Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday 11/10 A.M. Quickie:
It's Rutgers' World...

THE story of the week/month/season is Rutgers football. Read my full, right-off-the-game, feel-my-hysteria post here.

A few key morning-after issues:
*Where would you rank Rutgers NOW?
*Did the Big East/Rutgers earn nat'l respect?
*Which wannabe-BCS contenders benefit most?
*Is the pending BCS controversy good or bad for CFB?
*Should Ray Rice be the new Heisman favorite?

I'd rank Rutgers in the Top 3; where would YOU rank them?

More on today's radar:

LeBron is NOT a quitter! (Or so he insists.) After leading the Cavs over the Bulls last night, he made sure not to leave the court before the game was over, as he controversially did in a Cavs L to the Hawks the other night. LBJ in smooth damage-control mode! (Even smoother than his 12 assists last night.)

More NBA: (1) Hornets get tagged with their first loss of the season (to the score-first, ask-questions-later Warriors). (2) And the Mavs FINALLY won their first game, though beating the Suns (now 1-5) ain't what it was a mere six months ago, in the Western Conference Finals, now is it?

NFL: Coming later today: Complete NFL Week 10 preview. As an appetizer, how big of an idiot is Plax Burress for calling out the Bears DBs as "very beatable?"

MLB Rumors and More: Are the Yankees going to deal Gary Sheffield to the Tigers? Are the Red Sox going to sign new free agent JD Drew? Will next year finally be Biggio's last in an Astros uni? And when will we find out which team won the bidding war for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzama?

Did you notice that I posted my usual college football weekend preview last night? If you missed it, scroll down or click here. Biggest pick: Northwestern over Ohio State! (Uh, or maybe I'm wishful thinking...)

Welcome to college hoops, Kevin Durant: The Texas super-frosh scored 20 in his first-ever CBB game, making it look as easy as everyone thought he would. He's a lock for Top 3 in the NBA Draft. (Let's just hope he'll fare better than ex-Texas "stud" LaMarcus Aldridge.)

The NCAA has every right to crow about student-athletes graduating at a higher rate than non-athletes, but I'll bet there are some stat fiends out there who can debunk the level of giddy I-told-you-so's from the NCAA.

San Francisco's NFL stadium problems could spike the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics. My money's still on Chicago to be the USOC's choice.

JoePa is a no-go for Saturday's game vs. Temple. I think everyone in the student section should wear knee braces in solidarity.

Veteran's Day Weekend is an appropriate time for the Cardinals to honor Pat Tillman. Now, it's time for the Pro Football Hall of Fame to fast-track his candidacy.

Finally: After sleeping on it, yes, Ray Rice is STILL at the very top of my Heisman ballot, ahead of Ohio St QB Troy Smith.

-- D.S.


Big D said...

The NFL wouldn't fast track the candidacy for Reggie White, one of the best D-Lineman of all-time, after he died. Don't see them doing it for Tillman, no matter the circumstances.

Jon said...

Rutgers has to at least be top 5 now. Since there were no other games on last night the voters might have been able to see that this team is legit.

If the weak Big 10 is respected, the Big East definitely deserves some respect....not sure if that is saying much though.

USC/ND winner and the 1 loss winner of the SEC benefit the most.

Potential controversy is good because maybe they'll finally create a playoff system, which could also create better regular season/out of conference games so teams aren't scared to lose a game.

No, Ray Rice should not be the favorite. Remember Louisville is not known for their defense.

Sheffield to the Tigers would be stupid by the Yankees. I'd want him out of the league. Despite his whining, he was right. He is better than Abreu.

Thought I heard the Cubs won the Matsuzama war, anyone else hear that?

Unknown said...

Rice should have cemented his top 5 status on the Heisman, but not at the top of the list. Troy Smith is at the top, as he should be. After he carves up Michigan for 300 passing/ 100 running (ho-hum), there will be no more discussion.

I like my Hall of Fames to be about athletic achievements within a sport, or other great contribution to the sport.
Yeah, I'll be a prick, but I see no reason whatsoever for Tillman to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unless they are opening up an entire new wing for players who gave up their lives in service.

Big D said...

By the way Dan - how in the world have you neglected to at least mention Curt Schilling's dominant (read: pitiful) appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy last night?

Would have thought that would be right in your wheelhouse.

Brian said...

Of the 6 BCS computers, only one updates daily. Sagarin has Rutgers 3rd, and Louisville 11th. And going into the game, the computers had Rutgers anywhere from 7th to 12th. So the computer polls might not be as name biased as you think.

Lew said...

"You guys know what you're doing and what I want enough that I don't need to be there creating a huge distraction Saturday," he told them, according to a team statement. "Enough on me; let's get back to football." (JoePa)

I think JoePa not being at the game is a class act. He know if he was there then the media and everybody else would take their attention off the game on to him. For JoePa the most important thing is a "W" for Penn State football and so by not being there he is giving the team an advantage by not being a distraction.

TJ said...

I just wrote an entire comment about how Rutgers is #6 behind OSU/Michigan and the three SEC teams, but before I pressed send I came to my senses--Rutgers are #3. That beatdown they threw last night on such a great offense was... well, it was awesome. I'll actually be a little pissed UF wins out and finishes ahead of an undefeated Rutgers. That would just be robbery.

Worldwide Reader said...

Let me get this straight: Rutgers beating a mediocre Louisville team - at home - is more impressive than Michigan's victory over Notre Dame, and OSU's victory over Texas ... both of which were on the road? Not so sure about that one.

Rutgers is a nice story, I'll give you that. They have one solid win (last night) and another decent one (vs Pitt), but that's all. I would be shocked if they stayed within 10 points when they go to Morgantown in a few weeks.

USC is the biggest winner in all of this ... IF they can win out the rest of the season, against a very tough schedule. I don't think it's going to happen, but they have the best shot to reach the title game now against the OSU/MICH winner.

By the way: biggest "non-story" of the year so far goes to the whole LeBron walking off the court bullshit. Zzzzzz.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...
I just wrote an entire comment about how Rutgers is #6 behind OSU/Michigan and the three SEC teams, but before I pressed send I came to my senses--Rutgers are #3. That beatdown they threw last night on such a great offense was... well, it was awesome. I'll actually be a little pissed UF wins out and finishes ahead of an undefeated Rutgers. That would just be robbery.


Just messing, I can't put Rutgers there yet. If they beat WVU they might. Right now I'd rank them 4th, behind Texas.

I heard there is a big game in Gainesville, You gonna be at the game this weekend Troy?

Joe (Dayton)

Steve said...

Biff, that's because BYU is not that good. They lost to Arizona and have beaten a bunch of nobodies.

Agree with Rafael, Tillman does NOT deserve in the hall of fame. I'm sure there are a bunch of crappy players who have done nice things and are all around good people, doesn't make them hall of famers.

I had Rutgers 5th before the game so put them 4th now. I actually have big 10 teams as the top 3, which seems crazy but Wisconsin is legit.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Rutgers has now made my Top 5, probably in the 5-spot right now (don't make me pick 3 and 4, but I don't think RU is there yet). I'll reserve the #2 spot until we see what happens when RU plays WVU on the road. No way they get to 3, or even 5, in the human polls without another round of major SEC screwups this weekend.

Speaking of that matchup, I'm still on the fence... I'll let you know when I come up with my prediction (I've been right 2 Thursdays in a row...).

Rice isn't suddenly my Heisman frontrunner or anything (although let it be noted that I said a week or two ago in this very forum, if Rutgers runs the table, give Rice the Heisman). I hate to be all logical again, but I hesitate to crown him, since even UL's defense was, at best, shoddy against the run. Still, grinding out those 75 clutch 4th-quarter yards like a machine, you gotta give him props.

(Notably, I predicted the following yesterday morning: "No way UL will tackle Rice in the backfield all night, he'll go for a buck-fifty, if not the whole Jefferson.")

My Heisman list is really a logjam. The world needs to wait for big season-ending games to happen before mailing in those ballots (Sigh, I know, they're already punched for Troy. Whatever.)
T. Smith (apparently this is a law)
B. Quinn (ditto)
M. Hart (Hart's not hurt, UM's not hurting)
R. Rice (big performances! good competition?)

C. McCoy (whatever, Big XII)
C. Brennan (whatever, Hawaii. where's T. Chang right now?)

L. Woodley (see below)
M. Manningham (ditto)
Ok - these two aren't serious, obviously. Maybe they should be, though; who knows what Super Mario can do in that OSU game? After ND and the 3 following games, even with the injured month in between, could anybody deny T. Biakabatuuuuka numbers against The Buckeyes? (I know - yes.)
And as far as LaMarr goes - don't be too sure of Troy Smith's stats in games that are 8 days away, rafael. If LaMarr and the crew shut down Smith like they hassled and dominated Quinn, how could the world continue to ignore what's happening here? I guess for now we can say that Quinn and the Irish laid an egg, but if lightning strikes twice, against the two concensus Heisman contenders, how can anyone deny the effect these guys have on QBs?
I would never actually pretend there's any chance of Woodley winning, for the record.

S. Slaton (this guy needs to talk to Kenny Rogers about handling big games. you're not outstanding if you cost your team their whole season with stupid mistakes.)

G. Wolfe (remember this name? what happened??)

Unknown said...

I'm going with history. Smith has carved up the Michigan D 2 years in a row. I think he'll do it for a third year (though this time, with more help from teammates).

Of course, I was being facetious with the 300/100 line. I do think he'll have a big game (he'll have to...Michigan will stop Pittman/Wells)

The thing about OSU...sure, you should worry about Gonzo, but the 3, 4, 5 reciever for OSU are surprisingly solid. That's where I think OSU will win the game.

That and the fact that Henne is still one good hit from becoming Peyton Manning in big games (though I think Manningham will be solid).

marcomarco said...

Celebrity Jeopardy Extract

Alex Trebek: Early 1900's England used this equal to 1/20th of a Pound.

Curt: "What is a Shilling?"

Alex: "That was a fastball right down the middle for you, nice job"

Alex: "You're getting killed in this game, you idiot, way to locate your buzzer"

john (east lansing, mi) said...

rafael -

different defense.

I said that 2 months ago. English has got these guys turned into a completely different D. That guy from Minnesota (not even Maroney, IIRC) carved them up last year on the last play of that game, too. Wouldn't/didn't happen this year.

Watch some football one of these weeks, huh?

Big D said...

An excerpt from my post last night:

Schilling just froze trying to remember which company’s tag line was “The San Francisco Treat”. I’m embarrassed for him right now, although I can understand since he’s a right-wing Christian Conservative, he probably doesn’t want to appear as though he’s affiliated with San Francisco in any way whatsoever. He starts Round Two in the negatives. By the way, it’s as if the real “Celebrity Jeopardy!” is mocking SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy – there’s an actual category in today’s Round Two named “Shiny Things”. What – “Months That Begin With ‘Feb’” wasn’t available?

Steve said...

Well, Biff, if you want respect and you play in weak conference like the WAC, you can't lose games to 4-5 teams like Arizona. That's just the way it goes. I don't care what a team was ranked at the time they played them, Tulsa and TCU are not ranked right now and are also mediocre teams just like BYU is mediocre.

Matt T said...

I'm pretty sure my grade point average would have been much higher with 'tutors' and soft ball classes.

What a stupid report by the NCAA.

jhawkjjm said...

Yes the Big 10 is weak after the first 3 teams. Yes I'd put the Big 12 up against the Big 10 and the Big 12 would win the series.

This is what I really would love to see in college football now that they've added the 12th game. Based on the records of the previous season, match up #1 in A vs #1 in B, 2 vs 2... all the way down. It works well in basketball (ACC vs Big 10).. why not in football? Oh yeah... the powerhouse schools will only schedule one road non-conference game and 2 vs crap team. Bawk bawk bawk...

Unknown said...


this will come as a shocker to some but it has to be mentioned

List of non-conference road wins for big east teams:

Rutgers: North Carolina, Navy
Louisville: Temple, Kansas St., Middle Tennesse St.,
West Virginia: East Carolina, Mississippi St.,
Pittsburg: Central Florida
South Florida: Central Florida, North Carolina
Connecticut: Indiana
Syracuse: Illinois

so that makes how many wins for Big East teams on the road against other BCS conference teams with winning records?


that is simply shocking

and it's not like the Big East is the smallest BCS conference and therefore plays more non conference games and also has no championship and therefore gains another week

Oh, wait a sec....

Steve said...

Well, Ken I personally don't feel that a citizen's priorities should be joining the army to go out and kill or be killed in stupid wars under an even more stupid president. But, that's just my opinion, and you're entitled to your own. In my view, he wasn't an ambassador to the game, it's more like if he wasn't an also-ran NFL player and was just an ordinary citizen who joined the army like the thousands of others who died in Iraq we'd have never heard of him.

The Hall of Fame is about football not politics. If the Cardinals feel like they want to retire his number or something, fine that's their prerogative, but he's absolutely not hall of fame worthy.

Almost every player in the last 30 years has donated countless hours of time to the United Way or other programs, but we don't induct every one of them either. When they come up with a Pro Football Hall of all-around-swell-guys then maybe Pat Tillman can get inducted there.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Ah, SportsNation polls... again, pretty unsurprising, for the most part, but still great for revealing just what you expected, almost scientifically.

Hrmm, I'm surprised, the color gradients are evening out. Anyway, I liked it, as per usual.

Steve said...

Fine Biff, I'll just go with a computer rating that doesn't take into account human bias. According to the Sagarin Ratings BYU is a slightly better than mediocre 23. They have beaten a mediocre 37th ranked Tulsa and 40th ranked TCU. When there are only slightly more than 100 teams in 1-A being high 30's is mediocre. They also lost to an even more mediocre 52nd ranked Arizona. Also, the 2 other 2 loss teams that you cited are ranked 7th (LSU) and 13th (Tennessee). I stand by my prior judgment, BYU has beaten no one better than 37th and lost to a team who is 52nd. They aren't that good.

nep1293 said...

BYU is a very good team, probably the best non BCS team (even ahead of Boise)

Undefeated Rutgers = Title Game. Whether they are the 2nd best team or not they deserve it. Everyone else had a chance to take care of their own business and failed to do so.

If anyone is interested, an early line for the West Virginia-Rutgers game is West Virginia -7.5

Jen said...

Phil~ Troy Smith has Gonzalez, Hall, Robiskie....Ginn Jr. is just one of many.


Big D said...

@ john (ann arbor, mi):

What surprised me the most about that SportsNation poll is that Jersey was split 72% - 28%. Would have expected something more like 98 - 2...

TJ said...


This will apparently come as a shock to you, but here's the list of non-conference road wins for SEC teams.

Florida: No road non-conference games. (until FSU, which, let's face it, won't impress anyone)
Tennessee: Memphis
Kentucky: None (Got destroyed at Louisville, though)
Georgia: No road non-conference games.
South Carolina: No road non-conference games.
Vanderbilt: None (Lost at Michigan though)
Arkansas: No road non-conference games. (got destroyed at home by USC though)
Auburn: No road non-conference games.
LSU: No road non-conference games.
Alabama: No road non-conference games.
Mississippi: None (lost at Missouri though)

So how many road wins for SEC teams over BCS teams? NONE.

I love the SEC, think it's far and away the best conference, but Guy, find another reason to blast the Big East.

Anonymous said...

I respect Rutgers enough to put them in the top 5 (they should have been in the top 10 last my opinion). But as I predicted, Rutgers beat Louisville and come Dec. 2, RU will fall to WVU (who won't lose another game). This will definitely throw a wrench into the BCS! Who do you pick after the Mich/OSU winner? I'm sure USC will lose 1 or 2 more games. I think all those SEC teams will beat themselves up and end up with 2 losses (Florida, Arkansas, Auburn). So that leaves Texas and Notre Dame - which I think will both come out with only one loss? Who do you pick then? You could argue that Notre Dame should go in when the beat USC, but USC won't be a quality win by then. You could argue for Texas, they're only loss is against OSU and they'll probably play Nebraska (a pretty decent team) in the B12 champ. game. We may just end up with a Texas/OSU rematch. Or Mich/Texas. Those two games actually sound like good matchups.

Steve said...

"Since BC, their third game, they have won by the following scores:

Utah State: 38-0
TCU: 31-17 (by all accounts dominating, with a TD given up in garbage time)
SDSU: 47-17
UNLV: 52-7
Air Force: 33-14 (another TD given up in garbage time)
CSU: 24-3
Wyoming: 55-7"

Current Sagarin Ratings of above teams:

40 TCU
60 Air Force
75 Wyoming
88 Colorado St.
114 San Jose St.
140 UNLV
157 Utah St.

One could make the claim that although they blew out all these teams, they SHOULD have blown them all out because they're all bad teams (TCU maybe excepted). I'm just saying....

CMFost said...

*Where would you rank Rutgers NOW?

Top 5
*Did the Big East/Rutgers earn nat'l respect?

Ask me after the Rutgers-WV game
*Which wannabe-BCS contenders benefit most?

All the one loss teams
*Is the pending BCS controversy good or bad for CFB?

It is very good because maybe just maybe this will finally get them off there asses and come up with a real playoff and a real champion.

I always thought they should create a super weekend. With the end of the college football playoffs championship game and the super bowl on the same weekend

*Should Ray Rice be the new Heisman favorite?

Can not judge someone on one game

WuzUpG said...

Not only did the Warriors beat the Hornets, they did it without JRich (knee). Moreover, they didn't even start their new fantasy stud, Biedrins.

TJ said...

Biff, so why would you just assume that they suck? If one of them manages to go undefeated, shouldn't you want to see them play a team you consider legit so you can see what they've really got?

Brien said...

G. Wolfe (remember this name? what happened??)

Teams discovered that NIU could not beat them with the passing game, and stacked 8-9 in the box to stop Wolfe.

Since NIU runs a one-back offense, that means anyone who gets through the O-Line gets a free shot at Wolfe in the backfield. This has happened a lot in the last four weeks, in which Garrett has rushed for less than 100 yards each week.

Our offensive coordinator, John Bond, is an idiot for not adapting the offense to utilize Wolfe as they did against Ohio State ... as a west-coast-style back who is integrated into the passing game.

It worked well against OSU, but NIU has not done what they said they would do, which is feature Garrett more in the passing attack. Defenses now key on him in running situations, and ignore him on passing downs (where he has basically been either a decoy or a blocking back to help with the blitz).

In short ... people figured out how to stop him ... over-play the run and dare us to beat you through the air. And we're not that good in the vertical passing game to do that.

Brien "Embarrassed that the wheels came off the Heisman wagon so quickly ..."

john (east lansing, mi) said...

brien, I'm with you. When I found out about his game against OSU (3 weeks later... thanks, media), I had him at #1 in the race. How disappointing, that national attention and coaches who don't get it can blow so much momentum for a talented player.

The heroin sheik said...

Tillman in the HOF? I know he was good but maybe because he played for the cards I just never thought of him being HOF worthy. I think he is a credit to our country and Ithink he was oen of the few bright spots in professional sports in america, but HOF. What did he play like 5 yrs in the NFL. I can understand guys like gale sayers because they were electrifying and they were hurt on the field but Tillman left the NFL and long after he had left he was killed. IM ignorant to all the facts about him but was he planning on coming back to the NFL after his term in the military was up? Maybe if he was going to come back you could make the argument based on what he might have possibly acheieved later in his career. I think what the Hall should do is create a memorial to all the players who have served their country. You can put tillman next to the best player to come out of the service academies in any sport, Roger Staubach. (the admiral is a close second)

Lets face the facts with rutgers winning last night and their being disrespected by the media means that basically three teams have a legit at the national championship excluding the Um/osu winner. Because of the conference championship games texas florida Ithink have the best shot although that western carolina game next week is going to kill us. If arkansas chokes then auburn should be in the equation even though I dont think they will stand a chance on a neutral field against the gators. ND is screwed by being an independent. What sucks for the osu um loser is that it is the end of the season so basiccaly unless it is the closest of games te loser will probably be leapfrogged by one of the aforementioned teams. As much as i hated the adding of the championship game to the sec because of my nostagic view of college ball without it the gators would have never won a natl championship. If texas doesnt pull the upset of the century in my mind it would have been nebraska like three yrs straight.

OH yeah spurrier is goign to get an old fashioned beatdown this week. I think that all the teams that have one loss are going to put on a show of their dominance this weekend in an attempt to jockey for final position in the BCS. It wouldnt suprise me if the gator hung half a hunnerd on the ol ball coach and it wouldnt suprise me if the gators lost on a missed field goal. I think this might be the most exciting game in hogtown this year. As usual I will be holding down my regular seat at the bar in the salty dog before and after the game. Open offer of a round of drinks to anyone who finds me and calls me a cockgoblin.

The heroin sheik said...

John(ann arbor) I never would have known that woodley and I share the same name if you hadn't brought that up. I may have never seen him play but on name alone he is my new favorite player. Go michigan. BTW Im white and I spell it lamarr which really fucks with people. Hell even my fiancees parents thought for the first yr we were together that I was more nesquick than whole milk.

slaskaris said...

Rice is not a one game wonder (he's 3rd in the NCAA in rushing). Obviously Louisville has a weak D and Rice is also puttin these numbers up against the Big East and obviously we all can't agree what that means. But my point is you can tell what a stud player he is by watching him play. Everyone could see how good Tomlinson was when he was at TCU despite the inferior talent he was playing against.

Basically, I just want to give Rice props and I think he deserves to be in the top 3 right now in the Heisman race and could steal it with a big performance in a win vs WV. People do get bored of a one-man race and I think voters could get excited and vote for a late run by a great athlete who performs big in late games (see Charles Woodson coming late to beat Peyton).