Sunday, September 30, 2007

Two Upsets, 250 Beers, and One Broken Femur Later...

The House Rock Built is back from Florida, and I've gotta admit, I got every penny's worth of entertainment in my 36 hours in the Sunshine State. The Friday night showdown at Raymond James Stadium was thrilling, and I stormed the field with the USF students after the Bulls pulled off an improbable upset against the #5 West Virginia Mountaineers. Throw in the fact that they sold beer in the stadium and that I got to grab singlet guy, and you've got the makings of an awesome day.

The guy giving the shocker... his t-shirt says "Groethe > Tebow"

Saturday we took the show on the road to Gainesville and casually watched the Irish game. The Irish Outsider and I decided to do a shot every time the Irish made a grievous blunder, and a half full of interceptions, fumbles, failures to field punts at the 12 yard line, 3rd and 29 conversions acceded, and ridiculous penalties left us staggering drunk before we knew what had happened. The game improved a bit and it looks like this team is slowly learning to play football, which I guess is good. i compare it to a baseball player finally reaching the revelation that you're supposed to hold the skinny end of the bat and immediately having his batting average jump 100 points. Baby steps.

More drinking, more shennanigans, me knocking Orson Swindle unconscious and doing a Shawne Merriman "lights-out dance" over his mangled body during a pickup football game, and the War Eagle pulling out a shocker in the swamp made for a great day. I'm going to post my full travel recap later this afternoon, but I'm back, I'm alive, and I won't be back in Florida until my court date next month.... but I'm telling you, that police horse was just asking to get punched in the face. It was entrapment.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

The House Rock Built Woke Up in Ybor City

Well, kids, the Hobo Tour 2007 continues this weekend with a doubleheader of monster proportions. I'm just heading out to O'Hare to cruise down to Tampa to take in the USF-West Virginia game tonight, and will cap off the weekend by surfing up to Gainesville to watch Florida-Auburn. I've packed my deep south survival kit, and will report back on my covert operation deep in the heart of the scary South. Anyone want any souvenirs? I'm already going to try to stuff Percy Harvin into my carry-on bag and give him to Charlie Weis, so I'm not going to have a lot of extra room.

Anyway, take care of the joint while I'm gone. Go Irish and War Eagle and Go Gators and whatnot.

You don't wann go there, mama. Dem's a bad place.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

The University of Notre Dame is Transferring

Right on the heels of the transfers of Ronald Talley, Zach Frazer, Demetrius Jones, Konrad Reuland, and Chris Stewart, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were dealt another serious blow when the University of Notre Dame itself announced its plans to transfer. While all of the others were third-string players unlikely to make an impact on the team this season, the loss of the University of Notre Dame and its 8,332 students, 780 faculty members, 26 varsity teams, $6.5 billion endowment, and 1,250 acre campus will have very serious consequences for the Irish's 2007 season, and quite possibly beyond.

"All in all, it was a pretty amicable departure," said University President Rev. John I. Jenkins. "It's been a really great 165 years, but I just think it was time to move on."

Needless to say, the University of Notre Dame is now one of the hottest recruits on the market, and coaches from coast to coast are clamoring to get the University to come for an official visit.

"No doubt about it, I'd love to have the University of Notre Dame come to DeKalb," said Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak. "I think the University's resumé speaks for itself. It's not every day you get a chance to recruit a seven-time Heisman winner, 79-time All-American with 11 national championship rings. I think having that kind of firepower would really help put NIU on the map and put us on the path for a MAC championship, if not multiple MAC championships."

The University has already picked up scholarship offers from Florida, LSU, Southern Cal, and Ohio State, to name a few. Due to NCAA regulations, the Unviersity would have to sit out for one year if it transferred now, but there appears to be a loophole that would allow it to get on the field a year earlier. If the University enrolled in a junior college before this month's deadline and earned an associate's degree this semester, it would be eligible to transfer in the spring semester of 2008 and play next season. A source close to the University says that this is the plan, and the University has narrowed it down to either neighboring Holy Cross College or to Pearl River Community College, which has a better space-age technologies program, which is the University's major.

Whichever team gets the services of the University will have a big catch. The University is a four-star recruit on and is currently ranked #96 in the Rivals 100, and is rated as the #2 Entire University for the class of 2008.

Not bad numbers, but a lot of those are wind-aided and hand-timed.

Without a doubt, this will be a big blow to the Fighting Irish in the short term. The University of Notre Dame will not make the trip to Purdue this weekend, and with the Irish already being 21.5 point underdogs, the situation has just become exponentially more hopeless. However, all is not lost for Irish fans. In an interview on ESPN radio, Tom Lemming spoke highly of the future of the Irish:

"Without a doubt, losing the University was a big blow to Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish, and I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's going to be easy to replace what it brought to the team: the students, the athletes, the facilities, and, most importantly, that intangible leadership. However, if you look at this 2008 recruiting class that's lined up, it's clear to see that help is on the way. The Irish will struggle through these growing pains as they try to replace the University, but they'll be back with a vengeance in 2009, maybe even sooner."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blogpoll: As the Season Gets Longer, Awful Feels Softer Edition

1 LSU --
2 Southern Cal --
3 Florida --
4 California 1
5 Boston College 4
6 Oregon 2
7 Clemson --
8 Wisconsin 5
9 Oklahoma 5
10 West Virginia 4
11 Texas 1
12 Ohio State 2
13 Kentucky 2
14 South Florida 2
15 South Carolina 4
16 Georgia 10
17 Missouri --
18 Arizona State 5
19 Alabama 9
20 Cincinnati --
21 Michigan State 3
22 Rutgers 1
23 Nebraska 1
24 Purdue 2
25 Virginia 1
Dropped Out: Penn State (#19), Hawaii (#24), Texas A&M (#25).
We begin our blogpoll with a reading from the prophet Modest Mouse:

As life gets longer, awful feels softer, and it feels pretty soft to me. And if it takes shit to make bliss well I feel pretty blissfully.

Nomini patri, fili, spiriti sancti. Amen. Ad maiorem dei glorium.

Right, so the world of food-ball has gotten interesting with some exciting results last week. So far, there hasn't been a circular wheel of death in the SEC yet, but that still hasn't stopped the pollsters (and the blogpoll, idiots!!!) from ranking Georgia above South Carolina, despite the fact that... y'know... they lost to the Cocks at home. Ugh.

  • LSU still holds the top seed. Yeah, Southern Cal is awesome, but four weeks into it, the resume is tilted toward the Tigers.

  • Oklahoma takes a dive. No offense to the Sooners, but when we're four weeks in to the season, you should have a meaningful win to hang your hat on. While Oklahoma's pantsing of the Hurricanes was a lovely thing to see, it's hardly anything to build your entire top five ranking case around, particularly with a supporting cast as unimpressive as North Texas, Utah State, and Tulsa.

  • Ditto West Virginia. Friday's tilt at Raymond James should solidify the Mountaineer's position. For the time being, though, I'm not impressed.

  • The Cocks take a small slide after faring admirably against the soul-crushing machine that is LSU. Normally, I wouldn't drop a team at all for playing tight with the Tigers, but Carolina was enjoying a somewhat inflated ranking due to their solid early-season wins. Call it a correction more than a punishment.

  • The Dawgs are back. The lack of a meaningful win dumped Georgia from my poll last week, but an impressive victory over Alabama brought a ten-spot correction for Georgia. Plus it also caused a major correction for Alabama. All in all, I'm pretty comfortable with where the Cocks-Dawgs-Tide are standing right now, and feel that we've finally gotten enough data to equalize their positions for the time being. I don't anticipate any wild mood swings in their rankings in the near future.

  • Penn State is out. While it's not scientific, I use a points system to help get an understanding of what a team has done to earn their ranking. Essentially, it's 0 points for a win over a D-1AA team or traditional patsy, half a point for a mid-major, one point for a BCS conference win, and two points for a particularly impressive win (top 15ish team or top 25ish team on the road). Similarly, the deductions for losses are 0 points for a chainsaw team (LSU, USC), -1 point for a good/average team, and -2 points for a below average squad. After four weeks, Penn State's score is -1. Yeah, it pained me to give them 0 points for beating Notre Dame, but that's the breaks with the quality of the team. Wins over FIU, Notre Dame, and Buffalo add nothing to their claim to legitimacy, and a loss to a down-and-out Michigan team on the rebound means that the Nittany Lions will have some work to do before they can justify a spot in the poll. Just a heads-up, beating Ron Zook next week will not be sufficient.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blogpoll: The Deeper The Wound, The Harder I Swoon And Wish That That Was Me

1 LSU --
2 Southern Cal 2
3 Florida 2
4 Oklahoma 2
5 California 2
6 West Virginia --
7 Clemson 1
8 Oregon 1
9 Boston College 12
10 Alabama 16
11 South Carolina 2
12 Texas 2
13 Wisconsin 2
14 Ohio State 4
15 Kentucky 11
16 South Florida 3
17 Missouri 9
18 Michigan State 8
19 Penn State 3
20 Cincinnati 6
21 Rutgers 8
22 Nebraska 7
23 Arizona State 3
24 Hawaii 1
25 Texas A&M 3
Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#12), UCLA (#14), Arkansas (#17), Louisville (#20), Georgia (#23), Washington (#24).
Happy fun times! Week three is in the books and my ballot is up. At first glance, I'm seeing a lot of green and red arrows. I'm not completelyl schizophrenic, I just think that this third week has given us good cause to re-evaluate the top teams, cut losses with the dogs at the bottom, and reward scrappy little guys who have strung together wins against quality competition while the big boys are feasting on scrumptious cupcakes like Coastal Carolina, the dregs of the Sun Belt conference, and Notre Dame (d'oh!).

Oh, and the title of the post is from the song "Broken Heart", by Motion City Soundtrack. Their new album, "Even if it Kills Me" just dropped today and is in heavy rotation at the HRB bunker. If you like upbeat, synth-heavy whiny white boy rock, I'd recommend you give it a spin.

  • Southern Cal regains its rightful place at 1A. Yeah, it's a little unfair to dump a team four places after a bye week like I did in my last ballot, but with the paucity of data on this Trojan team, I really had no choice. Just as I predicted, though, Southern Cal showed that they remain that insurmountable force we all knew they were going to be, and that they will have no problem trouncing the skulls of all the poor bunnies that are led to sacrifice against them. It's a tossup now between them and LSU, but when in doubt, err on the side of the gorilla with a chainsaw for a penis.

  • Worth another look on my blogpoll ballot.

  • Florida storms back onto the scene. Florida had a bit of an inauspicious start on my preseason ballot, clocking in at number 11 mostly because of a hefty 15 points in the "show me first escrow". Suffice to say, I've been shown. Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow have not only taken those 15 points from me, but also my wallet, my girlfriend, and bitchin' Camaro. Welcome to the show, Gators. October 6 is going to be a horrifying bloodbath that will likely leave the southern half of the United States coated in smoking, radioactive ruins and werewolf fur.

  • Bama, Boston College, and Kentucky catch a rocket ride. Sure, it might seem a bit irrationaly exuberant to bump two unranked teams into the top ten, but I like the cut of these teams gibs. Boston College has started the season with 3 in-conference games and cruised through them quite effortlessly, including a convincing pasting of Georgia Tech. With a veteran quarterback and some good mojo, they're beginning to look like a big fish in the admittedly small pond in the ACC.

    The same thing with Bama. Their win over Arkansas was inspired, and they're 2-0 in conference with an evil genius at the helm. Kentucky gets love just because watching highlights of students storm the field makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Wee! Tear 'em down!

  • A big whatever for the rest of the pack. This is where the biggest swing is. The last ten spots more or less go to whoever has put together a couple impressive games in a row. Anyone who breaks my tenuous confidence gets unceremoniously booted from the ship in favor of a new, jazzier team to round out the bottom of the top 25. It was nice having you around, Tyrone Willingham. As I told you last week, your stay was over quickly, you did not enjoy it, and I am not your king.

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