Monday, December 20, 2010

Derrick Rose is Unreal

Video time, folks!

And one more, because this is, well, pretty damn funny. Stick with it, there's a nice surprise in there at the end.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More IU Coaching News (Defense!)

According to a few reports out there Indiana's new football coach Kevin Wilson is getting closer to naming his staff. The latest news is that IU will stick with the co-defensive coordinator system and the the two guys will be...current Nebraska linebacker coach Mike Ekeler and current New Mexico defensive coordinator Doug Mallory (also the son of IU all-time wins leader Bill Mallory).

If these two are announced as part of the IU staff, Kevin Wilson is off to a great start. Both guys have been a part of winning programs in the past (Ekeler at Nebraska and Oklahoma while Mallory has spent time at numerous schools including LSU) and have extensive defensive backgrounds.

No word on when the hires will be announced but it sounds like it will be in the near future.

Also - for people who like to believe internet message board reports it looks like Coach Wilson is already putting his stamp on the IU program. A few different posts on the Indiana site have mentioned the intense offseason workouts that Wilson has already implemented at IU...the latest even mentioned that a rumored 6 players have quit the team. If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen! I like that Wilson is already setting expectations. IU will be a much different team next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DucksNational Title Unifrom

As a follow up to yesterday's article, here is the Ducks new Uniform here's Paul Lukas' Article found on

We've had the Ninja Ducks, the Storm Trooper Ducks, and now we have -- well, what should we call these? Canary-legged Ducks? Tron-sleeved Ducks?

That's the new Oregon uniform for the BCS National Championship Game that's just been been unveiled today. Auburn is the designated home team and will be wearing blue, so it was a given that Oregon would wear a white jersey. Surprising to see them going with white pants, though. And even more surprising to see those socks, which are straight out of the school's
highlighter-yellow phase.
But wait, it looks like they're keeping their options open with
black pants and socks, so this may end up being a one of those mix-and-match guessing games that continues right up until the Ducks come out of the tunnel on Jan. 10. Seriously, will anyone be surprised if Nikegon scraps this look altogether and comes up with something entirely different for the big game in Glendale?
My initial take: Could be worse, but could also be a whole lot better. I'll have a full point-by-point Uni Watch assessment, along with an in-depth look at the new bowl game uniforms that are also being unveiled today for TCU, Florida, and Boise State, here on Page 2 tomorrow. Meanwhile, post a comment to let us know what you think, because the whole point of this uniform is to get people talking.
I like them, I am glad they didn't stray to far away from thier uniforms of all year. It's defiently Oregon though.

Tom Brady Laughing At the Bears

I was in attendance on Sunday and I'm glad to find out that I wasn't the only one laughing while Deion Branch ran 59 yards for a score as time expired in the first half.

The follow quote is from this article.

"We kept talking ... before the game, if we had an opportunity and they were in a Cover 2 look, we wanted to try to get [tight end Rob Gronkowski] up the seam, and then the outside receiver up the sideline," Brady said Monday during his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "And I looked at the safety [Major Wright], and he was backing straight up. He wasn't wide at all. I kind of looked at him and just gave him a little pump to kind of hold him, and to hold the corner [Charles Tillman] a little bit, and Deion raced by him. And I threw it out there. Deion made a hell of a catch and run.

"I was almost laughing. I couldn't believe it."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another One for the Buehrle Files

From Yahoo!Sports: "Good Guys wear black: Mark Buehrle pays bills for injured dog"

Love this guy.

Big Ten Logo and Division Names

I am sure you guys have heard the names now and the new logo, but if you haven't here they are (sigh).


Ohio State
Penn State


Michigan State

Yup those are the names. Yup they paid someone to come up with them. This ESPN clip basically sums up my feelings.

I like the old logo better. What are the 4 stages I should be feeling, denial, anger something like that.

It's Official, New Jersey's for Oregon in the National Title Game

Found this quick article by Paul Lucas on ESPN:

Why stop now?

That's apparently the thinking at Oregon and at the Nike offices. With the Ducks slated to appear in the BCS title game next month, Swoosh Inc. is planning to unveil a new Oregon uni design for the big game. The unveiling, which is scheduled for Tuesday, will also feature new bowl game uniforms for TCU, Boise State (maybe it will include this white helmet design that's been making the rounds?), and Florida. But it's safe to say that most of the attention will be focused on Oregon.

For all the chatter about Oregon's outlandish uniforms, their current set with the winged shoulders is actually one of the better looks in college football. Will their Glendale uniform continue this move toward visual respectability, or will they revert to their video game look of a few years ago? What do you think?

Whatever the new design turns out to be, Page 2 will be on the case. I'll have an entry here on the Page 2 Blog soon after the unveiling tomorrow, along with a full-length Uni Watch column on Wednesday -- stay tuned

Trivia: Locations of Bears Vs Pats

The past 4 Bears and Patriots games have been played at 4 different stadiums. Name them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Check this out, from Hoopism: I'm sensing the makings of a KILLER Bulls poster.

Also, I went and used Wordle, the tool that created those things, and made one for our own li'l site.

Credit to Luke Winn's college basketball power rankings for sending me down this particular rabbit hole.

ESPN Playoff Machine

You should check out this fun little ESPN online toy. It projects the playoff field based on your picks for the remaining four weeks, as well as a number of factors such as home field, offensive ranking, or power rankings. It's definitely helping me procrastinate tonight, at THE SPOT (see picture).

FYI: According to Defensive rankings, the Bears would be the #1 seed. According to Power Rankings, they would be out of the playoffs. If there's one thing I know about Lovie Smith teams, it's that they feed off a lack of respect. So, expect victory.

My projections, by the way, have the Bears losing at New England this week, then beating the Vikings and Jets, setting up a thrilling battle in Green Bay where the winner gets home-field for at least one game (the 2 or 3 seed) and the loser comes in as the last wild card.

Triva: College Football Bowl Locations: By State

Here's a new quiz from Sporcle. Can you name the 16 US States that will have a bowl game played there this holiday season? I went 16-16, just saying.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trivia: College Basketball Coaches Courts

There are four active NCAA coaches who have the floor of thier home stadium named after them. Can you name them?

Friday, December 3, 2010

SI's Stewart Mandel Talks IU Coaching Search

Thanks to yours truly, who sent in an e-mail to Stewart Mandel's Podcast, Stewart Mandel discusses IU's coaching search on his podcast this week. I am unsure how to get it to play on the blog, so please use this link, find the 12/01 Mandel Podcast labeled Iron Bowl, Boise State, Civil War Preview - Dec. 1, 2010, go to the 28:35 mark and listen for my question. I listen to his podcast every week and recommend it to any college football fan out there.


OK, Hoosiers Fans, The Season Has Now Started

Indiana coasted through its first six home games, mostly allowing lesser teams to test their mettle in the first half before pulling away down the stretch. An undefeated (and untested) 6-0, the Hoosiers proceeded to let Boston College dictate the tone of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge game on the road this Wednesday, mounting a desperate second half comeback that fell short.

No, I'm not writing for Bleacher Report this year. So, now that I think about it, screw the formalities.

What do y'all think about this IU team? Okay, not this one exactly, but the 2011 edition.

I've got a couple of thoughts, which I will now obligingly share with you, in classic Peter Kingian Style:

1. Tom Crean and staff (and team!) have done a fantastic job on the recruiting trail. It's not just Cody Zeller and Yogi Ferrell, either. Ron Patterson and Hanner Perea are big-time signings. Austin Etherington is no joke. I'm not even going to talk about the Class of 2014, because hopefully I will have escaped this black hole of a college town by then.

1a. However, if the big-time recruits become the only positive of this season, I will not be pleased. If IU keeps losing and waiting on saviors, we're screwed. This sophomore class was ranked No. 5 nationally when they came in, and it's time for some results.

2. Speaking of which, Christian Watford has been an absolute beast so far. If he can stay healthy and maintain this intensity, he's in the running for some kind of All-Big Ten honors, even in a ridiculously stacked year.

3. Maurice Creek is not all the way back yet. The rust from a year of rehabbing really shows.

4. Don Fischer is still the best in the business. So far I've listened to almost every game on the radio while delivery driving - the addition of Coach Rory (and subtraction of Todd Leary) as the color man lets The Fish relax and have some fun with his job while Rory plays straight man - plus, considering he was coaching middle school ball this time last year, Rory knows his stuff.

5. I expect Jordan Hulls to stay in the starting lineup all year, along with Verdell and Watford. At some point, unless Creek starts to heat up, Oladipo is going to take his job. Same goes for Derek Elston with Tom Pritchard.

6. Ken Pomeroy's rankings are still the most valuable resource for college basketball fans on the interwebs. You can find them at Presently, Pomeroy (who, yes, I have emailed back and forth with - does that count as name dropping? If so, I'm an ass.) has the Hoosiers at a shockingly decent No. 62 in the nation, with a projected final record of 16-14 (6-12). These projections are constantly being adjusted by algorithmical (HOW is that not a word, blogspot??) magic, so check back often.

6a. That No. 62 puts us ahead of Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan in the Big Ten. Frankly, we should be better than all of those teams this year.

6b. Our next true road game is against Kentucky, and I want to go. Pom has them at No. 6, and I believe the pollsters mostly agree, yes? Anyone up for a li'l Lexington road trip next Saturday?

6c. Ohio State at 3, Wisconsin at 5, Illinois at 11, Michigan State at 12. Ladies and gentlemen, the Big Ten's torchbearers for 2011. (Purdue is 18th, Minnesota 35th, Northwestern 52nd, then comes the Hoosiers. Eight bids? Hey, we can dream, right?)

7. I will be buying my tickets for this year's Big Ten Tournament as soon as they come out. Last year was a blast, so anybody that wants to join in on the quarter-betting tailgating action at Conseco in March, let me know! (Below: Devoe Joseph, probably my favorite guy to watch at the tourney last season.)

8. Yeah, yeah, I know, King does ten. But I'm not giving you any BS-y travel complaints! Okay, just one. I have travelled up and down I-65 six times in the last week and a half. The good exits? 140 (Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King), 168 (clean restrooms), 201 (subway at Pilot), 240 (Great big clean gas stations, and, umm, the Lion's Den, not that I've ever been there.). Also ate at the Chili's at 172, the Lafayette exit.

9. Hey, how 'bout Adam Dunn and AJ Pierzynski? I think Pauly is getting wooed pretty hard right now by a number of teams, but hopefully Kenny "All In" Williams can get the job done and get the Captain back on board.

9a. Bobby Jenks, good luck in middle relief in the NL.

10. According to scuttlebutt from my fellow senior writer Steve 'Snuffles' Noffke, Tommy Bowden is in the mix for the IU Football job. I'd be okay with that, but Mike Leach is still my favorite, if he would be willing to come north.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Top Chef All-Stars Power Rankings

Welcome back to the Power Rankings. It looks like I have an excuse to write again, compared to doing nothing like I have for most of the fall. As you know, I normally wait a week or two to start the rankings and get a feeling of who is doing well. Since we already know everyone, I am going to start before the season and move onward. This first installment isn’t as much a power rankings as it is how I think the Chefs will finish. In case you were wondering, this season was taped in New York City.

Top Shelf

1. Richard Blais (Season 4 Chicago)

I actually didn’t like Blais for most of season 4 and found him annoying. As I look back on those shows though, it was clear he was one of the best chefs of all time. For any of his returns on the show, as a guest su-chef or a reunion special, he always talks about how excited he is to get back in the competition. We know he has the talent, and with that drive, I see him winning the Top-Chef All-Star title.

2. Marcel Vigneron (Season 2 Los Angeles)

Marcel, the man everyone loves to hate. I think he is one of the top talents the show has scene and has all the things needed to win this competition. I think, just like season 2, he will finish as runner-up.

3. Dale Levitski (Season 3 Miami)

Dale is my favorite Chef of all time. So I am openly rooting for him. I see him making a strong run in this competition, but ultimately will fall short of winning Top Chef again.

4. Tiffani Faison (Season 1 San Francisco)

Tiffani is the last chef in the finale. Tiffani had the misfortune of being in the same competition as Harold who was the clear front runner for day 1. I see her having another strong competition and finishing as the highest female chef.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Michael Trash Talking Lebron

Look at what Michael Jordan response to Lebron James "What Should I do Commercial"

That is some sweet trash talking isn't it!

Sadly, it's not really Micheal Trash talking. This is an edit of Lebron's commercial and a Micheal commercial from 2008.

I still think it's awesome though.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Goodbye, Bill Lynch

I'm not even going to gloat. Good luck in your next job, Coach Lynch, and may you find as much success in the FCS as Kellen Lewis.

BCS Thoughts

After looking at the wins and losses from this weekend, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who was going to end up where in the BCS games:

Oregon v. Auburn for the title
Wisconsin v. Stanford (Rose)
Ohio State v. TCU (Sugar)
Arkansas/SC v. Va Tech/FSU (Orange)
Oklahoma/Nebraska v. Big East/UConn/WVu (Fiesta)

Of course, we then have to deal with the fact that, frankly, I have very little idea how the BCS works. Apparently there's all sorts of complex politickin' to take into account. Of course there is. Anyway, Andy Staples cleared up some of my misconceptions today.

Here's his projections:

Oregon v. Auburn (BCS)
Wisconsin v. TCU (Rose) <-- The Rose Bowl is obligated to take TCU over Stanford if Oregon is in the national title game. Did not know that.
Ohio State v. Arkansas (Sugar)
Stanford v. ACC (Orange)
B12 v. Big East (Fiesta)

There are at least two teams left that can throw some pretty major monkey wrenches into the process. One is Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks, who get Auburn in the SEC title game. If they can win, and they've been good all year featuring one of the best freshman RBs I can remember (Marcus Lattimore), then I believe either TCU or Wisconsin gets into the national title game, Auburn slips to an at-large, and SC is in the BCS as well.

Bear in mind, South Carolina already lost to Auburn this year in late September, but that game was on the road and was a nail-biter with a final of 35-27.

The other one is Oregon State, which faces Oregon in the Civil War this week. I think Oregon has been the clear No. 1 virtually all season, and the Beavers are 5-6. But this is a game with a lot of history (check the Wikipedia page) and rivalry games are often wild. Don't tell Michigan that, though. Anyway, I'm sure this will all be analyzed to death in the coming weeks, but I wanted to get my two cents in.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

E. Gordon Gee Decides OSU's Fate

After this interview, and the angry response from the presidents of Boise State and TCU (Gee is the prez of Ohio State, if you weren't aware), I'm pretty sure we are guaranteed an Ohio State vs. Boise State matchup in one of the BCS games, and one of the juiciest storylines of all of bowl season.


Gee said that Big Ten and SEC schools go through a "murderer's row" every single week, whereas Boise and Texas Christian basically play the "Little Sisters of the Poor," and should therefore not be in consideration for the national title game.

Ya know who else can't be happy about that, is BSU's opponent this week, No. 17 Nevada. Hmm. It's not like the prez of a huge university to stir the pot like that. Good work, E. Gordon.

SIDE NOTE: What an EPIC comeback for the Bulls tonight. I gotta admit, I was listening on the drive up I-65 to Chicago, but I gave up after two and a half quarters and switched to the iPod. BIG mistake. Especially after thoroughly enjoying Chicago's last ultra-gritty win over the Mavericks. Derrick Rose, Bulls, Tom Thibodeaux: I believe in you.

SIDE NOTE DEUCE: Yes, my recounting of the Wrigley Field Bloodbath is forthcoming. As soon as I piece the memories back together.

Vic Oladipo Has A Gift

...he may not be too consistent yet, but man can he hit buzzer-beaters!

How different this year is...

I saw this picture and had to post it as it sums up how odd this year has been in the NFL this year. I think because it has been so I I have enjoyed it so much. The way to read the chart is clockwise the score underneath each team is the score that they beat the team to their right.

So this kills any college like reasoning of why 1 team is better than another.

Looked at the rankings today and the playoff picture would be fun. Jets and Ravens would get the bye in the AFC with Kansas City and Jacksonville winning the other two divisions and Pittsburgh and New England being the Wild card teams. This is especially interesting because I would think that the wild card teams would roll through that first round but who knows (refer to above chart).

On the NFC side of things the Falcons Bears Eagles and Seahawks all win their divisions with Philly ad Atlanta getting the byes. The two wild cards currently are Green Bay and Tampa Bay. If I did my playoff picture correctly this sets up a third Bears Packers match-up with higher stakes than usual. This also illustrates the importance of the game this weekend because its essentially a huge stepping stone for a first round bye.

With that go Bears and whoever is playing green bay, tampa bay, new york and philly.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wrigleyville Classic Day 5

I just got back from my walk around Wrigley and here is what I saw.
Shefield is closed down and they are making it into Wildcat Way.

Lots of tents with merchandise, food and drinks. They also have a stage and a large tent set up. Good news for those wondering, you can buy beer in Wildcat way, It's still undertermined if you can buy it in the stadium.

Here's walking up to the set of game day. See that little black thing in the sky on the right. that is going to have a camera mounted on it tomorrow to give overhead shots of the fans. It doesn't look like there is going to be a lot of room for fans to cram in there, so if you want to go to GameDay, get there early. I asked a security gaurd if he knew if they were closing down Clark, he said he didn't think they were, so I am unsure where the people will go if they can't be in the McDonalds parking lot.
Here is a picture of the video board not all the way up yet and the bus

Gameday was filming some pieces. All parties were wearing nice pants behind the desk, but Kirk and Desmon were both wearing sneakers.

After they were done shooting, Erin Andrews walked right by me, I said Hi and she said hi in response. I did not take her picture as she was walking towards me cause I thought that would have been rude.

Here's the stadium in all it's purple glory

The Team Trucks were already there. At this point I was walking through a parking lot I cleary was not supposed to be in, it was blocked off in every direction except where I walked in. Some crew guy and I talked for a sec, and then I left. No issues.

Here's a picture of the light trucks I was talking about yesterday

Lastly, the scoreboard has the other Big Ten games listed on it. I tried to get a picture of it, not sure if they really came out.

It's been a fun 5 days writing about Wrigley leading up to the event. Since I am not gaurenteed tickets, I will leave the gameday write up to the man who is going to the game, ACSS Sr Write Mark Fodor.Like I said before, if you got tickets you need to go, because unless they change the outfield, you will not see a game in Wrigley ever again.

Wrigleyville Classic Becomes Backyard Football

It was just annouced that the Illinois vs Northwestern game at Wrigley Field will feature a unique twist. Each team will be heading West and West only. Safety concerns about the right field wall being too close to the east endzone have turned this game into a game of backyard football. Each team will head the same way, which is to say, crazy.

I know I posted yesterday that Ricketts wants to do this every year, but without moving the right field wall, I see no way this game happens again. I hope you have tickets cause this could truely be a once in a lifetime moment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kane and Toews' 3-on-2


Wrigleyville Classic Day 4

That's what I saw as I walked Wrigley last night. Pretty cool huh? For the lights, they brought in two big trucks behind the left field wall to light the field. I think cause no football stadium uses lights in the endzones, they needed to bring in some extra for the twilight hours the game will be finishing at.

GameDay finally started setting up. Like Fodor said, they are in the McDonalds Parking lot across Clark from Wrigley Field. As you know i'm planning on heading over to Wrigley at Lunch time to seem some tapings and see what's going on. I'll let you know what I find out when I get back. Ditka said in an interview, he will be at College Gameday. I assuming he will be the celebrity picker.

According to this article, the Rickets want an annual Wrigley Field Football Game.

I had a few thoughts about the game, but not on the game itself.


As you may or may not know, Northwestern and Illinois will be sharing a sideline this weekend. This has happened many times before and is not really a big deal. The only time I can see this coming into play is at the end of the half/game when a field goal unit would need to run on the field to kick a field goal for a team with no timeouts left.


I think the best seats for this game will be down the right field line in the upper deck. I am a little intrested to hear about the site lines, given that all the seats face towards home plate.

Beer Sales

I am wondering if they are going to allow Beer to be sold at the game. I know it's a college game, so I am thinking no, but it is Wrigley, the "World's Largest Outdoor Beer Garden." I honestly wouldn't be suprised either way.

7th Inning

I doubt they are going to do a 7th Inning/ End of 3rd Qtr stretch like they do during the baseball season. Still wouldn't suprise me if they did.

Wrigleyville Classic Day 3

That picture was from my run around the stadium last night. There were two new TV trucks in the parking lot. I also looked a the Wrigley scoreboard and it was blank. I hope they fill it up with Big Ten score and National Scores. Heck they already have names for the following teams.


Here's an interview with Pat Fitzgerald

I also listend to an interview with Erin Andrews yesterday. She said that they will be setting up in front of the main Wrigley Field Marquee. ACSS reporter says it will be in the McDonalds parking lot, but I don't think they will fit there. I think they will start setting up tonight so I will let you know after my tour of the ballpark.

Erin Andrews also said that they will begin taping pieces for ESPN SportsCenter hits between 11-12 on Friday. The broadcast on Saturday begins at 8 on ESPNU with the main show starting on ESPN at 9.

Lastly, she was looking for ideas for good pieces to do about Wrigley. She is already planning on looking into doing features on the following.

Locker Rooms
Appartment Over Looking the Field
Right Field Wall

If you can think of any more, post them in the comments and I will try and relay them to her. Yes I have an indirect way of doing this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Epic Soccer Miss

No Commentary Necessary

Wrigleyville Classic Day 2

Many places are discussing how close the right field wall comes to the back of the endzone including PTI

I agree with Wilbon. If the engineers say it's safe, then I trust them. It will be a little obstacle, but I think the players will be able to adjust.

I also heard they will not but putting up nets on the right field side, look for lots of fans hanging around Sheffield waiting for a Field Goal or extra point to be kicked into the street. Heck, I might try to get one.

Also found out that the Wildcats will be taking a bus instead of the "EL". I am a little disappointed in this, but honestly not a big deal. All it means to us fans is we will miss a 30 second clip that shows Northwestern getting to the stadium.

Gameday on ESPNU starts at 8 and then the main show on ESPN starts at 9. I plan on going, not sure when I’ll get there. Still not sure where they will be setting up. I am still thinking they will close down the streets and have it set up in front of the main marquee. Also, Big Ten Network will be having it’s kick off show at Wrigley as well.

My run around the stadium wasn’t very exciting. One of the gates on Waveland was open with a security guard. I asked him what was going on tonight, he said he didn’t know. I am not sure if I believe him, but no lights were on the field, and when I peaked in from Sheffield, I didn’t see any movement. I am going to assume it was just routine maintenance or cleaning. I don’t know how I didn’t notice the marquee turning purple, that was just dumb on me. I don’t think there were any new signs put up, but man, All-State is making sure you know they are sponsoring this game. Their name is everywhere. Lastly, Desmond Clark was at Murphy’s Bleachers for a radio show with 670 with a crowd of maybe 40 people there. I guess everyone has forgotten about him just like the Bears.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wrigleyville Classic

This video is up on ESPN Chicago showing Wrigley getting ready for the game on Saturday. (Full Article here)

I live two blocks away from Wrigley and plan on going around the stadium each night this week and then to GameDay Saturday morning and possibly the game Saturday (from scalpers). When I went by last night, I did notice a lot of purple trim, but I didn't realize the main Wrigley sign had turned purple. I also tried to peek in the gates on Shefield, expecting to see this.

Nope, all I saw was the back of some padding. Also, I was surprised to find out the field is going East and West instead of not north and south like I have seen in old pictures.

I will continue to update as I hear more.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NHL's Worst Shootouts

More Adidas Highlights

Since I posted the Zeller highlights from the Adidas Invitational, I thought you all might want to see IU's other recent commit, Hanner Perea, in action. He's not coming until 2012, but it's goanna be worth the wait.

Cody Zeller Picks IU

Simple as that, Tom Crean has landed Indiana's biggest recruiting coup since Eric Gordon (and look how well that one worked out).

Cody's brother Luke went to Notre Dame, where he had a decent career, and his brother Tyler is currently at North Carolina. UNC, as well as Butler, were in the mix for Cody, who is ranked No. 15 overall in the Class of 2011 and is the No. 4 power forward.

What's that? You want highlights? Okay!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rumors on Indiana's Head Football Coach

ACSS reporter Derek Wilson has been doing some digging around the status of Bill Lynch's future as Head Coach. According to this twitter page Lynch might not return next year.

"If there is an opening at Indiana, I hear Glen Mason and Brady Hoke could be prime targets."

Of the two Targets, I would prefer Glen Mason over Brady Hoke. Glen Mason led some good Minnesota Teams and was able to recruit NFL talent there. Before Minnesota he was at Kansas where had some minor success. Brady Hoke has done a good job at Ball State and now at San Diego State. After the "success" of Lynch, I would like to avoid hiring another former Ball State Coach. Also, I would prefer someone with more Power Conference or Programs to some one who has had success at the mid level.

My ideal choice would be Mike Leach, which would be fantastic in terms of trading dysfunctional coaches between Texas Tech and Indiana.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who Wants To Guess Don Fischer's Ringtone?

I just read this on's live chat feed from today's Ferris State exhibition. Which, by the way, was a THRILLER with Victor Oladipo (so far, he has stiffed me once on a delivery to McNutt and stiffed two other drivers as well... what the hell, Vic?) carrying us to victory on a game-ending four point play and block from behind.

Anyway, if you don't know, Don Fischer is the Hoosiers' legendary play by play man for both football and basketball. Here's a picture.

Who wants to take a stab at his phone ringtone?




This is from a reliable source




Big Ten BBall

This is not the epic return most of you probably hoped for, but atleast I'm back. IU football needs to win 2 of the next 3 against Wisconsin, Penn State and Purdue to make a bowl, that's probably not going to happen, so Let's look forward to BBall.

Here is's preview of Big Ten Basketball.

NFL's Top 100: Bears, Etc.

I guess if you have a TV, you've probably been more aware of this event than I have. The NFL has been counting down its' best players ever, and just wrapped it up with a shocking choice at No. 1 (/sarcasm): Jerry Rice.

For us Chicagoans, there is a lot to be happy about on this list, although no current Bears got a nod. Give Lance Briggs four more good years (or Urlacher, for that matter), and I think you could make a case for either one. Same thing for Olin Kreutz, but he should have retired two years ago.

Anyway, Walter Payton led the way for the men of Soldier Field (or Wrigley Field, as the case may be...), coming at No. 5, behind only Jim Brown at running back. No surprise that Gale Sayers and Bronko Nagurski also made the list, at 19 and 22, respectively. So did Red Grange (#48)

I was a little surprised to see Sid Luckman on the list - somebody's going to have to dig up some Luckman highlights at some point. I may do that in a minute. He clocked in at No. 33, just ahead of Deion Sanders. Sanders, of course, disagrees.

The last offensive player from Chi-town was Da Coach, Mike Ditka. If you've ever played with Ditka as a Madden All-Time player, you know he must have been incredible. Ditka is, according to, the No. 59 greatest ever.

And of course, Dick Butkus (#9) and Mike Singletary (#58) also were included. Notably, Singletary came in fifteenth among fan votes - Samurai Mike is apparently better remembered these days for playing, rather than for coaching the two-win Niners.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Indiana vs. Iowa: Let's Talk Stanzi

Ricky Stanzi may not be the most talented (Dan Persa) or best-known (Terrelle Pryor) or fastest (Shoelace) quarterback in the Big Ten, but he sure as hell wins in one category: This kid is a PATRIOT.

... which is why I will be making a "STANZI VOTED FOR OBAMACARE" sign for the game. You know, see if we can get in his head a little bit.

Seriously though, I don't expect IU to put up much of a fight tomorrow at The Rock. You can see ESPN's preview of the game HERE - some of the highlights include the following: expected low temperature is 28 degrees, with a high of 49 (and we're starting the tailgate HOW early again?!).

Also, Iowa just demolished Michigan State, at the time undefeated. They rank twelfth in the nation in defense, and Indiana officially has the worst rushing attack in the Big Ten. Expect Ben Chappell and Adrian Clayborn to be spending some time together tomorrow.

Anyways, God bless America, and God bless Football. Isn't that right, Ricky?

Also, Northwestern takes on Penn State tomorrow in Happy Valley. This is a big game for both teams, as NU is already bowl-eligible but lacks a win they can really feel proud of (Minnesota? Indiana? Ehh...). Meanwhile, Joe Paterno is stuck at 399 wins, which makes this a potential milestone game. And NU QB Dan Persa is from Pennsylvania, but wasn't recruited by Penn State.

Game's on at 3:30, you can expect me to be posted up at Yogi's after a long, chilly morning of tailgate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Self Destruct Button

Just came across this...

Apparently Boozer has one, too:

So when does Nocioni get to get all liquored up and drive that thing?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bears: Where do we go from here?

Seriously. I have no idea. I'm hesitant to call yesterday's debacle the worst NFL game of all time, although other people certainly have. I still think the worst NFL game ever was last year's Bills-Browns game in Buffalo.

At least both defenses played well, right? The Bears have now lost three in a row and dropped into a tie with the Packers for first in the NFC North. The good news, if there is any, is that Cutler is still healthy, as is Forte, and that the NFC looks realllllly bad this year. I'm just puzzled though. How do you go about rooting for this team?

Apparently, the crowd at Soldier Field was thinking the same thing yesterday, as the boo-birds were out in full force.

By the way, my dark-horse Kansas City Chiefs are now 4-2 and lead the AFC West. But they're going to have to watch out for a challenge from... wait for it... OAKLAND? OAKLAND???

Yesterday's partial list of top performers:

Kenny Britt
Darren McFadden
DeAngelo Hall
Ryan Fitzpatrick

... and Drew Brees joined Cutler in throwing four INTs.

Let's just pretend last week didn't happen, okay?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Ten Power Rankings (Midseason)

Don't get too excited, this is just the quickie edition, but with all the Big Ten teams having played at least six games I thought I'd throw out some quick PRs just to see what everybody thinks - if I have time later, a longer and more detailed version with bowl projections, season expectations, etcetera will follow. I swear.

Please do let me know if you agree/disagree. And sorry about the lack of pictures/video, I'll get in and edit this later tonight.

1. Michigan State Spartans (7-0, 3-0)
Rankings: No. 7 BCS, No. 8 Coaches/AP, leading Big Ten

Starting out your conference season by beating Wisconsin, then stomping rival Michigan on the road and easily handing an Illinois team that gave Ohio State fits is pretty damn convincing in my book.

Next up: @ Northwestern. I believe Admiral Ackbar may have something to say about this game for the Spartans...

2. Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1)
Rankings: No. 13 BCS, No. 10 Coaches, No. 11 AP, T-4th in Big Ten (with tiebreaker over OSU)

Huge win at home over an undeserving national number one in Ohio State last week. Wisconsin struggled early in the season, but their sole loss is on the road at Michigan State, and that's not going to hurt them much in the long run.

Next up: @ Iowa. If Wisconsin can survive, the rest of their schedule shakes out favorably.

3. Iowa (5-1, 2-0)
Rankings: No. 15 BCS, No. 12 Coaches, No. 13 AP, T-2nd in Big Ten (with Purdue)

The only time I've gotten to watch Iowa for an entire game this year was their loss at Arizona, but this seems like your classic Kirk Ferentz team with extra talent on the defensive line. Ricky Stanzi is the ultimate patriot - I'll have more on this later, courtesy of our correspondent, Capt. Alec Kinczewski, serving our nation abroad in the armed forces (that's right, Peter King! You see what I did there? You're not the only one who can name-drop Army guys!).

Next up: Wisconsin. 3:30, ABC. Should be a snoozefest, but a well-played one, and the winner has Capital One Bowl pole position.

4. Ohio State (6-1, 2-1)
Rankings: No. 10 BCS/AP, No. 11 Coaches, T-4th in Big Ten

The conference's bell cow, Ohio State did their part to allow Big Ten haters in the room (I'm looking at you, Schlereth) with the upset loss at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes looked great against Indiana the week before, but then who doesn't? The Sweater Men have three absolute must-wins coming up if they want to get back in the thick of the Big Ten race.

Next up: Purdue

5. Purdue (4-2, 2-0)
Rankings: T-2nd in Big Ten

Let's give them credit now. Beating Northwestern on the road erased a lot of the early season stench of losing to Toledo at home. They have an incredibly tough slate coming up in the second half, so I expect this is as high as the Boilers will get, despite quality play from QB Rob Henry.

Next up: @ Ohio State

T-6. Northwestern (5-1, 1-1), Michigan (5-2, 1-2)

Northwestern commits too many penalties, while Michigan plays no defense. These are talented football teams with painfully obvious flaws, which is why I have them tied. NU has an absolutely HUGE home game this week against MSU, while Shoelace and Co. have a bye. I see both as bowl-caliber teams that need to get it together a little bit.

8. Illinois (3-3, 1-2)

Hey, they're better than I expected. Great road win against a bad Penn State team, followed by an acceptable road beating at East Lansing.

Next up: Indiana. Winner gets to pretend they have a shot at a bowl!

9. Penn State (3-3, 0-2)

Everybody knew this team would have some issues, but Evan Royster stinking was not one of the expected problems, and neither was a defense that traditionally would NEVER give up 33 points to Illinois at home.

Next up: @Minnesota. They need this win to be playing for bowl eligibility against Indiana at FexEx field down the road. Otherwise that might just be a 3/4 empty venue, which would look awful for the conference. I think you know what Jim Delaney is telling the refs for this game.

10. Indiana (4-2, 0-2)

Best receivers in the conference, and one of the best quarterbacks too - I put Ben Chappell in the front rank with Robinson, Pryor, and Persa. But that Homecoming 'win' over Arkansas State (which by the way gives IU a 2-0 record in the Sun Belt) was not impressive. On paper, this looks like a team that could get bowl eligible. In reality, having watched them almost every week, I'm not so sure.

Next up: @Illinois. Should I go to this game? Debating.

11. Minnesota (1-6, 0-3)

Tim Brewster is finally gone, following Mike Locksley and Ed Orgeron (and Ron Zook?) as living proof that great recruiters aren't always great coaches. (*cough* MIKE DAVIS) They play three of the conference's top four in their second half slate. They lost to South Dakota State. BUT - maybe an interim coach and having absolutely nothing to lose will energize this team. I've seen crazier things happen, and Adam Weber is a proud veteran leader at QB.

Next up: Penn State. Win, and your season isn't a total loss.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The NFL standings based on Pete Prisco's Overall GPA

I was going through Pete Prisco's week 5 grades and noticed how crazy they were. So, I wanted to create a list of how the teams should be ranked based on the grades he has given them for their performances. And by ranked, I mean their standings in the NFL. This is an oddity. However, since the Jets/Vikings game is not decided, I will not include them. I will also not include those on bye weeks this week (I'm only looking at his week 5 GPAs). Okay, here we go:

1. Chiefs - GPA 3.10 - Actual Record 3-1
2. Falcons - 2.86 - 4-1
3. Texans - 2.74 - 3-2
4. Redskins - 2.74 - 3-2
5. Titans - 2.68 - 3-2
6. Ravens - 2.54 -4-1
7. Giants - 2.54 - 3-2
9. Bucs - 2.50 - 3-1
9. Colts - 2.48 - 3-2
10. Lions - 2.42 - 1-4
11. Rams - 2.40 - 2-3
12. Eagles - 2.40 - 3-2
13. Bears - 2.34 - 4-1 (Tied Best in NFC)
14. Chargers - 2.20 - 2-3
15. Jags - 2.14 - 3-2
16. Browns - 2.08 - 1-4
17. Broncos - 2.06 - 2-3
18. Cowboys - 1.93 - 1-3
19. Bengals - 1.88 - 2-3
20. Packers - 1.86 - 3-2
21. Saints - 1.82 - 3-2
22. Raiders - 1.80 - 2-3
23. 49ers - 1.80 - 0-5
24. Cardinals 1.66 - 3-2
25. Panthers - 1.22 -0-5
26. Bills - 1.00 - 0-5

Okay, I have a few questions:

1) How are the 1-4 Lions a top 10 team in GPA?
2) How are the Cardinals the third worst team, yet they have a winning record?
3) How are the Rams better than the Bears?
4) If this is based on expectations, shouldn't the Bears be near the top as they have the best Record in the NFL and have beaten two Superbowl Favorites?

I guess I'm just confused...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Radio shows

I apologize for not posting in quite some time, however since my last post we have done two more radio shows.

Show 4
Show 5

If nothing else listen to them to laugh at our awful predictions. Since that dallas game my crystal ball has been in the shop.

I am very open to topics if you guys think I should cover something on the show let me know and I can address it.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Indiana are 22.5 point underdogs to tOSU Buckeyes tomorrow. See you there, Armchair Superstars!

One quick thought: I've always found Ohio State's marching band to be one of the most overrated in the country - they spend so much time on "Script OHIO" that they don't both learning how to play real music, and it really shows. Keep an ear out for some high-school level stand tunes tomorrow.

Hopefully will be somewhere in C-Bus or Indy in time to catch Northwestern-Purdue, let me know if you have any bar recommendations!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Very Special Birthday

Ladies and gentlemen, I wanted to take this chance to wish a happy 90th birthday to my Grandma Jean Fodor. She just got out of a successful surgery and will be partying it up with my parents tonight. By the way, she is a Bears and Illinois fan - (we'll agree to disagree on the second one.)

Ninety is one hell of an achievement, as I'm sure you'll agree, and so in Armchair Superstar Style, here are the sports-related highlights of October 7th throughout Grandma's long and storied career:

1916: Okay, so this is four years beforehand, but today was the day Georgia Tech beat Cumberland University 222-0 in college football. Tech's coach? John Heisman. Yeah, you may have heard of him.

1920: Along with Grandma, famous Manchester United player Jack "The Gunner" Rowley was born.

1931: Lowell "Cotton" Fitzimmons born in Hannibal, Missouri. Grandma is, meanwhile, growing up just a stone's throw away in Iowa. Fitzimmons goes on to a career as an NBA basketball coach for at least six different teams, including the Suns just before the Bulls got to them in the '93 championships.

Some other notables born on October seventh? Desmond Tutu, Oliver North, John Mellencamp, Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Braxton, Priest Holmes, Charles Woodson (last year's Defensive Player of the Year!), and Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays.

At SportsIllustrated, Steve Rushin makes the argument that October 7, 1975 was part of the most important three weeks in SPORTS HISTORY! It was the day the Reds swept the Pirates to get into the World Series -- by the way, this is a great article if you're a history nerd like me.

Finally, and most importantly to all us Bears fans, October 7, 1984, as Grandma was admiring her very first and most adorable grandchild, we saw Sweetness do this:

Happy 9oth, Grandma! Hope it's a great one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Night Football: Don’t bet on them next Sunday

Last night, Chicagoans all saw what I have noticed as a trend this season. Teams that play on Monday Night Football do not play well the next week. The Bears showed this as they embarrassed themselves in front of a national audience on the Sunday Night Game of the week. Let’s look at the rest of the MNF teams

Week 1

Baltimore @ New York Jets
San Diego @ Kansas City

Week 2 Performances
Baltimore: Lost to Cincinnati in a game they were favored to win.
Kansas City: Beats Cleveland by 2, doesn’t cover the spread.

Chargers and Jets won and covered

Week 2

New Orleans @ San Francisco

Week 3 Performances
New Orleans: New Orleans Loses by 3 in OT in a game they were favored to win.
San Francisco: Loses to Kansas City by 21

Week 3

Green Bay @ Chicago

Week 4 Performances

Green Bay: Beats Detroit by 2 but fail to cover the double digit spread
Chicago: Lost by 14 and allowed 3 times as many sacks as points they scored.

Week 4

New England @ Miami

Lucky For New England and Miami they both have bye weeks coming up after their games.

Why are the teams playing poorly after their Monday Night Football games? I believe a lot of it has to do with screwing up the schedule of practice for the week. NFL teams are so regimented today, that losing one full day of preparation time or even resting time hurts the team. Also, for road teams, jet lag becomes a factor. Games are not ending until Midnight EST. The away team then has to shower, talk to the media, get to the airport, fly back home, then get back to their homes. When New Orleans was flying back from San Francisco, they didn’t get land until around 7 in the morning. Add another hour to get home and they aren’t going to bed until almost 8 AM. Most NFL teams get Tuesdays off, but New Orleans needed that entire day Tuesday just to recover from their flight.

Also, teams don’t physically recover in enough time. Older lineman need every minute of the NFL week to get their body healthy enough to play again on Sunday, Losing 36 hours in that week hurts how much they can recover.

I am sure there are other reasons why teams are not playing well following Monday Night Football. It could just be random luck and not a trend, San Diego and New York Jets played well after their MNF games. Until I see reasons to change my mind, I will not be wagering on any teams that played on MNF the week before.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bears vs. Packers Recap

Last week, the Bears offensive line was getting dominated. Jay Cutler ended up on his back many a times. However, the run was effective. Johnny Knox had another good performance. And the defense, well the defense looked a little bad and a little good. The d-line was dominating, even though they didn't produce the sack numbers you'd want. The linebackers looked good as well. It was the secondary that I had a problem with, but we ended up with the win.

Now, let's talk about what everyone else is talking about: "Greenbay shooting themselves in the foot." Quite frankly, they did not. They were outplayed. The Bears defensive line caused the Packers to hold and the fans plus the d-line caused many of those false starts. It's all part of the game. The pass interference calls weren't wrong, they were pass interfering. The Packers had to do it, b/c they couldn't keep up with the receivers. It's just that simple. Now, You add, or subtract, yards for penalties which the Bears should have got or the Packers would have lost due to sacks, and add the 100 yards of punt return yards to the Bears offense and you've got a clearer picture of how this game went. It was dominated by the Bears. The Bears left 10 points on the board. That game could have easily been 30-17.

Now, my grades for last week:

Jay Cutler B
Running Backs C+
Wide Receivers A-
Tight Ends B+ (would be an A but Clark dropped a TD)
Offensive Line C
Defense Line A
Linebackers A
Corners C+
Safeties B-
Special Teams A (would be a + but Robbie missed a make able field goal).

This week, the Bears play the Giants in the meadowlands. As many have stated, this has the makings of a trap game. But, I think the Bears are pissed enough that even after they start out 3-0 beating 2 division rivals, and 2 teams that many people picked to win the Superbowl (Cowboys and Packers) they have not received ANY respect. In fact, the Giants are favored! I see the Bears coming out on fire. Not to mention, the Giants aren't that good. My prediction: Bears 37-17 (and if they put Hester on kickoff returns 2 special teams TDs). Did I mention I called Hester's TD return to Steve?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Northwestern vs. Minnesota

With NU undefeated and the Golden Gophers reeling at 1-3, I thought I better post this so that we could all remember one of the greatest moments in recent Big Ten history. Ladies and gentlemen, Victory Right:

Also, has some more great Northwestern coverage.

Here's a link to the complete highlights of what was an unbelievable game.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome to the Weekly Picks section. Last week I did alright



Bet: Oklahoma @ Cincinnati Over 52 points
Final: Oklahoma 31 Cincinnati 29
Total: 60 Points

Bet: Arkansas +7.5 vs Alabama
Final: Arkansas 20 Alabama 24
Line Adjusted Final (LAF): Arkansas 27.5 Alabama 24

Bet: Stanford -5 @ Notre Dame
Final: Stanford 37 Notre Dame 14
LAF: Stanford 32 Notre Dame 14


Bet: Tennessee +3 @ New York Giants
Final: Tennessee 29 New York Giants 10
LAF: Tennessee 32 New York Giants 10

Bet: Atlanta +4 @ New Orleans
Final: Atlanta 27 Saints 24
LAF: Atlanta 31 Saints 24



Bet: TCU -18 @ SMU
Final: TCU 41 SMU24
LAF: TCU 23 SMU 24

Bet: Eastern Michigan +44 @ Ohio State
Final: Eastern Michigan 20 Ohio State 73
LAF: Eastern Michigan 64 Ohio State 73

Record 5-2. The lesson, like I said before, stay away from huge lines. On to this week’s bets

A few notes about lines in general.

1. Lines are NOT what Vegas thinks is going to happen. The lines are what Vegas thinks will convince the public to bet on the game.
2. Vegas knows big name teams (think Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Yankees, Cowboys, Red Sox) will have more money bet on them because Joe Fan hears about these teams all the time and will adjust their lines accordingly.
3. Vegas is close to Los Angeles and has a lot of visitors from there. They know LA fans will bet on their teams and will adjust their lines accordingly.

Over/Under –A wager in which Vegas will predict a number for a statistic in a given game (usually the combined score of the two teams), and bettors wager that the actual number in the game will be either higher or lower than that number.

Money Line – Bet on one team with no line. Payouts are changed to keep betting equal.


-140: A bet of $140 is place in order to win $100
+140: A bet of $100 wins $140

A quick note, I will pick more college games because I think there is more potential to win money compared to NFL where Vegas only has to forecast 16 games and teams are very close talent wise. Normally I don’t like picking road teams, but I have a bunch this week.

Like last week, there was no trip to Vegas so no bets were actually placed.


Michigan @ Indiana Over 65 Points.

I know that is a very high line, but I still think the game will go higher. I posted this earlier in the week, but here is how ESPN’s Big Ten Blog starts off the preview of the game.

Fact No. 1: Michigan brings the nation's leading rusher and the nation's No. 2 rush offense to Bloomington to face an Indiana defense ranked 92nd nationally against the run.

Fact. No. 2: The Hoosiers counter with the nation's No. 11 pass offense against a Michigan team ranked 105th nationally in pass defense.

Good enough for me.

Northwestern -5.5 @ Minnesota

Northwestern is undefeated right? And Minnesota just lost at home to Northern Illinois? Yes to both. This line should be way higher, I see Northwestern’s offense putting it on cruise control for most of the second half.

Texas Tech -7 @ Iowa State

Texas Tech played well against Texas (maybe not as impressive now) and I see their defense completely shutting down Iowa State. I think Tech wins easily.

Iowa -7 Vs Penn State

Iowa has had Penn State’s number the past couple of years. A young QB heading into Kinnick for a night game on Home Coming weekend? Not a good combination, the fans will be loud and ready from a day of tailgating.


Baltimore +2 @ Pittsburgh

I am not a firm believer in Baltimore this year, but without Big Ben, they should beat the Steelers, regardless how good the D has been playing.

Chicago +3.5 @ New York Giants

I know this game has trap game written all over it for the Bears. Giants are in disarray and have to win. Bears are coming off a short week after an emotional win against their biggest rival for first place in the division. Yet, I’m still picking the Bears because I think they are better than the Giants and they are getting points. Actually you know what, I’m betting the money line on this.

Chicago +175 @ New York Giants

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ryder Cup 2010

The 2010 Ryder Cup starts tomorrow and Team USA will do it's best and try to retain the cup. For those of you who dont know much about the Ryder Cup here is some tidbits. First the Ryder Cup is a match play event that is played every two years between the best American golfers and the best European golfers. During the two year period players accumulate points based on how well they perform in tournaments. The top 8 golfers on both sides get automatic bids and the remaing 4 spots are picked by the team captain (who does not play). The site for the event switches between the United States and Europe every other time. This year it is Europe while next time it will be held here.

The first two days are the same in that there they have an alternate shot match and then a best ball match with one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Alternate shot is where team members will alternate taking shots and best ball is where each player plays their own ball but they take the lowest score. Team captains must pick eight players to play in each event making four pairs. The final day is played by all 12 team members in straight up match play. Each match is worth a point and if there is a tie then its a 1/2 point and the defending team (Team USA) must get 14 points to win while the Europeans need 14 1/2 points to win.

Now for those of you who are still reading this I would just like to say that I enjoy the Ryder Cup. Its a different type of tournament that is fun to watch in the way that its not the traditional you vs everyone. Its also fun to root for your country or in Europes case their continent. Since this year it is held in Europe I dont see the Americans fairing to well. For some reason American golfers dont fair well across the pond, but thats just my opinion. Anything can happen though and will be fun to see how this all plays out. This is Sergio's bread and butter so look for him to plays lights out.

Here are the pairings for Friday morning (US pair listed first):

Phil Mickleson & Dustin Johnson VS Lee Westwood & Martin Kaymer

Stewart Cink & Matt Kuchar VS Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell

Steve Stricker & Tiger Woods VS Ian Poulter & Ross Fisher

Bubba Watson & Jeff Overton (IU) VS Luke Donald (Northwestern) & Padraig Harrington (Big Ten battle)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Ten Blog Previews IU vs Michigan

ESPN's Big Ten Blog previews the IU vs Michigan game this weekend and it starts out this way.

Fact No. 1: Michigan brings the nation's leading rusher and the nation's No. 2 rush offense to Bloomington to face an Indiana defense ranked 92nd nationally against the run.

Fact. No. 2: The Hoosiers counter with the nation's No. 11 pass offense against a Michigan team ranked 105th nationally in pass defense.

I know this is the game I am most excited about for this year! GO HOOSIERS! O and bet the over

All I Want For Christmas...

I really loved those 1940's throwbacks from Monday Night. And we got a throwback of our own watching Devin Hester 'house that punt return.

In honor of the man who won me my fantasy matchup this week, I give you this:

Santa Claus, I hope you're paying attention!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Dipping Dots of Running Diaries (The Diary of the future....ooooohhh)

Originally the plan for my return to blogging was going to be a running diary of the Michigan/Indiana tussle this Saturday (2:30pm CT – ESPNU) to be posted next week. A high scoring game that is bound to have a bunch of lead changes is the perfect opportunity for something like that…then I thought about how much work it would be to try and re-watch the game and get every necessary detail into the diary. (At this point you are probably thinking to yourself “but Derek, isn’t a running diary supposed to be done live…like, while you are watching the game?”…and you would be right…my response to you would be, “first of all, shut the hell up, and secondably, there is no way that something like that would turn out well with the amount of beer that will be consumed during the game”). Having said all that, I will NOT be doing a running diary of the game on Saturday…but I can do you one better: What you may not know about me is that I am psychic and already have all the information that I need to give you an accurate look that game a whole 4 days prior to kick-off (that’s 96 hours!).

Game Info:

Game time – Coverage is set to begin at 2:30PM CT on ESPNU

Gambling info – Michigan opened as a 14 point favorite, however, due to some heavy early action in IU’s favor the line has shifted all the way to 10.5 points. The over/under opened at 65.5. (My advice would be to take Indiana and the points and parlay it with the over…and if you believe my psychic powers you may want to look into the money line and forget about those points.)

The Background:

Last year’s game was played up in that whore of town called Ann Arbor. Due to a late Tate Forcier TD pass and some “questionable” calls by the officials Michigan escaped with a hard fought 36-33 win. Indiana left Ann Arbor with their first loss and down a piece of gum. Going into this week’s game the Hoosiers are once again not getting any respect from the media (check out Charissa Thompson’s reaction in this video when Eddie George predicts an IU win on Saturday) and should have a chip on their shoulder.

Indiana comes into the game against Michigan with a 3-0 record and some impressive offensive production after playing a pretty pitiful out of conference schedule. The QB Ben Chappell has thrown for just under 900 yards with 9 TDs and 0 INTs for the year. At his disposal are a stable of talented pass catchers at WR (Tandon Doss, Damarlo Belcher, Terrance Turner, and Duwyce Wilson) and a new target at TE (Freshman Ted Bolser) who 3 games into his IU career has already tied the single season TD record for a tight end by hauling in 4 TD passes. The IU rushing attack has a talented RB (Darius Willis) who has had trouble getting going this year behind an offensive line that can pass block with the best of them but has issues generating the push necessary to run the ball consistently. The IU defense has had its fair share of struggles already and will be satisfied if they are able to hold Michigan to any point total under 35.

Michigan will stroll into beautiful Memorial Stadium with a 4-0 record with some equally, and arguably more, impressive numbers on the offensive side of the ball. They run the ball a ton better than Indiana with the bulk of their yardage coming from “Heisman Candidate” Denard Robinson (I don’t see how you can bring up that kind of Heisman talk already…the guy has played 4 games against less than stellar opponents). Robinson has been pretty impressive in the passing game as well having thrown only 1 INT on the year. As always the Michigan offense has talent at the remaining skill positions and offensive line – but based on last couple years we know that raw talent and recruiting stars don’t guarantee success in college. The Michigan defense is in a similar position to Indiana’s…in that there really hasn’t been one. If the Michigan defense can hold Chappell to fewer than 300 yards passing they will be ecstatic.

The overall match-up is shaping up to be one of the higher scoring games in recent memory (especially when you factor in that it is two Big Ten teams that are playing). The teams come in averaging an identical 41 points per game on offense (41.33 to 41.25 so I guess IU gets the slight edge) while giving up 19 ppg (IU) and 23 ppg (UM) on defense. Each team’s defensive weakness is the opposing team’s offensive strength which will lead to some huge plays.

Keys To The Game:

- Turnovers – With all the scoring in this game any turnover will be huge, especially if there are points scored off of them.

- Kicking – Michigan has had some early struggles in the kicking game. A missed field goal or two would swing momentum IU’s way.

- Hidden yardage – One often overlooked stat is the return yardage that teams are able to pile on. Keep an eye on Tandon Doss, Duwyce Wilson, and Nick Turner for the Hoosiers – the trio have combined to average 33.25 yards per kick-off return which is good for first in the Big Ten and second in the Nation. Michigan comes into the game averaging a measly 18.14 yards per return which is good for 10th in the Big Ten (and 107th in the country).

Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for: A glimpse into the future…through the eyes of an actual (read – not actual) psychic…it’s time for...

"The 4 day early future running diary of the Indiana Hoosiers/Michigan Wolverines clash of 2010!" (All times in CT…you east and west coaster’s can shove it).

2:25pm – I wish I was in Bloomington for this game…early fall is B-town at its finest. The weather is warm, the beer is flowing, and there has not been nearly enough time for the freshman 15 to take hold. Earlier in the week the forecast called for 65 degrees and rainy but just as it always does Bloomington came through and we are looking at a balmy 72 degrees and sunny for kick-off.

2:32pm – The Wolverines have won the toss and elected to receive. With two high powered offenses this is clearly an attempt to grab the momentum early and dash Indiana’s hopes for an upset as soon as possible.

2:35pm – The teams are out on the field and things are ready to begin. The Hoosier’s Nick Freeland launches a kick-off that is fielded by Darryl Stonum at the 1 yard line. Stonum immediately fakes a hand-off to Martavious Odoms but the Hoosiers are not fooled and stop Stonum at the 23 yard line.

2:39pm – After two unsuccessful running plays the Michigan offense is looking at a 3rd and 6 from their own 27. This is not the start to the game they envisioned – a 3 and out to start the game would put momentum squarely in Indiana’s corner. Lined up with trips left and a RB next to him Denard Robinson gets the snap and takes a quick step back to sell the pass…he immediately darts right, behind his blocking TE and the QB draw works to perfection as “shoelace” picks up 19 yards and leaves a few IU defenders grasping at air.

2:46pm – Michigan’s fast paced offense makes it down to the IU 16 yard line before facing a long 4th and 8. They line up for the 33 yard field goal…and the kicker misses it! He pushed it right!! Rich-Rod reaches for his gun but thinks better of himself. IU takes over at their own 23 yard line for their first drive with 11:16 left in the quarter.

2:51pm – Willis gained 4 yards on first down and Chappell followed that up with three consecutive completions to Tandon Doss for 8, 11, and 17 yards. On first down from the Michigan 37 Willis bounces a run outside and gets 22 yards on his way to the 15 yard line.

2:53pm – After a 1 yard run by Willis to the 14 yard line Chappell finds Belcher on a fade route to get the Hoosiers on the board. 7-0 Indiana with 6:37 left in the quarter.

3:04pm – The Michigan offense responds quickly with a 6 play drive for a TD. A screen pass Stonum accounts for 33 of the yards and a 12 yard pass to Roy Roundtree finds the end zone. 7-7 with 4:01 left in the 1st.

3:06pm – Tandon Doss finds a seam and takes the kick-off back to the Michigan 48 yard line. He is a player.

3:09pm – Back to back 6 yard runs by Willis give the Hoosiers first down at the 36 yard line. Nick Turner gives Willis a blow and takes a short screen pass to the right side 23 yards to get the ball down to the Michigan 13.

3:11pm – After facing a 3rd and 7 at the Michigan 10 Chappell finds Terrance Turner at the 2 yard line setting up 1st and goal. Willis pounds the ball into the end zone on his 2nd attempt as the first quarter comes to an end with IU holding a 14-7 lead.

End of 1: 14-7 Indiana

The 2nd and 3rd quarters are going to be in fast forward…this is getting long. Time to jump into the Delorean and fire it up to 88 for a couple quarters.

2nd Quarter highlights:

Michigan opens the scoring with a 6 yard scoring run by Robinson – he got the drive going with a 44 yard run earlier. 14-14 after the first drive of the second quarter.

Indiana responds to the Michigan score with a field goal of their own on a methodical drive that was highlighted by a 24 yard pass from Chappell to Bolser. 17-14 Indiana.

Michigan moves down the field quickly once again on the next drive but an IU blitz causes a Robinson interception in the red zone. Indiana takes the ball from there and on the 3rd play from scrimmage Duwyce Wilson breaks loose in the secondary for a 76 yard score. 24-14 Indiana.

A Michigan field goal wraps up the scoring for the first half.

Halftime score: 24-17 Indiana

3rd quarter highlights:

Nick Turner fields the 3rd quarter kick-off at his own 4 yard line...and taking the ball up the right side he sees a cut-back lane and uses his 4.3 speed and darts 96 yards for the TD. Michigan looks like they are running in quick sand! 31-17 Indiana.

The ensuing drive for Michigan is an 11 play drive that is heavy on the running game. Robinson and Michael Shaw account for 68 rushing yards and Shaw caps the drive with a 4 yard scoring plunge. 31-24 Indiana.

Indiana moves the ball 30 yards before a short pass to Terrance Turner results in a fumble and Indiana’s first turnover of the game. Michigan takes over on their 46 yard line and immediately gets 20 yards on a screen pass to Shaw. The Wolverines end up settling for a 29 yard field goal that splits the uprights. 31-27 Indiana.

The final Indiana possession in the 3rd is a 71 yard scoring drive that takes 9 plays and 5:35 off the clock. A TD pass from Chappell to Tandon Doss covering 27 yards caps of the drive. Chappell finishes off the drive with 287 yards and 3 TDs for the game (if you’re counting at home that is 15 quarters on the year without an interception for Chappell). 38-27 Indiana.

Michigan takes possession of the ball with 2:08 left in the third. After 8 plays they are sitting at the Indiana 8 yard line and poised to score.

End of 3: 38-27 Indiana

Ok, let’s slow things down and get “Back to the Future (Diary)” –

4:54pm – From the Indiana 8 yard line Robinson runs a QB read option and hangs onto the ball for himself. He runs left and makes his way down to the IU 2 yard-line. He’s now got 182 yards for the game – he’s backing up reputation as a runner but with only 112 yards passing and the interception so far he still has a long way to go in that department.

4:55pm – Robinson takes the snap and gives Shaw the ball once again on a quick pitch who puts his head down and hits the end zone for the score. Michigan has gotten within 4 points and now trails Indiana 38-34.

4:59pm – After a commercial break, a stuffed run, a short pass, and an incompletion Indiana does the worst thing possible and has to punt the ball away (nothing like the 4th quarter for the first punt of the game). Chris Hagerup hits a booming 54 yard punt that Jeremy Gallon fields at his own 13 and returns to the 28.

5:20pm – The teams trade field goals after moving the ball pretty easily between the 20s but are both stifled in the red zone. 41-37 Indiana with 4:42 to go in the game.

5:26pm – Michigan gets into IU territory and down to the IU 47. After a short run by Shaw, Robinson takes the ball and roll-out to the right…after Chad Scherer tracks him down Robinson makes an ill-advised pass back across the field that Mitchell Evans sees coming from a mile away – Interception!! IU takes over at their own 38 poised to run out the clock with Michigan having two time-outs left and 2:03 left in the game.

5:31pm – Back to back 3 yard runs by Willis followed by Michigan time-outs give IU 3rd and 4 at their own 44 and 1:51 on the clock. Trey Burgess takes a hand-off 2 yards to the IU 46 which brings up 4th down (Terrible play call! 1:15 is too much time to give Michigan). Hagerup boots the ball to the Michigan 19 where Gallon calls for a fair catch. Indiana is up 41-37 and has to stop the Michigan offense from moving 81 yards in 1:09.

5:32pm – Blitz! Fumble! Just as quickly as the drive started Darius Johnson and Damon Sims converge on Denard Robinson as he tries to run another draw up the middle of the Hoosier defense. Larry Black Jr falls on the ball and IU has sealed it.

5:34pm – Queue the fight song and the celebration. After two kneel downs the crowd is storming the field!

Final Score: 41-37 Indiana

What an exciting game. Indiana is sitting at 4-0 and heading to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Too early to make any predictions there…it’s safe to say that after his game today (379 yards/3 TDs) that Ben Chappell is having a stellar season. The 104 rushing yards that Willis amassed were enough to give the threat of a run game and opened things up for Chappell early. Duwyce Wilson and Tandon Doss both had huge receiving days with 288 yards combined.

The keys to the game turned out to be spot-on. Michigan couldn’t escape Bloomington with a win after turning the ball over 3 times and missing a short field goal. The two big kick returns for IU caused huge shifts in momentum at the time.

Too early to predict Rose Bowl for IU…but 4-0 is a solid start.