Saturday, February 09, 2008

NFL Picks: Pro Bowl

Last Week (Super Bowl): 0-1
Playoffs: 5-6
Overall: 175-84

Sunday is the last day of football season. It will be a very depressing time in many places across this great country of ours. The football landscape will be turned over to a burgeoning industry of year-round NFL coverage on outlets such as ESPN and the NFL Network. Don't worry, though, because the scouting combine and the draft are just around the corner.

I am going to pick the Pro Bowl. I know nothing about who is going to play in this game. To be honest, the players out in Hawaii probably don't know who is going to play, either. This game has all the seriousness of a comedy club. However, the NFC team has 12 Dallas Cowboys on their roster. This includes Tony Romo, who is in Hawaii with celebrity girlfriend Jessica Simpson. I did well picking the Cowboys this year. So, I'll stay with that trend.

Pick: NFC

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Ultimate Recruiting Scam

Wednesday was the fiasco otherwise known as National Signing Day. It was the first day that hundreds of high school football players were able to sign a letter of intent to accept scholarships from NCAA schools. It is one of the most overhyped days of the year.

I have bemoaned the mushrooming of the recruiting process. I love college football. I like high school football. I hate recruiting. Talent scouts and recruiting analysts make a nice living off of selling their services and newsletter to any coach or fan that is willing to pay for it. Is this a great country, or what? There are lots of guys out there willing to pay $29.95 per month for premium recruiting information and player evaluations on prospects for their favorite school. There is something way out of whack about 50 year-old men getting worked up about the decision of an 18 year-old, especially when said 18 year-old has absolutely nothing in common with the adult male fan.

This week in a town in northern Nevada, the ultimate recruiting scam occurred. Kevin Hart, a 6-5, 290 lb. offensive lineman from Fernley High School was the honoree at a school-wide assembly, where he announced his decision to attend the University of California. He claimed to be choosing to accept a scholarship offer from the Bears over one from the Oregon Ducks. The only catch was that the Bears never offered him a scholarship.

It turns out that a middleman was posing as a talent broker, supposedly putting his name in front of college coaches. While Hart's film may have been getting into the hands of coaches, he was not offered a Division I scholarship.

This incident is now being investigated by law enforcement. In the meantime, a young man's future is up in the air.

How would you like to be a student or teacher that showed up at the school assembly to watch Hart choose the Cal hat over the Oregon hat? If nothing else, it was a good charade, but a really bad joke.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

2008 NCAA Tournament Projections, Volume 1

(click bracket graphic for closer view)

Just another post while pondering the departure of Bob Knight from Texas Tech. The great Pat Forde opines here that this is a good thing for college basketball. I agree with Pat.

Here is the first of a weekly set of projections for this year's NCAA tournament. There are not a lot of upsets. At this point, the four #1 seeds are predicted to make the Final Four: Memphis, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas. This blog projects North Carolina to beat Memphis in the final. Memphis would cruise into the final with an undefeated record.

The biggest question marks in this bracket come from the Atlantic 10. Dayton and Massachusetts make this field in spite of losing conference records to this point, thanks to high RPI ratings. Houston and Mississippi State are the last teams left out. They can and probably will play themselves into the tournament.

These projections are always in a state of flux. Some teams will get hot, other teams will get cold. February will be fun.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I, along with Las Vegas and most of America, eat my words. The Giants pulled off the upset, knocking off the formerly invincible Patriots, 17-14.

Eli Manning was the man, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns, including a late one in the last minute to Plaxico Burress.

The Patriots didn't totally stink in this game. The Giants' defense played awesome, for the most part. That won the game for the team from Gotham.

They are dancing in the streets in New York. The '72 Dolphins are also happy tonight. The perfect season stops here.