Saturday, September 29, 2007

Everything can Kiss my Ass

So gay ass little South Flordia managed to knock off West Virginia. Good for them. That's an awesome win.

And it just proves that I can't bet for shit on football. I knew that already. Christ, just look at my NFL picks. I'm worse than the fuckin' sports guy, and that guys dumber than shit.

Did you watch that game? WVU might have the worst offense ever. Seriously, in a flag football league, they are absolutely the team to beat. Athletes up the ass. But their whole offense is either run with Slation, run an option with White, or a wide receiver screen. Yeah, that worked for the Bears that one year. But I think it's over.

Here's a funny story that is unrelated to my shitty gambling or drunkeness. Did you know how bad Nick Punto was this year?

I mean you probaby have an idea, but you don't really know.

His OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage) was one of the worst in teh last twenty five years. He was at .566. His onbase + slugging percentage was .566. This is historically bad. And yet, he had over 500 plate appearances this season. In the last 25 years, there have been exactly five players with a lower OPS with that many PAs.

But it gets better. Looking at OPS, which is a very, very good way to evaluate a players worth, and comparing that to his peers in that season, is the best way to get a gauge on a players value. It's a stat called OPS+. Average for a season is 100. A player with a 100 OPS+ is an average player. This year, Joe Mauer was a 112 and Jason Bartlett was an 89, to give you some idea.

Nick Fucking Punto was a 52. This sounds bad, but wait, it gets worse. No other player, in the history of baseball, with over 500 plate appearances has ever been less than a 61. So Nick Punto had the worst season in the history of baseball for a player with over 500 PAs. For real. THE WORST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL.

Yet, Gardy wants him to be the starting second baseman next season. This team is going nowhere fast, and it's just horrible.

The moral of the story is that Nick Punto is basically the worst hitter ever and the fact that Gardy wants to keep him around makes me wish Denny Hocking was here.

yeah, Denny Hocking.

I should also stop drinking.

Friday, September 28, 2007


1. I'm going to stop with the full-team basketball previews. I've done 10, and when I realize I have 40 left to go, it makes me tired. It's too much. I'll do some conference breakdowns as we get closer to the season.

2. The smart money (me) is on WVU -7 @ South Florida tonight. The Bulls are a nice team, and they are ranked for the first time in school history, are at home, and beat VWU last year at the Mountaineers place.

Good story and all, but WVU is a national title contender, while USF is just a cute little team that everyone feels all warm & fuzzy towards. Pat White, Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, and Darius Reynaud are going to slice right through that Bull defense. This one's not even going to be close.

3. One of the top players in the country, Eloy Vargas, has verballed to Florida. The interesting part of this is that Minnesota was actually in the list of teams he considered. I don't think anybody thought the Gophers would get him, unless he was planning on just showcasing himself like Kris "Black Hole" Humphries, but it was cool to at least see the Gophers on the list of a recruit of that caliber.

4. Want to know some of the schools that have more highly ranked recruiting classes for 2007 than the Gophers did according to Van Coleman of hoopmasters? They include Ball State, New Orleans, Middle Tennessee State, Central Michigan, Morehead State, Pepperdine, Idaho, and Central Connecticut State. Thanks Monson!

5. In the President's Cup, which I, and apparently the entire sporting world forgot about, the U.S. is kicking some commie ass.

6. Here's my OFFICIAL top 50 teams this year:

50 Baylor
49 Cal
48 Stanford
47 Rhode Island
46 Maryland
45 Purdue
44 West Virginia
43 Notre Dame
42 Virginia Commonwealth
41 Auburn
40 Butler
39 Illinois
38 Villanova (Scottie Reynolds is still overrated)
37 Pitt
36 Virginia
35 Gonzaga
34 Wisconsin
33 Washington State
32 Alabama (no Steele hurts)
31 George Mason
30 Florida
28 Xavier (will dominate A-10)
27 Davidson
26 USC
25 Southern Illinois
24 Ohio State
23 Arizona
22 Arkansas
21 Mississippi State
20 Washington
19 Kentucky
18 Kansas State
17 Clemson
16 NC State
15 Texas
14 Michigan State
13 Marquette
12 Georgetown
11 Duke
10 Texas A & M
9 Syracuse
8 Oregon
7 Indiana
6 Kansas (they'll just flame out in the tournament anyway)
5 Tennessee
4 Louisville
3 North Carolina
1 Memphis

Thursday, September 27, 2007



Last Season: 17-15 (7-9), No postseason
Key Losses: None
Key Adds: C Boubacar Sylla (top 300), F Tyrell Lynch (top 300)

Auburn coach Jeff Lebo has plenty of options in the backcourt, starting with returning point guard Quantez Robertson. The 6-5 junior averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 assists per game last season, to go along with 1.7 steals per. Robertson has started every one of the 60 games Auburn has played since he arrived on campus.

Lebo will likely go with three guards in the starting lineup, with two more returning starters in 6-5 Rasheem Barrett and 6-4 Frank Tolbert. Tolbert is a slasher who can drive or hit the three (38%) and averaged 11.8 ppg last season. He needs to work on taking care of the basketball, as he averaged 1.5 assists to 2.3 turnovers per game last year. Barrett (11.0 ppg/2.3 apg) remains the team's top three-point threat, must must find his freshman form (when he was an All-SEC freshman) and find his shot again. Barrett shot just 38% last year, including 30% from three.

There is depth behind the three guards as well in the form of sophomore DeWayne Reed (5.4 ppg/3.0 apg), who made the All-SEC Freshman team last season. Reed can play either guard spot, and Lebo likes to have him in there with Robertson so he can slide Quantez over to the 2 spot at times.

The Tigers have a trio of hyper-athletic forwards who are almost interchangeable in Quan Prowell, Korvotney Barber, and Josh Dollard.

Dollar led the team in both scoring (12.5) and rebounding (7.0) last season, is very tough around the basket, and had double-doubles in both of the Tigers' final two games last season. Barber may be the biggest key as to how successful Auburn is this season. A former McDonald's High School All-American, he really improved his game from last season, ending up averaging 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 61%. Barber is, like Dollard, tough around the rim and athletic enough to get out and run in Lebo's fast-paced offense. Prowell was the team's best outside shooter last year (43% from three) and compliments the other two forwards nicely, as he is not as much of a banger, but can get to the rim or shoot the outside shot. He's yet another returning double-digit scorer (12.0) for the Tigers.

Auburn will have some depth here as well in sophomore Lucas Hargrove, and freshmen Tyrell Lynch and Boubacar Sylla. Lynch is the most likely to play, a 6-9, 220 lb physical player who can bang downlow. Lynch would be the tallest player on the team if it wasn't for fellow freshman Sylla, who checks in at 7-1. He's a bit of a project, averaging just 2.4 ppg in prep school, but could give Auburn a defensive presence.

Auburn has their top seven scorers, including five in double-digits, and all five starters back from last season. Barber, Barrett, Dollard, Prowell, Robertson, and Tolbert are now in their second year together and improved from 4-12 in conference to 7-9 last season. If they can continue to improve, they could do some damage in a tough SEC this year. Free throws could be their undoing (63% overall, Barber led team in attempts but shot just 43%).

Week 4 NFL Picks

I should probably stop doing this, as I'm clearly a big giant idiot, but I'm going to carry on anyway. It can't get any worse than the last two weeks, right?

Browns +4.5 vs. Ravens:
I never understood why everyone thought the Ravens were going to be good this year, and still think they're a bunch of frauds. They've beat the lowly Jets by 7, the Cardinals by 3, and lost to a Bengal team that's been exposed as pretty mediocre itself. Put the Browns at home, and showing some life now with D. Anderson behind center, and I can see the Brownies winning outright.

Lions +3 vs. Chicago:
I'm not really even sure why Chicago is favored in this game. Yes, they have a very good defense, a defense so good, it got torched by Dallas to the tune of 431 yards and 34 points. I think Detroit just got hit by a buzzsaw that was a pissed off Eagles squad, and should be just fine going forward. Their defense is not very good, but Chicago sucks on offense and is now going to have Brian freakin' Griese at QB. Not good times in the Windy City.

Packers -1.5 @ Minnesota:
Sorry fans, but not even the Favre/Metrodome curse is going to be able to save the purple in this one. Packers defense is looking good, Favre has calmed down and is playing out of his mind, and the Vikings are still the Vikings.

Texans -2.5 @ Atlanta:
This might be my least favorite line of the week. If Atlanta is the kind of team that could end up 0-16, this is a pick for the Texans. If they are more of a 1-4 win team, this is the kind of game they would probably win. The Texans already won on the road at Carolina in impressive fashion, but don't have Andre Johnson this time. Even so, it's Atlanta and Joey Harrington.

Buffalo +4 vs. NY Jets:
Ok, so clearly I was wrong about JP Losman. He sucked, and now he's hurt and someone named Trent Edwards who I have never heard of is starting in his place. And Lee Evans has disappeared. He's having about the same kind of season so far as Robert Ferguson for the Vikes, if that tells you anything. But still, they're playing the Jets, and they're at open, and Marshawn Lynch looks like he's going to be good, and the Jets can't stop the run.

Oakland +4 @ Miami
I've flip-flopped on this game a couple of times. Miami is an 0-3 team, but they're laying 4 points? I don't get it. Is it the uncertainty at QB for Oakland? Because Culpepper looks like he'll probably start, and he played well last week. Miami showed a little bit of life by only losting by 3 to a horrible Jets team. I actually had Miami as my pick when I started typing, but I'm switching to Oakland and the points.

Dallas -12.5 vs. St. Louis
What has happened to the Rams? Is it all because of Orlando Pace's injury? How is it possible that one offensive lineman can make a team completely collapse upon itself? And now no Stephen Jackson. It's getting on towards desperation time in St. Louis, and now they have to travel to one of the hottest teams in football to play. This could get ugly.

Seattle -2 @ San Francisco:
I know taking a road favorite in a division matchup can be a pretty dumb move, but I don't think so this time. Both teams are 2-1, but San Fran has squeaked out wins over Arizona and St. Louis, while Seattle has beaten better teams in Tampa and Cincy. Yes, the Hawks lost on the road to Arizona, and that makes me nervous, but SF is a 2-1 team with a negative point differential, those teams always fall back to the pack.

Tampa +3 @ Carolina:
Delhomme is listed as day-to-day, but he missed practice yesterday and I'm thinking it's going to be David Carr out there going against a re-energized Bucs defense. And all Jeff Garcia does is win.

Denver +11 @ Indianapolis:
In years past, it seemed New England would always just score enough to win, and the Colts would blow teams out. This year, that trend seems to have reversed itself.

Kansas City +11.5 @ San Diego:
This game is going to go one of two ways. Either San Diego is going to be pissed off and lay a Philly vs. Detroit sized whooping on KC, or San Diego is hurting even worse than we thought and struggles to a win. Watching some of the post game reactions of San Diego players after last week, they seem more confused and lost than angry.

Steelers -6 @ Cardinals:
The Cards are looking like they might have some life, but have lost two heartbreakers. The Steelers have just been destroying people. I think they will continue on that path.

NY Giants +3 vs. Philly:
Are the Eagles back to being contenders? No, no they're not. I think they were pissed off and caught a lousy defense at the exact right time. The Giants are better than you think. Yes, they started 0-2, but their losses were to Dallas and the Packers, two of the remaining unbeatens.

New England -7 @ Cincinnati:
Seven points seems like a lot to give on the road to a team like the Bengals, until you realize that the Bengals might not be the team I thought they would be. They might just suck. For years the Patriots have been winning, but I never got that feeling like they were the kings of the league and could just dominate people. Now I do. They may very well go undefeated. I really wish I had drafted Moss in my fantasy league.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Few Quick Basketball Notes

- Tennessee forward Duke Crews has been suspended indefinitely by coach Bruce Pearl for violating team rules. This is not good news for the Vols, as Crews was a likely starter and one of the few players on the team with some height. No report on what the team rule was, but as long as it's not murder, I have a feeling he'll be back by SEC season time at the latest.

- Alabama point guard Ronald Steele is out for the season due to knee problems. This severely sucks for the Tide, as Steele was a pretty big key to their season. I'm not exactly sure how official this is, but the Tide dropped from #21 to #32 in the Down with Goldy rankings.

- Former Gopher signee Andrew Brommer has signed on with the Iowa Hawkeyes. This is kind of surprising, as everything pointed to Brommer de-committing and reopening his recruitment due to Tubby not thinking he was Big Ten caliber, or at least that was the speculation. Interesting to see if the Gophers just have their sights set higher than the Hawkeyes, or if Iowa coach Todd Lickliter sees something that Tubby is missing. I'm better on the former.

- I've posted on him before, and didn't pay that much attention with Nathen Garth on board, but with Garth off to New Mexico, PG Verdell Jones should be a major target for the Gophers for 2008. Add him to the list along with Sampson and Joseph as a most wanted player to add to the class with Iverson and Carter. And it sounds like the Gophers are most definitely in the mix, as this article from says "Jones' father said that Minnesota is very strong in the mix for his son's recruitment, due to their coaching staff.

"There is an offer on the table. Lou Rawls got it wrong in that song, 'When you say Bud, you've said it all.' When you say Tubby Smith, you said it all. He has a proven track record. Look at the player he has had at Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky. He is a great teacher of the game," Verdell Sr. said.

His father is equally high on Gopher assistant coach Vince Taylor.

"Vince has a lot of experience as a coach and player," he said. "He was a coach with Rick Pitino. We are taking a serious look at the situation and we are talking about setting up a visit."

Thanks to JohnnyGopher at the Gopher Hole for posting the article.



Last Season: 28-7 (16-2), beat Duke in first round of NCAAs, lost to Pitt in 2nd round
Key Losses: G Jesse Pellot-Rosa (13.3 ppg/4.5 rpg), G B.A. Walker (14.8 ppg)
Key Adds: G Ed Nixon (top 300), G Joey Rodriguez (top 300), F Lance Kearse

Despite losing two starting backcourt players in Pellot-Rosa and Walker, the Ram backcourt is still in good shape, with NCAA hero Eric Maynor returning. Maynor was second on the team in scoring (13.9), fourth in rebounding (4.2), and first in assists (6.4 - led the conference) and steals (1.4). He is a master at directing the Rams' high powered offense, and came through in the clutch against Duke in the NCAA tournament, not to mention his performance in the CAA tournament championship game (see below). Maynor is the best player in the CAA, and a legitimate All-American candidate.

Joining him in the backcourt will be last year's sixth man, senior Jamel Shuler. Shuler has improved every year, and will be looking to continue that trend as a starter this season. Shuler can score, as he averaged 8.6 ppg last season, including breaking 20 points twice, and is the leading returning three point man, with 52 last season at 41%. Depth will come from a trio of freshman in Joey Rodriguez, Ed Nixon, and Brandon Rozzell. Rodriguez will be the point guard back up, Nixon is an athletic wing who can handle the 2, and Rozzell is a three-point specialist.

The Rams are returning experience and rebounding from last year, if not scoring. The top two leading rebounders are back, in 6-7 Will Fameni (8.9 ppg/5.4 rpg) and 6-7 Michael Anderson (6.4 ppg/4.9 rpg) - both seniors. The Rams need one of the two to step up his offensive game to take some of the pressure off of Maynor. Fameni would seem most likely, but his stats tailed off at the end of last season, averaging just 6 ppg in the team's final five games.

Joining those two in the starting lineup will likely be sophomore T.J. Gwynn, a 6-4 slasher who averaged 4.8 ppg in just 14.1 minutes per game on his way to being named to the Colonial Conference All-Rookie team. VCU will get depth from sophomore Franck Ndongo or freshman Lance Kearse (second cousin of Jevon), either of whom could end up starting over Gwynn if they decide to go with a bigger lineup or Gwynn doesn't produce.

The Colonial Conference has produced some very cool moments in the NCAA tournament over the past two seasons, and shouldn't be overlooked. VCU is one of two teams in the CAA that could do some damage in the tournament, assuming they give out two bids this year.

I leave you with the final two minutes of last year's CAA tournament championship, also known as the Eric Maynor show:



Last Season: Lost to Winthrop in first round of the NCAAs
Key Losses: Russel Carter (17.1 ppg/4.9 rpg), Colin Falls (15.3 ppg, 99 three-pointers)
Key Adds: F Tyrone Nash (top 300)

The Irish lost a lot back here in three-point specialist Colin Falls and wingman Russel Carter (the two combined for 183 threes last year), but they also have a lot coming back. Kyle McAlarney was arrested for Marijuana possession twelve games into last season and missed the entire Big East schedule, but he's back and will be a big contributor. McAlarney averaged 10.3 points and 5.4 assists in the twelve games he played before the suspension, and can play the point or the 2 guard.

McAlarney's arrest amped up the learning curve for then freshman Tory Jackson, and he responded well. Jackson was playing well at about 15 minutes per game, and after the suspension stepped in and started playing 30+, averaging about 10 points and 6 assists per game after the suspension. Jackson play-making allows McAlarney to swing over to shooting guard and gives the Irish a strong backcourt.

Backup guard Jonathan Peoples is the only other ballhandler on the team, and he only played 6 minutes per game last season. 6-8 Ryan Ayers (2.9 ppg) and 6-8 freshman Tyrone Nash will likely log some minutes at SG.

Three very good players return in the Irish frontcourt, led by leading returning scorer Rob Kurz (12.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg). Kurz can score in a lot of ways, he's excellent around the paint, but can also step back and hit the outside shot (21-49 on threes). Add to this his 81% free throw shooting and he can hurt you a lot of ways. He also led the team in blocks at 1.5 per game.

Also returning are 6-8 Luke Harangody and 6-9 Zach Hillesland. Harangody (11.2 ppg/6.2 rpg) is essentially a better version of Jeff Hagen - big and fat, with no finesse but manages to put up some numbers. Hillesland (5.8 ppg/4.8 rpg) is more refined, a big man who can play defense, handle the ball, and score with a high basketball IQ.

Also returning to add depth is former starter Luke Zeller, a 6-11 former Mr. Basketball in Indiana. Zeller is a bit soft, but has a nice outside touch and is a quality backup. The earlier mentioned Ayers and Nash can also both fill in up front if needed.

Despite losing both Falls and Carter, last season's top two scorers, the Irish remain in a good position to make the NCAA tournament. If McAlarney doesn't get arrested again, they should be heading towards a bid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reggie Bush Proves me Wrong

- Ok, not really. He did score two touchdowns, which ties him for the season with former Gopher Matt Spaeth, but he still sucked. Both were one-yard touchdowns, which actually is really surprising because I didn't think he could score on the goal line, but those two one yard TDs were about his average gain for the night, he had 7 attempts for 15 yards. Tack on 6 catches for 20, and that's a whole 35 total yards on the night. For "the best player to come into the NFL since Barry Sanders." Good call, morons.

- FatDale once again managed to outrush Chris Brown, but only because the coaches decided to give him the ball 17 times to 11 for Brown. White rushed for 50 yards (2.9 ypc) and Brown for 38 (3.5 ypc). Season stats are Brown +67.

- The Saints are clearly broken. With zero running game, Brees can't do much and has 1 TD and 7 Ints, with a QB rating of 57.1

- I wouldn't panic on the Chargers quite yet, they have too much talent to be this bad, but it doesn't look good. Hopefully the Packers aren't for real. I don't think I could handle a good Packers team.

- Mewelde Moore's QB rating after that incompletion on Sunday is 39.6. T-Jax has a rating of 40.0. That's god damned hilarious. And how good does Adrian Peterson look? It's going to be a fun six years or however long RBs last.

- I'm getting bored with football. Can college basketball start now?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Go Cuonzo Martin!

So I'm back from a wedding reception early, I have a six pack of Miller Lite (woo-hoo, party time!) and I figured I might as well live blog the second half of this awesome Purdue/Gopher game. Didn't see much at the wedding, but saw Purdue's second touchdown on that screen pass where nobody got within ten feet of the guy.

Also, listening on the way home I found out the radio broadcast of the game was brought to you by the law firm of Patterson, Thuente, Skaar, and Christensen. Go to them for all your intellectual property needs. I've heard good things, but they'll hire pretty much anybody with a degree.

We already won the Purdue -7.5 first half bet, so we just need Purdue -14 and OVER 71 to cash for a perfect night. It feels good.

9:58pm - Just saw the reply of the Boiler interception for a TD. Nice play by that fat guy. Bad tackle by Weber. Who, by the way, looks like he's about 14.

10:02pm - That is definitely not Melissa Stark or Erin Andrews on the sideline.

10:04pm - This offense is brutal. I don't know if that was a pass or a QB draw, but either way that was a sack.

10:05pm - Nice completion for a first down there against an 8-man zone. There's a little potential there.

10:06 - Nice run by Bennett, and rewarded with the TD as well. Good vision on that long run for the freshman. Right now it's a push. We need Purdue to outscore the Gophers 21-17 from here on.

10:11 - Mmmmm......Hot n Spicy Soy nuts......

10:11 - I'm glad Brewster is confident and comfortable with being down 21 at half because it's happened every week. Not exactly the thing I'd be proud of.

10:12 - They just showed all the big things in Minnesota sports right now and listed: Brewster new coach, Tubby new coach, Garnett traded, and Adrian Peterson doing well for the Vikes. Not a single mention of anything about hockey. Take note, HAL and The Todd.

10:14 - I've never seen anything like this defense. Runs are open for big gains and receivers are wide open. Painter just threw another TD to a wide open receiver in the end zone, and he didn't exactly have to paint the corner to do it. Just ridiculous.

10:18 - And then the Gophers almost mishandle the squib kick and give it back. Which reminds me, I was playing Madden yesterday, and I score with :01 left to take the lead. Squib kick it, and they fumble it around before picking it up and returning it for the winning TD. Cheaters.

10:23 - Gopher offense seems to be finding it's rhythm. We might not have another punt all game. Also, the announcers just called Decker one the most talented receivers in the Big Ten. Maybe we shouldn't get too crazy just yet.

10:25 - Ok, this announcing team needs to go away. After the Decker hyperbole, gopher RB Duane Bennett was down after the play, and the announcer's comment was that he was probably just winded from his last long run. The previous drive. 19 minutes ago.

10:28 - Gopher TD by RB Jay Thomas. Wee.

10:30 - Looks like a concussion for Bennett, probably from that long run he had. His first name is pronounced Dwan, not Duane. Gophers continue to refuse to even come close to covering anybody.

10:32 - Purdue's WR Dorien Bryant is "one of the best slot receivers in the country." I'm going to choose to not believe that.

10:35 - Purdue was just called "Quarterback University." This post is now getting the "idiots" label.

10:36 - TD Purdue. Shocking. We're now just 17 points away from hitting that over.

10:41 - Weber throws a very Cupito-like quick out that was about 15 feet too high. Funny thing is it would have been defensive pass interference but the pass was so bad it was uncatchable. And then he runs about 12 yards for a first down. He's like our very own Vince Young.

10:44 - Weber overthrows an open receiver for a TD. The announcers let us know that he needs to "hone his passing skills." Thanks buddy. This Bennett kid looks pretty good at RB though, and Weber can run the option well.

10:51 - tough call to go for it on 4th and 8 from 10, but Brewster does and Weber comes through with a TD pass to Decker who makes a very nice catch. Maybe he is one of the best receivers in the Big Ten. I should probably learn his first name. I think it's Eric.

10:54 - It's Eric. I totally knew that the whole time.

10:55 - Metrodome scorekeeper had the score as 46-24 instead of 38-24. I like that guy. Also, I saw Arkansas lost today. Good. F that state, why don't you go get more rebel flags, jerks.

10:58 - 34 yard pickup for Purdue. This second half is like that Michigan/Loyola-Marymount basketball game from the NCAA basketball tournament in I think '89.

11:01 - Painter tried to thrown an interception but the D-back has hands like Irse, so no suck luck. Next play, guy wide open underneath for an easy touchdown. If you hate defense, this is like the best game ever to watch. UPDATE: Three beers left. Feeling sad already.

11:07 - another excellent run by Bennett. Where is Pinnix? I might have missed something. Bennett looks like the best gopher runner since G-Russ. Also, apparently Decker is the leading receiver in the Big Ten. Clearly the Gophers throw too much. Or I don't pay attention. Maybe both.

11:09 - Weber picks up about 15 on a very nice draw. If he ever learns to throw the ball he might be pretty good. Like a Ricky Foggie type.

11:11 - Announcer tries to point out that Wheelwright wasn't open, but ends up proving that he actually was. Gopher center snaps it into the backfield, gets picked up by Bennett, and then Purdue grabs Bennett's facemask. So instead of a 15 yard loss and a FG by the Gophers, they get a first down at the three - and TD for Weber. A FG there and no other points all game would have covered both my bets, but there is the Over. Just need Purdue to outscore Minnesota over the next 8:50, or at the very minimum tie them for the push and a 2-0-1 night.

11:17 - Did you know Joe Mauer was an all-state all-everything QB in high school? Thanks ESPN. He really should have stuck with football by the way. That guy is way overrated. He has no chance at 80 RBI next year. We've also just been informed he "followed in the foot steps of Chris Weinke." Yeah, they both went to Cretin and were offered by FSU but chose baseball, but I think their careers are going to end up pretty differently. Weinke was a below average football player, and Mauer is a slightly above average baseball player.

11:22 - Purdue goes for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal and doesn't get it as if they know the spread is 14. Very fishy. I demand an investigation. Announcer guy thinks going for it was a good move, so it was clearly a mistake.

11:24 - So Weber basically can't lead the Gophers on a TD drive here with 4:35 remaining. I feel safe. I'm a Gopher fan and all, but clearly, gambling is more important. Since I can't win Purdue -14 without a turnover for a TD, I just can't have the Gophers score and hope for the push. And first down Gophers. Knock this shit off.

11:27 - Weber was just "sacked" but "technically gained a couple of yards." This guy is KILLING me.

11:29 - We've just been told that Vince Young has been a "winner at every level." He coached a Pop Warner team and they won the championship. Seriously. Well, I'm sold. I'm looking to trade Peyton Manning for Vince on my fantasy team. I mean, he's a winner at every level. Also, turnover on downs by the Gophers. Purdue ball at midfield. Some RB needs to break one here.

11:31 - Announcer guy: "Minnesota is not an upper-shelf team in the Big Ten." First thing he's gotten right all night.

11:33 - Purdue punts back to Minnesota with 2:10 left. This is the kind of thing where the Gophers will end up scoring to take a 2-0-1 night down to a 2-1 night. I hate gambling.

I'm just kidding. I love you gambling.

11:34 Well, Weber just threw a ball that should have been picked but wasn't. If that doesn't say I'm going to lose my bet now I don't know what else would.

11:37 - The announcer is talking about Kermit the Frog now. I'm not even listening anymore. I think this guy has maybe just lost it.

11:38 - Purdue pulls out the safety blitz, interesting move with 1:20 left. Didn't really matter, as Weber threw a WR screen at the receivers feet anyway. Also they showed a Gopher cheerleader stepping on a prone, and looking dead, Goldy. I don't know what that's all about, but I support it.

11:40 - 4th and 11, :50 left, and Weber completes a pass to Wheelwright 1 yard past the line of scrimmage. Why? Why does that shit happen? It's just stupid, it makes no sense, and I don't even know if it's coaching or bad on field decisions, but that is just horrible. I know the game is over and it doesn't really matter, but still. That's embarrassing. Game over. 2-0-1 night.

I saw the new Halloween movie. Pretty good flick.

College Football


Purdue -14 @ Minnesota
Purdue -7.5 @ Minnesota (halftime)
Minn/Purdue OVER 71 points

No preview, but I expect Purdue to be up 38-10 at half and end up winning 58-27.

Friday, September 21, 2007



Last Season: 27-9 (9-7), Won NIT championship
Key Losses: Frank Young (15.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
Key Adds: F John Flowers, F Will Thomas

New coach Bob Huggins inherits a team with two excellent guards, in senior PG Darris Nichols (10.9 ppg/4.6 apg) and junior SG Alex Ruoff (10.3 ppg/5.3 apg). Nichols is one of the top point men in the Big East, who added 1.3 steals per game as well and knocked down 42% of his three-pointers. Ruoff can also play D, as he chipped in with 2.0 steals per game. His height (6-6) can cause some matchup problems, but he needs to get better from the perimeter, hitting just 34% of his threes while shooting just under 40% overall.

Sophomore Joel Mazzulla will likely be the backup point guard. Despite averaging just 8.7 minutes per game last season, Mazzulla looked capable when he played. Depth comes from Devan Bawinkel, Jonnie West (son of Jerry), and freshman Will Thomas. Thomas is Huggins' first recruit at WVU, and if he has recovered from a broken leg suffered last season in high school could be a nice player.

The departed Frank Young, last season's leading scorer, will be missed, but WVU may have enough talent to withstand it. The frontcourt will add two more returning double-digit starters to this team, along with the two guards, in Fs Joe Alexander and Da'Sean Butler. Both are very athletic, and should thrive in the switch from John Beilein's slow-down perimeter half-court game to Bob Huggins' up-tempo transition style offense. The 6-8 Alexander is an excellent defender who lead the team in blocks last season, but struggled with his shooting at times, particularly at the end of the season. Butler is a 6-7 slasher who made the Big East All-Freshman team last season as the Mountaineers sixth man.

The final spot will likely either go to returning seven-footer Jamie Smalligan or 6-7 freshman John Flowers. Smalligan is more of the mold of former WVU center Kevin Pittsnoggle, where he is more comfortable on the perimeter (45% on 3's) than in the paint (averaged just 3.2 rebs per game last year). Huggins wants to see him play with his back to the basket more and get stronger, and he apparently has hit the weights hard. How well he can adapt to his new role will determine his playing time.

These are mainly Beilein's players, and Huggins and he do not generally run the same type of team. If the players can adapt to Huggins' ideas, or Huggins can adapt to his players skill sets, this team has a change to make a run at a tournament bid. If not, it could turn into a mess, and a return trip to the NIT.

One down, Two to go.

Tubby got his first big singing yesterday, snagging South Dakota big man Colt Iverson, the #140 prospect on rivals top 150 list, and the 37th ranked PF. Iverson made the decision after a home visit from Tubby.

Now all he has to do is get Sampson and Joseph as well, and the Gophers are on their way to a dynasty.

This is a great get and a great message. This is the first player I felt like the Gophers had the inside track on, and instead of ending up losing him like Monson would have done, Tubby gets him in here. We can't expect Smith to immediately get the types of players he could get at Kentucky, but starting with a top 150 is a very good sign that Smith can still recruit. Sure, he lost the war for Draymond Green, but that was a tough battle from the beginning.

I would have written about this when I found out yesterday, but I was on a plane because Arkansas didn't want to let me go. My 11:45 flight was delayed until 3:30, and I was stuck in the world's second smallest airport. Thanks Arkansas. You're the best.

Anyway, here's some really, really crappy footage of Iverson in action. It basically shows him catching and alley-oop and dunking and then blocking a shot on the other end. I'm just impressed they actually have the internet in South Dakota.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This one's for you Al

Your boy, Dusty, scored 14 in the opening game of something that is the National Basketball League for the Brisbane Bullets (I think it's an australian league).

The website doesn't actually have updated rosters, but some other stars in the league on opening night include Ebi Ere (Oklahoma I think)and Rod Grizzard (Alabama). And a shitload of guys I've never heard of. I'm pretty sure this is basically a league at the local YMCA, but it's in Australia, mate.

The best part of their website is where they compare some dude named Rashad Phillips to Allen Iverson. Yeah, ok.

That guy graduated from U of Detroit-Mercy. And sure, he averaged 22.5 points his senior year, so he's a decent player. But he's the Allen Iverson of some Australian league. Good for you. Dusty Rychart can score in your league. Just stop.

And if you're curious, Michael Bauer plays in France, and hasn't cut his hair yet. But I bet those commies love it.

Also, hotels that let you get beer at all hours of the night need to be shut down.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


1. Holy sweet jesus is anybody else sick of Red Sox/Patriot fans? And the diehards are equally as annoying as the bandwagon hoppers. Exhibit A is a Bill Simmons article about the Patriots' cheating that is the most homerrific thing I've read, like ever. I'm a pretty big Simmons fan, but I couldn't even finish this article. If you don't want to read the whole thing, and you really shouldn't, here's all you need to know. He actually wrote this:

1. Is there a chance -- just a chance -- Belichick has gotten a little paranoid in his old age, and since an undermanned Jets team played them closely in all three Pats-Jets games last season, he spent the spring and summer wondering if Mangini had figured out a way to steal their signals, so he decided to tape their coaches in Week 1 to see if that was true? And then he got caught?

Really. He wrote that. In all seriousness. I couldn't make something that ridiculous up if I tried.

Exhibit 2 is this douche bag who was at the bar tonight (still in Arkansas, still BW3's). First of all, he was wearing an Arkansas hat, shirt, belt (and not just a belt buckle, which would be bad enough, but a belt with little razorbacks spaced out around the whole thing), cell phone (like, the whole cell phone was all Razorbacky, and I know this because this homo had it clipped to his belt. Yeah, like you're really that important. Just die). So clearly, he wasn't actually from Boston.

The Red Sox game was on in the bar (as was the replay of the Vikings/Lions game. So that was a real treat), and this guy just couldn't stop being retarded. Clapped at every single Sox hit and every single Blue Jay out. Every single one. Dude, you're the only guy in the bar who gives a crap, and a single hit or out isn't really a big deal. Stop.

Then there was the fly ball some sox guy hit, and this guy starts running around the bar. I'm not even kidding. Funny thing was, the ball didn't even get to the warning track, so calm down Corky. And you could tell, if you've ever watched baseball ever, that he didn't get a hold of it, so you should have known it wasn't going out. But not captain dipshit here, he's running around like a fucking high school cheerleader. Then the ball is caught not even close to going out, and he's shocked. Christ, watch a couple of games before you hitch onto a bandwagon.

So I end up staying there later than I wanted to, because the Sox are down 2-1 in the 8th and I really, really want to see them lose. With the bases loaded in the 8th and 1 out, they bring in Papelboner and hes strikes out the first guy and Douchey McGee gets all excited and makes a whole hell of a lot of noise. Then the next guy, Russ Adams, decided to hit his second home run of the year, a nice grandslam to make it 6-1 and pretty much put the game out of reach. Of course, I'm happy, and I look at slappy mcdickhole, and he's not even watching. Then some homo at his table tells him what happened, and he just shrugs, smiles, and keeps drinking.

If you're going to be a bandwagon fan, at least care win or lose. Don't just be an idiot. You people are making me actually root for the Fucking Yankees. Never thought that would happen. And by the way, when the Yankees win the division and the Sox get the wild card, Simmons will write an article about how it doesn't matter. But if the Sox manage to hang on to the division lead and the Yanks get the wild card, he'll write an article about how it does matter. That dude was a much better writer when Boston teams all sucked.

Was this lucid? It doesn't feel lucid. You had to be there. You would have punched this guy in the face in your mind like I did.

2. I'm not not fat or anything, but there are more fat people here than in any other state ever. Not counting Wisconsin.

3. Ken Griffey Jr. broke his groin. Seriously, it looked like somebody shot him in the weiner.

4. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is about as hot as it gets.

5. Have you ever seen current Baltimore and former Oakland reliever Chad Bradford pitch? He's the deepest submariner ever. It works, as his career ERA+ is 132 (Johan's is 143 for reference sake). I tried to find some video of it, but there's not much out there so just start watching every single Oriole game hoping he gets in.

C. Hotels that sell beer are still cool. Hotels that market themselves as for the "business traveler" yet don't sell saline solution are fucking stupid. Also, I'm pretty sure the late night front desk girl wants me.

9. Remember when the U was pimping Chris Darkins as a heisman candidate? Good one.

10. Reggie Bush still sucks.

11. Why does fantasy golf have to stop after the tour championship? There's still plenty of golf to go. Also, if you're curious, I won my fantasy golf league this year, what up bitches? If I were a betting man, and I am, I would take Robert Allenby at 20-1 or Anders Hansen at 60-1 to win this week.

12. Goldy won his first matchup in that thing I posted that one time. Don't let it happen again.

13. I can't wait to get out of here tomorrow. This place is worse than Connecticut. Ok, not really, but it's close. Never go to Connecticut.

Week 3 NFL Picks

Last week wasn't brilliant, at 5-10-1. Hopefully this week is a bit better:

Arizona +8 @ Baltimore: This game seems really boring. After a win against Seattle, maybe Arizona is a better than I thought.

Buffalo +16.5 @ New England: The Patriots are one of the two best teams in the NFL. I was clearly wrong about JP Losman and Buffalo this year. Seriously, what an idiot I am. New England could probably pick their final score here, and that's what they'll do. Belicheck likes to use just enough of his playbook to win in this kind of games.

Philly -6.5 vs. Detroit: Philly needs this game in the worst way, and the Lions are only 2-0 due to a very easy early schedule. McNabb should come out firing, trying to silence the imaginary racists who hate him.

Indianapolis -6.5 @ Houston: The Texans (nice name, by the way) are going to be without Andre Johnson, and Ahman Green is banged up as well. Even against that soft Indy defense, Houston will struggle. The close game last week was just because the Colts were playing the Titans, and Indy has an inexplicable ability to blow out Tennessee.

NY Jets -3 vs. Miami: The Dolphins are terrible.

Kansas City -2.5 vs. Minnesota: The Chiefs are terrible as well, but they're at home. Jackson couldn't handle the road game in Detroit, I don't see him playing well in Arrowhead, one of the toughest places to play even when the Chiefs suck ass.

San Diego -5 @ Green Bay: San Diego hasn't looked good yet this season, but they've played the Bears and the Patriots. Now they get to feast on the soft, swiss-cheesey defense of the Pack, who are somehow 2-0. If you have LT in your fantasy league, here comes the 200 yard, 3 TD game you've been looking for.

San Fran +8.5 @ Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has looked really good this season so far, but San Fran hasn't been to shabby themselves. Can Alex Smith handle the crowd in Pittsburgh? Probably not, but I'm betting on him keeping them close.

St. Louis +3.5 @ Tampa: I don't know what to make of these two teams. Tampa is actually showing some signs of life, after I was pretty sure they were in the bottom three teams in the league with Cleveland and KC. St. Louis has looked like a giant pile of crap so far. I refuse to believe that Tampa is four points better than the Rams, that's just not logical.

Cincinnati +3 @ Seattle:
Last week was a fluky game for the Bengals. Don't look for that to happen too often, although I'm a little scared of their defense right now.

I'm bored and tired so here are all the other picks without the witty commentary:

Oakland -3 vs. Cleveland
Denver -3 vs. Jacksonville
Carolina -4 @ Atlanta
Washington -4 vs. NY Giants
Dallas +3 @ Chicago
New Orleans -4.5 vs. Tennessee

Last Week: 5-10-1
Season to Date: 14-15-3

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What up?

Hi. I'm drunk in arkansas and I have a lot of things to tell you people.

1. Arkansas sucks. Seriously. I was at a BW3's tonight, and they had a golf game, a bowling game, and a hunting game. But it wasn't golden tee (which is awesome by the way), silver strike, or buck hunter. They were all knockoffs. This place is stuck in time somehow. And then the NTN trivia froze for like 20 minutes and all the waitresses were like all scared because it was that damn fancy technology and they didn't know what to do. Gay.

2. Also, chicks in Arkansas have no idea how to wear makeup. They look like fucking raccoons and it scares me. Although I'm fairly certain the waitress at BW3 wanted me.

3. So when I walk into the place, they have one big 12 foot screen. And guess what's on it, the damn Twins. I can't get away from them no matter what I do. Why are they on in Arkansas? Is Texas the adopted team in Arkansas? Are we that close to Texas here? I really don't know, I'm an ignorant moron. And seriously, what a retarded team.

Any lineup with Rondell White (OPS+ of 37. Seriously), Nick Punto (OPS+ = 49), and Louis Rodriguez (OPS+ = 58) all in the lineup today, is truly to be feared. And what the fuck happend to Cuddyer? I thought he was going to take "the leap" this year. You know what the only stat of his that's higher this year than last year? Double plays. 11 last year, 17 this year. Nice job dipshit. And did you know Justin Morneau hit one homerun in August? One! Jason Bartlett had two. Nice team.

Would you sign here if you were Johan? Oh hell no. And you idiots basically had three options with Torii: Win and win now (failed), sign him before he hits free agency (failed), or trade him (failed). Just horrible. The reason Terry Ryan resigned was because he screwed this up so badly. God I hate this team.

4. Scrubs is a good show.

5. You know what else that bar had? An autographed Tom Pagnozzi jersey. For real. Tom Pagnozzi. Seriously, this guy. Career OPS+ of 80. 80! Tim Laudner was 83 if that helps. Is he really the best Arkansas baseball player ever? Even Minnesota can spit out Molitor and Winfield. And Wickman (hell of a pitcher.)

6. Hotels that sell beer are awesome. They may not have an actual bar, but the front desk chicks are chipper.

7. What the hell is the deal with Lomo? Is it this whole gay thing? He's fuckin' terrible. Sammy Morris is kicking his ass. I'd be embarrassed to have him on my keeper team. Not as embarrassed as having FatDale White or Reggie Bush, but pretty embarrassed nonetheless. And do you ever have that guy in your league who falls so in love with potential he can't ever field a decent team? You know this kind of guy. He always had Michael Vick because he was so convinced he would end up figuring out how to throw the ball and now has Vince Young. He has young running backs like Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson and is convinced they're going to be awesome (I actually agree on AP, but Bush - come on. Get real.) He drafted every single first round draft pick who was a receiver in your draft this year. He's traded away people like Steve Smith in his ever loving pursuit of youngness. You know this guy. Give it up already buddy. It's getting sad.

D. I had more but I dont' remember.


I'm going out of order, since I am stuck here in Arkansas I might as well preview their team. Feels more authentic.


Last Season: 21-14 (7-9), lost to USC in the first round of the NCAAs
Key Losses: None
Key Adds: F Michael Sanchez (#17 PF), G Nate Rakestraw (top 300), G Marcus Britt

New coach John Pelphrey inherits a sick, sick player in last season's SEC Freshman of the Year SG Patrick Beverley. Last season Beverley led the team in scoring, steals, minutes, and three pointers, was second in assists, and, at just 6-1, was third on the team in rebounding. He does a little bit of everything, although he hit a bit of a wall towards the end of his freshman season and saw his production tail off. This summer, however, playing for the U.S. at the under 19 World Championships, he lead the team in scoring and was second in rebounding, and led the entire tournament in steals. The sky is the limit for Beverley.

The point guard position will be manned by former Mississippi State transfer Gary Ervin. Ervin can be inconsistent, and turns the ball over a bit too much, but in his first year as a Razorback he managed to set career highs in almost every category, scoring 9.9 ppg and dishing out 4.8 assists per, good for fifth in the SEC. Ervin also upped his shooting percentage to 46%, up from 38% his last season at Miss St, and three pointers went from 23% to 37%. If he can keep those numbers up, it bodes well for the Razorbacks.

Depth is an issue here. And somebody will have to step up. Little used sophomore Stefan Walsh is first in line. Pelphrey has said Walsh needs to be the most improved player on the team this season. Three freshman, Marcus Britt, Nate Rakestraw, and Levan Patsatsia will also fight for time. They all have question marks, but Rakestraw is an excellent shooter.

The wing belongs to 6-6 Sonny Weems, an athletic scorer who was second on the team in scoring and rebounding last season at 11.8/4.8. He's a big key to the Hogs' success, and needs to take better care of the ball (more turnovers than assists). Weems is nursing a broken hand, but should be back in time for the season.

There are plenty of big bodies down low, with starters 6-8 Charles Thomas and 7-0 Steven Hill, who wears a sweet headband and has long floppy goofy stupid surferboy hair. Thomas is the scorer of the pair, coming in third on the team at 10.7 ppg and also led the team in rebounding. Hill, despite the goofy hair, is a force on the defensive end, leading the SEC with 2.8 blocks per game on his way to winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award.

Pelphrey got a very nice late signee in PF Michael Sanchez, a hometown kid who was ranked as the 17th best PF. It was a nice boost to a class that looked pretty bad, and now is bumped up to meh. He will battle with a few other nice pieces for playing time, in backups 6-10 Vincent Hunter, 6-10 Darian Townes, and 6-10 Michael Washington. Townes can score (8.1 ppg in 17.7 minutes per game), and Hunter is tall, although he's seen his stats go down each of his three years, and his playing time diminish accordingly. The most intriguing of the backups is Washington, who put up a couple of double-digit scoring games, including 17 against Florida, late in the year after playing sparingly most of the season.

After squeaking in to the NCAA tournament despite a losing conference record last season, the Razorbacks got worked by USC 77-60, running the Arkansas NCAA tournament game losing streak up to 5 in a row. Look for that to come to an end this season. There are some very nice players here, and as long as the lack of backcourt depth doesn't ruin them, and Pelphrey can handle the big conference load, this team could make some serious noise in March.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gopher Preview

I posted this on Gopherhole and I'm tired so just read it:

� Spencer - I have zero hope here. Granted, I'm the kind of guy who was never impressed with Rychart or Puchtel or Hagen. Maybe on a team where you don't have to be a key guy, this kind of player is perfect. But not here. Nothing against Rychart, he clearly put up some numbers, but it doesn't get me excited.

� Coleman - this guy drives me nuts. He clearly has a nice offensive game. With a little more bulk, a little more defense, and a little more inside game, he could really be a solid, solid player. But we've been saying that for two years. Could this be the year? I hope so.

� LMac - I really think lmac is the guy who transferred here to showcase his game for the next level. He's clearly a very good shooter, but he shows very little discipline. Will that change this year? I really don't think so. Not the right PG this team needs. Not a distributor at all.

� Payton - Showed very little offensive game. I was pretty happy to have a 6-6 PG last year, but he's not really a point guard, and his offensive game was brutal. If you're a guard in the Big Ten, you need to knock it down when people leave you open, and he didn't. I don't have a lot of hope for Payton.

� Jamal - I love shooters. I do (Chris Kingsbury is one of my favorite players ever). But it's tough on this team. A shooter is perfect on a team with more options, but there's really not much he can do on this team. That game against Michigan (?), was an anomaly, it won't happen again without more help.

� Jonathon Williams - If there's anything I love more than shooters, it's shot blockers, In a more, optimistic time in my life, I was a huge Antoine Broxsie fan. Yes, I'll admit. Williams really doesn't show a whole lot of offensive game, and not a whole lot of potential either. He'd be a nice piece on a better team.

� Smith - I have no idea how to evaluate Smith. He's spent half his time on the bench. He looks like he has some game, but even when he's on the court he looks a bit lost. I have as much hope for him as I do for any Gopher.

� Johnson - even harder to evaluate than Smith. On the one hand, he seemed a bit lost when he did play. On the other, he seemed very athletic (which is great) and was also really good on college hoops 2k7. I like my video games, but I'm not sure they were right here. Clearly has potential, and I like him a lot. Hopefully Tubby will bring out the goodness.

� Westbrook - I like this guy a lot. He averaged like 40 points a game in high school, so clearly he can score. Really don't know where he fits in here, but I believe he has as much potential as anybody on this stupid team. The problem is he's undersized and not really fit to play point on a team that doesn't have one. I actually thought he was likely to transfer, but I'm guessing the coaching switch kept him around.

� Rico Tucker - going to dominate. For real.



Last Season: 22-12 (9-7), beat Arizona and lost to Florida in NCAA tournament
Key Losses: F Carl Landry (18.9 ppg/7.3 rpg), G David Teague (14.3 ppg/5.0 rpg)
Key Adds: G E'Twaun Moore (#8 SG), F/C JaJuan Johnson (#11 PF), F Robbie Hummel (#12 SF), F Scott Martin (#4 SF)

I've mentioned before how it's bizarre that Purdue ended up with the #5 recruiting class in the nation according to Athlon, and the one place they didn't get help was at point guard. Senior Tarrance Crump and sophomore Chris Kramer will look to battle it out. Crump struggled last season, his first in D-I, while Kramer was the opposite, finishing second in the Big Ten in steals with 2.1 per game and scoring 7.2 points per game. I'd bet on Kramer.

Shooting guard will likely go to one of Purdue's highly ranked freshman in E'Twaun Moore. Coach Matt Painter describes Moore as Purdue's top recruit since Glenn Robinson in 1993. Moore is already an excellent defensive player, and has improved his perimeter game. Moore is a combo guard, who could end up playing some point if nobody else steps up.

Depth in the backcourt will come from sophomores Keaton Grant and Marcus Green, as well as freshman Greg Hill.

Painter was able to snag a couple of very good small forwards, who were also high school teammates, in Robbie Hummel and Scott Martin, the #29 and #51 overall prospects in the country. Martin is a big (6-7), lanky (190 lbs.) lefty who can really shoot the ball. He'll need to get stronger to handle the Big Ten, but his offensive game is top notch. Hummel is a smart player who can influence a game without taking a lot of shots.

Purdue is going to have some big shoes to fill with Carl Landry graduating. Even though Martin and Hummel are more wing-type players, they may have to swing down and play in the paint, as the only size Purdue has coming back this year is 6-6 Gordon Watt, who started 33 games last season but is a bit undersized for PF. He's a tough, dirty work type player though, so don't count him out.

The final freshman in the mix could end up starting as well in 6-10 JaJuan Johnson, #47 overall prospect. Like Martin and Hummel, Johnson needs to bulk up (weighs only 200 lbs) but he can impact a game on the defensive end right now. No much of a scorer, but he's an excellent shot blocker and rebounder.


Purdue is a tough team to evaluate. They lost their two best players in David Teague and Carl Landry, but they have the #5 recruiting class in the country, with four immediate impact type freshmen. You can't ignore this kind of class. I think they'll be a bubble team for the NCAA tournament, with significant upside.


Just some left over thoughts from the weekend.

1. Sources say that Colt Iverson, Ralph Sampson, and Devoe Joesph all enjoyed their recent visits to the U, and it's been reported that the Gophers likely lead for Joseph. Can you imagine that recruiting class? #76, #84, and #140 on Rivals top 150. Not Fab Five type material, but a HUGE step up for this team.

2. Clearly, things are much worse than even I could have imagined for the fighting Gopher football team. It was obvious that this year would be a struggle, with a new QB and last year's horrible defense that didn't look like it was going to get any better, but I don't think anybody could have expected this. Since you could only see the game on some fancy internet thing that I don't quite understand, I didn't see the game at all, but turning it over seven times to zero and giving up 463 yards passing against Florida Atlantic tell you all you need to know. Much of the blame for this team's performance still falls on Mason, as these were his players, but at some point you have to wonder about Brewster's ability to prepare a team to compete. I mean, this is a freakin' Sun Belt team here. It's hard to imagine this team winning a Big Ten came this year. Or even competing.

3. As bad as things seemed for Michigan, that team looks downright awesome now compared to Notre Dame after the Wolverines bounced the Irish 38-0 on Saturday. Michigan's defense gave up 34 points to Appalachian State and 39 against Oregon, but Notre Dame couldn't get on the board at all. The Irish are 0-3, with losses by 30, 21, and 38 points. They're sort of like the Gophers of the high profile programs this year. Adios, Charlie Weis!

4. QB controversy for the Vikes? Probably not. They traded up and used a second rounder on Tarvaris, so I'm going to guess they'll be pretty committed to him, but wow, did he make some bad decisions yesterday. Four picks, and I don't recall for sure but at least a couple were just horrendously bad. Between the Vikings, Gopher football, and what I expect from Gopher basketball and the Wolves, this is going to be a long, dark, cold winter. Hockey doesn't count.

5. FatDale somehow managed to outrush Chris Brown 64 yards to 34 yards. For the season Brown is not +79 over FatDale.

6. Reggie Bush is still overrated, 10 carries for 27 yards yesterday.

7. Even though the Patriots look awesome, Laurence Maroney is looking like a crappy fantasy pick. He's basically splitting time with Sammy Morris. Sammy Morris? I am not very happy with my Maroney pick right now.

8. I'm going to be in Arkansas next week. Expect drunken rambling posts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Beer Pong? Freakin' Sweet!

Play Games at AddictingGames

Garth to Lobos

Former Gopher recruit Nathen Garth has signed on with Steve Alford and the New Mexico Lobos.

This lends credence to the rumor that Tubby and company decided Garth was not really a Big Ten caliber guard. New Mexico should be at the top of the Mountain West Conference under Alford in the future, and, in fact, are my pick to win it this year, but the MWC is not anywhere near the level of the Big Ten. Good luck to Garth in the coming seasons.

One other little recruiting tidbit is that's it's being reported that the Gophers are in the lead for SG Devoe Joseph, who is now my most wanted recruit for 2008. A class of Joseph/Carter/Sampson/Iverson would be awesome. I just don't know what Tubby's planning for point guard - maybe Nolen's better than I'm expecting.

Also, remember when Tara Reid was hot?

Week 2 NFL Picks

Well, that was a very good week to start things off at 9-5-2. Now there are a lot more games with big spreads, and that's usually where I struggle. We shall see.

ATLANTA +10 @ JACKSONVILLE: Yeah, Atlanta sucked last week. They were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked. But so did Jacksonville. I don't like Jacksonville. I still they're a mess, and even though Atlanta didn't look too good either, I think they hold it to within 10.

BUFFALO +10 @ PITTSBURGH: I've made it known previously that I like JP Losman this year. And last week he sure as hell tried to make me not like him anymore, but it won't work JP! You can't push away my love! Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you.

CINCINNATI -7 @ CLEVELAND: Another road team, and a road favorite even, who are usually the devil. But it's Cleveland. The team who chose an opening day QB, benched him twenty minutes into the first game, and then traded him before the week was out. Derek Anderson is starting this week, but we'll probably see Brady Quinn about 3 plays into the game.

NY GIANTS -1.5 vs. GREEN BAY: A bunch of people are hurt on the Giants, and who knows who will even suit up. But they're still better than Green Bay on the road. A good win at Lambeau over Philly, but I'm not a believer.

HOUSTON +6.5 @ CAROLINA: Everyone's all like "Ooh, look how Carolina stomped the Rams in St. Louis, ooh they're so good." Well, they're not. Houston killed a really crappy KC team, so nobody knows that they're actually good this year. I'm predicting 3 TDs a piece from Steve Smith and Andre Johnson in this game (both on my fantasy team).

What? Seriously? Is this because Indy struggled a bit against Tenn last year? You people are so crazy.

NEW ORLEANS -3 @ TAMPA BAY: Did the Saints suck last Thursday? Yes. Did their offense look broken and stupid? Obviously. Did their defense resemble swiss cheese? Of course. Yet, when you get to play Tampa, all is healed! Hooray for Drew Brees!

ST LOUIS -3 vs. SAN FRANCISCO: I'm not completely done with the whole "San Fran is the sleeper this year", but I'm not on board either. Especially on the road against a veteran division opponent.

DALLAS -3.5 @ MIAMI: Dallas might have looked the best last week of any team that wasn't the Colts, and I seriously can't even remember who Miami's QB and WR other than Chris Chambers are.

DETROIT -3 vs. MINNESOTA: Sorry Viking fans, the dream of an undefeated season dies here. Detroit's passing offense should rip right through the Purple Curtain, and the Viking offense is still hoping to one day be slightly below average. Except for Adrian Peterson. That guy is good.

SEATTLE -2.5 @ ARIZONA: Ok, I'm baffled. Why 2.5 only? I don't get it. Looks like an easy pick, thus, Arizona is probably a lock here, but I don't know why and I'm too tired to look things up. But I'm pretty sure Seattle killed Tampa and Arizona lost to San Fran, so I still don't get it.

DENVER -9.5 vs. OAKLAND: Oakland couldn't even hang with Detroit, in Oakland. Denver should have no troubles.

CHICAGO -12 vs. KANSAS CITY: I'm going to just pick against KC this entire season. Chicago's offense could probably never take the field, and their defense and special teams would cover the twelve points.

NY JETS +10.5 @ BALTIMORE: I don't get why everybody thinks the Jets are so bad. I realize with Pennington out, and a new QB in, going against the Ravens defense it could get scary. I also realize, that Pennington hasn't been a very good QB in several years, and Clemens can only make them better. Plus, McNair's banged up and we might see Kyle Boller anyway.

NEW ENGLAND -3 vs. SAN DIEGO: I don't see this whole cheating thing have a negative affect on the Pats. If anything, I see it going the opposite way and making them come out this week with a little something extra to prove. And this should be a great, great game.

PHILLY -7 vs. WASHINGTON: What a crappy game for a Monday nighter. I'd rather watch the Gophers play Florida Atlantic. I also have a suspicion that Washington might be one of those really, really crappy teams (like Cleveland and KC) and nobody knows it yet because they beat Miami last week.

Season: 9-5-2
YTD: 9-5-2

Thursday, September 13, 2007



Last Season: 25-9 (10-6), beat Davidson then lost to Butler in NCAAs
Key Losses: F Ekene Ibekwe (10.4 ppg/7.8 rpg), G Mike Jones (13.8 ppg), G/F DJ Strawberry (14.9 ppg/4.4 rpg/3.5 apg)
Key Adds: C Braxton Dupree (#16 center), G Adrian Bowie (top 300), F Dino Gregory (top 300), G/F Cliff Tucker (top 300)

The Terps are lead by a stellar 1-2 punch in the backcourt, with sophomores Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes who can each play both guard positions and have good height (Vasquez 6-5, Hayes 6-3). Vazquez put up some very nice numbers last season (9.8 ppg/3.3 rpg/4.6 apg/1.1 steals) and should be the teams all-around best player this season, although he struggles from the outside at times (32% from 3). Hayes isn't as flashy as Vasquez, but has a calming influence when he's running the point that can be needed at times, and can knock down the 3 (39%). Depth will most likely come from freshman Adrian Bowie, who can also play both guard spots.

With Ekene Ibekwe gone, most of the low post burden will fall to James Gist, but he may be ready for a breakout year. Gist has increased his scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks, steals, and FT shooting every year he has played, and now will be the go-to guy for the Terps. Even in the loaded ACC, Gist will have a good shot at all-conference.

Next to Gist on the block will be 6-8 monster Bambale "Boom" Osby, a physical freak who doesn't put up the most impressive statline, but knows how to handle himself. Top recruit Braxton Dupree will also be in the mix right away, and may end up with a starting position by the end of the season.

The wing looks to be a competition between incoming freshman Cliff Tucker and sophomore Landon Milbourne, who didn't see much of the court last year (77 total minutes in 16 games.) Expect Tucker to take the job.

Maryland definitely has some interesting pieces, it's up to them to put it all together. The three seniors they lost will hurt, but this team should be in the mix for an NCAA berth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Ok, so I just got home from softball (we lost, 25-21) and I have a few very quick thoughts.

1. Dick Vitale's top 40 for the season has Stanford at #14. I have them at #48. This is another example of why I'm much smarter than Dick Vitale. Other examples include everything he's every said. How you have Stanford at #14 is beyond me. It's good to know he found out there's basketball other than UCLA on the west coast though.

2. I haven't paid that much attention to the whole Bill Belichick cheating thing because I don't really care, but I'm also much smarter than Sean Salisbury. On the radio on the way home, he said that the whole thing didn't matter. He literally said, "knowing the other teams signals doesn't make any difference whatsoever." Now, that's dumb enough. But to make it even worse, a few minutes later he said "So what does it matter, maybe 2, 3 plays you have an advantage? Totally overrated." So not only did he completely contradict himself, but he admitted he was wrong without even realizing it. Two or three plays can make all the difference in the world. How this genius has a job, I'll never know. I have second-hand knowledge (still counts) of him throwing away a nice endorsement deal by getting drunk and being an ass. Also he sucked. But his frame of reference for his idiotic rant was "I was an NFL quarterback." Really? Didn't notice. The guy made Spergon Wynn look like Joe Montana.

Yep, Spergon Wynn.

3. Is it weird that when I got home, we didn't have any booze and I was sad, but then I remembered a flask my brother left in my car that he brought to a wedding and I went and got it and drank three quarters of a flask of very warm vanilla vodka?

No? Thanks buddy. I toast to your health!



Last Season: 19-14 (10-6), No postseason
Key Losses: C Darrell Harris (6.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
Key Adds: G Marquis Jones (top 300), F Delroy James (redshirt, 3-star in 2006)

It may be a bit surprising to see the Rams here, but this is a team I believe can compete this season. After a slow start last season, URI really came together in conference play, going 10-3 to start before a three game skid to close out the regular season. The rams return their top five scorers from last year, and will have seven players back who averaged more than twenty minutes per game last season. One thing that makes the Rams so dangerous is their there three-point shooting, as they lead the A-10 in three point percentage (30th nationally) at 39%.

Leading the way in the shooting barrage is coach's son Jimmy Baron, who Athlon Magazine ranks as the sixth best shooter in all of college basketball. Baron made 97 three-pointers last season while shooting 48% from behind the arc, both numbers beating the previous school records held by Tyson Wheeler.

Another three-point specialist is fellow guard Joe Mbang, whose 48 three's made were exactly half of field goals made for the season. Helping out in the backcourt is senior Parfait Bitee, who is a lock down defender on a team not exactly known for it's defense.

The frontcourt is where you'll find the Rams top overall player, Will Daniels, who was all-conference first team last season and returns for more. The 6-8 Daniels averaged 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, and showed a nice outside touch, making 51 threes on 42% shooting.

Next to him downlow will be junior Kahiem Seawright, who finished fifth in the league with 7.5 rebounds per game last season. Seawright was named most improved player for the Rams, after doubling his scoring and rebounding averages from the previous season. Depth will come from Keith Cothran, Jon Lucky, Lamonte Ulmer (all averaged more than 16 minutes per game last season), as well as redshirt freshman Delroy James, who was a three-star recruit prior to last season.

OVERALL (pt 2):
It's a long shot that any team out of the A-10 will get an at-large NCAA berth, and Xavier looks to be the strongest team out of the conference, but the Rams could cause some issues for teams. With their outside shooting and up-tempo style of play (22nd in scoring last season) they could make some noise. A decent non-conference schedule (vs. UAB, @ Boston College, vs. Providence, @ Syracuse) will give them the opportunity to be noticed. Xavier should take note right now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vote Against Goldy

There's some kind of goofy mascot vs. mascot regular season (with playoffs at the end!) put on by pathetic and soul-less Capitol One.

And, joy of joys, the worlds most annoying mascot - Goldy - is involved.

So go here and vote against Goldy in his first "regular season" matchup.

As if the whole concept wasn't irritating enough, you have to vote for a winner in all eight matchups, as well as register your nickname (it's very easy, and you're not actually signing up for anything).

So do it. And also boycott Capitol One (I don't even know what they do).

If you don't vote against Goldy, the terrorists win.

(and if the Syracuse Orange doesn't win this thing, it's a sham).



Last Season: 18-13 (10-8), lost to Louisville in first round of NCAA Tournament
Key Losses: None
Key Adds: F Josh Owens (top 300), Drew Shiller (transfer)

Stanford struggled all last year with turnovers (459 TOs to 460 assists, 21 TOs in season-ending loss), much of which can be traced to unsteady point guard play. There are no easy answers. Junior Mitch Johnson received the bulk of the starts last season at PG, averaging only 4 pts and 3 assists per game, to go along with 2 turnovers. Coach Trent Johnson has to be hopeful that help has arrived with transfer from U of San Francisco Drew Shiller. However, in 28 games two years ago with USF, Shiller tallied a 37-30 assist/TO ratio, and shot just 39%.

Shooting guard is no problem for the Cardinal, with returnee Anthony Goods (12.8 ppg) back at it. Goods is an explosive scorer, with two thirty point games lasts season, and is the only Cardinal who hit more than 50 three-pointers last season.

One thing the Cardinal certainly aren't lacking is size, with the 7-0 Lopez twins (Brook and Robin - both also girls names, hmm....) and 6-8 Lawrence Hill roaming the middle. Hill has a nice inside/outside game (15.7 pts, 6 reb, 41% 3-pt shooting) which compliments the Twin Towers (get it, they're twins) nicely. Brook is clearly the better twin, and posted a triple-double last season in a game against USC. He outplayed Robin last season (12.6 ppg/6.0 reb to 7.5/5.5), but both make their presence felt on the defensive end, combining for over 4 blocks per game. Extra depth will come from fifth year senior Fred Washington and freshman Josh Owens.

Some people are pretty high on Stanford. Myself, not so much. I think they were a pretty mediocre club last season, and managed to sneak into the NCAA tournament due to strength of conference, where they were promptly embarrassed. Stanford may be able to make a step forward this season, most likely if the Lopez twins can take their game to a new level. But they probably won't. Between that and the poor point guard play, Stanford is heading to the NIT.


I know other sites are doing this, but I decided to breakdown the top 50 college basketball teams for this coming season. Today:


Last Season: 16-17 (6-12 in conference), No Postseason
Key Losses: G Ayinde Ubaka (13.7 ppg, 4.3 apg), G Omar Wilkes (9.9 ppg)
Key Adds: F Jamal Boykin (transfer), F Omondi Amoke (top 300), G Nikola Knezevic

It won't be easy to replace team-leader Ubaka, as well as Wilkes, and this is the area that will make or break the season for the Bears.

Lightning quick guard Jerome Randle (6.5ppg/2.8 apg) is first in line to replace Ubaka as the point man for coach Ben Braun, although he will have competition from Serbian Nikola Knezevic, who returns after a medical redshirt season.

Shooting guard will likely be a battle between sophomore Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson, although Robertson spent a lot of time in the post last season, and could also slide to small forward.


The strength of the Bears got stonger when center DeVon Hardin pulled out of the NBA draft, despite being a likely first rounder. Although Hardin's stats aren't mind-numbingly great (10.7ppg/8.4 rpg), his defense (1.9 blocks) and overall affect on the team can't be overstated. Before he got hurt last season, the Bears were 11-3, after they were 8-14.

Joining the 6-11 Hardin downlow will be last year's leading scorer, 6-10 Ryan Anderson (16.3 ppg). Anderson had no problems scoring last year, with or without Hardin, so expect that one-two punch to give teams fits this year. Depth will come from top 300 freshman Omondi Amoke, an explosive 6-7 wing player, and former Duke transfer Jamal Boykin, who was a four-star recruit and 20th ranked PF in 2005.


The Bears are talented and have some star power. In a conference like the Big Ten, they might be able to do some damage. However, the Pac Ten is loaded this year, and it's likely the Bears will struggle in conference. A weak non-conference schedule won't help, and it looks like the NIT for Cal.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I know other sites are doing this, but I decided to breakdown the top 50 college basketball teams for this coming season. Today:


(note: Baylor was rated #51, but snuck in when I had to drop UAB way down for their issues with the law.

Last Season: 15-16 (4-12 in conference), No Postseason
Key Losses: Tim Bush (6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
Key Adds: G LaceDarius Dunn (#24 overall), F Delbert Simpson

Why would I rank a team that was under .500 last year and only one four conference games in the top 50? It's not because I'm drunk, although that's a solid guess. You have to look no further than the Baylor backcourt to see what makes them dangerous.

Team leader Aaron Bruce has seen his scoring drop from 18.2 ppg as a freshman to 11.3 ppg as a junior last season, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Bruce came on when the team was in an absolute shambles following a scandal resulting in a coach's resignation, the death of a player at the hands of a former teammate, and the cancellation of all non-conference games for the team for a season. Bruce lead the Bears out of those dark times to more promising times, and withdrew from the NBA draft this off-season with hopes of an NCAA berth (he likely wouldn't have been drafted anyway.)

The emergence of guard Curtis Jerrells (15.0 ppg) the past two seasons has let Bruce settle back into the role of director, running the show, while Jerrells along with fellow guards Henry Dugat (11.7 ppg) and Tweety Carter (8.7) have eased much of the scoring burden off of Bruce.

Add to this mix freshman shooting guard LaceDarius Dunn, ranked the #6 overall shooting guard in this class by, and you can see Baylor has a loaded backcourt. Dunn, at 6-4, is the tallest of the group, and will have to spend time at SF in order to maximize minutes amongst the talented guards.

As you would imagine, on a team with those kind of guards and low expectations, the frontcourt is a source of trouble for the Bears. It starts and ends with 6-9 Junior Kevin Rogers, who broke through last season to become a force, averaging 12.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, and is an absolutely electric athlete down low.

After that, it gets ugly. Baylor brings a couple of seven-footers in junior Mamadou Diene and sophomore Josh Lomers, but about all they bring is size. Diene has battled injuries as well as a complete inability to score, rebound, or play defense for a seven-footer. Lomers tallied more personal fouls than rebounds last season, and had a 12-1 turnover-to-assist ratio (I know he's a center, but COME ON. FYI - Minnesota's Jonathan Williams, not exactly king of the handles, had more assists than TOs). With any luck, 6-8 JC Transfer Delbert Simpson will be able to come in and help out immediately.

I like the Bears, really I do. And their guards give them the ability to knock off just about anybody at any time. I just don't think they have enough to grab that elusive ticket the dance. Baylor looks like an NIT team all the way, as their weakness inside will kill them. They do have an awesome logo though. Look at that thing.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Told you so.

Remember that one time how I told you all that Chris Brown was going to destroy FatDale White in total rushing yards for the year? Turns out, I was totally right. See:

Chris Brown: 19 rushes, 175 yards (9.2 ypc)
FatDale: 18 rushes, 66 yards (3.7 ypc)

Domination. But wait, 9.2 yards per carry is ridiculous. Chris Brown must have had a long run that totally skewed the stats in his favor.

Good point, guy. Brown did have a long of 42 yards (FatDale's long: 13 yards. He must have been very tired after that.) So let's take that out, then both RBs will have 18 carries. It's probably very even.

FatDale: 66 yards
Brown: 131 yards.

Wow. Almost double. Clearly, I am right and you might as well just admit it. Anyone who didn't see this coming deserves to be in last place.

YTD: Brown +109

In conclusion, Hayden Panettiere is hot.

EDIT: Mario Williams 1 TD, Reggie Bush 0

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Gophers Win!

I had tickets to today's game but Theory and I went to Jimmy's Bar and then we met a couple of his friends there (who ordered Jameson on the rocks at 10:30 in the morning - solid) and then we went to another bar and then we just didn't actually get to the game so I have nothing really to say here at all about the game.

But I heard the Gophers won but still sucked so Go Team!

And also my pick of Miami +8.5 cashed so that was awesome.

Better game thoughts here.

EDIT TO ADD: Why the hell wouldn't Sally's be open at 9:30 on a Saturday with an 11am game? That's just stupid. And annoying. It's almost enough to make me start breaking out the flask.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gophers vs. Miami (OH)

Well, since I'm going to heading to the big Gopher game with Theory, I might as well do a quick preview, although I really don't have a whole lot of excitement here.

It's no secret the Gopher played poorly last week. However, they did manage to show some life in the second half, at least until the critical drive and OT.

On offense, they opened the game in the spread offense, and looked to mix up the passing and running game at about 50/50. This didn't work, since Adam Weber looked worse than Bryan Cupito, and the Gophers were unable to get much going.

In the second half, they stayed in the spread offense, but clearly concentrated on the run and were nearly unstoppable. If they come out and stay with a run-oriented offense, they should be able to move the ball on the Red Hawks, who are 1-0 after beating Ball State 14-13 last week. Ball State was able to run the ball fairly effectively against Miami last week (4.1 ypc), and Minnesota is a better rushing team and should be able to move the ball.

The Gopher defense was clearly horrible last week, and I'm not so sure anything is going to change this week. The Red Hawks were a successful running team last week, but really struggled with the passing game. Obviously, pass defense is the real issue with the Gophers. So this sounds pretty good for the Gophers, however, it was pretty much the same thing as last week. Going into the game it looked like Bowling Green was poor through the air, and that would play into the Gophers' hands.

Clearly, that did not happen.

I look for the Gophers offense to click from the start, and then stall in the second half after the Red Hawks start loading up at the line of scrimmage to stop the run. Miami shouldn' be able to score on the Gophers as easily as BG, but the Gopher D is so bad they will be able to put some points on the board.

The line on this one is Minnesota -8.5, and I'm putting this one at Minnesota 24, Miami 21, so Miami +8.5 it is.


Oh Charley Walters, you always keep me on my toes. An excerpt from his column today:

"Uh-oh: The Gophers, who allowed 412 yards passing by Bowling Green last week, said they plan no major pass protection scheme changes against Miami (Ohio)."

I just can't let this pass. He either doesn't understand the meaning of pass protection, or this is a major typo. It wouldn't surprise me either way, and either way it's inexcusable for a newspaper the size of the Pioneer Press.

This also seems like a good place to mention the moronic radio announcers for last night's Colts/Saints game. I was driving home listening to the third quarter, and they started talking about Colts safety Bob Sanders and how he's awesome (true) and how he's always hurt (also true). Then they said he needed to be more like Rodney Harrison and get bigger so he wouldn't get hurt.

Harrison just got suspended for steriod use. Frickin' brilliant.

I'll be back later with a look at the Gopher/Miami game.