Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Ron-Ron

by SonDog

This entire post is from Mark Stein's blog on ESPN Insider:

"I think Ron Artest, deep down, would be thrilled with a trade to the Clippers.

I'm even more convinced that the Kings have realized, rather suddenly, that they better trade Artest as soon as possible if they hope to get back something of value. To L.A. or wherever. I'm not quite sure why the Clips believe their honeymoon with Artest would last any longer than it did for Sacramento, but they're apparently giving serious consideration
to reviving the deal that was nearly consummated with Indiana in January 2005: Corey Maggette for Artest.

Artest has heard all of the above and more. He's well aware that skepticism about his conduct with the Kings and his relationship with the point guard is growing. Yet he insists that No. 1 on my list -- the only one of those three items Artest can address directly -- is a skewed view.

"I want to finish my career here in Sac with Mike Bibby," Artest stressed in a series of e-mails we exchanged. Artest also disputes the widespread notion that he and Bibby are wrestling for control of the team, insisting that he's "looking forward to buying a big mansion here [in Sacramento] next summer."

The irony, of course, is that Artest signed a six-month lease on a rental property in Clipperland about this time a year ago, before the Clips consummated anything. The Pacers wound up aborting that Maggette-for-Artest trade over concerns about Maggette's recovery from knee surgery. Now? The Clips are sorting through their own reservations. There's no question they need a shakeup, especially defensively. It's also true that they can get Artest without Sacramento even bringing up Shaun Livingston, whom L.A. refused to part with during the Allen Iverson Sweepstakes.

However . . . The root of the Kings' newfound tension, by all accounts, is Artest's Whose Team Is It? tangle with Bibby. With the Clips, you could make the case that Artest wouldn't be higher in their pecking order than No. 3 or 4, with Elton Brand, Sam Cassell and Livingston on the same roster.

You suspect he'd have to be really geeked about the Hollywood music scene, and what it can do for his rap career, to be OK with that status. The Kings' position is easier to figure. Even though co-owner Joe Maloof branded Artest as their "face of the franchise" over the summer -- and even though Gavin Maloof said late last season that he and his gambling brother hoped to keep Artest in Kings robes "forever" -- recent events pretty much forced an about-face. If Artest isn't traded soon and more chaos ensues, his limited trade market shrinks further.

He's not Allen Iverson, remember. With Iverson, interested teams fretted about AI's willingness to share the ball and his well-chronicled aversion to practice, but no one doubts his readiness to play or ability to sell tickets. The list of concerns is a lot longer with Artest. A chronic lack of dependability got him exiled from Chicago and Indiana and the Kings are starting to know the feeling. We covered a bunch of it in
the Weekend Dime. In Monday's Sacramento Bee, my colleague Sam Amick reported that Artest "has been acting very emotional and unpredictable for some time, including . . . one stretch in which he 'didn't talk to (his teammates) for four days.'"

"Just false reports," Artest counters. "I'm happy here and want to be a part of the new Sacramento Kings. We are so competitive that, when we lose, it's not something we [can] get used to. Most teams lose and you won't hear a thing the whole season. On this team, Mike will blame himself and I will blame myself. But we are playing better and Brad Miller is back, so people should expect wins."

As for Bibby, who can opt of his contract at season's end to enter free agency, Artest added: "We talked [at Sunday's practice] and we talk every day. We have to get used to playing with each other. But we both plan to stay in Sac."

A cynic might say that Artest is saying all the right things to convince the Clips to ignore any reservations they might have and go through with the deal.

Me? I have to think Artest, deep down, knows staying or going won't be his call at all."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


by the butler

I know the Pro Bowl doesn't matter. Pretty sure I've never actually watched it. However, it's nice to see the right players being selected, you know, "for the principality of the matter".

Plenty of arguments can be made for and against a number of players, but a few selections jumped out at me. First and foremost, Tony "why should this guy get to bang Jessica Simpson?" Romo. Sure he looks good, but Pro Bowl caliber? If Romo makes it, I say Damon Huard should make it. Whatever. Chalk this one up to slim pickings in the NFC this year, with Hasselbeck, Eli Manning, and Delhomme having crappy seasons. Add McNabb's injury and there you have it -Marc "only real homos spell it with a c" Bulger and Romo are Pro Bowlers (remember last year, when Steve McNair made it because of injuries to Carson Palmer, Brady, Brees, Jake Plummer, and Gus Frerotte?) Wait...isn't Michael "I got snubbed for a guy whose name rhymes with Homo?" Vick in the NFC?

(I can picture Sexy Rexy Grossman in a circle of his buddies, "I definitely had it...if only I hadn't blown it in weeks 6, 9, 12, and 13...)

I like Anquan Boldin. He's a beast. I bet cornerbacks hate to be matched up with him. But how do you not make the Pro Bowl last year (102 rec. 1402yds, 7TD), then have a significantly worse season the following year (79 rec. 1091yds, 4TD) and end up as a starter? A make-up for last year's snubbing, maybe?

(Anyone else notice that the AFC's four WR's could have easily been Harrison, Wayne, Chad Johnson, and Houshamazilly?)

Couple others of note: Jeremy "I think I'm a rock star" Shockey getting in over the slightly less glamorous Chris Cooley, and Philip "my whole team made the Pro Bowl" Rivers over Brady.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

by SonDog

Merry Christmas to everybody and best wishes for a great 2007. I'm not great at sending out Christmas cards, so consider this post and picture my Christmas greeting to you...

Jackson on opening night of the 2006/2007 Sacramento Kings season

-- Looks like things are falling apart in Sacramento. Could it be that my #93 Kings jersey will soon be a throwback? Since it hasn't even been a full season, can I get my money back?

-- I'll write more about this soon, but I plan on picking up a Denver/Iverson jersey as soon as I can. The more I think about it, the more I'm excited about the possibilities in Denver. And yes, that is a 180 degree turn from what I wrote a week ago. As you know, I'm a numbnuts.

-- Kobe Bryant is an idiot and his comments about Gilbert Arenas' 60 point night simply add to my hatred of the Mamba. (This link doesn't really do his comments justice, but I'm in a hurry.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mind of Kings Fans

by SonDog

That's right. BH's favorite post is back. The long-overdue email conversation between two die-hard Sacramento Kings fans is back. The Kings... are not back. The following is a two-day email thread between OZ and myself, touching on the Kings, the Mamba, Isiah Thomas, Denver, and the All-Hate Team.

SonDog: So, do we blow this team up, or is there still a chance at the playoffs?

OZ: Nobody can have a definitive answer to that 23 games into the season. It sure isn't looking good though. The scary part about this skid is they are progressively playing worse and worse. Their defense is as non-existent as ever and the lack of an offensive flow is actually getting frustrating, albeit not as frustrating as listening to Jerry Reynolds whine about it.

SonDog: If I hear Jerry Reynolds bitch about the offense one more time, I may throw Porter through my tv. (He's a tough dog and would thoroughly enjoy it.) There seems to be no chemistry whatsoever right now. Brad Miller is lost on both ends of the court, Bibby is shooting them out of games, and Artest is struggling to guard everybody on the court. I'm not trying to be melodramatic, but this is a train-wreck of nuclear disaster proportions. I find them at times utterly unwatchable and Coach Musselman's crippling lack of height is killing me.

OZ: Verbatim from my wife, "Is he old enough to coach a team?"

At times, Muss looks like he's maybe old enough to drive, but just barely. Rick Barry had some interesting comments regarding Muss' "Defensive coach" status saying that Muss was an offensive coach his whole life until a few years ago, and that he ha not had much success being a defensive coach. Ouch. That hurts coming from a legend.

On that note, what happened to J. Barry?

SonDog: JB is doing color commentary for ESPN and he is fantastic. When he pairs with Bill "This third quarter is an absolute disgrace for all of humanity" Walton, it's a real treat.

Clearly, Muss isn't old enough to drive sober. (ba-dum, ching!) Seriously, his defensive schemes have not impressed me as an observer. I think he had a phenomenal interview with the Maloofs (he has a reputation for being great in interviews), but that's about it. It's funny how Rick Adelman is starting to look better and better. They just don't have the personnel to be a good defensive team, and they don't have a scheme to be a good offensive team. Bad Defense + Bad Offense = 2006/2007 Sacramento Kings.

OZ: I heard Bill Walton doing an interview with the moron twins, which was really the only chance I've had to turn the channel off of every horrid announcer I despise with one click of the button. It was beautiful. Long live Bob Costas!!

Your equation is genius. Seriously. Nobel prize winning stuff there. You should sell it to Isaiah Thomas.

SonDog: My favorite Isiah Thomas line from the "brawl," "We had surrendered and they were trying to pour it on." Really? You surrendered in front of your home crowd? Where was your white flag? To quote George Karl, "He's an asshole." I loath Isiah Thomas.

Iverson + Melo = Western Conference Elite OR Chemistry experiment doomed for failure?

OZ: I have to say Western Conference Elite until proved otherwise. They are effectively in the SA "Are you kidding me with this roster" category. I would be shocked if they don't make a run for the championship. The possibilities were just too big to "pass" up. Get it? Ball-hog puns
are great!

SonDog: If King George can throw a lineup out of AI at the point, JR Smith at the 2, Melo at 3, WhoCares at the 4, and Camby at the 5, there isn't a more potent lineup in the league. The challenge will be, will there be enough shots to go around? It has the potential to challenge the best in the West, that's for sure.

OZ: If only K-Mart were still there. What a five that would have been. Something I heard a player say once was that as long as the team is winning, nobody complains about getting their shots or whatever. I think Denver will be fine as long as they win consistently........cause that's really easy to do. Speaking of shots, did you hear the absolute insanity that was the Mamba criticizing Arenas' performance saying he shot too much? Seriously Mamba? Seriously?

SonDog: No, I didn't hear that, but it doesn't surprise me in the least that he would criticize Gilbert right after #0 dropped 60 in the Mamba's face. He shot too much? Well, Washington won, right? Kobe, didn't you say that it doesn't matter how much you shoot if you win?

He's the starting 2-guard on my All-Hate team, with Isiah running the point.

OZ: Walton at Center. Jerry Reynolds coaching.

SonDog: Rick Fox at Small Forward

OZ: Ooooooh, good one. Is Webb the PF? Id there any other PF we dislike more? I'm not a Webb fan but I certainly wouldn't put him in the same category as these other guys. Maybe we can play small and throw Stephen Jackson into the 4. Malone? I know you're thinking Barkley and I'm nixing that one right away. He was an awesome player.

SonDog: How can you say Webber?! How dare you?!

At the 4... I think Robert Horry. Because, as Wes Mantooth says to Ron Burgandy at the end of Anchorman, "Deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight, hate you... But goddamnit do I respect you."

OZ: I've loved Horry since his Portland days. Sure he shoved the largest knife in Kings history into our throats, but you can't blame him for making the last minute shot. That's what he does. I blame Vlade for tipping it straight to him. Or better yet, I blame Webber for being on the court and teaching Peja how to not get a rebound. Horry is nowhere near that list for me. You would put Horry in over Malone?

SonDog: Horry never played in Texas you numbnuts. I'm going to assume you meant Houston.

And with that insult, I'm out, and this is way too long.

OZ: Portland is in Oregon dumbass. By a map.

SonDog: Buy a map... Buy a dictionary

OZ: Ah Dammit!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AI in Denver

by SonDog

Somehow, this is all Isiah Thomas's fault and it makes me hate him even more.

I still don't understand exactly how Iverson is supposed to fit into this group when Melo and JR Smith come back. The move effectively puts Denver $1 billion trillion kajilion over the salary cap.


posted by BH

Ryan Klesko? Way to plug some holes, Sabes.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On Second Thought

by SonDog

Maybe Melo will be able to torpedo his own career. Every time I think Melo is turning the corner and realizing that his behavior is as important as his scoring, I'm proven dead wrong.

Last night's "brawl" in New York was the latest, "Melo?! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!" moment. His sucker-punch on Mardy Collins was not only unnecessary, but utterly cowardly given that Collins wasn't looking and Melo backpedaled the other way quicker than he ever has gotten back on defense. I think I heard a report after the game that Conlin directed the following words to Anthony: "Let's dance, dickweed!" But maybe I made that up.

The "brawl" and my imagination of the post-game conversation in the locker room reminds me of this classic moment in fighting history.

Anyways, the media is all over Anthony in Denver and from watching ESPN, you would think somebody was killed. "Oh my God! This heinous act took place at the Garden!"

By the way, if Isiah Thomas truly ordered the foul, he needs to be punished severely.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Craziness Factor

by SonDog

I love watching Allen Iverson. I really do. He's got the determination on the court of a pit bull and it's not a stretch to say he is pound-for-pound the toughest player in the NBA.

It would be a mistake to bring him to Denver.

According to Mark Stein, Denver is believed to be the leader in the clubhouse to land Iverson, assuming somebody is foolish enough to take Nene and his 6 year, $60 million contract (what, have they not called Isiah Thomas?).

Carmelo Anthoney has taken a huge leap this year and is a legit MVP candidate at the moment. His game is light-years ahead of where it was last season and he is the undisputed leader of a Nugget team that is clawing at the heals of Utah in the Midwest. There are so many unknowns with Iverson (I'm speaking of how he would effect a team, not his sanity level), that you have to wonder why George Karl would even consider making this move.

For Carmelo's sake and for the Nuggets' sake, I hope this move doesn't happen. Based on no factual knowledge and little if any expert analysis, it could torpedo the development of a kid who is sure to be a top-5 player for years to come.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

From the Meaningless Apology Dept.

posted by BH

Thank you Joey Porter.

"I didn't mean to offend anybody but Kellen Winslow," Porter told reporters after Steelers practice Tuesday.

"I would just like to say it was a poor choice of words in the comment I made toward Winslow. If I offended anybody, I apologize for that," Porter said.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Worth It?

by the butler

Stop me if you've already heard this one...What does Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka have in common with the (alleged) Britney Spears sex tape? Apparently they are each worth over ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! So I'm in the wrong business here. Why am I not selling Japanese sports stars and sex tapes?

My problem with that price tag is this: Paying $100 million (over 5 years) for D-Mat would place him in the top 3 highest-paid players in baseball category with Jeter and A-Rod. But hey, if they're already calling him D-Mat, he must be worth it, right? Pujols has made $32 million in his past three combined seasons in St. Louis.

And what about K-Fed's sorry ass? Granted, a few actors (Keanu w/ the Matrix, Bruce Willis with the Sixth Sense, and Tommy Cruise w/ War of the Worlds, if you were wondering) have made $100 million plus on a movie, but only recently since they figured out that a small percentage of the gross of a blockbuster movie turns out to be a lot of stinking dough. And now the talented Mr. Federline has a chance to join that very small list of $100 million "actors". Just doesn't seem right or fair.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Um, wait...

by SonDog

If I'm Geoff Petrie right now, my response to Gavin and Joe Maloof's desire to bring Allen Iverson to Sacramento would be, "Um, wait... you want to do what? Ok... so who do you want to package along with Artest in the trade? Wait... you mean you want to bring him in to play WITH Artest? Oh Sweet Jesus. I quit."

I must admit, I'm equal parts intrigued and horrified. Curious and scared shitless.

I wrote almost exactly the same thing a little less than a year ago when the Kings made the decision to trade for Ron Artest, who backed out at the last minute, only to accept it after deciding it would be best to not suicide his career. While it turned out great last year, the proverbial writing is on the proverbial wall for a blowup this year. According to a published report in a major New York paper (article by Mitch Lawrence who, ahem, always tells the truth), teammates questioned the severity of Artest's back injury last week and were quoted as saying, "Nobody has any idea what he is going to do from one day to the next." Well... yeah. Anyways, we already know Artest is psycho. Which, of course begs the question: How many psychos does one team need?

So, why bring in Iverson? The "The Maloof's are gamblers, and this is a big gamble!" angle is about as stupid as the "We're fighting the war on terror in Iraq so we don't have to fight it here!" angle. To quote Sean Connery in The Rock, "This isn't patriotism. It's an act of lunacy. Personally, I think you're a fucking idiot."

Would it be fun to watch these two play together for a couple of games? Sure. Would it combust quicker than the Hindenburg? Absolutely. Hopefully Petrie can talk some sense into the Maloofs before it is too late.

Then again, I said the same thing last year about Artest coming aboard. I was so sure that he would fail in his promise to take the Kings to the playoffs that I said I would buy an Artest jersey if he actually succeeded.

In a related story, there is a Ron Artest #93 jersey in my closet right now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kings Weekend of SaoTSARBe

by SonDog

As promised, the Texas two-step through Dallas and San Antonio provided an ideal sample to calculate the Sacramento Kings' 2006/2007 early-season SaoTSARB results. The following loss to Orlando and the Hindenburg disaster that was the Phoenix debacle only served to confirm the results from the original Texas case study.

Remember, as I wrote in my original SaoTSARBoE post, the theory is that the most efficient player would have a low score (probably 1.3 to 3.2 for a guy like LeBron -- or, amount per 48 minutes that you will either swear at particular player or throw shit across the room because of said player), while a frustrating and inefficient player would have a high score (around 57.5 to 61.2 - see Kings results below for more on this type of player)."

And yes, I'm incredibly bitter after witnessing a four-game losing streak that has catapulted my state-of-mind towards a full-on Northern Californian sports depression. Seriously, I need to be medicated, and Jameson is just not cutting it. Anyways, on to the rankings, in order of efficiency:
1) Kevin Martin- (3.4 SaoTSARBoE): It's been well chronicled, but this is a career-year for the svelte shooting guard from Western Carolina. (By the way, you could play a sweet drinking game with your buddies during a nationally televised Kings game by doing the following: Everytime an announcer says anything remotely close to "This has been a breakout season for the svelte shooting guard from Western Carolina," take a shot. I promise you will be hammered by the end of the first quarter. And if you play that game by yourself, it is in no way sad.) Martin ranks among the league leaders in not just scoring and shooting percentage, but also SaoTSARBoE. That being said, the most frustrating sub-plot of this early season is the Kings' inability (or refusal) to get Martin the ball. Through the first six quarters in Dallas and San Antonio, Martin took 10 shots. 10. As in, t-e-n. True, Martin entered the Dallas game averaging 23.9 points per game, but I guess the team figured that shots from players other than Kevin Martin were the primary reason behind Kevin Martin's scoring average. Basically, the only time Martin's name is mentioned while I'm swearing at the tv or shit is flying across the room is when someone is NOT passing him the ball. For example, "BIBBY?! What are you doing?! Will you pass the fucking ball to Martin?! Please?! DAMNIT!!" (Dog toy flies across the room)

2) John Salmons (7.1 SaoTSARBoE): Salmons has truly been a pleasant surprise this season. He's a mini-stat stuffer who is the team's best perimeter defender. If Salmons is guilty of anything, it is being a ball-stopper on offense. However, considering that the guy played in the same backcourt as Allen Iverson for the past two seasons, I cut him a little slack. You have to figure that when he gets his hands on the basketball, it's like Christmas day. I've noticed his facial expressions on a couple of occasions after receiving passes from Bibby. It's as if Ed McMahon showed up on his doorstep and handed him a Publisher's Clearinghouse check for $7 million.

3) Ron Artest (inc.): Ron-Ron has been out the last three games with a bad back. I would do an SaoTSARBoE analysis on him, but he's been on such good behavior since coming to Sacramento that I don't want to say anything about his game that may send him into a psychotic rage. His rap album, however, simply shattered all pre-existing ceilings on the Crappiness Scale.

4) Brad Miller (10.5 SaoTSARBoE): It's great having Miller back on the floor as he was sorely missed while recovering from a foot injury. It would be even better if Coach Musselman had the slightest clue on how to effectively utilize him. There's really not much new I can say about Miller, so I'll re-post what I said about him last year: "The 7-ft center from Purdue is somewhat of an anomaly. While he is unbelievably efficient when it comes to his fundamental skill set (jump shots, passing, etc.), Miller gets cursed at most often for something he simply can't control... his unbelievable lack of athleticism. Miller's poor rebounding is directly tied to the fact that he couldn't jump over the Christmas tree extension cord. Due to this, Miller's lack of athleticism was cussed on 7 different occasions while he was being outrebounded by guys like 6'1" Carlos Arroyo. The remote control was thrown twice from failed drives to the hoop (I think Miller is even slower than most people realize), and the plush Santa-doll that Rocky chews was hucked against the front door three times as Miller was standing still at the high-post with his feet in cement after a spin-move and dunk by Rasheed Wallace. Again, these flaws are not due to effort, so Miller has a lot to overcome on SaoTSARBoE by nature."

5) Kenny Thomas (14.7 SaoTSARBoE): Remember when Kenny Thomas could shoot? Did he sell his jump shot on eBay or something? What happened to it? He's shooting free throws about as effectively as Pedro Feliz uses the opposite field. Then again, he's the teams best rebounder and post defender, so you need him on the floor. Just keep him as far away from the ball on offense as is humanly possible.

6) Francisco Garcia (18.9 SaoTSARBoE): Gets cursed at most often for being the 6'7" walking definition of a spaz. Believe it or not, that is a drastic improvement over last season.

7) Mike Bibby (25.3 SaoTSARBoE): It's been a mighty poor year for Bibby across the board. I've seemingly thrown more objects across the room this year due to Mike Bibby than I have in his entire career as a King. I'm still a big Bibby fan, but his game has slipped this season. Yes, I know he's injured. So, with that in mind... BIBBY?!?! STOP SHOOTING!!!! JEEEEEEEEEEEESUS!!!!! PASS THE FUCKING BALL, WILL YOU?!?!

8) Ronnie Price (27.4 SaoTSARBoE): OZ can tell you that I was a huge Gerald Wallace fan when he was first drafted by the Kings. I thought it was a mistake to give him up in the expansion draft and I still think the Kings regret giving him away when it was obvious to everybody that he was about to breakout. Anyways, I've felt that way about Price since pre-season of last year. He's not ready yet to log 20 minutes a night, but he will really energize the team from time to time. (Honestly, if you haven't seen the throwdown he had over Carlos Boozer, click on this link. It's truly remarkable. It makes up for the Anna Kournokova-like frequency of unforced errors.

9) Corliss Williamson(34.7 SaoTSARBoE): Whatever.

10) Shareef Abdur-Rahim (57.0 SaoTSARBoE): SAR changes ends of the floor slower than my son, and he can't even crawl yet. The primary reason for this is his slow-motion crow-hop that he takes... every...single... time... he... has... to... change.... ends.... of... the... court. Seriously, look for it. Once you see it, it will drive you crazy every time you watch him play. He is the last guy down the court 102 times out of 100. I've hucked more shit across the room because of that guy this year than a monkey at a zoo. The critical down fall of his season was when Miller got hurt. In short, it forced him to play extended minutes. As Stapes recommended last year with Garcia, SAR receives bonus points for the cursing out of Musselman every time he plays him. I have nothing good to say about SAR this year. Once again, the most common saying heard in my house is, "For God's sake, Shareef?! Grab a fucking rebound!!!"


posted by BH

First, Judas kissed Jesus. Now this. Reports are that former Giant Jason Schmidt has signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers. We all knew the Dodgers were going to be players in the Schmidtstakes, but I had hoped, as I think all Giant fans did, that he would end up in Seattle or anywhere else outside the NL and definitely not with the fucking rivals.

Monday, December 04, 2006

We Still Need a Play-Off

by the butler

So the Gators are in.

On the one hand, it's going to be nice to experience a year (actually the second year in a row) in college football where no team is bitching and moaning about how it should have been them in the National Championship game. Not one player or coach on that Michigan team will argue that they should be playing for the trophy instead of Florida. Both coaches talked about it endlessly before the Ohio St. Michigan game- each agreed that they needed to win in order to have a chance at #1.

Still,'s sports site is already dubbing the Rose Bowl match-up between USC and Michigan as "arguably the best bowl game of the season..." Immediately following with this sentence - "USC, helped by brand name recognition more than anything else, was pushed into the number two spot after Michigan lost to Ohio State, but failed to play up to that level in the loss to the Bruins."

Hmmmm. So it's not really the best bowl game, then?

As much pain as it might cause me to hear my Gator buddy calling me up, "hey man let's go down to Glendale, man...them Gator boys are hot!", in a way it's satisfying to see justice finally done. If USC hadn't choked Saturday, they would have been facing Ohio St. for the title. And it would have been WRONG! It would have been the third season out of four that an SEC team was snubbed in the BCS (LSU in '03, Auburn in '04).

For those who will inevitably arise and claim Michigan was snubbed this year-
(from my aforementioned Gator buddy)
1) FLA beat 9 teams projected to play in a bowl game, MICH beat 6.
2) FLA's 12 opponents had a combined record of 89-57. MICH's 12 had a record of 84-61.
3) Gators are 3-1 against ranked teams, beating then- No. 13 Tennessee, No. 9 LSU, and No. 8 Arkansas and losing at No. 11 Auburn. MICH went 1-1 against ranked opponents, beating then- No. 2 Notre Dame, and losing to Ohio St.
4) Since Michigan last played and lost at OSU, Florida has won at Florida State and against Arkansas in the SEC championship.
5) Michigan finished second in a tough Big Ten conference. Florida won a very tough SEC. Does anyone really want to see a team who finished second in their conference playing for the National Championship? What if Michigan won the game? Then they would technically be tied with OSU, needing a re-rematch, right?

Teams from conferences other than the SEC have been snubbed in the recent past as well (Kansas State in '99-'00, Colorado in '01 was possibly the worst snubbing in history). Oh yeah, and Boise State* (I can't bring myself to classify a Wiggity-Wiggity-WAC team as a legitimate case for a National Championship snubbing, sorry Broncs.)

So why can't THEY figure out a decent play-off system? I'm sure money and TV contracts and all that are the main reasons. Even if a play-off were implemented, I'm sure folks would find a way to bitch and moan about it, too. I can already hear it, "We were robbed of the two seed..."

So how cool would it be to watch a top 8 playoff? Since we can't, I'm going to pretend to predict a pretend play-off scenario -
I think a good pretend rule would be for the crappy conferences (WAC, Pac-2, Independant) to have to play against the good ones (Big Ten, SEC) in the first round. And I don't think Wisconsin, even though they are ranked #6, should be in my pretend play-off because they didn't beat a single ranked team all year.

Round 1

Ohio St. over Boise St.

Florida over Louisville

Michigan over Oklahoma

LSU over USC (don't even trip and say you would bet your own actual money on USC here)

Then Round 2 would match up:

Ohio St. vs. LSU

Florida vs. Michigan

Then OSU vs. Florida, right? Maybe, but it might just as easily end up LSU vs. Michigan. That's the point- We have no idea how Ohio State would do vs. LSU or how Florida would do vs. Michigan. Or if USC maybe was good enough to rebound from an embarassing loss to the boys in baby blue to make a play-off run?

You can also see that if my pretend 8-team play-off was reality, even more teams might have the right to cry "snub". What about Arkansas, a legit top-8 team until losing to Florida in the SEC title game? What about Auburn, if LSU and Oklahoma also have 2 L's, why don't they make the final 8? Notre Dame? Wisconsin? If we're allowing two-loss teams into our pretend play-off, then why not West Virginia, Va. Tech, Wake Forest, or even Rutgers?

Whatever, there must be some way for everyone to make all their money and still crown a TRUE National Champion. Every single year. Kum -bah -friggin'- yah.