Posted on: March 20, 2009 7:34 am
Edited on: March 20, 2009 8:12 am

3/20/09 March Madness: Ranking the Day's Games

Hurts to swallow.  Hiccups up to wazzu.  Tongue feels oddly weird.  A) That's what she said and B) these are all reasons I'm left with little else to do but sit awake at 6 am and start looking forward to today's great slate of games.  It's every little boy's dream to be "sick" for these couple days, but I must say it's a tad less enjoyable than anticipated when actually sick.  Hoping I find a few hours to sleep before now and 11 am CT, but if not this will serve me as my personal viewers' guide, allowing me to stray from the games that may cause me to inexplicably fall asleep on the couch.

Here's how I see the games, from least appealing to most appealing on this Day 2 of March Madness:

  • (16)  1 Louisville v 16 Morehead St.Midwest 7:10 pm ET
    A tuneup for Rick's guys, against a team who played 48 hours earlier no less.  At least the folks at Morehead could just stay at Dayton all week.
  • (15)  1 Pittsburgh v 16 E. Tennessee St., East 2:55 ET
    Yet another 1-16 matchup for the fine folks in Dayton.  At least they get to see their Buckeyes on the nightcap.
  • (14)  2 Michigan St. v 15 Robert Morris, Midwest 9:50 ET
    Izzo's group can show a lot in this one.  Everyone is waiting for them to look ugly -- a massive win in this one would give them some momentum and rest before a big 2nd round game.  A 10-15 point game would only amplify the haters.
  • (13)  3 Syracuse v 14 Stephen F Austin, South 12:15 ET
    I don't think this will be one of Boeheim's shorter tourney stays.  But you just never know... the Orange looking for its first NCAA win since the Hakim Warrick/ "Does Billy Edelin actually play for us?" era.
  • (12)  3 Missouri v 14 Cornell, West 3:00 ET
    Don't be surprised if this is a close one.  The Big Red will try to play this at a snail's pace.  Isn't it past due for the Ivy League to get a win?
  • (11)  4 Xavier v 13 Portland St., East 7:25 ET
    The Musketeers just don't lose these types of games.
  • (10)  4 Wake Forest v 13 Cleveland St., Midwest 9:40 ET
    It seems like you either love or hate this Demon Deacon team.  I tend to stray more to the "hate" side.  Their coach kinda looks like Rod Blagojevich and is named Dino -- if those aren't 2 signs to temper your enthusiasm, I don't know what are.
  • (9)  3 Kansas v 14 North Dakota St., Midwest 12:30 ET
    The Bison immediately become America's darlings if they win this shocker.  The line is only 10 points by the way!  Somebody knows something we don't.  Kansas has overacheived all year, maybe the Jayhawks are due for some Bison blues again.
  • (8)  6 West Virginia v 11 Dayton, Midwest 3:00 ET
    Huggins could quickly make us forget about his underwhelming tourney resume at Cincy.  I like Dayton, but don't like them one bit in this matchup.
  • (7)  6 Marquette v 11 Utah St., West 12:30 ET
    The Aggies haven't beaten anyone worth a damn yet this year.  Meanwhile, I think the pendulum has swung from earlier this season and people are completely undervaluing Marquette sans Dominic James.  Everybody seems to ignore that the Eagles were going to have a hellish time at the end of their schedule anyway, with or without James.  You never know what to expect here, though, with the 10:30 am local start.
  • (6)  8 Oklahoma St. v 9 Tennessee, East 12:25 ET
    A virtual pick'em of two pretty unpredictable squads.  Expect a lot of headbands as always with Bruce Pearl's crew.  An opportunity to lose to Pitt awaits.
  • (5)  8 Ohio St. v 9 Siena, Midwest 9:40 ET
    Siena is the team you love as a #13 seed, but hate as a #9 seed.  They shocked Vandy last year, but they won't sneak up on anybody this year, much less the ever-improving Buckeyes in Dayton. 
  • (4)  5 Utah v 12 Arizona, Midwest 7:10 ET
    The team that shouldn't be there versus the team that shouldn't be a #5 seed.  As much controversy as the 'Cats stirred with their NCAA bid, it immediately landed them favorites in this game.  Since realizing they have only beaten the two Oregon teams away from the road, Utah has become Vegas's pick.  I have no idea what to expect in this one, so it gets a high ranking, but really do I care?
  • (3)  5 Florida St. v 12 Wisconsin, East 9:55 ET
    The antithesis of the Utah-Arizona game.  I LOVE Wisconsin as a #12 seed and LOVE Florida St. as a #5 seed.  Unfortunately, they gotta play each other.  I like the winner of this to beat Xavier.  I just have no idea who wins this.  Look for the Big Ten to garner some respect when Wisky's defense shuts down the Toney Douglas and the Noles.
  • (2)  7 Boston College v 10 USC, Midwest 7:20 ET
    DeMar Derozan vs. Tyrese Rice.  Tim Floyd and his seventh-grade circus.  Bubble teams are angry at USC's timely run, can they maintain it for a cold weekend in Minneapolis?
  • (1)  6 Arizona St. vs. 11 Temple, South 2:45 ET
    Forget the first round.  James Harden vs. Dionte Christmas might wind up being the best matchup of scorers we see all tournament long.  Harden came up short in the Pac-10 tourney final, while Christmas carried the Owls on his shoulders to win the 2nd straight A-10 tourney.  A poor man's Kevin Durant, Christmas will likely put up 20-25 if he struggles and 35+ if he's on his game.  Harden will represent with maybe the most solid beard in the college game.  Get your popcorn (and antacids) ready.  Don't disappoint, fellas.


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 11, 2009 1:07 am

Big East Bracket Contest: Day 1 Standings

Hey all.  It was an interesting day at MSG, at least it appeared that way on my computer.  Tomorrow the games actually are on real television, so that will be nice.  Here are the standings through the first day.  Remember games tomorrow will count for 3 points each.

(For each score level, they are sorted by most possible points still available.)






Gold Is King$$$

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 8, 2009 11:44 pm

Big East Bracket Challenge

Hey all.  Figured I would try to set up a Big East (and separately, Big Ten) bracket competition.  Scorpionbite has done a great job with the all-inclusive conference tourney stuff.  I'm far too lazy to keep up with all of that, but definitely wanted to try to run a traditional predictive bracket for the wacky, huge 2009 Big East tourney.  There's a lot of solid Big East fans on here, so let's see if our season of fanhood has given us some sort of insight into how the madness at MSG will go.  Let me know if you're interested and send your pics via this thread or by PM.

Scoring will go up as each round progresses, as follows:
1st Rd: 2 pts
2nd Rd: 3 pts
Quarterfinals: 4 pts
Semifinals: 7 pts
Final: 10 pts

Everyone's picks, whether made publicly or not upon sending them to me, will be posted once the tourney starts at Noon ET Tuesday.

The following is the Big East Tournament Schedule:

Tues. Games (Rd. 1)
#9 Cincinnati v
#16 DePaul

#12 Georgetown v
#13 St. John's

#10 Notre Dame v
#15 Rutgers

#11 Seton Hall v
#14 S Florida

Wed. Games (Rd. 2)
#8 Providence v
Cincy/DePaul winner

#5 Marquette v
G'Town/SJU winner

#7 W Virginia v
ND/Rutgers winner

#6 Syracuse v
S Hall/USF winner

Thurs. Games (Quarterfinals)
#1 Louisville v

#4 Villanova v

#2 Pittsburgh v

#3 Connecticut v

Friday Games (Semifinals)
Quarterfinal #1 winner v
Quarterfinal #2 winner

Quarterfinal #3 winner v
Quarterfinal #4 winner

Sat Game (Championship)
Semifinal #1 winner v
Semifinal #2 winner

Posted on: March 4, 2009 5:24 pm

Clusterf... to Indianapolis: 2008-09 Big Ten

Two games separating 4th from 9th place in the Big Ten.  A team like Penn State controls its own destiny to wind up as the #3 team in the standings... or could wind up plummeting to 7th.  Congrats to the Spartans on winning the regular season title, albeit in a barnburner in Bloomington.  Indiana put up another spirited rally, but ultimately could not get the job done for the second time 4 days.

The fate of the conference standings, as well as many of bubble teams' NCAA hopes, lie in four final swing games:

Tonight: Wisconsin at Minnesota
Thurs: Illinois at Penn St.
Sat: Michigan at Minnesota
Sat: Penn St. at Iowa
Somehow, and probably very stupidly, I like all of the road teams to win these huge games.  I think Minnesota is struggling, think that Illinois gets revenge from its February brickfest, and that Penn State bounces back from that and gets a crucial win in Iowa.

Michigan, Minnesota, Penn St., Ohio St., and possibly even Wisconsin can play themselves in or out of the tournament in these next few days.  With Michigan and Minnesota both squarely on the bubble, that game could be a virtual play-in game at the Barn to close out the regular season.

In my ultimately projections, I (with admitted hopeful bias towards my Wolverines) like 7 Big Ten teams to make it to the tourney, with Minnesota being the odd man out.  Put me down for MSU (2 seed), Purdue (4), Illinois (4), Wisconsin (8), OSU (9), PSU (11), and Michigan (12).

Here goes a breakdown of all 11 teams with 5 days left in the Big Ten regular season... 
*note that I make my own predictions as well as acknowleding the likely Vegas favorites*

Michigan State
24-5, 14-3
Clinched 1st place
NCAA Seed range: 2-4
Projected NCAA seed: 2
Remaining Games: vs. Purdue (W)
Best-Guess Vegas Projected Finish: 15-3, 1st
My Projected Finish: 15-3, 1st
This team always seem to come up big when it counts... but blowing somebody out every now and then would be nice, eh?  Close finishes against Illinois and Indiana gave the Spartans their first outright conference title since Mateen Cleaves and Mo Pete were in East Lansing.  They keep a lot of teams close with them though, and might be due for an upset in Indy.

22-7, 11-5
Current: 2nd
Projected: T-2 (3rd)
NCAA Seed range: 3-5
Projected NCAA seed: 4
Remaining games: vs. NW (W), at Michigan St. (L)
Best-Guess Vegas Projected Finish: 12-6, T-2 (3rd)
My Projected Finish: 12-6, T-2 (3rd)
The Boilermakers looked dominant against Ohio St. over the weekend.  A victory in East Lansing would cement them as a team to seriously watch in the NCAAs.  Gotta stay healthy.

23-7, 11-6
Current: 3rd
Projected: T-2 (2nd)
NCAA Seed range: 3-6
Projected NCAA seed: 4
Remaining games: at Penn St. (W)
Best-Guess Vegas Projected Finish: 12-6, T-2 (2nd)
My Projected Finish: 12-6, T-2 (2nd)
A nice effort, but it wasn't to be against the Spartans.  Mike Tisdale needs to get the ball more and this team will be fine... they can grind and defend with anybody.  Can they muster up more than 33 points this time against the Lions?

18-10, 9-7
Current: T-4 (4th)
Projected: 4th
NCAA Seed range: 6-13
Projected NCAA seed: 8
Remaining games: at Minnesota (+1.5, W), vs. Indiana (W)
Best-Guess Vegas Projected Finish: 10-8
My Projected Finish: 11-7, 4th
The Badgers could propel themselves to a #6 seed at least with a win at Minnesota and a strong showing at Indianapolis.  Or... if they flop against Minnesota and somehow lose to Indiana (as Penn St. and Michigan St. have both come within inches of doing), they could be outside of the bubble.  The Gophers are favored tonight by 1.5, but I like Wisconsin to get the win at the Barn.

Ohio State
19-9, 9-8
Current: 6th
Projected: T-5 (5th)
NCAA Seed range: 7-OUT
Projected NCAA seed: 9
Remaining games: vs. Northwestern (W)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 10-8
My Projected Finish: 10-8, T-5 (5th)
They came oh-so-close to getting their hearts broken by the Hawkeyes.  They survived, though, and now they appear to be in OK shape if they can take care of business against Northwestern.

Penn State
20-9, 9-7
Current: T-4 (5th)
Projected: T-5 (6th)
NCAA Seed range: 9-OUT
Projected NCAA seed: 11
Remaining games: vs. Illinois (L), at Iowa (W)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 9-9, 7th?? (Have no idea who will be favored in either of their final 2 games)
My Projected Finish: 10-8, T-5 (6th)
Penn State's season ultimately will boil down to these last 2 games, both of them virtual pick'ems.  Can they beat Illinois when they have an offensive pulse, can they play better in the first 35 minutes this time against Iowa than they did in Happy Valley?  The Lions will need to use Cornley and his strength inside against the weaker Illini if they want to secure an NCAA bid.

18-12, 8-9
Current: 8th
Projected: 7th
NCAA Seed range: 10-OUT
Projected NCAA seed: 12
Remaining games: at Minnesota (W)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 8-10, 8th
My Projected Finish: 9-9, 7th
As much as can be said for the big victories this squad has had, they have not won a game on the road in regulation.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I know the committee likes the big-time victories over UCLA, Duke, Illinois, Purdue, et al, but they also want to see you can beat Indiana in less than 45 minutes away from home.  They NEED a victory in Minnesota on Saturday, and have a week to prepare for it.

20-8, 8-8
Current: 7th
Projected: 8th
NCAA Seed range: 9-OUT
Projeced NCAA seed: OUT
Remaining games: vs. Wisconsin (L), vs. Michigan (L)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 10-8
My Projected Finish, 8-10, 8th
The Gophers are slight favorites tonight over the Badgers, and thus will be favored by a couple more points on Saturday against Michigan.  That said, I fear Tubby's group is sliding, and that will translate to two heartbreaking, bubble-bursting losses at the Barn in the final week.  Bo Ryan's crew has been hot of late, and John Beilein has an entire week to prepare for Minnesota.  On the bright side, Minnesota has 2 great opportunities for solid wins, and those couple with a good showing in Indy would put them in safe territory.

16-11, 7-9
Current: 9th
Projected: 9th
NCAA Seed range: 12-OUT
Projected NCAA Seed: OUT
Remaining games: at Purdue (L), at Ohio St. (L)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 7-11, 9th
My Projected Finish: 7-11, 9th
Can't officially stick a fork in the Wildcats' tourney hopes, because if they somehow win at Purdue and Ohio St. and pull another upset in the conference tourney, you never know.  But more realistically, this team will show well in losses, and should have punched a ticket for a much-deserved NIT spot.  It has taken awhile, but Bill Carmody has built a program that should finally get to the Big Dance in the next couple years.

14-16, 4-13
Clinched 10th place
NCAA Seed range: OUT
Projected NCAA Seed: OUT
Remaining games: vs. Penn St. (L)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 5-13, 10th
My Projected Finish: 4-14, 10th
Iowa gets it third chance in 14 days to spoil somebody's tourney hopes at Hawkeye-Carver.  It knocked off Michigan in overtime first, then came within a rattled rim of sending the Buckeyes home with a loss last night.  Lastly will come Penn State.  The Hawks were favored by 1 against Mich, underdogs by 1 to OSU, so here's thinking they're a slight, slight, slight favorite at home against Penn St.  I predict Talor Battle will make a few ugly shots at the end to win a nailbiter, though.

6-23, 1-16
Clinched 11th place
NCAA Seed range: OUT
Projected NCAA Seed: OUT
Remaining games: at Wisconsin (L)
Vegas-Projected Finish: 1-17, 11th
My Projected Finish: 1-17, 11th
The Hoosiers probably missed their last chance to score an upset victory.  Tom Crean's squad has fought valiantly all season long, and it showed while scaring the hell out of Penn St. and Michigan St.  I doubt they can make it close at the Kohl Center, but perhaps they have one last nailbiter in them against the #6 seed on Thursday night in Indianapolis?




Posted on: January 9, 2009 4:49 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2009 9:15 pm

Final CFB Poll

Well, the inevitable debating and arguing is already in full swing.  And I do not remember a season where it is more warranted.  All due respect to the Gators, but at the end of the day there is no clear-cut #1 out of the them, Utah, USC, and Texas.  It was a great season that seemed to have a sour ending.  Normally I am never for a full-fledged playoff, but this season might have just convinced me otherwise.  The fact is that undefeated BCS seasons are going the way of Ohio St. bowl victories and bellbottoms.  A loss in the regular season isn't as dreadful as it used to be, and maybe that's a good sign that we can remove even more of the importance of the regular season a tad for the betterment of the postseason. 

Anyhow, here's my final rankings.  Please note that in determining the order of 1-2-3, I might as well have thrown darts at the wall.  All should be considered worthy. (Previous rank in parentheses)

  1. Utah(7)  -  Never before has one bowl game gotten a team more respect or love than this year's Sugar Bowl.  It sure is weird to move up from #7 to #1.  But hell, the reason they were ranked 7th was the same reason they were 11-point underdogs.  No one thought they were in the same class of a team like Alabama.  Well, it turns out people were right -- they are in a class well above 'Bama.  Possible Tide letdown or not (isn't that what the AP coach of the year is for, anyway?), Utah beat Alabama in a neutral site more handily than Florida did, and with a similar amount of formidable opponents, and an unscathed record, Utah gets the slight nod.
  2. Florida(2)  -  Can we please, please, please stop with the Tim Tebow stuff?  I'm usually all for players staying in school, but I need to see him leave Florida pronto.  I can't deal with another year of this.  He's a great player and Florida turned out to be a great team, but I don't want to hear how a QB who is just 22-5 as a starter and has major throwing deficiencies is the greatest player of all time.  Also can we stop saying he led the team to the 2006 title?  You sound no less silly than the people who claim Kobe or Luc Longley led their teams to 3 rings.  Anyhow, big props to the Gators.
  3. Texas(1)   -  A weak performance by the conference, and by the Longhorns themselves, just leave me thinking that they aren't as good as I thought they were.  When Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State all lost, and Texas needed a miracle to beat OSU, Mack Brown's door officially closed on him.  Still think McCoy should have gotten the Heisman though.  If anything, the Fiesta showed how little he really had around him all year.
  4. USC(5)  -  Apparently in some balmy December afternoon in Southern California, Mark Sanchez took his Joe Montana pills.  Did not expect to see that offense do that at all to the Penn State defense.  Still, they lose points just for generally being doofuses.
  5. Oklahoma(3)  -  Has any team fallen this far after being in the title game?  They showed reasonably well, but not being able to punch it in during the 2nd quarter destroyed them.  Would have never gotten over Texas in my book, though, even with a win.
  6. Penn State(4)  -  The jury is out as to whether the Trojans let up on them in the second half in Pasadena.  Either way, the Lions fought hard to make it semi-interesting after a dreadful second quarter.  You trade Taylor Mays for either one of PSU's safeties, though, and we're looking at the national champions.  The secondary was the only weak link, and they were exploited masterfully by Sanchez.
  7. Alabama(6)  -  Were dominated in a de facto home game by the runnin' Utes.  The lack of experience and depth at this stage of the program finally showed the last two games.
  8. TCU(12)  -  Gary Patterson's D may have been the fiercest this side of Hollywood. 
  9. Oregon(13)  -  The offensive explosion from the Civil War carried over into San Diego, as the offense annihilated Oklahoma State's D.  Expect Oregon to emerge as the sexy pick to win the Pac 10 for '09.
  10. Ohio State(9)  -  At the end of the day, the Fightin' Tressels were what we thought they were.  A real solid team with limited offense firepower.  Represented well against Texas.
  11. Boise State(10)  -  No marriage proposals this time in the land of potatoes.
  12. Georgia(17)  -  Even in victory, the Dawgs showed themselves to be the inconsistent, flaky team that they had been all season.  Still not impressed, but there's really no one else to put here in this spot.
  13. Texas Tech(8)  -  The storybook season ended with a loud thud.  The weird thing is it wasn't that unexpected.  Now can Oklahoma fans please finally stop hiding behind their "three-way tie" gimmick excuse??
  14. Oklahoma State(11)  -  All offense, little defense.  At the end of the day, they remind me like about 80% of the rest of college football teams in that respect.
  15. Virginia Tech(19)  -  What should the over/under be for times that the 2009 Orange Bowl will be on ESPN Classic for the next decade?  Two?
  16. Iowa(20)  -  I feel vindicated as I've been drinking the Hawkeye Kool-Aid for awhile now.  I still will go to my grave thinking they are as good as or better than Ole Miss, even if my theory that Penn State is as good as Florida has been disproven soundly.
  17. Mississippi(23)  -  With Houston Nutt at the helm, these guys could emerge as a contender if Alabama ever falters in the next couple years.
  18. Oregon State(NR)  -  I don't know about you, but I loved the 3-0 Sun Bowl.  Funny how that lead felt like 30-0, though.  If they were still playing now, Pitt would not have a point against the Beavers.  With the Rodgers brothers both out, a 3-0 victory is all Mike Riley could have hoped for.  His program still remains IMO the most underrated program in the country, year in and year out.
  19. Florida State(NR)  -  Uh oh.  Bobby is slowly walking cane-free close behind Joe Pa's limping self.  Seriously, I could follow the Bowden-Paterno victory chase forever and forever.
  20. Cincinnati(14)  -  Always got the Reds spring training to look forward to.
  21. Rice(NR)  -  Not getting much buzz, but this team finished 10-3 with one of the losses to Texas.  A lethal passing attack led them to probably the least-watched blowout of the bowl season.  (Note to self: petition to somebody about the NFL Network having bowl games on their dumb network).
  22. Pittsburgh(15)  -  Probably not a bad idea for LaSean McCoy to come back for his senior season.  Getting shut out isn't a way to go out.
  23. Missouri(NR)  -  Why the hell do we need to see Chase Daniel's family 354 times during the Alamo Bowl?  His sister/wife/cousin/girlfriend/whoev
    er wasn't that attractive.  A terrible performance to finish off the impressive collegiate career of Daniel.
  24. Nebraska(NR)  -  The best bowl performance since their referee-aided victory over my Wolverines three years ago.  But seriously, Mizzou and Kansas should enjoy it for one more year, before the Huskers get it up and rolling once again in the Big 12 North.
  25. Rutgers(NR)  -  I was wholly against having a 5-loss team in these rankings.  Then I was honest with myself, and figured I would probably favor the Scarlet Knights against everyone #13 and below, that's how good they have been the last couple months of the season.

On the cusp (comprehensive edition to recognize all of those worthy):  Tulsa, Arizona, Michigan State, Ball State, West Virginia, BYU, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Connecticut, Boston College

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Top 25
Posted on: December 7, 2008 3:30 am
Edited on: December 7, 2008 10:37 pm

December 7th Final Reg Season CFB Poll

Just a few games played yesterday, but still some work to be done on the ballot.  The official "conference champions" are named, Cincinnati barely showed up in Hawaii, and an Orange Bowl pairing of Cincy and VT is scheduled to be played. Sigh.  Already sad that college football Saturdays are over until '09.  WMU at Michigan, 9/5/09 can't wait!  Anyhow here goes, for the final regular season rankings in my tiny head.

  1. Texas - Once again, still don't care if they didn't win what turned out to be a mythical "Big 12 championship."  With the Tide's loss, I give them the edge over the Gators with the best all around resume and the least offensive loss of any 1-loss team.
  2. Florida - Both the Gators and the Tide impressed me yesterday.  I got in trouble a bunch of times for inferring that neither team had done too much before yesterday... but either way, both proved to be worthy adversaries and two elite teams.  Bonus points for doing it without Harvin.
  3. Oklahoma - Record-setting offense.  A defense that gives up 25 points a game?
  4. Penn State - Not a record-setting offense.  But a defense that did not give up more than 24 points on any occasion all year.
  5. USC - Incredible defense, mediocre offense.  Why can't we just split the title between the "NCG" winner and the Rose Bowl winner?  Hoping and suspecting that it's a classic in Pasadena
  6. Alabama - The Fightin' Sabans are probably a year away from winning that type of game on Saturday.
  7. Utah - Maybe New Orleans will steal back the "Jazz" NBA nickname from Utah when it visits.
  8. Texas Tech - Has Mike Leach coached his last game for the Red Raiders?
  9. Ohio State - Try not to embarass the Big 10 this time, guys.
  10. Boise State - Well, the Ball State thing fell through, and with the Cardinals' loss, it's not that big of a deal.
  11. Oklahoma State -
  12. TCU
  13. Oregon
  14. Cincinnati
  15. Pittsburgh
  16. Georgia Tech
  17. Georgia
  18. Ball State
  19. Virginia Tech
  20. Iowa
  21. BYU
  22. Michigan State
  23. Mississippi
  24. Northwestern
  25. Boston College

On the Cusp: Oregon State, Missouri, Nebraska, Florida St., Rice

Heisman Picks:
1.  Colt McCoy - Had to do more for his offense than any other of the contenders.  Had a great year rushing, and the pass completion percentage is absurd.
2.  Tim Tebow - Frankly, him and Colt had pretty similar seasons, but Tebow had some more help around him. 
3.  Sam Bradford - Ok, so I could've thrown for 200 yards last night with that O-line blocking for me.  Incredible numbers, but those defenses + just how easy that line and receivers make it look for him, I'm just not so sure that a lot of QBs wouldn't look great in that offense.
4.  Shonn Greene - The best player noone's talking about.  100+ yards every game to lead a resurgent Iowa team that had little passing success.
5.  Michael Crabtree - Probably the most talented pure player in the country.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Top 25
Posted on: November 30, 2008 1:02 am
Edited on: November 30, 2008 4:19 pm

Nov. 29 Hot Off The Presses CFB Poll

A crazy week that ultimately settled nothing.  Tension is abound as the numbers are waiting to be tabulated for the Harris Poll and the computers to determine the Big XII South champion.  After this debacle, I demand a one-year moratorium on people telling the Big Ten, Pac Ten, Big East, etc to "get with the times and get a conference championship game, stupid!"  Hey, at least those conferences are willing to admit when there's a tie.  Anyhow, I am not a man with many solutions, but it is now just about certain that 2008 will go down as yet another year of BCS controversy.

  1. Alabama -  Dominant display on Saturday.  Have not faced a team nearly as good as the Gators, though.  Should be a classic.
  2. Texas -  If I think Texas deserves to be ranked ahead of Oklahoma, do I legally have to jump Oklahoma if they beat Missouri and are deemed the official "Big 12 Champion?"  Me neither.
  3. Oklahoma -  Sam Bradford probably took the lead for the Heisman against the Cowboys.  But... whatever alien team that borrowed the OU jerseys last week for the Texas Tech game clearly gave them back to the good ol' Sooner defense in Stillwater.
  4. Florida -  See #1.  Replace "Gators" with "Tide."
  5. Penn State -  Get their chance to shine in Pasadena against the Trojans.  Playing Oregon St. again would have been an injustice for a team a point away from the national championship.
  6. USC -  They looked great, but the biggest memory I have of this game is Brian Cushing looking and talking very serious in the post-game interview, while having the black warpaint strips that said "FEEL" and "ME!" on them.  Seriously?
  7. Utah -  The Utes are busy scouting Alabama and Florida right now.
  8. Texas Tech -  Was that hangover from Thanksgiving or from the Oklahoma beatdown?  Either way, they looked damn flat for most of this game.  I blame the red unis.
  9. Boise State -  Chris Petersen immediately began sending tapes of the last 2 NC games to the Fiesta Bowl committee upon Oregon State's loss.  Will still probably lose the at-large nod to Ohio State.
  10. Ohio State -  I swear that was Pryor in that hideous Oregon uniform last night.
  11. Ball State -  This team impressed me with their wins over the directional Michigans.  Let's hope they get a chance to prove something in a bowl.
  12. Cincinnati -  Hmm, so there are only two 2-loss teams from BCS conferences.  Legally, they have to go here.
  13. Oklahoma State -  Performed well for the majority of the Bedlam.  Like T Boone warned, though, they just ran out of gas.
  14. TCU -  Still must be kicking themselves for having weak kicking skills... they might be in the BCS had they gotten it done over the Utes.
  15. Oregon -  So I took the under in the Civil War.  The Ducks themselves outscored it by a touchdown. 
  16. Georgia Tech -  The Jackets won't win their conference championship, but they're still the top-ranked team in the ACC in my book for now.  How much money could you have made in the beginning of the season saying that Ga. Tech would be ranked ahead of Georgia?
  17. Boston College -  Can't say the ACC championship rematch is that intriguing.  But congrats to the Eagles for getting it done without Matt Ryan.
  18. Pittsburgh -  Revenge will have to wait another year for West Virginia.  And it looks like LeSean McCoy will be waiting as well.
  19. Missouri -  I admit it, that was an incredible game.  But Mizzou didn't really do itself or the Dr. Pepper people any favors for the prospect of an intriguing Big XII title game.
  20. Georgia -  Pointing out potential flaws in the 2008 SEC gets me more trouble than its worth, so I'll refrain.  But put Georgia officially in the vast category of teams that can beat up on teams it's better than, but lose to teams anywhere close to it skill-wise.  And I'm not even convinced I would put Tech in that category.
  21. Iowa -  I think I went the whole week without hearing Shonn Greene's name.  Not good news for Hawkeyes fans trusting a Heisman electorate to have memories beyond 2 weeks.
  22. BYU -  The two Utah powers could have bowl appointments in New Orleans and Vegas.  Excuse me while I chuckle.
  23. Michigan State -  The Ducks' win just got Michigan State a better bowl bid.  Good news for the Spartans, but bad news for Big Ten fans, I fear.
  24. Mississippi -  Houston Nutt is just a great coach.  I'm on board.
  25. Virginia Tech -  Sorry, Hokie fans.  I just really don't want to see this team in the Orange Bowl.

On the Cusp:  Northwestern, Oregon State, Tulsa, Nebraska, Rice, Florida St.
POY:  A salute to Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow.  The Heisman race has converged on these three, and they all showed why this weekend.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Top 25
Posted on: November 24, 2008 12:18 am
Edited on: November 25, 2008 12:31 pm

Nov. 23 Hot Off the Presses CFB Poll

  1. Alabama -- Can't argue with this one.  Though, after seeing the way Syracuse and Tennessee played for their fired coaches this week, Nick Saban should be scared that the Tigers of Auburn will come out valiantly for their coach in trouble.
  2. Texas -- For the first time, also, can't argue with people who put Oklahoma over Texas here.  I still give the Longhorns the slight edge for (obviously) the head-to-head meeting, and because at least Texas's big win was on a neutral field... none of the other Big XII teams have done a lick on the road at all.  The question is: does Mack Brown root for the Cowboys or Sooners this week?  If Cowboys, he loses his chance for a conference title, but maybe gets a better chance for a bigger title.
  3. Oklahoma -- They played like somebody stole their momma.  A savage beatdown, but where has that defense been all season?
  4. Florida -- Again, looked good.  But really, the Gators' mythical schedule strength seems to dwindle every week.  Florida State will actually be the second best team Urban Meyer's crew will have played all year.  Their second best win right now is LSU.  The Gators are a case where the computers seem to have their act together more than the humans.
  5. Penn State -- Apparently, their 3:30 blowout of a ranked team was too early to be recognized like the 8:00 Oklahoma blowout was.  Wow, it really is true when they say it's better to look good late in this sport.
  6. USC -- With Notre Dame's horrible loss, USC's resume just gets worse and worse.  And in 6 days, it probably won't even include "Pac 10 Champion" anywhere.
  7. Texas Tech -- Mike Leach better not encourage any of the Red Raider faithful to point their guns up or in any other direction, for that matter, for the next few days.
  8. Utah -- The Utes arguably played their best game of the season in the battle of the Mormons.  It makes me wonder what their fate might have been had they done this in 2007 instead of 2008.
  9. Boise State -- Here's hoping that some bowl arrangements are worked out that can enable them to, ya know, actually get to leave Boise, ID for a bowl trip.  They deserve it.
  10. Ohio State -- When I heard the words, "TD pass from Todd Boeckman" on the car radio, I nearly lost it.  Swerving and having my life ended by driving into a goddamn Buckeye tree on my 12-hour drive from IL to PA would have been an appropriate end to the 2008 Michigan Wolverines campaign.
  11. Oklahoma State -- This team has been nothing but OK since the Missouri win.  Do they have a great performance in them for the finale?
  12. Missouri -- Chase Daniel hears all of the BCS controversy.  And cannot wait until December 6.
  13. Ball State -- See #9.  The Cardinals deserve better than the Motor City Bowl.  That said, they will not even win the MAC West division unless they can hold off fiesty Western Michigan on Tuesday.
  14. Georgia -- Ok, so the Bulldogs better beat Georgia Tech this week.  Or else, seriously, I don't want any SEC fan to talk ever, ever again.
  15. Cincinnati -- Only a shocking Syracuse repeat will stop them from a trip to the Orange Bowl.  Where are the Nick Lachey appearances at the football games, though?  Someone please look into this.
  16. TCU -- Their only 2 losses are to likely BCS teams.  Forget a national playoff.  I just want a Lone Star State playoff.
  17. Oregon State -- Won on the road against a quality opponent without Quizz Rodgers.  If it weren't for it being a rematch, the potential Rose Bowl would be very intriguing and refreshing.  That's what you get for scheduling a quality opponent out of conference, folks.
  18. Boston College -- This week's ACC top guest of honor.  Subject to change without notice.
  19. Florida State -- I am going to root for a Bobby Bowden-coached team this week.  Ick.
    *takes a shower*
  20. Oregon -- This is too high for them, but what are you gonna do?  Nobody else deserves to be here, and it ain't bad for some Civil War hype.
  21. Pittsburgh --  Will likely be filled with tryptophan for this year's version of the Backyard Brawl.  Texas and A&M should always be the Noon Black Friday game, though.
  22. Georgia Tech -- Hopefully, Stephon Marbury will find some time to catch the battle with UGA.
  23. Iowa -- Yes, their uniforms are ugly.  And yes, they play in Iowa.  But Shonn Greene should be getting a lot more Heisman love than he's been getting.
  24. BYU -- At the end of the day, BYU could never really keep it close with the two top-tier teams it played.  With BCS aspirations at the beginning of the year, that's a sad reality for the MWC's third best team.
  25. Michigan State -- Holy one dimensional.  Classic case of a team that can get it done against teams it is equal to or better than.  Even a more classic case of a team that can be completely dominated in every facet of the game when it comes across a worthy adversary who can stop the run.

On the cusp:  W. Michigan,  Mississippi (rejoice, Gator fans!), West Virginia, Northwestern, and Syracuse (for sparing us from ND ruining one of our few remaining New Years Day bowls!)

Category: NCAAF
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