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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

College Football, As It Should Be


Another regular season of college football is in the books, and as the BCS bowl game matchups are announced and the national title game participants are slotted, there is one thing all college football fans can agree on (yes, even fans in Austin and Tuscaloosa, if they're really being honest): this system is fucked.  I know that isn't a revelation, but every year it gets worse and worse.  How can we possibly know if Texas and Alabama are actually better than TCU, Boise State, and Cincinnati?  Yes, Texas and Alabama play in tougher conferences, but so did Alabama last year, and Utah (from the Mountain West, the same conference as TCU) destroyed the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.  Say TCU or Boise State wins the Fiesta Bowl in a blow out, and Cincinnati dominates Florida.  Who can honestly make a plausible argument that either of those teams isn't as deserving of the national title as the winner of the Alabama-Texas game?  No one, that's who.

Monday, November 30, 2009

THE Solution to NFL Overtime



While I was watching the Ravens beat the Steelers in overtime, I had to explain to my girlfriend the rules of overtime in the NFL.  She correctly called them stupid.  While I was then explaining to her the way overtime is handled in college and how it is equally as stupid, it hit me that the resolution to the NFL overtime debate rests somewhere in between these two stupid systems.

What is the most exciting part of an NFL game?  The final 2 minutes, when the offense is running a no-huddle and time is at a premium.  So in order to provide the most exciting finish possible to a game, and give each team a chance to score (while also making them earn that score), I suggest you give each team alternating possessions starting at their own 20-yard line.  The offense would then have only 2 minutes to score, and on each possession would be given one timeout.  (The defense would be given a timeout, as well.)  The game ends when either the second team fails to match the first team's score, the defense returns a turnover for a score, or the second team scores after the first team fails to score.  If the defense forces a turnover but does not score, the offense takes over at the spot of the resulting play following the turnover (unless the spot is within their own 20-yard line, in which case the offense would start at the 20).  Punts are not allowed; if an offense is stopped on four downs, the opposing offense starts at their own 35-yard line.  Field goals are allowed, but in the case of a missed field goal, the opposing offense starts at the 35 (unless the spot of the field goal attempt is further down field, in which case the offense takes over there).

Admit it.  This is the greatest idea you've heard all weekend.  Now enjoy being pissed with me that it isn't (and probably never will be) a reality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 7


While living in a white trash, backwards ass town in the middle of nowhere certainly has its drawbacks, every once in a while a shiny gem emerges.  For instance, on my way home from work this evening (actually, morning; I get off at midnight), I nearly ran over an overweight drunk kid riding a (Pow! Pow!) Power Wheels down the middle of the street.  I've never seen someone having so much fun.  A gem such as this cannot be pulled from my horrible week 6, however.  All I can do is regroup and rub my Troll doll's head a little harder.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

College Football Picks 10/22/2009


Wow.  I haven't felt this low since the morning after I wrangled that buffalo at Shooters.  Like my dad always says, though, "Reeking of sloppy fat girl pussy in the morning is still better than reeking of handsome man asshole in the morning," so I'm going to follow his lead and take the moldy old lemons of last week's picks and squeeze them into some make-you-rich lemonade.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 6 (Rushed Edition)


I slept in, so the time I had allocated for writing this post was instead spent dreaming of rollercoaster rides with my dad (a recurring dream).  I actually did quite well winging it last week, so maybe it's better I don't have time to think again.

NFL 2009 Quarter Pole Report


With a little over a quarter of the season in the books, I thought it would be a good time to check in on how things are shaping up in the NFL, both by looking back at what I got right and wrong coming into the season and what we can expect going forward.  As the flea said to the tick, dig in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

College Football Picks 10/14/2009: Information Overload Edition


Wow.  This is shaping up to be one hell of a weekend of football.  Thank God I get to go to another wedding.  Since I was kind of late getting back from the last one I went to, I didn't get to do my college football recap on Monday.  Therefore, my predicted lines and this week's WHAM Rankings (which I plan on running every Monday) will be included along with this week's picks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NFL Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 NFL Teams In The Land: Week 5


Unfortunately, during my whirlwind weekend in New York, I failed to catch one second of football.  Is that going to stop me from arbitrarily ranking NFL teams?  Of course not (does that look like a man who needs to see football to know football?).  Nothing can stop the POWER POLL!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

INTERNET ROAD TRIP 10/9/2009


Some morsels to chew on this weekend:

BONUS!

Austin Carr Soundboard!  (via BigSlow)
soundboard.com

Matty Will's picks

I am back this week to show you all that I am the real deal, Ha Ha!

# 4 LSU (+8.5) over #1 Florida
Predicted line: Florida by 6.5

MattyWill: LSU +8.5

Colorado (+32) over #2 TEXAS
Predicted line: Texas by 19.5

Matty Will: Texas -32

#3 Alabama (-6.5) over #20 OLE MISS
Predicted line: Alabama by 8

Matty Will: Bama -6.5

Boston College (+13.5) over #5 VIRGINIA TECH
Predicted line: Virginia Tech by 4.5

Matty Will: BC +13.5

Wisconsin (+14) over #9 OHIO STATE
Predicted line: Ohio State by 6

Matty Will: Ohio State -14

#10 TCU (-10) over AIR FORCE
Predicted line: TCU by 11

Matty Will: TCU -10

Michigan (+8) over #12 IOWA
Predicted line: Iowa by 3

Matty Will: Mich +8

#13 Oregon (-6) over UCLA
Predicted line: Oregon by 12

Matty Will: Oregon -6 LOCK IT UP

#15 Oklahoma State (no line) over TEXAS A&M
Predicted line: Oklahoma State by 9
I don't really know why there isn't a line for this game. I'll try to update this pick once there is one, though.

Matty Will: Texas AM +pts

#16 KANSAS (-20) over Iowa State
Predicted line: Kansas by 16.5

Matty Will: Kan -20

#17 Auburn (-3) over ARKANSAS
Predicted line: Auburn by 2

Matty Will: Auburn -3

#18 BRINGHAM YOUNG (-16) over UNLV
Predicted line: BYU by 23

MattyWill: UNLV +16

#19 OKLAHOMA (-25) over Baylor
Predicted line: Oklahoma by 14

MattyWill: Baylor +25

#21 Nebraska (-3) over #24 MISSOURI
Predicted line: Nebraska by 4 (I forgot to predict this line in my college recap, but I swear I picked this line before I looked at the real line.)

MattyWill: Missou +3

#22 Georgia Tech (+2.5) over FLORIDA STATE
Predicted line: Georgia Tech by 6.5

MattyWIll: Gtech +2.5

#25 SOUTH CAROLINA (-11) over Kentucky

Matty Will: Kentucky +11

NFL Picks: Week 5 (On My Way To The Big Apple Edition)


I'm literally on my way out the door to NYC for a wedding, so these picks are going to have to be quick. (Maybe I'll do better just winging it.)

Diminishing Skills Presents...The 1st Ever Edition of the WHAM Rankings


Everybody knows how shitty the college polling system is.  Most of the pollsters don't even see half of the teams they're voting for play, and the whole thing is based on a poll taken before the season even starts.  So I decided to do my own poll, but instead of just making stuff up like I do with my NFL Power Poll Rankings, I decided to break things down scientific like and actually put some thought into this.  What follows is a summation of my work.  Teams were rated on four main criteria, including:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

College Football Picks 10/7/2009



It's official: I'm a coin flip.  If you want to read picks by a guy who spends way (waaaaaayyyyy) more time on this than I do, go here.  I know he knows his shit, because he called me stupid for guessing that Penn State would be favored by 18.5 over Illinois this past weekend (the actual line was 6.5, but did anybody else notice the actual margin of victory?).  The killers this week were Oklahoma, Houston, and BYU (Utah State scored with 3 seconds left to beat the spread), while Cincinnati continued the lock of the week curse.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 NFL Teams In The Land: Week 4



I wasted nearly five hours watching the Browns lose, missed the epic Monday night showdown in Minnesota, and lost my second straight fantasy week.  My enthusiasm for the NFL is at a season-low, but here's some Power Poll Rankings for you anyway.

More Of Me For You To Read...Again

I have a new post up at Herm's Perm.  It's the first edition of my weekly NFL post for them, so let me know what you think.  And if you're wondering, the NFL Power Poll Rankings will be up later today.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lost Money and Earned Regrets: College Football Recap Week 5




For the first time this season, all five top 5 schools survived.  The big upset was UTEP exploding on Houston, while Miami bounced back from their trouncing at the hands of Virginia Tech to hold off the Sooners at home.

Friday, October 02, 2009

More of Me For You To Enjoy



Just in case you haven't gotten enough of me yet, I am also going to be writing for Herm's Perm, a blog run by two dudes from Kansas.  They're pretty funny cats, so make sure you check them out, and you can read my first post for them here.

NFL Picks: Week 4



I was feeling it last week.  If I had remembered that Matt Hasselbeck was out, that tally would be 11-5 (although the 'Hawks almost pulled it out for me anyway).  While I missed the two games he gave me shit about (Seattle and Tampa Bay), I want my old buddy Tim to keep his eye on the dollar bills as I make it rain with my winnings.

College Football Picks 10/1/2009: MattyWill Edition


#3 Alabama (-17) at Kentucky
MattyWill: 'Bama (-17)  This spread should be way higher. Does Vegas really think Kentucky will slow down this offense? LOCK.
My Pick: Alabama

#4 LSU (+3) at #18 Georgia
MattyWill: LSU (+3) I have no clue on this game; I am taking the points.
My Pick: LSU

#6 Virginia Tech (-16.5) at Duke
MattyWill: VaTech (-16.5) Thaddieus Lewis is my Heisman candidate but I look for V-Tech to keep it rolling in Durham!
My Pick: Virginia Tech

#7 USC (-4.5) at #24 California
MattyWill: CAL (+4.5) I thought Cal would be the team to beat USC in the PAC 10 but with that showing last week I'm not so confident but will stick by my pick!
My Pick: USC

#8 Oklahoma (-7) at #17 Miami
MattyWill: Oklahoma (-7) What a whooping Vatech put on Miami; they are still feeling it.
My Pick: Oklahoma

#9 Ohio State (-16.5) at Indiana
MattyWill: Ohio State (-16.5)  Indiana played Michigan tough but I don't see this game being close.  Ohio State's defense is tearing it up.  Hopefully T. Pryor uses his legs!
My Pick: Ohio State

#10 Cincinnati (-28) at Miami (OH)
MattyWill: Cincinnati (-28) A lot of points but I see a whoopin' here! LOCK.
My Pick: Cincinnati

SMU (+27.5) at #11 TCU
MattyWill: TCU (-27.5) I see a 4td or more win!
My Pick: SMU

#12 Houston (-16.5) at UTEP
MattyWill: Houston (-16.5)  I am on the wagon and I like this spread. 17pts wins it!
My Pick: Houston

Arkansas State (+20.5) at #13 Iowa
MattyWill: Iowa (-20.5) Iowa should be amped up coming back home after a victory at Happy Valley. Their defense is all over the field; hopefully they can score 3tds. 21-0 final?
My Pick: Iowa

#15 Penn State (-6.5) at Illinois
MattyWill: Penn State (-6.5) Has Penn State given up this year? Have they covered a game this year? I look for Penn State to show up and beat Juice by more than a TD.
My Pick: Penn State

Washington State (+32) at #16 Oregon
MattyWill: Oregon (-32) I don't like USC's offense.  It isn't the offense of past years. Oregon rolled last week and I look for them to do it again this week!
My Pick: Washington State

Utah State (+24.5) at #20 BYU
MattyWill: Utah State (+24.5) Maybe, just maybe!
My Pick: BYU

#21 Ole Miss (-9.5) at Vanderbilt
MattyWill: Vandy (+9.5)  Thought Ole miss was the real deal until they went to SC.  I'm taking the points!
My Pick: Vanderbilt

#22 Michigan (pick) at Michigan State
MattyWill: Michigan (pick) Michigan finds a way!
My Pick: Michigan

#25 Georgia Tech (-4.5) at Mississippi State
MattyWill: G Tech (-4.5)  They finally showed up to play last week! Maybe they will stay in the rankings this week!
My Pick: Georgia Tech

Matty Will: 16-24-2
Me: 19-21-2

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dr. Mangenius or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Browns and Jump On the Bengals Bandwagon

Preface
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Monday, October 13, 2008

Sitting in the best seats I will ever sit in for a sporting event (50 yard-line, club box), sipping on expensive Bass beers, and enjoying the company of my father and his two friends, I witnessed the greatest Cleveland Browns performance of the expansion era. The 1-3 Browns, coming off a bye that-- were it not for an ugly week 4 win over Cincinnati--could have been the end of the line for head coach Romeo Crennel and struggling starting QB Derek Anderson, defeated the defending Super Bowl champions and previously undefeated New York Giants--who also came into the game with an 11-game road winning streak (tied for 2nd longest ever)--35-14. In hindsight, the score is shocking, but even leading up to the game no one would have believed it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

College Football Picks 9/30/2009




That's how we bounce back (sort of).  Underdogs South Carolina, Iowa, Oregon, Southern Miss and Virginia Tech made me look like a genius, while Florida State, Illinois, Clemson, and Arkansas reminded me of how big a dummy I can be.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 Teams In The Land: Week 3




The Browns have a quarterback controversy (with Nobody holding a slight edge over both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson), Chad Pennington is out for the season, and New York has two very good football teams.  If it wasn't for that last part, I would say it's any odd-numbered year of this decade, but since both the Giants and the Jets are good, it must be Tuesday in 2009, which means it's time for POWER POLL RANKINGS!!!

Holy shit...



Diminishing Skills is on DeadspinMISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Monday, September 28, 2009

WTF Brady Quinn?



Did anyone else find it strange that in the second quarter of the Browns' 34-3 defeat at the hands of the Ravens, right after Jerome Harrison broke a 17-yard run to the Baltimore 48, Brady Quinn rushed everyone to the line for a first down-and-ten-yards-to-go QB sneak up the middle?  I turned the game off at that point (yes, out of disgust, but also because my girlfriend's grandparents had just arrived for lunch and I didn't want to swear and bite my hat in front of them), and when I saw later that Quinn was pulled for Derek Anderson, I assumed it had to be immediately after that play call (unfortunately not, however, as Quinn was allowed to finish the first half).  I just can't imagine any scenario in which that play makes sense.  And why didn't the other players stop him or call timeout if that's what he was calling out?  Maybe he just got scared or something and as soon as the ball was snapped he jumped forward.  Regardless, it made me laugh out loud, and is definitely the highlight of what has been a truly magical Browns season.  (Can they just fire Mangini now and save us the 3 years of disappointment?) 

Lost Money and Earned Regrets: College Football Recap Week 4



What a weekend.  Two top 5 teams (Ole Miss and Penn State) fell, while Houston kept their BCS hopes alive.  Oregon proved they aren't as bad as people thought, while also showing Cal isn't as good as people thought and Boise State just may be much better than people thought.  LSU ugly-slugged their way to a win again, while Florida and Texas destroyed far inferior competition.  Virginia Tech asserted themselves as the premier ACC team, while Florida State fell to their second consecutive in-state foe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 3



Yowza.  Between my NFL picks and my college football picks, I'm in so deep that I've got guys named Nunzio after my foreskin.  Hopefully I can hold them off for one more week, because I'm having a hell of time trying to scare up a Mohel in Washington Court House.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The QB Class of 2007: Worst of the Decade?



Considering the struggles of the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2007 NFL Draft--Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell--, and that Kevin Kolb--the third quarterback selected in 2007--looked about as bad as someone can throwing for 391 yards, I started wondering if the quarterback class of '07 is the worst of the past ten years.  To find out, I looked over the quarterbacks selected in each draft from 1999 to 2008, and then rated each player and averaged out those ratings to determine the average value of each draft year.  To read more about how I came up with the ratings, go to the bottom of the page.  To see the crazy spreadsheet I used to determine all of this, go here.  The results are as follows, from best to worst.  Enjoy.

College Football Picks 9/24/2009: MattyWill Edition



MattyWill is back to make his picks this week, and I was hoping that he may have helped you a out a little bit better than I did last week, but unfortunately he went 7-12-1, same as me.  So as of right now, the season stands in a bitter, ugly, 0-0-1 tie between the two of us.  Let's hope for some improvement this week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

College Football Picks 9/23/2009



Yikes.  Other than Florida State over BYU, I would have  been better off flipping a coin last week, and the only lock about my locks of the week is that they will lose.  You can still get rich reading this; just make sure you do the exact opposite of what I'm suggesting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 NFL Teams In The Land: Week 2




The Monday Night Football game just ended 2 hours ago (approximately), so that can only mean one thing: more Power Poll Rankings!!!  (Note: last week's rank is in parentheses.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Experiment


Rank the following in order of most probable to least probable, with 1 representing the most likely outcome and 3 representing the least likely.

  • Peyton Manning will throw for 300 yards tonight.
  • The Miami Dolphins will beat the Colts by more than 30 points, and Peyton Manning will throw for 300 yards.
  • The Miami Dolphins will beat the Colts by more than 30 points.
Let me know how you rank them and then I'll let you know if you're right or not.  

Lost Money and Earned Regrets: College Football Recap Week 3 (Box Score Edition)




Full disclosure: besides the last two minutes of the Buckeyes game and overhearing a guy talking about Washington beating USC at the Cincinnati Oktoberfest, I did not have a lot of exposure to college football this weekend.  I missed the Thursday and Friday night games due to work, and then missed all of Saturday's actions (including highlights) due to some debauchery in the Queen City.  Therefore, all of my comments are based on box scores, so if you saw a game and the numbers don't really tell the whole story, let me know that I'm full of it.  Also, I'm going to rip off Bill Simmons (more?) and start a new section where I predict the lines for game involving the top 25.  If you don't like it (or even if you do), let me know, and I'll adjust accordingly.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend INTERNET Road Trip



Since I actually interact with people (ok, person) on the weekends, I won't (usually) be able to write the 2000 word posts you've come to ignore so fondly.  In their place, I'm bringing back the INTERNET Road Trip, a look at interesting sports-related things found everywhere on the World Wide Web but here.  Enjoy.

  • Bill Simmons's Week 2 NFL Picks column might be his worst effort in at least a year.  I hope he's not getting into another funk like he did when he was writing for Jimmy Kimmel because of his upcoming book release.  His recent work has been his best yet, and it would be a shame for him to start mailing it in again (especially since I don't think he has another rebound in him).
  • Football Outsiders on why Auburn may, in fact, be quite good.  (I told you.)
  • Possible impropriety involving Rich Rodriguez, 7 of his assistants, and more than $4 million in loans from the Bank of Ann Arbor (founded by Michigan AD Bill Martin).  The most disturbing item in this story is the fact that banks are still SELLING MORTGAGES TO INVESTORS!  Who the hell is buying them?
  • A retarded kid scores a touchdown.  Am I going to hell because A.) I could care less; B.) I was hoping #30 was going to turn it on and run him down; and/or C.) I'm jealous of the little shoulda-been-aborted since I never even got to run the ball once, let alone score a touchdown?  (If you've ever seen me move in ANY manner whatsoever, you know that I deserved the same treatment.)
  • NON-SPORTS LINK:  Louis C.K. on Conan, telling an airplane joke, uttering the phrase "People aren't as nice as they used to be," and, despite all of that, still being funny.  (I guess.  I'm still not seeing the greatest stand-up working right now.)

I Could Have Done This...



...but Matt lost my copy of Super Tecmo Bowl.  (Who gives just the box back to somebody?)

via Joe Posnanski

Delonte West = BUCHO'S WORST NIGHTMARE




(via Ball Don't Lie) I don't know if anyone else saw this, but Delonte West just got picked up on a weapons charge.  Apparently, he was carrying two handguns and a shotgun while riding this:



Here's the excerpt from the Washington Post article on the affair:

That prompted the officer to call for backup and search West's vehicle. He found three guns -- a Beretta 9mm in West's waistband, a Ruger .357 magnum strapped to his leg and a shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back, said Maj. Andy Ellis, a spokesman for the Prince George's police.

I like to imagine Steve Buscemi telling that story while drinking Mexican piss beer served by Cheech Marin.



Seriously, though, is Delonte West Batman?  

Friday, September 18, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 2



What started out as a great weekend for my picks (at one point I was 8-3) turned to shit once the Sunday and Monday night primetime games were in the books.  Considering all three Packers-Bears was a miracle last-second non-cover (not to mention Washington's late touchdown to beat the spread), I'm not going to beat myself up over them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

College Football Picks 9/17/09: MATTYWILL EDITION


My homey Matt has been reading this stupid blog since I started doing it, so when he wants to participate, I'm all for it.  The following are his picks for this weekend's AP Top 25 games, as well as my picks for comparison's sake.  Either way, you will end up rich.

Dear 2009 MLB Season: END ALREADY!


I'm not just saying that because the Indians are terrible (and will be terrible next season, too).  If I were to rank how interested I am right now in any given sport, baseball would rank behind both tennis and golf (while holding a slight edge over soccer, if only because I can't bring myself to watch a soccer game).  I can't remember a more boring season in any sport ever.  Are the missing steroids the problem?  Maybe.  Just for shits and giggles (like this video, which involves George Brett shitting and you giggling), let's compare the 2009 season to the 1999 season.  While 1999 wasn't necessarily the beginning of the steroid era, it is smack-dab in the middle of its peak, and, besides, it's exactly 10 years ago, which is always a nice round number to use to compare eras.  I've broken things down into different categories, some of which are pretty cut-and-dry (best team, for example) and some which are a little more strange (appeal of the Colorado Rockies, for example).  Enjoy, if you dare.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

College Football Picks 9/16/2009


 
That's more like it.  After performing about as well as a coin flip during the first week of the season, I rebounded nicely, nailing 63 percent of picks, including Wyoming over Texas, Florida International over Alabama, and South Carolina over Georgia.  Of my misses, LSU and Utah failed to cover for the second straight week, and my lock of the week fell through again as not only did my beloved Buckeyes lose to USC, they kept it within seven points.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 NFL Teams In The Land: Week 1



For fans of the old days at Diminishing Skills (hi Matt), here's a real treat:  I've decided to bring back the Power Poll Rankings in lieu of an NFL recap.  The Power Poll has only one voter, but the identity of that voter may change from week-to-week.*  It doesn't really matter right now, but going forward, the Power Poll will take into account the entire season but will definitely place an emphasis on the previous week's performance.  Enjoy.

*No, it won't.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Ten Most Disappointing Losses in Ohio State History

 
This list originally appeared as a part of my college football recap, but since it seems like something someone might actually want to read and burying it in the middle of a nearly 2000 word post seems like a bad way to let people do that, I figured I'd make the list its own post.  (Note: These games only go back to 1993, since that's when I started watching college football.)

Lost Money and Earned Regrets: College Football Recap Week 2



During a weekend that saw Ohio State handed one of their more disappointing defeats ever, a revived Michigan team saved the pride of the Big Ten, some non-BCS schools strengthened their cases for BCS bowl bids, and some FCS schools scared some BCS conference schools much more than they should have.  Here's a quick look at the weekend's top 25 games, including the spread, as well as a few other games of note.