Friday, November 30, 2007

Holy God does Iowa Suck

I just flipped onto the Iowa/LA-Monroe game, and holy crap does Iowa suck. At home, against a shitty team like Monroe, and they're tied with 2 seconds left. Looby has two free throws needing one to win, and misses both. So the CrapEyes are going to overtime, at home, against LA-Monroe, one of the worst teams in D-I this year.

And, of course, I have Iowa -7.5.

- We're not three minutes into OT, and Iowa has allowed ULM to go 4-4 from three point range, and they're down five. I really think last year's Minnesota team could take this Iowa team.

- So Iowa is down four with 50 seconds left, and they decide to play defense - and wait until 8 seconds left on the shot clock and then blatantly reach in and get called for the foul. Just stupid.

- Wow. Iowa loses 72-67. In their own gay tournament. The one where they intentionally invite super crappy teams so they can win. Nice job, jackasses!

- Flipped over to Iowa St vs. Oregon State, and the first thing I hear is how Adam Haluska was a terrific player. Why must announcers tell such lies?

- Anybody else remember Corey Benjamin for OSU? Holy crap was that dude an insane athlete. I found some footage of him from the 1996 McDonald's slam dunk contest against Kobe, Tim Thomas, and Lester Earl. Earl's another name from the past. He was awesome. I think he originally signed with LSU and then got in a bunch of trouble and ended up at Kansas.

Today's Picks

Baylor +1.5 vs. Wash St
Baylor +4 vs. Wash St (yes, twice)
Rice +1 vs. East Illinois
Oregon St -3.5 vs. Iowa State
Iowa -7.5 vs. ULA-Monroe

Yesterday: 3-3
Season: 61-53

Think of the Children

I'm here to talk to you today about a very serious disease sweeping the nation. It affects young and old, rich and poor, east coast and west coast, sparing nobody in it's deadly path. I'm talking, of course, about Attachment to Small, Scrappy White Player (ASSWiP) Syndrome: The way people fall in love with the undersized white boy, who is slower, smaller, and less athletic than the other players, but by god he works his ass off, hustles, and shows true grit and determination, nevermind the fact that he is completely average or below in every way.

You've seen it, and chances are, somebody you care about is inflicted with it at this very moment. It's the reason David Eckstein is about to get paid $8 million a year and Darin Erstad constantly has a job, despite being below average in almost every measurable baseball ability. It's the reason Lew Ford received an MVP vote in 2004, despite having a slightly above average season. It's the reason people in a bar were debating Joe Jurevicious vs. Braylon Edwards that one time I was in Nebraska. It's the reason Rudy made $23 million in the theater, despite really just being about a whiny little bitch who sucked at football . It's the reason players like David Grim, Jeff Hagen, Dusty Rychart, and Zach Puchtel are so beloved locally, and the thousands like them across the country (see Errek Suhr, Indiana). And it's the reason why you STILL see people in Chris Walsh jerseys, despite the fact that there is no reason that is an acceptable shirt to wear, ever.

Nobody is immune to it. I myself was once a sufferer of another form of this disease: Partial Basketball Blindness, brought on by Outside Shooting Ability. Oh yes, one dimensional white players who could knock down the three were my weakness. The list is embarrassing, but for educational purposes I will share it here. Some of my favorite players have been Chris Kingsbury, Jake Sullivan, Chris Collins, Teddy Dupay, and Travis Ford. Luckily, by the time that little dork J.J. Redick came around, I had been cured. I've finally learned to appreciate the all-around game of someone like Francisco Garcia, Travarus Bennett, or Chris Douglas-Roberts, rather than the White Boy Three Point Shooter. It's frightening to admit, but if Jamal Abu Shamala had come around just a few short years ago, he likely would have been my favorite Gopher. It shames, saddens, and terrifies me to admit this. Thank god I've been saved.

But just because I have been cured, doesn't mean I won't stop fighting to save the good people of this land from this disease. And you can help. When you hear about the white wide receiver who is so valuable because he busts his ass on special teams, remember that he's only on special teams because he's too worthless to play for real. When you hear someone say that the little white point guard should get more playing time because he's a hustler and a gamer and can knock down the three, remind them that hustle can't stop lightning quick point guards, and hitting the open three in mop up duty is a little different than against a match-up zone against guards who are 6-4. And if you know someone who thinks that short, white middle infielder needs to be signed because he does so much with his grit and toughness, remind him that a .250 average is still a .250 average, grit doesn't drive in runs, and sliding headfirst into first base isn't hustle, it's just really, really stupid.

Help me stop ASSWiP Syndrome. Think of the children.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Night Hoops

- Michael Beasley is just sick. He can pretty much get to the rim whenever he wants. He is officially who I hope the Wolves get with the #1 pick.

- Bill Walker is really disappointing in the couple K-State games I've seen. Maybe it's the injury I don't know, but I really thought he'd be better.

- So K-State was beating Oregon all game, then gave up three straight wide open 3's (Oregon hit all three), turning it over twice, and now gave up an offensive rebound for a Duck layup and are down by 6 with 6 minutes left. Seems about right for them from what I've seen.

- Aaron Rodgers looks EXACTLY like Brett Favre in the shotgun, all the way down to the mannerisms.

- Great game. Oregon and K-State trading baskets over the final minute and a half Until the Ducks' big white foreign center gets three offensive rebounds of his own misses until he's fouled, going to the line down 1. If he's like every other big dopey white center, they're just hoping he makes one at this point.

- New rumor: Santana to Boston for Crisp, Buchholz, Lowrie, and Michael Bowden. Buchholz instead of Lester is huge. Bowden is a pitching prospect ranked slightly lower than Masterson, but that trade off is worth it to get Buchholz instead of Lester. If this is on the table, pull the trigger now. Also, as far as Yankee deals go, I have zero to less than zero interest in Melky Cabrera.

- Makes one, and Jake Pullen goes flying down the court completely out of control and gets called for a charge, and we're heading to OT.

- Geez, USC is on TV again? Against Oklahoma this time. I wonder if Mayo will care.

- Beasley is awesome, but he can't seem to keep the big goofy white guy, Maarty Leunen, off the O-boards.

- TaJuan Porter looks like he's about 5-2, but he's quick as hell and a great shooter - and Leunen fouls out on one of the dumbest, ticky-tackiest fouls you'll ever see. That won't help.

- K-State is 5-12 on FTs in the game. That just fits in with the rest of their philosophy of running around like idiots with no plan on offense and being unsure of where to be on defense.

- Unreal. Oregon up 3 with six seconds left, shooting two FTs, miss both, KState rebounds and goes the other way. Throw it to Andre Gilbert on the wing who immediately drives and goes up for the dunk, realizes they are down 3, and tries to kick it out, but it's too late, and Oregon wins by 3. This team is an absolute basket case. It's like a whole team of Kevin Clark's out there (did I already use this joke?)

- 3 first half fouls on Taj Gibson for USC - that is not good. He might be their best player, depending on Mayo's motivation on each particular night.

- OU's Blake Griffin, another excellent freshman, should be able to go to work with Gibson out. Except instead of posting up, he just chucked up a three and airballed it. I swear so many of these players are total idiots.

- Mayo gets all the press, but fellow freshman Davon Jefferson should get more attention. He has 12 already with four minutes left in this game, and scored 20 against Southern Illinois. Mayo is 1-7, and their up 8 anyway. I might be becoming a believer in this USC team.

- OJ Mayo's favorite current NBA player is Steve Nash. I can honestly I wouldn't have guessed that in 100 guesses.

- USC stomping 29-18 at half, and Gibson's been on the bench for most of it. Blake Griffin sucks.

- Since this game is so incredibly boring, here's a quick rundown of the Gophers opponent on Saturday, the UC-Riverside Highlanders:

They're 2-4, with a 1-point win over one of the worst DI programs in the country in Idaho and over something called Hope International. They lost to Gonzaga by 36. They only have one guy averaging more than 10 ppg and nobody with more than 5 rebounds per, and score only 59 points per game as a team. In short, they suck. Gophers 79, UCR 51.

- Longar Longar is tall. Gophers didn't need him though.

- OJ Mayo is every bit as good as advertised, especially when he's aggressive, but aggressive within the flow of the offense. Nobody on Oklahoma can stop him.

- For those waiting for an update on DePaul's (aka Dumpster College) Will "Wheel" Walker, he's had 5 points and 2 points in their last two games, once of which was a loss to North Carolina A & T. Seriously. Nice school.

- USC wins 66-55 and completely controlled the game against a good Oklahoma team. I'm very much a believer in this team. And Blake Griffin sucks.

- Lastly, here's this week's football picks, with a 1-0 start to the week:
St Louis -3 vs. Atlanta
Washington -5.5 vs. Buffalo
Minnesota -4 vs. Detroit
Tennessee -3.5 vs. Houston
Jacksonville +6 @ Indianapolis
Miami -1 vs. NY Jets
KC +6 vs. San Diego
Philly -3 vs. Seattle
SF +3 @ Carolina
Cleveland +1 @ Arizona
Denver -3.5 @ Oakland
New Orleans -3 vs. Tampa
Chicago +1.5 vs. NY Giants
Pitt -7 vs. Cincy
Baltimore +20 vs. New England

Season: 83-82-10

Adios Garza

Sidler breaks it down more eloquently than I ever could, but I have some thoughts on the Twins/Rays deal as well. First off, the fact that they traded a young arm for a young bat makes me giddy. I don't remember the Twins ever attempting this type of deal, and it screams progress to me. Remember Young finished second in the rookie of the year race, and he's not a superstar yet, but he may very well get there. The guy has hit the ball well at all levels and has yet to reach is potential. The 26 walks last year make me a bit nervous, but I'm cool with it.

I hate trading Garza, but when you have a ton of quality young pitchers, and not much in the way of position players, somebody has to go. I would have much rather traded Boof, Baker, or Slowey, but I'm guessing you don't get somebody like Young in that case. Garza obviously also has the potential to develop into a #1 pitcher, and that would suck to have let that go, but overall this is an excellent trade for both teams - Trading strength for weakness on both ends.

The other throw-ins are pretty much a wash. Bartlett for Harris is exchanging defense for offense, and to be honest, I'm a little sick of the "great field no hit" Twins the last fifteen years. I'll take a little worse fielder for a better hitter at this point. Pridie for Morlan is kind of like, who really cares? I'd rather have Morlan because he could be a future closer, striking out 99 in 70 innings last year with an ERA of 2.82 in four minor league seasons, but Pridie could be ok. In 245 AAA at-bats last year, he OPSed .914 (.318 avg/10 hr/22 bb) and could be a good fourth outfielder type.

The really interesting thing is what this means for the Santana deal. I see this going one of two ways, either they think they have a shot at the playoffs and hold Santana until the deadline at least, or they decide they need two pitchers back in the deal. I'm hoping for the second option. Build for 2009/2010 at this point, this isn't going to be a playoff team this year.

The latest trade rumor I've heard is the Red Sox, for SS Jed Lowrie, P Jon Lester, P Justin Masterson, and CF Coco Crisp. The parts of this trade are all nice, with 3 major league ready players. Lowrie is a good hitter and good fielder, and allows the Twins to move newly acquired Brendan Harris to second or third, Crisp is a good enough replacement in center, and Lester is a major league ready starter. Only problem with this deal is there is no star here. If they're going to trade Santana, they need to get a future star, which means if we're talking Red Sox either Buchholz or Ellsbury. Additionally, the only substantial rumors I've read have been about the Red Sox or Yankees, nothing yet from the Mets, Angels, or Dodgers. I wouldn't move anything until I talk to them, specifically about Angels 3B prospect Brandon Wood and Dodgers OF prospect Matt Kemp or 3B/OF Andy LaRoche. In short, this new Red Sox rumor would be a consolation prize, and not a horrible one, but they should be able to do better. Plus, I really don't want to give stupid Boston another Minnesota guy.

I would also just like to add here that Rico Tucker is on a roll, following up a 16 point effort in a win over CS-Bakersfield with a 9 point, 3 steal, 0 TO game in another win over Northern Arizona.

George Mason -7 vs. Drexel (W)
Temple -5.5 vs. Ohio (L)
Gonzaga PK @ St. Joe's (W)
Vanderbilt -12.5 vs. Southern Alabama (L)
Oregon -2.5 @ Kansas State (W)
Oklahoma +6.5 @ USC
Eastern Washington +9 vs. Santa Clara (P)

Yesterday: 4-6
Season: 58-50

And I guess since there's football tonight I need to make a pick, so it's Dallas -6.5
Last week: 7-6
Season: 82-82-10

Meet the new Twins, including the 2010 AL MVP

I know what you're thinking, "YES! Sidler's back!"

After seemingly spending year after year with only guys like Tony Batista, Rondell White, and Juan Castro to show for offseason acquisitions, the Twins made a major move prior to the even more major Santana trade that will happen.

Packing their bags to play for the Devil, strike that, the Rays:

Matt Garza
Jason Bartlett
Eduardo Morlan

Heading to the Twin Cities:

Delmon Young
Brendan Harris
Jason Pridie

Originally, the rumor had Juan Rincon in the place of Eduardo Morlan. I like that version a lot better than one with Morlan, who some project as a future closer. Let's see, nearly washed up reliever due to make millions, or a guy who could give the team a number of good years at $400m per?

Not sure I'm a big fan of the trade, even if Delmon Young brings a young, potentially star-level bat. For one, the guy doesn't believe in walks and has a hack-a-matic approach at the plate, swinging at the first pitch more often than anyone else in the league. If the Twins had any track record of helping young players develop plate discipline, I might feel better. And don't even think about him filling the enormous CF hole, his defense is shaky enough on the corners. Plus his power has evaporated from his A-AA years, Kubel out-slugged him .450 to .408 last year, will it return as he gets older or will he join Mauer in the "power's coming!" club?

The Twins clearly think he's going to be a star considering the price and it is important to note that he put up slightly below average offensive numbers at 22, a monumental task. That's why a guy like Roberto Clemente shows up on his "Most similar players at age 22" list. Time will tell, but an impact bat has been added for the first time I can remember.

But there is no doubt that having Cuddyer, Young, and Kubel to fill the corner OF + DH spots should be a significant upgrade over any mix with Craig Monroe, Rondell White, Jason Tyner, or Lew Ford.

What about the other two pieces of the deal? Harris hits for more power than Bartlett but has slightly-better-than-Jeter range at SS from what I've read. In other words, he should be at 2B or 3B, not SS. Early indications are that Bill Smith knows he shouldn't play at SS, but then who plays there...Punto?

Pridie's not worth Morlan, that's for damn sure. He actually spent a Spring with the Twins after they took him in the Rule V draft a few years ago; they must have liked him. Look for him to take Lew Ford's role. Awesome.

I guess two of the pieces included shouldn't be a surprise--the Twins have seemingly had issues with Garza's attitude and Bartlett in general for years. Garza's going to be at-worst a league average starter immediately for Tampa and has the potential to give them an awesome 1-2 with Kazmir. Bartlett, despite the errors, is an above-average defender due to exceptional range and a strong arm and provides league-average offense with plus speed on the basepaths, all at a cheap cost. It was fun watching Garza with his "f*ck you" attitude on the mound and Bartlett get to shots up the middle that Guzman and Castro wouldn't have bothered to move their feet for; Tampa is a better team today with both of them on the roster considering their OF depth.

And yes, the Twins did trade for this guy:

Now it is time to wait for the Santana trade to see how it rounds out the roster.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Dream is Over

Well, last night reminded me why Gopher basketball has been so frustrating for the last few years, and why we started watching the games in bars, leaving tickets in our pockets. I missed the first half due to our football game (we won 24-20, I had two TDs), and watched the second in the bar, so I don't have the most complete recap, but I saw enough to want to reach through the screen and punch the team collectively in the mouth.

I guess I should have expected this, going on the road against a far more athletic team, but stupid Tubby Smith made me believe, and I won't fall for that again. This year's version of the Gophers is better than last year's, but I'm really concerned after this game. They had zero idea of what to do on offense. When I was watching I saw nothing but bad shot after bad shot. The best Gopher I saw last night was freakin' Hoffarber. It was nice to see him come into his own a bit, with 12 points on 5-9 shooting and gain some confidence. Of course, I also saw him completely lose his man on defense, leading to a FSU layup, and be in perfect position for a rebound only to have a more athletic Seminole swoop in and grab the O-board - so there's still that to work on.

The Gophers put the ball up 71 times, compared to only 52 from FSU, but due to FSU's 27 made free throws to the Gophers 6, and Minnesota's .338 shooting, this game wasn't even as close as the score indicates. McKenzie 3-10, Coleman 3-12, and Tollackson 2-9. This is our big three? These are the guys who are going to carry this team into the tournament this year? And FSU is only a bubble team. The hope is that the Gophers struggled so mightily (unlike me in football, I'm like Jerry Rice out there) because this team was so much more athletic, and the slow, sluggish Big Ten teams won't give them as much of a problem.

Well, that's pretty delusional really, but it's all we can hold on to. I'm terrified that this is going to be a repeat of last season (well, not quite as bad) and all the comments in national previews that said "The Gophers have all five starters back, but is that a good thing?" were right. It's not the fact that they lost, it's the way that they lost. Poor shooting, poor defense, too many fouls, and too many turnovers. That sounds awfully familiar. I'm officially shifting gears from an NCAA bid, to hoping they make the NIT. Doom and gloom, or more realistic? Hopefully, I'm way off.

On a positive note, the Devoe Joseph signing has pushed the Gophers recruiting class to #11 in the country, as ranked by Van Coleman. Awesome, awesome job Mr. Smith.

Georgetown -9 @ ODU
NC State +8.5 @ Mich State
Rhode Island -12 vs. Northeastern
Boston College +2 @ Michigan
Syracuse -7.5 vs. UMass
Illinois +2.5 @ Maryland
Arkansas -4.5 vs. Missouri
Virginia Tech +2 @ Penn St
George Washington +18.5 @ UCLA
Cal +3.5 @ Nevada

Yesterday: 7-1
Season: 54-44

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Hate College Hockey And The Gophers Suck

I will break down everything you need to know about the gophers hockey team the past two weeks. They suck. Hopefully that is enough detail for you.

I swear to f’ing god if I read one more article in one of the local papers that quotes Black Wheeler, Kyle Okposo or some other stiff who doesn’t live up to the hype quoted as saying "we just need to keep working hard" I am going down to Mariucci Arena and burning the place down. The problem with this team is they don’t work hard. The next time they play three good periods of hockey this year will be the first time.

How the hell do you explain losing to Alaska F’ing Anchorage on your home ice? That’s right you can’t. Bullshit, they worked hard and just didn’t get any bounces. They gave up 4 goals to a team that wouldn’t win the Division III National Championship. I told myself I wasn’t going to rip the fat, drunk kid in goal anymore because it is just to easy, but this shit box has to graduate or drink himself to death. Jeff Frazee could be the worst starting goalie the Gophers have ever skated onto the ice and that is saying a lot. He gave up a goal vs Michigan over the weekend where he skated behind the net to play a puck, got his stick stuck in the boards which caused him fan on his clearance. Next thing you know a Michigan player picks it off his stick and puts the puck in the net. WTF!!!! That sort of thing only happens to Maddog in video games, it isn’t suppose to happen in real life. I will save my heart from the blood pressure spike and not discuss the three goals he gave up in 4+ minutes vs Alaska the previous weekend.

On a none hockey related note. WWWWWW is no longer the holder of the worst video game player of all time title. Maddog once again holds the crown. It was brought to my attention that Al was humiliated by an 11 year old in Madden 08 over the weekend. 11???? Save us the explanation champ. My source informed me that it was a complete blood bath.

Back to hockey. The Gophers play Michigan Tech this weekend at Home. Normally this would be a guaranteed sweep but I am calling a split on the weekend. Michigan Tech is actually an average team this year. They always work hard and for once have a bit of talent to go with their plucky play. Gophers win a close game 3-2 on Friday then Frazee gets another case of the Albany’s and they lose 4-2 on Saturday. If the gophers want any chance of finishing in the top half of the WCHA they need to find a way to get 4 points this weekend. One way would be to bench Frazee all weekend....just an idea.

Although the title of worst video game player changed hands this week, the title of most overrated college hockey team in the history of college hockey stayed with UND. Over the weekend UND crushed UMD on Friday and followed that up with a 4-2 loss on Saturday for another split with an average team. Both games where played in Grand Forks. Saturdays game also included a game winning goal from center ice by UMD. I would rip their goalie more, but I would just open myself to savagery because the Gophers have Frazee and even he sucks worse than the gay frenchmen UND starts in net. I actually watched Saturdays game because it found its way onto my local cable channel and even the UND broadcast team was talking about how this was the most hyped and talented team in UND history. That seals the title for me because these two guys looked like pro’s pro’s.

Next week is UND vs MN week. I would be more excited but the Gophers suck and I know I am about to drive 5 hours to watch a "slaughter". We will be able to give you two perspectives from next weekends games. Mine will come from the lower bowl and Maddog’s from way up high in the arena where he will be surrounded by the stench of poor people. Either way it should be a fun week and Maddog and I will be live from less than Grand Forks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Washington 84, Long Beach State 67

Last night I had the pleasure of checking out the big Washington vs. Long Beach game, thanks to FSN-Northwest, and it was really not all that entertaining.

Washington won by 17, not covering the 22 point spread, but really should have won by about 30, if not for their swiss-cheese like defense and Ben Wallace-like free throw shooting.

It was nice to watch Long Beach, as they had several issues that may be familiar to other fans of a certain formerly Dan Monson led team: Inability to handle a pressure defense they should have been prepared for (18 TOs), running a trapping defense - without knowing where and how to trap the ballhandler (only 5 steals), and a complete and total inability to defend the three (Wash 11-19).

What helped out LBSU, was the fact that I'm not entirely sure Washington knows how to play defense, and their coach made a curious decision to abandon the press. Washington was up 15 midway through the first half, and had been using pressure defense to cause havoc amongst the LBSU guards, and then just went away from it, allowing them to catch up and actually tie the game with about ten minutes left.

I kept waiting for Washington to assert their dominance and destroy the 49ers, but it never happened and that's when I realized - maybe Washington just isn't that good. I know they lost to both Texas A&M and Syracuse in the preseason NIT, but those are good teams, and I didn't take that to mean anything. I know they lost Spencer Hawes to the NBA, but with guys like Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, and Quincy Pondexter back along with some good newcomers, I thought they were being underrated as a middle of the road Pac 10 team. It looks like I was wrong. They allowed a team that was shooting 24% from three previously to come in and shoot 55%, and watching the game, the 49er guards were getting to the rim pretty much whenever they wanted. The guards couldn't stop them, and the big men weren't keeping them out either. Washington is lucky that they are such a crappy team, because a team with better guards would have destroyed them last night.

Three other little interesting tidbits from last night's game were:

1. LBSU called a timeout and Monson actually talked to his players. It looks like he's learned and moved on from the whole "call a timeout but then ignore my team and don't tell them how to adjust" school of thought.

2. At one point the announcers called the 49ers a "blue collar" kind of team. That just means they suck - and they do.

3. The announcers also said that Dan Monson "instills confidence in his players." I can't think of a single time that happened ever in his 25 years at the U or whatever it was. In fact, I think he shattered more players' egos than helped them. (see Tucker, Rico aka the Jesus of Basketball).

Additionally, I found some video of recruiting expert Van Coleman talking about the Gophers. It's old, like before Joseph signed, and there's only about a minute of Gopher talk (such as "Minnesota would not have signed Sampson if Tubby wasn't there), but here it is anyway. You have to watch a commercial first, and then he starts talking about Oregon and fat Josh Crittle who we didn't want anyway, but it gets there eventually.

(I had the video right on this page, but it plays automatically when the page loads and that's really annoying. So here's the video.)

Finally, Bogart and I used to bet on college basketball together before opening our separate accounts, and he was nerdy enough to keep track of our all-time record as well as the 2005-2006 season when we bet on every single game where a line was offered. I am very proud to share with you all that in that season we were 1,721 - 1,650 (.511) and for our career together we were 2,862 - 2,715 (.513). I'm also pretty sure I was more like 60% but he was like 42%.

Virginia -14.5 vs. Northwestern
Minnesota +8 @ FSU
Duke -8.5 vs. Wisconsin
Georgia Tech +10 @ Indiana
Northern Iowa PK @ Iowa St
Purdue +10 @ Clemson

Gophers vs. Seminoles

Big game coming up tomorrow between the Gophers and Florida State in the Big 10/ACC Challenge, and it should be a good one. While the Gophers have started out 3-0, including a decent win @ Iowa State, FSU so far is a complete and total mystery. When you lose a player like Al Thornton, it can be tough to recover, but he was their only loss and they haven't been bad, they've just been confusing.

FSU lost to both Cleveland State and South Florida in a tournament, and it looked like this would be a lost season for the Seminoles, and they'd be a terrible team. Just when everything looked down, they went into Gainesville and knocked off the Florida Gators 65-51, which is an extremely impressive victory.

It all basically means that FSU can't afford to drop any more winnable games. The win at Florida is a signature win, and it will look good on an NCAA tournament resume, but the two bad losses are going to be tough to overcome if FSU ends up a bubble team. A win against another likely bubble team in the Gophers is almost mandatory, unless they decide to go on a huge run in the ACC - unlikely. After Minnesota, the Seminoles have only one other game against a NCAA tournament possibility before the ACC season starts - At Butler, a game they likely won't win.

FSU is a perimeter based team, which will help the Gophers. Their top three scorers this season are all 6-3 or smaller, in guards Isaiah Swann (16.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.9 apg), Toney Douglas (12.4 ppg, 2.9 apg), and Jason Rich (10.6 ppg). They do have a quality center in Uche Echefu (10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg), but he doesn't have much help. Right now sophomore Ryan Reid is getting most of the minutes, but that's because two highly touted freshman recruits aren't as ready to play as hoped in Solomon Alabi (5 minutes per game) and Julian Vaughn (16 mpg).

There is some good news and some bad news in this matchup:

1. Dan Coleman won't have to play defense. Well, obviously he'll have to play a little, but with only one threat to score in the post, Echefu, being a bigger guy, he'll draw Tollackson and Williams, leaving Coleman the easier matchup on either Reid or Vaughn. This is very good news, since Coleman still can't play defense. Coleman may end up with his best offensive game of the season, since he won't have to bang around on the other end.

2. Who is going to handle those three guards? The Gophers have plenty of guards, but the only one I completely trust defensively is McKenzie. I have high hopes for Westbrook and Nolen, but I don't know if they're ready for this caliber of foe. One thing is for sure, none of Shamala, Hoffarber, or Payton are going to be able to handle any one of those guards. Hopefully Tubby will come up with the right scheme to handle FSU's offense. I'm thinking a mix of 3-2 and man-to-man when the matchups are right.

[EDIT: I have been informed by some Florida State people that Echefu has moved over to PF, with Reid and Vaughn playing center. I'm not sure how much this matters. Tollackson has to be on Echefu, and they have to hope Coleman can handle whoever the other big is. I'm nervous about an Echefu/Vaughn pairing, because Echefu can score, and Vaughn is 6-10, 245. I'm not sure who you put Coleman on. I guess you'd almost have to put him on Echefu when Vaughn is in the game, and hope he figures out a way to stop him. Yikes. I don't like this one bit.]

Basically the keys to this game break down into being able to handle the crowd, being able to handle a more athletic team, and being able to handle defensive pressure. I don't like the fact that the Gophers turned it over 24 times against Central Michigan, and are now facing a much better, much more athletic team on the road. I like what they are doing this year, but I don't see them being able to take this one, even with the magical Tubby Smith. Florida State 77, Minnesota 70 - as the ACC takes another one. Here's how I see the challenge breaking down this year:

Wake over Iowa
Virginia over Northwestern
Indiana over G-Tech
Duke over Wisconsin
FSU over Minnesota
Clemson over Purdue
Mich St over NC State
Illinois over Maryland
BC over Michigan
Ohio St over UNC
V-Tech over Penn State

For a 7-4 ACC victory. Also congratulations to the Big Ten for being 0-6 all-time in the Old Spice Classic (Minn 0-3 last year, Penn St 0-3 this year). The good news is that they're sending Michigan State next year, so unless something bizarre happens, the B10 should finally pick up a win.

Finally, two quick football notes before I'm done:

1. It was an excellent win yesterday for the Vikings. Going into the Meadowlands and destroying the Giants, but let's all calm down. The Vikings aren't making the playoffs. Relax. And did you see Peyton Manning was at the game? Do you think he's just laughing the whole time watching Eli? He probably calls him between possessions, "Eli? You suck dude. Do you just want me to come down and there and do it for you? You're embarrassing the family." And then he films another commercial.

2. Hey, guy wearing your high school letter jacket that points out that you graduated three years ago but are still wearing your jacket anyway: When you are at a bar where you want to watch the Vikings game, and you see three guys sitting at a table for four and there's an open chair - it is NOT an invitation to sit down. Especially when you are super fan, and really we're just there to casually watch and eat free tacos and drink beer, not to get far, far too into the game. Remember when the Vikings scored that defensive touchdown, and you put up your stubby little hand for a high five? Those four seconds of hesitation, before I reluctantly and with no enthusiasm reached out and gently touched your greasy hand, were a message. Stop being you. There's a reason we went somewhere else for the second half.

Wake Forest -3 @ Iowa
Washington -22.5 vs. Long Beach
Appalachian State +5 vs. Davidson
Arizona St -11 vs. Cal Poly

Yesterday: 2-4
Season: 45-41

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Minnesota 77, Central Michigan 59

Another nice Gopher win, another game I didn't get to watch. Not only are there a bunch of jerks sitting around deciding I don't get to watch the games on TV, but there's another bunch of jerks sitting around at my ISP's office deciding that I don't get to watch ESPN360 because they don't want to carry it. I don't even know how that works, but it sucks. I don't understand why the whole world has to be out to get me. What did I do? I'm sorry, ok? Just let me watch the Gophers.

So all I have to go on once again is a box score and From the Barn's Recap. I suppose I could read the gophersports article or something from one of the newspapers, but I'd rather hear the it from a fan like From the Barn. And it sounds like CMU was god awful, which makes me even more sad that I missed it. Bad teams are fun to make fun of. Although it seems the Gophers weren't much better, but managed to win anyway just based on the sheer crapitude of the Chippewas.

Overall it looks like a pretty balanced scoring night, with 51% shooting from the floor, which is excellent. One big huge giant red flag is the 24 turnovers to go with only 16 assists. Brutal. Kevin Payton turned it over 4 times in just 10 minutes of playing time, which is really an impressive rate. That's two straight games with more TOs than assists, and it's against Iowa St and CMU. What happens against Indiana and Michigan State? Yikes. They better pull it together. Still, it's a good win. An 18 point win over anybody is an improvement over last year. I just wish I could have watched it.

And on Yahoo's little sidebar for the team, it lists the team's leading three point shooter as Spencer Tollackson, and leading free throw shooter as Jonathan Williams. That's awesome.

Penn St +2.5 vs. Central Florida (L)
George Mason -2 vs. South Carolina (L)
South Illinois -1.5 vs. USC
Arizona +15 @ Kansas (W)
NC State +3 vs. Villanova (W)
Eastern Kentucky +32 @ Duke (L)

Yesterday: 6-3
Season: 43-37

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Added georgia +12 (L) and butler -5.5 (W)

Adding penn -5 (L) indiana -5 (L) utah st +3 (W) unc -8 (W) montana +1.5 (W)


The Central Michigan Chippewas, alma mater to perhaps the ugliest man in the NBA, Chris Kaman, come to the barn to take on the Gophers today. Unfortunately, due to a family deal, I won't be able to attend the game, but I'll just set the Tivo and watch it later. What? THIS Game isn't on TV either? Well thanks assholes, I don't really want to watch it anyway. I really need someone to explain this all to me, like, why we can't watch half the Gopher games this year. I just noticed that the Christmas tournament they're in, The Duel in the Desert, is three games with none of them on TV. Not a single minute of that is televised. Not through ESPN360, not through that Gold Member thing or whatever, nothing. This is so stupid.

Oh, and CMU sucks. They lost to Central Missouri State, who I'm fairly certain isn't even Division I. Gophers should roll, 82-58.

And today is a really crappy college basketball day. I guess there's some good football games, if you're into that kind of thing.

Brown +9.5 @ Northwestern (W)
Minnesota -12 vs. CMU (W)

Yesterday: 0-3
Season: 37-34

And here's my football picks, since I probably won't have time to do a whole write up you've all come to love so very much:

Jacksonville -8 vs. Buffalo (W)
Cleveland -3.5 vs. Houston (W)
NY Giants -7.5 vs. Minnesota (L)
New Orleans -2.5 @ Carolina (W)
Kansas City -5 vs. Oakland (L)
St. Louis +3 vs. Seattle (L)
Cincinnati +1.5 vs. Tennessee (W)
Washington +3 @ Tampa Bay (L)
San Fran +10.5 @ Arizona (W)
Chicago -2 vs. Denver (W)
Baltimore +9 @ San Diego (L)
New England -24 vs. Philadelphia
Miami +16 @ Pittsburgh

Thangsiving: 2-1
Season: 75-76-10

And PA and Dubay were talking about how they were convinced the Vikings have a shot to end up 9-7 this year. That would require a 5-1 finish. I don't care if they're playing the Gophers six times, they aren't going 5-1. Those two are horrid homers, and really the only reason to even listen is to see what stupid thing they'll say next.

And I hate when people refer to Thanksgiving as Turkey Day. You just sound stupid. Stop doing it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Test to see if i can post from my phone

Quick Picks

Iowa +2.5 vs. Bradley
NC State -3 vs. South Carolina
Tennessee -8 vs. WVU

Yesterday: 1-3
Season: 37-31

Thursday, November 22, 2007


- Kansas State is incredibly athletic, all the way around, except for the white kid from Minnesota. It's funny that Bob Huggins helped put this team together, because it reminds me alot of some of his Cincinnati teams: really athletic, but no all that disciplined and kind of all over the place, both on offense and defense.

- Beasley is getting all the press, and rightfully so, but his fellow freshman point guard Jacob Pullen is really impressing me so far. He can score going to the rim or outside, he's playing some great pressure defense against the George Mason guards, and the offense seems to just run more smoothly when he's in there.

- These announcers are killing me. They brought up before the game how K-State is so young and Mason has all the experience. Now they are using that as the storyline no matter what. Example: K-State up 18-13, Mason hits a three and the quote is, "You see how George Mason's experience led to them not panicking down five?" And there were 10 minutes left in the first half.

- Geez, K-State is basically a street ball team. I wish I would have known that before I wagered on them. They look like idiots. Probably why they're losing 39-30 to Mason at half.

- I think I severely underrated George Mason. They look really good.

- You've probably heard rumors, but I'm going to go ahead and confirm that Michael Beasley is ridiculous. He was in a bit of foul trouble in the first half, but with 10 minutes left he has 24 points on 10-13 shooting. And he's doing it inside, outside, with the dribble, mid-range. Wow. Just wow.

- K State might be able to come back, except that every time they start to make a run they get stupid. Forcing shots, dumb passes, or just leaving Mason's guys open on defense. They're just completely out of control.

- K-State goes down 87-77. Geez what a waste of talent. I hope those guys can figure out a way to pull it together.

- We're four minutes into the USC/San Diego game and OJ Mayo hasn't attempted a shot yet. I'm so confused.

- This is NOT the same OJ Mayo I saw in the McDonald's game. He's totally in the flow of the offense, has given it up to get teammates easier shots when he easily could have fired it up, and is busting his ass on defense (he's a terrible off-the-ball defender, but not for lack of effort.) With him playing like this, plus Gibson and Hackett, they might end up being pretty good.

- Ok, I'm all for balance and everything, but it's halftime and Mayo has taken three shots, all three outside jumpers. He's involved and all, but not looking for his shot. He tried to drive once and got called for the charge. It's almost like the time Kobe Bryant got all pissy about people saying he shot too much, and took something like seven shots in the game. OJ needs to look to score more than this. It's no surprise they are up only 27-24 at half. Meanwhile over on ESPNU, Gonzaga reminds me why I used to have a "never bet on Gonzaga" rule. Should probably go back to that.

- 3 second half possessions, three shots by Mayo, lead up to 9 already. Much better.

- Mayo is not only a bad off the ball defender, but it appears he's subpar at guarding the guy with the ball as well. This is an interesting development.

- Gonzaga wins, but doesn't cover due to their complete and total inability to handle the press with 22 seconds left. It's also very weird to watch them without Raivio. I think he was on the Wade Lookingbill eight year plan.

- I'm really confused by Mayo. He looks like a slightly above average college freshman. And he just lost his man again who hit a wide open three. I wonder if he got into the weed or something. Completely and totally unimpressive.

- Maybe it's that he's just kind of disinterested half the time out there. He just had a span where he hit a nice jumper, then picked the ball from the point guard trying to bring it up and dunked. Totally electric, the opposite of what I'd seen so far. Anyway, USC wins 60-50, and should have won by 30. Jerks.

Happy Thanksgiving

Good triumphed over evil last night, as Rico led Pepperdine to a 92-81 victory over hated Long Beach State and Dan Monson in overtime last night. Unfortunately, Monson still has some kind of soul-crushing mind control over Rico, as he only managed four points on 1-6 shooting, but added four assists and three steals. It says the attendance for that game was 715. Yeesh.

And I hear Torii Hunter signed with the Angels for 5 years, $80 million. Five years, $80 million for a 32 year old center fielder, who has lost most of the range he once had, is coming off an improbable career year in a contract season, and strikes out twice as much as he walks. Generally, older players who still hold value as they age have one thing in common: good plate discipline. I'm going to go ahead and predict that the last two years off that contract are going to be a killer for the Angels.

Kansas State -2 vs. George Mason
Gonzaga -6.5 vs. West Kentucky
South Carolina -2.5 vs. Penn St
USC -14 vs. San Diego

Yesterday: 7-3
Season: 36-28

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Joseph picks Gophers!

No time for a long post here, but Devoe Joseph just sent his Letter of Intent to the Gophers, picking Minnesota over Kansas, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Texas.

The Gophers already had a top 15 type class for 2008, so this should put them in the top 10. Let me just say that Tubby Smith is clearly a god. Or the program has gone dirty again. Whatever it is, it's working, so keep at it.

Anyway, more chatter at the Gopher Hole, but my personal feeling is that this is flipping awesome.

Devron Bostick, #4 JuCo Soph
Paul Carter, top 3 JuCo Freshman
Ralph Sampson, #74 on Rivals150
Devoe Joseph, #82 on Rivals150
Colt Iverson, #136 on Rivals150

Just awesome. And still room to add someone like Travis Leslie (#111), Verdell Jones (#123), Scottie Haralson, or Krys Faber, who have all shown interest. Man, what a difference. I hate Monson even more now.

Minnesota 68, Iowa State 58

Wow, what a great win for the Gophers, and a thrilling game as well. While I was watching the game....oh wait, I couldn't watch the game because whoever is the jackass in charge of putting games on tv is a big giant ass. I know, there was that thing where you pay $10 a month and you could have watched it on your computer, but how gay is that? And how does that help the people that have a football game that night and can't be at their computer? Stupid stupid stupid.

Seriously, I can't even comment on the game, because there's no way to watch it. Did the Gophers win because they are that good or because ISU was that bad? I don't know. I do know that they only had 8 assists to 10 turnovers, which scares me, but they outrebounded a team, and I'm not sure that ever happened in the last five years. And I'd love to know how often Dan Coleman was guarding ISU's Brackins, who finished with 23 points on 11-16 shooting. Does this mean Coleman didn't learn how to play defense yet? Or was there something else? I'll never know because of captain McDickholeguy who won't let me watch the game.

The best I can say is to check out From the Barn's Recap. It sounds like he got suckered into paying the $10 to watch the game, and he has a pretty solid recap and writes things that make me laugh.

Also, I just want to point out again that tonight is Rico Tucker vs. Dan Monson. Jesus vs. Devil, if you will. These teams are both struggling - well, they're terrible really - but Pepperdine should handle them. Especially if the Waves coach will let poor Rico run free. I don't know what he did to him, but the last game Rico managed to turn the ball over six times in only fifteen minutes of play. That's clearly poor coaching. For the season, Tucker leads the team in assists and steals, and NOT in turnovers. He also is struggling with his shot so far, but it'll come around.

Long Beach has lost by forty against BYU and 18 against Montana State, but does have the only win between these two teams. Pepperdine is an 8 point favorite, and I really, really don't want to bet on this game because these teams are a couple of junkpiles. However, I feel like I must back Good vs. Evil, because if I don't, who will? Who will?

I also want to draw your attention quickly to Rhode Island @ Boston College. If you remember when I was to dumb enough to think I would preview the top fifty teams, I thought Rhode Island could be sneaky good. Well, the Rams are 5-0 right now, after winning the Glenn Wilkes Classic (the what?) by beating South Florida, Stetson, and UAB. This game here at B.C. is a real, true test of how good they are this year. If they knock off the Eagles, there are officially two very good teams in the A-10.

And if you're wondering, we played the best team in our league last night (we're #2), and after scoring on the last play of the game to draw within two, were unable to convert the 2-pt conversion for the tie due to Theory tweaking his knee running his route and being unable to get up for a high pass, losing a heartbreaker 20-18.

St. Louis +6 @ Missouri St (W)
Louisville -5 @ UNLV (W)
Pepperdine -8 vs. LBSU (W)
Ariz State PK vs. LSU (W)
Illinois -5 vs. Okla State (W)
Washington +4 vs. Texas A&M (L)
Syracuse -2.5 vs. Ohio St (L)
Marquette +4.5 vs. Duke (W)
Kansas -29 vs. North Arizona (W)
Michigan +8.5 vs. Butler (L)

Season: 29-25

Also, after another horrendous week at 4-11-1, my NFL record has fallen below .500. Since I don't really feel like doing all the games at once, here are my thanksgiving day picks:

Detroit +3.5 vs. Green Bay
Dallas -14 vs. NYJ
Indy -12 @ Atlanta

Season: 73-75-10

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big Time

Tonight is a very big game folks. No, not my touch football game, that's just for idiots. I'm talking Gophers v. Cyclones. Snacks Law School v. Undergrad. And time to find out just how good the Gophers actually are.

This is the kind of game I wouldn't expect them to win the last few years. But it's exactly the kind of game a tournament team wins, so we'll learn alot. Iowa St is kind of a mystery team, especially without the awesomeness that was Mike Taylor, but the luckily I'm like the Sherlock Holmes of basketball, and can unravel that mystery. The answer is: They Suck.

They have beaten Winston-Salem St and Centenary at home, but neither by more than 14 points, and lost to a shitbox Bradley team by nine on the road. I'm not even sure who their guards are, considering all three ball handlers from last season either transferred (Dodie Dunson & Corey McIntosh) or got arrested (Taylor). It looks like the two guards handling the ball are two Juco transfers in Bryan Petersen and Sean Haluska (yes, it's his brother) who combine for a 1-1 Assist/TO ratio. Now look again at who they have played. If they can't handle those teams, how are they going to handle the Tubby Smith pressure defense? They should eat them alive.

Freshman 6-10 forward Craig Brackins and senior center Jiri Hubalek worry me a bit, especially with so many question marks in the Gophers front court. Can Spencer handle these guys without falling out in ten minutes? Is Coleman tough enough to handle them without falling down and crying? Is Damian Johnson for real? Gophers do catch a break though, with ISU's best returning player, Wesley Johnson, sounding like he's not going to able to play.

The Gophers have they advantage all over the court, as well as a much better coach. The problem? It's the Gophers. So many questions will be answered tonight, and I think we'll have the responses we want.

Gophers 71, ISU 60


Arizona St -8.5 vs. Princeton
Oregon -5.5 @ St. Mary's
Minnesota +1 @ Iowa St
Marquette -4.5 vs. Okla State
Illinois +7 vs. Duke
UCLA -4.5 vs. Mich State
Utah St -2.5 vs. Austin Peay

Season: 24-23

Monday, November 19, 2007

Maui Maui

I'm watching some hoops tonight, and these are the things that have popped into my head:

- Ok State is leading LSU 25-17 right now, and James Anderson has really been leading the team so far this game for the Cowboys. He looks good and a he's a very promising freshman, but the announcer just compared him to Adrian Peterson, the football player.....who went to Oklahoma.

- You can chalk up LSU as another team that's just awful this year. I just found out that Tasmin Mitchell is hurt and not playing for LSU, so I'll reserve judgement, but my Ok State pick just got a little better.

- So A-Rod won the MVP, and I wanted to see the official voting to see if anything really stupid happened. It didn't, but I stumbled upon this page from 2004. It's the MVP voting from that year, and guess who finished 25th, with a single ninth place vote: Lew Ford. Seriously. If this was widely reported, I've either forgotten or blocked it out because it's so dumb. I'm sure some reporter thought Lew Ford was totally awesome because he's such a gamer and gave him a vote. Man, people really love white people. That guy's vote needs to be taken away.

- Ok State leads 42-22 at half. They look really good. Defense, inside and outside game are all looking solid. Hard to believe the lost to No. Texas. Maybe LSU is even worse than I thought.

- I guess LSU is without Dameon Mason as well. So basically they're just a bunch of crap.

- I hope LSU isn't counting on this freshman Garrett Green. He's a poor man's Blake Hoffarber.

- LSU has scored 11 straight to cut it to ten. I better not lose this game.

- Ok, it's officially stupid how many intentional fouls are called. Any fast break layup where there's a foul is called intentional now? Stupid. This must be how crazy football fans feel about all the rules against tackling.

- LSU has cut it to three with 1:31 left. Not because they're very good, but because Oklahoma State has completely forgotten not only to play defense, but to score as well. LSU does have some quality players, but they seem to have made the comeback more to loss of focus by OSU rather than their own ability.

- OSU pulls it out, 83-77, giving me the cover as well. Even with the lapse which took their lead from 21 points down to three, the Cowboys have a good nucleus with Marcus Dove, Byron Eaton, James Anderson, Terrell Harris, and Obi Muonelo. They should be in the mix for an NCAA bid.

- UCLA struggling a bit against Maryland. Not having Collison is really affecting them so far, as they've turned it over 8 times in the first ten minutes, a lot of them against the Maryland press and their very good backcourt.

- Do you think Darren and Nick Collison are related?

- Maryland managed all of 18 points in the first half against UCLA. Kevin Love is one of those kind of guys where you don't really realize how good he is watching him, but he just fills up the stat sheet. He has 10 rebounds at half time.

- Is Josh Shipp (UCLA) related to Joe Shipp, who used to go to Cal? By the way, UCLA isn't having pressure problems anymore, up 43-23. Maryland is not a tournament team.

- Funny Chicago story: Mrs. Bogart was meeting up with some friends at a bar, and had us meet them for a bit. Her friends said that Maddog and I were both good looking, but Bogart had really bad skin. Take that, fancy boy!

- Maryland has it down to nine, mostly due to a guy named Bambale Osby, who only has 8 points but seems to be completely controlling the paint, with his rebounding and defense. If Maryland had anybody to take the scoring burden off of Vasquez, they might be ok. Also, Dickie V's love affair with Kevin Love is getting to be a bit tiring. Very Madden/Favre like.

- Winthrop looks awful good. I thought they'd be a little overrated this season, with their name out there, but minus three starters and their coach from last year, but they are rolling on Baylor and looking very smooth doing it. This on top of already beating Georgia Tech - and Baylor already beat Notre Dame. Looking like they'll be dangerous again this year.

- I was just getting ready to set the Tivo to tape the Gopher game tomorrow night since I'll be at my touch football game, and it seems the game isn't on TV. Way to go. The most excited Gopher fans have been in years for a basketball team, and you don't put a game against a major conference team on TV. I could watch Maine v. Quinnipiac if I wanted to. Nicely done. You people who are in charge of this kind of thing are idiots.

- Baylor has cut it to 4 at the half. This Taj McCullough kid is a real damn good player for Winthrop.

- I can't watch the Michigan State/Missouri game yet, because ESPNU has the big Fairfield vs. Siena woman's volleyball match, and it's running over. And Fairfield just called a timeout. Awesome.

- Siena won. Good thing they didn't break away from it, it was a real barn burner. Only missed a minute though, so not too bad. MSU up 4-2.

- This is already my favorite game of the year. There's very little defense, and a whole lot of pushing the tempo. With 15:18 left, it's 19-8 Spartans. I haven't done all the high level math here, but I think that equates to a 212 - 177 game.

- Ok, I shouldn't say no defense, but Missouri pressures and takes chances on defense, and MSU has handled that, plus Neitzel is knocking down everything. And they can't stop Missouri's offense. It's 26-18 at the 12 minute timeout, and Neitzel has 12.

- This style really favors Missouri, but the Spartans haven't been taken out of their game. They're shooting quicker, but they're still taking quality shots, and not getting caught up in the Mizzou craziness. Very impressed right now.

- Here's a shocker - Dick Vitale thinks Kansas is going to be good this year. Between Duke, Kansas, and UNC it's amazing that guy has time to talk about anything else. Flipped over to see that Baylor has taken a four point lead on Winthrop also. And they've done it without Bruce scoring at all. That's good for them.

- I actually found a Pepperdine Basketball Blog. It's not updated into the regular season yet, but here's how he describe Rico's play in the first exhibition:

PG Rico Tucker: Tucker is a familiar face to dedicated Waves fans after sitting on the bench all last year after transferring from Minnesota. The 'lil guy at the point showed some flashes of playmaking-ability but has a pretty shaky outside shot. He's got crazy hops though and almost brought the house to its feet on an alley-oop feed from Tyrone Shelley that he just missed slamming down (that's right, the feed was FROM Shelley TO Tucker).

God that guy's awesome.

- Baylor now up 9 with 35 seconds left, thanks to a Curtis Jerrells 35 footer - very Chris Kingsbury like, except this one went in.

- Baylor wins by 8 to bring us to 3-0, and Mich State is up 10 at half. I'm going to try to check in later for the late Illinois game.

- Back just in time to see the Spartans push, rather than cover, the 3 due to a couple of desperation three pointers by Mizzou. And flip over to see Illinois up 22-3 on Arizona State. This is not good for my ASU +3.

- Not only are they down 27-7, but Jeff Pendergraph, their best player, is down with two fouls. Awesome.

- Vince Young threw for over 300 yards tonight? How the hell does that happen? That guy would probably be a slightly above average throwing quarterback in a flag football league, how does he ring it up like that in a real game? He must've thrown the ball like 60 times.

- Wow does Illinois look solid. They don't really have a standout guy, but it's not a weakness as they go 10 or 11 deep, and really move the ball well. Even with a whole second group in the still only gave back a couple of points to the Sun Devil starters. Interestingly enough, Jeff Jordan (MJ's kid) doesn't look for his own shot (and probably shouldn't, as he just airballed an open 17 footer)

Dumpster Arena

I'm back from Chicago, and I have to say, I'm really sick of waiting for another Gopher basketball game. The football team just isn't doing it for me. Although it is an entertaining bit to watch a team do everything it possibly can to lose.

While down there, I managed to pull together a 13-8 record on basketball, bringing the season total to 21-22. Must have been Bogart's influence.

After the blackjack debacle of the previous night, Bogart did the responsible thing, and threw another $100 down on Depaul -12 before we headed to the Depaul v. Northwestern game. I, of course, went the other way, taking Northwestern for a whopping $5.

When Bogart mentioned going to the game, I said "It's not at the United Center, is it?" I hate the United Center for college basketball. His reply was, "It's pretty much like a littler United Center, do you still want to go?" I, of course, unfortunately said yes, and despite protestations from the Maddog, of we in. This would turn out to be a mistake.

First off, the drive to All State Arena is about a half hour from downtown Chicago - which is where the DePaul campus is - and in traffic it took us about an hour. So this already sucks. Then when you get there, the place kind of looks like an overgrown White Castle from the outside. Either that or a manufacturing plant. It has zero charm, and zero appeal.

This inside isn't much better. It really is a little United Center, and has all the atmosphere of watching a game at the Metrodome. Plus, with the half hour to hour drive from campus, there's no real student presence. There were a few kids trying to be loud behind on of the baskets, but it isn't much. We renamed it "Dumpster Arena." Even the concourse area is terrible. It's more like a third-rate airport walkway. Then there's the "jumbo" dogs. These are about half the size of Dome Dogs, yet cost five bucks. I seriously almost wanted to go order a regular hot dog. It must have been invisible. The last thing I'll metion about Dumpster Arena is the scoreboard. They have one of those hang down types in the middle of the arena, just like at Williams. However, this one doesn't have a score on it. I'm not even kidding. It's basically just a giant TV. The only way to figure out the score is to look at the tiny scoreboards on the side, which are actually configured for hockey, since some minor league hockey team plays there, and appears to be a hell of a lot more popular than DePaul hoops. The stupid thing is also big enough to completely block the scoreboard on the opposite back wall, so if you're sitting at half court, you can't see the scoreboard across the way - the one with individual players' stats - because the big TV is in the way. Just brilliant.

On to the game, which DePaul ended up winning 54-53 when Draelon Burns knocked down a driving leaner with 6 seconds left. It should have been a thrilling game, but it really wasn't, because not only did the arena suck in every possible way, but the dance team sucked, the halftime show sucked, and both teams sucked.

The dance team's big go-to move was the jump and spread your legs. If fact, I'm pretty sure that's the only move they did the entire game. Their big finish was when they all did the jump and spread your legs move all in sequence - one after another. It was magical.

The halftime show might have been worst thing ever. They brought out a Globetrotter (allegedly) - in order to pimp the fact that the real Globetrotters are coming to Dumpster Arena in January. The guy, "Hot Shot" Branch, brought out five little kids with him as well, and they were all going to do tricks to entertain and delight us all. But they all sucked. Now, I think he maybe just grabbed kids from the audience, because they had no skills and it looked like no training, so I can't fault them for that, but Hot Shot was pretty bad, and maybe drunk. He managed to execute maybe 50% of his tricks without dropping the ball. I'm not even sure he was an actual Globetrotter, he might very well have just been pulled off the street and told to do something interesting because they realized how bad their dance team was and didn't want to send them out there again.

Anyway, enough about how much Dumpster Arena and everything about it sucked - on to how bad the teams sucked. There were two players who were halfway decent - freshman Michael Thompson from Northwestern, and Will "Wheel" Walker from Depaul. Thompson does look like he's going to be pretty good in the Big Ten, he seems to know not only how to direct on offense, but can score as well. Depaul can't shoot, but they still should have had this game in the bag, as Northwestern is one of the worst teams I've seen in a while. Their entire offense is to swing it around the perimeter, and nobody other than Thompson even bothers to try to penetrate. DePaul also has a big giant fat guy named Wesley Green, who goes 6-9, 300, who should have just camped out in the lane and been fed the ball all game, considering the biggest guy who played more than 11 minutes for the Wildcats was 6-6, 190. But between his unwillingness to shoot, his inability to get up the floor before there were only fifteen seconds left on the shot clock, and his teammates stubborn refusal to get him the ball because they were too busy missing jump shots, he only shot the ball four times.

I wish there was more I could write about the game, but it was seriously really brutal to watch. You know how poorly played that Oakland/Vikings game was yesterday? It was like that, but basketball. And you're trapped in the worst arena ever the whole time. And deep inside you know that the greatness that is the city of Chicago is out there, waiting for you to come drink beer and Red Bull, but you feel like you should stay for the whole game. In conclusion, bet against DePaul and Northwestern all year long.

So, yeah, Bogart lost his bet, so even though he went 6-2 on basketball bets, he had also lost that game for $100 and the two $100 blackjack hands that Maddog played. So he did the responsible thing and threw another hunny down on the Bulls later the night, riding my coattails, and it hit, so he managed to make it up some.

I'm sure there are some things that happened this weekend in the sporting/gopher world that I should be writing about, but when you spend an entire weekend in a drunken blur, you miss these kinds of things. Anyway, here's today's picks:

Wichita St -1 vs. UIC
Baylor -2 vs. Winthrop
Okla St -2.5 vs. LSU
Arizona St +2.5 vs. Illinois
Michigan St -3 vs. Missouri

Season: 21-22

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Since WWWWWW mentioned Madden...

There's one thing the faithful DWG readers will learn--The Sidler will take an opportunity to talk videogames. It was either this or an IU football recap after the Old Oaken Bucket victory gave them win #7.

Outside of a "make little Wayne's head bleed" NHL 93 video that might exist (I'm lazy), these two classic Madden clips have to be the best videogame compilations on YouTube

Oh no, there's a man down!

Watch out for the ambulance!

Damn, the Sega Genesis was an awesome sports gaming machine.

F'ing Chicago

So last night Bogart, Maddog, and I got back from the bars at about 4 or 5 am, and proceeded to play Madden, with a laptop not connected to the internet between the three of us. Below is what transpired. Beware, I have not edited, or actually even read this yet, and I believe it is likely pretty boring - but whatever:

Hey, coming to you live from Bogart’s place, far to drunk to type but trying because I’ve been ordred to. Just witnessed Maddog lose 200 of Bogarts dollars playing blackjack online – on two hands, which was very stupid but very very exciting.

They are about to fire up a game of Maddden on PS3, which looks awesome. The important thing is that we drank like rock starts at the bar, where some homo in a pink shirt tried to start shit, until Maddog made him cry.

So here’s comes the game, where Maddog wanted to crank up the defensive level and wants to stand up while he plays, Madden Nation style. I guess he’s a tough guy. Should be fun.

Bogart is the Cardinals, and Maddog is the Patriots. This just makes me angry because being the Pats is really kind of gay. I mean, why take the best team. You must suck hardcore to have to be that team.

Also we went 7-4 today on college hoops. I am good, I promise.

Well, the PS3 looks awesome. Too bad these guys both suck. Bogart is trying to go with a running game, which doesn’t work because it’s Madden. And I’m seriously pretty bored with this bit already. I’m way more interested in the fact that some hot chick at the bar wanted me. It’s true. She touched me twice. In medieval times she’d be my wife already.

You know, this sucks too because I’m the only one still drinking. These guys are such girls.

Now Maddog is bitching because he can’t figure out how the game works. Jesus. I haven’t seen this much bitching since the last time I had to go to court for hitting that car than shouldn’t have been parked there.
I’m pretty sure this iss the worst blog entry ever. It’s just boring for everyone. I’m watching this and I’m bored off my ass. These guys are terrible. It’s like watching two four year olds play.

Maddog just picked up a first down, yet he had a guy wide open for the touchedown. I could totally work both these guys.

You know who’s awesome? CJ Anderson. He used to be a Manhatten guy, who were awesome, thanks to Luis Flores, who I will track down at some point. He’s now at Xavier. Pay serious attention there. He’s already making his mark, and will only get better.

Also I want to note that I have a bigger TV than fancy lawyer boy Bogart. He’s not that much better than me. Also I guess Maddog scored while I was busy. It was Maroney, who hasn’t scored in months in real life, due to that god damned Belickehck.

Now Maddog just picked off a Bogart/Leinart pass. I’m pretty sure Bogart is the guy who just picks a guy to throw to when he picks a play, and throws to him no matter what. He might be the worst Madden player I’ve ever seen.

Except Maddog just ran a run play with four seconds left in the half, from like the twenty, and didn’t’ score, of course, and the half was then over. Apparently the Maddog has Denny Green like clock management skills, except more retarded.

Big fourth and fourtenn for Bogart here. Nevermind, he kicked a field goal. Kind of a sissy move. 7-3, Maddog.

Now Bogart just picked off Maddog on a play where Maddog randomly threw to a receiver who was covered but he doesn’t look at the actually receivers and just hits a button that he already picked earlier.

TD Bogart. I care so much.


I guess he didn’t score before, but he did now. Good for him. This is terrible.

The worst part of this whole bit, is that I’ve had to listen to Coldplay the whole time. It seems these two are in love with coldplay, to a retarded level, which makes me sad and angry, in equal parts.

Maddog threw a pick, which was the least surprising thing ever, and then Bogart managed to somehow return it for a TD, which is very surprising, making the score 17-7. Also Bogart wants me to mention that he kicked out of the endzone every time, I’m totally impressed.

Maddog continues to dump it over the middle, even down ten with thirty seconds left. It’s no wonder he was also in last place in the NCAA football season we had in college, which I dominated.

Matt Leinart just had his first completion with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, yet that team won. I’m guessing the Maddog is bad at stuff. It’s probably not the computer’s fault, despite Maddog’s protestations.

Maddog says playing Madden on Ps3 is like playing that one game with the guy with sword and helmet and the thing which is impossible to control. That is the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard said by anybody ever.

Bogart just “engaged eight” Maddog’s ass. I don’t’ even know what that means. All I know is Maddog just got his ass kicked, using the Patriots against the Cards. He should probably not be allowed anywhere near a PS3 again, ever. Also, I’m totally going to steal this when I leave. Sorry buddy.

Final Score: Bogart (Cards): 32, Maddog (Pats) 7.

www vs billy

spread bill - 14

www says are these wireless crontrollers?

www is playing Julius jones over mbIII

www claims he doesn’t know how to substitute players and asks Momma Z, how’s it going at 4:45 in the am and she returns a digusted look.

Bogart aka Jacie returns an interception for a TD. Let it be known that it was not a user pick.

Romo the homo tried to throw another pick put the Packers D dropped it like they were just busted by mall security for stealing

WWW is giddy over his 4 swing passes to the full back (fucking laser).

TOUCHDOWN MBIII! Pack 7 Cowgirls 7

Fist time Billy has had the ball. I bet he will fuck it up and go 3 and out.

Favre to Bubba. Bill is now in the hurry up offense I smell an int. Brandon Jackson rambles for a 15 yard touchdown. F me I was wrong again. I suck worse at blogging then I do at Madden. For the record I don’t think I am THAT bad at video games. I pretty much rule at RBI baseball, Contra, Zelda, Final Fantasy and Frogger.

Brandon Jackson scampered for another 10 yards and his “small Tony Banks-like” hands fumbled the ball right into the waiting arms of WWWW,

WWW would like it to be know that he has never played Madden on PS3(It sounded like Whawhawhawhawha, blahblahblah)

WWW just quit like a little girl. Let it be known that its not even half time.

Bogart making his blog debut to finish the game:

Al is taking over at halftime up 14 and gets the ball back – my money’s is on that he shits the bed.

Brandon Jackson is running wild! Just kidding he sucks – I can’t believe he was even drafted in our fantasy league.

Al is getting excited because he might win. Wait – he’s now yelling at the PS3 – it was all the machine that fucked that last play up.

Brad Childress (aka Alec) just ran a 2 yard out on 3rd and 8.

He converted on 4th down – thank god this game is almost over, its like watching Corky and his girlfriend trying to eat Chinese food with chopsticks.

WWWWWW is asking me if I have another game to play – I think he wants to play Dungeons and Dragons – I hope he brought his 12 sided dice.

Al just recovered an onside kick and WWWW just quit making him the worst Madden player of all time.

Now WWWW is belly aching about how he doesn’t understand PS3 and Al continues to play the game with no one else controlling the other team in a desperate attempt to build up his shattered self esteem. Its actually kind of funny because the controller-less team is actually starting to get the best of the little guy. WWW finally picked up the controller again so Al stands a chance against the vaulted Mann-D.

Game over 28-7 – Pack Win! You are totally gay if you read this whole thing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stupid Gambling

So we ended up 3-4 last night (8-14 for the season) after a promising 2-0 start because of UCONN. They were basically destroying Gardner-Webb, and then with four minutes or so left they pretty much stopped playing defense - and offense. GW snuck back down and managed the cover, ruining our 3-0 start and shifting the momentum away, leading to a losing night. It's so frustrating. It's enough to make anybody who isn't a complete degenerate give up gambling. Luckily, I am a complete degenerate, so here's tonights card:

FSU -3 vs. UAB
Winthrop -3.5 vs. UIC
Baylor -4.5 vs. Wich State
Penn St -16 vs. Canisius
Idaho +27 vs. Wash State
Illinois -4.5 vs. Hawaii
Houston -12 vs. Marist
Miami -2 vs. VCU

And with that, I'm off to Chicago, the home of the great Cameron Fry:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Arkansas 75, Coll of Charleston 49

A few thoughts from the Arkansas/College of Charleston game, if for no other reason that so I can get my thoughts in order to help me pick every single NCAA tournament game correctly:

- Arkansas is very athletic, and shoot better than I would have thought, but they do make some poor decisions with the ball and on defense. Not very structured and kind of all over the plays, but when they're good, they're very good.

- I've mentioned before how I'm a big fan of the Razorbacks this year, but they have the look (in this one game, so yes, small sample size) of a team that could get bounced by a well disciplined, smaller school who plays a slower game.

- With that said, they could also explode on some teams. I think they'll end up losing some games they should definitely win (like to Ole Miss at home) and then also knock off some teams they shouldn't (like @ Tennessee).

- Gary Ervin is kind of out of control. He forces it alot, is more of a scoring type point who is always looking for his own shot, and I think they're a much better team with Patrick Beverly running the offense. He reminds of Kevin Clark - in a bad way.

- Beverley is every bit as good as advertised. He had a slow first half, but he really just controls the game and does everything for them. I was impressed with a couple of other guards in Stefan Welsh and Sonny Weems.

- If you believe announcers, they think College of Charleston is going to be a very tough mid-major. I disagree. I think they're crap. They should be down by 35, but Ervin (and the rest of the team, really) keep making stupid decisions and giving the ball away.

Gophers Look To Crush The Seawolves

Well the gophers Hockey Team finally won a game in conference play last weekend. That was so much fun that they actually won two games and swept Mankato State. To make the games even more fun the Gophers actually scored more then one goal in a game and broke an 0 for 30 power play drought. This weekend the gophers should be able to add to their cure little winning streak as lowly Alaska Anchorage comes to town. Both games will be played at Mariucci Arena.

Basically all you need to know about AA is that they suck. They have always sucked and will always suck. Each year they win a couple games up in Alaska to start the season and everyone thinks "Hey look at Alaska, they are going to be better this year". Then reality sets in, Alaska loses 10 or 12 games in a row, players quit trying and opposing fans have to suffer through watching their teams beat up on a bunch of Canadian/ Alaskan quitters. The one thing Gopher fans have going for them is Alaska has just started said free fall, so their players haven’t quit, yet. This means we might see a couple descent games this weekend....or a couple teams that are at least trying to look descent. Either way we should at least see some effort put forth by both teams.

Alaska has basically two forwards, one defender and an average goalie that deserve mention. The rest of the roster is about as interesting and useful as a NBDL blog by WWWWWW. The two forwards worth noting are Josh Lunden and Kevin Clark (easy Maddog, not that K. Clark). Josh Lunden is actually a very good player and teams have to worry about shutting him down. Kevin Clark is an above average player that benefits immensely from the work Lunden does. Luke Beaverson is AA’s top defender. Beaverson is actually a very good attacking defender who can move the puck. His problem is the people he moves the puck to usually can’t move it themselves so his numbers end up suffering. Beaverson will not make anyone forget about Mike Crowley anytime soon, but he is an above average defender in the WCHA. Like I stated earlier, the rest of the roster is made up with guys who would skate on most WCHA teams 4th lines. WWWWWW that means they aren’t very good.

Some blog related news. It looks like coach Lucia is also reading DWG because he actually had Black Wheeler and Okposo skating on the same line together last weekend. Now if Lucia can just step a little further out of that box he will also put Barriball on that line. I might be able to stay awake for an entire game if he puts all three players together. Okposo also finally scored a couple goals last weekend so maybe he will start playing like a potential 1st round draft pick!

Jeff Frazee still looks as solid in goal as J-j-j-joe O’Brien playing in boots at Able park. I have decided Frazee has a case of the Favre’s, he plays better when he is drunk, stoned and slightly over weight. Here is hoping for more Kangas or more Long Islands and pain killers for Frazee.

The Prediction. The Gophers still kind of suck, but AA truly does suck. This should mean a Gophers sweep, but don’t be shocked if AA steals a point in the series. My prediction Gophers win 4-2 Friday night and 3-2 Saturday night for a sweep.

WWWWWW, both games are on FSNN this weekend so you can follow all the action while you are drinking and smoking your life away in Chicago this weekend!

For those keeping track. The greatest team since the 76 Russians lost again this weekend (they actually got shutout in their loss) and now sit one game ahead of the least talented Gopher team since 1999. Looks like Oshie and that other cute little forward should have rode J.Toews coattails to the NHL this season. Both of them are costing themselves thousands of $$$ and are scoring at the same rate as The Todd scores with the ladies. Ryan Duncan should really send that Hoby Baker trophy to its rightful owner, J. Toews. Yes, the Sioux still suck and still hold the title as most overrated team in the history of college hockey.

Week 11 NFL Picks

So of course, after having a great week at 11-2 in week 9, I follow it up by going 3-11 in week 10. Stupid gambling. Couple things:

1. The Gophers right now are ranked as the #15 recruiting class in the country for next season. How badass is that? Sure, there are plenty of unsigned guys who can move the rankings up and down, but some of those unsigned guys have interest in the Gophers. Devoe Joseph is looking good, the competition for him sounds like it's Vanderbilt (yeah right, nobody goes to Vanderbilt) and Kansas, but Kansas already signed a SG for this class, and are chasing another one ahead of Devoe. I can't believe the impact Tubby Smith has had already. I knew he would turn the program around, but I didn't think he'd be able to swoop in and pick up a top 20 class in his first season. Awesome, just awesome.

2. Heading to Chicago tomorrow for a weekend of too much drinking with Maddog and JC. Arriving tomorrow at 1:30 and leaving Sunday at 6:00. It's very possible I may be drunk for 48+ consecutive hours. My biggest concern is being to drunk to drive home from the airport after the short flight. Good thing somebody is picking me up. Also going to check out the Northwestern @ DePaul basketball game on Saturday, so I'll have a killer scouting report on the Wildcats.

3. I seriously can't take all the anti-A-Rod crap anymore. Seriously, the guy is the best hitter in the majors today, maybe ever. Yes, his career postseason numbers don't match his regular season numbers, but keep in mind it's a small sample size. 61% of fans in an poll said they wouldn't want A-Rod on their team. If the reason is monetary, and you have a limited budget and need to get more help than just one player, that I can understand. But if your reasons are anything to do with clutchness, chemistry, or David Eckstein-ness, you should stop watching baseball.

4. College hoops lines for today (went 3-4 yesterday after adding two late Pac10 games, making the season 5-10):

Arkansas -15 vs. Charleston (W)
UCONN -14 vs. Gardner-Webb (L)
Michigan +14.5 @ Georgetown (L)
Utah St +3 @ Cal-Poly (L)
Miami -10 vs. Marist (W)
Memphis -7.5 vs. Oklahoma (W)
Oregon St -6 vs. Colorado St. (L)

On to the picks:

Cincinnati -3 vs. Arizona:
I still don't really trust Cincinnati. They won at Baltimore last week, but that may have been more of a function of the Ravens sucking so bad. They weren't able to get in the endzone, winning with 7 FGs, and couldn't run the ball, only 2.1 per rush. But Arizona is a terrible road team, and with Rudi back, maybe the whole Cincy offense is back as well. We'll find out.

Carolina +9.5 @ Green Bay: Nine and a half points, huh? Wow. That was the Vikings they just stomped, not a real NFL team.

Baltimore +2.5 vs. Cleveland: Well, it looks like Vegas has finally caught on, and realized the Ravens suck. Only problem is, I think they went too far. Baltimore is still the kind of team that can win at home, and Cleveland is not a very good road team, despite hanging in against the Steelers last week.

Indianapolis -14.5 vs. Kansas City: After the past two weeks, you just have to feel like Indy is going to explode on somebody, and the Chiefs feel about right. This would be a great pick in a survivor type league, if I only hadn't gotten bounced out by the flippin' Saints losing last week to damn winless Rams at home. That should have been in the bag, no problem. Dumb.

Miami +10 @ Philadelphia: Philly shouldn't be favored by 10 over anybody.

New Orleans +1 @ Houston:
The Saints loss to the Rams made very little sense. It made so little sense, that the only way to explain it is that it was a fluke thing, and just to pretend it never happened. Also, this is where Reggie Bush and Ron Dayne get to meet up and talk about how awesome they were in college and try to figure out why they both suck in the NFL.

Oakland +5 @ Minnesota: T-Jax back at QB, no AP, and a pissed off Daunte Culpepper ready to take it out on a Vikings secondary that gives up career passing days to pretty much any QB who plays them. In his revenge game against Miami, he accounted for five TDs - even with only 75 passing yards. How much does this Peterson injury suck? I mean, Chuck Taylor is a good runner and all, but AP was clearly on a whole other level. He was the first Viking since Moss left who gave you that feeling that the Vikes could score on any play. There is really zero reason to even watch this team the rest of the year until he gets back.

San Diego +3 @ Jacksonville: I refuse to believe that the Jaguars are a good team.

Tampa -3 @ Atlanta: It wasn't that long ago it looked like Tampa might be a nice sleeper, now everybody's has forgotten about them. And, after Atlanta has won two straight with Joey Harrington, they're going to go back to Leftwich this week. Sounds like a disaster.

Detroit +2.5 vs. NY Giants: This game is going to tell us a tremendous amount about the Lions. If they win, they go to 7-3, continue their home dominance, take the driver's seat for a wild card spot, and if they win 2 of their 3 remaining home games, even if they lose all their road games, they are at 9 wins. If they lose, not only does it hurt the record, but they've become a fringe playoff team, who can't handle the big boys even at home, and still struggles on the road. So, yeah, they should try to win.

NY Jets +9.5 vs. Pittsburgh: I can't give 9.5 on the road in the NFL unless the Patriots, Colts, Dolphins, or Falcons are involved.

Dallas -10.5 vs. Washington: I think I've alternated all year thinking Washington was garbage, then a contender, then garbage, then a contender. This week I'm pretty sure they're garbage.

St. Louis -2.5 @ San Fran:
How bad are you if you are an underdog at home against a team that just won it's first game in week 10? Wow. I caught some of the Monday Night whilst drinking in the hotel, and Alex Smith looks god awful. If the Niners offered Smith straight up for T-Jax, I'm not sure you pull the trigger.

Chicago +5.5 @ Seattle: Hey Seattle, congratulations on destroying the 49ers. Guess what? You still suck.

Buffalo +16 vs. New England: I know, it's crazy to pick against New England at this point, but I have three good reasons:
1) Giving sixteen points to a home dog is insane. This doesn't matter that much in this case because the Patriots have already covered a similar spread @ Miami.
2) The last time the Bills had a home game against a heavy favorite, they battled the Cowboys and probably should have won until an improbable collapse at the end of the game. Who's to say they can't do it again.
3) I know Bill Belicheck is the jesus of football coaches and what not, but don't you think there's going to be some inevitable let down here? I know they have been rolling through the season sending a message and smashing people's heads, but in some way, didn't it feel like it was all leading up to the Colts game? There has to be an automatic sense of relaxation and exhalation a little bit now that it's in the books, no? And I know they had the bye week to get it out of their system, but I can't help but think it's still there. You'll see.

Denver -2 vs. Tennessee: I honestly just flipped a coin here. These two teams are completely unpredictable. And this whole Travis Henry thing, what if it somehow turns out that he is innocent? Every single positive pot test from here on out will end up in a three month circus, even if the guy is dead guilty. How intriguing.

FYI - From the time I started this post until now (I got distracted by stupid work) - Miami has outscored Marist 64-36, and there are ten minutes left. 1-0 is looking good.

SEASON: 69-64-9