Sunday, September 27, 2009

RSM Top 25 Poll...

Lots of changes this week with Ole Miss, Miami, and Penn State going down. Third straight nail-biter for UGA, but they keep finding a way to win. Lots of ugly games (UGA-ASU, Miami-VT, GT-UNC) due to weather, but still some good football as we approach October. Gotta move Boise up with Oregon knocking off Utah and Cal the last 2 weeks pretty easily...

1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Alabama
4. Boise State
5. Houston
6. Cincinnati
7. Virginia Tech
8. LSU
9. TCU
10. Iowa
11. Oklahoma
12. USC
13. Ohio State
14. Oklahoma State
15. South Florida
16. Miami
17. Oregon
18. Georgia
19. Kansas
20. Nebraska
21. Georgia Tech
22. Auburn
23. Cal
24. Missouri
25. Penn State

Dropped from poll for obvious reasons: Ole Miss, Florida State, Michigan

Closing in on the top 25 are South Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, UCLA)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cox, Polls, and College football...

A name for the 2011 Braves manager? How about Sam Perlozzo. Good baseball guy, been around the game a while and is well respected, and could bring best-bud Leo Mazzone with him. Perlozzo never approached .500 with the Orioles, but who would have with the team he had in that division. I think the guy deserves another shot with a better team - why not Atlanta?

I know the pre-season polls will never go away because of dollars, but the thought process voters have really bothers me. How is unbeaten Houston ranked behind Oklahoma State? Or Florida State 5 spots behind BYU? Just watch the games and then rank the teams each week. Voters get too caught up in their pre-season poll and are scared to move teams too drastically up or down their poll. How is Miami only 13th in the USA today poll? Have they not been as impressive as anyone? I don't think that just because you beat someone you should be ranked ahead of them (Washington), but if you are unbeated (Houston) or bitch-slap another team at their field (FSU), you should be ranked ahead of them.

Most intriguing game of the day is easily Miami-Virginia Tech. Winner will be the clear favorite in the ACC Coastal division, especially if Miami wins. Virginia Tech is an underdog at home in a conference game, quite the rarity...

Least intriguing game of the day is Purdue-Notre Dame. I would rather watch a Sun Belt game than this one...

Big baseball news this week as Aroldis Chapman was declared a free agent. I am sure the Yanks/Red Sox/Mets will have quite the bidding was for the flame throwing Cuban. However, the more I read about him from has me thinking he is a head-case just like Jose Contreras. Hopefully the Yanks will ink him to a 40 million dollar deal and make him the highest paid middle reliever in the game...

Very pumped for Birds-Pats tomorrow. A win would firmly place the Birds back on the national scene as a respected contender. Then, we will have 2 weeks to enjoy the 3-0 start with a Bye in week 4.

Tough luck for Matt Grothe of South Florida. He helped bring USF on the national scene in 2007 and has been the QB for the Bulls and led them to a bowl victory and ever since. One of the goals of the USF program when they went to Division 1 was to play the Big 3 Florida teams and eventually be on par with them. This year is Grothe's senior year, and USF finally gets FSU on the schedule. However, Grothe tore his ACL last week and is now done for the year...

Top 25 teams to lose today...Washington, UNC, Houston, TCU, and VT.

Dawgs win 31-24...

Monday, September 21, 2009

1st Regular Season RSM Top 25 poll...

Lets take a quick look at who I think are the top 25 teams in the country right now. It is still a little early to get a good read on a lot of teams who haven't played anybody worth mentioning yet.

1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Alabama
4. Cal
5. Penn St
6. LSU
7. Miami
8. Cincinnati
9. Mississippi
10. TCU
11. Boise State
12. Virginia Tech
13. Oklahoma
14. USC
15. Ohio State
16. Houston
17. Oklahoma St
18. Georgia
19. Kansas
20. Florida St
21. Georgia Tech
22. Auburn
23. Michigan
24. Missouri
25. Nebraska

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Morning Links and Thoughts...

Good read from the San Jose Mercury on the Michael Crabtree situation. He is definitely not helping his career or bank account by holding out this long. As the article notes, this is the longest holdout since Bryant McKinnie, who didn't sign until November 1st. For those that don't know, the biggest hold up in negotiations is that Crabtree demands to be paid the slot where he "thought" he should have been drafted, not where he was "actually" drafted. I hope he re-enters the draft and goes in the 6th round.

Channing Crowder certainly didn't hold back when asked his opinion of the UF-UT game today. He used a few choice words when descrining the game and Lane Kiffen.

What a funny story about Delonte West. Did anyone else get this movie scene in their head when they read about D-West and his guitar case full of guns?

The ESPN NFC South blog calls Kroy Biermann the best player in the division you have never heard of. Kroy already has 2 sacks this year, or the same number starter Jamaal Anderson has in 32 career games.

It was also good to see new LB Mike Peterson get an interception in the game last week. That was the kind of "big play" stuff that we never saw from Keith Brooking. In fact, Keith's last NFL regular season interception was 2005.

Miami got the best of GT Thursday night and was pretty impressive in doing so. That's now 3 straight games against FBS opponents where the GT offense has struggled. It seems the key for now is to push your DE's up the field and force Nesbitt to give it to the A-Back, keep it, or throw it. I saw "for now" because I am sure Johnson will have a counter to this very soon.

For those looking for something interesting to focus on during the UGA-Ark game tonight, DE Justin Houston is back from suspension and should give the Dawgs a much needed pass rush from the outside. Rod Battle was injured early last week forcing DT Jeff Owens to play 33 snaps at DE. That should explain some of the lack of a pass rush against the Cocks. Houston is the kind of freak-athlete DE that the defense needs to get some sacks/turnovers.

A couple of pre-season top 5 teams I think might struggle a bit this week are Oklahoma and USC. Oklahoma got a break with Idaho last week and Landry Jones was able to get some game experience. But, Tulsa is pretty good and should be able to put up 20+ on the Sooners. OU can probably ride Murray and have Jones make a few throws to get the win, but this one may take a while to become comfortable for Sooner fans. Also, Washington put up 400+ yards on LSU and may be able to hang with USC for a while. I think this one is less than a 2 TD game when done, maybe 27-14 or so.

On a related note, Ohio State had a big-time emotional game last week against USC and now travels to Cleveland to take on Toledo. Toldeo destroyed Colorado and OSU may be a bit fatigued. This one has a chance to be interesting in the 2nd half...

The 1st RSM top 25 poll of the regular season will be on here tomorrow evening...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some mid-week thoughts and links...

Interesting that heading into tonight's game, Chipper Jones leads the Braves in games played with 126. Chipper just played 128 all of last year while winning the batting title. Maybe at his age he should cap his number of games so he doesn't run out of gas again in the future...

Yep, those Braves dragged me back in after winning 5 in a row while Colorado lost 4 in a row. Still, being 5 back with just 2 1/2 weeks to play is still a longshot.

I bragged on here recently about how impressive Ichiro's run has been during his 9 year big league career. Another guy that sometimes goes overlooked is Joe Mauer. We waited 65 years between catchers winning batting titles before Mauer in 2006. Now, at .374 through Wednesday, he is a virtual lock for his 3rd in 4 years. In fact, since George Brett's .390 clip in 1980, no player has hit higher than .373 in a season in the American League.

One potential downfall of building a multi-multi million dollar stadium with a trillion dollar scoreboard that is in the way of the actual game is that you still need to fill the 100K seats or your local TV coverage gets Blacked Out. Jerry! Jerry!

In response to Beezbo earlier this week, I have to retract my statement about the best-case scenario in the UT-UF game. The thought of the look on Urban Meyer and the rest of Gator Nation after a loss on Saturday is waaaaaay better than Meyer putting up 50+ on Lame Kiffen. Touche Beezbo. Prediction remains UF 49 UT 10.

Tough luck for DE Rod Battle of UGA as it appears he will not be eligible for a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL against South Carolina. He will not be recovered from his surgery in time to work out at the NFL combine and can't come back like Jeff Owens did this year and play out his full senior year. Good luck Rod, hope someone gives you a shot at the next level.

Those interested in the 2010 MLB draft should check out Baseball America's top 25 prospects. Most people know the name Bryce Harper now, but GT pitcher Derek McGuire and UGA pitcher Justin Grimm also make the list. The #4 player is one of the 2 1st rounders that did not sign from the 2009 draft, Levon Washington. Interesting that his college is listed as Chipola JC and not the University of Florida, which was listed as his college committment choice leading up to the draft.

Can't wait to get to the GA Dome on Sunday and watch the Falcons in their retro 1966 jerseys. The Birds look good and there is nothing like being excited about your NFL team on a Sunday morning.

Big surprise that Mike Hampton is out for the entire 2010 season. If Mike decides to come back again after major surgery to pitch in 2011, he will be working on 46 starts in 6 seasons. He will be pushing 40 at that time so I would imagine this is it for old Mike. What a career. He earned over $125 million for his career and will likely finish with a 148-115 record with a 4.07 ERA. Those career earnings place him 19th all-time, just ahead of Roger Clemens, Chipper Jones, Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, and Curt Schilling.

Looks like Cal is still under the radar even after 2 convincing wins to start the season. Javhid Best is looking even better than last year and the defense is very good, even for the Pac-10. Look for Best to be close to 2,000 yards by Bowl season and maybe put Cal in position to play in a BCS bowl for the 1st time in school history. The school hasn't had a Heisman winner either, but playing out west with Tim Tebow on the ballot? Probably not gonna happen.

NC State opened the season with South Carolina at home and has Pitt at home next week. In between? Two games against FCS opponents (Murray St and Gardner-Webb). If you are going to schedule 2 FCS games, at least spread them out so observers forget that you have already played one. Pretty easy schedule for the Wolfpack this year playing 8 home games. With only 2 ranked teams on their schedule, this one has to be one of the easiest in all of FBS. And 1 of the 2 is UNC and they probably won't be ranked for long if they don't improve quickly.

Finally, a couple more ACC football thoughts. Virginia is currently 0-2 and are 17 point underdogs to Southern Miss. If they don't compete Saturday, Al Groh has to be gone. Also, the GT line keeps moving Miami's way. Last I checked, Miami was a 5.5 point favorite against the Jackets. GT has won the last 4 meetings and the only reason Miami is being touted now is their name and the fact they beat FSU. Well, after dodging the Jax St bullet last week, it doesn't appear FSU is any good either. Take GT and the points and UVA and the points playing for their coaches job...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday morning musings...

Looking back on some of the recent posts on here about what the Braves should do with their surplus of starting pitching, I may have been overlooking a very intriguing option. Talking Chop has an interesting article about the possibility of trading Jair Jurrjens this offseason. The idea is that a young, front line starter could net a better player to fit into the Braves offense. The realistic option I like most is getting Hunter Pence as a 5 hole hitter and right fielder, but maybe we can sweeten the deal and go for Ryan Braun?

Dirty Birds start this weekend and I am trying not to get my expectations too high. I have seen this movie before, coming off a 10+ win season with momentum and falling to a 5-11 finish the next year. I think this team will be around .500 until the end of the season and finish strong at 10-6. The defense is scary, but I believe the front office has strengthened the corner spot and hopefully there are no injuries...

Looks like my trip to Boulder next year for UGA-Colorado will be the beginning of a new era for the Buffs. After giving up 54 points and 300+ yards rushing and passing last night, Dan Hawkins days are numbered...

Some predictions for today...Big 10 has more bad non-conference performances, Ohio State-USC is closer than expected, Michigan beats Notre Dame at the Big House, and Greg Paulus yells at his teammates during their blow-out loss to Penn State...

You have to give Derek Jeter a round of applause for his recent accomplishment. He has played the Yankee part perfectly and has done it while being humble and out of the paparazzi spotlight. Tough guy to root against, but he is a Yankee...

Hopefully John Abraham shows up big Sunday and reaks havoc on the Dolphins. The secondary needs all the help it can get. Abe may have a big day if Miami lines up Jake Long to try and block him. If they do that, they might as well kiss the baby.

I am alrady pumped up for the UT-UF game next week at 3:30 on CBS. Best case scenario, UT beats UCLA today by double digits and is sky-high heading into Gainesville. Let the UT fans think they have a chance. Then, watch Meyer keep his starters in late in the 4th quarter to try and make the game as ugly as possible. Early prediction - UF 49 UT 10

Ichiro is just a couple hits away from his 9th straight 200 hit season. He is as much a lock for the hall of fame as any active player. Unreal career peaked in 2004 with a 262 hit year. Even Cobb and Rose never had more than 3 straight 200 hit seasons...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thoughts from College Football Week 1...

Good weekend of games, but a lot of ugly ones as well. The best game was Monday night's FSU-Miami game. Some great QB play on both sides and both teams looked pretty good at times...

Most impressive Week 1 teams:

1) Cincinnati - Reigning Big East champs went on the road to one of this year's favorites and routed Rutgers. Tony Pike, Mardy Gilyard and crew are back again. Losing 10 starters on D did not slow them down either...

2) BYU - Where did the D come from? I can't wait to see them play FSU in a few weeks in Provo. Good veteran team with senior QB that looks like they know how to win...

3) Alabama - Two costly turnovers and a special teams breakdown were all that were between the Tide and a 20+ point win over a pre-season top 10 team. McElroy looks the part and the D is at least top 5 in the country...

4) Missouri - New look team after losing Maclin/Daniel but tore apart favorite Illinois on Saturday. Defense looked strong and they could challenge in the Big 12 north...

5) Cal - My pick to win the Pac-10 stomped Maryland in Berkeley and looked impressive doing it. Jahvid Best is ridiculous and they are dangerous when Riley doesn't turn it over...

Least impressive week 1 teams:

1) Oregon - Offense was non-existent, not getting their initial 1st down until half-way through the 3rd quarter. Defense looked better than last year, but Masoli is now without his horse ball carrier...

2) Iowa - Had to block 2 kicks to beat lowly Northern Iowa. UNI is a good program, but Iowa was coming off a New Year's Day Bowl victory and a top 25 pre-season ranking. Another knock for the Big 10...

3) Georgia - Offense is not up to par yet and the defense did not get a sack or turnover. Needs to get King back at RB and some imagination in the play calling...

4) Colorado - Fans have been patient with Dan Hawkins, but he may be on the outs. Losing to Colorado State and coming off a 2-6 Big 12 record, he may not have much longer. Bad loss for the Buffs...

5) Ohio State - Defense had trouble against Navy's attack and got stung bad on a few big plays. Some bad angles and poor tackling hurt the defense. Pryor was good at time, but the offense lacked explosion.