Friday, September 25, 2009

Way Too Early CBB Top 25

Bleacher Report is preparing to put out a comprehensive College Basketball preview. I'm writing about Northwestern and Indiana, and part of the job is to vote on the Top 25 preseason rankings... in September. Here's how I voted.

1. North Carolina - They won last year. Yeah, they lost most of their veteran scoring, but they are the defending champs. And Ed Davis is goanna be awesome.

2. Purdue - Awesome depth. JaJuan Johnson is about to make The Leap, and if Hummel can stay healthy they are easily the team to beat in the Big Ten.

3. Kansas - Ton of returning talent.

4. Texas - see above.

5. Michigan State - last year's runner-ups have great skill at guard and in the frontcourt.

6. Villanova
7. UConn
8. West Virginia
9. Duke
10. Kentucky

For much of these rankings I just rode the strength of a program and the talent of their coach. A great coach in college is a Big Deal.

11. Washington
12. Tennessee
13. Syracuse
14. Minnesota
15. Georgia Tech
16. Michigan
17. Siena
18. Louisville
19. Illinois
20. Butler
21. UCLA
22. Mississippi State
23. Ohio State
24. Clemson
25. Gonzaga

So yeah, that's it. I will certainly make some edits and changes as more information comes out.

Weekend Watch/Wagers 09/25/09

Welcome back to the watch. The watch will actually not be watching much of the games on Saturday because I, with fellow A.C.S.S. writers Fodor, Shark, and Derek (though with a different group) will be descending on Ann Arbor to cheer on our beloved Hoosiers in the Big House against the Wolverines! I feel a repeat of Ap State. Ok, maybe I agree with my Dad who took Michigan and gave the 21 points to IU. His wager, just like mine for this weekend, were legally bought in Las Vegas. I’ve had fight songs stuck in my head all day so I think I’m sufficiently pumped. On to the Watch!

Friday 09/25/09

Missouri at Nevada

I think Mizzou is going to roll, but I love seeing power conferences go to lesser conferences for away games. It shows the school has no fear and money isn’t the main goal of everything.

Who I think is going to Win: Mizzou
Who I want to win: Mizzou

Australian Rules Football! 10:30 ESPN Classic

I know, who watches it, just turn it on and enjoy, it’s like rugby, football, basketball, rolled into 1 and jumping on guys backs is legal and encouraged. Just watch it, for me.

Who I want to Win: St Kilda
Who I think will Win: Geelong

Saturday 09/26/09

Gameday 10 AM ET ESPN, State College, PA
Corso and Co descend on Happy Valley to hype up the Iowa vs Penn St game where PSU looks to avenge the loss from last years

Who do I think Corso will pick: Penn St.

Who do I want Corso to pick: Sorry Colin and Anne, but PSU needs this more then Iowa, so PSU.

10 AM – 4 PM Ann Arbor

The watch will be taking the crap from the maize and blue as he proudly rocks his Ray Fisher jersey (which was formerly a Benjarvis GreenEllis jersey). We plan to arrive at the Big House at 10, bust out Tim’s grill where we will be making Eggs, Bacon, Sausage breakfast sandwiches. We got a regulation size pong table where some drinking games will take place. Then we will descend on the Big House and watch IU destroy (maybe not) Michigan.

Who I want to win: HOOSIERS!
Who I think will win: Go Blue!

Iowa at Penn State 7 ET ABC

A big ten show down that could pave the way to a Big Ten Title for either team. Iowa has won 6 of the last 7, including their last few visits to happy value. Joe Pa says there is no such thing as revenge, Iowa just plain beat them last year. I still think Penn State’s players are thinking about it, and are going to roll.

Who I want to win: Again sorry Colin and Anne, But PSU needs this more PSU
Who I think will win: WE ARE…..PENN STATE

Notre Dame vs Purdue ESPN 7 ET

Notre Dame has to win this game (and preferrably big) if they want to continue to claim that they are back. Purdue needs to bounce back from an embarrassing home loss to Northern Illinois. Because of these circumstances, and the fact both teams love passing, this should be a good game to watch.

Who I want to win: Notre Dame
Who I think will win: Notre Dame

Texas Tech vs Houston ESPN2 8:15 ET

Will Houston prove to be legit? I sure hope so, this should be a high scoring shootout and should be a pleasure to watch.

Who I want to win: Houston
Who I think will win: Houston

Wager Washington State at Southern Cal

Wazzu is getting 45 points. That’s a lot of points and So Cal has not looked that good on offense. Granted So Cal is coming off the loss and could be pissed and take it out on Wazzu. I sure hope not, hey Wazzu only lost to Stanford by 26. Wait why am I doing this again? Anyways be sure to look for my friend Kelly in the stands as I pray for a close game.

Sunday 09/27/09

Wager: Green Bay vs St Louis 1 PM ET

St Louis has 1 touchdown this season, so I took the Packers and gave the 6.5. I’m feeling good cause the Rams are bad, but I hope they win and I lose money. We will see if it happens

Wager: New Orelans vs Buffalo 4:05

I took over 52 points in this game. New Orleans is averaging 46.5 points a game, they could basically do this by themselves. Buffalo actually has a pretty good offense and could put some points of their own. It’s in Buffalo, but the weather should be nice so points should be a coming.

BEARS at Seattle 4:05

The Bears travel to the great northwest to take on Hasselbackless Seahawks team. I think the Bears should take care of business easily and prove to TJ that he made the wrong choice of team this off season.

Who I want to win: Bears
Who I think will win: Bears

Wager Colts at Cards

My last wager of the weekend I took the Colts +2.5 over the Cards. Cards had a great week with Warner setting an NFL record for completion percentage, however, Manning under the bright lights (of the regularly season) plays well and I think he leads his team to a victory. I am afraid the Colts defense will come up flat after being on the field for 45+ minutes last game.

Top Chef Power Rankings (09/23/09)

Top Chef had a fun episode yesterday bringing Penn and Teller on to show a little misdirection with their magic tricks and then deconstructed the magic, which was then used as the theme, deconstruction of dishes. Most chef’s did well, others did poorly, here’s how it fell out.

Top Shelf

Kevin “Red Beard” Gillespie

I was actually surprised to see Red Beard won this challenge, he made a solid dish, but I thought there was another dish that was better and embodied the challenge better. Needless to say he got his 2nd win and a solid quickfire puts him back into the top spot.

Bryan Voltaggio

I thought his dish was the sure winner. His Cesar salad looked tasty, had a little trick to it with the dressing. It embodied the deconstruction challenge the best with have all the multiple pieces laid out which would all come together when you bite into it. Some how the judges disagree. He probably would have maintained the top spot despite Red Beards win if he had a better finish in the quick fire. He had a bottom 3 finish with his white and black dessert. So he just barely slips out of the top spot.

Michael Voltaggio

Michael had a solid night, he did not finish in the top 4 (which is probably why Bryan didn’t win) but is still clearly one of the top chef’s on the show.

Jennifer Carroll

The perfectionist who was running around and very disappointed with her self the entire episode made it to the top 4 with her gigantic steak with lasagna around it (yes it was actually meat lasagna). I was considering moving her up for that she didn’t put in what she felt was her best effort and was still better then most of the chefs. The only reason I didn’t, is being frazzled and rushing around in the show is never a good thing, even if it produces top dishes.

Best of the Rest

Eli Krishtein

Eli has honestly been the most consistent performer of the competition. He’s almost always right in the middle. He has never hit the chopping block, and has made the finals of a couple challenges and quickfire’s including this episode. He can maintain the level for a few more weeks, but if he wants to make the top 4, he will need to start making the top more consistently. I liked his ghetto blue taped pressure cooker that blew up. After seeing all the previews I was certain this was going to be a bigger deal during the show. His “bulls testicles” were a surprise hit, and led to some funny commentary by Padma, who said she’s had bulls testicles before. I wonder what other.. cough cough cough sorry don’t know what happened there moving on.

Ashley Merriman

After her second straight top finish this Ashley becomes our biggest mover of the week jumps to best of the rest status. Just think 2 weeks ago I had her on the chopping block, just shows what a couple of top finishes can do. She has performed well and deserves to be up here, but she could fall from grace quickly if she has a bad dish. She still has some work to do but if she keep making the top 4 she will keep moving up.

Could Go Either Way

Michael Isabella

Besides remembering Mattin and talking trash about Robin, he was basically a non factor this episode. So leaving him here seems about right

Middle of the Pack

Ash Fulk

His second bottom finish moves him towards the bottom. I’m not quite ready to put him on the chopping block because I think this was more luck of the draw as much of anything else for Ash. Yes he screwed up his potatoes which basically killed his Sheppard’s Pie. But talk about bad circumstances. The only Sheppard’s Pie he ever had was his own, and it was his luck that the very British Toby made his triumphant return this week and knows his Sheppard’s Pie. I think he is still a solid contender and that’s why he avoids the block

Chopping Block

Laurine Wicket

A week after having a top performance she is back in the bottom. She again barely staved off elimination (is that like her 3rd or 4th time she barely made it through). She needs to get wins if she wants to keep moving on.

Robin Leventhal

Even though I think she’s a better cook the Laurine I think she’s the next to go. She’s scattered brained and has produces some very poor dishes. But more importantly then that, Bravo now let her talk about her cancer story so the producers are ok with letting her go. So unless she wins another quick fire to get herself immunity, I think she’s the next to go.