Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Iowa For Real? Big Ten Power Rankings

Big victory tonight for the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, as they defeated Michigan 30-28 on a final minute interception of Denard "Shoelace" Robinson. Kirk Ferentz, Ricky Stanzi, and crew are now 6-0 (2-0 in conference) and are the Big Ten's sole unbeaten team. This is the same team that squeaked by Northern Iowa 17-16 in the season opener.

Without further ado, my Big Ten (Week Six) Power Rankings:

1. Iowa - They're unbeaten. They've played good teams in Penn State and Michigan, and major conference opponents in their early schedule, defeating Arizona and Iowa State. The Wildcats and Cyclones aren't exactly good this year, but they're not Temple and Eastern Illinois, either (*cough JoePa cough*).

I have been blown away by the play of junior DT Adrian Clayborn, he of the blocked punt-and-TD run against Penn State.

Huge road tests coming up the next two weeks at Madison and East Lansing. If they survive, they're the front runner for the automatic BCS bid. My bet is they don't, and settle for a nice Rose Bowl berth.

2. Ohio State - Terrelle Pryor has to be the best individual player in the conference. The Bucks handled Wisconsin with ease today. Ohio State has playmakers on offense (Pryor, Dane Salzenbacher, B. Saine) and defense (Bryan Rolle looks like a first rounder). At 5-1, with an unblemished 3-0 conference record, OSU is one miracle Matt Barkley drive away from being a top three team nationally.

Side note: I really dislike Matt Barkley.

Anyway, their remaining road games include a date next week at Purdue, then huge November games against Penn State and perennial rival Michigan. They get Minny at home, a freebie against New Mexico State, and then what is shaping up to be the Game of the Season, November 14 against Iowa at the Horseshoe. Ohio State can easily keep themselves in the BCS conversation if they keep playing like they have been.

3. Penn State - Mostly here by virtue of their #14 national ranking. The good includes a solid defense that has only yielded fifty points all season (seventeen of those to the Fighing Illini last week). The bad includes their soft schedule, with only Syracuse posing an out-of-conference challenge, and Daryll Clark's inability to stand up under pressure.

In that respect, he reminds me of the Titans' Vince Young - great in comfortable wins, freaks out when things go wrong. Definitely not Texas' VY, I'm talking about the pro version here. Not a good sign when you still have to play half of the Big Ten on the road in the second half of the season.

At least one of Michigan, Northwestern, or Michigan State will upset PSU on the road. And Ohio State will probably beat them in Happy Valley, too. That's three losses and a trip to the Outback Bowl, in my mind.

4. Minnesota - If T. Pryor isn't the Big Ten's best player, Gopher WR Eric Decker might be. A supremely talented athlete, he has been a stud at wideout for a long time in Minneapolis. Just get him the ball, and Minnesota has a shot in any given game.

But on the downside, this team got beat by a Cal squad that's looking worse and worse as the season goes on, and let Wisconsin get away with Paul Bunyan's Axe at home. Standing 4-2 (2-1) after six weeks, I forsee at least two more losses for the Golden Gophers. They've got road games against Penn State and Ohio State the next two weeks. 'Nuff said. If they get home 1-1 from that stretch, we can take them a little bit more seriously.

5. Wisconsin - I was wrong about Brett Bielma. Coming into the season, I thought he would be on the hot seat by now. Well, a 5-1 record (2-1 B10) with good wins against Michigan State and at Minnesota pretty much puts that to rest. John Clay reminds me an awful lot of Ron Dayne, and the power running game reminds me an awful lot of Barry Alvarez.

But the Badgers were overmatched and outplayed today at Ohio State, and must bounce back next week against Iowa, which will probably land in the Top Ten nationally coming into the game. An upset on the road would legitimize their season. A loss puts them about where they belong - squarely in the middle of the pack.

6. Michigan - Explosive, mistake-prone offense. Defense that allowed Indiana to roll up 476 yards. They've got a 4-2 record, but are 1-2 in the Big Ten and on the outside looking in to the championship conversation.

On the bright side, a bowl bid would be a nice step in Rich Rod's rebuilding project. And with Illinois, Purdue, and Delaware State on the menu, seven wins is well within reach.

7. Michigan State - They have shown a lot of grit coming back from a 1-3 start to land at .500, and they boast a 2-1 Big Ten record. I'm still not sold, but next week's home game against Northwestern means a whole lot for both teams. Sparty and Willie Wildcat are going to be scrapping for the league's final bowl bid, and the winner on the Seventeenth in East Lansing will have a major advantage.

8. Northwestern - Simply put, NU hasn't beaten anybody yet. They got hosed by the officials at Syracuse, and couldn't come back against Minnesota at home. Wins against Purdue, Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, and Towson aren't going to win you any style points at season's end.

See above for significance of next week's game. A win gets you to five, with a winning Big Ten record. Also, they get Indiana at home for Homecoming (surprise, surprise - see IU section), and a road date at scuffling Illinois. Just three wins gets Pat Fitzgerald's Cats to 7, and a bowl bid. But they're going to have to step up, especially on defense, and play like they are capable of doing.

9. Purdue - 1-5 (0-2 B10). Games coming up against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan. Basically the best they can hope for is a couple more wins against their fellow Big Ten bottom feeders, and frankly I doubt they're going to get them. They're here by virtue of hanging tough against Notre Dame, Oregon, and Northwestern. But I wouldn't be shocked if they finish below ninth in the league.

10. Indiana - Hoosiers fans have it rough. Every year, it seems like Indiana starts strong, then shows its true colors as the season progresses. It's hard to get a bandwagon started when you let Al Freakin Groh (?!?!) shoot your tires off 47-7.

Indiana has looked awful now for two straight weeks following their mugging by the officials at the Big House, and the best hope is that redshirt frosh Darius Willis can get healthy and make some more big plays. The defense isn't awful, but they aren't good either. Ben Chappell would look better at a MAC school. The wideouts are talented yet inconsistent. The coaching staff... let's not go there. Bill Lynch couldn't win at Ball State, and this is year three of his B-Town tenure. Let the Tuberville Watch begin. Next week is an absolute must win, with sad-sack Illinois coming to town for Homecoming.

Speaking of Homecoming, Indiana has served so far as patsy for two HC's (at Michigan, at Virginia), and has at least one more coming up in Evanston. You never want to be the team everyone wants to schedule for Homecoming. Again, where are you Tommy T??

11. Illinois - This team was ranked preseason? Hahahahahaha... ahahahahaa..... hah. Apparently neither quarterback can start, Arrellious Benn doesn't want to be a NFL wideout, and defense? Oh no. The Chief is 1-5, and Ron Zook looks like a goner. On the upside, I still think he's a better coach than Bill Lynch.

Have I mentioned that Larry Coker is starting a I-AA football program at UT- San Antonio, while these guys have BCS jobs? Tell me again why Big Ten schools can't pull coaching talent from the South, because there are a ton of unemployed guys (and underemployed guys) down there.

Wrapping it up
, this is not a "down year" for the Big Ten. The conference will field at least six worthy bowl teams, and has eight that can contend in December if not January. There's still a lot of season left, but a few more losses at the top and a single BCS bid could easily put the Eleven in line for a very good bowl season.

Week 5 Predictions

Cleveland @ Buffalo: Buffalo 27-24.
Pittsburgh @ Detroit: Pittsburgh 31-13.
Dallas @ Kansas City: Dallas 41-20.
Minnesota @ St. Louis: Minnesota 21-17.
Oakland @ Giants: Giants 34-10.
Tampa @ Philly: Philly 31-21.
Washington @ Carolina: Carolina 21-17.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore: Baltimore 34-17.
Atlanta @ San Francisco: San Francisco 21-17.
New England @ Denver: New England 24-16.
Houston @ Arizona: Houston 34-24.
Jacksonville @ Seattle: Jacksonville 24-21.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee: Indianapolis 28-17.
New York Jets @ Miami: Miami 20-16.

Last Weeks Record: 9-5

Fodors Record Last Week: 9-4 (Didn't make a prediction on the Redskins Bucs game, if you had one, and are honest about it, I'll count it)

My Overall Record: 16-14

Fodor's Overall Record: 19-10

Week 5 Defensive League Power Rankings

I decided to post the power rankings for our defensive league.

1. AJ aka Merriman's Roid Rage (3-1):

Last week he defeated the only undefeated team. He started slow week one, where The U! got the first of victory between the two, but he's been hot since than as he has overtaken The U! for the top spot.

2. Fodor aka The U! (3-1):

Started off 3-0, but lost last week to AJ. Fodor has scored the most points in the league, averaging almost 80 points a week. A very difficult matchup for anyone, and may actually be the best team in the league.

3. Me aka Bearin' Down (2-2):

Hasn't been that impressive this year, as my only two victories have come against Steve. With that being said, I fully expect to win this week jumping to 3-2 as I drop Fodor.

4. Steve aka Forte-Six Defense (0-4):

Could be better than his record shows but he sometimes forgets to remove players that are injured or on Bye weeks. As a result, he has posted a pathetic 0-4 record and, thus far, has been the bitch of the league.

Week 5 Power Rankings

1. New York Giants 4-0

Best record in the NFC last year, Superbowl Champions two years ago, and the best record in the NFC this year. They are playing dominating football right now.

2. Indianapolis Colts 4-0

Peyton Manning has been beyond impressive this year. They look like the class of the AFC.

3. New Orleans Saints 4-0

They showed that they can win a defensive battle last week, and they did it versus another undefeated team. A strong running game by Pierre Thomas adds another dimension to this offense.

4. Minnesota Vikings 4-0

This team is the most overrated team in the league right now. Somehow they are supposed to have a great defense meanwhile the Packers threw for nearly 400 yards. They're defense is clearly one dimensional, and I still am not a believer in Favre at 40.

5. Denver Broncos 4-0

Once they lose this week, they are going to drop significantly in my power rankings. They aren't good. If they play the Cowboys 10 times this year they go 3-7, and the Cowboys are an average team.

6. Chicago Bears 3-1

A perfect time to have their bye week: Matt Forte and Pisa Tinoisomoa will have time to get heatlhy (in Forte's case he'll have time to get even healthier). They're defense has been looking good without Urlacher, and if Forte and the running game get going, they are going to be REALLY hard to beat.

7. Baltimore Ravens 3-1

A couple of cheap penalty calls by the refs from being 4-0. Tom Brady is a bitch.

8. New York Jets 3-1

They played a solid game against the Saints even though Mark Sanchez turned the ball over like it was his day job.

9. New England Patriots 3-1

They are not above the Ravens because they won on bitch calls, because Tom Brady is a bitch. This team really should be 1-3 (should have lost to the Ravens, and should have lost to the Bills). They aren't that good.

10. 49ers 3-1

They obliterated the worst team in the NFL.

11. Cincinnatti Bengals 3-1

I don't believe in this team. I think they are the third best team in their division.

12. Steelers 2-2

Last year's superbowl champions have been far from impressive this year. They nearly blew a game which was looking like a blow out.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-2

They have been playing well over their last two games.

14. Atlanta 2-1

Their only loss was to the Patriots and they have looked like the team they were last year, however, the teams they have their wins against are a combined 1-6. The real test will come over the next three weeks: 49ers, Bears, and Cowboys.

15. Eagles 2-1

Although the Saints made them look ridiculous, however, they still have a winning record, and the next three teams they play, the Bucs, Raiders, and Redskins, should be wins.

16. Chargers 2-2

I think they are going to win their division, and their next game is against the Broncos in two weeks, so they may be in first place by then.

17. Green Bay 2-2

They nearly came back to tie the Vikings in Minnesota. They have a bye week this week then they play the Lions and Browns, which should be two easy wins. They are still the one of the more overrated teams in the NFC, I don't know why ESPN jumped on their bandwagon... oh wait, yes I do! ESPN is ridiculously dumb.

18. Houston 2-2

This is a team that might be able to sneak into the playoffs, and their next three games will tell us a lot. They play the Cardinals, Bengals, and 49ers. If they manage to win all of the games, they'll go to the playoffs, if they win two, they'll have a shot, if they lose two or more then no playoffs this year.

19. Dallas 2-2

They lost in Denver because Tony Romo is not that good. He kept overthrowing his WR's, which cost me a game in fantasy. Looks like another case of ESPN claiming that someone is the next great thing, and being totally wrong.

20. Arizona 1-2

They need a strong week this week against the Texans. Unfortunately, I think they are going to lose.

21. Seahawks 1-3

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. They've played some tough teams: Bears, Colts, and 49ers. And in all of those loses they've played without Matt Hasselbeck for at least part of the game. However, their next three games don't provide much of a break for them: Jacksonville, Cardinals, and Cowboys.

22. Redskins 2-2

I'm a little hesitant to put them this high. However, they do have two wins. Although those two wins were against two of the worst teams in the league (Bucs and Rams) and they beat those two teams by a combined 5 points. Jim Zorn is on the verge of losing his job.

23. Detroit 1-3

They lost 48-24 against the Bears, getting completely shut down in the second half. However, they looked good in the first half, and they have some talent on their offense. Not to mention, their three loses are against the Vikings, Bears, and Saints, and they play in the hardest division in the NFL. Yes, I said it.

24. Miami 1-3

They laid a beat down on fellow 1-3 team Buffalo last week. Ronnie Brown has been much improved this year, however, Henne has looked like crap. I wonder how long until we see Thigpen.

25. Buffalo 1-3

They looked like crap last week, however, they could be 2-2 if they didn't blow that game against the Patriots. They also didn't look like crap when they lost to New Orleans. This team may have some potential, but who really believes Dick Jauron is the coach that will bring that out?

26. Oakland 1-3

JaMarcus Russell has been crap. I don't know why he was the number 1 overall pick, I think everyone knew he had no chance to be successful in this league. He sucks, and will continue to suck. Until Oakland realizes this, they too will continue to suck.

27. Tennessee 0-4

The best record in the NFL last year has already lost more games this year than they did last year. While they are far more talented than a winless team, they aren't that good, and I called it; as I'm sure others did as well.

28. Kansas City 0-4

Trading for Matt Cassell was ridiculously dumb. Trading away Thigpen was ridiculously dumb. This team needs to have a few great drafts to get back to the top of their division, which is by far the worst division in the NFL.

29. Carolina 0-3

They are this high because they don't have 4 losses. Jake Delhomme suddenly got struck with the Ican'tmakeaplaytosavemylife-itis. Lets hope he gets cured from that this week and Steve Smith has 150 yards 2 tds (he is on my fantasy team).

30. Tampa Bay 0-4

They're bad, but I think they are better than the two teams below them in these rankings.

31. Cleveland 0-4

They get moved up this week because Derek Anderson got to play and they scored TD's. Meanwhile...

32. St. Louis 0-4

They got shut out for their second time this year. They are averaging 6 points a game while allowing 27. They are bad, and they might go 0-16. But I will wait til week 10 before making any such prediction.

Hoosiers Halftime

I'm watching Indiana-Virginia on, which would be a lot cooler if IU wasn't down 30-0 at the start of the third quarter.

The announcers have so far talked about baseball's Slaughter Rule (why can't we keep the clock running?), and also how tired the Hoosiers defense looks.

Al Groh is pacing the sidelines with a look on his face like "aw man, I don't want to get fired, but we are really whipping these guys! can we put in the second stringers yet?"

When Groh is worried about making you look bad, you might need a new head coach.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Indiana Hoosiers!

UPDATE: Down 37-0, but Terence Turner just made an awesome flying one-handed catch. Darius Willis was out for this game. Ben Chappell looks bad. Really bad. Turner had to rotate backwards across his body to make his grab, which was really amazing. And we've gotten two holding penalties on this "drive" already.

This team drives me nuts. Great talent at wide receiver, a defense that should be good, four capable running backs and a veteran offensive line. How is IU this bad? How?

Announcers on Doss: "Well, great play. He just.... finds an empty hole... squats in it..." ::awkward silence:: "and Virginia fans are getting restless."

UPDATE: Just missed a field goal. Still a shutout. Why were we kicking a field goal down 37-0, again? That sounds like something The Sweater Vest would do if he was ever down by 37, which he never is.

NFL's Defensive POY: First Quarter Report

Here at Armchair Superstar, we are uniquely qualified to give the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Award.

You see, we have a little fantasy league called Defense Wins Championships, wherein myself, Snuffles, Ryan, and August all start teams of entirely defensive players. Yeah, we're all going to make the playoffs. But this league has made us all experts in great defensive play. Especially me.

So, without further ado, I'd like to present the Armchair Superstar Sean Taylor Memorial First Quarter Defensive Player of the Year Awards!

Best Safety: Darren Sharper, New Orleans. Even at age 33, Sharper is turning in quarter-season for the ages. 5 INT, 5 Passes Defensed, .5 Sack, 2 TD

Best Cornerback: Charles Woodson, Green Bay. Somebody tell me where the NFL's DB's are stashing their fountain of youth. 3 INT, 3 PD, TD

Best LB: Patrick Willis, San Francisco. My top player in fantasy, Willis is making Coach Singletary proud. 29 tackles, 2.5 sack, 2 INT, 2 PD, TD.

Best DE: Jared Allen, Minnesota. What a beast. Wow. 6.5 sack, 3 fumbles forced, safety, 14 tackles.

Honorable Mentions: Denver's Elvis Dumervil, David Harris of the New York Jets.

AAAAAAAND... the First Quarter Defensive POY? Darren Sharper! Please contact us at ACSS Headquarters to claim your prize package.

College Football Saturdays: Why Fall is Awesome

I optimistically set my alarm for 11:30 today, with high hopes of waking up bright and (relatively) early to catch an entire beautiful day of sitting inside and watching the NCAA show off its most famous product. That's right, a full day of watching NU's Wilbon on PTI!


Anyway, it's a pretty good slate of football today. Lucky for me, the early games weren't all that great. Michigan State took down Illinois, Penn State crushed another cupcake (Eastern Illinois? Really?), Minnesota beat Purdue, and Northwestern handled Miami (Ohio) 16-6.

I care about the NU game a lot more than the other ones, obviously, so let's talk about the Wildcats a little bit in what I hope is the first of several CFB posts today. (that's right, stay tuned, Armchair Superstar fan(s)!)

I had some seriously high hopes for Northwestern this year. Blessed with an experienced defense, especially in the secondary and defensive line, and featuring the kind of offense that has always adjusted well to losing stars (Basanez, Tyrell Sutton, Damien Anderson), it looked like Pat Fitzgerald was in good shape to make a run at a warm-weather bowl.

Mike Kafka ran for over 200 yards against Minnesota last year, Stephen Simmons played well in replacement of Sutton, and Corey Wootton looked like the Next Big Thing, maybe even following the footsteps of Napoleon Harris and Luis Castillo into the first round of the NFL draft.

I mean, it's not like NU has been terrible. They stand 4-2 (1-1) with a fluky loss at Syracuse and a not quite so close loss to Minnesota. But this is not a dark horse Big Ten title contender, by any means. The offense has been bad running the football (except Kafka), the new wideouts are just now showing that they can replace last year's lost production, and that defense has looked much softer than last season's unit.

Holding Miami(Ohio) to just six points is a good sign for the D, as is getting senior safety Brad Phillips back from injury. But let's be honest. The RedHawks are really terrible this year. And the 'Cats offense, even with Simmons back from injury, only mustered three scoring drives all game. Not a good sign heading into the meat of the Big Ten schedule.

Next week's road date is at Michigan State. Normally, this would be the time of season when Sparty starts shooting himself in the foot and crushing high bowl hopes, but this year seems to be going differently, and I'm pretty worried for Fitzgerald's Cats.

On the upside, they get Indiana at home afterwards, and IU is not very good at winning games, anywhere, against anyone.

Updates to come on the Hoosiers' tilt at Virginia (currently: Down 14-0. That sounds about right), as well as Wisconsin-Ohio State (which I'm watching now) and all the games around the country. I love college football!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top Chef Power Rankings (10/07/09)

Another exciting episode of Top Chef last night as the chefs were foreced to cook in the small confines of thier own house. Most of the chefs rose to the challange, but some did not, here's how it all shook out.

Top Shelf

Kevin “Red Beard” Gillespie

Red Beard has had a pretty solid run of competition’s. Win elimination challenge, win quick fire, created top dish in elimination challenge. That string of good performances keeps him in the top spot. Winning the quick fire he had the easiest choice, 15K of immunity? He hasn’t been in the bottom yet, there is no chance he was getting cut, so take the money and run.

Bryan Voltaggio

I think Bryan is starting to pull away from his brother in terms of talent and concepts. He had a good night himself, finishing in the top 2, and didn’t have the benefit of working with another top contender like Jen and Kevin did. The dish turned out well and he’s still confident in his dish.

Jennifer Carroll

Jen was sick during last night’s episode performed very well. She even commented maybe she should be sick more often. She followed up a sub par quick fire with the top dish and won the round (10K to Macy’s). She has consistently been a top performer and her win last moved her up to 3 after being in the 4th spot for a long time.

Michael Voltaggio

Michael had a little difficulty last night. He had some problems with fuses and with cooking his fish so the fish didn’t cook properly. I think the over all dish was still not a top dish as compared to the three chefs in front of him. As soon as the chopping block was between him and Ashley, it was clear that Ashley was going home, there was no way they were sending Michael home on his first trip to the block. Even with his trip to the bottom, I have him penciled in the final 4.

Best of the Rest

Michael Isabella

Michael had a top 3 quick fire and did a solid job cooking in the elimination challenge. I think he was being over the top dramatic with working with Robin, but the bottom line, he produced results. He is our biggest mover of the week.

Middle of the pack

Eli Krishtein

Made a trip to the bottom 4 but avoided most the criticism letting Ashley’s cooking of the prongs take most the hit for their poor dish. His trip to the bottom and his inability to produce winners has dropped a spot in the rankings, but a tier in the rankings as well. I still think he has an outside chance of making the top 4, but he needs to start winning now.

Ash Fulk

Ash had an interesting night. Early in the show during his confessionals he was trying to say that he can compete even though he has no formal training in cooking school and that all he has done is cooked his way up. Once paired with Michael, he continuously praised Michael for his great ideas and concepts, almost seemed down putting on himself. In the chopping block he had nothing but high praises for Michael essentially putting himself down. Tom called him on it asking if he felt there were better chef’s here, and Ash responded by basically saying yes, but that even good chef’s screw up dishes, and that he produces good food. All this though and he wasn’t directly on the chopping block, but he needs to produce some good meals or he will be going home.

Chopping block

Laurine Wicket

She got lucky last night working with Bryan who conceptualized and cooked an excellent dish. Other then that she had a very quiet episode. I do not see her lasting more then 2 episodes

Robin Leventhal

Robin is clearly starting to bug the rest of the Chef’s with her constant chatter. I though Michael treated her unfairly yesterday, if he was so worried about her cooking, he should have done his own thing, let her do her own thing and let her sink or swim on her own. She has not been producing good food for awhile and should be going home any week, but, the drama she creates in the house might keep her around a few weeks longer then if she wasn’t creating drama.

Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if anyone outside the top 4 got cut in the coming week. One bad dish and any of them could be gone

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MLB Playoff Preview

Playoffs! 162(3) games and an entire season can come down to a 3 game stretch. Baseball talk on ACSS! Amazing! I know it rarely happens, but the playoffs are upon so I’m going to give a quick breakdown of each series.


Talk about familiar faces. We have the last 3 NL pennant winners in the playoffs and the other team was last year’s NL runner up.

Cards vs Dodgers

LA has a lot of good bats and Manny always seems to play well in October. LA also has one of the best Bullpens which is key for playoffs, especially in the NL when pinch hitting for pitchers is more common. They also have home field advantage which is always helpful. Saying all that, Albert Pujols is one of the best players on the planet. Also Carpenter and Wainwright are a tough 1-2 punch (maybe best in the playoffs) that should pitch well in LA. If they can take 1 in Los Angeles, I don’t see the series going back there. Cardinals have made it to the NLCS 5 times so far this decade. I think it will be 6

Who I want to win: Dodgers (I would like to see them win it all for Jim Thome)

Who I think will win: Cards in 4

Rockies vs Phillies

Rocktober is back! Just like 2007 the Rockies closed liked a freight train, dug them self out of a hole and made the playoffs. The Rockies have a ton of talent with Helton, Tulowitzki Giambi and Co, but they might have one of the best pitchers in the league in Ubaldo Jimenez. He throws heat, and according to Baseball Info Solutions has the fastest heater in the game. Philadelphia's Cliff Lee has been outstanding since coming over from the Indians. Him going two games in a series is a scary. Hamels and Happ are two other good lefties and the Rockies don’t hit the lefties well. The Phillies infield is one of the best in the game with Howard, Rollins and Utley and in thier outfield they had one of the biggest signings of the off season Ibenez. My biggest concern with them is Brad Lidge; He has had a very shaky year. Also, don’t forget 07 when the Rockies came in down the stretch as hot as can be continued the hot streak and swept the Phillies.

Who I want to win: Rockies

Who I think will win: Phillies in 5


Again want to talk about familiar faces, between these 4 teams they have made 11 appearances in the ALCS this decade. On top of that, these 4 teams have accounted for 19 Division titles and 7 Wild Cards in the 2000s. Here’s a breakdown

Angels 5 Division 1 WC
Red Sox 1 Division 5 WC
Twins 5 Division
Yankees 8 Division 1 WC

Yankees vs Twins

So after an amazing game last night, the Twins finally landed in New York are 3 AM. Winning today against CC sounds like a pretty tough task, saying that, I think the Twins, still riding high on emotion, come out and win tonight. The Twins just know how to win division titles, but they always seem to struggle in the playoffs. They have the M&M’s who are both outstanding and Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers in baseball. Saying all that, I think the Yankees are just too good. Their rotation is weak towards the backend but their hitting is fantastic, and Rivera is one of the most clutch closers ever (except in 2001 and 2004). A little wrinkle that I find interesting is that AJ Burnett and Jorge Pasada are not getting along and Psasada will not be catching AJ in the playoffs. They will be losing his bat for one of the Molina brothers.

The biggest thing that worries me, is that everyone is picking the Yankees. On top of that, I have not heard anybody saying the series will even go to 5 games, that worries me, so based on the fact that no one is picking the Twins, I’m going to.

Who I want to win: Twins

Who I think will win: Twins in 5

Red Sox vs Angels

The only game not being played today is the series we have seen a lot of over the past couple of years, the Angels vs the Red Sox. The Red Sox have had the Angels number over the past couple of seasons and it might even be a mental advantage at this point. The Red Sox starters are just ok, the hitting isn’t as good as is was on some World Series teams earlier this decade, but they still have one of the top closers in the game in Paplebon. The Angels hitting is suspect but always seems to have clutch hits when needed. The Angels solid pitching that will try to win low scoring games, but I am concerned about their bullpen.

Who I want to win: Angels

Who I think will win: Red Sox in 4

Random Trivia of the Week: MLB Teams with 0 Playoff Wins in 2000s

Here's a good trivia question I heard. There were seven baseball teams that have 0 playoff wins in the 2000s. Can you name them? I heard this on Mike and Mike and they only got 6. I personally got all 7. The answers will be in the comments tomorrow (10/8/09) I should try to post this on Sporcle.

10/7/09 NFL News: Edwards to the Jets, Crabtree to the 49ers

Both and are reporting the following stories.

Braylon Edwards has been traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets for two players and two draft picks. No confirmation yet if Lebron called Mangini to force this trade (article). This seems like a good move for the Jets who now have a solid WR opposite of Jerricho Cotchery for Mark Sanchez to throw to. The Jets have already been playing great defense and now seem to have a well rounded set of skill players on offense. Does this move put them in the elite class of the AFC? I would say not yet, the bigger factor I see is how the rookie QB continues to play throughout they year.

Speakin Jets and WR, the WR the Jets have been accused of tampering with Micheal Crabtree has finally ended his hold out and has signed a deal with the 49ers. He was the last remaining 1st round draft pick who had remained unsiged. The move should help the 49ers who have been playing well all year. Again this move won't put the team over the top (Frank Gore coming back healthy is more important) but it adds another piece to a team looking to win the NFC West.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Funny NFL Logo brought to you by ESPN

Kurt Snibbie has one of the better jobs on by creating funny piece of art that are relevant to the sports world. Today's post (found here) was especially funny so I thought I'd share. My personal favorite is the Rams. Enjoy!

Game 163

Detroit vs Minnesota

Game 163, winner takes the division. Talk about a way to go out for a stadium. This will be the last “regular season” (quotes cause it’s 163 but all stats go toward the regular season) ever played in the Metrodome. Minnesota is looking to make up for last year’s failure in the play-in game against Chicago and claim it’s 5th division crown of the 2000s while the Tigers look to win their first ever AL Central Championship. The game is going to start at 4:15 CST and should be exciting.

The one game playoffs have been very exciting the past two times we have got them. Last year was involved the Twins coming to Chicago to play the White Sox who had to beat Cleveland on Sunday, then Detroit in a make up game on Monday just to force game 163. The White Sox fans supported their team in black out and cheered their team on as the only run of the game came on HR from Jim Thome. John Danks and Bobby Jenks combined 0 runs in the game.

The playoff game before involved the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres. The Rockies finished the season hot as can be just to catch up to the Padres. The game went into extra innings with the Padres taking the lead and bringing in the all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman to close out the game, season, and division. Trevor Hoffman could not come through though as a sac fly scored the game winning run on a controversial call at the plate.

If tonight’s game can give us half the drama either of these two games did it should be great.

Here are my keys to the game

The M&M’s

Mauer and Morneau; if Minnesota can set the table for these guys, runs will surely follow. Minnesota likes playing in their home playing fast baseball with these two RBI machines driving them in. If they get these two going they can easily win the game.

Curtis Granderson: He’s the leadoff hitter who can use his speed on the fast track of the dome to change the game. I see him getting multiple multi-base hits and stealing a base or two.

Who I think will win: Minnesota is at home. I think that is the biggest advantage in the game. They are playing in familiar territory with the crowd behind them. They know how to play in the stadium and are built to succeed here. I think Minnesota takes care of business and brings home #5 for the 2000s. Please no goggles while celebrating, you look stupid.

Minnesota 5
Detroit 3