My New Year’s Resolution

I know it’s been a while, but my 2011 New Year’s Resolution is to get back to regularly updating TAC. So you’ve got that going for you, right? Hopefully. We’ll see. I’d prefer you not hold me to that, but I do promise I’ll try. So now the only thing left to worry about is where to start. A lot has happened since the last time I updated this blog. A whole lot. But, seeing as how it’s “bowl season” in college football, we’ll start with some football. Here we go.

Turkey Bowl 2010
Sure…it’s been more than a month. But I know after last year’s breakdown, everyone is dying to know if Team A could make it a three-peat.
After last year’s thrilling overtime victory, Team A was ready to go for a three-peat in the 2010 Turkey Bowl. Due to several conflicts and injuries, both teams were missing last year’s quarterbacks. That left each side with the difficult task of finding a quality replacement who could deal with the pressure of playing in a Turkey Bowl. For one team, the decision was a simple one. For another, there would be no one replacement.
Team A got off to a quick start. On a rainy morning at OLV, this side wasn’t afraid to go to the air to move the football. It turned out to be pretty simple, as we moved the ball down the field quickly, wrapping up the drive with a TD pass from yours truly to co-MVP Bryan–a connection that may haunt the dreams of Team B for the remainder of this year.
After that, Team A turned its attention to defense, forcing Team B into a 4-and-out on its first possession. Team A then did a repeat performance, with Bryan catching TD number two to make it 14-0. Team B then got their second chance on the offensive side of the ball…and the next possession ended with another score. Only problem for Team B was the TD made it 21-0. The QB issues came to light when The Other Nick couldn’t handle pressure from The Big Cat and lofted an interception back across the middle. Young Mr. Dulle took the INT the other way, getting tangled up by the Younger Schatzman just shy of the end zone. Lucky for Team A, yours truly ran down the field alongside Dulle and Dulle made the heads up, Ed Reed-esque move to pitch it back, and I rolled in for Team A’s third score.
From then on in, the game was relatively even, with Team A putting a little more distance between the two squads. In the end, Team A made it three in a row with a 56-35 victory. The Me-to-Bryan connection resulted in 5 TDs, as he and I earned co-MVP honors. At the end of the day, he made Spanks look like an average corner. And don’t worry…the CapriSun still tasted delicious the third time.
And this year, we’ve got a way to remember the Turkey Bowl. Mrs. G put together this outstanding photo collage of our epic battle on Thanksgiving morning:

Mrs. G is so creative. God love her.

2010 Insight Bowl
With all the suspensions and injuries, I thought Mizzou would be able to get past Iowa. If anyone has listened to my radio show (my five readers and probably the same as the five people who listen to that, so I assume you all know what I’m talking about), you’d know I’m not crazy about Mizzou’s offense. I think they’ve completely stifled Blaine Gabbert and that Tiger fans haven’t seen anything close to his full potential. All the little bubble screens and button hooks didn’t utilize all the skills everyone expected to see when he took over for Chase Daniel. Still, even with all that, I thought they’d handle the Hawkeyes. Boy, was I wrong.
The game really reminded me of the loss at Nebraska in a lot of ways. Inability to really stop the run. A few big plays hurting them in a game they otherwise controlled pretty well. The one thing that pleasantly surprised me was the offensive playcalling for Mizzou. Gabbert was reading defenses, throwing the ball downfield and showing off his arm strength and, in an unlikely turn of events, pocket presence. I had heard a few “experts” saying he was definitely one of the top NFL prospects at the quarterback position. He made a great case for himself in that game. Take away the absolutely absurdly bad decision on the game-winning pick six and he probably had the best performance of the season, and maybe even his career. I would not be even remotely surprised if that’s the last game of his Missouri career.
**UPDATE: prior to posting, but after I wrote it, Gabbert has declared his intent to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.**
Still, the thing that I most wanted to touch on was the atrocious call to overturn TJ Moe’s catch on Mizzou’s last play. I do not think TJ made the catch. It was probably incomplete. But on the field it was ruled a catch. In order to overturn the ruling on the field, you need “conclusive video evidence” that shows said call was incorrect. There’s absolutely no way any of those replays conclusively showed the pass was incomplete.
But that doesn’t matter without Blaine’s silly INT. So, in the end, you can’t really blame it on that one play. I just thought it was ridiculous. And I’ll also give Iowa credit. Undermanned and everything, they still get the win. Kudos to them for that.

Outback Bowl
The only reason I touch on this is because I really want to know how JoePa is actually coaching. He never wears a headset, he never seems to actually talk to his players, his facial expression is always the same. Does he even know what’s going on? Is the Penn State coaching staff like a puppet government? Is he really alive? Have the Nittany Lions just been pulling a “Weekend at Bernie’s” with him for a few years? Honestly. I don’t get it.
Urban Meyer, on the other hand, is very smart. The cupboard was bare–at least by Florida’s standards–this year. It probably will be again next year. Why suffer through another four or five loss season? He’s got plenty of money, he’s won a few national titles. Retiring in your 40s is a super idea. Even with modern medicine, your body and mind have to start going downhill soon after that, right? Good move, Urban.

Capital One Bowl
Alabama is really good. So is the SEC. And I really think this was the most embarrassing loss of the bowl season for the Big 10. Not only does your conference co-champion lose…they get absolutely demolished by a 9-3 SEC team. Obviously Alabama isn’t your typical three-loss squad, but for Michigan State and the Big 10, you expect far better from a conference co-champion. The Sugar Bowl is a big game for Ohio State and the conference. A 2-6 bowl record added onto the whole “Legends and Leaders” crap would be kind of embarrassing.

Rose Bowl
For all the loyal listeners I referenced above, you already know I thought TCU was the best non-AQ team in the country–not Boise. For those who don’t listen to me on the radio, I’ve long thought TCU was the best non-AQ team in the country–not Boise. The Horned Frogs went out and helped make me look right (even though I think Boise State probably could’ve given Wisconsin just as good of a game). Andy Dalton’s numbers weren’t overly impressive, but he led his team extremely well and never made any big mistakes. Both defenses looked extremely suspect, then just went in to lock down mode about midway through the second quarter.
I think, in the end, the better team won this game. And it was a huge win for non-AQs everywhere. TCU never really looked overmatched, never backed down, and held the lead for the majority of the game. When Boise knocked off Oklahoma in ’07, you could say it was luck and trick plays that did it. You can’t say that about this TCU team. I saw something on a halftime show where some guy said TCU was his pre-season #1 for 2011. I don’t hate the pick.
And TCU was so classy about everything, too. Sure, we all know the BCS is a load of crap, but they aren’t complaining. They took their Rose Bowl berth and took care of business. They never complained about the system screwing them over. I’m sure they thought it, but they’re not whining like Utah did a few years back. I like that about them.
And what I liked even more was their uniforms. Black on purple looks so badass. TCU’s football uniforms, in my opinion, are the best in the nation. (For the record, sticking with the purple and black theme, K-State’s road threads are the best basketball unis around.) On top of that, they had some wacky pattern inside the numbers that looked really cool. Then, to (literally) top it all off, they had the Horned Frog on the helmet…with a rose in its mouth. Well played, whoever came up with that idea. I loved it.
As I would say on Twitter, #awesome.

And lastly, can we all agree that Bret Bielema and Rob Riggle look a lot alike. Seriously, when Erin Andrews interviewed him at halftime, all I could picture in my head was him yelling, “In the FACE!”

That’s really all I’ve got on the college football front. But I have a couple things to say about college basketball. Plenty to talk about so far this season.
–Duke was hands-down my pre-season title favorite. They’ve done nothing thus far to make me think otherwise, but I think the loss of Kyrie Irving could definitely cost them in the long run. If he does somehow come back (I don’t recall ever hearing he’s 100% out for the season), this team is hands down the best in the nation. On the plus side for the Dukies, they’ve still got Kyle Singler on the team. And he gets buckets.

–Ohio State is very good. This Sullinger kid is better than Greg Oden…and he actually looks like he should be eligible to play NCAA basketball. I’m very surprised they haven’t managed to get at least one or two first-place votes in the polls from Duke.
–Kansas is good. A lot of people were all about K-State in the pre-season after their Elite 8 run last year. For the first time in years, kU was kind of overlooked in the Big 12 pre-season picture because of high expectations for teams like the Wildcats, Baylor and Mizzou. Since then, all Kansas has done is win every game its played, added a stud to its line-up in Josh Selby and shot better than 53% from the field so far this season. Even with the Big 12 the deepest its been in years, it’s still tough to see kU not winning this conference again.
–This was supposed to be a “down” year for the Big East. That’s clearly not the case. Kemba Walker has Connecticut in the top 10 after starting the season unranked. The kid’s good enough that he essentially single-handedly took the Huskies from unranked to the top 10 with his play in Maui. But, as we saw in the Pitt game, if he struggles, no one else on that team can step up. Speaking of Pitt, they’re in the top five despite what now seems like a pretty bad loss at Tennessee. But they’re still good. Syracuse has a group of studs putting them up in the top four. Then there’s Villanova, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Louisville (in one poll) and Cincinnati all in the top 25. Down year. Yeah.

Now I want to touch on my two teams: Mizzou and Cincinnati.
–First the Tigers. An absolute ton of talent on this year’s team. Between Laurence Bowers, Ricardo Ratliffe, Kim English, Phil Pressey, Michael Dixon and Marcus Denmon, there’s no shortage of offensive weapons. Then you’ve got other guys like Justin Safford or Matt Pressey or even Ricky Kreklow to provide some good minutes and points off the bench any given game.
A lot of people can step up for this team. That’s huge, especially in Mike Anderson’s system. When you’ve got six different guys that could lead your team in scoring on any night, that’s great, because you can always have a scorer in the game no matter how much your subbing in and out. And they’ve got their go-to guys in a tight game. That’s a must.
The only loss of the season came in OT against G’Town in Kansas City. And the Tigers absolutely gave that game away. Reminiscent of two years ago when they did the same against Xavier in Puerto Rico. After that loss, the 2008-09 team wound up making a run to the Elite 8 before Kemba Walker and the Huskies sent them packing. There’s no reason to think this team can’t at least duplicate that success. I think they can.

–Cincinnati is 14-0 and finally cracking in to the Top 25 polls this week. Not that I can really blame the voters. The Bearcats have essentially played a high school schedule up to this point. The games that were supposed to look good on the schedule (Oklahoma and Dayton) didn’t look all that great when the Cats played them, but the UD drubbing is looking more and more impressive with each Flyer win. OU lost the players that were supposed to huge pieces of the puzzle, so they’ve struggled in non-conference play and will probably continue to do so in the deep Big 12.
But still, the Bearcats are 14-0 and they actually look like they enjoy playing together and playing hard for the first time in the Mick Cronin era. I got the chance to talk to Tarrance Gibson–a guard on the 1992 Final Four team–and he said Mick told him this team added by subtraction. In losing Lance Stephenson and Deonta Vaughn, this year’s squad got infinitely better. I agree 100%. They still haven’t really proven anything, but for the first time with Mick at the helm, I’m excited about Cincinnati basketball.
That being said, we’ll learn a whole lot about this team in the coming weeks. The Crosstown Shootout on Thursday, then off to Philly to take on Villanova, then into Big East play. And their schedule is brutal: @Villanova, @Syracuse, @Notre Dame, @Pitt and @Georgetown, and they also get L’Ville, UConn and G’Town at home. I don’t even know if this team will make the NCAA Tourney for the first time since 2005, but I’m excited to see what happens.
And, for no real reason, I want to post a highlight from the glory days. And I could watch this clip for hours:

NFL Playoffs are set. I have no reason to watch because the Bengals suck, but I’ll give some predictions. The Falcons win the NFC. Probably over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. I don’t see how the Patriots don’t win the AFC. They’ve been incredible. I don’t know who they’ll beat, but I don’t think it matters. It’s a boring prediction, but I take both the top seeds playing for the Lombardi Trophy.
And for those of you sticking to that “Mike Vick for MVP” crap, take a look at this stat and try to tell me there’s any way Tom Brady doesn’t deserve it more…

The Heat will win the NBA Championship. Been saying it since this summer. The Lakers are imploding, and D-Wade and LBJ will find a way to beat the Celtics when the time comes. Mark my words: the Heat will be 2011 NBA Champs.

That’s all I’ve got for sports. For now.
–Penguins are awesome. This little guy proves it.

–Do you have weird sexual fantasies? Well, if you do, remember: safety first. One guy (allegedly) failed to do so, and shot his wife “by mistake” while they were doing it. Apparently, the dude’s Facebook interests include “the AK-47 assault rifle, the M-1 Carbine rifle, Jagermeister and Jesus Christ.” Outstanding.
–Me and my friends love FIFA. When I’m home, we spend so much time playing it’s uncanny. But it’s so great. Fortunately, none of us freak out quite like this guy.

First off, can I say that I absolutely love when people film their friends’ video game freakouts. It’s great because you know it’s happened before. I used to have a roommate like this. Would play Call of Duty online and just lose it at times (“I just took a bite of my f***ing sandwich!”). I kind of wish we’d filmed it at times, but I don’t know how it would have gone.
Second, hats off to the kids for egging him on. You know you’ve got him on camera, you’ve gotta get the most out of it. And they do. He just bails on the whole game and storms out of the house. Doesn’t just quit, but leaves the house entirely. Outstanding.
Third, I just don’t get it. I want to beat the computer more than anybody, but if I lose the game, I don’t flip out and leave. Sure, maybe I turn it off so it doesn’t save, but I at least keep my composure while doing it. And this kid kinda looks like a guy I had class with last semester. I can’t say for sure it’s him, but I’m going to tell myself it is.

–I hope you’re ready to just laugh your ass off. This is possibly the greatest 15 seconds in game show history.

Okay…the answer itself isn’t even that funny because you know it’s coming. Don’t try to act like you were taking the moral high road, because we all know you were thinking the exact same thing this little girl was. But then they ask Jerry and Mary if they’ve got the answer and…BOOM. Comedy gold. The kids are Asian. And everyone just plays it cool. As if this chick didn’t just call her Asian counterparts “yellow.” Absolutely hilarious.

–Those last few videos I found on Barstool Sports. If you don’t check this blog at least semi-regularly, you’re missing out. Even if you hate the teams they like, there’s just so much quality stuff. So much. Get it together and get it on your Google reader or whatever those things are called.

The Bachelor is back tonight. I don’t really care, but my mom and sister were bitching about the guy on this season because he was already on the show once and didn’t even wind up picking a girl. That’s awesome. Apparently that pissed off Nean and Melissa. I say more power to him. Get yours, buddy. Then, if you are sick of all 30 of those women, you tell them. No need to pick one and break up with her after the show. I hope he does it again.

–Lastly, can we all agree that NBC’s “The Sing-Off” is hands down the best show on TV, as far as talent goes. If you haven’t watched it, it’s just ten really good a capella groups competing for $100k and a contract with Sony. And these groups are incredible. If you think American Idol is a good show, a) you’re wrong, and b) this show blows it out of the water. You don’t have to watch a bunch of crappy people sing at the beginning, Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman are two of the better judges I’ve seen on any show, and Nicole Sherzinger, despite her terrible analysis, is at least good eye candy. But if you haven’t seen this show, do yourself a favor and be sure to tune in or watch YouTube clips of it some way. Off. The. Chain.
Even some cute gals, too. Barstool New York picks out the cream of the crop with this chick from Berklee College of Music and the group with the best name on the show: Pitch Slapped. And what more could you ask for? Beautiful and talented. Well, maybe you could ask for personality and all that stuff, but looks and talent ain’t a bad place to start.

Then there’s the actual music. This season was outstanding. Last season was really good, too. My favorite group so far was from the first season–Noteworthy. They just kill every chord they go for. The beatboxing is stellar. And I find the chick with the mohawk thing oddly sexy. Her voice is incredible, and you can’t disagree that she’s pretty. Here’s my favorite performance they had last season…with this one a close second.

And then this year’s winner (SPOILER ALERT) Committed killed it with an Usher medley. As one judge said after their first performance, the lead singer’s voice is just “butta.”

Wow. That was a lot of writing. But I guess that’s what happens after taking like half a year off. If you’re still reading, then thanks. I don’t know if I’d have been able to make it this far. But it’s syllabus week for anyone back at school or still break for everyone else, so did you really have anything better to do?
As for the New Year’s Resolution thing, so far I’ve updated once every three days. I am doing really well so far! Thanks for reading.
Carpe Diem.
Altiora.

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~ by nchaney3 on January 3, 2011.

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