Thursday, December 7, 2006

College Bowl Pick 'Em

Will Brady Quinn lead the Fighting Irish to a Sugar Bowl victory this Bowl Season?

Bowl Season -- Some people love it and some people hate it. In most people's cases, it is all about one bowl game. The BCS National Championship Game, which will be Ohio State verses Florida. But, to those who love the Bowl Season, it is not all about the main game, it is about the other ones as well and trust me, there are a lot of other ones.

I am one that loves the bowl season, not really how the games are scheduled, but I am still in favor of the games themselves and this year, I will be making my own predictions. So, below you will see my picks.

National Championship Game Score: 31 - 17 Ohio State University

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Problem; The Solution

Who Will Take Home The Trophy After Defeating Three Teams In A Playoff?

With all of this talk of a new system coming about or at least a new system should come about in college football, I decided to show you what should happen in college football and what should have happened in college football this season.

Basically, the system that there is now with all of the voting, etc. is perfectly fine. Perfectly fine for deciding who should be in the playoffs. Playoffs? What? Who's talking about playoffs? Playoffs is the only way for things to be at least fairer in college football. Nobody is saying making the regular season games mean less because you would still have to go undefeated, have one loss, at most have two losses to get into the playoffs because you still have to be in the top eight.

How The Playoffs Would Work
The top eight ranked teams in the nation would make the playoffs and be seeded according to their ranking. The #1 ranked team would face the #8 ranked team, the #2 ranked team would face the #7 ranked team, and so on. Then the winner of the playoffs would be considered the National Champion.

The following is a bracket that I made up with the top eight teams in the country, in my opinion, and the outcomes of their games, eventually leading to one game, the National Championship. The winner of the National Championship Game would be considered the National Championship.

My Bracket

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mets Signing, Declining, Trading, Claiming, & Purchasing

Moises Alou looks to win big in New York in 2007 in a Mets' uniform

The New York Mets had a busy Monday, signing a big name, trading for some young talent, declining an aging hall of famer, and also claiming and purchasing on Monday, November 20th.

Omar Minaya, the General Manager of the New York Mets made it clear when he became the GM of this team two years ago that he was going to be sure to make this team a contender year and year out and continues to back it up with the most recent signing of outfielder, Moises Alou. Alou signed a one year contract worth 8.5 million dollars .
"The length of my contract doesn't really matter at this point in my career," Alou said. "I wanted to come here because this year -- I wanted to win this year."
In 98 games last season, Alou hit 22 home runs and 74 rbis and had a batting avergae of .301. Moises Alou will take over the left field job of the New York Mets in 2007 in place of Cliff Floyd, who was bothered Achillies tendon problem all of last year on and off, but mostly on.
"That's the only reason why I'm back playing in '07. I was a little frustrated last season because of the little injuries that I had," Alou said, adding that he's completely healthy now. "I felt great after July. I feel good at the plate. I feel strong. I feel young."
And a young, strong, and healthy right handed hitter is exactly what the Mets need. Well, Alou might not be young, but if he plays like it then for one year, it is just as good as actually being young. After trading Xavier Nady, right handed right fielder, to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trading deadline of last season, the Mets lacked that right handed hitter in the bottom of the order to even out the balance. Moises Alou batted .349 verse lefties this past season.

The Alou signing was not the only thing that the Mets were up to on Monday. Omar Minaya made it public that the Mets declined their 14 million dollar option on 2 time Cy Young award winner, Tom Glavine on Monday. Tom Glavine went 15-7 and had a 3.82 ERA this past season and most importantly, barely missed any starts due to injury. Though, Glavine had troubles towards the end of the season staying in the game past the fifth inning.
"We hope to continue to speak with the agent, negotiate, and hopefully be able to bring Tommy back," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We let them know ahead of time that we were going to make this move."
It seems as if the Mets do not want Glavine to leave, but they do not want to give him fourteen million dollars, which is what a lot of teams are doing. Paying players what they are not worth, but the ironic thing is that, fi for anything, Glavine is worth that kind of money. Well, he may not be worth it, but he certainly deserves it.

Not enough for you sports fans out there? Well, good, because the Mets, along with signing Alou and declining Glavine's option for 2007, made a trade with the Florida Marlins, dealing away two young right handers for two young left handers.

Going to Florida was Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom and in return, the Mets recieved Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick.

Jason Vargas, the only player in the deal who has real Major League experience has a career record of 6 - 7 and a +5.00 ERA, but he is only 23 years old and Rick Peterson probably saw something in him and will work with him.

The New York Mets also claimed right-hander Jason Standridge off waivers from Cincinnati and purchased the contract of outfielder Carlos Gomez from Double-A Binghamton.

Ryan Howard Wins NL MVP Over Pujols

Howard Beat Out Pujols On Monday For The NL MVP Award

It has been officially announced that the first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Howard, has been awarded the National League MVP award of the 2006 season. Ryan Howard started out great and finished the season even better, leading his Phillies to almost going to the playoffs, but missing it not by much.

Howard surpassed Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, and Miguel Cabrera for the award. The first baseman recieved 20 first place votes and 12 second place votes for a total of 288 points.
"It has been a fun ride. You can't really just sit there and kind of dwell on what's gone on in the past and all that kind of stuff and what's going to happen as far as being traded or what my future was with the Phillies. The only thing I could have done was just go out and play and let everything else just kind of sort itself out."
Going out and playing was exactly what Ryan Howard did this past season. He hit 58 home runs, had 149 rbis, and had an on base percentage of .425. To top this, he also won the home run derby that was held in Pittsburgh the night before the all star break.
"To be able to be in that kind of company and just being able to compete with a guy like Albert is, I guess, a feat in itself and it's an honor because what he's done."
Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in the majors and in many people's mind, should have been the MVP, but evidently, is not. Pujols though, had a better on base percentage, slugging percantage, and a better batting average and Pujols also missed 19 games. In those 19 games, it is arguable that Pujols could have caught Howard in the home run and RBI categories. Also, an argument can be made that Pujols' team made the playoffs and Howard had more weapons around him.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Flight720's Pro Bowl Ballot

Brett Favre is in his 16th season and he is still throwing strong

It is that time of year when tickets to the Pro Bowl are on sale and the ballots are released. I am going to be doing a Pro Bowl Ballot special, where I will be voting for players to go to the Super Bowl and giving my reasons why.


1. Peyton Manning (Starter)
Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback every to play the game of football and he is not making it any easier for those who do not think that he is to argue that he is not. He has thrown for 2527 yards and is on top of the AFC list of touchdowns thrown with a grand total of 18. He has also lead his team to an undefeated season so far.

2. Phillip Rivers
Rivers is a first year quarterback, but has definitely made his mark in the league. He has shown that Tomlinson is not the only player on the Chargers who knows how to score. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and has shown all the people who doubted him and said that the Chargers with have to play "Marty Ball" that they are wrong, as he has compiled 2085 in 9 games.

Chad Pennington
The fact is that Chad Pennington does not have a Marvin Harrison, Chad Johnson, Antonio Gates, Ladanian Tomlinson, or a defense like the Ravens. He also has a very young offensive line and has been able to lead the team to a 5 - 4 record, 1 game behind the division lead. He has thrown for
1726 yards and 10 touchdowns. Pennington is also the lead candidate for comeback player of the year.


1. Donovan McNabb (Starter)
Mcnabb is without the best quarterback in the NFC right now. He has put this team on his shoulders after the embarrassing season last year with all the incidents happening with Owens, injuries, etc. The Eagles are in a wild card spot right now and only 1 game behind the division lead. And if that wasn't enough, 2569 yards and 18 touchdowns speaks for itself.

2. Brett Favre
A little of a surprise, no? Well, it shouldn't be. Most people who do not follow the stats and standings of football see Favre as an old quarterback that is probably having a decent year in Green Bay and is going to consider retirement at the end of the season, again. But, the Packers are in the playoff hunt and Favre is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFC. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and passed for 2295 yards.

3. Drew Brees
Drew Brees has taken a New Orleans Saints team that was through so much last year with Hurrican Katrina and much doubt on if they would be able to win more games than they have already through 9 games into the season. Brees has kept his personal doubters silent. There were many who said that he would not be able to come back from his shoulder surgery that he had at the end of last season and he has without a doubt come back from it and strong. Throwing for 2604 yards and throwing the ball into the end zone successfully 15 times.


1. Ladanian Tomlinson
There is no real surprise or argument that has to be made. Just the fact that I write down his name is enough for many people. He has 932 already, only 9 games into the season might I remind you and a lead league by far, 16 touchdowns -- on pace to demolish the record for most touchdowns in one season.

2. Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson and the Chiefs got off to a slow start, but nothing has been slow about this guy lately. Right behind Tomlinson in each category, he has 891 yards and 10 touchdowns and has lead the Chiefs without Trent Green to an above .500 record.

3. Willie Parker
Outside of Tomlinson and Johnson, the running backs in the AFC have been pretty weak, but the one that stands out from the rest of the group is young Willie Parker. He has 847 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Parker has shown that he can be a premiere back and an every down back as well.


1. Tiki Barber (Starter)
Tiki Barber leads his league by far with 971 yards rushing on an offense that has been struggling as of late. Eli Manning has been playing horribly as of late and there has been many injuries. Tackle, Lou Pettigout, Recievers, Burress and Tommer, etc. have all been injured, but Barber keeps going.

2. Frank Gore
Before the season's start, the 49ers traded away their previous starter, Kevan Barlow to the Jets in order to make room for Frank Gore. Gore has moved up into the cateogry of elite runners in this league as he has rushed for 831 yards so far and is averaging an amazing 5.0 yards per carry.

3. Stephen Jackson
The Rams, with a new coach, have come into the season with a new philosophy on offense. Run the ball -- once in a while, rather than pass every down. Jackson is third in the league in rushing yards with 784 and has a total of 5 touchdowns.


1. Andre Johnson (Starter)
Surprise? Not to many that have watched Johnson before his injury ending season last year. Johnson leads the AFC with
808 yards on a Texans team that at times does not look better than an average high school team. Andre Johnson also has 4 touchdowns this season.

2. Marvin Harrison
Surprise? Not to any at all. Harrison has been a pro bowl quality player ever since his first year in the NFL. He plays in one of the best offenses in the league and in the offense, he has 5 touchdowns along with 719 yards.

3. Laverneous Coles
Coles has come out this year and shown that trading Santana Moss back to the Redskins for him was not a mistake at all. He has been Pennington's favorite reciever and is now one of the most feared players in the open field. 3 Touchdowns - 650+ yards is to say the elast about how important Coles has been to the Jets' early success.

4. Javon Walker
Javon Walker has surpassed Rod Smith for the Broncos' number one option in the passing game. Walker has six touchdowns and 731 recieving yards. Most of his touchdowns have been simply amazing coming from beyond 20 yards. Him and Plummer have been a great 1 - 2 punch for Denver and their early success, starting the season with a 7 - 2 record.


1. Roy Williams (Starter)
800 Yards - 4 Touchdowns on the Lions. We are talking about the Detroit Lions, one of the more pathetic teams in the league to say the least. Roy Williams, even though with a big mouth, has become an elite reciever in this league. Just imagine what he would be doing with a quarterback like Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.

2. Marques Colston
A rookie out of Hofstra is leading the league in recieving yards on a team that was expected to be nowhere near a playoff spot, but in reality, is winning their division as of now. He has 7 touchdowns and 869 recieving yards from a quarterback that is coming off a shoulder surgery injury.

3. Torry Holt
Year in and year out, Holt is one of the best in the league and this year is not any different from previous ones. Holt has 697 recieving yards and 7 touchdowns in an offense that is revolved around getting him the ball. If not for Holt, the Rams would not be in the playoff hunt that they are currently in right now.

4. Donald Driver
Driver has become the only reciever on the Packers that Favre can rely on passing the ball to in the clutch or even not in the clutch. He has come up big every time that the Packers need him to come up big. 56 Receptions (1st In NFL) - 771 - 4 Touchdowns.


1. Lorenzo Neal (Starter)
Lorenzo Neal has been blocking for the AFC's leading rusher, Ladanian Tomlinson.


1. Jim Finn (Starter)

Jim Finn has been blocking for the NFC's leading rusher, Tiki Barber.


1. Tony Gonzalez (Starter)
Even with Trent Green going down with an injury, Gonzalez still played strong, hauling in 44 recpetions for 588 yards and has a total of 3 touchdowns.

2. Kellen Winslow
This was tough between Winslow and Gates, but Winslow is having the better season on a worse team. He has shown that he is one of the best tight ends in the league and the best part about it is that he is doing it silently, not opening up his mouth like some other guys in the league or catch balls. Winslow has 561 recieving yards with 56 receptions and 3 touchdowns.


1. Alge Crumpler (Starter)
Crumpler, once again has shown that he can be a number one option in an offense. Even with Michael Vick throwing him the ball at times when he doesn't even know if Vick is going to end up throwing the ball or running the ball, Crumpler has still managed to rack in34 receptions for 467 yards and 6 touchdowns.

2. Jason Witten
Witten is a tight end that is actually used more for blocking than for the passing game. And even with that being true, he has still managed to catch the ball 36 times for 425 yards and does have 1 touchdown.


1. Nate Kaeding (Starter)
This was more simple than I thought it would be. There is one guy in the AFC that leads all kickers in the AFC in field goals made, extra points made, and points. And that is Nate Kaeding with 17 field goals, 34 extra points, and 85 points.


1. Robbie Gould (Starter)
Just like the AFC, there is one guy that leads all kickers in the NFC in field goals made, extra points made, and points. That player is Robbie Gould from the Chicago Bears. He has 23 field goals made, 29 extra points, and an astonishing total of 98 points.


1. Ben Graham (Starter)
This was a tough one and it really is up in the air, but I went with Ben Graham. He has put the ball inside the 20 numerous amount of times, 17, and has an average of 44.3 yards per punt, which is right up there with the top of the league.


1. Jason Baker (Starter)
Jason Baker, of the Carolina Panthers have punted the ball inside the 20 yard line 22 times and has an average of 44.8 yards per punt.


You can vote for who you think should go to the Pro Bowl here. You can get information for buying tickets to the pro bowl here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Forum Mailbag 11/15

Will Donovan McNabb lead the Eagles to the playoffs?

Real Ballers
Infinite Sports Talk

A mailbag is a large bag used by mail carriers for carrying mail, usually equipped with a shoulder strap. So, think of that, except for the internet. Basically, members from different sites sent in sports related questions and this is where I will be answering them.

Question: (The Fray RB) How will the Giants overcome their injuries and will it ever be possible?
Answer: It is definetly possible for the Giants to overcome all of their injuries, but it will certainly not be easy. First of all, they need Strahan to be healthy. Kiwanuka has been great, but they need their pass rushing attack back to normal if they want to start winning again. They must bring pressure. They showed that when they brought pressure in the Chicago game, they dominated. Then, when they stopped in the second half, they were the ones who got dominated.

Question: (Atrain31 RB) Will the Bears go to and win the superbowl?
Answer: Yes, No. The Bears right now are clearly the best team in the NFC. Even with a healthy Alexander and Hasselback, the Seahawks would still be stopped by the Bears defense. The Bears, for the first time this season showed that they could get beat in a game and then make a comeback, which is something that they were not faced with yet this season. And they did it against the next best team in the NFC. So, I do believe that they will represent the NFC in the superbowl. As for winning it, I don't think that that is safe to say yet. There are many teams in the AFC that can score and will score on the best defense in the league. Also, there are several teams that are much more balanced.

Question: (Heatkick RB) Have the Miami Heat been getting calls against them due to the overwhelming amount of whining from everyone else?
Answer: Most probably not. If for anything the Heat have been getting the majority of the calls for them because of Dwyane Wade. Wade has emerged as a superstar in this league and has been getting the fouls called for him almost every time he drives the lane. Also, even if they have been getting calls called against them, it is definetly not due to the whining from everyone else.

Question: (Illmatic RB) Will the Colts choke in the playoffs again?
Answer: If the Colts make the playoffs, my prediction is that they will choke again. The games that they have played this season has been way too close and they have been playing well enough just to get passed those games. Sooner or later, they are going to have lost one and it might be in the clutch.

Question: (Iverson3) Will the Eagles make the playoffs?
Answer: This might seem kind of a surprise to many, but I am going to say that the Eagles do get in. And if the Giants don't watch out, they are going to get in by winning the division. All three teams, the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys have extremely difficult schedules to finish off the season, so anything can happen between the three and right now, the Eagles are in the first wild card spot.

Question: (TheOne&OnlyJackson) Will the Cowboys make the playoffs?
Answer: I am going to go with no. Unlike the Eagles, they do not have an experienced quarterback. Granted, Tony Romo has looked great, don't get me wrong, but compared to quarterbacks like Mcnabb, Delhomme, Vick, etc. Romo does not have the edge at all.

Question: (Hitmen99 IST) Do you think that the BCS system is a fair system to use in college football? Why or why not?
Answer: You know what, I do think that it is fair to use in college football. This is only because there is no fair system to use in college football, so they should just stick with what they have. No matter what kind of system they use, there will always be something wrong and/or someone complaining.

Question: (Drake IST) Who do you think will be in the BCS National Championship Game and who will win?
Answer: Ohio State vs. USC. Ohio State wins it. Ohio State will beat Michigan this weekend and they really do not have anyone else to worry about for the rest of the season. And as for USC, if they can beat California this weekend and then beat Notre Dame the last weekend, they will definetly get enough votes to be put at number two. And as for Ohio State beating USC, Ohio State has just been dominate, amazing, and unbelievable. Troy Smith, Anthony Gonzalez, Ted Ginn Jr, and Antonio Pittman is just four names that no defense wants anything to do with.

Question: (Ryan IST) Which would mean more for the Colts, a 16-0 season or a single win in the playoffs?
Answer: The Colts will not say this, but a 16 - 0 season would mean more. It means that they were perfect. And considering that if they only had one win in the playoffs then that means that they would not win the super bowl, so at least they would accomplish something

Question: (Logan IST) What scenario do you think there would need to be for the Rutgers to make it into the National Championship?
Answer: Rutgers right now is @2 in the BCS computer, so what they need to do is convince the writers that they are a legit team. Here is what would need to happen in order for Rutgers to get into the BCS Title Game:
- USC loses to Cal, but beats Notre Dame
- Florida loses to Arkansas
- Rutgers defeats West Virginia

I would like to thank the members from Real Ballers and Infinite Sports Talk for sending in questions for this week's mailbag.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bobby Knight Strikes Again

Bobby Knight hits the papers again with his anger problems

Bobby Knight, head coach of the Texas Tech College Basketball Team, made the newspapers again today. The hall of fame coach was caught on tape hitting Michael Prince's head upwards after Prince put his head down while Knight was yelling at him. As we all know, Knight has had many anger problems in the past and once this happened, you knew it was going to be all over the news in matter of seconds.

Knight said that if he was faced with the same situation in his next game or any game that he would do it again.

While reading into the story, I found this quote by Knight that I found very interesting. Knight said, "I flipped his chin up and told him to look me right in the eye so he could do the job we want. I said, 'Can you?' And he said 'Yes,' and I said, 'OK, sit down and let's go.' If that's an issue then I'm living in the wrong country." And to be quite honest, Knight is right. He didn't slap the player, hit the player, throw a chair at the player, etc. He saw that Michael Prince was not concentrating or saw that his confidence level was decreasing and tried to get him focused and back on track.

The fact of the matter is simply that if this was any other coach, I would not be writing about this and this would probably not have been on any news channel, website, or paper.