It’s Over

Well, it’s over.

There will be no national championship for Georgia in 2008.

I told you as much back in April, when I predicted losses to Florida and Auburn that would take Georgia out of the national championship picture.  Never in my wildest dreams, though, did I suspect that Georgia’s elimination from the national championship picture would come this early in the season.

There are still over two months of football to be played.

There are still several teams with a realistic shot at the 2008 national championship.

Georgia is no longer one of them.

That much was abundantly and manifestly clear after that fiasco in Athens Saturday night.

ESPN, which for years has reveled in the opportunities which have come their way to heap utter degradation and ridicule upon Georgia before national audiences, seemed to know that something was up when they picked up this game for their Saturday night prime time slot and then brought College GameDay to the Myers quad.

Georgia should have seen this coming.  If we had been paying any attention whatsoever to what was going on in the world of college football this weekend, we would have seen it coming.  Southern Cal got beat Thursday night.  Florida got beat Saturday afternoon.  Two other top 10 teams got beat as well.  Surely we had to know that we were next, if we were honest enough to admit it to ourselves. Continue reading “It’s Over”

Quick Hit: Lifeway and Women Preachers

Some of you may have heard this story already, but for those of you who haven’t, here is the Fox News version.

Gospel Today’s latest issue features five big time women preachers on the cover.  And because of that, Lifeway has pulled the magazine from its shelves and is selling it from behind the counter as if it were Playboy or Hustler or some other porn magazine.

There is a slight problem with the Fox News story: it says that the Southern Baptist Convention pulled the magazine from the shelves.  To be sure, Lifeway is affiliated with the SBC, but their affiliation is such that it is not possible to say that the SBC pulled the magazine when in reality it was Lifeway that pulled it.  Lifeway has a certain amount of autonomy when it comes to deciding what to put on its shelves, and it was within this autonomy that they made the decision to pull the magazine.

Having said that, it is still not a good thing that the Gospel Today magazine was pulled because it had women preachers on the cover.  It strikes one as a strongly authoritarian measure intended to suppress discussion of the issue of women in ministry.  The Bible says one thing about the issue, and that is that.  No discussion allowed.  No possibility that someone who believes the Bible sincerely and wholeheartedly might read the passages in question and come to a different conclusion.  No, if you come to a different conclusion then you just don’t believe the Bible and that’s all there is to it.

The ordination of women preachers is not just a liberal mainline Protestant thing.  It’s happening right here in our evangelical neck of the woods.  African-American evangelical churches have read the Scriptures and have come to the conclusion that the calling of God to preach does not stop with the male gender.  Many Pentecostal and charismatic churches have likewise concluded that the gifting and calling of the Holy Spirit do not discriminate according to gender.

Clearly there are differences within evangelical Protestant-dom on the role of women in ministry.  Different people and groups have read the relevant passages of Scripture and come to different conclusions.  These differences need to be talked about, and the actions of Lifeway do not do anything to help further this discussion or even to promote an atmosphere conducive to such a discussion taking place.

Tracy Reiman: Human Breast Milk for Ice Cream?

It has come to the attention of the staff here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion that some people out there think it is evil for us to be using milk from cows to make ice cream.  Tracy Reiman, who speaks on behalf of PETA, wrote a letter to Ben and Jerry’s suggesting that they use human breast milk instead of cow milk.

And just who would be supplying this milk?  Did Reiman volunteer to supply it?  Did she agree to do so in exchange for Mardi Gras beads?

Somebody out there has WAY too much time on their hands.

Quick Hit: Black Jerseys

For those of you who haven’t heard the news, Georgia is wearing black jerseys for tomorrow’s big game against Alabama.

Atlanta Journal/Constitution sports columnist Terence Moore says that the “blackout” is not a good idea because, if repeated often enough, it will lose its effectiveness.  The blackouts of 2007 were effective in motivating the team and fans because it was a fresh concept then.  But if the black jerseys come out too often, it will get really old really fast.  He uses the example of Notre Dame, who first started this whole jersey-switching thing back in 1977.  Southern Cal had beaten Notre Dame for several years in a row, and so when it came time for Notre Dame-Southern Cal 1977, then-coach Dan Devine had the team switch from their usual navy blue jerseys to green jerseys right before kickoff.  This so surprised and energized the team and fans that Notre Dame blew Southern Cal away by 30 points.  But in the years since then, other coaches have tried the green jersey thing, and the results have been simply dreadful at times.  In 1995 they busted out the green jerseys for their Fiesta Bowl game with Colorado and got beat by 17 points.  And in 1999 they broke them out again for the Gator Bowl and got beat by Georgia Tech 35-28.

Georgia tried a similar thing a few years back.  For those of you who don’t recall, let me refresh your memories:  In the 1997 Outback Bowl Georgia went up against what was supposed to be an extremely tough Wisconsin team.  They did their pregame warmups in white jerseys (because they were the “visiting team”) and the traditional silver britches.  Then, right before kickoff, they went back into the locker room and came out wearing black pants.  This greatly energized the team and surprised the fans; Georgia rolled to a 33-6 win.  So in October 1998 Georgia went down to Jacksonville and busted out the black pants again, apparently hoping for a similar result.  This time the result was simply dreadful; a 38-7 loss to Florida.  When Georgia got back to Athens, they immediately buried the black pants in a top-secret vault somewhere in the deepest bowels of Butts-Mehre, and never again have they seen the light of day.

I love the idea of wearing black jerseys for big games–once, maybe twice, a year–if that.  But even at that rate, it could get old really quick.  And what happens when we lose our first game or two in the black jerseys?  Will they join the black pants in that top-secret vault at the bottom of Butts-Mehre?

Comments, anyone?

Alastair on Same-Sex Marriage

Today I would like to direct your attention to a post from Alastair at Adversaria which deals with the subject of same-sex marriage.  Alastair is responding to a piece written by another blogger which contends that marriage ought to be viewed as a close, deeply significant personal relationship out of which procreation is merely an overflow, and in light of that, there ought to be no problem with the church granting its blessing to same-sex marriages.

Alastair responds by saying that marriage is more than a deep personal relationship between two people; if marriage were simply a close personal relationship it would not enjoy the privileged position in the church and in society that it has held for so long.  Instead it is a commitment before God and before society, a commitment to the institution of marriage.  It is a man and a woman leaving their parents and entering into a relationship in which they will collaborate in undertaking the responsibilities of raising up a new generation of children.  Cohabitation (which would be acceptable if marriage were nothing more than a close personal relationship) is problematic because it fails to commit itself to the authority of past generations or provide a stable environment for the growth of future generations.

Alastair also makes the point that in marriage the two sexes are brought together.  If same-sex marriage is accepted, then that sends the message that one gender or the other is dispensable.  If I or other men could find the same fulfillment that I ought to find in marriage, in a relationship with another man, then why do we need women?  If women could find fulfilling marriage relationships by pairing up with each other, then what are men here for?

Read Alastair’s post on same-sex marriage

Spirituality in Les Miserables

In order to gain a full understanding of the backstory behind Les Miserables, it is important to consider the spiritual element.  Victor Hugo was actively involved in politics, and Les Miserables was an outgrowth of his political convictions and the obligation which he felt to speak for those who had no voice in French society.  But if we look at it from that standpoint alone, we will miss an awful lot.

The reason is that Victor Hugo was Christian, and Les Miserables grew out of his Christian convictions.  There is a lot of tragedy in Les Miserables; almost all of the characters die during the story, and even the ones who survive are impacted by the loss of the ones who die.  Because of that, Les Miserables would be nothing more than a sad story if you try to read it without the Christian understanding that this world is NOT all there is, that death is not the end of everything but rather the entrance to another world that we can scarcely begin to imagine or to understand. Continue reading “Spirituality in Les Miserables”

What We Know About the 2008 Season After Three Weeks

Things we learned from watching the college football games this weekend:

Another week, another notch dropped in the polls.  Despite a 14-7 win on the road over an always-tough South Carolina team, Georgia slipped a notch to No. 3 this week.  If things continue at this rate, then by the end of the season Georgia will be undefeated, SEC champions, and finish outside the top 10.

You don’t think?  Well, check this out:  Florida is currently sitting right behind Georgia at No. 4, with only about 20 or so points less than Georgia.  If Florida wins big at Tennessee while Georgia struggles to beat an Arizona State team severely downgraded because of its loss to UNLV, then next week Florida leapfrogs Georgia and drops us to No. 4.  And LSU is not far behind.  If LSU pulls it out at Auburn this weekend and then wins big against Mississippi State next weekend while Georgia struggles but wins against Alabama, then look for LSU to leapfrog Georgia, dropping us to No. 5.  Missouri is also coming on strong; if they beat Nebraska and Oklahoma State, they will leapfrog Georgia too.  Texas is another team that could leapfrog Georgia if they keep winning.  Ditto Wisconsin and Texas Tech.  Ohio State got killed by Southern Cal but if they bounce back and win the rest of their games they could leapfrog Georgia too.  And East Carolina is seriously looking like the real deal; they could leapfrog Georgia too.  And if they do, that would be enough to put unbeaten Georgia out of the top 10.

During the week of November 9-15, Willie Martinez had better EAT, SLEEP, and BREATHE the film from the Auburn-Mississippi State game.  Apparently Sylvester Croom has figured some things out about that Tony Franklin spread offense, and it would VERY MUCH behoove us to learn what they are.

Seriously though, what happened?  Was Tony Franklin trying to keep some things under wraps with LSU coming to town next week?  Or could it be that Auburn’s offense is just that bad?

That Georgia defensive line has got to get better–like now.  They need to find a way to get pressure on Rudy Carpenter that does not involve blitzing, because if you blitz him he will beat you.  This defense is known for neutralizing highly rated quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow, Colt Brennan, and the guy from Central Michigan.  But sophomore quarterback Chris Smelley picked them apart all through the fourth quarter–somehow they managed to make it through without giving up any points.  I just hope they can find a way to not let Rudy Carpenter do the same thing to them.

So does the offensive line.  True enough, South Carolina has one of the better defensive fronts in the SEC.  But so does Auburn, and LSU’s is even better.  If our offensive line continues to perform at the level that it did Saturday, that could get us beat later on.

Don’t leave the ACC for dead just yet.  ACC bashing is all the rage these days, especially after ACC teams had a dreadful opening weekend.  But they have played some quality non-conference opponents and have picked up some pretty impressive wins since the Clemson beatdown, such as Maryland beating California and North Carolina beating Rutgers on the road.  Georgia Tech is looking better than expected, and Virginia Tech is improving.  Even Miami looked good for three quarters at Florida.  And Clemson is looking as if they might just win the rest of their games.

But as for the Pac 10…that’s a different story.  The Pac 10 spent the previous weekend having their asses handed to them by the Mountain West.  Southern Cal is the bomb, and is headed straight to the BCS title game.  Oregon is decent and might be able to give Southern Cal a good game–IF they can get Justin Roper back in time.  The rest of the Pac 10 is positively dreadful.

Philip Fulmer has a little something to think about.  When the team that beat you in Week 1 gets half a hundred hung on them by a middle-of-the-road Mountain West opponent, that’s not a good sign.  Florida is coming to Knoxville this weekend having had a week off to get ready, and Auburn and Georgia are right behind.  Just a little something for Philip Fulmer to think about.  But one thing we’ve learned about him after all these years:  Philip Fulmer is at his best when his back is against the wall.  So we shall see.

What We Know About the 2008 Season After Two Weeks

Here is a brief smattering of things learned over the previous weekend of college football:

Georgia acquitted themselves quite well as the No. 2 team in the country.  Georgia knocked off the defending Mid-America Conference champion Central Michigan with ruthless efficiency.  This was a team that was supposed to look very good on paper, yet they never offered Georgia any semblance of a challenge.

But Ohio State didn’t do so hot as the No. 3 team.  Ohio State played Ohio U, a middle-of-the-road team from the same conference as Central Michigan.  With their star running back Chris Wells sidelined with an ankle injury, they struggled to take care of business and it was only some good special teams play that saved them from a humiliating loss at home.  Pollsters noted this and moved Ohio State down to No. 5 this week.  So how does this play out for the USC game next week?  We shall see…

Speaking of USC, do not confuse the USC to the east of here with the USC out west.  Lest people confuse South Carolina with the other USC out west (Southern Cal), they showed that such confusion is unwarranted by going up to Vanderbilt and getting beat.  But does this mean that Georgia can relax about South Carolina?  No indeed.  Last year’s South Carolina team lost to Vanderbilt and beat Georgia.  Inept and unfocused as this team may be, they have a way of snapping to attention any time they hear anything which sounds even remotely like barking dogs moving in their general direction.

Georgia Tech is going to win some games this year.  Don’t be fooled by their completely and totally inept performance in the spring game earlier this year.  If you thought this was going to be a long year for Tech, think again.

So is Ole Miss.  For all the trouble that Ole Miss had at quarterback post Eli Manning, it appears that they have finally found the real deal in Javan Snead.  It took a controversial pass interference penalty and a last-second field goal by one of the best kickers in all of college football for Wake Forest to escape Oxford with the win.