Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wednesday 01/10 A.M. Quickie:
P. Carroll, Tony K Staying; Big Mac a Dud

Top storylines tracking today:

*HOF vote: The Reaction
*Carroll staying at USC
*Wisconsin: No. 1 in CBB?
*TK to stay at MNF
*Final Bloggies nag/beg

Pete Carroll staying at USC: Should it scare Trojans fans that Carroll even considered an NFL job? Or should it make them feel better, because the Fins job is just about as good as he would be offered by an NFL owner, and he still turned it down?

Either way, it's already time for me to modify my 2007 Top 5 to include USC: Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Texas, USC – in no particular order.

There's a lot of hype to put LSU in that Top 5, but I think losing JaMarcus Russell will sting. And even though LSU gets the Gators in Baton Rouge next year (a game I think the Tigers will win), I think Florida wins a rematch/revenge game in the SEC title game on a neutral field.

(By the way, for all the talk about the BCS title game being an uncompetitive blowout – though the opposite direction from what all the experts predicted – it was still the 3rd most-watched BCS title game ever.)

HOF, The Day After: Has the BBWAA exiled its moron members who didn't vote for Ripken or Gwynn yet?

Meanwhile, if 75 percent of voters are eventually going to vote for McGwire but are simply exacting some vigilante justice now, those guys should lose their vote, too.

Who would've figured that the BBWAA and its membership were at least as corrupted as the Steroid Era players themselves?

More on McGwire below.*

TK to stay at MNF. It's silly season among NFL and college coaches: Interviews, hirings, rumors, spin. Here's a piece of news that isn't necessarily a shocker, but is sort of an upset:

Tony Kornheiser is staying on for another season at "Monday Night Football." After a very spotty rookie season that never really lived up to its potential that had me so giddy the day before he officially started, there were rumors that he would quit (or be yoinked) or that they would replace him with fame-whore Tiki Barber. Instead, he'll get a second year to build on Year 1. That, or the money and fame was so damn awesome that he couldn't possibly walk away from it, no matter how pained he might have appeared on-screen to be doing the job.

College Hoops: Game of the Night: Wisconsin beats Ohio State. Wow, Wisconsin might just be the No. 1 team in the country, which makes my preseason pick of Wisco to the Final Four seem smart, but it's a crowded bandwagon now. How brutal is Ohio State's schedule? Tough losses at UNC and at Wisco, sandwiching that blowout in Gainesville. But no harm: It's all terrific practice for March.

Meanwhile, how is Clemson still undefeated? Do they have "first-round tournament bust" written all over them or what? SEC: Alabama beats LSU. Florida beats Arkansas. Wow, that conference is going to beat itself up at the top, round-robin style.

Did you hear about the ex-high school hoops coach who faces 39 various counts, not the least of which is hitting his players in the groin?

Early contender for Biggest Non-story of the (New) Year: Belichick's playoff post-game push.

Louisville hires Kragthorpe: Other college teams should take note of how quickly Louisville pivoted from losing their coach to the NFL to hiring a replacement: Steve Kragthorpe from Tulsa. Ah, we're back to the good old days where mid-major programs create coaches who can leap into a Top 25 program.

Speaking of L'ville, is RB Michael Bush, who is jumping to the NFL, a bigger, bulkier, more talented version of Willis McGahee? The biggest difference: McGahee had four months to go from injury to draft day, one of the great rehabs in modern sports memory. Bush has an extra three months. I'd still draft him in the first round, ranking him just behind Adrian Peterson.

When Jason Kidd filed for divorce from his wife, he accused her of "extreme cruelty." Yikes. That can't simply be that she beat his ass in their nightly game of Boggle.

The dream is over for Rory Fitzpatrick: The NHL's story of the year – the write-in All-Star candidacy that earned a staggering 550K votes – fell 23,000 votes short. But it set a new standard for grassroots phenomena in the NHL and across fan-balloting in sports.

2016 Olympics: Chicago and LA are the finalists for the US bid for the 2016 Olympics. I'm on record a while ago as saying that Chicago would be the best choice for the USOC's support.

Fan-Generated Super Bowl Ad Selected: Congrats to Maine marketing guy Gino Bona, who won the NFL's contest to let a fan design a Super Bowl ad. His ad came in second in the fan vote, but the NFL yoinked it over the most popular fan choice, which kind of sucks for that ad, if you think about it. But congrats to Bona and congrats to the NFL on a clever, zeitgeisty campaign. Here's a link to the contest.

And here's the most important point -- a prediction, actually: Bona's ad concept will be better than 85 percent of the ads created by the so-called "professionals" who brands are paying a mint to create these hellishly expensive and notoriously hit-or-miss spots.

(This is different than the CBS-sponsored YouTube promotion where someone will have their "15 seconds of fame" when their 15-second YouTube clip is played during the Super Bowl, also a great idea by increasingly user-generated-content-friendly CBS.)

* - Last note about McGwire: "I'm not here to talk about the past" essentially ruined his chances of making the Hall of Fame, this year, if not ever. All he had to do was be a little more candid in front of Congress, and he would have been forgiven. That was arguably the dumbest choice of talking-point in sports history. As I wrote at the time, McGwire should have 'fessed up to it, then immediately directed his mouth (and money) to "PED-ucation" among young athletes. Two-plus years later, he would have been an HOF lock, because everyone loves a good rehab story. The crazy part? He could still apply that plan – today – and he'd be in by next year's vote.

Finally, if you haven't done it yet (or even if you have) and feel so inclined to humor me and the rest of this blog's readers, please head over to the 2007 Bloggie Awards nomination page and nominate this blog for "Best Sports Blog." Here's the link, with all the info. It takes just a few seconds. Nominations close today. Let's make this blog the Rory Fitzpatrick of the Bloggie Awards. Final push!

-- D.S.


CMFost said...

I think MLB and all Hall of Fames should use the method for selection that the NFL does. I believe the NFL has a select commitee of 15 people that is made up of writers, former players and former coaches who choose who should get in the hall. I think you need to people who know the sport by playing involved in the process.

CMFost said...

Not to jump on Ohio State but it looks like there Basketball team might be as overrated as there football team. 13-0 against non-ranked opponents but 0-3 Against Ranked Teams.

rafael said...

Ugh...are you going to tell us that the SEC is the best basketball conference too?

Wisky is definitely looking good. But is Ohio State really that good? They are mostly freshmen and Oden looks like he isn't as ready for the NBA as people thought. They've played 3 good teams and lost to all 3.

Michael Bush is a dozer. I hope he's around for the Steelers (though the Steelers really need more defensive depth)

So is Jason Kidd taking over the mantle from Doug Christie? I know it said that the kids were abused by Joumana...but also that Jason was as well. Hmm.

I really have no problem with McGwire out of the Hall. Even without the steroids. But then, I'm a fan of small ball and defense, so Big Mac doesn't register a lot on my screen.

What is up with these messed up high school coaches?? Isn't this the 3rd or 4th story in the past 2 years of a high school coach physically/mentally/sexually abusing his players?

rafael said...

actually, B10 has a good history of putting one and, several times, 2 teams in the FF.

MP said...

"Extreme Cruelty" is just a common ground for fault divorce in most states. People can claim that and get a divorce without going into detail about what happened within the marriage. It's more about keeping one spouse from getting kids, money, etc. than about what actually happened (what is alleged is that she would beat up on Kidd...yeah, I'll bet). He's just trying to lower her alimony payments.

And I don't blame Pete Carroll for passing on any NFL job. The man has shown that in the NFL, he doesn't get the job done. Then again, he's constantly walked into hopeless situations. If he were offered, say, the Steelers job (yeah, right), he might be inclined to reconsider. Point is, it's easier to build a college program from the ground up than it is an NFL program.

Anonymous said...

That's a GREAT Super Bowl ad concept. Can't wait to see it.

Brian in Oxford said...

how about flip-flopping on votes....once you vote for someone as a yes, they're a yes for the 15 years that they're on the ballot. That way vote totals can only go up, until they either get in or time runs out on their candidacy.

CorrND said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natsfan74 said...

I like how quick people are to claim a team is over-rated when it loses. OSU has played at Florida, at UNC (pre-season 1 and 2) and at Wisconsin (number 4). That's 3 really tough road games. The only B10 team to win at Wisconsin in the past 3 years is Illinois (twice). Two of those games were close (OSU lead by 10 at UNC without Oden, had a chance to tie at the end of the UW game).

Let's see how they play the rest of their B10 season and how they progress (they are mostly Freshmen) before we jump off their bandwagon as over-rated. And don't even think about calling that football team overrated. Florida played an excellent ballgame, but that doesn't dismiss what the Buckeyes did all season.

Anonymous said...

Why can't people give McGwire credit for being the only guy who told the truth in those hearings? He was the only guy who didn't perjure himself. Vote him in next year.

College b-ball. Ouch. It IS a down year for the Big East. Still, I like Calhoun, Boeheim and Pitino to turn things around in time for a conference run. Of course, they'll need to qualify first.

nep1293 said...

I tried to vote for Rory several times and each time I got a "oops etc..." message. Then when I filled out a ballot w/o Rory it got accepted. NHL conspiracy, YOU SUCK NHL!!! Why give the fans the vote and then censor them cause they don't like who they choose? Any press fo the NHL is good press at this point since almost nobody cares anymore, If Rory was on the All Star Team i'm sure at least a few more people woud be casually interested.

flubby said...

Why can't people give McGwire credit for being the only guy who told the truth in those hearings?

Refusing to answer a direct question does not equal telling the truth.

CMFost said...

If Rory was selected to the All Star team every fans right to vote for an All Star team should of be taken away. The All Start voting process should not be a popularity contest or some silly campaign. It should be used to honor the best players in the game.

dawg gone round the world said...

Dan, with UF in your top 5, does that include them losing their 4 year QB, and 10 seniors and then 5-6 more underclassmen to the draft??

even with Meyer's recruiting, that's a tough row to hoe, with Tebow having to actually pass the ball next year.

Natsfan74 said...

In Dan's defense, ESPN also picked UF as a potential Preseason #1 for next season based on the talent they have remaining. The cupboards aren't bare there (thanks to Zook's recruiting)

Remember, Ohio State lost 9 defensive starters from last year and still started this year at #1. This year, they will bring back their entire defense, lose their offense, and will still start top 5.

But the 2008/9 National Champs is going to be Alabama. Big name schools will always recruit well and so new coaches are usually able to quickly turn things around with a change in momemtum and one recruiting class to go with the momentum of their hiring. Look at Stoops in Oklahoma (2 years to champs), Tressel at OSU (2 years), Meyer at UF (2 years), Pete Carroll, and even Miles at LSU (top 5 finish in 2 years). Heck, even Virginia put together a top 5 recruiting class in Groh's first year and a run at the ACC Championship (including reaching #5 in the polls before collapses against FSU, Miami, and Tech) in his second year.

Steve said...

"What is up with these messed up high school coaches?? Isn't this the 3rd or 4th story in the past 2 years of a high school coach physically/mentally/sexually abusing his players?"

When Bob Knight is a role model for how to coach for 30 years, this is what you get. Indiana should have fired him 20 years ago and he should have left the game in disgrace.

nep1293 said...

CMFost- When has an all star game NOT been a popularity contest? Every year there are players voted in based on their name alone. It is always defended by commentators who say that it's the fans game and they can vote for who they want to see. Voting for a scrub is really any different. If the fans want to see him (no matter what reason) then they should get to see him.

Also, I do believe fans votes should be taken away. Fans are idiots, the best players should be rewarded. I think that was the whole point of the "Vote for Rory" campaign. To show that if the fans wanted to, they could rig it so a nobody cracked the system.

Anonymous said...

Props to the writers who did NOT vote for Ripken. Consecutive game streaks mean nothing in baseball to me. Now Brett Favre's streak is amazing whether you like the guy or not.

I looked up Cal's career stats. Very good. But great - no way. He had a few banner years. He also had some weak years. HOF material, not in my opinion. Lifetime .276.
Good but not great. 431 HRs, nice but not eye popping. 5 seasons above .300 batting average but 10 seasons below .270.

I would consider Cal from a statistical point of view to be an very good above average player. Now Tony Gwynn is a different story - he is HOF worthy in a second's notice.

Sheldiz said...

Clemson is in the ACC for basketball, isn't it?

Maybe i misread that comment, but it seemed you were talking about them in the SEC?

Sheldiz said...

oh i re-read that, nevermind. i thought you were including Clemson in the SEC thoughts, my bad! :)

Mikepcfl said...

Cycledan, you are forcing me to pull out the Ripken stats again!

First, here are where several prominent baseball historians rank Ripken among All-time shortstops:

Nate Davis (USAToday): 1st
Rob Neyer (ESPN): 3rd
Bill James: 3rd
The Baseball Analysts: 4th

The Baseball Prospectus recently rated Ripken's 1991 season as the 2nd greatest of ALL-TIME (using WARP-3 statistical analysis) behind just Ruth's 1923 season (and ahead of Bonds' steroid seasons).

Ripken's list of accomplishments will be below since they are too long to list in this post.

Mikepcfl said...

• 1982 AL Rookie of the Year Award
• Member of the 1981 Topps All-Star Rookie Team and 1982 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, the only player to ever be on more than one
• 19-time AL All-Star (1983-2001)
• 2-time AL MVP (1983 & 1991)
• 2-time All-Star Game MVP (1991 & 2001)
• 2-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1991 & 1992)
• 8-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1983-1986, 1989, 1991, 1993 & 1994)
• Home Runs: 431
• RBIs: 1695
• Hits: 3184
Major League Records
• Most ever home runs as a Shortstop:345
• Consecutive games, 2632
• Consecutive innings, 8234 (unofficial)

Career Range Factor of 4.62 per game...higher than Omar Vizquel whom some say is almost as good as Ozzie.

1990 Cal set the fielding percentage record for a shortstop.

Two Gold Gloves

Led the league in assists several times.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I gotta believe that, somewhere, Doug Christie is nodding and wondering what it would take to be half the man Jason Kidd is. Then, he gets his ass beat by his wife.

Mikepcfl said...

Sorry that I used some of those stats from yesterday's post. Those are just some of the statistical reasons Cal deserves the HoF. I'm not saying he is a top 10 all-time player. But he is in the "Pantheon" no matter what Simmons and his followers say.

When you include the non-statistical, Ripken's career is even greater. Besides "the Lap" when he broke Gehrig's record, he brought out the best in fans.

In 2001, after he announced his retirement, I went to see the O's play in a meaningless series in Atlanta. For once, the Braves had sold out. Everytime Cal's name was called, the fans cheered vehemently. He hit two home runs in that game. Each time as the ball rocketed out of the stadium, the Atlanta crowd leapt to its feet and gave him standing ovations. All this from an opposing crowd. That is greatness.

Anonymous said...

Ok, McGwire was the only guy in there who didn't actually lie. He also didn't expose everyone because he's not a money-grubbing jerk.

From WashPost:
"What did the others say?
Palmeiro denied having used steroids, while Sosa -- or his lawyers -- crafted an opening statement in which he said he has never used "illegal performance-enhancing drugs," has never "injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything," and has not "broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic." "

So, all in all, I think Mark took the most flack, but was the only honorable guy there. He didn't throw everyone under the bus, and he didn't try to lie to preserve his legacy. He specifically said that he couldn't reveal things without hurting people around him, and I believe that's enough reason not to reveal everything. He's an ex-player, and one of the few honest ones at that hearing.

Mikepcfl said...

Eric, you dont have to believe in stats or accomplishments. Maybe you blame Cal for not hitting 580-ft steroid-fueled home runs like McGwire and even Miggy. And yes, he tailed off the last few seasons of his career. But in his prime (and the stats back it up), he was a devastating offensive shortstop who changed the position. A-rod will go down as a greater player, even though he will end up playing more games at other positions than shortstop. But Jeter and Nomar couldnt hold Ripken's jock on their best day.

Mikepcfl said...

Maybe I am on Ripken "juice" but it seems like alot of posters act like "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpsons and have to criticize everything from their basement.

If you can give one ounce of statistical evidence that Jeter, Nomar or even God-forbid Pee Wee Reese were better shortstops than Cal, please let's see it. Otherwise, your comments are the ones discredited and ridiculous.

Mikepcfl said...

I was a little too zealous in my defense of Ripken and I shouldnt have bashed Jeter. He is a future HoF. Using run production stat, Jeter may catch Cal, but remember Jeter is playing entirely in an offensive era, while Cal played in the 80s relatively "dead ball" era. It's one of the reasons stats for guys like Rice and Dale Murphy look so bad compared to today's stats.

I also think Favre and Cal are good comparisons. One poster said Cal "only" had 6 or 7 great seasons. How many has Favre had? But that is enough to make Favre and all-time great too. They both hung around past their prime, so people forget how great they were during their primes.

Mikepcfl said...

Sorry for the extended stat list below. I swear this will be the last one. Anyway, the numbers below are Wins Above Replacement PLayer for Ripken, Jeter and Nomar for the first 11 years of their careers. It takes the era out of the equation and makes everything equal. Jeter and Nomar had some fine seasons (9.7 is hall of fame worthy), but neither of them reached Ripken in his prime.

The raw stats are different because of the era each played in. Cal played his prime in the 80s and that makes a huge difference. Jeter is definitely headed to the HoF, while Nomar got derailed by injury.

1982- 8.2
1983- 13.9
1984- 15.0
1985- 10.9
1986- 12.5
1987- 7.2
1988- 9.7
1989- 10.1
1990- 9.4
1991- 17.0
1992- 6.8

1996- 6.7
1997- 6.7
1998- 9.3
1999- 11.1
2000- 7.4
2001- 7.1
2002- 6.5
2003- 4.7
2004- 8.2
2005- 11.8
2006- 12.1

1997- 10.2
1998- 9.2
1999- 11.3
2000- 11.5
2001- 1.2
2002- 9.4
2003- 8.7
2004 (AL)- 1.5
2004 (NL)- 1.6
2005- 1.3
2006- 4.2

Mikepcfl said...

I dont think it is a case where guys in the 80's werent that good, it is just that the ball and the players werent juiced. And I am in no way implying Jeter juiced, I think it is pretty obvious he is clean. But other shortstops of the time included guys like Yount and Trammell who would match up in any era. And it is a shame Trammell is getting no HoF support.

Mikepcfl said...

Ok, I've spent way too much work time looking up stats today. Sorry for boring everyone. I just wanted to make a statistical case for Cal since his credentials were questioned. I will let the stats speak for themselves. Quick thoughts:

Jeter: FIrst Ballot HoF
Favre: All-time great
Trammell: SHould be HoF

Let's get back to things we can agree on like Dan is a bandwagon homer for cheering on Florida!

(Actually, I am heading to Simmons' chat on ESPN)

Kevin said...

Not sure if anyone still/actually reads the AM Jump at ESPN, but I think DJ Gallo is trying pretty hard to get some sexual humor in today's version:

"A Huge Taint"
"Experiencing a Night of Hard Wood in College"

Anonymous said...

Why is baseball held to a higher standard than any other sport in regards to its athletes and moral values (ie cheating, gambling, etc)?

Let's all stick our heads in the sand and pretend that drugs havent contributed to some of NFLs greatest and longest careers. I was in high school in the early 90s and coaches/parents/boosters/anybody that thought it would give their team an edge were pushing weight training and drugs at that time to the high school players.

Do you think it started at the HS level and worked its way up to the college and NFL ranks?

It's ridiculus to think everybody is playing on an even playing field in any sport in any sports era. As long as it is a competition someone is going to find a way to bend the rules or have an advantage that hasnt even been thought of to ban yet.

The people keeping Big Mac out of the HOF are the same people that watched in amazement at the home run derbys, batting practice, each plate appearance to see what this man could do to a baseball. All of the time knowing there was no way 'conditioning' could ever make someones arms that size.

We are happy to put on the blinders for our entertainment and then become hypocrites and blister the same man for making choices that we think are immoral.

rafael said...

Why is anyone debating Ripken? He's in. It's over. Move on.

The most honest guy..the only honest those Senate hearings was Canseco.
Put him in the HOF.

rafael said...

Oh, and I'm pretty sure Bob Knight didn't make his players practice nude, hit them in the groin, pour water and freeze them in winter, etc.

Bob Knight yells at players. That's it. Anyone who points out the "choke" of Reed or the "slap" of the Tech player this year...please. Contact lasting less than a second does not qualify as beating someone.

rafael said...

Barbaro has a setback. Hoof Tissue removed.

are you fucking kidding me? Seriously...this is news?! It'd be one thing if Barbaro actually won the Triple Crown...oh, it wouldn't matter, because he's a horse.

oasiserfede said...

I have almost lost my will to live after reading this.

Saying Ripken is not a HoF'er is not interesting, it is not clever and it is not controversial. It is just plain dumb and anyone who says so should not be talking baseball. But what good is it to rip "fans" for being idiots, when BBWAA themselves can't get it right? All I know is, that around 85 % of the voters should not be allowed to vote. That's how many who decided, at one point or another, that Bert Blyleven is not a HoF'er.....

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how quickly things are forgotten, but Freddy Sanchez garnered 856,685 votes as a write-in for the NL All-star team this year. In addition, Jason Bay went from not being even in the top 10 in voting to the number one vote-getter for NL outfielders on a grass-root campaign. Seems a bit bigger than Rory Fitzpatrick.

Steve said...

"Bob Knight yells at players. That's it. Anyone who points out the "choke" of Reed or the "slap" of the Tech player this year...please. Contact lasting less than a second does not qualify as beating someone."

He kicked his own son in the shin on national television. That IS beating, if you don't think getting kicked in the shin hurts like hell you're crazy. He is a disgrace to college basketball.

oasiserfede said...

Cycledan said...

I looked up Cal's career stats. Very good. But great - no way. He had a few banner years. He also had some weak years. HOF material, not in my opinion.

You see, Eric, I was paying attention.... ;-)

rafael said...

I, on the other hand, was not paying attention. :)

And Steve...well, we'll disagree then. I don't think Knight's a disgrace to the sport. I'd send my kid to play for him.

But my kids will be pro baseball players, so it won't happen.

Natsfan74 said...

I promise -- no more college football -- after this post I mean. At least it isn't about Cal or the HoF.

My biggest complaint about the SEC is that they don't play good non-conference opponents. Well, next year, LSU plays Virginia Tech, and both Alabama and Florida play Florida State. Tennessee plays at Cal. So I will give credit where credit is due.

And Dan -- I appreciate the blog and am glad you keep it up. Do you work now as well? or just blog? hmmm.....

rafael said...

Yeah. But its looking more and more like Whis will take the Pittsburgh job and Grimm will remain an assistant.

actually, that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anybody else saw it, but ESPN's front page right now is the College Football TOP 25 for NEXT SEASON.

The only glaring omission is Hawai'i.

I would find somewhere in the TOP 25 for my main man COLT BRENNAN.

Natsfan74 said...

Oh man -- Just when I thought I could leave this college season in the past, you gotta bring up Hawaii.

I used to be a UH season ticket holder and got used to seeing guys like Chang and Rolovich run up yards like pinball. So what Brennan was doing didn't impress me at all. But, I was at the Hawaii bowl against ASU. Brennan is the real deal! He is probably the best college quarterback I have seen in the past 10 years or so at reading coverages and throwing the ball on time to the right spot. He's accurate, good arm, good vision. If I had seen him in person earlier, he would have been my own Heisman favorite - and I'm a Buckeyes fan!

Anonymous said...

Just because Knight is hardass doesn't put him in the same league as this asshole. And I don't even particularly like Knight. As a general rule, you can't blame the actions of one adult on another.

McGwire may have juiced, but a part of me feels bad that he is most ridiculed for deliberately not lying to Congress, when he so easily could have. But then, the other side is, he probably knew that he could be caught and didn't want to commit perjury. He should really just be ridiculed for juicing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rafael!
Am I the only one who doesn't give a flying fuck about Barbaro's hoof?

Just to clarify a previous comment, when I was comparing Favre and Ripken, I was only comparing their consecutive game streaks.

How about Duke losing again and UConn losing? Also Clemson is 17-0, go figure. I just hope Syracuse can win tonight and jump back into the top 25.