost to Croom and only lost to Mississippi State once in ten years loosing the Egg Bowl at home. Plus I'd expect State to take a huge step back this year as they had one of the luckiest seasons imaginable. Plus their spring game had to go into over time so that they could have one side score a point to break a 0-0 tie. If Orgeron can go 3-0 against Memphis, a coaching staff comprised of the Braves Journal top ten posters could. Samford and La Monroe should be gimmies. Vandy is still Vandy and its at home. They may have more depth but not as much elite talent. South Carolina is the big flip game. They will be better and the Rebels need to win it at home. I don't think Nutt will let himself loose to Arkansas on the first return trip. He'll have too much inside info on the team and has plays drawn up that he knows will hurt their personnel. Plus you know he's got that one circled.

So I'll go 7-5 and return to Shreveport for the Independence Bowl if the key players stay healthy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

Have I said anything about being really ready for football?

This Will Not Help The California Homosexual Sterotype

So the entire Southern Cal team has somehow all gotten jock itch at the same time.

Too bad this isn't like the NFL where you have to have injury reports.

McKnight - probable - itchy genitals.

Would Al Michael just say they are out with a "groin?"

Friday, August 8, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

One of the creepier video's ever.

Wookie On Sports Fantasy Challenge

After getting black balled out of the last few leagues I was in I decided to create a new league. Therefore the first ever Wookie On Sports Fantasy Football league has been created for any readers of the site that would be interested to join.

Here's the League Home.

Password is fantasy.

Draft is September 1st at 5:30 central time.

Prizes will be awarded. If I don't get at least six players I'll fold the league.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The End Of An Era

Just like celebrities die in threes it seems like certain era's of life and sports come to a close all at once. Sure some of it is pushing the facts around so that it appears to be a pattern.

Right now a good chunk of my childhood hero's and more specifically high school era stars are all calling it quits around the same time.

First Michael Stahan retired. The face of the Giants for the last decade. Lead them to two Super Bowls including this February's grand championship. With his retirement the Giants have lost a great amount of leadership from one of the leagues great classy players. You get the feeling now its truly Eli's team. Another QB I always respected, Steve McNair, retired back in April. I've enjoyed him since the Alcorn days and always thought he was a good ambassador for Mississippi. Tough player that finally couldn't play through the injuries.
The Braves have already lost John Smoltz for the year and his return for next year is up in the air. Tom Glavine went on the disabled list for the first time in his career and is spending as much time on it as off. And for the first time Maddux has made strong hints that he may retire at the end of the year. I never would have imagined but the big three has a chance to all retire the same year and go into Cooperstown the same year. As much time as Chipper's spending on the DL, despite having a great season, its hard not too see he only has a few years left. Not to mention the division streak that I enjoyed from sixth grade till two years removed from grad school ending two seasons ago.

And worst of all. This weekend broadcasting legend Skip Caray died. One of my two favorite broadcasters. (Along with Keith Jackson who went into semi retirement a few years back.) He started broadcasting Braves games before I was born and was simply amazing. Had a great sarcastic wit and was never afraid to say when the team looked awful. Wasn't an over the top homer and gave great insight. Waited till the right time to get excited and was alway ready to say, "Braves Win, Braves Win." My all time favorite line of his was, "and the bases are still loaded and I wish I was."

And just as the era of my high school hero's has come to an end I've reached one of those points where my life has changed as well. Bachelorhood is over. Real job responsibilities. House note.

But Skip as always said it best. "I'm 68," Caray said on April 2. "If I go tonight, I've had a hell of a life."

So instead its time to focus on the upcoming era both in sports and in live. Of which I'm truly excited for both. The Past had its great moments but the future has them as well. The Nutt era has to be better. The Giant's just won a Super bowl. The Braves will have another run in the future. And life's better when you live with your best friend. And a great dog.And thanks Skip. For making a great game better and all the great memories that came with you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

weekly theme music

Never realized this was George Harrison. Kind of embarrassing for him.

Any way its official. I'm in football mood from here on out.

Baseball Makes Me Sad

For the most part baseball season's over. Sure I've got to make it through the horrible Dane Cook commercials all the way through October. But its over. The Braves have fallen apart this year. The roster was constructed to have to have little to no injury loss for a good season. So off course we virtually lost Glavine for the year early. Have officially lost Smoltz for the year. Matt Diaz is lost for the year and was playing poorly before he got hurt. They lost bull pen ace, and awesome Aussie, Pete Moylan for the year a week in. Throw in nagging injuries like Yunel Escobar's shoulder, Brian McCann's concussion, Jeff Bennett's shoulder, Rafeal Soriano's elbow, and Mike Hampton's entire body. Then certain players like Jeff Francouer are having astronomically bad years leaving the Braves with the worst outfield in the league. Its just too much to over come. So despite playing well early the Braves are fourth in the division and on pace to finish with the seventh pick in next summer's draft.

The only thing to watch was to see if Chipper could capture the batting title because he was having an amazing season and to watch Tim Hudson pitch since he was also having a great year. Well Chipper's on the DL now and Hudson's elbow is messed up and he's likely done for the year.
The Braves big acquisition, Casey Kotchman, has managed to go 0-9 in his first two games as a Brave so that's a little uninspiring.

So instead we get a Nationalesque EVERYDAY lineup of:
Gregor Blanco (batting .267 with a home run.)
Yunel Escobar (.283 with 6 home runs)
Casey Kotchman (.280 and 12 HRs)
Mark Kotsay or Greg Norton (.290 with 4 HRs and .253 with 3 HRs respectively)
Omar Infante (.306 and 3 HRs)
Kelly Johnson (.270 with 9 HRs)
Jeff Francouer (.235 with 9 HRs)
and worst player in the majors Corky Miller (.093, yes .093 with 1 HR and 3 RBIs)

The Braves couldn't even manage to sell a lefty reliever having a good season, Will Ohman, at the trading deadline right and have now held on to him with the hope that he either continues to have a good season on a terrible team or doesn't get hurt to get the compensation pick that will likely only be a sandwich rounder since he's not a closer. They had ten interested teams and still failed to make a worthwhile trade.

Wow. Bring on some football. August 30th can not get here fast enough.