Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BCS Playoffs (revisited)

2010. The year that it seems the BCS has gotten it right. The two top teams made the BCS Championship game. Too bad it doesn't work every year. So let's take some time (and tweak) my post from over two years ago, of a potential system for a BCS playoff.

Ok here we go:

A) All BCS conferences should have conference championship games.

The Big-12 will lose it's conference championship next year, and I hate it. I don't care if some conferences have less teams, it is unfair to have some BCS teams win their league without a conference championship game. So let's make it happen.

B) Two AT-Large teams

I like the BCS rankings. I think 95% of the time, it gets it right. One gripe I have with it, is that the human pollsters are so dumb I wonder sometimes if they watch football. But we will keep the BCS standings as a starting point.

The two BCS at-large teams will be: 1) The highest ranked BCS team that didn't win its conference (This year would be Stanford); and 2) A non-BCS team selected by a play in game. The play-in game will be played on the Thursday night of conference championship weekend (typically the first week of December). It will be between the two highest ranked non-BCS conference teams. Should be exciting, no?

For example, this year we would have seen TCU play Boise on national television on Thursday. Then Friday night we get a double header: the Big-East championship game, then the Pac-10 Championship game. Saturday we get FOUR games (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC). Starting at noon with the ACC, 300PM SEC, 6PM Big 10, and 9PM Big 12 (all times Eastern). Who isn't excited about those three days of football?

C) Rank the teams according to BCS rankings and place them in 8 team playoff with home games for Round 1.

Best ranked against the worst ranked. Second best ranked against the second worst etc....

Let's take this year's standings: #1 Auburn would host Big East winner UConn. #2 Oregon would host #13 Va Tech. #3 TCU would host #7 Oklahoma. And #5 Wisconsin would host #4 Stanford (at-large from BCS conference cannot host game).

D) Winners face off in 2 BCS bowls at pre-determined locations.

Lets say all of the higher ranked teams win. Auburn plays Stanford and TCU plays Oregon. These games are placed at the most geographically logical location. For example, if the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar bowl are the options. Oregon and TCU would go to Fiesta and Auburn and Stanford would go Sugar. Even if it is far for a team (in this case Stanford), the game MEANS something. They will travel to see their team with a shot to make the championship.

E) National championship is played during the weekend between the conference championships and the Super Bowl in the NFL.

Move the NFL Pro-Bowl (awful idea anyways) and play this game in the gaping hole of a weekend with no football.

This will be played in one of the remaining two BCS location. Just like the current system. The BCS locations will rotate each year. The only question is the 4th BCS location. Either a 3rd place game, or a completely at-large selection. Maybe if its the Orange Bowl they select Arkansas and Ohio State. I'm fine with either option but it needs to be decided on permanently for every year.

F) The schedule will work with school.

Quarterfinals: First week after school is out. (Weekend before Christmas)
Semifinals: (New Years week)
Championship: (Between AFC and NFC championship and Superbowl) This might be the first week of school but not a big deal.

So I think I covered it. BCS makes money, stadiums are filled, and the fans are happy. Less people will be upset because:

If you win your conference you are in the playoff. If you lose your conference but play in a tough conference (i.e. Stanford) you still have a good chance of making the playoffs if you are highly ranked. At large teams have a legit shot at making the playoffs and wont always be the last ranked team. If your argument is the other bowl games become meaningless... aren't they already meaningless? They don't count towards a national title.

With this year's set up, both Oregon and Auburn have relatively easy passes into the semi-finals and other teams still get a shot.

What say you?

Stay classy,


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Poster Child

I try to keep a level head when discussing sports. I try not to be a homer. I am a Sooner bred and will be a Sooner dead, so I hope this does not come across as homerism:

Blake Griffin is the best rookie since Lebron and he might be better.

Feel free to put me in my place but I think this to be true. There is no doubt that he is the most exciting player to enter the league since Lebron. People tune into the Clippers for the first time in a LONG time just to see what he will do next. His in-game dunking is the best since vintage Vince Carter, and as my friend Josh says "Blake is better because he looks better doing it than Vince." Josh is a Texas fan... he hates the Sooners... but he claims Blake is his second favorite player in the league. Just like Kevin Durant is from Texas and is my favorite or 2nd favorite player.

Sure, he is an amazing dunker, his career highlights through 2 months of being a professional rival many of the top dunkers in the past 20 years, but does that make him a great player? Check out his numbers.

He has improved every month and is averaging over 21 pts and 12 rebounds per game. That is top 20 in the league and top 5 in rebounding. Only Kevin Love and Dwight Howard can say the same. He is better in both categories than some of the best in the league (see Pau Gasol). Did I mention that he is a rookie? By the way his December numbers: 22.4 and 13.5.

Other stats:
BG32 has 24 double doubles, which ties Dikembe Mutombo for the most double doubles in a rookie season before January 1st. (He also has 18 straight)

He leads the league in dunks with 71.
He is top 25 in FG%

Also, Lebron had less than 21 pts per game as a rookie. Just sayin....

The Clippers are relevant again, and it is because of Mr. Griffin.
Blake Griffin, making posters for kids across America... everyday.

Stay classy,


Thursday, December 16, 2010

NFL Power Rankings

First off, everyone needs to try this game that AJ put up. I scored a 57 out of 64, see if you can top that.

Second, there are only 3 weeks left in the NFL regular season, which means: A) The bookies definitely know what they are doing now, so just put your wallets away (Did you see how many backdoor covers there were last week?) and B) There is no better time to start my NFL Power Rankings!

So without further ado:

1) New England Patriots: I don't think there is much question that they deserve this spot.
Most of these rankings will be one-liners but Brady deserves some stat love.
Tom Brady has thrown 29 TD's and only 4 INT's. He hasn't thrown an INT since week 6 (but HAS thrown 19 TD's) when he threw two against the Ravens, his Kryptonite. His other two interceptions came at the Jets in week 2. In that game he forced the ball to Randy Moss with TEN targets, and Rex Ryan's defense made him pay for it. They have looked unstoppable in the past few weeks against those same Jets and in a blizzard against a tough Chicago defense. They have home field all but locked up and they look untouchable in Foxboro.

2) New Orleans Saints: Why rank them ahead of Atlanta? New Orleans has survived many injuries to stars this year (Greer, Bush, Thomas). They are only one game back of ATL and they would be ahead of them and in command for home field if it weren't for Garrett Hartley missing a chip shot in their head to head earlier this season. Plus, Matt Ryan looks good but is unproven in January, while Drew Brees looks good and is proven in February. I'll take the Saints.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers: I don't care how bad that O-line is, Big Ben likes to have sex in bathrooms and also happens to be a beast of a QB1. Oh their defense is pretty good too. However, they got stomped on by the Pats in Pitt AND I am worried about the health of Polamalu down the stretch. (There may be a huge gap between NE and the rest of the AFC).

4) Atlanta Falcons: They will be tough to beat with home field, but I don't trust their defense or Matt Ryan until I can see them win a playoff game.

5) Baltimore Ravens: Ray Lewis and Ed Reed scare me, but Joe Flacco doesn't. I still think they have the best shot of knocking off the Pats, their defense always looks good against Tommy.

6) Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Vick and Desean Jackson scare me, but their defense has had some big injuries. Not sure they can play January football, but anything can happen if you put him in a game in Atlanta. THAT would be must see TV.

7) Chicago Bears: This team proved they can't play in the elements and they may have to with a divisional home playoff game. Their defense is good enough for this ranking. Julius Peppers can change a game by himself.

T-8) NY Giants and NY Jets: Both teams are too up and down for me. Jets have been flat as of late and won't have the aide of their strength and conditioning coach for the rest of the season, which concerns me. Giants have too many injuries and I am worried Brandon Jacobs won't be able to find his helmet for the playoff game.

10) Indianapolis Colts: Watch out for Peyton! Just when you counted him out. They are getting a bit healthier. Pierre looks like a WR again. They can make a run in the playoffs iffff......

11) Jacksonville Jaguars: MJD doesn't carry his team to a division title, which he can. I don't think this team can win two games in the playoffs, but they could win one, as long it's not the 2nd place AFC North team. It's funny that this team was desperate for a QB early in the season.

12) Green Bay Packers: Explosive at times, but they probably don't even make the playoffs. They picked the wrong time to lose their Pro Bowl QB and play the Patriots on the road. FlashOpinion: Isn't point differential the worst stat? +117 and might not make the playoffs. Jacksonville has a -36, but they WIN when they have to.

13) San Diego Chargers: Definitely better than Kansas City, with or without Matt Cassel. But too little too late. Antonio Gates where are you!

14) Kansas City Chiefs: See above. As Bill Simmons says, "I can't wait to bet against this team in the playoffs!"

15) St. Louis Rams: SAAAAAMMMMMYYYYYY! I rank them ahead of Tampa Bay because the Rams dominated that game. Damn you Josh Freeman! Sam Bradford has some pretty stellar numbers for a rookie QB.

16) Tampa Bay Bucs: Another team bitten by the injury bug. Another reason they are below the Rams.

17) Houston Texans: How is Gary Kubiak still employed? This team is loaded with talent on offense and the front 7 on defense. Yes their secondary is awful, but with their other strengths they should have more than 5 wins.

18) Oakland Raiders: If Al Davis was alive... I think he would be quite proud of this team.

19) Seattle Seahawks: Awful on the road. Either the Hawks or St. Louis will have a tough time against the wildcard team in the NFC. If Karma exists, then Pete Carroll's team should not make the playoffs.

20) Miami Dolphins: One name: Chad Henne. Run the wildcat every down and you at least have a chance. How does team have a winning record?

21) Dallas Cowboys: Well Jason Garrett has a job for 2011, I just don't know if that makes me happy or furious.

22) Minnesota Vikings: If Adrian Peterson doesn't get 40 carries with some guy named "Webb" at QB, then Brad Childress should be fired! Oh wait.... Fire him again!

23) San Francisco 49ers: Hey San Francisco! I think he has played well enough... yes, that is right, 2011 will be the year of Alex Smith!

24) Washington Redskins: Is there any doubt that McNabb is traded or cut in the offseason?

25) Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy will eventually lead this team to the playoffs. It may be in 2015, but it will happen eventually. Don't worry Cleveland we still love you, even if Lebron doesn't.

26) Detroit Lions: Talk about bad luck. Will Stafford ever stay healthy? With any semblance of a QB, this team is close to .500. Instead they are the best 3-10 team in a long time.

27) Tennessee Titans: Randy Moss is a cancer (apologies to Charlie Villenueva). Oh and Jeff Fisher... you lost your team awhile ago.

28) Denver Broncos: I want Tebow to start so everyone can see how bad he is (sorry AJ).

29) Buffalo Bills: I'd rank them higher, but they play some games in Canada... so I didn't even remember they qualified for these rankings until now.

30) Arizona Cardinals: It is a bad omen when your QB's name closely resembles something associated with death.

31) Cincinnati Bengals: I just ran back a Carson Palmer interception for six. Can we nickname him "King TAINT?"

32) Carolina Panthers: If the Victoria Secret Angels were dancing in the Panthers End Zone I might watch this team play. Oh wait, they don't score, so I wouldn't even see the Angels. So ya, you couldn't pay me to watch this team. Just over one offensive TD a game.... beyond bad.

That's all for now. Stay Classy,


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trivia Time: QBs and their Alma Maters

This is one of those trivia questions that requires three things: 1) time, 2) pen/paper, and 3) no peeking.

Name the 32 NFL teams, name the 32 quarterbacks who took those teams' first snaps on Week 1, and name where each of those 32 quarterbacks played college football.

Hopefully you can get the 32 teams on your own. See how many out of 64 you can get - 32 quarterbacks, 32 colleges. I'll post the answers on Friday.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ups, The Downs, And The Insanity of Fantasy Football

I introduce to you: Fantasy Football Team A.

The starting quarterback was not drafted by the team owner. In fact, the starting quarterback was not drafted at all in this 12-team, 16-round keeper-style league.

The top running back was this team's first-round pick and only keeper. This running back, averaging just over 10 points per game, has recorded the 16th-most points at his position.

None of the other four running backs on FFTA's roster were drafted. In fact, none of them were starting running backs when the season began, and only two of those four have since started any games.

Six wide receivers are on the roster. The highest-rated one has scored the 23rd-most points at his position.

The tight end is actually third-rated at his position, but was just added to the roster two weeks ago via trade.

This team was among the first to draft a defense, one that scored the third-most points among defenses during the 2009 season. Amidst multiple disappointing efforts, this defense was dropped after six weeks, and FFTA's defense has been a rotating effort.

This team drafted a kicker in the final round who scored the fifth-most points among 2009 kickers. Due to lack of opportunities, he was dropped after six weeks, and FFTA's kicker has been a rotating effort.

The team's Week 1 quarterback, a third-round pick and the No. 6-best QB in 2009, completed five games in 2010 before getting hurt, and has not played since.

The team's Week 1 tight end, a fifth-round pick and second-best TE in 2009, completed five games in 2010 before getting hurt, and is on injured reserve.

The team's fourth-round pick, a running back, has scored two touchdowns this year. He is the 47th-best RB and is no longer on FFTA.

The team's eighth-round pick, a wide receiver, has had three catches since the end of week 1. He is no longer on FFTA.

The team's ninth-round pick, a running back, was ruled out for the season before week 1.

The team has made 29 acquisitions, second-most in the 12-man league.

And finally, of the team's 16 draft picks, only three have been on the roster from Week 1 until now.

Three. Out. Of. Sixteen.

I introduce to you: Fantasy Football Team B.

This team plays in an 8-man league, and the roster alignment is the same as FFTA's league, except 2 quarterbacks play instead of one.

The team's No. 1 quarterback was the top-scoring QB in 2009, and is the top-scoring QB in 2010. This team also owns the 10th-, 13th- and 21st-best quarterbacks, and No. 21 missed the first four games of the season.

The team owns four of the 11 highest-scoring running backs in the league.

The team owns four of the 17 highest-scoring wide receivers in the league.

The team's tight end situation has been fluid, with its original tight end going on injured reserve. But FFTB simply went to free agency to pick up the same tight end that FFTA traded for - the tight end who is third-best among TEs.

The team drafted a defense in the last round. This defense has started every game (except the bye week), and is the third-best defense in fantasy football.

The team has made 13 acquisitions, second-least in the 8-man league.

And finally, ten of the team's first 12 draft choices have been on the roster from Week 1 until now.


One final comparison:
FFTA has scored 1111.3 points - 8th out of 12 teams in a multi-year keeper league.
FFTB has scored 1482 points - 1st out of 8 teams in a league thrown together in late August with a few experienced players and a few inexperienced players.



Which team is more successful? Team A or Team B?

Team B, of course. Not much of a debate, right?


Men Your Men Could Smell Like (Team A) has 8 wins, 4 losses, and clinched the division title last week. Team A will receive a bye and has advanced to the semifinals in Week 15.

West Davenport Donkeys (Team B) has 6 wins, 6 losses, and with one loss in its final two games risks missing the 4-team playoff.

I rest my case.

Fantasy football is hella fun, but boy, does the game defy logic.