When The Coach asked me if I’d write an edition of 10 Things I immediately started planning what I would write about and I believe I’ve hammered out a solid offering, I don’t pretend to think I can match Coach Johnson but I hope you enjoy anyway.
1ST Inning: FSU Baseball Thoughts
It worked out to be a damn nice Memorial Day weekend for the FSU Baseball team although it didn’t start well. The ‘Noles entered the ACC Championship Tournament as the 5th seed and promptly lost to the Hated Hurricanes (yep, proper name) by a score of 9 to 3. If they had lost another game for the entire weekend they would have been bounced from the tournament. Instead the ‘Noles went on to win the next 3 contests including the Championship game against NC State on Sunday afternoon.
The win gave FSU their 5th ACC Championship and their 33rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Baseball Championships which is the 2nd all-time longest streak and 2nd longest active streak trailing only the Hated Hurricanes with 38. Even though FSU’s pitching hasn’t performed well all season they appear to be getting hot at the right time: 5.78 ERA during the regular season, 4.22 in the ACC Tournament.
The Noles also appear to have the right mindset as indicated in this quote from Head Coach Mike Martin: "We have a saying at
The ‘Noles now head to Connecticut to play in the Norwich Regional where they’ll be the #1 seed in the regional playing AT #2 seed UConn, #3 Oregon and #4 Central Connecticut State.
Simply put: it’s a joke that the ‘Noles aren’t a #1 seed. They’re the only Big 6 conference winner to not get a #1 seed even after finishing inside the top 10 in the Baseball America rankings and winning the ACC Championship. From what I understand the trade off is FSU got the weakest regional and have a shot at having the weakest 2nd round matchups of any team. Apparently that’s supposed to be a good trade off for not having home field advantage.
UPDATE: FSU has played stellar and won their first two games. As of Sunday morning they await the winner of
2nd Inning: FSU Football/recruiting Thoughts
For all the recruitniks out there last weeks announcement of the Rivals250 and ESPN150 was big news. I love recruiting and follow it religiously however I understand not everyone is as into it as I am. The best thing to do for the folks that aren’t really into it but like to keep up with their school is to check out their own personal school’s Rivals site (www.warchant.com for FSU) and to follow the “weekly whispers” at Rivals and “on the trail” at ESPN. Both features are snapshots of the current activities and leanings of some highly touted and “sleeper” recruits.
The most interesting aspect of recruiting for me is the path that a player takes to get to a school. For example: CB Greg Reid, the best freshman on FSU’s team last year and arguably the best return man in the country as well was ALLLLLMOST a Bulldawg, but at the last second decided to come to Florida State. At least once a game Reid makes a play that flips the field for the ‘Noles whether it be a punt return, kick return, interception, fumble force/recovery, etc… I’ve talked with Coach Johnson plenty of times about Reid’s decision to go to FSU and TE Orson Charles’ (A Tampa, FL native and last minute defector from FSU) decision to go to UGA and how differently both of our teams would look without their current players. I hated losing Charles, but I love me some Greg Reid – in a totally platonic way of course.
With those stories in mind I’ve got a few recruiting thoughts that I want to share:
a. This is James Wilder Jr. He’s still in high school; someone check his birth certificate. JW is a RB/LB and is probably the best in the nation at either position. He is highly coveted by UF to play LB, and if the
You know who DOES want him to play RB for them? The ‘Noles – come on down James, you can be the next Greg Jones! (speaking of Greg, I just wanted to post this as it’s my favorite play I was ever in attendance for, and he didn’t even score: Greg Jones ruins’ Dexter Reid’s football career.
b. OLB Tony Seward, if you believe the whispers, is an FSU lean. Seward is out of
c. RB Isaiah Crowell from Columbus (
i. Speaking of Mr. Ealey, last year I was fortunate enough to make it out to the LSU @ UGA game at Sanford Stadium in beautiful
d. Rivals breaks down the initial 5-stars. Shield your eyes UGA fans, not a single Bulldog mention as a school any of these kids are interested in.
e. FSU’s 5 most anticipated games this season. I like the five listed, just not in that order. I won’t jinx my team more than this: I’m ready for a certain matchup in late November in
3rd Inning: Tweet Me!
a. I’ve recently embraced this Twitter thing and I’m enjoying it for the viral news vehicle that it is. Most of my favorite sports writers tweet their articles there first and it’s a great way to keep up with good content that you might other wise ignore.
b. If you’re new to Twitter here are my top 5 people I’d follow (other than Justinwjohnson and BigBodySS of course)
i. TheBigLead – Tweets at least 3 new articles a day with interesting content and also interacts with his followers more than any other tweeter I’ve seen. Lots of good sports observations like his in-game comments during NBA Finals.
ii. SportsbyBrooks – not quite as risqué as Deadspin but with news of the weird.
iii. PeteThamelNYT – has a wide range of interests that he uses to link to all manor of articles. At least 2 good reads a week from this guy, both in his articles and ones he links too.
iv. Buster_ESPN – smart baseball info and daily link to his article which is always a fun read
v. WhitlockJason – if you are at all sensitive or easily offended then I wouldn’t follow Whitlock. However if you enjoy edgy comments/articles that are thought provoking and eye-opening, then there’s no one better.
4th Inning: Time to take a Link Dump
- The ACC Baseball Championship means that FSU earns a unique distinction as “one of eight Division I schools to participate in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the NCAA baseball tournament and an FBS bowl game” according to ESPN. “The list gets even smaller when you look at the schools that have done it each of the past two seasons, but Clemson and FSU still make the cut, along with
Texasand .” Minnesota
- The ACC has the most teams to earn the distinction above (3) and the conference’s dominance in collegiate athletics as a whole (Duke: Basketball/Lacrosse Champs, FSU: Track & Field/Golf/Soccer Champs, Virginia Rowing/Tennis Champs, etc…) is a major reason this article was written.
- The ACC’s new TV deal with ESPN almost doubled it’s previous mark. It’s about time the conference got a better TV deal, watching games on Raycom sports was excruciating.
- This key, gritty and yet completely legal play in last Sunday’s ACC Championship game against NC State is the kind of attitude FSU is bringing with them to Connecticut.
- After I read this article I was gonna make a joke about the crooks delivering the stolen awards to the Heisman runner-up in 1999 to “set right what once went wrong” (Yeah, I just went Quantum Leap all over the place). But then I looked up who the runner-up was that year – something tells me the UGA contingent reading this blog are just fine with R.D. keeping it.
- BTW, look at the other three finalists those first two guys beat out and how it wasn’t even close. That’s some serious NFL talent Dayne and
bested. So what does this and the many other examples like it in the Heisman’s history say about how meaningless the Heisman Trophy is when determining NFL success? Can’t wait for Tim Tebow to be an H-Back in three years getting stuffed at the Goal Line while Josh McDaniels calls plays in Hamilton as their new O-Coordinator. Cleveland
- One last item on the Heisman, I counted the names on the past Heisman winners list and since 1935 (the first year of the award) there are 12 names on the list that I considered good NFL players. Not “had one good season” or “a memorable moment in history” but players that produced at a high to very high level for an extended period of time. Obviously some of the players could still end up being good NFL Players (Bradford, Ingram, etc…) but 12 players since 1936! It’s almost like the Heisman voters are making a point to pick the guys who make the worst NFL prospects.
- If you think like me, and I assume like Coach Johnson as well, then experience along the offensive line is invaluable in College Football. Well, using that logic there are two teams that have a little bit of special significance to this blog that should be pretty good at controlling the line of scrimmage this year.
- Who has the out-of-conference schedule with the most cupcakes? I gotta say: the SEC doesn’t schedule well at all. I know everyone claims that “it’s such a battle every week in the SEC blah, blah, blah….” Please,
Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Ole Miss, aren’t exactly winning 10 or 11 games a year these days. Sure, Bama, UF, LSU, UGA are damn tough to play, but CFB teams can schedule four OOC games a year and more times than not SEC OOC schedules are Idaho, Arkansas State, Louisiana Monroe and a directional school like Southwest-East-State-Tech-A&M. Kentucky
- My favorite stat: UF hasn’t traveled outside of
for an OOC game since 1989!! Hell they only have 4 road games total this season! Their “neutral field” game with UGA every year? A grand total of 73 Miles from Florida – what a joke. Gainesville
- Man that Phil Steele, he knows his stuff, but this pick could make him look like a fool – or a genius.
- John wooden, legendary basketball coach and teacher, died on Saturday. Wooden was done coaching before I was even born so I don’t have a ton of perspective on his career. He won a lot of games, national titles, produced a lot of stars, and is remembered fondly by everyone who played for him. John Wooden’s most enduring impact probably came in the form of his Pyramid of Success. Not a bad thing to check out as it’s still relevant today.
- Also in that Wikipedia article are two of my favorite quotes that happened to come from John Wooden: “Be quick but don’t hurry” and “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. I especially believe in the second one, nothing leads to failure more than being unprepared.
- The best fantasy football site around is www.footballguys.com (premium content isn’t free). Well, they’ve started up a free “catch-all” website for fantasy tidbits from around the fantasy ether called www.todayinfantasy.com. As they describe it: “We log EVERY free piece of content in the fantasy space. This includes articles, podcasts, rankings, projections, tools, etc.” As of now they’ve only got football info but will slowly expand to the major fantasy sports. If it’s anything like their footballguys site then it’s going to be amazing and a must-consult before and during any fantasy season.
- Until something actually happens I’m not going to speculate on any conference expanding in college football as there are too many variables. However, the one option I hear a lot about is if the Big 10 grabs
(or the Pac-10 could go all Super Conference on us as well) and/or others then the SEC will respond, and most likely by making a play for FSU. One thing is clear, Florida State has at least thought about it. FSU’s comments and Texas A&M’s comments reflect that each school would be open to the idea when you read between the lines. Texas
i. Recently Mr. SEC did an evaluation of which school’s would be best fits to enter the SEC and FSU came in 6th behind Texas, TAMU, Notre Dame, Virginia and Oklahoma. Since
1. I don’t know how I feel about FSU possibly joining the SEC. The move would bring more money (but not a ton more now that ACC signed that new TV Deal) and more prestige. But hell, recently we’ve had trouble competing in the ACC; I don’t want to think about how we’d fare in the SEC. I refuse to be
2. I know I would prefer to go to LSU or
- The expansion issue being completely overlooked is
Boise St.possibly joining the MWC – with TCU and already there adding Utah Boise St.to the conference positively impacts the chances of a seventh automatic bid BCS conference.
- Big Papi must have really wanted to admire this bomb
- I guess not ALL Gators are idiots
- ESPN’s ACC Blogger is doing a “Top 25 Players in the ACC” ranking. No truth to the rumor that the first NFL prospects don’t show up till the top 3.
- Sorry UGA fans, but there’s a certain GA native checking in at #22.
- An early assessment of UGA. I’d really like to know what this doghouse is that Coach Richt is in because it’s ridiculous to think he’s in one.
5th Inning: Building a Summer Reading List
Summer is almost upon us and with it comes laying on my fat ass and reading books in the sun. With that in mind I’m going to build a summer reading list with books I’ve read and books I’d like to read.
a. Now I Can Die In Peace by Bill Simmons – This is Simmons’ first book wasn’t as anticipated or marketed as much as his “Book of Basketball” but I feel the writing is much more poignant. It’s funnier and fresher and the footnotes are much better. If someone asked me one single Simmons piece to read I’d recommend this book over any other articles or books he’s done. It’s consistently funny and can be read in bits and pieces.
b. Boys Will Be Boys by Jeff Pearlman – if you’re a Cowboys lover or hater (since that’s all you can be) I’d recommend this book. The rumors about the parties and wild nights these guys had are nothing but true, and some of the truths are crazier than rumored. Michael Irvin comes off as a massive prick, which is to be expected since he’s from “Duh Eww” in
c. The Big O by Oscar Robertson – Some people say this book is biased and only paints Oscar in a positive light. There’s some truth to that statement, but there’s also fascinating basketball and racism talk in the early 40’s. I really felt sorry for what Oscar went through coming up and it really explains why he’s so bitter and standoffish even to this day.
d. Pistol/Maravich by Kriegel/Federman & Terrill – Two competing “Pistol” Pete Maravich biographies came out within a short time of each other, which is stunning since Maravich isn’t that well known. Pete’s dad, Press, was a truly innovative coach and would invent a lot of the practices that John Wooden and Bobby Knight carried with them throughout their coaching careers. Learning about Pistol’s upbringing and how he was geared to be a basketball machine helps explain the depression and self-destructive nature with which he led his life. Truly amazing books, I recommend both.
Trip to the Bullpen Trivia: Only 4 coaches in history have more than 2 NCAA Basketball Championships, name them. The winner will receive a free Natty Lite in the can at the first UGA tailgate they can make.
6th Inning: NBA Musings
With all the stuff that has happened in the NBA since I last wrote I can’t give a designated article on one subject. So what I’m going to do instead is a free-thinking, thought-flowing, bullet-pointed, basketball-themed (that’s right, four hyphenated terms) paragraph with whatever pops into my head about the NBA, NCAA Basketball, Playoffs, NBA Draft and, of course, LeBronApalooza.
a. The L.A. Media is letting The Celtics have it, specifically Paul Pierce. Actually, I agree with their claims about Pierce’s acting, but part of what makes him so good is his ability to get to the free throw line. The picture in that second article is classic, as is the new nickname they give him in the same article: “RuPaul Pierce”.
b. It’s not just “draft John Wall and we’re done” with the Washington Wizards. I like where the Wizards are heading. There are two positions in basketball that makes every other player’s job easier: Point Guard and Center. The Wiz will have Wall at PG and Jevale McGhee/Andray Blatche at C for a nice starting point. With all their cap space next year could they lure Carmelo away? Also, Wizards Owner Irene Polin shows you her “O-face” after winning the Draft Lottery.
c. LeBron was on Larry King saying the Cavs have an edge in signing him. I really have no idea where this is going but I just feel Cavs are 70/30 over everyone else to sign him. Only the Knicks’ boatload of cash and promise of 2nd star or the Bulls’ promise of Rose/Noah (remember, PG/C make everything easier) could pull him away. But does he want “weight of franchise expectations” from the Knicks or to play in
d. I don’t think getting the third pick in the NBA Draft is all that bad for the Nets and for whatever small chance they may have of getting LeBron or another superstar. Think about this:
i. The consensus #1 overall pick is John Wall, a Point Guard. Well the Nets already have an All-Star PG in Devin Harris. I’m not saying Harris is as good as Wall (he’s not) or that the Nets couldn’t figure something out (like trading Harris) but the third pick, which is thought to be Derrick Favors, eliminates creating a problem while solving a current problem.
ii. The Nets problem picking Favors eliminates? Yi Jian Lian doesn’t have to start at PF – that’s a good thing.
iii. Why was starting Yi at PF such a problem? Three of the most coveted free agents this year, LeBron, Wade, and to a lesser extent Joe Johnson just spent the entire NBA playoffs getting carved up inside by Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Gerald Wallace, and even Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from Milwaukee seemed unstoppable at times. Favors is a legit 6’10” in shoes with a surprisingly long reach, and is also one of the more athletic big men to come out in recent memory (I compare him favorably to Al Horford athletically). With Lopez, who is legitimately 7’0 tall this is a dynamic and formidable front line.
iv. Put Joe Johnson into a Harris/Terrance Williams/Favors/Lopez starting lineup with Cortney Lee and Yi coming off the bench and that’s not a bad start. But what if Jay-Z and Russian millions lure Wade or LeBron? You’re looking at a top 1-2 Eastern Conference team.
e. I still don’t think LeBron or Wade are going anywhere – but Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson are, probably both to the Knicks.
i. Toney Douglas (Go Noles!), Joe Johnson, Wilson Chandler, Danillo Galinari, Chris Bosh – that’s a top 4 (home court advantage) Eastern Conference starting lineup.
f. I think the Milwaukee Bucks have the most to gain/lose this offseason in the eastern conference of the teams not considered to be in the running for the marquee Free Agents. If Andrew Bogut doesn’t fully recover, Michael Redd’s Vagine doesn’t heal, and John Salmons bolts for another team I could see
g. I’ll settle the LeBron vs.
h. With John Wall becoming yet another “one-and-done” #1 overall pick it’s a good time to look at some of the one-and-doners that didn’t fare so well.
i. I’m not convinced the Bulls need LeBron or Wade to be a championship team. If they add Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson they’ll be extremely dangerous. If all they add is Bosh they’ll still be a top 4 seed.
j. I think we all need to calm down on this “Rajon Rondo best point guard alive” stuff. He plays with a ton of talent that makes it tough to focus on him and a great coaching staff that puts him in the correct places. He’s got holes in his game; namely shooting but he’s not as good a one-on-one defender as people want you to believe, he’s better just roaming and playing centerfield.
i. If Chris Paul was healthy we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
k. Wow, what a wasted pick for the Timberwolves as it appears Ricky Rubio won’t come to the NBA until his NBA Opt-out clause goes into affect. I’ve seen this kids highlight tapes and watched him play in the Olympics a couple years ago and apparently he’s gotten better since then. He needed to get better because he wasn’t an NBA starting PG during those Olympics, D-Will worked him over something bad.
7th Inning Stretch: Non-Sports thoughts
- The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years as decided by Entertainment Weekly. Any list that doesn’t include at least one “The Wire” character in it’s top 10 is immediately discredited
- I loved Omar but he shouldn’t be the highest and only Wire character on that list. Bunk should be top 20 at least – “Happy now, bitch?”
- One more Wire bit – I know some people loved Snoop, and her story is amazing. However, it’s always been said that the realism of The Wire is what made it so good and that the creators used real people off the streets of
as actors to keep that realism. That’s even more believable now that we know Snoop is a murder witness. Baltimore
i. If you haven’t seen The Wire just do yourself a favor and lock all the doors and windows, fire up Netflix and enjoy the best weekend ever.
- Rachel Green from Friends as the highest Friends character? (I was always a
guy) and higher than ANY Seinfeld Character? Absurd. Chandler
- The absurdity of this list has caused me to make my own Top 10 of the last 20 years:
- Tony Soprano – Soprano’s
- Marcellus, Butch and The Gimp – Pulp Fiction
– The Wire Bell
- Peter Griffin – Family Guy
- Michael Scott – The Office
- Billy Hoyle – White Men Can’t Jump
- Mary Jones – Precious: The Movie
- Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) – Goodfellas
- Tyler Durden – Fight Club
- Frank the Tank – Old School
- I recently got the new HTC Incredible droid phone from Verizon. I realized that I have wasted my Blackberry over the years as I just didn’t use it for what it was intended (business). I DEFINITELY use the Droid for its intended use – games, Twitter and more games.
- I figured out how to get playable Nintendo and Sega Genesis games on my droid – I’ve wasted a lot of time playing RBI Baseball and NBA Jam at work and I don’t feel guilty.
- Coach Johnson linked to these Esquire stories a couple weeks ago but I really enjoyed every one of them so it’s worth another link.
- I have owned 17 pairs of shoes on this list, I feel like that’s high, but I’m sure there’s some sneaker geek out there that’s owned all 50.
- I fought it long and hard but I have to agree with Coach: the Office has lost some of its sparkle. How do I know this? Because of the re-runs airing on TBS. They seem to come on right around when I get home from work every day and they are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny – not true of the new ones.
- I thoroughly enjoy Modern Family as much as Coach but I love Manny, every scene he’s in he steals.
- Speaking of Modern Family, How did Phil manage to snag Claire? He must have been rich when they met or packing……
- My wife is a HUGE fan of “So You Think You Can Dance” and I gotta say I’ve been roped in. She’s watched every episode and has gone on line and watched every episode of SYTYCD Australia,
Canada, Indonesiaand (ok I made those last two up). Turkey
- I can watch SYTYCD because even though they’re amateurs, they are extensively trained amateurs. Watch a season of SYTYCD and you won’t ever be able to watch “Dancing With The Stars” because the dancing is crap.
- Look at me: I just became a dancing-show-elitist.
- This poor S.O.B helped create the most successful company in the world and all he has to show for it is this T-Shirt, and $800.
- Apparently some show called “Lost” ended recently – I’ve never seen an episode and from everything I’ve heard from Lost fans I’m glad I never watched. It became a time-traveling island with a monster in the middle of it? Ummm… What?!
- 24 also ended recently – another show I’ve never watched. That show was ruined for me when I read what a prick Keifer Sutherland is. He’s like 5’7” tall and refuses to work with anyone taller than him; that’s why Pedro Cerrano (President Buchanan for people that have never seen Major League, and shame on you if you haven’t) was fired. It’s basically a show full of tall midgets, thanks Kiefer, way to keep it real.
- I don’t get to the movie theater much, and that’s probably a good thing because I’d apparently be wasting my money. There have been a few movies come out that weren’t as good as I thought they would be according to the critics, movies such as Robin Hood. I’ll still watch it once it hits Netflix though I’m sure.
- I need a vacation this summer like Coach Johnson does. I’m contemplating going to South America and hiking at some Incan or Aztec Ruins but I’m nervous of going to
South America. Anyone ever been can offer some tips or insight?
- Damn this oil is starting to hit the
coast. I know this is selfish to say, and I feel bad for everyone suffering from the oil spill, but I hope it doesn’t hit my coast as it’s just starting to be good beaching time at the Buchanan household. Florida
- Speaking of the beach I’m looking for a pontoon boat a.k.a a party barge, which should give you some insight into my beach activities. Nothing like throwing the anchor at the sand flats, icing down a couple cases of beer and floating for about 8 hours and shooting the shit. It’s like a tailgate without losing to UF afterwards.
8th Inning: Tweet of the week
Tweet of the week: From our own Coach Johnson spending some time in NYC:
“Is it bad I go to nyc and then booze at a southern themed bar? I say no...Natty Lights are undefeated in both the 404 and 212”
9th Inning: Photo of the week
Our photo this week comes from SI_Vault, which would have been #6 on my twitter list above if I had gone that far. SI_Vault is someone who works with the full archive of photos that Sports Illustrated has in their possession and posts photos relative to what is happening in sports at the moment.
This weeks photo is a Boston Celtics fan with a talented…. front court. I really don’t care for either the Lakers or the Celtics, wish there was some way they could both lose
10th Inning: Going extras
Since I never rode around
I want to thank Coach Johnson for giving me the opportunity to write 10 Things this week, I hope you all enjoy.