Thursday, January 31, 2008

Apologies to our Wisconsin fan(s)

I completely wrote off the Badgers in their home game against Indiana tonight, and man, was I wrong. Their lead reached 20 at one point, as #13 Wisconsin used methodical defense to drill the #11 Hoosiers, 62-49. Indiana hasn't won in Madison in 10 years!
A bright spot for Indiana was their big man inside, D.J. White, who was a beast tonight with 22 points and 17 boards.
Wisconsin only turned the ball over six times, while dishing out 10 assists as a team, and they forced 12 turnovers on Indiana to make up for only shooting 34.5% from the field.
The Badgers are now tied for first in the Big Ten at 7-1 with Michigan State and Purdue. I still don't think they will finish in the top three in the league, but they were damn good tonight.

Staying true to the Blue

Duke tried something new tonight, as the Cameron Crazies were given GREEN shirts to wear to promote a healthy respect for the environment. Down nine points at halftime, the Crazies decided they'd rather win the game than take care of the environment, so they chucked the shirts onto the court, returning to their normal white and blue. The Blue Devils came out of the lockerroom and outscored the visiting NC State Wolfpack 55-26 in the second half, ultimately winning 92-72.

This just in...I...LIKE Tom Brady?!?!?!

It's true. I decided it yesterday after watching media day. He doesn't seem like that bad of a guy. He's probably a terrible father, but what the hell do I care about that? I don't admire sports figures for their personal lives. Brady was really funny and really good with the media, and he always is. I hate to admit it, but hell, I like him. It probably started when he jawed at Anthony Smith on the Steelers after his trash talking, and continued with ESPN's relentless Tom Brady segments, namely the one where he is the seventh child from
The Brady Bunch. I can't put it into context how huge this is. It's almost like me deciding that Derek Jeter is my favorite baseball player--which will NEVER happen. But Tom Brady? He's okay in my book. I still like Peyton better, but Tommy and I are gonna be alright.

Poulter "misquoted"

I'm sure if he shot -8 in the first round at Dubai, he wouldn't have come out to say that he was misquoted in the British Golf Magazine, but I believe him when he says it was a mistake. Things get taken out of context like that all the time, especially when the media is trying to stir up controversy. T.O./Jessica Simpson, anyone?

Further apologies to anyone reading who is annoyed by the font size. While typing this, my headlines are big and the font is normal size, but when I publish the post, everything beyond the first item is larger than normal.

Kurt Snibbe puts it best

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Checking in on my contenders and pretenders

15 days ago I listed my contenders and pretenders of most of the teams that were doing well in the major conferences halfway through the season, excluding the Big East because that conference is a waste of my time.
Here's how things are looking since then:

Contenders (W-L since Jan 15):
North Carolina (2-1) --Carolina's loss was to Maryland, a team that will be a thorn in everyone's side throughout the season. Gary Williams knows how to prep his guys for the big games. They could have...and maybe should have beaten Duke, too.
Duke (4-0) --the schedule gets tougher, don't worry. They won't win out. Nor will they finish with less than three ACC losses
Michigan State (5-0)
Indiana (3-1) --fluke home loss to UConn...scary thought that UConn can still win some big road games
Kansas (3-1) --Big ups to K-State for taking out the Jayhawks, I'm glad I didn't pick them as a pretender. They might actually be pretty good.
Texas A&M (2-3) --I may have missed the boat on this one. The Aggies have been looking pretty bad, but road losses to Texas Tech and K-State don't look too bad right now, and Baylor is an okay team...but an overtime home loss to them probably shouldn't have happened. Conference play isn't getting any easier.
UCLA (2-1) --the one loss is to O.J. Mayo and company. Never a picnic playing them. They'll have their fair share of upsets this year over at USC, but won't be legit 'til next year.
Washington State (3-1) --probably shouldn't have lost the game at Arizona, but road games are what they are, that's why we play the games.
Arizona State (1-3) --okay, I really missed this one bad. Their single win was in OT at Cal (11-7, 2-5 Pac-10). Then they lost bad at Stanford, followed by two home losses to Washington and Washington State. Now they go on the road to UCLA, USC, then Arizona. They'll lose at least two of those three.
Tennessee (4-1) --we can forgive a loss on the road at Kentucky. The Wildcats have a new coach, but playing at Rupp is still playing at Rupp. Two huge games coming up for the Vols, at Mississippi State (a big surprise team), and then they host the Gators
Mississippi (2-2) --they won their home games and lost their road games. That seems to be how things are for this team. Their schedule is pretty easy the rest of the way out, so we won't find out what they're made of until March, but I might take them to get knocked out in the first round by a mid-major
based on their performance away from home

Pretenders (W-L since Jan 15):
Boston College (1-2) --many more losses to come, but probably also a marquee win (they only get Duke at Cameron, but they get UNC at home and on the road)
Miami (1-4) --this one was easy to see, I won't take credit for being so right
Wisconsin (3-1) --they play at Indiana tomorrow night, so chalk that up in the L column, then the tough road games don't come til mid-late February, so it will look like more of a "collapse" than just a "mediocre team"
Minnesota (0-3) --I would have guessed they'd go 1-2, but 0-3 makes me look even better!
Texas (3-1)
--two very close wins, a home blowout of rival Texas Tech, and then they just got smoked by 17 by A&M. They haven't even delved into the Big 12 high rollers. At least four more Conference losses for the Longhorns.
Oregon (0-4) --another one that makes me feel good, like Minnesota
Florida (3-1) --I'm not admitting I was wrong yet. They still have to play Tennessee twice, Mississippi State, at Vandy, and at Kentucky. I'd guess four conference losses for the Gators when we get to Conference Tourney time. I'm giving them a great chance to shut me up.
Vanderbilt (1-3) --this is exactly where I like Vandy though. As the underdog. They still have big home games left against Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi State. They will win at least two of these games.

Contenders: 31-14

Pretenders: 12-19

Mason Nation reigns supreme

ESPN2 aired a great mid-major game last night as George Mason, who you may remember from a certain Final Four run in March of '06, hosted last year's Duke slayers, Virginia Commonwealth.
Both teams came into the matchup at 7-2, tied atop the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). At first I thought VCU would take care of business, as they were the hotter team, winning their last seven games, but then I saw the stat flash up on the screen. "George Mason Home Record: 9-0," and let me tell you, Mason Nation was an absolute factor in that game. Tied 25-25 going into the lockerroom at halftime, the fans got loud, out of control, and everything the (lovable) Patriots could ask for.

GMU forced twice as many turnovers as they gave up, rebounded the hell out of the ball, and made their free throws when they needed to. Both GMU and VCU should get the NCAA Tourney nod, and both will be a great 11-14 seed.

George Mason is 10-0 at home and atop the CAA..for now. Lucky for them, that was the only time they face VCU this season due to the 12-team conference. You know what the Rams are saying,: "See you at the Conference Tournament!"

Neutral court I'll take VCU.

Plax, Plax, Plax...
Mr. Burress obviously doesn't read this blog, otherwise he would have known his New York Football Giants aren't going to hold the Patriots below 20, much less score more than 20 themselves. Regardless, he predicted a 23-17 win for Big Blue on Super Sunday.
I'm dumbfounded by this and have no further comment.

P.S. I forgot to mention in my prediction that Tom Brady will throw five touchdown passes and Maroney will rush for two more. Brady's first TD pass will be 50+ yards to Randy Moss, naturally. Maroney won't have a great game. He won't hit 100 yards because the Giants can stop the run, but you can't help but reward him for a great postseason by giving it to him on First-and-Goal from the three-yard line.

Ian who???
Yeah, so Ian Poulter, along with a nude photoshoot inside of a British golf magazine, predicted that he is the chosen one who can give Tiger Woods a run for his money. Like Tiger, his best golf "is yet to come."
Poulter is ranked number 22 in the world and has a handful of European Tour wins, but predicts that he will be victorious in the U.S. Open...which will be held at Torrey Pines...where Tiger just demolished the entire field.
Your best golf may not have arrived yet, but neither has mine. And when mine does, I still won't be able to beat Tiger. Read between the lines. You'll never be better than number two.

In the words of Taylor from Kid Nation, "DEAL WITH IT!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

He Remind Me of a West Side Story

Ladies and gentlemen, the Santana sweepstakes is over. Congrats are due to Omar for realizing that going to war with the starting five of Maine, Pedro, Duque, Perez, and Pelfrey was not going to cut it if the Mets wanted to make their fans forget about their choke job last September. This trade ended up working out brilliantly for the Yanks, the BoSox, and the Mets. The Yanks and BoSox are thrilled that a) the other team isn't going to have the most dominant lefty we've seen in baseball for the longest time and b) they won't have to pay him. Many Mets fans will jump the gun now and say they are the favorite to win the NL Pennant. I tend to disagree now, though. I think the road in the National League is going through Phoenix. The D-Backs, who are the defending NL West Champs and NL Runner-up, have added Danny Haren, giving them a 1-2 punch the league hasn't seen since Johnson/Schilling in 2001. And we all know how that worked out.

Super Bowl blogging to come!


Johan Santana = New York Mets

Monday, January 28, 2008

Five sports, one blog!

Men's College Basketball:
I just finished watching the OU/OSU game. It was a dandy. Low-scoring, but good. Oklahoma ended up winning in the end, and they probably deserved it, but I'm just shocked they won, because the Cowboys shot 100% (17-17) from the charity stripe. The Sooners only shot 64% (23-36). You can use the old "Duke logic," saying that they made more than the opponent attempted. So that will be my validation for why Oklahoma came out on top.

Speaking of my Blue Devils, they knocked off Maryland last night AT College Park. Maryland played great, and really exposed the trouble Duke has without a big man. Zoubek is due back sometime in February, so hopefully having that 7' frame in the paint will help them be a more complete team. Maryland should be a royal pain in someone's butt come March, be it in the ACC Tourney or in the Big Dance if they get the nod. The Tar Heels can attest to that.

Memphis was very impressive this weekend as they handled Gonzaga. They've got one more tough test when they host Tennessee in February. They can't look past their upcoming game in two days, though. Playing at Houston will be no walk in the park, but if they go in there and execute their game plan, they should be fine. Obviously.

Major League Baseball:
According to, our favorite Blue and Orange buddies are still the favorite in the Johan sweepstakes, which is rumored to be coming to a much anticipated conclusion in less than 10 days. I know. We've all heard that one before.

And Billy Wagner also called the Mets the "third best" team in the N.L. East right now. It's cool, I'm not mad at him. I don't agree, but in 10 days there will be no doubt who the best team is.

TigerTigerTiger Woods y'all! It's scary to hear him say he hasn't reached his peak yet. He was absolutely dominant on the course this weekend, and the other PGA players can't do anything about it but keep trying to beat him. Several of them including Fred Couples and Rory Sabbatini have spoken out about him, which is ridiculous. Couples may or may not have been joking, but I find it hard to believe that he's not frustrated, along with the rest of the field on the Tour. They should just be grateful he doesn't play in half the tournaments. He has won five of his last six tournaments, and the only non-win was when he came in second to Phil Mickelson at the Deutsche Bank Championship in September. I don't think he'll win the Grand Slam this year, but it should be another seven-win season for Tiger.

American Football:
Prediction for the big game:
Patriots 49
Giants 17
Harsh, but true. Mr. Bill has something up his sleeve, and has since the Patriots beat the Steelers to get over the hump. They keep making you think they'll lose and break your heart in the end. This one will not be a heartbreaker, it will be a barn burner. I'm being generous when I predict New England won't score 50. It's not as if they needed to make anymore statements, but they want to seal the deal in style.

National Basketball Association:
Jason Kidd says it's time to move on! This will benefit every party involved. The Nets will get some young talent they can use for years to come, an aging Kidd will get to go to a contender, and a contender will get a legitimate game in, game out, triple-double threat to lead them through the playoffs. Don't look for him to be dealt to a team in the Eastern Conference. That would be like the Orioles trading Erik Bedard to the Yankees. Eew.

Maybe some Women's College Basketball in the near future. As soon as my Marist Women get into the top 25. They've earned it. I don't want to blog about it and jinx it like I did last time.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Where oh where has Brady gone? Oh where oh where could he be?

Tom Brady hasn't been practicing. He's been seen sporting a brace. He's got a high ankle sprain.

This is all right before the New York Football Giants take him and the Patriots on in the Super Bowl. I'm not saying that Tom Brady isn't hurt. I'm not saying this is some ploy. But my greatest concern here is from the stand point of a Giants fan. The Patriot band wagon fans(and yes, you're out there...don't tell me you don't exist) now have the open opportunity to try and make excuses if the Giants win the Super Bowl.

The Giants have gained a lot of support the past few weeks. Everyone bet against them, and they win. They are used to being the underdogs. Yet, that's changed lately. 

Yes, they're still underdogs. They're still supposed to lose by 14.5 points(or 13.5, correct me if I'm wrong). But with the fans, they've got plenty of support. Then again, the Patriots are a lot like the Yankees. They're either loved or hated. So support for the Giants comes as no surprise.

All in all though, the way this whole Brady watch(if you want a good search, watch the Chuck Knoblauch vs the law watch) is going, it's just looking to turn as a back up execuse for some. But any true Patriots fans will agree, there is no execuse. It's 19-0, or a failure of a season. 18-1 is a hell of a season, but when you go 18-0, losing isn't an option.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dear Maria Sharapova,

If you're reading this, will you marry me?
If you won't marry me, perhaps you're good friends with Natalie Gulbis. Would you put in a good word for me? Thanks.

Sharapova rocked world #1 Justine Henin's world today, beating her 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals of the Australian open.
She's been back and forth lately, especially with the revival of the Williams sisters' tennis careers. Lucky for her, Serena lost today, so Maria will be facing Jelena Jankovic in the semis, but she'll probably have to face Venus in the finals, barring an exceptional performance by one of the three young ladies in Venus' half of the bracket.

As for Natalie Gulbis, she hasn't done much so far this year, but when talking about Maria, we gotta talk Natalie! Her and I have a lot in common. We both like golf, neither of us care to date Big Ben Roethlisberger, and we both blog! It's meant to be.

UPDATE: 11:22 p.m.-- Venus lost. I'm officially the worst sports predictor in the history of the world. Sorry Maria, looks like you won't be winning this one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Saving myself from embarrassment.

I forgot to do my picks this week, but I'll be the first to admit I would have picked the Pats to cover and the Pack to win. We'll just chalk that up as another two losses, putting me at 2-8 for the postseason! Gorgeous, I tell you. Things are looking great for March Madness. I'll probably lose my Final Four by the second round. Stay tuned

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pats/Colts Breakdown

Chargers at Pats

QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady vs. Phil Rivers/Billy Volek
Currently, Phil Rivers is listed as doubtful on the Chargers injury report. He insists that he will play, however. Perhaps Rivers just likes to hear the sound of his own voice. If Rivers will be doing his yapping on the sidelines instead of the field, the keys to the San Diego Super Charger car will be handed to career back-up quarterback Billy Volek. Volek is one of the better back-up quarterbacks in the league, but he's in over his head when compared to the Dreamy One. Tom Brady had a season for the ages this year and he is absolutely clicking at the right time (26-28 against the Jags).

RUNNING BACK: Laurence Maroney/Kevin Faulk vs. LaDanian Tomlinson/Michael Turner/Darren Sproles
As a Pats fan, I got frustrated with the pundits that argued that the Pats could not run the ball. Maroney, despite being an injury risk in his two seasons, has shown that he is a dynamic back who is capable of making a big play. His counterpart, however, is arguably the best running back we've seen since Emmitt Smith. LDT is gimpy, but he will play. A 70% LDT still scares me. If Tomlinson is ineffective, the Chargers have a very capable back-up in Turner. Since the game is not against the Colts, Sproles will not be a factor.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT END: Randy Moss/Wes Welker/Donte' Stallworth/Jabar Gaffney/Ben Watson vs. Chris Chambers/Vincent Jackson/Antonio Gates
Not to take away from Chambers, who gave the Chargers a huge boost, or Gates, who is the best Tight End in football, but this group of receivers for the Pats is a special one. Moss caught a record amount of TDs. Welker had more than 100 catches. Stallworth and Gaffney are quick receivers who are capable of a big play. And Tom has loved Ben Watson ever since he joined the team.

Both teams have been aided by stellar offensive lines. The San Diego offensive line stepped up huge against a good Colts defense, allowing their backs to run wild and giving Volek plenty of time in the pocket. The Pats line has also been a force to be reckoned with, giving Brady all day back in the pocket.

Both defenses have their good points and weak points. The Chargers D is responsible for Adrian Peterson's record rushing day. However, they shut down the mighty Colt offense in the fourth quarter last week. They are led by Luis Castillo (who apparantly plays football in the baseball offseason), Shawne Merriman, and Antonio Cromartie. The Pats D has followed the bend, not break strategy all year. I came across an interesting stat the other day. In close games, the Pats have the worst defense in the league in the third quarter. However, they have the best defense in the league in the fourth quarter. The Pats D is led by Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, the difficult to root for Rodney Harrison, and a veteran linebacker corps. Although Vrabel, Bruschi, Seau, and Thomas are not exactly spring chickens or as quick as the Chargers runners, they are veterans who know how to make plays when it matters.

Sproles is a game changer in the return game. But once again, he seems to have his best games against the Colts. Do you really trust Nate Kaeding to make a big kick in the clutch? Neither do I. Steve Gostowski doesn't kick all that much, but he's usually pretty accurate.

Gotta go with the d-bag. Congrats are due for Norv Turner shutting up his pundits (I'm really gay for the word pundits today) by making it to the AFC Championship game. But Belichick is a great motivator and the best coach of our generation. That's not to say I like the guy, though.

FINAL SCORE: 31-17 Patriots.

Where is he? Where is he?

I'm a little late posting this, but Bobby Fischer passed away Thursday at the age of 64. For those of you who don't know who he is, here is his resume:

Chess World Champion
Child Prodigy
Single handedly defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War
Held the title "International Grand Master" at age 15. Eat your heart out, Esquires, Juniors, and III's.
Topic of one of Saturday Night Live's greatest skits

There are two strange coincidences in his death. First, he died in Reykjavik, the city where he defeated Boris Spassky in 1972. Also, he died at age 64, which is the number of spaces on a Chess board!

He's got too much of a roller coaster life to get into, but needless to say, he was the most influential Chess player of all time. At least now we know where he is.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good news!

The woman who accused PacMan Jones of hitting her in the face at a strip club in Atlanta has withdrawn her petition to have him arrested! Finally some good news for our embattled yet lovable former (and hopefully future) NFL star. I call him lovable because people like me can only dream of "makin' it rain on them hoes" at strip clubs. He actually does it!

He has really gotten off on the wrong foot with Roger Goodell, so I just hope he can stay out of trouble and be reinstated. Coming from a Hokie fan (Adam Jones = Mountaineer = Hokies' worst nightmare), I really want to see him succeed in the NFL, because he could be the second best cornerback in the league someday....(DeAngelo Hall. I stay true to my roots!)

D-Hall--not Dante--gets in just as much trouble as PacMan, but since he was once a Hokie, everybody lets it fly. PacMan played at WVU, which means he burns couches and stuff. THAT, my friends, I do not condone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spring Training Invites

Spring training is shaping up, less than 31 days before pitchers and catchers report. Reporting to Florida is the forty man roster and 26 non roster invitees. Here's a break down via position.

Key: Italics are non roster invites
Bold is my predicted opening day roster

Catcher: Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Franciso Cervelli, Kyle Anson, Jason Brown, Jesus Montero, P.J. Pilittere, Austine Romine

Posada and Molina should be a lock for the opening day roster, injuries aside. After all, Posada just signed a new contract, as did Molina. The Yankees like Molina, or they wouldn't have resigned him. The non roster invites that hold the most potential are Jesus Montero and Austine Romine. Despite this, they as well as the other prospects, are not Major League ready. Jesus Montero is the top rated in the Yankees system, but he's also the youngest. Unless the Yankees want to carry three catchers and take away learning experience in the minors, it's Molina and Posada in 08'.

Infield: Jason Giambi(DH*), Shelley Duncan,Wilson Betemit, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Alberto Gonzalez, Juan Miranda, Bernie Castro, Eric Duncan, Nick Green, Cody Ransom, Marco Vechionacci

Betemit will continue to fullfill the all position purpose he did last year. Starting jobs aren't changing for the most part, platoon at first aside. A-Rod, Jeter, and Cano will hold down the fort, while Duncan and Giambi will take time at first base, as well as Betemit. As for the non roster invites, Castro had some solid numbers last season in Columbus, and could break camp. Don't look for Duncan in New York unless he has an outstanding Spring Training. First base is too crowded, and until Giambi is gone, it doesn't matter how Duncan does. Nick Green is back in the pinstripes, but is going to be in the minors for the 08' season, and is a reserve at best.

Outfield: Bobby Abreu, Melkey Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Shelley Duncan(will get starts in the outfield, but will be used primarily at first base),Justin Christian, Colin Curtis, Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, Jason Lane, Greg Porter, Jose Tabata

Jackson and Tabata will have spots in New York, but not in 08'. Gardner has an outside shot of making the roster, but as a reserve. The starting positions are crowded as it is, making it tough for any player not named Matsui, Damon, Cabrera or Abreu, to make the team. Christian, Gardner,Jackson, and Tabata are strong players, and provide some options if any injuries occur. Oh yeah, there's that Jason Lane character. Lane is another strong reserve candidate. Needless to say, the Yankees have the potential for a strong outfield a few years from now. Yankee fans can't be too upset about the current one. Abreu has played well in New York, and will continue to do so. The Damon/Matsui leftfield tandom isn't horrible, but both players would like to play everyday and could cause some problems. The Melkman will be the centerfielder and rightfully so.

Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phillip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Mike Mussina, Ian Kennedy, Jonathon Albaladejo, Andrew Brackman(on 40 man roster, still rehabing), Chris Britton, Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, Sean Henn, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens, Jeff Marquez, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Patterson, Carl Pavano(no comment), Mariano Rivera, Edwar Ramirez, Humberto Sanchez, Jose Veras, Steven White, Chase Wright, Daniel Giese, Alan Horne, Steven Jackson, Daniel McCutchen, Mark Melancon, Heath Phillips, Darrel Rasner, Scott Strickland,

There are the obvious ones here, but then there are a lot of x-factors. Take for exampe guys like Daniel Giese or Heath Phillips(who's a lefty), who could do well enough to make the Major League roster, and have Major League experience. I don't see Edwar Ramirez getting a spot because I believe the organization wants to see him get more time to work on his fastball control and slider. I personally believe Steven White, Steven Jackson, and Ross Ohlendorf has a great shot of making the roster. It's hard to make the call, but I believe all three could get a spot in the pen. Brian Bruney lost a job in the playoffs last year and I see him regaining it this year. As for Carl Pavano...just kidding. Final two spots on the roster are hard to pick, at this point, I do have both Kennedy and Mussina on the final roster. I believe one person will be in the bullpen, and one will be in the starting rotation.

To finish out the roster, I see Jose Veras continuing the success he had at the end of last season and I'll do something no one would have predicted, call Ohlendorf to make the roster.
If you want more info or have any questions about any particular prospects, feel free to comment.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Men's contenders and pretenders

I don't have time to go through every conference and every team, so I'm going to pick some teams from the major conferences that I think will make an impact this year and some teams that are off to great starts but really won't do much.

Disclaimer: every year when I fill out my bracket in March, Duke miraculously wins my Championship. thus, I am rarely the winner with my picks. Last year was the first year I didn't pick Duke. Instead I picked Kansas, who is the March Madness equivalent of Oklahoma in BCS games. My thick pride does not allow me to actually consider Duke losing in March, but I have had a good sense for past upsets, such as Manhattan, Creighton, Butler, etc...
My biggest pet peeve is when mid-majors get high seeds, so they are no longer underdogs. It's not that they don't deserve the high seeding, it's just that the mojo is gone when they're the favorite. Anyway,

ACC Contenders
North Carolina

UNC will take the Conference title, probably winning both games against Duke in the regular season. They will also win the Conference Tourney, earning a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Duke will probably suffer a couple of tough losses to middle of the road teams like Florida State, Clemson, and Maryland--teams that are quicker than them and can put points on the board.

ACC Pretenders
Boston College

Big East
they'll get eight mediocre teams in the tournament, then a deserving mid-major that doesn't win its conference tourney will get snubbed. Pitt and Georgetown are the teams to beat in the Big East, and Marquette may also make some noise.

Big 10 Contenders
Michigan State

I said I would try to get two teams in for each slot. This was tough. I'm not confident in Indiana or Wisconsin. The Badgers beat Texas, but were blown out by Duke, whereas Indiana has had convincing wins, including a tough road game against the Salukis. Michigan State played tough against UCLA as well as a W vs the Longhorns (perhaps a Big 12 pretender?)

Big 10 Pretenders

Minnesota got off to a great start, but they're gonna get some tough games. Look for them to fade into mediocrity after losing their next two home games to Indiana and Michigan State.

Big 12 Contenders
Texas A&M

This is a fun conference to watch in the regular season. Texas A&M has a quick team that can score some points, and the Jayhawks are as physical as you can get--and they aren't even healthy yet. Too bad they blow in March.

Big 12 Pretenders

I know, Texas beat UCLA on the road and Tennessee by 20, but they're so inconsistent. They've lost three games that they would have won if they were real contenders. It's too bad they didn't play Duke at the Garden this season...then Duke would still be undefeated.

Pac 10 Contenders
Washington State
Arizona State

This is another fun Conference to watch. USC is young but talented. They aren't going anywhere this season, maybe a trip to the big dance if they pull off some marquee wins. They're the most dangerous team. I say this because they aren't anything special on paper, but they will surprise some teams.

Pac 10 Pretenders

Losses to Oakland and St. Mary's, then wins against Arizona and Stanford? Not buying in.

SEC Contenders

I don't like the SEC much this year simply because the two strongest teams aren't convincing in their wins. Tennessee has squeaked out some narrow ones, and the Rebels have a nice road win at Clemson. I look for these teams to beat each other up in Conference play, then pull a pumped up mid-major in March and head home early.

SEC Pretenders

Don't let those nice records fool you. Conference play will bring out the true colors for these two teams.

Mid-major teams to watch:
Memphis - Obviously a threat to win the title this year. They need to get out of Conference USA to get some respect from bigger schools before their talent disappears. They Have done everything asked of them so far, including beat middle of the road teams like Oklahoma and UConn, to the tall tasks of Georgetown and Arizona. And no fluke losses to teams like Richmond, Siena, or USC.


Those are both teams that can make a splash in March if they draw the right opponent. They aren't the strongest of teams, as they have losses to squads that match up well against them, but they are two of the last teams I would want to run into in the first round of the NCAA's.

Gonzaga - always a threat, especially when they're an underdog
St. Mary's - they've been gaining on the 'Zags the past few years, this may be their year to take the spotlight. I just hope the committee takes two teams from the WCC instead of that extra Big East team
Rhode Island - Will Daniels (FDR grad) is a beast with enough of a surrounding cast to send you packin'

Teams I can't buy into yet, and I wish they would get a formidable opponent so I can see what they're really made of:



January 22 the two square off for the first of two meetings this season, with the second just eight days later on January 30. I hope they split, sending even more obscurity into their potential NCAA bids. I'd most likely take either in a nice 12-5 or 13-4 draw unless they're up against one of my favorites.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


1-3 again. I was 0-3 going into the Giants/Cowboys game so I was convinced I was onto something with the patterns of the oddsmakers, but of course the Giants had to go and mess that up. I have to admit, I couldn't have been more wrong, I was convinced the Giants would lose.

With Indy and Big D gone, this is basically a waltz to a Super Bowl title for the Pats. Oh well.

Perhaps some American Gladiators blogging to come soon?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Can't do much worse than last week

So let's try this again, only with a strategy to call out the oddsmakers!

I expect this week to be the exact opposite of last week. In last week's games, the favorite covered the early game and failed to cover the late game on Saturday. On Sunday, the favorite didn't cover the early game, then covered the late game. This week I'll do the opposite. Not even thinking about the games, just doing the complete opposite from last week's results.

Saturday (early):
Packers (-8) vs. Seahawks
Pick: Seattle

Saturday (late):
New England (-13.5) vs Jacksonville
Pick: New England

Sunday (early):
Indianapolis (-8.5) vs. San Diego
Pick: Colts

Sunday (late):
Cowboys (-7.5) vs. Giants
Pick: The New York Football Giants

Given the high spreads and the expected bad weather in Foxboro and Green Bay, the scores should stay low so I can't see either favorite covering, but maybe that's what the oddsmakers want you to think! Let's see how it plays out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Guess Who's Back...Back Again

Folks, I apologize for my lack of posts in the new year, but I am back and ready to roll. Weeks of sports on my mind ready to put to screen, so let's get cracking.

1. This Ain't A Scene, It's A God Damn Arms Race
Can there be a bigger non-story in sports in 2007 as the Johan Santana sweepstakes. The clock is ticking for Minnesota to make a deal for him. And to be honest, they need to. Do you really think that they will offer Santana a big contract at the end of the year? Where in the history of the Minnesota Twins have they shown that they keep their crowned jewels and spend money? If the Twins keep Santana and go for a World Series next year with the one-two punch of Santana/Liriano (which would be a 1/2 punch comparable only to Webb/Haren), they would get nothing in return for Santana. What's more important to the Twins? One World Series or guys like Hughes, Kennedy, Bucholz, or Ellsbury? Still no sign of Santana being close to going anywhere. I really hope this trade happens before the regular season so we don't have to deal with Steve Phillips pounding his fist on the Baseball Tonight studio demanding that the Twins trade Santana on the trading deadline.

2. Cheaters Never Lose
One day, I will tell my kids about the 2007 New England Patriots. As a fan, you dream about this type of season. But I agree that the Pats need to win three more games in order to be considered the greatest team ever. My argument is that even if they are upset by the Colts in the AFC Championship Game (a very possible scenario), they would still be considered in the top 5 of great seasons all time.

3. The Overrated The Ohio State University
I think Jim Tressel should demand that every bowl season, they get to play Notre Dame. For the second year in a row, TOSU shit the bed in the National Championship game. A question to the BCS: Why? Every year, why do you put a boring team in TOSU on display in the championship game. What did they do to earn their position? I don't know if I've ever seen a more boring slate of BCS games. There was really only one game within 10 (and that touchdown was garbage time).

More to come later, I'm sure!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bowls are over! College Basketball time?!

But first, my pathetic pick results!
Picks: 17-15 (23-9 without the spread)
Over/Under: 16-16

I went 3-0 on my final three picks, but 0-3 on the over/under for them. Good news is that I also played ESPN's Bowl Mania, where there are no spreads, you just pick the 32 winners, and rank them in order of your confidence. For example, if I picked LSU at #32, I would get 32 points if they win. For the team that I picked with least confidence at #1, I would only get one point if they win, but I would only fail to gain one point if they lose. I ranked in the 98th percentile, only out of first place by 60 points. And guess where I could have made those points up? I picked Michigan as my #31 and Boise St. as my #30!
Oh well. Maybe next year.

I've been keeping up with the mens' and womens' college basketball games a fair amount, so hopefully soon I'll find the initiative to delve into the ACC's impending dominance this season and take a look at the other pretenders who think they can beat the Blue Devils. Like Pittsburgh! How are they gonna come in and beat the Dukies then lose to Dayton by 25??? I don't like the Big East's format.

Also, there is more hype than ever for a College Football Playoff, with several proposals being made, including a Final Four, and even an eight-team playoff, which was proposed by the Georgia Bulldogs' President. I still don't like the idea of a playoff, I'd rather it be two teams who definitely haven't met in the season yet, and have it decided with one game.
If you've got a problem with it, win all your games, then complain that you still don't get a shot at the title.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Darvish Yu

I'm sure many of you have already heard of a player from Japan named Darvish Yu who the Yankees are interested in. It's been talked about on a variety of blogs, including the Bronx Stop and Pinstripes Pa, to name a few.

More interesting, is the website for this young man. To say it's unique for a baseball player, might be a stretch. It's beyond that. It's a must see though.

Educate yourself on Mr. Yu there. He could be a Yankee in 09, so you may as well learn about him.

Giants need Giant game out of Eli and Jacobs

It's 20 minutes into the Giants game. Eli Manning is 0-2 in his playoff career, he's coming off a season where he there 20 interceptions.

I'm happy to say Eli just had a good drive. That's ONE good drive. He hasn't won me over yet, and I've been working very hard at being positive about Eli Manning through my time as a Giants fan.

The Giants are far from a Super Bowl team right now, I know that. But three years in a row in the playoffs, that's a good thing. Eli has been there that whole time, and hasn't got them past that point. You can't put all the blame on Eli, but he has to take some. Stone faced Coughlin deserves some, and so does the rest of the team.

I have to say the Giants had me worried in the first quarter, but the Giants are making me worry just a little less this second half. Eli moved the ball down the field, the Giants D is getting the job done, and Tampa really isn't doing all that much minus their big drive in the first. Giants just got the ball back, so let's see what they can do.

2:06 PM: Giants are moving the ball. Steve Smith is playing a huge role and Jacobs just ran it up the middle. Eli is moving the ball, good play calling is taking place and the Giants are looking much better now. 14-7 Giants.

2:11 PM: The Giants are putting a ton of pressure on Garcia,but he keeps getting completions. The Giants have got to have a good stand here to go into the half with the lead. It wouldn't hurt if the Giants were able to get the ball back, but the most important part is keeping the score 14-7 at least. A third down on the way for the Bucs, if the Giants can hold, they might be able to add some more points to the board.

2:16 PM: Nice catch by Hilliard. I always loved him as a Giant, problem being, he was always hurt.

2:18 PM: 77 penalties all season long? The New York Giants? I like that statistic. Giants get the ball back with just over a one minute and two time outs. Let's see what they can do.

2:21 PM: Cancel that, the clock runs down, and the first half is over. All in all, decent half for the Giants. They have the all important lead and Eli looked strong in the second quarter. Now, he's got to keep that up if the Giants are going to win this game. It's only a 14-7 game, so it's too close to call at this point. The Giants defense looks sharp for the most part and provided the Giants can score a touchdown or two more, they should be able to win this game, as long as the D holds up.

2:35 PM: What a way to start the half for the Giants. Getting the ball back is huge. If the Giants can score at least 3 off this, it puts a ton of momentum in their favor. Aside from stating the obvious, it's the first turnover of the game. It's good to see this happen for Webster, seeing as he's been attacked in the secondary all day long by the Buc's offense.

2:44 PM: Giants couldn't get one in the end zone there, but did extend their lead to 17-7. A two score game now. Eli looked frustrated in the Red Zone there.

2:55 PM: Corey Webster...let's work against him since he's out there instead of Sam Madison. Maybe the Bucs are rethinking that thought. Interception, and second turnover of the game for the Bucs. It's looking more and more like the Giants game as we go towards the 4th quarter.

3:10 PM: Giants end the 3rd quarter with a 1st down. Giants have this game in their hands. It's their's to lose if they don't keep it up. The defense continues to be solid, but you can see the holes in it, and Tampa could take advantage. Giants look like they're going to keep it up, but they've looked that way in the past against Garcia's teams(San Fran anyone).

3:18 PM: I can't say enough about the Giants running core this year. Injury after injury, they keep bringing game every single time out. The Giants may have played with a lot of injuries, just as they have in the past, but they have much more depth this year, and it's obvious. They look good out there, still moving down the field, and winding the clock down to 9:44 at this point in the game. At 1st and goal, they need to get in the end zone here. They make it a three score game if they do that, and I don't think I need to state how huge that would be.

3:20 PM: Someone please tell me why I haven't mentioned Amani Toomer in this post so far. He's been tremendous. The Giants look like a football team, imagine that. Eli looks sharp, Toomers been huge. The Giants look like they're moving on to the next round of the playoffs at this point. The Bucs simply aren't doing much. Two weeks off doesn't really help. One week I would have understood, but resting your guys two weeks in a row, not so much.

The game isn't over yet, but with the score 24-7, it'll take a lot of offense from the Bucs and a defensive collapse on the Giants side.

3:35 PM: It looks like the Bucs don't want to go down easy. With 3:25 remaining, it might be too little too late for the Bucs. Both teams haven't won in the playoffs in a while, as we heard via Aikman and company, and it looks like the Giants are going to be the team to advance despite the late touchdown. 24-14 Giants lead.

3:48 PM: Looks like his feet were in. If that's the case, this game is O.V.E.R over.

3:56 PM: Giants take the victory and head to Dallas next week. Should be a good match up, they play each other well. Giants lost the last two in a row to Garcia, beat him today. They lost the last two to Dallas, maybe they can break that losing streak too? Good game, Hopefully I'll be off and be able to do this next week. Off to Philly, have a good night guys.

Ah, irony...

I said: Jags (-2.5) at STEELERS
Dare I learn from last time when I picked Pittsburgh at home against Jacksonville? I could pick the Steelers and be wrong, or I could pick the favorite and be wrong. Because we all know I'll get this game wrong

Jags win by two. I'm wrong. Life is grand.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Playoff Week One picks, and VT GOT SCREWED!!!

Just kidding, they lost a legit game. I was wrong.

Luckily, we don't have 16 games to go through, so this will be short and sweet.

SEAHAWKS (-3) vs. Redskins
Bad weather in Seattle means it will be a low-scoring game dictated by the run. Alexander hasn't been the same since he signed that fat little contract of his, but I think the Seattle backs can take care of the pesky Washington D. The magic run is over. Sorry.

Jags (-2.5) at STEELERS
Dare I learn from last time when I picked Pittsburgh at home against Jacksonville? I could pick the Steelers and be wrong, or I could pick the favorite and be wrong. Because we all know I'll get this game wrong.

Tampa Bay (-3) vs. New York Football Giants
It's January. I can't pick Eli 'til he shows me something!

SAN DIEGO (-8) vs. Tennessee
I'm not picking the Titans to win, but this is a big ass spread! I think they can cover that.

Now onto the sad news. My bowl picks so far.
14-15 on picks, 20-9 without the spread.
Over/Under I'm at 16-13, and by the way, the oddsmakers got me again with the Texas Tech/UVA game. The spread was 5.5, the Red Raiders won by 3, and the over under was 60, but 59 total points were scored!
All I need to be 100% convinced that these things are fixed is for Ball State to upset Rutgers today. Go Cardinals!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Note: Never pick Oklahoma in a BCS bowl game

Enough said.

While making my picks, I thought perhaps they could turn it around this year, and beat a smaller, slower, weaker team, but again, they failed.

I haven't been keeping track of my picks the past couple days. I'm falling way behind, but I'll probably update after VT romps Kansas. Getcha popcorn ready, kids.

Now I know my Hokies are 0-2 in the big BCS games, almost as bad as the Sooners, and Vince Hall is questionable after bruising his knee at a...beach party...but I really don't think defense will dictate this game, so I hate to say it, but the VT offense is gonna have to pull out some tricks and try to control the tempo of the game. I think this one will be better than most people think.

My predictions have been all over the place this bowl season (see: Holiday Bowl/Chick-Fil-A Bowl as opposed to the Sun Bowl/Capitol One Bowl), but I have confidence in this game.