Thursday, November 5, 2009

Damn Yankees

Well, that's one for all 10 fingers, all 10 toes and well crap......27 is a lot of championships.

Love them or hate them, you can't deny that the Yankees are dedicated to winning.  They chase down premier players to lead their teams and they got it done again.

It is popular to argue that their style is unfair, and there is some merit to those arguments, but fair or not....they are not cheating.  They are within the rules, they are just in the best position to take advantage of those rules. 

So, I am going to wait a few days to post on the disparity in the payroll system of Major League Baseball relative to the other sports and have some fun about how it would force teams to change.  Nope, that will come later, and I hope that everyone enjoys reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it.

No, today is a day for the Victors.  So, Pinstripers, here's to you.  They always say it, and for once it's true.  Like it or not, the best team won.

Congratulations, enjoy the ticker tape, and I hope you get whooped next season.

But hey, on the bright side, at least it wasn't the Cubs.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

College Football Top 25 (Nov 1st)

1. Florida Gators
Last Week: Beat Georgia 41-17
Next Week: Vanderbilt
Notes: It took the Gators a bit to get separation from the Dawgs, but they did win going away.  That is one of the games that is circled on that Gator schedule every year, regardless of what is one the line for the season.  They have a couple of tough games coming but have already sewn up the SEC east.  They are playing for the national title now.  South Carolina could make things interesting with that dangerous defense and the seminoles are waiting at the end of the schedule.  Neither of those teams is  complete team, the South Carolina was one of few teams whose defense can play like the Gator's and the Noles have one of the few offenses that can run with the Gators.  If either of them can get a good day from their weaker side of the ball, they may cause trouble.  But.....that is really reaching.  The Gators should run right through the remaining schedule.

2. Texas Longhorns
Last Week: Beat Oklahoma State 41-14
Next Week: UCF
Notes: Since the Red River shootout, the Horns have been rolling.  Their remaining schedule, in comparison, is very winnable.  Baylot and A&M are second tier teams in the Big 12 south, and Kansa has to come to Austin.  The Horns have done the heavy lifting, and now just have to cross the t's and dot the i's.  They will be the overwhelming favorite against whoever wins the North.  They just have to avoid overlooking anybody on their way to meet the SEC winner in the title game.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: Beat Tennessee 12-10
Notes: Alabama is extremely talented, and could beat anyone on any weekend.  You can't squeak out wins against unranked teams if you want to hold onto #2 in the country.  No doubt that Saban has made that clear to them and will have to ready to roll when they hit Death Valley this week.  This is a season defining game and will set them up for the home stretch of their season if they can win it.  Their defense has the potential to dominate LSU's offense which has played better, but is not a dominant unit.  They need to do just that because their offense will not have the same success they are used to playing against this tiger defense.

4. Boise State Broncos
Last Week: Beat San Jose State 45-7
Next Week: Louisiana Tech
Notes: Boise is rolling.  They are heavy favorites for the remainder of their schedule.  The challenge for them will be less rather than they will win, but more if they will win by enough to hold their high ranking as the other teams finish up their conference slates.  99 points the last few weeks shows that they are well aware of what is expected.
5. Oregon Ducks
Last Week: Beat USC 47-20
Next Week: Stanford
Notes: The Ducks have been rolling since their opening game against Boise, and cotinued that, rolling right over the Trojans to put themselves in control of the Pac-10.  Stanford, both Arizona teams, and rival Oregon State remain on the schedule.  Oregon will be heavy favorites in each of those, but there is danger there.  Masoli is playing like he was expected to play and he will be to as the leader to get them through the end of this season.
6. Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week: Beat Syracuse 28-7
Next Week: UCONN
Notes: The Bearcats are legitimate.  They lost a lot of players after last season and reloaded.  The only teams that has stayed close to them is Freson State.  The schedule is going to be tough to finish however, with 3 conference games (2 ranked) left on the schedule.  They will be the favorite in all 4 games, but can't have any slipups.
7. TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: Beat UNLV 41-0
Next Week: San Diego State
Notes: The Horned Frogs are rolling.  Their offense has been balanced and dangerous all year and their defense is dominant.  Their only challenge left on the schedule is Utah in 2 weeks.  Look for them to make a BCS appearance this year.
8. LSU Tigers
Last Week: Beat Tulane 42-0
Next Week: Alabama
Notes: Boy oh boy, this week is what college football is all about.  The monster that Nick Saban built welcomes his Bama boys to Death Valley.  LSU's defense is one of the top units in the country, and their offense has played much better of late.  If they can pull out the slight update this week, they will be the favorite in their last 3 games fighting for a re-match with the Gators
9. Georgia Tech
Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 56-31
Next Week: Wake Forest
Notes: The Jackets are an interesting team to figure out.  They have trouble against strong offensive teams, and expose teams that are not solid on the defensive front.  They have put themselves in place to walk away with the Coastal Division of the ACC.  All they have to do to play in the conference championship is beat Duke in 2 weeks. 
10. USC Trojans
Last Week: Lost to Oregon 20-47
Next Week: Arizona State
Notes: The Trojan defense has been exposed.  It was wondered how they would replace 3 linebackers drafted on the first day of last year's draft.  It turns out that not even USC can do that without a drop off.  They have lost the Pac-10 title, and it will be interesting to see how they recover from that.  Either way, look for them to take it out on the Sun Devils.
11. Ohio State Buckeyes
Last Week: Beat New Mexico State 45-0
Next Week: Penn State
Notes: The Buckeyes seem to have figured out whatever their problem was, and it could not have some at a better time.  They finish with Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan.  If you want to be half-full, this means that they control their own destiny.  That said, that is a daunting schedule.  I wonder however, if they can win those games, how far they will jump up the schedule?
12. Iowa Hawkeyes
Last Week: Beat Indiana 42-24
Next Week: Northwestern
Notes: Iowa survived after overlooking an Indiana team that, to their credit, came out and gave it their best shot.  That said, Iowa came to life and did what top teams are supposed to do.  They adjusted and came back and won going away, and now they have to try to avoid this week's trap game with Ohio State 2 weeks out.  Iowa doesn't have stars, but they are solid and well coached, and have held up well to a tough schedule.
13. Houston Cougars
Last Week: Beat Southern Miss 50-43
Next Week: Tulsa
Notes: Houston has to be kicking themselves for that UTEP game.  They have won games they were not expected to, and are in the driver's seat for the Conference USA championship.  Case Keenum is putting up Video Game numbers, and the defense is doing enough.  That said, seeing them give up this many points kinds of puts them in perspective.  You can make a direct comparison between them and Kansas by looking at the UTEP and Southern Miss. games.  That said, where does the Oklahoma State win fit in? and Texas Tech?
14. Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: Syracuse
Notes: The Panthers are leading the Big East, but there is plenty of fun left.  They get one more warmup with the Orangemen on the schedule, but they finish with 3 ranked teams including Big East Co-Leader Cincinnati to finish.  I am not sold on them to think they can run the table, but they should beat Syracuse and West Virginia, and if they can beat either Notre Dame or Cincinnati, it will be a successful season. 
15. Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Week: Lost to North Carlina 20-17
Next Week: East Carolina
Notes: The Hokies have really fallen off, dropping their last 2 games in conference.  They have gone from fighting for a shot at the national title to likely being out of the ACC title chase.  Their remaining schedule lines up well for them however, and if they want to go to a big bowl game, all they have to do is play like themselves.
16. Oregon State Beavers
Last Week: Beat UCLA 26-19
Next Week: Cal
Notes: With the Rodgers brothers and Sean Canfield leading the offense and overachieving defense, Oregon State is a dangerous team.  That said, the Pac-10 is more solid top to bottom than they have been in several years.  I am looking at 2 to be a good number for them in their last 4 with Cal and Oregon both left on the schedule.  If you haven't seem Jaquizz Rodgers play ball yet, you should catch a Beaver game.  He is best small back in college since MJD.
17. Miami Hurricanes
Last Week: Beat Wake Forest 28-27
Next Week: Virginia
Notes: The ACC is a wild conference this year.  The Canes had to come back to come out with a win against a dissapointed Wake Forest team, but they are bowl eligible and still have a chance at a 10 win season.  That would be a huge leap for them this year, especially with some of the quality wins that they have had this year.  9 wins is more likely however, as North Carolina and South Florida both have the talent to take one from Miami in the last month.
18. Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: Beat Kansas State 42-30
Next Week: Nebraska
Notes: Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead and held on to beat an fast-improving Kansas State Wildcat team.  They look to have figure it out and should run the table to finish the season.  A 9 win season is not what the Sooners were looking for, but it is still a heck of a season and with Broyle and Landy both coming back to lead, they aren't going anywhere.
19. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: Lost to Texas 14-41
Next Week: Iowa State
Notes: The Cowboys looked B A D bad against the Longhorns.  Their offense was overly predicated on Dez Bryant, and they are still working out their personality without him in the game.  There is talent there, but they need to figure it out.  Iowa State  should not be a challenge for OSU. 
20. Penn State Nittany Lions
Last Week: Beat Northwester 34-13
Next Week: Ohio State
Notes: Daryll Clark is the leader of this team, and he is playing as well as we have ever seen him.  Outside of the Iowa game, the Nittan Lions have been dominant.  However, next week is the one that they have had circled all year long.  The Buckeyes are coming to town, with the winner holding onto a chance to win the Big 10 title.
21. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week: Beat Washington State 40-14
Next Week: Navy
Notes: The Irish are a good football team again.  Jimmy Clausen is really in sync with his outside receivers, giving the Irish a chance to beat anyone in the country.  They have a couple of solid teams left on the schedule in Pittsbught, UCONN, and Stanford, but there is no reason that they could not win every one of those games.  If they can do that, they will complete an unexpected 10 win season
22. Utah Utes
Last Week: Beat Wyoming 22-10
Next Week: New Mexico
Notes: The Utes have done exactly what was expected all season.  They have won the games they were expected to win and played Oregon tougher than they were expected to early in the season.  They have one more warmup before they get the chance to ruin TCU's run at the BCS.  Oh, and BYU is in Provo waiting too.  If they win those two, we will see them playing in a january bowl.  They will be hard pressed to beat TCU, but BYU is doable.
23. West Virginia Mountaineers
Last Week: Lost to South Florida 14-30
Next Week: Lousville
Notes: The loss to the Bulls is dissapointing, but the Moutaineers still have an impressive body of work on the season.  The question from that game is more, how long will it take for the bulls to claw their way back into the top 25.  West Virginia is looking at the portion of their schedule that will decide the Big East Race with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers to end their season.  They need Noel Devine to step up.
24. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: Beat Kansas 42-21
Next Week: Bye
Notes: Texas Tech had a lot to replace coming into this season, and as expected, they are not near the team their were last year.  That said, they are still a top 25 caliber team and shown it the past few weeks.  Next week gives them a chance to show how much they have improved over the season with their trip to Stillwater to battle a reeling OSU Cowboy team. 
25. Arizona Wildcats
Last Week: Bye
Next Week: Washington State Cougars
Notes: The Wildcats have played a tough schedule and have only 2 losses on the year, with one of those coming on the road at Iowa.  They are approaching the roughest part of their schedule with Cal, Oregon, and USC left in the last 5.  Three wins is a good number for the remainder of their schedule, but they are playing good football