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March Madness – My Brackets

March 17th, 2010 Comments off

So I’ve gone ahead and completed my brackets for March Madness.  I did them both on gut instinct with no research into efficiency metrics or any other tactic (especially not mascots), so we’ll see how they turn out.  I usually go into a bit more detail in my research.

Anyways, I’ve produced one homer bracket and one real bracket… the most substantive difference is that I have several picks that I’d like to see in my homer bracket, while the real bracket is what I think will actually happen.

In the meantime, also worth a read is this great piece by Clay Travis on the death of Freeda Simmons and its impact on the Vanderbilt-Murray State game.  Simmons was a nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center and the mother of Murray State player Picasso Simmons.  Further, Picasso and Vandy freshman John Jenkins knew each other quite well as the only two D1 players to come out of Station Camp High School in Tennessee.  C’Lay does a really nice job telling the story in the article.

Click on through for a view of my brackets. Read more…

SEC Hoops Power Poll: Final Regular Season Poll

March 9th, 2010 Comments off

In what will likely be our last collaboration of the year, Phil from Save the Shield and I have put together our picks for final Regular Season power poll for Southeastern Conference Hoops.

We’ve taken the last couple of weeks off as, to be honest, there’s been almost no movement in the SEC and things really aren’t terribly fluid.  There was a moment where folks thought Vandy might challenge Kentackalacky and a brief glimmer of hope that one of the Mississippi teams might actually represent the SEC West well enough to earn an at large.  Sadly, neither came to fruition.  Now, everything rests in Nashville where Florida needs to win two games and Mississippi State and Ole Miss each need to win three (AKA win it all) in order to make the NCAA tournament.

Before the list, we first have the awards (with runner’s up).

  • Player of the Year – Demarcus Cousins, Kentucky (runner up: John Wall, Kentucky)
  • Freshman of the Year – Demarcus Cousins, Kentucky (runner up: John Wall, Kentucky)
  • Coach of the Year – Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt (runner up: Bruce Pearl, Tennessee)

Anyway, Phil’s and my picks are after the jump. Read more…

Hotty Toddy, Ackbar Almighty

March 8th, 2010 Comments off

It’s been quite well publicized that Admiral Ackbar is up for the role of mascot for the University of Mississippi, but it isn’t real news anymore until the Taiwanese go all CGI on the news (see, e.g., the Tiger Woods Accident and Spanking footage, as previously chronicled by this site).

My only advice to the good admiral is that this is a trap. The Ole Miss football team is the bottom of the barrel. They’ve got a “student”-athlete who can’t read (“He’s a good boy, he just can’t read“). They try to pretend they can compete in the West, but since Eli left they’ve been closer to Mississippi State than LSU and Bama. And you’ll be leading a fan base that had no problem for years with the idea of waving the Confederate Flag that represented to many African Americans a symbol of oppression and racism (regardless of the fact that it may have represented something different to those waving it).

An English version of the video, after the jump. Read more…

Previewing Vandy Baseball in 2010

February 26th, 2010 2 comments

Sonny Gray will look to lead Vanderbilt as the Friday guy in 2010.

I’m quite excited to be out in Los Angeles this weekend for the first live college baseball I’ll have seen since last May’s disastrous series loss to Todd Raleigh’s Volunteer team (a weekend which caused such concern over the illegal bats used by the Vols, that composite barrel bats are now illegal). Anyway, enough of my loathing of all things Orange in baseball, the Black and Gold of Vanderbilt got going over the weekend and it was a dandy. The Commodores played host to the Niagara Purple Eagles, but were far from hospitable on the diamond.

Behind a strong pitching performance from the King (Sonny Gray), the Dores easily took the opener, 9-0. The bats then really woke up with a 16-2 thumping on Saturday, complemented by a solid start from Taylor Hill. Sunday was bloody with the Dores laying into the Purple Eagles with 25 unanswered runs after Niagara jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Big Jack Armstrong had some tough luck and was a little wild as the starter.

On Tuesday, Austin Peay came across town to the Hawk and gave Vandy all we could ask for. They threw a former weekend starter named Vicini who was coming off of an injury plagued season. He was healthy, shutting the Dores down through 6 before giving way. Chase Reid, Richie Goodenow and Russ Brewer were all really dominant for the Dores on the hill and Andrew Giobbi won it in the 10th with an RBI single, for a 2-1 win. Not quite the dominating performance of the weekend, but it’s sometimes nice to just get a nail biter win, especially before a top flight tournament against three NCAA caliber teams, including a showdown with the top pro prospect in NCAA baseball (UCLA’s Gerritt Cole).

The past week was the first look at some key newcomers, such as Mike “#YAZ!” Yastrzemski, Regan “Little Flash” Flaherty and Connor “I Don’t Have a Nickname Yet” Harrell, the three freshman leading the battle to fill the outfield spots vacated by Steven Liddle and Jonathan White. My thoughts on them and the rest of the team follow the jump in this, my Vanderbilt Baseball Preview for 2010.
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SEC Hoops Power Poll: Conference Week 6

February 16th, 2010 Comments off

After a one week hiatus, Phil from Save the Shield and I have put together our picks for Conference Week 6 of Southeastern Conference Hoop.

There’s really not a whole lot new this week.  The pecking order at the top of the SEC has been set with Kentackalackey on top, Vandy in second and Tennessee in third.  State, Florida and Ole Miss are somewhat fungible in the second tier, while Arkansas and South Carolina are the last two SEC squads with even a fraction of a shot at an at large bid.

Anyway, Phil’s and my picks are after the jump. Read more…

TLOG Survives to Fight Another Day…

February 8th, 2010 Comments off

Although I took this to be only a joke, apparently women's groups are actually protesting the ad (though I think it's largely because of the unspoken message).

This blog’s post on TLOG?  Not so much.  In January, I wrote about Tim Tebow making a huge mistake by doing a pro-life ad for Focus on the Family (I also made a remark that irked some by calling it an anti-abortion ad, I apologized to those good folk).  Anyways, the ad finally aired last night and it showed me I shouldn’t doubt the Lamb of God.

The ad was remarkably sterile and pretty boring.  In fact, it was shot like a cheesy Match.com ad and contained zero controversy (other than naming Pam Tebow as the co-winner of the 2007 Heisman).  Anyways, the Greatest Collegiate Footballer will live to fight another PR day and the ad certainly could not offend even the most pro-choice of advocates.

SEC Hoops Power Poll: Conference Week 3

January 22nd, 2010 Comments off

The timing on the TeamSpeedKills.com weekly Blogosphere Power Poll is awkward for Hoops.  A Thursday midnight cutoff is a full half week after the Top 25 polls close and is just a weird time to submit.  Nevertheless, Phil from Save the Shield and I got our picks for Conference Week 3 of Southeastern Conference Hoops in on time.

The only real, substantive change is that South Carolina got jumped by Ole Miss and Florida, and that Ole Miss jumped Florida.  There’s a pretty big drop between MSU and Ole Miss and between South Carolina and the bottom of the league.  The real question mark is how much better the Fighting Freshmen in Kentackalacky are than the rest of the league.  That question (and whether the Vols’ lack of depth will catch up to them) are the real unanswered questions.  It looks like it will be a three team (UK, UT and Vanderbilt) battle in the East and a state of Mississippi battle for the West (with MSU winning at Oxford already).

Anyway, Phil’s and my picks are after the jump. Read more…

The Lamb of God is about to get fleeced

January 18th, 2010 Comments off

Here, Tebow is seen ascending above the field while playing the Barn.

There was, apparently, an eleventh commandment.  That commandment instructed that Thou Shalt Not Doubt Tim Tebow. This was certainly true when the Chosen One was at Nease High and walking on water throughout the Swamp in Gainesville.  On his way to two national championships and three appearances (and one win) at the Downtown Athletic Club’s Heisman Awards, Tebow always came out on top, both as a player and as a representative of his Evangelical faith.

Many have run afoul of this commandment throughout the years.  Clay Travis became a pariah when he asked Tebow, straight up, if he was saving himself for marriage at SEC Media Days in Birmingham this past Fall.  Opposing defenses were taught not to doubt the power of the jump pass and Les Miles and crew never quite learned.  In 2008, defensive coordinators were shown you couldn’t try to stack the box against the Holy Moyel’s awkward passing delivery.  And, in a modern day ascension to the draft, Tebow shattered noted headcase Vince Young’s BCS record for total yards in this year’s Sugar Bowl with 533.

If you doubted the power of the Tebow, or the veracity of his faith, you were likely going to come up as a loser.  But that was when the Lamb of God was an All-American amateur — both literally and figuratively.  Clay Travis is questioning his holiness again with an article released Monday noting that Tebow is going to shove his religiosity and beliefs down audiences’ throats with a $2.5M Focus on the Family anti-abortion ad currently scheduled to air on the Super Bowl.

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Oh Lane, whatever shall we do in the SEC without you?

January 13th, 2010 Comments off

I don’t know that there are any Vanderbilt sports fans that aren’t smiling tonight.  None of our teams (not even Women’s Bowling) was active to earn us a smiling victory.  No, for us, Florida fans, Alabama fans, Kentackalacky fans, Georgia fans and South Cackalacky fans it was the news out of Knoxville and Los Angeles.  The University of Southern California (U$C) had decided to replace the departed Pete Carroll with Boy Blunder, himself.

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SEC Power Poll — Week 13

December 2nd, 2009 Comments off

Once again, this week’s SaveTheShield.com SEC Power Poll Entry is a true collaborative effort. STS’s Philip took the first crack and I filled in some of the gaps. See the final results at Team Speed Kills, though our ballot wasn’t submitted in time for the official poll.

And, for the record, Carlos Dunlap hadn’t yet acted a fool when we wrote this.  With him out, I think Alabama probably would have stayed #1 on our ballot.

The NCAAs most dynamic DE will not play in this weekends SEC championship.

The NCAA's most dynamic DE will not play in this weekend's SEC championship.

1. Florida

Clay Travis should have clarified in his question what the definition of “virgin” is.  Pretty sure that the national media has performed certain acts on Tim Tebow that most would consider deflowering… never moreso than after his swan song in the Swamp.

2. Alabama

Sure, Tide fans, it was look-ahead to Atlanta that left your team flat. Or lack of respect for your intrastate rival. Or all those trick plays. If your team turns it into a victory over the Gators, no one outside of Auburn will care.

3. LSU

Distant third, but they are one of the only three teams with a winning SEC record.

4. South Carolina

The ACC office blames y’all and Georgia for depressing attendance at their Championship Game. They had really hoped to get a good 30,000 people in Tampa.

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