Week 3 NCAA Picks

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So I’m back with college pick em this week… It’s been a minute so forgive the rust

MOVE ALONG NOTHING TO SEE HERE

11 Clemson over furman
17 Michigan over umass
9 WVU over JMU
8 south Carolina over UAB
15 Kansas state over UNT
7 Georgia over FAU
3 LSU over Idaho
24 Arizona over Scst
22 UCLA over Houston

MIGHT BE INTERESTING… BUT I’LL PASS

14 Texas over ole miss
19 Louisville over UNC
16 TCU over Kansas
5 Florida state over wake forest

INTERESTING ONLY FOR THE UNIFORMS

4 Oregon over tntc

WOULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTING BUT… YA KNOW

1 Alabama over Arkansas

DON’T BE SHOCKED IF…

California over 12 Ohio state
Pittsburgh over 13 Virginia tech

YOU BETTER WATCH THIS IT’LL BE A WHILE BEFORE YOU SEE IT AGAIN

Utah over 25 BYU

MUST SEE TV

23 TENNESSEE over 18 Florida
2 USC over 21 Stanford
10 Michigan state over 20 Notre dame

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The Oriole Revival

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I knew this day was coming it was bound to happen.

The signs were everywhere, things were changing, I wrote about the possibility of it coming to fruition two years ago.

Even still the pessimist in me didn’t quite believe it, but now I do… The Baltimore Orioles are back and they are the most dangerous team in the American League.

We’ve been around this black before a bunch of times. The O’s start hot, look competitive, then around late May or early June they get left in the dust by the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox.

It was happening again this year, you saw that Jason Hammel was their “ace”, the improvement of Matt Wieters, how Adam Jones was bouncing back from a bad year and the rumors of Manny Machado being a cant miss prospect.

But these were the Orioles, how could I possibly take this seriously? Ever since I lived in Maryland I’ve seen this story.

Melvin Mora was their missing piece, Miguel Tejada would help turn the franchise around, Adam Loewen and Daniel Cabrera were aces in the making, and they all fell flat.

I could imaging O’s fans faces when after getting their hopes up early this season again that the team was beating blown past by the Yankees during a blistering June.

After the all-star break the Yankees were up by ten and the O’s were looking at adding another year to my favorite Orioles taunt…

What’s the difference between Yankee Stadium an Camden Yards? You can always get a hot dog in October in Yankee stadium.

(my favorite thing in life is to taunt Orioles fans. I absolutely love it. It was the only joy I got out of living in Maryland. Their fans are so bitter, so salty and so bad that their Yankee hate ticked me off.

The worst was when the Red Sox took off and O’s fans adopted them as their second team. Watch Camden Yards in a sea of red was beyond sickening. Baltimore fans never understood sticking with your team through thick and thin and I killed them for it every single time. I kind of miss it actually.)

Then all of a sudden Buck Showalter started working his magic coinciding with the Yankees catching the injury virus. It started with A-rod going down with a hand injury and has forged ahead with a string Wieters big hits, Jones’s MVP like clutchness, the revival of JJ Hardy and a rotation that I could tell you nothing about.

Their top guy is a dude called Wei-Yei Chen, he has a 4.06 ERA and 12 wins. Their closer Jim Johnson is someone the Yankees used to kill and he has an ERA near 3. I have to stop looking at stats because based off of stats alone I’m getting ticked off that this team climbed back into the race for the AL East.

There’s no way that a team with a shoddy rotation and a lineup without a guy batting over .300 should be ahead of the Yankees or Rays for that matter.

However, that’s the case.

With 20 games left the Orioles and Yankees are tied for the division lead and the Yankees have become a mash unit.

A-rod, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Mark Teixiera and a cast of thousands have been on the DL in the last month. David Robertson hasn’t been the same since injuring himself earlier this season and now Derek Jeter has an ankle sprain.

I know Jeter said he isn’t panicking but he’s gotta be thinking what next?

With these injuries, lack of clutching hitting and a banged up rotation consisting of David Phelps and Freddy Garcia, how much longer can the Yankees hold on to the slimmest of leads?

This is an Orioles fan dream. A suffering Yankees team, a pennant race 16 years in the making, baseball fans around the country pulling for them and all the bounces seem to be going their way.

The real telltale sign was this weekend during a four game set at Camden Yards. Since I was a kid I called it Yankee Stadium south because there were always more Yankees than O’s fan packing the stadium.

Not this time. It was all orange everything, deafening noise and you couldn’t see a speck of blue.

That’s when it really hit me, the Orioles are back. Thank god I’m in not Maryland to be a part of it.


It’s All About The Name

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Another Big East school bolting for the ACC, fine, no sweat off of my rear. However, the ACC and the NCAA for that matter missed the biggest part of Notre Dame joining the ACC today…

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still a football independent. Really?

Is the NCAA ever actually going to man up and make the Irish join a conference.

Notre Dame has gotten the same football privileges as other schools in high powered conferences for years even though they have been living off of their name more than their game.

Notre Dame has become a glorified mid-major in recent years, which seems disrespectful to Boise State and TCU. The Irish are not the powerhouse they used to be yet they still receive the royal treatment when it comes to football.

It’s so bad that on ESPN Notre Dame has its own section in College Football conference wrap-ups. Really? Notre Dame following the PAC-12?

To make matters even sillier the ACC agreed that the Irish have to play 5 teams from the conference a year. Ap what you’re telling everyone in the ACC is that even though they’re not part of the conference they are still part of the conference. Ok, got it. Great idea.

(by the way, how pissed off do you think the Big Ten is right now? The Big Ten has been trying to lure Notre Dame for years due to its major rivalries with Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue and Penn State and to watch them make this agreement with the ACC? If I were Jim Delaney I would throw a Moscow Mule in Jack Swarbrick’s face next time I see him.)

Why is it so hard for the NCAA to make Notre Dame join a conference? Why can’t someone in the hierarchy of the NCAA tell Swarbrick “look, unless you join a conference you essentially are BYU. You have to win all of your games to become a BCS qualifier and if you don’t then you’ll play in the Tony’s Pizza Bagel Bites Bowl in Butte, Montana every year like the rest of the little guys.”

Let’s cut the crap. Notre Dame doesn’t deserve special treatment when they haven’t been as good UConn in the last few years. In the last twelve years the Irish are on average a 7-5 team. That deserves special treatment?

They aren’t Alabama or LSU or USC or Boise State for that matter. Their lack of success and relevance doesn’t add up to all of the things that they get for being just being Notre Dame.

There’s no bitterness from me as a Big East guy that they are bolting for the ACC. What gets me is that Notre Dame as small as they are in relevance when it comes to football still get treated like kings.

The ACC just cow-towed to them like the NCAA has for years. Will anyone get the nerve to stand up to them and say enough’s enough?


Penn State Starts From Scratch

ImageIts finally over. The horror stories, the controversy, the debates, everything.

After the NCAA beat Penn State University to the point of death today (hell the death penalty mightve been easier to deal with) now we can put to rest the worst sports scandal in the history of sports and begin a process of healing.

That’s easy for me to say, I wasn’t one of the victims that were harmed by Jerry Sandusky or a student or football player that is affected by the cover up by former “leaders” Grant Spanier, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Joe Paterno.

The last ten months have been similar to a time warp in the twilight zone for everyone in the Penn State community. State College went from a haven for football on Saturdays where over 100,000 blue and white clad fans got together for white outs, 7 nation army chants and “We Are Penn State” chants to being known as a sanctuary for child molestation.

The entire community has been put through the modern day equivalent of chinese water torture. Their hero Joepa is now a fallen angel due to his inability to do more in reporting the vile and haneous acts of Sandusky. Their university once known as being heralded as the leaders of men is  now a fractured and broken home where leadership led them astray and put things that didn’t matter ahead of things that should have.

For the football players past present and future their lives have been greatly affected even more so. The man that they took so much pride in being associated with let them down. The current players have no forseable future with the programs handed out today. Once NCAA head Mark Emmert handed out an unpresedented $60 million fine (one year’s equivalent of earnings from the football program), a four year bowl ban and a reduction in scholarships they saw their chances at college glory go to waste. For the future… who knows. Players have already jumped ship due to the current profile of the Penn State and with the sanctions handed down by the NCAA it makes it extremely hard for Penn State to recruit going forward.

The penalties pale in comparison to the terrible acts by Sandusky on his victims but it hammered home a point. The “leaders” at Penn State put football ahead of common sense, it’s only right that the proper punishment would be to cripple the football program setting it back for years before it can be competitive again.

Players can transfer if they want, but at this stage of the game it becomes a huge hassle for kids to transfer, comb through paperwork, move, find housing and get classes scheduling done. So for at least one year these kids are screwed as well.

You can argue about the penalties, punishment and how it was handled. One thing that you cannot argue with is that it had to happen.

Penn State had to face its maker and it did. The unfortunate part is that the people that are most responsible for it wont be apart of the punishment. Spanier, Curley and Schultz are already fired, Paterno is no longer with us and Sandusky… well lets just say the rest of his life and afterlife wont be the pleasant form of existence one can hope.

But it’s finally over. The healing process begins and even though a huge black cloud lingers over State College, PA the students, faculty, citizens and football players can try to find some sense of normalcy.

Hopefully many lessons were learned not just by Penn State but by colleges across the country as well. footbal is entertainment, not life. Life comes before football or any other monetary form of entertainment. Once you place life second bad things happen and many people get hurt.

Ten Months ago Joe Paterno was loved, he had a statue named in his honor, students walked around in solice in a carefree community, Penn State was a school that did things the right way, many alumni praised and lauded Joepa, and football was front and center in lives of the Nittany nation.

Today none of this is the case. Penn State suffered, hurt, and was punished.

Now they start from scratch. Hopefully they can gain everything back that they lost.


Nashville Has To Keep Weber

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You lose Ryan Suter your second best defenseman and arguably one of the top 5 defenders in the league, you can get over that.

You lose Jordin Tootoo a resident tough guy and fan favorite, that’s ok he’s replaceable. You can get over that.

Losing Shea Weber, your heart and soul, your captain, the man that represents Nashville hockey and is quite possibly the best defenseman on the planet.

That’s another story.

Yet that is what the Nashville Predators are facing right now. The Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to a 14/ $110 million dollar offer sheet in an effort to steal Weber away from the only team he’s ever played for.

The Predators have only five more days to match and the question that’s swirling in my head is why they haven’t already matched it?

You don’t let players like Weber walk away. This isn’t like the Knicks and Jeremy Lin. You can get another guard that does the same things as he does and plug him in easily.

Weber is a different story. He’s one of if not the best defensemen in the NHL. He’s a former Norris trophy winner who will win about three more before his career is done. He’s a natural born leader as captain and with Pekka Rinne leads possibly the best defensive team in the league.

To let him leave would mean to let everything that Nashville built go to waste. Yes they would receive four first round picks, but does that really add up to what you lose in Weber?

Coming into this offseason you knew that Nashville was going to lose either Weber or Suter to free agency due to money. They can survive without Suter, but losing both he and Weber would be too much to overcome.

For Nashville’s sake I hope that they match Weber’s deal no matter the cost.
Weber is the face and leader of their franchise. Losing him would mean missing the playoffs, falling into the lottery of the draft and starting over when you were considered a possible Stanley Cup contender.

Something’s you can get over, losing Weber is most definitely not one of them.


The Knicks Have A Plan

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As I was about to throw my phone across the room in anger because the Knicks were about to let their first really good point guard since Rod Strickland (smh) walk away I saw this aura with a orange hue hover above me.

It was the ghost of Knicks coaching great Red Holtzman who prevented me from making a $250 mistake.

Enough intro, here’s what happened:

Red: what the hell is wrong with you?
Me: I’m sick of this damn team! Every year it’s the same old (bleep). Bring in older players, poor contracts, and letting go of really good players that we really need. Why?!?! Why us?!?! Did you see our draft?! Kostas Posdonous? Who the hell is that.
Red: (to the side) let me not bring up why we have no draft picks.
Me: huh?!
Red: nothing. Look, calm down Kevin it’s not the end of the world. What of I told you that the Knicks had an actual plan?
Me: is Isaiah Thomas apart of it?
Red: thank god no! It’s bigger than even his narrow- minded head could come up with. You should thank the Houston Rockets for doing you a huge favor.
Me: you’re losing me Red.
Red: have you seen that contract? It’s horrible. 5 mill over the first two seasons then 14 mill in the last season. If the Knicks agree to that then they’ll be paying $40 mill after luxury tax rapes them in the last year of that deal.
Me: … Ouch.

(side note: while everyone was dissecting Carmelo Anthony’s “ridiculous contract” statement… Um he’s right. I liked Linsanity, I like Jeremy Lin, but in two years unless he actually becomes Steve Nash 2.0 do I want to kill my luxury dollars on him? Hell no.)

Red: yup. Who knows if this kid is more than a 35 game wonder. Why kill your dollars for him?
Me: ok Red, I get that… BUT WE HAVE NO POINT GUARDS!!! We just signed Jason Kidd at 39 and the flabby wonder Raymond Felton. We’re still a crappy backcourt team especially without Iman Shumpert.
Red: but can you hold on for one more year?
Me: huh?
Red: picture next offseason Chris Paul in a Knicks uniform.
Me: I don’t get it.
Red: this is the real reason the Knicks aren’t signing Lin its CP3. Paul already rejected an extension with LA and is eyeing the Knicks. Neither team has enough firepower to make a deal happen right now so instead Paul will play out his last year and join the Knicks after the season. In order for the Knicks to have a shot at getting Paul they can’t sign Lin. It’s too much money, too much luxury tax and too much hassle.
Me: oh (bleep).
Red: next year the Knicks can also kill Amare Stoudamire’s deal as well to give them more room and sign an actual power forward who can rebound and isn’t scared of the paint.
Me: you hate Amare too?
Red: don’t get me started.

(think about this for a minute. It’s possible that next year the Knicks could have CP3, and Melo. Get rid of Amare’s horrible deal and get a real power forward or trade him for Josh Smith like I’ve been asking for 890 years, and they’ve quietly built up a decent bench with Steve Novak and Felton who works way better as a backup instead of a starter. Wait a minute, will the Knicks actually be a competitive basketball franchise that can actually function? Brain overload.)

Me: so wait a minute, we’re actually looking ahead, being patient and building this team up for something big instead of rushing?
Red: crazy isn’t it? It only took them ten years to figure it out.
Me: but I have to sit through one more crappy year.
Red: it’s the Knicks you’re used to it.
Me: true.
Red: Linsanity was fun, it was great, we all bought t-shirts and watched his highlights. But after 35 games, five turnovers a game, poor defense and that horrible contract the Rockets are giving him, is it worth it to give up something bigger for a few more dollars in merchandise?
Me: I guess you’re right.
Red: the Knicks are getting close. Brooklyn’s making noise, the Cavs may get Andrew Bynum, and the Heat and Celtics are there. However, Chris paul in NYC changes everything. The Knicks become important, they become a title contender and they become the big boys in the East. That’s real insanity. So cheer up, relax and don’t worry, the Knicks may be alright after all.
Me: thanks Red I appreciate it… Wait, why’d you say MAYBE alright?
Red: it’s the Knicks. You know if anyone can screw this up they can.

Thus is the life of a Knicks fan. Even with a plan coming together we all know that at any moment things can get jacked up.


The Dwight Howard Horror Show Continues

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Enough Dwight Howard already… Enough!!!

I’ve had it, I’m sick of it and I wish that it would go away preferably by cannon fire.

This saga has made the plights of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony seems like fairy tales. We had somewhat of a clue as to what their plans were but the saga of Howard has been one big roller coaster of uncertainty.

At this time last year all signs were pointing to Howard going to the Lakers. Then it was Chicago, then Howard wanted Dallas, then Brooklyn, then the Clippers (that’s right, someone actually wanted to play for the Clippers. Crazy right?), then Orlando, then the Knicks became an option, then Stan Van Gundy said Howard wanted him fired, then Howard denied it, then Howard scratched his opt out clause saying he wanted to stay in Orlando, then he wanted out of Orlando again, the SVG got fired, then Brooklyn had a four team deal on the table, Orlando said no, now it’s the Lakers again…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

MAKE IT STOP!!!!

In 12 months Dwight Howard has gone from one of the games most fun and endearing players to a sissy and a chump. Countless people have complained to me about Howard and his flip flopping and how it’s upsetting them as fans.

Can you blame them? We’re in the big 3 era of the NBA like it or not with players positioning themselves like dominoes to fall into place with the right team. However, in the case of Dwight Howard this goes far beyond positioning, this is whining, crying and bullying at its worst.

Howard is like your little daughter who wants everything her way and stomps her feet, screams and throws fits to get it. At least you can tell your child no, in the case of Howard you can’t do anything right.

Orlando has tried and tried to make both team and player satisfied but to no end. They unjustly fired Van Gundy who did nothing but lead them to their second finals appearance for Howard only to have him ask to be traded again. They’ve tried to trade Howard everywhere only to have him or the team involved say no. They have upset fans, confused players and the entire league staring at them wondering what’s next.

What can they do? They have the great new problem in the NBA, a player who wants everything his way on his terms and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it.

It happened in Cleveland, Denver, New Orleans and almost in Utah before they told Deron Williams to step off.

Now it’s happening in Orlando and they really can’t do anything about it. The best deals on the table are for teams Howard doesn’t want to go to (hi Houston) and the teams he wants to go to don’t have the assets for him.

This saga could spread into the upcoming season with his free agency a torturous 365 days away.

Hopefully both sides can come to some sort of agreement to get Howard out of Orlando and out of the headlines. This thing has dragged on long enough and needs to end soon.

Who knows what Howard will ask for next. Maybe a trade to FC Barcelona?

Thanks a lot LeBron and Carmelo. Look what you guys started.