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Tag:ACC
Posted on: September 15, 2009 6:32 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2009 7:03 am
 

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

Well, week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, with a lot of close games decided in the last two minutes (stupid Bungles costing me a shot at winning week 1 of the pick 'em pool I'm in).  Here is the next weekly installment of 10 things I gleaned from the sports world in general.

1) How 'Bout Them Cowboys?- Well, one week after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs at home, The Oklahoma State Cowboys come out and lay an egg against the Houston Cougars.  What, were they looking ahead to that epic clash against Rice?  Indefensible.  I love Mike Gundy, but whenever a team fails to get up for a game, it falls squarely on his shoulders.  And how about the set of stones on Lee Corso?  He picked this upset on ESPN's College Gameday.  Kirk Herbstreit had to check and make sure the coach was actually picking them to win outright, and not just putting Okie State on upset alert (which it seems Herbstreit had them there as well, just didn't think there was any way they'd lose that game at home without even an opponent to "Look Ahead" to).  The one week dream of challenging for a national title is dead (unless Oklahoma loses one more, Texas would likely have to lose two, and several other things would have to break their way).  I know they're not completely out of it yet, but you can't come out of this game as say Oklahoma did last week losing to BYU on a neutral field.

2) A shot at Todd Blackledge- This is something I never thought I'd do, especially since when it comes to college football colormen, he's probably second only to Gary Danielson in my book, but not knowing a basic rule WHEN YOU'VE PLAYED THE GAME is inexcusable.  I gave him a pass last week for not being able to analyze the situation of everything that had happened after FSU's missed PAT (more on the Noles in a bit), but this I cannot forgive him for.  Come with me to this week's UCLA-Tennessee game which he was calling.  3rd down from their own 1 yard line late in the game up 19-13.  UCLA's quarterback falls asleep in the end zone and dives trying to avoid the safety.  Blackledge starts screaming for a booth review because part of the ball was out past the goal line.  Here's the problem.  THE GOAL LINE IS PART OF THE ENDZONE.  EVERYTHING ALONG THAT PAINTED STRIPE IS IN THE END ZONE.  Whereas you simply have to break the plane to get a TD, to avoid a safety THE ENTIRE BALL MUST BE OUTSIDE THE ENDZONE.  Clearly A LOT of the ball was still in the end zone on that play.  Safety.  I do have to give credit to Blackledge and Nessler for explaining what UCLA would have liked to do in that situation with running as much clock as possible which would have required them getting it to fourth down (although I wouldn't even bother sending the punt team in.  I'd have the QB take the hike from under center and have him run around as much as he could.  You risk snapping it over the punters head [see South Carolina versus Georgia, Southern California versus Ohio State]).  I was kind of hoping Tennessee would win that game so that maybe they would come into the swamp this week with a false sense of confidence and maybe bravado.  But, thanks to Crompton, and his three picks (god I hope he starts this week), that didn't happen.  On a side note, how many safeties were there this week?  I could count four in just the games I watched at least a part of.

3) Tressel logic: p->q=F- I sure wish somebody would explain to me why for somebody with the reputation of being as conservative of a coach as he is gets these quirky moments at the worst times, especially in big games.  I still remember his decision on January 8th, 2007 of after being absolutely blown up on a third and one from his own 29 down 10 and possibly still in the game of going for it on 4th and 1, getting stuffed, and eight plays later it's 34-14 (I still thank him for that, by the way).  Now, come forward to Saturday night.  Late in the first half, up 3, ball again deep in your own territory.  And you're throwing downfield???  His explanation to Holly Rowe was you can never have enough points, especially against USC or something to that effect.  While true, there is a way to go about this (which Pete Carroll, coincidentally, followed to a T to tie it up and almost go in up 14-10).  You don't take your shots downfield there.  You run and use short passes to try to get down to about the 50.  If you don't go anywhere, the clock has very little time on it.  If you get to around the 50, you start thinking FG, and maybe open up intermediate routes and quicken the pace.  Should you get down to the 20-25, then you start thinking TD.  This tried and true method has worked many a time.  Carroll was perfectly happy to try to get off the field only down 3 and regroup in the locker room, but tOSU fell asleep on defense, allowed a run to about midfield, and you all know what happened from there.  Tressel needs to learn to dance with the girl that brought him there, because if you're not good enough to win with talent alone, strange decisions like this will almost never help, and often hurt you instead.  Something similar happened to Charlie Weis at the end of the ND game ...

4) May the Forcier Be With You- Thank you Michigan, from the bottom of my heart!!!  For those of you who followed me last year, you know my opinion of the ND Fighting Irish, or more specifically, their fans.  God, they were getting full of themselves based on what?  Two wins over Hawaii and Nevada?  It all came crashing down this week, and made people like the four letter network's Lou Holtz and Shaun King look ridiculous.  I said after the Hawaii game last year that Notre Dame would go 9-3 this year due to their soft schedule, return to a BCS bowl where they would be completely over matched, and get blown out starting their new 9 game bowl losing streak.  I've seen nothing to change this (altough they may not lose less than 4 games, which would be fine by me).  And to Michigan, I hope this is a sign you are turning things around after last year's debacle.  Your D still needs major work, but Forcier is fun to watch, and will keep you in most games this year.

5) Tough start for the Almost Competitive Conference- Sorry, Bradman, but after watching FSU go into the last minute against Jacksonville State, there is no denying that the ACC is off to a rough start.  The good news is, they were off to a bad start last year, and ended up rebounding and sending 10 teams to bowl games.  You can't lose two and nearly a third game to FCS competition, though.

6) Fake Delhomme strikes again- Suprised John Fox didn't break down into a "Playoffs?" rant after that performance.  Jake is responsible for a whopping ELEVEN turnovers in his last two games, which simply cannot happen in the NFL.  This might be the begining of the end.

7) Is it okay to call Bush a bust now?- Something that will likely get lost in the Saints throttling of the Lions and Brees' SIX touchdown passes (and Stafford's three picks) was what Reggie Bush did.  Or more specifically, what he didn't do.  I have said all along that this guy is playing the wrong position in that same way the Mike Vick was a RB lining up with his hands under the center's butt, Bush is a WR lining up behind the QB.  In a game in which Pierre Thomas didn't play due to injury, Bush had his obligatory 5 receptions for 50 some odd yards, but only achieved 18 yards rushing.  Saints fans will turn a blind eye and say it was because of how effective Mike Bell was running the ball, but, you must remember that you drafted this guy SECOND overall, not in the second round, and are paying him the money as such.  You HAVE to get more production from him than just a receiving threat that once in a blue moon breaks the big play.

8) The Falcons continue the momentum- In my look ahead point last week, I pegged this game for this reason.  It was a huge win by the Falcons to establish forward momentum into this season in the hopes of stringing back to back winning seasons together for the first time in franchise HISTORY.  I'm POed, though, because in my real fantasy league, I have three Falcons on my team (and no Bucs, which is painful for me, but, can't pick with your heart) and ironically started the wrong one (one's Elam, my kicker, so he doesn't count).  Never would have guessed that Tony Gonzalez would out perform Michael Turner, but maybe I should have.  Tony looks to be a HUGE pick up for the dirty birds (and hopefully for me as well).  By the way, in my real league, TE's are optional and are considered a receiver and not their own position, so there was a huge risk/reward factor.  And I won by two, so all in all it wasn't too bad.  Just wouldn't have had to sweat out Nate Kaeding last night.

9) Take this ball and shove it down your bleeping throat, I ain't playin' here no more- Wow!  Talk about two people who have to know the situation and have to handle it WAY better than what they did.  First, the lineswoman cannot make that call in that situation unless it is obvious.  Honestly, Williams was unlikely to come back, but now we'll never know.  And Serena, you CANNOT let your flustrations get the best of you and you ABSOULTELY must handle yourself in a more professional manner.  Come on.  Bad calls happen in every sport.  Lou Pinella may kick some dirt, but I doubt he's out there threatening to shove a baseball down an umpire's throat.  Two wrong's never make a right (although two Wright's did make an airplane), but in this case, Serena's wrong far outweighs that of the lineswoman.  While I'm talking tennis, last week I said I was looking forward to how far Melanie Oudin could go.  Then comes the story on the day after she's ousted that her mom is having an affair with her coach.  Apparently, divorce paperwork was filed by Melanie's dad nearly a year ago, and somehow the story is just now breaking.  I'm glad it didn't break during the tournament, but you do have to question the timing of it.  And way for yet another tennis parent to get in the way of their kid's career.  We should be celebrating Melanie's accomplishment's, not putting her in tabloids.

10) The look ahead- The things I'm looking forward to this week are UF Tennessee (obviously) to see if Monte Kiffin can keep the game within 50 (seriously doubt he can cash the check his kid's mouth wrote), Notre Dame Michigan State to see which team can bounce back, Nebraska Va Tech to see if the Huskers are for real (or if the Hokies potentially aren't), and Texas Tech Texas in a rematch of an absolute classic last year, and in the pros, the Giants and Cowboys to see how many punts hit the scoreboard (and it should be a good game).

Moo, your Mizzou Tigers took nearly the whole game to wake up against Bowling Green.  What was up with that?  Using cyclical logic (which would give us an FCS team winning the title every year) that makes Bowling Green much better than the Fighting Zooks.
Posted on: December 9, 2008 8:59 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 2:39 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of Dec. 8th

1) A look back, Meatloafed it again - Went two for three in my conference championship game predictions (good thing I didn't pick the CUSA and MAC championship games, otherwise I would have been 2 for 5, and everyone would stop reading my blog {of course, that would imply people actually started reading it in the first place}).  I was amazed, however, at how closely I was able to get the two I called right, especially the SEC game (more on this in a bit).  In the Big 12 game, I overvalued Mizzou's offense some by calling it 63-38, but you just knew Oklahoma was going to put up 60+ again in an effort to legitimize their pressence in Kansas City.  In the SEC game, I was one Alabama TD (lets call it the third quarter one where the Gators seemed to suffer a momentary defensive lapse) away from nailing it.  Called it 31-13 UF.  I knew Florida was no where near going to put up the 50+ most of my bretheren were predicting, but also knew Alabama should struggle to score.

2) SEC game of the ages - I did want to go more thouroughly into this one.  I thought Gary Danielson (one of the best colormen in any sport, IMHO) did a great job analogizing (I hope that's a real word.  If not, call me Emmitt) the game to the great Ali Frazer fights of old.  Half way through the game, he was counting the scores (which were hard to come by) as rounds, saying Florida won round 1, Alabama round 2 and 3, and Florida rounds 4 and 5.  This was a back and forth game, with momentum swings, and both teams taking each other's best shots and responding.  I knew it would come down to which team would be able to impose its will on the other, and get the other out of their game plan.  This did not occur until 8:00 left in the game, when Alabama finally ditched theirs, and it was all over from there.  Also, to those of you who question Tim Tebow's ability as a QB, yes, he does have mechanical issues that he'll need to work out at the next level, but did you see his game clinching completion to Louis Murphy in the 4th?  Or how about all three of his TD passes.  Danielson was left speechless after the last one to Riley Cooper.  He had definite zip, and threw it to the only location possible.  Two things you absolutely cannot question about Tebow, though, are his leardership and his heart.  If Florida pulls off this national championship, his post Ole Miss speach will go down along side "Win one for the Gipper."  I do want to tip my hat to the University of Alabama for a game that I will remember for all time, and in particular want to compliment John Parker Wilson (he played better than his stats suggested), Glen Coffee, and Julio Jones.  The only thing I question is why they didn't go to Jones more, because it seemed like when he made big plays, the momentum shifted in the Tide's favor.  For all the pregame hype, though, I don't think Andre Smith or Terrance Cody lived up to it.  Both seemed to be virtual nonfactors, and Alabama's best runs all came to the offensive RIGHT side, which quite honestly, surprised me.

3) The BCS, who has gripes, and who doesn't - Well, time to complain about the BCS again, even though it worked out for the Gators this year.  The two teams with with the most obvious and biggest gripes are Texas and Boise State.  They both have great arguements, but their fans are venting their frustration on the wrong teams/people.  I shall explain.  First off, let's handle the Broncos, shall we.  They are absolutely bent about being left out, as they should be.  They are venting said frustration, however, at tOSU and their fans.  WRONG DIRECTION!!!  Instead, vent it towards the ACC and the fact that A) Their best team is playing in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl because when it came down to it, nobody wanted to step up and claim that conference and B) They are guaranteed of an automatic bid.  The rules state that a non-BCS school can get in if they are rated ahead of one of the automatic qualifiers and that qualifier is not in the Top 16.  Let's change that rule, shall we?  Let make it where if a conference champion is not in the Top 16, and there is a non-BCS school with a Top 10 rating, that conference LOSES it's automatic bid to the non-BCS school with the Top 10 ranking.  It makes perfect sense (except the ACC will not be happy about losing its piece of the pie.  To that I say, "Tough Toenails!")  Fact is, Boise State, it's all about the money, and the Buckeyes travel well, will get better ratings, and most likely, provide a better game.  And honestly, even though you are rated ahead of them, I can't honestly say you are the better team.  I will defend you to the degree of these tOSU fans saying schedule somebody and/or join a better conference.  If it were only that easy.  Now, on to Texas.  Texas fans are bent that they are not playing in the national championship game.  They are venting their frustration at UF and its fans, pointing out everything they can (SOS, quality of loss, this, that, the other).  Quite honestly, I can't argue most of their points other than SOS, where while better, it is not glaringly better (also, I could play the we won our conference card).  But again, you are venting in the WRONG DIRECTION!!!  Instead, turn your anger on your own conference!!!  THAT'S RIGHT!!!  GET PO'ED AT THE BIG 12!!!  It's your own LAME tie breaker that put you in this spot.  Instead of settling it in some manner in house, you let a bunch of SID's and media people DECIDE IT FOR YOU.  Simple fact is, were you in the SEC, you would have played Mizzou, and YOU would be playing UF in Miami on Jan. 8th.  And don't give me anything about a rematch!!!  Nobody outside Texas and maybe some of the rest of Big 12 country wants to see it.  And let's say you get said rematch, and you lose said rematch (which you would be favored to do so).  Then what?  Two out of three??  Total margin???  You do realize this would actually be unfair to you, correct?

4) Rainy days and Mondays always get me down - Hey, iamyo.  Is this one of the songs we get to vote on?  Anyway, what a debacle last night.  I have honestly NEVER seen a Monte Kiffin defense get handled and tackle as poorly as last night.  That being said, HUGE props to the Panthers, who now control their own destiny for a #1 overall seed in the NFC.  Get that kind of running game the rest of the year, and you will have a great chance to play one more game in Tampa before the season is over.  Congrats on that butt-whipping last night.

5) Pittsburgh "Steal"ers - Wow, talk about stealing a victory.  Yikes.  Coming back from 10 down with very little time left and winning on a pick six.  When the Steelers were stuffed on that fourth and goal, I thought there was no way they would win that one.  Now they have a HUGE game against Baltimore, with the winner likely to be one of the favorites along with the Titans in the AFC.

6) Jet-lag - The New York Bretts are now 0-3 when visiting the west coast this year, losing to both the Raiders, and the Niners.  They better figure out something fast, because if they don't win their trip to Seattle this week, their season is over.  So much for that possible "Subway Superbowl" people were talking about just a couple weeks ago.  Update: Whoopsie.  The game in Seattle is next week.  Same principals apply, though.

7) Fly, Eagles, Fly - In the mantra of giving credit where it is due, huge win by the Eagles this week.  Stellar defensive performance, and they also finally figured out that running the ball is a good thing.  A very good thing when Brian Westbrook is the one doing it.  It will be interesting to see exactly what that tie to Cincinnati does as far as the playoffs go.  Some think it will help (as nobody will be tied in the standings with them) while others believe that it will hurt (as they are still 1/2 game behind the Cowboys and Falcons).

8) Return to prominence? - As the football seasons being to wind down, I will try to get into basketball more, especially the college game.  All I can say is, "Wow!"  Rich Rod, eat your heart out.  While you struggle to win games, your basketball bretheren have now pulled off upsets against perennial powerhouses UCLA and Duke (although Duke did beat Michigan earlier in one of those early season tournaments).  Could this be a sign of rebirth for the Wolverine basketball program?  I actually hope so.  It would be good for the game.

9) An Axe to Grind - Well, not really, but a couple more NBA coaches got the axe recently, the most notable, Randy Wittman of the Minnesota Timblerwolves.  Okay, mostly notable because of who is taking over for him.  Ex Celtics great Kevin McHale steps downstairs and presumably adds this to his list of jobs.  Let's see if he's better on the bench, than in an office.

10) Weekly Look Ahead - The things I will be looking forward to this week are Tampa Bay Atlanta (the Bucs need to bounce back on a short week), Pittsburgh Baltimore, and the Giants and Dallas.

Bonus shot - I will be predicting all 34 college bowl games in the coming weeks.  Also, I predict Sam Bradford will win the Heisman Trophy (although it will be hard since it is highly regionalized and there are three from his region alone.  He's got the best numbers, plus part of me wants him to win it because Trophy winners typically don't fare well in bowl games due to all the obligations).  I also was considering doing a point about Green Bay "Pack"ing it in, but with the Jets loss, it was harder to make fun of Ted Thompson.  Still, it will be hilarious to see them with at best a .500 record and no playoffs. 

Posted on: September 2, 2008 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2008 1:18 am
 

Welcome to 10 things I learned this week.

Well, I'm going to try my first foray into this blogging thing.  Each week on Monday or Tuesday, I will do a blog entry on ten things that I learned from this week in sports.  It will be heavy on football during the season, and will get in hockey during it's season.  After football, college basketball will make more of an appearance.  I'll also occasionally mix in an MLB or NBA comment, but I am not as well versed in those sports.   Well, here I go.

1) I should've had an "E1" - Something Seth Everett of MLB.com said this weekend bothers me.  He said (without throwing the guy under the bus) that he knows of an official MLB scorer who was watching "Seinfeld" during a game, and they needed a ruling, and he had to watch the replay.  Maybe the guy in Pittsburgh was doing something similar, because LaRoche was only about half way down the line when CC got his hand on that baseball.  My Physics class taught me that CC's throw, if he fields it cleanly, beats LaRoche by 5 feet.  That's the definition of an E1 in my book.  And listening to this guy try to defend his call is laughable.  I know guidelines call for a quick decision, but I've seen many a time where during a game, an E is quickly changed to an H, or vice versa, when they get a better view of it.  That's what should have happened here.  I don't think baseball can go back and retroactively award CC a no hitter, but it never should have gotten to that point.  Just my opinion.

2) ACC fans want to know when basketball season starts - Could there have been a worse beginning to the college football season than what happened to the ACC, and specifically it's annointed best team Clemson, than the beat down by Alabama?  I read an ACC beat writer who lamented that looking at it, he still thinks Clemson is the best team in the conference, which is not  a good thing (unless you're an FSU fan).  Couple that with Va Tech losing to ECU and NC State getting beat down by a team that threw 4 picks, this leads to ...

3) A Mountain West team will be in a BCS bowl game - since the ACC will not have a highly ranked team this year, it will open the door wide open for the winner of the Utah BYU game (barring a major upset) to go play in likely the Fiesta Bowl.

4) South Carolina's best QB is pretty Smelley - Well, Spurier Spurrier (oops) finally made the right call and named Smelley as his QB.  After the other guy (and you get this name after throwing 4 picks) kept a bad NC State team in it for the first half, common sense took over, and now they have the correct guy behind center.

5) Crafting a Memorable Victory - Did UCLA throw Craft's jersey on some new kid at halftime?  The entire first half, he made bad reads, looked indecisive, and had no zip.  The second half, he made good reads, looked decisive, and had zip on his ball.  Whatever Nueheisel and Chow said to gently light a fire under this kid's butt, I want to know, because it definitely worked.  Big props to them.

6) Getting a read on the Big East - This conference was 0-4 against FBS teams (D1A for those of you still living in the past) and 4-0 against FCS teams this weekend.  The thing that scares me is looking at them, I can easily see an undefeated West Viginia team playing an undefeated USF team on Dec. 6th for a chance to go to the championship game.  This is not farfetched.  I am not aware of any roadbumps on WVU's schedule and the only problem games for USF are Kansas at home next week and a November meeting at Cincinnati.  Don't be surprised if this happens, and if it does, don't be surprised to have both teams entering that game in the Top 7.

7) Tim Tebow may not win the Heisman, and this doesn't upset me - Even as an obvious Gator fan.  The reason being, he has weapons he can rely on this year, including what appears to be the making of a running game without using Tebow as the primary runner.  All of this is good for UF, and will help their chances of getting an SEC and possibly a national title.

8) The Best Team I saw this week - despite the showings that UF and SEC bretheren Alabama put on this week, by far the best team I saw was USC (no, not you, Gamecocks, the one out west).  Their dismantling of (albeit an ACC member) January bowl game team from last year in their home stadium, coming across country to do it was very impressive.  The polls got it right this week.  Look out OSU.

9) Nothing good happens after 2 am - No, I didn't actually learn that this weekend, but it bears mentioning.  The tradgedy of Jags OLT Collier being shot just makes me wonder why people insist on staying out that late.  Plus, it appears that his celebrity (ergo money) MAY have made him a target.  Players of all pro sports need to realize there are people in this world that want nothing more than to take advantage of them.  I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he's able to play again.  Looking forward to the NFL season getting underway.  Go Bucs!  Update: Apparently, it wasn't money, but some guy mad at him because he got beat down by Collier before (perhaps even at the same place).  I still wish him the best, but I guess his machismo got the best of him one night, and the coward decided to take matters into his own hands by shooting him multiple times.  Second Update: Don't know if anybody checks back, but they finally made an arrest today (10/19).  Turns out I was right and that it was somebody he had beat up at the same night club back in April.  Unfortunately, Collier's career is over.  I wish him a speedy recovery and a long life.  Nobody deserves to be shot 14 times.

10) Catching some Rays - who would have ever thought that we would ever start a September with this being EXACTLY what the Red Sox and Yankees would have to do?  This has to be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the MLB.  Living in Tampa, I was here for the Super Bowl win by the Bucs, and the Stanley Cup win by the Lightning.  I have a feeling, within the next three years, the city across the Bay, St. Pete, will be home of the World Series champion Rays, and I'll be here to enjoy that to.

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