Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday 10/23 Quickie: Angels, TCU,
FSU, NFL Week 7, Iowa, Blazers, Ohio St

The Yankees are still in control. They have two games to win one game -- both at Yankee Stadium, one with CC Sabathia. So it's not time to panic. If the Angels win Game 6, forcing a toss-up Game 7? OK: Then you could panic.

In the lead of today's SN column, I'm talking about how teams lose their lead. If the Yankees keep losing, it's a choke...

...But Boise State could lose their lead -- as the top non-BCS team for a BCS bowl spot -- just by sitting there, as TCU's superior schedule carries it past the Broncos.

I don't know why I have such a bug up my ass about Boise, because in previous years, I've been a champion for them. And I love the non-BCS teams crashing the BCS party.

It's just that Boise's schedule is so weak -- and I've argued before that even the win over Oregon (the only quality win they can point to) is mitigated, if mildly, by circumstances.

TCU -- a better team than Boise, which they proved in their bowl game a year ago and on the field this season -- will notch a quality conference (and that's the operative word: CONFERENCE) win at BYU, symbolic of their overall superior schedule strength, thanks entirely to that superior conference.

As soon as Boise joins a better conference -- and why the WAC and MWC (and even C-USA) don't form some sort of title game that happens the weekend of the conference championship games, I don't know -- they'll be in better shape.

Remember: Boise State was undefeated last year, too. But Utah was also unbeaten, and did it through a superior schedule. Same for TCU. (Now, if TCU loses at BYU... another story.)

*Attention, Iowa fans: You will be thrilled to know that I picked Iowa to lose at Michigan State as this week's Upset Special. (On the other hand, my Upset Specials have been pretty good this year.)

*Thank god for fantasy football, because this week's schedule in the NFL is pretty lame. That can only mean that we get freaky, unexpected results.

*Am I allowed to be sick of the Blazers' stranglehold on the "up-and-coming" meme? At some point, they're going to have to get there. But they aren't good enough to beat the Lakers or Spurs, and it remains to be seen whether that can even happen in the next 2-3 years. (Especially given that Andrew Bynum seems to be leaps and bounds better than Greg Oden.)

*I compare Evan Turner to Terrelle Pryor -- both are the preseason players of the year in the Big Ten. Both lead teams that will likely underperform expectations. Of course, Turner will have a long and productive NBA career -- not sure how Pryor's NFL career will go.

*Marcus Jordan should never have agreed to play for an adidas school if he wasn't ready to wear adidas gear.

And UCF never should have recruited Jordan if they weren't prepared to tell their shoe sponsor that their marquee player won't wear their shoes.

And the real question is why college players should be forced to wear their team's shoe brand if they don't want to.

(Actually, the other real question is why Michael Jordan doesn't tell UCF that if adidas drops them in a huff, Brand Jordan will be happy to outfit every team in the school -- at least as long as Marcus is on campus.)

Tons more in the column today. Check it out here. And if you haven't seen my analysis of Bill Simmons' career future, see the post below.

-- D.S.


Al Neri said...


I still want to know what mitigating circumstances are involved in Boise's win over Oregon? Name them please. Boise was prepared for their opening week game and beat Oregon. A big-time Pac 10 program needs to be prepared for that first game as well. Name the circumstances or stop bloviating about it.

SwaggerTooth said...

Good stuff today, Dan.

I think yankee fans will continues to panic until they actually get to the world series, and I can't blame them. They still have the ghosts of 2004 taunting them.

I like the idea of teams from ANY non-BCS conference playing each other during championship week, much like college basketball's "bracket busters" week.

If Iowa wins this week, then I'll finally give them the respect they deserve. That said, I've been saying that same thing every week for about a month now.

Totally agree with your take on the Blazers. You can only be sexy for so long. Then you get old and you start to sag.

Jordan vs. adidas: Don't you think Marcus AND UCF should have thought about this, I don't know, WHEN UCF WAS RECRUITING HIM!

Larry said...

Harping gets old. You settle on these memes BEFORE the season (in this case, that Boise State is overrated; last year in basketball that Hansbrough is overrated; the year before that, that Kevin Love was the best player in college basketball) and you just pound it to death. Do we really have to hear about it all week (you complained about Boise State on Monday, Thursday and Friday this week)? I guess, on your end, it's easier than producing original thought. But it doesn't make it easier to read.

Michael W said...

There's been talk for quite some time about turning the Pac-10 into the Pac-12, but I don't know how serious it has been. Boise is an obvious choice, with possibilities in UNLV or Idaho. I can't imagine why Boise State would be happy with the status quo; I'd rather be a middling major team than a great minor team, and Boise would likely be better than "middling," even in the competitive Pac-10.

I don't think you should think of the Boise game as being mitigated by other factors. Oregon just wasn't ready to play. It happens. If we want to talk mitigating factors, look at USC losing their QB and then dropping one to Washington. Or heck, Oklahoma's entire season.