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Friday, January 21, 2011

Championship Weekend: IT's Time for Some Stuff...


Time can be a peculiar animal.  Like, it hasn't been any longer than usual since my last post, but for some reason, it seems like I haven't written anything in ages.  It's probably due in large part to the fact that I've yet to react to the Patriots' stunning loss AND that I've continued to slack in terms of my college basketball rankings, but whatever the reason it's put me in the mood to clean some house.  Ya know, tie up some loose ends.  Even though I shouldn't technically have to...

Hey, like I said, time can be a peculiar thing.  And since I know we're all short on it, I'll end this little intro and get right down to business.  After all, just because the Patriots lost in excruciatingly painful fashion doesn't mean there still isn't business to tend to.  Because there is.  But before I get down to it, let's first get a little college hoops analysis out of our systems, shall we?  Yes, we shall...

Enjoy, friends.  Or should I say, have a good...time...  


College Hoops Top 10
1. Ohio St. (19-0)

I'm still not fully convinced half their team isn't over 25 (I'm looking at you, Mr. David Lighty), but the fact remains the Buckeyes have the talent AND the toughness to be considered the front runners here in the relatively early going.  Thad Motta continues to recruit like a BOSS, and his latest import, Jared Sullinger, is making the analysts think they voted the wrong freshmen onto the pre season All America team.  Kid's a beast.  The Bucks will get a real test when they travel to Illinois in what's gonna be one Hell of a weekend, but a close loss there would do little  to sway my  current opinion of of good they are.  Hey, that's just how I operate my rankings.  Ya know, like a SANE person.  And I was gonna say "operate my poll" there, but as you can see I take my college basketball very seriously...

2. Syracuse (18-1)

Yeah...not so much
I'm not usually one to take a lot from a loss, but being able to fight back after going down 19-0...at Pitt...AND without Kris Joesph?  Well even I would say that was pretty damn inspiring.  And it showed me that, when healthy, the Orange are the best team in the country's best conference.  No matter how awful Fab Melo has been.  Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson make this team go, and you're not going to find a better inside-outside combination anywhere in the country.  Questions remain about their ability to handle the ball in key situations, but that's something that would prevent them from winning in the Final Four, NOT something that would prevent them from getting there...

3. Pittsburgh (18-1)

You know that "If you were starting a team, who would you pick..." question?  Well if I'm starting a college basketball program right now, I'm picking Pitt's Jamie Dixon to be my head coach.  He's just the man, plain and simple.  He'll teach you efficient and effective interior passing techniques one minute, and save you from a car accident the next.  What more do you want?  And while this Panther team may not be as talented as the crew with DaJuan Blair and Sam Young, they're pretty damn close.  From the way they're gelling, this could very well be the year the Panthers finally make a serious run for a National Title.  Lord knows they're shadily overdue...

4. Duke (17-1)

With Kyrie Irving healthy (the cast comes off February 4th), they're the clear cut #1.  Without him, the Dukies will have to be content with slumming it here towards the tale end of the Top 5...

5. Kansas (18-0)

Remember, people.  This is Kansas.  And as with most Kansas teams, my one worry come tourney time, is who's going to take the big time shots?  I like Josh Selby as much as the next guy, but this is just more of the same from Bill Self and the Jayhawks.  A dominant regular season, and then a less than stellar (by their lofty standards, at least) run in the March.  Still, on talent alone, I'd have to favor them on a neutral court right now against anyone not already mentioned in the Top 4...

6. Texas (15-3)

Rick Barnes' boys will have a big test Saturday when they travel to Kansas, but blowing out A&M in Austin was definitely a good warm up.  Their depth and size are going to give a lot of team's problems, and I really like how swingman Jordan Hamilton (27 against the Aggies) is blossoming into one of the best scorer's in the country.  Not only has he doubled his scoring and rebounding output from his freshmen season, but at 6'7", the fact he connects on nearly 45% from 3 makes him a matchup problem for nearly every team the Longhorns will play...

7. Villanova (16-2)

Speaking of Saturday smack downs, rumor has it 33,000 tickets have already been sold for Nova's game up @ the Carrier Dome this weekend.  I remember being at the "first" game that broke the Dome record back when good Melo was there in 2003, and this atmosphere should be just as electric.  A loss here does nothing to discredit Mr. GQ Jay Wright and his Wildcats, and maybe that free rolling attitude will propel them to a nice upset, and a signature win to stow away come tournament seeding time...

8. UKemba (15-2)

I call 'em "UKemba", because Calhoun's Huskies have proved to be little more than what the Kemba Walker allows them to be.  That being said, he's headed for an All America season, and that alone is enough to solidify UCONN as a Top 10 team.  Not to mention he's already proven to be the most clutch shooter in the Nation.  If they can mesh around him, they could be REALLY dangerous, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the team trend downward if Walker doesn't continue to play at this absurdly high level.  Again, they go as he goes.  Hence, UKemba...

9. San Diego St. (20-0)

Chances are, you've yet to see the Aztecs play.  Chances also are, that fact lands you in the majority.  They're good, though.  Top 10 good.  And if you need further proof, just check out their sophomore big man, Kawhi Leonard.  Hes' only averaging 16 and 11 en route to his team's 20-0 start.  Ya know, no big deal...

10. Missouri (16-3)

I know I seem to harp on coaches a lot, but the importance of the coach is something I enjoy so much about the college game.  That being said, the defensive attitude Mike Anderson brought with him from UAB to Mizzou is making all the difference.  He's made the Tigers a team nobody wants to play.  They make you work, and they'll run you rabid...

just missed: Kentucky; Notre Dame; Illinois; Texas A&M


OK, maybe that wasn't my usual Top 25, but it's certainly a start.  And rest assured, I'm watching as much college basketball this season as I probably ever have.  At least since 2003.  So though my analysis may not be there in volume as it usually is this time of year, have no fear that when it's time to dissect that magical bracket, I'll be more prepared than a hooded coach in an AFC divisional playoff game.  Oh wait, probably not the best example.  Hell of a segue, though!..


I don't have a ton to say about the Patriots loss to the Jets this past weekend, and to be honest, I haven't really had a "hangover" in wake of it, either.  Something I've chalked up in large part to the fact that they played like shit.  And more to the point, Tom Brady played like shit.  So even though I was surprised that they lost, AND surprised with the fact that Brady played like complete ASS, I'm not surprised that they lost, because Tom Brady played like ASS!  Basically, if you'd told me Brady was going to play one of his worst games ever, I would have picked the Jets to win.  He did, and the Jets won.  SO again, "surprise" wouldn't be the emotion I choose to describe my reaction.  Disappointment, maybe.  But certainly not surprise...

And as for the fans that want to blame Belichick for not preparing for a zone defense, or for sitting Welker to start the game?  Well they're probably the same Pink Hatted Teds that were booing the Pats as they went into the locker room at half time, so I wouldn't take anything they say too seriously.  Or listen to them at all, actually.  Did Bill make mistakes?  Sure he did.  Did his mistakes lose the Patriots the game?  Not in my eyes.  And even if they did, his track record will tell you that at least he had the best intentions, and was most likely using a formula that's led him to great success in the past...

Hey, teams win and teams lose, and it's our job as fans and pseudo journalists to try and figure out how and why.  For my money, this one's a 50/50 split.  50% the Jets played well, and 50% Tom Brady played like ass.  A disappointing end to a promising season, for sure, but more or less the result you can expect when your best player, and your leader, has the worst game of his career...

Hats off to the Jets, they deserve it.  And hats off to Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan.  They've certainly proven me wrong more times than I'd like to admit this season, and I wouldn't be surprised if they do it at least one more time before all is said and done...

Speaking of which, that sounds like another segue, doesn't it?  Why yes, yes it does.  And for good reason...

          

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) vs New York Jets (Sunday @ 630 pm)

What is, "A fat, foot rapist with good pocket presence?"

Until now, that was the only answer to the question, "What do you get when you combine Ben Roethlisberger and Rex Ryan?"  Now, there's a more suitable, and less disgusting answer...or Jeopardy style "question", if you will.  What is, the AFC Championship...

And while I had glowing words for the Jets in describing their win over the Patriots, that doesn't mean I'm picking them to win.  Matter of fact, when asked all week who I was going to pick in this game, I've been saying "Al Qaeda" or "Osama bin Laden".  That's how much I dislike both of these teams.  That being said, I still have to pick a winner...

I'm giving the Steelers the edge in this one not because they least resemble an international terror organization, but more because they're at home and well tested in these type's of situations.  Not to say the Jets, who were in last year's AFC title game, don't have the needed experience to take this thing down, it's just from a betting standpoint I feel much more comfortable rolling with a home team that I've seen do it before.  In a perfect world, I'd 3 point tease both this and the Green Bay game down, and then take both the Packers and Steelers to win by the half point, but seeing as that's not the case, I figure taking both of those teams to cover the field goal + is my best course of action...

Steelers 24 Jets 20


Green Bay Packers (-3.5) @ Chicago Bears (Sunday @ 3 pm)

Much like with their game last weekend against Atlanta, I'm picking the Packers in this one not only because I like what they're doing, but because I don't trust their opposition.  Namely, I don't trust Jay Cutler...

Believe me, the Bears defense is for real, and they're going to give Aaron Rodgers some issues.  Unfortunately for Julius Peppers and associates, that seems to be when Aaron Rodgers is at his best.  As is being represented by his Superman impression above...

It's due to Rodgers, in fact, that I've made the Pack my pick to win the Super Bowl.  Hey, I figured I picked them to make it there before the season started, so why the Hell not, right?  And besides, they are the hottest team in football right now, and hot teams with hot QB's tend to have a pretty good track record in situations like this...

IT'll be a grudge match, that's for sure.  With tempers and emotions running higher than Lawrence Taylor on a tour of South America.  But the Beard will prevail, and the Pack will march on to the Super Bowl.  My only fear is that somehow brings Brett Favre back into the equation...

Eh, you can't win 'em all...

Packers 21 Bears 17   


Last Week: 3-2-0

2010-11 Top Picks: 92-71-4 (.563)

2010-11 Overall: 162-116-6 (.581)


There you have it friends.  A little hoops, a little football, a couple cocaine references.  All in all, not a bad little post if I do say so myself.  Per usual you should keep your eyes peeled for my latest outbursts on Twitter (@RoochNation), but other than that, I'll catch you next week...

Have a great weekend, kids.  And I hope you considered this, time well spent.  See that?  Full circle, baby. BAM!


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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