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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.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 1

 

I had planned on giving each pick a proper write-up, but unfortunately I have a killer headache (and a heavy heart following the Buckeyes heartbreaker vs. USC).  Therefore, each pick's only going to get a little blurb.  Following the picks is a tidy little summary of my divisional previews as well as my thoughts on the playoffs and award winners.  As always, the home team is in CAPS, the odds are Dan Sheridan's, and these picks are 100% accurate.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 AFC South Preview


No team in the AFC South should have a losing record, which is a testament to the strength of the division since it means that when they aren't beating up each other the Colts, Jaguars, Titans, and Texans are dominating their out-of-division opponents.  At least one AFC wild card berth will come from the South, just as it has 5 of the 7 seasons the division has existed.  Thanks to Peyton Manning and a relative even-ness to the other teams, I have the Colts coming out on top, but don't be surprised if any of the other three teams makes a run at the division crown, even everyone's favorite sleeper, Houston.

You'll never guess who threw out the first pitch at the Indians game last night...

The annoying Progressive commercial lady!  (photo taken by Mark Duncan -AP via Let's Go Tribe).  Just when the Indians couldn't get more depressing, they pull this stunt. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

2009 NFC East Preview


Football's most competitive division should be more of the same in 2009.  All four teams could finish above .500, but  the Giants and Eagles have to be considered a tier above the Cowboys and Redskins, if only because Dallas and Washington are too imbalanced toward one side of the ball (for Dallas, the offense, and for Washington, the defense).  Keep an eye on a Giants fade down the stretch; if it happens, it may mean Eli Manning still hasn't figured out the wind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

PITTSBURGH (-6) over Tennessee

I have an extended NFL picks post coming (on Sunday morning, I think), but I wanted to get this pick on the record before tonight's game.  Pittsburgh is at home, they're going to be getting their Super Bowl rings (I'm assuming), and these Thursday night openers are always blowouts.*

*Since the defending champs started hosting the season opener in 2004, the home teams are 5-0 with an average margin of victory of 12.8 points, with the only close game being the inaugural New England-Indianapolis 27-24 classic.

The odds are Kerry Collins is going to remember that he's Kerry Collins, and that the Titans defense is going to miss Albert Haynseworth.  Also, don't you think the Steelers are going to be looking for a little revenge for this?    
  

2009 NFC North Preview


In a shocking bit of business that nobody would have predicted this time one year ago, the NFC North has become the soap opera division of the NFL (supplanting the NFC East). Detroit is coming off the first 0-16 season in history with a rookie starting QB and a new regime for the first time since Matt Millen was hired in 2001. Green Bay is switching to a 3-4, while Chicago is welcoming the story of the offseason, Jay Cutler. To top it all, of course, is Brett Favre starting for Minnesota, which is like Michael Jordan coming back in 1995 to play for the Knicks. Sunday, November 1 is circled on every calendar in Wisconsin, as it should be across the country. Favre vs. Lambeau and Green Bay should be EPIC.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

2009 AFC North Preview


Pittsburgh should have an easier time of things this year, as I expect a second year regression from Joe Flacco and another year of being the Browns and Bengals for Cleveland and Cincinnati. And although I don't have them in the playoffs, Browns fans can rejoice in knowing that I fully expect them to finally knock of the Steelers this year (probability demands they win at least one, right?).

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

College Football Picks 9/8/2009


Well, I'm glad that's over with. Of the 14 games I picked with a money line, only seven of the favorites covered (USC, Alabama, Oklahoma State, California, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Boise State. Ole Miss covered, too, but I forgot to pick their game) . Of those seven favorites, I only picked four (USC, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, and Boise State). California and Notre Dame easily covered, embarrassing Maryland and Nevada, respectively, while Virginia Tech hung tough with Alabama for three quarters before the Crimson Tide pulled away. Of the 7 underdogs who beat the spread, I only picked one (Miami), while making Penn State over Akron my lock of the week. If I actually gambled, chances are you wouldn't be reading this, since both of my hands would probably be in casts.

2009 AFC East Preview


My NFL Preview continues today with a look at the AFC East, a division that was a lot of fun last year while Tom Brady was out with injury. With Brady returning and the schedules getting tougher, though, the days of Patriot supremacy over everyone else's mediocrity have returned.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Lost Money and Earned Regrets: College Football Recap Week 1


After watching my week one college football picks go up in flames, I finally decided on a snappy title for my college football recap. Hopefully no one actually bet on my picks (or even read them, for that matter). Here are some highlights from the first weekend of college football.

Friday, September 04, 2009

I'm Bad At Snappy Titles: College Football Recap 9/4/09

Just thought I'd break up the NFL talk for a quick look at last night's college football action:

2009 NFC South Preview


Since its inception in 2002, every member of the NFC South has won the division title at least once (with Tampa Bay winning it twice). No team has ever repeated as champion (although Tampa Bay probably should have last season if Monte Kiffin hadn't left and the defense then didn't implode), and 4 of the 7 champions finished the previous season in last place (while two others finished 3rd the year before). In fact, only twice has a team finished a season in the same place as it did the season before (the 2003 and 2004 Saints finished second, and the 2005 and 2006 Falcons finished third). What does all of this mean for the 2009 season? Well, you can count Carolina out as division champs, and you should probably put your money on the Saints.