Tag:Michigan
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: October 30, 2008 10:16 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 6:54 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 27th

Blah, another late posting by me.  Oh well, here goes.

1) Premature Prediticion - Well, thanks to my Bucs being offensively inept against a team with a decimated secondary (and Jeff Garcia cost us a second game in which he missed a wide open Joey Galloway on the last play of the game), Dallas now has hope.  Of course, Brad Johnson is on a short leash, with his backup being Brooks Bollinger.  Brooks Bollinger?  And you seriously can't maintain your depth chart spot in front of him.  Cowboy fans better hope Romo gets well soon.

2) Nittany Lionhearted - What a huge win going into Colombus and winning there for the first time in 30 years.  PSU will still need Texas or Alabama to lose (which could easily happen given their schedules AND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, cough, cough), but they look set up well to take a run at making it to Miami.  I would love to see Joe Pa there (although I'd much rather see a Big 12 versus SEC matchup), and hopefully he can put up a better show than tOSU has the last two years.

3) The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party - A lot is being of last year's stomp after Georgia's first offensive TD.  Honestly as a Gator fan, I don't see what the big deal is.  It should have served to fire the Gators up as much as it did Georgia.  Plus, if you need something like that to motivate you after losing 15 of 17, well then, more power to you (that's right Bulldog fans, win this week, and you'll have an awesome 25% winning percentage the last TWO DECADES.  Lose, and it's an even more impressive 20%).  Should be another classic game.

4) Gameday in Lubbock - ESPN's College Gameday makes it's first EVER trip to Lubbock, Texas this week.  It will be fun to see if Texas can slow down Harrell and Crabtree.  More interesting will be what Tech's defense does against Texas.  The Cowboys were able to slow them last week, and Tech held Reesing and the Jayhawks offense to 14 points.  That's a job well done.  Then again, Texas held Missouri completely in check for a half.  Should be one heck of a prime time game.  This is the kind of college football I live for.

5) Remember the Titans - Wow, this is starting to reach levels of the Patriots.  No, not in terms of the offense or going 16-0 or any of that.  I mean as far as locking up their division.  For all intents and purposes, it's over already, and it's Week FREAKIN' 8.  Wonder how Vince Young feels watching Kerry Collins lead this team.

6) NBA "I love this game" - Well, no, not really.  I owned up as much on my first post.  I honestly do not pay much attention to the NBA until playoff time.  I think it's inferior compared to the college game.  Even so, the season gets (got) underway on Tuesday.  With the closest team to me being the Magic, I hope they do well.  They should easily dispatch of their division, and hopefully can make a run in the playoffs.

7) Coming Attractions - Besides the college games I laid out, the NFL games I'm looking forward to are the Titans Packers, Giants Cowboys, and the Sunday night game which is an absolute must win for the Colts.  People thought (correctly) that this might be the year the Colts come back to earth, but my how far and how fast.  And so much for passing the torch to the Jaguars, who might be the WORST team in that division.  Next week I'll have my official NFL Playoff predictions.

8) Early Observations on the ice - Maybe I was too quick to get down on my Lightning.  Three of their early losses are against teams who right now look to be the best of the NHL, two regulation losses to the Rangers (which were both 2-1) and a shootout loss to Minnesota in which they failed to register a goal.  Like I said, though, this might not be that bad.

9) Bad officiating calls of the week - Did anyone see the play in the Michigan Michigan State game (of course you did, it's been replayed a zillion times)?  Have to give Big Ten commissioner Delaney credit for coming down hard on the replay guy, but how did he have his job in the first place.  First, aren't there TWO guys in the booth.  How did they both blow it so horribly?  Secondly, even if you think the pylon is inbounds/inplay/whatever the heck those guys thought, shouldn't they know to pretend it wasn't there?  It would have been bad enough if just a part of his foot came down out of bounds, but his whole FREAKIN' foot was out of bounds.  How did they think that touching the pylon, even if it is considered inbounds overrule the fact that his body was out of bounds.  That should have been an easy call, and they blew it, big time.  Not nearly as bad, but bad none the less was the call in the Atlanta Philadelphia game.  The call was less obvious, but the Falcons got screwed by the NFL replay rules.  The NFL needs to do one of the following to remedy this next year.  They need to either

A) Bring back the idea that if you have a challenge, but not a time out, you can use the challenge at the cost of a delay of game or even an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  I know this has been kicked around, but for some reason not implemented.

B) Why does replay go to the booth at the 2 minute warning in the fourth quarter?  Fourth quarter timing rules kick in at the 5 minute mark, replay should go to the booth at the same time.  Or

C) Just use the college replay system.  The college replay system works (or at least would work in the NFL where you have better officials than in the Michigan Michigan State game or the Oregon Oklahoma game a couple years ago).  It does not extend college games ridiculously long, so why does the NFL think this will be the case?

10) The baseball weather service - Exactly what hack meterologist did Bud Selig contact in trying to play game 5 on Monday?  Everything I hear is that everybody knew it was going to rain.  It was extremely unfair to both teams and the fans of Philadelphia.  They derserved better than that.

As a final note, congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies.  You were clearly the better team and your series win was well earned.  More on this next week.

Posted on: September 10, 2008 9:19 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 9:11 pm
 

10 things I learned the week of September 8th

1) The NCAA Really Needs to Lighten Up - Yes, I know by the letter of the rule it was the correct call, but all that means is it's a bad rule.  And don't give me this "We had no choice it was a black and white issue" because every single penalty has gray areas.  The holding penalty is clearly defined, and yet there is discretion (otherwise it'd be called on nearly every play).  Sometimes it's called when it shouldn't be, and other times it isn't when it should (just ask my Bucs.  Not the reason they lost, though.  They had every chance to win, the Saints played better, especially when it counted).  So why not let this one go?  Huh?  And to you BYU fans and Washington haters, and anyone else who used this lame excuse this week (all Washington has to do is block, it's still a chip shot field goal), WRONG!!!  Exactly how long have you been watching COLLEGE football?  That's true in the NFL, not in the college game where extra points from the 10 are routinely missed.  Yes, Washington could have blocked better, but don't give me a 35 yarder in the college game is automatic.  It flat out isn't.

2) Fans of the U need to chill and be patient - Instead of taking the positives out of the UF-UM game (like Miami's future is set, Marve should be a good QB and their D-Line is awesome, even if it lacks depth) and realizing they may have a shot of winning the ACC THIS year, all their fans can say is A) we were screwed on the catch and B) that was bush league going for the field goal.  Let me address B first.  Ummm, weren't you the team that did the exact same thing in the exact same scenario last year against Texas A&M???  I believe you were, so don't give me that crap.  Plus, you know as well as I do that in today's college football 75% of the pollsters and 100% of the computers only pay attention to the final score, not how you got there.  Now, onto A.  Yes, you were screwed ... if this was the NFL.  However, I believe in college that in the field of play, once you're down you're down.  So when his elbow hit with clear possession, play's over.  Now, if he had been falling out of bounds, or if this was the pro game, obviously, he didn't maintain control when he hit the ground.  But I believe in the college game, that was the correct call.  Remember, there are different sets of rules.  I could be wrong on this, though.  Somebody who knows, feel free to chime in.

3) More proof I could be wrong - Last week on my blog, I worried about a potential undefeated showdown on Dec. 6th between USF and WVU for a shot at the BCS title game.  Well, thanks to Skip Holtz, that no longer will happen.  And USF didn't look impressive ending their rivalry with UCF.  How do you mismanage the clock so poorly at the end of a game?  That never should have gone to OT.

4) Even more proof - I also talked about the Utah BYU winner going to the Fiesta Bowl.  BYU's game this week cast doubts on that, and I missed potentially the best BCS buster, ECU.  Still believe that one of these three will make it.

5) Is there a worse color man than Tony Kornshucker - If there is, I don't know him.  Just how many times was he going to mention Jet Favre is the MNF game?  Props to Mike Tirico for mentioning that nothing good could come from Atari Bigby's attempt to return the pick.

6) Runnin' Like The Wind - After this week, I would be wanting to start whatever RB is playing against Detriot in my fantasy league.  Not only does it look bad when Turner gets 220 yards, but what went unnoticed by most is that Norwood had darn near 100 yards himself.  That's inexcusible as a defense.

7) Spurrier not so superior - Wow.  Did he really just lose two games to Vandy in a row?  And he wants to compete with the Georgias and Floridas and Tennessees (yes, I know he beat Georgia last year and Florida a few years ago)?  Guess you can't spell bowl game with USC, can you OBC?

8) Is it possible ND is actually worse this year? - I would have thought it impossible myself, but this week's Michigan game should give us a good gauge.  It should also tell us which one is doomed for a losing season.  My money is on the domers.

9) Proof that D can win games, not just championships - How dominant did the Steelers and Bears look this week (especially the Bears against Indy)?  Just goes to show that a solid running game and awesome D will take you somewhere in this league where everyone still wants to figure out how to stop the best offense, even though it's been done repeatedly.

And finally, an MLB thought ...

10) Remember us? - Does anyone remember the Astros and the Blue Jays.  You know, the Astros who were left for dead and the Blue Jays who were so bad they rehired Cito Gaston?  Well, don't look now, but the Stros are 4 games out of the NL wild card and the Blue Jays have won 10 in a row and are talking playoffs themselves.  Ah, the marathon that is the MLB season.

 

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