Thursday, December 24, 2009
Currently, San Antonio hosts the Alamo Bowl which typically features mid-level Big XII and Big Ten opponents, and takes place on or after January 1. I think they can turn that place around and get an even bigger crowd in the 65,000 seats by featuring a 2nd round matchup the week before the Alamo Bowl.
Rose Bowl, Part 1 (Pasadena, CA) - 12/26
(1) Alabama vs. (8) Ohio State
Avg. Temp - 55 degrees
Avg. Precip. - less than .1 inches (none)
Avg. Wind - 7 mph (light)
Average Result - Alabama def. OSU 95% by score 26 to 6
Random Result - Bama 33 - OSU 10
Story: By the averages and numbers, you can see this one was never in doubt. Bama ran well in the first half, including 3 TDs of 20 yards or more. Ohio State managed to slow the bleeding, but the Tide kept kicking FGs in the 2nd half to put it away. Terrelle Pryor never got things going (8-22, 87 yds, 1INT) and neither did the Buckeyes offense.
POG: Mark Ingram (198 total yards, 1 TD)
Sugar Bowl, Part 1 (New Orleans, LA) - 12/26
(2) Texas vs. (10) Iowa
Avg. Temp. - indoors (70 degrees?)
Avg. Precip. - indoors
Avg. Wind - indoors
Average Result - Texas def. Iowa 100% by score 35 to 7
Random Result - Texas 35 - Iowa 3
Story: You might see this score and think, "Mack Brown and the Longhorns finally won a 'big' game decisively!"...not the case. Adam Robinson rushed for over 100 yards at about 7 per carry, and Iowa scored first on a FG. However, Colt McCoy managed 2 TDs and only 1 INT to ensure Texas made it to the semifinal. So where did the other 21 points come from? 7 field goals!
POG: Hunter Lawrence (7-7 FGs: 21,36,37,41,41,48, & 49 yds - 23 points)
*NEW* Lone Star Bowl (San Antonio, TX) - 12/26
(3) TCU vs. (11) Virginia Tech
Avg. Temp. - indoors (70 degrees?)
Avg. Precip. - indoors
Avg. Wind - indoors
Average Result - TCU def. VT 90% by score 33 to 13
Random Result - TCU 37 - VaTech 3
Story: TCU dominated every facet other than the passing game while the Horned Frogs D made Tyrod Taylor look awful. Hokies are usually a rushing team, and they managed just 91 yards on 2.3 per carry. TCU had 4 times as many rushing yards, with Tucker and Turner combining for 4 TDs on the ground.
POG: Joseph Turner (22 car, 152 yds, 3TDs)
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) - 12/27
(4) Cincinnati vs. (5) Florida
Avg. Temp. - 53 degrees
Avg. Precip. - nearly 0
Avg. Wind - 5 mpg (light)
Average Result - Florida def. Cinci 95% by score 35 to 17
Random Result - Cincinnati 9 - Florida 30
Story: Florida's defense regains its form by shutting down Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard. Apparently the Bearcats had a few too many coaching changes going into this one. Gilyard did provide a spark returning kicks with a 32-yard average, but offensively, Cincinnati didn't get on the board until the 4th quarter. Meanwhile, Florida rushed for 360 yards, with Tim Tebow out-rushing AND out-passing Tony Pike.
POG: Tim Tebow (204 pass yds, 2 TDs, 0 INT; 54 yards rushing)
Based on the blowouts in the Quarterfinal round, it seems to make more sense to run a 6-team playoff, I suppose. Iowa and Virginia Tech did manage 1st round upsets, but both lost by an average of more than 20 in this round (to be fair, so did Ohio State). I imagine Boise State and Oregon wouldn't lose quite as badly in the same matchups since both are known for high-scoring offenses, but that's not the way the cards fell.
Next week I'll finish this tournament up with the semifinals and finals. So far, not a whole lot of room to argue about the final 4...unless you're a die hard Blue Bronco!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
|4||Purdue||10-0||N-Tenn, Wake Forest, @Alabama|
|5||Duke||9-1||N-Uconn, St. John's, N-Gonzaga|
|6||Syracuse||11-0||N-Cal, N-UNC, N-Florida|
|7||West Virginia||8-0||N-Texas A&M|
|8||Villanova||10-1||N-Dayton, N-Maryland, Mississippi|
|9||New Mexico||12-0||Cal, N-Texas A&M|
|10||Wisconsin||8-2||N-Maryland, Duke, Marquette|
|11||Mississippi||10-1||N-Kansas St., So. Miss|
|12||Kansas St.||10-1||N-Dayton, Xavier, @UNLV|
|15||Georgetown||8-1||Temple, N-Butler, N-Washington|
|16||Temple||9-2||Siena, Villanova, @Seton Hall|
Comments are welcomed
Saturday, December 19, 2009
c: Brian McCann L
2b: Martin Prado R
3b: Chipper Jones B
ss: Yunel Escobar R
lf: Matt Diaz R
cf: Nate McLouth L
Bench: David Ross c, Diory Hernandez inf, Gregor Blanco of, Omar Infante inf/of
If/when Atlanta trades Derek Lowe they will have anywhere from $10-15 million coming off the books plus another $5-7 to spend. Here is what I recommend:
1. Sign Vladimir Guerrero. Just do it. Pay him what he wants, seriously. Vlad was hoping to be somebody's designated hitter but it seems those spots are all taken. Even Milton Bradley was traded to the AL to take up another DH spot. Sign Guerrero and put him at 1b. I don't care if he sucks over there. The Braves are desperate for a right-handed power hitter and Guerrero fits the bill. Guerrero would probably demand a 2-3 year deal for $9-12 million annually.
2. Sign Randy Winn to a two-year deal. Randy Winn would be a perfect fit in right field and it's doubtful he would demand more than two years. Atlanta could probably get him for $3-4 million also. Winn also gives Atlanta leverage in 2011 on what to do with Matt Diaz and his arbitration case.
3. Give Jason Heyward an extended look in spring training. Heyward is the #1 hitting prospect in baseball and deserves a shot to make the team. If he does make it he would form the left-handed side of a platoon with Winn/Diaz in the outfield and give the team added depth when Guerrero goes down.
If these moves are successful here's what Atlanta's batting lineup would look like in 2010:
1. Nate McLouth cf
2. Martin Prado 2b
3. Chipper Jones 3b
4. Vladimir Guerrero 1b
5. Brian McCann c
6. Yunel Escobar ss
7. Randy Winn rf
8. Matt Diaz lf
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
To accommodate for the extra games needed in a tournament, I say no more .500 schools get a bowl game. When you play 12 regular season games, 6-6 is not bowl worthy. My final stipulation is no more than 2 teams from any conference make the tournament. I am using whatifsports.com's SimMatchup program, and I have set the field preferences to the average conditions for each of the stadiums involved (various websites).
- Wyoming (6-6) - New Mexico Bowl (12/19)
- Marshall (6-6) - Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (12/26)
- Texas A&M (6-6) - Independence Bowl (12/28)
- UCLA (6-6) - EagleBank Bowl (12/29)
- Minnesota (6-6) - Insight Bowl (12/31)
- Iowa State (6-6) - Insight Bowl (12/31)
- Florida State (6-6) - Gator Bowl (1/1)
- Michigan State (6-6) - Alamo Bowl (1/2)
Fortunately, there are an even number of teams above and no team that went 7-5 or better was left out of a bowl. If we can combine the widowed opponents from the above dismissals and use the vacated bowls at early rounds in the BCS Tournament.
BCS Tournament Seeds
6. Boise State
8. Ohio State
9. Georgia Tech
11. Virginia Tech
12. BYU (LSU & PSU would be 3rd from their conference)
New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM) - 12/19
(5) Florida Gators vs. (12) BYU Cougars
Ave. Temp. - 35 degrees
Ave. Precip. - less than .1 inches (none)
Ave. Wind - 8 mph (light)
Average result - UF def. BYU 75% by score 30.3 to 14.6
Random result: Florida 30 - BYU 23
Story: The Cougars defense held Tebow to 39 yards rushing and took a 23-13 lead into the 4th quarter. However, Tebow tossed two TDs in the 4th, including the go-ahead with just over a minute to play.
Player of the Game: Tim Tebow (39 yds rushing; 10-14 for 136, 2TDs, 1INT)
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) - 12/19
(6) Boise State vs. (11) Virginia Tech
Ave. Temp. - 58 degrees
Ave. Precip. - less than .2 inches (none)
Ave. Wind - 9 mph (light)
Average result - VT def. Boise 55% by score 31.8 to 33.1
Random result - Boise 37 - VTech 38
Story: Back and forth game featuring LOTS of offense for both teams. Avery rushed for 3TDs for Boise, but Brotzman missed 2 long FGs for the Broncos. Meanwhile, Ryan Williams had almost 300 yards rushing alone. Down 6 with 11 seconds to go, Tyrod Taylor threw the game-winning TD.
POG: Ryan Williams (24 carries, 297 yds, 2TDs)
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, MI) - 12/19
(7) Oregon vs. (10) Iowa
Ave. Temp. - indoors (70 degrees?)
Ave. Precip. - indoors
Ave. Wind - indoors
Average result - Oregon def. Iowa 65% by score 26.8 to 22.9
Random result - (UPSET) Ore 14 - Iowa 47
Story: Not representative of the average result, but that's why there are upsets. Ducks ran like crazy, but couldn't get any passing from Masoli. Meanwhile, Adam Robinson & Brandon Wegher combined for 5 TDs. Oregon scored first, but Iowa outscored them 31-7 in the 2nd half.
POG: Adam Robinson (25 rush for 143, 3TDs; 2 rec for 14 yds)
EagleBank Bowl (Washington, D.C.) - 12/19
(8) Ohio State vs. (9) Georgia Tech
Ave. Temp. - 46 degrees
Ave. Precip. - less than .1 inches (none)
Ave. Wind - 10 mph (medium)
Average result - OSU def. GT 95% by score 43.5 to 18.5
Random result -Ohio State 58 - Georgia Tech 27
Story: I'm a bit shocked by the number of points the Buckeyes put up in all the games! Georgia Tech was still in this one for a while, only down 8 entering the 4th quarter. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 3 TDs for the Yellow Jackets, but 4 different Buckeyes combined for 7 touchdowns on the ground. OSU rubbed it in by kicking a FG with 7 seconds left to make up for the missed PAT on the previous possession.
POG: Terrelle Pryor (18 car, 67 yds, 2TDs; 9/18 passing, 168 yds, 1TD)
Round 2 Next Week!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Verdict: The Tigers are probably the big winners here. Picking up four players who can step in and help the team contend for a division crown for a combined 22 years is an impressive haul. The fact that the team is saving almost $15 million makes this a huge win for the franchise.
With free agents Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui questionable to return, the Yankees get the missing piece to their outfield while giving up only #1 prospect and fringe arm. The only negative is if Granderson's production begins to tail off as he ages, it could become a bit of an albatross. Either way I think this move propels them back to the World Series.
Arizona gets a solid mid-rotation starter who last season threw harder than everyone else in the AL and a finesse pitcher whose skills were once overrated. I don't think we'll be able to properly analyze this trade for the Diamondbacks for several years. I'm not ready to call them the big loser just yet, but it would not be surprising if they end up that way.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
1. Alabama - I didn't want to believe it, but Bama played good and hard and did what they had to, including making Tebow cry!
2. Texas - This game was exactly what I expected. Texas plays down in "big" games, and this was no different.
3. Boise State - Another meaningless ripping of a conference opponent. Can the MWC at least offer them a spot?
4. TCU - Had to think they were cheering pretty hard for a Husker upset as that might have put the Horned Frogs into a Title shot.
5. Cincinnati - Never expected a score that high. Weather hurt the Bearcats some, but helped them near the end when Pitt missed a PAT and only went up 6. Tony Pike saves the day and the BCS Bowl berth.
6. Florida - Didn't want to drop them this far, but they played bad and there are still 5 other undefeated teams.
7. Ohio State - bye week...now they know for sure its Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl.
8. Oregon - Shootout for 3 quarters turned to a defensive battle in the 4th. I wish these guys could play Georgia Tech instead. That would be a highly entertaining bowl game I think.
9. Virginia Tech - It may not make sense that the Hokies are ahead of the Yellow Jackets since GaTech won the matchup earlier this year, but timing of losses is huge.
10. Penn State - Probably won't get a BCS Bowl since it will likely go to Iowa, but I think PSU is better right now anyway.
12. Georgia Tech
18. Central Michigan
24. Oregon State
BCS Tournament...the "better" option.