Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
There was also another loss this week, Hall of Famer Bill Willis. For those that don't know Bill Willis was All-American Guard out of Ohio State who later blocked for Marion Motley for the Browns. He was also the middle guard or what we would today call the nose tackle . However this two way player paved much more than just on the gridiron. He, alongside Marion Motley broke the color barrier in the NFL. In fact the distinction of being the first full time African-American player in the NFL belongs to Willis. He accomplished this before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. There's a certain sadness then that his accomplishments and courage were really overshadowed this week (or more generally for that matter). I am certainly not a historian but in a physical game like football where cheap shots are common in the trenches I'm certain Willis suffered not only taunts for his skin color. And yet he never made a big deal of this. He just had that quiet dignity that he always carried about him. Maybe just relaying his story or pointing out that Browns will wear a BW logo on their helmets to honor him then we all can remember his accomplishments and honor his memory.
And with that a little lighter thoughts
Cheers: College Games of the Week. Oh there are tons. The Backyard Brawl and the Big 12 Championship will decide the BCS Championship Game. USC v. UCLA will partly decide the Pac 10. And the Army Navy Game is special to all but the most cynical.
I think Mangino will face Fulmer in a Sumo Contest as well (taken from a Fark War at Smash South Sports....)
Cheers: Pro Games of the Week - Indy v. Jacksonville oh and that little Favre v. Romo (Does anyone else wonder if Pete King's head will explode over this matchup?)
Cheers: To ESPN. Its not often that I cheer them but this week is different. This week is Jimmy V Foundation week on ESPN where they are doing shows, snippets and assortment of other things to raise attention and money for fighting cancer. Certainly that is a foundation that remembers a truly remarkable man and an important mission. Cheers to ESPN for never giving up on this issue.
Cheers: To Sylvester Croom. One of 6 black head coaches in College football and the only one in the history of the SEC, Croom was on the hot seat at Mississippi State this year. However the team rallied around their coach and last week became bowl eligible. In fact Croom was named SEC coach of the year. It's even more satisfying that his team did better than Alabama, his alma mater, that out of hand dismissed Croom for their head coaching position
Cheers: Christina Aguilera. Who apparently is preggars, all nude but classy. Remember when there when there was a comparison to Brittney Spears. Haha. That was funny
Sean Taylor Memorial Beatdown of the Week:
As a new feature I'll be adding a small section on who delivered a beatdown that Sean Taylor would be proud of. Or my best attempt. This week's beatdown goes to USC's handling of Arizona State. USC beat the Sun Devils in every way imaginable:Physically, mentally, ecumenically...you name it USC dominated in it.
And our C&J Gal of the Week..... Rebecca Romijn
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Manwich Matchup of the Week:
Green Bay @ Dallas – I realize the Packers have only lost 1 game, but I get the impression that on both sides of the ball, they can just dominate the Packers. The most interesting question will be how much scoring happens in this game. At least 8 prominent fantasy players are involved in this game.
Upset of the Week:
Jacksonville @ Indy- Indy’s been playing sloppier of late as they have struggled a bit. Jacksonville seems to be playing even better now that Garrard is back. Did you know? Garrard has a QB rating of 103.1 !!! Clearly, it’s not his measly 9 TDs, but rather his 65% completion percentage.
Opening Round Playoff Game #4
Buffalo @ Washington – Both teams are 5-6. In the NFC, a 9-7 team (maybe even 8-8?) could make the playoffs. In the AFC it still seems like 10 wins would be needed to get in, though it is possible a 9-7 team could squeak in with enough tiebreakers (read: conference wins). This game involves two teams involved in big losing streaks (Buffalo’s lost 2 in a row; Washington 3 in a row)… someone has to win though. I’m looking at Portis to have a big rushing day.
Opening Round Playoff Game #5
Detroit @ Minnesota – Detroit is 6-5 and Minnesota is 5-6. I really feel like this game will go a long way to determining the second wildcard! Minnesota still may not have consistent QB play, but their defense has been picking up the scoring slack.
Opening Round Playoff Game #6
Houston @ Tennessee – In their first game earlier this season, it was a wild and crazy shootout with the backup QBs. This time, the starting QBs are back, but Tennessee’s still missing Haynesworth, who currently is still an unknown for this game. Is Tennessee’s defense really completely dependent on one man?
Opening Playoff Game #7
Tampa @ New Orleans- This is more of a play-in game for the Saints. Falling to 5-7 would be a real difficult situation. The problem is though that the Saints can’t play any defense… but just when I should give up on the Saints… Jeff Garcia gets injured and is probably going to miss the game. That wouldn’t be a big loss normally. But word is, Luke McCown is starting! McCown family get-together this weekend is in New Orleans! Always bet against the McCown family. Always! Josh has a career QB rating of 70, but Luke has a career rating of 51.8, with only 6 appearances.
Pick: New Orleans
Unlikely Playoff Contender Game
Cleveland @ Arizona – Now this game is scary for the Browns. Why? Because the Browns are giving up a league-worst 400 yards per game? No. The reason it’s scary… is because Nobody beats the Whizz after he loses to San Francisco! (earlier in the season, the Whizz took his revenge on Seattle in Week 2).
Gus Frerotte Lives
Atl @ St. Louis – Bulger is banged up, and for some reason, I’ve never thought that betting on Gus Frerotte is a good idea.
NY Jets @ Miami – I don’t ever remember an 0-11 team being favored. Granted, I don't remember any other 0-11 teams. But at this moment, the Miami Dolphins are 1.5 point favorites! And you know what, I too believe they will get their first win. They have been so unlucky, so it really is time. I think Ginn will have a TD this week.
San Diego @ KC – Phillip Rivers is the most inconsistent QB in the league. KC has a neat little rookie named Kolby Smith who was probably picked up Sunday afternoon by millions of fantasy players as he rumbled his way to 150 yards in his first start. The question of course is whether his career will turn out more like Barry Word or Larry Johnson.
Pick: San Diego
Seattle @ Philly – Interesting game because the Seahawks haven’t played great, while the Eagles have been playing better but are still only 5-6. A backup Eagles QB who everyone thinks is washed up (AJ Feeley) leading the team to the playoffs isn't unheard of (see 2006: Jeff Garcia).
San Fran @ CAR – Just hope no one has to watch this. Frank Gore scored his first touchdown since like labor day last weekend.
Pick: San Fran
Denver @ Oakland – Hooray! The Raiders won a divisional game, after losing their previous 17. Late season fantasy all-star Justin Fargas had a whopping 139 yards for the Raiders which leads me to the question of the day: Is the Raiders O-line damn good? What I do know is now would be a good time to start a new streak for the Raiders...
Giants @ Chicago – The Bears can still make the playoffs, as they are one of many 5-6 teams with a chance in the NFC. Watching Eli Manning on the lowlights last week was saddening. Don’t start Eli Manning if he’s on your fantasy team. Not this year or next.
Cincy @ Pitt – The Steelers have been playing pretty awful lately but they still keep winning. The Bengals have all-offense and zero defense as usual, so every game is an adventure.
New England @ Baltimore – If only Baltimore had a chance. Maybe we’ll see Troy Smith finally when the Ravens are down 30 points in the 2nd half.
Pick: New England by four touchdowns
Last Week: 10-6
Season: 112-64 (Note: The Yahoo! Average is also actually 112-64. So while I’m enjoying picking many games correctly, so is everyone else this season!)
Manwich: 9-3 (I actually got Cleveland, New Orleans, and San Diego correct in my three-way mini-manwich week. Just so things stay neat, I’m counting that as one correct Manwich, because none of those games individually were worthy of a Manwich.)
Upset of the Week: 6-6 (Picking the Redskins over Tampa was a mistake. R.I.P. Sean Taylor.).
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Most overrated by the humans: USC, Oklahoma
2007 - Week of 11/26
.................SCS......BCS...Matrix Sched Rnk
2. W. Va.......1.24....(2)...(44)
3. Ohio St.....3.42....(3)...(67)
5. Va. Tech...5.15....(6)...(38)
8. Bos Coll.....6.25...(11)...(33)
9. Ariz St......9.18....(13)...(42)
Conference Rankings (Skynet style - 0 is best, 6 is the worst)
SEC - 0.478
PAC-10 - 1.863
Big East - 2.955
Big 12 - 3.957
ACC - 4.187
Big 10 - 4.814
In any event just to help get the word out and show that well maybe there is hope for sports journalism in today's day and age MGOBLOG has reported that Kirk Ferentz has been offered the UofM Head Coaching job. For those that are unaware MGOBlog was the blog that broke the Carr retirement story first so hey consider them reliable. And its out before Mark May can (snirk) report on it.
Wubya is considering an executive order to put Texas in a BCS bowl as soon as he confers with his Secretary of the Interior
Bubble: BC, V-Tech. Winner is off to the Orange Bowl. Other gets the consolation prize of hanging with Wubya.
Big East (1 Bid)
Lock: West Virginia. They're off to the Battle in the Backyard v. the Mustache. Win and its off to the National Championship. Lose and its random BCS bowl
Big 10 (1-2 Bids)
Lock: OSU - Waiting. A Missouri or West Virginia loss and its another Championship Birth. Otherwise the Grand Daddy of the Bowls.
Bubble: Illinois - A good shot at an at large bid. Another Arizona State loss and they should be in.
Bubble: Mizzou, Okkies, Kansas - Missouri plays Oklahoma. Mizzou gets a championship bid if they win. Oklahoma gets the Fiesta Bowl if they win. Kansas probably has an at large bid locked up tighter than Belichek's injury list.
SEC (2 Bids)
Lock: Georgia. I'll eat a corn beef sandwich thats not warmed if Georgia doesn't get an at large bid.
Bubble: LSU, Tennessee. Winner in Atlanta get's the SEC automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl and a free lap dance at the strip club of choice on Bourbon Street.
Random Ass Team (1 Bid)
Bubble: Hawaii needs to beat Washington of the non-Saint Louis variety this week. If they do they will get an at large bid.
Pac 10 (1-2 Bids)
Bubble: For those that are unaware the Pac 10 is potentially in craptacular region. Craptacular region is here defined as the land where tie breakers based on % of the school's income coming from their emu farms decide the PAC 10. If USC wins, then they are Rose Bowl Bound. If Arizona State beats arch-rival Arizona they are probably bound for the Fiesta Bowl with their two losses. If both lose and Oregon who is considering starting Alan Greenspan at quarterback, also loses, UCLA gets the tie-breaker in a 5 way tie. I think. MIT is still examining the possible permutations. That's right, assuming that Einstein's theory of relativity holds UCLA could be Rose Bowl bound or a loss sends them to 6-7 and no Bowl bid. Yikes.
The NFL sits in the land of two perpetual questions: Will the Patriots be the first 17-0 team and who will they beat in the Super Bowl (Dallas or Green Bay). Its tough to find an interesting subject. Everything seems almost superficial in relation to those two questions. However I'll raise a few
1) How good is Jacksonville ?- Are they the perpetually unable to break through Jags or has Garrard changed to the team to the point they can finally top the Colts?
2) Can the Browns really make the playoffs? With games against Arizona, Jets, Bills, Bengals and 49ers its possible. I'm guessing 10 wins will be enough this year in the AFC. If they do a big portion of that credit goes to K2. I know he's gotten off the wrong foot in the mouth when he started but since his injury he's been a great team player. The man plays hurt. I mean he's playing with a separated shoulder. The man is always always looking to get better. And the man no longer makes the mistakes of youth by opening his mouth. Read what he says now. Give him a second look those that dislike him. It's not often you see a kid grow into a mature adult in this day and age.
No actual photo exists of the legendary "Texans football team" so I went with a photo of the Browns beating the hated Rat Thugs (photo from Joshua Gunther)
Other Fun Facts
Over the last 6 games Lebron James is basically averaging a triple double. He's averaging 37.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 9.5 assists a game over that stretch. Read those stats again - its not a misprint. This is the best stats over that stretch since the Big O averaged a triple double over an entire season. I doubt Lebron can keep this up but it needs to be recorded. And written about. And possibly turned into a musical as soon as that Broadway strike is over. Those stats are ridiculous. Like MVP/Bill Walton fellatio treatment, good.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here’s to hoping for the following outcomes:
1. Arkansas over LSU. Why? Because that would drop LSU out of the top 5 and put The Ohio State Sweatervests back into the national title game picture.
2. Texas A&M over Texas. Why? Because it’s fun to root against anyone or anything from Austin, TX (especially governors and football teams).
3. Missouri over Kansas. Why? Because I’ve paid state taxes in Missouri. Kansas is the dullest state in the union. Plus, it would be fun to see Coach Mangino explode and for his remains to be used to end world hunger.
4. Kentucky over Tennessee. Why? Because is there anyone more insufferable than Coach Fullmer?
5. Oklahoma State over Oklahoma. Why? To prove once and for all that Oklahoma’s been overrated for this entire decade. It’s time for Bob Stoops to disappear.
6. Auburn over Alabama. Why? Nick Saban is Alabama’s coach. There’s never a bad reason to root against him.
This holiday weekend, while you’re settling in for a nice afternoon on the couch with a sandwich made from the leftover turkey or with a nice hunk of pie, just remember to root for the good guys. No one likes Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, or Tennessee. If you do, you have no soul.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Manwich Mini-games of the Week
Opening Round, NFL Playoffs, Game 1
Houston @ Cleveland- I wonder what the odds would have been that a 6-4 Browns vs. 5-5 Texans matchup would take place and would be a critical matchup for determining the AFC playoffs? To get an AFC wildcard this year, there could be more than two 10-6 teams, so this game is very critical in terms of tiebreakers and in terms of just getting enough wins. Now that the Browns had something go their way last week with the odd field goal going through and then bouncing back onto the field and the refs changing their mind, there’s no reason to stop now with the good luck. The most incredible thing about the Browns offense? They make up for the fact that the Browns defense have letup the most points in the entire NFL… and the offense is good enough to produce a winning record!
Opening Round, NFL Playoffs, Game 2
New Orleans @ CAR – The Saints are a thorn in my side this season. I think I’ve gotten maybe 2 of their games right. Both of these teams are 4-6, so it really is an elimination game out in the NFC.
Pick: New Orleans
Opening Round, NFL Playoffs, Game 3
Baltimore @ San Diego- Both teams are sinking, and the Ravens probably have to win out to make the playoffs. I like the Chargers, especially at home where they are 4-1. The Chargers need to win to keep pace with the Broncos, because the wildcard is probably out of reach for San Diego.
Pick: San Diego
Upset of the Week
Washington @ Tampa- Interesting game, because Tampa is still only 2 games up in (arguably) the worst division. I like the Redskins, because they actually are 4-2 vs. non-division opponents, while the Bucs are a sloppy 3-4 out of the division.
Green Bay @ Detroit – I’m not putting this as an opening round game… odds are the Packers will make the playoffs, and the Lions could lose this game and still make the playoffs because of the weak NFC.
Pick: Green Bay
Jets @ Dallas – Okay, so maybe Coach Mangina does have something left in the tank, after a shocking win over the Steelers. Only 3% of Yahoo users got that! No way Mangina does it twice in a row.
Indy @ Atl- The Peyton vs. Vick NFL Network game didn’t really work out. At least for one week, not having the NFL Network is not much of a problem.
Denver @ Chicago- Denver is so strange. They are the only AFC team at .500 with a losing record against the NFC. Granted, they did lose by a coin-toss to the Packers that one week. Nonetheless, I really see no reason to go with Rex Grossman still.
Tennessee @ Cincy- The Bengals still can’t stop anyone…
Buff @ Jacksonville- This could be an interesting game. If the Bills somehow are competitive or even pull this out, watch out!
Oakland @ KC – The Raiders have lost like 28 divisional games in a row.
Seattle @ St. Louis- Hasselbeck is dinged up, but I still think the Seahawks can get a win.
Minnesota @ Giants- The Vikings still have time to make a playoff push. Granted, I don’t think it’s happening this week in New York.
San Fran @ Arizona – No one beats the Whiz in November in Arizona! (they are 1-0 so far, with a win over Detroit)
Philly @ New England – I can’t think of any other NFL team that was ever as relentless as the Pats. In past weeks, I wasn’t as shocked at the Pats. But last week, I witnessed the Pats going for it on 4th down repeatedly, instead of settling for field goals. You’d think this will catch up with them at some point… I’m just scared it may not catch up to them until next season.
Pick: New England
Miami @ Pitt – The Dolphins are coming to Pittsburgh! Dave Wannstedt better be there.
Last Week: 12-4
Manwich: 8-3 (The Jaguars are keeping me above the Theismann line of mediocrity.)
Upset of the Week: 6-5 (Culpepper played well, but the Raiders gave up a whopping 160 yards to Chester Taylor).
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
1 Bottle Wild Turkey Bourbon (add as needed)
Thanksgiving by definition is the most American of holidays. Its the day where Americans are supposed to eat, drink and watch football to excess. Outside of New Years eve I can't think of a holiday where more booze is consumed. Outside of New Years day I can't think of a day with more football (both played and watched). Outside of MJ's glutton bowl decathlon I can't think of a day where more food is consumed. So how do I plan on spending my Thanksgiving?
9:00 AM : Wake up. Now normally on holidays I like sleeping in on moral principal. Waking up early, much like fluoride, leads to communism. But not today. Today I have lots to do.
9:00-9:30 Eat small breakfast. I need to expand the stomach a little bit. Nothing serious here maybe a bowl of cereal or some eggs or a martini.
10:00 AM Turkey Bowl. Every great thanksgiving should involve some playing of football. Maybe its just tossing the bowl around the backyard. Maybe getting a pick up game with old friends. Maybe its tackling that annoying fat kid that lives next door. It doesn't matter. The important thing is that your stiff arm someone into the ground.
Noon: Time to get back home. Shower. Possibly jerk off to 1970s porn (only the classics on this holiday) and turn on football. Isn't it great to watch football while having a mini-lunch? Remember you have to save room so everything should be mini. Like mini-burgers or mini pizzas or mini deep fried cheesecakes. It really doesn't matter.
2:00 Pass out. Its important that you rest up for the massive eating. If you need a little help getting to bed in the afternoon I recommend Wild Turkey Bourbon or having your significant other bring out the swingset.
2:30 Set fire to Paul Maguire's Home. Why the fuck is he on tv anyways? Not even the other announcers like him
3:00 There should be another football game at this point. I assume its the Cowboys. How did Detroit and the Cowboys get the Thanksgiving slot anyways? Did Ford and the Dallas owner at the time get the highest score on the anti-semtism exam? Honestly its the most random of teams to get this award.
5:00 Game Time. Yes the march of the thousand turkey's, stuffings, gravy, etc. begins. Remember don't fill up on bread. That's a rookie mistake. Its also important to bring a second stomach so you can enjoy desert. Other possibility is build a vomitorium. If you can't have some sort of pie its just not a successful glutton experience. Also hoard the gravy. There's never enough fucking gravy. Well tough shit for everyone else cause I like gravy. If any relatives, small children, blind people fail in their cooking duties be sure to mock them. This is the Super Bowl of Food so the only way they can improve for next year is through humiliation (at least that's what Bill Belichek's guide to success says)
Hot lesbians are good conversation partners. The important thing is to liquor them up so this happens rather than some boring discussion on carbon emissions
9:00 My family always does a movie after the food. I think its a bonding thing. Also after football and food I probably need a little violence to complete the day. I recommend Beowulf, American Gangster or No Country for Old Men. They all seem to fit the bill.
11:30ish. Pass Out. Aim for your bed but couches, floors, bath tubs, and Time Square can be suitable locations as well. Now thats a holiday
Cheers: To Games of the Week. College Arizona State v. USC (Thursday), Boise State v. Hawaii (Friday) Kansas v. Missouri (Saturday). Pro's Green Bay v. Detroit
Jeers: To me. I certainly overlooked Arizona State in the Championship Chase. A victory over USC could leap frog tOSU in the polls and possibly even in West Virginia. They are by no means done.
Cheers: To the Houston Dynamo. They are your MLS champions and more importantly a block on another New England championship....
Cheers: To Lust, Caution. The Ang Lee movie has doctor's warning about attempting some of the sexual moves shown in the movie. "Only women with comparatively flexible bodies that have gymnastics or yoga experience are able to perform them. For average people to blindly copy them could lead to unnecessary physical harm..." Yes I believe a research trip is necessary for this one.
Cheers: To the C&J gal of the week Jen Ellison. I'd say she's a little more than mildly attractive....
Monday, November 19, 2007
Of course, this weekend's Kansas-Missouri game gives the winner the chance to control their own destiny I would assume.
Most underrated by the humans: Boston Coll, Arizona St.
Most overrated by the humans: USC, Texas, Hawaii
2007 - Week of 11/19
.................SCS......BCS...Matrix Sched Rnk
3. Ohio St.......3.03....(5)...(63)
4. Ariz St........3.04....(6)...(49)
9. Va. Tech.....9.08....(8)...(48)
10. Boston Col..9.21....(14)...(38)
20. Boise St.....19.26....(19)...(127)
Conference Rankings (Skynet style - 0 is best, 6 is the worst)
SEC - 0.611
PAC-10 - 1.506
Big East - 2.802
Big 12 - 3.652
ACC - 4.660
Big 10 - 4.852
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Anyway here's some quick answers to some quick questions....
Would the real Steelers stand up?
Sorry the black black souls of the Yinzers prevents natural light from revealing their true self. After hearing throughout the week that they were maybe the 2nd best team in the AFC and Roethlisberger the 3rd best QB they dropped a big fat egg against the Division III Jets. It wasn't a fluke or an odd bounce but they were dominated by a team that hadn't won a game since Adlai Stevenson prowled the Meadowlands. How does one explain it? No idea.
What Dates Should We Circle on Our Calendar?
The first date would be 11/29. It is the date that the far and away best two NFC teams, Green Bay and Dallas play. It is also the date the NFL has decided that most of the US will not watch the game. It is finally the date where I steel Publius' dish and use it for my own purposes. I'll also add later in the week (12/3) Jacksonville v. Indy. Jacksonville's starter David Garrad is healthy and playing well. If Indy can't get healthy their reign as AFC South Champ might be at an end. It also might introduce the national media to another possible contender for who's #2 in the AFC. Hopefully it will also convince Greg Easterbrook to stop writing and finally join that cult in North Dakota.
What are the effects of watching Kardiac Kids the Next Generation?
Watching the Browns is equivalent to sucking down 2 packs of cigarettes, spending a week in Cancun for Spring Break or participating in a Glutton Bowl butter eating contest. They all should shorten your life by 10-20 years. The Browns find new ways to make the game interesting. These days they manage to actually win games after the game has ended (as opposed to the infamous Dwayne Rudd helmet toss game) but still who else but the Browns could something this bizarre happen to? Honestly this team has playoff loss due to leprosy written all over them.
Oregon and OU falling? Is nobody safe from these upsets ?
Well as to Oregon I suggest your starting QB play with both his ACLs but the short answer at the moment is much like walking around a park during the Clown Riots of '27 nobody is safe. After following more college football then is deemed healthy various forms of spread and spread options really have permeated college football. Texas Tech used it against OU. Illinois used it against OSU. Heck Kansas and Missouri are using it on their way to a possible Big 12 championship. These offensive systems at the moment are nullifying the more athletic/soon to be NFL players of the big boys. Much as Spurrier showed all those years ago even the best school's #5 corner is not much better than any other schools top receivers. Short drops eliminate the speed and strength of the D-Line. High scoring affairs typically take away the running game and beefcake o-lineman. In essence while talent may be more diffuse than it used to be the spreads and spread options have made the upsets well not upsets by in essence taking away the talent gap. I imagine defensive coordinators will start to think of new tricks and recruit smaller faster players on defense but until that happens expect the UConn's, Kansas' and Arizona's of the world to win consistently against high ranked opponents.
Hey the Celtics encountered a quality team and lost. What does it mean?
Nothing. Its fucking November. I swear if I see them compared the uber Bulls team one more time I'm going ram a golf cart up Stuart Scott's ass.
Misc. (i.e. that part where I pontificate)
Check out the updated blogroll. We here at BSD are trying to include more Sports Blogs to peruse through when your bored, avoiding work or on the run from the Algerians after you stole their plutonium. Well known commentator around here, Bloody Gamebreak, has a great baseball blog (even if he fails to realize that Cleveland had midges because we live by a lake. I realize inhabitants near the Hudson don't always understand that insects in fact often live near bodies of water but thats cool. ) In any event check out the blog, The Loogy Lounge.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
National Championship Game
1) LSU just needs to win out and they have the spot. They've looked shaky since Week 1 and they still have to face the Nut-less Razorbacks and either the Lady Vols or UGA in the SEC Championship (to be held on Bourbon street). Given Miles covetous eyes on the Michigan job this wouldn't be surprising......
2) Kansas or Missouri - With Oklahoma's loss the Big 12 has two candidates left for the beauty contest. The Civil War battle at Arrowhead will decide the birth to the Big 12 Championship. Its also an elimination game for any BCS bowl as short of another OU choke job Texas has an at large BCS spot locked up. However a nonconcussed Sam Bradford and OU could still eliminate either in the Big 12 championship game. If OU trips again well then the Longhorns get the shot at playing spoiler in the Big 12 Championship game.
3) West Virginia - Talk up Tebow all you want but nobody runs the spread option like Pat White. A victory over UConn (yes UConn) and the battle in the backyard (The Mustache of Pittsburgh) and a loss by the top 3 and they are in. A victory for UConn btw means that gulp UConn takes the Big East BCS spot.
4. tOSU - Yes the Sweatervests despite only 2 passes in the second half clinched the Big 10 title behind Vernon Gholston's arms and Beanie Wells legs. They're currently slotted for a Rose Bowl bid unless both LSU and West Virginia lose.
ACC - Will be decided by acChampionship game between V-Tech or Virgina (who have their own rivalry game to settle the score) and Boston College. The winner is off to the Orange Bowl.
Pac 10: Should be decided by the winner of Arizona State and USC (assuming the winner can take care of their arch-rival the following week). That winner is certainly off to the Rose Bowl. Of course if Oregon pulls off the miracle and beats its arch-rival and USC beats Arizona State then Oregon and their ACL-less Dennis Dixon are in the Rose Bowl.
At Larges - Hawaii has a shot at one (and oddly enough Boise State does too) for the coveted David v. Goliath bowl, Texas and Georgia have momentum (and I'm assuming not playing in a conference championship games) . However scanning the BCS there's a pretty big hole for that last spot. The loser of Arizona State and USC has a shot (the winner probably getting the Pac 10 Championship slot). However I'll pull a small shocker out of my umm hat and say Illinois (yes the Fighting Alumni) might get that last spot.
Resistance is futile...I'm now 3-0!
Friday, November 16, 2007
|33.6 (30th)||SCORING||28.2 (53rd)|
|407.8 (46th)||TOTAL OFFENSE||399.2 (53rd)|
|198.7 (24th)||RUSHING||179.8 (35th)|
|209.1 (74th)||PASSING||219.4 (65th)|
|11.4 (1st)||SCORING||20.8 (27th)|
|237.5 (2nd)||TOTAL DEFENSE||335.1 (29th)|
|82.7 (4th)||RUSHING||143.6 (54th)|
|154.7 (2nd)||PASSING||191.5 (20th)|
Has actually been rather efficient. The heart and soul of the offense, much like last year, is the rushing attack. "Beanie" Wells, Mo Wells, and Brandon Saine are the three headed monster that power the offense. Todd Boekman, a grey shirt junior, has stepped into the big shoes of Troy Smith and avoided falling on his face. He throws a decent deep ball which works well given the quality of receivers. However he has been turnover prone the last few games which has caused blowouts to be close games and a close game a loss.
With a number of new parts and freshman CBs the Michigan defense has been simply put average. They have been above average in defending the pass (pass efficiency, sacks) but below average against the run, as witness the mauling at Camp Randall last week. The one area that they are in the excellent category is causing turnovers (averaging more than 2 a game).
Get's a big phatty question mark. With Mike Hart, the running game behind top 3 pick Jake Long is about as good as it gets. Without Mike Hart the rushing game has averaged 75 yards a game the past two games. Can Hart overcome the dreaded high ankle sprain to make the cuts the zone blocking scheme requires? Chad Henne is a four year starter but he to has been battling injuries (throwing shoulder and injured leg) since the game against Oregon. With Henne the passing offense with David Terrell clone Mario Manningham is tough to cover. However an injured Henne means inconsistent Ryan Mallet has to try to be the first freshman to win the game.
Statistically is among the best in the country. Loads of talent in the secondary (Malcom Jenkins), linebacker (the Little Animal) and defensive end (Gholston). They lead the Big 10 in sacks and Vernon Gholston's arms are bigger than most people's waists. However the weakness to the Buckeyes D is the young defensive tackles that Illinois exposed last week. In fact the defense has steadily given up more points and more yardage each week.
Michigan is playing at home and possibly for the last time for Lloyd Carr. They have 3 seniors (Henne, Hart, Long) who came back to defeat OSU and win a BCS bowl game. OSU has won the past 3 but has not won 4 in a row since 1967. OSU has slim BCS title hopes alive. OSU's kicker is from South Africa, host of the next World Cup.
Fun Historical Facts
Michigan was 13-0-2 in the first 15 games of the series
Since then Michigan leads 44-40-2.
Over the past 50 years OSU leads the series 25-23-2
The rivalry game has had a major impact on the Big 10 Winner 45 times
23 of the 45 times the two teams have decided the title between themselves based on The Game
OSU did not play Michigan from 1913-1918 when Michigan left the Big 10
All OSU players receive gold pants if they beat Michigan.
Gold pants are in fact very stylish
Famous Games That I Was At
1922 Michigan beats OSU 19-0 in the first game at the Horseshoe.
In 1950 Michigan beat OSU in the famous Snowball game 9-3, without getting a single first down
In 1973 the two teams tied 10-10 but the Big 10 ADs voted 6-4 OSU to the Rose Bowl because Michigan State hates Ann Arbor.
1987 OSU's coach Errol Bruce was fired the week before the game. In solidarity with their coach the players wore headbands with his name on it and won 23-20. Headbands became cool as a result
In 2002 Will Allen's interception sent the OSU and the Big 10 to its first BCS Championship
In 2006 for the first time I enjoyed turkey pepperoni while watching the OSU Michigan game. The outcome was irrelevant as I enjoyed turkey pepperoni
I respectfully disagree. This is a good day for baseball. The pervasive influence of steroids in baseball has been well-documented, with Bonds as the biggest perceived culprit and the great white whale of the drive to rid the sport of performance-enhancing drugs. Catching Barry - if he has been caught, i.e. if he's convicted - is a giant statement and victory for those of us who love the game and hate how it's been tainted by the steroid scandal.
Will this indictment end the use of steroids in baseball? No. But it feels really good to know that perhaps the most arrogant and egregious cheater could be looking at serious and real penalties for his crimes - against our judicial system, if not against our national pastime.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
San Diego @ Jacksonville – What an intriguing game! The Chargers looked bad beating the Colts, but they still are a decent team. I really like the Jags though, because they seem to find ways to win based on defense and rushing the ball. Old school!
Upset of the Week
Oakland @ Minnesota – How amazing is this? Culpepper somehow got named as the starter! It’s the second time this season he’s playing one of his former teams. Against Miami, Culpepper went for 5 TDs. In this game, there may not be as much revenge on the line, but Culpepper still will want to prove something. 4 TDs maybe?
Tennessee @ Denver – Not sure what to make of this game, because both teams have played well and awful throughout times this season.
KC @ Indy- The Colts can handle the Chiefs still… I hope.
Cleveland @ Baltimore – I can’t remember the last time the Browns were road favorites against Baltimore. That’s probably because it’s never happened!
Pittsburgh @ Jets – Even though almost every game has slipped away from the Jets, I really don’t feel that bad for Coach Mangina… last year, every game went the right way and the Jets became a 10-6 playoff team. I’m hoping the Browns can pull that off this year.
Tampa @ Atlanta – I saw some headline and Joey Harrington was really “shocked” and “surprised” that he’s being benched, despite a 2-game winning streak. I think Joey just needs to embrace the fact that he gets no respect. Be like Rodney Dangerfield – have fun with it at least! Don’t act like you’ve never been insulted before… I mean, this is his 3rd straight year with a different team.
Arizona @ Cincy- I can’t believe the Bengals put the smack-down last week. Then again, the Bengals now have 3 wins… and 2 are against the Ravens. I’m not sure what this all means. But I do know one thing… nobody beat the Wiz in Ohio! (mainly because he hasn’t even coached in Ohio)
Miami @ Philly – So now Miami turns to their rookie QB… and next week we may see a Ricky Williams sighting! Things are getting pretty interesting down in Miami. Next thing you know, the Moustache, Dave Wannstedt, will do a “guest coaching” job in Week 15. If they go winless until the last 4 weeks of the season, the Dolphins should just line-up some “guest” coaches from to give some rousing pep talks. They could also invite Chuck Norris one week, and just make it a moustache-theme.
New England @ Buffalo- I’m really scared the Pats are going to win every game during the regular season. It is scary unless you are from Boston.
Pick: New England
Washington @ Dallas – Rivalry game, so anything’s possible. I just don’t see the upset happening.
New Orleans @ Houston – It’s Mario Williams chance to hit Reggie Bush! Or… it’s Bush’s chance to show Houston what they missed out on!
Pick: New Orleans
CAR @ Green Bay – CAR is a complete disaster this season.
Pick: Green Bay
Giants @ Detroit – Really interesting game… both are coming off disappointing losses. Both should still make the playoffs in the NFC because the NFC is weak like a third-world country…
St. Louis @ San Fran – My heart went out to the 49ers fans during part of that atrocious Monday night shutout loss… I can’t believe I had the 49ers as my surprise team before the season started. They are missing so many things and Alex Smith seems to be getting worse each week he’s healthy enough to play.
Pick: St. Louis
Chicago @ Seattle – Oohh.. the Bears are starting Rex Grossman…
Last Week: 6-8
Manwich: 7-3 (Taking the Giants was not wise.)
Upset of the Week: 6-4 (The Jaguars came through again for me!).
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
The rumor on the internets going around today is that Lloyd Carr will retire on Monday following the game. For all the bashing Carr gets these days its easy to forget his 121-38 record or his national championship season. While this year's game doesn't hold the same girth as last year's battle for a National Championship birth, the stakes are recently raised if its truly Lloyd Carr's final game. And so in the spirit of healing I present a link to MZone who has a picture of beautiful LSU girl's.
I'm certain those breasts could heal anything....
Well, I have already learned a great deal about the computers this season... Sagarin and Wolfe have Kansas ahead of Oregon by healthy margins, while Anderson has the two teams in a deadlock heat. Only the Matrix rating puts enough weight on Kansas' horrible schedule to put them behind Oregon.
Just to be clear, the Skynet Championship Series is combining the four computer rankings that don't include human bias, and includes the same exact formula every week since the middle of the 2006 season. The only thing that has been changing, is the random strength of scheduling ranking and/or conference rankings I have included as a bonus to the readers.
Most underrated by the humans: Virginia, Arizona State
Most overrated by the humans: Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii
2007 - Week of 11/12
.................SCS......BCS...Matrix Sched Rnk
4. Ariz St........3.21....(8)...(39)
6. Ohio St......5.18....(7)...(68)
8. W. Va........7.11....(6)...(63)
11. Va. Tech....11.57....(10)...(43)
15. Boston Col..14.33....(17)...(51)
20. Boise St.....18.93....(18)...(125)
Conference Rankings (Skynet style - 0 is best, 6 is the worst)
SEC - 0.366
PAC-10 - 2.188
Big East - 3.164
Big 12 - 4.131
Big 10 - 4.337
ACC - 4.560
Do not go out of your way to insult other people's teams. PERIOD. It causes problems. It causes me headaches. Do not do it. If you want to insult do it via e-mail, do it via regular mail, do it via singing telegram. I don't give a shit. Do not do it on the blog. I will remove posts.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I want to start off the usual MMBSD with a follow up to a point that the Hitman made about the BCS standing. While certainly the logic of rating is moving up when losses occur no matter what I think its also a function of how the BCS has reified conferences. In other words a school's ranking, shot at the BCS and standards are by in large set based on its conference of origin. Conventional wisdom here plays a roll. Reflexively voters consider close wins and a loss to bottom rung Kentucky ok for LSU as it plays in the SEC. One loss or undefeated Big 12 teams must be better than OSU as the Big 12 is considered a better conference. In this vein a lot of rivalries hatred have been (see SEC solidarity) or should be rethought. While in theory I should rejoice in an Appalachian State victory it merely makes the Big 10 look bad and furthers the conventional wisdom of a down Big 10 making the struggle for a good bowl all the harder for any other Big 10 team.
In that vein tOSU's loss to Illinois wasn't as big of a scissor kick to the head as the Brown's loss was this weekend. The Buckeyes have by in large overachieved as this year's rebuilding of replacing nearly the entire offense has almost surpassed the predicted 3 loss season. A stomping at the hands of the SEC LSU would have set the program back far further and frankly that of the Big 10 (see above) far more than last year's debacle. Would any Big 10 team be given a shot in the future if OSU fell short two year's in a row? In the meantime an OSU victory over that team up North would yield a successful season, a loss merely hitting expectations.
I realize its only about half way through a season but can any remember a year where there was so little impact by rookie quarterbacks? None of the top 5 QBs taken have seen the field. In fact outside of Edwards in Buffalo I can't name a rookie QB that has played at all. While retreads like Testaverde or Rattay are given new opportunities even teams like Baltimore whose quarterbacks that can't operate Chinese fire drills have stuck with the known falling commodities rather than turn it over to at least rookie Troy Smith. Is this a trend? Is it just a continuation of conservative coaches becoming even more conservative? I'm all ears if its coincidence or part of a larger trend.
I'm not sure the difference between Quick hits and Other Thoughts but in any event at the tops of coaches that should be fired Romeo Crennel and Joe Gibbs. I realize earlier I had lay quite and Ninja like in my Crennel Death Watch but RAC struck again in Pittsburgh with his shortcomings playing old favorite that arent getting the job done (Jamal Lewis), making bone head clock management decisions, and pulling a Gibbs going ultra conservative in the second half. The Browns and Redskins can't be elite teams till they have decision makers that have more Browns then a head of lettuce.
Is there any sport that the early part of the season counts less than the NBA? I'm all ears. However the duel trends of Chicago plummeting and Boston soaring bears watching. Apparently The Three Headed monster can play together. Bill Simmons I'm sure has a book ready for publishing if all 3 Boston teams win Championships. He must be stopped. Please...This is the Voice of Moderation here
This week is national hate on "the" Ohio State week. Like in Nam, there are rules here in the blog world so I will feign analysis and begin the real work of taunting Mighty. In the spirit of "know your opponent" here is a trip down the history of the hated Brutus the Nut.
Take a look at the 1965 Nut. Who is intimidated by this jerk-off?? This is either Jug-Dish or Kent Dorfman forced to dress as the nut in order to pledge the frat. In other news, the nut was paddled by Kevin Bacon during an odd pledge ritual and the sheep filed charges. The Nut has progressed during the ages. The 1979 Nut was diagnosed with clinical depression. This makes sense considering the number of times the "the" ohio state would be cock slapped by that team up north.
The 2005 Brutus the nut, after the Prozac kicked into effect, is still a loser. This man believes that dressing as the nut will allow you access to OSU pippy long stocking's vagine. Borat likes sexy time but dressing as the nut does not win you girls and you don't win friends with salad.
That was a lovely trip in time thank you peabody. Quiet YOU!
Coaching: Edge "the" OSU
Rivalry games define your coaching career. Disagree? Ask John Cooper. Carr has been owned by the sweatervest. Although everybody poops, Carr does not and should not during the OSU week. Carr's lack of ability to... let's see... call a play that fools someone rivals that of Joe Gibbs. If God is not indifferent to my suffering, both Gibbs and Carr will be fired at the end of the season. Carr and Gibbs would play each other in Madden 08 to a 3-3 tie by running HB off-tackle each play.
Carr coaching the Wolverines means my liver (hope) is eaten by a large bird each year only to re-grow in the off-season.
See Carr yelling like the old man from the porch. In this photo, he is yelling "I AM STUCK IN THE 1960s play calling!! Hart!! Run behind Jake Long!!"
Offense-- edge to the Wolverines. Hart is the difference. If healthy, Hart will run for 100 + yards. In last year's game, Hart owned the Buckeyes D for 180 yards and 3 TDs. A healthy Henne and Hart gives the edge to Michigan.
Defense-- push. Both teams lost NFL level starters from last year's teams and both squads have played like it.
Special Teams-- edge to the OSU. Michigan special teams are special in that american sort of way and take the same short bus. OSU kicking game consistently roughs up the wolverines. Nuff said. Please... Michigan, use a scholarship on a new kicker.
Henne and Hart start-- Michigan by 7.
No Henne-- Michigan by 3.
No Hart-- OSU by 7.
-- note-- the original post had a lovely @ss picture with OSU on it. It will make a reappearance soon.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Dallas @ NY Giants- This could be a great game. The real question remains- if the Giants win, will MJ jump on the team’s bandwagon? Rumor has it that if MJ does jump on the bandwagon, Eli promises to do extra homework each week.
Pick: NY Giants in revenge
Upset of the Week-
Jack-O @ Tennessee- AFC wildcard berth is possibly on the line! Garrad may actually play this week, plus, I like the revenge factor in this game, since Tennsee won a close 13-10 game earlier in the season.
Pick: Jack-O in revenge
Denver @ KC – I really don’t like either of these teams that much… but the KC defense has been better of late than the dysfunctional Denver D.
Buff @ Miami- Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!
Cleve @ Pitt – The Browns have one of the easiest schedules the rest of the way – this is their only game against a team over .500 ! If the Browns pull a miracle and win this game, I will be expecting a Browns playoff berth.
St. Louis @ New Orleans- The Saints are back to their 2006 form.
Pick: New Orleans
Atl @ CAR – The Falcons should be satisfied with their win from last week.
Philly @ Wash- I think this is a tough game to pick, mainly because it involves the Eagles. The Redskins actually have beaten all the teams they were supposed to beat, and lost to the ones they were supposed to lose to (Giants, Packers, Patriots).
Minny @ GB – Green Bay has already escaped without losing 3 times this season. Again, it is hard to choose Minnesota, even w/ Adrian Peterson, because they need some kind of passing game. Right?
Pick: Green Bay
Cincy @ Baltimore- Hooray bad game. I guess the Ravens get the edge, who still haven’t lost at home yet.
Pick: Baltimore in revenge
Chicago @ Oakland- The Bears can turn it around, for at least one game.
Detroit @ Arizona- I can’t believe the Lions can be 7-2! 7-2 !
Indy @ San Diego- Another great game. Philip Rivers probably can’t get on the right track against the Colts either. It’s sad what’s happened to the Chargers this year, though I still think there’s time for the Chargers to rally and win their division.
San Fran @ Seattle- Yawn.
Last Week: 12-2 (seriously, I thought I double-counted)
Manwich: 7-2 (The Colts came close to taking down the Pats, but not close enough.)
Upset of the Week: 5-4 (The Packers came back and took down the Chiefs).
Rum 151 (add as needed)
It’s often hard to write to an audience I have never met while sober so I have to imagine you. I imagine you, the reader, are probably at home or in an office, or maybe even a high speed bullet train. You are reading this one on your computer while sipping your coffee, maybe even a macchiato out a cup or if its night your drinking your mead out of a ram’s horn. While you sip your beverage you’re demanding to be entertained. I imagine it’s because you’re still recovering from the crossbow competition mishap and need the cheering up. So my adoring audience I have a special treat, no not that opium you’re addicted to, but a point and counter point between myself and my son, Mad Mark. Mad Mark was raised in Big 12 country or by wolves I forget which…anyway so he and I will debate the Big 12. Currently it has 3 teams in the top 6 of the BCS. How good is the Big 12?
Sam Bradford: Heisman candidate or autistic monkey?
Point: The Big 12 is for real. Deal with it Bitches by Mad Mark
(updated: links now work)
Is the Big 12 for real? Yes they are. 3 teams in the top 6 and 4 in the top 15 of the BCS standings? If it were a fluke in one poll, Mighty Mike may have something legitimate to bitch about. But, since the BCS rankings combine both of the human polls and lots of the computer polls, there’s no logical argument to dispute the fact that The Big 12 stands to be reckoned with.
Most east-coast biased sports-writers & “fans” (who never see the games on TV anyway) downgrade the Big 12. Note how 9 of them (along with 7 of the ‘contenders’) have 2 or less wins. How does a team with 4 wins become ranked in the bottom 10? Yes,
Big 12 gets a bad wrap in bowl games, because it’s traditionally the #2 team from another conference against the #5 team or #6 team in the Big 12. Due to strict publishing timelines, (and the fact that I have to work for a living) I don’t have time to research all the details on each of the Bowl Games, but I’m sure Mighty Mike wouldn’t publish it anyway.
The true test of Conference versus conference would be to match up the #3, #4, and #5 (and maybe #6 in bigger conferences) teams from each conference. There will be elite and awful teams each year. This comparison will truly show what each conference is made of, by eliminating the outliers. We’ll match up the Big 12 with the Big 10, just for argument’s sake: #3 would be Mizzou and
One final part(y)ing shot - How many other conferences will a coach go party at an opposing campus? Gotta love the Big 12!!!
Counterpoint: The Big 12 Blows Big Floppy Donkey Dick by Mighty Mike
Mark, you ignorant slut. Typically I wouldn’t exchange pleasantries with a man that changes team loyalty with the frequency of Brittney Spears after a coke binge but I have not written this piece to discuss your affiliation with NAMBLA but instead the Big 12. Contrary to public opinion I have not come to bury the Big 12 but to praise it. After all while the Big 10 was being slaughtered last year the Big 12’s best team put up a valiant, albeit losing, effort against the juggernaut of Boise St. Sure Boise State needs blue turf so that anyone will notice them but Oklahoma was saddled with Adrian Peterson, a running back that obviously was drafted too high and has since struggled in the Pros. Yes with Peterson somehow Oklahoma found a way to barely lose. These heroics by Oklahoma have somehow overshadowed other Big 12 beasts in action. Like Nebraska’s 01-02 loss to Miami 37-14. Or Oklahoma’s loss to USC 55-19 in 04-05. In fact the Big 12 continues to get high accolades even though it’s only of two major conferences to have a losing record in BCS bowl games (5-7). Yet unlike the ACC, the Big 12 slides through like its skating on greased pancakes in a Teflon rink as a great conference. Yes you fighting men of the Big 12 congrats. What you lack in play making ability, depth, or coaching you make up for in marketing. I can only give you the bird in salutation.
Thanks Mark for this edition in Point-Counterpoint. Others will be coming. And now for some Cheering and Jeering…
Cheers: To Your Games of the Week. In college I have Georgia v. Auburn, Michigan v. Wisconsin and Cal v. USC. In the Pros I have Jacksonville v. Tennessee, Browns v. Steelers and Giants v. Cowbitches
Cheers: To Rivalries. This week is ripe with NFL Rivalries. New York v. Dallas. Cleveland v. The Hated Yinzers . Green Bay and Minnesota , Chicago versus the World over the flood of misspellings. You can almost taste the hate. There’s something different about rivalry games. No matter how your team is doing, you’re a little bit more anxious, a little bit more edgy and a little quicker to call from the opponent’s scrotum to be caught in a bizarre Zamboni mishap. Here’s to you hate, you make sports great.
Cheers: The Illibuck. For those that are unaware the Illibuck is the trophy given to the winner of the OSU v. Illinois games. Why is it a wooden turtle? Well originally a turtle was selected since it would live a long time but a bathtub mishap resulted in the turtle’s death and it being replaced by the wooden one today (true story). The smoking of a peace pipe at halftime tradition was also discontinued for reasons that I can’t fathom.
Actual size of trophy
Jeers: To Belichek’s fake handshake to Tony Dungy. Not because it was classless, immature move but because Belichek just didn’t go far enough. If you are really going to stick to your opponent go all out. Yell in his face, slip him the old do you like chocolate pretzels (oh mallrats) or go for the old fashioned stare down. Come on. Build this rivalry up even more.
Jeers: To Neil Patrick Harris. I don’t ask for much in life. My family being healthy, my friends happy, a Browns’ player rupturing Hines Ward’s spleen and for Hollywood not to dress up as homicidal clowns. Is that too much to ask Neil? Come on. Now I’m going to have nightmares for weeks…
Your Ironic Quote of the Week: "You can't be President and head of the military at the same time" said Commander in Chief Bush
Your Youtube Clip of the Week: LSU Fans can dance. (warning provocative dancing and rap music for those with stuffy shirts)
Your C&J gal of the Week: Megan Fox star of Transformers and grease monkey….
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series because they were the best team in baseball from start to finish in 2007. But, in case no one’s been paying attention, the last time a team repeated as World Series champions was the 2000 New York Yankees. Teams just don’t repeat in baseball anymore. Part of the reason is that the short Divisional Series makes it much harder for teams to make it through the playoffs unscathed. Part of the reason is that luxury tax and revenue sharing are providing some industrious teams the opportunity to develop and control cheap young talent for long enough to contend in short bursts (see Oakland, Cleveland, Minnesota, and Florida as examples). In short, the playoffs are a crapshoot.
So, why would they be considered a potential dynasty? Because they won a World Series a few years ago? So did the Chicago White Sox. Is it because Jon Lester was able to bounce back from cancer and pitch into the 6th inning of Game 4 of the World Series? Or is it because the team has incredible team chemistry? The Red Sox were one Cleveland Indians gut-check away (sorry Mighty & Gutsy) from going home without having their asses kissed. They’re not a perfect team in any way. After all, as everyone loves to point out about the Yankees, the Red Sox had the highest payroll of World Series winner in baseball history. And for all that money, they still only won their division by two games and needed to win three elimination games to beat the Indians.
The point is this: no one should hand the Red Sox the 2008 trophy. If they don’t repeat, they can’t even be considered a dynasty. Why are we even using the “D” word with a team that finished in third place two years after winning their first World Series in 86 years?
2. Sports Illustrated and ESPN are both spending ungodly amounts of time breaking down this weekend’s Giants-Cowbitches game. A part of the analysis was about how Eli Manning looks like he’s taken the “next step” (whatever the hell that means). Why would anyone think such a thing? Does anything in his statistical record indicate that 2007 is going better for him than 2004-2006? Let’s investigate:
First, his stats to date:
2007 – 8 Games
145-249 (Comp-Att)/ 58.2% Comp%/ 1,584 Yds/ 13 TD/ 9 INT/ 4 Fum (3 lost)/ 79.5 Passer Rating
Now his career stats prior to this season:
2004-2006 – 41 Games
690-1,276 (Comp-Att)/ 54.0% Comp%/ 8,049 Yds/ 54 TD/ 44 INT/ 21 Fum (5 lost)/ 73.2 Passer Rating
His 2007 stats look awfully close to his career numbers if you draw the 2007 numbers out over 16 games. So, where’s the maturation? Where’s this next step? How does Eli Manning look better to people in 2007? Keep in mind, this is a guy that was absolutely and totally trashed by every single person that talks about the NFL. The entire off-season was an all-Eli, all-the-time analysis of why the Giants were going to be so putrid in 2007. Well, he has been putrid. And the team’s been feasting on lousy opponents.
To put Eli’s 2007 season into context, he is the 19th ranked QB based on Passer Rating. He is a scant 1.3 points ahead of 21st-ranked Joey Harrington. So don’t tell me that Eli’s “making strides” or “taking the next step” or “almost there” because he’s not. He’s the same QB he’s always been in his career. He’s just slightly below average in a league where average QB’s only last as long as their contract enables them to play. The day Eli’s rookie contract expires is the day he ceases to be starter-worthy in the NFL.
The Giants suck for a number of reasons. Eli Manning is one of them. I can’t wait for the Giants to do their usual 2-6 routine in the second half. Then we can have another predictable ride on the merry-go-round where everyone will say that Eli sucks. And then – of course – everyone will change their minds again.
ELI SUCKS. GIANTS SUCK. Nothing more to say.
*If anyone wants to buy me this t-shirt, I won’t say no. Damn HBO for pulling the plug on the show that taught me how to use the word “cocksucker” as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, and as part of a prepositional phrase.