Did I mention that Ron Burgandy 2 is on tap this week? Sweet Oden's Raven, hopefully Baxter is OK brocephus.
From the "Talks too much" studios, may your list be long and your year was good so your haul be mighty. Amen and pass the biscuits.
Bowl game set up (and early picks)
The bowl contest working in conjunction with ESPN 105.1 is in the works. We will post it today — we forgot the password yesterday.
Here's the skinny. We are going through ESPN.com and we are picking every game, so time is of the essence. It will be straight scoring and just picking winners. The winner will get a real-life trophy, a Mellow Mushroom gift card and some other cool swag. Maybe a used Z Mason sock or possible the next UT Vols assist (if there is one) will be named after you. We'll see.
The game will require a sign-in into the ESPN system, which is free. If you have a problem with that or have a problem getting connected, send your picks to the 5-at-10 firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them for you. Deal? Deal. Hey, don't cost nothin' right?
We're committed to picking every bowl game against the number. The Fab 4-plus-1 picks finished the college season with a 51-40-1 mark against the spread. It was an OK year. The postseason will be better. And remember gang, these picks are for entertainment only, and we'll do this every Wednesday (which will be Christmas and New Year's the next two weeks):
Here are Saturday's games (we'll do the rest around lunch — running late):
Tulane minus-2.5 over La.-Lafayette: We wanted to pick the Rajin' Cajuns because they are, well, the Rajin' Cajuns. But since starting quarterback Terrance Broadway broke his right arm, ULL has been outscored 47-15 in the last six quarters. Hey, it's science.
Washington State minus-4.5 over Colorado State: The Cougars and Pirate Mike Leach finished 6-6, but those six losses were against some pretty stout foes — Auburn, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State and Washington. Colorado State's six losses are to Alabama, Colorado, Tulsa, San Jose State, Boise State and Utah State. Too many states for our taste, and it likely smells of rich mahogany.
Fresno State plus-7 over USC: This game is about motivation. Will the Trojans be motivated? Will they be eligible? Will Lane Kiffin watch? Will Ed Orgeron learn English? We say no, maybe, no and doubtful. Tell 'em about it JoJo. Why don't you stop talking for a while there Champ.
San Diego State even over Buffalo: Hunch. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.
The bowl season has been expanded — the games start Saturday of this week, which really feels earlier. Not that we're complaining mind you, it just feels sooner than ever before. (Side note: It may be a touch early and it may because Thanksgiving was so late. Although we have heard "Well, Thanksgiving was so late," as an excuse for so many things, it feels like the calendar El Nino for crying out loud.)
In truth college football never ends.
The junior college signing period starts this week. And our all-around ace Stephen Hargis reported in today's TFP that the Mocs landed a big-time commit from an Atlanta linebacker. Good stuff.
The UT brick-by-brick bunch is hoping to see a couple of those JuCo stud ducks send in paper work today. We'll keep you updated.
Also of interest for this group: There is a story in the Boston Globe about how bad a decision UMass made going from FCS powerhouse to FBS whipping boy. The decision has cost about $1 million more than expected for UMass, which is 1-11 in each of its two years after moving up a class.
Wonder if Ga. Southern and App State officials read that story?
Worst NFL announcers
A survey of all of the NFL announcing teams has crowned Joe Buck the best of the bunch.
Well, as the story reads, he technically is the non-worst announcer, since the survey was done using multiple game tapes from this year and grading announcers and play-by-play guys on who had the least mistakes and used the least cliches and made the fewest non-sensical points.
What say you? And the fact that Joe Buck is the best at any announcing category screams that we need to find some new announcers.
Side note: Mike Mayock was rated as the best color analyst, and we can see that. Guy is informed and prepared. And there is no way that Tony Siragusa is anything but the worst. he is simply dreck.
This and that
— Big games for the Mocs and Vols tonight. We had Will Wade on Press Row on Tuesday, and regardless of the loss to the Norse, we believe in this guy. Of note: Wade said they are "hoping" Z. Mason plays tonight. If he does, great, and the Mocs still have a tough row to hoe, but if he doesn't, well, it could be trouble.
— Nick Saban said Lane Kiffin's visit to Tuscaloosa was about professional development. OK. Who else could swing by for some "PD" and be on the Johnny Vols Fan all-time Rushmore of disdain? What if Mike Hamilton dropped in? Geno? David Palmer? Discuss.
— Anyone else think Hutson Mason is going to show out in the bowl game? We do. In big ways.
First, feel free to toss out your favorite Christmas gift as a tot? Hey, it's the season to merry.
OK, we have to admit we love Ron Burgandy. You know this.
We wanted the sequel, but is there anyway the sequel is going to be good? We talked about this a bit with Paschall on Press Row yesterday and feel in may come up again, but is there a good comedy sequel in existence? Is Fletch 2 the high-water mark, and if it is that is very telling?
Discuss, and we fear that this week's top story is that the streets run red with Ron Burgandy 2's blood.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...