Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday 12/17 A.M. Quickie:
Fins, Pats, NFL, Coach Rod, A-Rod, More!

Today's Names to Know: Greg Camarillo, Tom Brady, Vikings, Jags, Brett Favre, Michael Spurlock, Tony Romo, Jessica Simpson, Fred Taylor, Jamal Lewis, Matt Moore, Rich Rodriguez, Terrelle Pryor, A-Rod, Scott Boras, Brandon Roy, Ty Lawson, Wake Forest men's soccer and More!

UPDATE: One enterprising blogger has created a 64-name tournament to name Sports Blog of the Year. I am a 14-seed in the South region, going head to head with 3-seed Mister Irrelevant, a combo of the Mottram Brothers, Jamie and Chris (no slight intended, CM!). Let's pull an upset! VOTE NOW/HERE.

Dolphins win: 0-16 Oblivion averted! It took OT and it took a home game against the Ravens (who appear to have simply given up following the near-miss against New England), but who cares?

The Dolphins will not go winless for the season. This is huge enough that it eclipses the Pats' streaking to 14-0 as the biggest story of the NFL Weekend.

Greg Camarillo may do nothing else for the rest of his NFL career, but after scoring the game-winning TD, his name will live on in triumph among Dolphins fans; he will never have to buy a drink in Miami again.

Pats win: 19-0 still alive! 14-0 ties the record for best regular-season start. They can set a new record next week.

(Of course, as it has been since the beginning of the season, anything less than a Super Bowl title is a failure of all-time epic proportions.)

BUT: How many fantasy owners who rode Tom Brady to top seeds in their league playoffs found themselves bounced out on the back of Brady's unusually weak individual stats?

Playoff Watch: NFC. The four divisions are locked up by the Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks and Bucs. The Giants (9-5) and Vikings (7-6) would be the Wild Card teams if the season ended today, but it doesn't.

The Saints and Redskins (both at 7-7) stand to gain with wins and help. You can be sure they are rooting for the Bears against the Vikings tonight. Five other teams are also still mathematically in the WC race.

Playoff Watch: AFC. It's all but figured out. The Steelers and Browns are both in right now at 9-5, but it's unclear which will win the division and which will be the Wild Card. The Jags (10-4) are a near-lock for the Wild Card. The Titans (8-6) need to win AND get help.

Milestone Watch: Brett Favre set the career yards-passing record. Still shouldn't qualify him for SI Sportsman of the Year, but I'm going to let that go now.

More Milestones: Michael Spurlock became the first Bucs player ever to return a kickoff for a TD. Doesn't that seem like a strange stat in this day and age? (It's like no Mets pitcher ever throwing a no-hitter, except you'd figure that KO returns for a TD would be much, much easier to accomplish.)

Tony Romo should be embarrassed: Not for his Cowboys losing at home to the Eagles, but for allowing his girlfriend Jessica Simpson to wear a PINK No. 9 Cowboys jersey, setting back the "women-as-fans" movement about a decade or so.

(Meanwhile, Brian Westbrook taking a knee at the 1 when a TD could have been his, because it made more strategic sense to let the clock run out than to score, was the Play of the Weekend -- but the Worst Fantasy Football Play In The History of Fantasy Football.)

Chargers sizzling: San Diego clicking JUST enough to tease the majority of fans who are anti-Pats that there might be one team in the AFC that can stop New England in the playoffs...

Jaguars, NFC's Best? Wow, the Jags actually won in the cold (against a previously unbeaten-at-home playoff-quality team, no less)... If the Jaguars were in the NFC, after a breakthrough they-can-win-anywhere win like this, we would be talking about them as being the best team in the conference... It's going to be very cool to see Fred Taylor (147 yds, 1 TD) finally make his first-ever Pro Bowl this week...

More: Speaking of unlikely Pro Bowlers, how about Jamal Lewis (Sunday-high 163 yards rushing)... Oh, NOW Vince Young has his breakout game?... Earnest Graham has a good shot at Fantasy Waiver Pick-Up of the Year... Congrats to Matt Moore, the Panthers QB got the W after becoming the fourth starting QB for Carolina this season...

MNF: Bears-Vikings. How can you not be rooting for Adrian Peterson to lead the Vikings to the playoffs? With so many teams in the NFC at the Wild Card periphery, if you would like the final two weeks of the season to be insane, you are rooting for the Bears.

Michigan hires Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia: What a coup for Michigan, which had been a mockery during their coaching search.

Instead, they end up with arguably the best coach on the market -- yes, that includes Les Miles.

Now, the only pause for Michigan fans would be that Coach Rod was completely baffled by that great coaching mind, Dave Wannstedt.

Still: It gives Michigan (and the Big Ten) some much-needed sizzle. And it sets back WVU, which had become a consistent Top 10 contender.

One huge recruiting implication: Dual-threat QB Terrelle Pryor, the top player in the country, has put Michigan among his list of finalists, and I am predicting he follows Coach Rod to Ann Arbor, giving the Wolverines a player who is like the love-child of Pat White and Tim Tebow. (And Michigan has a slick freshman RB coming in next year, Sam McGuffie, who will be Coach Rod's Steve Slaton from Day 1.)

(Presumptive Michigan 2008 starting QB Ryan Mallett couldn't be a worse fit with Rod's offense -- Mallett, one of the Top 3 QB recruits a year ago, is 6-6 and plodding. Have to believe he'll go elsewhere. Hmm: Texas? Texas A&M? Houston? Another school in Texas?)

More: WVU fans are, understandably, a little ticked off. But as great as the WVU job was (and as great of a fit as Rod was there), Michigan is an even better job with legendary upside. (For older WVU fans, they can simply look at former WVU coach Bobby Bowden, who left to take over at a rising program called Florida State.) Should be intriguing to see who they hire to replace him. Rodriguez won't coach WVU in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, which is as good as giving the Sooners the game.

(The most pressing question, of course: Will Rodriguez have any hand in preparing Michigan for the Cap One Bowl against Florida? I presume the deal is that Lloyd Carr will get his swan song. As the Gators break out the spread offense and beat Carr senseless with it, I'm sure Michigan fans will happily accept defeat and simply proclaim, "That could be us next year.")

Trip in the Way-Back Machine: September 14, 2006, when Maryland was playing West Virginia and I floated the notion that Michigan's coaching short-list (should they jettison) had Rich Rodriguez at the top. This was two weeks into the blog's existence; it even earned me my first email from MGoBlog's Brian Cook. 15 months later, I would like to say "Told you so!" (Wow, go back to those September 2006 blog posts: Having no job apparently gave me all sorts of enthusiasm and stamina to write posts all day, about interesting single topics, etc. Wild.)

MLB Mitchell Report fall-out: Alex Rodriguez said on "60 Minutes" that he never used PEDs, because – frankly – he never felt the need to. Given that the Mitchell list was populate with aging, hurt or just plain mediocre players, that's not such a crazy line for A-Rod to push.

(Jose Canseco said he couldn't believe A-Rod wasn't in the Mitchell Report. Given how ahead of the parade that Canseco has been on steroids in baseball -- forget your problems with him personally or his delivery issues, but the guy has been the biggest truth-teller in the whole mess. If he would just get a personality transplant, he could have been the hero in this thing.)

He was also 6 weeks too late in expressing remorse for the way his contract opt-out happened during World Series Game 4. If he was so aghast by his agent's ploy, why didn't he say something the next day?

Speaking of Scott Boras: He isn't going to win by defending player HGH use in the media; on the other hand, if he is looking to prove to clients (and potential clients) that he's willing to say or do anything to be their agent, it was an understandable gambit. After all, he has been neutered by the A-Rod fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Orioles, who -- along with the Dodgers and the two Yankees pitchers -- took the brunt of the Mitchell Report, aren't sitting pat. They are actually questioning the report. I'm sure that will make Bud Selig none too pleased. (By the way, the O's should also answer for the coincidental, day-before timing of their Tejada trade.)

MLB Hot Stove: Are the Mets and Yankees going to get into a little bidding war over Mark Prior?

NBA Stud: Brandon Roy with the double-double and the W.

CBB Stud: Ty Lawson, who had a career-high 26 for No. 1 UNC in a win over Rutgers.

NCAA Men's Soccer: Wake Forest wins the title. And, once again, Ohio State makes it to a national championship game only to fall short. Are they the Buckeyes or the Bridesmaids?

-- D.S.


DL said...

Coach Rod leaving the Big East may be the final nail in the coffin of New Big East football. This really kills the last part of the league's football credibility. When Rutgers starts winning the BE every year (by default), they will be no more qualified than a WAC team to play for the national championship.

My suggestion? The basketball only programs split to make the east coast equivalent of the WCC. The WCC/ECC Challenge? Gonzaga-GTown every year? Sign me up.

nsrrder said...

The Westbrook play may have sunk my team...down 9 today with A Peterson going tonight versus Bernard Berrian playing for my opponent. It looks good on paper, but.....damn sure could've used those 6 points.

Torch02 said...

Dan - How about some love for women's volleyball at Penn St. I know you don't care for the Big Ten much, but a national championship (on a December weekend with no college football) is nothing to sneeze at!

Lowlife said...

Thanks for that dig against OSU. Where did Florida end up in soccer? Oh yeah, they didn't make the playoffs. It's nice to see a team do surprisingly well when you don't expect it - OSU's basketball, soccer and football teams getting to the championship game. I don't see how we're bridesmaids when we've already won a national championship in football and I'm pretty sure we have a chance again on Jan. 7. (Although according to everyone else, we don't)

And I'm sure Florida is going to beat the crap out of Michigan. I can't wait for Michigan to give them a good game (unlike OSU did last year).

And I can't wait for people to stop talking about steroids. ESPN has already beaten the dead horse with their coverage. I just don't care anymore. And talking with others, it seems they don't care either. Let's just play some games.

jdromes said...

More importantly, how significant was the difference from regular to HDTV football?? I have yet to experience the HD revolution and wondering how much better it truly is.

aikehara said...

Nice to have a Brandon Roy plug, no matter how small. No mention of the team though? They are on a seven game winning streak, during which they beat Utah twice and Denver, without LaMarcus Aldridge

C Gally said...

Does losing to the eventual National Champs in the semis make you #3? Seems Virginia Tech is good in both football and futbol.

Chris Mottram said...

"3-seed Jamie Mottram of Mister Irrelevant."

Some douchebag named Chris also writes for that site.

And you're gonna kill the Brothers Mottram.

Michael W said...

The Blazers are looking dangerous right now, and this is without their #1 pick! Weren't they supposed to tank this year so they could get another lottery go?

Jen said...


I can't wait for Michigan to beat the Gators.