Monday, January 4, 2010

Week In Review: 1/4/2009

God how bad does it suck to be back at work?  This is the worst day of the year, every year.  At least we had a great week for sports.  Basketball teams are kicking off conference play, and we get an awesome string of bowl games including Ohio State finally standing up for itself and winning a BCS game, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden winning bowl games on the same day, and one of the most entertaining football games I can ever remember seeing in a the Outback Bowl.  Very cool stuff.  Well, except for the Sugar Bowl.  That was so bad I can't even bring myself to list Cincinnati as a team that sucked.  I'm going to give them a pass since their coach ripped their collective heart out - that and the fact they had no chance walking in, totally different talent levels.  Like Minnesota vs. Iowa in basketball (or football, but reversed).

And speaking of the Gophers, that was a good win on Saturday.  They jumped out to a big lead against an inferior team, and although their were a couple of times they almost let the Hawks drift back into it, once they did they put the throttle down again and just never let Iowa (or the crowed, sparse as it was) believe they had a chance.  Obviously it would have been better to just blow them out by thirty, but I have no real complaints.  Good start to the season, but I will feel better once we get to see them play a good team.

I also want to take a minute to mention Devan Bawinkel, who might be the most fascinating player I have seen play since Reggie Holmes.  Did you know that Bawinkel ?  How does that happen?  Don't you have to accidentally get a layup once in a while?  And it's not like this is new.  Last year he attempted 144 shots, 139 of which were from three, and his freshman year he attempted 40, 37 from three.  That means in his career, out of shots, he's only attempted a shot inside the three point line 8 times.  That's amazing.  How do you do that?  Does he ever cross the three-point line on offense?  Ever?  What if there was a rebound that came bouncing to him, but to get it he would have to step forward and cross the line?  Would he do it, or just sit and wait behind the line even if it meant an opponent was going to get the board?  So bizarre.


1.  Freddie Barnes.  Bowling Green lost the Humanitarian Bowl to Idaho by one in a hell of a game, but who cares?  Let's talk Barnes instead, who had an insane game (17 catches for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns) which gave him the record for catches in a single-season in D-I college football with 155 this year (previous record holder was some donk who played for Houston with 142).  You may be thinking, like me, that 155 catches in a season is ridiculous since they only play like 13 games, and you're right - it is completely insane.  It includes a 22 catch performance against Kent State, a 17 catch outing against Marshall, and a 15 grab day against Troy.  Seriously, suddenly the whole "Weber to Decker" thing doesn't seem as ridiculous.  You're probably, again like me, wondering what his pro prospects look like.  According to what I'm seeing, he is projected to go around the fifth round with third round upside due to his size and projection as a slot receiver.  I don't know, I feel like somebody is going to get a steal here.

2.  New Mexico.  I ripped these guys last week for choking on their high ranking and dropping a game to Oral Roberts, but they bounced back in a big way this week with two very good wins - over Dayton and over Texas Tech.  Even though Tech is starting to look a tad overrated and Dayton may always have been, these are still very good wins that are going to shine come selection sunday.  Now at 14-1 with those two wins plus wins over Cal and Texas A&M, New Mexico is nearly a lock for the NCAA Tournament.  If they win their home games in conference and beat crappy teams like Wyoming, Air Force, and TCU on the road, that puts them at 11-5 in the MWC and 25-6 overall - like I said, a lock.  And I finally got to watch them play - this team could make some noise in March, don't sleep on them.

3.  Cincinnati.  You should know by now I am following Cincinnati closely (now at to win the whole thing) so you're going to get frequent updates when things go well or fall apart, and this week was a very good week for the Bearcats.  On Wednesday they pulled out a very nice upset win over UCONN on two free-throws by Lance Stephenson with less than a second left, and they followed it up on Saturday with a win at Rutgers, never an easy place to play.  I've said it here before and I'll say it again - this a good team with a nice inside/outside balance, a lot of depth, a go-to shooter, and a freshman in Stephenson who could be this year's Carmelo Anthony.  If the point guard play works itself out (whether it's Deonta Vaughn sliding over from the two or freshman Cashmere Wright) they are going to be a huge threat in March.     

4.  Oregon.  It pretty much goes against everything I believe in to praise a Pac-10 team, but the Ducks deserve it after going into Washington and sweeping the two schools this week.  The win over Washington State is good, but the win over Washington is great.  The Huskies were ranked 16th and considered the favorite to win the Pac-10, and Oregon came in there and didn't just win, they completely controlled the game and blew the doors off the Huskies.  The inside/outside attack with guards Tajuan Porter and Malcolm Armstead and center Michael Dunigan is working really well right now, even though it will inevitably fall apart because Porter is far too much of a chucker.  Maybe this will be the third place team in the Pac.  Who knows, they all suck but somebody has to finish third. 

5.  William & Mary.  The Tribe has now won ten straight, and this might have been their best week yet with a win at Maryland and then following it up with a road win at league title contender Hofstra.  This now gives W&M wins over not only Maryland, but also Richmond and Wake Forest, and their only losses are to UCONN and a pretty good Harvard squad.  I don't know how many games they'll need to win in the Colonial, but their out of conference resume reads like an NCAA squad.  If you want more info (and some fluff) about these guys and their boring ass Princeton offense, Andy Katz has a piece on the Tribe here.


1.  Case Keenum.  I've resisted putting Keenum in the "awesome" category week after week because despite games like his 536 yard 5-TD performance against UTEP and his 559 and 5 game versus Southern Miss (or any of his other three 500+ yard days or two other five touchdown days) it was easy to dismiss because he plays for Houston.  Houston, if you recall, is the team that runs a system that made David Klingler and Andre Ware stat monsters, so who knows if Keenum was legit, especially since the Cougars didn't really play any top-level opponents outside of a game vs. Oklahoma State (where Keenum put up a more legit 366-3).  Enter Air Force, Houston's opponent in Armed Forces Bowl, and it would appear that Keenum has been figured out and he might just fall in line with that proud tradition of Houston QBs.  In the Bowl (a 47-20 Air Force win), he threw for a season low 222 yards, completing a season low 58.5% of his passes, and tied a bowl record with 6 interceptions after throwing just nine all season.  The good news for Houston fans is that he's only a junior, so he'll be back to rape a bunch of inferior opponents and put up ridiculous video game numbers for another year.

2.  LaSalle.  Whoa did I overrate these guys this year.  I think I picked them at #2 in the Atlantic 10, and they've rewarded my faith by becoming the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.  Really, in a year where the A-10 is coming up absolutely huge they've done a damn thing, losing every meaningful game and this week bottoming out with an 0-2 week with losses to Cornell (not that bad) and Binghampton (maybe the most embarrassing loss ever).  That was just the Bearcats fifth win this season against ten losses, with two of those wins over non D-I teams and another over 1-11 Maris.  Truly awful.  The Explorers are going to get steamrolled in conference.

3.  Houston.  I believe the Cougars were supposed to be one of a group of team's vying to become the first team to win Conference USA since Memphis's incredible cheating-fueled run, but they have done nothing but torpedo their chances, and this week may have been the straw that broke Tom Penders's back.  Just a real bang-up job this week, losing all three games they played.  The loss to Iowa State is no big whoop, but the loss to Louisiana Tech is kind of an eyebrow raiser and the loss to UT-San Antonio is completely unacceptable.  They've basically eliminated any chance they had of an at-large, short of running the C-USA table, by being a terrible, terrible defensive team (327th in the nation in defending two point field goals).  They do have two big time scorers, including leading D-I scorer Aubrey Coleman at 25.5 per game, and as a team they have a good 1.6 Assist/Turnover ratio, but unless they start playing some defense the CBI is the best they can hope for.

4.  Seton Hall.  Oh, the Hall, such a trendy pick to contend in the Big East (not by me though, you'll see I said they were bad).  They started out 9-1, but had no quality wins and were basically the definition of a paper tiger.  They started out the conference slate with two home games and had chances to win both, but let West Virginia and Syracuse escape with victories, and then followed that up by blowing a good chance to get a quality non-conference victory by losing to Virginia Tech (and giving up 103 points in the process, including 23 in overtime).  They aren't completely horrible, but in a better than expected Big East they're going to have to win every game they should and a few they shouldn't if they're going to get a bid.  As it stands now their best win (and only win vs. a top 100 team) is against Cornell.

5.  College Kickers.  Holy crap are some of these guys awful.  I watched the kicker from Northwestern miss three field goals and the kicker from ECU miss four.  No wonder there are so few good kickers in the NFL - they have nothing to choose from.  Is it really that hard?  It can't be, considering I have no kicking in my background and yet was able to make a 40-yard field goal at the Rose Bowl a couple of years ago.  Yes, that's right, I made a 40 yard field goal at the Rose Bowl.  I still have eligibility.  Brewster -> call me.   

It was quite tough to narrow down the field to just five entities that sucked this week, honorable mentions go to Texas Tech for almost losing to McNeese State and for the whole Leach debacle, Syracuse for losing to a crappy Pitt team, Cincinnati football for getting their big shot and just getting destroyed, Nothern Illinois for getting rolled by South Florida and extending the MAC's bowl losing streak to something like 15, Boston College for losing to Maine (Maine!), Tennessee for having four hoop players arrested for stealing cars with guns and drugs or something (I didn't really read the story), Arizona State and USC for combining to barely score 100 points combined (and USC for being cheaters), Ryan Mallet for being the worst QB ever, Ohio State for failing to beat a bad, bad Michigan team when all they need to do is win the games they are supposed to and wait for Evan Turner to come back, and finally the gopher football team just for existing.

That was depressing.  To cheer you up here is the video of Tiny Gallon exploding the backboard at Gonzaga.  I was watching this live and this was quite unexpected to say the least.

1 comment:

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Washington Huskies, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.