Saturday, December 29, 2007

Witness to history...and other Nashvillain news.

See title.

For anyone who considers him or herself a fan of football and the NFL (and I really mean a fan of football, and not just a fan of their team), tonight was a spectacle. The Patriots rolled in to the Meadowlands with everything (except their playoff chances) to lose, and even more to gain. The Giants, having already clinched their playoff spot, and having no shot at improving it with this game, merely had to not be embarrassed. It was up to Coughlin and his G-Men to decide whether they would let the Pats roll and make history, or if they would fight their hearts out and try not to be posterized by destiny.

Fortunately for football fans everywhere, they chose the latter. In what was one of the better NFL games I've seen all season, both teams left everything on the field. Typical late-game heroics on the part of Tom Brady and the rest of the Beantown kids sealed their fate in the history books. Trailing late, and looking pretty down and out, the Patriots all of a sudden decided it was time to take control. A long bomb to Randy Moss looked like it would be the game-changer until he dropped it out of his wide open finger tips and settled for an anti-climactic jog back to the huddle. Next snap, the play was identical, only this time Moss scooped the ball up in perfect stride and trotted in to the end zone to set four simultaneous records (50 passing touch downs for Brady, 23 TD receptions for Moss, most points scored in a season, and most touch downs scored by a team in a season). Moss had the audacity to do a little end zone dance and toss the ball on the ground. THE ball. The record breaker itself, he casually chucked it aside like it was nothing.

Of course, the Pats went on to win it. 16-0. I was witness to history today. Unfortunately for everyone, the amount of New England fans is going to increase 10-fold after the Sox recent success, and now the Patriots, and even the Celtics (whom I will be seeing in person against the Wiz on January 12th).

In other news...

I'm in Nashville, staying at the Renaissance Hotel downtown. Very schwanky hotel. It's no Opryland Hotel, where I initially thought I was staying, but it's no slouch either. Right off Broadway in the heart of Nashville, the Renaissance looms large in the home of country music. On my way to the hotel (in a bit of a roundabout detour), I saw a wax museum, three different Dukes of Hazzard themed stores and bars, two replicas of the General Lee sitting road side, several square dancing bars, horse and buggies, and all sorts of other country goodness. If this isn't the good old south, I don't know what is.

I asked my bartender what was fun to do around here. She lives in Nashville by way of Kentucky, and had little to say about the allure of Nashville. She did tell me that there is no shortage of jeans and cowboy hats at every turn, and that I could expect that and only that if I wandered down Broadway where the hot spots are for the night life here.

Along with the Kentucky and FSU entourages, there is a campus outreach convention here full of young, impressionable Christians from southeast region colleges, all staying at my hotel. I've never seen so many kids (and they do look very young, yet another sign of my gradual aging) drinking coffee and carrying bibles in a bar/lobby lounge.

For the time being, I am going to bore myself to sleep and hope that tomorrow provides a little more social excitement. At the least, I should have enough free time to watch my Skins take on the Cowboys for a playoff berth. Hope it's on TV here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

My sister and I decided to kick off this Christmas with the first annual Christmas Eve Day Flag Football Tournament. We are searching for a more...contemporary name. That one is a little long-winded, but it can't get much more appropriate and informative. We held the games at Severna Park High School. The turnout was a lot better than expected (about 20 people), but it wasn't quite enough people to make three teams for a round robin tournament. So we played two games with the same teams. Of course, the Renaut team won both games. The first was on a series of plays that could only be described as a Christmas miracle. After leading most of the game, our quarterback (yours truly) threw a costly interception that led to a score on the ensuing drive. Trailing 16-12 with 20 seconds left, we put our speed team on the field for the kick return. The ball went out of bounds, giving us one shot at the end zone from our own 20. It began as a totally botched play, with the pass rush coming in virtually untouched to get me. However, a quick-witted, sack-avoiding pitch back to my eligible center opened up the field for a little trickeration. A wonky duck-bomb by the former BYU safety fluttered downfield and was somehow snagged by one of our receivers on the 2 yard line. He tip-toed in to the end zone for the game winning score.

Game 2 was a different story. We jumped to a quick lead and never looked back, finishing a shortened second half with a 27-6 victory.

We all parted ways satisfied, and Christmas festivities ensued. Christmas eve dinner at my sister and her fiancee's house was delicious. We had a polyphase (that's a purely phonetic description, someone please correct me) roast and fried oyster casserole along with some hot cider with mulling spices and green beans sauteed in some sort of sweet Asian sauce. Pumpkin pie was the perfect dessert. We opened a present each, as is the Renaut tradition, and then settled in to watch the end of the Chargers win.

Christmas morning was more of the same. I was a little late getting to Liz's for the 10:30 start time, but I pulled up at the same time as my mother and grandmother, so all guilt was washed away. The base of the tree was surrounded with presents, and we quickly got to work. I got a good haul, bringing in everything I asked for and more. Tops on the list were my white, authentic 75th anniversary Sean Taylor jersey and a 21 towel from the tribute game at FedEx Field (thank you J/B). I also got some great Under Armour gear and my first set of *used* golf clubs so that I can pick up a new hobby (thanks E/Z). I got more sports memorabilia wall art than I know what to do with, and am now very excited to move in to a place with more wall space (read: buy my own house and decorate my sports/gaming room) (thanks M/D). In the meantime, I am loaded up with health foods and workout supplements to get my act in gear come New Years resolution time (thanks M/E). I also got some good airplane reading (Mayflower, by Nathaniel Philbrick) that I will open as soon as I finish Lloyd Pie's A Darker Shade of Red, about the truth behind redshirt football players back in the 50s and 60s when football was an entirely different sport. I think the most unique gift is the Easton family (one of my ancestral lines, very prominent family from Rhode Island, that claims the first governor of Rhode Island, appointed by the King of England) coat of arms I can now proudly display on my wall when I rearrange my current situation (thanks D).

Lots of candy and toys in the stocking, too, that I will regret enjoying all week.

On a darker note, I am feeling old. My half birthday is on the 27th, which puts me that much closer to 25. Nothing like the holidays to make you feel depressed about these kinds of things. Fortunately, I'm still a child at heart.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Creole Good-ness in the NOLA

Apologies to my faithful readers, but there was no internet in my hotel room in New Orleans (I's 2007, and it was the Intercontinental. Ridiculous.) No traveblogumentary action until now. But as repentance, I will include pictures of the trip in this post.

I landed in New Orleans, and it was like any other airport. Got my 4Runner and headed over to the Superdome to set up shop in the NFL Replay Booth used by the Saints. What a dump. I understand the tradition and the lore of the Superdome, and it's had some rough moments (see: Katrina refugee camp) in its past, but for such a famous stadium, it is pretty unkempt. The replay booth itself was cramped and stuffy. But installation went smoothly and I was out in about an hour or two. Time to hit the town. Except that didn't happen at all. I went to my hotel and stayed there for the rest of the night...not knowing an available soul in the entire city and not feeling adventurous enough to rough it solo.

So the fun had to wait until Jay arrived during the monsoon on Thursday. Apparently, the levees broke again (too soon?), because the 10 mile drive to the airport took about an hour due to highway flooding and bad drivers. Whose idea was it to settle on a swamp and turn it in to one of the most desirable party hot spots in the nation?

Regardless, Jay and I headed back to the 'dome to test out all the equipment, which all worked fine. We were out by 6 and headed back to powder our noses before really hitting the town Thursday night. Jay's friend Colleen (unfortunately, she's a UVA grad, but we let that slide) met us outside of Harrah's and we walked to Acme for dinner. Raw oysters for an appetizer, and a shrimp po' boy for the main course. Delicious. I love Cajun food more and more every time I go there. For the sake of parents who might be reading this, I will conveniently forget to include the number of drinks we had throughout the course of the night. Mostly because I couldn't remember if I wanted to, but also because they would be ashamed of me. We'll just say it was enough to enjoy myself.

From Acme we hoofed it to Pat O's (O'Brian's for the non-locals) to get some world famous Hurricanes.

The drink says "Have fun" so we did. There is a very cool fountain in the Pat O's courtyard, but the picture didn't turn out very well, so I won't post. We were supposed to meet the game officials at the Pat O's piano bar, but they were nowhere to be found. I think we missed them.

Next, we trudged up and down Bourbon street enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere. We ran in to Memphis fans and FAU fans alike, and always had a different story for why we were fans of one or the other. The Memphis fans were out in much stronger force, and had much more enthusiasm. It wasn't enough for their team, who lost pretty soundly the next day (after some serious injuries to key players, unfortunately).

Eventually, we got hand grenades from an actual hand grenade.

After a few walks up and down Bourbon St., we were shamefully enticed in to a slovenly little dive full of false promises that we never would have even considered in a sober state. Again, parents, please skip this paragraph. We decided the ads for a live sex show were pretty intriguing. Inside was a different story. What...a...slum. There was no sex, just strung out women trying to earn a living from the 3 or 4 people dumb enough to actually walk in there expecting something spectacular. Very disappointing. We promptly left after our required 1 drink purchase.

The dance club was next, which was the most fun in my opinion. Drinks were 2 for 1 and the music was good. There was a good size crowd. All in all, the night was a great experience. We stumbled back to the hotel around 1 or 2 AM 'cause we're old and that's as long as we could last.

The game itself was disturbing. The trio of knee injuries made me sick to my stomach. These were serious--almost McGahee quality--knee blows. Having blown out my knee, I definitely have a special place in my heart for those kids.

Next trip...Nashville on the 29th. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Covering a lot of ground here

After a season of perpetual disappointment, heartbreak, false hope, and tragedy in the Redskins camp, I finally resigned myself to accepting our shortcomings. This week, in my fantasy football playoff semifinal, I'm up against the #1 seed, whom I beat to close out the regular season. In what turned out to be a very close match up (only because I benched Aaron Stecker and Tony Scheffler in favor of Marshawn Lynch and Tony Gonzalez), the outcome of the game came down to my defense versus his tight end. Ironically, that would be the Giants DST versus Jeremy Shockey.

All season long, the Redskins offense has been very turnover and sack prone. And the Giants have been very good at causing turnovers and getting sacks. However, tonight, the Redskins exploded for a pretty thorough shellacking of the Giants defense (though they still might not win). So, they pick the one time it really matters to perform. That means I lose anywhere from $100 to $490 in fantasy championship money.

On the other hand, the Giants have looked absolutely pathetic on offense. They must have dropped at least 10 easy-easy-easy passes.

Virginia Tech basketball dropped another close game to ODU today. We had every opportunity to win the game, despite trailing for the entire showdown. The team is just too young. So much talent, but just not very smart on the court yet. They get excited and make rookie mistakes. It's understandable, but it's a frustrating turn from last year's team that was led by three 4-year starters and a couple of experienced sophomores and juniors. I'm very excited to see how Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney develop in the next couple years. Even throughout this season, once we get in to the rough 'n' tough of the ACC schedule meat.

In other news...

Christmas is coming all too soon, considering I didn't get my act together and order people's presents online ahead of time. I have about 1 day (tomorrow) to do all my Christmas shopping before I'm out of town for the majority of December. Guess it's going to be a long day. Hopefully it will be painless and efficient. Fortunately, my sister will be joining me for some company and to do some shopping of her own. Maybe once all is said and done I'll find someone who wants to see I Am Legend later on. I wonder if I have any recently unemployed friends who could be free...

I'm excited about my trip to New Orleans on Wednesday. My first trip there was marred with equal portions of illness and sadness. I caught some sort of stomach virus that was so painful I could barely walk. I ate about 3 bites of food the entire 4 days. After suffering through what should have been a Sugar Bowl win for VT over Auburn (one dropped touchdown pass away), I puked at the bus station waiting to get home so that I could suffer in peace and quiet at the house we rented.

This time around, Jay and I will have the city to ourselves. Bowl set up should be pretty cut and dry. We've been to the Superdome before, so they know what we need from them. Jay and I can get things set up quickly and just enjoy the city experience (read: spend the entire trip in the French Quarter and recount our lost memories via photographs when we get home on the 22nd).

That'll about do it for tonight. Long day of busy-ness tomorrow, so I need me some rest.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The 'Nooga

Chattanooga has been an interesting experience. I arrived in town Wednesday around 4:30 and went straight to the UT-Chattanooga football stadium to get set up. No delays, problems, hitches in the process. I was out in about 30 minutes. It's a pretty nice stadium, considering the quality of the program.

My hotel is a different story all together. The Chattanoogan Hotel is quite an establishment. In house, there is an amphitheatre, a premier spa, pools and fitness areas, a classy bar and restaurant (same place, run as two separate restaurants), and a strikingly beautiful lobby to greet you. The room itself is nothing special. The bed is pretty comfortable, but not wowingly so.

I had my first bout with embarrassment this morning. At some point during the Tuscaloosa trip, I sat in something unfriendly while wearing my only pair of khakis that I brought along on the trip. They are currently being drycleaned (I dropped them with the hotel cleaning service last night). Jeans are the only other option. The embarrassing part was walking in to the pre-game conference wearing jeans and a DVSport polo, only to find every other attendee (about 50) wearing a suit and tie. Ooops...

I tried to get a hair cut before the meeting as well, but everyone was booked up until long past 10:30. So I entered the room with a shaggy mop of unruly hair, tattered jeans, and a mesh polo. No one said anything.

The hair cut came later on, at a Great Clips across the river. It went fine I suppose. My Asian 'stylist' hardly knew English, but it didn't stop her from trying. After clearing up the confusion as to where Maryland is, geographically, she went on to compare the New York subway system and the DC Metro system. DC won on account of cleanliness.

That's all for now. Justin gets here soon, then it's over to visit with our women's basketball client and to test the replay equipment in the stadium.

Nothing else interesting to report.


Happy birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


This trip has been significantly busier than the Maryville visit. With a solid 10+ hours of work each day, I haven't had as much time to enjoy the town, let alone write about the things I'm not really doing. Each day goes about the same: up at 7, clean up and head over to the basketball arena where the video office is. We have been setting up a network for the men's and women's basketball teams to use for video editing.

The down time has been spent eating and sleeping. Food in Tuscaloosa is actually pretty good. We had lunch today at a little hole in the wall burger joint that was delicious. Big, greasy bacon cheeseburger and some fries. On the way out, we saw a beat up old Jeep Cherokee slam in to a BMW X5 at a traffic light. The Jeep driver wasn't paying attention. Squealing tires and a loud crash, it was bad enough for the Jeep's airbag to deploy. Everyone was okay, except for the cars. I feel pretty sorry for the person who has to pay for that X5 to get fixed.

After that, it was back to work until about 7. Everything is working as expected, which is rare when installing a server. I get to get out of dodge earlier than the rest of the group tomorrow to go set up instant replay for the FCS Championship game in Chattanooga. Dinner at Chuck's Seafood was surprisingly good. We had some fried green tomatoes and shrimp ceviche (if that's how you spell it) as an appetizer. Several different sushi rolls and some sashimi were finished off in about 15 minutes after it took over an hour for the food to come out.

Another night cut short back at the Sheraton. Tomorrow, it's back to the grind at the video office, then driving up to Tennessee. I'll be there until first thing Saturday morning.

Very excited about Saturday. Round one of the Flag Monkey's playoff run starts at 11am in DC. I'll be heading straight to the fields from Reagan National after my 7:30 flight lands at 9am.

Apologies for this post not being nearly as interesting as I'm sure the previous ones are. A mild case of writer's block has been torturing me since I arrived in the deep south.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Day 3: Home of the Bearcats

The final day in Maryville has wrapped up. First thing this morning, we met with the on-field officials for a pregame replay discussion. It's a good group of guys from the Lonestar Conference in Texas. Obviously not a big football conference, but if there's anything Texas knows, it's certainly football.

Lunch at Applebee's was uneventful. The restaurant was pretty full around 12:30. A man in a Grand Valley sweatshirt recognized us as part of the replay crew by our company logo and chatted briefly with us about his grievances with the NCAA. According to him, the Lakers were cheated out of home-field advantage because of an official ruling to end a game early due to lightning. Because it didn't count as a win, their strength of schedule wasn't strong enough to get their deserved advantage. And so, the Lakers made the trek down from Allendale, Michigan to Maryville (634 miles).

The game was actually very exciting. Both programs are pure class, from the coaches and administrators down to the players and managers. While there were several minor penalties throughout the game, there was very little extracurricular jawing and fighting, despite the significance of the game and the history of the matchup. As for the replay system, we learned that our wireless headsets do not function in extreme conditions. At 4 degrees with wind chill and with a constant spattering of freezing rain and mist, the headsets had to be switched out twice for thawed units from inside the booth.

After all was said and done, we only stopped the game once for a critical spot review. Grand Valley went for it on 4th down and barely made the first down. We stopped it to appease the coaches and to let everyone know we had our eyes on everything. The on-field guys made the right call in giving the Lakers the first down.

The game ended strangely. With only a few minutes to go, and NW Missouri State nursing an 18 point lead, GVSU's coach ran across the field and had a private conversation with the NWMS coach during a timeout. From there, the Lakers ran out the rest of the clock. I can only assume he said 'Good game. This weather is atrocious and we want to get the hell out of here. We concede.' I'm not sure I like the call. It is both classy and classless at the same time. He may have saved a lot of people from unneeded exposure to the elements, and saved some from injury. But he also betrayed his players and his fans. Maybe something happened that we missed. Maybe that's exactly how it played out. I don't know.

I do know that we did a pretty good job of packing up shop and getting out of there afterwards. It took longer to get the half inch layer of ice off our car windows than it did to pack up the replay system.

Early afternoon flight tomorrow out of Kansas City means an early morning. To Northwest Missouri State, thanks for the hospitality. Congratulations on the win. We'll see you and Delaware in Florence next week.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Day 2: Maryville, MO

And the excitement continues. The morning started slow. If this town is anything, it's laid back and relaxed. With not a whole lot of work to do at the stadium, Aaron and I roamed the 'downtown' district looking for a decent restaurant to serve us lunch. What we found was that nothing, on the outside, looked like a decent restaurant. We decided on a place called A&G Restaurant, which looked more like a hunting lodge than anything else from the road.

Fortunately, we learned here not to judge a book by its cover. The food was fantastic. I had my very first Monte Cristo. For those of you who don't know what a Monte Cristo is, don't feel bad. I will include the recipe so that you don't have to ask the ignorant question. And by recipe, I mean dumbed down description. It's just a complex sandwich. You take some bread, throw on some sliced ham and turkey along with swiss cheese, and then close the sandwich. It is dipped in batter and lightly fried, then dusted with powdered sugar. Served with a raspberry dipping sauce, this Belgian treat is absolutely worth the food-induced itis that is inevitably included in its price. Your task: find a common side dish that goes well with this brunchy sandwich. Fries weren't the trick.

From there, we headed over to the stadium and met the ESPN2 production team. They were friendly enough compared to your average television production team. Generally, they are a grumpy, no-nonsense group. After several hours of waiting for their video guy to hook us up with a line feed so that we could test the replay system, we gave up and left for the hotel and a quick nap (in our own respective rooms of course). Our replay official had made his grand entrance to Maryville, so we joined up with him later and headed to the all-staff meeting. This is where things got fun.

These Division II programs are so excited to be on national television, and so inexperienced with the minor trivialities involved in the general operation of a televised game. We actually fielded questions from the athletic director.

For dinner, we returned to A&G with our distinguished replay official. He promptly began hitting on our bartender/server, who quickly spurned his advances with mention of an intelligent, controlling daughter, aged 7-going-on-24.

Nothing more to report, for now. Hopefully something good is on basic cable tonight. In the meantime, I hope this obnoxious alarm ringing in the Super 8 goes away soon. I think dogs everywhere are howling.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day 1: The Show Me State

Ever been to Missouri? No? You're not alone. Home to the St. Louis blues, the Arch, Yogi Berra and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the "Gateway to the West" is exactly that. A great place to pass through. But if you do intend to come to Missouri, here's what you should know.

Next to New Orleans, Kansas City is the most lax city in the United States when it comes to drinking. There are no open container laws. There is no regulation for alcohol sales, meaning even drug stores and gas stations can sell hard liquor. Parents can legally serve their children alcohol. There is no such thing as 'drunk in public' and absinthe is permitted. But, as with most things, you have to take the good with the bad.

The bad is the weather, and the general lack of anything worth doing. On the 2 hour drive from Kansas City to Maryville--where the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats call home--we saw absolutely nothing but horses, cattle, and open fields. That, and a freak starter blizzard that put about 4 inches of snow on the ground in 3 hours. The state doesn't seem overly concerned with plowing roads (though one man in a golf-cart-turned-snow-plow was trying in vain to plow the football field while we set up instant replay...every 20 yards he plowed, the previous 20 was covered up). In hindsight, the 50% off upgrade offer for an SUV probably shouldn't have been declined. We thought a Chrysler 300M sounded nice enough.

After a few slips on the road and a brief encounter with death and an 18-wheeler in the oncoming traffic lane, we made it safely to the NWMS stadium and completed the fastest replay install in the history of DVSport.

Next stop, WalMart and our temporary place of residence at the Super 8 Motel. Smoking rooms only available. Dinner at Applebee's was an immediate disappointment when I remembered the Redskins game was on NFL Network, which is carried by no one.

As for the rest of the evening, I have been confined to my dank hotel room watching Villanova get pummeled in basketball and trying to keep up with my 'Skins with live stats online. Not a fun way to enjoy a football game.

Post-publishing note: Villanova came back from a 21 point deficit to take their first lead with about :5 seconds left in the game on a 35-13 run to beat LSU. One of the more exciting final 10 minutes of a basketball game I've ever seen.

And, go Redskins!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Well, planes and automobiles at least. Winter travel plans are pretty much set for me. I think I might cover the entire Southeast/Mid-Atlantic region of the US in a one month time span.

Tomorrow, it all begins.

Flying from Baltimore to Kansas City, MO: 1,077 miles.
Driving from Kansas City to Maryville, MO: 93 miles.
Attending: Grand Valley State at Northwest Missouri State DII Football playoff game.
Driving back to Kansas City and flying back to Baltimore: 1,170 miles.
Trip 1 Total: 2,340 miles.

Home for about 2 hours before it all starts again.
Flying from DC to Atlanta: 638 miles.
Driving from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa, AL: 202 miles.
And back to Atlanta: 202 miles.
Driving from Atlanta to Chattanooga, TN: 118 miles.
And back to Atlanta: 118 miles.
Flying back to DC: 638 miles.
Trip 2 Total: 1,916 miles.

Home from the 15th to the 19th, then the much anticipated New Orleans trip comes.
Flying from Baltimore to New Orleans: 1,122 miles.
Attending the New Orleans Bowl, pitting Memphis against FAU.
And double it coming back: 1,122 miles.
Trip 3 Total: 2,244 miles.*
*Note: May not remember Trip 3. Photos to come.

Home from the 22nd until the 29th, when the travel continues. The fourth and final trip for the bowl season is the real killer.
Flying from Baltimore to Nashville, TN: 702 miles.
Attending Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Florida State.
Flying from Nashville to Orlando, FL: 687 miles.
Attending Capital One Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida.
Driving from Orlando to Miami, FL: 239 miles.
Attending BCS Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas.
Flying from Miami to Mobile, AL: 724 miles.
Attending GMAC Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Tulsa.
Flying from Mobile to Baltimore: 1,008 miles.
Trip 4 Total: 3,360 miles.

Total distance traveled between December 6th and January 7th: 9,860 miles.

Game analysis to come as we go. I will try to keep this up as I make it from game to game. I plan to start my own travel brochure for each of the illustrious cities I will call home this December/January. Frommer is going to be crying himself to sleep, come February.

If anyone knows someone who will be, 1) in Nashville for New Years, and is, 2) outgoing and fun, plus 2b) would bring a complete stranger along on their New Years plans, and 3) is less shady than Jacko around children, please let me know. I'll be flying solo in the Music City for New Years Eve.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

This spot hot!

I love the ambience. I love the decor. I spend a lot of time tryin' to figure out which one I like more.

But, who is Beethoven? And what is a fresh of breath air?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

BCS Bungle

Not sure how they came up with their selections, but for the most part, they seem pretty reasonable.

Despite the fact that Virginia Tech is ranked #1 in the computers, the media aren't high on the Hokies and so they relegated them to the #3 spot overall. But drawing Kansas in the Orange Bowl is definitely a good thing. I'm looking forward to the match up.

I couldn't be happier about Pitt upsetting the Mo'Town Mount-me-neers and dashing their title hopes. The Big East is a joke, and everyone should realize it. Here's to hoping Oklahoma wins by 28.

LSU should make quick work of a slow, rusty, and overrated Buckeye squad. I think I, along with most of rational America, would have preferred to see Oklahoma or even USC in the title game against LSU. But OSU rolled through the magnificent Big Teneleven as usual with zero quality wins and tip-toed their way in to another BCS Championship game.

Hawai'i gets my vote. I'd love to see them pull out a win. They are facing a Georgia team that is as good as anyone in the country right now. We'll see if the Samoan Warriors are for real when Knowshon rumbles in to N'Awlins for the matchup.

USC against Illinois is a joke. There is absolutely no reason to have Illinois in a BCS game. Basically, they ran out of good teams to include, so Illinois defaulted. Missouri got snubbed worse than Auburn a couple years ago. If the Trojans don't have that game put away in the 2nd quarter, that means they are toying with the Illini.

Non-BCS bowl worth watching: Missouri vs Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Might be a better game than most of the BCS match ups.

And that's that. After 14 weeks of excitement and upsets, we have our BCS selections.