Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Don't ask me why I waited until week 13 to post my locks of the week, just read them, bet them, and thank me. I will keep this weekly post going as long as I maintain a winning percentage above .500. Once I dip below, including if it happens this week, I will throw in the towel. Without further adieu, here are my picks in the league where they play....for pay.
Jacksonville Jaguars +6 @ Buffalo: Does anyone really think Buffalo is that much better than Jacksonville? I hope not. Buffalo has dropped 4 of their last 5, while the Jaguars are 1-1 with Henne at the help and have put up a scorching 61 points in the last 2 weeks. I expect a high scoring game which generally doesn't favor the spread, I just happen to think the Jaguars will come away with the victory. I'll take the 2 free field goals.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 @ Denver: Its easy to buy into Denver as this Peyton Manning led juggernaut, but I don't entirely buy it. Yes they have won 6 in a row, but only one of those teams had a winning record at the time, and that is super mediocre San Diego. Tampa Bay on the other hand is 4-2 in that stretch, with their 2 losses combining for a total of 8 points against New Orleans and Atlanta. Denver may win this, and I kind of expect them to, but I guess it will be close late.
Indianapolis Colts +4.5 @ Detroit: For the record, I'm not totally in love with this game. But here is the thing, the Lions are done. That last loss was bone crushing, and probably eliminated all hops of the playoffs considering they still have games against Green Bay, Atlanta and Chicago on the schedule. The Colts on the other hand, are 2 more wins away from a playoff spot. With Houston coming up twice in the last 4 weeks, this is almost a MUST game for Luck & co. I expect they win, but if they lose, I expect it close enough that those points cover.
It's time Big East. I know the big money is in college football but the Big East wasn't built on football. It's a basketball conference and it's time to stop playing this conference realignment game and get back to basics. Look at the basketball only schools that will be left after all the chips fall (because you know UConn and Cincinnati are leaving eventually):
Historically three of those seven are perennial tournament teams (Marquette, Nova and Georgetown) and the Hall, St. John's and Providence have occasionally made cameos over the years in the big dance. And as of now those three finally seem to have coaches that have them heading in the right direction. And DePaul...well at least they bring the Chicago television market.
To make this work and because a stable conference again they'd unfortunately have to jettison Temple and Memphis with them having football but the rest of the incoming teams like Houston, SMU, Central Florida and Tulane they let go as well and get out of the football business altogether. Let them go start another conference with Boise State, San Diego State and Navy. I'll name it for you. The Coast to Coast Conference (C2C for short). Boom! Basketball built the Big East and should keep the name.
Ideally you'd like to think that the Big East could just poach the Atlantic 10 but as of now, they actually have what the Big East should want, a basketball driven conference. But if you were able to add Xavier, Dayton, St. Joseph's, Butler, St. Louis, VCU and maybe a Duquesne to the above 7 basketball only Big East schools, they are probably looking at a 5 or 6 big league. But of course that would probably be easier said than done. If you look into smaller conferences you can try to pick up some solid mid-major teams like a Drexel or Davidson too.
The Big East as we know it is dead. They can't quick fix replace any of the teams that have left. The conference also can't sit around and wait for the remaining schools with a football team to try to leave just to replace them on the fly with lousy football programs and lousier basketball programs. It needs to be rebuilt with quality basketball only schools and patience.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It's that time for another Jets rant. I was going to do this earlier but I needed some time to collect my thoughts or else this would have been more of a ramble.
So I've finally come to the point where I'm ready to blow it up. It's a hard conclusion for me to come to because I do believe Rex Ryan will be a pretty successful head coach in the NFL. Unfortunately if he does, his stop with the Jets will be the place he made the mistakes he will learn from. If I'm making a pie chart...screw it I'm making a pie chart:
As you can see, I place most of the blame on Mike Tennenbaum. I understand Rex Ryan has input on players but when it comes to putting a bad roster together, the GM is the one who needs to take the fall. Tennenbaum loves trading up in the draft to get guys he wants (Revis, Harris, Greene, Sanchez) and it's kind of worked out (and I'm counting Sanchez as kind of working out if you go back and look at that trade*). That's on Tennenbaum. Rex can coach defense. The history is there as a coordinator and in his first couple of years as a head coach. Ideally I would still like to give him a couple of more years but someone needs to be the scapegoat for this year. Brian Schottenheimer was the guy for last year so they can't go back to the Offensive Coordinator well again and fire Tony Sparano. So the guy has to be Tennenbaum. Unfortunately for Rex they need to be a package deal. It's unfair to bring in a new GM and not let him hire a new Head Coach. And if they made the new GM keep Rex it would only be delaying the inevitable that situation never works out. Just cut ties and blow the thing up.
Where I fault Rex Ryan the most is actually in the hiring of Tony Sparano. That was a miserable hire and you could see it coming from a mile away. Just because Rex wants to run a certain type of offense doesn't mean they had the pieces to run it.
Notice on the pie chart that Mark Sanchez isn't represented. I actually feel really bad for this guy. He has the talent to succeed in this league. I'm sure of it. But the Jets broke him and they did it at every turn. The receiving core they marched out there in 2011 was so old and incapable of getting open. They had Santonio Holmes as a #1 when in reality he is a glorified slot receiver, Plaxico Burress who was helpful in the red zone but completely unable to get any separation between the 20s and an on his last legs Derrick Mason. Gone was Jericho Cotchery who was his most reliable receiver and gone was Braylon Edwards who was the only guy on the team who could actually stretch the field. Somehow he managed to throw for 26 TDs and run for 6 more. Then forget about the Tim Tebow disaster. I tried to talk myself in to is possibly working but every Jets fan knew that it was going to be a disaster. Not only didn't it work from an on field aspect, the media writing about Tebow week in and week out has made this season unbearable. I would trade this season in for the 1-15 season in a heartbeat.
If the Jets had lost a normal game to the Patriots on Thanksgiving then I actually think this regime would be safe for next year. There are a few legitimate excuses for a down year. Their best defensive player (if not the best defensive player in the league) and their "best" offensive player are out for the year. But to lose the way they lost on a football holiday on national television means heads have to roll.
As a lifelong Jets fan I would like to close out with a prediction:
At the urging of Woody Johnson Tim Tebow gets his shot. The Jets finishing up the last five games facing teams with a combined record of 18-37 they run the table with Tebow at the helm. The 9-7 record doesn't get them in the playoffs but it saves every one's job. The Jets brass are convinced that Tim Tebow is their guy for 2013 completely ignoring the fact that they were playing lousy teams. Tim Tebow being a disgusting NFL quarterback leads the Jets to a 4-12 2013 season wasting yet another year.
*Jets move from 17 to 5, give up a 2nd rounder in the same draft and send Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam and Brett Ratliff to Cleveland. Look at what Washington gave up for RGIII this year (two future 1st round picks and a 2nd rounder in this past draft. And that was only to move up 4 spots). The Jets gave up essentially nothing to get Sanchez. The worst thing a Jets fan can do is wonder how the draft would have shaken out if that trade never happened. The Browns traded the 17th pick that was the Jets pick to Tampa to select Josh Freeman. Cleveland flubbed the 2nd round pick they got from the Jets (David Veikune) but the player who went with the pick right after was LeSean McCoy. I'm not super high on Freeman but the offense does seem like it would be in better hands with Freeman and a do-it-all back like Shady McCoy doesn't it?
Thursday, November 8, 2012
This inspirational story brought to you by beer.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
For me this morning it took me less than 5 minutes to vote at 9:00am this morning. But there are people who actually wait hours. In all honesty, I live in New York, my vote here for president doesn't really matter. The only thing these days I'll wait over an hour for is gas. If I saw anything more than a 45 minute line to vote, I'm turning around and leaving.
I love Election Night coverage and not because it's just another excuse to "Event Drink." It's just a highly entertaining night. But what if instead of one day to cast your vote, polling places were open all week? There'd be virtually no lines to vote, networks can run a nightly two hour show in prime time every night and it would give retired old people something to do for a full week! Not only that but couldn't you see that actually getting a better representation of voters? If people see election results unfold over the course of multiple days and it's not going the way they want it to go it might push them to their polling places. As much as people push to get people to vote there is still a strong "my vote doesn't matter anyway" sentiment.
I'm sure there are hundreds of ways this idea could be knocked down but it was just a quick thought.