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Tag:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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: October 22, 2011 8:48 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:20 am
 

D.P. NFL Week 5 Flop 10 Poll (belated)

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

Now that the D.P. has settled some in house issues, we proudly bring you right before the Week 7 games are about to be played ... the results of our Week 5 Flop 10 Poll.  This week, we feature absolutely no new members of our exclusive club of suckiness, however, we do have major shuffling within the ten teams, including one who remarkably fell 7 spots not by beating the Patriots or some juggernaut, but a fellow Flop 10 member.  Anyway, without further adieu (especially since this is a week and a half late), the Week 5 edition of the NFL Flop 10.

*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: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 (Jerry Friedman of the Milwaukee Daily Brat poses, "How do you vote for a team that is 3-2 you ask?  By watching that team get blown out by 45 points after struggling against the Colts, that's how."), Cleveland Browns 18 (Mary Weatherby of the Cleveland Shady Dealer states, "The Browns fell on my ballot this week, but that was only because they didn't play."), Atlanta Falcons 45 (Nicholas Formation of the Rajun Cajun Gazette quips, "If this team loses to the Panthers next week, I expect to see them crack the overall Flop 10."), Carolina Panthers 80 (Samantha King of the Denver Mile High Snooze opines, "You have to give the Panthers credit.  They'd crack an NFL Top 10 Poll of interesting and exciting teams.  Eventually, though, they have to start translating some of these into W's.")

Number 10 - Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) 91
Nancy Holderman of the Green Bay Times proposes, "Two wins in a row has nearly washed away the stench of the Chiefs horrible start.  Nearly.  Unfortunately those three losses were so bad, they remain a Flop 10 team."

Number 9 - Minnesota Vikings (1-4) 143 Larry Masterson of the Washington (D.C.) Monumental Press decries, "Stop the presses!  The Vikings held on to a halftime lead.  Next thing you'll tell me is that Congress lowered the deficit."

Number 8 - Seattle Seahawks (2-3) 156 Morgan Wexler of the San Francisco Seismic Monitor wonders, "Hard to imagine a team with Tarvaris Jackson as a staring QB being capable of winning 40% of its games."

Number 7 - Denver Broncos (1-4) 180
Lisa Trombetti of the Chicago Moon Times writes, "John Fox had been avoiding Tim Tebow like the plague all season long, as though afflicted by Josh McDaniels Syndrome.  But now, Kyle Orton has forced his hand, and they now look silly not dealing him to the Dolphins this preseason when he had value."

Number 6 - Philadelphia Eagles (1-4) 294 Emily Hirschbeck of the Philadelphia Perspirer claims, "The nightmare season for the Dream Team continues, proving once again that fantasy football only works amongst 12 drunk friends."

Number 5 - Arizona Cardinals (1-4) 381 Eric Xavier of the Houston Cowboy ponders, "I guess the only difference between Derrick Anderson and Kevin Kolb is that Kolb doesn't laugh on the sidelines as he's being blown out."

Number 4 - Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) 481 (1) Stanley Ulrich of the Pittsburgh Steel Miner reports, "One has to wonder how many more days or losses it will take Jack Del Rio to be sent down the river.  This team continues to play as though it's up ****-creek without a paddle."

Number 3 - Indianapolis Colts (0-5) 538 (14) Amanda Passenkick of the Miami Beach Spotlight laments, "I almost feel bad voting the Colts first, especially since they've shown life after Curtis Painter began starting, but if you look at the hard numbers, the fact is the Colts have lost by worse margins against worse opponents than the Dolphins."

Number 2 - Miami Dolphins (0-4) 545 (13) Terrance Cooper of the Atlanta Dirty South Press points out, "How bad is it for the Miami Dolphins?  By far the worse team remaining on their schedule is the Denver Broncos.  Could the Detroit Lions have company in the 0-16 club?"

Number 1 - St. Louis Rams (0-4) 621 (37) Johnathan Lumpkin of the Los Angeles Periodical says, "This team is so bad, they somehow managed to look horrible on their bye week."

D.P. Archives:
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: September 26, 2011 6:47 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 12:09 am
 

Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again

D.P. Wire Report 9/26/11 1:23p.m.

After being called upon to help look at what caused the December 2010 collapse of the Metrodome after heavy snowfall in the Minneapolis area, students of the University of Minnesota School of Engineering are now being brought in to help fix the collapse of the stadium's NFL tenants.  Back in December, Minnesota Engineering students were flabbergasted that the design of the roof not only encouraged the accumulation of snow rather than sloping it off the building, but also lacked heaters to help aid in the melting of said frozen precipitation.  When pointed out that the building was designed by Miami, Fl based Bob's Discount Dome Builders, 5th year senior Matthew Easterling said, "Well there you go.  I mean, don't they realize this is Minneapolis?  It's not like snow is a rare occurrence up here.  I can't believe they didn't design a way to stop snow from accumulating.  A 10 year old could figure that out.  This place was a time-bomb waiting to go off one winter."  "I'm so very proud of my students," engineering professor Boris Diedrich opined.  "After being able to solve the mystery of what led to the roof collapse, they are now able to tackle the equally perplexing problem of what is wrong with my beloved Vikings."  Asked by professor Diedrich to give their first thoughts as to what might be the problem, 72% of his students responded that Adrian Peterson's number of carries inexplicably drops by 50% in the second half.  This is despite having anywhere from a 10 to 20 point lead in each of their 3 contests so far this season.  When asked to explain the reduced second half workload of the Vikings workhorse, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave offered, "You do realize that the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint, correct?  We're just trying to rest A.P. so that way he's fresh come playoff time.  By limiting his workload now, he will be able to carry us through January.  Just watch as Ryan Grant and Jahvid Best are overexerted, and the Packers and Lions start falling back to the rest of the pack."  When pointed out by Jerry Paulson of the St. Paul Pioneer that it is a baseball season that is a marathon, and a football season is indeed a sprint, Musgrave retorted, "Are you sure?"  Or, as Viking's season ticket holder Randall Gibbons claims, "I think Musgrave's doing a great job as offensive coordinator.  Right now, there's not a team whose second half play is more repugnantly offensive than the Vikings."  Another issue pointed to by a majority of professor Diedrich's class is the location of Percy Harvin on nearly 50% of the offensive snaps, which happens to be the same location he's in for 100% of the defensive snaps.  As sophomore Emily Templeton wrote, "It's far easier for the other team to shut down your explosive playmakers when your own coaching staff is doing it for you."  This sentiment was echoed by head coach and defensive coordinator of the Vikings week 2 opponent, Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  "Going into the Vikings game, the two people you have to gameplan for are Peterson and Harvin.  So I told Aqib Talib, our best cornerback, I want you to be on Harvin 100% of the time.  No matter where he lines up, you line up across from him.  Well, on our very first series, I see him fronting the Vikings sideline and call a timeout.  I'm like, 'Son, what are you doing.  If you play like that, it'll be 11 on 10.'  He retorted, 'Coach, you told me all week long to stick to Harvin like glue.  Even if he's in the backfield, he's my responsibility.  Well, he's over there next to (George) Stewart (Vikings Wide Receivers coach).'  After checking that indeed only Michael Jenkins and Bernard Berrian were on the field, I apologized to Aqib and said, okay, when Harvin's not in the game, find the guy that doesn't have anybody on him.  This allowed Talib to match up against guys with inferior speed and big play capabilities compared to Percy."  Of course, it should also be pointed out that 28% of professor Diedrich's class suggested not having halftime and 13% answered limit the games to 30 minutes.  When asked to the possibilities of these rule changes being introduced, ever, competition committee chairman Rich McKay of the Atlanta Falcons responded, "Between slim and none, and slim is one of none's orbiting electrons."  All the D.P. knows currently, is after being down 3 games in the divisional standings after playing a grand total of 3 games, head coach Leslie Frazier's seat is currently warm enough to ensure snow won't be gathering upon the covering over Mall of America Field this season.  Then again, keep up this stellar second half play, and Tim Leiweke will make sure the Vikings next home games will be in a place that sees little precipitation at all, much less snow.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the release of the D.P.'s Week 3 NFL Flop 10 Poll





Posted on: January 2, 2011 9:02 pm
 

A Major Announcement By BuccinGator

Today, I mourn the death of my long time avatar of Big Game Boob Stoops and his epic losses in BCS bowl games.  As a blind squirrel occasionally plays UCONN in football instead of basketball finds an acorn, his team put up an epic beatdown in the Fiesta Bowl last night which led to my decision to permanently retire my long time avi.  Helping ease the pain is my new avi of Bucs rookie receiver Mike Williams who should get some consideration for rookie of the year, especially if Bradford falls on his face tonight.  I have a feeling that my new avi of his leaping catch in today's game against the Saints will proudly serve me for just as long, if not longer than my favorite college football whipping post other than anything to do with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  In all seriousness, what an unexpectantly exciting year for the Buccaneers and their young football team.  They have laid the foundation for many great years to come, and Josh Freeman appears to be a true stud.  Instead of a sophomore slump, he led a very young team to a 10-6 record while throwing TWENTY FIVE touchdowns versus only 6 picks.  For those of you stumbling by here via title or tag that grabbed your attention, I am running a blogoff of the Worst Song Ever.  We are down to the Sour 16 and heading for the Earbleeding 8.  For those who haven't voted, your participation is welcome.  You can click here: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
entry/10264446/26369761
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: October 13, 2009 7:58 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 5:44 pm
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13) MLB LDS look back and LCS predicitions- Well, I got three out of four right, although I had all of them going longer than what they did.  I knew Boston had some holes, but didn't expect them to get exposed that thoroughly by LA, especially since I thought playing in the AL East would toughen them up.  TBS lost a lot of money by all of the series ending so quick.  But that can happen in short series.  I know last year, Philly beat LA in the LCS, but I just think the Dodgers have too much for them this year.  Don't see it going less than 6, however (in fact, I'll call it Dodgers in 6), and as much as I hate to, I'll go Yankees in 5 setting up the LAD NYY series you know baseball is praying for for not only the east coast west coast thing, but also the Torre back to New York thing and Manny against the Yankees.
Posted on: October 6, 2009 7:51 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 9:02 pm
 

10 Things I learned the Week of Oct. 5th

Welcome again, my friends, to another installment of that sports knowledge that was imparted upon me this week which I shall now share with all of you.  And just to show that I'm not all about the Gators and/or the SEC (although those who read regularly already know), my verbose point of the week shall be about a certain team from Tallahassee and their coach whom I have a world of respect for, even coaching the enemy.

1) NHL season underway- But not the start for my Bolts that I was hoping for, dropping their opener 6-3 against the Thrashers.  I'm still hoping for a better defense and more points this season.  That was a little disappointing giving up 6 goals, though.

2) The "U" upgraded from Tropical Storm to category 3- Wow, huge win for the Canes and Jacory Harris, who rebounded very nicely after throwing two early picks.  What a leader this kid is turning out to be.  The Hurricanes could have let last week's horrid performance and early troubles inundate them, but instead held it together for an impressive win.  The Hurricanes could possibly lose only the one game and be a second representative for the ACC in the BCS (unless Va Tech loses a couple in conference, in which case they could be THE representative).  By the way, can we please abolish preseason polls?  Oklahoma is still in the Top 25 with two loses because of what?  Oh yeah, they started number 2.  How can you rank them and not an undefeated Wisconsin team?  Now, don't get me wrong, in no way am I suggesting that the Badgers are better.  Most likely, Oklahoma beats them.  But until Wisconsin loses a game, how can a TWO loss team be in front of them.  And what if the Badgers don't lose?  Eventually they have to leapfrog the Sooners, right?  Right???  Actually, unfortunately, it's not likely to happen.

3) The football gods officially have it in for me- Gyah!!!!  That was heartwrenching to watch Washington choke away two shots close to the goalline like that and have the domers come back and beat them, extending my worries that ND will make a BCS bowl game.  Kudos to the Irish defense for stepping up like that, but come on Sark!!!  The runs to the middle were not working.  Mix in a roll out with a run/pass option.  I'm not going to get on the officials for blowing the two point conversion call which I immediately saw on the first replay that he was down.  Afterall, I think Sark had his challenge left.  But that didn't cost them the game.  The ineffeciency I previously mentioned did.

4) Speaking of Gyah's- I pick my Bucs to win over the hapless Redskins, and what thanks do I get?  Missed FG's, no adjustments, and a loss.  This team's best (and possibly only) shot of winning a game is in two weeks when the Panthers come to town.  If they lose there, 0-16 is not out of the question.  And could we please throw Josh Freeman to the wolves already and see what we might have in our first round draft pick from this year?  This season is lost, and Josh Johnson is not the answer.  Sure he gives you mobility and a faster delivery, but lacks everything else Leftwich brings to the table.  Honestly, Leftwich never should have been pulled until Freeman was ready to play, which even in that case is hopefully sooner rather than later.

5) Giving credit where it is due- Have to give props to the Saints, which is hard for me because I can't stand their win nothing, think their crap doesn't stink fans, but that was a huge win over the J-E-T-S.  I'm still not sold the Saints D will be able to stand up for a whole season, but for one game, they won it for them.

6) Cal Bleakly- Boy, what a fraud this team was.  People thought they were going to be the ones to challenge USC?  People figured out if you shut down Jahvid Best, whose Heisman Hopes are now officially zero, there isn't anybody else on this offense that's going to beat you.  And who is the leader of the Pac-10 at this point in the season?  Would you believe it's the Stanford Cardinal?  No joke.

7) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 1- Well, at least unlike the Pac-10's head of officiating who defended the worst call in history last year, the SEC's head ref stepped up and admitted they screwed up throwing a flag on Georgia Bulldog receiver A.J. Green after making one of the most incredible catches I've ever seen, the fact is that that flag has to stay in the pocket in the first place.  Actually, more likely the rule needs to be changed, but as the 90,000 people in attendance and millions watching at home clearly saw, Green made no jesture.  It would have been kind of hard from the middle of the mass of humanity that was his teammates congratulating him on his spectacular play.  But don't get me wrong, UGA fans.  this DID NOT cost you the game.  Again, blaming it on officials is loser speak, and there is the little matter of kicking off TO Trendon Holliday and giving up a 40+ yard return which likely would have happened regardless of kicking from the 30 or the 15, and not being able to wrap up on Charles Scott and everybody else seemingly giving up on the play when the defender SHOULD have had him on the turf.  THAT cost you the game, and LSU DESERVED to win.  And the only thing worse than all of this?  The make up call on Scott after his touchdown.  Under NO circumstance should you EVER compound one horrific call with another trying to level the field.  And deny it all you want, but if that wasn't a make up call, then I'm not a Gator fan.  Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.  Point is, you don't ever want to be worried about your team scoring a touchdown because some ref might get a little overzealous.

8) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 2- I had the Pats-Ravens football field thingy on NFL.com several times during Sunday as I had the Ravens in my Pick 'Em pools and knew it would be an important swing game.  Twice I saw as the Pats had the ball just past the 50, Personal Foul, Roughing the Quartback on the Ravens.  Then I heard about Ray Lewis' remarks after the game.  Even being right, I figured he was going to be fined for speaking his mind, especially since he was questioning the officiating, which is a definite no-no in the NFL.  Shoot, on one play, it looked like the flag was thrown simply because Tom Brady whined for it.  Well, I heard today on the radio that Ray Ray will not be fined for what he said, which means one of two things.  Either A) Our Refs really F'ed up, or B) Our rules are F'ed up and need to be revisited after the season.  Most likely, it's the latter, and to me, and to many other people, it appears that the league has far too many rules in the name of "Protecting the Player" that is detracting from the game.  Pretty soon, football will become 7 on 7 where the offensive and defensive lines are eliminated, and it's man on man, including a defender to shadow the QB who can't touch him until he gets near the line of scrimmage.  Seems this is what they want.  Oh, and no making a good hard hit on the receiver, either.

9) Bored of Untrustees- First off, I will make this clear.  Even as a Gator fan, I have a huge amount of respect for Bobby Bowden and what he has accomplished.  I was adminantly PO'ed this offseason as it was suggested he lose 14 wins for playing players that to the best of his knowledge that were eligible, while the school which allowed itself to get swallowed up in an academic scandal that encompassed SIXTY ONE of its athletes in NINE sports got off with nary a slap on the wrist.  To me, nothing screamed lack of institutional control more than this case, and made me yearn for the days of bowl probations and losing t.v. revenue.  You want to stem something like this, hit the university in the pocketbook, don't punish a coach by vacating wins.  Not like Duke is going to show a victory for that game anyway.  Now word comes from Monday of the head of the Seminoles Board of Trustees, who I can only define as a world class moron.  Here are the quotes that came from his way. 

"We've got too many bosses out there," Smith said.

"Jimbo is in a very, very tough situation where people assume he has a whole lot more authority than he really has," Smith told the Associated Press. "He's getting blamed for a lot of things that's just not his fault."


Really, too many bosses?  I count one.  A coach in waiting does not count as a boss.  And if coordinators count as bosses, then yes, there are too many as this would make Mickey Andrews and the special teams coach a boss, too, but no team is run like that.  Fisher's situation is clearly outlined to him, and as far as getting blamed for a lot of things that just are not his fault, I'll blame him for one thing that is his fault.  He is the offensive coordinator, correct?  He, or one of HIS OWN assistants call the plays, correct?  Then I blame him for having a offense that has the consistancy of an elderly man's bowel movements on a low fiber diet!  And don't give me recruiting, either.  Yes, it hasn't been up to standards at FSU recently, but do you really think Fisher has no input, especially with offensive players?  Give me a break!!!  And he continues:

Smith said Fisher should take over following Florida State's last game this season.


Too bad this isn't the board of trustees' decision and you have no direct say in it whatsoever.

Smith said that arrangement has resulted in division among the Florida State staff, an accusation Seminole coaches have vehemently denied.

"I know coaches are sniping at each other and that's just terrible," Smith said Monday. "There are too many mixed signals."


Really???  And you know this from what?  Your close, intimate, first hand knowledge of the team?  You'd swear HE was a coach at FSU.  Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of dissent between Bowden and Andrews, life long friends.  And if there is division between Fisher and Bowden, which I don't believe there is, especially since Jimbo has yet to produce on his end of the field, well then, there might be another agenda at work there, so forgive me if I put absolutely no stock in it whatsoever.

He also said fundraising has slowed significantly, and the school has an obligation to fans and alumni to be competitive.

"I take absolutely no pleasure in this," Smith said. "I love Bobby Bowden, but I tell you what, I love FSU more."


Ah, and at last we arrive at the only true statement from this genius, and the true crux of his problem.  Fundraising is down.  Imagine that.  First off, Bobby can't go out there and play for these kids, so I apologize for the sudden downturn in which you have your first losing record since Bowden's first year.  Yes, that hurts a little, but, clown, fundraising is down everywhere.  There's this thing called the economy, which maybe you're not up on current events, but it hasn't been doing all too great as of late.  The fact of the matter is you have little power and no immediate knowledge of the current situation there, so dude, please, STFU (and no, I'm not talking about John Cena's finishing move).  If anybody's earned the right to go out on his own terms, it's Bobby.  Besides, sure didn't hear you or any of the other Nole faithful complaining as he was delivering a record 14 straight top 4 finishes to you, and I'm sure ALL KINDS of fundraising dollars.  Guess you didn't invest wisely when you had the money.

10) Weekly look ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are, surprise, surprise, the Florida LSU game to see who can stake early lead to conference supremacy, Alabama Ole Miss to see if Jevan Sneed can rebound or if the Tide continue to roll, Nebraska Missouri to see who's the early leader for the Big 12 North, and Ohio State Wisconsin to see if the Badgers are for real, or if they're simply Badgering me wanting to put them ahead of two loss Oklahoma.  In the NFL, give me New England Denver, Jets Miami, and Redskins Panthers wait, that's another suckfest.  Also give me the start of the MLB playoffs, which is really underway right now with a tight one going on in Minnesota.  Also, my Bolts play three games this week against teams currently 0-2.  They need to take at least 4, preferably 5 or 6 points from them.  I'll update after today to give you my MLB playoff predictions.

Update: MLB Playoff Predictions- Wow what a game tonight in Minnesota.  Unfortunately, I don't think it bodes well for them having to turn around and play tomorrow in New York.  At least they get a day off after that.  Anyways, here's what I think for the playoff series.
Philadelphia over Colorado in 5
Los Angeles over St. Louis in 5 (both cases just because of home field.  Think the NL is very evenly matched)
New York over Minnesota in 4 (Yankees should win game 1)
Boston over Los Angeles in 4 (I know LA will be out for revenge after last year, just don't think it'll work)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com