The Week that Was – NASCAR is finally done

By joelb | November 22nd, 2017

The Week That WasIn the week that was College football was a little light on the big games this week.  There was only one big game and it was not even that big of a game.  NASCAR finally finished its season.  Who even remembers the beginning?   The NFL is getting crazy and the games were pretty good too.  College basketball is underway and for the first time in many years there will not be a Rick Pitino coaching.  About time on that one.  The NHL and the NBA are just getting to the stretch of their seasons.   Justice League came out and made a boat load of money but is still considered to be a failure so far.  Strange how those things get judged.

One Player is The Team

People always want to say that in Football one player does not make a team.  As it turns out that it not always true.  With the Packers the team with Rodgers is a playoff and possible Super Bowl contender.  With out him they are a bottom feeder.  There could be a few things going on here.  Either the team is really that bad without him or when he went down the team including the coaches gave up.

It is difficult to tell if the team is trying as hard as they did with Rodgers in.  In a time when other players need to step up, they have not.  Injuries to other players have also played a part in this.  The offensive line has turned into a group of five guys with no cohesion.  Rodgers would have had trouble with this line as well but would have probably been able to pull off some plays.    Hundley is clearly not the player that Mike McCarthy thought that he would be.  He has cracked under pressure and at this point will probably not be able to pull out of it.  He had a blip on the radar against the Bears.  But it was the Bears.

The telling game will be against the Browns December 10th.  It is possible that the Packers give the Browns their only win of the season.  If that happens will the Packer coaching staff have some major turn over? Probably not.

Onward and Upward

On the other side of things you have the Saints, Vikings, Steelers and Eagles.  They are all flying high right now.  I do not include the Patriots because well it is just expected of them.   They are where they always are.  The top of the AFC East.

The Vikings are much better than I expected them to be.  I thought they would be an alright team but not at this level.  If they keep playing like this they really could have a shot at being the first team to play a home super bowl.  The huge surprise is the Saints.  Who knew that they would be this good this year.

NASCAR is finally done

The crazy long NACSAR season is finally done.  Dale Jr. had an extremely average season.  It did how ever cap off an amazing career.  He will be moving to the NBC broadcast booth for next season.   He will be missed on the track.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the viewership next year win out him on the track.

Martin Truex Jr. won the cup.  The best thing about this is that it was not Kevin Harvick.  It was a fairly unexciting season.

For things to get in the right direction.  Next year some of the young drivers will really need to step it up.   I think that Chase Elliott it the driver that is going to make a big move next year.  He finished 5th in the standings this year and all things point to greatness for him.

The Stretch part of the Season is here for the NBA and NHL

What have we learned about the NBA and the NHL so far this year?  Nothing.  Well maybe a little.  In the NBA the Celtics are good and the Mavericks are bad.    The Cavaliers were looking a little of an unknown but now they have had a 5 game winning streak.  Everyone jumps to conclusions after a few games.  With how long these seasons are that is never a good thing.

In the NHL The Blue Jackets look they they are for real.  The Red Wings are looking like they will surprisingly contend for a playoff spot.  Tampa and New Jersey are going to be good.  Neither of those is a surprise.

When is $100 Million weekend a bad thing?

When Justice League came in at just under $100 million for the weekend it was declared a failure.  World wide it is at almost $300 Million.  Warner Brothers has declared that they expect to lose $50 million from Justice League.   I guess they would know their projections better than I would but it has not even been out for  a week yet.  What is the state of the movies that a movie that will pull in that much money will be a failure?   Is there a fix for this?  Who knows.  It is just really strange.

Check out last weeks post here

 

They may not even beat the Browns!

By gordyb | November 20th, 2017

First of all. Let’s put the blame where it belongs! McCarthy & his crew are fully responsible for #1) Failing to pay attention to securing an adequate QB in case Rodgers went down. (We absolutely knew that he would be a target for injury by MN, DET, CHI, and any of the others that regularly target QBs.) #2) continuing to place an obviously unqualified Hundley in a position where he continues to embarrass himself and the entire organization for not recognizing he just doesn’t have the intellectual skills to even be a backup in the NFL. You simply can not go 4 games without learning a single thing about how to be an adequate QB in this league. I have been a Packer Fan for over 70 years and I have never seen anything like this from our usually adequate coaching staff!

Collage Football is in the crazy Season – The week that was

By joelb | November 14th, 2017

The Week That WasCollege football is getting into the crazy season.  NACSAR is finally wrapping up.   The NFL is starting to head toward the playoff run.  Jerry Jones is making threats that there is no way that he can back up.  Can’t blame players for trying to make a buck but do you really have to be an ass about it.  The past week has some really interesting things happen.  Not sure how they are all going to play out but it will make for some very interesting viewing.

When you should not throw the red flag

John Fox the coach of the Chicago Bears showed why he booted from Denver.  In a game between the Packers and the Bears.  In what was a blown call by the refs (hardly a surprise) in a close game.  Benny Cunningham took a pass from Mitchell Trubisky and stretched out to try and score a touchdown.   As he was reaching out for the pylon the ball came lose and he fumbled it out of the end zone.  The refs called him out around the 2 yard line.  Replays were showing that the out of bounds call was questionable but clearly showed that Cunningham was fumbling the ball.    Great luck for the Bears that he stepped out.

Except for one thing.  John Fox in his great coaching wisdom decided that he would challenge that call.  Thinking that it was a touchdown the hard luck Bears would make this a game.  For some reason Mike McCarthy had no thoughts of challenging the call.  Which is odd since it was looking like it was going to be a turn over and the Packers would get the ball.

Maybe McCarthy knew that his counter part was going to make the challenge.  Sure enough Fox flips out the challenge flag.  The refs actually get a call right and it is Packers ball at the 20 yard line.

Yes it is true John Fox in all his coaching prowess challenged a call and he was correct that the refs got it wrong.  But they got it wrong that Cunningham was out of bounds.   Way to go John Fox all the Packers fans should send him a box of depends.  Since it always looks like he is crapping his pants when he has to make a decision.

Small Giants

The only thing saving the Giants from absolute NFL futility.  Is the Browns.  The Giants are tied with the 49ers for the second worse record in the NFL.  The Giants and the 49ers each have one win so far this season.  The Browns have a grand total of ZERO wins so far this year.  While the Browns were expected to not be very good.  the Giants were being picked to go to the playoffs by a lot of “experts”.

How did it go so wrong for the Giants.  There coach Ben McAdoo has certainly not helped.  Maybe he was not ready to be a head coach.  Or maybe Eli Manning is not the quarterback that people thought he was.  Maybe Odell Beckham has finally distracted the whole team with his antics.  Nah we know even though that stuff does not help it is not what has caused this massive fall.

The Giants should not be this bad but they clearly are.  They have had horrible play on both sides of the ball.  It is bound to happen to every team at some point.  This is just the year for the Giants.  How can they fix this?  This year they can’t.

The Crazy fun Mess that is College Football

In the Week that Was College football was a fun chaotic mess.  Unless you are a fan of Notre Dame and Georgia.  Well Georgia still might be alright but Notre Dame and the PAC – 12 they all saw their chances for the College Football Playoff slip though their fingers.  Actually they may have damaged Georgia as well.  Since Georgia beat Notre Dame by one point and Miami destroyed them.  That win no longer looks as good for Georgia as it did last week.  The only think that would have made this weekend even better would have been if Mississippi State could have held on to beat Alabama.

If you want the Playoff to change then you really need to hope for this type of chaos over the next few weeks.  I guess even if they do not change it. This does make for a lot of excitement in the College Football world.   What will not make for much excitement outside of Alabama and South Carolina is if we end up for a third year in a row with Alabama and Clemson.  Of course if we don’t want that to happen then other teams need to step it up.

NASCAR Almost Done

The season is finally down to its final week.  The final race at HomeStead-Miami speedway will have four drivers competing for the championship.  They are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski.  Which one will win?   Who knows with all 40 cars on the track it is still a crap shoot.  The real story will be that this is going to be  the last race by Dale Earnhardt Jr.   He has had an amazing career and the sport will miss him on the track.   With ratings on the decline NASCAR is going to need a young driver to step up and build the sport.   Chase Elliott is probably the best candidate.  Having a built in following from those that followed his dad.  It will still be an uphill battle and he is going to have to put up some huge wins to get there.

If Kevin Harvick is the winner here it will be good for him but bad for the sport.  Harvick is truly one of the most unlikable drivers in the sport.  Granted he is a good driver but he does not have the ability to attract fans to the sport.   He is neither polarizing or interesting as a driver.  This is nothing against him.  It just is what it is.   He represents why people are moving away from the sport.

Wrap up

Check out last weeks post here.  Last week Our site was hacked.  I think that we have everything back to normal.  For some reason when they got in they just disabled everything that we had on the site.  Not really sure what their plan was with that.  Maybe I caught it before they had finished what they were trying to do.

This week is going to be very interesting and a lot of fun.  Lets hope for some big upsets in college football.  Well they are not going to happen in the SEC since they are taking a break to beat up on some teams that have no chance.   People are complaining about Wisconsin and their schedule yet the SEC gets a pass for scheduling a practice that counts in the standings.

NFL Crashing and burning MLB On the Rise

By joelb | November 7th, 2017

The Week That WasIn the week that was the sports landscape is a changing.  It appears that the NFL has set its self up for a huge fail.  The days of them doing what ever they want and it not affecting them is over.  The MLB hit a home run (see what I did there)  with their playoffs this year.  It looks as if the Big 10 will get left out of the College Football Playoff.  It could set up for some strange numbers and a lot of whining and confusion.   And it probably will.  That is not a bad thing.  That is what will bring about change.  NASCAR is still rolling along.  Kind of.

Huge mess in the NFL

The NFL has set itself up for some strange things.  The games have become that back ground to everything else that is going on.  Kind of strange how they have managed to do that.  I think that they have no further to look than at good ole Roger Goodell.  He is ruling the game with an iron fist.  This has nothing to do with the great Marvel Comic Book.

It has to do with he gets to make the final decisions.  Most of the high profile decisions that he has made have back fired on him.  With deflate gate he was able to take one of the most popular and best player out of the game for a few weeks.  For deflating footballs….  Really wow lets fight for that one tooth and nail.

The Anthem protest could have been solved by Roger Goodell being much more decisive.  While I support any citizens right to protest I am not sure they picked the best way to protest.  We have talked about this before and the message is lost and the push back has been severe.  Now you have PaPa Johns saying that this protest is the cause of their profit going down.  This was at best a very strange claim to make.

More likely they were put up to it because of Jerry Jones spat with the NFL over what is happening with his star running back Ezekiel Elliott .   There is no doubt that he is a great player.   He does how ever tend to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and surround himself with some questionable people.  At this point it no longer matters if he did what he is accused of.

Goodell will fight

Roger is going to fight till he is able to suspend him just to try and send a message.  Jerry is going to pout and fight back the only way he knows how to.  None of this will end well.  Roger will get his way in the end.  Elliott will get suspended.  Probably at a more important point than he would have if he had taken the suspension at the beginning of the year.  PaPa Johns will go out of business because they made the mistake of getting involved in a private spat.

MLB for the win

Major League Baseball has set itself up to take over where the NFL is failing.  They are putting out an amazing and exciting product.  They are appealing to a mass audience.  There are complaints from the traditionalists that the “Live” ball changes the game.  They are correct.  It changes it for the better.  There is something to be said for a pitching duel but an exciting 9 – 8 game will keep the mass audience.  People like to see home runs and runs in general.

With Houston winning the world series they were able to create a feel good story that people could identify with.  Houston by acquiring Justin Verlander also brought in another fan base in Detroit to follow the games and root for their guy.  Baseball has avoided making any political statements and made it an enjoyable and entertaining event.  This past week was a huge win for baseball.  We will see if they can keep it going next season.

Chaos in NCAA Football

The Big 10 created an exciting race for who is going to win the Big 10 East.  With Michigan State taking out Penn State in a game that lasted 7 hours.   There was a more than three hour delay for weather but that actually built the excitement even more.    Ohio State on the other hand.  Crashed and burned in spectacular fashion.  Iowa took it too Ohio State and destroyed their season.  Well at least their dreams of making the playoff.  Ohio State can still win the Big 10 but even if they do there is no chance that they will be in the playoff.

The only way I see the Big 10 being able to get a team in is if Wisconsin impressively runs the table.  Including winning convincingly in the Big 10 Championship game.  From that point of view it really does not matter who they play just that they handle the team with relative ease.  They will also need one or more of the teams ahead of them to lose.  It could happen but hard to tell who it would be.  Things are shaping up to leave out at least 2 of the Power 5 conferences.  We talked about this last week.  The scenario that we put out there is actually happening.

It will be interesting to see what the Playoff Committee does tonight.

NASCAR needs some big changes

Are you still a NASCAR fan?  If so are you watching as many races as you used to?  I have been a huge fan of NASCAR for as long as I can remember.  Over the last few years the number of races I have watched has significantly gone down.  I always passively watched the fall races.  As football was getting into full swing the races became secondary.  Now not only are the secondary but most of the time I do not even check the race till after it is done.

The numbers show that I am not the only one that is doing this.  The sponsorship dollars are going down and teams are starting to cut back.  The huge pay days that the drivers were getting are going to be a thing of the past.   This could still be salvageable.  But it will take some significant changes and there will be a huge growing curve.  I am not sure that NASCAR has the ability to make those changes.  They have tried a bit with the playoff that has been going on for a few years.  But people do not understand it and NASCAR has done a horrible job of explaining it.   It is too complex and no one really is that interested in the current plan.  I don’t have a fix for this but I am sure that there is a solution out there.

This next week will be very interesting in college football.  The NFL races are really coming together.   NHL and NBA are still so early in the season that we can not draw any conclusions yet.

If you have not voted yet go vote in the poll about what should be done with the college football playoff.

College Football Playoff First Look – Interesting

By joelb | November 1st, 2017

The College Football Playoff should expand to 8 teamsThe first College Football Playoff rankings came out last night.    There was nothing really all that surprising about the first one.  We here at BiglakeSports have maintained that the first ranking still comes out too early.   It really does not make much difference this week where teams are slotted.    Next week or the week after would be a better time to start the rankings.  We still think that the College Football Playoff is doing it wrong with only four teams getting in.  Here is our post about what we think should happen.

I have no issues with how the rankings have played out this week.  There is still a lot of football to be played and things are going to change.  I thought that they would have Alabama at number one and Georgia at number two.  The College Football Playoff committee has them reversed.  It really does not matter which one is at which spot.  They are going to play in the SEC Championship game so that will work itself out.  The question will be.  If they play a close game will the both get in.

Could Three of the Power Five be Left Out

This year we could have a very interesting scenario.  Where two teams get in from one conference and an independent.  With Georgia, Alabama and Notre Dame all possibly taking a spot.  That would only leave one spot for the other four conferences to get a team in.  Is it really possible that the College Football Playoff would leave three of the power five conferences out of it?  Since they claim that they are looking for the four best teams it really is possible.

If that does happen it will set off a firestorm from the three conferences that get left out.  The way things are sitting now it looks like the PAC-12 and the BIG-12 have the biggest chance then of getting left out.  The third one out would come down to the BIG-10 and the ACC.  If this does happen.  It will be the catalyst to expand the playoff to 6 or 8 teams.  The key there would be that the five conference champions would all get in.  That would ensure the power 5 conferences are represented.

But we are getting off track here.  This is about the rankings that were released this week.

College Football Playoff Top Six

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Notre Dame
4. Clemson
5. Oklahoma
6. Ohio State

I have no problem with how this has played out so far this year.  Georgia and Alabama should be one and two.  It really does not matter where they are at this point.  They will play in the SEC Championship game and the true number one will be there.  If it is a blow out game the loser will be out.  If it is a close game then that will change things.

Not really  sure how good Notre Dame is.  They could be really good.  Their only loss came to number one Georgia by one point.  Granted it was at home but still would be considered a good loss.

Clemson is somewhat questionable with their lone loss coming to Syracuse.  This in my mind would be a bad loss.  But since Clemson has more wins against other ranked teams the committee felt that was enough to put them in the fourth spot.

Oklahoma beat Ohio State head to head.  They should be ahead of Ohio State.  The lone Oklahoma loss comes against Iowa State.  Which at the time looked like a bad loss.  Iowa State has shown to be a much better team than people though they would be this year.

Any of the teams past sixth are a crap shoot right now.   They still have time to move up.  Next week will give us more to go on.

The Mess that is Football – The Week that Was

By joelb | October 31st, 2017

The Week That WasThe mess that is Football.  It has always been an interesting landscape but this year it is a mess.  The Astros and the Dodgers are putting on a show in the World Series.  Making the case for Baseball to be exciting.  An interesting NBA season is starting to shape up.  The next month will really give us an idea of what to expect.  NASCAR is wrapping up with the group of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs.  Help me NBC is the NHL season started?  Around the corner the NCAA Basketball season will be starting.  The last week of October provided us with a lot of excitement that will propel us to the end of the year.

What in the World are NFL Owners Thinking

With all that is going on in the NFL it appears that the owners have decided they want to destroy their cash cow.  Two years ago it looked like the only way the NFL would stop growing was if they actually tried.  Last year at best viewership was stagnant.  That is fine.  You can’t have double digit growth every year.  It was just a blip.  At least we though it was.  Then this year came about.

The Anthem protests became more prevalent.  The public has voiced its displeasure over how the protests were being handled.  The NFL appears to have done nothing but make the outcry worse.  This has been mishandled on both the players and the owners side.  They were both coming out of it looking pretty bad.  The players because no one is really sure why they picked the anthem for the protest.  The owners because they seem oblivious to what is happening here.

The number have been mixed.  Some games up other games down.  This is probably the way it is every year.  This year it is magnified.  Then came the tone deaf statement by the Texans owner Bob McNair saying that the “inmates are running the asylum”.  He has since apologized – Twice.   It is too late.  The comment is already out there.  This was the exact wrong thing to do and makes the owners look really bad.

This comment will only make things worse.  Much worse.  It did however put the public on the same side as the players.  Almost the whole Houston Texans team joined in the anthem protest and the crowed cheered for them.  As they should have.

On the Field

The Eagles are looking like they may be the best team in the NFL at this point.  At 7-1 and destroying the teams that they play.  Of course this week they played the 49ers.  So take a 33-10 win for what it is.   In the NFL though a win is a win.  Even when it is the Vikings destroying the Browns 33-16 in England.    I will  say that I do enjoy the Sunday morning games.  It is much better when the England games are played in our morning time.  That we we get NFL games all day long.  Even with the Browns playing it was better that what is usually on Sunday Mornings.

The race for the Bottom

It looks as if the Browns have the race to the bottom locked up.  They could fool us and accidentally win a few games.  Of course the 49ers very quietly with a matching 0 – 8 record could have something to say about the Browns quest for the the bottom.

NCAA the Race to Four

The first Bowl Cham   College Football Playoff rankings will come out this week.  The only thing that I am am sure of is that Alabama will be number one.  It seems pretty safe to say that after their thrilling win over Penn State is that Ohio State will be in there somewhere.  Georgia will also be in the top three.  After that it is difficult to say.  I still think that it is too early to put the first ranking out there.  They really should wait another two weeks.

Yes it is fun to debate where teams are slotted and who should be where and all of that.  Really though the first two weeks of the poll mean nothing.  There is too much significant football to play yet.    The teams that are outside of the top 4 will all have their undies in a bunch saying that they are better.  Oklahoma may have an argument since they beat Ohio State earlier this year.  Of course if they can’t get by one of the other OSU’s out there it really will not matter.  We will find that out this weekend when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State play.

Really all these teams need to do is take care of business.  If you are a no loss or one loss team at this point.  Then you win out.  You will make it in.  It is that simple.  Well not really.  It is possible there will be a bunch of one loss teams.  But just win and the you will be good.

World Series for the Ages

There has been talk of a different ball being used in the World Series.  If that is true.  Put that ball in play for the whole season.  This is turning into one of the best Series in a really long time.  The numbers are off the charts and even beat the NFL game on Sunday night.  So clearly people like what is going on here.   The baseball purists will say that it is ruining the game.  Maybe it is ruining your game that was dying.  It is pulling in the fringe fans and creating a ratings bonanza.

Personally I am rooting for the Astros.  It would be nice to have a team win that never has won the World Series before.  They also have Justin Verlander and he deserves a ring.

Even if this Series ends on Tuesday night having gone 6 games it will still go down as one of the best ever.

NBA Upheaval

The Cavaliers have a losing record.  The Warriors are 5-3.  The Thunder are 3 – 3.  These were teams that we were predicting to be at the top of their divisions.   They probably still will end up there.  The start has been difficult for them at best.  And possibly a major concern.

In the East the Celtics, Magic and Buck are tied for the top all at 5 – 2.  Will they keep this up.  Not sure they will stay at the top but pretty sure they will all make the playoffs.

In the West The Grizzlies are 5-2 and the Clippers are 4-2.  Who knew that these two teams would make this kind of start.  Not me that is for sure.  It is still very early so chances are that things will change here quite a bit.   The Lakers are still bad having only won two games at this point.

 

Interesting other things this past week

Visitor from beyond.  NASA said that this week an object that is not from our Solar System passed by.  This was not a Rendezvous with Rama Event.  They are not sure but it was more than likely and asteroid.   It was still a pretty cool event.  Being the first time that an object from out side our Solar System has been confirmed inside our Solar System.  Maybe someday we will have a visitor from beyond.  That would be really cool.

Space X is now looking for a launch of the Falcon Heavy in the next few months.  We were hoping for the November launch but not sure that they are going to make it happen by then.   No matter when it happens I will be watching.  Would love to be able to see it in person but probably not going to happen.

The Walking Dead had a lot of gun fighting and a lot of questions at the end.

That is it this week.

Next week will have more to say about the NHL and NASCAR.  The NFL Trade Deadline and who won the World Series.

Read last weeks post here

 

Baseball Win Soccer Fail part 2 in the week that was

By joelb | October 23rd, 2017

The Week That WasThis week has not been nearly as interesting as last week.  Of course they all can’t be as interesting as last week.  If they were we would all be exhausted.  Even though it was not as exciting there was still a lot going on.   The teams that will play in the world series were decided.  USC crashed and burned.   Golf may or may not still be going on.  Who knows for sure with so much other stuff going on.  The same can be said of NASCAR.   I think it is still going on but not sure.  The NFL season is almost half way over already.  The NBA and NHL are in full swing.  Most of the fall television seasons have started.  So I guess it is still an exciting week.

Baseball has been pulling some really impressive numbers

The numbers for the Baseball playoffs have been way up compared to last year.  A lot of this is being contributed to the unlikely run by the Yankees.  Now that the Yankee run is over will this continue.

The odds are in Baseballs favor.    There is still a big team left in the Dodgers.  There is also a feel good team in the Astros.  It has been since 1988 that the Dodgers have made it to the World Series.  This is only the second trip for the Astros.  The first time the Astros were in the World series was 2005.   The were swept in 4 games by the Chicago White Sox.

I think that this series will draw quite a bit of interest.  The Dodgers just with all the history they have.  The Astros for a few other reasons.  After the events of Hurricane Harvey this summer.  It would be a great story if the team was  able to bring a championship home.  This series will also have some interest in Detroit.  With the Tigers having a down season.  They traded Justin Verlander to the Astros.  It would have been nice if Verlander could have won a World Series in Detroit.  Since that is not going to happen.  It would be nice to see him get one in Houston.

 

MLS Fails again

This is not really an MLS fail so much as an Owner fail.  Anthony Precourt embodies all that is wrong in sport.  Specifically with certain owners.  The Crew have been successful in Columbus since  the teams started out in 1996 as one of the original MLS franchises.    The Crew have had their ups and downs.  Winning  the MLS cup in 2008.  The teams has averaged over 15,000 fans in attendance over their 21 year history.  Even in the down years attendance has held up.

The bigger problem for the Crew is their lack of a strong television deal.  They are on but the games are difficult to find.   When you do find the game the production almost seems like something that was done in someones basement.

The Crew new regime

Anthony Precourt has said since the beginning that he wanted a new stadium.  The Crew stadium is not a bad stadium but it is not in the most desirable area.  Could they use a new stadium?  Yes they could.  Should the public put up money to build it?  No they should not.  Anthony Precourt has means he should build it or find other investors to help with the financing.

He has said now that he is going to move the team from Columbus to Austin Texas. The Hunt family sold him the team with the stipulation that he keep the team in Columbus for at least 10 years.  He was able to get a clause in that said if certain conditions were met he could move the team to Austin before the 10 year period was up.  It looks like is he going to take that option.

 

Is NASCAR and Golf Still Going

We mentioned this a few weeks ago in the update.  And we have still not figured this one out.

College Playoff Prospects

The possible teams that have a chance to make the 4 team playoff are coming down to what looks like 9 teams.  Alabama or Georgia look to be locks to make the playoff.  Which ever of those two teams wins the SEC championship game will be in.  In the Big 10 it looks like it is coming down to three teams that have a chance to make it.

With Penn State looking very good and probably have the best chance to make it.  For the Big 10 East it will more than likely come down to this weekend when Penn State Plays Ohio State.   Michigan State could still mix this up since they have to play Penn State and Ohio State yet.  In the Big 10 West.  I see Wisconsin running away with this.  By running away I mean that they are going to ride Jonathan Taylor  to the Big 10 Championship game.  Which ever of those three teams win the Big 10 Championship game will also make the playoff.

The Irish could blow up two Conferences

Of the other teams out there Notre Dame looks like a spot is theirs to take.    They have the one point loss to Georgia.  At the time it looked like it was a bad loss that would keep them out of the playoff.  Georgia has shown that they are a really good team and a one point loss to them is not the worst loss in the world.  With three more ranked teams on their schedule if the win out they will be one of the four.

The last spot comes down to a mixing bowl of teams.  There is no way to tell how the committee will go with its choice there.  Still a lot of games to be played.  Either the PAC 12 the Big 12 or the ACC is going to be on the outside looking in.   Unless you count Notre Dame as an ACC teams even though they don’t want to admit they are part of the conference.

It will be very interesting to see how the second half of the College Football season plays out.

The Middle of the NFL Season

It is hard to believe that we are already to the middle point of the NFL season.  The surprise of the year is that the Rams are a real team.  I think what this really shows is that Jeff Fischer is not that good of a coach.  They basically have the same core they had last year.  Fischer is gone now and they are one of the top teams in the league.

All the people that were down on New England.  Should have waited a few games before calling their reign of terror over.  The Patriots destroyed the Falcons in the Sunday night game.  The teams that looks to be in huge trouble is the Falcons.  With the Saints winning the last two weeks and looking pretty good.  It looks like the Saints will have a better chance at winning the NFC South than the Falcons will.

In the North the biggest question will be if Mike McCarthy will allow Brett Hundley to show has ability.  The play calling was strange and really did not give the Packers offense a chance to try to win.  Trying to be safe is not the way to go here.  If the Packers can manage to win half of the games they play with out Rodgers they could still be in this.  When Rodgers gets healthy and they are close then they will play him.  If they are out of it he will not come back this year.  It will all depend on if Mike McCarthy actually lets the Packers try to win with Hundley.  Why he won’t or did not the last game is very strange.  This is where he could show that he is the great coach that he thinks he is.

The Walking Dead

Season 8 of The Walking Dead kicked off with is 100th episode.  If you are a fan of this show you were happy then to see that Rick was back.  No longer being the subordinate to Negan.   Leading his team to kick off the All Out War.   There were some pretty interesting things that happened in this episode.  Carl meeting a strange (almost always bad) in a scene that was almost a flash back to the opening sequence of season one episode one.  Not a surprise that this was done since it was episode 100.

Other than that.  Trump Tweeted a lot.  Jerry Jones said that the protests are hurting NFL viewer ship.  The Elliott saga is still going on.  Goodell will get his extension.  The NHL is in full swing but way to early to tell how things are going to go.  The Warriors and the Cavaliers do not look great but like the NHL still way too early to tell.

Check out last weeks post here

NBA 2017 – 2018 Season Preview after it has started

By joelb | October 19th, 2017

The NBA 2017 – 2018 season is upon us.  Seems like last season just ended.  Actually it seems just like the last 3 seasons just ended.   What has really changed this year from the last three seasons.  Other than Kyrie Irving now being a Celtic not really a whole lot.   Did this trade make the Celtics a better team?  Maybe hard to tell.  With the loss of Gordon Hayward in the opening game against the Cavaliers.  The Celtic team that was going to put up a fight this year.  Is just not going to be.  Will they make it to the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers?  More than likely yes.  Will they be able to beat them?   Probably not.

The NBA Offseason

The NBA off season, as exciting as it was, did not give us any reason to believe that anything will be different this year from the last three years.  If you are a listener of Mike and Mike.  Then you will know that they think the NBA off season is all that is really needed.  Check the side bar for our count down to the end of Mike and Mike.  We are happily waiting for it to end.

I will agree with them that the off season was pretty exciting.  There were a few changes and moves that have a chance to make things more interesting.  Saying that what it really means is that teams will be fighting for spot number three in the NBA this season.

Short of two or more players getting seriously injured on the Warriors and the Cavaliers.  There is a slim chance that those two teams will not meet for the fourth consecutive year in the NBA final.

Two for the East

There are only two teams that you really need to know about in the East.  The Celtics and the Cavaliers.  Really what they should do here is have these two teams play 82 regular season games.  The team that wins the most gets the home court for the playoffs.    Then they should play a best of 21 for the Eastern conference championship.

Pretty much that is what is happening anyway.  Along the way they will have to play a bunch of lesser teams.  Then they will have to play the lesser teams in the playoffs so that they can meet again in the Eastern Conference final.  The only way I see this not happening is if significant players go down on each team.  The way things have been going in sports lately.  Losing significant players to injury is a possibility.

Four for the West

Even though I am pretty confident that the Warriors will win the West.  I actually can see three other teams in contention.  It could make the West a little more interesting.  But the same result in the end.  The other three teams are the Thunder, The Rockets and the Spurs.

I really only put the Spurs in here because they are the Spurs.  The San Antonio Spurs are are just one of those teams that has the feel.   That feel that they will just be there.  They are not the team they used to be but they are still pretty good.  San Antonio also has one of the best coaches ever in the NBA and he always has them close.  Can they really contend.  Probably not but they will be close in the end.  They will be one of the last 4 teams alive in the Western conference playoffs.

The Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder also have potential to knock the Warriors of their Western Conference throne.  James Harden and his beard are a force on the court.  If not for Russell Westbrook he probably would have won his first MVP last season.  With the addition of Chris Paul this will be an even better team then they were last year.

The Thunder should be much better than last year as well.  Carmelo Anthony and Paul George give them a legitimate big three on the court.  The big question is how will Anthony handle not being the star of the team.  That will go to Westbrook and he will be the go to guy at the end of a game.  If Anthony can accept his roll then this team will probably be in the Western Conference final with the Warriors

And for the Fourth Year in a Row

For the fourth year in a row I see it being the Warriors and the Cavaliers.  This is hardly going out on a limb or making any bold predictions.  Until another team steps up though I really don’t see it any other way.

What do you think?

 

 

Topics: NBA | No Comments »

Soccer Fail how to destroy a National Soccer team in the week that was

By joelb | October 17th, 2017

The Week That WasIn the week that was it appears that the USA soccer team it trying to challenge the Browns for futility.  It appears that they are succeeding.  For the first time since 1986 the USA will not be a part of the the World Cup.   It is very hard to understand how a country of over 300 Million people can field a team that cannot compete with countries that are so much smaller.

It really comes down to the way the sport is run from the earliest youth leagues all the way to the top.  There is no path in the Untied States that encourages top athletes to pursue Soccer.  They are redirected to Baseball, Basketball, Football or just about any other sport.  This is not a problem that is going to be fixed quickly or easily.  This is something that is going to be around for a while.

I am not even sure that in the near future Soccer will gain much more attention in the USA.  The people that are watching now are hard core fans and they will follow no matter what happens.  The fringe fans.  The ones that make it grow have to reason to even check it out.  In past years when the world cup came around.  The soccer viewership would go up.  Since there will be no USA team to root for this time around.  I do not see that happening.  The core fans will be there but there will be no spike in viewership from the fringe fans.

Crazy Chaos in NCAA Football

This was one of the most interesting weeks in college football in a long time.  It started with the Thursday games when Syracuse took down Clemson.  Was Clemson looking ahead?  Possibly.  But it probably more shows that Clemson is not as good this year as they were last year.   Chaos is good for College Football.  The same teams getting in the playoff every year.  Will at some point cause people to become uninterested.  I know just from my own feelings that if the Championship game was going to be Alabama and Clemson again.  I would probably not watch it.  Unless you are a fan of those two teams it gets old watching the same two teams play for the championship.

Other than Alabama winning it was a very interesting week.  Other than the Clemson loss.  Number 8 Washington State lost.  Number 5 Washington and number 10 Auburn all lost.    When this many teams in the top 10 it makes for an interesting week in the polls.  Right now the Big 10 is looking pretty good but the crazy part of their schedule is coming up and a few if not all of the top teams will come out of it with a loss.

Alabama will more then likely play Georgia in the SEC championship game.  If it is a close game with Georgia winning.  We could have the first year that two teams from the same conference make the playoff.  Those are the only two good teams in the SEC so that will probably not help to make that happen.

It is better for ratings if 4 of the 5 power conferences are represented.  Looking forward to next week with some big games.

NFL Wide Open North

Not just the North but every division is pretty open.  The thing that makes the NFC North so open now is the broken collar bone of Aaron Rodgers.  The Packers were living on the strength of Rodgers arm.  With all the injuries they have and now a back up quarterback.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out.  The Lions did not have a great game against the Saints.  The Bears won but really how many more games are they going to win.  The Vikings are still a complete unknown.  If Rodgers does not get hurt it really looked like this game would be a blow out Packers win.

Other than the huge injuries over the past week.  The big story is the refs.  WOW are they just amazingly bad.  In the Packers Vikings game there were so many bad calls that they ran out of red flags to toss.  Even with all those bad calls that was not the worst reffing of the weekend.  In the Jets Patriots game there was the worst call since the Packers Seahawks game when they called a touchdown catch an interception.

Something is really going to have to be done about this.  I am blaming a large portion of this on replay.   It seems to make the refs less aware.  They can rely on replay.  The problem with replay is that they seem to get it wrong more times then they get it right.  I would really like to see replay just go away.  Accept that we are human and that mistakes will be made.   Nothing to see here just move a long…  LOL   Yes I know that is never going to happen.  Replay is here to stay.  So we are just stuck with it.

Colin Cowherd

I had not heard Cowherd on the radio since he had left ESPN.  While he was always a bit off in several ways.  He is really off now.  On his reboot of The Herd  With Colin Cowherd he really is staring to sound like a parody of his former self.  His rants were long winded, generally not that interesting and mostly off the mark.  I will write more on this later after I get to listen to him again.  Or rather make that if I get to hear his show again.  Cowherd is pretty much a walking week that was.  He has become even more of a blow hard.  Of course maybe I am just jealous because he has a huge following and I don’t.

Probably not since the last good thing that he did was Colin’s Football show.  Which was actually pretty good.  This showed that he actually does have the ability to do a good show with out all the grand standing.  On the other had it got cancelled so I may be the only person that is looking for shows like that.

Fear the Walking Dead – No Clan

Fear the Walking Dead came to an end for the first half of it season.  FTWD has made some huge strides this season and actually had some watchable stories.  They have not fixed all the problems with it though.   To me the problem seems to be that there is no clan.  In the Walking Dead for the most part the group is together.  There are few stories where people get split off from the group but they are almost always working together.    With FTWD they are almost never together.  We don’t know who we are supposed to root for.

There is no way for us to identify with them since the story is so haphazard.  While getting better there is still a long way to go.  The two hour end of the season left us knowing very little about anything that is going on.   Who is a live who is dead, where will the story go?  It was a cliff hanger but a cliff hanger with no direction.  Really by the time the second half of the season comes around it will be like starting the show completely over.  Granted The Walking Dead stories have not been on the same level of a few seasons ago.  The difference is that we are tied to the characters so it makes up for it.

You can find last weeks post here

The Week That Was – Say What?

By joelb | October 9th, 2017

The Week that Was flat deathstarThe week that was. Was interesting  last week.  No huge scandals breaking this week in sports.  We did how ever have the start of the NHL season and the NBA preseason.  I guess the golf season came to an end.  Not really sure on that one though.  They do have the FedEx cup.  Wonder how much it is costing FedEx to sponsor that one.  MLB finally hit its playoffs.  For me it always seems to take forever for the playoffs to get here.

MLB Playoffs

The MLB playoffs started this week.  Happy that they are finally here.  The Baseball season is so long.  Other than the hard core fans, most people lose interest at some point during the season.  The one thing that baseball does do right is the one game wild card.  A winner take all to get into the actual post season.  I hear complaints about it saying baseball is a bunch of series.  One game is not fair.

Well if you don’t want to be in the one game playoff.  Win more games so that you win your division.  It is pretty simple.  Oh wait you were not good enough?  Yup so play the one super exciting game.  The change up in baseball for that one game is very exciting.  I think that is the one thing that baseball has done right in the last few years.  On the whole the season is pretty boring.  The only season that takes longer and gets less interesting as it goes toward the end is NASCAR.   Not a good spot to be in.  Changes do need to be made.  But we know that they will not.

So far the baseball playoffs have been pretty exciting.  The one thing about them that seems a bit strange is the television coverage.  In the games on Sunday one of them was on FS1.  I know I get that channel but could not tell you what the number of the channel is.   Another problem that Baseball has is that it was up against NFL football.  Probably why it was on FS1  LOL.   I have not seen the ratings but I am sure they were not that great.  Even will all the anger over the anthem protests I am sure the NFL numbers blew the baseball numbers away.

PGA and NASCAR

As far as I know both seasons are still on going.  Both should be done by now.

College Football – Another wild weekend

Nor sure if what happened to Oklahoma this weekend is a good thing or a bad thing for Ohio State.  I do know that it is a bad thing for Oklahoma.  They could still recover but they would have to win out.  They are also lucky that the Big 12 decided to have a championship game this year.   For Ohio State it looks bad since they lost to Oklahoma in Columbus.  Then Oklahoma lost to an average at best Iowa State team in Norman.  Which team if either can recover from this?  Another team(s) that showed who they are Michigan and Michigan State.  5 games into the season and Michigan state has won more games than they did all last year.  They got destroyed by Notre Dame but have played well in all their other games.  While I don’t think that MSU will be able to make the playoff I do think that they will have the opportunity to change some other teams seasons.

It does look like there will be a strong possibility of a re re match of Clemson and Alabama.  If that does happen then I will not watch because, well I just won’t care who wins it.  I know the other teams need to get better and take them out.   For me this is a case of success is destroying the sport.  So please someone Beat Clemson and someone beat Alabama.  It will be for the good of the game.

Once again Nick Saban is pissed at the press.  This time for praising his team too much.  So my recommendation to every writer out there.  You are not praising Alabama enough.  Please praise them more.  If that is all that it takes to get them to lose then with a group effort we can do it.  Alabama is the best team I have ever seen.  EVER.  They could beat the Browns heck forget that.  They are so good the could win the Super Bowl.

NHL – Ready Set GO

I love the NHL and I love hockey.  However even with the love of hockey I have it is another season that is just a touch to long for me.   It is October and we will not know a champion till June 2018.  Eight months away.  Holy macaroni that is a long season.  At least most of the games are interesting and at any point any team can break out and have a great season.    A lot of the experts have picked my team.  The Detroit Red Wings to have a dead last season.  It still could come to be but they started out the season 2 – 0 which is a longer winning streak that most people expected them to have.

It will be interesting this season to see if the Columbus Blue Jackets can have similar success to last year.  No one really thinks that they will have another record setting winning streak.  The Jackets have never put together two successful seasons in a row.  They have to team and the coach to do that this year.   If they do not win a playoff series this year then no matter how well they do in the regular season the season will be considered a failure.

NBA PreSeason

Like any preseason.  The NBA preseason has not bearing on what he regular season is going to look like.  We are 99.9% sure that Cleveland and Golden State are going to be in the finals again.  Of course this is baring any injury.  Even then both of these teams are set up pretty well even if one of their stars gets hurt.  If you listen to Mike and Mike in the morning.  Then you know the NBA regular season is a waste of time.  What we should really do is just seed the teams and move on to the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns – Say What

No one will mistake the Cleveland Browns for an NFL team this year.  What was confirmed this weekend was that they also do not have an NFL coach.  When Hue Jackson was hired.  I really thought that the Browns made the right move.  He had some head coaching experience.  Yes one 8 – 8 year with the Oakland Raiders.  While not good.  Not bad either.  He has been an amazing offensive coordinator.  He took Andy Dalton places that you did not think he would be able to go.  With the success in Cincinnati.  Yes Cincinnati.  He was hire by the Browns to be their head coach.  While little was expected of the Browns last year.  You still have to say they under achieved.

There was a little hope this year.  In most of the preseason picks.  People had the Browns winning 4 games.  While not good by any sense.  It would have been a massive improvement over last year.  So they are 0 – 5.  Great start if you are trying to tie the Lions when in 2007 they managed a goose egg in the win column.  While I don’t think that the Browns will go 0 – 16.  I do not think that they will win 4 games either.    The Browns started  Deshone Kizer their second round pick.  I am fine with starting a rookie.  In most cases that is the best way to get them some game experience and learn.  Will it be difficult.  Of course it will.  But then Hue Jackson did something that makes you wonder if he knows what a head coach is supposed to do.  He benched Kizer at half time.  At best a strange choice.  At worst it destroys his confidence.  Almost assuredly it shows that Jackson does not have what it takes to be an NFL head coach.  Some people are just meant to be coordinators.  Nothing wrong with that.

2049

Blade Runner 2049 came out this past weekend.  While it did not set the world on fire with its take.  It did lead the weekend with just over $32 million.  I have not had a chance to see it yet.  It has an 8.6 rating on IMDB which makes me think that it is going to pretty good.  I am really looking forward to seeing it.

The rest of this weeks news was the same as last week.  Mad man in Asia threatening to blow stuff up.  Lots of tweets and an exit stage left for dramatic affect.

Have a great week.

If you have missed previous posts you can check out last weeks post here