Tag:Big East
Posted on: March 24, 2010 9:43 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2010 12:13 am

10 Things I Learned the Week Of Mar. 22nd

Hello loyal 10TILTW followers.  I've got plenty of things to hit on (wonder if I can keep it to 10) including some non-college b-ball takes (although it'll still be heavily in that direction).  Got some great ideas for points in today's paper, including a story about a 17 year old kid who's kicking ALL of our butts on the cbssports.com bracket challenge.  So enjoy!

1) Great week in the tourney forces me to rehash my main point from last week - This week's NCAA tournament was both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that you had highly compelling, interesting games, many glass slippers fitting for now.  Numerous overtime games where it came down to five minutes of crunch time with tired legs to find out who wants it more.  And several buzzer beaters including a few heartbreakers where a team had just scored the previous trip.  A curse in that my bracket blew up in my face, Kentucky is now the favorite, and because so many 9+ and mid-majors did so well, it has brought about a stronger push to expand the field.  I already hit on all the reasons why this would be a bad idea last week (at least to 96 teams.  I am open to the idea of a small expansion), so I'll direct you here if you want to see what those are: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
.  My bigger problem now is that people are saying this will get more of the small fries in.  If by more, you mean about 6, you are absolutely correct.  But you are kidding yourself if you think by going to 96 teams, it's not going to just open up the doors to the North Carolina's and Connecticut's of the world.  I don't need to see .500 teams who have no business being there losing in the first round to the Northern Iowa's and St. Mary's of the world.  Plus, it'd be unfair to them to make them (UNI and St. Mary's) play the extra game when they TRULY deserve to be there.  Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now as it involves too much common sense.

2) Too many people buy into the #1 overall seed - Did you know since they started seeding the #1 seeds in I think 2004, only one number one overall has won it all?  That would be the 2007 Florida Gators who returned their top 7 players from winning it the previous year.  Even in 2008, the rare (I believe only) year where all four number one seeds made it (typically it's one or two), it still wasn't the number 1 overall seed that won.  I think it's a good thing they do it, I just think people (myself included) need to stop putting so much stock in it.  The difference between the top 5 teams is usually not all that much.

3) The Big Least - Okay, I admit it.  I bought into the hype, too.  8 overall teams.  Most 3 seeds or better.  And now after the first week of the tournament, you have TWO remaining.  That's equal to the SEC who had only 4 show up to begin with, none higher than a 4 besides UcK.  That's one more than the Pac-10 who only SENT two in the first place.  This can be described in one word, PATHETIC.  Do I think the Big East is overrated?  Surpirsingly, no, I do not.  I still think they are the best league in basketball (which is easy when you have 36 teams.  Okay, I know, it's only 16).  Do I think they are overhyped?  120%.  And do I think a lot of the Big East players bought into the hype of everybody (especially the four letter network) telling them how good they are.  Yup.  Look, these are young men.  They're barely not kids anymore.  It's bad enough when a 22 year old NFL rookie has his ego stroked.  It's worse for 18 and 19 year olds.  And blame the coaches all you want (and a little of the blame does go there), but trust me, most of these kids just couldn't be reached.

4) A seventeen year old is beating us - Did you know that Alex Herman, a 17 year old from the Chicago area has picked all 48 games played so far correctly?  The odds of doing that are 13,460,000 to 1.  And he entered his bracket here, on cbssports.com.  His remaining picks?  Elite 8: Northern Iowa, Tennessee, Syracuse, Kansas St., Kentucky, West Virginia, Perdue, and Baylor.  Final Four: Tennessee, Kansas St., Kentucky, and Perdue.  And in the title game, he has Perdue beating Kansas St.  Shoot, even if he doesn't score another point, he'll probably beat most of us.  And it seems to be in pretty good shape to pick up some more.  Good luck, Alex.  This is an amazing feat.

5) Five (seed) Bucks - How about the amazing run Milwaukee has been on in the NBA.  They are lighting it up, and currently hold the five seed in the East.  I know I wouldn't want to be playing a team this scorching hot heading into the playoffs.  Now, I won't be picking them to make the Finals, but Scotty Skiles and that team deserve tremendous kudos for what they have accomplished recently.

6) It's lowly at the top for the Nets - At a recent Nets game, CEO Brett Yormark left his seat to go yell at a fan who was wearing a bag over his head.  Yormark said he wanted to let the fan know he didn’t agree with the way he was expressing his opinion.  Dude!!!  you realize your team is 7-63 and might set the all time mark for futility, right?  What the heck do you expect?  Besides, he gave your pathetic club some of his hard earned money to watch a pathetic product, so leave him alone already.  Shoot, they still wear Mike Brown Bags in Cincy, and they've been decent the past few years.  But, as they say, a fish rots from the head down, and with clueless people like this running the organization, it's easy to see why they only win one out of every 10 games.

7) Overtime no longer over on FG drive - In a much needed change for the NFL before lady luck leaves them and they have a Super Bowl decided this way, teams can no longer win the coin toss, drive for a FG, and end the game in the playoffs.  Personally, I would like to see both teams get one crack at the ball, but this is a huge step in the right direction.  It means teams will at least wait till fourth down on that first drive to send out the kicker.  It means a more conserted effort will be made to move the ball once you get inside the 30.  And to Clark Judge who has a problem because teams can turn over the ball the first play at the 20 and the other team can send out their kicker on the next play, are you serious???  Yeah, let's punish the defense for doing their job.  35% of overtime games in the NFL end with the team winning the coin toss getting that initial FG.  And the team that wins the coin toss wins well over 50% of the time overall.

8) Another (especially four letter) media rant - I'm sickened by the disparity in coverage that the media in general, and especially a certain network who has become far too big and powerful for their own britches, of say the Ben Roethlisberger situation and the Warren Sapp situation (or Tiger Woods).  I would hate to think in today's day and age, this is a black and white thing, and I'm still not there, yet, but I am thinking about it which is a scary, scary thought to me.  How does ESPN get away with foo-fooing the Roethlisberger thing TWICE, once issuing a "Do Not Report" memorandum, and basically make him sound like an all around good guy, while other's are treated like scum?  Shame on you, ESPN.

9) Why hockey players are the best in the world - Wanted to share this snipet from today's paper (St. Pete Times) about Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny LeCavalier.

Way to go, Vinny!

“I was recently at my son Tyler’s youth baseball game and was very surprised to see (Lightning captain)
Vinny Lecavalier walk by. My 7-year-old son approached him for an autograph. This was on a Saturday afternoon after the Lightning played Thursday night in Toronto and Friday in Washington. I held my breath while hoping for the best and fearing the worst. I could not have blamed Vinny for politely declining the autograph request especially when my son could produce neither a pen nor paper.

This was not a hockey event, and Lecavalier must have been exhausted.

I was worried about how to explain the rejection to a 7-year-old boy with a poster of this man on his bedroom wall and the No. 4 on the back of his
own hockey jersey. To my surprise, Vinny found a pen and piece of paper. He asked my son for his name so he could personalize the autograph. We started to walk away when Tyler’s enormous grin faded. I asked what was wrong and he stated that he probably would’ve preferred a photo.

He then ran back to interrupt Vinny again and now has a wonderful pic­ture with two huge smiles.

Athletes are not required to be role models, but some are. We are lucky to have a team captain who goes far beyond what any fan has a right to expect. His work for charity, espe­cially at the All Children’s Hospital, is a huge benefit to this community. The fact that he is just as gracious and kind when no one is watching speaks volumes of his true character. Vinny, as a dad and a fan … thank you!”

— David K. Beach, Tampa

I got to experience some of this first hand when my own son was at All Children's Hospital almost 8 years ago when he was first diagnosed with Leukemia.  On one of the days he was there, Mr. LeCavalier was making rounds to the rooms visiting all the sick kids.  He absolutely made my day when he stopped by, and we talked for several minutes.  I think he was happy to find such a big hockey fan, but everything he did compelled me to call the local sports radio station from the hospital that afternoon to tell of my experience.  Later, in 2004, Brad Richards who was on the team at the time, would invite about 5 children with cancer and their families per night to sit in his suite at every regular season game, and I got lucky enough to go on the night that the Lightning clinched the number 1 seed in the East (they were playing the Panthers that night and won, which made it better, and afterwards, they had the Boston game on the Jumbotron who the Lightning needed to not win).  It was kind of a long night because needless to say the team stayed in the lockerroom watching the Bruins game, but afterward he came up and talked to all of us and signed autographs and the whole works.  Just like Mr. LeCavalier, he was very engaging and polite, and my son, who was already a huge hockey fan, also became a huge Brad Richards fan.  Unfortunately, it was hard to explain to him when we traded Richy to Dallas a few years ago.  Also as part of Mr. Richard's work with kids with cancer, I have a picture in my office of my son with Mr. Richards, Marty St. Louis, and the Stanley Cup, which my son got to see up close and personal.  I just want everybody to know how common this is for hockey players to do these sort of things, as you hardly ever hear about them (I've heard NASCAR drivers are really good at this, too).  Now, if only my Lightning hadn't decided to choke after the Olympic break.

10) NCAA predictions - Well, let's see if I can do better than I did last week and what I've done so far overall:
For Thursday and Friday, I'll take Michigan State over Northern Iowa, Ohio State over Tennessee (although if Tenn gets up 20 like they did in 2007, don't expect Bruce Pearl to let this one get choked away) which would guarantee a Big Ten team in the Final Four, Syracuse over Butler, Kansas State over Xavier, Kentucky over Cornell, West Virginia over Washington, Duke over Perdue, and for my lone upset and Elite 8 shocker, St. Mary's to continue their magical Aussie run (4 of their players are from down under) and beat Baylor.
For Saturday and Sunday, give me Ohio State over Michigan State, Kansas State over Syracuse (I know, I changed it, but am worried about Onuaku's health and K State has looked really good), Kentucky over West Virginia (bye bye Big East, zero Final Four teams for you), and Duke over St. Mary's.
Posted on: October 13, 2009 7:58 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 5:44 pm

10 (plus 3) Things I Learned the Week of Oct.12th

With Halloween fast approaching, this week, I give you, my loyal fans, the treat of a baker's dozen of topics that enlightened me in the sports world this week.  Usually, I keep these to 10, so as not to get too verbose, but certain weeks (I had one last year around Thanksgiving), no matter how hard I try and combine up my points, 10 just isn't enough.  And looking ahead to next week's slate of games, it might very well happen again.  The remote will be smokin' this weekend.

1) Huskers shuck Mizzou- In a game played under a heavy downpour, Nebraska could have easily packed it in going into the fourth quarter down 12-0, but instead amped up the D and used two picks to help Zac Lee throw 3 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter en route to ringing up 27 unanswered (missed a 2 pt. conversion) and a huge 27-12 victory over Big 12 north rivals Missouri.  Now the game later this year against Kansas looms big time and could determine who goes into Cowboys stadium on Dec. 5th.

2) Badgers/Tigers not yet ready for primetime- No, I'm not talking about the good ol' days of SNL, I'm talking about the current season of Saturday college football.  Two teams that were struggling for early respect despite being undefeated went down on Saturday afternoon.  I knew that Auburn's defense was inconsitent at best and Arkansas could score, but the fact that Auburn's offense took until the second half to show up, and by then it was already far too late, was a huge surprise.  As for Wisconsin, if you look at the pure stats, you'd think that they won the game, but they did just enough not only to keep tOSU in it, but win it convincingly.  You'd think there was no way since tOSU's offense had less than 200 yards, but there was all kinds of hidden return yardage for both the tOSU defense and special teams.  In fact, they accounted for three touchdowns for the Buckeyes.  Further proof that stats can lie.  The showdown in the Horseshoe on Nov. 14th looks huge now, and will likely decide who plays in Pasadena (no, not on the 7th).

3) Where's Johnathan Crompton and what have you done with him?- Look, I've already been on UGA's offense this year, looking basically lost losing Stafford and Moreno from last year, but I thought it was an absolute physical IMPOSSIBILITY for ANYBODY to make Johnathan Crompton look like the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Afterall, I forget if it was going into this game or the Auburn game last week, but here was a QB who's coach had ZERO faith in him as reflected by the offensive play calling, and had thrown 8 TD's and NINE PICKS on the season.  If I was Mark Richt, who I love as a coach, I'd want to hide after that defensive showing.  I do love ANYTHING that humiliates the Bulldog program, though, even if it is seeing Lane get his first SEC win.  Wonder if he was up all night Saturday singing "Rocky Top?"

4) Some "Snead" remarks about Jevan- Ugh!  So much for all that talk about Heisman darkhorse and number 1 overall draft pick.  This kid looks absolutely lost this season.  And his frustration is showing more and more every game.  Now, as much as I'd like to hang it all around his neck, okay, so not really, but a lot of the media and Ole Miss fans do, it's simply not ALL his fault.  First off, he needs some people around him to start to step up and make some plays.  But most of all, AT LEAST half of his problems I hang firmly around the necks of his offensive linemen.  Todd McShay ran a good piece on ESPN's College Gameday showing two clips from the South Carolina game.  On the first clip, South Carolina rushed TWO, count 'em, TWO people on the play, and Snead was still sacked.  That's unforgivable.  And so what does Houston Nutt do in response to this?  Well, since we can't block two with five, we'll keep BOTH running backs in for extra protection.  The result of this play?  South Carolina rushes three people against the seven, and while Snead had plenty of time, he has THREE receivers going up against EIGHT men in coverage!  Do you think anybody was open?  Nope, didn't think so.  So say what you will about the kid buying into his own hype, whatever, but there are some serious issues with one of the media darlings who was supposed to contend with Alabama for the SEC West this year.

5) Hold that Tiger- Really.  Did the experts not see this one coming?  Well, seeing as how Darst was the only one on this website to pick the Gators, and Kirk Herbstreit was the only one on Gameday to call it (more on this in a bit), even getting ribbed by Corso, obviously not.  Everybody was so wrapped up in the Tebow/No Tebow/Will he play/Won't he play (more on this next point) what effect will it have on the Gators that they somehow forgot that the Gators sported going into the game, the NUMBER 1 DEFENSE in the nation and the NUMBER 1 running game in the nation.  These remain whether Tebow or Brantley is under center.  Overall, a brilliant game plan by Urban Meyer to get a tough SEC road victory.  Florida was ABSOLUTELY DOMINANT of both sides of the line of scrimmage.  It's one thing to let your opponent know you're going to run dive plays 80% of the time early on.  To still do it and do it effectively against a team with the athletes on defense that the LSU Tigers possess is another.  And kudos to Herbstreit, for not only pointing out that Tebow will play (according to Herbstreit, he thought Tebow would play great.  I thought he played well, and as good as could be expected due to the concussion), but calling out the Gator defense, specifically Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Spikes and predicting they would play great and carry the Gators to the win.  While Dunlap played well, Spikes was a man amongst boys, and word came out that Herbstreit's comments made their way to the Tim Tebow of the Gators D, and he used it as motivation.  In fact, Meyer came out today and said if anybody else in the media wants to make similar comments about Tebow or Riley Cooper, to be his guest.  And to all the people (in particular Pac-10 fans who have absolutely no grounds to stand on whatsoever) who were calling this a boring game and the SEC overrated, this was good clean defensive, ram the ball down your throat and you can't stop us football.  And, it was the perfect gameplan for the situation.  If you don't believe that, just ask the previous 32 Saturday night opponents of LSU in death valley and ask them what their result was.  Offense is sexy, sells tickets, and can win you games, but defense wins championships.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  If you don't believe it, look up who's won the last three BCS National Titles and will likely be favored to do so a fourth time. 

6) I'm not a neuropathologist, but I'll darn sure play one in the newspaper/internet- Can the media stop already with the ridiculous pre-guessing and second guessing involved with Tebow playing the LSU game?  I'm sorry, Greg Doyle and William Rhoden, but I'll darn sure take the UF medical staff's opinion over yours any day.  I guess your journalism degrees somehow came with a minor in sports medicine.  I mentioned after the Kentucky game that it wasn't going to be Urban Meyer or Tim Tebow who decided on whether Tebow would be able to play, it would be the doctors.  None of the ridiculous speculation by these Web MD's changed that.  And honestly, with the D and running game, I believe that UF wins the game with John Brantley, so why risk it if he's not 100%.  I think the fact Tebow was on the field meant that he was (although obviously the playbook was scaled back a bit.  Sure didn't seem to shy away from contact, though, did he?).  Oh, and guess what?  Tate Forcier of Michigan has a concussion and has already been stated he will start if cleared.  Where's the outcry against Rich Rodriguez and Forcier should not play articles?

7) Horns Hooked in AP- Had to calm down a bunch of Longhorn fans this week who got their panties in a bunch because Alabama overtook them at number 2 in the AP poll.  First off, in the two human polls that are used in the BCS formula, Texas is still number 2.  Secondly, should the big three keep winning out, there's this little game in Atlanta on Dec. 5th that either Alabama or Florida will have to lose, so even at number three, keep taking care of your own business, and everything will work itself out.  Honestly, I'm not impressed by the fact that Texas seemingly has to throw the switch in the second half every week.  And if you don't think Florida and Alabama are the two best teams right now, we'll show you on Dec. 5th and again on Jan. 7th, IMHO (of course, one of them can lose before then, and I'll look pretty stupid.  I'll take my chances right now, though).  However, worrying about these things on Oct. 11th when any/all (we already know at least one will have to) of them can still lose is pointless.

8) DolphinMania runs wild(cat) on the Jets- Wow, what a game last night.  Another classic MNF in the rivalry between these two teams.  Honestly, I was a bit surprised that with defenses on both teams I would consider to be in the top half of the NFL, that neither team seemed to really be able to stop the other.  In the end, though, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski seemed to be the only ones outside the Dolphins offense who realized that on 3rd and goal from the three, with ten seconds left AND A TIMEOUT, that Miami just might run the ball.  As they both astutely pointed out, you get stopped, you call the TO and go for it on fourth down.

9) The best and worst of the NFL so far- Can you believe that the two best teams in the NFL right now might have met in week one, with one taking a miracle play to beat the other in the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals?  Honestly, you look at all the undefeated teams, and nobody's played anybody except for these two, and they are still winning (yes, obviously the Bengals have the one loss).  On the flip side, I believe the Rams are the worst team, but if I had to pick a team to go winless this season, the team with the best chance based on their schedules is my Bucs.  And somebody PLEASE explain to me how a team has a QB go 2 for 17 passing and still wins the game?  And why is JaMarcus Russell still a starting QB in this league?  Just how many wasted first rounders are the Raiders going to have (that DHB pick looks awesome right now)?  Couldn't happen to a more hapless, senile owner.

10) Some NHL thoughts- Well, the Lightning pulled off the 4 point minimum I wanted last week (although not the way I expected) going 1-0-2, then picked up a huge win against the Panthers last night.  Right now, they are currently in first place in their division and have more points than the Redwings.  The Bolts D is playing better as of late.  The fact that this team still remains unable to score in shootouts, however, is bothersome at best.  The defending champion Penguins are off to a hot start amassing 10 points already.

11) A special look ahead to Thursday night's NCAA game- I usually don't take a whole point for a look ahead, but this week's Thursday night game is huge for the Big East.  Regardless of who wins, they need these two teams to put on a great show to bring some respect and interest back to the league, and I believe they'll do it.  It was mentioned during a recent Big East broadcast I was watching that the league needs Pitt to win to carry this league, but I just don't argee with it.  I think both Cincinnati and USF are perfectly capable of performing this function, and I think the winner of this game is likely to play in Miami on January 5th.  Of course, Pitt being undefeated in the conference is still not out of conversation, but I also think West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers when they play well, can all help this league.

12) Weekly look ahead- Wow, let's see.  In college, give me the aforementioned Bearcat Bulls game, the Red River shootout to see if OU's vastly improved D can carry their struggling (by their standards) O, Arkansas Florida to create a second common opponent for UF and Alabama to compare them better (I think UF had a better showing at Kentucky than Alabama did which somehow gets overlooked), Alabama South Carolina to see where these two teams really stack up, USC Notre Dame to see just how Doyle's number one QB in the land does against a real defense (a lot of people are picking the Irish in this game, which would be a huge blow to both the Pac-10 and my keep ND out of the BCS hopes), Nebraska Texas Tech to see if the black shirts can slow down the suddenly revamped and rerevved Red Raiders offense, and Virginia Tech Georgia Tech in what should be one of the better ACC matchups of the year.  If the Hokies dominate, look for them to enter the title picture if one of the big 3 slips up.  Like I said, the remote will be smoking.  For the pros, give me Carolina Tampa Bay sorry, I'll actually be in attendance for that debacle (although it could be worse, I could have tickets to KC Washington), the Giants Saints to see which nts team stays unbeaten, Vikings Ravens to see if Baltimore can recover from two straight tough losses, Bears Falcons to see which one of these teams is likely for real and wild card material, and finally Broncos Chargers to see if Denver can keep it going with a tough road game.  Good slate for the paid athletes as well.

13) MLB LDS look back and LCS predicitions- Well, I got three out of four right, although I had all of them going longer than what they did.  I knew Boston had some holes, but didn't expect them to get exposed that thoroughly by LA, especially since I thought playing in the AL East would toughen them up.  TBS lost a lot of money by all of the series ending so quick.  But that can happen in short series.  I know last year, Philly beat LA in the LCS, but I just think the Dodgers have too much for them this year.  Don't see it going less than 6, however (in fact, I'll call it Dodgers in 6), and as much as I hate to, I'll go Yankees in 5 setting up the LAD NYY series you know baseball is praying for for not only the east coast west coast thing, but also the Torre back to New York thing and Manny against the Yankees.
Posted on: November 14, 2008 8:41 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2008 10:20 pm

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 10th.

Well, here I am posting this just before I should be posting my blog for Nov. 17th.  Guess that's what I get for trying to set a Tuesday deadline.  Hey, it's not like I'm getting paid for my opinions (it really would be two cents worth.  Of course, most of the posters {and some of the writers} <and writers="" some=""></and>in here, if I gave a penny for their thoughts, I'd be demanding change back, so I guess it works both ways).

1) Texas Tech should be number 1 - I can only go by what I observe.  I don't think the Red Raiders will finish at number one (although it'd only be a minor surprise if they did.  Their offense is scary good), but they get my vote for number 1 right now.  Now while Tech's big victories have been at home, and Bama's have been on the road, Tech's playing better football against better teams and getting better results.  Also, I don't understand why Michael Crabtree isn't getting more love for the Heisman.  I guess it's because the ball isn't in his hands every play.  Honestly, I'd vote him ahead of McCoy and Bradford right now (of course, this could change pending future results).  I did not expect the Red Raiders to just decimate the Cowboys the way they did.  Oklahoma State, which had played well on D all year could not get off the field against this team.  Their first SEVEN possessions went for TD's.  Remarkable.

2) Speaking of scary good - Gotta give some love to the Gators.  To me, they are playing the best, most complete football in the country right now.  And their special teams are the very definition of special.  They give opposing coaches nightmares.  That Ole Miss loss may have been the best thing to happen to them.  It woke a sleeping giant.  That is one focused football team right now.  And to everyone who keeps bringing up that loss that obviously didn't watch that game, especially those comparing it to USC's loss to Oregon State, the Gator's lost because they had a bad case of let's put the ball on the turf.  They were up 17-7 at halftime.  It wasn't like they were down all game and had to fight back.  That being said, they deserved to lose, you can't take the loss away, and you have to hold it against them.  One thing I will give to Longhorn and Sooner fans, your losses were against superior competition.  But if you've seen the Gators since then, they are just flat out dominant.

3) Thank you Hawkeyes - I love Joe Pa and have nothing against PSU (unlike tOSU), but I am so glad that Iowa beat PSU this week practically guaranteeing the Big 12-SEC match up I want to see on Jan. 8th (even if it is Bama instead of UF).  I think most of the nation will agree with me on that one.

4) Another thing about I hate about the BCS - Why is the Big East considered a BCS conference?  Is it too late to go back and draft the Mountain West as a BCS conference, or rewrite the rules where if a non-BCS school is in the Top 10 while a BCS champion (and I use that term losely) is not in the top 16, instead of guaranteeing just one spot, they should rip the spot from the other school.  Who honestly wants to see Cincinnati or Pitt in a BCS bowl game (have fun with that, Orange Bowl)?  I'd much rather watch a Utah or Boise State.  And this is why we'll never have a playoff.  Conferences like the Big East will take 85% of a $100 million pie instead of 50% of a $200-$300 million pie.  It's simple economics people.  All the arguements against the playoffs are so dumb, I can't stand them.

5) Why does everybody think it's going to be PSU-USC in the Rose Bowl? - And no, I'm not talking about the almost nonexistant chance USC has of making the BCS Championship game.  The fact is, while PSU controls it's own destiny, they do not own the tie breaker advantage and are therefore not the only team that does so.  Michigan State holds the tie-break, and therefore, also controls it's own destiny.  And speaking of controlling destinies ... USC DOESN'T EVEN CONTROL THEIRS!!!!!!!!!  No, that honor belongs to the Beavers of Oregon State, who some of you might remember beating USC earlier this year.  Beavers win out, they will be in Pasadena no matter what anybody else might want or what the polls say.  Update: Just learned that I was wrong about the Big Ten and who controls what.  While Michigan State does indeed control a multiple team tie-break due to the reason I listed, the first tie break is head to head.  Therefore, PSU is the only team to truly control it's destiny.  The Spartans would need the Buckeyes to lose while the Buckeyes get in with a win and a PSU loss.

6) Oh When the Aint's ... Go Marching Out - To you self entitled, never won anything, think your crap doesn't stink, holier than thou, buy into the hype Saints fans, I only offer this ... ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!   Couldn't happen to a better group of people.  Where's all these defensive improvements you made?  Where's this unstopable offense?  My Bucs may not win the division this year, but I know for darn sure you guys won't!  How's the view back there?  How's it feel to be two games behind a 4-12 team from a year ago?

7) Mike Martz, please quit yer b&$!hing - Reguardless of what you thought the situation was going to be in after the review, your only choice for a play call involved Shaun Hill throwing the ball a few inches in front of him in a downward motion, and then calling the appropriate play for the moment.  If your call before the review was to ground the ball, what the heck made you change the play call, to a run no less.  I don't care if the ball was at the 1, the 2 1/2, the five.  You had the correct play called, and then your geniousness kicked in and cost you a game.  Have fun finding a job next year.

8) 0-16? - As much as I love Rod Marinelli, especially for the time and work he put in here in Tampa, I pray his team pulls the 0fer.  I honestly think it's harder to lose 16 games than it is to win 16 games.  I should temper my enthusiam until about week 15 or 16.  If they can go into week 15 0-13, things will look a lot better.  I do know that they will not be favored to win another game all year.

9) Look ahead - The games I'll be looking forward to this week are UF versus the other USC, Oregon State Cal (to try to keep USC out of the Rose Bowl), and Cowboys Redskins in the NFL.  Unfortuantely, it's a pretty ugh kind of a week.

10) Tip off time - College basketball officially gets underway this week with the games starting to count for real in teams quest for March.  Expect a lot more bball posts from me as I follow some of the conference races and big games.

Bonus Look Ahead: Next week I will have a point on my Bolts decision to fire Berry Melrose after just 16 games.

Posted on: September 2, 2008 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2008 1:18 am

Welcome to 10 things I learned this week.

Well, I'm going to try my first foray into this blogging thing.  Each week on Monday or Tuesday, I will do a blog entry on ten things that I learned from this week in sports.  It will be heavy on football during the season, and will get in hockey during it's season.  After football, college basketball will make more of an appearance.  I'll also occasionally mix in an MLB or NBA comment, but I am not as well versed in those sports.   Well, here I go.

1) I should've had an "E1" - Something Seth Everett of MLB.com said this weekend bothers me.  He said (without throwing the guy under the bus) that he knows of an official MLB scorer who was watching "Seinfeld" during a game, and they needed a ruling, and he had to watch the replay.  Maybe the guy in Pittsburgh was doing something similar, because LaRoche was only about half way down the line when CC got his hand on that baseball.  My Physics class taught me that CC's throw, if he fields it cleanly, beats LaRoche by 5 feet.  That's the definition of an E1 in my book.  And listening to this guy try to defend his call is laughable.  I know guidelines call for a quick decision, but I've seen many a time where during a game, an E is quickly changed to an H, or vice versa, when they get a better view of it.  That's what should have happened here.  I don't think baseball can go back and retroactively award CC a no hitter, but it never should have gotten to that point.  Just my opinion.

2) ACC fans want to know when basketball season starts - Could there have been a worse beginning to the college football season than what happened to the ACC, and specifically it's annointed best team Clemson, than the beat down by Alabama?  I read an ACC beat writer who lamented that looking at it, he still thinks Clemson is the best team in the conference, which is not  a good thing (unless you're an FSU fan).  Couple that with Va Tech losing to ECU and NC State getting beat down by a team that threw 4 picks, this leads to ...

3) A Mountain West team will be in a BCS bowl game - since the ACC will not have a highly ranked team this year, it will open the door wide open for the winner of the Utah BYU game (barring a major upset) to go play in likely the Fiesta Bowl.

4) South Carolina's best QB is pretty Smelley - Well, Spurier Spurrier (oops) finally made the right call and named Smelley as his QB.  After the other guy (and you get this name after throwing 4 picks) kept a bad NC State team in it for the first half, common sense took over, and now they have the correct guy behind center.

5) Crafting a Memorable Victory - Did UCLA throw Craft's jersey on some new kid at halftime?  The entire first half, he made bad reads, looked indecisive, and had no zip.  The second half, he made good reads, looked decisive, and had zip on his ball.  Whatever Nueheisel and Chow said to gently light a fire under this kid's butt, I want to know, because it definitely worked.  Big props to them.

6) Getting a read on the Big East - This conference was 0-4 against FBS teams (D1A for those of you still living in the past) and 4-0 against FCS teams this weekend.  The thing that scares me is looking at them, I can easily see an undefeated West Viginia team playing an undefeated USF team on Dec. 6th for a chance to go to the championship game.  This is not farfetched.  I am not aware of any roadbumps on WVU's schedule and the only problem games for USF are Kansas at home next week and a November meeting at Cincinnati.  Don't be surprised if this happens, and if it does, don't be surprised to have both teams entering that game in the Top 7.

7) Tim Tebow may not win the Heisman, and this doesn't upset me - Even as an obvious Gator fan.  The reason being, he has weapons he can rely on this year, including what appears to be the making of a running game without using Tebow as the primary runner.  All of this is good for UF, and will help their chances of getting an SEC and possibly a national title.

8) The Best Team I saw this week - despite the showings that UF and SEC bretheren Alabama put on this week, by far the best team I saw was USC (no, not you, Gamecocks, the one out west).  Their dismantling of (albeit an ACC member) January bowl game team from last year in their home stadium, coming across country to do it was very impressive.  The polls got it right this week.  Look out OSU.

9) Nothing good happens after 2 am - No, I didn't actually learn that this weekend, but it bears mentioning.  The tradgedy of Jags OLT Collier being shot just makes me wonder why people insist on staying out that late.  Plus, it appears that his celebrity (ergo money) MAY have made him a target.  Players of all pro sports need to realize there are people in this world that want nothing more than to take advantage of them.  I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he's able to play again.  Looking forward to the NFL season getting underway.  Go Bucs!  Update: Apparently, it wasn't money, but some guy mad at him because he got beat down by Collier before (perhaps even at the same place).  I still wish him the best, but I guess his machismo got the best of him one night, and the coward decided to take matters into his own hands by shooting him multiple times.  Second Update: Don't know if anybody checks back, but they finally made an arrest today (10/19).  Turns out I was right and that it was somebody he had beat up at the same night club back in April.  Unfortunately, Collier's career is over.  I wish him a speedy recovery and a long life.  Nobody deserves to be shot 14 times.

10) Catching some Rays - who would have ever thought that we would ever start a September with this being EXACTLY what the Red Sox and Yankees would have to do?  This has to be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the MLB.  Living in Tampa, I was here for the Super Bowl win by the Bucs, and the Stanley Cup win by the Lightning.  I have a feeling, within the next three years, the city across the Bay, St. Pete, will be home of the World Series champion Rays, and I'll be here to enjoy that to.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com