SEC Week 9 Predictions / Week 8 Recap

With LSU off and just two SEC games of any interest, this is not what we call a stellar Southern Football Weekend. Sure, there”s the annual World”s Largest Outdoor Beating of Georgia, and Tennessee can”t overlook the Cocks, but beyond that it”s a real snoozer of a weekend.

So then … No. 8.5 Florida vs. No. 25.5 Georgia: After five of the worst games Dawgs fans could imagine, it”s easy to call this one an easy Florida win. In fact, I”m going to go watch the game with a Gator buddy in the middle of a bunch of Dawgs just for the entertainment value. But if the Crocs go into this game laughing at UGA”s misfortune, they could get a rude surprise. Georgia winning this game is not out of the question. But I”ll go with the Crocs to be focused and ready. Florida 27 – 20

No. 8.5 Tennessee at No. 30 South Carolina: The Vols and Gators are both facing mid-level SEC East opponents in potential trap games that would derail hopes for the SEC Championship and BCS berth should they lose. But while the Gators are at the end of their tough stretch, the Vols are just starting one. The Cocks this week, followed by LSU and Arkansas. And if Florida wins in their 3:30 game, Tennessee will take the field at 7:45 with hardly a chance left to win the SEC East. South Carolina needs this game badly, not having a decent win yet this year. It wouldn”t be a shocker for the Cocks to pull this one out at home, but I have to go Vols. Tennessee 31 – 20

No 7 Auburn at Ole Miss: The Tigers churn along waiting for Arkansas to get back into SEC play and hopefully lose. Tigers 27 – 9

Vandy at Duke: Put some extra security at the libraries in Durham … the Dores are coming to town. Nowadays Vandy is a much better program than Duke. Dores 24 – 10

Kentucky at Mississippi State: It”s getting really embarrassing for Sylvester down in Starkville. He needs to win a conference game, and this is his last best shot. Bulldogs 18 – 6

UL Monroe at No. 14 Arkansas: The Hogs have another scrimmage weekend before heading in to South Carolina, Tennessee and LSU (MSU is in there somewhere as well). Arkansas 45 – 10

Florida International at Alabama: Please don”t confuse Florida International with Florida Atlantic, South Florida or Central Florida. These are the guys who put that last straw on Larry Coker”s back with that brawl against Miami. And they”re 0-7 in a conference where UL Lafayette is considered a decent team. Tide 49 – 10

Last week, I blew my wishful-thinking pick of Ole Miss over Arkansas, but otherwise got things right. I do think LSU was pretty uninspired in taking out Fresno, but given the weather and lack of fans, I can forgive.

5 – 1 on the week; 53 – 11 on the year.

Jeff Notrica makes a promise

Word on the street is that Inman Park Properties head guy Jeff Notrica spent a good part of today chatting about East Atlanta issues with those people who matter in the EACA and business community.

Promises were made. Generally speaking, from what I understand Notrica agreed that he has issues with some of his properties in East Atlanta. And apparently he”s agreed to do something about it. High on the list, apparently, is the demolition of the crack shack on Flat Shoals next to the East Atlanta Antiques building:

And the East Atlanta Lock & Key building (also known now as the East Atlanta Loiter & Drink):

Of course, tearing down his vacant buildings (which attract vagrants) requires permits, and permits take time. Given Notrica”s lack of action in East Atlanta to this point (can you say “John B. Gordon School”?), I”ll believe this when I see it. And I”ll let you know when the buildings come down.

In the meantime, I have a suggestion for Inman Park Properties and Jeff Notrica. The entire area behind the buildings you own on Glenwood Avenue between the Graveyard Tavern and the old Good News Cafe space is a trash-strewn, homeless-living pit of filth. You need no permits to hire a couple of garbage trucks to clean that place up. It could be done tomorrow.

So let”s see if that happens soon. I”ll let you know.

Awesome Atari Accessory

The fine folks at Computer Gaming World have opened up their archive of early issues as free PDFs. That”s interesting in itself, as it gets to the notion of online archives of things that were never online, the value of historical information, etc. But what I dove into first was the hunt for hilariously bad products in those early (1983!) gaming mags. And I found a great one:

Fantastic. How did I ever live without this? A few pieces of cheap wood nailed together by some guy in California – and available in “exotic hardwoods” as well – would have been a great place to rest that 2600 joystick. And all for $34.95.

A tour of Jeff Notrica’s East Atlanta

As I”ve mentioned before, there”s a man named Jeff Notrica who owns an awful lot of commercial property in the East Atlanta Village. Mr. Notrica has a development company named Inman Park Properties and through that company and various LLCs he controls more than two dozen commercial properties, many of which are currently vacant. At this month”s EACA meeting, Danny Glusman of Inman Park Properties requested that the residents of East Atlanta who do not believe Inman Park Properties is adequately maintaining its East Atlanta properties come up with a “punch list” of items that need attention. So today, the wife and I joined some neighbors to compile the list for Mr. Glusman and Inman Park Properties.

I”d like to present our observations and some pictures for those of you interested in East Atlanta. At the time of this writing, Inman Park Properties has not received this list, but I welcome any comments or rebuttals.

529 Gresham Ave (white storage facility)
- Repair Broken windows by the carport

- Remove loose trash from property
- Remove graffiti

Alley / parking lot behind Glenwood Ave retail strip (between Good News and Graveyard)
- Remove loose trash from property

- Empty overflowing garbage bins behind Pastifico Di Cameli
- Remove graffiti behind Pastifico Di Cameli
- Evidence of urban camping under stairs behind Pastifico Di Cameli; area needs to be secured
- Remove / secure open construction dumpsters in parking lot behind Gravity Pub
- Remove broken glass / window frames between construction dumpsters
- Mow / remove weeds and overgrowth from grassy area behind parking lot

- Add lighting to parking lot
- Evidence of urban camping in grassy area between parking lot and back of Blendz; area needs to be secured
- Post ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘No Loitering’ signs in conspicuous locations on property

There”s so much garbage and dumped trash behind these spaces, it”s hard to pick just one shot. This is an open, unsecured dumpster full of random dumped items.

Also a common theme behind all of these vacant stores is evidence of “urban camping”, which is the nice way Atlanta says bums are living there.

1259 Glenwood Ave (formerly Burrito Art)
- Replace sheets in window with a more uniform, more attractive covering
- Repair exterior damage

1263 Glenwood Ave (formerly Pastifico Di Cameli)
- Business sign is rotting and in danger of falling; please remove
- Remove “patio now open” sign
- Repair exterior damage

1267 Glenwood Ave (former Dollar Tree)
- Remove trash from doorway
- Remove graffiti from windows

1269-B Glenwood Ave (formerly Martini Girl)
* Paint exterior

567 Flat Shoals Ave (tan bldg. next to Kingfisher)

- Replace ‘For Lease’ sign – current sign has been tagged
- Remove trash and leftover construction materials behind building
- Mow / remove weeds and overgrowth behind building

1336-1350 May Ave (vacant lots)

- Remove loose trash on property
- Repair damaged fencing
- Mow / remove weeds and overgrowth

550 Flat Shoals Ave (Tucker Automotive)

- Remove graffiti from sides of building
- Repair broken drive-through gate in back
- Remove vegetation from roof (near back) of building and consider adding gutters
- Remove trash piled along fence adjacent to B&W Market
- Secure door in back of building, adjacent to B&W Market

1321 Glenwood Ave (B&W Market)
- Lot should be repaved
- Remove trash along fence line next to Tucker Automotive and next to 1331 Glenwood
- Evidence of urban camping / theft (bicycle tires, purses, etc) along fence next to T.A. – post no trespassing signs, consider adding security cameras to overlook this property and East Atlanta Lock & Key

- Unsecured fence between B&W and 1331

The B & W market has this amazing pile of trash pinned up against the fence of the property next door (which is also owned by Inman Park Properties)

1331 Glenwood Ave (vacant lot w/mobile home)
- Remove old tires
- Remove rusty oil drums / used oil filters

- Mow / remove weeds & overgrowth
- Remove loose trash from property
- Door / windows on building are unsecured; replace fascia boards and replace locks on doors
- Repair holes in fencing
- Post no trespassing signs

Another common theme is collections of old tires piled up on Inman Park Properties sites. This is one of the best ones.

1335 Glenwood Ave (vacant lot)
- Remove trash
- Mow / remove weeds and overgrowth

1332 Glenwood Ave (white house)
- Remove loose trash from property

0 Haas Ave (SunTrust / Crave parking lot)

- Repair/replace broken fence
- Remove graffiti from light posts
- Remove unused / abandoned newspaper box
- Remove loose trash

487 Haas Ave (vacant lot behind SunTrust/Crave Parking)

- Remove tires (including large tractor tire)
- Remove loose trash
- Mow / remove weeds and overgrowth
- Evidence of urban camping; add lighting, post ‘no trespassing’ signs

538 Flat Shoals Ave (East Atlanta Lock & Key)

- Repave lot
- Remove trash / debris (including grills, chairs, etc, left by urban campers)
- Post no trespassing signs
- Add lighting to parking area; consider adding security camera to patrol this and B&W

The East Atlanta Lock & Key building has become a gathering point for vagrants and generally sketchy-looking people. This will not be a postcard for East Atlanta, but it”s become the reality on this Inman Park Properties site.

462 Flat Shoals Ave (vacant house next to Antique Mart)
- Remove ‘squatters’ and clean trash out of property

- Repair/replace and secure windows and doors; consider adding security system
- Has become a garbage dump site; remove trash and repair / add fencing to prevent recurrence
- Repair rotting exterior boards and repaint exterior
- Remove dead unplanted trees at rear of property
- Remove oil drums / other environmental hazards from rear of property
- Remove graffiti from brick wall

- Mow, remove weeds and overgrowth
- Post no trespassing signs

There are so many problems with this abandoned house owned by Inman Park Properties, choosing one picture is difficult. There are clear signs that vagrants have been living inside; the building is shabby and deteriorating and the backyard has become a large dumping ground. This is among the bigger piles.

442 Flat Shoals Ave (Revolution Tattoo / Dentist office)
- Remove graffiti from sides of building
- Remove loose trash from property

- Repair back door behind dentist office (looks like break-in attempted)

1205 Metropolitan Ave (John B Gordon School)
- Repair open / broken windows
- Mow / remove weeds, overgrowth and dead plants

- Remove large dead tree along Metropolitan
- Remove falling signs promoting loft conversion
- Replace decaying fascia boards
- Remove trees growing inside building
- Replace loose / removed metal window security screens
- Secure open door in back of property (adjacent to BATL-grounds)

- Repair / replace damaged fencing behind Flat Shoals Ave and Brannen Towers
- Repair / replaced damaged fencing along Metropolitan Ave.
- Ensure gate on Metropolitan remains closed at all times; if gate must remain open for UMC parking, consider adding new fencing to separate parking from school building
- Remove trash / debris from behind cinderblock shed

Ah, the John B Gordon School. Inman Park Properties has owned this since 1999. The “coming soon” sign had to be updated to “Spring 2006″, but obviously that didn”t happen. It doesn”t appear a single bit of rehabilitation work has been done on the building. Things are so rundown that there are literally trees growing inside the building and coming out of the windows.

Inman Park Properties is supposed to secure the John B. Gordon School to keep vagrants out. The “No Trespassing” signs are nice, but when they don”t even bother to keep the back door locked, it”s hard to really secure the place.

So that”s our tour of Jeff Notrica”s East Atlanta. We hope this punch list of items to be addressed will be helpful. We”ll be sending the list to Danny Glusman as he requested, and we”ll be asking for updates from Inman Park Properties at the monthly EACA meetings.

LSU / SEC Week 8 Predictions / Week 7 Recap / General Apology

Jesus I”m slacking of late. A lot of my free-time attention is going toward The Buzz these days, and free time has been hard to come by. I”m a bad blogger.

So anyway, I blew a lot of picks last week (I shoulda taken Vandy!), going 4-2 on the week and now I”m 48-10 on the year. This week, LSU welcomes Fresno State to town. I”d thought about going down for this one, but then Hawaii put up 68 points on Fresno. Actually, I”m just too beat to lose another weekend to live football.

For No. 14 LSU, I smell a down week. Coming off the offensive practice session known as the Kentucky game, having Auburn not get their second SEC loss, knowing Fresno got 68 put on them last week, going in to an off week before the Tennessee game and having the game start so late, sharpness may be hard to muster.

Luckily, Fresno is really bad. LSU 31 – 24

Elsewhere in the SEC:

Alabama at No. 8.5 Tennessee: It”s been five weeks since Tennessee has faced a real team, having taken out lightweights Marshall, Memphis and Georgia before taking last week off. The Vols have hopes for the SEC East title again with Florida losing last week, so they have a lot on the line. Alabama has two conference losses and barely got past Ole Miss last week, but they”re not out of the SEC West race yet. The Tide plays two (LSU and Auburn) of the teams ahead of them late in the year, so if Arkansas stumbles badly, the door could be open if Bama wins out. But I think the Vols have the better talent, and they”re at home. Tennessee 24 – 17

Ole Miss at No. 17.5 Arkansas: This is the type of game where an over-achieving team like Arkansas could get exposed. Sure, they figured out Auburn pretty well, but they only beat Vandy by two points and Bama by one. They feel good about blowing away SE Missouri, have UL-Monroe to look foward to next week and poor little Ole Miss coming to town tomorrow. I think they call it a “trap game”. And I need the Hogs to lose. Ole Miss 24 – 21

Mississippi State at No. 24 Georgia: Is there any way Georgia could lose at home to MSU one week after losing at home to Vandy and two weeks after getting their vaginas handed to them (at home) by Tennessee? I suppose there is, but unless Georgia is truly an awful team, they”ll “hunker down” and take care of this one. Dawgs 18 – 10

South Carolina at Vandy: The downside of beating Georgia when you”re Vandy? The next team you play has an automatic motivation to not look past you. Cocks 38 – 24

Tulane at No. 7 Auburn: Tigers 45 – 13

The computers speak

The first week of BCS rankings are out, so that means the first full set of BCS computer rankings are out as well. Let”s see how the computers view things relative to the humans. BCS computer rankings as of Oct. 15:

1. USC
2. Michigan
3. Ohio State

4. Florida
5. Auburn
6. California
7. Notre Dame
8. Arkansas
9. Rutgers

10. Louisville
11. Boise State
12. Tennessee
13. Oregon
14. West Virginia
15. Texas

16. Clemson
17. Wisconsin
18. Boston College
19. Nebraska
20. Tulsa
21. LSU

22. Georgia Tech
23. ??
24. Missouri
25. ??

Nos. 23 and 25 are unknown because whoever those teams are, they”re not in the BCS top 25. So what are the big differences between the humans and the computers?

Computers like a lot more than humans:

- Florida (No. 4 by computers; No. 9.5 by humans)
- Arkansas (No. 8 by computers; No. 17.5 by humans)
- Rutgers (No. 9 by computers; No. 19 by humans)
- Tulsa (No. 20 by computers; No. 35.5 by humans)

Humans like a lot more than computers:

- West Virginia (No. 4 by humans; No. 14 by computers)
- Texas (No. 5 by humans; No. 15 by computers)
- Georgia Tech (No. 13 by humans; No. 22 by computers)
- LSU (No. 14 by humans; No. 21 by computers)

Keep in mind that the computers are only concerned with games that have been played so far, and don”t factor in point spreads or other “quality of win” factors (in the Sagarin ranking, for instance, USC would be No. 12 instead of No. 1 if margin of victory were included in BCS rankings). It”s basically “how good are the teams you”ve played … and have you won?”

Humans, of course, operate on the principle of “where were you ranked last week?” (based on “where were you ranked before you even played a game?”), “did you win or lose last week?”, “did teams ranked ahead or behind you win or lose?” and other factors that live in the minds of humans.

A key cog in the first BCS computer rankings is Arkansas. The Hogs lost to the No. 1 team and beat the No. 5 team. Their win over Auburn helps USC”s ranking, and having played USC helps Auburn. Compare that to Texas, who lost to the No. 3 team and beat the No. 28 team (Oklahoma). Humans say Texas is No. 5 and Arkansas is No. 17.5, but the computers say Texas is No. 15 and Arkansas is No. 8. And so USC is No. 1 in the computers and Ohio State (who beat Texas) is No. 3.

Being the first week of BCS rankings, there”s a lot of fluff in the computers. Florida ranks No. 4 because they”ve beaten No. 12 and No. 21 and lost to No. 5. West Virginia is way down at No. 14 because they”ve played nobody. They”ll climb in the computers when they play Louisville and Rutgers (who has also played nobody, but better nobodys than West Virginia … so they get a No. 9 initial ranking).

So Auburn fans shouldn”t get too excited about their initial No. 4 BCS rank (I can hear it now … “Ohio State and Michigan have to play each other, so one of those is out. USC will lose down the road … so the No. 2 spot is ours!”). Sorry. The BCS title game will be:

The Ohio State / Michigan winner (assuming the game”s winner goes undefeated)

vs.

a) USC (undefeated or with one quality loss)
b) West Virginia (only if they are undefeated)
or
c) The loser of the Ohio State / Michigan game (provider the loser has just one loss and the winner is undefeated)

LSU / SEC Week 7 Predictions

Outside of Auburn / Florida, it”s a pretty lame weekend in the SEC. So I”ll make this short and sweet. No. 3 Florida at No. 10 Auburn: Here”s the game where the SEC talking points are defined. Either it”s “Florida”s a shoe-in for the BCS title game after making it through their schedule” if the Crocs win or “an SEC team will never make the BCS title game again … the road”s too hard” if it”s the TigerEagles. The national press is in love with Florida and the Lebow offense now, so the easy call is Crocs win and keep rolling. But Auburn isn”t as bad as Arkansas made them look (and maybe Arkansas is better than we thought), so it”s compelling to pick the TigerEagles here also. With LSU as a common victim, I”ll lean on my takeaways from our games for some guidance.

LSU didn”t have much of a problem with Auburn”s pass defense (our problem was with the officials), as JaMarcus rang up a healthy 269 yards in the air. We didn”t run the ball worth a damn, but that”s not unusual. Arkansas certainly showed it”s possible. Florida showed how tough its run defense is against LSU last week, and while their pass defense is not spectacular overall, their game-changer defensive backs make it hard to win with the air attack. And Auburn doesn”t have much of a throwing game.

Given that Auburn has shown itself vunerable to both a pro-style passing attack and an imaginative run game (no, Jimbo, you can”t just hammer into their line), they might just be ripe pickings for Florida”s offense. I don”t know that Tim Tebow can physically survive playing full-time QB in the SEC (boy takes a lot of hits), but the Leak / Tebow combination is a unique and powerful one.

So I have to go Crocs here. Florida 24 – 17

Kentucky at No. 16 LSU: All I have to say about this is the LSU Athletic Department is throwing a load of bullshit at us with the “we can”t put a TigerVision game together in six days” crap. They just don”t want the embarassment of a potential non-sellout SEC game coming off the Florida loss and with a pathetic Kentucky team coming in. Tigers 51 – 27

Vanderbilt at No. 14 Georgia: I”m still really happy about the Vols ripping the Dawgs open. That”s all I have to say. Georgia 24 – 10

Ole Miss at Alabama: CBS should be ashamed for taking this game. Tide 24 – 14

SE Missouri at No. 22.5 Arkansas: Cupcake, anyone? The SEC West-leading Hogs need to prove their worth and gear up for their next test … in four weeks at South Carolina. Hogs 45 – 13

Jacksonville State at Mississippi State: Cupcake, anyon… wait, this is 1-5 MSU. SEC pride keeps me from not picking the Bulldogs. MSU 9 – 6

LSU / SEC Week 6 Recap

I”m not avoiding writing about the LSU / Florida game because, you know, TCL and I threw away an entire weekend to see the mess in person. I just don”t have a lot to say about it. We pissed the game away; time after time. The Wisdom is getting a lot of fresh traffic from the “fire les miles” crowd, but I”m not ready to go back there. Are muffed punts and kicks a sign of poor discipline? Sure. But let”s face it, the team just made too many mistakes. Unless Leslie”s game strategy was to give the ball back to Florida time after time, this was more of a off, off day than signs of Miles” incompetence. Not that I”m a Leslie fan now or anything …

And considering the five turnovers LSU had, Florida was held pretty well in check. We straight out gave them two points and handed them an easy seven on our muffed kicks, so apart from that they managed just 14 points. Without the multitude of LSU mistakes, the game would have been a different affair.

But alas, it was not to be.

Elsewhere in the SEC, Arkansas made many an LSU boy happy earlier in the day – and proved me wrong. And Vandy let me down in my pick of them over Ole Miss. But Tennessee ripping the toenails off of Georgia was almost satisfying enough to make the LSU loss tolerable.

For the week, 4-3. For the season, 44-8.

LSU / Florida Preview & Pick

I got no good analysis to give for No. 9.5 LSU at No. 5 Florida tomorrow. The Crocs are more battle-tested, having beaten both Tennessee and Alabama, and apart from the Auburn game there”s not much faith I can put in stats coming out of our games so far. Let”s face it: wins over ULL, Arizona, Tulane and Mississippi State aren”t good leading indicators for an outcome against Florida. All I know is this – LSU”s talent is being put to good use this year. And we probably have the best talent in the SEC. Yeah, we have no sense of a running game, but run defense is Florida”s strength anyway. So throw the backs into the line a couple of dozen times and let those Crocs feast.

Meanwhile, set JaMarcus free on the pass defense that gave up more air yards to Alabama than UL-Monroe did. It won”t be like ringing up a quick 35 on MSU, but there”s a winning game plan in there.

On the defensive side, LSU has to stop the pass when Chris Leak is in and stop the run when Tim Tebow takes the field. I”m still not all that impressed with Urban”s offense, especially when Leak tries to run it. If LSU can take away an effective passing game and force Florida into a running game, that”ll be a good sign. And DeShawn Wynn being out is a nice bonus.

Florida”s a good team, but hardly the scary foe you”d expect from a Crocs team with a guy like Leak running the show. We can take “em.

LSU 31 – 20

P.S. TCL will be down in Gainesville (and lodging in beautiful Starke, Florida) and sitting high up in the endzone for a birds-eye view of the action.

SEC Week 6 Predictions

Separate LSU / Florida preview and pick to follow.

The first meaty weekend of SEC v. SEC big-name matchups will go a long way toward defining the races in both the West and East sides of the conference. In the West you have the division”s two unbeatens – Auburn and Arkansas (Arkansas? seriously … they”re the other unbeaten? OK) squaring off and East unbeatens Florida and Georgia have top-tier games to get through on Saturday. No. 13.5 Tennessee at No. 9.5 Georgia: “Every great team has to overcome one two tough games against an upset-minded team …” Yeah, fuck off, Georgia fans. Oh, but with the return of superstar QB Joe Terrischiavo XMIV (9 of 20 for 108 yards before his vagina got hurt), the Dawgs are gonna roll all over the Vols!!! Yeah, OK. Vols 28 – 17

Arkansas at No. 3 Auburn: Could it be a game? Maybe. Auburn can look shaky (see the South Carolina game) and Arkansas can look good (see the Alabama game). But I have to figure Auburn will put their new, $45,000 laptop to good use and tighten things down after last week”s game and with Florida looming next week. Tigers 20 – 14

Vandy at Ole Miss: I have to go with the “Dores here. The Rebels were happy to have played Georgia so tough, but at some point they had to realize Georgia”s not very good. Vandy 27 – 21

Kentucky at South Carolina: The Cats are currently in third place in the SEC East. It”ll be important for them to remember that a month from now when they”re tied for last. Cocks 31 – 9

Duke at Alabama: It won”t be pretty when the Tide gets to open up on Duke after the Florida game. Tide 34 – 6

No. 4.75 West Virginia at Mississippi State: How awesome would it be for the undressing of the bullshit BCS contender to come at the hands of the SEC”s worst team? Maybe the cowbells will rattle the Mountaineers. A boy can dream, right? WVA 41 – 17

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