Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mirek's Week 12 - Season Wrap!

Congratulations to Mr. Photonic Cowboy. The only Ronler contestant to break the 500-point barrier (Trton Mike was close). One day Paul will be able to explain to the rest of us what that really means. In any event, he survived all 12 weeks of the most competitive PICK EM EVER to be the Ronler Champion. A truly noble accomplishment. Many tried, but he prevailed. Kudos to Triton Mike for another great week.

We owe Paul P. a lunch. Pick your restaurant. And on to BOWL PICK EM! 28 games in ~ 14 days - what could be better for the holidays? Thanks for playing this year. See you next year. Same place. Can't wait for opening weekend 2006. I'll have the brats sizzling on the grille.

Looking back on the season, this had to be the BEST PICK EM ever. Everybody who played each and every week was at least in the 90% of the national rankings. Very impressive. We had several leaders and lead changes this year. The TOP 7 were in it right down to the last game between Stanford and Cal. Wow, very cool.

On a personal note, and I'm sure we can all say the same thing, there were many chances and several missed opportunities. For me, the biggest mistake I made was in WEEK 1 where I lost 7 points because of a mistake by ESPN in the Alabama State / South Carolina State match-up. I ended up taking the road team in this one - Ugh! There were other less than stellar moments as well. My 28 - point WEEK 11 didn't help much either. But we all have sob stories.

OK - here we go in the final edition of Ronler PICK EM for 2005:

1) Congrats to Penn State and Joe Pa - your BIG - 10 CHAMPS this year. What a campaign. Is Michael Robinson worthy of the Heisman? Is Joe Pa the Coach of the Year? No matter what - it should be the ACC vs. Penn State in the Orange Bowl after the LIONS beat-up on the SPARTY today in East Lansing. The final score wasn't indicative of the lop-sided nature in this one. Penn State was the better team and the better team won today. And to think that they were 1 second away from a perfect season which ended in Ann Arbor last month. We could see Bowden versus Paterno in Miami if Bobby can beat Miami in the ACC Title Game. That would be cool. Nobody has more BCS games than Bowden (5), but they are only 1-4 in those games. Or we could see the LIONS in the desert against Notre Dame. Wow!

2) Ohio State over Michigan in the BIG HOUSE. It took the last drive of the game to do it, but Troy Smith and Senator Tressel did it on the road. Not an easy place to play much less win. The BUCKS really did dominate the game despite sloppy play, turnovers, and bad special teams. This was not a characteristic Tressel performance - but it didn't matter in the end. This was probably the game of the day. Not sure where this leaves Ohio State or Michigan in the Bowl picture. The BUCKS may end up in the Orange against FSU or Va. Tech. We'll have to stay tuned.

3) Illinois ended a very disappointing season at 2-9 against the CATS of NW. I'm glad this season is over. The CATS had 38 points and 38 first downs. Ugh! It can't get much worse next year. At least my ILLINI beat SD State in basketball on Friday. YES.

4) These teams all won today and looked very impressive in the process: Va Tech, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Oregon. They should all go to good bowl games. Actually, you can make a good case for the DUCKS in the BCS despite the sole loss to a strong SC squad. My money is on Notre Dame. Oregon is a good team, even without Clemmens. But, they play in a very weak power conference: The PAC - 10. This conference ranks no higher than 4th of the top 6 BCS conferences, maybe just above the BIG-EAST at #5, in my opinion. How would Oregon have faired in the SEC, the ACC, or the BIG - 10? They just didn't have any impressive wins this year - in my book. Still - a great win today over the BEAVS. Congrats on another winning season in Eugene.

5) How did Texas Tech beat Oklahoma? Last minute heroics. Those Red Raiders are dangerous. Never say die with that offense. How many comeback wins do they have up their sleeves? Can you say controversy? Hello Cotton Bowl Texas Tech!

6) IN 2OT, Utah beat BYU and will keep the COUGS from being Bowl eligible. Not a bad first season for the new ball coach in Provo.

7) Speaking of COUGS, the Huskies actually 'coug'd' today's game at home against the real Cougars from Pullman. Up 22-19 with only 2 minutes to go they gave up a big pass play which went 45 yards for the TD. Ouch. Glad I only had 1 point on Washington.

8) In the grand-daddy of all rivalry games, Harvard came back against Yale late in the game. 3OT thriller and 5 in a row over the big Y guys. I think this one dates back 122 years or something like that. OK - who cares? Actually, Lafayette beat Lehigh today 23-19 in their 141st meeting. OK - that's a rivalry.

9) Oh the Cardinal. Tedford has never lost to the Cardinal as the CAL coach. What was I thinking by taking Stanford? Ugh! This was the game of the day as far as deciding PICK EM. Turns out it wasn't that close.

10) In one of the biggest upsets of the year, GT beat Miami in the Orange Bowl. Wow - what a shocker! The Jackets had 7 sacks against Wright tonight! Most considered Miami to be the hottest team in the country right now after beating VA TECH in Blacksburg two weeks ago. What happened? Georgia Tech really put the brakes on that powerful CANE offense. Nothing worse than going down in your own backyard.

11) SC over Fresno - great late game. BUSH had over 500 total yards, almost 300 yards rushing. He was everything to the Trojans last night and offered up another great example of why he's your Heisman winner this year. Any doubts now? I don't think Vince Young can do anything about it next weekend against A&M either. How many TD runs of > 20 yards does this guy have this year anyway? Reggie also plays for the 2-time defending national champs and on a team with 33 straight wins, 43 of their last 44.
What is the best rivalry game of modern times??

Ohi State vs. Michigan
Auburn and Alabama
Cal and Stanford
Carolina and Duke
Vols and Vandy
Texas and A&M
Oklahoma and Nebraska
Utah and BYU
Clemson and South Carolina
Harvard / Yale
Lehigh and Lafayette
Many others.....what's your favorite - drop me a line.

How will the BIG BCS BOWLS shake-out this year? Here's how I see them:

Orange = Ohio State and Va. Tech.
Fiesta = Notre Dame and Penn State
Sugar = LSU and West Virginia

My TOP - 10:

1) SC
2) Texas
3) LSU
4) Penn State
5) Notre Dame
6) Ohio State
7) Va. Tech.
8) Auburn
9) Georgia
10) Oregon

My Heisman Leaders:

1) BUSH (Mr. President, Mr. General Secretary, Mr. Czar, Mr. Priminester, ....) - your winner
2) Young - a close 2nd.
3) Leinart - distant 3rd
4) Quinn - an even more distant 4th
5) Robinson

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy these games in Week 13:

Pitt @ WV
Texas @ A&M
Arkansas @ LSU
Zona @ Zona State
Nebraksa @ Colorado
Notre Dame @ Stanford
Georgia @ Georgia Tech
Oklahoma State@ Oklahoma
FSU @ Florida

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