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Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
Posted on: November 5, 2011 9:34 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:45 am
 

D.P. Week 8 NFL Flop 10 Poll

(Results independently verified by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetam, and Howe)

The comebacks continue in the NFL.  This week saw yet another 20+ point halftime lead evaporate, and as typical, the collapse was provided by one of our permanent residents here in the D.P. Flop 10 (although not Minnesota).  Also, another odd fact about this year's NFL, NINETEEN teams are sporting winning records.  With 19 teams above .500, that means only 13 are below .500.  And that, the D.P. admits, makes voting easier than usual.  Those were the only 13 teams that garnered any votes, and even one of those very few and will likely disappear with a victory this week.  That team?  Longtime resident, the dream team of the Philadelphia Eagles.  It appears they may have awoken from the nightmare.  So here, without further adieu, are the D.P.'s worst of the worst in the NFL through 8 weeks.  Oh, and it's actually 11 teams this week as we had a tie for 10th.  Also, the Eagles were the only team to say goodbye, while welcoming in both the Cowboys and Browns at that tied 10th spot.  And after this week's games, the D.P. will unveil their official NFL playoff predictions.

*The Flop 10 is voted on by 65 D.P. writers, two from each NFL city plus one from Los Angeles, just because it's L.A.  Teams get 10 points for a first place vote down to 1 for a 10th.  And the team in first is the biggest Flop (first place votes in parenthesis, just like this text).

Also receiving votes: Philadelphia Eagles 8 (Bobby Duffy of the Dallas Ewing Journal opines, "Suddenly the best of the NFC East not named the New York Giants, which speaks to how bad the Cowboys and Redskins are."), Washington Redskins 37 (Terry Baldinger of the Phoenix Ashes-to-Ashes notes, "If Donovan McNabb truly feels he should still be a starter in the NFL, he should have made sure not to get himself run out of D.C.")

Number 10(tie) Dallas Cowboys (3-4) 60 Teresa Frey of the Allegheny Blue Collar points out, "How 'bout them Cowboys?  When will Jerry Jones realize that a puppet at the head coaching post will not work?  His only success came with the likes of Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells."

Number 10(tie) Cleveland Browns (3-4) 60 Carl Worthless of the Cleveland Rockin' Roller writes, "Everytime it seems the Browns are about to turn the corner, they make a u-turn instead.  Is it possible for a Madden Curse to affect a whole team?"

Number 9 Minnesota Vikings (2-6) 142 Jerry Freidman of the Milwaukee Daily Brat surmises, "The Vikings only wins this year have come against 2 win Carolina and 1 win Arizona.  This would usually earn you a spot much higher on the ballot, but the bad teams in the NFL this year are just SO horrible."

Number 8 Carolina Panthers (2-6) 156 Nicholas Formation of the Rajun Cajun Gazette states, "Cam Newton has been able to mask that this defense just isn't that good.  They have to put W's together, or they'll find themselves moving up a chart they don't want to move up on.  Olindo Mare didn't help matters this week, either."

Number 7 Seattle Seahawks (2-5) 218 Catherine McCovey of the Seattle Coffeetable wonders, "If Tarvaris Jackson gives himself an 'F' for his play so far this season, exactly what grade does Charlie Whitehurst earn?"

Number 6 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) 324 Ima Jerk of the Oakland (Ca) Blackhole reports, "One thing that has been consistent for the Jaguars all year long, even in their stunning victory over the Ravens last week, is that Blaine Gabbert and the offense look lost.  They average the fewest points scored per game in the league.  It's hard to win that way."

Number 5 Denver Broncos (2-5) 372 Wilma Burlington of the San Diego Onion ponders, "So, when will fans start booing Tim Tebow and clamoring for Brady Quinn to take over the team.  Unfortunately 'We want Brady' just isn't the same when you're not asking for Tom."

Number 4 St. Louis Rams (1-6) 456 Bull Lee of the New Orleans Times-Piconyou pushes the notion, "The pitiful Rams exposed the even more pitiful New Orleans Saints' offensive line.  Chris Long looked like father Howie had thrown his jersey on."

Number 3 Arizona Cardinals (1-6) 507 Michael Harness of the New Jersey Shores News-to-me says, "For one half, the Ravens offense made the Cardinals defense look like the Ravens defense.  For the other half, the Cardinals defense made the Ravens offense look like the Packers offense."

Number 2 Miami Dolphins (0-7) 592 (7) Amanda Passenkick of the Miami Beach Spotlight tells us, "Miami is the hardest playing 0-7 team, and not just because they are the only one.  Still, they have to figure out how to stop snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  Unfortunately it's the sign of a team that hasn't learned how to win, yet."

Number 1 Indianapolis Colts (0-8) 643 (58) Hugh Nevins of the Indianapolis Reaction laments, "After playing the Steelers and the Buccaneers tough, Curtis Painter now goes out week after week and produces a Suck For Luck masterpiece,  It's obvious this defense can't play without a lead, and they won't be getting very many of those this year."

D.P. Archives:
11/3/11 NBA Owners Hire Patrick Ewing For P.R. In Lockout
11/1/11 Todd Haley Invited To Remedial Math Class
10/26/11 D.P. NFL Week 7 Flop 10 Poll
10/23/11 D.P. NFL Week 6 Flop 10 Poll
10/22/11 D.P. NFL Week 5 Flop 10 Poll (belated)
10/20/11 D.P. Announces End Of Production Strike
10/6/11 Predictions of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse
10/4/11 D.P. NFL Week 4 Flop 10 Poll
10/01/11 The 2011 MLB Disassociated Team of the Year Award
9/27/11 D.P. Week 3 NFL Flop 10 Poll
9/27/11 "@JoeyCora, you're fired! #pinkslip"
9/26/11 Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again


Posted on: November 27, 2009 4:16 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Weeks of 11/16 and 11/23

As we reach the point in the year where we give thanks for what we are appreciative of, I'm giving thanks that after 2 of the busiest weeks I've had at work, I am now on a week's vacation, and have a chance to get caught up.  So this time, for the first time ever, I'm running two editions in the same post.  Now obviously I'm going to have to check back and try to remember everything I wanted to hit on.  I know Notre Dame is at the top of my list.  The LSU debacle from last week will definitely be there.  And the coaching carousel finally began to turn in both the NFL and NBA.  So sit back and enjoy two weeks and 20 tidbits worth of sports knowledge.

11/16-

1) And so it begins ...- After last year of watching "As the Lane Turns" and seeing Scott Linehan call his shot, the NFL's coaching front was very quiet.  The hammer finally fell on Dick Jauron of the Bills.  He was done in by the simply unrealistic expectations caused by the fast start that the team got out to last year.  It does go to prove just how important the QB position is in the NFL, and just what a lack of depth there is there currently.

2) ... again- Last year the first two coach firings in the NBA occurred about this time, and this year we already have one.  Byron Scott was let go by the New Orleans Hornets, and hearing some of the reasons as to why, they sound to me more like reasons as to why this move was made far too soon.  To me, it all seems like a power play by team president and NBA no-nothing Hugh Weber.

3) Even as one of the biggest ND haters- I was completely confused at the end of the Notre Dame Pitt game and exactly what the replay official saw.  To me, it seemed clear that Claussen's hand was firmly clutched around the football during the entire forward motion.  Now, I won't say the Domers got jobbed, as had the play stood (which IMO it should have), it would have been 4th and 16 and tough to overcome.  Remember, I'm of the mind that blaming losses on the officials is loser speak and I site that I have only seen two games where officials have difinitively decided a game, the Oklahoma Oregon game a few years back, and the Colorado fifth down game.  But to me, this was a clearly blown call.  Remember, it was called incomplete on the field.  I was watching an NFL game earlier this year where this exact play happened, and it was initially ruled a fumble and was OVERTURNED on replay to an incomplete pass.  Plus, several people have pointed out to me that the whistle blew before Pitt had possession of the "fumble," calling into question whether or not the play was even reviewable (at least to the point where Pitt could even be awarded the ball).

4) Jay Cutler is horrible- Watching the 49ers Bears game, it made me realize one thing.  The Broncos gave the Bears the worst fleecing sinec the Lions fleeced the Cowboys in the Roy Williams trade.  I mean, the trade would have been bad had it just been picks given up for Cutler, but throw in Orton, too.  And some Bears fans were asking what happened to their running game.  That's simple.  Jay Cutler.  Yes, the O-line is also not playing as well, but Forte didn't all of a sudden suck.  Jay Cutler thinks it's all about him.  And as far as building for the future, the Bears can forget about that one as well.  Somebody suggested they need to draft a great receiver.  The problem with that is they don't have a pick until at least the third round.  The Bears have no future.  They mortgaged it for Cutler (and Gaines Adams).

5) Pats 4th and out- I can understand where some people are coming from trying to defend coach Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth down late and on his own side of the field.  Afterall, it was essentially a playoff game and will go a long way toward deciding home field.  That one game represented a three game swing, two for the points in the standings, and another 1/2 each way for the tie breaker.  Still, to me it was very odd, and I'd much rather try to make Peyton drive much longer, no matter how well he had been driving it against you recently.  Huge win by the Colts.

6) Trojans defense snapped- I had pointed out going into the Oregon game that the prior two weeks the Trojans defense looked flat and were not playing up to USC standards.  Ever since then, they've done nothing to improve, proving that sometimes it is hard to just reload instead of rebuild, even if you are Pete Carroll.  The loses on defense over the years have clearly caught up, and this will be USC's first year not in a BCS bowl game in a long time.

7) Horned Frogs roll- TCU continued to roll, destroying their toughest remaining opponent in Utah by a 55-28 score.  Should Texas lose, or should Bama or Florida lose before the SEC Championship game, I can only hope the BCS does the right thing and sends the lizards to Pasadena on the 7th.

8) Houston loses another it shouldn't- As much as I like Case Keenum and the huge numbers he's been putting up this year, you cannot afford to lose to UTEP and UCF.  That just cannot happen, especially after beating Oklahoma State.

9) tOSU going to the Rose Bowl- By beating Iowa in overtime, Ohio State will be making it's first trip to Pasadena since something like 1999.  Hard to believe, but a lot of the years they won the Big 10, they went to the Championship game.  And remember, Penn State won last year.

10) Another reason I hate Gary Bettman- The Lightning were screwed out of a point on 11/14 while playing the Kings.  On what should have been a game winning goal by the Lightning in OT, the up ice official ruled that the Kings goalie was interfered with on the play and waved off the goal.  Here's the problem.  The Lightning player was clearly pushed in there by a Kings player.  How is this kind of play not reviewable?  Bettman either needs to revisit his horrible rules, or send these officials back to school.

11/23-

1) Hold that Tiger timeout- Wow, what a horrible series of play calling and clock management displayed by the LSU coaching staff at the end of the Ole Miss game.  You have it first and 10 at the 29 with around :40 seconds left and two timeouts.  First play: incompletion.  Okay, not too bad, although with two timeouts and in field goal range, you can run or use the middle of the field.  Second play: sack.  Cannot happen in that situation.  Now you're out of field goal range.  First timeout.  33 seconds left.  Next play, some ill-conceived screen play that loses like seven yards.  Now it's fourth and forever.  The clock is at 27 seconds.  Somehow, as you are discussing whatever on the sidelines, you let the clock run all the way down to 9 seconds before calling the timeout.  Now, you throw a hail-mary.  And in the most improbable situation, you complete it at the five, but there is only one second left.  And you are caught completely unready.  Your field goal unit is not ready to go, although there may have not been enough time to get them on.  So, your QB attempts a SPIKE??  With one second left on the clock???  And the great thing is in the hurry up confusion, it was discovered on video that Miles was the one telling him to spike it.  You have to run a play.  You have to hike it and throw it to the endzone.  Even in Death Valley, the final second runs off the clock on a spike.  It was clear the coaching staff was lost, and even more so on a play that was probably meant to go into the endzone ends up completed on the 5 instead.  It is your responsibility as a coach to be ready for every possibility, and to have your team ready.  One fan suggested they should have celebrated the play, as it would have stopped the clock.  Now, while I have no experience actually calling a college game with college rules, I'm pretty sure the clock starts on the ready for play just like it would normally.  He did have an interesting idea, though, as the clock WOULD stop as they march it off, and maybe have given them enough time to get the FG unit on.  Still, all in all, some of the worst coaching I've seen, EVER, and inexcusible from a BCS champion winning coach.  That last TO had to be called right after the screen play.  You have to extend the game.

2) Weis' swan song- I think the second consecutive loss on senior day by the Fighting Irish pretty much spells the end for Charlie Weis.  Afterall, his winning percentage is right up there with Davie and Willingham, and I can't remember the last ranked opponent he's beaten.  On the flip side, it was good to see the Huskies win their first game since losing Jasper Howard.  Seeing coach Edsall's emotions during the post-game was touching, especially knowing how heart-felt they were.

3) Some absolutely inexcusible NFL performances- Wow, Steelers lose to Chiefs (I know, Moo, you saw it coming the whole way).  The Bengals get a gift to move another game up, only they turnover the game against the Raiders on a late TD and then fumble the ensuing kickoff.  And the Cowboys take a late TD and only hang 7 on the lowly Redskins in a win.

4) The Jets crash land and the Broncos pull up lame- After starting off 3-0 and fueling speculation again of an all NY Super Bowl (the Giants haven't been performing much better), they have only won 1 of the last 7 and Sanchez is looking very much like a rookie.  And the Broncos after their 6-0 start have dropped 4 in a row and now find themselves looking up at the Chargers.

5) Redemption for VY- Ever since being forced back into the lineup by owner Bud Adams (who probably gave coach Jeff Fisher the double barrelled single finger salute in the process), the Titans have not lost a game and have suddenly found themselves back in the playoff hunt, although they probably dug themselves too deep a hole to begin with.

6) Oregon Arizona classic- In one of the most interesting games of the year that I could only see via ESPN360.com thanks to ABC thinking that because I live in Florida the Texas beatdown of Kansas would be more interesting to me, DESPITE the fact that their number 1 crew was at THIS game, Oregon won in double OT in come back fashion, setting up this week's rivalry week matchup with Oregon State with the winner getting a trip to Pasadena on Jan 1st to play tOSU.

7) Huskers Shuck Kansas State to win Big 12 north- Nebraska's defense again looked dominant in setting up a trip to Arlington to play Texas on Dec. 5th.  I'm looking forward to see how well the blackshirts match up against Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.  In an ironic twist, had K State won, they would have been playing against Texas.  By losing, not only will they not, but they also will not be bowling.

8) ACC Championship game set, too- I'm actually looking forward to seeing C.J. Spiller coming here to Tampa to take on Georgia Tech and the triple option.  The good thing is I think this game should sell better than last year's Va Tech BC game.  Short of getting FSU and/or Miami in the game, this was the best we could do, and should at least generate some more local interest as the teams are much closer.

9) To all the SEC haters- Yes, ramble on about how we are two deep (we are).  Pile on us for how we are down for the second year in a row (we are).  Get on us for scheduling weak teams late in the year (only because we start our conference season earlier than anybody other than the ACC, which starts out the gate).  The SEC has TEN, count 'em, TEN teams that are bowl eligible.  Yes, we might not have the great teams outside of UF and BAMA, but we have a WHOLE LOTTA good ones.  And we have to play eight games against said teams.  And I would argue that just about every conference is down this year.  That's why you had a C-USA school in the Top 15 for most of the year.

10) Turkey games on turkey day- I'll break my rule because I was going to get on this point anyway, but even the one slightly intriguing NFL game on Thanksgiving turned out to induce more yawns than the trytophan in your Thanksgiving turkey (unless you were a Broncos fan).  Honestly, I was watching the Texas Texas A&M game and just flipping between commercials.  The Lions sucked and have for years.  Then you match them up against one of the top 6 teams in the conference.  Conversely, you match up the Cowboys against the Raiders???  Seriously, the Raiders???  The NFL really needs to revisit it's Thanksgiving day policy, as "tradition" is quickly turning in to the "tradition" of people turning their TV sets off early.
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: October 21, 2008 8:39 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2008 9:20 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of Oct. 20th

1) Kissing your sister - God what an awful game.  In a game that set the NFL back at least 25 years, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a FIFTY FREAKIN' SEVEN yard field goal (that would have been good from at least 63) with 2:30 left in OT to beat the Jets.  Anybody paying attention to that game should have been hoping for that game to end in a tie (which would have been the first since I believe the Steelers and Falcons tied a game back in 2002 ).  What a horrible display of football.  And when are coaches going to learn to stop calling a TO the millisecond before the ball is snapped to ice the kicker?  You want to do it?  Call it right after they get set, not right before they hike it.  All it does is give the kicker a free practice swing at it.  Unfortunately, both the Raiders and Cardinals won a game that that boneheaded move should have cost them.

2) West Coast Love - Yes, I truly believe that for the most part, there is an east coast media bias.  Why?  Because most of your largest cities are east of the Mississippi (duh).  So what on earth is everybody's fascination with USC?  Why are they fifth in the first BCS poll?  They play in THE WORST conference (yes, worse than the ACC and Big East.  Even the Mountain West has more teams in the top 25) and have THE WORST loss of ANY of the one loss teams.  I shouldn't have to worry about them playing in any game other than the Rose Bowl, and yet I have to because the pollsters are freakin' idiots.  Why are they not being punished for their schedule that was put together by silkworms and NEVER being in a game they were like a billion point favorites?  Again, and being a Gator fan, I HATE tOSU, but I would a million times MORE rather see them in the BCS championship game than the Trojans, especially if they beat Penn State this week.  Speaking of Penn State, I have yet to mention them on my blog, and to their fans who might read it, I apologize.  I cannot begin to say enough about the job that they and Joe Pa have been doing.  This appears to be their last obstacle, and that the winner of this game will go on to win the Big Ten.  Good luck to you all.  Anyway, back to the University of Southern Chokeifornia, you pull this yearly choke job, and I for one am sick and tired of it.  As much as I HATE Notre Dame (which is more than I hate tOSU, by the way), I will be the world's BIGGEST Domer Homer the week they play you, and if there is a god, they will win that game.

3) Dallas' implosion is on - How 'bout them Cowboys.  I especially chuckled when people were saying that they didn't miss Romo when they took their first drive of the game for a TD.  How did the rest of the game work out?  Their secondary is a wreck (and now they've lost the Roy Williams that matters for the season), and their offense looks lost.  I'm hoping my Buccaneers pile on to their misery this week.

4) Another firing - Mike Nolan was the latest coach to get the axe.  What amazes me is that, while I don't hate this move, the amount of misdirected hate coming from Niner fans toward Nolan and their unreasonable expectations.  I heard many of them say that he underachieved with their talent.  Talent?  What talent?  Beyond Patrick Willis, exactly what talent has he been "underachieving" with?  He has no QB (through partial fault of his own due to Alex Smith being a bust).  Niner fans, vent your angst where it belongs, and just like your friends across the bay, you need to be looking at your owner, Dr. York.  He is BY FAR one of the worst owners in the league.  I know, you can't fire the owner, but you need to be wishing you could.  I do wish Mike Singletary the best of luck.

5) Weekend look ahead - Other than the World Series, the games I'm looking forward to are the aforementioned Penn State-Ohio State, Georgia-LSU and Texas-Oklahoma State in college, and the Steelers-Giants and of course the Cowboys-Buccaneers in the NFL.

6) Tebow to McCoy ... Heisman - Earlier, Tim Tebow was asked who he was voting for for the Heisman trophy, as being a former winner he gets a vote.  He rightfully pointed to Colt McCoy of the Longhorns.  An EIGHTY ONE completeion percentage?  Are you kidding me?  I mean, yes, he doesn't play SEC defenses every week, but still, that's phenominal.  What he and the Longhorns have accomplished so far is beyond words, absolutely DESTROYING the Missouri Tigers.  And Chase, you can go ahead and unpack that bag, because you won't be going to New York.  The Longhorns continue their brutal schedule this week against a very good Oklahoma State Cowboys team.

7) Yurgh!!! - The horrible start for my Bolts continues (talking NHL Charger fans).  Not scoring a single goal in a game, not even in the SHOOTOUT portion.  Inexcusible.  They need to get it turned around, and quick.  Update: Yea!  They finally won one.  Now they just need to string about 10 more in a row, and then go about .600 the rest of the way.

8) An interesting theory - Well, the rest of these will be baseball takes.  I heard a theory today that Vegas made the Rays -135/+115 favorites to try to recoup impending losses on Rays early season bets at 100:1 in case they win.  Two problems with this.  Even at 100:1, they only need 100 bets on TWENTY NINE other teams, including two from Chicago, two from New York, two from LA, Boston, Philadelphia, and a Detriot team that was supposed to do better than what it did.  I can't imagine there were THAT many Rays bets to not have it covered.  Secondly, even if that is true, it still makes no sense.  As anybody who does any sports betting will tell you, Vegas wants equal action on both sides.  If they PURPOSEFULLY set the line to get all the money on one side, and then the Phillies WIN (which is very possible), now you're paying out all these +115 bets, plus whatever bets you had on the Phillies to win it all at the start of the season (let's say it was 10:1).  Now Vegas IS losing money.  They are not in this to LOSE money.

9) Another interesting theory - Yes, this isn't the LA-Boston series that everybody wanted, but why does everyone think that nobody will watch this series.  First, they were the two best teams, period.  Secondly, both cities are very passionate and will watch.  Which brings me to the fact that Philadelphia is the FOURTH largest market, and Tampa/St. Pete the THIRTEENTH.  Those aren't bad numbers.  Plus, yes, Boston was involved, but game 7 was the highest rated baseball game on cable EVER.  That's EVER.  And maybe some of the people watching that game outside of Boston/Tampa/St. Pete will want to continue to watch this fascinating team.  I'll tell you one thing, this series will feature a lot of speed.  The Rays were first in stolen bases, the Phillies were fourth.  Could put a lot of pressure on the batteries.  Both teams can mix in the long ball, too.

10) World Series predicition - Well, so far I'm batting exactly .500.  So this one will decide if I'm successful or not.  The Phillies will win any game that they can get to Madsen and Lidge with the lead in the 8th and 9th.  Clearly this is where the Phillies have their advantage.  The problem will be getting it there, because I believe the Rays have the advantage everywhere else.  Their biggest advantage might come in starting pitching.  Cole Hamels is lights out, but the rest, eh.  Plus I think the Rays have SLIGHT advantages in speed, hitting, power, and defense.  All this will amount to Rays in Six.  I heard that this has the softest odds in Vegas of all the possible combinations, so I'm going with it.

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