Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Braves back in postseason

I guess that's what you call it - the postseason...although the losers of the WC play-in game certainly won't feel like postseason teams.  But, it's nice to be in that game and not shaking our heads at another failed regular season.

The WC play-in game is interesting considering you get to set your roster just as you would for a series, even though there's just one game.  So, the Braves for instance, could keep Boscan, Constanza, Baker, and Overbay along with their core guys because there's no need to keep more than 7-8 pitchers for the game.  I'd keep my regular relievers plus 1 starter just in case it goes extras.

As for the starters, it appears Medlen will get the start, which I think is the right move.  Win, and you've got Hudson-Minor for your home games and Maholm-Medlen-Hudson for games 3-5.

Anything can happen in a 1 game scenario, but the Cards are certainly a strong playoff club,  I would guess either Wainwright or Lohse pitches the WC play-in game, but what makes them a scary opponent in the postseason is the possibility of facing Wainwright-Lohse-Lynn-Carpenter in a long series.  Brave post-season foe Carlos Beltran is always a tough out, and we all saw David Freese and Allen Craig hit well in big games last season.

However, the guy that scares me the most is Yadier Molina. He is an outstanding hitter and always seems to come up big for that team when they need him.

I think it's an advantage for the Braves that St Louis hasn't seen Medlen since May 28th and that was as a reliever.  I like the Braves post-season chances, I just hope we get to see them in a traditional post season series.  

I want Friday, October 5th to be a springboard to a Braves run, not a final farewell to one of the greatest Atlanta athletes of all-time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things we learned Saturday

Thoughts on the first Saturday I was able to sit and watch games all day...

1). Clemson still has the same issues on D - couldn't stop the run, couldn't defend the pass, couldn't  get off the field on 3rd down.  FSU is good, but to be considered elite, you have to get stops in big games and can't give up 50.

2). Bill Snyder is still getting it done at age 72 - After Snyder left after the 2005 season, Ron Prince went 17-20 and the Wildcat faithful called on Coach Snyder to get them back to their winning ways of 95-03.  Sure enough, the Cats look strong again with solid defense and great QB play.

3). Rutgers has an excellent shot at making some noise this year - after surviving their toughest stretch of the season undefeated (@ USF, @ ARK), the Scarlet Knights come home for dates with UConn and Syracuse.  After that, they get Temple, Kent St, and Army.  Look for Rutgers to be 9-0 and in the top 10 heading into Thanksgiving week.

4). Who will the Big-10 representative be in the Rose Bowl this year?  Ohio State is the lone unbeaten but is not bowl eligible this year.  My guess?  Purdue.  The Boilers played ND better than either Michigan school and other Leaders division teams Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana have not looked good early on.  Let's go with Purdue over Nebraska in the Big 10 Title game.

5) The Oregon D really may be the best in the Chip Kelly era.  Now, Arizona wasn't a top 35 opponent, but they have been strong on O and have some good skill players.  Their upcoming games with Stanford and their trip to LA later in the year should be interesting.

6). Can Dooley survive October?  The Vols were sky-high 8 days ago and even through 2 quarters against Florida.  However, the Vols issues on D and inability to run the ball are very glaring now and yesterday's game against Akron (a team UCF beat by 40) was a 1 TD game with 10 minutes left in the 4th.  So, at 3-1, will Derek Dooley still have his job on November 1st if they lose their October games (@UGA, @ Miss St, vs Bama, @ South Carolina)?  I say yes, as long as they compete and he will have a chance to win out and get to a bowl to buy him another year.  A 20+ point loss to say UGA and Bama may get him on the outs.

7). Not many top-tier games next week, but October 6th gives us Florida-LSU, UGA-USC, Texas-WVU, and Nebraska-OSU.  We will have some teams fall off the Title Game chase after these games are played.

RSM poll 9/23

1.   Alabama
2.   Oregon
3.   Florida St
4.   Georgia
5.   LSU
6.   Notre Dame
7.   Kansas St
8.   South Carolina
9.   Florida
10. Stanford
11. West Virginia
12. Texas
13. Clemson
14. USC
15. TCU
16. Ohio St
17. Oregon St
18. Mississippi St
19. Oklahoma
20. Rutgers
21. Purdue
22. Iowa St
23. Cincinnati
24. Louisville
25. Michigan St

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lots of CFB stuff to get to...

I have a lot of college football thoughts after week 3, including a few teams that appear to be back to elite status.  USC was mixed in with Bama and LSU this offseason, assuming they were all of a sudden back where they were under Pete Carroll.  Well, having elite, NFL quality skill players doesn't cover up problems on D and the O-line - just ask 2008 Georgia.

The PAC-12 is off to a good start, even if they may not get a team in the title game again.  Oregon St, Arizona, Stanford, Oregon, and even UCLA are off to perfect starts.  Arizona State looks better with Todd Graham and Cal put forth a great effort against Ohio St yesterday.  It's not all good, though,mas Utah fell to Utah St and Colorado was down 55-0 to Fresno in the 1st half.

So, if the Bama-LSU winner is in the title game as most people expect, who are some of the candidates to face them?  In order right now...

1)  Texas/Oklahoma winner - both teams have loads of talent and there is no championship game to get through.  West Virginia has started strong, but I don't think they have the depth to hang with these 2.

2) Florida St - the Noles look very stout and if they beat Clemson next week, they may move to #1 on this list

3). Oregon - They have to go to USC, but they've won there before.  USC could get some help and beat the Ducks twice and squeak in as a 1-loss team.

4). Notre Dame - can the Irish do it?  If they run the table with their schedule, they are in.

5). Bama/LSU loser - it's happened before!

RSM poll week 3

1). Alabama
2). LSU
3). Oregon
4). Florida St
5). Georgia
6)  Stanford
7). Oklahoma
8). South Carolina
9). Notre Dame
10) Florida
11) Ohio St
12) Clemson
13) Texas
14) USC
15) Mississippi St
16) West Virginia
17) Kansas St
18). Arizona
19). TCU
20). UCLA
21). Rutgers
22). Michigan
23). Baylor
24) Cincinnati
25). Northwestern