The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012


December 12, 2006


TSA Saves Another Passenger…

…from a potential terrorist carrying the Heisman Trophy.

Airport security nixes Heisman Trophy

Troy Smith’s Heisman Trophy was shipped home because airport security would not allow the Ohio State quarterback to take it on the plane Tuesday.

Smith wore a black leather jacket with the Heisman insignia on back when he arrived at the airport from New York, where he was presented college football’s most coveted trophy.

Eddie George, the last Buckeye to win the Heisman in 1995, had his trophy get stuck in an airport X-ray machine, losing the tip of its right index finger and bending the middle finger.

“We decided to have it shipped. That’s much easier. How times have changed. Eddie carried it on the plane and put it in the seat next to him,” sports information director Steve Snapp said.

Smith said he didn’t mind.

“No, because Eddie’s finger got bent,” Smith said. “I don’t want that to happen to mine.”

I feel safer. Don’t you?

UPDATE: According to Doug & the Columbus Dispatch, this may not be accurate. It appears he had planned to ship the statue all along, so it was not damaged in the process. That’s what I get for trusting an unreliable blogger AP Sports Writer. Do some fact-checking next time, AP!


Below The Beltway linked with Homeland Security Insanity
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December 9, 2006


All Is Well In The World

OSU-TSmith300
Troy Smith Wins.

It was well-earned.

Second place, surprisingly, went to Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, with Brady Quinn in 3rd. Steve Slaton and Mike Hart, neither invited to the final ceremony, finished in 4th and 5th place, respectively.

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December 7, 2006


Troy Smith Celebrates His Win Invited to Heisman Ceremony

Smith, Quinn, McFadden are Heisman finalists headed to New York

Troy Smith booked his trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony before the invitations went out.

Why wait?

Smith, the heavy favorite to win college football’s most prestigious award, was selected as a Heisman finalist Wednesday, along with Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.

“First and foremost, I’m very, very anxious about it,” Smith said earlier this week. “This is my first time in New York, so I’m excited about that. I’m sure all the festivities that I will partake in are going to be overwhelming.”

The senior quarterback entered the season with plenty of Heisman hype and then backed it up with brilliant play for the unbeaten Buckeyes.

Smith is fourth in the nation in passer rating (167.9) with 2,507 yards, 30 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. He might be the biggest reason No. 1 Ohio State will play No. 2 Florida for the national title on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.

Quinn, a senior, was fourth in Heisman voting last season and has thrown 35 touchdown passes in 2006. McFadden, a sophomore, scored 16 touchdowns and led Arkansas to the Southeastern Conference title game.

If Troy Smith doesn’t win, I think the entire city of Columbus will erupt in riots. Of course, if Smith does win, Columbus may erupt in riots… It is C-bus, after all!

But Smith has proven with absolutely solid play all year long that he deserves this award. While my own Notre Dame hatred makes me unhappy to see Brady Quinn get invited, he’s a pretty good college QB. And Darren McFadden is likely to be back here in another year or two, since he’s a sophomore. He’s already amazing, and is likely to just get better.

But neither of them have the resume of Troy Smith. Troy Smith simply has no weakness. He’s a great runner, great passer, great leader, and great decision-maker. And he has one quality that seals the deal: he rises to the occasion. Troy Smith plays well even when he’s in the biggest game of his life and all the pressure is on. Last year against Notre Dame, he came up big. This year against Texas and Michigan, he came up big. Against Florida, he’s going to light it up.

Troy Smith might as well clear space on his mantle right now, because he’s going to have a new trophy on Saturday night.

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December 3, 2006


Another Bad Year For The BCS

The goal of the BCS is to match up the two best football teams in the country and let them play for the championship, something not always done in the old bowl system. When it works (as in the 2005 season), it works great. What happens when there’s a lot of contention over who those two best teams are, though? Well, you can look to 2003 (“split” USC/LSU championship), or 2004 (undefeated Auburn left out of the title game), to see how bad things can get.

2006 is going to be one more of these years. Ohio State can’t “prove” they’re national champion unless they defeat Florida in the Championship game. If Florida doesn’t make it into the game, questions will be asked about the 2006 champion in the same way they were asked about 2003 and 2004. Even worse, if Michigan defeats OSU in the championship game and is crowned the BCS champion, we may see another “split” championship, as Michigan and OSU would each have beaten each other, and Florida may get the nod as the #1 team in one of the final polls. The Big Ten is criticized as being down this year, and if Michigan and OSU split their games, it only adds to Florida’s stature as “escaping” the tough SEC with only one loss.

And given the “poll” process as a selection, you have another worry. Voters may be discounting Michigan simply because they don’t want a rematch, so Michigan fans may have a legitimate gripe if they’re excluded from the game (particularly if they then go to the Rose Bowl and destroy USC, the team that jumped them into the #2 slot, and Florida beats OSU). Voters should be trying to determine who is truly the second-best team in the nation to play OSU, not fudging their ballots to ensure that Michigan doesn’t get a shot.

Only two scenarios can save 2006. If Florida makes it into the game and loses to OSU, we have a relatively clear champion. Or, if OSU plays (and beats) Michigan, and Florida loses their BCS bowl game. We’ll have to see how the polls play out today, but there’s going to be “spin” either way.

Anyone else think the heads of the BCS are very, very upset at USC today?


Below The Beltway linked with Florida Passes Michigan To Reach No. 2
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December 2, 2006


How Correct Analysis Leads to Wrong Results

When you start a 5-game pick 0-3 on the day, it really doesn’t make you feel very good. I did so, and it makes me wonder how good my analysis skills are doing… But I’ve looked at these games, and the analysis was sound. I correctly saw what the teams could do to each other, and what they needed to do to win. Where I was wrong is my prediction of whether they’d take care of that business.

1) Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech

I said Wake would have an offensive letdown against GT. I further said that wake had a good rush defense, and that GT would need to exploit Wake’s pass defense to win the game, and if they could do so, they’d win easily. Wake’s offense was inept against GT’s defense. GT’s rushing attack didn’t do much against Wake’s defense. I said that if Ball and Johnson could hook up, they could run rampant on Wake’s pass D. So what did they do? Ball threw for a 31% completion rate and 2 interceptions. They had the talent to beat Wake, they just didn’t execute.

2) USC @ UCLA

My pick was that UCLA would score a mere 17 on USC’s defense. They underperformed slightly, scoring 13. I said the key to the game would be UCLA’s defense rattling John David Booty, and that I didn’t think they could do it (due to the low number of sacks and interceptions he’s thrown). So what did they do? Prove me wrong with several sacks, generally keeping him “hearing footsteps” all game long, and throwing a pick.

Really, even with UCLA doing what I expected, I still didn’t think they’d win it. But this is a rivalry game, and these things happen. I can’t wait to see the uproar in the BCS, though… Fodder for blog posts for the next month!

3) Arkansas @ Florida

I said Florida would need to stop Darren McFadden, and that since nobody else had done so, they wouldn’t either. They proved me wrong, and held him to 99 total yards. Without McFadden, Arkansas had to rely on their passing game, which I said would have to be average, and they couldn’t afford interceptions. So they threw for under 50%, 182 yards, 3 TD’s and 3 INT’s.

Florida’s defense stepped up, taking Arkansas’s offense out of their gameplan. Add 4 turnovers, and Arkansas had basically no chance of making the upset.

4) Rutgers @ WVU

Well, you don’t get more right than this. I said this game would come down to a 25-24 score in favor of WVU. In regulation, they tied 23-23. That’s pretty close. I said Rutgers would have decent success running the ball. It wasn’t a huge game, rushing for 137 in regulation, but it was enough of a game to take some pressure off the passing attack (which then did some damage).

Once you get to overtime, all bets are off. But Rutgers kept the game close (and in the general scoring totals I had thought) to force an overtime, and that’s a pretty good job when you’re a 10.5 point dog on the road.

5) Nebraska @ Oklahoma

They’re into the 4th quarter as I’m heading to bed, with Oklahoma up 21-7 on Nebraska… So far it looks like Oklahoma’s defense is taking care of business, and Oklahoma is scoring at a decent rate. Unless something crazy happens in the next 9 minutes of football, this is looking like a fairly solid pick.


The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 14
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2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 14

Ahh, the final week of the regular season. How did it come so quickly? It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in Maui with a sad case of jet lag at 3:30 AM, eagerly awaiting the start of College Gameday at 4. According to my calendar, that was September… And three months have passed? I must really be getting old!

Not too old for my mind to still work, though, judging by my record. Heading into this week, I’m 51-30 on the year, for just under a 64% winning percentage against the spread. Since you need to win greater than 55% (actually, slightly less on some online betting houses) to beat the juice, I’m doing pretty well. If I had been betting $100 a game (which I think I’ll start next year), I’d be up $1800. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

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Below The Beltway linked with Greg Schiano: Coach Of The Year
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December 1, 2006


Big Ten Network Ready For A Fight

Big Ten watches NFL as it readies network

But if the NFL Network’s experience is any indication, the Big Ten’s new 24-hour channel might need to enlist its fans for some arm-twisting of cable companies to see games they’ve had easy access to in the past.

While the Big Ten’s best games will still be on CBS, ABC or ESPN, the rest will be televised only by the Big Ten Network. In 2007-08, that will include 35 football games and 105 men’s basketball games.

The Big Ten said it made that decision in part because, with costs rising for college sports, it will guarantee each school an extra $7.5 million annually.

But if a cable company doesn’t carry the Big Ten Network, the fan who wants to watch, say, an Indiana-Northwestern basketball game is either shut out or must switch to satellite television. That’s what is happening with the NFL Network, which is involved in a dispute with Time Warner, the nation’s second-biggest cable carrier.

When I highlighted the first news of the Big Ten Network, I was cautiously optimistic. It has the ability to be a very positive change, or it could end up making it harder for me to watch Purdue football, as the trees around my house make it impossible for me to get satellite TV.

If this network takes off, and Comcast picks it up as an affiliate, all will be well. I’ll get great Big Ten content that I don’t get now. If it stays with only DirecTV, though, I’m going to be spending a lot of fall Saturdays sitting in sports bars watching Purdue. Again, being down here in SEC country, that will entail trying to convince some bartender to devote at least one little TV, maybe in the corner, to a little ol’ school like Purdue.

But after this year, I’m not quite as concerned about this. This year, many of Purdue’s games were televised on ESPN360 (internet), ESPN Gameplan (pay per view), ESPNU (uncommon ESPN variant) or ESPN Classic (not on basic cable). I couldn’t watch a single one of those games at home. I did watch the game televised on ESPN Gameplan at a neighbor’s house, but otherwise it was off to sports bars.

So for me, I see this as either a positive thing, if Comcast picks up the network, or neutral. In the linked story, they show that the Big Ten Network will get any game not on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2, so they won’t be competing with ESPNU for broadcast rights. Now all I need to do is start emailing Comcast every other day to make sure they’ll carry it, and all will be well in the Warbiany household!

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November 26, 2006


Man Kills Friend Over $20 S.Car/Clemson Bet

Man shoots friend over $20 football bet

James Walter Quick, 42, was charged with murder in the shooting of Richard Allen Johnson, 43. Johnson died from a single shot to the chest, according to a preliminary autopsy Sunday.

The two had bet $20 on the annual game, with Quick taking South Carolina, which won 31-28, and Johnson taking Clemson, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said. They drank beer all afternoon and watched the game Saturday at Johnson’s home, and began arguing about the bet after the game.

Metts said Quick went to his car, got the rifle he normally uses for hunting and fired one shot, hitting Johnson in the chest. Deputies arrested Quick.

Wait a second… If Quick was betting on the Gamecocks, why was he so upset? They won the game… If this is how he acts when he wins a bet, I’d hate to see it when he loses!

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College Football Woes…

Well, my Boilers, a 20-point underdog, played a game down to the wire with the best offense in the nation, and got themselves beat by 7 in a 42-35 shootout. No fun for me, but it’s a lot better than it could have been, especially with a 17-0 deficit to Hawaii at the half. I really never thought Purdue could win this game until I listened to it in the 2nd half, and all of a sudden Purdue started playing like they’re capable of. At that point I thought we could win it. But, Hawaii’s offense really can’t be stopped, and they managed to come back in and win it (after an interception). Ugly stuff, but we played them to the wire, and that’s about all we can ask when you play an offensive powerhouse like Hawaii.

In other news, I finished 6-3 against the spread this weekend (66%), which brings my season total to 51-30 (63%). Notre Dame got beat worse than I thought they would, but I’ll never complain about that. Otherwise, it’s been a good weekend. If Purdue had managed to win, it would have been even better.

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November 25, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3

Well, thankfully Friday helped me get over my wrong pick from Thursday. That puts me 3-1 on the week against the spread (oddly 1-3 straight up), and I’m now 48-28 on the year.

There’s only one true game of consequence today, and that’s Notre Dame @ USC. It’s going to be a game of consequence in the Warbiany household as well, since the wife is From Southern Cal but grew up a Notre Dame fan. She actually wants to watch this game, and I think we’re going to be rooting for opposite teams.

Then, I need to figure out how to either watch or listen to the Purdue @ Hawaii game. Purdue is now a 19-point underdog, so I’m thinking I really don’t want to pay the $10 to order it and watch it online. So that might be internet radio all the way…

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November 24, 2006


Larry Coker Fired at Miami

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming

Hat Tip: EDSBS


The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3
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2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 2

Well, Boston College let me down yesterday, which is no way to start a weekend. Thankfully, I have two full days of college football to make up for it. Since I gave in and went shopping, I should have enough husbandly-duty-credit with the wife to watch quite a bit of these games too!

I’ll break this out into two posts… One for each day of games. This should be a particularly good week, too, as it’s Rivarly Week!

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The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3
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November 23, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 1

As you can see, I’ve been busy today. So I’m going to make a pick in tonights’ Boston College/Miami game, and will get to the other games of the weekend later…

#18 Boston College (9-2, 5-2) @ Miami-FL (5-6, 2-5)
Vegas Says: Boston College -3.5

This is an odd one. You have Boston College, a team going through an absolutely great season, with only close losses to NC State and Wake Forest. Then, you’ve got Miami who has been an emotional basketcase, and has lost several blowout games. Somehow, though, the line started around 4.5 and has been trending downwards late to 3.5… It’s almost like someone out there really believes Miami will put it together in this one.

Statistically, BC is scoring a good 10 points more per game, and allowing 1 less. So I don’t see a reason to think they won’t be capable of covering, even factoring in Miami’s home field advantage. BC has only scored less than 20 in their two losses, and I don’t expect them to do it tonight. Miami has had trouble scoring more than 15 in their six losses, and I doubt they’ll do it today against BC’s defense.

I don’t know why these lines are trending downwards, but I think BC covers easily.

Prediction: Boston College covers
Predicted Final Score: Boston College 27, Miami 13
Final Score: Miami 17, Boston College 14
Prediction: WRONG

UPDATE: Wow, the Miami defense played lights-out today. Boston College never got it going on offense. Truthfully, neither did Miami. Three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, really hurt them today. They really didn’t sustain long drives, but they had a couple of big deep shots that got them just enough to get the lead, and then the defense took over.


The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3
The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 2
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November 22, 2006


Purdue Selected for Champs Sports Bowl

Well, in my previous bowl wrap-up, I had been working off bad information. The Alamo and Champs Sports bowls are alternating between picking the #4 and #5 teams in the Big Ten this year, and I thought this year was the Alamo picking #4 (thus suggesting Purdue would be going there). I was wrong, the Champs Sports Bowl gets the first pick of the two this year, and they’ve selected Purdue:

The Big Ten announced on Tuesday that Purdue will be making the conference’s first appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29. Its opponent has yet to be determined.

The Boilers (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) still have one game left on their schedule but regardless of the outcome of their game against Hawaii on Saturday, will finish in a tie for fourth in the conference.

Purdue failed to reach a bowl game last season after finishing 5-6, but with a win over Illinois on Nov. 11, the Boilers earned bowl eligibility this season.

Coach Joe Tiller has led the Boilers to nine bowl games in his 10 years at the helm of the Purdue program. Purdue is 7-6 all-time in its bowl game history.

“We appreciate the opportunity to go to the Champs Sports Bowl and play an outstanding team from the ACC,” Tiller said in a statement. “I am pleased for our players that they get this reward.”

Early thoughts are that we might face Maryland or Wake Forest, although with possible opponents of Boston College or Virginia Tech. A lot is up in the air at the moment, so it’s tough to tell. Either way, given the way Purdue has been playing, any bowl team will be a tough game. Maybe we’ll learn a bit more about this team on Saturday when they play at Hawaii, but this team could finish 10-4 or 8-6. I think Vegas will be expecting 8-6, so we might just have something to prove.

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November 19, 2006


Big Ten Wrap-Up

I’m sad. No more Big Ten football until the bowl games start. Yes, Purdue has a game against Hawaii next Saturday, but it doesn’t appear it will be televised, and it starts at 11 PM EST due to the time change. So it’s about time for a wrap-up.

1. Ohio State (12-0, 8-0)
T-2. Michigan (11-1, 7-1)
T-2. Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1)
T-4. Penn State (8-4, 5-3)
T-4. Purdue (8-4, 5-3)
T-6. Minnesota (6-6, 3-5)
T-6. Indiana (5-7, 3-5)
T-8. Iowa (6-6, 2-6)
T-8. Northwestern (4-8, 2-6)
T-10. Michigan State (4-8, 1-7)
T-10. Illinois (2-10, 1-7)

First things first… Before the season, I made a bet on where Purdue would finish. There were a lot of people predicting Purdue to finish somewhere near the basement of the Big Ten. So I bet a couple bottles of homebrew against $10-15 worth of beer I can’t get in Georgia. The terms of the bet were based on whether Purdue would finish 5th or better in the conference, and with a tie for fourth, I won. Thank you Boilermakers! Mmm… Beer :-D

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The Unrepentant Individual linked with Purdue Selected for Champs Sports Bowl
Below The Beltway linked with What A Season
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