Thursday, December 27, 2007

Savant's BCS Championship Preview

The Buckeye Charter arrives in NoLA

Well, not entirely unlike a bad herpes outbreak, the Buckeyes are BACK…in the BCS National Championship Game. This year, OSU must beat the LSU Tigers if I'm going to spend another 4-figure amount on national champs gear. Fortunately, for my pocketbook, that is NOT going to happen. I have been contemplating this game since the pairing was announced and I have come to just a couple conclusions:
1. The game WILL be closer than the 27 point beat-down the Bucks absorbed last year, but...
2. …it WON"T be close enough.

History shows us a couple things that are relevant to the outcome of this game.
First, no team has choked-away (OK - just plain "lost" on some occasions) more national title opportunities in football over the last 40 years than my Buckeyes. Wins in any of these game would have given OSU a national championship:

'69 @ Michigan,
'71 Rose Bowl vs. Stanford,
'76 Rose Bowl vs. UCLA,
'80 Rose Bowl vs. USC,
and '06 BCS Game vs. Florida.

Also, victories in any of these games would have propelled OSU to either a title game invitation or put it on the door step:

'73 @ Michigan,
'74 Michigan State,
'95 @ Michigan,
'96 Michigan,
'97 @ Michigan,
'98 Michigan State, and
'03 @ Michigan.

If you consider the 2 unanimous titles (won in '68 and '02), then OSU is 2-12 when given a football national championship opportunity.

Second, OSU's bowl record vs. the SEC is a dismal 0-8, with book-end blowouts ('78 Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama and '06 BCS meltdown vs. the Gators). In addition to those losses to the Tide and Gators, OSU has lost to Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina (twice), with another loss to Alabama thrown-in for good measure.

Third, in recent years, LSU has been unstoppable in the Superdome posting an excellent 3-0 mark in Sugar Bowl victories against Illinois (47-34 in '02), Oklahoma (21-14 in '04), and Notre Dame (41-14 in '07).

So the aforementioned historical record - coupled with the fact that LSU will be healthy (Dorsey expected to be 100%) and playing in front of a very partisan crowd - leads me to my official prediction………which will be revealed at the end of this post.
In order to be objective, I think it's necessary to list a few keys to a Buckeye Victory. Do I think OSU CAN win? Yes - if the Bucks can play the best game they've played in a very long time. Just three of the many things OSU MUST do to have a chance in this thing:

1. Tackle in space - LSU's speed at the skill positions will overwhelm OSU IF tackles are missed which allow for extra yards or big plays.

2. Run north - Bucks must be able to attack LSU and run between the tackles as Beanie will NOT be able to turn the corner on the LSU D.

3. Secure the ball - especially on special teams and in the passing game. Boeckman can't throw picks in this one.

Having written all of that, I think it will be close until the end.

Put me down for:
LSU 30
OSU 17

My name is Buckeye Savant and my team knows how to finish second!

War Silver Medal.

Savant. Sad. Bodypainter.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Conventional wisdom says the mullet ain't cool. Fair enough.

We at down and distant, however, have never been about wisdom - whether conventional or otherwise - so we're inclined to endorse the mullet as the next big thing. Why? Because the wearing of a mullet indicates a superior confidence that money just can't buy (well, money other than the $7.99 + tip needed to score a "Tennessee Top Hat"). I mean, if you have balls enough to sport the mullet these days, you're tacitly telling people that you couldn't care less about fashion and you have bigger and better things to do with your time like, for instance, Fantasy NASCAR (for all guys and some lesbians) -or- Traveling All-Girls Softball (for all lesbians…and some guys).
Here are two of the finest mullets that d&d staffers photographed on a recent staff outing, I mean trip (phew - sorry Hairy, that was close) in Columbus.

This first genius even took the time to both curl and bleach the backside. He's twice the man I am - given the fact that I have only managed to bleach my backside. Meanwhile, Dude #2 also flaunts his pork chop side-burns as a sign of non-conformity. Classic confidence. We should all be so lucky.

So add the mullet to THE list of "what's now" for 2008. You'll thank us later (and maybe end-up on a competitor's website).

War Kentucky Compromise!
Savant Out.

(ed. note: In no other sport except the aforementioned Softball is the mullet as prominent amoung the players than hockey. Players, commentators like Barry Melrose and fans....Please enjoy this fan. He doesn't really know the words or how to dance or how to stand up really, but a Mullet he has. -PK)

(HT: With Leather)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Savant's REAL Top 10 College Coaches

(Buckeye Savant weighs in with another comprehensive, well executed pile of words for your reading enjoyment. Savant's list goes to 10, so in our continuing effort to milk the shit out of our posts so we can coast through life without so much as a how-do-you-do to effort, I've split it into 2 parts. I know the ending, but I'm not telling, except to say that Charlie Weis and Mack Brown fans may be disappointed. - PK)

Ummm, No.

5. Frank Leahy - Notre Dame: Held several head coaching jobs - led the "Seven Blocks of Granite (including Vince Lombardi)" at Fordham, had an undefeated team at Boston College, and led the Fighting Irish to four national championships while at Notre Dame. Implemented the famous T-formation in South Bend. Coined the phrase "when the going get's tough, the tough get going." In my opinion, Leahy is the reason Notre Dame is widely regarded as the best program in college football history (hmmm, I smell another list) and NOT Rockne, hence his spot on my list.

4. Fielding Yost - Michigan: Started his career with short tenures at Ohio Wesleyan, Nebraska, Kansas, and Stanford, but is best-known for his 24 years at Michigan. At "Meechigan (how Yost pronounced the school)," he was head coach for 24 seasons (although not consecutive) and won six national championships. His Wolverine squads had a gaudy winning percentage of .833 during the time he was head coach. His first U of M team outscored the opposition 550-0 before beating Stanford (the team he coached just one year earlier) in the inaugural Rose Bowl Game. His first five teams were so dominant, they were dubbed the "Point-A-Minute" teams.

3. Paul "Bear" Bryant - Alabama: Before leading his alma mater to gridiron greatness, Bryant coached one year at Maryland just prior to a stint at Kentucky where he led the Wildcats to their only SEC title in 1950. Then, from '54 to '57, Bryant led the Texas A & M Aggies where he earned a reputation as one tough S.O.B. for his grueling practices with his first team (the movie "The Junction Boys" was based on this team) - which would, several years later, become Southwest Conference Champions. Bryant returned to lead Alabama in 1958 because "when momma calls, you listen." At Bama, Bryant's teams won six national championships and, when he retired in 1982, he had accumulated 315 career wins (most of any coach, at the time). It bears (no pun intended) mentioning that his 1977 squad soundly beat the squad coached by my #2 in the 1978 Sugar Bowl Game 35-6, which still isn't enough to move up one spot behind Warner (but it's, honestly, damn close).

2. Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes - The Ohio State University: Growing-up the son of a teacher and based on an early career in the U.S. Navy, Hayes not only emphasized the importance of education, but also incorporated a military approach to teaching the game of football. He was the head coach at both his alma mater, Dennison, and "the Cradle of Coaches," Miami of Ohio, before accepting the same position at The Ohio State University in 1951. His early teams struggled to grasp his conservative "three yards and a cloud of dust" style of offense, but that changed in 1954 when his Buckeyes won the first of five national titles they would earn under the leadership of Hayes.

Woody was the first major coach to recruit African-Americans as both players AND coaches. In addition, I believe he is the only coach to have had players win four Heisman Trophies. Hayes taught mandatory English and vocabulary classes to his freshman football players and was one of the first to use the motion picture as a teaching tool (OK - I got that from Wikipedia). Woody also spent countless hours visiting hospital patients and made yearly trips to Vietnam (on his own dime), thus living one of his favorite axioms (from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay called "Self Reliance") - "paying forward." He was also "the subject of more varied and colorful anecdotal material than any other coach past or present, including fabled Knute Rockne." Here are a few of my favorite quotes attributed to Hayes:

"You win with people." (also the title of one of his books)
"Football represents and embodies everything that's great about this country, because the United States of America is built on winners, not losers or people who didn't bother to play."
"So many times I've found people smarter than I was ... But you know what they couldn't do? They couldn't outwork me. They couldn't outwork me!"
"Anything easy ain't worth a damn!"
"Because I couldn't go for three." (in response to being asked why he went for a 2-point conversion with a 34-point 4th Quarter lead against hated rival, Michigan)

His coaching tree is as impressive as anyone else in the history of the game, having developed the following assistants during his many years: Lou Holtz, Bill Mallory, Dave McClain, Bo Schembechler, Dick Crum, Ara Parseghian, Rudy Hubbard (one of the first black head coaches in college football), and Earle Bruce. Woody's career ended when his famous temper got the best of him and he struck Clemson's Charlie Bauman at the Gator Bowl in 1978. Although fired from the school he loved, Woody never spoke negatively about OSU or the administration. He died in 1987 and was eulogized by former president and close friend Richard Nixon.

Hayes was to college football what Lombardi was to its professional counterpart - THE coaching icon of the sport.

1. Glenn "Pop" Warner - Stanford: Tough call between Pop and Woody, but Warner's career will probably never be surpassed in terms of longevity or innovation. Held many head coaching jobs, but his first was at Georgia in the 1890's - followed by Iowa State and then Carlisle. While at Carlisle, he coached the great Jim Thorpe (#10 on my list) before going to Pittsburgh where he won three national titles. After an extended stay at Pitt, Pop took the job at Stanford and won another national title for his 1926 Indians (the Stanford nickname until the late 60's). Warner finished his career at Temple. Among his many innovations were the double-wing formation, screen pass, and applying numbers to players' jerseys.

Honorable Mention: Bo Schembechler - Michigan, Bernie Bierman - Minnesota, Pete Carroll, John McKay, and Howard Jones - USC, Knute Rockne and Ara Parsegian - Notre Dame, Darrell Royal - Texas, Amos Alonzo Stagg - Chicago, John Heisman - Georgia Tech, and General Robert Neyland - Tennessee.

On Deck: Jim Tressel - Ohio State

My name is Buckeye Savant and I'm headed to Nawlins armed with lots of Mardi Gras beads that I am not afraid to use.

War Buckeyes.

I'm out.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Savant's REAL Top 10 College Coaches

(Buckeye Savant weighs in with another comprehensive, well executed pile of words for your reading enjoyment. Savant's list goes to 10, so in our continuing effort to milk the shit out of our posts so we can coast through life without so much as a how-do-you-do to effort, I've split it into 2 parts. I know the ending, but I'm not telling, except to say that Charlie Weis and Mack Brown fans may be disappointed. - PK)

OK - since my REAL Top 25 College Football Players was so well-received, I thought I would tackle (no pun intended) ranking the coaches. I think football - especially college football - is a coaches' game. By that I mean coaching matters more in football than any other sport.. A good coach can win or lose games (or championships) for you and I'm not sure that's true of other sports. I mean, come on, do you really think Phil Jackson won any titles for the Chicago Bulls?

So, without further adieu, here's MY list of the best college football coaches of all-time and, again - I considered everything from titles won to innovation and IMPACT on the game. Feel free to disagree with me, but just realize that, like with most things, I am right.

10. Lloyd Carr - Michigan: Oops, this is TOP Ten Coaches...but seriously ladies and gentlemen…sorry, start over…

10 tie. Eddie Robinson - Grambling: Spent 56…yes, 56 years as head coach at predominantly black Grambling State University. Robinson won 7 or 8 Black College national Championships and won over 400 games to become the all-time wins leader. The Coach of the Year Award is named after him.

10 tie. Bobby Bowden - Florida State: "The Riverboat Gambler" coached at West Virginia before taking over at Florida State in 1976 where he turned the Seminoles into a national power. He is currently the all-time winningest coach with 370+ wins, but he made my list based on the way he built FSU into a national player. He began by playing anybody…anywhere…anytime and took his Seminoles on the road to Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame (among others). Initially, FSU couldn't play with the big boys, but, eventually, they began to win those games and Bobby's teams became an almost permanent fixture in the Top 5 from the mid-80's through the late-90's and won titles in '93 and '99. FSU played in the first 3 BCS Championship games…and he's still going. Has a 1-7 record against the #9 coach…

9. Joe Paterno - Penn State: Took over for Rip Engle in 1966 and is still the Head Coach at Penn State and has 22 bowl victories (most ever by one coach) and stands just a few victories behind Bowden (but ranks ahead of him in Division 1 wins). A model of ethics and following the rules, JoePa's Lions have struggled since joining the Big Ten, but may have had the best team in the country in 1994 - a team that should have won Paterno his third national championship, but had to play in the Rose Bowl.

8. Tom Osborne - Nebraska: After several years as an assistant coach in Lincoln, Dr. Tom Osborne became head coach at Nebraska for 25 years starting in 1973. During his tenure, the Huskers won 3 national titles and never fewer than 9 games. The trademark of his teams was stingy defense coupled with an option rushing attack. Although very consistent, his teams never got over the hump until the mid-90's, when they won titles in '94, '95, and '97. I also love the fact that Osborne went for the win by trying a 2-point conversion near the end of the famous 1984 Orange Bowl. Miami won the game, but I always admired his guts. In addition to losing that game, he lost the #7 spot on MY list.

7. Walter Camp - Yale: "The Father of American Football" made my list for his contribution to shaping the game more than his head coaching accolades - although Camp served in that capacity at both Yale and Stanford. Camp's innovations include: the forward pass, line of scrimmage, set of four downs, and may others. The All-America team was first selected by Camp, who, in addition to his coaching, was also a famous sports writer in the early 20th Century.

6. Bud Wilkinson - Oklahoma: Coached the Sooners to three national titles in the 50's and led OU to an unbelievable NCAA record 47-game winning streak (broken by Notre Dame). I don't believe Oklahoma lost a conference game until his 11th or 12th season in Norman! Bud was the first coach to host his own television program and was a meticulous and organized coach (one of the first to break-down his practice schedules by the minute). Also, played at Minnesota and won 3 national championships as a player.

To be continued. Sit a spell and wait for it. Why are you in such a hurry anyway?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

DAMMIT! You kids get off my lawn!

I’m getting more than a little worn out at hearing the following. “Why are there any Big-10 teams in the BCS in the first place? All they do is schedule ultra shitty teams in their pre-conference schedule and then they play in a pussy conference.” Or something like that. I’ve heard this more times lately than Poon has heard ‘Please Mister, just pay me, put the gun away, and let me get back under the bridge where you found me.’ Oh sure, this time it’s directed at Ohio State, so that has something to do with my ire.

Let me stipulate a few of items ‘ere I go into this moderately thought out, jingoistic, semi-literate and snide rant.

1. I know the Big-10 is a weak conference. I think some of the other top-tier conferences are over-rated, but to be sure the Big 10 is the Meek of the Midwest this year and maybe for the last couple campaigns.

2. You’ve got to play your conference schedule, good or bad. That’s it. So if the SEC’s top five is better than the Pac-10 top five, who cares? You have to play the schedule in front of you. Every conference will have some better years than others. By the way, who wouldn’t look forward to a six-team play-off to figure out who’s better between the middlings of the big conferences? UNC, Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, Alabama and Rutgers.

3. Everybody plays the same amount of regular season games. The only difference is that some conferences have a post-season championship. Pac10 and Big 10 notable exceptions. The Big East has only 8 teams so that allows WVU to go schedule another 5th patsy. So 6 teams in the final BCS and AP polls played 13 games prior to Bowl Season, all the rest played 12. It only seems like everyone played a lot more because of starting the season later or bye weeks.

Having said all that, it comes down to the out-of-conference games a teams schedules. Right? Right. It’s my rant so you're agreeing with me for now. Let’s take a look at the out of conference schedule for the teams in the top 5 in the BCS final ranking. Number six didn’t even get invited to one of the 10 BCS bowl slots.

I’ll start with The Ohio State University to be fair. When Washington was scheduled they might have been good and they are a Pac-10 team, but this year they sucked Orca penis. So I agree when the Youngstown, Akron, Washington and Northwestern string was dubbed YAWN. This schedule must be the worst, huh? Not so fast, mother licker.

LSU: 11-2. Two losses to unranked teams, but they did lay the wood to teams from the Sunbelt, C-USA and WAC by combined score of 136-19. Not a strong group. To their credit they did play and kill VaTech early. (What? I meant the score, it was 48-7, jeesh)

Speaking of Virginia Tech, there’s the aforementioned carnage. (What? I meant the score, it was 48-7, jeesh) The Hokies also play some brutes from C-USA, MAC and 1-AA power William and Mary. (3-1 with a combined score, 96-65)

Oklahoma: (By the way, thanks to OU by the way for the assist.) OU didn’t fall into the trap of inviting a 1-AA squad to Norman for a blood letting but they did have North Texas sans Mean Joe come up and play. Add to that ACC, Mountain West and C-USA. A whopping 246 – 47.

Georgia: An early loss to the Cocks mars the Bulldogs out-of-conference schedule but they regrouped against 1-AA Western Carolina. Add to these they played the Big 12 and another ACC team. Aside from WCU, not bad.

My point here is simply this. Every good team schedules shitty teams to demolish. That’s the way it’s done. Sometimes the Appy State wins, most of the time they don’t. These examples are just for this year. Next year Ohio State has USC at their dojo. LSU adds North Texas and Troy. As someone famous once said, “I’m tired, tired, tired” of this judging of teams based on their out-of-conference schedule.

So to the drooling, mouth breathing, Ned Beatty Taint Tickling, Washer/Dryer on the front porch, double-headed douchebag that got me going this morning on the radio, bite me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Can't Spell BCS Without BS....Or Can You?

We sat there watching nervously
As the teams were slowly picked.
I am getting tired of Lou Holtz
And those other dickless pricks.

"First game is USC and Illinois"
They triumphantly announced.
"I hate those Goddamn fags" I said
"I hope their ass gets pounced!"

The Hooters waitress said I was drunk
And my beer would soon be cut.
I shot her the middle finger
And then threw up on her pregnant gut.

"Are you kidding me for the late game?"
Hawaii and Georgia were the teams.
"I don't give two shits if you haven't lost
And the Bulldogs? Nigga pleeeze!"

Since drinking in Mesquite for years
I've picked up on M-town schemes.
You don't drive down Lawson after dark
And Nigga you just don't scream.

"Oklahoma and WVU are next"
Some random TV black man said.
At that point I was promptly struck
A Nigga had hit me in the head.

I tried so hard to see the teams
Of which the bowl games would show.
I caught VaTech and Kansas
In the midst of the black man's blows.

I assume he suddenly got tired
Since the pummeling had stopped.
I got back on my barstool
And another top I popped.

Would we really do it?
Would the Buckeyes go again?
"The championship game is Ohio State/LSU"

Today there were talks of playoffs
And the hatred of the BCS.
Mizzou got the hose, I'll say
So did some of the rest.

There were some that were left out
And for them, I feel some shame.
But fuck 'em all I'M A BUCKEYE