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.