This past Christmas Eve, Hawaii's quarterback Colt Brennan broke the single-season record for touchdowns thrown in a season with 58. Congratulations to Mr. Brennan, but saying he broke the record is an illegitimate statement.
The previous record holder was David Klinger of Houston. In 1990 Klinger threw for 54 touchdowns. Klinger did this in only 12 games as oppose to 14 by Brennan. Back in 2002, the NCAA started including bowl stats as a part of season stats. How is that legit? Changing a rule like that causes all records to be tarnished. Look at the stats, after only 12 games Brennan threw for only 51 touchdowns. That should be his final stat for TDs thrown for the 2006 season.
In 1988 Barry Sanders rushed for 2600 yards while playing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In his team's bowl game that year, Sanders rushed for another 200+ yards, yet those did not count onto his final stats. How is that fair when someone in the future rushes for 2700 yards and is considered to be the new record holder?
My thing is the NCAA's decision to make a rule change like they did in 2002 causes a tremendous echo for all college football eternity. Colt Brennan has the record...but he played 2 more games. Clearly not legit.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
This past Christmas Eve, Hawaii's quarterback Colt Brennan broke the single-season record for touchdowns thrown in a season with 58. Congratulations to Mr. Brennan, but saying he broke the record is an illegitimate statement.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The world of collegiate sports and professional sports is so different. Each one has its positives…and negatives. One particular issue deals with professional sports. This issue has both pros and cons. Though for the most part, I feel it is much more of a negative. I am talking about professional sport owners. For me, I do not agree with the whole “one guy owns the team” concept. Why you ask? The simple reason that an owner has the power to move his or her franchise if they wish to do so. That thought alone is enough to make me nauseous. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of some infamous nomad owners who have owned or still own in the professional world of sports:
Robert Irsay: Bob was the owner of the Baltimore Colts whom he later moved to the city of Indianapolis. To make a long story short, Irsay snuck his Colts out of Baltimore late one night after negotiations with the city went sour. Bottom line: If Irsay were still alive, he wouldn’t last a day in Baltimore after the way he left it.
Bud Adams: Mr. Adams is currently the owner of the Tennessee Titans, but as we all know they are the former Houston Oilers. Adams wanted a new stadium (how many times have we heard this story), but Houston mayor Bob Lanier was not having it. Numerous efforts were made to stop the move, yet in the end Bud was able to move his team to Tennessee.
Howard Schultz: The Seattle SuperSonics have been in the city of Seattle since the 1960s. The franchise has been a successful NBA franchise for many years, especially in 1979 when Lenny Wilkens guided the Sonics to their only title. Regardless of the history Schultz did not seem to get the picture. Not many bright times occurred during his rein as the team missed the playoffs 3 out of the 5 years he was the owner. On July 18, 2006 Schultz’s ownership came to a halt when he officially sold the team to some Oklahoma City investors. The city of Seattle has less than 12 months to save their franchise.
Art Modell: If you think Irsay would have trouble in Baltimore today, than I can not imagine the difficulties Art Modell would have in Cleveland. Modell screwed over the football-crazed city of Cleveland in 1996 when, like Irsay, he secretly made plans to move the team to Baltimore after his demands for stadiums renovations were not agreed upon. Numerous times during his ownership Modell promised he would never move the team. Many believe this rambunctious act of moving the Browns is what has kept Art Modell from going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bill Bidwill: In 1988 Bidwill moved the Cardinals out to the city of Phoenix where the team has made the playoffs a pathetic one time. For many years Bill and his family have made poor management decisions. For a Cardinals’ fan settling for mediocrity was a seasonally thing to expect. As one may have noticed, hope has changed for the Cardinals. More ownership and control is now in the hands of Bill’s son, Michael. For those of you who do not know, Michael is responsible for the hiring of Dennis Green at head coach.
So there you have it: a group of men who have shown the true error in the professional owner. The ownership of professional teams should follow that of the Green Bay Packers. A committee of men owns the Packers. This means that no greedy, old businessman or woman can ever come in and have the idea of moving the Packers because he or she feels it is necessary. Professional teams are more than just a group of players. They represent a region, a culture, and a way of life. It is not righteous...it is not American…
…You getting all this Tommy Benson?
Monday, December 18, 2006
As you may have already heard, the NBA had another intense on court brawl. Now by all means it was nothing close to the Pistons/Pacers fiasco over two years ago, but this ruckus was surely something not to be overlooked.
The New York Knicks were playing the Denver Nuggets Saturday night. The Nuggets began amassing a very large lead, and quite frankly that's how things got out of hand. With a 19 point lead and 1:15 left in the game, Coach George Karl still had 4 of his 5 starters in the game.
George Karl has a strong friendship with Larry Brown, and as we all know things did not go too well between Brown and Isaiah Thomas last year. Many critics feel Karl was showing his anger with the situation in New York last year by running up the score against the Knicks.
JR Smith (Denver) was on a fast break and going up for a layup when Mardy Collins (New York) grabbed Smith by the neck. Collins aggressively flung Smith down to the ground. Immediately following the clothesline-like tackle, Smith jumped up into Collins face. Nate Robinson (New York) ran into the argument where he proceeded to pull Smith away. Carmelo Anthony (Denver) shoved Robinson off of Smith. Robinson and Smith then fell into the stands where the fight escalated to its greatest. As the incident started to die down, Anthony sucker punched Collins in the face. Jared Jefferies (New York) sprinted down court to breakup the altercation. He was quickly tackled by a Denver player.
Today, Commissioner David Stern formally announced the suspensions for Saturday's brawl. In all, the suspensions add up to 47 games. Anthony received the harshest penalty as he will be suspended for the next 15 games. Robinson and Smith each received 10 games, while Collins was given six and Jefferies four. A couple other individuals where given light suspensions due to having left their team's benches. Neither Coach Karl or Thomas where suspended or fined in anyway. Criticism is afloat as it has been speculated that Thomas told his team to give a hard foul to one of Denver's players. Previous to the incident, Thomas can be seen mouthing to Anthony not to go to the other end of the court.
First things first, I agree with the thinking Mardy Collins had, but I don't like how he went through with it. It doesn't matter what profession you are in, respect is always an important thing for people to take into account. Despite Coach Karl's recent comments that his team was not running up the score, I still feel that the Nuggets were disrespecting the Knicks in a huge way. Three players were scheduled to check into the game, but the brawl had broken out. This very well could mean that Karl was planning on taking out his starters had Collins never tackled Smith. Still, to wait until their was only 1:15 left in the game to take your starters out when your team was up by 19 is pretty convincing to a viewer, that as a coach running up the score was your objective.
Take this situation from New York's perspective. The season has been lousy so far and you are playing at home against a big opponent, the Denver Nuggets. The game got out of hand and another loss will be heading your way. You as a player are frustrated, your teammates are frustrated, and your coach is frustrated. You are down by 19 and your opponent does not seem to be letting up.
Having 4 starters still in the game with 65 seconds left AND being up by 19 points is showing tremendous disrespect to a whole franchise. Now for me, I think Thomas did say something to his teammates. His team was going to lose and his opponent was not even respecting the mercy rule. As a coach, Thomas informed his teammates on the classless act Denver was performing.
Collins's thinking was an act of pride, but his actions were too extreme. If you are going to commit a hard foul, commit a hard foul not a tackle. Collins put his arm around Smith's neck. That was too much physical contact for a big ruckus to be avoided. If Collins had gone up with Smith during the layup and done a blatantly obvious grab-and-pull of Smith's shooting arm, followed by an aggressive shoulder into him, that would have been better.
Unlike the neck tackle, that move does not come across as a symbol to your opponent as you saying, "Let's fight!" It comes across as you being a frustrated player. A hard foul is meant to be done in a kind of ''hidden'' way.
Overall, I agree Denver was disrespecting New York. I agree New York had to take a physical action, but I don't agree with how they went about it...
Monday, December 11, 2006
Alabama and Miami-Florida got a reality check last week when two of the hottest coaches in the NCAA turned down jobs to coach for them.
If five years ago I told you a coach would rather coach for the Rutgers than Miami-Florida and another coach would rather coach West Virginia than Alabama you would of said I was crazy.
As coach of West Virginia, Rich Rodriguez has helped his team win 21 out of their last 24 games. Greg Schiano of Rutgers on the other hand complied a 10-2 record for the Scarlet Knight, including the school's first win at home against a ranked team (Louisville).
The University of Alabama is once again abroad the coaching carousel. For the fourth time in six years a new head man needs to be brought in after Mike Shula was fired earlier this month. A record of 26-23 at Alabama won't cut it so suuurelly the hottest known coaches will be driving to Tuscaloosa just for an interview, right? Well, apparently UA athletic personnel thought that too, which explains there rather early indication that Rodriguez was in fact coming to coach the Crimson Tide. But he's not. He turned it down.
Same thing took place for Miami-Florida. After an awful season, The U was forced to fire Coach Larry Coker. So with the Miami-Florida job open, much like Bama, contestants eager to coach would just line up, right? Greg Schiano is the AP Coach of the Year and had the chance to go back to Miami, except this time he would be the head coach. Come on! Rutgers or Miami? Go to Miami where there are amazing athletes (and women) as well as a school with numerous national championship...or New Jersey. Home of Rutgers. Last national championship: 1869 against Princeton A&M. (Yes, I was wondering the same thing, but I don't think General Robert E. Lee was in attendance during that game.) Well Coach Schiano turned down the job offer, but more importantly he sent a bold statement to the college football world.
So what is this? WV instead of Bama, and Rutgers instead of Miami. I'll tell you what it means the landscape of college football's elite has drastically changed. I can only help but think that maybe in the year 2020 we may watch the television in awe as find out that someone actually turned down the West Virginia and Rutgers job.
...That'll be the day
Friday, December 08, 2006
All I keep hearing is how Michigan got screwed, but I have to say I strongly disagree.
First thing, Ohio State beat Michigan. Yes it was a measely 3 but they still beat them. Even so the week after that loss to OSU, UM didn't move back one spot in the polls which I find very strange.
How is it fair to Ohio State to beat UM in the last game of the season (it was sort of like a playoff game) and find out well geez you have to play that same team again. It wouldn't be. OSU won the conference and so did Florida. UM didn't.
Even though I may be a bit biased when discussing in further detail the strength of the SEC, you still can not lie that in fact the SEC is a very strong conference.
Florida had to play 2 extra games. One against Florida State and one against Arkansas, all while UM sat at home watching television. Now FSU may have had a rough season but rivalry games are rivalry games so that game was nothing easy. Also, Arkansas was a 1 loss SEC team thanks to LSU the week before. By no means was Arkansas ''overrated.'' I understand the Big 10 doesn't have a championship game, but it's situations like this where that is in fact an advantage.
Here's an example with the scenario switched. In 2001, Tennessee was set to play Miami-Florida in the National Championship but they had to still play in the SEC Championship. Now if UT was in the Big 10's circumstances they would've been in the NC game. As it turns out LSU beat UT in the SEC Championship and ruined their dream season.
The bottom line is UM is not getting punished for not having a championship game, Florida is just getting a bonus for having played in one.
Michigan had a shot at Ohio State and lost. Why's it fair for them to get a second try while Florida hasn't gotten any?
Also keep in mind I still hate the Florida Gators, it's just that this is the right matchup.
Ohio State should be playing Florida.
BCS: Job well done.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Before I begin my rant on the most recent Michael Vick story have it be known I have never been a big fan of the fellow. I can not stand his attitude, king-like demeanor, and the whole Ron Mexico story. (That's a tale for another time.)
This past Sunday the Atlanta Falcons lost for the fourth straight week. The team is 5-6 and criticism is everywhere in Hotlanta. Fingers are sure to be pointed, and in Sunday's case...flipped. Vick was frustrated after having rushed for 166 yards on 12 carries (not bad) and watching a number of his passes flat out dropped by his receivers. When fans heckle, retatilation is a big possibility. (Isn't that right Michael Richards?)
I am here to say as a Saints' fan I forgive you Mr. Vick. I mean come on who hasn't flashed the bird? We all have whipped it out at a party, behind someone's back, during church. (Okay I apologize. The last one crossed the line.) The point is Vick made a mistake and recognized it. Him manning up to his actions and paying the fine is the most important part. It's over so move on and start worrying about other issues!
(Such as the Saints putting up a goose egg against the 49ers this Sunday.)
Monday, November 27, 2006
This past week I had the joy of going home to see my family and friends, while enjoying a good Thanksgiving dinner. And as always, I watched the annual Thanksgiving NFL games that concerned the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. Though for some reason this year was different. Not because for once a night game was going to be played on Thanksgiving, but rather the fact that this "night game" was something the typical homeowner had to pay a little extra cash to be able to watch. The Kansas City Chiefs were hosting the Denver Broncos in a critical AFC West matchup. The game was probably going to be a lot better than the Detroit/Miami and Dallas/Tampa Bay games. For some reason the NFL looked past the simple concept this was a national holiday and instead looked at the only thing that seems to matter nowadays: money. I was interested in the game, but I was not going to call up my cable provider in order to get the NFL Network, just to watch a silly, non-Saints game. To me, this financial-cheapshot move is something that reminds me of another sport that revolves around nothing more than money. Good ole boxing. Keep it up NFL! I am sure Thursday Night football is going to be great for the 2% of the country that actually gets the NFL Network, but that doesn't matter. As long as you get your money things will be just fine. 'Nuff said.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
LSU vs. Arkansas
-Darren McFadden is the best running back in college football. Against one of the best D lines in the nation, McFadden had 182 yards. Oh and his backup Felix Jones had 137 yards rushing.
-Not playing Mitch Mustain when Casey Dick was having so much trouble showed me how little faith Houston Nutt truly has in his freshman quarterback.
-Tigers won, but again they made mental mistakes. 2 fumbles by the Tigers inside Razorback territory changed the whole outcome of the game.
-LSU has recovered well from their 2 losses. This team has proven they are BCS bowl worthy. Les Miles's team deserves to play with the absolute best.
USC vs. Notre Dame
-In the past years I was not quick to give USC much credit because of how weak the PAC 10 was. This year the team had to replace Leinart, Bush, White, and more, yet this team is in position to play in the BCS Championship Game. Bottom line: USC is for real. Especially that defense.
-Brady Quinn had a rough game all night, but his receivers did not help. Dropped passes killed the Irish. Senior Rhema McKnight dropped a big 4th drown that was crushing to the Irish comeback. Mental mistakes like that can not exist when playing someone like USC.
-Looking back at the game, Notre Dame got blown out because they missed their opportunities. I lost count of how many 4th down plays the Irish failed to convert. More importantly, Weis's team did not capitalize on the turnovers the defense created.
-I feel putting the Irish in the BCS bowl picture is a biased decision. ND has not had the hardest schedule this year, and in their 2 hardest games the team lost by multiple scores. Is this team really that good to be considered for a BCS bowl or is it just the fact that this is Notre Dame, the notorious Catholic school? I am going to say it is the second one.
Texas vs. Texas A&M
-Longhorns got hosed on a touchdown early in the 1st half. Down 6-0, McCoy threw a touchdown pass inside the red zone. The referees called an awful penalty saying offensive pass inference was present. Replays show that was not the case.
-Yes, UT got hosed on a call, but in general the team was not ready to play Friday. The team looked like they were going through the motions.
-A&M coach Dennis Franchione was on the hot seat coming into this year. If his team can get a nice bowl victory, I think you can say that Franchione has cooled off the critics.
Florida vs. Florida State
-I did not think the Gators should of had that much trouble with FSU. Was Urban's team maybe looking ahead to the SEC Championship?
-Freshman Percy Harvin of UF is as fast as you thought he was. His injury is critical to the team because his presence on the field adds that necessary spark.
-Seminoles are in trouble. From the looks of it, this program looks like it may be going down the same route as Penn State. (Old coach, team losing, fans restless, change wanted)
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
-Since Les Miles departure the OSU program definitely took a step back. With that said, the school is making progress with 2nd year head coach Mike Gundy. After going 4-7 in 2005 where the defense was atrocious, the Cowboys are 6-6 after a close loss to the Sooners.
-Sooners lost their starting QB before the season and Adrian Peterson at about midseason. Fighting all of that the team has managed to lose only 2 games (the iffy Oregon game and Texas). By A&M beating Texas and Oklahoma beating OSU, the Sooners will be able to play in the BIG 12 Championship. Well done, Stoops, well done.
-When Adrian Peterson went out, the nation felt the Sooners' running game would deeply suffer. Not so fast! In came Allen Patrick. Prior to being the starter, Patrick had only 62 yards rushing in 4 games. For the past 4 weeks Patrick has been the starter. In 4 weeks Patrick has rushed for 665 yards and 3 touchdowns with an impressive 4.7 yards per carry. His success comes out to about 151 yards rushing per game. Not bad at all.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Fresh off of winning the National Championship, the Florida Gators are ready to make a run at title #2. Behind this team's hopes is junior forward phenomenon Joakim Noah. As dominating as Noah was last March, his impact will be felt even more after he decided to pass up on the being the #1 pick in the NBA draft. The quote below is one said by Noah in a recent interview. It is nothing short of powerful.
"People say, 'You could have been the Number 1 pick in the NBA draft! Why did you come back?'" says Joakim Noah. "I'm not in a situation where I need money to put food on the table, and I just feel like it would be that more special for me and my teammates to stay as a group. There's nothing like the college environment. My stock might drop- and it probably will with Greg Oden around- but it's not about that."
Honestly, how can you not have respect for a guy like Noah? He is someone who passed up millions because quite frankly, he was not ready to leave the college environment.
When his time is done at Florida, I will not be surprised if years down the road they are still talking about him...
Sunday, November 19, 2006
A week off of a 7 point loss to the Steelers, the Saints were determined to go back to N.O. and beat the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately, winning in anything is hard to do when you shoot yourself in the foot. Sure Brees threw for 510 yards, but 3 INTs? Yeek. 2 INTs where thrown by Drew inside of the Cincy 10 yard line. It doesn't get more painful than to watch your QB throw an INT that close to the end zone. To make matters worse, the 3rd INT was not thrown deep inside the Bengals' territory. Instead, it was thrown around midfield...to where it was taken back for 6 points.
Main reason for the Saints recent slide is...
1. Defense. Earlier in the year they were a consistant, effective unit. Now, N.O. is giving up 200 yards rushing one game, followed by 200 yards receiving another.
2. Get the ball to Joe Horn more. I know he's still recovering, but #87 has always had a knack for making the big play. Use that ability.
3. Stop beating yourself, getting silly penalties. Make the opponent have to beat you. Ex: Throwing 2 INTs inside the opponents 10 yard line.
Next game: @ ATL
November 18, 2006
LSU (8-2) vs. Ole Miss (3-7)
In their final home game of the season, many LSU faithful had a confident feeling the LSU Tigers would have no trouble with a Rebel team that was once again going to be left out of the bowl picture. Looking at their schedule clearly showed that the Ole Miss Rebels were better than their record indicated. Going into the game, Ole Miss had lost to Auburn, Georgia, and Alabama by an average of 5 points.
Right from the get-go LSU got jumped. I do not whether LSU was down after having seen Arkansas win or the fact that they were playing Arkansas next week. Whatever it was LSU looked flat out sloppy and unprepared.
As an LSU fan, I like to refer to this game as The Night Thanksgiving Was Saved. I was looking forward to a Top 10 showdown the day after Thanksgiving between LSU and Arkansas. I never expect for LSU to fall flat after going up 7-0. Not only were 20 unanswered points given up, the defense was not nearly as dominating without LB Darry "Uncle Trouble" Beckwith. As for the offense, Russell was off. His throws were off to the point it cost LSU at least two touchdowns.
I will be honest. When the score was still 20-7 and there were about 10 minutes left, I was starting to give up. Again, I have to point my finger at Russell. Things were getting so aggravating at Tiger Stadium last night that I was simply letting it be known if Russell could not pull himself together, than he lost a lot of my support.
Still, the team hung in there. The D kept giving the offense plenty of chances. When LSU scored to make it 20-14, I thought taking the lead would be no problem. Like so much of the game, the Ole Miss defense was aggressive and tough for the Tigers to penetrate.
Late in the game LSU got the ball at midfield. The offense was finally starting to come together and one more score seemed definite. A few plays later LSU was punting. That was a drive where Russell's throwing was off yet again. Ball at midfield and you could not squeeze out any points?
Right before LSU got the ball for one more final try, I anxiously watched the Ole Miss punt. When I saw the flag thrown for roughing the kicker, I was certain the penalty was 15 yards, automatic first down. LSU was toast with no timeouts left. Turns out it was only 5 yards as the call was a mere running into the kicker.
That final drive Russell kept chipping away at the Ole Miss D. All day Russell had struggled, but yet no INTs had occurred. That thought alone terrified me. Play after play LSU continued to get closer. But as each play ended, more time ran off the clock. With under 2 minutes remaining, Russell was sacked in a way similar to the final moments of the Auburn game. Something like that was not happening again.
After the Tigers got into a 1st & Goal and Russell overthrow Bowe slightly, I was free of stress knowing LSU had plenty of tries. Before I could realize what was going on, Jacob Hester dropped the potential GW touchdown on 3rd & Goal from the 6. The game came down to one play. At this point in the game my heart rate was around 200 beats a minute.
Tiger Stadium was rocking and in a single motion the play had started. The crowd quieted as everyone waited to see how one of the greatest LSU/Ole Miss games would end. After not finding his initial receivers, Russell threw a rocket to Bowe. Bowe caught it and the stadium was chaos.
For much of the final drive, my friends and I were in certain standing positions because of our crazy superstitions. After Bowe caught that touchdown, I lost my footing. Sure the blocking was the reason for the missed kick, but hey I did not do my part. Blaming that missed kick on Colt David is a crime. Blocking was the sole reason OT happened.
Thankfully an Ole Miss player did not return the blocked kick for a TD. I will not lie. That ball bounces different and Rebel fans are talking about winning the game on a blocked field goal.
Overtime was an eerie feeling. The stadium had generated so much momentum in the 4th quarter. To all of a sudden be in OT after a missed field goal, frankly, killed the crowd somewhat.
Winning the coin flip was huge. Playing defense is always preferred. Thanks to some hard tackling, LSU was fortunate to scoop up a fumble. That final OT drive was nothing but Hester, Hester, and so more Hester. Watching the final kick was too painful to watch. All I could think about was that missed PAT. I closed my eyes and after the hollering began, I knew that LSU had indeed just saved Thanksgiving.
1. Dwayne Bowe played awesome. 2 touchdowns in clutch moments. With that said, I still feel our most reliable receiver is Early Doucet. Game in and game out, Doucet makes crucial receptions. That 4th down catch overruled is something I am not sure I agree with, but 9/10 Doucet makes that catch with no questions asked.
2. Jimbo Fisher's calls were a bit odd at times. A run up the middle again when the last 10 times did nothing? LSU NEEDS TO THROW THE BALL MORE!
3. Did I mention the defense without Darry "Uncle Trouble" Beckwith is phenomenally different.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Synopsis: Saints are coming off of a tough road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. New Orleans is heading back home at 6-3 to take on a tough 4-5 Cincinnati Bengals team. If N.O. felt they left one slip away, than Cincy must be going crazy knowing they blew another game. The Bengals blew a 28-7 halftime lead against the San Diego Chargers.
Why Saints Will Win: Gary Gibb's D gave up 2 70+ yard runs to Willie Parker of Pitt. Just in general, the D was missing tackles and playing a flat out sloppy game. As for the offense: fumbles. Payton was ticked when Bush fumbled, and he was even more ticked when Terrence Copper fumbled at the end of the game. Payton will be sure to motivate his team to step it up. Surrendering 38 points, missing tackles, and fumbling is something the new ball coach does not want associated with this Saints team. Besides with Drew Brees leading the NFL in passing and rookie Marques Colston leading it in receiving, the only thing that needs to be fixed is that D.
Why Bengals Will Win: Cincy is 4-5. They are not a 4-5 team. Last week was such a hurtful loss for them. You don't think Marv Lewis will have his team pumped up? Carson Palmer had his best game as a pro last week. Going up against a D that surrounded 38 points to a struggling Steelers team must look very appetizing. Also, Chad Johnson seems to finally be playing to his potential. With over 200+ of receiving yards last week, you can be sure Cinco Ocho is licking his chops as well when he goes against a weak cornerback crew.
Prediction: Both teams are coming off tough losses. The one difference is Cincy's was must more devastating. Conclusion? Bengals are going to be coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders. N.O. will once again fall in a hole like they did against Baltimore a few weeks ago. Coach Payton welcome to a two game losing streak!
Bengals 34 Saints 21
One more thing, I have recently been receiving getting these comments on my blog about how the "Saints suck." I am not sure on who the culprit is, but I have a hunch. I, for one, am not falling down into that old New-Orleans-Saints-suck hole. This is a new Saints team. Hurricane Katrina marked the beginning of a new era for the black and gold. No longer shall we compare this Saints team to the "old chokeful Saints" of the past. This is a new era. Reread that. Laugh if you want. Bicker, or do whatever. But for me this is a start of something good. Something good for a franchise that has always had the worst of luck.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Going into the game, the Pittsburgh Steelers were an uncharacteristic 2-6. The Saints at 6-2 going into the game knew that Pittsburgh was much better than their record indicated. Nonetheless, Saints came out flat, started playing well, and finished flat.
The 38-31 loss against the Steelers was a disappointing one. Not because of the mere fact N.O. lost, but how they lost. Turnovers and sloppy tackling. Coming into the second half, Saints had a 24-17. In the 30 minutes of play that were left in the game, Saints gave up 2 70+ yard runs by Willie Parker, 2 fumbles on offense by Reggie Bush and Terrence Cooper, and an inability to make tackles.
Now there were some positives in the game. Drew Brees. His play was excellent. When a play breaks down, Brees has the unique ability to make a play. That throw to Aaron Stecker for 48 yards is a perfect example.
Along with Brees the other impressive performance was by Marques Colston. As a rookie this Hofstra graduate is making plays like a seasoned veteran. 10 catches for 169 yards? That's amazing and Offensive Rookie of the Year material.
Next week: Cincinnati Bengals.
Off of a tough loss to the San Diego Chargers 49-41, Cincy will be coming into New Orleans.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
#3 Louisville (8-0) @ #15 Rutgers (8-0)
Another Thursday Night battle of the undefeateds. For the second straight week, I will be watching. Rutgers are having a historic season and I want to say they win...but that inexperience at QB is what turns me away. After a tied halftime, Cardinals will jump on the Scarlet Knights. Brian Brohm will be at his best here. Despite a valient effort, Rutgers will do too little too late.
Louisville 37 Rutgers 28
Georgia (6-4) @ #5 Auburn (9-1)
Earlier in the year I would have said Bulldogs have a better chance. Not so much now. Georgia is struggling more and more every week. Richt's team has lost to Vandy and Kentucky in the same season. The QB situation is a mess. Auburn is looking to try and squeeze into the SEC Championship. Tuberville will have this team very focused and ready to play.
Auburn 38 Georgia 13
South Carolina (5-4) @ #6 Florida (8-1)
It has to be rough this year to be a Gamecock fan. All four of the team's losses could easily have been wins. In Spurrier's return to the Swamp you would like to think his team triumphs...but this is a Florida squad with one loss. A loss to Auburn they practically gave away. Let's not forget, the Gators did just get into the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2000. Possible trap game?
Florida 25 South Carolina 23
#21 Oregon (7-2) @ #7 USC (7-1)
Ducks have been a fun team to watch this year. Especially RB Jonathon Stewart. USC is out to put on a good whoopin' to show America that the Oregon State loss was nothing more than a fluke. I always hear this will be the year the Ducks bring it to the Trojans. Sorry, not having it. USC will clip the Ducks wings from kickoff.
USC 45 Oregon 20
#13 Tennessee (7-2) @ #11 Arkansas (8-1)
Tennessee is coming off yet another tough loss. Arkansas is rolling on all cylinders and control their destiny to Atlanta. If Ainge plays he will still be banged up. Auburn faithful will surely be yelling "Rocky Top!" during this game. This just in: Arkansas is better than anyone gives them credit for. This team is dangerous. Especially Darren McFadden, the best running back in the SEC. Look for UT to suffer from a hangover and get defeated in Arkansas.
Arkansas 40 Tennessee 24
Saints (6-2) @ Steelers (2-6)
The defending Super Bowl champs are not getting into the postseason. There I said it. None the less, winning in Pitt is always a tough task. Saints have a difficult schedule that does not seem to have any easy games. I was thinking Big Ben and Co. might jump on a possibly cocking Saints team. In the end, I think Payton gets the crew focused for yet another road victory.
Saints 24 Steelers 13
Yes, I realize it is late in the week for me to be giving my thoughts on a game nearly a week ago. Well too bad cause here they are.
First things first, LSU beat an 8th ranked Tennessee Volunteer team in their own backyard. Don't overlook that. Neyland Stadium is a 100,000+ seat stadium that can be incredibly intimindating for a visiting team.
Anyway, here are my thoughts postgame....
1. For yet another LSU game, Tigers got screwed on a blown call by the refree. I am sorry but to me it looked pretty doggone convincing that on that punt the ball did hit a fellow Vols hand.
2. LSU still is shooting themselves in the foot. Twice up 21-17 LSU got into Tennessee territory and turned it over. The game should never have come down to that Russell touchdown pass.
3. JaMarcus made some dumb mistakes, but he made up for it by having 3 solid touchdown drives. The player I was most disappointed with was Dwayne Bowe. I could not believe how many balls went right through his hands...and that fumble at midfield. Those are freshman mistakes by a senior.
4. Les Miles's comments after halftime were a very good thing for the Tiger Nation to see. LSU fans have always had the impression Miles does not have much emotion. That all changed Saturday. He needs to continue to do that. No not cuss at reporters but show that extra emotion.
Next game: Alabama
Prediction: Bama is coming off of a home loss to Mississippi State. I think that is the first time in six years the Bulldogs have won a SEC road game. LSU is coming off an emotional win against the Vols. This could be a trap game for the Tigers. These teams are rivals so you never know. Alabama's season is already down the drain so they have nothing to lose. Regardless, I feel Tigers get a good grip on the game.
LSU 31 Alabama 14
Friday, November 03, 2006
Penn State Nittany Lions (6-3) @ #17 Wisconsin Badgers (8-1)
Last Year: Penn State 35 Wisconsin 14
Synopsis: Wisconsin is the most unappreciated one loss team in the nation. In his first year, head coach Bret Bielema's only loss has come to the hands of the undefeated, #2 ranked, Michigan Wolverines. With Penn State you really never know what to expect. One week they get destroyed by Notre Dame 41-17, the next week they give up a late touchdown to Michigan to lose a close one 17-3.
Why Wisconsin Will Win: Senior quarterback John Stocco has thrown 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Running back PJ Hill, Jr. leads the Big 10 in all purpose yards as well as rushing yards per game with 136. The team has the offensive talent to throw the Nittany Lions off course.
Why Penn State Will Win: Against a tough defense like Michigan's, Wisconsin only put up 13 points. Penn State is third in total defense in the Big 10 and safety Anthony Scirrotto leads the league with 5 interceptions. Besides, Joe Pa has still got some magic left.
Outcome: Both teams have the defenses, but only Wisconsin truly has an effective offense. Penn State will hang with the Badgers most of the game. Regardless, once Wisconsin keeps on scoring, Penn State will not be able to keep up.
Wisconsin 29 Penn State 14 ___________________________________________________________________
#16 Boston College (7-1) @ #22 Wake Forest (7-1)
Last Year: Boston College 35 Wake Forest 30
Synopsis: BC is really starting to develop into what could be the ACC Champions. The Eagles only loss was an early season game against NC State. With under 15 seconds left in the game, a 40 yard heave was amazingly got by a Wolfpack WR. Wake Forest is the underdog story of the year. The Demon Deacons were not given much respect coming into the season. Well here we are over two months into the season and Wake Forest has only one loss. Nearly one month ago, the Deacons lost their only game to the Clemson Tigers 27-17.
Why Boston College Will Win: Quarterback Matt Ryan leads the ACC with 237 yards passing per game. He will be going against the 10th ranked ACC pass defense. Ryan is surely licking his chops. Did I mention the Eagles also average 381 yards of total offense a game?
Why Wake Forest Will Win: Alphonso Smith. This guy is currently tied at 3rd in the nation at punt return yardage. He currently averages 34 yards each time he touches the ball. His skills could easily let Wake Forest win the field position battle. And as we all know, more times than not, the team who wins the field position battle wins the game. Quarterback Riley Skinner is 1st in the ACC in passing efficiency. Skinner is a smart QB who plays within his range of talent. He understands his limits and so far he has been excellent with that.
Outcome: In the past, this would of been the perfect game for BC to put up a goose egg. Not this year. Wake Forest may be the underdog story, but this BC team is a serious ACC contender. Though the one thing that sticks out is BC has a good passing offense and Wake Forest does not have a good passing defense. 'Nuff said.
Boston College 36 Wake Forest 28
#12 Arkansas (7-1) @ South Carolina (5-3)
Last Year: South Carolina 14 Arkansas 10
Synopsis: The Razorbacks control their own destiny in getting to the SEC Championship. Arkansas is currently first in the SEC West with a one game lead over Auburn after dismantling the "Tigers" 27-10 earlier this year. Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks have three losses and two of them could very well have been victories. On the final drive of the game, South Carolina threw an INT to lose to Auburn 24-17. Last weekend South Carolina cut the Tennessee Volunteers 14 point lead to 7. In the end, the Vols won 31-24.
Why Arkansas Will Win: Arkansas has the #1 rushing attack in the SEC. Darren McFadden leads the SEC with 102 rushing per game, while running back Felix Jones leads the SEC in all-purpose running with 127 yards a game.
Why South Carolina Will Win: The Gamecocks have let some games slip away. Spurrier's team is bound to finally get one right. The defense of South Carolina yields only 11 points per game. A stingy defense with a turnover margin of +2 going against a team with a turnover margin of -4 can only mean good things.
Outcome: Toughest game yet. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Spurrier's team does indeed get it right Saturday night. Arkansas will be jumped on from the get-go. You can be sure the Auburn faithful will be watching this game.
South Carolina 27 Arkansas 23
#18 Oklahoma (6-2) @ #21 Texas A&M (8-1)
Last Year: Oklahoma 36 Texas A&M 30
Synopsis: The Sooners come into this game two weeks off of Adrian Peterson's devastating injury. Against a surprising Missouri team last week, Oklahoma played with a lot of emotion. It showed as Stoops's Sooners rolled 26-10. For A&M head coach Dennis Franchione, coming into this season he knew he was on the hot seat. Right now, 9 games into the season with only one loss, that seat is cooling off a bit. The Aggies are fresh off of muzzling a rising Baylor Bears squad by the score of 31-21.
Why Oklahoma Will Win: Oklahoma is playing angry right now. From Rhett Bomar, to the Oregon game, to Peterson's injury, this team has had their share of bad luck. In my opinion nobody wants to play these guys. The biggest reason is the turnover savvy defense. The 11 men on D have caused 11 turnovers so far.
Why Texas A&M Will Win: Jorvorskie Lane is 3rd in the nation in scoring with 102 points. Also A&M has the best pass defense in the Big 12. That can only be good news when you are going against an inexperienced QB in Paul Thompson. But the real reason is the Aggies are 5-1 in games decided under 7 points. Their only loss came to Texas Tech on an spectacular touchdown catch.
Outcome: Oklahoma is angry and Texas A&M is out to prove they are for real. A&M may have Kyle Field in their favor, but this Oklahoma team is determined to prove doubters wrong. Stoops is out to show that his squad is better than their 2 loss record indicates.
Oklahoma 30 Texas A&M 20
#13 LSU (6-2) @ #8 Tennessee (7-1)
Last Year: Tennessee 30 LSU 27 OT
Synopsis: LSU comes into this game fresh off of a bye week. LSU has two tough road losses this season to Auburn (7-3) and Florida (23-10). If Les Miles's crew falls to 0-3 on the road after this weekend, then you can be sure people in Baton Rouge will be calling for his head. Tennessee had a nightmare of a season last year at 5-6. As of now those awful memories seem as ancient as the Romans. With new offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, QB Erik Ainge is firing on all cylinders.
Why LSU Will Win: Losing a 17 point lead in Tiger Stadium was a humiliating experience for the Fightin' Tigers. No player on that team has forgotten the feeling that had after that game. The team has had a week off to prepare for this game. LSU has the #1 ranked total defense (212 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (85) in the nation. They also have the #2 ranked scoring defense (8 ppg).
Why Tennessee Will Win: Erik Ainge is having a great comeback season. So far he has thrown for 16 touchdowns and only 8 INTs. His favorite WR Robert Meachem is 4th nationally in receiving yards per game with 109. The team's mere loss of the season was against Florida (21-20). Also the team is 1st in total offense in the SEC. To prove their for real, they hung 51 points on a widely-respected Georgia defense. Oh and one more thing: the game is in Neyland Stadium.
Outcome: This one will for sure be a nail bitter. Despite his success against Georgia, Ainge has never gone against a defense like the Tigers. For the short time Ainge was in the game last year, LSU suffocated him. Look for Cutliffe to play an intense chess match with LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. In the end, it will be Pelini was says "checkmate."
LSU 16 Tennessee 14
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
1. Oakland Raiders
-Two weeks ago sport web sites across the US were talking about Oakland going winless this season. I applaud Coach Shell for squeezing this 2 game winning streak out. Ever since losing to Bucs in the Super Bowl, Oakland has been awful. I still think this will be a rough year for the Raiders, but for now a win cures all.
2. Green Bay Packers
-In their first five games Green Bay was victorious in one single game. Brett Favre coming back was starting to look like a bad decision. Since being 1-4, the Pack have had a bye week, followed by a nice 2 game winning streak. At 3-4, Green Bay will be playing Buffalo this weekend. A 4-4 Packers team is a very high possibility.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
-Losing Trent Green + starting the season 0-2 was a perfect recipe for yet another KC season ending without a playoff ticket. Not so fast. Since their bye week KC has won 4 out of their last 5, including victories against San Diego and Seattle.
4. Baltimore Ravens
-Ravens started the 2006 season 4-0. In only a couple of weeks the happy days of Baltimore seemed to be flipped upside down. After losing back to back weeks, Coach Brian Billick fired his Offensive Coordinator Jim Fassel. Good move? You tell me. During his first week as the man calling shots, Billick's Ravens beat the Saints at home. More importantly, the Ravens put up 28 points in the first half during their 35-22 victory.
5. New York Jets
-I realize they just lost to the Browns, but at 4-4 New York is surprising everyone. A lot of uncertainity was floating around the Big Apple this past offseason. So far QB Chad Pennington has shown that he is in fact back in the swing of things.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Hey everyone I am back to writing on my blog. This first article will not be as professional as what you have seen in the past because frankly I want to give you guys something to read. I'll be doing the usual short, sports articles. The typical random stuff that has caught my attention.
5 Teams That Should Start Panicking
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
-This one is obvious. 2-4 is not good, but workable. 2-5? Big time trouble. Look at it this way. The AFC is stacked. In the past couple of years, teams that were 10-6 missed out on the playoffs, but for the Steelers sake let's say a team gets in this year at 9-7. To even get in that situation Pittsburgh would need to win 7 out of their last 9. Sorry Cowher, I do not see a repeat happening...much less a playoff spot.
2. Arizona Cardinals
-As a Saints' fan you hate to see another struggling franchise like Arizona...well, continue to struggle. Ever since flat out choking against the Bears on Monday Night, the Cards have looked disgusting. That's right disgusting. The team is 1-7 right now. Dennis Green will be fired when the season is officially over. What a sorry end to a coach destined to turn the hapless Cards into winners.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
-Philly could easily have been 5-0 going into New Orleans a couple weeks ago, but the team had a late 4th quarter collapse against the Giants. Whatever the Eagles were 4-1 going into N.O. Not bad at all. 3 weeks later the Eagles are 4-4. Please someone tell me what the heck is going on in Philly? McNabb is losing that awesome play he has been showing for so much of the first half of the season. Coach Reid needs to get this team together before they miss the playoffs for the second straight year.
4. Tampa Bay Bucanneers
-Last year, Coach Gruden and Chris Simms had great success together. This year would only build on that. Wrong! Simms is out for the season with a ruptured splein. Rookie Bruce Gradowski had done well, but regardless he has shown those rookie mistakes here and there. Whatever the reason, Tampa is 2-5 with New Orleans coming into town. To make matters even worse the NFC South is not what you call ''easy.''
5. Miami Dolphins
-Nick Saban is in his second year as the Dolphin's head coach. Last year the team finished on an impressive 6 game winning streak. This year the Fins were suppose to be challenging the New England Patriots for the Division Title. I don't see that happening this year. Miami is 1-6. The one thing that sticks out this most is they don't have a QB.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Already LeBron James is clearly showing his ability to dominate basketball games. Though the more impressive he becomes, the more talks about him leaving Cleveland brew. It seems everyone is convinced that after the 2006-2007 season LeBron James is going to dart away from Cleveland. The media is trying to create an image where LeBron is an individual who sees himself as a high paid athlete that is ''too good'' to be playing basketball in a cold city like Cleveland. I for one, completely disagree. Yes, you can say that LeBron has lived in Ohio his whole life and that maybe being in a different setting just might be better for him. Though let me ask you this: How many championships do the Cleveland Cavaliers have? Zero. How many times have the Cavaliers even been to the NBA Finals? Zero. See a trend? If I were LeBron James, I would ultimately reside in Cleveland. I would also want to prove to the world that I am in fact a champion who can compete with the best, and build his team from the ground up. King James has a chance to leave a legacy in Cleveland. A chance to make a name for a franchise, a city, and of course...himself. 'Nuff said...
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I attended this past Wednesday's LSU/Arkansas SEC Showdown, and to be honest I can not think of another basketball game in my lifetime with such an up and down ending. After a tough loss to the Crimson Tide, Brady's Bunch knew they had to get back on the winning track. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-1 lead and looked to be in control. Lead by Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon Modica, Arkansas came roaring back. Throughout the game, LSU was in control. Despite this impressive stat, the Razorbacks kept hanging around. Finally LSU started to pulled away, and the game looked like it would be won with ease. Tyrus Thomas just successfully pulled off another alley-oop thrown his way and the Tigers lead 72-58 with 5:16 left in the game. Before the LSU fan could grasp what was going on, the Razorbacks were making a rally. The once energetic Tigers were not playing to win, but rather playing not to lose. Tension was building in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This second half meltdown by the Brady's team looked nothing short of the disaster that occurred against Tennessee during the football season. As terrible as it was to imagine, the unthinkable was happening. No way LSU was going to blow this game! After Ronnie Brewer nailed both free throws, the Tigers trailed 77-75 with under 30 seconds to play. Brady's Bunch still had an opportunity to pull out a win. Off of a missed Garrett Temple three pointer, Glen Davis grabbed a rebound. Big Baby attempted to go back up strong, but was taken down with some fellow Razorbacks. Foul on Arkansas, right? I mean Davis was obviously being hacked? Possession Arkansas?! You are kidding me! This is a nightmare! Arkansas had a chance to ice the game. Sean McCurdy went to the line and missed both free throws. Surprisely enough, LSU still had a chance. After dishing the ball off to every man in yellow on the court, Darrell Mitchell got a pass and an open look. Big Baby had just set a pick on Darrell's man, allowing Mitchell that split moment to get a three point shot off. The three pointer swished through the net, and the student section went nothing short of insane. With 11 seconds left Ronnie Brewer tried brewing a shot up. He lunged himself from the three point line and the ball just missed the basket. After it seemed the Tigers had blown the ball game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, the lone senior star Darrell Mitchell stepped up and made the biggest shot of his LSU career. As #22 walked off the court with a huge grin on his face, would could only think: Was that three pointer payback for the one he missed against UConn in the closing seconds? We may never know...
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I was surfing the web once again when I came across a "great" Sports Illustrated article at CNNSI.com by Andrew Perloff. The thing about Mr. Perloff's latest article is it clearly shows his lack of respect for the hard worker. Sure it was not the prettiest Super Bowl, but none the less a great amount of respect should be displayed towards the Pittsburgh Steelers who battled through turmoil and adversity to become champions. For the past year these two teams have fought through the season and playoffs to get to a shot at making history. And for 60 minutes Seattle and Pittsburgh duked it out for the ultimate prize. After a tiresome year, relief finally could be felt by Cowher's Crew. None of this is relevant to Andrew Perloff who obviously feels the more important issue is that the game was boring and a waste of time. Well I am sure everyone is sorry to have wasted your precious time. Overall, I would expect a childish remark like that from a youngster, but from a Sports Illustrated writer? Shame shame shame.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Just like that the NFL year is over. Another season has come and gone, and to tell you the truth this will be one remembered vividly as the year the underdog prevailed the victor. It really is quite amazing what the Pittsburgh Steelers had to go through for a Super Bowl title. Ever since losing to Cincinnati in early December and dropping to 7-5, the Steelers have reeled off 8 straight victories. The very idea that a 6th seeded team beat a 1st seeded team twice, a 2nd seeded team, and a 3rd seeded team is nothing short of inspirational. If anything should be gained by youngsters who watched this season, it's that no matter what the circumstances are teamwork always prevails over individualism. To see a long time head coach and future Hall of Famer get that much anticipated Super Bowl title is a pleasing feeling. Overall, watching how Coach Cowher assembled a team of guys who have always put team efforts before themselves is the ultimate lesson that the football world has learned.
Friday, January 27, 2006
It is Saturday morning and the LSU Tigers Men's College Basketball team is getting ready for their game against the Ole Miss Rebels. As the Tigers warm up for the game one can not help, but be amazed by LSU's current record. Through the team's first 18 games LSU has posted an impressive mark of 13-5. To make matters even more unthinkable is the fact LSU has won 5 straight conference games. Pretty astounding when you think about where this squad was less than a year ago. For all LSU fans, it is something that is unforunately, vividly remembered. The Tigers entered the Field of 65 on fire, despite losing to a good Kentucky team by one point in the SEC Tournament. The first victim of March Madness (or so we thought) was Alabama-Birmingham. Well as the story goes LSU gets stomped. To make matters worse, it is the second straight NCAA appearance where LSU lost in the first round. To throw even more salt into the wound, Brandon Bass left early for NBA and Tack Minor was ruled ineligible for the first half of the upcoming season. Once the year began, the inexperiance of LSU was greatly showcased. The team lost 5 games by a total of 11 points, yet in some bittersweet way Brady's team gained something. The team gained confidence, character, and the mental aspect of the game. Even more surprising was the veteran play of such freshman like Tyrus Thomas (redshirt), Garrett Temple, Ben Voogd, and Tasmin Mitchell. The once sinking USS John Brady, now seems to be spreading it's wings for take off. Brady Ball is at full steam and by the looks of the atmosphere in Baton Rouge, things have not been this exciting since Stro and Jabari ran the paint. It is quite evident this is a special team John Brady has under his wings. A special team that could make Stro and Jabari's run look like a first round exit. 'Nuff said...
Do not remind me of my Conference Championship picks again. Believe me I have heard my share of "nice picks" and "way to go" since that day both Carolina and Denver lost. Anyway, let's cut to the chase. The biggest sporting event in the United States of America is less than a week away. Before I give you my analysis on the game let me just say this...Don't you think it's odd that one of America's fatest cities happened to get Super Bowl Xtra Large. Alright maybe I am the only one who thought that...
(NOTE: Feel free to click on photos!)
Synopsis: On Super Bowl Sunday, Pittsburgh will be playing in the franchise's 6th Super Bowl. The organization has not been to the big game since 1996, and for that matter they have not even won a championship since 1980. The Seattle Seahawks on the other hand will be serving in their first Super Bowl ever. The closest this club has ever been to a Super Bowl was in 1983 when Seattle lost 30-14 to Oakland in the AFC Championship.
Why Seattle Will Win: How many times has Coach Holmgren been to the Big Game? Twice. He knows what it takes to win, and he knows what mistakes lead to defeat. After all the criticism Holmgren has endured while the head coach in Seattle, he can shut up the critics for good with a Super Bowl win...and that is just what is going to happen. Why you ask? His team is loaded with the League's MVP and most underrated quarterback. Blitzburgh has not faced a running back like Alexander in the playoffs. That alone will cause great trouble for Cowher's Crew. Along with that, the D in Seattle is young, fast, and damn good. Cornerback Nathan Trufant is an up and coming cornerback who will only get better. The same can be said for rookie sensation Lofa Tatupu, who will be playing in the upcoming Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. Overall, the three main factors in Seattle's win will be Holmgren's experience, Alexander's versatility, and a defense that is suffocating.
Why Pittsburgh Will Win: It was ten years ago, but you can be sure that loss to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX still hurts Coach Cowher when he thinks about it. Remember earlier in the year when a playoff berth was a long shot for this Pittsburgh team? A lot has sure changed since then. They have run the tables by beating the AFC's first, second, and third seeded teams. (First team in NFL history.) With a ferocious defense and a QB playing beyond his years, this team is destined to give Cowher the hardware he deserves. They'll pull off the victory because of the opportunities the defense will set up for Big Ben & Co.
X-Factors: Yes, we all know that Shaun Alexander , Matt Hasselback, Jerome Bettis, and Ben Roethlisberger are important players in Super Bowl XL. Yet that is not what is known as a X-Factor player. A X-Factor player is an individual who is not famous, nor very dominate, but none the less his success is important and vital. For Seattle there X-Factor will have to be 4 year veteran TE Jeremy Stevens. During this season when Stevens has at least 4 catches the Seahawks are 6-0. If he's given the chance to make the play, the Pittsburgh D better watch out. As for the yellow and black their X-Factor is the energetic and outspoken LB Joey Porter. When Mr. Porter has at least one sack, his Steeler team is 7-2. If Porter is sacking the quarterback, then the Blitzburg defense is obviously working.
Matchup History: Seattle and Pittsburgh have played each other 14 times. The Seahawks lead the series 8-6, which includes a two game winning streak (1999, 2003). In those 14 showdowns the average score is 20-14 Seattle. Let's not forget that this will only be the second time in the 21st century that Seattle and Pittsburgh will play each other.
Prediction: I am very excited about this upcoming Super Bowl. Sunday's matchup consists of two teams that have not won a Super Bowl in quite some time (if at all). Also, both Seattle and Pittsburgh are impressive on both defense and offense. Though, in the end I will have to give the nod to Pittsburgh. I believe defense wins championships, and in Cowher's latest D you have 11 men on the field who can flat out disable an offense. Mark my words, The Bus goes out a winner!
Steelers 34 Seahawks 20
Monday, January 23, 2006
I was 6-2 heading into Conference Championship week. I was cruising along. I was of on top of my game. That was until I was flat out wrong about the Seattle/Carolina, and Denver/Pittsburgh games. I do not think I could have been more wrong. None the less, Super Bowl XL is right around the corner. I'll give you my prediction next week when the game is actually closer. The only purpose of this post is for you, the viewer, to feel the sorrow I felt after my pathetic picks.
Remember that article I wrote on December 22, 2005 talking about the 62 points Kobe Bryant put up in 33 minutes? Remember how I talked about how if Kobe had played in the 4th quarter he surely would have broken David Thompson's record of 75 points in a game? Well how about this one! Kobe put up 81 points. I was in disbelief when I watched the highlights of the Lakers/Raptors game. It still has not totally sunk in. The man put up 81 points for crying out loud! The next closest guy was Shawn Marion who had 37 points against Seattle in double overtime. Bryant had more than twice the amount of points than Marion and he only played in four quarters! Like I have said in the past, Kobe Bryant is the best player in the game right now. When he is on, nobody is better than him. Not Tracy McGrady, not Tim Duncan, or even Shaquille O'Neal. Nobody. Mr. Bryant deserves all the praise he'll be getting for this unimaginable 81 point game, BUT do not start making claims that Kobe's 81 point performance was better than the Big Dipper's 100. No, don't start that. None the less, it may not be the single greatest basketball performance ever, but I still think 81 points is pretty darn good. 'Nuff said...
Saturday, January 21, 2006
I was recently surfing the web when I came across an article that listed the Top 10 Worst Comebacks. For the most part, I agreed with everything that was said in the article. Everything except the claim that Michael Jordan's second comeback was a miserable failure. People immediately look at the fact that because Jordan's Wizards never made it to the playoffs during his two year tenure MJ failed. Wrong! You knew that when Jordan came back his game was not going to be the same, but he still showed at his elderly age he could take games over. For instance, in his first season with Washington, Jordan had back-to-back 50+ point games. He is the oldest player in the history of the National Basketball Association to pull off that stunt. Let's not forget that also that same season #23 was elected to yet another All-Star game. Most people seem to focus on the fact MJ could not dunk the way he use to, but what about that fade away? From what I saw that shot was as clutch as it's ever been. Heck, Jordan will be able to hit that shot well into his 70s. All in all, the reason Jordan's Washington Wizards never made it to the post season is merely because of the lack of a supporting cast he had on that team. He pushed those guys to take their game to another level. He pushed them to win down the stretch of each game, but as we all know that never happened enough. One more thing to you Jordan haters: Did you know the UNC grad averaged an impressive 21.5 points and 6 rebounds in two seasons? Pretty darn good for a long time veteran. In conclusion, it is a very ignorant response to say Jordan's second comeback was a flat out failure. Yes, he did not reach his goal as far as getting to the playoffs, but that can not be the only thing looked at. You must look at the very aspect that even at 40 years old the greatest basketball player in the history of the game was still able to display his ability to control and dictate a game.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
The NFL Playoffs are always an exciting time of the year. For some reason this season seems to be a bit more special. Is it the fact that Bill Cowher's Pittsburgh Steelers are yet again in the hunt for a Super Bowl Championship? Or maybe how the Seattle Seahawks are attempting to win their first Super Bowl ever? Nah, can't be! It must be the storybook season of John Fox's Carolina Panthers! Wait, I got it this time! The reason playoff time is so much more exciting this year is because the Broncos have won their first playoff game since Elway left. Well whatever it is, the games have been awfully enjoying. This weekend features some marquee matchups. I can not see any scenerio where I would not be happy for whoever wins the Super Bowl. All in all, make sure to watch the games and enjoy my picks!
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
What's at stake: With a win Carolina will be going to their second Super Bowl in three years. As for Seattle, this organization is looking to get to their first Super Bowl berth. Both cities are eager to finally get a championship.
Why Carolina will win: Yes, Carolina may be without DeShaun Foster, but #37 Nick Goings is pretty solid. Besides, Delhomme is a dependable quarterback who has been in this situation before. To go along with the Delhomme-Speed Smith hookup is John Fox's suffocating defense. This Carolina team dismantled the #1 NFL defense. Why should Seattle's be a problem?
Why Seattle will win: After all the years of patience, Seattle fans are finally rewarded with a Seahawk team that is definitely Super Bowl worthy. Coach Holgrem has been to the Super Bowl twice, but believe me he'd love to go back. One of the toughest (if not the toughest) stadiums to play at, is in Seattle. The loud noise of the fans has caused opponents a NFL leading 25 false starts. To add on to the homefield advantage, the Hawks are also equipped with a veteran quarterback like Matt Hasselback. To make matters worse for the Panthers, #8 is having the best season of his career. Oh I almost forgot, Seattle has the league MVP Shaun Alexander. He was injured last week and has felt the criticism lately. You don't think he'll be out to prove something?
Prediction: This is definitely going to be a very memorable game. These teams line up evenly, except for one difference. Experience. We all know Seattle got over the hump and won their first playoff game since 1984. None the less, guys like Matt Hasselback and Shaun Alexander are not battle tested like Jake Delhomme and Julius Peppers. Fox's team has been in this situation before and they know what it takes to get to the Super Bowl. Period.
Panthers 29 Seahawks 20
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
What's at stake: In his last season, Jerome Bettis has the opportunity to give Bill Cowher a Super Bowl ring. A dream season could be cut short by a Denver Broncos bunch that is looking to pull out yet another Super Bowl title for Coach Shanahan who already has two.
Why Pittsburgh will win: Pittsburgh has been in playoff mode for several weeks. This team has seen it all. The upset against Indy was amazing just because Cowher's team dominated so much. Cowher is 1-4 in Conference Championship matchups and hasn't been to the Super Bowl in 10 years. He wants this, Bettis wants this, the team wants this. The defense will disrupt Plummer's timing and Roethlisberger will once again make the necessary plays for a victory.
Why Denver will win: Everyone looked over this Denver squad. I'm sure that is not the case anymore. After all, this team just ended the two-time defending champs reign. The defense showed they were a force to reckon with, but more importantly Jake Plummer showed that he in fact can make the critical plays.
Prediction: Choosing the victor in this ball game is a lot more difficult than the Carolina/Seattle game. Both teams, fans, and what not are extremely psyched for this showdown. The main factor in the winner of this game will be the home field advantage. Denver will be triumphant because their quick-strike offense will allow them to obtain an early lead of more than one score. This will force Pittsburgh to abandon their power running game and switch to a throwing offense. With a loud crowd and confusing defense, Roethlisberger will greatly panic. His youth will once again decide the fate of the Steelers.
Broncos 25 Steelers 20
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
There is one issue in sports I am tired of hearing. When a team wins, they are the winner. Period. They are the better team because if they were not they would have lost. (Except for a few extreme situations...1991 5th down incident) Understand? No more, "Well they may have lost, but they are still the better team." That's not true! After all if they knew who was going to win, why would the teams even bother playing? Think about it. It just makes me sick when I hear writers saying USC is still the superior football team compared to Texas. Matt Leinert's quote was the most classless thing a senior could say. His team lost, but he still thought they were the #1 team. It's tough to lose, but it's even worse to be a poor sport about it. Another classic example is a recent article written by Andrew Perloff on CNNSI.com. Mr. Perloff makes the comment that the better team lost Saturday in Denver. I have all the respect in the world for the Patriots, but how can you say on a night they converted 5 turnovers New England was better? Yes, New England has 3 Super Bowl rings in 4 years, and yes they may be a more dangerous team on paper, but when you get down to it the only thing that matters is the score at the end of the game. It's not logical to make that comment. With thinking like that you might as well say the 1969 Super Bowl trophy belongs to the Colts even though they lost 16-7 to Namath's Jets. How about this one? Georgetown may have lost to Villanova in 1985, but that championship really belongs to them. We all know Thompson's team was more skilled and flat out better than the Wildcats. The Hoyas were just off that night so they deserve the right to be called #1. All in all, the essence of a matchup between two opponents is suppose to decide one thing and one thing only, the winner...not a controversy. 'Nuff said...
Monday, January 16, 2006
I will be honest I hated analogies in school. I was never able to understand the connection between the words. Though, I recently stumbled across (made up) an analogy that even I can understand. The Sacramento Kings of the NBA are to what? The Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Do you remember that run the Kings had in the NBA during the first few years of the 21st century? Ah, yes! There was Coach Adelman, Peja, Weber, Bibby, Divac, and more. Despite the team's consistent strong record, they could never get a championship. Hmm. That reminds me of another team. The Indianapolis Colts. They set records, win at least 12 games a year, and also choke yearly in the playoffs. Sorry to be so harsh, but let's face it. Indy was in the perfect situation. For crying out loud they were looking to be the second team to go undefeated. Remember when they were 13-0? That seems so long ago. It is really difficult to see if whether or not Peyton's Colts will ever get that Super Bowl trophy. Year in and year out, problems always arise for this team during playoff time. It may be Dungy's conservative playcalling, Peyton's ineffective play, but whatever it is the story always is the same. "This is the Colts' year. Peyton is finally going to get to the Super Bowl." But let's be honet, come Super Bowl time the only word floating around Indianapolis about the Colts always seems to be "tragedy." 'Nuff said...
After the Divisional Round I had another impress record. I was 3-1, my only incorrect prediction was the upset the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled against the Indianapolis Colts. Overall, I have posted a 6-2 record in the 2006 NFL Playoffs. Below are some short, quick thoughts that ran threw my head after each game.
-Despite losing, Washington fans have to be very pleased with the defense their team has. In more ways than one, it is flat out suffocating. This team will surely be back in the postseason in the coming years. (Now if they could only get a solid offensive attack...)
-They looked lousy, lost their All-Star tailback, yet still won. How? Coach Holmgren is on a level above others.
-I was impressed that Hasselback and D. Jackson were able to step up big time during their team's most desperate moments. Too be honest I thought Seattle was going to blow it.
-I'm surprised so many Patriot players were complaining to refrees. That's not the New England team I have seen dominate for the last few years.
-Through all the criticism and pressure, Plummer was able to deliver for his team when they needed it the most. His scrambling and pocket passing were sensational. New England had just cut the lead to a score of 24-13. The Brady Bunch was still hungry, but Plummer drove his team down for a clutch field goal.
-The Indianapolis Colts are turning into the NFL's own version of the Sacramento Kings a few years. Is Peyton ever going to win a championship? I really do not know.
-I finally hope that Bill Cowher gets the Super Bowl he deserves. His team is tested and determined to bring home the hardware. By the way, wouldn't that be a way for Jerome Bettis to go out?
-Troy Polamalu is the best safety in the NFL. Heck, I'd could as far as saying the best defender as well. By the time his career is over, his name will be discussed in the same sentences as legends like Ronnie Lott.
-I thought the defense of Chicago would do well, but it still wouldn't be enough. I never imagined the whole defensive unit would put up a donut like that. Wow!
-Well this is nothing new, the running back position for Carolina is all banged up...again. I think Stephen Davis will never be the back he once was. His career is done. It's Foster's job, but DeShaun is always injured. Nick Goings is a quality back who can play, and just like last year he'll take advantage of his opportunites.
-It was another playoff loss for Chicago, but the foundation is set in the Windy City for this team to be back. Grossman, Lovie Smith, Urlacher, Vasher, and Tillman...
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I have to say I'm pretty surprised how well I've done so far with my predictions in the 2006 NFL Playoffs. The only matchup that I was incorrect about was the Buccaneers/Redskins game. If Chris Simms understood the concept on how your not suppose to throw to the players wearing a different color jersey, I would be a solid 4-0. Though, 3-1 is not a bad way to start. Anyway, let me cut to the chase on who's going to win this weekend and why.
Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks
Spotlight Player: Shaun Alexander. The former Crimson Tide running back is having a story book season. He's won the MVP, the rushing title, and the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season (28).
Outcome: Last week I was incorrect on thinking that Tampa would beat Washington. This week I will not make the same mistake. Seattle will win because you can only ride on your D for so long. Washington doesn't have a consistent offensive attack...and well Seattle does. Did I mention they have Shaun Alexander?
Seahawks 28 Redskins 16
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
Spotlight Player: Rex Grossman. #8 is finally back under center. The question is, can he win the big games by making the big plays? Grossman will be going against a hungry, experienced Panthers' defense that has already made the journey to the Super Bowl once.
Outcome: Everyone is so high on the Chicago Bears because of their defense. Don't get me wrong it's awesome, but what about the offense? Carolina has a Top 5 defense along with a solid offensive unit. The Bears will cause lots of problems for Carolina, but in the end the experience of a QB like Jake Delhomme will be the difference.
Panthers 22 Bears 15
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Spotlight Player: Jake Plummer. This old time, gunslingin' QB hasn't had the greatest of times when it comes to the postseason. That may change. This season Plummer's INTs were down and his efficiency was up. In order to shut up the critics, Plummer has to play the game he is capable of playing.
Outcome: The secondary is young and the running game is towards the bottom of the league. Those two problems along with #16 coming ready to play, are what will ultimately lead to the fall of the Patriots.
Broncos 30 Patriots 22
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
Spotlight Player: Edgerrin James. When this guy is able to run, the team is able to put up big time points. When he isn't, defensives are able to throw more guys back into coverage leading to a very predictable Colts' offense.
Outcome: The Steelers are red hot right now and the Colts have cooled off a bit. None the less, the game is indoors where the speed of Indy can be displayed more. Besides Manning isn't about to blow another shot at a Super Bowl title.
Colts 42 Steelers 27
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
You have heard of it before. The story about the player who continues to play with pain. He doesn't feel the aching in his bones, nor the torture his body is taking, all he feels is the voice inside of him that tells him to keep going. No story about a football player playing with pain will ever be as powerful as the one that took place over 20 years ago.
He had over 150 career sacks and went to 7 Pro Bowls. He's a widely known defensive end who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Though the most impressive thing about Jack Youngblood has nothing to do with any numbers or records.
During the Los Angeles Rams' heroic run to the 1980 Super Bowl, Youngblood suffered a broken fibula in the Divisional Playoffs. For most athletes, an injury like that would result in the end of a season. Jack Youngblood was not like most athletes. Even after injuring his fibula that day against Dallas, Jack insisted he could still play. "They carted me into a Texas Stadium locker room before halftime and did X-rays," said Youngblood, who now lives in Orlando and works for the Arena Football League. "I told our team doctor, "It's only a fibula. Just tape it up and let me get back on the field.' "(sptimes.com) Jack's wish was granted, for the University of Florida graduate was sooner than later taped up and sent back out on the field. In fact, later that day the hobbled athlete recorded a sack on Cowboys' Roger Staubach. This legendary story of bravery and heart continued to carry on throughout the playoffs. In the following weeks (Conference Finals, Super Bowl XIV, and the Pro Bowl) Youngblood continued his expectional play on the field. Regardless of the injury his body had sustained, Jack Youngblood played each and every playoff game with all his might. It was painful to have lost Super Bowl XIV to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but all should know that it was nothing compared to what Youngblood had to deal with for 3 straight games. 'Nuff said...
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Just like that it was done. The streak. 34 straight games. Snapped, no more, finished. A little over six minutes earlier the Texas Longhorns looked done. Mack Brown's club was down 38-26 after Dwayne Jarrett stretched himself across the goal line. The game would have been a Trojan victory had Vince Young had nothing to say about it. The easiest way to describe what Vince Young did, can best be shown by looking back at the greatest basketball player ever: Michael Jordan. During Jordan's prime he did whatever was necessary to win. Absolutely whatever. It was like no matter what the circumstances were, or how much time was left, Michael Jordan was going to guide his team to victory. Vince Young did just that last night. I still can't fully comprehend how amazing Mr. Young truthfully was. The Trojans could not stop him during the first drive under the six minute mark in which the Longhorns cut the score 38-33. Young got another chance to show his magic after the defense made a huge stop on 4th and 2. Play by play Vince Young carved his way down the field as the clock continued to tick. Then it was 4th and 5. USC seemed to have stopped the Longhorns. All they needed to do was make one more defensive play and Carroll would win his second National Championship. It wasn't possible for #10 was destined to do whatever was necessary. It was unfathomable to see that the National Championship came down to a 4th down play like it did. The whole season for both teams rested on this one play. As Young ran into the endzone, the noise at the Rose Bowl seemed to be flowing into every household television tuned into the game. After the successful 2-point conversion, and the last ditch effort by USC, the game was over. Game. Set. Match. To end the unforgettable night for every Texas Longhorn fan, the god-like man, Vince Young held the crystal ball in the air. Despite Matt Leinert's cowardly remarks that USC was still the better team, every man, woman and child who watched the game could clearly see that they just witnessed one of the greatest football games ever. But more importantly, they saw the triumphant victory of the best team in the land. The best team in the land, lead by the most profilic quarterback who ever played the game.
Feel free to look at my playoff predictions that I made in Week 14. I was suprised how close my guesses were. Under Archives click November 2005. A list of articles will now be shown. Click Late Season Playoff Predictions. Because my predictions were not completely accurate of the one's taking place in the coming weeks, I have to once again make more predictions.
6th seeded Pittsburgh Steelers beat 3rd seeded Cincinnati Bengals
4th seeded New England Patriots beat 5th seeded Jacksonville Jaguars
1st seeded Indianapolis Colts beat 6th seeded Pittsburgh Steelers
2nd seeded Denver Broncos beat 4th seeded New England Patriots
1st seeded Indianapolis Colts beat 2nd seeded Denver Broncos
3rd seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat 6th seeded Washington Redskins
5th seeded Carolina Panthers beat 4th seeded New York Giants
1st seeded Seattle Seahawks beat 3rd seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5th seeded Carolina Panthers beat 2nd seeded Chicago Bears
1st seeded Seattle Seahawks beat 5th seeded Carolina Panthers
Super Bowl XL
1st seeded Indianapolis Colts beat 1st seeded Seattle Seahawks
Monday, January 02, 2006
I just finished watching the Fiesta Bowl between two proud programs: Ohio State and Notre Dame. It was an intense, entertaining game. Though through all the hoopla surrounding the outcome of this bowl, only one topic should be discussed: Troy Smith. For the majority of his college career (so far) this man was only known as the quarterback with potiential. It wasn't until this season that this potiential was transformed into reality. Mr. Smith jump started the Buckeyes' offense during midseason. The once dry offense was putting up big time numbers and causing Buckeye fans across the nation to gaze in astonishment at the playmaker under center. To add to his impressive season, #10 rallied his Buckeyes against Michigan for an epic season-ending victory. The win by Ohio State during America's Greatest Rival ignited the spark to a promising college career. Troy Smith stepped his game up even more with a phenomenal performance against the Irish. The swift moving QB put up Michael Vick-ish numbers against the Notre Dame defense that was notorious for shutting down hefty opponents. The Bucks dominated the Irish statistically, but it was two clutch third down converstions by Smith's athleticism in the closing moments that ultimately sealed an Ohio State win. It is quite obvious after Tressel's victory that Columbus will yet again be the birth of a college superstar. This coming season the Buckeyes will be a dangerous team. Unlike the past, this team will be far more fearing when on offense.