Monthly Archives: November 2017
College basketball starts anew
It isn’t an official holiday in Lawrence, Kansas, but I’m certain many, many, many people are finding excuses to skip work or classes at the University of Kansas.
The Jayhawks begin the college basketball season tonight when they host Tennessee State.
I really don’t care much about college basketball. I will watch if there’s nothing else on, or I’m in a location where it’s on all the televisions and I have no choice but to watch–unless I want to blindfold myself. Otherwise, no thank you.
I don’t know why I fill out a bracket during the NCAA tournament. I guess it’s just to do something fun. I really don’t give a darn who wins.
LSU has been awful at men’s basketball for the better part of the last 20+ years, save for a trip to the Final Four in 2006 and scattered NCAA tournament appearances.
I don’t expect one of those scattered appearances to occur in 2018.
LSU is picked 14th–DEAD LAST–in the Southeastern Conference. By contrast, Missouri, which finished tied for last in the SEC with LSU last year and lost to the Bayou Bengals AT HOME, is ranked in the preseason polls and is expected to make the NCAA tournament, thanks to new coach Cuonzo Martin and a stellar recruiting class, led by Michael Porter Jr., widely regarded as the nation’s top prep player of 2016-17.
The. Bayou Bengals have a new coach, Will Wade, who came from VCU, where he conintued the Rams’ run of success began by Shaka Smart, now at Texas. Wade has brought needed enthusaism and discipline to a program lacking both under Johnny Jones, but Wade has a tougher task ahead of him than what Dale Brown did when he came to LSU in 1972.
I hope Wade succeeds. I want my alma mater to do well, like most graduates want to see their schools thrive. But i can’t see it happening this year or next. LSU must be patient with Wade. It has to give Wade at least four years to get this thing on the right track. I’m not saying beat Kentucky every time. The top half of the SEC year in and year out would be a major improvement.
Kentucky is the favorite in the SEC. As it should be. Until someone can consistently knock off the Wildcats, the title will remain in Lexington. John Calipari has adapted so well to the “one-and-done” phenomenon. You may hate the guy, but nobody can deny he can fuse together a whole new group, get them to play cohesively, send them off to the NBA, where most will be high draft picks, then start all over again.
When I frequented Ivar’s, the sports bar near the LSU campus where I spent hundreds (maybe thousands) of days, one of the first things I noticed was a bumper sticker behind the bar. It read:
Kentucky Pervert–a man who enjoys sex more than basketball.
Very tue. It’s not just that way with the Big Blue, but at Louisville, Western Kentucky, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky and Northern Kentucky, too. Basketball, horse racing and bourbon are all Kentucky traditions, traditions which should be cherished. It makes the Bluegrass State one unique place.
Kansas will win the Big 12. Again. For the 14th consecutive season. Arizona will win the Pac-12. Duke the ACC. Wichita State should roll in its new conference, the American Athletic Conference, but how much of an upgrade from the Missouri Valley is it really? The Big Ten should be interesting, but look for Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans to come through.
Wichita State fans have been begging and pleading to play Kansas (and Kansas State) in the regular season. Bill Self refuses to bite. Cuold a Shockers-Jayhawks match take place in San Antonio at the Final Four? Maybe.
Let the games begin. Just don’t expect me to be watching too much.
President Leghorn? Is that possible?
Last night, I resumed my favorite hobby, playing Buzztime trivia.
Near the end of the evening, a question came up which had one of the most ridiculous answers I have ever witnessed in my four and a half years of intesne Buzztime trivia playing (I played some in 2008 and ‘09, but it wasn’t until May 2013 when I became wrapped up in playing it regularly).
The question asked, which U.S. President stated that “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself”.
Of course, anyone who remembers history in high school knows it has to be Franklin Roosevelt. I knew that in middle school, but I’m not here to brag on myself.
The other choices were John F. Kennedy, James Monroe and…
I’ve heard of joke answers, but that was ridiculous.
Foghorn Leghorn isn’t real–unless there is a Foghorn Leghorn out there I’ve never met. He’s a cartoon character for crying out loud!
I get the point of not making Buzztime trivia impossible–except Brainbuster, which is every Tuesday from 7 to 7:30–but come on.
The only answer which would have been more ridiculous would have been Pigasus, the fake deity who actually earned a vote during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the one where hippies rioted in the streets of Chicago.
Well, I stand corrected.
The most recent uestion just asked the nickname of Ohio State’s athletic teams. One choice: Kleptomaniacs.
Ah, Buzztime. Keeping us in stitches sometimes.
LSU-Alabama: the non-rivalry
LSU and Alabama play football tonight in Tuscaloosa.
It’s being called a rivalry. It’s being over hyped as it is each and every stinking year.
That is the wrong approach, especially for LSU.
Alabama would not make a big deal out of it if (a) Nick Saban hadn’t previously coached LSU and (b) LSU has generally been the last team the Crimson Tide has needed to beat to assure themselves of a spot in the SEC championship game.
Believe me, Alabama fans care much more about beating Auburn. Bear Bryant famously said he’d rather beat the “Cow College” (owing to Auburn’s status as Alabama’s primary agricultural university) once than Notre Dame ten times. Just substitute LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M or just about anyone else for Notre Dame and it’s still accurate.
LSU fans need to stop slitting their throats over the Alabama game.
I admit I did it last year. I went nuts on Twitter and Facebook when LSU lost 10-0 to the Tide in Baton Rouge.
I was wrong to have done so.
I’m not going to do anything this year.
Look, it’s going to take Jupiter aligning with Mars (sorry, Fifth Dimension) for LSU to win. The Bayou Bengals need Bert Jones to step into a time machine and go back to his senior season of 1972 to have a chance to score against Alabama’s defense. Since that’s not possible, I don’t see my alma mater scoring much, if at all.
LSU fans like to consider Alabama its biggest rival.
It’s only a rivalry if both teams hate each other equally. Not the case for Alabama, which will hate Auburn much more until the end of time. And for many Tide fans, Tennessee is a bigger rival than LSU.
LSU-Ole Miss? The last time both teams were in serious national championship contention at the same time was 1959, the year Billy Cannon returned a Rebel punt 89 yards for a touchdown with 10 minutes left, then helped stop Ole Miss quarterback Doug Elmore at the LSU 1 in the waning moments to preserve a 7-3 win.
Ole Miss’ rivalry with Mississippi State (the Egg Bowl) has far more significance for the Rebels than it once did, largely because the Bulldogs are now the alpha team in the Magnolia State. Without much talent in the state to go around, Ole Miss and State have to battle tooth and nail for every prospect, and that’s not even mentioning Alabama, which is only 95 miles from Starkville, plus LSU and Arkansas, whose states border Mississippi.
Arkansas? The Razorbacks baited the line. LSU refused to bite.
Florida? Never. The Gators already have Florida State and Georgia. And I’m certain there is plenty of hatred in Gainesville for Miami, even if the teams haven’t played much in the last 30 years.
LSU, your rival is Texas A&M. Sure, Aggie fans hate the Longhorns more than they could ever hate the Bayou Bengals,
I don’t know how much I’m watching tonight. I’ve braced myself for the worst. I hope I’m wrong. If I’m right, the world will still be spinning on its axis tomorrow morning.