Monday, October 26, 2009

9 things that just don't seem right

1. If the season ended now, the Kansas State Wildcats would be Big 12 North Champions:
 Ok...ok....OK, so they are not good.  They have a full game lead with a win over the second place team and all but one of their remaining games is winnable.  It will be an upset if they pull it off, but it could happen....right?


2. Cedric Benson is the leading rusher in the NFL.
Hahahahahaaaaa, this just makes me happy.  When are people going to realize that to be a glutton for punishment at runningback who can shrug off the pressure of being the star at the University of Texas you have to be a bit off.  Just give him some rope and let him do his thing.

Gee, I wonder if the bears would like to have him in the backfield with Cutler?

3. The Arizona Cardinals have the leading rush defense in the NFL.
Here is the blueprint.  Draft athletes for your defense and blitz like hell.  If you can do that, it makes it harder to run.  Oh, one more thing, you better draft a couple of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's to cover since your corners will be all on their own.

If you don't believe this blueprint, please review the recent history of the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens.

Next question?

4. Boise State went on the road and won a league game by 45 points....and dopped 3 spots in the BCS.
Seriously, how are they losing credit for the Oregon win as Oregon wins more games?  They owned the Ducks, they have dominated the majority of their schedule.  I would like to see them in a big conference.  Hey PAC-10, how bout we kick out Washington State and pull in the team from just to the east?

Please?  For me?

5. The Yankees, baseballs most storied franchise, has it's best team in several years on the field and in the world series.....and baseball is worse for it.
Two words: Salary Cap

These teams just sit there and buy everyone else's best players and stockpile.  We need to set it just low enough to make them actually manage their money.   You should not have to spend 100 million to make it to the world series.

And more importantly.  Noone west of the Ohio River Valley cares about this game.  We have 2 east coast villians with rotten fans going against each other.

6. The ACC, BIG 10, BIG EAST, and PAC 10 all have more BCS ranked teams than the Big 12.  
I know they have beaten themselves up a bit and OU's injuries have hurt, but do you really think that Arizona is better than OU and Texas Tech?  Just one example.


7. Sam Bradford won the Heisman, skipped the draft to come back, and played less than 4 more quarters of football in college.
He says surgery and then the draft.  I don't get it.  But I guess he can change his mind if he doesn't recover quickly.

Good luck and God speed Sam.

8. Kobe and Big Ben are accused of rape and move on with their careers.  Steve Phillips had an affair with a coworker and is fired.  
So much for the athletes not getting a fair shake by the press huh.  Shame on you Steve, but seriously?

He dated an assistant on the side.  Kobe and Big Ben were accused of rape.

9. The Dolphins lost their veteran starting corner and are better for it.
They drafted 2 corners thinking that the first rounder would step in opposite Will Allen.  Well the project from Utah beat him to it, but Vontae Davis gives the Dolphins a pair of athlets at corner that few in the league can match.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flag Football!!!!!

Ok, we are now 5 weeks into football.

Like most years, there were some rule changes made.  These were very well-intended rule changes hoping to curb the rash of injuries and concussions that have plagued the game for many years.  In theory, this is a wonderful thing, except for one point.

Football is a violent game.  The challenge of the game is whether you can traverse the field before you are forced to the ground.  It has been shown for many years that playing tentatively causes people to get hurt, must like grandpa sunday driving in the left lane causes accidents.

These rules have got to go.  The calls are disrupting the game and changing the  outcomes of games.

Further, if you force defenders to start second guessing themselves, you are going to see more injuries than you were trying to prevent.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

College Football Top 25 (Week 5) 1-10

1. Florida Gators:
Last Week:  Bye
Notes: They beat a very good defensive team in Kentucky in a convincing fashion.  However, that day is done and now they get their biggest test and still don't know if they are going to have Tebow back to lead them.  LSU is solid and they are going to Baton Rouge.  I still like them to win because LSU has not impressed like you would like a top 5 team to impress, but they are not a team that the Gators can out-athlete.  It should be a fun one.

2. Texas Longhorns:
Last Week: Beat UTEP 64-7
Notes: They stomped UTEP, but then again, #2 overall should stomp UTEP.  One thing they did do that is worth notice is they had balance on offense.  They ran for 266 yards, which is huge for them.  They get Colorado othis week, which should be a nice tuneup for Oklahoma.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide:
Last Week: Beat Kentucky 38-20
Notes: A solid win against Kentucky, but it shows just how far above the league Florida is right now when you compare those 2 scores.  That said, Alabama is loaded and rolling.  Mississippi is talented at the skill positions, but Alabama should just run over them up front.  It's really too bad they don't play the Gators in the regular season this year, that would be a game to watch

4. LSU Tigers:
Last Week: Beat Georgia 20-13
Notes: A tight game in Athens just illustrates LSU shortcomings.  They are very good on defense and special teams, but they do not have an identitiy on offense yet.  They want to be a spread team and give their athletes a chance to make plays, but their QB's have not stepped up as the dynamic kind of weapon that they need to make a real title run.  That said, they are scary for their opponent every week because of the athletes they put on the field.  After all, an ugly win is still a win.

5. Boise State Broncos:
Last Week: Beat California-Davis 34-16
Notes: Boise is rolling.  They have their league and their schedule outclassed.  I don't see anyone who should be a challengle for them the rest of the way, but the road trip to Hawai'i can throw a wrench in with the logistics of the trip.  But....that is just nitpicking.

6. USC Trojans:
Last Week: Beat Cal 30-3
Notes: Last week was huge.  Cal really looked to be set to challenge for Pac-10 supremacy and USC put those thoughts to and end in a big way.  They are off this week, but the Irish are up next week.  Time to find out which young California QB is for real.

7. Ohio State Buckeyes:
Last Week: Beat Indiana 33-14
Notes: This young Buckeye team is continuing to grow and improve.  They have a big test this week with a solid Badger team coming to Columbus.  Ohio State is the favorite, but the key for them is if they can find a way to win convincingly.  If they can, it should give them confidence to come downhill on teams the rest of the way.  It all builds to the last 3 weeks with Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan to finish up.

8. Cincinnati Bearcats:
Last Week: Beat Miami (Oh) 37-13
Notes: Cincinnati is good, but they need to keep working to prove this ranking.  They have played some good non-conference games, but they need to put up big numbers because right now this week's South Florida game is the only one with a ranked opponent.  But before that, they need to find a way to deal wiht George Selvie and a hot Bull defense.  This is a big game in the Big East.  Cincy should be able to win it, but it is not a gimme, especially on the road.

9. TCU Horned Frogs:
Last Week: Beat SMU 39-14
Notes: TCU's defense is one of the best in the country, and they are not going to be challenged until they got to Provo in a few weeks.  Air Force is not a bad team, but TCU should handle them fairly easily.

10. Virginia Tech Hokies:
Last Week: Beat Duke 34-26
Notes: The effort they showed against Duke is not going to beat a hot BC team.  Va. Tech has managed to survive weaker efforts to this point, but their inconsistency has to have their fans worried.  That said, they are awful tough at home, and their run defense is too strong for BC.  They should win this game.


College Football Top 25 (Week 5) 11-15

11. Miami Hurricanes: 
Last Week: Beat Oklahoma 21-20
Notes: Beating OU was key for this young team's confidence following their unraveling against Va. Tech.  They showed that they can weather the storm against a top flight D-Line.  They get their first matchup against and unranked opponent this week, and I think they can use it.

12. Iowa Hawkeyes:
Last Week: Beat Arkansas State 24-21
Notes: They almost had a letdown last week, letting Arkansas State stay too close for comfort.  Now, the meat of the Big 10 Schedule gets here.  The next 3 weeks are really the key to their season.  Michigan is up first, and as a home game, they better get this one if they want to make a serious but at the conference title.
13. Penn State Nittany Lions:
Last Week: Beat Eastern Illinois 52-3
Notes: Penn State has no room for error the rest of the way out after dropping another game to Iowa.  That said, I don't expect any more losses out of them until November gets here.  Minnesota and Michigan are solid, but Penn State's veteran leaders should be able to keep them focused.

14. Oklahoma State Cowboys:
Last Week: Beat Grambling 56-6
Notes: They are in big trouble without Dez Bryant.  He is their is their axle that their offense turns around.  They are a better team than A&M, but this is a perfect situation to test the mettle of a historically shaky team.  They need someone to step up and lead.

15. Auburn Tigers:
Last Week: Beat Tennessee 26-22
Notes: Auburn has been outplaying expectations, but they look good.  That said, this is the SEC, and letdowns will not be permitted.  Due to late publication, they have already lost bad at Arkansas, and they will drop.

College Football Top 25 (Week 5) 16-20

16. Oregon Ducks: 
Last Week: Beat Washington State 52-6
Notes: The Ducks have some injury concerns with Masoli questionable for this weekend.  They are lucky enough to have a solid backup behind him, so expect the Ducks to keep rolling.  They started slowly, but it looks like that might say more about Boise than it does Oregon.

17. Kansas Jayhawks:
Last Week: Bye
Notes: The Jayhawks are continuing their growth as a program this year, but they are not as dominant as some of my neighbors here in Kansas would like to think.  They had some trouble putting away an athletic, but mediocre Southern Miss team in their last game, and will need to give a stronger showing against the Cyclones this week.  The second half of their schedule is daunting and they need to work the bugs out if they want to stay in the hunt for the Big 12 North title.

18. Mississippi Rebels
Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 23-7
Notes:  Ole Miss looked a little better last week, but they are in trouble against Bama this week.  Mississippi is not strong enough on the front lines to stand up to the Tide, and they are going to have to play a great game to keep it close.

19. BYU Cougars:
Last Week: Beat Utah State 35-17
Notes: The Cougars are coasting through a weak stretch of schedule as their matchup with TCU looms in a few weeks.  That said, this is the time to work out the issues and solidify their execution.  Max Hall is their leader, and he has been way to loose with the ball since their stomping at the hands of the Seminoles.  They will win this week, but it won't mean much.

20. Oklahoma Sooners:
Last Week: Lost to Miami 20-21
Notes: They played Miami close, which was a surprise to a lot of people.  That is an especially good sign with you take into account that Bradford and Grisham are both missing.  It is reported that Bradford may be back this week and that will give this team a life.  That said, with Baylor up next, they shouldn't need the lift.  The Shootout is the week after though, and in the land of red dirt, that is the one that matters.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Braylon Edwards Traded To Jets

I know Braylon Edwards has been a dissapointment, but this is not the kind of player you dump, this is the kind of player you get a coach to work with and get him fixed.

This trade is another example of Mangini's ego getting in the way.  He had the chance to build and offense around Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards.

Somebody want to tell me what he has now?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bring on the Yankees (Go Twins)

The playoffs matchups are set.  Here are the playoff teams and their team salaries, with the 1 and 4 seeds in the AL highlighted.

1. New York Yankees      $201,449,289
4. Boston Red Sox            $122,696,000
6. Los Angeles Angels       $113,709,000
7. Philadelphia Phillies        $113,004,048
9. Los Angeles Dodgers     $100,458,101
13. St. Louis Cardinals       $88,528,411
18. Colorado Rockies        $75,201,000
24. Minnesota Twins          $65,299,267

I am terribly biased, having been a twins fan since I saw my first Major League game at the age of 7, but let me just say that the Twins are everything that is right with Major League Baseball.  They draft quality players who are quality people and teach them to play the game.

They make trades that strengthen that farm system while their players still have value and use the players they develop to surround their superstars.  Every year they lose or let players go and they reload with the players following them up.  They have built themselves for a certain style of play and get players that fit it.  They pitch, play defense, and keep the pressure on the other team's defense.  They bunt and run, and have a trio of big hitters in the middle of the lineup.  It works, hell, it works damn near every year.

They are the prototype for success in a small market, the white hat, David with his sling.

So, as the playoffs begin, I say, screw Goliath, the Yankees are overpaid pricks anyway.

College Football Top 25 (Week 5) 21-25

21. Nebraska CornHuskers
Last Week: Bye
Notes: The Huskers also took a week off to get ready for the start of league play.  Short answer for them with Missouri on the horizon.  They need 4 quarters from their vaunted defense.  Missouri's O is way better than anything they have seen so far, and a letdown will mean a touchdown.  This would be a huge start for Nebraska, especially since they miss OSU and Texas this year in Big 12 Play.
22. Missouri Tigers
Last Week: Bye
Notes: They haven't played since they handled Nevada, and that is a really good piece of scheduling with Nebraska next on the docket.  Most of the people in Big 12 country think that this game will decide the North, and despite KU fans' protests, they are likely right.  Gabbert has to be Jekyll and not Hyde for this one.  If he is, Nebraska is going to be very disappointed with their start to league play.  If Missouri can't pull this one out, it is going to be a long month with OSU and Texas to follow.  If Missouri leaves Austin with more than 5 wins, they will be in great shape for the stretch run.
  23. Houston Cougars
Last Week: Beat UTEP 58-41
Notes: The Cougars offense can score on anybody and their defense can't stop anybody, but so far they have been able to make it work to the tune of 2 wins against top 25 level teams from the Big 12 South.  Mississippi State is not at the same level offensively as those teams, but they do play defense.  That said, expect the Cougars to salt away another win against a BCS conference team and move a couple more steps up in the polls right before their conference season gets going.
24. Georgia Tech YellowJackets
Last Week: Beat Mississippi State 42-31
Notes: They have recovered nicely from the Miami game, but this week is going to be interesting.  I tend to think it depends on which Seminole team shows up.  If it is the team that nearly gave the Canes a loss to the start the year, the same team that stomped BYU in Provo, the Jackets are in trouble.  If it is the team that has shown up since the BYU game, the Jackets are in good shape.  Expect to see a lot of points in this game as FSU has had trouble against the run, and brings the kind of speed that has been wearing out the Tech defense all year long.
25. South Florida Bulls
Last Week: Beat Syracuse 34-20
Notes: They are riding high after their upset of FSU in tallahassee and B.J. Daniels looks like he is going to keep the Bulls rolling with Matt Groethe down.  That said, it is the defense that makes this team go, and they are going to need a performance like that one at Doak Campbell if they want to take the lead in the Big East.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FSU Trustee says Bobby must go

I am a lifelong fan of the Florida State football team, a team that for years was one of the dominant teams in the nation.  A monster that was rivaled by very few and was a truly consistent threat for the national title. 

A monster that was created solely by Bobby Bowden. 

12 Conference Chamionships (They joined the ACC in 1991), with 9 of them being consecutive
2 National Titles
368 Wins
21-10-1 Bowl Record

That monster is trying to eat him now.  The sad thing is, it is time for him to fall on his sword.  Bobby is old, past retirement old, and just can't play the role that he once did.  This has removed his identity from the team and left a cloud floating over this program.  The FSU that Bobby built was the team version of the gunslinger Quarterback.  Their offense attacked, their defense attacked, their special teams attacked.  They were one of the first teams to recruit the speed that has made the Florida Universities so dominant, and they took full advantage.  Now, Bobby is a manager and the team is complacent.  This is not Florida State football.

His potential retirement and the instability that comes with it hurts recruiting and distracts from the focus of the team.  I don't know if Jimbo Fisher is the right answer, but his pedigree is solid and Bobby hand picked him.

Bobby, let the man takeover and go play with your grandkids.  It's time.

Enjoy your retirement. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

CFB restructuring

I would like to preface this posting series by stating that I sincerely thought that this was an original idea when I put it together, but it has been brought to my attention that the folks at ESPN gave it a go.  However, I prefer my structure to theirs so I am going to post anyway.  

I mean after all, I am smarter than they are right?  

The traditional conference structure of college football is flawed.  I don't know many who would argue against the point.  The inflexible team system prevents improving teams from receiving the spoils that their gains should entitle them, and forces fans to watch imbalanced games as the conference leaders crush the also-rans.  

My proposed answer to this is to restructure the nation's D-1 football teams as follows.

1. 8 geographic regions.
    a. This will save money in travel for the schools and eliminate a lot of the overly long road trips.
    b. This will also keep a good number of the conference rivalries in place.

2. Each region will contain two "leagues"
    a. The "major" leagues will contain the top 7 teams in the region
    b. The "minor" leagues will contain the remainder of teams, 7 or 8 teams depending on the region

3. At the end of a reason, the leagues will reorganize
    a. The top 2 teams from the "minor" will move to their region's "major" league.
    b. The bottom 2 teams from the "major" league will take their place in the "minor" league.

4. Scheduling
    a. Each league will play a round-robin schedule
    b. Each team will play at least 2 games against teams from other regions at their corresponding league level
    c. The winners from each "major" league will qualify for placement in the Championship series

5. Championship series
    a. The Championship will be a 7 game/8 team single-elimination tournament
    b. The payments from these games will be distributed among the 8 teams who made the series
        1. Round 1
            a. Winner:60%
            b. Loser: 40%
        2. Round 2
            a. Winner: 50%
            b. Loser 30%
            c. 2 losing teams from that branches Round 1 games receive 10% a piece
        3. Round 3 (Championship Game)
            a. Winner: 45%
            b. Loser: 25%
            c. 6 losing teams from the first 2 Rounds receive 5% a piece

As you can see, this setup will allow for teams to improve and move into the equivalent of the BCS conferences and garner the big paydays which are necessary for them to sustain their progress.  Further, this restructuring would provide a natural opportunity for a championship tournament to be put in place.

Above is a map of the regions I propose with the teams color coded to represent their current associations.
Read More to Review the proposed Regions