Blog Entry

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Posted on: December 31, 2008 12:15 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:00 pm

Well, I'm doing better with my bowl picks, although still around .500 overall, better than .333, though.  After starting off 2-4, it quickly became 2-6 going into Saturday.  Then I rattled off 7 straight winners before tanking both games last night and currently sit at 9-8.  I'll need some help down the stretch if I want to obtain my usual Meatloaf accuracy rating.  Anyway, here goes what I learned this week.

1) Opening up on the ice - As I will be doing this more and more after both football seasons wind down, I figured I'd open with a hockey take.  I'm really looking forward to the Wings Blackhawks game tomorrow at historic Wrigley Field.  Should be an interesting matchup.  I liked last year's edition between the Penguins and Sabres, especially since snow and wind were affecting the game and created for interesting conditions.  In fact, they changed the way the teams were skating half way through each period to make it equal.  This should be a fun contest.

2) Firing Squad - As usual, the NFL season closes with a flurry of head coaching changes.  Guess Mangini isn't "Mangenius" anymore.  Expect a couple more over the next few days, although not as many as usual since so many got dumped mid season.  I know a lot of people in Tampa are calling for Gruden's head, and he definitely has some culpability for what happened, but to me that's a very nearsighted view.  Besides, unless you have Cowher already lined up, who are you going to get in here that's better than Gruden.  Nobody in my book.

3) Late season choke jobs - Wow, how badly did the seasons end for my Bucs, the Broncos, the Jets, and the Cowboys (more on them in a sec).  The Bucs uncharacteristicly lost 4 games in which they either led or were tied at some point in the 4th quarter, the Jets couldn't win on the west coast, and the Broncos just needed 1 win or a Chargers loss in the last 3 weeks, and couldn't do it.  By the way, look for the Chargers Broncos to be cranked up a few notches next year.  With Jay Cutler's moronic rantings after the game (BTW, Jay, if the Chargers are as bad as you say they were, why did you just get smoked by them?  Keep your mouth shut next time.  This wasn't the first time Jay's said something completely asinine, either) and the Chargers sending out playoff notices for ticket sales BEFORE the game was officially over (yes, I know a comeback was unlikely, but still, would have it killed you to wait the extra ten or so minutes of real time?), things could get very ugly.

4) Putting the "Fun" in dysfunctional - Is there a more dysfunctional organization than the Cowboys?  I do know this for a fact.  There is definitely not one more undisciplined.  And Jerry Jones needs to realize A) this isn't fantasy football.  Throwing the best collection of talent at different positions almost NEVER equates into the best team and B) The best owners in football are the hands off owners, who allow football decisions to be made by football people.  And he wonders why he hasn't won squat since the people JJ put in place have gone.  In fact, this is the ninth year in a row that Dallas has lost it's final game of the season and 12th in a row without winning a single playoff game.  Cowboy fans, how long will this remain acceptable to you?

5) When Irish eyes are smiling - Notre Dame fans reminded me why I can't stand them again this week.  They're already proclaiming "they're back" after winning ONE GAME against a mediocre Hawaii team.  Even if this is a sign of things to come, and even if they do win 9 games to become BCS eligible as they should with THAT schedule that features Pac 10 powerhouses USC Washington AND Washington State, first off, put together SEVERAL 9+ win seasons and then get back to me and secondly, you do realize the reason you won your first bowl game in TEN tries is because you were matched up against a team with similar or slightly less talent, correct?  When you do become BCS eligible next year, you will once again be over matched and start your NEW bowl losing streak.  Congratumafrigginlations!!!!!

6) Remember when Jan. 1st was "Man Day" - I got this idea from a thread started by another community member on the NCAA page, but it got me thinking back to when there were like 10 bowl games on New Years Day, packed from morning to night on all the major networks, often with three different ones going on at the same time so you would have to get extra TV's or abuse your picture in picture.  I miss all that.  Maybe it's just me, but that was fun.  I realize they are trying to avoid the game's going on at the same time, but would it really kill them to compact the bowl schedule a little and put more games back on the 1st?  And what's with these minor bowls being played after the 1st?  Either move them before the 1st where they belong, or axe them all together.  Sheesh.

7) Weekly look ahead - The games I'm looking forward to this week are the aforementioned New Year's day outdoor NHL game, The Rose Bowl (which I believe will be closer than most people think), the Cotton Bowl (again, I believe will be closer than most think), and the NFL playoffs (more on these in a moment)

8) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Picks - Here's my picks for all the remaining games besides the BCS Championship game.  I'll have a whole big point or two on next week's edition.

Armed Forces Bowl - Air Force 41 Houston 27

Sun Bowl - Pitt 27 Oregon State 20

Music City Bowl - Boston College 23 Vanderbilt 20

Insight Bowl - Kansas 38 Minnesota 17

Chik-Fil-A Bowl - Georgia Tech 41 LSU 17 

Outback Bowl - South Carolina 17 Iowa 14 (don't know why I'm picking against Shonn Greene.  Just a gut feeling.  Only gave this game a 3 confidence)

Capital One - Georgia 28 Michigan State 20

Gator - Nebraska 20 Clemson 10

Rose Bowl - USC 20 PSU 17

Orange Bowl - Cincinnati 31 Virginia Tech 21

Cotton Bowl - Texas Tech 31 Mississippi 30

Liberty Bowl -Kentucky 20 ECU 13

Sugar Bowl - Alabama 27 Utah 13

International Bowl - UConn 24 Buffalo 21

Fiesta Bowl - Texas 34 tOSU 17

GMAC Bowl - Tulsa 38 Ball State 24

9) A Look Back - 8 weeks ago, I gave everyone my NFL postseason predictions, and I must say I was 9 for 12 on getting the participants correct, and even had some of the seeds correctly figured.  A local newspaper columnist asked who had Miami and Atlanta making the playoffs and if you raised your hand, you were lying.  My response was when.  Before the season, NO WAY would have I had Miami or Atlanta making the playoffs.  That's why I wait until after week 9 when everybody's played half their schedule.  By doing so, I had both Miami and Atlanta in the playoffs (although I had the wrong one as division champs).  The only picks I missed on were I had New England in instead of the Colts in the AFC (didn't see the Colts 9 game winning streak coming), and I had the Bucs over Carolina and the Packers over the Vikings in the NFC (don't know what I was thinking with that Pack pick, ugh).  See, if you wait to do it at the right time, you don't make stupid picks like the Cowboys running away with the NFC or the Browns making noise in the AFC (and I still curse the NFL for scheduling so many of their games on TV.  That was putrid).

10) A Look Ahead - Okay, time for my official NFL playoff predictions.  Back 8 weeks ago, I had the Giants facing the Steelers in my home town of Tampa on Feb. 1st, and I see no reason to back off that now.  Also see no reason to back off the high number of wild card teams winning in the first round.  I had three of four winning back then, I almost had four of four winning now.

Wild Card Round - Ravens 16 Dolphins 10, Colts 27 Chargers 20, Falcons 27 Cardinals 13, Vikings 24 Eagles 21 (I almost went Eagles, and would have if the game were in Philly)

Divisional Round - Titans 17 Ravens 13 (although I could see the Ravens winning), Steelers 24 Colts 20, Panthers 27 Vikings 14, Giants 24 Falcons 20

Championship Round - Steelers 17 Titans 10, Giants 27 Panthers 24

Super Bowl - Giants 24 Steelers 23


Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:57 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Thanks for stopping by, BigBlu.  Don't be a stranger.  I'm a huge fan of my favorite teams, and will always pull for them, but I also try to be a realist.  I had the GMen beating Tampa in the NFC championship game at the season midpoint, because they were going to be the better team (and in NY).  But, choke or no choke, felt there was no going back on my Giants Steelers Superbowl.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:13 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

I knew there was a reason I liked you! Love the Super Bowl prediction.

Great article, glad I added you as a favorite blog. Kepp an eye out for the Madded simulation for the Divisional round!


Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2009 10:51 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Hey Rockytop!  Long time no see.  Glad you found your way here.  Yeah, the LSU game surprised the heck out of me.  I had it as on of my top picks in the bowl pool, although I was already long gone anyway.  Still, this was a team that dominated Georgia that dominated LSU.  Just goes to show you can't use that cyclical logic on anything when it comes to football.  I think if you give it a few years, the Kiffins will have UT back to where they should be.  I'm especially interested to see Monte install a Tampa 2 at the college level and see how it performs against these spread offenses.  One thing for sure, you should have fast flow LB's and DB's that can tackle once they get their guys in.  Should at least be able to stop those runs to the outside.  Also might be able to make the QB's make some mistakes misreading the coverage.  I still say Lane got a raw deal at Oakland.  I'll still be interested to see how he handles being the head coach, but having dad there should help.  Good luck to your Vols, although don't expect too much the next couple years.  I think making a bowl game will be reasonable, though.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2009 10:42 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Didn't disappoint at all, all though I was flipping to the football games occasionally (mostly during commercials and intermissions).  Yes, I have to give Kudos to your Wings and the way they came back.  The first period, Chicago played like a team on fire.  I especially liked the wraparound goal.  At first I thought he put it in the empty nearside of the net since Conklin thought he'd be coming from the other side, but the puck actually went five hole.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with the announcer that Detriot is the model franchise.  They know how to win while leading, and the know how to win while trailing.  Great heart shown by both teams yesterday, especially your Wings.  I agree that it looked like you needed binoculars from any seat in the house.  Guess because it's a baseball (only) stadium, although football was played there years ago.  I just don't remember that being that big of an issue last year in Buffalo.

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2009 10:35 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Great post. Love the predictions. LSU really played well though! I must admit I want more love for my Titans! Hey, your thoughts on UT's coaching moves and how it will all shake out?



Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2009 8:47 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Thanks for starting with the hockey portion of your comments - I got to just skip the rest!  LOL  Just kidding.  I skimmed the football stuff as well.

Well, the Winter Classic did not disappoint at all, did it?  I knew Chicago was going to come out strong after the pounding they received on Tuesday, and they had both barrels blazing.  I was very happy to see the Wings step up their game in the second and loved the playoff feel of the whole game.  The opening ceremonies were a bit much for me and honoring all the Chicago athletes there was a fine idea, but a little overboard as well.  Honor Wrigley Field, honor Stan Miketa, but I was just waiting for Mike Ditka and Scotty Pippin to come out as well after a while. And I thought they could have set it up differently for the fans to be closer to the game itself.  It looked like you needed binoculars from most of those seats.  Why not set up bleachers where the big Chicago and Detroit "sheet cakes" were?  More fans in the seats and closer to the game.  I'm torn between being jealous I didn't get to go and glad I was toasty warm in my own home.  Ah, who am I kidding?  I would have killed to be there.   

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2009 4:53 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Well, thanks for finding my blog and commenting.  Todd Blackledge made a similar comment in the broadcast of the Capital One Bowl yesterday.  He was tossing out his idea for a plus one, and mentioned how they need to go back to making it an important day.  I'd still love to see a playoff in my lifetime, but if more people in the media bring attention to it, maybe baby steps, first.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2009 11:48 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Sorry about your Buccos. Very rough end to the season, especially the D. I don't know if I've ever seen a TB defense give up that much on the ground. Too bad because I like Tampa a whole lot more than I like Philadelphia. Not saying I'd rather my guys were playing yours, I just have something against Philly in general. I think it's because they would boo their mother if she made a bad dinner.

Hope you're right on the Vikes, but I'm pretty glad they aren't playing Dallas. That would pit my fave against my least fave and it would've hurt if they ended the Cowpies playoff losing streak. That was one heck of a meltdown. Oh, and Notre Dame... Woofrickinghoo. You went 7-6. You should be so proud. Beano Cook was saying how they'd win 9 or 10 games after the hot start. Ha!

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2009 1:56 am

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

First time visitor to your Blog...Good Reading...

Remember when Jan. 1st was "Man Day"

I especially agree with this.   I remember bowl games starting at 11 am and not finishing untill midnight.  I had no picture in picture back then but changed the channel plenty of times..


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