Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick Hits 12/1


Steph Curry doesn’t play until later this week, but I did catch that entertaining game between Tennessee and Gonzaga last night. I like the Zags a lot this year. They have a lot of balance and always play a tough non-conference schedule. With the rise of St. Mary’s, and Patrick Mills, Mark Few’s team will be as prepared as ever come tourney time.

Other than that, it seems like college football is blanketing college basketball TV coverage on the weekends. I’m looking forward to the coming weeks, as college football will take a temporary backseat to basketball until bowl season really kicks off. (As far as I’m concerned, all those Sportsology.Blogspot.Com Euphoria Bowl’s are a waste of everyone’s time, except for the diehard fans and family members of those involved.)


Plaxico Burress is an idiot. That’s been well documented. However, athletes definitely have valid reasons to be afraid for their safety. Sean Taylor, Dunta Robinson, Darrent Williams and Javon Walker have all been attacked within the last few years. However, Plax went about things all wrong.

First, if you’re afraid for your safety you might not want to go places where you feel like you may be a target. Second, if you think you’re in danger, hire security. I’m sure he has enough money to hire at least one guy to watch is back on weekends, he got paid $7 million this year. Third, if you’re going to pack your on heat, make sure you have the appropriate licenses.

Honestly, he’ll be lucky to beat this rap. If he doesn’t have a good lawyer, his career path could be headed down the way of Mike Vick.

As for the rest of the league, I’m pretty sure the Lions won’t win this year. However, stranger things have happened. The Cowboys are using matchups against bad teams to help build momentum, but they’ll be in a dogfight for a final playoff spot with the NFC South teams and the Redskins.

In both conferences, there are going to be some good teams left out of the playoffs. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but the NFL needs to seriously think about expanding the number of teams that make the playoffs.

This year, it may not matter who makes the playoffs, as the Giants might not lose again this year. They are strong in all phases and subphases of the game. Offense, Defense and Special Teams; passing, running, receiving, blocking, run defense, pass defense, pressuring the quarterback, blitzing, kicking, punting and special teams coverage. I don’t see a team out there that is as solid as they are across the board.


Once again, the BCS bashers are out in full force. This time, its Oklahoma going to the Big 12 championship game via the BCS. However, this isn’t the BCS’ fault. People say, “They should decide it on the field.” Well they did. They all are about even.

In this case, I think it definitely should come down to strength of schedule, which Oklahoma won over Texas. If you use the BCS to eliminate the third team, then it would go to head to head between the Sooners and Texas, which would put Texas in the game. This isn’t the BCS’s fault; this was the choice of the Big 12. Or you can do what Mike Leach suggested and send the team with the best graduation rate. Of course, big time college sports are about money and not academics so this would never happen.

Once again, this controversy can disappear with a Missouri victory over the Sooners on Saturday. Keep in mind that recent Bob Stoops teams have had a penchant for looking ahead, or flat out crapping the bed in big games. Throw in a dinged up Sam Bradford and a potent Missouri team and anything can happen.

The one controversy that is out there that nobody is talking about is what’s the difference between USC and Florida? Nobody is really talking about the Trojans, while everyone is penciling in the Gators to play either Oklahoma or Texas, which comes with the assumption that they will beat Alabama this weekend.

Honestly, I think the Trojans might be better than the Gators. If strength of schedule was more important in the BCS, they might just win that battle.

USC lost one game, on the road, by six to a good Oregon State (8-4) team. They will finish the season with 6 road games and 6 home games. Their non-conference slate featured home games against Ohio State, Notre Dame and a roadie to open the season against UVA, along with no I-AA teams. They played three ranked teams and won by a combined score of 96-16. Their opponents’ record is 67-73 (including upcoming 4-7 UCLA), which isn’t good, but this is because two of the worst teams in college football are in their conference.

Meanwhile, Florida has lost one game, at home, by one to a decent Ole Miss (8-4) team. They’ve played 7 home games, one neutral site game (with another on the way) and only four road games. Their non-conference slate included home games against Hawaii, the U, and Citadel (a sorry I-AA team) and a road game against the ‘Noles. They played four ranked teams (thanks to an overrated SEC), and won those games by a score of 201-52. (While their margin of victory in ranked games is 37+ points versus USC’s 26.6 points, keep in mind that Urban Meyer is notorious for running up the score and USC could’ve very easily hung 100 on the two Washington schools.) Their opponents’ record is a whopping 87-56 (excluding 4-8 I-AA Citadel), aided by the SEC whooping up bad non-conference teams and avoiding teams like Auburn and Mississippi State.

I think a question not being asked is if Oregon State is better than Ole Miss. I think so, although not without Jacquizz Rodgers. If that’s the case, I think you at least have to consider USC over Florida. However, if the Gators knock off the number one team in the nation, there’s no way anyone would put USC over Florida. However, I think that USC can beat Alabama too.

The simple solution that the BCS for some reason has yet to institute is the good ole “Plus-1.”

Let’s assume Florida knocks off Alabama and Oklahoma defeats Missouri. Imagine Florida versus USC in one game and an Oklahoma/Texas rematch in another semi-final.

Let’s say Missouri and Alabama win. A Texas/USC rematch in one game while Alabama would take on Florida/Texas Tech/Utah/Penn State in the other game.

Add the excitement of the winner-take-all regular season and you can’t tell me this isn’t better than a playoff.

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