Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh BCS How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count The Ways

I haven't been too vocal this football season, but I can't be sit back and be idle about this atrocity. The BCS who (keep in mind) was created to supposedly "help" the big boys stay the big boys has screwed over my favorite team the Oklahoma Sooners in a BCS Bid this year! They did this by overlooking my beloved Sooners and giving the at large to Northern Illinois. WHAT?!?! Granted Oklahoma shouldn't have put themselves in a spot to be an at large bid, but HOLY COW Northern Illinois... Really? The only top 25 team they beat was the "Power House" Kent State the 2nd OVERTIME, that apparently was SUPER impressive to the computers! It might have been impressive if Kent State had more wins from a ranked team. The only ranked opponent Kent State has beat this year is the currently unranked Rutgers! In the previous paragraph, I pointed out how they didn't play anyone who was ranked except for Kent State, and they barley got that. This paragraph will talk about their successes this season that got them to play Florida State! Bobby Bowden would role over in his grave!!! He passed away right? Anyways, rest in peace Bobby B. The tough non-conference schedule that earned Northern Illinois a spot to play with the big boys was a narrow loss to Iowa of the Big Ten and a confident win to Kansas Jayhawks of the Big 12. Keep in mind that neither Iowa or Kansas had been invited to participate in a bowl game this year! Those had been the three games that told the computers that... "Yeah! they have earned this more than the Sooners had this year"! Even though, Oklahoma's only two losses came from the Fighting Irish and Kansas State. I've been saying for a while that Oklahoma's ranking was too low anyways. Whatever! BCS I'm sorry I've stuck up for you for so long. I hated you last year when you made the National Championship between two SEC teams and I hate you now for picking Northern Illinois over Oklahoma! I wish a pox on you BCS! Not on Northern Illinois, that would be unfair, that would be like getting mad at a snake for biting a child instead of getting mad at the parent who let the child play with the snake... YOU SUCK AS A DAD BCS!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tebow Time.......

So ol Timmy Tebow is a New York Jet now? Well I'll be damned.....Most likely from Tim Tebow himself. Ah I'm just kidding. He'll defiantly try to throw me some sort of a life line to keep from going to Hell since he is such a nice guy. Although chances are that it will be out of my reach.

But lets break this trade down. The Broncos, if they get the Peyton Manning of 2010, defiantly made the right decision by trading Tebow away. I know that a lot of the fan base is killing John Elway right now but come on, its not like they are replacing Tebow with Mark Sanchez or anything(too soon?). It Peyton Manning! Elway is pretty savvy though. He was never sold on Tebow and this was probably the only way to get out of this situation. But if Manning isn't healthy or just doesn't have it anymore then so help him Tebow cause it will get ugly.

Now just what the Jets are thinking here I don't know. But since it is the Jets it makes so much sense for them. As in it makes no sense to any of the other 31 teams so the Jets make a knee jerk reaction that, if I may go out on a limb here.......(ok I'm back, just needed some fresh air.) But I feel like they kind of panicked here. And why did they panic? The Patriots won the division again and made it to the super bowl. Now you might think that I think this cause I am a Pats fan but think about it. This was the third year in a row that the Jets were supposed to finally win the division and one up the Patriots. What happened? They finish 8-8 and watch the Pats go to, although lose, in the game the Jets came up one game short of the two years previous. Now Rex Ryan is the impulse buyer of the NFL. Instead of shopping around and getting good deals and better products he just buys the first thing he see. Tebow was the flashiest thing on the shelf so he snatched it up real quick. I could be wrong but I have a feeling there is at least a little bit of truth to this.
Now to the part on weather this will work or not. It has a chance, albeit a small chance. And if you ask me the only way this will work is if they admit Sanchez is not their answer at QB and go with Tebow from the start and stick to their guns on the run game. And if Tebow can hit the broad side of a barn. And if that defense can get back to their 2010 form. And with divine intervention. But honestly this Jet (see what I did there) is already on fire and if they don't put it out real soon they are going to be looking for a place to ditch it.
And this was a late night rambling of Thome about Tm Tebow. I'm sure there will be more to come......

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Winners Conference?

The New York Giants officially ended an era by beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. But I'm not talking about this year's team, I'm talking about the 2007 New York Football Giants that employed David Tyree and Michael Strahan.
That was the team that put an end to the AFC's winning streak in the big game and ushered in our current age. An age where the NFC is one Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes in the closing seconds touchdown away from having won the last five Super Bowls.
Am I saying the NFC is a superior conference like they were in the 80's and much of the 90's? No, this isn't the NBA where Western Conference fields two or three teams with winning records who miss the playoffs each year while the East gets usually gets a few in with losing records. Most of the last few Super Bowls could have been pretty even-matched, which is why I think this is the year the AFC re-claims the title.
Without further ado, here are my pre-draft, pre-free agency playoff predictions.

NFC North: Green Bay Packers - To be honest I have picked these guys to win it all every year over the last five years and I was right once (which is a helluva lot more often than Sports Illustrated ever is, am I right? am I right?) Secretly I'm picking them again this year, but not in public. In order to avoid bias I'll pick someone else, and it's not like the Pack will be a consensus pick this year anyway. That defense sure needs some fixing before Mr. Rodgers can hoist his second trophy.

NFC East: New York Giants - SuperBowl hangover? Fuggetaboutit! With tons of confidence and momentum, the Giants will win more regular season games than they did last year. Come playoff time coaches are being doing plenty of not sleeping thinking of how they can beat New York, and unlike this year, someone will succeed.

NFC South: Atlanta Falcons - Let me be the first to say I love the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees may be my favorite player in the league. Here's the thing, I know that not all the same teams will win their division that did last year. It just doesn't happen. The Saints lose Carl Nicks and Marques Colston in free agency. Jimmy Graham still plays well but Brees gets sacked a little more and throws a few more picks and New Orleans wins 9 games this year making Atlanta's 10 wins enough to clinch.

NFC West: San Franciso 49ers - These guys had a new head coach and no off-season and I don't think anyone outside of their locker room believed they could win 13 games last year. The defense is impregnable and having a full training camp will do wonders for their offense. Alex Smith having the same offensive coordinator for two years in a row for the first time in his career won't hurt either.

Wildcard: Philadelphia Eagles - They need to draft some nasty linebackers and need an adequate backup for when (not if) Michael Vick goes down with injury. That being said these guys had a nice little run at the end of last season, LeSean McCoy is the man and I think the extra time together will benefit all the free agents they brought in last year and have the Eagles playing like a team again.

Wildcard: Arizona Cardinals - I should've picked the Chicago Bears here. They were 7-3 before Cutler went down last year, but while their defense has done a great job of taking on the attitude of leader Brian Urlacher, they're getting old and have holes. The young and nasty Cardinals defense really seemed to hit it's stride mid-season last year under a new coordinator. The offensive line needs work (as always) but Larry Fitzgerald alone makes that side of the ball viable. If we see a little improvement from Kevin Kolb and/or John Skelton this team could win 9 or 10 games. If Peyton Manning and possibly Reggie Wayne come to town? It could be Kurt Warner-esque! Am I being a homer? Absolutely. This spot could just as easily go to Detroit, Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans, or any junk team from last year that becomes "this year's 49ers" and goes from terrible to great in one season, just probably not the Redskins. . . . or the Vikings.

NFC Champion: San Francisco 49ers -  Yep, I'm picking a Harbaugh bowl rematch. I'm a little embarrassed to do so, but I feel good about both of these teams, especially after I saw Alex Smith and Vernon Davis come up so big in their first playoff starts ever. That being said I am an oldest son, and in the words of George Orwell's classic novel 1984, "Big Brother is Winning."


There you have it. My playoff picks for the upcoming season. I reserve the rights to change every one of these picks after the draft, and again after pre-season, and again once the playoffs start, and again on Super Bowl Sunday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

And Your Winner Is...

We love the NFL because at the beginning of every season we feel like our team might have a shot.  There is more parity than in any other professional sport . . . except in the AFC. Here are the Super Bowl representatives over the last decade from both conferences:

AFC                                                         NFC
New England Patriots                              New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers                                   Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts                                    New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers                                 Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots                              New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts                                  Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh Steelers                                 Seattle Seahawks
New England Patriots                            Philadelphia Eagles
New England Patriots                            Carolina Panthers

The AFC has sent THREE TEAMS to the Super Bowl since 2003. Three. For how many more years are the Patriots, Steelers and Colts going to have the monopoly on AFC championships? Zero. That's right, I'm calling it right now. Here are my wayyyyyy to early playoff predictions for 2012.

AFC East: New England Patriots - The Jets may rebound from last season, the Bills should improve. The Dolphins are interesting with a new coach and Matt Flynn possibly following from Green Bay. Over the years the hot backups like Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel and Kevin Kolb have produced mixed results. Like Cassel and Kolb, Flynn had the benefit of  studying behind a pro bowl QB before stepping in and producing in a passer friendly offense when the starter went down for a game or two. Will his success translate better to a new team? I hope it does, but it's all speculation right now anyway. Pats still take the division regardless.

AFC North: Baltimore Ravens - Joe Flacco has proven to be an adequate quarterback, much like Philip Rivers was early in his career. Would a new offensive scheme benefit him? Maybe, but even if he doesn't improve much, this is a tough team that has already won one Super Bowl without an elite QB. The Bengals seem likely to improve with another year of experience, and I don't think you can count out the Steelers yet. This division could send three teams to the playoffs again. Cleveland still lacks elite talent at EVERY offensive skill position, they're a few years away from any sort of contention.

AFC South: Houston Texans - The Colts have basically owned this division since Peyton came to town. No more. Houston ran away with their first ever playoff birth without the services of their best offensive (Andre Johnson) and defensive (Mario Williams) players. They rolled with a 3rd string QB after Matt Schaub went down and Matt Leinart promptly got injured as soon as possible, because hey, being a back-up playboy quarterback who gets sideline tickets and never has to get hit is a pretty good gig. I think Tennessee will be in the mix longer than people expect, but Indy is in full-on rebuild mode and Jacksonville is one Maurice Jones-Drew away from challenging Cleveland as the team with the least amount of elite play makers. The should have the chance to snag a few more early in the draft over the next few years.

AFC West: Oakland Raiders - This is my least confident pick, any team in this division could finish with 10 wins or 4. That being said I'd like to see what Oakland's young receivers can do after having an off-season. They need to cut down on penalties, but IF Darren McFadden doesn't miss more than a game or two, I think the Silver and Black get back in the playoffs.

Wildcard: Pittsburgh Steelers - The Defense is aging. They still have a good coach, a clutch quarterback, speedy receivers and solid running backs. They'll win 10 games, and it will be enough to get in.

Wildcard: Tennessee Titans - I wanted to pick the Bengals here, but it seems every year there are at least two teams in the playoffs for each conference who weren't there the year before. Titans get the nod over the Chargers after nearly making it last year with a new coach and new quarterback and a terrible season from Chris Johnson.

AFC Champion: Baltimore Ravens - The Houston Texans are going to be the sexy pick for Sports Illustrated, ESPN and mostly everyone who gets paid to do this. . . . which is the only reason I can come up with to pick against them. I can see the Ravens drafting Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who under the tutelage of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs hits his stride in the playoffs and comes up with some big plays to keep Houston out of the Super Bowl if these two teams meet.

Coming Up Next: NFC Playoff Predictions

Friday, January 13, 2012

Six (un)disputed in a row

First and foremost let me admit this openly. The SEC is good. Real Good. I get it. Six national championships in a row speak for themselves. If the WAC or Mountain West or any conference containing a school I attended or had family attend or even lived within 5 hours of at some point in my life had won that many consecutive BCS titles, well I would be tooting my conference's horn as well.
The problem with these titles is that they're not really indisputable. College football is the only sport where teams get into the championship off perceived greatness. Imagine if the Packers were placed in this year's Super Bowl based of their record alone. Who would they play? New England, San Francisco and New Orleans all finished 13-3. I guess we could just have about half the league's coaches vote along with some media people and former players and mix in a computer formula to figure out who is 2nd best. The two teams that get left out might get to play each other in a consolation bowl, but one of them might end up playing the Jets instead, because hey, they didn't have a losing record, and they're a big market team that will bring in lots of revenue.
Now granted, it's absurd to compare the NFL directly with College Football because of the sheer amount of teams. But while the NFL lacks some of the traditions and rivalries that make College Football so great, the pros trump the amateurs by giving us a champion that has to prove it when it matters most. A champion that shows guts and moxie by beating at least three elite teams consecutively. A champion that regardless of how well they did in their own division during the season, had to beat out the top teams from other conferences to get there.
Interestingly enough, when the SEC began their run there was another top dog in town, the Big 10. Tressel's boys at Ohio State had pranced through an undefeated season and no one was good enough to beat them. Except maybe Michigan, that Wolverines team that had lost just one game, on the road, to the number one team in the nation, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
A rematch made too much sense, the first game was high scoring and exciting, and home field in the loud arenas of the Big 10 is worth at least 3 points. What would happen if these two were pitted on a neutral field? But in a controversial move the voters decided that the Wolverines had their chance, if a one-loss team who couldn't win their conference lost to the Buckeyes, why not give a shot to another one-loss team who did win their conference? So while Michigan sat idle, the Florida Gators won the SEC Championship game against one-loss Arkansas and jumped to #2 in the standings.
They proceeded to blow out Ohio State and a new era began for the SEC. Meanwhile Michigan, still regarded by many as 2nd best in the nation went to the Rose Bowl where they were ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED by the USC Trojans, a team who blew their shot at the National Championship when they lost their rivalry game to UCLA weeks earlier. But what if the Big 10 was left out of the equation? What if USC got to play Florida in the championship? What would've happened? We don't know, we'll never know.
The next year LSU was selected as the best two-loss team that got to go blow out one-loss Ohio State and the SEC suddenly had two BCS titles in a row. And maybe LSU was the best two-loss team that year, although West Virginia put up a very strong performance against a solid Oklahoma team in the Fiesta Bowl that year. I wouldn't have minded seeing what they could've done against the Tigers.
In 2009 we saw Florida score beat Sam Bradford's record-setting Oklahoma Sooners by a touchdown for the National Title. They got there after squeaking by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. It should be noted that Alabama was undefeated going into that game and had been number one in the polls for most of the season. A case could be made that they were 2nd best in the land and a rematch was in order, but OU was simply too good to be denied that year, and Alabama then got their jocks handed to them by the only undefeated team in the nation, the Utah Utes. Florida had some impressive wins that year, but Utah had actually beat four or five top-25 ranked teams over the course of the season. Were they good enough to beat Florida? Probably not, but then again, they weren't good enough to beat 'Bama either, and they put the hurt on them in a way that the Gators weren't able to.
In 2010 Alabama laid claim to their own BCS title getting past a Texas team that had the winningest quarterback in college history leave with an injury in the first half. Colt McCoy had started every game for the Longhorns in the four years since Vince Young left town, the man who backed him up was never good enough to secure the starting gig for himself after McCoy went pro, and the team still hung with the Crimson Tide until the very end. Different game if Colt doesn't go down? Probably? But we can't say who would win because what happened is what happened.

Last year Auburn War Eagled Oregon by three points to make it five straight for the SEC. Meanwhile the undefeated TCU Horned Frogs beat a Wisconsin team that rolled through their Big 10 "gauntlet" of a schedule conference teams by 60 points. Some say TCU's four year starter Andy Dalton wouldn't have played as well against Nick Fairley and an SEC defense. I say he seemed to do ok this year against the Steelers and the Ravens defenses despite being a rookie who had no off-season to learn a new offense and adjust to a completely different cast of teammates. Would the Horned Frogs have been able to stop Cam Newton's magic just enough? Again, we'll never know.
This year we had the same old controversy. We think Alabama is probably the best team in the country, they sure looked like it. But why didn't Oklahoma State at least get a shot? Because it's the system that we have.
Imagine if there were a plus-one system. All other bowls could be the same, but every other year you would have the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl be semi-final games, and the next year it would be true of the Orange and Fiesta Bowls. The national championship would still rotate between the four sites each year.
The three highest ranked conference champions get in as well as one wild card. If the four highest ranked teams are conference champions then they all get in, but if a team doesn't win it's conference but still manages to finish 2nd or 3rd in the nation they get a shot as well. That way the polls still matter, but so does winning your conference.
For example this year we would've seen LSU (SEC champ), Oklahoma State (Big 12 champ), Oregon (Pac 12 champ) and Alabama (wild card) in the playoff. Stanford would feel slighted and so would Wisconsin, but hey, you should've won your conference Stanford, you lost to one of the two ranked teams you played and it wasn't even close. And Wisconsin you lost to two teams not even ranked in the top 10, the margin for error isn't that great, EVERY GAME MATTERS.
Now we'd lose a lot with this formula as well. The Fiesta Bowl between OSU and Stanford this year was probably the best game of the bowl season. The Rose Bowl between Oregon and Wisconsin was epic in it's own right. Had this been in place in the past we may not have seen Boise State's thrilling upset of Oklahoma years ago and Utah may not have had the chance to prove themselves against Alabama.
For the little guys it would be clear, one excellent year playing a weaker schedule in a weaker conference wouldn't be enough to get you in the playoff, but two or three great years if you established yourself could be. If Boise State's kicker could make an extra point or a chip shot field goal, we would've seen four undefeated conference champs at the top of the standings and Auburn, Oregon, Boise State and TCU all would've made the playoff. In years previous winning the WAC or Mountain West wouldn't had been enough, but after years of strong BCS performances it could have happened last year.
Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda. Instead we have schools and conferences doing everything they can to make more money and assure themselves automatic BCS bids. The Texas rivalry between the Longhorns and Aggies is dead. The epic battles between BYU and Utah to end their respective seasons are over. The backyard brawl between West Virgina and Pitt will cease to exist and we will have Boise State and San Diego State playing in the Big East instead of the Mountain West continuing to make a case as it's top teams stood head and shoulders above the champions of the ACC, Big East, and sometimes even the Big 10.
The problem is, if all the rivalries lose their importance, if tradition is thrown out the window and super conferences consume what's left, will the consumers still pay big for this watered down product? Are we the fans still going to get excited every Fall? Yes we are. Which means the BCS and the NCAA can do pretty much whatever they want.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Name is Wayne Bass, and I'll Tell You What

So, a couple of the active voices in the league have thought it a good idea for me to be on the one year suspension because I had finished last in the league. I don't take it as an insult that they don't want me in the league, I think they simply want to teach me a lesson or something... mainly it's because it was my idea to have the suspension. Keep in mind that I came up with that idea only after I had suggested having a loser trophy which was also shot down, and a proposal for any other ideas for the last place team to do something which was ignored. (Brent Cook did come up with a cool idea just a couple of weeks ago... The champion gets to name the last place team next year). In short, we have discussed this on a couple of occasions and every time it comes back the same. No suspension! Just before the playoffs Zach Gibson brought up that the league should kick me out if I finish last. I said that if I do finish last and we decide to do a suspension I would honor it, but we need to vote NOW and not when the season is over and voters know if they are safe or not. It wasn't brought up again. Well, it wasn't brought up until after the season was over... I really like the idea of having something negative for the last place team, this would act as a motivator to keep going when the playoffs kick off and they know that they are not going to be in the championship bracket. Having finally experience that, let me tell you men it sux... Joe Cook has followed the proper channels and submitted a petition to enter the league, if I am suspended then that would open up a spot for him, but if we decide to suspend me we HAVE to keep this one year suspension thing going and not for just this year... So, if the powers that be vote to have me suspended I would also like to recommend that we have the champion name the 6th place team as well. Also, one other request I'd like to place on the table... Thome Widdison will have his third year as our commissioner, so I propose that we as a brotherhood name him as our FULL TIME COMMISSIONER

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fantasy Football....


Rank....Team Name........Record..Streak
1....Trogdor Burninators..5-0-0....W-5