Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday 05/24 A.M. Quickie:
Slow Day? No Way: VarsityDad Launches!

Wow, today is sllllooowwww. Like: Short of Vick dog-fighting video showing up on YouTube, this feels like it might be one of the slowest sports days of the year.

What better moment to "officially" launch my new blog project: Varsity Dad (http://www.varsitydad.com)

(OK, so most of you have probably heard about it already, because it's not like I haven't quietly talked about it on this blog. But, still... time to ramp this thing up.)

More later this morning.

On to today's slow news day:

MLB/PEDs: Will Jason Giambi be punished after talking with MLB about his steroid claims from a week ago? Maybe they'll go easy on him for 'fessing up, but maybe he'll get the "Grimsley 50."

Clemens Watch: 3R, 6H, 5K, 4BB, 5.1 IP, 102 pitches (64 strikes) in a start for AA Trenton. But overall reviews were not good.

MiLB Stud: Ryan Howard, who hit the game-winning HR and had 4 RBI in a rehab start at A Lakewood (NJ). The plan is to be back with the Phillies as early as tomorrow.

MLB Dud: Elijah Dukes, held out of last night's D-Rays game after allegedly threatening his estranged wife, including a text message sent to her featuring a picture of a gun.

Yankees beat Red Sox: Really, do I have to? (Sigh.) Andy Pettitte beat Curt Schilling. There: Whee.

Keyshawn quits NFL, joins ESPN: I guess that makes Keyshawn the new Michael Irvin. I still won't forgive him for cursing at me at some Super Bowl-related event back in 1998. (And I was working for the league at the time!)

Vick Doggy Dogg: I think it's time to give Clinton Portis a break about his comments sympathetic to Michael Vick. He said it. He apologized. He was a moron. Can't we all continue to point our outrage on Vick? Focus, people!

THIS is what I'm talking about: From the freshness at WBRS Sports Blog, they dug up Vick's old iTunes playlist. And, needless to say, he's not shy about his pitbull fetish.

A rep from the Humane Society told USA Today that he thinks that the NFL is only scratching the surface of a culture of dog-fighting among the players. So dog-fighting is the new steroids, I guess. (Attention, NFL players: If any of you are involved in dog-fighting, this would be a good time to stop.)

Meanwhile, the Humane Society also says that the 66 dogs found on Vick's property will most likely have to be euthanized, because they're just too aggressive to be kept alive. You don't have to be a dog-lover to find that incredibly sad.

Magic fire Brian Hill: And, of course, I'm officially nervous they'll make a play for Billy Donovan. Unless they're offering him the coaching gig AND the GM job, they won't get him. (But might they?)

Bobcats hire Sam Vincent: The Dallas assistant played with Michael Jordan in the 80s – his knock-kneed fealty was probably assured before this pick was made. That's how MJ rolls.

Jerry West hates the NBA Lottery system: Well, no shit. But if he landed Oden or Durant, I bet he wouldn't have a peep to say, except "Bring me my franchise player."

CFB: BCS reform? Florida president Bernie Machen, an outspoken proponent of a CFB playoff, wants to lobby the SEC presidents to back him on BCS reform. Just as long as they don't settle on the stupid "Plus-One" model that creates more problems than it solves.

I wish Machen would pick up on an idea I was fooling around with back in the fall: The SEC should secede from the BCS, challenging the "champ" of the rest of college football to a post-bowls title game that guarantees the opponent an unprecedented $25 million payout.

(1) Who is going to turn down that money? (2) It's not like everyone doesn't agree the SEC is the best league, year in and year out. (In fact, some are already claiming that the SEC in 2007 is quite possibly the toughest conference in CFB history.) (3) Without incorporating the SEC (at all), I'd like to see the other schools try to claim they are the best.

(Of course, we saw precisely that when unbeaten Auburn was shut out of the national-title game a few years ago.) So, yes, there are some flaws with my plan. But it does shake things up, doesn't it?

UPDATE (10:06): I can already tell from the comments that this BCS/SEC item is going to get people all freaked out. Forget for a second that I'm an unabashed SEC-backer, and just accept the idea for what it is: Something weird and radical that has no basis in reality or even the remotest possibility of working out. (Of course, no one seems to have a problem with Notre Dame being "independent" -- and most of you would like to see the existing BCS "secede" from its contractual obligation to Notre Dame, am I right?) Look: I'm just throwing out ideas here. Absolutely, as always, it's your mandate to crush those ideas. But just recognize that this was just some wild-eyed idea on a particularly slow news day. Show some mercy.

Soccer: AC Milan beats Liverpool, 2-1, to win the Champion's League final. Two goals by Filippo Inzaghi.

Idol: Jordin Sparks (daughter of former NFL DB Philippi) beats Blake Lewis (son of Bothell, WA), but Blake gets to root for Kevin Durant next season, so things kind of work out for him.

(Oh, and Idol had its least-cheesy moment in show history last night, letting Blake beat-box with Doug E. Fresh in the finale's highlight.)

-- D.S.

74 comments:

Matt T said...

Slow news day so you bring out college football to rile everyone up.

Genius!

And I drink the SEC koolaid as much as anyone, but they aren't the best every year, they just have been recently.

I like the bowl system and I like the BCS for the most part. There, I said it.

BobbyStompy said...

Your smugness about how great the SEC is offensive. Yeah, they were hands down the best conference last year, but this SEC verse the world idea is nuts.

Geoff said...

Dan, that might be the dumbest idea... no, might be the dumbest thing you ever posted. College football is cyclical and the SEC ain't the best every year. Seriously, come off it already.

Brian in Oxford said...

Will the NCAA even allow the SEC champ to play, post-bowl season? I could see it as their one bowl game, but they'd be playing a team that already won its own bowl -- a second post-season game for the non-SEC team. Seceding from the BCS is one thing, but are they risking leaving the NCAA?

(Not that THAT would be such a bad idea, huh?)

Mark said...

SEC Football, Big 10 Women's Lacrosse! Bandwagon Dan Shanoff, everybody!

The heroin sheik said...

Elijah dukes is a fucking piece of shit. I love the rays but we all know he is going to take a bat and beat a pitcher down one time if he gets hit. I hate to lose his talent but you can hear the ticks.

Champions league final was weird. Liverpool dominated yet lost. The first goal was a clear handball and the second one was just I can't explain. Rafa didn't coach well which is so rare and the refs seemed to have it in for liverpool. Just not a good night for them.

One week til moving to Chicago. This ought to be interesting. I just hope it is a boring two weeks for sports til I get settled and get back online and get my dish hooked up. I hope MLB doesn't screw me out of rays games up there.

thistlewarrior said...

re BCS: Seccession might be a plausible way to pressure change if more than one major conference joins in. Just the SEC? Who cares.

re Soccer: Had to watch it on repeat in the evening, but it was worth it. Sweet match. I think I need to start watching more Fox Soccer Channel.

Natsfan74 said...

Wow, everyone agrees the SEC is the best? Tell that to the Big 10 or the Big 12. The SEC is good. But the best? Really? We'll see how the SEC fares this year when some teams FINALLY play a decent non-conference opponent. LSU plays Virginia Tech, FSU should be better competition for Florida, Alabama also plays FSU, Tennessee plays at CAL, and Auburn plays at Kansas State. I would bet the SEC barely breaks .500 in those key matchups. To be the best, you have to beat the best -- both in your own conference and otherwise.

Last season, the Big 10 won 2 out of 3 bowls against the SEC. Doesn't sound like domination to me. Granted, Florida did dominate the big one, but that's just one game.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@all...

can someone explain to me (a guy who is an internet dummy) what "official launch" means? wasn't this varsity dad site up months ago? so therefore, wasn't the "launch" then?

also...i've thought it over and i need a new baseball team. i'm giving you all the opportunity to choose my new team for me since the reds suck balls. enough is enough! i do have some criteria though.

1.) No Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Indians, or Cardinals.

and

2.) I'd prefer a National League team but that's not set in stone.

Todd said...

Yesterday's MLB Studs and Duds:

Studs:
1. Ryan Church - 2HR, 6RBI
2. Oliver Perez - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 4H, 2BB, 5K @ATL
3. Chad Gaudin - W, 7.1IP, 0ER, 5H, BB, 4Ks, @CWS
4. Jeff Francis - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 5H, 2BB, 4Ks, @AZ
5. Brad Penny - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 6H, 2BB, 4Ks, vs. MIL

Duds:
1. Brett Myers - 0.2IP, 4ER, likely DL bound
2. Cliff Lee - L, 4.1IP, 8ER, 10H, @KC
3. Bartolo Colon - L, 4.1IP, 6ER, 10H, 2HR
4. Kyle Lohse - L, 4.2IP, 7R, 6ER, 9H vs. WAS
5. Curt Schilling - L, 6.0IP, 6R, 5ER, 12H, 2HR @NYY

Honorary MiLB Stud: 22 year old Clay Buchholz, Red Sox prospect who outpitched Clemens.

DanShanoff.com said...

I can already tell that the SEC item is going to get people all freaked out. Look: (1) It's a slow news day. (2) There's nothing wrong with a radical idea. (3) Man, who else misses college football season?

Todd said...

@Rev, who are some of your favorite players?

That's how I became a Red Sox fan (prior to moving here in 2001). I loved Nomar and Pedro (and hated the Yankees with a passion).

Sean said...

I agree, Dan, that I miss the football. But seriously, I'd bet you $100 you'd get less complaints if you said the Big 10 is the best conference. And just before last year's Michigan- OSU game, could you really say the SEC was the best?

Geoff said...

Shooting fish in a barrel eh, Dan? Yeah... I bit. Slow news day.

Shaggy said...

Blake beat-box with Doug E. Fresh in the finale's highlight..Youtube clip...if nothing else this gives Blake almost instant "street-cred" to a point. Like right below Justin Timberlake..I mean Doug E. Fresh...old-school. HAve the kids today are now on I-tunes downloading "the Show" and asking either thier Dads, Moms, or cool Uncles and Aunts, "who's Doug E. Fresh?".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU107w2g0qc

Or the does the complete opisite and totally kills any cred Doug E. Fresh had left...

Matt T said...

Oliver Perez gets a stud award everytime he goes against Atlanta. He's got the Mets only 3 wins against them this year.

Tonight: Glavine v Smoltz, Smoltz going for win 200.

thistlewarrior said...

Elijah Dukes' wife needs to press charges and get him off the street; if nothing else to protect their kids if not herself. She might also want take steps in defending herself since restraining orders are absolutely useless.

DanShanoff.com said...

Just "updated" the BCS/SEC item with a similar caveat to the one I just threw out here.

By the way, to BobbyStompy's point: If the Big Ten or Big 12 or Pac-10 wanted to try this, I would fully support them on it, too.

The SEC IS the best top-to-bottom conference -- last year, next year. So if you wanted to take action NOW (which, contractually, they couldn't, obviously), this would be the conference to do it. Also, the guy leading the BCS-reform charge happens to be president of an SEC school. So it made sense to assign the idea to the SEC.

But again: I would support any (or all!) conferences in withdrawing from the BCS and creating a new system that satisfies the fans, media, coaches, boosters and players.

Luke Bell said...

Hey Rev, you can always go with the Brew Crew. We have that recent history of suckitude, so you should feel right at home if they finish well below expectations.

That being said, we have an exciting young team with some budding superstars. Hop on the Brewer bandwagon now!

The heroin sheik said...

In respect to dukes you can see the photo he sent his wife with the gun in his car in the stpete times and yeah his wife is using the media to create leverage in their divorce but cmon it looks on the surface to be pretty clear cut. The devil rays have possibly the best farm system in baseball and they have a logjam of talent in AAA. Shame there isn't any pitching. If they got rid of dukes it would actually free up room to put BJ upton in the outfield where he is less likely to have as many errors as he has at 2nd. It seems to me that it would be the best move for the rays both on the field and in the public's eye. When you go to the rays games on the screens in the outfield there he is gripping his bat looking menacing when he comes up to bat and he looks like he is going to kill someone. I hate to say it but he is every bad stereotype of black men personified. His dad killed a man who ripped off his mom in a crack deal. He is serving 20 yrs. Raised by his grandma. He beats his wife always in trouble with the law. i honestly belive this guy is going down the maurice clarett path. It is only a matter of months/years? til he is either beating his wife til she is hospitalized or he does something criminally stupid. But damn he does have a sweet stroke. The man can play ball. It sucks he cant trade legs with baldelli. At least then we would get a good guy in the outfield who doesnt get hurt playing wiffle ball with his little brother.

bkelly126 said...

why don't we just start handicapping the conferences? give everyone outside the SEC 1 "loss" (big-11, big-12, PAC-10...please, they're all 2 horse conferences).

verbal97 said...

Dan:

Nobody is going to leave the BCS because of the money it guarantees the conferences (which is also why Notre Dame will never be dropped). Money is far more important than determining the actual best team in college football! Come on you should know that by now!

CL Final:

I'm very disappointed. This ranks above the Yankees losing to the Marlins in '03 and just below the Yanks dropping the 3-0 lead in '04 (but at least the Yanks won last night to get to 3 below .500...someone kill me). Anyway, all the luck was with Milan from the shitty referee to the arm-ball goal.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@luke bell

i actually was thinking about the brewers or phillies. maybe tigers. still accepting ideas.

Todd said...

Also, I watched most of the Portland/Trenton game since after the 1st inning it was pretty obvious the Red Sox were going to lose badly.

Anyway, although Clemens did cross the 100 plateau, he did not look particularly sharp. If he can only get through 5 1/3 IP throwing 102 pitches against a AA squad, he could be in trouble in the show.

From what I heard, he topped out at 91 on the fastball, with it ranging between 87-90 most of the night. He located a few very well (knee-high, outside corner) that were pretty impressive, but Clemens' off-speed stuff was all over the place. Saw a couple decent splits, but nothing great.

Although Clemens' line didn't look terrible, it easily could've been worse, and he almost gave up a granny in the 1st. He also walked in a run to finish his outing. Also the Portland offense is pretty weak, with only one actual prospect (Jed Lowrie, who went 2-2 against Clemens).

The real story of the game though was that the Red Sox' top pitching prospect, Clay Buchholz, pitched very well, striking out 8 over 6IP, giving up 2 runs but with only one or two balls getting hit hard. His curveball was absolutely filthy, and was by far the best pitch of either starter last night.

Anyway, I'm sure Clemens will pick it up, but based on his secondary stuff being poor last night, I think he'd better off having one more start in the minors.

Natsfan74 said...

Revscott -- I recommend the Nationals. While they were the Expos, they're still kinda new so it's easy to justify liking a new team vice a really old team in Detroit. We suck now, so there's no "bandwagon jumping" (like picking Florida or something). Our new stadium should be pretty nice, so it would be a great trip to see DC, the sites and museums, and a great new ballpark. We have some exciting young players who are sure to be fan favorites for years (Ryan Zimmerman, Jesus Flores, Kory Casto). It's NL. And there isn't any kind of stigma attached -- no one hates the Nats.

Todd said...

@Rev, make sure that whatever team you pick that you won't get blacked out of seeing their games. Again, I'd look for a team that's good but not great (no Mets, in addition to the teams you've mentioned), but that does have a promising young core. Essentially a team that could make the playoffs in the next 2-3 years, but is no lock.

The Diamondbacks seem like a good call, and the Rockies might not be bad either.

But again, what kind of players do you like? Who are some of your favorite players?

CycleDan said...

Even my kids stopped watching American Idol. It is fun laughing at idiots during the first few shows who think they can sing. After that it is just another painfully boring reality show drawn out way too long.

As far as a football playoff, you need to have the cutoff somewhere. Right now it is two teams. Four teams is better, and I think eight teams would be just about right. The number 9 team in the BCS has no legit claim on a national title.

Yanks looked good last night. But unfortunately they are still 9.5 out. It is a long and unlikely road back which still doesn't seem too likely. ... and Roger Clemons is not the new Messiah. He is a 44 year old pitcher who got rocked in AA ball.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

i don't want the yanks, bosox, indians, cubs, or cardinals not b/c they are "good" but b/c i hate them more than life itself. i'm a very hateful person.

as far as fav. players besides the reds...i'd have to say 5 tool players (the rockies seem to have a ton of them). but that's so far away. i think i am going to go with the brew crew, tigers, or phillies. maybe i'll just give up all together and focus on the bengals. they need me to be a designated driver.

Mikepcfl said...

I hate the Nats because Peter Angelos told me to!

Just kidding.

Brendan said...

I would love for the SEC to leave the NCAA and BCS. We could then have Dan talk about something other than the revenue sports at UF. The SEC has had one good year. Give me a freakin break Dan.
Here are your bottom teams:

Miss St. Lost to Tulane and barely beat UAB. Slaughtered by WVU. Looks like they suck outside and inside the SEC.

Miss. Lost to Missouri, Wake and barely beat Memphis. Looks like a powerhouse to me.

Vandelbilt: Lost to Mich, did pick up wins against traditional powers, Temple and Tennessee State.

That is sad. Pull your SEC blinders off.

Todd said...

@Natsfan, the only problem (well, one of many) with the Nats is that their farm system really isn't good considering how the team has performed for awhile. Not a lot of potential high-impact talent coming through the system (I think only one top-100 rated prospect), and Bowden keeps asking for too much in terms of prospects in trades. I'm a huge Zimmerman fan, but I do think his bat last year was maybe a little too good, though he probably already is the best defensive 3B in baseball (yes, I said he's better than Rolen).

Baseball America actually rates the Nats farm system as the worst in baseball.

CycleDan said...

I forgot to mention the fatal flaw in Dan's proposal for SEC vs. the BCS champ scenario. The other five BCS conferences would NEVER agree to it. Why would they allow one conference to establish itself as superior to their own conference? Answer is that they never would.

kway34 said...

If anyone will leave the BCS it's the Big-10/Pac-10/Rose Bowl cartel. They were the last ones in so obviously they felt they had enough to stand on their own before.

That being said no one is leaving the BCS, there's too much money at stake. And if a conference DID leave they wouldn't be rewarded by everyone else with a shot at the title after everyone else plays their bowls.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

i also hate the nationals b/c of jim bowden and how he stole felipe lopez, austin kearns, and ryan wagner from the reds for three steaming piles of shit that all have bad arms.

i have sort of a man crush on j.j. hardy and jimmy rollins...so many choices!

Luke Bell said...

Or looking at it another way, would it actually hurt the SEC (or any conference) to leave the BCS? What kinds of recruits would want to go to a conference that has no shot of playing in a national championship game (as currently with the BCS)? Why wouldn't the other conferences just tell them to go screw themselves and not let them in on any of the BCS money or title shot? Congrats to you for winning your conference and getting invited to a non-BCS bowl because you want to be a rebel.

Brian in Oxford said...

If the SEC were to secede from the NCAA, then they might as well just start paying players and prospects. Title IX would still be in play, but other than that, the NCAA theoretically polices the amateurism.

Todd said...

@Rev, while obviously in the AL and not going anywhere, I think the D-Rays have the most 5-tool players. Lots of exciting players there. If only they could stay out of trouble off the field, it'd be easier to root for those guys. Crawford seems like a really cool guy though.

Brewers have maybe 2-3 5-tool players, with Bill Hall, Weeks, and maybe Hardy. That's still pretty good. Great pitching core there too, though Capuano has had 3 consecutive bad outings.

I think you have to make this decision in the offseason though.

bkelly126 said...

@Brendan

now do that to every other conference's doormats and see how the SEC measures up. Yes, the SEC has some bad teams (show me a conference that doesn't), but the top of the SEC is stronger than any other conference

chitown italian said...

I told you Milan would win (but damn it, I wish it was Roma winning, but I'll still take an Italian team over the English)!

Brendan said...

@ bkelly126,
I actually looked at other bottomfeeders as well and they all suck and have teams like this. I was just responding to Dan's comment about the SEC being the best top to bottom. The top maybe, but they bottom isn't any better than other teams at the bottom of other BCS conferences.

Luke Bell said...

The 3rd place Big 10 team (Wisconsin) beat the 2nd place SEC team (Arkansas). I don't see this dominance at the top of the SEC.

dwk said...

You guys can talk Dan down all you want for his outlandish ideas, but it isn't going to change the fact that the SEC is the best conference in college football year in and year out.

Brendan said...

@DWK
Best conference year in and year out eh? How many championships, BCS or AP, has the SEC won in the past years? 3 BCS with no losing appearances, but losing. The B12 has 5 appearance with 2 championships. ACC has 6 appearance with 2 championships.
As for the AP, 2 championships for SEC.
And as someone else said, in last years bowls, lost 2 of 3 to Big Ten. Not real dominant there either.

rafael said...

I'd be fine with ALL conferences seceding from the BCS..hell, the NCAA for that matter.

rafael said...

@rev

traitor!! boo!

lol

Well, i fyou need a new team, at least have the decency to get someone outside the NL Central.

The heroin sheik said...

I think the Rays have to have to most 5 tool players. With them inevitably picking in the top three every year they have stockpiled talent. Baldelli and crawford are class acts too. Uptonis great at everything except fielding but they keep changing his position so he hasn't really found a position. Delmon young is a great 5 tooler but he doesn't have his head on straight. Plus we have evan longoria in AAA waiting to come up. Thats just off the top of my head. Now if they could only get some pitching.

dwk said...

Brendan,

So you're saying that the SEC has won the most BCS titles in the last 10 years?

Nevermind the fact that Auburn got screwed.

Oh, btw Arkansas wasn't the "second best" team in the SEC. That was LSU (you might remember them from the National Championship they won a couple of years back and the 4 players they had drafted in the first round this year).

bkelly126 said...

@brendan
Appearances is a flawed stat. it's easier to make the BCS championship in the b12 (whoever wins texas/ok and don't lose to anyone else) or acc and technically 3 of your 6 acc appearances were teams when they were in the big east (VT and 2 by Miami). the big 12 was blown out in 2 of those appearances.

So the correct BCS records,
SEC: 2-0
ACC: 1-1
B11: 1-1
Pac-10: 1-1
B12: 2-3
Big East: 1-1

@luke bell
arkansas has dick at qb (ha) and LSU was the 2nd best team in the SEC. the best of the big 10 got destroyed by the best of the SEC

Luke Bell said...

Ok, so LSU and their 6-2 record is better than Arkansas and their 7-1 record? If we aren't using wins and losses to determine who the better teams in the conference are, then why wouldn't you at least give the nod to Auburn over LSU (since they beat them and all)? Hell, I think Wisconsin was the best team in the Big 10, but the fact remains they finished 3rd. If LSU was really the 2nd best team in the SEC, they really shouldn't have finished 3rd in their division.

Andrew J. said...

Dan,

Since Jerry West is retiring this year, I think you should pay more attention to the validity of his desire to change the lottery. He really doesn't care about Oden or Durant because they aren't going to make him money. West has been in the league a long time (he's the logo, for God's sake!), so I think we should be listening to him on this matter.

The heroin sheik said...

anyone notice there hasnt been an elias says column up the last few days on the WWL. Wonder if it is being removed. I always look for that first thing to learn useless facts.

Travis said...

Jerry West hates the NBA Lottery system: Well, no shit. But if he landed Oden or Durant, I bet he wouldn't have a peep to say, except "Bring me my franchise player."

Dan... Jerry West has been speaking out about the lottery for years and years.... to suggest he would be ok with it if he got the #1 pi9ck is crazy.

Brendan said...

I agree that BCS championship appearances can be misleading, but they are still there. And actually one of the BCS appearances and AP championshpis are by NEB and not OK/TX. I understand that it is easier now to make it from the south, but that still doesn't detract from the cyclicalness of college football. SEC may be on top, now, but that in no way determines that they are going to be on top in a few year.
I also understand the Big East thing, but they are now in the ACC, they still went and still played. Your stats are correct for the conference they were in when they appeared

bkelly126 said...

@luke bell
LSU beat arkansas, LSU was chosen to a BCS game, and if LSU didn't screwed at auburn they would've been #2 (or possibly 1, i think they had a better chance against florida)

Natsfan74 said...

The problem with the Nats farm system is a direct result of Omar Minaya leading the team. He's a great GM, but... he screwed them in 2003 and 2004. In those 2 seasons, MLB was already talking about contracting the Expos, but they were close in the playoff hunt. Minaya made some ridiculous deals, trying to get impact players at the ML level with no regard to the farm system -- who needs minor leagues when the team won't exist in 2 years anyway. Then, when MLB took over, they slashed the player development and minor league budgets (again, contraction meant no need for minors). So the Nats gave away every respectable prospect they had (look at the Indians roster for former Expos who are all-stars now). Then, the Nationals had a bunch of picks at the top of the draft, but had to pick "signable" players, rather than real talent who wanted real money. So the Ex/Nats give away their entire minor leagues with no hope for rebuilding any time soon. But, their top pick in 2004 was Cordero and 2005 was Zimmerman -- so other teams top picks from those years are probably still at AA-AAA, making the minor league system look better without helping the big league club. We are rebuilding our farm system now, but that takes years. But I would say we're on the right track, stockpiling young arms (watch Emiliano Fruto when he comes up) and we have 5 of the first 71 picks in the draft this year with the money to actually sign the players we covet.

Oops, sorry, this is way too long!

Natsfan74 said...

Top to bottom -- I don't know which conference is the best, but I would say that the only thing perennial about that list is it changes frequently. Just before the OSU/Mich game last year, the Big 10 had 2 undefeated teams and a 1 loss team (that lost to an undefeated one). At that point, it would be tough to argue the SEC was tougher at the top given the Big 10 had 1/2/6 in the polls. OSU and Michigan finished poorly, but some of that is freakish in nature. If OSU had a reset button and could keep Ginn -- I don't think Florida wins by 27, and might not even win at all.

But, remember a few years ago when the Big 12 had Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas State in the top 5? Now NU and KSU suck, but are coming back some. Or, how about the Big East/ACC having Miami, Virginia Tech, and FSU in the top 5? Now, 2 of them suck. But don't expect Miami or FSU to stay down for long, and my sleeper national champion this year is Virginia Tech (there, I admit it. I hate Tech, but they are loaded).

Luke Bell said...

And they still have 2 losses in the SEC to Arkansas' one. Arkansas won the division and went to the SEC title game, not LSU. Keep claiming that the conference is so strong, but then go against that by saying a team with a better conference record wasn't a better team. This circular logic is why I don't drink the SEC kool-aid.

Brad said...

I've lost ALL respect for Clinton Portis, and in my opinion he's just as bad as Vick!

I'm not as gung-ho about it as PETA, but I AM an animal lover. Regardless of whether Portis apologized, he wouldn't have made those comments in the first place if he didn't think that dog-fighting is okay, which is absolutely unacceptable.

How would people feel if we raised small children to be extremly aggressive, and then had them fight to the death?? For people who can't have kids, animals are the next best thing and they truly are a part of people's families.

I, for one, will NOT give Portis a break, and I will NEVER root for him again in any capacity!

Matt T said...

@Luke Bell:

Not all SEC fans thought LSU was the 2nd best team last year. They both lost to UF, one just happened to be in the title game.

If you flipped the bowls I think the SEC goes 2-0 instead of 1-1.

bkelly126 said...

@Natsfan74
please, if ginn had not been a pussy and still played, the outcome would've the same. I mean OSU's gameplan was to stun Florida with the spread offense, something they hadn't seen since..oh yeah, their last practice. stick the best team from any conference and put them in the SEC (east or west) and see if they could come out with one loss (let alone undefeated)

rafael said...

clearly, bkelly is the typical head-in-the-sand fan.

luckily, he's joined by the multitude. :)

Despite the lopsided score, I still think if Ohio State and Florida had played 10 times, it would have been 5 to 5. I said that before the game, and after the game.

dwk said...

HA! Rafael I have no idea how you can stand so sure with that opinion, but go for it.

This argument is futile. I'm not convincing anyone that Wisc was only undefeated because they didn't play UM till near the end of the season and the rest of the Big 10 wasn't all that good this year or that they would have been just another 2 loss team if they had even played OSU.

And no one is convinving me that anyone had a harder schedule in the best conference in the country than LSU playing Auburn, Florida, Tennesee, and Arkansas on the road.

bkelly126 said...

In the Big 12, you have Oklahoma, Texas and some hot team each season. The Pac-10, has USC and a bunch of pretenders. The Big 10 has OSU, Michigan, and whichever team has the easiest remaining schedule (though there was a time that almost any team could win). The ACC have names, but no serious contenders (come on Wake Forest?!). The Big east has Louisville, West Virgina and Rutgers (but no one takes any of them seriously). And finally, the SEC has Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, and Arkansas, plus South Carolina and Alabama on the rise, all duking it out.

Is the SEC the best conference now? Yes. Will it be in the future? If the ol' ball coach and $aban succeed, sure. If the big ten returns to form or the ACC gets its act together, then it can be debatable.

Todd said...

All I know is that the ACC is definitely king when it comes to graduating players into the NFL... or at least the ones who like dog fighting...

Natsfan74 said...

Vick never played in the ACC. The only ACC teams he played in college were Virginia and Florida State.

The ACC has been down for 2-3 years, but has a bright future for FSU, Miami, VT, North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson, and NC State. All of them had decent (most are top 30) recruiting classes and have some level of talent returning. Add in Georgia Tech and Wake Forest gaining respectability, and the only true dormat in the ACC is Duke. That's better than the 3-4 doormats in other 12 team conferences.

Todd said...

That's right, he (and Portis) would've been part of the Big East. Guess they better hand over the Ruptured Pitbull Spleen Trophy (sponsored by Iams).

Also Natsfan, you left out BC. We're always solid for an 8-10 win season that stops just short of doing anything meaningful, woo Meineke Car Bowl... [sigh]

Natsfan74 said...

OK, to preface -- I'm a dork. And, today, I have almost nothing to do but sit and look busy at my desk. SO -- here goes:

Taking all of the conferences and lining them up 1-whatever, then making my best educated guess who would win head to head (example: SEC vs Big 12 UF vs OK -- winner UF), here's what I get.

SEC goes 8-4 vs. Big 12, 8-0 against Big East, and 6-4 against Pac 10. But, I honestly believe 4-7 against Big 10, and 4-8 against ACC.

Big 10:
OSU vs. Florida -- Florida
Michigan vs. Arkansas -- Michigan
Wisconsin vs. LSU -- LSU (toss-up)
Penn State vs. Auburn -- PSU
Purdue vs. Tennessee -- Tenn
Minnesota vs. Georgia -- UGa
Indiana vs. Kentucky -- Indiana
Iowa vs. South Carolina -- Iowa
Northwestern vs. Alabama -- NU
Michigan State vs. Miss -- MSU
Illinois vs. Miss. St -- Illinois

Again, just my opinion, but it's hard to say "top to bottom" when the bottom is so weak.

Jen said...

todd~ Put a big asterisk next to Cliff Lee for "Hugest Mega Dud" since he was a power tool in the first inning: two outs, KC hadn't scored any runs yet, Ryan Garko makes a great play on the first base line and Lee is still standing his skinny ass on the mound. It took all of my power not to scream at the TV with my son sitting next to me. The asshat gave up a game-tying dinger at the next at-bat. ***sorry if you guys already knew about this; I just skimmed the posts since I was gone all morning) UGH. Leave it to the Tribe to probably get swept by the freakin' Royals.

Rev~ Why the hatred for the Tribe?

I won't argue about CFB conferences...I am a total Big 10 homer.

Jen said...

Jeremy Sowers is pitching tonight...the Indians will get swept tonight. I hope "My Name is Earl" is on tonight and it's an episode I missed. Heck, I'll watch it even if I saw it.

rafael said...

Josh Hancock's father is suing the restaurant that served alcohol, the tow truck company he crashed into, the driver of the tow truck, and the owner of the car that was being helped by the tow truck.
He is not suing MLB or the Cardinals.


The man is clearly nuts. And the lawyer that agreed to represent is..well..a lawyer.

It is everyone's fault that Josh Hancock was drunk, high, on a cell phone, without a seatbelt when he crashed..except hancock's.

Jingoist said...

Anyone else think Elijah Duke's official team head shot looks like a heavier version of Flava Flav? Anyone? Who's with me?

Man, with that image, dude was born for some reality TV-esque moments like this.

rafael said...

re: OSU/FLA
I just think the rosters of both teams were pretty even, talent wise.
What was grossly mismatched? Coaching. Meyer and staff clearly were better than Tressel and staff.
I thought it was almost sad to see how badly the OSU coaching staff was doing.

butchwalker_2000 said...

The Big 12 should also secede from the BCS. The SEC and Big 12 would hold their usual championship games and then the winners would meet for the SEC/Big 12 title (true national champion). Then let everybody else line up trying to get into either the SEC or Big 12

rafael said...

The Cleveland Cavs and LeBron James will not win a title so long as Larry Hughes is on that team. (or so long as Brown keeps Hughes in the game)