My friend, Steve Ellis


I know this my day to give predictions, and we’ll get to those. But I’ll let you know now that they’ll be brief.

From time to time I ask for permission to use this space to share something personal with you. This is another one of those times.

Yesterday we lost a damn good man and a damn good sportswriter. Steve Ellis of the Tallahassee Democrat covered Florida State for nearly 30 years and did it with great distinction. Nobody knew what was going on at Florida State better than Steve and he did it with a work ethic that was legendary.

Did he clash with the folks at Florida State from time to time? You bet. But everybody from President T.K. Wetherell to Bobby Bowden respected Steve Ellis as a pro. In fact, he was a pro that other pros looked up to and relied on as a great resource.

When I really needed to know what was going on at Florida State, I would talk to Steve late at night when I knew he had finally stopped working. Yeah, I was a competitor but our friendship was strong enough that he felt comfortable discussing his work with me and giving me special insights that were incredibly helpful.

The story about Steve in today’s Tallahassee Democrat says that hewas working on a story at home when he suffered a massive heart attack on Nov. 10. He wouldn’t let his wife, Karen, call 911 until she emailed the story into the paper first. That’s Steve.

I talked to Karen Ellis on Monday night and she was optimistic that Steve had survived the worst of it. His life was going to have to change, to be sure. They were going to embrace that change together.

I was on my way to Athens Thursday afternoon when the word came. We had lost one of the good guys.

If you have an extra prayer in your pocket this weekend, send it along for Karen Ellis and the folks who loved Steve. This is going to be a tough Thanksgiving.


Now on to the picks. I was 7-3 last week. The record is 80-30 on the season.


1. Kentucky at Georgia: Georgia just needs to keep running the ball. Kentucky has the No. 11 rush defense in the SEC. Georgia 28, Kentucky 17.


2. LSU at Ole Miss: Dexter McCluster touched the ball 29 times last week and Ole Miss pounded Tennessee. The Rebels will do it again. Ole Miss 21, LSU 20.


3. Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Vanderbilt just can’t score enough points to hang with the Volunteers. Tennessee 28, Vanderbilt 13.


4. Mississippi State at Arkansas: How good is QB Ryan Mallett? Arkansas leads the nation in red zone scoring with 38 scores in 39 trips (29 touchdowns).  Arkansas 31, Miss. State 17.


5. Virginia at Clemson: The Tigers and C.J. Spiller are just too much for the Cavaliers. Clemson advances to the ACC championship game and a date with Georgia Tech. Clemson 41, Virginia 13.


6. Maryland at Florida State: Florida State (5-5) needs this one to become bowl eligible with a trip to Florida coming up next week. Florida State 31, Maryland 14.


7. Ohio State at Michigan: Rich Rod really needs this one to take some of the heat off. Ohio State has already clinched the Rose Bowl. A loss means Michigan (1-6 Big Ten) will finish last in the league for the first time since 1962. Ohio State 17, Michigan 14.


8. Kansas State at Nebraska: Nebraska clinches the Big 12 North and a showdown with Texas for the conference championship. Nebraska 28, Kansas State 13.


9. Oregon at Arizona: These two teams control their own destiny in the Pac-10 race. The winner has the inside track to the Rose Bowl. Oregon 28, Arizona 27.


10. Kansas at Texas: Texas clinches the Big 12 South and Colt McCoy wins his 43rd game as the Longhorn’s starting quarterback. That breaks the record formerly held by Georgia’s David Greene. Texas 35, Kansas 10.



 Please follow me on Twitter:

115 comments Add your comment

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

November 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Joe Cox for Heisman… the mutts must be out drowning their sorrows or beating their kids

Coach O

November 22nd, 2009
12:40 am

Both Clemson and Georgia have developed new team attitudes during the course of this season …

It’s been good for Clemson.


November 22nd, 2009
1:59 am

I lost my father at age 44 in much the same way. Please, if your loved one is showing symptoms of heart attack, MAKE THEM GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE BEST HOSPITAL POSSIBLE. They can finish up their unfinished business later, IF THEY LIVE! If they don’t, then who cares?

It's Jonathan Dwyer/Josh Nesbitt Time

November 22nd, 2009
5:57 am

……….Kentucky Fried COX

Athens Nightmare

November 22nd, 2009
6:19 am

Georgia needs to just keep running the ball,
because they have NO decent

Athens Nightmare

November 22nd, 2009
6:48 am

The Weedwhacker Shreveport Bowl
is deserving for the Willie Bobo Fiasco.


November 22nd, 2009
7:22 am

As Tony predicted Earlier, to the Disdain of several “Wrecked Ramblers”
IT is CLEMSON’S TIGERS that will face the GT Juggernaut in the ACC Championship Game in (we all hope for the very last time) TAMPA, FLA.

Since it is CLEMSON (I know Tech beat them early on by 3) That will Add about 20,000 extra fans in the bleachers. with techs, 5,000 that game may see 25,0000 paid. Hang on Charlotte, The Games a coming your way for a sellout.

The ACC “thought” with so many floridians playing in the ACC, that Florida fans would come out to see the ACC. WRONG ! So now it goes back to the “old” ACC territory. (after all the SEC already has the favored site in Atlanta)

Congratualations to both Clemson and Geortia TEch. Two schools with up and coming programs. Pity The Wrecked Ramblers will end up in the GATOR after such a shinning record. Paul Johnson is not a good coach, He alread was a Great Coach before he left Georgia in the first Place.

A Large contingent of Clemson alums and fans, actually WAnted Mr. Johnson and NOT MR TWO-LANE Bowden. YIKES it was RICH ROD, NOT BOWDEN after all! now almost 10 yers later it has come full circle. Coach Swinney Turned 40 Friday, and got a new $1.8 million contract, thanks to the Atlantic Division Championship. (the other Coach Clemson Intervied before selecting Dabo Swinney and his Alabama boyz, was HORRORS Ex Oakland Raiders Coach, LANE KIFFEN…. As Things turned out, It was that other WEAKER orange color that lost so far on that deal. Sorry TEnnessee. Jest build a faded orange jailhouse down on the River.

Clemson Fans will Go to TAMPA in droves. TAmpa will be a HOME Game for this ORange hungry crowd . Once upon a time Clemson won a National Championship game IN the ORANGE BOWL….and an Ohio State Coach Lost his job, because of what he did in that same game(sad).

Glad to see That one writer in this whole wide World called it right, Thank you Tony.
Clemson still FAces its ARCH in state rival as does TECH. Two ACC teams, going to the Championship Game a long way from home and facing Arch Rival SEC teams as usual to end good seasons in their Home States.

Coach O

November 22nd, 2009
11:42 am


Is there supposed to be an encrypted message hidden in your random capitalizations, or are you merely in need of a new keyboard?


November 22nd, 2009
2:01 pm

Gators and Noles all agree that Steve Ellis was a great guy and an excellent writer. I am sorry to hear about his passing and will say a prayer for his family in their time of loss.

Jeff George

November 22nd, 2009
2:10 pm

Can UGA handle a little praise???

Joe Not Dawg

November 22nd, 2009
4:34 pm

Wow! Football team loses. Basketball team loses. And then you dog dies. Bad weekend to be a Georgia fan. But hey, look at the bright side. At least there is a good football and basketball team in Georgia. Assuming you’re a Tech fan.

“I say its bad, to be, a Georgia Bulldog.” Hehehehehehe!

Gooooooooo VOLS!


November 22nd, 2009
9:04 pm

Georgia is just a genuinely bad football team. They are going to get absolutely steamrolled by Tech.

Coach O

November 22nd, 2009
9:40 pm

It will certainly be embarrassing for the Tech fans if they aren’t. I expect a good game, regardless of the ineptitude shown by Georgia in the Kentucky game. Tech is clearly favored, but you know what ‘they’ say… “that’s why they play the games”.


November 22nd, 2009
11:26 pm

We gonna win the national champ next year! you just wait and see tech fans. i hate smoking and cheap beer.


November 29th, 2009
6:23 pm

Dear Author !
I regret, but I can help nothing. I know, you will find the correct decision. Do not despair.