Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Manwich Matchup of the Week
Pitt @ Washington - Pitt lost to the Giants last week. The Redskins have won a couple in a row (Cleveland, Detroit) of late.
Upset of the Week
ATL @ Oakland - Jeff George can only support one team... and it's the winner of this game.
Houston @ Minnesota - This is a bizarre matchup. The Vikings have been one of the most inconsistent teams in recent memory. However, the Vikings are more desperate than the Texans, who have won 3 straight (Miami, Cincy, Detroit)
Jacksonville @ Cincy - It's too bad the Browns beat the Jags. The Jags will probably be extra focused now for the 0-8 Bungals. Have no fear Bungal fans - Baltimore, Cleveland and KC remain on the schedule.
TB @ KC - Yawn.
Baltimore @ Cleveland - I think I've hardly picked any Browns games right... but I sincerely believe the Ravens are over-rated and the Browns will refuse to be swept.
Jets @ Buffalo - The jets have won 2 of 3. The Bills have lost 2 of 3, but are undefeated at home.
Arizona @ ST. Louis - The Rams have actually been a lot of fun since sacking their head coach. But Arizona is on a mission for a division title. It would be only their 3rd division title... since their inception in 1920!!!!!
Detroit @ Chicago - Da Bears.
GB @ Tennessee - Da Titans.
Miami @ Denver - When Miami plays Denver, I keep thinking about that time they traded their top RBs to each other because both had issues. Sammie Smith and Bobby Humphrey were their names, and I have no idea why these two teams make me think of that. The weird thing? Both players only lasted one more pitiful season and both were later arrested for cocaine possession, or at least that's what Wikipedia says right now.
Dallas @ Giants - The Giants really lucked out with this one, since facing Brad Johnson instead of Tony Romo is like matching up against Mr. Belding instead of AC Slater in a wrestling match.
Philly @ Seattle - Yawn.
New England @ Indy - You know what? It's not even exciting this year. It's not just the lack of Tom Brady, it's that both teams are so incredibly mortal.
Last Week: 8-6 (could have done better of course)
Manwich: 4-4 (The Giants came through against Pitt!)
Upset of the Week: 1-7 (I need to stop picking against Tennessee)
Most underrated by the humans: Boise St., Georgia
Most overrated by the humans: USC, Florida
2008 - week of 27-Oct
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Choice #1 represents a 33 year old center that played a grand total of five, yes FIVE, minutes last season. Over the course of his three seasons in New York, he’s averaged six minutes a game but has only played in 88 out of a possible 246 games. If a player averages only six minutes a game but only plays in 36% of a team’s games over a three-year period, is it not safe to assume that there’s not a whole lot of value added in keeping this player around?
Choice #2 is viewed as the sixth guard on a team that intends to use a four-guard rotation. He is, in fairness, considered to be a good shooter so perhaps his value becomes more apparent over time.
Choice #3 is the son of the best player in franchise history and considered by those in the know as a somewhat limited, but nevertheless valuable prospect. This player would never be an All-Star and would never make anyone forget about his Hall of Fame dad. That being said, every team needs role players who can defend, block shots, rebound, and make hustle plays – especially ones on a team whose offense is as frenetically-paced as this year’s Knicks offense will be. Toss in the obvious PR value gained by having a familiar name/“team mascot” player around a team that has been saddled with bad characters and even worse story lines and it would seem to be a choice that makes itself.
So, which choice did they make? Predictably, they made the wrong one.
With Roberson having an obvious skill (shooting), the choice ultimately came down to Jerome James and Patrick Jr. DoSA decided that it made more sense to stick the $12M albatross on the bench instead of cutting him loose and giving a younger, cheaper player the chance to make an impact on the team. With Eddy Curry already out of the rotation because of his lack of conditioning and mismatched skill-set in Coach D’Antoni’s offensive system, the Knicks now get to add a further redundancy by carrying a backup to the backup center.
20 years of passionate fandom now amounts to this: the Knicks are not only dead to me, I motherfucking killed them. May Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni rot in hell.
Another week of sports, lots of important lessons learned. So what were some of those lessons?
Texas Deserves That #1 Spot
Far be it for me to actually compliment the Big 12 but I don't think there's a doubt anymore that if Texas can escape Tech next week they'll be skating on flapjacks towards the BCS Championship and deservedly so. 4 straight weeks of top 10 teams seems a nearly impossible feat to even have let alone dominate.
SEC Murky at Best
While Alabama has the top ranking in the SEC, Florida and Georgia appear to be hitting their stride. Florida has won its last 3 games by a score of 152-33. Yeah thats not a misprint. Meanwhile Georgia keelhauled LSU as perhaps their offensive line injuries might be contained. This week at the Biggest Cocktail Party not located in international waters, UGA v. Florida will fight for their right to make Nick Saban sad (or frankly feel something at all).
PSU Jazzercises Demons
Penn State overcame their constant penchant for losing at Michigan, did the same to tOSU. JoePa hadn't won in the Horshoe since he faced a freshman QB, the country was delusioned with economies woes, and a great communicator was manuevering to win the White House. Ah how thing's change. Nonetheless all the credit in the world to Penn State but tOSU lost for the same reason it has over the past 4 seasons. Turnovers and play calling. In the past 12 big games over teh past 4 years OSU is -17 in Big Games. Add in craptastic Play Calling and it was predistined outcome
Must be some pre-recessionary thing I vaguely remember. 2 straight weeks of no real upsets
Honestly I don't think we learned a lot this week. Bills over-rated? Steelers have hoooorible offensive line? Drew Brees can throw well on the other side of the Atlantic? Nope nothing really new here.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
1-boston- Cheers - A source told me that every day, when Big Baby Davis walks over to the bench, everyone screams "Big Baby." Cheers and the Celtics are an award winning show, but is this the final season, when the quality is off a bit, or are we still in the prime of the show?
2-Philly - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - A great star who is not exactly respected by everyone (Andy Richter / Elton Brand) has moved over to Philly. I loved Andy Richter Controls the Universe and I think it was a really brilliant show and underappreciated, just like the championship prospects of Philly this season.
6-Toronto- Blossom - Blossom had a lot of memorable characters - Blossom, Six, Joey (the guy who said "Whoa!"). Toronto has a lot of memorable characters - Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, the remains of Jermaine O'Neal. But Blossom was never going to do great things and I think the same is true about the Raptors, even if they make some fans smile at their offensive skills. Unless of course Jermaine O'Neal still can play 70 games at a high level.
NY - Arli$$ - Arli$$ was an absolute abomination. Great premise (sports agent and his associates) with an interesting cast (Robert Wuhl, Sandra Oh, guest appearances by Bob Costas, Tommy Lasorda, Shaq, Andre Rison, and many others)... but in the end, this show was just atrocious. It's like if Isiah Thomas were writing a show that looked great on paper only it turned out to be terrible in practice. Of course, new coach Mike D'Antoni may be able to change things but it's going to take time.
NJ - Head of the Class - Remember Head of the Class with Arvid (nerdy guy), that fat guy, Robin Givens, Simone, and a whole bunch of other students? That's really the NJ Nets. They have Devin Harris, Vince Carter, and 10 other players under the age of 23 all vying to be LeBron's teammate in 2010. Of course, there's no guarantee that LeBron or any other free agent will actually be there in 2010, but they still can hold tryouts.
4-Cleveland- Perfect Strangers - I just pray that Mo Williams and LeBron get along as well as Balki and his cousin Larry.
5-Detroit - Charles in Charge - Who in the world appoints a coach with no head coaching experience for a veteran team? I just don't see it working out. It's like placing Charles in Charge just because he was funny on Happy Days. I wouldn't trust Charles. He dated Nicole Eggert, and he was supposed to just be babysitting her!
Chicago - 227 - I couldn't really find a show that made sense for the Bulls. I keep thinking they will do well this season and rebound from the evil atmosphere that Scott Skiles produced, but then I keep reminding myself that Vinny Del Negro is coaching them. I once called some plays in a high school basketball rec league game. This means I'm as qualified as Del Negro.
Milwaukee- ALF - Michael Redd still has to carry this team, just like ALF used to. The Bucks did add Richard Jefferson. It is possible that the Bucks exceed expectations if Andrew Bogut plays awesome as does Charlie Villaneuva... but Scott Skiles is the coach. And he's a sad man.
Indiana- Freaks and Geeks - Lots of funny actors got their start on this show (James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen). But, Freaks and Geeks never had good ratings. Similarly, the Pacers may suck, but I still like young players Danny Granger, Brandon Rush, Dr. Hibbert, and TJ Ford.
3-Orlando- The Facts of Life - Orlando is good. Rashard Lewis won't get old and awful for a few more years. I was wrong about them.
7-Miami- Cosby- Can D. Wade return to his old dominance with a mostly different cast? If so, he'd be better than Bill Cosby, who never had much success with the show Cosby that aired on CBS (though he did bring Phylicia Rashad with him). the show "cosby" also had Doug E. Doug as a cast member. Did you know? the Miami Heat have rookie phenom Michael Beasley and Shawn Marion in a contract year.
8-Atlanta- Who's the Boss - I still like the Hawks, even though they lost swingman Josh Childress. Who's the Boss was a good comfort show, it was fun to watch and so are the Hawks.
Washington- Family Matters - Can you imagine Family Matters doing well without Steve Urkel? It's kind of like imagining the Wizards doing well without Gilbert Arenas. Arenas has serious problems with his knee and I'm not optimistic that he can return to his former All-star level. It's sad.
Charlotte- Married with Children - Jordan is the husband, Coach Larry Brown is the obnoxious wife... and they have kids! Lots of young kids! Honestly, the novelty's starting to wear off on this "expansion" team, I can only imagine the lack of patience in the Charlotte area… if Jordan and Coach Larry Brown can't get them to win in the next 2 years, there will be trouble.
2-Utah- Night Court - Night Court was an awesome show with a great cast, just like the Jazz. You can always depend on Night Court.
5-Portland- Full House - Adding Greg Oden is like when they added DJ's boyfriend to Full House, who was the voice of Alladin… there's no stopping the Trail Blazers now!
Denver- Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - I think the Nuggets have already given up… they already traded Camby, Iverson's in a contract year… smells to me like they are starting over. Kind of like when the Fresh Prince just switched who played Aunt Vivian and acted like nothing changed. Well you know what? I noticed, and it was not the same! Allen Iverson (in a contract year) and Carmelo Anthony can at least have fun, like Will Smith and Carlton would, at least until Allen Iverson gets traded at the trade deadline.
Ok City- Martin - fun times with a young future star (Kevin Durant / Martin Lawrence)… but it's nothing award winning.
Minnesota- Silver Spoons - Kevin McHale is like the dad leading his young Timberwolves (Kevin Love playing Ricky Schroeder, Al Jefferson playing Alfonso Ribiero) on the train that goes out of the house and back again. Choo choo!
Texas Two-Step Division
3-Houston- Gilligan's Island - perhaps this season in Houston will be like the season Gilligan's Island became in color?!?
4-San Antonio- Empty Nest - When I was really bored on a Saturday night as a 10-year old, I was slightly entertained by this older comedy… but if I didn't watch Empty Nest, I wouldn't miss it. Though that dog really did a great job of raising its eyebrows on Empty Nest.
6-New Orleans- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - this team will really need some magic by Chris Paul if its expecting to win anything more than last year. The addition of James Posey will not change much of anything… they already had Mo Pete doing the same type of things at that position. Yes, they added depth, but more importantly, they lost backup PG Jannero Pargo, who went to Russia.
7-Dallas- My Two Dads - head coach Rick Carlyle and owner Mark Cuban are both in charge of this team. I think Mark Cuban is the "cool dad" and Rick Carlyle is the "conservative dad", played by Paul Reiser. Apparently... Dick Butkus was also on the show! Clearly, Jason Kidd is playing "the old guy who once was a great athlete" on this show.
Memphis- My Favorite Gasol - this isn't really a show, but as I said earlier this year, it should be! Here's my idea for episode #12 - they inadvertently each set up dates with the same girl - one on Friday and one on Saturday... and they don't realize until afterwards!
1-Lakers - Saved by the Bell - classic sitcom, always entertaining... plus, it's like the Lakers are getting Max back, as Bynum is coming back from injury!
8-Phoenix- Boy Meets World - younger brother's show, which is never as good as older brother's show, Wonder Years. Of course, the real focus of the team is Shaq and Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, but I think it's more important to bring up the fact that Robin Lopez is on the Suns. I actually think Robin Lopez could play better this year than Shaq.
Clippers- The Tick - this was actually made into a live-action show, starring Putty from Seinfeld. The Clippers acquired their own star this offseason as well - PG Baron Davis. Unfortunately, they also lost Elton Brand and Corey Maggette. Net result: negative.
Golden State- Herman's Head - I really don't know who's in charge (Chris Mullin or Don Nelson) or what part of the brain will win. What I do know is that Golden State lost PG Baron Davis and then sought revenge by acquiring Corey Maggette, though that wasn't really even a need for them. It should be an interesting season, especially since SG Monta Ellis is out until February.
Sacramento- Hogan Family - starring Jason Bateman and Sandy Duncan (who apparently wasn't on the show until they killed off the original mom!) The Kings only have SG Kevin Martin and PG Beno Udrih. That's not going to be enough to get it done in the West.
1-Boston over 8-Atlanta - Rematch! Probably won't be going 7 games again.
4-Cleveland over 5-Detroit - This is going to be one physical slugfest.
3-Orlando over 6-Toronto - I still don't think Jermaine O'Neal will be healthy enough to make a difference.
2-Philly over 7-Miami - The 76ers are going to be ruthless.
1-Lakers over 8-Phoenix - I'm sure TNT will have some nice Shaq features running during this sweep.
2-Utah over 7-Dallas - I still think Dallas could be a bit frisky with a new coach... but Jason Kidd will be overpowered once again by another faster, younger PG.
3-Houston over 6-New Orleans - This series will be tough. The Rockets have to win a playoff series at some point though, right?
5-Portland over 4-San Antonio - Youth is served! Really, the Spurs success depends on Manu Ginobili's health when he returns.
4-Cleveland over 1-Boston - Time for some actual analysis. The Cavs addition of PG Mo Williams should make a big difference, even if the Cavs have a dumb coach. For the first time in LeBron's career, there is a capable playmaker on the floor who can handle the ball. Even if Coach Brown only calls one play per game (don't laugh, this happens), it is still inevitable that Mo Williams should have the ball in his hands and LeBron is free to run around and get open OR set himself up down low. Whenever LeBron was "off-the-ball" in the past, he's even more "unguardable" than when he's handling the ball. When LeBron handles the ball, you can throw a wall of defenders at him to prevent penetration or force him to go to a sideline. Off-the-ball LeBron? Should be even more unstoppable. The other reason that the Cavs can take down Boston is because they have the big men (Z, Ben Wallace, Varejao) to contest KG and the Celtics.
2-Philly over 3-Orlando - The 76ers have Elton Brand. Dalembert. Andre Miller. Thaddeus Young. Louis Williams. It's a young team (other than Andre Miller) that can run up and down the floor and will be very athletic while also controlling the boards.
1-Lakers over 5-Portland - I assume Bynum and Oden will be healthy, which should be a real interesting matchup down low. I also assume asking for conference finals this year for Portland is too much.
3-Houston over 2-Utah - The Rockets have Ron Artest... in a CONTRACT Year! The starting 5 of Houston is really quite amazing... so long as they stay healthy (Scola, Artest, Yao Ming, T-Mac, Rafer Alston). Usually, at least 3 of these guys get hurt each year.
4-Cleveland over 2-Philly - Yes, LeBron is like a freight train that cannot be stopped. In addition to the reasons stated above, I believe the Cavs will win the East because I am EXPECTING the Cavs to dump at least Wally's $13 million contract in exchange for some upgrade at either SG or PF. Once this player to be named later is identified, the Cavs will be trully unstoppable. The player the Cavs obtain will be based on some other team losing more games than they are supposed to, giving up hope, and deciding to take Wally's contract for instant cap relief.
1-Lakers over 3-Houston - With Bynum? The Lakers are frightening. Plus, too many fragile people have to stay healthy for Houston to win.
4-Cleveland over 1-Lakers - For the 1st time since the 1996 Cleveland Indians, I am picking my home team to win the whole damn thing. I believe that Mo Williams should allow LeBron to be off-the-ball on offense, meaning he's virtually unguardable, unstoppable. The only thing holding back the Cavs is the moronic coaching. I am saying the Cavs have the horses to win the whole damn thing, especially once they dump Wally's $13 million expiring contract, as explained above. As an aside, it should be noted that the 1996 Indians lost in the 1st round that year that I picked them. Now, I no longer believe in superstition. I think the planets will align, the Cavs can win the whole damn thing, Lebron will be wearing a tie around his head like Charlie Steiner and screaming "Follow me to freedom!," and the city of Cleveland will consume more alcohol per person over the course of 1 day of celebration than any other city has in the history of mankind.
PF - Elton Brand, Philly
SF - LeBron, Cleveland
C - Dwight Howard, Orlando
SG - Kobe, Lakers
PG - Deron Williams, Utah
Friday, October 24, 2008
I, MJ, a columnist on this blog since March 2005, am announcing my retirement^ from writing. Instead, I will devote my energy to launching a boy-band called Color Me Unimpressed™. It’s been a pleasure sharing my thoughts and opinions with you for all these years but the higher calling of a musical career is too strong to ignore. With that, I leave you with the following thoughts:
Color Me Unimpressed™ with:
1. Eli Manning. Until he gives me a complete 16-game season showing consistency and quality play, the guy remains a busted pick in my book. Having a few good games, a few bad games, and a bunch of average performances sprinkled in for good measure only reinforces my belief that he’s an average to below-average starting QB in the NFL and that he does as much damage to the Giants as he does to help them. A certain secret society that I belonged to had the motto: “You’re either helping or you’re hindering.” So far, Eli’s been hindering.
2. Eddy Curry. For a fat piece of garbage, it’s incredible how much talent he has. Eddy’s problem is that he just places a higher value on eating a triple whopper over being a perennial All-Star. In the past, that wasn’t a big deal. But as a member of Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks, it means that he’s out of the rotation and will now block the view of those Knicks fans sitting directly behind the bench. What’s the upshot? Curry’s got an opt-out clause in his contract. Hopefully he’s so miserable in New York this year that he opts for free agency and goes elsewhere for next season.
3. Plaxico Burress. Perpetually pissy. Permanently perturbed. Persistently petulant. Plaxico is a lousy teammate. He pouts on the field. He’s careless and irresponsible off it. All things being equal, the Giants desperately need his talent but absolutely don’t need his attitude. Exactly why did they sign him to a five year, $35M contract? He is SUCH a loser. It’s pathetic.
4. Peter Gammons. Not for the usual reasons (blatant Boston homerism, appalling lack of fundamental baseball understanding) but because he was drinking and driving this morning. For those of you who were watching/listening to the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” program today, Peter Gammons was calling from his cell phone as he was driving. He sounded absolutely sloshed and it was only 7:30 in the morning. I always knew he was a stupid drunk but I don’t see why he should put the rest of us in danger with his DUI’s.
(Thanks to Mighty Mike for his help in publishing this post)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
To this I reply, how could anyone not call into the integrity of the medical staff and the organization as a whole? After several instances of staph included one where Lecharles Bentley not only had his career ended but nearly his life the organization made changes. However since then another case of staph ended Joe Jurevicious' career and once again infected Winslow. As to the Browns response they hid the information from other players and the public in attempt to manage the PR nightmare. (while the Browns say it was a mutual decision its hard to come to anything but a labrynthian explanation for why Winslow wanted the situation covered up). Rather than the Browns saying further steps are being taken they preferred to ignore it. Its shameful, manipulative and frankly unconscionable. While I've heard a few complain about HOW Winslow delivered it and less on the substance I find this ridiculous. This is someone's career and life, and he was placed in a position that he should publicly lie about it for the sake of an organization that has not solved a serious health condition. Ultimately its the responsible of the owner for keeping the fans happy, the players healthy and the team not resembling a Chinese fire-drill. Lerner has failed on all of these and ultimately he is responsible for this epic failure.
Anyway some Cheers and Jeers
Cheers: OSU v. Penn State. Bring it on!
Cheers: To the SEC Ref Tackling youtube sensation. The former linebacker turned referee smashed the South Carolina running back into the ground. While the forearm shiver I was ok with the dance afterwords might have been a little excessive.
Cheers: To unsurprising news. For those that don't follow Austrian politics that closely for the past decade or so Jorg Haider has led one of the most influential and successful of far-right/neo-nazi parties in all of Europe. However Haider died in a firey car crash following a booze filled night. Turns out Haider not only did he get drunk at a gay club on the night he died but he had an ongoing "special" relationship with Stefan Petzner, the parties' #2 leader. So basically a hate-filled party is filled with a bunch of closet cases and sufferers of reaction-formation. Yeah really surprising.
Cheers: To the start of the NBA. I await Gutsy mad-NBA preview skills but I'm picking the Lakers over the Cavs because there's no end to my sports suffering.
Jeers: To the axeman. While in some cases firing coaches is certainly justified (ahem Linehan cough cough). I have a feeling this year in the copy cat NFL coaches heads will be randomly rolling.
Cheers/Jeers: To a Hockey Game Delayed by a Dildo. I can't decide if that's a funny thing or crazy thing that shouldn't be replicated as in theory children watch hockey.
And Cheers to the C&J gal of the Week...Rachel Bilson
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Manwich Matchup of the Week
Giants @ Pittsburgh - The Steelers have won 3 in a row, while the Giants have won just 1 won in a row.
Upset of the Week-
Indy @ Tennessee- It makes no sense at all, I know.
Oakland @ Baltimore - They both won last week... but I think the Ravens are hungrier.
San Diego @ New Orleans @ London - Eesh... both teams are coming off losses. But the Chargers seem more together at the moment than the Saints, despite the revenge factor of Drew Brees finally playing his old teammates.
Pick: San Diego
KC @ Jets - It's the Herman Edwards bowl! I liked how when I flipped by ESPN on Tuesday, the bottom line said that Herman Edwards would not sign QB Daunte Culpepper but instead would sign QB Bruce Gradkowski. But then... surprise! Herman Edwards signed the laughable QB Quinn Gray.
Buffalo @ Miami - Well... this one is tough. My new strategy says to pick the Dolphins, but the Bills have been my surprise team this year.
Tampa @ Dallas - I'm not making exceptions for the Cowboys. They are completely screwed at this point with all their injuries.
Atlanta @ Philly - Both teams are coming off byes but Atlanta is on the longer winning streak... so...
St. Louis @ New England - The Rams have gone from winless to knocking off the Redskins and Cowboys. Could they make it 3 in a row? That seems like asking too much.
Pick: New England
Arizona @ CAR - Arizona's won 2 in a row, which seems like too many. CAR's only won one in a row, so why not?
Washington @ Detroit - The Lions are another exception. They are trying to lose out the season.
Cleveland @ Jacksonville - The Browns are a walking disaster. If I was the owner of the team, I would fire the GM Phil Savage for defending the Cleveland Clinic (who run the Browns' facility which has caused SEVEN cases of staph infection), fire the Cleveland Clinic, and start going to a new facility to ensure that the players aren't exposed to any staph infections.
Seattle @ San Fran - The 49ers have lost 4 in a row, but now they have a new coach. The Seahawks have only lost 3 in a row.
Pick: San Fran
Cincy @ Houston - No hope for the Bungals. None. You have to fire your coach to win some games- just ask the Rams and Raiders.
Last Week: 7-7 (i'm in a really BIG slump)
Manwich: 3-4 (I should have stuck by my surprise team Buffalo, as opposed to San Diego)
Upset of the Week: 1-6 (I picked Denver and they lost by 30 some points.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So, to be clear, here’s how I devise the standings each week:
1) I take the top 20 of the BCS standings.
2) I input each of the top 20's computer standings from each computer ranking.
3) I let excel calculate the standard deviation for each computer ranking distribution of the top 20. Then, Excel normalizes the distribution, and fits EACH computer ranking onto a 1-20 scale.
4) Finally, the normalized-computer averages are determined (i.e. Florida is ranked 5.76, 2.55, 2.21, 5.77 in 4 of the polls, which is an average of 4.07, which equals their SCS ranking. This means that according to the polls, they are approximately the 4th-best team in the country).
I know it took a couple of days, but the latest Skynet rankings shook me to the core...
Oklahoma State is #3!
Ohio State is #4!
Boise State is #6!
and LSU is # 19! The computers are clearly not big fans of playing I-AA schools (Applachian State and North Texas). Of course, there is a long time until the end of the season though. And remember, these are not my rankings, they are the rankings of the only objective entity in the universe... Skynet!
2008 Skynet Rankings - Week of 10/20
Monday, October 20, 2008
Normally the pattern has been in College Football that after a big win a powerhouse lays an egg. As Texas stepped into prime time against a dangerous Missouri the question is how would they respond. Well within about 4.2 seconds Texas turned Missouri into mincemeat. Heisman favorite Colt McCoy (if your parents name you Colt its pretty much constraining you to the life of a Texas QB, Texas Oil Tycoon, or deadbeat automechanic) who came in completing over 80% of his passes played flawlessly as the Burnt Orange Machine was unstoppable. Add in an emerging running threat and a defensiveline that can get pressure on spread-option team and well Texas solidified itself as the favorite to win the mythical BCS Championship. One more big test against Ok State this week and Mack Brown could have Texas poised for another championship.
Alabama - Nov 7 at LSU. Potential SEC Championship Game
Penn State - tOSU This weekend.
OU - at Ok State Nov 26th. Pray Texas loses in Dr.Pepper Big 12 Bowl
USC - In theory Cal 11/8 but USC is skating by on hype. Hoping OSU makes a big push as thats their quality win of the year
Georgia - LSU, Florida, G-Tech. SEC Champ Game 4 Wins v. Top 15 competition could launch UGA back into Championship talk land.
For all those suckers that put money down on favorites this year. Check out how Indy, New England, Dallas and New Orleans are doing. Three words: Circling the Drain. These teams need to at least starting come within a facsimile of how they were supposed to play and fast or given the glut of teams in front of them leap frogging will keep them from the playoffs.
Perhaps this is why the season seems so wide open. As Gutsy said to me how many of these teams at the top do you buy? Not too much but then again I don't think I've seen any NFL coverage these days that isnt focused on Pacman Jones issues, Tony Romo's thumb or Jerry Jones desire to make random trades. When did the Cowboys become the Red Sox of ESPN coverage?
Other Miscallaneous Notes
As the NBA season starts heating up a few questions
1) Which Big Man Returning will have a bigger impact: Greg Oden or Andrew Bynum or Yao Ming?
2) The acquisition of Mo Williams or Elton Brandt or Ron Artest...which will matter more in the playoffs?
3) Posey to New Orleans. Bigger Benefit to the Hornets or Bigger Loss for Celtics?
4) How big of a deal is a healthy Dwayne Wade in the overall Championship discussion?
5) Derrek Rose, OJ Mayo or Michael Beasley? If its OJ Mayo does Kevin McHale (who traded him away) officially get labeled as the worst NBA GM ever.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
While FDR may have once said "You have nothing to fear but fear itself" that is so last century. Today our current President or King or whatever the phrase is said in his weekly radio addresses"Abandon your post! Flee! Flee for your life!" Unfortunately for us he got distracted by a shiny penny and never finished his thought on what we should truly be scared of. So here's my updated list of things to be worried about
I think its apparent now that Pacman Jones represents a threat to this nation. I mean he scuffled with someone. He's out of control. Its obvious the man needs to be locked up Hannibal Lecter style before he shoots someone on the field. Don't worry, humanitarian and provider for the little people Roger Goodall is on the scene!
Predator Pony See the catch with predator pony is your going to think its cute or harmless and then it'll use some crazy ass slicing device on your and it'll be all over. I'm pretty sure thats how the US got Che Guevara. Predator Pony.
Fast, smart Bears that probably have swords. I would say if confronted by the Bear Cavalry the best solution is to soil yourself and hope for the best but the probable outcome is your fucked.
Kent Brockman: Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
Professor: Yes I would, Kent.
Can you think of anything that could stop her?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Both the Browns and the Rams were left for dead. No one even spoke of them on the pre-game shows, out of respect for the deceased...
but suddenly, it's as if the entire NFL became repossed by ZOMBIES! The Rams knocked off the Redskins and the Browns put a wallop on the Giants. Desperate times call for desperate measures... including coaches that recite incantations to gather the strength of a hundred zombies.
What does this mean going forward? 3 things:
1) That absolutely no dead team is truly dead
2) Any team can become a Zombie at any time.
3) I am not good at predicting which teams are Zombies
Manwich Matchup of the Week
San Diego @ Buffalo - A very intriguing matchup. I know that I've been touting the Bills all season as my super-surprise team, but I don't believe the Bills have the horses to withstand the force that is the Chargers.
Pick: San Diego
Upset of the Week
New Orleans @ CAR - The NFC South is very difficult to handicap. The Panthers can't be as bad as they showed last week? Right?
Pick: New Orleans
Tennessee @ KC - Tennessee is not the best team in the NFL... but I don't have panache to pick KC.
Pitt @ Cincy - The end does not even seem in sight for the Bungals. Just fire Coach Marvin Lewis right now.
Baltimore @ Miami - It's always fun to see Cobra go on a big losing streak!
Dallas @ St. Louis - Even w/o Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Pacman Jones, Terence Newman, and the punter, Dallas should still win this game. Barely. Plus, let's not forget that they traded a 1st, 3rd, and 6th round pick for WR Roy Williams. That's what we call "putting it all on the line for this season!" My whole prediction of the NFC East going 32-0 versus the AFC North and the NFC West went down the toilet quickly last week, as the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants all lost!
Minny @ Chicago - This is an intruging matchup as well. There are good arguments in favor of each team winning, such as both have a RB named Adrian Peterson.
San Fran @ Giants - No way the Giants lose two in a row.
Detroit @ Houston - The Texans are 9 point favorites, which should say a lot about their opponents, the Detroit Lions! The Lions really may go 0-16 this season at this rate, especially if their QB mistakenly walks out the back of the endzone for a safety.
Jets @ Oakland - Coach Mangina has been in a really good mood lately with this junior varsity schedule.
Cleveland @ Washington - So... the Cleveland Zombies suddenly look like worldbeaters. The real question is will Coach Romeo Crennel continue to make risky decisions and play calls? Probably not, because he's conservative and stupid by nature. However, the Cleveland O-line was looking fantastic this past week.
Indy @ Green Bay - The Packers can't run or do anything correctly.
Seattle @ Tampa - Yawn.
Denver @ New England - Now is the time for the Pats to win a game. Right?!? Wrong! I think the bottom is far away.
Last Week: 7-7 (i'm in a BIG slump)
Season: 49-39 (I'm still below the Theismann line of stupidity)
Manwich: 3-3 (Hooray for the Chargers!)
Upset of the Week: 1-5 (I picked Miami over Houston, and they got beat at the last second. It's funny that this year, there have been about 5 upsets every weekend, yet I've only hit one so far)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Ultimately it doesn't matter as the Championship Game, contrary to what you may have heard, is actually played with 2 teams and as such whether its Texas v. Alabama or Alabama v. Texas is irrelevant but the drum beat of what have you done for me lately continues to blow. Any bets on if USC blows another gimme but afterwards plays well down the stretch then Herbstreit will purse his lips, get out his patented Pete Carroll balls fondling device and cry out "But this team is playing the best football at the moment I'm saying this "
Mighty's List of College Football Championship Contenders
3. Penn State
4. OK State
Fountain of Hotness
Speaking of things I was horribly horribly wrong about Britney Spears got uber hot again. I didn't think it was possible, I assumed there was a greater chance she would be eaten by a tiger in a grocery store in Tanzania while she sang Battle Hymn of the Republic. I blew that call. And by that I mean yes the video is NSFW and in a totally kick ass way (although this shouldn't be read as endorsing the music just endorsing hot naked chicks in saunas. Why don't politicians deal with our lack of super hot naked chicks in saunas?).
Yes hockey. The great American sport. Anyway a funny thing happened the other day. Super Hockey Pitbull/Mom Sarah Palin thought it would be a good idea to go before the Philly Flyers fans to drum up support. She likes hockey, they like hockey, what could go bad? The obvious explanations for this bonehead move is that she has an overinflated sense that people like her. Its also possible that she thought that Philly fans wouldn't act like Philly fans. You know Philly fans...the people who boo kids, Santa, happiness,etc. I'm hoping that the person born to star in the Tina Fey biopic really didnt think it was a bright move to walk out on the ice with her little girl and instead that somehow the bright flashing lights just confused her and maybe she just got lost. But honestly if you can't anticipate something as obvious as booing at a Philly game, it might be a sign your not ready to I dunno have nuclear weapons.
Friday, October 10, 2008
- Red Bull
- Repeat as Necessary
As the world wildly careens over the edge and into the abyss its probably time to take stock of things we can all enjoy before we have to change into our "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" outfits (which I believe is more of a spring fashion thing anyways). So an abbreviated Cheers (and jeers) before I run out to stock up on water, duct tape and bullets (possibly the only sound investment)
Cheers: Mighty being wrong. A few weeks ago I was curious about a mass migration of NBA players leaving for Europe. While still a chance it could happen, there's an equal chance that the Euro ceases. So even I can be wrong. Which is good because I think Lebron will prefer staying in the US rather than get paid in feta cheese (which I believe is Greece's reserve currency)
Cheers: The Stiff-Arm of Doom. Thankfully in our times of trouble we can turn to men of action, confidence, and strength (obviously not the US government). Instead in Beanie we trust. Whether you are for and against tOSU (which I assume will soon be owned by Walmart in a few weeks) watching a punishing running back crush a DB with a single arm is truly a cheers worthy event
Cheers: Puppy scrum. If feeling depressed I recommend looking at puppies. Honestly if you feel nothing than its a clear sign that you've been working on Wall Street too long
Cheers: To my Big Book of Pretty Pussies. One of the all time great books. There were just so many to choose from. However these amazing authors were able to pick out the finest, softest, most inviting and open pretty pussies on the planet. Just kind of warms the cockles and even sub-cockles.
Anyway our C&J gal of the week: Erika Underwood
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Ed Hochuli may be in the midst of the worst single season in the history of officiating. Already, he has:
1) inadvertently blew dead a Jay Cutler fumble that led to a Denver Bronco victory
2) cried the week after the incident
3) screwed up a fumble in the Saints-Vikings game, as the Vikings were pulling on Bush's facemask.
However, while Ed Hochuli has already inadvertently changed the outcome of at least one game (and perhaps two), this still does not come close to the problems of Jeff Triplette.
First off, Jeff Triplette is apparently leading the league in penalties and penalty yards, according to one blog source. He does not want you to enjoy the game! He does not just affect the game, he affects each fan's enjoyment of the game and... he changes LIVES!
1) Not only does he anger fans, a 2008 ESPN poll (I know, it's not scientific), claims that Jeff Triplette had the 2nd most amount of votes for "Worst Referee" by NFL coaches.
2) Not only does he anger people in reality, The Onion made up a story of the "Worst-Ever Blown Calls," where Jeff Triplette rips off his underpants by accident. The Onion stated that "Thinking that he's pulling the flag from his back pocket, Jeff Triplette rips out his underpants and throws them at Chad Johnson for celebrating in the end zone." Even in fiction, Jeff Triplette is a disaster.
3) He threw a flag at OT Orlando Brown's eye in 1999... ending his season and preventing him from playing until 2003 due to the damage in his eye.
4) He threw a flag at Jags CB Aaron Beasley's head in 2000.
5) Got faked out by Peyton Manning in 2001 pretending to spike the ball, so he blew the play dead preventing a 35-yard TD run by Manning.
6) In 2006, the Titans thought they recovered a fumble when Tony Brown stripped Mike Anderson. Officials called Anderson down by contact even though defensive tackle Robaire Smith had the ball. Fisher challenged, and referee Jeff Triplette upheld the ruling even though the replay clearly showed the ball coming out. Triplette said there was a fumble but “no clear recovery.”
7) In 2006, Triplette granted a timeout to the Lions... despite the Lions not having any timeouts!
8) John Madden said that weird things happen when Jeff Triplette is calling the game!
I do have to send my apologies to Jeff Triplette though... he was not the referee at the Browns-Jacksonville bottle-throwing game. It was actually Terry McAulay. Even w/o that incident on Triplette's resume, Triplette still takes the cake, wins the debate, and is clearly the worst referee, or at least worse than Ed Hochuli!
Manwich Matchup of the Week
New England @ San Diego- This game only merits "Manwich" status in that both teams WERE supposed to be leading AFC contenders. Now, everyone in America has doubts about these two teams. Can New England play defense or offense? Why did San Diego score lots of points the first 3 games, but almost no points the last 2 weeks? Why did both of these teams lose to the Dolphins the last weeks? I'm not sure which questions will be answered, but at least we'll know who's in worse shape after this week.
Pick: San Diego
Upset of the Week
Miami @ Houston - Why are the Dolphins 3 point road underdogs to the winless Texans? For those who don't know, the Dolphins have been running the "Wildcat" offense, where they do various trick plays like snapping it directly to Ronnie Brown while Ricky Williams is also in the backfield. Apparently, the Miami offensive coordinator used this last season at Arkansas with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Suddenly, "Wildcat" has become my new favorite word of the week that I will over-use, which is even better than over-using the word "Maverick."
Chicago @ Atlanta- This game may actually be the most intriguing of the week. The Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers last week! The Falcons are actually 3-2, and now with their "quality win" last week, I suppose we have to take them seriously to some degree. The Bears have beaten the Colts and the Eagles. Interestingly, both teams lost to CAR and Tampa, but while the Bears lost close games, the Falcons lost both games by 24-9 scores. Thus, using the transitive property, the Bears should win.
Baltimore @ Indy- The Colts may be shaky, but they should put up enough points to outlast the Cobra.
Detroit @ Minnesota- Detroit is in a lot of trouble.
Oakland @ New Orleans- The Saints better come out strong so they can pick up a needed win.
Pick: New Orleans
Cincy @ Jets- Perhaps this is the game when the Bungals break through? Probably not.
CAR @ Tampa- I also considered this game for my "Manwich." The divisional lead is on the line in this game. CAR seems to have more weapons and less question marks at QB.
St. Louis @ Washington- Seriously?
Jacksonville @ Denver- This should be an interesting game to gauge how bad the Denver defense really is. The Jags defense has been very sub-par this season.
Dallas @ Arizona- The NFC East is still trying to go 32-0 versus the AFC North and the AFC West.
Philly @ San Fran- The NFC East is still trying to go 32-0 versus the AFC North and the AFC West.
Green Bay @ Seattle- Both of these teams should be feeling pretty desperate right about now. Holmgren may already be dreaming of retirement at season's end at this point.
Pick: Green Bay
Giants @ Cleveland- The NFC East is still trying to go 32-0 versus the AFC North and the AFC West.
Last Week: 7-7 (this is really getting awful)
Season: 42-32 (56.7% is below the Theismann line of stupidity)
Manwich: 2-3 (Washington just surprised me again)
Upset of the Week: 1-4 (Picking San Fran over New England after New England's bye week was dumb)
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Rare is the word recovery used in sports. For all the talk of upsets and upstarts the weak rarely inherent the earth as the good Lord did not take into account the mighty. Its a good story when the sports titans fall but its a story written too early.
For those writing the obit of USC or tOSU both schools took steps to reimpose their pride on their respective conferences. While Jim “I’m not looking to have the biggest package in the world,” Tressel said. “I’m looking to have the most effective one." Tressel's schemes might lack style or creativity the players the clearly have the skillset to overcome Wisconsin. While USC might fall asleep on top of 2 am last call girl, you know they'll perform when the swimsuit model needs attention.
The only fortunate part of the week is that it brings us a week closer to internal SEC and Big 12 showdowns that allow us to discount the perrenial pretenders. Like Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown every year sports writers fall for mediocore Big 12 teams (oh maybe this is Texas Tech's year). Thankfully that'll soon be done and we can focus on the inevitable Mizzou v. OU Dr.Pepper shoot out.
Mighty's Top 5
The one change that I think is becoming more apparent is General Zorn. A week after taking the Cowboys they tore through the Eagles. Each game, each quarter the Redskins improve.
Some Questions after This Week
1. Is anyone going to notice the Packer's can't run anymore?
2. Tennesse's Winning Ugly beats Seahawk's Ugly Ugly losses
3. Who's the best QB in the league this season? I have Roethlisberger.
4. Who would Carolina have to beat to be in the possible NFC Title hunt?
5. If the Colts hadn't scored 21 in the last 4 seconds or whatever how big would the spotlight on Manning's play been?
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
There is one thing which I am not sure if everyone realizes right now... which is that the stars are aligned for an 11-5 team to miss the playoffs!
How do I reach such a bold prediction? Simply put, there are 2 logical reasons:
1) The NFC East just happens to be playing the NFC West (Seattle, Arizona, San Fran, and St. Louis), and
2) The NFC East just happens to be playing the AFC North (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Cincinnati).
Right now... every time the NFC East plays in one of these matchups, the NFC East will be favored. In fact, so far, 1) Philly beat St. Louis 38-3, 2) the Giants beat St. Louis 41-13, 3) the Giants beat Cincy in OT, 4) Dallas beat Cleveland 28-10, 5) Washington beat Arizona, and 6) Philly beat Pittsburgh. This means that the NFC East is already 6-0 versus these other divisions. It is entirely possible that each of the NFC East can pick up all 32 wins. Even if each of the teams in the NFC East slipped once and each went 7-1 and one of the NFC East teams finishes poorly in the division (2-4?)... that would still be 9 wins... with another 2 games to play! Thus, it is entirely possible that every team in the division will finish with 11 wins, assuming they each get 7 or 8 wins from playing two of the worst divisions in football! This will be an interesting phenomenon to watch as the season progresses! Especially because such a scenario would create a likely scenario for one of the divisions to have an 8-win champion.
Manwich Matchup of the Week
Washington @ Philly - The Eagles are dinged up. Westbrook is still not certain about this weekend... more news should be delivered by the end of the week. In the meantime, I think Philly will defy expectations and suddenly beat Washington just to confuse all the prognosticators out there.
Upset of the Week
New England @ San Fran - There's a distinct possibility that the Patriots could have a two-game losing streak to... Miami and San Fran! I've debated this back and forth but in the end, this game should be a shootout and I'm not sure if the New England offense would be able to keep pace with Mike Martz devising the offensive strategy for the 49ers. I'm also sure Mike Martz has been itching to get another crack at Belichick since that Super Bowl loss in the 2001 season.
Pick: San Fran
Indy @ Houston - Even though the Texans are winless, they at least came close last weekend at Jacksonville. Houston's first home game of the season should be inspiring... but is it enough for an upset?
Tenn @ Baltimore - It's the Steve McNair revenge game! Oh wait, he already retired.
San Diego @ Miami - Miami cannot possibly pull off two straight upsets. can they?!?
Pick: San Diego
KC @ CAR - So the Chiefs were able to score on the Broncos. That's like saying the stock market will fluctuate greatly during times of uncertainty.
Chicago @ Detroit - Matt Millen is no longer in charge but his stank is still in the air.
ATL @ Green Bay - Aaron Rodgers is not sure if he will play. My guess is that he won't play just to have a rookie (Matt Flynn) take on another rookie (Matt Ryan). May the best Matt win.
Pick: Green Bay
Seattle @ Giants - You have to go with the NFC East and their dream of going 32-0 versus the NFC West and the AFC North.
Tampa @ Denver - Interesting game... you have former Buc RB Michael Pittman suddenly looking quite spry for the Broncos... you also have a Denver team that let KC break out of their 12-game losing streak. You also have a Tampa team that shocked Chicago and Green Bay in consecutive weeks. What does this all mean? Bring in the monkey and the coin.
Buffalo @ Arizona - Well... the game still has playoff implications only because the NFC West is so bad that it is hard to fall out of the NFC West division race (unless you are winless and hopeless like the Rams of course). So... I can bill this game as a "battle between division leaders!"
Cincy @ Dallas - Cincy's easiest games remaining are against: Jets in week 6, Houston in week 8, Baltimore in week 13, Cleveland in week 16, and KC in week 17. They should be able to get their act together for at least 1 of those games.
Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville - Jacksonville can't really play good defense anymore... but their offense has picked up the last two weeks. The Steelers just keep getting banged up as they lost an offensive lineman and two more RBs get injured this past week. Eeesh. This means they will be playing 4th RB Mewelde Moore along with whomever is unemployed from Wall Street. Basically, both teams are injured and can't play as well as they usually do, meaning that a monkey should flip a coin yet again.
Minnesota @ New Orleans - Very intriguing game as you've got one team that can play only defense (Minnesota) and another team that can only play offense (New Orleans).
Pick: New Orleans
Last Week: 6-7 (ouch!)
Manwich: 2-2 (I'm done with Minnesota)
Upset of the Week: 1-3 (Doubling down on Manwich and Upsets is very risky. I need to diversify my portfolio)
Pittsburgh Steelers: Yes, they won Monday night against a well prepared Cobra Commander. In the meantime, the body count for Pittsburgh stacks up. Ray Lewis shanked Steelers rookie Rashard Mendenhall leaving the Steelers one healthy RB Mewelde Moore. Who? The body count gets worse... the Steelers lost another back up RB, and Kendall Simmons (thankfully not related to Bill Simmons). Editors note: can Bill Simmons stay up late enough to give the Red Sox a west coast rim job?
Honestly, the Steelers are banged up but who else can contend? Will anyone stand up and knock the wounded Steelers into 2nd place? Next week: JAX