Dirty Jobs in New Orleans

Mike Rowe didn”t have a hard time finding some really vile work in this week”s episode of Dirty Jobs, because he spent the whole show in New Orleans. He rode with the rodent and mosquito abatement crews, highlighting the issue of non-human life that”s thriving in a very disturbing way. Most interesting was how they combat the problem of swimming pools at destroyed houses that are now huge mosquito breeding grounds – they capture mosquito-larvae-eating fish in canals and transfer them to the swimming pools.

But half of the show was spent with a demolition crew at a house in St. Bernard Parish that apparently hadn”t been touched since Katrina (the show was shot in October of this year). Mike did a decent – but not great – job of driving home the magnitude of the situation down there and generally kept a respectful tone as he helped throw all of this family”s ruined possessions out on the curb before gutting the house.

And since the house hadn”t been touched since the flood, the kitchen was full of rotting, molding food, high-living mice and hundreds of the biggest roaches I”ve ever seen. They had to throw out everything in the kitchen – apparently the refrigerator rot gets less foul over time – before ripping out the cabinets and walls, so Mike rooted through the roach-filled cabinets to toss out the dry goods.

In a great moment, he paused while chucking one particular item:

If you don”t know what that is, I”m not going to tell you. A real shame. I like to think that Mike paused in appreciation for the little guy”s service and in recognition of the loss.

Thanks to Dirty Jobs for giving a little attention to the fading tale of New Orleans” struggle.

BCS / Bowl Post

I guess I can”t go all year writing about LSU and college football and not do something on the way the BCS shook out. So here goes: You can make a damned fine case that Florida had the second-best season and deserves to play in the BCS title game instead of Michigan. Look at the schedules, the number of bowl teams beaten, the fact that they played one more game … I think objectively Florida wins the argument. And, by the way, the argument is not who is the “second best team” as ESPN Radio is fond of saying. It”s who had the “second best season”, which is a combination of you being good, you winning and who you beat. I might argue that LSU is a better team than Florida or Michigan, but we didn”t prove it and certainly didn”t have the “second best season”.

But what happened on Dec. 3 was not an objective analysis of the merits of Florida and Michigan. It was the simple human bias and poll politics I”ve written about so often as the flaw of human polls. The human voters didn”t want Michigan in the game, so they voted them out. That”s just plain wrong.

Or maybe this was the one instance in the history of human polls where the tradition of holding the status quo gave way to a rational and reasoned analysis of each team”s season. Somehow I doubt it.

Florida deserves to play in the BCS title game, but Michigan still got screwed. Screwed because they played by the same rules all other teams did. The expectation Michigan had was that polls would work as polls always do. That was reasonable, but the human pollsters conspired against them to stop an OSU / Michigan rematch. That sucks.

And although it sucks for Michigan to get screwed over, there”s potential bright spots here. First, look for the Big 10 to stop playing their last games two freaking weeks before real conferences. The Pac-10 got smart and at least scheduled rivalry games on the first week in December so they stay relevant despite the lack of a conference championship.

I wouldn”t expect the Big 10 to actually move to a modern format and get themselves a championship game – I think they”re more likely to lead the playoff push – but they need a strategy for getting their relevance back.

As for the BCS, it”s getting what it deserved. After USC was properly kept out of the 2004 title game, the influence of cold, hard science was lessened in favor of human polls. See what you get?? I don”t think the BCS would go back to more of a computer influence, but look for a new rule that would have at least disqualified Michigan – you have to win your conference to play in the title game. Except, of course, in the case of Notre Dame, which doesn”t have a conference and gets special BCS treatment.

That brings me to LSU”s fate in the BCS shakeup. Hard to complain about the Sugar Bowl, of course, but having the Rose Bowl prospect hanging out there makes a trip to New Orleans a bit of a downer. And Notre Dame squeaked in and looks a lot weaker than they used to. It should be a good game, though. I”ll be watching it at home.

The problem with navigation system POI

I”ve been toying around a good bit with the GPS system in my new Acura TL, mostly figuring out what”s possible to hack and/or modify in the system (with lots of info from AcuraZine). Changing the initial load screen to an LSU logo, getting rid of the “OK” button click required to launch the nav and enabling the trip computer display are fine, but what I really want to change is the Points of Interest (POI) database – listings of businesses and whatnot. And I”ve hit a wall with that. There”s a file I can extract from the DVD called OAR_5002.POI that holds the points database, but so far I”ve not been able to make sense of it. I may reach out to some engineer friends to poke at it, but it”s also not clear that I”d be able to burn back out a workable replacement DVD with my modified POI file.

Digging into the POI data, however, has led me to start thinking about how poor of an implementation the DVD system is and how an ideal system might work.

The problem, of course, is that a POI database is outdated before the DVD is even pressed. Starbucks, for example, opened 727 new stores in the U.S. between the time my POI disk was pressed in June 2005 and this August. In the best case, a POI database can”t keep up with new businesses, and the reality is much worse.

Looking at listings for East Atlanta, my POI file is hopelessly out of date. Restaurants that have been closed for more than two years are still on there, but what”s truly amazing is this:

That”s a Texaco station up the street from my house. Yes, there used to be a Texaco there. I have a picture of it hanging in my foyer:

I suppose the place was still there after the Bonnie & Clyde era, but it”s long, long, long gone. And my award-winning Acura navigation system still thinks it”s there.

Of course, that”s more of a data quality issue than anything. I believe Acura gets its POI information from InfoUSA, and apparently InfoUSA sucks. I don”t know where InfoUSA gets their data, but the only reference to this imaginary Texaco I could find online is at some cut-rate online yellow pages called Superior Business Network.

Acura should get a better POI data partner. But that”s sort of beside the point of this discussion.

Assuming the POI data was completely accurate, it”s still outdated by the time a “gold master” version is created and DVDs go to press. Even if I were to get annual updates of the DVD, there would be considerable lag in data freshness.

Considering that I carry around two devices (a Treo and a Helio Drift) capable of easily showing me Google Maps and POI (also known as Local Search), the in-car DVD experience is really sub-par. Online Local Search isn”t 100% accurate and up to date, but it”s a hell of a lot closer than a year-old DVD – and always will be.

All we”re really talking about here is data. The system just needs to get it, put it somewhere and fetch it back when needed. We live in a world where all of that is very doable in ways better than burning data to a DVD.

I have Bluetooth phone integration, so I was thinking that when I say “show me restaurants”, the system could call out over my phone to Google or Yahoo and fetch listings based on a lat/long it sends up. No different than an online API call, really. But I imagine it would be a pretty slow connection/get data/send data/display data process. They would have to make the online stuff “as available” and keep the DVD data as the fallback.

What would work really well, though, is to take the POI data off of the DVD and put it on a bit of flash memory in the system. The POI database is 1.14GB. Shoving 2GB of memory into the system would be no problem. It would be cool to have a WiFi antenna in the car so it could fetch updates monthly or something while sitting in my garage, but just having a USB port for updates would suffice.

Acura could give me a memory stick coded with my car”s identification code to prevent piracy and charge me $3 a month to keep the system updated (would work for map updates, too). I”d be more willing to do that than pay them the $185 they want for an updated DVD. Hell, they could include Sponsored Results and monetize it that way rather than charging me a subscription fee and make a killing.

It won”t be long, I imagine, before we see Google Maps, Yahoo Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth powering OEM in-car systems. I”m surprise none of those players have struck a licensing / branding deal for standalone GPS systems yet, but I”m sure that”s coming.

A few years ago, having a semi-accurate database of restaurants, gas stations and ATMs in your car seemed pretty fabulous. But in today”s connected world, the DVD model is glaringly weak. Car-system makers will catch up; I just wish they were already there.

Championship Week Picks

Ah, the bonus weekend – when real conferences play championship games and the Pac 10 tries to act like it has a championship game by also playing. Beats the Big 10″s lack of games for the past couple of weeks, but come on; add two teams and get yourself a real conference, USC. The big deal here in Atlanta, of course, is the SEC Championship Game. No. 4 Florida vs. No. 8 Arkansas. Florida needs a win to keep BCS title hopes alive; Arkansas needs a win for a SEC championship and Sugar Bowl trip.

From a selfish perspective, it”s hard to know what would help LSU more. If Arkansas wins, our victory over them looks more impressive. If Florida wins, our loss to them makes us look stronger as well. Then there”s the idea that a Florida loss makes it less likely for the Rose Bowl to pick LSU, but I”m not sure I buy that. Sure, it would be unjust for the BCS to take LSU over a Florida team we lost to that also just has two losses and played an extra top-10 game to close the season. But the BCS isn”t fair, and a No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 4 LSU matchup would be better than No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 8 Florida.

And I think Arkansas takes the game. Florida is largely unimpressive on offense, and they”re banged up. If Arkansas can run, run, run (and they can) and can keep the Florida offense in check (not impossible), the Hogs control the game.

Hogs 24 – 20

Elsewhere, I like Ga. Tech in the ACC game, Oklahoma in the Big 12, Rutgers to lose and USC to beat UCLA – and act like they just played a conference championship game.

The real point of TV over the Internet

As he tends to do, Mark Cuban has stirred the pudding; this time about issues around getting Internet-delivered HD video over the tubes and on to your HDTV set. And the folks over at PVR Wire (among others) are speculating on ways HD programming might actually be delivered over the Internet and to your shiny new TV.

But the basic premise of this discussion is wrong. The focus is on how high-bandwidth HD content can be delivered over the Internet and rendered to TV sets via a PC or other computer-like device. And the assumption being promoted is that in today”s digital world content has to be in a high-quality format to be desirable.

As Mark Cuban has pointed out who would want to watch crappy quality video on a widescreen HDTV display, no-one that”s who!
- PVR Wire

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong. And wrong.

The promise of Internet-delivered video is not the quality of the content; it”s the availability of the content. Sure, if I”m watching My Name is Earl over Dish Network, I expect the picture quality to be superb, because I”ve decided to watch something coming over the limited, network-programmed channel called NBC. Likewise things being delivered to me through The History Channel, ESPN, TLC or any of the other 175 or so channels that are pushed into my home.

That”s a reasonable expectation when broadcasters are pushing content to me. They have standards we all accept. But the tradeoff is that my choices of what to watch (albeit much broader these days) are still limited by what programming is chosen by the network.

Video over the Internet is a different proposition. It”s a channel where the content is limited only by the willingness of people to produce content and for me to find it. Choice is the goal; quality is secondary.

MTV doesn”t play videos for my favorite Swedish surf band – Hawaii Mud Bombers. But they”re on YouTube:

My Mac Mini will show this content on my 44″ HDTV. How”s the quality? It sucks. But 10 years ago, I wouldn”t have been able to see this video at all. Do I start this video and say “jesus, that doesn”t look anything like My Name is Earl … I ain”t watching it”? of course not.

The ability to easily find this kind of content is another thing the Internet brings – say MTV did play Hawaii Mud Bombers … how would I find it on their network? Watch it all day and wait for it to come on? – but that”s a post for another day.

The quality that”s acceptable simply depends on the availability of the content through traditional networks. And the quality of Internet-delivered video will only improve over time. The key thing for content owners to understand is that there is (or will be soon) an audience beyond the broadcast platform.

Almost three years ago now, I wrote about video content I recorded back in the day that I wanted to see put out on DVD. Small bits of my wish list have started to appear on YouTube (Flat Duo Jets on The Cutting Edge, for instance), but these bits come from people like me who have an archive of self-recorded things they”re posting back for other fans. I”ve done a small bit of that myself.

But think about the potential now. For example, the old Showtime concert series that had R.E.M., Jason and the Scorchers, Lone Justice, etc. exists somewhere in a vault. There”s little value for Showtime to re-air these shows on their network, but any artist clearance issues aside, if the network put those shows online and monetized the traffic (or distributed them through iTunes), there”s a strong long-tail revenue upside with relatively low distribution cost. In my mind, that”s a lot more compelling than distributing their current programming through a secondary, lower-quality channel.

There is a mountain of commercial video programming locked up in vaults, from old network programming that”s never made syndication to unique local programming produced by affiliates that until now stood no chance of seeing the light of day again. Free that content through the Internet and monetize it.

I can”t see it now at all, so just being able to watch it (at any quality level) is all I”m after.

And, oh yeah, I bought a car

My mind”s been too distracted by work, LSU, holidays, East Atlanta goings-on and looking at cars to focus much Wisdom on my ongoing car search. But to cut to the chase; I bought one last Tuesday. And what ride is now filling the Capn”s half of the Wisdom Garage? After much consideration, many test drives and tons of back-and-forth, I settled on a 2006 Acura TL Navi, Anthracite (dark grey) with Ebony (black) interior. Looks like this:

Yes, I derided the TL as a “Buckhead car” a few months ago. But in the end, there was simply no match for the TL when it came to features, quality, comfort, size, performance and just about every other factor I considered. Throw in my ability to find the last 2006 Anthracite TL in Georgia, and I was sold.

Purchasing the 2006 TL now was also an act of courageous self-control, as it kept me from spending about $9K more on a 2007 TL Type-S. I had planned to wait until February to get a new ride, but it was clear this was last call for the nicely-discounted 2006 class.

More to come on my adventures with the TL, but some topline observations:

- It”s fun to hack the navigation system. Mine boots up with an LSU logo instead of the standard Acura one now, and bye-bye disclaimer screen and need to agree to its terms every time the car starts. And hello to the disabled trip computer display on the navigation screen!

- I went with an automatic instead of a stick; partly because it”s possible my commute could be longer and more difficult sometime during the car”s life, and partly because the shift-o-matic, trip-tronic, slap-happy shift mode works real nicely on the TL. So far I don”t miss the stick.

- XM Radio still sucks, sucks, sucks. It”s a shame that Honda is tied exclusively to XM, because it would be nice to not have to add on a Sirius kit to get good satellite radio. But at the same time, I was disappointed to see that even when coming through the navi screen, the artist and song display is truncated at about 16 characters. I”m not sure if that”s an XM limitation or poor design of the XM receiver. I get three months free of XM, and I won”t be renewing. It”s fine during football season (ESPN Radio), but Jesus XM sucks.

Pre-BCS Outlook

OK, so except for those extra games played by real conferences, the Rutgers / West Virginia game to settle the Big East and the Pac-10″s final “let”s make it look like we actually have a conference championship by playing games on that weekend” set of games, the college football season is over and jockeying for the BCS and major bowls has begun.

So in advance of today”s BCS results – which will likely hint at an Ohio State / USC championship game – let”s throw some Wisdom at the BCS picture. For your reference, I”m basing rankings and comparisons on the Sagarin ratings – the real ones, not the BCS-tuned ones. Ohio State: Not losing counts for a whole lot, and I guess it”s hard to argue with the only undefeated major-conference team being No. 1. But I have a problem with the Buckeyes. Yes, wins over Michigan (Sagarin No. 3) and Texas (No. 17) are nice, but beyond that Ohio State beat No. 22, No. 36, No. 39, No. 46, No. 71, No. 75, No. 81, No. 88, No. 101 and No. 136. Couple the weak schedule (Sagarin rank: 36) with the ugly truth that the Buckeyes got to avoid 11-1 Wisconsin because the Big 10 has no championship game, and Ohio State leaves me cold. One day the Big 10 will get screwed by not having a championship, then maybe things will change. But today, the Buckeyes checking out after Nov. 18 and sitting around waiting for the BCS title game feels very hollow.

USC: I have, of course, taken issue with USC and the Pac-10 in the past for being weak. But this year, I have to give credit to USC for loading up the out of conference schedule – No. 8 Arkansas, No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 29 Nebraska – and to the Pac-10 for at least going to a nine-game conference schedule so everybody plays everybody else. With the 3rd-toughest schedule, convincing wins over the No. 7, No. 8, No. 21 and No. 29 and a two-point loss to No. 19 Oregon State, USC has earned their way into the BCS title game – assuming they get past UCLA next week.

Michigan: If the Wolverines get shut out of the BCS title game in part because they stopped playing Nov. 18, it would be a little bit of justice for the weakness of the Big 10. Michigan is a good team, but their season doesn”t compare to USC”s. I will say it”s ridiculous that Michigan is suffering from the idea that a rematch with Ohio State would be somehow undesirable. If Michigan were truly the second-best team, they should get a shot at the title.

Florida: I have a big problem with the fact that playing an extra game (a conference championship game) doesn”t seem to count for much in the college football world. I mean, is 12-1 not just inherently more impressive than 11-1? And when the extra game is almost guaranteed to be against a good team – it should count for a lot. But you hear precious little about that, which is wrong. That said, Florida is not a powerhouse one-loss team. Scheduling Central Florida (No. 110) and Western Carolina (No. 212) as out-of-conference games is inexcusable. Wins over No. 5 LSU and No. 9 Tennessee are nice, but none of the Gators” wins have been impressive. And beating No. 8 Arkansas Saturday will help, but not enough. The Gators will bitch about being left out of the title game, but they don”t deserve a shot.

Louisville: Yeah, no. Next.

Boise State: The biggest tragedy of the BCS is that major conferences have been pressured into letting joke teams like this into the mix if they manage to not fuck up their easy ride through their season.

Assuming USC gets past UCLA, the Trojans should and probably will play Ohio State for the title.

Outside of the BCS title game, there are a lot of questions about who gets in the BCS club and where they go, and a lot of that revolves around LSU.

With the extra title game now in the mix, there are 10 spots in BCS bowls. The selection process is a mix of traditional bowl alliances and make-up picks when a bowl loses its regular conference matchups, and it”s important to remember that no more than two teams from any conference can be in the BCS mix.

The big wrinkle here is whether Rutgers or Louisville wins the Big East. If Rutgers beats West Virginia next week, they”re in the BCS. And an 11-1 Louisville would be sitting there as a potential at-large pick. If Louisville stays ahead of LSU in the BCS rankings, there”s a case to be made for giving them an at-large spot.

Another thing in play is where Notre Dame falls. If they remain in the top 8 of the BCS, they get an automatic bid. With Boise State squatting on their pathetic automatic bid, giving Notre Dame a guaranteed spot would leave just two at-large spots. And Michigan has one of those.

If Florida beats Arkansas and West Virginia beats Rutgers, the BCS picture is fairly clear:

SEC Champ: Florida
ACC Champ: Wake / Ga. Tech
Big East Champ: Louisville

Big 10 Champ: Ohio State
Big 12 Champ: Nebraska / Oklahoma
Pac 10 Champ: USC
Pity Spot: Boise State
Champion of Being Notre Dame: Notre Dame
At-Large Lock: Michigan

At large contenders (one spot): LSU

There”s a chance Notre Dame might end up without their automatic bid, meaning two at-large spots open up (with Notre Dame probably a lock for one anyway).

But if things got wacky and Arkansas and Rutgers win next week, we”d be looking at three contenders (LSU, Florida, Louisville) for one at-large BCS spot. Ugly.

Ohio State is in the title game, which means the Rose Bowl gets the first pick to replace their Big 10 champion. And if USC also goes to the title game the Rose will have lost both its tie-in teams. So Pasadena is going to get to pick whatever matchup they want. They”ll gladly fill one of those spots with Michigan.

The second Rose spot will go to a BCS team not tied by its conference to a bowl. The contenders are Notre Dame, LSU, the Big East champion, Boise State, Louisville if Rutgers wins the Big East and Florida if they lose to Arkansas. Wisconsin is screwed because two Big 10 teams are already in.

The Sugar will get the SEC champion. If the champion is Arkansas, Florida and LSU will be sitting there as potential at-large BCS picks, with one team getting left out. In that scenario, LSU will probably be a top-5 team and ranked ahead of Florida … a team that beat the Tigers and has one more win than LSU. Would the Rose pick LSU over Florida? Probably. If the Rose didn”t pick LSU or Florida, the Sugar would quickly pass on rematches of the last two weekends and the Orange would probably take the Gators, leaving LSU out in the cold.

If Florida beats Arkansas, the Rose will choose from LSU, Notre Dame, the Big East champion, Louisville if Rutgers wins the Big East and Boise State. Yes, the idea of a Michigan / Notre Dame rematch is probably not desirable, and LSU has the momentum and buzz. But the Rose is funny for liking real old-school matchups, so I don”t discount the idea of Notre Dame backing into it. But after getting waxed by USC? Notre Dame”s star has fallen. The Rose wouldn”t take Rutgers if they win the Big East. But would they take Louisville as an at-large team? Maybe, but Louisville doesn”t feel right in the Rose Bowl. With Florida in the Sugar, the Rose looks likely for LSU.

After the Rose, the Sugar has the second at-large pick. If LSU is shunned by the Rose, would the folks in New Orleans go for an all-SEC matchup? Highly doubtful. If Rutgers wins the Big East, they or Louisville would be an appealing pick for the Sugar, and hopefully fill up a lot of hotel rooms in New Orleans. If the Sugar took an at-large Louisville, LSU would be out of luck for the BCS.

Then it”s the Orange, which is LSU”s other potential landing spot if the Rose went with Notre Dame. If the at-large spot hasn”t been filled, the Orange could take LSU, and might. But if Rutgers wins the Big East, chances are very good they and Louisville fill the vacancies in the Sugar and Orange.

The Fiesta is pretty well set, with the Big 12 champion tied to it and somebody having to take Boise State.

What all this boils down to is LSU needs Florida and West Virginia wins Saturday, and if those come off I might need to schedule some meetings at our Pasadena office the first week of January.

LSU / SEC Week 13 Recap

Broader observations on things to come, but a re-hash of this week”s SEC action: LSU / Arkansas – Thank God for Houston Nutt. As unimpressed as I am with Leslie, I have to think even Miles would know whether to play your offense that works or your offense that doesn”t work when you need to score a touchdown to keep your BCS dreams alive. I simply can”t understand the decisions he made at pivotal points in the game. With about 3:45 left to play, Arkansas declined an offensive pass interference call that would have put LSU in a 2nd and 25. Instead it was 3rd and 10, and JaMarcus hit Bowe for a first down … just like he always does in key spots. That likely cost Arkansas about a minute and a half and about 25 yards in field position.

And when they got the ball back with two minutes to play, did Nutt put Darren McFadden and the hard-to-stop “wildcat” offense in? Yeah, no. It was that Dick of a QB who”d managed to complete three passes all day. The result?

1st-10, ARK27 2:00 C. Dick incomplete pass to the right
2nd-10, ARK27 1:52 C. Dick incomplete pass to the right
3rd-10, ARK27 1:46 C. Dick incomplete pass to the right
4th-10, ARK27 1:37 C. Dick incomplete pass to the left

Strong finish, Houston. So much for those BCS hopes.

On our side, I don”t take issue with much of the game. JaMarcus was his typical strong self; our run game was adequate and considering out injuries at linebacker, the talent of Arkansas” run game and the X factor of that “wildcat” offense, I don”t much fault the defense for giving up 298 yards on the ground. The two fumbles were unfortunate, but those things happen.

Arkansas is an incomplete team. And LSU made them pay for that. So well done.

I blew the pick, of course.

Elsewhere, I got picks right except for Georgia. For the week, 4-2. Final stats for the year, 76-20.

LSU / SEC Week 13 Picks; Week 12 Recap

So, then – big game this Friday for LSU. And a bigger game for Arkansas. Everything has been decided as far as the SEC title race goes, but a win Friday is key to each team”s hope for a Top 5 finish. I think most objective folks looking at this game say Arkansas is a lock. They”ve won 10 in a row and look stronger every week. They”re more or less playing at home and need the game to stay in the BCS race (title game is a longshot, though).

As with every single game LSU has played this week, I think we have superior talent. Arkansas can be beat with the pass, and their run defense isn”t that strong, either. We”ve got talent to spare on offense, and our rush game has shown promise, rolling up 200+ yards against Alabama and Tennessee (but just 91 against Ole Miss). If we have a good offensive gameplan and actually execute it, we”ll be in good shape.

The key to stopping Arkansas, of course, is shutting down the running game. And while LSU has the nation”s 6th-best rush defense, the best rush offense we”ve faced is – I”m serious – ULL at 20th in the nation. Arkansas is 2nd in the nation with 230 yards per game.

So call our rush defense untested at best. And I”m concerned about Darry Beckwith being able to play (at full speed, especially), and a strong linebacker corps is key to stopping the Hogs” running game.

I think it comes down to this: LSU has to have a consistent and effective offense Friday to win this game. Unlike Tennessee and Ole Miss, Arkansas has the ability to control the ball and run clock. If Arkansas goes up by 13 late in the 3rd quarter, LSU can”t count on having the ball for 8 of the last 15 minutes like last week.

All that said, I need to make a pick. Faith in Leslie … or the expectation of more of the same? Sorry, I just can”t trust Leslie.

Hogs 24 – 20

Elsewhere … who really cares now?

I”ll say Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Georgia Tech win. The teams they play lose.

Last week, I went 6-1. For the year, 72-18.

Frustratingly Familiar

At no time during the LSU / Ole Miss game Saturday night did I worry that the Tigers would lose. Not when the Tigers went down 13 with 16 minutes to play. Not when LSU failed to convert a 4th down with 14 minutes left. Not when LSU almost turned the ball over and then had to punt with 5 minutes to play. Not when it came down to 4th and goal with 18 seconds left. And not when the game-winning PAT was blocked and the game went to overtime. No, it was a forgone conclusion that the Tiger talent would pull the game out in the end. JaMarcus, Bowe and Doucet are just that good. But here LSU was again, having to pull out a late victory over a clearly outmatched team. Tennessee is at least a decent team. Ole Miss just plain sucks.

LSU dominated the Rebels physically, running up 311 yards of offense to Ole Miss” 191. But the Tigers failed mentally.

After Ole Miss faked punts on two consecutive drives, LSU was not prepared for an on-side kick attempt (when Ole Miss was kicking from the 50 after a stupid personal foul on a PAT). LSU was offsides (again) on a kickoff, which turned a touchback on the first kick into a 56-yard return on the second – and Ole Miss” first touchdown … the on-side kick … another personal foul … and their second touchdown.

LSU opened the second half by giving up a 61-yard kickoff return and a 17-7 Ole Miss lead. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

By the end of the 3rd quarter, Ole Miss had 188 yards of offense and 20 points. LSU had 188 yards of offense and 7 points. LSU essentially handed the Rebels 17 points out of stupidity.

Extraordinary talent can overcome a lot of stupidity on the sideline, especially when it”s Ole Miss that Leslie is looking across at. But talent comes and goes. Stupidity sticks around.

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