Posted on: May 15, 2010 10:27 am

Knocking elitst message board fans...

Okay, I like to have good natured jibes at some of the Big East schools... (hey, I'll admit it, if USM could get in there, while Louisville was there, I'd be a happy camper.).. but I usually stay off limits when it comes to the fans.

But now... oh, you guys have really opened the flood gates, particularly those of you at the ncaabbs boards... because I'm about to blast some schools fans (although I know of one cool Louisville fan on BigGoldNation's message board.).

I'm gonna have to paraphrase here, as I don't have the exact quotes to recopy, so I may get a few things here or there wrong.

I can understand the use of sarcasm and cynicism... but you BE fans truly do take the cake when it comes to elitism. 

There was a long going discussion at one point, of "If the BE is raided, who do we bring in to keep the conference up?".  Now let's not forget that the BE hasn't lost their AQ status.. and with the teams that were on the 'threat list" (Pitt, Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse...) would you guys explain to me why you would still lose your status?  The reason I ask is that Syracuse hasn't been a football threat in forever... The other three, okay, they're flirting with the 30's and 40's repeatedly. 

So you bring in a UCF, ECU.. fine  .. Memphis?  Not so much (80's to 100's.. okay, maybe a good substitue for Syracuse).

One of the 'reasonable' arguments against USM (who I had been hoping for AQ promotion, but not to the Big East as you'll see.) was their markets... (to me, the more reasonable argument against USM was geography... we're even a distance from UCF and USF (if UCF is selected).   We'd be the island university.

but the vitiriol from the fans was "You're not worthy of consideration!  What have you done!  You'd be valued lower than Temple"  (the temple who was ranked 108th as of three years ago, and had a high of 80 ranking last year.).    Well, okay, we're not "good enough for you guys in the Big East..."

This vitriol was coming from candidates for the Big East as well as certain fans of BE teams (In particularly the Appalachian guys.. Lville and WV).

Then the rumour comes out that now the Big-12 is now going to be looking to replace their loss teams.    And the one key statement that came out was .. "We're not looking to expand in current states"; So Houston, TCU, Rice, etc. are outta luck... even though I think a few texas teams would be good add-ons, particulary Houston and TCU.  But I can understand why the B12 doesn't want already existing state teams.

But i'm getting sidetracked...

Guess who's now saying they should be considered for the Big-12 expansion?    Oh wait, that couldn't be fans of Memphis, Lville, WV, etc.?    Why yes, yes it could be!   It appears that they all want to move on to "greener" pastures... wait.. wait the Big East (even without those four (PLUS ECU and UCF) aren't good enough for you guys?   But apparently USM isn't even good enough for that conference... talk about a double slam.

So I really really want to point something out to the Big-East and the "want to be big easterners'...

There's something you should notice about the Big-12 universities (including the soon to be "Ex-B12 univerisities".)

Texas, TexA&M, TTech, Ok, OkSt, Neb, Missouri,  IaSt, Kansas, KState, Colorado, Baylor.

Other than Baylor does anyone notice what kind of universities we have?   State flagship universities...   So let's take a look at some of the barb-throwers.

Memphis.. uhm... Tennessee flagship ?  Nope. that'd be Tennessee
(and no, Memphis, noting that your originall school name of "Memphis State University" does not make you an actual state flagship... it just makes us wonder about your geography skills.)

Louisville.. uhm... Kentucky flagship?  Nope.. that'd be Kentucky

W. Virg... okay, I'll give you WV.

Cincinnati???   Nope... that'd be Ohio State .

So outside of West Virginia... that's strike one...    Does that mean that USM is at an advantage?   Of course not.. but it feels good to say... Hey guys, this time, you dont' look like you're "good enough" for a conference... so just keep dreamin' kids!

Is it spiteful?  Probably... but you know what?  After reading all the vitriol you guys threw at my school.. it feels good to say "You're just not good enoughj"   Besides, I thought the Big East was a very good thing, and would be just _fine_ with decent replacement candidates?  (okay, now watch the big-12 prove me wrong, and I'll have to eat a LOT of crow by offering Memphis a slot...)

Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:00 am

NFL Round 1 Opinions

Here goes!!   NFL Draft Day!!   Whee... the future is NOW!!!    And teams fans say they're ready to improve and their team is going to be getting the next Superstar!!     (Unless you're Jacksonville)

So here are my opinions on some of the draft round 1 outcomes..

First for my Saints

Saints:    My Grade B-.    If they can really improve on Robinson's playing abilities to go with his talent... This could easily upgrade to an A.      The fact that he plateau'd in his senior season worried me.    But you can see the kid has a LOT of talent there to work with, if there's anyone to do it, it'd be Gregg Williams.   

NOw as for the other ideas: 

Teams who moves/picks I liked that nobody else seems to (or might and just won't admit it)

     Chargers -    WHAT you say?  The Chargers?  THey moved up to take a RB?   Yes.. But I like Matthews that much, and I didn't see Matthews getting past Houston.   The Chargers now have (IMO), a "Lighting and Lightning" combination in Sproles and Matthews.   Matthews will come in and get some touches immediateliy.

     Cowboys -    I had actually written Dez Bryant in my original mock draft pick for the Cowboys, but I changed it out, because I didnt' think he'd fall to them as far down the list the Cowboys were.      The "ghost of passing on Randy Moss " is now off Jerry Jones' list.   For Bryant to fall to the Cowboys, has me wondering if that when they exploded Texas Stadium, the finally got the angle right when they say that "God was looking down on the cowboys".

     Packers   - Bryan "Caviar" Buluga...  IF the Packers could have protected Rogers better, they'd have been a better playoff team, and who knows what would have happened if that changes...    Buluga will get thrown into the fire of the packers' offensive line immediately and it may take him some time to adjust, but when he does....

    Broncos -  Whether or not you like Tebow.. they said they had three targets in mind in the 1st round.    They got two of them despite trading down twice and they still got an extra 3rd rounder out of it.  (despite giving up 3 picks in the process.)

Teams who moves/picks I didn't like:
      Jacksonville -  I dont' care what anyone says.. There is no way that the BPA on the Jaguars board could have been Alualu after Spiller was taken.   I just don't see it, no way, no how.

       Philadelphia:    When they moved up, I really thought they were going for Earl Thomas .   They need a new captain in their secondary, and Thomas was a sure fire "locK" IMO to fit that mold.  So when they went for Graham, I'll admit I was stunned.   Did they need a outside pass rush?  Yes.. but to move up for it.. was too costly for my tastes.

       Detroit:  Detroit is kind of a 50/50.  The first choice was obvious, but I think they moved up way too soon to pick up Best.    I think Best would have been there if they stayed where they were in the 2nd.   You had Minn/Indy/NO/St. L in front of you... the only team that might have needed a new RB was Indy, which may have been the concern.   St. Louis was already set with Jackson.  If NO went wtih a RB it'd have been a bigger guy than best... and Minnesota has a few other needs (such as CB).

Who got killed by another's team moves:
       Buffalo -   NFL-N said that Buffalo HAD an offer on the table to get back into the first for Tebow.. but Denver basically just gave up a ton of "extra" picks they had lying around and beat them to hte punch...  For Baltimore, you can't pass on a 2nd, 3rd, _and_ a 4th.    Denver keeps an extra 3rd and gets Tebow.. .Buffalo has to turn their attention to (and hope for) Claussen or McCoy now to fall to them.

       Houston  -  I still say Matthews was theirs for the taking... SD prettty much killed them.

       Jacksonville -   They wanted Spiller apparently (and I thought they wanted Tebow.. so I was way off there.)

       Minnesota - for a late pick they got hit by NO hard., I think NO took their top 2nd round target in Robinson.    I know the heads say that they'll take a QB in the 2nd, but honestly, I'm not sure where they're going to go.

Posted on: April 14, 2010 2:03 pm

I think they could break that record!!

And i'm refering to the 0-21 start by the Baltimore Orioles.    Plain and simple, my Astros are HORRENDOUS.  They can get hits, but they can't score runs.  I don't care what anyone says, but 13 runs in 7 games, is not a sign of a slump.  It's the sign of a Farckin' disaster!

Half of the team roster is batting below the infamous "Mendoza line".. and that includes Carlos Lee (3 hits, and _9_ strikeouts... oh great, its' "homerun swinger Lee back at the plate!" ) and Hunter Pence... yeah, that slump from last year?    It's "baaaack!".    Good flipping  lord...

Oswalt is the only starting pitcher with an ERA Under 4.00.. don't tell me that Waddy Roddy-rodriguez is going to turn it around "like that".   

Hell, by the all-star break, I'm thinking Oswalt will be dealt, I woudn't be surprised if Bourne's traded off... and we'll have Pellz and Pence to try to carry the team... "The Killer P's", I guess?

I know, I shouldnt' be this hard on my team, but hell, they truly do stink right now.. and do you see -ANYONE- worth calling up from AAA?   Cause I'm drawing a blank.. a complete and total blank.  I knew we had some hard times coming in, but did I honestly think they were going to be 0-22 hard?  

I do now.. (And I"m not even sure what the price tag on Myers is...)

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 13, 2010 1:41 pm

Smoke (finally clearing out), Mirrors (breaking)

So how far can a team really sink?      Ask USM's Baseball team...  After an average season last year, the Golden Eagles got hot with Corky Palmer's retirement announcement, and rode that all the way to a College World Series appearance.  

And USM fans thought we had something...  

We did.. until Corky left.   After a 13-5 start, with some wins that weren't all that impressive, and some losses that were... dubious, at best.    (Lemoyne?!), I think the 'retirement' push is now officailly done.   We're 3-9 in the last 12, including get swept at home by UCF... UCF!?!?

When it was first announced that Coach Berry was the hand-picked successor to Corky, I was willing to believe that the coach had the ability to take over the reigns from the legend (Yes, Corky is a "LEGEND!".), I was going to let Corky name his follower in his footsteps... and boy howdy, I WAS WRONG!

This team can hit the ball... but they can't swing at first pitch strikes, they have absolutely NO baserunning ability, horrible pitching, a LOUSY arm behind the plate...    It's time for Scott Berry (and in a lesser effect, Corky) to say that he is in over his head in terms of coaching. 

Yes, we've played LSU close, going extra-innings, but we only play 2 or 3 of those "big-name" out of conference games a year.. and we can't win those (see LSU and Ole Miss), but when you're losing a home series against UCF or UAB and you're losing games you shouldn't (Lemoyne, St. Mary's), then there's something wrong.

USM rode an emotional wave into the CWS... unfortunately that wave is now officially a "Wipe out".
Category: BBD
Tags: C-USA, Scot Berry, USM
Posted on: April 10, 2010 4:16 pm

Best NFL division since realignment?

Okay, it's time for me to get back to "repeating" topics issues... I know that people hate "spam" (or even the appearance of spam), so when I hit repeating topics it gets annoying.. so instead, just write it in the blog and then point people to the blog posting.  Makes more sense right?

So one of the latest topics has been... what has been the best division in the NFL?    So I figured that since the realignment, we have to take the modern layout of the NFL... so in the past 8 years, who is the best?   Let's take al look...

Now as for how you rate divisions, you have to look at a few factors.  YOu could include wins and losses, but then every division is going to hit a snag, as every team could be hit/hurt by the 6 internal conference games... plus with certain teams ending up dominating their division, they only match up with certain teams repeatedly  (see NE - Indy).

So obviously the first criteria is super Bowl wins...

Super Bowl Wins:       
1          NFC-South, AFC South,  AFC-North:    2
4         NFC-East,  AFC-East                        1
6         AFC-West, NFC-North, NFC-West:     0

So at first glance, the super bowl wins we hav a tie for 1st.   Until you remember we're talking about divisions and not teams.
Super Bowl Winning Teams:
1          NFC-South:                                                     2
2          AFC-East, AFC-North, NFC-East, AFC-South        1
6          AFC-West, NFC-North, NFC-West:                      0

Now let's go to the 2nd level:   Super Bowl Vists.    Yes, there will be some overlap (You have to visit the SB to win it, right?)
1         NFC-South,  AFC-East                                        3
3         NFC-East, AFC-South,  AFC-North, NFC-West:      2
7         AFC-North,  AFC-West                                        1

So if you look at things so far:     The NFC-South holds an edge over the AFC-east by a "point" in the rankings

NFC-South (3),  AFC-East(4), AFC-North(6) AFC-South(6),   NFC-East(9),  NFC-West(15), NFC-North(19), AFC-West(19)

Now much like the SB, let's see how many different teams we've had go to the Super Bowl.
1        NFC-S:                                                      3
2        NFC-East, NFC-West:                                  2
4        AFC-East, AFC-South, AFC-North               
          NFC-North, AFC-West:                                1

Hm... changes thinks up a bit.   Note that of the AFc-East 3 SB visits, they've all been by one team....

NFC-South(4), AFC-East(8), AFC-north(10), AFC-South(10), NFC-East(11), NFC-West(19), NFC-North(23), AFC-West(23)

So after looking at the Super Bowl situations, we'll say that division wise, the NFC-SOuth is currently the best.  But let's just be certain by checking what I consider the final key that makes the difference, as I see it.. The Conference Championship Game.   Now you may ask why don't you include the playoffs overall?    Outside of the #5 or #6 team, every division is guaranteed one team in the playoffs, no matter how good/bad they are overall, which could skew a balanced look at "all" divisions (the NFC-West for instance, usually sent a bad team to the playoffs, while a wildcard from another division had a better record.)

If the #5 or #6 team can get that far in the playoffs, then they'll earn their shot at the Championship game.   (This is probably your strongest argument against these rankings.. but they're my rankings so .. NYAH!  *hehe*)

Championship Game Wins have obviously been decided by the Super Bowl appearances.. hey, you had to win the championship game to get to the Super Bowl, so actually we can jump that category and go straight to championship game appearances...

1        NFC-South                                                6
2        AFC-East, NFC-East:                                  5
4        AFC-North, AFC-South:                              4
6       NFC-North, AFC-West:                               3
8        NFC-West                                                 2

So again, the NFC-South division has the most championship game appearances....

NFC-South(5), AFC-East(10), NFC-East(13), AFC-North(14), AFC-SOuth(14), NFC-West(27), NFC-North(29), AFC-West(29)

SO the NFC-SOuth has had more visits to the NFC-Championship game than any other division.   But let's just keep up with the criteria and make sure the stats aren't skewed toward one team:

Number of teams that have gone to the Championship Game:
1          NFC-South                                             4  (the only division to send every team to the NFCCG at least once)
2          NFC-North, AFC-West:                            3
4         NFC-East, AFC-East, AFC-South
7          NFC-West,AFC-North                              2

So our grand totals:

NFC-South (6), AFC-East(14), NFC-East(14), AFC-North(16), AFC-SOuth(16), NFC-North(31), AFC-West(31), NFC-West(34)

Now i'll admit these are just down and dirty numbers.  For instance the NFC-N and AFC-W get a better grade than the NFC-West, only because they have more teams get to the Championship Games, even though the NFC-West has sent more teams to the Super Bowl.    In other words, with the limited data, the NFC-West is more likely to win the NFC-Championship game if they get there, but the NFC-North and  AFC-West sent more teams to their respective championship games.

So there you have it...   While New England and Pittsburgh for instance is obviously heads and shoulders above the rest of the league, they need teams from within their own division to step up and add to their numbers to help give them some improvement division-wise.


Posted on: February 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2010 8:10 pm

Olympic fever... and too much excitement..

Okay, i spent most of the day (before coming to the office), watching the olympics (as long as it's not figure skating... sorry, but that BORES me to tears.. kinda like the Gymnastics in the Summer Olympics... I hate any athletic competition that is decided strictly by judges' scorecards.

And yes, that includes things like Snowboarding and Moguls (although moguls gets some slack for being a timed competition as well, but not much slack)... but then I'd guess we'd lose almost every winter olympic event except for a rare few.

Now, I know the announcers have to try to hype up their sport, but there is such a thing as "overdoing" it.   I watched part of the biathlon today, and I was ready to punch the NBC announcer (not sure who it was).    There was a favored skiier (forget which country.. ), who missed his fourth or fifth shot, and you'd have swore, according to this announcer, the world was about to end.   "Oh my god, he missed!  He missed!  He just blew his olympic chance!"...   how about getting some perspective like how much the weather changes was much more influential in the outcome (all the favorites got late starts and were totally hosed by the weather.)

I understand how important the two parts are in the biathalon, but someone has to explain to these announcers that there are certain moments worth getting excited over.   Missing one shot in a biathlon doesn't do it, and was not worth a "oh my god!" moment on air.

At least with the Nordic event, you can at least get a little excited by the outcome...

PS:  Poor China was completely outclassed in their women's hockey match, and it clearly showed...  but at least they didn't get shutout.  (give them a few more olympics to figure out the game...), the Finland/Russia one however, has actually been pretty good.. (and no judge's scorecards to determine the outcome :) )

Posted on: February 10, 2010 9:50 pm

WSPLD: Offseason Activity #1

"What should Payton and Loomis Do?"

I think it was Bill Parcells who stated that you celebrated a Super Bowl Sunday win on Monday, but Tuesday it's back to work. Well, it's actually Wednesday, and one day is one day (in this case)
So it's time no longer to stand pat, because if you do stand pat, everyone goes out of their way to pass you, and keep your team from trying to become a dynasty.

So it's time to check the top FA's, per Sporting News
and the top draft picks:

So what do the Saints need to do?  (Besides resign their RFA's and UFA"s?)

Problem #1:   Defensive End:   I know a lot of people are saying the Saints need to address the OLB position (as seen by the outside runs the Saints gave up).  I on the other hand say the primary problem is the Defensive End position.  Sorry Charles Grant, but it's time for you to go.  YOu're not earning the money the organization has been paying you.

Free Agency
Solution #1a:    Free Agency -   Kyle Vanden Bosch .  THat's right, I said KVB (a 31 year old player).    There have been stories galore about the issues over the "considered" top FA prospect Julius Peppers.  And while the Saints did a very good job taking some "malcontents" and making them part of this team, the key was that these malcontents were never actual trouble makers.

One could argue that Vanden Bosch is not a "Great" DE the past two years, but this last year you could argue he didn't have a coworker on the other side to free him up, yet he still got 3.5 sacks (that's only 2 sacks less than Grant got before his injury).

Jeremy Shockey?    Media-spun that he was a trouble maker
Jonathan Vilma?   Not a trouble maker, just needed to be in a 4-3 defense, not the Jets 3-4.
Anthony Hargrove?  Straightened his life out and wanted to prove it.

Peppers?   Malcontent... that's not what Payton and Loomis want.  they want guys who want to prove they're on the straight and narrow.

Give me KVB over Peppers easy...

Draft solution #1:   Draft Greg Hardy, Ole Miss.

Before he broke his wrist, he was considered a top prospect for the draft (arguably top 5 depending on who you ask.)   The kid hasn't lost the talent, he just wasn't able to play this year after the wrist injury.  The talent is still there, and that talent is top 5 that might just slide to the end of Round 1.   If he slides to #32, you GRAB this talent. 

Vanden Bosch and Hardy would be a huge 1-2 combo to pull off this offseason, if you could do both, but even a 50% success rate here would be a major snag for the Saints this offseason.

Posted on: February 10, 2010 12:31 am

Super Bowl Video Production Idea:

Now, I'll admit, I didn't come up with the rewrite of the song... but I wanted to make sure I shared this before it got lost in the Message Board Purgatory:

"Manning Went Down to Florida"
To the music of the "Devil Went down to Georgia"

          {Still shot opens on the Sun Life Stadium}
          {Show Video of Manning and the Colts entering the Stadium}
Manning went down to Florida.
He was lookin' for a bowl to steal.

                  {Show a quick video of Tom Brady hoisting up a Lombardi Trophy}
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind,
..and he was willin' to make a deal,
when he came across this young man tossin' a ball and thowin' it hot.

    {Video:   Peyton and Drew both in practice at the SB}        

And the devil jumped up behind his O-Line and said,
"Boy, let me tell you what.
I guess you didn't know it but I'm a football player, too.
And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.

            {Show Peyton celebrating a TD throw (in AFCCG}}
Now, you toss a pretty good ball, boy, but give the devil his due.
I'll bet a Superbowl against your soul, 'cause I think I'm better than you."
           {Show Drew celebrtaing TD throws {in NFCCG}}
The boy said, "My name's Brees, and it might be a sin.
But I'll take your bet, you're gonna regret, 'cause I'm the best that's ever been."

                {Video of Drew's pre-game huddle}
Brees, warm up your throw and toss that football hard,
'cause hell's broke loose in Florida and the devil deals the cards.
And if you win you get this shiny Superbowl.
But if you lose, Manning gets your bowl!

            {show video of Peyton approaching the huddle and talking on the sidelines}
Manning opened up the game and he said, "I'll start this show."
And fire flew from his fingertips as he showed the fans his throw.
            {Run quite a few videos of  Colts making positive plays - DO NOT SHOW the Porter Interception. }   
And he tossed that ball across the field and it made an evil hiss.
Then a band of runningbacks joined in and it sounded somethin' like this:


When Manning finished, Brees said,
              {Show 2nd Video of Drew on the sidelines or approaching the huddle}
"Well, you're pretty good, old son,
but sit down in that chair right there
and let me show you how it's done.

            {Run quite a few videos of Brees making some of his Super Bowl passes -Include the TD passes .}
Fire on the field.
Run, Thomas, run.
Manning's in the House of the Rising Sun.
Tracy, will you let the Colts win?
No, child, no.
          {NOW Show the Porter interception....}
          {END video ontage}
Manning bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
             {Show Video of Manning being upset on the sidelines and his various outbursts}
And he laid that Superbowl on the ground at Brees' feet.
Brees said, "Manning, just come on back if you ever want to try again. '
              {Close out Video with Drew hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy}
Cause I told you once, you son of a gun,
I'm the best that's ever been."

              {Close out final shot, Drew and his son}
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or