30 NOV 08: NICK, NOT RICHT
Well, what do you know - my weekend college football predictions were two-thirds right. And I'm so happy by the one I had wrong, I still feel like all's right with the world....
BIG PREDICTION UPDATE: My big hunch proved right Saturday, when Georgia Tech topped Georgia 45-42. Maybe it's simply a sign I'm getting older - because a polling firm actually did a survey on the game, and found people are more likely to support the Yellowjackets as they age.
Georgia Tech trailed 28-12 at the half, but rallied to win by rushing for a total of 409 yards. If you think about it, this only makes sense - since people aren't normally "ramblin'" when they're traveling by air.
Georgia Tech's defense held Georgia's Knowshon Moreno to 97 yards in rushing. He could have been in the running for the Heisman Trophy - but he needed to run for more.
Both Georgia and Georgia Tech wind up with 9-3 records, but they're being viewed in very different ways. Some call Georgia Tech the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the Sin City Inquisition and Bar-B-Q blog in East Alabama calls this Georgia's worst season since Mark Richt became coach. And you thought rivalry games don't matter?!
It appears Georgia will play in Orlando 1 January in the "Capital One Bowl" - possibly against Ohio State. This could open the door for a Columbus vs. Columbus bet on the game. But Mayor Jim Wetherington may have given up all betting, when he became headmaster at Calvary Christian School.
WRBL reported Senator Saxby Chambliss was at the Georgia-Georgia Tech game. The UGA grad reportedly wore garb from both schools -- which makes him look even more desperate than Sheriff Ralph Johnson with that public forum.
(If Jim Martin was at the game, the Saturday night news reports didn't mention it. Maybe he made a sneaky trip to Chicago, and submitted a resume to the Obama transition team.)
On the other side of the state line, Alabama annihilated Auburn 36-0. This started as the Iron Bowl, but wound up more like the Iron Fist Bowl....
Nick Saban coached the most lopsided Iron Bowl win since 1962. But perhaps more noteworthy, it was Alabama's first shutout win in the Iron Bowl since the national title season of 1992 -- in which Alabama beat Florida to win the Southeastern Conference championship. Is there still time to move next week's game to Legion Field?
With Larry Munson's retirement, Alabama's Eli Gold has become the most colorful college sportscaster in the Southeastern Conference. At one point Saturday he noted the Tide was up "22-nil - which means 22 to nothing, for those of you who don't follow soccer." I'm not sure even the Auburn youth soccer league uses that word....
(Then there the surprising revelation from Eli Gold that he saw Alabama native Taylor Hicks performing in "Grease" on Broadway. Eli Gold, on Broadway?! Well, he WAS born in Brooklyn - and his body does seem built for a Broader Way.)
Over in the Auburn broadcast booth, Stan White described a fourth-quarter march by Alabama as a "hobnail boot" drive. Nice try, Stan - but you need a gruffer voice to copy Larry Munson's phrases.
Auburn winds up with a 5-7 record, and no post-season game for the first time in nine years. The Tigers needed the Iron Bowl to advance to a bowl - but if you can't win the bowl for making a bowl, your season is little more than bowl-oney.
Somebody's gotta say it - Auburn was 4-2 with Tony Franklin as offensive coordinator, and 1-5 after Tommy Tuberville fired him. If Franklin winds up as the new head coach of Mississippi State, we'll know who to give partial credit for it....
(And another thing: if this was baseball, wouldn't we already declare Auburn under the DeRon Furr curse?)
But Alabama's red elephant was the only one to smile this weekend. The Gainesville High School Red Elephants lost to Carver 28-14, in the AAA playoffs. So much for that childhood joke -- how do you stop a red elephant? Take away his book collection....
Carver won a coin toss Saturday, and will host Cairo in the AAA semifinals next Friday. Let's be polite now, football fans. Just because the Syrupmakers are coming, you should NOT throw french toast sticks at them.
Oh yes, I almost forgot - my alma mater Kansas proved one of my predictions wrong, by upsetting Missouri 40-37. After checking the schedule, I'm hoping this might put the Jayhawks in the Independence Bowl. I could adjust work commitments to travel to that game - although it admittedly sounds weird to long for a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana.
E-MAIL UPDATE: Our Friday "Spam-a-Rama" special moved a candidate to comment....
I'm surprised you didn't included some of the local politItitians in your assessment of spam messages with political themes. The Ledger Enquirer Editorial Board did, they declared Sheriff Ralph Johnson as earlier winner of the Sheriffs Race, "I appears they were wrong about that too". VOTE! MARK LAJOYE MUSCOGEE COUNTY SHERIFF 2012.
But I didn't receive any spam messages about local candidates -- at least nothing mentioning their names in the title. I did find this one in the archives, though....
"MY THRIFT AS MARSHAL"
Having no opposition for re-election makes it easy, Mr. Countryman.
OVERHEARD OVER HERE: A group of men is talking about our country's financial mess. One is pondering where to invest his money.
"Put it in a loan office?! No wait, they depend on credit...."
While you ponder that deep discovery, we'll check other notes from the holiday weekend:
+ More than two-and-a-half inches of rain fell on Columbus. The timing was absolutely perfect for me. I took a Friday evening nap around 8:00 -- and it wound up lasting ten hours, with one short break to turn off the lights.
+ A gas fight seemed to erupt in Ladonia, as three stations along U.S. 80 lowered their prices to $1.60 a gallon. Several places in Opelika have the lowest price in Alabama, at $1.57. This is what happens when they play the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa.
+ Columbus fire crews were called at least twice to Golden Park, because emergency alarms mysteriously sounded. C'mon now - I wasn't jogging THAT fast when I went by it Thursday.
+ Several reports indicated the Columbus Chamber of Commerce wants Susan Andrews named Muscogee County School Superintendent. This is a little surprising to me - since she's currently in Harris County, and the other finalists would mean a lot more money for local moving companies.
+ The Springer Opera House premiered its year-end production of "Peter Pan." WLTZ attended a rehearsal, and showed some of the actors really do fly -- which makes you wonder why it's not sponsored by the Columbus Airport.
+ The Auburn men's basketball team lost to Northern Iowa 67-61. This may sound bad, but remember -- Northern Iowa plays in the Missouri Valley Conference. Auburn's team simply is down, as in a valley.
+ Instant Message to WRBL: Now wait a minute here! It's one year since the Manchester plant explosion - yet it's a "developing story"?! What's developed about it since last December? Or does that phrase mean you shot the video with a film camera?
SCHEDULED THIS WEEK: Can a disabled man become a police chief? We're told someone in our area did....
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