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Tag:NBA
Posted on: November 11, 2009 11:25 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2009 11:40 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 9th

This week, I would like to take the opportunity to give my deepest thanks to the troops, both past and present, who have put/continue to put their lives on the line to protect my freedom to enjoy sports to the point where I might learn a thing or 10 over the week, and then come in here to pass along this knowledge, and the freedoms of Americans everywhere.

1) The uni's weren't the only thing changed this week- Watching the Bucs Packers game at my house, I was telling my dad as he and the announcers on the game kept mentioning how the Bucs were hanging around and fighting hard, "Yeah, but watch, they'll go in at halftime, make no adjustments, and come out and get blown out in the second half."  I had every right to believe what I was saying.  It had happened already in all 7 of their previous games (including winable games against the Redskins and Panthers).  But then the miraculous happened.  I joked with the guys at work I felt like I was watching on old Foldger's coffee commerical.  "We've secretly replaced the Buccaneers coaching staff with one that can make half time adjustments and win a game."  And that they did.  And what's up with the Packers swiss cheese O-line?  Way to make Stylez G. White look like the second coming of Michael Strahan.

2) Irish's BCS dreams sunk by Navy- In addition to thanking the troops this Veteran's Day, how about thanking future troops, the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy, who prevented mine (and every non-Notre Dame fans) worst nightmare of seeing an undeserving and over-matched Irish team in a BCS game only to serve as the sacrificial lamb.  And of course, with Pitt and Stanford both looking to be much better than previously advertised, the Irish could relistically finish the regular season 7-5 and be Charlie Weis' swan song.  For more of my thoughts on the game, Irish fans, and their "mystique" (if interested), I direct you to this thread: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messag
es/chrono/18150835
.

3) Take advantage of your stellar D- Boy, as a Gator fan I am longing for the days of Dan Mullen.  Steve Adazio's play calling is baffling at best sometimes, and a huge reason for the team's red zone struggles this year.  There was a third and two from the 10 early in the game where Aaron Hernandez, our TE, motioned into the backfield, and in a terrifyingly slow developing play, Tebow fake pitched it to him and was absolutely stuffed.  Field Goal.  It's obvious this year due to the Gators' superior D, he's afraid of opening it up and making mistakes, preferring the D to carry them.  I say, all the more reason to open it up and make a couple mistakes.  You know the defense will be there to clean up for you.  Sure, maybe Charlie Strong gets a little mad at you when the other team ends up putting 10 or 13 on the scoreboard, but so what?  Especially if you end up putting 40+ up.  Is it just me?

4) Anti-SEC angst again directed in the wrong direction- It's been an abysmal season for officiating in the SEC, and I cannot try to defend or justify it.  Previously, I thought we had the best officials in the game along with the Big 12, due to the level of football being played.  Well, maybe this game has become too fast for them.  Another likely blown call was made in the LSU-Alabama game.  But as easy as it is to criticize the replay official and why do we have replay, blah, blah, blah (by the way, ask the Big Ten how replay is going for them) it was AGAIN not the replay official's fault.  Here's why.  You take a look at the replay.  Clearly his left foot was in bounds.  The problem is, it is not obvious when he secures possession (despite what LSU fans say).  To me, it appeared that he did not secure the ball until his left foot was up.  So now we look at the right.  Did I think he had the right down?  Yes, I do.  Gary Danielson did a fantastic job during the replay showing again why I feel he's the best in the game.  He even pointed out the little bit of grass that seemed to come up with the right foot, and no white grass.  But can I conclusively say it was in?  Conclusively being the opporative word.  No, I can't.  And if I can't say he conclusively had his right foot in, and I can't conclusively say he had possession while his left foot was still down, guess what?  Play stands as called.  Again, I point out, PLAY STANDS AS CALLED.  Somehow, fans and media members have twisted this around using converse logic that had it correctly (imo) been called a pick, it would have been overturned on replay.  SIMPLY NOT TRUE.  There would have been equal (if not less) evidence to not overturn a pick call.  Once again, get mad at the officials on the field who were either out of position or simply inept and made a bad call and then expect the replay official to OVERSTEP his bounds and fix what was not as obvious of a mistake as people like to think.

5) Curb your enthusiasm- After tOSU's domination of Penn State in Happy Valley, some Buckeye fans began jumping off the deep end proclaiming that Terrelle Pryor might not lose another game.  Well, I mean, in a sense they are right.  He MIGHT not lose again.  But likely he will.  Still, with the team he has around him, he shouldn't lose many more, especially if he can build off his performance.  But, one good game does not a career make, and he still has things he needs to work on.  Overall, though, great win by the Buckeyes, who I no longer need to win this week, but just might pull for them all the same (more on this, next).

6) General college musings- Iowa's weekly let's play to the level of our competition and come from behind job is mercifully over, although you never want to see a starting QB go down like that, a week after a through dismantling of the Trojans, the Ducks lay an egg against Stanford (although the Cardinal are a good team), the Hoosiers again do just enough to hang in a game and still lose, and the black shirts get some revenge against their formal arch rival in securing 5 picks in a 10-3 victory over the Sooners that mericfully finally pushed OU out of the Top 25.  By the way, what has become with some of the tradition in college football?  I meant to hit on this a few weeks ago, but Bama Tennessee not being on the 3rd Saturday in October? (Bama played the other USC that week, and the Volunteers were off).  And OU Nebraska not playing each other every year since expending to the Big 12?  As I was telling my good Husker fan HuskerTex, I remember EVERY Thanksgiving weekend watching four football games, Florida Florida State, Auburn Alabama, Texas Texas A&M, and Oklahoma Nebraska.

7) General NFL musings- Huge wins by the Cowboys and Steelers this week.  Why did more people not see Cincy beating Baltimore?  They already did it once, and Cedric Benson, an early candidate for comeback player of the year, ran for over 100 yards against them AGAIN.  It's the 3rd time in 4 games the Ravens have allowed a 100 yard back.  Big win also by the Chargers.  How does Vincent Jackson get that wide open.  Well, first the corner thinks he has (and should have had) safety help, and did, but the safety was far too late getting over.  Of course, part of this is on the corner for not rerouting Jackson inside to where the help should have been and allowing him to get outside where the safety had much more ground to cover (and again, was late doing so).  And the Saints and Colts just continue to find ways to win, again in comeback fashion for the Saints.

8) Some thoughts on the hardwood- We may be in line for another Celtics Lakers Finals matchup.  The Magic look great most nights, but lose by 28 to the Thunder.  Also, Magic might be in a tougher division than previously thought as there may be 3 playoff caliber teams, including the resurgent Heat.  And is LeBron already half way out the door?  That 4-3 start won't help.  Also, college bball tipped off for real on Monday, so expect to see more on that in the coming weeks, especially after football winds down.

9) Icy thoughts- The Lightning are an improved 6-4-5, getting points in all four games on a recent road trip.  Should the playoffs had started Monday, the Lightning would be in it.  The Devils are red-hot (hey, they are the Devils) and now are tied with the Penguins in the East Atlantic (I do make mistakes form time to time).  And the Avalanche continue to amaze getting stellar goaltending, although the Sharks have now passed them for the overall lead in the NHL.

10) BuccinGator's stone cold NFL predicitions- Instead of doing a look ahead this week (although I am really looking forward to the Sunday Night game between the Patriots and Colts), I shall bring you my NFL playoff predictions.  Now that all of the teams (except 2 who have gotten in 9) have played exactly half their season, it's far easier to get reads on the teams and who might make some noise come post season.  Sure, waiting like this makes it easy for me to pick teams like the Colts, Vikings, and Saints, but it also makes it easier to identify the Dolphins and Falcons of last year.  Here's a look back at last year's edition:

Now that we are officially at the half way point of the NFL season, with every team having played 8 games (except for 4 that have played 9), here go my picks for the twelve teams that will be playing come January for a chance to visit my home town of Tampa, Florida on Feb. 9th.  In the AFC, I like the Patriots to hang on to the East, the Titans to win the South (duh), the Steelers to take the north, and the Chargers to luck into the West with no better than a 9-7 record.  For the wild card teams, give me the Ravens (even though they face a brutal schedule including all the teams from the NFC East), and I'll go with a team from the East, give me the Dolphins in a surprise.  The Bills have looked lost recently for some unknown reason and I just don't trust Jet Favre to be careful enough with the ball on what I think is a mediocre team.  In the NFC, I'll take the Giants to win the East, the Packers to squeak by in the North (with no better than a 10-6 record), the Cardinals in the West (another duh).  I'll take the Bucs as one of my wild cards, and the other will obviously go to a team in the East, so let's make it the Eagles, who I think edge out the Redskins.  But wait a minute, I haven't picked my division winner in the South, you might be saying.  Well, the easy thing to do is take the Panthers, who in the end I think will take it (especially if they can handle the Bucs in Carolina), but my official pick on my blog is ... the Atlanta Falcons.  Yes, the worst to first trend continues with a team that everyone thought would be rebuilding, but instead are just recovering from a horrible coach.  So there you have it.  I'll pick official playoff winners once the playoffs are set, but based on these picks, I'll go #3 Patriots over #6 Ravens, #5 Dolphins over #4 Chargers, #1 Titans over #5 Dolphins, #2 Steelers over #3 Patriots, #2 Steelers over #1 Titans.  In the NFC, give me #5 Buccaneers over #4 Packers, #6 Eagles over #3 Cardinals, #1 Giants over #6 Eagles, #5 Buccaneers over #2 Falcons (hey, how about that, two divisional matchups in the divisional round.  Wouldn't that be neat?) #1 Giants over #5 Buccaneers, and finally, in Tampa, Giants over Steelers.  There you have it, folks.

As you can see, I got 9 out of the twelve teams correct (couldn't see the Colts late season run or the Bucs choke job).  I did also call the Chargers lucking into the AFC West last year.  Don't know what I was thinking taking the Pack and TT's big ego.  And, I had the Jets pegged better than most of the experts.  So here they are, this year's NFL playoff predictions culminating with who I think ends up in Miami.  For the AFC East, it's an easy pick with the Patriots.  South another slam dunk with the Colts.  In the North, I like the Steelers to edge out the Bengals, while both make the playoffs, the loser securing one of the AFC's wild cards.  In the West, gotta go Broncos, although they appear to be slipping somewhat, and the Chargers are hanging around.  For the last wild card spot, I just don't trust the Jets or Ravens enough, so I think it comes down to the Texans and Chargers, with the Chargers winning out.  In the NFC, give me the Eagles to win the East despite their hiccup against the Cowboys, the Saints to win the South (duh), the Vikings in the North (double duh), and in the West, it's got to be the Cardinals with the 49ers disappointing the way they are.  For the two wild cards, I'll take the Cowboys and the Falcons.  So here's how I see the playoffs.  In the AFC, I like #3 Patriots over #6 Chargers and #5 Bengals over #4 Broncos in a revenge game, then, #1 Colts over #5 Bengals and #2 Steelers over #3 Patriots in what should be a great game if it happens.  Home field and defense I think will win out.  For the AFC Championship, I'm going to go with the upset and go #2 Steelers over #1 Colts granting Sixburgh their second consecutive trip to Florida.  For the NFC, I like #3 Cardinals over #6 Cowboys (Cowboys still can't win a playoff game or get revenge for 1998) and #5 Falcons over #4 Eagles in what would be a tight game.  Then, #1 Saints over #5 Falcons and #2 Vikings over #3 Cardinals.  Then in what should be a heck of an NFC Championship game which will most likely be in a dome (will be if my top two seeds are there), #1 Saints over #2 Vikings where home field again becomes a factor.  And for Super Bowl LXIV in Miami, I can't believe I'm saying this as it will make Saints fans more obnoxious than normal (although it'd be a great story for the true Saints fans like some of the ones you see in the Super Dome), I'll take the Saints to beat the Steelers.  They just seem to have enough on defense and have finally realized that Bush is overrated and exactly how and when he needs to be used, that I will go ahead and go with them.  I really hope I'm wrong, however (at least with them).
Posted on: October 25, 2009 12:05 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2009 12:36 am
 

10 Things I learned the Week of Oct. 19th

Sorry I'm getting this up very, very late.  Busy week in my personal life.  As always, when I am late like this, I will limit it as though I am posting on Tuesday.  I will not have a look ahead point as most of the things I am looking forward to have already happened.  As we near the half way point in the NFL, after week 9 I make my official NFL playoff predicitions.  Unlike others, I do very well with these as I wait until HALF OF THE SEASON IS PLAYED.  Last year, because of this, I had Miami and Atlanta in the playoffs, unlike all of those publications that try to predict what's going to happen before the season.  Also, I dedicate this week's edition in Memory of Jasper Howard and to the Unversity of Connecticut football program.  How some of those kids were even able to play yesterday.  And major Kudos to the University of West Virginia as well, for all they did yesterday.  Well, on to the blog.

1) The good, the bad, and the ugly- You can just hear the music, can't you?  This my friends, refers to the three critical calls in last week's UF Arkansas game that went against the Razorbacks.  And I realize as a Gator fan, you might not take much stock in what I will tell you, but if you look at it realistically, you'll realize it's the truth.  Now I purposefully avoided the boards after the game because I knew it'd be infested in Gator haters saying Arkansas got jobbed and the fix was in.  Again, blaming things on the refs is loser speak, even when they make bad calls (in which case they made two [not three], one of which is never consitantly called and in the case of the one in question, almost never called, more on this shortly), they almost NEVER directly influence the outcome of the game.  Arkansas had EVERY chance to win that game in spite of the for real and perceived bad calls, and honestly the Gators were VERY lucky to win.  It's not often you turn over the ball four times and are still in the game.  But back to the refs, I've only seen TWO times in my LIFE where the refs have indeed cost the team a game, the Oregon Oklahoma game a few years back and the Colorado 5th down game in 1990.  Even in the Ed Hochuli debacle in San Diego Denver last year, a call that more directly affected the game than anything in UF Arkansas, people forget that after the play, it was 4th and goal from the 13.  San Diego only had to make ONE MORE PLAY, and they couldn't do it.  A bunch of my friends gave me, "Yeah, but San Diego was deflated, they thought the game was over, etc."  Look, how many times to you see a 4th and 13 converted in the NFL?  Not very often.  Folks, in the end, the result of the game comes down to which teams made the plays and which teams didn't.  Now, let's look at the three plays in question.  First the good.  The pass interference on Arkansas in the endzone against Deonte Thompson.  Now I know a lot of people, especially in the media are going, look, what is the kid supposed to do.  Then that means maybe the rule has to be looked at.  But in this case, Thompson was absolutely impeded from coming back for a catchable ball.  IN FACT, it was Tebow's poor throw that caused the PI situation, and how many times do you see that happen?  I'd say AT LEAST half of PI's occur when the ball is thrown somewhere it's not supposed to be.  But look, that flag gets thrown 100% of the time in the NFL where there is faceguarding, and 80-85% of the time in college where there is no face gaurding.  Want to reduce your chance of being flagged?  At least turn around and/or make a play on the ball.  In this case, the defender did neither.  Now for the bad.  This would be the Riley Cooper PI in the end zone that wasn't called.  Could it have been called, absolutely, and I wouldn't have been upset.  But, if we are being honest with ourselves here, how many times do you see that called?  Maybe 20% of the time?  Receivers always get the benefit of the doubt as they are always looking for the ball and making a play on the ball.  Usually the only time you see offensive pass interference called is during a pick(not an interception, BTW, a pick as in two people crossing and one purposefully rubbing off a defender), or the the receiver extends his arms to get clear separation.  That's why you maybe see one a game.  Again, get mad with the rule or the enforcement thereof, but yes, this could have been called.  Now for the ugly, and the call that got the crew reprimanded.  The personal foul on the Arkansas D-Lineman WHILE the play was still happening was atrocious and inexcusible.  If there was one call that cannot be questioned or defended in any way it was that one.  But again, it comes down to teams making plays, and on the subsequent touchdown run by Demps, he was going to score if he was 30 yards out instead of 10, so don't blame the inexcusible call on the ref as to WHY the Gators scored.  Then it got worse as the SEC suspended the crew in question, and everybody again came out of the woodwork to use this as validation as to the two judgement calls (the PI's) in question were also wrong and the Razorbacks were thoroughly jobbed.  Well, as I already explained, only one of the judgement calls was bad, and almsot never called, but folks, this was the SAME CREW that called the UGA LSU game with the phantom celebration call and the even worse makeup call.  And I'm sure there were other mistakes in not such high profile games.  They were suspended for their overall body of work, including the personal foul call in this game.  Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.

2) Just to get right back on it- This time I'll be railing on the coaching staff of my beloved Buccaneers.  I was in attendance for the debacle on Sunday, where after tying the game on a Fake Delhomme pick, the Bucs kick off to the Panthers with about 8:30 left in the game.  At this point, all of the momentum is with the Bucs.  But, after annoucing to the world that they were going to run the ball on every play, the Bucs still did not stop it.  On the one or two plays they did get D Line penetration they couldn't tackle, but more often than not, first contact occured FIVE YARDS down field.  After the game, coach Ra basically blamed it on a tired D using the excuses of the kickoff return for a TD and pick six as reasons why they were out there so much.  No coach, here's what the problem was, and it was blatantly obvious to all of the people I talked to who even watched it on TV, and should show up in the film.  ZERO, and I mean ZERO adjustments by you and Bates and the defensive staff on that last drive.  The whole time, THERE WAS NOT PLAY ONE WHERE THE BUCS HAD EIGHT OR NINE IN THE BOX.  Both safeties played back, the LB's weren't adjusted, and the result is a TD that takes seven minutes off the clock.  THIS COACHING STAFF IS IN WAAAAAAAAY OVER THEIR HEADS, and is exactly what these so called Bucs fans deserve, unfortunately.  And can we stop with the shiny happy BS on the Bucs radio post game show?  Take the positives out of the game??  What positives?  This team is absolutely abismal at 0-6.  Stylez G. White getting his first sack?  Oh, happy, happy, joy, joy!  Yeah, because he and the rest of the line were getting SUCH consitant pressure the whole game.  The only POSITIVE I took out of the game was Aqib Talib, who for the second week had his man on lockdown.  Oh, and I am POSITIVE that Josh Freeman needs to be starting sooner rather than later.  And could coach Ra please shut up around the media?  Every time he talks to them, he says something really stupid, usually calling out players.  Coach, that needs to be done behind closed doors.

3) Red River TO fest- Don't get me wrong, it was still a good game, and very much along the lines of the close defensive game I expected, but EIGHT turnovers in the game just kind of kills the pacing.  Still, great job by the Longhorns, although I'm sure there were Pac-10 fans in here complaining about how boring it was.

4) A look at the first BCS poll- You know, as much as I can't stand the BCS, the first poll did get one thing right.  It rewarded teams that were undefeated, and put the Trojans in their 7th place spot (that loss to UW is looking worse and worse by the week, BTW).  And what is up with the AP poll?  Can somebody PLEASE explain to me WHY oh WHY oh WHY is a THREE LOSS OU team still in the top 25?  Yes, they lost their 3 games against decent competition by a combined five points, but are there REALLY teams out there that aren't more deserving?  There has to be at least 25 zero, one, and two loss teams, right?

5) Who dat, who dat, who dat say they going to beat dem Saints- Wow, what a beat down put on by the Saints against the Giants this week.  The Saints were in control for the entire game and made a huge statement to the rest of the NFL.  I hate to give them props (mostly due to their fans), but in this case, a dominant win is a dominant win, against a pretty good team none the less.

6) Will the real Texans and Bengals please stand up- It's been hard in my Pick 'Em pools to figure out these two teams.  I've only picked one Bengals game right all year.  And the Texans.  I just can't get a read on this team.  It's one thing to be a mediocre team.  It's another thing to have a mediocre record because one week you look like world beaters and the next like a college team.

7) Vikings, Broncos stay undefeated- And what a way for the Vikings having another late Brett Farve comeback and then having to hold your breath as the Ravens miss a kick.  This D allowing 31 points to the Ravens is scary, though, and cause for concern.  And remember when people thought Josh Daniels was the young rookie coach in way over his head???  Nope, we have that guy down here in Tampa.

8) Wreck rambles over Tech- In on of the big college football matches this week, Ga Tech ran roughshot over Va Tech using their triple option to perfection in a huge 28-23 win.  The Hokies just seemed unable to make the adjustments to slow down Nesbitt and Dwyer.  That was a huge statement game for the Jackets and one that just might get them to Tampa on Dec. 5th and Miami on Jan. 5th.

9) Other NCAA football musings- Just some quick hits on the other NCAA games I said I was looking forward to: Alabama dominated South Carolina a lot more than what showed on the scoreboard, Doyle's Heisman frontrunner was (thankfully) not able to get it done in crunch time against the other SC, and the black shirts were able to slow down the Texas Tech offense, but not nearly enough to cover for their struggling offense.

10) The NBA, it's Fan-tastic- Well, not really, at least not for me.  It does start for real, though, so I will look to mix some hoops talk in from time to time.  I'm much more of a fan of the college game.  Somewhat follow the Magic just because they are the closest team.  They seem to be set up for another division title and maybe another long run in the playoffs.  Actually, last year I was playing a little game to see how many coaches got fired during the season.  The NBA is the king of midseason turnover.  Actually, bringing this up makes me surprised that as of yet, no NFL coach has gotten the axe yet.
Posted on: December 24, 2008 11:20 am
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:01 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the week of Dec. 22nd

WARNING: No. this isn't going to be like Yo's surgeon general warning, although I can have my moments of wit and humor if you read some of my other work on here.  In fact, this is probably my one serious release.  No, just giving everyone a heads up that for the second time I will be breaking my own cardinal rule about cutting off the week's events on a Monday.  Last night's game between Boise State and TCU was too good to wait until next week to comment on.  And while I'm breaking my cardinal rule, congrats to my Bolts, who played their best game of hockey in a LONG LONG time last night against the Pens.  They were forechecking like it was 2004, and their passing was the crispest I've seen all year, and was usually right on target.  Anyway, here goes.

And so this is Christmas.  And what have I learned?  Another week over.  A new one's just begun.

1) Feeling a little "Horn"y - Wow.  What a game last night.  TCU's defense, despite what the idiots logged into the four letter network were saying for most of the game, singlehandedly won that game for the Horned Frogs, and kept them in it while their offense was doing everything they could to lose it for most of the first half.  Anyway, this game was one of those rare one's that lived up to the expectations, and quite honestly deserved a better date and venue than what they got.  This was a great matchup between two great teams.  Boise State fans, you should still be very proud of what your team accomplished this year, but if you want a reminder as to why tOSU is in the Fiesta Bowl (which I told you a couple weeks ago your venom was improperly directed in the first place), look no further than the stands.  University of Phoenix Stadium will be PACKED.  Trust me, I know.  In 2007, it was about 70% Buckeye fans.

2) A Giant Victory - Speaking of great games, I predicted the SNF game between the Giants and Panthers would be a classic and it did not disappoint. Have to give huge props to the Giants not only being able to come back the way they did in that game, but just absolutely decimating the Panthers run D much the same way the Panthers decimated my Bucs run D a couple weeks ago.  Thank you to Brandon Jacobs for helping me win my autodraft league here on CBS.

3) A "Titan"ic victory - In the same line, congrats to the Tennesse Titans who won a huge game against the Steelers and locked up home field advatage on the AFC side.  I'm still not quite sold that it won't be the Steelers or Ravens coming out of the AFC, but the Titans are a solid team who would represent well here in Tampa in February.

4) The resurrection of the Dirty Birds - Even though Minnesota outplayed the Falcons for pretty much the entire game, the Falcons did what they had to to come away with the W and secure a playoff birth.  What an amazing turnaround this year, a turnaround that should scare the bajesus out of (no, not the rest of the NFC, although they could make some noise, especially if they somehow win the division) the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Yes, you had a huge win over LSU at the end of the year, but your current head coach, that you ousted the better Houston Nutt for (good luck to him in the Cotton Bowl.  See Razorback fans, the COTTON BOWL) was the same head coach who divided and held back this Falcon team last year.  Bobby Petrino sucks, there's just no other way of saying that.

5) A "Bull"ish victory - I haven't been doing too well with my bowl picks so far this year.  2-4 right now, although I'd be doing a lot better if the games would have ended at the 28 minute mark.  I did score 32 points in my bowl pool with the USF Bulls, however.  This team showed flashes of the team they should have been.  One playing in a much better bowl than the St. Pete bowl.  If only they could have cut out some of the turnovers, especially the ones in the red zone.  What a different year this could have been for them.

6) A sinking ship - Boy, it looked for a moment like Navy was going to be up 20-0 at halftime, but one replay (where the correct ruling was clearly made), and all of a sudden, momentum shifted dramatically.  Navy goes on to allow a last minute TD drive, and go into halftime only up 13-7.  Then it was all over from there.  Still you have to be proud of the way this team played this year and has played in recent years.  They've become a perennial bowl team now.

7) So much for my Western Conference dream match - I still want to see Sharks Wings in a seven game series that means a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.  But shortly after I posted last week's edition, Diva's Wings DESTROYED the Sharks 6-0.  Huge win for them, and it pains me ever so to write that.

8) Let's see if anybody whines this year - Well, we arrive to the Christmastime tradition of the NBA on Christmas day, with some pretty good games scheduled.  I'm just more interested to see if some of the players whine about having to play on Christmas day instead of being with their families as some have done in the past (I want to say Shaq).  News Flash!!!!  You make Millions of dollars every year.  Sorry for the minor inconvenience.  Coming from someone who used to regularly have to work Christmas day despite having a 25K a year job, stop crying and work around it.  Usually when that happened, I had Christmas Eve off, so I'd just make that Christmas.  Or, I'd just go see the family when I got off.  If I could make it work, you can!

9) Weekly look ahead - Kind of a light week.  The two NFL games that mean the most (and should be good games) are the Cowboys Eagles and the Panthers Saints.  It kind of sucks knowing if the Bucs win, Philly is eliminated, but the Bucs would need Philly to beat Dallas to make it.  Oh well.  And unfortunately, the only bowl games that looks decent before the Dec. 31st ones are Northwestern and Missouri in the Alamo Bowl (which is a stretch) and Oklahoma State Oregon in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th (which should be a good game)

10) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Predicitions - Let's see if I can start to do better than 2-4.

Hawaii Bowl (which I predicted last week, but will post again) - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17

Motor City - Central Michigan 31 Florida Atlantic 10

Meineke Car Care - West Virginia 20 UNC 14

Champs Sports Bowl - FSU 28 Wisconsin 10

Emerald Bowl - Cal 23 Miami 21

Independence Bowl - La Tech 24 Northern Illinois 20

Papa Johns - Rutgers 31 NC State 13

Alamo Bowl - Missouri 38 Northwestern 17

Humanitarian - Maryland 21 Nevada 20

Texas Bowl - Western Michigan 28 Rice 27

Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State 34 Oregon 27

To all my friends, have a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.  See you next week.  I'm thinking about doing a year in review.

Posted on: December 17, 2008 9:56 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2009 8:34 pm
 

10 Things I learned the Week of Dec. 15th

Ugh!  I just got done Christmas shopping, and it gets harder and harder every year.  I remember when I was 10, I had harder times coming up with gift ideas for myself, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the same thing is happening now that my son is 10.  His big wish for this year was a microscope, and both sets of grandparents got him one (actually, one set got him a telescope, so he was really happy), so he'll be able to play whenever he wants.  Not sure what his fascination is.  Guess something in Science at school tweaked his interest.  Didn't post on time yesterday because it was my work's sports banquet (yes, we have recreational sports leagues at my work).  I'm not nearly as spry (or as light) as I used to be 10 years ago, so now I ump/ref instead of play for the most part.  I hope I can come up with ten things this light week in sports.  If Diva's reading, she'll be happy that I'll throw in at least one hockey take.  And special thanks to yo, who lobbed me two softballs (well, one softball, the other was a heater I sent screaming anyway).  Instead of Meatloafing my predictions as I had been accustomed to recently, I nailed every one!!!  Yea!

1) The best Heisman class - Well, I kind of lucked out in picking Bradford to win the Heisman (and hopefully lucked into my Gators being the recipient of the Heisman curse), but I couldn't believe some Texas/Florida/Oklahoma fans were bashing some of these kids.  Bradford's coach runs up the score.  They don't play defense in the Big 12.  Tebow's just a runner.  Everybody, please SHUT UP!  All three kids are class acts and outstanding leaders of the three best football teams in the country.  I honestly would not have had a problem had ANY of the three won, and definitely would not try to make an arguement AGAINST any of them.  Argue for them all you want.  All three are terrific.  Anyway, it was interesting, as somebody pointed out, Bradford won the Heisman, Tebow won the Maxwell, and McCoy the Walter Camp.  All three were the best player, depending on who you asked.  And frankly, that's the way it should have been.

2) "Buc"ed by the Dirty Birds - Ugh, my Bucs lost another huge division road test this week, and lost a couple defensive players to boot.  I didn't think an injury to our D tackle position would hurt us this bad, but I guess it did, as we seem to have lost the ability to stop the run.  I thought for sure the Bucs would be able to ice it when they blocked that punt late in the game, but alas, a critical penalty and the inability to overcome it sealed their fate.  Then when Griese was sacked on a horrible play on his part, I knew it was over.  Thing is, Atlanta almost had a critical penalty of their own, but Michael Turner (who is having an outstanding year, and might be one of the best free agent acquisitions this year) was able to get back pretty much every yard, and Atlanta needed it to, as Elam barely snuck the winning FG inside the offensive left upright.  Had they been the 8 or 9 yards further back, it either would have clanked, or been barely pushed wide.  My only solice is that if the Bucs win out, they'll still make the playoffs.  But unless they face the Cardinals (who are a joke), they will be one and done.

3) Panther roar - Remember when there was speculation of a subway Super Bowl and talk of the Giants being the best team in the NFL.  Well, if Carolina can beat New York in New York this weekend, they will be the number one seed in the NFC, and it's hard to see any team beating Carolina in Carolina right now.

4) Steel Curtain - The Steelers (benefeciaries of a questionable replay call) took a huge step toward possibly establishing themselves as the number one contender in the AFC.  My friend thinks that the Ravens would win a rematch, which they might do, as the Steelers will have trouble running the ball against that D, but on the flip side, I brought up to him that unless the Ravens can start getting TD's, kicking FG's won't cut it, especially in Heinz Field in January where it will be next to impossible.  Still, it would have been interesting to see Tomlin's call on a 4th and goal from the 1 foot line.  Does he go for the win?  Or does he kick the tying FG?  We'll never know, now.

5) A Hockey take - Well, not much has changed since the last time I talked ice on my blog.  My Bolts stick suck eggs.  The Pens, my second favorite team, are decent, but are playing in what looks like the best division in hockey (well, if you kick out the Islanders).  But how about the San Jose Sharks (sorry, Diva)???  I don't get to see them much here in Tampa, but I don't think I've seen a team play this impressive of hockey to start a season, possibly ever.  If they can keep it up, I'd love to see the Sharks play Diva's Wings in the Western Conference finals.  That looks right now like it'd be a helluva series.

6) A Pittsburgh Fleury - Of course, now that the Penguins have Marc-Andre Fleury back between the pipes after being out a month with an injury, maybe they can make a push to get a higher seed in the playoffs, and maybe even push for the division since the Rangers are returning to earth a little bit (sorry Diva, but you'll have to deal with my Pen takes, especially since you have that rat bastard Hossa).

7) Dropping like Flies - I heard an unbelievable statistic the other day.  I believe I heard it on the four letter network, or possibly read it in one of the local papers, but since Jerry Sloan started coaching the Jazz in 1998, there have been an AVERAGE of TWENTY TWO head coaching changes in the NBA PER YEAR!!!!!  This in a league with 30 teams.  That's ludicrous!!!  And people wonder why I consider college to be the better brand of basketball.  This may be a symptom more than a cause, but still!  Sheesh!!!!!  (BTW, there has already been 6 midseason this year alone).

8) As much as I love college basketball - Is there anything more useless than a pre-February RPI?  Looking at the current RPI, Florida State (who owns my Gators in basketball the same way we own them in football, but you can guess which is more important to us in the state of Florida) is number 9, while the Tarheels of UNC are 15th.  Yeah, okay.  Let's see it stay that way when they get into conference play.

9) Weekly Look Ahead - The games I'm looking forward to are Pittsburgh Tennesse in a showdown for the #1 seed in the AFC, Atlanta Minnesota in a HUGE game for both teams (congrats to Yo's Vikes, who now hold a strangle lock on the #3 seed in a game I accurately predicted {pats himself on the back}), and the SNF game of the year for the #1 seed in the NFC between Carolina and the Giants.  Whoever wins that game will lock up the number 1 seed being a game up and the tie break with one left.  Also, I look forward to the Poinsettia Bowl between Boise State and TCU.  How is this game being played on Dec. 23rd???  This is the type of matchup you usually see no earlier than Dec. 31st, and could be better than some of the BCS games.

10) Buccingator's Bowl Predictions - Let's see if I can keep my hot streak going.  I'll give the picks on all the games through the 24th, in case I'm late in posting again.

Eagle Bank Bowl - Navy 21 Wake Forest 17

New Mexico Bowl - Fresno State 31 Colorado State 20

St. Petersburgh (Florida, not Russia) Bowl - USF 34 Memphis 20

Las Vegas Bowl - BYU 24 Arizona 13

New Orleans Bowl - Troy 35 Southern Miss 21

Poinsettia Bowl - TCU 20 Boise State 14 (Boise has not seen a defense like these Horned Frogs have)

Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17

 

Posted on: December 9, 2008 8:59 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 2:39 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of Dec. 8th

1) A look back, Meatloafed it again - Went two for three in my conference championship game predictions (good thing I didn't pick the CUSA and MAC championship games, otherwise I would have been 2 for 5, and everyone would stop reading my blog {of course, that would imply people actually started reading it in the first place}).  I was amazed, however, at how closely I was able to get the two I called right, especially the SEC game (more on this in a bit).  In the Big 12 game, I overvalued Mizzou's offense some by calling it 63-38, but you just knew Oklahoma was going to put up 60+ again in an effort to legitimize their pressence in Kansas City.  In the SEC game, I was one Alabama TD (lets call it the third quarter one where the Gators seemed to suffer a momentary defensive lapse) away from nailing it.  Called it 31-13 UF.  I knew Florida was no where near going to put up the 50+ most of my bretheren were predicting, but also knew Alabama should struggle to score.

2) SEC game of the ages - I did want to go more thouroughly into this one.  I thought Gary Danielson (one of the best colormen in any sport, IMHO) did a great job analogizing (I hope that's a real word.  If not, call me Emmitt) the game to the great Ali Frazer fights of old.  Half way through the game, he was counting the scores (which were hard to come by) as rounds, saying Florida won round 1, Alabama round 2 and 3, and Florida rounds 4 and 5.  This was a back and forth game, with momentum swings, and both teams taking each other's best shots and responding.  I knew it would come down to which team would be able to impose its will on the other, and get the other out of their game plan.  This did not occur until 8:00 left in the game, when Alabama finally ditched theirs, and it was all over from there.  Also, to those of you who question Tim Tebow's ability as a QB, yes, he does have mechanical issues that he'll need to work out at the next level, but did you see his game clinching completion to Louis Murphy in the 4th?  Or how about all three of his TD passes.  Danielson was left speechless after the last one to Riley Cooper.  He had definite zip, and threw it to the only location possible.  Two things you absolutely cannot question about Tebow, though, are his leardership and his heart.  If Florida pulls off this national championship, his post Ole Miss speach will go down along side "Win one for the Gipper."  I do want to tip my hat to the University of Alabama for a game that I will remember for all time, and in particular want to compliment John Parker Wilson (he played better than his stats suggested), Glen Coffee, and Julio Jones.  The only thing I question is why they didn't go to Jones more, because it seemed like when he made big plays, the momentum shifted in the Tide's favor.  For all the pregame hype, though, I don't think Andre Smith or Terrance Cody lived up to it.  Both seemed to be virtual nonfactors, and Alabama's best runs all came to the offensive RIGHT side, which quite honestly, surprised me.

3) The BCS, who has gripes, and who doesn't - Well, time to complain about the BCS again, even though it worked out for the Gators this year.  The two teams with with the most obvious and biggest gripes are Texas and Boise State.  They both have great arguements, but their fans are venting their frustration on the wrong teams/people.  I shall explain.  First off, let's handle the Broncos, shall we.  They are absolutely bent about being left out, as they should be.  They are venting said frustration, however, at tOSU and their fans.  WRONG DIRECTION!!!  Instead, vent it towards the ACC and the fact that A) Their best team is playing in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl because when it came down to it, nobody wanted to step up and claim that conference and B) They are guaranteed of an automatic bid.  The rules state that a non-BCS school can get in if they are rated ahead of one of the automatic qualifiers and that qualifier is not in the Top 16.  Let's change that rule, shall we?  Let make it where if a conference champion is not in the Top 16, and there is a non-BCS school with a Top 10 rating, that conference LOSES it's automatic bid to the non-BCS school with the Top 10 ranking.  It makes perfect sense (except the ACC will not be happy about losing its piece of the pie.  To that I say, "Tough Toenails!")  Fact is, Boise State, it's all about the money, and the Buckeyes travel well, will get better ratings, and most likely, provide a better game.  And honestly, even though you are rated ahead of them, I can't honestly say you are the better team.  I will defend you to the degree of these tOSU fans saying schedule somebody and/or join a better conference.  If it were only that easy.  Now, on to Texas.  Texas fans are bent that they are not playing in the national championship game.  They are venting their frustration at UF and its fans, pointing out everything they can (SOS, quality of loss, this, that, the other).  Quite honestly, I can't argue most of their points other than SOS, where while better, it is not glaringly better (also, I could play the we won our conference card).  But again, you are venting in the WRONG DIRECTION!!!  Instead, turn your anger on your own conference!!!  THAT'S RIGHT!!!  GET PO'ED AT THE BIG 12!!!  It's your own LAME tie breaker that put you in this spot.  Instead of settling it in some manner in house, you let a bunch of SID's and media people DECIDE IT FOR YOU.  Simple fact is, were you in the SEC, you would have played Mizzou, and YOU would be playing UF in Miami on Jan. 8th.  And don't give me anything about a rematch!!!  Nobody outside Texas and maybe some of the rest of Big 12 country wants to see it.  And let's say you get said rematch, and you lose said rematch (which you would be favored to do so).  Then what?  Two out of three??  Total margin???  You do realize this would actually be unfair to you, correct?

4) Rainy days and Mondays always get me down - Hey, iamyo.  Is this one of the songs we get to vote on?  Anyway, what a debacle last night.  I have honestly NEVER seen a Monte Kiffin defense get handled and tackle as poorly as last night.  That being said, HUGE props to the Panthers, who now control their own destiny for a #1 overall seed in the NFC.  Get that kind of running game the rest of the year, and you will have a great chance to play one more game in Tampa before the season is over.  Congrats on that butt-whipping last night.

5) Pittsburgh "Steal"ers - Wow, talk about stealing a victory.  Yikes.  Coming back from 10 down with very little time left and winning on a pick six.  When the Steelers were stuffed on that fourth and goal, I thought there was no way they would win that one.  Now they have a HUGE game against Baltimore, with the winner likely to be one of the favorites along with the Titans in the AFC.

6) Jet-lag - The New York Bretts are now 0-3 when visiting the west coast this year, losing to both the Raiders, and the Niners.  They better figure out something fast, because if they don't win their trip to Seattle this week, their season is over.  So much for that possible "Subway Superbowl" people were talking about just a couple weeks ago.  Update: Whoopsie.  The game in Seattle is next week.  Same principals apply, though.

7) Fly, Eagles, Fly - In the mantra of giving credit where it is due, huge win by the Eagles this week.  Stellar defensive performance, and they also finally figured out that running the ball is a good thing.  A very good thing when Brian Westbrook is the one doing it.  It will be interesting to see exactly what that tie to Cincinnati does as far as the playoffs go.  Some think it will help (as nobody will be tied in the standings with them) while others believe that it will hurt (as they are still 1/2 game behind the Cowboys and Falcons).

8) Return to prominence? - As the football seasons being to wind down, I will try to get into basketball more, especially the college game.  All I can say is, "Wow!"  Rich Rod, eat your heart out.  While you struggle to win games, your basketball bretheren have now pulled off upsets against perennial powerhouses UCLA and Duke (although Duke did beat Michigan earlier in one of those early season tournaments).  Could this be a sign of rebirth for the Wolverine basketball program?  I actually hope so.  It would be good for the game.

9) An Axe to Grind - Well, not really, but a couple more NBA coaches got the axe recently, the most notable, Randy Wittman of the Minnesota Timblerwolves.  Okay, mostly notable because of who is taking over for him.  Ex Celtics great Kevin McHale steps downstairs and presumably adds this to his list of jobs.  Let's see if he's better on the bench, than in an office.

10) Weekly Look Ahead - The things I will be looking forward to this week are Tampa Bay Atlanta (the Bucs need to bounce back on a short week), Pittsburgh Baltimore, and the Giants and Dallas.

Bonus shot - I will be predicting all 34 college bowl games in the coming weeks.  Also, I predict Sam Bradford will win the Heisman Trophy (although it will be hard since it is highly regionalized and there are three from his region alone.  He's got the best numbers, plus part of me wants him to win it because Trophy winners typically don't fare well in bowl games due to all the obligations).  I also was considering doing a point about Green Bay "Pack"ing it in, but with the Jets loss, it was harder to make fun of Ted Thompson.  Still, it will be hilarious to see them with at best a .500 record and no playoffs. 

Posted on: November 25, 2008 6:49 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2008 10:33 pm
 

10 (plus 3) Things I Learned the Week Of Nov. 24

Well, here we are at Thanksgiving time, and as we all get together with family and friends and enjoy our feasts, I realized after this huge week in sports, that I had way too much on my mind to fit into merely ten points.  So I present to you this week, a baker's dozen of items that I felt worthy of discussion (and I combined things to limit it to that).  So while we all ponder on what we are truly thankful for, let me mention that I am thankful for being given a forum to express my opinions (even if they are not those of CBS.  They should be, though, darn it!), and for those of you who have found your way to reading my thoughts on a weekly basis.  While many of you have found your way here through iamyo's blog http://iamyo.blogs.sportsline.com/m
cc/blogs/view/10646011
, for those of you who followed a tag, or have me as one of your favorites, I encourage you to return the favor.  Currently, he is running a contest of the worst songs of all time.  So, I hope you enjoy this week's installment, guaranteed to be more powerful than tryptophan!!!

1) Gotta give the love - While I admit that like all of us, I have my biases, I do my best to be as even handed as possible.  There really isn't any team I hate, although there are a few owners or coaches who would fall into that category.  No, if you see a team listed under my hated section, it is most likely the fan base of said team that has earned them their spot there.  As any of you who have read my blog before know, the New Orleans Saints fall into this category.  But, I have to give credit where credit is due.  That was a phenominal performance in what was, quite frankly, a must win game.  Your defense (for once) stepped up to be HUGE (and please tell me I did not see Sedrick Ellis celebrating a sack by doing the "Pee Wee Herman")!  Packers fans, what happened to your defense?  And while A Rod 2 (or A Rodge) has been having a good year, quite frankly the fact remains that you are 5-6, while the guy your management ousted is 8-3 (more on them in a bit).  I know this move was made for the future, but Brett had 1, maybe two years left.  I think you would have been better off this year had you kept him.  For his part, though, A Rod 2 reminded me very much of one Jet Favre last night.  Rifling it into receivers when finesse was needed.  Making Jason "Toast" David look like a pro bowler.  3 costly picks (where have we heard that before?).  The fact is Favre's numbers are better, with a better QB rating, and most importantly, a better W-L.  This leads us to ...

2) B b b bretty and the Jets - Speaking of huge wins, knocking off the only previously undefeated team definitely falls into that category.  Of course, it helped that the Titans inexplicably ran the ball a grand total of 11 times, only one of which went to powerhouse LenDale White.  Coupled with the Giants dismantling of the Cardinals, could this be the year of a subway Super Bowl?  I'm still not totally sold on the Jets.  Memories of the Raiders game keep popping into my head.  But still, it just might happen.  Now, speaking of the Raiders and giving credit where it is due ...

3) Just win baby - I have been very hard on the Raiders this year as well.  Most of this comes from my disdain of owner Al Davis, who I still feel is too meddlesome and has lost all touch with reality.  Does anybody want to win the AFC West?  You have the Broncos pulling off this near weekly defensive debacle, and the Chargers who just seem to find ways to lose the game on the last possession.  I mean, shoot, even Oakland is only 3 out with 5 games to go.  Stranger things have happened.  I seriously think 8-8 wins this atrocious division.

4) Cry Iggles Cry - Wow.  As Andy Reid was watching his playoff chances being constantly turned over by one Donovan McNabb, who was responsible for 7 in the last 2 games (well, game and a half), Reid decided it was time to pull the plug and throw Kolb to the wolves that are the Baltimore Ravens defense.  He went out, and produced very similar numbers, including throwing a pick on second and goal from inches away that was returned for a record 108 yards by Ed Reed.  What on earth are you doing throwing it to the back middle of the end zone on second and short?  I realize you have little running game (especially power running game), but still, damn!  Ever heard of a QB sneak?  A hand off to the FB?  I realize the problems in Philly go far deeper than McNabb, but trust me, had Kolb shown any signs of being able to move the team/score/not turn over the ball, he would be starting Thursday night and not McNabb.

5) More NFL Musings - Wow, what a great week, I've already hit on the four games I wanted to go heavy on, and I still have a lot of thoughts.  Huge win for the Cowboys and Tony Romo.  They are back in the playoff picture.  Huge win by the Patriots over the Dolphins.  And what a game for Matt Cassel (a $14 million game, maybe).  Memo to the Dolphins and 49ers.  You just might want to consider giving safety help to whoever is covering Randy Moss and TO.  They consistantly torched your single coverage all game long and you still made no adjustment.  Also have to give a quit yer b$%!hing to Dolphins NT Jason Ferguson who accused the Patriots of running up the score.  Hey buddy, you're a NT.  They were running run plays.  Maybe you should concentrate on stopping them instead of wanting them to do it for you.  No team can blow a lead like the Detriot Lions, watching a 17 point first quarter advantage evaporate in 35 unanswered allowed, 21 of which were in the 2nd quarter alone.  0-16 is still possible.  The Bucs might wish they were back in the old NFC Norse, going 4-0 against them this year.  Huge props to the Falcons.  Panthers fans should be worried because this is 3 bad games in a row.  You just finally ran into a team that could finish you off.  Bucs and Saints fans thank you, Falcons.  It's amazing the turnaround.  Instead of rebuilding, they are just recovering from the worst head coach of all time.  How Rich McKay still has a job with the team (yes, I know he's not the GM anymore, thank god) is beyond me.  And also, is the NFC South the best division in football?  I'm really starting to believe that it is.  Case in point, the aforementioned Saints, at 6-5, are in LAST PLACE.

6) Turkey games on Thanksgiving day - One of the things I've always looked forward to on Thanksgiving was being able to sit down in front of the television and enjoy a day of NFL football.  Well, unfortunately this year, I see three quality teams playing against three teams in tail spins.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch, I'm just not likely to be very interested.

7) Boomer Sooner - Wow!  Didn't see that blow out coming.  What was Oklahoma able to do defensively that Texas and Oklahoma State were not?  This game had huge implications on not only the BCS, where Texas holds a very slim lead at number 2, but the Big 12 south picture as well.  We all know by now that if there is a three way tie, it is the BCS standings that will determine who wins the south, and I have a feeling that by beating Oklahoma State, the Sooners would be that team.  Of course, the amusing thing is, and a point that is not receiving much discussion, that Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech all have to hope the team they beat is not the victim of an upset this week, otherwise the arguement is moot.  Should one team get upset, it would go to head to head, which Texas would win if Tech loses, Oklahoma would win if Texas loses, and Tech would win if Oklahoma loses.  Wouldn't that be interesting?

8) Orange you glad the 'Cuse won - One thing I am overly thankful for this holiday season is the fact that I will not have to watch the Fighting Irish on January 1st playing in a bowl game they do not deserve to be in getting their 10th straight loss by a team that, simply put, is vastly more talented.  I was extremly worried, and somewhat in disbelief when I heard the reports that both the Cotton and Gator bowls would be interested in taking a 7-5 Irish team, just because they draw well and get good ratings.  Well, after getting beat by what just might be the worst BCS school not located in the state of Washington, the Irish will take their trip to El Paso and like it.  Funny thing is, this might be the best thing for all parties involved.  From what I hear, the El Paso area is heavily catholic, and as I have said, Notre Dame draws well and gets good ratings.  But they will be matched up against a PAC 10 team, and might be able to put up a decent game, and not one I will have turned off by half time.  Also, didn't Notre Dame fire Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham for similar (actually, probably slightly better) performances as Charlie Weiss?  I said last week he did nothing to get of the hot seat, and this definitely doesn't help matters.  And Irish fans, turn your snowballs on your coach, or better yet, your administration for acting like this is okay.  Anyway, for us fans of the sport of college football, and not just our favorite teams, thank you, Syracuse, from the bottom of out hearts.  UPDATE:  It has come out that Mike Tranghese (god I hope I spelled his name right), Big East commissioner, has made it VERY PUBLICLY KNOWN, that the bylaws for the conference tie-ins clearly state that a 6-6 Notre Dame team cannot be taken over a 7-5 Big East member institution.  That means that if Rutgers beats Louisville, The Irish are on the outs at the Sun Bowl.  As J. Darin Darst has pointed out, this leaves the Irish with very few options.  It's a good read.  http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs
/entry/5814809/11914863

9) USC no longer fears the Big 10 - It started coming out that some of the Los Angeles media, and some USC fans and even Pac 10 fans are hoping that Oregon State beats Oregon (which will be harder without the services of Jacquizz Rodgers most likely) so that they can enter the BCS as an at large and face a Big 12 team or an SEC team.  First off, I find it highly amusing, considering all you hear about is the tradition of the Rose Bowl.  Secondly, I find this to be a HUGE slap in the face to the Nittany Lions of Penn State, who are not at all a bad team (as evidenced by their beat down of Michigan State this week).  The Nittany Lions have had a phenominal season (remember, they were supposed to be a middle of the pack Big Ten team this year.  On the flip side, though, congrats to Michigan on their first 9 loss season in history.  WVU fans are laughing at you.  And Rich Rod looks like a bigger clown every time he opens his mouth.  And wasn't Wisconsin supposed to contend for the Big 10 title?  I thought I saw them need three missed PAT's to beat an FCS Cal Poly team this week in OVERTIME.  Horrible.  But I digress).  PSU would give USC as much as they could handle (although I do think USC would win).  Be careful what you wish for, USC fans.  You might not like the results if you get it.  It's also ironic that tOSU hopes USC ends up in the Rose Bowl so THEY can get into a BCS game.

10) Somewhere, David Letterman and Jason Whitlock are smiling - As one of the games I gave you to look forward to last week, I gave you Ball State versus Central Michigan (also noting that Ball State was probably wishing it was Michigan on their schedule instead of Central Michigan.  I believe that still might be true.).  Boy, did it live up to my billing (shameless pat on the back).  That was one of the better college football games I've seen (not Texas Tech versus Texas good, but good none the less).  The road doesn't get easier for the Cardinals, as they face Western Michigan and then the MAC championship game (assuming they win.  They need the win to make it).  Congrats Ball State.  One of the true feel good, come out of nowhere stories of the year.

11) Is the NBA trying to outdo the NFL - Wow, two midseason coaching changes.  P.J. Carlissimo was dumped by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Eddie Jordan just got the axe from the Wizards.  And here I thought MLB was the sport with the midseason ousters.

12) The "One and Done" Rule needs to be abolished - Dick Vitale said something during the UCLA versus Michigan broadcast that made a world of sense to me.  He said that the NBA should allow high school kids the opportunity to be drafted, but if you choose to go to college, or simply not drafted, you should have to stay three years a la college football.  He asked if we were dumb enough to think that the Greg Oden's or Kevin Durant's (I throw their names out because I am ignorant of this years freshman phenoms) were actually taking their educations seriously knowing this was just a stop off on their way to guaranteed NBA millions.  Plus, it would benefit the stability and quality of both sports.  Dicky V, amen, brother, amen!

13) Weekly look ahead - The games I'll be looking forward to this week are FSU Florida (duh), Alabama Auburn (hey, it's still the Iron Bowl, and as a Gator fan, I have to root for Bama), and obviously, Oklahoma Oklahoma State.  In the NFL, give me Bucs Saints and Steelers Patriots (and some better games on Thanksgiving, PLEASE!)

Posted on: October 30, 2008 10:16 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 6:54 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 27th

Blah, another late posting by me.  Oh well, here goes.

1) Premature Prediticion - Well, thanks to my Bucs being offensively inept against a team with a decimated secondary (and Jeff Garcia cost us a second game in which he missed a wide open Joey Galloway on the last play of the game), Dallas now has hope.  Of course, Brad Johnson is on a short leash, with his backup being Brooks Bollinger.  Brooks Bollinger?  And you seriously can't maintain your depth chart spot in front of him.  Cowboy fans better hope Romo gets well soon.

2) Nittany Lionhearted - What a huge win going into Colombus and winning there for the first time in 30 years.  PSU will still need Texas or Alabama to lose (which could easily happen given their schedules AND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, cough, cough), but they look set up well to take a run at making it to Miami.  I would love to see Joe Pa there (although I'd much rather see a Big 12 versus SEC matchup), and hopefully he can put up a better show than tOSU has the last two years.

3) The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party - A lot is being of last year's stomp after Georgia's first offensive TD.  Honestly as a Gator fan, I don't see what the big deal is.  It should have served to fire the Gators up as much as it did Georgia.  Plus, if you need something like that to motivate you after losing 15 of 17, well then, more power to you (that's right Bulldog fans, win this week, and you'll have an awesome 25% winning percentage the last TWO DECADES.  Lose, and it's an even more impressive 20%).  Should be another classic game.

4) Gameday in Lubbock - ESPN's College Gameday makes it's first EVER trip to Lubbock, Texas this week.  It will be fun to see if Texas can slow down Harrell and Crabtree.  More interesting will be what Tech's defense does against Texas.  The Cowboys were able to slow them last week, and Tech held Reesing and the Jayhawks offense to 14 points.  That's a job well done.  Then again, Texas held Missouri completely in check for a half.  Should be one heck of a prime time game.  This is the kind of college football I live for.

5) Remember the Titans - Wow, this is starting to reach levels of the Patriots.  No, not in terms of the offense or going 16-0 or any of that.  I mean as far as locking up their division.  For all intents and purposes, it's over already, and it's Week FREAKIN' 8.  Wonder how Vince Young feels watching Kerry Collins lead this team.

6) NBA "I love this game" - Well, no, not really.  I owned up as much on my first post.  I honestly do not pay much attention to the NBA until playoff time.  I think it's inferior compared to the college game.  Even so, the season gets (got) underway on Tuesday.  With the closest team to me being the Magic, I hope they do well.  They should easily dispatch of their division, and hopefully can make a run in the playoffs.

7) Coming Attractions - Besides the college games I laid out, the NFL games I'm looking forward to are the Titans Packers, Giants Cowboys, and the Sunday night game which is an absolute must win for the Colts.  People thought (correctly) that this might be the year the Colts come back to earth, but my how far and how fast.  And so much for passing the torch to the Jaguars, who might be the WORST team in that division.  Next week I'll have my official NFL Playoff predictions.

8) Early Observations on the ice - Maybe I was too quick to get down on my Lightning.  Three of their early losses are against teams who right now look to be the best of the NHL, two regulation losses to the Rangers (which were both 2-1) and a shootout loss to Minnesota in which they failed to register a goal.  Like I said, though, this might not be that bad.

9) Bad officiating calls of the week - Did anyone see the play in the Michigan Michigan State game (of course you did, it's been replayed a zillion times)?  Have to give Big Ten commissioner Delaney credit for coming down hard on the replay guy, but how did he have his job in the first place.  First, aren't there TWO guys in the booth.  How did they both blow it so horribly?  Secondly, even if you think the pylon is inbounds/inplay/whatever the heck those guys thought, shouldn't they know to pretend it wasn't there?  It would have been bad enough if just a part of his foot came down out of bounds, but his whole FREAKIN' foot was out of bounds.  How did they think that touching the pylon, even if it is considered inbounds overrule the fact that his body was out of bounds.  That should have been an easy call, and they blew it, big time.  Not nearly as bad, but bad none the less was the call in the Atlanta Philadelphia game.  The call was less obvious, but the Falcons got screwed by the NFL replay rules.  The NFL needs to do one of the following to remedy this next year.  They need to either

A) Bring back the idea that if you have a challenge, but not a time out, you can use the challenge at the cost of a delay of game or even an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  I know this has been kicked around, but for some reason not implemented.

B) Why does replay go to the booth at the 2 minute warning in the fourth quarter?  Fourth quarter timing rules kick in at the 5 minute mark, replay should go to the booth at the same time.  Or

C) Just use the college replay system.  The college replay system works (or at least would work in the NFL where you have better officials than in the Michigan Michigan State game or the Oregon Oklahoma game a couple years ago).  It does not extend college games ridiculously long, so why does the NFL think this will be the case?

10) The baseball weather service - Exactly what hack meterologist did Bud Selig contact in trying to play game 5 on Monday?  Everything I hear is that everybody knew it was going to rain.  It was extremely unfair to both teams and the fans of Philadelphia.  They derserved better than that.

As a final note, congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies.  You were clearly the better team and your series win was well earned.  More on this next week.

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