Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday 01/17 A.M. Quickie:
Boggan, Fins Fun and Arbitration

Update (2:10 p.m.): Early favorite for least-popular Super Bowl ad? How about Nationwide, which is going to use... Kevin Federline. That would have been minimally clever, oh... a year ago never. (But their insidious "K-Fed" strategy worked: We're talking about them, aren't we?)


In case you missed it, last night they played the best college hoops game of the year
, featuring the most talented player in the country (and another in the Top 5). Except you'd be hard-pressed to figure out which one was which, based on the insane individual output:

Mario Boggan: 37 points, 20 rebounds.
Kevin Durant: 37 points, 12 rebounds.

Durant might be the lock Top 2 NBA Draft pick in 2007, but Boggan won the night – and the game – with a game-winning 3 just before the final (-final-final) buzzer to lead Oklahoma State over Texas in 3OT.

So if Durant, Boggan and Wisco's Alando Tucker are first-team All-America locks, who are the other two? Hansbrough? Oden? Horford? Whew, say this: Great year for power players in college hoops.

Pats or Colts: Who would you rather see lose more? I'm picking up this best-of-conference-championship week meme via Kissing Suzy Kolber (and the impressive 314 comments about it at Deadspin). Weigh in using the comments. It's truly an epic debate. Thanks, KSK! (And their premise is right: Just root for the NFC winner.)

Shaq back this Thursday? I go back to my standard: Why rush back? It's not like the Heat are in danger of missing the playoffs. Why not rest Shaq until after the All-Star Break, at the very least?

Dolphins coaching search: Shula? Shut up. The only thing more depressing for Dolphins fans than losing Nick Saban to Alabama would be to hire the guy who Saban replaced: Mike Shula. Cam Cameron and Dom Capers are also "suddenly" "new" finalists, the type of confusion that should worry Fins fans.

London to host regular-season NFL game. More bad news for Dolphins fans: The Dolphins are believed to be willing to give up a home game to play this game in London. Given only 8 home games per year, there's no WAY that's going to sit well with Dolphins fans. Of course, given the fact that there's no head coach, maybe it's good that they're getting out of town an extra week.

Are the Raiders going to hire Chargers WR coach James Lofton? (Meanwhile, Dennis Green doesn't want the job. Feh: Who needs him?)

So much for my pick of Air Force as this season's Cinderella team to watch during March Madness. They lost to Utah last night. And Utah lost to Northwestern by 30 last month. (Yes: 30.) I cannot shake that particular transitive property. Let me do my best Stephen Colbert: "Air Force? You're on notice."

(More CBB: UConn was overrated, but that was still a solid win by Pitt last night to keep itself in the conversation about legit contenders. But, sorry, Unsilent Majority: I'll never be able to pick Pitt to do very much damage in the NCAA Tournament. Tell me why this year is different than all the others.)

MLB Arbitration Time! I'm ruling for the players in a big way this year. Check out the marquee names:

Carlos Zambrano: He made $6.65M last year, which seems like a ludicrous bargain. He wants $15.5M, and the Cubs want to pay him $11M. (1) Given the market for top pitchers right now and (2) considering he might very well be the top pitcher in the NL and (3) considering how much the Cubs have spent on far less talented contributors, the Cubs should give it to him without blinking an eye. Anything else and they risk alienating their most valuable player.

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau: Let me ask you this: If Mauer and Morneau were on the free-agent market together as a package, how much would they command, given the seasons they are coming off of and their promise for the future? Maybe $20 million combined? It makes their combined asking price of $9.5 million ($4.5M for Mauer, $5M for Morneau) seem reasonable. Particularly when you consider what they are making now: Mauer is making $400,000; Morneau is making $385,000. The Twins got an obscene amount of value from those two players last season; it's time to pay them a lot closer to their true value.

Miguel Cabrera: Hmm... wonder how THAT will turn out? He's only one of the Top 3 talents in baseball, and he's making the MLB equivalent of minimum wage.

Is it possible that a minor-league team with a progressive attitude about marketing could make it "Sammy Sosa Night" – every night?

QB Mustain bolts Arkansas: As soon as I saw that Arkansas' prep-to-D1 offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn was leaving after only one year to go be the offensive coordinator at Tulsa, I had a feeling that there would be another domino. Here it is: Prized QB Mitch Mustain is transferring, too.

Here's my next feeling: Despite Mustain's status as perhaps the top NFL QB prospect of the Class of 2010, he'll follow Malzahn to Tulsa, where they'll rack up stats and points together with Malzahn's spread O. The success of the MAC QBs in the NFL means that the pro scouts will find him and track him, regardless of the name on the front of his jersey. It's the name on the back that will matter.

(Meanwhile, for Malzahn, what kind of move is THAT? He must have hated working for Houston Nutt and hated having to rely on do-everything RB Darren McFadden, rather than his self-proclaimed genius spread offense. It also exposes Arkansas' hiring of Malzahn as little more than incentive for Mustain to sign there.)

Minnesota hires Broncos assistant Brewster: I don't know how well new Golden Gophers football coach Tim Brewster can do Xs and Os, but apparently the guy is a phenomenal recruiter, making the Big Ten that much more competitive, given that Ron Zook has turned Illinois into the Big Ten's biggest pound-for-pound recruiting powerhouse. (Yes, even over Ohio State and Michigan. Zook can't coach, but the guy can recruit like no one else in college football.)

Why is it so bad that the head of Real Madrid wants to rip David Beckham as a Hollywood wannabe? He is.

Happy 65th Birthday, Muhammad Ali. Was he the greatest American athlete of all time? "Greatest" might be the wrong superlative. "Most important?" "Most influential?" "Most must-see?" Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan are all in the argument.

Rest in peace, Benny Parsons.

-- D.S.

108 comments:

Steve said...

Considering that Miami would currently not be in the playoffs, I would say that yes they are in danger of not making the playoffs.

jhawkjjm said...

Dammit! I hate having to be up early as I had to turn off the Texas-OSU game. But don't proclaim Boggan as a sure lock All American. Last week as OSU was being blown out by 30 at KU, Boggan was nowhere to be found. Durant on the other hand is just phenominal. He currently leads the Big 12 in PPG and RPG. Amazing.

Not surprising Mustain is leaving after the parents of those kids bitched and whined that their kids weren't the focal point of the offense.

Jeff said...

" Shaq back this Thursday? I go back to my standard: Why rush back? It's not like the Heat are in danger of missing the playoffs. Why not rest Shaq until after the All-Star Break, at the very least? "

While I do agree they aren't going to miss the playoffs. IF the playoffs were to start today, they wouldn't be in.

Pretty sad considering they are in the east. Heck the knicks are only 1 game behind them

Natsfan74 said...

Arkansas should be glad the three whiners want out. As a coach, I wouldn't want players whose parents think they are above the team or an AD who is willing to meet with those parents.

If Mustain goes to Tulsa, the NCAA will have to investigate them for tampering. I don't think any new head coach wants that. Mustain might be an athletic talent, but everything I have ever read about his personality makes me believe he will never be a successful quarterback. As a senior in HS, he openly lobbied for Nutt's firing before he would sign with Arkansas. Seems kind of like "Manny being Manny" without the career numbers to support his craziness!

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Re: Arbitration...

Why I hate the Reds. Aaron Harang...who had 16 wins and led the NL in strikeouts last year (WOW! Had no idea on that one)...is asking the Reds for $5.5 million. The Reds are offering $4.25 million. Honestly...you cheap fuckers. No wonder the Reds suck ass.

In a lesser news...Ken Griffey Jr. says that he will move to right field if necessary.

Anonymous said...

Here is a team that is currently flying way under the radar - Boston College - 13-4 and 5-0 in the ACC.

Lance A Boyle said...

Can we please get off the "Greatest of All Time/Michael Jordan" crap? Yes, he was a great player. But I'd rather have seen Russell or Wilt in their prime than Jordan. Rules had to be relaxed to allow Jordan to excel. Rules had to be CHANGED to keep Russell and Wilt from dominating their eras. And, if David Stern hadn't "suggested" that, perhaps, Jordan had a deep-down love of baseball that he needed to explore for a couple of years, we would today be talking about Jordan the same way we talk about Pete Rose.

Jason said...

Steve, I've been saying that all year. I'm glad people are coming around.

nep1293 said...

Justin Morneau made 400K and I know Ryan Howard made very little money last year. That has to be some kind of record for least amount of money made my MVP's

And I guess Dan forgot, but the Colts and Patriots are playing on Sunday!!!! Where's the obligatory post about some weird facet of the game???? Come on, there's got to be something about football going on.

Natsfan74 said...

Well, after a full day yesterday of no talk about college football, we had to get our focus back where it should be -- on the SEC.

Anonymous said...

Re: It makes their combined asking price of $9.5 million ($4.5M for Mauer, $5M for Morneau) seem reasonable.

As a long time Twins fan, that is a necessary signing. They need to lock these two up long term. They are the 'heart' of the team.

Also, with a stadium in the future, you need something to attract fans. These two studs along with Santana and Liriano, unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

RE: Denny Green

It's not that he doesn't want the Raiders job, it's that he doesn't think that he needs to interview with them as Al Davis and the Radiers front office are familiar with him.

With that said, the NFL needs to stop recylcing crappy coaches!

Gary said...

I was out in the Twin Cities this summer and saw the plans for that new stadium, and where they want to put it...trust me, that will be a great facility to watch a baseball game...then again, anything is better than the baggy-dome.

I have only been to five MLB Ballparks, but I have seen the worst two and the best three (maybe)

1. Fenway
2. Camden yards
3. Yankee Stadium

4. H.H.H. Metrodome
5. Olympic Stadium (Montreal)

I realize that Wrigley is probably in the top three, but I haven't been. I also haven't been to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, so maybe my bottom two aren't the worst, but they probably are

Anonymous said...

Here is the playoff fact for you:

Patriots 5-0 in AFC Championship Games.

Patriots with Brady are 42-1 on Artifical Turf and 10-0 in Domes.

Anonymous said...

Gary - Tropicana Field is horrible.

drakeep said...

Gary

Wriggley is the best. Great game day atmospere surrounding the ball park.

Kauffman Stadium is nice, just in a crappy location.

The BOB is pretty sweet too.

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Chris (CT) said...

Not for nothing, Dan, but it's not so much what Calderon said about Beckham, but he also ripped the WHOLE team and then the FANS! Not to mention he won his appointment on a tainted vote...to say the least the guy is a a jerk and on shaky ground.

Brian in Oxford said...

Maybe Dennis Green thought about the Raiders and said, the Raiders are who we thought they were!

and said no thanks....

Figures if it's Dolphins-Giants, the Giants wouldn't have to be the home team. Geez, they got NINE home games last year, how are they NOT karmically due a year with only 7?

Pitt's a grinder team....how on earth can a team grind out 6 in a row come March? Look what happened with UCLA last year, as an example. (appropriate, too, with the coaching connection)

Salary arbitration is a pretty freakin' stupid concept. I'd like to see the team's entire payroll split up via arbitration. The team is spending 85 million, and now HERE is who-gets-what. I could see an arbitrator deciding that!

Remember when Ali was on Diff'rent Strokes, and Arnold was pretending to be terminally ill to entice a visit? Ali says it's "the Champ" to see him....Arnold says "Joe Louis?" and Ali kinda deadpans, "This kid's delirious!"

Anonymous said...

NEP1923 - Check the front page again as Dan updated his orginal post to add something about the Pats-Colts game.

Chris said...

I've never been to an American Football game - how does the live experience compare to watching it on TV? Or to attending baseball/soccer matches? I live about 50 miles from London, so would be tempted to go along when the NFL rolls into town...

Anonymous said...

Great article on why Fenway is the best place to see a game.

Anonymous said...

Chris the biggest part about going to the game is not only the game itself which is pretty good to see in person but sometimes better at home, but it is the tailgating pre and post game that make the whole going to the game experience that much better.

drakeep said...

Chris

Aside from tailgating, it's better to watch a football game on TV. If you can stomach the announcers, you get a better experience. Because of all the TV timeouts the live game can get a bit boring. Not to mention on TV you get all the replays and good angles.

I would much rather attend a soccer match, baseball game or college football game. Don't get me wrong I love the NFL, but TV has killed the live game.

On that note, how is NFL Europe perceived in London?

Shaggy said...

That game was absolutely ridiculous..and but one reason College Hoops tops NBS during the regular season. Plus I am so excited to be a 76ers fan; We may actually get one of these guys; unless Billy King and his "advisor" (read future coach) Larry Brown Blow it, oh what a minute...damn! No Larry we dont want to trade our pick for role-players who know how to play "the right-way".

Going on mine (and others) hatred for Tom Brady, I found this website

http://www.ihatetombrady.com/

It is so great, I love it! Come one everyone join in...it's ok to hate Tom Brady..he stinks. Sorry I am a Bitter Eagles fan who is still steaming about punting with 3 minutes left on 4th and 15 and losing to the Spazs ("Pats") in thier last Super Bowl appearance...But I really am starting to not like Tom Brady...

Cycledan said...

As a Jets fan spurned by Bellichick, I can never root for the Pats. Also as a Syracuse Orange fan, I will root for ex-Orange players Dwight Freeney and Marvin Harrison to win it all.

Am I the only one who despises Muhammed Ali? He was one of the more influential athletes in terms of bringing unsportsmanlike behavior to the masses. Insulting and demeaning of opposition is in poor taste. Now little kids in Pop Warner think they are supposed to dance over a QB after a sack and hold up a #1 finger after a TD. Ali had no class just a big mouth. Why should I revere him? Because he was one of the most talented boxers of all time? He disgusts me as a person for his politics as well as his behavior. The only saving grace is that he lost almost all his money and is a physical wreck.

I had much more respect for Larry Holmes.

Anonymous said...

Nascar and NHL hockey you must see live to appreciate them, Baseball was ok especially Fenway. Football , the tailgate is the part I enjoyed the most cause the only NFL games I have been to the Pats have destroyed their opponent.

hokie316 said...

If I'm sitting at home watching a big college football game on TV, I'm thinking to myself, "Man, I wish I was at the game."

If I'm at a big NFL game, I'm thinking to myself, "Man, I wish I was watching this on TV."

TF said...

Chris said...
I've never been to an American Football game - how does the live experience compare to watching it on TV? Or to attending baseball/soccer matches? I live about 50 miles from London, so would be tempted to go along when the NFL rolls into town...


Having attended an EPL match and NFL games, the crowds do compare in rowdiness. If you want more of a true EPL atmosphere college football is the way to go simply because it is more of a tradition based crowd (Student Sections, Cheers, marching bands, etc.)

However, the NFL atmosphere is very exciting, a tad different, if you like watching football there is nothing better than seeing a game live.

Joe (Dayton)

Anonymous said...

Adam LaRoche is about to get paid as well. He made $420,000 last year with the Braves (had one of the best 2nd halves of any player in baseball)

He's asked for $3.7 mil and the Braves have countered with $2.8. Still a bargin for a 1b who has good D and hit near .300 with 30+ HR.

Chris said...

I’m not really an American Football fan – prefer baseball and a host of British/international sports – but it’s enjoyable to watch on TV. Sky Sports shows a couple of NFL games every Sunday here, as well as all the playoff games, but not NFL Europe, and I would say that very few people in the UK are even aware that NFL Europe exists. It gained a cult following in the late 80s/early 90s when the London Monarchs were around, but since they folded, the league’s fan base has shifted almost entirely to Germany and Holland.

rafael said...

I'll care about baseball in a few months.

The success of MAC QBs has the NFL looking at....MAC QBs. Do other small conferences send QBs to the League? I think more DI-AA QBs make it than CUSA QBs. An untested high school offense tries to make it big in college using whiny, me-first kids and their obnoxious parents.
Tell me how Mustain's (and his parents') behavior DOESN'T scream Ryan Leaf instability (and for the parents, Manning-esque "I won't play for San Diego" attitude) come draft time?
I'm sure teams will be jumping all over themselves for that.

rafael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rafael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
drakeep said...

Is there any talk of London getting another team? Figured since there will be a game over there next year, they might be priming the market again?

hokie316 said...

Regarding ballparks... I've been to a bunch. I don't really rank them... they all have their good and bad points. I tend to group the ones I've been to into broad categories:

The true classics: Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium, Yankee Stadium

The new classics: Camden Yard, PNC Park, Pac Bell Park, Jacob's Field

Better than average: Great American Ballpark, Citizen's Bank Ballpark, Miller Park, BOB, Turner Field

Average at best: New Comiskey/US Cellular, Enron/Minute Maid, Oakland/Network Associates, Milwaukee County, Sky Dome

At least they play baseball there: Shea, Veteran's, Metrodome, Tropicana, RFK

rafael said...

oh damnit! triple post.

that's just terrible. my bad.


cycledan...you're glad Ali is a physical wreck? That's just cold. And yes, you're the only one who despises him. When you're the first to do it..you're revolutionary. He gave athletes the 'ok' to have personality. Nothing wrong with that. I can understand not agreeing with his mental games, but his talent (can you really not watch one of his fights and not be amazed?) alone earns him reverence.

In person, up close, nothing beats a hockey game for in-game action.
for experience, fanaticism, and tailgating, give me a soccer match. That's in a very close race with CFB. Except in soccer, the fans tend to be far more knowledgeable about their team and sport..as opposed to just being blindly loyal.

Anonymous said...

Rafeal I agree with you I think the best sport to watch live is Hockey. I think it is they only sport of the so called big 4 that is better live then on TV. Baseball is better on TV since between innings you do not just have to sit there. As for Football I love going to the games and I try to go to 3 or 4 a year but I still like it better on TV. Have not been a live basketball game in years so i do not have much of a comparison.

Anonymous said...

Hockey and baseball are both better live.

There is almost no comparasion between Hockey on TV and live.

Baseball is better in person when its a beautiful day and you can enjoy the weather and the day.

I love going to Football games, especially college, but the broadcast is better for all the angles, replays etc, but the atmosphere at a stadium is unparalleled.

Basketball is about the same. I've only been to one NBA game (the hawks) so I can't offer much there

Dave said...

Chris,

It's been a while since I've been to a pro-football game, but they can be a lot of fun. Espcecially if you have a rooting interest (isn't everything more fun this way?). If you have any interest at all (which clearly it sounds like you do) I would encourage you to take advantage of the opprotunity to go see the game. If an EPL game was scheduled in the states, I'd probably be interested in going to see it.

With all that said, hard to tell if the NFL atmosphere that we're used to is going to translate to the game in London when it stands to reason that most of the people in attendance will be European and will be intrested out of curiousity.

To echo the sentiments of a few others, nothing beats a big time college football atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad comment on professional sports salaries when a baseball team could risk alienating its star player by offering him only $11 million for one season.

Chris said...

I’d say there’s little chance of NFL Europe returning to London in the near future. The British Basketball League survives because its operating costs (and sales expectations) are low, so when audiences prefer to stay at home and watch the NBA on TV, the product doesn’t suffer. Same with baseball and ice hockey. However, NFL Europe has a much bigger profile on the continent, and any new franchises would have to match the German and Dutch teams for attendance, marketing and media coverage. In the same way that MLS teams struggle to get bums on seats because the majority of American soccer fans would rather watch a superior product (EPL, La Liga etc) on TV, so any London Monarchs Mk 2 would have difficulty persuading the casual UK viewers of American Football that they should abandon their armchairs and pay good money to watch a substandard version of the sport. We want to see the best, and that’s never going to be the London Beefeaters/Queens/Nelsons.

In some ways, we have it too good right now in the UK and US; we can turn on our TVs and watch elite competitors in pretty much any sport, but in doing so we reduce the opportunities for the domestic brands of those sports to catch our attention. The balance isn’t quite right yet. Still, as long as the NFL/EPL/NBA etc sells more shirts…

nooch said...

Patriots64 said...
Great article on why Fenway is the best place to see a game.

1/17/2007 10:22:46 AM

Im a long time boston fan, and fenway is a "neat place" but it sucks as a sports stadium...obstructed views, rows of seats that have no aisles that you have to crawl over, no beer sold in the stands, small walkways inside and out (which if the yankees are in town, dont count on moving anywhere too fast or being able to get too much food or beer in lines)

Fenway, the first time you go there, is awe inspiring with its rich history and visual field appeal. But, to like fenway more than once, you have to be there for the baseball, not the park. Unless you have the serious coin to get one of those monster seats or luxury boxes.

Hisjazziness said...

Shanoff, PLEASE DON'T PICK PITT TO GO FAR! We don't want you to!

Meanwhile, look what "grinding-it-out" team leads the Big East in 3 pt percentage, and leads the NATION in assist to turnover ratio (at least before that ugly game last night v. UCONN). That would be none other than Pitt.

Hail to Pitt!

Natsfan74 said...

Going to an NFL game in London would be like watching an EPL game in the US. People would go to see the "event" but would not get the same appreciation for it as the regular fans would. What I get out of live football is great tailgating and the excitement of being in the crowd and feeling the energy of 70K+ people experiencing something great simulatneously. Seeing the game live without the rooting interest and crowd energy would make a great event/ spectacle, but it would not be the same game experience.

Football: College is better live because of the energy in college stadiums. NFL is better on tv for the replays, analysis, and cheaper beer.

Hockey/ Soccer: They are both a must-watch-in-person sport for the same reason: 90% of the action is away from the puck/ ball. In person, you can see players fight for position and see players break towards an open net or a good pass. TV cameras have to follow the ball because that is where the tv action is.

Basketball: Probably about even, actually. The energy at basketball games is probably better than at any other sport, but there's something to be said for re-plays and close-ups of the exciting action that you may not be able to see otherwise.

Baseball: Live! It has to be live. The ball game experience is what makes baseball America's past time.

Brian in Oxford said...

I've always thought the hockey is the best live. Basketball is the best on TV (you see everyone at once). Baseball is the best on the radio (as a game that invites conversation between the announcers). Football is the best "experience" for a day, including the tailgating.

(Especially if your friends wanna play 5-on-5 in a snowy parking lot before the game.)

Rafael, if you accidentally triple-post, you can just delete the latter 2 copies of your comment. I think that even hides the fact that it was you who did it. :)

Somewhere across the pond I bet there are Brits debating the best pitches and stadia to watch games in.

setherton22 said...

My worst case scenarion for the Super Bowl is: Pats v. Bears

I am a Dolphins fan (no other reason needed) and everything about the Bears annoys me.

Best case scenario: Colts v. Saints: Peyton vs. His Dad's old team and the city who grew up in

Problem: The storyline is too palpable for it to actually happen.

Natsfan74 said...

Now on to QBs... Counting the regular starters at the end of the NFL season gives the following breakdown:
SEC -- 5 Starters
MAC -- 4 Starters
ACC -- 4 Starters
Pac 10 -- 4 Starters
Big 10 -- 3 Starters
Big East -- 1 Starter (plus McNabb)
Big 12 -- 1 Starter
CUSA -- 2 Starters
Others -- 8 Starters (includes 1AA, WAC/ Mountain West/ and others not previously mentioned and counts Garcia as the Philly starter)

Sheldiz said...

a) i'm still trying to figure out a way to have both the colts and the pats lose, with the least amount of loss of human life. there must be an avenue to this i haven't explored yet.

b) as far as on tv vs. in person sporting events... i LOVE going to NFL games. Its nice to be out amongst other die-hards and its 50,000 times more fun when a touchdown happens while i'm in a stadium, rather than in my living room.

As far as baseball... i only watch at Camden Yards. I can't remember the last time i watched an O's game on TV. I get to 7 or 8 games a season. I follow the team during the season, but rarely watch whole games on TV. i'll flip back and forth to see the score. Baseball is boring as hell to me, unless i'm there and able to watch everything else going on as well (Crab game, anyone?)

ndyanksfan05 said...

Too lazy to look it up but just for curiosities sake - who are the MAC QB's, (Big Ben, Pennignton...???)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Leftwich, Gradkowski...both sometimes.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Oh...and Culpepper too

drakeep said...

Can't think of the third big ten QB either (Brees, Brady, ??)

Ben said...

I enjoy watching football in the stadium better then on TV. While I agree that the replays and blah blah blah....I like to be able to see for myself that a WR is getting open before they throw the ball. I like being able to see the entire field. I like the fact that I don't have to listen to Joe Buck or Phil Simms talk about some nuance of the game that nobody really cares about. And even with all the TV timeouts and things, the game still goes by a ton faster in the stadium then watching it on TV. I agree college football has the better atmosphere, but that depends on the college too.

jen said...

I second (3rd, 4th, 5th) college football being the best live game experience. I've been to Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Ohio University (HAHA-had to throw that in there since I am an alum) and nothing is more exciting than that.

I've been to Tropicana Field and it feels like you are watching a baseball game in a high school gym, but there was a fun bar out in left field.

The old Tiger Stadium was great...it felt like you were right on the field. I'd like to get to a game at their new park. Too bad it won't happen since the tables have turned and when Cleveland plays them, their fans show up now. I was a "six-pack" season ticket holder in Detroit when they were horrible and the Indians were good. I paid $1 for each bleacher seat. Those were the good ole days!

Natsfan74 said...

MAC -- Big Ben, Pennington, Gradkowski (TB via Toledo) and Charlie Frye (Cleveland via Akron). One MAC guy who lost his job this year is Byron Leftwich.

Big 10 -- all 3 starting NFL quarterbacks made the playoffs (Brady, Brees, and Trent Green)

drakeep said...

The NFL needs pep bands. Replace the crappy music they pump during timeouts. That would aid in the atmosphere a ton. Of course that will never happen because of the loss of revenue from the seats they would take.

drakeep said...

There is a good debate, which college conference produces the best NFL QBs?

Natsfan74 said...

The Redskins have a great marching band -- and the band has great seats!

Gregg said...

Best case scenario for AFC championship game:
- Peyton has a crap game, only offensive success comes from Addai and Rhodes;
- Brady has a game worse than Manning's (and worse than his game last week) and hands the ball to Freeney repeatedly; and
- Bellichek makes a late-game bone-head decision so bad he ends up firing himself on the spot.

The Colts go on to SB XLI to honk against either the Saints or Bears.

Anonymous said...

cycledan, HOO-RAH!

I'm an Orange fan cheering for the Colts, too.

Freeney IS awesome, he's Sapp if he lived up to his hype MINUS the motor-mouth.

Marvin Harrison, too. Class Act, My generation's Jerry Rice.

As for Dennis Green (roll your eyes everyone, it HAS to be said):

HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS.

Honestly, he shouldn't be coaching, he should be in the philosophy department at ASU. I love that man. I hope we get him in Buffalo someday.

Now presenting my "If you're going to lose, at least lose with some style" coaching Top 10 List:
1. Jim Mora Sr. "Playoffs? Playoffs?"
2. Buddy Ryan - starts offense vs. defense fights on sidelines.
3. The Herm "You PLAY to WIN the GAME"
4. Mike Ditka. I miss him, I really do.
5. Dennis Green.
6. The Art Shell Experience. If they threw bird seed on his shoulder during games, pigeons would start to nest in his hair.

I miss Wayne Fonts, too, but I'm not sure he's alive or not.

WuzUpG said...

Ali is the greatest fighter ever! And, I don't mean just in boxing. Who else has the fortitude to go up against the US government? Some would say that it was unpatriotic. However, that was what this great country was built on, fighting a government. Now, he's in his biggest fight, against Parkinsons.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Colts v Patriots is a implode the stadium game...both teams are just getting obnoxious.

As for MAC QBs, I think Dan's comment about scouts specifically looking to MAC based on current QB success is a little far fetched. The list of QBs is not exactly stellar:

Big Ben - sucky QB in a run/defense dominated system (as proven this year when his defense stunk and so did his run game)
Pennington - OK QB, weak arm, usually limits mistakes
Charlie Frye - come on now
Gradowski - wont be a starter next year once Simms gets back, but did an OK job (not great but eh...)
Leftwich - can't decide if I like him or not, too many injuries to really hit the ground running

(Thanks to those who supplied the names for me)

It appears that the really elite QBs in the league are still coming out of the BCS conferences (Manning, Brady, McNabb, Palmer and even Young (jury out)and Leinhert (future elite?). So to say the MAC is producing top QBs is not exactly true - they are just producing QBs that are getting looks.

Unsilent Majority said...

you dick

Anonymous said...

Mario Boggan was once a Gator - back when he was a fatass.

Just another example of Gator Domination sweeping the country. Florida can't be stopped.

Natsfan74 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hokie316 said...

Conference realignment could move some of those QB numbers around.

Vick (VT) and Hasselbeck (BC) played their college ball in the Big East, not the ACC. Brooks, Rivers and ex-starter Brad Johnson are the only ACC guys I can come up with. Bulger, Vick, Hasselbeck and McNabb are Big East.

Not sure UCF was in a conference when Culpepper played there. Also doubt he's being included here.

Favre and Southern Miss also... were they in CUSA when he played there?

hokie316 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natsfan74 said...

In the QB debate -- Sorry, I included their current conferences as opposed to when they played, so I counted Vick and Hasselback as ACC.

As far as the best conference goes: it's hard to argue with success. The SEC (which I hate) has 5 starters/ 3 made playoffs/ 2 still going.
Mannings: 1 out of 2 ain't bad
Grossman: Well???
Cutler: Shows potential
Campbell: Instant upgrade in DC

Big 10 -- all 3 made playoffs, 2 still alive.

What really surprises me is the "other" category. 1/4 of NFL starting quarterbacks did not play in BCS conferences (and 0 went to ND). Of this group:
1 Pro-Bowl: Romo (1AA Eastern IL)
1 former MVP: McNair
2 Number 1 Picks: Alex Smith, David Carr
1 Great back-up: Jeff Garcia (San Jose State)
1 Rising Star: Lossman (Tulane)
1 HoF Lock: Favre
Plus John Kitna (Central Washington) has been good at times.

I didn't count Culpeper at all, and I did not include Favre as a C-USA guy (Losman and Girard). I didn't count McNabb, but I mentioned him as Big East.

Natsfan74 said...

As a UVA season ticket holder, it really pains me to say this, But hokie is right -- looking at the Big East before conference realignment could be the best conference for quarterbacks.

Anonymous said...

What would be even more fun is trying to figure out what College produces the best QB's? Mighigan, USC, NC State, Boston College????

rafael said...

Ouch Yanksfan. Not a Big Ben fan I see.

Roethlisberger is definitely not a sucky QB being saved by a system. I saw him in undergrad for 3 years and the past 3 years with the Steelers. This season is the aberration...not his prior 6.
He's got a great arm, can make all the throws, great at escaping pressure, and becoming a leader for the Steelers.
'Drink like a Champion' t-shirts aside, he's still going to be a great QB.

I think Leftwich gets the job back next year.
Pennington should be done soon.
Frye, if given a chance, would be a good (not great) QB. But for God's sake..he plays for the Browns.
Gradkowski, again, with time, he'd be good. Thrown to the wolves in Tampa Bay isn't the best way to start a career.
There are 2-3 current MAC QBs that will find their way to NFL rosters in the next couple of years too.

rafael said...

It's not surprising that so many QBs come from small conferences or lower divisions.
Those teams often employ pass-happy offenses that tend to be pretty complicated. So lots of good QBs go to those teams to have a shot at starting for 4 years and really improving their game...whereas many top blue-chippers go to the big time school..sit for 2-3 years..then hopefully have a shot in their last couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame with Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Steve Beuerlein, Tom Clements(incredible CFL QB), Rick Mirer??, and possibly Brady Quinn, have to be considered.

drakeep said...

Here's a break out of the conferences (2006 alignment) of the top ten ranked QBs (per twominutewarning.com) over the past 7 season (2000 - 2006):

Big 10 15
SEC 9
ACC 9
Pac 10 8
CUSA 7
MAC 4
SWAC 4
Big East 4
WAC 3
A 10 3
Big 12 1
Patriot 1
Ohio Valley 1
D2 1

ndyanksfan05 said...

We'll have to agree to disagree on Big Ben - I just don't think he's very good (based on him throwing a very limited number of passes per game and having a very strong ground attack I just think he is overrated).

I agree there are a couple of good QBs from the MAC - but I still think the elite QBs (franchise players) are going to come from the BCS conferences, so Dan's comment on Scouts looking to the MAC are a little out there. He is also known for making superlative statements - like the Mustain is the top QB prospect for 2010...I haven't even heard of the guy up until today...I think some of the guys (like the big QB going to Michigan Mallet, Clausen as juniours, or how bout Colt McCoy and Tebow) if they pan out, are going to be ahead of this guy. Especially considering they are the "Top Prospects" of the class, according to everyone except Dan.

Natsfan74 said...

Ben probably shouldn't have been playing this year, between the motorcycle accident and the appendectomy. But he is probably better than average but not great. He does throw the ball well, but rarely does his team depend on him to win the game for them (See SB XL). Willie Parker is the engine that makes that team go.

I don't know about school, but what about coach: Norm Chow produced Palmer and Leinhart and David Cutcliffe produced Peyton and Eli.

Marshall does deserve some consideration for this list -- Pennington and Leftwich, when healthy, are both very good. There are no current starters from ND or Miami, but I think they still deserve an honorable mention (Montana, Theisman, Testaverde, Kosar). And who could forget that Kirk Herbstreit went to tOSU (if you forget, he'll remind you).

ndyanksfan05 said...

Clarification - never heard of Mustain as a top QB prospect...

TF said...

Chow was also responsible for Philip Rivers at NC State and in past QBS liek Steve Young and Jim McMahon at BYU

Joe (Dayton)

Anonymous said...

U of Washington has had a QB tradition as well:

Tuiasosopo, B Huard, D Huard, BJ Hobart, M Brunell, C Chandler, W Moon, D Heinrich, and probably others (although I cannot find a good place to look it up). All of them started in the NFL at some point. Sadly, no championships.

rafael said...

wow, what QB was from the Ohio Valley Conference?

It's a bit frustrating to me, as a Miami U. alumni, to see Ben with the Steelers. It's a good fit and will work out for the next 10 years...but he can run a pass-oriented attack. Pittsburgh has always been run-first, but Ben could run the show if given a shot (like i said, this year may as well not happened, too much went against him)

Agreed on Mustain. It seems every state has their resident 'best HS QB in the country'. His career is already short circuited.

Natsfan74 said...

When I was making my list of QB by conference, I was surprised there were no Washington Huskies currently starting. I just assumed there were 2 or 3. They do have a great QB tradition there. Huard should be starting in KC, and Brunell began the year as the man in DC (even completing 21 straight passes or something this year).

What about BYU -- McMahon and Steve Young, Ty Detmer... and wasn't Sarkisian a QB there as well?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Mustain was the #1 rated prospect by Parade magazine I beleive.

Most other publications had Tebow #1, some had Stafford #1. All that being said, not a bad year for Freshmen QBs from the south.

drakeep said...

rafael

Tony Romo went to Eastern Ill

Daddy Rosee said...

I'm not sure how Miggy Cabrerra is one of the top 3 talents in MLB. I would take all of these guys over him.

1. Pujols
2. Ortiz
3. Howard
4. Vlad
5. A-Rod
6. Jeter
7. Beltran
8. Manny
9. Hafner
10. Ichiro

Threw this list together on a whim, any thoughts? Derek Lee?

Brian in Oxford said...

At the risk of sounding too homerish...

"Everyone"'s looking forward to the Pats being defeated on a last-second Vinatieri field goal.

What if the opposite happens, and he misses the game winner, and then suddenly Belichick's again a friggin' genius for knowing when to get rid of him?

Yikes....

rafael said...

So the Pacers and Warriors practically switched teams.



Since the West is better than the East...will the Pacers become juggernauts with this infusion of Western players? Will GS get that much worse?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

rafael...agreed. saw Ben play for 3 years at Miami. Even saw a few games in HS. He's got an amazing arm and is surprisingly agile for his size. I think people forget that if Eli wasn't a jerk off, Ben would be on the Giants right now. The Chargers liked Eli and Rivers. The Giants like Eli and Ben. When the Chargers realized that Eli was going to screw them over, they told the Giants to draft Rivers or no deal. Yes, Ben went to the best team...but regardless of "amount of times he throws" and what not...you have to admit, he is a damn good QB when it comest to W-L.

also...ndyanksfan...mustain was rated #1 qb in a lot of publications, including espn.com. that is why it was a big deal when he verbally committed to arkansas, backed out, but then went there because they hired his coach from HS. he's a stud. now top pick in 2010...that is a loooooooooong way away, but he will be really good. him and claussen have A LOT of pressure to live up to.

also...can tebow throw the ball farther than 20 yards? never saw that this year. just wondering if any gator fans are worried.

Dave said...

When were you in the Giants war room and do you really think Tebow can't throw it 20 yards or are you just trying to antagonize people?

ndyanksfan05 said...

my apologies, I was unaware of this.

Mike said...

"There are 2-3 current MAC QBs that will find their way to NFL rosters in the next couple of years too."

I'm sure Dan LeFevour is on that list, rafael, but who else are you thinking? I'm not as familiar with the MAC East as the West since I follow Northern Illinois, so I was wondering who your others might be since other guys from the West don't really ring a bell.

Please don't say Phil Horvath! :--)

Daddy Rosee said...

That's easy Brian in Oxford...

"What if the opposite happens, and he misses the game winner, and then suddenly Belichick's again a friggin' genius for knowing when to get rid of him?"

I will kill myself

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

So NDYanksfan does not think Big Ben is a good NFL QB but he thinks that Brady Quinn has the arm and the intangibles to make it in the NFL.

NDYanksfan you know who Quinn reminds me of, Chad Pennington. Will not beat you deep but will not make mistakes to kill you either. Problem with Brady is he is going to be the 1st or 2nd player taken and the expectations are going to be way to high for him.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

K-Fed in a Nationwide ad. As in, "Life comes at you fast"??

The (MC) Hammer commercial for Nationwide was freakin' hilarious. If they're setting K-Fed up for the same kind of thing, I think it will be one of the *most* popular Super Bowl ads. I can't think of anyone other than deranged 14-year-old girls who actually likes K-Fed. To see him be effaced during the freakin' Super Bowl will be awesome! C'mon, Dan, get with it!

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

Matt it is going to be a "Life comes at you fast" ad. He is going to go from having money and girls to working in a fast food restaurant. I think it will be hilarious.

One rumor about Federline I heard that I do not like is a possible 2-3 episode arc in Entourage. I hope with the divorce that is not true because it would really ruin my favorite show. It would be funny if Ari rips him for 3 straight episodes now that I could watch.

rafael said...

LeFervour is the CMU QB right? If not, then add him to the list. Also, Akron's Getsy has those NFL measurables. However, he'll have to get the stats up next season.


K-Fed? ugh. Why is anyone enabling him?

Natsfan74 said...

Sorry Dan -- Marty gets to stay on with the Chargers. At least we know there is one less team to worry about in the playoffs next year.

But, by not extending his contract they definitely have an exit strategy if he has another Schotsy type of playoff game.

Maybe now is a perfect time to predict this: Raiders are next year's Saints (not America's favorite team, but the team that finally pulls it together and has a great season). They have a great defense, a decent running back, a couple good receivers, and a half-way respectable offensive line. They need a quarterback and a coach with some semblance of an offensive mind. Add a QB, one O-Lineman, and maybe a DT, and they are looking at 11-5. It's a tough division, but the Chargers can't win when it counts, the Broncos need to a QB, and the Chiefs need to drop their QB. So it isn't that unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't K-Fed on a recent episode of CSI?

ndyanksfan05 said...

I think Quinn is a more proven passer than Big Ben...I probably shouldnt have used the word sucky to describe. Quinn's touch downfield is very good (especially on 20-30 yard posts) which can translate to beating you deep. His arm strength is above average. Expectations will be high, but they were very high this year and he lived up to them in my opinion.

larson laidlaw said...

One loss by Air Force shouldn't discount them as a sleeper in this years tournament. Utah, normally the best team in the MWC, has indeed had a rough year, but they aren't that bad of a team. They have 9 losses by a combined 26 points. They did lose to Northwestern by 30 but the day before that they beat Virginia by 24, a team that has beaten Arizona, Gonzaga, and Maryland. Using your transitive property, Oral Roberts beat Kansas, who beat Florida--- so Florida must have absolutely no shot at making the Final Four. I agree with the transitive property rule you have going for college football, because there are so few games its all we have to go by. But in basketball where teams can be so up one night and so down another, where one player can dominate, you just can't use the transitive property. Really, all this boils down to the point that Air Force will be a force to be reckoned with come tournament time, though I doubt they'll be a sleeper because if they keep up the way they've been playing they'll be a top 5 seed.

Anonymous said...

Natsfan74:

OAK might be the next TEN, but no way do they get a first round bye in the playoffs. There is too much disarray and negative attitude in OAK. NO didn't have the negative vibe.

Dan Mega said...

Denver has a QB. His name is Jay Cutler, and he shall be good. Oh yes, he shall be good.

My sleeper for next year is contingent on what they do to fix their O-Line and D-Line (cough cough Arizona). The Cards have a good secondary, good special teams, great receivers, a good RB, and a QB that will only get better.
I also fear that San Fran will be good next year too.

I think Dallas and the Jets miss the playoffs next season.

GO BEARS

Anonymous said...

DON'T DO IT DAN MEGA!! Every off-season the Cardinals bandwagon has a waiting list because so many people want to get on. And what happens? They suck as always. They've changed coaches and players, but what they need is a change in ownership. Winning starts at the top (Kraft, Rooney, Jones, DeBartolo, others) and Bidwell isn't getting it done. Maybe they have the wrong VP of Personnel; I don't know.

greg s. said...

hollywood wannabe? beckham and posh will be the biggest thing that hollywood has seen in a long time. what did beckham ever do to you? you seem to be doing more bashing lately than praising.

Daps84 said...

cycledan

I hope you're smart enough to appreciate the contradiction in accusing someone of being classless then stating you taking pleasure in that person's poor physical health. As someone else pointed out, Ali made it acceptable for professional athletes to have flair, personality and character. He created the mold for the modern athletic persona found in many players that most sports fans revere. And whether your ignorant ass is willing to accept it or not, Ali is undisputably the most influential athlete of the 20th century for his impact in the sporting sphere, as well as the positive mark he left with his 'politics' that you claim to dispise.

Anonymous said...

it depends on the draft positioning, i guess...

for sure, it won't be the lions...