All right; I'm running a little behind, for which I apologize, but yesterday was Valentine's Day and tomorrow is the Georgia High School Mock Trial regional competition, plus (believe it or not) I have a job, so it's been busy lately, which is why I haven't yet finished posting my 2007 College Football Blogger Award ballot. To that task I now return, providing you with my selections in what I consider the four least difficult choices of the eight conference-specific categories. These are they:
I'll admit I'm slightly biased---after all, Mike puts my alma mater and Vanderbilt neck-and-neck "in the race for 'SEC school I want to lose the least'"---but Card Chronicle makes cogent arguments that change minds and provides cautionary tales which produce Georgia victories over Auburn. When you help the Bulldogs beat the Plainsmen, however tangentially, you get my vote.
I hate Auburn.
Best Big Ten Blog
Eligibility rules prevent MGoBlog from winning again---and I don't know whether my colleagues over at Roll Bama Roll would remain on speaking terms with me if I voted for Brian this year, anyway (although I appreciated the nod from TheMile in the midst of this dispute regarding how this same issue was handled here a year ago)---so, in my mind, the clear choice in this category is the exquisitely well-named Black Shoe Diaries. (Egad, was that all one sentence?)
Mike---another Mike? huh; I hadn't really thought about that before---hosts the Blue White Roundtable, translates from the Paternese, and gets us S.E.C. types all riled up like a good Big Ten blogger should.
It's not just us S.E.C. types, though. Mike is unafraid to throw down with the Big East, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, or the Land Grant Trophy when the situation calls for it. Moreover, since I am the expectant father of my wife's and my second child, I greatly admire Mike for having remained a productive participant in the intercollegiate athletics blogosphere since he welcomed a new baby into his household last August.
A word of advice, SMQ: go with the "Annie Hall" reference again next year.
Best Pac-10 Blog
Inasmuch as Bruins Nation was ineligible to repeat as the winner of this category, I awarded my vote to Addicted to Quack. Since the Oregon Ducks weblog debuted in October 2006, Dave consistently has inspired commentary here at Dawg Sports; I can't think of better evidence of a blogger's quality than his capacity to produce content that encourages his coevals to think critically.
Really, you can't go wrong here. Burnt Orange Nation, MGoBlog, Rocky Top Talk, and The Wizard of Odds all are worthy contenders, and I could not conscientiously quarrel with anyone who mounted an argument in favor of any of those fine weblogs.
In the end, though, I had to go with the aforementioned Sunday Morning Quarterback, as my decision came down to the interrogative form of one of the affirmative assertions quoted on SMQ's site: "If I could only read one college football weblog for the rest of my life, which one would it be?" I likely would have gone with SMQ anyway, but, with defending champion Every Day Should Be Saturday out of the running, the answer was clear.
Speaking of EDSBS, by the way, I couldn't help noticing that, in all the back and forth referred to above, Orson sought to play moderator between the Alabama and Michigan camps, noting, inter alia, that he has "an NHL-worthy playoff beard right now."
Admittedly, the only way I would really know what that meant is if I watched a professional hockey playoff game, and we all know that isn't going to happen. (I haven't the foggiest notion whether the N.H.L. playoffs are over, are in progress, are about to happen, or are six months away from happening. Honestly, I remember there was an N.H.L. work stoppage, and I couldn't even tell you whether that was still ongoing. All I know is that the universities at which hockey is played are responsible for messing with the college baseball schedule, and we college baseball fans don't like it one bit.)
In any case, though, just for the record, Orson, old buddy, old pal, this . . .
. . . isn't a worthy beard, my friend; this . . .
. . . is.
Will it be beard versus beard by the St. John's River with a national championship on the line next fall? Evil Richt certainly hopes so. . . .
I'll post my selections in the final four categories soon, but, as I mentioned above, tomorrow is the day of the regional mock trial competition, which will take up most if not all of my Saturday, so the remainder of my ballot (as well as my writeup on tonight's gymnastics meet) may have to wait until Sunday.
Your patience is appreciated, as are your well wishes for the Luella High School mock trial team.