Conference Championship Picks
New England Patriots (-13.5) vs San Diego Chargers
Now, I'm not gonna play "hometown Harry" and ignore this whole Randy Moss thing, just let me get the actual game out of the way before I break it down, OK? Nice. Alright, well my pick is essentially a no brainer, as I'm not about to hex the Pats now after taking them to cover all season long, but there are a few things about this matchup with San Diego that do have me slightly wary of this team nobody is giving a chance to win...
-Despite his playoff brilliance, Tom Brady actually suffered his worst post season passer rating of 57.9 last year, against the Chargers. Ah, OK, that's really just a coincidence. No sure if this is though...
-The Patriot run defense, which was able to shut down Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones Drew last week, has struggled this year against shifty runners that can dodge tackles and break big gainers. Even with Tomlinson dinged up, Darren Sproles is a threat in the screen game, and Michale Turner has shown the ability to be a physical force when give the touches...
-In Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillipps, the Chargers have the most dynamic outside pass rush the Patriots have seen all season, and I see it causing some issues for Brady and the passing game. While he was elected to the Pro Bowl again this year, Matt Light usually struggles with big, fast, outside pass rushers, and much like Dwight Freeney in the past, I expect SD tandem to abuse Light, and show how they collected more than 20 sacks between them in the regular season. Don't get me wrong, the Patriot offensive line as a whole has been fantastic this season in giving Brady time, but the guys on the other side of the ball got their team this far too, and they're exactly the type of players that can really throw a wrench into the dynamic Patriots passing attack...
-and lastly, in regards to the spread. The Patriots are 4-5-1 in their last 10 against the number, while the Chargers have now covered 8 games in a row
Now! All that being said, if all of those little things don't work out in the Chargers favor...and I mean ALL of them, then the Patriots are gonna roll them up like a Dutch, and smoke 'em faster than a Philly. Tom Brady is too good, this team is too good, and the Chargers just aren't a good enough team to take them down and exact revenge for last year, where Tory Brown ripped the game from them after they thought they had the game locked with an interception. Not in Foxboro, not when they're so close to completing a perfect season, not with the Super Bowl berth on the line and for that matter, probably never, period. And I'll tell you somethin' that's not really workin' in San Diego's favor right now, and that's their players yappin', and adding to the already "whiny and conceited" image that fans around here have of them. First, you got Philly Rivers jawin' with some fan at the Colts game. For real, man? If you're gonna taunt, at least flip the bird like Mikey Vick. When you talk back to those liquored up yahoos, all you're doing is goin' on the record, as a classless hick, with thin skin, that probably still cries whenever his team loses, and in failing that, bottles up his rage until his family ends up in the trunk of his car, in the bottom of a lake.
Rivers' immaturity alone is a big reason I like the Pats to romp in this game, but his teammate, defensive tackle Igor Olshansky, has pulled his best Anthony Smith impression, by giving the Patriots free bulletin board material, when he has to know by now, they use it to straight crucify peeps on the field, while the whole time denying they know anything about it. This fool came out and said he felt all the pressure was on the Patriots, and that would go against them in the game. Right, man, because it's gotten to them so far, right? Listen, if all you tards out there wanna keep seein' your name in the paper for blastin' the Pats, just keep it up, and we'll keep collecting the rings. See, I'm so fired up now that I'm even givin' a final score prediction to this massacre. Final score, Patriots 41 San Diego 20. Have a nice trip home, crybabies, and tell Ron Burgundy we said "what it is, pimp?". In short, Go Fuck yourselves, San Diego...It's LIGHTS OUT!
As for Moss and the restraining order placed against him. THAT, Roger Clemens, is how an innocent man sounds! I'm not even saying Moss IS innocent of these physical abuse charges, but at least he's acting that way! He came out, said he'd been wronged, said he was betrayed by a friend, said he was being extorted, and said it isn't in his character to ever strike a woman in anger. AND, he did so all while sounding as if he'd been wronged, and as if he felt betrayed by the person who had accused him! No double talk, no dodging questions. In fact, Moss even went out of his way by answering questions I'm sure his attorneys told him to avoid, just so he could convince the surrounding reporters, and us as fans, that he was innocent, and was going to do everything he could to clear his name. Like I said, guilty or not, I have not the slightest clue, but to answer all the critics out there who back Roger Clemens and ask "well how should he be reacting?". This is how you should be reacting, you juiced out hick. For the Pats, this won't be a distraction this week, and if anything could bring them closer together. And For Randy...Go get 'em son. Straight Cash, Homie...
Green Bay Packers (-7) vs New York Giants
Here's my problem. Going into a big game like this, I always have the tendency to think the following two things: 1) If these teams were good enough to both get here, then they should both be playing at a high level, making this a close game...but then there's 2) Big games never live up to the hype, and more often than not tend to end in blowouts one way or the other. And yeah, that's the little dance that's going on in my head almost all the time, so imagine how much fun my brain has when I make my weekly picks. It's a trip I kid you now. Anyway, when I use that formula in my head this time around, it's telling me to go with the Green Bay Packers, and in doing so it's also telling me that the Pack are gonna win big.
So, I take that, combine it with the "eye" test of what I've seen from each team thus far, and pretty much, my mind isn't changing. The Pack proved in last week's win over Seattle, that not only do they have a complete offense, but that they have a hard hitting, ball hawking defense to go with it. As for the G-Men, I'd admire what they've done to get here after everyone had written them off for dead in week 5, but I just think they're bound to run out of magic, and run out of gas. Eli has improved, and they're defense makes a lot of big plays, but I just don't think they can pull a remarkable 10th road win out of their ass, and make it to the Super Bowl. Look for Eli to turn the ball over a few times early, for Brett Favre to sling one from between his legs for an 80 yard score, and look for the Pack to roll all the way to a date with the Pats in Phoenix. We'll see if Tooth Strahan and Brett Fav-rah are still buddies after this one...ahhh you know they will be, since they'll prolly also be broadcast partners for another 15 years when they both finally call it quits. A pain killer addict and adrenaline junkie, teamed with a toothless giant. Move over Tiki, I can see the Emmy's rollin' in now...
Don't like my picks? Well then take it up with this guy. I found this video on YouTube the other day, and it seems like there's an optimistic fan in Wisconsin somewhere, who may have had the Super Bowl pegged for the last 2 months. His final prediction may be way off base, but you gotta love his spirit, and somewhat Nostra-Dumbass type abilities. Check it out...
And if you thought that was slightly nerdy, check out what this freak did while taking a 10 minute breather from Dungeons and Dragons. The Skins and the Bungles in the Super Bowl? Tell your cousin to put on her clothes, turn up the techno, and pass the motha fuckin' meth!! Wooooooooo...
Wow, right? If you watched more than 20 seconds of that, then so help me God I apologize. That totally was my intention. But what a loser, right? I never got why people would do that in those Madden and NCAA franchise modes. I'm all for bein' a GM too, but play the freakin' game, man! Hand to God, I once knew a kid who simulated like 50 recruiting classes and seasons at Michigan for football, collecting blue chippers and National Championships along the way. Took him like 12 hours to do it, and the kid like never even stopped for a meal! Dude loved every second of it too! Get a life, people! On second thought, all you tools make me actually looked semi-respectable...so ignore what I just said, and keep up the good work. Even better, put yourself to work on an actually funny video, like this one from a Cowboy fan with a since of humor. This music will getcha every time...
Kind of took it on the chin a little with my picks last weekend, but seeing as these final 3 picks can't really change my record that much, I've more or less just conceded to the fact I've had a "pretty good year", and moved my focus towards constructing a killer bracket come March...
Last Week: 1-2-2
Overall: 65-45-6 (.586)
It was the first "really big week" in conference play so far this year, and I personally came away with a lot of new thoughts courtesy of the action that unfolded. For starters, a few teams I thought might be ready for prime time, like Texas A&M (loss to Texas Tech) and Michigan St. (scored 36 while losing to Iowa), promptly came crashing back to earth this week with disappointing losses, and find themselves outside the top 10 just as quickly as they arrived. Other squads, like UCLA and Tennessee proved their mettle with big time conference wins, and have likewise seen their stock skyrocket.
Then comes the always intriguing question at this time of the season, as to if it's better to win close games like UNC over Georgia Tech, or is it better to stomp out possibly lesser opponents, as Memphis did to Rice? Well, for now, until they show me a chink in their armor, I'd have to say Memphis stomping out opponents, and learning to win as a fairly young, yet experienced team, is showing more than a UNC squad going out and winning a close game, albeit against better competition. Both are great teams, and both should be around well into the post season, but right now, at this part of the season, I'll take as many blow out wins and worry about how they play in the close ones when I see a team that might actually be able to hang with them. The reason the tournament at the end of the season is so good, is because it's tough to predict how so many teams will play, because the teams they played during the season were so different, making it tough to compare. Another good example is Butler, who impressed in pre conference play, but have since dropped off the map into the Horizon League.
For now, Memphis stays atop my poll, and UCLA, aided by their big win over Wazzu, jumps all the way to the #2 spot. Freshmen Kevin Love is a beast inside, but he looks like a Hansbrough type that might be better off stickin' around and milkin' his college career. His coach Ben Howland says I'm wrong, and says Love is the best he's ever seen and is ready to go pro now, but I'm just not sure. He'll be a load to handle for anyone in the nation come tourney time, that's for certain.
Mississippi, or Ole Miss, is the only brand new team to enter the poll this week, thanks to a close loss against Tennessee and a win over Florida. The Rebels sport a solid inside-outside combination with Chris Warren (15.3 ppg / 5.3 apg / 39% 3-pt) and Dwayne Curtis (15.2 ppg . 8.4 rpg), and are going to be a force all season long in a tough SEC. Indiana and Duke also found their way back into the top 10 this week, due partly to their good play, but also in large part to so many other teams around them in the rankings (Marquette, A&M, Butler, Vanderbilt) lost games this week.
Also, while the Atlantic 10 started off strong, with good non conference showings by Rhode Island, Dayton, UMASS and Xavier, there's is a case where a tough, top loaded conference could hurt them in the eyes of the committee. All three did well enough to get ranked, but not so high where a few losses to each other couldn't knock all three out of the top 25. And you gotta know each will drop at least one game it "shouldn't" along the way as well. Just somethin' to keep an eye one, ya know since Xavier just lost to Temple by 19, and Rhody lost to St. Louis a week after they only managed to score 20 points during an entire game!
Now two "sleeper" type teams, that seem to be making their move right now are Boston College in the ACC, and the Drake Bulldogs in the Missouri Valley Conference. Both teams are undefeated in conference play at 6-0 and 3-0 respectively, and while they haven't tangled with the big boys in their respective leagues, they're winning the games they should win early on, and that's always a good sign. If they can keep it up, and pick up a few key in conference wins you can expect them to start climbing through the rankings. If not, their weak out of conference slates could end up keeping them firmly on the bubble come tourney time...
Finally,Georgetown continues to slip virtually outside the top 10, largely based on the "eye test". I watch these guys play, and I see a guard driven team, that really doesn't know how to work with big man Roy Hibbert, nor is Hibbert getting any better as an offensive threat. Maybe one is reflective on the other, I don't know. I do know that scattered scoring and good defense can only get this team so far, and I'm sure it's not nearly as far as coach JT3 and G'Town thought it might be before the season began. They started high in the rankings, so they'll stick around until they drop some Big East games, and then the word could be out. For now, I'm keepin' 'em around simply based on potential. If they can get their act together, they could be a force, but a lot of times potential is just a fancy way of sayin' you're overrated. So we'll have to just wait and see.
Now, without further ado, here's my new top 10, hot off the press. I understand if it's too HOT for you, so if you can't handle it's pimpness, feel free to move right down the page. There's plenty more where this came from...
College Hoops Top 10
1. Memphis (16-0) 1
2. UCLA (16-1) 5
3. North Carolina (18-0) 2
4. Kansas (17-0) 3
5. Tennessee (15-1) 8
6. Washington St. (15-1) 4
7. Indiana (15-1) NR
8. Duke (14-1) NR
9. Georgetown (13-2) 6
10. Mississippi (15-1) NR
just missed: Butler, Marquette, Arizona St., Pittsburgh, Texas A&M
dropped: (7) Michigan St.; (9) Butler; (10) Texas A&M
This is what the lineup looks like for this weekend as far as big games go. The highlighted games are the games of the day, with USC/UCLA or "OJ Mayo vs Kevin Love" as I'm sure some papers are dubbing it, and the Clemson/Duke game being the real "can't miss"showdowns. However, don't sleep on the Big XII with Kansas St. @ Texas A&M, a battle featuring 7-foot DeAndre Jordan and K-St's 6'10" Michael Beasley, arguably the two best freshmen big men in the country, or the Texas @ Oklahoma St. game on Big Monday. I know a lot of the faces have changed (Kevin Durant most notably), but you gotta think emotions are gonna run high after those two teams took it to 3 OTs before settling it in Stillwater just last season. Talent goes up and down from year to year, but it's amazing how a game like that can propel a rivalry years and years down the road, so keep an eye out...
Notre Dame @ Georgetown
Villanova @ Syracuse
USC @ UCLA
Ohio St. @ Tennessee
Texas A&M @ Kansas St.
Clemson @ Duke
Kansas @ Missouri
Arizona St. @ Stanford
Baylor @ Nebraska
Marquette @ UCONN
Oregon @ Washington St.
Michigan St. @ Minnesota
Florida St. @ Wake Forest
Syracuse @ Georgetown
Texas @ Oklahoma St.
As usual, check back for my reaction to many of these games, as well as a look forward to upcoming big games, right here on Tuesday...
News and Notes
Baseball was before Congress again this week, and instead of commenting on who won or lost between George Mitchell, Doanld Fehr, and Bud Selig, I'd like to instead focus on how stupid the actual politicians made themselves look during the proceeding. Most notably, I'd like to thank Connectiut Rep, Chris Shays, for the following remarks he had in addressing the use of steroids in baseball...
-he also talked about Palmeiri's 300th hit, instead of his momentus "3,000th" hit
And since we're already talkin' about roids, what better time to talk about the alleged hip hop steroid ring that was busted up earlier this week? The Albany District Attorney's Office, which has previously brought you such roid busts as Rick Ankiel and Roidney Harrison, have now released a report in which they have named some of Hip Hp's greatest artists as known steroid users. Named specifically in the report were Wyclef, Timbaland (gee, ya think?), 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige. Mary J. Blige? Whoa. Including Mary J., I can't say any of this really surprises me, what I do want to know is, when are Richard Branson, Russell Simmons and Bono gonna insist Congress run a roid probe into the Hip Hop and Rap industry? It's entertainment, right? And the whole steroid investigation in baseball, or what they want you to believe, was supposedly intended to protect the children who admire, and mimic these professionals. Well, where's Big Brother savin' my future spawn from Timbaland and his fresh, roided out beats? And where the hell is Grandmaster Flash, and what's left of Run DMC to protest that they're songs are really the best, cuz all they were on were Weed, Fluff and Kool Aid?
Fact of the matter is, people who need to look good for a living, and part of looking good for them is looking muscular, are gonna do anything to stay on top, not limited to using roids. I say props to them for playin' the game to the fullest, I just have to give them a "you're bad" on the fact that they got caught. This is why you have cousin's people. To order you're drugs for you on the internet from the global pill cafe, and then take the fall when the Feds catch 'em at the PO Box store. I thought this was all common knowledge?
*I get a speeding ticket, nobody cares. But all of a sudden LeBron James gets caught doin' a hundy+ on his birthday, and it's a big deal? OK, so LeBron is a little more important than I am, but how is this really news? So he was flyin' around in his new toy, and got yanked over by the po-nines. He wasn't tanked, right? So what's the big deal? Let him pay his ticket, which I'm still confused as to why a Cleveland cop would give him one, and let the man go about his business. And for all you tools thinkin' he might miss a road game because the scheduled hearing for his ticket is the same day as a game, you've obviously never heard of lawyers, which means you're obviously, an idiot. They'll move the date around, he'll pay his little fine, and we'll all move on to focusing on how Jim Leyritz could possibly be as tanked as he was and still operating a lighter, let alone a car, when he was cruisin' around and committing vehicular homicide...
To finish up this week, I figured I'd toss in this. People often ask me what exactly it is I do for my job at the radio station. Well, my friends, I can tell you one thing I don't do. And that's this...
God, I love that stuff, poor goofy bastard. Kid needs to do himself a favor and A) try to mack on the slightly hefty chick that's in the opening...I think he could pull somethin' after a few Beast cups...and 2) get out of the sports journalism business, and go right to selling these for a living on eBay...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin
And poof, just like that...I'm gone...well, until Tuesday...