Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday 11/20 Quickie: NFL Week 11, Ricky, UNC, OK St, Announcers, Cornell Hoops

To lead this morning's SN column, I couldn't help but joke about SN's ranking of the best football announcers: Which pair would I want announcing my kids' bar-mitzvahs? (Lundquist and Danielson, naturally.) (Then there is the default life-caster: Gus Johnson, whose enthusiasm could make even the lamest moments in your life feel exciting.)

But it's not like there isn't plenty to talk about today:

*That was Ricky Williams' best performance since before he cracked up.

*Oklahoma State will get a BCS at-large bid ahead of Boise State as long as they keep winning -- and as long as T. Boone Pickens is their biggest booster.

*The top storyline of NFL Week 11? How Bill Belichick comes back from "4th-and-2." (Answer: Mercilessly.)

*The top storyline of the weekend in college football? Probably Oregon-Arizona, but the Pac-10 is so lame this year (aside from national story of the year, Stanford, which won't even win the conference) that I think we have to default to two moments of schadenfreude: Michigan getting hammered at home by Ohio State or Notre Dame getting beaten on the road at at home by UConn.

*UNC and Villanova become two more top college hoops teams who don't show the ability to decisively put their opponents away -- UNC at least played a good team; Nova doesn't have much of an excuse, aside from inexperience. (BTW: Note that Kentucky gave up 92 points to Sam Houston State. The Cats might be able to score at will, but they can't play defense.)

*Pau Gasol is back (and looking good), but the storyline of the weekend in the NBA is whether the Knicks will sign Allen Iverson. With Saturday night's debacle against the winless Nets looming, wouldn't the Knicks be better served signing AI today and suiting him up tomorrow?

(Let's be clear: At this point, the Knicks should abandon any pretense of being a winning team and simply attempt to be the most entertaining team in the league, with the caveat that "entertaining" doesn't mean you have to win. "Most entertaining" isn't a bad niche to own.)

*Obviously, Tim Lincecum won the NL Cy, but the story of the awards season -- at least for pitchers -- continues to be the emergence of metrics beyond "wins" as something voters pay attention to. (Of course, if you interview voters who are statistically minded, you'll get pro-stats perspectives. For the stats-minded, this should be ironic -- the sample size is totally skewed.)

*Cornell hoops is the new bandwagon: Wins on the road over Alabama and UMass, with a potential third quality win tonight at home vs. Seton Hall.

Check out the complete SN column here.

Should be a fun weekend in sports -- all leading up to next week's short week before Thanksgiving (best holiday of the year).

More coming later today and all weekend long. Hope to see you around here. If not, have a terrific weekend.

-- D.S.


Kevin said...

Notre Dame actually plays UCONN at home

Unknown said...

ND plays UConn at home, not on the road. But yeah, they'll still lose.

Matthew said...

Not sure why you say the Pac-10 is so lame. Is that because USC is not dominating the Pac-10 like Florida and Alabama in the SEC? Or Ohio State in the Big 10 or Texas in the Big 12 or GA Tech in the ACC? I would rather take a very, very competitive Pac 10 then a conference that has practically already determined all of their champions. There are 4 teams mathmatically still in the hunt for the Pac 10 Championship. Meaning that every game counts! Do the rest of Florida and Alabama games really count, except for the SEC Championship game? Except to drop from the BCS but what about the SEC??

Of course I am biased toward my AZ Wildcats, who are trying to win 3 in a row to make their first ever trip to the Rose Bowl. But I don't remember the Pac 10 being so competitive so late in the season. This makes the Pac 10 awesome, not lame. Lame is trouncing over everyone, awesome is having to compete every week to determine who will win it all.

The Pac 10 out of conference schedule, per the computers, has been on of if not the best in the country. If you will notice most of the losses the other teams have are conference losses not non-conference, that makes the conference better not "lame".

I would argue that the Pac 10 is problably the best conference top to bottom (if you exclude WA State) in 2009.