As Orson announced earlier today, the ballot box is open for business, so now is an opportune moment at which to continue setting forth my 2007 College Football Blogger Award ballot. We turn now to the second set of categories:
I'm not going to lie to you . . . I'm a little disappointed I didn't get nominated in this category. I mean, I know The Sound and the GameDay was a little on the esoteric side (although it's not like Faulkner references are entirely unheard of in the blogosphere), but you're telling me The Last Will and Testament of Orson Swindle didn't make the grade? In the words of Gob Bluth, "Come on!"
Speaking of Gob Bluth, though, it really wouldn't have mattered if I'd been nominated, because the deserving winner in this category is obvious. As thoroughly as I enjoyed Vishnu's "I Picked the Wrong Weekend to Visit the Lake" and Orson Swindle's "Who's Now: Tom Brady Versus Galactus" (as well as another non-nominee, Orson's profane post-Cocktail Party tirade, which, for my money, was both hilarious and analytical), the clear winner is The Joe Cribbs Car Wash's application of "Arrested Development" to the S.E.C.
Although the theme is a familiar one (viz., my own look at "Grey's Anatomy," among many others), Jerry Hinnen did it as well as it can be done, so much so that, in my opinion, Jerry's posting is the "When Harry Met Sally" of its genre; namely, the pitch-perfect epitome of the field which renders all future attempts to duplicate its brilliance superfluous.
I would ask that Galactus, Vishnu, and all other destroyers of worlds accept my apologies for voting against them. Please don't annihilate my home planet in retribution.
Once again, I have to toot my own horn just a little here . . . did my exegesis of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network really not rate a nod here? I'm just asking.
I'm not bitter, though, because there's some great stuff out there, and, as much as I enjoyed Brian Cook's breakdown of the Michigan coaching search, there is no doubt in my mind that the best analytical posting of the year came from Chris Brown's Smart Football, which is (of necessity) infrequently updated but always insightful. His work was exceedingly useful to us in Bulldog Nation as we looked ahead to Georgia's date with the Warriors in the Sugar Bowl, but Chris set the high water mark in 2007 with "The Divide Route in the Multiple Smash Concept," which was as fine an application of Xs and Os as the blogosphere produced last year.
Orson Swindle. (Well, before he sold out and went to work for The Sporting News, anyway.)
Here, too, it seemed crystal-clear which was the most worthy nominee. I take nothing away from the fine community interaction evident at each of the weblogs included in this category, but Bruins Nation proved to be a more articulate, research-based "FireRonZook.com," but also so much more than that. (Anyone who thinks Nestor and his numerous contributors are single-issue Karl Dorrell-bashers has not followed Bruins Nation's consistently excellent hoops coverage.)
During U.C.L.A.'s roller-coaster ride of a 2007 season, Nestor moderated an ongoing conversation by the myriad of impassioned Bruins fans who hashed out the minutiae in painstaking detail, rebutted every effort to defend the doomed football coach, and analyzed exactingly the pros and cons of every possible successor who might be brought in to guide the program back to prominence. While Nestor and I take somewhat different approaches, and while I have many more misgivings about Rick Neuheisel than do the U.C.L.A. faithful, I cannot deny Bruins Nation its rightful status as the most active and invigorating on-line community in the intercollegiate athletics blogosphere.
(I would add, by the way, that, while I was kidding about Dawg Sports not being nominated in some of the other categories, I'm not kidding when I say that I want to see this weblog nominated for Best Community next year. There are a number of regular commenters here at this site---I will not name them, lest I inadvertently omit one of you---and MaconDawg and I are particularly proud of the quality of the conversation that goes on here. Keep up the good work and we---"we" meaning all of us, not just MaconDawg and me---can earn this honor in 2008.)
We'll be taking a look---O.K., by that "we," I really mean me---at the next four categories tomorrow.