Saturday, November 25, 2006
This just in - USC is good on both sides of the ball. Men against boys tonight in LA. Those SC receivers are studs. One hand, one arm, one finger - it doesn't matter which body part they use; USC catches everything. In a year that should have been a rebuilding season in So Cal, the Trojans are proving to the rest of the nation that they are probably the most elite of teams in the nation. Year in and year out they get the best players in the country. If there was a year to take them down, it was 2k6. Say good bye to lost oppportunities, especially if you play in the PAC-10.
So what about those BCS games? Who goes where? Well, let's start with the obvious in USC / Ohio State. Should be a great TITLE game. I don't see a blowout here. As far as the rest go, Michigan is going to the Rose Bowl for yet another visit and could play Notre Dame again in a rematch. BIG BLUE could also face-off against a solid LSU squad since the Rose Bowl will likely get the first two at-large picks with both Ohio State and USC making an appearance in the title game. I also like Oklahoma to take on Boise State in Tempe at the Fiesta Bowl assuming they beat Nebraska in the BIG-12 Championship. The Sugar Bowl looks to be a matchup between Florida / Arkansas and Notre Dame if they don't play in Pasadena. Finally, look for Wake Forest / GT to play Louisville in the Orange Bowl barring an upset by Rutgers next weekend in Morgantown over WV. You can see the entire bowl schedule here (as projected by CBS - subject to change). Personally, I'm clearing my schedule for that January 6th International Bowl showdown between W. Michigan and Cincinnati. It all gets started on December 19th with Northern Illinois and TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego). Check back with the blog early and often over the next several weeks for all of your bowl and Ronler Bowl Mania coverage.
How about those Rivalry games? My top - 4 games include the following (not in any order): 1) Ohio State / Michigan, 2) Army / Navy, 3) USC / Notre Dame, and 4) Auburn / Alabama. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good football out there each year (including this year's Civil War game in Corvallis). But these games mean more than the rest year in and year out. You owe it to yourself to see each one of these before you die. Add them to your 'must-do' list, trust me.
Quick ILLINI Update - I know we didn't play today (and therefore we didn't lose either), but kudos to my ILLINI B-BALL squad (7-0) for taking down Bradley in Hoffman Estates at the Sears Centre (just 10 miles from where I grew up in the burbs). Not a bad win over those nasty Bradley Braves for the Chicago Invitational Challenge Title. This was a tough game for since since I graduated from both esteemed universities (BS '93 in Physics from Bradley and MSE '95 from Illinois). So far so good on the young hardwood season (undefeated and tested with some close games). But, it gets a lot tougher this week with a home game in Champaign against Maryland as part of the BIG - 10 / ACC Challenge. Then we travel to the desert to face those CATS from Arizona on Saturday. Will be interesting to see where we rank this week after a busy stretch of b-ball for Bruce Weber's squad.
Do yourself a favor and visit the burbs of Chicago. I recommend breakfast at Artemis on Golf Road. 4-egg omelletes are to die for. You better have lunch or dinner at Portillo's while you're out there as well. And if you don't have pizza at Gino's East, or Giovanni's, or Lou Malnatti's, or Rozatti's it's you're own damn fault. Life is simply too damn short. Get in there and ask for extra peppers and juice. I recommend a beef sandwich 'wet'. Viva!
Kudos to those BYU Cougars from Provo and their MWC title tonight. Nice season out there in the mountains. Great game and great win on the road in Salt Lake over the UTES. Looks like Mendenhall has the Cougars back on the national scene again.
How 'bout those BEAVS? Great job in winning the CIVIL WAR in Corvallis! Screw the East Coast, this is one of the best rivalry games in the nation, right up there with some of big-time games. I would put it in the top-10 in the nation. And this year, the men in orange and black have the braggin' rights. Wow, what a game on Friday. You will be hard-pressed to find a more exciting game in the country. For all those who wear orange and black underwear, congratulations on a job well done. 8 wins is nothing to sneeze at in public. Just remember where you were back in September after the CAL loss. Riley was hated in Corvallis more than a Kitzhaber social program. Enjoy the next 364, the CIVIL war is in Eugene in 2k7. Fear the DUCKS in the coming season. They should be very very good.
What else did I see around the nation?
- Hey Gig'Em Jim - good win in Austin over the Horns on the day after Thanksgiving. Finally, Dennis gets a signature win and keeps his job another year, for now.
- Damn those Bulldogs from Athens (Georgia). The Jackets from Atlanta (GT) let this one get away down the stretch.
- How about Boise State? Yes, they will likely play Nebraska or Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Isn't mediocrity lovely? I love communism. Hail to Trotsky. I mean what the hell already. Give me a CFB playoff or give me death.
- What happened to my CATS from Tucson (Arizona). Ugh, big disappointment tonight in Tucson against those rivals from Tempe. Phoo - wee!
- NC State lost tonight to E. Carolina. Ugh! Very very very bad.
- How about those Demon Deacons from Wake Forest? And, I'm not talking basketball either. They will take on a pretty mediocre GT squad in the ACC title game next weekend.
PICK EM WRAP - Before I go further, just a word of thanks to all of those who played this year, especially the 27 of us who played each and every week (13 in all). Wow, what a season. Kudos to Reggie Redbird as our PICK EM CHAMP for 2k6 on raw points. The TOP-11 of us broke 600 points for the year. Amazing. And, if you played each week you were in the TOP 84% in the nation. What a strong group we have this year Thanks for playing. It's been a great year of competition with some awesome games for the memory banks. I look forward to next year, the sixth RONLER PICK-EM season. And, don't miss Ronler Bowl PICK EM which launches in just 7 more days. Pick 32 bowl games in ~ 20 days and enjoy your holidays even more.
My TOP 10 (heading into Championship weekend) -
1) Ohio State, 2) USC, 3) Michigan, 4) Florida, 5) LSU, 6) Louisville, 7) Oklahoma, 8) Wisconsin, 9) Boise State, 10) Va Tech. Here's the coaches' poll (and others) for the week of the 26th.
The blog is becoming a busy place this holiday season. So far over 32 unique hits on Sunday. For the week of Thanksgiving (when lots of folks were OOP) it logged over 60 brand new visitors bringing the total since August to more than ~ 1400 fortunate souls. It's averaging 13.14 new guests / day. As always, enjoy the content and feel free to shoot me a note.