Sunday, October 28, 2007


Looking good so far

This many wins! Yaaaay!

Want my reasons why ASU will beat Oregon this weekend? Eh, who has time? I'll say the top three deciding factors will be maximizing time of possession to keep the ball away from Dixon & Co., minimizing turnovers while creating a few for Oregon, and eliminating penalties, as Oregon only had one for five yards against USC.

Honestly, I think it's coin flip; their offense is marginally better than ours and our defense is marginally better than theirs. ASU's speed at linebacker needs to contain the run and force Dixon to beat them with his arm. Oregon is 81st nationally against the pass and the Duck D is prone to giving up yardage chunks through the air, especially with a tandem like Herring and Nance ripping off big gains. ASU hasn't seen an offense with the balance and potency of ASU's, and the Sun Devils haven't seen an offense like Oregon in years (not counting the 2005 ASU offense).

ASU has won two straight at Autzen, including upsetting the #6 Ducks 45-42. Revenge is a bitch, see last year's asswhipping. It may come down to a kick and like the Sun Devils, freshman Thomas Weber is undefeated at 15 makes and zero misses.

It won't take a perfect game to beat Oregon, but a full four quarters would be nice.

Here's where I've been wasting my valuable blogging time, composing my top 10 reasons this ASU team eerily resembles the 1996 Pac-10 Champion counterpart.

10) Speed and depth at linebacker.

4) A mobile quarterback who lacks outstanding numbers but exudes leadership and manages games well.

8) A deep and solid receiving corps led by a senior sporting #3.

9) A stable of talented running backs.

A victory over a Big XII North team.

6) A handful of comebacks.

5) Students rushed the field after a victory against Cal.

3) A stud starting running back is out for the season with an injury.

2) A senior-laden offensive line.

1) An undefeated Sun Devil team!

Watch me.

And me. Draw your own conclusions.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Rolling on Shabbas

It's fuzzy but it's fo' real!

ASU is fourth in the BCS for doing nothing more this week than sippin' on purple drank and scroggin' bitches during their bye week. During undergrad I lived across the street from a few footballers just off of Hardy Drive. On bye week Saturday they went around to all of the houses in the immediate vicinity and let us know that they were having a party and politely asked that we speak to them and not the police regarding any noise complaints. It was one of those ridiculous parties like you see in the movies with extraordinarily hot ladies and gigantic muscle-filled gentlemen stumbling and vomiting on the front lawn. They didn't invite us, oh by the way.

So what did you do for your bye week?

Sometimes you wake up with the urge to do something superbly stupid, like buying a case of everclear and looking up your old fraternity brother who just got moved from an ATF watch list to a work-release program. While I'm not that crazy (because that guy really exists in real life) I did manage to create a similarly self-destructive scenario by teaming up with an Arkansas alum and showing the local Seminoles how to party by arriving on campus at 3 a.m. and throwing a 24 hour tailgate. No hangover today but the legs are sore after standing for nearly 28 hours, including one of the better football games I've ever witnessed. Too bad for you it was regionally televised, because it was a doozy. Miami fans are the worst group of people since the fall of the third reich, and they make U of A fans look like the service staff at your local Ritz-Carlton. To top it all off, none of them even went to school there.

Cal's loss at UCLA may hurt ASU's strength of schedule, but the Bears will come rolling in to town on Saturday playing like a wounded animal. ASU will have a target on it's back and he nation's eyes will be on Tempe, seeing if this supposed paper tiger can really play against a good team. The defense will have its' hands full with a recovered Nate Longshore, DeSean Jackson, and Justin Forsett. Saturday would be a good time for this team to come out firing and play all four quarters. We shall see.

And finally, former ASU baseballer Dustin Pedroia had plenty of fun after his Red Sox clinched the ALDS (picture from

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Thursday, October 18, 2007



Shit shit shit shit fuck. I don't even want to talk about it right now.

Ryan Torain is lost for the season.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007



ASU is ranked 8th in the first BCS poll, trailing 7th place Kentucky by a few ten-thousandths of a percentage point. If Ohio State loses and everything else holds up pitting USF against Boston College in the MNC game, I might have to give up college football all together. I hear bull riding is all the rage, though. Does ASU have a team?

Even if ASU were to win out (cart before the horse, I know) could they get Auburned and be left out of the championship game? Looking at the teams ahead, I'd say there's a strong possibility.

Oklahoma will most likely win out, with their biggest stumbling block being their instate rival OSU Cowboys. Thanks to the overall weakness of the Big XII, the Sun Devils ought to be able to leapfrog them with Cal, Oregon, and USC all in the top 12, giving ASU strength of schedule bumps along the way. The same scenario goes for the lackluster ACC (Boston College) and Big East (USF).

Ohio State's schedule thus far has been about as tough as ASU's (if that) but their last five games area against the top half if the Big Televen in Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. The final four have been in and out of the polls in the last few weeks, with Penn State and Michigan looking to climb again after each of them turned in their best performances of the season this past Saturday. Still, a loss to any of them ought to bounce them from the Superdome, even if Michigan wins out. The problem here is that if UM does run the table, they're Big Ten Champs and Ohio State most likely steals an at large BCS bid.

The SEC teams are a different animal. Kentucky, Sakerlina, and LSU already have one loss apiece and are still ahead of ASU. It's foreseeable for each of them to lose another game, but if one of them runs the table the SEC strength of schedule will almost undoubtedly keep one of them at one or two should the teams ahead of them lose at some point. Also consider the SOS bump they get from playing in the SEC championship game, and ASU could be on the outside looking in.

And what if ASU doesn't run the table, as they most likely won't? (just talking statistically, don't crucify me) A loss to Cal, Oregon, or USC would allow any one of those teams to leap the Devils in the standings, and historically the BCS computer isn't very keen on putting two Pac-10 teams in the BCS. This bumps a hypothetical 11-1 ASU team to the Holiday Bowl asuming the conference team that beat us doesn't go to the MNC game. The Pac-10 bowl agreements suck, but that's a topic for another day.

The bottom line: no one has control of any of this, so the Sun Devils have to get out and take care of business. They control their own destiny in terms of the Rose Bowl, and that's all they can worry about for now. Should things shake out and a trip to New Orleans comes our way that's gravy, but we can only concern ourselves with what we can control.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007


Liveblog, Part III: gametime, motherfuckers!

10:18: CAL is on the ropes against OSU and Cincinnati is getting all they can handle (down by 4) from Louisville, two teams that have made their reputations by folding late in games. If both lose and ASU holds on, they will be one of seven remaining undefeated teams. Woah Nelly!

10:25: ASU wins the toss and will receive!

10:33: Devils on the move, going for it on 4th and 3. Big hairy balls, DE! Looks like Cal's Cinderella clock is about to strike midnight. I hate Ohio State.

10:34: might be wrong about Cal...

10:39: Poor clock management stikes! Cal throws over the middle of the field with less than 10 seconds remaining and no timeouts, not unlike when ASU beat Oregon State in 2002.

ASU had a TD called back, then took a sack, and will settle for a field goal. 3-0 Devils!

10:48: VICIOUS hit on Locker by Travis Goethel, but it'll cost him 15 yards. Here comes all the trash about how dirty Erickson teams are blah blah yadda.

10:51: Cincy loses, and then there were six. FUCK TD Washington.

11:04: Jovon Williams is a fucking asshole. Carpenter puts a 20+ yard pass right in his breadbasket and he can't hold on. Heal up quick Brent Miller!

11:12: all the replay challenges are slowing the game to a crawl. Getting it right is nice, but come on. Let's go!

11:14: I think it's safe to say my circle of friends is a key factor in Keystone Light's sponsorship of ASU football.

11:17: I'd do Lisa Love because power is attractive. She's doing a wonderful job politicking in a sideline interview.

11:25: Chris McGaha was a slam dunk champion in High school according to Petros Papadakis. Who's the "possession receiver" now? Apparently Kyle WIlliams is, TOUCHDOWN DEVILS! ASU is is playing with a confidence- not a swagger, mind you- that I havn't seen since the Pat Tillman days. They are playing like a team that will not be denied, that refuses to lose. This is getting fun, even though it's a long way from being over.

11:30: Ryan Torain on crutches makes me sad, and so does that goddamn long run by Louis Rankin. Feck.

11:34: Watchin Omar Bolden play DB reminds me of watching a young RJ Oliver. There's talent therre but when the ball goes up to that side of the field there's a big 'oh fuck!' followed by a loud 'I hate you RJ!' After a year or two, he becomes a favorite. It's like magic.
David Blaine will hold his breath until Omar Bolden becomes a solid corner.

11:46: where the fuck is Keegan Herring? Rudy is doing a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly and hitting the short routes. That will keep the blitzes and sacks down.

11:50: There's Keegan with a 20 yard run! Piss poor clock management, and Carpenter took a shoulder to the balls and a halmet to the face. Good effort, but spike the ball on 1st down for cryin' out loud. Replay gets us a field goal, 17-13 at the half. ASU playing well on offense, questionable on defense, and the breaks are about even.
Spike the ball on 1st down and don't throw into double coverage you big dummy!

12:20: Torain's out with the foot, Mike Jones is out with a concussion. Oooohhhhh shiite.

12:28: d-line causes a sack/fumble that leads to 7! A mobile quarterback on an undefeated team throwing a touchdown pass to #3 who makes a beautiful catch... just sayin'.

It's a thing of beauty.

12:35: You know what one of my peeves about the Koetter regime was? It always seemed like the other team made second half adjustments but we never did. That has all changed, as the Devil D creates another three and out.

12:47: DMITRI NANCE! He sat the bench for three years in high school and then finished second in the history of Texas high school football in terms of single season rushing. Defense has tightened the clamps and the UW offense looks like a completely sifferent team.

12:57: KEEGAN HERRING! Does ASU have the deepest backfield in the pac-10? Here's a memory, Keegan must hate the shit out of the Huskies.

1:09: I think the Defense might be a little tired after the quick strike scores. It's the curse of the Koetter offense!

1:13: ASU probably won't crack the top 10 tomorrow if they hold on for the win, which is total bullshit. Play the strength of schedule card all you want, but Boston College's best win was against Georgia Tech. Horsepoopy.


Liveblog, Act II: the Schadenfraude hour

4:02: After a lunch break and a fight with the internet feed, there's been buffoonery abound. Lou Holtz compared Nebraska to Enron (everything's fine here!) and the Saunders, James, Flutie studio team pontificated Sylvester Croom- yes, the Mississippi State coach- for a seven point lead in the first quarter, proclaiming that while MSU has been "a place for coaches to go to die" Croom has "rebuilt the program there." Add to that, Bama and Ole Miss are playing hot potato with the victory in Oxford, as no one seems to want it at all. A well played first half has turned into a turnover-a-thon.

4:10: I have regional coverage and can't watch USC dismantle Arizona, so any updates folks can send me are much appreciated. Coach Stoops ought to be on the hot seat by now, so think of some solid replacements for him.

Here's a few ideas for the next head man in Tucson:

Inanimate Carbon Rod

Barney Fife
Dennis Franchione

President Skroob
The incumbent
Stoops will be gone one day, and I will miss him.

4:47 Who the hell does Penn State think they are? The team they were predicted to be, it seems, as they are leading #19 Wisconsin 24-7. I guess road rage and sexual assault is how you motivate a team. Paging Fright Night Freedman...

5:10: For fuck's sake USC, 10-10 at the half? Buck up you bunch of bitches! Someone brought up the idea of rooting against the Trojans considering the end-of-season bowl implications, but ASU holds it's own destiny at this point so don't sell your soul for roses.

Kentucky's band is playing Bohemian Rhapsody. Sweeeet.

6:30: Raghib Ismail's sideline interview was... provocative. He proclaimed that at the end of the day the Notre Dame nation would be proud of the product on the field WHAT!!! In addition, when asked what he had been up to since retiring from football, he replied (paraphrasing) "jack shit, y'all. WHAT!!!" He's also a motivational speaker. USC is up again yay!

The sideline cheesecake in Happy Valley needs to know one thing: don't poke the old Italian zombie bear. And I quote: "How did I know he wasn't going to answer that? Tee hee!" He committed road rage this week for Chrissakes, insert your own Italian mobster stereotype joke.

6:57: Schadenfraude successful! Trojans 20, pedophile nunkillers 13. I even got to watch the last Arizona "drive." It was glorious.

7:41 Holy shitballs, Oregon State is up 7-0 at Cal, but we've seen that type of thing before. The 3:30 games werea little sleepybut they sure are ending in a flurry. LSU-Kentucky in OT, UNC giving the Cocks a scare, and U of A actually had a shot. When I die, I'll know I'm in hell if there are no Saturdays in the fall.

7:51: Some asshat from Missourah just tried to hurdle two Oklahoma defenders. BAD IDEA. Look for it on youtube tomorrow.

7:58: A delay of game on third and goal from the two in triple OT? that type of thing will give Rich Brooks the gout, but apparently it's all moot now. TD Kentucky, but Brooks still thinks it's total bullshit.

8:02: Yeesh, the sideline cheesecake at the Vandy-Georgia game isn't very cheesy or cakey. She looks like she could be Pam Ward's bulldike sister. Ah, and Kentucky pulls it out. A full set of teeth just rushed the field.

8:07: Just switched to the Oregon State-Cal game to see the crowd reaction when they announce the LSU loss... and still waiting as VS. goes to commercial. ASU's homecoming matchup with the Bears in two weeks is starting to look verrry sexy.

8:13: Mmmmm, Hawaiian tailgate at Cal. I should have been a liberal English major.

9:01: Mark Richt was on the FSU coaching staff for many years, he looks loike a Bowden, and he even walks the sidelines like a Bowden. I think Mrs. Richt has some explaining to do, as Georgia survives a scare from Vandy.

9:10: Oregon State is looking good on adrive to open the second half. Maybe they won't shit the second half bed again.

9:29: A goal line stand by the Beavers? Did that just really Happen? I thought no one plays defense in the Pac-10. Cal needs to get their shit together, if for no other reason than keeping Ohio State out of the #1 slot.

10:09: This is traditionally Auburn's style, but WTF happened to Arkansas' offense? Their gazelle WR Monk was a big loss, but jeez, a team that boasts two of the best running backs in the country ought to be able to put up more than zero points.

...and Oregon State goes up by 10 after converting a fourth and goal, a two-point conversion, and a recovered fumble on the ensuing kickoff. This will be a fight for Cal without Longshore.


Liveblog, Act I: smellin' what the rock is cookin'.

12:41: Enough already, Dwayne. I'm still smelling my breakfast, two unfertilized chicken zygotes and batter-dipped liberty squares.

1:02: After a slow start I finally have both tv's set up in the living room, straight Phil Steele style. I'm watching Bama-Ole Miss on one and GA Tech-Miami on the other, with VA Tech-Duke and Iowa-Illinois on the back buttons. To hell with Texas, Iowa State, Lehigh and Yale. Oh by the way, if you don't get the Lincoln Financial Sports Network, move further South and East. It's the bee's knees.

1:05: I had the sound down on Miami- what the fuck was Erin Andrews eating? I really hope this isn't a new trend in CFB broadcasting, especially after the Primanti Brothers debacle during Thursday's Pitt-Navy game. The only thing more incomprehensible than Lou Holtz is Lou Holtz with a mouth full of sammich.

1:15: For those that don't know, that stork of a mascot at Miami is Sebastian the Ibis. The ibis is a bird that is the last creature to leave a hurricane-inflicted area and the first to return. How sweet. I fucking hate the name Sebastian for anyone born in the western hemisphere. The only ones I can think of are that kid from the Neverending Story and C-Bass from Dumb and Dumber- I assume their full names are Sebastian, and the writers changed them to make them a bit less pussified. Come to think of it, Bastian was a wuss anyway. Into the dumpster, sallypants!
The Polish Powderkeg doesn't count for geographical reasons.

1:28: Flippin' sweet! Now that the Dukies are being put in their rightful place, I switched to ISU-Texas and the first play was a reverse WR pass back to the QB, BYAAAAHHHH! Iowa State is just like USC with tha color scheme and... and... they're nothing like USC. BYAAAAAHHH!

1:45: For you 2-a-days fans, Alabama QB John Parker Wilson went to Hoover High School, as did many members of the Tide. That explains the Bama bangs, for sure.

1:59: Ooooooo, Okie State's up 28 and Sam Keller is playing for a team that has no defense or special teams. Who would have thought?

2:07: Michigan's starting to look like they're supposed to, FINALLY. Now that's a sleeping giant. Halftimes are starting to creep in, so here's some funny shit to keep you occupied.

2:52: Georgia Tech has played in ten straight bowl games? Really? How that program has survived Reggie Ball is beyond me. Without Calvin Johnson, his career completion percentage probably hovers around 35%. Ball's brother Marcus plays for Florida State, but do you think they let him anywher near the football? Hell no, he's a DB.


Time to catch up

Like this, with tv.

No tailgates. No out-of-town visitors. No calls from work. This will be the first lazy at-home Saturday of football watching in over a month, and a full day of football begets a full day of digital scribbling. I'll run a liveblog all the live long day, starting around noon EST and running until the end of the ASU game. Since I'm stuck with regional action I'll need schadenfraude updates from the UA-USC game so stop by early and often. But first, a few things to ponder regarding tonight's matchup with the Huskies.

Last week's game against WSU was far and away ASU's worst of the season, as the Cougs held a 451-296 yard edge in total offense and Jason Gesser Alex Brink had his way with the ASU secondary with 369 passing yards. Look for the Devils to rebound after their piss-poor showing on the Palouse with a ton of energy and excitement, especially back in fornt of the home crowd, which is projected to be a lowly 62,000. Still plenty of room on that bandwagon, unfortunately.

Washington QB Jake Locker is for real, but he's not yet Alex Brink in terms of passing ability and his receiving corps has a way to go before they get in the company of Bumpus, Gibson, et. al. The Sun Devil defense's weak link is definitely the weak side corner, manned by Baloney and Bolden. If Locker is able to pick on that duo and complete a few deep passes early it could open up an otherwise inept Husky rushing attack and make for a long night in Tempe. Locker's main weapon thus far has been his mobility, both while escaping pass rushes and through designed draws. Even though he's not tipping his hand, expect Coach Erickson to employ a spy on Locker, most likely the speedy and hard-hitting Robert James.

Eh, pass blocking. It has been the bane of the ASU offense all season, and they'll face a tsunami of blitzes once again until they start to make teams pay for doing so with hot routes, quick slants, shovel passes, etc. I wuld like to think the ASU staff has thought of this too, but perhaps they're saving it for a stronger opponent? One can only hope. ASU held a 9+ minute advantage in time of possession against Wazzu, and it really showed on the last two ASU drives as Ryan Torain had gaping, truck-sized holes through which he could run. It will peobably be pass to set up the run once again, but when called upon the run blocking has been superb.

I'm more nervous than usual about this one. UW has dropped three in a row against top-notch comeptition and is looking for the opportunity to break out with a statement game. ASU is 6-0 because they've been letting other teams beat themselves through penalties and turnovers, but the Huskies commit the fewest turnovers in the Pac-10 and they boast a conservative, run-heavy offense that will keep turnovers low. ASU needs to make an attention-grabbing statement of their own after shitting the bed in the first game the east-coast sleepyheads were able to watch. The Huskies have played tough in the first half of all of their games but have let opportunities slip away as teams make second-half adjustments. This is tailor-made for ASU, and look for them to pull away in the second half.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


Let's go Cubbies!

Andre Dawson, a man among boys.

Despite my personal allegiances, it's in the best interest of Sun Devil football to root for an early exit for the hometown Diamondbacks. 48,864 Valley bandwagon jumpers sold out Chase Field for last night's game one, a disappointing loss for the Cubbies, despite an average 2006 attendance of 25,821.* It should be abundantly clear that we want to see 71,106 cheer on the Devils, and if we are to do so these are the people we need to attract. Our student and alumni population garners about 50,000 per game on Saturday nights, but if these numbers are to climb then local fans will have to make up the difference.

As the entertainment dollar gets stretched by the numerous sports options in the area, a playoff baseball team does nothing to fill the upper deck of Sun Devil Stadium. So let's go Cubbies, we'll take whatever fans we can get, especially since the bandwagon is going to fill up quickly as the Devils continue to rise in the polls.

* 2007 numbers were not easily available. Do your own fucking research.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007



Everyone wants to be a superlative. Remember in high school when folks were proud of having their picture in the yearbook for class clown, cutest couple, and the like? Washington State coach Bill Doba apparently has his eye on "dumbest fucking coach on the planet." Dennis Franchione is taking poor coaching to another level by displaying ineffectiveness off the field, so Doba has also decided to step his game up because by golly, he wants to be remembered at the ten year reunion too. Come on down Bill, you savant:
“Arizona, I said … is the second- or third-best team in the conference. I still hold true to that,” Doba said. “They are talented – I think more than the team we’re facing this week [ASU].”
That's right, we're playing them this week. Bulletin board, anyone? In case you've been hiding in a deep hole, Arizona State is 5-0 and ranked 18th nationally. UA beat Washington State last week, and proud we are of all of them, but it was their first victory over a D1 opponent this season. This isn't just a pot shot at ASU either, Doba's insinuating that Arizona is better than Cal and/or Oregon as well.

Arizona is currently 1-3 against real teams, and don't give me that Appalachian State any given Saturday crap. With the exception of Cal the cats weren't playing the titans of the game either, posting losses to New Mexico in Tucson and at BYU.

Stupidity is punishible by many forms- pain, financial burden, or even a coaching stint in Jacksonville- but here's my suggestion for ASU to even the score, because being compared to Arizona football is an insult. I recommend the following final score on Saturday, photo style:



Take ASU, and the over. The spread is hovering around 9 if you feel like getting rich.

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Monday, October 01, 2007


The O-line is not the issue here, dude.

Photo stolen from

The recently maligned Hell Hogs have taken a lot of flack for the abuse Rudy Carpenter has taken this season, but after rewatching the ASU-Stanford game they deserve less badmouthing than they're getting.

Carpenter was sacked five times in the first half, and two of them came by blitzing Cardinal players that Ryan Torain was in charge of stopping. Torain has been an incredible back this year, but blocking appears to be his weakness. Pass blocking, like basketball defense, is played with the feet and Torain tends to lean out rather than shuffle his feet and move laterally when a pass rusher makes a move to the outside. This affects his leverage, which is key in blocking, not to mention football in general. Torain's leverage is also compromised because of a high pad level, which is a common criticism of his running style. Get low and drive up: it's very basic, leverage 101. DE Dexter Davis' solid play has been attributed to his high school wrestling career and the skills he gained by throwing people around. But enough of throwing one of ASU's best players uder the bus.

Ok, we'll do it a little more. Two of the first half sacks came from blitzing Cardinal players that weren't blocked at all. There's a couple of issues at hand here, and one is very easy: there simply weren't enough bodies to block everyone. This falls on Carpenter for (not) reading the blitz and making an adjustment in the form of a hot route, audible, etc. Carpenter admitted in post game interviews that Stanford blitzed the bejeezus out of him all night, creating confusion for the junior signal caller. The other issue could be that Carpenter is picking up the blitz and making the call but Torain either isn't getting the signal or he's misinterpreting it.

The fifth sack of the first half was a speed rush off the end and the tackle got beat, but these types of things happen sometimes. We can't all be Randall McDaniel.

Still think they're not up too snuff? Well they run block too, and Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring are averaging 5.4 and 6.2 yards per carry, respectively, for an average of 5.7 per carry in meaningful time. That's how Phil Steele judges O-lines, and if he says it then it's gotta be true. Dmitri Nance has been no slouch in mop up time, but since most of the haters are targeting the starters, that's where I looked.

It's still hard to complain. Here ASU sits at 5-0 and ranked 18th nationally, and the offense just dropped 34 points despite several red zone farts. The boys are beating teams soundly and gaining confidence in one another which can only lead to good things. Wazzu's up next, and any team that allows Dizzy Tuitama to throw six TD's (in one night!) shouldn't be that big of a challenge.

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