Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VI

foot1In a former life, I was involved for awhile with a multi level marketing company, selling diet and health elixir. Until I tired of it, after learning the many flaws of the scheme.

There is one bit of good advice I did receive during that interlude from my “upline” sponsor, about recruiting team members for my “downline.”

“Never bring somebody in to work with you wouldn’t invite into your home.”

Which sage wisdom I’ve tried to live by since. But which, unfortunately, I failed to remember when predicting Todd Graham’s Arizona State Sun Devils would vanquish the theretofore underwhelming Bruins from UCLA.

I’ve never liked Graham much, due to his lack of loyalty. He jumped ship at Rice after one season and a W in the New Orleans Bowl. Then, after a successful but short stint at Tulsa, and the requisite climb up the food chain to Pittsburgh, he skidaddled Iron City pronto. Again after one 6-6 campaign, before the Panthers even took the field post-season in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

To the Land o’ Sun, where, as far as I’m concerned, he’s as dangerous as Beelzebub his very own self.  So, I picked his team. To my chagrin. And, thus, had a losing commencement to last week’s predictions.

IU, back on its game, also lost. However Miami defeated Duke, UK and U of L held serve, and I came out a positive 3-2 for the weekend, and 13-12 on the entire campaign.

I’m now ready, with the arrival of October and far & away the biggest weekend of the season, to separate myself from mediocrity.

This week’s winners: Continue reading

MMQB: College Football’s Weekend

footballold

Yes, it’s still Sunday. But, ya know, Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) is a metaphor. So, deal with it.

Of insufferable, cocky for no palpable reason Kansas coach Charlie Weis, let me quote Chicago White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson: “He gone.”

Yes, make that former Kansas coach Charlie Weis. His corpulence, 6-22 during his shortened tenure in Lawrence, was canned by the Jayhawk athletics hierarchy today after 0-23 mugging by less than stellar Texas.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

* * * * *

Brady Hoke, come on down. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Wake Forest

cardfootballOf all the sports extant — those we know well as well as those more exotic (like, say, collegiate Quidditch) — one I’ve never quite gotten is Rugby.

(Except, of course, those boffo bashes back in the day, hosted by the Louisville Rugby Club. At one Derby Eve celebration, there were so many revelers at the cottage off River Road, the porch collapsed. Fortunately it was a short one, nobody was hurt, and we bonged our way til the break of day, sidestepping the wreckage when necessary.)

The sport itself? Well, too much, I dunno, uh, what they call male bonding, you know, groups of guys interlocked with the pile moving a yard or two this way, then a yard or three in another direction, and the ball somewhere underneath. Then someone reaches underneath the guys’ butts to grab the pigskin, like gathering an egg or something, then tossing it to a teammate off to the side out of the fray, who then takes off like he’s stolen a candy bar from Quick Stop.

But, I couldn’t help but think scrum, during what was my favorite play of yesterday’s 20-10 slog over listless Wake Forest.

Up by 7 with six and a half minutes to play, the Cards had just avoided another punt return blunder eerily like that which occurred in Charlottesville.  Return guys James Quick and Eli Rogers collided when both went to field the punt. But, U of L held on.

First and 10 at the Demon Deacons 39. Another U of L tally necessary to seal the deal. The day’s rushing star Brandon Radcliff smashed into the middle of the line, where he was soon surrounded by a swarm of WF defenders. Who were then surrounded by a swarm of Cardinals.

Of the 22 participants on the field, 2/3s at least were in the scrum, which, like some overfed centipede, trundled toward the visitors goal line. For a 15 yard gain.

The crowd was energized. The Cardinals got close enough for a 34 yard John Wallace FG to seal the deal. Continue reading

#2 Derek Jeter Walks Off

jeterBaseball, despite the many athletic competitions which aspire to the lofty status, remains the most romantic, the most beloved of American sports.

At least, for us old farts.

The national pastime hearkens back to a more pastoral time, which, though long ago, far away and but a dream now, is what our nation still aspires to.

Among its many attributes, what baseball does best is signature moments.

It sets the standard when honoring its icons.

Last night was one of those nights. Continue reading

Seedy K’s (Sorta) Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week V

foot1I need to apologize at this juncture, coming on five weeks into the season, to ye, my loyal constituency.

I have been off my game. Off my feed, if you will. Off my rocker even. Another 2-3 weekend, and I stand a most mediocre 10-10 for the season.

This is obviously unacceptable.

Thus, I have fired my stat guy. My O and D coordinators have been deep sixed. And my special teams coach is adios. My training table has been rejiggered. And, no more practices in full pads during the week.

So, with renewed vigor, a tweaked regimen designed for maximum results, I forge ahead into Week V of the season. Continue reading

MMQB: College Gridiron Recap (& One Baseball Thing)

footballoldI shall get to college pigskin in a moment. First, this diversion.

THE most valuable player on this college football Saturday past was neither a college student, nor a football player, nor an athlete who even took the field in his sport of endeavor.

Hernan Perez, come on down.

Perez plays baseball. He’s a September call up for the Detroit Tigers, who watched MLB’s most significant weekend series — Tigers @ KC — from the dugout. On Saturday however, he changed the course of the game, the series and, possibly, the season.

The game was tied in the 6th, when Royal Salvador Perez scored from third on a line out, when second sacker Ian Kinsler’s throw to the bag went awry.

Except that KC’s Perez — the one playing in the game, perhaps related to Detroit’s Perez, but who knows? — never tagged up. The infielder in the dugout, Hernan Perez, noticed the base running error, and alerted the Tiger coaches. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus asked the umps to review. They did. The run was disallowed.

The game stayed tied. Detroit broke through for the key W. With a week to play, Detroit holds a thin 1 1/2 game lead over KC for the division crown.

Now, back to football. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Florida International

cardsThere are times when statistics don’t talk, they swear.

Like this number from yesterday’s box score.

12.

Yes, twelve.

As in a mere dozen. Not even a baker’s dozen.

In 35 attempts to rush the ball, U of L had 12 net rushing yards. That’s .03428571 yards per carry. Compared with 88 yards by the team it played, the one ranked 120 in the FBS in rushing yards per game. The Cards had 34 at halftime, meaning they were -22 after intermission.

Think about it for a moment.

Pitiful, nest pas?

Were it worth a chuckle and a shrug off, I’d cue up Otis Redding, singing “Mr. Pitiful.” I shall not. I don’t wish to sully the memory of the greatest soul singer ever.

I didn’t even use the usual clip art above, the one of a Cardinal rushing the ball. It would have been disrespectful to the image. Continue reading

Louisville Cardinals Decommitment; Mars Blackmon, the Culprit?

dunikcard“It’s gotta be the shoes.” — Mars Blackmon

Because, in these parts, basketball recruiting trumps all news — other than hoops itself — we are now obsessed with ***** Antonio Blakeney’s abdication of his intention to matriculate for his higher education on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville.

ISIS. Ferguson. McConnell vs. Grimes. The Who Is The Baddest Boy Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson Pay Per View Smackdown. Reappearance of the Polar Vortex.

Fuhgettaboutit. If local reaction is a gauge, Blakeney’s decommitment is bigger than all that. And tomorrow’s vote for Scotland’s independence too.

So, U of L fans are looking for a culprit.

Why else would a kid come for a visit, say yes, he’s wanted to be a Cardinal forever, and then, ten days later, say, uh waitaminute?

If one were playing “Clue,” there would be an obvious guess.

Coach Cal. In the Blue Room. With a fistful of Nike®Bucks. Continue reading

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

foot1I got the memo.

I simply ignored it. At my peril, it became oh so very clear as the weekend’s games played out.

“The Big Ten sucks,” it read. “Predicting wins by its members, except when competing against other conference schools, in which case one has no choice but to choose one league member or the other, shall leave one open to legitimate ridicule.”

Mea culpa. Maryland, despite the Star Spangled unis worn by its players, did not beat West Virginia, as I incorrectly predicted it would. Had I read the memo, had I made a more prudent prognostication, my slate last weekend would have been, as they like to say in those border towns, “muy perfecta.”

Uh, wait a minute, I just double checked my score sheet. Okay, actually, so addled am I about the debacle that happened in Charlottesville, I now realize what I wrote above is not true. So, forget that “muy perfecta” crap. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Virginia

cardsEvery once in awhile you get a game like this.

One of the teams plays really bad, as if it has no intention nor inclination to win the game, and does everything it can along the way to make sure that happens.

That would be Virginia.

But they are playing a team performing even worse, a foe with more resolve to fritter away victory opportunities, its intention to make sure that no matter how bad its opponent is performing, it’s going to do even more to not win the game. It beats itself.

That would be Louisville.

U.G.L.Y. 23, U.G.L.I.E.R. 21. Continue reading